RFA in the News (March 2017)

2017-04-03
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KHMER TIMES
March 31Rainsy sentenced for defaming PM

… Evidence included video footage and audio recordings of Mr. Ley being interviewed by Radio Free Asiain 2016.

PHNOM PENH POST

March 30 “Rainsy sentenced yet again for defamation

… Sam Sokong, Rainsy’s lawyer, was also dissatisfied at what he characterised as the flimsy evidence – an interview with Radio Free Asia in which Rainsy aired similar views that was used to try his client.

TIME (Also in IRRAWADDY)

March 29 “One year on, Aung San Suu Kyi struggles to unite a fractured Myanmar

… “To achieve peace for all ethnic groups, everyone must work to understand and respect one another,” she said during a recent trip to displacement camps in Kachin state in Myanmar's far north, according toRadio Free Asia.

SPUTNIK INTERNATIONAL

March 29 “Russia the mediator: can Moscow help organize talks for US, N Korea leaders?

… North Korea could ask Russia to help organize a one-on-one meeting between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported, citing US experts.

ARIRANG

March 29 “U.K. to investigate reported N. Korea plot to kill British man

… According to Radio Free Asia on Wednesday, UK's Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Joyce Anelay - said authorities will investigate whether there's a credible threat to the safety of a British national or resident.

KOREA TIMES

March 29 “N. Korean taxi drivers spy on foreign customers: report

… North Korean taxi drivers are reporting on foreign customers for the government, according to the U.S.'sRadio Free Asia (RFA).

UCA

March 28 “UN to launch rights abuse probe in Myanmar

… The mission will be looking into reports of murder, rape, torture, and arson by security forces in Rohingya Muslim communities in the northern part of the state during a four-month crackdown that began last October following deadly attacks on border guard posts blamed on Rohingya militants, Radio Free Asia reported.

UPI

March 28 “U.N. food aid to North Korea declined in February

… A lack of funds was cited as the cause of the shortage, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER

March 28 “The futile pursuit of negotiations with North Korea

… Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America, the spread of radios and cell phones, and speeches by leaders of the "free world," should be used to counter the regime's insidious propaganda.

PHNOM PEHN POST

March 28 “Fake Facebook account not ours, Radio Free Asia says

… A bogus Facebook status update declaring the country’s widespread support for the ruling party under the guise of a Radio Free Asia news post forced the outlet to issue a statement on Sunday clarifying that the status’s content did not belong to RFA Khmer.

CAMBODIA DAILY

March 28 “NEC says it will recognize CNRP commune election candidates

… General Sopheak, the Interior Ministry spokesman, could not be reached for comment on Monday. But on Saturday, he told Radio Free Asia that the government would not recognize Mr. Sokha’s position, encouraging the CNRP to take its case to the courts if it objected.

HUFFINGTON POST

March 27 “China’s workers and labor activists aren’t going away quietly

… I recently had Mr. Yang, a coal miner from Hunan, the province where the former Chinese leader Mao Zedong was born, on my Radio Free Asia program.

YONHAP

March 26 “N. Korea expanding oil import capacity

… Radio Free Asia on Saturday (RFA) said the oil terminal expansion at Nampo, situated about midway along North Korea's west coast, has been under way since October 2015. The report is based on U.S. commercial satellite photos taken on Oct. 4, 2015, and again on Oct. 4, 2016.

DAILY CALLER

March 24 “North Korea’s Swanky New High-Rises Are Just As Terrible As You Would Expect”

… “Almost no one wants to live on the high-rise floors,” a Chinese businessman living in Pyongyang, toldRadio Free Asia. The elevators don’t work most of the time, there are regular power outages, and there is no running water on the higher floors.

DAILY NK

March 24 “Hundreds of North Korean workers dispatched to Russia via China

… [Radio Free Asia] reported that according to statements made by the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang on March 20, Russia and China discussed the issue of dispatching workers during a joint working group meeting held on March 17 in Pyongyang.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

March 24 “N. Korea asks Russia to help reopen nuclear talks

… "Choe met with Anton Khlopkov, director of Russia's Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS), in Pyongyang on March 15 to exchange opinions on Korean issues," Radio Free Asia said, citing a source in the Russian Embassy in the North.

PHAYUL

March 23 “Yarchen Gar made inaccessible for tourists, foreigners

… With Tibet Autonomous Region under lockdown till the end of politically sensitive month, the Chinese authorities have made Yarchen Gar Buddhist center inaccessible for all the tourists and foreigners, reported Radio Free Asia.

FOCUS TAIWAN (Also in TAIPEI TIMES and MACAU DAILY TIMES)

March 23 “MAC says no news on whereabouts of former DPP party worker

… Radio Free Asia, a private, non-profit corporation, reported Monday that 42-year-old Lee, who works at Wenshan Community College in Taipei, has a keen interest in human rights issues in mainland China.

