MonitorsPublished on May 16, 2016
South Asia Weekly | Volume IX; Issue 20

< style="color: #0a83cf;">ANALYSES

Bhutan: Makeover of Opposition in Parliament

By Mihir Bhonsale A strong opposition is said to be in the interests of a democracy. The nascent democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan stands witness to the rise of the discerning parliamentary opposition. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led government has already crossed the half-way mark in its five-year term and the opposition, Druk Phuesum Tshogpa (DPT), has taken the fight back to the ruling party. If the business transacted in parliament is any indication from the fifth session onwards, disagreement between the ruling and the opposition benches of has been stark. At a time when civil society in Bhutan is debating whether the politicisation of Parliament is in the interest of the country, the opposition’s challenge will be to sustain the tirade they have begun. It will depend on the focus in detail constructive eye.

Bills voted down   

The culture of disagreement between parliamentarians has as a consequence led to many bills being voted down and referred to the next session of the Parliament. Such bills include the motion for ratification of the BBIN-MVA and the Thromde boundary demarcation issue. The Paro Dzokhang Thromde boundary demarcation that was approved by the parliament in the fifth session of Parliament was forced to be again brought forward after consultation with the local government and reintroduced in the upcoming session of Parliament. The boundary demarcation issue was voted down in the joint session of the Parliament, the National Council (NC) and National Assembly (NA) members. A lawmaker also went on to accuse NC members of siding with political parties resulting in much furore. The motion moved by the government for ratification of BBIN-MVA, saw a heated discussion in the sixth session of Parliament, before it was voted for by the show of hands. Initially, the Speaker of the National Assembly announced that the motion stood passed, 22-15. But, the opposition argued that a majority must be calculated on the basis of the total strength of the house that is 47 and not the number of members present in the house on that particular day. They demanded that the Assembly reach a formula for deciding the majority number in the house. The National Assembly then resolved to form a committee on deciding this issue. The committee came to a consensus that the passage of a motion must depend on the majority decided on the basis of the total strength of the house — ie, 24. Hence, the NA announced that the ratification of the BBIN-MVA be revoked.

Policy stalemate

The motions tabled in Parliament by the ruling benches of the National Assembly are any indication, the Tshering Tobgay government at the centre, stares at a possible policy paralysis. This is coupled by the National Council’s decision to withdraw the Enterprise Registration Bill and the European Investment Bank Framework Agreement raised eyebrows in the National Assembly. Re-deliberations in the National Assembly on the Jabmi (Amendment) Bill, Companies Bill were inconclusive due to lack of consensus on some of the sections. The sixth session decided that they be submitted to His Majesty, the Druk Gyalpo for the royal consent for deliberation in a joint sitting in the next session of the Parliament. The opposition won the right to move a motion in Parliament beginning the fifth session where discussion on the motions on education, economy and unemployment took place. The opposition left no stone unturned to punch holes in the government’s policy towards the three burning issues of the day.

‘Committee government’?

The opposition has called the government a “committee government” in the sixth session. This, they have now rephrased to call the government “indecisive, inconsistent and incoherent”. Criticising, several decisions of the government, opposition party members accused the government of damaging public trust and confidence in the government. They also accused the government of reversing its decisions in a jiffy, no sooner than it was implemented has become a trend and a costly one. They appealed that before implementing a policy or taking a decision, the government consider if it would fulfil the aspirations of the king, country and people, Tsa-Wa-Sum. The PDP government at the centre is busy wielding the pressures put by the opposition party within parliament and outside. Having been past three years of their term in power, government has to deliver on its promises. Bhutan is still reeling under the impact of unemployment and economic growth concentrated only in hydropower export. Parliament in Bhutan, with a sizable opposition could play a constructive role in helping the Tsehering Tobgay government to overcome the challenges that the small Himalayan nation is facing. It could act as a platform for consensus building in the larger interest of the nation. The author is a Research Assistant at Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata.

