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Dalai Lama
China warns Tibet not to be taken ahead of Dalai Lama anniversary
14 December 2018, 12:35 PM

The people of Tibet should not be taken in by the Dalai Lama’s lies and clearly understand the importance of Communist Party rule in the region, the Chinese government said ahead of March’s sensitive 60th anniversary of him fleeing into exile.

Beijing sent troops into Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since. The Dalai Lama, the highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, fled into exile to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

China routinely denounces him as a dangerous separatist, although the Dalai Lama says he merely wants genuine autonomy for his remote and mountainous homeland.

The official Tibet Daily said in a lengthy commentary released online late on Thursday the 83-year-old Dalai Lama has never given up promoting Tibetan independence, dismissing his intentions to seek a “middle way” of genuine autonomy.

“Whether it’s the ‘middle way’ or a ‘high degree of autonomy’, the aim is to try and negate the leadership of the party, negate the socialist system, and negate the ethnic autonomous region system,” the paper wrote. It said the Dalai Lama has tried to use hostile forces in the Western media to spread his “rumours and slander” against China to promote Tibetan independence, ignoring the freedoms and respect accorded to the people of Tibet.

“In the face of the lies of the 14th Dalai Lama, the various peoples of Tibet should be even more aware that socialist new Tibet replacing the theistic and feudal system of old Tibet was a historical necessity, and a victory for the truth and the people,” the paper wrote.

There was no immediate reaction to the paper’s commentary from the India-based exiled Tibetan government.

The Dalai Lama on Friday gave a lecture in Mumbai on ancient Indian knowledge, but did not directly mention current relations with China.

“Violence always brings suffering,” he said, in comments streamed live on his Facebook page. “Basic human nature is more compassionate.”

Rights groups say the situation for ethnic Tibetans inside what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region remains extremely difficult.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in June conditions were “fast deteriorating” in Tibet.

On 12 December, the US Senate passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which now goes to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law. The Act seeks to promote access to Tibet for US diplomats and other officials, journalists, and other citizens by denying entry into the United States for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the bill was an interference in China’s domestic affairs and they had already made “stern representations” to the US about it. Many foreigners visit Tibet every year, with almost 40 000 trips by Americans there since 2015, including by senior US politicians, showing there was no reason for this bill, he told a daily news briefing. China urges the United States to prevent the bill becoming law to avoid harming bilateral relations, Lu added.

All foreigners need special permission to enter Tibet, which is generally granted for tourists, but very infrequently for foreign diplomats and journalists.

Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma joins Twitter
14 December 2018, 11:59 AM

Former President Jacob Zuma joined Twitter on Friday.

He has posted a video introducing himself to his followers on the social media platform.

Zuma’s personal Twitter account already has close to 10 000 followers.

In his video, he explains why he decided to join Twitter.

“I have decided to move with times to join this important area of conversation because I hear that many people are talking about me, as well as all others are calling themselves Zumas in many ways. I’ve felt it is necessary that I should join in and be part of the conversation and join the people in their discussions.”

Zuma also refuted claims on social media that there is a bank account set for the public to assist him in paying back the legal costs for his fraud and corruption cases as ordered by the North Gauteng High Court.

BRICS member countries leaders
Praise to ANC for hosting ground-breaking BRICS dialogues
14 December 2018, 10:49 AM

The recent gathering of the governing parties from the BRICS countries and their allies ought to be a source of praise to the African National Congress (ANC). A feather in the cap of the men and women who operate from Luthuli House in Johannesburg, the ANC HQ.

South Africa’s only ruling party since the dawn of democracy on April 27, 1994 played host to the second BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue with aplomb. The rationale for the ANC to host the BRICS political parties dialogue was informed, according to the ANC, by the party’s resolution from its Nasrec elective conference in 2017. It resolved that: (1)The historical connection of SA with the emerging powers be fostered through cooperation within forums such as BRICS,  (2) Breathing oxygen into the strategic importance of BRICS membership as part of the ANC’s overall international relations strategy and (3)That SA’s membership of BRICS needs to be leveraged to advance the country’s developmental goals.

Now, it is not too often that the ANC is seen making good on promises the party makes. Therefore, to see the ANC in time and space hosting the BRICS dialogues involving governing parties of the member-states and extending the invitation to like-minded countries who attended the important gathering, not a talk-shop, is truly encouraging in an era of promises frequently broken.

The BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue was itself a major success and a foundation for a brighter, integrated, common future by like-minded nations taking an initiative to build a future by themselves, for themselves.

BRICS countries were represented by their individual governing parties quite impressively as follows: Brazil Workers Party, Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Communist Party of China, ANC and its alliance partners. And then, there were notably attendees who included ruling parties from Angola, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Palestine, Rwanda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Now, this for me is one of the most strategic purposes of BRICS. For a relatively new power bloc which is already shaking the international world order to attract such a diverse group of countries bodes well for that rare commodity: influence. Influence at the world forums such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO), G-20 and others. Together, in their growing numbers, BRICS together with its supporters, can form unity of purpose and speak as one in favour or against any stand-point anywhere in the world. Unity indeed is power. Many of the countries listed above as having attended the BRICS dialogues have struggling economies. Others, such as Russia and China, live under constant political and economic threat from President Donald Trump’s America. There is clearly good reason for BRICS to be nurtured in order to develop into a highly respected global power.

As the ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa put it to the gathering; “We are determined with our struggle to make the world a better place. It is therefore in the best interest of the generations of mankind to come, that we work together to ensure we fulfill this dream we desire as the world and the people.”

Ace Magashule, the ANC Secretary-General and the man who many regard as the heart-beat of the ANC by virtue of the office he occupies, said at the end of the dialogues: “We emerge out of this dialogue more vigorous to build on party-to-party relations and to ensure that we consolidate unity and cohesion amongst the BRICS nation states, and all other progressive forces of the world.”

What I find interesting in the utterances of both ANC leaders is the clear reference to “the world”. Like other BRICS members and their supporters, the ANC is looking to shape the global agenda by rallying like-minded democrats and former freedom fighters and their supporters to fight together the glaring injustices of the current world order. BRICS will succeed when more and more countries adopt their agenda and resolutions. Soon, hopefully, as the BRICS Bank also takes off the ground more countries would be attracted to joining BRICS as “progressive forces” who will never again look to the traditional lenders such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the only global financial institutions that offers huge loans to the emerging markets.

Opinion by Abbey Makoe: Specialist Editor – SABC


Jack Wilshere.
West Ham’s Wilshere faces spell out due to ankle injury
14 December 2018, 10:13 AM

West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere has sustained an ankle injury, putting him in doubt for a busy run of Premier League fixtures for December, manager Manuel Pellegrini has said. Wilshere, whose career has been blighted by fitness issues, returned to action after left ankle surgery earlier in December, but suffered a fresh injury to his right leg that has kept him out of the last two league matches.

“Is it more serious than first thought? Maybe, because when he felt the pain it was in his ‘good’ ankle, not the ankle where he had the surgery. We hoped it was just a pain and that he could adjust for two or three days but for different things it’s been longer than we expected… it’s difficult to know when he’ll be back,” Pellegrini told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fulham.

West Ham, placed 11th in the league standings on 21 points from 16 matches, also take on Watford, Southampton and Burnley later in December.

CemAir plane
Civil Aviation Authority suspends CemAir
14 December 2018, 9:28 AM

The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended CemAir from flying any of its 21 aircrafts in the county. This is after the airline was found to be non-compliant, with a number of violations of the Civil Aviation Act. Among the violations is that CemAir failed to produce proof of the appointment of an approved and qualified person for a critical position as required by the Civil Aviation Regulations.

Furthermore CemAir has been operating some aircraft outside of permissible loading limits – meaning the weights of passengers and baggage declared by the flight crew were not the same with those recorded by the service provider contracted by CemAir.

The Authority’s audit team has also recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation to revoke CemAir’s Air Operator Certificates. The suspension has been active since Thursday afternoon when the airline was notified.

Simon Segwabe from the Executive Aviation Safety Operations at the SA Aviation Authority says that CemAir will have to apply for a new operating certificate.

“Based on the findings that we now have, CemAir’s air operating certificate has been suspended meaning none of their 21 aircrafts may be operated.  Well currently what happened is that inspectors made recommendations to the director which is seeking to revoke the approval issue to CemAir. Once the certificate is revoked that means the renewal process that was underway will be terminated, and CemAir will have to apply for a new certificate of their air operating certificate.”

SACAA Suspends CemAir Air Operator Certificate 13 December 2018 (Text)

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