President Xi in India: Opening of a New Chapter!

THE Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s tour of South Asia in the third week of September ended with his three day visit to India. Before reaching Indian shores, the Chinese president had visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Both sides have described the visit of the Chinese president as successful. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, speaking after the return of President Xi to Beijing, said that “cooperation” between the two countries was the main theme that dominated the summit meeting with the Indian prime minister.

India-Pakistan: Back to Square One

EXPECTATIONS about the improvement of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan were buoyed after the Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif accepted the newly elected Indian prime minister’s invitation for his swearing in ceremony. Sharif had come to Delhi at short notice despite the misgivings expressed by many in Pakistan, including those in the powerful security establishment. Narendra Modi on the campaign trail had targeted Pakistan as a threat to India’s internal security and had pledged to take a tough and uncompromising stand on the Kashmir issue.

Afghan Politics: Flawed Elections

IN what was more or less a replay of the presidential elections held four years ago, Abdullah Abdullah, has once again charged that the election process this time was also deeply flawed and that he was robbed of certain victory. As the voting trends became clear in early July and his main rival building up an unassailable lead, Abdullah dramatically announced that he would refuse to recognise the results of the elections.

Indonesia’s New President

THE Indonesian Election Commission officially announced on July 22 that the victor of the final round of Presidential elections held on July 9 was Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi. The elections were hard fought with the opposition engaging in dirty tricks in a belated effort to pip him at the polls. The opposition’s propaganda blitz did succeed in whittling down the 20 per cent lead that Jokowi had initially enjoyed before the campaign had begun in earnest.

Gaza: Back to the Stone Age

A CEASE FIRE agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was finally announced on August 26. Hamas as well as the aggressor is claiming victory. Most observers are predicting that the latest agreement would bring a halt to the terrible suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza at least temporarily. The international community has chosen to stand aside and watch as Israel continued with its bloodletting in the Gaza Strip from July 8. The Palestinians have said that they would no longer be satisfied with a “quiet for quiet” deal.

US-China: Rising Tensions

RECENT months have witnessed a steady deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing. The acceleration in the process started with the visit of President Barack Obama to Tokyo, where he re-emphasised his political support for Japan’s claim to the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. The American president had also explicitly stated that if hostilities broke out between China and Japan, the US is bound by treaty to come to the defense of its long time ally.

Day of Rage Observed in Delhi Condemning Israel’s Attack on Palestine

ON  the occasion of the call given by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement to observe August 9 as the ‘Day of Rage’ more than 70 political and cultural organisations including Left organisations such as Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), Jan Natya Manch, All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Janwadi Lekhak  Sangh, Jana Sanskriti, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Association (AISA), All India Kisan Sabh

Rouse World Public Opinion Against Israeli Aggression

WITH Israel-Gaza conflict claiming nearly 1,400 Palestinians lives, theatre personalities, activists and musicians today organised a cultural protest on July 31 against Israel and in solidarity with the Palestinian people. 

The celebrities sung songs with "anti-war" lyrics and recited "pro-peace poems" at an event in the backdrop of pictures of the violence intertwined in barbed wires and keffiyehs (scarfs worn by Palestinian men and a symbol of Palestinian nationalism during the Arab Revolt of the 1930s) hung from above as a mark of protest. 

Boko Haram: The West Intervenes

IT took more than a month for the international community to wake up to the plight of the more than 200 girls kidnapped by the Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram. Pictures of the American First Lady, Michelle Obama and leading show business personalities with posters demanding freedom for the girls has finally galvanised public opinion world wide. The “Bring Back our Girls” campaign had originated in Nigeria soon after the incident happened. The Nigerian army has so far failed miserably either to rescue the girls or prevent more Boko Haram atrocities in the north east of the country.


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