Puyuma people from Taitung County’s Katatipul Community yesterday traveled to Taipei to protest a solar power installation project planned on their land, demanding that the government terminate the project unless local Aborigines consent.
Dressed in traditional costumes, nearly 20 Puyuma protested in front of the Executive Yuan compound, holding Chinese-language banners that read: “The land is my mother, not your cash dispenser” and “defend sovereignty and revoke the project.”
The county government in January last year announced bidding for the development project, which is to cover 226 hectares and estimated to be worth NT$8 billion (US$259.6 million), said Chen Cheng-tsung (陳政宗), convener of the group.
Puyuma ancestors settled in the area in the 16th century, but they were not involved in the project’s planning process, as required by Article 21 of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law (原住民族基本法), Chen said.
The development area is in the community’s domain and partly overlaps the Jhihben Wetlands (知本溼地), community member Lu Hung-wen (呂宏文) said.
The community does not oppose solar power development, but the government should consult local Aborigines’ opinions before opening the area for development, Lu said.
They protested yesterday instead of earlier because it took community members time to understand the project and the law, Lu said.
While the county government had convened meetings to explain the project, they were mostly one-way policy promotion events, Environmental Rights Foundation chief executive Tu Yu-wen (涂又文) said, urging the central government to push local officials to improve communication with Aborigines as required by law.
Also at the protest were nuclear power proponents Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修) and Liao Yen-peng (廖彥朋), who said that the government should not sacrifice Aboriginal rights and wetland ecology to promote its “nuclear-free homeland.”
However, community members rejected their support.
Most community members do not know the advocates of nuclear power and were baffled by their uninvited appearance, Lu said, adding that Huang and Liao should not co-opt the demands of Aborigines.
The protest is not about supporting or opposing green energy development, but about consulting Aborigines’ opinions before exploiting their land, Indigenous Youth Front member Savungaz Valincinan said.
The Executive Yuan received the Puyuma appeal and said it would relay the information to the agency in charge.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was