Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Women with their faces covered hold bamboo sticks in a re-enactment of a local tradition of Latthmar 'Holi' (festival of colours) celebrated at Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on March 5, 2009. (Image Courtesy: Reuters/IBNlive)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The main day, Holi, also known as Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before, also known as Holika Dahan (death of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad had when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahld , a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika dahan referred to as Kama Dahanam in Andhra Pradesh.Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalugna or Falguna (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Under the initiative, Korea will play a central role in representing the interest of Asian nations in the international arena. The program also envisages Korea concluding free trade agreements with all Asian countries and establishing a green growth belt in the Asian-Pacific region. If realized, his diplomatic initiative will boost Korea's status and role also in the Southeast Asian and South Pacific region.
President Lee laid stress on diplomacy of attaching importance to Asian nations based on Korea's diplomacy toward four major neighboring countries, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. Korean ambassadors stationed in Indonesia, Australia, China, India, Japan and other countries attended the conference.
The President said, "Last year, we focused our diplomatic efforts in four major countries that have the most influence [in this region]. As a result, our diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan were restored. Our relations with China and Russia were upgraded to a higher level."
Wrapping up his latest tour of New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, he said, "We have achieved more results than expected in our relations with Australia, with which Korea will seek substantial economic cooperation and cooperate on the supply of resources, and Indonesia, with whose relations are very important in green growth in the 21st century."
He said that his latest tour of "Australia and Indonesia will contribute largely to establishing trilateral relations between Korea, Australia and Indonesia in an organic way, boosting Korea's status, and achieving practical results." It is important and urgent to improve relations with neighboring Asian countries this year, as it is predicted that a new Asian era is approaching, he added.
He seems to be determined to increase his diplomatic efforts in the international arena, given his wrap-up of diplomatic efforts vis-a-vis four major powers during the first year of his presidency and Korea's assumption of co-chairmanship of the next G20 meeting aimed at overcoming the worldwide economic crisis. He has also taken the initiative in presenting his vision of "low carbon, green growth" as a new growth engine.
Meanwhile, in a dinner with Korean reporters on the evening of Mar. 7, Lee said, "I'm thinking of establishing new relations with Asian nations by the end of the first half of this year, considering that we've already conducted our first round of diplomacy toward the four major countries and establishing special diplomatic relations between Korea, China and Japan."
Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo on Monday called on the country's lawmakers to maintain the correct political orientation, stressing the "essential differences" between the system of China's people's congresses and Western capitalist countries' system of political power.
Maintaining the correct political orientation is essential to the success of the work of the people's congresses, said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), when delivering a work report of the committee at the annual NPC session.
The most fundamental aspect in maintaining the correct political orientation is to "organically integrate the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as the masters of the country and the rule of law," Wu noted, adding "the core" is to uphold the leadership of the Party.
"We must more fully recognize the essential differences between the system of people's congresses and Western capitalist countries' system of political power," Wu said.
"China's system of political parties is a system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), not a Western-style multiparty system," he said.
The system of the people's congresses is not a Western system with the separation of the three powers, Wu said.
Deputies to the people's congresses are broadly representative and they do not represent a single party or group as members of Western parliaments do. They exercise their lawful duties and powers collectively at meetings, rather than each deputy addressing problems directly and separately from other deputies, Wu added.
China must draw on the achievements of all cultures, including their political achievements, but shall "never simply copy the system of Western countries or introduce a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation, a system with the separation of the three powers or a bicameral system," Wu said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2009, china.org.cn)
China's political reform is the further improvement of its own socialist political system and the country can not mechanically copy the western political system, said top legislator Wu Bangguo Monday.
China will actively draw on the fruits of the whole human civilization, including the beneficial achievements made in the political aspect, but "can by no means indiscriminately copy the western system", said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
"(We) will never exercise multi-party ruling in turn, the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers or the bicameral system," Wu said when delivering a work report of the NPC Standing Committee.
China's political reform is the self improvement and development of the socialist political system including the NPC system, he said.
China will this year take "decisive steps" toward establishing a socialistic legal system with Chinese characteristics, top legislator Wu Bangguo said Monday.
The National People's Congress (NPC), or the top legislative body, will debate and adopt new laws that form the backbone of the legal system, and conduct a systematic examination of existing laws to revise or eliminate outdated or unsuitable articles , said Wu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.
He said the NPC must improve the quality of legislation in accordance with the guiding principles of the 17th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC).
The NPC will at least formulate seven laws on social security, social welfare, tort liability and others, and will revise seven laws on state compensation, protecting state secrets and others, Wu said.
The CPC Central Committee has clearly set the goal of establishing a legal system of socialism with Chinese characteristics by 2010.
As of 2008, China has "basically" established the system with the Constitution as its core, seven types of laws as its backbone and three levels of laws, administrative regulations and local ordinances, Wu said.
Qi qi, president of the Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court and an NPC deputy, hailed the NPC's efforts to formulate and revise laws.
"There used to be a few administrative regulations that contradict each other. That was because different authorities were considering too much for their own interests, which caused wide criticism from the public," Qi said.
The Food Safety Law, which was adopted days before the NPC session, is an example of efforts to address this issue, he added.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2009)
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