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Sri Lanka’s renewed ethnic tension June 26, 2013

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, Future Directions International, Guest authors, Sri Lanka , comments closed

Lindsay Hughes

Sri Lanka appears to be moving towards renewed ethnic strife – this time between Buddhists and Muslims.


The Muslim community makes up approximately ten per cent of Sri Lanka’s population of twenty million. Relegated to a back seat during the Civil War between ethnic Sri Lankans and Tamilians, who fought for a homeland, Sri Lanka’s Muslims now appear to have taken the place of the latter. Muslim-owned businesses have been fire-bombed and boycotted. As in Burma (Myanmar), Buddhist groups have formed to lead organised protests and violence against Muslims.

Bodu Bala Sena's 'No Halal' protest in Sri Lanka


India’s Ponzi-styled economic reforms run out of steam June 14, 2013

Posted by southasiamasala in : Guest authors, India , comments closed

Ranjit Goswami

Noam Chomsky once said that ‘reform is a change that you’re supposed to like. So as soon as you hear the word reform, you kind of reach for your wallet and see who’s lifting it’.

This statement is all the more true given that economic reform does not mean the same thing across the world. Not all countries choose to take the IMF-driven, Washington Consensus path of economic reform. China’s ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ is the clearest example of this.

India’s particular brand of economic reforms can be analogised to a Ponzi scheme. Every year, state-owned enterprises and public assets are privatised in the name of asset reallocation, at throwaway prices. On top of that, every year tax-breaks or subsidies amounting to nearly US$100 billion are handed out to private industries in the name of reform or liberalisation. A small part is then recycled to the citizens in the name of social welfare. This structure is not sustainable, and is bound to fail as the Ponzi schemes in India have been failing.