January 16, 2013
It has been a month since the fatal rape of a 23-year-old woman by a gang of six men on a moving bus in South Delhi captured headlines in India and around the world. In Delhi, where I live and work, the incident continues to pervade both the media and private conversations as people of all walks of life struggle to come to terms…
March 21, 2012
Climate change combined with rapid population growth and urbanization is placing intense pressure on South Asia’s most precious resource: water. Per capita water availability in the region has decreased by 70 percent since 1950, according to the Asian Development Bank.
February 29, 2012
Rapid economic growth in Asia and other developing regions of the world is triggering a sea change in international aid. Countries that were once beneficiaries of assistance are now emerging as donors themselves, while traditional donors are reassessing their objectives and modalities in order to stay relevant. Nowhere is this more evident than in India. India is widely viewed as an economic success story, which is certainly true on one level. Growth for the current year is projected around 7 percent, and was averaging 9 percent before the last global economic downturn.
August 10, 2011
When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ascends the ramparts of Old Delhi’s Red Fort on Monday to address the nation on the 64th anniversary of its independence, it will be as a political leader whose government, party, and personal reputation are seriously bruised.
February 2, 2011
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s attendance as chief guest at India’s 62nd Republic Day on January 26 harkened back to an earlier time. At the same occasion in 1950 when India first commemorated the adoption of its new constitution, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited his close ally in the Non-Aligned Movement, Indonesian President Sukarno, to attend the festivities.
October 6, 2010
After months of controversy and nervous anticipation, on October 3 Indian President Pratibha Patil was joined by Prince Charles in New Delhi to open the XIX Commonwealth Games at a gala ceremony at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Widespread concern that mismanagement and unusually severe monsoon rains would leave Delhi unready for the games proved wrong… Read more
November 12, 2008
Inauguration Decorations in Male, Maldives It was after 1:00 on Monday morning when I made my way out of the airport in Male, the capitol of Maldives. There was a cool tropical breeze and the smell of salt water in the air. Across a stretch of sea from the airport, Male’s skyline had grown noticeably since my last visit in 2002. I was tired after a… Read more
June 4, 2008
On Wednesday, May 28, I was at the Constituent Assembly (CA) until just before midnight when Nepal was declared a federal republic and the king was given 15 days to vacate the palace. The CA was initially supposed to convene at 10:30am, then 3:15 pm. It wasn’t until after 9:00 p.m. that proceedings finally got underway. Throughout the day, party le… Read more
April 9, 2008
Nepalis go to the polls on April 10th for the most important election in their nation’s history, one that will choose a 601 member Constituent Assembly to rewrite Nepal’s constitution. The election has been a long time coming, and its success is crucial to Nepal’s immediate peace and democratic future. Beginning as an unfulfilled promise by King Tr… Read more
July 11, 2007
The people’s movement that dislodged King Gyanendra and led to the reinstatement of Parliament in April 2006, followed by the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Maoists, dramatically changed Nepal’s political landscape. As part of a fragile peace process in the wake of a protracted and brutal civil war, Nepal is now engaged in… Read more
March 7, 2007
Mohna Ansari, Nepal’s only female Muslim attorney, grew up in one of the poorest areas of the country in a minority Muslim community. Surrounded by a traditional culture where women rarely pursue higher education, Mohna was inspired by a high school legal rights education program to propel herself into college. She not only became the first person… Read more
January 15, 2007
After a decade of violent insurgency, representatives of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) joined parliament on January 15th under an interim constitution ratified as part of their peace accord signed with the government last November. Maoist party members and their civil society nominees now hold 83 of the interim legislature’s 330 seats. This… Read more