India: Record productivity in Budget session, but GST still struck

Parliament---PTI Source: PTI By Satish Misra Despite disruptions, bickerings and high decibel noises, the two-part budget session of Parliament, which began on February 23, proved to be a very productive one and enabled the government to complete most of its  agenda. In fact, the people’s house — the Lok Sabha — ended on May 11, two days earlier than originally scheduled and the Rajya Sabha had also completed the official business, but it remained in session till May 13 owing to a death of a Congress sitting member, Praveen Rashtrapal, and the retiring of 53 MPs who needed time to make their customary valedictory speeches. It is indeed a record of sorts that despite the growing confrontation between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress on several issues, including AugustaWestland chopper deal, the Union budget along with several important bills, were passed by the two houses. The session also witnessed debates and discussions on important issues like the drought and allegation of corruption in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal. Debate on the alleged scam in the purchase of the AugustaWestland helicopters in the two houses was interesting and noteworthy in many respects.

AgustaWestland chopper scam

While in the upper house, new entrant Subramanian Swamy made his debut speech and trained his guns on the Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Congress member Manu Abhishek Sanghvi delivered a spirited and informed response. The Congress sought to take the high moral ground by demanding a Supreme Court-monitored probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Both the houses also held discussions on the working of the ministries of finance, human resource development, civil aviation and tourism. It became possible not because the government reached out to the opposition, but, because of a change in the strategy of the Congress party which adopted an aggressive and belligerent approach without blocking legislative business. The Congress, apparently, has decided to climb down from its earlier stand so that it can erase the popular impression of blocking the government agenda. In terms of productivity, the Lok Sabha utilised 119 percent of its time while the Rajya Sabha used 84 percent of its time in debating and clearing the agenda which in itself is a record. The Lok Sabha worked for 79.10 hours while it had only been allotted 66 hours for the session. The Rajya Sabha, on the contrary, lost 16 per cent of its time working for 54.58 hours instead of 65 hours it was allotted. The question hour was conducted hundred percent in the Lok Sabha while it was 63 per cent in the Rajya Sabha. In total, 220 questions were listed in the Lok Sabha and 63 were answered. In the upper house, 165 questions were listed and 46 were replied by the government. In earlier sessions, only a couple of questions on an average used to be answered during the session by a minister, but in the just concluded session, more questions were answered which is a firm evidence of the seriousness which both the ruling benches and the opposition are attaching to the parliamentary work and responsibility. The BJP-led NDA government introduced four bills while 10 official bills were passed by the Lok Sabha. They included the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016, the Compensatory Afforestation Bill, 2015, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016. It is worth noting here that the Bankruptcy and Anti-Hijacking Bills had been pending before parliament for a long time.

GST Bill not listed

However, the long-awaited and much promised Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill could not be passed in this session also. In fact, the government did not even list it on the business of the upper house where it needs to be approved to become an Act as the lower house has already passed it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lamented of this on the last day of the session when, in his send-off speech  for 53 retiring members, he targeted the opposition for not getting the GST Bill passed. Conveying his best wishes to the retiring members and thanking them for their role in many policy decisions, the Prime Minister said, “I wish the GST would have been passed during your tenure in the Rajya Sabha. People in your state would have benefitted from it.” The GST Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last year where the ruling party has the numbers on its side but the Congress-led opposition has been able to block it in the Upper House, asking the government to accept three of its demands, including a cap on the tax percentage. The government, however, remained adamant and did not initiate a dialogue with the opposition to pass this important legislation. The Prime Minister, his ministerial colleagues and other BJP were busy in the campaigning for the assembly elections of the four states and one union territory whose results are scheduled to be announced on May 19. The government is hopeful that the dominance of the Congress in the upper house will be reduced after the results of the elections come which will create conditions for the passage of the GST bill. In the coming elections to Rajya Sabha, the strength of the BJP and regional parties is sure to go up while the Congress’ numbers will be reduced. The government’s strategy for the passage of the GST Bill seems to be ‘wait for better times’, which may come in the next session of parliament. The author is a Senior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

