Fa Rectification

Monday, May 15, 2006

Our Thoughts and Actions Are Being Watched

  • Our Thoughts And Actions Are Being Watched (audio)


  • What Is Benevolence

  • What Is Benevolence (audio)


  • Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Woman's Precept

  • Being Respecful, Gentle and Agreeable Is The Most Important Rite and Duty For Women (audio)




  • Being Respectful, Gentle and Agreeable Is the Most Important Rite and Duty for Women

    (Clearwisdom.net) Ban Zhao, also known as Ban Huiban, was a historian and literary figure in the Eastern Han Dynasty of China (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) In her 70s, she finished writing the first complete book in China about the etiquette standards for women, Nu Jie (or Women's Precepts). In the book, she explained the meaning of the Four Womanly Virtues - disposition, speech, form and skill. Her work has had an extremely profound and lasting influence in history.

    In Women's Precepts, she pointed out that "being respectful, gentle and agreeable" is the most important rite and duty for a woman. Only when the mutual complementary factors of yin and yang between the husband and wife are respected can their relationship become harmonious and perfectly satisfactory.

    She stated in Women's Precepts that the nature of yin and yang are different, and therefore man and woman's behavior should be different too. Yang is characterized by strength, and yin is characterized by delicacy. Therefore, while a man is honored for being strong and robust, a woman is considered beautiful for being gentle and delicate. That's why there is an old saying, "Having a son strong as a wolf, and yet one still fears he will be too weak; having a daughter shy as a mouse, and yet one still fears she will be too aggressive." Nothing is more important than being respectful in a woman's self-cultivation. Being gentle and agreeable is the key to not becoming too forceful and aggressive. Therefore being respectful, gentle and agreeable is the most important rite and duty for a woman.

    Being respectful requires patience and persistence. Being gentle and agreeable requires tolerance. One who is respectful of others over a long period of time knows when to stop before going too far. One who is tolerant is good at being respectful and submissive.

    If the husband and wife are overly intimate, and do not leave each other, but cling to each other under the same roof during their entire lives, then the longer this takes place, the easier it is for them to treat each other without proper respect. As soon as improper intimacy occurs, their speech will go beyond the proper limit. As soon as speech goes beyond proper limits, bold unrestraint will follow, and thoughts of insulting the husband will be bred. This is a result of failing to stop before going too far!

    Actions can be right or wrong, and speech has merits and demerits. The woman who thinks she is right finds it impossible not to argue, and the person who is in the wrong finds it impossible not to defend himself. As soon as arguments and refutations take place, an angry mood will prevail. This is a result of failing to be respectful and submissive to the husband!

    If a woman does not stop insulting her husband, then blame and scolding will follow. If the angry mood does not stop, then physical abuse will follow. As husband and wife, the couple should harmonize their relationship with mutual respect and goodwill, and cooperate well with mutual intimacy and love. With physical abuse, where are rite and duty? With blame and scolding, where is intimacy and love? Without love and observance of propriety, the husband and wife are not far from divorce.

    First published in English at http://www.pureinsight.org/pi/index.php?news=3528



    Posting date: 4/13/2006
    Original article date: 4/13/2006
    Category: Open Forum
    Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/8/24/108946.html

    2006 New York Parade Theme - Sujiatun Concentration Camp

  • 2006 New York Parade Theme - Sujiatun Concentration Death Camp (photos)


  • 2006 New York Parade Theme - Celestial Band

  • 2006 New York Parade Theme - Celestial Band (photos)


  • Saturday, April 08, 2006

    Movie Critics - The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Movie Critics - The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Asia Cast - April 3, 2006

  • April 3, 2006 (audio)


  • A blast at a Chinese explosives plant killed at least 20 workers while another eight died when a firecracker factory blew up.

    Of the 11 other people at the explosives plant when a packing workshop blew up, two were injured and the rest were missing.

    The plant was in Zhaoyuan, a city in eastern China's Shandong province.

    ***********

    Early election returns in Thailand show voters are divided in their support for Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    The Prime Minister has made gains in the north of the country, but abstentions outnumber ruling party votes in the south and in the capital, Bangkok.

    Analysts say that in the absence of opposition candidates, who boycotted the polls, the biggest challenge for Mr Thaksin is the abstention vote.

    He has promised not to take office if he fails to get 50 per cent of the vote.

    ***********

    Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is due to hold a rare meeting with the leader of the main opposition party.

    The talks are likely to be dominated by a controversial multi-billion dollar arms deal with the US.

    The Nationalist Party or Kuomintang has blocked the deal in parliament for the past year.

    Washington is keen for Taiwan to proceed so as to keep pace with China's military build-up in the Taiwan Strait.

