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J M Sali awarded 2015 South East Asia Write Award

Indian-origin writer Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali from Singapore has been awarded prestigious 2015 South East Asia Write Award.

The award was bestowed upon him at the annual ASEAN regional award for literary excellence in Bangkok, Thailand.

About Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali

  • Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali (famously known as J M Sali) was born in Madras in 1939.
  • He had moved to Singapore at the age of 25 after he was invited to be an assistant editor of newspaper Tamil Murasu by its founder late G Sarangapani.
  • In Singapore, he had worked at local broadcasting station and produced books on famous people including martial art icon Bruce Lee and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.
  • He has been writing for over 5 decades and has written 57 books, 80 plays and more than 400 short stories.
  • His short stories like Vellai Kodugal (White Lines), Alaigal Pesuginrana (the Sound Of The Waves) are being studied by Tamil Literature students in Singapore and Indian universities.
  • Awards and Honours: He has won several literary awards to his credit including Singapore’s prestigious Cultural Medallion.

About Southeast Asian Write Award

The award was established in 1979. It is being presented annually to poets and writers in Southeast Asia region. It is especially bestowed upon a writer from a country that is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The award is given for a specific work by an author or awarded for lifetime achievement.

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ASEAN leaders sign declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which would be similar to European Union (EU)-style regional economic bloc.

In this regard, Kuala Lumpur declaration on the establishment of the AEC was signed by the leaders of 10-nation grouping chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at its 27th Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It was signed in front of world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

About ASEAN Economic Community

  • AEC would make ASEAN a single market with a free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour in the region.
  • Integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse 10 economies which has combine population of 620 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion US dollars.
  • Abolish tariffs on imports within the bloc member countries and promote the liberalization of service industries such as retailing and tourism.
  • Calls for more free movement of and skilled labour within the region including of doctors, architects and others with special skills.
  • Focus on creating an integrated and well-connected economy of ASEAN member countries which would be business-friendly, trade-facilitative and market-driven.
  • The new economic bloc will be launched in December 2015 and would make ASEAN’s growing GDP, 4th-biggest in the world.

ASEAN 2025 declaration

Apart from this AEC, ASEAN leaders also adopted the declaration on “ASEAN 2025, forging ahead together”. The ASEAN 2025 document charts the path for building AEC over the next 10 years.

The declaration calls for ASEAN members to work towards building a community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible. ASEAN 2025 declaration calls to work with external partners to strengthen cooperation in combating non-traditional security challenges like terrorism, human trafficking, drug related crimes and maritime issues through various initiatives and projects.

About Association of South East Asian Nations

  • ASEAN is a group of 10 South Asian nations which was brought into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration).
  • Motto: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”
  • 10 Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Founder countries of ASEAN were: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand
  • Enlargement: The group was expanded by adding 5 more nations which are Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Cambodia was the latest entry in the group in 1999.

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India’s trade agreement with ASEAN inked

India today finally signed the long pending trade deal which covers services and investments with the 10-member Association of South Asian Nations which will open the gates for rapid and free movement of professionals to and from these nations.
India had signed the agreement on goods in 2010 which did not include the services agreement. This skewed the balance which should have been inherent in the agreement. This further intensified the need for a services and investments agreement to come to the front.
The agreement was formally signed by 9 members of the grouping with the exception of Philippines which has to overcome some specific procedures post which it is expected to sign too.
India and ASEAN have agreed under the General Agreement on Trade and Services in addition to commitments in various services and supply channels. Each member state has decided its own course and schedules to honour the commitments under the agreement.
ASEAN is an economic group of nations in Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
India has bound itself in 3 phases of commitments: beginning with Philippines, then Indonesia and one for the rest of the nations.

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