Erenlai - The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平
The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平

The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平

 

Learn how to become a peacemaker! These materials concentrate on conflict resolution and peace building.

只要身為世界公民一天,我們就對化解衝突與創造和平的議題有著義務跟責任。

 

 

 

Thursday, 05 December 2013

Scotland and Catalonia at the Crossroad of Independence

A comparison between the independence movements in the two european territories. 

It happens that I am originally from a territory and I live nowadays in a different one, whose citizens are involved, simultaneously, in discussions about political independence. I am a native of Catalonia, which is one of Spain's seventeen regions. For the last four years, I have worked and lived in Scotland, one of the four countries that alongside England, Wales and Northern Ireland form the United Kingdom. I am also the president of an association that represents the Catalan diaspora in Scotland, and this role has given me numerous opportunities to compare the two political processes in Scotland and Catalonia. The people from these two territories hold a strong sense of national pride based on millenarian culture, traditions and language. The emergence of many successful (think Sweden), sexy (think Costa Rica), smart (think Singapore), even cool (think Iceland) small countries in the world since the start of the 21st century has fueled the independence aspirations of some Catalans and Scots since then.

The similarities between the political processes in these two countries mainly refer to the coincidence of space and time. Both territories belong to the European Union and will hold a referendum on secession in 2014. This is a very iconic year in the history of both nations: 2014 is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where Scotland first became independent from England and the commemoration of the 300th years of the defeat of the Catalan-Aragon kingdom against the Spanish crown. Beside its symbolism, the coincidence of the referendum year might have significant consequences. The voting results in one place might favor or weaken the independence position in the other one as a result of a mimetic effect. The specific date of the Catalan referendum will be announced in the following weeks, but in deciding on one date or another, Catalan government officials are considering the date of the Scottish referendum (September 18, 2014) as an important factor to take into account. Some people in Catalonia think it makes sense to hold the Catalan referendum before Scotland does in case the no vote prevails there. Similarly, the holding of the Catalan referendum before the Scottish referendum might favour both groups, assuming a pro-independence victory in Catalonia. Likewise, the fact that both Spain and the United Kingdom are member states of the European Union has raised concerns in Catalonia and Scotland about the future status of their citizens, if each region seceded. Membership in the European Union, including op-outs from the euro and free travel areas, are therefore similar topics of debate in both contexts.

 However, the resemblances between the two independence movements stop here. The main difference is that Scotland's independence movement is 'top down' while Catalunya's is 'bottom up'. In Scotland, the process is practically exclusively led by one political party, the Scottish National Party (SNP) that won a historic majority on May 2011. In Catalonia, by contrast, the pro-independence movement rose from the grassroots and has pushed political parties, forcing them to take an increasingly clear position on independence. Several members of the four main political parties in Catalonia support independence, but there is no single party or a single leader to run the process. This political plurality makes the process much more complicated to manage, but also more transversal.

Despite the fact that the 'yes' option is rising in the two territories, there are some differences in the citizens' support for independence. The referendum results will be the definitive proof of this disparity, but until then, we have to rely on more ambiguous indicators. According to the latest polls, more than 50% of the population of Catalonia would vote for independence, while this compares to a third of Scots (44%). It is important to consider that, as with any survey, the sampling population and the wording of the questions have a massive effect on the poll results . However, some people interpret the results in Scotland as a paradox: SNP support in the latest elections doubled while support for Scottish independence has increased less rapidly. In fact, this is the main challenge of the referendum campaign in Scotland: to convert the popularity of the SNP as a party into votes for independence. An alternative form of evidence of the popular backing for independence in the two regions is the amount of people taking part in the annual independence rallies. Two years ago, more than a 1.5 million pro-Catalan independence supporters brought Barcelona to a standstill and last September, thousands of people formed a 400km (250 mile) human chain across Catalonia. This figures contrast to the 20,000 participants at the latest independence march in Scotland.

