Asia – A Week in Pictures September 26, 2010

September 28, 2010

A tough week for India as athletes began arriving  for the start of the Commonwealth Games. On September 21, a pedestrian walkway outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi collapsed; the very next day a portion of the ceiling in the weightlifting arena also collapsed. Social and mainstream media showed pictures of blocked drains, dirty bathrooms, soiled matresses and unfinished work in the athletes’ accommodation.  Team members started to pull out of the games, undermining the status of the event. The enormity of the clean-up task seemed insurmountable, this concern beautifully illustrated by Parivartan Sharma’s picture of a man sweeping dust in the streets with a hand brush – a seemingly pointless task when CWG president Fennell said that there was still “considerable work to be done”. Have a close look at Reinhard Krause’s picture of the roof of the weight lifting arena and make your own judgement on the workmanship of the construction.  As someone who has not got a great head for heights I fear for the safety of the workers walking on the roof of the building.


A man sweeps under a flyover in front of the Commonwealth Games athletes village in New Delhi September 25, 2010. Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell said on Saturday there was still a considerable amount of work to be done and there was great concern about the security and safety of athletes and officials. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma


Workers climb down the roof of the weightlifting venue for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, September 22, 2010.   A portion of false ceiling in the Commonwealth Games weightlifting venue in India’s capital caved in on Wednesday, a day after 27 workers were injured when a footbridge collapsed near the same sports complex.  REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Adding to the woes of the Indian government, a court ruling was expected on the ownership of the land around the demolished 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya that sparked riots between Hindus and Muslims in 1992, the worse violence seen since Partition in 1947. The decision, which was expected to spark more violence throughout the country, was postponed.  The tension etched in every line on the face of this aging security guard who could have faced the task of keeping apart two groups of people, intent on killing each other.


A policeman wearing riot gear stands guard on a street in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya September 23, 2010. A court will rule on Friday whether Hindus or Muslims own land around a demolished mosque in Ayodhya, a judgement haunted by memories of a 1992 riot, some of the country’s worst violence since the partition. Hindu mobs demolished the 16-century mosque in 1992, claiming it stood on the birthplace of their god-king Rama. The demolition triggered religious riots. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

In Kashmir, Danish Ismail produced this beautifully composed and simple picture of people protesting during an anti-India demonstration. The jagged edges of the hands and gestures cutting to the clean pastel colour of the wall behind, the design of the picture leading the eye to the darkness of the mouth of the man shouting slogans who can almost be heard.  If this wasn’t enough for the people of India, there was flooding  in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, affecting over 3 million people. Again a picture of almost futile activity as workers waist deep in murky waters seem unable to do anything except  to contemplate the potential struggle in salvaging the derailed train.


Kashmiri people shout anti-India slogans during a protest in Srinagar September 21, 2010. Since the first death in June, Kashmir has been thrown out of gear by strikes and curfews. Schools, colleges and businesses remain shut. Food and medicine are scarce. REUTERS/Danish Ismail


Local residents stand beside a derailed carriage of a passenger train at Kanshiram Nagar district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh September 24, 2010. Ten causalities have been reported so far in the accident on Friday after a passenger train derailed in the flood waters after heavy rains in the region, local media reported. REUTERS/Brijesh Singh

In Pakistan Akhtar Soomro and Adrees Latif continue to cover those affected by the floods, an iconic image of a faceless person whose outstretched hand is begging from those who have little to give or a boy finding joy in a makeshift kite, tug at the heart strings at both ends of the scale of hope and desperation.


