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Taiwanese Plains Aborigines Urge Status Law Amended To Restore Legal Identity

Taiwan Church News
3431 Edition
November 27 – December 3, 2017
Church Ministry

Taiwanese Plains Aborigines Urge Status Law Amended To Restore Legal Identity

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

On November 23, a press conference was held at Taiwan’s congress – Legislative Yuan by a group of Siraya plains aborigines urging lawmakers amending current Status Act For Indigenous Peoples to include more still unrecognized Taiwanese plains aborigines, like the tribes of Babuza, Basay, Hoanya, Ketagalan, Luilang, Makatao, Pazeh/Kaxabu, Papora, Qauqaut, Siraya, Taivoan, Taokas, Trobiawan.

Many lawmakers, particularly elected from Tainan and Kaohsiung areas, including Mr Lin Jun-sieng, Ms Chen Ting-fei, Mr Hwang Wei-zer, Mr Wang Ding-yu and Mr Chao Tien-ling, came to the press conference to express their strong support for this legal amendment. In the meantime, PCT pastors like Rev Zeng Kuo-chong(director of PCT Church and Society Committee), Rev Lo Ren-quei(former PCT General Assembly Moderator) and Mr Hwang Mao-chuan(leader of Siraya Church Fellowship) also showed up to affirm this legal amendment.

On the legislation of this bill in this congressional session, there are at least five amended versions of this Status Act, proposed by Executive Yuan, New Party Power,People First Party, Mr Lin Jun-sieng and Ms Kolas Yotaka, waiting to be reviewed. On the real reason why this movement of legal restoration of plains aborigines had been lobbied for over two decades yet still in limbo, lawmaker Lin Jun-sieng straightly pointed out the ugly truth was that some mountain aboriginal politicians feared their political benefits and economic resources would be drastically decreased due to a legal status recognition of plains aboriginal to share their exclusive pie.

Rev Zeng Kuo-chong reiterated PCT stance to care for each ethnic people with fairness and justice on this island. “Just like no one can forget his lineage of blood, how can an ethnic people could throw away her own self-identity?”, Rev Zeng questioned. He also urged President Tsai to recognize the urgency of this legal restoration of aboriginal identity and help pass this history-breaking amended bill to materialize her oral apology and promise to return a historical justice to all Taiwanese aborigines last year.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
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