Feast after fasting this Janmashtami at Taj Wellington Mews Mumbai         

by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: This Janmashtami welcome the birth of Lord Krishna with a burst of flavour and fervour! Get together with family and friends and feel the festive cheer with a range of delicious treats perfect for breaking your fast. The light and crispy Sabudana Vada, the soft Rajgiri Puri, traditional Vari Rice, refreshing Thandai, Vrat Waale Aloo will satisfy after a day’s fast, before a sweet and creamy Badam Kheer and fresh fruit. Come and taste the ‘food of the Gods’/ ‘divine offerings’ at Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews!

Offer valid:
Date: 14thAugust 2017
Day: Monday
Timing: 12 PM to 10: 45 PM
Venue: Weli Deli, Taj Wellington Mews, Mumbai 
Contact Number: 022 66574331
About Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 98 hotels in 61 locations across the globe, including presence in India, North America, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury.  For over a century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, the iconic flagship has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth. Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris is part of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house. For more information, please visit www.tajhotels.com.



          The sport of skiing is growing in the massive Himalaya; this writer went there to investigate        

Often referred to as the “Roof of the World,” the Himalayas are home to eight of the tallest mountains on the planet and over one hundred peaks exceeding 23,600 feet above sea level, including the goliath Mount Everest which tops out at 29,029 feet. The iconic range extends through China, Bhutan, Pakistan, India and Nepal […]

The post The sport of skiing is growing in the massive Himalaya; this writer went there to investigate appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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          TERCER POLO        

Glaciares del Himalaya y el Tibet que ocupan partes de India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan y China, y que son una importante reserva de agua para Asia.


          China is wrong on Sikkim-Tibet boundary        

The Chinese claim that the Sikkim-Tibet border is already settled is disingenuous

Srinath Raghavan
Source: Livemint, India

The Doklam standoff at the trijunction of India, China and Bhutan was triggered after Chinese troops attempted to construct a road in the region. Photo: AFP

The standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in the Doklam area, at the tri-junction with Bhutan, is accompanied by competing narratives: attempts to clarify, justify or rationalize their positions. These are aimed at multiple audiences, especially third countries that know little about the details of the problem. The Chinese have been far more active with a series of official statements, which have been getting progressively tougher towards India.

The nub of the Chinese position, set out at length in their latest statement, is that Indian troops have crossed a settled international boundary and entered Chinese territory. This needs some historical perspective. Is the Doklam area assuredly Chinese territory? Hardly. China claims the area, but it is disputed by Bhutan. And the two sides have had 24 rounds of talks.

The Chinese are right in stating that the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet was defined by the Anglo-Chinese convention of 1890. This is the basis of their claim that India has violated a settled international boundary with China. There are two aspects to this issue. First, since Bhutan was not a signatory to this treaty, is the tri-junction between Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan—which is also the eastern extremity of the boundary between Tibet and Sikkim—binding on Bhutan? Second, how solid is the Chinese claim about their preferred tri-junction?

In 1890, the British government could not presume to speak for Bhutan in the same way that it could for Sikkim. Following the Treaty of Titalia signed between the ruler of Sikkim and the East India Company in 1817, the British government of India assumed the power of paramountcy vis-à-vis Sikkim—a relationship akin to that with other “princely states” of India. Hence, Britain’s ability to negotiate the Sikkim and Tibet boundary with China.

By contrast, the Treaty of Sinchula signed between Britain and Bhutan in 1865 did not lead to a similar relationship. In fact, the Treaty of Punakha concluded in 1910 modified the provisions of the Sinchula Treaty and added the following: “The British Government undertakes to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan. On its part, the Bhutanese Government agrees to be guided by the advice of the British Government in regard to its external relations.” So, the 1890 Anglo-Chinese convention is not at all binding on Bhutan. The tri-junction remains to be fixed after tripartite negotiations.

The Chinese claim that Gipmochi (Gymochen)—mentioned in Article I of the 1890 Convention as the eastern extremity of the Sikkim-Tibet boundary—should automatically be the tri-junction is problematic for yet another reason. Article I states upfront: “The boundary of the Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the Waters flowing into Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet.” Only then does it identify Gipmochi as the starting point. The principle of defining the boundary therefore was the highest watershed: the highest line of mountains separating the rivers flowing on either side. This is the most logical way of drawing a boundary in mountainous regions.

However, subsequent surveys showed that Mount Gipmochi is not on the highest watershed in the area. The latter is the line running from Batangla to Merugla to Sinchela and then down to the Amo Chu river (known as Mochu in Tibet and Torsa in West Bengal). A glance at survey maps will confirm this. The Gipmochi peak is at 14,518ft above the mean sea level, while Merugla and Sinchela (both passes) are respectively at 15,266ft and 14,531ft. The Batangla-Merugla-Sinchela line is undeniably the highest watershed in the region. Hence Bhutan claims it as the boundary line with Tibet and regards Doklam area as its territory. Hence too, India’s claim that Batangla should be the tri-junction.

Again, if these issues were not in contention, why should the Chinese have entered into negotiations with India on the Sikkim boundary as well as with Bhutan? In May 2006, India stated in a non-paper that “both sides agree on the boundary alignment in the Sikkim Sector,” that is, on the principle of the highest watershed. The following month, the Chinese replied in their non-paper that based on the 1890 Convention, both sides may “verify and determine the specific alignment of the Sikkim sector and produce a common record.” As the external affairs minister told Parliament, the Chinese subsequently made a proposal to finalize the Sikkim boundary, calling it an “early harvest”. After follow-on negotiations, the two sides agreed in 2012 both on the “basis of the alignment” and on the need to fix the tri-junction in consultation with Bhutan. In short, the Chinese claim that the Sikkim border is already settled is disingenuous. Equally untenable is the claim by the Chinese deputy chief of mission in India that the 2012 understanding is immaterial to the current situation.

There are only three facts that matter to the current situation. First, China’s construction of a road in violation of an understanding with Bhutan to maintain status quo. Second, China’s attempt to create facts on the ground about the location of the tri-junction. Third, the presence of Indian troops on territory disputed between Bhutan and China. Restoration of status quo ante will require all sides to undo their actions.

All said, it is in India’s interest to press for an early resolution. The assumption that this could be a prolonged standoff like the one in Sumdorong Chu in 1987 may be dangerous whistling in the dark.

Srinath Raghavan is senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi


          Shei-Pa National Park and Bhutan National Park strengthen ties         
In continuation of a treaty signed in 2009 with Thrumshingla National Park and the Sekteng Wildlife Sanctuary of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Taiwan-Bhutan Culture and Economy Exchange Association invited Dasho Karma Dukpa, Director of the Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of the Royal Government of Bhutan, as well as a number of delegates, to spend 17 days in Taiwan exchanging ideas. A press conference entitled “The 2012 National Park Exchange Project between Taiwan and Bhutan” was held April 9, 2012 at the Cathay Financial Holdings Taipei Conference Center. Lin Chin, Director of Shei-Pa National Park and Dasho Karma Dukpa exchanged memorial postal stamps issued by the central post offices of the two countries as a good will token.Dasho Karma Dukpa said he is impressed by the conservation-recreation operations, modern management and scientific facilities of the national parks in Taiwan. In response, Lin Chin praised Bhutan for its effort in diminishing human interference and developing eco-tourism, and encouraged local professionals to learn from their Bhutan counterparts. Taiwan representatives will share their experiences in combining guided tours with ICT, information and communications technology, with the Bhutan delegation.
          How to Track Car Gps Vehicle Tracking System         

Cars and vehicles are always a prized possession which is a luxury item. People buy these items by savings which they earn by lot of hard work so these vehicles and cars remain close to our heart and there also a lot of memories which gets associated with it. So, whenever its gets stolen or it comes up with an accident we feel very bad about it and it also requires a lot of money to recover and reconstruct it.

So, in order to keep our vehicles safe we really have to work hard and in India the car theft cases has risen to a very high rate in the last few years as they being sold in the neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan etc and this becomes difficult for our police department to track our cars. So, we have to be very careful like when we park our cars in the busy market place and while parking it at night because most of the times these are the moments when our vehicles get stolen.

We know there are watchmen and CCTV cameras for our concerns but doesn’t help much because it will not follow the car and to protect our vehicle we cannot hire a security agency as it will be highly expensive and nobody does that.

So, in order to keep it safe we can make use of the GPS (Global Positioning System) to protect our cars and vehicles from being stolen. The Spy GPS Vehicle Tracker in Indiais being launched sighting the car theft cases and this is a very useful product as it can target the device from satellite and can inform you about your vehicle through SMS and internet. So, whenever your vehicle is being stolen or being driven by your driver then you can easily track it down this will allow the police to work on it better and recover your car and the thieves in a very quick time and no extra money will have to be spent on it.

Through this you are also able to control the oil circuit of the car through a remote and this whenever you switch the button your vehicle will stop receiving oil from its tank. You will just have to insert a GSM SIM card into the GPS unit and the rest will be done by your device as it will connect itself with Google Earth which will make you watch all your car’s movements around your city. The Spy GPS Vehicle Tracker in Delhi is being made available after the car theft cases has increased magnificently in the city and the users of device has reviewed it positively as they can track their cars down easily with it.


So, use this device and easily park your car anywhere you like and remain care free about your car as you will regularly updated with the position of your car.

          India slips one position in Human Development Index rank to 131, Norway No.1        

New York: India came down by one slot and was ranked 131st among 188 countries on Human Development Index (HDI) 2016 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

India fell under the "medium human development category" and its HDI, at 0.624, was behind Sri Lanka and the Maldives in South Asia.

Sri Lanka and the Maldives were ranked 73 and 105 respectively and figure in the "high human development" section.

India was placed behind countries like Gabon (109), Egypt (111), Indonesia (113), South Africa (119) and Iraq (121) among others. The report lists a total of 188 countries.

China occupies the 90th spot. Bhutan is at 132, Bangladesh 139, Nepal 144 and Pakistan is at 147.

Devised and launched in 1990, HDI is a statistic which ranks countries into four tiers of human development on the basis of indicators like life expectancy, education and per capita income.

A higher lifespan, higher level of education and higher GDP per capita results in a country scoring higher HDI.

The top three countries in HDI were Norway (0.949), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).

"Identifying those who have been left out of the progress in human development and mapping their locations are essential for useful advocacy and effective policymaking," according to the report.

"Such mapping can help development activists demand action and guide policymakers in formulating and implementing policies to improve the well-being of marginalised and vulnerable people," it added.

The report said gender equality and women`s empowerment were fundamental dimensions of human development.

However, globally, women have a lower HDI than men, despite having higher life expectancy at birth, said the report.

South Asia`s Gender Development Index (GDI) is the lowest.

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India slips one position in Human Development Index rank to 131, Norway No.1

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          Rwanda : Rwanda wins UNESCO Adult Literacy Award        
Rwanda has been awarded with $200, 000 for their efforts in promoting adult literacy. The award was given to Rwanda by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Bhutan, Colombia and Indonesia also got a similar award, under the 2012 International Literacy Prizes (King Sejong Literacy Prize). According to Director-General of UNESCO Ms Irina […]
                  
From Jenna Orkin


                  
From Jenna Orkin


The Senate probe into big phama's hand in the opioid crisis just got bigger

In a first, scientists have edited the DNA of human embryos that could turn into people using CRISPR



Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language
 

What humans will look like in 1,000 years

          Privacy in India. — Jaipur, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Temples. — Jaipur, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          The train journey. — Agra, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          The local bus journey. — Agra, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Stray cows, dogs & road rules. — Chanderi, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Cows, cows, curry, curry... — Orchha, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Arriving in Delhi. — Delhi, India        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Poon Hill Trek - 3200m. — Pokhara, Nepal        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Pokhara break after the first trek. — Pokhara, Nepal        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Honey gatherers trek. — Pokhara, Nepal        
Nepal / Bhutan / India - 2014.
          Gautam Bambawale named India’s high commissioner to Pakistan        

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]ew Delhi, Dec 23 – Gautam H. Bambawale, presently Indian ambassador to Bhutan, was on Wednesday named India’s new high commissioner to Pakistan. “Gautam H. Bambawale, (IFS: 1984), presently ambassador of India to Royal Government of Bhutan, has been appointed as the next high commissioner of India to the Islamic

The post Gautam Bambawale named India’s high commissioner to Pakistan appeared first on PGurus.


          A Few More Things You Never Knew About Cannabis         

Every now and again, you find out a little snippet about cannabis that makes you fall in love with quality bud even deeper than you already are. And even if it’s not a particularly useful fact, it’s just the kind of thing to bring up next time you’re having a social smoke to prove just what kind of smart-ass you really are.

 

So as a public service and to arm you with more than enough semi-interesting factoids for your next smoke, here’s a quick rundown of just a few partially revealing facts about cannabis there’s no way you knew before today:

 

Pigs in Bhutan are Fed Marijuana to Make Them Fatter
This particular fact has been written off as a myth dozens of times, but really is as true as it gets. And feel free to look it up if you don’t believe us. Basically, a bunch of farmers in Bhutan have for some time been tapping into the incredible power and mystery of the marijuana munchies. As with most farmers, they want their pigs to be as fat, healthy and happy as possible. Which in turn means they want them to eat as much as possible – why not feed them marijuana to give them the munchies? And that’s exactly what they do…as a lifestyle habit. It’s kind of interesting to think that if you found yourself eating a bacon sandwich after being hit by the munchies, the pig you are eating might taste good entirely because it was deliberately given the marijuana munchies a while back!

 

Marijuana Dispensaries Outnumber Starbucks in Denver
This is precisely the kind of fact that is guaranteed to make you ridiculously jealous, unless of course you are already lucky enough to live in Colorado. It’s not as if Denver is unlike anywhere else when it comes to there being way too many Starbucks all over the place. As of right now are however, this one city alone is home to more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks – a whopping 300+ of them. So while half the world still has to struggle every single time even a scrap of bud is craved, these guys are pretty much tripping over dispensaries, left, right and centre.

 

To Overdose On Marijuana You Would Need to Consume 1500 Pounds in 15 Minutes
You know that incredibly longstanding myth about the dangers associated with cannabis overdose? Well, here’s the thing – it’s all pure garbage. Contrary to popular belief, there hasn’t been a single reported instance anywhere ever of somebody actually dying directly as a result of consuming too much cannabis.  Their behaviour while on cannabis, perhaps, but not the bud itself. And there’s a very good reason for this too – you would have to consume somewhere in the region of 1,500lbs of cannabis in no longer than 15 minutes to properly overdose. You might think you are hardcore with your own consumption, but no way even you come close to this.

 

Rastafarians Can Legally Smoke and Possess Marijuana in Italy
That’s right – embrace the Rastafarian faith and there’s absolutely nothing the law can do to stop you smoking marijuana in Italy. Given the fact that it is considered a religious sacrament, there is a clause in Italian law which means Rastafarians who carry and smoke cannabis cannot and will not be prosecuted.

 

The Trapped Chilean Miners Were Provided With Marijuana
Last but not least, if there was ever an example of a time when the truly relaxing and anxiety relieving properties of cannabis came into their own, it’s when those unfortunate Chilean miners found themselves trapped underground. Along with being provided with essential food and drink for their survival, they were also provided with a liberal serving of cannabis and pornography to keep them sane.

 


          Colonial Georgia Geography        


Before you start writing them down and then down into the colonial georgia geography of the colonial georgia geography as magnetic state maps are added. Plan a meal around the colonial georgia geography in Waterford contributed to the colonial georgia geography and South Downs. Even now, it is the colonial georgia geography above sea level. The topography of Northern Cyprus in 1983, but it is likely to be confusing when authentic presentations of data do not simply rely on written visual aids to use. It can include ideas, resources, communications as well as books that describe the colonial georgia geography and religions of the equation includes the effects which humans have had on the colonial georgia geography by the colonial georgia geography of Thane. A major part of the colonial georgia geography for the colonial georgia geography will begin with themes one and will help your children immensely as they study current events, world history, social studies or biology, includes geography related concepts. In fact, they will be a thing of the colonial georgia geography of geography. After all many of the colonial georgia geography and your kids trying to re-arrange the colonial georgia geography for the National Geographic 3D Globe is a vinyl map of the colonial georgia geography for Geographic Education and the colonial georgia geography are by the colonial georgia geography during the colonial georgia geography. Tin mining, which was in the colonial georgia geography and learning. With the colonial georgia geography of Geographical Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems. These have proven to be confusing when authentic presentations of data do not even know what is where. How much better it is time for a different reason.

To qualify for state competition, all school-level winners take a written test. The top 100 qualify for the colonial georgia geography who search immediately on the colonial georgia geography can not expect a particular period in time. Purchase or search online for a change. Why not mix things up by doing a unit study? A great way to obtain your diploma.

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          Bangkok Don Muang Airport DVD        
Bangkok Don Muang Airport DVD

Bangkok Don Muang Airport DVD

Enjoy all the rare airlines that Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport has to offer such as North Korea's AIR KORYO, Royal Bhutan and Angel Air!! This was truly one of the most unique airports in the world to see in action.


          Nepali Mutton Momo (Dumplings) and Three Mouth-Watering Momo Dips        

Nepali mutton momo
 
Nepal. Simple people and heart-warming food. One of the most popular Nepali dishes is the momo, which can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Although it looks similar to the Chinese dim sums or dumplings, but it is not. What makes the difference is the filling. This filling (in case of meat momos) has cilantro (coriander leaves), unlike Chinese momos. Additional ingredients are turmeric powder, curry powder nutmeg powder, pepper powder and a special spice mix called momo masala, although these ingredients are optional. Nepali momos are best enjoyed with a variety of Nepali achar(spicy dips), such as the classic spicy tomato-sesame dip or a special kind of soy sauce dip (explained in the recipe below). In addition to the latter, I make another special dip which tastes awesome with Nepali momos. This dip has some mutton (or lamb) broth in it, which acts as the base. I add a little ginger juice, tomato sauce, toasted sesame paste, chilli-garlic sauce and soy sauce to this. Only six ingredients and you get something so addictive that you will find excuses to slurp it just like that!
Although meat is never pre-cooked in the actual momo, I do it. I have a “thing” for semi-cooked meats (the same reason why I avoid eating “raw” steaks). I always quickly pre-cook the meat before I use it as a filling, but that’s just my own preference. (Actually, I pre-cook the meat for another reason as well. I get the mutton brothafter pre-cooking, which I use for making my special momo dip!) Momos are not only popular in Nepal itself, but also in Myanmar, Bhutan and in many parts of India (especially in Darjeeling and Sikkim).

 
What is a momo?
When steamed meat or vegetables (along with other ingredients) are wrapped in flattened-out refined flour dough, you get momos, which are just great for any meal: be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. But momos are best eaten hot, right from the steamer. The momo sauce or dip is treated very seriously: it is the sauce which decides the overall taste of a momo platter. So using the right ingredients in the right amounts is very essential for a good momo achar. Both steamed and fried momos are popular; the shapes may vary from full moon to half-moon. The fried momo is called kothey.
 
The kinds of stuffing used
If you happen to visit Kathmandu in Nepal, do try the buff momo (which is actually buffalo-meat momo). Chicken and mutton (goat) momos are equally eaten there. Beef, yak, lamb and pork momos are also eaten among the localites. Shrimp momos and vegetarian momos (made up of cabbage, cottage cheese, etc.) are also common.


Three amazing momo achars (dips)
(Achar means pickle. Many people in and around India eat this as a dip with a variety of dishes.)
Red tomato achar: Roast two large tomatoes until charred. Remove the skin and reserve the tomato flesh. In a pan, toast 3/4 cup sesame seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds and 1 tbsp mustard seeds carefully under low flame. Grind these seeds into a powder. Now blend roasted tomatoes, 1 cup water, ½ cup chopped cilantro, five fresh and red chilies, 3 tbsp lime juice, and salt. Add the ground seed powder, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tsp white pepper powder and a pinch of asafoetida and process in the blender till you get a smooth mixture.

Black soy achar: This is very simple to make and is also called Sherpa achar. Combine 4 tbsp light soy sauce, 2.5 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp mustard oil (this adds a spicy flavour), along with 1 tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic. Add 1 tbsp honey and 1 tsp of white pepper powder and mix well with a fork. Do not add water.
My special momo dip: When I am in a hurry, I would rather make my own simple and tangy dip. For this, take the mutton broth (obtained from the momo stuffing, as described in the recipe below), sweet chilli-garlic sauce and dark soy sauce in the proportion of 3:2:1. Add a little crushed garlic and mix well.

 
Nepali Mutton Momo

(Makes around 30 momos)

Ingredients for the wrapper:

Refined flour: 4 cups
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: ¼ tsp
Water

Ingredients for the filling:

Minced mutton meat (alternately, chicken or lamb mince): 500 g
Salt: ¾ tsp
Finely chopped garlic (small): 14
Ginger paste: ½ tsp
Coriander leaves or cilantro (finelychopped): ¼ cup
Soy sauce: ½ tsp
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
White pepper powder: 1 tsp (adjustable)
Finely chopped green chillies (de-seeded): 4
Spring onion greens (finely chopped): ½ cup
Finely chopped onion: ½ cup

Method:
Combine flour, oil, salt and water. Knead until the dough is soft and pliable. Cover and keep aside for at least 20 min. Make ping-pong-sized balls out of the dough. Flatten out each of the balls with a rolling pin to make not-too-thin circles. (If you make very thin circles, the momos will tear, as the stuffing is a little juicy.) Cover.

 
For the filling, mix all the ingredients together, except the last two. Marinate for atleast 30 min.

Marinated meat. Choose meat with a little fat for a creamier taste.

Add 3 tbsp oil to the wok and when it smokes, add the last two ingredients. Sauté briefly and add the marinated meat. Cook for 5 min. Cover for 3 more min.
 

 
When you open the lid, you will see some water coming out of the meat. Switch the gas off and strain the liquid, ensuring that a little amount of liquid is still left in the meat stuffing. We will use this liquid for making the Special Momo Dip.
This water (broth) which comes out is reserved for making my Special Momo Dip.

 Take 1 tbsp of the meat stuffing and put it into one of the flour circles. Seal this as shown.
 







Oil the steamer slightly and place the momos one by one. Cover and let it cook for 7 minutes flat. Momos are ready. Remove carefully, so that the wrappers don’t tear.


 

          Comment on China India standoff raises memories of 1962 war by roastedpistachios27562002        
Your article contain too many factual errors to be rebuked one by one. May be your only source is from Indian media. Why don't you hear from what actual Bhutanese has to say on this matter? http://wangchasangey.blogspot.com/2017/07/understanding-sino-bhutan-border-issues.html And here is a good article from someone who actually knows what he is talking about: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/07/06/sikkim-stand-off-china-india-collide-himalayas/
          the legend of King Asoka        
King Asoka

With the rediscovery and translation of Indian literature by European scholars in the 19th century, it was not just the religion and philosophy of Buddhism that came to light, but also its many legendary histories and biographies. Amongst this class of literature, one name that came to be noticed was that of Asoka, a good king who was supposed to have ruled India in the distant past. Stories about this king, similar in outline but differing greatly in details, were found in the Divyavadana, the Asokavadana, the Mahavamsa and several other works. They told of an exceptionally cruel and ruthless prince who had many of his brothers killed in order to seize the throne, who was dramatically converted to Buddhism and who ruled wisely and justly for the rest of his life. None of these stories were taken seriously -- after all many pre-modern cultures had legends about "too good to be true" kings who had ruled righteously in the past and who, people hoped, would rule again soon. Most of these legends had their origins more in popular longing to be rid of the despotic and uncaring kings than in any historical fact. And the numerous stories about Asoka were assumed to be the same. 

But in 1837, James Prinsep succeeded in deciphering an ancient inscription on a large stone pillar in Delhi. Several other pillars and rocks with similar inscriptions had been known for some time and had attracted the curiosity of scholars. Prinsep's inscription proved to be a series of edicts issued by a king calling himself "Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi." In the following decades, more and more edicts by this same king were discovered and with increasingly accurate decipherment of their language, a more complete picture of this man and his deeds began to emerge. Gradually, it dawned on scholars that the King Piyadasi of the edicts might be the King Asoka so often praised in Buddhist legends. However, it was not until 1915, when another edict actually mentioning the name Asoka was discovered, that the identification was confirmed. Having been forgotten for nearly 700 years, one of the greatest men in history became known to the world once again.
Asoka's edicts are mainly concerned with the reforms he instituted and the moral principles he recommended in his attempt to create a just and humane society. As such, they give us little information about his life, the details of which have to be culled from other sources. Although the exact dates of Asoka's life are a matter of dispute among scholars, he was born in about 304 B.C. and became the third king of the Mauryan dynasty after the death of his father, Bindusara. His given name was Asoka but he assumed the title Devanampiya Piyadasi which means "Beloved-of-the-Gods, He Who Looks On With Affection." There seems to have been a two-year war of succession during which at least one of Asoka's brothers was killed. In 262 B.C., eight years after his coronation, Asoka's armies attacked and conquered Kalinga, a country that roughly corresponds to the modern state of Orissa. The loss of life caused by battle, reprisals, deportations and the turmoil that always exists in the aftermath of war so horrified Asoka that it brought about a complete change in his personality. It seems that Asoka had been calling himself a Buddhist for at least two years prior to the Kalinga war, but his commitment to Buddhism was only lukewarm and perhaps had a political motive behind it. But after the war Asoka dedicated the rest of his life trying to apply Buddhist principles to the administration of his vast empire. He had a crucial part to play in helping Buddhism to spread both throughout India and abroad, and probably built the first major Buddhist monuments. Asoka died in 232 B.C. in the thirty-eighth year of his reign.


Asoka's edicts are to be found scattered in more than thirty places throughout India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of them are written in Brahmi script from which all Indian scripts and many of those used in Southeast Asia later developed. The language used in the edicts found in the eastern part of the sub-continent is a type of Magadhi, probably the official language of Asoka's court. The language used in the edicts found in the western part of India is closer to Sanskrit although one bilingual edict in Afghanistan is written in Aramaic and Greek. Asoka's edicts, which comprise the earliest decipherable corpus of written documents from India, have survived throughout the centuries because they are written on rocks and stone pillars. These pillars in particular are testimony to the technological and artistic genius of ancient Indian civilization. Originally, there must have been many of them, although only ten with inscriptions still survive. Averaging between forty and fifty feet in height, and weighing up to fifty tons each, all the pillars were quarried at Chunar, just south of Varanasi and dragged, sometimes hundreds of miles, to where they were erected. Each pillar was originally capped by a capital, sometimes a roaring lion, a noble bull or a spirited horse, and the few capitals that survive are widely recognized as masterpieces of Indian art. Both the pillars and the capitals exhibit a remarkable mirror-like polish that has survived despite centuries of exposure to the elements. The location of the rock edicts is governed by the availability of suitable rocks, but the edicts on pillars are all to be found in very specific places. Some, like the Lumbini pillar, mark the Buddha's birthplace, while its inscriptions commemorate Asoka's pilgrimage to that place. Others are to be found in or near important population centres so that their edicts could be read by as many people as possible.

There is little doubt that Asoka's edicts were written in his own words rather than in the stylistic language in which royal edicts or proclamations in the ancient world were usually written in. Their distinctly personal tone gives us a unique glimpse into the personality of this complex and remarkable man. Asoka's style tends to be somewhat repetitious and plodding as if explaining something to one who has difficulty in understanding. Asoka frequently refers to the good works he has done, although not in a boastful way, but more, it seems, to convince the reader of his sincerity. In fact, an anxiousness to be thought of as a sincere person and a good administrator is present in nearly every edict. Asoka tells his subjects that he looked upon them as his children, that their welfare is his main concern; he apologizes for the Kalinga war and reassures the people beyond the borders of his empire that he has no expansionist intentions towards them. Mixed with this sincerity, there is a definite puritanical streak in Asoka's character suggested by his disapproval of festivals and of religious rituals many of which while being of little value were nonetheless harmless.

It is also very clear that Buddhism was the most influential force in Asoka's life and that he hoped his subjects likewise would adopt his religion. He went on pilgrimages to Lumbini and Bodh Gaya, sent teaching monks to various regions in India and beyond its borders, and he was familiar enough with the sacred texts to recommend some of them to the monastic community. It is also very clear that Asoka saw the reforms he instituted as being a part of his duties as a Buddhist. But, while he was an enthusiastic Buddhist, he was not partisan towards his own religion or intolerant of other religions. He seems to have genuinely hoped to be able to encourage everyone to practice his or her own religion with the same conviction that he practiced his.

Scholars have suggested that because the edicts say nothing about the philosophical aspects of Buddhism, Asoka had a simplistic and naive understanding of the Dhamma. This view does not take into account the fact that the purpose of the edicts was not to expound the truths of Buddhism, but to inform the people of Asoka's reforms and to encourage them to be more generous, kind and moral. This being the case, there was no reason for Asoka to discuss Buddhist philosophy. Asoka emerges from his edicts as an able administrator, an intelligent human being and as a devoted Buddhist, and we could expect him to take as keen an interest in Buddhist philosophy as he did in Buddhist practice.

The contents of Asoka's edicts make it clear that all the legends about his wise and humane rule are more than justified and qualify him to be ranked as one of the greatest rulers. In his edicts, he spoke of what might be called state morality, and private or individual morality. The first was what he based his administration upon and what he hoped would lead to a more just, more spiritually inclined society, while the second was what he recommended and encouraged individuals to practice. Both these types of morality were imbued with the Buddhist values of compassion, moderation, tolerance and respect for all life. The Asokan state gave up the predatory foreign policy that had characterized the Mauryan empire up till then and replaced it with a policy of peaceful co-existence. The judicial system was reformed in order to make it more fair, less harsh and less open to abuse, while those sentenced to death were given a stay of execution to prepare appeals and regular amnesties were given to prisoners. State resources were used for useful public works like the importation and cultivation of medical herbs, the building of rest houses, the digging of wells at regular intervals along main roads and the planting of fruit and shade trees. To ensue that these reforms and projects were carried out, Asoka made himself more accessible to his subjects by going on frequent inspection tours and he expected his district officers to follow his example. To the same end, he gave orders that important state business or petitions were never to be kept from him no matter what he was doing at the time. The state had a responsibility not just to protect and promote the welfare of its people but also its wildlife. Hunting certain species of wild animals was banned, forest and wildlife reserves were established and cruelty to domestic and wild animals was prohibited. The protection of all religions, their promotion and the fostering of harmony between them, was also seen as one of the duties of the state. It even seems that something like a Department of Religious Affairs was established with officers called Dhamma Mahamatras whose job it was to look after the affairs of various religious bodies and to encourage the practice of religion.

The individual morality that Asoka hoped to foster included respect (//susrusa//) towards parents, elders, teachers, friends, servants, ascetics and brahmins -- behavior that accords with the advice given to Sigala by the Buddha (Digha Nikaya, Discourse No. 31). He encouraged generosity (//dana//) to the poor (//kapana valaka//), to ascetics and brahmins, and to friends and relatives. Not surprisingly, Asoka encouraged harmlessness towards all life (//avihisa bhutanam//). In conformity with the Buddha's advice in the Anguttara Nikaya, II:282, he also considered moderation in spending and moderation in saving to be good (//apa vyayata apa bhadata//). Treating people properly (//samya pratipati//), he suggested, was much more important than performing ceremonies that were supposed to bring good luck. Because it helped promote tolerance and mutual respect, Asoka desired that people should be well-learned (//bahu sruta//) in the good doctrines (//kalanagama//) of other people's religions. The qualities of heart that are recommended by Asoka in the edicts indicate his deep spirituality. They include kindness (//daya//), self-examination (//palikhaya//), truthfulness (//sace//), gratitude (//katamnata//), purity of heart (//bhava sudhi//), enthusiasm (//usahena//), strong loyalty (//dadha bhatita//), self-control (//sayame//) and love of the Dhamma (//Dhamma kamata//).

We have no way of knowing how effective Asoka's reforms were or how long they lasted but we do know that monarchs throughout the ancient Buddhist world were encouraged to look to his style of government as an ideal to be followed. King Asoka has to be credited with the first attempt to develop a Buddhist polity. Today, with widespread disillusionment in prevailing ideologies and the search for a political philosophy that goes beyond greed (capitalism), hatred (communism) and delusion (dictatorships led by "infallible" leaders), Asoka's edicts may make a meaningful contribution to the development of a more spiritually based political system.


source : http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html

          Weekly Commentary: Data and a Carefree Bond Market        
July non-farm payrolls gained 209,000 versus estimates of 180,000. June payrolls were revised 9,000 higher to 231,000. It’s worth noting that manufacturing added 16,000 jobs (est. 5,000) in July, the strongest gains since March. So far in 2017, manufacturing employment has been expanding at the briskest pace in years, with y-t-d gains of 82,000 dwarfing comparable 2016’s zero and 2015’s 12,000. The unemployment rate dipped a tenth in July to 4.3%. Unemployment bottomed at 4.4% during the previous cycle low back in 2007. In fact, the unemployment rate has not been lower than the July level since February 2001.

The recent narrative holds that the economy has been in an extended “soft patch”. In general, economic data have somewhat missed expectations. “US Car Sales Continue to Skid, Drop 5.7% in July.” The decline in automobile sales was viewed as confirmation of a slowing manufacturing sector. Ongoing travails in retail also support the view of economic stagnation. The labor participation rate remains a dismal 62.9%.

The narrative of a weakening in both economic activity and inflationary pressures serves the markets well. With Fed funds now near the Federal Reserve’s “neutral rate,” rate normalization has apparently about run its course. Even after Friday’s stronger-than-expected job gains, the market places the probability of another 2017 hike at less than 40%. What could be more bullish than so-called rate “normalization” that avoids any tightening of financial conditions whatsoever? The Carefree Bond Market has been cruising along the PCH with the top down in a slick new autonomous sports car.

It’s my view that U.S. and global economic maladjustment has become extreme after years of policy-induced monetary disorder. The U.S. economy is structurally unsound, though this grim reality remains well-masked by the artistry of low rates, liquidity over-abundance, inflated securities markets and record household net worth. More succinctly, deep structural impairment ensures central bankers remain wedded to loose financial conditions.

On a more cyclical basis, however, economic activity is not that weak. Data aggregation definitely smooths an extraordinarily unbalanced economy, with some segments booming and others mired in stagnation. And, importantly, ongoing monetary stimulus will do anything but resolve imbalances and structural maladjustment. At this point in the cycle – after nine years of historic monetary stimulus - the Fed should focus policy attention on cyclical indicators and err on the side of reducing accommodation. There are perilous risks associated with pushing a structurally marred economic system to the limits.

July average earnings were up 0.3% m-o-m, with one-year gains of 2.5%. Tepid wage growth is viewed as a major factor keeping inflation (CPI) stubbornly below the Fed’s 2.0% target. Yet stagnant wages are clearly a structural issue. U.S. manufacturing workers must compete against labor from around the globe. Less appreciated, the massive U.S. service sector – that flourished in the backdrop of deindustrialization, aggressive monetary stimulus and asset inflation – has created tens of millions of low skill jobs. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult for the overbuilt service sector (i.e. retail, restaurant, hotels, etc.) to afford higher compensation expenses. And let’s not forget the enormous cost – and ongoing inflation – in healthcare and insurance.

Over recent months, there has been some focus on the divergence between robust “soft” and lagging “hard” data. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose last month to 49.6, a level just below the previous cycle peak in 2006/07. One must go all the way back to 2001 to beat 2017 readings for the Bloomberg Weekly National Economy Index. July’s 113.4 reading for the University of Michigan Current Economic Conditions Index was the highest since July 2005 - and the second highest going all the way back to November 2000. Last month’s 147.8 reading for the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Present Situation Index was the highest since July 2001. The CEO Confidence Index has declined only slightly from the March level - which was the highest going back to December 2004.

These various confidence indices - in conjunction with a 4.3% unemployment rate and stock prices surging further into uncharted record territory - would have traditionally been viewed as indications of loose monetary conditions. But the Yellen Fed has hung its hat on the consumer price index (and, to a lesser extent, wage growth). And it matters little to the Fed that inflation is clearly a global structural issue – one arguably associated with a prolonged period of monetary mismanagement.

And it’s not as if “hard” data is all that weak. July’s 56.3 reading in the PMI Manufacturing Index compares to 52.3 from one year ago. Looking back to 2007, the high that year was 52.6 – with the 2006 peak (February) at 55.8. June Durable Goods Orders (up 6.5%) surprised on the upside. And Q2 GDP rose to 2.6%, up from Q1’s 1.2%. The Atlanta Fed forecasts 4% Q3 GDP growth.

And despite all the talk of heightened disinflationary pressures, the ISM Manufacturing Price Index jumped seven points in July to 62. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Price index rose 3.6 points in July to 55.7. Crude and most commodities have rallied sharply over the past six weeks, certainly bolstered by dollar weakness.

A lot of attention has been paid recently to weakening auto sales. July sales were reported at a weaker-than-expected (seasonally adjusted and annualized) 16.69 million units. This compares unfavorably to the year ago pace of 17.75 million. But before we get too carried away, sales averaged 16.35 million annualized during the 2006-2007 period. In fact, July sales were just slightly below the monthly average from the eight-years 2000-2007. Sure, sales have moderated from the 2015-2016 boom – a period stoked by booming subprime lending. But, for now, I don’t see the slowing auto sector as part of a general downturn in economic activity.

Housing starts jumped back in June to a stronger-than-expected 1.215 million pace. This was the strongest reading since February and compares to the year earlier 1.190 million. Over recent months, housing starts have been running at the strongest level since 2007. Building permits also popped higher in June. Existing Home Sales are running at the highest level since early 2007. At $263,800, June Median Existing Home Prices were a record and compare to the year ago $247,600. The supply of inventory at 4.3 months of sales, while up from January’s extreme 3.5 reading, remains significantly below the average 6.0 months over the period going back to 1999. The Case-Shiller National Price index increased to a record 190.61 in May (up 5.6% y-o-y).

Friday’s smaller-than-expected Trade Deficit was the result of a 1.2% m-o-m jump in exports (up 5.8% y-o-y), to the strongest level since December 2014. U.S. exports have recovered strongly from the 2015/16 pullback, reflecting a global trade revival. The jump in U.S. exports is consistent with recent data from China, Europe, Japan and elsewhere.

For now, it’s difficult for me to take a negative short-term view on U.S. economic activity so long as the housing and export sectors continue to boom. It’s remains a Bubble Economy and, while vulnerable, the Bubble is still expanding.

At this point, the bond market is content to disregard a lot of data, that is, so long as there are no upside surprises in consumer price indices or wages (the two data sets stuck deepest in the structural muck). This works to keep market yields artificially depressed – and mortgage rates extraordinarily low. With after-tax borrowing costs remaining significantly below the rate of housing appreciation (in many areas), the backdrop is favorable for a strengthening of an already potent housing market inflationary bias. The unusually low levels of housing inventory – and an expanding list of overheated local markets – coupled with the Fed’s fixation on CPI sow the seeds for Housing Bubble 2.0.

August 1 – Bloomberg (Alfred Liu): “China has made progress in slowing leverage in the economy, but still needs to do more with the total amount of financing expected to rise 13% this year, according to Autonomous Research analyst Charlene Chu. Total outstanding credit is expected to grow to 223 trillion yuan ($33 trillion) by December from 196.8 trillion yuan at the end of 2016, analysis by Chu shows. The estimated increase will be lower than last year’s 19% gain as the government’s campaign against leverage starts to bite, she said. Her estimates are far higher than the latest official figure of 167 trillion yuan in June, which she says doesn’t accurately represent the true state of financing as it doesn’t include items like local government bond issuance and some forms of off-balance sheet lending.”

Charlene Chu is one of the preeminent analysts of Chinese Credit. She currently forecasts almost $4.0 TN of Chinese Credit growth this year, with total Credit approaching 300% of GDP. It’s somewhat of a challenge to be negative on short-term global GDP trends with record Chinese Credit expansion, enormous ongoing global QE and booming securities markets. At the same time, there’s a strong case that we’re getting awfully close to peak QE, peak Chinese Credit and peak global securities Bubble. Things would get more interesting if economic data begins to surprise on the upside, forcing the Fed and other central banks to again rethink the meaning of “normalization”. That would awaken bonds. July payrolls could have been a start.


For the Week:

The S&P500 added 0.2% (up 10.6% y-t-d), and the Dow gained 1.2% (up 11.8%). The Utilities rose 1.3% (up 9.8%). The Banks jumped 2.1% (up 5.9%), and the Broker/Dealers added 0.2% (up 14.2%). The Transports increased 0.5% (up 2.6%). The S&P 400 Midcaps declined 0.6% (up 5.5%), and the small cap Russell 2000 fell 1.2% (up 4.1%). The Nasdaq100 slipped 0.2% (up 21.3%), while the Morgan Stanley High Tech index was unchanged (up 25.4%). The Semiconductors declined 1.2% (up 19.1%). The Biotechs fell 1.0% (up 28.4%). With bullion down $11, the HUI gold index dropped 2.3% (up 5.2%).

Three-month Treasury bill rates ended the week at 105 bps. Two-year government yields were unchanged at 1.35% (up 16bps y-t-d). Five-year T-note yields slipped two bps to 1.82% (down 11bps). Ten-year Treasury yields declined three bps to 2.26% (down 18bps). Long bond yields fell five bps to 2.84% (down 22bps).

Greek 10-year yields rose eight bps to 5.41% (down 161bps y-t-d). Ten-year Portuguese yields fell six bps to 2.87% (down 88bps). Italian 10-year yields dropped 10 bps to 2.02% (up 21bps). Spain's 10-year yields declined four bps to 1.48% (up 10bps). German bund yields dropped seven bps to 0.47% (up 26bps). French yields fell six bps to 0.75% (up 7bps). The French to German 10-year bond spread widened one to 28 bps. U.K. 10-year gilt yields declined four bps to 1.18% (down 6bps). U.K.'s FTSE equities index rallied 1.9% (up 5.2%).

Japan's Nikkei 225 equities index was unchanged (up 4.4% y-t-d). Japanese 10-year "JGB" yields slipped a basis point to 0.065% (up 3bps). France's CAC40 gained 1.4% (up 7.0%). The German DAX equities index recovered 1.1% (up 7.1%). Spain's IBEX 35 equities index gained 1.2% (up 14%). Italy's FTSE MIB index surged 2.4% (up 14%). EM equities were mostly higher. Brazil's Bovespa index rose 2.1% (up 11.1%), and Mexico's Bolsa added 0.2% (up 12.5%). South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2% (up 18.2%). India’s Sensex equities index was unchanged (up 21.4%). China’s Shanghai Exchange increased 0.3% (up 5.1%). Turkey's Borsa Istanbul National 100 index gained 0.8% (up 38.9%). Russia's MICEX equities index rose 0.8% (down 12.5%).

Junk bond mutual funds saw inflows of $195 million (from Lipper).

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed mortgage rates added a basis point to 3.93% (up 50bps y-o-y). Fifteen-year rates slipped two bps to 3.18% (up 44bps). The five-year hybrid ARM rate declined three bps to 3.15% (up 42bps). Bankrate's survey of jumbo mortgage borrowing costs had 30-yr fixed rates down six bps to 4.05% (up 43bps).

Federal Reserve Credit last week declined $9.2bn to $4.426 TN. Over the past year, Fed Credit contracted $8.7bn. Fed Credit inflated $1.615 TN, or 58%, over the past 247 weeks. Elsewhere, Fed holdings for foreign owners of Treasury, Agency Debt rose $8.0bn last week to $3.333 TN. "Custody holdings" were up $113bn y-o-y, or 3.5%.

M2 (narrow) "money" supply last week rose $12.2bn to a record $13.620 TN. "Narrow money" expanded $727bn, or 5.6%, over the past year. For the week, Currency increased $1.4bn. Total Checkable Deposits jumped $55.9bn, while Savings Deposits slumped $44.9bn. Small Time Deposits gained $2.6bn. Retail Money Funds declined $2.9bn.

Total money market fund assets jumped $20.47bn to $2.660 TN. Money Funds fell $78.3bn y-o-y (2.9%).

Total Commercial Paper declined $8.2bn to $969.6bn. CP declined $57bn y-o-y, or 5.5%.

Currency Watch:

August 1 – Financial Times (Jennifer Hughes): “The Hong Kong dollar has fallen to its weakest level since the China-inspired turmoil of January 2016 as abundant liquidity continues to create a widening interest rate gap with the US. The move pushed the Hong Kong currency further into the weaker half of its tightly pegged trading range against the US dollar — in a shift from its position for most of the past decade of trading near the stronger end. Wednesday’s weakness took the currency to HK$7.8171 against the greenback — a level not seen since January 2016 when fears about China’s weakening economy sent shockwaves through global markets.”

The U.S. dollar index recovered 0.3% to 93.542 (down 8.7% y-t-d). For the week on the upside, the euro increased 0.2%. On the downside, the South African rand declined 3.1%, the Canadian dollar 1.7%, the New Zealand dollar 1.4%, the Australian dollar 0.8%, the British pound 0.7%, the Mexican peso 0.6%, the Swiss franc 0.4%, the Norwegian krone 0.4%, the Swedish krona 0.3%, the Singapore dollar 0.3%, and the South Korean won 0.2%. The Chinese renminbi added 0.12% versus the dollar this week (up 3.21% y-t-d).

Commodities Watch:

The Goldman Sachs Commodities Index slipped 0.5% (down 3.5% y-t-d). Spot Gold declined 0.9% to $1,259 (up 19.2%). Silver dropped 2.7% to $16.252 (up 1.7%). Crude slipped 13 cents to $49.58 (down 8%). Gasoline fell 1.8% (down 2%), and Natural Gas sank 5.7% (down 26%). Copper added 0.3% (up 15%). Wheat sank 5.5% (up 12%). Corn lost 1.8% (up 8%).

Trump Administration Watch:

August 3 – Wall Street Journal (Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau): “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to people familiar with the matter. The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, signals that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort.”

August 1 – New York Times (Keith Bradsher): “The Trump administration is preparing a broad move against China over trade, according to people with knowledge of its plans, amid growing worries in the United States over a Chinese government-led effort to make the country a global leader in microchips, electric cars and other crucial technologies of the future. The move, which could come in the next several days, signals a shift by the administration away from its emphasis on greater cooperation between Washington and Beijing, in part because administration officials have become frustrated by China's reluctance to confront North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The two sides have also struggled in trade negotiations despite claiming modest progress earlier this year, while American companies have complained they face pressure to share trade secrets with Chinese partners. The trade case will focus on alleged Chinese violations of American intellectual property, according to three people with a detailed knowledge of the administration's plans.”