< style="color: #0a83cf;">COUNTRY REPORTS

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Afghanistan

Abdullah to visit China

Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abudllah will visit China from May 15-18. trough May 18. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, this is Abdullah’s first official visit to China since taking office. “We hope the visit will further advance bilateral cooperation in areas of economy and trade, security, culture, international and regional affairs, and push China-Afghanistan strategic partnership of cooperation to a higher level.” For more information, see: Afghanistan chief executive to visit China

Haqqanis take over

According to Afghan government officials, the Pakistan-based and al Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network has taken over command of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. An Afghan Interior Ministry, said, “The Taliban are currently being commanded by (the) Haqqani (network). We believe Haqqani and al-Qaeda are two different names for the same terrorist organization.” A US army official noted, “Siraj Haqqani, has been named the number two for the Taliban. And we think that he is increasing really, his day-to-day role in terms of conducting Taliban military operations.” For more information, see: Afghan Officials: Haqqani Network Controls Taliban command

Taliban kills 15 policemen

A checkpoint in Gereshk, a town on the main highway in Afghanistan’s Helmand province and just north of the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, and another in nearby Nad Ali were overrun on 10 May by Taliban insurgents, killing 15 policemen. Fighting in Helmand, the country’s biggest opium producer, has picked back up after a lull during opium-harvest season. For more information, see: Afghan Taliban tighten squeeze on Helmand capital

Car-bomb claims 8

A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle, killed 8 people, and wounded 23 others near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on 10 May. Police said that women and children were included in casualties. Dehqan is known for organizing local, informal militias to combat insurgents. For more information, see: Afghan official: Car bomb kills 8 in eastern province

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Bangladesh

JeI leader executed

Erstwhile anti-Bangladeshi Al-Badr militia leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed by hanging, for his role in the 1971 ‘war crimes’, after the international tribunal had held him guilty in 2014. The execution may have further strained Bangladesh’s relations with Pakistan, which has seen a downtrend in recent weeks and months. For more information, see: “Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes to protect Pakistan”,, 11 May 2016; “Upholding Pakistan constitution Nizami’s ‘only sin’, says Islamabad”,, 11 May 2016; “Bangladesh protests Islamabad’s reaction over war crimes trial”, bdnews24, 9 May 2016

Indians show interest

Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary, S Jaishankar told Prime Minister Sheik Hasina that companies in his country were interested in building a deep-seaport in Bangladesh. PM Hasina reportedly told the visitor that the project(s) could be taken up by a consortium. For more information, see: “Indian companies interested to build deep seaport in Bangladesh, says Jaishankar”,, 11 May 2016; “Bangladesh, India discuss economic zone development”, bdnews24, 10 May 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Bhutan

Army chief for India

Royal Bhutan Army’s Chief Operations Officer, Lt General Batoo Tshering is in India at the invitation of the Indian Army’s Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh. For more information see: Royal Bhutan Army chief visits India

Swedish royalty coming

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will pay a three-day state visit to Bhutan beginning June 8, at the invitation of His Majesty The King. The Swedish monarchs will be accompanied by representatives from the government and number of Swedish companies. This will be the first state visit from Sweden to Bhutan. For more information see: King and Queen of Sweden to visit

Bangladesh for more trade

Bangladesh, Bhutan’s main buyer of oranges and apples, wants to process fruits and vegetables in the country and do the final packaging in Bangladesh. President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), Abdul Matlub Ahmad, shared this during his visit to Bhutan last week. For more information see: Bangladesh wants to expand trade with Bhutan

< style="color: #0a83cf;">India

Navy Harriers retire

Thirty three years after their induction, the ageing Sea Harriers, once the mainstay of Navy's air warfare capability, on Wednesday gave way to the modern supersonic Russian MiG 29K fighter aircraft. The Navy, which initially had 28 Sea Harriers, deinducted 11 remaining ones. The force has till today accepted 31 MiG 29K aircraft of the 45 aircraft that it has contracted for. For more information see: Indian Navy Retires Iconic Sea Harriers, Era of MiG 29K Begins

