MonitorsPublished on Jan 31, 2019
Parliamentary polls in Maldives, Nepal at WEF 2019 — and other roundups from South Asia.
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XII; Issue 4

Maldives: Anti-India rhetoric back in run-up to parliamentary polls?

N. Sathiya Moorthy

A recent tweet by former Home Minister and one-time presidential aspirant, Umar Naseer, has called for the “next largest protest... to kick out the Indian Army personnel stationed in Maldives.” Not many media outlets carried his tweet, but then a veteran in ‘anti-politics’ of every kind in the past decade, is not the one known to give up that easily.

The reference is to the continued presence of Indian Navy and Coast Guard personnel, starting with pilots, to man the helicopters that New Delhi had donated to Maldives for better and coordinated surveillance of the shared seas and beyond. According to Umar Naseer, New Delhi had not stood by the bilateral agreement that called for Indian pilots to train their Maldivian counterparts from the MNDF.

Naseer’s activism was perceived as among the emerging faces of religious radicalism in politics before he lost very badly in the first ‘multi-party democracy’ presidential elections of 2008. By polling only 2,472 in a total of 177,802 votes, just 1.40 percent, in the first, ‘elimination round,’ the voter-base of Naseer as the leader and candidate of his ‘Islamic Democratic Party (IDP), stood exposed.

Naseer later drifted towards unseated President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and joined the latter’s newly-floated Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). He used the new proximity to spread the impression that he may emerge as the ‘favourite’ as the candidate for the next presidential polls, whenever occurred.

With & against Yameen

In this equation, Naseer was seen working alongside Gayoom’s half-brother Abdulla Yameen and other anti-MDP political parties and leaders against incumbent President, Mohammed Nasheed. He was vocal in the anti-India ‘GMR imbroglio’ and later in the forefront of the anti-Nasheed ‘December 23 movement,’ spearheaded by religious NGS and backed by anti-MDP polity.

The protest did lead to the anticipated and uncalled for exit of Nasheed. The next presidential polls, when it became due in late 2013, saw the Gayoom-led PPM fielding Yameen, and not Naseer. Naseer seemingly felt let down, and challenged the PPM primaries in the courts, but to no avail. 

Heard, not counted

Once Yameen became the President at the end of the controversial polls, Naseer patched up with the family and was made the Home Minister. His past service in the Maldivian Police Service (MPS) and his training thus at the Scotland Yard were expected to give him an extra handle to deal with the law and order situation, which had deteriorated over a period.

However, most of Minister Naseer’s time was taken up in managing the emerging political problems for President Yameen, which again was after all a part of the Home Minister’s portfolio. Thus, he came to head the government delegation for all-party talks with the emerging opposition under MDP. The talks did not progress much, not because of him, and Naseer quit the government in a huff.

Naseer still cherished the hopes of contesting — and winning — the presidential polls of 2018. That was not to be. The emerging global concern for the health of the democracy in Maldives under President Yameen’s care made it very clear to all-comers that none else stood even a remote chance.

Naseer still cherished the hopes of contesting — and winning — the presidential polls of 2018. That was not to be.

Naseer, like many other presidential aspirants, stayed away. At least, they needed the MDP-led Opposition juggernaut to clear the way for them all by having Yameen defeated and replaced. The 23 September 2018 polls having thrown up the MDP’s Ibrahim Solih as the President in Yameen’s place, there is no space and fresh breath for political players like Umar Naseer to try and go back to their old place — get heard, even if not counted.

Pre-poll bickering

Like many others, both moderate and not-so-moderate, Umar Naseer seems hoping for the continuing bickering within the ruling coalition to create political space for smaller parties and groups, as it did after a similar parting of ways after the MDP’s Nasheed became President in 2008. Nasheed’s handling of the crucial allies ahead of the March parliamentary polls led to the Gayoom-led combine getting a majority, and holding the House and nation to ransom of sorts.

Today, ahead of the 6 April parliamentary polls, Nasheed’s MDP has unilaterally decided to contest all 87 parliamentary seats and have also chosen party candidates for all of them through open-yet-contested primaries.  This has made the continuance of the coalition and the government increasingly untenable and unviable, unless they are able to patch up, pre-poll.

