RFA in the News (March 2012)

2012-04-03
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 31 “Key events in Myanmar's post-junta moves to reform

Myanmar's government gave way to a civilian administration last year after four decades of military rule. The new government embarked on a surprising array of reforms, prompted in part by a desire to turn around its image as a repressive regime and get Western sanctions lifted:

… Sept. 15, 2011: Restrictions on media are eased and once-blocked websites are opened for viewing, include Voice of America and British Broadcasting Corp., as well Democratic Voice of Burma, Radio Free Asia and YouTube.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

March 30 “Press Release: Chinese journalist, a Bo Xilai critic, reportedly jailed”

Authorities in Chongqing must clarify the status of a journalist who reports say was secretly sentenced to prison in 2010 for criticizing a government official in a personal blog, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. … In an article published Thursday, U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia asked whether Gao's case would prove to be among those unjust prosecutions.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS – CPJ BLOG

March 30 “In Burma, press freedom remains an illusion”

Just ahead of this weekend's highly anticipated Burma by-elections, opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi today denounced the vote as not "free and fair." … Earlier this month, she told Radio Free Asia that government officials had censored a segment of one of her campaign speeches before it was aired on state-controlled media. The banned passage was critical of the previous military junta's abuse of laws to repress the population.

NEWS 24

March 29 “Tibetan dies in latest self-immolation”

A Tibetan monk died in the latest self-immolation protest against the Chinese government in the south-western province of Sichuan, an advocacy group and news report said on Thursday. … Sherab had returned to Cha on Monday from the Kirti monastery, where he was a monk, London-based Free Tibet and US-based Radio Free Asia said.

DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR

March 28 “China allows relatives to visit jailed rights lawyer

China has allowed relatives to visit leading rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng for the first time since he was imprisoned in a remote western region, his brother and wife said on Wednesday. Gao Zhisheng’s exiled wife, Geng He, said Gao Zhiyi and her father, Geng Yundi, saw him for about 30 minutes at the prison on Saturday. “They spoke on the telephone through a glass window,” Geng told US-based Radio Free Asia.

TIBETAN REVIEW

March 28 “China detains Tibetan singer for dedicating album to Dalai Lama”

A 25-year-old popular singer named Ugyen Tenzin has been detained, beaten, and rendered disabled by the Chinese authorities in Nangchen (Chinese: Nangqian) County of Yulshul prefecture, Qinghai Province, in Feb 2012 after he released an album titled “An Unending Flow of My Heart’s Blood,” reported RFA.org (Radio Free Asia, Washington) Mar 26.

INDIAN EXPRESS

March 27 “'No land’s man’ all set to sail home!”

Finally, the end of the long and exhausting wait of Aung Soe is on the horizon. Destined to live the harrowing life of a ‘no land’s man’ for almost a year, the 30-year-old Thai fisherman, who is trapped in a city police station after being rescued by the Indian Navy from Somali pirates, may head for his homeland soon, thanks to the efforts initiated by the Sailors Helpline, along with others, to track his roots.

The Sailors Helpline had aired a programme on Soe’s plight via Burmese Radio, and is now in the process of filming a documentary, ‘Aung Soe the Man without a Nation.’ “We have contacted the sailors’ forums in Thailand. In a programme aired through the Burmese Radio, ‘Radio Free Asia’ we brought the issue before the public.

ASIAN CORRESPONDENT

March 26 “Burma by-elections may not help lift sanctions”

The 1st April by-election is speedily approaching. As the election date draws nearer, the irregularities made by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) are increasing day after day. … NLD spokesman and in-charge of Election Campaign Committee Nyan Win told Radio Free Asia (Burmese Service) that the authorities reasoned the security matter but he did not know much about it. But, when he was there in February the situation was normal and he didn’t see any security threat. Suu Kyi also made her Kachin campaigning trip in Myit-kyi-na, Mo-gaung and Ba-maw last month.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

March 21 “Tibet protest monk dies in detention: campaign group”

A 20-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk has died in detention after he set himself on fire in a town in southwest China that has become a flashpoint for such protests, a US-based rights group said today. … Witnesses quoted earlier by Radio Free Asia and Free Tibet, another rights group, said Chinese security forces beat Tsultrim and dragged him away after extinguishing the flames on Friday.

