The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, February 19, 2018, Page Page 2, Image 2

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February 19, 2018
Pakistani woman from Hindu minority to become lawmaker
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — The first woman from Pakistan’s tiny minority
Hindu community is poised to become a lawmaker after the country’s opposition
party nominated her for the upcoming senate elections, officials say. According
to Nasir Shah, the spokesman in the provincial government of Sindh province,
the opposition Pakistan People’s Party asked its lawmakers to vote for Krishna
Kumari in the March 3 elections for the upper house of parliament. Kumari will
be the first female Hindu lawmaker in Pakistan since 1947, when Pakistan
gained independence from Britain, he said. Pakistani parties usually nominate
wealthy or influential people for the senate, but Kumari was overjoyed with the
news. Because her family was so poor, she said she never dared dream of
becoming a lawmaker. Kumari said she faced a “slave-like situation” during her
childhood in the remote village of Nagarparkar in Sindh province, where she
worked on the farm of a feudal landlord who was abusive to his workers. After
winning a seat in the senate, she will be sitting next to many of today’s powerful
landowners in Pakistan. Despite the family’s poverty, her parents encouraged
her education and she earned a university degree. Kumari has worked as a
social worker and also for a Pakistani charity seeking to create awareness
among people about the importance of education and the struggle to achieve
basic human rights, guaranteed under Pakistan’s constitution but often
trampled upon by landowners and tribal chieftains.
Mercedes in China apologies for quoting Dalai Lama
BEIJING (AP) — Mercedes-Benz has apologized in China for quoting the
Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who is reviled by Beijing, in a
social-media post, reflecting foreign companies’ heightened sensitivity to the
Communist government’s possible reaction to their activities worldwide. The
quote appeared on Instagram, access to which is blocked by China’s internet
filters. Chinese web surfers copied it onto domestic social media. In a statement,
Mercedes-Benz apologized for “wrong information” that “hurt the feelings of
Chinese people.” A spokeswoman for Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler AG,
said it acted at its own initiative and had not heard from Chinese authorities. In
January, Beijing ordered Marriott, Zara, and other companies to apologize for
calling Taiwan and Hong Kong countries on websites or promotional material.
LEAPIN’ LION. A lion dance troupe from Malaysia competes in the 11th International Lion Dance Competition in Sin-
gapore. The competition is usually held during the leadup to the Lunar New Year celebration in Singapore. Lion dance is
a tradition in Chinese culture and some other Asian countries in which performers from a lion dance troupe mimic a lion’s
movements while dressed in a lion costume. It is believed to bring good fortune. Performers from Vietnam, Singapore,
Myanmar, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia gathered in Singapore to compete against one another and were
judged on skill, grace, and musicality, among other things. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Lion dance in Singapore
featured before Lunar New Year
SINGAPORE (AP) — Performers from
Southeast Asia took part in an international
lion dance competition in Singapore ahead of
the Lunar New Year, the most important
holiday in the Chinese calendar.
The traditional dance includes performers
dressed in a lion costume mimicking the
animal’s movements. It is believed to bring
good fortune.
The participants at the 11th International
Lion Dance Competition travelled from
Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia. They were
judged on skill, grace, and musicality, among
other things.
This year’s winner was a team from
“Lion dancing is a fading tradition as we are
seeing less interest among the younger
generation, which is more interested in
spending time on their electronic devices
indoors,” said Joseph Low, the head judge and
member of the Singapore Wushu Dragon and
Lion Dance Federation.
The Lunar New Year — the Year of the Dog
— began February 16.
Indonesian woman dies in new maid abuse case
Skulls in the mail: Indonesia foils artifact smuggling
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An Indonesian maid who allegedly
suffered injuries on her body and was forced to sleep outside on a porch with a
family’s dog has died in Malaysia, prompting calls by activists and lawmakers
for better laws to safeguard migrant workers. Lawmaker Steven Sim said his
office received information from concerned neighbors about the possible abuse of
21-year-old Adelina Lisao and went to investigate, but her employer refused to
cooperate. He said Lisao was rescued by police but died in a hospital. A picture of
Lisao sleeping on a torn mat outside the house was published in local media,
which said she had injuries on her head and body. Police have detained two
siblings on suspicion of murder pending autopsy results.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Customs officials
on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali say
they’ve foiled an attempt to mail 24
elaborately decorated human skulls to the
The Customs Department said that cartons
containing the skulls were intercepted on two
separate dates in January. The skulls are
believed to be culturally significant artifacts
from other parts of Indonesia.
