Aborigines yesterday supported Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka for her comments on the government not being involved in a ceremony dedicated to Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功) and called on members of the Cheng family to respect others’ historical views.
Cheng, also known as Koxinga, was a Ming Dynasty general who drove Dutch colonists out of Taiwan in 1662.
Kolas on Sunday said on Facebook that the government should not be involved in the ceremony to honor Cheng as such worship legitimizes “colonial thought and behavior.”
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
Cheng was, to Aborigines, no better than Columbus because he killed and pillaged the local population, Kolas said, adding that such practices should never again be repeated.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) canceled the practice of government officials attending the ceremony when she took office in 2016, turning the duties over to the Tainan City Government.
Kolas said in the post that she was speaking for herself and not for the government.
The Cheng family had protested Kolas’ comments as inappropriate and demanded her resignation.
The Central Taiwan Pingpu Indigenous Groups Youth Alliance yesterday held a news conference to support Kolas’ comments.
Alliance director-general Kaisanan Ahuan said the government should not take the lead in worshiping Cheng, who was a symbol of authoritarian power; that it should give Aborigines’ version of history due attention; and implement Aboriginal transitional justice.
The Cheng family’s protest is akin to rubbing salt in the wounds of the descendants of Cheng’s victims, Kaisanan said, adding that his people, the Taokas, were such victims.
Representative of the Papora people As Li-i Mali said it was well-documented in historian Lien Heng’s (連橫) The General History of Taiwan (台灣通史) that Cheng invaded and slaughtered the ancestors of the Pingpu, driving them off their land and into the mountains.
One incident almost wiped out the entire village of Shalu (沙轆) and there were only six survivors, As Li-i said.
Taiwan should be accepting of diverse opinions and all of its people should face up to history together, she added.
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