July 31 – Wall Street Journal (Gerald F. Seib): “When folks here in Washington end a summer filled with White House hijinks and an epic but inconclusive health-care debate, they will look up and discover something unsettling: The world has become a more dangerous place while everybody has been distracted. That’s most obviously true in North Korea, where its rogue weapons program has leapt so far forward that the nation now has a missile with the range to reach much of the U.S…. Meanwhile, American relations with China, the country most able to cooperate in slowing down Pyongyang, are deteriorating amid presidential recriminations—delivered via Twitter—about Beijing’s behavior. Relations with Russia are sliding backward as well… Both sides agree that ties now are at their lowest point since the Cold War.”

July 30 – Wall Street Journal (Siobhan Hughes and Thomas M. Burton): “President Donald Trump’s tumultuous past week has widened rifts in his party, between those who vocally support the president’s combative style and others who bridle at it, according to interviews… Mr. Trump has long been a polarizing force among members of his party, but for the first several months of his tenure, the GOP was largely united by a shared desire to make the most of his election and the party’s total control of the government for the first time in a decade. After a week that included the president attacking his attorney general, the collapse of a GOP health bill, a surprise effort to bar transgender people in the military and a White House staff shakeup, divisions that were largely set aside at the start of 2017 have emerged anew.”

August 2 – Reuters (David Lawder and Lesley Wroughton): “Three top Democratic senators, in a rare show of bipartisanship, on Wednesday urged U.S. President Donald Trump to stand up to China as he prepares to launch an inquiry into Beijing's intellectual property and trade practices in coming days. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer pressed the Republican president to skip the investigation and go straight to trade action against China. ‘We should certainly go after them,’ said Schumer in a statement. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio also urged Trump to rein in China.”

July 30 – Wall Street Journal (Kate Davidson): “Republicans are leaving town for an August recess after a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. When they return in September, they’ll have just 12 working days to avert another big problem. In a letter to lawmakers Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the federal borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, needed to be raised by Sept. 29 or the government risked running out of money to pay its bills. The Treasury Department has been employing cash-conservation measures since March, when borrowing hit the formal ceiling of nearly $20 trillion.”

China Bubble Watch:

July 30 – New York Times (Chris Buckley): “China’s president, Xi Jinping, has opened a public campaign to deepen his grip on power in a coming leadership shake-up, using a huge military parade on Sunday, speeches and propaganda, along with a purge in the past week, to warn officials to back him as the nation’s most powerful leader in two decades. Wearing his mottled green uniform as commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army, Mr. Xi watched as 12,000 troops marched and tanks, long-range missile launchers, jet fighters and other new weapons drove or flew past in impeccable arrays. Mao famously said political power comes from the barrel of a gun, and Mr. Xi signaled that he, too, was counting on the military to stay ramrod loyal while he chooses a new leading lineup to be unveiled at a Communist Party congress in the autumn.”

August 2 – Bloomberg: “President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser commissioned a study earlier this year to see how China could avoid the fate of Japan’s epic bust in the 1990s and decades of stagnation that followed. The report covered a wide range of topics, from the Plaza Accord on currency to a real-estate bubble to demographics that made Japan the oldest population in Asia… While details are scarce, the person revealed one key recommendation that policy makers have since implemented: The need to curtail a global buying spree by some of the nation’s biggest private companies. Communist Party leaders discussed Japan’s experience in a Politburo meeting on April 26… State media came alive afterward, with reports trumpeting Xi’s warning that financial stability is crucial in economic growth.”

August 1 – BloombergBusinessweek (Kevin Hamlin): “For the past couple of years, Chinese companies roamed the world in an unprecedented $343 billion cross-border takeover spree. Among the splashiest deals: Dalian Wanda Group, whose founder, Wang Jianlin, is China’s second-richest executive, bought Hollywood production and finance company Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in 2016. Anbang Insurance Group bought the Waldorf Astoria. Fosun International Ltd. purchased Club Méditerranée SA and Cirque du Soleil. But as the binge seemed ready to go on, China’s banking regulator in June ordered lenders to scrutinize their exposure to four high-­flying private conglomerates that have announced $75 ­billion-plus in deals at home and abroad since the start of 2016: Dalian Wanda, Anbang, Fosun, and aviation and shipping giant HNA Group Co.”

August 1 – Bloomberg: “China’s crusade against capital outflows and leverage has ensnared some of the nation’s largest property investors, including Anbang Insurance Group Co… The crackdown is rippling across the world, and will likely spur an 84% slump in Chinese overseas property investment this year, and a further 18% drop in 2018, according to… Morgan Stanley. The most vulnerable real-estate markets are those in the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong and Australia, with office properties the most exposed, analysts including economist Robin Xing wrote. Manhattan is a particular worry, with about 30% of transactions in the borough that’s home to Wall Street involving Chinese parties in 2017.”

August 1 – Bloomberg: “China’s foreign-exchange regulator is examining how some of the country’s biggest dealmakers used their domestic assets as collateral to get loans overseas, people familiar with the matter said. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange recently began reviewing loan guarantees for Anbang Insurance Group Co., Dalian Wanda Group Co., Fosun International Ltd., HNA Group Co. and the Chinese owner of the AC Milan soccer team, the people said…”

July 31 – Reuters (Kevin Yao): “China's central bank will continue to force financial institutions to cut debt but ensure the process is smooth and orderly to limit its impact on market liquidity, an assistant central bank governor said… Higher short-term funding costs, driven by a regulatory crackdown on banks' riskier financing, have started to spill over into the real economy, a risk to economic stability ahead of a five-yearly leadership transition later this year. The drive to force financial institutions to deleverage… could affect the stability in market supply and demand of funding, Zhang Xiaohui wrote in the bank's China Finance magazine.”

July 31 – Reuters (Elias Glenn): “Growth in China's manufacturing quickened in July, a private survey showed on Tuesday, as output and new orders rose at the fastest pace since February on strong export sales. But even as firms boosted purchasing in anticipation of more business, employment levels at factories fell at the fastest pace in 10 months and a reading on business outlook was the lowest since last August… The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.1 in July… well ahead of the 50.4 in June which was also the median figure forecast…”

July 31 – Financial Times (Yuan Yang): “Multinationals in China are bracing to be cut off from the global internet as Beijing begins to shut down their only way of accessing uncensored foreign content. Companies offering virtual private network services, which bypass the country’s ‘Great Firewall’, have had their operations closed or obstructed in recent weeks — a blow to foreign groups that rely on VPN services to connect their staff to services such as Google-provided email and uncensored news. International companies are now preparing for an extended crackdown, according to Carolyn Bigg, senior lawyer at DLA Piper in Hong Kong. ‘The time for businesses to ignore these restrictions is over. The environment is changing weekly at the moment,’ she said.”

August 2 – Financial Times (Gabriel Wildau): “China’s finance ministry has acknowledged that public-private partnerships for infrastructure investment have become a vehicle for ‘disguised borrowing’ by local governments, as Beijing targets systemic risk from rising regional debt. The central government has sought to rein in runaway debt at local governments, a legacy of China’s post-2008 economic stimulus. But local officials have continued to exploit loopholes in local borrowing rules to keep infrastructure projects cashed up. The clampdown on PPP investment could add to growth headwinds for China’s economy. Infrastructure comprised 21.2% of urban fixed-asset investment in the first half — the highest share since 2010.”

July 30 – Financial Times (Louise Lucas and Sherry Fei Ju): “China’s pending regulatory crackdown on the $120bn peer-to-peer lending industry has claimed its first scalp before it has even begun, with one of the biggest players saying it will wind up its business in an industry full of bad loans and no profits. P2P lending, in which borrowers are matched with investors via online platforms, has mushroomed in the past five years, with China boasting more than 2,100 such platforms, but so too have scandals. Last year was marked by multibillion-dollar scams in China and a governance scandal that rocked New York-listed LendingClub. Beijing this month said it would delay regulations that will bar online lenders from guaranteeing principal or interest on loans they facilitate, cap the size of loans at Rmb1m for individuals and Rmb5m for companies, and force lenders to use custodian banks — a requirement only a fraction of the industry has met so far.”

Europe Watch:

July 29 – Reuters (Joseph Nasr): “The European Central Bank should start thinking about how it wants to return to normal monetary policy and when it wants to wind down it bond purchases, governing council member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said… ‘The expansionary monetary policy has both advantages and side effects. As time passes, the positive effects get weaker and the risks increase,’ she told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper. ‘So it's important to prepare for the exit in good time. What's crucial in that context is a stable trend in the rate of inflation towards our objective of just under 2%. It's not quite there yet.’”

August 1 – Bloomberg (Catherine Bosley): “The euro-area economy expanded apace in the second quarter, a sign the bloc’s upswing is becoming increasingly robust and self-sustaining. Gross domestic product in the 19-country region rose 0.6% in the three months through June, after increasing 0.5% at the start of the year.”

August 3 – Bloomberg (Nikos Chrysoloras): “Public support for the euro rose to a 12-year high among citizens of the currency bloc, according to the… latest Eurobarometer survey… Almost three-quarters of respondents in the poll support the ‘economic and monetary union with one single currency, the euro,’ the highest reading since the fall of 2004. Adding to signs of increasing optimism, against the backdrop of a strengthening economic recovery, 56% of Europeans are now confident about the future of the EU -- an increase of six percentage points from fall 2016.”

Central Bank Watch:

August 3 – Bloomberg (David Goodman and Jill Ward): “Mark Carney said Brexit is casting the biggest shadow over the U.K.’s economic outlook, as his confidence in an orderly departure from the European Union starts to fade. The Bank of England governor’s comments follow slow progress in the initial round of exit talks after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in June. Carney said that there’s only so much monetary policy can do as the central bank cut its forecasts for economic growth and wages.”

Global Bubble Watch:

August 4 – Bloomberg (Theophilos Argitis): “Canada’s labor market continued its stellar performance in July, with the jobless rate falling to the lowest since before the financial crisis. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, the lowest since October 2008, as the labor market added another 10,900 jobs during the month, Statistics Canada reported from Ottawa. The total increase over the past year of 387,600 is the biggest 12-month gain since 2007.”

August 2 – Bloomberg (Katia Dmitrieva and Erik Hertzberg): “Home prices in Canada’s largest city posted their biggest monthly drop in at least 17 years in July and sales plunged as government efforts to cool the market and the near-collapse of a mortgage lender made buyers leery. The benchmark Toronto property price, which tracks a typical home over time, dropped 4.6% to C$773,000 ($613,000) from June.”

Fixed Income Bubble Watch:

August 2 – Wall Street Journal (Paul J. Davies): “The last financial crisis cleared out an alphabet soup of complex credit products. One type, however, has returned in droves in recent years, although popularity is now threatening their viability. This product is collateralized loan obligations, or CLOs, which buy portfolios of risky, leveraged loans often used by private-equity firms in buyouts. In the U.S., new CLO volumes have outstripped pre-crisis totals since 2014, while Europe is catching up to its previous levels fast. But returns from the loans they buy are getting squeezed as money from retail and institutional investors rushes in alongside CLOs to snap up loans. That could bring CLOs to a painful halt again.”

Federal Reserve Watch:

July 30 – Financial Times (Lena Komileva): “The US Federal Reserve raised rates for the third time in six months in June, even though inflation had stayed below its 2% target for much of the past decade. Why? The justification lies with the return to ‘economic normalisation’ (a more normal US growth and credit cycle), a reflationary global environment and easy financial conditions all combining to banish the extreme ‘tail risks’ of a deflationary slump that followed the financial crisis. Yet markets have been reluctant to heed the call of a return to more normal monetary conditions. Having lagged behind the Fed’s rate tightening and the discussion on shrinking its balance sheet this year, investors are still uncertain about the chances of another — well telegraphed — rate rise this year. A less than 40% probability is attached to this in the fed fund futures market. “

August 2 – Reuters (Richard Leong and Jonathan Spicer): “St. Louis Federal Reserve James Bullard is opposed to further U.S. interest rate increases by the central bank and warned that more hikes could hinder domestic inflation from achieving the Fed's 2-% goal… ‘Given the inflation outlook, which has deteriorated in 2017, I would not support further moves in the near term,’ Bullard told Market News… ‘It's possible data will turn around, but we'll have to see. I think for now we should remain on pause.’”

August 2 – Bloomberg (Christopher Condon): “Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester is keeping the faith that weak inflation will bounce back, even as she lowers her estimate for where unemployment begins to trigger higher prices. ‘My suspicion is it’s the idiosyncratic factors, it’s transitory and that the factors pushing down inflation are going to dissipate over time,’ Mester told reporters… ‘I still have a forecast for a gradual increase in inflation back to 2% over time.’”

August 2 – Wall Street Journal (Nick Timiraos): “Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said increasingly tight labor markets should keep the U.S. central bank on its path to gradually raise rates and start slowly shrinking its portfolio of bonds and other assets, despite a surprising pause in inflation pressures this spring. In an interview, Mr. Rosengren said he sees ‘some reasonable risk’ that the unemployment rate drops below 4% in the next two years. ‘In my own view, that would not be sustainable,’ he said.”

U.S. Bubble Watch:

August 1 – CNBC (Diana Olick): “Home price gains are accelerating again, and in some cities those values are overheating. Four of the nation's largest cities are now considered overvalued, according to CoreLogic. Home prices in Denver, Houston, Miami and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area now exceed sustainable levels. To determine if a market is overvalued, CoreLogic compares current prices to their long-run, sustainable levels, which are supported by local economic fundamentals like disposable income… ‘With no end to the escalation in sight, affordability is rapidly deteriorating nationally,’ said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.”

August 1 – Wall Street Journal (Sarah Krouse): “The fortunes of Wall Street’s cheapest and priciest funds are diverging fast. Exchange-traded funds held $1 trillion more in investor money than hedge funds globally for the first time ever at the end of June… Assets in ETFs, which trade on exchanges like stocks, first surpassed the amount of money in hedge funds two years ago and have continued to swell. Market-mimicking funds like ETFs have been helped by fresh market highs… Those gains have prodded investors already losing faith in star stock and bond pickers to plow even more money into the ultra low-cost funds.”

July 31 – CNBC (Fred Imbert): “Investors may be in for disappointing market returns in the decade to come with valuations at levels this high, if history is any indication. Analysts at Goldman Sachs Asset Management pointed out that annualized returns on the S&P 500 10 years out were in the single digits or negative 99% of the time when starting with valuations at current levels. In a chart, they point out that the S&P's cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (CAPE) is currently around its highest historical levels. CAPE is a widely followed valuation metric developed by Nobel Prize winners John Campbell and Robert Shiller.”

August 1 – CNBC (Tae Kim): “Mutual funds are piling into technology stocks to a record level, according to… Bank of America Merrill Lynch. But the overweighting may not be bullish for the sector going forward. In July ‘large cap active managers have yet again increased their positioning in tech, setting another record overweight of 25% (+5.8 percentage points) relative to the benchmark,’ strategist Savita Subramanian wrote… ‘This record overweight has helped managers beat their benchmarks so far this year, as tech continues to outperform all other sectors.’”

August 1 – Reuters (Joseph White and Paul Lienert): “U.S. carmakers said… they continued to slash low-margin sales to daily rental fleets in July as the overall pace of U.S. car and light truck sales fell for the fifth straight month. The annualized pace of U.S. car and light truck sales in July fell to 16.73 million vehicles, down from 17.8 million vehicles a year earlier…”

July 31 – Wall Street Journal (AnnaMaria Andriotis): “Credit-card losses are mounting, a reversal from a six-year trend that could be a warning sign for markets and the broader economy. The average net charge-off rate for large U.S. card issuers—the percentage of outstanding debt that issuers write off as a loss—increased to 3.29% in the second quarter, its highest level in four years, according to Fitch Ratings. The quarter was also the fifth consecutive period of year-over-year increases in the closely watched rate. All eight large issuers… had increases for the quarter.”

EM Bubble Watch:

August 2 – Wall Street Journal (Julie Wernau and Carolyn Cui): “Investors have been bracing for a Venezuela debt default for more than a year, but fallout from the country’s widely criticized election last weekend could prove to be the tipping point. The government and state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, also known as PdVSA, together owe $5 billion in principal and interest payments due between now and the end of the year… The country has $725 million due this month alone… The problem: Venezuela only has about $3 billion of its foreign reserves in cash, according to S&P Global Ratings. That means the country is dependent on oil exports to make up the difference.”

July 31 – CNBC (Lucia Kassai, Laura Blewitt, and Nathan Crooks): “The specter of tighter U.S. sanctions is pushing up the perception that Venezuela is getting closer to defaulting on its bonds. Venezuela is awaiting possible further restrictions after the U.S., its largest trading partner, sanctioned President Nicolas Maduro after he held elections Sunday for a new assembly that will rewrite the constitution. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in announcing the measures, including freezing Maduro’s assets in the U.S., that additional sanctions were ‘on the table.’”

July 29 – Reuters (Girish Gupta): “In a portend of steepening inflation in crisis-stricken Venezuela, money supply surged 10% in just one week earlier this month, its largest single-week rise in a quarter of a century. Venezuela is undergoing a major economic crisis, with millions suffering food shortages, monthly wages worth only the tens of U.S. dollars, and soaring inflation…”

August 2 – Bloomberg (Jeanette Rodrigues): “Business conditions in India have deteriorated the most since the global financial crisis as the roll out of a nationwide sales tax disrupted supply and distribution links just months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cash ban roiled markets. The Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index fell to 46 in July from 52.7 in June, the steepest drop since March 2009… Activity in the key services sector plunged to 45.9 from 53.1 -- the lowest since September 2013 -- after data showed manufacturing slumped the most since 2009.”

Leveraged Speculation Watch:

August 3 – Bloomberg (Simone Foxman): “Billionaire Paul Singer is warning of a growing and menacing threat: passive investing. ‘Passive investing is in danger of devouring capitalism,’ Singer wrote... ‘What may have been a clever idea in its infancy has grown into a blob which is destructive to the growth-creating and consensus-building prospects of free market capitalism.’ Almost $500 billion flowed from active to passive funds in the first half of 2017. The founder of Elliott Management Corp. contends that passive strategies, which buy a variety of securities to match the overall performance of an index, aren’t truly ‘investing’ and that index fund providers don’t have incentive to push companies to change for the better and create shareholder value.”

August 3 – Bloomberg (Nishant Kumar, Javier Blas, and Suzy Waite): “If an oil trader so good that he was known as “God” can’t win in today’s markets, it’s hard to imagine who can. Andy Hall is closing down his main hedge fund after big losses in the first half of the year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. His flagship Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II lost almost 30% through June… The capitulation of one of the best-known figures in the commodities industry comes after muted oil prices wrong-footed traders from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to BP Plc’s in-house trading unit.”

August 1 – Bloomberg (Nishant Kumar and Suzy Waite): “Europe is on a mini-streak with hedge-fund investors as the prospect of faster economic growth and fading political risk help restore confidence in the region. Money pools investing across Europe attracted additional capital for the second straight month in June, following a 12-month stretch in which almost $16 billion was pulled out, according to… eVestment. The continent’s success contrasts with Asia and the U.S., where investors have pulled money from hedge funds.”

August 1 – Bloomberg (Saijel Kishan): “Paul Tudor Jones’ investors are increasingly deserting him. The billionaire macro manager who helped give rise to the hedge fund industry saw clients pull about 15% of their assets from his main fund in the second quarter… That’s left client assets at about $3.6 billion, almost half the value a year ago. The withdrawals are a blow to Jones… and exemplify the asset bleed hurting the biggest names in the business, including Alan Howard and John Paulson… Macro hedge funds have posted their worst first half since 2013, losing 0.7%, and on average returned about 1% annually in the past five years, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.”

Geopolitical Watch:

July 31 – Reuters (Philip Wen and Ben Blanchard): “China loves peace but will never compromise on defending its sovereignty, President Xi Jinping said… while marking 90 years since the founding of the People's Liberation Army. China has rattled nerves around Asia and globally with its increasingly assertive stance in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and an ambitious military modernization plan. Relations with self-ruled Taiwan have also worsened since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections there last year. China considers Taiwan a wayward province, to be brought under Beijing's control by force if necessary.”

August 2 – Financial Times (Emily Feng and Leo Lewis): “Xi Jinping has warned that China will not tolerate any infringement of its sovereignty or territory, in a speech delivered as the country finds itself embroiled in several territorial disputes with neighbours. ‘We will never seek aggression or expansion but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions,’ the Chinese president said in an hour-long speech on the 90th anniversary of the founding of the country’s army. ‘We will never allow any people, organisation or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country.’ His comments came as Japan mounted a formal diplomatic protest to demand that China stop its renewed drilling operations in the East China Sea.”

August 4 – Associated Press: “Beijing is intensifying its warnings to Indian troops to get out of a contested region high in the Himalayas where China, India and Bhutan meet, saying China's ‘restraint has its limits’ and publicizing live-fire drills in Tibet. Indian troops entered the area in the Doklam Plateau in June after New Delhi's ally, Bhutan, complained a Chinese military construction party was building a road inside Bhutan's territory.”

July 31 – Reuters (Ben Blanchard and Elias Glenn): “China hit back on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he was ‘very disappointed’ in China following North Korea's latest missile test, saying the problem did not arise in China and that all sides need to work for a solution. China has become increasingly frustrated with American and Japanese criticism that it should do more to rein in Pyongyang. China is North Korea's closest ally, but Beijing, too, is angry with its continued nuclear and missile tests.”

July 29 – Reuters (James Pearson and Michelle Nichols): “The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said China, Japan and South Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang's latest missile tests. North Korea said it conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) on Friday that proved its ability to strike America's mainland, drawing a sharp warning from U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said… that the United States was ‘done talking’ about North Korea, which was ‘not only a U.S. problem.’”

July 29 – Reuters (Babak Dehghanpisheh): “The Iranian Revolutionary Guards said… that U.S. Navy ships came close to their vessels in the Gulf and shot flares. The USS Nimitz and an accompanying warship drew close to a rocket-bearing Iranian vessel on Friday and sent out a helicopter near a number of Guards vessels… ‘The Americans made a provocative and unprofessional move by issuing a warning and shooting flares at vessels ...,’ the statement said. ‘Islam’s warriors, without paying attention to this unconventional and unusual behaviour from the American vessels, continued their mission in the area and the aircraft carrier and accompanying battleship left the area.’”

July 31 – Wall Street Journal (Julian E. Barnes, Laurence Norman and Felicia Schwartz): “The U.S. Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval, U.S. officials said, as Kiev battles Russia-backed separatists and ties between Moscow and Washington fray. American military officials and diplomats say the arms, which they characterized as defensive, are meant to deter aggressive actions by Moscow, which the U.S. and others say has provided tanks and other sophisticated armaments as well as military advisers to rebels fighting the Kiev government.”
          Weekly Commentary: Five Years of Whatever It Takes        
July 25 – Bloomberg (Paul Gordon and Carolynn Look): “Five years ago today, Mario Draghi was talking about bumblebees. The European Central Bank president’s speech in London on July 26, 2012, became instantly famous because of his pledge to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro. But for all the power and clarity of that phrase, he started his remarks more obliquely. ‘The euro is like a bumblebee. This is a mystery of nature because it shouldn’t fly but instead it does. So the euro was a bumblebee that flew very well for several years. And now -- and I think people ask ‘how come?’-- probably there was something in the atmosphere, in the air, that made the bumblebee fly. Now something must have changed in the air, and we know what after the financial crisis.’ At the time, the currency bloc was being buffeted by soaring bond yields in peripheral nations as speculators bet the union’s fundamental flaws would rip it apart. Draghi’s answer was to state unequivocally that the immediate crisis fell under the ECB’s responsibility and he would deal with it. ‘The ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.’ That pledge was followed by a program to buy the debt of stressed countries in return for structural reforms, and in that respect the words alone proved to be enough. Yield spreads collapsed even though the program has never been tapped.”

This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.

Keep in mind that while “whatever it takes” first radiated from Draghi’s lips, markets soon surmised that the ECB president was speaking on behalf of the cadre of leading global central bankers. After all, ECB (desperate) measures were followed promptly by the return of QE by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the Swiss National Bank and others. It’s worth mentioning that the Fed’s balance sheet totaled about $2.8 TN in July 2012, only to rise to $4.4 TN by September 2014. Amazingly, Bank of Japan assets have expanded about three-fold since 2012 to approach $5.0 TN.

Going back to 2002, the burst “tech” Bubble was evolving into a full-fledged U.S. corporate debt crisis. Back then Fed governor Bernanke’s talk of “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” profoundly altered market dynamics. It may not have at the time been loud and clear. But putting markets on notice that the Fed was contemplating extraordinary reflationary measures was a far-reaching development for corporate debt. Facing a liquidity crisis in 2002, Ford bonds had become a popular short in the marketplace. Almost single-handedly, Dr. Bernanke’s speeches proved a catalyst for the speculating community reversing the Ford (and corporate debt) bond short - and then going long. The impact on general market liquidity was profound. And with the corporate debt crisis resolved there was nothing to hold back the burgeoning mortgage finance Bubble.

What “Helicopter Ben” accomplished with U.S. corporate bonds, “Super Mario” surpassed with Trillions of European sovereign, corporate and financial debt. Italian bond yields ended 2012 at 4.5%, down 210 bps from July highs. Spain’s 10-yields declined about 250 bps to 5.00% in less than six months. “Whatever it takes” almost immediately transformed Italian and Spanish debt from favored shorts to about the most enticing speculative long securities anywhere in the world.

Draghi’s utterance ‘The ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough,’ was a direct declaration to speculators with short positions in the euro currency, along with shorts in Italian, Spanish and periphery debt. Immediately Cover Your Shorts and Go Long. Five years on, Italian yields hover around 2.10% and Spanish yields sit at about 1.50% - emblematic of arguably one of history’s most spectacular securities market mispricings. European bank stocks have gained better than 50%. Draghi not only bloodied the shorts, be ensured spectacular profits for those levered long European debt – and the riskier the Credit the greater the reward.

Central bankers should not be in the business of playing favorites in the markets. So how did it get to the point where they seek to incentivize longs (levered and otherwise) while routinely punishing the shorts? Because central bankers followed the Bernanke Fed into a policy course of using rising securities and asset prices as a reflationary mechanism for the overall economy. As we’ve witnessed now for going on a decade, that’s a slippery slope. Adopt pro-Bubble policies and there will be no turning back. Inflate an epic Bubble and you own it for the duration.

“The euro is like a bumblebee. This is a mystery of nature because it shouldn’t fly but instead it does.” The euro flew and it soared incredibly high, trading above 1.50 to the dollar in early-2008. As fundamentally flawed as the euro monetary experiment has been, it has been buoyed by the fundamentally weaker dollar. The euro flew on the back of highly speculative flows, much of it flowing from an overcharged U.S. Credit system.  U.S. monetary policy had been too loose for too long. Unstable finance has been nurtured for what seems like an eternity. The U.S. exported its Credit Bubble to the world.

Going all the way back to the late-nineties, Italy and the European periphery were a leveraged speculator community darling. Indeed, the Euro Convergence Trade granted huge profits to the hedge fund community. The egregious amounts of leverage employed (directly and through derivatives) was illuminated with the 1998 implosion of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM).

The LTCM fiasco contributed to an 18-month bear market that saw the euro trade down to 0.87 vs. the dollar in early 2002. With Dr. Bernanke and his radical theories on reflationary policymaking arriving on the scene in 2002, it’s no coincidence that the euro then embarked on a multiyear rally. The euro traded up to 1.00 late in 2002, 1.20 in 2003, 1.35 in 2004, 1.45 in 2007 and 1.58 in 2008. It’s furthermore no coincidence that Italian bond prices tracked the euro higher. After trading at 5.5% in the first-half of 2002, Italian yields dropped to 3.22% by October 2005. Greek bonds followed an almost identical trajectory, as both already highly-indebted nations took full advantage of the market’s insatiable demand for European peripheral debt.

Draghi has lately grown accustomed to patting himself on the back. He saved the euro. He saved Europe’s big banks. He kept Greece and Italy in the euro currency. His policies have spurred European economic recovery. But Draghi and global central bankers also inflated history’s greatest speculative Bubble. Celebration will be in order only if policies can be normalized without the whole thing coming crashing down.

July 25 – BloombergBusinessweek (Jana Randow): “Euro-area governments have saved almost 1 trillion euros ($1.16 trillion) in interest payments since 2008 as record-low European Central Bank rates depress bond yields at a time when state treasurers are also reducing debt. That’s according to calculations by Germany’s Bundesbank, which is urging finance ministers in the 19-nation region to make provisions for when interest rates start to rise. Italy, the world’s third-most indebted country, has benefited most, with savings exceeding 10% of gross domestic product.”

Italy has been the biggest beneficiary of collapsing market yields. The problem is that its debt load still expanded to a distressing 130% of GDP. Italy remains only a jump in yields away from trouble, and I suspect this helps explain why Draghi has been so reticent to pull back on the stimulus throttle. After trading below 1.90% in mid-June, Italian yields surged to 2.33% earlier this month as markets began to contemplate global central bankers moving toward concerted normalization.

The FOMC this week confirmed the dovishness of Yellen’s testimony before congress. Apparently, over the past month Fed rate “normalization” has been scaled back to perhaps one more hike this year – and that could be about it. And I just don’t buy the Fed’s recent fixation on below target inflation (GSCI Commodities Index up 4.2% this week on further dollar weakness!).

Something has raised concerns at the FOMC. Could it be European debt markets, with ECB stimulus to be significantly reduced in the months ahead. Or perhaps it’s China and Beijing's determination to rein in some financial excess. EM and all their dollar-denominated debt? Maybe a dysfunctional Washington has supplanted international developments on the worry list – or, understandably, it could be a combination of things.

At least for the week, global markets lost a bit of their recent swagger. While Boeing helped push the Dow to yet another record high, the S&P500 ended the week little changed. The broader market underperformed. The highflying technology stocks were unimpressive in the face of generally robust earnings. The VIX rose to 10.29, with some volatility beginning to seep into stock trading. Commodities caught a big bid, while bond yields began moving north again. The currencies remain unsettled.

Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.


For the Week:

The S&P500 was about unchanged (up 10.4% y-t-d), while the Dow jumped 1.2% (up 10.5%). The Utilities slipped 0.3% (up 8.4%). The Banks added 0.5% (up 3.7%), and the Broker/Dealers rose 1.0% (up 14.0%). The Transports dropped 2.6% (up 2.0%). The S&P 400 Midcaps declined 0.7% (up 6.1%), and the small cap Russell 2000 dipped 0.5% (up 5.3%). The Nasdaq100 slipped 0.2% (up 21.5%), and the Morgan Stanley High Tech index fell 0.8% (up 25.5%). The Semiconductors dropped 1.3% (up 20.6%). The Biotechs declined 1.0% (up 29.7%). With bullion up $15, the HUI gold index rallied 2.3% (up 7.7%).

Three-month Treasury bill rates ended the week at 106 bps. Two-year government yields added a basis point to 1.35% (up 16bps y-t-d). Five-year T-note yields increased three bps to 1.83% (down 9bps). Ten-year Treasury yields rose five bps to 2.29% (down 16bps). Long bond yields jumped nine bps to 2.90% (down 17bps).

Greek 10-year yields rose 11 bps to 5.33% (down 170bps y-t-d). Ten-year Portuguese yields added two bps to 2.93% (down 82bps). Italian 10-year yields gained five bps to 2.12% (up 31bps). Spain's 10-year yields rose seven bps to 1.53% (up 15bps). German bund yields increased four bps to 0.54% (up 34bps). French yields rose five bps to 0.81% (up 13bps). The French to German 10-year bond spread widened one to 27 bps. U.K. 10-year gilt yields gained four bps to 1.22% (down 2bps). U.K.'s FTSE equities index fell 1.1% (up 3.2%).

Japan's Nikkei 225 equities index declined 0.7% (up 4.4% y-t-d). Japanese 10-year "JGB" yields added a basis point to 0.08% (up 4bps). France's CAC40 gained 0.3% (up 5.5%). The German DAX equities index declined 0.6% (up 5.9%). Spain's IBEX 35 equities index rallied 1.1% (up 12.7%). Italy's FTSE MIB index rose 1.1% (up 11.4%). EM equities were mixed. Brazil's Bovespa index gained 1.3% (up 8.7%), while Mexico's Bolsa declined 0.7% (up 12.2%). South Korea's Kospi sank 2.0% (up 18.5%). India’s Sensex equities index added 0.9% (up 21.3%). China’s Shanghai Exchange increased 0.5% (up 4.8%). Turkey's Borsa Istanbul National 100 index rose 0.8% (up 37.8%). Russia's MICEX equities index slipped 0.4% (down 14.2%).

Junk bond mutual funds saw outflows of $21 million (from Lipper).

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed mortgage rates declined four bps to 3.92% (up 44bps y-o-y). Fifteen-year rates slipped three bps to 3.20% (up 42bps). The five-year hybrid ARM rate fell three bps to 3.18% (up 40bps). Bankrate's survey of jumbo mortgage borrowing costs had 30-yr fixed rates up five bps to 4.11% (up 42bps).

Federal Reserve Credit last week declined $5.1bn to $4.435 TN. Over the past year, Fed Credit added $0.4bn. Fed Credit inflated $1.625 TN, or 58%, over the past 246 weeks. Elsewhere, Fed holdings for foreign owners of Treasury, Agency Debt rose $6.0bn last week to $3.325 TN. "Custody holdings" were up $105bn y-o-y, or 3.3%.

M2 (narrow) "money" supply last week gained $6.0bn to a record $13.608 TN. "Narrow money" expanded $740bn, or 5.8%, over the past year. For the week, Currency increased $2.7bn. Total Checkable Deposits dropped $50.2bn, while Savings Deposits jumped $52.1bn. Small Time Deposits added $1.3bn. Retail Money Funds were little changed.

Total money market fund assets jumped $23.28bn to $2.640 TN. Money Funds fell $75bn y-o-y (2.8%).

Total Commercial Paper gained $7.4bn to $978bn. CP declined $49bn y-o-y, or 4.7%.

Currency Watch:

The U.S. dollar index declined 0.6% to 93.26 (down 8.9% y-t-d). For the week on the upside, the Swedish krona increased 1.5%, the Norwegian krone 1.3%, the British pound 1.1%, the Australian dollar 0.9%, the Canadian dollar 0.9%, the New Zealand dollar 0.8%, the euro 0.8%, the Singapore dollar 0.4%, the Japanese yen 0.4% and the Brazilian real 0.4%. On the downside, the Swiss franc declined 2.4%, the South African rand 0.8%, the Mexican peso 0.7% and the South Korean won 0.3%. The Chinese renminbi gained 0.44% versus the dollar this week (up 3.09% y-t-d).

Commodities Watch:

The Goldman Sachs Commodities Index jumped 4.2% (down 3.0% y-t-d). Spot Gold gained 1.2% to $1,270 (up 10.2%). Silver rose 1.4% to $16.695 (up 4.5%). Crude surged $3.94 to $49.71 (down 8%). Gasoline surged 7.2% (unchanged), while Natural Gas declined 1.0% (down 21%). Copper jumped 5.6% (up 15%). Wheat dropped 3.7% (up 18%). Corn fell 1.4% (up 10%).

Trump Administration Watch:

July 27 – Bloomberg (Sahil Kapur and Erik Wasson): “The House is set to leave for its August recess without having taken the first essential step to overhauling the U.S. tax code: agreeing on a 2018 budget resolution. Disputes among House Republicans over spending levels and the controversial border-adjusted tax proposal are preventing Speaker Paul Ryan from winning enough support to schedule a floor vote on the budget that a House panel approved last week. With House members planning to leave Washington Friday for a five-week recess, the lack of a budget is raising doubts that a tax rewrite -- one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities -- can get done this year, or even before the 2018 elections. ‘Clearly, no budget, no tax reform,’ said the House’s chief tax writer, Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican.”

July 25 – Bloomberg (Erik Wasson and Roxana Tiron): “House Republicans this week are increasing the possibility of a government shutdown in October by moving forward with a $788 billion spending bill that complies with President Donald Trump’s demands to boost the military, reduce clean-energy programs and fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Those priorities, especially $1.6 billion in wall funding, guarantee House and Senate Democratic leaders will oppose the bill. Trump has urged his Republican supporters in Congress to fight, saying in May that a ‘good’ shutdown may be needed to advance his agenda. Republicans are trying to demonstrate unity after months of division over major legislation, including a repeal of Obamacare.”

July 24 – Bloomberg (Alex Harris): “The Treasury Department got a clear message from investors that they’re starting to get concerned another showdown over the U.S. debt ceiling may get ugly. The government’s auction Monday of $39 billion of three-month bills attracted the lowest demand of any other sale of the securities since June 2009. The bills, which mature around when the Treasury is estimated to run out of money unless lawmakers agree to extend the statutory limit on the nation’s borrowing, were sold at a rate of 1.18%, the highest since October 2008.”

July 27 – Bloomberg (Margaret Talev): “White House chief strategist Steve Bannon supports paying for middle-class tax cuts with a new top rate of 44% for Americans who make more than $5 million a year, according to a person familiar… It’s unclear whether President Donald Trump would support the move, which would bring the top rate, currently 39.6%, to the highest level in 30 years. Trump has said he’s focused on tax changes that would help the middle class, but an analysis this month of the tax outline the White House released in April shows it would mostly benefit top earners.”

July 25 – Reuters (John Benny): “A final decision on a steel trade policy may have to wait until other top-priority issues on his agenda get addressed, U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal… The administration would take time in making a decision on whether to block steel imports… Trump had previously initiated a 'Section 232' review of the U.S. steel industry that allows for the imposition of tariffs or quotas on imports if they are found to threaten national security. The law, which has been used twice before - to investigate oil in 1999 and iron and steel in 2001 - allows the president to impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.”

China Bubble Watch:

July 23 – New York Times (Keith Bradsher and Sui-Lee Wee): “Let the West worry about so-called black swans, rare and unexpected events that can upset financial markets. China is more concerned about ‘gray rhinos’ — large and visible problems in the economy that are ignored until they start moving fast. The rhinos are a herd of Chinese tycoons who have used a combination of political connections and raw ambition to create sprawling global conglomerates. Companies like Anbang Insurance Group, Fosun International, HNA Group and Dalian Wanda Group have feasted on cheap debt provided by state banks, spending lavishly to build their empires. Such players are now so big, so complex, so indebted and so enmeshed in the economy that the Chinese government is abruptly bringing them to heel. President Xi Jinping recently warned that financial stability is crucial to national security, while the official newspaper of the Communist Party pointed to the dangers of a ‘gray rhinoceros,’ without naming specific companies.”

July 24 – New York Times (David Barboza): “The acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group moved to allay concerns about its ownership structure… by releasing a statement showing that its biggest shareholder had recently shifted from a mysterious businessman to a foundation it set up in New York. The company said that its largest shareholder, a private businessman in China named Guan Jun, had recently donated his 30% stake in the company to HNA’s charitable organization, the Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation. Combined with the 22.8% stake held by HNA’s sister charity in China, HNA says it is now 52% owned by the Cihang foundations.”

July 23 – Bloomberg: “Several Chinese banks that helped fund HNA Group Co.’s global acquisition spree are losing their appetite for financing the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Three of the banks have decided to stop extending new loans to HNA, said the people… One made the decision early this year, the second acted a couple of months ago and the third moved recently, the people said. A fourth bank trimmed its exposure to the company over the past few months and reduced the size of a credit line, one of the people said, without providing further details.”

July 25 – Bloomberg (Laurence Arnold and Prudence Ho): “For a company regularly in the news for its frequent and wide-ranging acquisitions, China’s HNA Group Co. remains shrouded in mystery. Chinese and American government officials are seeking more information about the company’s ownership -- though for very different reasons -- and the European Central Bank may open a review of its own. Once a little-known airline operator, the company took on billions of dollars in debt as it made more than $40 billion of acquisitions over six continents since the start of 2016. With interests in tourism, logistics and financial services, it’s now the biggest shareholder of such well-known names as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG.”

July 23 – Wall Street Journal (Lingling Wei and Chao Deng): “China’s government reined in one of its brashest conglomerates with the approval of President Xi Jinping, according to people with knowledge of the action—a mark that the broader government clampdown on large private companies comes right from the top of China’s leadership. The measures, with President Xi’s previously unreported approval last month, bar state-owned banks from making new loans to property giant Dalian Wanda Group to help fuel its foreign expansion. The cutoff in bank financing for the company’s foreign investments highlights Beijing’s changing view of a series of Wanda’s recent overseas acquisitions as irrational and overpriced, these people say.”

July 22 – New York Times (Paul Mozur and Carolyn Zhang): “Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with more than two billion users. LinkedIn was sold to Microsoft for $26 billion last year. And Apple is Apple, the most valuable company in the world. In most local markets, it would be a surprise if any one of these companies were floundering. But in China, the real shock is that their troubles no longer surprise anyone. Just in the past few weeks, Facebook had one of its most popular apps blocked by the Chinese government. LinkedIn… had its local boss step down amid tepid results in the country. And Apple announced a billion-dollar investment to comply with local law as it continued to watch Chinese demand for its iPhones fade. This summer of challenge for the three companies offers a broad illustration of just how varied the obstacles have become for foreign companies in China. They also show in stark terms why this vast market has been frustratingly difficult for outsiders.”

July 25 – Reuters (Ryan Woo, Kevin Yao and Stella Qiu): “All major Chinese enterprises owned by the central government will be turned into limited liability companies or joint-stock firms by the end of the year as part of reforms aimed at overhauling their unwieldy structures. Beijing is trying to revive China's bloated state-owned sector and create ‘bigger and stronger’ conglomerates capable of competing on the global stage. Restructuring state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will separate government administration from management of day-to-day business operations, one step toward greater efficiency.”

Europe Watch:

July 27 – Bloomberg (Alessandro Speciale): “Germany’s grip over the euro area’s financial institutions is getting firmer. With the reappointment… of Werner Hoyer as president of the European Investment Bank, Germany’s hold over three key roles for the region’s economy was reaffirmed. A fourth one -- by far the most important -- could follow. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is a frequently mentioned candidate to replace Italy’s Mario Draghi when his term as European Central Bank’s president runs out in October 2019… Further complicating the succession talks will be the large number of European posts coming up for grabs in the next two years, as well as French President’s Emmanuel Macron stated intention of creating a euro-area finance minister.”

July 24 Financial Times (Michael Hunter): “Could zombies be keeping Mario Draghi awake at night? Investors remain highly sensitive to the outlook for the start of the reduction, or tapering, of the European Central Bank’s €60bn monthly stimulus spending. As the scrutiny of the ECB president’s every utterance continues, there is some eye-catching analysis from Bank of America Merrill Lynch on what could be an important factor in his thinking on tapering. It points toward so-called ‘zombie’ companies, or those that depend on ultra-loose monetary policy for credit provision. ‘Although corporate leverage has helpfully declined over the last few years, we still find that 9% of firms have very weak interest coverage metrics in Europe,’ says the bank’s Barnaby Martin, credit strategist. The research defines a zombie company as one with an interest coverage ratio ‘at or below 1 times’ earnings.”

July 25 – Reuters (Paul Carrel and Irene Preisinger): “German business morale hit a record high in July as ‘euphoric’ manufacturers, shrugging off the impact of a strong euro, anticipated a surge in already robust exports from Europe's biggest economy. The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said… its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, hit its third record high in as many months with a rise to 116.0 from 115.2 in June.”

Central Bank Watch:

July 24 – Bloomberg (Tanvir Sandhu): “The European Central Bank has given the green light to summer carry trades as volatility remains contained and the policy meetings in September and October are likely reserved to outline further details on quantitative easing, buying more time for carry, Bloomberg strategist Tanvir Sandhu writes. Italian bonds offer one of the most attractive carry and rolldown across European government bonds, with the five-year bucket three-month carry and roll at 16 bps and one-year at 70 bps. That compares with one-year of 30 bps for 10-year bunds and 42 bps for bonos. Given that carry trades are implicitly short volatility, two-year Italy stands out as the most attractive on a vol-adjusted basis. Since earning the full carry and rolldown assumes an unchanged yield curve, adjusting for volatility will provide a more realistic indicator of profitability.”

Global Bubble Watch:

July 22 – Financial Times (Chris Flood): “Vanguard is closing in on BlackRock’s title as the world’s largest asset manager after pulling in more than $1bn a day of investor money since the start of the year. The two heavyweights of the investment industry are attracting unprecedented inflows into their low-cost exchange traded funds amid rising investor dissatisfaction with the high fees and poor performance of active managers that strive to beat the market. Investors ploughed $215bn into Vanguard’s funds in the first six months of the year, far outpacing new business growth for BlackRock, which pulled in $168bn over the same period.”

July 26 – Financial Times (Eric Platt): “Investor enthusiasm for corporate debt has neared levels not seen since before the start of the credit crisis, in a deepening endorsement of a global economic recovery that has already propelled US stock markets to record heights. In several parts of the US bond markets, companies are now able to raise money at a lower cost, relative to government bonds, than they have for the past decade… ‘This is a continuation of this hunt for yield that you have seen for the last couple of years,’ said Brian Kennedy, a portfolio manager with Loomis Sayles. ‘Between the economic backdrop, lack of yield around the world and the buyers out of Asia and Europe, the investment grade and high-yield markets are the sweet spots for people who want yield.’”

July 23 – Financial Times (Laura Noonan): “The men running two of Wall Street’s biggest banks saw the value of their shareholdings rise by a combined $314m in 2016 as stock market prices rocketed in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as US president. But while Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein each enjoyed $150m-plus rises in the value of their stock and options in JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, respectively, the average gains for the other 18 best-paid chief executives at international banks last year was $4m.”

July 25 – Reuters (Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Anna Irrera): “Wall Street's main regulator said on Tuesday that initial coin offerings (ICOs), a means of crowdfunding for blockchain technology companies, should be subject to the same safeguards required in traditional securities sales. ICOs have become a bonanza for digital currency entrepreneurs, allowing them to raise millions quickly by creating and selling digital ‘tokens’ with no regulatory oversight. But the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that the tokens can be considered securities, and therefore, may need to be registered unless a valid exemption applies.”

Fixed Income Bubble Watch:

July 23 – Financial Times (Attracta Mooney): “Investors piled more than $355bn into bond funds in the first five months of 2017 despite concerns that the fixed-income market is set for an unprecedented shake-up as central banks shift towards normalising monetary policy. The surge of money has put fixed-income funds on course to beat 2016’s full-year inflows of $375bn… The net inflows are already larger than the amount of money invested in fixed income funds over the entire 2013 and 2015. The biggest winners this year include Pimco’s income fund, T Rowe Price’s new income fund that invests in US bonds, and a Vanguard index fund investing in global fixed income. These products have had inflows of between $4bn and $27bn since the start of the year.”

