Upset that Aboriginal rights advocacy groups and Aboriginal issues have been ignored during the presidential and vice presidential candidate debates, Aboriginal groups yesterday urged the organizers of tomorrow’s presidential debate to allow them to raise questions during the proceedings.
Aboriginal rights advocates as well as Aboriginal celebrities — including Amis singer Panai Kusul and Tsou singer-actress Paicu Yatauyungana — who is better known by her Chinese name Kao Hui-chun (高慧君) — made the request during a news conference in Taipei.
“During both the presidential and vice presidential debates, none of the candidates mentioned one word about Aboriginal -policies,” Indigenous Peoples’ Action Coalition of Taiwan convener Omi Wilang said. “This shows that the special status and rights are still overlooked even during the presidential election.”
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
He said there are many important issues related to Aborigines, including the handling of nuclear waste in Lanyu (蘭嶼), where the Tao people live, a Taiwan Power Co plan to build a nuclear waste dump in Daren Township (達仁), Taitung County, a Paiwan traditional domain, and many development projects on Aboriginal lands along Taiwan’s east coast.
“No one talked about such serious issues; the only thing Aboriginal they do is to greet voters in Aboriginal languages,” Omi said.
Yatauyungana said the situation was worse than 2004 and 2008, -because during presidential candidates’ debates at the last two elections, “at least Aboriginal representatives were invited to ask questions.”
“We want the three candidates to tell us what they think about the issue of partnership [between Aborigines and the government], Aboriginal dignity, reconciliation, land, autonomy and sustainable development,” she said.
“The world is unfair, because I am an Aborigine,” Amis singer Panai said in tears. “Taiwan owes much to Aborigines, they even ignore us in debates.”
The Aboriginal rights advocates called on the presidential candidates, as well as Public Television Systems and the six media outlets that co-host the debate to respond to their demands.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each
Taiwan is the second-safest country in the world, after Qatar, according to visitors to an online database, who voted on 133 countries and territories worldwide. In online database Numbeo’s Crime Index by Country 2020 Mid-Year survey, Taiwan scored 84.74 out of 100 for safety. That score put Taiwan in second place, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 84.55 and Georgia with 79.50. The top ranked country, Qatar, had a safety score of 88.10. Numbeo said that the results were based on surveys of visitors to its Web site who were asked to rate the safety and overall level of crime