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Posts Tagged ‘Camp’

Deadly clashes as Morocco storms Western Sahara camp

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

16 disadvantaged students to enjoy summer camp

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm




16 disadvantaged students to enjoy summer camp


QĐND – Thursday, August 12, 2010, 20:34 (GMT+7)

PANO – The US Embassy in Hanoi is organizing a summer camp for the recipients of the English Access Microscholarship Program in Cat Ba, Hai Phong city from August 13th to 16th.


The Access Summer Camp 2010 will bring together 16 current participants in the English Access Microscholarship Program in a series of academic workshops designed to develop the students’ English skills, social skills and volunteerism.


Several English teachers in Vietnam on the Fulbright Scholarship Program, along with NGO leaders and Vietnamese university students who have participated in other US Government-sponsored exchange programs will also join the summer camp.


The current 16 Access students are talented students from the lower secondary schools in the suburban districts of Hanoi.


This is Vietnam’s first group of Access students since the scholarship program was inaugurated in Vietnam in 2009.


The students were selected from 40 applicants via a competitive and fair selection process that included nominations by applicants’ schools, clearance by the Hanoi Department of Education and Training, as well as interviews by the US Embassy in Hanoi.


Funded by the US Government, the English Access Microscholarship Program provides a foundation of English language skills to talents aged 14 to 18 years who come from disadvantaged sectors through after school classes and intensive sessions.  The program also provides participants the opportunity to increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries, and to improve their chances of participating in US educational exchange programs in the future.


Mai Huong
Photo: 60s


Source: QDND

Buddhist family camp held in the south

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm




Buddhist family camp held in the south


QĐND – Saturday, July 17, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

A Buddhist family camp called “Chanh Tri Camp” is taking place in Long Quang Pagoda in the Mekong delta city Can Tho city from July 15-17, drawing the participation of over 700 Buddhist followers from southeast and southwest provinces.


This is a key activity to serve a seminar entitled “Vietnamese Buddhists’ role in the period of integration and national development”, which is also being held by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Can Tho city at the same time.


The camp offers a good chance for southern Buddhists to exchange experiences in developing Buddhist families in localities in accordance with Buddhism’s principles and State law.


During the three-day camp there are various activities, including art performances, exchanges, games, contests on Buddhist dogmas and an exhibition of handicraft products made by Buddhist teenagers.


Three seminars have also been held, focusing on southern Buddhist families in the integration period, the formation of Buddhist families in provinces and cities and how to stabilise and develop Buddhist teenagers in the future.


Formed over 60 years ago, the Buddhist Family Camp movement has developed strongly in central provinces like Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue.


In the south, after national reunification, the movement has still been maintained in several localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, Kien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh and Bac Lieu.


Source: VNA


Photo: giadinhphattu


Source: QDND

Thai Reds entrenched in sprawling Bangkok camp

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 at 8:22 am

Thailand’s “Red Shirts” have entrenched themselves in Bangkok’s glittering commercial heart, establishing a staggeringly large and elaborate protest base for their anti-government fight.

Anti-government protesters guard the entrance to their encampment, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AFP Photo)

In surreal scenes next to glass-fronted luxury malls and hotels, thousands of red-clad demonstrators have set up a tent city complete with food outlets, entertainment, free massages and a legion of black-shirted security guards.


“We have toilets, you can take a shower, everything is here,” says 29-year-old Prayoon Ninpetch from Surin province, one of the many Reds who have travelled to Bangkok from Thailand’s poor and underdeveloped north.


Their presence, which has forced many hotels and shops to close, stretches along four kilometres (2.5 miles) of what used to be some of the city’s most important transport arteries.


Given the scope of the operation, observers question who is funding the protesters, many of whom have had to abandon their jobs and farms to join the campaign against Thailand’s elites.


Tens of thousands arrived in Bangkok more than a month ago to join the rally for snap elections and many remain despite fears of an imminent army crackdown after clashes with security forces that left 25 dead on April 10.


