A middle way on Tibet

first_imgIt is not unusual for Harvard to host a head of state. During one recent week, there were five on campus in five days.But it is unusual for Harvard to host the leader of a government in exile, as in Tuesday’s tightly guarded Tsai Auditorium lecture by Lobsang Sangay, LL.M. ’95, S.J.D. ’04. The 44-year-old Harvard Law School graduate is sikyong, or prime minister, of the Central Tibetan Administration, the government in exile’s top political official.The late afternoon talk was his first in the United States as a head of government and his first in a university setting. “It feels more like a reunion,” he said, “than giving any formal kind of speech.”Before the election in April 2011, Sangay worked at Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Program. He was the first Tibetan — there are 6 million — to earn the doctor of juridical science (S.J.D.) degree, the Law School’s most advanced degree. After the election, he became the first Tibetan prime minister to hold primary political authority. In May 2011, the 14th Dalai Lama officially transferred such authority to the elected leaders of the Central Tibetan Administration.To set up a democratic government in exile “has been his long-cherished goal,” said Sangay of Tibet’s revered Buddhist leader. After the transfer, Sangay added, the Dalai Lama enjoyed nine hours of dreamless sleep.“It is striking to imagine” such a structure, said Sangay’s Law School mentor Henry J. Steiner: a government in exile that was a theocracy and that now embraces the ideal of a secular, democratic state. Steiner, an authority on human rights and international law, is the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus. He was Sangay’s dissertation adviser.The government in exile is in Dharamshala, a mountainous city in northern India. Thousands of refugees settled there after the failed uprising by Tibetans against China in 1959 — so many that the city is called “Little Lhasa,” named after Tibet’s traditional capital.“It runs like any government,” said Sangay of his administration, which has a parliament, a court system, and seven cabinetlike departments. It employs 1,000 civil servants, runs more than 60 schools, and oversees a diaspora of about 1.8 million in 70 settlements throughout India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The government in exile has foreign missions too, though it is not formally recognized by any nation.A sturdy, handsome man, Sangay displayed a knack for incisive, fine-tuned arguments during his talk. But he started by inviting everyone in the audience to Dharamshala, with its clean streets and pure mountain air. He included a warning though. The city on the threshold of the Himalayas is so cold in the winter that it can be warmer outside a house than inside.Sangay’s main task is to warm the Chinese government to the idea of resuming talks on the future of Tibet. In the past decade, the government in exile had nine rounds of talks with Chinese officials. The last round came in January 2010. The stalled talks became so frustrating that two main envoys resigned this May.At issue is the status of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, a place so heavily guarded and constrained politically, said Sangay, that there are “more surveillance cameras than windows.” He said there are no foreign journalists allowed in, there are police checkpoints at every 20 meters, and protest is often met with arrest, torture, and disappearances. Since March 2011, he said, 54 protesters have set themselves afire, and 43 have died. All this, he said, “reflects how desperate Tibetans are.”The desperation has an economic side too, said Sangay. Seventy percent of private enterprise in Tibet is owned or managed by the Chinese; half of Communist Party members are Chinese; 40 percent of educated Tibetans are unemployed. There is a toll on the environment too, he said, including excessive damming projects. There is also a cultural cost to Tibetans, said Sangay, including in schools, where he said the required “medium of instruction” is Chinese.Officially, Tibet’s government in exile does not support any form of protest inside Tibet. “But once it takes place,” said Sangay, “it becomes our sacred duty to support the aspirations” that protesters have. There are two main aspirations, he said: the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland and freedom for Tibet.“It’s quite difficult at the moment,” said Sangay of conditions within Tibet and of the rising pressure since talks stalled. But he still hopes that his government will win China over with its “Middle-Way Approach,” which includes dialogue backed by a promise of nonviolence. “We can solve this problem through dialogue,” said Sangay.His government has no ambitions beyond being a peaceful enclave within a larger nation, he added, using the French-speaking province of Quebec in Canada as an example. “If genuine autonomy is granted, then people choose to remain within.”It’s not as if Tibet is a military threat, said Sangay, who imagined how well a nation of 6 million would fare against mighty China, with 1.3 billion people and a huge standing army.Reopening talks would be to China’s advantage, Sangay argued. “We all know China is rising” and spending billions on soft-power initiatives to create a narrative of a regime focused on peace and prosperity. “The counter-narrative is Tibet,” a flashpoint of violence and friction that he said tarnishes China’s reputation. “You would like to be seen as good human beings,” said Sangay in a rhetorical address to the Chinese. “But what is happening in Tibet negates all that.”There are precedents for what the government in exile wants, he said. China has made political concessions in Hong Kong, Macau, and even Taiwan. “They have the political will,” said Sangay of Chinese leaders, so why not for Tibet as well?There are no constitutional, political, or cultural impediments to solving the issue, he said, but there may be “an ethnic or racial factor” impeding progress.Part of the answer to the deadlock may come in November, said Sangay, when the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China meets in Beijing. Seven out of its top nine leaders will retire, and younger leaders will emerge. “I remain hopeful that this new Chinese leadership will bring new perspective,” said Sangay, and that by next year serious talks can begin.After the lecture, there was nearly an hour for questions, all of them polite and some of them pointed, about territorial boundaries, protest, Indian sponsorship, Hong Kong parallels, Chinese tourism in Tibet, and economic advances in Tibet since 1959.Sangay conceded that there were more roads in Tibet, more electrical power, and new housing, but he said the Chinese benefit more than Tibetans do.Besides, there is a more fundamental issue than infrastructure, he said. “You don’t exchange power, roads, and toilets for freedom.” There is the issue of a fundamental attitude as well. “Tibetan people’s will is very strong,” said Sangay, and has lasted three generations to become “stronger than before. … The Tibetan issue will not fade away.”In the end, resolving conflict in Tibet is up to the Chinese, said Sangay. “It’s a simple issue, if they want to solve it.”last_img read more

