South Asia

Political Transition in Nepal: Challenges Ahead

May 9, 2012 by

The rising tide of Maoists, during the last decade, has turned the Nepalese psyche towards establishing a modern welfare state. The same conditions led to a momentous political rebellion against the royal monarchy, particularly between the years of 1996 and 2006. Consequently, the 238 years-old institution came to an end in 2008 when the Constituent Assembly of Nepal declared a Federal and Democratic Republic. Further, 2006 witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists for establishing democracy in Nepal.

A New Great Game in Asia-Pacific

April 28, 2012 by

India tested its first inter-continental ballistic missile, named Agni-V, this month and joined the select group of nations possessing both nuclear weapons and a delivery system capable of hitting targets across continents. Only a few days before, nuclear capable North Korea had test fired a rocket, supposedly to place a satellite in the orbit, but it failed.

Social Business: Challenges and Opportunities

April 28, 2012 by

In social development, social business has emerged as an important topic. Its impact on enriching and empowering people’s lives has become evident all over the world. To combat the global economic crisis, social business has harnessed the advent of technology and modern science to eradicate poverty, hunger, unemployment and other social problems. Social business has been around for the last three decades in Bangladesh. It has empowered women and reformed many facets of society.

Social Business and the Environment

April 15, 2012 by

Our environment is in serious crisis. As sea levels continue to rise due to global warming, Bangladesh faces an existential threat. Social business must be implemented along with existing initiatives that are in place to save the environment. In doing so, not only will we be able to save our environment, we will be able [...]

Immigration Anxiety and Ruminations on Thought Police

April 3, 2012 by

I have always loved international travel, but I have always hated the “immigration” process, except for the part where I get my passport stamped. I realize what I have just written is not entirely rational since it’s hard to have foreign travel without “immigration,” but people are not always rational. Even when doing nothing wrong, a profound sense of anxiety and apprehension wash over me as I hand my passport to an immigration official.

The Effects of the US Resolution Against Sri Lanka

March 23, 2012 by

Europe and most of Latin America supported the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 19th session in Geneva. China, Russia, and several countries in Africa and Asia voted against it. Unsurprisingly, Cuba and Ecuador also opposed the resolution.

A Need for Pan-Asian Institutions in Asia

March 20, 2012 by

For over a decade, many relevant academic journals have prophesized the 21st century as the Asian century. The argument is usually based on impressive economic growth, increased production, trade and booming foreign currency reserves. Undoubtedly, the fact that Asia holds nearly 1/3 of the total world population doesn’t hurt its chances from overtaking the United States and Europe in many areas.

Salt on Old Wounds: Post-War Sri Lanka

March 20, 2012 by

‘Salt on Old Wounds: The Systematic Sinhalization of Sri Lanka’s North, East and Hill Country’ the first study published by The Social Architects (TSA), seeks to set out the systematic, increasing and widespread process of Sinhalization that is taking place in historically Tamil areas in the North, East and Hill Country in post-war Sri Lanka.

Who Will Win at the Human Rights Council?

March 15, 2012 by

The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council’s 19th session in Geneva. No one should be too surprised by this; everyone knew it was coming. However, the draft resolution is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in needs. Besides, it is likely that the resolution will be watered down even more in the coming days—making this exercise seem that much more formulaic and pointless.

Sri Lanka: International Governments Must Take the Lead in Investigating War Crimes

March 15, 2012 by

There is a growing danger that the political leaders responsible for the greatest single atrocity of recent years will suffer no consequences. Journalists, not governments, have taken a lead in raising the issue to the international agenda of command responsibility for violations of humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. The UK’s Channel Four has now screened the second of two hard-hitting documentaries, containing compelling visual evidence that civilians were knowingly targeted, and surrendering prisoners executed, on orders issued in a direct chain of command from the country’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Reforming Higher Education in India: Quest for Global Standards

March 15, 2012 by

What should the aim, purpose and methodology of higher education in India be in the face of social, economic, political and cultural changes? How should institutions of higher learning respond to present, as well as future challenges that potentially will tear apart the socio-cultural and emotional bonds of humanity? Since institutions of higher learning occupy a pivotal position in Indian society for the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge, this knowledge determines, to a great extent, the future course of progress and development of, not only society and polity, but also of mankind.

Do Country Acronyms Have a Meaningful Place in a Dynamic World?

March 10, 2012 by

When Goldman Sachs first coined the term “BRICs” in 2001, it did so on the assumption that these four countries were going to heavily influence the direction of the global economy. It turned out that China was much more influential than any of the other three, and that Brazil well underperformed the others based on its decade-long average GDP growth rate of approximately 3.5%.

Time is Expiring for Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council

February 26, 2012 by

The US has made it very clear; they will table a resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 19th session in Geneva. Unsurprisingly, the government of Sri Lanka is asking for more time. The Sri Lankan government knows that this might be the most pressure they ever face at the HRC. When it comes to national reconciliation, the government’s strategy continues to revolve around delay, prevarication and even outright lies.

Congressman Kingston’s Irresponsible Letter on Sri Lanka

February 24, 2012 by

U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) recently submitted a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama. Cosigned by eleven other members of Congress, it effusively praises the Sri Lankan government for all of its accomplishments since end of the country’s twenty-six-year civil war. The short note is heavy on rhetoric and light on reality.

Cold War in Warm Waters: US-China’s Dangerous Contest for Asia-Pacific

February 22, 2012 by

On two occasions in my life I found myself living close to the South China Sea. The sea became my escape from life’s pressing responsibilities. But there is no escaping the fact that the deceptively serene waters are now also grounds for a nascent but real new cold war. China takes the name of the sea very seriously.

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