In today's edition: Victims of clashes between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels bear testimony online and, a year on the Sichuan earthquake in China, the Web rallies for the region’s reconstruction.
SRI LANKA WAR
In Sri Lanka, over 1,000 civilians - including around 100 children - were killed during a bombing raid of the last Tamil separatist stronghold, as the following online accounts testify.
Broadcast on the Web by pro-Tamil sites, many videos like these have recently appeared. They show the fate of civilians, held captive in combat zones, amid the escalating conflict.
Tamil net users are accusing the Sri Lankan army of provoking the carnage by using heavy weapons in a supposedly safe zone.
The army denies these claims. It has published this video on its site, showing civilians fleeing the enclave where the rebels have been cornered. This refugee says his family was killed by the Tamil Tigers.
Faced with the government’s refusal to accept the ceasefire, Indian Tamils have mobilised to stop the humanitarian crisis from worsening. This video shows them attacking a convoy transporting weapons to Sri Lanka.
SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE: ONE YEAR AFTER
A year after the Sichuan earthquake in southwest China, the reconstruction of this devastated region is mobilising the Web.
Many bloggers have gone to the area and have published their testimonies online. Some describe abandoned ghost towns, yet others depict a region where fresh signs of life are starting to appear.
These net users have recorded a song to express solidarity with the inhabitants of the area. This music video has been widely broadcast in the blogosphere.
NGOs are also poised for action. In this video broadcast online, the ‘World Visions’ organisation presents its projects for Sichuan, including the reconstruction of a school.
Despite these efforts, some denounce the quality of materials used to rebuild houses. This net user has published photos of his future home, highlighting the fact that the cement has been replaced by earth.
PETITION AGAINST GORDON BROWN
The UK government has recently made available a tool for online petitions. Every citizen can thus make a complaint or sign one of the existing petitions. Once 500 names are received, the government undertakes to answer. But the most popular petition, with over 53,000 signatures, actually requests the resignation of Gordon Brown. The author has even created a Google group to attract two million signatures over the coming six months.
This video, showing a traffic policeman at a Beijing junction, is going around the Chinese web. He Changqing (pronounced "Heu Changching") is filmed dancing the chacha amongst the cars. He says he wanted to create a new method for guiding the traffic.
Date created : 2009-05-12