RFA in the News (February 2019)

2019-03-13
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HIMAL SOUTHASIAN

Feb. 28 “Letter from Myanmar

… Earlier this year, both BBC and Radio Free Asia which provided programmes aired on MRTV, quit their partnership after the Information Ministry said that they could no longer air content from the channels if they continued to use the word “Rohingya,” which is “strictly prohibited.”


AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Feb. 28 “‘Missing’ Uighur footballer signs for second-tier Chinese club

… Hezim — who has been pictured with Lionel Messi — was held in February 2018 “for visiting foreign countries”, said the US-funded Radio Free Asia, citing anonymous sources in China’s western region of Xinjiang.

WASHINGTON POST (also in THE WEEK, ABC NEWS)

Feb. 27 “Trump isn’t the only one wanting a Nobel. Kim does too, report says.

… After last year’s Singapore summit, and especially before this week’s summit in Hanoi, North Korean internal propaganda has been busy promoting the idea that Kim deserves a prize, Radio Free Asia reported this week.

RELIEF WEB

Feb. 26 “ACLED Regional Overview – Asia (26 February 2019)

Buddhist monks in Cambodia have taken the lead in efforts to try to prevent deforestation by wrapping trees in traditional monk robes with the belief that it will prevent loggers from cutting down the trees (Radio Free Asia, 21 February 2019).

NEWSWEEK (also in MEAWW, DAILY MAIL, INFOSURHOY)

Feb. 26 “Flamethrower Execution, Death Camps And Famine: North Korea’s Gruesome Human Rights Abuses

… The report, cited by Radio Free Asia, confirms earlier details of gruesome executions used by Kim’s regime.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Feb. 26 “Chinese protesters blame fracking for earthquakes that killed two people in Sichuan

… Radio Free Asia, the US government-backed broadcaster, published footage showing thousands of marchers carrying banners calling for a ban on fracking. Some rushed a police barrier at the entrance of the main government compound.

JUST-STYLE

Feb. 25 “Minimum wage rises squeeze Southeast Asia sourcing

… According to the association, a statement broadcast in December by the US-based Radio Free Asia said that because of labour shortages, a lack of raw materials within the country and higher transportation costs inflated by the fact that landlocked Laos has no direct sea routes, the number of garment factories has fallen from 92 in 2015 to 78 currently.


AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Feb. 25 “Do you want fries with your North Korea-US summit?

… Most of it is Korean-language rather than foreign, according to observers, but Park said some US films had entered the country -- American music less so -- and some people listened to Radio Free Asia and Voice of America broadcasts.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Feb. 25 “American Families of Missing Uighurs Speak Out at DC Event

…  His suspicions were confirmed in December, when Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that a police officer in Ablimit's Xinjiang hometown said he had been involved in detaining Ablimit's parents. A second officer told RFA that he had arrested Ablimit's brother.

BITTER WINTER

Feb. 22 “Apple Cooperates With the CCP to Censor ‘Bitter Winter’

… As the magazine underlines, this happens to other media too, like Radio Free Asia, Tibetan News and Voice of Tibet.

ARIRANG (also in HANKYOREH)

Feb. 22 “N. Korea and U.S. arranging dates and location for negotiations on repatriation of U.S. war remains

…According to a report by Radio Free Asia, citing Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency spokesperson Charles Prichard though the final date and place for the bilateral negotiations is not decided yet, the agency updates the White House on progress daily.

PHNOM PENH POST

Feb. 22 “Former union president Mony’s charges dropped

… On December 18, 2017, Dara Sokpanha and Keto Sovandy, lawyers for a group of 120 union leaders, filed a lawsuit against Mony with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly calling on the EU and US to impose economic sanctions on Cambodia in an interview with Radio Free Asia on December 15, 2017.

DIPLOMAT

Feb. 22 “Cambodia’s Democracy and EU Trade Privileges: Taking a Long-Term View

… Moreover, more than 19 political activists have received a royal pardon and were released, including land right activist Tep Vanny, political activist Meach Sovannara, political commentator Kim Sok, and Radio Free Asia reporters Uon Chhin and Yoeung Sothearin.

TAIWAN NEWS

Feb. 21 “Xi may restrict Chinese tourism abroad to protect forex reserves

… China's growth rate in the fourth quarter last year was officially 6.4 percent. However, because Chinese statistics are so notoriously overinflated and unreliable, an Asia economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington told Radio Free Asia that "Fourth-quarter annualized real GDP growth was considerably closer to 2.4 percent than 6.4 percent."

