Legislators yesterday questioned President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approach to restoring Aboriginal rights to promote transitional justice.
Non-partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅), who is half Atayal, expressed frustration with Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod, saying that a remark by Parod showed he was not serious about seeking transitional justice on behalf of Aborigines.
At an earlier meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Parod had told Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Wellington Ku (顧立雄) that he would help put together a truth and reconciliation commission under the Presidential Office to streamline efforts to restore land traditionally belonging to Aborigines and correct what he said were skewed historic perspectives about Aborigines.
Showing photographs of Parod leading protests against the government’s seizure of Aboriginal territories before taking on the council post, Chin said Parod was conflicted by his dual identity as an Amis activist and an official, and therefore not being entirely honest, as she questioned whether the proposed commission would have any administrative power.
“Do you think we Aborigines will mistake a job at the Presidential Office for real power? We are not stupid,” Chin said.
She questioned whether establishing the commission under the Presidential Office means the opinions of commission members from the agencies involved in pushing Aboriginal affairs would be neglected and, if so, asked why Tsai proposed the establishment of such a commission and the transitional justice bill when her white paper on Aboriginal policy would have sufficed.
Chin demanded that Parod provisionally announce the scope of traditional Aboriginal territories no later than the end of his term, to prevent excessive development plans such as the Miramar Resort.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Chou Chun-mi (周春米) asked Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) whether she thinks that establishing a commission under Tsai or an “Aboriginal land investigation commission” under the Control Yuan, as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Cheng Tian-tsai (鄭天財) suggested, was a better option to restore Aboriginal land.
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