Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia
www.gasiantimes.com June 1-15, 2012 Vol 9. No 10
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
GAT Calendar of Events (For latest & updated events, visit www.gasiantimes.com)
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GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to email@example.com. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting. National Trails Day with REI By NAAAP Atlanta and American Hiking Society Date: Saturday, June 2 Time: 8:00 am -12:00 pm Venue: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - Powers Island 5862 Interstate North Parkway Sandy Springs, GA 30328 For more info: http://bit.ly/naaapatl-rei â€œI Wishâ€? (Kiseki) Japanese film screening Date: June 8-14, 2012 Time: 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45 Venue: Midtown Arts Cinema For more info: Jessica Cork, Consulate General of Japan, 404-926-3020 Ceramic Hakata Doll Painting Demonstration By Master Artists from Fukuoka Date: Friday, June 8, 2012 Time: 6:00 pm -7:00 pm Venue: Apres Diem Cafe Bistro Limit to first 100 guests. Reinvesting in Atlanta Conference Presented by Asian Real Estate Association America (AREAA) Date: Thursday, June 14 Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Venue: Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place For more info: Dao Malaythong 770.329.4205 or daomalaythong@yahoo. com GAT 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia Awards Presentation Date: Thursday, July 12 Time: 6:30 pm Venue: Happy Valley Restaurant For more info: Adrian West 678-971-9388
19th Asian Cultural Experience (ACE) Date: Sat-Sun; July 28-29, 2012 Time: 10:00 am-8:00 pm, 11:00 am-7:00 pm Venue: Gwinnett Center Admission: $10 (adult) $6 (students) Free (child under 5 years) For more info: www.asianculturalexpericneinga.com Hong Kong Dragon Boat - Atlanta Date: Saturday Sept 8, 2012 Time: 7:00 am Venue: Clarks Bridge Olympic Rowing Facility Lake Lanier For more info: dragonboatatlanta.com JapanFest Date: Sept 15-16, 2012 Time: 10 am -6 pm; 10 am - 5 pm Venue: Gwinnett Center For more info: www.japanfest.org Vietnamese American Community of Georgia - Mid Autumn Festival Date: Saturday Sept 29, 2012 Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Venue: Hong Kong Supermarket For more info: Trish Nguyen, 678.820.8822 8th Atlanta Asian Film Festival Date: Oct 5-20, 2012 Venues: Emory University, GPC-Dunwoody, GSU-Cinefest For more info: www.atlaff.org
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
METRO ASIAN NEWS
APAC Georgia Celebrates 27th Year of Service Duluth, May 19, 2012 — Members of Asian/Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC) celebrated its 27th years of service at a dinner gala at the Gwinnett Marriott. Among the distinguished guests for the evening are Charlotte Nash, Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Anna A. Kao, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), Sunny Park, CEO of GBM, and Heung Soo Kim, Vice Consul General of Republic of Korea. “APAC has played an active role in promoting views and cultures of APAC members’s organizations. Exchanging ideas and promoting understanding of traditions are vital in ensuring healthy relationships within our diverse society,” said Varinee Sangmalee, President of APAC. APAC is a federation of 14 Asian ethnic-based organizations in metro Atlanta that includes Bangladesh Association of Georgia, Center for Pan
Asian Community Services, Filipino American Association of Greater Atlanta, Indian American Cultural Association, Indonesian Community Heritage Foundation, Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta, Laotian American Society of Georgia, Malaysian Association of Georgia, Nepalese Association of Southeast America, Hopes & Aspiration of Asian Pacific Americans, Pakistani American Community of Atlanta, Atlanta Taiwanese American Association, Thai Association World Center, and Vietnamese American Community of Georgia. Hon. Carol W. Hunstein, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Georgia provided the keynote speech for the gala. Gov. Nathan Deal also send an official proclamation to the APAC gala in conjunction with the Asian American Heritage Month celebration.
Vietnamese American Child In Need of Bone Marrow Donor Columbus, May 20, 2012 – An eleven year old Vietnamese American boy is seeking a bone marrow donor for a transplant to beat a leukemia condition. Noah Hein was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2008. He was in remission until last month. Noah’s primary oncologist confirmed that he has the best chance to beat the leukemia by receiving a bone marrow transplant. Noah was born in Vietnam and was adopted by his American family in August 2000. Noah’s families are reaching out to family, neighbors, and friends to help with bone marrow drives and raising funds to help add new members to the marrow registry. The ideal match for Noah will most likely come from the Asian-Vietnamese community since he is from Viet ethnicity background.
A Bone Marrow Donor Drive is scheduled in Columbus, Georgia on Wednesday, June 6th from Noon to 7 p.m. in the LDR Classroom on the 2nd floor of the Health & Human Services Building located at 2100 Comer Avenue in Columbus. If you are interested in becoming a donor, please visit the following sites: http://www.carepages.com/carepages/ NoahHein http://marrow.org/Join/Myths_and_ Facts/Myths___Facts_about_Donation. aspx http://www.bethematchfoundation. org/goto/noah Enter “noahhein” in the promo code section or contact Paul Hein, 706-366-6548 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
METRO ASIAN NEWS US adds 69,000 jobs in May, jobless rate up to 8.2% WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 (AFP) The US economy added a scant 69,000 jobs in May, the lowest number in a year, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent, the government said Friday. The dismal report signaled that the much hoped-for recovery in the job market has stalled and fueled speculation that it may prompt the Federal Reserve to step in with a fresh round of economic stimulus. The Labor Department’s closely watched workforce figures were well below expectations of a 150,000 jobs increase and for the jobless rate to hold steady at 8.1 percent from April. “Today’s US employment report for May was bad,” said Jason Schenker at Prestige Economics. “Financial markets are likely to remain very concerned about a slowing pace of job creation.”
sector as government continues to rein in spending amid the slow economy. The Labor Department also slashed its estimate of April job gains by 33 percent, to 77,000. The labor market of the world’s largest economy softened dramatically in the current second quarter. In the first quarter, the average job gain was 226,000. In April and May, the average fell to 73,000.
The May jobs number was the lowest since May 2011, when 54,000 payrolls were gained. The jobless rate increase to 8.2 percent was in part driven by a 0.2 percent rise in the participation rate as people joined the labor force, which added 642,000 jobs
from April, and a rise of 220,000 in the number of unemployed, to 12.7 million.
Total private-sector jobs rose by 82,000, offset by a decline of 13,000 in the public
AARC Establish Asian Women’s Leadership Council Norcross, May 31, 2012 - Asian American Resource Center (AARC), a community social service agency based in Gwinnett County to serve the Asian Pacific American and immigrant community, have officially established an Asian women’s leadership council. “The goal of the Asian women’s leadership council is to advise AARC initiatives to address the needs of families, women, and children in the community,” said Dr. Connie Jee, Executive Director of AARC. AARC was founded 20 years ago by the late Dr. Henry Jee. Much of the early work centered on benefits counseling, Korean-English language translation, and English as a Second Language instruction. AARC currently focus its initiatives to include programs focused on women and children, English as sec-
ond language, civics and citizenship instruction, housing counseling, mental health counseling, and celebration of Asian cultural heritage through the annual Rice Festival. “Due to the economic downturn, many Asian Pacific Americans members of our community are losing their businesses, jobs, and homes. Asian Americans have a strong stigma against social welfare and do not reach out for help. As a result, many of them are not receiving much needed assistance,” adds Dr. Jee in her remark. Jee is confident that the newly established women’s advisory council will help identify critical and urgent issues facing women and children in the community. For more information on Asian American Resource Center (AARC), visit www.aarc-atlanta.org
Supporters and leadership council members of AARC.
