Skip to main content


Showing posts from January 28, 2018

Kra Canal- Thailand  As much as 80% of China’s fuel imports currently pass through the Malacca Strait, a maritime bottleneck running between Malaysia and Indonesia that strategic analysts say the US Navy could readily block in any conflict scenario by leveraging its strategic access to nearby Singapore. Beijing’s interest in a Thai canal comes amid uncertainty at Obor-invested ports envisioned – at least in part – as strategic hedges to its Malacca vulnerability, including facilities in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar’s now violence-wracked western Rakhine state, through which China has built oil and gas pipelines to fuel its landlocked southern hinterlands. If built, the Thai canal would necessarily shift Asia’s maritime strategic dynamics by bypassing Malacca, one of the US’ chief strategic advantages vis-à-vis China at sea. One US official who communicated with Asia Times was skeptical the canal would be built any time soon, even w

Powering the next generation Finland’s education system is one of the world’s best. The country has attracted educators, politicians, thinkers, and even documentary filmmakers to say the least. Everyone wants to know what is the secret recipe for the Nordic nation’s academic success. Here’s our attempt at decoding it. 29 January 2018 TEXT:  LOTTA HEIKKERI  PHOTO:  MINNA JALOVAARA         It’s a brisk sunny day near Tampere, Finland. The temperature is below freezing point, and when the bell rings to mark the end of recess, the corridors of a school fill with red cheeks, winter boots and warm overalls hanging from the coat racks. Children, from pre-schoolers to sixth graders gather in a classroom. Their eyes steal a glance at a scale model of a Wärtsilä engine, made out of Legos, on the teacher’s desk. “Good morning!” says  Matti Rautkivi , Director of Sales and Marketing, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions. “We’re here to talk to you abo

India’s Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative Christian Wagner , Siddharth Tripathi New Partners and New Formats SWP Comment 2018/C 07, January 2018, 4 Pages India has been exploring the response to China’s growing influence and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for long. The contours to find viable alternatives to this challenge are now becoming visible. India is slowly transitioning to increased – and previously unthinkable – cooperation with other states in South Asia. Within its extended neighbourhood, India has developed new formats of cooperation with Japan, the USA and Australia that are directly or indirectly positioned against China. For Germany and Europe, this shift in Indian foreign policy opens new avenues for cooperation. Download (PDF)

CHE GUEVARA: LIFE AND AFTERLIFE   18 OCT 2017 - 09:29 BACK TO ARCHIVE On October 9, 1967, in La Higuera , a small town in Southern Bolivia,  the leader of the Cuban revolution Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was executed by CIA-backed Bolivian soldiers. Yet, half a century later, Che is still very much ‘alive’ in the minds of millions.   Che Guevara transformed from a guerrilla hero into a revolutionary martyr, and to a kind of civil saint. In this article Dirk Kruijt , expert in Latin American affairs, describes  Che’s life and, in particular his afterlife. [1] Ernesto Guevara was born in Argentina in 1928 as the first son of an upper middle class family. His father’s ancestors were wealthy people with old money. One of his mother’s forefathers had been the last Spanish Viceroy of Peru, De la Serna. As a child he was a daredevil and many of who knew him personally portray him as utterly fearless. He was a maverick and an iconoclast who kicke

In defence of tradition

S. Prabhu FEBRUARY 01, 2018 16:19 IST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 01, 2018 16:19 IST T.N. Ramesh is a relentless crusader against violations and irregular practices in temple administration It is four years since the landmark judgment was passed in favour of Pothu Dikshithars of the Chidambaram Sabanayakar temple. The man behind the case has been a crusader for the preservation of heritage structures, especially temples. T.N. Ramesh has taken on the HR & CE Department in several temples and on several issues across Tamil Nadu. A promise he gave Sri Dayananda Saraswati a month before his passing that he would dedicate his life to the protection of Hindu temples and architecture gives him the strength. The Chidambaram verdict was Ramesh’s first big success in his battle against the HR & CE Department. While the verdict was being pronounced that morning at the Supreme Court, Ramesh was at the Ayodhya Mandapam, in West Mambalam, stalling efforts by the HR & CE Department to take

Unrest grows in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir over terrorism, autonomy and CPEC By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Feb 01, 2018, 14:44 PM IST UNKSO students protesting in PoK Muzaffarabad demanding freedom from Pakistani control. A day-long seminar attended by over 2000 people saw demands for freedom, and against the use of PoK territory for Pakistan's terrorist activities. (Reporting by Pankaj Choudhary)   MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is witnessing protests and demands for freedom from Islamabad's vice-grip. A day-long seminar attended by over 2,000 people in Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, saw repeated calls against the way Islamabad governs the region and demands for the shutting down of the terrorist camps spread across the region. The seminar was organised by the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) on Wednesday, to commemorate the Tariq Mehmood Shaheed Peace Foundation. Leaders who spoke at the

Financing Armed Groups during Ceasefires

26 Jan 2018 By Véronique Dudouet and Janel Galvanek for Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) From what sources do non-state armed groups get funding during ceasefires and peace negotiations? Further, do ceasefires represent a fundraising constraint or an opportunity for such groups? In this article, Véronique Dudouet and Janel Galvanek provide answers by reviewing the cases of ETA in the Basque Country, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, the Karen National Union (KNU) in Myanmar, and more. This article was  originally published  by the  Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF)  on 10 January 2018. While the financing sources of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) both during active hostilities and after peace agreements has received much attention in the academic and peace-practitioner fields, information about the funding of NSAGs during the time between active fighting and the conclusion of a peace agreement is much less available. This stu