One final difference between the Catalan and the Scottish political process is the attitude of the central governments in Madrid and London, which is rooted in the distinct formation of the Spanish and British states. Whereas the United Kingdom is the result of a political and fiscal agreement in 1707 between two sovereign kingdoms (Scotland and England), Spain's current political and administrative structure is the result of a civil war, forty years of a dictatorship and a precarious transition to democracy. These two contrasting historical trajectories have resulted into two very distinctive political styles and constitutional systems. Bilateral negotiation between the constitutive parts of the British state is the standard practice. Instead, as the Catalan Prime Minister explained in a letter published in the New York Times last September, countless demands for more political and fiscal autonomy from Catalonia to Madrid have been rejected out of hand by the central government and court rulings. Even worse, calls for a referendum have been responded by threats to suspend Catalonia's autonomy amid accusations of military sedition against the Catalan government.

(Photo above by Oscar Gracià)

Cataloniapic(Photo by SBA73)

The inflexibility and inadaptability of the Spanish political and legal systems to the demands of Catalan people contrasts to the agreement reached between the British and the Scottish governments. This explains yet another paradox: Scotland has a referendum but the people do not seem very keen to vote. Catalonians are indeed very interested in voting but do not have yet a date for a referendum. Pro-Catalan independence supporters, including the Catalan Prime Minister in his letter to the NYT, frequently cite the Scottish case to back their case and to present Madrid's opposition to the Catalan referendum as undemocratic.

This explicit reference to the Scottish political process from Catalan government officials is exceptional. High-level links and formal contacts between SNP leaders and their counterparts from the Catalan Government seem to be on hold. This lack of institutional solidarity and moral support between Scotland and Catalonia's politicians might seem strange, but some people interpret this non-interference as a political move to maximise the possibilities of international recognition after the referendums. I defended elsewhere (here in Catalan) that regardless of the strategic decisions of the political elites, grassroots pro-independence movements in Catalonia, Scotland and elsewhere in the world should collaborate more closely to learn from each other. For this reason, dear reader, if you know of any lesson from the political situation between Taiwan and China that might be useful to Catalans and Scots, please do contact me at meritxell[AT]ramirezolle.cat. We would very much appreciate your thoughts and advice.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chiang Kai Shek Remembered? Collective Memory in Taiwan

Vladimir Stolojan, a current Ph.D Candidate at the University of Paris Diderot, explores for us the shifts in collective memories associated with Chiang Kai-shek over the years since democratization, in Taiwan, in China and in the West.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Micronesian Memories of War in the Pacific

Lin Poyer is a professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming. Her recent work focuses on the Micronesian experience and history of the Pacific War, during the Japanese colonization and afterwards. In December 2011, she was invited to Taipei by the Taiwan Center for Pacific Studies to give a series of lectures presenting her research. We had the opportunity to meet her beforehand and learn about the impact of WWII in Micronesia and the specificities of its oral history in the region.

Monday, 28 March 2011

山邊教室的靜謐時光:桃園少輔院

山邊的教室是這些孩子的暫居之地,也是他們學習重新出發的場所。

儘管他們身體的自由因過往錯誤受到局限,受創徬徨的心靈卻得以在此地安歇,發揮應有的潛能。

Sunday, 27 March 2011

馬祖姆姆來了!石仁愛修女傳愛人間

在三十多年前的馬祖,孕婦生產如同與死神拔河;然而來自比利時的「姆姆」石仁愛修女,靠著無比的愛心與精湛的技術,拯救了不少產婦和嬰孩的生命。看到她,馬祖人就知道天主的愛跟著「姆姆」來了!


Sunday, 27 March 2011

下一站‧幸福的家:「動保志工」台灣動物緊急救援小組

不論眼前的任務如何艱困,台灣動物緊急救援小組的志工永遠將流浪動物放在心中的第一位,盡力為牠們帶來最好的明天!


