Sun, Aug 06, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Forum speaker urges Aboriginal exchange platform

CHANGE NEEDED A member of the Tsou tribe suggested ways in which Taiwan's Aboriginal community could find a voice on the world stage

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The establishment of an information exchange platform for Aboriginal representatives was the focus of discussion at a forum held yesterday.

The forum aimed to address difficulties that Aboriginals have encountered in attempts to participate in international events.

The forum was held by the Taiwan New Century Foundation, a private think tank dedicated to the promotion of human dignity and human rights in Taiwan and the international community.

Voyu Yakumangana, a member of the Tsou Aboriginal tribe and a former member of the Committee for NGOs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informed the forum that Aboriginal NGOs in Taiwan have been participating in international information exchanges on Aboriginal human rights since the 1980s.


The international community's focus on Aboriginal issues worldwide may be an advantage the nation could use to voice its political opinions and stance along with the local Aboriginal agenda, he said.

NGO participation in international events not only promotes Taiwan's visibility in the world but also strengthens self-awareness among Aboriginal people and empowers them, Yakumangana said.

Although the regime in Beijing consistently strives to prevent Taiwan from participating in global events, Yakumangana said that China's interference was not the only difficulty that Aboriginal NGOs in Taiwan will face in joining international events in the future.

Integration needed

"Taiwan's Aboriginal groups in general lack sufficient integration [of resources and opinions]," Yakumangana said.

He added that there was no mechanism for Aborigines to reliably accumulate and share information.

According to Yakumangana the solution lies in the creation of an international Aboriginal center in Taiwan which could serve as a platform for international and cross-tribal cooperation and exchange.

In response to his remarks, National Union of Taiwanese Women's Association chairwoman Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) suggested establishing an Aboriginal council as the platform.

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