RFA in the News (August 2012)

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Aug. 31 “China policy on Tibetan freedom of religion may face change as self-immolations continue”

Jamyang Metok, 25, died on Saturday after drinking sulfuric acid and setting herself on fire at the front entrance of the ICBC – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Kanlho (in Chinese known as the Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, said sources close to the family. … Jamyang Metok’s uncle also declined to answer questions “hanging up the phone immediately after being asked about his niece,” says RFA – Radio Free Asia after they attempted to make direct contact with Metok’s uncle.


Aug. 29 “Big Jump In Number Of Women Trafficking Cases In Tibet

According to a recently published report by Radio Free Asia (RFA), China has recorded a major jump in the number of cases related to trafficking of Tibetan women and children since 2011.


Aug. 28 “Two Tibetan teenagers die in self-immolations”

Two Tibetan teenagers have died after setting themselves on fire in Sichuan province, activists and US media said. … The young men were shouting slogans against Chinese rule and policies in Tibet as their bodies burned, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing witnesses. "Witnesses saw them run about 20 steps with their bodies on fire, and then they fell to the ground," two monks based in India told RFA.


Aug. 28 “Freedom2Connect Foundation Appoints Former Journalist and Media Expert as CEO”

The Freedom2Connect Foundation (F2CF) announced today the appointment of Craig A. Newman to the position of Chief Executive Officer. F2CF, a private non-profit corporation, supports and facilitates global internet freedom by leveraging private and public funds with governmental funding for the freedom2connect (f2c) program at Radio Free Asia.


Aug. 24 “Over 1,000 held in one county since Mar’12 for asserting Tibetan identity”

The Chinese authorities had detained, arrested or otherwise rendered disappeared more than 1,000 Tibetans in one county of Tibet Autonomous Region since March this year for their involvement in the revival, promotion or assertion of their Tibetan cultural identity, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA.org, Washington) Aug 22.


Aug. 22 “China democracy activist's partner appeals to UN over harassment”

Hundreds of guests wanted to celebrate their friends' wedding day. Scores of Chinese police and security officials were equally determined to stop them. … But would-be wedding guests echoed Wang's description of events in interviews with the US broadcaster Radio Free Asia earlier this year. One said he had been put under house arrest to prevent him attending, while another said several friends were stopped as they travelled to Wuhan from across China. A third made it to the event, but said he was beaten for taking photographs there.


Aug. 22 “Will the Burmese Parliament impeach the Constitutional Tribunal?”

The members of Burma’s Constitutional Tribunal say they will not resign in spite of a movement in the Lower House of Parliament that seeks their voluntary resignations. … The tribunal is made up of nine judges, most of whom are academics or legal experts, according to an article this week on the Radio Free Asia website. Three of the judges were selected by Thein Sein, three by Shwe Mann, and three by the speaker of the Upper House, Khin Aung Myint.


Aug. 20 “Defections grow as more N. Koreans tune in to illegal radio broadcasts

North Korea has a history of trying to keep its impoverished people from becoming restive by telling them that as bad as life there is these days, with widespread food shortages and other deprivations, things are much worse in the rest of the world. … Do Myeong-hak said he regularly risked a trip to the gulag by huddling in his home and listening to illegal radio broadcasts from the likes of Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. … The Voice of America and Radio Free Asia—both funded by the U.S. government—are perhaps the two most prominent organizations broadcasting into North Korea.


Aug. 19 “China jails 2 Tibetan youths for language rights protest”

A province-level court in China’s Qinghai Province has sentenced two Tibetan youths to jail terms of three years each for their involvement in a student protest for language rights in March this year, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Aug 17.


Aug. 15 “Must-Reads from Around the World

… Tibet Tumult – The day after reporting more self-immolations by Tibetan monks, Radio Free Asia said a popular Tibetan singer has been detained “because of politically sensitive lyrics in his songs.” The U.S.-based outlet wrote: “Choksal, a resident of Driru county in [Tibet], was taken into custody on July 29 in the Qinghai provincial capital Xining by Chinese police, who told him he was wanted by authorities in Driru and in Lhasa,” according to the singer’s cousin.


Aug. 15 “China police fire on protesters in Tibet; 1 killed”
A U.S. broadcaster says police in Tibet have shot and killed a demonstrator and detained six others who were protesting a power plant that locals suspect is a covert mining operation. Radio Free Asia says police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the approximately 1,000 protesters who gathered Wednesday in Choeten, a small town in Tibet's Markham county.


