Welcome to my blog. I may write copy here that I would not present elsewhere. This blog allows me to comment while reporting for clients which can include subscription-only platforms. I use it to take a sideways look at running stories, and all views presented here are my own.

Interested parties are invited to comment.

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hong Kong; from the Hong Kong Standard today

"Violent tactics will kill support base: Lau
(12-02 11:04)

The chairwoman of the Democratic Party says if pro-democracy protesters resort to violence, they'll lose the support of people who originally backed the Occupy movement.
Emily Lau Wai-hing was commenting on Monday' s clashes between demonstrators and police.
Protesters have been holding peaceful blockades across Hong Kong since September but are becoming frustrated at the lack of response from the government to their demands.
Lau told RTHK this morning that the Occupy movement had to make sure its message got across, adding that most people in Hong Kong supported democracy but might not support the occupation strategy. --RTHK"   

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

From Radio Television Hong Kong

"One of the main organisers of the Occupy Central Movement, Chan Kin-man, on Tuesday made a public appeal to protesters to consider either retreating from occupied roads or to continue protesting in a smaller area.
Professor Chan said it was necessary to minimise the disturbance that the movement was causing the general public in order to gain support for the pro-democracy movement in the long term.
In a newspaper article, the sociology professor said he hoped protestors will reflect on what they wanted to acheive (sic) through their actions.
Professor Chan asked if they want to continue fighting for Beijing to change its conservative framework for political reform in Hong Kong, or to gain support from more citizens to prepare for a long-term pro-democracy movement.
He said chances that Beijing could have a change of heart were slim and public opinion has clearly turned against the Occupy movement.
Professor Chan said the priority now should be to minimise the disturbance the movement was causing to people's daily lives in order to win their support.
He said protestors should consider retreating from some protest sites.
Professor Chan went on to say that if some pan-democratic lawmakers were willing to resign to trigger a by-election to serve as a de facto referendum, the protestors should consider retreating immediately.
The Federation of Students, which has taken over the leading role in the Occupy protests, did not give a direct response to Professor Chan's proposals.
Its Secretary-General, Alex Chow, said the Federation has to first discuss the issue with protestors before deciding on a response.
But he noted that retreating was only one of the many ways to gain public support.
A recent survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that more than two thirds of respondents thought it was time for the occupiers to retreat."

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Conclusion of Hong Kong Judgement on Protest Movement

I have been sent a copy of the judgement handed down concerning the so-called "Umbrella" protests.
Here's the conclusion.

""139. The concept of the rule of law must include and embrace the notion that every resident and the government alike should obey and comply with the law. As said by Hartmann J (as the learned NPJ then was) in Secretary for Justice v Ocean Technology Ltd (t/a Citizens’ Radio) [2010] 1 HKC 456 at paragraph 9, the concept of rule of law means that every resident of Hong Kong are governed by and bound to the operation of the law.
140. Under the rule of law, even if the defendants are of the view that a court order (including an ex parte order) is wrongly granted, instead of simply disobeying it, they should first comply with it but seek to challenge and argue against that order in court under due process and in accordance with the law. As said by Hoffmann LJ (as Lord Hoffmann then was) in Department of Transport v Lush (unreported, 29 July 1993)[29]: “…the law cannot allow obedience of its orders to be a matter of individual choice even on grounds of conscience”.
141. It is therefore wrong for any suggestions that the rule of law is not undermined or under challenged if people can freely or intentionally disobey the law first and then accept the consequences of breaking the law. The rule of law cannot realistically and effectively operate in a civilised and orderly society on this basis.
142. The upholding of the rule of law must therefore be built upon, among others, the due administration of justice for the enforcement of court orders and the law. This is also one of reasons why the independence of the Judiciary, and the respect for the dignity and authority of the court are fundamental tenets of the concept of the rule of law.
143. However, recent events relating to these actions have shown that there is a real risk that the due administration of justice and the respect for the authority of the court, and therefore the rule of law in Hong Kong, would be seriously undermined:
(1) As I have mentioned above, the ex parte injunctions, which are valid and proper court orders until set aside, have been openly disobeyed and flouted by the defendants en masse.
(2) Not only that, and worryingly, there have also been repeated open suggestions by a number of public figures (including some legally trained individuals) to the public and the protestors and demonstrators en masse to the effect that ex parte injunctions need not to be complied with until they had been determined after an inter partes hearing, and that there is no challenge to the rule of law from merely disobeying civil orders, and that the rule of law is only threatened when there is disobedience of an actual order of committal for contempt of court. As I have said above, these suggestions, with the greatest respect, are in my view wrong and incorrect and would cause the public and the defendants an unwarranted misunderstanding on the concept of the rule of law.
144. When the rule of law and the due administration of justice are at the risk of being seriously challenged and undermined, as it is now, the court must act and strive to protect and uphold them for the benefit and best interest of the general public.
145. The present circumstances therefore undoubtedly justify and call for the inclusion of the police authorisation direction in these injunction orders. The direction would send a clear message to the defendants that civil court orders should be obeyed and about the serious consequences for breaching them."

