"Asian Spring"
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"Asian Spring"
Tracking Freedom Movements in South Asia, Central Asia and the Jasmine in China
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Unrest in Kazakhstan's Mangistau Region

Unrest in Kazakhstan's Mangistau Region | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Analysis


The Kazakh Prosecutor General's office issued a statement Dec. 19 claiming that the situation in the western oil-rich Kazakh region of Mangistau was returning to normal after a robust police and military intervention quelled three days of sporadic violence and protests. The unrest broke out in several different cities and involved oil workers' demonstrations. The unrest began Dec. 16 in Zhanaozen when police tried to disperse hundreds of striking oil workers from the Uzenmunaigaz unit of KazMunaiGaz Exploration Production from the town's main square. At least 14 people died in the subsequent violence, at least 100 others were injured and approximately 70 were detained or arrested. Unrest also was reported in the town of Shetpe, approximately 145 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Zhanaozen, when approximately 300 people blocked the Mangyshlak-Aktobe passenger train at the Shetpe railway station. These incidents are not physically connected, except that they took place in the same region -- an area largely isolated from Kazakh population centers and a region known for its extreme poverty. One common factor linking these protests is that the demonstrators were oil workers who, after months of peaceful demonstrations, resorted to violence.

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Kim Jong-un Critical Questions concerning Leadership Transition in North Korea

Kim Jong-un Critical Questions concerning Leadership Transition in North Korea | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
CNA senior research analyst Ken Gause discusses power politics and the leadership transition in North Korea.

 

Overview
On December 17, 2011, Kim Jong-il's seventeen-year rule came to an end as he reportedly succumbed to a heart attack. Nearly fifty hours after the event, the North Korean propaganda apparatus sprang into action, informing the world of Kim's passing and proclaiming Kim Jong-un, twenty-nine years old, the "great successor." Moving at a rapid pace, the transition of power appears to have moved smoothly as the young Kim received the titles of supreme leader (ch'eogo ryo'ngdoja) and supreme commander (Choson inmin'gun ch'oego) of the armed forces. An entirely different set of signals have highlighted what appears to be a collective leadership that will advise Kim and facilitate his consolidation of power.

 

Going forward, Pyongyangwatchers will begin to key in on a number of issues central to the survival of this new regime. Has the leadership paradigm of one central decision-maker been replaced by something new? What challenges does Kim Jong-un face to consolidating his power? How will the party-military relationship evolve? What is the prognosis for near- and medium-term stability of this new regime?

 

At the time of Kim's death, the North Korean leadership was moving through the second phase of a three-phase succession. This phase, which was launched with the Third Party Conference in September 2010, was to mark a period of on-the-job training for the heir apparent. It was also the phase in which the regime was to be rewired in order to accommodate a post-Kim Jong-il leadership configuration. In the third phase, Kim Jong-un would be appointed to additional senior party leadership bodies and receive the titles of power, much as his father did in the early 1990s.

 

Kim's death short-circuited this phased approach to leadership transfer. Instead, the regime is now using the mourning period to rapidly move through the third phase of the succession. On December 30, the Politburo passed a decree formally transferring the post of supreme commander to Kim Jong-un in accordance with his father's wishes. In the coming months, we can expect the convening of a Korean Worker's Party (KWP) meeting to convey at least the title of Central Military Committee (CMC) chairman on Kim Jong-un, which, according to the recently revised Party Charter (Article 22), is tied to the title of general secretary of the party.

 

As the regime moves through this blitz campaign to legitimize the succession, it is yet unclear whether we are witnessing a paradigm shift in how North Koreais ruled. There is little question that the regime is trying to portray Kim Jong-un as the supreme leader with all the authority and power that the title embodies. This was made evident by the North Korean media's publication of Kim's signature, apparently a signal that he will follow his father's practice of directly signing off on policy decisions. His guidance inspection of the 105th Tank Division also points to the eagerness of the regime to push his bona fides in front of the public. After all, Kim Jong-il ceased making public appearances for nearly three months after the initial mourning period for Kim Il-sung in 1994.

