COLOMBO CHRONICLE

COLOMBO CHRONICLE

Yameen’s toughness and geo-political changes restore balance in Indo-Maldivian ties


Toughness and grit on the part of the Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, coupled with changes in the geo-political environment in South Asia, has resulted in a thawing of the icy relations between India and... More

Domestic issues may dominate coming Bhutan elections


Bhutan held elections to the Upper House of parliament called the National Council (NC) on April 20 this year. Elections to the Lower House, called the National Assembly (NA), are to be held by... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it was...


The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him... More

India’s partisan intervention in Maldives could be counter-productive


India’s partisan intervention in the Maldives, as seen in its statement of March 22, could be counter-productive as such interventions have been in other countries in South Asia. In Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, India... More

Politico-economic compulsions take Modi and Xi towards détente


Political and economic compulsions appear to be taking India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping towards a Sino-Indian détente. Top diplomats of the two countries are clearing the path for an understanding... More

Maldivian political crisis continues as China indulges in saber rattling


More than 20 days into the political crisis in the Maldives, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, the situation appears to be worsening with the two sides taking... More

India cautious of its mediation and intervention in Maldives


Despite its reservations about the Abdulla Yameen regime in the Maldives, India does not appear to be responding to the call of the Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed to initiate a “military-backed diplomatic initiative”... More

Yameen’s brinkmanship lands him in hot water at home and overseas


Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen’s political brinkmanship in the past week or so has landed him in hot water both at home and overseas. As on date, he is in danger of being interdicted by... More

Maldives witnesses provocative politics ahead of Presidential poll


The Maldives is known as an idyll of tiny islands surrounded by a placid, deep blue sea – an ideal retreat for those in search of peace and quiet. But the country’s politics is... More

Indian Muslims face unprecedented suppression under Modi’s watch: US turn a blind...


Muslims in India are over 14% of the total Indian population of 1.2 billion. But they are worse off, not only in comparison with the majority Hindus, but also in comparison with the officially... More

Rise of China has led to militarization of the Indian Ocean


One of the fallouts of the rise of China as an economic and military power in recent times has been the militarization of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The campaign to keep... More

Attacks on Christians in India could be linked to coming elections


The Christmas eve attacks on Christians in some parts of North India may well be a dress rehearsal for stepped up violence against this minority community by the Bharatiya Janata Prty (BJP) and its... More

Narrow defeat in Modi’s Gujarat signals Congress comeback


The narrow defeat that the Congress party suffered in the just concluded Gujarat State Assembly elections clearly signals the re-entry of the Congress into the Indian political arena as the main challenge to the... More

Why is China accommodated and India marginalized in South Asia?


It is an undeniable that in the South Asian region, China is fast replacing India as the most important economic and political factor. This is generally attributed to China’s ability and willingness to finance... More

A paradox in this year’s memorialization of dead Tamil Tiger cadres


The conflict in Sri Lanka over the memorialization of Tamil Tiger militants through the annual observance of Maaveerar Naal or Great Heroes’ Day on November 27, is showing signs of fading. Paradoxically, these signs... More

Messages conveyed by the Islamabad standoff


The three-week long standoff in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad between the government and three radical Islamic groups ended on Saturday with the Security Forces using force to disperse the 2000 strong crowd. Two... More

Muslim leader’s warning of a forced exodus a la Myanmar angers Assam’s...


Assam’s leaders, whether of the Hindutva variety or the Assamese nationalistic variety, are livid with JamaitUlema-e-Hind leader Maulana Arshad Madani, for warning that the on-going revision of the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) could... More

Fuel crisis rocked India-Lanka relations


Even as inter-dependence is taken as given in the globalized world, it spawns problems for the interacting countries. Issues bedeviling energy ties between India and Sri Lanka and water sharing between India and Bangladesh... More

US sales talk about carrier strike force’s four-day visit to Lanka


Justifying the four-day visit of the giant aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its five escort vessels to Colombo, the US Embassy said that during the stay in Colombo, the“carrier strike group” will add US$... More

Sirisena in a fix over release of Tamil Tiger detainees


With three major national level elections to face in the coming three years, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is under pressure from multiple sections of the Sri Lankan polity and society to deliver on... More

Sirisena gets into political hot water as elections approach


Elections to the Sri Lankan local bodies and Provincial Councils are due in 2018. But President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heading the Yahapalanaya or Good Governance regime in Colombo, not prepared... More

COLUMN

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

Khulna elections: AL won, BNP lost and the EC didn’t win

Municipality polls in the Khulna city polls drew as much interest as any national elections tussle. It was an intense politically combative one with BNP leader Khaleda Zia still held in jail. She is fighting to get bail which is proving to be rather elusive. BNP had claimed that its... More

Citizenship Bill amendment protests rocks Assam

The ruling BJP is clearly on the defensive over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and seems to playing for time on the issue. The Bill proposes to provide citizenship or stay rights in India to minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The political calculation behind the move was to ensure the... More

Yameen’s toughness and geo-political changes restore balance in Indo-Maldivian ties

Toughness and grit on the part of the Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, coupled with changes in the geo-political environment in South Asia, has resulted in a thawing of the icy relations between India and the Maldives. With a tough customer like Yameen at the helm in the Maldives running an... More

The US softens up on Pakistan to find ‘peace’ in Afghanistan

After experiencing months of cold, it seems that the US is starting to realize the folly of disengaging Pakistan, and is accordingly warming up. While underlying tensions remain, the recent change in emphasis on the role that Pakistan can play in Afghanistan does signify a US willingness to accommodate... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

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

Guns vs. butter at Wuhan meeting

The anxiety syndrome in the American write-ups on the Wuhan summit is truly tragi-comic. An analyst at the Brookings Institution confidently predicted even before the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping that the event was much ado about nothing. The US government-funded Voice of America in an... More

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READER'S VIEW

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 should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More