The 57th Tibetan set himself on fire to fight for a free tibet that is less and less likely

Another Tibetan Monk set himself on fire on the morning of October 22 (China time). It is the second self-immolation of Tibetans in 48 hours, third in ten days and 57th since 2009, said Free Tibet. 

The sacrifices 

Dondup,self-immolation date October 22, 2012

Dondup,self-immolation date October 22, 2012

The 50-year-old monk named Dhondup finished his morning meditation as usual, walked to the side of the Serkhang temple (meaning golden house) in Xiahe County, and demolished in a golden blaze. His body was immediately seized by the police.

Xiahe, a county in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture(GTAP), Gansu province, China, has seen two such cases in the past 48 hours.  On Saturday, a 27-year-old Tibetan man named Lhamo Kyeb, a layman and father of two young children. Report described him as “running along the road in a ball of flames, calling for Dalai Lama  to come home”. His family managed to get hold of his remains., said a London-based rights group.

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Murder, sex, and lies, the biggest scandal in the history of Chinese communist party

On the 26th of September, the state news agency Xinhua, published an official account on the investigation on Bo XiLai, the ex-communist party leader of Chongqing (a Southern Chinese city with a population of more than 28 million). In the report, Bo is accused of “bribing”, “involvement” in the murderer of British Businessman Neil HeyWood and “sexual relationships with many woman”. In China, such a public allegation from the voice of the government, ensures Bo’s falling of grace.

A murder came into light

In November, 2011, Neil Heywood, an English businessman working in China, was found dead in his hotel room in Chongqing. Official report decided the cause of death to be  alcohol-induced heart-attack. His body was quickly and quietly cremated. Most Chinese people carried on their life without the knowledge of his existence, or demise.

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Hong Kong: Paradise Lost

I visited Hong Kong in 2011.  After forty minutes of entry formalities at customs, I stepped into Hong Kong, a land of ridiculous housing price, luxury hotels and restaurants, fast walking people, and a touch of freedom that as a Chinese, I have never dreamed of.

Hong Kong people burning Chinese national flag in a protest

As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is special in many ways: both pro-Mao and anti-Mao books sit shoulder by shoulder in the book store, newspaper headlines displayed flamboyantly radical political views, and radio broadcast spurns the government’s new policy.

In 2010, Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post published on its website an interview to the wife of Nobel winning dissident, Liu Xiaobo; in the same year, a Hong Kong publisher New Century Publishing Co. was brave enough to bring the Chinese edition of China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao to the readers. The book, written by an influential Chinese writer criticised Wen Jiabao, a popular leader of the communist party for being hypocritical and fraudulent.

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Pavlov Dog and Good Samaritans in China

In the late nineteenth century, Ivan Potrovitch Pavlov, a Russian Physiologist conducted an experiment in which a dog was fed when a bell was rung. After dozens of feeding along the ringing, the dog started to have heavy flows of saliva on hearing the bell, even when the food was not present. His famous finding was that the behaviors of animals can be established or altered using conditioned stimulus. An extended version of the experiment would be: if the bell comes with  assault rather than food, the dog will reasonably show fear and avoidance when the bell rings again.

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Animal Cruelty in China: Far from the End

Animal Ring Toss

 “Tao Huan” is a traditional Chinese version of Ring Toss Game in which the pegs are replaced by different objects ranging from toys to kitchenware. The players rent the rings and could take away whatever is looped. I had always reckoned it to be a benign entertainment until last week, when I saw a Ring Toss Game on the food street in Jiayuguan (a small city in northwestern China) being rendered into a tortuous circus show–encaged rabbits and parrots were shamelessly used by the owner as pegs, along with rubber toys and plastic plants. Behind them was a wall of balloon targets at which people shot plastic bullets and win money. The loud noise made by the gun and the blasting sound of balloons startled the parrots every time, making them flapping their wings in the tiny cages in vain, again and again. The rabbits in the cages could hardly move around–lying on their urine and a few pathetic straws of grass, they were frightened and piteous.

Animal Ring Toss in Northwestern China

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Chinese Counterfeit with Chinese Characteristics

Fake Apple Store, by URI FRIEDMAN

Last week I went to buy a new portable hard drive. In one electronic shop that had a one-bite-absent-apple sign at their front door, I saw a Samsung 320 G at 500 RMB. That is about 85USD, which sounded like a proper price because the same model was sold at 75 USD on amazom.com. Still I tried to bargain a bit.

My bartering effort humiliated the shop owner gravely. She mocked at my attempt to buy a real Samsung at a price lower than the procurement cost, but considering that I was an “old customer” (I have never been to that shop before), she made up her mind to a magnanimous bestowal of good buy on me and agreed to sell it to me at 450 RMB, with great pain.

After paying the money, half-jokingly I said: “I am going to check the series number and come back to you if it is a fake.”

Hearing this, her face suddenly became frozen. After a time of two seconds her pretentious smile faded into a deep frown of dislike and disgust. Throwing the money back at me she said: “of course it is not the original Samsung, buy an original Samsung at 450 yuan in your dream!”

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A Train Trip to the Past

Train K9663, From Pingliang to Lanzhou, Gansu Province

A ride on the train K9663 was like a trip to the china in the 90s—the greenish, pathetic thing had to spend eleven plus hours to accomplish a journey between Pingliang to Lanzhou that usually took a bus less than four hours. As the railway system in the whole country has been enjoying waves of upgrades, K9663 was one of the few “non-air conditioned non-high speed” trains that travelled over two of the most destitute provinces in China: Gansu and Ning Xia.

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