SOUTH ASIAN DIGEST

Bangladesh ranks 3rd in inland fish production: FAO

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Bangladesh has ranked third in the world in terms of inland fish production in 2018, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After ranking fifth last year, the country now only trails behind China and India, ranked first and second, respectively. The information was disclosed by Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayon Chandra... More

IAF MiG-21 crashes in Himalayas, pilot dead

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A MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed at Kangra in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday afternoon. The IAF has confirmed the death of the pilot in the accident. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. "We express deep grief at the... More

Tourists to Maldives increase by 10.5% in 2018

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Maldives’ Tourism Ministry has revealed the number of holidaymakers visiting Maldives in 2018 so far has increased by 10.5 percent. Based on statistical data collected from Maldives Immigration Department and tourism related ventures, the ministry compiled statistics indicate a total of 93,786 tourists visiting Maldives in June. According to the ministry a total of 726,515 holidaymakers... More

Lanka to go ahead with Mattala airport deal despite opposition protests

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Sri Lanka will go ahead with a deal with India to handover the island nation's loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, the Joint Opposition said on Wednesday (July 18_. The $210 million facility, 241-km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the "world's emptiest airport" due to lack of flights. "We met the minister of civil aviation... More

Iran, Pakistan to jointly produce defense equipment: Top general

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Iran’s top military commander has emphasized the importance of enhancing defense relations with Pakistan, saying the two neighbors are seeking to jointly manufacture defense equipment. Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks following a meeting with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain in Islamabad on Tuesday. During... More

Nepal to host fourth Bimstec Summit in August

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Nepal will host the fourth Bimstec Summit on August 30 and 31 in Kathmandu, the foreign ministry announced on Monday. After the stalling of the Saarc process, India has been actively pushing Bimstec, which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, for greater regional cooperation. India hosted the leaders of Bimstec during... More

Myanmar peace process makes little progress

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A 3rd meeting aimed at ending civil war between ethnic minority militants and Myanmar government forces has ended without much progress. The 6-day meeting, led by Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ended on Monday in the capital Naypyidaw. She met 10 ethnic militias that had signed a ceasefire accord with the government. The... More

Bhutan’s rural village grapples with irrigation water shortage

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Villagers go around requesting another village to share their irrigation water. On July 11, Karma Galley, 26, from Pangthang village in Kanglung went door-to-door requesting people of Thragom village to share their irrigation water. “We were running short of time and we could not leave our land fallow like others,” he said. “It is very difficult... More

Britain to almost double troops in Afghanistan after U.S. request

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The British government is planning to almost double the number of its troops in Afghanistan after a request from U.S. President Donald Trump for reinforcements to help tackle the fragile security situation there. Prime Minister Theresa May announced the government will send an extra 440 troops, which would bring Britain’s total to about 1,100, to... More

TOP NEWS

Japanese expert urges Lanka to get P-3C Orion naval reconnaissance aircraft to meet “Chinese threat”   


Dr. Satoru Nagao, a Japanese expert on maritime security who is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC, says that Sri Lanka should acquire the... More

REPORTS

BRICS won’t become an anti-West alliance: expert


The 10th BRICS Summit will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa next week, and Chinese experts say the summit will focus more on uniting members and deepening their industrial... More

After UNHRC’s Kashmir report, another UN body miffs New Delhi


It isn't just the approach of the United Nations’ rights body UNHRC and its recent report that India has found irresponsible. The activities of another UN body, the once-dormant... More

Russia drops ‘decade-old’ stealth fighter project with India


By cancelling the mass production of the Su-57 fighter jet, Russia has effectively pulled the plug on its fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. This lays to rest the rumours that India... More

Ghani defends his peace strategy


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday (July 18) said Afghanistan has achieved national and regional consensus on the issue of peace in Afghanistan. According to Ghani, in the past, Afghans... More

NEWS ANALYSIS

Analyst outlines 3 reasons why US doesn’t want India to buy Russia’s S-400


While India is pushing ahead with the purchase of S-400 Triumf, Russia’s cutting-edge air defense system, the US has a number of reasons to blow a fuse over the... More

VISTA OF VIEWS

China’s proposals drive Rohingya crisis solution


In late June, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Beijing with Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor U Kyaw Tint Swe of Myanmar and... More

ISSUES

Pakistan bids farewell to traditional politics


Next week, Pakistan will hold a general election. Political parties are creating a tense environment. Blaming each other is a routine matter, and convincing voters is very much a normal phenomenon. However, this time, the... More

Can closer ties between China, India contribute to stability of Asia?


China and India have been stepping up their summit diplomacy. It is necessary to pay close attention to the impact that their bilateral relationship, beset with thorny territorial problems, will have on Asia's security... More

Pakistan backs UN response to Indian allegations against Kashmir report


Pakistan on Wednesday supported the United Nations' (UN) dismissal of Indian allegations against its report on the poor human rights situation in Kashmir. The first-ever UN report on alleged rights violations committed by both India... More

Bridging India-China strategic distrust in the Indo-Pacific


The second round of India-China Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held last week in Beijing, China. The Indian delegation was led by a joint secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs while the Chinese delegation... More

DEFENCE

Bangladesh buys C-130J Mk5 aircraft from UK


The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has inked a deal to purchase an unspecified number of C-130J Mk5 transport aircraft from the United Kingdom. “Under a government-to-government agreement, the handing over ceremony of title transfer of... More

Defence ministry postpones warship deal under Make in India


India’s defence ministry has postponed a call on warship deal to be manufactured under Make in India initiative that would hand over the winner over Rs 20,000 crore. The deal has been in cold... More

Not just Trump: India has separated Bangladeshi children from their parents for years

A giant heart is painted on a 10-feet high wall which is topped with barbed wire in a neighbourhood of South Kolkata. Amidst greenery, dirt roads, and small houses, the only sound coming from beyond the wall is the laughter and hooting of girls. This... 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

MOST POPULAR

READER'S VIEWS

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... More
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‘Inequality in India has never been more catastrophic’: Anuradha Roy

Anuradha Roy is a fearless media commentator who views her country’s political situation with dismay. “Who among us does not have friends – men... More

‘Pakistan has always had very interesting relationships with other countries’:...

Few Pakistani diplomats have worked on as many important assignments as Riaz Khokhar has. He has been Pakistan’s envoy to Dhaka, New Delhi, Washington... More

‘Revelations beyond just paid news’

AN undercover operation code-named “Operation 136” by Cobrapost, a non-profit news website, has led to shocking revelations captured on video about the prevalence of... More

What is home? Indian and Pakistani artists explore the question...

Rashmi Kaleka’s family was one of the countless many which came to India from Pakistan during Partition in 1947 but never really forgot what... More

From atop the golden boughs

Some years ago Sheldon Pollock, master-scholar, philologist and historian, issued a dire warning about the state of scholarship in Sanskrit and other classical Ind¬ian... More

Anxious and angry

“OF all the terror cases in India, the Mecca Masjid case is a typical one, as it was once again Muslims who were terrorised.... More

Honey, I shrunk the city: Chennai’s quirks and charms get...

In the winter of 2017, artist Hemlatha Venkataraman sat sketching at the local tea shop in Chennai’s Anna Nagar while sipping on hot tea.... More

Sri Lanka’s Tea Museum, giving life to a legacy

Bridging the island’s colonial past with the present is Sri Lanka’s museum dedicated to the Lankan heritage of tea. Standing atop the scenic mountains... More