If you are late for work in Mumbai and reach the station just as the train is leaving the platform, don’t despair. You can run up to the packed compartments and find many hands unfolding like petals to pull you on board. And while you will probably have to hang on to the door frame with your fingertips, you are still grateful for the empathy of your fellow passengers, already packed tighter than cattle, their shirts drenched with sweat in the badly ventilated compartment. They know that your boss might yell at you or cut your pay if you miss this train. And at the moment of contact, they do not know if the hand reaching for theirs belongs to a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian or a Brahmin or an Untouchable. Come on board, they say. We’ll adjust.
(Quote from Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, (via Indian Writing) Photo via , .)
For details on the Mumbai terrorist attacks see Amit Varma, Sepia Mutiny, Global Voices and the Mumbai Help Blog.
Cigarettes don’t kill people. Terrorists kill people.
A Kashmiri man was recently injured by an explosive cigarette either distributed by militants or airdropped by Acme Corporation. While I feel terrible for the guy who was hurt, the moral here is, don’t pick up stuff by the side of the road and, like, smoke it.
Thakkar landed in hospital after he lit one of the two cigarettes he found lying in a field in Mislai village of Doda district…
… terrorists are probably experimenting with the low-cost idea of filling cigarettes with explosives, leaving them in public places to tempt smokers to pick these and light up. [Link]
“Militants are now using explosive-filled cigarettes to carry out blasts in Jammu and Kashmir. One such cigarette has been recovered last night,” Col Badola said. [Link]
Technorati Tags: asia, india, south asia
No carbombs or trishaws are permitted near the Great Hall of the People while the NPC is in session.
Picking up on items in The New Republic and Scientific American on the strategy and the mentality of suicide bombing, Joel at Far Outliers ponders the root causes of suicide bombing in China.:
The recent spate of suicide bombings in China seems to underline Mr. Skeptic’s point about despair in the face of oppressive and unresponsive governments.
Discontented or disturbed attackers in China have used mining explosives or fertilizer devices in previous bombings.
In August, a farmer with lung cancer set off a bomb on a bus in Fuzhou in southeastern Fujian province, wounding 31 people, and in July a murder suspect set off a bomb in a shopping mall in northeastern China, injuring 47 people.
A man set off a bomb on a bus in the western Xinjiang region in January 2005, killing 11 people.
On Saturday, Xinhua reported an explosion in a coal mine in Xinjiang in November was set off deliberately in the Beitaishan Coal Mine, killing 11 people.
Perhaps there are other bombings we haven’t heard about, and religious nationalism cannot be ruled out in the case of Xinjiang (or East Turkestan), but it seems that suicide bombing in China is driven as much by individuals bent on revenge as by religion, nationalism, or occupation. Some of these Chinese suicide bombers seem to be aiming their Propaganda of the Deed at international news media in order to exact personal revenge on their otherwise unresponsive government–and, of course, on many of its innocent citizens.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, northeast asia
AsiaPundit has no military expertise and is always on the lookout for good trusted sources and commentary on questions about potential military conflicts (i.e., how North Korea would react to a surgical strike on nuclear facilities or whether Taiwan or China would have an upper hand in a conflict).
Unfortunately, AP can find no sources of information on a question that is currently bothering him.: “In a conflict, which would have the advantage: the PLA’s lychee protection unit or Thailand’s newly formed rubber-tapping squad?”
Thai soldiers are to be trained as rubber tappers under new plans announced by cabinet to help increase security for rubber farmers in the violence-plagued south of the country.
Deputy government spokesman Chalermchai Mahakijsiri said around 200 specialist troops would be sent to protect local farmers from possible insurgent attack. At the same time, they would be equipped to help the farmers in the routine tapping of rubber trees. He said the Agriculture Department and the Army had been ordered to cooperate in the training of the soldiers.
AsiaPundit is concerned that Western powers are gravely unprepared for future agriculture-related conflicts. On top of the two above examples of Asian advantage, North Korea’s KPA has gained a clear strategic lead over NATO forces in pig and duck farming.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, northeast asia, southeast asia, terrorism, thailand
As relatively low tuition is maintained for nationals, Canadian universities have traditionally welcomed foreign students, who pay higher fees, as a source of funding. If similar pricing policies hold true in Islamic training schools, it seems that Indian madrasas could benefit from a Pakistan move to deny foreign students to that country’s madrasas.:
After the July 7th bombings in London, the Pakistani government was “persuaded” to adopt a policy that denies entry to all foreign students who wish to enroll in its madrasas. That decision however, does not include expeling current foreign students (including western students). For those people that don’t know, many of Pakistan’s madrasas are where future terrorists learn Islamofacism 101. They are analogous to the stagnant ponds that result in a swarm of deadly mosquitos flying forth. However, many of Pakistan’s clerics don’t like this new policy. Why? Free-market principles result in those foreign students that are denied entry to Pakistan, heading across the border for schooling in India. Mid-day.com reports:
This seems to be a classic case of neighbour’s envy. Muslim clerics in Pakistan are miffed over its government’s recent decision which denies entry to foreign students coming to Pakistan’s seminaries, better known as madrasas, for training. What has particularly irked the clerics is that these students are now looking across the border and enrolling themselves in Indian madrasas for their religious training.
