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Posts Tagged ‘meets’

Nguyen Nhat Anh meets with literary friends in Bangkok

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

During my days in Thailand, people call me by my nickname “The last one.” In international practice, the order of representative delegations is classified according to the first letters of their countries’ names.

Vietnamese writer ‘Nguyen Nhat Anh’ at the ceremony of the S.E.A Writer’s Award in Bangkok November 14 2010.

When watching the Olympic Games or any other international sports festivals on TV, it was normal to see the Vietnam name appear in the final leg of the competition list, just before Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Wales.

However, this time I felt anxious to be in the final reading poems and speaking in a seminar while I was in Bangkok for the S.E.A Write Award, established to honor leading poets and writers in the Southeast Asian region.

On the day exchanging with Thailand people on the 30th floor of Bangkok Bank, poets and writers from Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines went first. After a half an hour, I felt relieve to find that everyone had stayed for the remaining statements from the poets from Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Realizing my anxiety, Panadda Lertlumamphai, who chaired the seminar, explained the order was arranged in alphabetly.  “No problem,” I smiled, saying that in Vietnam, most important things usually come last. My explanation made Ms. Panadda and audiences burst out laughing.

Close friends

During my time in Bangkok, I met a close friend named Marjorie Evasco. This Philippine poet and I, joked most of the time. He quoted to me verses of poetry, which sounded lyrical, and praising womanhood.

Even before we begin, the sound of wind/ From the old temple of Ulun Danu quivers/ On the tips of our fingers and in our toes/ The dancer, Ni K’tut Reneng, knows it takes/ Ten sacred years to learn one gesture/ Of the wind’s caress on the skin of water.”

Marjorie slimed at me for my interest in her poetry and invited me to a book festival in her native country, the Philippines.

Another close friend, a Singaporean poet named Johar Bin Buang. When knowing that I was born in 1955, was beside himself with joy saying “You and me are at the same age.”  However, that night at the hotel room, I discovered in a summary record that he was actually born in 1958 and not 1955.

Johan Bin Buang’s poems are submerged with ‘religious inspiration’. I especially like the verse: “While asleep, we walk on the milky way, clutching twinkling stars and surveying the columns of light…” In addition, the verse, “I want to play the flute even in those distant lands,”

I like to smoke cigarettes. The only other person that smoked was the Thailand poet Zakariya Amataya. On the first day in Bangkok, I did not know where the cigarette shop was located, so whenever Zakariya went out of the meeting room, I immediately followed. Zakariya and I smoked outside the meeting room. He would ask me about my writing and expressed his admiration about my first book, which was published in 1984.

Zakariya, one of Thailand poets of from the renovation period, was born in 1975. There was many opinions and discussion around the decision to give him the S.E.A Writer’s Award. Some of the debates said his poetry broke from the ‘old order’, while other’s stated that it was too ‘irritating’.

To me, his poems were strange, quarrelsome and daring. Some of my favorite poems are: “A Quarrel with Silence, Can’t See the Sun, Teardrops of Time, The Physics of Truth, Five-legged Chair, In What Color shall I Record the Words of Sadness?, A Song neither Coming nor Going…”.

In the poem “There must be something” displayed new and fresh ideas “There must have been some errors/ between the cleavages of the human race/ that was lost in the Flood/ something that was not stowed on Noah’s ark/ something that the Old Testament did not record/ something that Nostradamus did not foresee… There must be some misunderstanding on this earth/ that has been lost from the database of the global population/ something that Plato did not anticipate/ something that Nietzsche did not mention/ something that Einstein did not calculate/ something that has been lost…”


I came to Bangkok knowing nothing about literature of neighboring countries. However, now we have translated and introduced a host of literary works from all over the world, including Europe, the US, China and Japan. Literature is a wonderful means in exploring the aspects of both country and people. Since a little boy, I have liked France and the US thanks to the writers of Victor Hugo and Mark Twain. In the same way, Gogol and Puskin make me love Russia.

Vietnam has many things in common with other Southeast Asian Countries, especially in religious and cultural fields. Therefore, we need to further develop collaboration and growth between all countries.

