Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)









US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Friday, February 5, 2016

China echoes concerns over N. Korea rocket launch plans

Yahoo - AFP, Giles Hewitt, February 3, 2016

A man watches a news report on North Korea's planned rocket launch as the TV
 screen broadcasts file footage from 2012 of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, in Seoul 
on February 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

China on Wednesday joined the global chorus of anger and concern over a planned rocket launch by North Korea, as Japan vowed to shoot down any missile that threatened its territory.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meanwhile urged the reclusive communist state to scrap its plans for the rocket launch -- another major violation of UN resolutions just weeks after its fourth nuclear test.

North Korea has announced a February
 8-25 window for a planned rocket launch,
 ostensibly aimed at putting an Earth 
observation satellite into orbit (AFP Photo)
Pyongyang on Tuesday confirmed that it would launch a rocket sometime between February 8-25, which is around the time of the birthday on February 16 of late leader Kim Jong-Il, father of current leader Kim Jong-Un.

"We express serious concerns about that," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing, calling on Pyongyang to abide by UN strictures forbidding its use of ballistic missile technology.

Ban held talks on the planned rocket launch in London at the International Maritime Organisation, which received a notice from North Korea.

A former South Korean foreign minister, the UN chief said North Korea's announcement was "a deeply troubling development" and offered his help to reduce tensions and facilitate dialogue with Pyongyang.

"It will further aggravate the profound concerns that the international community already has in the wake of the nuclear test," said a statement from his spokesman.

The North insists its space programme is purely scientific in nature, but the United States and its allies say its rocket launches are aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the US mainland.

In South Korea the government echoed US warnings that the North would pay a "heavy price" if it went ahead, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned what he called a "serious provocation".

Abe's defence minister issued an order to "destroy" the rocket with surface-to-air missiles if it violated Japanese airspace.

North Korea said the sole objective was to place an Earth observation satellite into orbit, but analysts saw the launch announcement as doubling down against an international community already struggling to agree a united response to Pyongyang's January 6 nuclear test.

'Classic move'

"It's a classic move," said John Delury, an associate professor at Yonsei University in Seoul.

"While waiting for a full response for the nuclear test, you might as well sneak in a rocket launch. The North tends to do these things in pairs," Delury said.

Japan said on February 3, 2016 it would destroy a North Korean missile if it 
threatened to fall on its territory, after Pyongyang announced it planned to launch 
a space rocket this month (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)

The United States, which has been spearheading a diplomatic drive for harsher and more effective sanctions on Pyongyang, was quick to condemn the plan.

Daniel Russel, the assistant US secretary of state for Asia-Pacific affairs, slammed what he called "yet another egregious violation" of UN resolutions and said it should be met with "tough additional sanctions".

UN sanctions were tightened after North Korea successfully placed a satellite in orbit on a three-stage Unha-3 rocket in December 2012.

A fresh launch poses a dilemma for the international community, which is already divided on how to punish the North for its nuclear test.

North Korea's chief diplomatic ally, China, has been resisting the US push for tougher sanctions, but a rocket launch would bolster calls for Beijing to bring its maverick neighbour into line.

"However, I'm not sure if China will change its position," said Delury.

"The nuclear test is a far bigger deal for Beijing than the rocket launch, so I don't expect any tangible shift in China's perspective, whatever the US says," he added.

While its patience has been stretched to the limit by Pyongyang's refusal to curb its nuclear ambitions, China's overriding concern is a collapse of Kim Jong-Un's regime and the possibility of a US-allied unified Korea on its border.

"We don't want to see any escalation of tension, but if relevant countries insist on doing so, then we are not able to stop them," said foreign ministry spokesman Lu.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had sought to pressure his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during a visit to Beijing last week.

Although the two sides agreed to mount an "accelerated effort" to try to resolve their differences on a new resolution, Kerry acknowledged they had not agreed on the "parameters of exactly what it would do or say".

Since early 2013, North Korea has been upgrading its Sohae satellite launch complex to handle larger longer-range rockets with heavier payloads, but most experts say Pyongyang is still years from obtaining a credible ICBM capability.

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THE OLD SOUL 2013 TOOLKIT" – Jan 13, 2013 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll)  (Text version)

"... The Change in the Way Things Work

Now I'm going to be very cautious with number five, and I'm going to change a paradigm of the way we channel. For 23 years, we have given you information in the soup of potentials that we read around you as the highest probable potential that exists. These things eventually become your reality because they are your free choice, and we know what you're thinking. We know what the potentials are because we know what the biases are, and we see all of humanity as a whole. Potentials are energy, and it gives us the ability to project your future based on how you are working these potentials. We have done this for a long time. Twenty-three years ago, we told you about many things that were potentially going to happen, and now they are your reality.

