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Toxic gas attack in Yokohama
Britannica


April 19, 1995 - More than 300 people were rushed to hospitals in Yokohama, Japan, after poisonous phosgene was released on a crowded train. The gas quickly spread throughout the city's main train station. Two days later several persons were overcome by acrid fumes in a nearby shopping centre. In both instances the victims complained of dizziness and had difficulty breathing. Police were unable to identify the perpetrators immediately, but suspicions centred on members of the Aum Shinrikyo religious sect, which was being intensely investigated in connection with the March 20 sarin attack in a Tokyo subway that had killed 12 persons and injured more than 5,500.

Yen Rises to 14-Year High on View Authorities to Tolerate Gains
Bloomberg.com November 26, 2009


The yen rallied to a 14-year high against the dollar on speculation Japanese monetary authorities will tolerate further appreciation of the currency.

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said today the government needs to take action on “abnormal” currency movements and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the yen’s appreciation was due to weakness in the dollar. The Swiss franc fell against the dollar on speculation the nation’s central bank sold the currency after it climbed to parity with the greenback for a second day. U.S. markets are closed for Thanksgiving.

“The Japanese authorities probably won’t step in unless we see an acceleration of the move below 85” yen per dollar, said David Deddouche, a foreign-exchange strategist in Paris at Societe Generale SA. “But traders will try to test that level in the coming days.”

Japan’s currency rose to 86.30 yen per dollar, the strongest since July 1995, before trading at 86.56 as of 4:19 p.m. in New York, from 87.35 yesterday.

The dollar traded at $1.5019 per euro from $1.5134 yesterday, when it slid to $1.5144, the weakest since August 2008. The yen advanced to 129.95 per euro from 132.21. The franc fell 0.7 percent to 1.0031 per dollar.

The dollar’s decline below 87.1 yen, the previous low for 2009 reached on Jan. 21, leaves “very few supports” until the post-World War II low of 79.75 from April, 19, 1995, according to Tomoko Fujii, a foreign-exchange strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch in Tokyo........................

Kamei pressures Chile to let arrested Fujimori campaign
Japan Times July 5, 2007


A senior member of a small opposition party planning to field disgraced Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori in the House of Councilors election this month urged Chile on Wednesday to "give consideration" to allowing Fujimori — now under house arrest in the country — to campaign in Japan.

Shizuka Kamei, deputy chief of Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party), also told a news conference in Tokyo that the party wants Fujimori as a candidate because it feels it is a "waste of talent" that he cannot take part in political activities in Peru, where he has been charged with corruption and human rights abuses, including sanctioning death squads, during his decade in office.

"If such an excellent politician cannot make any contribution in Peru, we would like him to do his best for Japan by making use of his experience and insight," Kamei said.

"I believe this will also be to the benefit of the Peruvian people," he told the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

Facing possible extradition to Peru, Fujimori announced his candidacy last week for the July 29 Upper House election, accepting an offer from Kokumin Shinto and denying any intention of trying to avoid prosecution back home.

On the chances that Fujimori may not be able to take part in election campaigning by coming to Japan, Kamei said, "Chile should give consideration to its friend Japan so that he can exercise his political rights as a Japanese citizen."

Kokumin Shinto will also call for the Japanese government to hold negotiations with the Chilean government over the issue, he added.

He also defended Fujimori's position by saying there are many cases in which politicians are "pursued by political foes" and that people in other countries should not conclude that he committed crimes just because the current authorities allege so.

Diet seat eludes absentee Fujimori
Japan Times July 31, 2007


Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who ran in the Upper House election despite being under house arrest in Chile, has conceded defeat.

"I could not conduct election campaigning and it turned out to be a regrettable result," he said Sunday at the home in a Santiago suburb where he is being detained.

Japanese reporters started gathering there before polling stations closed in Japan.

After the certainty of his defeat was reported at around 2 p.m. Sunday local time, or 3 a.m. Monday in Japan, Fujimori appeared before reporters.

"My feelings toward Japan will not change even though I lost in the election. It was a good experience," he said.

