President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was confronted by a surprise protest yesterday by supporters of the former Losheng (Happy Life) Sanatorium, who say the government has continued to ignore geological instability issues at an MRT station and maintenance depot in Sinjhuang District (新莊), New Taipei City (新北市), on the site that formerly housed the sanatorium.
“Landslides are happening at Losheng, protect the potential World Heritage site,” Losheng conservationists shouted through loudspeakers while hanging giant banners with the slogan from the third-floor windows of a building at Shih Hsin University.
Ma, along with the two other presidential candidates — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) — were invited to talk about their cultural policies to musicians, filmmakers and artists at the university.
Photo : SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
Ma did not react to the surprise protest and he walked straight into the building, where he then encountered a second surprise protest.
Right after answering a question about the controversies surrounding the conservation of Losheng Sanatorium raised by National Chengchi University’s Department of Radio and Television associate professor Kuo Li-shin (郭力昕), a member of the Youth Alliance for Losheng, Ho Hsin-chieh (何欣潔) stood up in the audience, held up a newspaper ad and explained in detail the landslide crisis affecting the remaining part of the sanatorium and a new MRT building on the site.
“Landslides are happening at Losheng, please call a cross-Cabinet meeting to resolve the issue,” Ho urged the president repeatedly.
“Give me all the information you have, I’ll take a look,” Ma said in response.
“Will you ask the Executive Yuan to call a cross-Cabinet meeting on it?” Ho asked.
“I’ll take a look and decide if the Executive Yuan should hold a meeting, if it’s necessary,” Ma said.
Following the conversation, Ho was removed by security officials.
Liao Chia-hung (廖家弘), another Losheng conservationist, told reporters outside the venue that they protested in front of the president because otherwise the government ignores them.
“We want to make sure that president hears what we have to say,” Liao said.
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights