Some 300 Tao aborigines staged a protest yesterday at an interim nuclear repository on Orchid Island to press the government to relocate the radioactive waste from their home as soon as possible. \nThe demonstrators demanded that the government declare that the state-owned Taiwan Power Company's (Taipower) use of the nuclear dump after New Year's Eve is illegal and set a definite time frame for removal of the waste. \nThe demonstrators said that if the government fails to respond to their demand within 15 days, they will launch an even larger protest. They ended their demonstration after planting several taro plants at the site to symbolize their claim to the land. \nThe Tao tribesmen began to converge on the Taipower nuclear dump on Lanyu, located some 42km off Taiwan's southeast coast, early in the morning. While tribal elders wore traditional Tao attire, including silver helmets and long spears, younger Tao people carried posters that read: "Oust nuclear waste! Oppose relocation of residents." \nMore than 200 policemen were mobilized to maintain order. At one point, some demonstrators threw stones at the policemen, but the clash was soon stopped when Tao elders assisted in controlling the situation. \nAt present, 97,672 barrels of low-grade radioactive waste from Taipower's three nuclear power plants are stored at the Lanyu nuclear dump. \nThe Tao demanded that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) honor his campaign promise to relocate the waste during his presidency, which will end May 20, 2004. In recent years, the Tao have staged many large demonstrations to push for prompt removal of the waste. \nThe Cabinet passed a draft bill last month that outlines legal proceedings to ensure professionalism and information transparency when choosing permanent nuclear dump sites for domestic low-grade radioactive waste. The bill is now awaiting approval of the Legislative Yuan. \nPremier Yu Shyi-kun said in mid-December that the government will eventually relocate the nuclear waste, but he added that the government needs to extend the interim land lease with a Tao association until it can find a new location. \nTao tribesmen demanded that certain provisions believed to hinder relocation be revised. Moreover, they are opposed to any extension of the lease contract, which was signed between Taipower and the Tao association in 1982 and will expire by the end of this year. \nThe demonstrators also de-manded that the government form a high-level negotiation team to discuss the relocation issue with their representatives.
PHOTO: LI KUANG-PIN, TAIPEI TIMES
China appears to have built mockups of a port in northeastern Taiwan and a military vessel docked there, with the aim of using them as targets to test its ballistic missiles, a retired naval officer said yesterday. Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), a former lieutenant commander in Taiwan’s navy, wrote on Facebook that satellite images appeared to show simulated targets in a desert in China’s Xinjiang region that resemble the Suao naval base in Yilan County and a Kidd-class destroyer that usually docks there. Lu said he compared the mockup port to US naval bases in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and in Subic Bay
Police are investigating the death of a Formosan black bear discovered on Tuesday buried near an industrial road in Nantou County, with initial evidence indicating that it was shot accidentally by a hunter. The bear had been caught in wildlife traps at least five times before, three times since 2020. Codenamed No. 711, the bear received extensive media coverage last year after it was discovered trapped twice in less than two months in the Taichung mountains. After its most recent ensnarement last month, the bear was released in the Dandashan (丹大山) area in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義). However, officials became concerned after the
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
DETERRENCE: US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said cross-strait affairs are on the agenda at the US-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday thanked the Czech Senate for passing a resolution supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO and other international organizations for the second consecutive year. The resolution was passed on Wednesday with 51 votes in favor, one opposed and 11 abstentions. In addition to the WHO, it also called for Taiwan’s participation in the “meetings, mechanisms and activities” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol. In its opening, the resolution states that the Czech Republic “considers Taiwan as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” while noting its