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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Religious freedom in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The Russian Orthodox Church of Pyongyang and foreign dignitaries celebrating Christmas and remembering late Kim Jong Il:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remembering Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il

His passing shall make us all remember of all the good deeds he has done in his life, cut short by his commitment to his people. 

  The Dear Leader passed away from a great mental and physical strain during a train ride at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency said in an urgent dispatch.


   A female newscaster, clad in a black funeral dress, tearfully announced the death on state TV.


   




KCNA said the medical cause was an "advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated by serious heart shock," using the technical terms for a heart attack. His father, Kim Il-sung, also died of a heart attack.


   "He suffered an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated by serious heart shock, on a train on December 17 ... from a great mental and physical strain caused by his uninterrupted field guidance tour for the building of a thriving nation," KCNA said.


   Kim's health is believed to have worsened after he apparently suffered a stroke in 2008.


   His body will be placed in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace where the embalmed body of his father and the late national founder lies, according to the KCNA. The North set a mourning period from Dec. 17 to Dec. 29, though it said it won't accept foreign delegations at the funeral ceremony scheduled to be held in Pyongyang on Dec. 28.


   


His son and heir-apparent, Kim Jong-un, was named first in the membership list of the North's 232-member funeral commission, an apparent indication that the younger Kim will chair the commission. 



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Libya in turmoil, becomes a failed state. 'Revolutionaries' looting, stealing everything

My comment: The West has plunged Libya, a successful and prosperous country into chaos and uncertainty. Ask yourself: Who benefits the most from a weak country run by 18 year-old looters and murderers?

Freedom fighter looting - visit libyasos.blogspot.com
Abdul Mojan's moment of realisation came when the good guys threw him into the boot of their car, slammed it shut and drove off with him a prisoner inside.
When they finally stopped and hauled him out, he asked them: "What are you doing? I'm a revolutionary just like you! I've never supported Gaddafi.'"

But the former rebels didn't care. They had taken a liking to the new office block in western Tripoli that Mr Mojan managed and they wanted the keys and ownership documents. He tried to reason with them, pointing out that there were plenty of government buildings standing empty.

To no avail, however. "We have sacrificed for this revolution and you haven't, and now we will take what we want," he was told by a cocky 18-year-old. "You can have the building back when the revolution is over."

A week later Mr Mojan was still incredulous as he recounted his tale to The Sunday Telegraph, admitting that he felt lucky to escape without a beating although there was nothing he could do about the 5,000 dinar (£2,550) they stole from his car.

Many of Tripoli's residents have had a similar moment of grim awakening in recent weeks. Their liberators, still swaggering around the city in Che Guevara-style berets and armed to the teeth, have not gone back to their home towns as they promised. Nor have they started handing in the guns they used to fight against Gaddafi, as they said they would.

"When they said Libya Free, they meant the cars, the refrigerators and the flat-screen television sets," runs one joke doing the rounds in Tripoli's cafes. Stories of gunmen taking expensive cars at checkpoints, giving receipts saying they will be returned after the revolution, are nervously swapped over cups of tea.

More alarming than the looting have been the armed clashes between militias. There have been three big fights in the capital alone in the past week; shoot-outs at a hospital, Martyr's Square, and the military airport, which have left several dead and dozens wounded.

Then there are the detentions. With the fighting over, the revolutionaries have not been idle. They have kept busy rounding up hundreds of suspected Gaddafi supporters in a wide-scale witch-hunt, often on the basis of little more than rumour and accusation.

One man, a supporter of the revolution who was full of hope a month ago, described how his brother-in-law, Omar, had been grabbed by gunmen from Misurata. They were acting for a wealthy businessman from the city, with whom Omar had a dispute several years ago.

"They came to his house and Omar went with them because he believed in the revolution and thought it was a misunderstanding that would soon be sorted out," the man said.

"But when they arrived in Misurata they threw him in their private prison and said they would beat the soles of his feet until he confessed. It is an old Turkish torture called the falakha. He was really scared, and he managed to escape by persuading one of them who felt uneasy about this to let him go.

