MonitorsPublished on Nov 05, 2019
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XII; Issue 44

Maldives: Breathing ‘free air’ under Solih, but issues remain

N Sathiya Moorthy

Come 11 November, and President Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Solih’s regime in Maldives would be entering the second of its five-year elected term. If anything came out from the moment he was elected the President in the nation-wide direct-vote, held on 23 September 2018, it was a sense of the people breathing ‘free air’ after five years of predecessor Abdulla Yameen’s ‘oppressive regime’. To the average Maldivian, the Yameen era was a return to his half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the nation with an iron-grip for 30 long years since 1978, though the former did incarcerate the latter for attempting a ‘constitutional coup’ by involving the nation’s Supreme Court.

Solih’s election heralded the instant return of a sense of democracy and end of despondency among a larger section of the population, especially the younger generation that had begun aspiring for the same through the last decade of the Gayoom rule. Yet, it has also marked the return of inadequacies that had marked the first democracy presidency under Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed, who continues to be the MDP boss even while being the supposedly non-partisan Speaker of Parliament.

Democracy, at the end of the day, is all about healthy precedents and healthy practices. Law, court orders and governmental execution and experience are all expected to strengthen the same. It is in the absence of them all that the nation began craving for democracy under Gayoom, and failed again under Nasheed in a small way and Yameen in a much larger way, later on.

It is in this background that MDP’s subsequent seat-sweep of Parliament needs to be viewed and contexualised. Contesting the presidential polls as the common candidate of four parties, of which the MDP was the tallest in every sense of the term, Solih bagged 58 percent of the popular vote. Unless often understood overseas and by the international media, incumbent Yameen’s losing vote-share of 42 percent was nearly ten times the poll performance of the People’s Alliance (PA) party that he had once floated and lead, before merging the same with half-brother Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and hijacking the same.

In the parliamentary polls, held on 6 April this year, the MDP won two-thirds of the seats, but with a much reduced vote-share of 44 percent. In reality, the party’s 65-seat victory in the 87-member House was a mis-match when read with the vote-share, as for many seats, the victory margins with thin to low. Yet, there can be no denying the voter’s preference for the MDP, especially the Solih presidency, and their determination to give his leadership a stable government, bereft of coalition squabbles that had rocked the predecessor Nasheed and Yameen presidencies under the democracy regime.

Delaying island polls?

For starters, the MDP, however, ‘ditched’ its allies from the presidential polls when party chief Nasheed unilaterally declared their intention to go it alone. There was obvious tensions within the party as President Solih went back and forth to stick to the presidential poll alliance, to convince the nation that he meant business. Though the party leadership has been toughening its stand against the rest, possibly barring the religion-centric Adhaalath Party (AP), which alone is left from the presidential poll combine, the ground realities seems to be otherwise.

If nothing else, the MDP seems keen on seeking to delay the nation-wide island and atoll council polls by extending their terms from three to five years, through parliamentary legislation. The polls are due, and given the party’s parliamentary vote-share, someone in the MDP hierarchy seems to be concerned about the possibility of a common Opposition shaping up for ahead of the next presidential polls that are not due full four years from now.

Yet, considering the past practices of parties and leaderships launching their presidential poll campaigns just a year after the last one had concluded, there is definitely a cause for concern, more for the MDP than possibly for the Solih leadership of the Government. To the point, the party strategists do not seem wanting to give the divided Opposition from the parliamentary polls to have an occasion to come together, which chance the island council polls might well offer.

Judicial reforms

It is also in this background, the MDP’s much-touted judicial reforms come in for a closer look. It has been one of the clarion calls of the party leadership since Nasheed’s election as President in 2008, along with constant calls for ‘transitional justice’, whose residual aim was to floor the strong adversarial leadership of the outgoing President of the time. Yet, when it has had a chance, the MDP failed the nation earlier. It seems to be repeating the performance now again.

