The Global Digest


Assam remembered Sui-Ka-Pha

Special Contribution
By NJ Thakuria

Remembered Swargadeo Sau-Lung-Sui-Ka-Pha

Guwahati: Assam in northeast India on 2 December remembered Swargadeo Sau-Lung-Sui-Ka-Pha, the architect of glorious Ahom dynasty, on the occasion of Asom Divas. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal led the people in paying rich tribute to Sui-Ka-Pha in a centrally organized function at Charaideo Moidam in eastern part of the State.

Sui-Ka-Pha arrived from south China through Burma in 1228 to add the history of Assam with vigour, harmony and progressiveness. The Ahom dynasty ruled Assam for six hundred years till it was invaded by Burmese forces in early Nineteen century. Finally the Burmese were thrown away by the British colonial establishment and Assam went under its territory through the historic Yandabu Agreement.

In many places, people of all walks of life thronged and paid tribute to the great Ahom king who came down from a Chinese province through a hilly terrain of Patkai to settle the 600 year long Ahom Kingdom in Assam. The occasion began with the puja offering to the first Assamese who happened to be the descendent of the god Khunlung.

Stating that Sui-Ka-Pha set the tone for a unified, strong and prosperous Assam, Sonowal vowed to follow his ideals for expediting & strengthening unity & brotherhood amongst all communities of the State. He commented that Swargadeo followed the motto of compassion for all which was the cornerstone of great Ahom dynasty.

Sui-Ka-Pha, the architect of glorious Ahom dynasty

Terming Sui-Ka-Pha as a great example of human victory against odds, Sonowal asserted that his government would march ahead taking all communities into confidence for realizing its development agenda. He also pointed out that the significance of Charaideo and its importance to the State polity has not fully been realized. Sonowal vowed to protect the site which has already been placed in the probable list of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.

“Charaideo will be protected against the ravages of time and the government will conserve the entire area along with a well thought-out plan to make the location as one of the most sought after tourist destinations,” he stated.

Assam’s well known historian Dr Rajen Saikia lauded the State government’s initiative to hold the central celebration at Charaideo and expressed hope that it would send a meaningful message to the entire Assamese community. He also recalled the contribution of legendary historian Dr Surjya Kumar Bhuyan for bringing the Moidams of Charaideo into limelight and advocated for in-depth research on the route travelled by Sui-Ka-Pha from Yunnan province of China.

Ambassador Arun Singh inaugurates AAPI’s 34th annual convention in New York City
Special Contribution
By Ajay Ghosh

Ambassador Arun Singh at the Marriott Marquis with ribbon cutting

New York, NY: July 1st, 2016: With ribbon cutting and lighting of the traditional lamp below a beautifully decorated arch, Ambassador Arun Singh, India’s Ambassador to the United States, officially inaugurated the 34th annual convention of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, New York City on July 1st, 2016.

In her warm welcome address, Dr. Seema Jain, President of AAPI, reminded the nearly 1,500 AAPI delegates from across the nation of the historic nature of the convention. “The Future is now-- Its time to step up to a new era of innovation through a new age of digital healthcare that transcends biological and chemical medicine into the future. As physicians we must be equipped to tackle the next generation’s unique set of challenges and opportunities in healthcare. The 34th annual AAPI Convention is geared to the future to better prepare us physicians with groundbreaking events such Futuristic Alley, which will have a state of the art and interactive displays of new products from innovators in the field of healthcare. Participants will include companies from the medical device, pharmaceutical, & technology industries,” Dr. Seema Jain said.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Singh praised the many contributions of AAPI members in the United States and back home in India. “You have excelled in your fields of medicine, and thus make significant contributions through hard work, commitment and dedication to your profession and the people you are committed to serve,” he said. While conveying his greetings and best wishes to AAPI leaders for the success of the convention, Ambassador described the fast growing health sector, particularly the pharmaceutic industry in India.

Ambassador Arun Singh said, the Indian pharmaceuticals market is growing rapidly, from US$ 6 billion in 2005 to US$ 55 billion by 2020. He also allured to the fact that by 2020, India is likely to be among the top three pharmaceutical markets by incremental growth and sixth largest market globally in absolute size. “Branded generics dominate the pharmaceuticals market, constituting nearly 70 to 80 per cent of the market. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume,” he said. India’s cost of production is significantly lower than that of the US and almost half of that of Europe. It gives a competitive edge to India over others, he said.

In his passionate address, Dr. Prasad Srinivasan, a State Representative of the state of Connecticut, challenged his colleagues in the medical profession to be hardworking, dedicated to public cause, family-oriented and stay focused, which are keys to becoming state and national elected officials. “We have the choice to be at the table or on the table. Given our heritage, we the Indian Americans belong at the table. Get actively involved in the affairs of the local community and that’s the path to larger role in the nation,” he said.

India’s Consul General in New York, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, lauded the many initiatives AAPI both in India and the United States, while wishing them a successful convention. At the Business Meeting, Congressman Lee Zeldin, said, Physicians of Indian origin are well known around the world for their compassion, passion for patient care, medical skills, research, and leadership. “Indian-Americans constitute about one percent of the country’s population, but you account for nine percent of the American doctors and physicians, serving one out of seven patients being treated across the nation.” He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his inspiring address to the US Congress and his ale leadership, steering the largest democracy in the world to new heights.

The day was packed with back to back seminars and CMEs and conferences, including Auxiliary/Spouse Program, Diamond Selection Activity, India Global Engagement Innovation and Entrepreneur Seminar, and inspiring speeches at the Leadership Seminar on “Aligning management thinking with patient care: Building an effective medical practice” by Dr. Dipak Jain and “Should I encourage my child to go to medical school? The future of medical education and medicine as a profession, and Rutgers’ plans as a case study?” by Dr. Brian Storm. “This is the best of all Leadership Seminars by AAPI,” Dr. Seema Jain declared after the inspirational speeches. During the delicious Dinner Reception, delegates were treated with “Regional Flavors of India.”

This CME program is being jointly sponsored the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and has been designed to meet the educational needs of Primary Care physicians - Internists, Family Practitioners, Pediatricians, and Specialists - Cardiology, Oncology, Endocrinology, Surgery and other specialties involved in the care of patients with Atrial Fibrillation, HIV disease, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, Depression, Prostate and Hematologic malignancies and Back pain.

Dr. Rita Ahuja, Chair of the Convention Committee, said, CMEs provided comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease states to reduce morbidity and mortality and achieve cost effective quality care outcomes, enabling the attendees to gain an understanding of the causation, diagnosis and the best clinical practices for the management of the diverse group of diseases discussed during this program. AAPI members get 10 hours of CME credit hours for attending in these sessions led by world’s leading thought leaders, physicians and healthcare industry leaders.

