Taiwan remembers war dead at cemetery in India

2017/03/12 19:04:14 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan remembers war dead at cemetery in India

New Delhi, March 11 (CNA) About 50 Taiwanese officials and expatriates in India attended a memorial service on Saturday at a cemetery in Ramgarh in northeastern India where more than 600 Republic of China (ROC) military officers and soldiers who fought in World War II near India and on the northern Indochina Peninsula are buried.

Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), Taiwan's representative to India, said while presiding over the memorial service that he hoped the ceremony would prompt the ethnic Chinese community to reflect on the ROC Army's victory in the Battle of Yenangyaung in Burma, now Myanmar during World War II.

The cemetery was built in 1942 by the ROC government with the permission of the Indian government and was renovated in 1982. Taiwan's Defense Ministry spent NT$7.58 million (US$244,303) on further renovation work which began in July 2011. The cemetery was re-dedicated in August 2011 after completion of the renovation, according to Tien.

In November 2015, Chinese diplomats led by Ma Zhanwu (馬占武), China's consul-general in Kolkata, broke into the cemetery, which is usually kept locked, to pay their respects to the soldiers without Taiwan's permission.

At that time, Tien criticized Chinese diplomats in Kolkata as "rude" and "disrespectful" for intruding into the cemetery without informing the cemetery's manager.

Chen Hsueh-liang (陳學良), an ROC expatriate in India, has been in charge of the cemetery since 2006.

Tien said on Saturday that during World War II, the ROC military was asked by the Allied forces to deploy soldiers to India, who helped rescue 7,000 British troops in the 1942 Battle of Yenangyaung.

Any overseas Chinese who respects that historical fact are welcome to pay homage to the 600 ROC martyrs buried at the cemetery, Tien added.

(By Charles Kang and Evelyn Kao)

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