MonitorsPublished on May 06, 2020
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XIII; 18

Myanmar: Shadow of Covid-19 over upcoming elections

Sreeparna Banerjee

The Covid-19 virus has set extraordinary challenges to nation-states across the world. In the last few months, the pressure is felt not only on the health infrastructure but on economy, livelihood and social life of nations and individuals. Myanmar has so far been fortunate to record very low number of Covid-19 cases, though it has a large border with China. Till now, it has recorded only 151 cases. But, given the rising trend of cases in neighbouring countries and the world at large, the numbers are anticipated to rise.

Later this year, the national elections, the first after Aung Saan Suu Kyi and her National League Democracy (NLD) came to power five years ago, will be due. It is hoped that the elections may be postponed amidst the Covid scenario. A member of the Union Election Commission (UEC), U Myint Naing, had, however, recently announced that the elections will take place as scheduled in November. And the dates will be announced in the near future. It seems Myanmar is rather optimistic that the Covid-19 trend will subside by that time. But are they prepared? This remains an important concern.

With more than 1,100 seats in the Union, state, and region legislative bodies, the upcoming election will be the sixth held under the rubric of the 2008 Constitution, and the 14th since independence in 1947. Administered by the presidentially appointed Union Election Commission (UEC), the 2020 election will feature the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the current opposition and major former ruling party, besides dozens of other parties, including ethnic, at all levels. Conventionally dominant parties tend to rule the nation over the minority ones, if one goes by the historic trend.

State of affairs

The NLD’s performance in the last five years has been quite disappointing. The landslide victory of the party had hoped to bring the much-awaited transition from a totalitarian to a democratic government. It was thought that with parliamentary majority, things will move in a better direction, like releasing political prisoners, repealing repressive laws, improving economy and addressing environmental issues. However, much of it remains unaddressed.

Since the onset of coming into power, it can easily be noted that the NLD remains careful in its dealing with the military. The military continues to play prominent role both in its stance and actions. The government mostly remained silent during the military atrocities done over the ethnic minorities, continueing to paint a rather dark picture of the nation in front of the world.

The loss of the by-elections held towards the end of 2018 pushed the party to gear up to address the issues they had advocated while they came into power, one of them being the amendment of the Constitution. The much controversial amendment had hoped to lessen the power of the military. Nevertheless, in March 2020, the NLD’s move remained unfulfilled as most of the proposed amendments remain unapproved.

The grandeur of the military is quite intact. At present, with no traditional method of electoral campaigning, the preventive and curative measures adopted by the government or rather parties to control the current COVID situation, may be effective in swaying votes.

Parties in action

On ground, both the civilian and military parties are playing an active role to subdue the Covid-19 crisis. As soon as the Covid-19 cases knocked on the nation’s door, the Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of the Coronavirus Disease (CPCTCD) was formed on 26 March to overlook activities related to COVID-19.  State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi chairs the high-level meetings and has also started her crisis communication forum to update the populace on the status of the government’s response to Covid-19. A Facebook account has been created to be in touch with the masses.

With guidance from the CPCTCD, the Ministry of Health is now at the forefront of the fight on Covid-19. As such, the government has developed a whole-of-society approach to include several ministries, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, civil society organizations, including religious groups, and volunteers.

Like in other countries, Stimulus packages have been introduced with a slogan of ‘leaving no one behind’ to keep the general population and the economy afloat. Public places, movie theatres, shopping malls, restaurants and education institutions have been shut. Night curfews and social distancing norms have been introduced.

In an interesting move on 30 March, another ten-member Covid-19 task force, comprising mostly Tatmadaw members, was also been formed. The central task of this committee is to keep track on the confirmed cases, examine it, and tighten controversial media news. Although the government has not formally declared a state of emergency, the new committee’s comprehensive authority is quite visible. It is even spearheaded by a former powerful general. Many observers are of the opinion that the Tatmadaw is effectively back in the forefront. They fear that Tatmadaw may consequently leverage the situation to come back to power in the upcoming elections.


