By Tenzin Monlam
Mongolian and Tibetan Culture Center in Taiwan.
DHARAMSHALA, November 29: Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, the unicameral legislature on the nation, on Tuesday approved a bill to dissolve the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) Tib:Bhoesok Lekhung.
“As things change with time, our concerns for issues regarding Mongolia and Tibet should have changed course much earlier. What we should do is protect the Mongolian and Tibetan community in Taiwan, and guarantee that Mongolian and Tibetan culture will continue to be respected in Taiwan,” said Lee Chun-yi, ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislator and a member of the committee for dissolving the commission.
The various responsibilities of MTAC will be divided among the culture ministry, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the foreign ministry. Moreover, the Ministry of Culture will be setting up a separate unit to be named ‘Mongolia and Tibetan culture center’.
Legislator Lee added, “Here we ask to disband the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission. The remaining 46 members of the commission will be transferred to the culture ministry and the Mainland Affairs Council, so we can officially dissolve the commission. Let us respect the people of Mongolia and Tibet and their culture. This is what we should do.”
Legislator Kolas Yotaka, member of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), reassured that the bill passed to dissolve would be through in less than two months.
Tibetan President Dr. Lobsang Sangay welcoming the move said, “MTAC has been a sore point and source of misunderstanding between Tibetans and Taiwanese. Personally, I have opposed MTAC since my college days and I am glad to see it shut down.”
The bill tabled by MP Tsai Yi-Yu, MP Chen Chi-Mai, MP Xu Guoyong, MP Kolas Yotaka and MP Lai Jui-lung was passed in the assembly with 65 votes in favor of dissolution and 30 against it.
Established as the Mongolian Bureau in 1636 during Qing Dynasty, the commission was later turned into Bureau of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs in 1912 under China following the fall of the Qing dynasty. The Commission got its current name in 1929 and it was moved to Taiwan after Chinese civil war.