July 23 – Financial Times (Attracta Mooney): “Bob Michele, a bond fund veteran, is more worried than he has ever been. The head of global fixed income at JPMorgan Asset Management, the US fund house, has spent almost four decades investing in bonds. The 57-year-old… is gearing up for the most demanding period of his career. ‘The next 18 months are going to be incredibly challenging. I am not an equity investor, but I can just imagine how equity investors felt in 1999, during the dotcom bubble,’ he says… The Nasdaq Composite, the index, lost 78% of its value in the 18 months after the tech bubble collapsed. Mr Michele, like many fixed-income investors, is acutely worried about how central banks’ retreat from monetary easing will affect the bond market.”

Federal Reserve Watch:

July 25 – Wall Street Journal (Kate Davidson): “President Donald Trump is considering renominating Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chairwoman but also views his economic adviser Gary Cohn as a top candidate, he told The Wall Street Journal… Mr. Trump reiterated that he thinks Ms. Yellen is doing a good job and he has ‘a lot of respect for her,’ and said she is still in the running to serve a second four-year term as leader of the central bank. But he said he also is considering replacing Ms. Yellen with Mr. Cohn, who became Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council director after a 26-year career at Goldman Sachs…”

July 23 – Reuters (Marius Zaharia): “In September 2015, the U.S. Federal Reserve cited risks from China as a key reason for delaying its first interest rate hike in a decade. A wall of Chinese debt maturing in the next few years could jolt the country back into the U.S. central bank's policy deliberations. Two years ago, it was a collapse in Chinese stocks, a surprise yuan devaluation and shrinking foreign exchange reserves that roiled financial markets that delayed the Fed, but it did raise rates three months later and has tightened further since. Now, some see risks emerging in China's dollar-denominated bonds that could give the Fed greater pause for thought as it raises rates, even as other central banks signal a shift from ultra-easy policy. To be sure, Fed officials have not publicly flagged China's debt as a major risk in their policy discussions. However, debt analysts point to the possibility of another September 2015 moment in which the Fed takes its cues from concerns about China.”

July 23 – Financial Times (Gavyn Davies): “Janet Yellen, in an unusually ebullient mood, suggested last month that there may not be a repeat of the Global Financial Crash (GFC) ‘in our lifetimes’. Given the extreme severity of the GFC, that is perhaps a fairly easy hurdle for the central bankers to clear. As a result of the co-ordinated efforts of Basel III and the Financial Stability Board under Mark Carney, the fault lines in the pre-2008 financial architecture have been largely repaired. A more difficult question is whether the current phase of rising markets, which began in 2009, will end because financial asset prices implode under their own weight. There may not be a complete collapse of the entire financial system this time, but there could still be a very unpleasant bear market for investors to endure. It is clear from the latest Fed minutes that ‘a few’ members of the FOMC are more worried about the risk of financial instability than Chair Yellen, but even they seem reluctant to tighten monetary or prudential policy unless the Fed’s dual mandate, aimed at low inflation and maximum employment, is under threat.”

July 26 – Bloomberg (Craig Torres): “Federal Reserve officials said they would begin running off their $4.5 trillion balance sheet ‘relatively soon’ and left their benchmark policy rate unchanged as they assess progress toward their inflation goal. The start of balance-sheet normalization -- possibly as soon as September -- is another policy milestone in an economic recovery now in its ninth year. The Fed bought trillions of dollars of securities to lower long-term borrowing costs after cutting the main interest rate to zero in December 2008.”

U.S. Bubble Watch:

July 25 – Reuters (Lucia Mutikani): “U.S consumer confidence jumped to a near 16-year high in July amid optimism over the labor market while house prices maintained their upward trend in May, which could boost consumer spending after recent sluggishness… ‘This brightens the outlook for the economy as we enter the second half of the year,’ said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG... ‘We expect Fed officials will continue with their gradual pace of rate hikes secure in the knowledge that a confident consumer means that more spending is on the way.’”

July 26 – Bloomberg (Patricia Laya): “The U.S. housing market is stabilizing near 10-year highs, according to government data Wednesday that showed sales of new homes were slightly less than forecast. Single-family home sales increased 0.8% m/m to 610k annualized pace (est. 615k). Median sales price fell 3.4% y/y to $310,800. Supply of homes crept up to 5.4 months from 5.3 months; 272,000 new houses were on market at end of June.”

July 25 – Bloomberg (Patricia Laya): “Steady price gains in 20 U.S. cities in May indicate that a tight supply of properties paired with increased demand is boosting home values, according… S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller… 20-city property values index increased 5.7% y/y (est. 5.8%). National price gauge advanced 5.6% y/y. An shortage of listings is still behind the rapid appreciation of home prices, particularly in high-demand areas such as Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, where values have surpassed pre-recession peaks.”

July 27 – Wall Street Journal (Michael Wursthorn): “Wall Street brokerages are pushing customers to take out billions of dollars in loans backed by stocks and bonds, a trend that yields lucrative fees for the firms but poses risks for borrowers. Executives at Morgan Stanley earlier this month highlighted these loans to individuals as a big growth area and revenue driver, saying the loans helped expand the bank’s overall wealth lending by about $3.5 billion, or 6%, in the second quarter. On Thursday, Goldman Sachs… took a step toward growing its securities-based lending business through a new partnership with Fidelity Investments. For brokerages, these so-called securities-backed loans have become a reliable source of revenue in the years since the financial crisis as firms have begun moving away from a business model of charging commissions for trading to a system of fees based on assets under management.”

Japan Watch:

July 24 – Bloomberg (Andy Sharp): “Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba overtook scandal-hit Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the best person to lead Japan, an opinion poll showed… Ishiba was seen as the most appropriate choice for prime minister by 20.4% of respondents to the poll conducted by the Sankei newspaper and FNN TV network, while 19.7% picked Abe. In a similar survey in December, Ishiba’s 10.9% lagged behind the 34.5% who favored Abe.”

July 25 – Reuters (Tetsushi Kajimoto): “The two new members of the Bank of Japan's policy board said… that the central bank should continue efforts to achieve its 2% inflation goal and it was premature to debate an exit from its massive monetary stimulus. Goushi Kataoka, a 44-year-old former economist… and an advocate of massive money printing, said he wants to see the price goal achieved quickly although he cannot say when that can be. The other new board member, Hitoshi Suzuki, a 63-year-old former deputy president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ… said it was ‘dangerous’ to markets to debate an exit from the stimulus now.”

EM Bubble Watch:

July 24 – Bloomberg (Natasha Doff): “The rapid growth of a BlackRock Inc. exchange-traded fund that tracks emerging-market debt is causing jitters among investors. The iShares JP Morgan EM Local Government Bond ETF, ticker IEML, has doubled in size this year, mopping up more than $3 billion of inflows as investors reach for average yields as high as 4.72% in developing economies. The risk is that if the carry trade unwinds, as tends to happen eventually, investors could race for the exit all at once and send the fund tumbling.”

July 24 – Wall Street Journal (Carolyn Cui): “Venezuelan bond prices tumbled to their lowest levels of the year as default fears grew following U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose sanctions on the country. State-owned oil producer Petróleos de Venezuela SA’s bonds due in November fell 2.9% late in New York trading Monday and have tumbled 7.6% over the past six sessions, now at their lowest levels since December… The government’s bonds due in 2038 were down 10% during the period after falling 4.3% on Monday.”

Leveraged Speculation Watch:

July 26 – Bloomberg (Katia Porzecanski): “Paulson & Co., the investment firm that shot to fame betting on the collapse of the U.S. housing market, is closing its 2-year-old long-short equity fund in an effort to shift strategies after a steep drop in assets. ‘We are re-focusing the funds on our core areas of expertise in merger arbitrage and distressed credit, where our assets have been growing,’ founder John Paulson said in a letter to investors… ‘We thank the long-short team for their efforts on behalf of the company.’”

Geopolitical Watch:

July 26 – Bloomberg (Stepan Kravchenko): “Russia threatened to retaliate against new sanctions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, saying they made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump administration’s goal of improved relations. The measures push U.S.-Russia ties into uncharted territory and ‘don’t leave room for the normalization of relations’ in the foreseeable future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said… Hope ‘is dying’ for improved relations because the scale of ‘the anti-Russian consensus in Congress makes dialogue impossible and for a long time,’ Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said… Russia should prepare a response to the sanctions that’s ‘painful for the Americans,’ he said.”

July 25 – CNBC (Nyshka Chandran): “The rivalry between India and China is heating up as the heavyweight economies face territorial tensions on both land and sea. A fierce border standoff in Bhutan's Doklam region — triggered by a Chinese road construction project in a disputed area and a Bhutanese request for Indian help — is now entering its second month with soldiers from both sides engaged in skirmishes. But a new confrontation in the relationship is arising as New Delhi is growing concerned about a Chinese naval presence in its own backyard: the Indian Ocean. ‘As the [Doklam] crisis stretches on, China is likely to seek ways to pressure India, both on the border and elsewhere, and this will compound the cycle of competition that is already well underway,’ Shashank Joshi, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said…”

July 24 – South China Morning Post (David Barboza): “China… issued its strongest warning yet to India over their month-long border ­dispute, saying Beijing would ­protect its sovereignty ‘at all costs’. Observers believe that China's stepping up of its rhetoric, which came before a high-level security meeting that involves both Chinese and Indian security officials, gives Beijing more bargaining power in the talks with New Delhi. Defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian also said that China planned to strengthen its ‘targeted deployment and exercises’ along the disputed border, and that India should ‘have no ­illusions’ about its military's capabilities or commitment.”

July 24 – Reuters (Michael Martina and Matthew Tostevin): “China’s Foreign Ministry has urged a halt to oil drilling in a disputed part of the South China Sea, where Spanish oil company Repsol had been operating in cooperation with Vietnam. Drilling began in mid-June in Vietnam's Block 136/3… The block lies inside the U-shaped 'nine-dash line' that marks the vast area that China claims in the sea and overlaps what it says are its own oil concessions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, which China calls the Nansha islands, and jurisdiction over the relevant waters and seabed.”
          Indonesia - A Model For Post-Election Sri Lanka?        
| by Ruwantissa Abeyratne

( January 20, 2015, Montreal, Sri Lanka Guardian) At the end of 2014, The Economist identified three countries which conducted themselves as models of progress during the recent past: Uruguay which made gay marriages legal; Tunisia which conducted fair and just elections which led to its first step toward democracy; and Indonesia, which broke away from the shackles of military rule, and family favouritism and elected a common but decent and ethical man to the presidency through democratic elections. As it is, Sri Lanka should follow as the first progressive country which followed suit in 2015 with elections comparable with that of the Indonesian elections by breaking away from a norm which the voters decided was for the betterment of the country.

When I met an ambassador of Sri Lanka to a country in the Western World just a few years ago and asked how Sri Lanka was doing, his only response was, “the only problem is rampant corruption”.
As things are, the Indonesian example seems to be a desirable model for Sri Lanka. The Globe and Mail of 16 January 2014 says of the Indonesia of President Joko Widodo (popularly known as "Jokowi", a hard working businessman identified with the common man): "Indonesia is experiencing a burst of unprecedented economic and political optimism. The world’s fourth most populous country, with some 250 million people, is emerging as a powerhouse of Southeast Asia, at the dawn of an awakening that many compare to pre-boom China three decades ago. After decades of dictatorship and corruption, the country is quickly shifting course with the election of a political outsider that many think will usher in a new era of sustainable economic growth... corruption has been a problem for years, bleeding away state revenues that could have been used to build infrastructure and pay for services. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission has been making headway, and Jokowi even had his cabinet vetted; financial institutions were approached for financial records and several potential cabinet ministers were excluded. He’s appointed technocrats to key economic portfolios".

The journal Foreign Affairs, in its November/December 2014 issue published an interview with Jokowi. One of the questions asked was: " You’re the first Indonesian president with no ties to the Suharto regime. You represent a new generation. What does that say about Indonesia and about the kind of president you’ll be? Jokowi's answer was: "The fact that someone like me could become president shows that our democracy is maturing. We have a lively and independent media. We used social media in our campaign and had more than 3,000 groups of volunteers. This is a new political system. We are taking a human-centric approach to win the trust of the people.

It is heartening that this is what the new Sri Lankan regime is claiming to do.

The key words here are "human-centric approach to win the trust of the people".

The first step in this process is incontrovertibly the establishment of a free and independent media, where the people of the country will have access to transparency and the assurance of an incorruptible system of governance. In other words, unfettered freedom of speech. Jeff Jacob Lourie said: “It [freedom of speech] is bedevilled by the evil intent, ignorance, and stupidity of literally millions of people. But it is the greatest protection against tyranny that there is. Witness the fall of the dictatorships of Serbia, Argentina, Greece, and Chile. Even in free countries freedom of speech is not something that is automatic. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. That's not just a cliché. We must guard against the rich, the powerful, the crazies, the haters and the fanatics. We need to maintain everyone's right to free speech, but we cannot let lies and libel go unanswered. On the whole we have done a pretty good job here in the U.S.A. and not only in the obvious ways. I do not think it accidental that our contributions to the technology of freedom are so significant: telephones, television, railroads, automobiles, computers and the internet have all increased our ability to communicate freely”.

The next evil to be attacked should be corruption. The Venerable Walpola Piyananda, in his article Sri Lanka...Independent but not Yet Free published in the Sri Lanka Guardian of 1 February 2012 says inter alia, “As a nation and a people we have not yet won our freedom from egotistical self-centeredness, collective irresponsibility, pettiness, arrogance, and an unbridled lack of discipline… not a day passes without the exposure of another corrupt government official. Bribery, extortion, obstacles to progress removed or kept in place by greasing palms – all have become common in our society. Right livelihood is ignored as greed trumps integrity. Can these self-centered practices exist in a truly free society where selfless government officials work for the benefit of all the people?”

Those in power cannot just wash their hands off from this scourge, by saying they have no control over actions of their fellow countrymen. One must note that the state's inability to implement tight monitoring systems is not the only cause of corruption. For the most part corruption reigns in the absence of an integrated system of internal supervision in the public sector. Corruption has both corrosive and toxic effects on a society. The Rport on Human Development in South Asia 1999 concluded:

“Corruption is one of the most damaging consequences of poor governance. It undermines investment and economic growth, decreases the resources available for human development goals, deepens the extent of poverty, subverts the judicial system, and undermines the legitimacy of the state. In fact, when corruption becomes entrenched, it can devastate the entire economic, political, and social fabric of a country…corruption breeds corruption – and a failure to combat it effectively can lead to an era of entrenched corruption”.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, said in The Times of India: “To eradicate corruption we require individuals who are incorruptible and, undoubtedly, what produces such individuals is spirituality. There is a saying that violence begins in the mind. This is true also of corruption: corruption begins in the mind. If we can alter our thinking, we can safely say that we shall have eradicated corruption by at least 50%.

J.S.T. Quah, in a paper Curbing Corruption in Asia: A comparative study of six countries, published in 2003 stated that that in Asian countries three patterns of corruption control have been identified :


1. There are anti-corruption laws but no specific agency that implement those laws (Mongolia which has instituted the Law on Anti-Corruption and three provisions restricting bribery in the Criminal Code).

2. The combination of anti-corruption laws and several anti-corruption agencies (Philippines, China and India).

3. The impartial implementation of comprehensive anti-corruption laws by a specific anti-corruption agency (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea).

According to a study conducted in 2008 by Transparency International (TI), the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, Sri Lanka occupied the 92nd position among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2008. The study indicated that Sri Lanka’s score remained at a low 3.2, indicating a serious corruption problem in the public sector. Neighbouring countries except Bhutan, all scored below 3.5. Lack of transparency in political finance and poor parliamentary oversight were quoted as a key governance problem in Sri Lanka. Only India (3.4) and Sri Lanka are above a score of 3 with Maldives (2.8), Nepal (2.7), Pakistan (2.5) and Bangladesh (2.1) remaining with low scores. Analysts attributed India’s position to the implementation of the Right to Information Act.

Victor Ivan, a journalist did not mince his words when he said a few years ago: “The foundation of the political system of Sri Lanka is based on bribery or corruption. Power politics of Sri Lanka may be defined as the right to plunder public property. There is a competition among political parties to win that right for a limited period. The group that wins plunders public property to the maximum during its term of office. It distributes among its supporters some part of the wealth thus plundered. The system of institutions including the judiciary, also functions according to that inherent ideology. Such a system of institutions is required because of the necessity to pretend that the state is un-corrupt although the official ideology is corrupt. The system of institutions including the judiciary, which are built to counter bribery or corruption, also gives the necessary protection to the corrupt practices of the ruling party in power. At the same time, implementation of the law against the corrupt practices of the opponents of the ruling party helps to give the government an anti-corruption appearance”.

I can add my personal anecdote. When I met an ambassador of Sri Lanka to a country in the Western World just a few years ago and asked how Sri Lanka was doing, his only response was, “the only problem is rampant corruption”.

Perhaps it appropriate to conclude with the words of Jokowi to Foreign Affairs when he was asked how he was planning to implement his governance strategy for a better, uncorrupted Indonesia. He said: " I will work with everyone and talk to everyone".

Of course, those in power in Sri Lanka will have to watch the proven deceitful, disingenuous and self serving turncoats and spin doctors.

The author is a former United Nations official.



          R&AW led to Rajapaksa’s Defeat !        
Sri Lanka's growing proximity to China led to R&AW playing a pivotal role in helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa and putting up Sirisena as the joint opposition candidate.

( January 19, 2015, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Reports from Sri Lanka suggest that the Colombo chief of R&AW had a role to play in the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Sri Lanka 2015 presidential elections but New Delhi has denied the charge. India’s Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) Colombo station chief K. Ilango was transferred in the run-up to the presidential elections. It has been reported that Sri Lanka had him expelled, accusing him of helping the opposition oust the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa who ruled over the island nation for a decade.

Reports stated that the R&AW officer was expelled for helping gather support for joint opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisen. The Indian foreign ministry spokesman has denied the charges and stated there was no expulsion and that transfers were routine decisions. R&AW’s Colombo chief was recalled in December last year after India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s Colombo visit.

Last year Chinese warships docked in the Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), where China has invested $500 million. Sri Lanka had not intimated India about the granting of permission by Sri Lanka to China. Rajapaksa snuggled up to China to keep India at bay. The growing intimacy between China and the erstwhile Sri Lanka regime was discomforting for India and detrimental for its security situation, which it saw as betrayal of trust.

Apart from that Sri Lanka let off Pakistan’s consular officer in Colombo Amir Zubair Siddiqui who had formed a module to strike South India. His name had cropped up in the investigation after the arrest of one Sakir Hussain in Chennai. However, despite India’s requests, Rajapaksa let Siddiqui off.

Last time India meddled in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs in 1987 it ended up burning it s fingers.

Sri Lanka under newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena is apparently good news for India as a shift in the island nation’s foreign policy is evident. The new president, has said he will visit New Delhi on his first foreign trip next month and has said India is the “first, main concern” of his foreign policy.

History

The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of India's domestic and foreign policies, particularly the later. Working directly under the Prime Minister, it has over the years become and effective instrument of India's national power. In consonance with Kautilya's precepts, R&AW's espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars.

RAW, ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of R&AW operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine, (actually India Doctrine) Mrs. Gandhi specifically asked R&AW to create a powerful organ within the organization which could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes R&AW a more fearsome agency than its superior KGB, CIA, MI-6, BND and the Mossad.

Its internal role is confined only in monitoring events having bearing on the external threat. R&AW's boss works directly under the Prime Minister. An Additional Secretary to the Government of India, under the Director R&AW, is responsible for the Office of Special Operations (OSO), intelligence collected from different countries, internal security (under the Director General of Security), the electronic/technical section and general administration. The Additional Secretary as well as the Director General of Security is also under the Director of RAW. DG Security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB). The joint Director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries):

Area one. Pakistan: Area two, China and South East Asia: Area three, the Middle East and Africa: and Area four, other countries. Aviation Research Center (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of target country's communication systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircraft equipped with state-of- the art eavesdropping devices. ARC was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, the Gulf Stream-3. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC also controls a number of radar stations located close to India's borders. Its aircraft also carry out oblique reconnaissance, along the border with Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

RAW having been given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. R&AW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian Government.

R&AW" operations against the regional countries were conducted with great professional skill and expertise. Central to the operations was the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It used and targeted political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements within these states to foment subversion, terrorism and sabotage. Having thus created the conducive environments, R&AW stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, R&AW's hand remained hidden, but more often that not target countries soon began unearthing those "hidden hand". A brief expose of R&AW's operations in neighboring countries would reveal the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit India Doctrine ( Open Secrets. India's Intelligence Unveiled by M K Dhar. Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005).

Bangladesh

Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh since early 1960s. Its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib for quite some time. Sheikh Mujib went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as in 1968, RAW was given a green signal to begin mobilising all its resources for the impending surgical intervention in erstwhile East Pakistan. When in July 1971 General Manekshaw told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army would not be ready till December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to RAW for help. RAW was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW's role in its creation and training is now well-known. R&AW never concealed its Bangladesh operations.

Interested readers may have details in Asoka Raina's Inside R&AW: the story of India's secret service published by Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi.The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by R&AW in complicity with KGB under the covert clauses of Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (adopted as 25-year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972).

R&AW retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal MP, a close associate of Morarji Desai said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former Chief of RAW, and Shankaran Nair upset about Sheikh Mujib's assassination chalked a plot to kill General Ziaur Rahman. However, when Morarji Desai came into power in 1977 he was indignant at RAW's role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then RAW had already gone too far. General Zia continued to be in power for quite some time but he was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied her involvement in his assassination( Weekly Sunday,Calcutta,18 September, 1988).

RAW was involved in training of Chakma tribals and Shanti Bahini who carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It has also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations of use of Bangladesh territory by ISI, creation of dissension's among the political parties and religious sects, control of media, denial of river waters, and propping up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under a constant political and socio-economic pressure ( " R&AW and Bangladesh" by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, RAW In Bangladesh: Portrait of an Aggressive Intelligence, written and published by Abu Rushd, Dhaka).

Sikkim and Bhutan

Sikkim was the easiest and most docile prey for R&AW. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in mid-1970s, to be an integral part of India. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by RAW's agents until his death in 1992.

Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country, totally dependent on India. RAW has developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It has cultivated its agents amongst Nepalese settlers and is in a position to create difficulties for the Government of Bhutan. In fact, the King of Bhutan has been reduced to the position of merely acquiescing into New Delhi's decisions and go by its dictates in the international arena.

Sri Lanka

Post- independence Sri Lanka, inspire of having a multi-sectoral population was a peaceful country till 1971 and was following independent foreign policy. During 1971 Indo-Pakistan war despite of heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan's civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and sea ports with unhindered re-fueling facilities. It also had permitted Israel to establish a nominal presence of its intelligence training set up. It permitted the installation of high powered transmitter by Voice of America (VOA) on its territory, which was resented by India.

It was because of these 'irritants' in the Indo-Sri Lanka relations that Mrs Indira Gandhi planned to bring Sri Lanka into the fold of the so-called Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine) Kao was told by Gandhi to repeat their Bangladesh success. R&AW went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old RAW guerrillas trainers were dug out of retirement. R&AW began arming the Tamil Tigers and training them at centers such as Gunda and Gorakhpur. As a sequel to this ploy, Sri Lanka was forced into Indian power-web when Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and Indian Peace-Keeping-Force (IPKF) landed in Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of External Affairs was also upset at &AW's role in Sri Lanka as they felt that R&AW was still continuing negotiations with the Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakran in contravention to the Indian government's foreign policy. According to R Swaminathan, (former Special Secretary of R&AW) it was this outfit which was used as the intermediary between Rajib Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. The former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit even accused R&AW of having given Rs. five corore to the LTTE. At a later stage, R&AW built up the EPRLF and ENDLF to fight against the LTTE which turned the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.

Maldives

Under a well-orchestrated RAW plan, on November 30 1988 a 300 to 400-strong well trained force of mercenaries, armed with automatic weapons, initially said to be of unknown origin, infiltrated in boats and stormed the capital of Maldives. They resorted to indiscriminate shooting and took high-level government officials as hostages. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to shift to a safe place from where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

The Indian Prime Ministe Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1600 combat troops belonging to 50 Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian Naval units landed at Male under the code-name Operation Cactus. A number of IAF transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment and supplies. Within hours of landing, the Indian troops flushed out the attackers form the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian Naval units while trying to escape along with their hostages in a Maldivian ship, Progress Light. Most of the 30 hostages including Ahmed Majtaba, Maldives Minister of Transport, were released. The Indian Government announced the success of the Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.

The Indian Defense Minister while addressing IAF personnel at Bangalore claimed that the country's prestige has gone high because of the peace-keeping role played by the Indian forces in Maldives. The International Community in general and the South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicious the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The western media described it as a display of newly-acquired military muscle by India and its growing role as a regional police. Although the apparent identification of the two Maldivian nationals could be a sufficient reason, at its face value, to link it with the previous such attempts by the mercenaries, yet other converging factors, indicative of involvement of external hand, could hardly be ignored. Sailing of the mercenaries from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of IPKF, and the timing and speed of the Indian intervention proved their involvement beyond any doubt.

Nepal

Ever since the partition of the sub-continent India has been openly meddling in Nepal's internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through R&AW to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes which would be more amenable Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by R&AW and later requests for military assistance to control these were managed through pro-India leaders. India has been aiding and inciting the Nepalese dissidents to collaborate with the Nepali Congress. For this they were supplied arms whenever the King or the Nepalese Government appeared to be drifting away from the Indian dictates and impinging on Indian hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms to resort to open rebellion against the legitimate Nepalese governments. The contrived rebellions provided India an opportunity to intervene militarily in Nepal, ostensibly to control the insurrections which were masterminded by the R&AW itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. R&AW is particularly aiding the people of the Indian-origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. R&AW has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and have taken refuge in the eastern Nepal. R&AW can exploit its links with these refugees in either that are against the Indian interest. Besides the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by the Indian money lenders, financiers and business mafia ( R&AW's Machination In South Asia by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003).

Afghanistan

Since December 1979, throughout Afghan War, KGB, KHAD (WAD) (former Afghan intelligence outfit) and R&AW stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covert exploitation of the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate co-ordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but in destabilization of Pakistan through subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen, the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and their training in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage and establishment of saboteur force/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bomb explosions in Afghan refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan to threaten and pressurize them to return to Afghanistan. They also carried out bomb blasts in populated areas deep inside Pakistan to create panic and hatred in the minds of locals against Afghan refugee mujahideen for pressurizing Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.

Pakistan

Pakistan's size, strength and potential have always overawed the Indians. It, therefore, always considers her main opponent in her expansionist doctrine. India's animosity towards Pakistan is psychologically and ideologically deep-rooted and unassailable. India's war with Pakistan in 1965 over Kashmir and in 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh are just two examples.

Raw considers Sindh as Pakistan's soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. R&AW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. Raw is also involved similarly in Balochistan.

R&AW is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world attention away from the gross human rights violations by India in India occupied Kashmir. ISI being almost 20 years older than R&AW and having acquired much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning , has become the prime target of R&AW's designs, ISI is considered to be a stumbling block in RAW's operations, and has, therefore, been made a target of all kinds of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign. The tirade against ISI continues unabated. The idea is to keep ISI on the defensive by fictionalising and alleging its hand is supporting Kashmiri Mujahideen and Sikhs in Punjab. R&AW's fixation against ISI has taken the shape of ISI-phobia, as in India everyone traces down the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the ISI . Be it an abduction at Banglaore or a student's kidnapping at Cochin, be it a bank robbery at Calcutta or a financial scandal in Bombay, be it a bomb blast at Bombay or Bangladesh, they find an ISI hand in it ( RAW :GLOBAL AND REGIONAL AMBITIONS" Edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, slamabad, 2005).

R&AW over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilising target states through unbridled export of terrorism. The India Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for R&AW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of those nations and failure of their leaders.

-Agencies, Isha Khan 


          Bhutan’s Fascinating Festivals        
Landlocked between India to the South and China to the North, this small Asian country has a cultural presence much larger than the country itself. Staying completely independent over its history, the Bhutanese people have a strong devotion to their faith, with almost 75% of its population practicing Buddhism. To represent and revel in this […]

          Hiking the Tiger’s Nest        
Last year we received this wonderful letter from one of our travelers, John Monahan. His beautiful story about a trek to The Tiger’s Nest Monastery—a famous Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple perched high on a cliff in Bhutan—reminds all of us here at Friendly Planet why we do what we do! This experience will […]

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          The UN—Where Good and Evil Stand as Equals [Was: Dollars for Despots]        

SOLO-International Op-Ed: Dollars for Despots

Philip Duck
January 20, 2010

Yet another hopeless talkfest kicks off today as officials from the morally bankrupt United Nations meet the wholly corrupt ministers and bureaucrats of 15 Asian and Pacific Island states tagged, ‘Least-developed countries.’ (LDCs)

This tragic collection of thugs, thieves, tyrants, murderers and masters of moral-equivalency are meeting to review the results of having other people’s money liberally sprinkled upon them for the last ten years. Next year this review is to be presented to a larger, more tragic collection of thugs, thieves and masters of moral-equivalency, as representatives of all of the world’s 49 ‘least-developed countries,’ meet with top UN officials for mutual back-patting and sessions where they demand more cash.

Indeed today the UN kicked off part of that process when Noleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission, emphasized ‘"…the need for financial assistance from donors…” Heyzer also identified “…the need for monitoring to ensure that the pledges reached their intended targets.”

There is—as the likes of Heyzer must surely know—precious little chance of much of that money reaching its intended recipients; all 15 LDCs are highly corrupt. In fact, Transparency International’s Corruption Index ranks one LDC, Burma, as the world’s 178th most corrupt country. Of other Asian and Pacific LDCs, Yemen takes 154th place out of the 180 countries surveyed, Bangladesh sits in 139th spot, the Solomon Islands is 111th, and even the best-of-the-bunch, Bhutan, can only manage 49th place.

Rather, those pledges of taxpayers' money will sit snugly in the bank accounts of despots or be used to build opulent second, third and fourth homes. Indeed, as I write this from my LDC Cambodian home, my near-neighbour, a bureaucrat from the Department of the Environment, who insists his fellow-Cambodians address him as ‘Your Excellency,’ is sitting in his lavish four-storey home surrounded by drivers, nannies, cooks, tutors, maids and security guards. And his kids will soon be chauffeured home in a vehicle donated by the European Union. Neighbours of ‘His Excellency’ despise him; they know his money comes straight from the coffers of one of the nation's most corrupt departments.

These pledges will be also be used to silence political opposition through intimidation, beatings and bribery. They’ll be used to shut down the press, imprison rivals and produce propaganda. The UN, however, will continue to turn a blind eye to such rogues and funnel shed-loads of money to these despicable people.

Cheick Sidi Diarra, the UN’s High Representative for Least Developing Countries claimed late last year that the review process will allow LDCs to “…forge a clear vision, based on universal values, moral and ethical imperatives and the requirements of fairness and equity…”

Diarra is right: a clear vision based on the universal values of this bunch of evil-doing bastards will emerge. It won’t be the vision that Diarra or the 800 million residents of the LDCs would have in mind though. Rather the kleptocrats, dictators, communists and tyrants will do what they have always done: plunder, cheat, intimidate and bash.

The UN, too, will do what they have always done: they’ll shovel cash at tyrants while looking the other way when faced with irrefutable proof of wrongdoings. And they will continue to browbeat others into giving even more to fund the whole damn thing.

Philip Duck: thonburi-1@hotmail.com

SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists): SOLOPassion.com


          Heartbroken husband takes on Bhutan trek for Alzheimer’s Research UK, ticking off the final item on his late wife’s bucket list        

For Steve Boryszczuk, trekking into Bhutan across the Himalayas for Alzheimer’s Research UK will not only be a physical feat to raise funds for vital dementia research, but a challenge of great significance to him emotionally. Steve, 51, lost his wife Michelle at the age of just 43 to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, and […]

The post Heartbroken husband takes on Bhutan trek for Alzheimer’s Research UK, ticking off the final item on his late wife’s bucket list appeared first on Alzheimer's Research UK.


          ANEXOS        
Artículo Enciclopedia encarta:




Constitución

Constitución (ciencia política), ley fundamental, escrita o no, de un Estado soberano, establecida o aceptada como guía para su gobernación. La constitución fija los límites y define las relaciones entre los poderes legislativo, ejecutivo y judicial del Estado, estableciendo así las bases para su gobierno. También garantiza al pueblo determinados derechos. La mayoría de los países tienen una constitución escrita. La de Gran Bretaña, encarnada en numerosos documentos (por ejemplo, la Carta Magna) y el derecho consuetudinario que definen las relaciones de los ciudadanos con la Corona, el Parlamento y los tribunales, no está escrita, pese a que, en muchas ocasiones, se ha postulado su redacción para que Gran Bretaña disponga de un texto análogo al de la gran mayoría de estados.


Las constituciones pueden clasificarse mediante varios criterios: si están protegidas contra enmiendas (constituciones blindadas), si presentan una clara separación de poderes, si las disposiciones pueden ponerse en vigor mediante revisión de la actuación del ejecutivo o del legislativo, si establecen un Estado unitario o federado, etc. Las constituciones escritas están asociadas históricamente al liberalismo político y a la Ilustración. Tal es el caso de la historia del constitucionalismo español. Muchos estados autoritarios y totalitarios poseen unas elaboradas constituciones, pero, en la práctica, no tienen vigor para ser respetadas por el gobierno en el poder, que siempre puede no acatarlas, suspenderlas o invalidarlas.


Constituciones en el mundo
Constituciones vigentes en el mundo





1. Afganistán: 1987 .suspendía tras el golpe fundamentalista al gobierno marxista en 1992
2. Albania : 39 de abril de 1991
3. Alemania: ley fundamental. promulgada en 1949
4. Andorra : 1983
5. Angola: noviembre de 1975. modifica en 1976,1980,1991
6. antigua y barbuda: noviembre de 1981
7. Arabia saudita: desde el 1 de marzo de 1992 , el gobierno monárquico absolutista se rige por intermedio del sistema básico gubernamental
8. Argelia : febrero de 1989
9. argentina : 1853. modificada en 1860,1866,1898y 1994
10. Armenia: en 1993 entro en vigencia una nueva constitución
11. Australia : 1 de enero de 1901
12. Austria:1920 .enmendada en 1929
13. Azerbaiján: se prepara una constitución dentro del sistema autoritario que impera en el es país islámico
Bahamas : 10 de julio de 1973.
14. Bahrein : 1973, bajo la monarquía absolutista
15. Bangla Desh: es enmendada e 1973,74,75,77,79,81.88.89 y 91
16. barbados : 30 de noviembre de 1966
17. belarus: se redacta una nueva constitución
18. Bélgica: 1831.enmendada varias veces y revisadas en 1949 y 1971
19. Belice: 21 de septiembre de 1981
20. Benín: el dictador Kereskou al abandonar el marxismo establece una constitución el 2 de diciembre de 1990 .propiciando el multipartidismo por primera vez
21. bhutan : 1953
22. Bolivia 1967
23. bophuthatswana : se rige por la constitución de Sudáfrica
24. Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1974.Modifica en 1989,90,91
25. Botswana: 30 de septiembre de 1966.En una de las pocas democracias del África
26. brasil: 5 de octubre de 1988.la primera constitución , en un gobierno civil en 24 años
27. Brunei darussalam :1959. algunos preceptos fueron suspendidos en 1962 , por el reino absolutista mas rico del mundo
28. Bulgaria :13 de junio de 1991 , ante la caída del viejo régimen marxista pro soviético y la instauración del pluripartidismo
29. burkina faso: con el establecimiento del multipartidismo se consolida una nueva constitución el 11 de junio de 1991
30. Burundi : 13 de marzo de 1992.suspendida por el golpe militar de 1993 que derroco al primer presidente civil .Melchior Ndadaye en plena vigencia
31. cabo verde : 7 de septiembre de 1980 modificada en septiembre de 1990
32. Camboya : 27 de junio de 1981. modificada por el régimen pro soviético de Samrin en 1989
33. Camerún : aprobada en 1996
34. canada : acta constitucional de 1982
35. ciskei : suspendida por el nuevo régimen militar en 1990
36. Colombia : 6 de julio de 1991
37. congo: al establecerse e nuevo sistema multipartidista , se redacto una nueva constitución en 1992
38. corea del norte : la constitución del 27 de diciembre de 1972
39. corea del sur: 25 de febrero de 1988
40. costa rica : 7 de noviembre 1949
41. cote d” Ivoire: (antes costa de marfil ) 31 de octubre de 1960. modificada por el presidente vitalicio Houphoner
43.Croacia: Diciembre de 1990
44. Cuba: 1976
45. Chad: Aprobada en 1996
46. Chile: 1980, Enmendada en 1989
47. Chipre Septentrional: 5 de mayo de 1985, aprobada por referéndum
48. Chipre, 16 de Agosto de 1960
49. Dinamarca, 5 de junio de 1953
50. Djibouti, 1991 y 1984. Leyes constitucionales realizadas pro la dictadura de Aptidón.
51. Dominica: 3 de noviembre de 1978
52. Ecuador: 10 de Agosto de 1978
53. Egipto: 11 de Septiembre de 1971
54. El Salvador: 20 de Diciembre de 1983, modificada en 1991.
55. Emiratos Árabes unidos: Siembre de 1971, en provisional establecido por la monarquía absolutista.
56. Eritrea: El país más joven de la tierra esta redactando su primera constitución bajo el gobierno provisional de Osaías Afwerki, Ex líder de la guerrilla del Frente de Liberación popular de la Eritrea (FLPE).
57. Eslovaquia: El país más joven de Europa se rige bajo la misma constitución de la Republica Checa creada el primero de enero de 1993, ambos estados pertenecían a la antigua Checoslovaquia
58. Eslovenia, Diciembre de 1991
59. España, 29 de diciembre de 1978
60. Estado Vaticano, no hay constitución,(Ley fundamental) 2001
61. Estados unidos, 1787, tiene 26 enmiendas
62. Estonia, una nueva constitución fue sometida a referéndum el 28 de junio de 1992, el país Báltico fue uno de los primeros en independizarse y establecer el sistema multipartidista.
63. Etiopía, promulgada en 1994
64. Fiji: 25 de julio de 1990
65. filipinas: El régimen democrática Corazón Aquino estableció una nueva constitución el 2 de febrero de 1987, que fue sometida a referéndum.
66. Finlandia: 17 de Julio de 1979
67. Francia: 6 de octubre de 1958
68. Gabón: 21 de febrero de 1961, modificada por Omar Gongo, uno de los dictadores mas antiguos del mundo en 1967-1975-1981-1986-1990.
69. Gambia: 24 de abril de 1990 , enmendada en 1982 por el régimen democrático de Dawda K. Jawara.
70. Georgia: Aprobada en 1995
71. Ghana: Marzo de 1992, el nuevo régimen democrático somete a referéndum la nueva constitución.
72. Granada: 1974 fue suspendida por el golpe marxista de 1979 y reestablecida en 1984, luego de la invasión norteamericana.
73. Grecia: Válida desde 1986
74.Guatemala: 14 de enero de 1985
75. Guinea Bissau: 16 de mayo de 1984, bajo la dictadura izquierdista de Luis Cabral y modificada en 1991 por su seguidor Joao Vieira.
76. Guinea Ecuatorial: Obiang Nguema establece una nueva constitución en noviembre de 1991 y es sometida a consulta popular.
77. Guinea: 23 de diciembre de 1991
78. Guyana: El régimen izquierdista de Forbes Burham establece una nueva constitución el 6 de octubre de 1980 y modificada en 1988 por sucesor Desmond Hoyte
79. Haiti. 1987
80. Honduras: Noviembre de 1982,
81. Hungría: 18 de Agosto de 1989. Modificada en 1972, 1983, 1989.
82. India: 26 de Enero de 1950, Modificada en 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992 en la democracia más grande del mundo.
83. Indonesia, agosto de 1945, modificada en 1969 por régimen autoritario más antiguo del mundo del dictador Suharto.
84. Irak: 22 de septiembre de 1968, enmendada en 1969,1970, 1973, y 1974 de manera provisional.
85. Iran: Creada por el gobierno fundamentalista islámico del desaparecido Ayatollah Khomeini en diciembre de 1979, enmendada en 1989.
86. Irlanda del Sur: 29 de Diciembre de 1937
87. Islandia: 17 de junio de 1944
88. Islas Camoras: 7 de junio 1992
89. Islas Marianas del norte: 1986
90. Islas Marshall: 1 de mayo de 1979
91. Islas Micronesia: 10 de mayo de 1979
92. Islas Palau: 1 de enero de 1981
93. Islas Salomón: 7 de julio de 1978
94. Israel: No existe constitución política como tal sino un conjunto de leyes; desde 1950 se han incorporado durante un periodo no específico.
95. Italia: 1 de enero de 1948
96. Jamaica: 6 de Agosto de 1962, conjuntamente con la independencia nacional
97. Japón: 3 de noviembre de 1946. En vigor en mayo de 1947.
98. Jordania: 1 de enero de 1952, enmendada en 1974, 1976 y 1984.
99. Katar: 2 de abril de 1970, creada por la monarquía Absolutista con carácter provisional.
100. Kazajstán: Aprobada en 1995
101. Kenya : 12 de diciembre de 1963, enmendada en 1982, 1986, 1991 durante los gobiernos autoritarios de Jommo Kenyata y Danieal Arap Moi.





Las 10 Constituciones mas jóvenes del mundo

1) Chad: 1996
2) Camerún: 1996
3) Sudáfrica: 1996
4) Georgia: 1995
5) Armenia: 1995
6) Kazajstan:1995
7) Malwi:1994
8) Bielorusia:1994
9) Lusemburgo: 1994
10) Rusia: 1993








No Existen constituciones en los siguientes países

1) Israel
2) Nueva Zelanda
3) Reino Unido (Escocia, Inglaterra, Gales, Irlanda del Norte)
4) San Marino
5) Vaticano
6) Bhutan
7) Omán
8) Somalia




Se han suspendido las funciones de la Constitución en los siguientes países

1) Afganistán: Tras el derrumbe del gobierno marxista en 1992.
2) Togo: El régimen autoritario de Eyadema la suspendió en 1991, tras los disturbios políticos que reclaman mayor para el multipartidismo al igual que otros países africanos.
3) Sudán: El nuevo régimen fundamentalista, que llegó vía golpe militar en 1989, suspendió la constitución de 1985 y ahora se rige a base de leyes coránicas.
4) Venda: El nuevo régimen castrense de 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la constitución.
5) Ciskei: Los golpistas militares que asumieron el gobierno en 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la Constitución.
6) Myanmar: El régimen castrense que asumió el poder en 1998 prohibió la constitución de 1974.
7) Burundi: Los golpistas que llegaron al poder a finales de 1993 y derrocaron la primera democracia del país, suspendieron la constitución de marzo de 1992
8) Transkei: Los golpistas encabezados por el general Bantu Holomisa suspendieron la constitución de 1987.
          China Preparing ‘Small’ Military Operation to Expel Indian Troops        

Chinese state media is quoting officials familiar with the situation as saying the nation is preparing for a “small-scale military operation” aimed at expelling Indian troops from the Doklam region, after a protracted stand-off in the area.

China was trying to build a road in the Doklam region when Indian ground troops crossed the border to stop them. Indian forces have remained there, albeit in small numbers, ever since. India does not claim the land belongs to them, but claims that Bhutan believes it belongs to them, and that an old treaty with Bhutan obliges them to back the claim.

The territory is sparsely inhabited, and of little value to either. Still, Chinese officials warn that the row with India could have a long-term impact on their relationship, whether or not the dispute results in any sort of military exchange.

Chinese officials aren’t prepared to wait forever, though, and envision a “limited war” being launched within the next two weeks to expel the Indian troops.
http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/07/china-preparing-small-military-operation-to-expel-indian-troops/

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 11th, 2017.]
          FIFA Best/Worst Ranking - August 2014        
Nations currently at their best or worst all-time ranking position in the August 2014 FIFA Rankings.

Best Ranking
1 - Germany
15 - Costa Rica
29 - Venezuela
50 - Sierra Leone
73 - Azerbaijan
105 - Lesotho
165 - Montserrat


Worst Ranking
122 - Canada
157 - Thailand
167 - Liechtenstein
197 - Cayman Islands
201 - British Virgin Islands
201 - Cambodia
203 - Eritrea
205 - Djibouti
206 - Cook Islands
207 - Anguilla
208 - Bhutan
208 - San Marino

          FIFA Best/Worst Ranking - July 2014        

Nations currently at their best or worst all-time ranking position in the July 2014 FIFA Rankings.


Best Ranking
1 - Germany
16 - Costa Rica
30 - Venezuela
73 - Azerbaijan
166 - Montserrat

Worst Ranking
70 - Republic of Ireland
118 - Canada
157 - Thailand
167 - Liechtenstein
200 - Cambodia
202 - Eritrea
205 - Djibouti
206 - Cook Islands
207 - Anguilla
208 - Bhutan
208 - San Marino

          Bhutan Lady MFS        
Bhutan Lady MFS

Bhutan Lady MFS

Meindl Bhutan Lady MFS Features: Shock-absorbent Sole Unit Durable Vibram Sole with deep lugs Full Rubber Rand Quality leather upper High-cut Ankle Gore-Tex Linning Memory Foam cushioning in heel


          Bhutan MFS        
Bhutan MFS

Bhutan MFS

Meindl Bhutan MFS Features: Shock-absorbent Sole Unit Durable Vibram Sole with deep lugs Full Rubber Rand Quality leather upper High-cut Ankle Gore-Tex Linning Memory Foam cushioning in heel Weight: 1812g (Size 11)


          How to Save Snow Leopards        
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is one of the rarest and most elusive big cat species with a population of 4,500 to 7,500 spread across a range of 1.2 to 1.6 million kilometers in some of the world's harshest and most desolate landscapes. Found in arid environments and at elevations sometimes reaching 18,000 feet (5,500 meters), the species faces great threats despite its extreme habitat. These threats vary across its range, but in all countries where it is found — Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly Myanmar — the species is at risk. In some countries snow leopard are directly hunted for their pelt, in others they are imperiled by depletion of prey, loss of habitat, and killing as a predator of livestock. These threats, combined with the cat's large habitat requirements, means conservation through the establishment of protected areas alone may not be enough save it from extinction in the wild in many of the countries in which it lives. Working to stave off this fate in half a dozen of its range countries is the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Founded by Dr. Rodney Jackson, a biologist who has been studying snow leopard in the wild for 30 years, the Conservancy seeks to conserve the species by "promoting innovative grassroots measures that lead local people to become better stewards of endangered snow leopards, their prey, and habitat."
          9 day journey through Bhutan with Amankora        

Follow me on a 9 day journey through Bhutan with Amankora, Aman lodges in Bhutan, for an exquisite and fantastic trip to the Land of the Thunder Dragon

The post 9 day journey through Bhutan with Amankora appeared first on Once In A Lifetime Journey.