But now I'm going to depart from that scenario and I'm going to give you a potential on Earth that is not the strongest. I am going to tell you about a Human Being who has a choice. This potential is only about 50 percent. But I'm going to "read a potential" to you that you didn't expect. It's about a paradigm that is starting to shift.

Let's talk about North Korea. There's a young, new leader there. The potential is that he will never, ever hear this channel, so I can talk freely about him. He is facing a dilemma, for he is young and he knows about the differences in the energy in his land. He feels it. The lineage of his departed father lies upon him and all that is around him expects him to be a clone of this lineage. He is expected to continue the things that he has been taught and make North Korea great.

But he's starting to rethink them. Indeed, he wants to be a great leader, and to be heard and seen, and to make his mark on North Korea's history. His father showed him that this was very important. So he ponders a question: What makes a world leader great?

Let's ask that question to someone in an older earth paradigm from not that long ago. He will be an expert and a successful one. So this is a valid exercise, asking someone from the past who knows. We will ask that question to a man who you know and whose name is Napoleon. For us, this was yesterday and some of you were there. 

If you asked Napoleon, "What makes a world leader great?", he will say, "the size of the army, how much area can be efficiently conquered with a given amount of resources and men, how important the leader appears will then be based upon how many citizens call him emperor or king, the taxes he can impose, and how many fear him." Not only was that Napoleon's reality, but he was right for the energy he was part of at the time. So Napoleon went back and forth between world leader, general and prisoner. He accomplished almost everything he set out to do. His expertise was obvious, and you remember his name to this day. He was famous.

What makes a world leader great? What I am showing you is the difference in thinking between then and now. There are some choices that this evolving young Human Being has that could change everything on the planet if he wanted. His father would tell this boy that what makes a world leader great is the potential of his missile power, or how close he can get to having a nuclear weapon, or how he stands up against the power of the West, or how he continues to aggravate and stir drama as a small country - getting noticed and being feared. His father would tell him that this is his lineage and that is what he's been told all his life. His father did it well and surrounded himself with advisors who he then passed on to his son.

Now, there's a 50 percent chance of something happening here, but this is not a strong potential, dear ones. I'm bringing this forward so you can watch it work one way or the other. For if the son continues in his father's footsteps, he is doomed to failure. The energy on the earth will see it as old and he will be seen as a fool. If, however, he figures it out, he could be the most famous man on the planet... which is really what his father wanted.

If Kryon were to advise this man, here's what I would tell him. He could be the greatest known leader the current world has ever known, for what he does now will be something the world will see as a demarcation point from the old ways. Not only that, but what he does now will be in the history books forever, and because of his youth, he has the potential to outlive every other leader on the planet! So he's going to have longer fame than anyone ever has.

I would tell him this: Tell the border guards to go home. Greet the south and begin to unify North and South Korea in a way that no past prophet ever said could happen. Allow the two countries to be separate, but have them as two parts of a larger Korean family with free trade and travel. Start alliances with the West and show them that you mean it. Drop the missile programs because you will never need them!

This will bring abundance to the North Korean people that they never expected! They will have great economic sustenance, schools, hospitals and more respect than ever for their amazing leader. The result would be fame and glory for the son, which the father had never achieved, something that the world would talk about for hundreds of years. It would cause a United Nations to stand and applaud as the son walked into the Grand Assembly. I would ask him, "Wouldn't you like that?"

Doesn't this seem obvious to most of you? He could achieve instant fame and be seen as the one who made the difference and started something amazing. But watch him. He has a choice, but it's not simple. He still has his father's advisors, but one of which he's already dismissed. He may get it, or he may not. There is a 50 percent chance. But I'll tell you that if he doesn't do it, the one after him will. Because it is so obvious. 

We show you this to tell you that this is the evolvement of the Human species. It is the slow realization that putting things together is the answer to all things, instead of separating them or conquering them. Those who start promoting compromise and begin to create these energies that never were here before will be the ones you're going to remember. Dear ones, it's going to happen in leadership and politics and in business. It's a new paradigm...."

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ai Weiwei plans Berlin memorial to drowned refugees

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is planning a work to commemorate the refugees who drowned on their way to Europe.The memorial will be made out of 14,000 life jackets left by migrants on the beach.