While Covid-19 is pressurising leaderships in each nation to work in harmony against the common enemy, the Tatmadaw continues to wage war against the Arakan Army (AA). The AA is an ethnic Rakhine armed group that seeks autonomy from Myanmar. Rakhine is the second poorest state within Myanmar with a weak health infrastructure. In rural areas here,  availability of health personnel is negligible. The Rakhine State Township has only one doctor per 83,000 people or 0.12 per 10,000. If the Myanmar authorities do not address this situation, Rakhine will remain prone to local transmissions since it shares border with Bangladesh where Covid cases are quite high.

The recent attack on the WHO vehicle transporting Covid-19 samples to the national laboratory in Yangon sets a rather dismal picture of the security in the region. Investigations are ongoing to verify whether the AA or any other rebel group is behind this act.

In this region, the continued conflict has resulted in about 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDP). A large number of such individuals live in camps which is not equipped with proper shelters or food arrangements. The lack of social distancing, water availability, health personnel and information on Covid-19 in the IDP camps make it difficult to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the area.

If the ruling as well as opposing party continues to overlook this issue, it may affect them adversely in the long run. If the NLD wants a second term in the government, it needs to implement the concept of leaving no one behind not only in paper but also in action by including not only the marginalised workers but also the IDPs and ethnic minorities in the nation. A medium-term economic plan also needs to be chalked out to secure the nation from the economic backlash in the coming months.

Though the upcoming election is currently shrouded over ambiguity over the Covid-19 situation, the current government needs to act efficiently and responsibly to prevent autocratic parties grabbing power again.

Sri Lanka: Critical polls caught between Covid and Constitution

N Sathiya Moorthy

Even as most of the world is caught in the vortex of Covid-19 pandemic’s ‘death dance’, Sri Lanka is facing an equally challenging constitutional question, on the conduct of the delayed parliamentary polls. The nation is slowly but surely learning to accept that the virus attack is here to stay for more time than it was ready to accept, while the focus is also turning to other issues of long term concerns. The critical polls fit the bill, so does the tottering economy, which the Government of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had inherited.

President Rajapaksa fixed 25 April for the polls, when he dissolved the Parliament on 2 March, under powers vested on him under the Constitution. The 19th Amendment piloted by the predecessor government and passed by the dissolved Parliament only reduced the term for such ’arbitrary dissolution’ by the President from four years of the five-year term to six months. For complete abrogation of the provision contained in the Second Republican Constitution of 1978, the proposal needed to be approved in a national referendum. The earlier government did not have the confidence to do so though they had won the presidential polls the same way only months earlier.

In this background, the Election Commission (EC), under powers vested in it under the Constitution, postponed/countermanded the polling-date indefinitely, as it did not assign a new date for the purpose, in the face of the Covid-19 threat that had erupted full blown by then. The hotly-debated question now is not only about the date of polling but more so about the practicality of having them early in the midst of an emerging constitutional crisis.

Defence personnel infected

In the ordinary circumstances, Opposition parties often blame the government for finding ways and reasons to delay elections. But in this particular case, the government leadership wants early elections despite mixed reports about its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, but the opposition wants the polls postponed. Instead, they want the dissolved Parliament reconvened, under specific provisions of the Constitution but the Government is not at all keen to oblige.

Postponement of polls at other levels is not new. The predecessor government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe managed to postpone the Provincial Council polls in all nine Provinces by three years. Then President J R Jayewardene even got Parliament packed by members of his United National Party (UNP) to vote in a year’s extension, in the eighties, citing the ongoing war on the LTTE as among the reasons.

But nothing like this one has happened, even when incumbent President Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga, seeking a second term, suffered serious injuries in an LTTE bomb-blast. She survived the attack, was flown to the UK for an eye-replacement surgery and won the re-election, hands down. Today, unlike what the government hopes for, the pandemic is only spreading, and even defence personnel put in charge of crisis-management at the national-level and residents of their native villages have not escaped the threat.

Constitutional deadlock

The urgency for an early decision in the matter flows from a constitutional provision. It is also the cause for concern about a possible constitutional deadlock. Under the Constitution, elections have to be held within six months of the dissolution of Parliament. The new House should meet within three months of the date of polling.

