MonitorsPublished on Jan 21, 2021
News and analyses from South Asia this week.
South Asia Weekly | Volume XIV; Issue 3

Myanmar: Trafficking issues, plight of Rohingyas in Thailand

Sreeparna Banerjee

In an appalling event, last week, 19 Rohingyas and a Thai woman accused of housing them were arrested for illegal entry into Thailand. Another group of 100 Rohingyas were uncovered from Yangon in Myanmar. Both these groups were bound to travel to Malaysia in search of a better life. In addition, there are reports that around 33 Thai officials along with civilians will be charged with disciplinary action for facilitating human-trafficking along the Thai-Myanmar border.

This discovery comes at a time when people of Thailand are accusing migrant workers from Myanmar as being responsible for the rising number of the Covid-19 cases in the country. After two months of hate-speech and confusion, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was tactful in stating that the recent infections were due to foreign workers smuggled across Thai border and had nothing to do with Myanmar migrants per say. On a positive note, this entire event also uncovered the difficult conditions that the migrant workers, especially those from Myanmar, are facing in Thailand.

Nevertheless, concerns are ripe regarding increasing trafficking routes for the Muslim minority community fleeing Myanmar’s open detention camps. It has come to light that Thai and Myanmar workers illegally cross the porous border and some have found lucrative jobs and business opportunities during the lockdown period for Covid. Some undocumented people, including Rohingyas, also sneak into Thailand with the help of traffickers, from where they are smuggled to Malaysia. They pay a handsome amount of money to both Myanmar and Thai human-traffickers for the purpose.

Myanmar and Thailand, based on their trafficking agreement on prevention, protection, rehabilitation, reintegration, law enforcement, justice have returned trafficked victims to their respective nations. However, the policy towards the displaced and stateless Rohingyas differs not only in Myanmar but in Thailand as well.

Historical evidence 

Thailand is home to a few million migrant workers, including an estimated 130,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. In the past, Thailand has given asylum to the Rohingyas as well as political prisoners from Myanmar. Since the mid-1980s, refugee and displaced people’s camps along Thailand’s western border have protected people evading Myanmar’s military operations. Today, more than 100,000 refugees remain in these camps as Myanmar’s peace process falters. The government fails to prepare for their repatriation.

However, in recent years, Thailand’s most visible nexus to the grave human rights situation in Myanmar has been the treatment of the Rohingyas. Thailand has long been a hub for human-trafficking networks transporting displaced Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants to Malaysia and other destination countries. In 2015, the “discovery” of the horrid trafficking camps and mass graves in southern Thailand caused worldwide human cry.

It became known that Thai officials knew of the existence of the camps for years and were involved in it. This imposed a quick crackdown by Thai and Malaysian authorities and saw the suspension of many senior officials and politicians. What followed this was quite ruthless.

Three-step action 

Rather than sympathy and support for those at risk, the Thai authorities since 2017 have enforced a three-step action plan. Under this action plan, the Thai Navy can intercept Rohingya boats nearing the coast and only after ensuring the occupants will travel further to Malaysia or Indonesia, provide essential supplies like fuel, food, water, etc. However, any boat or trawler that lands on Thai shores is detained.

The Rohingyas under the domestic laws are treated as illegal immigrants and are subject to indefinite detention in squalid immigration and police lockups. They are not allowed to let the United Nations refugee agency conduct refugee status determinations for them. Under customary international law, Thailand cannot instantly discard asylum claims at the border. It is obligated to allow Rohingya asylum seekers to enter the country and seek protection.

Many displaced Rohingyas were on sea throughout 2020 due to the Covid scare. However, while few nations like Indonesia, Bangladesh allowed them to enter their territories; they were not let in by Thailand despite several requests from humanitarian agencies worldwide. This resulted in several numbers of deaths and illnesses among the displaced people stuck in boats. Such an inhumane “push-back” policy for new boat arrivals needs to be looked into and possibly removed at the earliest. If authorities regarded them as the victims and not as illegal immigrants, they would have the right to work for their living.

Unlike Thailand, Malaysia with the recognition of the United Nations, offers better living and working conditions to the refugees, especially Rohingyas. In records, there are more than100,000 Rohingyas registered with the UN High Commission for Refugees, while about 6,000 in Indonesia also live in similar conditions.