During the luncheon, AAPI honored AAPI members, who had worked hard to make the convention a memorable one for all. At the dinner reception, past Presidents of AAPI were honored for their leadership and dedication to the growth and wellbeing of the 34-yr old organization that represents the interests of over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in this country. Out-going Board of Trustee members were also honored with plaques for their contributions to the growth of the organization.

Dr. Charanji Rihal of the Mayo Clinic addressed the audience on “Effect of Affordable Care Act on Physicians Healthcare Provider and Hospital Systems," while Naveen Jain, Founder & CEO Blue Dot, spoke passionately about “Future of Healthcare in the world of Exponential Technologies” Other speakers of the day included, Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO, Cayman Hospital. The evening ended with a scintillating entertainment performance by Bollywood singer Sunidhi Chauhan. For more information on AAPI and the 34th convention, please visit:

Capital Punishment in Vietnam condemned at the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

Capital Punishment in Vietnam

OSLO, 21 June 2016 (VCHR) – Joining over 1,300 participants from 80 countries including 20 ministers, 200 parliamentarians, academics, lawyers and members of civil society at the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty in Oslo, the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) expressed its opposition to the use of this inhuman, cruel and degrading punishment, and called upon Vietnam to implement an immediate moratorium as a first step to abolishing the death penalty. The VCHR is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), one of the Congress’ co-sponsors.

The World Congress, which is organized every three years, focuses this year on the death penalty and terrorism, minorities and mental health. In a special session on “Progress and setbacks in Asia”, VCHR Vice-President Penelope Faulkner highlighted the case of Vietnam, one of some 25 countries that still enforce capital punishment. “The use of the death penalty in Vietnam is especially disturbing because of the lack of due process of law. In Vietnam’s one-Party state, the judiciary is not independent and trials are routinely unfair. Some recent death sentences were based on confessions made under torture”, she said.

VCHR Report on the death penalty in VietnamMs. Faulkner presented the VCHR’s new report on “The Death Penalty in Vietnam” which gives an overview of Vietnam’s policies and practices regarding the death penalty, inhumane conditions on death row and cases of wrongful convictions. Until 2010, executions were by firing squad in Vietnam. The National Assembly then adopted legislation to use lethal injections to make the process “more humane”. Following an EU ban on exports of lethal drugs, Vietnam authorized the use of untested “local poisons” to reduce the backlog of prisoners on death row. The first prisoner to be executed by this method in 2013, Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, 27, took two hours to die.

In November 2015, Vietnam announced that it had abolished the death penalty on seven crimes in a reform of the Criminal Code, reducing the number of offences punishable by death from 22 to 15. However, the VCHR report revealed that 18 crimes still carry the death penalty in Vietnam today; one new crime has been added, and other crimes, notably drug-related offences, have simply been-worded or displaced in the text. The report published the full list of these 18 crimes. The amended Criminal Code comes into effect on 1st July 2016.

Despite strong international pressure, Vietnam did not abolish the death penalty for any of the vaguely-defined “national security” crimes in its amended Criminal Code. On the contrary, it added a new offence of “terrorist activities aimed at opposing the people’s administration” (Article 113). Indeed, Chapter XIII of the Code on “Crimes of Infringing upon National Security” contains a total of six crimes carrying capital punishment, more than any other category of crimes in the Code.

“Under these spurious “national security” laws, which are totally incompatible with international human rights provisions, human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in Vietnam could be sentenced to death simply for criticizing the Communist Party or peacefully expressing alternative political views”, Penelope Faulkner said.

The VCHR report cited cases such as Phan Văn Thu, sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 under Article 79 of the Criminal Code (now Article 109) on “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” for advocating protection of the environment.

Prominent US Congress members urge President Obama to press for release of Buddhist dissident Thích Quảng Độ during Vietnam visit


PARIS, 20 May 2016 (VCHR) – Eight prominent members of the US Congress have written a letter to US President Barack Obama calling on him to press for the release of Buddhist dissident Thích Quảng Độ in his upcoming visit to Vietnam. President Obama is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam on 22st May and will visit Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Human rights and religious freedom are reportedly on the agenda of his discussions with Vietnam’s communist leaders.

The letter is signed by eight Congress members from Massachusetts; Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward J. Markey, Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Congressmen Michael Capuano, James McGovern, Richard Neal, Seth Moulton and Joseph Kennedy III. Mr. Võ Văn Ái, President of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights and Director of the Paris-based International Buddhist Information Bureau expressed his warm thanks to the members of Congress: “Thích Quảng Độ has spent more than a third of his life in detention. I sincerely hope President Obama will heed this strong and moving appeal, and win back the long-awaited freedom for Thích Quảng Độ.”

Thích Quảng Độ, Patriarch of the non-recognised Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam is currently under house arrest at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon. A 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and outspoken dissident, Thích Quảng Độ has spent the past three decades in prison, internal exile and house arrest for his nonviolent advocacy of religious freedom and human rights. The text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We wish you well on your trip to South East Asia in May. We hope and expect that your presence in the region will contribute to its peace and stability. It is with respect to Vietnam that we write you today. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that the peoples gathered in the United Nations respect fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of the human person. Moreover, that this shared recognition is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations. Article 18 explicitly sets forth the right to religious liberty:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Nations committed to human rights and the rule of law later concluded a more explicit document, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam acceded on September 24, 1982. Notably, Article 18, Section 2 of the Civil and Political Covenant states:

No one should be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice. We believe that the prolonged sequestering, sometimes called “pagoda arrest,” of the Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Do, violates these universally-recognized principles. The leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam is an 87 year-old man and is recognized as a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights, PEN International, and the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights. He has suffered exile, imprisonment, and detention almost uninterruptedly since 1982.

In your meetings with Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and the General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, with whom you met last summer, we urge you to call for the immediate release of Thich Quang Do. We ask you, as our President, to reinforce to your Vietnamese interlocutors that the United States is committed to human freedom and dignity. Please tell them that we share Thich Quang Do’s belief, expressed to US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski in August 2015 and cited by the International Buddhist Information Bureau, that human rights are essential and that society must rest on mutual respect and the rule of law. We hope that you will use your upcoming trip to the region to convey the profound concern of the United States for Thich Quang Do and our support for the principles for which he has suffered so long and unjustly. Thank you for your efforts to promote human rights in Vietnam and throughout South East Asia.

