By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) - One truly “international” act that India appears to have got right is the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). In this centenary year of Indian cinema, the 44th edition of IFFI, which was hosted in Goa for the 10th year, would be remembered for some unforgettable films and the presence of great filmmakers.
Increasingly, audiences – both classes and masses – are attracted to IFFI for the quality and variety of cinematic offerings. Glitter and glamour are no longer the pull factors at IFFI, where even personalities are in the spotlight for their work, values, experiences and insights, and not for their appearance or attire.
By Tithe Farhana* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
DHAKA (IDN) - International aid communities are extending supporting hands to transnational and national media for campaigns and programs, related especially to agriculture and climate change issues.
In Bangladesh, there is enormous scope for them to support initiatives, which can generate silent revolution in agricultural development. In particular, financial and technical assistance could trigger a strong campaign on food security, climate smart technology, green technology and other agro-based inventions and interventions.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BANGKOK (IDN) - Opening the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the Thai capital, secretary general Dr Hamadoun Touré remarked that the conference was about putting the “feet on the accelerator in the quest to embrace broadband” but also warned that it needs to add value to the lives of the ordinary citizens.
The Summit – the last of the regional gatherings organized by ITU since 2006 – included some 554 participants from 37 ITU Asia-Pacific Member States, including 7 Heads of State or Government, 30 Ministers, deputy ministers and Ambassadors. A total of 88 Project Proposals were submitted for funding and the Summit identified a market opportunity of approximately 53 billion USD by the roll out of broadband services in the region.
By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SINGAPORE (IDN) - In his opening address to the Commonwealth leaders’ summit (CHOGM) in Colombo mid-November, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse concluded his speech by quoting from the Buddha. “‘Let not one take notice of faults of other’s or what they have done or not done. Let one be concerned only about what one has done and left undone,” he told assembled leaders from 53 member countries in an obvious swipe at the British PM’s pre-summit tirades on human rights violation by Sri Lanka.
By Ashok Kumar | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BANGKOK (IDN) – Asia-Pacific region has bumpy roads to traverse before it achieves ‘zero hunger’ and ‘zero poverty’. But it is gearing up for 'food security for all' backed by 'concerted efforts' to achieve Zero Hunger by 2025 when global population is estimated to surpass the 8 billion mark.
The 'Zero Hunger Challenge' – highlighting that hunger can be eliminated in our lifetimes – was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June 2002 at Rio to commemorate and review the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992.
By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SINGAPORE (IDN) - On 15th of November Britain’s King-In-Waiting for the past three decades Prince Charles will open a three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, which has attracted much media attention particularly in Britain, India and Canada for all the wrong reasons.
By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
TORONTO (IDN) - US drone strikes have long been a sticking point in US-Pakistan relations. To the Obama administration, they are a key tool in the fight against terrorism, evident in the various high-ranking commanders they’ve eliminated from the regional militancy equation. To Islamabad, however, they represent a breach of state sovereignty, and their tendency to kill civilians serves to undermine government writ in Pakistan’s tribal territories.
If drone strikes are the crack running along the edifice of US-Pakistan relations, then US aid is the plaster used to mask it. The Obama administration quietly resumed a $1.6 billion military aid package to Pakistan last month (October 2013).
By Shim Jae Hoon* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SEOUL (IDN | Yale Global) - The front-page picture in Korean newspapers told the story of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. South Korea’s President Park Geun Hye, looking frosty and gazing in the opposite direction, ignored Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe standing next to her at the October 7 APEC in Bali. The two leaders barely exchanged greetings, according to a Japanese news dispatch, and kept their contact to a minimum, “only for a few seconds”.
By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) - The abounding speculation over whether bribery, graft and abuse of power were the only reasons for China’s former Politburo member Bo Xilai being sentenced (on September 22) to life and stripped of his political rights and property for life is, perhaps, unlikely to be answered with any certitude for a long time. What is certain though is that, for now, the political phenomenon that was Bo Xilai is dead. So is his brand of mass politics.
Arriving in Jinan, capital of China’s northeastern province of Shadong, a day after the Intermediate People’s Court in the city handed him a life term, I found people going about their business as usual. Nothing appeared amiss in the city: the extra security at the airport could have been for any of several other reasons. There was no buzz about the sensational case, the like of which China has not witnessed in 30 years. To quote a phrase from another time and place, “not a dog barked” in Jinan, Beijing or Chongqin when Bo went down at the end of a well-choreographed trial that met every expectation of form.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN) - The winds of change are blowing, bringing shifts in perceived wisdom and the old order, especially in the Asian region. The recent (October 7-8) APEC summit and associated meetings in Bali were marked not so much by results but by perceptions.
In fact, the lack of results, rather than results, was the main story. This lack was not so much in the APEC itself, but in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The leaders of TPPA countries met in a separate venue away from the APEC summit.
By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature
UDONG (IDN) - “When the war ended I had lost all my family. I was alone. I came here 27 years ago and I have found happiness now,” says 71 year old Sentcheant, one of ten nuns spending their old age together in this Buddhist nunnery, only one of two such places in Cambodia.
The Cambodian Khmer people have a proud Buddhist heritage going back to the 5th century, which is epitomized by the ancient Buddhist monuments of Ankor Wat. Even here in Udong, which is a 18th century Khmer capital city (about two hours' drive from Phnom Penh), some 101 temples have been built by the kings.
“Our kings built temples to preserve our culture, save Buddhism and our Khmer language,” said Chan Sobunvy, secretary general of the Association of Nuns and Laywomen of Cambodia (ANLWC).