    Monday's meeting between the two leaders will be their first since Mr Ma won the chairmanship of the Nationalist Party last August.

    ***************

    The Indonesian President says he regrets Australia's decision to grant temporary protection visas to a group of 42 separatists from Papua.

    However, he says he still wants a good relationship with Australia.

    In a statement broadcast live from the Presidential Palace, he also called for a halt to what he called the present "cartoon war" that he said was indecent, abusive and could provoke strong emotions.

    He said while the relationship with Australia was going through difficult times, it did not mean solutions could not be found, given good intentions, faith and certainty about the partnership.

    But he said Indonesia would not tolerate elements from other countries including Australia if they supported separatism in Papua province.

    ***********

    The East Timorese Government has launched an ambitious program to reduce poverty, with its success hinging on a plan to treble economic growth.

    Poverty is entrenched in East Timor, particularly in rural areas.

    High population growth of 3 per cent and a rapidly growing labour force has added to the problem.

    The Government's proposed solution is to lift economic growth to between 7 and 8 per cent a year by 2010.

    *************

    The frontrunner to replace Japan's prime minister has suggested that he will visit the controversial Yasukuni war shrine if elected.

    Shinzo Abe also rejected a Chinese offer to hold talks with current Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi if he stopped visiting the shrine.

    Mr Koizumi has been to the shrine five times since he took office in 2001, provoking China and South Korea.

    They are angry as the shrine honours more than 1,000 war criminals.

    Among those honoured at the Yasukuni shrine, where Japan remembers its war dead, are 14 Class A criminals executed by the Allies after World War II.

    ***********

    Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says he believes the United States has become intoxicated by its power and should not impose its will on others.

    Mr Gorbachev has told Time magazine US talk of pre-emptive strikes and of ignoring international legal obligations and the United Nations Security Council is leading towards what he terms a "dark night".

    He also says he believes some people may be pushing President George W Bush in the wrong direction.

    ***********

    Scientists have found humpback whales in the Pacific have not recovered from commercial whaling.

    They are also concerned future Japanese whaling could harm humpback whale populations.

    Scientists from the International Whaling Commission are meeting in Hobart, Australia this week to discuss what has happened to humpback numbers since commercial whaling ended in 1973.

    Scientists estimate whales are coming back to Australia's east coast but smaller stocks in the Pacific are not recovering as quickly.

    *************

    Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to what he has described as the immense heritage left by his predecessor, John Paul II, who died a year ago today.

    Commemorations are also being held in Poland, the late pope's homeland.

    For many, John Paul II was regarded as the father figure of the nation.

    He was not just a spiritual or moral leader but a man who inspired them to defeat communism.

    Meanwhile, a senior Vatican cardinal has said there will be no rush to beatify Pope John Paul II.

    Proof of one miracle attributed to John Paul II is required before he can be beatified, the first step to sainthood.

    A second miracle attributed to his intercession with God would be necessary for full sainthood.

    Just a month after that, the new Pope Benedict XVI dispensed with the normal five-year waiting period which traditionally must pass before a process of beatification can even begin.

    The Diocese of Rome promptly announced the cause of beatification of John Paul II on June 28.

    Asia Cast - April 2, 2006

  • Asia Cast April 2 (audio)

  • Freed American hostage Jill Carroll has disavowed critical statements she made about the United States, saying she had been forced to make a propaganda video.
    In the video made before her release and posted on a jihadist Web site that also showed beheadings and attacks on American forces, Carroll denounced the U.S. presence in Iraq and praised the militants fighting American forces there.
    Carroll, who was abducted in Baghdad on January 7 and released 82 days later on Thursday, said in her first public statement since leaving Iraq that her captors forced her to make the video during her last night of captivity.
    Wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf, Carroll looked relaxed in the broadcast that has drawn criticism from some conservative commentators, describing U.S. policy in Iraq as built on a "mountain of lies" and saying U.S. President George W. Bush "doesn't care about his own people".
    She said at least two false statements about her had been widely aired: that she refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military and that she refused to discuss her captivity with U.S. officials. She said that neither is true.

    ****************

    A Shanghai woman who went on a hunger strike in support of an outspoken human rights lawyer and other activists, has been released after more than a month in detention, a human rights group said.
    Mao Hengfeng said she had suffered physical and mental abuse during her detention, which began on Feb. 13 when police put her under residential surveillance on suspicion of "causing a disturbance in a public place", Human Rights in China, said late on Friday.
    Mao, who was freed on Wednesday, told the group that she had been held in a Shanghai apartment. "I was kept confined to one or two rooms, and even had to ask permission to go to the bathroom."
    Prior to her detention, Mao had taken part in a nationwide hunger strike in support of human rights activists including lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
    Gao has defended dissidents and protesters and recently helped organise a rolling hunger strike to protest over police harassment of political activists.

