MonitorsPublished on Jun 22, 2016
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume IX; Issue 25

< style="color: #0180b3">ANALYSES

BJP makes strategy to win UP, other states next year

By Satish Misra

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre, recently held its two-day national executive committee meeting in the city of Allahabad, in the biggest state of Uttar Pradesh, which goes for assembly elections early next year along with the states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

The assembly elections in these five states are very crucial for the BJP because it had done spectacularly well in the 2014 general elections, especially in UP, though the state is ruled by the Samajwadi Party. In Goa, the BJP is at present the ruling party, while it’s a part of the ruling alliance in Punjab. In Uttarakhand and Manipur, where the Congress is in government, a victory will add credibility and shine to the party as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In all, 690 assembly seats in five states will be at stake.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 80 seats out of a total of 102 seats in these five states.  The tally goes up further to 86 if its allies like the Shiromani Akali Dal and Apna Dal are counted in Punjab and UP, respectively.  Traditional rivals like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other smaller regional parties were almost decimated, giving them only 12 seats. In Punjab, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) had won four seats contesting the Lok Sabha election for the first time from the state.

Most crucial

While elections in all the five states are important, Uttar Pradesh is the most crucial for not only the BJP but even for the SP, BSP and the Congress. That is why the BJP chose to conduct its national executive committee meeting, which is normally held every three months, in UP which had elected 71 party MPs in 2014 and has a state assembly with 403 MLAs.

The last time the BJP was in power in the state was in 2002 when Rajnath Singh, currently the Union Home Minister in the Modi government, was the chief minister. Since then, the party’s strength in the assembly has been coming down. In the last assembly elections in 2012, it could win only 47 seats. The SP won a clear majority with 224 MLAs. Akhilesh Yadav, son of the SP’s founder president and two-time chief minister of the state Mulayam Singh Yadav, became the 20th chief minister of the state.  The SP, found on October 4, 1992, has been in government three times.

Realising  that despite its huge victory in the Lok Sabha polls, the battle for the assembly is not going to be a cake-walk, the BJP deliberated in detail for evolving a suitable strategy for the 2017 election. The battle for UP, which is a little over six months away, is going to be a four-cornered contest with the BSP, SP, BJP and the Congress fighting against one another to gain the electorate’s confidence.

Losing popularity

From the available accounts and prevailing political conditions, it appears that the ruling SP is losing its popularity fast and will have to perform a miracle to beat the anti-incumbency factor to emerge victorious again. Though the SP government has been focusing on developing infrastructure, a strong popular perception about rising crime and the resultant bad law and order situation has made its task much more complex and tough. The ruling party is being challenged by the BSP, which is led by four-times UP chief minister Mayawati. In people’s perception and estimate, a Mayawati government can handle law and order situation much more effectively, compared to a SP government.

The Congress, which won 28 seats in 2012, did badly in the Lok Sabha polls, winning just two seats — of party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The party’s vote-share, which had improved to 11.63% in the 2012 assembly election, came down to a historic low of 7.50% in the 2014 general election.

Two-pronged BJP strategy

The results of the 2017 battle being very crucial for the BJP, it has not only decided to focus on issues of development, improving law and order situation and getting support from various castes, prominently that of other backward castes minus that of Yadavs who are with the SP. At the same time, the BJP has decided to fight the battle with a two-pronged strategy.

On the one hand, the party and its leaders will promise development and crack down on crime with a heavy hand. On the other, it will play its traditional communal card with the view of sharpening the Hindu-Muslim divide so that ‘Hindu votes’ can be polarised in its favour.

The BJP’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) deployment is going to be on a massive scale. The RSS and its affiliated organisations will work to ensure polarisation of votes takes place by raking up issues of cow slaughter, love jihad and Muslim appeasement by all other political parties.

