Survivors Aspire For A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Neena Bhandari* | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

SYDNEY (IDN) - Sue Coleman-Haseldine, a Kokatha-Mula Indigenous woman, was about three years old when the United Kingdom began conducting Nuclear weapons tests in Australia’s Monte Bello Islands, off the Western Australian coast, and Emu Field and Maralinga in South Australia.

Read more...

Modi’s Neighbourhood Policy Yet To Bear Fruit

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have been the toast at the high tables from BRICS and ASEAN to G-20 and the East Asia Summit, but nearer home, in the neighbourhood, his 56-inch chest impresses few. The stark truth that India does not draw much water in the region was driven home unmistakably during the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu.

The November 26-27 SAARC Summit was dominated by India’s futile effort to check China’s influence in SAARC and over its member-nations. In this contest, China and its “all-weather friend” Pakistan not only got the better of India, but also won over others – such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives – to their case.

Read more...

Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia Is Possible

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - While existing tensions in Northeast Asia continue to be a source of concern and urgent action is required to diffuse these and bring about meaningful cooperation, a nuclear-weapon free zone (NWFZ) in the region is possible and should in fact be a priority, according to an international conference held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on November 26.

Read more...

Asians Told To Look Near East For Prosperity, Not Far West

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) - Eminent political analysts, academics and journalists have predicted a promising Asian resurgence in 2015 and called for Asians to learn to look to the Near East for inspiration and not the Far West. They included participants in the annual ‘Global Outlook’ conference organized by Singapore’s Straits Times group on November 21.

Read more...

China’s Asian Bank May Herald A New World Order

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) - Since the 2008 economic meltdown, Europeans and the Americans have been asking the Chinese to contribute more to the Bretton Woods institutions. The Chinese, on the other hand, have been demanding reforms to the hegemonic system of management and voting rights in these institutions that favour the Americans and the Europeans. Both appeals have mainly landed on deaf ears.

Read more...

India: Facing Up To Ugly Truths About the ISIS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MUMBAI (IDN) - In sharp contrast to the ongoing dissection — in the West and West Asia — of the ISIS, its roots, its growing appeal, the dangers it poses and ways in which it can be confronted and countered, in India there is a deafening silence.

The government and political parties act as if the threat would go away if they don’t talk about it. We make do with bombast about the patriotism of Muslims in India, and do not debate what the threat is about. The ISIS is not a challenge to any one community or country. It is a phenomenon attracting adherents from unlikely quarters in the West; from the very countries that have joined hands to militarily crush the ISIS.

Read more...

China Lays Claim to Leadership of the Buddhist World

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BAOJI, China (IDN) - With an impressive display of Chinese Buddhist culture and hospitality, China laid claims to giving leadership to the Buddhist world, by hosting over 600 international delegates for the 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) at this historic city in northwestern China from October 16 to 18.

Though not officially acknowledged, China is today home to between 200-300 million Buddhists thus making it the country with the world’s largest Buddhist population. The restored grand Buddhist temples in Baoji and in close by Xian, and the impressive Buddhist cultural display at the opening ceremony of the WFB meeting is anything to go by, it indicates that Chinese Buddhism has undergone a remarkable revival, after Buddhist temples were destroyed and Buddhist practices disrupted during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s.

Lou Qinjian, Governor of Shaanxi Provice (where Baoji and Xian are located) in a speech opening the conference told delegates from over 40 countries that Buddhism has become an important part of Chinese civilization for over 1800 years and his province has been the gateway for the flow of Buddhism from India to China. He added that over this period Buddhism has spread the ideas of equality, benevolence and harmony that have become important parts of Chinese civilization.

Read more...

The Foreign Policy of Narendra Modi

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - Within two months the newly elected Prime Minister of India has had summit meetings with the Japanese Prime Minister, the President of China and the President of the USA. India, Japan and China are the Asian giants while the US remains the sole global super power. Thus the evolving relationships amongst them have special significance. It has become a cliché today to describe all friendly bilateral relations as “strategic partnerships” but obviously some relations are more “strategic” than others.

In the halcyon period of Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership of Indian foreign policy good relations with China was a cornerstone governed by the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence or Pancha Shila embodied in the Sino-Indian Treaty of April 29, 1954. The Sino-Indian war of 1962 blighted that relationship and although some normalcy has been restored, especially in terms of trade and other economic ties, bilateral relations have never been the same. India’s dramatic economic development and the election of a strong leader in Narendra Modi has created a new climate for reaching out to Asia and the world after the symbolic first steps towards South Asian neighbours were taken with the problem of Pakistan shelved for the moment.

Read more...

Indian Army’s Modernisation Needs Huge Investment

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Arun Sahgal* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) - The NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government – headed by Prime Minister Narenda Modi – has identified defence reforms and building a self sustaining defence industrial base as a priority reform sector. To transform this into reality, it is not so much of the government commitment but its ability to take policy decisions and put processes in place by spurring public and private sector investments through higher indigenisation, transfer of technology, simplifying procedures, etc.

Read more...

India-Japan Link Amid Concern Over China

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Harsh V. Pant* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN | Yale Global) - Asia’s leading nations have been slowly coming together to face the challenge of an assertive China. To the chagrin of Beijing, US, Indian and Japanese naval vessels gathered for a joint exercise in the Pacific ostensibly against piracy and terrorism. The rise of nationalist leaders in Japan and India, combined with growing US concern about aggressive Chinese policy, have created new dynamics in the region.

Read more...

Geopolitics of Sino-Vietnamese Mail-Order Brides

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

By Valentina Gasbarri* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

ROME (IDN) - The past 10 years have witnessed a rapid increase in the intra-Asia flow of cross-border marriage migration. While increasing neo-liberal globalisation, the opening of borders and the improvement of transport infrastructure between nations, have brought some gains through increasing trade, these have also facilitated an inhuman form of population movement, heightened the demand for cheap labour and exacerbated people smuggling and women and child trafficking, not only in the least developed countries.

Unauthorized entry and trans-national marriages in Sino-Vietnamese border areas represents a unique example as there are many natural and convenient ways for border crossing and for the development of sophisticated and insidious business involving the most vulnerable population groups, such as women and children from rural areas.

Read more...