‘Vintage equipment’ with Army

A parliamentary panel has expressed concern over "large-scale vintage equipment" with the Army and pulled up the government on the tardy modernisation of the armed forces. "The committee are concerned to note that the army is operating with large-scale vintage equipment," the parliamentary standing committee on defence, headed by Maj-Gen B C Khanduri (retd) of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said in a report tabled in the two houses or Parliament. For more information see: Parliamentary Panel Raps Government For 'Vintage Equipment' With Indian Army

‘India stalling F-16’s for Pak’

Pakistan’s relation with the US is under stress due to a decision by the Congress to block the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to the country, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said. Briefing the Senate, Aziz candidly admitted that Pakistan-US ties were under stress for the past three months over the F-16 issue but the two were working to resolve it. “In the past three months, however, the upward trajectory in relations has witnessed a downward slide, as reflected in a decision of the US Congress to block partial funding for eight F-16 aircraft,” Aziz said on Thursday during a debate on the US decision to withdraw a proposed subsidy on the sale of F-16s For more information see: India making untiring efforts to block US sale of F-16 to Pak: Sartaj Aziz

US law on India ties

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected visit here next month, four influential American law-makers have introduced an amendment bill which if passed by Congress would elevate the status of the Indo-US defence ties on par with that of US' other NATO allies. The amendment submitted to the House Committee on Rules institutionalises the US government's focus on US-India security relationship while sending a powerful signal to New Delhi that Washington is a reliable and dependable defence partner. For more information see: US lawmakers introduce amendment bill to boost defence ties with India ahead of Modi's visit

Ultimatum to dargah

Bhumata Ranragini Brigade leader Trupti Desai visited the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai and left after offering prayers. She entered the shrine along with some women devotees in line with proper procedure and stopped just short of the inner sanctum, as is the custom for women at the dargah. For more information see: Trupti Desai enters Haji Ali dargah, serves 15-day ultimatum to trustees to allow women

Definition for ’new employees’ 

The government is likely to come out with a definition for the term ‘new employees’ for implementing its Budget promise of footing the bill for pension scheme contribution in a bid to create more formal sector jobs. For more information see: Govt. to define ‘new employees’ for EPS

Ending tax-havens

The government’s move to plug suspected losses in tax revenue through Mauritius, a top source of foreign investments into the country, has not sent financial markets into a tailspin as it would have a few years ago. Analysts however warn India is likely to expand its crackdown on tax treaties further. For more information see: India's new Mauritius treaty signals end of shopping for tax havens

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Maldives

Moving SC on Nasheed case

President Abdulla Yameen has said that he would request the Supreme Court to expedite the pending order on jailed predecessor Mohammed Nasheed against the trial court conviction in the ‘Judge Abdulla abduction case’. The Government has meanwhile extended Nasheed’s medical leave in the UK by another month, till 18 May, basing it on the fresh documents submitted by the latter, after refusing to do so, earlier. For more information, see: Nasheed’s medical leave extended

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Myanmar

US caution on ‘Rohingya’ The new US ambassador to Myanmar Scot Marciel reportedly said that he would be cautious in using the term ‘Rohingya’ which was not liked by Myanmar people, Thura Shwe Mann posted on his social media page. Earlier, Shwe Mann, chairman of an influential legal review committee and former member of the military ruling elite, warned the Marciel to be “careful” about using a term that “the Myanmar people can’t accept,” during a meeting in the capital Naypyidaw on May 11. For more information see:US ambassador says he will use the term ‘Rohingya’ cautiously and Rohingya a Term, ‘People can’t accept,’ Shwe Mann tells U.S. Ambassador

China to deport refugees

Chinese border authorities have ordered Kokang refugees back to Burma, threatening to deport those who resist the directive, according to sources on both sides of the border. For more information see: China to Deport Kokang Refugees Back to Burma: Sources

