As Chairperson of the Commonwealth Society of India, I have come to appreciate the tremendous potential to build bridges among those who believe in certain core values.  To me, this is a time to be reminded of the importance of moral obligations.

The 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was an example on how debate should be generated when there is reason to believe that nations no longer follow the best policy or practices. Though this is more directive than instructive. We cannot ignore the wave of individualism today.

In India we have an age old concept of Satsang which is sharing good thoughts in good company. As the regional point of contact for the RCS in Asia, I would like to promote this concept of Satsang.

Over the past few months we have outlined a project where we propose for our branches to use theatre to revisit the history of the Commonwealth with regard to their nation as well as its relevance and scope today. Eventually this will culminate in a festival of plays hopefully in the next CHOGM. Along with this project, we will continue to develop the existing platforms of the essay competition and other interactions of the RCS.

Regional Co-ordinator, Asia: Peter Mann

Peter Mann20170420 224751 220xPeter Mann was born in England and read English at Exeter College, Oxford. He served in the Hong Kong Administrative Service for 25 years in the fields of transport, housing, security, environment and tourism. He is currently Chairman of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Hong Kong Branch, and author of the memoir, Sheriff of Wan Chai



Regional Youth Co-ordinator, Asia: Potter Ka Kai Fong

Potter Ka Kai Fong 220x 'Potter' Ka Kai Fong has served as a community youth activist for over 10 years through informal education and youth projects. He has also been involved in several youth organisations and youth development programmes locally and internationally including in Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and many other countries. As a 'Generation Y', he has the ability to understand the unique concerns about youth and young adult engagement in community. Through consulting, seminars, conferences, and speaking on various youth-related topics, he assists organisations in organising their youth engagement initiatives.

Potter Ka Kai Fong is a recipient of a number of awards for his outstanding contribution and achievements in youth works: Malaysia National Youth of the Year Award, Lions Clubs International Youth of the Year Award, Leadership Award. He is currently Orient and Southeast Asian Youth Representative for Lions Clubs International and also the Vice National President for the International Award for Young People Gold Award Alumni Association for Malaysia. 

He is now working with government and non-government youth organisations to deliver a series of motivational talks to inspire students to follow their dreams. 

Regional Co-ordinator, India: Shivani Wazir Pasrich

Shivani Pasrich Wazir 220Shivani Wazir Pasrich is an Economics Honours & Law graduate, a former Miss India World Wide, an Actress, an Odissi dancer and she is actively involved with social concerns.

Shivani helped launch Lok Sabha (Parliament of India) TV channel and has anchored various television programs and produced and directed documentaries on the Girl Child, Education and Dance. Her production house SWP Productions works to raise awareness on issues that plague society. Their conservation project, 'I am the Tiger' uses performance, art and sport to raise awareness about environmental concerns.

Shivani was awarded ‘Pride of the Nation’ in 2009 and in 2013 she received the Universal Humanity Award. She was also the recipient of the India Foundation award for excellence in her field and the Women Achievers recognition from TIE.

Regional Youth Co-ordinator, India: Hari Om Dahiya

Hari Om Dahiya 220Hari Om Dahiya is driven by a passion for learning and action for social change, particularly through informal education and youth projects. He has worked in areas including intercultural dialogue, youth participation, girl child education, and gender and leadership development in Canada, the UK, Singapore, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and India. Hari Om is currently President & Youth Chairman of The Commonwealth Students’ Welfare Group of India (CSWGI) having, for the past 12 years, given vision and leadership to the Indian Youth Community and across the Commonwealth. He has worked with a number of International and National Youth Organisations and government bodies. 

Hari Om is recipient of a number of awards for outstanding contribution and achievements in the youth sector: IIIS Star Impact Award, Distinguished Social Service Award, Visionary Leadership Award, Best Innovative Youth of the Year, Distinguished Social Service and Leadership Award and is also Board Member to a number of youth and child rights organisations in India and abroad. He is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College (Economics & Philosophy) and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Law and Diplomacy from the Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi.  He is working with a coalition of youth networks on Cross-cultural Commonwealth Youth projects, which aim at formulating and stimulating youth interest in Commonwealth SDGs and International Affairs.

