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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 52, Friday, July 14, 2006


In this issue

Asia Events in Toronto

 Celebrate Asia in Toronto this summer!
  Young Professionals Program  Join ADB's Young Professionals Program

Asia Job Posting

 Room to Read seeks Asia Regional Director

Research Competition

 Call for nominations for Dan David Prize is now on

Asia News

 Experts puzzle over Mumbai blasts

Celebrate Asia in Toronto this summer!

Thai Trade Centre, Toronto in conjunction with Royal Thai Embassy and Thai community cordially invites you to join Tastes of Thailand 2006 festival in the City of Toronto. For this year, Tastes of Thailand will be the largest event ever. To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand’s Accession to the Throne, there will be big “celebrating the King” parade on Saturday, 15th July at 6:30 PM. Thailand’s exotic cultural heritage offers unique experiences. Come and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Thailand! Venue: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, July 15-16, 2006, 10 AM onwards, free admission. Visit their website at: http://www.tastesofthailand.ca/.

The Festival of India kicks off with a parade down Yonge Street on Saturday, July 15th, 2006. The parade will begin at 11:00am from Yonge and Bloor and will proceed to Queen's Quay over a span of approximately two and a half hours. Festivities will continue on Centre Island for the remainder of the weekend. The timings will be as follows: Saturday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm and Sunday: 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The biggest highlight of the island activities is the free vegetarian feast! Other items include two stages of free entertainment, astrology, palmistry, yoga classes, music, dance, drama, henna body art and a kids area! Venue:  Yonge St. and Centre Island. Visit their website at: www.torontofeedyoursoul.com.

The Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival lights up Toronto this summer with one of the most exciting displays of Chinese culture and craftsmanship ever to be seen in the Western hemisphere. The feature attraction is a dazzling display of 30 massive illuminated lanterns, created by over 80 Chinese master craftsmen! Join the festivities of the dragon dance. Enjoy nightly entertainment. Savour Chinese delicacies and bargain for handicrafts at the Chinese Marketplace. View China featured movies at the Cinesphere, and more! Venue: Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto. For more info, visit their website at: http://www.chineselanternfestival.ca/e/home.html.


Join ADB's 2007 Young Professionals Program

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is recruiting highly qualified and motivated individuals to its Young Professionals Program. The program lays the foundation for a challenging and rewarding professional career in an international development environment. The program offers on-the-job training and development that allows young professionals to acquire a range of professional skills and understanding of ADB's operations, policies, and procedures. For more information, please read the brochure. Closing date: 8/27/2006.

Work Assignments. Selected applicants will be offered a 3-year fixed term appointment and assigned in rotation to two or more departments or offices. This will enable them to hone your expertise and broaden their understanding of the various facets of ADB work. After completing two rotations, they become eligible to compete for regular positions.

Learning and Career Development Opportunities

Travel.  Participation in up to two mission trips per rotation, each lasting up to 2 weeks. These missions may involve: fact-finding and appraisal, project review and completion, country programming, sector and policy studies, or disbursement.

Internal/External Training. Setting-up a developmental plan under the guidance of program supervisors and human resources teams. The plan identifies training programs offered within and outside ADB to improve technical skills and knowledge of ADB policies and procedures.

Mentoring. A mentor from another division will help individual to develop technical and behavioral skills and deepen understanding of the organizational culture. Applicants should be a citizen of an ADB member country.

ADB is committed to increasing the number of women on its staff and encourages women to apply for the Program. For more information, contact the Human Resources Division, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines. Fax: +632 636 2444 Web: http://www.adb.org/Employment/ypp.asp. E-mail: YP-Info@adb.org.


Room to Read seeks Asia Regional Director

Room to Read is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide under-privileged children with an opportunity to gain the lifelong gift of education. The organization was founded on the belief that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and taking control of one’s own life. It currently works in Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, countries with a desperate lack of resources to educate their children and has an expansion project underway for Africa.

Position Overview:
The Asia Regional Direction position is a newly created role that will oversee its existing operations in Asia and drive its organization’s continued expansion in Asia. Primary responsibilities will include spearheading its expansion into new countries, providing leadership and assistance with strategic and tactical execution on all in-country programs, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, accounting, human resources, and administrative initiatives in Asia.  This position will be based in New Delhi, India but will require frequent travel throughout all the countries of operation in Asia. For more details, please visit the Idealist website on http://www.idealist.org/en/job/181650-153.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:
• In collaboration with Country Directors, create, implement and analyze annual budgets and program goals for each country and the region as a whole
• Maintain regional annual program calendar and monitor deadlines and milestones
• Review monthly program and accounting reports submitted by Country Directors with COO
• Ensure organization has adequate internal regional financial and program controls & recommend additional controls
• Assist in designing and implementing an annual monitoring and evaluation project for the region
• Make recommendations for process and program improvements and work to implement them once agreed upon
• Work with program team to codify best practices for each Room to Read program so that it can be shared across existing countries of operation
• Help provide information for foundation, corporate and individual reporting requirements
• Travel regularly throughout the year to oversee the implementation of our projects and train in-country staff
• Plan and host visits of important donors to our projects
• Develop regional human resource growth plan for the organization, including developing and monitoring HR policies, employee handbooks and administration policies
• Assist Country Directors in recruiting and training new in-country staff and participating in annual performance reviews
• Work with Country Directors to manage the organization’s legal and compliance issues for international corporate and charitable registrations in each country
• Attend Room to Read conferences and meetings and assist in planning and facilitating regional conferences
• Develop initial entry strategy and oversee launch of additional Asia countries at the expected rate of one new country every other year