A Peruvian of Japanese descent who has Japanese nationality — a requirement for running in the election, the 69-year-old Fujimori ran on the ticket of the tiny opposition force Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party) in the nationwide proportional representation section.

The former Peruvian head of state was arrested in Santiago in November 2005 after arriving unexpectedly from Tokyo ahead of Peru's presidential election in April 2006. He is wanted in Peru on corruption and human rights abuse charges stemming from his decade-long rule from 1990. He has denied the charges, which include sanctioning paramilitary death squads.

On July 11, a Chilean Supreme Court judge rejected Peru's request for his extradition, saying it has not been proved he was directly involved in any of the crimes he is charged with. The Peruvian government has lodged an objection to the decision.

Fujimori is well-known in Japan for his role in resolving a monthlong hostage crisis at the Japanese ambassador's official residence in Lima in 1996-1997.

Because he was unable to visit Japan during the campaign, Fujimori's Japanese friends took to the streets to call for support in his place.

His Japanese nationality was confirmed by the government in December 2000. His parents reportedly registered his birth with a Japanese consulate in Peru and thereby attained Japanese nationality for him.

Yuko Tojo loses Yuko Tojo, a granddaughter of Gen. Hideki Tojo, Japan's wartime prime minister who was hanged after being convicted as a Class-A war criminal, lost in Sunday's House of Councilors election.

Tojo, a 68-year-old independent, was among the 20 candidates vying for five Upper House seats in the Tokyo metropolitan electoral district. She received about 59,000 votes, several hundred thousand short of the number needed to win a seat.

During the campaign, Tojo called on leaders to pay respect to the souls of the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine, which besides honoring the nation's war dead is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism as it also enshrines executed war criminals, including her grandfather.

"It's natural that Japan should have an army commensurate with its world standing," she said. "I do not think the war dead gave their lives for a country like this."

Tojo's views are seen as part of a resurgent rightwing fringe. One of Tojo's priorities was to urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pay his respects to her grandfather and others at Yasukuni.

Alberto Fujimori attends daughter's wedding in jail
TIMESONLINE February 28, 2010


Alberto Fujimori, the former Peruvian president, has attended the wedding of his daughter Sachi – at the prison where he is serving 25 years for rights abuses.

Sachi Marcela Fujimori, 30, wed Mark Koening, a German, in front of 40 close family and friends at the tiny chapel inside the facility where Fujimori has his special jail cell.

The bride lives overseas but was said to be determined to have her father at her side at the altar.

The Government granted Fujimori a pass to leave his cell to attend the ceremony. Alan Garcia, the Peruvian President, dismissed charges from political opponents that he was receiving special treatment.

"Every father has the right to be at his daughter's side on her wedding day," Mr Garcia said.

The press was denied access to the wedding, but a white car brought the bride to the prison along with two buses carrying guests. About 30 supporters of the former president celebrated outside.

The family released photos showing a beaming Fujimori, 71, dressed in a suit, escorting his daughter down the aisle.

After the ceremony, he was taken back to his cell.

In April, 2009, a court in Lima court convicted Fujimori of crimes in connection with the activities of an army death squad during his rule. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Fujimori fled to Asia in 2000 and sent a fax from a Tokyo hotel announcing his resignation as president. Japan considered him a national by descent, and refused to extradite him.

However, in 2005 he travelled to Chile intending to restart his political career in Peru. He was arrested on arrival and extradited to Peru in 2007.

But the ex-president's political legacy has not been totally extinguished.

The oldest of his four children, his 34-year-old daughter Keiko, is likely to run for the Peruvian presidency in 2011 and, if successful, has vowed to pardon her father.

Ironically, it was Fujimori who in 1994 denied Garcia's request to return from exile in Colombia for five hours to attend his father's funeral.
Fujimori Attends Daughter's Wedding in Peru Prison
NY Times February 27, 2010


Jailed former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has attended his daughter's wedding in a prison chapel.

Fujimori's youngest daughter, 30-year-old Sachi Fujimori, married German-born Marc Koenig on Saturday in the chapel of the Lima prison where her father is serving a 25-year sentence for homicides and kidnappings during his 1990-2000 administration.

