Developing countries of Asia and Africa find themselves between the devil and the deep sea when it comes to taking loans for development. One on the hand, they need loans to develop their long neglected economies, and on the other, they have to put up the onerous terms of the financiers. Western funding institutions give soft loans but impose policy constraints. China, the alternative financier, gives loans gives and does not dictate policy but it pushes the receiver into a debt trap. The net effect in both cases is the enslavement of the receiver.Inam Ahmed writing in The Daily Star advises caution in going for loans.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which held its fourth Summit in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, appears to have entered a new era, awakening from years of somnolence. The first signs of an awakening appeared in 2014, when a Permanent Secretariat was established and a Secretary General was appointed, the first since the organization came into being in 1997.Under the first Secretary General, Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka, BIMSTEC became a beehive of activity, writes P.K.Balachandran in Daily Mirror.
Taken together, the five statements or “sutras” represent a holistic philosophy, which is urgently needed at the present critical juncture of human history, said Dr.Karan Singh while addressing the 24 th. World Congress of Philosophy in Beijing on August 18 ,2018
Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan envoys were notably missing at the inauguration of Maldives’ first ever bridge to link two islands, the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, on August 30. According to ‘Times of India’, India’s Ambassador to Maldives Akhilesh Mishra did not attend the event as India had chosen to boycott it reflecting the frosty relations between the two countries since 2013 when Abdulla Yameen was elected Maldivian President. ANI said that security personnel did not allow cars of the Lankan and Bangladeshi envoys to go beyond a point while the Chinese envoy’s vehicle was allowed to proceed to the venue.
A moribund Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is likely to come alive with the two Asian giants – India and China – coming closer to realize their ambitions through the execution of massive connectivity projects across Asia.
There was enough evidence of it at the Fourth BIMSTEC summit held in Kathmandu on Aug 30-31, writes P.K.Balachandran in www.bdnews24.com.
China recorded 59,000 alcohol-related female deaths and 650,000 male deaths, both the highest in the world, according to Statista, an online market research and business intelligence portal, citing a Lancet report on alcohol-attributable deaths. India came second with 42,000 female deaths and 290,000 male deaths.
The white sand and clear blue sky of the Maldives have always give an ideal impression of romance. However, for the Chinese constructors involved in building the bridge, the experience was far from romantic. Constructing a bridge in the sea as deep as 46 meters, with a high temperature, high humidity and high levels of ultraviolet radiation was not an easy task. The Chinese constructors decided to go on with the task regardless and made it eventually.
The breath taking 2 km China-Maldives Friendship Bridge bridge, linking Maldivian capital Male with Hulumale was inaugurated by President Abdulla Yameen on August 30, giving Sino-Maldivian friendship a “concrete form”. But the five weddings which were solemnized on it to mark the occasion, gave Sino-Maldivian friendship an additional dimension, namely, the everlasting character of a “conjugal bond”,
Trincomalee’s military value had been grasped by world powers from the time of the Portuguese in the 17 th.Century. The Dutch, British, French, Indians, Americans, and the Japanese have eyed it in succession, writes P.K.Balachandran in Daily Mirror.
The United States and Japan have both cast their eyes on the Eastern Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee to counterbalance the presence of the Chinese in Hambantota in the South and Colombo in the West and its growing clout around the Bay of Bengal.
The Trincomalee harbor was meant to be a major Allied logistics base. By the end of the 1930s, the British had built 101 giant oil tanks to supply ships and aircraft. During World War II, on April 9, 1942, a Japanese Kamikaze (suicide) aircraft had crashed into one of the tanks which was reduced to a molten mass. More than 700 civilians were killed in that air raid.