India

Modi’s new broom aims to sweep India clean

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Narendra Modi enlists the Mahatma in his ambitious campaign to make India a clean place in five years, ROBIN JEFFREY and ASSA DORON report. Narendra Modi, India’s powerful new prime minister, chose Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 2 October to launch a ‘Clean India!’ or Swachh Bharat campaign. He committed big funding to making India a […]

Asian languages

Time for radical rethink on language policy

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An Australian institute of languages could do for language learning what the Australian Institute of Sport has done for sport, JOHN INGELSON believes. For many Australians, understanding the social and cultural dynamics of Asian countries and their peoples does not come naturally. This is understandable, given the lack of a shared cultural framework and historical […]

Korea

Mutual fears and suspicions continue to impede Korea reunification talks

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HYUNG-A KIM sees glimmer of hope for bridge-building between North Korea and South Korea in 2015  following North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s new year declaration that he’s open to discussions. North–South Korean relations have for 70 years teetered on the verge of war, with the Korean War of 1950–53 gruesomely demonstrating the drastic consequences of […]

The Philippines

Haiyan’s lingering aftermath

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Fifteen months after super typhoon Haiyan battered the Philippines, life on the devastated Visayan Islands struggles to return to normal, reports JAMES FRANCIS WARREN. On 8 November 2013, the most powerful cyclonic storm on record to make landfall in the Philippine archipelago—Haiyan, named Yolanda in the Philippines—struck the Visayan Islands. Moving on a west-north-westerly trajectory, […]

Cambodia

Portrait of a pragmatist

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Hun Sen’s Cambodia. By Sebastian Strangio. Yale University Press, 2014. 322pp. During a recent conversation, a foreign affairs official confided to me his views on the remarkable development experienced by Cambodia in the last 30 years but, as I listened to him, it struck me as amazing that he knew so little about the recent […]

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka opts for normality with Rajapaksa ousting

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DAMIEN KINGSBURY analyses the surprise election of Maithripala Sirisena as president last month and sees it as reflecting a desire for a more open, less authoritarian political process. The recent election in Sri Lanka of the new president, Maithripala Sirisena, has surprised many who thought that ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa would remain in office more or […]

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