RFA in the News (April 2017)

2017-05-05
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KHMER TIMES (Also in CAMBODIA DAILYPHNOM PEHN POST and SOUTHEAST ASIA GLOBE)

April 30 “Jail trip journalist flees country

… Radio Free Asia journalist Chun Chanboth has fled the country after Phnom Penh Municipal Court summoned him over allegations he lied to gain access to opposition activists in prison.

YONHAP

April 29 “Gas stations operating normally in cities of N. Korea

… North Korea's local gas stations are operating normally despite reports of a sharp rise in the North's oil prices starting in Pyongyang and other cities, Radio Free Asia reported Sunday, citing Japanese news service Asia Press.

DIPLOMAT

April 28 “Where is ASEAN on press freedom?”

… Meanwhile, in Cambodia, Pa Nguon Teang, of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, told the Phnom Penh Post there was an oppressive trend, with government officials attacking outlets like Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA), and recently excluding them from media events attended by Hun Sen.

CAMBODIA DAILY

April 28 “CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua questioned in RFA case

… Senior CNRP leader Mu Sochua was questioned for more than two hours on Friday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the case of a Radio Free Asia journalist accused of falsely identifying himself during a prison visit last week with opposition lawmakers.

CAMBODIAN DAILY (Also in PHNOM PEHN POST)

April 28 “Lawmaker Long Ry probed; RFA issues defiant statement

… On Thursday morning also saw the release of a defiant statement from Radio Free Asia (RFA) saying Mr. Khin Vuthy, the station’s deputy director for Cambodia, was innocent and that the broadcaster would not be cowed by government pressure.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

April 26 “China investigating cases of detained Taiwanese activist, and unsuccessful Chinese asylum seeker

… Zhang was reportedly an anti-corruption campaigner who has spent time in a mainland prison, according to local media and a human rights group. He previously told US-backed Radio Free Asia that he was motivated to leave the mainland by the wife of Lee Ming-cheh.

DIPLOMAT

April 26 “The hidden cost of Cambodia downgrading US military ties

… To begin to get a sense of this, consider some reporting released last week from Radio Free Asia (RFA), which interviewed people in Kor Koh commune in Maung district in western Cambodia’s Battambang province, where an upgrading of a health center had been planned.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

April 26 “Politicians wish missing Tibetan spiritual leader Panchen Lama a happy 28th birthday

… The occasion of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s 28th birthday was marked by groups in Dharamsala, India – the location of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration – with commemorative events, according to US-backed Radio Free Asia.

CAMBODIA DAILY (Also in PHNOM PEHN POST)

April 25 “Ban on CNRP prison visits to maintain ‘public order’

… Huot Khim Vuthy, a Radio Free Asia journalist, on Wednesday joined a CNRP delegation on a visit to imprisoned activists and former party officials in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison.

GUARDIAN (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS, WASHINGTON POST, VOICE OF AMERICANEWSWEEK,INDEPENDENTTELEGRAPHPRESS TRUST INDIAHONG KONG FREE PRESSASIAN CORRESPONDENTSHANGHAIISTMOROCCO WORLD NEWSARAB NEWS and UCA)

April 24 “China bans religious names for Muslim babies in Xinjiang

… Officials in the western region of Xinjiang, home to roughly half of China’s 23 million Muslims, have released a list of banned baby names amid an ongoing crackdown on religion, according to a report by US-funded Radio Free Asia.

CAMBODIA DAILY (Also in KHMER TIMES and PHNOM PEHN POST)

April 24 “Court summons lawmakers, Radio Free Asia journalist over prison visit

… Two opposition lawmakers and the deputy director of Radio Free Asia (RFA) for Cambodia have been summoned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning after authorities accused the journalist of pretending to be part of the CNRP delegation during a prison visit on Wednesday.

DAILY NK

April 21 “North Korea increases student visits to anti-U.S. education facility

… Radio Free Asia reported on April 17 (local time) that the North Korean authorities are telling residents that the country is “untouchable” by the United States in an attempt to quell potential anxiety among the people.