Whether such a patch-up occurs or not, it has possibly created the condition for ‘lone wolfs’ like Umar Naseer to fire a shot in the air and wait for the public mood and reaction. Naseer is not the only one. Various groups of individuals and veteran politicians have registered new political parties in the interim, to be able to contest the presidential polls.

There is a difference. Indications are that most and possibly all new parliamentary poll aspirant groups are expected to have a Maldives-centric political agenda and electoral manifesto. Naseer has sought to revive the forgotten anti-India sentiments from the Nasheed era.

Indications are that most and possibly all new parliamentary poll aspirant groups are expected to have a Maldives-centric political agenda and electoral manifesto.

As was evident, successor Yameen did not make ‘anti-India’ campaign an open poll issue, confining the exceedingly sharp democracy differences to administrative exchanges. But in this, Naseer has sent out a trial balloon to see if at least the erstwhile religious fundamentalist campaigners from the ‘GMR era’ would back him.

In selecting the ‘Indian Army based in Maldives’ as the focus of his recent tweet, Naseer too is trying to find out if Yameen would fall for the bait and make it his core electoral issue. Through the past years since quitting the Yameen government, Naseer was possibly the only ‘friend-turned-foe’ to have targeted his former boss.

Obviously, Naseer meant the pilots of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, and also the two helicopters they have donated to the Maldives National Security Force (MNDF). Going beyond the Yameen government’s repeated refrain in the matter through the last months, Naseer has claimed that not one Maldives pilot had been trained in handling those helicopters, making the continued stay of their Indian counterparts unavoidable.

Yameen today seems to be the single most popular leader in the country. Pollsters are unable to account for Yameen’s high 42 percent vote-share, as his past performance in the parliamentary polls of 2009 fetched him seven seats and less than five percent vote-share. Unlike Solih, whose 58 percent vote-share had multiple share-holders and stake-holders, Yameen’s votes were all his, so was his electoral undoing.

In selecting the ‘Indian Army based in Maldives’ as the focus of his recent tweet, Naseer too is trying to find out if Yameen would fall for the bait and make it his core electoral issue.

Votes transfer

The question now is if Yameen can transfer all his votes to his candidates in the parliamentary polls, or would need vehicles like Naseer, or any other, to help do it. Presidential poll figures showed that despite a very respectable 42 percent, Yameen had a majority only in two districts, there again by wafer-thin margins.

This could mean that unless the Solih’s votes split, or he had more vote-getters on his side, the Yameen camp can face disaster in the parliamentary polls. Assuming that Yameen’s votes, both in 2013 and 2018, came from ‘nationalist’ and ‘development’ constituencies, it is not unlikely that those that want to capitalise on the Solih-vote split and wearing the ‘nationalist’ mantle, need to wear it on their sleeves.

This does not mean that Naseer will join hands with Yameen. Better still, he can join hands with Gayoom, Speaker Gasim Ibrahim and Home Minister Sheikh Imran, whose parties all feel ‘cheated’ by the MDP. Again, given the current mood of the trio, especially Gayoom and Gasim, they may not want to be identified with an ‘anti-India’ campaigner like Naseer.

The question now is if Yameen can transfer all his votes to his candidates in the parliamentary polls, or would need vehicles like Naseer, or any other, to help do it.

For now, no one, including the local media, has taken the hint, and the issue remains cold at the moment. It remains to be seen what next Naseer is likely to do. Either he has to add critical mass to his anti-India posturing, or give it up as if nothing had happened.

Religious tension

Totally unconnected to Naseer’s anti-India tirade, and equally unconnected to the upcoming parliamentary polls, some recent developments have caused President Solih to form a seven-member committee to address religious tension in the country. Set up on the recommendation of the cabinet, the high-power panel comprises Vice President Faisal Naseem, the President’s chief of staff and the ministers for defence, home affairs, higher education, youth and sports and Islamic affairs, and will work out short and long-term strategies to address the matter.

According to the report in Maldivian Independent, the committee was tasked with discussing the issue with the relevant authorities, “taking immediate action and setting long terms strategies to prevent actions of those who criticise religion and those who commit crimes such as wilful destruction of property and endangering the lives of people in the name of protecting religion.”

