The Free Dorje Campaign: A Timeline

15 05 2013

Free Dorje Gurung

Dorje Gurung , a chemistry teacher from Nepal who had been teaching at an international school in Qatar, was jailed on 1 May, 2013 on charges of insulting Islam.

When news of this broke on Thursday, 9 May, Dorje’s friends and contacts quickly came to his support.

What ensued was four days of frantic, energised, round-the-clock campaigning.

Then, on Monday, 13 May, Dorje was released from jail.

How was international pressure built up so quickly and effectively? How did the campaign evolve? What was done, at what time and to what effect?

Piecing together bits and pieces all over the social media trail — Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Change.Org and news reports —  this timeline attempts to tell the story of the international Free Dorje campaign.

Read the timeline HERE

You can also click on each of the photo below, then enlarge and scroll along.

The International Free Dorje Campaign

Note: There was a lot of equally important ‘behind the scenes’ action that is not documented here. Many people worked tirelessly, tapping into Dorje’s different networks, working around the clock to follow news from Doha and Nepal, contacting international organisations and media outlets, pulling together updates and ideas from people on different platforms, sifting through ideas, pursuing credible sources and venues of appeal, and constantly communicating with each other to avoid the duplication of efforts. 



Two Friends, Two Fighters.

9 11 2012

Cung Le shows off some of his signature kicks.

A big UFC showdown is coming to town. Macau, to be precise.

The world’s fastest growing sport is finally venturing into one of the world’s fastest growing economies: China.

What could this beckon for the future of mixed martial arts? Bruce Lee, after all, was the father of MMA, according to the president of the UFC, Dana White. So it only seems fitting that the UFC is at long last getting a foothold in the vast Chinese market.

I had the pleasure of attending an exciting UFC pre-fight press conference yesterday, where the fighters Rich Franklin, Cung Le, Dong Hyun Kim and China’s very own Tiequan Zhang shed some light on their MMA lives.

Here is a little online feature that I put together for TimeOut Hong Kong.

Friends or foes? Inside the Octagon, they’re only one thing: fighters.

Fist of Glory

8 11 2012

By Calvin Sit

It started with the movies. Then it was the kiddie boxing sets at Toys’R’Us. Finally, I signed myself up for a kungfu class and before long, I found myself sucked into a whirling vortex of kicks, punches, spins and sweeps. Soon, I even headed up to the birthplace of Shaolin kungfu for an intensive (read: painful but memorable) training program.

So it came as a pleasant surprise when, on my very first day as an intern at TimeOut Hong Kong, I was given the assignment of writing a short feature on an upcoming kungfu championship. This was right up my alley!

Are you a novice? Do you have a weapon fetish? Perhaps you seek company, or balance, or an adrenaline rush? I cover all that and more in my  ‘Around Town’ feature, here.

By Calvin Sit

“As the International Wushu Competition swings through town, Mary Hui deciphers the well kept secrets of Chinese martial arts in a rough (but tough) breakdown. Photos by Calvin Sit, demonstration by members of Mark Scientific Ving Tsun Association (麥漢基詠春拳學會).

Crouching TigerHidden DragonKung Fu Hustle. Or, more recently, the ‘Wuxi Finger Hold’, as popularised by a feisty – though pudgy – fighting kung fu panda by the name of Po. Chinese martial arts may seem straightforward in these cases but, in reality, it’s not so simple. There are countless disciplines and styles out there, which may baffle many the budding apprentice. But fear not. As the upcoming 7th Hong Kong International Wushu Competition nears, we offer this guide to help illuminate the way.”

Continue reading here.

The Story of a Rooftop Farm

7 10 2012

I’ve been working as an editorial intern at the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. Here’s my article on rooftop farming in Hong Kong, published on the the IHT and NYT on 4th October 2012 — coincidentally, the IHT’s 125th anniversary! 

Osbert Lam, owner of the rooftop operation City Farm, on his daily watering round.

In Organic-Hungry Hong Kong, Corn as High as an Elevator’s Climb

HONG KONG — Kimbo Chan knows all about the food scandals in China: the formaldehyde that is sometimes sprayed on Chinese cabbages, the melamine in the milk and the imitation soy sauce made from hair clippings. That is why he is growing vegetables on a rooftop high above the crowded streets of Hong Kong.

“Some mainland Chinese farms even buy industrial chemicals to use on their crops,” Mr. Chan said. “Chemicals not meant for agricultural uses at all.”

As millions of Hong Kong consumers grow increasingly worried about the purity and safety of the fruits, vegetables, meats and processed foods coming in from mainland China, more of them are striking out on their own by tending tiny plots on rooftops, on balconies and in far-flung, untouched corners of highly urbanized Hong Kong.

Continue reading here.

Also related to this article is my IHT Rendezvous blog post:

Up on the Roof, a Real-Life Farmville

HONG KONG — Imagine yourself on a sidewalk in the center of a crowded city. It’s summer, the afternoon rush hour, you’re surrounded by buses, cars and delivery trucks, and they’re blasting you with waves of hot, nasty exhaust fumes.

Now imagine stepping away from that chaotic scene, ducking into an elevator and riding up a few dozen floors where you emerge to find a green oasis of vegetables and flowers — a rooftop farm.

You can continue reading here.

The rooftop farm at night. In the background hang colourful lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival.