Myanmar readies for second face of reforms

Myanmar has reached a critical crossroads with the start of a new financial year and the beginning of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s third year in office. But concrete plans for accelerated... More

Myanmar seeks to engage the UN on refugee repatriation 

The Myanmar government is tentatively seeking to mend fences with the UN in an effort to solve the problem of the Rakhine Muslim refugees, according to sources close to the country’s civilian leader, Aung... More

Myanmar’s new president heralds a change in direction

When Win Myint was sworn in as Myanmar’s new president last Friday, he outlined the government’s priorities for the future. While the overall policy direction did not different, his approach marks a more activist... More

For Myanmar, second anniversary marks the start of a make or break...

Myanmar’s government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government and their leader, the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, enters its third year in office after its overwhelming victory in the 2015... More

Myanmar’s Peace Process stumbles on

The Myanmar government is putting a brave face on its efforts to push the peace process forward, buoyed by two more ethnic rebel groups signing the national ceasefire agreement (or NCA). This is the... More

Myanmar faces increased international pressure

The Myanmar government is desperately trying to deflect the growing campaign at the UN to impose sanctions because of its failure to solve the inter-communal violence that has torn its western region apart and... More

Myanmar’s Peace Process approaches a watershed

Myanmar’s peace process appears to be precariously poised as the third meeting of the Panglong peace conference, planned for later this month, nears. The government remains keen to get maximum participation in the forthcoming... More

Myanmar’s military chief’s popularity on the rise

Myanmar’s military chief has become the crucial man in the country’s increasing political crisis. While he and the country’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, may not trust each other, he has become increasingly... More

Myanmar’s peace process attracts increasing Western interest

Myanmar’s peace process is set to progress this year, with the next peace conference – dubbed the 21st Panglong – scheduled to convene at the end of this month. However increased fighting in Kachin... More

Myanmar’s economic prospects for 2018

Myanmar's economy is expected to perform much better this year, despite the problem of Rakhine. Many of Myanmar businessmen, foreign investors, financial analysts and especially government economic advisors are upbeat about the prospects for... More

Myanmar’s peace process set to progress

Aung San Suu Kyi and her government have made the peace process their top priority for this year, and are committed to kicking starting the Panglong peace conference that has been stalled for months.... More

Beijing beckons to embattled Myanmar

China is increasingly bringing Myanmar into its geopolitical orbit. As international pressure mounts, over the treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority -- with some even calling for the country’s leaders to be put on... More

Myanmar fraught relations with the UN

An embattled Myanmar ponders its relations with the UN, amid international criticism and the possibility of sanctions looming larger. Once the heroine of democracy and the darling of the UN, the country’s civilian leader... More

Pope highlights Myanmar’s peace process and Rakhine reconciliation

Press coverage of the Pope's visit to Myanmar has focused on his failure to use the word 'Rohingya' publicly while in the country, though he used in neighboring Bangladesh, when he met some Muslim... More

Pope’s peace and reconciliation mission to Myanmar

Thousands of people have lined the streets of Yangon to greet Pope Francis as he arrived in what is a momentous moment for Myanmar. The crowds were waving specially made flags which all carried... More

China trumps the West over Myanmar

Myanmar was used to be a pariah state in the past, but for the former democracy icon it has become an unwelcome nuisance, forcing Aung San Suu Kyi to realize that in the current... More

Myanmar enters make or break year

This month marks the second anniversary of Aung San Suu Kyi’s electoral landslide at the 2015 polls. It also marks the start of her third year in power. This coming year is going to... More

UN steps up pressure on Myanmar

The United Nations is stepping up pressure on Myanmar to rapidly resolve the violence in its strife-torn western province of Rakhine. In a Presidential Statement, released after the UN Security Council discussed the situation... More

The Lady, the general and sanctions

Later this month (November) the European Union (EU) and the Organization of Islamic States (OIC) are planning to have a sanctions motion put before the UN Security Council. But all this has done is... More

Myanmar’s Rakhine plan runs into trouble

Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian initiative for Rakhine state in western Myanmar is already running into trouble. The country’s fervent Buddhist nationalists, a movement led by the extremist monk, Ashin Wirathu, are vehemently opposed... More

Aung San Suu Kyi reveals the strategic plans for Rakhine

At long last Aung San Suu Kyi has finally revealed the government’s new strategic plans for the trouble state of Rakhine. This is essentially the long-promised roadmap constructed around the recommendations of the Kofi... More


On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union

While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since the recent out-break of trade-war between the US and China. While Indian and US interests strongly... More

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More


Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... 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... More