Stories from 30 September 2011
India: An Interview With Swechha
Meghavarshini Krishnaswamy at Youth Ki Awaaz interviews Swechha, an NGO based in Delhi, which is a multifaceted organization working for environmental conservation, waste management, underprivileged children and volunteer placements.
Pakistan: The Relation With The US And Its Importance
Chowrangi discusses the recent stand-off between USA and Pakistan and its implication on the war on terror.
Bhutan: Promoting The National Language
Penstar stresses the need to simplify and promote use of the Bhutanese national language Dzongkha decreasing dominance of English language.
Sri Lanka: Visa On Arrival Cancelled
Sri Lanka has cancelled issuing visas on arrival to 76 countries and visitors from those countries will have to get prior Visa approval through an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system. The Puppeteer analyzes whether it will effect the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
Cuba: The Reality of Prison
A former political prisoner blogs about his experience with the Cuban jail system, here.
Trinidad & Tobago: Expenditure & Accountability
“Discussion is revolving around the country’s earnings from our energy resources and the likely size of the next year’s budget, expected to be delivered in early October”: Afra Raymond warns that “without proper control over expenditure, we will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis.”
Cuba: Inequitable Party
Generation Y compares the official distribution of “rental properties, cars, businesses [and] houses” to a pinata at a children's party, saying: “What is most worrying is [that] the…existence of such a mechanism will undoubtedly feed corruption, ‘socialism,’ and put into the hands of government sympathizers the fattest strings for when...
Incredible Photos of North Korean Mass Game
Photographer Sam Gellman took 50 photos of a large-scale Mass Games in Pyongyang during his 4-day trip to North Korea. Although nearly 100,000 North Korean were mobilized for the game which is heavily laden with regime's propaganda, net users left good comments on Gellman who captured these incredible images.
United States: Increase in Poverty Rate Amongst Hispanics
The American economy is at a standstill and seems stuck on that plateau. The poverty rate is affecting more than 46 million people, 15.1 percent of the population, according to the latest Census figures. Minorities, and Hispanics in particular, are amongst the most affected.
Cameroon: How Candidates Are Navigating the Social Media Landscape
Dibussi looks at how candidates in Presidential Election 2011 in Cameroon are navigating the social media landscape: “President Paul: The president’s relatively recent social media presence is part of a much broader (and reportedly very expensive) PR campaign crafted by Patricia Balme, the most recent in a series of French...
Colombia: Incarceration of Bogota’s Former Mayor Stirs Debate
Aside from the uproar that Congressman Juan Manuel Corzo sparked over his “fuel subsidy,” now Samuel Moreno Rojas, the former mayor of Bogotá, has been sent to prison while facing accusations of embellishment, fraud and extortion.
Mexico: #ReformaPoliticaYA (‘Political Reform Now’), Reactions on Twitter
It has been several months since citizen organizations and activists tried to attain the approval of a political reform that includes, among other points, reelection for mayors and legislators. The reform has caused passionate reactions on Twitter and revived fears from the past.
Brazil: Citizens Blame Governor for Police Charge on Teachers
Brazilian citizens used the hashtag #CidEspancaProfessores (Cid beats teachers) in solidarity with public school teachers who were beaten by the police on September 29. That day, a proposal of the governor Cid Gomes for changes in the career development of teachers was passed in the Legislative Assembly of Ceará. After...
Macedonia: Protests Against Police Brutality Continue
Several hundred persons continued the street protests against police brutality in Skopje on September 29. With only two exceptions, the Macedonian media largely obeyed the embargo on covering the protests.
China: Obama Fried Chicken
Obama Fried Chicken (OFC) is now opened in Beijing. (From Shanghaiist)
Laos According to WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks has released a set of Laos files that confirmed the country’s underdevelopment, endemic corruption in the bureaucracy, and the fragile state of its environment. Here are some online reactions and excerpts of the Laos cables.
Afghanistan: Donor dependence
Nick Fielding writes that the US and other donors have provided 90 per cent of Afghanistan's public expenditures in 2006-2010. With the 2014 target date for the withdrawal of US troops, the question is how the government in Kabul would fund its security forces, who use up the lion's share...
Uzbekistan: Activists detained for photographing child labor
Tomyris reports that two members of an unregistered Uzbekistan’s Human Rights Society were detained by the authorities for photographing schoolchildren picking cotton in the country's southern province.
Uzbekistan: Exiled opposition member murdered
Avicenna reports that one of the most active members of the Uzbek opposition in exile Fuad Rustamkhojaev was assasinated in Ivanovo, a Western Russian town where he lived for the last 6 years. The victim's colleagues are outraged by the brutality, blaming the political regime in Uzbekistan for the murder.
Turkmenistan: Spoken and unspoken lyrics of Turkmen literature
Tomyris reports on the fifth annual book fair hosted in Ashgabat this month, and notes that while literature in Turkmenistan is being celebrated, it continues to be suppressed and dominated by propaganda.
Uzbekistan: Violations of religious freedom
Mansurhon reviews the speech by Uzbekistan's expert and rights activist regarding violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief in this country. The speech, delivered at the Annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetng, warns that these violations represent a serious risk to Uzbekistan’s future.