Friday, 04 March 2011

The Wushe Incident, 80 years on

“My people are being forced into too much labour work, causing great anger amongst them.
After the incident the two of us were captured by our people, we cannot do anything, we must go now…”

Suicide note written by Ichiro Hanaoka (Dakis Nomin) and Jiro Hanaoka (Dakis Nawi)

Foreign rulers

Every foreign ruler who once governed Taiwan had to face the problem of governing the indigenous people. In the time of the Qing government, the Hans were not only developing the land of the plains, but they were also developing the hill and mountain areas. To prevent the indigenous people from human-headhunting, the Qing government would setup mountain-pass-defences (building lookout-posts and sending people to guard them). At the same time, the Qing government were also recruiting tenant-farmers to develop land, often transcending the territory of the indigenous people, making their living space smaller. Armed conflicts between the Hans and the indigenous people became inevitable.

The Qing government imposed an isolation policy on the indigenous people when they were governing Taiwan. In the 61st year of the Kangxi Emperor, after the “Cishan Zhu Yi-gui incident”, the government banned the Hans from entering the mountain area.

In the time of Qianlong, plain resources gradually depleted as a result of Han development, the living space of the plains was getting smaller and smaller. The Qing government adopted the “To protect the indigenous people and their wealth” policy, banning Han from tenanting and selling the lands of indigenous people. However, even with this policy in place, the indigenous people were still losing their land continually invaded by the Han, causing regular conflict between the two sides.

When the Japanese began governing Taiwan, about 35 000 indigenous people had been “converted” or “half-converted” into Han and there were about 112 000 – 113 000 indigenous people still living in the mountain area. The ideology behind governing the indigenous people at the time was similar to how white American settlers invaded and occupied the lands of the Indians - the “civilised” people assume the right to develop the lands of the “uncivilised” people, rationalising the action of taking resources from the mountain area. To govern the indigenous people, the Japanese government would arrange marriages between Japanese and indigenous people, in an attempt to lessen the hatred the indigenous people had for the Japanese. The Japanese government encouraged police officers who were working in the mountain area to marry daughters of the indigenous people’s chieftains. However, after these police officers returned to Japan, they often left their wives behind, or even induced them into prostitution in Japan and Taiwan.

Conflicts due to politically-motivated marriages

There were both happy and unhappy cases in this type marriage. An example of a fortunate case would be Taimu, who became the wife of the prestigious head of the Wushe police branch after her Japanese husband Satsukai Tasukumasu was promoted to the position. Another example would be Beika Leida, the daughter of the chieftain of Maliba tribe. Beika Leida married to Shimoyama Jihei and had two sons and two daughters. Shimoyama Jihei, however, remarried a Japanese girl and returned to Japan. He left Beika Leida and the four children behind in Taiwan. Luckily for Beika Leida, the Japanese arranged for her to work in a local police station so she had something to do for a living. In contrast, Tewas Rudao, the younger sister of Mona Rudao, wasn’t as lucky. Tewas married Kondou Gisaburou who was later re-assigned to the police station in Hualien Harbor. Although Kondou Gisaburou brought Tewas Rudao with him to Hualien Harbour, he died in a mission falling down a valley. Tewas returned home to Mahepo Community by climbing across numerous mountains. She later married a man from her tribe and bore two daughters, but unfortunately they both died later. The Japanese never looked after Tewas from this time onwards. For Mona Rudao, what happened to his sister would make him anti-Japanese, a factor in the rise of the Wushe Incident later on.

Twenty days before the Wushe Incident (in the morning of year 1930 October 7th), two Japanese police officers - Katsumi Yoshimura and Okada Takematsu, were walking past the house of Mona Rudao, the chieftain of the Mahepo tribe. At the time, a youngster of the Mahepo tribe, Daho Mona Rudao and a girl Rudao Bawan were holding a wedding ceremony. Members of the tribe came to celebrate the occasion by killing cows and sheep for a feast. The oldest son of Mona Rudao, Tadao Mona saw Yoshimura walking past, so he invited Yoshimura to come inside for a drink. However, Yoshimura saw Tadao was holding a piece of meat on his hand, stained with blood. He disliked Tadao’s “dirtiness” and assaulted Tadao with his cane. For an occasion that was meant to be joyful, Tadao got angry and together with Mona Rudao’s second oldest son Bassao Mona, pushed Yoshimura to the ground. Mona Rudao later brought his two sons to apologise to Yoshimura by offering him a gift of wine; however, Yoshimura did not accept the apology, he told Mona Rudao that the incident has already been reported to higher Japanese authorities and that Mona Rudao and his two sons would receive punishment soon.

