Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Radio Free Asia News 8.1.2007

North Korea Cracks Down on 'Korean Wave' of Illicit TV.
SEOUL — Authorities in North Korea are intensifying a crackdown on smuggled imports of South Korean popular culture, especially television dramas, but the South’s “Korean Wave” may already have taken hold in the isolated Stalinist state. South Korean music, soap operas, and movies have already taken the rest of East Asia by storm, and, according to North Koreans now living in the South, North Korea is no exception. “North Koreans enjoy South Korean TV drama because it is interesting and realistic,” one North Korean defector told RFA's Korean service. “North Koreans love the fact that South Korean TV drama is not about politics, but about love and life, the fundamentals of human existence anywhere in this world.”

Chinese Authorities Close Tibetan Literary Web Site.
HONG KONG — Authorities in the northern Chinese city of Xian have closed a literary Web site run by a Tibetan, apparently for posting “political” content, the editor said. The site, known as “The Lamp,” claimed some 800 registered forum users. It was closed July 4 by Internet police in the city, the editor told RFA’s Tibetan service. “When we called the [service provider], they thought perhaps it was due to the detection of political content by the Chinese Internet police,” the editor said, adding that the Chinese service provider was unsure of the reasons for closure.

Education, Employment Top Concerns for Tibetan Youth.
WASHINGTON — Tibetan youths seeking jobs inside Tibet are increasingly frustrated by a system that depends on making the right connections and learning Mandarin Chinese, young Tibetans and outside experts say. “Since we do not have any connections, we are unable to do anything,” one Tibetan college student in China tells RFA’s Tibetan service.

Bhutanese Lama Saves Animals from Slaughter.
A Buddhist teacher in Bhutan has set up an unusual network of sanctuaries in the hills and jungles of the tiny Himalayan kingdom and in its giant neighbor India to care for hundreds of animals saved from slaughter. “I would like to save as many animals as I can, but it won’t be possible to save them all,” the lama, Kunzang Dorjee, said in an interview. “No one can do that. But we have to do whatever we can.” Lama Kunzang began to rescue animals seven years ago, he said, when five bulls escaped from a slaughterhouse and made their way directly to his monastery in Kalimpong, India, passing other houses on the way. The bulls refused to leave the temple grounds, and it seemed to him that they were seeking help, Lama Kunzang said.

China Confiscates Muslims' Passports.
HONG KONG — Authorities in northwestern China have begun confiscating the passports of Muslims, mostly ethnic Uyghurs, in an apparent bid to prevent them from making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca , local residents and officials say. An officer who answered the phone at the Tengritagh district public security bureau [police department] of the Xinjiang regional capital, Urumqi , said local residents were required to "register" their passports with local neighborhood committees, the basic building blocks of social control in China . “The authorities of local residential offices are collecting the passports,” he told RFA’s Uyghur service. “Local residential offices are collecting the passports in order to register them...The authorities will keep the passports for the public. If they want to go to other countries, they can come to fetch their passports. The authorities will give the passports back to them accordingly.”

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