MonitorsPublished on Oct 19, 2020
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XIII-42

Myanmar: India relations on upswing

Sreeparna Banerjee

As the country is gearing up for the upcoming election on 8 November, Myanmar’s bilateral relations with India seems to have taken an upswing. Recent high-level visits and attempts to complete long-pending projects have breathed in fresh life into bilateral relations. The recent visit of India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla and Army Chief Gen M M Naravane on 5 October has been received quite well.

According to a few newspaper reports, the visitors handed over to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi a consignment of drugs to treat Covid  patients. In addition, India also announced the import of 150,000 tonnes of pulses from Myanmar till March 2021, and also a grant of $2 m for building a bridge at Byanyu-Sarsichauk in Chin state to ramp up economic connectivity between the north-eastern Indian State of Mizoram and Myanmar. Moreover, the Indian side proposed construction of a $ 6-b petroleum refinery in Thanlyn area, near Yangon.

The visit aimed at reaffirming India’s commitment to bilateral relations through connectivity projects in Sittwe, joint production of Covid drugs and handling the issue of displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. The two sides also discussed coastal-shipping agreement that will allow Indian ships to reach Mizoram via Sittwe Port on the Bay of Bengal and through the Kaladan river multi-modal link.

At the bilateral-level, the visit is seen as a balancing-act to secure India’s position in the domestic affairs of Myanmar, ahead of the elections. In geo-strategic terms, it can be interpreted as India’s bid to strengthen bilateral  ties when it is caught in a near-war situation with the common neighbour, China.

Increasing visibility

The strategic location of Myanmar is beneficial for India’s economic engagement as well as physical and social connectivity. It hopes to connect and develop India’s much neglected north east section. In the past, the visibility of India has been lacking in this region in comparison to China. However, with the current wave of projects, the nation is bouncing back. Among few, New Delhi is assisting Myanmar in areas such as information technology, agriculture, and infrastructure.

As of November 2019, in terms of investment, India stands at 11th position with an approved investment of $ 771.488 million by 33 Indian enterprises. Thirteen Indian Public Sector Undertakings have a presence in Myanmar in different sectors.  Most of India’s investments have been in the oil & gas sector. Moreover, India has been developing the bordering areas under the India-Myanmar Border Area Development. During the end of August 2020, the latter has handed over $5 million for the third year of the agreement for the development of roads and bridges and schools undertaken in nine townships with 82 beneficial villages.

A number of Indian companies have also set up operations in Myanmar, including oil and gas players like the ONGC Videsh and GAIL. Banks such as the State Bank of India, United Bank of India now merged with Punjab National Bank, and the Exim Bank of India have opened representative offices. India’s Ru pay is supposed to soon make an entry paving way for digital payment gateway.

At ease with all

India has tried to also keep the Tatmadaw, the powerful military opponent to the NLD, at ease. The Tatmadaw also understands the significance of India. This is evident during the strategic cooperation that began since 2019. The Myanmar army first drove ethnic rebels from Nagaland and other States in north-eastern India from their main base at Taga in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region. Satisfied by this, India has responded favourably by supplying the Tatmadaw with weapons that have helped in its fights with various insurgent groups. The bilateral relations witnessed new heights with the signing of the military agreement. More importantly, India has also agreed to train Myanmar army officers and allow them to study at military academies in India. In May 2020, the Myanmar government handed over 22 ethnic Assam rebels.

It is quite evident that Myanmar’s omnipotent generals are seeking the new player to counter-balance China’s rising influence in the country. In several media reports, it has been hinted that the nation is hesitant and suspicious of the intentions of China especially as they fear that the latter is facilitating the ethnic militant groups with advanced weaponry and technical knowhow’s which is apparently responsible for the successful resistance of the ethnic group and the ongoing fights between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Tatmadaw.

Rohingya issue

India has been seemingly tactful in discussing the issue of the hapless displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. While sympathising with the government, the former has nudged the latter to secure position for the displaced people within the country and to start the repatriation process soon in consultation with Bangladesh. To ensure that such process is indeed unfolded in recent future, India has laid emphasis on the socio-economic development of the Rakhine province to create enough economic incentive for the displaced people who will return from the camps at Bangladesh.

