FROM A BYSTANDER | The Daily Star
  • 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.”

  • Little Rocket Man transforms Korean nuclear narrative

    The summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Peace House at Panmunjom on April 27 was a path-breaking effort to establish lasting peace in the troubled Korean peninsula.

  • Some takeaways from CHOGM

    The just concluded 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was important for several reasons. It was hosted by Britain (April 16-20)—Commonwealth's birthplace—at a time when this former colonial power is in search of a new identity. The theme for the summit “Towards a common future” has been chosen as UK is “Brexiting” from the EU; the call for reforms of the organisation has become louder; successor to the head of

  • Don't let Saarc wither away

    Recently, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli, during his visit to Delhi (April 6–8) proposed to reschedule the 19th Saarc summit. But Delhi firmly refused to go ahead with the summit because cross-border terrorism is a disruptive force in the region. Obviously, the finger was pointed at Pakistan.

  • Will US-China trade war really break out?

    The objective of Donald Trump's controversial executive orders, since his walking into the Oval Office, has been to make “America Great Again”. In the past 15 months, he has signed 63 EOs, claiming that he has accomplished more than most previous US presidents. His latest order was issued on March 22, which proposed to impose up to 25 percent tariff on USD 60 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US.

  • Making the safe choice

    Egypt re-elected Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as president for another four-year term on March 28, 2018. The result of the election was foregone. Sisi has been accused of sidelining or intimidating several powerful candidates, leaving only another candidate in the race. According to the results, Sisi won 92 percent of the votes cast.

  • Tillerson gone, who's next?

    President Donald Trump's White House team seems to be in complete disarray. The way West Wing staffers have been fired or have resigned gives the impression that Trump's house has imploded.

  • What Xi Jinping's 'indefinite term' means for China

    Yesterday, China's parliament, in a historic move, abolished presidential term limits enabling President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

  • Zuma

    Will Zuma's exit deter corruption in South Africa?

    Was it a contro-versial indictment of corruption that led to the resignation of South African President Jacob Zuma on February 14, 2018? Zuma has all along denied any wrongdoing.

  • Maldives political crisis and a geopolitical tussle

    Political unrest in neighbouring Maldives is bad news for Delhi.

  • Frustrated Nepal awaits new government

    Landlocked Nepal's political uncertainty simply does not seem to end.

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