“Denying entry to foreign students in our seminaries and allowing them to get admissions in Indian seminaries will certainly improve India’s overall image in the Muslim world at the cost of Pakistan’s reputation,” says Hanif Jalandhari, head of the Wafaq-ul-Madaris al-Arabia, largest among the five Wafaq boards that have sole control of over 9,000 seminaries across Pakistan.
That quote would be funny if that cleric wasn’t serious. Is he actually suggesting that Pakistan’s madrasas have a good reputation? I honestly have no idea how India’s madrasas compare, but they MUST compare favorably. Some foreign students currently enrolled in the madrasas believe that the Pakistani government will relax its rules once international attention on the London bombings fades. Some of these students are simply extending their Visas, betting on a reversal.
AsiaPundit notes that it is only a minority of Pakistan madrasas that are de facto terrorist training camps, but it is common knowledge that some of them are. One study notes that 15%, a minority but still a sizable number, preach violent jihad.
One of the problems that nations such as Pakistan and Indonesia have is an unwillingness to acknowledge that there there are schisms in contemporary Islam that extend well beyond the Sunni/Shia split. ‘Moderate’ Muslims in will often reject the term ‘moderate’ and insist that all Muslims are brothers. Because politicians are afraid of offending the pious, the authorities refuse to crack down on truly dangerous institutions.
Beyond that, one of the biggest problems with the madrasas, as many of my Arab friends used to relate to me during my time in the Middle East, is that they simply create hordes of unemployable men who are trained at nothing except Koranic verse. The International Crisis group suggests that this is the case in Pakistan.
If the Indian madrasas are less radical and even slightly better at providing foreign students with employable skills than their Pakistani counterparts, then this exodus may not be a bad thing.
That is, of course, so long as none of the newly admitted foreign students blow themselves up in Mumbai.
Technorati Tags: asia, india, pakistan, south asia, terrorism
With the US State Department issuing terror alert warnings for Guangzhou and other areas, it’s refreshing to see that the capital has started taking precautions.:
This sign I noticed in the Sanlitun diplomatic compound in Beijing: You are not allowed to blow up your car! Not sure if it is a temporary sign (Mr. Bush will visit Beijing this week) or whether it has been here longer already. Or does it mean something else?
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, northeast asia
Via Malaysia Today, Wapo has reported that there are clandestine CIA prisons in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and an unnamed Central European country.:
WASHINGTON - The CIA has been holding and interrogating al Qaeda captives at a secret facility in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system established after the September 11, 2001, attacks, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The Soviet-era compound is part of a network that has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand and Afghanistan, the newspaper reported, citing U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
Thailand denied it was host to such a facility.
“There is no fact in the unfounded claims,” government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said.
Naturally, a Thai official would deny the existence of a secret prison - the CIA even denied it’s own existence for decades. What struck me odd about the report was this section.:
The paper, citing several former and current intelligence and other U.S. government officials, said the CIA used such detention centers abroad because in the United States it is illegal to hold prisoners in such isolation.
The Washington Post said it was not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program at the request of senior U.S. officials.
The officials argued that disclosure could disrupt counterterrorism efforts or make the host countries targets for retaliation, the newspaper said.
If officials seriously fear that disclosure created a risk of terrorist retaliation, AsiaPundit wonders if there a reason they didn’t request that Thailand remain unnamed.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, southeast asia, thailand
The bombing of a ferry in Basilan results in the government pushing anew for an an ant-terrorism law, and suggestions there are terrorists on the loose.
