Daily Archives: July 11, 2006
Reporters Without Borders voiced “immense relief” at the news of the release today of blogger and documentary filmmaker Hao Wu after nearly five months in detention. His release was announced on her blog by his sister, Na Wu.
“Let us not forget, however, that Hao was kidnapped by the Chinese security services, which violated his most basic rights by claiming that his case was a matter of national security,” the press freedom organisation said.
“At the same time, 50 other people are currently in prison in China for writing about ‘subversive’ subjects online,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “China is by far the world’s biggest prison for bloggers and cyber-dissidents. We would also like to pay tribute to the courage of this blogger’s sister, who battled relentlessly for his release.”
Hao was arrested on 22 February while preparing a report about an underground Protestant church. He was held in isolation for 140 days, during which he was never allowed to receive the help of a lawyer. The Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) never revealed the reasons for his arrest. He was said to be “under house arrest” but he was never allowed to receive a visit from his relatives or to telephone them. The PSB said this was necessary because there had been a “breach of national security.”
Reporters Without Borders wrote to Chinese President Hu Jintao in March asking him to intercede on Hao’s behalf. The organisation also addressed requests for help to the European Union, including a 10 July letter to European Parliament president Josep Borrell asking him to raise the cases of Hao and two other imprisoned cyber-dissidents during his 8-14 July visit to China. This request was made just four days after the European Parliament adopted a resolution about online free expression that mentioned Hao.
Hao had a blog called Beijing or Bust in which he wrote under the pseudonym of Beijing Loafer. His sister, Na, kept a blog all the time he was detained in which she reported on her fight to have him freed.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary V. Narayanasamy has urged the Indian government to impose a ban on political parties and groups supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The AICC is the central decision making assembly of the Congress, the leading party of the ruling alliance.
Quoting defence sources, the Indian media said that with intelligence reports indicating a heightened threat to regional security due to LTTE activities, pressure is mounting in India to ban the pro-LTTE groups and political parties operating in their territory.
"The LTTE, which assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, should never be forgiven and its Leader V. Prabhakaran, the prime accused, must be punished as per law," Narayanasamy has said. India has clearly stated its view to eliminate the terror menace from the South Asian region.
According to Intelligence sources, the LTTE is connected with training Islamic terrorists especially suicide bombers, in exchange for weapons and drugs. The use of human bombs by the LTTE terrorists has inspired terrorists all over the globe.
Intelligence reports have also confirmed LTTE’s connectivity to Islamic terrorists, especially al-Qaeda agents, the sources said.
Addressing a press conference in Pondicherry, Narayanasamy said though the LTTE was banned in India and some other countries, certain movements under the cover of "Eelam Tamils Protection groups" were supporting the cause of the LTTE. He has pointed out ‘that these groups should be severely dealt with.’
Department of Government Information
COLOMBO: The 15-member multi ethnic Advisory Board, a body of legal and constitutional experts tasked with facilitating a power sharing plan will meet today under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s chairmanship following Government efforts to explore a home grown solution to the ethnic crisis. The Advisory Body initially designed to accommodate 12 members was later expanded to 15 to make room for more Tamil and Muslim representation, Government sources said. According to Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella the advisors are expected to study all devolution modules that are in currency today including that of neighbouring India, but ultimately crafting of a power sharing plan would be done on the basis of meeting the aspirations and the needs of the different communities.
He said the Advisory Board comprises of representatives from political parties represented at the All Party Conference (APC) sans the main opposition United National Party and will be headed by President’s Counsel and Constitutional lawyer H.L. de Silva.
Commenting on the boycott, UNP Deputy General Secretary Tissa Attanayake raised party concerns over increasing human rights violations in the North-East and elsewhere and said they have serious doubts with the Government’s sincerity to find a lasting political solution to the national question.
Attanayake said: "We have written to the Peace Secretariat on our stance" adding that the Government has still failed to put forward any concrete proposals on devolution despite several sittings of the APC.
