President Tsai to issue formal apology on Indigenous Peoples' Day

07/31/2016 04:51 PM
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[Youtube video of the event]

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will formally issue an apology to Taiwan's aboriginal people and outline her policies on reconciliation Monday, Aug. 1, the Indigenous People's Day, according to the Presidential Office.

Tsai promised during her presidential campaign to make the apology as president to Taiwan's indigenous people for the unfair treatment they suffered under different regimes in the past, as a way to begin to face and deal with the issue.

On Monday, representatives from different aboriginal tribes will gather in front the Presidential Office, announcing their arrival before Tsai greets them and welcomes them into the building.

Inside the building, the apology will be made through a series of rituals, which will start with a blessing ceremony, to be followed by Tsai's apology speech, a response from the indigenous people, and an exchange of tokens, according to the Presidential Office.

The rituals, said National Security Adviser Yao Jen-to (姚人多), are designed to "acknowledge mistakes, disclose truths, and reconcile with the indigenous peoples."

Tsai is scheduled to outline her policies concerning the country's indigenous people on Monday afternoon, and is expected to announce the establishment of an indigenous peoples transitional justice commission, which will be headed by the president herself.

The government currently recognizes 16 aboriginal tribes, which account for 2 percent of Taiwan's 23.5 million population.

The apology is scheduled to be streamed live through the Presidential Office's website from 10:10 a.m.-11 a.m. on Monday.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Kay Liu)enditem/ke

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