“Reds tell me the money comes from their own donations but I doubt if they could sustain it for this long,” says Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.


“It’s an expensive operation and don’t forget they need to pay for the security guards and that’s big money.”


Reds’ spokesman Sean Boonpracong said they gathered 400,000 baht (12,400 dollars) daily from public donations, mainly collected on the site, which is strung with technical equipment to project speeches from the main stage.


He said expenses had been reduced since they consolidated in the commercial district six days ago after previously occupying a second site in the historic quarter, but he would not specify the cost of their campaign.


“Democratic businessmen make up the rest,” he said, adding that these donors preferred to remain anonymous. “When we have a shortfall they help us out.”


Reds portray their struggle as a genuine fight for equality and dismiss critics’ claims that they are hired protesters in the pay of their hero, fugitive former premier and billionaire media mogul Thaksin Shinawatra.


Asked if Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, helped out with funding the operation, Sean said: “I’m sure he does but I don’t know how much. No one has that information.”


Pavin said it was “impossible” to know exactly where the money came from but he did not think Thaksin could be the sole source of the cash.


“I don’t think it’s even a large proportion of the funding especially after his assets were seized,” he said, referring to a court order that confiscated 1.4 billion dollars of Thaksin’s fortune for conflict of interest.


“There might be some who are rich businessmen who never had anything to do with the Bangkok elite, who are out of the network, who have worked so hard and feel they don’t get anything in return,” he said.


Even without army intervention, it is unclear how long the protesters can keep up this village-like occupation, complete with their streetside hairdressers, monks in mobile Buddhist temples and even the odd pet chicken.


Jeff Savage, an British expatriate supporter of the Reds, said he was originally paid expenses by the movement to transport food and drink daily from his home town of Pattaya, southeast of Bangkok.


“I’m paying my own petrol money now so something’s gone wrong somewhere,” said the 48-year-old, whose wife is from Thailand’s northeast. But he doubted that Reds’ passions were likely to dwindle, even if their funding did.


“All my wife wants is equal opportunity for her daughter, an equal playing field. She doesn’t want war or anarchy but it’s got a bit out of control since people got killed,” he said. “Since the deaths, it’s got personal”.


 

Source: SGGP

Suicide bombers kill 27 at Pakistan displaced camp

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Twin suicide bombers struck a crowd of displaced people clamouring for aid handouts, killing at least 27 people on Saturday at a camp in northwest Pakistan, police said.


The bombers struck minutes apart in the Kacha Pukha camp on the outskirts of the garrison city of Kohat, a registration centre for people fleeing Taliban violence and Pakistani army operations close to the Afghan border.


The attacks underscored the grave threat still posed by extremists despite stepped up Pakistani offensives and a significant increase in US drone attacks targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked commanders in the nearby tribal belt.


“At least 27 people have died. There are 45 wounded. The toll may go up,” Kohat police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash told AFP by telephone from the scene.

A Pakistani soldier patrols Kohat in February 2010. Twin suicide bombers killed 27 people as they detonated their explosives near a crowd of displaced people clamouring for aid handouts in northwest Pakistan

“Both were suicide attacks. Body parts of the suicide bombers have been recovered. The blasts took place at the relief distribution point for internally displaced people,” he said.


Bangash said the first bomber detonated his explosives while displaced people gathered to receive relief items. A few minutes later the second bomber blew himself up in the middle of the gathering crowd.


Other officials confirmed two blasts, but Khalid Omarzai, the local chief of administration, initially told Geo television station that the second had been a planted device.


Northwest Pakistan has suffered a major internal displacement of people as a result of Taliban violence and a series of military offensives concentrated on flushing out the armed Islamists from parts of the northwest and tribal belt.


The United Nations says 1.3 million people are currently displaced.


