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Asia Blog

Sri Lanka: Is A 'Culture of Impunity' Blocking Reconciliation?

Sri Lankan children climb aboard an armoured vehicle on display in Colombo on Dec. 15, 2010. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy Over the last week, the United States has raised its voice regarding accountability and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka.

How to Spot a Persian and Other Observations: Comedian Maz Jobrani Tells It Like It Is

Maz Jobrani (R) at his Houston talk with Asia Society Texas Center's Sylvia Le (L) and Aliya Sabharwal (C) (World Affairs Council of Houston)
Arts

When performing for American audiences, Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani offers helpful tips for distinguishing Iranians from Arabs. Jobrani says it's all in the accent. Iranians (preferred term being "Persian," which segues into a hilarious bit) speak with a casual, almost drawling, lilt while Arabs possess a decidedly more aggressive, rapid-fire elucidation. See the video.

Aussie PM Gillard Wows Washington with Football, Tears, History

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard addresses the US Congress in Washington on Mar. 9, 2011. Seated behind Gillard are US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) (R), and President Pro Tempore, and Speaker of the House John Boehner. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy Nothing much new was expected to come from the first visit to Washington, DC by Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. And nothing new really did.

For the 21st Century: More Female Voices at the Table

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai
Policy

On March 8, 2011 over 100 countries celebrated International Women's Day, and throughout March, hundreds of events will not only mark the accomplishments of women but also raise awareness about women’s rights issues.

While celebrating and reflecting, Asia Society President Vishakha Desai says we must also "remind ourselves of the dramatically changed context of the world in the early decades of the 21st century and its implications for women."

Thailand, One Year Later: No Compromise in Sight?

Anti-government Thai demonstrators flee during a clash with soldiers near central Bangkok's Lumphini Park on May 13, 2010. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Policy March 12, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the start of Thailand's anti-government Red Shirt protests

Mothers of A Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters

In Varanasi, India, Hinduism's holiest city, a widow begs on the streets in a white sari. According to tradition she must remain here until her death. (Shreeya Sinha)
Lifestyle

Note: The following story was published on MediaStorm by Asia Society Producer Shreeya Sinha, who reported, shot video, and field-produced 'Undesired' by photographer Walter Astrada, winner of the 68th Pictures of the Year International for Multimedia Issue Reporting. 

India's Women: Equal Partners... Sometimes

An Indian woman carries firewood on her head as she walks past an advertisement billboard in Siliguri on March 7, 2011 on the eve of International Women's Day. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images)
Lifestyle parity in the workplace has become India's issue of the moment.

How to Improve China-US Trust

US President Barack Obama stands with Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) during a State Arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on Jan. 19, 2011. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Note: The following is from an Op-Ed published on The Diplomat by Asia Society Fellow Shen Dingli, Director for the Center of American Studies at Shanghai's Fudan University.

The 2011-12 Indian Budget: Hit or Miss?

Policy

MUMBAI, March 4, 2011 - The Indian national budget was released two weeks ago, eliciting both praise and criticism. On the heels of massive scams within government departments (the 2G spectrum scam estimated at 1.7 trillion rupees, and the Commonwealth Games scam estimated at 80 billion rupees) and inflation woes, the government was keen to deliver a balanced and forward-looking budget.

Battle of the Banks: Bangladesh's Central Bank Fires Microfinance Pioneer Muhammad Yunus

Bangladesh's central bank fired Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus on Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011.
Business

Bangladesh's central bank has fired Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, the celebrated microfinance pioneer who started lending small sums of money at Grameen Bank almost 30 years ago.