RFA Reports (February 2017)

2017-03-20
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(Washington, DC — Mar. 1, 2017) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in February:

RFA Reports on Aung San Suu Kyi praising slain Muslim attorney

Feb. 28 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi hailing Ko Ni, the slain prominent Muslim lawyer and government advisor. The Nobel laureate described Ko Ni as a hero and martyr.

RFA Reports on Cambodia’s Senate approving tough political party law amid rising threats to opposition

Feb. 28 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia's Senate voting to approve the controversial Political Parties Law giving Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government vast new powers over political parties as the nation heads into election season.

RFA Reports on Tibetan monk detained in first Ngaba protest this year

Feb. 27 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Lobsang Tsultrim, a young monk belonging to Kirti monastery, taken into custody while calling out in public for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

RFA Reports on Chiang Kai-shek memorial closing on anniversary of massacre

Feb. 27 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on Taiwan closing its huge memorial hall to late Taiwan president Chiang Kai-shek for one day as a mark of respect to the victims of a massacre he ordered.

RFA Reports on Lao government seeing little issue with the Pak Beng Dam

Feb. 27 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on the government pushing ahead with the controversial Pak Beng dam on Mekong River’s main stream, brushing aside criticisms that the 912-megawatt dam will harm the environment and lead to widespread dislocation.

RFA Reports on Myanmar government decision to give Muslims official IDs

Feb. 27 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a major protest in Rakhine state against a government decision to give Muslims official identification cards. The decision has sparked protests.

RFA Reports on Tibetan writer missing for nine years, feared dead

Feb. 24 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Tsawa Danyuk, who disappeared in April 2008 after posting a notice on his web log saying he was being harassed by Chinese security officers. He is now feared to be dead after missing for nine years.

RFA Reports on ethnic militias resisting Myanmar government’s cease-fire agreement

Feb. 24 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on seven ethnic militia leaders deciding not to sign the Myanmar government’s nationwide peace pact, instead forming a committee to discuss a “new path to peace.”

RFA Reports on demonstrators attacked as Cambodian court convicts prominent activist

Feb. 23 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on guards outside a Phnom Penh courthouse attacking demonstrators who came to support land rights activist Tep Vanny during her trial for a 2013 protest near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home.

RFA Reports on North Korean travel to China dropping as Pyongyang blocks assassination news

Feb. 23 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the number of North Koreans crossing the border into China dropping sharply following the murder in Malaysia of national leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong Nam, suggesting efforts by Pyongyang to keep news of the killing from reaching North Korean residents.

RFA Reports on thousands of military veterans protesting outside party offices in Beijing

Feb. 22 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on People's Liberation Army (PLA) veterans protesting outside government offices in Beijing over pensions, health care, and other benefits they said were promised but not delivered.

RFA Reports on killing of Lao soldier

Feb. 22 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a Lao soldier being killed and another injured during a shooting on a bus traveling on Highway 13 North in Vientiane province. Security has been intensified in the wake of the violence.

RFA Reports on Myanmar villagers demanding land compensation from Chinese mine operator

Feb. 21 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on protesters blocking the road to a controversial Chinese copper mine, demanding the 1,900 acres of land that was supposed to be given to locals according to the recommendations of a parliamentary commission.

RFA Reports on plans to build four nuclear power plants in China's Henan sparking outcry

Feb. 21 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on plans by authorities in Henan province to move ahead with four nuclear power stations, sparking growing public fears in China.

RFA Reports on compulsory installation of GPS tracking in all vehicles in Xinjiang

Feb. 20 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang region issuing orders for all vehicles to have GPS trackers installed. The move is part of the government's nationwide "stability maintenance" program.

RFA Reports on arrest of Cambodian political analyst critical of Hun Sen

Feb. 17 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on prominent Cambodian political analyst and social commentator, Kim Sok, being arrested and charged with inciting social chaos and defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen during a radio interview with RFA’s Khmer Service.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese police detaining citizens marking war anniversary with China

Feb. 17 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese police detaining protesters on marking the anniversary of a 1979 three-week border war with China. Vietnam and China have never published precise official death tolls from the fighting.

RFA Reports on freed Tibetan singer barred from travel, performance

Feb. 17 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a popular Tibetan singer, freed after serving a four-year term for writing songs describing the hardships of Tibetans’ lives under Chinese rule, being barred by authorities from singing in public or from leaving his hometown.

RFA Reports on Uyghurs alleging new Chinese policy similar to banned forced labor

Feb. 16 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese officials insisting that they no longer compel Uyghurs to supply free labor for public works projects, a practice called ‘hashar’ by locals. Some say the government has only changed the name of the practice with a new policy.

RFA Reports on China’s rising number of activists charged with ‘political crimes’

Feb. 16 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the number of people prosecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for “political crimes” rising last year, as the government limits people’s right to freedom of expression, association, and religious belief.

RFA Reports on North Korean concerns that assassination may impact future reform

Feb. 15 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on Yoji Gomi, Japanese journalist who was close to Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un, discussing the implications of his assassination.