The Opposition argued that 25 April being the original date of polling, the new Parliament should meet by 2 June at the latest. In between, the EC has since postponed the poll-date to 20 June, which falls within the six-month deadline granted under the Constitution from date of dissolution.

However, the Opposition argues that the President alone has the constitutional right to fix polling-date. The other version is that once the date of polling is originally fixed, the EC is empowered to shift it to another date, depending on the existing emergencies. The implication is that with the new polling date fixed, the new Parliament will have to meet only three months hence.

Even without the continuing debate, both by the political parties and also the formal and social media, without dissolution, the term of the old Parliament would come to an end by 2 September, and fresh elections could not be avoided. The government is not saying it in so many words, but seems to have concluded that between June and August, giving the EC the required 35-day preparation period, the elections cannot be postponed indefinitely.

By saying so, the government has sought to give the impression that it wants into the serious business of governance, particularly the management of the economy in the post-Covid1 world, quick and fast. The government was not sure of getting a budget passed in an Opposition-controlled Parliament, and that is also becoming an issue just now.

President Gotabhaya’s office has since claimed that the high office had the powers to provide for three-month expenditure from the Consolidated Fund, from the date of polling to the first session of the new Parliament. The ruling SLPP is anxious that in the guise of getting dissolved Parliament reconvened, the joint Opposition should not seek to move a trust-vote and defeat the leadership of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Even then, no constitutional harm would come to President Gotabhaya, his brother, but the political embarrassment could cost the ruling combine dearly in the election, whenever held. The alternative is for the President to promulgate a state of emergency under the Constitution, but under the existing scheme, not only it has to be approved by Parliament, but can be voted upon by the month.

Seeking SC opinion

The debate had commenced with suggestions for President Gotabhaya to seek the Supreme Court’s ‘advisory opinion’ in the matter. Parliament also has such powers, but with the House dissolved, the question does not arise. However, Government began by declaring that there was no need to approach the higher judiciary, and that the EC was well within its right to fix a new date for polling. It is another matter that after fixing 20 June as the fresh date of polling EC Chairman Mahinda Deshpriya also indicated that they would consider if they would have to cancel it again, closer to the date, owing to the pandemic crisis.

For now, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has gone to town, promising not to try and topple the government if the dissolved House is reconvened. He has also reassured the government about complete cooperation in Parliament, only with the purpose of avoiding a constitutional crisis. But Wickremesinghe does not carry much political weight these days.

The simmering discontent within the party came out in the open after the dissolution of Parliament, with a breakaway ‘popular section’ forming a new party SJB under the losing presidential candidate and then sitting minister, Sajith Premadasa. Most, if not all of UNP’s poll allies have also joined hands with Premadasa, whose LTTE-slain father Ranasinghe Preamadasa was President three decades ago. Sajith is unwilling to give the kind of commitment that Wickremesinghe is publicly offering the government.

In the midst of all this, a new line of thinking too is floating around. That is for a reconvened Parliament to amend the Constitution (unanimously?) and extend the term of the House by another year, so that the nation could expend its full energy to pandemic-fight. As a sop, some even offer a palliative for President Gotabhaya by offering to extend his term too by one year, to the original six years, but reduced to five by the 1th Amendment.

The government is keen on obtaining a two-thirds majority to revisit the Constitution in the light of the ruling combine’s experience in the previous years in the Opposition. In the midst of Covid19 fight, they are confident of pulling off a two-thirds majority still in fresh polls, particularly if held early on.

If the present-day, divided Opposition too is not unwilling to consider a term-extension for the dissolved House, if reconvened, it could imply that the government party cannot resist the temptation of engineering large-scale defections to shore up the numbers in the following weeks, without waiting for months. The Rajapaksas are past-masters at the game, but just now they do not want to lose the moral authority of a convincing win in the presidential polls and also end up dancing to the tune of defectors, now or later on.

In doing so, they will also be faced with the additional problem of having to accommodate the ‘defectors’ in favour of party loyalists through the critical five years while in the Opposition, when it comes to party nominations for fresh elections, which would any way have to held some time next year. In between, they all face the common threat of the Supreme Court not approving of such a term-extension, if and when moved. Already, the court has been moved in the matter of delayed elections and seeking a direction for the President to reconvene the dissolved Parliament.

