Sewol Ferry Families Demand Formation of Consultative Group


On July 9, the Korean Bar Association, the Sewol Ferry Disaster Citizens Committee, and the Sewol Ferry Victims’ Families Special Committee (hereinafter Special Committee) submitted a joint petition to the National Assembly for a special law requiring further investigation into incident, which occurred in April, and the establishment of safety measures designed to prevent a similar occurrence. The petition was signed by over 3,000,000 Korean citizens and has the support of 191 National Assembly members.

The Special Committee subsequently held a press conference in front of the Cheongun Hyoja-dong Citizen’s Center to demand that the Blue House and National Assembly select three family members to consult while writing the new law. Concerning the first meeting between President Park Geun-hye and party leaders from the National Assembly, who announced that the particulars of the bill will be settled during the upcoming plenary session on July 16 and the session in August, the Special Committee had this to say: “President Park has stated that she bears the ultimate responsibility for the Sewol Ferry disaster” and “We hope the special law reflects the families’ and the people’s demand for a thorough investigation into the truth of the issue.”

The Special Committee also made the point that currently, there is no way for the opinion of the affected families to be reflected in the bill, and therefore demanded that three family members be selected to participate in parliamentary discussions regarding the special law. “We don’t want empty promises to open up a separate but equivalent debate process for the families or accommodate our overall wishes. It is difficult to have faith that without our input, the legislation will reveal the truth behind the disaster or establish effective preventative measures,” stated the Committee’s representative. “What the families of the victims and survivors want most is for the truth to be revealed and the responsible parties to be punished—no matter who they are, they should not be exempt from investigation.”

Source: Naver . Seoul.co.kr

Header image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Sabrina Lohr

Sabrina has been in Korea for almost five years and is just starting to feel at home. She studies Korean by translating in between bottles of soju.