03/12/2014CHINA Only religious freedom can ensure China's social and economic stability by Brian J. Grim For one of the world's foremost social scientists, repression of religions and identity-based groups leads to social violence, not harmony. China's own economic development would not have been possible under the draconian measures imposed during the Cultural Revolution. Beijing (AsiaNews)
- The Kunming
massacre, which was attributed to ethnic
Uyghurs, has reopened the debate on religious freedom and ethnic pluralism
in China. As Chinese authorities and public opinion turn against the Turkic Muslim
03/12/2014INDIA Raghuvanshi: appropriating Gandhi will not help Hindu extremists win elections The secretary general of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) tells AsiaNews that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "is doomed to fail" in next May's vote. The BJP and the associations that support it are trying to "clean up their image" by exploiting dissatisfaction in the emerging middle class and the military.
03/12/2014KOREA Some 200 tonnes in food aid for North Korean children and mothers Despite greater restrictions, South Korea authorises ChildFund Korea to deliver food aid to North Korean civilians, weakened by poverty and malnutrition. Shipped by sea, the aid will be accompanied by NGO officials to ensure that it is not seized by Kim's military.
03/12/2014ISRAEL-VATICAN Papal trip to Israel encounters mounting difficulties Employees of Israel's diplomatic service still on strike bringing all Foreign Affairs activities to a grinding halt. Cameron's visit has already been cancelled, planned trips by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres also at risk.
03/12/2014NEPAL- TIBET- CHINA Tibetans in Nepal targeted by authorities: summary arrests and raids by Christopher Sharma In order to keep China happy, Kathmandu has authorized place the Tibetan community living in the country under surveillance. Night raids and travel restrictions during “sensitive” anniversaries. Human rights activist: “We are even forbidden to pray together”.
03/12/2014CHINA Communist Party fails to heed Consultative Conference's advice by Wang Zhicheng Academics want consultative body to play a greater role. Since Mao's reign, the former has been only a useless "decoration". Bishops who sit in the conference have always failed to guarantee Catholic communities a modicum of freedom, or get the release of jailed fellow bishops. Some propose to cut the number of delegates.
03/12/2014PHILIPPINES Manila: Catholic foundation opens public libraries for the poor The Education Foundation (EFI) is setting up a series of Bahay Karunungan - "Houses of knowledge" - in the capital and in other parts of the country. Newspapers, magazines and novels, as well as computers and movies made available to public. The centers are open until late evening and are used by students to study and do their homework. EFI president: "The less fortunate are also passionate about reading”.
03/12/2014MALAYSIA - CHINA - VIETNAM Still no trace of missing plane as search operation widens to Andaman Sea The international search operation is extended to the west of the Malaysian peninsula. The Vietnamese government has suspended operations, pending further information from Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian ambassador in Beijing meets the relatives of the passengers. Relatives criticize Chinese government’s handling of the situation.
03/11/2014CHINA - IRAN - UNITED STATES Beijing overtakes Tehran as America's 'number 1 enemy' Iran topped America's list of hostile nations since 2006. Rising threats elsewhere and Iran's steps towards nuclear disarmament push it into second place. North Korea still ranks among the first.
03/11/2014JAPAN After three years, Japan stops to honour the victims of the Great Earthquake On 11 March 2011, nature unleashed its fury against the Sendai region. More than 18,000 people died and about half a million abandoned their homes. Three years later, some 267,000 survivors are still forced to live in temporary shelters. An additional 3,000 and more have taken their life. The Church, Mgr Kikuchi said, will continue to help "locals," but "It is clear that the main role in the reconstruction of the areas" belongs to them.