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South Asia #4

  • Sri Lankan “gangster”
  • Foreign fighters in Afghanistan
  • Fishermen as prisoners
  • Trade regulations in Pakistan
Published every Monday

The Hindu

Angoda Lokka: The life and death of a Sri Lankan ‘gangster’ in exile

Angoda Lokka alias Pradeep Singh alias Maddumage Lasantha Chandana Perera, an underworld operative from Sri Lanka, who mysteriously landed on Indian shores, has died just as mysteriously leaving several questions unanswered. Wilson Thomas reports on the investigation

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The Independent (UK)

Migrants whose visas were wrongly revoked in cheating scandal pushed to the edge

“We can only afford what we need to survive,” says Akhlakur Islam, speaking from his small flat in Swindon, as children’s music plays loudly in the background in an effort to keep his one-year-old son entertained. “We have simple meals – plain rice, plain bread for breakfast. It’s been really hard.”

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Deccan Chronicle

Aakar Patel | India losing its Mahabharat against Covid?

India is the only nation, to repeat, that has consistently been going up in terms of number of cases from the start till now

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The Diplomat

The Taliban Say They Have No Foreign Fighters. Is That True?

In a historic agreement signed with the United States earlier this year, the Taliban made certain counterterrorism guarantees in return for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. However, the fact that officially the Taliban continue to outright deny credible and detailed reports on the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan — even reports that The Diplomat has exclusively obtained from Taliban fighters on the ground — raises questions about their commitment to these counterterrorism pledges.

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Daily Pioneer

One oil spill too many

There needs to be a coordinated global effort that focusses on the well-being of marine life and protects it from environmental disasters

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Future of devolution politics

OVER the past four years, constitutional arrangements pertaining to centre-province relations in Pakistan have come under scrutiny from a growing number of quarters. Academic economists cite budgetary constraints placed by the NFC award on the federal government; the military high command, on several instances, has raised issues about the weakening of central state capacity and thus security capability; the current ruling party has called for an examination of how provincial resources are spent (citing corruption) and a rationalisation of fiscal devolution to shore up resources at the centre.

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The Wire India

On Either Side of Border, Fishermen Suffer the Worst of India and Pakistan’s Bitter Relations

When Pakistani fisherman Abdul Karim Bhatti, who had been a prisoner in India for seven months, was flown home to Karachi at the end of July, his family didn’t rejoice. They were receiving his dead body.

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Are GI tags the boost that indigenous rice needs?

The range of products with Geographical Indication (GI) tags in India is rich and diverse — from Darjeeling tea, Karbi Anglong ginger, Coorg orange and Mysore betel nut to Allahabad Surkha Guava and Monsooned Malabar Arabica Coffee. But the one crop that comes up repeatedly is rice, with nearly 16-17 varieties on the list. Rice is represented, for instance, in the form of Navara, Palakkadan Matta and Pokkali from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh’s Kalanamak, Maharashtra’s Ajara Ghansal and Ambemohar, Assam’s Joha saul and West Bengal’s Gobindobhog and Tulaipanji.

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The News (Pakistan)

ITC, World Bank report: Trade regulations hard to comply with for half of Pak exporters

ISLAMABAD: A new report published by the International Trade Center (ITC) and World Bank reveals that about half of the Pakistani exporters find it hard to comply with trade-related regulations or procedures in Pakistan and abroad.

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Hindu Business Line

Covid-19: Why is India faring worse than its neighbours?

Now that India has already overtaken Brazil among the countries that are recording the most number of Covid-19 positive cases, and is on the verge of even beating the US, it’s worth trying to understand what has led to this inability to control the pandemic in India. One of the arguments often made is that with India being a developing country with a large poor population engaged in informal work, the standard containment measures are less likely to show results. The state also has fewer resources, both financial and real (in terms of health infrastructure and health workers), to combat the disease.

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