Southeast Asia and Oceania: Publications

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  • India, Australia and ‘Curry Bashing’

    In early August, India’s Minister for External Affairs S. M. Krishna visited Australia as part of his trip to attend the Pacific Island Forum meeting, held in Cairns. India is a dialogue partner to the Pacific Island Forum, comprising the countries of the South-west Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Most of Mr. Krishna’s time during this trip went in visiting Melbourne and Sydney, where a number of Indian students had been attacked in recent months.

    August 17, 2009

    Referendum for Myanmar’s Constitution in the wake of Cyclone Nargis

    Howsoever much others may want to distance India from mlitary-ruled Myanmar, the widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis has brought India into the spotlight. That it occurred barely a week prior to Myanmar’s proposed constitutional Referendum on May 10 brought this out in bold relief.

    May 12, 2008

    Promises and Pitfalls of Nuclear Energy in Southeast Asia

    In the recently concluded ASEAN Summit (November 18-22), apart from issues like Myanmar, ASEAN Charter and ASEAN Economic Community, nuclear energy was also discussed at length. A declaration on safeguarding the environment and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was agreed by the ASEAN members. This was, in spite of the fact that many non-governmental organisations as well as domestic pressure groups in some of the ASEAN countries have consistently raised apprehension about the safety of nuclear power plants which lie in the seismically active zones.

    December 06, 2007

    Indian Diaspora Tale: A Malaysian Malady

    Malaysia’s so-called multi-ethnic harmony was deeply shaken when the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) organised in Kuala Lumpur the largest ever mass protest against the ‘marginalisation’ of ethnic Indians as a consequence of the government’s ‘discriminatory’ policy. The incident has clearly exposed Malaysia’s political class of creating and favouring a unified trans-racial community called Bangsa Malaysia (‘Malaysian race’).

    December 05, 2007

    Recent Developments in Myanmar

    International pressure on Myanmar’s military government has intensified following the recent political upheaval triggered by a hike in fuel prices in August. This has brought into sharp focus the policies of Myanmar’s neighbours – China, India and the ASEAN States – whose reaction to the Naypyidaw regime has differed from capitals that are relatively distant. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari held consultations with leaders in New Delhi besides meeting Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo recently.

    November 02, 2007

    Indian President's Visit to Myanmar

    President APJ Abdul Kalam began his three day (March 8-10, 2006) state visit to Myanmar on March 8 at the invitation of Sr General Than Shwe who himself had visited India in October 2004. The visit began on International Women's Day: whether this was a mere coincidence or carried any hidden symbolism (to draw attention to the continued house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi) is open to interpretation. However, one thing is certain.

    March 09, 2006

    Resumption of the National Convention in Myanmar

    On December 5, 2005, the National Convention reconvened to resume the process of drafting a new Constitution. Without doubt the process of framing a new Constitution for Myanmar has been a long drawn out one. The National Convention, with over 1,000 delegates from various national races and groups, and comparable to a constituent assembly, first began its task in 1993. It last held its meetings between February 17 and March 31, 2005.

    December 16, 2005

    Myanmar: America’s Next Rogue State

    There are embryonic signs that Washington is all set to turn the heat on Myanmar next. The UN Security Council finally agreed unanimously on December 2 to a US request for a “one-off briefing” by the Secretary-General on “the deteriorating situation” in Myanmar. The US request followed the Tatmadow’s extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest and a UN Committee resolution condemning Myanmar’s human rights abuse.

    December 14, 2005

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