Gaps in policy 

It becomes quite evident that there are cavernous gaps in Thailand’s refugee laws and policies. Thailand is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol; it, therefore, lacks domestic legislation that protects the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. Accordingly, asylum seekers, stateless people, and refugees are in violation of Thailand’s domestic immigration law and are subject to detention and deportation, putting them at further risk of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. While Thailand has made an assurance to strengthening protections for refugees and asylum seekers, however till date these remain little more than unfulfilled promises on paper and words.

Now, home to the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, South-East Asia currently needs a positive model for the treatment of its refugees and stateless people. Thailand, with its long history of hosting those fleeing persecution, may consider stepping up to the mark. Moreover, the country with its strengthening diplomatic relations may also encourage Myanmar to create conducive conditions to take the Rohingyas back within their nation. Continuing to ignore the Rohingya issue will not help either nation in the long run and will further perturb the delicate human rights situation.

Maldives: Solih meets with allies ahead of local council polls

N. Sathiya Moorthy

Maldives, Solih, Maldives council polls, Ibrahim Solih Spencer Platt — Getty

In a significant presidential initiative on the domestic political front, incumbent Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met allies of his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), with party president and Parliament Speaker Mohammed Nasheed too participating in it. The meeting assumes significance in the light of the nation-wide local council polls, likely to be held on 3 April, as per the tentative schedule indicated by the Election Commission (EC).

The polls were due by March last year, but they were postponed owing to the Covid pandemic. Even without it, the MDP was considering extending the term from three years to five, against anticipation about victory, but the pandemic eased the party’s apprehensions.

Mid-term referendum

The local council polls are significant for more reasons than one. First, coming now as it does mid-way through Solih’s five-year term, which commenced in 2018, the local council polls is a ‘mid-term’ referendum of sorts. It can also provide an occasion for mid-term course-correction for the Government, as also the divided Opposition.

Two, this is the last major round of elections, ahead of the presidential elections, due by November 2023. Winners now will hence trumpet the results as a reflection of the public mood, and begin working on alliance-formation for the presidential polls.

Three, for the MDP’s allies, it is a test for their alliance leader. The last time they let the MDP delay the seat-sharing talks, they were caught unawares when party chief Nasheed unilaterally announced the decision to go it alone. Nasheed claimed that there was no talk of their four-party alliance from the successful presidential polls continuing for the parliamentary elections.

Four and of importance to the incumbent, it is a test for Solih’s ability to bring around friend, relative and political mentor Nasheed around lest the latter should spoil the alliance broth for the local council polls. It will also be indicative of Solih’s desire to seek MDP presidential nomination in 2023, with party’s current allies backing him all the way up to the hustings.

Five and of equal importance, the local elections, followed by regular meetings of the grassroots-level institution, party cadres across the board, will be re-energised and re-engaged more purposefully with the voter. This has become even more necessary after the Covid pandemic, which has put things out of gear, yet in greater perspective.

Opposition’s travails

Despite Solih’s best efforts to continue the alliance for the parliamentary polls, only the religion-centric Adhaalath Party (AP) ended up having a partial seat-sharing arrangement with the MDP. The other two, namely, the Jumhooree Party (JP) and the Maumoon Reforms Movement (MRM) of former President Maummon Abdul Gayoom, were shown the door.

For the allies, an early decision by the MDP on alliance for the local council elections (LCE) and a fair seat-sharing arrangement is crucial. They also do not want to burn bridges on both sides. If they had to break ranks with the MDP, they would need time to reorganise themselves, or to negotiate a similar arrangement with the Opposition PPM-PNC coalition of jailed former President Abdulla Yameen.

The election is crucial for the PPM-PNC combine even more. As incumbent who lost the 2018 presidential polls expectedly, Yameen still surprised knowledgeable Maldives-watchers with a high 42 percent votes. It fell within the 40-45 percent range of half-brother and incumbent Gayoom in the first multi-party democracy polls of 2008. MDP’s Nasheed, now Speaker, became President through a second, run-off round victory.

In 2008, Gayoom polled the single largest 40 percent votes in the first round, followed by Nasheed, 25 percent. In the second run-off round, Nasheed with allies, including the JP, by his side went all the way up to 55 percent while Gayoom polled an improved 45 percent. In both rounds, Gayoom got all of the five-percent vote-share of Yameen’s then-existing People’s Alliance (PA), as subsequently proved in the parliamentary elections six months later.