Sunday, 28 September 2014

US, Bangladesh Navy Commence CARAT Training

Dhaka Tribune Report (original text, not written by Rani Singh)

The fourth annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh exercise commenced with an opening ceremony at Naval Base Issa Khan on September 25, says a press release.
Continuing through September 30, CARAT Bangladesh 2014 consists of six days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to address shared maritime security priorities, to develop relationships, and to enhance cooperation among participating forces.
   In its 20th year, CARAT is a bilateral exercise series between the US Navy and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
   “In just a few years, CARAT Bangladesh has become the premier engagement between our navies,” said Rear Admiral Charles Williams, Commander of Task Force 73 and US 7th Fleet’s executive agent for theater security cooperation in South Asia.
This year, the vessel USNS Safeguard, with a mobile diving and salvage unit, will join Bangladesh Navy ships including the former Hamilton-class cutter, BNS Somudro Joy and the frigate BNS Bangabandhu. Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff will embark Somudro Joy as part of a ship rider exchange. 
 For the first time, a Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will participate in CARAT Bangladesh alongside the Bangladesh Navy’s Dornier, taking naval aviation training to the next level and enhancing shared maritime domain awareness. 
“We are looking forward to going to sea with the Bangladesh Navy this year and training with their ships and aircraft in the Bay of Bengal,” said Captain Fred Kacher, Destroyer Squadron 7 Commodore.  “We expect to learn a great deal from them about operating in these vital waters, which connect our navies and our nations.” 
- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/sep/28/us-bangladesh-navy-commence-carat-training#sthash.RpQ8ygai.dpuf

Monday, 1 September 2014


The Summit will open on 4 September and the Secretary General will put it in context at a doorstep scheduled for 9h35 local time.
It will start at 11h45 with the Secretary General and Prime Minister Cameron officially welcoming Heads of State and Government.
This will be immediately followed by an official family photo at 12h30.
The Summit will formally open with a meeting on Afghanistan at 13h00. The Allied Heads of State and Government will meet with 27 partner countries including ISAF contributors (Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name), Tonga, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates), countries from the region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan) as well as Japan. High level representatives of the United Nations and the European Union will also attend.
The second meeting on 4 September will start at 16h45 and will be a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. President Poroshenko of Ukraine has been invited.
Heads of State and Government will then attend a working dinner in Cardiff which will start at 20h30.
On 5 September, the 28 leaders will hold two sessions of the North Atlantic Council. The first session will take place at around 9h30. The second session will start around 13h00.
NATO Defence and Foreign Ministers will attend the Summit and hold parallel meetings.
On 4 September at 14h15, NATO Foreign Ministers will meet their counterparts from the four aspirant countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name).
At 16h30 NATO Defence Ministers will meet their counterparts from 24 partner countries which cooperate with NATO on interoperability. The format will be 28 Allied Defence Ministers and Ministers from the following partner countries: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name), Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
Two separate working dinners will take place in Cardiff for Foreign Ministers (2010 start) and Defence Ministers (1930 start). A separate dinner with partner countries will take place at Celtic Manor, starting at 20h00.
On 5 September at 9h30, Foreign Ministers will hold consultations with the EU, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. The Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Didier Burkhalter), the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (Thorbjørn Jagland) and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union (Catherine Ashton) are invited.
On 5 September at 11h00, NATO Defence Ministers will meet with their counterparts from Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden, to discuss enhanced opportunities for cooperation.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Watching Reena and Rami Ranger

I am watching the rise of Reena and Rami Ranger on the London scene. They make a really interesting father-daughter pair. Both have a natural air, a Punjabi wholeheartedness and business acumen. But there’s still something quite down to earth about them.

