MonitorsPublished on Jul 28, 2020
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XIII; 30

Nepal: Losing bonhomie with India, the media commotion

Sohini Nayak

The K. P. Oli government in Nepal has taken a drastic step of banning or blacking out all Indian private TV channels. It has, however, spared the Doordarshan, or DD, which is owned by the Indian government. The decision came as a counter to alleged ‘offensive character assassination’ by the Indian media of Nepali citizens and leaders, thereby hurting their sentiments and being disrespectful of Nepalese sovereignty. Nepalese Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Yubaraj Khatiwada, spoke about such allegations and the legal and political steps being planned against any such unpleasant presentation.

The Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi also sent a diplomatic note verbale to the Ministry of External Affairs, expressing their dissent over the issue. Naturally, this entire scenario has not gone too well with the Indian government, though a formal response is still due. Nevertheless, a large section of the Indian media as well as many leaders have clearly stated that such a step might be extremely harmful for the already fragile bilateral relationship of the countries in the future along with questions on the freedom of press. Diplomatic circles in India have also claimed that this decision was extremely hasty in nature, where the government of Nepal could have first talked to the particular channel concerned, rather than taking it up with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), as both the countries remain embroiled in the Kalapani-Lipulekh border row.

Continued disharmony?

It is not unknown that the South Asian neighbours are going through a rough patch lately. There have been several debates and counter-debates regarding the placement of important and strategic locations like Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh, creating turmoil in the relationship, that has become sensitive since the year 2015 following the infamous border blockade. Both countries came out with their own versions of political maps claiming the aforementioned places to be within their own territories. In such a situation, the media has been covering the issue with the involvement of external factors like the presence of China and the rapport it shares with Nepal, much to the dismay of India.

In fact, the recent confrontation between India and China in the Galwan Valley was also connected with this issue. The Indian media reports of China occupying certain territories of Nepal were negated by the Nepali leadership. Even though Kathmandu saw mass protests and a petition was filed by the opposition MPs belonging to the Nepali Congress, the government position did not see any change.

It also appears that all is not well within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). For the past few months, there have been reports of rift between Prime Minister K. P. Oli and party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda. Allegations have been levelled against PM Oli’s behaviour which has not gone down too well with Dahal, who has sought Oli’s resignation.

Besides the personal differences between Oli and Dahal, there are also reports of divide on the ideological framework of the ruling NCP. It came out in the media that Oli had been apprehensive of being ‘dislodged’ or ‘unseated’ from the position of Prime Minister with the help of the Indian government. This has raised several eyebrows in both countries.

Given the complex nature of South Asian politics, spilling the beans during a crisis situation like the Covid-19 might not have been a wise decision on Oli’s part. This is all the more true because both India and Nepal are working closely to tackle this issue with the bigger power helping the small Himalayan nation to keep its health infrastructure on the right track.

Replay from the past

This is not the first time that Indian channels were blocked or banned in Nepal. The latest was in the 2015 crisis, when the Indo-Nepal ties had hit the rock bottom following the blockade. Even today, there lie the undercurrents of dissatisfaction among the Nepalese because this was nothing short of a humanitarian crisis with lack of food supplies and essentials after the devastating earthquake. The ban on Indian media, which also included entertainment channels -- quite popular in Nepal – was for an indefinite period then.

This was also the time Nepal had adopted its new Constitution and India had expressed concern and protests of minority ethnic groups were taking place in the south of Nepal. However, both the countries evolved from this situation with the passage of time, helped by the memories of historical bonhomie and geographical contiguity.

Now we are living in trying times. Economic crisis may be knocking on our door in the post Covid-19 world. Tension in the relationship of the countries might create trouble for the people who cross the open border every day for survival through various economic ventures. So, both countries should realise their importance in each other’s books for not only harnessing the maximum potential of South Asian opportunities but also for living in peace. To facilitate this, the Nepal PM should utilise the diplomatic channel and keep away from knee-jerk reactions like the ban on India TV channels.

