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

The exit of US from the UNHRC and Lankan war time allegations

Last week local media reports were rife on what transpired during a courtesy call by outgoing US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, on former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Sunday. Keshap reportedly warned the former President... More

Sri Lanka: Hornet’s nest sting begins as corruption charges fly against coalition...

Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL), who is son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Barely a few weeks ago, President Maithripala Sirisena lamented about the infamous Sri Lanka Central Bank bond scam indulged in by... More

Lankan saga of political fears, affiliations and detractions

Sri Lanka is in the throes of subtle and overt political maneuvers that may decide the political game-plan for the 2020 Presidential elections and indicate the future of Lankan politics for some years to come. In a path... More

The sorrow of being President Sirisena

In a latest display ofisolation and resentment President Maithripala Sirisena mid last week lashed out at his former supporters after barging in uninvited to an event that was to commemorate a pro democracy campaigning monk who was... More

Sri Lanka: Gotabhaya Rajapaksa dons garb of economic saviour, eyes Presidency

There is little doubt that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and who held the post of Defence Secretary is now making an early preparation to contest the 2020 Presidential elections. His Viyath Maga campaign to... More

Bhutan: Coming out of India’s shadow

Bhutan and India are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties this year. The foreign ministers of the two countries formally launched the yearlong celebrations in New Delhi on February 21. The Indo-Bhutan relation is often viewed from two... More

Take Rohingya issue to ICC, House of Commons panel tells UK government  

The House of Commons’ committee on International Development has said in its report that the persecution of the Rohingyas by Myanmar should be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The report recommended that the UK and its... More


Suu Kyi seeks Asean support on Rohingya return but also faces...

Aung San Suu Kyi is attending the Asean meetings in Singapore this week, seeking support from her Asian allies in dealing with the country’s Rakhine crisis. She especially wants the members of the regional bloc to back her government’s efforts to resettle the returning Muslim refugees—who have fled the violence in Myanmar’s strife-torn western region—and to be involved in future reconciliation efforts. So, a Nargis-style approach, led by Asean but... More

Afghanistan: The big story of massive aid waste

There are ghost soldiers; ghost police officers; ghost clinics and even ghost patients in Afghanistan. There are billions of dollars spent on papers, but there is very little on the ground. As such, despite spending billions on controlling narcotics to improving health conditions and the state of security, Afghanistan remains a country with too many ill-conceived programs and too little progress made on every front. The story of the massive... More

Parties over people

With elections to Bangladesh’s JatiyaSangsad (National Assembly) now declared to be held on December 23, the political scene in the country will enter a new phase. The announcement was sudden but not really unexpected given the way politics developed over the past few weeks. The Awami League is not in a mood to listen to the others. Her main opponent, the JatiyaOikkyo Front, led by Dr Kamal Hossain and... More

Ensuring challenges provide opportunities

The situation in our country in the wake of global and internal changes affecting Pakistan has evoked multiple challenges. Not to get bogged down by their sheer number it seems important to analyse each and every challenge that the country is facing. These need not only a reaction from the state to tackle them but as an opportunity for developing new vistas of understanding for responding to the problems... More

After CBI, now RBI 

The opposition in India has blamed the Narendra Modi government for "ruining national institutions". Last week, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seemed to fall apart over severe differences between its chief Alok Verma and his number two Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer known to be close to Modi. The government's intervention to send both officers on leave was challenged in the Supreme Court by Verma, amid television... 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