Recently, Rami Ranger MBE, FRSA, Chairman, Sun Mark Ltd won an unprecedented fifth consecutive Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Prime Minister David Cameron visited the headquarters of Sun Mark Ltd. in Greenford on Friday 18th July 2014 to present the award.

Rami Ranger connects Britain to 115 countries through trade.

He built his empire in the UK from the ground up. His son-in-law Harmeet Ahuja is the Sun Mark CEO.

Dr. Ranger oftentimes pays tribute to his mother; he says she taught him the values which have been the bedrock of his success. She brought Rami and  his siblings up to be wholesome people despite having lost her husband during the partition of India and despite having to live in abject poverty in a refugee camp. 

Reena Ranger is making a name for herself by expending energy in the right sort of ways if public service is her goal.

She has worked very hard and is now a councillor. She’s Dr. Rami Ranger’s eldest daughter and Chairwoman-Founder of the social organisation, Women Empowered. She worked for the family business from a young age and learnt to deal with all aspects of the company under the guidance and support of her father.

What is unusual about Reena is that she is steadily and consistently creating formats through Women Empowered for people to connect and to learn. The sessions always incorporate a questions and answer session where the questions are not controlled in any way.

And in the recent Vivek Oberoi event that I attended, Reena quite patiently waited until well after most of the guests had got their photos with the star guests before politely and quietly asking if one could be taken of her husband and herself with Vivek.

I know Reena is making waves because many women I meet swear by Women Empowered and tell me it makes a difference to their lives. I like the notion of giving in this fashion rather than doggedly working at being a councillor as a career step to becoming an MP with little else apart from work.

And the talk is that it won’t be long before Reena is given a seat to fight. Her family is behind her all the way.
As for Rami, he supports where he can and many events I attend bear the discreet hallmark of his backing.
He is pioneering  and a  nice story of a successful immigrant. He doesn’t ever dwell on current success, rather on how he and his family struggled to build from nothing.

I don't normally single out people who host events or businessmen on their own in this site but I feel I need to make an exception in the case of these two people. One, a well known face in the community, has made a massive contribution to trade and industry, the other, definitely on her way up the political ladder- and doing it with  a fair amount of grace. 

Full disclosure; Rami happens to be a friend of my late father's. But he has taken a lead among the current generation of business owners that is worth noting. 


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Reena Ranger's Women Empowered, Sewa Day, Movie Star Vivek Oberoi and Director Gurinder Chadha

Reena and her father Rami Ranger were kind enough to invite me along with my son and a friend to a spectacular evening recently held at the Bright Courtyard  Club in Baker Street earlier this month as their guests.

The event venue was light, bright and packed out, with well behaved audience members politely assembling in anticipation. Director Gurinder Chadha was there nice and early, amiable and chatty. Her husband Paul was in watchful attendance. It was good to catch up with her. They are preparing the West End opening of their musical "Bend in Like Bekham" and trying  to fit in a film (about Partitition)  before then.

People drank wine, ate canapes and mingled. As soon as the star guest, Vivek Oberoi, entered the room, there was a frisson with camera phones suddenly clicking away.

Reena confidently opened proceedings with a welcome address. Manoj Ladwa, Trustee of Sewa Day, a charity effort to serve the community round the world, talked about how he feels the need for service and shocked me with some heartfelt honesty about his relationship with his mother. Manoj handled communications for Indian PM Narendra Modi election campaign recently and is a quiet presence on the London scene. Other Sewa Day founders were also present.

Gurinder and Vivek took to the stage and Gurinder started asking the gently spoken, slim actor her questions.
Vivek has a stellar Bollywood career but he has devoted a huge amount of his time and energy to doing good. He was awarded the Red and White Bravery Award for helping rebuild a tsunami-hit village. He is the WHO's anti-tobacco spokesperson, and supports a whole host of charities including Banyan, which works towards rehabilitating mentally challenged, homeless women.
His passion for helping others was palpable and confounded expectation. At times, he became emotional when discussing service to others and the joy he derives from sharing with those perhaps less fortunate than himself.

