South Asia runs the grave risk of becoming caught in the US-China turf war and being forced into non-inclusive and unbalanced trade relations.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small islands dotting the Indian Ocean are emerging at the center stage of great power politics.