Reflections on Modi’s two years as Indian PM

When The Straits Times declared Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “The Asian of the Year” in 2014, I wrote: “Your promise of ‘Acchhe Din’ or ‘Better Days’, which electrified Indian voters, needs to be backed by solid performance” (“An open letter to Modi, ST’s Asian of the Year”; Dec 12, 2014 ). With the… Read More

The real face of Bangladesh – moderate, secular

The arrests of 27 Bangladeshi workers under the Internal Security Act is the first instance that a radical militant terror cell comprising foreigners has been uncovered in Singapore. The Ministry of Home Affairs said last Wednesday that the authorities had arrested the Bangladeshis between Nov 16 and Dec 1 last year for supporting the armed… Read More

Letter from a possible climate-change migrant

Dear Global Leaders and Activists, As you continue efforts in Paris to produce a meaningful deal over climate change, the future of vulnerable countries hangs in the balance. Against such a background, this letter comes from a potential climate-change migrant seeking shelter in other countries in a future that may not be as distant as… Read More

Rise of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank reinforces need for World Bank/IMF reform

Mr. Syed Munir Khasru says the emergence of two multilateral development banks should lead to an opportunity to push the reform process forward The annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund held in Lima, Peru earlier this month failed to come up with meaningful takeaways on the agenda of reform. Meanwhile,… Read More

Modi talks up SAARC in Dubai — but a SAARC minus Pakistan and weighted east.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his speech in Dubai: “We are strengthening connectivity in SAARC. Some have tried to block talks. But rest of SAARC will move ahead — India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have signed a pact for building connectivity (BBIN). A new life has been infused in SAARC which was earlier a forum for sparring… Read More

A month after Modi visit, there are doubts in Dhaka if he will walk the talk

A month has passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi endeared himself in Dhaka with his charisma and eloquence. Through a slew of cooperation agreements, a captivating public speech and Bengali tweets among other things, Modi won many hearts in Dhaka. The entire spectrum of Bangladeshi political parties warmed to the cause of taking Indo-Bangla relations… Read More

Rohingya refugee crisis can be solved only if ASEAN musters the will do to so

For the boat people of Southeast Asia, each day begins with a thickening sense of uncertainty, despair and a fading glimmer of hope. Thousands have been rescued in the past month by authorities and fishermen in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia after being stranded in the Andaman Sea. While some are Bangladeshis migrating for better jobs… Read More

Great expectations in Dhaka: Modi has an opportunity to reboot India-Bangladesh relations after many erratic flip-flops

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Dhaka from June 6-7 to discuss the ‘entire gamut’ of bilateral issues. The Modi government has shown decisiveness in passing the Land Boundary Agreement that was in limbo for more than four decades. While the Indira Gandhi government made the deal, Congress failed to ratify it in Parliament,… Read More

China must live up to the challenge of leadership in a new economic order

China’s success at rallying both developed and developing nations to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank gives it an opportunity for global economic leadership. This role hinges on its dual identity. On the one hand, China is the world’s second-largest economy; on the other, it is a developing country which still receives aid from the… Read More

AIIB is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge for the ADB

As governors of the 67-member Asian Development Bank gather at Baku, Azerbaijan, for the bank’s 48th annual meeting, Asia braces itself for a second major multilateral development bank around 50 years since ADB was founded. The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank — a brainchild of Chinese leadership as a means of realizing the One Belt, One Road vision… Read More