Pakistan: Using Kashmir as a ‘political gimmick’ still

Ayjaz Wani

The ‘Kashmir issue’ has remained the flash-point in the frosty relationship between India and Pakistan since Independence in 1947, which also saw the Partition and a huge human tragedy. Pakistan still continue to exploit Kashmir and use it as a political tool to divert attention of its people from burning domestic issues.

The economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has spiralled the country’s foreign debt burden at an alarming rate. Along with the increasing and worrisome recessionary trends in the economy, the government is also facing an unending spree of charges of widespread corruption in multi-million dollar projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The past few months  have also witnessed the country’s civilian government meekly subjugating to the all-powerful Pakistani army establishment, which has managed to gain significant control over the civilian administration even without declaring a martial law. But instead of making any attempts to manage the mounting problems on the domestic front, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, like other dispensations in the past, has used the Kashmir issue to further fuel the anti-India sentiments among the people and allay their growing resentment caused because of its multiple failures. A case in point is the raising of the fake concern over Kashmir and the lockdown in the Valley by Pakistan at the first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) virtual conference convened at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways to prepare a regional strategy to control the pandemic and its socioeconomic fallout.

Long-term recession

World bodies like UN have already warned that Pakistan will be among the hardest hit economies by the coronavirus. As a direct consequence of the economic slump since the pandemic outbreak started in the country, Pakistan is staring at a long-term recession, at a scale which the nation has not seen in the last 68 years.

With Pakistan defaulting on repaying its international debt, the Imran Khan government and army establishment has also used the Kashmir issue as a gimmick to divert the attention of the global community. Prime Minister Imran Khan on 26 June tweeted about Kashmir and “urged international community to hold New Delhi responsible for sexual violence, human rights violations in disputed territory of Kashmir”.

Khan further said that the atrocities against the Kashmiris were carried out under orders from “Hindutva supremacist occupation of the Modi government". However, soon after the tweet, the leader of main opposition party took a dig at Imran Khan. In a counter-tweet, he said, "It’s easy to condemn police brutality around the world without looking inward,” indirectly pointing to the widespread atrocities and human rights violations caused by the government and the army in Baluchistan.

On 15 May 2010, when the opposition and government were locked in a fierce debate on charges of corruption in the senate, the PML-N parliamentary leader in the senate, Mushahidullah Khan, said the current government “deems corruption as worship”. Elaborating on the corruption in the procurement and distribution of wheat and sugar, the PML-N leader said the ministers who were involved in these scams were being promoted by PTI government.

It is pertinent to mention here that on 5 April 2020, two reports on the shortage of wheat and sugar during this pandemic were released. Both reports exposed the involvement of Jahangir Tareen, Minister for Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar, leading to his removal from the position in a hastily-announced cabinet reshuffle.

‘Increased violation’

To save the day for the Imran Khan government, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi used Kashmir gimmick to divert the attention of the Senate. He highlighted what he claimed as increased violation of ceasefire along Line of Control (LOC) by India and the increasing misery of their brethren across the border because of the continued draconian lockdown in the Kashmir that had created huge food shortages in the Valley. He tweeted, “Food supplies should be restored … and draconian laws in IHK should be scrapped once for all”.

It is pertinent to mention here that Kashmir had enough food supplies and ration was delivered to consumers at their doorsteps in wake of the lockdown. In several cases, food supplies were given in advance for months together. In reality, several reports have revealed acute food shortage in Pak occupied Kashmir (POK) during the Covid19 pandemic. A bag of 20 kg floor that costed 700 PKR before pandemic was sold for more than 1200 PKR. Due to the price hike, more than 23 constituencies along the LOC were badly effected by shortage of food.

Finding itself stuck in the midst of multiple crisis on the domestic front, the dispensation in Pakistan is likely to raise fake concerns over Kashmir to not only divert the public discourse from domestic issues, but also malign the image of New Delhi among its population as well as globally. For example, without any evidence, Pakistan blamed New Delhi for the Pakistan Stock Exchange attack.