    ********************

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Britain's Jack Straw flew in secret into Baghdad today in a dramatic bid to break a deadlock over forming a unity government that can halt a slide to civil war.
    A day after senior figures in the ruling Shiite Alliance bloc broke ranks and turned publicly on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Dr Rice and Foreign Secretary Straw will certainly add to the pressure on the controversial premier to step aside.
    The chill was palpable when Dr Rice and the embattled Mr Jaafari exchanged small talk on a rainstorm raging outside as reporters looked on. The smiles were frosty, and the body language awkward.

    *****************

    Beijing and Tsinghua universities are famous for their high academic standards in China and globally. However, some recent policies by the school administrators have caused locals to call the two prestigious universities "academic shopping centers." People said after China's economic reform turned "nine hundred million of the one billion people in China into businessmen," Chinese universities have become businesses as well.
    It was reported that the famous Weimin Lake on the Beijing U campus now looks like a public park, and the "triangle of land" where students normally hold events looks like a marketplace. On weekends and holidays the campus is full of cars and merchants from the outside, and loud hawking is nonstop. Student lovers complain that it is hard find a quiet romantic spot.
    It was reported that merchants can get onto the campus as long as they know someone in the campus security department. As to cars, as long as the car is expensive enough, it can be driven onto the campus without the driver being questioned.

    ********************

    A prominent Singapore opposition leader said on Sunday authorities had stopped him from leaving the country and impounded his passport as he had failed to draw up a plan to pay libel damages to two former premiers.
    Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the tiny Singapore Democratic party, was leaving for Turkey on Saturday to attend the World Movement for Democracy conference when he was stopped by immigration officers at the airport.
    The Immigration and Checkpoint Authority could not be immediately reached for comment.
    The High Court declared Chee bankrupt in February for failing to make libel payments of S$500,000 ($308,500) to former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong in a case dating back to the 2001 parliamentary elections, when he questioned their use of public funds.
    Singapore laws bar bankrupts from travelling overseas, but lawyers said Chee's case was unusual as applications to travel are frequently granted when proper documents are provided.
    Chee is the Singapore government's most acerbic critic and has had several run-ins with the People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled the city-state since independence in 1965.

    Editor - Jay Nordlinger of National Review Online - March 30, 2006

    A Place Called SujiatunAre they killing Falun Gong, for their organs?
    There is a horrifying story going around the world: In the northeast of China, thousands of prisoners are being held, so that they can be killed for their organs. The prisoners are practitioners of Falun Gong, the meditation-and-exercise system. The facility at which they are being held — called a "concentration camp" or a "death camp" — is at Sujiatun. Chinese human-rights activists believe that this name should cause the same shudders as Treblinka and the others.

