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Morakot survivors protest against government's policies

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The Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan (IPACT) held a rally last night on the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office to pray for the souls of the dead a year after Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan, took some 700 Taiwanese lives and left thousands homeless.

President Ma Ying-jeou has come under heavy fire for his government's slow response after the monster typhoon slammed into Taiwan Aug. 7-9 last year, and triggered massive floodwaters and landslides that buried native peoples alive and isolated their villages in the south.

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Pingpu activist calls for new, separate ministry

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Impatient with the Council of Indigenous Peoples’ (CIP) response to Pingpu Aborigines’ demand for recognition, activist Lin Sheng-yi (林勝義), a Pingpu from the Ketagalan tribe, yesterday urged the government to create a separate ministry to handle Pingpu affairs.

“I don’t know why is it so hard for the CIP to officially recognize the Pingpu as Aborigines,” Lin told a news conference in Taipei. “The Pingpu have been considered indigenous peoples by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues since 1994 and we’ve always been active in Aboriginal movements — why is it so hard to recognize us as Aborigines?”

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Morakot victims stage overnight rally

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Hundreds of victims of Typhoon Morakot from Aboriginal regions in the south yesterday began an overnight sit-in rally in front of the Presidential Office to protest the government’s post-disaster reconstruction policies a year after the storm devastated their homes.

“We want to have a say in the reconstruction!” and “No to disunion,” the demonstrators shouted as they marched from Liberty Square to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

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War game gives Taipei just three days: 'Next'

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The latest computerized scenario carried out by the military showed that in a war with China, Taipei would be occupied by enemy forces in just three days, a magazine report said yesterday.

Last month’s simulation, attended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), came amid warnings that China was expected to increase the number of its missiles aimed at Taiwan by several hundred to more than 1,900 by the end of this year. These include ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other weaponry deployed throughout China.

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China blocks Google’s HK question page

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A question-and-answer page on Google Hong Kong’s Web site became inaccessible to some Chinese users yesterday, underscoring Beijing’s sensitivity about the Internet.

The Chinese government, obsessed with maintaining social stability and controlling the flow of information, requires all search engines operating on the mainland to self-censor. It uses a “Great Firewall” to block overseas sites with content it considers subversive or dangerous.

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Academics speak out against new Kuokuang plant

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Former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) yesterday spoke out against a Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology (國光石化) development project, saying the nation would head in the wrong direction if the plant were to be built.

Lee’s appeal to cancel the plan was endorsed by 18 Academia Sinica members, as well as 1,173 university professors in Taiwan and the US.

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Siangsiliao farmers win land reprieve

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Farming activists and environmentalists celebrated after the Taiwan High Administrative Court yesterday ordered the Central Taiwan Science Park to halt all expansion activities pending a ruling on two ongoing lawsuits.

The science park’s two latest expansion projects — one in Taichung County’s Houli Township (后里) and the other in Changhua County’s Erlin Township (二林) — have sparked controversy in recent years as farmers oppose government expropriation of their farmlands to make way for the science park.

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Newsflash


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, center, talks to reporters as she leaves the DPP’s office in Washington on Tuesday.
Photo: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday held a series of “very successful, very positive” closed-door meetings with top Washington officials and politicians.

She held discussions with US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and the committee’s ranking Democratic member, Jack Reed. Republican Senator Dan Sullivan was also present.