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
Asia’s richest man anoints son to head business empire HONG KONG, May 25, 2012 (AFP) – Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing on Friday confirmed that his eldest son will eventually control his business empire, but the 83-year-old tycoon dismissed suggestions that he is about to retire. Eldest son Victor Li has long been expected to take over Cheung Kong Group and Hutchison Whampoa after his father steps aside, so Li’s comments to reporters after a shareholders’ meeting came as no surprise. “If I wanted to go on holiday for two months tomorrow, which I’ve never done in my life, I believe that Victor and other colleagues would be able to manage the company well,” Li said.
Victor has served as the managing director at Cheung Kong — a vast multinational conglomerate with interests ranging from property to telecommunications — for the past decade. Li senior said that while Victor would eventually take the helm at Cheung Kong, he would “use all his power” to help his younger son, Richard Li, who is chairman of Hong Kong telecoms company PCCW. Li is the richest man in Hong Kong and was named the richest man in Asia by Forbes magazine in March, with a fortune estimated at $22 billion.
South Korea think tank cuts 2012 growth outlook SEOUL, May 20, 2012 (AFP) - South Korea’s state-run think tank Sunday cut the nation’s growth forecast for this year to 3.6 percent from 3.8 percent estimated in November, citing weakening demand amid a global slowdown. The Korea Development Institute, in its twice-yearly economic forecast report, said however the global economy would likely pick up pace in 2013 to help Asia’s fourth-largest economy to expand 4.1 percent that year. “The local economy has been slowing from the second half of last year as domestic and overseas demand wanes in the wake of uncertain global economic outlook,” the KDI said in the report. South Korea’s export-driven economy has recently been hit by sluggish demand from debt-hit Europe and its biggest trading partner China. Exports unexpectedly shrank year-on-year for two straight months in March and April. The Bank of Korea in April also slashed the nation’s growth outlook for this year to
3.5 percent from 3.7 percent estimated in December. South Korea’s gross domestic product grew 3.6 percent in 2011. The KDI however said the global economy would gradually revive next year to fuel the country’s overseas shipments and demand at home. “Negative factors stemming from the global slowdown may linger for a while, but there’s little need for now to shift our macroeconomic policies,” it said, urging the central bank to leave a key interest rate unchanged for a while. Consumer prices would rise 2.6 per-
cent throughout 2012 compared to 4 percent last year due to slower growth and the government’s financial support for costly childcare services, the KDI said. The current account surplus is likely to dwindle to $18.3 billion this year and $12.2 billion in 2013 compared to $26.5 billion in 2011 due to gains in the value of the won, it added.
Obama eases investment curbs on Myanmar, names ambassador WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 (AFP) – President Barack Obama Thursday eased investment curbs on Myanmar and named the first US ambassador to the country in more than 20 years, hoping to reward a “nascent” political reform drive. But Obama, seeking maximum leverage on Myanmar’s nominally civilian government and to preserve his options in case of “backsliding,” maintained wider US sanctions on Myanmar and figures linked to the former junta. Obama’s move followed calls from business and political figures in the United States, Europe and Asia to lift sanctions, and warnings by democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi against excessive optimism over a political opening. “We will license certain types of investment in financial services and for businesses to do business in Burma,” a US official said. “We will continue to sanction individuals associated with the former regime.” “It is a recognition of progress, it is a recognition that opening up greater economic engagement between our two countries is important to support reformers,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The decision could usher in the first major trade and investment between the United States and Myanmar for years, and help pry open the country’s backward economy, that has been left behind by speeding Southeast Asian development. The US government will advise companies on where and whether to invest in Myanmar and would maintain restrictions on investment with the military, which has deep commercial interests in the country’s economy. Obama also nominated Derek Mitchell, who has been serving as the State Department’s special representative to Myanmar, as US ambassador, pending confirmation by the US Senate. Washington withdrew its ambassador to Myanmar, also known as Burma, after a crackdown on a democracy uprising in 1988. Then Suu Kyi’s democracy movement won elections in 1990, but was barred from power. Earlier, Obama said Myanmar had made progress in a number of areas including by releasing political prisoners, pursuing ceasefire talks with ethnic groups and by opening dialogue with Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
Georgia Asian Times
June 1-15, 2012
“Burma has made important strides, but the political opening is nascent, and we continue to have concerns, including remaining political prisoners, ongoing conflict, and serious human rights abuses in ethnic areas,” he said. “I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Burma and to maintain in force the sanctions that respond to this threat,” Obama said in a message to Congress using Myanmar’s former name. US law currently requires the president to restrict imports from Myanmar, which for decades was ruled by a military junta, and bans US investment and export of financial services to the country. It also blocks property and assets of certain members of the Myanmar ruling class and senior officials linked to the former junta.
Myanmar says it has now released more than 500 political prisoners but the US and human rights groups say more needs to be done. Hillary Clinton made the first visit to Myanmar in 50 years by a US secretary of state in December, and the two countries are moving towards exchanging ambassadors. Obama’s announcement was published hours before talks at the State Department between Clinton and Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin. It also took place on the eve of the G8 summit at Camp David, Maryland, which Obama will host and which is likely to include discussion about how to promote reform in Myanmar. Suu Kyi, sworn in May 2 as a member of parliament after spending most of the past two decades under house arrest, spoke to a gathering of US politicians and rights advocates including ex-president George W. Bush, via Skype this week. “I am not against the suspension of sanctions as long as the people of the United States feel that this is the right thing to do at the moment. I do advocate caution, though,” she said. She warned that she felt sometimes that “people are too optimistic about the scene in Burma. You have to remember that the democratization process is not irreversible.”
President Thein Sein surprised many US observers by initiating political reforms designed to break Myanmar’s isolation, and elections this year led to the NLD securing 43 of the 44 seats it contested in parliamentary by-elections. But it is still a minority influence in parliament with one quarter of the seats in both chambers reserved for unelected military officials.
The views of Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, are considered critical to any US decision to lift decades worth of sanctions on Myanmar. US companies have been eager to enter Myanmar, fearing Asian and European competitors will seize the growing market.
