Smangus and Smangus Action Alliance News

Who are the thieves? Who actually protect the forest?

Written by Smangus & Smangus Action Alliance
Translated by Tony Chu, Taiwanese/American Fellowship Presbyterian church in New Jersey, USA

On May 7th , the people of Smangus will observe Smi Kei, (bury stone to make covenant) the traditional ceremony to declare the right of managing the forest in the territory of indigenous community and reject the policing from the national forestry administration

Applying the community assembly’s consensus to transport a stump of a wind-fall beech back to their own village in order to do landscaping, the previous year in September three men from Smangus, a Tayal indigenous community, were accused of larceny by the Forestry Bureau. They were indicted by Taiwan Hsin Chu District Court. On April 18 this year the court sentenced each of the three men 6 months in imprisonment or to convert the imprisonment into fine for NT$160,000 dollars. Opposing the sentence, Smangus and several Tayal people together protested to the Forestry Bureau. After 4 hours of negotiation, the talk between the Tayal people and the Forestry Bureau ended in a rupture.

At 11:00 On May 7th morning, abiding by the Tayal law Gaga and the Aboriginal Basic Law, Smangus, the Mrqwang group of Tayal nation, will observe the traditional ceremony Smi Kei (bury stone to make covenant) at Bridge No.2 in Smangus. By so doing, we the people of Smangus declare the right of managing the forest in the territory of indigenous community and act to show determination of upholding our own sovereignty. Appealing to clean the stigma for the charge of larceny against us, we strive to claim our own right and responsibility of living alone with the nature and protecting the precious land and forest of Taiwan.

We demand this country to fulfill the promise of establishing a new partnership between the indigenous peoples and the government of Taiwan. We also demand the government to observe the Aboriginal Basic Law passed through legislation in year 2003 by recognizing the right that we own the traditional territory of indigenous community and our management over the forest and the land within it.

Time: 11:00 A.M., May, 7, 2007
Place: God’s village Smangus – Bridge No.2 Smangus, Jien-Shih Township, Hsin Chu County, Taiwan

Coordinator: (Mr.) Batu Icyeh 886-911-257093
Executive Officer: (Mr.) Omi Wilang 886-910-024675
Public Relation: (Mr.) Lahuy Icyeh 0912-238070 / (Ms.) Ching-Wen Kuo 886922-884979
Sponsors: Smangus & Smangus Action Alliance
Original Post: Blog “Taiwan’s Indigenous Community—Smangus Battles for the Unfair Trial”