Aug. 14 “China: Self-immolations continue”

Two young Tibetan men set themselves on fire on Monday in a Tibetan region of western China to protest Chinese rule, according to Free Tibet, an advocacy group in London, and Radio Free Asia, a news organization financed by the United States government. The men, who were identified as Lungtok and Tashi, self-immolated in the town of Ngaba, known in Chinese as Aba. Free Tibet identified both as former monks of Kirti Monastery, while Radio Free Asia said Lungtok was a monk and Tashi was believed to be a layperson.


Aug. 13 “Tibetans protest Chinese police 'brutality': group”

Hundreds of Tibetans demonstrated in northwest China after police beat four people, an exile group and a US broadcaster said, following a recent string of self-immolations in the region. … US broadcaster Radio Free Asia quoted witnesses as saying the police appeared to be drunk, and "severely beat" the four men. Tongren government and security officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


Aug. 9 “Remaking Radio, With a Visual Slant”

Radio. It’s not just about sound coming out of speakers. While the core function of radio is and always has been audio, now graphics and multimedia are a part of the mix. If your station is only transmitting audio signals, you may be missing out on new revenue streams and ways to reach your audience.

… Gordon Burnett and A.J. Janitschek of Radio Free Asia gave a presentation “Creating Web Video With Virtual (Few) Resources.” What began as experiments with webcasts to an audience primarily in southeast Asia has evolved into a commitment for up to eight webcasts daily and a five day/week production schedule.


Aug. 9 “N. Korea virtually ditched planned economy, state rationing: report”

North Korea virtually ditched its planned economy system and state rationing recently and inaugurated freer management policies under the new regime of Kim Jong-un, a news report said Thursday. "Lecture meetings have been held since Aug. 6 for each labor group, political cell and factory in regard of the introduction of a new economy management system," Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) quoted from a source based in Ryanggang Province in northern Korea. "During the lectures, details of the new economic management system were released."


Aug. 9 “North Korea hints at nuclear test”

Pyongyang reportedly sent a strongly worded message to Washington recently concerning its nuclear program. North Korean officials said during a meeting with former US State Department official Joel Wit that the country would only consider denuclearization once Washington completely ended its hostile policies toward Pyongyang, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on August 7.


Aug. 8 “Monks are detained amidst protests in Tibet”

The tragic series of self-immolations has continued in Tibet in protest of an increased crack down in the region by Chinese security forces. There has been an escalation of tensions at a monastery where a woman self-immolated in protest of Chinese rule this week. Radio Free Asia has reported "Protests as Monks Are Detained."


Aug. 8 “Vietnam Pledges 5,000 Tons of Rice to Flood-Stricken N. Korea”

The Vietnamese government has pledged 5-thousand tons of rice to assist North Korea which has recently been hit by a typhoon and torrential rain. Radio Free Asia says the pledge was made by Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong-nam in Hanoi this week.


Aug. 7 “Tibetan Monk Dies in Western China Blaze, Reports Say”

A Tibetan woman, Dolkar Kyi, 26, killed herself through self-immolation at a monastery on Tuesday afternoon in a Tibetan area of China[.] … On Monday, a Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery self-immolated in the town of Ngaba, according to reports by Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government.


Aug. 6 “Publishers cash in on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi mania”

With censorship restrictions gradually easing in Myanmar, this year has seen the publication in the local market of nearly 20 books about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

… One book … records the political movements of the NLD leader from November 13, 2010, when she was freed from house arrest, to December 30, 2011.

… Although the author has never met Daw Suu Kyi, she pieced together the book using information from the internet, including the websites of the NLD and international news agencies such as Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and the Associated Press.


Aug. 4 “Olympic ping-pong: When North and South Korea meet, it's more than a game”

North Korea and South Korea may be bookends when it comes to their economies. … Perhaps no other athletes in London bear a heavier diplomatic burden than the North Koreans. After a poor showing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the North Korean soccer team was reported to have been publicly shamed. Radio Free Asia reported at the time that the team’s coach was forced to become a construction worker. There is no word yet on what fate might befallen the North Korean side who lost to their brethren from the South on Saturday.


Aug. 3 “‘The generation that would not die’”

In 1988, after the student uprising, thousands of Burmese University students fled to the Thai border jungles. The impact of this on expatriate Burmese in Thailand was enormous, as daily news was aired on Thai TV and newspapers. … The most notable student refugees were the ones who were able to set up democratic media outlets like the Democratic Voice of Burma in Norway, Mizzima in India, Irrawaddy in Thailand, who joined up Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and the BBC.


Aug. 1 “Warning sign - Chinese coal data being doubted by analysts”

Radio Free Asia reported that the widening search for reliable economic data on China may soon focus on the country's enormous output of coal. Since early June, reports have sounded alarms about growing mountains of coal at China's transfer points as stockpiles swell following the sag in economic growth to three year lows.

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