The question if the 2018 Yameen vote was a reversal of the 2008 Gayoom show. For, in the subsequent 2019 parliamentary polls, contesting alone under a brand-new party, Gayoom’s third creation in about a decade, the MRM fared badly, that too without a common symbol for all its candidates. The party won only one seat.

Need for consolidation

Contesting the 2019 parliamentary elections independent of the allies, the MDP swept the seat-share with 65 of the total 87 seats. Earlier, the Nasshed leadership had ditched allies for the parliamentary polls of 2009 after ‘using’ them for his victory in the run-off round presidential polls only months earlier.

For the Solih leadership, however, the shrinking of his of 58 percent vote- to 46 percent in the 2019 parliamentary elections, for no fault of the President, was/is a matter of concern. The divided Opposition, including the estranged allies of the MDP, had polled 54 percent at the time, what with a 50-percent cut-off for the presidential polls.

For the allies to take the MDP seriously for the next presidential polls, they need evidence on the ground that the leader would play by the unwritten rules of the coalition game. Else, they will need time to form a third front, or negotiate with the Yameen camp. Either way, the chances are that they may all go back to the pre-2018 model of contesting the first round on their own in the first round and negotiating an alliance only for the run-off.

In short, any sense of continuing dependence on allies for a presidential poll victory could mean that the MDP’s registered members, called upon to elect a presidential candidate, under the law, could prefer incumbent Solih or such other moderate. If the cadres become confident of the party winning the presidential polls on its own, then Nasheed may become their favourite all over again. The chances are that Nasheed may call the party’s general council to decide on the alliance issue ahead of the local council polls, possibly through the online mode.

Solih’s confidence

In this background, the Solih-hosted alliance meeting recently was attended by MRM founder Gayoom, JP boss Gasim Ibrahim, and AP leader and Home Minister Sheikh Imran, apart from MDP’s Nasheed. Incidentally, this is possibly the first time that all the coalition leaders are meeting for the first time after their decision to do so at least once every month, taken after Solih being sworn in President.

In a recent interview to The Hindu, the India-based daily, Solih expressed confidence in the ruling coalition despite disagreements within. “There are inevitably disagreements and disgruntlements, but we remain united on what matters … We have been able to maintain the coalition and have overcome immense challenges by working together. I am confident that we will be able to resolve all such issues with the dialogue and goodwill that brought us all together in the first place,” he said, amidst increasing pressure from within his MDP, to break the alliance.

In a public appeal, delivered through acting Opposition coalition leader, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, who had called on him at the Maafushi Prison, Yameen, in turn, called upon the people to defeat the Solih Government in the local council elections. Raheem thanked President Solih for allowing visitors for Yameen, but said there was no question of the latter making a ‘deal’ with the Government, if freed from prison.

Raheem, instead, suspected the High Court’s last-minute adjournment of the verdict on Yameen’s appeal against the trial court awarding him five-year prison term and $ 10-m in fine in the ‘money-laundering case’, from 14 January to he 21st, and claimed that the Solih-Nasheed duo was afraid of an early release for Yameen and were trying to influence the judiciary. As may be recalled, the trial court itself was reconstituted with a three-judge bench on the very day a single-judge bench was to pronounce verdict.

For its part, the Elections Commission has fixed the rescheduled the local council elections (LCE) for 3 April, pending Parliament amending the relevant laws to be able to conduct the elections during the pendency of nation-wide health emergency, and also to fix a new date for the polls. The EC also plans to hold simultaneous polls to the nation-wide Women Development Committees. Expecting the scheduled special session of Parliament to pass the draft Bill in time, the EC has started working backwards, to meet various deadlines.

In this direction, the EC has since advised the AP, a Government party, to revise its rules to remove the bar on women to become party leader. The party has since announced its decision to hold an online congress, for the purpose. The party has already scheduled elections for the party presidency and vice-president on 23 January.

Country Reports


Peace talks on hold

The peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are kept on hold as both sides wait for the Afghanistan policy of the incoming US administration of President Biden. The spokesperson for the National reconciliation, Faridoon Khwazon confirmed the same without stating the reasons. The second rounds of talks which started in Qatar last week held only one meeting as of now. 

