Daily Archives: March 30, 2009

Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA

LifeNews.com | Mar 26, 2009

by Steven Ertelt

arrogant_obamaWashington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The check may have already been in the mail, but the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is sending $50 million to the UNFPA. That’s the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials.

In China, the enforcement of the coercive one-child rule has resulted in forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and other human rights abuses.

Research from the United States and British governments, along a first-hand report from the group Population Research International, has shown UNFPA officials working side-by-side their Chinese colleagues and going as far as sharing the same offices.

But that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from sending the $50 million Congress authorized to the UNFPA.

“The Department of State will contribute $50 million to UNFPA in 2009, as provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act,” spokesman Robert Wood said in a press statement. “This decision highlights the Administration’s strong commitment to international family planning, women’s health, and global development.”

Wood praised the UNFPA for its family planning work, but made no mention of its pro-abortion activities or its working with Chinese population control authorities.

The Obama administration statement doesn’t provide the reasons for the funding, but some additional details came up during the Senate hearing this week on the nomination of Melanne Verveer, Obama’s pro-abortion nominee for Ambassador at Large for Women’s Global Issues.

When the House approved its omnibus bill, it reworded the language of the Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits funding groups that support forced abortions, to allow the president to determine whether that it happening.

Rep. Chris Smith tried to offer an amendment to revert the language back to the original ban on such funding, but House Democrats blocked him from doing so. Then, pro-life Sen. Roger Wicker offered a similar amendment but the Senate defeated it.

Wicker questioned Verveer about the genesis for the UNFPA funding during the hearing.

Verveer indicated that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rely on the UNFPA loophole and instead reinterpreted the Kemp-Kasten law to say it had no impact on the UNFPA funding.

“A determination was made by the secretary of state and predicated on the facts as they were presented about the role of UNFPA that it does not meet the threshold [prohibiting funding to groups that back forced abortions],” Verveer said.

“It does not fund or support organizations that are supportive of coerced abortions or manage programs dealing with coerced abortions,” Verveer added.

Verveer claimed the UNFPA has few programs in China and “they have done significant work in trying to get the Chinese to reduce abortions and eliminate this practice.”

However, the Bush administration found such a link between the UNFPA and forced abortions.

It determined that UNFPA provides financial support to Marie Stopes International, a British abortion business which turned around and send the U.S. taxpayer funds to support to the Chinese population control agency that enforces the coercive birth limitation policy.

Regardless of how it was approved, abortion advocates are already saying $50 million is not enough money.

Led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, they are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.

In a letter to the chairman and ranking members of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Slaughter and three other members of the House ask for an increase of $530 million for family planning efforts and a boost to $65 million for the UNFPA.

“We respectfully request that you increase international family planning assistance funding by $530 million from last year’s level, including a total of $65 million for the United Nations Population Fund in the Fiscal Year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act,” the letter says.

‘Torture’ Could Haunt Bush Officials

Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to press ahead with a probe into six former Bush administration officials, including ex-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,  in connection with the torture of detainees at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison, court sources said.

ABC | Mar 29, 2009

Spanish Judge Who Went After Pinochet Considers Charges for Gonzales, Others

By HILARY BROWN

gitmo_gonzalesIn what may turn out to be a landmark case, a Spanish court has started a criminal investigation into allegations that six former officials in the Bush administration violated international law by creating the legal justification for torture in Guantanamo Bay.

The officials named in the 98-page complaint include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who once famously described the Geneva Conventions as “quaint” and “obsolete.”

Others include John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who wrote the so-called “torture memo” that justified waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods for terror suspects.

Also named are: former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith; former General Counsel for the Department of Defense William Haynes II; Jay S. Bybee, formerly of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, former chief of staff and legal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

At the time of writing, ABC was unable to reach any of the officials for comment. Feith was reported to have said he was “baffled by the allegations.”

In an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal on March 7, Yoo said the Obama administration risked harming national security if it punished lawyers like himself. Why a Spanish court? Because the famous Spanish judge in the case, Balthazar Garzon, says four Spanish citizens formerly held in Guantanamo claim they were tortured there, and that Spain therefore has jurisdiction in the case.

The complaint says that the American officials violated international law, specifically the 1984 Geneva Convention Against Torture, signed by 145 countries including the United States and Spain.

It says the officials created the legal justification for torture. Not that they were in the torture room, but that they twisted the law , to justify the unjustifiable.