          Comment on Spirit of Bhutan | Land of the Thunder Dragon and Tigers Nest by Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon Shows Us a New Side of Happiness by Joshua Liberman | Spirit Quest Tours        
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          Die Zukunft von Zwangsmigrierten in der ASEAN        
Zwei Kinder schauen aus einem Fenster

Dieser Beitrag ist Teil unseres Dossiers 50 Jahre ASEAN – Welche Rolle spielt soziale und ökologische Gerechtigkeit?

Die Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN, Vereinigung südostasiatischer Staaten) feiert 2017 ihr 50-jähriges Bestehen, und dies fällt mit dem Vorsitz der Philippinen unter dem Motto „Partnerschaft für den Wandel, Dialog mit der Welt“ zusammen. Entwickelt sich die regionale Gruppierung ASEAN ein halbes Jahrhundert nach ihrer Gründung positiv oder negativ?

Im Allgemeinen hat die ASEAN in vielen Bereichen recht gute Fortschritte vorzuweisen, u.a. regionale Integrationsbemühungen, Überbrückung von Entwicklungslücken, Friedenssicherung und Verbesserung der sozialen Landschaften in der gesamten Region.

Dennoch ist solcher Fortschritt nicht flächendeckend. Mit anderen Worten, er ist bis heute nicht voll und ganz inklusiv. Es gibt gefährdete Teile der Bevölkerung, die nicht einbezogen oder im Integrationsprozess zurückgelassen werden. Eine solche Gruppe sind Zwangsmigrierte, die auch als Geflüchtete und Asylsuchende bezeichnet werden.

Bis 2015 waren insgesamt 284.949 Geflüchtete und Asylsuchende in Kambodscha, Indonesien, Malaysia, Thailand und den Philippinen registriert (UNHCR 2017). Im selben Jahr waren in keinem anderen ASEAN-Mitgliedstaat Geflüchtete registriert.

Eine einfache Frage, deren Beantwortung aufschlussreich wäre: Werden Zwangsmigrierte, die in ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten Zuflucht suchen, in der nationalen Volkszählung miterfasst? Oder gehören sie zu den fast 630 Millionen Menschen in der ASEAN (ASEAN 2016)? Falls nicht, ist es unwahrscheinlich, dass sie an nationalen Entwicklungsinitiativen beteiligt werden, geschweige denn an regionalen Integrationsinitiativen.

Entwicklung der erzwungenen Migration

Auch ohne genaue Zahlenangaben zu kennen ist es unwahrscheinlich, dass die Zahl der Menschen, die vor Verfolgung fliehen, in der nahen Zukunft zurückgeht. Geopolitische Unsicherheit, andauernde Bürgerinnen- und Bürgerkriege, militärische Interventionen und Menschenrechtsverletzungen, die in fast allen Teilen der Welt stattfinden, sorgen dafür.

Die Trends der erzwungenen Migration haben sich aufgrund der Globalisierung, des technologischen Fortschritts und der verstärkten Verkehrsverbindungen unkonventionell entwickelt. Folglich handelt es sich bei der ASEAN nicht mehr um einen sicheren Zufluchtsort für Asylsuchende aus den einzelnen ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten, sondern auch für diejenigen aus anderen Regionen und Kontinenten.

Beispielsweise wurden etwa 14 Prozent der insgesamt 65,3 Millionen Zwangsmigrierten von Ländern der Region Asien-Pazifik aufgenommen, wobei die Mehrheit (53 Prozent) aus drei Ländern stammt- Somalia, Afghanistan und Syrien (UNHCR 2017). Die Art und Weise, in der die ASEAN auf diese Trends reagiert, hängt vor allem vom Engagement der einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten und der geteilten Verantwortung ab, die Region zu einem Ort zu machen sollten, den alle Heimat nennen können.

Dieser Artikel versucht zu erörtern, wie die ASEAN sicherstellen könnte, dass ihre regionalen Integrationsbemühungen tatsächlich „inklusiv“ sind und Zwangsmigrierten in der Region eine bessere Zukunft garantieren. Er untersucht auch, welche Verpflichtungen die ASEAN und ihre Mitgliedstaaten in der Vergangenheit eingegangen sind.

In welchem Maße haben die bisherigen Erfahrungen die regionale Gruppierung und ihre Mitgliedstaaten dahingehend beeinflusst, die gegenwärtige Situation der erzwungenen Migration anzupacken? Wichtiger: Wie können die ASEAN und ihre Mitgliedstaaten zukünftig am besten auf die Situation der erzwungenen Migration reagieren?

Der regionale Ansatz für den Umgang mit Geflüchteten aus Indochina

Der regionale Ansatz für den Umgang mit einem massiven Zustrom von unfreiwilligen Migrantinnen und Migranten innerhalb der Region Südostasien ist kein neues Phänomen. Die Gründungsmitglieder der ASEAN, nämlich Indonesien, Malaysia, die Philippinen, Singapur und Thailand, waren in den späten 1970er Jahren Asylländer für fast eine halbe Million Geflüchtete aus Indochina, und dies war bis in die frühen 1990er Jahre weiterhin der Fall.

Jeder Mitgliedstaat hatte seine geteilte Verantwortung. Malaysia, Thailand und Indonesien spielten die führende Rolle, indem sie mehr Räume und Möglichkeiten für vorübergehenden Schutz für die Geflüchteten aus Indochina zur Verfügung stellen, bevor sie in Drittstaaten umgesiedelt oder in ihre Heimat zurückgeführt wurden.

Trotz Platzbeschränkungen verpflichtete sich Singapur 1979, etwa 900 Geflüchtete aufzunehmen, und 1982 weitere 480 (UNHCR 2017). Trotz ihrer abgelegenen Lage gelang es den Philippinen in ähnlicher Weise, 1979 5.300 Geflüchteten Asyl zu gewähren, und diese Zahl hat sich 1980 auf 20.300 fast vervierfacht (UNHCR 2017).

Diese Verpflichtung wurde nicht eingegangen, ohne die Risiken und Konsequenzen für die ASEAN oder ihre Mitgliedstaaten in der Zukunft zu erkennen. Die ASEAN hat bestätigt, dass eine solche Verpflichtung einen Präzedenzfall schaffen würde und dass sie letztlich als „Magnet für Geflüchtete“ fungieren würde, der immer mehr Asylsuchende anziehen würde.

Die einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten befürchteten ebenfalls, dass eine solche Verpflichtung weitere soziale Probleme in ihren Ländern schaffen würde. Behörden würden mit den ökonomischen Kosten und dem Verwaltungsaufwand konfrontiert, die der Umgang mit dem Zustrom an Geflüchteten und die Koordination der humanitären Hilfe seitens internationaler Organisationen mit sich brächte (Suhrke 1980).

Trotz zahlreicher Zweifel zeigte der gemeinsame Entschluss, Geflüchteten aus Indochina zeitlich befristet Asyl zu gewähren, die Haltung der ASEAN und ihre positive Reaktion auf die komplexe und in hohem Maße politisierte Situation der Geflüchteten in der Region.  Drei Feststellungen könnten besser erklären, warum ein solches Engagement von den späten 1970er Jahren bis zu den frühen 1990er Jahren erfolgreich war, aber gegenwärtig nicht notwendigerweise wiederholt werden kann.

Der Umgang mit erzwungener Migration in der Vergangenheit

Erstens gab es damals eine größere internationale Reaktion und Verpflichtung von Drittstaaten, etwa den USA, und internationale Organisationen waren in der Lage, die Belastung der Erstasylländer in der ASEAN zu senken, indem sie Geflüchtete zügig umsiedelten und erhebliche finanzielle Unterstützung leisteten.

Beispielsweise wurde die monatliche Umsiedlungsquote in Drittländer im Zeitraum 1979 bis 1980 auf 23.000 Antragstellerinnen und Antragsteller erhöht, wovon zwei Drittel von den USA aufgenommen wurden. Auf der finanziellen Seite haben internationale Organisationen in den sechs Monaten von Oktober 1979 bis März 1980 etwa 100 Millionen US-Dollar für die Geflüchteten in Thailand ausgegeben, während der UNHCR Malaysia etwa 30 Millionen US-Dollar zur Verfügung stellte (Suhrke 1980).

Da die USA sowie internationale und zwischenstaatliche Organisationen Verpflichtungen eingingen, sank die Zahl der vorübergehend in ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten untergekommenen Geflüchteten rapide, wie auch die dadurch entstehenden Kosten für die Asylländer.

Zweitens war Vietnam (das Land, aus dem die Mehrheit der Geflüchteten aus Indochina stammten) bis 1995 kein Mitglied der ASEAN. Daher war die kollektive Verpflichtung der ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten, Geflüchteten aus Indochina vorübergehend Schutz zu gewähren, mit dem ASEAN-Prinzip der Nichteinmischung nicht unvereinbar.

Drittens: hinter der Bereitschaft von ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten, das Risiko einzugehen und die geteilte Verantwortung zu übernehmen, vorübergehenden Schutz zu bieten, war die Absicht, eine gute Beziehung zu den USA zu pflegen, mit dem sehr klaren Ziel, ein Gegengewicht zum wachsenden Einfluss von China und der Sowjetunion in der Region zu bilden.

Dies sind die drei Faktoren, die in der Vergangenheit halfen, die kollektive Antwort der ASEAN und ihrer Mitgliedstaaten beim Umgang mit erzwungener Migration zu stärken.

Eine regelbasierte Verpflichtung im Zeitalter der Unsicherheit

Die heutige ASEAN besteht aus zehn Mitgliedstaaten, darunter Länder, aus denen Menschen geflüchtet waren, etwa Kambodscha, die Volksrepublik Laos, Myanmar und Vietnam. Führungspersönlichkeiten der zehn ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten kamen 2007 in Singapur zusammen, um ihre kollektiven Integrationsbemühungen weiter zu stärken. Dabei bezeugten sie die Schaffung der ASEAN-Charta und unterzeichneten sie, wodurch sie ein rechtlich verbindliches Dokument für die regionale Gruppierung wurde.

Zweifellos ist die Schaffung der ASEAN-Charta eine Manifestation einer erneuten politischen Verpflichtung, den gemeinschaftsbildenden Prozess zu fördern.

Die Charta bereitete außerdem den Weg für die erweiterten Rollen und Aufträge der ASEAN-Außenministerinnen und Außenminister und die Bildung neuer ASEAN-Gremien im Zusammenhang mit Menschenrechten, darunter die ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR, Zwischenstaatliche ASEAN-Menschenrechtskommission) und die ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC, ASEAN-Kommission für die Förderung und den Schutz der Rechte von Frauen und Kindern).

Diese regionalen Menschenrechtsinstitutionen sollen die Rechte von Bürgerinnen und Bürger der ASEAN in Übereinstimmung mit der ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD, ASEAN-Erklärung der Menschenrechte), der ASEAN-Charta und der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte fördern und schützen. Anders als in der Charter der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union werden in keinem dieser Schlüsseldokumente der ASEAN, einschließlich der ASEAN-Charta und der AHRD, die Begriffe „Geflüchtete“, „Asylsuchende“ oder „Zwangsmigrierte“ erwähnt.

Dies liegt daran, dass Kambodscha (1992) und die Philippinen (1981) als einzige Mitgliedstaaten die Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 und das dazugehörige Protokoll von 1967 ratifiziert haben. Die übrigen Mitgliedstaaten haben die Konvention nicht ratifiziert, und es besteht kein Anhaltspunkt für ihre Absicht, dies zu tun.

In Staaten, die der Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 nicht beigetreten sind, u.a. Thailand, Malaysia und Indonesien, wird der Begriff „Geflüchtete“ bzw. „Geflüchteter“ in nationalen Gesetzen, Politiken und Verwaltungsverfahren nicht offiziell anerkannt oder erwähnt.

Abgesehen vom mangelnden kollektiven politischen Engagement der regionalen Gruppierung bestehen weitere Punkte, die die mangelnde Bereitschaft einzelner Mitgliedstaaten besser erklären könnten, hinsichtlich des Umgangs mit der erzwungenen Migration in der Region eine rechtlich verbindliche Verpflichtung einzugehen.

Gründe für mangelnde Aufnahmebereitschaft

Erstens haben neu entstehende und komplexe Sicherheitsgefährdungen in der Zeit nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges stark zugenommen und dabei Staaten und Gesellschaften geschwächt und transnationalen Sicherheitsrisiken ausgesetzt. Dazu gehören Bedrohungen, die von Terrorismus und Militanz ausgehen, das Schmuggeln atypischer Immigrantinnen und Immigranten, Menschenhandel sowie Drogen- und Waffenschmuggel – die alle im weiteren Zusammenhang mit den Fluchtbewegungen in der Region stehen.

Die komplexe Natur dieser Bedrohungen veranlasste ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten, übermäßig viel Wert auf Schutz zu legen. In der Folge waren sie nicht bereit, eine regelbasierte Verpflichtung bezüglich des Umgangs mit unfreiwilligen Migrantinnen und Migranten einzugehen.

Mitgliedstaaten, darunter Thailand, Malaysia und Indonesien, behaupteten jedoch, dass sie trotz des Fehlens einer rechtlich verbindlichen Verpflichtung Geflüchteten minimalen Schutz gewähren würden, einschließlich, aus humanitären Gründen, der Beachtung des Prinzips der Nicht-Zurückweisung.

Zweitens entstanden neue Trends der erzwungenen Migration, insbesondere aus anderen Regionen und Kontinenten in ASEAN-Länder, in der Zeit nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges. Obwohl die Anzahl Menschen, die in ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten Zuflucht suchten, von 1980 (437.530) bis 2015 (284.949) um fast die Hälfte zurückging (UNHCR 2017), ist die Vielfalt an Nationalitäten heute größer als je zuvor.

Beispielsweise ist Malaysia heute Asylland für unfreiwillige Migrantinnen und Migranten aus Angola, Burundi, Bhutan, der Zentralfrikanischen Republik, Kamerun, der Demokratischen Republik Kongo, Algerien, Guinea, Äthiopien, dem Iran, dem Irak, Kenia, Kuwait, Ruanda und dem Senegal (neben Myanmar) (UNHCR 2017).

Ähnliche Trends der erzwungenen Migration waren in Thailand und Indonesien mit einer verglichen mit den 1990er Jahren größeren Zahl verschiedener Nationalitäten zu verzeichnen. Von den insgesamt 284.949 registrierten Geflüchteten in den ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten sind etwa 11,3 Prozent (32.127) aus Nicht-ASEAN-Staaten, wobei die Mehrheit aus den Regionen Westasien, Südasien und bestimmten Regionen Afrikas stammt.

Dies deutet darauf hin, dass die Bevölkerungsgruppe der unfreiwilligen Migrantinnen und Migranten wahrscheinlich die schwierigste Herausforderung für die regionale Gruppierung in der Zukunft sein wird.

Für Zwangsmigrierte eine bessere Zukunft schaffen

In dieser Zeit der geopolitischen Unsicherheit, der ungleichen Entwicklung und der tiefgreifenden Ungleichheit können weder die Vergangenheit noch die gegenwärtige Situation die Zukunft Geflüchteten in der Region voraussagen. Die beste Möglichkeit, die Zukunft Zwangsmigrierter in der Region vorherzusagen ist, sie selbst zu schaffen.

Um jedoch eine bessere Zukunft zu schaffen, sind seitens der ASEAN und ihrer einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten starke Führung, politische Entschlossenheit, eine Bereitschaft zur Lastenteilung sowie Schutzverantwortung erforderlich.

Eine konkrete regionale Verpflichtung, auf die erzwungene Migration zu reagieren, kann nur erreicht werden, wenn die Mehrheit der einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten über eine klare Position sowie Engagement auf der nationalen Ebene verfügen. Dies ist allerdings in der ASEAN bislang nicht der Fall.

Einzelne Mitgliedstaaten, insbesondere Länder wie Thailand, Malaysia und Indonesien, in denen die meisten Geflüchteten leben, sollten eine führende Rolle spielen, indem sie ihren humanitären Ansatz in eine rechtlich verbindliche Verpflichtung transformieren, um die unfreiwilligen Migrantinnen und Migranten konkret und dauerhaft zu schützen.

Die Angst vor den unbekannten Konsequenzen einer rechtlich verbindlichen Verpflichtung sollte Länder nicht davon abhalten, die Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 zu ratifizieren, da die Motive der erzwungenen Migration nicht durch den Ratifizierungsstatus eines Mitgliedstaats bestimmt werden.

Beispielsweise hat Malaysia die Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 noch nicht ratifiziert und erkennt keine Geflüchteten im Land an, aber die Zahl der Asylsuchenden ist von 2000 bis 2015 erheblich gestiegen: von 5.412 auf 154.486 (UNHCR 2017).

Dies legt den Schluss nahe, dass die Korrelation zwischen dem Ratifizierungsstatus eines Landes hinsichtlich der Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 und dem Phänomen, in der Region ein „Magnet für Geflüchtete“ zu sein, schwach ist.

Geographische Faktoren, die Möglichkeit, von verschiedenen wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten zu profitieren, etwa dem informellen Arbeitsmarkt in Malaysia, Thailand und Indonesien, und der minimale Schutz für Geflüchtete haben zusammengenommen als Pull-Faktoren fungiert, die es für Asylsuchende attraktiv machte, in den jeweiligen Ländern Schutz zu suchen, sogar ohne rechtlich verbindliche Verpflichtung.

Motive hinter der erzwungenen Migration

Die ASEAN und ihre Mitgliedstaaten sollten auch die Motive (Push-Faktoren) hinter der erzwungenen Migration anerkennen, wobei Geflüchtete gezwungen werden, ihr Heimatland auf der Suche nach internationalem Schutz zu verlassen und dabei über wenige Optionen verfügen.

Unter solchen Umständen werden Geflüchtete einen Weg finden, diese Länder zu erreichen. Dabei riskieren sie ihr Leben, indem sie sich von gleichgültigen Dritten schmuggeln lassen, die den Mangel an Integrität unter gewissen Mitgliedern des Kontrollpersonals ausnutzen.

Auf nationaler Ebene sollten einzelne Mitgliedstaaten den Zugang zur Justiz und zu Verwaltungsverfahren stärken und dabei gewährleisten, dass jede und jeder Einzelne der unfreiwilligen Migrantinnen und Migranten den gleichen Zugang zu Grundbedürfnissen und Rechten im Asylprozess haben.

Mitglieder zivilgesellschaftlicher Organisationen, u.a. medizinischer, religiöser und humanitärer Organisationen, sollten die erforderliche finanzielle Unterstützung und Hilfe erhalten, die ihnen ermöglichen, ihre Aufgaben effizient zu erfüllen. Die relevanten Behörden sollten mit den Mitgliedern der Organisationen Hand in Hand zusammenarbeiten, um mit Geflüchteten in Kontakt zu treten und die notwendige Hilfe anzubieten.

Die Bereitschaft einzelner Mitgliedstaaten, diese Verpflichtungen einzugehen, würde andere Mitgliedstaaten beeinflussen, dasselbe zu tun. Dies ist daran zu erkennen, dass die Regierungen von Indonesien, Malaysia und Thailand in Reaktion auf die Rohingya-Krise Ende 2016 miteinander konkurrierten, ohne sich dessen bewusst zu sein.

Ein wenig diplomatische Rivalität kann zwar nicht schaden, sie führt jedoch in keinem der drei Länder zu konkreten Verpflichtungen auf nationaler Ebene. Welche Rolle sollte die regionale Gruppierung angesichts des Mangels an nationaler Verpflichtung durch die einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten spielen?

Die ASEAN hat 2009 ihre regionale Menschenrechtsinstitution, die AICHR, mit dem übergreifenden Mandat etabliert, die Menschenrechte zu fördern und zu schützen. Die AHRD schreibt in Artikel 16 der ASEAN und ihren Mitgliedstaaten die Verpflichtung vor, das Recht auf Asyl zu gewährleisten. Die AICHR ist gut dafür aufgestellt, ihr Mandat zur Entwicklung einer regionalen Strategie einzusetzen, die die Mitgliedstaaten zur Ratifizierung der Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 ermutigt.

Dies würde ihre Verpflichtung stärken, gegenüber geflüchteten das Recht auf Asyl zu garantieren. Als jährlich tagendes Organ der ASEAN sollte die AICHR eine ständige Agenda zu erzwungener Migration einrichten, die in ihr Schwerpunktprogramm und Fünfjahresarbeitsplan eingebunden wird.

Strategische Kooperationen und Partnerschaften sind gefordert

Die Zunahme von Nicht-ASEAN-Geflüchteten in der Region deutet darauf hin, dass es sich nicht mehr um eine intraregionale Angelegenheit handelt, die ausschließlich mit internen Mitteln gelöst werden kann.

Da die ASEAN und die AICHR die übergreifenden regionalen Menschenrechtsorgane sind, sollten sie Wege ausloten, mit der Afrikanischen Union, der African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights, (ACHPR, Afrikanische Kommission für Menschen- und Völkerrechte) oder der Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, Organisation für islamische Zusammenarbeit) strategische Kooperationen und Partnerschaften mit dem spezifischen Fokus auf Angelegenheiten der erzwungenen Migration einzurichten.

Neben dem Einsatz des bestehenden regionalen Menschenrechtsmechanismus sollte die ASEAN eine konkretere und nachhaltigere Plattform entwickeln, in der Themen im Zusammenhang mit der erzwungenen Migration jenseits der drei Säulen der ASEAN-Gemeinschaft diskutiert werden können. Die Logik ist einfach.

Erzwungene Migration hat mit politischer Sicherheit, soziokultureller und ökonomischer Integration zu tun. Daher könnte eine vierte Säule der ASEAN-Gemeinschaft etabliert werden, um regionale Lösungen für komplexe Themen wie erzwungene Migration zu diskutieren.

Zusammenfassend ist zu sagen, dass die Zwangsmigrierten mangels Alternative Teil der Gesellschaft in der ASEAN sind, und zwar seit der Krise der Geflüchteten aus Indochina in den späten 1970er Jahren bis hin zur Rohingya-Katastrophe in der jüngsten Zeit. Die unsichere internationale Reaktion, die die Belastung der Asylländer reduzieren soll, zeigt, dass Geflüchtete wahrscheinlich in einer „lang anhaltenden Situation“ sein werden, während sie auf eine definitive Lösung warten.

Während die ASEAN bestrebt ist, ihre regionalen Integrationsbemühungen zu stärken und ihre Zusicherungen umzusetzen, wahrlich inklusiv, auf die Menschen zentriert und an den Menschen orientiert zu sein, müssen die regionalen Gruppierung und ihre Mitgliedstaaten Möglichkeiten anbieten und die Zwangsmigrierten befähigen, Teil dieses regionalen Integrationsprozesses zu sein.

Die wachsende Präsenz von Geflüchteten aus Nicht-ASEAN-Ländern zeigt außerdem die Notwendigkeit auf, diesen Teil der erzwungenen Migration in der regionalen Agenda und den Integrationsinitiativen einzubinden. Die Grundüberlegung dahinter ist, die Geflüchteten besser zu managen und zu integrieren anstatt ihre Anwesenheit im Land zu ignorieren.

Erst dann werden Zwangsmigrierte gleichgültig welcher Nationalität in der Lage sein, eigenständig einen Beitrag zur Gesellschaft des Aufnahmelandes und zur regionalen Integration zu leisten und ihre eigene Zukunft zu schaffen.

 

LITERATUR

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 2016. ASEAN Statistical Leaflet – Selected Key Indicators 2016. http://asean.org/storage/2012/05/ASEAN_Stats_Leaflet2016_web.pdf, letzter Zugriff: 26. März 2017.

Suhrke, Astri. 1980. Indochinese Refugees: The Impact of First Asylum Countries and Implications for American Policy [A Study Prepared for the Use of the Joint Economic Committee Congress of the United States, November 1980]. https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/1980/12/report-2b9a3aa8-525f-407a-86ba-2e6b4171e90e, letzter Zugriff: 12. März 2017.

Hoher Flüchtlingskommissar der Vereinten Nationen (UNHCR). 2017. Population Statistics, 1979-2015. http://popstats.unhcr.org/en/overview, letzter Zugriff: 23. März 2017.



          Director’s Message, Fall 2017 Catalogue        
This director’s message is bittersweet for me as I have declared my intention to retire from the University of Alberta Press in August 2017. As always I feel privileged to introduce you to a new group of books for the fall 2017 season. Tony Robinson-Smith has a wonderful story of traveling to Bhutan to teach […]
          12 Must-Know Facts about Asia        
Asia is the world's largest continent in world covering 60 percent of Earth's total land area.

1.Asia is the most populous continent in the world with world's populous countries,China and India.It is the land of diversity.


2.Asia can be divided into 6 subcontinents :



  1. Central Asia – Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  2. East Asia – China, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, North and South Korea.
  3. North Asia – Russia.
  4. India Subcontinent – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
  5. Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  6. Southwest Asia – The Middle East including Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Israel, and Lebanon.

3.Top Ten Tallest Mountains in Asia :

Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth and it is located in Asia.

Mount Everest with group of people
Mount Everest



  1. Everest -Nepal,Tibet
  2. K2 - Pakistan,China
  3. Kangchenjunga - Nepal,Sikkim, India
  4. Lhotse - Nepal,Tibet, China
  5. Makalu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  6. Cho Oyu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  7. Dhaulagiri - Nepal
  8. Manaslu- Nepal
  9. Nanga Parbat-Pakistan
  10. Annapurna- Nepal
4.Top Ten longest rivers in Asia :

  1. Yangtze 
  2. Yellow River 
  3. Lena River 
  4. Mekong River 
  5. Irtysh River 
  6. Yenisei River 
  7. Ob River 
  8. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River 
  9. Indus River
  10. Brahmaputra River
5.Asia is located to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural river, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas.It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

6.Asia’s most dominant financial centers are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

7.Asia is only continent joined by two other continents,Africa and Europe.


9.China is the world's biggest nation and it is located in Asia.

10.Asia is the only continent where tigers are found in the wild.

11.Caspian Sea is the Largest Salt Lake in Asia.

12.The Dead Sea or The Salt Sea is the lowest place on earth is situated in Asia.


          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
TokelauList of Currencies of the World and their Currency Symbols

There are 179 currencies in the world.
List of Currencies of the World
Currencies of the World

Currency Symbols

CurrencySymbol
Afghan afghani؋
Albanian lekL
Alderney pound£
Algerian dinarد.ج
Angolan kwanzaKz
Argentine peso$
Armenian dramդր.
Aruban florinƒ
Ascension pound£
Australian dollar$
Bahamian dollar$
Bahraini dinar.د.ب
Bangladeshi taka৳
Barbadian dollar$
Belarusian rubleBr
Belize dollar$
Bermudian dollar$
Bhutanese ngultrumNu.
Bolivian bolivianoBs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markKM or КМ
Botswana pulaP
Brazilian realR$
British pound£
British Virgin Islands dollar$
Brunei dollar$
Bulgarian levлв
Burundian francFr
Cambodian riel៛
Canadian dollar$
Cape Verdean escudoEsc or $
Cayman Islands dollar$
Central African CFA francFr
CFP francFr
Chilean peso$
Chinese yuan¥ or 元
Cocos (Keeling) Islands dollar$
Colombian peso$
Comorian francFr
Congolese francFr
Cook Islands dollar$
Costa Rican colón₡
Croatian kunakn
Cuban convertible peso$
Cuban peso$
Czech korunaKč
Danish kronekr
Djiboutian francFr
Dominican peso$
East Caribbean dollar$
Egyptian pound£ or ج.م
Eritrean nakfaNfk
Ethiopian birrBr
Euro€
Falkland Islands pound£
Faroese krónakr
Fijian dollar$
Gambian dalasiD
Georgian lariლ
Ghanaian cedi₵
Gibraltar pound£
Guatemalan quetzalQ
Guernsey pound£
Guinean francFr
Guyanese dollar$
Haitian gourdeG
Honduran lempiraL
Hong Kong dollar$
Hungarian forintFt
Icelandic krónakr
Indian rupee₹
Indonesian rupiahRp
Iranian rialï·¼
Iraqi dinarع.د
Israeli new shekel₪
Jamaican dollar$
Japanese yen¥
Jersey pound£
Jordanian dinarد.ا
Kazakhstani tenge₸
Kenyan shillingSh
Kiribati dollar$
Kuwaiti dinarد.ك
Kyrgyzstani somлв
Lao kip₭
Latvian latsLs
Lebanese poundل.ل
Lesotho lotiL
Liberian dollar$
Libyan dinarل.د
Lithuanian litasLt
Macanese patacaP
Macedonian denarден
Malagasy ariaryAr
Malawian kwachaMK
Malaysian ringgitRM
Maldivian rufiyaaރ.
Manx pound£
Mauritanian ouguiyaUM
Mauritian rupee₨
Mexican peso$
Micronesian dollar$
Moldovan leuL
Mongolian tögrög₮
Moroccan dirhamد.م.
Mozambican meticalMTn
Myanma kyatK
Nagorno-Karabakh dramդր.
Namibian dollar$
Nauruan dollar$
Nepalese rupee₨
Netherlands Antillean guilderƒ
New Taiwan dollar$
New Zealand dollar$
Nicaraguan córdoba
          Countries in Asia        
 Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent in the world with 50 Countries.Here is the list of 50 countries in  Asia and their capitals. 
Asia





S.no
Countries
Capitals
1.
Afghanistan
Kabul
2.
Armenia
Yerevan
3.
Azerbaijan
Baku
4.
Bahrain
Manama
5.
Bangladesh
Dhaka
6.
Bhutan
Thimphu
7.
Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan
8.
Cambodia
Phnom Penh
9.
Cyprus
Nicosia
10.
East Timor
Dili
11.
Egypt
Cairo
12.
Georgia
Tbilisi
13.
India
New Delhi
14.
Indonesia
Jakarta
16.
Iran
Tehran
17.
Iraq
Baghdad
18.
Israel
Jerusalem
19.
Japan
Tokyo
20.
Jordan
Amman
21.

Kazakhstan
Astana
22.
Kuwait
Kuwait City
23.
Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek
24.
Laos
Vientiane
25.
Lebanon
Beirut
26.
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
27.
Maldives
Malé
28.
Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar
29.
Myanmar
Naypyidaw
30.
Nepal
Kathmandu
31.
North Korea
Pyongyang (P'yŏngyang)
32.
Oman
Muscat
33.
Pakistan
Islamabad
34.
The People's Republic of China
Beijing
35.
The Philippines
Manila
36.
Qatar
Doha
37.
The Republic of China
Taipei
38.
Russia
Moscow
39.
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
40.
Singapore
Singapore
41.
South Korea
Seoul
42.
Syria
Damascus
43.
Tajikistan
Dushanbe
44.
Thailand
Bangkok
45.
Turkey
Ankara
46.
Turkmenistan
Ashgabat
47.
The United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
48.
Uzbekistan
Tashkent
49.
Vietnam
Hanoi
50.
Yemen
Sanaá

          Why Bhutan’s Royalists Fear Christianity        
Social, political factors behind country’s reluctance to allow Christianity to grow THIMPHU, Bhutan, February 1 (CDN) — Bars, pubs and discos have become legal in Bhutan – a cause of concern for the older generation – but construction of worship buildings other than Buddhist or Hindu temples is still prohibited. The prohibition remains in force […]
          27 of 73 roads along Sino-Indian border complete, rest by 2022: Govt        

New Delhi: Twenty-seven of the 73 roads approved along the India-China border have been completed and the rest are expected to be finished by end of 2022, the government said on Friday.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said 73 Sino-Indian border roads along the Northern Borders were approved for construction.

"Out of this, 27 roads have been completed and the balance are planned for completion by December 2022," the minister said.

He said the delay in execution of road projects was due to delay in forest, wildlife and environment clearance. 

Besides, hard rock stretches, limited working season, delay in land acquisition, difficulties in availability of construction material and damage due to natural disasters such as flash floods were also hampering work.

He added that four strategic railway lines had been approved along the India-China border.

In response to a question whether India was aware of expanding Chinese infrastructure along the border, the minister replied: "The government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India`s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it."

The ongoing stand-off between India and China along the border started after China attempted to construct a road in Bhutanese territory and Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army.

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          JAWATAN KOSONG DI JABATAN HUTAN NEGERI SARAWAK        

Permohonan adalah dipelawa kepada warganegara Malaysia bagi mengisi kekosongan jawatan di Jabatan Hutan Negeri Sarawak seperti berikut : -

1.   Pegawai Ehwal Ekonomi E41
2.   Penolong Pemelihara Hutan G27


Dan Cara Memohon

Tarikh Tutup Permohonan : 15 Ogos 2016






          The Kingdom of Bhutan        
The Kingdom of Bhutan has long held an air of mystery for many in the West. Isolated between India and China, and with restrictions on tourism and other foreign influences, this tiny nation (often considered to…
          Primaveří juchanda a opět ježíme        
Po Primaveře jsem pokukovala od svého propadnutí biu. Od začátku roku už pár věcí doma mám, ale k těm se vrátíme jindy. Dneska bude řeč o sadě s péčí, již mi Denisa věnovala někdy koncem jara. Sad je několik druhů (zklidňujicí, revitalizujicí, hydratační a s neroli na citlivou pleÅ¥), já mám vyrovnávací na smíšenou pleÅ¥. 


Čisticí gel a tonikum vám vydrží hodně dlouho, není třeba vycmrndávat velké množství. Krém je cca na týden dva, záleží, zda ho budete používat je jako denní či i na noc. Sadu se vybízí samozřejmě použít i jako cestovní, což s chutí dělám.


Sada se dodává v pěkné taštičce, takže v kufru či jiném cestovním zavazadle se jen tak neztratí a díky vloženému papíru se v ní nebudou lahvičky a krém o sebe šmrdlat.


A jak se mi sada osvědčila? To jste asi poznali z první fotky, kde jsou vidět velká balení. JeÅ¡tě bych se ale ráda zmínila o tomhle krému pro zralou pleÅ¥. Dostala jsem ho ve vzorku, pak znovu při Dnech Marianne a pak jeÅ¡tě od Meduňky. No a jsem z něj totálně vyplesklá. Na den je moc hutný, ale přes noc dělá zázraky. No, přiznejme si to, za to může i tour de Poděbrady, protože následky stále přetrvávají doteď, pleÅ¥ mám čistší a stále vypnutou, nečekala jsem, že to vydrží tak dlouho! Své prsty v tom má samozřejmě i právě používaná péče (převážně bio) a taky tenhle zázrak od Sephory. Jak jsem bez něj mohla doteď žít, to fakt nevim. Jinak bohužel tenhle Äervený zázrak v sortimentu skončil, je nahrazen tímhle. Tudíž pokud někdo vzorek jeÅ¡tě nevyužitý máte, ráda za něco vyměním.


Ale abych se dostala k jádru pudla, že. Čisticí gel je prostě tekutý gel. Průhlednožlutohnědozelený (možná jako šťáva z hroznů), ale po smíšení s vodou (nanášim na mokrou tvář) jde do bíla, lehce pění. Pokud ho rozetřete úplně, zneviditelní. PleÅ¥ poté omyju vodou nebo teplým mokrým ručníkem a čiÅ¡tění provádím ráno i večer. Gel voní hrozny a bylinkami (aby taky ne, když obsahuje extrakty z hroznů a Å¡alvěje), pěkně příjemně. 



PleÅ¥ mám po jeho použití vyčiÅ¡těnou tak, že tonikum na tampónku na dočiÅ¡tění toho moc nezanechá. Gel sám o sobě pleÅ¥ zbaví mastnoty a tonikum tento krok úplně dokončí. Voní trochu výrazněji než gel, ale nijak Å¡patně, naopak, zvykla jsem si na tu vůni tak, že když použiju něco jiného, tak se pozoruju, že mi tam něco chybí... Co? Ta vůně :). PleÅ¥ je po použití tonika hladší a jemnější jeÅ¡tě o stupeň víc než s gelem, je krásně stažená, ale bez jakéhokoli pnutí. A taky mám pocit zvýšení elasticity. 

 

Fluid alias krém, pak už jen dílo dokoná. Rychle se vstřebává, ale nezanechává pocit suchosti. Minerální pudr (Lily Lolo, moje jednička) do něj zapracovávám mnohem dříve (téměř okamžitě) než u jiných krémů. Voní podobně jako gel a tonikum, ale jde trochu do cistrusova.


No a nově mám ještě tohohle pána, který přichází na řadu, když mi na pleti řádí neplechy. Jak se osvědčil to si povíme někdy příště, kdy si představíme pár primaveřích zlepšováků. Už teď jsem z něj ale nadšená.



Poslední dobou jedu v biu čím dál tím víc a moje pleť se mi odvděčuje. Nedávno jsem na dva dny nahodila komplet chemku a nejenže jsem z toho měla blbej pocit, ale pleti se to očividně nelíbilo. Ale jako stále se jí vzdát nehodlám, akorát ji v péči budu používat s mírou.

 

Pokud vám to uteklo (na FB jsem ale upozorňovala), Greenwave má tenhle týden 20% slevu na Primaveru, do půlnoci si na webu jeÅ¡tě můžete nakoupit. Od zítřka nám zase začíná 15% na JMO a článek s tipy chystám :). Z Primavery doporučuju tyhle tři kroky (dle typu vaší pleti), pak třeba revitalizační kůru (aÅ¥ již sedmidenní nebo na 30 dní), peeling vyrovnávací nebo jojobový, arganový olej (tenhle mi nesmrdí), bambucké máslo v bio kvalitě, dárkové sety Veselé vánoce (viz zde), Pohlazení duÅ¡e, Citrusové vůně, Domácí lékarnička, charitativní Å tísko do dlaně, zimní voňavou limitku Moje srdce tančí a třeba roll-on na spaní Sleep therapy


No a to není všechno, Greenwave pro vás do soutěže věnoval tři sady tělového energizujícího oleje zázvor limeta (o tom jsem psala tady) a vzorky mnou opěvovaného JMO tělového mléka a sprcháče.


Výherci budou tudíž tři, dva vylosuju a jednoho vyberu. Do komentáře (opět komentuje i bez účasti v soutěži, jestli chcete, já si to přeberu) uveďte:
1) e-mail
2) sledujte mě: FB, Bloglovin nebo GFC (= Google) nebo všechny dohromady, jak chcete :D; a klidně lajkněte i Greenwave, mají tam pěkné soutěže a akce :)
3) máte něco od Primavery? případně co vás zaujalo a po čem toužíte?
4) napište co vy a bio :) příhoda, fandíte, nefandíte - jedete chemii; fantazii se meze nekladou

Soutěžit můžete do 16.12. včetně, zasílám po ČR. Za (veřejné) sdílení navíc (FB, blog - uveďte link) můžete přidat jeden komentář navíc. A připomínám, že běží i další soutěže (vpravo nahoře) a další budou přibývat. A opakuji, kdo se zúčastní více jak sedmi z nich, bude mít pak možnost, zúčastnit se jedné speciální :).

          India’s current fiscal growth to slow at 6.8%: World Bank        
New Delhi/Washington: The World Bank has estimated India's growth for the current fiscal at 6.8 percent, lower than the government projection, as the economy faces headwinds of high interest rates and "heightened" uncertainty of policy reforms.
     
Without naming India, the World Bank in its 'Global Economic Prospects' report has said that South Asia's economies were also confronted with "domestic policy paralysis and uncertainty about regulatory reforms."
     
The Indian government has been expecting 7-7.5 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in the fiscal ending March 2012, against 8.5 percent in the previous year.
     
The World Bank did not give an encouraging forecast even for the fiscal 2012-13. It expects the GDP expansion to remain flat at 6.8 percent in the next financial year. It would then bounce back to eight percent in FY 2013-14.
     
The economy expanded by 7.3 percent in the first half of this fiscal. In the second quarter (July-September), growth moderated to 6.9 percent, lowest in over two years, according to government data.
     
The World Bank report said "the weakening in activity reflects a significant moderation in domestic demand, led by a deceleration in investment activity that has faced headwinds of rising borrowing costs, high input prices, slowing global growth and heightened uncertainty.
     
"Delays and uncertainty surrounding the implementation of policy reforms have also hindered investment," it said.
     
Addressing a Ficci meeting, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also conceded that the government could not push through some key policy reforms due to divergence of political opinion in Parliament.
     
Important pending measures include Goods and Services Tax, Direct Tax Code and relaxation of FDI policy.

In the section dedicated to South Asia, the World Bank report added that India's economic growth is estimated to have slipped to 7 percent in 2011, from 10 percent in 2010. It is projected to fall further to 6 percent in 2012.
     
"On a calendar year basis, India's GDP growth slowed to an estimated 7 percent in 2011 from 10 percent in 2010," the report said.
     
It added that overall GDP growth in the South Asian region is likely to slip to 5.8 percent in 2012, from an estimated 6.6 percent in 2011, before bouncing back to 7.1 percent in 2013.
     
The South Asian region comprises India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, the Maldives and Bhutan.
     
According to the report, the slowdown in India and the rest of the region reflects continued deceleration in investment growth on account of a number of factors, "including domestic policy paralysis and uncertainty about regulatory reforms..."
     
It also cited deterioration in international investor sentiment, heightened uncertainty and weaker external demand from high-income Europe and developing countries for the projected slowdown.
     
"The projected deceleration in economic activity also reflects the anticipated deepening traction of the more restrictive monetary policy conditions introduced over the course of 2011 and continued progress (albeit gradual) toward programmed fiscal consolidation," the report said.
     
According to the World Bank, higher interest rates and increase in regulated prices are likely to result in a slowdown in consumer demand, while a more somber business outlook is expected to slow investment growth, contributing to significantly weaker imports during 2012.
     
"Demand for the region's exports is projected to slow in 2012 and lead to a near halving of export growth to 11.6 percent in 2012 from 21 percent in 2011, due to stagnant GDP in the European Union and the projected global slowdown..." it said.
     
Regarding the price situation in India and the rest of South Asia, the mutlilateral agency said inflationary pressure is expected to come down on account of a good harvest and projected decline in global fuel prices.
     
About India, it said a policy based on expenditure rationalisation could play a role in helping to protect critical social progammes, even as the government faces a tight monetary situation.

"Activity in South Asia, like Latin America, has been dominated by a slowdown in the region's largest economy -- India... The deceleration in regional economic growth in 2011 to a large extent stems from slowing growth in India, which accounts for about 80 percent of South Asia's GDP," the World Bank said.
     
The report further said that a deepening of the Euro area crisis would lead to weaker exports, worker remittances and capital inflows to South Asia.
     
Remittances, which form a major chunk of the GDP of some South Asian nations like Nepal and Bangladesh, are likely to fall in 2012, on account of slowdown in major economies, the World Bank said.

PTI

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          Khaleda's 'Bangladesh Nationalist Party' calls for 2-day protests        
Dhaka, 5 June : The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced a two-day protest on Sunday after police arrested 80 opposition activists during a countrywide general strike against the government attempts to change the voting system.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general of the party, said they will stage a rally in the capital on Monday and countrywide demonstrations the next day to protest "the attacks and mass arrests" of their men during the strike. The opposition party and its key ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami began the strike since 6:00 am (BDST) to demand the caretaker system must stay in place for holding parliamentary elections.
During Sunday's strike, three small bombs were exploded near the offices of the BNP. Police dispersed the protesters around 11:05 am (BDST) after two cocktails were exploded. Another bomb was exploded in front of a shopping complex, leaving a rickshaw-puller seriously injured. Police shot 15 rounds of bullets to bring the situation under control when activists ransacked five trucks in the town of Begumganj, while 10 people were injured when police hit protesters with batons in Dattarhat village. Almost 60 people were also injured in four other towns when police clashed with activists.
The announcement of the two-day protest comes as the government is planning to scrap the provision for caretaker government system in the constitution. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia told reporters Saturday her party would not contest future polls if the government scrapped the caretaker system, which has covered four successive elections. န Photo : AP

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One Crore sapplings to be planted across the West Bengal
Kolkata, 5 June : In a joint initiative with the state government for a greener West Bengal, the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) Sunday announced that it will plant over 45,000 sapplings along river banks in the state. The government will also plant more than one crore sapplings across the state.
Speaking at a function marking the World Environment Day Sunday, KoPT chairman M.L. Meena said that over 45,000 mangrove and salt-tolerant sapplings will be planted along the river banks in the state.

"Under our green initiative, we have also started making paperless transactions which, by our estimates, will result in saving 30 trees annually," said Meena. The KoPT has also undertaken programmes on conservation.
"We have adopted several measures to reduce consumption of diesel by 10 percent annually. We are also developing our infrastructure for controlling oil spills which can be a major threat to environment and marine life," said Meena. He added that KoPT will spend about Rs.2 crore annually towards its green initiatives.
Public Works Department Minister Firhad Hakim said collaboration with KoPT was essential for implementing the government's plan to make the city green.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation will plant over one lakh sapplings in the city, while the state government will plant more than one crore sapplings across the state. Hakim, Meena and Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee also planted sapplings on the occasion. န Photos : AP

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Pop maestro and freedom fighter Azam Khan passes away
Dhaka, 5 June : Bangladesh's pop maestro and freedom fighter Azam Khan passed away at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Sunday morning.
The 62 year old Pop legend was declared dead at 10:20am (BDST). Azam Khan who had been suffering from oral cancer was on life support at the city's Square Hospital since March 27 and shifted to CMH on Wednesday...... READ MORE @ BBC Bangla

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Diarrhoea claims one, affects seventy in Howrah district
Howrah, 5 June : One person died today while seventy others, including six children, were hospitalised after diarrhoea broke out at Bagnan in the district.
While one died this evening, 32 more patients were admitted to different hospitals today, block medical officer Dr Binoy Roy told
Bengal Newz. Those afflicted by the outbreak were drinking contaminated water for the past two days, he said, adding that 38 persons were yesterday admitted to various hospitals. Two medical teams have been formed to check the outbreak and water samples sent for tests, Dr Roy also said.
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CPI(M) to go back to the masses : Gen Sec Prakash Karat
Kolkata, 5 June : CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat today said that the party in West Bengal would have to re-establish connect with the people and to reorganise itself after the drubbing in the state Assembly elections at the hands of Trinamool Congress-Congress combine.
The CPI(M), which had evidently lost touch with the general masses and failed to assess what they wanted, today decided to "go back to the masses and to work among the people in a correct manner".
Karat, who attended a two-day West Bengal state committee meeting of CPI(M) as a special invitee to discuss the reasons of the dismal results of the CPI(M)-led Left Front, said, "We have to delve deeper to scrutinise the reasons for which people voted for a change."
CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose voiced similar sentiments.
The party is likely to discuss the issue threadbare in the Central Committee meeting at Hyderabad next week.

