Monday, February 28, 2011

From 2 Billion to 100 Billion: Asian Games Spending Was Questioned

The translated article below from highlights a set of issues related to Asian Game spending which have recently begun to surface. The main accusations are that the overall spending far exceeded the original budget and that subsequent changes to the budget were never shared with the People’s Congress. During a round of recent congressional hearings about the Asian Games, a number of Congress representatives brought these issues to light, sparking both intense debate and a window of opportunity for learning from the mistakes.
Where Did the Money Go? Asian Games Spending Was Questioned
“Everyone knows where too much money was spent on the Guangzhou Asian Games! So can’t you just stop saying that “the target for the economical budget of the Asian Games has been met?” These words were spoken out by a representative of the Municipal People’s Congress and head of the Law Department of the South China University of Technology, Ge Hongyi (葛洪义), on February 21st during the first round of congressional hearings in Haizhu District of Guangzhou City. His forthright question subsequently ignited a fierce debate about the Asian Games’ funds between two other Congress representatives.
2 Billion vs. 100 billion
Luo Jingjun (罗京军), a member of the Municipal People’s Congress and the deputy head of the Guangzhou Municipal Propaganda Department, could barely respond to Ge Hongyi’s accusation that the Asian Games spending was far too wasteful. Highly agitated, he responded by saying that if it hadn’t been for the Asian Games, Guangzhou would definitely not be the international city that it is today.
Huang Jianwu (黄建武), a member of the Municipal People’s Congress and professor at the Law School of Zhongshan University, immediately refuted, saying, “These are two different matters entirely!” During a meeting held by The State Council in 2005, It was promised by Guangzhou municipal government that Asian Games spending would not exceed 2 billion Yuan. When compared with the actual amount spent – 100 billion – it is clear that the original stated budget was way too conservative.
“The Asian Games has certainly helped raise the reputation of Guangzhou and improve peoples’ livelihoods. Of course money had to be spent, but the problem is that the government initially stated it would spend 2 billion, but then repeatedly changed the budget. Were these changes ever reported to the Municipal People’s Congress? And was it ever reviewed by the Municipal People’s Congress? Of course there are reasons behind the changes, but did these decisions by the government respect the People’s Congress or the will of the people?” Huang Jianwu resolutely showed that the problem lies with the rule of law. He continued by saying that if the problem isn’t fully addressed then things will only get worst in the future. “If you do things in such a careless way, others are going to think you’re not being democratic. Can Guangzhou become an influential model in terms of democratic rule of law, one that cities all across the country can use as an example? It is precisely this question that we should be properly summarizing.”
How exactly was the money spent?
During the second congressional hearing in Panyu District of Guangzhou city, People’s Congress representative Chen Guo’an (陈国安), also raised the same issue: “The government report points out that integrity is needed to organise the Asian Games. Mayor Wan Qingliang (万庆良) once said that the Asian Games used 120 billion Yuan and even went on to say that over 1 billion Yuan were saved overall. But on what specifically was all this money spent? For example, is it reasonable and necessary to use the funds on environmental management and asset management? From the closing of the Asian Games to date, there has not been one report that clarifies which projects were related to the Asian Games and which ones weren’t.”
“This is a problem related to winning the public’s trust. The government should launch an audit.” Chen Guo’an continued by stressing that the audit should not necessarily only be carried out by the Audit Department, but should also encourage the participation of society, by including the representatives from professional committees of the Municipal CPPCC and the People’s Congress. “That way [the audit] will be more open and will therefore win over the trust of the people.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aamir Khan Finds a Fan in Vijender Singh

Aamir Khan Finds a Fan in Vijender Singh

Bollywood Chaska News Network 1:08 PM IST January 28

Aamir Khan surely has a great fan following, but he can add this special fan to his list now. Olympic and Asian Games medalist, Vijender Singh, has recently confessed of being an Aamir Khan fan. Since Vijender is always heard talking about Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra, this surely comes as a surprise from the ladies man!

Vijender was spotted in Delhi with a new look. He was seen in a beard. Now Vijender said that the real reason behind the beard is Aamir Khan. Vijender being an Aamir fan is inspired with Aamir’s new look and decided to go for it.