Pakistan’s latest military offensive and ongoing extremist violence have displaced at least 210,000 people from the tribal districts of Orakzai and Kurram, most of whom have registered in Kohat and Hangu towns.


Northwest Pakistan suffers from chronic insecurity largely connected to the neighbouring semi-autonomous tribal belt, which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.


A campaign of suicide and bomb attacks have killed more than 3,200 people in less than three years across the nuclear-armed country of 167 million, blamed on Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other extremist Islamist groups.


On Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the main hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing 10 people, in what police said was an apparent sectarian attack linked to the shooting of a Shiite banker.


Under US pressure, Pakistan has in the past year significantly increased operations against militants in its tribal belt, which became a stronghold for hundreds of extremists who fled Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion.


Last year, a total of 3.1 million people were displaced from their homes in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border.


Nearly two million people have returned home, but uncertainty continues in the wake of ongoing clashes between troops and the Taliban.


Jean-Maurice Ripert, the UN special envoy in charge of humanitarian affairs for Pakistan, last week pressed donors for urgently needed funds for the displaced amid warnings that some aid projects may have to be cut.


Monday, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja, said in Islamabad that the world body had so far received only 106 million dollars from the donors, barely 20 percent of a total appeal for 537 million dollars.

Orakzai, the current focus of Pakistani military operations, is a former bastion of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud, whom US officials believe probably died in a US drone attack in January.

The Pakistani military says it has no evidence he is in the area.

Source: SGGP

Red Shirts put lives on hold to camp out in Bangkok

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

BANGKOK, April 14, 2010 (AFP) – Farmer Srian Paengsun’s crops have withered in the month he has spent camped in the Thai capital with thousands of red-shirted demonstrators, but he says it’s a price worth paying.


“My rice fields are all dead. My wife didn’t have the energy to farm them. But even though the crop is gone, this is worth it. This is what I want to do,” he says at the sprawling rally site in Bangkok’s historic district.


The 43-year-old from northeastern Surin province is one of thousands of “Red Shirt” protesters who have been occupying two key areas of the city in their bid to force Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call immediate elections.

Red Shirt anti-government protesters stand next to abandoned Thai army armoured vehicles as a police officer (C) passes by at the Democracy Monument as the anti-government rally continues in central Bangkok on April 14, 2010. AFP photo

The rally sites have been fitted out with tents, canteens and large stages, where loudspeakers blast out a mixture of fiery anti-government rhetoric and country folk music.


Red Shirts have set up makeshift toilets hooked up to the local water systems, brought in trailers equipped with showers and use washing facilities at nearby temples and hospitals.


Despite a crackdown by security forces on Saturday that left 21 people dead and more than 800 wounded, Reds continue to trickle in to join the protests, which have blocked traffic and caused many shops to shut.


“Since we got news the army shot Red Shirts, more people want to come out,” says 45-year-old Chalpramon Chonpasin, who joined the demonstrations this week.


Despite sweltering temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), organisers say about 30,000 Red Shirts have been sleeping at an encampment around Democracy Monument in the area that was the scene of the violence.


Another 20,000 have been camped out at a second enclave in the commercial district, which has been mostly peaceful, often with a carnival atmosphere.


The demonstrators said Wednesday they would merge the two sites, converging on the commercial hub, home to a clutch of five-star hotels and major shopping centres.


Many Reds are seeking the return of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, hailing his policies for the masses including cheap healthcare, and are refusing to go home until the government dissolves parliament.


Tiang Chaisena, 55, a farmworker who came in a neighbour’s pickup truck from Chanthaburi in central Thailand, says she has been sleeping on a plastic sheet on a Bangkok street since the mass demonstrations began on March 12.


“It’s not comfortable but we need to stay and fight. Everyone who comes here sleeps like this. It’s very hot, but we need to stay,” she says.


At a table behind the main stage in the historic district, organiser Somwan Asarasee collects Red Shirt donations, which he says go to transport, food, generators and tent rentals.


