Editorial que escrevi no sexto número da revista Think South Asia, que edito com o apoio do South Asia Democratic Forum:
Nepal is the country we chose to focus on this time. With about 27 million people and landlocked between India and China, Nepal has in Kathmandu its capital and also the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, also known by the acronym SAARC. It is interesting indeed to see Nepal´s recent societal changes, in the common people as in the political elites. After a very good country profile by S. M. Hasan, Dr Siegfried Wolf from Heidelberg tells us more about the possible role of Nepal in regional cooperation, making reference to a very useful survey report South Asia Democratic Forum conducted in Nepal in 2011, in partnership with Gallup Europe. As Mr Malik Saqib Ali says in his article about economic integration, South Asia has 23% of the people in the world, 5% of its soil mass, and only 3% of the world’s total GDP. But as the Chair of SADF’s Board of Advisors, Professor Subrata Mitra, told us in the previous edition of Think South Asia, in 1b.C.
India was responsible for 33% of the GNP of the whole World. So, there is no doubt South Asia is nowadays the prototype of the land of opportunities. In this number of Think South Asia we publish the 2nd part of the interview, and no one should miss this reading. To read the 1st, part you have to read last December’s edition of Think South Asia: http://sadf.eu/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/thinksouthasia05.pdf
But back to South Asia, by what we can see, it is of major importance to empower an organisation such as SAARC. Nepal can play a role here, but we shall wait for their constitutional elections this Spring in order to
analyse what we can expect from Nepal in the next years. You can find SADF’s report on Nepal in our website, here: http://sadf.eu/home/2012/04/insightssouth-asia-nepal-survey-2011-results/
As South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) could not miss the chance to highlight the genocide of Bangladesh in the 70’s, in January we promoted a conference in the French Senate in Paris hosted by Mrs Senator MarieNoëlle Lienemann. Some of the texts about that tragedy are very well presented in this magazine by Mr Paulo Casaca and Mr Modfidul Hoque from the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh. I must add that on the 23rd of December the President of Turkey Mr Abdullah Gül wrote a letter to the President of Bangladesh Mr Zillur Rahman, asking for clemency to the accused under trial in the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh for the “sake of peace in the society”. This trial begun in order to bring to justice the victims of the biggest genocide that happened after the Holocaust, causing more than 3 million deaths. I personally am against death penalty in each and every case, but this curious intromission of the President of Turkey on behalf of the war criminal Ghulam Azam is something that we must take note and be aware of further developments.
Finally, I should give a last word of gratitude to Benedict XVI, who will resign as Pope in the end of this month. Thanks to this Pope, the symbolic case of Asia Bibi got universal dimension of human rights pressure against the blasphemy law in Pakistan. So, for that as for many other things, I must leave here my deepest thanks for everything His Holiness has done for South Asia on behalf of the Christian communities in particular and for the religious freedom in general.
Publicado no site do South Asia Democratic Forum: www.sadf.eu
Para fazer o download da revista Think South Asia 06: http://sadf.eu/home/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/thinksouthasia06.pdf