A Columban missionary forcibly thrown out of Taiwan in 1989 for his work with the local labour movement, has been asked back to the country by the new, more liberal regime. Fr Neil Magill was invited for a ten-day visit to the island by Chen Chu, who chairs the Taiwanese government's council of labour affairs. During his stay this week he will meet with President Chen Shui-Bian, who took office last May, ending the 50 year rule of the conservative Kuomintang party. Fr Neil arrived in Taiwan for the first time in 1980. He learned to speak the local dialect fluently and actively took part in the education and labour projects, promoting campaigns to improve the conditions of workers. In 1984 he established the New Life Workers Centre in the northern county of Taoyuan. The authorities said at the time of his deportation that certain human rights violations taking place in Taiwan were necessary for national security.
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