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Posts Tagged ‘Central Asia’

Kyrgyzstan Presidential Election Begins

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 30, 2011

He must be good politician
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The Eurasian Project: A Threat to The New World Order

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

by Elena Ponomareva

One might be tempted to regard Russian premier V. Putin’s paper “A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making”, which saw the light of day in Izvestia on October 3, 2011, as the presidential front-runner’s sketchily laid out program, but upon scrutiny that appears to be only one part of a wider picture. The opinion piece momentarily ignited wide-scale controversy in and outside of Russia and highlighted the ongoing clash of positions on global development…Regardless of interpretation details, the reaction of the Western media to the integration project unveiled by the Russian premier was uniformly negative and reflected with utmost clarity an a priori hostility towards Russia and any initiatives it floats. Mao Zedong, though, used to say that facing pressure from your enemies is better than being in such a condition that they do not bother to keep you under pressure.

It helps to understand why, at the moment, Cold War-style headlines are constantly popping up in Western media and what perceived threat the West discerned in Putin’s recent Eurasian integration. The obvious explanation is that, if implemented, the plan would come as a geopolitical challenge to the new world order, to the dominance of NATO, the IMF, the EU and other supranational bodies, and to the undisguised US primacy. Today’s increasingly assertive Russia suggests and is ready to start building an inclusive alliance based on principles providing a viable alternative to Atlantism and neoliberalism. It is an open secret that these days the West is putting into practice an array of far-reaching geopolitical projects, reconfiguring Europe in the wake of the Balkan conflicts and against the backdrop of the crises provoked in Greece and Cyprus, assembling the Greater Middle East based on serial regime changes across the Arab world, and, as a relatively novel design, implementing the Asia project in which the recent disaster in Japan was an active phase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia’s Putin Visits Beijing: Friendly Neighbors or Strategic Competitors?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 11, 2011


Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) and China's Premier Wen Jiabao (L) inspect an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 11, 2011 (Photo: Takuro Yabe / POOL / AFP)

Regular readers of stories from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency know that relations between China and nearly every country whose leader visits Beijing merit a positive appraisal. “Malawi treasures its friendship with China and is grateful for China’s selfless support for Malawi’s national development,” gushed one Xinhua article last year, while another on Oct. 11 noted that “China and Namibia have become ‘all-weather’ friends.” Today, as Russia’s Vladimir Putin began a two-day trip to China accompanied by a 160-member delegation, a Xinhua op-ed piece proclaimed: “China-Russia cooperation conducive to a more balanced world.” The Chinese media group splashed “rarely-seen photos” of Putin and his family members of its website homepage, along with a link to a close-up of the Russian leader captioned: “Cute or cool, another face of Russian Prime Minister Putin.”

As evidence of this “more balanced world,” Xinhua pointed to China and Russia’s joint rejection of a U.N. draft resolution on Syria that would have condemned Damascus for its deadly crackdown on protestors. Xinhua also opined that “as key members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and leading emerging nations, China and Russia have played an important role in shaping a multipolar world and fostering democratization of international order.” The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a grouping of China, Russia and Central Asian nations that presents an alternate security alliance to NATO. Closer Russian-Chinese ties could provide a counterbalance to relations with the West.

Ahead of Putin’s China visit, some $7 billion in trade deals were discussed, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. (China is now Russia’s top trading partner, and trade will likely surpass $70 billion this year.) Further economic cooperation is expected to be finalized during Putin’s China stop—the Russian Prime Minister’s first trip abroad since he announced a controversial leadership plan in which he would try to reclaim the more important title of President next year. Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Security Chief Goes on Tour—How Is Asia Reacting?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 24, 2011

Posted by 

Over the past week, as I’ve traveled across Asia, I’ve discovered an unlikely partner in my continental peregrinations:

China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang arrives for a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 17, 2011. (Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters)

China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang. The senior Chinese envoy’s travels have taken him to Nepal, Laos, Cambodia and Tajikistan. The final stop is Mongolia, where Zhou is expected to head on Tuesday.

In Zhou’s wake, the narrative has tended to follow the same plot-line: first, China’s state media proclaims “mutually beneficial cooperation” and “longstanding friendship” between Beijing and the local government. Then a raft of trade deals or bequeathing of military goodies is announced. Finally, an undercurrent of unease follows, with regional analysts wondering about China’s growing economic and security might.

Last Saturday, Zhou was in Cambodia, where he met with Prime Minister Hun Sen. In addition to various mining, road-construction and farming deals, China has agreed to supply nearly $200 million in helicopters to Cambodia. Beijing is already the Southeast Asian nation’s largest foreign investor, and Hun Sen, who has quietly evolved into one of Asia’s longest-serving strongmen, has been vociferous in his support of China. His enthusiasm for Chinese largesse stands in marked contrast to his feelings toward Western donors who tend to attach pesky strings like human-rights commitments to their aid. The Phnom Penh Post quoted a local researcher worrying that “Cambodia will become subservient to China.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Reality Checking Obama on Afghanistan: Five Questions on Ending the War

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 24, 2011

By Tony Karoh

First, credit where it’s due: President Barack Obama has burst the spin bubble by telling Americans that the U.S. military has largely achieved that which can be achieved militarily in Afghanistan, and by admitting that the Taliban will be part of Afghanistan’s political future. He’s also ditched the notion of a “conditions-based withdrawal”, recognizing that it’s a trap that would require effectively making Afghanistan a permanent U.S. military protectorate.