No one is talking about the way the judges of the Supreme Court reflected the government’s mood of the time, first over the ‘Nasheed conviction’, and relatively recently over the 1 February 2018 web-posted, unanimous order, turning it down, without seemingly hearing the prosecution. Taken by surprise, President Yameen, as was expected to be his wont, proclaimed emergency, jailed and voted out at least two SC judges for corruption, along with his half-brother Gayoom, now in the Opposition, for master-minding what his camp called a ‘judicial coup’.

It began this time with Speaker Nasheed blaming a Supreme Court judge for accepting money, in his wife’s name in an overseas account, for sending him to jail when the former was a trial court judge. Be it as it may, the speed with which a ‘packed anti-corruption’ constitutional body and the MDP-loaded Parliament and parliamentary committees are going about the same, the chances of popular reservations of the 2010 kind resurfacing over the procedures, or lack of the same, cannot be ruled out, over the medium and long terms.

India relations

Ahead of the presidential polls or even earlier, when he was in UK on political asylum and used to visit Delhi, President Nasheed used to run down China in favour of India. He continually criticised the Yameen Government for pushing the nation into a ‘debt-trap’, thanks to the massive development loans obtained from China, without taking his own Cabinet, Parliament and nation into confidence. He said as much even recently while in New Delhi, leading the Maldivian delegation to the Asia Development Forum, which was otherwise supposed to be apolitical.

However, most other members of the Solih team, starting with the President, have been circumspect in their public assessment of Chinese loans, or even past and future dealings with Beijing. While the Maldives government is yet to bring out a ‘white paper’ or otherwise come out with the details of Chinese debts under the Yameen regime, they have been following a carefully laid out plan, where larger economic aid could still flow from Beijing, though not in the immediate future.

In context, Male-Delhi political, diplomatic and security relations are back to the upswing mode, particularly starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Maldives, as the only world leader to be invited to attend Solih’s Inauguration. The PM has since followed it up with an official visit in the past months. In an unprecedented way, India announced a $ 1.4-b aid package to Maldives, to be spend on projects, which Male wanted for its people, and not what Delhi might have wanted to impose (which was mostly the case with Chinese funding, as elsewhere in the Third World).

It is also becoming increasingly clear that Maldives under the MDP Government of President Solih would near-exclusively depend on larger Indian neighbour for all its security needs, both internal and external, where its requirements are even more. A Solih-appointed Presidential Commission with special police powers has frankly acknowledged the existence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliates in the country.

Even more recently, Turkey, a distant Islamic nation, has black-listed a high 134 Maldivian insurgents, re-confirming their existence and spread. Thus, there is a greater need for the nation to work even more closely with friendly and resourceful larger neighbours like India, to eradicate terrorism – but without mixing it up with the ruling party’s proclivity to bend backwards to non-Islamic nations like the US and Israel.

Popular perception

At the end of the day, for a nascent yet tottering democracy as Maldives has been through the first decade of the multi-party scheme, domestic popular perceptions matter much more than international opinion. In a situation favourable to the ruling MDP since 2008, both have gone hand-in-hand. The party leadership in particular has been investing on both, but with varied response, depending on the vagaries of policy-making, when in power.

Thus today, there is a return of the resistance to the Solih Government’s attempts to introduce income-tax for businesses, both inside and outside Parliament. In its time, the Nasheed Government sought to introduce income-tax, and also cut down on Government sector staff strength and salaries by 20 percent each at the instance of IMF. In turn, it was a pre-condition for extending loans, as a possible/part-substitute for those that the Indian neighbour might not have been unwilling to offer.

Such decisions affecting individuals, most of whom had voted for leadership-change, along with the hiking of power tariff and the Government’s suspect policy on Islam, Israel and the US, not necessarily in that order, might have nailed the Nasheed leadership, before the alleged coup of 7 February 2012, which saw him quit in a huff, with hopes to returning to power on a bigger and more convincing majority. It did not happen, as expected.

