Support from around the world: Dr. Geoffrey Wall's incoming letter!

Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 6:29 AM
Subject: Smangus

To Whom It May Concern

Various colleagues have expressed concern to me about the current situation in Smangus. Circumstances (I am currently in an airport awaiting a flight from North America to Europe to give a keynote address on sustainable development at an international conference) prevent me from accessing detailed information on the Smangus situation as well from preparing an articulate message. However, if what I have been told is correct - that individuals are to be punished severely for using a windfall resulting from typhoon damage on land within their territory - I would urge reconsideration of the severe sanctions that are being applied and a reopening of dialogue. Regardless of the rights of the case, I suggest that imposition of severe sanctions may do more damage than good, harming relationships between aboriginal peoples and mainstream society. As someone who has worked with aboriginal people in many parts of the world, including Taiwan, and have visited Smangus, I suggest a careful reconsideration of the case may be merited and that it may be that the "heavy hand of the law" is not always the best way to deal with such siruations.

Dr. Geoffrey Wall
Faculty of Envoronmental Studies

University of Waterloo Waterloo,
Ontario N2L 3G1