The government granted him a pass to leave his cell to attend the ceremony.

The press was denied access, but reporters say a white car with the bride arrived at the prison along with two buses carrying about 50 invited guests. About 30 supporters of the former president celebrated outside.

After the ceremony, the 71-year-old Fujimori was taken back to his cell.

Fujimori loses Japan election bid
BBC News 29 July 2007


Ex-Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has failed in his bid to win a seat in the upper house of Japan's parliament.

Mr Fujimori - who has dual Japanese and Peruvian citizenship - ran his campaign from Chile where he is under house arrest, fighting extradition to Peru.

The 68-year-old was running for office with a small opposition group, the People's New Party, formed in 2005.

Mr Fujimori sought asylum in Japan after his government collapsed amid a corruption scandal seven years ago.

"I could not campaign and the result was unfortunate," Mr Fujimori said, according to Kyodo news agency.

"Even though I was not elected, my feelings towards Japan have not changed. It was a good experience."

Human rights groups in Peru said they were pleased the Japanese people had not treated Mr Fujimori with impunity.

Japan campaign

Mr Fujimori had offered to use his experience gained during 10 years in office in Peru to help Japan solve its problems.

He referred to himself as "the last Samurai" and pledged in a campaign video to restore Japanese traditional values of hard work and humility.

However, his decision to stand for election to Japan's upper house was described by his critics as a ploy to avoid extradition from Chile.

He is thought to be the first former head of state to seek national office in another country.

President of Peru from 1990 to 2000, Mr Fujimori was praised for reviving the country's collapsing economy and curbing political violence.

But critics accuse him of crushing Peru's democratic institutions and committing human rights abuses. Mr Fujimori denies all the charges.

In 2000, Mr Fujimori became engulfed in a bribery scandal and fled to Japan, which repeatedly refused efforts by Peru to extradite him on charges including directing death squads, illegal phone tapping and corruption.

In November 2005 he returned to Chile, hoping to launch a new bid for the Peruvian presidency in 2006 elections, only to be arrested on the request of Peruvian authorities.

Earlier this month, Peru formally appealed after a Chilean judge ruled against extraditing Mr Fujimori to Peru, citing insufficient evidence.

Olympic tragedy-Safety in sport
The Chronicle of the Horse Feb. 13, 2010


The big consideration here is the tremendous speed he was travelling. At 144 km/h there is absolutely NO room for margin of error. He had failed to correct himself on the previous corner which set him up for the crash on that corner, but he had very little time in order to make that correction due to the speed he was travelling. THIS is where experience comes in. Experience makes those decisions almost on instinct. Less experience requires more thinking time. He had done 6 training runs already and had crashed on every single one of them. He was a handsome young man entering the prime of his life and it is a devastating accident for everyone, especially his family - his father is the president of the Georgian Luge Association, and his uncle was his coach - and my deepest condolances go out to them in this time of grief and loss.

Nodar Kumaritashvili's Opening Ceremony Tribute
THE HUFFONGTON POST


Georgian luge slider Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a horrifying high-speed crash Friday (GRAPHIC PHOTOS), hours before the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony was set to transpire. The ceremony went on as planned, but it paid tribute to the dead Olympian.

Attendees observed a moment of silence in Kumaritashvili's honor and the ceremony was dedicated to the Georgian. Organizer John Furlong addressed the death and delivered a message to the Olympic athletes in attendance: "May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your heart," he said.

Georgia's Olympic delegation showed up in black armands and carried their nation's flag with a black strip to recognize Kumaritashvili. Scroll down for photos.

Not enough French in Olympics opening ceremony: Heritage Minister
NATIONAL POST


Heritage Minister James Moore says he was "disappointed" with the amount of French used during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games' opening ceremony.

Moore, whose department pitched in $20-million to help pay for the elaborate opening ceremony Friday night, told CBC on Sunday that the spectacle should have been "a better representation of our bicultural past and the reality today."

"They were beautiful, they were spectacular on television, but there should have been more French," said Mr. Moore, who represents the Vancouver Island riding of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam. "I was disappointed there wasn't as much French as we were expecting, as we were told that there was going to be."

