This is in continuations with series of previous articles where the political situation in Sri Lanka was assessed. Now the crunch time as it were has arrived for the political leaders and parties to not only test their own respective strengths on the ground but also for President Sirisena to determine if the people of Sri Lanka are willing to give him the mandate to carry on the with the reform processes he had promised to during his presidential election campaign earlier this year.
In a bid to defuse the standoff in Ukraine, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin spoke over the phone in the third week of July thus ending the impasse. The timing and substance of this bilateral conversation reaffirms that Russia and the United States are the key players in this conflict and who alone can hammer out a solution in Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine and the future of Ukrainian security and stability continue to remain Europe’s most formidable challenge.
The most troubling aspect of the sinister and manufactured outrage of the usual suspects over the hanging of a mass murderer, Yakub Memon, is how easily this fringe group is able to impose itself on the national narrative and build pressure to short-circuit, stall and sabotage even a transparent, if also torturous, judicial process. This is precisely what happened in the case of Afzal Guru and now in the case of Yakub Memon.
Preceding Prime Minister Modi’s contemporary clarion call of ‘Make-in-India’ by half a century, the indigenisation drive first launched by the Indian Navy in the 1960s has, over time, matured into a success story worthy of both adulation and emulation. Often ploughing a lonely furrow as it seemingly marched to the beat of a different drummer, the Navy alone amongst our three defence services has been a true trendsetter of comprehensive indigenisation.
At the time of writing this analysis of the terror attack in Dinanagar town of Punjab, the operation to flush out and finish the terrorists holed up in a police station is still going on. As a result, there is only sketchy information available on the basis of which some sense has to be made of what is happening, why it is happening and what it portends for the future. Until now it is not clear who these terrorists are and where they have come from. Did they infiltrate from the Jammu border side, in which case how did they travel all the way to Dinanagar?
The Iranian Nuclear Deal has created a storm in the Gulf. The deal has been arrived at between Iran and the P6 (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China) after negotiating for years.
Maldives continues to grapple with ongoing political turmoil. The latest issue which has not let the spotlight shift from the country’s political crisis is the attempted removal of current Vice-President Dr.Mohamed Jameel Ahamed by the ruling alliance. The ruling coalition of Progressive Party of Maldives and Maldives Development Alliance (PPM-MDA) has submitted a ‘no-confidence motion’ against Mohamed Jameel, on grounds of ‘incompetence and disloyalty’.
India’s internal security mechanism, since Independence, has functioned in a silo system largely confined to the home ministry. It is obvious that this arrangement has outlived its utility and needs a massive make-over. Time has also become appropriate to make political administration of the internal security mechanism effective and result oriented. One way to achieving this objective is to create a set of principles that will ultimately constitute a national security doctrine or policy.
The Indian calendar of Landslide disasters is literally dotted with catastrophic events, most of which, by hindsight, look self imposed and probably avoidable. If landslides could plead their cases in the courts of law, a great majority of them will come out unscathed, after convincingly proving that the boot is on the other leg. It is we who have flouted the basic rules of slope safety by one hand, while turning over the pages of the landslide calendar, by the other hand, without remorse.
The curious thing about the Joint Statement issued after the meeting between the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers in Ufa is that it is being interpreted by both sides in a way that suits them. The problem is that these divergent interpretations raise questions about whether there is indeed a clear understanding on where the road map that the two countries have set to re-engage with each other will lead. That the statement was somewhat loosely worded and left enough wriggle room for both sides could either be a case of masterly drafting or a monumental goof up.