This was in the immediate context of a 50-strong mob attacking the Mandhu College in the Vilimale’ extension of capital Male, and asking for the arrest of promoter Ibrahim Islamil ‘Ibra’ for allegedly defaming Islam. Calls to “behead Ibra” and “hang Ibra” were heard among chants to “protect Islam,” the Maldivian Independent said.

Out-spoken, and a former chief of the MDP, Ibra had contested the 2008 presidential polls for the ‘Social Liberal Party’ (SLP) against the official party nominee, Nasheed, who defeated incumbent Gayoom. Ibra came last in the elimination round, below Umar Naseer, polling 1,382 votes or 0.74 percent votes. Post-poll, he patched up with the MDP leadership and returned to the party, but he remained out-spoken though mellowed down by possibly electoral experience.

Nepal: A date with Davos

Sohini Nayak

South Asia, Nepal, Davos, Sohini Nayak Time is ripe for Nepal to voice its opinions, aspirations as well as challenges and achievements. Photo: Sabin Basnet/Unsplash

The emergence of Nepal as an important stake-holder in several multiple global platforms in the recent past has been quite an achievement for the country. In this scenario, with an ever-evolving foreign policy and movement towards political stability, the world has been keenly observing the pragmatic approach of the small landlocked nation amidst the crowd of big powers and most importantly between two giant neighbours, namely, India and China. The invitation of Nepal for the just-concluded 49th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), at Davos, Switzerland, is one such instance of such a dynamic international engagement, especially for Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

The emergence of Nepal as an important stakeholder in several multiple global platforms in the recent past has been quite an achievement for the country.

With a conglomeration of around 2,500 leaders from around the world, this annual conference of the WEF has been organised to engage government, international organisations, civil society, academia, the media as well as other global stakeholders. There are not only debating approaches to solutions but also an infrastructure of networking, thereby giving small countries like Nepal the opportunity of investment and priority. Held between 22-25 January, the theme, ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, also appears to hold in itself a great potential for harnessing robust output, especially for Nepal, searching ways and means to carve their own niche in the international community.

Time is ripe for Nepal to voice its opinions, aspirations as well as challenges and achievements. This was for the first time that a Nepali Prime Minister led the delegation, comprising of other significant members of his government like Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, to the forum. He also addressed two important sessions, ‘Strategic Outlook on South Asia’ and ‘Shaping the Future of Democracy.’

On the sidelines of the gathering, Nepal also received several chances to interact with other important countries like Japan. However, the country needs to be cautious given its strategically vulnerable position and nomenclature of being a ‘buffer’. Some of the significant steps that have helped Nepal to progress economically along with a few deterrents may be noted in this phase of the ever-expanding global Nepal.

Analysing the strengths

Nepal has a huge array of present development projects that have been providing the country a fair amount of confidence to represent itself amidst physically larger and economically stronger countries. A few important points may be marked. Following the massive devastation caused by the 2015 earthquake, developmental patterns in Nepal has remained strong and upward moving with 6.3 per cent and less favourable monsoons, as reported by the World Bank.

Nepal has a huge array of present development projects that have been providing the country a fair amount of confidence to represent itself amidst physically larger and economically stronger countries.

Another interesting point to note is the active involvement of China, following the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, resulting in huge investments in the private sector, primarily in construction. With the further access of the small Himalayan nation to the Chinese ports like Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang, foreign direct investment(FDI) — which is very low — and large scale exports also seem to be moving in a relatively comfortable scale, with lesser dependence on India.

Moreover, the Government of Nepal (GoN) is relocating from consumption to investment based growth. With key reforms in strengthening the envisaged public-private partnerships (PPPs), with a legal and regulatory framework, along with expected consolidated expenditure of the government to reach 34 per cent of GDP over the midterm, Nepal is on its way to becoming a stable economy. The new development model for a “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalese” for achieving faster growth to become a middle-income country by 2030 also deserves special mention.

Apart from this, the support for federalism is also another benchmark of satisfaction on part of the country that can generate more attention and cooperation from all around.

