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Making Mithi, A River Again
May 20, 2011

Making Mithi, A River Again

An ORF study report on the neglect of the Mumbai river Mithi, and how it can be reclaimed effectively was jointly released by Mr. Suresh Prabhu, former Union Minister of Environment and Forests, and Mr. Rajendra Singh, the Ramon Magsaysay Award winner and a noted water activist.

Making sense of US-Taliban talks
Jan 24, 2012

Making sense of US-Taliban talks

The recent US-Taliban moves offer a ray of hope for the Obama administration to achieve a much needed breakthrough before the President begins his re-election campaign.

Making strategy out of sense: The US, India and the Dialogue
Jun 21, 2013

Making strategy out of sense: The US, India and the Dialogue

At the top, communication between the senior leadership on both sides is very good. But, once you get past that, the real engine of any bilateral relationship -- the mid-levels of the bureaucracies -- do not communicate consistently well yet. A large part of this lack of communication is a paucity of 'strategic messaging' from the US in India.

Making the Stories Heard.....
Jan 24, 2011

Making the Stories Heard.....

Until the lions write their own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. The sentiment of this famous African proverb came out repeatedly during an interactive session with African journalists at Observer Research Foundation on January 24, 2011.

Malabar Exercise: A concert of democracies on the high seas
Oct 23, 2015

Malabar Exercise: A concert of democracies on the high seas

Exercise Malabar and the trilateral dialogue have assumed significance in the backdrop of the US' rebalance to Asia and India's Act East Policy. The growing convergence of interests among the US, Japan and India on issues such as the Indian Ocean, maritime security, respect for international law and a stable Asian security order has driven the trilateral dialogue.

Maldives at it again: Courts, protests, arrests
Feb 24, 2015

Maldives at it again: Courts, protests, arrests

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to visit Maldives in mid-March as part of the first-ever four-nation southern Indian Ocean trip by any Indian leader. The greater success and long-term achievement of the visit, will depend also on how it all goes and goes down well just now.

Maldives crisis: Need for statesmen-like behaviour
Jul 22, 2010

Maldives crisis: Need for statesmen-like behaviour

Three weeks well into the constitutional deadlock that has stalled governmental functioning an parliamentary proceedings alike, there is no end in sight still to the political crisis overwhelming the Maldivian archipelago. The infant democracy, which otherwise used to be inward-looking until the politico-constitutional changes of 2008, cannot allow to fail itself - and its political leaders cannot try to have it both ways, either.

Maldives gearing up for presidential polls in September
Jul 15, 2013

Maldives gearing up for presidential polls in September

With the Election Commission formally notifying the presidential polls for September 7, Maldives is gearing up to prove to itself and the rest of the world that democracy is very much at work in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Maldives polls: Time for consensus by political parties
Sep 21, 2013

Maldives polls: Time for consensus by political parties

With only a week left for the scheduled second-round polling in the presidential elections on Saturday, 28 September, it may be time the stake-holders in Maldives arrived at an interim consensus, keeping the healthy and constructive future of the infant democracy at heart.

Maldives President sacks Defence Minister after police recover weapons
Jan 22, 2015

Maldives President sacks Defence Minister after police recover weapons

In Maldives, a midnight police break-in and alleged yet uncontested seizure of 'dangerous weapons' from Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim's residence has led to his unceremonious replacement by Maj-Gen (Retd) Moosa Ali Jaleel, until then High Commissioner to Pakistan.

Maldives slipping into  'pressure cooker' mode?
May 08, 2015

Maldives slipping into 'pressure cooker' mode?

Now, Maldives seems to be slipping steadily into the 'pressure cooker' mode. No solutions are in sight. None one knows what is going to happen next. May be, the ruling Yameen leadership should look around to learn its lessons from neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Maldives:  A case for 'institutional reforms'
Jul 20, 2012

Maldives: A case for 'institutional reforms'

The January 16 arrest of Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohammed, and the subsequent prosecution of then President Mohammed Nasheed, his Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu and three senior army officials now should indicate the kind of 'institutional reforms' that Maldives requires.

Maldives:  It's over the other 50 per cent voters?
Feb 13, 2013

Maldives: It's over the other 50 per cent voters?

With the presidential elections now set for September 7, political parties in Maldives are vying with one another to identify issues and package them attractively for the voters, many of them youth.

Maldives:  Polls getting trickier after the first-round
Sep 13, 2013

Maldives: Polls getting trickier after the first-round

If the legal proceedings mid-way through the Maldivian presidential polls, now before the High Court, run its course, with the possibilities of appeals before the Supreme Court at different stages, the constitutional scheme could end up threatening its own base and basis, one way or the other.