Garzon has an international reputation as a crusader against human rights violations, and has been outspoken about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Storm piles more than 2 feet of snow on Kansas

AP | Mar 30, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A storm has buried parts of Kansas in more than two feet of snow and knocked out power to at least 17,000 homes and businesses.

The same storm also dumped heavy snow on parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest snow in Kansas by Saturday morning was 28 inches around the Pratt area.

Other areas of Kansas reported snow drifts up to six feet high.

Some areas are dealing with freezing rain that has coated power lines and trees with ice up to an inch thick. The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office said 17,000 customers are without power.

Texas officials say some highways may be closed until afternoon because of the heavy snow.

Blizzard conditions close roads in Southern Plains

AP | Mar 30, 2009

By LINDA STEWART BALL

DALLAS (AP) — A major spring blizzard plodding eastward over the Southern Plains shut down major highways Friday and paralyzed the region as residents braced for up to a foot of snow, freezing 45-mph winds and massive snowdrifts.

Schools and government offices were closed, and hundreds of travelers were stranded by the storm, which left some areas under a coat of ice. The snowfall was expected to be unprecedented for this time of year in Oklahoma, and the National Guard was called out in the Texas Panhandle, where snowdrifts as high as 11 feet and up to a foot of snowfall were predicted before the storm moves on Saturday.

“It’s blowing furiously,” said Jerry Billington of Faith City Ministries in downtown Amarillo, which was under whiteout conditions. The 200-bed shelter was one of several setting up extra beds and encouraging homeless people to come in off the street.

There were several accidents in the area, including jackknifed tractor-trailers, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Wayne Williams said in Amarillo, which is about 365 miles northwest of Dallas. Authorities shut down all major highways around Dalhart in the northwest corner of the Panhandle.

At least two weather-related traffic deaths were reported, in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Ice built up all over southeast Kansas, with a quarter-inch coat reported in Arkansas City. Freezing rain pelted the Wichita area and heavy snow and 40 mph winds created dangerous driving conditions in the Dodge City area.

The weather service forecast as much as 16 inches of snow in northwest Oklahoma, with about 5 inches predicted in Oklahoma City. Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency Friday for much of the state.

Winds were strongest near the Colorado-Kansas border, said Randy Gray of the National Weather Service in Pueblo, Colo. Sections of three southeast Colorado highways totaling nearly 150 miles were shut down Friday.

Rural electric providers reported about 5,000 homes and businesses without power in Oklahoma, where wind gusts were as high as 50 mph. More than 2,000 Oklahoma Gas and Electric customers in the Norman area were without power Friday, and outages also were reported in several Kansas towns.

Earlier in the week the storm dumped nearly a foot and a half of snow in the Denver area, creating havoc at airports and on highways that lingered Friday as a swath of far southeastern Colorado remained under a blizzard warning. Many schools and offices remained closed because of icy roads and unplowed streets.

Three of four roads into the southeast Colorado town of Springfield were closed when blowing snow reduced visibility to near zero.

“It was awful. Just blowing real bad,” said Kelly Mason, a worker at Love’s Travel Stop in the town of about 1,400. “Not a lot’s moving around here.”

As many as 400 travelers spent the night at Denver International Airport after airlines canceled about 500 flights Thursday. Air operations resumed Friday, with dominant DIA carriers United, Southwest and Frontier airlines returning to regular schedules with few cancellations.

Eastern Colorado ranchers checked on their herds, which were in the midst of calving when the storm hit.

A series of heavy storms in December 2006 and January 2007 killed an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 head of cattle in southeastern Colorado. Cattle that survived gave birth to stillborn calves because of the stressful winter, compounding losses.

This week’s storm will “have some impact, but it wasn’t what we call a cow-killer,” said Mike Eisenbart, who has 140 head of cattle on his ranch in Kit Carson County about 140 miles east of Denver.

The American Red Cross said 285 people spent Thursday night in shelters south of Pueblo because a 40-mile stretch of I-25 was closed in southern Colorado. It has since reopened.

Gov. Bill Ritter declared a state of emergency Thursday and activated the National Guard. Troops rescued three stranded motorists and cleared a path through stalled vehicles for an emergency blood delivery, Capt. Elena O’Bryan said.

