Iran: Rolling Out The Red Carpet

12 January 1997

By Kalinga Seneviratne

(This article has been extracted from the January 1997 issue of Men’s Review in Malaysia)

A beautiful country with friendly people: In Sydney, where I live, I tell an Australian friend that I am planning a holiday to Iran. They say, “what? a holiday to Iran of all places? Good luck to you mate.”

A few weeks later, my wife Priyani and I are at Tehran’s southern bus terminal, trying to catch a bus to Rasht, on the Caspian coast, a good four to five hours drive north of the Iranian capital. The signs are all in Persian including the numbers (using their own numerals). While most commuters in this busy, somewhat chaotic bus terminal cannot speak English, we somehow manage to find our way to a bus heading to Rasht. Continue reading “Iran: Rolling Out The Red Carpet”

Suu Kyi’s Astute Move On Rohingya Issue in Myanmar

Lotus News Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – With mounting demonstrations in support of Rohingyas in fellow ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Muslim majority countries Malaysia and Indonesia, Myanmar’s de-facto leader and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi made an astute move to summon Foreign Ministers of ASEAN for a one-day “retreat” to Yangoon on December 19 to brief them on the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State where most Rohingyas live.

A first of its kind for ASEAN where a member country has summoned ministers to discuss an internal affairs, yet, it demonstrated that Suu Kyi is no hostage to western human rights groups who supported her long campaign to bring “democracy” to Myanmar. Continue reading “Suu Kyi’s Astute Move On Rohingya Issue in Myanmar”

Bored by the old mantra, Asian youth need new Buddhist hook

IMG-20160506-WA0012While the Buddha’s ideas are fast being adopted in the West as part of a 21st-century secular lifestyle, in the East the young generation is increasingly distancing itself from its Buddhist heritage. As we mark Visakha Bucha Day, the question of how to make the dharma look fresh, vital and “cool” to young urbanised Asians has never been more urgent.

Continue reading “Bored by the old mantra, Asian youth need new Buddhist hook”