Intl networks Asia 220

Peter Mann:
Potter Ka Kai Fong:
Shivani Wazir Pasrich:
Hari Om Dahiya:


What's happening in this region?

CSWGI 11.17 Commonwealth Roundtable 129 November 2017: The Commonwealth Students' Welfare Group of India (CSWGI) partnered with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to hold a Commonwealth Roundtable on 'India’s Role in the Commonwealth'. It was chaired by Mr David White, Head, CHRI (UK). Participants included: Mr Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, CHRI; Mr Hari Om Dahiya, RCS Regional Youth Co-ordinator, President and Youth Chairman (CSWGI); Ms Siddhi Pal, Queens Young Leaders 2017 Runner Up; Ms Clare Higgins, Political & Bilateral Affairs, British High Commission; Cdr. Alok Mohan, Educationist and Technical Education Trainer; Mr Trinanjan Radhakrishnan, CHRI; Dr Askandar Iqbal, Dept. of Biotechnology, JMI University; Mr Yashasvi Nain, CHRI. It was hosted at CHRI Head Offices in New Delhi. A variety of opinions, views, observations and potential strategies were discussed, with recent developments regarding the role of India prior to the upcoming Commonwealth Summit (CHOGM) 2018 in London, kept firmly in view.

HRH IMG 20171109 160942 01CROP372x3729 November 2017: The Commonwealth Students' Welfare Group of India (CSWGI) officials, along with RCS Associate Fellows in India, Queens Young Leader Winner 2017 Ms
Suhani Jalota and QYL Runner Up 2017, Ms Riddhi Pal, marked their presence at a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, to honour the visit of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, to India. RCS Regional Youth Coordinator, Mr Hari Om Dahiya spoke with HRH Duchess of Cornwall about the workings of RCS and CSWGI as well as the RCS Associate Fellows and Queens Young Leaders. The Indian High Commissioner to UK HE Mr Y.K. Sinha and other prominent dignitaries and representatives were also present at the gathering.

HK Nov 20171109 1939569 November 2017, RCS Hong Kong Branch organised a charity concert at the official residence of the Canadian Consul-General. Operatic bass, Dr Derek Anthony, performed a medley of songs and $40,000 was raised to fund a choral scholarship at the Academy for Performing Arts to help train a local singer.



 HK20171103 171950RESIZED

3 November 2017, RCS Hong Kong Branch held a Forum, 'Brexit, a Commonwealth Opportunity', attended by around 80 people and deemed a great success. The keynote address was given by the Rt. Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford, Chairman of the House of Lords International Relations Committee and President of the RCS; this was followed by a Panel Discussion with representatives of the EU Office in HK and the various Chambers of Commerce. The event concluded with a cocktail party. Participants generally felt that after Brexit there would be new opportunities for business, trade and cultural exchange between the UK, the Commonwealth and Hong Kong. It was also noted that the Commonwealth had a strong network of civil society and professional bodies that operated independently of governments. 

HKOct20178 October 2017, RCS Hong Kong Branch: around 60 fellows and guests enjoyed a Musical Evening in the Hong Kong Club with Neville Sarony, barrister, author and son of legendary variety artist, Leslie Sarony. The event included songs from the first British musical, Show Boat.


12-14 October:
The Queen's Baton Relay arrived in Sri Lanka on the 12th Oct. Received by the Sports Minister and other Commonwealth Federation officials it was taken in a motorcade to the Presidential Secretariat, where it was received by HE President Maithripala Sirisena. The following day it was taken in the ‘Viceroy Special’ steam locomotive to the heritage city of Galle in the Southern Province, where it was received by the Chief Minister, Education Officials, Sports and other Government Officials, students, principals and the public of the Southern Province.

