Asia-Pacific

Post-War Truth and Justice Still Elusive in Bougainville

Almost every family in the islands of Bougainville, an autonomous region of about 300,000 people in the Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea, has a story to tell of death and suffering during the decade long civil war (1989-1998), known as ‘the Crisis.’

Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Sweden Among New Members of UN Security Council

Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Sweden were elected on Tuesday to serve on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members, while Italy and Netherlands have split the remaining contested seat.

Biogas Brings Heat and Light to Pakistan’s Rural Poor

Nabela Zainab no longer chokes and coughs when she cooks a meal, thanks to the new biogas-fueled two-burner stove in her kitchen.

Civil Society Under Serious Attack

Despite their contribution to social justice, civil society organisations came under “serious attack” in 109 countries in 2015, according to a new report published by CIVICUS Monday.

Can Better Technology Lure Asia’s Youth Back to Farming?

Farming and agriculture may not seem cool to young people, but if they can learn the thrill of nurturing plants to produce food, and are provided with their favorite apps and communications software on agriculture, food insecurity will not be an issue, food and agriculture experts said during the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Food Security Forum from June 22 to 24 at the ADB headquarters here.

Least Developed Countries’ Vulnerabilities Make Graduation Difficult

Last month, over two thousand high-level participants from across the world met in Antalya, Turkey for the Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action, an action plan used to guide sustainable economic development efforts for Least Developed Countries for the 2011 to 2020 period. The main goal was to understand the lessons learnt by the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) over the past five years and apply the knowledge moving forward.

Cotton Crisis

Pakistan’s economy is in grave trouble. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2015-16, it failed to meet the growth target of 5.5pc in FY2016. GDP grew by 4.7 pc. This was mainly due to the ‘major setback’ (to use the finance minister’s words) in agriculture.

Collective Indifference or Silent Acceptance?

When blogger Rajib Haider was killed in 2013, the outcry was tremendous. But, over the next three years, at least 38 more were added to the list of those murdered, which includes writers, publisher, foreigners, religious minorities and LGBT rights activists. There have been reports about alleged IS involvement, and last week, the security forces launched a drive that resulted in the arrest of 194 'militants'. But the collective outrage over people being murdered seems to have mellowed.

Aquaculture Meets Agriculture on Bangladesh’s Low-Lying Coast

A continuous influx of sea water is threatening agriculture and food security in vast coastal areas of Bangladesh, but farmers are finding ways to adapt, like cultivating fish and crops at the same time.

Is globalization the death knell of branding?

SPEAKING to his company’s investor conference last Tuesday, Alibaba founder Jack Ma made a controversial, and entirely valid, observation:“The problem is that the fake products today, they make better quality, better prices than the real products, the real names,” Ma said, according to a Bloomberg report. “It’s not the fake products that destroy them, it’s the new business models.”

An Elite Club of Suicide Bombers

It is always baffling, isn’t it, to see the yawning difference in our responses in South Asia to a gathering communal threat, for instance, as opposed to the catastrophic prospect of nuclear annihilation? Only recently, Pakistan toggled between public outcry and terrified whispers when teeming mourners showed up at the funeral of an executed religious zealot, the savage killer of a popular provincial governor.

Asia’s Rising Prosperity, Climate Change Taking Toll on Food Security

Asia’s economic growth over the last decade has been relentless, bringing with it a rising population and an influx of people from the countryside to the cities in search of prosperity. These trends are not expected to abate.

Grim News from Cape Grim puts ​Australians on Alert

There's some grim news in the media now, if you read newspapers or surf the internet, and it's coming from a scientific CO2 monitoring station in Tasmania situated on Cape Grim there. But more on this later, a few paragraphs down. First the good news, if it can be called that.

Unmet Expectations

Donald Trump’s rise in America, a wave of pro-Brexit and xenophobic sentiment in the UK, mass demonstrations in France and Brazil, a political crisis in South Africa, communal polarisation in India, and religious zealotry coupled with anti-corruption agitation in Pakistan. On the face of it, there’s very little that connects these disparate events. Each appears unique to a country’s history and its contemporary interaction of domestic and global events.

Children of a Lesser God: Trafficking Soars in India

Sunita Pal, a frail 17-year-old, lies in a tiny bed in the women’s ward of New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Her face and head swathed in bandages, with only a bruised eye and swollen lips visible, the girl recounts her ordeal to a TV channel propped up by a pillow. She talks of her employers beating her with a stick every day, depriving her of food and threatening to kill her if she dared report her misery to anybody.

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