Sri Lanka’s ‘Peoples Power’ Faces Big Challenges

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

COLOMBO (IDN) - Be it with “pinch-hitting” and “sling bowling” in cricket, eradicating a ruthless terrorist group, winning Asian games gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races running barefoot or electing the world’s first woman prime minister, Sri Lankans always excel in using unorthodox means to achieve their objectives.

On January 8, they added another – using a candidate with no party affiliations or tested election machinery to overthrow an “invincible” autocratic President through a largely peaceful election.

The world is desperately looking for a template to overthrow corrupt politicians and political structures as seen by the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in the Middle East which has sadly transformed into an Arab Winter and Thailand’s ‘Shutdown Bangkok’ protests, which led to the overthrow of a democratically elected government to be replaced by a military regime that is becoming increasingly autocratic.

Read more...

Good News For Oil-Importing Developing Countries

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

J C Suresh with UN News | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) - Decline in oil prices, a stronger U.S. economy, and continued low global interest rates will help fuel the growth of the world economy in 2015, says a new study issued by the World Bank Group on January 13.

The Global Economic Prospects report, published every two years, predicts a global economic expansion of 3 per cent for 2015, 3.3 per cent for 2016, and 3.2 per cent in 2017 – a boost following last year’s disappointing 2.6 per cent growth.

Read more...

Driving Home The Concept Of Global Citizenship

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN)  - Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development (EGCSD) is far from having become a buzzword. In fact, beyond the domain of experts, the concept has yet to gain currency. Though, while explaining it, even those well versed in the theme do not find it easy to drive home the message.

“As technology advances and governance is increasingly conducted beyond the parameters of the nation-state, the concept of global citizenship remains mysteriously absent. What does the term mean in historical terms and what practices might help its evolution into a coherent and democratic political practice?” asked Ron Israel, co-founder of The Global Citizens' Initiative (TGCI), in a recent article.

Read more...

2015 Crucial For A Nuclear Weapon Free World

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) - 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and promises to be a crucial year for moving toward a world without nuclear weapons. While indications are that the global movement for banning the bomb is gaining strength, attempts to open a new chapter in nuclear arms race should not be underestimated, a close look at developments in 2014 shows.

A sign of growing awareness of the need to abolish atomic weapons is that 155 governments – more than 80 percent of the members of the United Nations – supported the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons tabled at the General Assembly in October 2014.

Read more...

The Current World Disorder

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - Dr. Henry Kissinger – veteran Harvard academic in political science, author, diplomatic practitioner and respected commentator on international affairs despite a chequered career in the U.S. Government – published his latest book “World Order” at the end of 2014 providing us with a historical analysis of a quest for a rule based global order.

That quest has to be undertaken in a world where in Kissinger’s words, “Chaos threatens side by side with unprecedented interdependence; in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension.”

Read more...

Pakistani Balochs Seeking Shelter in Afghanistan

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

While millions of Afghans have fled to Pakistan over the past four decades, Pakistanis are flocking to Afghanistan. There are not only those who flee Pakistani military operations in Waziristan, but also Pakistani Balochs who say that they flee from repression by the Pakistani government, linked to latest Baloch insurgency activities. In Afghanistan, they live in precarious conditions. The Afghan authorities seem to exert a hand-off approach, and the UN sees them as a marginal issue.

By Monica Bernabe* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

KABUL (IDN | ANA) - Abdul Waheed’s mutilated corpse was found on December 1, 2010, 20 kilometers from the town of Kalat, in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province, the largest, but least populated of the country.

Read more...

Iran’s Important Role in International Relations

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN) - The year 2014 was one of the most hectic years for international politics. Although every year is characterized with a host of important and determining developments in international arena, there were two major developments in 2014, which were not only “important,” but also “surprising.”

One of these was the rapid and surprising rise of a new player in an already tense Middle East region under the name of the “Islamic State,” which led to many fundamental changes in political equations in Syria and Iraq.

Read more...

Sri Lanka Presidential Election: A Third Term Or A Fresh Start?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - President Mahinda Rajapakse’s proclamation on November 20 last year decreeing a Presidential Election two years before the expiry of his second term of office has provided the voters of Sri Lanka with an unexpected opportunity to make a unique democratic choice on January 8, 2015.

With the Sri Lankan voter enjoying universal adult franchise from 1931 – even when the country was a colony of Britain – this island nation has, since gaining independence in 1948, changed its rulers through the peaceful use of the ballot a total of nine times. The choice has been between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) or coalitions led by each of them.

Read more...

Increasing Importance of Education for Global Citizenship

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) - When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Global Education First Initiative in September 2012, “fostering global citizenship” was one of his three priorities, along with “putting every child in school” and “improving the quality of learning”.

Ban said: “Education is much more than an entry to the job market. It has the power to shape a sustainable future and better world. Education policies should promote peace, mutual respect and environmental care.”

As the international community moves toward adopting the post-2015 development agenda, popularly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need for education for global citizenship is becoming increasingly important.

Because none of the goals impacting the Earth and its inhabitants can be achieved without people and governments around the world transcending narrow national interests and acting in the interest of the planet.

Read more...

Pakistan: The Rope is Not a Solution

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. * | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

LAHORE (IDN) - The government of Pakistan, after the terrifying attack on a Peshawar school on December 16, which took the lives of 132 school students and nine staff members, and left numerous injured, decided to reinstate capital punishment.

No doubt, the whole nation is in great agony and grief. I, first of all, want to condemn such terror attacks and wish for this country to find a way out of this terrorism curse soon and we all shall resume peaceful and prosper lives.

Read more...

What China’s Silk Road Project Aims At

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MUMBAI (IDN) - There is more to China’s Silk Route Project — from the sea lanes of East Asia through South and Central Asia to Europe — than is generally perceived in India.

India has been invited to join the project for rebuilding the ancient Silk Road that connected India, China and Central Asia to Europe and reviving the Maritime Silk Route for linking countries in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean. Most of India’s neighbours see it as an opportunity that should not be missed.

Read more...