SriLanka QBR1076 resized lightenedOn the 14th, a reception was held by the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo attended by the Minister of Sports in Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Federation officials, Representatives of Sports bodies, the Diplomatic Community, Corporate Business and of the RCS Sri Lanka branch. Shortly afterwards a symbolic Relay event took place at the Sports Ministry grounds nearby in which the Minister and The Australian High Commissioner took part.
Pictured (l-r): Shiva Yogendranathen, President, RCS Sri Lanka branch and HE Bryce Hutchesson, High Commissioner for Australia in Sri Lanka.

09 21 H.E. Mr Stephen Borg Malta Independence Day Function372xcrop21 September 2017: CSWGI officials participated to celebrate the Independence Day of the Republic of Malta hosted by the High Commissioner of Malta to India, HE Mr Stephen Borg, with dignitaries from a number of High Commissions and Embassies in Delhi. The Function was held at Hotel The Imperial New Delhi.




Presentation of Shield resized20th September 2017: RCS branch CPFA Pakistan marked its 28th Foundation Anniversary at a meeting presided over by its President, Mr Syed Masroor Ali and was attended by the Office Bearers & Members of Executive Committee. Mr Shahid Mohiuddin, General Secretary, outlined future plans which included a Commonwealth themed Quiz for the students of the Colleges of Karachi, a cricket tournament as a memorial to the former President, Mr Qutubuddin Aziz and a 'Commonwealth Expo' at Karachi which will be the first ever Commonwealth Exhibition of all Commonwealth Countries in Pakistan. 

HK1 Sir David Tang372x30 August 2017: The Royal Commonwealth Society, Hong Kong Branch is deeply saddened by the passing, aged 63, of their President, Sir David Tang. 

Sir David was a great supporter of the RCS over the years, generously providing hospitality at the China Club and recently addressing our Commonwealth Day Reception in March.

A successful businessman and philanthropist, and grandson of Sir Tang Shui-kin, Sir David was a flamboyant entrepreneur who founded the fashion house Shanghai Tang and the unique China Club. Friend of the Royal Family, witty author and FT columnist, he was an art, cigar and wine connoisseur. A larger-than-life character, he was knighted by HM The Queen in 2008. Sir David is survived by his mother and brother, his wife Lucy and a daughter and son from his first marriage.
Pictured: Sir David Tang at the Hong Kong Branch Commonwealth Day reception, March 2017

07 03 CSWGI delegation to Maldives HE Mr Akhilesh Mishra 2372x25 June to 07 July 2017: A delegation of CSWGI led by Mr Hari Om Dahiya visited the Republic of Maldives to participate in youth meetings with Maldives National University, Women and Democracy and Youth NGOs. The visit also included meetings with Ms Safaath Ahmed, Queen’s Young Leader from Maldives and HE Mr Akhilesh Mishra, Ambassador of Republic of India to Maldives. The visit witnessed active collaboration opportunities for youth from the Maldives and India (CSWGI) and will be reciprocated by a delegation of youth from the Maldives to visit India for 1-2 weeks in late 2017, early 2018.

CSWGI HE Dr David Goldwin Pollard High Commissioner of Guyana in India 36 June 2017: CSWGI members met HE Dr David Goldwin Pollard, High Commissioner of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in India over high tea to discuss 'India-Guyana relations and the Commonwealth'. The meeting took place at the High Commission of Guyana. The High Commissioner discussed an active youth cultural exchange programme between CSWGI and Guyana and the organisation of a Commonwealth Youth event in Guyana in 2018.

Pictured: CSWGI President Hari Om Dahiya with HE Dr. David Goldwin Pollard.