While our photos were being taken I was able to ask Vivek an exclusive  question on tape, about why he felt it was important to attend the event. He told me,

"It almost didn't happen, actually. I was pretty busy at work, and I called up Manoj, and I was like, "Is it OK if I postpone this?" [He replied] "You have to make it." "And I just decided on the spur of the moment that no, I should come out here and reach out to people. I'm actually heading back tomorrow. I just came in only for this. To reach out to people and make a difference. That's why it's so important. The kind of people that were here today can have a very deep impact on a much larger society. I think we can take the flame forwards."

Of the Indian film stars I have interviewed over the past year or two, Vivek Oberoi impressed me as the one most committed to service. He clearly forms a special bond with those he meets through this work and they, in turn, have an impact on him.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

UK-Based Indian Diplomats Becoming More Media-Friendly

There's definitely a warmer, more inclusive approach to journalists from India House these days- at least those journalists who regularly report on matters Indian. There are more media briefings being organised, with the High Commissioner making himself more available to answer questions.

I've noticed that some senior officers have their favourites amongst the Indian  journalists.

There is also a seeming increase in events these days, though that could be due to the time of the year (Delhi is hot these days) and a new government in place. One such happening was a talk by former Indian Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi. The grand Gandhi Hall was packed out and Quraishi held the audience with a kind of magnetism. His personality and delivery  lifted this event away from the normal standard and made it fun.

Report here; Quraishi does good interviews, too.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Greenwich School of Management; Exec MBAs with a Difference

I regularly interact with business and management schools in some sort of speaking capacity at various conferences, and some of them have stand out features.

The independent higher education provider, GSM London opened up in the former GlaxoSmithKline building in Greenford, west London, not long ago and I was invited by our MP to a dinner to meet with its senior team . One of them is Brian Buckley, one of the school’s directors and heading up different departments; Recruitment, the Executive MBAs, Executive Masters, etc. He invited me over to the Greenwich campus one recent Saturday and as I jauntily sat on the theme- park like Docklands Light Railway for the last part of my journey, I noticed two glamorous Qatari ladies in my carriage. I discovered that they were coming to the GSM too; they had travelled across from the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane for the purpose. That set the tone; as among the delegates I later discovered a bishop, a psychiatrist, and interesting others.
Brian showed me round the excellent facilities and lecture rooms with names like “Admiralty Theatre” reflecting the fact that we were in the vicinity of the Royal Naval College.

The Executive MBA and postgraduate courses attract senior managers and professionals and GSM has constructed courses to fit with those at that level who are probably working much of the week. In a rare composite, the executive courses happen on weekends. People travel in from all over the world and the UK to study for three days with first class tutors in small classes. Different courses converge during lunch and break times for networking and I certainly broke my calorie count on chocolate brownies that day. I sat in on Dr Jag Kundi’s entertaining talk on accountancy and finance and learnt about cash flows. GSM is able to leverage visiting faculties from other universities so makes sure that he gets some hot talent. Jag was flown in from the University of Hong Kong and Brian regularly calls on Stirling Management School and St Andrews.

I also sat in on David Schofield talking about leadership styles. Clearly the level of debate is high with key decision makers from public and private programmes engaging with GSM. Sometimes the delegates know more than the tutors so there is learning on both sides.

It’s a way of sharing best practise. The school is rapidly gaining in popularity just on word of mouth.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Anniversary of suffragette Emily Davison; Why #Emilymatters

Actress/Writer Kate Willoughby

Today is the 101st anniversary of Emily Davison's most famous protest at the Epsom Derby. Actress Kate Willoughby wrote a play that has the relationship between Emily and her mother at its heart.

On Epsom Derby Day, 1913, Emily was gravely injured during her protest and her mother pointed out that whereas Emily was passionate about the suffragette cause, she also suffered for it. She wrote a letter to Emily about this that Kate discovered and this is what opened up the story for her:

"I cannot believe that you could have done such a dreadful act. Even for the Cause, which I know you have given up your whole heart & soul to & it has done so little in return for you."

The public perception of Emily was of an austere person but in reality, Kate told me, she was big-hearted, larger than life and had a great sense of humour.

