Tue, Apr 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Protections for veterans’ villages urged

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

From left, Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chung Chia-pin, Hsu Chih-chieh, Liu Shih-fang, Chiu Chih-wei and Rosalia Wu call on the government to enact legislation to preserve veterans’ villages, at a news conference yesterday in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday called for legislation to preserve military veterans’ villages and their cultural heritage.

DPP lawmakers Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) and Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) at a joint news conference at the Legislative Yuan urged for more attention to be paid to the preservation of veterans’ villages.

“There were about 900 veterans’ villages in Taiwan, but after 20 years of renovations, many have disappeared,” Liu said. “The Ministry of National Defense has emphasized finances and development, but not preservation and cultural inheritance.”

Although 13 veterans’ villages in 2012 were designated cultural preservation districts by the defense ministry and the Ministry of Culture, there are still many sites that were not listed, such as Sing Village (醒村) in Kaohsiung’s Gangshan District (岡山), which was were the TV drama series A Touch of Green (一把青) was shot, Liu said.

Chung said some veterans’ family members have been relocated to new apartments and some villages have been protected, but the cultural aspects of these villages are not preserved well enough and that history cannot be recovered if it is lost.

Wu said not all veterans’ villages are as lucky as Heart Village (中興新村) in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投), which became famous because of TV series The Teenage Psychic (通靈少女).

Heart Village was designated as a cultural preservation district and received about NT$500 million from the Taipei City Government and the culture ministry for renovation and preservation.

“The defense ministry lacks cultural affairs professionals and the culture ministry lacks authority,” Chiu said, adding that if the two ministries cannot work together, the veterans’ villages might be destroyed.

Legislation stipulating that the culture ministry take charge of preserving the cultural heritage of veterans’ villages and set up a fund to provide stable income for the operations has been proposed, the ministers said.

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