Overdue Justice for Aboriginals Following New Government?

Overdue Justice for Aboriginals Following New Government?
Photo Credit: takunawan CC BY SA 3.0

Aboriginals in Taiwan will be allowed to apply for ownership of self-made hunting guns and spears starting today.

In respect of the traditional aboriginal culture, the Ministry of the Interior has passed the amendment of the “Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act,” which only excludes those that have been sentenced three years or more in jail and specific offences.

The ministry says the amendment was mainly in consideration of how hunting is part of the traditional aboriginal life and helps maintain self-identification within the tribes. It believes adequate loosening of related regulations will help pass down the hunting culture of the indigenous people.

Other than the Act, 97% of the 230 aboriginals that have been sentenced for hunting have been charged by Wildlife Conservation Act in the last ten years, reports PTS News Network.

“Most aboriginal hunters have a criminal record,” says Chen Tsai-yi (陳采邑), a lawyer. [Quote translated]

Indigenous people need to file an application 20 days before they go hunting and it might not even be approved. There is also the on-going dispute on what animals are endangered ones. Chen calls upon the government to consider the opinions of tribes more.

The “Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act” isn’t the only thing the government plans to change.

On May 26, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said that the government supports re-establishing historical truth and President Tsai Ing-wen will apologize to the indigenous community on behalf of the government on August 1 for injustice in the past.

Chen says the Executive Yuan will be proactive in dealing with issues the aboriginals are concerned about, such as pushing for indigenous autonomy, restoration of aboriginal languages and so on, to achieve transitional justice.

Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang‧Parod (夷將·拔路兒) emphasizes that they will focus on drafting laws related to indigenous autonomy, aboriginal lands and seas, and indigenous traditions. He says that supplementary regulations of basic indigenous rights are the top priorities.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) says the office will establish an aboriginal transitional justice committee in the future. The committee is still in the planning phase and further details will be announced once confirmed. (CNA)

Huang points out that they are referencing countries that have had experience achieving transitional justice for indigenous communities, and are seeking to negotiate and execute the plan with other departments or institutions. (Apple Daily)

The spokesman emphasizes that the definition of indigenous tribes will not be restricted to official identification and the government will make sure all tribes are treated equally, such as the Pingpu tribe that was also deprived of basic rights in the past.

Sources:

CNA

Liberty Times Net

PTS News Network

Liberty Times Net

Newtalk

CNA

Apple Daily


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