Emily Davison campaigned for a serious cause but used inventive tactics and public correspondence with detractors.

Kate created #Emilymatters to highlight and support gender equality campaigns, such as No More Page 3, which use creativity as a means to communicate and has had great success.

She wrote a play called "To Freedom's Cause" which played at the House of Commons earlier this year. as part of a special event sponsored by Emily Thornberry MP, founder of the Emily Davison statue campaign. Kate starred in this five hander, which was directed by Brian Astbury.

Kate is a dab hand at social media and I'm learning a thing or two from her.  She uses social media to promote the missions that she is involved with and is focusing hard on gender equality. She gets high profile support from people like BBC broadcaster Jane Garvey and Helen Pankhurst (great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the militant suffragette movement).

Kate is building on a campaign she worked on for the May elections about voting and is now working on an expanded project for the 2015 general election.

For more info see http://www.katewilloughby.co.uk/

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Susheela Raman at the Alchemy Festival on the South Bank

I was excited about attending Susheela Rama's concert at the Purcell  Rooms last Thursday 22nd May 2014. I had interviewed the lady and listened to her music but never before had the opportunity to see her perform live. 

You know Susheela because her first album, Salt Rain, was  shortlisted for a Mercury Prize.
She has always been a brave and confident performer, striking out with a style that is gently connected with her Tamil roots. 
Susheela's work is universal and the fact that she has lived in Australia and the UK is clear; she takes and gives to a host of cultures and disciplines and doesn't seem trammelled by any narrow boxes or definitions that critics would like to place her in.  It doesn't take any time to warm to her or for her to warm up; audiences engage and are mesmerised instantly. 
While she is the star performer and we go to see her, she blends with her band members and seems seemlessly tied in with them, so that the strength and power can emanate from any part of the whole ensemble during the evening. It makes for a surprising and delicious musical event; vocals and a virtuoso drum solo  can take you to the edge of your seat. And back again!
It also shows a remarkable absence of ego. In fact, when I first met her, she was more interested in talking about my book than herself!

I know Susheela is an utterly committed performer because my first interview with her happened over several days when she was in intense rehearsal preparing for another concert and I could feel the creative electricity being given off through her work with her fellow artist, an accomplished guitarist, at the time. I could feel the dedication every time I spoke with her. 

What I find exciting about Susheela is that it is impossible to compartmentalise her. She blends jazz, folk, Indian classical and African styles and deserves her place in the sun. 
The Purcell Rooms was the perfect homore to show Susheela Raman at her best, and the packed audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It was an eclectic mix and I was very pleased to see so many Asian faces in this bastion of white man's culture. 

The concert was part of the Alchemy Festival at Southbank Centre, and was an intimate preview of Susheela Raman's new disc Queen Between, which is currently world wide available in strictly limited number via the Songlines CD shop -  http://songlinescdshop.co.uk/ . Please catch a concert if you can and meantime, the CD is a beautiful and evocative listen. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

More from Chris Kosovich and the Astana Economic Forum, Kazakhstan

After Chris landed back in the US, he hotfooted to an interview with me to tell me more.
The title of the session he participated in was called "The Place of Social Media in Journalism" and more information is at the http://g-globalmediasummit.org/index.php?id=2&lang=en website.

The First International Summit of Journalism was held within the framework of the VII Astana Economic Forum with a main goal of creating an information platform to further enhance collaboration between global journalism and media, the economic sector and latest technological achievements.

The event included media workers, bloggers, experts, academics, veteran journalists, international media companies.

The summit was organized by the government of Kazakhstan, G-Global Communication Platform, the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association, and the Success K Media Agency.

Chris told me,

"This was an exciting opportunity to be a part of this first International Summit of Journalism because it was a chance to showcase how media can begin to establish a definitive, factual quantitative data about social media impact."

"Social Media Benchmarking will continue to become a critical data point for businesses in many sectors including media, banking, retail, industrial, and even among non-profits and non-governmental agencies."

"It is important for every organization to not only disseminate and seek to advance their messages through social media, but to measure the effectiveness of these tools so they can be more successful and begin to find ways of articulating their return on investment."

"Kosovich Media Group has been working diligently at refining the technical processes to quantify measurable outcomes with social media. I think what really differentiates what we do is with the contextualization of the quantitative data with actual unique business processes as it relates to social media and communication plans of our clients."