CSWGI Members with HE Mr Philippe Le Gall High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles in India over lunch 2 resized31 May 2017: CSWGI members met HE Mr Philippe Le Gall, High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles in India over lunch to discuss 'India-Seychelles relations & the Commonwealth' at the High Commission of Seychelles. The High Commissioner also invited participation and representation from CSWGI in establishing India-Seychelles Friendship Forum. HE Mr Gall extended an invitation for a youth delegation from CSWGI to visit Seychelles and encourage Commonwealth-centric activities and events in Mahe’, Victoria.

HK 20170520 211933CROP resized20 May 2017: RCS Hong Kong Branch held its annual Charity Ball. Attended by 100 guests and the Consuls General of Australia, India, Malaysia and South Africa, entertainment was provided by a string quartet and dancers from King George V School. Through an auction and lucky draw around £20,000 was raised for the China Coast Community, which provides residential care for local elderly used to a Western lifestyle

 anzac day 2017 webres 2125 April 2017: Colombo: President of RCS Sri Lanka Branch, Shiva Syogen, laid a wreath at the Dawn Service held to commemorate the anniversary of Anzac Day at 5.30 am at the War Graves Section, Jawatte Cemetery in Colombo. Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj R Canagasaby, Bishop of Colombo, officiated. It was followed by the traditional gunfire breakfast at the residence of the Australian High Commissioner, H.E Bryce Hutchesson.

Pictured:High Commissioner for Australia, HE Bryce Hutchesson with High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, HE James Dauris, Shiva Syogen and Asst Secretary, Mr Gamini Pedris.  

CSWGI Book Launch23 April 2017: CSWGI collaborated with the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in organisating the launch if the book 'The Shaping of a Culture' by Trinidadian writer Dr Satnarine Balkaransingh at the India International Centre in New Delhi. The event was graciously attended by the High Commissioner of Guyana, HE Dr David Goldwin Pollard and the Ambassador of Surinam, HE Ms Aashna Kanhai among other dignitaries.

HK20170420 202730resized20 April 2017, RCS Hong Kong Branch organized a dinner at the Zoroastrian Club in Causeway Bay. Hosted by Council member, Mr Neville Shroff, President of the Hong Kong Zoroastrian Society and Charity Trust, the evening consisted of a talk on the history of the Parsee community in Hong Kong. The community had originally migrated from Persia to India and were the founders of HK University, the Kowloon Cricket Club and Ruttonjee Hospital among other institutions. A talk on the Zoroastrian religion was given by the priest (or Dastoorjie) in the Fire Temple, one of the oldest in the world. This was followed by a delicious Parsee banquet with many dishes cooked in the old Persian style with delicate herbs and spices. 

 CPFA2resized7-9 April Commonwealth Peoples Friendship Association (CPFA) Pakistan participated in the 14th My Karachi International Exhibition organized by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry held at the  Expo Centre, Karachi. Over one million people attended and 300 multi-national and local companies from trade and industry participated in the exhibition, with the theme 'Peace and Harmony'. A Diplomatic Pavilion was installed comprising stalls of diplomatic missions based at Karachi; the CPFA Pakistan stall was included. Amogst thousands of delegates visiting the staff were the Consul Generals based at Karachi, The Delegation of British MPs and Pakistan Parliamentarians and Dignitaries from Business, Social, Culture and Media.

High Commissioners RCS Members and Ambassadors4 April 2017: Launch of the Commonwealth Cultural Forum Ms Shivani Wazir Pasrich (Chairperson, Commonwealth Society of India and RCS Regional Co-ordinator) hosted a reception to launch The Commonwealth Cultural Forum on 4 April at the Vivanta by Taj – Ambassador, along with Ms Suman Gahlot. Mrs Gill Caldicott from the British Council spoke on the UK India Year of Culture, saying that 'we really welcome this new initiative from the Commonwealth Association to establish a cultural forum that will contribute to our shared aims of strengthening relations between our two countries'. Ms Pasrich remarked that 'The Commonwealth Cultural Forum will work to create platforms and opportunities to allow people to continue to connect by creating the worlds most powerful medium'. The event was attended by Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives of the RCS.