The comedy of errors concerning today’s quasi-holiday aside (sarcastically commented on by Peter Wallace), the weekend has been spent by the contending forces marshaling their strength for this week’s confrontations in the House. The Socialist opposition has been busy using pets for political propaganda; last Saturday the de la Salle community held another forum and meeting (no word yet on the consensus, if any, that emerged from that exercise: former NEDA chief Cielito Habito, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, myself and Prof. July Teehangkee were the speakers); the group I belong to, Citizens for TRUTH held a candle-lighting ceremony at the foot of the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Makati City (JB Baylon has an account of the activity); civil society has sent out yet another call for people to go to the House on Tuesday; and former DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman and Friends (the "Hyatt 10") will be holding a press conference at the Metropolitan Club near Rockwell from 10 am to noon pm on Tuesday, to begin unburdening themselves of some of the wrongdoings they observed as members of the cabinet. The Palace, too, has to contend with bad press: Newsbreak today unveils the means by which the manipulation of election-related documents allegedly took place in the premises of the House of Representatives. PCIJ publishes an expose on how agriculture funds were diverted for election-related purposes (there’s also a story on the gift that keeps on giving: Xerox machines, and one on how some army officers helped the President in the elections). There’s also this article, which gives a hint or two about the sort of information the Hyatt 10 has up its sleeves.
The idea of all these activities (which the bad press won’t hurt) are that they’re meant to derail the perceived Palace-determined schedule for throwing out the impeachment complaint.
Newsstand has blogged on why he’s not surprised the opposition seems to be playing perpetual catch-up; the opposition is rushing to clinch the deal, and scuttlebutt is the Nacionalista Party is waiting in the wings, hoping it will achieve the distinction of being the group that made the difference (it can then glory in being more effective than the divided Liberal Party was). I can’t quite explain it, but it seems to me dangerous for the opposition to go hell-for-leather in so obvious a manner (as the Inquirer editorial clearly explains), and with the risk of so obviously failing, at this point. It would be better for the opposition to keep things in committee at least for the duration of the recess, when a political commentator I talked to suggests the opposition (of whatever stripe) could focus on building momentum in the streets and in the provinces, and thereby have better chances for a real slam-bang of a showdown after Congress resumes its session in October. The President and her people might start feeling the pinch by then, and the usual suspects who can dole out informal cash might begin to tire (or run out of money) to keep financing efforts to retain the loyalty of congressmen.
But then again I think Ricky Carandang’s observations two weeks ago about the Speaker’s problems, remains valid: my column today, The Speaker’s Position, I addresses precisely that question. If the Speaker’s sole concern is what will help him establish parliamentary government, I suggest he’s better off letting the impeachment proceed to trial at the Senate.
Of course enough time has passed to influence the senate. The President needs only eight votes to keep her job. The resignation of SBMA Chairman Francisco Licuanan III is being touted as a the result of a deal between the President and Senator Richard Gordon (which Gordon denies, but which Max Soliven thinks might have some truth to it). Whatever the truth, the President may have the numbers: Angara, Recto, Gordon, Enrile, Santiago, Lapid, Revilla are often confidently named as the ones who can be expected to vote to acquit (that only leaves one more needed). As it is, the Speaker is sending mixed signals. Sec. Rigoberto Tiglao, however, argues that impeachment, even if it reaches the trial stage, doesn’t have a leg to stand on as far as the charges are concerned.
In the blogosphere, there are some new blogs worth noticing. First is Prof. July Teehangkee’s spanking new blog, in which he discusses "a continuing crisis of legitimation." The second is the first authentically pro-administration blog of note, ever: Rational Views (naughty comments about the great Sassy Lawyer to the contrary notwithstanding). As an aside, Edwin Lacierda (who guests today at 10 am on Karmina Konstantino’s morning show at ANC) pointed it out to people: Newsstand credits Lacierda with lighting a light bulb over the administration’s head; in an e-mail, Lacierda says I was the one to point out the curious absence of a pro-administration blog; perhaps it’s all serendipity! The third is one found by way of New Economist, the blog of a London-based macroeconomist, who noticed and pointed out Go Figure, the blog of Filipino economist Roehlano Briones.
Also, there’s Big Mango with part three of his series on Understanding Nation Building; and Howie Severino on why local government officials like the President.
In the cultural sphere, too see & log has reproduced a paper by Prof. Jaime Veneracion on Rizal’s Madrid: The Roots of the Ilustrado Concept of Autonomy which makes for an interesting read, indeed; Adel Gabot isn’t amused by AXN channel turning a TV show with black humor into slapstick comedy in its ads; Cogito Ergo Sam writes on Fado music.
The punditocracy has Randy David takes an optimistic look at young politicians; Fr. Joaquin Bernas explaining his views on impeachment (one can detect increasing frustration and even irritation, on his part, with the House); Jojo Robles has a bone to pick with Imee Marcos; Jose Sison examines the curious refusal of the Armed Forces to explain why they accompanied a police raid; Marichu Villanueva examines diplomatic posts being traded for political support; and Iraqis Should Draft Constitution Without US Interference was my Arab News column for last week.
