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Akshan deAlwis
Akshan deAlwis partners with youth groups in Burma and elsewhere to teach youth and civic participation. He has published on political conflicts and transitions in the Middle East and Asia. He is currently attending Columbia University as a John Jay Scholar.

Entries by Akshan deAlwis

The Formation of a Grand Coalition: A Historic Mandate

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 10:32 AM

Last week was historic for the island nation of Sri Lanka, as the electorate repeated the "January 8 revolution" and voted, once again, for momentous change in the country's style of governance.

There is a certain pervasive fatalism to Sri Lankan politics, akin to many other post-colonial or post-communist nations...

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The Youth Gap in Employment: An Emerging Crisis Before the G20

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 10:20 AM

This year's 2015 G-20 summit will be held in the tourist city of Antalya, Turkey, one of the leading hubs of growth in the region, and a shining star in a flaccid Turkish economy. However, in the backdrop this bustling city is a startling figure: 21.4 percent of...

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The Wild and Weird World of Chinese Crowd-Funding

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2015 | 7:49 PM

A new chapter was written in the saga of crowd-funding earlier this month as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dipped for the first time into the murky waters of crowd-funding in the United States. The FTC took action against Erik Chevalier, who successfully raised $123 thousand...

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The New Environmental Refugee Crisis

(2) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 5:51 PM

The International Organization for Migration reported this week that over 1,900 migrants have lost their lives so far this year attempting to brave the perilous sea-journey from North Africa to Europe. It's a record death toll -- over double last year's numbers -- within the context of a...

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Taming the Wild West of Surveillance: UN Dips Into Digital Privacy

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 6:55 PM

On July 3rd, the top choice for the UN's first digital privacy investigator, Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, was rejected by the German president of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC), who cited complaints from activist groups that she was not a strong enough critic of government surveillance.

Ever since...

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Justice Kennedy and Confucianism

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 4:51 PM

Last week Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case, making same-sex marriage a right nationwide. It was an eloquently written opinion that has moved many by its piercing insight. However, there's a small detail that some people might have missed...


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Earthquake in Nepal: Much Left to Be Done

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 2:31 PM

On April 25, much of Nepal's most densely populated regions was struck by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Thousands were killed in the initial disaster, but aftershocks and other powerful tremors continue to cripple the nation. In the past three catastrophic weeks, the earthquake has lead to over...

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Robotic Warfare Is No Longer Science Fiction: The Future of "Killer Robots"

(1) Comments | Posted April 18, 2015 | 8:47 PM

In 1942, Isaac Asimov formulated the Three Laws of Robotics, which would define and unify Asimov's robotic based-science-fiction. The first and cardinal rule of the Three Laws was that "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."...

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A New Age for Sri Lanka?

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 1:34 PM

It's difficult to describe just how shocking it is that Maithripala Sirisena, not Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the seventh president of Sri Lanka. Over the course of a decade, Rajapaksa has ruled the island nation of Sri Lanka, creating what seemed to be a water-tight government of

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The New Silk Road: A True "Win-Win" or a Perilous Future?

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Walt Whitman described the locomotive as the "pulse of the continent." If his comparison holds true, then Thailand is about to get its first real bloodline to the rest of Asia. All thanks to China.

This December 19, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signed a memorandum of understanding...

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Pakistan: When Children Fear to Learn

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 3:27 PM

In Pakistan schools have become sites of horrific terror instead of temples of learning.
Pakistan is one of the few places in the world where children are actively risking their lives by attending school. The recent attack in Peshawar, which has left 141 students dead, has forced...

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The New Face of Democracy: Nation-Wide Youth Congress to Take Place in Burma

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 3:49 PM

Chinese state media has watched with fear what it calls "excessive and hasty" democratic change in Burma, arguing that democracy alone cannot solve all of the Southeast Asian country's problems. A commentary in China's Communist Party-run Global Times warned of what it called "Western-style democracy" in Burma.

Although democracy alone...

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