"It is one thing to have a mountain of quantitative data about one's own social media, but quite another to turn that data into solid communication and business process interventions that helps the organization to become stronger overall."

"It was an honor to be a part of the First International Journalism Summit at the VII Astana Economic Forum. I have a lot of respect for the vision the organizers, the government of Kazakhstan, G-Global Communication Platform, the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association, and the Success K Media Agency have had with their implementation of the Summit and the Astana Economic Forum overall."

Chris's talk had the snappy title "Social Media Benchmarking, Journalism, and Media Distribution: Assessing and Adapting Behaviors Among Content Consumers and Producers."

Inside the Mind of Assessor and Communications Expert Chris Kosovich

Founder and president of Kosovich Media Group, Chris Kosovich has been working on a brand new service and told me this week that he is excited about the effects it can have for business. As I write this he is on his way home from  the Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan having given a presentation on how social media benchmarking can be used within the journalism industry to identify the most interactive content...he said that the goals are to identify measurable outcomes in context to help shape more highly engaging content. Can you put that more simply, please Chris?

At Astana, Chris’s talk was for a special segment involving the International Journalism Summit.
I first met Chris on Rhodes Island with Youth Time 2013. He was one of the expert assessors at the summit and is the first person to dance his way into an interview with me by heightening my awareness of him with his moves (he had just swept me onto the dance floor at the time) as well as his intellectual skills. He combines a techie background with communications expertise and has a really good way with Youth Time candidates applying for grants. He mostly reviews projects and has a special interest in internet media ones.
Seeking to help strengthen confidence, Chris makes sure that competitors recognise their strengths and focus on processes. Drawing on his own experience with non profits, he told me that he makes his decisions to grant or not grant awards by asking himself, “Would I fund this project with my own money?”

He helps candidates to balance out their ideas by asking them, “How are you measuring what you are doing? Who are the partners? How are they helping you build your project? How are you leveraging your strengths?”
Chris said that he likes to see the detail of budget proposals, as well as partnership and time schedule definitions.
He revealed that the more mature projects tend to win because “they think about their strengths.”
He supports anxious pitchers by saying, “I’m excited about your passion. I want you to shift your energy to the detail. It’s fun and challenging to be critical, tell me what you think about this?”
 Chris’s winners tend to be more evolved with measurable outcomes, defined times and dates. So this year’s Youth Time candidates, use these tips if you’re being assessed by Chris Kosovich!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Hot Tips from Christie's Head of Islamic and Indian Art, Sara Plumbly

This week my Leading Light column interviewee is Sara Plumbly, Head of Islamic and Indian Art at Christie's. Their twice yearly Islamic and Indian Art sale happens this week. Sara drew my attention to Lot 145, described below, so I'm passing the tip onto readers; watch the price go through the roof on this one. Also noteworthy is Lot 130. Get your bids in!

Lot 130
Of drop shape, the jade surface carved with 7ll. of extremely elegant nasta'liq with occasional floral flourishes, the final line dated, pinned through the centre to a 19th century gold mount decorated in repoussé with a floral spray issuing flowerheads and fleshy leaves
2¼in. (6cm.) high; 2 3/8in. (6.4cm.) wide
Estimate £15,000 - £20,000 
Lot 145
The slightly recurved double-edged watered-steel blade with medial ridge and armour piercing point, the pistol-grip pale jade hilt elegantly set with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, yellow sapphires and coloured gemstones with a bold floral spray rising from the base, the spine decorated with an emerald leaf motif issuing floral vine that curls around the end of the hilt, the original sheath covered with yellow velvet and with jade locket and chape simialrly inset with elegant floral sprays
14 3/8in. (36.6cm.) long (without sheath)
Estimate £100,000 - £150,000

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Commander Mak Chisty and Dr Kiran Bedi

Every week of the year, I get to do something that gives me the greatest pleasure; I interview for the media. It is a privilege to be given permission to climb inside someone's head for a while and to take a look at the world from their viewpoint.