The literary exchange among ASEAN countries is the beginning in this development and a way of ensuring more understanding and hope. I have dreamt about a Southeast Asian literary magazine, which will gather ASEAN writers and poets’ together, once a year, in order to encourage each country’s language development and growth.

Source: SGGP

Focus on India as world meets to save tiger

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

As Russia hosts an unprecedented summit on saving the wild tiger, much of the attention is focusing on India, home to nearly half of the big cats but also a leading centre for poaching.

Experts here said that despite positive steps, India is struggling to deal with poaching, with poor villagers willing to kill and sell tigers for just 100 dollars and the rangers charged with protecting the animals under-paid and poorly equipped.

“Poaching is the major threat, number two is habitat destruction,” said Satya Prakash Yadav, an official with India’s environment ministry taking part in the summit of 13 nations in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.

An Indian Royal Bengal tiger at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad in June 2010.

India is home to 1,411 tigers of the estimated 3,200 still living in the wild but also to 54 percent of poaching and trafficking cases. According to a recent report by the Traffic International non-governmental organisation, more than 1,000 tigers have been killed in the last decade in Asia.

“People living around the tiger reserves are always poor and if you come offering them a big price for the tigers they will take it,” said Sejal Worah, the director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Indian branch.

“The poacher gets only 100 dollars but the price of all the parts could be a 100 or 200 times more than that.”

Much of the poaching is fuelled by demand for tiger parts in Thailand, where there are far fewer of the wild cats, she said.

Good laws are in place to protect tigers in India, but enforcement has been lax, said Vivek Menon, the director for Southeast Asia for the International Fund for Animal Protection (IFAW), which has trained more than 7,000 rangers in India, a third of the country’s anti-poaching force.

“We have seven years in prison, not fines, if you kill a tiger…. What more do you want? India has very good laws. But the problem is the implementation in such a big country,” he said.

“For many years, nobody went to jail. Before, the judiciary never convicted. That has changed in the last five-six years and this is a good step.”

India’s federal government launched a tiger protection programme in 2007 with several million dollars allocated to urgent measures to cut down on poaching.

Among other efforts, the government recently began hiring retired soldiers to work on tiger reserves.

But Worah said the rangers are working in difficult conditions, hampering their efforts.

“It’s difficult and thankless work,” she said. “Often they are not paid for months and they are badly equipped. Sometimes they don’t even have boots or raincoats.”

Another effort has seen Indian authorities displace villages located in reserves to install tigers in the area. India is expected to commit during the summit to creating protected zones for tigers free of infrastructure, roads and people — a move that is likely to engender controversy.

“In a country like India it is difficult to reserve a zone and to say this is only for tigers and not for anything or anyone else. We don’t have the kind of space that Russia has,” Worah said.

“Social problems are competing with the tigers. It is a fight every day. But it is not a fight we are losing. We make two steps forward for every step back,” Menon said.

Animal-rights groups say the tiger population in India has fallen from 5,000 to fewer than 2,000 in the last five years, despite the allocation of 32,000 square kilometres (12,800 square miles) of sanctuary space.

Still, experts said India has scored some successes in its efforts to save the tiger and they hope the country is on the right track.

“Many of the success stories we talked about even here at the summit are from India,” Worah said.

“India is not a bad example, it’s just a realistic example,” Menon said.

Source: SGGP

PM Dung meets New Zealand, Indian PMs, ADB leader

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm

PM meets Japanese and Australian counterparts

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

IMF meets central bank chiefs in Shanghai

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 at 10:24 am

SHANGHAI (AFP) – International Monetary Fund and central bank officials from around the world met in China Monday to discuss ways to boost the global economic recovery, amid mounting fears of a damaging currency war.

The People’s Bank of China hosted the conference in the country’s financial hub Shanghai, bringing together central bank chiefs and other officials from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America, the IMF said.

The Shanghai conference follows IMF and World Bank annual meetings earlier this month, where finance officials discussed how to strengthen the recovery from the worst recession since World War II and the global financial system.