Country Reports


Health disaster imminent

On 30 April, a report submitted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to the US Congress stated that, faced with a multiplicity of vulnerabilities and the rapid spread of COVID-19, Afghanistan is headed in the direction of a nation-wide health disaster. According to the report, existing factors like widespread malnutrition, internal displacement, porous borders, contiguity with Iran, and ongoing conflict could lead to the collapse of the already weak healthcare system.

IMF relief package approved

On 29 April, the International Monetary Fund approved $220 million in emergency aid for Afghanistan to help the country with the devastating economic implications of the coronavirus. The relief package is intended to strengthen the ability of the state to boost critical health spending and provide social assistance to units that are that are the hardest hit in the crisis.


Reopening garment units

Readymade garment factories reopened after nearly a month after the shutdown was imposed on 26 March to control spread of COVID19 pandemic. After the factories resumed operations hundreds and thousands of factory workers from across the country returned to Dhaka to join their work and this has given rise to the fear of spread of the disease as the number of people infected by the COVID-19 disease is rising steadily in the country.

No responsibility

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen observed that the Rohingya refugees stranded at sea for weeks are not Bangladesh's responsibility. The minister further added that there are eight countries surrounding the Bay of Bengal than why international community is pressuring Bangladesh to accept the Rohingyas. The minister made this comment during his interview with an international media organisation. Around 500 Rohingya comprising of women, men and children - are in the Bay of Bengal after Malaysia rejected to them to deboard in its shore.


Hydro-projects delayed

Owing to shortages of manpower and raw materials, two India-Bhutan inter-governmental hydropower projects under construction -- the Nu 93.75 billion Punatsangchu-I project and Nu 72.90 billion Punatsangchu II project are impacted the outbreak of COVID-19 from 6th March and also the ongoing lockdown in India. Final discussions with India on the 600-MW Kholongchu project is also impacted.

Nu 15.5 m for Covid-19 tests

The government has so far spent more than Nu 15.5 million on testing for the novel coronavirus. There are two testing methods currently in used – reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) that uses a machine and rapid diagnostic test (RDT) using test kits. A single RT-PCR test costs about Nu 3,500 and while the unit cost for a RDT is about Nu 1,000. As of yesterday a total of 2,234 RT-PCR tests and 7,730 rapid tests were conducted in the country. With over 100 tests per day, Bhutan has one of the highest Covid-19 testing rates (test per million) in the world today.

Relief Kidu for 13,006 beneficiaries

To mark the auspicious beginning for the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering on 30 April deposited the relief kidu funds to the bank accounts of 108 beneficiaries. Assessments have been carried out only for 18,880 applications from all 20 dzongkhags received between April 14 and 23. Of that, 13,006 have been assessed as beneficiaries. Others are under further review.


Lockdown extended

The nationwide lockdown which was declared on 24 March in order to curb the spread of corona virus has been further extended for another two weeks till 18 May. On 1 May, the central government released an order informing about the extension of the lockdown. The notice also revealed how certain relaxations would be permitted subject to the nature of the threat of the infection in different regions. The order also informed that based on the ground situation, various areas will be categorized into red, orange and green zones depending on the severity of the virus spread in the area. Such classification is subject to weekly review by health officials.

Plan for new Parliament building

The Ministry of Environment has given the clearance, subject to the legal procedures, for the construction project of a new parliament building in the national capital adjacent to the existing parliament. This plan is a part of the larger project of the central government which is a redevelopment plan of the 3 Km Central Vista, which is from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate. The opposition party, Congress has criticized the government for undertaking such an elaborate infrastructural project during the time when the nation is staring at an economic slowdown due to the prolonged lockdown in order to curb the pandemic.


FM thanks China for aid

In a statement, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has expressed the government's immense gratitude towards China for their assistance in Maldives' response to Covid19 pandemic. While thanking China for providing timely, free aid to Maldives at the country's time of need, Minister Abdulla made a particular mention of the ventilators gifted by the Alibaba Foundation. The US, meanwhile, has offered $ 2 m aid while Japan has extended an immediate relief of $ 5,41,000, nearly two-thirds of it through UNICEF.