If interested, send cover letter and resume by email, with “Asia Regional Director” in the subject box, to asiard@roomtoread.org. Last date to apply: July 31, 2006. Room to Read is an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds.


Call for Nominations for Dan David Prize is now on

The call for candidates for the 2007 Dan David Prize is now on. The prize is awarded to individuals and institutions with proven, exceptional excellence and contributions to humanity in the sciences, arts, humanities, public service and business without discrimination of any kind. A summary is provided below.  Please consult the following web site for further details: http://www.dandavidprize.org/.

Objective:
The Dan David Prize annually awards three prizes for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen within the three Time Dimensions - Past, Present and Future.  The Past (various fields disseminating past knowledge to modern society), Present (achievements in the formation and development of today's society), and Future (outstanding discoveries with great potential for world development).  Selection will be based on individuality, creativity, and contribution to mankind.

Relevant Fields for 2007

Covering three time dimensions,
1. Past: Historians - Authors of Major Works of History
2. Present: Contemporary Music
3. Future: Quest for Energy

Eligibility
: Individuals and institutions with significant achievements in the above- fields. Self-nominations are not accepted. Value: Three prizes of $1,000,000 US each. Nomination Deadline: September 5, 2006.

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency. For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Application Checklist, which requires the Chair’s and the Dean’s signatures. To ensure that the approved application is ready by the agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to ORS ten (10) working days prior to the final submission date. Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University. Web: http://www.research.yorku.ca. Tel: 416-736-2100. Fax: 416-736-5512.


Experts puzzle over Mumbai blasts, by Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, Mumbai

Relatives grieve for victimsThe wreckage from the blast sites has been carted to a railway yard in the far north of the city where forensic experts and special branch police are sifting through it looking for any leads. And they are keeping their cards very closely to their chest.

Senior police officials and government ministers are broadly describing it as a terrorist attack, but saying it is too early to point a finger at any particular group.

Privately, many of them say that there are very few groups in the region who have the resources and skills to carry out what were highly coordinated attacks involving the use of high-grade explosives. "The list of groups who could have carried out this attack is very small," says Ajai Sahni of the Indian Institute of Conflict Management.

Militant links?

Mumbai is no stranger to violence. In August 2003, more than 55 people died in twin bomb blasts in the city's financial district. And in 1993, some 250 people died and nearly 1,000 were injured in a series of bomb explosions. Both attacks were said to have carried out by Islamic militants, allegedly at the behest of Mumbai's criminal underworld.

Already fingers are being pointed at one of the major militant groups operating in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Lashkar is one of the deadliest groups in the region, believed to have close ties with al-Qaeda and banned in both India and Pakistan . The group has condemned the Mumbai bombings.

On Tuesday, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir witnessed a series of grenade attacks carried out by suspected separatists. It is unlikely that the two are related, although India's security agencies will certainly look for any links.

But perhaps the closest related event took place last year, when the Indian capital Delhi was also rocked by a series of blasts. As was the case in Mumbai, ordinary Indians were targeted in a series of blasts in congested markets and shopping areas, where the impact was greatest.

Widest possible impact

Mumbai is India 's commercial capital and its rail network is often described as the city's lifeline. Two major lines cut through the city, running north to south, bringing in commuters from distant suburbs. An attack on the rail network does not merely affect a large number of people - it is also designed to bring the city to a halt.

Tuesday's blasts took place on the city's Western Line, which connects the city centre with some of the more affluent suburbs. The victims cut across the city's ethnic, religious and class lines - affecting both blue and white-collar workers. It was clearly meant have the widest possible impact.

The city is India 's financial capital and home to some of its richest business leaders - any attack on it is often seen as a direct assault on the country's economy. Many here will invariable draw comparisons with attacks elsewhere - including the Madrid and London bombings.

While it is likely to be some time before the investigators announce any specific leads, it is possible that they will examine if groups operating in India are drawing inspiration from others around the globe. And that is something that could well concern the country's security and intelligence community.


York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). For further information, contact ycar@yorku.ca
Ste. 270 York Lanes, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3. Web: www.yorku.ca/ycar.