"Next day they turned up at his house, and threatened his wife and children. Can you believe this? We have hundreds of little Gaddafis now.
"There is no one to stop them, and they are convinced that because they suffered in the war, they should be able to do what they like now. If it carries on like this I really fear for our revolution."

Libya's problems would not look so dangerous if there was a proper government in place to deal with them. Instead, more than two months since Gaddafi was driven from his capital, there is still a power vacuum. No government has been formed because former rebels cannot agree on how to share out power. The new prime minister, appointed last week, is a professor of electrical engineering originally from Tripoli who spent most of the last three decades at universities in Alabama and North Carolina - and was chosen because he offends nobody.

Abdul-Raheem al-Keeb has yet to prove that he isn't more suited to running a university department than a former dictatorship awash with guns and riven with tribal and regional rivalries.

With expectations sky-high, his inbox is daunting: he has to get the economy going, head off separatists in the east who are talking about setting up their own oil rich mini-state, disarm the increasingly arrogant militias, and organise Libya's first real elections.

He has been promised help from the West in building a democracy, yet so far there is little evidence of any. The United Nations presence has been kept deliberately small, at the request of the National Transitional Council. Only a trickle of aid workers have turned up, and experts in nation building with experience of Afghanistan and Iraq are notable by their absence.

"There is a deliberate effort to avoid the mistakes of Afghanistan and Iraq and not try to get foreigners in to micromanage everything," said one European Union diplomat last week. "And the Libyans are proud people, they don't want to look like a Third World nation needing a big foreign presence in here."

A handful of enterprising foreign businessmen have arrived looking for opportunities, drawn by the prospect of lucrative reconstruction contracts. "We've come way too early, there is no one to talk to yet," said a frustrated American who spent last week trying to set up meetings with representatives of a Libyan government which does not yet exist. "I will come back in the spring."


Getting the militias out of the capital would help, but the leader of one notorious brigade told The Sunday Telegraph his men will stay for the time being.
"We are here to help build democracy and protect the revolution", said Mohammed al-Madhni, a commander in his fifties with a roguish grin.

His men, from the impoverished town of Zintan in the mountains south of Tripoli, were some of the most ferocious anti-Gaddafi fighters, but since the end of the war they have acquired a less savoury reputation for looting and starting fights.

The most colourful story told about them, not denied by Commander Madhni, is that Zintanis stole an elephant from Tripoli zoo as a trophy of war, taking the unfortunate beast back to their town in a truck.

They have taken up residence in the suburb of Regatta, a delightful district of palm trees and neat bungalows facing on to the blue Mediterranean. It was home to British and American oil workers and their families until they fled in February, as the revolution broke out.

Now the suburb has an eerie, deserted feeling. Doors and windows have been smashed so looters can get in, and the militias have spray-painted graffiti over walls. 

Only a few luxury cars are left, the ones with complicated security codes that make them difficult to steal and drive away. Several of those have had their wheels stolen.

"You could see them driving round in their pick-up trucks with big machine-guns going round the bungalows, picking up freezers and flat-screen televisions," said one of the witnesses to the Zintan fighters' looting spree.

People in Tripoli try to laugh about the mountain men – they are particularly amused that the Zintanis took jet-skis and fast boats back to their homes deep in the desert.

But there is also a fear that now the gunmen have a taste for power, and nobody to stop them, the post-Gaddafi future may be much more difficult than Libyans had hoped.

One formerly enthusiastic revolutionary, watching a group of young gunmen at a checkpoint, couldn't help being gloomy.

"You have to wonder, is this how failed states start out?" he said.

Friday, November 4, 2011

51 Beautiful Photos from the Real North Korea by AP

With its newly opened office in Pyongyang, AP, among other agencies, has gained a yet unprecedented access to the DPRK. Enjoy these beautiful images from North Korea. 

