Monday, July 21, 2014

The Extraordinary Story of the Komagata Maru: Commemorating the One Hundred Year Challenge to Canada’s Immigration Colour Bar

1. Gurdit Singh (front row, left with his son) challenged Canada’s exclusion laws by chartering the Komagata Maru in Hong Kong and bringing 376 of his compatriots to Vancouver. (Courtesy: Vancouver Public Library, 6231. Frank Leonard photograph)
John Price and Satwinder Bains
One hundred years ago, Gurdit Singh Sirhali chartered the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru and brought 376 Indian passengers to Canada in a direct challenge to Canada’s immigration colour bar.1 The ship’s forced departure from Vancouver harbour on July 23, 1914 ended an extraordinary two-month standoff between the passengers, determined to enter Canada, and a Canadian government determined to enforce its anti-Asian exclusion policies, come what may. The ship’s departure, however, was not the end of this saga—the passengers faced unimaginable hardships on the return voyage only to be met by the iron fist of British authorities upon their arrival in India.
The Komagata Maru story has tended to be inscribed in national narratives, both Canadian and Indian, but in this article we argue that the 1914 confrontation was a historical moment in which a heterogenous, diasporic movement for social justice became a wellspring for a transborder, anti-colonial upsurge. Entangled in the maw of virulent settler racism and the emerging British-American alliance for global white supremacy, the Komagata Maru saga would have profound repercussions that continue to be felt to this day.
Transnational Background

Migrant Brides in South Korea

recent article in the Washington Post follows a Korean man and his Vietnamese mail-order bride and their journey to transnational holy matrimony. The couple depicted by the author is but one case in the thousands of international marriages in South Korea. The phenomenon of mail-order brides in South Korea and the issues that stem from it have in fact been developing for decades. Unfortunately, not all of these marriages have a fairy tale ending. As The Diplomat’s Tae-jun Kang has pointed out, some 69 percent of immigrant wives say they have experienced some form of abuse from their Korean husbands and international marriages frequently end in separation.

4 Reasons China Removed Oil Rig HYSY-981 Sooner Than Planned


After HYSY-981: A US-Vietnam Alliance?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

The dog meat debate in South Korea

Eating dog meat is a divisive issue among Koreans. In the past, a cultural relativist argument was made to support the tradition of eating dog meat in Korea. It was claimed that eating the cute critters was a unique aspect of Korean culture that couldn't be understood by outsiders.But in recent years concerns over animal welfare have come up and clashed with those older values.

This is the one thing I hate the most about living in Korea six months out of the year. 
Being one who loves dogs more than people.
 I find this archaic tradition to be barbaric.
In the country side they treat dogs worst than farm animals. Tied to a chain or crated in a cage for their entire lives.

I always wonder when I see city people with their pet  dogs if they secretly go to a dog restautant.
Why the Korean government does not take a bold and humane step to shut down the dog farms is beyond me.

Tao Dao Man

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Problems Continue with Reactor Operations


Seoul-Beijing military hotline to be established

Thursday, July 17, 2014

China and South Korea: ‘Like Mouth and Tongue’ Written by Alessandra Colarizi

Beijing sets out to expand its influence in North Asia
Beijing is losing patience with its troublesome client state North Korea, demonstrated by Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul at the start of this month before ever stepping on North Korean soil so far in his presidency or extending an invitation to Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un to visit Beijing.
In a telling exchange, Tian Guoli, chairman of the Bank of China, who was along for the trip, described China and Korea as “close neighbors like a mouth and tongue.” That is almost a blasphemous reworking of Mao Zedong’s famed words defining the partnership with the North Korean ally – as like “lips and teeth.”

That doesn’t mean Beijing is going to give up on a client state that has served as a useful buffer blocking US influence for more than five decades. During the Korean War (1950-1953), China sided with the North, losing 114,000 soldiers in action with another 70,000 dying of wounds. Some 25,000 remain missing, a total loss of more than 200,000 of China’s young men

Hong Kong Struggles over Fake Democracy


Visa Enforcement Tightens for Thailand’s Expats

Where the boys were
The lush life days may be coming to a close
Since the days of the Vietnam War, Bangkok, with its louche hotspots like Soi Cowboy and Patpong, has been a haven for lonely ex-GI’s, drunks and others looking for love in all the wrong places, as the song goes.
But it appears that the days when a middle-aged male could wash up on Thailand’s shores to find romance and cheap housing and excellent food on a tourist visa and make “border runs” to Cambodia or Myanmar to renew the visas in a few hours, then return to Thailand, are ending. In addition to sending home as many as 200,000 Burmese workers, the junta is also lining up to send the drunks and sex tourists home.
Of course there are plenty of productive expatriate westerners in Thailand who do more than drink and chase girls. They are either freelancing illegally – IT, design, online writers -- or have enough independent cash to eke out a living. The country for decades has been a welcoming home for freelance writers and photographers who use either Bangkok or the northern city of Chiang Mai, with their low costs and good flight connections to other regions, as a base.

Among them are so-called “digital nomads,” location-independent entrepreneurs who favor Thailand. Many stay on tourist visas, traveling around the region and returning to Thailand thanks to its low cost for high quality living, its reliable high-speed Internet and other attractive perks.

Indias Great Invisible Workforce

Indias Great Invisible Workforce

Millions of Indian women are confined to their homes performing domestic duties for which they receive no compensation. Credit: Malini Shankar/IPS
Millions of Indian women are confined to their homes performing domestic duties for which they receive no compensation. Credit: Malini Shankar/IPS
NEW DELHI, Jul 17 2014 (IPS) - According to census data released this month, a whopping 160 million women in India, 88 percent of who are of working age (15 to 59 years), are confined to their homes performing ‘household duties’ rather than gainfully employed in the formal job sector.
Dubbed India’s ‘great invisible workforce’, this demographic is primarily involved in rearing families within the four walls of their homes.

Why Korea Can’t Follow Germany’s Reunification Model

India Faces off With Pakistan, China on Disputed Kashmir Borders


Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17: Who Shot It Down?


Strategic Trust, an Oil Rig and Vietnam’s Dilemma