I miss New Zealand. I miss things like, the other day, when Stuff had a photo of a duck with a needle through its neck, captioned: "Concerns mount for the safety of the duck..."
Meanwhile in India, the nation is beginning to forget about the serial child-killer(s) in the north, turning its attention instead to the ethnic cleansing death squads in Assam. The child-killer case grabbed the national conscience for quite a while (and it's most certainly not over yet), as the suspects are a rich guy and his servant, while the victims are the children of the slum dwellers who live nearby, people who make their living serving their rich neighbours. Meanwhile, members of the Assam (one of the northern states, the bit of India that pokes out between Bangladesh and Bhutan) secessionist have allegedly been responsible for death squads that target Hindi-speaking migrants (your usual migrant labourers - poor and vulnerable). Conspiracy theories are abound; the wilder ones say that the killings are actually being conducted by the government to discredit the Assam nationalists; another one is that by driving the Hindi-speaking labourers out, they're creating a vacuum for Bangladeshi (Muslim) migrants, which will strengthen the Muslim population's hand and allow Bangladesh to eventually annex the state.
So... is the duck okay? I hope it's okay.
In the meantime, I need your help. I'm currently waiting for a train to Bangalore, where I will be attending the Confederation of Indian Industry's 2007 Partnership Summit. There will be a heap of ministers, business people and think-tank boffins there, talking about the world at large, and India in particular. Gordon Brown will be present, amongst others, but with the crowds of delegates and media present, I doubt I'll be able to make it into throwing distance of the man.
But hopefully I'll be reporting for New Zealand. So, what do you want to know? Who do you want to hear from? What do you want me to find out? Check out the programme, and I get particular interest in a speaker, I'll try to post a recording (again, don't know how close I'll be able to get).
Please let me know what you think via the PA System.
Yeah, that story about the duck went on for ages. They managed to catch the duck and remove the needle. The duck is fine, but feeling nervous about duck season approaching.
Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report
Tze Ming Mok,
Hmm, speakers from places as obscure as Hungary and Syria, three from S'pore/Malaysia, none from Pakistan (duh)... and *none from China.* Interesting. The programme asks: 'Does the 21st Century belong to Asia?', saying,
Uh... when you don't invite the other economic powerhouse of Asia along to the panel addressing that question... it sort of answers itself?
I guess the New Zealand angle will be, as ever 'what's in it for us', 'what did the New Zealand delegate say,' 'did the New Zealand delegate get to meet anyone important,' and 'did the New Zealand delegate meet any adorable ducks.' I'm interested in how the conference is framing India as an emerging influential geopolitical power, explicitly compared against China in the new world order - but will the conference actually address how that power will be exercised, particularly in terms of points of difference with China? Will there be any discussion at this conference about responsibilities for 'South' leadership on development, trade and - I doubt it, but hey - human rights, democracy and multilateralism? The programme for '21st Century: global outlook' says:
Indeed. Does this mean that India will largely abandon any principles it has - eg selling out Burma and the Tibetans - in order to play chess with the other big 'emerging economy' which it incidentally, again didn't invite along onto this panel, a panel which instead features an ex-Prime Minister of Hungary?
SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report
Email Web Twitter
I guess I'm interested in how well Sutton acquits himself as our "roving ambassador" and whether he comes across as provincial in this setting as he used to at home.
As Tze Ming suggests, the absence of China speaks volumes. It might be fun to keep score of mentions of the C-word.
And I confess I'm intrigued that Dipak Patel is Zambia's former Minister of Commerce. Dare you to do a Norman Gunston and ask him if he misses his playing days ...
Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report
RB beats me to the punch. Dipak Patel was from Zambia, or Kenya, or something though, right?
I suppose you'll be at the "Focus: New Zealand" luncheon.
Appart from that.... I must confess I'd be tempted by the spouses' program. Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji really Norah Jones' dad? That must make him famous...
Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report
It is an Indian conference about India, with a few international patsies of note along to make for headlines and talk about India. China detracts from that. Besides, its organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry - why on earth would they wish to raise the topic of China when they are really trying to showcase their wares and country?
from Wikipedia's entry on the CII (which btw reads like a CII propoganda piece):
"The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry led and industry managed organisation, playing a proactive role in India’s development process"
Oh and Keith, I'd like you to go along to the Arabian Nights event at 7.30 Wednesday 18 January. Given the time slot it seems like entertainment, but given the host (a UAE based government investment authority) it could be business related. Therefore I am confused and in need of your services.
London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report
Keith, make sure you contact Sudha Ramachandran while you are in Bangalore. Here is a link with some biodata about her - http://www.stimson.org/southasia/vf.cfm?ID=63.
She may have some interesting leads for you while you're in India. Sudha is a very experienced, dynamic and dedicated journalist who is a contributor to the Asia Times Online (www.atimes.com) and NatRad listeners might have heard her do the occasional two-way with Kim Hill.
Obviously any references to climate change and how India's increasing industrial might be mulling any measures to reduce carbon emissions. Personally, and on an unrelated level, I'd love to know what the authorities in India are doing to save the tiger. Extinction beckons.
Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report
Hi Keith, Following the traditional "Cui Bono" how about checking out the Wed 17th lunch networking session at 1245, Hotel Grand Ashok?
I figure that even if the legal aspect is dry as dust it may be more informative to see how India looks to engage with Australia and vice versa - a fellow local primary produce exporter often goes through experiences that we in a less well-resourced nation can benefit from..
Off topic, kudos to seeing off that Coddington freak - have you ever noticed that Deb and Ann Coulter are never seen in the same room together?
Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1 posts Report
In fact, Norah Jones' real name, according to Wikipedia, is Geethali Norah Jones Shankar.
The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report
1) Thank god the duck is okay. I was getting pretty worried there.
2) Yes - there is a glaring lack of Chinese speakers, which is interesting. It seems to be a wide mix of "non-aligned countries" plus the UK. The line-up says something in itself, at any rate.
3) Can't make it to the Aussie lunch, unfortunately. Hangin' with the Canadians. Curious about why the Aussies sent their attorney general, though.
Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report
Hey Keith, I see from the Guardian (now how urban liberal does that sound) that Nicholas Stern is going to be there with Gordon Brown. Sidle up to him, and ask what he is doing to make his trip to India carbon neutral. Seriously would be good to get his take on place of NZ in the 'post carbon' economy.
Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report
Email Web Twitter
Never mind the duck. What about the kitten?
Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report
Well, they've renamed it "Lucky" rather than "Street Pizza" so I think it'll be OK.
Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report
Joined the scrum for WTO Big Cheese Pascal Lamy today. Gordo B will be up soon. Will post recording later, if it's not too crummy.
Not that you care, because you're all asleep right now.
Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report