FRONTIER MYANMAR

April 21 “NLD researcher among 1,800 prisoners freed under pardon for Thingyan

… He told reporters as he left Insein that he would work to have Section 66(d) amended, Radio Free Asiareported.

PHNOM PEHN POST (Also in KHMER TIMES and CAMBODIA DAILY)

April 21 “RFA reporter in hot water

… The Ministry of Interior is considering initiating criminal proceedings against a Radio Free Asiajournalist accused of sneaking into the capital’s Prey Sar prison with a delegation of opposition lawmakers on Wednesday.

UPI

April 20 “Report: North Korea coping with shortage of gasoline

… An ethnic Chinese resident in North Korea told Radio Free Asia authorities have cracked down on foreign media in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province.

UPI

April 19 “North Korea restricts access to Tumen River at border

… A source in North Hamgyong Province told Radio Free Asia the “vetting” of ordinary North Koreans has “made it difficult to even go outside.”

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in AFP and SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

April 19 “Chinese activist who wanted asylum in Taiwan returns to China

… He abandoned the group and on Friday said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that he planned to apply for political refugee status. But according to a statement from Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Mr. Zhang flew back to China on Wednesday morning with his tour group.

YONHAP

April 19 “ID tags of American soldiers killed in Korean War traded in N. Korea: report

… Identification tags of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War have been traded in North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday, citing the leader of a civic body seeking to improve human rights in the North.

AFP (Also in FOCUS TAIWAN AND TAIPEI TIMES)

April 18 “Taiwan reviews political asylum bid by Chinese tourist

… Zhang said he was motivated to leave the mainland by the wife of detained Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-cheh, according to a Radio Free Asia interview.

AFP (Also in ASIA TIMES and OCCRP)

April 18 “Lao ‘drug kingpin’ denies Thai smuggling charges

… The ex-premier’s daughter-in-law later told Radio Free Asia the photo was taken “by accident” and Xaysana was only a casual acquaintance.

DIPLOMAT

April 18 “Will marketization bring down the North Korean regime?

… Workers can now pay the party a de facto tax to be excused from their state employment and allowed to engage in small business, according to inside sources cited by Radio Free Asia and Daily NK.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in WASHINGTON POST and INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES)

April 17 “Reports: Tibetan monk sets himself on fire in western China

… The monk set himself ablaze in a public square on Saturday morning in Kardze, also known as Ganzi, in western Sichuan province, according to Radio Free Asia and Free Tibet, an advocacy group based in Britain.

ASIAN CORRESPONDENT

April 16 “Vietnam: Use of recording devices could be banned under proposed draft bill

… According to AFP, published on Radio Free Asia, the ministry proposed the draft bill last month, and also prohibits the use of disguised apps for recording purposes.

UPI (Also in METRO and CHRISTIAN POST)

April 14 “North Korea soldiers face punishment for Kim Jong Un jokes

… Members of North Korea’s second army corps have been placed under arrest for mocking the North Korean dictator, a source in the country’s South Hwanghae Province told Radio Free Asia.

LIVE BITCOIN NEWS

April 14 “There is no evidence to prove North Korean hackers stole bitcoins from South Korea

… This initial report was made by Radio Free Asia, although it is unclear how legitimate their information is.

DIPLOMAT

April 14 “What’s behind Laos' China banana ban?

… On April 12, Radio Free Asia cited local government sources as confirming that Lao government orders to shut down environmentally destructive Chinese-owned banana farms, first reported in Bokeo province in January, are in fact also in force in six other provinces in the Southeast Asian state.

VOICE OF AMERICA (Also in CAMBODIA DAILY)

April 13 “Cambodia slams critics, claiming they're part of US-funded regime-change plot

… It also describes U.S. government-supported outlets, the VOA and Radio Free Asia, as "two die hard pro-opposition radio stations" that are broadcast nationwide without censorship.

WASHINGTON POST

April 13 “Not even Aung San Suu Kyi can fix the world’s longest-running civil war

… [A spokesperson representing one of the five ethnic parties negotiating with the government] told Radio Free Asia that several key ethnic organizations remained split on the decision to sign the government’s agreement.