ESWN has a translation of a Chinese state-run paper’s view on internet censorship and the real name campaign. If you are a CCP member, there is reason to be optimistic.:
With the continual cleaning up
of the Internet, time and again, there is hope that every corner of the
Chinese Internet will be mopped up cleanly.
Above cartoon from Seattle PI via Mei Zhong Tai.
Harry notes that working as a Chef for Kim Jong-il can be hazardous. Among the many things to fear… shaved gonads!:
In 1989, Mr Fujimoto married one of the Group for Pleasure dancers,
with the Dear Leader playing a prominent, but bizarre, part in his
"My wedding was held on the second floor of the number eight banquet
hall. Many executives from the North Korean Labour Party came to the
wedding and told me to drink a lot. I drank one and half bottles of
"The next morning, Kim Jong Il came to me and asked me whether I had
pubic hair," Mr Fujimoto continued. "I answered, ‘Yes’ but he said to
me, ‘Let’s go to the bathroom to check’. We went to the bathroom and
checked, but it was all gone."When I was intoxicated with cognac, someone seemed to have removed
it. Kim Jong Il said, ‘That’s how we celebrate weddings’ and smiled.
That odd tidbit is from the Scotsman, for more serious information on Kim, read a book.
Sometimes in China, protests work. The China Youth Daily has scrapped a plan to have bonuses linked with pleasing the party. Don’t worry too much about the reporters missing out on the extra cash, there are still other ways for journalists to make money.
The Economist a few weeks back ran a leader arguing that video and online games did not lead to increased levels of deviancy or violence. There is no evidence to believe it does. Still, as virtual weapons and property becomes more valuable, we can probably expect more online theft.:
A man has been arrested in Japan on suspicion carrying out a virtual mugging spree
by using software “bots” to beat up and rob characters in the online
computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then
exchanged for real cash. . .
“There’s an ongoing war between
people who make bots and games companies,” he [Ren Reynolds, a UK-based
computer games consultant and an editor of the gaming research site
Terra Nova] told New Scientist. “And making real money out of virtual
worlds is getting bigger.”. . .
Via Imagethief, the Taiwanese are Kiwis, and - power shortage or not - the Bund must be spectacular.
Gravely disturbing headline at Boing Boing: "Puffy AmiYumi Bukkake":
… not exactly what the headline promises: Link
I’m sure the imagery isn’t intentional, although it’s slightly bothersome that a group so dedicated to children’s entertainment would be so careless about its image. Speaking of which: "Disney sweatshop report: Part VI."
At East Asia Affairs, a damning commentary on South Korea’s progressives:
I fear I was
wrong about democratization in South Korea. At least some of those who
fought against dictatorship weren’t, and aren’t, true democrats. What
they hated was the generals’ right-wing politics, not authoritarianism
Such self-styled "progressives", who rule the roost in the new South
Korea, seem to me merely to have turned the old values inside out,
rather than made true progress. I sometimes think Koreans don’t do
shades of gray, but prefer gestalt conversions: a total switch of world
view. They flip.
Singabloodypore has a report on internet filtering in the city state, from my view (as a former long-term Singapore resident now in China), it’s not that bad in comparison.:
In our testing, the OpenNet Initiative (ONI)found extremely minimal
filtering of Internet content in Singapore, as only eight sites of
1,632 tested (.49%) were blocked: www.cannabis.com, www.chick.com,
www.persiankitty.com, www.playboy.com, www.playgirl.com, and
www.sex.com. The limited blocking that our testing revealed focuses on
a few pornographic URLs and one site each in the categories of illegal
drugs and fanatical religion. Similar content is readily available at
other sites on the Internet that are not blocked in Singapore. Thus,
Singapore’s Internet content regulation depends primarily on access
controls (such as requiring political sites to register for a license)
and legal pressures (such as defamation lawsuits and the threat of
imprisonment) to prevent people from posting objectionable content
rather than technological methods to block it. Compared to other
countries that implement mandatory filtering regimes that ONI has
studied closely, Singapore’s technical filtering system is one of the
It forgets to mention that the Sarong Party Girl cannot be accessed from government offices.
Japundit has great analysis on Japan’s election. High Noon in Tokyo #2.
The Philippines is getting tough on corruption? I won’t hold my breath, but if this case is any indication of things to come… ouch.