Sincerely, Senator Elizabeth Warren Senator Edward J. Markey Congresswoman Katherine Clark Congressman Michael E. Capuano Congressman James P. McGovern Congressman Richard E. Neal Congressman Seth Moulton Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III

Police prevent UBCV Deputy Thich Thanh Quang and Youth leader Le Cong Cau from meeting Australian diplomats in Saigon

Ms Nadia Krivetz, Ms Ha Giang and Ms Rose McConnell

PARIS, 13 May 2016 (VCHR) – The Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) strongly protests the unlawful activities of Police in Hue and Danang who prevented the Deputy leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) Thích Thanh Quang and UBCV Youth leader Lê Công Cầu from travelling to Saigon to meet diplomats from the Australian Embassy in Hanoi who are visiting UBCV Patriarch Thich Quảng Dộ in Saigon on Friday 13th May 2016.

Diplomats from the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, including Political Counsellor, Nadia Krivetz and Second Political Secretary Rose McConnell asked to meet UBCV Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon, where he is under effective house arrest. Thích Quảng Độ invited Lê Công Cầu and UBCV Deputy leader Thích Thanh Quang to join him at the meeting to brief the Australian diplomats on current persecution against the UBCV.

However, as Lê Công Cầu prepared to leave Hue on Thursday 12th May, Security Police intercepted him and banned him from travelling. Lê Công Cầu is currently under investigation for his activities in support of the UBCV which Police say is an “illegal” oganization. They are threatening to prosecute him under Article 258 of the Criminal Code for “abusing democratic freedoms to encoach on the interests of the State”.

The same day, at 4:45pm, UBCV Deputy leader Thích Thanh Quang was also incercepted by Police and numerous plain-clothed Security agents at the gates of the Giác Minh Pagoda in Danang and banned from travelling. Thích Thanh Quang immediately sent a “Letter of protest against the Vietnamese authorities’ violations of the rights to freedom of movement and residence” to the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights in Paris denouncing this arbitrary treatment and calling on the VCHR to alert international opinion about this incident.

In the letter, Thích Thanh Quang said he had told Police that he was going to Saigon because the UBCV Patriarch had invited him to meet the Australian delegation, and also because it is traditional practice for Buddhists to pay respects to their elders in the season of Vesak (Birth of Buddha). When he asked Police why they banned his trip, they replied: “You know very well why we are preventing you from travelling”.

Thích Thanh Quang also reported in the letter that since 2011, for the past five years, Security Police had kept 24-hour watch on his pagoda, which is also the headquarters of the UBCV’s Buddhist Youth Movement, intimidating Buddhists and systematically preventing him from celebrating Buddhist events such as Vesak, All Saints Day or even the Lunar New Year. Thích Thanh Quang said Police actions constituted a “grave violation of the rights of citizens guaranteed in the Vietnamese Constitution and UN human rights treaties to which Vietnam is State party”.

“Vietnam has an ongoing human rights dialogue with Australia, and it is about to receive a visit from US President Barack Omaba in which human rights is reportedly on the agenda”, said VCHR President Võ Văn Ái. “Vietnam cannot seriously consider strengthening ties with democratic countries whilst continuing to use Police harassment, arbitrary detention, denial of freedom to travel and communicate to silence free-thinking citizens. It is unworthy of a country that hold a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council”.---

Bandung Legacy and Global Future

Leaders of the Bandung conference in 1955

It was in April, 1955 that the first ever large-scale Asian-African Conference, the Bandung Conference, sought to draw Asian and African nations together to forge a new international order. This Conference was organised by Indonesia, Myanmar (then Burma) Pakistan, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and India. 29 countries, representing one quarter of the global population came together in Bandung, Indonesia.

The new order order envisaged to be created by this Conference was neither communist nor capitalist, but reflected a new kind of political thinking, based on mutual goodwill and economic and social well being. Six years later, those early deliberations led to the formation of the Nonaligned Movement. Few will dispute that the historic Bandung Conference was a watershed in the history of international relations.

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Bandung Conference a meeting of Heads of States or Governments of Asian and African countries was held in April 2015 in Bandung, where it was resolved that April 24 would be observed every year as Bandung Day, reaffirming the aspirations of the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America for sovereignty, peace, human rights and sustainable development.

The Council for Social Development, together with the India International Centre is taking the initiative to organise a Symposium to examine some of the substantive legacies of that monumental conference, its relevance today and in the future.

The symposium, entitled ‘Bandung Legacy and Global Future’ will be chaired by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, a renowned scholar in culture and education. Prof. Muchkund Dubey, President, Council for Social Development and a scholar of international system and relations will speak on the ‘Future of the UN System’. Prof. Deepak Nayyar, former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University will speak on ‘Trends in Global Governance’.

The event will be held at India International Centre, Kamaladevi Block, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi at 6.30 pm on Saturday. 23 April 2016 I write to invite you to the Symposium to reaffirm our faith in equality, peace and human rights. We look forward to your participation and to meeting you at the Symposium.

With Regards, Anita Kaul, Director

Cobham, RFHIC to Develop New Gallium Nitride (GaN) Solid State Radar

Mar 16, 2016

US Navy and Republic of Korea Navy destroyers equipped with Aegis combat systems could benefit from new GaN Solid State Radars

EXETER, NEW Hampshire– Cobham and RFHIC Corporation (RFHIC) of Korea have established a strategic partnership to incorporate RFHIC’s Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology into Cobham’s next-generation RF products. Cobham and RFHIC will jointly develop GaN High Power Amplifier (HPA) modules that will be integrated into a prototype 175 KiloWatt (KW) solid state transmitter. Development activities under this Memorandum of Agreement will be executed by Cobham Integrated Electronics Solutions, a business unit of CAES at its Exeter, New Hampshire. site.

“GaN-based Solid State Transmitter technology is affordable, reliable, and scalable, and has a number of advantages over traditional Vacuum Electronic Devices (VED) used in current transmitter designs,” said Bob McArthur, Business Area Vice President for Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions. “Benefits include a significant increase in Mean Time Between Critical Failure (MTBCF), substantial decreases in operational and sustainment costs, and graceful degradation in the event of hardware failure, as opposed to single point of failure or instantaneous shutdown.”

“Cobham is revolutionizing radar, communication, and EW markets with its proprietary solid state transmitter, using RFHIC's GaN amplifier technology,” said Dr. Samuel Cho, Founder and Chairman of RFHIC Corporation. “We are excited to be involved in such an innovative partnership, and look forward to seeing the Cobham-RFHIC team become the front runner in the solid state transmitter market in the foreseeable future.”

Cobham has successfully developed a 35KW prototype S-Band Solid State Transmitter for air traffic control and weather radar applications. RFHIC has a comprehensive product portfolio from discrete components to integrated high power amplifiers. The combined expertise of Cobham and RFHIC will enable further exploration of domestic and international civil and military radar applications for GaN-based solid state technologies. Additionally, the partnership between Cobham and RFHIC may help provide offset obligations between Korean Military and US Navy contracts.

About Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions

Through intensive cooperation with our military and commercial customers, we bring together RF technology and motion control solutions for the seamless integration of high performance systems. By sharing innovation with our customers, we are able to deliver mission success within today’s funding priorities.

About Cobham

Cobham is a leading global technology and services innovator, respected for providing solutions to the most challenging problems, from deep space to the depths of the ocean. We employ more than 12,000 people on five continents, and have customers and partners in over 100 countries, with market leading positions in: wireless, audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; air-to-air refuelling; aviation services; life support and mission equipment.

About RFHIC Corporation

RFHIC Corporation, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of cost-effective solutions of Gallium Nitride (GaN) and RF/Microwave semiconductor technologies for radar, communication, SatCom, and EW applications. The company was incorporated in 1999 and has over 300 employees. RFHIC Corporation is headquartered in Anyang-Si, Republic of Korea, and has a facility in Morrisville, North Carolina (ITAR Registered and ISO 9001 certified) to support US military/aerospace customers.

Indian militants in Chinese guardianship!

Special Contribution
By Nava Thakuria

Dalai Lama

Now it is convincing that fugitive militant leader Paresh Baruah dominated faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) is under Beijing’s influence if not absolute Chinese control. A statement issued by the Ulfa (Independent) leadership, which bats for Assam’s independence from India, supporting the Chinese domination over Tibet speaks a volume about their dependence on Communist Chinese.

The newly appointed chairman of Ulfa (I), Abhizeet Asom has termed China as a true friend to Assam (unlike to India). The political head of the outfit, whose self-styled supreme commander Baruah is taking shelter in Myanmar-China border area, also urged the people of northeast India to avoid supporting the Tibetan movement against Beijing vying for a free Tibet (out of China).

“China is our next door northern neighbour,” said a statement issued by Ulfa (I) chairman Abhizeet to the Guwahati based media persons. The militant leader, whom the National Investigation Agency alleged to be London based non-resident Assamese Dr Mukul Hazarika, also added that ‘despite Indian occupation’ of south Tibet, China is trying to maintain status quo for the sake of peaceful co-existence with India. It is understood that the banned Ulfa (I) chairman’s statement was a prompt reaction to the successful completion of two-day all India level Tibet support groups’ conference at Guwahati in November last year. Over 200 Tibet support group members from different parts of India assembled in the meeting, which was also graced by the Tibetan Prime Minister in-exile Dr Lobsang Sangay.

In his strapping speech, the young and energetic Tibetan political head expressed serious concern over the implication of China’s initiative to construct numerous hydro-electric dams on Tibetan rivers in the downstream countries. Dr Sangay meant that a free Tibetan administration could only save Tibet’s fragile ecology.

A pass-out from Harvard University, Sikyong Dr Sangay emphasised that Tibetan ecology is vital for the livelihood and ecology of the neighboring countries and urged the world leaders to safeguard the fragile Tibetan ecology with an aim to prevent the fast melting of glaciers that would create huge shortage of freshwater.

In fact, the Guwahati meet was dominated by the deteriorating ecological balance in the Tibetan plateau and its serious implication over a number of major rivers of Asia including the magnificent Brahmaputra. The lifeline of Assamese community, which originates in Mansarowar of Mount Kailash and crosses India & Bangladesh to culminate in the Bay of Bengal, is understandably facing threats from the Chinese intervention in Tibet.

“Tibetans have for long raised the issue of environmental damages caused as a result of these dam-constructions by China. However, they were dismissed as Tibetan propaganda with no evidence. Now, these concerns are being validated as the dams have started affecting the ecology and livelihood of people,” asserted Dr Sangay.

Mentioning about Beijing’s recent acknowledgement of building a large dam on Brahmaputra, which is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, the articulate Tibetan politician added, “Indian environmentalists now fear that the waters of Brahmaputra could be diverted towards China, which is becoming an ominous reality as a significant portion of the Chinese population is facing severe shortage of fresh water.”

Even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama also in his goodwill message to the meet mentioned about the fragile natural environment of the Tibetan highlands. The highest spiritual leader of Tibet pointed out that Asia’s several great rivers rise in Tibet. Those rivers provide precious water to millions and hence the protection of Tibet’s ecology has global implications, stated Dalai Lama’s message.

Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after China occupied Tibet, also added,“The way the grasslands and extraction of minerals are managed affects how Tibetans live. However, the snow, glaciers and permafrost on the Tibetan plateau influence climate change comparable to the North and South Poles.”

Tibet, also known as Water Tower of Asia, has an area of 2.5 million sq km and is surrounded by India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, East Turkistan and China. The Tibetan plateau supports the Hindu Kush Himalayan glaciers. Over 1.3 billion people living in different countries of the continent get fresh water from the Tibet. But excessive intervention by the Han Chinese people in Tibet is allegedly posing a great threat to the Third Pole of Mother Earth. Addressing the valedictory function, Dicki Chhoyang, a minister in Sikyong Dr Sangay’s cabinet, also implored the international community to protect the fragile ecosystem of Tibet.

“On 20 October, we launched a campaign called ‘Tibet – Climate Action for the Roof of the World’. During the campaign, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recorded a special video message in which he said this blue planet is our only home. And Tibet is the roof of that home,” said Ms Chhoyang.

Speaking about the historical bond shared by Tibet and India, the minister also said, “Tibetan and Indian cultures are like the two branches of the same Bodhi tree. The Tibetan script is derived from the Gupta script of India and the Buddhism adopted by Tibetans is referred to as the Nalanda tradition.”

Other speakers including NK Trikha, RK Khrimey, Natwar Thakkar, DN Chakrabarty, Anand Sarma, Jigme Tsultrim, Sonam Lhundup, Ajay Dutta etc also echoed their concern for the freedom of Tibet. They were unanimous in their views that Tibet is vital for not only six million Tibetans, most of whom are exile at this moment, but for the entire world population, as it supports a strategically important ecological site.

However, disregarding to all debates relating to Tibet’s independence, the Ulfa (I) chairman called upon the native people of Assam to take first step towards the friendship with China. Abhizeet Asom finally declared, “The watershed moment has arrived for indigenous Assam to prompt us to build that friendship with China with confidence. We sincerely hope that China will put forward the hand of friendship towards Assam without hesitation.”

Paying Homage to Martyrs on R-Day

Special Contribution
By Nava Thakuria

67th Republic Day of Indian

The residents of northeast India, whom the mainstream Indian agencies often misunderstand as sympathizers to various separatist militant outfits, have joined in 67th Republic Day celebrations one and all to pay their heartfelt tributes to the martyrs. For the first time in recent decades, the auspicious day on 26 January 2016 was observed without a single incident of violence across the region that is surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet (China), Burma and Bangladesh.