 

But while Kim might enjoy real authority, it is his relationship with the leadership support system around him that will determine the latitude he has to make decisions on his own. Coming out of ceremonies surrounding the funeral, Kim Jong-un's collective support network appears to be divided among several groupings of individuals. If anything, these groupings reveal a party-military amalgamation. While organizationally, the leadership appears to be situated within the party apparatus, it is intimately tied to the high command, making the argument over whether the military or the party is now in ascendance a moot point.

 

The inner ring of this support network is made up of gatekeepers who will most likely be involved in decision-making.

 

Vice Marshall (VMAR) Yi Yong-ho, director of the General Staff Department (GSD), has operational control over the armed forces.


General Jang Song-taek, who has oversight of the internal security apparatus and the economy portfolio, is well situated to support Kim Jong-un in the running of the daily operations of the regime.


General Kim Kyong-hui, the new leader's aunt, Politburo member, and director of the KWP Light Industry Department, will likely play an advisory role and serve as a main arbitrator within the Kim family as well as the larger North Korean leadership.
General O Kuk-yol, National Defense Commission (NDC) vice chairman, will have input into deliberations involving tradeoffs between reform and security.


This group of four is tied to two leadership bodies (Politburo and National Defense Commission), which do not currently include Kim Jong-un but were responsible for two critical decisions in the days after Kim Jong-il's death. The new regime's first authoritative statement was issued in the name of the NDC on December 30, setting the parameters of North Korea's relationship with the South. This was quickly followed by the Politburo's proclamation of Kim as supreme commander. While both decisions do not detract from Kim's authority, they highlight his need to rely on close advisers and established institutional authorities to conduct the regime's business.

 

The outer ring of this leadership configuration is centered in the party's CMC, which is made up of important second- and third-generation military and security officials from across the regime. Under Kim Jong-un, the CMC might replace the NDC as the command post of military first politics. It will be responsible for crafting the "great successor's" image, gathering loyalty toward the new regime, and running the country. In terms of Kim's relationship with the military, three CMC members are particularly crucial during the transition period. All accompanied Kim Jong-un as he escorted his father's hearse through the streets of Pyongyang.

 

VMAR Kim Yong-chun, as minister of People's Armed Forces, has past service in the KWP Organization Guidance Department and the Korean People's Army's (KPA) General Political Department, which give him invaluable experience in sniffing out potential disloyalty within the armed forces.


General Kim Jong-gak is the acting head of the KPA's General Political Bureau, a responsibility that makes him the de facto third-ranking member in the high command, behind the heads of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces (MPAF) and GSD.


General U Tong-chuk, as first vice director of the State Security Department, oversees the country's powerful secret police.


Other individuals with military portfolios bear watching, such as O Il-jong (director of the KWP Military Department), Kim Kyong-ok (first vice director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department for military affairs), and Choe Ryong-hae (KWP secretary for military affairs). They will be critical to creating and facilitating a unified and centralized party guidance system that invests the great successor with the ideological authority he will need to rule.

 

Looking to the future, Kim Jong-un will only be able to rely on this leadership configuration for a limited time. Ultimately, his political survival will depend on his ability to develop his own support base that will likely be drawn from up-and-coming party and military figures from the third and fourth generations. In addition, he will have to mature as a leader and hone his skills in leveraging power bases within the regime. Finally, he will have to showcase his policy skills, avoiding blunders that could call into question his leadership qualifications.

 

In terms of signposts, Pyongyang watchers will be looking for clues as to whether Kim Jong-un will be able to consolidate his power.

 

How will the North Korean media handle upcoming events? Over the next several months, the regime will celebrate the birthdays of Kim Jong-il (February 16) and Kim Il-sung (April 15). Both are opportunities for the media to provide additional clues regarding the succession. While the media did not publicly proclaim Kim Jong-un's birthday on January 8, it did air a documentary showing him driving a tank and visiting the rocket center that launched the long-range rocket Kwangmyungsung 2 on April 5, 2009.


