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[Editorial] Investigating Past History Without Partisanship or Politics Involved

[Editorial] Investigating Past History Without Partisanship or Politics Involved

Posted September. 22, 2004 22:00,   


The outlines of the past history investigation law proposed by both the ruling and the opposition parities have been revealed. The proposals by two parties both talk about “truth and peaceful resolutions” up front, but they are significantly different in their contents to make it interesting to watch how they will draw consent. For instance, regarding the objects of the investigation, the Uri Party is focusing on human rights violations by government powers and suspicious deaths, while the Grand National Party (GNP) includes terror and pro-communist activity by leftists as human rights violation cases. The current situation seems to develop into an even bigger conflict between conservatives and progressives with growing disruptions of national opinions. Both parties should try to find a consent point, away from their own political interests, that people can agree on. In particular, the political intentions of those in power should not intervene in this issue.

In order to achieve such a neutral approach, the Uri Party should calm itself first. They should throw out their self-righteous idea that any past history investigation can only be carried out by them, and that the law should be pushed forward even though the procedures and methods chosen to process this law may be somewhat unreasonable. Looking at the draft originally submitted by the Uri Party, it is not too much of an exaggeration to think that way.

In their original draft, the Uri Party requested a suspension of the extinctive prescription of the prosecution for the investigation and a sentence consisting of a two year or less prison term or a 20 million won or less fine if one refuses an order to assist the investigation, and to be able to look into telecommunications and monetary transactions. These requests have been pointed out as possible violations of our constitution.

Seeing controversies over the draft intensifying, the Uri Party smoothed the contents of its draft out in an hurried manner. Still, it makes us deeply doubt the ability of the party who dealt with such a sensitive issue in such a light and rough manner. Why are they always behaving like this? People become interested even when a single word is changed in a law. There is never too much caution to go around.

Such hastiness seems to come from arrogance. They consider everybody who is opposed to past-history investigations as anti-reformist, and that is the reason why they not only fail to locate problems in specific issues currently being discussed, but also why they fail to judge importance and urgency of each issue. They should stop behaving this way and see the situation for each issue with a cool-headed mind and rational eyes. It is their minimum responsibility as a ruling party.