Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home The News News Miaoli farmers plead for action

Miaoli farmers plead for action

E-mail Print PDF

More than 100 residents from Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南) and their supporters staged demonstrations again in front of the Executive Yuan and the Presidential Office yesterday, urging the central government to intervene in the county government’s takeover of their land.

“Help us! We’re about to become homeless,” Huang Shu-e (黃淑娥), a resident of Jhunan’s Dapu (大埔), a farming village, told the crowd in front of the Presidential Office.

Holding up a picture of four police officers hauling her away from her rice paddy on Monday, Huang broke down in tears.

“What crime have I committed? [Miaoli County Commissioner] Liu Cheng-hung [劉政鴻] is taking away our land. Is it a crime to defend our land?” she asked.

Huang said she has been a farmer all her life. She owns a 4,800m² plot on which she not only plants rice but has also built a three-story house.

“Now they’re taking over my land, along with my house, and are going to compensate me with NT$2 million [US$62,000]. What can I do with NT$2 million?” Huang said.

She said she wouldn’t get rich farming, but at least she wouldn’t have a problem making a living on the farm.

“When the county government takes away my land and my house, I’ll have to get a mortgage to buy another house and find a job to pay the mortgage,” she said. “What job can I find when I’m almost 50 years old?”

Huang’s land is among the 28 hectares that the government is expropriating to expand Jhunan Science Park.

LAND TITLES


Although many Dapu farmers have refused to hand their land titles to the county government, the government insists it completed the legal process required for acquiring as well as transferring land ownership earlier this year.

On June 9, the county government unexpectedly sent in excavators to dig up some of the rice paddies in Dapu. On Wednesday last week, the farmers and their supporters staged demonstrations in front of the Presidential Office and the Control Yuan and received a promise from the Presidential Office that it would look into the issue and give them an answer within a week.

However, the county government flattened most of rice paddies in the village on Monday.

Hsieh Chien-hsiang (謝見祥), an elderly farmer from the Erchongpu (二重埔) community in Jhudong Township (竹東), Hsinchu County, which is facing a similar problem, was at the rally to voice his support for fellow farmers.

“Why do we need so many factories, especially when we have such a low food self-sufficiency rate?” Hsieh asked. “If one day, the import of food supplies and crops are blocked, how will we feed our children and grandchildren?”

After getting promises from Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan to “look further into the issue,” the demonstrators moved to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, where President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was attending a conference on environmental protection, hoping that the president would listen to them.

Though demonstrators shouted as Ma walked out of the venue, he left without acknowledging them.

The county government will proceed with the construction as scheduled, said Chiang Sung-mao (姜松茂), director of Miaoli County’s Economic Development Department.

‘NO CONTROVERSY’


“We’ve completed all the legal process, there’s no controversy, we’re acting according to the law,” he said by telephone.

The latest wave of farmers’ protest highlights the difficulty faced by local technology firms in acquiring land to build factories.

Chimei Innolux Corp, the nation’s biggest LCD panel maker, yesterday said it would bid for the land to build new factories in Miaoli only after the county government has solved the land acquisition dispute, according to company spokesman Eddie Chen (陳彥松).

Chimei’s rival, AU Optronics Corp, also faced a similar problem and was forced to put on hold the construction of a new advanced factory in central Taiwan.


Source: Taipei Times - 2010/07/01



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! Mixx! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Facebook! Twitter!  
 

Newsflash


Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen, center, tells a press conference in Taipei yesterday that his group plans to join other civic groups to stage a protest rally against President Ma Ying-jeou on Double Ten National Day tomorrow.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) yesterday said that members of the alliance’s pro-localization groups will take part in a major rally against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to be staged by activist group Citizen 1985 on Double Ten National Day tomorrow.

“The alliance has three demands: that Ma step down to take responsibility for causing political turmoil; that the Special Investigation Division [SID] of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office be abolished for colluding with the president in conducting illegal wiretapping; and that the cross-strait service trade pact be blocked,” Yao said.