CPFA 1 resizedCommonwealth Day 2017: Commonwealth Peoples Friendship Association (CPFA) held a meeting at the Hotel Beach Luxury Karachi with CPFA members and social, business and media representatives. The President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), Mr Shamim Ahmed Firpo, was the Chief Guest. HM The Queen's message was read by Mr Syed Masroor Ali (President CPFA) and Affirmations were read by Ms Tasleema Naz.  Mr Shahid Mohiuddin (General Secretary CPFA) presented the welcome address, aims, objects, activities and future plans of CPFA. He also informed the gathering that on the occasion of 40th Anniversary of Commonwealth Day, CPFA intend to install a Pavilion, with information about all Commonwealth countries in the forthcoming International Exhibition (My Karachi) being organized by KCCI from 7th to 9th April 2017 at Expo Karachi. The renowned Scholar & Educationalist Prof. Anwar Ahmed Zai emphasized the need of the Commonwealth at present for unity and Peace Building – Commonwealth; the Chief Guest Mr Shamim Ahmed Firpo focused on co-operation, friendship, brotherhood andbBusiness relations between the Commonwealth countries. Syed Masroor Ali, presented vote of thanks.

HK CwDay2017Commonwealth Day 2017, RCS Hong Kong Branch held its Commonwealth Day Reception in the Garden Lounge of the Hong Kong Club, attended by 80 guests, including the Australian, British, Canadian, Indian, Malaysian, New Zealand, Nigerian, Singapore and South African Consuls General. Chairman, Peter Mann, welcomed guests and read the Commonwealth Affirmation; British Consul General, Andrew Heyn, read The Queen's Message and President, Sir David Tang, emphasized that the Commonwealth was a 'force for good in the world'.

Australia Day webFebruary 2017 RCS Sri Lanka His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka and Excellency Bryce Hutchesson, Australian High Commissioner with Shiva Yogendrenathen, Branch Chair and VIP's at the Australia Day celebrations held in Colombo.




SriLanka and Toronto fundraising 35632016 RCS Sri Lanka Branch Chair, Shiva Yogendrenathen attended a fundraiser held by RCS Toronto branch in aid of the Sri Lankan charity Mencafep, which supports people with disabilities 
Pictured is the presentation of the funds raised by both RCS Sri Lanka and RCS Canada to Dr. Chris Stubbs of Mencafep by RCS Sri Lanka in the company of the Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.



Nov 25 Out Of The Blue Opening 1025 November 2016 RCS Hong Kong Branch organised an exhibition of the 26 winning images of Out of the Blue, which was opened at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum by British Consul General, Andrew Heyn. The exhibition was organised by The Royal Commonwealth Society, Hong Kong Branch, together with the the Royal Geographical Society.The event was attended by 70 people and Doug Woodring, co-founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, spoke on the current state of our oceans and what people can do to protect them. The exhibition was open to the public until the end of the year in which time some 8,000 visitors, including many school children, visited.

 HK Shakespeare dinner19 October 2016 RCS Hong Kong Branch held a highly successful Shakespeare dinner to celebrate 400 years since the Bard's death at the HK Club with some Shakespeare performances. They were pleased to welcome the new British Consul General, Andrew Heyn and wife and new Canadian CG, Jeff Nankivell, pictured.



CSOI Sept 201613 September 2016: Ms. Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Chairperson of Commonwealth Society of India and RCS Regional Co-ordinator for Asia, and Mr. Jess Dutton, Acting High Commissioner for Canada to India, jointly hosted a dinner reception in New Delhi in honour of the visiting delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of Canada.


CSOI EventGroupPresent on the occasion at the Canada High Commissioner's residence were Acting H.C of Canada, Jess Dutton, Mrs. Jennifer Graham, H.C of New Zealand Grahame Morton, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, Dr. BK Modi (founder Global Citizen Forum), Australian H.C Harinder Sidhu, Acting HC of Sri Lanka Lena Gala, Acting HC of Pakistan, HC of Cyprus Demetrios Theophylactou, former Indian Ambassador to Poland Monika Mohta, HC of Nigeria Queen Worlu, Former Indian Ambassador to UN Bhaswati Mukherjee. 


