Draft regulations for the establishment of boundaries for Aboriginal land and villages, announced on Tuesday by the Council of Indigenous Peoples and said to be the means to re-establish rights to land for Aboriginals across 800,000 hectares of traditional territory, met with strong criticism from Aborigines and lawmakers yesterday.
The Indigenous Youth Front and legislators across party lines criticized the draft for not including privately owned land, adding that the draft regulations are a slight against Aborigines.
The Indigenous Youth Front said that by excluding privately owned land from traditional territories, the end result would be fragmented traditional territory.
Excluding such land would be to sell out their ancestors, it said.
New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, an Amis, said that the regulations would make Aborigines “drifters on their own land” and deprive them of autonomy to determine their own village affairs.
The regulations would also make it easier for corporate entities to establish resorts on Aboriginal land, Kawlo said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a Puyuma, said that it was “absurd” and “unacceptable” that the council is unable to perfectly draw the borders of traditional territories.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), an Amis, said that the draft regulations ignored suggestions he made last year.
Siluko in June last year called for discussions on a new Aboriginal policy platform and laws that would enable Aborigines to reclaim land taken from them.
He said yesterday that as the draft regulations would be unable to protect Aborigines’ right to land, the council should retract the proposal.
Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod said the council had contacted groups to hear their opinions and negotiate the proposed legislation.
“The draft regulations would restore land justice to Aborigines,” Icyang said. “We have to pass the regulations, and we will not retract the proposal.”
“The Constitution protects the rights of property of the people and if the council included privately owned land in its draft regulations, it would not only be unconstitutional, but would create the crazy situation where land owners would have to ask the council’s permission to use it,” he said.
“The draft regulations are the first step toward re-establishing Aborigines’ right to land,” DPP Legislator Kolas Yotaka, an Amis, said.
The draft regulations were based on the Indigenous Peoples Basic Act (原住民基本法), which only regulates public land, Kolas said.
The government would have to seek alternative legal channels to purchase private land improperly taken from Aborigines and then return it, Kolas said.
Tunkan Tansikian, a professor in the Department of Indigenous Affairs and Ethno-Development at National Dong Hwa University, said that Aboriginal land has been chopped up and sometimes bought privately because of complicated historical reasons.
“Excluding private land from the regulations would be to take the middle ground to minimize conflict,” said Tunkan, who is a former deputy minister of the council.
According to council estimates, efforts by Aborigines to regain land from the government since the 1990s have seen approximately 20,000 hectares of land given “conserved” status.
Should the draft regulations be passed, Aborigines will be able to regain about 800,000 hectares of land, the council said.
By combining traditional territories with conserved land, Aborigines would be able to lay claim to a little over 1 million hectares of land, the council said.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of