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    China's Sri Lankan push for power

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 31/10/2018

    » Most people in the island nation of Sri Lanka and its Asian neighbours were stunned last week when President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe -- and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the populist strongman who had ruled Sri Lanka for a decade before the scrappy alliance between Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesinghe forced him out of power in 2015.


    Belt and Road hits a pothole in Pakistan

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 12/10/2018

    » Pakistan's government has finally admitted it needs help. Finance Minister Asad Umar says he will be meeting officials of the International Monetary Fund in Bali this weekend. There he'll try and work out the terms for a bailout that would cover a US$10 billion (328 billion baht) hole in Pakistan's financing needs.


    India is hardly a land of opportunity

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 26/09/2018

    » India has never been the most egalitarian of societies. But because it's a democracy, governments have at least tried to expand opportunities for its most deprived citizens: After all, their votes count as much as anyone else's. New data suggests those efforts may be failing.


    Why demonetisation was a 'failure'

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 03/09/2018

    » The Indian central bank's final tally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 demonetisation drive -- intended to take money derived from tax evasion out of circulation -- showed that 99.3% of outlawed high-value banknotes had been returned. That's a severe loss of face for officials, who had argued that holders of the cash would rather destroy it than return it to banks, providing a windfall for the government.


    Worrying days for dissent in India

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 31/08/2018

    » Indian liberals are reeling from a shocking set of arrests this week: Synchronised police raids targeted some of the country's best-known civil-liberties activists.


    Hole at heart of China's Silk Road

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 09/08/2018

    » Nobody pretends the People's Republic of China is an entirely benign power, least of all its leaders in Beijing. Yet, even by the standards of what continues to be a remarkably repressive state, the stories that are emerging from behind the Great Firewall about the crackdown on Xinjiang's Uighur Muslim population are deeply disturbing and deserve more of the world's attention.


    Imran Khan's election presents a global dilemma

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 01/08/2018

    » The cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has finally been accepted as Pakistan's next prime minister. I say "finally" because the election commission managed to add to widespread concerns about the elections by inexplicably delaying its announcement of the outcome.


    Pakistan's army takes on wrong fight

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 16/07/2018

    » Nawaz Sharif -- dodgy businessman, convicted criminal and thrice prime minister of Pakistan -- showed on Friday, in his triumphant return to Pakistan, that he remains by far the country's most popular politician. Infuriatingly, he also represents Pakistan's best chance at becoming a "normal" country anytime soon. As he fights what looks very much like an attempt by the military to decide the next election, the rest of us should hope he succeeds.


    China's Silk Road isn't so smooth

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 12/07/2018

    » You may not have noticed, what with the outbreak of trade war with the US and all, but China's economic diplomacy has had a bad few weeks. The country's flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is dealing with ever-greater resistance, slowing a momentum that once seemed unstoppable. In fact, I'd argue that the BRI is stalled.


    Tiny ad may set Indians free at last

    News, Mihir Sharma, Published on 16/06/2018

    » It was the most carefully examined square of newsprint in recent Indian history. Last week, a small job ad appeared on the inside pages of some newspapers looking for candidates for the post of "joint secretary" in the Indian government. Within a few hours, the ad had gone viral: Opposition politicians had weighed in, Twitter was agog and hundreds of thousands of 40ish Indians wondered if they had one last opportunity to make their parents proud.

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