The outcome of the election has implications for both the BJP as well as for PM Modi, whose credibility as the winning face, will be at stake. A win resulting in making the BJP part of the next government in state capital Lucknow will give a decisive boost to Modi’s image and will make the chances of his return to power in 2019 brighter while a defeat or a bad performance in terms of number of winning MLAs will make the general election battle much more complex and difficult.

A win in UP is also significant because Modi represents UP in parliament. The results of the assembly elections will also determine the outcome of the election of the nation’s President, which is scheduled to be held before  July 25 next year.

Sensitive state

Another important electoral challenge for the BJP next year is going to be in Punjab where it has been in power in an alliance with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) since 2007. In the border sensitive state, the SAD-BJP alliance is going to face not only its traditional rival the Congress but also Aam Admi Party (AAP) which is pitching hard to win the state elections after its convincing victory in the Delhi assembly elections in 2015 when it won 67 seats in the 70-member House. The AAP had won four seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Punjab. A defeat of the ruling alliance will impact on the image of the party and that of the Prime Minister negatively.

Elections in the hilly state of Uttarakhand are no less important for the BJP. It had won all the five Lok Sabha seats and had polled 55.30% popular vote. In the 2012 assembly elections, the BJP had won 30 seats in a house of 70 and had registered 33.13% of the polled votes. The Congress, which had won 33 seats and had polled 33.79% votes, had formed the government, being the single largest party with the support of independents, BSP and UKD.

A victory will ensure return to power in the State and a boost to the image of the party as well as that of Modi, but a defeat here will only adversely impact on its political fortunes.

Alternating power

In Goa, the BJP and the Congress have been alternating power between them over the past last 16 years. The BJP came to power in 2012 elections winning 21 seats in a House of 40 and had polled 36.53% votes while the Congress had won nine seats by polling 34.87% votes.

Many smaller parties and independents contest elections and their role becomes important in case no party wins simple majority. While the BJP will have to fight the anti-incumbency factor, the Congress is suffering from factionalism.  The AAP is also going to contest the elections this time. Entry of the AAP in the electoral fray is likely to make the political situation more complex.

The Congress is in power in the north eastern state of Manipur. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has been on the chair since  March 7, 2002 and anti-incumbency is rising in the state opening space for the BJP which after its victory in Assam last month is making efforts to enter the electoral fray.  By cobbling a coalition of smaller parties, the BJP can throw a serious challenge to the Congress.

The writer is a Senior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Myanmar: A year after Manipur ambush

By Mihir Bhonsale

It was in June last year that a Myanmar-based, north-east rebel group struck an Indian army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur, killing 18 soldiers. But, even after a year, peace and stability eludes in the bordering regions of India and Myanmar.

Reports say that strikes by India’s north-east rebel groups have increased in the last couple of years. Strikes by Naga militant group, National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Khaplang NSCN (K) and Coordination Committee (CorCom) that carried out the June 4 attack in Manipur and the recent May 26 attack that killed six Indian soldiers and injured another 16 respectively, have brought the porous India-Myanmar back in focus.

India has upped its pressure on Myanmar to contain anti-India activities from its soil. The NSCN (K) signed a ceasefire agreement with Myanmar in 2012, but violated a similar ceasefire agreement with India, by carrying out the June 4 ambush.

As New Delhi continues to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Naga rebel outfits like NSCN- Issac Muaivah (NSCN-IM), Myanmar is busy preparing for an ambitious peace conference that also includes non-signatory groups to the National Ceasefire Accord (NCA).

Different approaches

A different approach sets apart, Myanmar and India in dealing with a cross-border armed ethnic group, often at the cost of compromising each other’s security. The Naga rebel group NSCN (K) is no exception.

New Delhi has singled out the NSCN (IM) Naga rebel group, amongst the several groups by signing a Ceasefire Framework Agreement in August last year; leaving out other Naga rebel groups including the NSCN (K) red-faced. The latter continue to carry out strikes against India.