Deutsche Welle, 3 February 2016


For this memorial project, Ai Weiwei will use 14,000 discarded life jackets he obtained from the Greek island of Lesbos according to a statement from the office of the island's mayor Spiros Galinos on Tuesday (02.02.2016).

"This work aims to mobilize the global community regarding the crime carried out daily in the Aegean by ruthless people smugglers," the statement added.

Although smugglers sell these life jackets at a high price, they are usually poorly made and are useless in case of an accident at sea.

Currently a guest professor at Berlin's University of Arts, Ai Weiwei has developed a strong interest in the refugees' plight. He has established a studio on the island of Lesbos, a landing point for many migrants crossing over to Europe over the Aegean Sea.

Ai Weiwei posing as Aylan Kurdi
Earlier this week, the Chinese artist already made headlines through a photo of himself posing as Aylan Kurdi on a Lesbos beach for the magazine "India Today." The pictures of the Syrian toddler whose body was found last September have become an iconic symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Despite the world's growing awareness, people fleeing war-torn countries are still perishing every week while trying to reach Europe. According to the latest numbers provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in January alone, 360 people have drowned during this perilous journey, and in the last five months 330 children have died on the Mediterranean.

eg/kbm (AFP, dpa)


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Suu Kyi's party strides into Myanmar parliament as new era dawns

Yahoo – AFP, Hla-Hla Htay, 1 February 2016

Aung San Suu Kyi arrives for a parliamentary session in Naypyidaw on February 1,
 2016 (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu)

Naypyidaw (Myanmar) (AFP) - Myanmar entered a new political era Monday as Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy MPs took their seats in parliament, bearing the hopes of a nation subjugated for decades by the military.

Wearing pastel orange uniforms, lawmakers from the National League for Democracy (NLD) arrived for their first day of work in the capital Naypyidaw, buoyed by a massive popular mandate from November's election.

Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from the office of 
president in Myanmar by a military-scripted 
constitution because she married and had
 children with a foreigner (AFP Photo/
Ye Aung Thu)
That poll saw the NLD wrest a majority from the army establishment and has spurred hopes of a new political dawn in the long-repressed nation.

Suu Kyi, the centrepiece of Myanmar's struggle for democracy, entered the cavernous parliament building without comment.

She took a seat alone for the short opening session which saw the lawmakers sworn in and the appointment of a close ally, Win Myint, as lower house speaker.

"Today is a day to be proud of in Myanmar's political history and for the democratic transition," Win Myint said in an acceptance speech.

The new government faces a daunting rebuilding task in one of Southeast Asia's poorest countries, whose economy was crushed by almost half a century of junta rule.

Many NLD MPs are also political novices, unskilled in the business of government.

They must swiftly adapt to a difficult decision-making process in a legislature where unelected soldiers occupy 25 percent of all seats.

"It's a historic moment for the country," said Myanmar political analyst Khin Zaw Win.

The country will now choose a new president to succeed President Thein Sein, the former general who in 2011 launched dramatic political and economic reforms which culminated in the election.

Suu Kyi herself is barred from the post by a military-scripted constitution because she married and had children with a foreigner.

The 70-year-old has vowed to sidestep this hurdle by ruling "above" a proxy president, although she has yet to reveal her choice for the role.

While there is no clear schedule for the selection of candidates, it could be within days.

Elected members of both houses and the military will nominate three candidates to replace Thein Sein, who retains his post until the end of March.

Lawmakers from the National League for Democracy arrived for their first day
of work in the capital Naypyidaw on February 1, 2016 (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu)

The new president will then be chosen by a vote of the combined houses.

Great expectations

Observers are closely watching Suu Kyi's relationship with the still-powerful military, which holds key ministries as well as the 25 percent parliamentary bloc.

Suu Kyi may try to persuade the army to help her change the charter clause that blocks her path to power, analysts say, although it has so far baulked at any attempt to redraft it.

After decades under the military yoke, Myanmar's people queued in their thousands to cast ballots for Suu Kyi and her party last November, throwing their support behind her simple campaign message of "change".

With a resounding parliamentary majority, her lawmakers are -- at least initially -- expected to act as a rubber-stamp for her government.

While the NLD majority will need to time to find their feet, the military has had plenty of time to prepare for the handover.

A quasi-civilian government has steered reforms since outright army rule ended in 2011.

