The Fate Of South Korea’s President Park

The impeachment of President Park grew more imminent as the protests grew louder, closer and larger. In fact, she was kept hidden from public view and was gripped by despair, loneliness, and self-pity.

In the Blue House, which is also her childhood home, she has very few visitors as per the reports from her aides.

She is 64 years old and has no children and is not married. She has a brother and sister who have been estranged for years now. She had three of her most trusted aides, but all of them were fired due to influence-peddling and corruption, and this is what is seen as something which will undo her presidency. Her closest friend, as well as the confidante who is Choi-Soon-sil, has been imprisoned as well.

As per a public apology, she said she was losing sleep for countless nights and regretted at times that she ever became president. She stopped attending the presidential staff meetings as well as attending cabinet meetings. As per Chung Jin-suk, she was apologetic to the lawmakers.

In October the scandal broke out that she along with Choi extorted tens of millions of dollars from big businesses. She also tried to unfairly help Ms. Choi.

Park did not meet any foreign visitor after November 10th. That was the day she greeted the Kazakhstan presidential delegation, and on that same day, she spoke with Donald Trump, the US president-elect.

She rendered televised apologies thrice, and she was said to have heard the various protests asking her to leave her post. She took the crisis gravely and was dealing with it in the best possible way. She also invited Christian and Buddhist leaders to offer their advice.

In fact, no other South Korean leader was so isolated except President Lee Myung-Bak who decided to lift the ban imposed on beef imports from America due to the mad cow disease.

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Fidel Castro No More!

The Comandante who established a communist state and who survived numerous assassination attempts, and survived various premature obituaries, had death finally catch up to him, at the age of 90. And that too, after battling for long with illness.

Even though due to the fact that he was ill for a long time, and that the news of his death was expected, it was still shocking. He was the figurehead across the developing world for an armed struggle against oppressive capitalist forces.

Raul, Fidel’s younger brother, assumed the presidency of Cuba in 2006 after Fidel had a near fatal health problem when he had a major intestinal ailment. In fact, it was he who on the 25th of November, 2016 at 10:29 pm announced that his brother was no more. After the cremation, Fidel Castro’s ashes were interred at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery on the 4th December, in a solemn ceremony.

There were nine days of national mourning which were declared to mark his death, and there were numerous emotional scenes both in Miami and Havana. Several world leaders paid tribute and reflections too.

The US President Obama too offered his condolences and said that the prayers and the thoughts of the Americans were with the Cubans. He also said that the Cuban people should remember that they had a partner and a friend in the US.

However, Obama’s successor Donald Trump referred to Fidel Castro as a person who was a dictator and an oppressor of the people. He said that the legacy of Fidel Castro was of denying of human rights, poverty, suffering, theft, firing squads and more. He said that now Cubans could look forward to living in freedom.

Both Obama and Trump used very different language, and in fact, the renewed relationship between the US and Cuba which has been seen as one of the major legacies of the Obama rule could be under threat when under Trump.

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World Witnesses Mother Teresa’s Canonization

The canonization of Mother Teresa took place on the 4th September at the Vatican. This ceremony was transmitted live all over the world. The mass at St. Peter’s square took 2 hours, and it was led by Pope Francis. Mother Teresa was canonized 19 years after she died and in fact even though she was an icon globally for the work she did with the poorest of the poor, yet there were deep criticisms regarding the order which she founded.

Her relics have been and are venerated, and people can even buy 1.5m 95c postage stamps commemorating her and her humility, dedication, simplicity and strength.

Prior to the mass, her images were displayed all over the Vatican, and there were series of different musical events, prayer sessions, seminars and feasts which were held for those who were visiting pilgrims. Rita Ora the British Pop star too performed at the Vatican before the ceremony.

In Kolkata, there were three months of commemorations which were planned. These commemorations included art shows, book launches, stadium masses as well as installing of a bronze life-size statue of her.
The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of Mother Teresa in a radio broadcast. Sonia Gandhi too wrote a letter to the Vatican saying that it was a proud moment for all Indians and not only Catholics that Mother Teresa was canonized.

The Hindu nationalists, however, claimed she surreptitiously baptized dying people without them knowing it. Aroup Chatterjee too who was one of her critics felt that such a huge hoopla should not have been made about a black magic ceremony. He said she was a bogus figure. Some criticized the work the nuns did which lacked medical training. Some did not like her dogmatic views about contraception, abortion, and divorce. Others felt the care the disabled children got was inept and unprofessional.