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Trouble in Maldives
After the arrest of Vice President Ahmed Adheeb following the bomb blast in the official speed boat of President Abdulla Yameen, the police have clamped down on Male gangs that were supposedly connected to him. It will do Maldives a lot of good if the Yameen leadership gives the police a free hand in the matter so they crack down on the gangs. It would also give democracy a boost, and with that a possible reduction in drugs availability as well.
Maldives: When will Modi follow suit after Sushma's visit?
17 October 2015
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj undertook a two-day weekend visit to Maldives, setting the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow suit, but possibly based on the quick-changing domestic developments in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Why hauling up Pakistan before international community is counter-productive
05 October 2015
Any attempt by India to haul up Pakistan before the international community, including the UN, could prove counter productive. It could start with India itself 'internationalising' the issue, and formally allowing the rest of the world to tell us what we should do to Pakistan, and on the vexatious Kashmir issue.
DMK and the Rising Son, version 2.0
03 October 2015
It has taken the sweeping 'brand Modi' poll campaign to tell the Dravidian polity in southern Tamil Nadu that their forgotten, traditional political and electoral campaign was always right -- and that they better return to the grassroots.
Maldives: Govt rules out 'assassination plot' behind presidential boat-blast
02 October 2015
Putting at rest avoidable speculation about the Opposition being behind Monday's blast on the presidential speedboat, the Maldivian Government has ruled out the possibility of an assassination attempt, saying a mechanical issue was the probable cause.
Sri Lanka: TN resolution not in sync with ground-level political realities
22 September 2015
The Tamil Nadu Assembly's recent Resolution on the 'accountability issues' in Sri Lanka does not seem to be in sync with the prevailing mood and methods of the socio-political majority among the Tamils in that nation. Instead, it may be away from the script the Tamil National Alliance has been writing since the January presidential polls.
UN human rights report on Sri Lanka: Old wine in older bottle
17 September 2015
The much-awaited UNHRC commissioned OISL report has turned out to be only old wine in older bottle. It could not have been otherwise either, considering that it is only a "human rights investigation, and not a criminal investigation", as it points out in an early paragraph.
Sri Lanka: 'Re-vitalising' India relations even more after the polls
18 August 2015
It is not impossible that Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, like his predecessors and Presidents, might choose India for his first overseas destination. The world, particularly the the SLT Diaspora living in the West, too, would be watching a Ranil-Modi meeting, for signals to larger aspects of ethnic issue.
Can LTTE win or lose elections one more time?
03 August 2015
In Sri Lanka, whoever wins or loses the parliamentary polls, and whoever forms the government afterward, it's President Maithripala Sirisena who would be at the centre of all post-poll politics over the ethnic issue, political solution and 'accountability issues' of the UNHRC kind.
Sri Lanka: TN initiative to de-congest Palk Bay fishing takes concrete shape
29 July 2015
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa recently distributed Rs 30 lakh as subsidy, in a total estimated cost of Rs 60 lakhs, to help enable the State's fishermen to undertake deep-sea fishing in a big way. It is expected to help decongest fishing in the Palk Bay, and help reduce tensions with Sri Lankan fishers.
Maldives: Reconciliation hopes remain despite cancellation of third-round talks
10 July 2015
In Maldives, despite a last-minute 'cancellation' of the third round of talks between the Government and the MDP leader of the combined Opposition, there is nothing to suggest that the current reconciliation process has derailed, irrecoverably.
Back to the era of simultaneous polls?
24 June 2015
The Parliamentary Standing Committee's (on Personnel, Public Grievances, and Law & Order) decision to consider the possibility of recommending 'concurrent' or 'simultaneous' elections to the Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies across the country is a suggestion worth serious consideration, like very many other aspects of electoral reforms.
Maldives: And, Nasheed applies for clemency
19 June 2015
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.
Yameen greets poor Opposition rally with China visit
17 June 2015
In Maldives, the combined Opposition rally on June 12 failed to impress or inspire. The failure is attributed to the confusion caused by the unclear Opposition response to President Yameen's call for political negotiations.
Sri Lanka: Tamil separatists putting India on notice again?
