Surprise defeat for pro-China Maldivian strongman Yameen, but India shouldn’t celebrate yet

The just concluded presidential elections in Maldives have handed a surprise defeat to the pro-China president Yameen Abdul Gayoom and victory to joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohammed Solih or Ibu, thus making Maldives the fourth state in... More

BJP will use citizenship Bill to ‘invite’ Bangladeshi Hindus to India, party’s...

After the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam identified 4 million people as suspected ‘foreigners’, the BJP’s West Bengal unit has planned to employ a proposed central legislation to demand the inclusion of Bangladeshi illegal... More

Bhutan’s middle class, armed forces and youth among voters who delivered poll...

The primary round of the third National Assembly election in Bhutan sprung a major surprise last Saturday with the incumbent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay getting knocked out of the contest. PDP... More

What the Afghan war looks like after 17 years?

Afghanistan’s geopolitics has changed; the ‘war on terror’ narrative is absolutely dead given that the US is now talking to the Taliban (the erstwhile “terrorists”) and sees them as a political force. While the war in Afghanistan is... More

A flawed NRC, a dangerous proposed citizenship legislation and BJP’s cynical politics...

The year: 1993 The setting: The Delhi-based headquarters of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency. The protagonists: RAW chief Jagjit Singh Aulakh and his junior colleagues Vijay Shukla and Vishwanath Reddy who plan to employ... More

Awami League infighting to hit party’s vote bank and poll prospects

Nearly 10 years of uninterrupted governance of the Awami League paved the way for “rule bending” and allowed “carte blanche” to activists to take to “extortion”, besides causing “intra-party factional feuds” and emboldening “criminal activities” which have... More

Protesting for a democracy, or a Monarchy?

The dust has barely settled on the streets of Colombo that the over twenty five thousand supporters of former President and his Joint Opposition (JO) trod last Wednesday but despite the general view that the Janabala Colambata... More

Shadow of India, Hasina government’s corruption, repression of BNP looms over Bangladesh...

Bangladesh will go into election mode in the next few months. Democratic transfer of power in Bangladesh became the norm ever since the overthrow of military dictator General H M Ershad in 1990. The army-backed caretaker government,... More

‘Kashmir not a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan’ 

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is Kashmir’s chief religious cleric and head of Hurriyat Conference- a conglomerate of political groups that demands resolution of the Kashmir dispute. In an interview with South Asian Monitor, Mirwaiz underscores the need of an... More

Bhutan Elections: Four parties campaign for the primary round

Voters in Bhutan will head to the polls on September 15 to decide who among the four political parties will contest for the general round on October 18. The National Assembly of the second Parliament dissolved on... More

South Asian Monitor: Achievements and challenges in a new reality

South Asian Monitor has completed its two years in an age of media where the lines between international politics, journalism and economics are fraying. The media space is now more than just about reporting and how. It... More

Myanmar’s press freedom in the dock

Yangon: Two Myanmar reporters are about to hear whether they are to spend the next fourteen years in jail for courageously carrying out their job. They are accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act – an arcane... More

RSS gets ‘involved’ in pushing more Hindus as candidates for upcoming Bangladesh...

In pursuit of its ‘Hindu-centric’ agenda, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is pushing and lobbying with the Awami League as well as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for earmarking a minimum of 30 and a maximum of... More

As Japan enters into fray, China persists for edge over Lanka

China seemingly having got both feet quite firmly planted, on Sri Lankan ground, has awakened other competitors but indications are clear that China has a long-term vision for its strategy of being omnipresent in the island nation.... More

NTRO, India’s techint outfit, plagued by ‘expensive’ purchases and poor quality of...

Thirteen years after it was formally established, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), India’s so-called equivalent of the American National Security Agency (NSA), is faced with a crisis of credibility as grave allegations of corruption and mismanagement... More

SL President initiates history of Lankan war with LTTE but questions abound

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is to attempt a ‘comprehensive and unbiased’ history of Sri Lanka’s 30-year war against the Tamil Tiger militants who fought for a separate North-Eastern state “Tamil Eelam” until their annihilation by the... 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


How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

US withdrawal from Afghanistan showcases India’s hollow Afghan policy

When Donald Trump recently mocked India for building a library in Afghanistan, it signified a lot more than the fact that India is not fighting the Taliban as a US ally; it showed the actual limited presence of India in Afghanistan, although the Indian government has, as of lately, been busy responding to Trump’s jibe by listing its many projects in Afghanistan worth billions of dollars. But there can... More

Beginning with insurance and banking sectors, Myanmar’s financial reforms hit top...

Myanmar’s long-anticipated plans for economic liberalisation have finally gone into overdrive. To usher in the new year, the government announced radical changes to the insurance sector and removed some of the barriers to foreign insurance companies operating in the country. This follows several other reforms in the financial sector in recent weeks, including further easing of restrictions on foreign banks, setting up of a credit rating bureau and formation... More

Pakistan: Do our laws provide justice?

To provide justice is a central endeavour of any human society and the aim of any state. However, not all human societies have the same idea about what is just. This means that the idea of justice is different in different cultures and it changes over time. The understanding of justice in a tribal or a feudal society is different from a democracy where justice is supposed to mean... 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