118 Taliban rebels killed

In a reciprocal operation by the Afghan National Army, at least 118 Taliban rebels have been killed while 36 were wounded and 10 detained from the provinces of Kunar, Urzgan, Kunduz, Kandahar and Helmand. The report by the Afghan Defence ministry mentioned that 36 Taliban rebels were killed and 12 were wounded in Zherai, Panjwae and Arghandab districts of Kandahar province while 14 Taliban insurgents were killed and two others were wounded during an operation in the Uruzgan province where they were planning to attack the ANA positions.

US troops lowest in 19 years

The US military met the promise made in February last year of reducing the troops in phases and to go to zero by May 2021. The present number of troops post the reduction remains to about 2500, the lowest in 19 years. The acting US Defence Secretary mentioned that the force reduction is the indication of the US’s support to the Afghan peace process and the commitment to the US-Taliban agreement. Some of the senior officials were unhappy with the decision of speedy troop reductions as it will unnecessarily complicate the situation and the decision-making process for the incoming administration.


Tk 2,000-cr for stimulus

The government has announced two stimulus packages adding up to Tk 2,000 crore, to reduce the impact of coronavirus fallout, the government today approved two new stimulus packages of Tk 2,700 crore to boost the cottage, small and medium enterprises, and to improve the living standards of people at the grassroots level. The implementation of the packages will begin immediately, with the first package for Tk 1,500 crore earmarked mostly for small-scale and cottage industries with the second for Tk 1,200 crore targeting all disadvantaged elderly people, widows and female divorcees in the country.

Stronger US ties ‘under Biden’

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has said that bilateral relations with Bangladesh will only get stronger under the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden. In a local TV interview, Amb Miller, however, said they will have to see what the new administration's policies are and mentioned that many of the people who will be moving to cabinet positions are well-known to him. "Many of them have real focus on the Indo-Pacific region, especially in South Asia." Asked whether Biden will take forward the Indo Pacific Strategy (IPS), the US envoy who also served as US Marine Corps officer said, "I think so. No matter what it is called, how it is rebranded, the focus of the United States will continue to be very strong in this region."


India promises vaccine

The Indian government has assured the Himalayan kingdom of supplying the 1-mm doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or Covishield that is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), on an emergency basis. Foreign Minister Dr. Tandi Dorji has specifically mentioned this development after being in communication with the Indian Ambassador in Bhutan regarding the framework of the vaccination drive and how it can reach the country. Bhutan is also in communication with the United States of America for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, no new developments have been recorded in this regard.


Vaccination drive on

The world’s largest COVID19 vaccination drive started in the country on 16 January. The drive was initiated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation assuring the people about the safety of the vaccine.The health ministry has planned to vaccinate300 million people by August. Across the country, more than 200,000 vaccinators and 370,000 team members have been trained for the rollout and 29,000 cold storage units have been arranged to preserve the vaccines.

SC moved on WhatsApp

In response to the new WhatsApp privacy policy which requires the users to compulsorily share its data with Facebook, the Confederation of All India Traders moved the Supreme Court to seek a direction to the Centre to prevent the data sharing by WhatsApp. The Confederation has argued that the new privacy policy is not only violative of the fundamental rights of the citizens but also against national security.


Ferry network on cards 

The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, and Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) have signed the framework agreement for a high-speed ferry network as part of the first phase of the Integrated National Public Ferry Network project. The purpose is to connect the dispersed population of the Maldives through an affordable, safe and efficient transport network. Accordingly, the network will deploy 47-foot speedboats which can carry 40-50 people, with 14 speedboats in operation and three as stand-by.

India funds running track

President Ibrahim Solih has formally thrown open the Ekuveni Running Track for sportsmen, developed with Indian assistance. According to the Indian High Commission, it was part of the $ 13-m High Impact Community Development (HICD) projects, based on the basic needs of the residents in the islands, and would impact the education, sports, wellbeing, and health of the community as well as the development of children and women’s rights sustainably.


Ethnic party in dilemma

The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) has not yet made a decision whether to meet with the ruling National League for Democracy’s special envoys for ethnic affairs. To hold talks with ethnic parties on the future federal union, Dr. Aung Moe Nyo, Magway Region Chief Minister, Karen State Prime Minister, Nang Khin Htwe Myint and National Assembly member, Ntung Hka Naw Sam arrived in Taunggyi city on 13 January. The NLD has adhered strictly to the principle of dialogue in its party offices, and previous talks have failed.


