RFA in the News (September 2012)

2012-10-03
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ARIRANG NEWS

Sept. 29 “U.S. Relief Agency To Send Rice to Children Centers in North Korea”

A U.S. relief agency plans to send one million U.S. dollars worth of rice to North Korea to help feed the country's malnourished children. Radio Free Asia reports Christian organization Feed My Starving Children will send the rice in monthly installments to several children centers in the North through next February.

MIZZIMA

Sept. 27 “US formally announces lifting of Burmese import ban”

The US announced on Tuesday it would lift its ban on Burmese imports as a reward for the former military dictatorship’s embrace of political and economic reforms. … Thein Sein said the Burmese people were “very pleased” with the easing of economic sanctions and "very grateful" for the US action, according to an article on the Radio Free Asia website on Thursday.

TIMES OF INDIA

Sept. 27 “Radio takes voice of Tibetans across the world”

The Tibetan community living in exile here may not have a broadcast network. But, the voice of the Tibetans gathered here for a special convention on self-immolations in Tibet to protest Chinese occupation is reaching out to those living in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet with the help of web TV and various radio stations that have Tibetan language sections. Radio stations like Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and Voice of Tibet, based in Norway, have dedicated Tibetan language sections and are playing a vital role in disseminating information worldwide, about this meeting. These radio stations are helping broadcast pro+ceedings of the meeting, from the speech of the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile to reactions of delegates.

TIME

Sept. 26 “Must-Reads from Around the World

Vietnamese Bloggers – Human rights groups and the U.S. State Department are criticizing the Vietnamese government for handing jail terms to three bloggers who spoke out on corruption in the Southeast Asian country, notes Radio Free Asia. A Ho Chih Minh city court sentenced Nguyen Van Hai, a founding member of the banned ‘Free Journalists Club’ website, to 12 years in prison, while fellow bloggers Ta Phong Tan and Phanh Thanh Hai received jail terms of ten and four years, respectively. The trio was convicted under Article 88 of the country’s penal code, which Vietnamese authorities have used to silence dissent and maintain harsh control over the media, said RFA.

FINANCIAL EXPRESS

Sept. 25 “Displaced Rohingyas can apply for Myanmar citizenship”

Thousands of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh or between the Myanmar-Bangladesh border stand a chance to settle in Myanmar, if they prove eligible to get citizenship of the country. "Rohingyas have the right to apply for Burmese citizenship," Burmese Immigration Minister Khin Ye told the Radio Free Asia Burmese Service recently.

MYANMAR TIMES

Sept. 24 “The Rohingya conundrum”

Since May this year, Myanmar has witnessed an escalation in the simmering tension between two groups of people in Rakhine State. … Another possible solution is that Myanmar can amend its 1982 citizenship law to pave the way for the Rohingya to apply for citizenship. As Minister for Immigration and Population U Khin Yi told Radio Free Asia recently, under the existing law foreigners can apply for citizenship only if they are born in Myanmar, their parents and grandparents have lived and died in Myanmar, they are literate in Burmese and meet some additional criteria.

SHANGHAIIST

Sept. 22 “South Korea fires on North Korean ships because there isn't enough tension in East Asia at the moment”

South Korean patrol vessels in the Yellow Sea fired warning shots at North Korean fishing boats on Friday, the fisherman reportedly fled without casualties. … The DPRK, in its continuing efforts for world peace, has recently relocated its main military to command centre to the northern city of Rason. Radio Free Asia quotes an anonymous source explaining the reason for the move: The center’s present location at Samjiyeon in Yanggang province is also “cut off from the outside, and is not suitable for wartime command.”

DIPNOTE (U.S. State Department blog)

Sept. 21 “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Recognizes Staff at Radio Free Asia and Voice of America

On Wednesday, September 19, I had the opportunity to accompany Aung San Suu Kyi to the Washington offices of Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA), two news organizations whose broadcasts have penetrated closed and war-torn countries, such as Burma, for decades. … At RFA, Suu Kyi was escorted into a hot, crowded newsroom where staff hung on her every word, camera phones poised. She spoke at length, taking the time to describe exactly how important their work was to her routine during her time under house arrest, when she listened to approximately six hours of news radio per day.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Sept. 19 “OPINION -- Laura Bush: Suu Kyi's Long Journey to Freedom”

On Wednesday, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will enter the U.S. Capitol. She will pass by statues honoring many of our nation's defenders of freedom and liberty and make her way to the soaring rotunda, where she will receive the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the two highest civilian awards given by the United States. … Thanks to the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and the BBC, the people of Burma knew that they were not forgotten. Like the Cold War dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, they could draw strength from every mention of their plight and every expression of faith in their cause and in their future.

REUTERS (Also in AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE)

Sept. 18 “Suu Kyi, in U.S. visit, says Myanmar reforms 'first hurdle'”

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi warned on Sept. 18 that reforms in her country had cleared only the "first hurdle" and said she supported an easing of U.S. sanctions as part of a broad partnership with Washington. … She later visited the office of Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-funded broadcaster, and addressed the conflict between ethnic Rakhines and Muslim Rohingyas that in June erupted in violence that killed 80 people and displaced thousands. "Hate and fear are very closely related," Suu Kyi told RFA's Burmese language service in an interview. "You have to remove the roots of hatred -- that is to say you have to address these issues that make people insecure and that make people threatened," RFA quoted her as saying.

