LEAD

LEAD

Former Prez. Rajapaksa demand snap polls, UNP demands forming government


Following the landslide victory of his new party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), at the local government election held on February 10, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday demanded that the SLFP-UNP alliance government... More

Fear rules polls in India’s Christian Nagaland State


Elections to the 60-member state legislative assembly are scheduled for February 27. Under pressure from insurgent groups, a collection of tribal and civil society organizations had forced political parties to announce on January 29... More

On Maldives, India appears to be losing the initiative to China


By cold shouldering the Maldivian government’s effort to send a Special Envoy to New Delhi to explain the circumstances which led to the declaration of a State of Emergency and the arrests that followed... More

Kabul Intercontinental Hotel


It was in July 1987 that I stayed in Kabul Intercontinental Hotel – the same hotel that became target of the recent Taliban attack which left 22 killed. My room was on the third... More

The Nagas are on a collision course with India – again


On 14 August 1947, as the Flag of Pakistan was being hoisted in Karachi and Dacca (now Dhaka), a group of Christian tribesmen and descendants of headhunters in the Naga Hills of Assam were... More

Bangladesh’s proposed Digital Security Act may lend itself to gross misuse


Bangladesh’s proposed Digital Security Act (DSA) has sections which could be used by both the State and private individuals to throttle the freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution. The vaguely worded and all-encompassing draft... More

Mounting assaults on freedom of expression in the “World’s Largest Democracy” 


In the 2017 World Press Freedom rankings, India, touted by the US as the “World’s Largest Democracy”, was placed 136th among 180 countries, a dismal ranking in the 67th year of the existence of... More

Long wait for Nepal to get a new Prime Minister


Six weeks have passed since elections to the Nepalese provincial assemblies and the federal parliament were held. The Left Alliance registered a thumping win in the federal parliament polls and had won six out... More

Will Assam be India’s Rakhine?


Work on creating a National Register of Citizens (NRC) to weed out “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh in Assam is in progress under the guidance of the Supreme Court of India. With it, a major... More

Is Japan out of sync with South Asia’s concerns?


Deeply concerned about China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, and its expansionist moves in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Japan has become diplomatically active in the region in... More

Lanka head onto 2018 on rickety bridge


As Sri Lanka speeds away towards the end of the remaining days of 2017, a giant red stocking stands at the Galle Face Green seaside promenade in Colombo in place of the 72.1 m... More

Yameen’s two-pronged strategy to win the 2018 Presidential election


Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, who has been drawing intense flak from the opposition and the Western powers for allegedly flouting democratic norms and fostering Islamic radicalism, is hoping to win the September 2018 Presidential... More

Nepal – in the throes of change and hope


The airport of Kathmandu has gone through the mill of change in recent years as with much of Nepal, politics or otherwise. Where once was a flurry of elbowing for access for immigration documentation... More

Cross overs, trade overs, factions and splits heralds Lanka govt polls


The February 2018 local government polls, the litmus test of President Sirisena’s power over the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the popularity of RanilWickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) as well as the wellbeing... More

China overtakes India as Sri Lanka’s single largest trading partner


India has been the single largest trading partner of Sri Lanka for a very long time; especially since 1977. But in 2016, China overtook India by a small margin, says the Sri Lankan economist,... More

Free trade and OBOR pacts take Sino-Maldivian ties to a new height


The signing of a Free Trade Agreement and an MoU on cooperation in implementing China’s ambitious and prestigious One Belt One Road (OBOR) international connectivity project at the Great Hall of People in Beijing... More

Maldivian opposition protests rushing through of FTA with China


The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has vehemently protested against the way the Abdulla Yameen government rushed the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through parliament on Wednesday (Nov 29). “The Speaker of parliament had called... More

Discomforts ahead for Sri Lanka PM


Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision in 2014 November to adopt senior Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) member Maithripala Sirisena to be the United National Party (UNP) coalition candidate in the January 8, 2015 Presidential election was... More

Release of UN designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed will further vitiate Indo Pak...


The release of the UN, US and India-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed by a Pakistani High Court on Wednesday, will adversely affect the global fight against cross-border terrorism and further vitiate India-Pakistan relations. Given the backing... More

Speeding up projects and acquisition of Mattala airport to dominate Modi-Ranil talks


In the open-ended talks between Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to be held in New Delhi on November 23, the main theme will be speeding up the... More

India lets Rohingya Muslims down cruelly for the third time in succession


India has let the hapless Rohingya Muslims down for the third time in succession. New Delhi’s sordid record began when it endorsed Myanmar’s brutal military action against lakhs of men, women and children, and... More

COLUMN

Is Modi making up for India’s shortage of diplomats?

Narendra Modi is India's most travelled Prime Minister. The opposition Congress recently wanted his name on the Guinness Book of World Records for the most travelled Prime Minister, mockingly writing," We are overwhelmed and”extremely happy to suggest the name of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has set the... More

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

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... 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... 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... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... 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