UN mission weapons on ship
The army said yesterday that an arms-laden ship bound for Pakistan detained by Indian authorities last week was returning weapons used during a UN peacekeeping mission. The MV Aegean Glory, bound for Karachi, was seized on Friday 50km south of the Indian city of Kolkata. It contained explosives, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and bombs, Indian officials said. The ship was returning decommissioned weapons used by Pakistani peacekeepers in Liberia, armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kazi Kabirul Islam said in a statement. “The ship left Chittagong Port on June 24 after unloading 32 containers of weapons and military vehicles. The unloading was supervised by a UN designated local shipping agent called Sun Shine Business Limited,” he said.
Seven injured in clashes
Seven people were injured yesterday when security forces clashed with protesters who defied a curfew in Kashmir, officials said, as authorities tried to end growing separatist demonstrations. Sopore, 50km north of Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, has been under curfew since Friday last week after two young men died when soldiers opened fire as protesters attacked their vehicle. On Sunday, another man was killed when security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters in Sopore who had defied the curfew. Yesterday’s clashes erupted when mourners tried to march through the streets carrying the man’s body.
‘Bird man’ to be tried
A man who lived in a tree for more than three months to protest the planned demolition of his home is being tried for disturbing public order, state media said yesterday. Chen Maoguo (陳茂國) was dubbed the “bird man” for his treetop sit-in last year in the Chongqing region, staged to protest what he considered inadequate compensation for the razing of his home, the Yunnan Information News said. His home was one of many to be knocked down to make way for a shopping mall in Fengjie County. Land seizures, often involving corrupt officials and businesses eyeing real estate profits, have been a growing source of unrest in the country.
PLA officers matchmaking
Military officers have added matchmaking to their duties after the government banned troops from online dating over fears that lonely hearts might let sensitive information slip, state media said yesterday. Commanders of the 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army are studying how to help single service members find love, the China Daily said in a report on new rules governing what troops can and can’t do online. Blogs are out, along with Internet dating, online job hunts and even making friends in the virtual world under the Internal Affairs Regulation, which came into effect on June 15, the report said.
PRC asked to condemn Kim
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he asked Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in talks in Toronto on Sunday to condemn North Korea’s alleged sinking of a South Korean warship. Citing a G8 summit declaration on Saturday condemning the attack that left 46 people dead, Kan said he “encouraged China to move in a similar direction,” pointing out to Hu that Beijing’s condemnation was “necessary.” Beijing has issued only mild calls for restraint and offered condolences to families of the dead but it has refused to condemn the North.