COLOMBO CHRONICLE

COLOMBO CHRONICLE

India’s juvenile volte face


It was the “political survival instinct” of the rapidly weakening BJP which made the Indian government suddenly call off the foreign ministers-level talks with Pakistan which were to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session... More

Lankan expert delineates benefits of Japanese Defense Minister’s visit to Hambantota port


A Sri Lankan maritime security expert, Adm. Dr. Jayanath Colombage, has defended the visit of the Japanese Defense Minister, Itsunori Onodera, to the strategically located and Chinese-managed Hambantota porton the grounds that it would help allay fears... More

Only non-interference will mitigate anti-India feelings in Nepal


New Delhi has been receiving shock after shock in the past few days from Nepal, a country which is the closest to India in religious and culture terms, and which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited... More

What is India going to do with the “Stateless” persons created by...


“Moderkonobashanai, Moderkonodeshnai…. Moderkonodishanai, moderkonodyashnai” (We have no language, we have no residence, we have no village, we have no direction, we have no country) - a Bengali folk song by Abbasuddin. That song captures the widespread anguish among... More

Rationale behind Indo-Lanka deal over Mattala airport


Over the past year, as India kept making a bid to acquire the Mattala airport in South Sri Lanka, which is universally derided as the “World’s Emptiest Airport” with little or no traffic, many have wondered why... More

No middle ground for talks between Maldivian regime and opposition


Even as targeted sanctions by the European Union loom on the political horizon, the Abdulla Yameen government and the opposition in Maldives are nowhere near finding middle ground to hold talks to ensure a free and fair... More

BJP scuttled Kashmir government to sharpen Hindu-Muslim divide ahead of crucial polls...


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s decision to withdraw from its coalition with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and scuttle the three-year old government has been taken with an eye on the Indian State... More

Japanese expert urges Lanka to get P-3C Orion naval reconnaissance aircraft to...


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 Lockheed P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft to meet a... More

China unfazed by Modi’s refusal to endorse BRI


At the very first Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit which it was attending as a full member, India stood out like a sore thumb. It was the only country in the eight member group, which refused to... More

Yameen’s toughness and geo-political changes restore balance in Indo-Maldivian ties


Toughness and grit on the part of the Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, coupled with changes in the geo-political environment in South Asia, has resulted in a thawing of the icy relations between India and the Maldives. With a... More

Domestic issues may dominate coming Bhutan elections


Bhutan held elections to the Upper House of parliament called the National Council (NC) on April 20 this year. Elections to the Lower House, called the National Assembly (NA), are to be held by November. Elections to the... More

Sri Lanka and US shed reservations to become military partners 


Sri Lanka and the United States appear to be shedding mutual animosities and reservations about each other to build a military partnership if not a strategic alliance. After the British were asked to leave Sri Lanka, then known... More

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


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... More

India’s partisan intervention in Maldives could be counter-productive


India’s partisan intervention in the Maldives, as seen in its statement of March 22, could be counter-productive as such interventions have been in other countries in South Asia. In Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, India is seen as... More

Politico-economic compulsions take Modi and Xi towards détente


Political and economic compulsions appear to be taking India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping towards a Sino-Indian détente. Top diplomats of the two countries are clearing the path for an understanding which may hold... 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... More

India cautious of its mediation and intervention in Maldives


Despite its reservations about the Abdulla Yameen regime in the Maldives, India does not appear to be responding to the call of the Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed to initiate a “military-backed diplomatic initiative” to force Yameen... More

Yameen’s brinkmanship lands him in hot water at home and overseas


Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen’s political brinkmanship in the past week or so has landed him in hot water both at home and overseas. As on date, he is in danger of being interdicted by a military-backed and... More

Maldives witnesses provocative politics ahead of Presidential poll


The Maldives is known as an idyll of tiny islands surrounded by a placid, deep blue sea – an ideal retreat for those in search of peace and quiet. But the country’s politics is anything but calm. Elections... More

Indian Muslims face unprecedented suppression under Modi’s watch: US turn a blind...


Muslims in India are over 14% of the total Indian population of 1.2 billion. But they are worse off, not only in comparison with the majority Hindus, but also in comparison with the officially recognized disadvantaged communities... More

Rise of China has led to militarization of the Indian Ocean


One of the fallouts of the rise of China as an economic and military power in recent times has been the militarization of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The campaign to keep the Indian Ocean... More

COLUMN

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

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


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

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