In this edition: the Web reacts to the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka; the European Parliament uses the Internet to get people to vote on June 7 and an elephant gives birth live on a webcam.
SRI LANKA: END OF THE WAR?
'Let’s congratulate our heroes!' This is one of the first messages visible on the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence site. A link lets net users send message to soldiers who fought against the Tamil Tiger rebels.
The Tigers have recognised defeat after more than 25 years of civil war. Victory messages are flooding into official sites. This map shows that the Sri Lankan armies now control all the territory.
This video posted online on the army's site shows weapons seized in Tamil areas. We also see the testimony of a child soldier enlisted by the rebels, who gave himself in.
The victory is also celebrated on Youtube by net users, where videos dedicated to soldiers are widely broadcast. This song praises their struggle against terrorism.
But it was the announcement of the death of the Tamil Tigers’ supreme leader on Monday that electrified the Web. In this animation, Vellupillai Prabhakaran is attacked with bombs.
However the optimism is not unanimous. Some express fear. This Canadian blogger stresses that the end of the war does not mean the end to problems, as the conflict has left the country divided.
Vdeos of the many protests organised particularly in the US and Canada are broadcast on share sites. The aim is to denounce a conflict compared to genocide.
The EU hymn, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, is sung softly by citizens of the different member states. This is one of the many online initiatives by the European Parliament to encourage voters to take part in the poll set to take place from June 4-7.
The Parliament has opted for humour for its online campaign. Several wacky videos are circulating on share sites. Here, participants of a bike race stop in the middle of proceedings to go and vote.
In this ad, a young woman from a horror film goes to the polls before fleeing, pursued by an armed man, who also takes the time to vote.
Here the EU insists on the fact that everyone has time to vote - even bank robbers.
Finally, some videos like this one are aimed directly at young people, who often have little involvement in European votes. The aim is to make them aware that the future of Europe is in their hands and to avoid record abstention levels.
JAPAN VS GOOGLE STREET VIEW
The Japanese authorities have asked Google Street View, the web service showing city streets in 3D, to retake all the country’s photos. Many Japanese people have complained of overly intimate pictures taken in residential areas. The service has also just been banned in Greece. According to the authorities in charge of protecting personal data, Google has not supplied sufficient guarantees concerning image rights & privacy protection.
This weekend, Antwerp zoo in Belgium broadcast an elephant named Phyo Phyo giving birth, live on the net. The animal gave birth to a bouncing baby weighing in at 100 kg. The birth of a calf is a first for the zoo and it has created a site and blog dedicated to the happy event. On bebe-elephant.be, net users were able to keep track of the pregnancy and see Phyo Phyo’s labour live. The zoo is also inviting net users to come up with a name for the newborn. The only restrictions are that it must be of Asian origin and start with the letter K.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
A belly dance like you have never seen before... In this video, a man with the body of a woman painted on his face dances by wiggling his facial muscles. An impressive demonstration.
Date created : 2009-05-19