Mississippi deputy fatally shot while responding to call

first_imgBAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a southern Mississippi sheriff’s deputy has been fatally shot while responding to a call of an attempted suicide. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam told the Sun Herald that Lt. Michael Boutte was shot as he tried to get out of his vehicle Monday near a home. Adam says the suspect then fired at a second responding deputy who returned fire and injured the suspect. Boutte was airlifted to a New Orleans hospital and later pronounced dead. The unidentified suspect was also hospitalized. Boutte was an Air Force veteran who had been in law enforcement for eight years.last_img

Archie Musical Is Coming to Broadway

first_img View Comments Archie and the Riverdale gang are heading to Broadway! Writer and director Adam McKay will adapt the popular comic book series into a musical. The comedy video site Funny Or Die has teamed up with Archie Comics as a presenting partner. No word yet on casting or dates for a bow on the Great White Way.McKay has directed the Anchorman series, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, all of which he also co-wrote with Will Ferrell. He also directed Ferrell in the Tony-nommed You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush.“Archie represents a bygone era of America,” McKay said in a statement. “And like all bygone eras, there are elements we miss and elements that should be bygone. This will be a musical that deals with both those realities in a bright, colorful and slightly demented way.” Archie, created by the late artist Bob Montana and writer Vic Bloom, follows a group of teenagers, including the titular redhead, the obsessive Betty Cooper, the absurdly wealthy Veronica Lodge and best friend Jughead Jones. The first issue was published in 1942.This would not be the first musical inspired by a comic: previous shows include Li’l Abner, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Addams Family. This also wouldn’t be the first musical inspired by a redhead comic strip icon.last_img read more

