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China denies India envoy mistreated in Yiwu court row

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 China has denied that an Indian diplomat was mistreated during an angry court hearing in the city of Yiwu.Delhi complained after S Balachandran was reportedly denied medication when trying to secure the release of two Indians held hostage by local traders for allegedly failing to pay debts.China said media reports were “not factually accurate”.Indian media report that the two Indians are now being moved from a hotel in Yiwu to Shanghai.The two Indians had earlier told Indian television they were being treated “like animals”.On Tuesday, India warned its businessmen they were not safe to trade in Yiwu.

‘Ruled by laws’

At a press briefing China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “Relevant media reports that the Indian consular official from Shanghai was forbidden from eating or taking his medication while in Yiwu and was surrounded and attacked do not accord with the facts.

“China is a country ruled by laws, which pays great attention to relations with India,” he said.

However, Mr Hong gave no specific account of what China believed had happened.

He said the two Indians had been put under police protection in a hotel and that five people had been arrested for “illegal detention”.

“China hopes that India treats this matter objectively and fairly,” he said.

China’s ambassador to India, Zhang Yan, met foreign affairs officials in Delhi on Wednesday and assured them that “serious attention” was being given to the plight of the two traders.

Later India’s NDTV channel quoted External Affairs Minister SM Krishna as saying the pair were being escorted by Indian consulate officials to Shanghai.

The businessmen, Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agrawal, had pleaded for help in an earlier interview with NDTV.

Mr Agrawal said: “Please save us… get together and help us. They have stripped us, thrown things at us, beaten us, tortured us. We are being treated worse than animals.”

Their hotel had reportedly been surrounded by a large crowd of locals.

The pair had been held hostage by local traders for two weeks for non-payment of dues by their company, whose owner has allegedly fled the country.

On Tuesday, an advisory on India’s Beijing embassy website said businessmen could be “mistreated” in Yiwu and had “no guarantee of legal remedies”.

The strongly worded statement on the embassy website said that “Indian businessmen are cautioned to stay away from Yiwu”.

It added: “In case of disputes arising, experience suggests that there is inadequate protection for safety of persons.”

Delhi believes Mr Balachandran was denied medicine and collapsed in the courtroom in Yiwu on 31 December.

Mr Balachandran is a diabetic. He was taken to hospital in a semi-conscious state and later transferred to Shanghai, where he has improved.

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Rescuers honoured in Out-Do Yourself Award

Berine Sua Linggi, the boy who risked his life to save two drowning girls, and a group of teachers who rescued 19 students from drowning received the third F&N Out-Do Yourself Award (OYA) at the Royal Selan-gor Golf Club here.

Berine Sua Linggi, 13, was beaming when he received the award yesterday.

Berine rescued two sisters, Emai Joseph, 5, and Catherine Ubong, 4, who had fallen into the river and were in danger of drowning in a whirlpool in August last year. Bernie said he only wanted to save the two sisters who are from the same village as him.

Young heroes: Berine (left) and another recipient Yvonne Foong proudly showing their awards.

Accompanied by his father, Linggi Merang, Berine said he felt proud yet shy upon receiving the award comprising RM3,000 cash, a certificate, a plaque and F&N products.

Teachers Ikha Nadia Md Idris, Mohd Sharif Ibrahim, Mohd Shah Rizal Zainudin and security guards Rusli Mohamad and Ismail Ahmad were the first to be recognised as a group by the F&N Out-Do Yourself Awards.

Each recipient was presented with RM1,500, a certificate, plaques and F&N products.

The teachers together with the security guards rescued a group of school children when the suspension bridge connecting the 1Malaysia Co-curriculum Centre to Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Dipang collapsed into the swift-flowing Kampar river in October last year.

Mohd Sharif and Ismail said they are happy receiving such an award, but at the same time, Mohd Sharif felt sorry and dejected because three pupils lost their lives in the incident.

Giant Panda in China rips off man’s jacket

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Giant Panda in China rips off man’s jacket

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China : Tourist has jacket ripped off his back by Giant Panda in open cage at Nature Reserve dedicated to survival of the endangered species (02 Nov 1992).

The visitor to Chengdu Zoo sat with his back against the panda’s railings for a picture to be taken.

His jacket attracted the 75-kilogram (165 pound) panda’s attention and the creature grabbed it, while the man was held by his friends, setting up a ‘tug of war’.

Future prospects for giant pandas have just been strengthened by a Chinese 10-year plan that will cost about 50 million United States dollars.

Officials have realised that more funds are needed to save the panda. Only 1,000 giant pandas are believed to be alive today.

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