    I cannot say whether this story is true; I can say that one ought to pay attention.
    Of course, "organ-harvesting" is a very familiar story: The PRC has been doing it, with prisoners, for many years. In 2001, the U.S. Congress held hearings on the matter, which caused a sensation. But the sensation died down, as sensations tend to do. Organ-harvesting has gone on, with no negative consequences for the Chinese government.
    Organ-selling is a huge business for the Chinese. You can obtain organs in China as you can nowhere else: any type, and very speedily.
    The subject of organ-harvesting has been revived by the discovery of Sujiatun. I will not attempt to do justice to this story in this space (as though justice could be done). I will mainly direct you to the website of the Epoch Times, and specifically to its archive on Sujiatun: here. The Epoch Times is an international newspaper whose reason for being is to tell the truth about China. Media in China itself, of course, are government-owned or -controlled.
    I also wish to direct you to an article by the tireless Bill Gertz of the Washington Times: here.
    How do we know about Sujiatun? Mainly through two witnesses, indescribably brave. One is a woman whose husband was a doctor who took part in the organ-harvesting; the other is a Chinese journalist, long based in Japan, who investigated the matter. Both are now in the United States, in hiding, in fear of their lives. I talked to the journalist, by phone, on Monday morning.
    First, a further word about the woman: You can read an Epoch Times interview with her here, and a follow-up story here. They will give you all the details a human mind can take, and probably more. In brief, her husband became deranged by his work, unable to go on. The wife did not intend to step forward as a witness, but concluded that she had no choice.
    I will indulge in just a few details. The woman's husband said to her, "You don't understand my suffering. Those Falun Gong practitioners were alive. It might be easier for me if they were dead, but they were alive."
    The woman also said this, to the Epoch Times: "Some poor farmers from nearby places were hired to work in the boiler room. [This served as the crematory.] They were penniless when they first came. . . . But they could scrape up some watches, finger rings, necklaces, and so on. The amount is not small."
    Finally, she said, "I would like to expose this to the international community, so those who are not yet killed can be saved. Also, I would like to expose this as an atonement for my family."
    Now to the Chinese journalist: His name is Jin Zhong — or so he calls himself for the purpose of media reports. I spoke to him when I was meeting with some Falun Gong activists in a New York conference room. One of them, Charles Lee, was recently released from a Chinese prison after three years' confinement. He was tortured, and I will be writing about him in the next issue of National Review. Dr. Lee is a U.S. citizen, by the way.
    And, in a strange twist, he bore witness to organ-harvesting, while a young medical researcher in China, years ago. Prisoners would be shot in the back of the head, and their bodies would be hustled to a waiting van. There, doctors would extract their organs; Charles Lee served as an assistant, holding the instruments. Sometimes, the prisoners seemed not quite dead, he says.Before Dr. Lee and I talked, I was able to interview Jin Zhong by phone, using an associate of Dr. Lee's as a translator.
    For an extended report on Mr. Jin, please see this Epoch Times article. I will say simply that he found out about Sujiatun when he was investigating SARS, and the extent of the Chinese government's cover-up of that problem. Some local officials let slip information about the Falun Gong camp, and its purpose. He could not believe what he was hearing: It was too horrific, too inhuman. But he pursued the story, and confirmed that what he had heard was true.
    I ask Mr. Jin whether the officials felt guilty about this murder and organ-harvesting. He says, "Not at all."
    Mr. Jin soon attracted the attention of the police, and was twice detained. He says he was tortured, while in detention. He managed to return to Japan, and then come to the United States. His family remains in Japan, and he says they have received death threats. Obviously, he fears for his own life here in America. PRC agents have never been respecters of national territory.
    For those who care, Mr. Jin is not himself a Falun Gong practitioner. (Neither is the woman whose husband performed organ-harvesting.) "I'm not even interested," says Mr. Jin. But he is interested in humanity, and in justice. He says, "I trust that the CCP [the Chinese Communist Party] will try to kill me," for telling about Sujiatun. His life would have been far easier if he had kept quiet, but his conscience would not allow it.
    I compliment him on his bravery. He says, "You're a journalist. You wouldn't have done any differently, in my position." I reply, "I can only hope that that is so."
    Is the U.S. government aware of Sujiatun? Mr. Jin says he has informed interested congressmen and their aides. And friends of human rights in the media are weighing in. Peter Worthington concluded a piece in the Toronto Sun this way: "China's use of prisoners as guinea pigs, or as a supply to meet world demand, makes Nazi medical experimentation seem almost benign by comparison."
    No one should bet that Sujiatun will penetrate the world's consciousness. Governments everywhere are keen on smooth relations with the PRC; media, even in free countries, seem to want to help them. The reluctance of major newspapers and TV networks to report on atrocities in China is a sad subject.
    And I recall what Robert Conquest, the great analyst of totalitarianism, once told me: The world has seldom wanted to believe witnesses. Ten, 20, or 30 years later, maybe, but rarely sooner.
    Testimony out of the early Soviet Union was scoffed at; these were "rumors in Riga." Tales of the Holocaust were Jewish whining. When escapees from Mao spilled into Hong Kong, they were "embittered warlords." When Cubans landed in Florida, they were "Batista stooges." And so on.
    There is an extra incentive to look away from persecution when the victims are Falun Gong. Many people are suspicious of these meditators and slow-motion exercisers, with their strange philosophy. And massive Communist propaganda against them has not been without an effect. Western business leaders see Falun Gong standing in their way, or at least irritating them.
    I have no idea what will happen to Jin Zhong, or to the wife of the doctor, or to the prisoners who remain in Sujiatun. It may well be that, with some international attention, the Chinese government will Potemkinize the place. They have done as much before, as have many governments like them. And it could be that people will simply not care about Sujiatun, no matter what is proven.
    My main hope, at the moment, is that readers will glance at the reports I have mentioned, especially those in the Epoch Times. Because, sometimes, the unthinkable needs to be thought about, just a bit.
    * * *

