“Siraya people have the shou ethnicity classification in their household registration records. This shows there is a historical and legal basis for Siraya people to apply for their ethnicity to be recognized. They have the right to have their Aborigine status restored,” Chen said.
He urged the central government to stop ignoring the rights of the Pingpu Aborigines movement and said the government must respect the rights of self-identity and right of ethnic belonging for the Siraya people.
Chen said that Greater Tainan has opened up registration for Siraya people and their descendants in July, while Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County started to accept applications last month.
He said that as of Oct. 30, 40 eligible individuals had successfully registered as shou on their personal record of the household registration transcript.
Officials at the Greater Tainan bureau said the act of registration for shou classification as a Pingpu Aborigine is completely voluntary. Officials in the bureau and at all district offices will not force anyone to register if they do not wish to.
The process should be done in person, and for those physically unable to do so, a letter of authorization is needed for a family member or relative to apply for registration, officials said.
Those who are eligible can choose to register based on one of their parents or a direct family member who has the shou Pingpu Aborigine classification on their household registration transcript.