Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) yesterday joined a group of Siraya Aborigine representatives who filed an administrative lawsuit demanding official recognition for the group at the Taipei High Administrative Court.
The move was the latest legal action by the Siraya to gain recognition among the nation’s Aboriginal groups, after repeated rejections from the Executive Yuan and the Council of Indigenous Peoples over the past decade.
“Our government should not deny Siraya their identity. I hope this lawsuit can help restore their Aboriginal status,” Lai said.
Photo: Hsiang Cheng-chen, Taipei Times
He also suggested that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other presidential hopefuls include official Aboriginal recognition of the Siraya in their election platforms.
“The government’s refusal to give them official recognition is a serious violation of the rights of the Siraya people. If this lawsuit is not successful, then we will consider pursuing a constitutional interpretation. Our government should not shut Siraya out of society,” Lai said.
About 30 Siraya representatives from Tainan stood outside of the court to sing songs in their language, while holding signs saying: “Restore our Siraya Aboriginal status,” “We demand fairness and justice,” and “Stop denying our rights: We are not invisible people.”
They were joined by activists from the Ketagalan, Kaxabu, Pazeh and other Pingpu Aboriginal groups who also lack official recognition.
Lai said that the Siraya have a distinct culture, language, and ritual worship traditions, and had been recognized as an Aboriginal people of Tainan County by then-Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) in 2005.
However, despite advocacy by activists and struggles by Pingpu Aboriginal groups over past decade, the central government and the council continue to exclude them from the governmental system, refusing to recognize their Aboriginal status.
Siraya representatives led an administrative lawsuit seeking a judicial ruling on their official recognition in 2010, which — along with subsequent appeals to the Executive Yuan — was rejected.
“How can the government deny our identity as Aboriginal people? They are acting as though we have no right to exist, and they are trying to wipe out our Siraya culture and our ethnic group identity. This is also a very serious human rights issue,” Tainan Siraya Culture Association director Wan Cheng-hsiung (萬正雄) said.
Siraya are among Taiwan’s 10 Pingpu Aboriginal groups, also known as lowland plains Aborigines, who are the original Austronesian peoples of the island, but have been denied recognition by the government.
Their territory was in southern Taiwan, mainly in what is now Tainan, but Siraya are also found in Kaohsiung, Pingtung County and coastal villages in Taitung and Hualien counties.
The heads of three major US banks on Wednesday pledged that they would withdraw from the Chinese market if Washington imposed sanctions on Beijing in response to an invasion of Taiwan. JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser told lawmakers at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in Washington that the three banks would follow the guidance of the US government to exit China if necessary. The three bankers made the pledge after US Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer asked the three if they
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The