The opening ceremony was watched by a record-setting TV audience in Canada, as 13.3 million viewers watched the entire 3 1/2-hour ceremony.

Like Canada, the International Olympic Committee, has two official languages: English and French.

And there certainly was some French during the ceremony.

VANOC chairman John Furlong delivered parts of his speech in French, Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean officially declared the Games open in French first and then in English, while speed-skating referee Michel Verreault took the Officials' Olympic Oath in French.

"We've made it clear from beginning to end our expectations that these Games be entirely bilingual, and be respectful of both of Canada's official languages," Mr. Moore said.

Among the French cultural elements of the opening ceremony was a performance from Garou, a hugely popular singer in Quebec, and a dramatic interpretation of the Chasse-galerie, an old Quebecois tale about a group of voyageurs who make a deal with the devil.

John Furlong
BC SPORTS HALL OF FAME


Highlights
Even before taking a leading role in bringing the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Vancouver and Whistler, John Furlong had a long track record of administrative sports success.
He served for four years as President of the Northern BC Winter Games Society, three years on the BC Games Society Board and ten years as a member of the Canadian Olympic Association Board. The Richmond resident was also a past chair of Sport BC, chair of the BC Summer and Winter Games and was a BC Mission Staff member for seven Canada Games. In 2001 John took a leave from his position as CEO of the 7000-member Arbutus Club to become the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation. As an integral part of the management team, Furlong oversaw the day-to-day operations of the bid and the production of the plan that convinced IOC members to award the Games to Vancouver–Whistler in Prague in July 2003. Mr. Furlong is now the CEO,Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and will lead the Organizing Committee to produce an amazing event that all Canadians will be proud of.

Politically Unique Couples in Japan

Mizuho Fukushima and Yuichi Kaido

Mizuho Fukushima, born 24 December 1955, is a Japanese politician. She is the current chair of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, a position she has held since 2003. Fukushima is also Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety, Social Affairs, and Gender Equality in Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's cabinet (since 16 September 2009); the SDP is the junior partner in the DPJ-led government coalition.

Fukushima was a regular commentator on the popular weekly Japanese TV-show Koko ga hen da yo, nihonjin, in which prominent Japanese personalities would discuss aspects of Japanese society and culture with foreigners living in Japan.

Yuichi Kaido is a lawyer and mostly an anti-government activist. He is a lawyer for Greenpeace Japan. Both Mizuho Fukushima and Yuichi Kaido were reported to have deep relations with Japanese communist militant groups.

They keep different surnames. Kaido is said to have been the president of Greenpeace Japan. Today, he is the secretary general of Japan Federation of Bar Associations. It is strange that the anti-government activist becomes the key person of a government sponsored organization. The FBI watches the activities of the Greenpeace.

I hate to criticize a person, but I believe that both of them are hypocrites.

Tokiko Kato and Toshio Fujimoto
(Japan Times Aug. 8, 2002)

Tokiko Kato has been popular in Japan for decades as a singer and songwriter who is passionate about people and the planet. Two years ago, when the Environment Ministry asked her to act as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Environment Program it was a natural fit. Since then she has established herself as a tireless ambassador, bringing her message of environmental conservation and traditional values to Japan and much of Asia.

(ideaTunes)

At first, Shizen Okoku hosted by Kato’s hasband, Toshio Fujimoto. He was a student activist. She was a student of Tokyo Univ. and he was a student of Doshisha Univ.. The time had many campus disturbances. They fell in love, but he lives long time in prison. We heard that she wrote a lot of mail to Fujimoto in prison.
Tokiko Kato used to be a popular singer, while her husband, Toshio Fujimoto, was once a communist militant activist and was imprisoned.

Unfortunately, I have to say that both of them are also hypocrites.

EU close to Greece bail-out deal, officials say
BBC 13 March 2010


The EU is poised to reach agreement on a potential multi-billion euro bail-out for Greece after weeks of crisis, senior officials have told the BBC.

They say the rescue package would be available if Greece asked for assistance to finance its huge deficit.

Eurozone ministers are expected to finalise a proposal setting out a range of options as early as Monday.