When the Japanese were governing Taiwan, not only were there tragedies caused by the arranged marriages, many construction works were also being carried out which forced the indigenous people into labour works; if they refused, then they would be severely punished. The Japanese police officers were forcing the indigenous population to provide their construction labour for free. The Japanese government continued to open up new construction works and set up police stations at every tribe and fortified point, as well as building roads, suspension bridges, Japanese dormitories and so on. During the construction period, the Japanese did not take into consideration whether it was the hunting or the harvesting season for the indigenous people, the Japanese blindly forcing them to continue construction. This stirred dissatifaction amongst the indigenous people and further built up their resentment towards the Japanese.

 

The break out of the Wushe Incident

On October 28th of every year, the Japanese government house would hold a shrine festival to commemorate Prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa. October 27th was the day when Wushe would hold its annual athletics festival. About two hundred Japanese attended the festival; police officers were unarmed on that day.

While the Japanese national anthem was being played at the festival, the indigenous people, who were in the area preparing for an ambush, rushed into the sports venue and began killing the Japanese. The festival was turned hellish scene.

During the Incident, a Han shopkeeper - Liu Liang-tsai - who flaunted his powerful connections to bully others and had been named by the indigenous people as a “fake Japanese”, was killed as they vented their resentment. Another two Han were mistakenly slaughtered as they were wearing Kimonos at the time. The rest of the victims were Japanese. A total of one hundred and thirty-nine Japanese died in the incident and seven police stations were burnt down.

The Wushe incident stunned the Japanese officials. The government sent out about four thousand police officers and troops using canons, aircraft and other weapons to attack the Wushe area. However, the Japanese were still unable to force the surrender of the anti- Japanese uprising. In the end, the Japanese adopted the “using indigenous people to fight against indigenous people” policy, encouraging and rewarding other tribes who did not participate in the Wushe incident to turn against those who did. Different tribes set about killing one another, causing great misunderstanding amongst the tribes.

The Japanese who survived the Wushe Incident became even more hostile against the surviving family members of the anti-Japanese indigenous uprising. In April of the sixth year of Showa (year 1931), the Japanese ordered the Atayal people who had been forced to join the Japanese army to slaughter a hundred and ninety-five surviving family members of the anti-Japanese indigenous people who were unarmed, and decapitated a hundred and one heads of these people. This event is known as the Second Wushe Incident.

In the eighth year of Showa, indigenous people found a human’s remains which was much taller than an average man, it was determined to be the remains of Mona Rudao.

 

The tragedy of the Hanaoka brothers

Cultural differences (the Japanese did not respect the customs of the indigenous people - such as face tattooing, the practice of “putting one’s hand on another’s shoulder and drink like brothers” and so on), together with the arranged marriages policy and forced labour upon the indigenous people, all contributed to this tragic slaughtering event. However, hatred doesn’t solve the problem, if there is a lesson to be learnt from this piece of history, it is that rulers have to be more respectful of those who are being governed.

In the Wushe Incident, every victim and their surviving family members have their own stories to tell. Among them, what happened to the Hanaoka brothers would probably be the most tragic of all.

The Japanese have always seen the Hanaoka brothers as a successful case of the indigenous people being “moralised”. The elementary school in Wushe normally only accepted Japanese students, however, the Japanese were trying to lasso and “civilise” the indigenous people, so they sent the Hanaoka brothers and others to Japanese schools to study.

Ichiro Hanaoka graduated from the training school at National Taichung University of Education. He became a level B security guard at the Wushe branch. Jiro Hanaoka graduated from the advanced course at elementary school in Puli, he was a guard in Wushe. Both Ichiro and Jiro accepted marriages arranged by the Japanese government.