Pedestrians pass in front of the Shanghai skyline. AFP

It also comes ahead of this week’s key Group of 20 meeting in South Korea, where currency reform is expected to dominate talks, amid fears that nations could adopt trade barriers to counter the rising prices of Asian exports.

“The conference is part of the ongoing international examination of the policy challenges posed by the global financial crisis,” the Washington-based IMF said in a statement.

PBOC chief Zhou Xiaochuan and IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn were co-chairing the meeting, the institution said.

The US Federal Reserve was represented by Kevin Warsh, a member of the central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

Monday’s meetings had been planned for several months and Il-Houng Lee, the IMF’s resident representative in China, said all discussions would be carried out behind closed doors.

The talks were focused on macro-prudential policies — the big systemic picture of reducing the risk of too-big-to-fail institutions, Chinese central bank policy adviser Xia Bin told reporters outside the meeting room.

A news conference was scheduled for 6:00 pm (1000 GMT).

In the run-up to the G20 finance ministers’ meeting, which begins Friday in preparation for next month’s Seoul summit, South Korea has warned that frictions over the currency upheaval are growing and could lead to trade protectionism.

The United States, facing mid-term elections next month, has ratcheted up the pressure on China to allow the yuan to rise more rapidly, but Beijing insists its currency must not be used as a “scapegoat” for US economic woes.

When asked whether China feared a currency war, He Fan, an economist for the Chinese Academy of Social Science, a top government think tank, said he thought such a situation would be averted.

“Yes, we are concerned. But given historic lessons, a large-scale currency war is unlikely,” He said between attending meetings.

“But we are going to see continuing conflicts particularly in the East Asian region. Countries like Japan and South Korea have similar economic structures and both have limited room for monetary policy adjustment.”

Beijing should now tighten capital controls even further to prevent a flood of hot money — speculative funds — from coming into China on expectations that the yuan will appreciate, which would fan inflation, He said.

With Beijing keeping a tight grip on the yuan, many other Asian economies are suffering as their currencies soar against the dollar. Despite Europe’s debt woes, the euro has also surged.

In its statement, the 187-nation IMF added the meeting followed an IMF-sponsored gathering in South Korea of Asian policymakers and leaders in July, at which it “committed to forging a new relationship with the region.”

A year ago, the Group of 20 developed and developing nations tasked the IMF with stepping up its focus on global systemic stability.

Authorities agreed a broader approach was needed to spot weakness in the increasingly interconnected financial system, to complement the traditional micro-prudential regulations of bank-by-bank audit and supervision.

Asia-Pacific leaders will meet for a summit in Japan following the G20 gathering in Seoul next month.

Source: SGGP

State President meets voters in HCM City

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm

State President meets voters in HCM City

QĐND – Saturday, October 16, 2010, 20:51 (GMT+7)

State President Nguyen Minh Triet met with voters in HCM City on October 16 to inform them of the agenda of the 8th session of the 12th National Assembly.

At the meeting, voters discussed issues related to Laws on Consumer Rights Protection, Inspection, Securities, Civil Servants, the Election of NA deputies etc. Voters, particularly, expressed their keen interest in the role of NA deputies will play in supervising state activities and highlighted efforts to divide the Law on Denunciation and Complaints into two separate documents.

In addition, voters also discussed policies related to people who render service to the revolution and urgent issues of housing, traffic jams, and environmental pollution. They also expressed their wish that the NA would pay more attention to exploring for mineral resources, protecting forest and supporting fishermen at sea.

President Triet also praised voters for giving opinions on the draft laws and expressed hope that the City’s and District 3’s authorities will find solutions to these urgent matters.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietnam-Laos friendship association meets

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

ASEAN meets in Hanoi in shadow of Korea tensions

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

HANOI, July 20, 2010 (AFP) – Southeast Asian foreign ministers met in Vietnam on Tuesday for discussions dominated by concerns over the sinking of a South Korean warship and elections in Myanmar.

Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Hanoi ahead of the region’s main security forum Friday, which also gathers major powers including China, the United States and the European Union.

ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan attends the 43rd ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi on July 20, 2010. AFP photo

A draft statement prepared ahead of Tuesday’s talks said the 10 ASEAN member states supported a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and urged a resumption of six-party disarmament talks “as soon as possible”.