In this regard, Myanmar has appreciated India’s provision of 250 pre-fabricated houses and relief materials for displaced persons in northern Rakhine in 2019. Both sides agreed to expedite the implementation of a set of 12 projects under the second phase of the Rakhine State Development Programme and to further strengthen their development cooperation. This includes setting up a skills training centre, up-gradation of agricultural mechanisation, etc.

In addition, the visit of Myanmar President Win Myiunt and his wife to India in February 2020 and the MoUs signed were mostly focussed on developing the Rakhine state. India’s intention may be two-fold in this:

First, a significant part of India’s Kaladan multimodal project (KMMTTP) passes through the Rakhine state which is engulfed in a war like zone between the AA and the Tatmadaw. 2019 has been filled with instances of the abduction of Indian workers while working in the Paletwa to Zorinpuri road stretch. There is a growing concern that this is arranged by the AA.

Although, in a coordinated operation with the Myanmar Army, almost 12 of the AA camps were claimed to be destroyed, it hardly seems to have acted as a deterrent for the insurgent group who are, if the newspaper reports are to be believed, being funded by China. Thus, apart from the other contingencies like cost and management, there is delay in the completion of the project. This has caused displeasure and has instilled the need to act with prudence.

Second, citing security concerns, India is unenthusiastic to allow Rohingyas to continue to live within its soil since the last few years. The push back approach in 2018 gained quite a number of glares from the international community. Thus, the only way to constructively address the issue will be to send them back to their place of origin or rather the Rakhine state. Thus, development of the region becomes essential.

While the upcoming election campaigns is essentially favouring those in power and partially neglecting the ethnic political parties, however ignoring the needs of the ethnic or minority communities will not help in the long run. This fact has partially been recognized by those in power. Thus, while balancing its act, India needs to counter balance the ethnic strife and bureaucratic lassitude from its end in future.

Maldives: Yameen camp’s efforts to take ‘India out’ campaign to Parliament fails

N Sathiya Moorthy

After failing in to arouse public enthusiasm for their ‘India out’ campaign, Opposition PPM-PNC combine, identified with the jailed former President Abdulla Yameen, has tried to raise it in Parliament. However, the Opposition could not succeed in Parliament too, as Speaker Mohammed Nasheed threw out an ‘emergency motion’, citing conceptual and procedural violations. While there is greater cohesion in the government’s response to India-centric development agreements, it is also seeking to keep the China relations on an even keel.

The Majlis motion sought details of India-Maldives funding agreements, which the predecessor Yameen administration did not do viz Chinese projects in its time (2013-18).  – and honoured thus by the incumbent Government of President Ibrahim Solih. Citing relevant rules, Speaker Nasheed ruled that the agreements that ‘inflict hardship’ on the nation (alone) needed to be presented to Parliament. The documents could otherwise be accessed through parliamentary panels, and a floor-vote was a pre-requisite for taking up the motion.

No compromise

Alluding to the Opposition allegation in his National Day address on Saturday, 17 October, President Ibrahim Solih declared that the nation’s foreign relations with any country will not be allowed to impede its sovereignty and independence. “When the current administration took over, Maldives was very much isolated from the international community. Because of that, a lot of benefits and aid for the Maldives and its people were obstructed,” he said, adding that fortunately, the situation had improved ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic for the nation to be able to get a lot foreign assistance and support.

In the modern world, the political, economic ideology was such that independent sovereign nations were inter-connected and inter-dependent. “Maldives is also a part of this community”, President Solih said. He said  the nation was blessed with a lot of pride in terms of nationality, the biggest of them being the ‘light of Islam and the shared culture and language’.

This was a ‘national treasure’ and ‘upholding and maintaining these pillars is a responsibility of all Maldivians’, Solih said. The “biggest reassurance and happiness is the existence of a defence force ready and prepared to sacrifice themselves with blood for the nation… This is something every Maldivian is proud of”, he added.

