June 19, 2010
The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Japan, criticized anti-whaling protesters, saying that while he sympathized with their efforts to protect the mammals, protesters' methods should be nonviolent.
No doubt this was music to the ears of Japan's government. AFP reports that "Japanese prosecutors have demanded two years in prison for a New Zealand anti-whaling activist on trial for assault and charges relating to his boarding of a harpoon ship in Antarctic waters."
According to an April BBC report, Pete Bethune (pictured here), of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, boarded the Japanese harpoon ship Shonan Maru in February to make a citizen's arrest of the captain. In January, Bethune's boat, carrying anti-whaling activists, had been sliced in two in a collision with the ship.
Bethune denies Japanese claims that he injured a Japanese sailor. He and his crew say charges that they threw butyric acid at the ship causing one sailor a chemical burn are bogus, countering that "the substance thrown was harmless, if unpleasant, rancid butter," according to the BBC.
Photo: AFP © 2010