Bilateral talks with India

The India-Nepal Sixth Joint Commission Meeting was held in New Delhi recently. Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali was present with his Indian counterpart, S. Jaishankar. The primary aim of this meeting was to strengthen the bilateral ties that has been facing testing times in the past few months. From border disputes and economy to agriculture, investment, tourism and response to Covid-19, a varied range of issues found its way to the discussion. Hopefully, the two neighbors will be move forward to constructive mechanisms with mutually beneficial cooperation.

New Delhi promises vaccine

The Himalayan nation is very hopeful of receiving the Covid-19 vaccines from India under ‘top priority’. This vaccination drive will begin with the essential sector. India has already begun the vaccine drive. This was one of the crucial decisions taken at the bilateral joint commission meeting held in New Delhi.


Call to outlaw Indian outfits

In a direct attack on New Delhi at the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram said that "violent extremist supremacist groups" like RSS should be outlawed like terror groups. Munir Akram alleged that these groups through violent racist and extremist activities bred violence and validate the terror organisations like ISIS/Daesh and Al-Qaeda. He also said that the Hindutva ideology followed by the ruling BJP in India has threatened the Muslim population. Furthermore, there should be immediate action against such violent ideologies and he stressed to include the groups like RSS under the mandate of the 1267 Sanctions Committee. This is not the first time that Pakistan used the global forums to criticise the BJP government. Prime Minister Imran Khan too has repeatedly used the same rhetoric and has compared the NDA’s ideology with Nazism.

PIA plane confiscated

A passenger plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was confiscated in Malaysia as part of a legal dispute between the airline and another party. The airline said the passenger plane was seized after a court order and alternative arrangements are being made for passengers stuck in Kuala Lumpur. The case is of lease dispute of $14 million in which a local court in Malaysia took a one-sided decision. The PIA has described the situation unacceptable. It is pertinent to mention that in 2015, Dublin-based AerCap leased two jets to PIA. The national airline of Pakistan is struggling financially with $4 billion in accumulated losses due to Covid19.

Sri Lanka

Vaccine may be delayed

Doubts have crept into government plans for commencing the Covid vaccination programme after the US drug manufacturer Pfizer delayed despatches following the reported death of 23 jabbed persons in Norway. The first consignment of 200,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, to be channeled to Colombo through the World Health Organization (WHO), was originally expected by late January or early February. The WHO has agreed to provide around 4.2 million qualified vaccines to Sri Lanka to inoculate about 20 percent of the population.

India gifts radar spares

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has gifted 341 Indra Radar Spares worth Rs. 200 million to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) to augment maintenance support for four INDRA Mk-II Air Surveillance Radars, gifted earlier. According to the Indian High Commission, and IAF AN-32 transport aircraft landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport on 10 January as part of India’s commitment to maintain high serviceability of weapons equipment provided to the Sri Lankan armed forces. Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay formally handed over the consignment to Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, aimed at ensuring continued optimal availability of the radars and provide the much-needed redundancy to the SLAF.

Market going berserk?

The benchmark All-Share Price Index up went up by 291.34 points in the Colombo Stock Exchange on Friday, “perhaps the biggest ever single day gain”, leaving brokers, market players and investors stunned. “The market’s gone crazy,” a leading broker said requesting anonymity. “It’s an ever-growing bubble and nobody can say when it will burst. It is difficult to sustain this kind of momentum without foreign and institutional buying. ”Friday’s peak of the ASPI had fallen a little short of the highest ever 7,811 achieved on 14 February last”, experts said, pointing also to the poor state of the economy, with rating companies lowering the nation’s status.