Spread by foreigners

In a media interaction on an earlier occasion, Speaker Nasheed, who is also the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), reiterated that participants in the ‘India out’ protests were ‘extremists’. He pointed out how as a first step, extremist organisations like the ISIS sought to isolate target-nations from the international community, and this was being attempted in Maldives now. “We will be isolated from the international community, if India goes out, if another goes out,” he said adding that the ‘India Out’ tag-line in the social media was spread by foreigners, and no political party in the country was linked.

Addressing the protestors’ demand, Nasheed said the presence of Indian military personnel was a ‘non-issue’, as they were involved only in humanitarian operations, under the overall command and supervision of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). He pointed out how developed nations like Japan and Germany had militaries of other nations stationed on their territory.  The world was intertwined and the government was focused on Indian Ocean security, a joint effort of India, Japan, Australia, the UK and the US.  In this background, Speaker Nasheed also visited the MNDF headquarters, to be briefed on the issue, in the presence of Defence Minister Mariya Didi.

India debate

On the India debate, a senior minister, appearing in a TV programme, declared that the southern neighbour had the power to capture Maldives if it wanted but that’s not how international relations worked. “I’m not saying the (Maldivian) military isn’t functional. I’m saying that there are far more powerful countries,” Economic Development Minister Fayyaz Ismail said. Maldivian foreign policy was about cooperation with everyone, and this policy dated back to the age of the sultans and has remained unchanged, he added.

“This administration is paying special attention to neighbouring countries, and we have adopted the ‘India First’ Policy. India is a powerful country in the region, and we share centuries of historical relations,” Minister Fayyaz said, adding, “Check our DNA and it will be relatively similar.” India also had the second largest Muslim population in the world, he pointed out, in an obvious reference to Maldives’ demography and constitutional mandate as a Sunni-Islamic nation.

All this does not mean Maldives is cutting ties with the rest of the countries, Minister Fayyaz said. “Under the previous administration, India was cast aside. It’s actually the previous administration that enabled this cold war in the Indian Ocean to begin.”

Bridge pact signed

On the economic front, the South Asian neighbours have since signed the relevant agreements for taking forward India’s $ 400-m credit for Maldives’ single largest infra project. When completed the 6.7-km Thilamale’ sea-bridge, connecting three islands with capital Male, will be more than thrice the length of China-funded Siimale Bridge, connecting Male and airport-island, Hulumale. Under the agreement, signed by Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and two officials of India’s ExIm Bank, General Manager Nirmit Ved and Chief Manager Harish Kumar, the repayment period for the loan will commence five years after the completion of the project.

As if to address transparency criticism, the Maldivian Finance Ministry announced how 65-70 percent of the project components will be sourced by India, facilitating participation by Maldivian businesses and services. There will also be international-tendering process for the contract, the ministry said and also made the project’s technical details, public. This contrasts with Yameen era China-funded projects, where the contractors, their men and material, all came from that country.

In another China-related development, Speaker Nasheed told Parliament that Yameen was not serious about implementing the China FTA signed 2014. Unlike mandated, Yameen got the relevant parliamentary laws passed only after three years against the stipulated one-month window, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer told a parliamentary panel, earlier. Denying ‘political reasons’ as the cause for the incumbent Government not taking up the China FTA, Minister Fayyaz told his TV audience  that ‘does not benefit ‘Maldives.

In this backdrop, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid’s more recent meeting with Chinese Ambassador Zahang Lizhong has assumed some significance. Minister Shahid cited the ‘strong support’ from China in the nation’s economic process and areas of other mutual interest. In particular, he underscored the ‘overwhelming amount of free aid donations’ from multiple Chinee agencies, corporates and provinces, as Covid-management aid, and thanked President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, by name.

On an earlier occasion, the Maldivian Finance Ministry clarified that China had deferred repayment on some of the loans obtained by the Yameen administration, under the G-20 Covid-related debt-service suspension initiative. The facility, however, does not cover Chinese credit obtained by private parties and public sector undertakings – over which President Solih too had expressed viability-concerns.

