Friday, December 08, 2006

Radio Free Asia News: 12/8/2006

North Korea Emerges as Major Player in Animation Industry.
SEOUL—North Korea, strapped for cash and even more isolated since its October nuclear test, has emerged over the last decade as a significant player in the global business of animation and cinema—exporting cartoons throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Analysts say Pyongyang’s animation expertise likely reflects the patronage and personal involvement of the country's all-powerful leader Kim Jong Il, a noted film aficionado whose personal video collection is said to comprise tens of thousands of titles. [Read the whole article by clicking on the title.]

What Makes North Koreans Laugh? Not Western Comedy.
SEOUL—Anyone aiming to make North Koreans laugh should take a lesson from a Danish comedy team just back from the world’s most isolated country: Danish fairy tales probably won't work. Danish DR-TV broadcaster Mads Brugger, known in Europe for his comic exploits, "wanted to find out if laughter still existed in North Korea," Bruger said. "I embarked on a quest for laughter." And guess what? Three North Koreans interviewed by RFA's Korean service say the world's most isolated country does indeed produce comedy of its own—all of it politically correct, of course. [Click title to continue reading.]

Chinese Web Site Protects Rights of Mistresses.
HONG KONG—Once derided as part of the "old society" of pre-1949 China, emblematic of class struggle and the oppression of women, extramarital mistresses are making a massive comeback as China takes on more and more freewheeling economic reforms. So much so that the word "mistress," or second wife, has made it into a recent edition of one modern Chinese dictionary, which defines it: "A woman who is illegally kept by a man who already has a spouse." Enter the Mistresses' Right Web site, set up by Zheng Baichun after said he witnessed a woman who had cared for a sick lover set up a civil rights group for mistresses. He says it doesn't encourage women to become mistresses but to protect their rights and interests under the law. [Click title to continue reading.]

Burmese Army Attacks Drive Karen Villagers Into Jungle.
BANGKOK—Burmese army attacks in the eastern Karen ethnic region have displaced thousands, driving some to camps near the Thai border and leaving others hiding in the jungle without adequate food, aid workers and Karen people have told RFA’s Burmese service. Speaking by satellite phone with RFA’s Burmese service, a Karen villager now in hiding said, "They destroy our farms, eat our rice, shoot us, and kill us." [Click title to continue reading.] Must read.

Khmer Women in Taiwan Face Isolation, Abuse.
TAIPEI—Cambodian women who move to Taiwan as brides in arranged marriages often suffer beatings, social isolation, and abuse, according to Khmer women and a Cambodian Buddhist monk who works to help them. Venerable Yong Theng, founder of the Khmer Culture Buddhist Center in Taiwan, said his group provides interpreting for abuse victims in cooperation with Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior. "The majority of problems involve women being beaten by their husbands and having nobody to help file complaints with the police," Yong Theng said. [Click title to continue reading.]