Foreign observers shunning Bangladesh polls: A sign not all is okay with...

The controversy regarding foreign observers for the forth coming Bangladeshi election, particularly the latest spat between the Sheikh Hasina government and the United States, is unfortunate. The result, however, is quite clear. Observers for the Asian Network... More

Lashing out at PM Modi, ex-finance minister Yashwant Sinha tells SAM, he...

Even though he says that he has quit the BJP, won't join any political party and won't contest any elections in future, Yashwant Sinha remains a thorn in the flesh of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 81-year-old... More

Bhutan will review participation in BBIN but growth-wellbeing balance also important, new...

Journalist Gopilal Acharya spoke with Bhutan’s new Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering on behalf of the South Asian Monitor. Tshering’s party, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), swept the polls on October 18, winning 30 of the 47... More

Exit polls for three of five assembly polls in India give Congress...

Billed as a semi-final before India’s crucial 2019 parliamentary polls, the results of elections to the five state assemblies—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram—do not bode well for the BJP whose campaign over the past two... More

Sabotaging SAARC by boycotts

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an organisation which has never been to the liking of the Indian establishment since its birth in Dhaka in 1985, is being crippled from time to time by the... More

‘Our love for China is not lost,’ Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid...

Those who thought that China will walk into a political sunset in the Maldives with the formation of an India-friendly coalition government led by President Solih are in for a rude shock. Nothing of that sort will... More

Awami League-aligned think tank ‘upset’ with party leadership over inclusion of ‘tainted’...

Even as the Awami League’s rank-and-file across Bangladesh remain angry and confused at the party leadership’s “disturbing” list of candidates nominated to contest the December 30 general election, a think tank close to the ruling establishment has... More

Differences between Dalai Lama and CTA president put Tibetan politics in a...

Tibetan politics is in a tailspin as there are signs of serious differences between the 14th Dalai Lama, unquestionably the supreme and undisputed leader of the Tibetans, and Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). The... More

Bangladesh polls on Dec 30, but BJP focused on pushing House panel...

Even as opposition members in the Indian parliament have expressed strong reservations on the 2016 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, that seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus and other minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, BJP MPs on a... More

PDP, National Conference and Congress planned alliance for two months before catching...

On the chilly morning of November 21, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Syed Altaf Bukhari’s cavalcade entered the heavily fortified bungalow of National Conference Omar Abdullah in Gupkar area of Srinagar. Arch political rivals till a few days,... More

Bangladeshi and Indian ex-ECs question non-disclosure of number of EVMs for use...

With slightly over a month left for Bangladesh to go to the polls, a former election commissioner of that country has questioned “the undue haste” on the part of the poll panel’s controversial decision to press ahead... More

Like other surveys, new poll predicts narrow Congress win in Madhya Pradesh...

After being out of power in Madhya Pradesh for 15 years, the Congress will have a slim majority over the incumbent BJP in the state assembly election which will be held on November 28, according to a... More

Political chaos continues unabated in Lanka

Languishing for the past three weeks in uncertainty while two governments and two Prime Ministers squabble as to which one is the legitimate one, with a belligerent President insisting the ones he has appointed remain, befuddled Sri... More

How the Moscow factor will play in Afghanistan

While the Russian authorities were right in calling the recently held Afghan peace talks in Moscow ‘unique’ because of their ability to bring together forces that have been opposing each other or have not had any previous... More

Dalai Lama wants to return to Tibet but China no longer keen...

The likely departure of the 14th Dalai Lama to China-controlled Tibet a few months ago so the ailing spiritual leader, who is said to be suffering from cancer, could breathe his last there, appears to have been... More

BNP cancels Rajshahi ‘long march’ as party decides to launch national agitation...

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will launch a countrywide, peaceful and non-violent agitation in response to the Awami League government’s refusal on November 7 to accede to five of seven pre-election demands placed before it by the... More

AL-aligned think tank to Sheikh Hasina: Pick ‘clean and honest candidates’ for...

Slightly over a month before Bangladesh goes to the polls, the incumbent Awami League, which is faced with mounting pressure from the Oikkyo Front, must put up “good, clean and honest” candidates to contest the general elections,... More

Lankan parliament to convene on 14 Nov

As the political crisis in Sri Lanka hit the 9th day, President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday issued a fresh gazette announcing the reconvening of parliament on 14 November. Sirisena had earlierin the week assured the United Nations Secretary... More

Will beleaguered Awami League be able to withstand pressure from Bangladesh’s united...

Bangladesh’s electoral politics is heating up with opposition parties on overdrive, to cobble together a joint national front, to take on the ruling Awami League (AL) in the forthcoming general election. The AL, led by Prime Minister... More

After ugly war between two senior-most CBI officers, process to select next...

The immediate adverse effect of the bitter fight for supremacy between the two topmost officers of India’s so-called premier anti-corruption investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), would be on the future selection process of the... More

President Sirisena addresses nation, says assassination plot prompted removal of Wickremesinghe  

An alleged assassination plot which had the involvement of a cabinet minister and the ‘tremendous pressure to avoid investigations’ under the UNP led government were the main reasons behind his decision to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the... More


Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it is now. While Kabul continues to express its anger over being excluded, there is little, given the legitimacy crisis Kabul is itself facing, that even the principal Afghan actors can do to... More

Regulators and conflict of interest

A governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce specific laws, a "Regulatory Agency" or a "Regulator" would usually have quasi-legislative functions, executive functions, and judicial functions. Many laws govern social and economic matters, such as income tax, environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, real estate law, employment laws, etc. A regulatory agency serves two primary functions in govt: implement the laws and enforce the same. Regulations... More

Is Bangladesh an online state?

Bangladesh is an online state with an incredibly high number of virtual citizens. Few can match them in enthusiasm, participation and enjoyment of what the online world offers, good or bad. Much great stuff happens on the net but so does nasty stuff. It’s also a great producer of cultural and otherwise, not to mention, political ones. The recent spate of actions against online content considered “harmful” have spiked, which,... More

How China might undo Saudi plans for Iran?

The recent Saudi bid to increase its economic and political influence in South Asia (Pakistan and India) is, as I pointed out in my previous stories for SAM, largely informed not just by the imperative of a Saudi economic expansion across Asia and avoid economic doom, but also by the objective of snatching Iran’s share of oil market in this part of the world. This is partly one reason... More

Pakistan receives warning from Iran not to join Saudi proxy war

Pakistan has received a stern warning from Iran's Major-General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force and other senior in the aftermath of the February 13, 2019 attack on their forces by Iranian Baluch militants in the country's restive Sistan and Baluchistan province bordering Pakistan. The new tone from Tehran is a response to Pakistan's recent tilt back toward Saudi Arabia since Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More