RFA in the News (April 2015)

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April 29 “Business and politics on Speaker’s US itinerary

Accompanied by four key parliamentarians, the Speaker will spend a week in Washington and New York, meeting members of Congress and Senate, government officials and representatives of trade associations. … The agreement has provoked some criticism, including from National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that a government that serves the interests of its citizens does not need to pay anyone to lobby on its behalf in Washington.


April 28 “Last day in Saigon: Iconic UPI photo heralded end of Vietnam War

It was April 29, 1975, the last day of the Vietnam War, and people were desperate to get out of Saigon. … "Fortunately, I was able to get several Vietnamese out, but I was unable to persuade my old interpreter to leave," said Southerland, who is now an executive editor with Radio Free Asia. "He was convinced that the Communists would do him no harm because he was relatively poor. He was wrong. He was interrogated and beaten up and finally had to flee a few years later by boat."


April 28 “RFA Series on China Nuclear Risks Wins Award for Excellence in Journalism

Radio Free Asia (RFA) was named a winner of the Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists. RFA’s Cantonese Service’s investigative series on China’s nuclear energy risks, “A Citizenry Left in the Dark: China’s Nuclear Power Industry,” won in the category of radio investigative reporting. The series, which aired in four parts in December 2014, follows on RFA’s revelations in June 2010 when a nuclear power plant in close proximity to Hong Kong leaked radioactive material.


April 24 “NK, New Zealand to cooperate on nature study

North Korea and New Zealand will team up to conduct a joint study of migrating birds in the West Sea next month, according to a Radio Free Asia report Friday. The Miranda Naturalist Trust (MNT), which maintains the Miranda Shorebird Center, will launch research in areas near Nampo in Pyongan Province from May 2-Sept. 7. A joint research team is making preparations in China.


April 22 “Activists Describe Detention, Interrogation Techniques

The five feminist activists who spent five weeks in detention on suspicion of “gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places” have shared details of their experiences, despite an order from authorities not to talk to journalists. … Because of the conditions of their bail, all five women are still officially under investigation. Li Tingting and Wu Rongrong, who was also detained at the same time, plan to sue authorities over their detention, according to Radio Free Asia reporting on a public statement issued by Li[.]


April 21 “Refugees return to Laukkai from Lashio

Yesterday’s convoy, bound for Laukkai, was led by an aid foundation for relocation and resettlement. … The foundation, formed by the government, is led by U Hla Tun, minister for the President’s Office, and the chief minister of Shan State, U Sao Aung Myat. According to Radio Free Asia, the foundation currently has a fund of K500 million, mostly donated by business groups.


April 20 “Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

... Expand public diplomacy to promote greater North Korean exposure to the outside world. Washington should expand broadcasting services, such as by Radio Free Asia, and distribution of leaflets, DVDs, computer flash drives, documentaries, and movies into North Korea through both overt and covert means.


April 20 “North Korean Defector-Turned-Radio Broadcaster Reveals Cruel Treatment: Hand, Leg Removed Without Anesthesia

There are about 27,000 North Korean defectors living in South Korea, and 27,000 stories of unimaginable hardship. Perhaps none, though, quite as gut-wrenching as the one told by Ji Seong Ho, a double-amputee who, today, uses Radio Free Asia to broadcast messages of hope to the poor souls still living under the thumb of Kim Jong Un.


April 19 “Journalist gets 7-year jail over state secrets

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for leaking state secrets, a Beijing court ruled. A regular contributor to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, 71-year-old Gao was detained by police in Beijing in April 2014 for passing documents to people outside the country. … The fact that she was charged with leaking rather than rumour-mongering was a testimony to the accuracy of Gao’s work, said Bao Tong, a former political aide to ousted premier Zhao Ziyang. “Not one word of what she wrote was a lie,” he told US-based broadcaster Radio Free Asia on Thursday.


