Taiwan Church News
August 7 – 13, 2017
Pledging To Remove Nuclear Wastes, Dao Indigenous People To Erect 400 Anti-Nuke Flags Around Orchid Island
Reported by Chen Yi-fan
Until the London Dumping Convention, convened at London in 1972 and finally entered into force in 1975, most of the radioactive wastes produced by Taiwan’s nuclear power plants were transferred to the Orchid Island as a middle-way-house waiting to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Yet since 1975, the Orchid Island turned into a final storage house of nuclear wastes and became a very serious environmental and political issue for the local Dao aborigines and the government.
On August 1, the Indigenous Peoples Day and the day President Tsai Ing-wen gave her official apology to all Taiwanese aborigines one year ago, a traditional Dao fishing boat which could accommodate 10 sailors was launched to sail around the Orchid Island. Such a sail was not for celebrating any ritual or harvest, but a pledge to protest the government’s irresponsible stagnancy on dealing those nuclear wastes which had been coercively stored on this island for decades without negotiating local inhabitants.
Dressed in traditional rattan helmet and vest, Elder Shei Jia-huei urged Dao people working with the young men to protect this beautiful Orchid island. Singing in a traditional lyric, Elder Shei expressed his heartfelt sadness about Taiwan government’s atrocious policy to keep dumping nuclear waste on this island, yet he also delivered his earnest prayer to God to protect Dao people from unbearable destruction and indescribable fear.
Translated by Peter Wolfe