Conspicuous issues

There are several impediments to the cause of development, of which Nepal needs to be careful. Some of these include the complex procedures for firm entry and operations; high cost of trade which undermines the exports; the unclear FDI policies; low availability of skilled laborers and outdated land acquisition laws only to count a few. For a country which is susceptible to external pressure, such bottlenecks must be specifically considered.

Also, if outmigration keeps on increasing, especially when the country is becoming more and more prone to drought and climatic complexities, generation of implementation capacity would be in danger. There is also an urgent need to increase the revenue capacity of subnational governments with its implementation capacity as well. If all the important functions, functionaries and funding are not in sync or harmony with each other, then Nepal would never be able to progress as reviving economy as a whole.

If outmigration keeps on increasing, especially when Nepal is becoming more and more prone to drought and climatic complexities, generation of implementation capacity would be in danger.

Active involvement in the WEF is a matter of both pride and honour for Nepal that seems to have waited for this opportunity for long enough. Thus, it must not be a lost opportunity. The key constraints in the core infrastructural sectors must be addressed with adequate policies and a supportive framework involving strategic planning, selection, prioritisation, and coordination among the active agencies of concern. It is only then that representation in world forums would be truly successful, bringing in the guarantee and assurance of success that are propounded.



Dismissal decree

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decreed the dismissal of the second deputy to the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq. He has been dismissed on the basis of Article 13 Item 64 of Afghanistan’s National Constitution and no further details have been revealed. Mohaqiq was one of the most influential figures of the Hazara ethnic group and was supposed to run for the post of second vice President in Mohammad Haneef Atmar’s electoral ticket.

Mastermind killed

The Afghanistan National Directorate of Security recently stated that the mastermind behind the attack on a security base in the central Maidan Wardak province had been killed in an operation. The mastermind who was identified as Commander Neman died along with seven other militants in an airstrike in the Maidan Sehr as was planned after the intelligence operatives traced his location. 36 security personnel had earlier lost their lives in the insurgents attack on the Wardak security base.


Join OBOR, India told

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina observed that India should not worry about the China-led One Belt One Road (OBOR). Further, she suggested that India should join the initiative for economic benefit.  She also said that since China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar have already signed an agreement to establish connectivity, known as Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC), there was no reason for India to be concerned about OBOR.

Ban sought on NGOs

The Bangladesh Awami Ulama League, close to the ruling Awami League, along with 13 other religious rightist organisations, has demanded a ban on the operation of non-government organisations (NGOs) and international NGOs that are working to curb child marriage in the country. To press their demand, they formed a human chain in capital Dhaka this week.  During the protest the members of the organisation particularly mentioned about -Unicef, Save the Children and Terre des homes. Ulema League also demanded to repeal of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017. Awami League, however, denied its links with the Ulama League. The party said activities of the Ulema League are unethical and illegal and threatened legal action against it.


Development partners’ meet

Bhutan’s development partners will meet government representatives on 12-14 March in Thimphu. The theme of the meeting would be ‘Enhancing Happiness and Sustainable Development through partnerships’. This all important meeting will be jointly organised by the government and the United Nations and will be co-chaired by Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji. because it will be the first meeting between the government and its development partners.

Cross-border digital payment

The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon integrate Bhutan financial switch and the national financial switch of India to facilitate cash-less, cross border digital payment. The process inter-connects the ATMs and PoS between the two countries, which requires the integration of two distinct payment gateways of Bhutan and India under one platform.

Bank aid for youth project

The government has signed an agreement with the World Bank, for a three-year project titled ‘Youth Employment and Rural Entrepreneurship’ for jobs for its young people and promoting broader economic diversification. This $ 1.25 million project aims to bring innovation in youth employment approaches in the country. The project will be financed by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF).


Priyanka Gandhi’s political entry — booster pack for a rising Congress?

Priyanka Gandhi, the so far silent member of the Gandhi family, has officially announced her entry into the Indian political sphere, taking the post of general secretary, Uttar Pradesh East within the Congress. With her past association merely being the campaigner for Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, her entry into Indian politics has been seen as a welcome sign by the supporters and party workers, with whom she already shares a very strong and positive rapport with. Her entry is also seen to be a political counter-strategy as she is representing the Congress in those areas which are considered BJP strongholds, with Modi winning the Prime Ministership from the Varanasi ticket in 2014, and Yogi Adityanath, who has represented the Gorakhpur constituency in the Lok Sabha since 1998.