He assured that the UNP would not try to sabotage any efforts to solve the national crisis and said it will continue to be present at the APC. "We have not yet decided to withdraw from the APC," he said adding that party’s Political Affairs Committee scheduled to meet today will make a decision on this issue.
Meanwhile, Tamil National Alliance sources said they were not invited to the Advisory Board.
-Department of Government Information
The legal advisor to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the the terrorist outfit’s New York activist VishvanAdan Rudrakumar said that partial blame for the impasse in Sri Lanka’s peace process rests with the international community.
Accusing the international community for imposing limitations the banned terrorist group representative said, "The most damaging aspect of the international community’s action was its insistence that a solution should be found within a unified Sri Lanka."
Such a position is not only contrary to the law of self-determination, which states that self-determination can be exercised intra alia through the establishment of an independent state. It is also contrary to the current international practice with respect to national conflicts in other parts of the world, he said.
Demanding a South Sudanese like solution for Sri Lanka the banned terrorist outfit representative said, ".The Machakos Protocol, signed with the facilitation of the US, the UK, Norway, and Italy, recognized the South Sudanese people’s right to form an independent state. The Protocol provides for a referendum in South Sudan after six years on the question of remaining within the state of Sudan or forming a separate state."
Recently, Sri Lankan intellectuals warned that some foreign interests, which they did not name, were conspiring to divide Sudan to rob its oil wealth and such moves would be attempted in Sri Lanka with the help of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Colombo based LTTE media sympathizers to snatch our oil deposits.
They warned that although the Colombo based "news first", organizations and the LTTE would be used as pawns in this dastardly act ultimately they would be discarded. The intellectuals accused that Norway, Sri Lanka’s so called peace negotiator was at the bottom of this Sudanese division as well as the separatist conspiracy against Sri Lanka. Ultimately many would be planning to turn over this Island nation to a hunger stricken, Sudanese portrait. A nation with a valuable heritage would be deprived of its legacy.
(By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles)
By Easwaran Rutnam
The name CHE’NELLE may not ring a bell but her pulsating voice on her Australian single ‘I fell in love with a DJ’ most certainly will because the track is hugely popular over Sri Lankan radio stations and night clubs.
A hit in several other countries including London and her hometown Australia ‘I fell in love with a DJ’ recently saw the Malaysian born rhythmic singer/songwriter CHENELLE receiving a major boost when top label Virgin records in the US signed her up for a 6 album deal.
With ‘I fell in love with a DJ’ set to be re-launched under Virgin in the US later this year and her debut album for the record label scheduled to come out early next year CHENELLE is all geared up to hit the US and indeed world music arena with a bang.
Taking time off from her busy recording schedule in New York CHENELLE, real name Chryline Lim, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Mirror Life speaks about her successful track ‘I fell in love with a DJ’, her upcoming Virgin album and her future plans.
Who is CHE’NELLE? Has the change from a small town Asian girl in Malaysia to a singer/songwriter in Australia and now part of Virgin, a major record label in America, affected you in any way?
I’m really a very, very simple girl. My Dad’s Chinese and my Mom’s Indian. My parents are the traditional Asian parents so there were things I could and could not do culture wise. In Malaysia you’re so timid and reserved. In Asia, especially for females you don’t say what’s on your mind. But coming over to Australia I was open to a different side of things (culture). Growing up my mentality changed from being a Malaysian. Moving from Malaysia to Australia and now New York I’ve grown into a person who is more open minded, not afraid to say what’s on my mind and how I like to do things. I have a lot of support especially from my immediate family and I’m so blessed to have such a great family.
How did your music grow in Australia before you were discovered by Virgin records in the US?
