Category Archives: China

Chinese Communist Posters – Revolutionary Committees (1967)


Revolutionary committees are good, 1976

Revolutionary committees are good, 1976

On 24 January 1967, Mao Zedong renamed the Shanghai People’s Commune as the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee. These Revolutionary Committees (革命委员会, Geming weiyuanhui), which were supposedly based on a “three-way alliance of Red Guards, Party cadres and army men”, were to replace the original political structures that had existed until then in China.

Resolutely protect the policy of the revolutionary three-in-one combination! 1967

Resolutely protect the policy of the revolutionary three-in-one combination! 1967

One of their main functions, however, was to bring the factional struggle to an end that crippled the nation. The term “revolutionary committee” itself originated in the Soviet Union, where it refered to a power structure which combined the military and the state.

Warmly hail the formation of the revolutionary committee of Beijing, 1967

Warmly hail the formation of the revolutionary committee of Beijing, 1967

The formation of the revolutionary committees was the result of the power seizures by rebel and Red Guard factions that had led to nation-wide administrative paralysis. The introduction of the committees was a very slow process. Only by 5 September 1968, almost a year and a half after their inception, the committees had been set up in all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, “with the exception of Taiwan”. Although Mao himself had allowed that the committees were merely provisional organs of power, they remained in existence until 1979, when they were abolished and replaced by people’s governments at all levels.

Support and defend Chairman Mao's correct plan of the 'three-way alliance'--Return all power to the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, 1967

Support and defend Chairman Mao’s correct plan of the ‘three-way alliance’–Return all power to the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, 1967

Warmly celebrate the formation of the revolutionary committee of the Foreign Languages Training School of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 1967

Warmly celebrate the formation of the revolutionary committee of the Foreign Languages Training School of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 1967

The revolutionary committees were not merely organizational tools that served political purposes. All work units, from factories to schools, from workshops to rural communes, formed their own revolutionary committees to take care of day-to-day administration.

Warmly welcome the establishment of the revolutionary committee of the Shanghai East-is-Red diesel locomotive factory!, 1967

Warmly welcome the establishment of the revolutionary committee of the Shanghai East-is-Red diesel locomotive factory!, 1967

Via

http://chineseposters.net/themes/revolutionary-committees.php

Sources:

Dalai Lama Gives Birth to Heir – Blames Chinese


Dalai Lama Demi2

Reports from Dharamsala, India, home of the Tibet-in-exile government, confirm that in the early hours of this morning, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has given birth to a male heir.

The Dalai Lama was quoted as saying, “I was performing my early morning meditations as usual and sitting in the lotus position. I had just achieved a complete level of relaxation when I felt something drop. Naturally, I assumed it was my holy excrement, so I summoned my attendant to collect it for sale in Hollywood, again as usual. Imagine my surprise when I looked down and the little shit was looking back up at me.

Followers of the Tibetan Buddhist leader were jubilant upon hearing the news that there was now an heir to the ailing Dalai Lama. Incense, firecrackers, prayer wheels and flags, chanting and colourful demonstrations quickly spread around the world. However, celebrations have now been dampened by the further announcement that the baby lama is Chinese.

A spokesman for the Dalai Lama has issued a strongly worded statement blaming the Chinese government for the birth. “We have inside information that it was definitely the Chinese. Except for His Holiness’ non-political trips to America, France, Britain, Mexico, Guatemala, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Canada, Morocco, Singapore, Japan, Norway, Peru, Cuba, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, Jamaica, Taiwan…did I include America?, in the past year, the Dalai Lama has been right here in the lamasery with the other monks. And believe me, Tibetan monks know how to have safe sex without conception.”

In an unusually swift reaction, the Chinese government in Beijing has also claimed that the baby lama is indeed Chinese. Lin Hung, the young, handsome and popular Chinese appointed governor of Tibet has claimed he is the father and that he and the Dalai Lama have been having a clandestine affair for the past two years. Hung claims that the Dalai Lama has made numerous visits to their secret love nest in Lhasa disguised as a Buddhist monk.

The Dalai Lama’s attendant who was present at the birth has confirmed that Lin Hung is the likely father. “The baby lama has His Holiness’ ears, but everything else looked well Hung”, according to the attendant.

The Chinese authorities, and Tibetan Governor Lin Hung have invited the Dalai Lama and baby lama to return immediately to Tibet, and Potala Palace is being readied for their arrival. “The Chinese baby lama is a wonderful gift from the entire Chinese people to the Dalai Lama and all Tibetans. This baby will bring the peace and harmony we all so desperately want to restore”, said Chinese President Hu Jintao. Governor Lin Hong made a more emotional appeal directly to the Dalai Lama. “This was not just a dalaiance on my part. I love you and our baby lama. Please come home. If you don’t return, I will put a photo of our missing baby lama on every milk carton in China.”