DEMOCRACY DIGEST (NED blog)

Sept. 18 “Burma: Suu Kyi arrives in US, Clinton warns against ‘backsliding’

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi cautioned today that her country’s reform process had cleared only the “first hurdle” and said she endorsed an easing of U.S. sanctions. “We have crossed the first hurdle but there are many more hurdles to cross,” she said. But Suu Kyi struck a more optimistic note at the Washington headquarters of Radio Free Asia (above) today. “This is, in many ways, as I have been saying, the last mile,” she said. “This is the time we need all the help possible to make sure that our country keeps on the right path. This is another way of saying RFA is needed more than ever for us in Burma and for other people in other places, which are not yet free.” RFA had served as a critical information lifeline during the military junta’s authoritarian rule and the country’s current era of transition and reform.

GLOBAL POST

Sept. 13 “Couple arrested in connection with murder of Cambodian journalist”

A couple has been detained in conjunction with the murder of a Cambodian journalist, reported Radio Free Asia today, as an investigation continues into the violent death of Hang Serei Oudom. Military police officer An Bunheng was arrested in Ratanakiri province in Cambodia's northeast, along with his wife, after authorities found evidence pertaining to the case in the couple's restaurant. The evidence included knives, and a pair of Oudom's shoes, says RFA.

TIBETAN REVIEW

Sept. 11 “Chinese flag again seen replaced by Tibetan in Karze County school”

A Chinese national flag flying on a pole in the Dzachukha Woenpo township elementary school in Sershul (Chinese: Shiqu) County of Karze County, Sichuan Province, was again seen removed and replaced with a Tibetan national flag on Sep 8 morning, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) and others Sep 9 and 10. In addition, a large number of leaflets with the words ‘Freedom for Tibet’ written in red letters, were seen scattered at the place.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sept. 9 “Myanmar invites member of legendary 30 Comrades group home from exile in China

One of Myanmar's legendary "Thirty Comrades" who spearheaded the struggle against British colonialism has been invited back from exile by President Thein Sein. The daughter of 92-year-old Kyaw Zaw told U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia in an interview this weekend that the invitation was conveyed by President's Office Minister Aung Min. She spoke from Kunming in southern China, where she lives with her father. The only other surviving member of the group, Bo Ye Htut, lives in Myanmar.

TIBETAN REVIEW (Also in TIBET POST)

Sept. 7 “Lhasa off limits for most Kham and Amdo Tibetans”

The Chinese authorities in the traditional Kham and Amdo regions of ethnographic Tibet are tightly controlling the movement of Tibetans there to Lhasa, apparently for fear of the spread of protests from these places to the Tibetan capital, according to Radio Free Asia (Washington) Sep 5. This is in addition to the measure already in place in Lhasa for a long time to expel Tibetans from other parts of Tibet who are not registered residents in the city.

NEW YORK TIMES

Sept. 5 “North Korea May Be Preparing Economic Changes

North Korea said on Wednesday that it would convene its Parliament later this month in an unusual session that South Korean analysts said may officially introduce Kim Jong-un’s program to revitalize his country’s moribund economy. … Within collective farms, four to six workers will be allowed to work as a unit to encourage competition, said the Seoul bureau of Radio Free Asia, based in Washington, as well as Web sites in Seoul, which use sources within the North to collect news.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sept. 4 “Report: Chinese police raid Tibetan monastery”

A U.S. broadcaster says hundreds of Chinese police raided a Tibetan monastery in northwestern China near where two Tibetans set themselves on fire in June to protest what activists say is Beijing's heavy-handed rule. Radio Free Asia said Wednesday that security forces took away five monks during Saturday's raid at the Zilkar monastery in Yushu prefecture in Qinghai province.

DEUTSCHE WELLE

Sept. 4 “North Koreans flee in search of freedom

Many North Koreans swim across the Tumen River into China. These people then travel in secret, avoiding authorities, before they reach South East Asia. From there they go to South Korea to seek asylum. … All his family, except for his father who died while in North Korean custody, made it to South Korea and are reunited. Ji now studies law at a university in Seoul. … He also records a radio program carried by US-funded Radio Free Asia - it is broadcast into North Korea. On his Radio Free Asia program, Ji talks about life in South Korea and that what he learned about history at school back home in the North was untrue.

WASHINGTON POST

Sept. 4 “In authoritarian North Korea, hints of reform”

Under new leader Kim Jong Eun, North Korea in recent months has shifted its rhetoric to emphasize the economy rather than the military and is introducing small-scale agricultural reforms with tantalizing elements of capitalism, according to diplomats and defector groups with informants in the North. … Several media outlets that employ North Korean defectors, including Washington-based Radio Free Asia, have reported that Pyongyang is rolling out agricultural policy changes that mark a significant break from the state-controlled economy.

MYANMAR TIMES

Sept. 3 “88 Gen leaders unhappy over passport delays”

Only two of 20 members of the 88 Generation student group who have applied for a passport since April have been successful, a senior member said last week. … Another senior member, Ko Mya Aye, told Radio Free Asia on August 30 that only him and Min Ko Naing had received passports.

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