Snowfall sets record: Tulsa’s 6 inches of accumulation easily tops 1926 mark

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Jason Scalley (left) attaches a tow cable from his pickup to the car of a stranded motorist after she lost control on an exit ramp of the Broken Arrow Expressway on Saturday. STEPHEN HOLMAN/Tulsa WorldSTEPHEN HOLMAN/Tulsa World

Tulsa World | Mar 29, 2009

By DAVID HARPER & SHANNON MUCHMORE

A springtime snowstorm dumped about 6 inches of snow on Tulsa on Saturday, breaking an 83-year-old record.

Pete Snyder, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the previous record for the heaviest snowfall after March 21 in Tulsa was 3 1/2 inches on March 31, 1926. Besides that, he said the city had not had more than 1 1/2 inches of snow after March 21.

“This just shatters that,” he said of the old record.

By 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Snyder said, “for all intents and purposes” the storm was over in Tulsa, with 6-inch totals common in the area.

Roads quickly turned hazardous Saturday, with numerous wrecks reported on area roadways.

The Tulsa Police Department was under Operation Slick Streets during the storm, meaning that officers were not responding to noninjury traffic accidents.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. George Brown said every available trooper in the Tulsa area was called into work Saturday as the storm intensified and accident calls poured into dispatchers. Brown said OHP was receiving about one call per minute during the day and that troopers were responding based on the severity of the accident.

Snyder said snowfall amounts up to 10 inches were recorded in Creek County on Saturday.

EMSA spokeswoman Tina Wells said that between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, EMSA paramedics responded to more than 100 medical calls.

Included in that count were 28 motor vehicle crashes on area roadways. Six patients were transported to the hospital, and none had life-threatening injuries, she said.

Paul Strizek, Tulsa Public Works spokesman, said some 30 snowplows were deployed throughout the city in an attempt to keep roads as clear as possible.

“We’re just plowing away,” he said early Saturday afternoon.

Strizek said no materials were being applied to the roads as of Saturday evening because the roads were not iced. Instead, he said the goal was to plow the wet, fluffy snow and expose “bare pavement.”

However, he said the streets, which were wet on Saturday evening, are expected to freeze overnight. Strizek said that development would lead crews to apply salt to the streets.

He said snow accumulated especially fast Saturday in hilly areas such as Cincinnati Avenue and 46th Street North as well as on South Yale Avenue between 71st and 91st streets.

The storm hitting on a Saturday was a mixed blessing. Fewer people had to be out on the roads, but fewer vehicles also meant that snow was more prone to collect on the streets instead of being beaten down by traffic.

“Traffic does help as long as it keeps moving,” Strizek said.

Dale Reeves, a dispatcher with Storey Wrecker Service, said the company’s crews were busy Saturday as calls came in from throughout the Tulsa metropolitan area.

PSO spokeswoman Andrea Chancellor said at 7:45 p.m. Saturday that about 700 customers in the Tulsa metropolitan area were without power, but it was expected to be restored by early Sunday morning. At the height of the storm, about 6,000 customers were without power.

OG&E was also reporting scattered outages late Saturday in places such as Sapulpa, Beggs, Cushing, Kiefer and Pauls Valley.

The Tulsa Fire Department responded to a fire Saturday morning that resulted from a vehicle striking a commercial gas meter.

The incident occurred at the 5600 block of South 129th East Avenue, said Capt. Michael Baker of the Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

According to information released by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, at least 223 people were treated at hospitals and other medical care facilities throughout the state for injuries somehow related to the storm. Except for one broken arm, all others were classified as minor “slips and falls.”

Tulsa International Airport remained open Saturday, but many morning and afternoon flights were canceled or delayed.

While lows in the mid-20s figure to make travel somewhat difficult overnight and early on Sunday, Snyder said things should quickly improve. The high in Tulsa is expected to be in the upper 40s Sunday and near 70 on Monday.

“Everything’s going to melt pretty quickly,” he said.

While Saturday’s snowfall in Tulsa was a record-breaker, it still paled in comparison to what happened earlier in western Oklahoma.

Joe Sellers, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the highest total he had seen from western Oklahoma, where the storm hit Friday, was 25 inches in Harper County.

There were roof collapses in Harper County, including a nursing home, two businesses, a home and the Fort Supply School Gym. No injuries were reported.

Heavy snow caused a carport in Laverne to collapse.

A Moore man who was exiting a vehicle that went out of control on a snow-covered stretch of Interstate 40 near El Reno died after being struck and killed by a passing car Friday evening, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

In a separate crash Friday, a 20-year-old Eufaula resident died when his pickup ran off the road on Oklahoma 9 in the rain, traveled left of center and collided head-on with another vehicle.

