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As the sun sets on the mighty Irrawaddy today, the last votes have been cast in Myanmar’s by-elections. People have spoken. What they want will be clear when results are announced in about a week’s time. Whatever the outcome, the country’s transition to democracy has reached a memorable milestone writes Rajiv Bhatia

 
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The controversy over the leaking of a  confidential communication between the India Army chief , General VK Singh, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has become increasingly bitter and acrimonious as the deliberations in Parliament suggested writes C Uday Bhaskar

 
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Much to the apparent relief of New Delhi, Colombo has made reassuring statements after India’s vote in favour of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution censuring Sri Lanka for alleged human rights abuses during the final days of its protracted war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). But this relief is likely to be short-lived -- for two crucial reasons writes Rashmi Saxena

 
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s four day visit to  the South Korean capital Seoul from Sunday (March 25) to attend the second Global Nuclear  Security Summit will also include a major bilateral meeting with the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak  that will be important as part of India’s  comprehensive ‘look east ‘ policy, writes C. Uday Bhaskar

 
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‘Pakistan won the Asia Cup, but Bangladesh won the hearts of the people,’ said the commentator as former World Champions Pakistan beat the home team by two runs in a nail-biting finish in the Asia Cup final on March 22. Dhaka has indeed been a lucky venue for Pakistan, writes Prasanna Kumar

 
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Presenting the Union Budget for 2012-13 on March 16, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed a negative list of 17 items, barring which all services will henceforth be taxable. While this is not something that the Indian consumer will be jubilant about, Pakistan’s recent decision to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India has been hailed as a major breakthrough in Indo-Pak relations writes Parthasarathy Chaganty

 
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The Indian defence expenditure for the financial year 2012-13 has been budgeted at a fairly high figure of $38.5 billion, this is not unreasonable -- but is well below China's corresponding figure of $100 billion, writes Cmdr. Uday Bhaskar

 
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India’s external environment and the related foreign policy challenges, with a special focus on the South Asian neighbourhood, were usefully illuminated in the course of this week by Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon writes C. Uday Bhaskar

 
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We in South Asia tend to be modest (which is a good thing) and to underestimate ourselves (which is not such a good thing) when we speak of South Asian integration and the present situation in the sub-region says ShivShankar Menon

 
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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s visit to Delhi on March 1 as part of the preparation for the BRICS Summit meeting in end-March that India is hosting was significant at the bilateral plane, as it led to a broad agreement for greater cooperation between the two Asian giants in the maritime domain. Writes C Uday Bhaskar

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Vitaly A. Prima, Ambassador of Belarus to India for close to five years, is very enthusiastic about the future of bilateral relations as the two countries mark 25 years of diplomatic relations. Resident in New Delhi, Prima is also his country’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
 
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India’s top diplomats held a four-day brainstorming session in New Delhi this month to strategise and decide how India should engage with major global powers and countries in the immediate neighbourhood, writes Nilova Roy Chaudhury
 
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Is it the Modi magic or Modi cult propelling the BJP to new heights with the opposition pulverised and decimated by the split vote banks of these parties in large parts of India? The BJP has gained five states in the assembly elections but lost Delhi and Bihar, writes Lalit Sethi
 
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The army’s commendation of Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, the officer who tied Farooq Ahmed Dar, a Kashmiri artisan, to an army jeep’s bonnet and paraded him, apparently using him as a human shield for his troops against stone-pelters, is a troubling move.
 
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Ignorance may not always be bliss. India has decided to ignore China's One Belt One Road initiative, which was launched recently in Beijing in the presence of the president of Delhi's 'all-weather friend' - Russia - as well as representatives from the United States of America, Europe and even Japan, a nation known for i
 
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What a week it has been for the Middle East! People of Iran came out in droves to re-elect Rouhani as president for another term.
 
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It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for Britain’s Theresa May. With general elections scheduled for the beginning of next month — it seems that ISIS has left its comment on the British parliamentary system that insists on returning to power those who maintain a militarised foreign policy.
 
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Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
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Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
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Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599

 
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  The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...

 
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Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599

 
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