SOUTH ASIAN DIGEST

Chinese peacekeeping doctors save life of Bangladeshi peacekeeper

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The 8th Chinese peacekeeping medical detachment to South Sudan (Wau) received a request for help at 11:30 a.m. on May 22, local time. An officer of the Bangladesh peacekeeping infantry battalion suffered sudden severe chest pain during a long-distance patrol mission. The Bangladesh peacekeeping patrol taskforce stopped at a desolate and uninhabited place nearly... More

US aligning with India against Pak: Musharraf

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The US treats Pakistan according to its needs and "ditches" when it does not require Islamabad, former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said as he accused America of aligning with India against his country. The former president and chief of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in an interview with Voice of America said that... More

Afghanistan registers candidates for long-delayed elections

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Afghanistan launched the registration of candidates for parliamentary and district elections on Saturday, taking another step towards a long-delayed ballot that has been threatened by deadly attacks on voter registration centres. Gula Jan BadiSayad, head of the Independent Election Commission, told a news conference registration would be open for the next 12 days. Hundreds of... More

Nepal’s foreign exchange reserves down

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Nepal's foreign exchange reserve has been decreasing over the last three months, impairing the Himalayan's country's capability to finance imports, Nepal's Rastra Bank (NRB) has said. The Nepali central bank said in its third quarterly review of monetary policy released on Friday that the massive expansion of imports, outflow of dividends by the foreign investors... More

Will extend unilateral ceasefire in J&K if things move smoothly: Indian army chief

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Indian Army was ready to extend unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir “if things move smoothly,” Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat told journalists at the Army Goodwill School in Pahalgam, 100 km away from capital Srinagar, on Friday. The Army Chief arrived in Srinagar on Thursday and reviewed the prevailing security situation... More

Maldives’ Minister defends price tag of Chinese-funded bridge

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Maldives’ Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz has defended the price tag of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge following comparisons to Dubai’s US$107.3 million Shindagha Bridge project. The opposition has long criticised the cost of the current administration’s flagship projects as wildly inflated, alleging graft and misuse of public funds. “While Dubai’s 13km Shindagha Corridor costs $1.36 billion,... More

Bhutan-EU trade support project launched

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To diversify the country’s export and promote brand Bhutan, the European Union (EU) has provided a fund of Euro 4 million on May 24. The EU-Bhutan Trade Support Project will run over 40 months and will be managed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the government of Bhutan. This project is expected to... More

US Congress backs measure to clamp down on Myanmar over Rohingya rights

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Members of the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of legislation to pressure Myanmar, also known as Burma, to improve its record on human rights. Lawmakers voted 382-30 to approve the measure as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a massive defense policy bill that is one... More

Controversial Sri Lanka monk found guilty of intimidation

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A Sri Lanka court on Thursday (May 24) found a radical Buddhist monk guilty of criminal intimidation, the first time the notorious extremist has faced the prospect of jail. Galagodaatte Gnanasara, who has been accused of hate crimes against Muslims, was convicted of two counts of harassing and intimidating a woman whose husband was abducted... More

SUNDAY SPECIAL

Khulna, a precursor to national polls


When a child, barely seven oreight, walks out of a polling booth with his father and proudly declares he has cast his vote, one wonders. What is the legal voting age in Bangladesh? Surely not less than 18? This was... More

REPORTS

Afghan interpreters working for UK army ‘failed’ by government


The government has “dismally failed” to protect Afghans who worked as interpreters for the British army and are now at risk from the Taliban and Islamic State, according to... More

Floods wreck havoc, kills 19 in Sri Lanka


The heavy pre-monsoon rains that have continued for the past ten days in Sri Lanka have killed at least nineteen and affected more than 150,000 people in 19 Districts,... More

GHQ summons ex-ISI chief over ‘Spy Chronicles’

Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General (retd) AsadDurrani has been summoned by the army in connection with a ‘controversial’ book he co-authored with an erstwhile Research & Intelligence Wing... More

Nepal-Bangladesh trade talks to focus on barriers


Nepal and Bangladesh will discuss trade facilitation and elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers at the fourth commerce secretary-level trade talks scheduled to start on Wednesday in Kathmandu. According to... More

SURVEY

People across India are losing faith in Modi’s economic policies: CSDS survey


The 'Mood of the Nation (MOTN) Poll by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) has said that a large number of Indians are unhappy with the... More

VISTA OF VIEWS

Dodgy report disturbs Sino-Indian ties


A report in Sunday's South China Morning Post has lit a firestorm. It said that China has begun large-scale mining operations in Lhunze county, on the Chinese side of... More

ISSUES

Can democracy and communism coexist in Nepal?


