What’s it like to grow up in a war zone? Many of us can’t answer that question, since it’s just out of our imagination which consequences war would have on the body and souls of our fragile children.
HONG KONG — The former Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, told one of China’s most senior diplomats on Saturday that “the Arab Spring is coming to China,” pointing to the wave of Tibetans setting themselves on fire in China.
With the news Sunday of three more Tibetan self-immolations, at least 18 ethnic Tibetans — many of them current or former Buddhist clergy members — have set themselves alight in the past year to protest Beijing’s harsh stance against the Dalai Lama and the apparent suppression of Tibetan religious and cultural practices.
All the self-immolations have occurred in Tibet and the western Chinese province of Sichuan.
Three Tibetans in Sichuan burned themselves on Friday, according to news reports on Sunday.
Zhang Zhijun, the Chinese vice foreign minister, was on a panel with Senator McCain at a security conference in Munich, and Mr. Zhang termed the notion of an Arab Spring-style uprising in China as “no more than fantasy.”
“It is a matter of concern when Tibetans are burning themselves to death because of the continued repression of the Tibetan people in your country,” Senator McCain told Mr. Zhang during the panel, reiterating his belief that “the Arab Spring is coming to China as well.”
A street vendor in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in December 2010, and his death was the catalyst for nationwide riots and protests. Similar rebellions followed in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.
Hey guys, I just thought I should update you about what I’ve changed here lately. First, I’ve obviously changed the layout about 7390 times, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the right one now. I’m really happy with it and plan to keep it for a while.
The new header was created by none other than me, myself, and I, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’ve never done any graphic design before, so this header is the first thing I created (with Gimp, cause I can’t even afford a proper graphic design software).
Self conscious as I am, I immediately asked my 1,044 Twitter followers what they thought about it and I’m really grateful that two of them replied and liked it. Twitter can be funny sometimes. When you want to be left alone, everybody wants to talk to you, but when you actually ask people something you just hear the crickets chirr.
Some other great news is that you can share all the blog posts now on Tumblr, too! Just use the button in the share section right under the blog post. There you also find buttons for Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google+ and many other social networks. Thanks to everyone who shares, will share and has shared my posts. It’s much appreciated.
In case you want to rate my blog posts, from now on you can do this on the home page without having to open the blog post, you want to rate, first. It’s nice to get some feedback, so feel free to give me grades, no matter if good ones or bad ones, or just leave a comment if you have something to say!
Also, welcome to all the new subsribers! I’ve gained a few during the last weeks and it means a lot that you want to have my blog posts in your mail box!
It’s been two years since the devastating Haiti earthquake killed 316,000 people, laying waste to a country already suffering from extreme poverty and environmental degradation. The crisis in Haiti continues today. Since the earthquake, Haitians have endured hurricanes, flooding, and a cholera outbreak. Adding to the chaos, a staggering 8 million people live without access to grid electricity, meaning families spend 12 hours every night in complete darkness.
With your help, Music for Relief responded to send aid to Haiti immediately following the disaster in 2010, and our response continued in 2011. All proceeds supported the extraordinary work of our partner organizations on the ground as they delivered food, clean water, medical care, education and tackled the challenges of long-term recovery.
Funds raised through Download to Donate also supported the installation of environmentally friendly LED solar streetlights to protect women and children from violence when walking in the camps at night. Continue reading Two years after the earthquake in Haiti, Music for Relief continues to help via Power the World
As we come ever closer to 2012, I thought I would examine Africa’s recent struggles on its path to unity and a more prosperous region.
Certainly, with 2011’s cataclysmic changes taking place in North Africa, most of the African Union’s attention has been heavily turned towards the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Nevertheless, the organisation has not been without its own crises to manage in the sub-Saharan region.
The Western-backed referendum for self-determination in the South Sudan, finding its roots in the comprehensive peace deal of 2005, put an end to the decades-long civil war between Omar el Bachir’s north and the late John Garang’s (now ruled by Salve Kir) South. Underlying this conflict is a dispute over borders, respect for human rights and, more importantly, the re-partition of Sudan’s petroleum wealth, located primarily in the South but thoroughly sapped by the North. Continue reading What Next for the African Union in 2012?
For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.
Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.
Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.
That wearying routine ended in February when the family sold some animals to buy a small Chinese-made solar power system for about $80. Now balanced precariously atop their tin roof, a lone solar panel provides enough electricity to charge the phone and run four bright overhead lights with switches.
“My main motivation was the phone, but this has changed so many other things,” Ms. Ruto said on a recent evening as she relaxed on a bench in the mud-walled shack she shares with her husband and six children.
Continue reading “Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power