Singapore Current Affairs - 2019
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China will be hosting a Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing, starting from 15 May to 22 May 2019. During the event an opening ceremony will be held by Chinese President Xi Jinping and six parallel sub forums will be conducted.
- About: Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) is being held on 15 May 2019 in Beijing, China. As part of CDAC, the Chinese Ministry of Education, in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be organizing a parallel panel on “Safeguarding the Diversity of Asian Civilizations“.
- Aim: It seeks to promote intercultural dialogue in view of building an “Asian Community of Shared Future” which will focus on cultural diversity, exchanges and mutual learning of Asia civilizations. It aims to enhance Asians’ rich cultural lives and contribute to vibrant regional development.
- Theme: for CDAC is “exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a community with a shared future”. It acknowledges the Asian solutions to benefit its people, Asian wisdom to promote political advancement, and Asian community with a shared future.
- Participants: More than 2000 delegates from 47 Asian and other world countries, including heads of state, government officials, and high-level governmental representatives from UNESCO and other international organizations, educational institutions, celebrities, film and television think tanks are invited to attend conference.
- Events: Asian civilization week, Asian civilization tours, tourism fairs, Asia cultural carnival and exhibitions, and Asian food festivals will be held on sidelines of CDAC.
- Key Discussions: It will have dialogue about sharing experiences on Asian governance and Asian approaches to governance differing from Western one.
- Significance: CDAC provides a platform for interactions between young people, local communities and media and form cooperative network among think tanks. It might boost regional understanding and enhance cooperation between participants. It is also being seen in pursuance of fifth pillar (which is people-to-people exchanges) of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- The idea of hosting CDAC was proposed by President Xi Jinping at Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Shanghai, China in 2014.
- Later, at Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in 2015 conference was initiated by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
- In 2016 also at the BFA, the session “Dialogue of Asian Civilizations” was held and guests from China, Singapore, Pakistan, Iran, and UNESCO participated in dialogues.
Tags: Beijing • Belt and Road Initiative • Boao Forum for Asia • CDAC • China • Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations • Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia • Dialogue of Asian Civilizations • Iran • Pakistan • Safeguarding the Diversity of Asian Civilizations • Scientific and Cultural Organization • Shanghai • Singapore • UNESCO • United Nations Educational
Singapore has passed a law (The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill) which criminalises publication of fake news in country and allows government to block and order removal of such content.
Key Features of Law
- It bans falsehoods (fake news) that are detrimental to Singapore or may likely influence elections.
- Mandate: It requires service providers to immediately remove such content and allows government to block it.
- Penalty: Offenders could face a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines.
- It gives government too much power to determine what could be false and broadly defined public interest.
- The order to remove or correct fake news is mostly directed at technology companies rather than on individuals who break a law without intent.
- As per many Human Rights Watch it is a “disaster for online expression by ordinary Singaporeans” and a powerful step against independence of online news portals.