Saturday, November 5, 2011
Royal News Roundup - Asia Special
In Malaysia this week HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, had an audience with HRH Sultan Ibrahim of Johor at the Grand Palace Johor Bahru. The Prince and the Sultan spent about half an hour talking. The Duke of York is in Malaysia on a 3-day official visit in order to attend the opening of the Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia which will offer medical courses in Iskandar.
On Wednesday a 35-year old Buddhist nun committed suicide in a ritual self-immolation in protest against the Communist Chinese persecution of religion and continued occupation of Tibet. Communist officials have blamed the exiled XIV Dalai Lama for inciting people to suicide, something the Dalai Lama vehemently denies. The Dalai Lama has said it is the oppression of the Chinese authorities that are driving people to desperate acts. This is the 11th Tibetan Buddhist to commit self-immolation this year. According to a UN report some 2,000 Buddhist monks have disappeared from monasteries in the Sichuan province of China. Most of this, it is believed, stems from the 2008 mass protests in Tibet which called for an end to the Chinese occupation and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland. Chinese authorities continue to accuse the exiled Tibetan monk-monarch of fomenting rebellion and a desire for independence. However, the Dalai Lama continues to assert that he wishes for nothing more than “meaningful autonomy” within China.