August 17, 2017

Sri Lanka Muted on Rising Religious Violence

Sri Lankan Muslims protesting against attacks on the community. (Photo via video stream)

The Sri Lankan government may fear that the opposition political parties and Buddhist nationalist groups will come together if it cracks down on the perpetrators of religious violence. But the government must act decisively. If this problem is permitted to go on unchecked, it will only get worse. Read More »

South Asia Braces for Intense Heat This Summer

It is already too hot to step out in the sun. (mage by: Swaminathan).

With temperatures already topping 40 degrees Celsius in many places and a weak monsoon forecast, southern Asia is likely to suffer through yet another recording-breaking summer Read More »

Pakistan Ranked Happiest Country in South Asia

Vista of the Tirich Mir Mountain across the Chitral valley. (Photo by zerega, CC License)

Pakistan is ranked as the happiest country in South Asia. Israel in Middle East, Uzbekistan in Central Asia, Costa Rica in Central and South America and Algeria in Africa are ranked happiest countries in their respective regions in the 2017 World Happiness Report. Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Delicate Balancing Act

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (2nd L) attend the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents in Beijing, China, April 7, 2016. (Photo via cideo stream)

Sri Lanka’s position is indicative of an emerging new Indo-Pacific order, where regional countries seek to remain strategically neutral while selectively engaging with the major powers in order to serve their own interests. Read More »

Breaking Sri Lanka’s Economic Gridlock

Despite growing signs of economic stress on multiple fronts policy attention has stayed stubbornly focused on politics since the presidential elections in January 2015. (Photo by McKay Savage, Creative Commons License)

The sharp drop in oil prices is helping to turn around Sri Lanka’s external current account, but remittance earnings are being hit hard, while export earnings remain in negative territory. The impact of global developments is only one side of the story. More compelling is the government’s capitulation to reform inertia. Read More »

Sri Lanka Tilts Back from China

A file photo of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a hosted by his then Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan. (Photo via Mahinda Rajapaksa, Creative Commons License)

The full extent of India’s involvement in the Sri Lankan elections in January 2015 and again in August 2015 remains unclear, but there is little doubt that New Delhi was at least able to unite Tamil groups against Rajapaksa, no doubt lubricated with plenty of money. Read More »

Does Sri Lanka’s Electoral Outcome Offer Stability?

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe called on all parties to join together to create a ‘National Government’. (Photo by Vikalpa, via  Groundviews/ Maatram/CPA, Creative Commons License)

Whatever uncertainties lay ahead, most Sri Lankans would agree that one of the most heartening aspects of the election was its remarkably peaceful character compared to previous polls. Read More »

Towards an Independent and Accountable Judiciary in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

New measures on judicial ethics and conduct, financial disclosure, streamlining the process of appointments and promotions of judges, enhanced training, an independent and transparent investigations process into allegations against misconduct of Judges, as well as greater openness will enhance the accountability of Sri Lanka's judiciary, argues one analyst. Read More »

The Small Islands Holding the Key to the Indian Ocean

The location of military bases in the Indian Ocean. This infographic was made alongside Joelle Tabak and Willem Cleven. (Image via MrDevlar, Creative Commons License)

Small islands dotting the Indian Ocean are emerging at the center stage of great power politics. Read More »

Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean Games

(Image via The Sunday Leader)

Changes in Lankan leadership have precipitated a shift from a China-centric foreign policy towards a multilateral outlook. Read More »