When Nepal's new pro-China communist prime minister, Khadga Prasad Oli, shortly pays obeisance in Beijing, he will seek not only greater aid but also the establishment of "brotherly" relations between the Chinese and Nepalese... More

China’s $7.5 Billion Myanmar port ‘crazy,’ Suu Kyi adviser says


The $7.5 billion price tag for a Chinese-built deep-sea port in the Myanmar town of Kyaukpyu was “crazy” and “absurd,” according to a key adviser to Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. China’s CITIC Group,... More

Sri Lanka accepts a US$1 billion, eight-year loan from China Development Bank


Sri Lanka has accepted an eight-year China Development Bank $1 billion syndicated loan to repay loans maturing this year, two top Sri Lankan Finance Ministry officials said on Friday. The bank was chosen from among... More

Citizenship row: Why Assam is erupting


Assam is currently witnessing its biggest-ever uprising after the six-year-long agitation against illegal migrants from Bangladesh ended on August 15, 1985 with the signing of the Assam Accord between the agitationists and the government... More

DEFENCE

Pakistan signs for T129 attack helicopters


Pakistan has formally signed for 30 TAI T129 attack helicopters from Turkey, it was disclosed on 24 May. The confirmation of the anticipated sale to Pakistan was made in the political manifesto that Turkey’s ruling... More

Russia, Italy vying for Indian Navy’s $5 billion minesweeper contract


The interest expressed globally by India for the acquisition of 12 minesweepers has received responses from Russian and Italian shipyards. The Indian Navy is looking to acquire the MCMVs by 2026 under the $5... More

Modi’s Neighbourhood Policy: Chronicling Four Wasted Years

On May 26, 2014, while the media applauded and Indian, South Asian and world opinion welcomed Narendra Modi’s innovative move to invite heads of state/government from all South Asian governments to the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness his coronation – sorry, his taking the oath... More

COLUMN

Dangerous liaisons

The Soviet invasion in 1979 precipitated a large influx of Afghans into Pakistan, mainly from the Kabul elite, the affluent bought up residential homes and even small businesses, mainly in transportation. As the war reached the countryside the not so affluent started to cross over to escape being caught... More

Rohingyas: A fate much worse than the Palestinians?

The slide of the Palestinians into disarray and largescale suffering draws world interest because of its neighbor Israel, its support by the US and the history attached to the Middle East. For a long time, Palestine was also the ground for widespread insurrection and international violence. The age of PLO... More

Karnataka: Great for Indian democracy but not for Hasina 

The post poll developments in the southern state of Karnataka doubtlessly augurs well for Indian democracy. The Supreme Court's bold verdict in restricting the time given to BJP, the single largest party in Karnataka, to prove its majority prevented the usual horse trading and shameless display of money power and... More

Pakistan & Afghanistan find a road-map to peace

Despite the myriad odds, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been successful in charting out a mutually agreed road-map to peace and stability in the ‘Af-Pak’ region. Whereas its many phases, starting from a proposal and the behind the scene negotiations to implementation, show that bi-lateral co-operation, despite a history of... More

Pressure mounts on Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s civilian government is coming under increasing fire on all fronts. Or so it would seem. The UN, the US and China have all chipped in, to make the Lady’s life increasingly difficult, in one-way or another. But if the government was not facing enough trouble trying to arrange the... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

India’s democracy faces threat from within

It’s a grim outlook for the world’s largest democracy. In India’s Karnataka state, the governor is favoring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government, despite an opposition coalition having won more seats in the state legislature. The ongoing controversy has drawn attention to the way in which a constitutional position... More

Modi-Putin tete-a-tete in Sochi to mend ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Putin is flexible and pragmatic but harshly unwavering on Russian interests. Photo: Reuters/ Danish Siddiqui Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Putin is flexible and pragmatic but harshly unwavering on Russian interests.... More

India is failing the test on J-K

Mr Ram Madhav is the pointsman of the RSS and the BJP-led Central government for India’s foreign relations and Jammu & Kashmir. (Is there an irony in that?) On the government’s J&K policy, he once said: “The government will stand firm, eruption or no eruption.” Mr Madhav is safe and... More

Rohingya advocates urge Ottawa to consider resettling Muslim refugees

When more than half a million Rohingya fled their villages in Myanmar last year and crossed into Bangladesh by foot and by boat, Anwar Arkani’s three sisters were among them. Arkani, who came to Canada in 1998 after living as a refugee for a decade in Bangladesh and Thailand, knows... More

MOST POPULAR

READER'S VIEWS

Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor


Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way... More
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How conflict-ridden Afghanistan improved its health in 10 years

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and as a country recovering from conflict, Afghanistan had some of the worst health indicators in... More

What is home? Indian and Pakistani artists explore the question...

Rashmi Kaleka’s family was one of the countless many which came to India from Pakistan during Partition in 1947 but never really forgot what... More

From atop the golden boughs

Some years ago Sheldon Pollock, master-scholar, philologist and historian, issued a dire warning about the state of scholarship in Sanskrit and other classical Ind¬ian... More

Anxious and angry

“OF all the terror cases in India, the Mecca Masjid case is a typical one, as it was once again Muslims who were terrorised.... More

Honey, I shrunk the city: Chennai’s quirks and charms get...

In the winter of 2017, artist Hemlatha Venkataraman sat sketching at the local tea shop in Chennai’s Anna Nagar while sipping on hot tea.... More

Sri Lanka’s Tea Museum, giving life to a legacy

Bridging the island’s colonial past with the present is Sri Lanka’s museum dedicated to the Lankan heritage of tea. Standing atop the scenic mountains... More

Pakistani English fiction’s search for approval and recognition

Authors of Pakistani origin writing in English are on fire abroad. And in Pakistan, they are igniting a frisson of excitement and minor pyrotechnics... More

One Year On, Indian Army’s ‘Human Shield’ Still Awaits Justice

Last year, on the morning of April 9, Farooq Ahmad Dar – a 27-year-old shawl weaver from Chill Brass village in central Kashmir’s Budgam... More