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The battle against election fear in Sri Lanka
World

The battle against election fear in Sri Lanka

On May 28, President Ranil Wickremesinghe let the cat out of the bag. As political tensions increase and the demand for elections spike, the general secretary of the United National Party (UNP)—a party that has recorded successive defeats and now stands decimated under Wickremsinghe’s leadership—has proposed the postponement of both presidential and parliamentary elections by two years through a referendum, effectively permitting Wickremesinghe to continue as president to “implement economic reforms”. This call may resonate with a section of Sri Lanka’s middle class, content with the absence of queues for food and fuel with no power cuts—a fake normalcy concealing the painful reality of a nation overwhelmed by external debt. Interestingly, the postponement call is an indirect acceptanc
How Pakistan’s Economy Is Restricted by Politics
World

How Pakistan’s Economy Is Restricted by Politics

Angry and disillusioned. This is the prevalent sentiment across much of Pakistan, especially in Punjab, the country’s heartland. Stoked by a years-long economic crisis that has pushed millions below the poverty line and an electoral process that was neither free nor fair, discontent continues to grow. While the formation of a new government following elections and the continued imprisonment of former Prime Minister Imran Khan has created an illusion of stability, the country remains on the boil from Peshawar to Gwadar and Islamabad to Karachi. In just the last month, citizens in Pakistan-administered Kashmir have protested against rising inflation – more than four people have been killed – while farmers in Punjab, the country’s most populous province, have been on the streets, too. The
Chief of WHO Declares Gaza a “Death Zone”
World

Chief of WHO Declares Gaza a “Death Zone”

The Israeli military said Wednesday that it had carried out airstrikes in northern and southern Gaza, as the head of the World Health Organization said the enclave had become a “death zone.” Israeli media reported that the Israel Defense Forces had announced the death of one soldier killed Tuesday in heavy fighting in northern Gaza, bringing to 237 the number of troops killed in the offensive against Hamas. The IDF said it had carried out strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood, including weapons depots and tunnels. In the south, it reported having killed dozens of militants, including in the Khan Younis area. Medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres said Israeli forces conducted an operation Tuesday in Al Mawasi, northwest of Khan Younis, where
Relations with India and the Maldives: Authorities will examine community development initiatives financed by Indian grants
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Relations with India and the Maldives: Authorities will examine community development initiatives financed by Indian grants

Indian High Commissioner to Maldives, Munu Mahawar, and Ahmed Naseer, Ambassador at Large for the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs, co-chaired the India-Maldives Review meeting. The officials reviewed Indian grant-funded high-impact community development projects in the Maldives. According to the Indian High Commission in the Maldives, India is supporting 65 community development projects in the Maldives, valued at MVR 360 million. In a post shared on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), the Indian High Commission stated, “India Maldives Review meeting co-chaired by HE Ahmed Naseer, Amb-at-large @MoFAmv and @AmbMunu to take stock of Indian grant-funded high impact community development projects #HICDP. India is supporting implementation of 65 community
Pakistan’s never-ending crises
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Pakistan’s never-ending crises

Pakistan’s 12th general elections, held on February 8, might not lead to the resolution of the country’s longstanding problems. But the new coalition government, supported by the powerful military-intelligence establishment, could provide a semblance of political stability. With a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and strategic investments from China and the Arab Gulf states, Pakistan will likely ride through its immediate economic crisis. Longer term, however, the majority-Muslim country of 240 million – with nuclear weapons and the world’s sixth-largest standing army – will continue to lurch from one crisis to the next.  Political dysfunction The February 8 elections revealed the dissatisfaction of a young population that lacks economic opportunities and
Beijing claims that Taiwan’s political reforms won’t impact the one-China concept.
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Beijing claims that Taiwan’s political reforms won’t impact the one-China concept.

Beijing on Monday reiterated that Taiwan is an “inalienable part” of China, saying that political changes there will not affect the one-China principle. “Taiwan is not a country. It has always been an inalienable part of China. The international community has long reached the conclusion on this matter. This is a vital component of the post-WWII international order,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. Wang’s remarks came after William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party began his term as Taiwan's eighth president after taking the oath of office on Monday, succeeding the island’s only woman chief executive, Tsai Ing-wen. Noting that the number of countries recognizing the one-China principle has risen from over 60 to 183, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “The o
Singapore’s new PM, Lawrence Wong, starts his term: five things to know
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Singapore’s new PM, Lawrence Wong, starts his term: five things to know

SINGAPORE -- Singapore has its first new prime minister in 20 years, with Lee Hsien Loong, 72, stepping down from the post this week to make way for Lawrence Wong, 51, who was his deputy. The political handover is taking place alongside internal and external changes that have challenged the city-state and handed Wong a packed agenda that includes keeping his ruling People's Action Party in power amid the turbulence. Here are five things to know as his term begins. What kind of leader will Wong be? Wong has vowed to take a different approach to leadership than his predecessors. "Our leadership style will differ from that of previous generations. We will lead in our own way," Wong said during his swearing-in speech on Wednesday. While steering the country to prosperity over d...
Pakistan’s ongoing political crises
World

Pakistan’s ongoing political crises

Imran Khan and his party PTI have been making news all week. On May 15, the Islamabad High Court approved Khan’s bail petition in the Al-Qadir trust case. Despite relief in this case, he will remain incarcerated for the many other cases in which the former PM has been convicted. Meanwhile, his party has been changing its mind about talks with other parties — initially stating they would speak to no one, then claiming that they would only speak with the “real” power and finally, most recently, the PTI has demanded that cases against its members be withdrawn and all its political prisoners released. Dawn (May 16) puts the onus of resolution on both sides saying, “In a democracy, negotiations are a fundamental process for resolving conflicts and reaching consensus. However, entering talks
The Lee dynasty ends after fifty years, and Singapore’s new prime minister promises to “lead in our own way.”
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The Lee dynasty ends after fifty years, and Singapore’s new prime minister promises to “lead in our own way.”

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Singapore’s new Prime Minister Lawrence Wong vowed to make “tomorrow better than today” as he took his oath of office Wednesday in a carefully planned political succession designed to ensure stability in the Asian financial hub. A U.S.-trained economist, Wong, 51, succeeds Lee Hsien Loong, 72, who stepped down after two decades. He is the city-state’s fourth leader and the first born after Singapore’s independence in 1965. Lee’s departure marked the end of a family dynasty led by his father Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first leader, who built the colonial trading outpost into one of the world’s richest nations during 31 years in office. Wong paid tribute to his predecessors for dedication to the nation, saying “we stand on the shoulders of gia
World

A Maldivian minister acknowledges that its pilots are incapable of operating an aircraft that India has provided.

Sri Lanka's Tourism Minister, Harin Fernando, has pointed out the positive impact of calls for Indian travellers to boycott the Maldives on Sri Lanka's travel industry. Fernando expressed that the ongoing situation in the Maldives has inadvertently benefited Sri Lanka's tourism sector, speaking to CNBC on Thursday. Referencing a social media dispute in January that led to a significant decline in Indian visitors to the Maldives this year, Fernando stated, "The Maldives issue is... helping us."  Sri Lanka's Ministry of Tourism highlighted that shift in travel patterns is evident, with India, once the largest source market for the Maldives in 2023, now ranking sixth behind countries such as China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. Highlighting the strong ties bet...