Enterprising vendors also sell food, red neckerchiefs, T-shirts and flip-flops, along with the red plastic foot and heart-shaped clappers that have become one of the quirky symbols of Thailand’s anti-government movement.


Chawan Chairat, 43, closed her Bangkok karaoke bar to join the Red Shirts, but decided to make some cash selling mango salads and soft drinks from a stand in the middle of the road.


“I come to the demonstration every day and I lose a lot of money, so I thought it would be a good idea to have something to sell,” she says.


At a first aid tent, former nurse Suksuipon Boonchuay, 40, says she helps treat 200 to 300 people each day, mostly for heat exhaustion or the effects of air pollution.


“More and more people come every day because we have fought for a long time,” she says.


Although they are dubbed “rural hordes” by one local paper, Red Shirts say they have travelled from both near and far in their bid to oust Abhisit’s government.


Teerachai Chaipayak, 25, a Bangkok law student attending a rally for his third time, says his parents disapprove of his Red Shirt support.


“They say, don’t come here and they say they want to cut me from the family. I think they’re just kidding, but there’s some truth to the words.”

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Source: SGGP

US military closes largest detention camp in Iraq

In World on September 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm

The U.S. military on Wednesday closed Camp Bucca, an isolated desert prison that was once its largest lockup in Iraq, as it moves to release thousands of detainees or transfer them to Iraqi custody before the end of the year.


The sprawling facility just north of the Kuwaiti border has held thousands of men over the years, including the most dangerous in U.S. custody — Sunni insurgents, Shiite extremists and al-Qaida in Iraq suspects swept up from battlefields over six years of war.


Iraqi officials say some who have been freed have returned to violence.


“They’ve been vetted as some of the most dangerous threats not only to Iraq but internationally,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth King, the commander of the Bucca detention facility.


On Wednesday, about a dozen of the remaining 180 detainees — some of whom have been held for three years without charge — paced in circles around a fenced-in prison yard, dressed in yellow uniforms and sandals under the watch of a guard tower.








In this Monday, March 16, 2009 file photo, detainees pray at a U.S. military detention facility Camp Bucca, Iraq.

One detainee inside a trailer frantically banged on a metal grill covering his window and shouted in Arabic at a group of visiting reporters, “Open the window!”


By midnight, all were to be transferred to either Camp Taji or Camp Cropper just outside Baghdad, the U.S. military’s two remaining detention facilities, while cases are prepared to try to bring them to trial in Iraqi courts. Sixty-five have already been convicted and are awaiting death sentences, said Brig. Gen. David Quantock, the commander in charge of the detention system.


Iraqi officials in the former insurgent heartland around Fallujah have watched with concern as an influx of ex-detainees from Bucca return to homes in places with few jobs, making them easy prey for militant recruiters.


The U.S. military is racing to empty its detention facilities because a security pact that went into effect in January requires them to either transfer detainees to Iraqi custody for prosecution or release them.


The vast majority — 5,600 since January — have been freed due to a lack of evidence that would be admissible in Iraqi courts and the military’s unwillingness to compromise intelligence sources by bringing them forward as witnesses. About 1,400 have been handed over to Iraqi custody, and the U.S. military now holds around 8,400 prisoners.


The closure of Bucca is the first major step in shutting down a detention system that was tainted by the Abu Ghraib scandal.


The facility began as a small tent camp for prisoners of war just after the March 2003 invasion, with little more than concertina wire to keep those captured from escaping.


Coalition troops rolling across the Kuwaiti border immediately set about building the camp, and over the next six years it grew into a 40-acre facility filled with row after row of watchtowers, barbed-wire-topped fences and metal trailers or plywood barracks to house detainees.


Named after Ronald Bucca, a former Green Beret and New York City fire marshall killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the camp also houses a forward operating base that will eventually be turned over to Iraqi marines.