MPs vote out hospital

Parliamentarians in the Lower house voted against the U$70 million, 250-bed Parkway hospital that was slated for development on a Ministry of Health-owned plot in downtown Yangon. For more information see: Lower house supports cancelling Parkway

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Nepal

Road-rail link with China

China has opened its first combined transport service (road and rail) to Nepal with an international freight train departing from Lanzhou, the capital city of north-western China’s Gansu province, for Kathmandu, on May 11. The journey includes 2,431 km of rail transport from Lanzhou to Shigatse, 564 km of road transport from Shigatse to Kyirong (Geelong Port) and 160 kilometres of road transport from Kyirong to Kathmandu. For more information, see: Beijing ‘sends’ freight train for Nepal and Chinese Minister calls on PM Oli

Town flooded at night

Flash flood following heavy rain has caused a huge damage in the district. The flood in the Baphu stream has swept away over a dozen shops in Dobhan Bazaar May 12 night. Similarly, the flood has caused damage to the Bijay Hydropower project disrupting the power supplies in the locality. Along with it, drinking water supply was also disrupted by the floods. For more information, see: Flood sweeps away settlement and Floods inundate market, shops in Salyan

Re agitation to restart

Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Madhesi parties and Janajati forces, has announced to launch its Kathmandu-centric protest starting May 14, saying that the government was insensitive to their demands even after 36 rounds of talks. For more information, see: Sanghiya Gathabandhan announces Kathmandu-centric protest and Sitting for talks useless until preconditions met: UDMF to govt

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Pakistan

Ex-PM’s son rescued

Ali Haider Gilani, the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, returned to Lahore after being rescued by joint US-Afghan special force in Afghanistan on 11 May. Gilani, who was held captive for three years, was kidnapped in his hometown of Multan, in Punjab province, in May of 2013 during a campaign rally for his attempted election to the Punjab provincial assembly. Gilani said, “I would like to thank the Afghan government and U.S. forces for their efforts. It takes a lot of effort to bring back someone from another country. I am looking forward to being reunited with my family and going back to my normal life.” For more information, see: Ali Haider Gilani arrives in Lahore after three years in captivity

Musharraf ‘absconder’

On 11 May, a three-member special court handling former Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s treason case declared him an absconder for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated summons. As per the court’s direction, the prosecutor is to arrange the publishing of advertisements in Urdu and English newspapers and put up posters outside the court and Musharraf’s residences in Islamabad and Karachi that declare him an absconder. For more information, see: Special court declares Musharraf absconder in treason case

$510 million IMF aid

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on 12 May that it is providing an additional $510 million in aid to Pakistan as part of the country’s three-year, $6.7 billion financial assistance program. The money will not be officially provided until the deal is approved by the IMF’s management and executive board. The IMF statement cited Pakistan’s strong economic growth, with projected GDP growth of 4.5 percent in FY 2015-16 and 4.7 percent in 2016-17. For more information, see: Pakistan to receive $510 million aid tranche from IMF

Tension over border-fencing

Tension remains along the Pakistan-Afghan border following Pakistan’s border fencing of a 2-km area at the Torkham crossing. The border has been shut for three days and Pakistani officials have insisted that it will remain shut until Afghanistan takes back its objection to the fencing. Al Jazeera reported that thousands of lorries have been stranded at the border for the past three days. For more information, see: Border fencing escalates Pakistan-Afghanistan tension

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Sri Lanka 

Torture, still on: UN

After touring war-affected Northern Province, UN Special Rapporteur, Juan Menzez, has said that Sri Lankan authorities continued to deploy torture, including sexual abuse against (terror) suspects. He also criticised the nation’s criminal investigation, legal and judicial systems. < style="color: #000000;">For more information, see: “Torture still continues in Sri Lanka - UN official”, Daily Mirror Online, 7 May 2016; “UN wants reforms to Sri Lanka’s armed forces, police, Attorney General’s Dept., judiciary, ratification of Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture”, The Island, 8 May 2016;  “Govt. to study UN rapporteur’s claims”, Daily Mirror Online, 9 May 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">PRIMARY DOCUMENTATION

