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The World This Week - 18 April 2014

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Latest update : 2012-02-06

Tibet rocked by wave of self-immolation

Tibetan monks resorting to self-immolation to protest Chinese rule. Is Syria on the brink of civil war? The web reacts. And an American blog for victims of sexual abuse.

Tibet rocked by wave of self-immolation

London based organization "Free Tibet" has reported that three Tibetans set fire to themselves in China’s Sichuan province on Friday, in support of a Free Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. If the reports are confirmed this will mean that 19 Tibetans have died through self-immolation in less than a year. Activists like Buddhist nun Palden Choetso, who back in November, gave her life in the name of religious freedom.

Tensions have been high across the region for several months now. As we can see in these pictures which have been posted on the Internet by “Radio Free Asia”, there have been growing protests against Beijing’s rule of Tibet.

The movement has been violently repressed by Chinese security forces, deployed en masse to hotbeds of opposition to central government control. These photos were recently uploaded by global network “Students for a Free Tibet” they bear witness to the brutal crackdown which has claimed the life of at least one protester.

According to state run daily “The Global Times” the government has cut off Internet access and mobile phone networks, saying foreign based separatists are trying to stir up trouble in the region. A number of Tibetan language websites and blogging platforms have also been shut down in recent days.

But despite all this poet and essayist Tsering Woeser who writes her blog in Chinese is continuing to cover events at the scene. She’s urging Chinese intellectuals and the international community to take action and openly condemn the violence. She does not think Tibet has seen such a level of violence since the anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa in 2008.

 

Is Syria on the brink of civil war?

Is Syria on the brink of civil war? The bloody crackdown continues across the country and forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad and the Free Syrian Army are now engulfed in heavy weapon battle in various rebel strongholds across the country. Reports of the extremely tense climate are being relayed online.

A lot of amateur video footage has been posted on opposition sites in recent days. Although the images are difficult to verify, it would appear they were filmed in Homs last week as rebels fired at loyalist soldiers in the street. According to opposition sources, the extremely violent clashes resulted in the army abandoning a tank in one of the city’s main roads.

And it would appear the number of rebels prepared to fight the regime, with weapons, is growing by the day. Well, this is what this video suggests; we see a hundred or so armed men who have apparently joined the Free Syrian Army to form a new battle battalion. Other amateur documents like these ones are thought to show soldiers from the regular army who have defected to the opposition with their armored vehicle, given a hero’s welcome by regime opponents.

Leaders of the Free Syrian Army have been relaying this message on opposition websites which suggests the chaotic situation looks set to continue and could even get worse. It features two men saying al-Assad is a national traitor and not a leader. They warn the fighting will continue until the President is no longer in power.


Find out if you are the secret love of your secret love

“Find out if you are the secret love of your secret love…” Huntcha is not an online dating site; it’s a social network for people who do not dare to profess their secret love for someone. The site uses people’s Facebook accounts, and once signed up to Huntcha, members can tell one of their contacts how they secretly feel. If the feelings are mutual then Huntcha will put them in contact with each other, if this is not the case then nothing happens and the declaration remains secret and anonymous. Ever since the application was launched in Chili it has proved highly popular, and has already brought together 1500 couples.


Project Unbreakable gives sexual abuse victims a voice

19 year old New Yorker Grace Brown set up the blog « Project Unbreakable » to help victims of rape and sexual abuse. She asks them to write quotes from their attacker on a poster and then photographs them holding that poster. Ever since the blog was set up in October, people have been coming forward sharing their stories and breaking the silence.


Video of the day

Wakeboarding through the icebergs of Alaska, using floating blocks of ice to carry out spectacular moves… Andy Hurdman, an American extreme sports enthusiast came up with this somewhat crazy idea and gives an astonishing wakeboard display in magnificent surroundings in this video which is available to view on sharing sites…

By Electron Libre

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