[Broadcasting] Watching Over and Cutting-off support to the Scholars who Opposed the 4 Rivers Project.


[Broadcasting] Watching Over and Cutting-off support to the Scholars who Opposed the 4 Rivers Project.

2018-07-05 KBS
As you have seen, the Lee Myung-bak government tried to conciliate and tame intellectual society with money.
Today, we invited one professor who was investigated by the government during the activities against the 4 rivers project.
I will talk with Professor Lee Won Young of Suwon University for a moment.
Thank you for coming today.
First, please explain briefly why you oppose the 4 Rivers project.

[Lee Won Young]
It has been confirmed that there is an economic cost problem, and it will pollute the drinking water seriously. The overall review was the the project is bound to fail.

What disadvantages did you receive as the result of investigated?

[Lee Won Young]
There was a disadvantage coming from the school side.
The school pressured me to ‘reduce the activities opposing the 4 rivers project.’ They said it was just a recommendation, but it was a strong pressure. And I received a lot of research funds from the government and I have actually done a lot of researches. But the funds were all stopped for no clear reason.

What kind of conflict did you have with the school?

[Lee Won Young]
I had a chance to give a special lecture to the members of the Gyeonggi Provincial Assembly. Just two days before the lecture, a call came from the president of Suwon university in the middle of the night and he said, “Do you have to give the lecture?”
At that time, the governor of Gyeonggi Province was Kim Moon-soo, but the Provincial Assembly was dominated by the opposition party, the Democratic Party.
If there was an opposition in the Provincial Assembly, then it would be difficult to proceed with the 4 rivers project on the Han River. So, the school put a lot of pressure when lawmakers invited me to give a lecture.

You mentioned the research funding. Was there any difference in the process of receiving the research funding after the opposite activity?

[Lee Won Young]
Before I started the opposition activities in earnest, I estimated that the research funding I received from Gyeonggi Province, Hwaseong City or other public institutions in about 5 years was about 200 to 300 million won. I was pretty active. Afterwards, funding quickly decreased. I was completely cut-off.

You mean to say that there was a drastic change. Do you think there was an intervention of the government in cutting off your funding?

[Lee Won Young]
It’s hard to talk about it with evidence, but afterward I really had difficulties getting in touch with those public institutions.

What is the reason for the continued opposition despite all the disadvantages you received including the investigation and cutting of research funding?

[Lee Won Young]
If a person gets angry, it is better to let it out than to keep it tight to oneself. That is the better way of living. I had to work harder to release the anger that was inside me because the anger was much bigger in my mind and heart than any discouragement I got from the investigation and the termination of research funding.

You must have been proud as a scholar?

[Lee Won Young]
It is not about pride. It is a common sense that certain things should not take place in this world. I got angrier than ordinary people because I approached the problem with academic objectivity. The only way to get rid of the anger is to work harder against the project.

That is all we have for you today. Thank you.


Categories: Media Reports

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