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Tsai to visit Orchid Island to discuss nuclear waste storage

2016/08/14 18:01

President Tsai Ing-wen, (second right), visits the nuclear waste storage field in 2011 before she took office. (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is scheduled to visit Taiwan's offshore Orchid Island on Monday to discuss the issue of nuclear waste storage with the local people, the Presidential Office said Sunday.

The president will meet with a senior member of the indigenous Tao tribe and visit a kindergarten. She will also attend a forum during which she will address such issues as nuclear waste storage and garbage disposal on the island, the office said.

On Aug. 1, Tsai issued a formal apology on behalf of the government to Taiwan's indigenous people for the discrimination and neglect they have suffered over the past 400 years.

In her apology, the president said she will direct relevant agencies to present an investigative report on the decision-making process of nuclear waste storage on the island.

Before finding a permanent solution for the nuclear waste, Tsai said her government will provide the Tao tribe with appropriate compensation.

Local residents had received over NT$2.1 billion (US$66.9 million) in payments as of the end of May 2016 from state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. and the Atomic Energy Council since a low-level nuclear waste storage facility was built on Orchard Island in 1982.

During her visit Monday, Tsai will again apologize to the indigenous people, sources said.

In the near future, the government will also send people to indigenous villages around Taiwan to explain the formation of the Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Commission under the Presidential Office.

Before Sept. 30, the government will also review relevant regulations to ensure that the Pingpu ethnic group identity will receive the rights and status it deserves, sources said.

In addition, the Executive Yuan has been instructed to convene the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law Promotion Committee within the shortest time to coordinate indigenous affairs.

(By Sophia Yeh and Christie Chen) ENDITEM/ls