Today, when the Solih Government is settling down to the business of delivering on popular aspirations and undefined expectations, as much as on the promised poll promises, it needs to look deeper at the political fall-outs of its multiple decisions. The list includes continuing perceptions of the Government taking on the higher judiciary with a political intent and content, to talking about income-tax to a population that has a mental-block about such concepts of political economy, and seemingly targeting Islam in the name of targeting terrorism. With four more years to go, the Solih leadership should decide which way to turn, and which step to take, and how false or life-threatening it could be, for the longevity of the Government, that is!

Myanmar: Rohingyas and ASEAN stance

Sreeparna Banerjee

The 35th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was held in Thailand till 4 November. The main purpose of hosting the ASEAN summit was to ensure cooperation among ASEAN member states and other countries for sustainability in the region. The ASEAN summit also examined issues related to the three pillars of ASEAN, including the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

In regard to the political and security aspect, the summit discussed sustainability, connectivity within and outside the region, and ASEAN 4.0, among other topics. Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also attended the summit at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha. Apart from socio-economic corridors and trade, the Rakhine Muslim refugee crisis was also a topic for serious discussion.

According to the draft of chairman’s statement, ASEAN leaders would reaffirm their desire to facilitate the safe, secure and dignified return of Rakhine Muslim refugees in Bangladesh to Rakhine State from which they fled. In the present scenario, it is important to review the stance of ASEAN towards displaced and stateless people, taking Rohingyas as a case.


The 10-member ASEAN and its institutions lack a political and legal framework to deal with issues related to refugees. Among the ASEAN nations, the Philippines and Cambodia are parties to either the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or its 1967 Protocol. The 2007 ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers only focuses on migrant workers and does not mention refugees or asylum seekers.

The deplorable condition of Rohingyas could be noted by the response of several Southeast Asian nations who in 2015 turned away boats carrying thousands of these displaced people. Voracious international condemnation, pressure and media glare over refusal to help the displaced people in sea finally resulted in Indonesia and Malaysia allowing these people to land on their soil for brief period.

Consequently, there were clampdowns on the human traffickers engaged in transporting Rohingya. In May 2015, both Thai and Malaysian authorities found mass graves, believed to be of Rohingyas, at abandoned human trafficking camps along their shared border. This led members of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (which has 45 state members) to acknowledge the need for an urgent and collective response on such issues.

In recent times, the group has been criticised for not enacting or guiding Myanmar to facilitate the repatriation process. Eventually, the group sent an assessment team led by ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock from the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA) to coordinate with Myanmar officials on the Rakhine issue.

The team visited Rakhine province in May this year and in December last year to conduct a preliminary needs assessment, which was based on a mandate given by ASEAN which has been severely criticised for not taking into consideration the Rohingya point of view. Representatives of ASEAN accompanied the Myanmar delegation while visiting the Rohingya camps this time but the attempt seems futile. Currently only a handful of people have turned up at Myanmar from Bangladesh but the list remains large.

Steps required

The rolling Rohingya catastrophe has exposed how little the region is prepared and equipped to deal with such a movement of displaced people from one member state to others. The situation needs close monitoring if better regional cooperation is to lead to improved protection for its displaced or stateless people. A refugee and asylum policy needs to be framed that includes guidance for action to be taken when a Member State's internal issues cause people to flee to neighbouring states. Such a policy agreed by all ASEAN Member States would furthermore help to ease both the escalation of opposition and any future ethnic or religious tensions between States.

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights body needs to be fortified, lacking as it does the mandate to protect and investigate so than any future clashes can be addressed through this forum. ASEAN as yet lacks a Human Rights Court to interpret and enforce the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, a further factor that must be looked into to help protect such stateless or displaced people.

It is pertinent during the present time that the regional set up adheres a more comprehensive and sustainable role to uphold its prominence and stature in the regional political dynamics. Though expanding regional corridors and trade is essential but improved protection for displaced or stateless people currently holds the key to better cooperation.

Country Reports


Restrictions on social media

According to an official letter issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan, the Deputy Foreign Minister Edris Zaman has instructed all employees of the Ministry to refrain from making comments in the social media on political and security related issues. Zaman has also warned that the employees would face legal charges on violation of these instructions. However the NAI organization that supports open media in Afghanistan has stated that such instruction are contradictory of the Afghan constitution.

