Sri Lanka gets a jumbo cabinet

 
President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe have their compulsions in putting in place a strong national unity government. So, the size of the cabinet constituted after two long weeks of haggling behind the scenes does not come as a surprise though it is big by Sri Lankan bench marks in coalition politics....
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Istanbul Attacks Highlight an Overlooked Threat

 
Istanbul was the scene of two terrorist attacks on Aug. 10.In the first, a bomb attack and assault against a police station in the city’s ...
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The Lives of Jihadist Leaders Drop in Value

 
Much has been written since the July 30 confirmation that the Taliban's longtime leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, died two years ago. Most of the discussion ...
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In China, a Canceled Meeting Sends a Message

 
A day after Chinese state media reported that key government figures were in the beach resort town of Beidaihe welcoming researchers and scholars, state media ...
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PAKISTAN

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After NSA Fiasco, India Has to Show Firmness

 
Since there is little prospect of India-Pakistan talks resuming in the near future after Pakistan called off the NSA-level talks, New Delhi must show firmness in dealing with the petulant and recalcitrant neighbour who thinks that all its recent sins have been forgotten and forgiven by the U.S., its most generous patron, says the author....
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Gilgat –Baltistan Elections -A Farce

 
Elections to Gilgit -Baltistan Legislative Assembly are taking place on June 8 under the supervision of the Pakistan Army. This 'democratic' exercise is a farce as actual power rests not with the elected assembly but with a Council chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan with Governor of Gilgit- Baltistan as its vice chairman, says the author while putting the issue in its historical perspective. ...
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Who is who of Baloch Insurgency

 
Balochistan is in the throes of the fifth and longest running insurgency since 1947. Triggered in 2005 by the rape of a lady doctor allegedly ...
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China expands influence in 'economic colony' Pakistan

 
Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan promises to boost the Islamic country's struggling economy, but experts warn there are many strings attached to Beijing's aid, says Radio Deutsche Welle (DW) of Germany....
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MYANMAR/CHINA

The Uncertain Future of the Sino-Myanmar Pipeline

 
Domestic political opposition and security concerns in Myanmar could threaten an energy pipeline built in the country by China. The pipeline, which runs through ethnic militia dominated Shan and Kachin states, was conceived before Myanmar began its opening to the rest of the world in 2010. Opposition to the project has since escalated, and Naypyidaw itself may be looking to improve the terms of its energy deal with the Chinese and reduce Myanmar's dependence on China overall. ...
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Chinese Market Turmoil: A Self-Inflicted Wound

 
Roots of the Chinese Stock Market turmoil are in the prescription to offset the export loss in the wake of financial meltdown of 2008. Investment backed by credit comprised around 50 percent of GDP while consumption spending accounted for barely 35 percent. It has proved simply unviable. ...
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Strikes hit hard Chinas free trade zones

 
 With Communist China turning into a Bamboo Capitalist, and opting for free trade zones to give a fillip to the sagging economy, lofty socialist ideals ...
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Rajapaksa eyeing an amazing comeback

 
Making a determined comeback bid, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is re-positioning himself as he only strong Sinhala leader who is capable of taking on the devious Tamils, and hopes in the process to weather away the scams that are tumbling out of his past....
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Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean : An Indian Perspective

 
For a maritime nation like India, its conception of maritime security of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and, specifically, its approach to maritime security has ...
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Sri Lankan government postpones constitutional amendment

 
The postponement was a result of infighting between ruling and opposition parties and compounded by the Supreme Court’s advisory opinion that some clauses should be referred to a referendum....
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Are Bangladesh's Competing Parties Ready to Negotiate?

 
Bangladesh has witnessed a rash of Islamist attacks against government institutions, security forces, secular bloggers and other civilian soft targets in recent months. And, on their ...
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Radical lslamists threaten Bangladeshi American Writer Avijit Roy

 
The Publisher appears to have taken the threat seriously without much ado and listed Avjit Roy's books under the category "Out of Print”....
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Bangladesh moves to ban Jamaat-e-Islami

 
Jamaat has been a long time ally of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Begum Khaleda Zia. The ban on Jamaat can give a handle to Khaleda to go around the nation as a victim of Hasina politics. It may not get much mileage though, firstly because the BNPis in bad shape, with its leadership embroiled in corruption cases, and secondly because the Jamaat voters are already with the BNP....
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An extended ‘state of denial’

 
- By Abdul Saboor Sarir...
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In Afghanistan, Peace Talks Face an Uncertain Future

 
Peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban aimed at paving way for some sort of power-sharing agreement have reached a stalemate since news broke that Mullah Mohammad Omar had died more than two years ago. The news of one-eyed Mullah's death has exacerbated divisions in the Taliban. Outside powers and the Taliban are now scrambling to determine who exactly speaks for the Afghan militant group. ...
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Aid at risk as Afghanistan's war splinters

 
While the perception of the Afghan conflict as simply the government and allied forces against a unified Taliban has long been an over-simplification, in recent years the number of fighting groups has grown exponentially... There are now believed to be three shuras another seven or eight independent "fronts". ...
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The Terror Attacks in Paris : Tip of the Iceberg or a Passing Episode?

 
The coordinated attacks by an Islamic terrorist cell against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in the heart of Paris, which caused ...
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Fall-out of Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

 
To check the slide of the Palestinian conflict from political to the religious level, Israel will do well to open a dialogue with the Arab civil society in East Jerusalem, says the analyst in the context of Nov 18 attack on a synagogue. ...
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Australia-India uranium deal

 
The civilian nuclear deal India had entered into with the US during Bush Junior’s presidency undoubtedly opened the doors for India-Australia uranium business. Hitherto, Abbott’s predecessors’ saw India through the NPT prism and blocked the sale of uranium since India is not a signatory to treaty. ...
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Dangers From Anti-West Mood In The Islamic world

 
The West must factor in and come to grips with the factors that have given birth to IS phenomenon; this they must do with the same seriousness with which they calculate their military moves since crushing the head of a serpent with a bomb or a missile is in no way sufficient for a successful war against the phenomenon like IS, says the analyst, who is a reputed authority on Islamic movements in the Arab World and Islamic Fundamentalism....
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Islam doesn’t forbid Friday work, cleric says

 
Contrary to the claims of radical groups, there is nothing in the Qur'an or teachings of the Prophet Muhammad that forbids working on Fridays, according ...
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Khusrau, a great pillar of 14th century Persian literature.

 
One of the most prolific genres composed by Khusrau are the pahelis, riddles that children of the subcontinent grow up enjoying. Deeply influenced by the spiritual philosophy of Like his master, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Khusrau believed in tolerance and affection between people of separate faiths. Khusrau loved Hindustan, India, with all its fragrant flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees and animals and likened it to Paradise writing, ‘The heavens said that of all the countries which have come out of the earth, it is Hindustan that has achieved the height of excellence’....
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