(Washington, DC — May 1, 2011) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in April:
RFA Reports on failed 2004 deal to release Aung San Suu Kyi
April 30 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi revealing that the military junta seven years ago failed to honor a national reconciliation deal struck with her.
RFA Reports on uneasy calm between monks, Chinese police at monastery
April 29 – RFA Tibetan, Cantonese, and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Tibetan/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Tibetan monks remaining at the restive Kirti Buddhist monastery in China’s Sichuan province being forced to undergo a “grueling” routine of political re-education by Chinese authorities.
RFA Reports on call to put Vietnam on blacklist
April 28 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a U.S. commission requesting President Barack Obama’s administration to reinstate Vietnam on a blacklist of religious freedom violators, saying the communist government there severely restricts religious practices and “brutally” represses those who challenge its authority.
RFA Reports on plans of newly named Tibetan exile leader
April 27 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Harvard law scholar Lobsang Sangay being declared the winner of the election for the next prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Sangay, interviewed first by Radio Free Asia after being named prime minister elect, vowed to play an effective role when he takes over political leadership from the Dalai Lama.
RFA Reports on Chinese rights activist threatened
RFA Reports on deadly Cambodian-Thai border clash
April 22 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on armed clashes between Cambodian and Thai border forces leaving six soldiers dead and several wounded. The deadly firefight took place just two months after the two countries agreed to a ceasefire brokered by the U.N. Security Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
RFA Reports on deaths, crackdown at Tibetan Kirti monastery
April 22 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese security forces detaining more than 300 Tibetan monks at a besieged monastery in Sichuan. Forces took the monks away in buses and brutally beat local Tibetans who attempted to come to their rescue.
RFA Reports on clash over eviction plan in Cambodia
April 21 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian police clashing with about 100 people demonstrating in the capital against their eviction in a land deal. The scuffle began when police armed with riot shields, wooden sticks, and batons tried to disperse the demonstrators from the Phnom Penh city hall, where they had gathered to protest the planned eviction of 1,500 families from Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak Lake district.
RFA Reports on two Chinese rights lawyers freed ahead of visit
April 20 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities freeing two prominent human rights lawyers ahead of visits to Beijing by Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and a group of U.S. Senators.
RFA Reports on concerns in Hong Kong over Guangzhou nuclear plant
April 19 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on the Japanese nuclear disaster sparking calls in Hong Kong for government-backed monitoring of waste and emissions from Guangzhou’s neighboring Daya Bay nuclear power station.
RFA Reports on Lao dam project deferred
April 19 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on the government of Laos saying it will defer a decision to construct a controversial dam on the lower Mekong River. The decision to delay plans for the project comes after opposition voiced from neighboring countries who share the river’s resources.
RFA Reports on clash over detained Uyghur petitioners
April 15 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a group of more than 50 Uyghurs clashing with police in northwest China after authorities forced five petitioners to return to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from Beijing.
RFA Reports on state media pushing back on Beijing controls
April 15 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China ratcheting up controls over state-controlled media in the wake of recent online calls for a “Jasmine” revolution. However, some major news organizations are pushing back against a growing wave of directives from the top.
RFA Reports on wife of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei questioned
April 13 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Beijing authorities questioning the wife of detained Chinese artist and social critic Ai Weiwei, who is currently under investigation for “economic crimes.”
RFA Reports on skirmish over farmland
April 12 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on clashes between villagers and police over a land grab leaving one person hospitalized and leading to the detention of several others in southern China’s Guangxi province. The violent confrontation was sparked by a government plan to forcibly seize 66 acres of farmland in the Beigang district of Guigang city.
RFA Reports on targeting of Chinese churches
April 12 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Chinese officials, amid China’s clampdown on dissent inspired by “Jasmine” rallies in the Middle East and North Africa, targeting unofficial Christian church members and leaders. More than 100 members of the Shouwang Protestant church were detained by police in Beijing after they attended an open-air prayer gathering.
RFA Reports on boost for English in North Korea
April 10 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on efforts to boost the learning of English in North Korea. Pyongyang is drawing more foreigners to teach English, and the English level of North Korean students appears to be improving.
RFA Reports on riot police at Chinese land protest
April 8 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian deploying hundreds of riot police to disperse protesters defending their farmland from being taken away by the government. The riot police, using tear gas and electric batons, clashed with the protesters in Xindian township near Fujian's provincial capital, Fuzhou.
RFA Reports on Cambodia pushing NGO law
April 7 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia not planning to abandon a controversial draft law that regulates nongovernmental aid organizations. Eight international organizations responded with a statement urging the Cambodian government to drop the law, saying “excessive,” compulsory registration for NGOs would stunt development in the country.
RFA Reports on China targeting Uyghurs in counter-terrorism policy
April 7 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on China’s anti-terrorism policy deliberately targeting ethnic minority communities such as Uyghurs and Tibetans struggling for greater autonomy, according to a white paper by a rights group.
RFA Reports on sentencing of Vietnamese pro-democracy lawyer
April 4 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a Vietnamese court sentencing a prominent pro-democracy lawyer to seven years in prison and three years under house arrest. Cu Huy Ha Vu, the son of former communist revolutionary war hero and poet Cu Huy Can, was convicted of conducting propaganda against the state in calling for a multiparty government system and for demanding an end to Communist Party rule.
RFA Reports on Chinese netizens campaigning for artist’s release
April 4 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese netizens launching a campaign in support of detained prominent artist and social activist Ai Weiwei, amid international calls for his release.