HKBall16CROP21 May 2016 RCS Hong Kong Branch held their annual Charity Ball in the Ladies’ Recreation Club. Attended by 128 guests, $240,000 was raised for the Child Development Centre - an all-time record for the branch's fundraising. 


SriLanka2016 05 21 PHOTO 0000006021 May 2016 RCS Sri Lanka Branch organised a donation for the displaced persons, following Sri Lanka's worst floods and landslides since the tsunami in 1984. With 92 dead (24 May) the toll continues to rise. Some 185,000 people have lost their homes; schools were closed, some have re-opened this week, but 19 are still under water. Several Commonwealth countries, such as India, Pakistan, Australia and the Maldives, along with the Sri Lankan Government and a number of NGOs are providing assistance.
Pictured here, RCS Sri Lanka President, Shiva Yogen, with branch members handing over the urgently needed items for distribution, 

GES 2016 Delhi IMG 1913 2CROP resize21st April 2016, IndiaSeminar at the Global Exhibition on Services organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) held at the India Export Centre and Mart, Greater Noida, India.  Attended by Sri Lanka and India branches, the photo here is of the Shillong Chamber Choir from Meghalaya, India.

HE. Bryce Hutchesson and Shiva Anzac Day resizedAnzac Day 2016, Sri Lanka was observed by the new High Commissioner for Australia in Sri Lanka, HE Bryce Hutchesson on Monday 25th April 2016 and culminated with the 'Gunfire Breakfast' at his residence. Her Excellency Shelley Whitting, High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka was in attendance as was RCS Sri Lanka Branch President, Shiva Yogendranathen.
Pictured: HE Bryce Hutchesson with Mr Shiva Yogendranathen.






HK VTC scolarships DSC 5112REsized CROP15 April: Hong Kong A presentation ceremony was held at IVE (VTC) to celebrate the donation of 10 scholarships in business administration to the Vocational Training Council by RCS Hong Kong and Por Yen Charitable Foundation.





Malaysia Slide11 Cropped ResizedCommonwealth Day 2016 has been celebrated at the RCS Malaysia Branch Clubhouse, every year since the 1970s. In 2016, some twenty High Commissioners from the Commonwealth Nations attended along with YBhgDato’ Ho May Yong, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. As is customary, the Doyen of the Commonwealth Nations, HE Judith St. George, Canadian High Commissioner (pictured), proposed a toast to our DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong, and YBhgDato’ Ho May Yong proposed a toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 


HK Xmas Party2015.msg15 December 2015: Hong Kong Branch celebrated its Christmas Party at the Helena May attended by around 40 fellows, including the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand Consuls-General and the British Deputy Consul-General. The Hong Kong Branch sends Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2016 to all. 

Pictured: Peter Mann, Chairman, RCS HK Branch, Gabrielle Rush, NZ Consul General, Dr Gillian Bickley and Dr Verner Bickley. 

5 December 2015: Pakistan Branch (CPFA) advised with sadness that the President of Commonwealth Peoples Friendship Association (CPFA)Pakistan, Mr Qutubuddin Aziz, passed away in Karachi on 5th December. Along with family members and friends, members of CPFA, politicians, businessmen, Government Officers and media personnel attended the funeral which was held on 7 December. The Leader of The House in Senate of Pakistan, Senator Raja Zafarul Haque, attended from Islamabad.

HK 11 Nov201511 November 2015 (Remembrance Day): RCS Hong Kong Branch organized a speaker lunch at the HK Club at which Martin Heyes, local historian, gave a fascinating talk about the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941.


