Chinese writer Lijian Zhang along with Pakistani writers Mohammed Haneef and Ali Sethi will be the prime attractions of the Kovalam Literature Festival early next month in Thiruvanthapuram.

Greek and Chinese authors and publishing housesTuesday signed a cultural exchange agreement to promote book publications in both languages.

The agreement was signed between, the online version of Lianhe Zaobao, the leading Chinese daily in Singapore, and Shanda Literature Singapore(SDL), the leader of China's online literature. The literary site will allow Singaporean readers to have free access into Shanda's online Chinese literature.

In the new movie "Slumdog Millionaire" there is a poignant scene that all public diplomacy experts should have etched in their minds. It's of a classroom full of boys in a Mumbai slum inhabited by Moslems passing around one copy of the "Three Musketeers" as part of their English lesson. Later we watch one of those boys evolve into a gangster. He could just as easily have joined Al Qaeda. The scene takes place in the early 1980's, but I suspect that in spite of India's growth that similar scenes can be found today.