MonitorsPublished on Sep 02, 2019
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XII; Issue 35

Maldives: Solih begins taking rough with the smooth

N Sathiya Moorthy From an unsubstantiated charge of bribe-taking as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, when predecessor Abdulla Yameen was in power, to an emerging controversy about ‘packing’ the nation’s Supreme Court with sympathisers of the ruling party, in the name of judicial reforms, to quietly neutralising emerging internal challenges, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ibu’ Solih has seen them all in the first nine months of his five-year term. Through all this, the ‘islander’ (as different from ‘Male royalty) has also been effectively taking civic infrastructure development and improvements to far-away atolls, with funding mainly from the larger Indian neighbour. Unintentionally though, the latter has the potential to create a constituency for President Solih, in addition to the MDP’s traditional ‘pro-democracy’, urbanised electorate, as President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had done in his time. Maldivians also did not take recent social media campaign that ‘Ibu’ Solih as Opposition Leader had taken big money from the now-discredited Ahmed Adheeb, one of the three vice-presidents of predecessor President Abdulla Yameen, seriously. The rumour is not new, but the timing of the current revival, though short-lived, raises questions about the source and motive. The instant denial by the President’s Office notwithstanding, the constitutionally-mandated Anti-Corruption commission (ACC), reporting to an MDP-controlled Parliament, with former President Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed as Speaker, has promised to investigate the same.

Adheeb issue

The bribe-controversy is old and centred on discredited former Vice-President Ahmed Adheeb, who had escaped from ‘house arrest’ in capital Male, some weeks ago. He was intercepted by Indian authorities and sent back. Curiously, the Maldivian Correctional Services (MCS) has returned Adheeb to ‘house-arrest’, possibly given his reported health condition, after fixing an electronic-tag on his person for remote tracking of his movements. Pending massive corruption cases against him and his evidence against Yameen in some of them, Adheeb is also now being charged for escaping from ‘house arrest’. Curiously, no one in Male seems wanting to talk about those that had helped Adheeb escape, nor has he been sent back to regular prison in view of his abnormal violation. If However, if and when the ruling MDP’s popularity begins taking a hit,  this issue is bound to be revived, as if to embarrass the Solih-Nasheed leadership, in more ways than one.

Democratic travails

Democracy and judicial reforms were the key components of candidate Solih’s poll campaign. While what constitutes ‘democracy’, particularly in the contemporary Maldivian context, still remains debatable, there is no denying the sudden rush of free air and freedom of speech, which marked Yameen’s exit Pre-poll Nasheed as party boss had (unilaterally?) announced the possible conversion of the American ‘Executive Presidency’ to ‘Westminster form of parliamentary democracy’ if Solih as President wanted it. The latter has maintained stoic silence on the subject, at least in public. The move may possibly entail a referendum too, as happened ahead of the multi-party democratic Constitution of 2008. The Nasheed camp within the MDP, if it could be called so, now seems going slow on the process. It is unclear if it has had anything to do with the failure of their strategy in the election of parliamentary Speaker. The MDP has 67 members in the 87-member House. Though Nasheed announced a candidate, again unilaterally, he ended up becoming the ‘compromise candidate’ after a rival name seemed to have Solih’s blessings and better

Judicial reforms?

