Tibet activist hopes hacks aren't in hot water The topic of Tibet, and especially the Dalai Lama, has always been taboo in mainland media coverage, but the sudden trip by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to Taiwan has seen one story slip through the censors ever so briefly in an official Beijing mouthpiece. After a report last week about a plan by Hong Kong activists to establish a Tibetan-Chinese Friendship Association here following a meeting with the Dalai Lama in March, the Global Times - an English-language newspaper run by Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily - followed up the story and interviewed James Lung Wai-man, who is organising the association with other activists. But after a brief appearance on its website, the article - which quoted Lung as saying the reason for his media interviews about the plan was to test public reaction - was pulled and can no longer be found on the internet. 'Oops, I hope I have not got the Beijing journalists into trouble,' said Lung, who added that he had no idea of the Global Times' colours when he was interviewed. 'Are they out of their minds for showing interest in me over Tibet?' A couple of pointers to help our lawmakers Living together may be a choice that needs no explanation among modern couples. But for lawmakers scrutinising an amendment to the Domestic Violence Ordinance that seeks to protect same-sex couples, the government has taken the trouble of eliminating any possibility of the law applying to the wrong people. In a paper sent to Legco, the Labour and Welfare Bureau defined 'a couple' as someone who must have 'intimate relationships', to make clear the ordinance does not cover everyone who lives under the same roof with another - such as two sisterly good friends sharing a flat, or a 'mistress and a man who visits her occasionally'. Exactly how lawmakers will digest such definitions has yet to be seen, but at least we no longer see the ultra-conservative Christian groups - which critics have labelled 'moral Taliban' - flooding Legco with petitions daily. Reform team happy to have Beijing's help It may still be some time before the government has to deal with constitutional reform; a public consultation is to be launched before Christmas. But some officials are happy that Beijing's representatives in Hong Kong have taken the lead to counter the initial onslaught from pan-democrats, who wanted to stir public debate on the tricky issue as early as possible. One official dealing with the consultation strategy said that though the government had begun preparing 'counter-attacks', Saturday's comments by Li Gang, a deputy director of the central government's liaison office, were comforting. 'Well, it was the liaison office which said it was not yet time to discuss universal suffrage, not even when the consultation is a few months away,' the official said. The consulted wonder if their words are heard As the chief executive's pre-policy-address consultations go into their second week, some participants in the lengthy and often mundane meetings are not convinced their views will bring about significant changes in the policymaking blueprint Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will unveil next month. Still, pan-democrats have vowed to push for universal suffrage to be on the agenda, especially as there will be no more handouts.