Rising wealth inequality in India

The Oxfam Inequality Report of 2019 has cast new light on the growing inequality in terms of wealth in India. According to this report, the top 1 percent of the Indian population owns almost 51.53 percent of the national wealth, with women still receiving 34 percent less wages than their male counterparts. The report also highlights the dismal conditions of India’s healthcare and education facilities, stating that if the top 1 percent is taxed 0.5 percent more on their additional wealth, the amount of money the government can spend on healthcare alone will rise by 50 percent. This is one of the many recommendations put forward by the non-profit, which suggests basic measures to bring the poorest of India to a decent standard of living.

Mahagathbandhan 2019 — unity in opposition

The 2019 election is set to be one of the most decisive elections in recent times. The opposition parties, with the exception of the Left Front (comprised of the BJD and the CPI(M)), launched the Grand Alliance for the 2019 elections, seeing political leaders from all opposition parties come together with the singular purpose of defeating the incumbent BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This alliance also sees fresh politicians such as Jignesh Mewani lend their voice along with the seasoned political class comprising of Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi. However, this alliance has also been termed an alliance of ‘greed and lust’ by both Amit Shah, the president of the BJP and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, along with most BJP ministers dismissing them as no serious threat.


Panel on religious tension

President Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Solih has formed a seven-member committee to address religious tension in the country after vandals attacked capital Male’s Mandhu College, accusing founder Ibrahim Ismail ‘Ibra’ of mocking at Islam. Set up on the recommendation of the Cabinet, the high-power panel comprises Vice President Faisal Naseem, the President’s chief of staff, and the ministers for defence, home affairs, higher education, youth and sports, and Islamic affairs, and will work out short and long-term strategies to address the matter.


MPs want China loan repaid

At a session of the Parliament on 23 January, law-makers urged the government to pay off loans from China quickly, citing China’s interest rates as the highest among all foreign countries that have lent to Myanmar. Myanmar currently owes a total of $10 billion to international lenders, more than $4 billion of it to China. According to law-makers, China’s interest rates are also the highest, at 4.5 percent. The Union ministers are set to discuss the national debt in response to the Joint Public Accounts Committee’s assessment at the Union Parliament on 29 January.

UN envoy visits Rakhine

The United Nations special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, on her visit to the strife-torn Rakhine state on 22 January, met deputy speaker of the Rakhine state parliament Mya Than and leaders from the region’s dominant political party. She enquired about the situation of 6,000 internally displaces persons who have fled their communities in the Rakhine state since the escalation of conflict between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army in late November.

Call to suspend Myitsone

The locals from the Myitsone region of Kachin State on 24 January released a statement calling on the government to cancel the Myitsone dam project as well as aid to those who were forced to move from the project zone. A non-governmental organisation formed for displaced locals also said that villagers were displaced as a result of the construction of the dam. The State Power Investment Corporation Company has the responsibility for the return of the displaced villagers to their native villages until the total stoppage of the Myitsone dam project.


Medical bill endorsed

Despite strong opposition from the Nepali Congress (NC), the Medical Education Bill has been endorsed in the federal parliament. Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel presented the bill.

Buying votes in Bank

In order to secure its voting rights in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development under the World Bank, Nepal has decided to purchase an additional 309 units of the share, according to Minister for Information and Communications, Gokul Prasad Banskota.


HC to hear Sharif case appeals

The High Court of Islamabad will begin hearing the appeals that have been filed against the verdict in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment Reference by former Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). While Shariff has challenged the seven-year sentence that had been awarded to him in the case, the NAB on its part has sought to increase the sentence to 14 years and also requested the court to set aside Shariff’s acquittal.

Danish promise

Companies from Denmark have expressed their committed interest in participating in the bidding process for renewable energy projects that the Pakistani government plans to conduct in the third or fourth quarter of this year. This step had been taken by the government after the approval of the renewable energy policy. The Dannish ambassador has also expressed his approval over the Pakistani government’s plans and stated that they have been closely following the growing power sector of the company.

