Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Anti-nuclear rallies set for March 11

Staff Writer, with CNA

Members of environmental protection groups in Taipei yesterday hold up a banner and call on the public to take part in an anti-nuclear protest scheduled for March 11, the first anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Rallies will be held in Taipei, Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Nearly 20 local non-governmental organizations (NGO) yesterday urged the public to take to the streets on March 11, the first anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, to demand that the government scrap plans for further construction of nuclear power plants.

To commemorate the tragedy, in which a powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami caused the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to fail, plunging Japan into a nuclear crisis, the organizers said they hope to draw more than 10,000 demonstrators in rallies to be held in Taipei, Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung.

The march would mark continuing efforts to build local momentum amid global concerns over nuclear safety, the organizers said.

The action is also aimed at pushing the government to commit to a nuclear-free homeland, said Tsui Su-hsin (崔傃欣), secretary-general of the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, one of the participating NGOs.

While Taiwan’s three existing nuclear power plants will cease operations once their licenses expire, Tsui said, the government has failed to promise to immediately stop construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

“After a year of similar appeals, we would like to make our voice heard once again on the March 11 anniversary,” Tsui said.

The event will also address the problem of nuclear waste disposal on Orchid Island (蘭嶼), also known as Lanyu, where the state-run Taiwan Power Co stores its radioactive waste.

Sinan Mavivo, a Tao Aborigine from the island off southeastern Taiwan, said her community would participate in the rally.

“We are a group of people concerned about our homeland,” she said, urging President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to take the opportunity to offer a solution to the problem.

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