In a move to ensure the return of the Dalai Lama and baby lama, the Chinese government in Beijing today issued an immediate order legalizing same sex marriage and granting partners and children of same sex relationships full and equal rights. To engender world support, the Chinese have also put in a bid for the 2012 Gay Olympics to be held in Lhasa with Governor Hung, the Dalai Lama and baby lama as official hosts. To protect the health and safety of baby lama, the Chinese government has also immediately banned the illegal melamine contamination of yak milk within 500 yards of Potala Palace and urged the Dalai Lama to breast feed.

A poll taken in Tibet by Chinese authorities immediately after the birth announcement shows that 117% of Tibetans want the Dalai Lama and baby lama to return. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3%. “It’s up to the Dalai Lama now to prove what kind of man he really is”, quipped a street vender outside Potala Palace hawking baby lama souvenirs.

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via The Spoof : Dalai Lama Gives Birth to Heir – Blames Chinese funny satire story.

Communist Posters -Cultural Revolution Campaigns (1966-1976)


Criticize the old world and build a new world with Mao Zedong Thought as a weapon, 1966

Criticize the old world and build a new world with Mao Zedong Thought as a weapon, 1966

The Cultural Revolution (文化大革命, Wenhua Dageming, 1966-1976) was a mass campaign of enormous dimensions. Aside from the general revolutionary high-tide that swept China, the period was marked by a large number of sub-campaigns. Indeed, whenever the situation called for a shift in orientation within the larger framework of the Cultural Revolution, this was engineered by setting in motion a new campaign. Factional struggles within the leadership also functioned as catalysts for campaigns.

Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought to wage the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to the end--Revolution is no crime, to rebel is justified, ca. 1966

Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought to wage the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to the end–Revolution is no crime, to rebel is justified, ca. 1966

Often, these sub-campaigns came so hard and fast that propaganda posters had to serve as the main source of information for the people. With the country in complete chaos, these images which contained clear and unambiguous indications of what behavior and slogans were acceptable at that particular moment, were seen as more dependable than the media. This was in particular the case in those localities where the “excellent revolutionary” situation that prevailed – according to the media, that is – had become completely unintelligible to the innocent bystander.

Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought--thoroughly smash the rotting counterrevolutionary revisionist line in literature and art, 1967

Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought–thoroughly smash the rotting counterrevolutionary revisionist line in literature and art, 1967

Locally produced posters are extremely interesting. Not only because they shed light on the local situation, but also from an artistic point of view. They are often striking in their simplicity of design and coloring, usually done in simple red, white and black, and are somewhat reminiscent of the block prints made in the war years. As such, they bear witness to the urgency of the times.

The 3 July and 24 July proclamations are Chairman Mao's great strategic plans! Unite with forces that can be united with to strike surely, accurately and relentlessly at the handful of class enemies, 1968

The 3 July and 24 July proclamations are Chairman Mao’s great strategic plans! Unite with forces that can be united with to strike surely, accurately and relentlessly at the handful of class enemies, 1968

GlaxoSmithKline Alleged to Pay Bribes in China


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been accused of bribing doctors in China in order to boost sales. Chinese government officials say they have uncovered evidence of a bribery scheme involving 700 travel agencies who were used to funnel as much as three billion yuan ($480 million) in payments.

“We found that bribery is a core part of the activities of the company,” Gao Feng, the head of China’s fraud unit, said. “There is always a big boss in criminal organisations and in this case GSK is the big boss.”

Allegations about bribes at GSK first surfaced in January of this year in a series of tips made by an anonymous individual to company officials. The whistleblower alleged that the UK company made payments of $249 to $490 to promote Botox, a toxin used for medical purposes as well as for cosmetic purposes to get rid of wrinkles.

Soon after, the Wall Street Journal says it reviewed documents from as late as April 2013 for an internal GSK project called “Vasily” to pay 48 doctors who promoted Botox with “either a percentage of the cash value of the prescription or educational credits” depending on how many sales they made. GSK officials were encouraged to discuss the scheme on personal email accounts.

“I recommend that everyone else use a private email account because it will be better that way,” Ruiting “Candy” Chen, Glaxo central nervous system marketing manager said in an email translated by the Journal. “Remember you must send to personal email accounts, you accidentally sent to [another sales team member’s] public mail, careful next time!” wrote Any Zheng, Botox regional sales manager.

