In April 2016, Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange and Himal Southasain organised a conference titled “The Expanding Meaning of Drone Warfare in Southasia and Beyond”. The two-day conference (April 16th and 17th) was held at Yala Maya Kendra, Lalitpur, Nepal with participants from within Southasia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Nepal) and beyond (USA). The conference participants hailed from a broad background viz. media personnel, human rights activists, jurists, advocates, research scholars, retired army officers. The free flowing, intense discussions focused on the emerging technology of drone warfare in the context of Southasia and the world. The history of drone use and its proliferation, humanitarian impact, legal issues, media coverage, and advocacy were some key issues that were addressed over the course of the conference.
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"Hri" - a sound or a vibration, the utterance of which awakens the empathy that is an inherent part of every sentient being. Regionalism must no longer remain a prisoner of platitude, since there is a consensus that geopolitical friction, poverty and pressing environmental issues as well as cultural and social dislocation must be addressed through the regional framework. There is a need to revive and energise discussions of regionalism on the platform of mainstream politics, public information and research, with a dynamic Southasian sensibility.