A group of activists protested in front of the Executive Yuan yesterday, calling on the government to keep its promise to preserve the Lo Sheng Sanatorium, built in 1930 during the Japanese colonial period to isolate patients with Hansen’s Disease.
The protest came after the Taipei County Government posted a bulletin on Tuesday in which it said that residents who have not moved out before Monday would be evicted, including residents living in 25 buildings the government had promised to preserve.
After many years of struggle, activists reached an agreement with the government last year whereby 40 buildings at the sanatorium would be preserved, a compromise from their initial insistence that 46 buildings, or 90 percent of the complex, be kept intact.
The government agreed to preserve 22 buildings at the first site.
“Of the 40 buildings that were to be preserved, the Department of Rapid Transport Systems only guarantees the safety of 15 during construction. It will fence the other 25 buildings, which means residents cannot live there anymore,” the group said in a statement.
The planned demolition of the sanatorium complex, located in Sinjhuang City (新莊), Taipei County, was to make way for a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) maintenance depot.
The group argued that dismantling the buildings would turn the complex into a ruin.
They said the government’s sincerity in vowing to preserve the sanatorium was doubtful.
“The preservation agreement was made last May, but until now, the government hasn’t declared the sanatorium a historical site … Before it is declared as a historical site, we will not allow the MRT department to destroy the complex,” the group said.
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