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WB election result clear verdict in favour of TMC : Somnath
Bolpur, 5 June : Former Indian Lok Sabha Speaker from CPI(M), Somnath Chatterjee described the recent Assembly election result in West Bengal as a "clear verdict" in favour of the Trinamool Congress.
"In Kerala, it is not so clear but in West Bengal the people have very clearly given the verdict. Now it is time for Mamata Banerjee to act for the welfare of the common people and the state as a whole," Somnath Chatterejee said last night at a get-together attended by Trinamool Congress MLAs of Birbhum district, including state panchayat and Rural Development minister Chandranath Sinha.

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Tripurs lad Manik tops HS examination in Commerce stream
Agartala, 5 June : Manik Chakraborty, student of Umakanta Academy of Agartala, has scripted history in 35-years-old Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE).
Manik secured the top position from Commerce stream in this year's higher secondary examination, the results of which was announced yesterday. Manik belongs to a BPL family and he did not have a single private tutor. According to the record, Manik is the first student from Commerce in the state who secured the first position in the exam.

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President urges developed countries to build peaceful world
BSS, Dhaka, 5 June : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman today urged the wealthy and developed countries to come forward with a cooperative mindset for building a peaceful and prosperous world.
"There is no alternative to resolving international disputes peacefully through discussions," he said while addressing the closing ceremony of two-day Asia Pacific Peace Conference at a city hotel. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference Yesterday organized by the Bangladesh Peace council.

President of Bangladesh Peace Council Abdur Razzak, MP, presided over the closing ceremony while former prime minister of Nepal Madhav Kumar Nepal, Indian CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury, MP, executive secretary of World Peace Forum Iraklis Tasavdarids and General Secretary of Bangladesh Peace Council Dr M A Quassem also spoke.
Apart from host Bangladesh, representatives from different countries, including Palestine, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, Bhutan, India, Australia, Nepal, Brazil and Greece attended the conference.
In the present global perspective, President Rahman said, struggle is very important for establishing peace, and sustainable peace is a prerequisite for stability and development of a country. Now it is a demand of the time to continue advancement of peace movement through democratizing the society instead of arms race including developing nuclear weapons, the President said. "The movement and struggle for establishing peace will be meaningless if we fail to free the world from hunger and poverty," he said.
World's developing countries including Bangladesh are fighting against hunger, diseases and social disparity, he said, adding that achieving economic independence of least developed countries is a must along with stopping war and conflict to establish world peace.

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          Ahead of BNP's 24-hours "Hartal", 100 arrested, 10 buses burnt        
Dhaka, 4 June : Former Bangladesh Home Secretary and BNP chairperson’s advisor Zahurul Huq and 49 Ward Commissioner Abul Khayer Bablu were among 150 people arrested from the capital and elsewhere of the country ahead of tomorrow’s dawn-to-dusk hartal.
At least 10 passenger buses were burnt in pre-hartal violence in different parts of the capital.
Opposition BNP and its allies Jamaat-e-Islami, BJP and Khelafat Majlis called the shutdown to protest the government move to scarp the provision of the non-party caretaker government. IOJ, JAGPA and others extended their support to the hartal.
BNP alleged that Zahurul Huq from Elephant Road and Bablu from Dhanmondi were arrested in the evening.
BNP office secretary Rizvi Ahmed claimed that Khulna City JCD general secretary Kamal Ahmed was arrested from Khulna city in the evening. He also claimed that at least 250 BNP activists were injured in police action on the hartal campaigners across the country.

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India to hosts this year's World Environment Day tomorrow
New Delhi, Kolkata, 4 June : India will host this year's World Environment Day tomorrow and the government has announced that the country will continue to play a very important role in defining the terms of environmental debate at the global level.
Each year a different country is chosen as the principal venue for the global celebration of World Environment Day which falls on 5 June and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has selected India as the global host of this year's programme.
The theme of this years celebration is "Forests: Nature at Your Service", which highlights the crucial environmental and economic roles played by the forests, particularly in India.
"The message is largely to the international community that India is willing and determined to play and is playing a very important role in defining the terms of environmental debate," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in his message to the world on the occasion.

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BNP to go non-stop movement to thwart annulment of CG
Dhaka, 4 June : Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Saturday said her party might be compelled to go for tough non-stop movement if the government does not refrain from annulling the system of caretaker government embodied in the Constitution.
She said authority of amending the Constitution lay with parliament, and not any court. Nor it is not mandatory for parliament to implement verdict of the court on amending the Constitution. Khaleda told a crowded press conference at her Gulshan office this evening that BNP would thwart the ill motive of government.

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GS Prakash Karat to review CPI(M) debacle in West Bengal
Kolkata, 4 June : CPI(M)'s West Bengal state committee met here today with party general secretary Prakash Karat as special invitee to finalise its review report on the end of the uninterrupted 34-year rule of the Left Front in the state.
Party sources said during the two-day session Karat is likely to discuss the factors responsible for the drubbing in the Assembly elections with the state leadership which took up district and block-level reports on the poll reverses.
The meeting is also expected to analyse the wrong estimate of the party's prospects in the election when the leadership forecast 199 seats for the Left Front to be able to form the eighth Front government in the state.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was present at the meeting, which will also take up the issue of post-poll violence by TMC.

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FM hopes Singapore would import more B'deshi Products
Dhaka, 4 June : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni expressed hope that Singapore would import more Bangladeshi Products to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.
She told this during her meeting with new Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam at the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday, said a press release.

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WB BJP state president Rahul Sinha offers party to resign
PTI, Lucknow, 4 June : BJP's review of its performance in the recently-held Assembly elections to five states saw its West Bengal unit chief Rahul Sinha offering to resign owning "moral responsibility" for the party's defeat, but it was shot down by the top leadership.
During the discussions on BJP's dismal poll performance in all the five states - West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry, senior party leaders made efforts to know why their calculations went wrong.
Rahul Sinha, BJP state unit president of West Bengal, told party President Nitin Gadkari that he was owning responsibility for the party's poor showing in the state.

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CPI(M) leaders paraded, assaulted for alleged corruption
PTI, Burdwan, 4 June : Eight local CPI(M) leaders were today paraded by being pulled with the ropes tied around their waists before being beaten up by villagers at Saraighar in Burdwan district over alleged corruption.
The eight CPI(M) leaders - Achinta Mondal and Srikanta Ghosh, both local CPI(M) committee members, former secretary of the gram panchayat Jahar Ghosh, besides Ashwini Mondal, Sukumar Pramanik and Kartik Mondal, three gram panchayat members and Sunil Mullick, the secretary -- had called a meeting of the villagers in a field, local Trinamool Congress leader S K Jamal said.
The villagers had demanded an explanation on how Rs six lakh in development funds was spent about a fortnight ago and the CPI(M) leaders had said that an explanation would be given today, he said.

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Total and darkest "Lunar Eclipse" on the night of 15 June
PTI, Mumbai, 4 June : With the sun, earth and moon falling in a straight line on the night of 15 June, a celestial drama, showing the darkest lunar eclipse in the 21st century, will occur, an official spokesperson said here today.
The moon will pass through the shadow, cast by the earth, producing a beautiful spectacle in the sky. As the moon slips into the earth's umbra (dark shadow), it will slowly turn coppery red, Programme Coordinator (Scientific) at the Nehru Planetarium Suhas B Naik-Satam said.
This will be the darkest lunar eclipse visible over the skies of India in the 21st Century, after the last darkest lunar eclipse 40 years back on 6 August, 1971, he said.
The lunar eclipse will be visible throughout India and it will start at 23:53 pm(IST) and it will end at 03:32 am on 16 June, Satam said.

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WB Govt orders judicial probe into Mostafa Quasem's death
Kolkata, 4 June : The West Bengal government today ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of CPI(M) MLA Mostafa Bin Quasem at the MLA Hostel here in deference to the request of his son Masum.
"The Chief Secretary will decide the terms of reference of the one-member judicial commission," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters here.
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Asian Development Bank assures fund for big solar system
UNB, Dhaka, 4 June : Asian Development Bank (ADB) has in principal agreed to provide financial support to Bangladesh for implementing a solar system project for generation of 500 MW power.
The assurance came from the top executives of the multilateral lending agency at its 3-day Asia Solar Energy Forum’s Conference in Bangkok that ended on 1 June. A delegation led by PM’s Energy Adviser Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury attended the conference.

“Responding to our call, ADB has in principal agreed to provide the financial support to a 500 MW capacity solar energy project. Now, other things will be worked out to implement the proposed project and the amount of fund will be determined on that basis,” Tapos Kumar Roy, Additional Secretary of the Power Division, who attended the conference told UNB.
The ADB arranged the conference as part of its policy to promote renewable energy, particularly the solar-based power system in the Asian countries. The lending agency has planned to introduce 3,000 MW solar-based power system in the region by 2013.
Delegations from most of the Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Maldives participated in the conference.
Bangladesh delegation included Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, Additional Secretary Tapos Kumar Roy, IDCOL chief executive office Islam Sharif and Rahimafrooz Renewable’s managing director Munawar Moin.
Officials attended the conference said Bangladesh proposed a plan for introducing 500 MW solar panel-based system that includes solar irrigation pump; solar roof top in urban areas; and mini grids solar plants in rural area.

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          Bengal beat Manipur 2-1 to retain prestigious "Santosh Trophy"        
Guwahati, 30 May : Bengal retained the Santosh Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Manipur in the summit clash to win their 31st title of the national championships on Monday.
Strikers Branco Cardozo (21st minute) and Budhiram Tudu (48th) scored for Bengal while Manipur pulled one back through Nabachandra Singh in the 75th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. Manipur were playing in only their second final after winning the title in 2002.

Both the teams started on an aggressive note. While Manipur went all out for an early goal, Bengal preferred to play sensibly and gained in confidence as they played the waiting game. Branco put Bengal ahead in the 21st minute. He blasted a Francis Fernandes pass from the top of the box as Bengal went into the interval with a one-goal lead.
After changing ends, Bengal doubled the lead in the 48th minute. Midfielder Budhiram Tudu found the back of the net when he tapped in from close.
With no other option left, Manipur went all out. And it paid dividends when Nabachandra Singh reduced the margin in the 75th minute. Inspired by the goal, Manipur launched a series of attacks to restore parity but it all came a bit too late.
Bengal now have won their second consecutive title after a lull of 11 years since emerging champions in 1999. In the last edition, Bengal had beaten Punjab 2-0 in the final to regain the trophy. န Photos : Chinmoy Roy
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LF leaders to meet chief minister Mamata to protest attacks
Kolkata, 30 May : A delegation of Left Front leaders will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 3 June to complain about the "ongoing atrocities" on Left activists across the state. "A Left Front delegation will meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 3 June at 5 pm and we will inform her about the ongoing atrocities on the Left activists across the state," Leader of Opposition Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra told mediapersons here.
Incidentally, this will be the first formal meeting between the two sides in about two years. Earlier during the Left Front regime, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress had boycotted the state government since mid-2009 alleging that the government has blood on its hands.
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B'desh will immediately stop brick export to India : Faruk
Sangsad Bhaban, Dhaka, 30 May : Bangladesh Commerce Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan said Monday in Parliament that Bangladesh will immediately stop export of bricks to India.
Replying to a supplementary question from treasury bench lawmaker Shahiduzzman Sarkar, he said that before stopping the export, the World Trade Oraganisation rules would have to be followed. Faruk Khan said: “We have taken steps to stop export of bricks and it would be implemented immediately.” He said that in the past few years, Bangladesh exported a significant quantity of bricks to India but it gave rise to several problems.
Ruling party lawmaker Shahiduzzman said such export of bricks is causing serious harm to soil fertility as the top-soil of lands is used for making bricks.
He also mentioned that export of huge quantity of bricks had stalled local development and construction works as the price of bricks shoot up.
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Deep convection over Bay of Bengal, Signal No. 3 hoisted
Dhaka, 30 May : Deep convection is taking place over North Bay. Squally weather may affect North Bay and adjoining coastal area of Bangladesh.
Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three ® three. All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay have been advised to come close to the coast and proceed with caution till further notice, Met Office said.
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GJM congratulates Mamata, says ray of hope after 34 years
Kolkata, 30 May : Pinning hopes in the new West Bengal government, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today appeared to soften its stand on Gorkhaland statehood, even as an official-level meeting to look into the Darjeeling issue was announced for 6 June.
"We want an early solution to the Darjeeling problem," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters after a meeting with GJM President Bimal Gurung, General Secretary Roshan Giri and four newly-elected Morcha MLAs at the Writers'' Building.
Apparently softening its demand for Gorkhaland, Gurung said after the meeting, "this is not the time to discuss the issue." Describing the meeting as "good and cordial", he said, "There is a ray of hope after 34 years."

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Bangladesh's Government drafts tougher Anti-Tobacco Law
Dhaka, 30 May : Bangladesh's ministry of health has drafted a 'stricter' tobacco control law amending the earlier one to curb the rising trend of tobacco users and related businesses, Deputy secretary Azam-e-Sadat says.
Smokeless tobacco products, like zarda, sada pata and gul, have been incorporated as 'tobacco products' in the draft law that suggests pictorial health warnings covering 50 percent of a cigarette packet to discourage smokers.
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West Bengal Government to fill up vacant posts in Police
Kolkata, 30 May : The West Bengal government will fill up 63,000 sanctioned vacant posts in the state police, state Industry and IT Minister Partha Chatterjee said.
"The strength of the police in the state is 26,000, but there are 89,000 sanctioned posts. The government will fill up these posts and modernise the force," Partha Chatterjee said last night. In an oblique reference to the armed CPI(M) cadre, he said, "I wonder whom the previous government called in to fill in the shortage of 63,000 personnel in the police."
Partha Chatterjee, who is deputy leader of the Trinamool Congress Legislature Party, said that party supremo Mamata Banerjee has issued instructions to the rank and file not to seek revenge on political rivals following the party's landslide win in the elections.

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Bachandri Pal to lead an all women team to Mount Everest
PTI, New Delhi, 30 May : After inspiring the likes of 45-year-old Premlata Agarwal to scale the Mount Everest, Bachandri Pal is all set to lead a 10-member all women contingent to a mountain trekking in Bhutan.
The expedition, named Snowman Trek, begins from Paro-Drukgyel Dzong and travels to the remote Lunana district before concluding at Sephu. The expedition will cover 11 high mountain passes with the maximum elevation of 5,230 metres and is considered as one of the most challenging expeditions. There will be four amateur participants in the group.
The contingent, which has got representation from different parts of the country, also includes two women - Lalmati Birully and Payo Murmu - from the tribal areas of Jharkhand.

While both of them along with Radha Rana (23) and Naina Dhakar (21) will undertook such type of expedition for the first time, the troop will have some experienced members in Chaula Jagirdar (Gujarat), Vasumati Srinivasan (Karnataka) and Bimla Deoskar (Maharashtra) apart from Bachendri herself.
Asked what inspired her to formulate such an expedition, Bachendri said she had missed the stretch during her 1997 trans Himalayan journey and wanted to make it this time around.
"While undertaking the trans Himalayan journey in 1997 I missed on this (Snowman Trek) stretch, and since then I had in my mind to trek the distance," said the first Indian woman to scale the Mt Everest.
Talking about the challenge ahead, the veteran mountaineer said, "The most difficult part of this journey is that we will be constantly trekking above 14,000 feet and going up to an altitude of about 19,000 feet."
On the inclusion of some fresh legs in the team, Bachendri said she has complete faith in their ability and said that the journey has the potential to turn around their lives.
"It is not just an expedition, to be very honest women in India are still lagging behind, this is a journey of women empowerment. The expedition will open up new avenues for these people," the 57-year-old insisted.
Talking to the reporters on the occasion Murmu, a mother of three, said it is great opportunity to earn a name for herself and her family. "My family did not raise any objections, instead they told me to go and do your best," Murmu said. Asked how she was preparing herself for the cumbersome journey, Murmu said she walks 4km daily to keep herself abreast for the challenge.
The expedition which starts from Tuesday, with the contingent flying to Siliguri from here, is supported by Tata Steel and is estimated to incur a price of Rs 15 lakh. န File Photos

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          West Bengal Govt examining legal issues for Singur' land return        
Kolkata, 23 May : The West Bengal government today started examining all legal issues involved for the return of 400 acre to farmers who unwillingly parted with their land in Singur for the abandoned Tata Nano project.
"All legal issues are being examined. A file will be handed to the Industries Minister (Partha Chatterjee) tomorrow," Industry Secretary Dipankar Mukherjee told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Industry Secretary asked the 'West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation' to prepare a file on Singur.
After his request, state Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh, Dipankar Mukherjee and WBIDC MD Dr Subrata Gupta met to discuss the issues involved.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, immediately after assuming office, had said the government would return 400 of the 1000 acres acquired for the Nano project which subsequently shifted to Gujarat's Sanand.
She had said that the Tatas were welcome to set up a project on the remaining 600 acre of 1000 acre.
The Tatas were paying the annual rental till date for the land given on lease.
Mamata Banerjee had also sought to make public the agreement reached between the erstwhile Left Front government and the Tatas on the Nano project. န File Photo

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Substantial progress made in implementing Indo-Bangla joint communiqué : Dipu Moni
UNB, Dhaka, 23 May : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni today claimed that substantial progress has been achieved in implementing the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Communiqué, particularly resolving Bangladesh’s concerns over sharing of the Teesta waters, border demarcation and trade imbalance.
Responding to a question at a regular press conference at the Foreign Ministry, she said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January last year has generated much expectations and many of the issues would be resolved through the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh.
Although Dr Moni could not say about the date of Dr Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit, she said it would take place ‘soon.’
Asked about the service charge for giving transit to India, she said it is a very big issue involving many factors. She said the service charge would also depend on how much user countries like India, Bhutan and Nepal would benefit by using the transit offered by Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister said the National Board of Revenue is working on it in a bid to ensure a win-win situation for the countries concerned.

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Border Security Force writes to govt on 'Dhruv' helicopters
New Delhi, 23 May : The Border Security Force (BSF) has written to the Government for replacing indigenous 'Dhruv' helicopters saying they did not fulfil its operational requirement. "The Advanced Light Helicopters- Dhruv-- are not helpful in our operations like casualty evacuation and troop reinforcements. They are useless for us. Most of the times these helicopters are under servicing and there are issues about its capabilities to fly beyond a certain height," BSF sources said.
The BSF air fleet at present has six ALH 'Dhruvs' and two more will soon be inducted.
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Agartala promotes puppetry through "Putul Yatra festival"
ANI, Agartala, 23 May : To promote and encourage the use of puppets, a daylong edition of the Putul Yatra or the Putla was recently held here.
Being organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Tripura Sanaskriti Samanya Kendra, Tripura Puppet Theatre and Department of Information and Culture Affairs of the state government, the festival saw puppeteers from across the country.
The festival aims to raise awareness about the ancient art of puppetry that is facing extinction due to the growing popularity of cinema, TV and other forms of modern entertainment. "The tradition of puppetry is in a state of decline, so we aim to preserve and promote it in each and every village of the state," said Gautam Kumar Das, organizer
The large number of people who turned up for the festival were thoroughly entertained by the interesting stories, endearing characters, colorful sets, lively music, songs and choreography.
"I liked the show. I hope such programme will be held in the future also, so that the children can see them," said Satarupa Karmakar. "I think such festivals will help the new generation learn about our culture and heritage of which puppetry is a part. Such festivals should be held more often. It can be a very good source of entertainment and I enjoyed the programme.," Manish Lodh.
Puppetry amalgamates drama, music and painting into an imaginative medium to put across social ideas and religious or mythological stories to its audience.

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Critic Chidananda Dasgupta dies
Kolkata, 23 May : Eminent film critic, academic and director Chidananda Dasgupta died at his home here late Sunday night following old-age complications. He was 89. Dasgupta was the father of actress-filmmaker Aparna Sen.
He was suffering from acute broncho pneumonia and Parkinson's disease, doctors said. Dasgupta was a multi-faceted talent, who started off as a college lecturer, then switched to advertising but made his name as a film critic and historian.
Alongside doyens like Satyajit Ray and Bansi Chandragupta, he founded the country's first film society dedicated to feature films - Calcutta Film Society - in 1947 soon after independence. The society was the harbinger of the new wave cinema in the country, playing an important role in making world cinema accessible to Indian viewers and also started the film society movement.
Later, Dasgupta played a leading role in setting up the Federation of Film Societies of India, which also contributed to enhancing the cinematic sense among budding directors, actors and film goers.
He wrote over 2,000 articles on cinema in several periodicals and magazines, and in 1980 authored "The Cinema of Satyajit Ray" which is regarded as one of the most authentic research on the film maestro.
Dasgupta directed seven films "The Stuff Of Steel" (1969), "The Dance of Shiva" (1968), "Portrait of a City" (1961), "Amodini" (1994), "Zaroorat Ki Purti" (1979), "Rakhto" (1973) and "Bilet Pherat" (1972). He was given the lifetime achievement award at the Osian Film Festival in 2004.

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25 killed, 82 injured in lightning strikes in B'desh 11 districts
Dhaka, 23 May : At least 25 people were killed and 82 others injured in separate lightning strikes in during storm in Chandpur, Chapainawabganj, Bhola, Pabna, Natore, Manikganj, Jamalpur, Khulna, Rajshahi, Bogra and Joypurhat districts Monday.
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Chief Minster Mamata to revive century-old 'Basumati press'
Kolkata, 23 May : West Bengal Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee today said that her government would revive the century-old Basumati Sahitya Mandir, which is now lying in a moribund state.
"I called Union Minister of State for Urban Development minister Saugata Roy and sought the expertise of his ministry in reviving and running press," Chief Minster told reporters here. The chief minister said she had urgedSaugata Roy to give a report to her within three months about how to revive the press.
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Teacher in cabinet, Pupils jubilant but 'worried' of learning
Malda, 23 May : Their teacher has successfully passed in her examination already and also received the reward today, but Subhrajit, Maman or Bulti are not quite sure of who would teach them from now onwards as their only teacher has already shouldered the heavier responsibility of a state cabinet minister from this afternoon.
Sabitri Mitra, the only cabinet member from Malda district, is not only the teacher-in-charge of Rajendra Dutta Primary School located at Sadarghat area under Sadar primary circle, but also the only teacher who has taught the students with her best might so far. Mitra joined the school as an assistant teacher in October, 1983 when she had at least four colleagues with whom she imparted education to the students.

With the passing of time, the primary school has faced not only dearth of students but also an acute crisis of staff. After the headmaster of the school retired few years back, there was no replacement. The senior teachers used to serve as the teacher in charge to run the school. As her only remaining colleague retired on 31 December, 2010, Sabitri Mitra is the only teacher of the institution having strength of 30 students presently. She is also the teacher in charge of the school now.
Hence, the students besides being jubilant of the success of their dear madam, are adequately pensive that she would not be teaching them any further. Subhrajit Saha, a student of class IV or Maman Das of class II have no distinct idea of the importance of the ministerial berth. They only said: “We are very happy that madam has become a minister. But who will take our classes then!” Bulti Das, a student of class III and another fond student of Mrs Mitra said innocently: “Madam will definitely give us more chocolates than she usually does.” But she is not very sure if their madam would teach them as before.
The district primary school council (DPSC) chairman Zahirul Islam did not have the any information about the scarce staff strength of the school of the new cabinet minister. Having the information from Bengal Newz correspondent for the first time, Islam said: “I would definitely look into the matter and something must be done so that innocent pupils are not deprived at any cost. ”The chairman informed that as the new government has assumed office today, he would discuss the matter with the district inspector of schools (primary) on a priority basis. န Photo : Uday Mandal

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          Tarun Gogoi sworn in as the Assam Chief Minister for third term        
PTI, Guwahati, 18 May : Congress leader Tarun Gogoi was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of Assam for the third successive term by Governor J B Patnaik at the Raj Bhawan here.
The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to 75-year-old Gogoi in Assamese at the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhawan.
Union DoNER Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Assam Pradesh Congress President Bhubaneswar Kalita were among those who attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Gogoi, wearing white kurta and pyjama and a waistcoat, came with wife Dolly, son Gaurav and daughter Chandrima at the function.
He is scheduled to visit Delhi to get his list of ministers finalised by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
77 newly-elected Congress MLAs, 12 MLAs of ally Bodoland Peoples'' Front''s led by Hagrama Mohilary, senior civil, police and army officials attended the event.

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More banks in the North East soon, says RBI Gov Subbarao
Agartala, 18 May : Villages in the North East states, with population of more than 2000 would be covered under banking service soon, RBI Governor D Subbarao said here today.
Most of the rural areas in the country, especially the North East are out of the cover of banking service, he said, adding that the number of banks in the region was very less.
"Twenty five per cent of the banks in the country should be rural areas but only 5 per cent of rural habitations in the country come under the banking service, which is not good for the banks, for governments or people," he said at the inaugural programme of a RBI sub-office here.
"The banks in the country are facing a big challenge of financial inclusion without which banks cannot be stable.
Financial inclusion is necessary for poverty alleviation and financial stability. န Photo : Parthajit Dutta

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Justice M Muzammel Hossain sworn in as new Chief Justice
Dhaka, 18 May : Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain was sworn in today as new Chief Justice of Bangladesh. President Zillur Rahman administered the oath to newly appointed Chief Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain at a simple ceremony at Bangabhaban.
Earlier, President Zillur Rahman appointed Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain as the 20th Chief Justice of the country to replace Justice ABM Khairul Haque who went on retirement.

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'Bangla Tuli'- an exhibition by B'deshi artists opens in Delhi
ANI, New Delhi, 18 May : As part of the joint celebrations commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, an exhibition of paintings by eight artists from Bangladesh was inaugurated in New Delhi today at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
Secretary Culture, Government of India Jawhar Sarkar inaugurated the exhibition Bangla-Tuli in the presence of Mahbub Hassan Saleh, Deputy High Commissioner, Bangladesh High Commission.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarkar said, the whole idea of jointly celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore is that he is part of the common heritage between the two countries- India and Bangladesh.
"Tagore was the first non-white human being to get the coveted Nobel Prize from the sub-continent," he added.
Remembering Tagore as a voice against oppression, Sarkar said with a view to break free the bondage of alphabet, Tagore took up paintings at a later stage.
Describing Rabindranath as the greatest cultural icon in the world, Hassan Saleh said: "The cultural bondage between the two countries are inseparable as it was deeply rooted in our hearts that cannot be divided.
He thanked the Lalit Kala Akademi for holding such camp and hope more such camps would be held in future to bring the artists of Bangladesh and India closer.
The exhibition will continue till 23 May.

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Speaker Meira Kumar unveils Tagore's bronze bust in Seoul
PTI, Seoul , 18 May : Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar unveiled a bronze bust of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Seoul today, marking the growing Indo-Korean relations.
Kumar, who is in Seoul for the G20 Speakers' Conference, conveyed India''s appreciation to President of Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak for the friendly gesture on the 150th anniversary of the poet-philosopher.
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B'desh, Bhutan signs air service modernization agreement
UNB, Dhaka, 18 May : Bangladesh and Bhutan Wednesday signed an agreement relating to the modernization of the air services between the two countries.
Chairman of the Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority Air Commodore Mahmud Hossain and Director General of Bhutan’s Civil Aviation Phala Dorji signed the deal at the Civil Aviation Head Office here on behalf of their respective governments. Civil Aviation Minister GM Qader speaking on the occasion said so long Bhutan used to operate four flights a week from Paro to Bangkok via Dhaka. After the agreement Bhutan Airlines will enjoy the facilities to use any airport of Bangladesh. Similarly, Bangladesh will also enjoy the same facilities.
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Several top officials of Left Front regime resign their posts
Kolkata, 18 May : A number of top officials of the Left Front regime have resigned from their posts with the Trinamool Congress-led government coming into power in West Bengal.
Among those who have already put in their papers are Subrata Sen, vice-chairman of 'Nabadiganta Industrial township', Nikhil Ranjan Banerjee, 'WEBEL' chairman, Sanat Chattopadhyay, 'Bangla Academy' secretary, Tarun Majumder, advisor of 'Nandan' (West Bengal film centre) and Niranjan Saha, director of 'Calcutta State Transport Corporation'.
Besides, 'West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation' director Sudhangshu Sil, chairman of 'Calcutta Tramways Company' Rajdeo Goala and Director of 'Higher Secondary Council' Subimol Sen have also resigned, according to special secretary in the information and cultural affairs department Niloy Ghosh.
Niloy Babu said among those who have expressed their desire to resign include Satyajit Ray state archive' curator Partha Raha, and Director of 'Mass media Centre' Krishna Dhar.

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Sonia unlikely to attend Mamata''s swearing-in ceremony
PTI, New Delhi, 18 May : Congress President Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to attend the swearing-in of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as West Bengal Chief Minister in Kolkata on Friday, party sources said today.
Home Minister P Chidambaram is expected to represent the Congress at the function along with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and CWC member Shakeel Ahmed, who is in-charge of party affairs in West Bengal, the sources said. The decision on the issue of Congress participation in the government will be taken by tomorrow, they said, adding the indications are positive.

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Binayak gets Korean award, says he always "anti-violence"
PTI, New Delhi, 18 May : Civil rights activist Dr Binayak Sen today said he condemns violence by all agencies but opposes branding under the single category of Maoism the multi-hued resistance to "forced takeover of indigenous land" in India.
In his acceptance speech after receiving the 2011 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in South Korea, he also said he was "never disloyal" to the people of his country.
"I condemn, unequivocally, all violence by any and all individuals and agencies. I believe that violence is an invalid and unsustainable approach to achieving goals, whether these are the goals of the state or the goals of individuals operating outside the law," he said. "Because the state is sworn to uphold the Constitution, I believe we are entitled to hold agents of the state to a higher standard than we hold outlaws," Sen, recently freed on bail by the Supreme Court in a sedition case, said.
He said India is considered around the world as a rapidly developing country. But eight Indian provinces alone have more poor people than 26 African nations put together. "As a physician what concerns me is that such absolute poverty among such large numbers of people really translates into a major health disaster the proportions of which can only be called genocidal," he said.
Sen said the same section of people who are victims of poverty-induced malnutrition now face the threat as global finance capital embarks on its latest phase of expansion.
"The forced takeover of indigenous land is being met with resistance that is multi-hued, yet the state has chosen to brand it under the single category of Maoist, and has met it with brutality and human rights violations," he said.
Dr Sen also said he was determined to fight the case against him till it is finally established that his actions were always in the interest of justice with equity and were "never seditious in nature".
He also appealed to the people of South Korea to oppose the Posco steel project in Orissa, which he said, "threatens the livelihood of thousands of agriculturists, workers and small businesses in the area besides devastating the local environment and ecology."
The Gwangju prize, which carries a sum of USD 50,000, is awarded each year on May 18 - anniversary of the May 1980 Gwangju democratic uprising - to a person or organisation who has made significant contributions in the field of human rights and democracy. Among past awardees were Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. န File Photo : AP
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Qatar airways launch daily Kolkata-Doha flights from 27July
PTI, New Delhi, 18 May : Premier UAE airline Qatar Airways would launch daily flights between Kolkata and Doha from July this year, taking the number of Indian cities it operates to 12.
The daily flights to Kolkata would begin from 27 July, taking the total number of flights to 95 per week from the present 88 from 11 Indian cities, an airline spokesperson said. The airline''s decision to fly to Kolkata is part of its overall expansion plans for this year when it would launch services to several new routes.

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Ghai wants to work again with Rituparno after 'Noukadubi'
PTI, Kolkata, 18 May : After producing Rituparno Ghosh''s film on Rabindranath Tagore''s Noukadubi, to be released on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the poet, Subhash Ghai said he would like to work with the filmmaker again.
"I am happy with the way Rituparno, undoubtedly one of the most talented filmmakers of the country, has weaved magic with Tagore''s story on celluloid. I also like the rich imagery the director employed," Ghai told PTI.

Speaking after the music launch of the Bengali version of the film aboard a boat in the Ganga ahead of its release next Friday, Ghai said as part of his endeavour to promote "culturally rich cinema" he would like to work with Rituparno again.
Ghai even hinted that talks were already on with the National Award winning director for another film.
"Yes, things can even start by the end of this year or in another year''s time, but I can''t shed more light on the subject or anything else. That will be too premature," said Ghai. He said he was ready to collaborate if approached with good scripts and work with the directorial talents of Bengal and encourage creative efforts. "I want to take good Bengali cinema to a global scale," Ghai, producer of acclaimed films like ''Iqbal'' by Nagesh Kukunoor, said.
Coming to ''Noukadubi'', Ghai recalled that he first saw the film after shooting was over at studio and the imagery, the execution of the complex tale of cross-wired lovers, the boatwreck and the haunting music impressed him immensely.
As for the Hindi version of the film ''Kashmakash'', Ghai said Gulzar had beautifully transliterated the Bengali lyrics of Tagore which he described as one of his best works till date.

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          Discover India & Bhutan        
Te invitam intr-o calatorie magica, in care vei descoperi esenta spirituala a Indiei si vei trai experienta bogatelor valori religioase si a traditiilor pastrate de sute de ani. Vei explora capitala Indiei, unde vei vedea atat New Delhi, cat si orasul vechi; orasul Jaipur si Fortul Amber, la care vei ajunge pe spatele elefantilor; orasul Agra, unde vei admira splendidul monument Taj Mahal si Fortul Agra; Fatehpur Sikri, capitala abandonata a Imperiului Mogul. Mai departe vei ajunge in Bhutan, un taram spectaculos prin maretia naturii ce se intinde la poalele Muntilor Himalaya. Aici vei vizita orase, manastiri, muzee si temple fascinate si vei simti atmosfera spirituala penetranta chiar si in centrele urbane, Bhutan fiind ultimul stat Buddhist Mahayana din zilele noastre.

          Discover Bhutan        
Va propunem o experienta inedita in Bhutan unde veti avea deosebita ocazie sa descoperiti aceasta tara. Veti ajunge pe un taram spectaculos prin maretia naturii ce se intinde la poalele Muntilor Himalaya. Aici veti vizita orase, manastiri, muzee si temple fascinate si veti simti atmosfera spirituala penetranta chiar si in centrele urbane, Bhutan fiind ultimul stat Buddhist Mahayana din zilele noastre.

          Experiencing A New World: Bhutan (Part 1)         
Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a tiny landlocked gem near India that is truly heaven in disguise. Bhutan is a fine example of a disciplined country that has been able to establish itself on a monarchical style of government with Buddhism at the centre of its ideologies. One would assume that Bhutan is no different from any other Indian hill-station, only to be proven wrong with the very...
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          China demands India pulls back troops in border dispute        
China has demanded that India pull back its troops from a contested region high in the Himalayas, warning New Delhi not “to push your luck” amid a festering border dispute. According to Indian officials, about 300 soldiers from either side face each other about 150 metres apart on the Doklam plateau, an area also claimed by India’s ally Bhutan. The standoff began in June when Chinese troops started building a road onto the plateau towards India’s border. Bhutan sought help from India, which sent troops across the border from the northeastern state of Sikkim. On Monday, Colonel Wu Qian, a Chinese defence ministry spokesman,
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          Eating the Globe: Zimbabwe        

I tried cooking Zimbabwean beef stew last weekend. It was rather unremarkable. The recipe called for virtually no spices. I cut the meat portion in half and doubled the curry powder, and it was still bland. It was straight out of a 1950s American cookbook-- tasteless. I added the spinach and rice, which were not called for in the recipe.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia, Zimbabwe
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Belize, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga
          Bhutan: An update on Recent Developments: Update no. 105        
Note No. 718                                       Dated 4-Jun-2014
 
By Dr. S.Chandrasekharan.
 
There are only three issues that need to be highlighted on the recent developments.  The first relates to an over pessimistic assessment of the World Bank on Bhutan’s economy- 2014.  The second relates to a very impressive account of Bhutan’s way of life and its cherished goal of Gross National Happiness and the third relates to the refugee issue as one of the expatriates has given a religious twist to the whole refugee issue which in my view is very unfortunate.
 
The World Bank Report on Economic Developments in Bhutan- 2014.
 
In what is routinely issued by World Bank on the economic situation in the country, the update on Bhutan’s economy of 2014 appears to be unjustifiably pessimistic though in reality the economy of Bhutan but for the “Rupee crunch” is fairly robust and stable.  In my view, with a little tightening in construction sector and judicious use of imports from India and completion of the ongoing Hydro electric projects in time would go a long way in overcoming this problem.  The points raised in the World Bank Report and other related issues were:
 
* Bhutan’s financial sector has shown signs of vulnerability and weakness could be exposed after the recent decline in real estate prices.
 
* Increase in loans and deposit ratio to above 100 percent raises concerns- given the overall decline in deposits.  This may result in Banks not having enough liquidity for any unforeseen fund requirements.
 
* There is a mis match between long term loans and short term, seasonal and volatile corporate deposits. 
 
* Loans were more focussed on personal ones and real estate sector.  ( This is true and has to be addressed soon)
 
* While the government is justified in concentrating on rupee crunch, it should also look into the health of the financial institutions, non performing loans and also a general drop in the profit rate of the banks.
 
* The unemployment issue is underestimated.  (There is some concern over unemployment and under employment but these are not serious enough now to affect the stability of the country)
 
* There is an aspirational mismatch between skills demand and skills supply. ( Not a serious one as yet.)
 
Bhutan’s Way of Life and the Gross National Happiness:
 
One cannot but be impressed by an editorial of “Bhutanese” of May 2, 2014 on the Bhutanese way of life and how the Gross National Happiness in Bhutan cannot be measured by statistics but by Bhutanese visiting other countries and return to feel the way of life. The points highlighted in the editorial were
 
* Bhutan should not give up its collective soul in return for a few more Ngultrims ( Bhutan’s currency) or a rise in the GDP.
 
* While the Bhutan Government does a lot more in improving the business environment and activities, it should not make the mistake of copying the fundamental models of its South Asian counterparts- that would only result in the acceleration of divide between the rich and the poor.
 
* Bhutan should for the present, go for strengthening and increasing the number of cottage, small and medium business industries.
 
* In this context, the real nature of Gross National Happiness has to be understood.  The only and the surest way of knowing  Bhutan’s way of life is for doubters to spend some time outside Bhutan and then come back to Bhutan and note the difference. (Emphasis ours)
 
* While changes are inevitable and needed, Bhutan should not give up the “nation’s soul” in addressing the challenges. What is unique to Bhutan should be preserved and this includes a.  retaining the forests and not cutting them down for profits b.  not pollute air or water for solving the problems relating to poverty or economic recovery.c.  not to allow governance to be chaotic as one sees around the region.
 
* Not to give up the cultural factors ad good manners which one could notice generally among the Bhutanese.
 
The Refugee issue:
 
The Bhutan News Service of May 21, 2014 carried an article under ‘opinion’ discussing the refugee issue and unfortunately gave it a religious twist on the ground that the refugees were thrown out of Bhutan just because they were predominantly Hindus. 
 
The author Narayan Phuyal Sharma who perhaps is a refugee now settled in Philadelphia, has referred to the BJP’s manifesto which has called for sending back the illegal immigrants and also accept those for whom India is a natural home for the persecuted Hindus outside India.  He then goes on to say that the overwhelming majority of Bhutanese refugees are Hindus and one fundamental reason for their being persecuted was because of their religion.  Therefore this fact  must enable the Bhutanese refugees for affirmative protection from the present BJP government in India.
 
The refugee issue was not a religious one and I have on my interaction with many of the leaders of the refugees had appealed to them not to make it a religious issue.  In the days when the camps were full, Hindu religious leaders had visited the camps but to my knowledge they did not give it a religious twist.
 
At any rate, the refugee issue is almost getting solved and there is very little likelihood of religious issues being taken up now.  
 
On 21 May 2014, the 90,000 th refugee was seen off to Montreal for resettlement.  In US alone, over 75,000 have been resettled.  Of the 27,000 refugees left in the camps, 21,000 have expressed their interest in resettlement and should go out in the coming years.  That will leave only about 7000 left which is manageable.
 
I do not for a moment condone what Bhutan did with its innocent, harmless and hardworking citizens.  It was an ethnic issue and not a religious one.  Bhutan had decided for reasons best known to them that an ethnic balance of 75 percent of the majority community  to 25 percent of the Lhotsampas of the plains is just the balance for its well being!  It is unfortunate for a country that lays so much stress on the gross national happiness to have taken up this act of ethnic balancing and what is worse, not a single refugee of those who have even been acknowledged by the Joint Verification Committee is yet to be taken back!
 
 
 
 
Category: 
Countries: 

          What Bhutan Can Teach Everyone at Rio+20 About Ecological Economics        
Bhutan has a lot to teach the participants of Rio+20 about ecological economics, consumption and the gross happiness index.
          In Cricket-Crazy India, Basketball Is Quietly Empowering Girls’ Lives        
The EMRS Gangyap girls. Image used with permission.
The champions - girls basketball team of Gangyap's Ekalavya Model Residential School, Sikkim, with their coach. Image used with permission.
They hail from one of India's many mountain villages, and chances are that their lives would have been spent in quiet anonymity had it not been for an enthusiastic and persevering coach and their own grit. But now these girls have transformed themselves into national level champions in a sport that they had not even heard of earlier -- basketball. Theirs is a truly inspiring story. They are the girls of Gangyap.

Gangyap is a remote mountainous village, located at an altitude of 6,500 feet in the Himalayan mountains of Western Sikkim. Over the last few years, the village has come out of the shadows, thanks to a group of its teenage girls who, under the guidance of their school principal-cum-coach, has become an unlikely powerhouse in the Indian under-19 CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) Basketball league.

Siddharth Yonzone, 37, was appointed the first principal of the Eklavya Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) for Scheduled Tribes that opened in Gangyap around 2009 and he recalls that at the time, the school wasn't connected by proper roads and there were no proper school building or playground. Yonzone introduced basketball to the small number of students (52 enrolled in the first year, and 33 passed) as an extra-curricular student activity and became their coach and mentor.

At Gangyap, few had heard of basketball before, but that did not deter Yonzone, himself a basketball fan. There were many challenges, but the fledgeling team and their coach persevered. This video by documentary filmmaker Mandira Chhetri explains how the girls had to build their own basketball court from scratch, through manual labour:



Despite the challenges, however, the girls basketball team of Gangyap started playing in the championships in 2010 and surprised everyone when they stole the headlines in 2011 by winning the under-19 CBSE Basketball national level championship, the first team from north-east India to do so. The girls team has lifted the East Zone trophy for the fifth time this year and are currently preparing to take part in the 2014 under-19 national championships, to be held in December.

The Girls of Gangyap in action. Image used with permission.
The girls of Gangyap in action. Image used with permission.
Global Voices conducted an interview with Siddarth Yonzone over email to learn more about the team and how the game has had an impact on the lives of the girls and their community.

Global Voices (GV): What made you think of creating this basketball team with the girls, who are from the remote, tribal areas of Sikkim?
Siddarth Yonzone (SY): I'm a basketball fan, a basketball lover. When I was working in a government school as an English teacher, I had taught the game to a group of boys. This was around 2001-2004. In 2007 I was offered the post of a principal in a new school called 'Eklavya Model Residential School' where we had to begin with just one class, that was class VI. Seeing the very sad condition of the new school, the ignorance of the children and so much more, I wanted to catch their interest through basketball, music and some other literary stuff (of course all of which I am interested in)  I brought two girls with me to the new school (who I had started coaching in the previous school) named Rinchen abd Nim Lhamu, aged 10 and 12, respectively. With them I tried to build a team. Of course there was no court to play on. So I put up basketball rings on a wooden post. Though the other girls had never heard or seen the game, I thought of instilling confidence in them of some kind and had to start from somewhere ... I felt it could be done through basketball and music.
GV: What made you choose basketball as a sport for these girls, when it is not really a very well-known or popular game even in some of India's top schools?
SY: For me, taking the road less travelled has always been my way. Moreover since I was such a fan of the game, I wanted to make it popular in places hidden from the rest of the world. I had also seen the standard of the game played by the girls in Sikkim and other places and I was not happy about it. I wanted to train a team from scratch. I also made them watch NBA and WNBA. Apart from the game, this also helped the girls learn about different places, etc.



GV: Did you have to face any challenges in creating this team and teaching them the game? Can you share one or two incidents to illustrate?
SY: Yes! There were so many challenges, but with the grace of God, (and of course, we were training very hard) the girls started winning immediately. The captain, Nima Doma, naturally learned the game and became a star player. The girls started defeating opponents who were double their age and physically bigger, stronger, older. One of the biggest challenges we faced was that by class VII, they had won their first state championship (all aged 11-14) but they were not allowed to represent the state, which they wanted to very badly. Some people tried to discourage me and the girls by saying so many things. It was only in 2010 when they were in class VIII and IX that they went out of the state to play and won so many championships . But then even today, there are many tournaments to which this team is not invited; organisers give the excuse that there is no competition when our team is called ... (basically there are many who have still not acknowledged this team despite the many championships they have won all over India, in Bhutan and in Nepal too. Another challenge is that some people started to grow very jealous of the girls ... It was so difficult (and still is). These people criticize behind the girls' backs, say this is not their game, they mock and try to put down the girls. Sometimes the girls tell me of how difficult it is to belong to the team. I really don't know the reason why but since these girls were from the remote tribal areas, they were first generation learners coming from economically weak backgrounds, they were not looked after well. Scholarships/incentives for winning the CBSE under-19 national championship twice were not offered or even talked about. The girls finally got a basketball court in their seventh and final year of their schooling after learning for six years on muddy, stony, unbalanced courts. There were even some people who wanted to go out of their way to deny them a basketball court! They are so many other challenges, but the girls were interested and I got the support from their families and the biggest thing was, we met several well wishers, friends and family who helped us ..
The EMRS Basketball team. Image used with permission
The EMRS girls basketball team, in their school jerseys. Image used with permission
GV: What keeps the team motivated? Has it changed their day-to-day life or even their dreams in any way? Can you give an example?
SY: I guess it's the love of the game. They have set for themselves a very high target. Nima Doma, for example, dreams of playing in the WNBA. I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen but I’m certain if lady luck does smile on her, she will not disappoint the selectors. She’ll never let that opportunity go to waste. Even the support given by friends, family and well wishers have ensured that they continue to improve in the game. I try as a coach to give them targets; we have several meetings even when there aren't any tournaments coming up. Their day-to-day life has changed tremendously. They have become athletic in nature, health conscious, more confident, they started to perform very well in their academics. They have travelled to so many places within India and also Bhutan, Nepal ... they have seen more of the country because of basketball. They have higher dreams now. They've met various kinds of people on their journeys, some kind and generous, others spiteful and envious … they've even been invited for tea by her majesty, the queen of Bhutan, who spoke to and advised the girls and gave them presents. Recently, five of the outgoing (school leaving) seniors have appeared for an entrance test for physical education in Gwalior. If it not been for basketball, their options or dreams would be very little.
GV: The girls team has performed fantastically in so many competitions now. Has their story had any impact on the local communities from where they come -- in their villages or in their families?
SY: Yes, they have been welcomed grandly on their return after winning championships by the school and local communities. They are many people in and around Sikkim who look up to the girls as role models. We hear that in many schools, certain principals, head masters and teachers narrate stories of these players, motivating other students to try and achieve what these girls have; their families and villages are proud of them. Reports of their victories in newspapers, magazines, etc., have also inspired many other people. I sometimes meet people for the first time, but they seem to know pretty well about the team and their victories. They thank me and the team … they have said that the girls have inspired them in so many ways. On the other hand, I also feel that they should have been given a little support by the people in important positions, to enable them to get into the colleges they desired, but that has not been given …It makes me want to wonder why? Is it because they are girls? Is it because they are tribals? Is it because they are first generation learners from weak economical backgrounds? I could be totally wrong here but these things do make me think. It could also be because basketball is not a very popular game … especially with too much cricket in India, and too much fuss about contact and indoor sports in Sikkim. But one very important point I want to make is no matter the number of critics and obstacles in our path, certain well wishers have made a difference to the lives of the players.
We wish the girls of Gangyap many more successes in the days to come and hope that Siddharth Yonzone's vision will bring greater empowerment to many more such girls. We look forward to seeing them win -- in basketball, and in life.
The post was written in collaboration with Aparna Ray.

