Farmers’ rights activists expressed disappointment after a meeting with Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday afternoon, during which the two sides failed to reach a consensus on a dispute over the expropriation of farmland.
“If you cannot solve the problem, there’s no need to try to appease angry farmers,” Taiwan Rural Front spokeswoman Tsai Pei-hui (蔡培慧) told reporters after walking out of the Executive Yuan. “The current Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) has become a tool for land developers and speculators.”
In November last year, both the premier and Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) promised farmers and farmers’ rights advocates that the process to revise the act would at the very least begin during the legislative session which ended last month, she said.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
That promise has not been fulfilled, Tsai said.
“Thousands of farmers and their supporters will take their anger to the streets on Saturday and Wu so urgently wanted to meet us today [yesterday]. I really doubt his motives,” she said.
“What we’re hoping to change is the land expropriation system, which is unjust, while the premier only cares about isolated cases,” said Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全), an associate professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Real Estate and Built Environment.
Although every individual is important, “if the law is not amended, the same problem will happen over and over again,” Liao said.
Liu Ching-chang (劉慶昌), a senior farmer from the Erchongpu (二重埔) community in Jhudong Township (竹東), Hsinchu County, said he was “very disappointed with Wu.”
“Wu was very insincere; the meeting was just a show,” Liu said.
Although activists and farmers were not satisfied with the outcome, Wu saw things differently.
Liao said Wu told them he would give himself a grade of 95 percent for his handling of the land expropriation issue and asked the activists not to pay so much attention to the five points he did not get.
Wu also said he was “extremely unhappy” with what activists had told the media, Liao said, adding that Wu cursed five times during their meeting.
Despite yesterday’s meeting, the overnight rally on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office on Saturday will proceed as planned, Tsai said, adding that more than 2,500 farmers from 12 communities facing land issues were expected to take part.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since