Will Kim assume the chairmanship of the NDC? The regime may choose to leave the NDC post vacant. Much as Kim Il-sung became the eternal president, the regime may choose to designate Kim Jong-il as the eternal head of the NDC, an organization that embodied his leadership era. If so, this will require a change in the constitution, which currently (via Article 100) combines the posts of supreme leader and NDC chairman.


Will Kim defer the post of general secretary until the end of the mourning period? Kim Jong-il deferred taking the post until the end of a three-year mourning period. Initial indications are that his son will not wait that long.


When will Kim Jong-un visit China? Critical to any new North Korean leader is his visit toPyongyang's major benefactor. Kim Jong-il made his first trip as heir apparent in the early 1980s. Recent speculation was that Kim Jong-un was not ready to make such a trip unaccompanied. When this trip eventually occurs, it will reveal a lot about his ability to control the regime and interact with the outside world.


When will Kim Jong-un's personal secretariat emerge? The personal secretariat played a central role in running the regime under Kim Jong-il. At the funeral, important figures from this personal secretariat paid public homage, including Kim Ok, Chon Il-chun (Office 39), and Yi Chol (head of the Kim family's finances). It remains to be seen who will emerge as members of Kim Jong-un's personal retinue.


Will the collective leadership around Kim Jong-un hold together? The real question about the stability of the regime will play out not in the coming days but in the coming weeks and months, as North Korea moves through the important year of 2012 and fulfill the promise of becoming "a strong and prosperous nation." It is during this period when fissures, if they are going to occur, might manifest themselves within the leadership configuration that surrounds Kim Jong-un. Early indicators that things are not going smoothly could include erratic policymaking, mixed messages, and elite defections.


As a young man, Kim Jong-un faces many hurdles to assuming the mantle of his father. He will likely try to maintain the leadership style of Kim Jong-il, brooking no challenge to his political birthright. His skills, temperament, perseverance, and the time necessary to carry off this feat will not only dictate the future of the regime, but may well affect the future security of the region.

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North Korea-Harsh Punishments for Poor Mourning

North Korea-Harsh Punishments for Poor Mourning | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

The North Korean authorities have completed the criticism sessions which began after the mourning period for Kim Jong Il and begun to punish those who transgressed during the highly orchestrated mourning events.

 

Daily NK learned from a source from North Hamkyung Province on January 10th, “The authorities are handing down at least six months in a labor-training camp to anybody who didn’t participate in the organized gatherings during the mourning period, or who did participate but didn’t cry and didn't seem genuine.”

 

Furthermore, the source added that people who are accused of circulating rumors criticizing the country’s 3rd generation dynastic system are also being sent to re-education camps or being banished with their families to remote rural areas.

 

Daily NK earlier reported news that criticism sessions were being held at all levels of industry, in enterprises and by local people’s units starting on December 29th, the last day of the mourning period. A source said at the time that the central authorities had ordered the sessions to be completed by January 8th.

 

The North Hamkyung source commented of the sessions that they "created a vicious atmosphere of fear, causing people to accuse ‘that young upstart’ (Kim Jong Eun) of preying on the people now that he has taken power."

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Tibet- Thousands Attend Funeral

Tibet- Thousands Attend Funeral | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Defying a security clampdown, thousands of Tibetans gathered on Monday in a Tibetan region of China’s Qinghai province to honor a respected religious leader who died in a self-immolation protest against rule by Beijing.

 

The high-ranking lama, called Sopa and aged 42, set himself ablaze and died on Sunday in front of the police station of Darlag (in Chinese, Dari) county in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture after shouting slogans calling for freedom for Tibet.

 

The Chinese authorities at first refused to hand over Sopa’s body to his relatives but relented after hundreds of angry Tibetans smashed windows and doors of the local police station.

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Tibet: Deadly Torture Of Political Protesters

Tibet: Deadly Torture Of Political Protesters | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Chinese torture caused death of Tibetan prisoner and leaves friend paralyzed.