Nationals return

As many as 96 Myanmar nationals have been flown in from Incheon Airport in South Korea to Myanmar on a Myanmar Airways International (MAI) flight on 30 April. The Myanmar government is working to recall Myanmar nationals facing difficulties residing abroad for various reasons. It factors in the degree of difficulties they are facing, the situation of putting them in facility quarantine, the rules and regulations of the host nation including flight situation and cooperate with the host nation to send a special flight.

Modi rings up Suu Kyi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss how both countries are handling the spread of the coronavirus.  The leaders discussed the evolving COVID-19 scenario in the domestic and regional contexts and updated each other on the steps being taken to control the spread of the pandemic. Underlining the importance of Myanmar as a vital pillar of India's Neighbourhood First policy, Prime Minister Modi conveyed India's readiness to provide all possible support to Myanmar for mitigating the health and economic impact of Covid-19.


Lockdown eases?

Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, the Minister for Health and Population, has reportedly indicated that the countrywide lockdown for COVID-19 to end on 7 May. In a recent address to the National Assembly’s Legislation Management Committee, he mentioned the need for moving back to pre- COVID normalcy. Consequently, the Ministry is working on devising ways in which the normal life can be partially resumed back, keeping in mind the pros and cons of the situation.

Major financial-low

The ‘economic growth forecast’ for the country has been cut down for the fiscal year ending mid-July. This has been the lowest in the last four years. As a LDC country, Nepal has to bear the brunt of around 30 million people staying at home for the covid-19 lockdown. As a major tourist destination there has been considerable loss as well. How the country will revive back its economy is a major challenge ahead.

Chinese envoy meets leaders

The Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, held meetings with the top leaders of Nepal, including Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli along with Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Executive Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the party's Foreign Relations Department chief Madhav Kumar Nepal. The main purpose was to discuss the COVID-19 situation, how the country is dealing with it and Chinese support in this regard. Nepal also expressed gratitude to China for its continuous support.


Increase in Covid-19 cases

There has been a steady spike in the number of Corona infections in the country. PM Imran Khan has announced second slew of economic relief packages to tackle the distress and trouble amidst the pandemic.

UN outreach

The government has urged the United Nations to seek explanation from India for the accusations posed by them regarding the targeting of “launch pads” along the Line On Control (LOC). The government requested UNMOJIB to validate India’s claims of ‘infiltration attempts”.

Sri Lanka

PM calls ex-MPs’ meet

With Covid19 threat still remaining real, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has called a meeting of all members of dissolved Parliament on Monday, 4 May, in the face of what critics say is an emerging constitutional crisis. The issue relates to the postponed parliamentary polls, from 25 April to 20 June, with doubts still remaining if the nation would be ready in the face of the pandemic problem. The UNP Opposition in the dissolved Parliament has accepted the invitation even while reiterating its demand for reviving the dissolved Parliament, so has the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The UNP-breakaway SJB and JVP have declined the invitation while other parties are yet to express their decision.



Opinion Pieces

Ezzatullah Mehrdad, “Afghanistan: War in the Time of Coronavirus”, The Diplomat, 30 April 2020

Kambaiz Rafi, “What’s Next for Afghanistan Amid Covid, Political Logjam”, Asia Times, 29 April 2020


Afghanistan Times, “Plans Coming to Naught”, 29 April 2020

Afghanistan Times, “Back to the Battlefield”, 28 April 2020


Opinion Pieces

Sudha Ramchandran, “The COVID-19 Catastrophe in Bangladesh”, The Diplomat, 29 April 2020

Saleemul Haq, “A renewed focus on social capital”, The Daily Star, 29 April 2020

Tasnim Nazeer, “Bangladesh Must Protect Rights of Rohingya Stranded at Sea”, The Diplomat, 27 April 2020


Opinion Pieces

Dorji Wangchuck, “How will COVID-19 change Bhutan?”, Kuensel, 29 April 2020

Pema Dorji, “Macro-economic Stabilisation Plan in the face of COVID-19 pandemic”, Kuensel, 27 April 2020


