To The Taiwanese Government Officials:

I urge the Taiwanese Government to reconsider the crimes that have been put forth on the Smangus people. The verdict is short-sided with only one perspective. The legalities alone are unjust. Land rights were guaranteed to the Smangus. Under section 4, article 15 of the Forestry Act, the Smangus was given the rights to any resource that their territory provided for traditional uses. However, the Taiwanese Government did not carry out their agreement. When the time came for the Smangus to utilize wood materials for rebuilding their village for repairs, the Government penalized the Smangus.

When reading about the Smangus people and their situation with their land rights, my heart sank. The Smangus are not asking for much. They just want to live in their ancestral lands in peace like they were promised. Instead of the Smangus being punished for trying to rebuild their village, they should be encouraged because they are an important part of Taiwan. It is necessary to maintain and uphold the native Taiwanese people and their traditions not only as a part of the history and magnificence of Taiwan, but to able to share those traditions with the entire world. Taiwan should be proud of the Smangus and all the efforts being made to keep their culture alive.

Please, take a step back and think of the impacts that can be made if the Smangus are found guilty. Again, it is everyone's responsibility to ensure the success of aboriginal peoples, such as the Smangus. They have given up so much, so let's all give back to the original people of the lands.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Melissa Keasey

Student of San Jose State University, California

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