 Hong Kong20150910 193130CROP RESIZE9 September 2015: RCS Hong Kong Branch 
held a party at the Helena May to celebrate HM the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history. The Queen's passion for the Commonwealth was emphasised and it was noted that she had visited Canada 22 times! The British and Canadian Consuls General cut a special cake before proposing a Champagne toast to the Queen.







Hong Kong20150423 193304RCS Hong Kong Branch: Famous operatic bass Derek Anthony sang songs in four languages, including one in English for St George's Day, at the residence of the Canadian Consul-General. All proceeds were donated to Mother's Choice, a local charity which provides loving care for infants.



Commonwealth Day 2015, Hong Kong: A reception was held at the Hong Kong Club attended by 80 people including 10 Commonwealth Consuls-General (Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa and UK). The Queen’s Message was read by Caroline Wilson, British Consul-General and Sir David Tang, President of RCS Hong Kong Branch, made a speech.  


 INdia Shivani Wazir Pasrich Chairperson of CSOI
Commonwealth Day 2015, India: The Commonwealth Society of India (CSOI) organised a panel discussion on 'Filming Opportunities through the Commonwealth' to observe Commonwealth Day. Shivani Wazir Pasrich and Michael Appleton read the message given by the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Andrew Soper, Minister-Counsellor of the British High Commission, announced the themes for the 2015 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. The evening concluded with a screening of the ‘I am the Tiger’ by SWP Production highlighting how an informal co-production works. Pictured: Shivani Wazir Pasrich Chairperson of CSOI  Andrew Soper Minister Counsellor British High Commission, HE Demetrios A. Theophylactou High Commissioner of Cyprus & HE John Aquilina High Commissioner of Malta.

Young Fellows Launch DSCN515122 January 2015: RCS Hong Kong Branch launched the Young Fellows programme to bring together young leaders from Commonwealth countries. Thirteen countries were represented and over 40 have since become Founder Members. Consul-General Caroline Wilson kindly hosted the launch and gave an uplifting and insightful speech about the role of young people in the Commonwealth; RCS HK Chair, Joan Campbell welcomed guests and Vice Chair Peter Mann talked about the way forward for the Young Fellows initiative.

HK Dec1415th December 2014: RCS Hong Kong Branch held a fundraising cocktail party at the China Club; over £2,000 was raised in support of medical aid to Sierra Leone.  The choir of Gonville and CaiusCollege, Cambridge, sang Christmas carols. The event, kindly sponsored by RCS HK President, Sir David Tang, was attended by 35 guests.



CSOI 5948IndiaCROP2nd of December 2014
was witness to an important panel discussion organized by The Commonwealth Society of India & the Australian High Commission on the ‘Opportunities for Young People through the Commonwealth in India’. Held at the Australian High Commission, moderated‎ by The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Society of India, Ms. Shivani Wazir Pasrich‎, the panel consisted of The High Commissioner of New Zealand, H.E. Grahame Morton; The High Commissioner of Ghana, H.E. Samuel Panyin Yalley; The Deputy High Commissioner of Australia, Mr. Bernard Phillip; Collector-The Election Commission of India, Ms. Avantika Aulakh; a Commonwealth Youth Award winner, Ms. Aprajita Pandey and Vice-Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council, Ms. Sudharshana Lakshmi. The event was an amalgamation of varied opinions and potential strategies, that the youth could take advantage of in order to achieve their goals.

The audience consisted of students, university faculties, and principals of schools & supporters of the Commonwealth, who were individually invited to share their unique perspectives on the agenda. After a quick session of question & answers, the day culminated with all invitees proceeding to the Australian High Commissioner’s residence for a reception. Watch the video

RCS 12 Novc12th November 2014: RCS in Hong Kong enjoyed an excellent luncheon talk by Indian Consul-General, Prashant Agrawal. Hong Kong has a well-established Indian community. He reminded guests that over 1.2m Indian troops had served in the First World War 'to fight for what the Commonwealth now stands for'. India remained a bastion of pluralism, diversity and peaceful coexistence, and was also the largest consumer of whisky in the world! 


