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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: March 23, 2009 NO. 12 MAR. 26, 2009

Panchen Lama Praises Tibet Development

The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, has said that the abolition of serfdom in Tibet five decades ago is in line with Buddhist teachings.

The Panchen Lama made the remarks when he visited an exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the Democratic Reform in Tibet on March 15 in Beijing. During the visit, he commented favorably on the economic and social progress that Tibet Autonomous Region has achieved over the past 50 years. According to him, the Democratic Reform, which ended the tragedy of slaves in old Tibet, has granted Tibetan people basic human rights.

The 19-year-old Panchen Lama, whose secular name was Gyaencaen Norbu (meaning Streamer of Triumph), is the top-ranking figure of Tibetan Buddhism currently in China.

Feed Tycoon Stays on Rich List

Liu Yongxing, Chairman of the East Hope Group, one of China's largest feed producers, has secured an inclusion in the 2009 Forbes Rich List amid crushing economic turmoil.

Liu, who helped build the family-run business from an early agricultural feed producer into a sprawling chemical giant, is the richest Chinese mainlander, ranked 205th worldwide with $3 billion in personal assets.

The 61-year-old Liu, best known for unfaltering business strategies, maintained a position in Forbes ranking of China's wealthiest for almost two decades since his first entry in 1991, and dominated the list in 2001 and 2009.

Liu and his three brothers, natives of southwestern Sichuan Province, made their early fortunes in agricultural feed. In 1999, after the family business was restructured into four separate entities, Liu relocated his business headquarters to Shanghai, and has expanded the group's portfolio into sectors of chemical aluminum, manufacturing and finance.

Fledgling Director Honored Again

Promising Chinese director Zhang Chi scooped up the Jury Award of the 11th French Deauville Asian Film Festival on March 15 for his drama movie, The Shaft.

The Shaft is the first movie Zhang directed, which was released in 2008. It depicts the life of a miner's family in mountainous southwest China, and reflects the perplexed minds of Chinese in the period of social transition.

Zhang, 32, graduated from the Beijing-based Central Academy of Drama with a bachelor's degree in film directing in 2000. In 2006, he shared the Best Screenplay Award of the 16th Golden Rooster Awards, one of China's most prestigious awards in film, with three others for The Tokyo Trial, a movie portraying post-World War II court proceedings against Japanese war criminals.

The Shaft, a low budget feature movie, has already brought Zhang Chi five trophies from various international film festivals.

"We're prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure growth is restored and we're committed to do that for however long it takes."

British Finance Minister Alistair Darling, who hosted the March 14 talks by G20 finance ministers in London as they prepared for a key crisis-fighting summit of world leaders on April 2

"Analysis of the military-political situation in the world shows that a serious conflict potential remains in some regions."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, announcing a "large-scale" rearmament of the army and navy from 2011 in Moscow on March 17. Medvedev accused NATO of pushing ahead with expansion near Russian borders

"We are responsible-responsible for the aggressions perpetrated against water, responsible for the current climate changes which come on top of the global changes, responsible for the tensions which reduce the availability of freshwater masses so indispensable to the survival of humanity."

Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council that staged the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 16

"I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them is if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, 'I'm sorry,' and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide."

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, talking about AIG executives during an interview with radio station WMT on March 16. AIG has come under fire after it intended to pay its executives $165 million in bonuses after taking billions in federal bailout money

"Now he's ashamed-25 years too late."

The headline in Switzerland's Heute (Today) newspaper, over a photo of Josef Fritzl trying to shield himself from news cameras when he arrived at an Austrian court on March 16. The 73-year-old admitted imprisoning his daughter in an underground bunker for 24 years and forcing her to bear seven children

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