The north eastern Indian states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have been on the radar of NSCN (K), in their war against the Indian state. The NSCN (K)’s weakening in their traditional bases of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland due to a spilt in the organisation, has prompted them to establish links with other rebel outfits and to target non-traditional bases like Manipur.

The NSCN (K) coordination with other rebel outfits like the Coordination Committee (CorCom), an umbrella organisation of six insurgent groups has redoubled their strengths. The CorCom is said to be using self-administered zones controlled by the NSCN (K) in the Sagaing region of Myanmar.

Indian security’s response has been reactive, it rushed to ban NSCN (K) for five years after the June 4 ambush and later declared it as a ‘terrorist organisation’. It has also carried out combing operations and is said to have neutralised NSCN (K) camps, even inside Myanmar’s territory.

Conciliatory approach

Myanmar, since the change of guard in April this year, has had a more conciliatory approach. Aung San Suu Kyi who is at the helm of affairs in the country has announced a peace conference with ethnic armed groups of the country including those who have not signed the ceasefire accord.

The NSCN (K) has already concluded a ceasefire agreement with Myanmar’s junta and had sent representatives to the meeting called by the government to discuss signing of a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. But, NSCN (K) was left out from the NCA at a later stage.’

Some reports say that owing to India’s pressure, Myanmar excluded NSCN (K) from the NCA. However, NSCN (K)’s Links with Kachin Independence Army and links with Kokang group MNDAA would have also binding on the rebel group to not sign the NCA.

It is also noteworthy that, groups that have not signed the NCA are mostly in the northern and north-western parts of Myanmar, bordering China, India and Bangladesh, while signatories to the NCA are active on the southern border with Thailand.

China factor

The Indian state of Nagaland has come forward to broker a ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian government with councillors resigning for the deal to go ahead. This, shows that solving the over 60-year contentious issue has become the priority for the people of the state.

Similarly, Naypyitaw is leaving no stone to make the 21st century Panglong into a success. The willingness of the Myanmar government to discuss all outstanding issues with ethnic groups including the latter’s demand for a political dialogue.

However, buffer states separating Myanmar from China and India from Myanmar continue to pose a serious security threat to respective countries. India is concerned about rebel camps operative from regions like Sagaing, where the rebel group NSCN (K) runs a self-administered Naga zone.

Similarly, security of Myanmar is also faced with a threat from ethnic armed groups like United Wa State Army, operating from her border with China and is a beneficiary of Chinese support. New Delhi has also indicted Beijing of instigating NSCN (K) to carry out anti-India activities, resulting in the latter intensifying its activities in India’s north eastern states.

The purported Chinese hand in inflicting wounds on Naypyitaw and New Delhi could bring about a convergence of India and Myanmar’s interests. State Councillor, Suu Kyi and India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval in their recent meeting on 16 June are likely to have discussed the China threat to containing insurgency in the region, amongst a host of other issues concerning cooperation between the two countries.

The writer is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata.

< style="color: #0180b3">COUNTRY REPORTS

< style="color: #0180b3">Afghanistan

US expands troops’ role

The White House has granted US military commanders in Afghanistan greater powers, allowing them to accompany Afghan forces to battle and expanding the use of US air power for offensive missions against the Taliban and other insurgency groups. Officials said they will only be approved in limited circumstances when they are expected to have “strategic effect.”

For more information, see: US widens war in Afghanistan, authorises new action against Taliban

NATO to continue operations

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg said on June 15 that they have decided to continue their Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. "On Afghanistan, what we have decided is that we will continue our Resolute Support mission, we will have what we call a flexible regional approach - meaning that we will continue of course to be in Kabul, but also out in the different regions," Stoltenberg said following a meeting of defence ministers.

For more information, see: NATO to Continue Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

US commander submits report

Gen. John W. Nicholson, the new US commander in Afghanistan has submitted his first three-month assessment of the situation in the war-torn country and what it will take to defeat the Taliban, a U.S. military official has told The Associated Press. Details of the review were not disclosed, but it is said that the US general does not want the reduction of the current level of US forces in Afghanistan.