 

Below is an article published by Voice of America

 

Norlha Ashagtsang, 49, succumbed to the after effects of torture on 27 December 2011, in Lhasa, Tibet. Ashagtsang was from Pemashang, Joda County, TAR, and he was detained along with a friend, Gonpo Dhargyal, on 27 June 2009 when they were protesting against Chinese repression in Derge. They were severely beaten by PAP and local police at the time of being detained and were later taken to Chamdo. “They were sentenced to 6 and 5 years respectively” says Geshe Monlam Tharchin, Standing committee member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

 

After prolonged illness due to injuries sustained from torture and beatings during detention, Ashagtsang was released on medical parole in 2011. He was taken to Chengdu for medical treatment several times but passed away on 27th December 2011. Citing a reliable source, Geshe Monlam Tharchin said ‘he succumbed to Chinese torture’.

 

His friend Gonpo Dhargyal was also released at around the same time as Norlha, also under Medical Parole. “Dhargyal is presently undergoing treatment, but he is paralyzed from the waist down” said Geshe Monlam Tharchin

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Armed N.Korean soldiers flee to China

Armed N.Korean soldiers flee to China | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
Six armed North Korean border guards tasked with preventing defections have themselves fled across the frontier into China, sparking a security alert on the Chinese side of the border, a report said.

 

Daily NK, a Seoul-based online newspaper run by North Korean defectors, said in a report posted late Wednesday that the border patrol agents crossed the Yalu river marking the northwestern border around November 20.

 

Seoul's intelligence agency is investigating whether the report is correct, its spokesman said.

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Myanmar frees leading political prisoners

Myanmar on Friday released leading political detainees among 651 prisoners granted a presidential pardon, a key step in its efforts to persuade the United States to lift sanctions against the Southeast Asian country. ... 

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Burma's Tightrope - By Aung Zaw

Burma's Tightrope - By Aung Zaw | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

One sweltering day in August of last year, Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi arrived for the first time in the capital of her country. The city of Naypyidaw, inaugurated six years ago by Burma's mercurial military rulers, is a supremely artificial creation, a place of vacant boulevards and echoing plazas built in the foothills some 200 miles away from the old capital of Rangoon. Rangoon is the city that Aung San Suu Kyi calls home, and it is there that she had spent 15 of the past 22 years under house arrest. ... 

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Hu warns successors over 'peaceful evolution'

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) greeted 2012 by publicizing a speech by its general secretary, President Hu Jintao that called for effective measures against "ideological and cultural infiltration" by "hostile forces".

 

remarks on cultural infiltration appeared in a lengthy speech given to a party plenum in October, with the unusually toughly-worded rhetoric taking many in and outside China by surprise. Some foreign media saw it as a declaration of war against Western culture. ... 

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China’s vice president orders more thought control over students

China’s vice president orders more thought control over students | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Xi Jinping, the Chinese Vice-President, who is tipped to take over from President Hu Jintao later this year, has ordered universities to increase thought control over students and young lecturers.

 

His call for more ideological indoctrination comes amid a ratcheting up of propaganda ahead of next autumn’s keynote Communist Party congress, which is likely to see Mr Xi unveiled as China’s next leader.

 

"University Communist Party organs must adopt firmer and stronger measures to maintain harmony and stability in universities," Mr Xi said told Communist Party members at a meeting attended by the country’s universities chiefs in Beijing.

 

"Daily management of the institutions should be stepped up to create a good atmosphere for the success of the Party’s 18th congress," he added.

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Body paraded after China self-immolation

Body paraded after China self-immolation | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
The body of a Tibetan monk who died after setting himself on fire was paraded through the streets in northwestern China, a report said Monday, in the latest in a series of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.

 

hundreds of angry Tibetans forced police to hand over the remains of the 42-year-old monk, named Sopa, and then carried them through the streets in Dari county in Qinghai province.


It said the monk died Sunday morning after drinking kerosene and throwing it over his body. Radio Free Asia quoted a source as saying Sopa's "body exploded in pieces" before police took it away.