Since the advent of the new Parliament after the 6 April polls, the ruling MDP, especially Speaker Nasheed’scamp, have been pushing for greater and speedier ‘reforms’ – better, ‘chances’ -- in the  higher judiciary. Translated, it means sacking all Yameen-appointed Supreme Court Judges, who were dubbed partisan and unprofessional, and replacing them with others, cleared by the MDP-packed parliamentary committees. Speaker Nasheed himself set the ball rolling by laying corruption charges against the SC Judge who in his trial court days had condemned him to a 13-year jail-term in the ‘Judge Abdulla abduction case’ (2012), when he himself was President. Despite protestations by the Chief Justice and directions by the court’s Full Bench, the ACC and parliamentary committees have near-unilaterally completed investigations, recommending his sacking. In more recent times, the government has also sacked the disgraced judge’s wife as deputy ambassador to Malaysia. Yet, President Solih, however, also created history by nominating the first two women judges to the Supreme Court. Coming at a time when negative propaganda, first centred on Gayoom and then Yameen presidencies, as promoting a ‘fundamentalist’ picture of the country, President Solih’s current initiative would go a long way in sending out a clear message to the international community. Parliament has also since reversed a Yameen era legislation which had  cut down the number of SC Judges from seven to five. While increasing the number of Judges to seven thus, the MDP-packed Parliament, however, seems to be in too much of a hurry to sack all incumbent judges. It is unclear if wholesale replacement of incumbent SC Judges and near-arbitrary sacking of others at different levels, is the Maldivian people’s understanding of what was promised. If anything, it is a reminder of President Nasheed’s ways of ‘reforming’ the higher judiciary in his time. It led to his closing down of the Supreme Court for a day, which was/is unprecedented in Maldivian history. Though the SC was reopened the next day, it was not before the Opposition-led Parliament had negotiated an honourable deal with and for the President, in matters of nomination of new judges under the new, 2008 Constitution.

‘No permanent enemies’

In this background, the ruling MDP cannot afford to ignore the developments in the rival Opposition camp. Solih won the presidency with a high 58 percent vote-share in the nation’s first one-on-one contest under the democratic Constitution. He had the political and electoral backing of three other parties. The MDP nearly swept the parliamentary polls later, bagging more than a third of the 87 seats. The party bagged 67 seats, all on its own. According to party sources, on the Speaker’s election, the MDP parliamentary group received only 47-20 votes in favour of the Solih camp, necessitating Nasheed to step in and cover the breach. The MDP and their overseas backers seem to have also read the parliamentary poll partially, in the former’s favour. In Maldives, parliamentary constituencies have been demarcated for geographical distribution and not demographic equality or equity. In this background, psephologists need to take the poll percentage also into equal consideration. The MDP polled a total of 46 percent votes. Broadly described as ‘conservatives’ (not to be confused with ‘religious fundamentalism’), the divided Opposition topped with a combined 54 percent vote-share. Though no one is talking about it, and no party seems to have begun work, all eyes would soon turn to next year’s nation-wide, island/atoll council election. Without mentioning it but with the future electoral calculus in mind, the Opposition parties have begun re-grouping. Bid to replace ‘controversial’ Yameen as the head of the PPM-NPC combine had begun even as the presidential poll results. But he consolidated his hold without effort and kept anticipated ‘usurpers’ like impeached one-time Vice-President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed at bay. However, the DRP founded by Maumoon Gayoom before he went on to found the breakaway PPM is not keeping quiet. Though inconsequential in electoral terms over the past five-plus years, DRP has now got a new and financially sound leader in parliamentarian Abdulla Jabir. Jabir has now suddenly come under the Government’s scanner for alleged economic offences. Even more so, the Home Ministry under religion-centric Adhaalath Party (AP) chief Shiekh Imran Abdulla has begun initiating proceedings against unnamed officials allegedly involved in the 2012 ‘coup’ which purportedly led to President Nasheed leaving office in haste. Incidentally, Imran and his AP were at the forefront of the anti-Nasheed protests of the time, and had refused to buy the MDP version that it was a ‘coup’. Going under the common banner, ‘December 23 Movement’, they dubbed it a ‘voluntary though hasty resignation’, by a President unable to, or incapable of handling the developing situation. Even more recently and importantly, some top leaders, including the last of Yameen’s three Vice-President, former Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad, and then Leader of the House, Ahmed Nihan, among others have joined the Jumhooree Party (JP) under billionaire-politician, Gasim Ibrahim. Of them, Jihad was Finance Minister under post-Nasheed presidency of Mohammed Waheed and re-negotiated the controversial ‘GMR deal’, which ended nowhere. Nihan was deported when he landed at Chennai Airport for a kin’s medical treatment. As if to address social media speculation that their cross-over was with the blessings of Yameen, who is facing tough times in criminal courts on massive corruption and money-laundering charges, Gasim said, “There are no permanent enemies or permanent friends, but only permanent interests.” With court cases against Yameen proceeding at a fast-pace and judicial reforms seemingly taking an illogical and partisan direction, a clearer picture on the future of the nation’s polity may possibly emerge with the island council elections next year. That may, if at all, set the tone for the possibility of a section of the ruling MDP reviving forgotten, solo calls for conversion to ‘India-like’ parliamentary democracy.