Pyongyang skyline

Thursday, October 27, 2011

War criminal Sudan government armed islamist scum rebels in Libya

Sudan - a bastillion of democracy - gave weapons, ammunition and other assistance to the islamist Libyan rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, a response to the slain leader's support for Sudan's own insurgencies, President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday.

Sudan has accused Gaddafi -- who was killed outside his hometown Sirte this month -- of supporting rebellions in its western Darfur region and in South Sudan, which declared independence in July.

Officials are now hoping for better relations with Libya, which shares a desert border with Sudan. Several Sudanese officials, including the foreign minister, have visited Libya since the new rulers captured the capital Tripoli in August.
"You all know the role Libya played in destabilising Sudan and Sudan's security," Bashir told an audience in the eastern city of Kassala.

"Your support, whether it was humanitarian support, or weapons or ammunition, reached Libyan revolutionaries in Misrata, in the Western Mountains, in Benghazi, in Kufra," Bashir said.

"The forces that entered Tripoli, part of their armament and their capabilities is 100 percent Sudanese." He did not give details about what weapons were provided or how many.

Sudan's military is battling armed revolts near the border with South Sudan and in Darfur. But Gaddafi's fall provided the government a boost by depriving Darfur rebels of a safe haven.

The region's most powerful rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, said in September its leader had returned to the strife-torn region after taking refuge in Libya.

Darfur's rebels took up arms against Khartoum in 2003, saying they had been politically and economically marginalised. Some 300,000 people have died in the conflict, according to the United Nations.

Libyan 'rebel' scum murdering former officials

Libya plunged back into the dark ages with islamist militants who know no mercy cleansing former government officials, supporters.



The former intelligence chief to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was seriously injured Tuesday while in the custody of the National Transitional Council, fueling concerns about the treatment of loyalists to the deposed government.

Abuzed Omar Dorda at the United Nations in 2002. (Bebeto Matthews — Associated Press)
The cause of Abuzed Omar Dorda’s injuries are quite obvious. A relative of Dorda, a one-time U.N. envoy, has appealed to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council president to intercede with Libyan authorities to protect the former official, saying he had been the target of an assassination attempt by his jailers. The U.N.’s special representative to Libya, Ian Martin, has instructed his staff to look into the claim.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

LIBYA POST GADDAFI SPECIAL, PART III: Lybia: Human rights impostors used to spawn NATO’s fraudulent war

A collection of three articles giving you a more realistic picture as to what has really happened and what we should expect coming after the lynching and murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi.The third and probably the most important one is from voltaire. Who really started the war in Libya? And why? Read this! 


Lybia: Human rights impostors used to spawn NATO’s fraudulent war




The names change but the methods remain the same. In Iraq the imperial war facilitator was Ahmed Chalabi. In Libya he goes by the name of Soliman Bouchuiguir, a shadowy human rights figure whose baseless allegations against Gaddafi were endorsed by the UN system and its affiliated human rights agencies without the slightest verification. Each one in his own way, Nazemroaya and Teil shed light on a failed system of international law and justice, which has made itself complicit in NATO’s war crimes in Libya. 

LIBYA POST GADDAFI SPECIAL, PART II: Gaddafi Libyan atrocities faked, typical rights abuse of Targeted Individuals

A collection of three articles giving you a more realistic picture as to what has really happened and what we should expect coming after the lynching and murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi. The second one in the series is from here


Targeting individuals based on fraudulent claims is no new concept for hundreds of thousands of innocent people
Human rights impostors made Colonel Muamar Gaddafi a Targeted Individual using a typical tactic to gain public and official support to target him, that of claiming and spreading lies about the target including his or her committing crimes with no evidence, as happened to target the Libyan Colonel according to documents released this month by Voltaire. Those who began the sophisticated targeting of the late Colonel Gaddafi became ministers in Libya's new transitional government according to the new documentation, including recorded statements by the key official who created and spread the fraudulent story of Gaddafi atrocities that was adopted by mainstream media and most Americans, bypassing principles of justice and international law.

