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13 History Commissions to Get W206 Bln Next Year

Posted October. 06, 2008 09:37,   


The government will grant next year 206.2 billion won (168.5 million U.S. dollars) to 13 history review commissions that sparked ideological controversy under the previous Roh Moo-hyun administration.

Critics say the incumbent Lee Myung-bak administration has practically broken its promise to reduce the number of truth commissions.

The budget for a commission on the Samcheong Re-education Camp victims was excluded after the body refused to disclose its sum.

The figures were made public by lawmaker Shin Ji-ho of the ruling Grand National Party yesterday.

The figure of 206.2 billion won is up from 208.9 billion won this year, though 2.7 billion won less than last year’s.

The 2009 budget of the commission for the democratization movement activists almost doubled from 10.9 billion won to 20.3 billion won (16.6 million dollars). People eligible for compensation have increased due to a law revision last year, which resulted in extending the period recognized for the movement from 1967 to 1964.

The Commission on Forced Mobilization under Japanese Imperialism will also increase its budget from 11.4 billion won to 15.5 billion won next year (12.6 million dollars), up 4.1 billion won. The construction of a history museum in Busan is the main reason for the budget increase.

Other commissions are extending their deadlines to complete their missions. A presidential commission on pro-Japanese collaborators, which was scheduled to end in May next year, will extend its term for another six months.

Another on suspicious military deaths is reportedly considering extending its term, which ends in December.

The 2009 budget for presidential commissions, however, will drop 4.8 billion won, and that of one probing the 1948 massacre on Jeju Island will be also cut from 6.5 billion won to 2.6 billion won (2.1 million dollars).

“We strongly believed that the numerous history commissions would be merged or closed upon the launch of the Lee administration. What’s more, they not only secured next year’s budget but are also trying to extend their terms,” Shin said.