Myanmar braces for more international pressure

In the coming weeks the international campaign to enforce some form of accountability on Myanmar for the horrendous events in Rakhine -- over the past twelve months -- is going to increase. With the anniversary of start... More

Fear mounting among Bengali Muslims in Indian state of Assam 

A catastrophic situation has emerged in India’s eastern state of Assam where about 40 lakh people, mostly Muslims, could lose their citizenship due to lack of the documents that could prove them as being Indians. On July 30,... More

Possibilities of Presidential pardon for sentenced Buddhist monk

In delivering the sentence of 19 years rigorous imprisonment against the General Secretary of the ultra-Buddhist nationalist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) outfit, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera on charges of Contempt of Court, the Court of Appeal in Sri... More

India, China and courting for the hand of Lanka

The ebb and flow of time has seen Lanka in the midst of two key main suitors, one – India, who got involved in the island’s ethnic conflict in the 1980s, first to train the LTTE and... More

As Hasina hardens stand, Bangladesh may head for repeat of 2007 but...

In the backdrop of reports of an internal pre-poll survey that predicts that the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League may be electorally decimated, should free and fair polls be held, and the setback to the regime following its... More

Fear mounting among Bengali Muslims in Indian state of Assam 

A catastrophic situation has emerged in India’s eastern state of Assam where about 40 lakh people, mostly Muslims, could lose their citizenship due to lack of the documents that could prove them as being Indians. On July 30,... More

Indian PM Modi’s close aide makes secret visit to Dhaka as RSS...

On July 24, a close aide to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with two intelligence officers, reached Dhaka, supposedly on a clandestine mission. Although the immediate objective of this person’s visit to the Bangladeshi capital is... More

Political firestorm in India as Assam publishes citizens’ register

A political firestorm was ignited in India on Monday after publication of a Register of Citizens in the state of Assam,excluding more than 4 million people, almost an eighth of the state population. The second draft of the... More

Ex-RAW officer set up meet between Indian policy makers and a BNP...

Nearly a month after Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia was put into a Dhaka prison in February this year, a senior member of the party made quiet overtures to a former Indian intelligence officer... More

Why intolerance/racism is our natural child of politics

The first time I faced intolerance of the public kind was in Nigeria when I was accused of being a “cheating miserly Indian.” I was shocked but not being an Indian helped me absorb whatever negative feelings... More

Will India make homosexuality legal?

India’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a crucial case that can de-criminalisehomosexuality in the country, which would do away with the law enacted in the year 1861 when the British ruled the land. On July 17, the Supreme Court... More

Neck high in political fires of Lanka

The Sri Lankan political scene last week meandered from the shadows of a senior Buddhist monk calling for Hitler-like leadership and a Tamil female State minister glorifying the LTTE to the President of the country wanting to... More

Minorities under Modi

Ever since the Pro-Hindu Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014 in India by a record land-slide victory under the command of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, surveys, both national as well as international, have been... More

Mob lynchings of innocents fueled by fake news

On Friday, June 8, two young men from Guwahati, Assam, Nilotpal Das (29) and Abhijeet Nath (30) both working in the Bollywood music industry, were on holiday back home and decided to visit Kangthilangso, a picnic spot... More

Cracks in the Maldivian opposition unity

Much was expected of the positive steps taken in late June to unify the Maldivian opposition for ousting the entrenched President Abdulla Yameen in the September 23 Presidential election. The withdrawal of former President Mohamed Nasheed from the... More

After Beijing visit, Nepal’s Oli plays the balancing game between China and...

Determined to keep his country’s newly-emerging relations with Chinaon track, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Oli has stoutly defended theproposed railway project linking Tibet with Kathmandu despitequestions being raised on its viability and feasibility. Responding sternly to a... More

Gazipur ‘national’ election

You don’t hear about ‘fair play’ in the FIFA World Cup anymore. It’s not needed. The flurry of fouls in the first half with no call for penalty, reminds one of prevailing global circumstances and the domestic... More

Mahinda Rajapaksa and China deny election funding

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has outright rejected allegations made by The New York Timesin an article published on June 25 that said ‘at least US$7.6 million’ was paid bythe Chinese company which built the Hambantota port, the... More

Hitler’s ghost and the Lankan sphere

The local media last week was dominated by news focusing on the murderous Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, the Lankan anti Muslim riot instigator, the Buddhist monk Galagoda Aththe GnanasaraThero, and a member of the highest echelons of... More

Assam heading for trouble over immigrants

From the United States to the European Union to Bangladesh, countries across the world have been grappling with the problem of how to deal with refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants, legal or otherwise. Illegal immigration from East... More

Like Awami League, BNP too seeks client-patron ties with India

One afternoon in the second week of June, I received a call on my mobile phone from an unknown number. Speaking in English, the caller identified himself as Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, a member of the Bangladesh... More


India’s multi alignment challenge 

This is clearly the big diplomatic season for India and its travel-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe's visit to India (Aug 21-24) is a hugely important event, coming as it does after PM Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping defused the long military stand-off at Doklam through informal summits and after... More

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude that no peace talks with the Taliban can bring peace, these analysis seem to have completely missed the whole points of talks as they are going on: the Taliban are... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against Gen. Ayub Khan’s martial law regime imposed in 1958. It ended in 1969 with the most glorified... More

Accountability begins at home

A democratic form of government being accountable to the people, the elected representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Our enduring constant crisis in governance stems from our inept and corrupt rulers trampling the essential pillars of good governance, rule of law and accountability. This gives rise to unbridled and widespread corruption,... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant reaction is the most common form of response. In a society not unduly famous for pondering, Bangladesh... More


Bleak times for freedom of expression, whether emergency or not

Its time to stop the nitpicking. All that hair-splitting about whether what we are witnessing in India today is classical fascism or not – stop it. The argument that this is not like the Emergency of 1975 – completely irrelevant. Those bookish notions belong to seminar rooms and academic discussions, where high-minded... More

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj has developed a... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many baffled. Some pointers A first... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As some would have... More



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 formed, this will... More