It is encouraging that the Sandiganbayan (corruption court) is starting
to really clamp down on corruption, though last Friday’s sentencing of
a 71-year-old former mayor to 64 years’ imprisonment for employing his cousins seems, er, a tiny bit disproportionate.
Rezwan has a fantastic roundup of blog coverage of last week’s blasts in Bangladesh. And also great commentary.
Finally, a Great China blog roundup at Global Voices.
Rezwan has further details - and many questions - on the yesterday’s bombings in Bangladesh.:
When around four hundred small bombs explode in 63 districts out of 64 districts of a country simultaneously it shows what kind of network the attackers possess (imagine 50 states out of 51 in US). The mostly hit city was the capital Dhaka with around 30 bombs explosions including key installation like the Zia International Airport, Supreme Court, Secretariat etc.
The casualties and injured numbers are so far incredibly much less (2 deaths and 150 hospitalized). The question may be why is that. The bombs were confirmed as small IEDs (Improvised explosive device) containing not much explosives. From the TV reports of the unexploded ones I have seen that each contained four batteries and some small devices and a switch attached to the bomb by red tape. Most probable the switch activated the delay device and it exploded sometime later allowing the carrier to leave it and flee away. The most remarkable thing of these bombs is that they contained wood saw dust instead of splinters. That is why there are fewer casualties although they were exploded at manned places. Actually many received minor wounds of saw dusts hitting the body with the power of explosion and went home after emergency medical attention. If these were loaded with more explosives and deadly splinters, we could have seen thousands of dead people.
Gateway Pundit has a news and blog roundup of the blasts, including a video link, and he notes a claim from authorities that there were 500 blasts.
Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice also has an excellent roundup, featuring an array of regional and international media sources.
Further posting at Chapati Mystery and Sepia Mutiny.
Over 100 small explosives have been reported detonated across Bangladesh, Channel News Asia is reporting.:
A total of 111 explosions occurred near bus and train stations, courts and administrative buildings, various police officials said, adding they appear to have been caused by small, homemade devices.
Police in some affected cities said leaflets - apparently from a recently banned Islamic extremist group calling for the implementation of Islamic law - were found near the scene of the blasts.
Some were written in Arabic and others in Bangla.
"There are bomb blasts all over the country. We have reports of some injuries but no fatalities yet," said Abdul Kaiyum, Bangladesh’s Inspector General of Police.
In addition to Dhaka and Chittagong, police reported nine explosions in the southern town of Barisal and at least six in the southwestern town of Khulna.
Police chiefs in 11 other towns and districts reported a further 61 blasts.
The report does not mention any casualties.
UPDATE: Rezwan has more.
A Lebanese blogger yesterday argued that the US shouldn’t be the primary target of al Qaida’s ‘jihad’:
If al Qaeda truly wanted to make the world a better place for Muslims,
the US would not be the first country they would attack. Muslims live
incredibly free and profitable lives in the United States. And Muslims
can be seen thriving in all areas of employment and life as
shopkeepers, doctors, artists, and professors.
But in China, this is not the case. Muslims are horribly oppressed by the Chinese government.
Chinese government is officially atheist and has no problem toppling
every pillar of Islam. Chinese cuisine is packed with pork, and alcohol
is a popular commodity (okay, that’s not really a kep point). The
Chinese government indirectly supports the genocide of Muslims in
Darfur (albeit by other Muslims).
In an unrelated matter, which is still a creepy coincidence, yesterday a suicide bomber detonated himself on a bus in in Fuzhou:
The Horse’s Mouth reports:
One suicide bombing exploded on a bus in Fuzhou City, Fujian Provice, at around 2:30pm, August 8. According to official news, the explosion was caused by a 42-year old farmer who had cancer. But it is hard for police to reach such a conclusion so quickly. The news said there was one killed and dozens injured, it did not mention whether the bomber was killed.
What Witnesses Said
witness said there were at least five killed, some said more than 20.
Witness saw one body was removed and rescuers tried to find survivors
and picked up body parts.
Police confiscated the cameras who have taken pictures.
This , citing Xinhua, reports 31 injured and - assuming the word ’suicide’ in the headline means the bomber died - also one fatality.
ESWN has more.
Should this be reported on by Fox News it will be interesting to see if this is referred to as a ‘homicide bombing.’
Asian diaspora bloggers in the West with ironically-threatening names, such as America’s Angryasianman and New Zealand’s Yellow Peril, are viewing America’s recasting of China as a non-ironically-threatening geopolitical force, to be a uniquely challenging branding dilemma. Says Yellow Peril:
Since I started my convolutedly ironic, yet politically and culturally challenging diaspora blog, if you Googled ‘Yellow Peril’, the first thing that came up was ME. That’s the way I like it. How is the resurgence of Sinophobia and General Zhu’s threat of a nuclear strike [see below] going to affect my hitrate?
