Having underestimated the heterogenous nature of the Sunflower Movement and the resilience of its leadership, the Ma administration now finds itself in a very uncomfortable position
With some half-a-million people joining the Sunflower Student Movement protest on Ketagalan Blvd and around the Legislative Yuan on Sunday, the question on everybody’s mind was how President Ma Ying-jeou, barricaded inside the Presidential Office, could possibly extricate himself out of the mess he’s created for himself.
It’s not like Ma and his advisers haven’t had time to see this coming. After all, the student-led campaign against the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA) at the center of the crisis had gone on for several months already when a few hundred students climbed the walls around the LY on that fateful evening of March 18. For months, as academics, NGOs, business groups and students alerted the public to the pact’s possible nefarious consequences to Taiwan’s economy and liberties, the Ma administration responded with indifference, then contempt, and finally police shields, batons, and court summons.
My op-ed, published today in Taiwan News, continues here. (Photo by the author)