Pak promise on peace

Recently the US envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad held talks on the Afghan peace process with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan in Islamabad. Khan promised Khalilzad that Pakistan would do everything possible for an early conclusion of the peace deal between US and the Taliban. Furthermore Khan stated that it was important for all the sides to take practical steps that would ensure the reduction of violence. This is the second time Khalilzad visited Pakistan.


Border talks with China soon

Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji confirmed that Bhutan and China are scheduled to have boundary talks, though there has been no formal date and formal requests yet. Dorji said that Bhutan’s Embassy in New Delhi and the Chinese Embassy had informally discussed the need to have boundary talks. The minister said the Chinese side felt it was time for talks and he said that the Bhutanese side also agreed at an informal level. The last boundary talks, the 24th round was held in Beijing on 11 August 2016.

Non-hydro debt ceiling

The external debt ceiling on non-hydro loan, which came into effect with the public debt policy initiated by the former government, is now under the radar of the current government. The public debt policy, which was introduced in 2016, sets thresholds for non-hydro power debt stock at 35 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the Five Year Plan period, while the general government debt is capped at less than 22 percent of domestic revenue in any given financial year. However, the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said this ceiling, especially the non-hydro debt, was restricting the financial needs of the country when capital investment is required the most. Dr. Tshering said that the finance ministry was asked to come up with a report as to how much and what kind of borrowings the country could avail as LDC and to identify the capital investment needs. Steel export to India plummets

Steel exports to India dip

Bhutan’s steel exports to India have plummeted since the introduction of the Indian Goods and Services Tax (IGST) regime in 2017. The company Perfect TMX TMT is the sole manufacturer of reinforcement bars in the country. As per the figures from Perfect TMX TMT, total export sales prior to the introduction of IGST was around 27,642 MT in 2016 as against which, the company exported only 748.56 MT so far this year, which is a decrease of more than 95 percent as compared to the period prior to the introduction of IGST.


New UTs born

President’s rule in Kashmir was revoked on 31 October and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was transitioned into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The move was in accordance with the government's 5 August announcement withdrawing the State's special status under Article 370 and bifurcating the state into union territories. This is the first time that a State is being downsized into union territories, the two new entities taking the total number of UTs to nine and bringing down the number of states in India to 28. Girish Chandra Murmu in Jammu and Kashmir and Radha Krishna Mathur in Ladakh took oath as the first lieutenant governors of the new union territories.

EU MPs visit Kashmir

A 23-member European Union Parliamentary delegation, comprising of leaders from the UK, Brussels, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and others visited the Kashmir Valley on 24 October to get an assessment of the ground situation after the abrogation of J&K's special status. Originally, 28 MPs were supposed to visit, but three MPs reportedly backed out. The delegation met PM Modi before heading to Kashmir. Opposition parties in India have stepped up their attack against the government over EU MPs' Kashmir trip with the Congress describing it as the "biggest diplomatic blunder" and others asking the Centre how these foreign lawmakers were allowed to visit the Valley while Indian leaders were denied permission.

Merkel meets Modi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in India on 1 November for a two-day visit. She met Prime Minister Modi and the two leaders signed around 20 agreements. The two sides also looked at enhancing people-to-people contact and cooperate in the field of agriculture. The German Chancellor also met the business community in India. She left on 2 November


Judicial tussle stiffening

The judicial watchdog has warned the Supreme Court against any move to undermine or refuse to comply with recent changes made to the Judicial Service Commission Act, which brought back the Department of Judicial Administration uder the oversight body. The 10-member commission called an emergency meeting on Friday night upon learning that the Judicial Council formed by the Supreme Court was planning to decide either not to comply with the legal changes, refuse to accept it or undermine the revised law.