Meanwhile, the UK-born Asian diaspora was busy trying to figure out how many of them went to school with the London bombers.
And in Sydney, one of Yellow Peril’s Chinese doctor ‘cousins’ treated a shambolic, mentally ill Muslim man with a broad Australian accent. The local police then reported the terrified Muslim to the federal authorities because in the midst of his pavement ramblings, he said the word ‘bus’.
A research note from The Acorn.
The West prefers to believe that Jihadus alqaedus, the most feared variety of the Jihadus family is the most dangerous, and is devoting most of its energies to eradicate it. While it is fighting Jihadus talebanus in Afghanistan, it is content to allow Pakistan to carry on with its charade of appearing to support US and Afghan efforts against increasingly numerous ‘remnants’ of J. talebanus which was previously believed to be near extinction. As for Jihadus kashmirius, the West believes that this is a variety that Pakistan prepared specifically to attack India, and hence poses no threat to the world at large.
No matter how enraged someone may be by terrorism, it would be ignorant to attack a mosque. It is doubly ignorant to attack a Sikh temple, as two have been in the UK. Via Sepia Mutiny:
You know, I had naively hoped that this wouldn’t happen across the pond. Contrary to America, where Sikhs are more scattered and less understood, I thought that in England, people were more knowledgeable about Sikhism, that they could tell the difference between al-Qaeda and an innocent group of people who had nothing to do with transportation treachery. Perhaps some, if not most of the English can…but much to my alarm, there are quite obviously a dangerous few who can’t. To them, a turban is a turban is a turban. Bend it like Beckham and bomb it like someone ignorant.
“Such attacks are an affront not only to the great Sikh religion but to entire humanity,” the spokesman said.
“The Sikh community in the United Kingdom has carved out a highly respected place for itself in the British society through its industriousness and commitment,” the spokesman said.
None of that matters. We are foreign and we wear turbans, just like that bastard Osama. Thanks to a coincidence of complexion, we are complicit and we will pay.
Late-linkage after a blogging-free Friday.:
A new group blog for the Indian blogosphere DesiPundit
US conservatives attack Hollywood, but they should love Bollywood:
1. No sex. If you’re lucky, you might see some wet sari.
2. The films often revolve around finding a wonderful spouse and getting married.
3. The bigger the wedding, the better.
4. Lots of piety. Religion is *never* mocked or portrayed in a negative light.
From IslaFormosa, a look at Taipei’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Taiwan’s former president goes manga.
Even former ROC President Lee DengHui got on the bandwagon by posing as as the fictional character Edajima Heihachi of the anime series Sakigake!! Otokojuku. It’s no secret that Lee is a pocket ‘Japanophile’. He was educated in Japan and can speak Japanese quite fluently (he was given a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University). His cosplay was widely seen as a way to shore up support from young people for his Taiwan Solidarity Union party’s Taiwan independence platform.
The first issue of the Cambodia Economic Review is online.
I mentioned that Bill Gertz’s Washington Times item on China’s rising military threat would be a good template for a Phillip K Dick-style novel, a libertarian site in the US has developed an initial treatment:
China has emerged as the world’s largest and fastest-growing economy.
After retaking Taiwan in 2007, and annexing North Korea a year later,
China then successfully "Finlandized" Japan, and now oversees a vast
Pacific empire that would have made the 1942 Japanese government green
with envy. China’s thirst for the Middle East’s oil leads it to support
radical Islamic clerics, but this support goes unpunished, as no major
country stands a chance if it goes against China’s wishes.
xhiang, introduced in 2009, is now the world’s premier currency,
followed by the euro, the Canadian dollar, and the U.S. dollar.
The top news story from Thursday? According to Xinhua and CCTV it was that Hu Jintao met world leaders. Tom Vanvanij, meanwhile, looks at Thailand’s Nation Channel.
Kevin in Pudong translates offensive reaction on Chinese bulletin boards about the London bombings:
Terrorism is the only way for the weak to fight back against the strong. No matter what reaons they may have, the US-British attack on the people of Iraq was wrong and constitutes blatant terrorism. All the weak can do in response is to bring you down with them.
"Terrorism is the only way for the weak to fight the powerful"… it’s not surprising that so many Chinese netizens think this way. Perhaps its because they can’t access messages from birthday boy Dali Lama.