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Asia Cast - April 1, 2006



    (To listen on-line please tick 'Sound of Hope Radio' Asia Cast.)
    Chinese police have vowed to clamp down on pipeline oil theft, even threatening to impose the death penalty.
    According to police, oil theft cost the industry more than 1bn yuan and led to 2,877 arrests.
    While increased police surveillance had almost halved the number of thefts, a significant number of thefts were also going unnoticed, particularly in the Chinese countryside.
    The majority of crude oil thieves are farmer peasants in the impoverished and remote regions, who earn a third as much as their city dwelling counterparts.
    One popular method used to steal oil involves thieves building a hut and then drilling into oil pipes beneath the building.
    China already has almost 30,000 kilometres of pipelines, which will be extended in the near future.
    *******************************
    The leader of Japan's main opposition party, Seiji Maehara, has said he will resign following a scandal over a false accusation against the ruling party.
    Last month the opposition admitted that allegations made by a Democratic Party of Japan MP - that the son of a ruling party member was linked to a disgraced company - were untrue.
    The party has already apologised over the incident.
    Mr Maehara told officials at a meeting on Friday that he was stepping down to take responsibility for the scandal.
    Other senior DPJ officials, including Secretary-General Yukio Hatoyama, also planned to step down, according to party officials.
    ***********************************
    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has acknowledged that the United States has made thousands of tactical errors in Iraq.
    But she pleaded that the US and British invasion of Iraq three years ago be judged on its strategic goal, to oust dictator Saddam Hussein to pave the way for democracy.
    Dr Rice made her remarks on the first day of a three-day stay in Blackburn, England, where her British counterpart Jack Straw is the local member of Parliament, and where 20 per cent of the population adhere to the Muslim faith.
    Protesters shadowed her around the old Industrial Revolution mill town, denouncing US and British policy in Iraq as she visited a high school and the Blackburn Rovers football team.
    *********************************************
    US President George Bush has offered aid to Iranians struck by a devastating earthquake, which has killed at least 70 people and injured 1,265.
    The powerful earthquake struck western Iran yesterday, heavily damaging villages in Lorestan province.
    Iranian officials say the magnitude 6.0 earthquake has damaged 330 villages.
    Meanwhile, Mr Bush has renewed condemnation of the Iranian government's nuclear activities, which the US and its allies believe hides an attempt to develop an atomic bomb.
    The US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany have been holding talks this week on what action to take if Iran ignores UN Security Council demands to halt uranium enrichment in 30 days.
    ************************************
    A Hong Kong legislator has filed a complaint with the local privacy commission against the Internet company, Yahoo, alleging that it helped Chinese officials convict a dissident journalist.
    Hong Kong legislator and lawyer Albert Ho told reporters Friday he filed a formal complaint regarding the case of journalist Shi Tao.
    Shi was sentenced to 10 years in jail last year on charges of revealing state secrets.
    Chinese officials cited an e-mail message he sent in 2004 that made public a government order barring Chinese media from marking the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
    Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said last year his company was complying with Chinese law when it handed over information that led to the imprisonment of Shi.
    ***************************************
    At least 57 people have died after a crowded pleasure boat capsized in the Gulf off the coast of Bahrain.
    Most of the passengers on board when the two-deck Arabic dhow keeled over were foreigners from a construction firm enjoying an evening dinner cruise.
    The confirmed dead include 17 Indians and 12 Britons, Bahrain interior ministry officials have said.
    At least 67 people were rescued from the al-Dana vessel, which capsized in calm seas not far from the shoreline.
    ****************************************
    China says it regrets the United States and European Union's decision to take a dispute over car parts to the World Trade Organization.
    The U.S. and E.U. accuse China of violating WTO rules by giving its domestic carmakers strong incentives to use a higher amount of Chinese-made parts.
    U.S. and European carmakers say the Chinese practice makes their cars less competitive on the Chinese market.
    China is trying to prevent foreign domination of its auto industry and wants to give more opportunities to its own smaller, less developed companies.
    China would like to encourage the development of its own auto parts suppliers so that eventually they can hope to have a major domestic, purely domestic, automobile manufacturer
    China's Commerce Ministry on Friday issued a brief statement saying it regrets the U.S. and EU action, and says it is studying the matter seriously.