The facility was the target of abuse allegations from detainees and human rights groups, which denounced the holding of detainees there for years without charge. It was also the site of riots, including one in January 2005 in which American guards fired on prisoners, killing four detainees and wounding six others.


In May of that year, U.S. authorities thwarted a massive escape attempt when they discovered a 600-foot tunnel leading out of the prison. Dug with makeshift tools fashioned from buckets and tent material 15 feet underground, the escape route reached beyond the compound fence, with an opening hidden beneath a floorboard.


It was uncovered after guards found dirt in latrines and other places. The discovery followed the escape a month earlier of 11 detainees who slipped through a hole in fence at the camp. Ten were eventually recaptured.


After the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the U.S. military implemented a series of reforms, and authorities at Bucca strove to make it a model facility, with closer oversight by commanders and better training for guards. Detainees were segregated based on threat risk, nationality and religious affiliation, and many were enrolled in classes to learn to read and write.

On Wednesday, the camp was eerily empty except for those men remaining in a high-security area known as Compound 16. Vacant units were still decorated with murals painted by detainees. Some showed tropical islands and one depicted a man crouching meekly on the ground.

Many detainees spent their days working at a brick factory on the prison grounds or receiving vocational training. A sign posted at one gate listed basic rights under the Geneva Conventions.

International human rights groups have expressed alarm over the transfer of detainees to an Iraqi judicial system they say falls well short of international standards of fairness. And abuses have occurred in Iraq’s prisons, say groups like Human Rights Watch.

“As the Americans dump more detainees in an already overwhelmed Iraqi system, the opportunities for abuse will only grow,” said Samer Muscati, a researcher on Iraq at the New York-based rights group.

Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, is scheduled to be turned over to Iraqi control on Jan. 10. Camp Cropper will be the last detention facility handed over, in August of next year.

Cropper, where Saddam Hussein was held before he was executed, houses former members of Saddam’s government and other high-value detainees. Among them is Saddam’s cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as “Chemical Ali” for the strikes he ordered against Kurds in the 1980s.

Over six years, some 100,000 detainees passed through the system. The highest its population reached at one time was 26,000 in November 2007 after the U.S. troop surge. Of those, Camp Bucca housed the most: 22,000.

Iraqi officials say they have evidence that some released detainees are returning to violence, either in insurgent groups or criminal gangs that have unleashed a frenzy of crime in the Iraqi capital.

A senior Iraqi investigator looking into the truck bombings that killed around 100 people last month outside the foreign and finance ministries in Baghdad said the man who carried out one the attacks was a former detainee at Camp Bucca.


Source: SGGP

Asian Science Camp to be held in Bali

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – The Asian Science Camp (ASC) 2008 is to be organised in the Indonesian resort island of Bali from August 3 to 9, 2008, and attended by five Nobel Laureates, Antara news agency reported.

The Nobel Laureates to be participating in the ASC 2008 are Prof. Masatoshi Koshiba (2002 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Japan), Prof. Yuan Tseh Lee (1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Chinese Taipei), Prof. Douglas D. Osheroff (1996 Nobel Laureate in Physics, USA), Prof. Dr.Richard Robert Ernst (1991 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Switzerland), and Prof. David Gross (2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics, USA).

Around 500 students from Asian countries are to participate in the ASC 2008, having a theme of “See the Future, Be the Future”.

The gathering is expected to be a 6-day inspiring and life changing moment for the Asian students, who will learn from Nobel Laureates and other world class scientists in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Medicine.

Foreign participants who have confirmed their participation include those from Cambodia, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, Antara said.

The idea of the Asian Science Camp was co-proposed in September 2005 after the 55th Annual meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany, by Professor Yuan-Tseh Lee and Professor Masatoshi Koshiba.

The proposal expressed the aim to enlighten science talented youths through discussions and dialogs with top scholars in the world, and promoting international friendship and cooperation among best young students of the next generation in Asia.-