On the bombings, there was the typical reaction from the left to blame Blair and blame Bush. Reaction to the bombings from some in the anti-CCP camp was equally distressing.:
America, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the free world will never be secure until China itself is free. The road to victory in the War on Terror does not end in Kabul, Baghdad, Tehran, or Damascus, and it certainly doesn’t end in Jerusalem. The road ends, and lasting victory can be found, only in Beijing. Until China is on the list for liberation, preferably peaceful, the War on Terror will never end.
Rebecca McKinnion has a roundup of Arab reaction and displays a banner Muslim bloggers can use to show their disgust at the bombings.
Has Howard found his cajones? Australia has granted Chinese defector Chen Yonglin a visa.
Sure, sushi and sashimi can give you worms, but you should be safe if you use (sake wouldn’t hurt either).
More musings on Sinofascism.
Free condom distribution is helping the people of Uttar Pradesh, though not necessarily with birth control or AIDS prevention.:
Some workmen mix them with tar and concrete to give a smooth finish to roads, or to make waterproof ceilings, and some villagers use them to carry water when working in the fields. And, of course, youths turn them into water bombs. But the main use here is in the sari industry, where they’ve become an essential part of the production process
In Japan, it’s time to scare the neighbors - though anti-Japan sentiments from Chinese and Korean political leaders no doubt helped gain support for the constitutional amendment. An East Asian war is still unlikely. But Japan faces other security threats.
In our continuing series of links useful for tourists in Pyongyang, here’s a useful site on the city’s subway system.
The author of a slanderous tome on former Malaysian deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim has gotten one year in jail. The book’s financiers have not been established or punished.
Kenny Sia treats himself to a two ringgit luxury public toilet experience.
Imee Marcos, the glamor-shot savvy daughter (see left) of Ferdinand and Imelda, says Filipinos should not tolerate liars and thieves (chortle). More on the situation in the Philippines at MLQIII, PCIL, By Jove and Sassy. Also Gateway Pundit has a selection of links.
Inflation in North Korea, yes the NK won has continued to become more worthless.
GI Korea and explore the even-handedness of Seoul’s press.
In non-adjusted terms, India is the top target for terrorists, Sepia Mutiny notes:
Harper’s magazine, July 2005, reports a horrific statistic: 44% of fatal or wounding terrorist attacks last year took place in India, only 32% in Iraq. Israel isn’t even close, nor Sri Lanka. But with the prevalence of large car bombs in Iraq, that country may have a higher body count. Macabre, I know, but sometime it’s to our benefit that India’s still a handicraft country.
Keeping that in mind, six terrorists were killed in Ayodhya today after storming the infamous temple complex with assault rifles and grenades.
While I had recently argued that the rise of China as a military threat is exaggerated, preparing for worst-case scenarios is both necessary and, moreover, can help build a deterrent to prevent such scenarios from happening. That’s one reason the new US-India defense pact is good news.
That said, I’m viewing the new pact with a narrow focus on China and Taiwan. There’s much more at play as this great roundup at Winds of Change demonstrates.
Tom Vamvanij in Thailand takes a look at the root causes of terrorism in Southern Thailand.:
Terrorism in Thailand’s Deep South is rooted in economic neglect:
Two Muslim villagers were shot dead and two others wounded in separate attacks in Pattani and Narathiwat provinces yesterday.
All three of the victims worked as employees of the 23rd task force’s job creation project.
And cultural insensitivity:
In the same province, another Muslim resident was shot dead after returning from his nightly prayers at a mosque in Bacho district.
Which brings us to the third cause that editorial pages editor Anuraj Manibhandu so aptly demonstrated in the very same issue of the Bangkok Post…
It was a busy week, here are some items of interest that Asiapundit missed from yesterday and last week:
Daniel Drezner asks whether the liberal paradigm - that markets bring democracy - is failing in China.
At Diacritic, a look at how Vietnamese language press - both domestic and overseas - covered Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s US visit.
Brad Setser has a good analysis on CNOOC’s bid for UNOCAL (one key point: "China’s oil firms have cash and customers but not enough oil: their current interest in stretching their wings abroad makes a certain amount of commercial sense.")
The Ordinary Gweillo points to an Economist item that explains last week’s shoe incident.
Ian Lamont also weighs in on Microsoft’s banning of democracy and other words on sections of its China blog portal - also keep checking Ian’s other blog a site on his developing thesis based on content analysis of China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.
Via China Digital Times a the Guardian spins a tale of two massacres. Plus a long piece from the Online Journalism Review on blogging in China.
Spirited discussion on China’s ‘new left’ continues at Simon World.
