Portal:SAARC

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SAARC portal

edit The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population, its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states. In 1980, Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman proposed the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The Bangladeshi proposal was accepted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during a meeting held in Colombo in 1981. In August 1983, the leaders adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation during a summit which was held in New Delhi. The seven South Asian countries, which also included Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, agreed on five areas of cooperation:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Meteorology
  • Health and Population Activities
  • Transport*
  • Human Resource Development

Afghanistan was added to the regional grouping at the behest of India on November 13, 2005, With the addition of Afghanistan, the total number of member states were raised to eight (8). The People's Republic of China, the European Union, the United States of America, South Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Australia, and Mauritius are observers to SAARC. (more)

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Procession march held on 21 February 1952 in Dhaka

The Bengali Language Movement (Bengali: ভাষা আন্দোলন; Bhasha Andolon), also known as the Language Movement, was a political effort in Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan), advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of Pakistan. Such recognition would allow Bengali to be taught in schools and used in government affairs.

When the state of Pakistan was formed in 1947, its two regions, East Pakistan (also called East Bengal) and West Pakistan, were split over cultural, geographical, and linguistic lines. In 1948, the Government of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956. In 1999, UNESCO declared 21 February International Mother Language Day, in tribute to the Language Movement and the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world.

The Language Movement catalysed the assertion of Bengali national identity in Pakistan, and became a forerunner to Bengali nationalist movements, including the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In Bangladesh, 21 February is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday. (more...)

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Mahatma Gandhi
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Alamgiri Gate.jpg
The Lahore Fort, located in the northwestern corner of Lahore, Pakistan adjacent to the Walled City was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalamar Gardens in 1981.
Photo Credit: Kaiser Tufail
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Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal

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Flag of Nepal

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Nepal, officially known, according to its Interim Constitution, as the State of Nepal (previously known as Kingdom of Nepal) (Nepali: नेपाल About this sound [neˈpaːl] ) is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia. In Nepal Bhasa, Nepal is called as Nepa: (Nepal Bhasa: नेपा:). It is bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and by India (Bihar, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal) to the south, east and west.

For a small territory, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Eight of the world's ten highest mountains are in Nepal, including Mount Everest. The country is famous for: tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, river rafting, sport fishing, and its many beautiful temples and places of worship.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. Other main cities include Dharan, Thimi, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur (Patan), Bhaktapur. other main towns includes Birendranagar, Bharatpur, Nepal, Siddhartanagar (Bhairahawa), Birganj (Birgunj), Butwal, Janakpur, Nepalganj (Nepalgunj), Hetauda, Damak, Dhangadhi, and Mahendranagar.



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Roadway map of India

The National Highways of India provide a means of long-distance travel and movement of freight. Majority of the 227 national highways are two-laned (one in each direction), and constitute a total of about 58,000 km, of which 4,885 km are median-separated express highways. This roadway map of India provides extensive details of the national highways in India.

Map credit: Planemad

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Ahmad Shah Abdālī (c.1723-1773) (Pashto/Persian: احمد خان ابدالی‎‎ - Ahmad Khan Abdālī), also known as Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, was the founder of the Durrani Empire. Most Historians view him as an Amir of Khorasan. The Pashtuns of Afghanistan often call him Ahmad Shāh Bābā.

Ahmad Shah began his career as head of the Abdali tribe by capturing Ghazni from the Ghilzai Pashtuns, and then wresting Kabul from the local ruler, and thus strengthened his hold over most of present-day Afghanistan. Leadership of the various Afghan tribes rested mainly on the ability to provide booty for the clan, and Ahmad Shah proved remarkably successful in providing both booty and occupation for his followers. Apart from invading the Punjab three times between the years 1747-1753, he captured Herat in 1750 and both Nishapur (Neyshabur) and Meshed (Mashhad) in 1751.

Although many historians accuse him of massacre and looting, his image is glorified in Afghanistan and to a lesser extent in Pakistan. In fact, he is considered to be the father of the nation for Afghanistan.A giant picture on a billboard is placed at Ghazi Stadium in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Similar picture on a billboard is placed at Kandahar's Stadium, in the southern city of Kandahar. (more...)

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عربى (Arabic) • অসমিয়া (Assamese) • भोजपुरी (Bhojpuri) • বাংলা (Bengali) • ইমার ঠার/বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী (Bishnupriya Manipuri) • މަހަލް (Dhivehi) • ગુજરાતી (Gujarati) • हिन्दी (Hindi) • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada) • کٲشُر (Kashmiri) • मैथिली (Maithili) • മലയാളം (Malayalam) • मराठी (Marathi) • नेपाली (Nepali) • ଓଡ଼ିଆ (Odia) • پښتو (Pashto) • فارسی (Persian) • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi) • संस्कृत (Sanskrit) • سنڌي (Sindhi) • සිංහල (Sinhala) • தமிழ் (Tamil) • తెలుగు (Telugu) • پنجابی (Western Punjabi) • اردو (Urdu)

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The skyline of the Fort area. The twin towers are the World Trade Center building and the other tower is the Bank of Ceylon
Colombo (Sinhala: Colombo sinhala.jpg, IPA: [ˈkoləᵐbə]; Tamil: கொழும்பு) is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial ruins. The name Colombo, first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, was derived from the classical Sinhalese name Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani". It has also been suggested that the name may be derived from the Sinhalese name Kola-amba-thota which means "harbor with leafy mango trees".

Due to its large natural harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders since more than 2,000 years ago. However it was only made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation received independence in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other Municipal and Urban Councils. The main city is home to a majority of the Sri Lanka's corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include The Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park as well as the National Museum. (more)

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