Myanmar: Insurgent attacks block China border-trade

Sreeparna Banerjee  A series of coordinated attacks on 15 August by an alliance of three ethnic armed groups, namely the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), at  five locations in Mandalay Region’s Pyin Oo Lwin and Shan State’s Naung Cho Township took the lives of 15 soldiers, police officers and civilians. It has since brought about disruption in trade and commerce along the two prominent routes linking Myanmar and China. The so-called surprise attacks were clearly planned and prepared months in advance, despite ongoing ceasefire talks between the government, the military and rebel forces. Over the past two weeks, four major bridges along the main route to the two most important trade hubs on the Mandalay-Muse Road near Myanmar-China border have been blown up. It can be clearly understood that the plan has been to damage the bilateral trade relations, the implications of which are worrisome.

Bilateral trade

According to fiscal 2016-17 statistics, some four-fifths of border trade revenue comes from the currently affected Muse trade route. According to government data, the bilateral trade volume through the said route totalled $4.28 billion in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that during the high season, $8-10 million of goods go through while during the low season $5 million to $7 million goes through.  This automatically places huge importance to this route. On an average 500 trucks, laden with cargo to China, were trapped along the route leading to Nawngcho. This has caused severe worries among the traders. Through the Muse border trade zone, rice, corn, sugar, other agricultural produce and marine products are mainly exported, and building materials, machinery, electronics and other raw materials are imported from China. The total value of bilateral trade shipped through Muse is around $3 million (4.57 billion kyats) per day. These attacks have made it worst for farmers, especially those growing rice, as a combination of flooding in Mawlamyine and Dawei together with China’s trade restrictions on border trade has seriously affected both trading posts. The halt in trade doesn’t just affect exports. It also poses difficulties for all those involved in trade circles. It also affects associated businesses like owners and drivers of cargo trucks and restaurants. If the road is closed for a week, then commodity prices will increase in parts of the country to the south causing a huge inflation. Myanmar is not currently exporting seasonal fruits to China, but producers of value-added fishery products, to whom China has granted official permission to import from Myanmar, are suffering heavy losses. While the government has taken the temporary measure of building a bailey bridge, lorries in the 50-60 tonne range will not be able to use it as the bridge can only take a maximum load of 36 tonnes. Plans have been made to ensure that the bridge can withstand up to 48 tonnes freight forwarders. But even if the bridge was completed, safety concerns might remain meaning that trading still cannot resume immediately.

Retaliation attack

Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, announced that the attacks were in retaliation for a late July raid that saw K16 billion worth of drugs confiscated from a camp in Kutkai, northern Shan State, but this has been refuted by the insurgents, who said it was because of repeated Tatmadaw offences. The attack came days after the rebels issued a statement warning members of the local people’s militia forces and other ethnic armed organizations in the region not to help the military fight against them. The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), an ethnic armed organization that signed a government-sponsored ceasefire accord in 2015, has been helping the military in its offensive against the Northern Alliance. Many political analysts are of the view that this move has been to illustrate the government in poor light whereby it can be determined that they are unable to secure the major trading routes as well as bring peace among the region and keep their heavy weighted neighbour happy.

Is CMEC secured?

While the continued unrest and fighting harms the trade situation it has also raised concerns over the feasibility of Beijing’s push to implement the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), part of its region-wide Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It points fingers towards the sanctity of the wisdom of the strategy embraced by both the Chinese and Myanmar governments to move ahead with the scheme before Naypyitaw has reached peace deals with rebels in the region. But the surprise attacks have no doubt served as a wake-up call to top leaders in Naypyitaw to review the ongoing peace process with rebels in the north, while also calling into question China’s role as a peace negotiator. Leaders of the Northern Alliance were invited to a meeting with Chinese Special Envoy for Asian Affairs Sun Guoxing in Kummin where Chinese government has pressured the rebel groups to stop fighting. But the rebel alliance have demanded the military to halt operations in western Rakhine state and Shan state. Whether the military will agree to abstain itself remains a question. It can be understood that the trade halt would have a negative impact on the country’s economy and people. Security and stability is the cornerstone for business and development. Myanmar requires both for its growth and development.

