News for April 2009
The London Missionary Society collection of Chinese books at the National Library of Australia is now accessible. The collection consists of 539 items and is mostly of printed books collected by the LMS missionaries in China in the late Qing period. The Qing or Manchu dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912.
It has been just published AJISS-Commentary no. 64 "Why is the Pacific Islands Summit Important?", by Izumi Kobayashi.
The paper deals with the meaning and importance of the fifth Japan-Pacific Islands Forum Summit Meeting, which will be held in May in Tomamu, Hokkaido. Leaders from 16 Pacific island countries and territories, including Australia and New Zealand, will meet and the Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to announce the idea of creating a "Pacific environmental community". The thesis of Prof. Kobayashi is that Japan will host this meeting basically to support the development of smaller islands.
Sanskrit dictionaries of Buddhacarita, Bodhicaryāvatāra, Rāmāyaṇa, Sāṃkhyakārikā, Sāṃkhyakārikābhāṣya, Sāṃkhyatattvakaumudī
The dictionary of the Sanskrit texts Buddhacarita, the Bodhicaryāvatāra, the Rāmāyaṇa and its verbal forms, and the cumulative dictionary of the Sāṃkhyakārikā, with (parts of) two commentaries, the Sāṃkhyakārikābhāṣya and the Sāṃkhyatattvakaumudī, all in PDF, are available here at the German site Rasavidyā, the first systematic study of the material culture of medieval Indian alchemy.
A small treasure is now digitally available, a collection of 656 files of books (in pdf format), dating from the 17th century till the present time, on the Aceh civilization, located on the northern part of the island of Sumatra (Indonesia). The books are written in Indonesian, Acehnese, English, Dutch and other European languages and are published locally or by European publishing houses.
The tsunami that struck Aceh on December 2004 destroyed important libraries in Banda Aceh. The Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in Leiden initiated a project that aimed to digitize the major part of the literature on Aceh kept in the KITLV Library. The Dutch Ministry of Education agreed to finance it.
We have just received the book The Indian National Army and Japan, by Joyce Chapman Lebra (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 2008, pp. 257 + xvi). The book is a reprint of Jungle Alliance: Japan and the Indian National Army, which was originally published in 1971. It covers the beginnings of the Indian National Army (INA) as a part of a Japanese military intelligence operation and moves forward to the arrival of the Bengali national hero Subhas Chandra Bose, the enlarged INA and the India provisional Government under his direction (1943 - August 1945).
Before directing the INA, Bose, under the name of Orlando Massota, came to Europe to meet with Hitler and Mussolini, who both wanted the British crown to be defeated. In Italy Bose got in touch with politicians and the main representatives of Fascist cultural politics, including the famous Buddhologist, Tibetologist and Indologist Giuseppe Tucci.
Seymour Hersh on How Bush Administration Overran the American Constitution with the Aid of the American Press during the Vietnam War
I took part to the International Journalism Festival held in Perugia (1-5 April 2009), an Italian international meeting for whoever witnesses, chooses, collects, writes, and distributes news, and media professionals.
The keynote speech was given last Saturday, April 4 by the invetigative journalist Seymour Hersh, of the American weekly The New Yorker. The topic was how the Bush administration overran the American Constitution with the aid of the American press, therefore, the relationship bewtween media and politics. This is the full video of Hersh's speech.
It has just been released the Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto for the 15th Lok Sabha (National Parliament) elections (April 16, April 22, April 23, April 30, May 7 and May 13, 2009). It is titled Good Governance, Development, Security (here the full English text in pdf).
According to the historic leit-motif of the party, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, the leading BJP member who signes the manifesto, underlines wealth and originality on India civilization through the centuries, and claims for the nation a prominent role worldwide.