Pakistan has also renewed attacks on India for supporting and funding militants in the restive Balochistan province, even while international agencies have revealed how increased separatism in the region has primarily been due to growing atrocities and human rights violations inflicted by the Pakistani establishment. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), more than 47,000 Baloch have gone missing or disappeared. In 2019 alone, more than 241 people were killed, 568 persons went missing and students and the younger generation were targeted.

The recent cutting down of  diplomatic staff by 50 percent in their respective High Commissions has made things more worrisome. A cornered Pakistani civilian government is thus expected to only increasingly fall back on its Kashmir strategy as its favourite whipping boy to keep the domestic and global focus away from the country’s real challenges.

Country Reports


US aid for Covid-19 work

In a statement released on 23 July 2020, the US embassy in Kabul announced the allocation of $36.7 million to support the Afghan government’s response to the spread of the pandemic. In addition, the US expedited the delivery of $90 million worth of funding from the World Bank, as continued assistance to the health and education sectors, including surveillance, testing and treatment of coronavirus cases in the country.

Air-strikes in Herat

The governor of Adraskan district in the western province of Herat announced that 45 people were killed in airstrikes launched by the Afghan forces. Reports suggest that among those killed were eight civilians, while it remains unclear as to how many of the remaining 37 were civilians or Taliban fighters. US special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, condemned the attack on Twitter, and supported the decision of the Ghani government to launch an investigation into reports of civilian causalities.


Transhipment trial to India

The trial of use of Chittagong port for transhipment of goods to India’s north-eastern States was successfully completed this week. The ship from the Haldia port of Kolkata Port Trust reached Chittagong port on 20 July, having on-board cargo destined for the States of Tripura and Assam. The ship carried cargoes for the Bangladeshi businesses also. The Indian consignments will be transhipped to Agatala via Akhaura border.  Success of the trial run has added a new chapter to the India and Bangladesh maritime connectivity.

Imran calls Hasina

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had a telephonic conversation with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.  The two leaders claimed to have exchanged views on issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and the floods in Bangladesh. However, media claimed that the call was Pakistan’s effort to reset its ties with Bangladesh which is facing strain after the Sheikh Hasina government initiated trial of the war criminals of the Liberation War of 1971. Notably, Bangladesh attained its liberation from Pakistan after a 9-month-long war. During the liberation movement Pakistani forces undertook inhuman torture on the freedom fighters and their supporters.

Flood havoc

Torrential rains and flood have devasted the lives of the people. Almost one third of the country is under water, affecting nearly 2.6 million people and forcing many to take shelter in safe spaces. Flood is an annual phenomenon in Bangladesh but the situation is considered to grim this year.


Soldiers die in rescue mission

Four soldiers of the Royal Bhutan Army lost their lives during a brave rescue operation to save the lives of people caught in the flash floods in Gelephu on 21 July. A team of five soldiers braved the waters of the Maochhu to rescue people at the Maochhu Water Treatment Plant on the fateful evening. The people were in imminent danger of being washed away by flash floods as the river swelled due to two days of incessant rain. The team rescued five of the people who were stranded. King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck travelled to Gelephu, accompanied by the Prime Minister and Chief Operations Officer of the RBA oversaw the rescue operations.

ADB aid for Covid fight

To help strengthen the government’s effort in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant of USD 2 million (M) from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF). Financed by the Government of Japan, the grant will help alleviate the immediate financial, logistical, and other challenges that the government is facing.


Rajasthan crisis continues

The political crisis in Rajasthan continues as the disqualification notice sent by the Rajasthan speaker to Sachin Pilot and other 18 rebel MLAs have been challenged by the rebel legislators in the High Court. The high court have ruled in the favour of the rebel MLAs and ordered a stay on the disqualification notice. The incumbent Congress Chief Minister Ashok Ghelotis strongly urging the Governor of Rajasthan for reconvening the house so that a floor test of his government can be facilitated.

Coronavirus tally spikes

The Coronavirus cases continue to surge in India which makes the total number of cases in the country more than 13 lakh. Single day cases all over the country on 24 July was more than 48,000. Of the confirmed cases, more than 63 percent of patients have recovered and presently there are more than 4,50,000 active cases in the country. Selective localised lockdowns continue to take place in various state in order to reduce the spread of the infection.