“We deplored the incident of the Cheonan ship sinking and the rising tension on the Korean peninsula,” the draft statement said, referring to an explosion that ripped apart a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors.

It said the six-party talks involving North and South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia were still the “main platform to achieve long-lasting peace and stability”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun will attend the 27-member ARF meeting alongside their counterparts from the six-party process.

It will be the first time the top diplomats from the disarmament dialogue will be in the same room since the Cheonan incident dramatically raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.

ASEAN chief Surin Pitsuwan said it was an opportunity to “engage in a discussion to see if the six-party talks can be given a new life”.

Clinton will arrive in Vietnam after visits this week to Pakistan and South Korea, where she is due to attend a memorial for the dead sailors and visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) alongside Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

South Korea, the United States and other nations, citing the findings of a multinational investigation, accuse the North of firing a torpedo that sank the warship.

The North vehemently denies the allegations and has warned that any attempts to punish it could trigger war.

But the country has also said it is willing to return to the multilateral disarmament talks, which it abandoned last year, after the United Nations Security Council on July 9 condemned the sinking but did not assign blame.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops in the South, has expressed skepticism about the North’s sincerity and responded by announcing plans to hold naval exercises with South Korea starting on July 25.

A US aircraft carrier, the 97,000-tonne USS George Washington, and three destroyers will visit South Korea this week ahead of the exercise.

During a visit to US troops north of Seoul on Tuesday, Gates said the drills were “a strong signal of deterrence to the North” but were not intended to provoke China, Pyongyang’s strongest ally.

A draft ARF chairman’s statement suggests the security forum is likely to follow ASEAN’s lead by expressing concern about the situation on the Korean peninsula without explicitly condemning the North for the Cheonan incident.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan wants some form of direct condemnation of the North to be included in the final statement, and would oppose any declaration that includes Pyongyang’s denials.

On Myanmar, the draft ASEAN statement calls for free and fair elections in the member state.

Surin said Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win “got an earful” from his ASEAN colleagues on the need for a credible vote.

Myanmar’s top diplomat “listened very, very attentively” during the discussions late Monday, Surin added.

The bloc of almost 600 million people — grouping Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — maintains a policy of non-interference in members’ affairs.

Source: SGGP

Burgers, Boeings and bonhomie as Obama meets Medvedev

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:49 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama called his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev a “solid and reliable partner” as the leaders forged a warmer relationship over burgers and a stroll.

“We listen to one another and we speak candidly…. By any measure, we have made significant progress and achieved concrete results,” Obama added.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev eat burgers during a lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia. AFP

After signing a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty signed in April, each leader sought new economic frontiers, announcing a deal to resume US poultry exports to Russia after a row over health and safety standards.

That deal allowed Obama to say he would order US negotiators to accelerate a dialogue with Moscow on Russia’s long desired entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Obama, struggling to cut US jobless rolls, also said that Russia would buy 50 Boeing aircraft valued at four billion dollars that could create 44,000 American jobs, part of a broad array of major trade and investment deals.

Medvedev said the work he and Obama had done had made the world “safer” and, after arriving in Washington from high-tech Silicon Valley, said it was time to move on from geopolitical cooperation to the economic sphere.

“We are ready for that now; our American partners are ready for the same thing.”

The imagery of the visit was carefully planned to suggest a relationship functioning both at a personal level, as well as diplomatically.

Obama and Medvedev left the White House after their talks to munch cheese burgers at the president’s favorite fast food joint in Arlington, Virginia, “Ray’s Hell-Burger.”

Later, in a highly unusual move, the two presidents left the White House under the gaze of Secret Service sharpshooters on nearby roofs, and strolled to a Russia investment summit at the nearby US Chamber of Commerce.

Obama noted that Medvedev had visited the California headquarters of “Twitters,” slightly mangling the name of the micro-blogging site at which he opened an account and sent his first tweets.

“I have one (an account) as well, so we may be able to finally throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long,” Obama joked.

