PCT Supports Taiwan Aboriginal Peoples Recovering Their Rights And Autonomy

To respond President Tsai Ing-wen's official apology to the Taiwanese aboriginal peoples and formal recognition oftheir status as the owners of this island, the 61st PCT General Assembly solemnly delivered a resolution, entitled as "PCT Supports Taiwan Aboriginal Peoples Recovering Their Rights And Autonomy" and passed in the 4th representatives meeting on October 18, to the public on a press conference held at Legislative Yuan in the morning on October 21.

Many PCT church leaders, including Rev Sudu Tada(Moderator of PCT General Assembly), Rev Lyim hong-tiong(PCT General Secretary), Ms Kawlo Iyun Pacidal(NPP legislator), Ms 'Eleng Tjaljimaraw(PCT Associate General Secretary), Rev Ljegean(Dirctor of PCT Indigenous Mission Committee), Rev Dr Pusing Tali(President of Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary), Rev Zeng Kuo-chung(Director of PCT Church and Society Committee), Mr Yohani Lsqaqavut(former Minister of Council of Indigenous Peoples) and Rev Omi Wilang, all attended this significant press conference.

Rev Sudu Tada stressed, in order to liberate all aboriginal peoples from a slavery status for 40 years long and prompt them acknowledgethey were the real owners of this island, PCT had always stood by the aboriginal peoples focusing on issues of justice and compassion from the second half of last century. "We are the master of this land!", remarked Rev Sudu Tada. We have to say no to political manipulation or sell our votes for money, and we need a substantial policy for aboriginal people, urged Rev Sudu Tada. Only through such efforts, can the aboriginal peoples' history be recognized and incorporated into our mainstream culture, in addition Taiwan could become a truly normalized country!, he said.

Rev. Lyim Hung-tiong read word by word ofthe resolution statement, "PCT Supports Taiwan Aboriginal Peoples Recovering Their Rights And Autonomy", in the press conference. As the rulings of all Taiwanese aboriginal peoples before the invasion of previous colonial powers were autonomy actually, this is the reason why PCT used the word of "recovering" instead of the fashionable "transitional justice", expressed Rev. Lyim. In the mean time, the word "recovering" suggested aboriginal rights and autonomy was given from God.

The structure of PCT's resolution statement of "Support Taiwan Aboriginal Peoples Recovering Their Rights AndAutonomy" is divided into three parts: the first part affirms the aboriginal peoples is the subject of Taiwan history and approves President Tsai's apology; the second part stresses PCT's resolute pursuit for justice and her determination to stand by the aboriginal peoples as the poor and marginalized; the third part describes a common vision and framework that Taiwan church could humbly work with the aboriginal peoples inside the church or amid Taiwan society.

Rev. Lyim emphasized that justice and reconciliation were two inseparable sides of one true coin. Neither couldbe abolished to stress the other side of them only. In other words, before reconciliation, truth has to be found out and history needs to be checked into details. Therefore, PCT could not accept or stand by any religious assembly, in the name of "ethnic reconciliation", trying not to touch those painfully unjust yet true histories happened in Taiwan. Such religious rituals masqueraded as a cheap grace absolutely went against the spirit of Christian faith, harshly criticized Rev Lyim.

Source: The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan