Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Presidential Office starts interpretation for Paiwan language

By Dennis Xie  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Real-time Aboriginal-language interpretations yesterday were implemented for the first time at an official meeting at the Presidential Office, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, adding that they would be continued to show respect for national languages that have been neglected.

People can listen to the Paiwan language of the speaker or to Mandarin from the interpreter through headphones, Tsai said in her address at the meeting.

“Aboriginal languages are among our national languages and they should be valued,” she said, adding that “the government would do more and bring about changes to make up for the lack of effort in the past, so that an Aboriginal-language friendly environment can be built.”

During the meeting on transitional justice for Aborigines, Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee member Teyra Yudaw expressed excitement over the Executive Yuan’s approval of amendments to the Indigenous Forest Conservation Act for Logging Ban Eco-Compensation (原住民保留地禁伐補償條例).

The amendments allow subsidies for an additional 6,500 to 7,000 hectares of land covered by a logging ban, with an estimated 4,000 more Aborigines to benefit from increased subsidies of about NT$200 million (US$6.5 million).

The government’s actualization of ensuring livelihoods in Aboriginal communities is exhilarating, not the subsidies per se, Yudaw said, adding that the amendments show respect to the land of Aborigines, who are essentially its true owners.

The government would continue to promote solutions, including case-by-case solutions, regulatory guidelines and policy adjustments, despite the complexity of Aboriginal land issues, Tsai said.

Land issues should be jointly addressed by finding common ground among groups, through communication and by applying knowledge of the historical development of each group, she said.

These are the keys to harmony and sustainability, Tsai said, adding that all parties should work together toward this long-term goal.

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