The people of trouble-torn Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland with Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim have participated in both government and community celebrations on R-Day to hoist the national flag with great fervor. They not only saluted the martyrs, who made supreme sacrifices for the motherland, but also rejected the militants’ yearly rhetoric to boycott the R-Day and Independence Day in the alienated region.

The northeastern militants under various banners namely United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia, co-ordination committee of Manipur based militant outfits, Garo National Liberation Army, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council etc called for a total shutdown in the region on R-Day this time too raising voices against the Union government in New Delhi. A joint statement issued the rebels asserted that there is no reason for Western South East Asia to celebrate India’s R-Day. They also argued that the citizens of the region should introspect and analyze Indian policy here and initiate to dislodge Indian occupation from the alienated region.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, while hoisting the national flag in New Delhi on the revered day, where French President Francois Hollande was also present as an honoured guest, emphasized on various national issues including the peace which is the foundation of civilization. “Peace is the primary objective of a rational consciousness as well as our moral universe. It is the foundation of civilization and a necessity for economic progress. And yet, we have never been able to answer a simple question: why does peace remain so elusive?” said President Mukherjee.

The President also highlighted that India today is a rising power, a country fast emerging as a global leader in science, technology, innovation and start-ups, and whose economic success is the envy to the world. He also added that love for one’s motherland is the basis of all progress.

Meanwhile, the Governors and chief ministers of northeast India unfurled the tri-colour in their respective capital cities in presence of dignitaries and general audience. Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan, while unfurling the tricolour at Polo Ground in Shillong, expressed concerns about the ongoing internal security problems in Garo hills locality. The Governor, even after appealing the local militants to come forward for peace talks, reiterated that the security agencies would deal with the situation and neutralize militant activities.

Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh hoisted the national flag at historic Kangla fort in Imphal. He appreciated the people for joining the celebrations across the State despite militants’ boycott call and urged everyone to make Manipur a peaceful and prosperous State in the coming days. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi also expressed his gratitude to the people for spontaneously celebrating the R-Day. “The spontaneous response of all sections of the people to celebrate the 67th R-Day defying the boycott call given by the proscribed organisations is an indication that the people want peace and development and not rebellion,” said Gogoi while hoisting the tri-colour in Guwahati.

He also added that the people’s participation on R-Day functions waiving the tricolour in hands indicated that the insurgents groups were losing popular support from the common people. Gogoi however asked the fugitive militant leader Paresh Barua, who leads the anti-talk faction of United Liberation Front of Asom, to shun the path of violence and join in the mainstream for the sake of Assam’s overall interest.

Nagaland Governor PB Acharya, while unfurling the tri-colour in Kohima, urged all Naga underground groups to leave the path of violence. Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen (Rtd) Nirbhay Sharma, while unfurling the flag in Aizawl, emphasized on the connectivity in all dimensions, which is essential for economic growth and development. The Governor predicted that the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project, once it is completed, would open up great opportunities for the international trades with various ASEAN countries. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy unfurled the tricolor in Agartala and expressed hope that India-Bangladesh relations would further improve as bus services between the two countries had encouraged the people for more trade & commerce.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa, while hoisting the flag in Itanagar, called upon all government officers and employees to work with full commitment for an efficient, people-friendly, corruption-free administration in hilly State. “We have to ensure smooth, prompt, hassle-free delivery of public services. We have to provide corruption-free administration and all those involved in corrupt practices and other unlawful activities must be dealt in with firm hands,” said Governor Rajkhowa.

Along with the nation, the city based scribes and patriotic citizens celebrated the R-Day at Guwahati Press Club. Editor-journalist Girindra Kumar Karji hoisted the national flag in the morning, following which the participants took out a procession on the streets. Senior journalist DN Bezbarua and social worker Ajay Dutta led the procession where many children also took part lifting the tri-colour. Others who joined in the mission included Rupam Barua, Ranen Kumar Goswami, Mukul Kalita, Pramod Kalita, Jagadindra Raychoudhury, Pankaj Duara, Dayanath Singh, Pulin Kalita, Kailash Sarma, Pradip Thakuria, Soumyadeep Dutta, Mrinal Ali Hazarika, Ujjal Saikia, Samir Sandilya, Nayan Bhuyan, Hiren Kalita, Bikash Singh, Ravi Ajitacharya, Sabita Lahkar, Sumana Dutta, Purabi Barua, Kuntala Chakrabarty, Alaka Goswami, Akhyamala Bora, Anjali Deka, Mamata Mishra, Tarali Chakrabarty etc.

Meanwhile, four distinguished personalities from the region were declared as Padma award winners on the occasion of 67th R-Day. Eminent Manipuri theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal was announced as a recipient of Padma Bhushan in art-theatre category, where as noted Assamese journalist DN Bezbaruah was selected for Padma Shri. Similarly Ajoy Dutta (Assam), Prahlad Tasa (Assam), Kameshwaram Brahma (Assam), Tokheho Sema (Nagaland) and Veena Tandon (Meghalaya) were also nominated for the important civilian award.

Prior to the celebration as usual, the Journalists’ Forum Assam had ridiculed the militants’ R-Day boycott call and appealed to each and every patriotic resident of the region to hoist the national flag on the auspicious day and pay homage to the martyrs. The forum argued that if the citizens do not recognize the immense sacrifice made by millions of known and unknown freedom fighters to make India an independent nation, ‘we would only turn ourselves as the most ungrateful nationals on the planet’.

Interview view with Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrisna of UNESCAPE

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Nov 9, 2015

Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrisna at his office

Global Digest has interviewed Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrisna, he is from AP, India. He is currently serving as a Director of UNESCAPE, East and Northeast Asia. Under his office in South Korea, there are six member States of ESCAP in the subregion, namely China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation, and two associate members, Hong Kong and Macau. ESCAP-ENEA also serves as the Secretariat of the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC).

About ODA, his UN office does consultation. ODA in Asia is focused on sustainable development goal which is adopted by UN, and to implement SDG 17 goals. UN also concern how ODA money goes to the right place, as well as, the right output.

ODA donation is for developing countries to build school and other infrastructure of government project, and provide capital, technology, skill and capacity building. Moreover, the rich countries do business in poor countries, in that way, poor countries can get development.

Though UNESCAPE is not exclusive for ODA business, but UN is for the sole purpose of the process, to make sure ODA utilize the right way and so on. What is this take, cost, causes, so on. Indeed, OECD tracks all ODA moving and coming.

Dr. Ramakrisna lamented ODA definition is declining, simultaneously, falling down its fund. so countries have to raised domestically fund, because there is also high gap of inequality within domestic. UN makes name shaming to countries who failed to fulfill to ODA obligation.

In Asia, Japan is traditional donor of ODA. South Korea is the newest ODA donor. According to Busan Aid effectiveness conference, to open it up to all states holders, including media and academician, so on. Dr. Ramakrisna also invited Global Digest to cover their UN meeting and event.