Country Reports


New alliance against Taliban

The son of the famed Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud plans to build a grand coalition of anti-Taliban elements. He plans to launch his political movement on 5th September in Panjsir and the coalition is aimed to oppose the Taliban militants at the political as well as the military level. This comes as the US and Taliban are engaged in extensive talks being held in Qatar, Doha to bring about a negotiated political settlement to end the conflict.

Final peace deal likely

The Taliban have announced that the group is on the verge of a final agreement with the US representatives in Doha. The Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen stated that the group is hopeful that it will be able to deliver good news to Afghanistan soon after long years of war. Further details have not been disclosed yet. This comes as there have been reports that the US and Taliban have reached an agreement to draft the final peace agreement.


Fight against fake currency

India and Bangladesh pledged to enhance cooperation to the fight cross-border smuggling of the menace of fake currency. The decision achieved in fifth India and Bangladesh Joint Task Force meeting held in Delhi this week. In the meeting, two-sides emphasised on the need for exchange of intelligence regarding gangs, racketeers involved in its smuggling and circulation. The Joint Task Force of India and Bangladesh was formed in 2014 to combat the smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes. The Bangladeshi delegation was led by Y M Belalur Rahman, Deputy Inspector General, Bangladesh Police, and Anil Shukla, Inspector General, National Investigation Agency (NIA), headed the Indian delegation. 

 Labour export to Japan

Dhaka and Tokyo signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for accepting specified skilled workers by Japan from Bangladesh. The MOC signed by the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry of Bangladesh with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Policy Agency of Japan at Immigration Service Agency, Ministry of Justice in Tokyo.


Trade pact with Nepal

The draft of the bilateral trade agreement with Nepal was finalised on 30 August in the joint-secretary level meeting of the two nations in Kathmandu. The draft needs to be endorsed by the parliament of Bhutan, it might take a few more weeks to decide the date for signing the agreement. Following this, commerce ministers of both the nations are expected to ink the trade agreement. In the draft trade agreement, priority has been given to trade promotion, import-export facilitation, cargo movement and tax waiver on some goods in both countries.

Minister appeals to High Court

Home Minister, Sherub Gyeltshen has appealed to the High Court, less than 24 hours against the judgment rendered by the Thimphu court’s criminal bench I on August 27. The minister was sentenced to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546. As per the law of the land, an elected official convicted of a criminal offense cannot hold elected office or take part in elections. The Minister was charged for petty misdemeanor but it is still a criminal conviction since the ACC investigated the case and the OAG charged it in court.

New banking services

With the launch of Bhutan National Bank (BNB) payment gateway on 28 August, tour operators can now directly receive payment from its international visitors. The system that rides on the national online international payment gateway will accept 135 different currencies from around the world and cards including VISA, Mastercard, AMEX and Discover, among others. The bank also launched three other services- BNB Ngotshab, BNB Thuendrel Gatshor and Loan Origination System.

Funding from Canada

The government of Canada through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives will invest in projects in Bhutan. The announcement was made by Canadian ambassador to Bhutan in New Delhi, Nadir Patel, who was in the country last week, his government will invest Nu 2.7 million (M) in three projects, which will be implemented this year. The fund would be used to support gender empowerment through expanded access to medical care, skills development, and gender-responsive public services.


RBI transfers its funds to Govt

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) transferred Rs 1.76 lakh crore to Government of India on 26 August. It’s a much-needed shot in the arm of the finance ministry that recently had announced a raft of measures to revive the economy. These measures — recapitalisation of banks, refund of input tax credits to businesses and exporters, clearing of dues of public sector undertakings (PSUs) — are aimed at improving liquidity in the system. By reducing the fiscal deficit, the RBI transfers will further help improve in the availability of funds for the private sector.