Around the time, Amb Lizhong went on record that the ‘debt-trap’ charge against China was ‘baseless and was a political gimmick’. As may be recalled, Speaker Nasheed has been the one to level this unequivocal charge consistently from the very days of the Yameen presidency.

Country Reports


Re-set amid uptick in violence

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced that a ‘re-set’ in actions had been agreed upon by the US and the Taliban, aimed at a significant reduction in violence. Khalilzad said that the re-set would be in line with the obligations laid down in the US-Taliban agreement, signed in February 2020. He asked all parties to the agreement to deliver on their responsibilities, and emphasised the commitment of the US to oversee the implementation of the provisions.

Call to protect civilians

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan called for the immediate need to protect civilians who are caught in the middle of the ongoing clashes in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Over 35,000 people have been displaced due to the clashes in and around Lashkar Gah, according to a UN report. The UNAMA emphasised on need to ensure the provision of safe passage to civilians, to leave volatile areas.


Death for rapists

The government has introduced death penalty for rape. The decision followed after widespread protests following footage of the assault on a woman became viral in the social media. Earlier, the maximum punishment for rape was life in prison.

Per capita GDP to go up

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Bangladesh will surpass India in terms of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.   According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP would rise to $1,887.97 by the end of this year, which will be 3.96 per cent higher than in 2019. In 2019, Bangladesh’s per capita as per GDP was $1,816.04.  IMF also informed that its neighbour India's per capita GDP would fall to $1,877 in 2020, a decline of 10.3 per cent.

US official meets PM

The US-Bangladesh relationship got a major boost with   Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Beigun in Dhaka this week. He held talks with the top leadership of the country, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen, and discussed various issues of mutual interest. During his visit, Biegun observed that the US considered Bangladesh as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region and Bangladesh will be the centrepiece of US‘ work in the region.


Exports through Jaigaon affected

Resumption of the export of potatoes to India via Jaigaon is unlikely soon as Indian customs officials in Jaigaon requested their counterparts in Phuentsholing to not process or allow vegetable consignments until arrangements are in place at Jaigaon Land Customs office. On the night of 14 October, the Sashatra Seema Bal, an Indian paramilitary seized four truckloads of potatoes and handed it to the customs office across the border.It is also clear now that other vegetables (not in the export list with India) will not be allowed entry to Jaigaon.

China, second biggest exporter

China is the second-largest import market after India in the half-yearly provisional statistics published by the Ministry of Finance. Bhutan’s trade deficit declined by 32 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to figures for the same period of last year. Imports decreased to Nu 30.84 billion from Nu 32 billion for the same period of last year. Country-wise, goods worth Nu 26.96 billion were imported from India. This is 87 percent of the total imports. Bhutan imported goods worth more than Nu 1 billion from China, making China the second largest import market after India. Top export destinations included Vietnam, Italy, Nepal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Flight turned back

A chartered flight with 127 Bhutanese on board en route to Kuwait and Dubai returned from Bagdogra airport in India on 15 October. The flight could not proceed because the host nations demanded health clearance at the last moment, according to the Foreign Ministry. The minister said the Kuwait Embassy in Bhutan and the Foreign Affairs Ministry are working on this and the passengers are all asked to report to the airport.


Low rank in hunger index

The Global Hunger Index, which was released last week by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe revealed that India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the report. India’s rank is lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88) which reflects a situation of acute undernutrition. The scores released this yearshows data in the time period between 2015 and 2019. The report suggests that the pandemic has further aggravated the problem all over the world.

Mehbooba Mufti released

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and the chief of the People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, was released by the Union Territory administration last week, after being kept under preventive detention for over 14 months since the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August last year. The Public Safety Act (PSA) detention order against the Mufti has since been revoked.


