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Quick Reads + East Asia

Media archive · 12413 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + East Asia

Historical Overview of Cambodia's Land and Housing Problem

Hallam Goad analyzed the problems and issues that plagued Cambodia's urban development in the past two decades:

Phnom Penh has followed the clichéd patterns of newly emerging nations almost to the letter with the urban poor shouldering many of the downsides. What few people recognise is that most of it could have been avoided.

With over 150,000 residents displaced since 1990 the story has been far from positive and in many cases has compounded and exacerbated what was already a very precarious existence.

State of Political Blogging in Vietnam

Doan Trang observed that a growing number of Vietnamese bloggers have been tackling human rights and other political issues by

writing commentaries and analyses, even finding supplementary facts. Despite the emotional style which may sometimes reveal their non-professionalism, they filled the vacuum left by the mainstream media which in most cases would only report news without producing any in-depth analysis.

But only few are writing in English:

Though much progress has been made, alternative media in Vietnam still aims mostly at the Vietnamese audience. In other words, bloggers still “talk to themselves” or “write for their fellow citizens” only. News stories in English, if any, came as a result of the accidental attention by some foreign reporter about Vietnam's human rights situation via his/ her individual contact network.

Baidu Censors New Citizens Movement Website

After Chinese court affirms Chinese lawyer and activist Xu Zhiyong’s conviction of four-year sentence in prison for assembling a crowd to disrupt order in public places, New Citizens Movement website, of which Xu was one of the founders, disappeared from Baidu search results. 

This is not the first time that information relating to Xu Zhiyong has disappeared from Baidu and other China-based web sites. 

Expat Life in China: A Review Of Unsavory Elements

Unsavory Elements is an anthology of true stories about foreigners “on the loose” in China. Through their stories, the authors and journalists from the book also explore illegality and ethics in China. As China Law Blog describes: 

Ranging from transactions and deeds that would raise the eyebrows of those enforcing America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to stints in prison for drug dealing to flagrant violations of prostitution laws, what results is 300 pages of business and law school case studies written not in legalese but in literary prose, and what a read it is.

Myanmar's First Digital Library for Higher Education

Myanmar's Ministry of Education and the Open Society Foundation have teamed up to establish the country's first digital library. Oleksandr Shtokvych, Senior Manager at the Open Society Foundations’ Higher Education Support Programme, explained the importance of the project:

It will also mean including their students and scholars (of the University of Yangon and the University of Mandalay) as active participants in the production of new knowledge and critical thinking, and bringing the unique and rich legacy and current developments in Myanmar into the limelight of international scholarship.

South Korea: Samsung Sues Newspaper Over Negative Report

South Korean tech giant Samsung has launched a lawsuit against a local IT newspaper for publishing an unfavorable report. Marmot's Hole blog wrote about how things developed and the repercussion of Samsung's response to negative press coverage. Some of the highlights read;

I’d caution Samsung that in terms of PR, lawsuits of this sort often cause more harm than good[...] To make matters worse, a story at AppleInsider compares the Korean electronics giant rather unfavorably to the Cupertino Fruit Company, which—assuming the report is true—almost never sues newspapers/blogs despite the countless groundless rumors that accompany the release of just about every iPhone model.

Cambodia's Angkor Wat Now on Google Street View

We can now explore the ancient city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia through Google Street View. This video highlights some of the stunning temples of Angkor Wat.

Video Shows How the U.S. Dropped 2.5 Million Tons of Bombs on Laos

Mother Jones uploaded a video which simulates the 600 bombing missions conducted by the United States in Laos between 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War era.

Remote Hubs in Asia for NETmundial Internet Governance Meeting

NETmundial logo

NETmundial logo

NETmundial, which will bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the principles of Internet governance, is set to be held in São Paulo on 23 and 24 April 2014. It will also have 33 remote hubs in 31 cities spread throughout 22 countries that will allow for real-time interaction with the event in São Paulo.

Hubs for remote participation in Asia includes five locations in India, one in Hong Kong and one in Indonesia. Tomoya Inyaku, the former director at Japan Computer Access Network [ja] which promotes empowerment through information and communication technology, lamented the lack of a hub in Japan:

NETmundial will be held in São Paulo on April 23 and 24 to discuss the future of Internet governance. They write that they will have hubs in 22 countries around the world. There will be hubs to participate in the discussion from Indonesia, but there is none in Japan. Wish I could connect to talk about rights online.

“It's a Girl”: Campaign Against infanticide Feminicide in India and China

The website MujeresMundi, directed by Peruvian Belgium-based communication specialist Xaviera Medina, is involved with the awareness campaign It's a girl against infanticide feminicide in India and China:

Girls are killed in a gendercide routine in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. Incredibly, however the issues involved have barely registered the attention of the international community. How to explain the strange silence in the face of the biggest human right issue?

The piece includes an interview with Evan Grae Davis, producer of the documentary film l It's a girl!, who says “I wouldn’t have consider myself as an activist until I started to produce and direct It’s a Girl”.

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