Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu again says emigration can help Aborigines

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite the anger from Aborigines, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday reaffirmed her resolution to facilitate her policy of moving residents of mountainous areas to Central America to develop new careers.

"Many Aborigines and even townships in central Taiwan wrote e-mail and letters to my office to express their support for my suggestion," Lu said yesterday during a tea party with reporters.

"Lin Wen-hsiung (林文雄), an Aborigine from Taiwan, has created a new career in Mexico as a doctor," Lu said. "He wrote a letter to me last month saying that he is willing to return to Taiwan to explain how he successfully emigrated to Fiji, as an example to inspire other Aborigines."

The Presidential Office arranged a news conference to allow the vice president to introduce the upcoming Democratic Pacific Assembly, which is scheduled to be launched during Aug. 13 to Aug. 15. Lu also answered questions about her emigration policy, which was made after the Tropical storm devastated mountainous areas in central Taiwan.

Lu stressed that the mountain and rivers in central Taiwan have been overcultivated, and the entire area needs rest. Therefore, she suggested that the residents, including both Han and Aborigines, may choose to move to Taiwan's allies in Latin America to develop their own new career as well as assisting in the exploitation of those countries' land resources.

Intending to reconcile misunderstandings between the vice president and those Aboriginal tribes, deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office, Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) invited some heads of townships, who are also Aboriginal, from central Taiwan to a luncheon at the Presidential Office yesterday.

"We accept the Presidential Office's apology and we suggest that Vice President Lu should visit our township and listen to our ideas," said Cho Wen-hua (卓文華), head of Jenai township said after the luncheon.

Lu yesterday said that she was willing to inspect Aboriginal areas after completing the assembly, adding that her suggestion was supported by many Aboriginals and even Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Central America.

"Although some [Aborigines] were making a clamor because of misunderstandings, there is a lot of support from overseas Taiwanese who are Aborigines," Lu said.

"Moreover, the representative councils of Hsinyi Township reached a resolution last month to seriously consider my immigration policy to move to Central America," Lu said.

Lu stressed that countries including Belize, Fiji, Peru and Costa Rica have expressed support for her immigration policy, and some have even promised to provide over 1,000 hectares of land for Taiwanese emigrants.

"I am not talking nonsense: my suggestion was made in accordance with so much support, and what I am concerned about is building a new cross-ocean relationship to connect eastern Asia and the western side of the Americas," Lu said. "Not to mention that the associations of Taiwanese people in Central America are all willing to assist those people who are willing to emigrate."

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