Plea to free expats

Rights INGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) and also the nation’s leftist political grouping Navaanavai have urged the Maldivian Government to free 40-odd expatriate workers, mostly from Bangaldesh, who staged what they claimed were ‘peaceful protests’, demanding unpaid wages from their local employers. The appeal comes in the wake of Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi linked the arrests to ‘national security’ and MNDF chief, Maj-Gen Abdulla Shamaal saying that the expats’ protests amounted to ‘fear-mongering’.

Probe jeopardised: Police

Maldivian Police chief, Commissioner Mohamed Hameed, has blamed Parliament Speaker for publicising the report of the Presidential Commission that went into some cases of human disappearances over the past week, claiming it had jeopardised their investigation work. He also refuted Nasheed’s statement in Parliament that the police was keeping tab on MPs and their movements.

Covid cases on the rise

As many as 77 more individuals – 56 locals, 20 Bangladeshis and one Indian -- tested positive for Covid-19 Maldives, while 36 recovered from the disease, according to Health officials. With this, the total number of positive cases has reached 3,252, with 688 active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,534 recoveries and 15 deaths. Having opened island-resorts for foreign tourists on 15 July, the nation reported close to 1,000 arrivals in the first ten days.

All-weather friendship: India

On the eve of Maldivian Independence Day, Indian envoy Sanjay Sudhir has announced plans for his nation to provide an additional financial assistance package to support the Maldivian economy and assist in economic recovery post-coronavirus pandemic.  Sudhir recalled that India has provided assistance Maldives in the form of medical supplies, medical teams, essential food supplies and financial assistance, including an assistance of $ 400 million through an extended currency swap arrangement to tide over liquidity shortage. “This year both our countries also celebrate 55 years of diplomatic relations,” he noted, adding, “Ours is an all-weather friendship steeped in history and with a glorious future.”

Yameen’s Dronier pact on

The Government was planning to take forward former President Abdulla Yameen’s agreement to purchase a Dronier aircraft for humanitarian assistance in the face of natural calamities and also to transport patients from islands. However, there was no agreement to procure a military aircraft from India, the Government has clarified further.


EU funds for education reform

The European Union (EU) disbursed €37.625 million to further support education reform in Myanmar. The grant is paid earlier than planned to help the Government address the exceptional needs that arose due to COVID19 and ensure a safe return to school for all children. Government efforts to improve the quality of education and vocational training throughout the country will also continue. This is the third payment from a total of €221 million provided by the European Union to increase access to quality education for all in Myanmar. The Ministry of Education has prepared for the re-opening of schools on 21 July by planning for additional classrooms, introducing shifts in schools, and procedures for school meals and transport.

Emigrants to resume work

The government has allowed Myanmar’s migrant workers working abroad to resume work. They will be provided outbound flights and will be given second priority. The first priority is being provided to those who are seeking treatment abroad. The countries they will be travelling to have been doing well in terms of controlling their COVID situation. Only migrant workers willing to travel to Malaysia are being withheld since there is no job vacancy for there since Malaysian government is legalising the non legal migrant workers.


Separate budget for flood control

‘Disaster risk reduction’ has been decided as one of the primary subheads for the allocation of budget for floods and other natural disasters. Though this is still a proposal forwarded to the Ministry of Finance by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, it was about time the plan was prepared. This is mainly due to the ineffective control of floods and landslides. The task will be carried out by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

‘New strategy’ for Covid-19

Main opposition, Nepali Congress (NC), and the ruling Nepal Communist Party recently had a meeting to determine the new strategies for dealing with the Covid19 crisis. The leader of NC, Sher Bahadur Deuba urged Prime Minister Oli to conduct tests only through PCR method and ensure better quarantine facilities, at the wake of the lockdown lift. Also suggestions were given for the repatriation of the Nepali migrant workers. Talks were also held regarding the displacement of the flood and landslide affected people.