Winemakers push China sales at top Asian wine fair HONG KONG, May 27, 2012 (AFP) - Some of the world’s top wine producers will attend Asia’s biggest wine fair in Hong Kong this week, eyeing new consumers in the booming but still relatively untapped Chinese market. Organisers of the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific trade fair say the slowdown in Chinese economic growth, forecast to reach 7.5 percent this year compared with 9.2 percent in 2011, will not hurt demand for imported wine. “If the economy reduces speed they will not drink less. They might drink a little cheaper, but they won’t stop now that they have discovered wine,” said Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat. “Look at Japan. During the tsunami and nuclear crisis (last year) consumption didn’t decrease. You drink wine when you are happy and you drink wine when you are sad. And it’s a fashionable product.” According to Vinexpo China is the world’s biggest drinker of spirits, with 995 million cases guzzled in 2010 -- almost double the volume consumed in 2006. But the growth of spirit consumption is expected to slow as wine -- especially expensive French imports -- becomes more popular as a gift or the drink of choice at banquets. The average mainland Chinese drinker still only consumes 1.3 litres (0.34 US gallons) of wine a year, compared with 2.4 litres in Japan and 50 litres in France. “In terms of consumption volume in Asia, it’s grown 100 percent in the past five years. When you look at the per-capita consumption, there’s a bright future,” Beynat said. French wines still rule the Chinese market, accounting for around 45 percent of imports in terms of value, double the share of second-placed Italy. Beynat said the statistic was typical of an emerging wine market. Like the Americans decades before them, new wine drinkers in China want French wines, the
more expensive the better to show off to their friends, he added. The next challenge for the wine industry as a whole is to boost sales of more affordable wines, including locally produced vintages. “That’s the challenge for the future, to explain to the Asians that there is good wine at every price,” Beynat said. “For the Chinese, an imported wine has to be expensive. As they don’t know wine, there’s an enormous effort in information and education. They are at the beginning.” Around 1,000 exhibitors are expected to attend the three-day expo at Hong Kong’s harborside convention centre from Tuesday, the organisers said. Thomas Jullien, the Bordeaux Wine Council’s Asia representative, who is based in the city, said producers from his region in France will be strongly represented. “After six years of steep growth, the China wine market has firmly positioned itself as the main export market for Bordeaux wines,” he said. Mainland Chinese customers bought 58 million bottles of Bordeaux wines worth 334 million euros ($420 million) last year, a 91 percent increase over the year before, he added. Australian and New Zealand producers are also coming to Vinexpo in force, with a government-backed Australian pavilion expected to be one of the highlights. “Asia continues to be an outstanding region for Australian winemakers, now representing approximately 20 percent of total value of exports globally,” Wine Australia’s Asia director Lucy Anderson said. China and Hong Kong represent the third largest export market for Australian wine by value, at more than Aus$268 million (US$262 million), according to official figures.
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
US ‘plain English’ activists combat ‘gobbledygook’
WASHINGTON, May 30, 2012 (AFP) – Why not say “change” rather than “effect modifications”, or “publish” rather than “promulgate”, or “pay” instead of “remunerate”? So say plain speaking advocates fighting to end “gobbledygook”. Winning such a battle “would benefit everyone,” said those gathered in Washington last week for a three-day conference aimed at banishing jargon from laws, application forms, public notices, and even user manuals for television sets. The event was organized in the US capital by “Clarity”, a worldwide group of lawyers, top managers and heads of government services who argue for the use of plain language in place of legalese. And it drew people from 20 countries, including Australia, France, Qatar, Estonia, and the Scandinavian nations. “How can you have a democracy when the citizen does not understand what the government is saying,” said Annetta Cheek, board chair of the Center for Plain Language, at the event. “It’s becoming a more and more common perception in all sectors, that they have to be more inclusive in their communication.”
The United States in 2010 adopted a law encouraging the simplification of administrative language. The Swedish government, meanwhile, employs five lawyers to write its laws in simple language, and Portugal has introduced similar measures. In France for example, legal guidance on victims’ rights is difficult to collate because there are so many documents and so many references that they are “obscure”, said Olivia Zarcate, a young legal specialist at the conference.
The aim of plain English campaigners is to heighten awareness in government and business circles about the damaging effect that obscure, badly-worded language has on the population. Restore faith “In the last five years there’s been a big change,” said Cheek, a former “plain language coordinator,” at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates and oversees civil aviation. But one cited example of government jargon showed that 36 words — including “calisthenics” (a form of gymnastics) — were used in a public health brochure to outline what people should do to lose weight. The rather wordy sentence was cut down to a recommendation of, “do at least 30 minutes of exercise, like brisk walking, most days of the week.” In a more sweeping suggestion, Cheek said the damaging effects
of jargon had been seen in the global financial crisis in 2008, as waves of mortgage owners failed to understand what they were signing up to. “The world financial crisis would have been less damaging if people had understood what those long documents said,” Cheek said, referring to mortgage and credit applications, noting that finance is an area that affects everyone. “If they had understood that in five years their interest payments would go through the roof, that if they didn’t pay their credit card on time, their interest would go through the roof,” less harm would have been done. Joseph Kimble, a professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, said the stripping out of jargon, would benefit both the writers of documents as well as the people who read them. “It pays off for everybody,” said Kimble. “Plain language can restore faith in public institutions. Poor communication is the great hidden cost of doing business.”
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
Japan bets on overseas ‘Japantowns’ to boost economy For decades, exports have been the driving force behind the world’s third largest economy with brands like Toyota and Sony becoming household names around the globe. But a key plank in the government’s “Cool Japan” strategy, which launched last year, is to transplant Tokyo’s trendy districts overseas, taking the shops to the customers instead of bringing the customers to the shops. It could see quirky areas like shopping district Harajuku pop up in cities around the world, boosting Japan’s brand overseas and helping to reverse the nation’s flagging fortunes. Harajuku is known for a subculture in which young women dress up in a style known as Lolita fashion, looking not unlike Little Bo Peep. The area and its fashion has inspired pop diva Lady Gaga. In October, more than a dozen Japanese apparel companies opened a mini-commercial hub called Harajuku Street Style in Singapore, the kind of venture that Cool Japan advocates are hoping to replicate many times over. Japan’s cultural exports are already valued at 4.6 trillion yen ($58 billion) a year, according to government figures. Pop acts like hugely popular girl group AKB48 make up a sizeable chunk of this figure, while manga and anime do their share with a significant, but falling, contribution. The cutesy Hello Kitty, a moon-faced cartoon cat, is present in more than 100 countries around the world, its maker says.
But the government wants to morethan-double the amount Japanese pop culture makes for the country’s economy, and is eyeing 11 trillion yen by 2020. The idea is to pair up property developers who are keen to buy real estate abroad with several small businesses eager to expand overseas, creating Japanese enclaves where the country’s trendy design and sometimes quirky culture work as selling points. “It’s hard for small businesses to go into overseas markets on their own, but they have enormous potential to sell in foreign markets,” a trade ministry official said. Last month, the government held a business matchmaking fair, where darksuited salarymen from the nation’s major real-estate developers mingled alongside the owners of a nail-art shop and red-lanterned “izakaya” -- Japanese-style bars offering grilled meat and beer. “I think this event is very meaningful,” said 28-year-old Maiko Fukushima, who runs a bar featuring young women singing popular anime songs in Tokyo’s Akihabara district. “We have many fans abroad who monitor our activities via the Internet, but small businesses don’t have the capital to go overseas by ourselves.” Yuichiro Suzuki, 37, president of “maid cafe” operator Neo Delight said he planned to start selling the concept in a major Asian city such as Hong Kong or Bangkok later this year. But although image-themed restaurants and other establishments are hugely popu-
lar in Japan, their allure abroad remains to be seen. Nobutoshi Yamanouchi, a lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions with legal firm Jones Day said the strategy hinged on being able to export “Japaneseness”. But, he cautioned, projects needed to be handled by a manager with vision. “It won’t be so simple to sell an image of an entire town. Such a project will need someone to orchestrate and design the image of a town, for example Harajuku,” he said. The “Cool Japan” campaign comes at a time other nations are also trying to cash in on aspects of their culture or history to boost investment or trade. The GREAT Britain campaign is particularly visible with advertising campaigns in a number of world cities that coincide with London’s hosting of the Olympic Games and Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee. For Japan, it is less about grand themes than cultural particularities.
