Friday, September 28, 2007

Myanmar cracks down on monks, blocks internet

The government cracked down on protesting Buddhist monks and their supporters in Myanmar killing at least 10 and injuring or detaining many others.

Rangoon also blocked land-line access to the internet and surrounded key Buddhist temples in the country.

Monks had joined protests in the country condemning a fuel price hike. The demonstrations continued to swell reaching into the tens of thousands before the government began confronting the protesters earlier this week. According to some reports, hundreds have been killed in the violence.

Myanmar crackdown brings condemnation (AP)

Filipino protesters display a wanted poster of Myanmar's military junta leader Gen. Than Shwe during a rally in support to the ongoing protest in Myanmar Friday, Sept. 28, 2007 in front of the building housing the Myanmar embassy in Manila's financial district Philippines. Soldiers with automatic rifles fired into crowds of anti-government demonstrators in Myanmar Thursday, killing at least nine people in the bloodiest day in more than a month of protests demanding an end to military rule. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)AP - Myanmar's suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators drew condemnation and protests Friday particularly in surrounding Asian countries. ASEAN envoys and China urged the country to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shanghai praces for Typhoon Wipha

Although it is expected to weaken dramatically before reaching Shanghai in China, Typhoon Wipha could still be the most damaging storm to hit the area in a decade.

After passing over Taiwan, Wipha was still a Category 3 typhoon although it is expected to weaken to a tropical storm over the next 12 hours.

More than 2 million people have been evacuated throughout China ahead of the massive cyclone.

China's official government website issued a statement said to come from both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao that "demanded that relevant provinces and cities strengthen their guard against the typhoon, increase implementation of defence measures ... and safeguard the lives and safety of the people"

Typhoons normally strike the Chinese coast during the summer months as they move northwest across the South China Sea from Southeast Asia.

Shaghai has evacuated 291,000 people and stopped all construction in the city. Two FIFA Women's World Cup matches scheduled for Wednesday in Shanghai and Hangzhou have been postponed to Thursday. The Shanghai match will be relocated to Hangzhou.

Pedestrian in Taipei walk through rain brought by Typhoon Wipha.AFP/Patrick Lin photo via Yahoo News.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Chinese state visit to Tonga; Chennai under alert

China continued to outreach to Pacific island nations with its first congressional level visit to the kingdom of Tonga this week.

Matangi Tonga

China's Congress makes first visit to Tonga
Matangi Tonga, Tonga
High-level Chinese legislators from China's Congress visited Tonga for the first time this week. A delegation from the Standing Committee of the ...

The South India city of Chennai, in Tamil Nadu state, was put on alert for a possible terrorist strike. The neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh suffered two bomb blasts recently. Intelligence reports suggest an operative with a Bangladeshi extremist group might be at work in the city.

Zee News

New Delhi warns of terror threat in Chennai
The Statesman, India - Sep 3, 2007
... the initial inputs suggested that the terrorists might plan a terror attack at Chennai, which has so far remained largely untouched terrorist activity ...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Greenpeace, Searice fight GMO rice in Philippines

Greenpeace and the Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (Searice) are seeking an injunction against the approval of genetically-modified (GMO) rice in the Philippines.

If approved, the LL62 Bayer rice will be the first GMO food approved anywhere in the world by a national government.

Greenpeace and Searice asked for a restraining order expressing concern about the lack of public discussion on a matter of great public concern.

Community-based and environmental groups all over the world have been fighting fierce battles against GMOs, or "Frakenfoods" as they are also called. The opponents note that GMOs are unnatural, untested and have already proven harmful to human health. They also decrease diversity of crops and wild vegetation often due to accidental contamination.