Greece has not requested help so far. The EU says no deal has been agreed but technical work is continuing.

Greece is struggling to deal with a 300bn euro ($419bn; £259bn) debt. It needs to raise about 20bn euros ($27bn) on bond markets to refinance debt maturing in April and May.

Its deficit is more than four times higher than eurozone rules allow. Austerity measures aimed at reducing it have provoked public anger. The crisis has also undermined the euro.

The BBC's Gavin Hewitt in Brussels says the hope is that the proposed deal will be there as a last resort, and the funding will not actually be needed.

Germany and France would be the main backers, with no contribution from Britain and other non-euro countries, our correspondent adds.

European media reports say options being considered include the provision of loans to Greece and a bond issue guaranteed by eurozone countries.

Officials are quoted as saying that the aid could amount to 25bn euros.............

Olympic Hymn
Olympic Protocols


The Olympic Hymn is played at the raising of the Olympic Flag during the Opening and Closing Ceremony of each Olympic Games. It was written by Greek composer Spiros Samaras, with words from Greek national poet and writer Kostis Palamas. The hymn was first performed at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. After that, host cities chose to use other pieces of music for the Olympic Hymn until Prince Pierre of Monaco led an IOC competition to find a new official hymn in the 1950s. However, copyright difficulties with the winner led to demand for a new hymn. Ryotaro Azuma, an IOC member in Japan, was given the score of the original work by Samaras. When it was played at the IOC session in Tokyo in 1958, the version proved so popular that it was adopted officially and now has the status of a national anthem for the Olympics.

Vancouver Olympics 2010 Logo
THE AMBASSADORS


Inukshuk, Pac-man, or Frankenstein?

In past years, mascots and logos of international sporting events have aroused both people's admiration and loathing. Similarly, a controversy is brewing over the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics logo.

Named Ilanaaq, the logo was designed by the graphic artist Elena Rivera MacGregor. It immediately raised unfriendly criticism by some British Columbian Native leaders. A panel of nine international judges chose it from more than 1,600 submissions. The panel of judges liked the design's simplicity and its message that reminds the world of a country that acknowledges multiculturalism and diversity.

Ilanaaq is meant to represent a type of Inukshuk, which is a symbol deeply rooted in Inuit culture and is a marker that signifies safety, hope and friendship. Elena MacGregor's design is a pile of colored rocks signifying the logo. The green head, bulky blue body, and thick legs has promoted intense emotional reactions. The logo features five stone-like formations: two thick red and yellow pillars as legs, a wide blue body, horizontal shape resembling arms, and a rectangular green head.

The design has prompted intense emotional reactions in most Canadian newspapers and some international media sources as well, due to differing interpretations of what the mascot actually resembles.

Some leading experts in Inuit stone configurations said that "the emblem is most definitely is not an inukshuk." One of Canada's leading experts on Inuit stone configurations, Norman Hallendy, said the emblem is most definitely not an Inukshuk, since Inukshuk is a collection of stones assembled by northern Inuit to serve as navigational beacons, and can take many shapes. Similar stone figures that resemble humans are called, Innunguaq.

West coast Natives are outraged at the nod to Inuit culture with unfriendly comments about Ilanaaq, whose name means friend in Inuktitut. The stalky figure is an Inukshuk, an Inuit symbol used for centuries to point traveling Inuit to safety. In Native history, the Inukshuk were built by the Inuit on top of a hill, overlooking Kuujjuaq, Quebec.

President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Stewart Philip said that the logo had a remarkable resemblance to Pac-man. Toronto art director, Ken Rodmell, mentioned that "it doesn't look like a smile. It is menacing, like he is some slightly crazed giant, or a monster from a horror movie. It has no neck. The head is square. It is flat on top. This is Frankenstein. As well, I don't think it looks very comfortable in color." A caller to a Vancouver radio show said Ilanaak resembled the toy figurine Gumby, only with a rocket launcher.

