Novel may have plagiarized
Bestselling crime writer Lynda La Plante’s 1993 novel Entwined contains passages lifted from Auschwitz survivor Olga Lengyel’s 1947 memoir Five Chimneys, news reports said yesterday. The multimillionaire British author denied plagiarism but admitted to the Sydney Morning Herald that a research assistant may have been the culprit. La Plante, who shot to fame with the television series Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren, was taken to task by an eagle-eyed Australian reader who recognized several almost identical passages about the workings of the Auschwitz death chambers. Where Lengyel had written that the ovens could dispose of “three hundred and sixty corpses every half hour, which was all the time it took to reduce human flesh to ashes,” La Plante wrote “three hundred and sixty corpses every half hour — all the time it took to reduce human flesh to ashes.”
Monks anger judge
Chief Justice Sarath Silva on Friday refused bail for a Buddhist monk and slammed fellow clergymen for not showing respect to the judiciary. The chief justice pulled up dozens of monks for not showing respect to judges as they entered the court house to hear a bail application by Pannala Panyaloka, a monk accused of sound pollution. The monks refused a request from the chief justice to leave the court and re-enter after showing due respect by bowing their heads, a court official said. The monk was earlier this week remanded until Sept. 15 when he will answer charges of using loud hailers after 10pm in violation of new sound pollution regulations.
Dalai Lama’s brother dies
Taktser Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother who advocated independence for Tibet, has died in the US at the age of 86, a spokesman for the Tibetan spiritual leader said yesterday. Rinpoche — whose given name was Thupten Jigme Norbu — died late on Friday at his Indiana home after being unwell for several years, R. Chhoekyapa, secretary to the Dalai Lama, said. News of Rinpoche’s death came less than a week after the 73-year-old Dalai Lama was released from a Mumbai hospital, where he was treated for a brief abdominal illness that stirred alarm about his health among his followers. The Dalai Lama champions a “middle path” policy that espouses “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet, rather than the full independence that some other activists are seeking. Rinpoche wanted nothing but full independence for Tibet.
US envoy meets Wu Dawei
The top US nuclear envoy met with his Beijing counterpart yesterday as part of the latest round of talks aimed at breaking a deadlock over verification of North Korea’s nuclear programs. US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill met Wu Dawei (武大偉), who represents Beijing in six-nation negotiations that also involve both Koreas, Japan and Russia. The efforts come as Pyongyang is taking steps that indicate it may be reversing its promised disarmament. Hill, who met with South Korean and Japanese envoys on Friday, said the US was willing to sit down again with representatives from the five other countries. He was scheduled to speak with the Russian ambassador in Beijing later yesterday. The North began moving disassembled parts of its main nuclear reactor back to the plutonium-producing facility this week, putting into action its threat to restore atomic facilities that had been partially disabled under a disarmament pact.