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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

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Ming Ramos' Serenade

SHE DOESN'T NORMALLY GET top billing in pop concerts. But for the finale of last Sunday's Asiafest '96 at the Hong Kong Coliseum, Philippine First Lady Amelita "Ming" Ramos played the piano for 8,000 Filipino domestic helpers, culminating four hours of music and dance. The event, which raised funds for the Bayanihan maids' recreation centers, also featured her singer-daughter Jo Ramos Samartino, pop stars Chad Borja, Sunshine Cruz and Ogie Alcasid, rapper Francis Magalona, violinist John Lesaca, saxophonist Tots Tolentino and the breakdance group Maneuvers. The First Lady played love songs, and traditional and jazz arrangements backed by Tolentino, Lesaca and Jo. Her first number was "Dahil Sa Iyo," a popular Filipino ballad -- and an election-rally favorite of Imelda Marcos. The singers repeatedly told screaming fans how much their nation cared for them. "Your government will protect you," promised Jo. She introduced the last performer as "my mother, our mother, the mother of our nation." Eat your heart out, Imelda.

In Grandpa's Footsteps

Just like his Dada did over a century ago, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, 51, is packing his bags and heading for South Africa. Dada, of course, is his grandfather, the revered Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi who in 1894 launched a civil disobedience movement in Durban, South Africa. Four years ago, the Delhi-based Gopal Gandhi founded London's cultural Nehru Center, a highly successful platform for cultural events from the subcontinent. Next month, he assumes his new post as Indian high commissioner to Johannesburg. "I am thrilled about going to a country where my grandfather made such a formidable reputation and where my father was born," says Gandhi. Until 1993, Indians had been forbidden to visit South Africa; Gopal Gandhi had never been there before then. Nonetheless, he still feels the assignment is a little like "going home."

Indonesia's Flesh Watch

In 1984, Indonesia banned its nationals from competing in beauty contests with bathing suit segments. Which is why the appearance of Indonesian Alya Rohali, 20, at this year's Ms. Universe pageant came as quite a shock. Rohali, a pageant "participating observer," posed for pictures in her swimsuit. At home, Minister for Women's Affairs Mien Sugandhi was hot and bothered. She called Rohali's actions "shameful" and "degrading," and threatened to summon the local contest sponsor to parliament.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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