J&K shut-down going on

While some of the restrictions have been withdrawn in some parts of Kashmir and some of the schools have also reopened, the valley is still in a standstill. While the landline telephony services have resumed in many parts of the valley, mobile telephone services and all internet services continue to remain suspended since 5 August. Fresh restrictions have been imposed as a preventive measure ahead of 30 August congregational Friday prayers.

More Judges for SC

Parliament has passed a law to increase the strength of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill 2019 provides for increasing the Apex Court’s Judges’ strength from the present 31 to 34, including the Chief Justice.


For VP tagged, charged

Jailed former Vice-President Ahamed Adheeb has been electronically ‘tagged’ and sent back to house-arrest, after being charged over ‘escape attempt’. Adheeb had escaped earlier house-arrest, but was detained by Indian authorities mid-sea after failing in his attempts to seek political asylum in the country.


Maritime drill with US

Myanmar's navy will join maritime drills with the US in Southeast Asia next week despite Washington slapping sanctions on top army brass over the Rakhine crisis. The inclusion in the drills does not violate US travel bans against Myanmar's commander-in-chief and three senior figures for overseeing a campaign that drove 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh two years ago. But there are growing calls to further isolate the military, expand sanctions and prosecute senior leadership for genocide against the stateless minority. The drills come at a time of stepped-up US engagement in the region and tensions between China and several Southeast Asian nations over rival claims in the South China Sea.

Peace talks again

A delegation from the government’s Peace Commission is set to meet with the Northern Alliance coalition of four ethnic armed groups in Kyaingtong, northern Shan State on 31 Aug. The Kachin-based Peace-talk Creation Group, an organisation of businessmen that has been instrumental in assisting peace talks between armed groups and the government, confirmed that the talks would take place, although it said it did not know what would be discussed at the talks.


Law to control ads

The Advertisement Regulation Bill has created quite a sensation in the country amidst apprehensions regarding the functioning of the media freely. If any content is found to be ‘contentious’, sentence of one year in jail and Rs 10,000 fine may be levied. However, this step also has a positive step as it would be helpful in protecting the country from misinformation and half news. The Parliament has been debating this issue for long.

Migrant regulation

Nepal and Malaysia have been having a long-standing hiatus with regard to the status of migrant labourers. A seven-member Nepali delegation was sent to Kula Lumpur for negotiations on this issue, especially regarding health care concerns. Medical Centres have been proposed for the workers, before travelling abroad. Around 130,000 workers go from Nepal to Malaysia every year, thereby making the process of facilitation very important.


Kashmir ‘solidarity day’

To uphold the nation’s solidarity with the Kashmiris, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has requested his countrymen to gather on the roads for half an hour from twelve noon on 30th August. All government organisations, educations institutions, banks, armed forces, traders and lawyers are to participate in the event. According to Pakistan, the Kahmiris have suffered gross human rights violations at the hands of the Indian government, which continues as the curfew enters its 24th day.

Joint session cancelled

The government of Pakistan has cancelled the joint sitting of Parliament that had been scheduled for a constitutionally mandatory address from President Arif Alvi. The move has prompted strong reactions from the opposition parties; Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party which had planned to disrupt the proceedings over the ‘un-constitutional’ appointment of two members to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The regular session of the National Assembly scheduled on 2nd September has also been cancelled.

Sri Lanka

Quit threat

With Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe delaying decision on the choice of the presidential candidate from the UNP under his leadership, some Ministers backing party deputy leader and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa have threatened to quit the Government. According to other reports, quoting UNP’s political allies, Wickremesinghe has promised to announce the date for their alliance-formation and UNP candidate announcement on his one-day official visit to Maldives, over the weekend even as Wickremesinghe and Premadasa have met for the second time in as many weeks to sort out their differences.