Soliman Bouchuiguir, former Libyan League for Human Rights president with ties to National Transitional Council, generated pack of lies to justify NATO’s war allegedly to protect Libyans. Credit: Voltaire.net

LIBYA POST GADDAFI SPECIAL, PART I: Nightmare in Libya: Thousands of Surface-to-Air Missiles Unaccounted For

A collection of three articles giving you a more realistic picture as to what has really happened and what we should expect coming after the lynching and murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi. The first one is from ABC.

The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya's huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses.

Currently the U.S. State Department has one official on the ground in Libya, as well as five contractors who specialize in "explosive ordinance disposal", all working with the rebel Transitional National Council to find the looted missiles, White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters.

"We expect to deploy additional personnel to assist the TNC as they expand efforts to secure conventional arms storage sites," Carney said. "We're obviously at a governmental level -- both State Department and at the U.N. and elsewhere -- working with the TNC on this."

ABC News reported today U.S. officials and security experts were concerned some of the thousands of heat-seeking missiles could easily end up in the hands of al Qaeda or other terrorists groups, creating a threat to commercial airliners.
"Matching up a terrorist with a shoulder-fired missile, that's our worst nightmare," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D.-California, a member of the Senate's Commerce, Energy and Transportation Committee.
 
PHOTO: In the wake of the popular uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi from power after a 42-year reign in Libya, rebel forces overran countless government military installations.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kim Han Sol, grandson of Kim Jong Il, planning to study at UWC in Bosnia

Kim Han Sol, from his facebook page
I saw the big news a couple days ago in my email box: a high school friend told me that, according to a local newspaper in Bosnia, Kim Han Sol will be attending UWC Mostar. I remember that this school was about to close some two years ago due to lack of funds, and only after operating for a year or so.

As far as I understand, Kim Han Sol may very well be the first ever DPRK student to attend a UWC (United World College). I wish him good luck, as moving to Bosnia from Macau may pose some challenges. On the other hand I'm quite sure he will have no problems fitting into the international environment. If Kim Han Sol gets the visa, he will likely stay in Bosnia for two years.

Just for the record, there is a UWC school in Shatin, Hong Kong, just next door to Macau where Han Sol has been living and studying. However, HK authorities will not issue a student visa to DPRK nationals.


ps.: I haven't given up on this site, it's just that I am in China where blogger is banned. have to use VPN. Also, I almost joined a Chinese group to the DPRK, but ended up not going in the last minute due to personal issues.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DPRK leader Kim Jong Il arrives in Russia ahead of summit meeting

Special train seen here crossing a bridge on a previous visit
In a rare foreign visit confirmed by state-run KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Saturday arrived via his armored train in Russia, where he will discuss economic projects and meet with President Dmitry Medvedev. His present visit is the first since 2002.

A Kremlin statement described the upcoming summit between leaders as the “main event” during Kim’s trip to the Far East and Siberian regions. The trip comes at a time when the Stalinist dictatorship is both pushing for aid and facing international pressure to resume nuclear talks, suspended since early 2009.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Increasing U.S. Aid Offers: $900,000 Pledged to Help North Korea Cope With Flooding

The United States will contribute as much as $900,000 in emergency assistance to help the DPRK cope with recent flooding, the State Department announced.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will provide the aid to North Korea’s Kangwon, North Hwanghae and South Hwanghae provinces through NGOs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Excellent election system


This is my 24th visit to the DPRK, but it is the first time I have ever visited a polling station here.
Looking round the poll, I have been greatly impressed by the free and democratic elections and I have had a better understanding of the DPRK's reality.
In the DPRK every citizen is eligible to vote and to be elected. Those who have worked a lot for the people are elected as deputies.
The popular election system of the DPRK is really excellent.
What I'd like to say more is that whenever I visit the country I can see more and more modern structures rising here and there. And I realize the developing reality of the country.
I will come to the DPRK in 2012 to join the Korean people commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung. 

