Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Long-winded speeches out

No flowers, no banquets, no gifts, no welcoming ceremonies and more importantly no useless long-winded speeches — state media yesterday laid out strict instructions for this year’s annual meeting of parliament. Normally a bastion of sycophancy, as the hand-picked delegates seek to out-compete each other in lauding the Chinese Communist Party, Xinhua news agency said that would change when the largely rubber-stamp parliament meets in March. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) has made cutting back on extravagance and waste a key theme of his first few weeks in office since becoming party chief in November last year, seeking to assuage anger at corruption and restore faith in the party. “Deputies will be encouraged to focus on key issues and avoid empty talk,” Xinhua cited a government statement as saying. “All deputies will eat at buffets without expensive food or alcohol, while extravagant galas, gifts and performances will not be arranged.”

INDIA

Tibetans launch campaign

The Tibetan government-in-exile on Tuesday announced plans for a four-day campaign to bring global pressure on China in a bid to end a string of self-immolations in their Himalayan homeland. Penpa Tsering, speaker of the exiled Tibetan parliament based in Dharamshala, said the drive would include rallies and meetings, and begin in New Delhi yesterday. “The situation is getting more and more grim,” Tsering said at a joint press conference with Lobsang Sangay, who in 2011 took over political duties from revered Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and was named prime minister. The two leaders said 99 Tibetans had set themselves on fire between 2009 and Jan. 22 this year in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. Of that number, the government-in-exile says 83 have died. “Instead of trying to address the main causes as to why self-immolations are taking place, as to why Tibetans are protesting in various other forms, the Chinese government has resorted to a blame game,” Sangay said. “They blame us for the tragedy in Tibet, which is absolutely baseless because Tibet has been under China’s occupation for the last 50 years.”

JAPAN

Men scream their feelings

Love was in the air in a Tokyo park as normally staid husbands gathered to scream out their feelings for their wives, promising gratitude and extra tight hugs. With modesty and reticence traditionally valued over outspokenness, expressing deeper feelings such as love has long been hard in Japan. That is why dozens of men gather once a year ahead of Jan. 31, which in Japanese is a play on the words for “beloved wife,” to let their feelings fly. Declarations at the Tuesday night event ranged from a simple “I’ll love you forever” to expressions of gratitude for homemade lunches. “I’m sorry that I’ve gained weight over the last seven years, but that’s because the meals you cook are so delicious,” a suit-clad man yelled. The event, in its fifth year, was thought up by Kiyotaka Yamana with the support of a flower shop. “The economy is getting better in Japan and I see a lot of Japanese married couples getting more active in deepening their relationships,” Yamana said. Wives in the audience laughed and clapped, especially when one man got down on his knees to offer his wife a bouquet. “He’s very fabulous and manly today,” said Yuko Todo, 33, after her husband Takeshi’s performance. “It just reminded me how macho he used to be — I’d forgotten that in the eight years we’ve been married. My heart pounded.”

This story has been viewed 1029 times.
TOP top