Monday, July 4, 2011

Taiwan - Green Island Light House of Green Island

Green Island Light House of Green Island, Taiwan.

Sent by Antika, a postcrosser from Changhwa, Taiwan.

This is from Wikipedia : Green Island (traditional Chinese: 綠島; pinyin: Lǜ Dǎo; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Le̍k-tó) is a small volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, about 33 km (20.5 miles) off the eastern coast of Taiwan. In the 19th century it was known as Samasana Island and the Japanese called it Kasho-to (火燒島). The island is 15.092 km² at high tide and 17.329 km² at low tide. Administratively, Green Island is Lüdao Xiang (綠島鄉), a township of Taitung County and one of the county's two offshore areas (the other is Orchid Island, or Lanyu). Green Island is the ROC's fourth-largest island. It is accessible by airplane in eight to 12 minutes from Taitung City. There are also ferries capable of carrying over 250 passengers.

Green Island is now a locally popular scuba-diving destination for both locals and expats residing in Taiwan.

The island is primarily noted as the place of past and current prisons and penal colonies. Green Island first served as an isolated spot and place of exile for political prisoners during the martial law period of Taiwanese history during Kuomintang single-party rule (especially during the White Terror). After their release, many of the prisoners jailed between the late 1940s and the late 1980s went on to establish the Democratic Progressive Party, most notably Shih Ming-teh. Author Bo Yang was also a prisoner here.

The place where most of the political prisoners (such as Shih Ming-teh) were held was the Green Island Lodge (Lǜ Dǎo Shānzhuāng), where conditions were reported to be very bad. Oasis Village was the main penal colony. The prison was later closed, its interior is now opened to the public for visit.

The Green Island Prison (Lǜ Jiānyú) is also located on the island and has housed some prisoners that have been perceived to be amongst Taiwan's most dangerous criminals and gangsters. However, this has changed in recent years.

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