By Wim van der Bijl, director of the art building material company of the Netherlands

Sunday, August 14, 2011

DPRK not going to collapse any time soon

Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about North Korea these days, with loaded words like “reform” and “collapse” on the tips of many tongues. Few, however, can speak of the secretive country from what they have seen with their own eyes.

Walters Keats, president of Illinois-based Asia Pacific Travel LTD (APTL), can talk from experience -- the tour operator has visited the North some 25 times. The country, he finds, is in the midst of change.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shelling Reported in Disputed Korean Waters

South Korea says it has responded to artillery fired into a Yellow Sea flashpoint on Wednesday.
South Korea’s military says it fired three warning shots into the Yellow Sea, an hour after North Korean shelling was heard close to their disputed sea boundary.

North Korea seeking rice deal with Myanmar

North Korean trade officials visited Myanmar this week to discuss a possible deal to import Burmese rice to ease major food shortages at home, a government official said on Wednesday. 

A meeting was held on Tuesday in the country's biggest city, Yangon, but the terms of the agreement and how North Korea planned to pay for the rice were not known, the official told Reuters, requesting anonymity.
A North Korea-flagged cargo ship named Tumangang has been docked in the port city since Monday. Witnesses and a Reuters photographer said the vessel appeared empty and no cargo was seen being loaded or unloaded.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chinese warships visit N. Korea on goodwill visit

Two Chinese warships arrived at a North Korean port Thursday on a goodwill visit to mark the 50th anniversary of a mutual assistance treaty between the countries.

Footage from Associated Press Television News in North Korea showed citizens chanting "friendship" as they welcomed the Chinese ships Luoyang and Zheng He at the North's east coast port of Wonsan.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stephen Bosworth US special envoy meets Kim Kye-gwan DPRK vice-foreign minister in New York

Senior Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and United States diplomats met for "exploratory" talks on Pyongyang's willingness to resume negotiations over its nuclear program in New York on Thursday.
Stephen Bosworth, the US special envoy for North Korea, was in discussions with Kim Kye-gwan, DPRK's vice-foreign minister, at the US Mission to the United Nations. The talks are expected to continue through Friday.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the talks were exploratory and Washington aimed to gauge Pyongyang's willingness to "take concrete steps" to re-engage in aid-for-disarmament negotiations. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

North korea holds fair local elections for the 12th time

Dear Leader Kim Jong Il cast a ballot Sunday together with his son Kim Jong Un in the local elections. The step has been seen as another step toward strengthening democracy in the country, as the younger Kim is waiting for succession.  

Footage from AP's office in Pyongyang showed people dancing in groups outside a polling station and reviewing a board listing the candidates. Women and girls in colorful traditional dresses lined up to vote near a large sign that showed a smiling man in a western-style suit dropping a ballot into a box, a message below reading: "Let's all vote for approval!"

Chinese Train System. Result? At least 35 Dead

At least 35 people were killed and scores were injured Saturday when a bullet train in eastern China lost power after being struck by lightning and was rear-ended by another train, state news media reported.

The crash sent two passenger cars careening off an elevated track in Wenzhou, a city in Zhejiang province.
State television showed video of rescue workers in a steady downpour pulling bloodied passengers out of a car standing on its end and leaning against a bridge. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Associated Press Opens North Korea Bureau

The Associated Press announced agreements with the Korea Central News Agency, including one to open an AP news bureau in Pyongyang.

Leaders of the two news organizations held discussions during a New York visit by KCNA executives and this week signed two memos of understanding and a contract.

Anti-Chinese protest held for 7th week in Vietnam

An anti-Chinese protest over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea was held for the 7th consecutive week in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Sunday.

North Korea celebrating 50th anniversary of treaty with China

The DPRK was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Assistance Treaty with China.
This treaty was created to ensure cooperation in economic and technological field, thus driving both countries forward. Also inculded was a clause of a different type: the promise of mutual military assistance in a time of war.
This is what Pyongyang was celebrating today.

In China however, there was not much celebration, the event was only marked by a low-key visit from Korean officials.