Military members of parliament attend a lower house session in Naypyidaw
 on February 1, 2016 (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu)

The military has appointed "more senior and experienced, and probably better prepared" soldiers to parliament, according to Renaud Egreteau, an analyst who has studied Myanmar's legislature.

Thein Sein has led the opening up of the long-isolated country, spurring international investment with sweeping political reforms.

But Myanmar remains blighted by civil wars and ethnic and religious divisions. Poverty rates are high and the bureaucracy is poorly funded and riven with corruption.

On the streets of Yangon, however, ordinary people were optimistic about what Suu Kyi could achieve.

"We have been hoping for an NLD government for a long time. I feel happy now," said 22-year-old dentist Kyaw Htet.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Swiss prosecutor asks Malaysia to help investigate 1MDB fund irregularities

Switzerland's prosecutor has formally asked Malaysia for help with an investigation into the possible misappropriation of $4 billion by state-owned fund 1MDB. Malaysia's PM has been cleared of corruption in Kuala Lumpur.

Deutsche Welle, 30 January 2016


Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber's office has formally asked Malaysia for help with an investigation into possible violations by the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). It had already "revealed serious indications that funds have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies," Lauber's office said in a statement.

The charges relate to alleged bribery by foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal management totaling $4 billion (3.6 billion euros).

"So far, four cases involving allegations of criminal conduct covering the period from 2009 to 2013 have come to light," the statement said, adding that each case involved "a systematic course of action carried out by means of complex financial structures."

Malaysia PM's Saudi gift

Malaysia's attorney general cleared 1MDB's advisory board chairman, Prime Minister Najib Razak (photo), of any criminal offence or corruption last week, saying $681 million deposited into his personal bank account was a gift from Saudi Arabia's royal family.

Some of the funds had been transferred to Swiss accounts held by former Malaysian public officials and current and former public officials from the United Arab Emirates, according to the prosecutor's office.

The Swiss office opened criminal proceedings last August against two former 1MDB officials and "persons unknown." According to the Reuters news agency, when Lauber discussed the case with his Malaysian counterpart in September, the Malaysian prosecutor strongly urged him to drop his investigation.

1MDB debt

1MDB has a $11 billion debt, and there have been allegations of financial mismanagement. The Swiss prosecutors said the funds "would have been earmarked for investment in economic and social development projects in Malaysia."

1MDB is also being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong and the United States.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Embattled N. Korea sends top diplomats to Russia, China: reports

Yahoo – AFP, January 29, 2016

Embattled N. Korea sends top diplomats to Russia, China: reports

Facing a US-led push for tough United Nations sanctions over its latest nuclear test, North Korea appeared to be looking for Security Council allies Friday, sending top diplomats to Moscow and possibly Beijing.

China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, have helped temper the international reaction to North Korean provocations in the past.

Although the patience of both has been tested to its limits by North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions, neither wants to see the chaotic collapse of a nuclear-armed state on its border.

The North's official KCNA news agency said a delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong-Guk had departed for Russia on Friday.

No details were given of the itinerary, but the visit comes as Washington is seeking to build a regional and international consensus on the need for harsh sanctions after the North carried out its fourth nuclear test earlier this month.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing unidentified sources, said a top North Korean foreign ministry official had been spotted arriving at Beijing's international airport.

The official, Choi Son-Hui, was a former deputy head of delegation to the long-stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme, involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

There was no information on Choi's itinerary and it was not immediately clear if she was planning to visit China or transit to a third country.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Myanmar president hails 'triumph' of democratic transition

Yahoo – AFP, Hla-Hla Htay, January 28, 2016

Myanmar President Thein Sein (R) waves as he leaves parliament after giving
his final farewell speech in Napyidaw on January 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/Aung Htet)

Naypyidaw (Myanmar) (AFP) - President Thein Sein hailed the "triumph" of Myanmar's transition of power Thursday, in a last address to a military-dominated parliament before it makes way for a historic new legislature led by Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party.

The Southeast Asian nation, choked for decades under junta rule, is on the cusp of a remarkable political handover after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) thundered to victory in November elections.

Myanmar's people are hoping her government can reboot a country eviscerated by army rule that battered the economy and repressed dissent.

Chair of the National League for Democracy
(NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi has the weight of
 the nation's expectations on her shoulders 
after long struggle against junta repression
(AFP Photo/Aung Htet)
"Even though there were difficulties and challenges, we were able to bring a democratic transformation eventually," Thein Sein said addressing the military-stacked legislature for the last time.

"This is a triumph for all Myanmar's people," he added.

