Asia

18.08.2009

Soka Gakkai holds memorial services for atomic bomb victims

Remembering the 64th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb, services in solemn tribute to war victims was conducted at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the memorial service in Hiroshima, the Soka Gakkai Women's Peace Committee (WPC) held a meeting where hibakusha (bomb survivor) shared their experiences at the end of the Second War. »

18.08.2009

Afghans go to elections with increasing need for Reconciliation between parties

The election campaigns in Afghanistan have ended with mass rallies by a number of presidential candidates. Actual President Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah lead the polls. To gain support of the Ayatollahs and Uzbek voters, Karzai approved a law against women’s right to refuse sexual demand of husbands and allowed the return of Abdul Rashid Dostum. »

18.08.2009

Kim Dae-jung, 2000 Peace Nobel Prize, dies in Seoul

President of South Korea from 1998 to 2003, and the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He has been called the "Nelson Mandela of Asia" for his long-standing opposition to authoritarian rule. When he was President of South Korea, he risked the so called “Sunshine Policy” with North Korea’s Kim Jon-il in 2000, in an attempt to bring peace to the Korean peninsula. »

17.08.2009

Moluccan exiles will settle for autonomy

The new president of the Moluccan government-in-exile says an independent Moluccan state is no longer its absolute priority. In an interview with the Nederlands Dagblad, John Wattilete says he is prepared to place the future of the islands in the hands of the people and if they no longer wish to fight for independence from Indonesia then "he would accept the consequences". »

17.08.2009

North Korea opens border for family visits

North Korea's KCNA state press agency says the border has been re-opened for family visits from South Korea. The move is an important gesture at a time of rising tension between the two countries. North Korea has also announced that the whole country is on high alert because of joint military exercises taking place between the United States and South Korea. »

17.08.2009

United States citizen released by Myanmar

United States citizen, John William Yettaw, was released and deported by the government Sunday and left the country along with Democrat Senator of the United States Jim Webb who concluded his three-day visit to Myanmar. Yettaw´s visit was the excuse for Aung San Suu Kyi 18 month extension house arrest that does not allow Ms Suu Kyi to run for next year’s elections. »

17.08.2009

Lucky Cat

Right in Nagoya international airport, in line to check in for my flight back to Sao Paulo, I hear a strange noise. Meow, meow.… There was a cat, somewhere close by. I tried to find it but could not. It was coming from a couple who spoke Portuguese. They had lots of luggage. The passengers behind them also had lots of luggage. »

15.08.2009

Pariahs of Asia play nuke hand for respect

In the episode of the two journalists freed by North Korea, a dangerous game was played when Bill Clinton genuflected at North Korea´s Kim Jong-il. Myanmar has no foreign enemies that it needs to deter. Instead of being an international pariah the Myanmar´s generals would win a lot of respect if they would become nuclear. There are signs that this could happen. »

13.08.2009

“In an Authoritarian State, Only the Prisoner of Conscience is Truly Free”

After 14 years of political confinement the non-violent activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to another 18 months for an alleged violation of her house arrest, has chosen the freedom of coherence. She stated that she does not feel deprived of liberty since "in an authoritarian state, only the prisoner of conscience is truly free". »

13.08.2009

North Korea frees South Korean factory worker

North Korea has freed a South Korean factory worker who was arrested in March for insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The man was detained at a joint factory site situated just over the border in North Korea. The release of the factory worker is the first goodwill gesture Pyongyang has made to South Korea since conservative President Lee Myung-bak came to power. »

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