Chinese media reported on Monday that GSK allegedly made payments to the travel agencies which then transferred the money to doctors via credit cards when they made prescriptions. The travel agencies booked the payments for travel expenses to fake meetings.

GSK says it has suspended all work with the travel agencies. It also says Vasily was never implemented and has denied the charges.

“We take all allegations of bribery and corruption seriously,” a spokesman said in a press statement. “We continuously monitor our businesses to ensure they meet our strict compliance procedures. We have done this in China and found no evidence of bribery or corruption of doctors or government officials. However, if evidence of such activity is provided we will act swiftly on it.”

Chinese officials say that Mark Reilly, the head of GSK operations in China, fled the country on June 27 and has not returned. Several other executives have been arrested.

“The anonymous claims highlight the challenges multinational pharmaceutical companies face in China, one of their most significant and fastest-growing markets, because its health-care system is controlled and owned by the state and it has a tradition of government patronage and gift-giving,” write Christopher Matthews and Jessica Hodgson of the Wall Street Journal.

In reality, the comment by the Journal reporters reflects a bias on their part. GSK has been found guilty of routinely offering U.S. doctors lavish payments for promoting company products, despite the absence of a state health care system.

In July 2012 GSK agreed to pay out $3 billion to settle charges on pushing bupropion and paroxetine (as well as their failure to report safety data about the drug Avandia to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) — the largest such fine ever paid by a pharmaceutical company.

The U.S. Department of Justice noted that the company gave out “cash payments disguised as consulting fees, expensive meals, weekend boondoggles and lavish entertainment.” For example, doctors who promoted Wellbutrin were taken on “training sessions” to Jamaica. “Dr. Drew,” a TV doctor, was paid $275,000 in two months in 1999 alone to “deliver messages about [Wellbutrin SR] in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK.”

Nor was it the only Western pharmaceutical company accused of paying bribes to doctors to promote its products. In August 2012, in a criminal complaint issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, investigators laid out detailed charges against Pfizer for paying bribes in eight countries: Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia.

For example, Pfizer Italy employees provided free cell phones, photocopiers, printers and televisions to doctors, arranged for vacations (such as “weekend in Gallipoli,” “weekend with companion” and “weekend in Rome”) and even made direct cash payments (under the guise of lecture fees and honoraria) in return for promises by doctors to recommend or prescribe Pfizer’s products.

http://www.corpwatch.org/index.php

via OpEdNews – Article: CorpWatch : GlaxoSmithKline Alleged to Pay Bribes in China.

U.S. Bluster and Hubris Having No Impact on Russia’s Putin or China


PUTIN by Jedimentat44

It’s always eye catching when Russian leaders and now the Chinese Peoples Daily newspaper, the official organ of the Beijing regime, make straight forward comments about certain U.S. government actions and behavior that precisely hit the mark.

Presently those comments are all connected to Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs, the fallout over the U.S. extradition request to have him sent back to the U.S. to face espionage and theft charges and U.S. government officials making threats to both China and Russia for refusing to have Snowden extradited to the U.S.

Of course, neither China nor Russia have extradition agreements with the U.S., so on the face of it the U.S. is howling in the dark.

But with regard to the Chinese and Russian comments to the U.S. government about its behavior in the Snowden saga, from here they’ re considered priceless. Here are a few of those priceless gems:

From the Chinese Peoples Daily:

Regarding Snowden, “A young idealist who has exposed the sinister scandals of the U.S. government”.

“Instead of apologizing, Washington is showing off its muscle by attempting to control the whole situation”.

“The voices of a few American politicians and media outlets surrounding the Prism scandal have become truly shrill. Not only do some of them lack the least bit of self reflection but they arrogantly find fault with other countries for no reason at all”.

The United States has gone from a model of human rights to an eavesdropper on personal privacy, the manipulator of the centralized power over the international internet, and the mad invader of other countries networks”.

It was “Snowden’s fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask” revealing them as “The biggest villain in our age”.

From Russian President Putin:

“Assange and Snowden consider themselves human rights activists and say they are fighting for the spread of information. Ask yourself this: should you hand these people over so they will be put in prison?”

Compare those comments (coming from the authoritarian Chinese and Russian regimes) with these comments from Secretary of State John Kerry who said, “Russia is a repressive country” and few hours later said, “The U.S. is not looking for confrontation”. Ah it sounds a little like “double speak” there John.

Now in no way is this writer so naïve to believe Russia and China are not themselves authoritarian regimes that do act with repression regarding their internal affairs.

And there’s no doubt that given the opportunity these two countries will stick it to the U.S. with straight forward critical comments as the Snowden saga has afforded them.