Jamestown Foundation

Feb. 20 “China Brief Early Warning: Xi Jinping Warns Against the “Black Swans” and “Gray Rhinos” of a Possible Color Revolution

… At a meeting with Trump in the White House on February 1st, this key economic adviser to Xi even made a glaring mistake by saying that China would buy 5 million tons of soybeans “per day” (Ming Pao [Hong Kong], February 2; Radio Free Asia, February 1).

NEWSREP

Feb. 20 “Report: Starving North Korean soldiers are now raiding civilian homes to find food

… Radio Free Asia’s source within North Korea went on to indicate that conditions aren’t much better for any part of the North Korean military, resulting in the theft of supplies meant to feed troops training through the cold winter months.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Feb. 20 “OPINION: Vietnam Takes Aim at Radio Free Asia

… A strong message in Hanoi from Mr. Trump about the plight of these Radio Free Asia journalists would resonate in Vietnam and beyond.

PHNOM PENH POST (also in KHMER TIMES )

Feb. 18 “Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’”

… But in the countdown to March 3, Rainsy posted on Facebook on Saturday a Radio Free Asia video interview in which he says his return to the Kingdom depended on the situation.

NPR

Feb. 15 “PODCAST: The State Of Freedom Of Press Around The World

… A very well-known Vietnamese blogger actually disappeared one day after he visited the U.N. local office for High Commissioner for Refugees seeking refugee status. He contributed to many news outlets, including Radio Free Asia.

ECONOMIC TIMES

Feb. 14 “SE Asia has to defend territory against Chinese moves: Malaysian leader

… Anwar made these remarks during an open forum near the U.S. capital on Sunday, the same day that Washington drew Beijing’s ire for sending two warships near the disputed Spratly Islands, reported Radio Free Asia.

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Feb. 14 “Famous Chinese film director's desert labour camp movie pulled

… Some Muslim detainees have recently been transferred from Xinjiang to prisons in Gansu, according to the US-funded Radio Free Asia.

NEW YORK TIMES (also in BUSINESS INSIDER, NEWSER, TAIWAN NEWS, VICE, ADVOCATE, CHOSUN ILBO, THE FIX )

Feb. 12 “Crystal Meth Is North Korea’s Trendiest Lunar New Year’s Gift

… The drug’s popularity in North Korea as a Lunar New Year gift was first reported last week by Radio Free Asia, a United States government-funded news outlet.

WASHINGTON POST

Feb. 12 “EDITORIAL: A dissident blogger went missing in Thailand. Vietnam is the prime suspect.

… Truong Duy Nhat had been writing regularly for the U.S. government-supported broadcaster Radio Free Asia since his release from prison in 2015.

DIPLOMAT (also in EPOCH TIMES, GLOBAL VILLAGE SPACE, LOBELOG, QUARTZ, BREITBART)

Feb. 12 “Why Is Turkey Breaking Its Silence on China’s Uyghurs?

Radio Free Asia reported that Heyit had “been arrested without official explanation” in 2017, part of a broader crackdown on Uyghur cultural figures.

ASIA NEWS

Feb. 11 “Beijing cracks down on Tibetan New Year celebrations

…China’s policies restricting Tibetan movements during this week’s start of Losar, the Tibetan lunar New Year, have cast a shadow over traditional celebrations, with police filling the streets of the Tibetan capital Lhasa and government workers forbidden to visit monasteries, Tibetan sources told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

NEWS & OBSERVER

Feb. 11 “Chinese artist’s exhibit in Cary is missing 3 paintings. The town says they’re too political

… In a interview with Radio Free Asia, Weng said she was told the three paintings were too “political” for the show. RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation, funded by Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media that provides news coverage of Asian current events.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (also in BIG NEWS NETWORK)

Feb. 11 Myanmar: Fresh evidence of violations amid ongoing military operation in Rakhine State

… Radio Free Asia said that the Myanmar military fired into the village after soldiers triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) nearby.

TRICYCLE

Feb. 9 “Buddha Buzz Weekly: Angelina Jolie’s Rohingya Plea

… But on the day of their meeting, Bangladesh announced that it was closing its southeastern border after a group of 160 mostly Buddhist citizens entered the country after fleeing another conflict in Rakhine between the military and the Arakan Army, an ethnically Buddhist rebel group, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.

REUTERS

Feb. 9 “Thailand to investigate disappearance of Vietnamese asylum seeker

… The disappearance of Radio Free Asia contributor Truong Duy Nhat comes after criticism of Thailand's detention of a Saudi asylum seeker in January, and the separate arrest of a Bahraini football player with refugee status in Australia who is now fighting extradition back to Bahrain.

PHNOM PENH POST (also in PHILSTAR)

Feb. 9 “Government rejects ‘not free’ rating

… Soeung Sen Karuna, the senior Human Rights investigator with rights group Adhoc, said the score could have dropped due to the arrest of two Radio Free Asia journalists, the prakas on the control of internet use, and the arrest of an RT (formerly Russia Today) news fixer.