    Asia Cast - March 31, 2006



    (To listen on-line please tick 'Sound of Hope Radio' Asia Cast.)
    The leader of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party says it is willing to discuss dropping its long-standing pro-independence stance if Beijing also drops its "one China" principle.
    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said earlier this month that Beijing would talk to the DPP or anyone else in Taiwan, as long as they were committed to the "one China" principle, which holds that the self-ruled island is part of mainland China.
    The DPP chairman rejected the demand, saying dialogue must be based on an equal basis and in-line with democratic principles.
    Although the DPP's charter sets Taiwan independence from China as its goal, the chairman says the DPP is open to any form of relations with China.
    But the decision lies with the island's 23 million people, not Beijing.
    ******************************************
    China has said it will spend more than $1.2bn cleaning up the Songhua River along the Russian border after it was polluted by toxic chemicals last year.
    Water supplies were cut off to millions of people following the benzene leak.
    The clean-up plan will fund more than 200 projects designed to reduce industrial pollution and improve sewage treatment and water quality.
    November's spill strained relations with Russia and focused attention on pollution problems in China's rivers.
    About 3.8m people in the northern Chinese city of Harbin lost their water supplies for up to five days after 100 tonnes of benzene and nitrobenzene leaked into the Songhua.
    The spillage was caused by an explosion upstream at a PetroChina chemical factory in the north-eastern province of Jilin.
    ******************************************
    South Korea has lodged a protest against a Japanese school textbook's description of a dispute between the two nations.
    The reference is among changes to textbooks ordered by Japanese education authorities.
    Japan's Education Ministry instructed the publisher of a high school textbook to change its description of a territorial dispute over a group of islands, known as Dokdo by South Korea, and as Takeshima in Japan.
    The draft said the islands sovereignty was in dispute, but the ministry changed that to say the islands were Japan's but were also claimed by Korea.
    ******************************************
    Australia is to break the link between key economic sectors, to start formal negotiations with China on a free trade agreement .
    The offers on goods and agriculture will start before work on services and investment.
    China and Australia have had four rounds of negotiations on the scope of a bilateral free trade agreement and are slowly moving to the formal stage of exchanging detailed offers and demands.
    To get progress, Australia is to break the link between the four main sectors.
    The shift is a win for China, which originally wanted to do a deal on goods before even talking about services - the strategy it used in free trade talks with South-East Asia.
    ******************************************
    Japan says its whaling program will not be influenced by research the Australian Government claims shows whaling for scientific purposes is a sham.
    Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell yesterday released a study showing it was not necessary to kill whales for scientific purposes.
    Senator Campbell said the study showed whaling was counter-productive.
    But the spokesman on whaling for Japan's Fisheries Agency, says although he has not seen the study, he does not expect it will change Japan's view.
    ******************************************
    Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has launched a scathing attack on a UN envoy who criticised the government's record on human rights.
    Yash Ghai said on Tuesday that Cambodia's government was not committed to human rights, and power had been too centralised around "one individual".
    Hun Sen said Mr Ghai was "deranged" and should be sacked by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
    Mr Ghai, a Kenyan lawyer, completed a 10-day fact-finding tour of Cambodia on Tuesday.
    He said the Cambodian government was "not very committed to human rights".
    ******************************************
    Iran's ambassador to the United Nations nuclear watchdog says Tehran will not suspend uranium enrichment work, which can produce fuel for power plants or bombs, as demanded by the UN Security Council.
    The Council had unanimously adopted a 'presidential statement', calling on Iran to freeze its enrichment work.
    Iran says it only wants nuclear technology for electricity generation but Western countries fear it wants nuclear weapons.
    ******************************************
    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has blasted Western critics of his controversial policies and rights record, and vowed he will never retreat or surrender to a "neo-colonialist" onslaught.
    Mr Mugabe, 82, has been in power since Zimbabwe won its independence from Britain in 1980.
    He is accused of plunging the nation into political and economic crisis by seizing white-owned farms and destroying the key agricultural sector, rigging elections and waging a violent campaign against the opposition.
    Mr Mugabe says his Government has been targeted by Western powers, particularly Britain and the United States, for empowering Zimbabwe's black majority and for resolutely defending its political rights.
    ******************************************
    A report by more than 50 charity groups says the rate of violent deaths in northern Uganda is three times higher than in Iraq.
    It says nearly 150 northern Ugandans die every week due to the rebellion waged by the group the Lords Resistance Army.
    The United Nations coordinator for humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland, says the Ugandan Government must act to stop further bloodshed.
    Mr Egeland calls the war one of the world's most neglected humanitarian disasters.
    One study last year estimated that 1,000 people died every week in the north as a result of poor living conditions.