ODA recipients are selected randomly by donor rich countries. Even UN can't force them to select this or not, just make a suggestion. Donors have meeting among them for coordination for ODA, so it depends largely on each nation's geopolitical.

The 2015 Seoul Defense Dialogue(SDD) held last week

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Sep 13, 2015

Han Minkoo Minister of National Defense, S. Korea

The 2015 Seoul Defense Dialogue(SDD) was held on 9th-11th September, at the Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul. Attendees are from 32 countries and 4 international organizations. Mainly they are Asia Pacific region with a total 29 countries: Australia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russian, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, U.S., Uzbekistan, Vietnam. The other are from Europe, they are France, Germany and U.K. The International Organizations are EU, NATO, OSCE, and UN.

The Opening Keynote Address was supposed to deliver by the Minister of National Defense, instead, President Park Geun-hye delivered speech on 9th September evening. In amidst of President Park's policy slipping with her allied countries in the region, after her controversial attending the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in China. She is the only leader attended among US's allied nations in the region.

In the next days, at the Plenary Session 2, Maritime Crisis in East Asia and Its Management topic was discussed. The meeting can touch a little bit of various maritime disputes continue such as the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. They focused on maritime conflicts among coastal states are intensifying as UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was applied to semi-enclosed East Asian seas.

Group photo of countries participants

The main discussion in this conference was, at the Plenary Session 3, Cyber Protection and Defense Cooperation. Prof. Lim Jongin of Korea University mentioned that it is hard to reach an agreement on cyber security norms or principles among regional states because their sharing values or goals are ambiguous. He pointed out that now is the time to establish cyber stability in the Asia-Pacific region, to start discussions of actually solving the cyber security issues, and to proceed with realistic efforts. Also, It is time to ponder how to apply and develop the cyber security issues in the Asian-Pacific regional cooperation projecting the way UN GGE and Seoul Framework have established.

Andrey Krutskikh, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized the international consensus should be reached in faster speed than that of the current, and the world needs more consultations at the state level to define specific discussions. Also, if the cyberspace requires new norms to be applied, efforts to specify the norms should be activated. He stressed that the Asia-Pacific countries need efforts to improve cyber security, since they are the representatives of the ICT developed countries.

Yao Yunzhu, Director of the Center on China-America Defense Relations, China, she pointed out, in order to solve these problems, active efforts for cooperation in cyberspace are needed, and China is willing to be a proactive promoter when it comes to forming international cyber norms.

Choi Sungjoo, Ambassador for International Security Affairs, ROK, pointed out that Asia-Pacific, where many ICT developed countries are located, cannot avoid the demand of the state responsibility in cyberspace.

US-ROK conducted live fire drill

Combined US-ROK flagged tanks

US-ROK had the integrated live fire drill on 2015 August 24 and 28, 14:30 ~ 16:00. The Global Digest was seen a Drill on August 24, 14:30 ~ 16:00 at Sueungjin Fire Drill Field. Along with International Medias, there are more than 500 people watched. The drill was organized by Ministry of National Defence, South Korea.

South Korea showed off latest modern weapons in the drill which included air force, tanks, artillery and others. Participated Forces are ROK: K1, K2 Tanks, K200 Armored Vehicle, K9 Artillery, MLRS, F-15K, KF-16, FA-50, etc; and US: M2A3 Armored Vehicle, AH-64, A-10, and Paladin. There are different kinds of Tanks: K1E1_20, K21_10, K2_10, K9/155mm_54, BRADLEY_4(USFK) and PALADIN_6(USFK). Helicopters are AH-64_4(USFK), AH-1S_11 and SURION_4. Fighter jets are F-15K_6, KF-16_14, E-737_1, FA-50_3 and A-10_4(USFK).

Attack helicopters

During the drill, the targets were hit exactly. The troops also displayed Combined and joint operation successfully. At end of the drill, US commander said “the drill was part of excising the military readiness for any attack.” South Korea needs such preparation to response to enemy provocation in peace time, according to press released by Ministry of National Defence.

With high economic status, South Korea has advantage in updated weapons and technology skill, and supported by experts from US. Although there is high tension between South and North Koreas, Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC) was not affected. It is operating as usual, said GIC office.

US commander at press briefing

Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC) is under Ministry of Unification. North Korea called it as Kaeseong Industrial District Management Committee(KIDMAC). Gaeseong Industrial Complex is a joint inter-Korean cooperation in the boarder of the two Koreas. South Korea invested infrastructure and technology, on the other hand, North Korea provide human resources. As of 2012, there are 53,448 North Korean workers.

International Conference, Household Debt from an International Perspective

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Jul 13, 2015

Speakers and organizers

South Korea based Korea Development Institute (KDI) held an International Conference, Household Debt from an International Perspective: Issues and Policy Directions on July 10, 2015, in Seoul. Approximately, hundreds of participants attended the conference.

Opening ceremony was remark by Joon-Kyung Kim, president of KDI. International guest speakers are Prof. Min Hwang, George Washington University, Prof. Asger Lau Andersen, University of Copenhagen, Romain Bouis, IMF, Christophe Andre, OECD, Prof. Sumit Agarwal, National University of Singapore, and other Korean professors.

According to KDI statement, Korea’s household debt has been on a rapid upward trajectory since the 1997~98 Asian financial crisis and has exceeded the OECD average. The large size and high growth rates of Korea’s household debt are growing concerns with regards to financial stability and the sustainable growth of the economy.

It should be noted that many other countries also face the burden of household debt. Excessive debt combined with a weak risk management system could strain the household sector as well as the overall economy. For example, the US subprime crisis occurred partly due to macroeconomic imbalances combined with poor risk management of household credit. Similar experiences could be observed in European countries. Based on experiences accumulated through past economic turmoil related to private debt, sound credit policies and risk management systems will need to be introduced.

According to Duol Kim, the modern bankruptcy law was introduced in Korea during the colonial period. The Japanese bankruptcy law and the composition law have German and Austrian origin. He said bankruptcy filing was quite low under this tough bankruptcy system. The average age of bankruptcy filers is 50. Older people have easier to get debt, similarly, divorce person, 9% of divorce rate in Korea, and other unemployed and poor people.

At the conference, many appreciated that Denmark has a good data. There was a very few chance for audience to ask questions. Some audience asked practical issue.

Irish Minister Brendan Howlin TD held a Lecture on the Global Financial Crisis

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Mar 30, 2015

Brendan Howlin TD

Irish Minister Brendan Howlin TD held a Lecture on the Global Financial Crisis at KU-KIEP-SBS EU Centre, Seoul, on March 19, 2015.