BBC (ASSOCIATED PRESS, REUTERS, NEW YORK TIMES, TIBETAN REVIEW, AGENCE FRANCE PRESS, DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, ZEE NEWS)

March 17 “Tibetan protests: Qinghai immolation sparks mass protest”

Crowds of Tibetans gathered for the funeral of a farmer who burned himself to death in China, sparking a stand-off with police, activists have said. … US-based Radio Free Asia quoted a Tibetan source as saying 7,000 people had come to Rebkong (Tongren in Chinese). “Police and paramilitary forces did surround the monastery and tried to intervene but when the Tibetan crowd swelled, they withdrew,” the source said.

SHANGHAIIST

March 15 “China passes ‘secret detention’ law despite criticism from netizens”

The worst has come to pass. China has legalized secret detentions despite the seemingly-promising proposal of an amendment to outlaw them, and vehement protest from netizens. … According to Radio Free Asia, the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the amended version of the Criminal Procedure Law with the backing of 92 percent of the 2,872 delegates present at the closing session.

GLOBAL POST

March 14 “Burma: a good cop, bad cop routine with ethnic rebels?

You might assume a government hoping to draw down six decades of warfare with armed separatists wouldn't jail one of the group's leaders for life. … Nyein Maung ran afoul of Burmese authorities for his ties to his armed "illegal organization," according to Radio Free Asia. This designation seems at odds with the government's stated goal of legitimizing the Karen leadership and bringing them into the fold.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, MIZZIMA NEWS)

March 11 “Suu Kyi poke at army banned From Myanmar state TV

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says government censors are not allowing her party to criticize the previous military-run governments when it promotes its policies on state-run radio and television ahead of April elections. … “The part about the lack of rule of law and about the laws enacted by successive military governments to suppress the people were censored,” Suu Kyi told U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia on Saturday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 9 “Reports: Chinese police kill Tibetan, wound 2”

An activist group and a U.S. broadcaster say police in western China fatally shot a Tibetan and wounded two others amid protests against Chinese rule. London-based Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia said Saturday that the three men were shot Tuesday by police who were looking for or had detained another man in connection with a Jan. 25 incident in which protesters tore down a Chinese flag at a police station in a Tibetan area of Qinghai province.

CNN (Also in NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS, GUARDIAN, DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR, INDIAN EXPRESS, CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

March 5 “Reports: Tibetans take their lives in protest of Chinese rule”

The unrest among Tibetans in western areas of China appeared to take another macabre turn over the weekend with reports that a mother of four and a middle school student died after setting themselves on fire in separate protests against Chinese rule. … Rinchen's death was also reported by Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit group funded by the U.S. government. Radio Free Asia cited Kanyak Tsering, a Tibetan monk with connections to Kirti Monastery who lives in Dharamsala, the Indian town where the Tibetan government in exile resides.

CHOSUN ILBO (Also in ARIRANG NEWS)

March 5 “N.Korea seeking investment tips from global experts”

Experts from Singapore and Europe will visit Pyongyang sometime this month to teach North Korean officials about international finance and ways to secure foreign investment. Radio Free Asia reported on Saturday that the director of the Choson Exchange, a non-profit group focused on teaching economic policy and business to young North Koreans, said the group will be hosting the workshop with about 20 finance and economy experts in attendance.

SHANGHAIIST

March 2 “Xue Jinbo's daughter forced to quit her job for running in Wukan elections”

Radio Free Asia reports that the daughter of Xue Jinbo, the Wukan village leader whose death in police custody led to the expulsion of authorities from the Guangdong village in December, has been forced out of her position as a primary school teacher for wanting to run in local village elections.

DONG-A ILBO

March 2 “About 10 NK soldiers killed in 2010 shelling of S.Korean isle”

More than 10 North Korean soldiers were killed and tens of others injured by South Korean counterattacks when the North shelled Yeonpyeong Island in 2010, Radio Free Asia quoted a source from the Stalinist country Friday. “I heard this story from a North Korean battalion commander who saw a military car carrying wounded and dead soldiers arrive at a military hospital in Pyongyang,” the source said, adding, "North Korean military authorities were also scared by South Korea’s state-of-the-art weapons."

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