But we’re supposed to be a representative democracy, with a Constitution, follow the rule of law and a government that professes to be “of, by and for the people”.

Well those canards belong aside the hokum of “Manifest Destiny” and Nixon stating “I’m not a crook”, (the former a deceit and fallacious lie we were indoctrinated with during my public school days long ago and the latter spoken from the Oval Office on national T.V. about the cover up in the Watergate scandal).

So regarding the Snowden saga the two “repressive governments” comments are pretty much forthcoming with the truth.

As for the U.S. it’s the same bluster and hubris but what else is new.

via OpEdNews – Article: U.S. Bluster and Hubris Having No Impact on Russia’s Putin or China.

NSA surveillance news


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Obama Defends NSA Surveillance Program, Says It’s ‘Transparent’

By The Huffington Post News Team
ACLU sues Obama administration over NSA surveillanceUSA Today · Obama to discuss NSA surveillance with other nations · Obama Approval Rating Drops After NSA Surveillance News: Poll · NSA Surveillance Revelations Shine Spotlight 
Video on Huffington Post

Five questions Edward Snowden didn’t answer during his live Q&A 

By Mathew Ingram
Former CIA staffer Edward Snowden talked about a lot of things during a live Q&A on Monday hosted by the Guardian newspaper — but there were also some important questions that he neglected to answer.  Edward Snowden, the former CIA staffer who recently leaked a trove of documents about an NSA surveillance program known as PRISM, hasn’t exactly been a shrinking violet since he provided the information last week: in addition to a live interview with the Guardian shortly 
Data

I fear the chilling effect of NSA surveillance on the open internet 

 
By News Sources
I fear the chilling effect of NSA surveillance on the open internet. by News Sources on June 18, 2013. Jeff Jarvis writes: I fear the collateral damage the NSA’s spying via technology will do to that technology. The essential problem is not the 
War in Context

NSA surveillance: China demands explanation from US govt

Firstpost
China made its first substantive comments on Monday to reports of US surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programs to the international community. Several nations, including US allies, have reacted angrily to 
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NSA surveillance: Apple follows Facebook lead reveals US data requests

The Independent
NSA surveillance: Apple follows Facebook lead reveals US data requests. Heather Saul. Monday 17 June 2013. Tweet. Print. Your friend’s email address. Your email address. Note: We do not store your email address(es) but your IP address will be logged to 
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NSA Surveillance Leaks Startle US Privacy Board Back to Life

Businessweek
A U.S. board created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to ensure government surveillance doesn’t violate citizens’ rights is reviving this week in the same secrecy as the programs it will examine. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board 
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I fear the chilling effect of NSA surveillance on the open internet

The Guardian

I fear the collateral damage the NSA’s spying via technology will do to that technology. The essential problem is not the internet or internet companies or even the spies. The real problem is the law and what it does not prevent the American government 
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NSA surveillance: Apple reveals request figures ‘in interest of transparency’

The Independent

NSA surveillance: Apple reveals request figures ‘in interest of transparency’. Heather Saul. Monday 17 June 2013. Tweet. Print. Your friend’s email address. Your email address. Note: We do not store your email address(es) but your IP address will be 
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Officials defend NSA’s surveillance

The Spokesman ReviewWASHINGTON – Current and former top U.S. officials on Sunday defended the government’s collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillanceprograms, saying the operations were essential in disrupting terrorist 
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Obama to discuss NSA surveillance with other nations

Detroit Free PressObama also plans to talk about National Security Council surveillance programs that can loop in citizens of other nations, new disclosures that have drawn criticism from officials in other countries. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for 
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The NSA’s Surveillance Will Devastate Commerce

PC MagazineWe may never know the full extent of the Stasi-like surveillance the U.S. government has implemented to spy on each and every one of us. Still, I can’t help but wonder about the purpose of the surveillance state. What do you get with all this observation?
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NSA Surveillance: FISA Court Says Justice Department Should Publish Secret 

International Business TimesIn the latest development of an ongoing legal battle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation finds itself on the frontlines of the battle for transparency on secret spy programs — like the National Security Administration’s PRISM — that collect and 
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Al Gore: NSA Surveillance Programs Violate The Constitution

ThinkProgress
In a vision of how America might have been different if the Supreme Court had not intervened in the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore labeled controversial National Security Agency surveillance programs unconstitutional on Friday.
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Surveillance programs reveal U.S. hypocrisy


In the past years, the U.S. Government has been blaming other countries for threatening cyber security. However, the recent leakage of the two top-secret U.S. surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) has smashed the image of the U.S. as a cyber liberty advocate and revealed its hypocrisy.