Minister for the department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ireland, Brendan Howlin TD explained through EU reform, Irish economy becomes the best improvement in 1990s. He argued Irish financial crisis is homegrown problem, lost of property market, banking sector, tax and revenue fell into one third.

So Irish government did first, restoring public finance, second, repairing banking system, and third, structure reform and economic reform. Irish has started using maximum digitalization. According to human rights standard, Irish also aimed to maintaining social standard, such as redistributed income, unemployment benefit system and so on.

In Brendan Howlin TD views that global financial structure is needed international cooperation. He reaffirmed necessary to integrate with develop countries. So far global financial system is not worked at world-wide.

On the other hand, those developing countries should cooperate politically, because some countries tax system so little and bad. After political cooperation, sharing international capital to developing countries will come, Brendan said. In Irish case, capital came from German.

2015 New Year Press Conference held by Mayor Park Won-soon

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Jan 22, 2015

Mayor Park Won-soon(R)

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon had held a press conference on January 21, 2015, at the Press Center during lunch time. Many foreign Medias and journalists attended, among half of them are Korean.

As capacity of a Mayor, in 2015 plans are to revise economic in-spite of limited budget and policy making, to make a better water supply system, to improve air quality system and etc.

Mayor Park Won-soon is looking for Seoul to become top 3 cities in the world. He is sure that Seoul city is definitely going to be modernized, and his desire is Seoul to be top Gross National Happiness (GNH) city. South Korea is the most stressful country in Asia.

Moreover, Seoul is try to attract tourists and aiming to increase tourist about 20 million in 2018, the city will spend 36 billion Won for that project. Among tourists, Chinese are top number, last year about 4 million Chinese visited, more than half of total tourists visited to Seoul. He admitted need of safety to passenger and over taxi price problem.

In Seoul City, for e.g., Ganganm area can attracts for soft drama, movie, cinema tech, so on. Also the city plan to build a doom or stadium at Gocheok dong it can be used for culture activity, and also Sinchon and Hongkik areas are naturally becoming as culture activity place, Mayor Park pays attention on it.

After he becomes Mayor, Park introduces exporting city experts to overseas with ODA support more than 20 cities so far. In UN survey, Seoul was acknowledged for an example of e-government, in Asia, Seoul hosts headquarter of e-government.

Mayor reaffirms freedom of speech is guaranteed by ROK constitution. Seoul government will provide the best freedom of speech in the city. Mayor is looking for international human rights standard to be implemented, however, based upon existing law of ROK only can exercise it right now.

Another question, due to lack of pension system, elderly and homeless people remained in the city, however, with the effort of Mayor, many of them return back to normal life, Mayor Park said. His plans to reduce homeless people about 3000 in his term. There is an increase of urbanization, more and more people live in the city.

He declines to say about North Korea and South Korea political engagement issue, because of central government’s role, but Seoul-Pyongyang cooperation can be possible for nonpolitical issue, e.g. soccer game, said Mayor Park. He strongly believes cooperation and collaboration each other is key in success.

About president race, mayor declined to say he will be a candidate. He just wants to focus on his current Mayor duty. He appreciated current opposition party movement, he saw many good atmospheres are going on, majority of people are also interest in it, since politician should take care livelihood of citizens.

About his visit to Japan in this year as the first oversea trip, nevertheless, he stated there was no special reason, he did MOU with Japanese counterpart on safety issue, prevention of flood or disaster management, so on.

High rank defense officers participated at the 2014 Seoul Defense Dialogue

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Nov 17, 2014

At the Seoul Defense Dialogue

High rank defense officers from various countries participate at the 2014 Seoul Defense Dialogue hosted by ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea, held at West Chusun hotel from October 30 to 31 in South Korea. Approximately 26 countries’ high rank officers from defense department attended. The main theme is from Conflict to Cooperation: Measures for Trust-building among Asia-Pacific Countries.

Keynote address by an Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, NATO deputy secretary general. Now, my home has been in Brussels, at NATO headquarters. This is my third time serving at NATO. I keep coming back because NATO is the most successful alliance in the world, and an anchor of stability in a turbulent world. The reason for NATO’s existence is to maintain the security of its members, based on the principle that an attack on one is an attack on all.

At the Summit in Wales, NATO leaders agreed making a commitment to move towards spending at least 2% of GDP on defense over the next decade, and devoting at least 20% of that to modern equipment and technology. Wales was the largest summit NATO has ever held. Along with the 28 members of the Alliance, we were joined by a further 49 partner countries as well as representatives of the European Union and other international organizations.

Jorg Schonbohm

Jorg Schonbohm, former first commander, Bundeswehr Eastern Command of Germany, argued such as block binding solution with those China, US, and two Koreans will be easy to unify the Korean peninsula. In fact, change of Poland helped German unification, and lucky of East German, but it is not relate between defense and unification, Jorg said.

Park Jong-Chul, senior research fellow, center for unification policy studies of Korea Institute for National Unification, said at public sector, social change can be happened in North Korea; its possible social, culture and economic cooperated; but military and security sectors are remained conflict. However, he doubts Korea peninsula can’t apply German model. He comments North Korea needs open up, and necessary of multilateral, so on.

Baek Seungjoo, Vice Minister of National Defense of Republic of Korea, said South Korea is a victim of history, nowadays; US influence is weakening in Asia Pacific, what blessing of Koreans unification, he decried? After denuclearize, it will keep going for policy of security, so South Korea leader can’t dominate unification, because North Korea wants military way of unification. Angela Kane, high representative for disarmament affairs of UN, said disarmament is basic peace function.

Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Defence of Canada Bill Jones

Liji, deputy chief of foreign affairs office, ministry of national defense of China, said unification can benefit neighbors, Korean peninsula will become a nuclear free, less influence from outside, economic prosperity, China interest unify one Korean, she said. China tried helping peaceful unification, improved relation between them in the past 10 years by 6 parties talk. China extremely dislikes South Korea security deployment from outside it is dangerous. However, she has blind eyes to comment human rights issue in North Korea. China excuses it has limited to do on North Korea.

Gabor Iklody, director of EEAS/CMPD of EU, said interdependent is important, economic tied can closer cooperation, and human dimension such as confident and security building, transparency, intention of activity. EU is ASEAN dialogue partner, EU already engaged, EU counter cooperation against piracy, partner nuclear management and crisis, Gabor mentioned. Mark Fitzpatrick, director of Non-proliferation and disarmament programme at the international institute for strategic studies, believes China can make NLL boarder to clarify exact line, but South Korea official stop China fishermen at dispute boarder make no way. It is dilemma for South Korea.

Yao Yunzhu

Yao Yunzhu, director at the People’s Liberation Army of China, pointed out that Yoido island has no sovereignty by South Korean. She appreciates US-China cooperation level is very much tentative outcome, e.g. code of behavior.