Thein Sein, who under drawn-out handover rules retains his post until the end of March, has been a key player in Myanmar's astonishing reform process so far.

He was among a host of military figures who shed their uniforms to form a government in 2011.

Initially that government was viewed with suspicion as a civilian front for the army's continued domination.

While the army retains major clout -- a quarter of parliamentary seats are ring-fenced for unelected soldiers -- sweeping political and economic reforms have surprised the international community and encouraged a flood of foreign investment.

They also culminated in November's polls which passed peacefully and fairly and saw Suu Kyi's party scoop nearly 80 percent of elected seats in the national parliament.

The new NLD MPs, many of whom are political novices, will take their seats on February 1 following the final day of a lame duck session by the outgoing parliament on Friday.

'Better foundation?'

Suu Kyi, 70, carries the weight of the nation's expectations on her shoulders, after a decades long struggle against junta repression.

Myanmar is on the cusp of a political transition after Suu Kyi's National League for
 Democracy (NLD) thundered to victory in November elections (AFP Photo/
Ye Aung Thu)

The Nobel laureate faces a formidable challenge in an impoverished nation, blighted by corruption and torn by ethnic minority civil wars and religious divisions.

She is barred from the presidency by the junta-era constitution that many believe was designed specifically to exclude her, but has vowed to rule through a proxy, who is yet to be named in public.

Faced with Suu Kyi's massive popular mandate, Thein Sein and powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing have pledged to support the transition.

A flurry of political plays have dominated the days leading up to the handover, leaving analysts struggling to decipher their meaning in a country where decision-making has long been made in secret.

Observers say Suu Kyi is seeking to find ways to placate a twitchy military.

But any dealings with the army come fraught with anxiety for the former political prisoner and her party.

The NLD is haunted by memories of its election landslide in 1990 that was ignored by a junta that went on to tighten its grip on power for two more decades.

Thein Sein on Thursday shrugged off the near-annihilation inflicted on his party at the polls, saying he had not launched the reforms in order to hold on to power.

Myanmar's Pesident Thein Sein (R) has pledged to support the transition towards
democracy in the face of Aung San Suu Kyi's popular mandate (AFP Photo/
Ye Aung Thu)

"During the last five years we have built a better foundation for the next government, who won the 2015 election. I did not do this with the expectation of being a second term president," he said.

He listed a fragile peace process, better access to health care and education as his main reforms.

His government also removed draconian pre-publication press censorship and opened telecoms to foreign investment, allowing millions of people cheap access to mobile phones -- and the Internet -- for the first time.

Thein Sein's speech sparked mixed reaction online, with comments praising his legacy off-set by others wished him good riddance.

"The bit I liked most was: 'Our government's term will end at the end of the March," said Ko Moe Zaw Win, posting under a transcript of the speech on the president's office Facebook page.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

China's Ai Weiwei shuts show to protest Danish migrant law

Yahoo – AFP, January 27, 2016

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei plans to create a memorial to the plight of refugees
on the Greek island of Lesbos (AFP Photo/Angelos Tzortzinis)

Copenhagen (AFP) - Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei on Wednesday closed down his exhibition in the Danish capital after lawmakers passed a controversial bill allowing authorities to seize valuables from asylum seekers.

"Ai Weiwei has decided to close his exhibition 'Ruptures' at Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen, Denmark. This decision follows the Danish parliament's approval of the law proposal that allows seizing valuables and delaying family reunions for asylum seekers," a post on his official Instagram and Facebook accounts read.

The exhibition opened in March 2015 and had been due to close in mid-April 2016.

"I support Ai Weiwei's decision, which is all about freedom and human rights. I think it's so very sad," Jens Faurschou, owner of the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen, told AFP.

Denmark's parliament on Tuesday adopted reforms aimed at dissuading migrants from seeking asylum by delaying family reunifications and allowing authorities to confiscate migrants' valuables.

The law has provoked international outrage, with many rights activists blasting the delay for family reunifications as a breach of international conventions.

"Denmark has decided that it wants to be in the forefront of the symbolic and inhuman politics of today's biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East. We both wish that Denmark had decided instead to be in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis," Faurschou said.

China's most prominent contemporary artist, Ai helped design the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics and has been exhibited around the globe, but his works have often run afoul of China's authorities.

He was detained in 2011 for 81 days over his advocacy of democracy and human rights as well as other criticisms of the government in Beijing. Following the detention, he was placed under house arrest and his passport was taken away. The document was only returned last July, enabling him to travel overseas.