A truck driver was hospitalized in critical condition after his rig went out of control on rain-slickened U.S. 412 on Friday about 5 miles east of Enid, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

The vehicle overturned, and the driver was pinned for an hour before he could be freed.

Another accident because of the ice sent an Alabama man to the hospital.

Global Warming guru Al Gore ignores much touted ‘Earth Hour’

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Driveway to Nashville mansion flooded with electricity

WorldNetDaily | Mar 29, 2009

Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” may have inspired many to participate in yesterday’s “Earth Hour” by switching off their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but maybe the former vice president didn’t get the memo.

Drew Johnson, the president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, decided to drive by Gore’s mansion in Nashville at 8:48 p.m. and records that floodlights were on illuminating the driveway leading up to the main quarter.

“I pulled up to Al’s house, located in the posh Belle Meade section of Nashville, at 8:48 p.m. – right in the middle of Earth Hour,” he wrote on his blog. “I found that the main spotlights that usually illuminate his 9,000 square foot mansion were dark, but several of the lights inside the house were on.”

He added: “The kicker, though, were the dozen or so floodlights grandly highlighting several trees and illuminating the driveway entrance of Gore’s mansion. I [kid] you not, my friends, the savior of the environment couldn’t be bothered to turn off the gaudy lights that show off his goofy trees.”

Earth Hour was deemed a huge success by its organizers, the World Wildlife Fund. The group estimated that 1 billion worldwide took part.

From an Antarctic research base and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Empire State building in New York, illuminated patches of the globe went dark last night to highlight what the group believes is a man-made threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., according to organizers.

WWF called the event, which began in Australia in 2007 and grew last year to 400 cities worldwide, “the world’s first-ever global vote about the future of our planet.”

The United Nations’ top climate official, Yvo de Boer, called the event a clear sign that the world wants negotiators seeking a climate change agreement to set an ambitious course to fight global warming.

The event was initiated with hopes of impacting talks in Bonn this week to craft a deal to control emissions of the heat-trapping gases supposedly responsible for “global warming.” The talks are due to culminate in Copenhagen this December.

“Earth Hour was probably the largest public demonstration on climate change ever,” de Boer told delegates from 175 nations. “Its aim was to tell every government representative to seal a deal in Copenhagen. The world’s concerned citizens have given the negotiations an additional and very clear mandate.”

China’s last eunuch spills sex secrets


Reuters | Mar 16, 2009

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – Only two memories brought tears to Sun Yaoting’s eyes in old age — the day his father cut off his genitals, and the day his family threw away the pickled remains that should have made him a whole man again at death.

China’s last eunuch was tormented and impoverished in youth, punished in revolutionary China for his role as the “Emperor’s slave” but finally feted and valued, largely for outlasting his peers to become a unique relic, a piece of “living history.”

He had stories of the tortuous rituals of the Forbidden City, Emperor Pu Yi’s last moments there and the troubled puppet court run by the Japanese during the 1930s. He escaped back to the heart of a civil war, became a Communist official and then a target of radical leftists before being finally left in peace.

This turbulent life has been recorded in the “The Last Eunuch of China” by amateur historian Jia Yinghua, who over years of friendship drew out of Sun the secrets that were too painful or intimate to spill to prying journalists or state archivists.

He died in 1996, in an old temple that had become his home, and his biography was finally published in English this year.

It unveils formerly taboo subjects like the sex life of eunuchs and the emperor they served, the agonizing castrations often done at home and also often lethal, and the incontinence and shame that came with the promise of great power.

“He was conflicted over whether to tell the secrets of the emperor,” said Jia, adding that Sun preserved a loyalty to the old system because he had dedicated so much of his life to it.

“I was the only person he trusted. He did not even confide in his family, after they threw away his ‘treasure,'” Jia added, using traditional eunuchs’ slang for their preserved genitals.

They were discarded during the chaotic 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when having anything from the “old society” could put lives at risk.

“He only cried about two things; when telling me about the castration and about the loss of his ‘treasure’,” said Jia, who works as an energy bureaucrat, but devotes all his spare time to chronicling the dying days of Imperial China after a childhood enthralled by the eunuchs and princes who were his neighbors.

STERILITY AND POWER

Over years of painstaking research, he has gleaned arcane details about every aspect of palace life, along with secrets about the emperor’s sexuality and cruelty that would look at home on the front page of tabloid newspapers.