Obama noted how the United States and Russia had worked together to further disarmament, to open new transit routes to Afghanistan and to frame new nuclear sanctions against Iran in the United Nations Security Council.

The only sign of discord at the summit was an acknowledgement by Obama that the two sides were not on the same page on everything.

“Our two countries continue to disagree on certain issues, such as Georgia, and we addressed those differences candidly.

“But by moving forward in areas where we do agree, we have succeeded in resetting our relationship, which benefits regional and global security.”

In that vein the two leaders issued a sheaf of statements, agreeing to work together on issues as diverse as rules for adoption, putting air marshals on US-Russia flights, and expressing concern at events in Kyrgyzstan.

Obama took office vowing to recalibrate relations with the Kremlin, after a tense period in the latter years of the Bush administration, which included tensions over Russia’s war with Georgia.

However, some US critics of Obama say he may be relying too much on a personal relationship with Medvedev, and argue that the real power in Russia lies with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

They also cite what they say is a deteriorating human rights situation in Russia and question whether Moscow is merely cooperating with Washington in the short-term in a bid to enhance its long-term geopolitical interests.

The Russian leader said he wanted to learn the lessons from Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the high-tech revolution.

Medvedev’s first “tweet” from his new Twitter account, @KremlinRussia, was a message in Russian that was translated into English as “Hello everyone, I am now on Twitter.”

Besides Twitter, the Russian leader also paid a visit to the offices of technology star Apple and secured a commitment from US networking giant Cisco that it would invest one billion dollars in Russia.

One project Medvedev has singled out as a priority is the setting up of an innovation center in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, envisaging it as a Russian Silicon Valley.

After wrapping up his US visit, Medvedev is to take part in the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits in Canada over the weekend.

Source: SGGP

IATA meets as airline industry shows signs of recovery

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2010 at 10:19 am

BERLIN (AFP) – The commercial aviation industry, battered by plunging sales and fallout from the Icelandic ash cloud, is at last emerging from a steep downturn, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says.

“We are meeting as the industry continues its recovery from the global financial meltdown,” IATA general director Giovanni Bisignani said ahead of its general assembly starting Monday.

The organisation represents 230 airlines that account for 93 percent of commercial air traffic.

Staff hand out folding chairs to passengers as they wait for information at Manchester Airport, in northwest England after it was closed because of an Icelandic ash cloud in May. AFP file

The pace of the sector’s recovery has been slowed by the eruption in April of an Icelandic volcano, which spread an ash cloud over Europe that brought commercial air travel to a standstill for a week.

International passenger traffic, after rising 10.3 percent in March, showed only a 2.4 percent gain in April.

Bisignani said however that the strong growth recorded prior to the volcano eruption presages a sustained recovery.

“It is finally time for some cautious optimism,” he said.

IATA estimates that the global civil aviation industry lost 9.4 billion dollars (7.8 billion euros) last year, with Europe accounting for 3.8 billion dollars.

The Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM last week reported a 4.3 percent gain in traffic in May.

“If this year we see no growth, it is possible that we will be able to regain momentum in 2011,” company chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said.

“In 2012, the air transport industry will be at a level that will exceed that reached before the (2008 global financial) crisis.”

Industry analyst Christophe Menard of Bryan, Garnier and Co. said that “overall, the trend has been positive over the last months.

“We will incorporate signs of recovery starting in the second half of the year and … should be at the top of the cycle in two years.”

Airlines have taken account of recovery prospects and have told manufacturers they planned to take delivery of aircraft as scheduled in 2011.

Results in the first quarter of the year improved, notably in Asia and North America, according to IATA. The first quarter is traditionally the weakest of the year.

“Airlines typically make 80 percent of their earnings in the second and third quarters,” IATA noted.

Menard said recent airline mergers in the United States should help absorb excess capacity.

At research group Oliver Wyman, analyst Olivier Fainsilber stressed that the economic recovery could prompt an increase in business travel and sales of flexible tickets at higher prices.

“This should be a fillip to generalist companies that have continued to offer a wide range of flight schedules during the crisis but without getting the benefit of sales of flexible tickets,” he said.

Source: SGGP