He was a little conscious at first, but later on he started receiving compliments for the same. So Viju decided to continue with his look.

This talented boxer from Bhiwani will be soon seen on Saurav Ganguly’s quiz show “Dadagiri”. The young lad is also getting many Bollywood offers, but the boxer wants to currently focus on London 2012 Olympics.

Aamir and Vijender have met before during the screening of Aamir’s film DHOBI GHAT. "I really enjoyed his company. He's also invited me for Imran and Avantika's reception in Mumbai next month, and I will be going for it," says the Asian Games gold medalist.

How about a movie with Aamir, Vijender?

Gowda to get Asian Games bronze

New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) India''s record medal haul in the Guangzhou Asian Games will increase by one more as discus thrower Vikas Gowda is set to be handed a bronze after a Qatari athlete tested positive for a banned substance.
Ahmed Dheeb of Qatar, who had won silver in the men''s discus with a throw of 64.56m, tested positive for exogenous testosterone metabolites and Olympic Council of Asia said he will be stripped of his medal.
Iran''s Mohammad Samimi, who had finished third with 63.46m, will now get the silver while Gowda, who was originally fourth with an effort of 63.13m, will be handed the bronze.
Another Iranian, Ehsan Hadadi had won the gold with 67.99m.
With Gowda''s bronze, India''s medal count will increase to 65 (14 gold, 17 silver, 34 bronze).
Gowda is still to get an official intimation and said he would be happy if he is getting the bronze.
"I have yet to get any official information that I am getting the bronze. But I will be happy if I am getting the bronze. For any athlete who gets a medal in events like Asian Games is always great," he told PTI from United States.
The OCA announced that Palestinian Awajna Abdalnasser, who took part in men''s 800 metres race, also tested positive for norandrosterone, another anabolic agent, taking the total number of dope cheats in the Asian Games, held in Guangzhou in China last November, to four.
Two dope cases, involving an Uzbek judoka and a wrestler, had cropped up during the Games.

Volunteers gearing up for Winter Asian Games

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Whenever organizers put together international sporting events, volunteers play an important role. Here's how unpaid workers are making it happen at the Winter Asian Games.
These young people are working as volunteers...and helping with the 7th Winter Asian Games. They're picking up their access passes and clothes at the main press center, all hoping to contribute and make the Games a success.
Around 4,000-to-5,000 people signed up to become volunteers. Finally, 2,200 were chosen for the Games.
Knowing a foreign language helps. Some Chinese students studying in Kazakhstan are among the volunteer workers.
A Winter Asian Games Volunteer "I'm from China, and knowing Chinese is my advantage being a volunteer. I think I can be a translator and help people from China when needed."

Adel Khalid secures Abu Dhabi race berth

  • UAE sailor is one of two sailors expected to represent the nation in the Asian Games in China next month.
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
Abu Dhabi: UAE national, Adel Khalid, is the latest crew member to secure his place aboard the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)-backed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team for the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race, making him the first Emirati sailor to compete in this ‘Everest of Sailing.'
Khalid, who represented the UAE in both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Asian Games in November 2010, beat more than 120 Emirati hopefuls to earn his spot in the 11-strong sporting crew, which includes Olympic medal winners, America's Cup victors, Volvo Ocean Race champions and Guinness World Record holders.
The 22-year-old now carries the hopes of the emirate on his broad shoulders as he looks to honour the considerable responsibility of working towards, and sharing, the aspirations of his homeland in one of the world's toughest, most extreme sporting challenges.
"The search for a UAE national to represent us in this challenge has been extensive, in-depth and highly competitive. This exhaustive process was necessary because the race demands and standards are exceptionally high, as are our own aspirations," said Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA and Team Principal of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
"We have been impressed by many of the applicants whose enthusiasm has been a credit to the nation. The final selection went down to the wire and at the end of the day Khalid was the unanimous choice and we congratulate him on this achievement. All three finalists were worthy contenders but Khalid had the edge in terms of sailing experience as well as his developmental potential."
In a televised awards ceremony at Emirates Palace hotel, Khalid was selected just ahead of fellow Emirati finalists, Butti Al Muhairi and Abdul Aziz Abdullah.