For centuries in China, the only men from outside the imperial family who were allowed into the Forbidden City’s private quarters were castrated ones. They effectively swapped their reproductive organs for a hope of exclusive access to the emperor that made some into rich and influential politicians.

Sun’s impoverished family set him on this painful, risky path in hopes that he might one day be able to crush a bullying village landlord who stole their fields and burned their house.

His desperate father performed the castration on the bed of their mud-walled home, with no anesthetic and only oil-soaked paper as a bandage. A goose quill was inserted in Sun’s urethra to prevent it getting blocked as the wound healed.

He was unconscious for three days and could barely move for two months. When he finally rose from his bed, history played the first of a series of cruel tricks on him — he discovered the emperor he hoped to serve had abdicated several weeks earlier.

“He had a very tragic life. He had thought it was worthwhile for his father, but the sacrifice was in vain,” Jia said, in a house stacked with old books, newspapers and photos.

“He was very smart and shrewd. If the empire had not fallen there is a high chance he would have become powerful,” Jia added.

The young ex-emperor was eventually allowed to stay in the palace and Sun had risen to become an attendant to the empress when the imperial family were unceremoniously booted out of the Forbidden City, ending centuries of tradition and Sun’s dreams.

“He was castrated, then the emperor abdicated. He made it into the Forbidden City then Pu Yi was evicted. He followed him north and then the puppet regime collapsed. He felt life had played a joke at his expense,” Jia said.

Many eunuchs fled with palace treasures, but Sun took a crop of memories and a nose for political survival that turned out to be better tools for surviving years of civil war and ideological turbulence that followed.

“He never became rich, he never became powerful, but he became very rich in experience and secrets,” Jia said.

Australia’s Rudd To America: China Is Not An Enemy

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Australia’s Rudd Tells US That China Is Not An Enemy, But Presents An Economic Opportunity

AP | Mar 26, 2009

SYDNEY – Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has urged Americans not to view China as an enemy but as a country offering huge economic opportunities, even though its leaders have “done some bad things in the past.”

Rudd was speaking during a visit to Washington, where the Mandarin-speaking former diplomat has been welcomed as an expert on China as well as a close ally of the United States.

Rudd was asked on the influential PBS television program “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” whether Americans should view China as an ally, an enemy, or some other way .

“I think China represents a huge opportunity for us all for the 21st century,” Rudd replied, noting the country had a big part to play as “the center of global economic gravity” shifts toward the Asia Pacific region.

He said the “smart course of action” for the United States and Australia would be to help integrate China into global political, economic and security institutions and engage Beijing on climate change.

“Now, if China was to turn its back on that or not be responsible, the world would soon know,” Rudd said. “They’re not perfect. They’ve done some bad things in the past. But let’s look at the opportunities, rather than simply assume it’s all threat and all risk.”

The interview was conducted hours after Rudd held talks with President Barack Obama at the White House, where the leaders discussed the war in Afghanistan, the global financial crisis and climate change.

Rudd is touting the G-20 forum as a key tool in tackling the financial meltdown and is urging that China be given a greater voice in the grouping and other international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund. G-20 leaders are due to meet next week to discuss the crisis.

After the meeting, Obama said he and Rudd had a “great meeting of the minds” in how to approach the crisis, though he did not mention China.

Tibet’s Panchen Lama, Beijing’s propaganda tool

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Jia Qinglin (R), Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, greets the Panchen Lama

AFP | Mar 28, 2009

BEIJING (AFP) — China’s controversial choice as the second highest Tibetan spiritual figure is increasingly being used by Beijing as a tool in its propaganda offensive against the exiled Dalai Lama, say experts.

Rarely seen in public previously, but believed to have been educated in the Chinese capital, the 19-year-old Panchen Lama Friday expressed loyalty to Beijing, in stark contrast to the views of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

“For a long time the Dalai’s separatist clique has ignore the success of Tibet’s development, plotted and planned to ruin Tibet’s social stability and wantonly attacked the policies of the central government,” he said, referring to the Dalai Lama’s exiled Tibetan administration.

The comments made in an interview with China Central Television came as he attended a symposium marking the 50th anniversary of what is officially called “the end of serfdom in Tibet” held at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

“Old Tibet was a theocratic feudal serf society, the ruling class, nobility and clergy rode on the backs of the people and exploited and persecuted them,” he said in the interview.

On Saturday, China will, for the first time, celebrate the end of Tibetan “feudalism,” a day that coincides with the quelling of an anti-Chinese uprising in the Himalayan region 50 years ago.