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense contractor, revealed last week that the NSA is monitoring a wide swath of telephone and Internet activity as part of its counterterrorism efforts.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong Wednesday that the United States is involved in extensive hacking operations directed against China.

In an interview with the newspaper, Snowden said he wanted to demonstrate “the hypocrisy of the U.S. government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries.”

“We hack network backbones — like huge Internet routers, basically — that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he said.

“Not only does it do so, but it is so afraid of this being known that it is willing to use any means, such as diplomatic intimidation, to prevent this information becoming public.”

The revelations have renewed the debate over surveillance in the United States and overseas under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Civil liberties advocates describe the measures as “dangerous and unacceptable intrusions.”

“Americans’ faith in the law is touching. In this instance, it is misplaced,” read an article posted on the New Yorker on Wednesday.

“Ever since 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act and the explosion of new security organizations, the American people have seen their liberties eroded.” said Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic strategist. And Cal Thomas, a USA Today’s columnist, shared Beckel’s opinion when they discussed the impact of the leaks on citizens’ liberty in his Wednesday’s column.

U.S. officials have argued the programs strike the correct balance between privacy and national security. Obama administration have attempted to justify the surveillance programs by pointing to the arrests and convictions of would-be New York subway bomber Najibullah Zazi in 2009 and David Headley, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

However, court documents lodged in the U.S. and UK, as well as interviews with involved parties, suggest that data-mining through Prism and other NSA programs played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots, according to a report of the Guardian.

The New York Times also criticized that the U.S. government is “using a would-be subway bomber to justify sweeping surveillance.”

While the U.S. government is defending its own surveillance programs, it keeps accusing other countries including China of launching cyber attacks.

For months now, the U.S. government has implicated Beijing in state-sponsored hacking. China has denied such attacks while defending itself as a victim of cyber crimes. Snowden’s testimony now certainly adds a dose of conviction to the Chinese government’s statements.

According to the whistleblower, among some 61,000 reported targets of the NSA are thousands of computers in China — which U.S. officials have increasingly criticized as the source of thousands of attacks on U.S. military and commercial networks.

China’s cyber security has come under increasingly severe threats amid a variety of safety risks, according to a report released in March by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center (CNCERT).

Hackers have tampered with 16,388 web pages in China — including 1,802 government websites — in the past year, up 6.1 percent and 21.4 percent year on year respectively, the report said.

In 2012, around 73,000 overseas Internet Protocol addresses were involved in hijacking nearly 14.2 million mainframes in China via Trojan or Botnet, with the United States being the largest source of such hacking activities.

As the birthplace of the World Wide Web, the United States already has a matchless superiority and ability to launch cyber attacks around the globe.

Currently, the U.S. military has established a significant cyber force, including the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, which is a regular military unit tasked with carrying out cyber missions.

Earlier media reports said Iran was once attacked by U.S. military intelligence agencies via the Internet, while, according to China’s foreign ministry, a majority of the cyber attacks against China comes from the United States.

As the aftershocks of NSA surveillance programs continue, it’s time for the U.S. government to make more self-examination instead of pointing fingers at other nations.

via Surveillance programs reveal U.S. hypocrisy – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

Dalai Lama continuous ways of evil sorcery; troublesome for much noble China


The Dalai Lama, general and chief dangerous magic of Tibet rebel army, it is reported, continue plans and most worrying activities for the purposes to destroy beautiful state of China.

Wicked uses of illegal black magic operation in direct illegal against directive 231a and directive 197a, cause crops to fail and pigs to exhibit remorseful expression. Many hear about stealing away the children of China is ongoing. Children (and girls) from strong villages, honourable towns and powerful good cities of schooling age disappear again for many months now and Dalai Lama growing more direct, eat them up after cooking in large clay baked pot over fire during incorrect belief system against people’s party.

Children and pigs who would become make China great nation at risk threat to ongoing future generations and excellent economic future for all!

For ways of trouble stirring enemy increase need for swift reply to help continue lasting peace and make Olympic fun great whole of world watches and love now and years to come. Indeed president Hu Jintao angry for all people and wise and knowledgeable decision to make now: ‘Proud China standing together and world standing with and claws of Dalai Lama grow weaker. Honourable victory for everyone.’

Recite with us that together following leadership towards blessed victory for all. Good news!

via Dalai Lama continuous ways of evil sorcery; troublesome for much noble China | NewsBiscuit.

7 unknown facts about the place where Dalai Lama lived


9121_potala-palace-500

Potala Palace is a museum, located in Lhasa, which comes under Tibet Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.

It served as the residence of Dalai Lama, until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India.

We bring to you some very interesting facts about it.