They were labelled as manufactured from
synthetic materials but found to be human
after an examination by experts from the
Balinese Cultural Heritage Conservation
Customs official Ni Aniek said the skulls are
probably from Papua, a Melanesian region
that makes up easternmost Indonesia, and
Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, home to
indigenous Dayak peoples.
China to pick 5,000 movie theaters for propaganda
BEIJING (AP) — China plans to select 5,000 movie theaters to screen
propaganda films and will boost their box offices with group sales, discounted
tickets, and other financial backing. China’s film regulator said in a notice
posted on the internet that the policy is intended to promote specific movies at
special times to create a “people’s theater front,” a throwback to language used
during the era of Mao Zedong. China, the world’s second-biggest film market,
saw movie ticket sales rise 13.5 percent last year to more than $8.6 billion.
China-made movies accounted for 54 percent of ticket sales, with the baldly
nationalistic action thriller Wolf Warrior 2 topping the box office. The ruling
Communist Party is anxious to promote more productions with patriotic themes
and exercises broad control over scripts and shooting permits.
Japanese Princess Mako’s wedding postponed until 2020
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s imperial palace has announced that Princess Mako’s
wedding will be postponed because of insufficient preparations, Japanese media
reported, triggering speculation that the decision was related to criticism in
tabloids of her fiancé’s family background. Mako and her college classmate, Kei
Komuro, a commoner, announced their engagement last September. Mako is
Emperor Akihito’s oldest grandchild. The Imperial Household Agency
announced that the wedding, planned for November, will be delayed for two
years, citing a lack of time for preparation, according to public broadcaster NHK
and other media. A ceremony formalizing their engagement, planned for early
March, was also postponed. No new dates were given. The surprise
announcement left many people puzzled. Agency official Takaharu Kachi told
reporters that the decision was not related to tabloid magazine reports about
disputes between Komuro’s mother and her former partner over money she
borrowed to cover her son’s tuition and never paid back, the reports said. Mako
said in a statement published by Japanese media, including the Mainichi
newspaper, that the couple decided to postpone their wedding until 2020, a year
after the emperor’s abdication next year. The 84-year-old Akihito is to abdicate
on April 30, 2019, with Crown Prince Naruhito taking the Chrysanthemum
Throne the next day. Mako said the couple wishes to think about marriage more
deeply and concretely and give more time to prepare for their marriage and life
together afterward. She said Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko, expressed
respect for their decision when she reported it to them.
SMUGGLED SKULLS. An Indonesian customs officer
displays skulls sent from a post office during a press con-
ference in Bali, Indonesia. Customs officials on the Indone-
sian tourist island say they foiled an attempt to mail 24
elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands.
(AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
No one has been arrested.
The department said the cultural heritage
center will decide what to do with the skulls.
Call (503) 980-5900 for details
Farm-raised in Newberg, Oregon
Beef available as:
q Quarter cow q Half cow q Whole cow
Beef is processed by a Portland butcher.
Pickup available March at N.E. Sandy Blvd. location.
Asian Currency
Exchange Rates
Units per U.S. dollar as of 2/16
Bangladesh Taka· ·
Cambodian Riel · ·
China Renminbi · ·
Fijian Dollar · · · ·
Hong Kong Dollar ·
Indian Rupee · · · ·
Indonesian Rupiah ·
Iranian Rial · · · ·
Japanese Yen · · ·
Laos New Kip · · ·
Malaysian Ringgit ·
Nepal Rupee · · · ·
Pakistani Rupee · ·
Papua N.G. Kina · ·
Philippine Peso· · ·
Russian Ruble · · ·
Saudi Riyal· · · · ·
Singapore Dollar · ·
South Korean Won ·
Sri Lankan Rupee ·
Taiwan Dollar · · ·
Thai Baht · · · · ·
Vietnam Dong · · ·