Sri Lanka

Untenable or not?

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has rejected for a second time contention of TNA Leader R. Sampanthan that the ‘UPFA member’ Mahinda Rajapaksa could not hold the position of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, when party chief Maithripala Sirisena was the President, and also head of the Government and Cabinet, as per the Constitution. The Speaker said there were precedents where there had been a President and a Leader of Opposition from the same party. “Late Gamini Dissanayake and the then member of Parliament Ranil Wickremesinghe being UNPers held the post of Opposition Leader when the leader of that party D.B. Wijetunga was the President. Mr. Rajapaksa held the opposition leader’s post when Chandrika Kumaratunga was the President.”

Review FTA, Singapore told

Meeting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of an international forum on environmental issues in the city-State, President Maithripala Sirisena stressed the need for amending the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trave Agreement (SLSFTA). The agreement was signed in Colombo a year ago in the presence of President Sirisena and Singaporean PM Loong, but the former has now said that there were several shortcomings in the document.



Opinion Pieces

Michael E. O’Hanlon, “Our Longest War Is Still an Important War”, The New York Times, 24 January 2019.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari, “The Racial Discrimination Persists in Afghanistan”, Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 24 January 2019.


Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Curbing Terrorism and Extremism Aptly”, 23 January 2019.

Afghanistan Times, “Presidential polls”, 22 January 2019.


Opinion Pieces

Shahpar Selim, “Policy signals for greening Bangladesh’s RMG”, Dhaka Tribune, 23 January 2019.

Moinul Islam, “Capital flight puts strain on economy”, ProthomAlo, 19 January 2019.



Kuensel, “Prioritising Preparedness”, 19 January 2019.


Opinion Pieces


Neelam Pandey, “Priyanka Gandhi, the Poll Campaigner Who Can Get Angry Voters Smiling in a Minute”, ThePrint, 24 January 2019.

Vinod Sharma, “Tactical or Strategic: Decoding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s Big Role in UP Politics”, Hindustan Times, 24 January 2019.

Akhil Kumar, “Nine Richest Now Own Wealth Equivalent to Bottom 50% of the Country”, The Wire, 21 January 2019.

T.K. Arun, “View: The common goal of Mahagathbandhan is Defence of Democracy”, The Economic Times, 23 January 2019. 


Opinion Pieces

Joe Kumbun, “What We Can Hope For From the 70th Anniversary of Karen National Resistance Day”, The Irrawaddy, 24 January 2019.


Opinion Pieces

Arun Joshi, “Reforming higher education”, Republica, 24 January 2019.

Madhab P. Khanal, “Below the call of duty”, The Kathmandu Post, 25 January 2019.


The Kathmandu Post, “Get smart”, 24 January 2019.

The Himalayan Times, “Healthy step”, 25 January 2019.


Opinion Pieces

Asha’ar Rehman, “And then they came for us”, Dawn, 25 January 2019.

Moonis Ahmar, “Water is the issue!”, The Express Tribune, 25 January 2019.


Dawn, “Illegal blacklist”, 25 January 2019.

The Express Tribune, “A pro-business mini-budget”, 25 January 2019.

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

M.S.M Ayub, “Who next?”, Daily Mirror Online, 25 January 2019.

Kusal Perera, “Making strange political twins?”, Daily Mirror Online, 25 January 2019.

Neville Laduwahetty, “Resolution of the appointment of Constitutional Assembly”, The Island, 24 January 2019.

Kelum Bandara, “Presidential Commission ruffles UNP feathers”, Daily Mirror Online, 24 January 2019.

N. Sathiya Moorthy, “All the Rajapaksas with Gota?”, Colombo Gazette, 22 January 2019.

N. Sathiya Moorthy, “TNA faced with a conundrum”, Ceylon Today, 22 January 2019.

Harinda Vidanage, “Brexit lessons for Sri Lanka”, Daily Mirror Online, 21 January 2019.


Afghanistan & Pakistan: Sohini Bose

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ameya Kelkar

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

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