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Burmese civilians are caught between the junta and the resistance

When moe moe and hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers just like her went on strike after the Burmese army launched a coup in February 2021, they were promised that the resistance would take care of them. As the movement opposing the putsch became more organised, forming a shadow administration called the National Unity Government (nug), it raised $120,000 to support some 360,000 public-sector workers who were shunning their desks. Yet Ms Moe Moe (not her...

SOUTH ASIAN BRIEF

Why India Just Limited Wheat Exports

Welcome to  South Asia Brief.

The highlights this week: India limits wheat exports amid a global food crisis, Sri Lanka’s protesters are still calling for the president to step down, and Nepal sees some ominous economic signs.

India Faces Pressure Over Wheat Exports

Amid global food shortages spurred by Russia’s war in Ukraine, India had...

Reports

Myanmar’s resistance is at risk of believing its...

To spend time on Burmese social media or online news sites is to think the end is near for Myanmar’s military junta, which seized power in a coup last February. Resistance groups, it would appear, are slaughtering the army’s men and occupying the countryside. The regime...

Sri Lanka’s President is girding himself for the...

Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party soundly defeated an urgent no-confidence vote against the government on Tuesday after rallying coalition support, but the leader still faces loud calls from the public to resign. Opposition leaders who moved to hold the vote after their constituents...

India seeks to win public trust in crisis-hit Sr...

For the past 15 years, India and China have vied for favourable diplomatic and trade relations with Sri Lanka thanks to its strategic location in the Indian ocean. While popular perception indicated China had outpaced India, the recent economic and political turmoil in Sri Lanka...

Bright and casual: 6 takeaways from Imran Khan's...

It's often said that a bad breakup can lead to a drastic makeover. And while we can't definitively link Imran Khan's changes in wardrobe to one particular reason, the timing of it does make us question whether it had to do something with his ouster as...

SAM Special

‘We begged them to spare our shops’

NEW DELHI—On April 20, Rahima Bibi stood helpless under the blazing sun as a bulldozer tore through her small tea stall in Jahangirpuri, a neighborhood in New Delhi’s northwest. Rahima had been running the stall for over a decade to support her family. As the bulldozer moved from her shop to mow down another stall, Rahima tried to rush to the remnants of her shop. But the police guarding the giant yellow bulldozer did not...

Issues

India’s politicians have figured out how to turn...

It is the middle of 2021. An Indian woman on her way to London approaches the customer-service desk at Frankfurt airport and presents her vaccination certificate. The airline agent looks at the document, at the woman, at the document again, and frowns. Something is fishy. An...

Insurgents step up attacks on Chinese in Pakista...

PESHAWAR – An attempt to blow up a convoy of Chinese workers in southwest Balochistan province was stopped when Pakistan police arrested a suspected female suicide bomber on Monday. Police arrested the woman suspected of being a suicide bomber at the border area near Afghanistan...

A history of civil-military interventions in Pak...

Pakistan is in the throes of yet another political imbroglio. What is the Pakistan Army’s role in the present crisis? I have written earlier that Pakistan’s Army’s involvement in national affairs started soon after independence when it had to play a critical role in the...

What Bangladesh can teach Afghanistan on women's...

In the last three decades, Bangladesh has elected two prime ministers, both women. Its national and local governments have a growing number of female lawmakers. Its schools and civic programs have been designed to improve women’s roles in society. The combination has made Bangladesh a...

Focus

Sri Lanka

Asia's food crisis: Ukraine war triggers chain reaction of shortages

BANGKOK -- "At such a time, the farmers of India are coming forward to feed the world," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared boldly on a visit to Berlin earlier this month. Sudhanshu Pandey, secretary of India's Department of Food and Public Distribution, endorsed Modi's confidence. "India has a comfortable food situation with an overall surplus availability of grains and stocks expected to be higher than the minimum requirement for the next one year," he...
It is going to get worse before it gets better. It is going to be a painful few years ahead.
Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry on his country’s economy