Mon, Nov 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take



■ Indonesia
Taipei ends Ramadan

Indonesians across Taiwan yesterday flocked to celebrations in Taipei, organized by the Taipei City Government's department of labor and the Council of Labor's bureau of employment and vocational training, to mark the end of the Ramadan fast on Friday. Lasting for a month, the Ramadan fast occurs on the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. During this month Muslims fast and refrain from sex during the daylight hours, eating only small meals in the evening. The head of the department of labor, Shih Yu-ling (師豫玲) said that out of respect for all religions, the event was organized to provide some spiritual relief following a month's abstinence.

■ Environment

Make laws: conference

Participants of a conference on environmen-tal protection that was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday concluded that there was an urgent need for laws controlling the emission of greenhouse gases. The 20-person committee which included lawyers, teachers, laborers, accountants and designers, said that steps to achieve the goals of the protocol included changes in the daily habits of the public. EPA Minister Chang Kuo-lung (張國龍) said that although discussion of draft laws regarding the control of gas emissions has taken place many times internally, it was important to consult professionals from all walks of life to make the laws more complete and to have what he called a "biting force."

■ Diplomacy

Senegal goes after billions

Senegal received more than NT5 billion (US$148.8 million) in aid from Taiwan before switching its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, President Chen Shui-bian was quoted as saying yesterday. Revelation of the amount, which Chen said was paid over the past 10 years, surprised the foreign ministry because the amount of Taiwan's foreign aid has long been confidential, a Chinese-language newspaper reported. Taiwan's foreign ministry spokesman Michel Lu declined to comment.

■ Human rights

Mothers nurse grievance

Thirty mothers gathered yesterday to express their hope of winning some respect for mothers who wish to breastfeed in public places. The mothers, organized by the Taiwan Breastfeeding Association, gathered in the plaza near the Taipei Story House in Yuanshan where they breastfed their infants during a picnic-like event to send a message to the gallery and restaurant, as well as the Taiwanese public, that mothers should be allowed to breastfeed their babies in public or in the workplace. The mothers chose the lawn outside the Taipei Story House to breastfeed after management kicked a breastfeeding mother out of the restaurant last month in the name of "maintaining the place's decency and professionalism." Taiwan Breastfeeding Association Chairwoman Chen Yi-chun and the mothers appealed to the Taiwanese public for a free breastfeeding environ-ment in an effort to protect the human rights of breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

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