Two other men set themselves on fire Friday in Sichuan province.

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2 More Monks Self-Immolate in Southwestern China

2 More Monks Self-Immolate in Southwestern China | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
China says a former Tibetan monk has died after he and another man set themselves on fire in southwestern China - the latest in more than a dozen self-immolations by Tibetan Buddhists in the region in less than a year.

 

At least 14 Tibetan Buddhists have set themselves on fire in the province in the past 10 months, since a young monk protesting Chinese rule died after self-immolating outside the monastery in March. That death sparked months of protests by monks and nuns and triggered a major Chinese crackdown that included the arrests and disappearances of hundreds of monks.

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Wa, Mongla still against junta-drawn charter

Wa, Mongla still against junta-drawn charter | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Despite signing agreement last month to consider having elected representatives for townships under their control to speak for them, both the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) say the first thing for them to deliberate is whether or not they should accept the 2008 constitution that had been ratified without their participation, according to sources from Sino-Burmese border.

 

Both had allowed junta referendum organizers to set up polling stations in their areas in May 2008 for the non-UWSA and non-NDAA populace to exercise their right. “Only a few turned up,” said an NDAA official. “And you can be sure what most of them thought about whatever the Burmese government did.”

 

Nevertheless, the regime announced later that 99.07% of the eligible voters had turned up and 92.4% of them had voted in favor of the charter.

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China's Rural Conflicts and Beijing's Response

China's Rural Conflicts and Beijing's Response | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Rural instability has become a notable concern for Beijing. Previously marked by brief and episodic unrest, rural discontent has grown sustained and is happening on a larger scale. A series of protests in rural areas over the past year peaked in Wukan, where thousands of villagers staged three months of unrest after land seizures by local governments. After decades of promoting industrialization and urban development at the expense of rural concerns, Beijing now wants to be seen as addressing rural needs.


Analysis


A series of protests in rural areas over the past year peaked in Wukan, where thousands of villagers in the eastern Guangdong village staged three months of unrest after the seizure of land by local governments. That incident and the subsequent unrest in multiple townships in Chaoshan region in eastern Guangdong province have highlighted deep-seated conflicts over economic development in rural China. These events, and thousands of other incidents in rural China in the last year, largely originated in the high level of corruption that accompanies land seizures. Previously marked by relatively brief and sporadic episodes, the unrest has grown sustained and is happening on a large scale, in some cases even showing signs of having been organized -- making rural instability an increasing concern for Beijing.

 

Throughout China's long history, rural unrest has repeatedly played a powerful role, largely due to the country's vast population and the connectivity developed through family ties. Most dynastic changes, including the transition to communism, to some degree began in rural areas. The Communist Party of China (CPC) itself benefited from rural revolution, and the Party has long emphasized the need to maintain stability in rural areas. During its first three decades in power, the CPC sought to do so via a series of land reforms and other legal changes.

 

In more recent decades, worries about unemployment and inflation in urban areas, and about growing frustration at the different pace of political and economic reforms during the country's massive industrialization process, overshadowed concerns about rural unrest. The hinterland became of secondary importance in the 1980s, when Beijing's economic agenda shifted to prioritize industrialization in urban areas -- though Party rhetoric continued to emphasize the importance of rural China.

 

The countryside's role increasingly became to support the development of urban China, particularly along the coastal area. During this process, a number of changes were implemented that substantially limited opportunities for the rural population. These included the Hukou system -- a residency framework that tied the rural population to the land, while granting urban dwellers a number of social benefits. The system was originally intended to anchor vast land and rural populations for the purpose of securing food production and was largely sustained by meeting only the rural population's basic needs. Meanwhile, vast resources and funding flowed into urban areas to assist industrial activities. Hukou's effects were compounded by various policies, including a heavy agricultural tax burden and pricing and quota controls, that further depressed the already meager earnings that could be extracted from land.

