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’”

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”

Thailand Discovering the Power of Woman Travellers

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – Thailand has long been a magnet for male travellers from the West, but now the kingdom’s tourism authorities are recognizing the power of woman travellers especially from Asia – among others from India, China and Japan.

“Sun is rising in the East (for Thailand),” says Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) at Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). “Asian economies are good and people travel. This is a good opportunity for Thailand,” she tells IDN.

With European economies in the doldrums, Thailand has lost much of its former tourist market, but Asians have compensated for the decline, says Srisuda. There were nearly 8.8 million visitors from China in 2016 and 1.2 million from India visiting Thailand. The gender ratio was almost equal. Continue reading “Thailand Discovering the Power of Woman Travellers”

Bringing Science, Ethics & Buddhism Together To Save Humanity

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 11th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

RAJGIR, India (IDN) – Participants at a conference convened in this historic capital of the Magadha kingdom of the Buddha’s time by the Nava Nalanda Mahavihare (NNM) shared the view that, for humanity to survive, science, ethics and Buddhism’s mind-centric approach to understanding nature and society could help. Continue reading “Bringing Science, Ethics & Buddhism Together To Save Humanity”

Philippines and Malaysia Unplug Obama’s Asian Pivot

By Kalinga Seneviratnexi-d

BANGKOK (IDN) – Philippines’ outspoken President Rodrigo Duterte while unplugging U.S. President’s much-publicized “Pivot to Asia”, has also challenged the United States to help promote cooperation in the region not confrontation.

Duterte provoked alarm in diplomatic circles last month (October) by announcing his country’s “separation” from the United States and realignment with China while on a visit to Beijing.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has also signaled a similar realignment of foreign policy during a visit to Beijing. In a commentary published in the China Daily he said that former colonial powers should not be lecturing to countries they once exploited on running their internal affairs. Continue reading “Philippines and Malaysia Unplug Obama’s Asian Pivot”

China’s Railways Link Asia

Viewpoint by Kalinga Seneviratne

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

BANGKOK (IDN | Lotus News Features) – The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will gather in the Laotian capital Vientiane from September 6-8 for their first summit meeting since the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) came into being at the beginning of this year. However, one item which is crucial to such community building, the construction of new rail lines linking most of the 10 member nations may not be a major agenda item.

A report by the Lao News Agency (LNA) ahead of the meeting drew attention to this fact, when the ongoing Laos-China railway construction project was described as a game-changer in community-building in the region. The project, a 427 km railway built by China, will have 72 tunnels and 170 bridges and stretch from the Laos-China border in Phongsaly to the Lao capital Vientiane near the Thai border. Continue reading “China’s Railways Link Asia”

Buddhists Concerned About Mindfulness ‘Marketing’

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By Kalinga Seneviratne*

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

BANGKOK (IDN | Lotus News Features) – Mindfulness, the meditative practice, which has its roots in Buddhism as Vipassana Bhavana, encourages people to focus on the present, rather than on the anxieties of the past or future.

In the previous decade, however, it has become somewhat of a fad around the world. Particularly in the U.S., it is now everywhere: in schools, law firms, banks, governments, and even in the U.S. military. They are all offering mindfulness sessions to staff.

Continue reading “Buddhists Concerned About Mindfulness ‘Marketing’”