23 October 2011

Two Weddings and a Funeral...

Bhutan Royal Wedding

AP Photo (AP Photo)

Bhutan's 31-year-old king married a student 10 years his junior on Thursday in a colourful ceremony showcasing the rich Buddhist culture of one of the world's most remote and insular countries.

The "Dragon King", an Oxford graduate who came to power in 2008 at the start of democracy in Bhutan, married Jetsun Pema, the daughter of an airline pilot widely admired for her beauty and her impact on the love-struck monarch.

"She's very sweet and caring and she loves children," one of the king's cousins who studied with the queen, Yiwang Pindarica, told AFP after the marriage. "I'm sure she will help the king fulfil his duties."

Proceedings were beamed live across the country of 700,000 people and signalled the start of three days of joyful celebrations, with dancing, singing and drinking in towns and villages.

Indonesian princess weds in historical sultanate


Princess Nurastuti Wijareni, 25, married 29-year-old Achmad Ubaidillah in a traditional Javanese-Muslim ceremony attended by more than 2,000 guests that included the Indonesian president.

Yogyakarta, around 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Jakarta in the centre of Java island, is one of Indonesia's last remaining sultanates, where the sultan acts also as the special region's governor.

The groom, a commoner, works at the office of Indonesia's vice president.

Din Syamsudin, chairman of Indonesia's Muhammadiyah Muslim organisation, described the ceremony as a grand cultural expression that should be preserved.

It was "a cultural treasure that should also be revitalised, so that future generations continue to understand and love their own culture," he said.

Tens of thousands lined the streets in the afternoon to greet the couple, who were married at the sultan's 200-year-old palace in a ceremony led by the bride's father, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.

The death of Muammar Gaddafi

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya from 1969 to 2011, has been killed.Colonel Gaddafi ended his life branded with the same words that had followed him through most of his military and political career: thug, terrorist, and murderer.

The death of Gaddafi himself became perhaps the most dramatic development since the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt and threaten the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

"He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head," NTC official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."

Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an ambulance.

An NTC fighter in Sirte said he had seen Gaddafi shot after he was cornered and captured in a tunnel near a roadway.



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