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Truth Commission to Continue Through 2014

Posted May. 18, 2009 07:24,   


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has assigned research to academic circles and held symposiums to set up a research foundation on past injustices costing up to 801 billion won (634 million U.S. dollars) by 2014, according to a report obtained by a lawmaker yesterday.

Controversy will arise since establishing the foundation will be paid with tax money.

Ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Shin Ji-ho obtained a report yesterday on a plan to set up a research foundation on "reconciliation and past injustices." The report said the government should contribute 500 billion won (396 million dollars) to set up the foundation, which will conduct follow-up tasks of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and set aside 301 billion won (238 million dollars) to back projects of the foundation from next year to 2014.

“Based on the judgment that the incidents whose truths were established need follow-up measures after the conclusion of the commission`s activities, a foundation should be set up under relevant law,” the report said.

The report was drawn up by a team of researchers led by sociology professor Chung Geun-shik at Seoul National University at the request of the commission in October last year. The team worked on the report for six months.

The commission Thursday held a symposium on “reconciliation and comforting of the souls of the victims of the past wrongdoings and measures to set up a foundation” at Maekyung Media Center in central Seoul and stressed the necessity of the foundation based on the report.

The report will go to the National Assembly Committee on Public Administration and Security.

The report urges the proposed foundation to develop reconciliation programs; build a database of past injustices; support cultural and academic activities related to truth establishment; set up a facility to hold historical materials and help the repose of victims; support a nationwide joint memorial service; study overseas precedents; support research conducted by those who made exemplary reconciliation; and study measures to prevent a repeat of injustice.

Speculation is rising that the commission, which is scheduled to end its work in late April next year, is laying the groundwork to continue operating through the foundation.

Shin said, “If the foundation is established, it will likely absorb most of the staff and organizations of the commission,” adding, “Contribution funds to the foundation are likely to be used to support left-leaning forces.”

The prospect of the foundation is unclear, however. The funds needed for its establishment requires parliamentary approval and the ruling party is unlikely to agree with the plan.

Shin said that of 18 committees on past injustices, eight are allowed to continue follow-up activities.