A roundup of yesterday’s news at China-e-lobby.
ESWN ponders the reliability of reports on bird-flu deaths in China.
Disappointment. After only recently discovering one of the best essayist blogs in China, Richard Willmsen announces he’s leaving China.
Taipei is taking the ‘love hotel’ and moving it upmarket.
China’s Nurse Ratchet may sometimes be acting in the people’s interest. CSR Asia notes authorities are shutting how-to suicide sites. Also, a good number of questions raised on China’s suicide statistics.
The FEER’s Traveller’s Tales blog informs us that the June issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review has been banned in Beijing "because of the content on pages 44 and 55-59." My copy arrived Thursday, page 44 is an item on poaching with a similar thesis to this one. Pages 55-59 contain content similar to what got the Economist banned a earlier this month. Btw Hugo, when do I get my password for archive access?
China may be viewed in a better light than the US globally, but lets forget about ‘Old Europe’s’ opinions and be thankful that the US is held in high regard in Asia’s other rising economy. (via the Acorn)
The Swanker starts on Rebecca’s request with a post on the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Malaysia’s LoneStar and Lucia Lai also oblige. As does Alan in Canada. And Roger L Simon.
Nicholas in Canada alerts us to addictive Malaysian curries.
Sepia Mutiny brings news that Australia’s Handi Ghandi has bowed to pressure and changed its logo: "their solution is to make Gandhi a Punjabi rapper. Apparently they felt that was the polar opposite of a nonviolent vegetarian."
Maobi points to a report saying that Malaysia is terror free (translation, not on-guard).
New Mongols alerts us to a new Central Asia blog. Also at New Mongols, a look at Taiwan’s changing view of Mongolia.
Lost Nomad helps us realize that South Korea’s riot police look a lot less threatening out of uniform.
Via NK Zone, in spite of a looming return of famine, Pyongyang’s range of restaurants is growing.
Kenny Sia’s new quiz: Which Malaysian blogger are you?
Cowboy Caleb alerts us to a Singapore Press Holdings reporter who is having an ethical dilemma about blogging and privacy. My view, anything that isn’t password protected is public.
Singapore’s mr brown brings us news that Mr Miyagi has joined him as a Today newspaper columnist.
The Singapore government may try to stop the use of Singlish in the city state’s media, but the People’s Action party has no power over DC Comics.
Over at XiaXue, Wendy has decided to post the private e-mail addresses from her critics. She knows, of course, that they will now be bombed by hate mail from her readers, making her appeal for sympathy seem more like a quest for revenge. Very bad form Wendy.
Tom Vamvanij has noted some creative translating by Thailand’s (usually respectable) Nation Media Group.
Reacting to China’s latest blocking of blogs, Instapundit says boycott Chinese goods. CSR Asia responds.
Naming a child something like this almost makes me want to call welfare services.
Finally, despite having too much on my plate already, I have accepted Dan’s invitation to become a contributor to the Shanghaiist. While he has literally offered to pay me in peanuts, even in ‘beta’ form the site is attractive enough to make me want to join. Still, Dan may want to consider James Goldsmith’s proverb.
N-line has good roundup of coverage on yesterday’s Cambodia school hostage crisis and the murder of a three-year old Canadian boy.:
Armed men storm Cambodia school
Gunmen have taken several dozen people hostage at an international school in north-western Cambodia, police say.
Six men stormed the school in Siem Reap, and are holding children aged between two and six, from countries including the UK, the US and in Asia….
Correspondents say the school is used mainly by foreign residents in the gateway town for Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction, the Temples of Angkor.
Aside from petty crime, and perhaps insane drivers, travel in Cambodia ihas been very safe for foreigners. Tourism and foreign aid are the only two things that keeps the country afloat. While the death of the three-year-old is tragic, it would be even worse if this leads to a decline in bookings for Siem Reap holidays.
Inspired by the manner in which the United States treated another military dictatorship that tested nuclear weapons and is neck deep in proliferation activities, North Korea has expressed a desire to be treated similarly (via ).
Analysts said North Korea might ask the United States to reduce its military presence in South Korea and remove North Korea as a potential target for a pre-emptive nuclear strike in exchange for Pyongyang’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons program.
Other sources in the U.S. government said North Korea may be seeking to be treated like Pakistan.
Pakistan has strengthened its ties with the United States even though it went ahead with nuclear weapons tests and has been implicated in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. [Asahi]
The Acorn’s advice: The Dear Leader needs to ask his propaganda machine to ‘find’ Osama bin Laden somewhere on the Korean peninsula, north of 38th parallel.
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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