Read on to find out.

-The highest palace in the world, Potala Palace stands on top of Red Hill, at over an amazing 3,500 meters above sea level.

-Potala Palace consists of White Palace and Red Palace. The Dalai lama lived in the White Palace. The Red Palace consists of temples.

-The Potala Palace was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 2000 and 2001, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka were added to the list as extensions to the sites.

-The palace was recently named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” by the American television show Good Morning America and the newspaper USA Today.

-Potala Palace was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara.

-The site was used as a meditation retreat by King Songtsen Gampo, prior to his marriage.

-It was in 637 that King Songtsen Gampo built the first palace there, in order to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng, of Tang Dynasty of China.

Source:

via 7 unknown facts about the place where Dalai Lama lived – daily.bhaskar.com.

Violence against women, how society fuels it and what we can do about it | An Cailín Rua


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This post is written with someone in mind. Someone to whom I owe more, far more than I could ever put into words here.

I’ve mentioned her before in my blog, but her name was Karen. She was a colleague and a friend. Gentle, compassionate and clever, Karen had just qualified as a doctor. I can’t do justice to her personality here, but she was the type of person you’d want by your bedside in a time of illness and injury. She was gentle and softly spoken, but projected an air of quiet confidence and empathy that you knew would make her an excellent physician. Karen was one week away from her formal graduation after six years of hard graft when she was brutally murdered by her partner, seven years ago next month. She was 23.

I was away when I saw the news report, and remember feeling shocked that it had happened somewhere I knew well, but it didn’t occur to me that it could have been someone I knew. It wasn’t until later that day when I’d arrived home that the phone rang, and instantly, before I answered, I knew what I was about to hear.

I’d met Karen’s partner a handful of times. Each time, it had struck me what an odd combination they were. I’d heard her justifying what seemed to me like his bad behaviour more than once, and it had arisen in conversation among friends. He seemed selfish, lazy, arrogant. Everything she wasn’t. He appeared possessive, and when she spoke of him, she somehow seemed nervous. She made excuses for him. We saw less of her socially. In hindsight, the warning signs were there.

But we never expected things to end up like they did.

Seven years on, I still feel angry. So angry with him, for doing what he did, to her family and friends. For thinking he could prevent her from living the life she wanted.

I feel sad. Because undoubtedly, the world lost a truly wonderful person, and the medical profession was deprived of someone who would have epitomised everything that is good about medical care. Her family and friends have been deprived of a loving, caring daughter and pal. She lost her chance to make the world a better place, which is all she wanted to do. (Though I’d argue that in her short time, she did just that.)

And I feel guilty, even now. For not doing more. Even though we weren’t particularly close, I knew she was in an unhealthy relationship. And I didn’t make an effort. To stay in touch. To talk to her. I’m not alone in this guilt. But who, in their right minds, could ever have contemplated the outcome?

Violence towards women is in the news every day. Every single day.

Recent statistics, particular pertaining to Ireland, are scarce, but research indicates that one in five women in Ireland, who have been in a relationship, have been abused by either a current or former partner. One in five. Picture yourself, with four of your friends. Statistically, that’s one of you. Globally, the primary cause of death among women aged 15-44 was male violence. That’s stark.

So many things contribute to the culture of violence against women. Far more than I could squeeze into one blog post, but allow me to touch on some of them below.

Victim-blaming. It’s amazing how often we hear about the amount of alcohol that might have been consumed by the victim, how well she knew her attacker, what she might have been wearing. The ONLY person that bears responsibility for a violent attack is the attacker. No-one else. Ever. This can’t be said often enough.

Focus on the victim – especially if the victim is physically attractive. Reeva Steenkamp, anyone? We need start focusing on the perpetrators of crimes, and condemning their despicable actions, in the strongest possible way.

Public forgiveness of male instigators – Stan Collymore, Chris Brown are two prize examples. How these two have wormed their way back into public affection is beyond me, but there they are, being rewarded with media roles and record company support. As what they did can be forgotten, like it had only temporary consequences. It didn’t.

Jokes about domestic violence. “You can beat your wife, but you can’t beat the craic” – REALLY? Langauge and discourse is so very important. Jokes about domestic violence are everywhere, yet many of us are nervous about calling them out, for fear of being labelled dry. I can’t take a joke? Yeah, cos getting your face smashed in is just priceless.

Social media responsibility – or lack of: Sites like Facebook also deem it acceptable to allow pages glorifying and joking about domestic violence, as detailed here (Warning – graphic images) under the guise of freedom of speech. Incidentally, Facebook also removed Jane Ruffino’s excellent post about domestic violence, stating that it contravened their terms of service. Go figure. An excellent campaign is that currently underway by Women, Action & the Media pointing out to advertisers that their ads are appearing on such pages and calling on them to pull ads until Facebook revises its policies and guidelines. It’s working.

