Jeju 4.3 Bereaved Families Society, the Provincial Solidarity for Jeju 4.3 Truth Revelation, and Jeju 4.3 Research Institute issued statements on Nov. 19 saying, “President of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Lee Young Jo must take responsibilities for distorting 4.3.”
“President Lee misdefined the 4.3 as ‘a Communist-led rebellion’ at an international symposium held in the US,” the statement said. “As an official government organization, this is very inappropriate of the Commission.” These organizations also added, “Defining Jeju 4.3 as ‘a Communist-led rebellion’ is forcing the bereaved families to suffer again,” “We request President Lee that he stop his anti-historical actions.”
(By Kim Jae Bum, reporter for Jeju Ilbo)
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has since responded to criticism from various angles, including articles on the Seoul-based citizen journalism Web site OhmyNews:
“While we do use the term ‘a Communist-led rebellion,’ it was used to introduce the historical background in which the incident was initiated. Later on in the presentation, it clearly indicates that the Jeju residents were victimized by saying, ‘government forces summarily executed villagers suspected of helping the rebels.’”
“... therefore, OhmyNews’ article has taken the words ‘rebellion’ and ‘a popular revolt’ out of the context to interpret as they please, severely distorting Lee Young Jo’s presentation.”
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hereby clearly states that the presentation was not intended to defame the victims and related organizations of Jeju 4.3 and Gwangju 5.18 at all, as the OhmyNews articles imply.”
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