Since it is in China's best interest to maintain stability on the penninsula, not emphasising the military assistance part of the treaty is quite understandable. It has become clear that China would most likely not rush to save its ally should the DPRK find itself in an all-out with the ROK/US.On the other hand, China would not like to cause further anxiety to the DPRK by removing the military assistance clause from the treaty. Thus, silence is their best way of dealing with this problem right now.

Refugees flee famine ravaged North Korea

FOUR North Koreans who recently risked their lives to flee across the closely guarded border with China say that families are scouring the countryside for wild plants in a desperate attempt to stave off starvation.
''Some people are having to eat manure when they cannot get rice or corn,'' said one refugee, 68-year-old Kim Yeong.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Suspected North Korean spy disguised export of luxury cars as destined for embassies

A North Korean man under arrest for illegally exporting luxury foreign cars to Pyongyang by way of South Korea allegedly disguised the cars as destined for foreign embassies, it has been learned.
An Sonki, 71, a North Korean resident of Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, was earlier arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on charges of violating the Foreign Exchange Law for exporting luxury foreign cars to North Korea from Kobe in 2008 under the instruction of the Workers' Party of Korea's undercover agency.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

North Korea closes universities for construction drive


North Korea has reportedly closed its universities to most students and told them to start building as it ramps up a construction campaign ahead of its planned re-emergence next year as a "great and prosperous nation".
The UK ambassador to Pyongyang, Peter Hughes, told the Guardian that the almost year-long academic sacrifice was deemed necessary to reach production targets for new housing ahead of the centenary of founding president Kim Il-sung's birth.

Friday, July 1, 2011

U.S. Turns Back North Korea Missile Shipment


SEOUL, South Korea — The United States Navy intercepted a North Korean ship it suspected of carrying missile technology to Myanmar two weeks ago and, after a standoff at sea and several days of diplomatic pressure from Washington and Asia nations, forced the vessel to return home, according to several senior American officials. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

North Korea defection statistics – 2011

The number of North Korean defectors who entered South Korea this year numbered around eleven-hundred at the end of May.

This is up 14 percent from the same time last year.

A Unification Ministry official on Monday told reporters that the rise is considered unusual given the North has tightened border security.

Swiss leasing North Korean Pier

North Korea has leased a pier on its port located near China and Russia to Switzerland, a source said Tuesday, citing an unidentified Chinese government official.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

N. Koreans use phones to sneak information out

North Korea is a country that has been almost entirely isolated from news around the world for the past 60 years. The regime in Pyongyang allows Internet access to only a fraction of government officials and its power elite as it prepares for a third-generation hereditary succession to a young man in his late 20s.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DPRK and PRC launch joint Yalu patrols

Maritime authorities in China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday launched their first joint patrol on the Yalu River, located on the border of the two countries.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Statistics on DPRK – PRC trade

Data on North Korea’s trade with other countries is scarce, and there are stark contrasts in recent estimates from South Korea and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in terms of both volume and composition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

North Korea Opens Hwanggumphyong Special Economic Zone

8 July - On Wednesday, some 1,000 people from North Korea and China, including Kim Jong Il’s brother-in-law, Jang Song-thaek, and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, attended the opening ceremony on Hwanggumphyong Island on the Yalu River that separates the two countries.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

China expanding into Africa

China has signed contracts valued at $220 million with African countries, offering loans from a special fund to support 13 projects of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

China and stuff

I didn't die (yet), I was just in China. Where there's no blogger and I had no access to any proxies.

I hereby wish to extend a warm welcome to all my new followers. I will be back with content soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High-speed Beijing-Shanghai railway to run trials

BEIJING - The long anticipated Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will start a one-month trial operation on Wednesday, before its formal launch in late June, a railway official said.
The railway authority has also decided that the fastest train service between the two mega-cities will make an extra stop, according to an official with the transport bureau under the Ministry of Railways, who requested to remain anonymous.
"The train will stop at Nanjing (capital of Jiangsu province), because of the distance (1,318 km)," he said on Tuesday. 

