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Archive for the category “South Asia”

COVID-19 Will Leave South Asia Poorer, Weaker And Less Democratic

South Asian economies had seen some of the world’s fastest growth in recent years, but there are also high concentrations of extreme poverty in the region. Poor or near-poor residents of India and Pakistan were already suffering from a series of regressive economic policies, so for them, the pandemic is the second of a one-two punch.

Read Here – World Politics Review

Coronavirus And The Threat To South Asian Democracy

Like the rest of the world, much of South Asia’s 1.89 billion population is now under lockdown to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. While Western citizens can, for the most part, temporarily afford to follow preventive measures such as mandatory lockdown, social distancing, and self-isolation, these are tough options for millions of South Asia’s poor. Their tales of everyday struggle for food are well-documented.

Read Here – Lowy Institute

Sri Lanka Imposes Curfew As South Asia Steps Up Coronavirus Battle

Sri Lanka imposed a nationwide weekend curfew on Friday as South Asian countries escalated efforts to check the spread of coronavirus across the densely populated region of 1.9 billion people. South Asia appears to have been less hard hit than elsewhere in the world but the rate of new infections in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka is accelerating with the total across South Asia passing 800. Seven people have died.

Read Here – Reuters

South Asia Snapshot: How Bad Is The Coronavirus Outbreak?

South Asian countries are beginning to see their first fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak, with COVID19 claiming at least six lives across the region amid a spike in cases in Pakistan and elsewhere. The outbreak does not appear to have reached the widespread secondary contact stage seen in Europe and the United States – and earlier in China and South Korea – yet, but cases are continuing to rise as governments across the region scramble to enforce social distancing guidelines.

Read Here – AlJazeera

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lanka Presidential Election

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won the Sri Lankan presidential election after a closely fought race against ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa, with the country’s Election Commission declaring him the winner on Sunday. “I would like to inform everyone that I will execute everything you trusted in me [to do],” Rajapaksa said at the results announcement, flanked by his brother Mahinda, a former two-time president.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Why Is The World Talking Less About Sri Lankan Presidential Polls This Time?

There is little or no excitement in global capitals over the Sri Lankan presidential polls this time, unlike during the last two or three elections of 2005, 2010 and 2015. For most in the ‘international community’ (read: West), one of the two main contestants is ‘unwelcome’ and the other is ‘unknown’.

Read Here – ORF

The End Of Sri Lankan Democracy?

One of Asia’s oldest democracies may be in jeopardy. Sri Lanka’s presidential election next month, is expected to bring to power another member of the Rajapaksa family, whose affinity for authoritarianism, violence, and corruption is well known. While Sri Lanka’s democracy survived the last test – an attempted constitutional coup by outgoing President Maithripala Sirisena a year ago – it may not survive a Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidency.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

In Afghanistan And Kashmir, It’s The 1980s All Over Again

While a superpower negotiates an exit from Afghanistan, India stirs up a hornet’s nest in Kashmir. It is the 1980s, and the world is at an inflection point that led to a major insurgency in Kashmir, the Afghan civil war, the rise of the Taliban, and the attacks of 9/11. Again today, the world is facing no less an important transition period as the United States is set to conclude a preliminary peace agreement with the Taliban and India’s Hindu nationalist government continues its communications and media blackout in Kashmir after having revoked the region’s nominal autonomy this month.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Sri Lankans Up in Arms Over US Military Pacts

Two defence cooperation agreements between the United States and Sri Lanka, the already signed Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and the under-negotiation Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), are triggering concern, criticism, and controversy in the Indian Ocean island.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Beware The Decline Of U.S. Influence In South Asia

The United States does have important interests in the region which range from cultivating peace in Afghanistan to reigning in Chinese ambitions in Asia-Pacific. Realizing these objectives will require greater participation in regional affairs particularly between India and Pakistan, this for the sake of the United States and the region itself.

Read Here – The National Interest

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