Byy Kalinga Seneviratne This Lotus News Feature, produced in association with the Buddhist Channel, is the 53rd in a series of joint productions with IDN-InDepthNews, the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate. Click here for previous reports. SINGAPORE | THIMPHU, 11 May 2023 (IDN/LCN) — A recent visit by a group of Vietnamese Buddhists to learn and experience the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism has alerted the Bhutan authorities to the potential of Buddhist cultural tourism to one of the world’s most scenic countries landlocked between India and China in the Himalayan mountains.
Viewpoint by Kalinga Seneviratne SYDNEY, 3 May 2023 (IDN) — At a time when the West has weaponised human rights, the United Nations body that promotes freedom of expression need to rethink what it means. Every year UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) mark World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on May 3 with a particular theme and this year is its 30th edition.
By Farai Shawn Matiashe HARARE, 3 May 2023 (IDN) — As a crucial election approaches, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is in overdrive cracking down on politically conscious musicians who encourage people to register to vote and sing against corruption. The southern African nation is set to hold its general elections in August this year. (P03) JAPANESE | SWAHILI
By Kalinga Seneviratne SUVA, Fiji, 22 April 2023 (IDN) — Since opening borders after the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia and New Zealand have been aggressively sourcing for Pacific Islander workers to help fill a severe labour shortage in their countries. In the meantime, with investments from Asia, especially China and Korea, increasing in the region, Asian workers have been slowly filtering into the island nations, especially Fiji.
By Lincoln Rice* MILWAUKEE, USA, 17 April 2023 (IDN) — Since the beginning of 2022, the US has dedicated over $30 billion of military aid for war in Ukraine. Most of these funds will be used by the Department of Defense to replenish the military equipment and weapons that have been sent to Ukraine. Essentially, the funds are being used to enrich US weapons manufacturers.
By Jan Servaes & Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u * BRUSSELS | CAMBRIDGE, USA, 13 April 2023 (IDN) — The 2030 Agenda for Development or what is known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is perhaps the most ambitious agenda collectively agreed by 193 countries in human history.
By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS, 5 April 2023 (IDN) — The world’s human rights defenders (HRDs) continue to be under constant attacks worldwide—with Latin America branded as the deadliest region. In its Global Analysis 2022 released April 4, the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders (FLD) provides a long list of threats faced by HRDs in all regions of the world, along with the names of 401 HRDs killed in 26 countries in 2022.
They are Threatened with Torture & ill-Treatment By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — According to a joke that was circulating in Washington political circles in a bygone era, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s notorious torture chamber in the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad—once held up as a symbol of barbarity—was never shut down. After the US invasion and occupation of the country (2003-2011), a signboard outside the prison chamber apparently read: “Under New Management”.
By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network NEW YORK (IDN) — The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced 13 grants totalling more than $19.2 million to strengthen local and regional investigative journalism in Nigeria. The initiative, awarded through the foundation’s Nigeria program, seeks to reduce corruption by supporting Nigerian-led anti-corruption efforts that advance accountability, transparency, and civic participation.
By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — A coalition of over 700 religious and civil society organizations (CSOs) is making a collective appeal to end the crisis in the Korean peninsula and avoid “military action provoking war”. In a recently released statement, the coalition says: “We are here today in a great sense of crisis. The word ‘war’ feels closer than ever. Tensions are rising like never before as the military exercises of South Korea, the US, and North Korea continue for days.”