Opinion Pieces

Nayanima Basu, ‘India could boost military assistance to Afghanistan, as Taliban peace talks resume in Doha’, The Print, 10 January 2021

Mohammad Zahir Akbari, ’The Political Role of Religious Scholars in Context of Afghanistan’, The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 9 January 2021


The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, Conflicting Demands and Lack of Consensus Likely to Hamper Peace Talks’, 13 January 2021

Afghanistan Times, ‘Sticky Bombs and Criminal Incidents Paralyze Life in Kabul’, 12 January 2021


Opinion Pieces

Niaz Alam, “Fables of the constitutions”, Dhaka Tribune, 17 January 2021

Eresh Omar Jamal, “Main reasons why the government’s recovery effort has fallen short”, Daily Star, 16 January 2021


Opinion Piece

Sonam Tshering, “The state must protect tenants during emergencies,” Kuensel, 16 January 2021

Passangyt, “Time to balance trade-imbalance,” Kuensel, 13 January 2021


Opinion Pieces

Dushyant Dave, “A fast fading promise, of growth with trust”, The Hindu, 16 January 2021

JVR Prasada Rao, “Transparency on vaccines is necessary, misinformation must be checked”, The Indian Express, 15 January 2021

Meera Dewan, “In a punishing winter, Punjab’s farmers find inspiration from history”, The Indian Express, 13 January 2021

Suhrith Parthasarathy, “Central Vista, executive’s caprice, and rule of law”, The Hindu, 11 January 2021


The Telegraph, “Class act: education funding”, 15 January 2021

hindustantimes, “Handling the avian flu crisis”, 12 January 2021

hindustantimes, “The diaspora dilemma”, 10 January 2021


Opinion Pieces

Nyein Nyein, “Venue Squabbles Complicate NLD’s Outreach Efforts to Myanmar’s Ethnic Parties”, The Irrawaddy, 16 January 2021

Tony Waters, “Ghosts Look Over the Shoulders of Myanmar Peace Negotiators”, The Irrawaddy, 16 January 2021

Kyaw Phyo Tha, “Myanmar Military Chief Makes Life Awkward for Chinese Foreign Minister”, The Irrawaddy, 14 January 2021


Opinion Pieces

Prashaant Singh, “No time for big deal,” Republica, 14 January 2021

Narayan Manandhar, “Are we poised for Jana Andolan III?The Kathmandu Post, 14 January 2021

Narayan Manandhar, “Parliament dissolution is constitutionally wrong, politically illegitimate,” Republica, 13 January 2021


The Himalayan Times, “Don’t ruin treks,” 15 January 2021

The Kathmandu Post, “Vaccine for all,” 14 January 2021


Opinion Pieces

A.G. Noorani, “Police & prosecution”, Dawn, 16 January 2021

Shahid Mehmood, “The Chinese economic miracle”, Dawn, 15 January 2021

Shabana Syed, “Naya Pakistan’ is around the corner”,The Express Tribune, 15 January 2021

Rustam Shah Mohmand, “Iran-Taliban nexus: the new US doctrine”, The Express Tribune, 15 January 2021

Khurram Husian, “Is the economy recovering?”, Dawn, 14 January 2021

I.A. Rehman, “Salute the Hazaras”, Dawn, 14 January 2021


Dawn, “British MP on IHK”, 16 January 2021

The Express Tribune, Rare Kashmir debate”, 15 January 2021

The Express Tribune, Ties with Turkey”, 15 January 2021

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Kusal Perera, “Getting back to pre-Covid 19 chaos”, Daily Mirror Online, 16 Janaury 2021

Neville Laduwahetty, “In Sri Lanka’s own interests”, The Island, 15 January 2021

Kelum Bandara, “Coviid diplomacy now under way”, Daily Mirror Online, 15 January 2021

M S M Ayub, “Jaffna monument: Rebuilding what they demolished”, Daily Mirror Online, 15 January 2021

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, “The President’s problems”, The Island, 14 January 2021

Ravi Nagahawatte, “Sri Lanka’s Opposition must ensure rain, not thunder”, Daily Mirror Online, 14 January 2021

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Ensuring trust and credibility in India ties”, Ceylon Today, 12 January 2021

Ranga Jayasuriya, “Indian Foreign Minister’s call for caution”, Daily Mirror Online, 12 January 2021

Jehan Perera, “Govt must offer acts of healing”, The Island, 12 January 2021

N Sathiya Moorthy, “What is good for Wayamba is good for Jaffna, too”, Colombo Gazette, 11 January 2021


Daily Mirror Online, “The North needs a new monument”, 17 January 2021


Afghanistan: Ratnadeep Chakraborty

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan & Nepal: Sohini Nayak

India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Pakistan: Ayjaz Wani

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