For more information, see: US General Nicholson Submits his Assessment of the Situation in Afghanistan

Sharif, Karzai meet in London

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) said on June 16 that the election management body is preparing to announce the schedule for the parliamentary and district council's elections. This comes a week after the Afghan parliament rejected a presidential legislative decree on electoral reforms, a decision that has sparked strong reactions among the election monitors.

For more information, see: IEC says it will announce election date amid reform controversy

< style="color: #0180b3">Bangladesh

Crackdown on militancy

In a major countrywide anti-militancy drive, more than eleven thousand people were arrested. Amongst the arrested nearly 150 are suspected militants.   The opposition claimed that its members were harassed under the guise of counter militancy operation.    Human Rights Watch urged Bangladesh government to stop arbitrary arrest of people.  Bangladesh is experiencing a surge in militant activities. Militants are targeting secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities.

For more information, see:  48 'militants' among 2,000 new arrestees held across Bangladesh; Arrest militants, spare innocents; Bangladesh arrests more than 11,000 after wave of killingsHalt mass arbitrary arrests, HRW urges Bangladesh govt; Police detain 10 'militants'

Transhipment begins

Adding new phase to India and Bangladesh connectivity, the transshipment of goods at the Ashuganj inland water port was inaugurated this. The new port is expected to boost economies of the two countries by promoting trade. The opening of Ashuganj port in Bangladesh will be easing up the movement of goods to the Indian state of Tripura.

For more information, see: Bangladesh-India transit formally opens at Ashuganj

Rise in forex reserves

In major good news to the economy, foreign exchange reserves touched over $29 billion. Economists observed that growth rise in forex reserve are due to a dearth of investment. The present reserve will enable Bangladesh to meet its imports bills for next eight months.

For more information, see: Forex reserve hovering over $29 billion

< style="color: #0180b3">Bhutan

Most peaceful nation

Bhutan was ranked the most peaceful among seven South Asian countries and 13th among 163 countries on the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016, said Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at the opening of the 20th Desuup training in Wangdue.

For more information, see: Bhutan most peaceful in region: Global Peace Index

Tourism industry hit

In the wake of various issues confronting the industry today, coordination issues between tourism stakeholders and the government has left the industry in doldrums, according to tourism stakeholders.

For more information, see: Coordination issues confront tourism industry

Bridge inaugurated

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay inaugurated the Hejo zam and Dechencholing zam in Thimphu on June 11. The government of India funded the construction of both the bridges. The Construction Development Corporation Ltd (CDCL) designed and constructed the two bridges in February 2015.

For more information, see: First Bhutanese-built bridge inaugurated

< style="color: #0180b3">India

China spies

A Chinese observation ship shadowed the powerful US aircraft carrier, John C. Stennis, in the Western Pacific on Wednesday, a Japanese official said, joining warships from Japan and India in drills close to waters Beijing considers its backyard. The show of American naval power comes as Japan and the United States worry Beijing will look to extend its influence into the Western Pacific with submarines and surface vessels as it pushes its territorial claims in the neighbouring South China Sea.

For more information, see: Chinese spy ship shadows US, Japanese, Indian naval drill in the Western Pacific

'Mild scuffle' at LAC

A scuffle had broken out between troops of Indian Army and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) when the 276 Chinese personnel entered the Indian side from four different border points in Arunachal Pradesh last Thursday, according to an official account of the incident. The incident occurred at 'Shankar Tikri' on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of Yangtse area in Arunachal Pradesh with the PLA claiming the area belonged to China.

For more information, see: Indian Army reports 'mild scuffle' with Chinese troops at LAC in Arunachal Pradesh

Women fighter pilots

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will attend the commissioning ceremony of three women officers as the fighter pilots for the first time in the IAF history on June 18, at Air Force Academy in Dundigal in Hyderabad. On the occasion, Parrikar will review the Passing out Parade and confer the ‘President’s Commission’ to 129 graduating trainees of various branches including 22 women trainees.

