Trump’s Asian Visit Exposes U.S.-Asia Perception Gap

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – It is often said that since the end of the World War II, the United States has been the pre-eminent power in the Asia-Pacific region, providing the stability needed for the economic boom of the past 70 years.

This perception is changing, however, and has intensified especially after U.S. President Donald Trump’s infamous speech at the United Nations in September where he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, effectively killing 25 million people and committing the worse war crime in history.

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India: Traditional Silk Weavers Losing Out To New Comers

By Kalinga Seneviratne

 

SUALKUCHI, Assam, India (IDN) – Silk weaving is an intrinsic part of Assamese culture and the “weavers’ village” of Sualkuchi is famous for its silk products, especially the Muga silk made from the golden thread of the assama caterpillar. Situated about 30 km from Gauhati, the state capital, tourist brochures describe this as a weavers’ paradise. But this is far from reality for the local weavers.

Continue reading “India: Traditional Silk Weavers Losing Out To New Comers”

Myanmar: Suu Kyi Slams “Disinformation” As Information War Intensifies

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – The information war on Myanmar’s Bengali/Rohingya problem has intensified as Myanmar’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sung Suu Kyi finally broke her silence on the issue on September 6 and slammed the international media and human rights organisations for spreading “misinformation” on the conflict. Continue reading “Myanmar: Suu Kyi Slams “Disinformation” As Information War Intensifies”

Eastern Spirituality Could Help Sustainable Development

SAMVAD+YogiThis article is the 18th in a series of joint productions of Lotus Communication Network  and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

By Kalinga Seneviratne

YANGON, Myanmar (IDN) – “The desire for peace exists everywhere, but the majority of people are not in a position to enjoy peace, stability and security they desire,” noted venerable Dr Ashin Nyanissara, spiritual head of the Sitagu International Buddhist University (SIBU), in opening a two-day gathering of spiritual leaders and scholars at the university here on August 5.

The event was the second Global Initiative for Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Consciousness (SAMVAD) conference, following the first held in New Delhi in September 2015.

SAMVAD is an initiative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to adopt principles of Asia’s age-old spiritual teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism to address modern-day issues threatening human civilisation. Continue reading “Eastern Spirituality Could Help Sustainable Development”

Myanmar: Commission Slams UN for “Smear Campaigning”

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 17th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features  and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

YANGON, Myanmar (IDN) – A Myanmar government commission that investigated allegations made by an international human rights organisation and the media about the country’s security forces abusing the human rights of Muslims known as Rohingyas in Rakhine State has found these allegations to be “unproven” and slammed its critics, including the United Nations, for carrying out an international “smear campaign” against the country. Continue reading “Myanmar: Commission Slams UN for “Smear Campaigning””

Sri Lanka Clears Major Hurdle For China’s Silk Route Project

By Kalinga Seneviratne

COLOMBO (IDN) – The signing of a deal between the Sri Lankan government and a Chinese company, basically transferring the ownership on a 99-year lease of the strategically located Chinese-built Hambantota Port and 5,000 acres of land surrounding it for an industrial park in southern Sri Lanka has cleared a major hurdle for China’s ambitious Maritime Silk Route project while at the same time raising concerns about security and sovereignty issues. Continue reading “Sri Lanka Clears Major Hurdle For China’s Silk Route Project”

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”