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Daily Archives: December 10, 2007

Democracy, silver bullet for Macau

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by Nigel Huxtable

The New Macau Association confirmed yesterday a pro-democracy rally will be held on the December 20 anniversary of the formation of the SAR

Pushing for a democratically nominated Chief Executive (CE), the 16 year old association bwith two members in the Legislative Assembly has called for residents to rally at Iao Hong market at 1.30pm.

Those with grievances with the current government are encouraged to attend and air their concerns, said the group’s vicepresident Cheong Su Kin.

“We are asking for every citizen to turn-up and ask for what they want,” said Cheong.Also rallying against “unusual” land deals made by the government with developers and the increasing number of legal and illegal foreign workers, the group claims a democratically chosen chief will be more responsive to the people’s needs.

Cheong claims the current low unemployment statistic is not an accurate reflection of the quality of life residents are enjoying as a large number of foreign workers skew the figure.

He claims illegal workers and low-skilled approved foreign labourers are taking jobs from older residents who don’t have the education for the new positions.

The association has a three step plan for democracy in Macau that begins in 2009 with residents selecting the local groups charged with nominating the next CE. The proposed transition will be complete in 2019 when citizens directly nominate the candidate. In each case Bejing will have the final say.

After gathering at the Iao Hon market, at approximately 3pm the group will move toward Rua do Campo and Avenida da Praia Grande, before stopping outside the Government Headquarters.

UN nuclear team in Iran for new talks: state media

A delegation from the UN nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran yesterday for a new round of talks on the controversial Iranian nuclear programme, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The talks will broach a new subject in the continuing discussions between the two sides, namely uranium particle contamination at a university in Tehran, the state-run agency said.

"An IAEA technical delegation arrived in Tehran on Sunday for talks over the source of contamination in a technical college. The talks with the Iranian side will start on Monday," it said.

Iran has in recent months had several rounds of talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) focusing on outstanding questions over its nuclear programme.

The two sides have already held discussions about Iran's past experiments with plutonium and its use of uranium-enriching P1 and P2 centrifuges. The source of contamination represents the latest chapter to be opened.

In August both sides agreed on a timetable for Iran to give more information over various areas of ambiguity in its nuclear programme. Despite four years of investigation, the IAEA has never been able to confirm if the drive is peaceful.

The Vienna-based watchdog said in a report last month that Iran had taken important steps in revealing the extent of its nuclear programme but was still defying UN demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.

The visit comes a week after a US intelligence report said Iran had halted a nuclear weapons programme in 2003, contradicting White House accusations that Tehran had an active atomic weapons drive.