Ai's show in Copenhagen included some of his most important work including Sunflower Seeds, made from 100 million handmade porcelain sunflower seeds.

The show also featured several of the artist's sculptures made of wood from Buddhist temples torn down during China's Cultural Revolution.

Earlier this month, the 58-year-old announced plans to create a memorial to the plight of refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, after meeting some of the many migrants there who risked their lives to reach Europe.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Malaysia clears PM in scandal, says Saudis provided 'donation'

Yahoo – AFP, Dan Martin, January 26, 2016

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (front) smiles to photographers after
attending a parliament session in Kuala Lumpur, on January 26, 2016 (AFP
Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

The Saudi royal family was the source of a $681 million "donation" that has engulfed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in scandal, his attorney-general said on Tuesday, clearing the premier of graft allegations.

Mohamed Apandi Ali said a review of evidence compiled by the country's anti-graft agency showed that the money received in 2013 was a "personal donation from the Saudi royal family," giving no further information on the source.

He said $620 million was returned to the Saudis a few months later but did not say why.

Najib, 62, has for months denied accusations that the huge payments into his own bank accounts -- just before a hotly contested 2013 general election -- were syphoned from a now-struggling state-owned company he launched.

Until now, however, the precise origin of the funds has not been specified, other than vague claims by Najib's government that it came from unnamed Middle Eastern donors.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has for months fended off accusations
 that a huge payment made into his personal bank accounts in 2013 was syphoned
off from a state-owned company he had launched (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

The money's purpose has never been revealed.

"No criminal offence has been committed by (the prime minster)", Apandi, who was installed by Najib shortly after the scandal broke last year, said in a statement.

He said he would instruct authorities to close this and related cases.

The fund transfers were revealed last July just as Najib was battling allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were missing from deals involving the state-owned company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib said the attorney-general's finding "confirmed what I have maintained all along, that no crime was committed".

"This issue has been an unnecessary distraction for the country," he said in a statement, adding it was time for Malaysia to "unite and move on".

'Dark era'

But opposition figures swiftly denounced Tuesday's announcement, calling it part of a broader cover-up.

Malaysian PM Najib Razak (left) meets Saudi Interior Minister Mohammad
bin Naif in Jeddah, on June 7, 2015 (AFP Photo)

"This will cause people to ask whether the AG carried out his duty professionally, freely and fairly," opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told reporters, according to The Malaysian Insider news site.

Apandi -- who has ties to Najib's ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) -- came to office after Najib sacked the previous attorney general, who was believed to be aggressively investigating the matter.

"(Apandi) has to give an explanation to Malaysians. The AG has to do a lot of convincing," Wan Azizah said.

The "donation" alibi is widely dismissed by Malaysians, and even critics within the ruling party have demanded an independent probe and accused Najib of manipulating investigations.

Najib entered office in 2009 as a self-styled reformer but the scandal has severely battered his image, fuelling speculation that Malaysia's nearly six-decade-old ruling coalition could finally lose power in elections due by 2018.

Voters had already been increasingly rejecting the UMNO-dominated coalition in recent elections over recurring graft scandals, divisive racial politics and accusations of rights abuses.

The opposition and rights groups accuse Najib of responding with an escalating crackdown that has seen dozens of government opponents arrested on various charges and the introduction of tough new security laws.

In a report on the crackdown released Tuesday, Amnesty International said Malaysia "is spiralling into a dark era of repression".

Najib Razak (centre) inspects a guard of honour at the ruling United Malays
 National Organisation party's annual congress in Kuala Lumpur, on December 10,
2015 (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

Anti-graft campaign group Transparency International said two questions remained unanswered: "Where did it (the money) go and why was this personal donation made?"

Samantha Grant, the group's Southeast Asia coordinator, told AFP many critics saw the sacking of the former AG "as an abuse of power and an attempt by the Prime Minister to reinstate someone who was more sympathetic to his cause".

Najib still faces a potential threat from foreign investigations.

US authorities are reportedly looking into 1MDB-related overseas fund flows, while Swiss, British, Singaporean and Hong Kong authorities have acknowledged scrutinising the affair.

Early last year a New York Times investigative report detailed multi-million-dollar purchases of luxury US real estate by a close Najib family associate and alleged purchases of millions of dollars in jewellery for Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Najib has responded to the 1MDB scandal by purging powerful critics within UMNO. He retains a solid grip on the party and won its renewed endorsement at a party congress in December.

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