‘No’ to income-tax

Opposition parliamentarian, Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, owner of Sun Siyam resorts and leader of the minority opposition Maldives Development Alliance, contended on Wednesday that the country does not need to introduce a personal income tax. In a tirade during debate on the government’s income tax bill, Siyam declared that taxing personal income without explaining what the revenue would be used for amounts to “theft” from the public, accusing government officials of stealing taxpayer’s money. Speaking at rally on Wednesday night, Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, owner of the Villa business empire, meanwhile argued that “social justice would be upside down” if higher incomes are taxed at higher rates under the proposed progressive tax, which he called undemocratic and contrary to the constitutional principle of equality. 


400 Rohingyas return

Around 400 Rohingya refugees have voluntarily returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh. Myanmar's embassy posted photos on Facebook that purported to show "46 more voluntary returnees" being "warmly received" in Myanmar, taking the total number going back to 397 in an unspecified timeframe. This step comes few months after Bangladesh imposed an internet blackout on the vast, squalid camps in the country's south-east that house the refugees, and has announced plans to surround them with barbed-wire fences. Thousands of refugees are said to be moved to an island in the Bay of Bengal which also poses concern for their safety.

Court-martial on Rakhine

The Tatmadaw (military) is collecting evidence to prosecute soldiers accused of violating military regulations in northern Rakhine State in 2017. Earlier, the military established a team to investigate allegations of mass graves found in Gu Dar Pyin Village of Buthidaung Township in northern Rakhine. The armed forces will begin court-martial proceedings against soldiers who were implicated in the deaths of 19 suspected members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in the village in Buthidaung in February 2018.


Is Birgunj customs failing?

The revenue collected from the Birgunj Customs office, a major customs point in Nepal, has been failing to generate the targeted revenue. The fiscal year 2018/19 is a reflection. There has been a target shortage of 31.74 per cent. This might have an effect on the overall economy as importers complain of reducing revenue target.

 ‘Intra-party betrayal’

Sher Bahadur Deuba, the President of the Nepali Congress, has been very vocal about dealing with intra-party betrayal in the previous elections. He also tried to motivate the party cadres to work towards power once again in the upcoming by-elections.


Improving business-ease

President David R.Malpass of World Bank Group has confirmed that the reforms carried out by Pakistan for the ease of doing business will facilitate the creation of jobs, attract investments and generate more tax revenues. These reformatory initiatives have been undertaken by Pakistan to improve its ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index. He said the ease of doing business could be further promoted if Pakistan sought to improve its judicial procedures, skill training and women empowerment.

India seeks prisoners’ freedom

Based on a petition filed by the Indian High Commission for the release of four Indians, the High Court of Islamabad has issued notices for the federal government for a response. They had been convicted of spying by the Field General Court Marshal and the Indian High Commission moved court after the completion of their sentences. All four prisoners have completed their terms it is illegal under the terms of the Pakistani Constitution to keep them under imprisonment.

Sri Lanka

Tamil ‘indecision’, yet

With ‘minority’ votes once again seemingly becoming a decisive factor in 16 November presidential polls, the much-touted five-party Tamil alliance, up from the dwindled three-party TNA, is yet to come out with its choice of Sinhala candidate, between Housing Minister and UNP-DNF’s Sajith Premadasa and Opposition SLPP-JO’s war-time Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. However, indications are that either through last-minute decision, or through intra-community campaigns, at least the TNA part of the combine, might end up casting their lot with Preamadasa, Jr, lest the ‘Tamil support’ could tilt the majority ‘Sinhala votes’ in the rival’s favour.



Opinion Pieces

Hujjatullah Zia, “Women’s Inclusion Important in Peace Talks”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 31 October 2019

Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Mujib Mashal, “In Afghanistan’s War and Peace, WhatsApp Delivers the Message”, The New York Times, 26 October 2019


Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “The Underground Waters Reduction Worries Kabul Residents”, 31 October 2019

Afghanistan Times, “Don’t rest assured!”, 29 October 2019


Opinion Pieces

Dasho Kinely Dorji, “Seeking happiness the Bhutanese way”, The Daily Star, 28 October 2019


The Bhutanese, “Regional Tourism Regulation”, 26 October 2019


Opinion Pieces

Shastri Ramachandran, “India does not love its Nobel laureates. Nor does the rest of South AsiaThe Indian Express, 1 November 2019

