Volume 20, No.2 Apr 1999.

COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY FOR SOUTH ASIA: AN ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH

by Narottam Gaan 

         The causes of interior inter-state conflicts are largely embedded in environmental degradation or scarcity of renewable resources. When the conflicts are addressed by resorting to force, the very purpose or cause of halting the slide in environment is lost. War itself is also a cause of environmental degradation. Thus, environmental degradation generates a self-perpetuating process. What is needed is a comprehensive framework of security for the entire region, achievement of which is contingent on cooperation and understanding among the countries of the region affected. Environmental cooperation could be promoted among the states within a region for the purpose of achieving greater comprehensive regional security as an end in itself. Moreover, regional cooperation of environmental protection and natural resource utilization serves as confidence building measures for the purpose of heralding comprehensive international security. IN the context of South Asia, the focus may be on Union, can bring about an environmental integration, so that armed conflicts between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and other conflicts between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and other conflicts between India and other South Asian countries, can be resolved.

INDICATORS OF CURRENCY CRISIS: THE EAST ASIAN EXPERIENCE

by Rafat Alam, Gobinda  Chakraborty, Haripada Bhattacharjee 

         The present decade experienced three major currency crashes in three regions- the ERM crisis in Europe in 1992, the Mexican crisis in 1994 and the East Asian currency crash in 1997. The paper tried to test which of the indicators of the three currency crashes of this decade explain the currency crash of East Asia better. Probit analysis has been used for two countries-Korea and Thailand. The result of the analysis shows that the growth rate of government debt, current account balance  as a percentage of GDP, change in foreign exchange reserve and annual growth rate of the Japanese economy significantly explain the currency crash of Korea. The pooled regression with the data of both the countries showed that the growth rate of government debt, annual growth rate of the Japanese economy,. Some lessons for Bangladesh are also drawn.


ISLAM AND CENTRAL ASIA: A CASE STUDY OF KAZAKHSTAN

by Manish Jha 

           There has been a growing apprehension about the resurgence of Islam across the global and more especially, in the Central Asian region. The concepts of “Islamic fundamentalism”. “Islamic resurgence” and “Islamic revival” etc. are the floating annotations reflecting the society and polity of Central Asian Republics. This paper is an attempt at understanding the nature of Islamic revival in the region. The author argues that Islam has been mild, tolerant, modernist and less dogmatic in its outlook because of the prevalent typical tribal and nomadic societal pattern of the region. It is also argued that Islam is serving the interest of newly growing ethno cultural feelings of these Republics. Thus, Islam may be viewed as an ethnic maker. Having discussed the nature and extent of Islamic influence in the region, the paper attempts at examining Islam in post Soviet Kazakhstan and its impact on the Republic’s society, polity and institutions. An effort has also been made to investigate as to how Islam has been dealt with along the course of nation-building process of post-Soviet Kazakhstan.

 

IMPACT OF GANGES WATER DIVERSION ON THE SOUTH WEST-PART OF BANGLADESH: A PERCEPTION STUDY

by Ashraf Mahmmood Dewan, Khondoker Nizamuddin

           Bangladesh has possibly one of the world’s largest river systems like the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna and other numerous tributaries and distributaries. Among the rivers, the Ganges supplies water to the sout-west region of Bangladesh through one of its distributaries, the Gorai river. The construction of the Farakka Barrage has resulted in the reduction in dry season flows in the Ganges system in Bangladesh and induced various environmental degradation in the south-west part of Bangladesh. Taking this into consideration, this paper attempts to present the perceptions of the local communities based on a questionnaire survey in south-western Bangladesh, about the impact of Farakka Barrage on the region. The prevalent perception is that the problem of low flows in the downstream greatly accentuated socio-economic and environmental problems. In order to ameliorate the situation, most of the respondents urged for constant pursuit of vigorous diplomacy so that the recently signed 30 year treaty is fully implemented. They also suggested the construction of a barrages across the Ganges/Padma is Bangladesh .