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”

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”

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”

India’s Yogi Chief Minister May Rewrite Democracy Textbooks

Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

NEW DELHI (IDN) – From across Asia to Europe and the United States voters have shown their dismay at corrupt political systems by voting in unconventional politicians who promise to “clean the swamp”.

So the election mid-March of a Yogi Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state – may well herald in a new era for Asian politics, where religion could step in to clean up the corruption in politics. Continue reading “India’s Yogi Chief Minister May Rewrite Democracy Textbooks”

ASEAN Chairman Duterte Pushes For Migrant Protection Treaty

This article is part of IDN’s media project jointly with Global Cooperation Council and DEVNET Japan.

By Kalinga Seneviratne

Bangkok, 26 Feb 2017 (IDN): Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte has signaled his intention to push harder for the adoption of a binding regional treaty to protect the human rights of migrant workers during his chairmanship of ASEAN (Association of South east Asian Nations) this year.

Though he is strongly supported by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, yet human rights advocates in the region fear that ASEAN’s “consensus” based decision making process may hinder these attempts because Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand may not agree to a binding treaty to protect migrant workers in their countries. Continue reading “ASEAN Chairman Duterte Pushes For Migrant Protection Treaty”

Sri Lanka: Celebrating “Independence” In A Mess

Published by IDN-InDepthNews – 02 February 2017

By Kalinga Seneviratne

On February 4 each year Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of independence from British colonial rule. 69 years since then, it is appropriate to ask: “what independence?” The country is currently in a real mess brought about by a successful regime change campaign orchestrated by “civil society” groups, which toppled the government of “war-winning” President Mahinda Rajapakse in January 2015.

Today, the country’s foreign minister acts like a colonial era British Viceroy and not as the country’s top diplomat safeguarding the nation’s interests and dignity. The Prime Minister while trying to drum up foreign “investments” acts as if he is willing to sell any part of the country to the highest bidder and the President roams around the island like a colonial-era “gate mudaliyar” attending functions and trying to assure the natives that they are in good hands. Continue reading “Sri Lanka: Celebrating “Independence” In A Mess”

Trump Presidency Might Herald Reality Check On “Liberal” Media

trumpBy Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – Donald Trump calls the so-called ‘liberal media’ the “bad guys” and since he was elected President two months ago – in fact even before that with the Brexit vote in June 2016 – the “Liberals” in the West have been chest-beating complaining about misleading social media messages to unfairness of the electoral systems as their preferred candidates or platforms are defeated by grassroots voter revolts. Continue reading “Trump Presidency Might Herald Reality Check On “Liberal” Media”