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I am author of the books Political Internet(Routledge, 2017), Intimate Speakers ( Fingerprint! 2017), has finished the typescript of three books—first, on Internet and sexuality; second, on the negative impacts of social media; and third, a novel—and is presently working on a narrative non-fiction with the working title Lovescape: Why India is afraid of love.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

international and regional organisations

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population, its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states. It was established on December 8, 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. In April 2007, at the Association's 14th summit, Afghanistan became its eighth member.In the late 1970s, Bangladeshi president Ziaur Rahman proposed the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The idea of regional cooperation in South Asia was again mooted in May 1980. The foreign secretaries of the seven countries met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981. The Committee of the Whole, which met in Colombo in August 1981, identified five broad areas for regional cooperation. New areas of cooperation were added in the following years.

The objectives of the Association as defined in the Charter are

o to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life;

o to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potential;

o to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;

o to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another's problems;

o to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields;

o to strengthen cooperation with other developing countries;

o to strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interest; and

o to cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.

The Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation was adopted by the Foreign Ministers in 1983 in New Delhi. During the meeting, the Ministers also launched the Integrated Programme of Action (IPA) in nine agreed areas, namely, Agriculture; Rural Development;Telecommunications; Meteorology; Health and Population Activities; Transport; Postal Services; Science and Technology; and Sports, Arts and Culture. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established when its Charter was formally adopted on 8 December 1985 by the Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan was added to the regional grouping at the behest of India on November 13, 2005,[3] and became a member on April 3, 2007. With the addition of Afghanistan, the total number of member states were raised to eight (8). In April 2006, the United States of America and South Korea made formal requests to be granted observer status. The European Union has also indicated interest in being given observer status, and made a formal request for the same to the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting in July 2006. On August 2, 2006 the foreign ministers of the SAARC countries agreed in principle to grant observer status to the US, South Korea and the European Union. On 4 March 2007, Iran requested observer status. Followed shortly by the entrance of Mauritius.

Current members1.Afghanistan2. Bangladesh3. Bhutan 4.India 5.Maldives 6.Nepal 7.Pakistan 8.Sri Lanka

Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN (generally pronounced occasionally in English, the official language of the bloc, is a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Its aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of the peace and stability of the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully. In 2005, the bloc spanned over 1.1 billion acres with a combined GDP (Nominal/PPP) of about USD$896.5 billion/$2.728 billion growing at an average rate of around 5.6% per annum. Nominal GDP had grown to $1,073.9 billion in 2006.

European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. It was established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$16.8 trillion in 2007) of the world's nominal gross world product. The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, guaranteeing the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital. It maintains a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy. Sixteen member states have adopted a common currency, the euro. It has developed a role in foreign policy, representing its members in the World Trade Organisation, at G8 summits, and at the United Nations. Twenty-one EU countries are members of NATO. The EU has developed a role in justice and home affairs, including the abolition of passport controls between many member states under the Schengen Agreement, which incorporates also non-EU states. The EU operates through a hybrid system of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. In certain areas it depends upon agreement between the member states. However, it also has supranational bodies, able to make decisions without unanimity between all national governments. Important institutions and bodies of the EU include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice and the European Central Bank. EU citizens elect the Parliament every five years.The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community formed among six countries in 1951 and the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Since then the union has grown in size through the accession of new countries, and new policy areas have been added to the remit of the EU institutions.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, Tamil: தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, is a militant Tamil nationalist organization that has waged a violent secessionist campaign against the Sri Lankan government since the 1970s in order to create a sovereign socialist Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) which has developed into the Sri Lankan Civil War. The LTTE is currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by 31 countries (see list). It is headed by its founder, Velupillai Prabhakaran. The LTTE was founded in 1972 by Velupillai Prabhakaran and attracted many supporters amongst disenchanted Tamil youth(History of Events[1]), the LTTE following the Black July in 1983, when the Sinhalese mobs killed about four thousand innocent Tamil people and destroyed Tamil people's properties and businesses.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), founded by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat, is a Kashmiri nationalist organization founded in Birmingham, UK on May 29, 1977. Within a couple of years branches were established in several cities and towns of the UK; and also in several countries of Europe, USA and Middle East. In 1982 branches were established in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Pakistan and in 1987 in Indian-administered Kashmir (Jammu & Kashmir).JKLF seeks control of the Indian segments of the former Dogra kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir, as it existed prior to August 1947. The JKLF claims that they are not Islamist, but are nationalist, and opposes the emergence of the territories into either Pakistan or India but rather wants the region of Kashmir to separate from both countries and become independent.

Al-Qaeda, alternatively spelled al-Qaida and sometimes al-Qa'ida, (Arabic: القاعدة; al-qāʿidah; translation: The Base) is an international Sunni Islamist movement founded in 1988.Al-Qaeda have attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, the most notable being the September 11 attacks in 2001. These actions were followed by the US government launching a military and intelligence campaign against al-Qaeda called the War on Terror.Characteristic techniques include suicide attacks and simultaneous bombings of different targets. Activities ascribed to it may involve members of the movement, who have taken a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, or the much more numerous "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan or Sudan but not taken any pledge. Al-Qaeda's objectives include the end of foreign influence in Muslim countries and the creation of a new Islamic caliphate. Reported beliefs include that a Christian-Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam, and that the killing of bystanders and civilians is Islamically justified in jihad.Its management philosophy has been described as "centralization of decision and decentralization of execution." Following 9/11 and the launching of what's called the War on Terrorism, it is thought al-Qaeda's leadership has "become geographically isolated", leading to the "emergence of decentralized leadership" of regional groups using the al-Qaeda "brand name."

Taliban (Pashto: طالبان ālibān, also anglicised as Taleban; translation: "students") is a Sunni Islamist, predominately Pashtun movement[3] that governed Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when its leaders were removed from power by Northern Alliance and NATO forces. It has regrouped and since 2004 revived as a strong insurgency movement[4][5] fighting a guerrilla war against the current government of Afghanistan, allied NATO forces participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). It operates in Afghanistan and the Frontier Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The Taliban movement is headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. Mullah Omar's original commanders were "a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and Madrasah teachers,"[8] and the rank and file made up mostly of Afghan refugees who had studied at Islamic religious schools in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of the Taliban movement were ethnic Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, along with a smaller number of volunteers from Islamic countries or regions in North Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. The Taliban received valuable training, supplies and arms from the Pakistani government, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and many recruits from Madrasahs for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, primarily ones established by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam JUI. Although in control of Afghanistan's capital (Kabul) and much or most of the country for five years, the Taliban regime, or "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.While in power, the Taliban implemented the "strictest interpretation of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world," and became notorious internationally for their treatment of women.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (Urdu: لشکرطیبہ laškar-ĕ ayyiba; literally Army of the Good, translated as Army of the Righteous, or Army of the Pure) — also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Lashkar-i-Taiba, or LeT — is one of the largest and most active terrorist organizations in South Asia. It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zafar Iqbal in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, and is currently based near Lahore, Pakistan operating several training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba members have carried out major attacks against India and its objective is to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to "liberate" Muslims residing in Indian administered Kashmir. Some breakaway Lashkar members have also been accused of carrying out attacks in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, to mark its opposition to the policies of President Pervez Musharraf. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia. U.S. intelligence officials believe that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI continues giving it intelligence help and protection.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on 16 November 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations' International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.UNESCO has 193 Member States and six Associate Members. The organization is based in Paris, with over 50 field offices and many specialized institutes and centres throughout the world. Most of the field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programmes: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes; international science programmes; the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press; regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity; international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights; and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.

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