Foreign ties ‘no impediment’

The nation’s foreign ties are no impediment to Maldives’ sovereignty, President Ibrahim Solih has said on the occasion of the National Day. “When the current administration took over, Maldives was very much isolated from the international community. Because of that, a lot of benefits and aid for the Maldives and its people were obstructed,” he said, adding that Maldives “was fortunate that foreign relations had been rebuilt when Covid-19 hit the nation”. He also expressed gratitude towards the international community for the assistance and support in the aftermath of the pandemic.

‘No’ to anti-India motion

Speaker Mohammed Nasheed in Parliament has rejected an Opposition PPM-PNC member’s ‘emergency motion’, seeking details about the nation’s funding agreements with India, citing House rules. He said that such details could be obtained through relevant House committees, but inside the House, it had needed to be voted upon before permission could be granted to move the same.


Bringing non-NCA groups on board

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Nation-wide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), has announced the implementation of three programmes, namely, national reconciliation and internal peace, democratic transition and establishment of a federal union, and a constitutional amendment to harmoniously establish a democratic federal union in the post-2020 period. Under the programmes, negotiations will be conducted with non-signatory Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to reach ceasefire agreements and to bring them to the negotiations table while efforts will be made with increased momentum to consolidate the ceasefire agreements with NCA signatories.

Human Rights dialogue with EU

The Sixth European Union-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue was held on 14 October 2020. The Human Rights Dialogue was co-chaired by Mr Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights and U Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The meeting held by video-conference due to the COVID-19 related disruption, allowed the two sides to discuss on human rights issues. Myanmar and the EU discussed a wide range of human rights matters, including the situation in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, humanitarian access and the situation of Internally Displaced Persons, accountability for alleged human rights violations, fundamental rights and freedoms, economic, labour and social rights, rights of women and human rights cooperation in multilateral fora.


Queue again in border-points

The economic situation in the country, owing to the pandemic, is leading to serious unemployment. In fact, migrant labourers who had come back to their home country from foreign destinations like India are also dissatisfied and also ready to head back as they have no source of income to stay back in these trying times. Therefore, a similar picture was seen in the Indo-Nepal border once again where people are heading to work during the festivities of Dashain as they have no reason to stay back. Around 300,000 people had come back and due to the lack of opportunities the border points are vulnerable yet again. What impact this would have on the Covid-19 aggravation across border would be known in a month or so.


Re-elected to UNHRC

Pakistan was re-elected for the second term to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 13 October 2020, bagging 169 votes from 193 members of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With the re-election, Pakistan will continue as a member of the UNHRC till 2024. Pakistan has continuously used the UNHRC to discuss alleged human rights violation in Kashmir, held by India. Prime Minister of Pakistan said in a series of tweets that it is a diplomatic achievement and Islamabad will continue to work towards "advancement of tolerance and constructive engagement". 

20 killed in Balochistan

Insurgents gunned down 13 security personnel and seven private guards in two separate attacks in Balochistan’s Gwadar district. The first encounter took place when a large number of insurgents attacked a convoy escorting state-run Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) on the Makran Coastal Highway, killing seven soldiers and seven security personnel. In another attack, seven security men were killed when insurgents improvised explosive device (IED). It is pertinent to mention that such insurgent attacks are very critical to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) part of Beijing's regional Belt and Road infrastructure initiative that runs through the area.

Sri Lanka

India to invest in research

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay has responded positively to the suggestions of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for Indian investment in research and manufacturing in Sri Lanka, including in pharmaceutical sector. In a statement, the High Commission said that Amb Baglay stressed the significance of facilitating mutually-beneficial bilaeral trade and investment.

PM’s son named his chief aide

Lt Commander Yoshitha Rajapaksa, second of the three sons of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been appointed Chief of Staff in the PM’s Office. His older brother, Namal Rajapaksa is a two-term parliamentarian and is at present a Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs. What has made greater news that Yoshitha’s appointment is the fact that the information reached newsrooms in the capital through a tweet in which a Chinese Embassy official publicly greeted the new appointee.



