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

The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

US withdrawal from Afghanistan showcases India’s hollow Afghan policy

When Donald Trump recently mocked India for building a library in Afghanistan, it signified a lot more than the fact that India is not fighting the Taliban as a US ally; it showed the actual limited presence of India in Afghanistan, although the Indian government has, as of lately, been busy responding to Trump’s jibe by listing its many projects in Afghanistan worth billions of dollars. But there can... 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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