Kuensel, “Beyond the Kidu”, 1 May 2020


Opinion Pieces

Sunanda K. Datta Ray, “Old-fashioned needs”, The Telegraph, 2 May 2020

Avvik Saha & Pranav Dhawan, “Death and dignity in the time of a pandemic”, The Telegraph, 1 May 2020

Barkha Dutt, “India is staring at a crisis greater than Covid-19. It is time to open up”, hindustantimes, 1 May 2020

Sabir Ahamed & Rabiul Ansary, “Counting the ones on the road”, The Telegraph, 30 April 2020

Dushyant Dave, “Life versus livelihood: PM Modi must tap on every available resource”, The Indian Express, 1 May 2020


The Indian Express, “Self-isolated”, 2 May 2020

The Indian Express, “Get on right track”, 2 May 2020

The Hindu, “Recovering early: On India’s COVID-19 patients”, 2 May 2020

The Hindu, “Religion and freedom: On India and communal violence”, 1 May 2020

The Telegraph, “Spring cleaning: Of graft and public service”, 1 May 2020



Meera Srinivasan, “There should be a common regional strategy in the fight against Covid-19: Maldivian Foreign Minister”, The Hindu, 2 May 2020


Opinion Pieces

Kyaw Zwa Moe, “Embracing Isolation: Reflections on the Value of Confinement Amid COVID-19”, The Irrawaddy, 1 May 2020

Lee Sang-Hwa, “Corporate Responsibility Is an Integral Part of Korean Investment in Myanmar”, The Irrawaddy, 29 April 2020

Tony Waters, “International Did Myanmar Advance Law in The Hague?”, The Irrawaddy, 25 April 2020


Opinion Pieces

Chandan Kumar Mandal, “Air quality improves in world’s major cities, including Kathmandu, under Covid-19 lockdowns”, The Kathmandu Post, 1 May 2020 Mahabir Paudyal, “Worst is yet to come”, Republica, 30 April 2020

Sumana Shrestha, “Nepal is on sick leave, but what next?” Republica, 28 April 2020


The Kathmandu Post, “Refocus efforts”, 30 April 2020

The Kathmandu Post, “Lost in translation”, 29 April 2020


Opinion Pieces

The Dawn, “Lockdown misgivings”, 2 May 2020

The Dawn, “Lawmaker’s dilemma”, 2 May 2020

The Tribune Express, “Time for empathy”, 2 May 2020


Irfan Hussain, “Jigging for joy”, The Dawn, 2 May 2020

Dr Noman Ahmed, “Youth Volunteers”, The Dawn, 2 May 2020

Zeba Sathar, “Beyond the numbers”, The Dawn, 2 May 2020

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, “A world to win”, The Dawn, 1 May 2020

Nadia Agha, “The pandemic and social support“, The Tribune Express, 2 May 2020

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Sajeenva Jayaweera, “Our dysfunctional Parliament”, The Island, 3 May 2020

Kumar David, “Reconvene parliament and amend Constitution to extend its tenure, form a multi-party Cabinet group”, The Island, 3 May 2020.

Rajeewa Jayaweera, “Sauce for the goose, not for the gander”, The Island, 3 May 2020.

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Sri Lanka: India not sending troops to fight Covid19”, 2 May 2020.

M S M Ayub, “Coronavius and invasion of privacy”, Daily Mirror Online, 1 May 2020.

Malinda Seneviratne, “Being in the Republic of Fear”, Daily Mirror Online, 30 April 2020.

Kelum Bandara, “A new world after Covid19”, Daily Mirror Online, 30 April 2020.

M M Zuhair, “Archbishop’s call for probe needs priority”, The Island, 30 April 2020.

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Never again, but…”, Ceylon Today, 27 April 2020.

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Who will prevail, Sangha or Supreme Court?”, Colombo Gazette, 26 April 2020.


Kelum Bandara, “No provision whatsoever to re-summon old Parliament: GL”, Daily Mirror Online, 1 May 2020.


Daily Mirror Online, “Unchanging nature of our political system”, 1 May 2020


Afghanistan: Shubhangi Pandey

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

Pakistan: Ayjaz Wani

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