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Who Are the Generals Surrounding Kim Jong-un

Who Are the Generals Surrounding Kim Jong-un | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

North Korea has done its best in the weeks since Kim Jong Il’s death to project an atmosphere of calmness, continuity, and stability in the transition from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un. Despite significant differences between 1994 and 2011, including the weakening of ideology, the lack of a long apprenticeship for Kim Jong-un, and an increasingly penetrated North Korean society, the North Korean leadership has been following the script provided by the succession of 1994 through its handling of the funeral arrangements and initial efforts to elevate Kim Jong-un as a leader.

 

However, we do not know what will happen as we reach the end of the script and Kim Jong-un starts to make decisions on his own: Will he take the advice of his regents at the risk of becoming a puppet and the face of the regime? Will other powerholders maneuver to marginalize the younger Kim Jong-un or strip him of power? Will Kim Jong-un be faced by unsolvable food shortages, continued loss of political control, and a failure of the North Korean patronage system as elites find new ways to make money to feather their own nests? Will there be a possible coup d’etat from rebellious military units such as that which was tried and failed in North Hamgyong in the mid-1990s?

 

To more clearly understand what we have learned through the funeral ceremony and initial efforts to promote Kim Jong-un as North Korea’s supreme commander, I asked CNA’s Ken Gause, a leading American analyst of North Korea’s political structure and leadership, to write on the initial developments in the post-Kim Jong-il era. You can find his must read here.( See Link below. Media SASFOR)

 

http://www.cfr.org/north-korea/leadership-transition-north-korea/p27071

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Beijing's Pilgrim 'Flexibility' Puzzling

Beijing's Pilgrim 'Flexibility' Puzzling | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

The Chinese government allows up to 10,000 Tibetans pilgrims to travel to India to see the Dalai Lama at the 'Kalachakra' ritual.

 

When the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya opens to the public each day at 4:00 a.m., the pilgrim queue already stretches out for half a mile. Through a sheath of grey winter mist, the ground pulsates with the motions of thousands of Tibetans, praying and prostrating on planks of wood, blankets, and wet grass.

 

The chubas, hats, shoes, and jewelry from Amdo, Kham, and Utsang, reveal the beauty and variety of Tibetan culture at this vast congregation of pilgrims who have come for the Dalai Lama's ancient Kalachakra ritual in the Indian town believed to be the place where Buddha attained enlightenment.

 

But amid charges that China is intensifying its assaults on Buddhism inside Tibet, and as more monks and nuns are driven to self-immolation, everyone here is wondering: why has the Chinese government allowed up to 10,000 Tibetans pilgrims to travel to India to see the Dalai Lama?

 

Tenzin Tsundue, the renowned poet and activist who is volunteering at the Tibetan Youth Congress tent, says: "The majority of people who have come from Tibet are over age 55. No one has come from Qinghai Province, where most of the self immolations are happening."

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Chinese Forces Reportedly Open Fire on Protesting Tibetans

Chinese Forces Reportedly Open Fire on Protesting Tibetans | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
A protest was reportedly met with violence after a Tibetan man set himself on fire to protest Chinese policies in the Tibetan areas.

 

Chinese security forces on Saturday fired into a crowd of Tibetans in a restive area of Sichuan Province after they tried to take away the body of a Tibetan man who had died after setting himself on fire that morning to protest Chinese policies in the Tibetan areas, according to reports from two Tibet advocacy groups and Tibetan officials in the exile government in India.

 

It appeared that at least two people had been hit by gunfire, and one of those might have been killed, said Kate Saunders, a spokeswoman for International Campaign for Tibet, which is based in Washington. Ms. Saunders said the group had spoken to at least two sources.

 

Another group, Free Tibet, said it had confirmed reports that a Tibetan woman was shot. There were unconfirmed reports that many others were also hit, said Stephanie Brigden, the director of the group, which is based in London. Security officials in the area could not be reached for comment on Saturday night.