Maldives:  Security Concerns on the Rise?
Sep 24, 2010

Maldives: Security Concerns on the Rise?

A few incidents in four weeks, and the Maldivian Government is not taking any chances. The illegal import of five double-edged swords and some 'toy guns', shipped from China, and that of a stun-gun and face-mask as

Maldives: 'Black magic', a national policy?
Jun 08, 2012

Maldives: 'Black magic', a national policy?

In Maldives, Government parties need to come clean on their strategy for the future in the Roadmap Talks. Only based on such a strategy could they work back, on accommodating the MDP's demand on advancing the presidential poll.

Maldives: 'Currency float' cause for political concern
May 20, 2011

Maldives: 'Currency float' cause for political concern

A legislative deadlock involving the Executive and Parliament on the one hand, and the Executive and the Judiciary on the other, both leading to a serious and a series of constitutional crisis kept Maldivian politics and politicians on their toes for most of 2010.

Maldives: 'Democracy-deficit' and 'coercive diplomacy'
Mar 20, 2015

Maldives: 'Democracy-deficit' and 'coercive diplomacy'

A Male criminal court's sentencing of former President Mohammed Nasheed on 'terrorism charges' for 13 years in prison has revived 'democracy-deficit' charges and consequent global (read: West) discourse, this time against the government of incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.

Maldives: 'Institutions' crying for reforms faster than expected?
Feb 15, 2014

Maldives: 'Institutions' crying for reforms faster than expected?

With Maldive's Supreme Court serving 'contempt of court' notice on Election Commission members, a case is now getting increasingly made out for a review of the rights, powers and responsibilities of 'independent institutions'.

Maldives: 'Islam' becoming an election issue?
Dec 09, 2011

Maldives: 'Islam' becoming an election issue?

Two events in as many weeks, and Maldives has been making news, both on the home front and in the global arena, for reasons that had been better left untouched. Coming as they did after the successful SAARC Summit in the southern Addu City.

Maldives: 'Political Islam' here to stay?
Dec 27, 2011

Maldives: 'Political Islam' here to stay?

Maldivians, particularly the security authorities in the country, may have heaved a sigh of relief after the competing rallies by the NGOs and the political Opposition on the one hand, and the ruling MDP on the other, went off peacefully on Friday last.

Maldives: 'Roadmap Talks' still has a larger purpose
Jul 16, 2012

Maldives: 'Roadmap Talks' still has a larger purpose

There seems to be a need for conferring permanency of sorts for the All-Party Roadmap Talks that is now headed by Ali Mujthaba Mujthaba, aimed not only at national reconciliation but even more at national consensus and consequent national reconstruction.

Maldives: 'Water crisis' shows India's heart is as close as the two nations
Dec 11, 2014

Maldives: 'Water crisis' shows India's heart is as close as the two nations

India has assured Maldives to extend all technical expertise to resolve the current water crisis. India pressed the button after Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon called counterpart Sushma Swaraj soon after the seriousness of the crisis was known.

Maldives: 'Western ways of governance' takes the flak
Jul 01, 2011

Maldives: 'Western ways of governance' takes the flak

After privatisation, the 'managed float of rufiyaa against the dollar, and other aspects of governance under President Mohammed Nasheed, the Opposition has begun identifying the ills of 'western ways of governance' to individual sectors, and thus drive home their arguments against the Government, even more.

Maldives: A case for early electoral reforms?
Jan 25, 2013

Maldives: A case for early electoral reforms?

Maldives may have already opened up a national debate on the need for early electoral reforms, with a public assertion by President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik that the Bill that he had returned to Parliament on fixing a minimum membership of 10,000 for political parties to be registered for State funding,

Maldives: A further twist to the tale
Feb 19, 2013

Maldives: A further twist to the tale

A piquant situation seems to have arisen in Maldives, on the domestic front and also for its relations with India, after the trial court issued a second order to the police to produce former President Mohammed Nasheed, who has been in the Indian High Commission in Male.

Maldives: A Mini Ukraine in the Making?
Dec 20, 2004

Maldives: A Mini Ukraine in the Making?

That is the question large sections of the people of the Republic of Maldives have been raising as the small country in the Indian Ocean gets ready for the elections to its Parliament (Majlis), which are due to take place on December 31. While the Indian media and analysts have been devoting considerable attention to the coming re-poll (December 26) to elect the next President of Ukraine in order to see whether the elections there would be free a

Maldives: After convicting MDP MP, will court now turn to Nasheed?
Feb 28, 2014

Maldives: After convicting MDP MP, will court now turn to Nasheed?