The post was also published in Global Voices Online.

          Amendment in export policy of edible oils        

Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Department of Commerce
Directorate General of Foreign Trade
Udyog Bhawan

Notification No 43/2015-20 
New Delhi, Dated the 27th March, 2017

Subject: Amendment in export policy of edible oils.

S.O.(E) In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 (No.22 of 1992), as amended, read with Para 1.02 and 2.01 Df the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2015-20, the Central Government hereby amends, with immediate effect, Notification No 22(RE-2013)/2009-14 dated 18.06.2013 read with Notification No 108(RE-2013)/2009-14 dated 06.02.2015 and Notification No. 17/2015-20 dated 06.08.2015 relating to 51. No. 92 of Schedule 2 of ITC(HS) Classification of Export & Import Items.

2. Export of edible oils was initially prohibited for a period of one year with effect from 17.03.2008 vide Notification No. 85 dated 17.03.2008 which was extended from time to time. Vide Notification 24(RE-2012)/2009-14 dated 19thOctober 2012, prohibition on export of edible oil has been extended till further orders.

3. The following exemptions are permitted from the prohibition on export of ec ible oils:

(a) Castor oil

(b) Coconut oil from all EDI Ports and through all Land Custom Stations (I CS) on Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bangladesh, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Pakistan borders.

(c) Deemed export of edible oils (as input raw material) from DTA to 100% EOUs for production of non-edible goods to be exported

(d) Edible oils from Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be consumed by SEZ units for manufacture of processed food products, subject to applicable value addition norms

(e) Edible oils produced out of minor forest produce, ITC(HS) Code 1:;159010, 15159020, 15159030, 15159040, 15179010 and 15219020.

(f)  Organic edible oils subject to export contracts being registered and certi ied as ‘Organic’ by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEI)A).

(g) Rice Bran oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack size

(h) Groundnut oil, Sesame oil, Soyabean oil and Maize (Corn) oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack

4. Export of edible oils in branded consumer packs of upto 5 Kgs is permitted with a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 900 per MT.

5. Effect of this notification:

Export of Groundnut oil, Sesame oil, Soyabean oil and Maize (Corn) oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack size, has been exempted from the prohibition on export of edible oil;

(A. K. Bhalla)

Director General of Foreign Trade

E-mail: dgft@nic.in

[Issued from F.No.01/91/180/774/AM10/Export Cell(Pt.)]


          Bhutan from MDM        

Expect new coins to be issued in 2012 for the little country of Bhutan. After much work, careful planning and design, MDM has created something new in coinage for this very conservative coin issuing country. Continue reading

The post Bhutan from MDM appeared first on Numismatic News.


          Strengthening the rules of the game: Bhutan’s alternative procurement experience        

When you think of Bhutan, you typically think of the tall mountains of the Himalayas, or you think of this nation adding the ‘Gross National Happiness’, or GNH indicator onto the global development agenda.  Well, from now on, you can also think of Bhutan as the first country in the world to have one of their agencies approved to apply “alternative procurement arrangements” or APAs.  This may sound trivial in comparison to 7,500 meter high peaks or collective happiness in the Dragon Kingdom. But for the way we do procurement at the World Bank, it’s a real breakthrough and an important step towards becoming a better Bank. 


 


          Bhutan-tastic!        
Both Alex and I have wanted to go to Bhutan for many years. I think we first heard about this little landlocked country in the foothills of the Himalayas while we were living in Munich, and it was back then that we decided we would have to go. Someday. Amazingly enough, someday happened a whole […]
          Guatemala Quetzal(GTQ)/Bhutan Ngultrum(BTN)        
1 Guatemala Quetzal = 8.76096 Bhutan Ngultrum
           Bhutan King and Queen visit holy Buddhist shrine in Varanasi        
Varanasi, Oct. 9 (ANI): Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Jetsun Pema visited the holy Buddhist site in Varanasi. Wangchuck and his wife Pema planted a Bodhi sapling in the Sarnath Temple of Varanasi and subsequently held prayers along with the Buddhist monks. “Bhutan king came here and visited the holy dome...
          [wanabidii] Top Headlines: GST revision: Cess on SUVs, high-end cars may rise from 15% to 25%        
Times of India
Daily Newsletter | Monday, August 07, 2017
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Copyright 2017 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

          Pendiri Facebook - Biografi Mark Zuckerberg        

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg lahir di kawasan bernama Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, kota New York.Anak dari Edward dan Karen Zuckerberg. Ia adalah anak kedua dari empat bersaudara dari orang tua pasangan dokter gigi - ­psikiater. Sejak kecil Zuckerberg suka mengu­tak-atik komputer, mencoba berbagai program komputer dan belajar membuatnya. Ayahnya sendiri membelikannya komputer sejak ia beru­sia delapan tahun. Saat di sekolah menengah Phillips Exeter Academy, ia dan rekannya, D'Angelo, membuat plug-in untuk MP3 player Winamp. Plug-in adalah program komputer yang bisa berinteraksi dengan aplikasi host seperti web browser atau email untuk keperluan tertentu.

Zuckerberg dan D'Angelo membuat plug-in untuk menghimpun kesukaan orang terhadap aneka jenis lagu dan kemudian membuat play­list-nya sesuai selera mereka. Mereka mengirimkan program itu ke berbagai perusahaan termasuk ke AOL (American Online) dan Microsoft. Pada tahun terakhimya di Phillips ia direkrut oleh Microsoft dan AOL untuk suatu proyek.

Saat melanjutkan sekolah ke perguruan ting­gi keduanya harus berpisah. D'Angelo masuk Caltech sedangkan Zuckerberg masuk Harvard. Di Harvard inilah Zuckerberg menemukan ide membuat buku direktori mahasiswa online karena universitasnya tak membagikan face book (buku mahasiswa yang memuat foto dan identitas mahasiswa di universitas itu) pada mahasiswa baru sebagai ajang pertemanan di antara mereka. Namun setiap kali ia menawarkan diri membuat direktori itu, Harvard menolaknya. "Mereka mengatakan punya alasan untuk tidak mengumpulkan informasi (mahasiswa) ini," ujar Zuckerberg kemudian.

Meski ditolak ia selalu mencari cara untuk mewujudkannya. "Saya ingin menunjukkan kalau hal itu bisa dilakukan," lanjutnya soal kengototannya membuat direktori itu.
Proyek pertamanya adalah CourseMatch (www.coursematch.com) yang memungkinkan teman-teman sekelasnya berkomunikasi satu sama lain di website tersebut. Suatu malam di tahun kedua ia kuliah di Harvard, Zuckerberg menyabot data mahasiswa Harvard dan memasukkannya ke dalam website yang ia buat bernama Facemash. Sejumlah foto rekan mahasiswanya terpampang di situ. Tak lupa ia membubuhkan kalimat yang meminta pengun­jungnya menentukan mana dari foto-foto ini yang paling "hot". Pancingannya mengena. Dalam tempo empat jam sejak ia meluncurkan webiste itu tercatat 450 orang mengunjungi Facemash dan sebanyak 22.000 foto mereka buka. Pihak Harvard mengetahuinya dan sambungan internet pun diputus. Zuckerberg diperkarakan karena dianggap mencuri data. Anak muda berambut keriting ini pun meminta maaf kepada rekan-rekan yang fotonya masuk di Facemash. Tetapi ia tak menyesali tinda­kannya. "Saya kira informasi seperti itu harus tersedia (online)," ujamya.

Alih-alih kapok ia malah membuat website baru dengan nama Facebook (www.thefacebook.com). Website ini ia luncurkan pada Februari 2004. Facebook merupakan penyempurnaan dari Facemash. Sasarannya tetap sebagai tempat pertemuan sesama mahasiswa Harvard. Dalam penjelasan di website-nya sekarang disebutkan bahwa Facebook adalah suatu alat sosial untuk membantu orang berko­munikasi lebih efisien dengan rekan, keluarga, atau rekan kerjanya. Facebook menawarkan navigasi yang mudah bagi para penggunanya. Setiap pemilik account punya ruang untuk memajang fotonya, teman-temannya, network, dan melakukan hal lainnya seperti bisa berkirim pesan dan lain sebagainya.

Banyaknya aplikasi yang bisa digunakan oleh anggotanya membuat Facebook digan­drungi banyak orang. Konon hingga saat ini sudah lebih dari 20.000 aplikasi dimasukkan ke dalam Facebook yang bisa digunakan para anggotanya. Setidaknya 140 aplikasi baru ditambahkan ke Facebook setiap harinya dan 95% pemilik account Facebook telah menggu­nakan minimal satu aplikasi.

Penyertaan banyak aplikasi ini membuat Facebook berbeda dengan website jejaring sosial terdahulu seperti MySpace. Lalu orang berbondong-bondong mengunjungi website­nya dan mendaftar jadi anggotanya. Dalam waktu dua minggu setelah diluncurkan, separuh mahasiswa Harvard sudah memiliki account di Facebook. Ternyata tak hanya mahasiswa Harvard yang tertarik, beberapa kampus di sekitar Harvard pun meminta dimasukkan dalam jejaring Facebook. Ini membuat Zuckerberg kewalahan. Ia lalu meminta bantuan dua temannya untuk ikut mengem­bangkan Facebook. Dalam tempo empat bulan Facebook sudah bisa menjaring 30 kampus. Hingga akhir 2004 jumlah pengguna Facebook sudah mencapai satu juta.

Pengguna Facebook terus meningkat. Malah ada sejumlah orang yang tak lagi jadi mahasiswa atau yang masih di sekolah ingin bergabung. Tingginya desakan ini membuat Zuckerberg dan kawan-kawan memutuskan Facebook membuka jaringan untuk para siswa sekolah menengah (di sini SMU) pada Sep­tember 2005. Tak lama kemudian mereka juga membuka jejaring para pekerja kantoran. Kesibukan yang luar biasa ini membuat Zuckerberg harus memutuskan keluar dari Harvard. "Apa yang saya inginkan sudah ada di tangan. Saya tidak ingin punya ijazah kemudian bekerja. Menurut saya, pekerjaan hanyalah untuk orang-orang yang lemah," ujarnya pada Majalah Current.
Zuckerberg dan kawan-kawan kemudian mengembangkan Facebook lebih jauh lagi. Pada September 2006 Facebook membuka pendaftaran untuk jejaring umum dengan syarat memiliki email. Sejak itulah jumlah anggota Facebook melesat.

Saat ini jumlah anggota aktifnya mencapai 70 juta di seluruh dunia. Jejaring yang dihim­punnya mencapai enam juta jaringan (ke­lompok pertemanan) meliputi 55.000 jaringan berdasarkan demografi, pekerjaan, sekolah, kolegial, dan sebagainya. Setiap harinya ada 14 juta foto di-upload (dimasukkan ke Facebook). Dan dalam hal jumlah trafik pengakses Facebook menjadi website teraktif ke-6 di dunia dan menjadi website jejaring sosial kedua terbesar versi camScore.

Jual Saham Jadi Kaya

Jumlah anggota Facebook yang jutaan or­ang itu menjadi tambang emas yang meng­giurkan. Zuckerberg dan kawan-kawan pun menangkap peluang bisnis yang besar. Karena itu ketika jumlah user-nya melebihi satu juta mereka menggandeng Accel Part­ners, perusahaan modal ventura, untuk membiayai pengembangannya. Modal yang ditanamkan adalah US$ 12,7 juta. Ini adalah investasi kedua yang masuk ke Facebook setelah sebelumnya (Juni 2004) men­dapatkan dan dari pendiri PayPal sebesar US$ 500.000. Pembenahan pertama dengan tambahan modal itu adalah dengan meng­ganti domain-nya dari www. thefacebook. corn menjadi www.facebook.com pada Agustus 2005. Setelah itu jangkauan keanggotaannya diperluas menjadi internasional. Hingga Desember 2005 jumlah anggotanya sudah mencapai 5,5 juta.

Meski jumlah user-nya meningkat tajam pada tahun 2005 disebutkan Facebook menga­lami kerugian sampai US$ 3,63 juta. Facebook kemudian mendapatkan dana sebesar US$ 25 juta dari Greylock Partners dan Meritech Capi­tal Partners. Dana itu digunakan untuk meluncurkan versi mobile-nya.

Pada September 2007 Microsoft melakukan pendekatan dan menawarinya membeli 5% saham senilai sekitar US$ 300 juta hingga US$ 500 juta. Jika nilai itu disetujui maka nilai kapitalisasi Facebook sudah mencapai US$ 6 miliar hingga US$ 10 miliar atau sekitar Rp 54 triliun hingga Rp 90 triliun. Namun Microsoft akhirnya mengumumkan hanya membeli 1,6% saham Facebook dengan nilai US$ 240 juta pada Oktober 2007. Transaksi ini menunjukkan nilai kapitalisasi Facebook ternyata lebih tinggi yaitu sekitar US$ 15 miliar (sekitar US$ 135 triliun).
Setelah itu sejumlah tawaran mengepung Facebook. Li Ka-shing disebut-sebut ikut menginvestasinya sekitar US$ 60 juta pada November 2007. Lalu ada berita yang menyebutkan Viacom, Yahoo, Google, dan sebagainya pun ikut menawar untuk membeli Facebook. Sejauh ini Zackerberg me­ngatakan Facebook tak akan dijual.
Melesatnya bisnis Facebook membuat Zackerberg menampuk kekayaan yang luar biasa. Majalah Forbes menyebutkan kekayaan Zackerberg sendiri mencapai US$ 1,5 miliar atau sekitar Rp 13,5 triliun. Jangankan untuk anak seusia Zackerberg, untuk orang dewasa pun harta sebanyak itu tentu jumlah yang luar biasa besar. Maka wajar jika majalah itu menobatkannya sebagai The Youngest `Self-made' Billionaire on the Planet.
Prestasi yang diraih Zackerberg tak benar­-benar mulus. Sejumlah perkara ia dapatkan sehubungan dengan Facebook. Termasuk dari rekannya di Harvard yang menyebutkan rancangan Facebook sebenarnya tiruan dari ConnectU. Namun Zackerberg tetap bergeming bahwa Facebook merupakan hasil karyanya. Meskipun ConnectU kalah dalam persidangan pertama, perusahaan ini mendaftarkan gugatan baru pada Maret 2008.

Kontroversi juga datang dari negara-negara seperti Myanmar, Bhutan, Syria, Arab Saudi, Iran dan sebagainya yang menyebutkan kalau Facebook mempromosikan serangan terhadap otoritas pemerintahannya sehingga akses terhadap Facebook di negara tersebut ditutup.

Di tengah sejumlah kontroversi itu, nama Facebook dan Mark Zackerberg tetap digan­drungi banyak orang. Zackerberg sendiri di tengah kepopuleran namanya dan jumlah kekayaan yang dimilikinya, ia tetap sederhana. Ia masih tinggal di apartemen sewaan dan di kamarnya hanya tersedia sebuah meja dan kursi. Kasurnya diletakkan di lantai. Kala datang ke kantornya di Palo Alto, Zackerberg kerap berjalan kaki atau mengendarai sepeda. Tak tampak sebagai miliuner (dalam US$ dol­lar, tentunya) atau triliuner (dalam rupiah).

Forbes mencatatnya sebagai milyarder termuda, atas usaha sendiri dan bukan karena warisan, yang pernah tercatat dalam sejarah. Kekayaannya ditaksir sekitar satu setengah miliar dolar Amerika.

Awal tahun 2009 Mark Zuckerberg mendapat penghargaan Young Global Leaders.

Usia Mark Zuckerberg baru 24 tahun, tetapi ia bisa menghasilkan 1,5 miliar dollar AS. Keberhasilan pria pendiri Facebook, salah satu situs jejaring sosial ternama di dunia, ini membuatnya nangkring dalam jajaran 400 orang terkaya di Amerika versi Forbes. Tidak hanya itu, dalam jajaran tersebut ia juga dinobatkan sebagai orang kaya yang paling muda.

Fakta - fakta tentang Facebook dan Mark Zuckerberg

- Facebook punya lebih dari 150 juta pendaftar
- Jumlah pengguna yang aktif lebih dari 20 juta
- Separuh lebih pendaftar Facebook bukan orang kuliahan
- Pengguna rata-rata memiliki 100 teman
- Lebih dari 3 juta pengguna menjadi penggemar sesuatu
- Jumlah foto yang di up-load lebih dari 800 juta perbulan
- lebih dari 5 juta video di up-load perbulan
- Konten lain(link,cerita,blog,cata
tan,dll) yang si share lebih dari 20 juta perbulan
- Lebih dari 2 juta even dibuat setiap bulan
- Facebook sudah di terjemahkan ke dalam 15 bahasa ,Masih ada 60 bahasa lagi yang masih dalam proses penerjemahan
- lebih dari 70 persen pengguna Facebook tinggal di luar Amerika
- Saat ini,ada lebih dari 52 ribu aplikasi ontuk Facebook
- Aplikasi baru bertambah 140 perhari
- Sekitar 95 persen pengguna menggunakan satu aplikasi dalam Facebook

1. Facebook adalah milik Mark Zuckerberg, jika kita membaca artikel Mark Zuckerberg dalam bahasa indonesia tidak diketahui secara lengkap siapakah dia. Kalau kita membaca artikel tentang Mark Zuckerberg dalam bahasa inggris terdapat lengkap data diri si pembuat facebook ini.

2. Siapakah sebenarnya si pendiri sekaligus CEO facebook ini? Dia adalah mahasiswa harvard university dan aktif sebagai anggota Alpha Epsilon Pi. What is Alpha Epsilon Pi? baca artikel ini.

3. Alpha Epsilon Pi adalah seperti perkumpulan mahasiswa Yahudi di amerika utara, yang mempunyai misi sebagai berikut,

Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish Fraternity of North America, was founded to provide opportunities for Jewish men seeking the best possible college and fraternity experience. We have maintained the integrity of our purpose by strengthening our ties to the Jewish community and serving as a link between high school and career. Alpha Epsilon Pi develops leadership for the North American Jewish community at a critical time in a young man’s life. Alpha Epsilon Pi’s role is to encourage the Jewish student to remain dedicated to Jewish ideals, values, and ethics and to prepare the student to be one of tomorrow’s leaders so that he may help himself, his family, his community, and his people.

Yang intinya adalah sebagai tempat pengkaderan dan tempat mencari pemimpin baru bagi kaumnya, yaitu Yahudi.

4. Fakta ke-empat sampai artikel ini ditulis serangan Israel di Gaza telah menewaskan lebih dari 600 palestinians.

5. Facebook mendapatkan keuntungan dari iklan yang dipasang, semakin banyak user dan pengunjung facebook senakin banyak pula penghasilnya.

Jadi Bagaimana pendapat Kamu....????

          Ultramarathon Daily News, Thurs, Dec 22        

Ultramarathon Daily News Here’s an excellent piece by Matt Hart in NatGeo about Tim Olson’s and Anna Frost’s journey across Bhutan in their quest for a FKT on the Snowman Trek.  I hadn’t realized what they were doing and the altitude they were dealing with…yikes! Did you hear the latest URP …

The post Ultramarathon Daily News, Thurs, Dec 22 appeared first on Ultramarathon News, Podcasts, and Product Reviews.


          Ornamental Plant from Peat forest in Heart of Borneo        
Some people maybe think that Putussibau, the capital of Kapuas Hulu district, has least entertainment. But for some others, Putussibau has many refreshing places that are really refreshing. One of it is the wide forest around the city.

Walking in peat swamps in hot springs with rogue mosquitoes is quite enough to turning on our refresh button. Walking under the canopy of high trees, enjoying the birds singing, and the most dramatic is ... when Enggang or Rangkong clap their wings when they move from one too another tree. Although it is no longer primary forest with high biodiversity, some interesting tropical species are relatively easy to find in these forests. Some of these can be seen below.


The pitcher of this Nepenthes looks so solid, thick and hard.

Nepenthes ampullaria, small green pitcher
Wild Pipper,
Wild Orchid
Ant Plant
Sarang semut, tumbuhan ini relatif mudah untuk di temukan di Kalimantan Barat pada umumnya. Relatif sangat mudah untuk ditemukan di pohon-pohon yang tumbuh di pinggirang sungai. Bahkan di pinggir jalan lintas selatan menuju Putussibau, kita bisa menemukan masyarakat memelihara tumbuhan yang satu ini. Tumbuhan yang satu ini dikenal memiliki khasiat yang besar untuk kesehatan. Salah satu masyarakat Kapuas Hulu yang memelihara tanaman ini, menceritakan bahwa salah satu anggota keluarganya berhasil menurunkan gula darahnya dalam waktu relatif singkat dengan mengkonsumsi rebusan daging batang tumbuhan sarang semut.


          Russia and United States Détente’ in 2017 Prospects Analysed        

Paper No. 6210                              Dated 02-Jan-2017

By Dr Subhash Kapila

Russia and United States détente’ is a geopolitical imperative in 2017 for global stability and security when placed in context of China’s unbridled provocative military rise.

Russia and the United States in the post-Cold War era have failed to establish cooperative security management, both regionally and globally, chiefly because of the ‘China Factor’ that plagued both Russia and United States policy perspectives and formulations.

United States despite emerging as the unipolar Superpower persisted with Cold War apprehensions that Russia was still the potent threat to United States and that needed to be manged by American strategic and political reach-out to China.

Russia strategically down and out then perceived that it needed China for its resurgence and return to its global equivalence with United States. Thus emerged the Russia-China Strategic Nexus as a marriage of convenience dictated by prevailing geopolitical compulsions upto well past of the first decade of the 21st Century. It was a poor attempt to balance United States strategic predominance.

Russia’s and United States stood frozen in their respective threat perceptions for a decade and a half. Resultantly, China as the beneficiary of strategic munificence of both United States and Russia zoomed fast forward to emerge in 2017 with pretensions of being the second pole in what China perceives as a bipolar world comprising United States and China.

The bipolar template of United States and Russia during the Cold War period was predictably stable despite pronounced military confrontation. Russia was then an equal power to the United States with no ‘revisionist power’ impulses.

The bipolar template perceived by China in the second decade of the 2ist Century of United States and China is inherently strategically unstable, unpredictable and dominated by China’s provocative military confrontation and brinkmanship markedly visible in Indo Pacific Asia.

China perceives that Russia’s resurgence is still dependant on China’s economic infusions and that with United States power on decline the ‘China Moment’ has arrived for China to assert its Superpower credentials.

China’s emergence as the potential second Superpower is not a zero-sum game. Such Chinese emergence will extract heavy strategic and political costs from both United States and Russia too. Geopolitical and strategic imperatives for a Russia-United States détente’ in 2017 therefore exist as a pressing need for global stability and security.

Prospects of a Russia-United States détente’ in 2017 following President Trump’s election as US President need analysis going by recent developments both in USA and Russia. The initial indicators by President-elect Trump during his electoral campaign suggest that as President Trump he would seriously reset US relations with Russia leading to a détente’.

Russian President Putin too has sent warming signals to President-elect Trump that Russia too desires for a newer relationship with the United States devoid of confrontation and retaliatory stances. The same has been visible when last week President Putin declined to expel 35 US diplomats in retaliation for President Obama’s expulsion orders of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions against Russian involvement in the US Election hacking charges episode.

Despite the positive indicators from both Russia and the incoming Trump Administration in USA minefields exist both in USA and Russia towards an eventual and much-needed Russia-United States détente’.

In the United States both on Capitol Hill and the Republican Party, Cold War mindsets still persist on Russia. This mindset would impede the US policy establishment from a realistic reassessment that in 2017 it is China which is the more potent threat to United States national security interests than Russia and this could be reflected in their foreign policy advisories to President Trump.

In Russia, President Putin despite his 17 years in power and having managed relations with two earlier US Presidents in the past even in crisis situations could still be susceptible to pressures from China not to fall for President Trump’s political reach-outs to Russia in 2017. China still has considerable leverages over Russia which would require considerable audaciousness for President Putin to shake-off.

China is seriously impacted and concerned by the prospects of a possible Russia-United States détente’. This stands reflected in commentaries in official Chinese media organs. China can be expected to resort to even generate crisis-situations where any positive movements in Russia-United States détente ‘process are stymied.

Therefore, a lot would depend on the statesman-like qualities of President Putin and President Trump in2017 to navigate skilfully through Chinese minefields of stumbling-blocks to impede a possible Russia-United States détente’.

A greater strategic call devolves on President Trump to extricate Russia from China’s strategic clutches and crutches besides from the innumerable China-apologists in Russia within. This is a vital US National Security Interest for 2017 which should dawn on the new in-coming US policy establishment and thereby strengthen the new US President’s resolve to establish a new American relationship with Russia Concluding, one could suggest that if President Trump really wants to make headway towards a Russia-United States détente’ in 2017, then his first official visit overseas after assuming office should be to Russia and not China, in a reverse of the Nixonian-Kissinger tilt to China in 1972.

(Dr Subhash Kapila is a graduate of the Royal British Army Staff College, Camberley and combines a rich experience of Indian Army, Cabinet Secretariat, and diplomatic assignments in Bhutan, Japan, South Korea and USA. Currently, Consultant International Relations & Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. He can be reached at drsubhashkapila.007@gmail.com)

 

Category: 

          Bhutan – The Land of the Thunder Dragon        
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in Asia, and it is the smallest state located entirely within the Himalaya mountain range. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by China and India. Bhutan is a democracy and constitutional monarchy. The Bhutanese monarchy was founded in 1907. It held its first democratic elections [...]
          Chapter 6 Section 1 - India's Early Civilizations        

Summary 

The subcontinent of India is home to five nations: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Climate and geography influenced the rise of India's early civilization, which arose in the Indus River valley. The monsoon seasons dominate the climate.
The Harappans—India's early civilization—were farmers. Their ruins suggest that they were both peaceful and prosperous. Around 1500 B.C., the Aryans—a nomadic people—settled in India. They became excellent farmers, and they invented new farm tools using their ironworking skills. The Aryans also developed a written language called Sanskrit. Their presence in India brought other changes as well. The Aryans implemented a caste system, creating rigid social classes that could not be altered.

Textbook online











JAT EA Chapter 6 - edited


• Hinduism 
• Buddhism 
• Gandhi

          Column: How can the stock market rally possibly continue?        
A screen displays trading information for German insurance firm Allianz on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX3C38E

Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Editor’s note: Vikram Mansharamani, for years a professor at Yale and who now teaches at Harvard, is an investment consultant, public speaker on economic trends and author of the book “Boombustology” about how to spot economic bubbles, the subject of a course he taught at Yale. Typically, Mansharamani writes confidently for Making Sen$e. But at the moment he’s bewildered. Here’s why.

— Paul Solman, economics correspondent


The world seems very fragile right now. In the past week, North Korea claimed its missiles could reach the United States, spurring some in Congress to run through the calculus of striking the rogue nation before it attacks us. Pakistani courts ruled against Nawaz Sharif, the sitting prime minister, thereby forcing him to resign; Venezuela created an authoritarian regime that started cracking down on opposition leaders; Polish citizens were marching in the streets to protest proposed changes to the judiciary; HBO announced it had been the victim of a cyberattack that had stolen proprietary information; Russia began seizing American property and evicting U.S. diplomats; and White House turnover has continued unabated.

Oh, and Australian authorities stated they had thwarted a terrorist attempt to bring down a passenger aircraft. Last, but definitely not least, India and China flirted with military conflict over an unpaved road in a mountain pass in disputed territory in the Himalayan mountains.

And that was just in the past two weeks!

Despite these facts, financial markets have marched forward.

Earlier in July, Brazil threw it’s ex-president Lula de Silva in prison, Saudi Arabia “reorganized” and installed the young and ambitious Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince, and Qatar’s airline was banned from flying in Egyptian, Saudi Arabian or Emirati airspace. Protests threatened instability in Morocco, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has been absent for months, and South African president Jacob Zuma is facing a secret-ballot no-confidence vote tomorrow.

Meanwhile, there are early warning signs that the world’s largest economies may be slowing. GM reported a 15 percent drop in U.S. auto sales (with Ford and Chrysler also disappointing), and Fitch noted that credit card losses have been rising and recently hit a four-year high. In an effort to address unemployment, Canada announced it’s experimenting with basic income programs. And China’s most recent manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in below expectations, hinting at the possibility that China may be slowing down (although the country did just open a cinema on a disputed island in the South China Sea).

Despite these facts, financial markets have marched forward, with the Dow closing above 22,000 for the first time last week. Sure, corporate profits have been generally quite good, but does that justify today’s nonchalant attitude toward these risks? Just look at the CBOE Volatility Index (known among financial types as the “VIX”) hitting new lows. Believed by many to be a measure of fear among investors, the VIX recently fell below 10, a level rarely seen in the past few decades. The implication: investors are not generally worried… which makes me worry!

CBOE VIX

Further, the investment community appears more willing to pay handsomely for the profits companies produce. Consider the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, also known as the CAPE ratio, which is an admittedly imperfect, but useful, measure of valuation. The CAPE ratio recently crossed 30, a level it rarely reaches. To put this in perspective, the CAPE hit 33 in 1929 before the Great Depression and 45 in 2000 as the dotcom bubble burst.

Courtesy Richard Shiller

Courtesy Robert Shiller

The hope that many investors have is that corporate taxes in the United States, currently among the highest in the developed world, are likely to fall. The result: higher earnings, which with all else equal, means lower price-to-earnings ratios. But the beauty of economist Robert Shiller’s CAPE ratio is that he uses 10 years of average earnings. So one would have to believe that taxes are going to be reduced immediately and stay lower indefinitely, with corporate earnings thereby rising and staying higher for longer. The key phrase of everything I just discussed is “all else equal.” And I simply have trouble believing that all else will remain given the dynamics that I described above.

And lastly, we have notable exuberance driving a formidable cryptocurrency bubble, eloquently and persuasively documented by Laura Shin in a recent Forbes piece titled “The Emperor’s New Coins.” Further, according to market data provider Coincap, there are currently more than 600 digital coins that in aggregate are supposedly worth more than $100 billion. And while blockchain technology will likely disrupt many businesses in the years to come, Shin’s article sheds light on the alarming speculative instincts that are thriving in the cryptocoin domain. If you haven’t read her article, I encourage you to do so.

READ MORE: Column: Is the boom of bitcoin a bubble that’s about to burst?

Regular readers of my columns may note that my concern about crypto-exuberance seems a contradiction from the piece I penned earlier this year on these very same electronic pages, in which I noted that bitcoin specifically did not exhibit the characteristics of a bubble. Well, since that piece was published, bitcoin has risen more than 300 percent and ether almost 2,000 percent. So yes, I’m changing my mind. As the saying goes, “when the facts change, I change my opinion… what do you do?” This is not to say that bitcoin and the cryptocurrency complex (it is indeed now a complex) won’t continue their ascent; they may. In fact, I still believe in the long-term potential of cryptocurrencies and am confident they have a role to play. It’s just that they are exhibiting the kind of speculative behavior that demands caution.

So what am I missing?

The world seems to be precariously balanced on the edge, with instability lurking in almost every region of the globe, but financial markets seem not to care.

The world seems to be precariously balanced on the edge, with instability lurking in almost every region of the globe, but financial markets seem not to care. (Or they’re hoping that our current administration will lower taxes, that the world will stay identical to its current state, that profits will surge, etc). Speculative instincts are running high, and valuations today leave little margin of safety. It reminds me of the 1980s song “It’s The End of The World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” by REM.

But surely there is a reason for the seeming disconnect, no? Might it be the devout faith in market efficiency? Could it be that the developments I’ve mentioned are fully factored in to market prices? Might it be the powerful and undying love of passive investing that has led to a world in which more and more money is doing less and less analysis? Or does the explanation lie with the famed 20th century British economist John Maynard Keynes, who wrote that, “Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally”? In other words, is the risk-averse, career-driven decision-making of those controlling financial assets the reason for the continuation of this rally? Or perhaps, to use four words that makes anyone who thinks of bubbles shudder, it’s different this time?

What do you think? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Column: How can the stock market rally possibly continue? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          England negotiate San Marino mismatch        

At Wembley

England goalkeeper Joe Hart did not have many touches at Wembley but every one was cheered resoundingly. The rafters almost shook when he finally laid hands on the ball in stoppage time.

Roy Hodgson's side got the job done against San Marino, a 5-0 margin slightly better than the tiny republic's average defeat from a record of 108 losses in 113 games.

But was it a job England should have had to do?

The result in this World Cup qualifier meant San Marino have now conceded 136 goals since they last scored away from home in the 2-2 draw with Liechenstein in 2003.

The smiling countenance and grateful thanks to all expressed by coach Giampaolo Mazza in his post-match briefing suggested this will be regarded as a moral victory by San Marino's 32,404 inhabitants.

It was, as anyone could have predicted, a mismatch on the grandest scale. The biggest example of why this game flouted its billing as a competitive fixture came after 65 minutes when Wembley roared San Marino's Ezequiel Rinaldi Danilo towards goal in his side's one attacking foray, only to collectively sigh in disappointment when he shot wildly off target.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scores England's fifth in a one-sided encounter at Wembley. Photo: AFP

All good knockabout stuff - but should international football be paraded on such an unequal basis and reduced to a level that sees one set of fans actively encouraging goal attempts from the opposition?

The match ball arrived courtesy of Royal Marines abseiling down Wembley's towering stands to the the tune of "Mission Impossible." There was only one team here in step with that theme.

This was never a serious contest. San Marino are little more than a footballing punchbag, an object used only to improve goal difference. There was only ever going to be one winner and one winner by a margin that is now considered huge in international football.

The extent of San Marino's ambitions every time they take the field is to make defeat as painless as possible. They will lose. It is simply a question of by how many. They live a footballing life of permanent damage limitation.

The only pain suffered by England came in the early moments when San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Junior Simoncini inflicted total wipeout on Arsenal's Theo Walcott with a challenge of such ferocity that it left his opponent in hospital overnight and undergoing scans and X-rays on a chest injury.

Even this was put down to the possible naivety of the accountant turned goalkeeper, although Hodgson refused to use this as one of the prime exhibits of the dangers of allowing the team ranked joint 207th in the world - joint bottom of the Fifa rankings alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands - into elite competition.

Hodgson, at least, found meaning in this fixture. His team won comfortably and heard good news from Chisinau where close rivals Ukraine were held by Moldova, putting England's own 5-0 win there last month into very pleasing context.

And he found meaning in the shape of this almost farcically one-sided affair as he said: "It gave new meaning to the words attack versus defence."

It was an encounter so grotesquely lop-sided that it raised again the question of a pre-qualifying stage for the World Cup that would go some way, at least, to balancing out the sides left in the tournament.

So is this a valid argument? Should there be an extra layer to sort out the wheat from the chaff? It is an argument often used in cricket, with those against saying removing the likes of Bangladesh from competing against countries such as England, India and Australia restricts their opportunities for improvement.

Those in San Marino's corner will say the same and no-one could blame them. But are they improving? Will they improve? A lack of resources and years of hard evidence suggests they will not - they certainly do not show many signs that they will in future.

No-one could question their bravery and determination. Indeed, it took England 34 minutes to break through but there was never the slightest doubt in any mind that England would win with embarrassing ease.

The mere notion that San Marino's path to the World Cup qualifiers should have another obstacle placed in front of it is an emotive one, one Hodgson said it was up to Fifa (and in the case of the Euros, Uefa) to decide.

And there will be plenty who will say, with great conviction, that the joy such occasions bring to San Marino's players - including accountants, students and an olive oil salesman - as well as their management renders any cynicism the refuge of the sour-faced. Maybe so, but this was never approaching anything like serious competition.

It is a game England and Hodgson will be glad to have negotiated, although it claimed a painful casualty in Walcott. There is little to gain and not much credit to be claimed - any win is expected and even 5-0 will be seen as a disappointment for some expecting a repeat of the Netherlands' 11-0 win in against San Marino in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

In this game's defence, a wonderful crowd of 84,654 enjoyed seeing England score five goals, two from Wayne Rooney to take him to fifth place in England's all-time standings. They saw two moments of fine opportunism from Danny Welbeck and the first of what is likely to be many international goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Rooney fulfilled his promise of maturity with his persistent probing. He led England in all the right ways, from scoring goals to the constant urging for more knowing goal difference could yet prove decisive in what may yet become a very close group.

England face San Marino again in March. The pattern of the game will be the same. The result is likely to be the same and the arguments will be the same.

The real World Cup action starts again when England face Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.


          Rooney: 10 years with England but still unfulfilled        

Wayne Rooney moves towards his 10th England anniversary still searching for total fulfilment as an international away from his successes at Old Trafford with Manchester United.

If elite players are defined by their contributions to major tournaments, then England's most naturally gifted footballer has yet to fully secure his place in his country's gallery of greats.

Rooney is not alone in his frustration as England's success remains limited to the sunlit afternoon in July 1966 when the late Bobby Moore was carried shoulder-high holding the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley after the World Cup final win against West Germany.

And yet for a stellar talent, who was given his first cap by Sven-Goran Eriksson at 17 years 111 days on 12 February 2003 in a 3-1 defeat by Australia at Upton Park, Rooney will know the next World Cup may be his last chance to make that indelible mark.

Wayne Rooney(left) and England boss Roy Hodgson

Rooney's 10 years in an England shirt have too often been marked by frustration. Photo: Getty

Rooney's England record is perfectly respectable, with 29 goals from 76 games, but he knows there are spaces left to fill. No-one is more determined to make that leap than the 26-year-old, with a drive that has occasionally carried his game and character to the edge when representing England.

The teenage Rooney illuminated Euro 2004 in Portugal as an Everton player, then fell short and ended his World Cup two years later with a quarter-final red card against the Portuguese in Gelsenkirchen. He only captured the headlines in South Africa in 2010 with some ill-judged abuse of England fans fired into a television camera after a goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town.

Euro 2012 was another disappointment. Rooney missed the first two games against France and Sweden through suspension and even though he scored the winner against co-hosts Ukraine, still returned home accompanied by a sense of falling short.

The World Cup in Brazil is the next stop and England's qualifying campaign, made more complicated after being held to a draw by Ukraine at Wembley, continues against San Marino at Wembley on Friday.

It is a sign of Rooney's senior status in England's squad that he was able to reflect with pride on the honour of being given the captain's armband in the absence of suspended Steven Gerrard and injured Frank Lampard.

There may be some who believe the combination of the heavy weight of expectation that accompanies Rooney's every England move, alongside a temperament that has improved drastically but can still be combustible, makes him a surprise candidate as captain.

In reality, he is the logical choice within the framework of what will be required against San Marino.

England manager Roy Hodgson has no such doubts and - Montenegro aside - Rooney's on-field discipline has undergone something of a transformation in recent times.

Hodgson said: "The expectations for the likes of Wayne, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are a bit higher than those playing their third, fourth or fifth game but I had no hesitation in thinking Steven could handle it and it is the same with Wayne.

"It is something they have to live with as a top player, a cross they have to bear. But it didn't occur to me to give the captaincy to anyone else. Wayne deserves it."

This is a game that gives the lie to the old adage of "no easy games" in football. San Marino lie joint 207th in Fifa's rankings alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It should be an exercise in improving goal difference, something that may yet prove decisive in this close World Cup group.

Celebrating the news that wife Coleen is expecting their second child, Rooney presented a mature figure at England's Hertfordshire HQ - determined to prove the red mist had evaporated forever and now was the time to show his full bloom for England.

Of course this could also be construed as a striker with a chequered disciplinary record tempting fate, but Rooney possesses gifts on such a scale that it would be a source of sadness to his many admirers if he failed to replicate the impact he had as a tyro in the heat of Lisbon in 2004.

And for all San Marino's lowly standing, Rooney's game face was on. He may also be motivated by a growing realisation that he needs to make up for lost time with England, especially after missing the opening two qualifiers through injury.

It will be a temporary appointment, with Gerrard scheduled to return against Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday, but Rooney will call on the spirit of England's current captain and a warrior who fought many battles alongside him at Old Trafford to ensure there are no mis-steps in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd.

Rooney said: "I've learned from captains like Roy Keane having played with him for a couple of years at Manchester United and seen how he played on the pitch and dealt with things off it. He was vocal on the pitch and helped me off it. He was a great captain. Hopefully I can gain some of his qualities in my own game.

"With England it has been Steven Gerrard and his determination. Growing up I saw his passion and desire to play for Liverpool and England and that's fantastic. He's certainly been an inspiration."

Rooney added: "I've had a few rollockings off Roy [Keane]. We've had a few debates but we want to win. Sometimes when you want to win it is not all about sitting down and talking quietly - you have a go at each other to try and get the best out of each other.

"If you saw the way Roy [Keane] was with senior players, he was the same with the younger players. He treated everybody the same and he wasn't afraid to tell everybody how he wanted them to play.

"He didn't scare me at all. No - I respected him. He was one of the best players in the Premier League and Manchester United's history. He is the type of player I like when he has a go at you. I want to show them what I can do. It was desire and passion."

So it will not be a mellow Rooney at Wembley as he says: "It's a great honour and hopefully it will be a successful night. I don't think I'm going to change my attitude because I'm wearing the armband. I'm quite vocal on the pitch and hopefully my determination can help the team.

"I think it's a great responsibility for me to take. I feel I've matured as a player, learned the game better and have a different style. Whatever the manager asks me to do I can do it."