CAMBODIA DAILY (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS and PHNOM PEHN POST)

March 23 “Appeal Court denies Kim Sok’s bail request

… Sok had allegedly implied in an interview with Radio Free Asia that the government was behind the killing of political analyst Kem Ley - whose murder is widely considered politically motivated.

YONHAP

March 22 “7 in 10 people undernourished in N. Korea

… According to the report released the previous day by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 18 million North Korean people, including 1.3 million children under five, are malnourished because of the socialist country's poor state food rations which lack protein and fat,Radio Free Asia said.

YONHAP

March 22 “Russian airline suspends sales of transfer tickets to Pyongyang

… "Air Koryo has also stopped selling the transfer tickets," Radio Free Asia said, citing Russian news media.

ASIAN CORRESPONDENT

March 21 “Calling for Dalai Lama’s return, farmer stages Tibet’s first self-immolation of 2017

… The 24-year-old has been identified as Pema Gyaltsen, an unmarried native of the Nyagrong county and the sole breadwinner of a family of six. According to a Radio Free Asia report on Monday, nearly 200 residents of the county have since been taken into custody over the self-immolation.

CAMBODIA DAILY

March 21 “Opposition undecided on future of risky election campaign slogan

… On Friday, Radio Free Asia quoted Mr. Chhay as saying that the CNRP would issue a five-point policy plan ahead of the June 4 poll “without stating this slogan,” indicating that the party was abandoning the phrase.

YONHAP

March 21 “N.K. agrees with Russia to expand labor exports

… "The two countries intensively discussed an issue involving the North's labor exports during a meeting of their joint working group in Pyongyang Friday," Radio Free Asia said, citing a Facebook account of the Russian Embassy in the North Korean capital.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

March 20 “24-year-old Tibetan sets himself on fire in Sichuan province

… A 24-year-old Tibetan man has himself on fire on Saturday in a Tibetan region of Sichuan province, China, according to US-backed Radio Free Asia (RFA) and London-based NGO Free Tibet.

CAMBODIA DAILY

March 19 “Facing legal threat, CNRP set to drop campaign slogan

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia on Friday, CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay said the party was giving up the offending phrase, reversing the party’s earlier promises to stick with it.

STATESMAN (Also in DECCAN CHRONICLE)

March 19 “Closer reflection on the minorities issue

… A few days earlier, Radio Free Asia (RFA) had reported that Uyghurs had been called to several meetings to confess their ‘crimes’. According to RFA, this was part of a campaign called ‘Revealing Errors’; the meetings were held in Aksu Prefecture “to uncover behaviour considered politically destabilizing.”

UPI

March 17 “Ted Cruz calls for North Korea to be relisted as terror sponsor

… Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist at Stanford University who visited North Korea between 2004 and 2010, said, "Direct talks with North Korea is the best option for the Trump administration," according toRadio Free Asia.

UCA NEWS

March 17 “Myanmar to send legal help for two in Thailand jail

… Thailand’s Appeal Court rejected the first appeal on Feb. 23, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

UCA NEWS

March 16 “Detained activist wins China rights award

… Su Changlan, 45, is the third recipient of the Cao Shunli Memorial Award for Human Rights Defenders, in honor of her work "promoting human rights at the grassroots level in China," Radio Free Asia quoted the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network as saying on its website.

YONHAP

March 16 “No. of N. Korea's official markets increasing

… "The number was recently confirmed to be 439 via an analysis of satellite images of the communist country by Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Radio Free Asia said.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA TIMES)

March 16 “N. Korea gives up attending programming contest in U.S.

… "The Pyongyang office in charge of an ACM-ICPC preliminary contest in North Korea recently notified that it would not send students to the event this year," Radio Free Asia said, citing an ACM spokesperson.

PHAYUL

March 15 “Rebkong under heavy security since Tibetan uprising anniversary

… The Tibetan town of Rebkong in eastern Tibet has been under heavy surveillance since weeks ahead of the sensitive Tibetan Uprising anniversary on March 10, reports Radio Free Asia.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

March 15 “No. of visa-free nations for North Korean reduced to 39

… The comparable figure showed an upward trend in recent years with 36 in 2010, 39 in 2014 and 41 in 2016, but declined to 39 as Malaysia and Singapore recently revoked visa-free benefits for North Koreans this year, Radio Free Asia said, citing Henley & Partners' 2017 Visa Restrictions Index.

YONHAP

March 14 “U.S. to subsidize civic organizations helping N. Korean defectors

… "We're receiving applications for subsidies from organizations helping North Korean defectors as well as refugees and asylum seekers in three Southeast Asian nations," Radio Free Asia quoted the department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs as saying.

CAMBODIA DAILY

March 12 “Commune locals angry with government, not slogan

… opposite from what we learn from the radio,” he said, comparing instructions from commune and district officials to the news he listened to on Radio Free Asia.