Yushima Seido Shrine
NileGuide


Shogun Tsunayoshi, a strong advocate of Confucius, established this major Confucian shrine in 1632. A forerunner to Tokyo University during the Edo Period (pre-1868 Tokyo), the buildings were a government sponsored school for training bureaucrats. Formerly located in Ueno Park, the shrine was relocated to Yushima in 1691. The main hall dates to 1935 and was designed by prominent architect Chuta Ota. The hall, which houses a 17th century image of Confucius, is open on Sundays, but the courtyard can be seen any day.

"The Pioneer Days of Yushima Temple" Opening Ceremony
University of Tsukuba (2007.10.06)


On October 6th‚ 2007‚ the opening ceremony for "The Pioneer Days of Yushima Temple - Restoring the Edo 'Learning' Space‚" which was organized by University of Tsukuba and Shibun-kai‚ was held at the Yushima Temple Taiseiden.

Yushima Temple and Shoheizaka Gakumonjo were the center of shogunate teaching during the Edo Period. In the present day‚ it has served as inspiration for the University of Tokyo‚ the Ministry of Education‚ Japan's first exposition‚ the University of Tsukuba‚ the National Museum‚ and contemporary education.

The University of Tsukuba was first a normal school and later the Tokyo Higher Normal School‚ and in its library holds historical resources of art and writings regarding Yushima Temple. For this reason‚ Professor Masahiko Moriya‚ Professor Yoshiki Shibata‚ Professor Shirou Fujita‚ Professor Toshiaki Hodozuka‚ and Associate Professor Hiroshi Kimura‚ all from the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences‚ Art and Design‚ planned a project to recreate the pioneer days of Yushima Temple‚ its praying figure‚ and the wall paintings. These have been undertaken and the resulting exhibition is now open to the public.

The restoration of Confucius and his four pupils and 16 wall paintings as well as the University of Tsukuba's collection of 'Rekisei Taijuzou' by Sansetsu Kano (6 pieces) are on exhibit. They have recreated the learning space of that time.

The opening ceremony started off with speeches by President Yoichi Iwasaki of our university and Chairperson Tadahisa Ishikawa from Shibun-kai. This was followed by a speech by Mr. Tsunenari Tokugawa (President of the Tokugawa Memorial Foundation and the 18th Head of the Tokugawa Shogunal Household) and then a ribbon-cutting and unveiling ceremony by staff associated with the restoration of paintings and figures. In addition‚ there was a colorful performance by students of "Mugenjuku"‚ a Tsugaru-shamisen club at the University of Tsukuba.

The exhibition will continue until Sunday‚ November 25th‚ 2007‚ and it is open from 10:00 to 16:30 daily (except Mondays).

Yushima Temple is a 3-minute walk from JR Ochanomizu Station as well as from Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Ochanomizu Station.

Yushima Seido
Tokyo Tourist Guide


In 1790 the Kansei Edict was implemented, which made the Neo-Confucianism the only philosophy in Japan, in fact banning all others forms of Confucianism. The Shogunate took control of the Hayashi School in 1797 and made it a state-run school where the bureaucrats of the Shogunate could be trained. The name of the school was changed into Shoheizaka Gakumonsho or Shoheiko. Shohei (昌平/Chang-ping in Chinese) was the birthplace of Confucius.

Central Tibetan Administration
The official website of the Central Tibetan Administration


In 1949 the People’s Liberation Army of China marched into Tibet’s eastern provinces of Kham and Amdo, seizing control over the eastern Tibetan headquarters of Chamdo in the following year. Then in 1951, the so-called “17-Point Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” was forced upon the Tibetan government and people. In the succeeding years, the Chinese army advanced further west and eventually crushed the Tibetan national uprising of Lhasa in 1959. This led to the flight of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and some 80,000 Tibetans who sought refuge in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The influx of refugees continues even today. Currently, the Tibetan exile population is over 140,000, of which about 100,000 are based in India.

On 29 April 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie. Named the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this is the continuation of the government of independent Tibet. In May 1960, the CTA was moved to Dharamsala.

The Tibetan people, both in and outside Tibet, look to the CTA as their sole and legitimate representative. This and the administration’s commitment to truth, non-violence and genuine democracy as its inviolable principles mean that it is now being recognised increasingly by parliaments and general public round the world as the legitimate and true representative of the Tibetan people.