Akiko Shinoda, director of Japan Fashion Week, said Japanese attention to quality and detail, especially on the fashion front, is a key selling point. “(Japanese are) raised in an environment where everything is high-quality -- manga, anime, games and other toys. The Japanese in general are known for craftsmanship,” she said. “Because people in trendy fashion streets such as Harajuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Daikanyama are highly sensitive to fashion, Japanese designers inspired by them turn out excellent products.” Izakaya manager Koichi Fukami said he was hoping that the country’s cuisine would help spread the uniquely Japanese pubs around the world. “Japanese cuisine’s power is great,” he said at the fair. “Chinatowns are everywhere in the world. Let’s make Japantowns.”
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
Photos: Ben Hioe
27th Annual Asian/Pacific Council of Georgia Annual Gala May 19
Varinee Sangmalee, current President of APAC, with other community leaders.
National anthem performed by Filipino Quartet.
Le Doan and Kim Reinmann welcomes the guests of the evening.
Members of Vietnamese Association of Georgia (VAC).
Members of Indonesian Community Heritage Foundation (ICHF).
L-R: Lam Ngo, Varinee Sangmalee, Dr. Josephine Tan, Sunny Park, and Le Doan showing the Gov. Nathan Deal Proclamations.
TJ Ward and Sunny Park
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
27th APAC Gala May 19
Hon. Carol W. Hunstein, Chief Justic of Supreme Court Georgia delivers a warm welcome to delegates.
Members of APAC organizing committee.
Members of Natasinh Dance Club.
L-R: Hugh Hu, Winston Chung, CP Huang
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
FOCUS Controversial activist fights Southeast Asian sex trade Hanoi, May 22, 2012 (AFP) - Sold into a brothel as a child, Cambodian activist Somaly Mam has become one of the most recognizable, glamorous and controversial faces of the global anti-sex slavery movement. The quirky, energetic campaigner boasts a string of celebrity supporters and has been named a CNN hero of the year, but she is as divisive among anti-trafficking activists as she is beloved by the international press. Most recently, Mam kicked up a storm of controversy when she allowed her “old friend,” New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof, to “live-tweet” a brothel raid in the northern Cambodian town of Anlong Veng in November. “Girls are rescued, but still very scared. Youngest looks about 13, trafficked from Vietnam,” Kristof wrote to his more than one million followers on the Twitter micro blogging website, in remarks that trafficking experts say raised questions of safety and consent. For Mam, who created the anti-trafficking organization AFESIP and now runs an eponymous foundation, the benefit of the attention Kristof brings to trafficking issues outweighs the security concerns. “Even if you’re not tweeting it is also dangerous... but if (Kristof) tweets it, it’s better because more people get awareness and understanding,” Mam told AFP in an interview during a visit to Vietnam. Tania DoCarmo of Chab Dai, an anti-trafficking group working in Cambodia, said the raid coverage was an “unethical” PR stunt which broke Cambodian anti-trafficking laws and which “sensationalizes” a very complex issue. “Doing ‘impromptu’ coverage of children in highly traumatizing situa-
tions would not be considered ethical or acceptable in the West...it is inappropriate and even voyeuristic to do this in developing nations such as Cambodia.” “This is especially true with children and youth who are unable to provide legal consent anyway,” she said. AFESIP says it has been involved in rescuing about 7,000 women and girls in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam since 1997. In Cambodia alone, there are more than 34,000 commercial sex workers, according to a 2009 government estimate. The line between “victim” and “trafficker” is often not always clear. Women who were tricked into working in a brothel may go on to recruit others in the same way.
This position, which underpins Mam’s reliance on brothel raids as a tool to fight trafficking, enrages other activists, such as the Asia Pacific Sex Worker Network, which argues consenting adult sex workers need “rights not rescues.”
Mam, who is in her early-40s but does not know her exact year of birth, was sold into a brothel in her early teens by a man who she says was either her grandfather or an uncle and then repeatedly raped and abused until, after watching a friend be killed in front of her, she managed to escape.
Sweeping raid-and-rescue operations and police round-ups of street-based sex workers are not only ineffective, experts say, but lead to “systematic violations of sex workers’ human rights,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said in 2010 report.
“I was completely broken,” she said, adding that this experience of being a victim is something she cannot forget and is what drives her anti-trafficking campaigning.
Mam’s organization, AFESIP, has also been criticized for accepting sex workers picked up during Cambodian police round ups which HRW has said constitute “arbitrary arrests and detentions of innocent people”.
“I’m not going to force them, I have been forced my own life. It’s up to them,” she said, adding that this applied within the shelters, with no girl being forced to speak to the press or share her experiences with anyone.
Mam dismissed HRW’s assessment.
Mam says she tries to listen to and learn from criticism of her tactics and approach, adding that she has “made a lot of mistakes in my life,” and has never claimed to have all the answers to how to end sex slavery.
Within the anti-trafficking field, Mam takes a controversially hardline stance: all sex workers are victims, whether of trafficking or circumstance, as no woman would really choose to work in a brothel. “Sometimes a woman -- she tells me she is choosing to be a prostitute (but if you ask) how about your daughter? You want her to be? She’ll say: No, no, no’,” said Mam. “(they) have no choice”.
“When a girl has been killed in the brothel does HRW go into the brothel? So who are you exactly? When I am in the brothel, one of my friend she has been killed. Did HRW go there? No,” she said. Consenting, adult sex workers detained during the police raids -- who say they were neither victims of trafficking nor wanting AFESIP’s ser-
vices -- have also reported being held against their will at AFESIP shelters. “The first time (a sex worker) come to the shelter she don’t want to stay ... because she don’t know us,” Mam said, adding that women are so “broken” by sex work they want to stay in the familiar surroundings of the brothel. “I always say: please, can you just stay one or two days, treat it like a holiday,” she said, adding that if women chose to stay in the brothels she respected that decision.
“What I know how to do is just helping the women,” she said.
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
Lin Dan propels China to Thomas Cup title Wuhan, China, May 27, 2012 (AFP) – Superstar Lin Dan led hosts China to an emphatic victory over South Korea in the Thomas Cup final on Sunday, sending a stark message he and his teammates are in peak form for the London Olympics. Widely regarded as the best player of all time and a sporting hero in China, Lin threw his t-shirt into the Wuhan crowd after his side were far too good in seeing off the Koreans 3-0 — repeating the feat of the women’s team Saturday. “Lots went through my mind last night. I don’t know how many more Thomas Cups I’ll play. This one is at home and I wanted to put on a good show,” said 28-year-old Lin, known as “Super Dan” to his adoring millions of fans. “Every player gets nervous. When you’re young it’s because you’re excited, it’s the first time you wear your national colours. When you’re older, it’s because there’s a lot of expectation… I didn’t sleep so well last night.” But the reigning Olympic champion showed no signs of tiredness or nerves in his match against Lee Hyun-Il, the 21-14, 21-17 victory easier than the scoreline suggested. “At our level it doesn’t matter if you win 21-9 or 21-19, it’s the outcome that counts,” Lin said as China picked up their fifth consecutive Thomas Cup title and ninth since the men’s tournament began in 1949. South Korea’s world number seven managed to push the world number two harder in the second game,
drawing even at 17-17 as Lin buried a smash into the net. But he failed to win another point. “There were no tactical changes between the games,” said Lee, “I just took every point as it came. But in the end I made too many mistakes. That’s why I lost.” South Korea’s coach Sung HanKook had said the first singles was the key match — whoever wins takes the momentum in the tie.