Police probe prostitution rumors of Shaolin abbot

ZHENGZHOU -- Police in central China's Henan Province said Tuesday that they are investigating online rumors accusing the abbot of Shaolin temple, a UNESCO world heritage site and the birthplace of kung fu, of being caught visiting prostitutes by police.
 Police probe prostitution rumors of Shaolin abbot
Shi Yongxin performs Buddhist rituals in Kunming, Yunnan province 

Belgium-China rail connection opens



A new rail connection for cargo between Antwerp in Belgium and Southwest China’s Chongqing was presented May 9 (local time) in Antwerp.
The first train on this rail was launched on the night of May 9, from the Antwerp port to Chongqing, signaling the official opening of the rail line. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shifting towards China

That's right, I may shift towards China and China-related news and articles in the future. Some may be based on past personal experiences.

Afterall, China is the future.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Libya Leader's Son Grandchildren Killed By NATO Airstrike

 TRIPOLI, April 30 (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi survived a NATO airstrike on Saturday night that killed his youngest son Saif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren, a Libyan government spokesman said.
Mussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab was a civilian and a student who had studied in Germany. He was 29 years old.
Libyan officials took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles. The roof had completely caved in in some areas, leaving strings of reinforcing steel hanging down among chunks of concrete.
A table football machine stood outside in the garden of the house, which was in a wealthy residential area of Tripoli. 


The grandchildren were reportedly under 12. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

DPRK Moscow embassy home to casino?

A Russian company is facing charges of operating a gambling room in the North Korean embassy in Moscow.
The company, which leased the second and third floor of the embassy’s administrative building, has allegedly been running the illegal operation since December. 

The North Korean embassy denied the allegations when reports surfaced last week. But signs of a gambling operation were detected in a recent investigation by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued letters of protest to ambassadors from North Korea and Belarus and demanded the casino immediately shutdown to prevent further violation of Russian law and bilateral agreements.  
From: Russia Protests NK Embassy’s Casino Operation; KBS; 2011-4-21

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

7 villages in Shan East burnt down by Burma Army soldiers

Despite a popularly elected government, human rights violations in ethnic states carried out by Burma Army soldiers are still coming out. 7 villages in Shan State East’s Mongpiang township, having an estimated 70 households were razed  down to the ground by locally based Burma Army soldiers, alleging people there as agents of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, according to local sources. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

08RANGOON749, BURMESE CIVILIAN OFFERS TO SELL PURPORTED URANIUM

S E C R E T RANGOON 000749 

SIPDIS 

FOR STATE ISN/CTR AND PM/ISO/PMAT (24/7) 
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO DEPT OF ENERGY 

EO 12958 DECL: 09/23/2018 
TAGS KNNP, MNUC, PARM, KCRM, PTER, ASEC, KCOR, BM 
SUBJECT: BURMESE CIVILIAN OFFERS TO SELL PURPORTED URANIUM 
238 TO U.S. EMBASSY RANGOON, BURMA

REF: A. 2007 STATE 162091  B. USDAO RANGOON IIR 6 812 0131 08

Classified By: CDA Larry Dinger for Reasons 1.4 (b and d) 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't try to play the journalist in Burma

Previously I tried to present a different view on Myanmar. I tried to balance the views offered by mainstream media thinking they were overly biased when it came to the government. After asking the wrong questions from the wrong people, I have to admit that I may have been mistaken in the past.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Picture of the Week from Birmingham

Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Secretary of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, presses the button to start the MG6 UK off-line ceremony at MG Motor UK in Longbridge, Birmingham, Britain, on April 12, 2011. MG UK, owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), launched here on Tuesday its new product MG6, which will be on sale in the UK from the middle of May on. (from Xinhua)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shan godfather releases Chinese abductees

13 Chinese who were kidnapped by Golden Triangle godfather Naw Kham were released Friday, 8 April, 4 days after they were taken by his men, according to a source close to the King Romans casino in Laos.