DIPLOMAT

Feb. 8 “North Korea’s Ginseng Drama

… Until now, numerous government agencies and even the military have bought ginseng from the North Korean city of Kaeseong and set up processing plants in Pyongyang to produce different ginseng products and sell them in luxury hotels in Pyongyang and overseas markets, according to Radio Free Asia.

ONEINDIA

Feb. 8 “Australian Parliament computer system hacked; Chinese hand suspected

…According to an investigation conducted by Fairfax Media/Nine News, Australian Signals Directorate, a partner in the Five Eyes intelligence grouping, detected China's ministry of state security overseeing a "massive hacking operation" of large Australian businesses with the code name "Operation Cloud Hopper", Radio Free Asia reported.

CHOSUN ILBO

Feb. 8 “UN to Decide on Food Aid to N.Korea

… The UN World Food Programme will soon finalize a new aid program worth about US$160 million for North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

Feb. 8 “Chinese embassy in Sweden denies secretly trying to silence daughter of detained bookseller

… Bei Ling, a Chinese writer living in exile and a friend of Gui Minhai, told Radio Free Asia that he believed an unidentified middle-man could be affiliated with the Chinese state security system.

PRESTON BUSINESS REVIEW

Feb. 7 “North Carolina Censors Painting of China’s Xi Jinping Standing on Mountain of Skulls

… According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the other two paintings depict “a hand reaching out to grasp the world with China colored in black” and “a portrait of Xi splattered with grey paint.”

INDEPENDENT (also in MIRROR, DAILY MAIL, SUN, ASIANEWS, MEAWW)

Feb. 7 “China ‘forcing Muslims to eat pork and drink alcohol’ for lunar new year festival

… People living in the Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture were invited to events marking the celebration and told they could be taken to re-education camps if they did not take part, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

CHOSUN ILBO

Feb. 7 “U.S.-N.Korea Summit Could Mean Another Halt to Military Drills

… A growing number of U.S. lawmakers are against canceling the drills again. Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that canceling joint U.S.-South Korean military drills is "inappropriate" at a time when North Korea has refused to take concrete denuclearization steps, according to Radio Free Asia.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (also in REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS)

Feb. 6 “Thailand: Vietnamese journalist 'seized at a shopping centre'

Responding to the announcement by Radio Free Asia that one of their contributors, Truong Duy Nhat, was reportedly abducted in the city of Bangkok in Thailand, Amnesty’s Senior Director for Global Operations, Minar Pimple, said: “Truong Duy Nhat’s disappearance is deeply alarming”….

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (also in REUTERS, ASIA PACIFIC REPORT, DEVDISCOURSE, DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR, THAIGER, BLESK, ORF, ITALIA STAR MAGAZINE, ASIA NEWS, .NEWS.COM.AU)

Feb. 6Vietnamese radio blogger Truong Duy Nhat missing in Thailand, raising concerns he has been abducted by authorities

A Vietnamese blogger for Radio Free Asia has vanished after fleeing to Thailand, the news organization said on Tuesday, as rights activists voiced fear that he had been abducted. Truong Duy Nhat – a weekly blogger for the Vietnamese service of Radio Free Asia, which aims to provide news to countries that lack press freedom – last made contact with editors on 26 January, a day after he applied for refugee status with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangkok, the US-funded network said. “We are extremely concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Truong Duy Nhat,” the Radio Free Asia president, Libby Liu, said.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Feb. 5 “Uygur restaurateur from Xinjiang, detained in Turkey for suspected terror links, wary of China’s reach

… Radio Free Asia reported that it was because the establishments, which served Uygur food in traditional settings, “promoted Uygur cultural identity”. Two hundred staff were reportedly arrested.

CNS NEWS

Feb. 1 “Tortured Chinese Dissident Granted Political Asylum by U.S. State Dep

… "I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped me in Taiwan," Huang said in Los Angeles, as reported by Radio Free Asia.

INTERCEPT (also in DAILY MAIL)

Feb. 1 “New site exposes how Apple censors apps in China

Libby Liu, Radio Free Asia’s president, added that “shutting down avenues for credible, outside news organizations is a loss – not just for us, but for the millions who rely on our reports and updates for a different picture than what’s presented in state-controlled media. I would hope that Western companies would be committed to Western values when it comes to making decisions that could impact that access.”

KHMER TIMES (also in PHNOM PENH POST)

Feb 1. “CHRC defends nation’s rights record

… The meeting lasted nearly three hours and Mr Remy addressed allegations of rights violations levelled by the international community, including the shutdown of The Cambodia Daily, Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

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