It was left to the towering Chen Long to wrap up the match for his country in the second singles, and swanning onto court the world number three looked to be savouring the moment ahead of time. But he did the business, out-classing the in-form Shon Wan-Ho, especially with some exquisite backhand slices, to win 21-9, 21-13 and earn the special praise of his coach for his calm and confidence.
“He is a superior player,” said Lee, “his accuracy and speed are remarkable. And it is his consistency throughout a match that keeps him apart from the rest.”
The men’s victory caps a stunning week for China’s Olympic preparations, after the women’s team won the Uber Cup, also against South Korea, and also without dropping a single match on the way.
China’s head coach Li Yongbo described Lin as “exceptional”, gushing: “You get a player like him maybe once in a blue moon.”
Coach Li refused to bask in the glory of a faultless tournament, pointing to the simmering issue of a generational transition facing the men’s team.
Looking to his final preparations for London, Lin said he wanted “everything to be like in 2008 before Beijing” — also a year China won the Thomas Cup.
Retirement looms for Lin as well as doubles world number one duo Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. All performed brilliantly at the Thomas Cup, so much so that the younger players were never under pressure.
“I am going to use every day as an opportunity to prepare and improve,” said Lin, whose path to another gold may be a little easier since world number one and arch rival Lee Chong Wei injured his ankle earlier in the week. South Korea’s doubles pairing put up a fight to rescue the final, but when they failed to convert a handful of game points the Chinese duo punished them, with Cai Yun ripping off his t-shirt as they won 21-16, 25-23.
Li also brushed off the significance of China now matching Indonesia’s record of five consecutive titles. “In two years, if we win another Thomas Cup, then that will be success. Chasing a record and surpassing one are two different things.”
Lee admits injury a blow to Olympics bid Wuhan, China, May 24, 2012 (AFP) – Badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei has admitted his injury at the Thomas Cup in China this week is a blow to his Olympics title bid, where the Malaysian has a last shot at an elusive gold. “Injury like this can affect mental preparation,” a tearful Lee said before flying back to Malaysia Wednesday to have a second MRI scan and treatment on his torn ankle tendon. “It is still painful… One has to be strong. I know I will be okay. I have to be stronger mentally to do well in the Olympics.” The 29-year-old star shuttler landed awkwardly after going two points ahead in his group match against Denmark’s Peter Gade. Doctors rushed onto court but the player was crying and in visible pain as he was taken away for scans and treatment at a nearby hospital. He is expected to be out for up to a month. The world team championships in Wuhan had been the last chance for Lee to go head-to-head with his archrival Lin Dan before the Olympics. “Our biggest enemy is not each other but injury,” said China’s world
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
SPORTS Chelsea’s contingent of Champions League winners -- John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill -- available. However Hodgson was coy when asked if the starting XI chosen to face Belgium next week would most likely be the team to face France in Donetsk on June 11. “Allow me to be satisfied with what I’ve seen from these players tonight and
then I’ll turn my attention towards the team to play Belgium,” Hodgson said.
Barry injury clouds Hodgson’s winning start OSLO, May 27, 2012 (AFP) - Roy Hodgson was left sweating on an injury to Gareth Barry after launching his reign as England manager with a 1-0 win over Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium.
“I thought we showed a lot of discipline. I thought we worked very hard,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think we were as good going forward as we have the potential to be.
“I suppose the obvious answer is that there is a good chance that some of the players that play against Belgium will play against France but a few players have put a few spanners in the works and given me something to think about.”
Barry had come on as a half-time replacement for captain Steven Gerrard but lasted barely 30 minutes before hobbling off with a groin injury that leaves him in doubt for the upcoming Euro 2012 championship.
“But I’m not prepared to be critical of our team or anything about our play tonight. It’s very much a work in progress -- after three days with this team I’ve got to be satisfied that we’ve come here, given a more than reasonable performance and come away with a win.”
The Manchester City midfielder faces a scan on Sunday to determine the seriousness of the injury, but with England needing to confirm their final squad for the tournament by Tuesday, Hodgson has little time to play with.
Hodgson also praised the contributions of goalscorer Young and his strike partner Andy Carroll, who is now expected to start England’s opening two Euro 2012 matches in the absence of the suspended Wayne Rooney.
MONTE CARLO, Monaco, May 26, 2012 (AFP) - Pirelli plan to introduce special ‘super’ qualifying tires to stop Formula One teams sitting out the top-ten shootout to save tyres for a race, the Italian suppliers confirmed on Saturday.
If Barry’s injury is serious, it could open the door to Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson or another player on the list of five standbys named when Hodgson unveiled his original 23-man squad earlier this month.
“I thought he was good. Full-stop,” Hodgson replied when asked about Carroll’s contribution.
In a move that will add more spice to the already-unpredictable contests in qualifying seen this year, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembrey said he is pushing for talks to revise the rules for Q3.
Hodgson refused to speculate on the severity of Barry’s injury but acknowledged he was “worried” by the development. “I’m not prepared to say it’s serious at the moment,” Hodgson said. “All I’m going to say is that it’s going to demand our attention and as you all know, we don’t have a lot of time if the scan shows that there is something more than minor.” Meanwhile Hodgson insisted he was satisfied with a solid but unspectacular performance from England, who scored the game’s only goal through Ashley Young early in the first half.
The England manager also challenged Manchester United star Young to use next month’s Euros as the platform to announce himself on the world stage.
“All those tackles when somebody comes out on the wrong end of it are heavily criticised,” Hodgson said. “But I
thought it was a fair tackle. There was no intent to injure. “I can understand the referee in a friendly match penalizing it with a free-kick but my take is that it was a strong and brave tackle and the type of challenge I hope our players are going to be putting in at the Euros because it shows their commitment.”
Pirelli want qualifying shootout rule changes
“The platform is there for him in the coming Euros, and not only the Euros, but in the years to come.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, where qualifying is so important -- seven of the last 10 Monaco races have been won by the man on pole -- he said he will propose the changes at the next meeting of the Formula 1 Commission, the body that recommends regulations and changes to the ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA).
“He’s had a pretty good season with Manchester United but with all the talent he possesses, now is the moment for him to really kick on and blossom even more.”
Hembrey said: “We need to get all 12 teams together and I will certainly ask to put it on the table at the next F1 Commission meeting.
England will regroup next week ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Belgium at Wembley, when Hodgson will also have
“Bernie (Ecclestone, Formula One’s supremo) is keen on it. He does not feel (cars sitting out Q3) it is good for TV and
“I think he’s at the right age, the right time in his career, if he’s going to be a top international player,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson also backed defender captain Steven Gerrard, who was relentlessly booed by the home crowd before being substituted at half-time after a thumping tackle on Tom Hogli that led to the Norwegian defender limping out of the game.
we have been on record saying that, but equally, we appreciate the teams’ point of view. “And it was unanimous when we last spoke to them that they felt the tactical intrigue created by not running and having fresh tires was something that was good for the sport. “Where the real solution in that lies I don’t know. “We will offer what is needed and that can be anything from an extra set for those in Q3 to make them run, through to full qualifying for everybody. We are open to whatever solution the sport feels is best, but we feel running cars in Q3 is important.” Mercedes boss Ross Brawn said: “There are two sides to every coin and is the show spoilt by the fact that some of the cars at the back of Q3 don’t run? “I’m not sure it is. I think everyone’s focused on what the guys fighting for pole are doing. But if there was genuine proof that the fans want ten cars running all the time in Q3 then we’d accept some extra tires.”