In Maldives, all the four present and former presidents need to talk to each other, not talk at each other, as has been the case over the past five years if they are serious about constitutional and administrative reforms, in whatever way each one of them visualise.

Maldives: And, Nasheed applies for clemency
Jun 19, 2015

Maldives: And, Nasheed applies for clemency

By applying for clemency to President Abdulla Yameen during the month of Ramadan, former President Mohammed 'Anni' Nasheed has put the ball in the court of the Maldives President. Yameen is now under twin-pressure on the Nasheed front.

Maldives: Bipartisanship still has a chance
Mar 16, 2013

Maldives: Bipartisanship still has a chance

Not all seems to have been lost to the infant Maldivian democracy. Arch-rivals in the still -unfolding national political drama have come together again, to re-vote two Bills to ensure mandatory assent after President Waheed Hassan Manik had returned them.

Maldives: C'wealth ultimatum causes call for pull-out
May 01, 2012

Maldives: C'wealth ultimatum causes call for pull-out

The People's Majlis, or Parliament's confirmation of the nomination of Vice-President Mohammed Waheed Deen have taken the punch out of the MDP's argument against the need for a constitutional amendment for facilitating early elections.

Maldives: Caught in Russo-American tiff, post-Cold War
Jul 11, 2014

Maldives: Caught in Russo-American tiff, post-Cold War

Through a deft post facto damage-control, the Government of President Abdulla Yameen seems to have diffused and warded off - at least for the time being - what threatened to be a major diplomatic incident for Maldives, and involving the US and Russia,

Maldives: Challenging days ahead for President Waheed
Feb 10, 2012

Maldives: Challenging days ahead for President Waheed

Maldive's new President Mohammed Waheed's hands are going to be full as the country is left with a bagful of unresolved crises, each piling upon the other, all of them needing urgent or not-so-urgent attention from the new leadership.

Maldives: Cohabitation blues cause constitutional crisis
Jul 02, 2010

Maldives: Cohabitation blues cause constitutional crisis

Having kicked off the constitutional deadlock in Maldives, by getting the whole Cabinet resigned, President Nasheed needs to find a wayout of the imbroglio. A snap poll, either for the President or Parliament, or both, are the possibilities.

Maldives: Competitive, combative, yet cooperative, too...
Jan 17, 2013

Maldives: Competitive, combative, yet cooperative, too...

In Maldives, the stage is now set again for a possible, limited confrontation between the Executive and the Legislature with President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik returning two of the three crucial Bills passed by Parliament.

Maldives: Consensus, the only alternative
Mar 02, 2012

Maldives: Consensus, the only alternative

The Maldivian Democratic Party needs to give the nation and Parliament time to rework the institutional framework as they exist, though not time enough for imbibing in them a new sense of purpose and direction expected of them in a democratic scheme.

Maldives: Courts now take the lead
Dec 13, 2012

Maldives: Courts now take the lead

Three court orders in two days, one of them overseas, and the Maldives Government and the leadership of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik seem to be in full control of the evolving political situation.

Maldives: Decision on 'US military base' may have to wait
Jun 03, 2013

Maldives: Decision on 'US military base' may have to wait

Notwithstanding the recent media leaks on a 'US military base' in Maldives, a decision on whatever that facility be, may have to wait until after the parliamentary polls of May 2014, not stopping with the presidential elections due in September this year.

Maldives: Did India really get it wrong?
Feb 13, 2012

Maldives: Did India really get it wrong?

It is true that former President Nasheed and his party is hurt that India did not act as it may have anticipated. But the party may have to look inward to as to what might have gone wrong, particularly in terms of assessments of the emerging situation.

Maldives: EC crisis ends, polls as scheduled
Mar 15, 2014

Maldives: EC crisis ends, polls as scheduled

After managing well the crisis over the Election Commission in Maldives, the government now will have to initiate legal and political measures to institutionalise facilitating mechanisms for smooth transition. Again, the initiative would lie with President Yameen.

Maldives: End of emergency, what next?
Nov 12, 2015

Maldives: End of emergency, what next?

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen is not inexperienced to take half-way measures, only to go back on them. Yet, there is no denying that he would have a lot to explain as to how he has ended up making all wrong choices and decisions in his efforts to consolidate his political power.

Maldives: Feeble light at the end of the tunnel?
Mar 07, 2015

Maldives: Feeble light at the end of the tunnel?

Nasheed is the nation's most charismatic leader, maybe for all time. In such a scenario, independent of what the court verdict could be in the 'Judge Abdulla case', any disqualification of Nasheed from contesting the elections could see the politically-polarised nation even more sharply divided.