Mely Caballero-Anthony, Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, suggests multi lateral cooperation, functional cooperation, military to military cooperation, cooperation than competition are important in the region. Therefore, ASEAN has military cooperation, functional, disaster, peace cooperation and so on. ASEAN is the only multilateral institution in Asia.

On Cyber security, in the last section, Lieutanant General Nguyen Duc Hai, a PhD, Director General of IDS-Vietnam MoD, had an emotional presentation. General Nguyen mentioned Cyber warfare becomes threat to national security. Cyber attacks cause big socio-economic losses in Vietnam, 3,031 incidents in 2013, 11th country facing the maximum cyber attack risks, 3.33 billions spam messages a day, and 1,410 websites attacked in May and June 2014.

General Nguyen Duc Hai

Vietnam efforts for cyber safety and security, and developed legal system, such as laws on telecommunications, electronic transactions, IT, high technology, science and technology, and cryptography. Recommendations are cooperation, exchange of information, experts, technologies and training programs; establish a joint rescue team, need to develop common rules, joint development of human resources; technical and technological support; and exchange experiences and solutions. Moreover, defense forces should further promote cooperation, diversify forms of cooperation to prevent effectively cyber security challenges.

Korea Global Forum 2014 international expert conference held in Seoul

By Salai Thang
Staff Reporter
Oct 15, 2014

Experts at International Conference

Korea Global Forum 2014 Trust, Peace, and Mutual Prosperity path to Korean Unification, international expert conference held in Seoul from September 25 to 26. The forum was organized by East Asia Institute and hosted by Ministry of Unification of South Korea, approximately 500 hundreds people attended. The following are presentation and discussion of experts:

Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO of Maureen and Mike Mansfiled Foundation, argued US policy change may be a new assessment of any threat on South Korea, or any opportunity available. US has alliance structure, but China doesn’t have, even North Korea, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are not alliance. He found out East Asia is rapid changing region, at the same time, lack of security structure. He believes the region needs multi-lateral security structure. Under Obama administration, US’s policy on East Asia is low, and South and North Koreas issue is not priority agenda, he explained.

John Everard, a former British Ambassador to North Korea, said German unification issue was corresponded each other only after the collapsed of East Germany. Francoise Nicolas, Director of the Center for Asian Studies, the French Institute of International Relations, also said German unification is not a deliberate policy, and no much have a pre-unification, by chance, due to collapsed of East Germany. She suggests South and North Koreas can be a Chinese model as one country two systems.

Experts at International Conference

German trust building was also depended on other factors of neighbors European as well, but Korean trust building is depending on the two Koreans only, she pointed out. Economic development is a significant factor for trust building, some negative result of German experience was some East Germans feel they are treated as a second class citizen.

Vasilly Mikheev, Vice President of Institute of World Economy and International Relations, argued if Koreans unification, market economy in Korean peninsula will be declined, as well as, Russia economic will be goes down. He said indeed Russia is responsible for North Korea nuclearization. Actually, Russia interest is post soviet nations security structure. He also said German unification was a collapsed of socialist system in East Germany. He identified US engagement policy toward North Korea is not assist survival of North Korea, but to collapse the regime. He hope only North Korea could collapsed such as coup occurred, it is a precondition for Koreans unification.

Li Nan, Research fellow of Chinese Academy of Social Science, said Chinese disapproved North Korea nuclearisation, neither a US-ROK military exercise. China want IAEA should involved in North Korea nuclear disarmament. China people no more considered North Korea as buffer zone, even though, Chin and North Korea have a treaty, but they don’t have real cooperation, such as they don’t have military exercise. Nowadays, China considered on North Korea as a normal state relationship. For China, it worries for US troop remained in Korea even after a unification, he expressed.

Yoo Hoe-yeol, Professor of Korea University, for trust building between North and South Koreas, President Park sent a message at UN assembly, for peace, development and human rights as main points. In South Korea, young people not really care for unification of Korea peninsula, he revealed.

Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae

Dr. Ryoo Kihl-jae, minister of Unification of South Korea, emphasized precondition of North Korea to implement what they made agreement already, and both side need sincerity and commitment for trust building. Georgy Toloraya, head of Regional projects department, Russkiy Mir Foundation, declined imposing precondition upon North Korea to start trust building, it is not like partnership communication. He argued preserving two states a must. If he has a chance to advice Kim Jongun, he will say stop provoking.

Hans-Ulrich Seidt, inspector General, German Foreign office, he has to inspect all German embassies around the world. His opinion of German unification was through confidential building and cooperation, not because of collapse of East German or USSR. And Euro currency was the result of German unification, he convinced. It is important to aware during confidential building, such as military exercise shouldn’t make against other side, North Korea, he suggested. And he recalled back the important of Russia and US leadership at trust building at the case of Germans unification.

Fujiwara Kiichi, Professor of University of Tokyo, identified East Asia regional security structure under US alliances should be cooperate among alliance states, such as cooperation between Japan and South Korea a must. He pointed out the problem in East Asia security is lack of mechanism to control escalation from any state.

Nowadays, social behavior also changed in Asia, Chinese people think they are major power, in Japan, decline of its power. Japanese domestic situation is LDP administration wants to be remained in power, not just Abe.

Former Under Secretary of State Kurt Gambell

The next day a special guest, Kurt Gambell speech - nowadays is dynamic and difficult time around the world, global balancing and changes. He noticed US needs to step carefully in Asia Pacific in order to play a role what US wants, and long-term effort must be, not just tactic but also a larger vision. He warned Asia has to become an open and accept what US initiated. Now, its a 40 anniversary of opening up of China.

He called South Korea and Japan need to work together as same US’s alliances. Because North Korea is still working for China’s strategic interest. Actually, 20 years ago, North Korea did engagement with international community more, today, North Korea is only engaged with China, he disappointed. In fact, North Korea case is extraordinary difficult, which can lead mistrust among them. Unification of Korean peninsula is not origin purpose of North Korea and China, he pointed out. To balance China influence, US also trained some of North Korean young people for a future next generation. He clarified a relationship should be not just for military, also people to people and other ways. Of course, US did more dialogues with China and engaged affective strategy than any other countries did.

He also describe inside US political situation, parties also divided and more difficult to make any affective policy. Policies are changing faster in nowadays, at the result, tension will be frequently. During under secretary position, he had to attend frequently and several conferences. Actually, he pointed out US’s challenge is a strategy. Two source of Asia strategies are a relationship with China and alliance relationship. He admitted US had mistake for not worked with Europe. When it comes to Russian and US cooperation for Asia, he pointed out it is hindering by Ukraine issue between the two superpowers at the moment.

May-Sep 2014
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