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
HEALTH WHO target to cut early chronic illness deaths GENEVA, May 25, 2012 (AFP) - The World Health Organization announced on Friday it was set to approve a new target to reduce premature deaths from chronic illnesses such as heart disease by a quarter by 2025. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory conditions are known in medical terms as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and represent the world’s biggest killers -- accounting for 63 percent of all deaths.
Flu shots during pregnancy could benefit babies: study MONTREAL, May 23, 2012 (AFP) - Women who get flu shots while pregnant could also be protecting the health of their babies before and after birth, a new study suggests. Using statistics from the Canadian province of Ontario, the findings, published this week in the American Journal of Public Health, are based on comparisons between expecting women who did and did not receive an H1N1 vaccine during the 20092010 “swine flu” pandemic that killed more than 14,000 people worldwide. “Our results suggest that second- or third-trimester H1N1 vaccination was associated with improved fetal and neonatal outcomes during the recent pandemic,” the researchers write in an abstract that also underscored that the findings need to be confirmed by future studies. Earlier this month, another group of Canadian researchers discovered that the “swine flu” vaccine triggered a series of antibodies that protect against many other types of flu, including the highly lethal H5N1 bird flu strain.
About a quarter of victims die prematurely, between the ages of 30 and 70. Late Thursday, WHO member states meeting in Geneva made a “landmark” decision to fix the 25 percent reduction target which is expected to be formally adopted on Saturday, the UN health agency said.
It was agreed along with a raft of measures to address the prevention and control of NCDs, which have rocketed in developing countries in recent years. About 80 percent of premature deaths from NCDs now occur in low and middleincome countries. “The focus of attention of the world community on the largest killer is now on course,” said Douglas Bettcher from the WHO’s chronic diseases unit. “The architecture to support developing countries in addressing NCDs and their risk factors is now in place.”
“This is something that would, in an era of globalization and ongoing financial crisis, have major effects for the entire world,” said Bettcher. In the resolution adopted by WHO member states but yet to be formally approved, countries also backed further work aimed at producing targets on NCD risk factors, namely tobacco use, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. They called for a formal meeting to be held before the end of October to conclude work on a “global monitoring framework” to prevent and control NCDs.
NCDs also constitute a massive financial burden. A recent Harvard study found that left unattended they could result in lost productivity in low and middle income countries worth $7 trillion up to 2025.
High blood pressure affects 1 in 3: World Health Organization GENEVA, May 16, 2012 (AFP) – One in three adults suffers from high blood pressure, a key trigger of heart disease, health experts said on Wednesday while underlining the growing number of cases in developing countries. Canada and the United States have the fewest patients, at less than 20 percent of adults, but in some African countries the estimated figure is closer to 50 percent, the World Health Organization said. Increased life expectancy and changes in lifestyle mean that chronic conditions once associated with wealthier nations are now affecting lower income countries. “We are being successful in reducing the impact of infectious diseases and child mortality is coming down — that means more people are surviving to advanced ages when non-communicable diseases develop,” said Colin Mathers, coordinator of the WHO’s mortality and burden of disease unit “As people live longer, they are more prone to chronic diseases.” Mathers also pointed to increasing risk factors in lower-income countries such as obesity and smoking.
“As populations become better off, incomes are rising, and the calories available are increasing.” he said. “The spread of fast food, processed food, salt added in manufacturing, is all contributing to cardiovascular and cancer risks.” In many developed countries like Australia, where the incidence of heart problems peaked in the 1960s and 70s, people are diagnosed and given treatment. But those treatments are not generally available in African countries, said Mathers. In Niger 50.3 percent of men suffer from high blood pressure, with Malawi and Mozambique not far behind at 44.5 and 46.3 percent respectively. The WHO World Health Statistics report published on Tuesday includes for the first time figures on raised blood pressure and raised blood glucose levels, associated with diabetes, for the first time. One in 10 people are estimated to have diabetes, rising to up to one third in Pacific Island countries.
“This report is further evidence of the dramatic increase in the conditions that trigger heart disease and other chronic illnesses, particularly in low and middleincome countries,” said WHO director general Margaret Chan. The report also said obesity levels doubled across the world between 1980 and 2008 and half a billion people or 12 percent of the world’s populations are now considered obese. The Americas have the highest instance, at 26 percent of adults, and south-east Asia the lowest obesity levels at three percent. The WHO said deaths in children aged under five years dropped from almost 10 million in 2000 to 7.6 million a decade later, with the decline in deaths from measles and diarrhoea-related disease “particularly striking.” The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, will meet in Geneva from May 21-26 where members will discuss new targets on cutting the cases of heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer.
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
Misc Asia Japan’s runaway penguin suffering from pink-eye TOKYO, May 28, 2012 (AFP) - A plucky penguin that was recaptured last week after nearly three months at large in the polluted waters of Tokyo Bay has conjunctivitis, an aquarium official said. The Humboldt penguin, one of 135 kept at Tokyo Sea Life Park, was taken back into captivity after 82 days of freedom following a breakout that made global headlines and garnered it a following around the world. On Friday, the day after its adventure came to an end, the bird “was diagnosed by a veterinarian as having conjunctivitis, so we have kept it in a room separate from the rest of our penguins”, said aquarium official Takashi Sugino.
Fans of the one-year-old runaway -- known by the aquarium only as Penguin No. 337 and without any sexual features because of its age -- will have to wait until it has recovered from the condition, also known as pink eye, before it is revealed to the world. “At first its eyes seemed to be swelling a bit, but now it’s recuperating as we’ve been giving it eye-drops every day,” Sugino said. “I don’t know the exact reason for its eye disease, but in this aquarium the sea water pumped up for penguins is filtered and disinfected,” he added. A government official said water quality in Tokyo Bay has improved in recent years, but pollution by organic substances sometimes breaches Japanese environmental standards.
China airport drink name stirs spirited mockery Beijing, May 27, 2012 (AFP) - A decision to name an airport in southwest China after a local spirits brand has provoked widespread derision online and controversy around the country, reports said. Authorities in Yibin, in Sichuan province, said their move to name the new airport “Wuliangye” after a local liquor would have a positive impact on the city and the company. A Yibin government spokesman said the State Council, China’s cabinet, had approved the decision, the Global Times newspaper reported Sunday. Wuliangye is a well-known top-end spirits brand in China. Its eponymous flagship product is a white spirit made from the distillation of five grains, including sticky rice and sorghum. The group has more than 40,000 employees, according to its website, and the company is based a few
kilometres (miles) from Yibin airport, which according to media reports will have a capacity of 800,000 passengers a year by 2020. Various experts quoted by newspapers said that christening an airport with a trademark contravened both the law and the custom that airport names should refer to their geographic locations. Chinese Internet users waded into the controversy with derision. “Ha, ha, another new example of the collusion between the government and the business world,” Wu Yupeng mocked on his Sina weibo micro-blog. Others mockingly proposed rechristening Beijing international airport as “Erguotou Airport”, after another famous Chinese liquor, and renaming Xian airport in the northern province of Shaanxi as “Meat Sandwich Airport,” after a local specialty.
