Fifty Years After Recognition As “People” Australian Aborigines Demand Political Voice

By Kalinga Seneviratne

SYDNEY (IDN) – In 1967, in a historic referendum, some 92 percent of Australians voted for the original inhabitants to be recognized as “people” to be counted in the census.

Exactly 50 years later, over 250 Indigenous Australians met in a historic summit overlooking the sacred Uluru rock in Central Australia May 24-26 and called upon the Australian government to change the constitution to give them a voice in parliament and a treaty to recognize their relationship to the land. Continue reading “Fifty Years After Recognition As “People” Australian Aborigines Demand Political Voice”

Global Development Through China’s New ‘Silk Routes’

SilkRouteSummit

Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – When China hosted a two-day conference in May to help revive the ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa it was greeted with scepticism by most of the western media. But in much of Asia the mood was more of optimism and opportunity. Continue reading “Global Development Through China’s New ‘Silk Routes’”

Modi’s Buddhist Diplomacy Fails to Dispel Sri Lankan Suspicions

Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 15th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BANGKOK (IDN) – The May 11-12 visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the UN Day of Vesak festival as a special guest was designed to woo Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, but reactions in the Sri Lankan media indicates that it has not succeeded in dispelling their suspicions about “Indian colonialism” of their small neighbour. Continue reading “Modi’s Buddhist Diplomacy Fails to Dispel Sri Lankan Suspicions”

Exercising Power Fairly More Important SDG Yardstick than Democratic Accountability

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – In its 2017 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, the Bangkok-based UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) makes an interesting argument in regards to achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in seemingly downplaying the importance of democratic accountability and emphasising that how power is exercised is more important. Continue reading “Exercising Power Fairly More Important SDG Yardstick than Democratic Accountability”

Asian-Fuelled Heritage Tourism Could Be An SDG Enabler

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, held for the first time in Southeast Asia, pivoted on how Asia-fuelled tourism would impact the industry worldwide. The discussions also centred around whether tourism could be an enabler of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if it were heritage-focused offering community experiences – rather than “exotic” sites – so that significant leakages of tourism revenue could be tapped. Continue reading “Asian-Fuelled Heritage Tourism Could Be An SDG Enabler”

Asia needs ‘thinking’ media to avoid ‘Arab Spring’ chaos

April 25, 2017

By Kalinga Seneviratne

Special to The Nation (Thailand)

In December last year two UN agencies – UNDP and Unesco – organised a gathering in Bangkok called “Case 4 Space” where young activist communicators from Asia were brought together and largely addressed by westerners on how to demand space for their voices to be heard.

The event was coordinated by an activist group from the UK called “Restless Development” that was promoting a “restless” type of activism for “democratic” development – the same recipe of the “Arab Spring” uprising that has created chaos and mayhem in the Arab world. 

Attending the event as an observer, I was alarmed by the fact that these two UN agencies were able to organise this event in Asia without being scrutinised by Asian media or the governments in the region. Continue reading “Asia needs ‘thinking’ media to avoid ‘Arab Spring’ chaos”