FROM A BYSTANDER | The Daily Star
  • G7 Summit: Semblance of unity

    The two-day 45th G7 Summit concluded recently at the French resort in Biarritz. What was unusual this time was the fact that the summit ended without issuing a final communique, essentially because there was hardly any consensus on any of the major issues

  • Beijing’s Catch-22

    It’s been just 22 years since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule. Recent events in Hong Kong suggest that the long British rule has left considerable English influence on the ethnic Chinese of the region. Though the older English-speaking generation is on the wane, the young English-speaking millennials seem to be spearheading a political movement for democracy and social justice.

  • Will the Rohingyas ever return to Myanmar?

    Since the massive exodus of Rohingyas from Rakhine to Bangladesh in 2017, a lot has been written and said about the plight of these unfortunate people. After nearly two years, it appears that the outraged world community has forgotten about this persecuted ethnic minority.

  • Dawn of the second phase of Arab Spring

    The second phase of Arab Spring has dawned on the Arab world. It is not a surprise that people in Algeria and Sudan have risen to demand changes in the leadership in their countries, while Libya is also locked in serious conflict over who should rule the country.

  • Will Joko Widodo win a second term?

    Southeast Asian economic giant Indonesia will be holding its fourth presidential election today. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, is the third biggest democratic country after India and the United States.

  • Algeria

    Algeria's late Arab Spring

    Algeria's veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2, 2019 after 20 years in power.

  • Venezuela's Dutch disease syndrome

    The political and economic situation of Venezuela has been dominating world media for quite some time now. What happened to this petro-state with the largest oil reserve in the world?

  • 46th OIC-CFM: Reform or aberration?

    The 46th session of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE from March 1-2, 2019 with the motto “50 years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development”

  • Kashmir conflict

    Kashmir conflict: Still no end in sight

    The suicide attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019 that killed 42 Indian soldiers and wounded dozens sparked off tensions between India and Pakistan. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM),

  • Brexit Deal lands Britain in a political mess

    The British House of Commons on January 15 voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit Deal by 432 votes to 202. The vote came after 200 speeches spread over eight days of fractious debate.

  • Return of French revolutionary zeal

    France is famous for the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the monarchy. It has a long history of protest movements which flare every now and then, opposing everything from reforming labour laws to gay marriage.

  • Dramatic twists in Sri Lanka's political turmoil

    Ever since President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister on October 26, there have been several twists in the developing political drama.

  • US Midterms: Donald Trump risks becoming a lame-duck President

    The Democrats won 223 seats (218 needed for majority) in the 435-seat House of Representatives. While in the 100-seat Senate the Republicans retained their thin majority with 51 to 46 seats. When populist Trump entered the White House in January 2017, both the House and Senate were dominated by the Republicans. Clearly the era of unified rule for Donald Trump and the Republicans seems to be over.

  • A constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka

    President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, in a sudden unconstitutional move, dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed his nemesis and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister on October 26.

  • Afghan elections in the backdrop of fear and violence

    War-weary Afghani-stan is scheduled to go to polls on October 20, 2018 to elect a new parliament after almost three years' delay.

  • Theresa May in trouble over Brexit

    Britain's PM Theresa May is in deep trouble with the Brexit plan. She may not only be forced to agree to a second referendum over Brexit but may also lose her prime ministership.

  • Maldives turns over a new leaf

    It has been a turbulent year for the paradise islands of Maldives. The presidential election held on September 23, 2018 was in many ways a referendum on incumbent President Abdulla Yameen's five-year autocratic rule. The election is seen as a halt to Maldives' democratic backsliding.

  • China walks a tightrope on the Uighur Muslim issue

    China has never been at ease with its religious minorities—be they Buddhists, Muslims, Christians or those practicing the religio-philosophical traditions of Confucianism and Taoism.

  • Takeaways from 4th Bimstec summit

    It seems to be the fashion these days to set up regional forums to enhance economic cooperation among countries and raise the standard of living of the common man. But the time has come to do some serious introspection and evaluate what these regional organisations have achieved.

  • Cloak and dagger drama in Australia for the top job

    Australia got a new prime minister on August 24, 2018. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lost his job to Scott Morrison in a mutiny for leadership within the Liberal Party. Morrison is the sixth prime minister since 2007. None of the five previous prime ministers have been able to complete their full three-year term in office in the last 11 years.

  • Democracies in decline

    True democra-cies around the world seem to be on the decline. Electoral democracies are increasingly becoming fraught with all kinds of unfair means.

  • Reminding the world of the importance of multilateralism

    The 10th BRICS summit (July 25-27, 2018) has just concluded in Johannesburg, South Africa. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer.

  • Judicial activism and militant attacks can mar Pakistan elections

    Pakistan goes to polls under a caretaker government amid judicial activism and militant attacks. Former Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading a six-member cabinet, took over as caretaker prime minister on June 1, 2018 to oversee the general election scheduled for July 25, 2018.

  • Suu Kyi and the military: Are they falling out?

    Things do not look very pretty for General Min Aung Hlaing of Myanmar, the alleged war criminal responsible for the genocide against the Rohingya community in Rakhine.

  • Cracks in G7, harmony in SCO

    The G7 summit hosted by Canadian PM Justine Trudeau (June 8-9) was quite unprecedented. The way the leaders of the seven rich industrialised countries behaved was simply appalling. Never in the 45-year history of the G7 have leaders rebuked each other or traded insults.

  • Trump-Kim summit drama: What happens if talks fail?

    One shall recall that North Korea signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1985 but quit in 2003.

  • Can JCPOA be saved after US pullout?

    The 2015 Joint Compr-ehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) was an equation of 6 + 1 = 7. The 6 (P5 + Germany) were the powers that signed the nuclear deal with Iran, i.e. an agreement among 7 parties.

  • Lies, deceit and conspiracies

    These days the world is faced with a barrage of lies from powerful leaders. They often make statements that contravene international law but major media outlets carry them as “news” quite convincingly. What is extremely distressing is that these lies have led to wars in the past and can lead to wars again.

  • Will there be a 'Malay tsunami' for Mahathir?

    Nearly 15 million Malaysians will go to polls today to elect 222 members of the 14th federal parliament and representatives for 12 state legislatures. Parliament majority is 112 seats. The 13th parliament was dissolved on April 6 and the nominations of candidates were finalised on April 28, when the 11-day formal campaigning started that would determine the fate of scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak (64), who is leading the interim government.

  • Some takeaways from the conference

    The 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) met in Dhaka on May 5-6, 2018 with the theme “Islamic values for sustainable peace, solidarity and development.”

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