Council to go international
The Council of Indigenous Peoples will establish an international section to strengthen exchanges with other countries after a legislative committee approved legal revisions to a decree governing the council’s structure yesterday. The draft amendments will proceed to the plenary legislative session without further negotiations, but the council is required to amend the Organic Law of the Council of Indigenous Peoples (行政院原住民委員會組織條例) within two months to reflect the change. The legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee approved draft amendments to the Implementation Regulations of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, which would add an international affairs section to the department of planning and reduce the size of the department of education and culture.
Haituan to host festival
The Bunun’s traditional rite of passage, the “ear shooting festival,” will be held in Haituan Township (海端), Taitung County, on Friday and Saturday. Haituan Mayor Huang Chun-bau (黃春寶) said the festival will provide a taste of traditional Bunun culture. The Bunun are the fourth-largest Aboriginal tribe, accounting for roughly 10 percent of the country’s indigenous population. The annual “ear shooting festival,” which is known as Mala-ta-ngia in Bunun, gets its name from a ritual in which the men display their archery skills by shooting at the ears of river deer, mountain goats, boars and other wild animals caught in a hunt held prior to the festival. The village will also have an exhibition of its special agricultural products and traditional Bunun handicrafts, Huang said.
Mayer vows cooperation
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) vowed yesterday to do her best to cooperate in preparations for a state banquet in her city on May 20 hosted by president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) following his inauguration. Chen made the remarks during a news conference held at the Kaohsiung City Government after National Police Agency Director-General Hou You-yi (侯友宜) inspected security measures in the city. Extending her thanks for Ma’s decision to host the state banquet in Kaohsiung, Chen said his decision showed his recognition of the city’s development. “The Kaohsiung City Government will offer all necessary assistance to help with the planned state banquet,” she said. After the inauguration in Taipei, Ma will take the high speed railway to Kaohsiung City along with a group of foreign dignitaries, and then tour the city and attend the banquet.
TSU to reregister members
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) is calling on all party members to reregister. TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) issued some 20,000 copies of an open letter to party members, calling on them to register again with the party, TSU spokeswoman Chou Mei-li (周美里) said yesterday. Huang wrote that the TSU “has transformed itself into a ‘center-left’ party, has put aside the independence issue and aims to take care of people from the medium and low-echelons of society.” The TSU will be a “quality opposition party” that will conduct rational dialogue, engage in civic politics and pursue justice and fairness as a faithful opposition party, Chou said. She said a new lineup of the TSU leadership is expected to be shaped by the end of next month. She said there are about 15,000 TSU members nationwide, but added that the number might drop after the registration is complete.