Sri Lanka’s ruling UPFA in tight race with UNP

mahinda-rajapaksaCOLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by President Mahinda Rajpaksa, won Saturday’s provincial polls in the Sinhala-majority Uva Province by a narrow margin, signalling an apparent setback to the ruling alliance despite the victory.

The alliance secured 19 seats, including two bonus seats, six less compared to the 25 it held in its last term. Continue reading

Dalai Lama: Xi can learn much from India

dalailamamodiMUMBAI: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Thursday linked India’s border issues with China to “Tibetan problem” and said a solution can come only through talks and not by force.

The comments came on a day when Chinese President XiJinping held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as Chinese and Indian armies are in a standoff at Chumarvillage, located more than 300 kms Northeast of Leh and bordering Himachal Pradesh, along the Line of Actual Control. Continue reading

Modi raises border issues, Xi says it won’t impact bilateral ties

modixiNEW DELHI: Amid reports of incidents along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the border issue took centrestage at the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

Significantly, as Modi sought clear “clarification” on the LAC, Xi assured that Beijing has the “determination” to work with New Delhi through “friendly consultation” to settle the dispute at an early date. Continue reading

Pakistan turmoil: Zia’s army and ‘useful idiots’

Imran-KhanCOMMENT, NEW DELHI: Usually attributed to Lenin, the term “useful idiot” refers to an individual or political activist who has been used to provide propaganda ammunition for a cause he does not entirely understand.

Given the street tumult in Islamabad, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Imran Khan, Pakistan’s most iconic cricket captain, has now become its most iconic useful idiot. Continue reading

Hindus no longer tolerant?

fali narimanNEW DELHI: Hinduism is losing its traditional tolerance because some Hindus have started believing that it is their faith that has brought them political power — and because this belief is not being challenged by “those at the top”, Fali S Nariman, one of India’s most celebrated jurists, said on Friday.

Nariman said he agreed that the “majority government at the Centre” had done nothing to stop the recent repeated tirades by individuals or groups against members of minority communities. Continue reading

Bihar leads in state GDP, Tamil Nadu lags far behind

BiharGDPNEW DELHI: Bihar is the fastest growing State while Tamil Nadu is the worst performer, the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has revealed.

Bihar’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) grew 10.73% during 2012-13 — the only State that clocked a double-digit growth rate during the year. The growth rate was 10.29% in 2011-12 and 15.03% in 2010-11. Continue reading