Consequences. Sentencing for sexual crimes in Ireland is nothing short of a disgrace, with no fewer than three cases in the last few months of attackers escaping prison sentences if they paid a financial penalty. See HERE, HERE and HERE for examples. I can’t articulate how angry I am about this, and about the message it sends to both attackers and victims. The legal position, where the onus of proof is on the victim, and they, not the perpetrator are cross-examined, is a huge deterrent to prosecuting perpetrators.

Like many other injustices, every single one of us has the power to make change. How?

By calling out unacceptable behaviour, be that a tasteless joke, or a sexist remark or misogynistic comment. Language is so powerful. It’s not acceptable.

By looking out for your friends. If you suspect something’s not right, keep an eye. Be there. You don’t need to interfere, but let her know you’re there. Don’t judge. You might lose patience with someone who’s constantly justifying bad behaviour, but you never know when she might need a friend who won’t judge her. Be there.

By not being afraid to intervene and call the police when you hear your neighbour screaming because her partner is beating her. It IS your business.

It’s also important to note that violence against men, perpetrated by women is an issue that is very real, and is rarely ever acknowledged or addressed with any degree of seriousness. It should be.

Noting that psychological abuse can also be extremely damaging, and can happen along with, or without physical violence. It erodes self-esteem and the scars, just because they’re internal, are no less deep.

What happened to Karen taught me two things. Look out for your friends, and look out for yourself. I’d really like to think that what happened has made me more alert and aware of my friends and their situations, and I fervently hope that if any of them felt they needed to talk, they know they could turn to me. I really, really hope so. And when I found myself in a situation a while back that saw a partner I adored starting to become both obsessive and possessive – checking my messages, monitoring my online activity, questioning me about who I was talking to and spending time with, I knew, despite how I felt about him that I had to get out. I’m not for a second suggesting it would have had a similar outcome, nor that he was ever capable of being violent, but his behaviour scared me. Maybe I panicked, but I caught a glimpse of the life that potentially lay ahead, and I fled.

Violence against women doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to any of us, regardless of age, wealth, class, outlook. Karen was beaten and murdered seven years ago next month. In her own home, where she should have been safe. Since she died, over 70 other women have been murdered in Ireland – roughly half of those at the hands of their partners.

If you’re reading this, and you need help, it’s there. People care. Check out Women’s Aid, and know that it doesn’t have to be like this. If you’re reading this and don’t need help, be vigilant. And know that even you, through your words and actions can make an impact, good or bad.

via Violence against women, how society fuels it and what we can do about it | An Cailín Rua.

UKIP to outsource policy-making to China


Following  the success of the UK Independence Party in many local elections where they gained huge numbers of seats, often without candidates setting out what they intend to do about the wide spectrum of issues confronting the electorate, or even turning up, the party insists it has listened to the public and intends to find some really good policies, and pretty damned soon.

U-KIP insists that in the finest traditions of British commerce ever since the glorious 1950′s, that of course will mean ignoring the best that the British policy industry can offer and catching the first plane to China to source them at a fraction of the cost.

‘Keeping policy making in the UK has been verging on impossible for some time now – we had become lazy and simply couldn’t come up with anything new,’ said newly appointed U-KIP party spokesman Xin Jian. ‘But our friends in Guangdong have shown superb policy work ethic and now hold greater academic credibility than our onshore source of crude populism. Working conditions there, fairly good by Chinese standards, rest assure. Success!’ added Nigel Farage.

British voters have mixed feelings on the subject. Floating voter Reginald Evergreen, 54, from Lincolnshire said that it made perfect sense as everything else in his house was made in China, so why shouldn’t his electoral future be bought from a country which is ‘streets ahead’ when it comes to immigration? His wife Raquel, 23, said that she votes UKIP and so is not in a position to make an informed judgement on the matter at this particular point in time.

So far, the Chinese policy-making unit has come up with a number of suggestions that have found favour with UKIP chiefs, including ingrained suspicion of anything foreign, strict and arbitary residence rules, knocking down town centres and replacing them with concrete, capital punishment for petty theft and having the country ruled entirely by bitter old men who think the world has gone to pot ever since Gracie Fields retired.

‘We have found it harder to sell them the idea of a one-child policy,’ admitted Xin Jian. ‘Though in the case of the average U-KIP member, that would seem to be an academic point.

via UKIP to outsource policy-making to China | NewsBiscuit.

via UKIP to outsource policy-making to China | NewsBiscuit.

