Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to protestagainst nuclear energy, urging the government to stop theconstruction of the country's fourth nuclear power plant amid fearssparked by the recent nuclear disaster in Japan.
Rallies were held in major cities around Taiwan to say no to thefourth nuke plant and call for concrete measures to decommission theother three reactors currently in use in Taiwan.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou openly pulled his support for thedevelopment of the controversial Kuokuang Petrochemical complex inChanghua County, nuclear energy and policy have become the nextaction target for environmentalists and rights activists groups.
Following are excerpts of local media reports of the anti-nukemovement.
United Daily News:
More that 10,000 people turned out Saturday in Taipei City tomarch from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to the Presidential Office,where they fell to the ground on Ketagalan Boulevard in response to amock nuclear warning siren.
Tsui Su-hsin, secretary-general of the Green Citizen's ActionAlliance, said the stunt was staged to remind the government of thepotential loss of thousands of lives if a nuclear catastrophe shouldstrike Taiwan.
Tsui said environmentalists groups will continue to push thegovernment to come up with environmentally friendly energy policies.The anti-nuke action will not stop until Taiwan is free from nuclearthreats, Tsui said. (May 1, 2011)
Two Japanese citizens, from Fukushima Prefecture where the March11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear crisis inJapan's history, may be deported for attending the anti-nuke rally inTaipei Saturday. Officials have said the actions of the two womenwere contrary to the stated purpose of their visit to Taiwan.
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Sunday it will assessthe police video footage of the protest and will decide whether ornot to deport Ayako Oga and Saeko Uno. The two sang the song "WeShall Overcome," and made some brief remarks at the rally.
However, Hung Shen-han, deputy secretary-general of the GreenCitizen's Action Alliance, condemned the NIA action, arguing that thegovernment had "overreacted" to the matter. Hung said he was worriedabout the fate of Oga and Uno in Taiwan and his alliance would hire alawyer for them to deal with the incident.(May 1, 2011)
The Liberty Times:
Some 200 people staged a protest in Yenliao, New Taipei City,Saturday at the construction site of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.They tried to hand an open letter of protest to the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which is building the plant.
However, they refused to hand over the letter to a Taipower PRofficer and a deputy department director came out, instead ofTaipower Chairman Chen Kuei-ming, to meet the protesters. Protestleader Yen Shih-hsiung tore up the letter and threatened to stage abigger protest against the plant in the near future.
Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang said Sunday that thegovernment has heard all the people's voices in the anti-nuclearresolutions. The government has begun to solicit opinions from allsectors of Taiwan society to work out sustainable energy policiesthat would ease people's fears, Lo said. (May 1, 2011)
(By Deborah Kuo)