Anyone who two months back bet on Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidential election in Sri Lanka would be a millionaire. Most international experts expected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win and strengthen his family rule.
New Delhi though would have preferred to deal with just about anybody other than Rajapaksa when it came to relations with Sri Lanka and developing geopolitics in the region, not least because of the manner in which the Lankan strongman was threatening to turn his country into a strategic asset for China.
Prime minister Narendra Modi was the first to congratulate Maithripala Sirisena on Friday. After an early morning phonecall to the winner of the Lankan Presidential polls, he tweeted, "I spoke to Shri Maithripala Sirisena & congratulated him."
A peaceful transfer of power without post-election violence, after a relatively peaceful campaign, is testimony to the resilience of Sri Lanka’s democracy after experiencing civil war and semi-authoritarianism.
In northeast India, water-management practices to deal with climate change
In a small village on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in Assam in northeast India, farmer Horen Nath stood gazing at his partially submerged paddy field. The floods had kept their annual date but mercifully, the farmer said, the waters have started receding. "The weather has become very strange of late. We always had ample rain,