    Asia Cast - March 30, 2006



    (To listen on-line please tick 'Sound of Hope Radio' Asia Cast)
    American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is joining foreign ministers from five other major powers to discuss a future strategy on the Iran nuclear issue.
    The meeting in Berlin comes a day after the U.N. Security Council called on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
    Ms Rice and ministers from Germany, Britain, France, China and Russia will discuss what to do if Iran does not comply.
    Iran says its nuclear programme is being developed for peaceful purposes and has refused to stop its activities.
    The Security Council vote was taken shortly after a statement was agreed by the five permanent members - the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia - after weeks of wrangling.
    *******************
    Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister says it is still not clear which authorities will investigate the shooting of an Australian resident in Iraq.
    The Department of Foreign Affairs saysseventy-two-year-old Professor Kays Juma, , was shot and killed at a checkpoint in Baghdad last Saturday.
    Reports suggest a security guard fired on a vehicle belonging to Professor Juma close to an entry point to the city's Green Zone.
    Professor Juma is an Iraqi man, with an Australian permanent resident's visa who lived in Baghdad for most of the year with his Australian wife.
    The Australian Embassy in Baghdad is seeking advice on who is responsible for investigating the incident.
    **************************
    Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, the third most wanted war criminal in the world has been transferred to the United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone.
    Mr Taylor was flown to the court after being taken into UN custody in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
    He was repatriated from Nigeria on Wednesday, hours after being caught trying to escape custody - ending his exile of nearly three years there.
    The former president is wanted by the Sierra Leone tribunal for his alleged role in the state's brutal civil war.
    He faces 17 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and is accused of backing rebels notorious for mutilating civilians.
    He is accused of selling diamonds and buying weapons for Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels, who were notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during their decade-long war.
    Tens of thousands of people died in the interlinked conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
    **********************
    In Australia it’s been revealed a mentally ill man, who is dependent on insulin, has been held in immigration detention for six years.
    The man who is known as Mr X, says he is from Bangladesh, but his home country has declined to recognise him and Australian authorities have refused to grant him a protection visa.
    The man arrived in Australia in 1999 and has been in detention ever since.
    The Commonwealth Ombudsman has recommended that Mr X should receive a permanent visa and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone says she will make a decision soon.
    ************************
    The Western Australian mining town of Karratha on the north-west coast of Australia looks set to be spared the full force of tropical cyclone Glenda.
    The category 4 storm, packing winds of up to 235 kilometres an hour, should cross the coast at Mardi station, midway between Karratha and Onslow, sometime tonight.
    The storm, one of the most powerful cyclones to hit the region in many years has already dumped more than 90 millimetres of rain in the past 27 hours, causing widespread flooding.
    More than 500 people have already been evacuated from low-lying areas in Karratha.
    ****************
    Meanwhile estimates are firming of the insurance industry impact from cyclone Larry in far north Queensland.
    It is now being described as a "moderate insurance event".
    Cyclone Larry made landfall ten days ago.
    But ratings agency Standard & Poors now estimates the insured losses at between $300 million and $400 million.
    However, Larry's total cost is also put at $1.5 billion, but much of the sugar and banana crops were uninsured.
    *******************************
    Japan says its whaling program will not be influenced by research the Australian Government claims shows whaling for scientific purposes is a sham.
    Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell yesterday released a study showing it was not necessary to kill whales for scientific purposes.
    But Hideki Moronuki, the spokesman on whaling for Japan's Fisheries Agency, says although he has not seen the study, he does not expect it will change Japan's view.
    The issues are set for another airing at this year's meeting of the International Whaling Commission at the end of May.
    The IWC is still assessing the first phase of Japan's whaling program which plans to harpoon more than 900 whales, including endangered fin and humpback species.
    **************************
    Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has launched a scathing attack on a United Nations envoy who criticised the government's record on human rights.
    The envoy, Yash Ghai said on Tuesday that Cambodia's government was not committed to human rights, and power had been too centralised around one individual.
    In an angry responseHun Sen said Mr Ghai was "deranged", should be sacked by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and that other UN rights staff in Cambodia were just "long-term tourists".
    This year Hun Sen has filed, and subsequently dropped, defamation charges against about a dozen government critics.
    Cambodia’s opposition leader last year was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for criminal defamation, although he was granted a royal pardon a month ago.

    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    Gao Zhisheng's Comments On Sound Of Hope Radio

  • Gao Zhisheng's Comments on Sound of Hope (audio)



  • There is absolutely no doubt that Sound of Hope plays an indispensable role in today’s Mainland China. Many people in China do not have access to the internet, thus listening to radio broadcasts has become the only way for them to obtain information. A large number of them are the listeners of Sound of Hope’s broadcast. Right now, once you mention Sound of Hope, many common folks will say “I know, I know Sound of Hope”. For example, for the thousands of people who recently joined the hunger strike in Shanxi province, when asked how they obtained the information of the relay hunger strike, they told you directly: “We listened to the Sound of Hope Broadcast; we heard the news from Sound of Hope”. It is the same situation in Anhui Province. A group of people joined the relay hunger strike from Anhui. I asked them the source of their information. They said: “We heard the news from Sound of Hope and we want to support you”.

    That is to say, the broadcast of Sound of Hope is the voice of freedom, and its impact should never be underestimated in deed, and in terms of the public awakening to the awareness of civil rights protection and the nature of barbaric dictatorship of Chinese communist regime.

