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”


Sri Lanka Celebrating Independence In Chains Of Its Own Making

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – While Sri Lanka “celebrates” 70 years of independence from British colonial rule this month, its sovereignty is being threatened as never before since gaining independence in 1948 – tempting one to remark that Sri Lanka is celebrating ‘independence in chains’. Continue reading “Sri Lanka Celebrating Independence In Chains Of Its Own Making”

‘Smart Farms’ Making Thai Agriculture Sufficient and Sustainable

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 20th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

CHANTHABURI, North-East Thailand (IDN) – Thai farmers are going back to basics under a “Smart Farms” formula supported by modern information communication technology (ICT) integrated into a Buddhist concept of ‘sufficiency economy’ to make the kingdom’s lifeblood – agriculture and its small-scale farmers – sustainable into the foreseeable future. Continue reading “‘Smart Farms’ Making Thai Agriculture Sufficient and Sustainable”

Successful Test Firing of India’s Agni-5 Evokes No Fury

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – The successful launch of the nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-5 on January 18 has hardly been noticed in Asia. The western media however have given it coverage focusing on India’s ability now to strike major Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

This partly adulatory coverage is in sharp contrast to hysteria in the western media in particular when North Korea tested a similar missile on November 28, 2017. While North Korea’s tests are projected as threats to global denuclearization efforts, India’s are not. Continue reading “Successful Test Firing of India’s Agni-5 Evokes No Fury”

Thai Doctor Creating Multi-Faceted Approach to Sustainable Development

By Kalinga Seneviratne

CHANTABURI, North-East Thailand (IDN) – A passionate, socially conscious doctor in this rural farming community in the north-east of Thailand is working with a school for marginalised children, supported by a foundation set up by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the second daughter of late King Bhumibol who died in October 2016.

The school aims at empowering the students to break into the medical field through an unconventional career path that is providing a multi-faceted approach to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading “Thai Doctor Creating Multi-Faceted Approach to Sustainable Development”

Sustainability Is Developing Community From Within

By Kalinga Seneviratne

NAMOKANDA, West Bengal, India (IDN) – Six years ago this remote village of 130 households about 80 km from Santiniketan – the hometown of famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore – was a small picturesque village community surrounded by paddy fields, but without a sustainable development concept. Continue reading “Sustainability Is Developing Community From Within”

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.