 

The violence took place in the town of Aba, known in Tibetan as Ngaba

_____________________________________

Pertinent Comment on this article :

by Andrew Colesville, MD

 

The Chinese bureaucratic-comprador capitalist class (CBCCC) faces four sovereignty challenges ― potential independences of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and loss of South China Sea. Although Dalai Lama had openly renounced Tibet independence, overseas Tibetans, India and some of the international NGO strive for its partial independence or fair amount of self-government and refuse to recognize fully China’s sovereignty over Tibet, regardless of the historical evidences. China’s vast population reaches a crescendo in protection of China’s sovereignty integrity. This is natural ― the U.S. population would likely object to independences of the Hawaii islands, the States of Texas and California, etc., if promoted by some foreign or local powers.

“The police began beating the man after putting out his flames” should compare with the startlingly vile event that U.S. marines urinated on the Taliban corpse in Afghanistan. “At least 12 Tibetans have died through self-immolation since 2009.” This reminds us of the sole self-immolation last year in Tunisia that ignited the Arab Spring. Why can the Chinese people tolerate so many self-immolations in China without outrage?

CBCCC has bought off the upper class but cannot buy popular support in China. Chinese working class should resolutely repudiate provincialism & unite to fight back against the CBCCC for justice, rationality, egalitarianism and democracy everywhere in China, regardless of ethnicity, language, culture and religion.

 

 

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It's Wuhan Again ! Xbox workers in China threatened mass suicide

It's Wuhan Again ! Xbox workers in China threatened mass suicide | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
Dozens of workers assembling Xbox video game consoles climbed to a factory dormitory roof, and some threatened to jump to their deaths.

 

The dispute boiled over last week after contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group said it would close the production line for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 consoles at its plant in the central city of Wuhan and transfer some workers to other jobs, workers and Foxconn said Thursday.

 

Workers reached by telephone said Foxconn initially offered severance pay for those who wanted to leave rather than be transferred, but then reneged, angering the workers.

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U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Myanmar after prisoners released

U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Myanmar after prisoners released | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
The Obama administration restored full diplomatic relations with Myanmar, moving swiftly to reward the military-backed government for reforms including a cease-fire with ethnic insurgents and the release of political prisoners.

 

The move Friday came only six weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a historic visit that highlighted Washington's attempts to re-engage with a strategic Asian nation that remains under strict sanctions for its dismal human rights record.

 

The White House was eager for rapprochement, in part, to pull the resource-rich country out of China's political and economic orbit. Ms. Clinton flew to the capital, Naypyidaw, shortly after President Barack Obama announced a "pivot" in U.S. military and diplomatic policy to reassure Asia-Pacific region allies who are nervous about China's increasing assertiveness.

 

Diplomatic relations were kept to a minimal level over the past two decades but were never severed. The administration now will send an ambassador to Myanmar for the first time since 1990 and invited the government to send an envoy to Washington.

 

The move Friday came only six weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a historic visit that highlighted Washington's attempts to re-engage with a strategic Asian nation that remains under strict sanctions for its dismal human rights record.

 

The White House was eager for rapprochement, in part, to pull the resource-rich country out of China's political and economic orbit. Ms. Clinton flew to the capital, Naypyidaw, shortly after President Barack Obama announced a "pivot" in U.S. military and diplomatic policy to reassure Asia-Pacific region allies who are nervous about China's increasing assertiveness.

 

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Myanmar says hundreds of political prisoners free

Myanmar says hundreds of political prisoners free | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Myanmar has released more than 300 people deemed by the opposition to be political prisoners, a minister said Saturday, after the West hailed the move as a substantial sign of reform.


Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Ko Ko insisted however that none of them had been jailed for political reasons, saying: "We didn't take action against anyone because of politics or beliefs."


The amnesty was hailed on Friday by Western powers, which have long demanded the release of political detainees before they will consider lifting sanctions, and the United States now says it wants to restore top-level diplomatic ties.


About 650 inmates were freed in total in the amnesty, including leading pro-democracy dissidents who were at the forefront of a failed 1988 uprising in which thousands died, and participants in 2007's "Saffron Revolution" protests.