YONHAP

March 11 “N. Korea seen excavating tunnel for far more powerful nuke test

… Meanwhile, John Schilling, an engineering specialist at the U.S. Aerospace Corporation, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Saturday that North Korea is likely to successfully launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) within the next two years and deploy it by 2020.

MYANMAR TIMES

March 10 “Thousands of migrants displaced in Kokang

… According to Radio Free Asia, more than 20,000 people have fled to China, while civil society groups in Lashio said they have helped as many as 2000 migrant workers return to their hometowns.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in BANGKOK POST)

March 8 “BBC ending shortwave transmissions from Thailand

… the BBC announced it would beam regular Korean-language broadcasts to North Korea, but it was not clear whether the loss of the Thai transmission site might affect those plans. The U.S.-government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia already target North Korea.

WASHINGTON POST

March 8 “Donald Trump’s foreign policy is already undercutting human rights around the world

… As this Post editorial points out, Cambodian leaders have warned Voice of America and Radio Free Asiato watch their step, citing as precedent the U.S. president’s recent banning of certain press outlets from briefings.

YONHAP (Also in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMESJAPAN NEWS and THE STAR)

March 7 “N. Korea bans overseas workers from accessing Internet

… "North Korea has ordered its overseas missions to forbid its workers dispatched abroad not to access the Internet via smartphones, with a warning of their recall and punishment when disobeying the order,"Radio Free Asia said, citing a source in Vladivostok.

WASHINGTON POST

March 7 “Trump’s attacks on the media are a gift to tyrants everywhere

… A government spokesman, noting how the White House had barred several U.S. outlets from a briefing, warned Radio Free Asia and Voice of America about their news coverage, which is quite straightforward and therefore threatening to the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

CAMBODIAN DAILY

March 7 “At Failed Appeal, Kim Sok Claims PM’s Allies Sought Apology

… Mr. Sok came to sudden fame earlier this year after a February 12 interview with Radio Free Asia in which he seemed to link the ruling party with last year's murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

CHRISTIAN POST (Also in CHRISTIAN TODAY)

March 6 “Two Vietnamese Christian Leaders Abducted, Beaten With Metal Rods

… Protestant clergyman the Rev. Nguyễn Trung Tôn told Radio Free Asia in a recent interview that he and his colleague, the Rev. Nguyễn Việt Tú, were abducted in late February by who they believe to be plain-clothes security officers after they arrived at a local airport…

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

March 6 “Chinese ‘police’ visit parents of detained activist Jiang Tianyong to ask for his cooperation

… The three brought gifts such as milk, and said they were there on orders from their superiors to “transmit messages” to Jiang’s parents, Jin told US-backed Radio Free Asia.

DAILYO

March 3 “Is India prepared to take on the new China challenge?

… Radio Free Asia (RFA) had reported that Uyghurs had been called to several meetings to confess their "crimes". According to RFA, this was part of a campaign called "Revealing Errors"; the meetings were held in Aksu Prefecture "to uncover behaviour considered politically destabilising.”

BOSTON HERALD

March 3 “Editorial: Team Trump’s ‘example’

… In a Facebook post, he offered a veiled warning to foreign news groups operating in Cambodia, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, that they should “reconsider” how they broadcast.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

March 3 “Authorities crack down on petitioners in Beijing ahead of top political meetings

… US-backed news outlet Radio Free Asia reported that authorities launched a citywide crackdown in Beijing on Wednesday on thousands of petitioners who had traveled there to make complaints against local officials.

STRAITS TIMES

March 3 “N. Korea's tit-for-tat move against China

… North Korea has suspended exports of rare minerals to China in a tit-for-tat move against Beijing's ban on coal imports from its neighbour, reported broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA).

NEW YORK TIMES

March 3 “Autocrats See a Green Light

… It is noteworthy that foremost among Cambodia’s media targets are Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, United States-financed broadcasters intended to counter government-controlled news in foreign countries.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

March 3 “U.S. allowed no exports to N. Korea last year

… The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued no green-lights for applications for exports to the North during the fiscal year 2016 which ran from Oct. 1, 2015-Sept. 30, 2016, Radio Free Asia said.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

March 1 “Eleven nations submit reports on their sanctions on N. Korea

… "A total of 11 member countries turned in their implementation reports by Feb. 28," Radio Free Asiasaid, citing an official at the Italian Representative to the United Nations. Italy is the current rotating chair of the council.

METAL MINER

March 1 “Public Protest Rather Than International Pressure Forcing Change in China

… According to Radio Free Asia two existing chemical plants in the town regularly pass the annual environmental tests yet still cause widespread pollution without any consequences.

PREMIER

March 1 “China Christians fined during anti-terror crackdown

According to Radio Free Asia, officials in Xinjiang have made more than eleven million pounds available for people who inform them about Christians breaking the law.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 1 “Man confesses killing Cambodia activist but family doubts it

… Another political analyst, Kim Sok, was arrested and jailed last month for implying that the government was responsible for killing Kem Ley on the Cambodian-language service of U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia.

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