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  • India's LGBT victory cry as Supreme Court scraps Section 377 heard across continents
    In this week's Spotlight on Asia, RFI's Rosslyn Hyams looks at the potential knock-on effects in South Asia and in the Indian diaspora, of the Indian Supreme Court ruling to decriminalise homosexual consensual sexual relations. The ink was only just dry on the Indian Supreme Court's decision to scrap the Section 377 which made sex between homosexual consenting adults a crime, and already more ink was being poured into comments about how this move will help the Indian economy. According to one of the petitioners in the case and cited by the French news agency AFP. "It can bring billions of dollars to the Indian economy if they can activate the spending of gay people in India," Keshav Suri, a hotelier said, adding that 'there is business to be done, real estate to be bought and sold, holidays and all the services that go with that." The so-called pink economy is evaluated cent by cent, and in India's case rupee by rupee by a marketing agency in Australia. Out Now has counted more than 55 million Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersexual adults in India.
  • Journalist Shujaat Bukhari murdered as UN issues first human rights report on Kashmir
    In Spotlight on Asia, RFI's Rosslyn Hyams turns to some of the main news in Asia this week, including the murder of Shujaat Bukhari, leading Kashmiri journalist and former RFI English correspondent, the UN's first report on human rights violations in Kashmir, and whither nuclear disarmement of the Korean peninsula after Kim Jung-un and Donald Trump give an historic handshake.
  • Sri Lanka faces futher debt as China pursues One Belt, One Road project
    Opinion is divided for now about whether or not China's one-trillion dollar economic corridor project known as One Belt, One Road will be a plus for the countries it passes through, as Rosslyn Hyams reports. In the meantime, Sri Lanka which has been trying to recover economically, politically and socially from its drawn-out, three-decade-long civil war, owes China billions of dollars. The International Monetary fund chief Christine Lagarde has alerted China and countries potentially benefitting from the Chinese One Belt infrastructure development, to possible increased debt in the process. Spotlight on Asia considers why some countries may be more vulnerable to such unwanted possible side-effects of China's plan to harness the region's economic potential.
  • South Korea's ex-President Park's fall from Blue House to jail
    Spotlight on Asia, focuses on the jailing of South Korea's former president 66 year-old Park Geun Hye. Produced and presented by RFi's Rosslyn Hyams with guests John Nilsson-Wright and Noh Jung-sun. South Korea's first woman president Park Geun-hye, was found guilty of 16 counts of corruption and abuse of power, and fined her close to 100 million euros. The people of South Korea, more than 50 per cent of who in February 2013 elected the daughter of former late South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee, are divided over the unprecedented sentence, and noisy supporters protested outside the court after her sentence on 6 April 2018. John Nilsson-Wright, a senior lecturer at Cambridge University in the UK and Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at the Asia Programme at Chatham House, notes that "there's certainly a will and a desire on the part of the current government of president Moon Jae-in, to change the political and economic culture of South Korea. He was a beneficiary of the candle-lit protests against President Park that led to her impeachment." While acknowledging that some analysts see corruption and influence peddling as an issue which runs through the various strata of South Korean society, and noting that questions could be asked about the fairness of Park's heavy sentence, he considers "it will send a very powerful signal to other politicians and to corporate Korea." Click the start arrow to hear more from John Nilsson-Wright and from Korean academic Noh Jung-sun on this issue. Park's former culture minister, Cho Yoon-sun was jailed for two years in January for her role in drawing up a blacklist of between 9,000 and 10,000 artists seen as critical of Park's government, by criticising her or her late father, or who had voiced support for opposition parties. The list, included artists in film, theatre, dance, music, fine arts and literature, and included world-renowned personalities including novelist Han Kang, winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for The Vegetarian, and 2018 contender, and film director Park Chan-wook, whose Oldboy took the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004, and the Jury Prize in 2009 for Thirst. Former President Park had denied she was involved in the blacklist, along with other corruption charges that led to her stiff sentence.
  • Laos: the fate of the Hmong
    In this week's Spotlight on Asia, RFI's Jan van der Made is looking at the Hmong, a minority people that's fled, for the largest part, from their home lands to find safety and happiness in France and the United States. But some were left behind, and no one knows about their fate.

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