Taiwan Church News
August 7 – 13, 2017
Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice And Transitional Justice Committee Criticized As Empty
Reported by Lin Yi-yin
One year after President Tsai’s history-breaking apology to Taiwan’s aboriginal peoples on 1st August 2016, the date set up as Indigenous Peoples’ Day henceforth, a press conference was held on 1st August 2017 by the Action Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Tribal Assemblies(AAIPTA) to denounce Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice And Transitional Justice Committee(POIHJTJC) as a PR propaganda, dysfunctional and manipulated by the administrative officials.
In the opening of the press conference held by AAIPTA, an indigenous council alliance composed of 16 major aboriginal assemblies including peoples of Tayal, Thao, Puyuma, Bunun, Seediq, Paiwan, Drekay, Taroko and etc, a Sbalay(meaning reconciliation) ritual of Tayal people was specially held to pledge an ever-lasting peace having fallen among Taiwan indigenous societies and a strong will to reclaim the lands, rivers and forests taken away by thieves, robbers and former colonial governments.
Mr Utux Lbak, Moderator of Tayal People Assembly, pointed out three major drawbacks of POIHJTJC: first, she had lost her subjectivity which was kidnapped by the administrative officials; second, her capability to engage in negotiation and policy-making was inhibitd; third, free exchange or meeting between committee members was never scheduled except those arranged by the officials.
Rev Sudu Tada, the educational secretary of PCT Indigenous Mission Committee, raised the question: since the issue of delinating the territories of aboriginal reserve area, which definition is matter of indigenous sovereignty of and historcal truth, why not it could have an honest and direct reply from the government? If there was no possibility to have a dialogue on aboriginal policy and issues related to transitional justice in POIHJTJC, why bother to establish and maintain such an institute, Rev Sudu Tada said.
Mr Iban Nokan, counsellor of Executive Yuan, expressed that as many historical justice issues, concerned about aboriginal lands and properties, were not yet included into current draft of Act of Promoting Transitional Justice, many ill-gotten aboriginal assets by the government, KMT party, individuals and legal persons could not be solved legally.
In addition, many bills including Self-Governance Act of the Indigenous Peoples, Act of the Land and Economic Zone for the Indigenous Peoples and etc are still drafting by the Council of Indigenous Peoples(CIP), Iban Nokan said, adding that not to mention the idea of setting up a workshop of aboriginal sovereignty was never mentioned in POIHJTJC. As a matter of fact, regarding aboriginal rights on sovereignty, self-governace, reserved mountain area and lands, the progress of Tsai adminsitration is slow and stagnant, Iban Nokan complained.
Translated by Peter Wolfe