UNGA chief puts off visit

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir, who has been elected as president for United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), postponed his visit to Pakistan. The Turkish diplomat will be presiding over the 75th session. He was scheduled to arrive Pakistan on 26 July. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the country will welcome Volkan Bozkir very soon for “constructive and fruitful visit". Earlier when Qureshi announced the visit, he said that Islamabad will discuss the suffering of people of occupied Kashmir, especially the human rights situation in Valley which has been under a siege of India’s armed forces following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. However, Pakistan will have to hold back its crocodile tears for a bit longer as the visit of the new UNGA chief stands postponed. The new date of the visit will be announced soon.

‘No pact on bio-weapons’

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has dismissed the allegations of Australian news agency that China and Pakistan have entered into three-year agreement to produce bio-weapons, as "politically motivated and fake". The deal, The Khaxon stated, was signed between infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology and Pakistan military’s Defence Science and Technology Organization (DESTO) to research on “emerging infectious diseases” to make anthrax-like pathogens which could be used in biological warfare. The news report quoted unnamed sources and claimed that the secret deal was part of a broader offensive against the west and New Delhi. The FO also said that there is no secret in Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan as referred in the report.

Sri Lanka

Currency-swap with India

India and Sri Lanka on Friday agreed for $400 million currency swap agreement. The agreement signed by Reserve Bank of India extends the swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022. A currency swap is a transaction in which two parties exchange principal and interest in different currencies. . The development comes as a relief to Sri Lanka amidst Covid19 and will help in its post-pandemic economic recovery. Both countries are currently engaged in debt-repayment rescheduling talks. The last round of technical discussions in this regard was held on 22 July and the next round is expected to be held soon, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement.

Targeting ‘Temple of Tooth’

A secret witness, an officer of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) told the Presidential Commission inquiring into last year’s Easter blasts that the perpetrato-group had plans to target the annual Perehera festivities at the famed ‘Temple of the Tooth Relic’ at Kandy in August that year. If not possible, they would have targeted other Buddhist shrines, he said, adding that all 12 group members ear-marked for the job were killed in a warehouse blast in Sara, the wife of a close member of the chief perpetrator, Zaharan Hashim, was the mole of the Indian intelligence agencies and may have fled for India later last year.

Case for Executive Presidency

Ahead of the parliamentary polls, slated for 5 August, Milinda Moragoda, former Minister and founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, a thinkers’ forum, has come out in support of a strong Executive Presidency. “There is no disputing the fact that the country benefited from having strong executive decision-making during the early stages of the Covid19 pandemic. And as a result, many lives were saved,” he said. Disappointingly, no major political party has yet put forward a coherent governance and governing structure for the nation in their policy platforms, he said, adding, “‘Each has been predictably very chameleon-like when addressing issues related to constitutional and governance-structure related matters in their manifestos. This is especially unfortunate in light of the dysfunctional relationship that now exists between the Executive and the Legislature and the proven potential for gridlock, both a result of the enactment of the 19th Amendment.’



Opinion Pieces

Laiq Zirack, “Afghanistan’s Higher Education System Has a Sharp Geographic Divide”, The Diplomat, 24 July 2020

Kahlil Mohmand, “Deferring Harmony in Afghanistan”, Pajhwok Afghan News, 21 July 2020


The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Human Rights – Afghans’ Red Line at the Peace Table”, 21 July 2020

The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Troop Pullout Needs to be Condition-Based”, 20 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Julian Francis, “A journey of 50 years”, Dhaka Tribune, 23 July 2020

Sylke Gruhnwald , Dil Afrose Jahan , Christian Zeier , Benedict Wermter, “How fashion companies abandoned RMG workers in Bangladesh”, Dhaka Tribune, 22 July 2020


The Daily Star, “Prolonged floods will prolong people’s miseries”, 23 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Tenzin Gyalpo, “The Khat incident could set a precedence”, Kuensel, 18 July 2020


Kuensel, “In times of disaster”, 22 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Sanjay Hedge, “Staying away from political thickets”, The Hindu, 25 July 2020

Barkha Dutt, “Rahul Gandhi should either take charge or get out of the wayhindustantimes, 24 June 2020

