Go to contents

History Clarification Committee Should Operate Independently

History Clarification Committee Should Operate Independently

Posted August. 20, 2004 21:59,   


Eight citizens’ groups, including "Citizen`s Solidarity for Inquiry against Pro-Japanese Anti-National Activities" and "People`s Solidarity for Succession of the True Spirit of Democratization," held a press conference at Cafe Neutinamoo (Korean for “Zelkova tree”) located at Ahngook-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul on August 20 to suggest the organization of an independent committee for clarifying past history and carrying out a comprehensive investigation on the past, settling any problems, as well as forming a private joint investigative committee.

Citizens` Solidarity said, "The current administration should not use this investigation into the past as a political tool nor should it carry out a patchwork of an investigation. It needs to be an operation comprehensive and thorough enough to correct any distorted facts about the history of the nation."

With that said, these citizens` activist groups asserted that the ad hoc committee for clarification of any contentious points in history that President Roh mentioned in his address to the people at the 59th Anniversary of National Liberalization should be launched as an independent organization with investigative authority instead of being a parliamentary committee.

Also, they announced their plan to form a private committee constituted of citizens` organizations, academia, legalists, and human rights commissions.

The activist groups gathered at the conference decided to hold working-level talks with related private organizations on August 27 to talk about establishing a private committee and hosting a symposium and a launching party of the committee on September 3 at Sejong Center in Sejong-no, Jongno-gu.

However, regarding the controversial topic regarding the scope and the subject of the investigation, some expressed concerns about this operation turning into an ideological dispute in seeking out communist leftists, while all agreed on carrying out a comprehensive investigation on pro-Japanese activities.

Also, while they welcomed the recent announcements by national institutions about conducting their own investigations on problematic pasts, they commented, "It should be exhaustive in order to avoid leaving any blemishes."

Jae-Young Kim jaykim@donga.com