RFA Reports on allegations that retired Myanmar army officer ordered lawyer’s murder

Feb. 15 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a retired military officer allegedly masterminding the killing of prominent Muslim rights attorney and ruling-party advisor Ko Ni, in what the Myanmar government has called a politically motivated “terrorist act.”

RFA Reports on EU ambassador expressing concern over Cambodian elections

Feb. 14 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia's ruling Cambodian People’s Party pushing ahead with its attempt to rein in other political parties ahead of elections, despite concerns from the European Union’s ambassador to Phnom Penh.

RFA Reports on Uyghurs being told to confess political 'mistakes' in mass meetings

Feb. 14 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on ethnic Uyghurs being called to meetings to confess their “crimes.” Residents confessone by one, facing legal consequences for any attempt to cover up their own or anyone else’s “anti-state activities.”

RFA Reports on false marriage proposals luring Lao girls into prostitution in China

Feb. 13 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao high school girls being lured into China with promises of rich husbands only to find they have been sold to a brothel or forced into street prostitution.

RFA Reports on Sam Rainsy stepping down as Cambodian opposition leader

Feb. 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Sam Rainsy stepping down as president of Cambodia’s major opposition party in an effort to preserve a cohesive political opposition.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese asylum seekers' boat stalling in Indonesia

Feb. 10 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese families being held in Indonesia after fleeing Vietnam a second time by fishing boat. If returned, several members will have to serve the remainder of previous sentences combined with new prison terms.

RFA Reports on Chinese police barring Tibetan pilgrims from Kirti monastery

Feb. 10 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on pilgrims en route to a large religious gathering being stopped at the provincial border and told to proceed on foot. Kirti monastery has been the scene of repeated self-immolations and other protests opposed to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.

RFA Reports on North Koreans unmoved by regime’s war threat allegations

Feb. 9 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the Korean Workers Party calling South Korea and the U.S.’s moves to establish a missile defense system as a hostile act aimed at destroying the sanctions-hit, nuclear armed state. These warnings that the country is on the verge of war are met with contempt by North Korean audiences at home.

RFA Reports on fears for well-being of spouse of jailed Chinese Nobel laureate

Feb. 9 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on an unusual phone call made by Liu Xia, artist and activist wife of jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, to a close friend, defying her strict house arrest and inciting speculation about her mental health.

RFA Reports on Myanmar investigating violence against Rohingya

Feb. 9 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the government pursuing an investigation of the crisis in Rakhine state following accusations by the United Nations that security forces committed serious human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims who live there.

RFA Reports on manhunt for Lao-Thai drug ring accomplices

Feb. 9 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao and Thai authorities launching a manhunt for five people believed to be part of a major drug gang that operated in the Mekong River region.

RFA Reports on prosecution of Chinese Protestant church member

Feb. 9 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in Yunnan province prosecuting a member of an unofficial Protestant church. They allege the man has taken part in the activities of an "evil cult," amid a flurry of such charges against Christians in the province.

RFA Reports on North Korean food and medicines found harmful, ineffective

Feb. 8 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on adulterated foodstuffs and medicines produced in North Korea sickening consumers and leaving health problems untreated, leading to widespread preference for more expensive products made outside the country.

RFA Reports on deleted report about jailed Chinese journalist

Feb. 7 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on a deleted report about "disappeared" popular Chinese news anchor Rui Chenggang’s six-year sentence for taking bribes, prompting speculation about his fate.

RFA Reports on petition pushing Hanoi government to release Vietnamese activist

Feb. 7 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on two dozen Vietnamese civil society organizations signing a petition demanding that authorities release activist Tran Thi Nga. Tran was arrested for violating Article 88, a broadly worded penal code often used to silence government critics.

RFA Reports on Beijing's 'invisible hand' at work ahead of Hong Kong election

Feb. 7 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China sending one of its most senior officials, Zhang Dejiang, to drum up flagging support for its favored candidate, Carrie Lam, in the forthcoming elections for Hong Kong's next leader.

RFA Reports on 1,000 Vietnamese protesting for transparency over Formosa plant-spill payments

Feb. 3 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on over 1,000 protesters gathering in Quang Binh province set up an explanation for the uneven payouts coming from a $500 million compensation fund after the Formosa steel plant spill.

RFA Reports on Chinese authorities turning a deaf ear to a Uyghur mother’s dying wish

Feb. 3 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities rejecting a request for a visit by the terminally ill mother of a jailed webmaster for a popular Uyghur website. Tursunjan Memet has been held incommunicado since his arrest in 2016.

RFA Reports on Cambodia’s Hun Sen rejecting secure-border criticism

Feb. 2 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Prime Minister Hun Sen lashing out at his political rivals as he defended a failed plan to secure the country’s border after the 1979 fall of the Khmer Rouge. The K5 plan was an attempt to build a kind of “Berlin Wall” on the Thai border.

RFA Reports on China muzzling media over billionaire who 'disappeared' from Hong Kong

Feb. 1 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China's state propaganda machine erasing all mention of "disappeared" billionaire Xiao Jianhua from state media and internet sites, amid growing questions over his departure from Hong Kong.

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