Heritage for Sale

By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader

Looted Indian antiquities handed over by the Honolulu Museum of Art in the investigation of dealer Subhash Kapoor.

Looted Indian antiquities handed over by the Honolulu Museum of Art in the investigation of dealer Subhash Kapoor. Photo: artnet.

The global trade in plundered antiquities has expanded so far and wide that an international investigation into artifacts smuggled out of India led the authorities to the Honolulu Museum of Art.

On 1 April, the museum handed over seven rare items – including a 2,000-year-old terra cotta rattle – that it had acquired without realising their clandestine origins. Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) department will accompany these items to New York from where they will be eventually returned to the government of India.

Like many other stolen antiquities, these items too had been pilfered from Hindu temples and ancient Buddhist sites and allegedly smuggled to the United States through a network run by Subhash Kapoor, a 66-year-old Indian-born art dealer settled in New York. Kapoor was arrested by immigration officials at Frankfurt airport in Germany in October 2011 and extradited to India in July 2012 to stand trial on charges of trafficking artworks. He is lodged in the Puzhal prison in Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

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2016 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Manila

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Bridging Diverse Cultures towards an Inclusive Asia Pacific Community

Save the Date – January 15-17, 2016

Manila − popularly known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ − shines with its east-meets-west cultures, colonial and contemporary architecture, and north-and-south ethnicities.

Join international colleagues ♦ Make new professional contacts ♦ Renew acquaintances ♦ Update your knowledge of the region ♦ Discover the Philippines at the EWC/EWCA International Conference next January.

Conference venue, call for papers, tour selections and recommended hotels will be posted on the conference website, www.eastwestcenter.org/manila2016 as information becomes available. Meanwhile, please mark your calendar and plan to join us in Manila.

Questions – Email:  manila2016@eastwestcenter.org  Phone:  1-808-944-7506

Organized by the East-West Center (EWC), East-West Center Association (EWCA), and EWC Alumni Association Philippines (EWCAAP).

EWC Community Saddened By Sudden Passing of Larry Smith

Larry-Smith-500The East-West Center community has been saddened to learn of the sudden passing of former Education Director and longtime community supporter Larry Smith, who suffered a fatal heart attack over the weekend, shortly after arriving in New Delhi to attend a conference.

“It was a devastating shock to hear of Larry’s passing, since so many at the Center knew him as a dynamic and engaged supporter right up until his departure for India,” said EWC President Charles E. Morrison. “During his decades as a staff member and in subsequent years as a key leader of the EWC support community, Larry embodied the East-West Center spirit of warmth and humanitarianism. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”

With a background in sociolinguistics, Smith joined the Center in 1970 to develop programs for English as a Foreign Language administrators from Asian institutions. He later became a research associate, ultimately retiring from EWC in 1999 as Director and Dean of the Education Program. After leaving the Center, he established a consultancy specializing in leadership education and was highly active with the Friends of the East-West Center, serving as the organization’s president from 2006 to 2008. Most recently, he chaired the EWC alumni association’s Endowment Committee.
(Read his EWC oral history.)

To inquire about memorial service plans once they have been finalized, please contact the EWC front desk at (808) 944-7111, or EWCinfo@EastWestCenter.org.

March of the Carriers

Aircraft carriers are finding favour with Indo-Asia-Pacific countries keen on bolstering their defences in an increasingly volatile neighbourhood

By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader

China's Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

China’s Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

With simmering territorial disputes inflaming the Indo-Asia-Pacific, countries in this fastest growing economic region in the world are making all efforts to buttress their defences.

In their anxiety to batten down the hatches, several of these countries are viewing the aircraft carrier as the preferred platform for sea control and are pulling out all the stops to commit funding for it.

These platforms, at times amphibious ships that are essentially helicopter destroyers with the potential to operate fixed-wing aircraft, including drones, have been gaining favour as the South and East China Seas find themselves in the cross-hairs of territorial ambitions. But this military build-up is raising tensions even higher in the region and will likely provoke an avoidable arms race.

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Marshallese Alumna Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Opens UN Climate Summit With Poem

Click image for video

Click image for video.

EWC alumna Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a writer and performance artist from the Marshall Islands, was selected from more than 500 nominees to deliver a poem to world leaders on Sept. 23 at the opening of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Jetnil-Kijiner, who recently completed her EWC degree fellowship in Pacific Islands Studies, recited a new poem written for her daughter, “Dear Matafele Peinem.”

Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program on Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities Sows Bumper Crop of Green Action Follow-on Projects

See what sprouted when youth from Southeast Asia came to the United States to learn about leadership, civic engagement, and local sustainability through the lens of “green schools.” Since returning home, the participants have channeled their learning and experiences into positive community action to promote green practices.

SEAYLP-Group-Photo_crop_WEBIn the fall of 2012, the East-WestCenter launched Leading Green: Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities, a Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. To date, EWC has coordinated two exchanges in the United States for 61 youth and educators from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The three-week-long exchanges offered took place in schools and communities in Hawai‘i; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, DC; and surrounding communities in Virginia.

new compressed pictureThrough hands-on activities focusing on civic education, leadership, diversity, and community engagement, the program provided opportunities for participants to interact with diverse Americans as they examined, through the lens of “green and sustainable schools and communities,” the principles of democracy and civil society. They also created Green Action Projects, described below and on the project website, which they have been implementing since their return home. By focusing on schools and their immediate community, participants have been able to practice leadership as they engage their peers and undertake positive community action to enhance their everyday environment.

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EWC Board of Governors Elects Business Leaders Ratan Tata and Takeshi Niinami as International Members

The East-West Center’s Board of Governors has elected two new international members: Indian business leader Ratan N. Tata, who is returning to the board after serving several terms between 1993 and 2004, and first-time EWC board member Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Japan’s Lawson, Inc.

Newly elected boardmembers Ratan Tata (left) and Takeshi Niinami

Newly elected boardmembers Ratan Tata (left) and Takeshi Niinami

EWC Board of Governors Chairman Brian Tsujimura and the other board members, along with Center President Charles E. Morrison, extended a warm welcome to the new members, who were elected to three-year terms, and expressed their sincere gratitude to outgoing member Tarun Das.

The EWC Board of Governors consists of 18 members, including five appointed by the U.S. secretary of state, five appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i, five members from Asia or the Pacific Islands who are elected by the full board, and three ex-officio members who include the governor of Hawai‘i, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, and the president of the University of Hawai‘i.

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