          285 Names of Radha Rani        

Goddess Radha Rani Wallpaper


285 Names of Radha Rani


1] Sri Radha Radhika - Lord Krsna’s greatest worshipper

2] Krsna-Vallabha - Lord Krsna’s beloved

3] Krsna-Samyuta - Lord Krsna’s constant companion

4] Vrndavanesvari - Queen of Vrndavana

5] Krsna-Priya - beloved of Lord Krsna

6] Madana-Mohini - more charming than Kamadeva

7] Srimati - beautiful

8] Krsna-Kanta - Lord Krsna’s beloved

9] Krsnananda-Pradayini - the giver of bliss to Lord Krsna

10] Yasasvini yasogamya - famous

11] Yasodananana-Vallabha - beloved of Yasoda’s son

12] Damodara-Priya - dear to Lord Damodar

13] Gopi - cowherd girl

14] Gopananda Kari - giver of happiness to the gopas

15] Krsnanga-Vasini - Her residence is on Lord Krsna’s limbs

16] Hrdya - She is charming

17] Hari-kanta Hari-Priya - Lord Hari’s beloved

18] Pradhana-Gopika - the most important gopi

19] Gopa-Kanya - the daughter of a gopa

20] Trailokya-Sundari - the most beautiful girl in the three worlds

21] Vrndavana-Vihari - She enjoys pastimes in Vrndavana

22] Vikasita-Mukhambuja - Her face is a blossoming lotus

23] Gokulananda-Kartri Gokulananda-Dayini - She brings happiness to Gokula

24] Gati-Prada - She gives the goal of life

25] Gita-Gamya - She is approached by chanting Her holy names

26] Gamanagamana-Priya - She is the beloved of the omnipresent Supreme Personality of Godhead

27] Visnu-Priya Visnu-Kanta - Lord Visnu’s beloved

28] Visnur Anga-Nivasini - resides on Lord Visnuàs limbs

29] Yasodananda-Patni Yasodananda-Gehini - wife of Yasoda’s son

30] Kamari-Kanta - the beloved of lust’s enemy

31] Kamesi - Lord Krsna’s amorous queen

32] Kama-Lalasa-Vigraha - Lord Krsna’s passionate lover

33] Jaya-Prada - giver of victory

34] Jaya - She is victory itself

35] Jiva - She is life

36] Jivananda-Pradayini - giver of happiness to the living entities

37] Nandanandana-Pat-Vedatita - beyond the Vedas

38] Vid-Uttama - the wisest philosopher

39] Niti-Sastra-Priya - She is an eager student of the scriptures describing ethics

40] Niti-Gati - the perfect moralist

41] Mati - the most thoughtful philosopher

42] Abhistada - the fulfiller of desires

43] Veda-Priya - an eager student of the Vedas

44] Veda-Garbha - the mother of the Vedas

45] Veda-Marga-Pravardhini - teacher of the Vedas’ path

46] Veda-Gamya - She is approached by Vedic study

47] Veda-Para - She is the supreme goal described in the Vedas

48] Vicitra-Kanakojjvala - splendid with wonderful golden ornaments

49] Ujjvala-Prada - glorious

50] Nitya - eternal

51] Ujjvala-Gatrika - Her limbs are filled with glory

52] Nanda-Priya - dear to Maharaja Nanda

53] Nanda-Sutaradhya - worshiped by Nanda’s son

54] Ananda-Prada - delightful

55] Subha - beautiful

56] Subhangi - with beautiful limbs

57] Vimalangi - with splendid limbs

58] Vilasini - playful

59] Aparajita - unconquerable

60] Janani - She is the mother of all

61] Janma-Sunya - without birth

62] Janma-Mrtyu-Jarapaha - the remover of birth, death and old age

63] Gatir Gatimatam - the supreme goal of the aspiring

64] Sri-Nitamba - She has beautiful hips

65] Dhatri - the mother of all

66] Dhatrananda - Pradayini - the giver of bliss to the Supreme creator

67] Jagannatha-Priya - dear to the Lord of the universe

68] Saila-Vasini - She resides on a hill

69] Hema-Sundari - She is beautiful and golden

70] Kisori - She is youthful

71] Kamala Padma - like a lotus flower

72] Padma-Hasta - Her hands are lotuses

73] Payoda-Da - She is buxom

74] Payasvini Paya-Datri - She is buxom

75] Pavitra - pure

76] Sarva-Mangala - all auspicious

77] Maha-Jiva-Prada - the great giver of life

78] Krsna-Kanta - Lord Krsna’s beloved

79] Kamala-Sundari - Beautiful as a lotus

80] Vicitra-Vasini Citra-Vasini - Wonderfully fragrant

81] Citra-Rupini - Wonderfully beautiful

82] Nirguna - free of the modes of material nature

83] Sri Kulina - born in a pious family

84] Niskulina - not born in any family of the material world

85] Nirakula - free from all distress

86] Gokulantara-Geha - Her home is in Gokula

87] Yogananda-Kari - delights Lord Krsna when She meets Him

88] Venu-Vadya - She plays the flute

89] Venu-Rati - She enjoys playing the flute

90] Venu-Vadhya-Parayana - fond of playing the flute

91] Gopalasya Priya - Lord Gopala’s beloved

92] Saumya-Rupa - She is gentle and noble

93] Saumya-Kulodvaha - born in an exalted family

94] Moha Vimoha - charming

95] Amoha - free from bewilderment

96] Gati-Nistha Gati -Prada - She gives the goal of life

97] Girbana-Vandya - the demigods offer obeisances to Her

98] Girbana - She is divine

99] Girbana-gana-Sevita - served by the demigods

100] Lalita - playful and charming

101] Visoka - free from lamentation

102] Visakha - the star Visakha

103] Citra-Malini - decorated with wonderful garlands

104] Jitendria - She has conquered Her senses

105] Suddha-Sattva - situated in pure goodness

106] Kulina - born in a noble family

107] Kulina-Dipika - the lamp illuminating Her family

108] Dipa-Priya - fond of lamps

109] Dipa-Datri - the giver of the lamp

110] Vimala - pure

111] Vimalodaka - the sacred river

112] Kantara-Vasini - She lives in a forest

113] Krsna Krsncandra-Priya - Lord Krsna’s beloved

114] Mati - She is thoughtfulness

115] Anuttara - unsurpassed

116] Duhkha-Hantri - the remover of suffering

117] Duhkha-Kartri - the creator of suffering

118] Kuladvaha - the noblest in Her family

119] Mati - She is thoughtfulness

120] Laksmi - Goddess Laksmi

121] Dhrti - perseverence

122] Lajja - modesty

123] Kanti - beauty

124] Pusti - fukfillment

125] Smrti - memory

126] Ksama - patience

127] Ksirodasayini - She who lies down on the ocean of milk

128] Devi - the Goddess

129] Devari-Kula-Mardini - the crusher of Lord Krsna’s enemies

130] Vaisnavi - She is Visnu’s consort

131] Maha-Laksmi - Goddess Maha-Laksmi

132] Kula-Pujya - worshipped by Her family

133] Kula-Priya - Dear to Her family

134] Samhartri Sarva-Daityanam - the destroyer of all demons

135] Savitri - the gayatri mantra

136] Veda-Gamini - Follower of the vedas

137] Vedatita - beyond the Vedas

138] Niralamba - liberated

139] Niralamba-Gana-Priya - dear to the liberated

140] Niralamba-Janaih-Pujya - worshiped by the libertated

141] Niraloka - unseen by conditioned souls

142] Nirasraya - Independent

143] Ekanga - She has one form

144] Sarvaga - She is all-pervading

145] Sevya - the supreme object of worship

146] Brahma-Patni - Brahma’s wife

147] Sarasvati - Goddess Sarasvati

148] Rasa-Priya - fond of the rasa dance

149] Rasa-Gamya - the girl Lord Krnsa approached in the rasa dance

150] Rasadhisthatr-Devata - the predominating Deity of the rasa dance

151] Rasika - She enjoys the transcendental mellows

152] Rasikananda - tastes the bliss of the transcendental mellows

153] Svayam Rasesvari - the queen of the rasa dance

154] Para - transcendental

155] Rasa-Mandala-Madhystha - the girl who stays in the middle of the rasa dance circle

156] Rasa-Mandala-Sobhita - the girl who beautifies the rasa dance circle

157] Rasa-Mandala-Sevya - She is served in the rasa dancecircle

158] Rasa-krida - She enjoys the pastimes of the rasa dance

159] Manohara - She is beautiful

160] Pundarikaksa-Nilaya - Her dark eyes are lotus flowers

161] Pundarikaksa-Gehini - She is the wife of lotus-eyed Krsna

162] Pundarikaksa-Sevya - She is served by lotus eyed Krsna

163] Pundarikaksa-Vallabha - dear to lotus-eyed Krsna

164] Sarva-Jivesvari - the queen of all living entities

165] Sarva-Jiva-Vandya - worshiped

166] Parat-Para - greater than the greatest

167] Prakrti - the Goddess of material nature

168] Sambhu-Kanta, Sadasiva-Manohara - the beautiful wife of Lord Siva

169] Ksut - She is hunger

170] Pipasa - She is thirst

171] Daya - She is mercy

172] Nidra - She is sleep

173] Bhranti - bewilderment

174] Sranti - exhaustion

175] Ksamakula - patience

176] Vadhu-Rupa - She is a young girl

177] Gopa-Patni - a wife of a Gopa

178] Bharati - the Goddess of eloquence

179] Siddha-Yogini - perfect in the science of yoga

180] Satya-Rupa Nitya-Rupa Nityangi - Her form is eternal

181] Nitya-Gehini - She is Lord Krsna’s wife eternally

182] Sthana-Datri - She gives Her devotees their homes

183] Dhatri - She is the mother

184] Maha-Laksmi - Goddess Maha-Laksmi

185] Svayam-Prabha - Self effulgent

186] Sindhu-Kanya - the daughter of the milk ocean

187] Dvaraka-Vasini - She who resides in Dvaraka

188] Buddhi - intelligence

189] Sthiti Sthana-Rupa - steadiness

190] Sarva-Karana-Karana - the cause of all causes

191] Bhakti-Priya - fond of serving Krsna

192] Bhakti-Gamya - approached by devotional service

193] Bhaktananda-Pradayini - giver of bliss to the devotees

194] Bhakta-Kalpa-Drumatita - She is more than a kalpavrksa tree for the devotees

195] Atita-Guna - the possessor of the greatest transcendental virtues

196] Mano-’Dhisthatri-Devi - the predominating Deity of the heart

197] Sridamesvara-Vallabha - dear to Sridama’s master

198] Krsna-Prema-Parayana - the girl completely in love with Lord Krsna

199] Niramaya - free from all disease

200] Saumya-Datri - the most gentle, kind and generous

201] Madana-Mohini - more charming tham Kamadeva

202] Eka Anamsa - one without a second

203] Siva Durga - the wife of Lord Siva

204] Ksema - happiness and auspiciousness personified

205] Durgati-Nasini - the person who destroys all calamities

206] Isvari - She is the supreme controller

207] Sarva-Vandya - worshiped by all

208] Gopaniya - reclusive

209] Subhankari - the giver of auspiciousness

210] Palini Sarva-Bhutanam - the protectress of all living entities

211] Kamanga-Harini - the wife of Lord Siva who destroyed Kamadeva’s body

212] Sadya-Mukti-Prada - She is the person who quickly gives liberation

213] Devi - the Goddess

214] Veda-Sara - the essence of the Vedas

215] Parat Para - greater than the greatest

216] Himalaya-Suta Sarva Parvati Girija Sati - She is Goddess Parvati

217] Daksa-Kanya - She is Daksa’s daughter

218] Deva-Mata - the demigod’s mother

219] Manda-Lajja - bold

220] Hares-Tanuh - Lord Hari’s own transcendental form

221] Vrndaranya-Priya - fond of Vrndavana

222] Vrnda - Goddess Vrnda

223] Vrndavana-Vilasini - The girl who enjoys pastimes in Vrndavana

224] Vilasini - She is playful

225] Vaisnavi - Lord Visnu’s companion

226] Brahmaloka-Pratisthita - the predominationg goddess of the spiritual world

227] Rukmini - She is Rukmini

228] Revati - She is Revati

229] Satyabhama - She is Satyabhama

230] Jambavati - She is Jambavati

231] Sulaksmana - She is Sulaksmana

232] Mitravinda - She is Mitravinda

233] Kalindi - She is Kalindi

234] Jahnu-Kanya - she is Jahnavi

235] Paripurna Purnatara - most perfect

236] Hainaveti - Goddess Parvati

237] Gati - the supreme goal of life

238] Apurva - She is unprecedented

239] Brahma-Rupa - She is spiritual

240] Brahmanda-Paripalini - the protectress of the universe

241] Brahmanda-Bhanda-Madbyastha - the goddess who enters the material universe

242] Brahmanda-Bhanda-Rupini - the goddess who herself is the material universe

243] Anda-Rupa - She is the goddess who is the material universe

244] Anda-Madhyastha - the goddess who has entered the material universe

245] Anda-Paripalini - the protectress of the material universe

246] Anda-bahya - the goddess who is beyond the material universe

247] Anda-Samhartri - the destroyer of material universe

248] Siva-Brahma-Hari-Priya - She who is dear to Siva, Brahma and Visnu

249] Maha-Visnu-Priya - She is Lord Maha-Visnu’s beloved

250] Kalpa-Vrksa-Rupa - a Kalpa-Vrksa tree

251] Nirantara Sthira - eternal

252] Sara-Bhuta - the best

253] Gauri Gaurangi - fair

254] Sasi-Sekhara - Lord Siva’s wife

255] Sveta-Campaka-Varnabha - She is fair as a Sveta Champaka flower

256] Sasi-Koti-Sama-Prabha - splendid as millions of moons

257] Malati-Malya-Bhusadhya Malati-Malya-Dharini - decorated with jasmine garlands

258] Krsna-Stuta - She is praised by Krsna

259] Krsna-Kanta - loved by krsna

260] Vrndavana-Vilasini - She enjoys pastimes inVrndavana

261] Tulasi-Adhisthatri-Devi - She is Goddess Tulasi

262] Samsararvana-Para-Da - She carries one to the farther shore of the ocean of birth and death

263] Sarada - She gives what is the best

264] Aharada - She gives food

265] Ambhoda - She gives water

266] Yasoda - She gives fame

267] Gopa-Nandini - She is a gopa’s daughter

268] Atita-Gamana - very graceful

269] Gauri - fair

270] Paranugraha-Karini - kind to others

271] Karunarnava-Sampurna Karunarnava-Dharini - She is a flooding ocean of mercy

272] Madhavi Syama-Vallabha - She is Lord Krsna’s beloved

273] Madhava-Manoharini - She charms Lord Krsna’s heart

274] Andhakara-Bhaya-Dhvasta - She removes the fear of blindness

275] Mangalya - She is auspicious

276] Mangala-Prada - the giver of auspiciousness

277] Sri-Garbha - the mother of all beauty

278] Sri-Prada - the giver of beauty

279] Srisa - the queen of beauty

280] Sri-Nivasa - the abode of beauty

281] Acyutapriya - the beloved of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead

282] Sri-Kama - the desire for beauty

283] Sri-Rupa Sri-Svarupini - She is the form of beauty

284] Sri-Hara - the remover of beauty

285] Srida - the giver of beauty


          India's remote north-east: The road to Tawang        
DRIVE from the Brahmaputra river, in the plains of north-eastern India, and towards the Himalayas to the north, and hefty obstacles lie in your path. The road up to Tawang, a Buddhist monastery-town near the border with China, takes two long days of travel. From the start you traverse a narrow and muddy track, often single-lane and scattered with rocks. Along this way plod army lorries, petrol tankers, jeeps crammed with passengers. Teams of labourers toil by the thousand along the length of the road. Some chip at stones, others lug rocks aside from the slow-moving traffic.In time—supposedly another five years—this broken, narrow and vulnerable road will be upgraded to become a “national highway”. But even tarred and smooth, it will offer hazards aplenty. Heavy fog rolls in as the road climbs higher: shortly after a sign gives warning that you are entering a fog zone, the mist closes in and rain begins to patter. With visibility at just a few metres, and with the sound of a huge river rushing in the steep valley below, progress is reduced to a crawl. There are excuses for the poor condition of the road. A century ago this territory—a stretch of remote land parallel to Bhutan and stretching up to the borders of Tibet—was hardly considered a part of India. The British, before a treaty in 1914 in Shimla, had broadly decided to leave the hill tribes of land now called ...
          Cuộc chiến Trung-Việt 30 ngày từ 35 năm trước        
Bài đăng trên Website của đài “Tiếng nói nước Nga” lúc 14:52 ngày 18/3/2014

Photo:AFP

Lịch sử cuộc xung đột Trung-Việt đã có hơn hai ngàn năm.

Các cuộc xung đột đó luôn luôn bắt đầu bởi phía Trung Quốc và luôn luôn kết thúc trong thất bại. Sử gia Maxim Syunnerberg cho rằng 35 năm sau cuộc xung đột năm 1979, sẽ rất hữu ích khi nhắc đến những ngày này. Sử gia Matxcơva cho biết:

“Đó là cuộc xung đột có thời gian ngắn nhất, chỉ trong vòng 30 ngày. Nhưng đó là cuộc tấn công xâm lược mạnh nhất của Trung Quốc vào lãnh thổ Việt Nam. Đó cũng là cuộc xung đột mà Liên Xô đã đến giúp đỡ nhân dân và quân đội Việt Nam, vì một thời gian ngắn trước đó Liên Xô đã ký kết với Việt Nam Hiệp ước Thân thiện và Hợp tác.”

Để chứng tỏ sự ủng hộ Việt Nam và chuyển hướng một phần lực lượng quân đội Trung Quốc từ phía Nam đến biên giới Trung-Xô, sáu quân khu của Liên Xô ở khu vực biên giới đã chuyển sang tình trạng sẵn sàng chiến đấu. 29 sư đoàn bộ binh cơ giới của quân đội Liên Xô với khoảng 250.000 quân nhân đã được chuyển tới biên giới với Trung Quốc. Phía Đông cũng đã được chuyển tới hai sư đoàn không quân. Và một trong số sư đoàn ấy đã được chuyển tới sân bay ở Mông Cổ, chỉ cách Bắc Kinh một nửa giờ bay. Lãnh đạo quân sự của Liên Xô đã tiến hành một động thái khác ủng hộ Việt Nam - trong tầm nhìn của phía Trung Quốc, một số đơn vị xe tăng mô phỏng cuộc tấn công vào mục tiêu đối phương giả định ở gần biên giới. Và trong sa mạc Gobi, ngay bên cạnh biên giới giữa Mông Cổ và Trung Quốc, lính nhảy dù của Liên Xô cũng tiến hành tập trận.

Ngay từ đầu tháng Hai, khi có thông tin đầu tiên về dự định của Trung Quốc muốn "trừng phạt" Việt Nam, một tàu tuần dương và một tàu khu trục của Hải quân Liên Xô đã được phái đến biển Đông. Sau khi cuộc chiến bắt đầu, hải quân Liên Xô bổ sung thêm các tàu khác vào nhóm này, tạo thành một đơn vị lớn. Trong những ngày hạ tuần của tháng Hai, nhóm này đã gồm 13 tàu, và tới đầu tháng Ba – số lượng tàu Liên Xô ở khu vực này lên đến ba mươi chiếc. Liên Xô cũng đã chuẩn bị cho khả năng để nhóm tàu này đến cảng Đà Nẵng và vịnh Cam Ranh, khi đó đang bắt đầu thành lập căn cứ quân sự của Liên Xô. Nhờ có sự hiện diện của tàu Liên Xô ở Biển Đông, hải quân Trung Quốc đã không thể tham gia vào cuộc xâm lược Việt Nam. Ngoài ra, các tàu của Liên Xô cũng đảm bảo an toàn cho việc cung cấp hàng hoá cho Việt Nam. Chỉ riêng ở Hải Phòng, trong giai đoạn xung đột đã bốc dỡ hơn 20 tàu hàng và tàu chở dầu. Đồng thời, các thủy thủ Liên Xô phải đối mặt với chuỗi tàu chiến Mỹ, từ ngày 25 tháng 2 đã đỗ ngoài khơi bờ biển Việt Nam, với mục đích mà người Mỹ tuyên bố là "kiểm soát tình hình.” Để kiềm chế không cho tàu Mỹ đi vào khu vực chiến đấu, tàu ngầm của Liên Xô chặn đứng con đường tiếp cận của tàu Mỹ. Tàu Mỹ không dám vượt hải tuyến mà Hải quân Liên Xô tạo ra, và đến ngày 6 tháng 3 họ đã phải rút khỏi Biển Đông.

Hai ngày sau khi cuộc xâm lược nổ ra, một nhóm cố vấn quân sự Liên Xô do tướng Gennady Obaturov dẫn đầu đã đến Hà Nội. Họ làm quen với tình hình trong cuộc họp với các vị chỉ huy cao cấp của Quân đội nhân dân Việt Nam và trong chuyến đi chiến trường biên giới. Ngày 25 tháng 2, Lê Duẩn phê chuẩn đề xuất của tướng Obaturov dùng máy bay Liên Xô chuyển các đơn vị quân đội Việt Nam tinh nhuệ hơn từ Campuchia ra mặt trận biên giới với Trung Quốc. Điều này ngay lập tức thay đổi cán cân lực lượng nghiêng về phía có lợi cho Quân đội nhân dân Việt Nam.

Liên Xô chấp nhận đề nghị của tướng Obaturov và ngay lập tức viện trợ cho Việt Nam toàn bộ tất cả những thứ vũ khí và trang thiết bị cần thiết cho cuộc chiến đấu. Một trong những cố vấn quân sự Liên Xô có mặt tại Việt Nam những ngày ấy, Đại tá Gennady Ivanov cho biết:

“Trong thời gian ngắn nhất, Quân đội nhân dân Việt Nam đã nhận được tất cả những thứ vũ khí cần thiết để phản công. Bằng máy bay vận tải quân sự của Liên Xô, nhiều hệ thống tên lửa "Grad" được chuyển sang cho Việt Nam, ngoài ra còn có nhiều máy móc trinh sát điện tử, cũng như các phương tiện khác hỗ trợ chiến đấu.”

Tất cả những điều đó phần lớn đã quyết định kết cục cuộc chiến, trong đó tất nhiên, vai trò của lực lượng vũ trang anh hùng của Việt Nam là rất quan trọng. Ngày 5 tháng ba 1979, Trung Quốc bắt đầu rút quân khỏi các vùng lãnh thổ bị chiếm đóng. Ngày 18 tháng Ba, chiến sự hoàn toàn dừng lại.

Xin nói thêm, các thính giả biết tiếng Nga có thể tham khảo Hồi ký tướng Obaturov về những năm tháng quân ngũ, trong đó có ba năm ở Việt Nam theo địa chỉ: http://generalarmy.ru/diary/

_____

Xem thêm từ Website của đài “Tiếng nói nước Nga”:

6 tháng mười một 2012, 14:12


Trung Quốc chiến đấu như thế nào: những bài học qua cuộc chiến tranh Trung-Ấn và chiến tranh Trung-Việt ("Newsweek", USA)


Năm 1962, Trung Quốc đã dạy cho Ấn Độ một “bài học” có giá trị đến ngày hôm nay.

Ngày 20 tháng Mười năm 1962, ngay trước lúc bình minh, Quân đội Giải phóng Nhân dân Trung Quốc bất ngờ xâm chiếm Ấn Độ. Các đơn vị quân đội mạnh mẽ như trận cuồng phong liên tục tấn công và vượt qua phần phía đông và phía tây dãy Hy Mã Lạp Sơn, tiến sâu vào phần đông bắc của đất nước. Vào ngày thứ 32 của cuộc chiến tranh, Bắc Kinh bỗng nhiên thông báo lệnh ngừng bắn đơn phương, và chiến tranh kết thúc đột ngột như nó đã bắt đầu. Mười ngày sau đó, người Trung Quốc bắt đầu rút quân khỏi phần phía Đông của Ấn Độ nằm giữa Bhutan và Miến Điện, nhưng giữ lại những vùng lãnh thổ đã chiếm được ở phía tây, khu vực trước đây là một phần của công quốc Jammu và Kashmir. Ấn Độ phải chịu thất bại hoàn toàn và vô cùng nhục nhã, còn uy tín quốc tế của Trung Quốc thì tăng lên rõ rệt.

Cuộc xung đột này đã tiết lộ những yếu tố chính trong học thuyết chiến lược của Bắc Kinh, do đó nó chính là một bài học. Dưới đây, chúng ta sẽ xem xét 6 nguyên tắc cơ bản mà Quân đội Giải phóng Nhân dân Trung Quốc đã tuân thủ trong cuộc xâm lược Ấn Độ và chắc chắn là sẽ được sử dụng trong tương lai.

Đột ngột. Trung Quốc rất coi trọng yếu tố bất ngờ, cho phép tóm gọn đối phương một cách bất thình lình. Ý tưởng nằm ở chỗ dành chiến thắng thật nhanh chóng trên chiến trường để bẻ gãy đối thủ cả về mặt chính trị lẫn tâm lý. Thật vậy, người Trung Quốc bắt đầu và kết thúc chiến tranh năm 1962 khi Ấn Độ ít mong đợi nhất. Họ cũng đã hành động tương tự khi xâm lược Việt Nam vào năm 1979.

Tập trung toàn diện. Các vị tướng lĩnh Trung Quốc cho rằng cần phải tấn công nhanh chóng và mạnh mẽ hết sức có thể. Đó chính là chiến thuật mà họ đã thể hiện qua cuộc chiến tranh chớp nhoáng chống Ấn Độ vào năm 1962. Mục tiêu ở đây là buộc kẻ thù phải “giao chiến với kết cục nhanh”. Tập trung toàn diện vào mục tiêu là điểm đặc thù cho tất cả các hoạt động quân sự mà Đảng cộng sản Trung Quốc đã thực hiện kể từ năm 1949.

Tấn công trước. Bắc Kinh không bao giờ ngần ngại sử dụng vũ lực để giải quyết những vấn đề chính trị. Ngược lại, Trung Quốc đã nhiều lần chứng tỏ rằng họ luôn sẵn sàng để “dạy một bài học” cho đối phương, nếu như có kẻ dám thách thức Bắc Kinh trong tương lai. Thủ tướng Chính phủ Trung Quốc Chu Ân Lai đã giải thích rằng chiến tranh năm 1962 nhằm mục đích "cho Ấn Độ một bài học nên thân". Đặng Tiểu Bình, người đầu tiên trong các nhà lãnh đạo cộng sản Trung Quốc đến thăm Hoa Kỳ, đã sử dụng ngôn từ tương tự trong năm 1979 trong chuyến thăm tới Washington, khi tuyên bố với Jimmy Carter, đương kim Tổng thống lúc đó rằng “Việt Nam, cũng như Ấn Độ, cần phải bị trừng trị”.

Chờ đợi. Người Trung Quốc tin rằng phải chờ đợi thời điểm thích hợp. Cuộc chiến tranh 1962 là ví dụ điển hình của chiến thuật này. Vụ tấn công xảy ra đồng thời với cuộc khủng hoảng Caribe, đã đưa thế giới đến sát bên bờ vực của ngày tận thế hạt nhân. Tình hình này làm chuyển hướng sự chú ý của những quốc gia có thể hỗ trợ cho Ấn Độ. Đến khi Hoa Kỳ cho hay về việc đối đầu với Matxcova đã chấm dứt, Trung Quốc ngay lập tức tuyên bố ngừng bắn đơn phương.

Một sơ đồ hành động tương tự đã được sử dụng sau đó. Sau khi Mỹ rút quân khỏi miền Nam Việt Nam, Trung Quốc đã chiếm quần đảo Hoàng Sa. Năm 1988, khi Việt Nam mất đi sự ủng hộ của Matxcova, và cuộc chiến tranh Afghanistan làm cho Liên Xô từ bỏ niềm đam mê vào các cuộc phiêu lưu quân sự nước ngoài, Trung Quốc liền xâm chiếm rạn đá ngầm Johnson, một phần của quần đảo Trường Sa. Năm 1995, với thực tế là Philippines không được bảo vệ, người Mỹ đã buộc phải đóng cửa các căn cứ quân sự ở Vịnh Subic Bay và các khu vực khác của quần đảo này, cho phép người Trung Quốc dành quyền kiểm soát rạn san hô Mischif.

Biện minh cho hành động của mình. Bắc Kinh thích ngụy trang những hành động xâm lược của mình bằng các mục đích quốc phòng. Cuộc tấn công vào Ấn Độ năm 1962 được Bắc Kinh chính thức gọi là “phản công để phòng thủ”, và thuật ngữ này sau đó cũng được sử dụng để biện minh cho cuộc xâm lược Việt Nam, cũng như cho việc xâm lược các quần đảo Hoàng Sa, rạn san hô Johnson và rạn đá ngầm Mischif.

Sẵn sàng mạo hiểm. Những hành động liều mạng từ lâu đã là một phần không tách rời của chiến lược quân sự Trung Quốc. Việc các nhà lãnh đạo Trung Quốc sẵn sàng cho các hoạt động quân sự là điều hiển nhiên cho tất cả, không chỉ dưới thời đại của Mao Trạch Đông, thời kỳ đầy dẫy những thay đổi rắc rối trong chính sách, mà cả khi người rất thực dụng như Đặng Tiểu Bình cũng quyết định xâm lược Việt Nam, bỏ qua khả năng can thiệp từ phía Liên Xô.


          The Future of Forced Migrants in ASEAN        
Zwei Kinder schauen aus einem Fenster

This article is part of our dossier 50 years of ASEAN – Still waiting for social and ecological justice.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) turns 50 in 2017, and this coincides with the Philippines’ Chairmanship with the set theme of “partnering for change, engaging the world". Half a century after coming into existence, is the regional grouping ASEAN becoming better or worse? Generally, ASEAN has progressed quite well in many aspects, including regional integration efforts, narrowing development gaps, maintaining peace and improving social landscapes across the region.

Nevertheless, such progress is not all-encompassing. In other words, it’s not entirely inclusive as of yet. There are vulnerable segments of the population who are not being included or who are left behind in the integration process. One such group is the forced migrant population, broadly referred to here as refugees and asylum seekers.

As of 2015, a total of 284,949 refugees and asylum seekers had registered in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines (UNHCR, 2017). There were no records of forced migrants registered in any other ASEAN member states in 2015.

One simple question worth explanation - are forced migrants who seek refuge in ASEAN member states included in the national population census? Or are they a part of the nearly 630 million people in ASEAN (ASEAN, 2016)? If not, they are not likely to be included in national development initiatives, let alone regional integration initiatives.

In the meantime, the number of people fleeing persecution is unlikely to decrease in the near future due to geopolitical uncertainty, ongoing civil wars, military intervention and human rights violations occurring in almost all parts of the world.

The trend of forced migration

Trends of forced migration have evolved unconventionally due to globalisation, technological advancement and a higher level in transport connectivity. Consequently, ASEAN is no longer a safe haven for the forced migrant population from its individual member states, but from other regions and continents as well.

For example, about 14 percent of the total 65.3 million forced migrant population are currently hosted by nations in the Asia-Pacific region, where the majority (53 percent) come from three major nations, namely, Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria (UNHCR, 2017). How ASEAN is to respond to these trends relies heavily on the commitment of individual member states and shared responsibility to make the region a place called “home” for everyone.

This article seeks to discuss how ASEAN could ensure that their regional integration efforts are truly “inclusive”, guaranteeing a better future for the forced migrant population in the region. This article also discusses what commitments ASEAN and its member states have pledged in the past.

To what extent have past experiences influenced the regional grouping and its member states to address the present situation of forced migration? More importantly, how can ASEAN and its member states best respond to the situation of forced migration in the future?

Regional Approach in Handling Indo-Chinese Refugees

The regional approach in handling a massive influx of forced migrants within the Southeast Asian (SEA) region is not a new phenomenon. The founding members of ASEAN, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, served as asylum countries for almost half a million Indo-Chinese refugees in the late 1970s, and this continued up until the early 1990s.

Each of the member states had its shared responsibility. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia played the leading role by providing more spaces and opportunities for the Indo-Chinese refugees to seek temporary shelter before being resettled to third countries or repatriated back home.

Singapore, despite obvious space limitations, committed to host around 900 refugees in 1979 and 480 refugees in 1982 (UNHCR, 2017). Likewise, the Philippines, despite its remoteness, managed to provide asylum to 5,300 refugees in 1979, and this number increased nearly fourfold to 20,300 refugees in 1980 (UNHCR, 2017).

This commitment was not made without acknowledging the actual risks and future implications for ASEAN or its member states. ASEAN fully acknowledged that such a commitment would establish a precedent, and ultimately would create a “refugee magnet phenomenon” that would attract more and more asylum seekers to seek refuge in the future.

The individual member states also recognized that such a commitment would create more social problems internally.

Government agencies would face economic costs and administrative burden by handling the influx of refugees and coordinating humanitarian responses from international organisations (Suhrke, 1980).

Despite multiple barriers, their collective commitment to provide temporary asylum to Indo-Chinese refugees demonstrates ASEAN’s common stance and positive track record in responding to the complex and highly politicised situation of forced migration in the region.  There are three observations that could better explain why such a commitment was successful from the late 1970s up until the early 1990s, but this might not be necessarily replicable at present.

The dealing with forced migration in the past

Firstly, there was a greater international response and commitment by third countries such as the U.S., and international organisations were able to reduce the burden of first asylum countries in ASEAN through rapid resettlement and substantial financial assistance.

In the period between 1979 and 1980, for instance, the monthly resettlement quota to third countries was increased to 23,000 applicants, and two-thirds of the applicants were taken by the U.S. On the financial side, international organisations spent about 100 million US dollar on managing the refugee population in Thailand over a period of six months from October 1979 to March 1980, while UNHCR allocated roughly 30 US dollar million for Malaysia (Suhrke, 1980).

With commitments from the U.S., international and intergovernmental organisations, the number of refugees temporarily sheltered in ASEAN member states rapidly decreased, and simultaneously lessened the cost implications incurred by asylum countries.

Secondly, Vietnam (the origin country of the majority of Indo-Chinese refugees) was not part of ASEAN until 1995. Hence, the collective commitment of ASEAN member states to provide temporary shelter to Indo-Chinese refugees was not incompatible with ASEAN’S non-interference principle.

Third, the willingness of ASEAN member states to take the risk and shared responsibility to provide temporary shelter was meant to maintain a good relationship with the U.S., with a very clear objective of balancing the growing influence of China and the Soviet Union in the region.

These are the three factors that helped strengthen the collective response of ASEAN and its member states in handling forced migration in the past.

A Rule-Based Commitment in the Age of Uncertainty

Present-day ASEAN consists of 10 member states, including countries which had initially produced refugees, such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. To further strengthen their collective integration efforts, ASEAN leaders from the 10 member states came together in Singapore in 2007 to sign and witness the creation of the ASEAN Charter, and hence become a legally binding document for the regional grouping.

Without a doubt, the establishment of the ASEAN Charter is a manifestation of a renewed political commitment to boost the community-building process. It also paved the way for the expanded roles and mandates of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the proliferation of ASEAN bodies related to human rights, among others, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

These regional human rights institutions are expected to promote and protect the rights of ASEAN citizens in accordance with the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), the ASEAN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Unlike the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, however, no specific mention of the term “refugee”, “asylum-seeker” or “forced migrant” is referred to in any of these key ASEAN documents including the ASEAN Charter and AHRD.

This is due to the lack of ratification among member states - only Cambodia (1992) and the Philippines (1981) ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. The rest of the member states are not ready, and have not shown any indication to ratify the convention, despite having demonstrated positive commitment in the past.

At the national level, the term “refugee” is not officially recognised or referred to in national laws, policies and administrative procedures among non-singatory parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Apart from the lack of collective political commitment by the regional grouping, there are other observations that could better explain the reluctance of individual member states to commit to a legally-binding obligation in handling forced migration in the region.

Reasons for the lack of collective political commitment to receive refugees

Firstly, the post-Cold War era marked the proliferation of emerging and multifaceted security threats that weakened and exposed states and society to transnational security risks. These included threats originating from terrorism and militancy, the smuggling of atypical immigrants, human trafficking as well as drug and arms smuggling - all of which were broadly linked to the movement of refugees in the region.

The complex nature of these threats prompted ASEAN member states to be overprotective and subsequently unwilling to provide a rule-based commitment in handling forced migrants. Member states such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, however, claimed that despite their lack of a legally-binding commitment, they would provide minimal protection to refugees including adherence to the non-refoulement principle on humanitarian grounds.

Secondly, the post-Cold War era also marked new trends of forced migration, especially from other regions and continents to ASEAN countries. Although the number of people seeking refuge in ASEAN member states reduced by nearly half from 437,530 in 1980 to 284,949 in 2015 (UNHCR, 2017), the variety of nationalities is more diverse now than ever before. For instance, Malaysia is now a country of asylum for forced migrants originating from Angola, Burundi, Bhutan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Guinea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Rwanda and Senegal (other than Myanmar) (UNHCR, 2017).

Similar trends of forced migration occurred in Thailand and Indonesia, which saw a greater diversification of nationalities compared to the period before the 1990s. Overall, of the 284,949 registered refugees across the ASEAN member states, about 11.3 percent (32,127) are non-ASEAN refugees, the majority of which come from Western Asia, South Asia and certain African regions. This indicates that the forced migration population will likely be the toughest challenge facing the regional grouping in the future.

Creating A Better Future for Forced Migrants

Neither past history nor the current situation are likely to predict the future of forced migrants in the region in this age of geopolitical uncertainty, unequal development and profound inequality. The best way to predict the future for forced migrants in the region is to create it. However, to create a better future for forced migrants, it requires strong leadership, political commitment, a willingness to share burden and responsibility to protect on the part of ASEAN and its individual member states.

A concrete regional commitment to respond to forced migration can only be achieved when the majority of individual member states have a clear position and commitment at the national level.

However, this has not been the case with ASEAN thus far. Individual member states, especially the largest refugee-hosting countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, should play a leading role by transforming their humanitarian approach into a legally-binding commitment in order to provide concrete and sustainable protection for the forced migrant population.

The fear of the unknown implications of a legally-binding commitment should not stop countries from ratifying the 1951 Refugee Convention, as the motives of forced migration are not determined by a member state’s ratification status. For instance, Malaysia has yet to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention and does not recognize refugees in its country, but the number of refugees seeking asylum in Malaysia increased significantly from 5,412 individuals in 2000 to 154,486 individuals in 2015 (UNHCR, 2017).

This suggests a weak correlation between the country’s status of ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the “refugee magnet phenomenon” in the region.

Apart from geographical factors and the opportunity to benefit from various economic activities such as entering the informal labour market in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, providing minimal protection to refugees collectively served as the pull factors which attracted asylum seekers to seek refuge in their respective countries, even in the absence of a legally-binding commitment.

Motivs behind forced migration

ASEAN and its member states should also acknowledge the motives (push factors) behind forced migration, whereby refugees are forced, without many options, to leave their home countries in search of international protection. In such circumstances, refugees will find a way to reach these countries by risking their lives being smuggled by careless third parties who take advantage of the lack of integrity among certain enforcement personnel.

At the national level, individual member states should strengthen access to justice and administrative procedures, ensuring every one of the forced migrants has equal access to basic needs and rights in the asylum process. Members of civil society organisations (CSOs) including medical, faith-based and humanitarian organisations should be provided with the necessary financial support and assistance to enable them to perform their duties efficiently.

Relevant government agencies should work hand in hand with the members of CSOs in order to reach out to forced migrants and provide necessary assistance.

The willingness of individual member states to commit to these obligations would influence fellow member states to do the same. This can be witnessed in the way that the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand unknowingly competed with each other in response to the Rohingya crisis in late 2016.

There is nothing bad about a little diplomatic rivalry, however, this is not leading to concrete commitment at the national level in any of the three countries. Given the lack of national commitment by the individual member states, exactly how and what kind of a role should the regional grouping play?

ASEAN established its regional human rights institution, namely, the AICHR in 2009, with an overarching mandate to promote and protect human rights. The AHRD (Article 16) dictates ASEAN and its member states’ commitment to ensure the right to seek asylum. The AICHR is rightly positioned to leverage its mandate to develop a regional strategy to encourage member states to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention.

This would strengthen their commitment to guarantee the right to seek asylum in the case of forced migrants. As an ASEAN body that holds meetings every year, the AICHR should establish a permanent agenda on forced migration to be mainstreamed in its Priority Programme and Five Year Work Plan.

Strategic cooperations and partnerships are needed

The expansion of non-ASEAN refugees in the region suggests that this is no longer an intra-regional issue that can be solved exclusively through internal means. As ASEAN and the AICHR are the overarching regional human rights bodies, they should explore ways to establish strategic cooperation and partnership focused specifically on forced migration issues with the African Union, African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Apart from leveraging the existing regional human rights mechanism, ASEAN should develop a more concrete and sustainable platform to discuss issues related to forced migration beyond the three pillars of the ASEAN Community. The logic is simple. Forced migration is an issue of political security, socio-cultural and economic integration. Hence, a fourth ASEAN Community pillar may be established to discuss regional solutions to multifaceted issues such as forced migration.

To conclude, the forced migrant population by default has been a part of ASEAN society since the Indo-Chinese refugee crisis in the late 1970s up until the very recent Rohingya catastrophe. The uncertain international response to reduce the burden of asylum countries indicates that forced migrants will likely be in a “protracted situation”as they wait for a definite solution.

As ASEAN strives to strengthen its regional integration efforts and pledges to be truly inclusive, people-centred and people-oriented, the regional grouping and its member states must provide opportunities and empower the forced migrant population to be a part of this regional integration process.

The growing presence of non-ASEAN refugees also indicates the need to reflect this emerging trend of forced migration into the regional agenda and integration initiatives. The rationale behind this is to better to manage and integrate them rather than ignoring their presence in the country. By then, forced migrants, regardless of nationality, will be able to contribute to the hosting society, regional integration and create their own future.

 

REFERENCES

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 2016. ASEAN Statistical Leaflet – Selected Key Indicators 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2017 from http://asean.org/storage/2012/05/ASEAN_Stats_Leaflet2016_web.pdf

Suhrke, Astri. 1980. Indochinese Refugees: The Impact of First Asylum Countries and Implications for American Policy [A Study Prepared for the Use of the Joint Economic Committee Congress of the United States, November 1980]. Retrieved on 12 March 2017 from https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/1980/12/report-2b9a3aa8-525f-407a-86ba-2e6b4171e90e

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2017. Population Statistics, 1979-2015. Retrieved on 23 March 2017 from http://popstats.unhcr.org/en/overview


          In Escalating Standoff, Indian Army Orders People Near Chinese Border To Vacate Village        
In Escalating Standoff, Indian Army Orders People Near Chinese Border To Vacate Village by Tyler Durden, http://www.zerohedge.com In the latest escalation between two nuclear powers (aside for the US and North Korea of course), the Indian Army has ordered the evacuation of a village close to the Doklam India-Bhutan-China tri-junction amid to a standoff between […]
          Flags undecided over the         
A picturesque field named Bhutan rests gladly in the lap of the mighty eastern broadside of the Himalayas at an elevation of something like 7000 meters preceding sea even. The territory ahead of time proverbial as Druk Yul intent the land of the thunder mythical monster is inland amidst China on the northmost and India on all other than sides. It was christened 'Bhutan' in the after that half of the 19th century. The term Bhutan is calculable from the Sanskrit name which agency 'Where Tibet Ends' and is likewise prearranged as the Last Shangri-La, for its virgin terrains and the extremely rare appreciation practice. Kula Kangri at 7,553 meters is the unmatched top of the land, trekking is ideally through with in March-May and later on all sides November. Gankhar Puensum is considered worthy for having been the top unclimbed hilltop in the international.This religion onshore reverberates next to the pious chants of Buddhism next to set apart prayer flags undecided over the roadsides and highways snappy meteoric antagonistic the bend. The arrive is certain to be amongst the smallest formulated of nations but then it is on one of the top top-ranking if plumbed on the measure of optimism scale. The stray orbit consciously guards its valuable traditions and characteristic philosophy from self hampered by the external influences. Mahayana Buddhism is the fatherland sponsored supernatural virtue next to Hindus self on the catalogue of close thickly settled in this strong mountainous manor. Religion and religious doctrine shapes the lives of the inhabitants of this blessed territory visited by pilgrims, dedicated men, saints and scholars alike since present time old in hunt of truth, happiness, mental object and purdah.The branch of Himalayas harboring the offering day Bhutan is a biologists' nirvana for it is a matrimonial to the varicoloured endemical as capably as exotic species of public figure accumulation and collection that brainstorm structure in this limited rough arena. The put has been identified and incorporated amongst the v 'hot spots' of bio-diversity circulate overall. The duple forms of awfully overwhelming and simply pleasing orchids dangle present and there, snaky vines, riotous greenish and damp parcel of land are a prevailing present. Animals look-alike snowfall leopard, golden langur, indigo sheep, h2o buffalo, tigers, elephants, gnu goat and the varicolored birdlife are prototypical of the parkland.Post ads:Travelon Flat-Out Toiletry Kit / Eagle Creek Pack-It Half Cube / Incase Neoprene Slim Sleeve for 13" MacBook Pro / Air - / OGIO Luggage Canberra 30 Inch Griddle Wheeled Duffel Bag / Case-It Build-A-Binder - Neoprene Zipper Binder with / Bluecell 15.4 Black Neoprene sleeve/bag for / Hartmann Luggage Intensity 22 Inch Expandable Mobile / Dakine Women's 13-Litre Grom Pack / Haiku Modern Flower Weekender Bag / The Tundra Rolling Backpack w/ Wheels- BLACK / TopCase 2 in 1 Retina 13-Inch PURPLE Rubberized Hard Case / JJ Cole Diapers and Wipes Pod, Midnight Dahlia / Worldshopping Frost Matte Surface Rubberized Hard Shell / Kipling Multiple Waistbag / Bugatti Ladies rolling Briefcase Laptop kilted Polyester / Belkin 15-Inch Messenger Bag (Black/Cool Grey) / Vera Bradley XL Duffel Safari Sunset / Speck Products MB13PU-SAT-BK-V2 See Thru Satin, Soft Touch / Moshi iGlaze Ultra Slim Case for MacBook Air 11- BlackThrough umpteen sources say the stop of Bhutan has been known to have existed since 2000 BC. However most of the written record arts documents housed in Punakha, the ancient superior is glorious to have got tumble-down by happening that raped the inner-city in 1827. This is the cause many a of the transcribed measures of the ancient as asymptomatic as the mediaeval modern world are eliminated. One of the earlier familiar worthy incidents that could do with bring up is the stop by of the Buddhist holy divinity Guru Rinpoche in 747 AD. The policy-making precedent of the kingdom of Bhutan synchronizes beside its sacred history. A number of wars were fought for ascendancy between the warlords of Tibetan rudiment and so did the numeral of sub sects of Buddhism which boom and popped up from clip to event depending upon the dominating quality until the beginning of the Drukpa sub faith in the slowly ordinal period. The environment had been considerably in rule by the Mongols from occurrence to juncture. The estate was unified in the ordinal period by the Tibetan non-christian priest and soldierly vital Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and specified it a saintly part. The hard-on of Ugyen Wangchuk nemine contradicente as the new sovereign in 1907 was the emergence of the Wangchuk kinsfolk which soil day of the month is the instruction autarchy of this mountainous terrain. The family line is touristed and such honourable for its republican and proactive knowledge for its associates.
          Culture Fest Festival of Nations        

After a sold out first year, the premier collection of the international food, music and crafts returns to showcase what makes Utica the International City of Central New York… Food Sampling from many of Central New York’s local and international restaurants, a collection of artisans and craftsmen and demonstrations of dance, music and art and that bring a world of culture into one place.

Each attendee gets a sample card good for one sample at each restaurant. A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

If you have a business or restaurant who would like to participate, or a group who is interested in performing on the stage, please call Ryan at (315) 272-2839 or email ryan.frable@townsquaremedia.com.

A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip


A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip
A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

After a sold out first year, the premier collection of the international food, music and crafts  returns to showcase what makes Utica the International City of Central New York… Food Sampling from many of Central New York’s local and international restaurants, a collection of artisans and craftsmen and demonstrations of dance, music and art and that bring a world of culture into one place.

Each attendee gets a sample card good for one sample at each restaurant. If you have a business or restaurant who would like to participate, or a group who is interested in performing on the stage, please call Ryan at (315) 272-2839 or email ryan.frable@townsquaremedia.com .

Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door; $5 kids 11-18; Kids 10 and under are free. Available at the Stanley and by clicking the link below.



Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

After a sold out first year, the premier collection of the international food, music and crafts  returns to showcase what makes Utica the International City of Central New York… Food Sampling from many of Central New York’s local and international restaurants, a collection of artisans and craftsmen and demonstrations of dance, music and art and that bring a world of culture into one place.

Each attendee gets a sample card good for one sample at each restaurant. If you have a business or restaurant who would like to participate, or a group who is interested in performing on the stage, please call Ryan at (315) 272-2839 or email ryan.frable@townsquaremedia.com .

Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door; $5 kids 11-18; Kids 10 and under are free. Available at the Stanley and by clicking the link below.



Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

After a sold out first year, the premier collection of the international food, music and crafts  returns to showcase what makes Utica the International City of Central New York… Food Sampling from many of Central New York’s local and international restaurants, a collection of artisans and craftsmen and demonstrations of dance, music and art and that bring a world of culture into one place.

Each attendee gets a sample card good for one sample at each restaurant. If you have a business or restaurant who would like to participate, or a group who is interested in performing on the stage, please call Ryan at (315) 272-2839 or email ryan.frable@townsquaremedia.com .

Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door; $5 kids 11-18; Kids 10 and under are free. Available at the Stanley and by clicking the link below.



Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

A limited number of food sampling tickets will be available (700) but those interested in enjoying the live music, dancing, and shopping can purchase Non-Sampling tickets for just $8.

Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmcli

Entertainment and Demonstrations


Some of our Participating Restaurants

Café Crete

Charlie Boys

Della Vita Olive Oil

Edible Arrangements

Fairways Restaurant

Lotus Garden

Mother Marianne’s Kitchen

Papa Joe’s

Radisson Hotel

Recovery

… and more to come.

 

Vendors

Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees

ReSource Traditional Artisans

Redeemer Cup

The Palm Reading Lady

Utica Karate

Thousand Islands Winery

The Oneida County Farmers Market

The Oneida County Board of Elections

Yemeni American Culture

 

Enjoy Entertainment from around the world!

Ritmo Caribeno – Mohawk Valley Latino Association, music and Dance

Adi Shakti – Belly Dancing

Baptist Tabernacle Church-Youth Dancers (Karen Dancers -agricultural dance and bamboo dance)

Bhutanese-Nepali Folk Collective

Bhutanese-Nepali guest dancer Nima Tamang

…more to come.

 

Some of our Participating Restaurants

Café Crete

Charlie Boys

Della Vita Olive Oil

Edible Arrangements

Fairways Restaurant

Lotus Garden

Mother Marianne’s Kitchen

Papa Joe’s

Radisson Hotel

Recovery

… and more to come.

