RFA in the News (May 2012)

2012-06-02
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BBC (Also in AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, MSNBC, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, RADIO NEW ZEALAND, INDEPENDENT, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES, TIBETAN REVIEW)

May 31 “Detentions reported in Tibet capital after immolations”

Reports from Tibet say Chinese security forces have launched a wave of detentions in Lhasa following two self-immolations there on Sunday. … US broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported that an estimated 600 Tibetans had been rounded up in Lhasa since the incident on Sunday, citing unidentified sources.

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS, TIBET POST INTERNATIONAL)

May 30 “Radio Free Asia identified the woman as Rikyo, 33.”

A Tibetan mother of three died after setting fire to herself on Wednesday in the county of Ngaba, known in Chinese as Aba. Radio Free Asia identified the woman as Rikyo, 33.

RADIO SURVIVOR

May 30 “Vietnam upholds prison terms for dissidents interviewed by ‘foreign radio stations’”

The government of Vietnam has rejected the appeals of two activists convicted of “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” The alleged crimes involved being interviewed by “foreign radio stations” and membership in human rights groups that include “reactionary people,” according to Radio Free Asia.

GLOBAL POST

May 29 “China: Migrant workers protest over death”

Around 1,000 migrant workers protested in eastern China on Tuesday, after the death of a worker at the hands of his employer[.]

Radio Free Asia reported that police fired tear gas into the protesting crowds of unpaid workers, according to local witnesses.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in CNN, BBC, REUTERS, NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, AL JAZEERA, DEUTSCHE WELLE, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, BANGKOK POST, TELEGRAPH, HINDUSTAN TIMES, GLOBAL POST)

May 28 “2 Tibetans Set Selves on Fire in Lhasa”

Two men engulfed themselves in a burst of flames outside a Buddhist temple popular with tourists and pilgrims in Lhasa, marking the first time a recent wave of self-immolations to protest Chinese rule has reached the tightly guarded Tibetan capital.

Radio Free Asia reported Monday that Lhasa was under heavy police and paramilitary guard following the immolations and that the situation was very tense.

TAIPEI TIMES

May 26 “Bo case indicates CCP in disarray, Wang Dan says”

Chinese authorities can no longer maintain a front of internal unity after the dismissal of Bo Xilai (薄熙來), which could trigger an eruption of grassroots discontent, Wang Dan (王丹), an exiled leader of the Tiananmen protests in 1989, said yesterday. In an interview with Radio Free Asia ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Wang, who now lives in Taiwan, said Bo’s removal from major posts has led him to believe that political change in China would be more dramatic this year than in years past, “allowing for all kinds of possibilities.”

APPLE DAILY

May 22 “Beijing concerned about Chen as June 4th anniversary approaches”

Radio Free Asia reported that the Chinese government informed Chen Guangcheng that they will observe his behavior overseas. The directive hints that his actions overseas could determine the punishment meted out to his nephew Chen Kegui.

PHNOM PENH POST

May 21 “Xayaburi study questioned

A study the Lao government has used to claim the Xayaburi dam would be harmless if redesigned has been criticised for not addressing concerns about the project s effect on fish in the Lower Mekong river.
Lao Vice Minister of Energy and Mines Viraponh Viravong was reported as saying last week that a redesigned Xayaburi dam in northern Laos would allow a steady flow of sediment downsteam, thus allaying environmental concerns. “First, we hired Poyry to do the impact study, but people were not satisfied with that. And now we have hired a French company,” he told Radio Free Asia.

SINA DAILY

May 19 “Chen Guangcheng about to leave China”

RFA Journalist Min Zhang Zhang wrote on twitter that she has talked with Chen’s wife Yuang Weijing over the phone and she said they were packing up their luggage and expecting to leave the afternoon. She also said that they haven’t received their passports yet, but they have received a notice regarding the passport.

TIBETAN REVIEW

May 17 “China shuts two more schools for giving primacy to Tibetan education”

China had shut down in Feb and early May this year in Gansu and Qinghai provinces two more schools set up by local Tibetans to give their children a Tibetan education rather than a Chinese one imposed in government-run schools, reported RFA.org (Radio free Asia, Washington) May 15.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

May 15 “Rep. Chris Smith tries to keep the pressure on for Chinese activist”

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith has never met the blind Chinese dissident whose dramatic escape from house arrest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing dominated international news for days.

… [Smith] has written three laws to combat human trafficking. In 2005, Smith won approval for $361 million in federal funding to help prosecute domestic trafficking and compensate victims. The same year, Congress passed a bill he backed that doubled U.S. contributions to international peacekeeping missions and permanently funded Radio Free Asia, a radio and Internet news service that aims to provide news to Asian countries where the government censors the press (although China reportedly blocks transmission and access to the RFA website).

