Asia’s Buddhists Should Step Forward to Pave the Way to Sustainable Development

Viewpoint by Kalinga Seneviratne*

SINGAPORE (IDN) – Buddhists across Asia are going to temples, bathing the baby Buddha, giving food to monks, lighting lamps and offering incense sticks accompanied by chanting paying homage to the Buddha on Vesak day, May 29 this year. While keeping with these traditions is important, Asia’s Buddhists are letting go a great opportunity to shape the global development path in an ecologically friendly, compassionate and a sustainable manner. Continue reading “Asia’s Buddhists Should Step Forward to Pave the Way to Sustainable Development”

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Asian Sympathy Swinging Towards North Korea

Kim+Moon

By Kalinga Seneviratne

SINGAPORE (IDN) – The frenzied moves over the weekend of May 26-27 by leaders of South Korea and North Korea to revive the on-again, off-again North Korea-US summit, and pictures flashed across the region of the two Korean leaders warmly hugging each other for the second time within a month, are rapidly turning public opinion across the region in North Korea’s favour with the United States and President Donald Trump seen as the “evil”. Continue reading “Asian Sympathy Swinging Towards North Korea”

Ganga Initiative Brings Culture Into New Asian Trade Routes

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 23rd in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BANGKOK (IDN) – A recent conference at Thammasat University in Bangkok brought together Indian and Southeast Asian scholars to discuss re-building cultural links along two major rivers in Asia – the Ganges and the Mekong – that in ancient times provided transport links to build great civilizations influenced by Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and promote cultural flows.

The celebration of the New Year April 14 in the region based on astrology and harvesting cycle epitomizes these cultural links.

Continue reading “Ganga Initiative Brings Culture Into New Asian Trade Routes”

SE Asia’s ‘Environmental’ Monks Need International Support

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 22nd in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BANGKOK (IDN) – A 76-year old Buddhist monk living on his own in his forest monastery in North-eastern Thailand has appealed for international help after receiving death threats from illegal loggers according to a report in Bangkok Post.

Continue reading “SE Asia’s ‘Environmental’ Monks Need International Support”

The Timing of ‘Communal’ Violence in Sri Lanka Raises Questions

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 21st in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BANGKOK (IDN) – The damage has already been done. Buddhists are accused of Islamaphobic communal attacks in Sri Lanka and tourists are cancelling their trips to the country as the international media follow a common formula denigrating the Buddhist majority, while ignoring questions that are being raised in the country on the timing of these latest “communal” attacks.

Continue reading “The Timing of ‘Communal’ Violence in Sri Lanka Raises Questions”

Australians Mobilise to Stop Indian Coal Project

By Kalinga Seneviratne

SYDNEY (IDN) – A peoples’ movement is gathering steam across Australia to stop a project by an Indian company to establish Australia’s biggest ever coal mining project that is supposed to create 10,000 jobs in a remote region of northern Queensland.

The protest movement – which distrusts politicians – argues that Australia needs to cut greenhouse gas creating coal exports rather than opening more mines. Continue reading “Australians Mobilise to Stop Indian Coal Project”

Sustainable Livelihoods Behind Street Vending in Thailand

By Kalinga Seneviratne

KHAOSAN, Bangkok (IDN) – When people talk about sustainable development there is rarely any mention of the many street vendors who make a living on streets in Thailand, as across the rest of Asia.

Even attempts to stop them doing business – like the unsuccessful year-long attempt by the governor of Bangkok to clean the city’s streets of street vendors – passes unnoticed in the media. Continue reading “Sustainable Livelihoods Behind Street Vending in Thailand”