My Asian Voice reporting gives me access to a constant range from differing areas. Within the past two weeks alone I have spoken with a senior Belgian diplomat, the Swiss Ambassador, Professor Tejinder Virdee who is one of the lead Particle Physicists on the Higgs Bosum project, and yesterday I was in New Scotland Yard talking with Commander Mak Chisty, who is leading on honour killings and radicalization. This Friday, Dr Kiran Bedi will be the guest speaker at a charity lunch at the headquarters of my newspaper and magazine group, ABPL,  talking about the India Vision Foundation, an organization that aims to help rebuild the lives of those who have been imprisoned. I will be interviewing her for my Leading Lights column.
My publisher, CB Patel, and editor, Rupanjana Dutta, are honourable and have high integrity and it is a pleasure to work with them. With them, I am paid on time, I know what I am getting, and everything is crystal clear. CB runs a good ship.

I feel grateful for these opportunities.

Our task as journalists is to make sure that subjects are faithfully portrayed in a way that helps the public to understand the message.

I love my work and find it fascinating as I learn so much from each interview. I could not now imagine myself doing anything else. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

London; Lord Mayor visits India to boost economic ties

The Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf will visit India this week to boost economic ties between the two countries (19-23 Jan). 
The Lord Mayor will lead a business delegation to the political and financial centres of New Delhi and Mumbai on her trip, meeting with senior industry representatives and policy makers to help strengthen the UK’s economic links with India and enhance the bilateral exchange of ideas between India and the UK.
As well as meeting leaders from the insurance and actuarial professions, she will chair a round table discussion on global governance.  The roundtables will explore the potential enhancements to governance standards and practices brought about by the 2013 Companies Act. 
The Lord Mayor will host an evening reception during her visit celebrating London as a centre for financial and professional services and meet inward investors to promote investment opportunities in the UK.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Lord Mayor Woolf said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit India in my official capacity, especially at this exciting time.  India has the chance to deliver real economic reform  offering opportunities for foreign investors.  However, it is also important to note that reform is a delicate process.  Reforms must progress at a speed that allows infrastructure and the economy to develop so that long-term, lasting benefits are provided for Indian society and the wider economy. 
“I intend to use this visit to reinforce the mutual benefits for India and the UK.  The UK’s commitment to India remains strong: our companies want to do more business in India and the City of London remains India’s natural partner in global finance and business.  A greater participation of UK firms can help to facilitate economic development because they can introduce new products, services and expertise to the market, enhancing economic growth and supporting the development of domestic companies.  The City is here for the long haul.” 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Exclusive One Hour Interview with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

A lot has happened in two weeks. At the start of my visit, I was granted a one hour sit down interview with the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina. I was able to ask literally anything I wished to and she answered the curve balls with a smile.
I am really pleased to have been granted this exclusive  interview, the only one she is giving in this period, when several other international networks were keen on it too and have played out some of it already on The World Tonight Jan 2nd and 3rd, 2014.
Today I watched the swearing of the new cabinet at the President's office.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Radio and Television reporting in Dhaka

I am working across both media here this time in Dhaka and really enjoying penetrating some areas hitherto uncovered by foreign journalists.

Somehow local organisations really appreciate foreign reporters in a way that the London media mafia does not. In Dhaka, people seem to love the fact that we have taken time out to look at what they choose to offer up and treat us with great courtesy.

My Bangladeshi friends  are my backbone and give me so much love that I am bowled over. I will miss you guys for sure. Thank you to those who are helping.

Friday, 10 January 2014

BBC Bureau Dhaka

I'm not sure why but I chose to try and do a  lot of my work and my filing without going into the BBC bureau for the first week despite a very warm welcome from the bureau chief Shakil and advice all round to visit for the support. It would have made life a lot easier.

When I did go in  a couple of days ago, I found a strong and busy team that acts as a base and an anchor for visitors from abroad.

It was incredible and not unexpected to learn from Shakil that the BBC brand is the most trusted in Bangladesh and knowing the quality of some of the journalists there I am not surprised.

The Bangla unit contains some of the best journalists in the world. 

Dhaka Rocks

It may be tense here in Bangladesh's capital but away from the political centre, the road blocks, the barricades and the highly visible security, writing in my hotel room I switch between different television channels; BBC World, Bangla news channels, and a new channel, Gaan Bangla. It's a cross between MTV and Fashion TV and seems to be soaring ahead of MTV in the popularity stakes.