Bollywood star apologises over stadium argument NEW DELHI, May 28, 2012 (AFP) Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has apologised for his “misbehavior” at an Indian Premier League match in Mumbai when he tried to walk onto the ground after the game. The actor, who co-owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team that won the tournament final on Sunday, wanted to take a group of youngsters including his daughter onto the Wankhede Stadium outfield after a match on May 16. When a security guard stopped them, Khan argued angrily with officials for 10-15 minutes before finally giving up.
The 46-year-old star, who denied he was drunk, was banned from the stadium for five years. “I want to apologize to the kids for my misbehavior... I apologize to all who saw me differently. I shouldn’t have behaved in that manner,” he told reporters after the final in Chennai late Sunday. Khan, one of the Bollywood film industry’s most popular stars, last week pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a fine after he was seen smoking during an IPL match in Jaipur.
Japanese man cooks, serves own genitals TOKYO, May 25, 2012 (AFP) - A Japanese artist cooked his own genitals and served them to five paying diners in Tokyo to cover the medical costs, in a bizarre act to raise awareness about sexual minorities. Mao Sugiyama had his penis and testicles surgically removed in March and kept them frozen for two months before dishing them out -- seasoned and braised -- to customers at an event hall on May 13, according to postings on his Twitter account and local police. Diners paid 20,000 yen ($250) for the plate with a portion of genitals. Pictures published on a website appeared to show the meal came complete with mushrooms and a parsley garnish. The painter, who is reportedly 22, said on Twitter the organ had been removed by a physician and certified to be free of infections. The meal was prepared under the supervision of a certified cook and diners were required to sign a waiver indemnifying Sugiyama and event organizers. In May 18 tweets, the artist said steps were taken so the act met all relevant laws, including a ban on organ sales, processing of medical waste and even food sanitation requirements.
“I receive questions from some women and men... asking ‘Will there be a next time? Please host it again.’ But there is only one set of male organ,” he tweeted on May 16. “Unfortunately, I have no plan for the next time.” Sugiyama, who considers himself “asexual”, that is without gender, initially thought about eating the genitals himself, but decided to solicit paying customers to help pay his hospital bills for the surgery. He confirmed the event had taken place and said it was organised to raise awareness about “sexual minorities, x-gender, asexual people”. He said he was readying to publish an official account of the day. Police in Tokyo said they knew of the episode, but added that it had not broken the law as cannibalism was not illegal in Japan. “We are aware of the case. There was nothing (criminal) to it. It does not violate any detailed rules. There is nothing to take action about,” said an officer at Suginami police station.
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012
Misc Asia Indian guru blames rupee symbol for currency woes MUMBAI, May 31, 2012 (AFP) - Businessmen may blame global troubles or inept governance, but a Hindu guru has an alternative theory for the historic weakness of India’s rupee: the newly adopted symbol for the currency is inauspicious. Rajkumar Jhanjhari, an expert in the ancient Hindu doctrine of vastu shastra, has called for a new design, arguing that a line on the symbol has “slit the throat” of the rupee and sparked the country’s financial gloom. The rupee symbol, unveiled in 2010 during happier times for the Indian economy, is inspired by the letter “R” in the Roman alphabet and “Ra” from the ancient Devanagari script used in Hindi. “India managed to withstand a severe global slump in 2009, before the symbol came up. One must ask why our growth rate is taking a beating now before rubbishing pleas for changing the symbol,” Jhanjhari told the Hindustan Times. Data on Thursday showed India’s economy grew just 5.3 percent in January-March, its slowest pace in almost a decade, pushing the rupee to its lowest ever rate against the dollar.
It has shed about a fifth of its value against the US currency in the last 12 months. Jhanjhari, based in the northeastern city of Guwahati, has offered tweaks to the rupee design that he believes would boost the troubled economy, the newspaper reported. The 50-year-old said he wrote to the prime minister with his suggestions late last year and copies of the letter were also sent to the finance minister and the central bank. Similar to Chinese feng shui, vastu shastra is a Hindu system of space design that aims to promote well-being, by auspiciously making buildings or other constructions align with natural forces. The designer of the rupee’s current symbol, student Udaya Kumar, said a change would be up to the government. “Frankly, I don’t know what to say,” he told the paper. At the time of the launch of the rupee symbol, Information Minister Ambika Soni said it would establish the arrival of the Indian currency “as a robust currency.”
Words of Wisdom Anyone can fancy his bed as a palace. Burmese Proverb The least and weakest man can do some hurt. Burmese Proverb For news of the heart, ask the face. Cambodian Proverb A life with love is happy; a life for love is foolish. Chinese Proverb An old man in love is like a flower in winter. Chinese Proverb The pain of the little finger is felt by the whole body. Filipino Proverb Loyalty is more valuable than diamonds. Filipino Proverb A man in love mistakes a harelip for a dimple. Japanese Proverb True words are not always pretty; pretty words are not always true. Japanese Proverb Tap even a stone bridge before crossing. Korean Proverb He who drinks dies; He who does not drink dies as well. Mongolian Proverb
The living are denied a table; the dead get a whole coffin. Mongolian Proverb Wealth is both an enemy and a friend. Nepalese Proverb Different fields, different grasshoppers; different seas, different fish. Indonesian Proverb Different men have different opinions; some like apples, some onions. Indonesian Proverb By committing foolish acts, one learns wisdom. Singhalese Proverb Eat coconuts while you have teeth. Singhalese Proverb Catch a tiger with bare hands. Thai Proverb Even if you have failed at something nine times, you have still given it effort nine times. Tibetan Proverb Never forget benefits done you, regardless how small. Vietnamese Proverb One often gets what one disdains. Vietnamese Proverb
Taiwan’s unmarried women slam education ministry TAIPEI, May 24, 2012 (AFP) Taiwan’s unmarried women were up in arms Thursday over the education ministry’s online dictionary, which defines a “good woman” as one who focuses on her family life and adores her husband.
“The characteristic of a new good woman is to focus her life on her family, adore her husband, look after her children and do her best to maintain a happy and harmonious marriage,” the dictionary states.
that a good woman should be defined as “confident, hard-working and independent”.
Several women lawmakers slammed the ministry for being biased against unwed women and promoting chauvinistic attitudes.
Lawmaker Lo Shu-lei, who is single, said the ministry “doesn’t know which year we are” and “discriminates against unmarried women”, adding
Unmarried lawmaker Chen Ting-fei said: “This is male chauvinism and feudalistic thinking. I am in a bad mood, because I have become a bad
woman since I don’t have a husband to adore and children to take care of.” The ministry promised to respect gender quality and seek advice of relevant rights groups when updating the dictionary.