09 June 2015
With Tamil Nadu Assembly elections due by May next year and an anti-Jaya political realignment likely on cards, the Sri Lankan Tamil 'separatists' appear to be trying to drive a wedge between political parties in Tamil Nadu. The purpose seems to be to try and embarrass prospective allies of the DMK.
Maldives slipping into 'pressure cooker' mode?
08 May 2015
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.
MDP's 'May Day' call, now again to India
30 April 2015
Combined with the Maldives government's demonstrated preparations for a face-off, the tone and tenor of the Opposition's preparations for the May Day rally, and their call for the civil society to chip in, indicate a possible repeat of the 'December 23 movement' protests (2011-12) that led to President Nasheed's exit.
TNA joins Colombo to pour cold water on Tamil Nadu fishers' proposals
24 April 2015
The Tamil National Alliance, heading an elected Government in Sri Lanka's Northern Province, have shocked well-wishers in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, with its tough stand on the fishers' issue between Colombo and Chennai.
Maldives: Yameen 'returns' Bill barring politics for Nasheed
08 April 2015
While it may be inconceivable in the Third World democratic context that the Bill that restricts political rights of Nasheed was moved and passed without the President's consent, Yameen has now returned the Bill to Parliament.
Modi's Sri Lanka visit
27 March 2015
For a bilateral visit at the highest-level after an undesirable and inexplicable gap of 28 long years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's three-day tour of Sri Lanka was noted as much for what it achieved as for the optics.
After Nasheed's conviction, Maldives at cross-roads again?
18 March 2015
After the court sentencing of former Maldives President Nasheed, India has expressed 'deep concern over the developments' and said that it was watching the situation. Yet, it may not be the best of time for Nasheed?s supporters in Maldives and sympathisers in India.
India-Sri Lanka relations and PM Wickremesinghe's interview
12 March 2015
Do the Modi government think that the worse was over for its bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, first with the exit of the LTTE, and later the electoral defeat of President Rajapaksa? If so, PM Wickremesinghe's interview should be seen as a lesson in the 'right direction' - though not necessarily on the 'right lines' as India would have wished.
Maldives: Feeble light at the end of the tunnel?
07 March 2015
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.
Can South Africa succeed where India and Norway had failed?
02 March 2015
Compared to India and Norway, South Africa may have entered Sri Lanka first and re-entered now to a relatively positive start, or so it seemed. Their timing now proves to be wrong, and their proposals thus may not either be heard, or acted upon.
Maldives at it again: Courts, protests, arrests
24 February 2015
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.
Pragmatic approach to combat climate-change: Former Secretary
21 February 2015
"India, China and the US share a similar perspective on balancing economic interests with climate-action, seeking a pragmatic approach to combat climate change through plausible self-determined contributions that are cognizant of national interests," says former Union Environment Secretary N R Krishnan.
President Sirisena's global outreach commences on a positive note
19 February 2015
During the meeting with visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Modi has indicated he would like to visit Sri Lanka in March. During the tour, the Indian PM may also visit Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. The visit has the great potential for these nations to emerge as a collective Indian Ocean Rim voice.
US keen on investing in alternate energy sources: US official
16 February 2015
The US is keen on investing in alternate energy sources, especially in Southern India where there is high potential for such innovations, says Samuel F Rothenberg, Political/Economic Officer at the US Consulate-General in Chennai. He said around $1 billion has been earmarked by the US Exim Bank to ensure the implementation of such plans.
India's foreign policy set to undergo sea change: Former NSA
02 February 2015
India's former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan thinks that the country's external relations are set to undergo a sea change. "The first half of the 21st Century will be a soft period, but as time progresses, things will not be so smooth," he cautions.
Maldives President sacks Defence Minister after police recover weapons
22 January 2015
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.
A bridge across the Palk Strait
28 January 2015
Earlier during his stint in office nearly 10 years back, Ranil Wickremesinghe had mooted the idea of building a bridge - literally - across the Palk Strait, linking his country to India. Now that he is back as prime minister and as part of a 'cohabitation arrangement' but through political consensus, unlike in the past, the two governments could consider reviving the proposal for mutual and greater benefits.

Chennai Address
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