The controversy over the preservation of Lo Sheng (Happy Life) Sanatorium has moved into the international limelight as a global advocacy group for people with Hansen's disease said it would report the case to the UN.
Calling Lo Sheng's predicament an issue that is "important to the whole world," Pamela Parlapiano of the International Association for Integration, Dignity and Economic Advancement (IDEA), yesterday said she would present the sanatorium's case at the International Leprosy Congress, which will be held in Hyderabad, India, next year, adding that Lo Sheng residents have been invited to attend a panel discussion.
Parlapiano made the remarks at a press conference hosted by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Joanna Lei (
PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Parlapiano is in the country to observe developments on the Lo Sheng Sanatorium issue on behalf of IDEA, an international organization representing people whose lives have been affected by leprosy. The group represents more than 20,000 Hansen's disease sufferers in more than 30 countries and enjoys consultative status with the UN Human Rights Commission.
A plan to tear down most of Lo Sheng Sanatorium's structure on the 17-hectare site to make room for a Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) depot has met with strong opposition.
Finding a solution
"Taiwan is a very progressive country. Surely there is another answer to this. There should be an honorable way to let leprosy patients live in their homes and to continue the transit system," Parlapiano said.
"This story happens all over the world. People afflicted with leprosy were forced to leave their mothers ... and were put in isolation because of fear and ignorance about the disease," she said. "[But] when the land used to seclude leprosy patients is desirable, they face eviction again."
Parlapiano, however, added that changes were occurring around the world, and some governments had chosen not to evict leprosy patients from sanatoriums or to convert these places into a historical site, a museum or a national park.
She cited the cases of leprosy homes in Hawaii, the UK, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Japan.
Parlapiano presented a letter that IDEA, together with other organizations dedicated to defending the rights of Hansen's disease victims, wrote on March 14 to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the US.
"I appeal to Taiwan to also take this tactic, to maintain your dignity and generosity and to show the world how the country can honor the people of Lo Sheng and the people of Taiwan," Parlapiano said.
Two days after Parlapiano arrived in the country, she saw a demonstration calling for the demolition of Lo Sheng Sanatorium as scheduled.
Parlapiano said it was "a sad moment" seeing 6,000 people demonstrating against a small group of people whom they perceive to be "undesirable."
The Taipei County Government on March 16 set an ultimatum for the demolition of more than half of the sanatorium by April 16.
Lo Sheng residents are asking the government to consider an alternative plan which would allow 90 percent of the compound to be preserved.
EVA Airways was ranked the eighth-best airline in the world for this year, the only Taiwanese carrier to make it into the top 25 Airline Excellence Awards this year, aviation reviews Web site AirlineRatings.com said on Wednesday. AirlineRatings.com has a seven-star rating system to evaluate more than 360 airlines around the world every year, EVA Airways said in a statement on Thursday. “We are delighted that efforts by the entire EVA staff have been recognized by Airline Ratings,” EVA Airways president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said in the release. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company identified and adopted services and procedures that enhance and
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
MORE WARNINGS: If the US company does not clarify and solve issues with its frozen berries, the FDA might extend an import suspension implemented last month, it said The Kaohsiung Department of Health yesterday said it fined Costco NT$4.5 million (US$146,265) over contaminated frozen strawberries, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that although the US company had filed an improvement plan, an import suspension on frozen berries could remain. Three types of frozen berry products imported and sold by Costco have tested positive for the hepatitis A virus since April. The Kaohsiung health department previously fined Costco NT$300,000 for not providing the sales list of a contaminated batch of Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend imported from Chile, in contravention of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). It later