Saturday, October 3, 2009

Taiwan's Aborigines Suffer More Than Morakot

Typhoon Morakot: Houses buried under landslide and flood debris in central Taiwan.

"An additional alliance that aborigines of all tribes must forge is that with the environmentalists in Taiwan, both in politics and life. This is a natural alliance since all want to preserve and protect the ancestral lands of Taiwan."

Some interesting comment and insight in the wake of Typhoon Morakot concerning Taiwan's indigenous peoples and the natural environment by Taipei-based writer, educator and historian, Jerry Keating.

Taiwan's Aborigines Suffer More Than Morakot
Friday October 02, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Typhoon Morakot did more than expose the incompetence and lack of leadership in the Ma administration; it highlighted another salient issue in Taiwan, the plight of its aboriginal people. Like many indigenous people suffering the fates of past colonialism, these people are pulled in opposite directions. Tugging on the one side is the wish to maintain their traditional life styles and identities; on the other side are the demands for survival and dignity in the modern, fast-paced, high-tech society surrounding them. As a result, they are being marginalized to the point of extinction. Even if they do fit in, at best, they often face the life of second class citizens teetering on the brink of welfare. If ever the aboriginal community needed vision and leadership, it is now.

Where to find it? The sight of aboriginal villages washed away and wiped out after Morakot has been horrendous; worse, however, is the realization that the causes were more than the typhoon. The devastation came as the result of lack of strong environmental policies and how mountainsides denuded of trees are unable to stop mudflow. Worse still is the fact that the decisions on deforestation and vulnerability were made by profiteers and forces outside the sphere of influence of the villagers.

To read the complete article visit Jerry Keating's website by clicking here.

Also see:
The proof of the pudding is in the eating: The Chingshuei River after Morakot (includes photos).

Typhoon Morakot: The Writing's on the Wall

Air quality worsens from Typhoon Morakot's dust

No comments: