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”

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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.

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”