A woman, displaced by flooding, begs for relief through the window of a makeshift registration office near the flooded village of Bello Patan, in Pakistan’s Sindh province September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro


Niamatullah, a 7-year-old displaced by flooding, runs as he flies a kite while taking refuge  on an embankment with his family in the village of Bello Patan, in Pakistan’s Sindh province on September 21, 2010. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro


A teenage Pashtun boy collects dirt, left by floods outside a residence, to sell in a nearby market in Charsadda, northwest Pakistan September 25, 2010. The floods, Pakistan’s worst natural disaster in terms of damage and the number of people affected, were triggered by monsoon rains in late July, displacing 10 million people.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

In South Korea prayers were offered during Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving day as speculation over a change in leadership in North Korea continued to grow. The ruling party is holding a conference in a move that analysts say marks the first stage of dynastic succession.  All bets are on Kim Jong-Un the youngest son of present ruler Kim Jong-il to eventually take over the reigns of power.  Jaewon’s picture of this family from the north who, at first look, are apparently bowing to empty fields but are actually bowing in the direction of the north, has a surreal feeling that encapsulates the whole mystery around the process of succession.  The longer you study the picture the better it gets – fantastic!


South Korean Ko Ju-rak (R), 82, who is originally from North Korea’s Kabsan in North Hamkyong Province, his sons and grandchildren bow in the direction of the North during a traditional sacrificial ritual at Imjingak pavilion in Paju, north of Seoul September 22, 2210, on the occasion of Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving Day. Ko has not been able to visit his hometown since the 1950-53 Korean War. Chuseok is a time for Korean families to remember and honour their dead ancestors and Imjingak pavilion is the closest residents of the capitalist south can get to the border with the communist north. Secretive North Korea’s ruling party is to hold a conference on September 28 for electing its supreme leadership, at least two weeks later than originally planned.  REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

A picture that made me smile is this wonderful trophy presentation picture. Cheque and trophy presentations are considered by some to be one of the lowest forms of professional photography, known to those who practice it as “flash for cash”. It’s well paid but visually dull.  The picture below counters all these preconceived ideas. Putting aside the worries of the value of the Yen or the continued spat with China, maybe one of the toughest PR decisions Japan Prime Minister Kan would have to have made was over the presentation of the trophy for the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. The trophy is gigantic, imagine if he failed to lift it, imagine if he dropped it – from the picture it looks like Champion Hakuhu has got in quick to take it from him to spare his blushes – a very affectionate and warm picture.


Mongolian grand champion Hakuho (L) receives a trophy from Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on Sept. 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Kyodo

In a final round up of images that have caught my eye, either continuing the theme of bizarre or capturing a key moment in time I have added a few more pictures from around the region for you to enjoy in case you missed them on the wires. 


A worker sets up an electric grid at the Coc 6 open-cast coal mine in Cam Pha town, in Vietnam’s northeast Quang Ninh province, 200 km (124 miles) from Hanoi September 20, 2010. Vietnam will need to import 3 million to 15 million tonnes of coal a year by 2015, rising to 21 million to 40 million annually by 2020, as new coal-fired power plants are built, Tran Xuan Hoa, chief executive of state mining firm Vinacomin said. Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country, which is the world’s top anthracite exporter, will gradually cut coal exports to 3-5 million tonnes per year, predominantly for metallurgy, a trade ministry official said.   REUTERS/Kham


Hospital staff carry the dead body of Buddhist monk Luang Por Kwandee Piyasilo from his living quarters at Wat Tha Maprang in Phitsanulok September 19, 2010. According to newspaper reports, the 72 year-old revered monk was in sitting position when his body was found. Picture taken September 19, 2010.  REUTERS/Chinawat Singha


Khagendra Thapa, who is expected to be the world’s shortest man next month when he turns 18, stands with Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners during a news conference in Kathmandu September 24, 2010. The Nepal Tourism Board has nominated Thapa and Miss Nepal beauty pageant winners as goodwill ambassadors to promote tourism in Nepal. Thapa will carry the message: “Shortest man in the world from the highest mountain in the world invites you to visit Nepal.  REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar


Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain celebrates on the podium after winning the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit September 26, 2010.        REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad


A Super Decathlon airplane flies before crashing during the Bandung Air Show in Bandung, Indonesia’s West Java province, September 24, 2010. The small plane crashed and burst into flames during an air show attended by residents and schoolchildren in the capital of West Java province on Friday. The pilot of the single engine aircraft, Alexander Supeli was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, said a spokesman of Bandung’s international airport. No one on the ground was injured. REUTERS/Rahadi Prabowo


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