I started producing and song writing after I finished high school. I hooked up with two producers. One producer whose name is B-side was very inspirational and while in University I took a contemporary course where you had to write and produce your own songs. I remember when I first started I was like I don’t wanna write, I don’t know how to write songs or produce. It took me about a year. I was at uni and was producing with B-side and it all grew on me. I got an old run down computer, did it up, got a burnt copy of logic and grew my sound at home. After about three or four years I went solo because my producer had to leave. It was then that I really got into using the programmes, producing my own vocals, cutting and editing and stuff. That led me to where I am now finding my own sound and stuff. It made me who I am.
About a year ago I decided I needed to get my networking a little bit better so my ex-manager put up a page for me on the Internet, the song ‘I fell in love with a DJ’ was posted and at that time I was performing a lot in Perth and doing a lot of Radio interviews as well.
Little did I know this song would go as far as Sri Lanka and a few other countries as well.
Was there something behind the title and lyrics of ‘I fell in Love with a DJ’? Did you actually fall in Love with a DJ?
(laughs) Well I didn’t fall in love with a DJ but there is definitely a story behind it. I take stories that I get inspired by and I elaborate on them. The story that I wrote was very dramatised and very elaborated. The song is definitely inspired by part of a true story but I’m not gonna get into that now.
When Sir Charles Dixon from Virgin records telephoned were you taken by complete surprise and were you scared to take that major step forward which will virtually change your life?
When Charles Dixon emailed me I was like oh I dono. I mean come on its the Internet and I was brought up not to easily trust people. So the first email I neglected but he sent me another email saying he wanted to really promote my music. He said he had promoted people like Lil John so I was like ok I’ll give this guy a shot. I gave him a call. He said he wanted a demo and for the next seven to eight months he would call me every day. After that he actually flew to Perth. He took a lot of footage of me and went back to the New York. In about a week I get a call at about 3am and he is in the Virgin office with the CEO. Charles goes they like me and wanna bring me over. Just imagine I’m like half dead from sleep so I say that’s good, talk to you guys later. At first I thought they just wanted to meet me. Then they go they wana fly me over, want my single to come out, this and that and it hits me they are really serious. In a week I was over there and on the first day I just met the people there and the second day I was in the lawyers office going through the contract. They had prepared the contract even before I got there. They heard only one song of mine ‘I fell in love with a DJ’ which was good enough for them to sign me up.
What is the title of your upcoming debut album under the Virgin label and what sort of music should we expect?
Well before that we hope to release a buzz track for the label called ‘Summer Jam’ and then three singles one of which will be ‘I fell in love with a DJ.’ The name of the album (out sometime early next year) is called ‘Things happen for a reason.’ Everything that has happened in my life has happened for a reason. Both negative and positive. I feel God has made a pathway for me and I just have to trust in Him. All the little things which happened to me be it good or bad it happened for a reason. Its all leading me to one direction and leading me to the artiste I wana become.
Most of the songs on the album are something I have experienced. The way I write my songs are either I have gone through it or experienced it. My first album will contain a lota Chenelle sounds with songs written and sung by me to promote my identity.
Is there one track from the album which has a deep connection with you?
Yeah. There is a song that I wrote titled ‘Certain things.’ Basically I think a lot of people can relate to the song because many relationships that didn’t work out is based upon certain things you cannot change in a person. You might love the person no matter what but sometimes there are things you cannot change about that person so that’s why a lot of people move on. So that is one of the songs which is very meaningful to me.
You’ve signed a 6 album deal with Virgin. But do you fear fading away like some artistes who come out with a bang but after a few years they lose popularity are never heard of?
Madonna, every album she has come out with she had basically re-emerged herself. Every single album she has come out with she has been banging. That is somebody I look upto and I hope my albums come out that way. Even Destinys Child, they have maintained themselves.
All I can do is be positive. There is no point in being negative. You just gota really believe in yourself and never give up in what you do. I think you can never go wrong that way.
Do you plan on taking your music back to your roots?
Oh yes. Not just Australia. I wana take it back to South east Asia and the world. I just don’t wana be this American artiste coz that wouldn’t make sense. As an Asian Australian I could be an inspiration to other Asian musicians so I want to take my music all over.
So look out for the album.