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Pak govt calls urgent parliamentary session over SC warning

Pak govt calls urgent parliamentary session over SC warning | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

Pakistan's ruling coalition leaders have decided to call an urgent session of parliament on Thursday in the wake of a warning from the Supreme Court that action could be taken against the President and Prime Minister for failing to reopen high-profile corruption cases. ... 

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The Dandong Time Machine

The Dandong Time Machine | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
A Chinese village on the North Korean border offers an alternative view on the meaning of Kim Jong-il's death.

 

With the death of Kim Jong-Il, North Korea and China watchers have been engaged in some pretty intense Kremlinology, trying to make sense of elite politics in Pyongyang. But what do ordinary people living along the North Korean border think of the changes taking place inside their communist neighbor?

 

I took a trip to Dandong, a small Chinese port town on the North Korean border, to try a get a more bottom-up perspective on the hermit kingdom.

 

What struck me most was the sympathetic view many in Dandong took towards their neighbor. In Beijing, the standard reaction to questions about North Korea is pretty similar to the West: “They’re crazy” (tamen feng le), it’s hard to imagine life there.”

 

These kinds of responses are far less common in Dandong, whose residents can clearly see North Korea across the Yalu River and many of whom have been across the river to do business. Far more people told me things like “they’re really poor” and “they’re less developed than us.”

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China May Seek to Control Renegade’s Body, but It Fails to Colonize His Mind

China May Seek to Control Renegade’s Body, but It Fails to Colonize His Mind | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it
“I have no enemies, and no hatred.” Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, spoke those words on Dec.

just before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “incitement of subversion of state power.” It was his fourth jail term since the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

 

Liu is the only Chinese citizen to win any Nobel while living in China and, as Perry Link notes in introducing a new collection of Liu’s writings, one of only five Nobel Peace Prize winners unable to appear in Oslo to receive the gold medal: “In 1935, Carl von Ossietzky was held in a Nazi prison; in 1975, Andrei Sakharov was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union; in 1983, Lech Walesa feared he would be barred from re-entering Poland if he went to Oslo; and in 1991, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest in Burma.”

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The Grim Future of the Wukan Model for Managing Dissent

The Grim Future of the Wukan Model for Managing Dissent | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

The apparently peaceful resolution of the “land grab” crisis in the Guangdong village of Wukan has been hailed as Beijing’s new model for tackling dissent. Last September, 15,000 peasants in Wukan in southeastern Guangdong Province, began staging protests against cadres who had illegally sold their land to a real estate developer. No compensation was paid to the residents. After Xue Jinbo, a respected village representative, died in police custody on December 11, Wukan residents booted out the local party and police officials and set up barricades on roads leading to the fishing village. Guangdong authorities responded by surrounding Wukan with a few thousand public security and People’s Armed Police ... 

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Wukan and the Rule of Law

Wukan and the Rule of Law | "Asian Spring" | Scoop.it

The Jamestown Foundation’s Willy Lam reflects on the conciliatory approach taken by CCP officials in Guangdong to bring an end to the Wukan protests last month, warning that the fate of future mass incidents rests on the willingness of the authorities to uphold the rule of law:

 

Does the Wukan case indeed mean that central- and local-level officials will henceforward lean toward relatively conciliatory and non-violent means to tackle protests by peasants and other disaffected elements in society? At least on the surface, Wang Yang’s handling of Wukan has won the support of the state media. The People’s Daily hailed Guangzhou’s efforts as an example of “accommodating and defusing contradictions and conflicts in a good way.” It praised Guangdong leaders for “grasping well the aspirations of the masses.” The commentary noted whether officials could satisfactorily resolve questions regarding the masses’ malcontents was a “yardstick of cadres’ ties with the people as well as their leadership ability.” The Global Times praised Guangdong leaders for “putting the interests of the public in the first place when handling land disputes” (People’s Daily, December 22, 2011; Global Times [Beijing], December 22, 2011; Bloomberg, December 22, 2011).

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