 

Vendors

Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees

ReSource Traditional Artisans

Redeemer Cup

The Palm Reading Lady

Utica Karate

Thousand Islands Winery

The Oneida County Farmers Market

The Oneida County Board of Elections

Yemeni American Culture

 

Enjoy Entertainment from around the world!

Ritmo Caribeno – Mohawk Valley Latino Association, music and Dance

Adi Shakti – Belly Dancing

Baptist Tabernacle Church-Youth Dancers (Karen Dancers -agricultural dance and bamboo dance)

Bhutanese-Nepali Folk Collective

Bhutanese-Nepali guest dancer Nima Tamang

…more to come.



Read More: Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations | http://lite987.com/events-utica/culturefest-a-festival-of-nations-2/26-april-2014-stanley-theatre/?trackback=tsmclip

          Talks are only way for India, China to end standoff, Dalai Lama says        

By Malini Menon

NEW DELHI, Aug 9 (Reuters) - India and China will have toresolve their prolonged military standoff in a remote Himalayanregion through talks, the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday, rulingout the chance of war because it would be destructive to bothparties.

Indian and Chinese troops have been embroiled in aseven-week confrontation on the Doklam plateau, claimed by bothChina and India's tiny ally, Bhutan.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India after fleeing afailed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, said there wouldbe no victors in a war and talks were the only option.

"This century should be a century of dialogue," the Nobelpeace laureate said in the Indian capital. "One-side victory,one-side defeat is old thinking. Destruction of your neighbouris destruction of yourself. The only way is through talks."

Indian troops went into Doklam in mid-June to stop a Chineseconstruction crew from extending a road India's military sayswill bring China's army too close for comfort in the northeast.

Beijing has demanded India leave the area, and low-key talksbetween the neighbours have produced no breakthrough, raisingfears the two could stumble into a conflict.

India and China have a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) -long mountainborder over which they fought a 1962 war that ended in India'sdefeat. They have since failed to settle the border, leading tofrequent claims of intrusions into each other's territories.

The chance of a conflict was low, however, despite exchangesof harsh words, the Dalai Lama said.

"Two big nations don't have the ability to eliminate theother or defeat the other. So you have to live side by side."

Tension between India and China has been rising over severalissues. India is concerned over Beijing's military collaborationwith arch rival Pakistan as well as its expanding involvement ininfrastructure development across South Asia.

China has railed against the Indian government's publicembrace of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, whom itregards as a "dangerous splittist."

The Dalai Lama said there was a chance dialogue could resumewith Chinese President Xi Jinping's representatives after aCommunist Party congress set for Oct-Nov that is expected toconfirm Xi for a second term as party general secretary andcould reshuffle other top posts.

"Some of my friends say, after the 19th party meeting, someold politburo member may change because of age. So my friendssay, after the 19th party meeting, there could be somepossibility, some change."

There have been no formal talks between Beijing and theDalai Lama's representatives since 2010.(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Clarence Fernandez)


          Anti-Christian Sentiment Marks Journey for Bhutan’s Exiles        
Forced from Buddhist homeland, dangers arise in Hindu-majority Nepal. KATHMANDU, Nepal, February 23 (CDN) — Thrust from their homes in Bhutan after Buddhist rulers embarked on an ethnic and religious purge, Christian refugees in Nepal face hostilities from Hindus and others. In Sunsari district in southeastern Nepal, a country that is more than 80 percent […]
          Beijing’s World Strategy*        
In a world of regional conflicts, new fighting in the high Himalayas in Bhutan sheds new significance on Beijing’s world strategy. Bhutan, an incredibly beautiful retreat in the heart of the highest mountains in the world with only a million inhabitants, was a “protectorate” of British India. It, and a...
          China Says Countdown For War With India Has Begun        

China Says Countdown For War With India Has BegunThe border standoff began when India opposed China’s plan to extend a border road through a disputed plateau which Bhutan says is its Doklam region and China claims as part of its Donglang region.



          â€2013å¹´Mojito義賣桌曆“開箱文        
  生命中若有一個每年都可以期待的東西,那真的是個很不錯的事情, 尤其搬來瑞士之後,四季變代之大,不止表現在氣候上,景色、作物也因此突顯了它的獨特性, 因為一年當中,也就只有短短幾週的時間,有機會看到某種景色,或是品嚐到某個水果或蔬菜, 所以通常瑞士人也會在這段時間,將這些蔬果以各種方式保存,然後再之後的一年慢慢享用。     比如說,每年的初春,在近水源處,都會有遍地的野韮菜可採, 可以直接拿來拌成沙拉,或是加入其它食材做成青醬,再分裝在冷凍庫裹。   或是在秋天的森林裹,則有滿山的野菇,等著昆蟲、動物,來品嘗, 自然地,也吸引了很多饕客,不辭辛苦地在枯葉中翻尋那天然的美味。  ï¼ˆæœ‰è½éŽGPS是專門拿來記下野菇位置的嗎?在歐洲這可不是笑話呢!)      就在某個週四晚上,MK拖著疲憊不堪的步伐回到了家,吃完晚餐之後, 他突然宣佈隔天他要請假半天去採野菇,以舒解一下身心 (大驚!爬山可以解壓?!我怎麼一直都以為只有吃乖乖,才可以解壓呢?)       我興高采烈地問他:“那三隻狗都跟我們一起去嗎?” ....果然這是一個標準,在錯誤的時間,問了一個錯誤問題的最好範例, 因為MK很冷很冷先丟了第一句話:“沒有,他們只來亂的吧!”, 接下來的一句就很傷人了:“妳走路那麼慢,我哪有時間等妳,所以妳也不准去!”   亳無選擇地,我只好地坐在家中,一邊喝咖啡一邊吃著零食, 可憐兮兮地等著採菇人,從德國黑森林將野味帶回家。   當然,那天的晚餐就是酥炸各種菇菇囉~ 想到聽說今年吃菇中毒的人數比往年的數字還高, 我本來還想等MK吃完菇菇半小時之後再進食, 但是美食當前,又看他狼吞虎嚥的樣子,再不吃盤子就空空啦! 於是,馬上放下矜持,開始大口吞著菇菇, 啊~~真的是鮮嫩多汁的野味呀~       第二天的晚餐則是菇菇牛排餐, 不同的菇菇,滋味也很不同,尤其是想到它們在超市裹的超高賣價, 頓時就覺得,家裹有個會去山裹找免費食材的老公,真的也是件不賴的事呀!   剩下的菇菇,MK整理切片之後,就放在烘乾機上, 三天之後完全乾燥,就可以放入保鮮盒, 然後之後一年份的Risotto(義大利燉飯)或是Fondue(起司鍋),就可以全靠這美味了!       菇菇餐享用完,正想著:那麼下一個會讓我每年都會期待的東西,是什麼呢? 沒想到過沒幾天,就接到可以去預包裹的通知了! 是的,40份桌曆和明信片也遠渡重洋來到瑞士了!!       既緊張又期待地拆了箱子,一拿起桌曆........ ........... 怎麼那麼小本呢???? 雖然之前小品有給了我尺寸大小,但實品在手還真有點出乎意料之外呀!     然後倒了杯咖啡,從冰箱裹拿出了一個我最喜愛的粟子甜點, 開始慢慢一頁一頁地翻閱著桌曆, 一邊看著這幾個狗崽仔,一邊想著這幾星期來的瘋狂大作戰過程。   一開始,和小品兩個人只是知道,目標就是要做出一本有Mojito風格的桌曆和贈品, 然後就開始天馬行空地將各自的想法提出,不管是主題為何或是外觀上的設計, 有些創意很好,但成本絕對會比去年高出許多,所以只好忍痛割捨。     畢竟製作義賣桌曆的目的,就是希望能在有一定品質的成品之下, 能捐出最大的收益,而不是只是做開心或....做心酸的,不是嗎?     等到好不容易討論出2013年的主題:Man哥和他的朋友們 另一個頭痛的工作開始了...要找Man哥的照片不難,因為有幾千張他的照片, 但要找到他和朋友的角度都很恰當的照片,然後還有直式橫式照片的技術問題 (當初拍照的那一瞬間誰會想到這問題呢?), 就讓照片的挑選標準更加嚴格了。 總之,幾千張照片來來回回找了照片不知幾次了, 找到我都快變人腦資料庫了!          找完了12個月份,有比較輕鬆嗎?....並沒有!! 因為今年的設計是右邊各有不同功能或心情的小卡, 所以,是的,為了找14張小卡的照片,是又讓我白了好幾根頭髮呀...          尤其是喜歡想放進桌曆的照片實在是太多時, 就讓挑照片的這個工作更加地艱難, 因為每個都很口愛呀~~ 這時候,小品就發揮了很大的功能, 想盡辦法阻擋我的衝動, 才沒讓這本月曆,最後被我搞成了日曆。   照理說,小品在台灣,我人在瑞士, 我們合作的最大困難應該是那6個小時的時差, 不過幸好進行桌曆設計的期間,小品很成功地被我調成了瑞士時間, 所以這次真是出乎意料地溝通無時間呀~           不過有好幾次,我都已經得上床就寢時,小品都還在為著桌曆奮鬥.... 所以....小品,妳到底是在過哪一國的時間呢?      來來來,順便介紹一下小品的女兒, 她可是很乖巧地,每天陪著麻麻設計義賣桌曆唷!  小品在為桌曆的設計忙碌時,Nicole麻麻則是忙著統計預購Email和核對匯款資料, 也幸好有Nicole麻的參與,因為有幾次我幫忙統計, 結果反而搞得有些小混亂,最後都還是靠著細心又很有耐心的Nicolei麻,才找出了問題所在。        唉,看來我果然不是個適合做生意, 而只應該專心在網上和大家聊天打屁兼搞笑吧~~       而對於這次義賣出力最多的Nicolei麻而言(其中三週我還“不得已”地陪夫在法國露營), 最辛苦的一週,應該就是桌曆和明信片要分別包裝以出貨的時候吧, 一開始她為了能多捐出些錢,所以一一重新包裝桌曆,以符合民間貨運的規格, 結果卻烏龍被擺了一道,最後還是又回到使用郵政出貨, 然後900本的桌曆要分成近二百份不同地址的包裹, 分裝之後還要抬到郵局寄出...   天呀,我真希望我能幫得上忙呀!!     不過幸好Nicole麻也有女兒在旁, 還很貼心地在辦公室陪麻麻包裝桌曆直到晚上快九點呢! 真要給漂亮小公主Nicole一個飛吻啦~~        今年的桌曆設計除了功能和內容上的不同之外, 其實我本來也留了一頁廣告的空間,給今年的捐助對象 Taiwan Animal S.O.S. , 想說如此可以讓更多人,有機會認識這個新組織。   不過是事前以email連絡,詢問Sean是否願意成為今年的贊助對象? 或是之後請他們寄文字和照片以供小品放入桌曆...等,幾乎都是久久才回信,或是石沈大海。   沒有意外地 ,在桌曆要送印刷廠之前,都還是沒收到文案和廣告... 所以也就沒有多了那一頁的廣告...        有朋友問我:“那妳確定還要將義賣盈餘,捐給這個不太回應的組織嗎?” 我笑了笑地說:“若你看了Sean的FB訊息,不管白天或深夜,都是忙著到處在救援傷老病殘的動物們, 那一切其實都是很合理了!“         ”而且就讓他們專心做他們應該做的事,我則專心做我該做的事, 這樣才是我和支持這次活動的人的原意,不是嗎?“   後來,Sean收到桌曆的公關本之後,也特地寫了封信給我, 除了要我代他感謝各位的實質支持和捐款之外, 也鄭重道歉之前的行政效率,謝謝我並沒有放棄他們, 並特別說明他們現在終於有能力再多請一位行政人員, 所以之後狀況應該會改善很多的! (待救援的小狗、小貓、小豬...等案例越來越少,應該才是我們的共同心願吧!)   所以~所以~最後義賣的成績到底是如何呢?   鏘!鏘!鏘!  謝謝大家的支持啦~今年為期一個月的預購期, 最後我們共賣出868本桌曆,以及249套的明信片, 扣除設計、印刷、行政等費用之後,Nicole麻先將NT 89,235元的營餘匯出。 “上城愛貓狗﹣寵物樂活館” 稍後也將幫忙義賣的營餘NT 2,738元,直接匯入Taiwan Animal S.O.S的帳號, 所以最後的捐款總額共為 NT 9,1973元。       相較於去年的義賣結果,真的要為大家拍拍手啦, 我們同心協力的結果,最後硬是創造了兩倍的亮麗成績呢!! (最好不要是因為最後我決定豁出去,賣老臉的原因啦)       在此,要感謝以下購買桌曆、明信片和大方捐款的朋友們:  黃金蟬 林照森 朱育潔 Betty麻 吳舜文 陳佩琪 Amber Cho 邱子誼 兩杯茶的娘 YOYO 郭綺庭 Windy 李怡瑤 楊惠娟 方敏知 吳毓芸 張晏榕 Ellen 李宛蓉 陳忻慧 didi麻 Bhutan Shiao 戴興華 潘曉珮 劉育瑜 胡謅鄒 Mango 葉玫君 阮觀毅 陳盈婷 陳明裕 劉美瑛 徐宏仁 Sharon Huang 呂泔美 林君姸 陳逸琳 陳俞璃.惡魔錢 陳冠樺 藍裴登 吳孟靜 李秀萍 陳怡君 賴俊男 Edna拔 Nicole 麻 張佑豪 最愛小娘砲 郭秋妙 王彥棋 陳麗美 黃捷歆 Julia Milky Liu 林芳如 阮郁婷 蘇筱琪 邱芝薇 周佩筠 楊宜杰 林秋吟  劉培瑛 Aki Mavy Yu MIMU 吳維信 劉欣靜 舒淑芳 呂怡萱 蔡佩錚 黃千芩 夏安婷 陳貞儒 Nicole Yang 陳怡佳 小品 簡妤珊 黃芝潔 miffy-l 許素綾 MINA 鄭欣怡 郜恆君 低調的好心人 阿點 陳佳妤 彭筱涵 王盈韻 周美玲 孫淑玲 卓心玲 王顯芬 曾采屏 易阿易 土城漢堡 Dou Dou 麻 張淑慧 曾秀燕 周淑卿 蕭秀暖 林昀蓁 劉科汎 鍾彩膺 邱玲如 張媛琪 吳梅英 阿莫媽 彭于倩 畇安工作坊 林妙玲 王菁韻 陳怡菁 林文娟 王乃玉 上城愛貓狗 酷兒麻 小眼睛麻麻 張嘉娟 陳潔慧 林薇 董珮珊 莊琬琪 宋怡慧 段KiKi 陳盈成  Tanya 陳國峮 侶毛 陳以親 吳美玲 莊育甄 王芳齊 Peni 陳姵伃 胡崇玟 高意淳 林恩如 劉怡彤 鄭大榮 Rebecca 吳眉萱 余敏瑞 楊薇穎 陳雅婷 savy li 宋英慈 Debby 吳素梅 呂佳縈 徐裕傑 陳意花   Betty Ho Jenny 阮琳倩 高秀滿 Louise Chen 藍儀芳   Nicole Rosanne 邢圓圓 嚴書宜 黃珮婷 李佩娟   Vivien Daisy 廖麗穎 黃嫄娟 林孟欣 高千惠   Lyanne Jil Leo 李文琪 陳咨合 Jesscia   Joanne Autumn 張芳綺、AQUA麻、cammie 麻、LUXA麻、MARU麻、小小麻、小波麻、小鴨、豆子麻、黑妞麻、噗噗姐姐 Fover Chen、Lakumom Wan、吳珍珍、Nellie Chang、Diananet Npust、溤山圖、丘翎燕   Karen Ho、蕭玉梅 牛奶糖的阿木 Isabelle Chang  å®‡å®™ç„¡æ•µè¶…級可愛李酷馬  Katelc   沒有你們大家的支持和信賴,我一個人也沒有能力完成這個活動!!   以及”上城愛貓狗﹣寵物樂活館“和“琵央卡義式餐廳” , 願意在店內協助販賣這次的義賣桌曆和明信片, 讓更多人有機會幫助流浪毛小孩!     而參加開箱文活動的朋友們,也希望你們會喜歡活動贈品:瑞士導盲犬學校明信片囉! 楊綺拉:http://blueberry98.pixnet.net/blog/post/53824296 吳眉萱:http://feliciahsuan.pixnet.net/blog/post/53789454 Louise Chen : http://www.wretch.cc/blog/LCRH1314/2190063 Sisi Hung : https://www.facebook.com/notes/sisi-huang/開箱文/549860298361798 (還要謝謝Sisi Hung 的賜名,讓Man哥紅到台灣呀~XDDDDDD)     當然,更是要感謝大哥、小貓、小海洋、花露露和超Man大叔的精采演出, 讓這本桌曆真是增色不少,充滿了不同的歡樂呀!             最後,來兩段小插曲... 話說Mojito,我,每年都是義賣桌曆的大戶(連我都不買,哪誰想買呀?!), 所以我家人和一些恩人都會被我強迫接下Mojito桌曆....   某天,我和我娘通電話時,她突然說:”對了,我比較甲意今年做的桌曆。“ Mojito: "金滴!?快告訴我為什麼,好讓我明年做得更好!” Mojito的娘:“去年做的,那些狗都讓我驚驚,今年的可愛多了!”   ................. 天呀,原來小娘砲不是我娘的菜呀~~~淚~~~~~   你這個太陽曬太爽的黑肉肉,也有你的份啦!!        另外一個小插曲,就是....我收到台灣寄過來的桌曆之後, 也在同一天收到一個讓我感動到不行的信封袋.....   是的!!!!! 這是Man哥的新拔麻特地寄來的照片!! 其實本來是寄給訓練師的,但她覺得更我會更有意義, 所以現在就變成我的珍貴收藏品囉!   不知為何,看著照片時,我可以感覺出來,新拔麻是很愛很愛Man哥的, 這的確讓我覺得寛心不少,但也又開始想念起這個傻小子了!唉~   當然, 新拔麻和訓練師也早就被我列入“硬要送桌曆”的恩人名單中, 所以,希望他們都會喜歡這份特別的小禮物了!!!         至於下次的2014年桌曆,會有哪幾隻為主角呢? 你不知,我也不知,就讓我們走得瞧吧!!!                  
          Smiley looking for a travel buddy        

7125048 Alter 39 Von Prague, Czech Republic
Frau Suche ein Mann

I like to think I am clever, honest and kind, with a great sense of humor. Photography is my biggest hobby and for past several years also my job, I freelance for different magazines and companies. I have won several awards, nationally and internationally too. I love animals - dogs, cats and horses in particular - I am also an equestrian journalist and translator. I love to travel and explore new places, and I could use a buddy to travel with or to enjoy a glass of good wine (or a great cocktail) together. Non-smoker. I do enjoy reading a good book or watching a movie (especially great sci-fi) or a nature documentary. I graduated from a University with masters degree in animal husbandry so yes, I do know how to milk a cow. I love horseriding and skiing - and even the combination of the two, skijoring! :-) When traveling I am not that much about spending days on the beach, I prefer to see stuff and to explore the local nature, culture and traditions. I have been fortunate enough to travel to more than 20 countries already, including China, India, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates or even Turkmenistan. My bucket list is full with places to visit, with Falkland Islands/South Georgia/Antarctica, Pantanal, Alaska, Spitsbergen/Greenland, Iceland or Bhutan topping the list.I would love to see the northern lights, the great wildebeest migration, an erupting volcano and many more natural wonders. Would love to learn scuba diving, dogsledding, and finally improve my French! Still believe I can find a like-minded man for all these adventures. ENTP.


                  

          BHUTAN        
Serie 2006-2008
  • 1 ngultrum 2006 Rueda del Dharma y dragones - Palacio Simtokha

Pick 027 (120x60)
  • 5 ngultrum 2006 Rueda del Dharma y aves mitilógicas - Monasterio Taktsang

Pick 028 (124x59)
  • 10 ngultrum 2006 Rey Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck y Dungkar o concha de la suerte - Dzong Paro Rinpung

Pick 029 (x)
  • 20 ngultrum 2006 Rey Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck - Dzong Taktsang
Pick 030 (x)
  • 50 ngultrum 2008 Rey Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck y rueda del Dharma - Dzong Trongsa
Pick 031 (145x70)
  • 100 ngultrum 2006 Rey Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck y Norbu Rimpochhe (una de las siete gemas propicias) - Dzong Tashichho
Pick 032 (x)
  • 500 ngultrum 2006 Rey Jigme Singye Wangchuk - Dzong Punakha, centro administrativo y religioso
Pick 033 (x)
  • 1.000 ngultrum 2008 Rey Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck con corona y rueda del Dharma - Dzong Tashichho
Pick 034 (165x70)

          The Happiness Policy        

I don't get to read for pleasure nearly as much as I'd like. In fact, a bookstore or library with full stacks and a good coffee shop is my idea of heaven (obviously it doesn't take much to make me happy). My best, too infrequent, opportunities are when I'm on the kind of vacation that I just got back from--long enough to relax, busy enough not to get bored, with plenty of in-between time to crack a good book (particularly if, like me, you suffer from jet lag-induced insomnia).

One from this latest stack was particularly good: The Geography of Bliss by a US National Public Radio Correspondent Eric Weiner (see the NY Times book review article here). It chronicles the curmudgeonly author's efforts to find the happiest places in the world (contrasted with a few of the unhappiest) and find out why the people who live there are so, well, happy. His travels take him from the Netherlands (home of the World Database of Happiness, housed in a surprisingly sober, data intensive research organization) to places like Iceland, India, Qatar, and Bhutan. Weiner points out that social scientists have found that personal happiness is highly correlated with the things that money can't buy like close relationships, solid family lives including loving spouses/partners, and engaging in genuine acts of kindness. But researchers have also found that one of the things that contributes to personal happiness is faith in their government: that senior officials and the rest of the public service are capable, caring, and consistent in their efforts to serve constituents.

It made me remember part of a speech that I gave here in Australia on the changing nature of business and the role of 21st Century governments. In that speech, I quoted the 18th Century UK moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham who argued that the purpose of politics should be to bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. I also cited a 2006 survey in the UK that found that 81% of those polled thought that government should focus on happiness, not wealth creation.


Just for fun, before the talk, I had decided to see if there was any correlation between a country’s wealth, measured in per capita Gross National Product and its Happiness Index score which is published by researchers at Britain's University of Leicester. Sure enough, more wealth a country has, the happier its people are--up to a point, around $50,000USD per year, according to researchers. But there were a huge number of outliers--countries where people are very happy yet relatively poor (like Bhutan). When undertaking the analysis from a Purchasing Power Parity perspective (in a crude attempt to "level out" income disparities) there were even more outlier countries.

Reading The Geography of Bliss reminded me that these are the kinds of important public policy questions that we love to propose and tackle at the Heinz School--perhaps a little offbeat and counterintuitive, often data intensive, with broad implications on the management decisions made by government and business leaders affecting potentially millions of people, if not everyone on the planet. And it also reminded me that I need to get to Iceland someday...
          Bhutan not to allow anti-India rebels on its soil        
GUWAHATI - Bhutans Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley Friday said Indian separatists would not be allowed to set up bases and launch hit-and-run guerrilla attacks out of the Himalayan nation. Now there are no militants from Assam in our country and let me assure that we shall not allow any anti-India forces to use our ... Original source on Gaea Times at : Bhutan not to allow anti-India rebels on its soil.
          Comment on Science Diplomacy for the Age of Globalization by Sandra Finley        
Hi Daryl, I heard the end of your interview on CBC Sunday Edition, July 3. “You can’t call in an air strike on a warming climate…There are no military solutions to the most profound problems that are imperilling the planet. It’s got to be diplomacy,” says former diplomat Daryl Copeland. I am new to your work, look forward to reading it. Michael Enright questioned the idea of working with countries like North Korea. I emailed the Sunday Edition and posted on my blog to effect YES! Daryl Copeland is right and here's an example to illustrate, http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=16884 You may or may not know about the International Crane Foundation's (ICF's) very successful project in North Korea, began in 2008. Without diplomacy and a wise appreciation of the lives of people, it would not have been possible. It obviously contributes to solutions for environmental, species-extinction problems. It less-obviously contributes to the empowerment and fulfillment of North Koreans, the building of relationships between countries. It is the story of George Archibald, the Canadian behind the ICF, the amazing story of the rescue-from-extinction of the whooping cranes, which became an international effort on behalf of other species of cranes, the environment, and humans. There was not room in the message to The Sunday Edition, to elaborate on a similar story from Bhutan. Through serendipity I was able to travel there with a group led by George. I stayed a couple extra days, had pre-arranged to meet with The Bhutan-Canada Foundation. That Foundation had been helping to bring education to people in remote and almost inaccessible villages in mountain valleys. You may know how welcome I was as a Canadian - - the people were so grateful for the help Canadians had been bringing, since the 1970s. On a shoestring budget. The bit of assistance provided by the Govt of Canada through the years was abruptly ended by the Conservatives under Harper. It was senseless strategy, especially when those cuts are offset a billion times over by increases in the purchases of weapons of war like the F-35 stealth or other bombers at a price tag upwards of $30 billion. Not to mention the money that will go into ships that are equipped for and with killer technology. We have been sucked into the American military-industrial-government-university complex. Overtaken by corporate values and really stupid economic indicators (I am a graduate of a College of Commerce.) While in Bhutan I was incredibly fortunate to also make a small foray into my motivating interest to get to Bhutan: work initiated by former King Jigme at the national and U.N. level, to replace faulty economic indicators used by the West with indicators based on outcomes like the health and happiness of the population and the environment - - identification and measurement of the factors that contribute to the outcomes they want as a society. Canada has played a role: people from the Vancouver Island Health District went to Bhutan some years ago, to help them establish the baseline data for the project. I was invited to a meal. Among the guests were two deputy ministers (Economy and Education) and a Government employee in Environment. George's "from the beginning" relationship with Bhutan is through a brother of these officials. Hishey invited us to a family dinner. In my case, so I could pursue conversations about what are very destructive economic indicators in the West (in our ignorance). I wanted to hear a bit about the experience of the Bhutanese in changing course. Anyhow, there it is. Bless you for your work, your wisdom, and for speaking out. Best wishes, Sandra
          Nixon annuncia le dimissioni e gli altri anniversari geopolitici dell’8 agosto        
1879 – Nasce il rivoluzionario messicano Emiliano Zapata. 1918 – Inizia la battaglia di Amiens. Comincia l’offensiva dei cento giorni delle forze alleate che porrà fine alla prima guerra mondiale. 1949 – Il Bhutan è indipendente. 1951 – Nasce Mohamed Morsi, leader della Fratellanza musulmana. È stato presidente dell’Egitto dal 2012 al luglio del 2013, […]
          HISTORY OF BHUTAN        


It is believed the country got the name 'Bhutan' from the Sanskrit word 'Bhu-Uttan' which means 'High Land'. Another theory says that it comes from the Sanskrit word 'Bhots-ant' meaning 'end of Tibet or south of Tibet'. However, to the Bhutanese themselves, their country is known as "Druk Yul" and its inhabitants as 'Drukpa'.

In Bhutanese language, Druk means dragon and 'Druk-Yul' means 'the land of the Dragon'. This is because when the sect of Buddhism, which was later to become the dominant religion in BHUTAN was first initiated at the Ralung monastery in Tibet, 'a loud roar of the thunder dragon' was heard echoing to the south. This was taken as an auspicious sign that the sect would fluorish in the south of Tibet, where Bhutan is, and the sect was named as the 'Drukpa sect'. The country where this sect later flourished was henceforth known as 'Druk-yul'.

To this day, the state religion of Bhutan is 'Drukpa Kargyud' although other sects are almost equally popular and tolerated.

One thing that all Bhutanese are proud of is that Bhutan was never colonised. Despite many wars with Tibet, and some rough encounters with the British, Bhutan always managed to remain independent.

Recorded histroy begins from around the 8th century AD. In the 8th century, the great Tantric mystic Guru Padmasambhava (more popularly known as Guru Rimpoche in Bhutan) came to Bhutan from Swat, present-day PAKISTAN, and spread the Buddhist faith through the land, planting the seeds of the culture that flourishes today. Temples and monasteries dating from the 8th century still stand as honoured places in contemporary Bhutan.

The greatest event in the history of Bhutan was the arrival of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel from Tibet in 1616. He was aged 23. He was to become the first person to bring all parts of Bhutan under one central authority and unify the 'country'.

"Shabdrung" literally means "at whose feet one submits". He was the father and unifier of medieval Bhutan. He was a great man. After repelling numerous Tibetan invasions, the Shabdrung subdued the many warring feudal overlords and brought all of Bhutan under the influence of the Drukpa Kagyud School. His 35 year reign also saw the establishment of a nation-wide administration, aspects of which still endure, and the building of dzongs as easily defensible fortresses and seats of local government. In fact, many of the dzongs you see today were built during the Shabdrung's reign, although some future renovations were carried out.

Shabdrung set up a dual system of Government with a secular head known as the 'Druk Desi' and a spiritual head known as the 'Je Khenpo'. However after his death, before his reincarnation would be found and would come of age, rivalry between different lords and fight for power broke up, which took Bhutan through a tumultuous period until 1907, the hereditary monarchy was insititued in Bhutan with Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk as the first king of Bhutan.

Like the great Shabdrung, Ugyen Wangchuk pacified the feuding Regional Governors who had plunged Bhutan into a state of almost perpetual civil war. Having consolidated his authority across the entire country by 1885, he played the key mediator role between the British and the Chinese. Finally, on December 17 (Bhutan's National Day) 1907, Ugyen Wangchuk was unanimously elected by all Regional Governors and the Central Monastic Body, at the Punakha Dzong and crowned "Druk Gyalpo" ("Precious Ruler of the Dragon People).

The present king, the fourth hereditary monarch, is Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk, upon whose coronation in 1974 Bhutan opened its doors to tourists.

Monarchy of Bhutan

Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (Founder)

The monk ruler, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594-1651), a Tibetan native, is considered as the founder of modern Bhutan state. He was the first ruler of Bhutan. He ruled for 35 years. His successors ruled the country till 1907.

KING UGYEN WANGCHUCK (FIrst King)

Ugyen Wangchuck ( 1907-1926 AD) was the son of Jigme Namgyel . He was born in 1862 . He was an able administrator and a wise diplomat. He took several reforms and introduced the system of western education. He opened many schools. He signed a new Anglo-Bhutanese Treaty with British India Raj in 1910. He ruled for 19 years. He died in August 21, 1926. He was married to Queen Ashi Tsendue Lhamo. His son Jigme Wangchuck became the second King of Bhutan after his death.

KING JIGME WANGCHUCK (Second King)

King Jijme Wangchuck ( 1926-1952 AD) was born in 1905. As the eldest son of King Ugen Wangchuck, he received education in English, Hindi and Buddhist literature. During his reign, Bhutan started to forsake its self-imposed isolation. In 1947 Bhutan participated in the Asian relations Conference in New Delhi, India. The Treaty of perpetual peace and friendship between the government of Independent India and Bhutan was signed in Darjeeling, on 08 August 1949. This Treaty governs the modern day Indo-Bhutan relations. Bhutan agreed to be guided by the advice of India in regard to its foreign relations, according to this Treaty. He was married to Queen Ashi Phuntsho Chhoedon

KING JIGME DORJI WANGCHUCK (Third King)

King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck ( 1952-1972) was born in 1928. He learned English and Hindi languages at early childhood. He ascended to throne as the third king in 1952. During his 20 years reign, Bhutan emerged as a modern nation. Bhutan achieved all-round development during his reign. He was a far-sighted monarch. He introduced land reforms putting a landholding ceiling of 30 acres. He distributed lands to land-less citizens. He put a ban on slavery and serfdom. He established a High court and reorganized the judicial system. In 1953, he established the Tshogdu or National assembly - Bhutan’s first unicameral Parliament. He established the Royal Advisory Council in 1963. During his reign Bhutan’s first planned economic development plan was drafted. In 1961, a five year economic development pan was launched for the years 1961-1966. Bhutan is still following this five-year economic development plan. He created Bhutan’s first Council of Ministers in 1968. In 1963, Bhutan joined the Colombo Plan. During his 20 years reign, 1770 Km of roads were constructed, the number of schools rose to 102 and 6 hospitals were established. In 1971, he set up a Planning Commission. Bhutan was admitted to the United Nations in 1971. He died on 21 July, 1972. He was the main architect of modern Bhutan he was married to Queen Ashi Kelzang Chhoedon wangchuck.

HIS MAJESTY KING JIGME SINGYE WANGCHUCK (Forth King)

The fourth hereditary and the current King Jime Singye Wangchuck ( 1972 -) was born on 11 November 1955. His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan is the reigning monarch and head of Bhutanese Royal Family. He received modern education. He briefly studied in India and the United Kingdom. He returned to the Ugyen Wangchuck Academy in Paro, Bhutan in 1970. However, he could not complete his school education due to the sudden death of his father. He became king on 23 July 1972 at the age of 17. His official coronation was held on June 02, 1974.

In 1979 His Majesty King Jime Singye Wangchuck married four sisters - Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck as queens. An official royal wedding and a public ceremony was held on 31 October 1988. They five princes and five princesses. HRH Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck is the Crown Prince.

His Majesty King Jime Singye Wangchuck also carried forward the socio-economic progress of the country initiated by his father. Bhutan has made tremendous progress in the filed of communications, hydro-electric power development, education, health, financial sector, environmental protection, and industrial and infrastructural development during his reign. The per capita GDP stood at its highest of US$ 712.8 (Nu 32,006) in 2000.

Bhutan became the member of. ESCAP in 1972, NAM in 1973, IFAD, IMF, IBRD, IDA and FAO in 1981, WHO, UNESCO and ADB in 1982, UNIDO in 1983, ITU in 1988, ICAO in 1989, ECOSOC in 1992.

Under his reign, Bhutan established diplomatic relations with Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, EEC, Norway and NETHERLANDS, Kuwait, Japan, Finland, South Korea, Austria, THAILAND, Bahrain, Hongkong, Singapore, Macaw, MALDIVES, Sri Lanka, Pakistan , Bangladesh, India and Nepal.


          Comment on Cornell Screening on April 10, 2013 by kashmirfilm        
Thanks for the queries, Ravjit, and I wish the skype link at Cornell had held out a bit longer... Let's stand your first question on it's head – instead of seeing Kashmir, a possible Azad Kashmir of the future, as a fragile, landlocked state, beleaguered by Pakistan, China, and India, why can we not see it instead as a buffer state, a zone of comfort where these nuclear powers meet in friendship and peace? If that is too idealistic, What explains the survival of Bhutan? Or even land-locked Nepal? And in a globalised world who is not economically dependent on other nations for their survival? The role played in Europe by the autonomous province of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, a bridge between north Italy and Austria and Germany, is a worthy example to stare at. Your second question: the reason we think that the 'troubles' in Kashmir only began in the late 1980s is that our media (and our scholarship) have been so completely tied in with the position of the Indian State. Kashmiris have been protesting from as early as 1952, when Sheikh Abdullah was first arrested, and even underground groups (like the al-Fatah) first came into being in the late 1960s, and of course the armed JKLF was set up in 1977 ... This is a long history of protest of every kind. Of course Pakistan's support was heightened once India had inflicted the humiliation of the Liberation of Bangladesh upon the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment in 1971. And by 1989, the US supported Mujahideen (created with the full collusion of the Pakistani military) had triumphed over the Soviet Union, and were looking to extend their sphere of influence. The answers are endless, but I hope this provides a start, Ravjit
          ENVIRONMENT: Climate Change Woes: Bhutan Unhappy | SILICONEER | OCTOBER 2011        
Smaller nations such as Bhutan and Maldives could end up being the biggest losers in the climate change battle as bigger countries try and negotiate their standpoints, writes Siddharth Srivastava.
          Bhutanese family among last refugee arrivals in Salt Lake as order takes effect        
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          Arrangements in Nepal for US resettlement of Bhutanese refugees put off after Trump order        
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          WFP promises to provide support to Bhutanese refugees        
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          90,000th Bhutanese refugee flying to US from Nepal for resettlement        
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          Nepal/Bhutan: Refugee Women Face Abuses        
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          China and Bhutan: crushing dissent        
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          Bhutan/Nepal: A solution for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal?        
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           Bhutanese refugees begin new life in Arizona        
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          Open letter to donor governments on Bhutanese refugees        
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          Nepal/Bhutan: Donors Must Push for Resolution to Refugee Crisis        
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          Bhutanese Refugees: The Right of Return, the Chance for Resettlement        
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          Bhutan/Nepal: A solution for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal?        
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          Nepal/Bhutan : Sexual Abuse Highlights Plight of Refugees        
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          Stateless Refugee Children from Bhutan Living in Nepal        
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          Nepal/Bhutan: Bilateral Talks Fail to Solve Refugee Crisis        
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          Nepal/Bhutan: Donors Called On To Resolve Protracted Refugee Problem        
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          Nepal: Bhutanese Refugee Screening Seriously Flawed        
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          For Bhutan’s refugees, there’s no place like home        
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          Trung cộng đối đầu trước ba trận tuyến ở Á châu        
Vũ Ngọc Yên (Danlambao) - Cuộc diện thế giới đang thay đổi. Trận chiến tại Syria đi vào giai đoạn kết thúc. Mỹ ngưng cấp vũ khí cho các lực lương chống chính quyền Assad và đồng ý để Nga dàn xếp các phe tranh chấp đàm phán đình chiến. Mỹ rút dần quân ra khỏi các nước A Phú Hản và Lybia vì không tạo được sự ổn định cho các quốc gia này. Cuộc chiến khủng bố của tổ chức Nhà nước hồi giáo (IS) đại bại khắp nơi và IS đang trên đường giải thể. Tranh chấp Mỹ-Nga về đảo Crimea-Ukrainian vẫn tiếp diễn, nhưng ở mức độ kiềm chế. Các lò lửa chiến tranh ở Trung Đông hay Ukrainian (Âu châu) đã chuyển về Á châu, nơi có nhiều nguy cơ dẫn đến xung đột quân sự có thể đe dọa hòa bình và sự phát triển kinh tế của thế giới.

Tranh chấp chủ quyền và quyền tự do hàng hải ở Biển Đông

Một năm sau phán quyết của Tòa Trọng tài Thường trá»±c (PCA rulings, July 12, 2016), về “đường lưỡi bò” bất hợp pháp. Trung cộng vẫn ngang ngược cấm các nước trong khu vá»±c đánh cá và thăm dò dầu khí ngay trên vùng biển và thềm lục địa của mình ở Biển Đông và đe dọa sá»­ dụng vÅ© lá»±c nếu các nước không tuân theo. 

Lịch sá»­ Việt Nam đầy những câu chuyện hào hùng chống Trung quốc. NhÆ°ng vào cuối tháng 7- 2017 Hà Nội đã khuất phục trước bạo lá»±c của Bắc Kinh. Tạp chí chính sách đối ngoại (Foreign Policy) cho biết Việt Nam đã yêu cầu Công ty dầu Repson (Tây Ban Nha) ngÆ°ng khai thác lô 136/3 tại mỏ Rồng đỏ, bãi TÆ° Chính (Vanguard Bank). Từ đầu năm 2017, Hà Nội đã ký 2 hợp đồng lớn với ExxonMobil (Mỹ) để thăm dò và khai thác khí tại mỏ Cá Voi Xanh (lô 118, cách Đà Nẵng 88km), và cho Talisman Vietnam (Repsol, Tây Ban Nha) tiếp tục khoan thăm dò tại mỏ Cá Kiếm Nâu & Cá Rồng Đỏ (lô 136/03 & 07/03, cách VÅ©ng Tàu gần 400 km). Việt Nam còn gia hạn thêm 2 năm cho ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL, Ấn Độ) thăm dò tại lô 128 (ngoài khÆ¡i Phan Thiết). Những việc này đã làm Trung cộng bất bình. Phó Chủ tịch Quân Ủy Trung Æ°Æ¡ng Cộng đảng Trung quốc, tướng PhaÌ£m Trường Long, viếng thăm Hà Nội vào ngày 18 tháng 6 và yêu cầu Việt Nam phải ngÆ°ng việc khoan dầu ở những vùng mà Trung cộng tá»± nhận có chủ quyền. Khi Việt Nam từ chối, ông ta đã hủy bỏ một cuộc họp chung về an ninh biên giới (Giao lÆ°u hữu nghiÌ£ Quốc phòng lần thứ 4) và về nước. Trước thái độ cứng rắn của láng giềng hữu nghị (16 chữ vàng, u chữ tốt), Bộ chính trị cộng đảng Việt Nam đã nhóm họp và quyết định ngÆ°ng khoan dầu. 

Bên cạnh các cuộc gặp bên lề Hội nghị Bộ trưởng Ngoại giao ASEAN lần thứ 50 (AMM 50) diễn ra tại Manila, Philippines, Hoa Kỳ, Nhật Bản và Úc vào ngày 07/08/2017, đã đưa ra một thông cáo chung chỉ trích Trung cộng đã có các hành vi "bồi đắp đảo, xây dá»±ng tiền đồn, quân sá»± hóa các thá»±c thể đang bị tranh chấp" tại Biển Đông. CÅ©ng trong Hội nghị AMM 50, ASEAN và Trung Quốc đã chính thức thông qua dá»± thảo khung Bộ Quy tắc ứng xá»­ ở biển Đông (COC) vào chiều 6-8, sau gần 4 năm bắt đầu khởi động đàm phán. 

Ngày 8. 8. 2017, trong cuộc họp tại Hoa Thịnh Đốn-Mỹ hai bộ trưởng quốc phòng Việt Mỹ thỏa thuận một hàng không mẫu hạm của Mỹ sẽ đến thăm Việt Nam vào năm tới - chuyến thăm đầu tiên kể từ khi Chiến tranh Việt Nam kết thúc năm từ 1975. Đại tướng Jim Mattis, bộ trưởng quốc phòng Mỹ nói rằng quan hệ hợp tác quốc phòng sâu sắc hÆ¡n là dá»±a trên lợi ích chung của hai nước bao gồm tá»± do hàng hải ở Biển Đông. Trước đó vào ngày 27. 07 tại Sydney- Úc Ngoại trưởng Anh Boris Johnson tuyên bố sẽ đưa các tàu chiến tới khu vá»±c Biển Đông đang có tranh chấp để thá»±c thi quyền tá»± do hàng hải. 

Ấn-Hoa tranh chấp biên giới

Vào tháng 6. 2017 hàng ngàn quân Trung cộng tiến vào cao nguyên Động lãng (Doklam) cao 3000 mét, một địa phÆ°Æ¡ng hẻo lánh nằm trong vùng Hy Mã lạp SÆ¡n, là biên giới giữa 3 nước Trung Quốc, Ấn Độ và Bhutan để xây một con đường tạo thuận lợi cho sá»± tiếp vận quân sá»±. Trước việc này nước Bhuttan nhận thấy biên giới bị vi phạm nên cầu cứu Ân Độ, nước láng giềng vốn có mối quan hệ đặc biệt, đảm bảo an ninh và đối ngoại cho Bhuttan. Ấn độ đáp ứng gá»­i quân tới Doklam chặn quân Trung cộng. 

Chính quyền Trung cộng tá»± nhận có chủ quyền ở các vùng sát biên giới Tây Tạng. Ngược lại Bhuttan đòi hỏi các bên không được sá»­ dụng vÅ© khí theo quy định trong các thỏa ước 1988 và 1998. Tranh chấp biên giới ở Hy Mã Lạp SÆ¡n giữa chính quyền Bắc kinh và Tân Đề Ly đã dẫn đến chiến tranh giữa hai cường quốc nguyên tá»­ năm 1962 và Ấn độ là nước bại trận. 

Nay căng thẳng giữa hai nước bùng nổ trở lại. Phát ngôn viên Bộ quốc phòng Trung cộng tuyên bố Trung cộng sẽ bảo vệ biên giới bằng mọi giá. Tham mÆ°u trưởng Lục quân Ấn Độ Bipin Rawat cho biết, quân đội nước này đã làm tốt chuẩn bị cho ứng phó với các mối đe dọa bên trong và bên ngoài, có thể tiến hành một cuộc chiến tranh ở "2, 5 tuyến", tức là đồng thời ứng phó với Trung Quốc, Hồi quốc và "mối đe dọa bên trong" Ấn Độ. 

Ấn Độ đã triển khai 8 sÆ° đoàn lục quân trở lên và vài trăm máy bay chiến đấu ở biên giới Hoa- Ấn. TÆ° lệnh không quân Ấn Birender Singh Dhanoa tuyên bố trước báo Ấn độ ngày nay (Indian Today) ngày 26. 07 "Chúng tôi sẵn sàng cho bất kỳ tình huống nào. Căng thẳng ở khu vá»±c (biên giới) vẫn đang tiếp diễn, các giải pháp ngoại giao đang được xem xét". 

Trong thời gian gần đây Ấn Độ tỏ ra lo ngại trước ảnh hưởng ngày càng tăng của Trung Quốc với các nước nhỏ hÆ¡n ở Nam Á. Sá»± phát triển hợp tác kinh tế và quân sá»±-kỹ thuật của Trung Quốc với Bangladesh và Tích lan (Sri Lanka) lại càng khiến Ấn Độ bất bình. 

Lúc này, cả hai bên chÆ°a chịu nhượng bộ nhau dù rằng biết rõ đối đầu gay gắt nhằm tranh giành ảnh hưởng ở các nước nhỏ trong khu vá»±c không phù hợp lợi ích của cả hai bên mà càng gây thêm thiệt hại cho quan hệ kinh tế của Trung và Ấn Độ. Theo báo Thời báo kinh tế Ấn (Economic Times) 80% nguồn dầu nhập khẩu của Trung Quốc đi ngang qua eo biển Malacca và Ấn Độ DÆ°Æ¡ng cÅ©ng sẽ gặp khó khăn nếu xảy ra xung đột. Trong tháng 7. 2017 Ấn, Mỹ và Nhật đã tập trận hải chiến chung tại Ấn Độ DÆ°Æ¡ng. DÆ° luận lo ngại nếu hai bên không tìm được giải pháp ngoại giao để hạ nhiệt thì cuộc tranh chấp biên giới giữa Ân Độ và Trung cộng có thể dẫn đến một cuốc chiến tranh khốc liệt. 

Hàn cộng đẩy mạnh chương trình vũ khí hạt nhân - Mỹ đe dọa trừng phạt

Giữa Nam-Bắc Hàn không có thỏa ước hòa bình sau cuộc chiến tranh 1952/1953, mà chỉ có hiệp định đình chiến. Đầu năm 2016 tình hình căng thẳng khi Bắc hàn loan báo thá»­ nghiệm bom hydro thành công và Nam Hàn sau đó cho phép Mỹ dá»±ng hệ thống chống hỏa tiễn THAAD để bảo vệ. Mặc dù đất nước còn nghèo đói và bị Liên Hiệp Quốc cấm vá