Asia-Pacific

Tracing War Missing Still a Dangerous Quest in Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work.

The Lesser Sex

Sakina’s  glare is empty. Her defeated, glassy eyes scan the room passively. The subdued silence and withered frame expose her fragility.

Asia, Looking Beyond the Green Revolution

More than 2.2 billion people in Asia rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but the Asian Development Bank warns that stagnant and declining yields of major crops such as rice and wheat can be ultimately linked to declining investments in agriculture. Public investments in agriculture in India, for instance, have been roughly the same since 2004.

India’s New Maternity Benefits Act Criticised as Elitist

The passage of the landmark Maternity Benefits Act 1961 by the Indian Parliament, which mandates 26 weeks of paid leave for mothers as against the existing 12, has generated more heartburn than hurrahs due to its skewed nature.

Dhaka Could Be Underwater in a Decade

Like many other fast-growing megacities, the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka faces severe water and sanitation problems, chiefly the annual flooding during monsoon season due to unplanned urbanisation, destruction of wetlands and poor city governance.

Interview: The UN Security Council and North Korea’s Nuclear Threat

Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee, UN representative of the Republic of Korea, spoke with IPS about the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which was unanimously adopted on 2 March 2016.

Adaptation to Climate Change: Need for a Human Rights Approach

The memories of Cyclone Sidr and Aila are fresh in the mind of Razia Begum, a victim of climate change, of Dacope Upazila, Khulna. The standing field crops and houses of her community were destroyed, and they suffered the loss of cattle as well as people who perished in these natural disasters. She says mournfully that Saturkhali, Kamarkhola, Koilashganj and Baniashanta are the most vulnerable unions where access to necessary human rights is disrupted. Furthermore, salinity, flood, river erosion, heavy rain, cyclone, water logging and seasonal variations etc. are the most devastating impacts of climate change in those areas.

Let’s Improve Our Global Ranking on Impunity

After my remarks on impunity last week, a friend brought to my attention a disturbing study on Impunity (via InterAksyon), showing that among 59 countries, the Philippines led in the Global Impunity Index.

Rickshaw Painting in Digital Age

With the advent of the digital printing press, Riskshaw painting a previously well known art form is on the verge of extinction. Many painters had to switch their profession to survive the "digital revolution".

An Unequal Country

One of the world’s great achievements of the past decades has been the significant fall in global poverty. Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of humanity living under $1.90 a day fell from 37 per cent to only 13pc, driven in large part by the efforts of China. South Asia also witnessed a major decline in poverty, from 51pc to 19pc, with unequal progress across countries.

Indian Jails Slammed as Purgatory for the Poor

A media frenzy ensued in New Delhi last month when a popular television channel highlighted the horrific living conditions of women inmates in ward number six of Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison.

Thinking Global? Act Provincial

The least populated, northernmost province in North America even its own citizens dread to go has a per capita GDP of C$58,452 compared with C$3,439.28 for the entire Philippines.

Food Safety Issues Rise in Colombo

This newspaper’s News Desk has been following up on Public Health issues for some time, and their ongoing reports should raise concerns among Colombo residents, both the affluent, and the not-so, because of the declining standards in the monitoring of food establishments, from the humble ‘buth kades’ to the restaurants of five-star hotels.

The Floating Schools of Chalan Beel

They don't go to schools, schools come to them.Currently, some 2,000 underprivileged children are attending classes in 22 floating schools that move across the Chalan Beel in Pabna, Natore and Sirajganj districts.

Need for a Factual Assessment

The Muslims make 14.2 percent of India's 1.25 billion people. But, 25 percent of India's 370,000 beggars are Muslims. The newly released data by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the London School of Economics, published in the journal Human Nature, also show that the Muslim population inside Indian jails is rising. For example, Maharashtra jails have 31.09 percent Muslim prisoners against a state average of 19.06 percent. Arthur Koestler famously writes that statistics don't bleed, but it's the detail which counts. What counts in this instance is that the plight of the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia is nothing but dismal.

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