2016 has been marked by unprecedented geopolitical dislocations and dispersals. In January 2016, Gateway House, identified the major emerging global trends. As the year comes to an end, several developments have confirmed these forecasted trends
After losing power in January, Mahinda Rajapaksa, former president of Sri Lanka, is trying to re-enter politics by contesting for the prime minister’s seat in the elections on August 17. If he wins, it could destabilise Sri Lanka’s politics and impact relations with India, which had been hit under Rajapaksa’s rule. The future scenario will become clearer by next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s completion of the South Asia circuit demonstrates the importance of the neighbourhood in his government’s foreign policy. The improved perception of India in the neighbourhood, especially in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, is a positive, but the neighbours must recognise that India’s federal structure makes decision-making slower and more difficult on issues that affect neighbouring Indian states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The SAARC Yatra to be undertaken by foreign secretary S. Jaishankar from March 1 is an opportunity for India to improve relations, resurrect stalled projects and create new synergies with its neighbourhood. An initiative like this could hold the key to India shedding the ‘hegemon’ tag and pursuing mutually beneficial policies with its neighbours
Incumbent Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa lost to his opponent Maithripala Sirisena in the recent elections. The reasons have been attributed to nepotism and dwindling support from the Sinhala community. With considerable challenges awaiting the new government, it would be wise to not rule out a return of Mahinda
The 18th SAARC Summit held in Nepal concluded on November 27 with the release of the Kathmandu Declaration. Did the summit live up to its expectations? Was concrete progress made, and if so in which areas? Where is SAARC heading now? Gateway House asks and answers five questions on the outcome of the summit
The Forbes published an article written by Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. The article mentions the conclusions drawn at a Gateway House discussion on Indian elections.