KOREA TIMES

April 13 “Gov't urges calm amid concern over nuclear test

… Yun Sun, an expert with the Washington-based Stimson Center, said that would be the most likely day for the North to conduct a nuclear test to maximize its political impact, according to Radio Free Asia,Monday.

YONHAP (Also in BUSINESS INSIDER, MASHABLE, BITCOIN NEWS, SPUTNIK NEWS, CHOSUNILBO,NIGERIA TIMES and CRYPTOCOINS)

April 13 “N. Korea steals 100 mil won in bitcoin per month from 2013-2015

… North Korea stole more than 100 million won (US$88,100) in the virtual currency bitcoin from 2013-2015 as part of efforts to increase the country's hard currency, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

CAMBODIA DAILY

April 13 “Kim Sok case poised to move to trial phase

… In a February 12 interview with Radio Free Asia, Mr. Sok appeared to suggest the ruling party was to blame for last year’s murder of Kem Ley.

UPI

April 12 “North Korea workers endured freezing weather to build railroad

… A source in Yanggang Province told Radio Free Asia the project was finished but at a great cost to North Korean workers.

YONHAP

April 12 “China shuts out S. Korean cable TV channels over THAAD row

… China has shut out all South Korean cable TV channels in the country in apparent retaliation against the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, in South Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

HUMANOSPHERE

April 11 “Cambodia dismisses U.S. aid program, thanks China for $157 million

… “I believe our people, and especially our athletes, won’t belittle my ability and that of the [ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)] in leading Cambodia to host the SEA Games,” he said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex, according to Radio Free Asia.

UPI

April 10 “North Korea angers Chinese tourists with pushy investment pitch

… According to a source in North Hamgyong Province, North Korea has been mobilizing university students majoring in tourism to boost economic development, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

NEWS FOCUS

April 10 “We asked 100 North Korean refugees about South Korean propaganda

… Refugees who did listen to radio in North Korea reported that they listened to radio sourced from KBS,Radio Free Asia (RFA), Christian organisation Far East Broadcasting Corporation (FEBC), Voice of Hope (VOH) and the ROK’s Korean Armed Forces.

ANADOLU

April 10 “Myanmar monk arrested over football match

… According to Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service, the pair were arrested following a complaint from a nearby military base.

KHMER TIMES

April 10 “Opposition councilor held in land dispute

… Tep Nheata, a provincial forestry official, told Radio Free Asia his department had filed three complaints against Mr. Chan Thoeun since 2014.

CHRISTIAN DAILY

April 7 “China arrests missionary for crossing Myanmar border closed in conflict

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Pastor Cao Sanqiang's mother confirmed that he was initially detained on March 5 and she has not heard any update for almost 30 days now.

UCA NEWS

April 7 “Beijing arrests two South Korean Protestant pastors

… One was arrested along with his wife in February as they tried to board a plane for South Korea from Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong, while the second was detained at a hotel in the northeastern city of Qinhuangdao, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS (Also in CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

April 6 “Death of Chinese student prompts angry demands for answers and protests in Sichuan

… According to US-backed Radio Free Asia, hundreds of people had been gathering in front of the school for several days since Saturday in protest of the way the matter was being handled.

UPI

April 5 “North Korea blacklisted for money laundering

… The measure marks the first time the Trump administration has blacklisted North Korea as a source of illicit financial transactions, Radio Free Asia reported.

ASIA TIMES

April 5 “Peace process descends into farce

… The same day, Nai Hong Sar of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), one of the new supposed ethnic armed group signatories, said in a Radio Free Asia interview that he was surprised to see the statement as the five groups Suu Kyi cited had not yet decided to sign the pact.

BANGKOK POST

April 4 “'Lao connection' to Mr X arrested

… Thai Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Charoenwongse, deputy chief of the Narcotic Suppression Bureau (NSB), toldRadio Free Asia by telephone on Sunday that officials would meet on Monday to prepare a "directive to travel to Vientiane to investigate Sisouk."

YONHAP

April 2 “N. Korea began mass crackdown on drug offenders last month

… North Korea began a wide-spread crackdown on illegal use of drugs last month, while establishing a new detention facility dedicated toward narcotics offenders, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Sunday.

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