A local resident quietly holding up a protest sign at an earlier meeting. Note the very large police presence. Their lack of riot gear point to them being an intimidating presence rather than being there to seriously confront a "dangerous" mob of local farmers and fishers.
Our colleagues at the Taiwan Environmental Action Network (TEAN) have advised us that the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has issued a statement barring local stakeholders and environmental NGOs from presenting at the upcoming EPA meeting on October 13th because of their alleged misconduct at the hearing on October 5th.
The developers must be extremely happy with and grateful to the EPA! Given the blatant pro-development stance of the EPA and its abysmal track record in actually protecting the environment, one has to seriously question the actions of the EPA in this and ask if this is really just an attempt to silence the local people who are against the CTSP Erlin project which threatens to destroy their livelihoods. The EPA's handling of the Hushan Dam and Songshan Factory issues left one wondering who exactly the EPA was working for. The EPA also shamelessly adopted a "seen no evil" attitude during the assault on former EPA EIA Commissioner and Taipei-based lawyer, Robin Winkler. As the facts emerged despite the attitude of the EPA, it became clear that Winkler had indeed been assaulted inside the EPA and the assailant was convicted. At no point did the EPA bar the noisy pro-development faction, that had even caused a fight in the chamber, from presenting. Barring the opposition to the CTSP Erlin project from presenting is a very serious action. The barring of those who wish to speak out against the project is a blatant violation of the right to free speech and the right to protest against and speak out against things that will adversely impact on the lives of common people and the environment.
"The Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has issued an official statement blasting NGOs and local stakeholders (local farmers, fishers and residents) for disrupting the proceedings on October 5th at the Fifth EIA briefing on the development of CTSP Erlin Science Park. In its statement, the EPA accused the NGO representatives and local residents/stakeholders participating in the proceeding for being “irrational”, “unreasonable”, “unprofessional”, “threatening”, “disrupting the proceeding with video-taping and recording” and “interfering with the proceeding's order.” The EPA announced that no local stakeholders or environmental NGOs shall be allowed to be present in the meeting room in the name of “maintaining the independent review proceeding for EIA Commissioners as well as the order” at the continuation meeting scheduled for October 13th. Ironically, the developing agency and the related officials will be allowed to present their statements.
According to those who were present at the October 5th meeting and witnessed the whole proceeding, the local stakeholders and NGO representatives simply voiced their concerns on the potential health and environmental risks, which have been witnessed in the communities surrounding the existing science parks in Taiwan. They have legitimate reason to worry that these risks will become real threats to them and cause irreversible negative impacts on them and for future generations."
You can support the local residents, farmers and fishers as well as the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins by sighning a petition: Stop the CTSP Erlin Science Park; Protect Farmers, Fishermen and the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins.
Stop the CTSP Erlin Science Park; Protect Farmers, Fishermen and the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins.
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