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Bhutan

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Press Releases

< style="color: #000000;">Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali’s visit to Bhutan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 11, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Myanmar

Press < style="color: #000000;">Releases President U Htin Kyaw requests equal treatment for Myanmar workers in Thailand, President’s Office, May 12, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">BIBLIOGRAPHY

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Afghanistan

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Opinion < style="color: #0a83cf;">Pieces

Ryan Crocker, Don’t let the US abandon thousands of Afghans who worked for us, The Washington Post, May 12, 2016 Danielle Moylan, Spring on the Afghan Front Lines, The New York Times, May 6, 2016 Nasim Zehra, “How to handle the Taliban”, The News International, April 27, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Bangladesh

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Opinion Pieces

< style="color: #000000;">Mozamel H Khan, Pakistan’s illogical stance, The Daily Star, May 13, 2016 Syed Badrul Ahsan, Pakistan’s unabashed Nizami’s tears,, May 12, 2016 Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan (retd), The US, India and Bangladesh extremism, The Daily Star, May 12, 2016 M S Siddiqui, Economy should be the first and only consideration,, May 10, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Bhutan

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Editorials

Kuensel, The BBIN debate, Kuensel, May 10

< style="color: #0a83cf;">India

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Opinion Pieces

< style="color: #000000;">C Raja Mohan, Raja Mandala: Message from the Maha Kumbh, The Indian Express, May 10, 2016 < style="color: #000000;">Shankar Acharya, A tiger cub in the neighbourhood?, Business Standard, May 12, 2016 Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Congress after Uttarakhand, Indian Express, May 12, 2016 Prashant Kumar, Why Make-in-India doing half its job & not creating employment, Financial Express, May 12, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Maldives

Opinion Pieces

N Sathiya Moorthy, Yameen to seek early SC order in Nasheed’s case, May 13, 2016 Azra Naseem, Yameen’s Maldives, Maldives Independent, May 12, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Myanmar

Khaing Tun, New ministry for state councellor raises alarming questions, Myanmar Times, May 10, 2016 Nicholas Farrelly, Policy conundrums under the NLD, Myanmar Times, May 9, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Nepal

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Opinion Pieces

< style="color: #000000;">Mukesh Jha, Where are the rights? The Kathmandu Post, May 6, 2016 < style="color: #000000;"> Ayush Joshi and Bijay Jha, Art of friendshipRepublica, May 4, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Pakistan

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Editorials

Time to Put the Squeeze on Pakistan, The New York Times, May 12, 2016 Pak-US relations- Out of balance, The Express Tribune, May 13, 2016

Opinion Pieces

Farhan Bokhari, After the F-16 saga, Dawn, May 13, 2016 Tahir Khan, Pakistan and Afghanistan- the way forward, The Express Tribune, May 12, 2016 Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, A Landmark Women’s Rights Bill Could Decide Pakistan’s Future, Foreign Policy, April 27, 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

R De Silva, “Sri Lanka: Case for $ 3-4.5 b IMF funding”, The Island, 13 May 2016 M S M Ayub, “Tamilian politics at cross-roads”, Daily Mirror Online, 13 May 2016 Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, “The morning after May Day: Vat’s going on?”, Daily Mirror Online, 11 May 2016 C A Chandraprema, “Coal tender under Supreme Court scrutiny”, The Island, 11 May 2016 Sumanasiri Liyanage, “Reflecting on May Day 2016”, The Island, 10 May 2016 Jehan Perera, “Good governance necessary to achieve government’s economic vision”, The Island, 10 May 2016 Dyan Abeygoonasekara, “Lankan May Day: Front for power displays”, Daily Mirror Online, 9 May 2016 N Sathiya Moorthy, “LTTE: Inching back to international safety-net?”, The Sunday Leader, 8 May 2016

< style="color: #0a83cf;">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: Dr. Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury and Sreeparna Banerjee    
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