21st October 2014: Announcement that RCS Singapore branch is to be re-formed. During the state visit of the President of Singapore, HM The Queen commented:

“…I am pleased to note that, in honour of your visit, the Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore is to be re-established; and that the re-founded Society will foster new scholarships to the U.K. for Singaporeans.

And on the international stage, through our respective membership of the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and our collective membership of the Commonwealth, there is the scope to pursue common values and interests, to our mutual benefit….”

Canadas Partnership with Hong Kong Lunch Oct 20147th October 2014: RCS in Hong Kong held a successful lunch at which Mr. Ian Burchett, Canadian Consul-General, talked about ‘Canada’s Partnership with Hong Kong’. There are 300,000 Canadian citizens in Hong Kong (most of them local Chinese who emigrated in the 90s) representing the biggest Canadian community outside Canada. Links go back to 1922 when a Trade Office was opened and subsequently 570 Canadians died defending Hong Kong in 1941. The Canadian Parliament has recently shown interest in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. 


rcs3 10th September 2014: The RCS in Hong Kong held a lunch on 10th September, attended by over 20 fellows, including British Consul-General and Caroline Wilson. The Project Manager of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge being built across the Pearl Delta gave a fascinating talk on the project. It is one of the longest bridge/tunnel projects in the world. To be completed in 2016, the bridge is over 40 km long and will carry 14,000 vehicles a day from one side of the delta to the other.



HK Updates June 2014June 2014:  The Commonwealth Countries’ League Education Fund has highlighted a call for help from Mr. Melchior Nzigamasabo, Head of Office of the British Embassy Liaison Office, Bujumbura-Burundi. Burundi needs books and the aim is to collect as many as possible and fund the shipping through donations. Individuals and organisations can support ‘Books for Burundi’ by donating books, funds and/or shipping. Read more about it here.



RCS in HK lunch on 11 June II11th June 2014: Around 20 fellows and guests enjoyed a luncheon talk by Hong Kong’s new Ombudsman, Connie Lau at the Hong Kong Club. Connie is the first non-civil servant to fill this position, which is entirely appropriate as the watchdog needs to be on guard against maladministration and government incompetence.

The number of cases dealt with annually over the last 25 years has risen from a few hundred to over 5000. Members questioned whether, over and above naming and shaming, the watchdog should be given sharper teeth.


HK Updates May 201417th May 2014: The RCS Annual Ball held at the Hong Kong Club on 17th May was a resounding success! Honoured guests included the Consul General of South Africa, Mrs. Gwala, Ernest So, International Concert Pianist whose recital was captivating, and Mr. Julius Lau the Chairman of Lai Sun Development Company Limited. The Ball was in support of the Au Kim Hung Love & Care Association (AKH) who helps thousands of children in China on their journey towards literacy and further education in extremely difficult and remote areas. The total amount raised thanks to the generosity of all guests was $150,000. Click here to see the photo album of the event.


Opportunities for the CW11th March 2014: The High Commissioner of Canada in India, Stewart Beck and Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Chairperson Commonwealth Society of India and Asia Co-ordinator, Royal Commonwealth Society, jointly hosted a reception  to celebrate Commonwealth Observance Day where the first of the series of talks on Opportunities through the Commonwealth in India was held.

Series 1 of the Armchair Discussion had four High Commissioners speak on the scope of the Commonwealth on various subjects: High Commissioner of Singapore on Business, British High Commissioner on Democracy, High Commissioner of Canada on Education, High Commissioner of South Africa on Culture & Sport . The Queen’s message was read out by the renowned actress Sushma Seth. 

Reports on the discussions have been written by a panel of experts comprising: The Dean International Relations, Delhi University - Professor Anand Prasad on Education, Managing Partner of International Law Affiliates - Amir Singh Pasrich on Democracy, dancer and actress - Rajika Puri on Culture and cricket legend Bishan Singh Bedi on Sport. 

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