Christophe Jaffrelot, “On socio-economic indicators, Muslim youth fare worse than SCs and OBCs”, The Indian Express, 1 November 2019

Ashok Thakur, “As attention remains focused on the Valley, Ladakh grapples with its own concerns”, The Indian Express, 1 November 2019

Karan Thapar, “Internationalising the Kashmir Issue”, The Hindu, 31 October 2019

K. Kannan, “Settling the Ayodhya case once and for all”, The Hindu, 29 October 2019


The Hindu, “Relief for Pehlu’s sons: On Alwar lynching case”, 1 November 2019

The Indian Express, “Battle on Air”, 1 November 2019

The Hindu, “Visiting Kashmir: On MEP team visit”, 31 October 2019

The Hindu, “Brotherhood unbound: On BJP-Shiv Sena tussle”, 30 October 2019

The Indian Express, “Tall Task Awaits”, 29 October 2019

The Indian Express, “Second Wind”, 28 October 2019


Opinion Pieces

Annie Game, “Our Right to Information Is Inseparable From Our Right to Expression”, The Irrawaddy, 1 November 2019

Nyein Nyein, “Could a Logistical Issue Overturn Myanmar’s Peace Talks?”, The Irrawaddy, 29 October 2019

Aung Zaw, “Does Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Follow Ne Win’s ‘Neutrality’?”, The Irrawaddy, 25 October 2019


Opinion Pieces

Himalaya Kharel, “Workers of all hues need to unite”, The Kathmandu Post, 1 November 2019

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, “We must be bold to end TB by 2030”, Republica, 31 October 2019

Prem Singh Basnyat, “What went wrong?”,Republica, 27 October 2019


The Kathmandu Post, “The health of the prime minister is a topic that affects everyone in the country”, 1 November 2019

The Himalayan Times, “By-election code”, 31 October 2019


Opinion Pieces

Asha’as Rehman, “Waylaid on GT Road”, Dawn, 1 November 2019

Talat Shabbir, “Building momentum on CPEC”, The Express Tribune, 1 November 2019


Dawn, “Caving in to traders”, 1 November 2019

The Express Tribune, “Redefining terrorism” 1 November 2019

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Leelananda de Silva, “The UN system in Sri Lanka: The need for transparency”, The Island, 3 November 2019

Kumar David, “Class drivers and Gotabhaya autocracy”, The Island, 3 November 2019

Sanjana Hattotuva, “The missus versus manifesto”, The Island, 3 November 2019

Rajeewa Jayaweera, “National Security or Political Expediency”, The Island, 3 November 2019

D B S Jeyaraj, “Presidential race: Ordinary people expect better economic prospects and national security”, Daily Mirror Online, 2 November 2019

G A D Sirimal, “No election promises on ethnic reconciliation”, Daily Mirror Online, 2 November 2019

M S M Ayub, “Election Promises: An insult to people’s intellect”, Daily Mirror Online, 1 November 2019

Kusal Perera, “Dirty tricks and cheap gimmicks on campaign trail”, Daily Mirror Online, 1 November 2019

Kelum Bandara, “Candidates seem to have common policies, so what matters is ability to deliver”, Daily Mirror Online, 31 October 2019

Maj-Gen Boniface Perera, “Case of Sri Lankan civil war: Wars not won by individuals Claim by one person that he single-handedly won the war is unrealistic”, Daily Mirror Online, 31 October 2019

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Easter attacks PSC probe: What next”, Ceylon Today, 29 October 2019

N Sathiya Moorthy, “No election promises about ethnic reconciliation”, The Island, 29 October 2019

Neville Laduwahetty, “Misreading 19-A its consequences”, The Island, 29 October 2019

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Between curtailing cooperation and outright alienation”, Colombo Gazette, 28 October 2019


Kamanthi Wickremesinghe, “I’m a disciplined soldier, not a dictator: Gen Senanayake”, Daily Mirror Online, 29 October 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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