Aboriginal groups yesterday voiced support for the people of Inner Mongolia, saying that China is to blame for protests because it is suppressing Mongolian language and culture in the region.
Chinese education officials in the region have barred classes in subjects other than the Mongolian language from being taught in anything but Chinese.
Students and teachers have decried the policy, with many not attending class in protest.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
At a rally outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, the Tayal National Assembly, the Indigenous Peoples’ Action Coalition of Taiwan, the Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Policy and other organizations denounced what they called China’s policy of “cultural genocide.”
Rukai Legislator Saidai Tarovecahe of the Democratic Progressive Party told a news conference at the rally that mother tongues are the essence of knowledge of the natural environment, and for understanding life and the world.
“The fastest way to wipe out an ethnic group is to cut them off from their mother tongue,” she said.
“It is regretful that China’s authoritarian regime is adopting an assimilation policy against its ethnic minorities,” she said.
“A living Aboriginal language is like an identity card for us. If the language dies, then Aborigines would also die,” said former Council of Indigenous Peoples minister Yohani Isqaqavut, a Bunun, who is now a Presbyterian pastor and part of the church’s Taiwan Indigenous Ministry Committee.
“Aboriginal cultures, languages and traditions were suppressed” under the assimilation policies of the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, he said.
“It forced them to identify as Han Chinese ... so I can understand what the people of Inner Mongolia are going through right now,” he said.
“China has been promoting the use of Chinese while it is eradicating the mother tongue of ethnic minorities — which denies the basic rights of these people,” he said.
“We want to raise awareness of this issue and to protest against this shameful policy of the Chinese regime,” he said.
Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said that people in China should have the same freedoms as Taiwanese.
“As a proud father of a three-year-old daughter, I want her to speak our mother tongue freely at kindergarten,” Lim said. “The actions of the Chinese government is to totally suppress the learning environment for Mongolian children, which will lead to the extermination of ethnic Mongolians in the region.”
“I urge countries around the world to support Inner Mongolia, and defend Mongolians’ right to their mother tongue,” he said.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same