Opinion Pieces

Said Sabir Ibrahimi, “Growing Sectarianism Can Challenge Peace in Afghanistan”, The Diplomat, 15 October 2020

D. Pradhan, “India and the Afghan Peace Process: Prudence Demands a Cautious Approach”, The Times of India, 14 October 2020


The Kabul Times, “Afghans Still Bear Brunt of War”, 15 October 2020

The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “Compromising Women’s Rights at Peace Table Not Acceptable”, 13 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Nazmul A Khan, “All bets are off on Hefazat”, The Daily Star, 13 October 2020


The Daily Star, “Bangladesh as a transit for drug smuggling”, 16 October 2020

Dhaka Tribune, “Partnerships for mutual gain”, 14 October 2020


Maj-Gen (red) ANM Muniruzzaman is the president of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Strategic studies, “Bangladesh must maintain geostrategic independence”, Prothom Alo, 13 October 2020


Opinion Piece

Guru Prasad Khadal, “Bhutan at her best during the pandemic”, Kuensel, 12 October 2020


Kuensel, “A middle path?”, 13 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Suhas Palshikar, “The Hathras case is symptomatic of the disappearance of Dalit politics”, The Indian Express, 16 October 2020

Anand Prasad and Moksha Bhat, “Leverage Covid-19 to reform justice delivery”, hindustantimes, 15 October 2020

M.P. Nathanael, “Making the cop accountable”, The Indian Express, 14 October 2020

Sukumar Muralidharan, “Federalism, now a partisan internal dialogue”, The Hindu, 13 October 2020 


The Indian Express, “Neither letter, nor spirit”, 15 October 2020

hindustantimes, “Article 370 and 35-A: Why Farooq Abdullah is wrong”, 13 October 2020

hindustantimes, “The economy is still fragile”, 12 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Fathmath Shaahunaz, “Vaccinate your business: restoring client trust duirng pandemic”, The Edition, 13 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Aye Lei Tun, “Myanmar Still Fails to Bring More Women into Politics”, The Irrawaddy, 14 October 2020

Benedickt Bevec, “Myanmar’s digital literacy must keep up with technological leap”, The Myanmar Times, 9 October 2020


The Irrawaddy, “Bangladesh’s Harboring of Terrorists Continues to Hinder Rohingya Repatriation Process”, 13 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Dinesh Bhattarai, “Nepal’s relations with India and China are independent of each other,” Republica, 16 October 2020

Khim Lal Devkota, “Strengthening federalism,” The Kathmandu Post, 14 October 2020

Mandira Singh Shrestha and Arabinda Mishra, “Better governance is a key to reducing flood risks,” Republica, 13 October 2020


The Himalayan Times, “Don’t take risk,” 15 October 2020

The Kathmandu Post, “Embolden Covid-19 response,” 15 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

A.G. Noorani, “Activism & restraint”, Dawn, 17 October 2020

Zahid Hussian, “Paucity of leadership”, Dawn, 17 October 2020

Dr Ali M Mir, “Pink October, The Express Tribune,17 October 2020

Andrew Korybko, “The Trump-Taliban scandal”, The Express Tribune, 16 October 2020

Raja Sher Baz, “America’s future in Afghanistan is hanging in the balance, The Express Tribune, 15 October 2020


Dawn, “Multiple attacks”, 17 October 2020

Sri Lanka

Opinion pieces

Lynn Ockersz, “Small States’ foreign policy dilemmas heighten”, The Island, 15 October 2020

Kelum Bandara, “Sri Lanka walks diplomatic tightrope between China and the US”, Daily Mirror Online, 15 October 2020

Malinda Seneviratne, “19h, 20th and the sanctimonious humbuggery”, Daily Mirror Online, 15 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “What does Sri Lanka moving closer to China mean for India?”, www.orfonline.og, 14 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Where the shoe pinches”, Ceylon Today, 13 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Have Tamils lost interest in Prabhakaran?”, Colombo Gazette, 12 October 2020

Dr Sarala Fernando, “New-old foreign policy”, The Island, 11 October 2020


Daily Mirror Online, “Estate workers lives matter”, 14 October 2020

Daily Mirror Online, “Covid-19 runs riot as big business hunts profit”, 12 October 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

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.