For more information, see:  IAF to induct first batch of women pilots on June 18

Cabinet shuffle likely

A minor reshuffle of the Union council of ministers is likely in the next few days, paving the way for entry of at least two ministers from Uttar Pradesh. Reports suggest authorities have enquired with Rashtrapati Bhavan about the availability of President Pranab Mukherjee in the national capital between June 19 and 23, leading to speculation that changes in the team will be done during this period.

For more information, see: PM Modi’s cabinet likely to see changes next week

HC ticks off censors

Taking a line that many film-makers pushed in the past, the Bombay high court pointed out to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that it was a body that was meant to certify films and not censor them. The court made the observation at a hearing on cuts the CBFC, widely referred to as 'censor board', was attempting to impose on the film 'Udta Punjab'.

For more information, see: No need to be overly critical: Bombay high court to censors on 'Udta Punjab' row

< style="color: #0180b3">Maldives 

‘Troubling’: UNHRC                 

In his ‘oral report’ to the 32nd session, UNHRC chief, Prince Zeid has said that he was ‘troubled’ by the application of terrorism-related charges against Maldivian Opposition leaders. He also expressed concern over recent legislative changes brought in the country, which he said had negative impacts of fundamental rights of Maldivian citizens.

For more information, see: UN says application of terror-related charges on Maldivian opposition leaders “troubling”, SunOnline, June 14, 2016; Three Maldivians join extremist group in Syria, Maldives Independent, June 13, 2016; Strong connection between jihad, MDP: Home Minister, Miadhu, June 17, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3">Myanmar 

Disarm, ethnic groups told

The army has insisted that three ethnic armed groups disarmed first while preparations are on for the 21st century Panglong Conference. The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA) are the three groups in question.

For more information, see: Army Demands Three Ethnic Allies Disarm Before Joining the Peace Process

Three killed in chopper crash

Three crew members died when a Myanmar Air Force helicopter crashed in Bago Region on the morning of June 15 due to the bad weather, reported by the Office of the Commander-in-Chief. The helicopter, a M-2 model crashed into a gorge near mile post No 72 on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway as it was heading to Hmawbi from Meiktila.

For more information, see: Three killed in military helicopter crash

Higher loans from ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will more than double it loans to Burma next year, the bank’s President Takehiko Nakao announced following meetings with Burmese leaders in Naypyidaw on June 14.

For more information, see: ADB to more than double loans to Burma

< style="color: #0180b3">Nepal

Thapa for Delhi

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa left for New Delhi, India on June 10 to attend and preside over the Convocation Ceremony of the South Asian University on 11 June, 2016. He will be on visit to India from 10 June, 2016 to 12 June, 2016. He will hold a bilateral meeting with Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India. He will also hold a meeting at ORF Delhi Office.

For more information, see: DPM Thapa leaves for India; Vice-President leaves for China, DPM Thapa off to India

Arun-3 stalled

SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company, the developer of the 900 MW Arun-3 Hydropower Project, has not been able to acquire adequate land for the project as the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM) has not lifted the land ceiling set for the company. The developer’s attempt to acquire around 1,000 ropanis of private land has been stymied as the acquisition of more than 75 ropanis requires the Cabinet’s approval.

For more information, see: Arun-3 hydro stymied by ceiling on land acquisition

Trade pact-change

As the date for renewal of Nepal-India Treaty of Trade comes closer, experts have said that the treaty needs to be amended for enhancing bilateral trade. The bilateral trade treaty is weaker compared to SAFTA in the sense that the former prohibits imposition of duty on agriculture products, while SAFTA states that duty can be imposed on all agriculture products.