Right after the Wushe Incident, there was a rumour that the incident was instigated by the Hanaoka brothers and they were accused of having betrayed the Japanese. After the Japanese regained Wushe, they found a suicide note outside Jiro’s house which was wriiten by Ichiro and Jiro ”We are leaving this world now. Our people are being forced into excessive manual labour, causing great anger. After the incident the two of us were captured by our own people, we cannot do anything, we must go now” The Hanaoka brothers, who received Japanese education, got caught in between the complex racial issues of the two sides. Ichiro and Jiro took twenty-one of their family members to Kotomi mountain where they committed suicide. Ichiro cut the throats of his wife and children before committing “harakiri” (putting a knife into his own stomach to commit suicide). Jiro and his family members adopted the traditional Atayal way of hanging themselves on a tree to commit suicide, only his Japanese wife lived. It is said that she did agree to die with the rest of the family, however, her husband Jiro convinced her to live on in order to protect the baby in her. His wife became the most important survivor and witness of the Wushe Incident.

Whenever there was a discussion on the Wushe Incident about the Hanaoka brothers in the past, different speculations would come up. Some suspected that the Japanese murdered the Hanaoka brothers and their family members and then made the murder scenes look like they were committing suicide. Some said that the Hanaoka brothers were on the Japanese side, while others said they were on the side of the indigenous people. Teng Hsiang-yang, a scholar of tribal history who found the widow of Jiro Hanaoka, stated that when Jiro was committing suicide, he was wearing the Japanese feather- constructed clothing inside with traditional Seediq Bale clothing on the outside and equipped with a Seediq Bale knife on his waist. After the widow saw the suicide scene of Jiro Hanaoka, she said: “Jiro must have so much he wanted to tell us.” She also said: “the Hanaoka brothers were on both the Japanese and the indigenous people’s sides, they died gracefully! Not only were they conducting themselves in such a way that they were able to face the Japanese who brought them up, but also their own people!” “They would not have died so gracefully if they were strongly leaning toward either the side of the Japanese or the indigenous people!”.

Translated from the Chinese by Jason Cheng. Illustration by Şirin Tanrıtanır

Friday, 25 February 2011

交通安全的守護者:「導護志工」陳宏志的故事

若說馬路如虎口,這些捍衛交通安全的志工爸媽便如同馴獸師一般,遏止各種危險發生的可能性。



Friday, 25 February 2011

大醫師傳奇:蘭陽外科勇士范鳳龍

安貧樂業、不喜居功,把所有精力都奉獻給病人的范鳳龍醫師,既是蘭陽人心中頭號的外科勇士,也是天主賜予台灣社會的美好奇蹟。

一位外科醫生一輩子能做多少手術?如果一個月做一百台手術,一年一千兩百台,三十年大約四萬台,已經讓人咋舌稱奇了;但有位從斯洛伐尼亞來台灣,在蘭陽羅東聖母醫院服務共卅八年的外科醫生,一生卻做了八萬多台手術。這個傳奇應該創下了很多紀錄,然而最應該紀錄下來的是他在台灣偏遠的東部,默默付出了八萬多次細膩的愛心,用他完美的手術,換回或重建了八萬多個生命。

Thursday, 20 January 2011

重拾「教鞭」就能解決霸凌?

恢復體罰制度是處理校園霸凌亂象的有效方法嗎?也許在做出補救措施之前,應設法釐清真正的問題所在。


Thursday, 20 January 2011

坐奠兩柱之閒:孔子的苦惱與當代台灣的紛爭

即使是被世人尊崇為大成至聖、萬世師表的孔子,在內心深處也有一段糾結的身分認同問題。拜鄭吉雄教授的研究所賜,讓我們認識了與眾不同的孔子。


Thursday, 20 January 2011

尋找最真最美的笑顏:「課輔志工」陳翔方的故事

是誰經常認為年輕人只愛縱情享樂、不關心公眾事務?陳翔方的故事打破了這種偏見,讓我們認識到一個年輕生命背後隱藏的美麗靈魂。


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