Opinion Pieces

Mujib Mashal and Fahim Abed, “Taliban Peace Talks Cast Uncertainty on Presidential Vote”, The New York Times, 29 August 2019 Mohammad Zahir Akbari, “Will the US-Taliban Agreement End War in Afghanistan?”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 29 August 2019


Afghanistan Times,Hidden policy”, 27 August 2019 Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “The Role of Media in Independence of Afghanistan”, 25 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Muhammad Zamir, “A strategic approach to Bangladesh’s economic growth”, Dhaka Tribune, 30 August 2019 Mohammad Tareq Hasan, “GDP growth: Illusions and fallacies”, The Daily Star, 27 August 2019



Kuensel, “What next for the home minister?”, 28 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Faizan Mustafa, “On dilution, bifurcation and ‘special status’”, The Hindu, 30 August 2019 Sanjib Baruah, “Defining thousands as non-citizens will create a new form of precarious citizenship — people with fewer rights, entitlements”, The Indian Express, 30 August 2019 Neelkanth Mishra, “Large disinvestments could help bridge fiscal shortfall and maintain government spending growth”, The Indian Express, 30 August 2019


The Hindu, “Law and opinion: On SC taking up Kashmir special status issue”, 30 August 2019 The Hindu, “Government should use RBI funds in a prudent manner”, 28 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Tony Waters, “Insistence on Voluntary Rohingya Repatriation to Myanmar Lacks ‘Moral Imagination’”, The Irrawaddy, 29 August 2019 Lawi Weng, “China Can Use Its Influence to End Fighting in Myanmar’s Shan State”, The Irrawaddy, 27 August 2019 Aung Zaw, “China’s Shadow Looms over Recent Attacks in Myanmar’s Shan State”, The Irrawaddy, 26 August 2019 Nyein Maung, “It Takes Two to Tango”, The Irrawaddy, 23 August 2019 Kyaw Zwa Moe, “Do Myanmar’s Generals-Turned-Politicians Have a Plan B for the Presidency?”, The Irrawaddy, 23 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Jaganath Karki, “Financial exclusion”, Republica, 28 August 2019 Nirajan Mailani and Sumit Pant, “Rebooting Nepali economy”, Republica, 27 August 2019


The Himalayan Times, “Airfare dilemma”, 30 August 2019 The Kathmandu Post, “Nepal unplugged”, 29 August 2019


Opinion Pieces

Asha’ar Rehman, “Conflicting chroniclers”, Dawn, 30 August 2019 Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, “IPC: Pakistan Senate’s peace and cooperation pivot”, The Express Tribune, 30 August 2019


Dawn, “Sheikh Rashid’s ‘war’”, 30 August 2019 The Express Tribune, “Democratic development”, 30 August 2019

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Rajan Philips, “The looming Rajapaksa vs Premadasa contest”, The Island, 1 September 2019 Adm Jayanth Colombage (retd), “Strategic trading and environmental aspects”, Daily Mirror Online, 31 August 2019 Dr M A Mohamed Saleem, “Tussle for Presidency”, The Island, 31 August 2019 C A Chandraprema, “17th and 18th Amendments”, The Island, 30 August 2019 M S M Ayub,”Predicament of minority parties”, Daily Mirror Online, 30 August 2010 Kusal Perera, “Is Galle Face endorsement enough for Anura Kumara?”, Daily Mirror Online, 30 August 2019 Kelum Bandara, “SLPP-SLFP talks hit a snag SLFP demands a common symbol instead of lotus bud”, Daily Mirror Online, 30 August 2018 Jehan Perera, “A presidential candidate people want”, The Island, 27 August 2019


Kelum Bandara, “Blocking the formation of alliance on August 5 Grave Blunder - Patali Champika Ranawaka”, Daily Mirror Online, 29 August 2019 Kamanthi Wickremesinghe, “I am the most suitable candidate if national security is the priority”, Daily Mirror Online, 28 August 2019 Kelum Bandara, “We only articulate our position on the appointment of Army Commander-American Ambassador”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 August 2019 Kelum Bandara, “It certainly looks like Sajith can beat Gotabaya – Harsh de Silva”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 August 2019


Afghanistan & Pakistan: Sohini Bose Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee Nepal: Sohini Nayak
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