Bipin Rawat on Bangladesh: Part of a Sino-Pak proxy war against India?

Indian army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat’s accusation on Indian NTV that Pakistan and China were conducting proxy war by facilitating immigrants from Bangladesh to Assam is both serious but also very embarrassing for the... More

Lonely in Darkness: Kashmir’s pellet victims develop depression signs

In midst winter’s dumb and dim nature, 15-year-old Ifra Shakour sits quietly in her house situated in Pulwama, the southern region of India’s only Muslim majority state- Kashmir. She turns pale, downcast and shuddering as she... More

Meghalaya Polls: Christians, beef and women in India’s Home of the Clouds

Its head in the clouds, India’s tiny, colorful, Christian-majoritytribal state of Meghalaya is preparing to elect a new 60-member legislative assembly onFebruary 27. India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in power in Delhi... More

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


The elections’ mosaic

With general elections due somewhere after mid-2018, the expectations of the people and the stakes thereof has evolved dramatically with the political scenario changing almost on a daily basis. The Supreme Court (SC) verdict voiding Election Act 2017 and thus disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as party head has confounded all... More

Israel-India relations central to Delhi’s new Mideast Policy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to India has firmly underlined the growing ties between the two countries, both democracies but ruled by parties which sees radical Islam as existential threats. Led by the BJP which has influenced the national security discourse in a way that plays on... More

Maldivian political crisis continues as China indulges in saber rattling

More than 20 days into the political crisis in the Maldives, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, the situation appears to be worsening with the two sides taking irreconcilable positions even as China is said to be moving a fleet to the Eastern... More

On the Afghan Taliban’s ‘open letter diplomacy’

Writing an open letter is not something that has been done for the first time. In fact, the Afghan Taliban had welcomed the Trump administration into office by writing a letter and urging them of withdrawing from Afghanistan. The letter written this week, however, comes at a time when... 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 caused nearly a million Myanmar Muslims – who call themselves Rohingyas – to flee to... More


Khalistan factor casts a shadow over Trudeau visit

Khalistan, the issue that kept India-Canada ties on ice through three decades from 1980, has reappeared as an issue more recently, taking away much of the warmth that was expected during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing visit to India. Former diplomats say the seeds of the current tensions were... More

Hasina is no Mujib

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, exudes confidence. I visited Dhaka for the first time in April 1972, within four months of the birth of Bangladesh. Dhaka, then pronounced Dacca, was a small town, desperately trying to accommodate the demands of a sovereign state. There is no doubt that the... More

China will not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’ with India

The West’s notions of history and geography between Europe and Asia, are drenched in myriad cultural implications and can be traced back to ‘The Romance of Alexander’. This is a collection of essays mixing truth, epic drama and mythology, composed between the death of Alexander The Great in 323 B.C.,... More

How China and Pakistan could lay the Road to Peace in...

Referred to as an interminable and protracted war, the ongoing US-led war in Afghanistan is becoming a stalemate with no end in sight in the near or long term. Since the violence and bloodshed have been the most common phenomenon in an already war-torn region, the war is perhaps... 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