Sat, Oct 26, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Atayal council not impressed with May Chin's stand

ANTI-PARK PROTEST The tribal council says Chin doesn't represent all Atayal Aborigines and they fear people will be misled by today's protest

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Atayal Tribal Council yesterday accused Aboriginal Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) of acting unscrupulously in pushing her opposition to a proposed Makao Chinese cypress national park (馬告檜木國家公園), to the extent of lying to other Aborigines

The proposed park would turn 53,000 hectares of forest in northern Taiwan -- where four Atayal villages are located -- into a national park.

The park proposal is a controversial issue among Aborigines.

Chin and others have demanded that the area be made into an Atayal autonomous region instead of a park.

However, some Aborigines are backing the park and have expressed a willingness to co-manage the park with the government.

"I want to hereby urge all Aborigines to take Chin's anti-Makao call with caution," Utux Lvak, secretary-general of the Atayal council told the Taipei Times yesterday.

"Some of her anti-Makao claims concerning the Atayal tribe are not true," Lvak said.

Lvak was referring to Chin's statement on Wednesday that all Atayal tribes, including the Smanguz village, which would fall inside the boundaries of the proposed park, are against the establishment of the park.

"What she said was not true, because Smanguz, among some others, did not say that it is against the establishment of a Makao park," said Lvak.

He said Chin's remark had seriously distorted the issue and given the general public a false impression.

"The council hopes that Chin would consult with the tribe's elders and tribal chiefs first before making public statements about the tribe that are not true," he added.

As for the demonstration that will be led by Chin today, Lvak said that he hopes other Aboriginal tribes would keep their distance from both the protest and the park issue itself because the decision on establishing the park concerns the Atayal alone.

Today's demonstration will be led by Chin and several other Aboriginal legislators, including independent Legislator Walis Pelin (瓦歷斯貝林) and PFP Legislator Lin Chun-te (林春德), both of whom are members of the Atayal tribe.

The protest was organized to publicize a call for all Aborigines to join together to demand the retrocession of Aboriginal land to the tribes and to protest the proposed Makao park. Therefore it was deliberately scheduled to take place the day after Retrocession Day.

"We sincerely hope all Aborigines would be cautious [of these legislators' call] as we don't want any untrue statements about us to create tension between the Atayal tribe and other Aboriginal tribes," Lvak said.

Organizers held a preview of the demonstration last night on the Ketagalan Boulevard, with speeches, traditional tribal dances and a vigil in the square in front of the Presidential Office Building.

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