ASIA NEWS

May 14 “Chen Guangcheng and Beijing's failure to reform”

The blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng's plight, which piqued much of the world's attention the past fortnight, has fully exposed the shocking failings of China's law-enforcement apparatus.

… Attorney Jiang Tianyong, who tried to visit Chen in the hospital, was badly beaten up by police and prevented from leaving his apartment to seek medical care (Cable TV Hong Kong, May 6; Radio Free Asia, May 4).

TIBETAN REVIEW

May 12 “Tibet dotted with Chinese security posts to tightly control movements”

China has greatly increased the number of police surveillance stations and security check posts across Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), the western half of ethnographic Tibet, in its latest move to tighten security there in the wake of a series of mass protests and self-immolations in the eastern Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces. The move is aimed at monitoring the activities of ordinary Tibetans and Tibetan travelers approaching the Tibetan capital Lhasa, reported RFA.org (Radio Free Asia, Washington) May 10.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in BLOOMBERG, AFP, BUSINESS WEEK, GLOBAL POST)

May 11 “Study: Outside media changing N. Korean worldview”

The growing availability of news media and cellphones in reclusive North Korea likely forced it to admit within hours that its long-range rocket launch last month was a failure, the U.S. human rights envoy to the country said Thursday. … North Korea targets between 10 and 15 frequencies used by international short-wave broadcasters, such as U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and stations operated by South Korea's government, for up to 18 hours a day, and on major occasions like the April centennial, it jams radio signals around the clock, Williams said.

PHNOM PENH POST

May 11 “Laos postpones construction on Xayaburi Dam”

Laos has postponed construction of the controversial Xayaburi dam project on the Lower Mekong River, a spokesman for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted saying on Wednesday. “No construction is going on. It’s discontinued, postponed,” Sithong Chitgnothin told Radio Free Asia in Laos.

YONHAP (Also in THAI NEWS AGENCY)

May 9 “U.N. estimates N. Korea to secure 2 million tons of rice this year”

A U.N. food agency has estimated that North Korea will secure 2 million tons of rice in 2012, up about 18 percent from last year, a news report said Wednesday. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that the North produced 1.6 million tons of rice last fall and is expected to import 300,000 tons of rice and receive 100,000 tons of outside assistance, Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported, citing the FAO's food outlook.

TIBETAN REVIEW

May 6 “Lama and his niece die in claimed accidental fire in Tibet”

A prominent local Buddhist leader and a nun-niece of his had died Apr 6 in what local Tibetans believe to be a case of self-immolation protest against Chinese rule but suggested by RFA.org (Radio Free Asia, Washington), which reported it May 4, to be a case of accidental fire from a special butter lamp offering service at his residence located next to his monastery.

REUTERS

May 5 “Clinton leaves China as dissident Chen awaits departure”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Beijing on Saturday after a tense week of negotiations with China over the fate of blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who plans to travel to the United States under a deal to end the standoff. … Later, in an interview with Radio Free Asia, Chen said he did not plan to leave his homeland for good.

“This isn't saying that when I leave it's a one-off and there's no coming back,” Chen told the Washington-based news service. “Nobody should think that I'm emigrating or anything like that. As they (the Chinese government) have recognized that I'm free, then I should also have the freedom to go where I want.”

REDIFF

May 4 “Diehard dissidents: People who took on China's iron fist”

A person who strongly disagrees with and criticises their government, especially in a country where this kind of action is dangerous... this is how communist China defines the term dissident in its dictionary. … Liu Anjun, the director of the Sunshine Charity group, which advocates on behalf of homeless petitioners in Beijing, was detained in various locations for allegedly speculating in an interview to Radio Free Asia about that the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Egypt could find its way to China.

PHNOM PENH POST

May 3 “Cambodia’s journalists still ‘at risk’ when limits pushed

Among the huts of Mondul Seima district, in the southwestern province of Koh Kong, a young Cambodian journalist on assignment last week related hearing a military police officer utter four bone-chilling words: “Just kill them both.”

… A 2009 analysis by the human-rights group Licahdo stated there had been at least 10 unsolved cases of murdered journalists in the past decade, and the level of impunity has contributed to a climate of fear. Licadho’s research includes a story about a Cambodian journalist for Radio Free Asia who fled to Norway with his family after receiving death threats.

KOREA TIMES

May 1 “NK nuclear test seen ’imminent’

North Korea appears to be preparing for a third nuclear test amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the reclusive nation’s failed launch of a satellite when it fell into the West Sea on April 13. On Tuesday, Radio Free Asia reported the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) monitoring of North Korea is underway as the communist country is reportedly set for a nuclear test soon.

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