With New Leaders In Rome And Beijing, China’s Catholics Face Uncertain Future


The some 10 million Catholics in China remain divided between those loyal to the Pope and those in step with the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy.

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SHANGHAI – On the last Monday of April, this city’s main Cathedral was filled with believers. They had come to honor the memory of the man who had done more than anyone to improve relations between the Vatican and China’s so-called “Patriotic” Catholic Church.

Bishop Jin Luxian died last month at the age of 97. He had done his novitiate preparation for the priesthood in France, returning to his native China in 1951, only to be imprisoned five years later by Mao’s regime — and would go on to spend a total of 18 years in prison and nine in a labor camp.

Despite all of this, Jin joined the official “patriotic” Church once he got out of prison in 1982, and worked for years trying to bring it closer together with the clandestine communities of Catholics loyal to Rome. The estimated 10 million Catholics in China are split between those with allegiance to the Pope and those that practice under the auspices of the Patriotic Church that is sanctioned by the Communist Party.

In 2005, Monsignor Jin successfully pushed for the ordination of an assistant bishop, who was approved both by Rome and the Chinese authorities. This event marked the beginning of a relative thawing of relations between Beijing and the Holy See.

But that compromise came undone in November 2010 in the northeastern city of Chengde, when the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association resumed the ordination of bishops who had not been previously approved by the Pope. Members of the clergy who were faithful to Rome were forcibly taken to religious services by State security forces.

On the one hand, Beijing argues that the ordination process must be accelerated, especially in dioceses where there is no bishop. Roman Catholics, on the other hand, see this move as a hardening of Beijing’s stance. What they are not sure about is whether this is part of a more general control over human rights militants, or a stratagem on the part of the officials in charge of Catholic affairs, who fear their power would collapse if the improved relationship between Rome and Beijing solidified.

A telling sign of the growing tension was evident at the memorial service for Jin, which was led by a simple priest. Indeed, Ma Daqin, the new auxilliary bishop of Shanghai, has been under house arrest since last summer. During his own ordination ceremony on July 7, Ma had refused blessings from two bishops who had been imposed by the state-sanctioned Church.

It was during this same ceremony in July that Ma had announced he would no longer be part of the body in the Communist Party that controls the Catholic Church. “Thunderous applause among young people, livid faces among officials!” a European witness recalls. All officials from the Communist Party promptly left the Cathedral. Shortly after the service, the new bishop was forcibly taken to the Sheshan seminary, 30 kilometers outside the city center, where he has been detained since.

Mass alone

The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association thought they had found in Ma Daqin a consensual, even docile new bishop. Contrary to someone like Msgr Jin, who had spent 27 years in prison and saw any changes as improvements on the harsh situation of the past, the new generation has raised expectations, explains one Western expert on Catholicism in China. “There has been an unaccounted for tightening in the State policy since 2010, and the young generation is making clear they do not want to go any further in that direction,” he says.

Jin’s last wish was to leave behind him an appeased community. Last year, in an interview with Le Monde, he refused to make any comment on this reactionary movement, though he did express concern for younger generations of clergymen.

His successor remains cut off from the rest of the world. On a visit to his seminary last month, one of his friends explained that Monsignor Ma could have his meals with the other seminarians, but had to say Mass on his own.

“The freedom of Catholics is subjected to their obedience to the system,” his friend remarked. Being allowed to visit the bishop on house-arrest, he confirmed that Ma Daqin was still allowed to manage his account on Weibo, the Chinese  version of Twitter, on which verses of the Gospel are sometimes published. The bishop has been allowed a few visitors, but no foreigners, as it would “make things even worse for him.”

Since last summer, the government in Beijing has been undergoing a handover of power, while in Rome a new Pope was elected this spring. But if the new Chinese President Xi Jinping has been talking about reforming the party internally, he has not given any indication on the future of Catholics in China. As a priest explained to us, “the relationship with the Roman Church falls within the scope of Foreign Policy, and Xi Jinping’s stance on this is still unclear.”

As a friend of the new bishop, he hopes “the government will be more open on this and let Msgr Ma go back to Shanghai.”

For weeks, the government had been aware that Jin was dying, and intentionally kept his successor away from his Cathedral. Sources say he has now been removed even further, to the capital, Beijing.

Read the article in the original language.

Photo by – Heurik

via With New Leaders In Rome And Beijing, China’s Catholics Face Uncertain Future – All News Is Global |.

via With New Leaders In Rome And Beijing, China’s Catholics Face Uncertain Future – All News Is Global |.

Tippity Tappin Away in the Coffee Shop

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