Still, having signaled an intent to cut bait on a war that will continue for the next three years, Obama has left himself with some more complex and challenging questions to answer:

1. What will Obama tell the loved ones of Americans killed in Afghanistan in the next three years?

President Obama wouldn’t call going into Afghanistan to get al-Qaeda a mistake, but he clearly sees the mission’s original nation-building goals as tragically misguided. So, on Wednesday, he narrowed down the U.S. objectives to that which is achievable in the very near term: “No safe-haven from which al-Qaida or its affiliates can launch attacks against our homeland, or our allies.” He added, “We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place. We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government,” starting in 2014.

The goal defined by President Obama has largely been achieved. Bringing peace to Afghanistan, now, will require a political settlement that will include the Taliban, he explained.

But admitting that the war is in its terminal phase and that the Taliban can’t be destroyed poses new questions for the morale and focus of the fight going forward. American troops are risking life and limb in a fight that has largely become a matter of shaping the terms of a political settlement with the enemy.

2. How does the U.S. persuade Afghan civilians or neighboring countries to do its bidding when it acknowledges its presence is temporary?

The military has long warned that when Washington puts a withdrawal date on an expeditionary mission, the enemy’s confidence is boosted — and he becomes a lot more persuasive to the local population, who’re never going to put their faith in a force that has signaled its intent to leave. In the Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan whence the Taliban draws most of its support, it’s hard to persuade civilians to support a war effort against an entity that will, as a result of any political settlement, likely find itself in charge of local government. Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddhist Teachings

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2011

Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Gautama Buddha (“Buddha” means “enlightened one”), who born in Lumbini, Nepal in the 6th Century B.C. The Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely to liberate sentient beings from suffering.

The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core of Buddhism are-

The Three Universal Truth
The Four Noble Truth
The Noble Eightfold Path

In Buddhism, the law of karma, says “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.” Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions is born by the person who commits them.

After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This marked the beginning of the Buddhist community. For the next forty-five years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential candidate pledges to get all unmarried Kazakh girls hitched

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2011

A presidential candidate in Kazakhstan has pledges to find a husband for every unmarried girl in the Central Asian state.

Amantai-Kazhi Asylbek has not yet explained how he will choose the perfect match for each girl. Nor has he said what he is going to do about girls who do not want to get married.

What he did say was that the money for the scheme will come from the state budget. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia: Kremlin Struggling to Keep Lid on Pandora’s Box of Nationalism

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2010

By Masha Charnay

Vladimir Putin utilized nationalist fervor in Russia to consolidate his personal authority and strengthen the country’s statehood following the Soviet collapse. But now the Kremlin may be finding that nationalism is a double-edged blade, a weapon that, all of a sudden, is threatening to subsume Russia’s identity as a multi-ethnic state.
Ten days after hundreds of nationalist thugs rioted in central Moscow, attacking non-Russians from Central Asia and the Caucasus while voicing chauvinist slogans, the Russian capital remains on edge, and Putin’s government continues to struggle to keep racist and xenophobic sentiments in check.
Law-enforcement personnel have made over 2,000 pre-emptive arrests of suspected nationalist agitators and other undesirables in recent days, in effect striving to deprive the nationalist fire of oxygen. While December 18-19 did not witness the renewal of large-scale rioting in Moscow, isolated incidents were reported in some cities and towns near the Russian capital. Many observers in Moscow expect inter-ethnic tension to remain at the boiling point in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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For Kyrgyzstan Women, Marriage Means Getting Kidnapped

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 12, 2010


Ainura wears a marriage scarf behind the curtain, where she was held during her kidnap and is expected to stay for the first few weeks of marriage in Kyrgyzstan. (Jackie Dewe Mathews/GlobalPost)


Globe Post By Iva Skoch — Special to GlobalPost

Editor’s note: Wanderlust is a regular GlobalPost series on global sex and relationship issues written by Iva Skoch, who is now traveling the world writing a book on the subject.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Munara didn’t want to be kidnapped.

Some Kyrgyz girls look forward to the time they get “chosen” by a man, but Munara, 18, already had a boyfriend and hoped to marry him.

“If only my boyfriend managed to kidnap me first,” she said.

Six months ago two men stuffed her into an old Lada automobile and drove her to their house.

“I really don’t want to be kidnapped. I don’t want to get married,” she said she screamed at them. “Please let me go,” she begged. Read the rest of this entry »

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