The Panchen Lama is also scheduled to appear at the opening of the Second World Buddhist Forum in eastern China’s Wuxi city on Saturday, according to state press reports.

During the last forum two years ago, the young monk with an almond-shaped face and small round glasses made his first public appearance, more than 10 years after his controversial enthronement.

Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama, exiled from his homeland for 50 years, accused China of having transformed Tibet into “a hell on earth” and of killing hundreds of thousands of Tibetans during its rule.

But in an essay that appeared in the communist mouthpiece the People’s Daily on Monday, the Panchen Lama expressed full loyalty to the atheist ruling party.

“Facts show that it is only under the leadership of the Communist Party of China that Tibet can enjoy its current prosperity and an even better future,” he wrote.

Born Gyaincain Norbu, the controversial figure was enthroned as the 11th Panchen Lama in a 1995 ceremony overseen by the Communist Party, which had rejected a boy selected by the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama’s choice, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, immediately disappeared from public view and is believed to have been under a form of house arrest ever since.

The 10th Panchen Lama died in 1989 after a tumultuous relationship with China’s communist leaders that alternated between prison and relative freedom.

But even if the new Panchen Lama becomes more high-profile in China, that does not mean he is accepted as a spiritual leader by Tibetans, according to Tibetan scholars outside of China.

In Tibetan temples, it is rare to see images or photographs of him, while those of his predecessor are common.

“He is a piece of propaganda. He is being used by the Beijing government,” said Samten G. Karmay, the Paris-based former head of the Association of International Tibetan Studies.

“The Tibetan population does not recognise him, especially as he is saying the things that fall in with the Communist Party line.”

Although both the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama belong to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, differences between them have existed historically and the communists are not the first to try to take advantage of this, Karmay said.

In the 19th century, the Qing Dynasty tried to play on the antagonism by attempting to make the Panchen Lama an ally.

Beijing’s manipulation of the selection of the Panchen Lama in 1995 could be a sign of what will happen after the death of the current Dalai Lama.

“The Chinese government will try to name someone, but China will have a problem with legitimacy,” said Tsering Shakya, a leading Tibetan historian at the University of British Columbia.

“It is certain that 100 percent of Tibetans will not recognise a child chosen by China as the Dalai Lama. But that won’t matter to Beijing. For the Chinese it is only a question of showing their power.”

Chinese best-selling book claims Beijing should ‘lead the world’

‘Unhappy China’ bestseller claims Beijing should ‘lead the world’

A new book claiming that China is a victim of Western bullying and “should rise up and lead the world” has soared to the top of the country’s bestseller list.

Telegraph | Mar 29, 2009

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai

On the eve of the G20 summit in London, “Unhappy China” has stirred debate about whether China should have a greater role on the world stage. Although the country will soon overtake Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, China is not included in the G8 and is a second tier member of the G20. Beijing has little influence in the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund and is highly vulnerable to changes in the value of the dollar.

“We still feel suppressed because we are sometimes condemned or criticised by the western world,” said Zhang Xiaobo, the book’s publisher.

The five authors of the book advocate a tougher line against China’s enemies, including punishment for President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, who met the Dalai Lama last year. The book takes a robust view of Western criticism of China’s behaviour in Tibet. “You can start a war if you have the guts, otherwise shut up!” it says.

Another passage reads: “If China stood as the world’s top country, it would not act like the United States, which has been irresponsible, lazy and greedy and engaged in robbery and cheating. They have brought economic recession to the whole world.”

The book is the latest sign of growing Chinese nationalism, a trend that became highly visible during the riots in Tibet last March.

Spurred on by the government, Chinese nationalists vented their anger at the depiction of Tibet in the West and at the protests over the Olympic torch passing through Paris and London.

Meanwhile, the recent confrontation between America and China over the harassment of a US surveillance ship in the South China sea and Beijing’s proposal that the dollar should be replaced as the global reserve currency, have shown China’s potential for greater military and economic power.

“Unhappy China” is already into its second print run, while China’s major web portals and social networking sites have their own “Unhappy China” forums.

The Chinese economy has weakened since last year, with exports dropping by more than a quarter in February. Nevertheless, its leaders and intellectuals believe the financial crisis presents an opportunity for Beijing to extend its power. Jing Ulrich, a managing director at JP Morgan, said there is a feeling of economic optimism in China “that you do not find anywhere else at the moment”.