Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Few Points of Interest

1. Apparently, one of the best known winter vacations spots in China has decided to sell a little bit of itself. Part of the Harbin ice festival has come under Disney management (albeit, via proxy). This reminded me of Starbucks in the Forbidden City incident a few years back. What made me laugh that time was it was originally French tourist who complained about it. In the linked article, Rui Chenggang seems incensed, but that wounded national pride seemed like it took a little long to muster up (i have photos of that Starbucks from summer 2004). It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be to the changes in Harbin and who will complain first. (HT: LZM)

2. The first trial of a Khmer Rouge began this last week. Duch, the former director of the infamous Toul Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, will be the first of the war criminals to face trial for the atrocities of the period under Pol Pot. Francios Bizot has an interesting op-ed concerning the trial in the NYT. One quote in particular really made me think for a moment:“I ask for your forgiveness — I know that you cannot forgive me, but I ask you to leave me the hope that you might,” [Duch] said before collapsing in tears on the shoulder of one of his guards.

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