Daily Dirt: ICF Championships, Nyad Under Attack, Tokyo 2020

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for September 9, the day Congress changed the name of their fledgling country from “United Colonies” to “United States” in 1776 after much debate and comparison by our Founding Fathers, who chanted “UCA!” and “USA!” long into the night before making their final decision:US Cleans Up at WorldsSpeaking of the good old UCA, the team cleaned up at the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships that went down last week at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. The U.S. men’s team swept the men’s C1 – the C stands for canoe, the 1 stands for awesomeness – taking gold, silver and bronze. Jordan Poffenberger took the top spot with Blue Ridge boaters Tad Dennis of Charlotte, North Carolina and Dane Jackson of Rock Island, Tennessee taking silver and bronze respectively. Jackson followed up his bronze in C1 with a gold in K1 – K stands for Kayak, 1 still stands for awesomeness – beating out the best Europe has to offer, and a silver in the Squirt Finals. Poffenberger and Jackson also went 1-2 respectively in the Open Canoe finals.On the women’s side, 17-year-old Stecoah, N.C. native Rowan Stuart won gold in the junior women’s kayak. Although she did not make it into the finals, we spoke with Army Vet, and squirt-boater Tracy Click at the games. Check out the story here.Click here for the full listing of results.Nyad Cuba Swim Not Winning Over SkepticsIf you haven’t heard by now, long distance swimming champ Diana Nyad completed the first open water swim from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. This is a significant achievement for all the obvious reason – distance, open water, 53-hours in the briny, SHARKS, fifth attempt, etc. – but maybe most incredible is the fact that Nyad is 64 years old. This being the digital age and all, here swim was tracked via GPS, live blog, and such, which of course now has the blogosphere all atwitter. It seems that Nyad’s contemporaries in the marathon swimmers community are questioning the feat due to inconsistencies in the GPS data and whether she left the water to get into, or held onto the side, of one of her support boats. She did this once before due to bad weather, only revealing it after the fact, and this being the digital age and all, anyone with half a brain, a keyboard, and access to the Marathon Swimmers Forum (YES, it does exist), can call you out. Nyad has agreed to meet with her detractors, so we’ll see what comes of the Super Skeptical Swimmers Summit 2013.Here is a blog on Slate.com with all the appropriate links, so you can get both sides of this story.Tokyo Will Host 2020 Olympic GamesSpeaking of achievements nobody really believes or cares about (HAHA, just kidding wrestling!) Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, beating out Madrid and Istanbul for the honor. The announcement came as a bit of a surprise to the international community for several reasons. 1 – that whole nuclear meltdown/earthquake thing, 2 – Japan has been mired in a protracted economic slump for the past 15 years, so investing $6 billion in Games may not be the best idea, and 3 – well, they have hosted the games a couple other times (Tokyo in ’64 and the Winter Nagano Games in ’98), while vying against two cities with zero (though to be fair, Spain’s economic situation is much worse than Japan’s and Turkey has some political issues to deal with, mainly being the first Muslim country to host the games, and also their border with Syria). Now, you can make the case that the games could be a shot in the arm to Japan, both for the economy and the morale of the aging populace, and this may be true as the buildup is long, and the games are still over seven years away. So yeah, Tokyo 2020 could work out.Got a hot news tip? Shoot an email to [email protected]last_img read more

Lawmakers take aim at credit union requirement

first_imgby: Lydia WheelerThe Credit Union National Association is backing legislation introduced in the Senate Tuesday that would reduce how often credit unions must send privacy notices to customers.The Privacy Notice Modernization Act, introduced by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), aims to reduce the regulatory burden and enhance consumer protections by amending the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Their bill would require credit unions to send privacy notices to members only when the credit union changes its privacy policy.“Resources that would otherwise be directly applied to serving clients and the community are now being spent to comply with annual privacy notices requirements and other regulations,” Moran said in a statement.“Smarter regulation of financial privacy notifications will better protect and inform consumers while removing the excessive burdens placed on financial institutions.”The privacy policies would have to be available to credit union members on demand and on the credit unions’ website. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Freezing Rain, Snow Expected Through Evening Commute

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A wintry mix brought on by a winter storm churning north will fall on Long Island throughout the day Monday, but very little snow accumulation is expected, forecasters said.While the Island will be spared the brunt of the storm, officials are still urging drivers to use caution because the combination of freezing rain, snow, and sleet could cause hazardous driving conditions. Visibility will also be reduced to a half-mile or less at times, forecasters said.“Anyone traveling later this evening should travel with caution…because we are looking at temperatures not really getting above freezing today,” said Brian Ciemnecki, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in the agency’s Upton office. He added that the precipitation will be “intermittent” and “fairly light.”The NWS, which issued a winter weather advisory for Nassau and Suffolk counties until 6 a.m. Tuesday, said parts of LI could see up to an inch of snow and a tench of an inch of ice.Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said drivers should exercise caution due to the mix of snow and ice.“We have deployed resources in every region of the state to respond and will closely monitor conditions as the storm progresses over the next 36 hours,” Cuomo said.The system will move out of LI Monday night, giving way to dry conditions Tuesday and Wednesday, Ciemnecki said.While the region will mostly be spared by the storm, other areas to the north of the Island could see more than a foot of snow.last_img read more

Broome County Historian expresses concern over Binghamton housing proposal

first_img“Those buildings are a part of our history, and it would be a shame to lose them,” said Broome County Historian Roger Luther. (WBNG) — 41 Court Street is home to Galaxy Brewing Company. It’s also home to the Red Men Lodge, a historical fraternal group with deep roots in Binghamton’s history. The lodge, located on the fourth floor of the building, was home for the Red Men. The Red Men are a group of white men who often dressed in traditional Native American attire. “It’s the only one that’s intact that I’m aware of that’s in the area. Here, it’s almost like, other than the layers of dust and peeling paint, it’s almost like the room was when they left back in the 20s,” said Luther. Both meetings will be held via zoom and are open to the public. A housing proposal was filed in February to turn the second through fourth floors of 41 Court Street into residential housing. The proposal was filed by GBC-P42 LLC. The LLC is linked to the owner of Galaxy Brewing Company, located on the first floor of the building. The proposal, Luther says, would cause the historic hidden gem to be entirely lost. Luther says he has no problem if other parts of the building are going to be redeveloped into housing. He hopes to see the fourth floor permanently preserved. “As a preservationist, you can’t save everything, and you shouldn’t try to save everything. There are those things that are very important to the history of the community, this is one of them,” said Luther. The proposal will go before the Commission on Architecture and Urban Design (CAUD) on May 5. It will go before the city planning commission on May 11. “They’d go to these meetings, they’d sit around and socialize. In additional to that, they’d provide a good service for the community. They would have fundraisers to donate to needy causes,” said Luther. last_img read more

