Hundreds of Tianjin University students take to the streets against Covid restrictions
Today's headlines: Violence erupts inin Kashmir following the arrest of independence leader Malik; Japanese Red Army co-founder Fusako Shigenobu released from prison; Ankara mulls reform of press law, with three years in jail for 'disinformation'; divisions between Beijing and London scuttle a note on Myanmar at the UN; Georgia celebrates independence.
Hundreds of students from Tianjin University, a northern port city, staged a protest against the Covid-19 containment measures imposed by the authorities. Chanting slogans and chants including 'down with bureaucracy', the young people gathered in Beiyang Square to express their discontent. Scenes that, according to some, are reminiscent of the first uprisings of the 1989 Tiananmen uprising.
Violence has erupted in Kashmir triggered by the recent life sentence of local separatist leader Yasin Malik. In the gunfights between the parties, government forces killed at least 10 guerrillas. Among the victims were a 35-year-old TV cameraman and a police officer. At least 10 arrests were made by security forces.
Fusako Shigenobu, 76 year old co-founder of the ARJ, the Japanese Red Army, a movement that sowed terror in the 1970s and 1980s in the name of the Palestinian cause, was freed after 20 years in prison in Japan. Nicknamed 'Red Queen' or 'Empress of Terror', she had been arrested in 2000 on her (clandestine) return to her homeland after living for 30 years in the Middle East.
MPs from the ruling Akp and Mhp parties want to reform the Press Law, introducing imprisonment for the 'crime' of 'disinformation'. Those who 'disseminate' misinformation on 'internal and external security, order and public health' risk up to three years in prison. The proposal aims to introduce a further clampdown on the media in the run-up to the 2023 elections.
MYANMAR - UN
The UN Security Council failed to reach agreement yesterday on the text of a statement addressed to the junta in Myanmar. It called for steps towards a "peaceful" solution to the ongoing crisis. Divisions between London and Beijing caused the text to fail at the end of a day of vain negotiations. The UN document spoke of 'limited progress', China wanted to use the term 'slow'.
Georgia celebrated Independence Day, its main national holiday, which had been held in muted tones for the past two years due to Covid-19. This time, large demonstrations were held in Tbilisi and in all regions of the country, performing the European anthem for the first time together with the national anthem; Brussels' answer on EU membership is expected in June.
KAZAKHSTAN - KYRGYZSTAN
Kazakh President Tokaev paid a visit to Biškek, during which he met his Kyrgyz counterpart Žaparov. Together the two leaders signed 13 important cooperation agreements between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the economic, military and social fields, and for coordination in international affairs.