Sivadas, “The collected silences of MMS: The spider weaves its web widely”, Deccan Herald, 24 July 2020

Yamini Aiyar, “Covid: The State-citizen trust deficit”, hindustantimes, 23 July 2020


The Hindu, “Judicial indiscipline: On Rajasthan political crisis”, 25 July 2020

The Hindu, “Arms and the women: On gender barrier in Indian Army”, 25 June 2020

The Indian Express, “Locked in”, 25 June 2020

The Indian Express, “Behind the high walls”, 24 July 2020

Hindustantimes, “The power gap with China”, 21 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Maldives: Tourism sector reopens, expats issue back in focus”,, 23 July 2020


Rae Munavvar, “Our immediate focus is preserving livelihoods and minimizing the destruction of markets: Amena Arif, IFC”, The Edition, 21 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Joe Kumbun, “As the US and China Spar, Myanmar Walks a Tightrope”, The Irrawaddy, 21 July 2020

Aung Zaw, “Sino-US War of Words in Myanmar a Test of Naypyitaw’s Allegiances”, The Irrawaddy, 21 July 2020

George N. Sibley, “How the Erosion of Sovereignty Elsewhere Impacts Myanmar at Home”, The Irrawaddy, 18 July 2020

San Yamin Aung, “Will Outlawing of Polling Stations on Military Bases Change Myanmar’s Electoral Landscape?”, The Irrawaddy, 17 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Lain Payne, “Transition in crisis: COVID-19 and federalisation in Nepal”, Republica, 23 July 2020

Amish Raj Mulmi, “Why current conservation models are flawed”, The Kathmandu Post, 23 July 2020


The Kathmandu Post “Unlocking into uncertainty”, 23 July 2020


Opinion Pieces

Naeem Sarfraz, “Kashmir solution — China is now a partyThe Express Tribune, 25 July 2020

Talat Masood, “China-Iran strategic partnership — genesis and future”, The Express Tribune, 21 July 2020

Shahid Javed Bukri, “Heading towards another Cold War?The Express Tribune, 20 July 2020

Kamran Yousaf, “India out, China inThe Express Tribune, 19 July 2020


The Express Tribune, Nuclear security, 25 July 2020

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

D B S Jeyaraj, “TNA must seek India’s help to protect 13th Amendment”, Daily Mirror Online, 25 July 2020

M S M Ayub, “What is in store for the UNP/SJB?”, Daily Mirror Online, 24 July 2020

Yohan Perera, “United we stand, divided we fall”, Daily Mirror Online, 24 July 2020

Ameen Izzadeen, “Polls apart, Lanka sitting on world geopolitical volcano”, Daily Mirror Online, 24 July 2020

Kelum Bandara, “SLPP wants to see the back of SLFP”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 July 2020

Malinda Seneviratne, “Whither Gota and the SLPP?”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 July 2020

Sanjeewa Fernando, “TNA’s demand for federalism: A manifesto of faultlines”, Daily Mirror Online, 22 July 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Integrating Sri Lanka, post-poll”, Ceylon Today, 21 July 2020

Jehan Perara, “Providing workable solutions to the northern problems is foremost national duty”, The Island, 21 July 2020

Ahalya Lelwala, “Presidential pardons in Sri Lanka: An unchecked Executive power?”, Daily Mirror Online, 20 July 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Ravana the aviator, mythology or science?”, Colombo Gazette, 20 July 2020


Easwaran Rutnam, “Ranil will be remembered as the best President Sri Lanka never had: Mangala”, Daily Mirror Online, 24 July 2020

Kalani Kumarasinghe & Piyumi Fernando, “Tamil and Sinhala people decided to end war, not MR or Gota: Janakan Vinayagamoorthy”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 July 2020

Kalani Kumarasinghe & Piyumi Fernando, “Women should stand together to win reproductive rights: NIrupa Serasingha”, Daily Mirror Online, 23 July 2020


Afghanistan: Shubhangi Pandey

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

Pakistan: Ayjaz Wani

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