Sunday, September 30, 2007

Assignment #3

Nations urge Myanmar to end crackdown

Many of you may have heard that recently there have been massive protest in Myanmar. There are many causes for these protests, but one of the man causes is the recent dramatic rise in gasoline and food prices. The majority of people in the country live in poverty, and their lives have become much more difficult recently.

The military rulers of the country at first allowed the protest, but last week violently put down the protests. Many buddist monks who were leading the protests have been beaten up, arrested, and some have even been killed. Many other protesters have been killed or injured.

Yesterday, Myanmar's main economic partners, China and Japan, joined the UN in asking Myanmar to stop the violence.

Japan was influenced by the death of a Japanese citizen. Myanmar soldiers shot into a crowd of unarmed people and killed at least nine people, one of whom was a Japanese citizen. Up until this point, Japan had been one of Myanmar's biggest supporters.

The military government has not allowed any foreign journalists into the country, and they have also cut phone and internet connection lines.

The U.N. has promised to increase efforts to talk to the government of Myanmar, and try to persuade Myanmar to end the crackdown. They have also asked all countries in the world to help in this effort.

1. What do you think the UN should do about the crisis in Myanmar?
2. Should other countries become involved in a country's domestic politics?
3. What can individuals to help with the situation?

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Next Week

Dear class,
Due to my injury, I have not been able to post a new article. I will post one soon that you can respond to for next week. Sorry for the inconvenience. See you in class on Friday.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Assignment #2

DPP, KMT rally for UN referendums

This weekend in Taiwan, both the DPP and the KMT gathered people in central and southern Taiwan in support of Taiwan's bid to enter the UN. The DPP and the KMT both have different plans for entering the UN.
The DPP's plan is for Taiwan to unter the UN under the name "Taiwan". If their plan succeeds, voters will choose whether to do this or not.
The KMT's plan is for Taiwan to "return" to the UN under the name of "Republic of China" or "ROC", which is the name Taiwan used from 1945 until 1971.
This weekend in Kaohsiung, DPP supporters gather to show their support for the plan. President Chen Shui-bian, and presidential hopeful Frank Hsieh were both there, along with other DPP party members.
At the same time in Taichung, the KMT, led by presidential hopeful Ma Ying-Jeou, also gathered supporters for a rally of their own. Their idea is that they must improve the lives of Taiwanese people before trying to enter the UN. They wore blue flip flops as a symbol of this.
Question: What do you think about Taiwan entering the UN? Do you think that it will be a good idea even if it makes China or the U.S. mad? What name should Taiwan use if it enters the UN?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Assignment #1

Taipei, Beijing still working on Olympic torch path agreement

The Taiwanese and Chinese governments have not yet come to an agreement about whether or not Taiwan will be part of the Olympic Torch Relay for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. There have been several meetings recently between officials from both Olympic committees, but no progress has been made.
Taiwan has long objected to the route of the torch, because China maintains that it is part of the "domestic route". Plans are for the torch to come to Taiwan from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before going to Hong Kong. There has also been some disagreement about what Taiwan will be called during the Olympics. China prefers "China, Taiwan" while Taiwan wants "Chinese Taipei."
There is much disagreement in Taiwan as to whether or not the torch should come to Taiwan. Many hope that the torch will help advertise Taipei and Taiwan, but many also fear that it could be used as a political trick by China.
Question: What do you think about Taiwan's participation in the Olympic games? What name should Taiwan use? Should the Olympic torch come to Taiwan? Answer these quesitons and give your comments.

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