April 17 Tibetan Man Self-Immolates in China

A Tibetan man has burned himself to death in China, rights groups and media said, the second such protest reported against Beijing's policies in the region in two weeks. Nei Kyab, believed to be in his 40s, set himself ablaze on Wednesday in a Tibetan-populated area of Sichuan province in southwestern China, U.S.-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.


April 16 “It's up to Dalai Lama whether he'll be reborn, Buddhist leader says

It is up to the Dalai Lama to decide whether he will be reborn, Tibetan Buddhism's third highest religious leader said, after Chinese officials repeatedly said the exiled Dalai Lama had no right to abandon reincarnation. Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who holds the title of Karmapa Lama and lives in exile in India, told Radio Free Asia in an interview in Washington that he had "complete belief" in the ability of the Dalai Lama to decide his fate after death.


April 12 “Suu Kyi party finds lawmakers' oath unacceptable

Aung San Suu Kyi's party raised the prospect of a major hitch in Myanmar's political reforms Thursday, saying it may not take the seats it won in Parliament because the lawmakers' oath of office has unacceptable wording. … Win Tin, a senior NLD member, told U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that Suu Kyi had discussed the matter with Thein Sein when they met Wednesday. It wasn't clear what step she would take regarding the oath.


April 11 “Nun self-immolates in Tibet while appealing for return of Dalai Lama

A nun set herself on fire while crying out for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet in the latest in a series of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting against Beijing's control over the region, overseas rights groups said. Yeshi Khando walked around Kardze monastery and then set herself alight on Wednesday near the Ganzi county police station in Sichuan, the British-based Free Tibet group, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and US-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.


April 11 “Expelled U.S. aid worker donated $2 million annually to North Korea

North Korea deported a Korean American aid worker and philanthropist on charges of espionage – after receiving $2 million in annual aid from her organization for 25 years. ... Choe Jae-yeong, a pastor and an acquaintance of Suh, said Suh was a "doyenne of North Korea aid organizations in the Los Angeles area," according to Radio Free Asia.


April 8 “NK deploys wartime engines for trains

North Korea has used internal combustion engines to run trains, in an effort to manage its power shortage. Radio Free Asia (RFA) said the engines were originally reserved for wartime use but were put into service on railways connecting Pyongyang and the Tumen River Station bordering China.


April 7 “China Said to Detain Returning Tibetan Pilgrims

Hundreds of Tibetans who attended an important Buddhist ceremony in January in India have been detained without charge by Chinese security officers on their return to Tibet, according to family members and friends living in exile in India, international human rights groups and officials with the Tibetan exile government. … On Tuesday, Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government, reported that a large number of the detainees being held in Lhasa had been released that day, while at least 200 others being held in Lhoka, outside Lhasa, were still in custody.


April 6 “Chinese riot police crush grasslands protest over chemical pollution

Riot police have crushed a three-week-long protest against toxic waste from a chemical refinery complex in China’s Inner Mongolia region, according to local villagers and the government. … Others told Radio Free Asia that the government had responded to previous protests by closing the refinery complex and then reopening it within weeks. The complex has been in existence for more than a decade, but the pollution has intensified since 2012, villagers told RFA.


April 5 “Love in a time of political protest

Political activists Liu Linna and Yeung Hung met on Valentine’s Day in China two years ago and their romance blossomed, eventually leading to marriage. … The couple decided to reunite last November. Liu illegally entered Vietnam from the neighbouring Chinese province of Guangxi, according to Radio Free Asia, while Yang went there on his Hong Kong travel documents.


April 1 “China rebuffs N. Korea’s bid to join its development bank

North Korea sought membership in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to which China rejected. The Radio Free Asia said so quoting Monday report by U.K.-based Internet media Emerging Market. According to Chinese diplomatic sources, North Korea delivered its intent to join the China-proposed institution by sending an envoy in February to Jin Liqun, now the secretary-general of AIIB`s interim secretariat, to which China said, "no."

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