Right from its inception, the CTA has set itself the twin task of rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and restoring freedom and happiness in Tibet. The rehabilitation agenda includes three important programmes: a) promoting education among the exile population; b) building a firm culture of democracy; and c) paving the way for self-reliance so that the Tibetan people are able to survive with the self-esteem and confidence that flows from not having to depend on external assistance.

The CTA’s experiment with modern democracy, in particular, is a preparation for the reconstruction of Tibet when freedom is restored there. As part of this exercise, a parliament, then named the Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies, was instituted on 2 September 1960. The parliament gradually matured into a full-fledged legislative body, thus coming to be known as the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD). Then in 2006, its name was changed to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE).

In 1990 His Holiness the Dalai Lama announced further democratisation, by which the composition of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile was increased to 46 members. The parliament was empowered to elect the members of the Kashag or the Council of Ministers, which was made answerable to the people’s elected representatives. Similarly, the Tibetan judiciary, known as the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, was instituted in 1992 under the provisions of the Arbitration Act of the government of India.

The newly empowered Tibetan parliament issued the exile Tibetan constitution under the title of The Charter of the Tibetans in Exile.

In 2001 the Tibetan parliament, on the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, amended the Charter to provide for direct election of the Kalon Tripa (the highest executive authority) by the exile populace. The Kalon Tripa, in turn, nominates the other Kalons (cabinet members), and seeks the parliament’s approval for their appointment. The first directly-elected Kalon Tripa — Professor Samdhong Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin — took the oath of office on 5 September 2001. He was elected to the post of Kalon Tripa for the second time in August 2006.

Today, the CTA has all the departments and attributes of a free democratic administration. It must be noted, though, that the CTA is not designed to take power in Tibet. In his manifesto for future Tibet, entitled the Guidelines for Future Tibet’s Polity and Basic Features of its Constitution, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated that the present exile administration would be dissolved as soon as freedom is restored in Tibet. The Tibetans currently residing in Tibet, he said, would head the government of free Tibet, not by the members of the exile administration. He said that there would be a transitional government in Tibet which would be headed by an Interim-President, elected or appointed by him. To this Interim-President His Holiness would transfer all his temporal power. The Interim-President, in his turn, would be required to hold a general election within two years and then hand over the power to the popularly-elected government.

Hanging spotlights Japan's system
Child killer's execution also shows approach different from U.S.
Chron.com December 19, 2004


Mamoru Takuma's wife had heard executions happened only when parliament was in recess, and rumor had it the justice minister was planning to resign in the next week or two, another bad sign.

But the voice on the intercom caught her off guard.

She had been doing some midmorning research on the Internet for a lawsuit her husband was working on.

The prison official was businesslike, even curt.

"Your husband died well," he said.

"As soon as he opened his mouth, I fell to the ground and covered my ears," she said.

On June 8, 2001, Mamoru Takuma burst into an elementary school on the outskirts of Osaka and began slashing the terrified children around him. Eight died. Takuma had no particular connection to his victims. He simply wanted to die, and to take others with him. He saw killing children as the best means to that end — knowing that a crime so heinous would ensure he was hanged.

Takuma made no appeal, offered no apologies and demanded he be put to death immediately.

His attitude pushed both advocates and opponents of capital punishment into a corner. Supporters feared the more he demanded death, the more the government would appear to be merely acting as his tool. Opponents found it hard to rally behind such an unrepentant man who had nothing but contempt for their cause.

So, with record speed, Japan's most notorious killer got his wish to be hanged.

He was pronounced dead on Sept. 14 at 8:16 a.m., in Osaka Prison where he was being held, about 1 1/2 hours before the prison official arrived at his widow's apartment.

Japan and the United States are the only advanced industrialized countries that retain the death penalty.

In Japan, with much less violent crime, death is a rare sentence.

There are currently 62 condemned prisoners here, and only two have been executed this year. In the United States, 3,374 prisoners were on death row as of the end of last year and 65 were executed.

What also separates the two is the thick wall of secrecy hiding the Japanese system.

