Sat, Jul 19, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Lo Sheng activists have mixed feelings

By Loa Iok-Sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although disappointed by the Hansen’s disease patients’ rights bill passed by the legislature yesterday, Lo Sheng Sanatorium residents and activists said it was “acceptable.”

“I guess the law is acceptable, but we’re not 100 percent happy about it,” said Lee Tien-pei (李添培), chairman of the Lo Sheng residents’ self-help organization.

Lo Sheng Sanatorium, in Sinjhuang City (新莊), Taipei County, was built during the Japanese colonial period to house lepers.

“The law did not fully address our demand to completely preserve the sanatorium complex, nor did it say anything about our right to continue to live there,” he said. “But at least it provides a gray area for our future struggle since it mentions turning the sanatorium into a memorial park.”

Article eight of the bill provides for a memorial park within the Lo Sheng Sanatorium to commemorate.

A plan to demolish the sanatorium complex triggered the Lo Sheng preservation and residents’ rights campaigns.

Tsai Chi-hsun (蔡季勳), secretary-general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, called the passage of the bill “a starting point to face historical wrongs,” but said the bill fell short of fully respecting human rights.

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