    Even for the general movement of civil rights protection in China, not specifically about the hunger strike, Sound of Hope’s broadcast is vital. For example, last year a farmer from Shandong province visited my law firm. He told me that in his village what people most often listen to VOA and Sound of Hope. The Chinese communist regime will be of no use at all after its collapse; since it is inhuman it is doomed to have no future.

    Asia Cast - March 29, 2006



    (To listen on-line please tick 'Sound of Hope Radio' Asia Cast.)
    China has said it will ban the sale of human organs from July in an attempt to clean up its transplant industry.
    New regulations published by the health ministry require donors to give written permission and say transplants should be done only in specialist hospitals.
    The move follows the deaths of several foreigners who travelled to China for transplants.
    Correspondents say the measures fail to address a severe organ shortage which has spawned a lucrative black market.
    It is estimated at least two million people in China need transplants each year but only up to 20,000 can be conducted because of the lack of organs, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
    Voluntary donations fall far below the level of demand because of cultural biases against organ removal before burial.
    Human rights groups allege that many organs come from executed prisoners, including from those who may not have given their permission.
    *****************Vietnam War veterans and activists from six countries are urging the US Government to compensate millions of people they say are victims of toxins in the military defoliant Agent Orange.
    Three decades after the war ended, the US has yet to admit that the lethal chemical dioxin has harmed Vietnamese villagers and foreign soldiers through illness and birth defects.
    No figures on human health defects have been universally accepted.
    The two-day meeting has drawn veterans from Vietnam, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea to discuss the effects of the chemical that was used to strip away jungle cover and destroy enemy food crops.
    **************UN health agencies have admitted that they had widely missed their goal of getting AIDS drugs to 3 million poor people by the end of this year but insisted the initiative had succeeded in many other ways.
    By December 31, more than 1.3 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to antiretroviral therapy.
    The two agencies had aimed to reach three million out of the 6.5 million infected poor people who need the drugs.
    Despite this setback and the many problems that persist, the initiative had transformed the war against AIDS.
    It had tripled the number of poor people on antiretrovirals, saved hundreds of thousands of lives and laid down the foundations for saving many more in years to come.
    ************Three Indonesian Christians facing execution by firing squad within days have submitted a second request for a presidential pardon.
    The three were found guilty in 2001 of murder, arson and several other crimes during sectarian violence in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi Province.
    The Attorney-General's department said earlier it had planned to carry out the executions before the end of March.
    Pope Benedict XXVI earlier this month sent a message of compassion to the men.
    ***************You’re listening to Asia Cast on the Sound of Hope Radio Network************A remarkable tale of survival at sea has emerged from the South Pacific, this time from Solomon Islands.
    Two Solomon Islanders, who had been missing since January, have been picked up by a fishing vessel in Vanuatu.
    The pair had intended to make a journey by motorised canoe on the island of Malaita but never arrived at their destination.
    They have survived almost two months at sea, drifting hundreds of kilometres before being seen by the fishing vessel in Vanuatu's waters.
    ********The Australian Federal Government says China would not be allowed to transfer Australian uranium to other countries if an export deal goes ahead as expected within days.
    The two countries are close to reaching agreement on the sale of Australian uranium, which is potentially worth billions of dollars.
    Environmental groups are concerned China may use the uranium for its nuclear defence program or on-sell the material to other nations.
    ********
    Former United States defence secretary Caspar Weinberger has died, aged 88.Mr Weinberger had been suffering from pneumonia and high fever for about a week.
    He oversaw a massive US military build-up as former US President Ronald Reagan's defence secretary, and strongly opposed concessions to Moscow in arms control negotiations.
    Mr Weinberger later became caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal that dogged the Reagan administration.
    He resigned as defence secretary in 1987 and was later indicted on felony counts of lying to the independent counsel investigating the scandal.
    He was pardoned by President Bush in 1992, days before he was to go on trial.
    ***********A group of 45 elderly Chinese who were forced to work as slave labourers in Japan during World War II have lost their bid for compensation.
    A court in the Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka dismissed the men's lawsuit, which sought a total of 1bn yen in compensation.
    The plaintiffs had also demanded a written apology in both Japanese and Chinese newspapers.
    Japan's ties with China are already frayed after a series of disputes.
    The two countries have clashed over access to energy reserves, as well Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, where some war criminals are honoured along with Japan's war dead.
    ************Greenpeace has released data from satellite imaging that indicates that virgin forest covers approximately 55 thousand square kilometers of land in China, which represents only about two percent of China’s total forested area.
    Liu Bing, the director of Greenpeace’s Forest Protection Project says the depletion is due to excessive logging in virgin forests.