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India: Call for India to explore Buddhist diplomacy

Bodhgaya2by G Parthasarathy

Facing growing isolation and hostility from the US and its western allies, Myanmar’s military rulers turned to China for economic and military assistance. With reports emerging of Chinese military bases and monitoring facilities across Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, concern grew in India.

I raised our concerns with a senior Myanmar minister. He replied: “You have nothing to worry about. I may go to China for weapons and support, but I have to go for salvation to Bodh Gaya.” Not surprisingly, even when isolated, Myanmar provided no naval bases to China and widened its diplomatic options by joining ASEAN. 

 

Thailand: Blinded by patriotic faith?

ThaiProtestorsEditorial Desk

Hopefully, Thais' rejection of American criticism of the junta doesn't mean they are rejecting democratic principles and the rule of law in the Kingdom.

China re-discovers priceless value of Buddhism

 By Senaka Weeraratna

ChinaWFBIn as much as two global religions Christianity and Islam are given leadership today by powerful countries based in the West and Middle East respectively, the time has come for the oldest of the three global religions namely Buddhism to be backed by a powerhouse to dispel the widely circulated myth that it is a weak religion sustained by relatively weaker countries in Asia despite Buddhism’s unmatched contributions to the sustaining of world peace, unqualified respect for the natural environment including reverence for the lives of all living beings and promotion of Ahimsa and non-violence as the basis of resolution of conflict.

Thailand: A landmark victory for animal rights

 By Pornpimol Kanchanalak

For 20 long years, the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) fought an unrelentingly uphill, at times bloody, and usually lonely battle for animal rights and welfare. It was the powerful fuel of compassion that kept them pounding the pavements, even when each bend seemed like the end of the road.

Asia: Poverty As The Absence Of Protection

by Basil Fernando - Right Livelihood Award laureate 2014

(An article issued on the occasion of receiving the Right Livelihood Award - 2014)

There are many ways of looking at poverty and its causes. The most common way is to see poverty as the absence of the most meagre of resources for living. In other words, it is the lack of a minimum income. On the basis of this perception of poverty, the solution commonly suggested is to supplement this lack of income with contributions by the state. And, the approach proffered by states, and even by the United Nations in terms of the Millennium Development Goals, in discussions on poverty alleviation, is to find ways to improve basic income needed for living.

Thailand: Thai-Cambodian relations: Doing it right

By Kavi Chongkittavorn

Judging from the body language, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha got along fine with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen when they held their first bilateral talks on the sideline of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan last week.

It was a good familiarisation exercise ahead of Prayut's scheduled two-day official visit on October 30-31 to Cambodia - a country that has a long history of "love-hate" relations with Thailand.

India: Modi’s Buddhist diplomacy on anvil to woo East Asians

 By Ashok B Sharma

A definite shift in India’s Look East Policy is underway with added emphasis on Buddha diplomacy under the new dispensation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to market the Buddha card to the countries in the region as India is the place of origin of Dhamma and Sangha. He indicated such a change in emphasis by his first official visit abroad to a neighbouring Buddhist country Asia, Bhutan, and then to Nepal, where Buddha was born. His first official visit outside South Asia was to another Buddhist country, Japan.

Sri Lanka: Katina – From Arms to Consumerism

By Asitha G Punchihewa

Katina is the term used to describe the donation of robe to replace the torn and worn robes of a Bhikku who had endured the Vassana season spanning from July to October not exceeding three lunar months. The history of the tradition runs to 2,555-2,556 years back, four to five years after Siddhartha Gauthama attained Nibbana.

Cambodia: Balance Between Development and Responsibility

By Professor Pen Ngoeun*

The clarification of the Ministry of Mines and Energy dated Sept. 27, 2014 intended for the public at large provided the final answer that will put to rest the major parts of the concerns raised by many parties which have their interests at stake, i.e. the government, Mother Nature, the villagers of the affected area.

Bhutan: Small kingdom with big diplomacy

 By Kavi Chongkittavorn

Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to this tiny kingdom and made a good impression of continued friendship and assistance even though he mistook the host's name as Nepal and Ladakh during his speech in the Parliament. 

Sri Lanka: ‘Indian Winds of Change’ blowing softly across SAARC

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

After the UNHRC passed resolution A/HRC/25/1 in March 2014, insisting on a UN investigation confined ONLY to the last five months of the 33-year-old war - a bizarre time-frame to evaluate any war in recorded history - the anti-Sri Lankan lobby were cock-a-hoop celebrating the upper hand gained by the West to dictate its terms and conditions to Sri Lanka. With this country specific resolution steered by America, the West concluded arrogantly that they had finally pushed Sri Lanka into a tight corner with hardly any room to manoeuvre. NGOs too joined the Western chorus, crowing in the corridors of Geneva, that they had fixed the "failed state" of Sri Lanka.

Setting up of this website was sponsored by SJ Mets Consultants PTY Ltd of Perth, Australia in memory of J.H.A. Gunadasa & S.T. Jayasinghe, beloved fathers of Sunil and Aruni.
May they attain Nibbana