Death row inmates are carefully isolated from the general prison population. To avoid political debate, executions are not carried out when parliament is in session.

By the time executions are carried out, the prisoners usually have little or no connection to the outside world. Often, their crimes are likely to have been forgotten.

Opponents of the death penalty in Japan claim the capital punishment system is rife with human rights violations.

"The protection of human rights in Japanese prisons in general has deteriorated severely," said opposition party member Nobuto Hosaka.

I have been accusing the CIA of havinf been secret collaborators of the Japanese government.

Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by C.I.A.
NYTimes.com October 27, 2009


Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.

The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home.

The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.

The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America’s increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.

More broadly, some American officials argue that the reliance on Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful figure in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw.

“If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves,” said Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the senior American military intelligence official in Afghanistan.

Ahmed Wali Karzai said in an interview that he cooperated with American civilian and military officials, but did not engage in the drug trade and did not receive payments from the C.I.A.

The relationship between Mr. Karzai and the C.I.A. is wide ranging, several American officials said. He helps the C.I.A. operate a paramilitary group, the Kandahar Strike Force, that is used for raids against suspected insurgents and terrorists. On at least one occasion, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government, the officials said.

Mr. Karzai is also paid for allowing the C.I.A. and American Special Operations troops to rent a large compound outside the city — the former home of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s founder. The same compound is also the base of the Kandahar Strike Force. “He’s our landlord,” a senior American official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Karzai also helps the C.I.A. communicate with and sometimes meet with Afghans loyal to the Taliban. Mr. Karzai’s role as a go-between between the Americans and the Taliban is now regarded as valuable by those who support working with Mr. Karzai, as the Obama administration is placing a greater focus on encouraging Taliban leaders to change sides.

A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article.

“No intelligence organization worth the name would ever entertain these kind of allegations,” said Paul Gimigliano, the spokesman.

Some American officials said that the allegations of Mr. Karzai’s role in the drug trade were not conclusive.

“There’s no proof of Ahmed Wali Karzai’s involvement in drug trafficking, certainly nothing that would stand up in court,” said one American official familiar with the intelligence. “And you can’t ignore what the Afghan government has done for American counterterrorism efforts.”

At the start of the Afghan war, just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, American officials paid warlords with questionable backgrounds to help topple the Taliban and maintain order with relatively few American troops committed to fight in the country. But as the Taliban has become resurgent and the war has intensified, Americans have increasingly viewed a strong and credible central government as crucial to turning back the Taliban’s advances.

Now, with more American lives on the line, the relationship with Mr. Karzai is setting off anger and frustration among American military officers and other officials in the Obama administration. They say that Mr. Karzai’s suspected role in the drug trade, as well as what they describe as the mafialike way that he lords over southern Afghanistan, makes him a malevolent force.

These military and political officials say the evidence, though largely circumstantial, suggests strongly that Mr. Karzai has enriched himself by helping the illegal trade in poppy and opium to flourish. The assessment of these military and senior officials in the Obama administration dovetails with that of senior officials in the Bush administration.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money are flowing through the southern region, and nothing happens in southern Afghanistan without the regional leadership knowing about it,” a senior American military officer in Kabul said. Like most of the officials in this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the information.

Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'
BBC NEWS 27 September, 2002


The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe. A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.

Researchers predict the last truly natural blonde will be born in Finland - the country with the highest proportion of blondes.

But they say too few people now carry the gene for blondes to last beyond the next two centuries. The problem is that blonde hair is caused by a recessive gene.

In order for a child to have blonde hair, it must have the gene on both sides of the family in the grandparents' generation.

Dyed rivals

The researchers also believe that so-called bottle blondes may be to blame for the demise of their natural rivals.

They suggest that dyed-blondes are more attractive to men who choose them as partners over true blondes.

But Jonathan Rees, professor of dermatology at the University of Edinburgh said it was unlikely blondes would die out completely.

"Genes don't die out unless there is a disadvantage of having that gene or by chance. They don't disappear," he told BBC News Online.

"The only reason blondes would disappear is if having the gene was a disadvantage and I do not think that is the case.

"The frequency of blondes may drop but they won't disappear."

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