For more information, see: Experts for amending various provisions of Nepal-India Treaty of Trade

< style="color: #0180b3">Pakistan

Fire-exchange with Afghans

Pakistan and Afghanistan forces exchanged heavy gunfire along the shared Torkham border on 12 and 13 June, killing at least one Afghan and Pakistani officer each and wounding many others. The escalation followed the closing of the Torkham crossing last month after Afghan border security guards objected to the construction of a gate on the Pakistani side.

For more information, see: Afghanistan and Pakistan Exchange Heavy Gunfire Along Border

 ‘Afghan spy’ killed

Five suspected militants, four of them belonging to two banned militant organisations and one to the Afghan intelligence agency NDS, were killed in a shootout with security forces in Quetta’s Chashma Achozai area on the night between 13 and 14 June. The provincial home department has confirmed the killings. The police claimed that the Afghan spy had been living with members of the banned organisations, one of them a religious group, to help them carry out acts of terror in Quetta.

For more information, see: 'Afghan spy' among five suspects killed in Quetta

US clears $800 m

The US Senate has passed its draft of the National Defence Authorisation Bill, including a provision to set up a new fund to reimburse Pakistan for its efforts in the war against terrorism. The Senate version authorises $800 million under a provision called the `Pakistan Security Enhancement Authorisation’. It also fences $300m behind a similar Haqqani network provision that has existed in the annual defence authorisation acts since the fiscal year 2015. The proposal for Pakistan was passed as originally initiated.

For more information, see: US Senate passes $800m Pakistan fund

< style="color: #0180b3">Sri Lanka 

Govt defeats ‘no-trust’ vote

The Government has defeated the no-confidence vote moved by the ‘Joint Opposition’ against Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, by 125-51. The 28 absentees included the 16 members of the official TNA Opposition, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

For more information, see: Govt. defeats no-faith motion against Ravi, The Island, June 10, 2015; PM wants former Prez suspended for one week, The Island, June 10, 2016; JO to protest Mahendran's reappointment, Daily Mirror Online, June 14, 2016; No need for a second SLFP leader: Harrison, Daily Mirror Online, June 14, 2016; SLFP to request MS not to reappoint Mahendran, Daily Mirror Online, June 17, 2016; President should consult us: Digambaram, Daily Mirror Online, June 16, 2016

‘Inclusive engagement’

In his report to the UNHRC Council, High Commissioner, Prince Zeid has called for a comprehensive strategy to implement the Sri Lankan Government’s commitments under the co-sponsored resolution on ‘accountability issues’ and political reconciliation. The High Commissioner said respect for human rights offers countries a path towards greater stability and that his office offers assistance in establishing that path in all humility.

For more information, see: UNHR Chief calls for inclusive engagement of all Lankans, Daily Mirror Online, June 13, 2016; Previous regime yet to answer vital questions: MS, Daily Mirror Online, June 14, 2016; National Security Act to replace PTA, Daily Mirror Online, June 13, 2016

Need Indian investments

Sri Lanka is keen on Indian investments in ports and civil aviation sectors, just as China is doing already, even as it is renegotiating the China-funded Colombo Port City project, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva has said.

For more information, see: No outright sale to China, keen on Indian investment: Govt., Daily Mirror Online, June 16, 2016; ‘Build Sampur project or face the consequences’, The Island, June 17, 2016; No dual citizenship for SL refugees in India: official, Daily Mirror Online, June 17, 2016; Sri Lanka seeks new agreement for Colombo Port City, The Island, June 11, 2016; First Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel built in India for Sri Lankan Navy is launched in Goa, The Island, June 11, 2016; Agreements signed for Indian Housing Project in Central and Uva Provinces, The Island, June 12, 2016; Doctors call for national policy on international pacts: ETCA dispute, The Island, June 14, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3">PRIMARY DOCUMENTATION

< style="color: #0180b3">Bangladesh


Remarks by Hon’ble Foreign Minister H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP as the Chief Guest at the Reception hosted in Celebration of the National Day of the Russian Federation