Norwegian public funds post 2018 investment gains

first_img“The choice has been made, among other things, because the cyclical and market upturn after the financial crisis has been long-lasting, and the company considers that prices and values are more uncertain than before.”At the end of the year, the pension fund’s portfolio was worth NOK86.1bn, up from NOK82.5bn at the end of 2017.Elsewhere, Bergen Kommunale Pensjonskasse (BPK) reported an overall value-adjusted return of 0.9% for the year.Total investments at group level rose to NOK1.5bn at the end of 2018, from NOK1.34bn a year before, the pension fund’s annual report showed.BPK praised the outperformance fixed income allocation, which made up nearly 63% of total assets at the end of last year.“The short-term bond portfolio yielded a return of 2.3%, while the benchmark index, which is the ST4X, gave 0.5%,” it stated. “The accumulated return over the past 10 years is 55% against the index’s 29%.”Meanwhile, Akershus Fylkeskommunale Pensjonskasse (AFPK) reported a value-adjusted return of 0.3% for 2018, down from 7.5% in 2017.In its full-year results announcement, the fund said: “2018 was marked by a weak development on the financial markets. All the most important equities markets produced negative returns. In spite of this, the pension fund achieved a positive financial return of 0.3%.”AFPK’s assets under management increased slightly to NOK3.72bn at the end of 2018, from NOK3.65bn a year earlier. Oslo’s NOK86.1bn (€9bn) local government pension fund made a 2% return on investments in 2018, with property and private equity helping offset weak equities by generating gains of more than 10% each.Oslo Pensjonsforsikring’s (OPF) return compared to the 9% it produced in 2017.According to the pension provider’s annual report, property and infrastructure gained 10.7% and private equity returned 15.4% in 2018, while listed equities lost 8.3%.In its annual report, OPF said: “In 2018, the company has chosen not to increase the total investment risk in the customer portfolio, although risk-bearing capacity is considered good.last_img read more

1 in 3 Saturday-night emergency patients drunk, study shows

first_imgNZ Herald 24 January 2014Drunk patients account for almost a third of those seeking emergency hospital treatment on Saturday nights – and many will have been binge-drinking alcohol bought from an off-licence, research shows.Data gathered by two Otago University students at Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department shows the impact of alcohol could be even higher than suggested by routinely recorded data.A previous study, which took a snapshot of 14 emergency departments at 2am one Saturday last month, found one in five patients was admitted due to harmful alcohol use.But the students found almost one in three patients – 28.6 per cent – was admitted through alcohol use in the period between 11pm on Saturday and 8am on Sunday.They also found more than 80 per cent of alcohol-affected patients had been binge-drinking, with 14 standard drinks the median number taken.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11191105last_img read more

Dutch euthanasia centre sees 22% rise in requests in 2019

first_imgThe Netherlands in 2002 became the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia. It can only be performed by physicians who administer fatal drug doses under strict conditions. The centre has experts who advise general practitioners in euthanasia cases and teams made up of doctors, psychiatrists and nurses who visit patients to evaluate their requests and administer fatal doses of drugs if they meet euthanasia criteria. The centre said it honored nearly 900, or about one-third, of the requests it received in 2019. TVNZ One News 8 February 2020Family First Comment: “The number of people with dementia who received euthanasia rose from 70 in 2018 to 96 last year, the Euthanasia Expertise Center said. Two of those cases involved patients with dementia so advanced they were considered mentally incapacitated.”#slipperyslopeProtect.org.nzA Dutch organisation that carries out euthanasia received 3122 requests last year, a 22 per cent increase from the year before, the Euthanasia Expertise Center said today.“Every work day, 13 people say: ‘Help me, I can’t go on,’” Steven Pleiter, director of the centre formerly known as the End of Life Clinic, said.  The requests often were in cases of people with dementia or suffering multiple physical complaints linked to old age.READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/dutch-euthanasia-centre-sees-22-rise-in-requests-2019last_img read more