“The ransom money, 25 million baht ($8.3 million), was paid by Zhao Wei (the casino owner) through Chiangrai godfather known as Pu Nuad,” he said. “Naw Kham however said it wasn’t ransom but protection fee due to him and that he hopes this last incident serves as a lesson to Zhao Wei.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Panghsang druglords increasing tax rates up to 20 fold

Great example for why there is a need for strong, centralized governance in Myanmar:

Tax fees in Panghsang, headquarters of the strongest non-government armed group in Myanmar, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in northern Shan State, has dramatically increased prompting local people to protest, according to local sources.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Myanmar NGOs say Aung San Suu Kyi hampers their work


Myanmar non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have complained to a United Nations envoy that their work has been hampered by the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her active involvement in social issues.

Today: Video of Gadhafi greeted by crowd in Tripoli - 5 April


Gadhafi in an SUV amongst his supporters. Funny thing that FOX was the only place where I could find it...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's common in Myanmar and Libya?

While they may be far away in geological terms, these two countries still have a lot in common.

British soldier in Libya

First, let's start with a little history. Libya was colonized by the Ottoman Empire in 1551. The Turkish rule lasted until 1912, when the Italo-Turkish War war resulted in an Italian victory. Libia Italiana was the official name after this, and until it was lost to the allied forces in 1943. Libya was then divided into three regions to be under British and French control. Between 1949 and 1951, there was a short-lived emirate set up in Benghazi, with British backing, under the name of Emirate of Cyrenaica.

Kuldesak

Indonesian band, one of my favorites.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sanctions (on Myanmar, from Myanmar)

I have done some analysis of the paper on “Economic sanctions against Myanmar” issued by National League for Democracy on 8 February by writing the article titled “Sanctions, Daw Suu Kyi and NLD”.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Children Full of Life - Documentary from Japan

Beautiful. This is why the Japanese are different from the rest of us. Try to watch on fullscreen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The World Cheers as the CIA Plunges Libya Into Chaos

Bus set on fire by Western-sponsored 'rebels'
How was Libya doing under the rule of Gadaffi? How bad did the people have it? Were they oppressed as we now commonly accept as fact? Let us look at the facts for a moment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yesterday's earthquake: More than 100 feared dead

More than 80 coffins were sold out this morning in Tachilek, following last night’s 6.8 magnitude quake that centered in Talerh-Monglane area, 48 km north of Tachilek-Maesai border checkpoint, according to sources on the border. 

Wa, Mongla “advised” by China to reject new alliance

I'm personally happy that the opium-growing Wa have been told it's enough. The article goes:

7.0 Earthquake hits Eastern Shan State, Myanmar, Golden Triangle

This just happened 30 minutes ago. The earthquake could be felt more than 300 kilometers away from its epicenter, which was at the Thai- Myanmar bordertown of Tachileik. I wonder what's the damage to Tachileik.

* USGS just updated it to 6.8
Two aftershocks, about 30 minutes apart. Last one at 15:56 GMT.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Casinos of Myanmar

On the streets of Yangon. © by me
Myanmar is not a rich country, a fact mainly due to the unreasonable and groundless sanctions imposed upon it by the western world. Facing insurgency in many states of this vast country, the Government had to agree to some concessions. One of the rebel groups who was offered and accepted ceasefire was the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Iranian defector hiding in South-East Aisa tells story

I'm sitting on a riverfront bench in Phom Penh, Cambodia. In my hand there's a bottle of tea, imported from Singapore. Next to me is sitting Fatima (not real name) from Iran.


Friday, February 4, 2011

I met a Burmese refugee


In a cheap Bangkok guesthouse I met Arakan. Arakan came from the state of Arakan (yeah, really), on the Western shore of Myanmar. He had brown skin and a meek face. His body was ripped. He was traveling on a legit Myanmar passport, and was legally in Thailand. However, he had other plans: he was planning to claim that he was a refugee, make his way into a refugee camp, and ultimately to the West.


To conclude it, Arakan was an economic 'refugee', and he was never prosecuted back in Myanmar, not even for joining a militia that he admitted to doing.