Press Releases

State Minister for Foreign Affairs reiterates Bangladesh’s commitment to UN peacekeeping and protection of civilians

< style="color: #0180b3">Bhutan

Press Releases

PM inaugurated two bridges in Hejo and Dechencholing

< style="color: #0180b3">Myanmar

Press Releases

Joint press briefing by Myanmar and Turkey Foreign Ministers

< style="color: #0180b3">BIBLIOGRAPHY

< style="color: #0180b3">Afghanistan

Opinion Pieces

Durdana Najam, Does the US ever want peace in Afghanistan?, Daily Times

Yehia Ghanem, Afghanistan: A crossroads for US-Arab relations, Al Jazeera

Pamela Constable, How Afghanistan’s mixed messages on homosexuality play into the Orlando shooting debate, The Washington Post

< style="color: #0180b3">Bangladesh

Opinion pieces

Badrul Imam, Bangladesh will not run out of gas any time soon, The Daily Star

Subir Bhaumik , “Strategy behind attacking soft targets in

Rishi Iyengar, Bangladesh was founded on the principle of cultural freedom: What happened?, Time

Zia Hassan, Deep politics of deep sea portsDhaka Tribune

Rumana Hashem, Missing women of Bangladesh are far from being silent, Dhaka Tribune

< style="color: #0180b3">Bhutan

Opinion Pieces

Saacha Dorji, What is Gross National Happiness, really?, Kuensel


Illegal immigration, a national concern, Kuensel

< style="color: #0180b3">India

Opinion Pieces

C. Raja Mohan, Time for India to move to shed its other ‘hesitations of history’, especially towards China, Pakistan, The Indian Express

Manoj Joshi, No Breakthrough or Sellout, Modi’s US Trip is Part of the Great Indian Balancing Trick

< style="color: #0180b3">Maldives

Opinion Pieces

N. Sathiya Moorthy, Adheeb’s convictions may reopen ‘terrorism’ debate, ORF

< style="color: #0180b3">Myanmar

Opinion Pieces

Lawi Weng, Peace Process Should Remain the Priority, The Irrawaddy

Nicholas Farrelly, Millions of ‘likes’ but leadership lacking, Myanmar Times

< style="color: #0180b3">Nepal

Opinion Pieces

Chandan Sapkota Budget blues, The Kathmandu Post

Geha Nath Khanal, Will it work?, Republica


Punish themThe Kathmandu Post Right to wrongRepublica

< style="color: #0180b3">Pakistan

Opinion Pieces

Rustam Shah Mohmand, The deepening Pak- Afghan divide, The Express Tribune

Arshad Mahmood, Neglecting our most powerful weapon, The Express Tribune

Faisal Bari, Different Path, Dawn

< style="color: #0180b3">Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Kelum Bandara, No-confidence defeat and JO’s political instability, Daily Mirror Online, June 17, 2015

 Neville Ladduwahetty, Unit of devolution, The Island, June 2016

Gunadasa Amarasekara, What moral right has JO to lend its support?, The Island

M. S. M. Ayub, What made Wigneswaran to ask students to learn Sinhala?, Daily Mirror Online

Gomin Dayasri, Who is afraid of Arjuna Mahendran?, Daily Mirror Online

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Politics and foreign policy: A presidential event at BMICH, Daily Mirror Online

Ranga Jayasuriya, Why war crime trials and a political solution cannot go together?, Daily Mirror Online

N. Sathiya Moorthy, Time for International Community to wake up and shake up..., The Sunday Leader

< style="color: #0180b3">Contributors:

Afghanistan and Pakistan: Kriti M. Shah

Bangladesh: Dr. Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan and Myanmar: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Shubh Soni and Pushan Das

Maldives and Sri Lanka: N. Sathiya Moorthy

Nepal: Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury and Sreeparna Banerjee

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.