(Washington, DC — Aug. 1, 2011) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in July:
RFA Reports on Burmese ethnic groups supporting ceasefire, dialogue
July 28 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burma’s ethnic groups responding favorably to an open letter from Aung San Suu Kyi asking that armed ethnic insurgents and government troops put down their weapons and begin dialogue after decades of civil war. Suu Kyi’s letter was sent to Burma’s ethnic groups and President Thein Sein, leader of the country’s new nominally civilian government.
RFA Reports on Tibetans gathering for national unity
July 27 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on more than 5,000 Tibetan monks, nuns, and laypeople gathering in defiance of Chinese edicts at a monastery in southwestern Sichuan province for talks to promote Tibetan cultural values and national unity. The gathering, the fourth in a series of annual regional meetings, ran from July 15 through July 24.
RFA Reports on China’s new rules on public Wi-Fi browsing
July 27 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on reactions among business owners and netizens in China on new rules issued by Beijing police on public online wireless browsing. Businesses, including hotels and cafes, in central Beijing that offer Internet access to customers have been told by police that they must install surveillance software to track customers who use their Wi-Fi service.
RFA Reports on concerns for Vietnamese blogger’s health
July 27 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on concerns over a jailed blogger’s health. The wife of Nguyen Van Hai, better known by his pen name Dieu Cay, said that a prison security guard informed her that her husband had “lost his arm” while in jail. Amnesty International has called for an inquiry into the blogger’s whereabouts and health.
RFA Reports on Chinese pastor sent to labor camp
July 26 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu sending the pastor of an unofficial Protestant “house church” to a labor camp for two years. The family of Shi Enhao, deputy chairman of the China Alliance of House Churches, was summoned to sign a document acknowledging the sentence by the Suqian municipal national security police.
RFA Reports on anger sparking probe of Chinese train crash
July 26 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on criticism from the relatives of those who died in the July 24 bullet-train crash in the eastern province of Zhejiang of the official handling of the tragedy. The death toll has reached 39 and the government promised a full safety review of China's high-speed railways. But relatives allege many questions remain unanswered.
RFA Reports on Vietnamese Catholic priest jailed again
July 25 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on authorities in Vietnam arresting Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest and dissident, and bringing him to prison to complete a sentence that had been suspended due to health issues. The 63-year-old Ly, who suffers from a brain tumor, had been living under house arrest at the Nha Chung home for retired priests in Hue after being granted a year-long medical parole from jail in March 2010.
RFA Reports on rare talks with Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese officials
July 25 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Aung San Suu Kyi holding her first official talks with the country’s new government. The Nobel laureate spent about an hour with Labor Minister Aung Kyi at their July 25 meeting, eight months after elections and her subsequent release from house arrest.
RFA Reports on Chinese editor removed after investigative unit closed
July 25 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the removal of the editor-in-chief of the state-run newspaper China Economic Times, days after the disbanding of its investigative team led by veteran journalist Wang Keqin. The unit had earned praise for its steadfast coverage of various issues, including official complicity in the fatal distribution of bad vaccinations in the northern province of Shanxi and the suspicious death of a land-rights advocate.
RFA Reports on Uyghur leader calling on China to ‘end injustices’
July 20 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on ethnic Uyghur exile leader Rebiya Kadeer calling on authorities to end injustices against Uyghurs in northwestern China to prevent further violence following the July 18 assault on a police station that left about 20 dead.
RFA Reports on casino in Laos still in business, despite allegations
July 19 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on wealthy Chinese tourists still being allowed exclusive access to a casino in northern Laos which was ordered to close months ago due to allegations of illegal activities. Chinese officials ordered the Golden Boten City Casino to close in May following allegations that the business was linked to money laundering, murder, fraud, kidnapping, drugs, human trafficking, and the sex trade.
RFA Reports on Cambodian, Thai forces agreeing to withdraw in temple dispute
July 18 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the agreement between Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw military forces from the area surrounding a disputed temple on their shared border. The development follows a verdict by a UN tribunal on July 18 in The Hague. Judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) proposed a new "provisional demilitarized zone" requiring Thai troops to fall back from their positions around the Preah Vihear temple and Cambodian forces to evacuate the temple grounds.
RFA Reports on Obama, Dalai Lama meeting
July 16 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on President Barack Obama meeting with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama despite warnings from China. During the meeting, Obama highlighted the need for human rights protection in the Beijing-ruled Himalayan territory, drawing China’s ire.
RFA Reports on Jasmine clampdown continuing in China
July 14 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Beijing continuing its tightening of internal security following the renewal of protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and recent street demonstrations in Malaysia. Rights activists in China’s southwestern province of Guizhou said they had come under increasing pressure from local authorities since large street protests in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
RFA Reports on police targeting three Tibetan counties
July 13 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities increasing surveillance and detaining protesters in three Tibetan-majority counties in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. Tibetans in Dege, Tawu, and Kardze counties in the Kardze prefecture held protests against Chinese rule, calling for Tibetan independence and the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
RFA Reports on detention of Chinese protesters
July 12 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on police detaining 15 villagers after they blocked a national highway in southern China’s Jiangxi province to protest the alleged murder of a fellow farmer at a nearby land expropriation site.
RFA Reports on ethnic Mongolian activist, family held in China
July 11 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities in the restive northern region of Inner Mongolia holding an ethnic Mongolian dissident and his family in separate detention centers following his release from jail last year.
RFA Reports on Dalai Lama confident reforms will help Tibetan autonomy
July 11 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the Dalai Lama, in an interview with RFA, expressing confidence that rapid reforms in the ruling Chinese Communist Party would result in a resolution of longstanding demands for greater autonomy in Tibet. The Tibetan spiritual leader pointed to extensive reforms that have taken place in the Communist Party over the last 60 years and said the Chinese leadership would have to eventually grapple with this “new reality” in confronting the Tibetan question.
RFA Reports on anger over water shortage in China
July 8 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the southwestern Chinese megacity of Chongqing shipping truckloads of water to beleaguered local residents after hundreds of protesters blocked roads in a northern suburb of the city in protest over severe water shortages.
RFA Reports on Xinjiang security tight on anniversary
July 5 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region tightening the security of its capital, Urumqi, on the second anniversary of deadly ethnic riots in the city. Officials detained a man and closed down a group of market stalls after their owners refused to take part in a photo opportunity with visiting regional leaders on the eve of a sensitive anniversary.
RFA Reports on Hong Kong media freedoms eroding
July 4 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on concerns that freedom of expression in Hong Kong, once home to an independent media, has deteriorated in the past year. The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association said the year ending June 2011 had been a bad one for press freedom in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under an agreement aimed at protecting existing freedoms.
RFA Reports on Tibetan writer jailed
July 3 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the sentencing to four years in jail of a young writer and editor of the banned Tibetan Shar Dungri (“Eastern Snow Mountain”) magazine. Sources said Tashi Rabten was sentenced on June 2 by the Ngaba Intermediate People’s Court.
RFA Reports on sudden U.S. defection of Burma diplomat
July 3 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the defection of the No. 2 diplomat at the Burmese embassy in Washington, D.C., who is seeking political asylum in the United States. Deputy Chief of Mission Kyaw Win, 59, told RFA he made the decision to leave the government because he sees little hope for Burma’s future and because he fears for his and his family’s well-being.
RFA Reports on North Korean college students enlisted for labor
July 1 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities suspending classes at a number of universities to enlist college students in construction work ahead of the 100th anniversary of former leader Kim Il Sung’s birth.