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
Women warming to white wines in China: experts
HONG KONG, May 30, 2012 (AFP) Fruity reds are the kings of the Chinese wine market, but experts at Asia’s biggest wine fair say women are leading a trend toward whites that will open new revenue streams for producers worldwide. Chinese drinkers consume an average of 300 million bottles of wine a year, with a heavy preference for red, according to wine industry insiders gathered at Hong Kong’s Vinexpo AsiaPacific, the region’s biggest wine trade fair. Seen as emblematic of the wine experience and valued for its medicinal qualities, red wine accounts for 90 percent of the booming but relatively young Chinese market, compared to 65 percent globally, according to Vinexpo. “At the beginning the trade thought they would drink more white wines because they thought they went better with Asian food. At the end, red has won,” said Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat. He added that there were now signs that women were turning to white wines. The dominance of grapes like cabernet, shiraz and merlot is apparent in any supermarket in Hong Kong, the southern Chinese territory which is Asia’s biggest single wine market based on per capita consumption. But Donny Ho, general manager of
major distributor Jebsen Fine Wines, said the market was changing. Volumes of white wine imported into Hong Kong grew 39 percent in the first quarter of 2012, to 14 percent of total wine imports. “The shift of the pendulum towards white wine reflects increased local consumption of white wine and the gradual sophistication of our wine market,” he said. “Local consumers are seeing white wine as a more refreshing option, and as wine drinkers gain deeper knowledge of wine, they are more willing to move beyond red wine.” According to International Wine and Spirit Research, the white wine market
in China is expected to grow 69 percent between 2011 and 2015, compared to 53 percent for reds. Bordeaux Wine Council president Georges Haushalter said research showed that Chinese drinkers, especially women and younger people, liked the taste of white wine but still bought reds. “When we do tastings ... we notice that, especially new consumers and women, they appreciate the sweet white wines of Bordeaux,” he said. “But when it comes to purchasing habits, their attitude is to say wine has to be red. It’s all about educating people, making them understand that they can trust their own taste, and that
takes a bit of time.” Fang Chen, a Chinese director of Vins-Vignerons which represents the major chateaux of Burgundy, a French region famed for its chardonnay, said the Chinese were impressed by the supposed health benefits of red wine. “People like medicinal food,” she said, adding that there was even a women’s beauty product on the market known as “red wine cream” due to it supposedly giving a rosy, healthy glow. Her French colleague, Philippe Garnier, said white’s big advantage over red was its suitability as a pairing with Chinese seafood and spicy dishes. “It doesn’t have the tannin, which gives the spicy character to the red wines,” he said. It is no coincidence whites have greater market penetration in southern China where drinkers are more sophisticated and the food is lighter, said Nikki Palun, the Mandarin-speaking export manager for De Bortoli Wines of Australia. She added that the Chinese were “really embracing” white wine as never before. “We’ve just sold 50 cases of our super premium chardonnay. There’s huge demand for it now.”
June 1-15, 2012 Georgia Asian Times
June Horoscope Dragon (2012 2000 1988 1976 1964 1952 1940 1928 1916 1904) There is a difference between things falling into place magically, which they will on numerous occasions and those developments go as expected. While some may defy your plans, you are urged to go with the flow. This is actually the beginning of a spectacular period of growth that will come together, when your past efforts and thrilling new options merge as life changing opportunities. Do not be excited about it yet, but be sure that you are well prepared for the long challenging tasks ahead that require your full concentration and energy. Snake (2001 1989 1977 1965 1953 1941 1929 1917 1905) Making plans and seeing them to fruitions is not just about getting things done. It is about being in control. You will find this reassuring. So when even the most welcome of events and several are approaching your way, derail those plans you have mixed feelings. Go with the flow. Momentarily you are short of facts and will be for a while. Until then, trust your instincts that say life could not be better.
Horse (2002 1990 1978 1966 1954 1942 1930 1918 1906) Little is more irritating than others telling you of the decisions they are making on your behalf or worse that entirely unwelcome events are in your best interests. You are perfectly capable of making your own decisions, or so you think. Just beware whatever lessons you have not learnt are appearing on the horizon - occasionally forcefully. Knowing that, at least take the opportunity to explore them with an open mind.
Goat (2003 1991 1979 1967 1955 1943 1931 1919 1907) Sometimes, the old must go before the new can arrive. The problem is that you are struggling to maintain some of those long-standing arrangements while attempting to organize exciting new ones. They are challenging and in some cases, upsetting as saying farewell to what is familiar, these have not only outlived their time; they are distracting you from potentially life-changing ideas or offers.
Dog (2006 1994 1982 1970 1958 1946 1934 1922 1910) When you make plans, you expect them to go as intended. However, while certain events veer from those plans, things are not just good; certain developments bring profound and wonderful changes or improvements. Initially you may struggle with these unanticipated twists. Hopefully by the second week of the month where circumstances force you to go with the flow, you will have loosened up a bit.
Pig (2007 1995 1983 1971 1959 1947 1935 1923 1911) Normally, you have a remarkable knack for turning challenging situations to your advantage. Yet, because you may not spot the promise this monthâ€™s developments offer, you could tinker with what is already perfection. Distract yourself, and focus on the circumstances of others. They will be delighted with your attention and you might not be tempted to start messing with your own comfortable set-up.
Rat (2008 1996 1984 1972 1960 1948 1936 1924 1912) Dramas about who is responsible for what are not that uncommon. During this month it is worth investigating both the facts of the issues in question and what has been said behind your back, perhaps some comments may be innocent, others could be self-serving efforts of one particular individual to shift his/her responsibilities your way. In the past, you would have said nothing but not this time.
Ox (2009 1997 1985 1973 1961 1949 1937 1925 1913) Usually you would navigate skillfully around rules and regulations and ordinarily that causes no major problems. However try doing it now, and you will only cause problems beyond your control or influence. Othersâ€™ strong opinions and objections against certain ideas or concepts during heated debates have been the Achilles heel. Ironically, what you learn from dealing with these matters will benefit you hugely provided you are able to remain cool and calm throughout the debates.
Monkey (2004 1992 1980 1968 1956 1944 1932 1920 1908) Although often it is you who inspires people to take the role of leader, you are also a superb team player. This is exactly what you will need to be now, as events draw you and others together to consider your options, planning and respond. While you may be anxious about certain changes, your instincts are correctly telling you that these are precisely what have been needed all along.
Tiger (2010 1998 1986 1974 1962 1950 1938 1926 1914) Having worked hard to organize your life and suddenly being told the weeks ahead events will revolutionize both your thinking and your circumstances is unlikely to thrill you. Yet in a large number of situations, you either have not taken into account or have simply ignored the crucial changes going on around you. The sooner you factor these into your thinking and your life, the better it will become.
Rooster (2005 1993 1981 1969 1957 1945 1933 1921 1909) Having already been cornered into tricky situations by partners, friends or colleagues, you are wary of expressing any but the most neutral of views. Your best strategy is to avoid them. Instead focus on exploring various recent and intriguing options. Not all, but some will provide information that will prove crucial when, in a few weeksâ€™ time, you must make swift decisions. Try not to take any short cuts, when things seem really difficult.
Rabbit (2011 1999 1987 1975 1963 1951 1939 1927 1915 1903) Even the variety of perfectly organized plans you produce and with pride, are unlikely to survive this unruly month. This has little to do with your organizational abilities and a lot to do with the fallout between those parties that are in disagreement. Surprising and often disillusioning, as the resulting revelations are, they free you to explore options that previously, simply would not have occurred to you. Under such circumstances, you could say it is a blessing in disguise.
Georgia Asian Times June 1-15, 2012