Asia

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 00:00 Mushtaq A. Jeelani Editorial Dept - Asia
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As Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers prepare to hold their first substantive talks since the Mumbai attacks, Kashmiri-Canadian Council (KCC) welcomes resumption of dialogue between the nuclear-armed rivals – as result-oriented negotiations are the only way to bridge the divide between India and Pakistan. KCC hopes both New Delhi and Islamabad understand what is at stake – without a settlement of the Kashmir issue, peace between two long-time adversaries or for the entire region is a pipedream.

The Kashmir issue has dominated the geopolitics of South Asia for nearly 63 years because of continuing rivalry between India and Pakistan. The rivals have fought three major wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir. The unresolved issue of Kashmir is the root of the nuclear arms race between New Delhi and Islamabad, which has resulted in the diversion of resources from human development to militarization. Unfortunately, the people of Kashmir are caught in the middle of this deadly tug-of-war.

Since October 1989, the 700,000 strong Indian forces have killed more than 100,000 Kashmiris – many more scarred and wounded, to silence the people’s demand for justice, respect for human rights, freedom and the right of self-determination. They continue to carry out arbitrary detention, summary executions, custodial killings, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape, sexual exploitation, torture and fake encounters.

Generations of Kashmiris have grown up under the shadow of the gun; not a single family is unaffected; property worth hundreds of millions of dollars has been destroyed and the suffering and devastation continues unabated that has inflicted loss of life and destruction on an unprecedented scale, sadly drawing no significant attention from the international community.

 
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 19:00 Penny Starr Editorial Dept - Asia
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Ahead of his trip to Asia on Thursday, White House officials have said trade, nuclear weapons and global warming will be top priorities when President Barack Obama meets with leaders of Pacific Rim nations, but the non-partisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is urging Obama to make human rights violations a centerpiece of his visit to China.

In a letter sent to the president on Monday, the commission called religious freedom and the rule of law "crucial issues" in the relationship between the U.S. and China.


"During your visit, we urge you to raise critical issues of religious freedom and the rule of law with Chinese officials, seek meetings with prominent human rights defenders and repressed religious leaders, and make a strong public statement about the importance of human rights to the future of U.S.-China relations," the commission wrote.

"The trip is an opportunity to dispel any notion that human rights and religious freedoms are not priorities, and to set the record straight on any of the Administration’s prior statements on the place of human rights in our bilateral relationship with China," it added.
 

 
Thursday, 05 June 2008 20:00 Keriann Hopkins Editorial Dept - Asia
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  China's Pre-Olympics Crackdown on Dissidents Adds to Forced Labor Camps - With only 70 days until the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, human rights analysts say Communist China is cracking down on dissidents, adding to the already huge populations in its forced labor and child labor camps.

 Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said that as a result of the crackdowns, human rights abuses will not be evident during the 2008 Olympics.


"The time that we're seeing human rights abuses in China is right now ... leading up to the Olympics," Mosher told Cybercast News Service. "That's when the dissidents are being put away; that's when the labor union activists are being arrested; that's when the beggars are being swept off the streets of Beijing and sent packing."

Mosher said the Chinese government is so determined to put its best foot forward that even potential political dissidents are being placed "out of sight." "How they do that is they either put them under house arrest, they send them out into rural exile, or they put them into labor camps," he said.

 

 
Sunday, 04 May 2008 15:36 Penny Starr Editorial Dept - Asia
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Human rights groups from around the globe gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday to start the 100-day countdown to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing by denouncing the Chinese government and calling on world leaders, including President Bush, to boycott the games' opening ceremony on Aug. 8.

"We stand here today to expose the cruelty of the Chinese government against innocent people around the world and to protest China's role as the foremost enabler of human rights abuses around the world," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), who organized the press conference.

Brownback was joined by congressional colleagues from both sides of the aisle and almost a dozen human rights organizations, including the North Korean Freedom Coalition, Save Darfur, International Campaign for Tibet, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.


In statements made by each legislator and representatives from the human rights groups, each speaker called on Bush and other world leaders to support the athletes, including the Chinese athletes, but to boycott the opening ceremony to "send a message" that China needs to live up to the promise it made when it won its bid to host the 2008 Olympics.

 
Friday, 02 May 2008 19:00 Adele Nii SHi Editorial Dept - Asia
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“The 2008 Olympics does not only belong to China, it belongs to the world, and also belongs to Australia,” explained Australian student, Rebekah Tilley who joined the Chinese demonstration on April 26. Chinese student Adele Nii Shi reports.

“I just returned to Perth from China this morning,” Lucy Dean told 3rd Degree, “that’s (some news) untrue. I traveled to nine cities and locations [in China] with my family. China now is peaceful, not in chaos, the Chinese are very friendly.”


A demonstration, "One World, One Dream, One Olympics" organised by Chinese communities of Western Australia and held in Forrest Place, began with the national anthems of Australia and People’s Republic of China.

Under the protection and supervision of WA police, about 2000 people took part in the demonstration which involved members of WA's Chinese community, Chinese students and other international people and local Australians. Demonstrators were praised by police for their peaceful approach.
 

 
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 19:00 Patrick Goodenough Editorial Dept - Asia
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  Back on Chinese soil after a troubled trip around the world, the Olympic torch relay's journey through Hong Kong Friday will be a test of Beijing's willingness to allow free expression in the semi-autonomous territory.

The torch's Hong Kong visit kicks off a three-month trip through China, including a controversial planned stop in Tibet in June, before the Olympic Games open in Beijing in August.

China has responded with outrage to public protests -- many relating to repression in Tibet -- that have dogged the six-week-long international leg of the relay, and officials want to keep the Hong Kong visit incident-free. 


  The former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" agreement that promised the enclave a measure of autonomy. Although political rights have been limited over the years since, Hong Kong authorities have allowed public demonstrations against government policies on a scale that would never be permitted elsewhere in China.

 

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