Free Press Journal
  • Born yet again: 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad

    Some might say that the fulminations of Malaysia’s born-again 92-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad against his successor Najib Razzak sound like the pot calling the kettle black. The 1MDB scandal involving the alleged theft of $4.5 billion (including $700 million by Najib himself and around $30 million worth of jewellery for his wife according to…

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  • No escape from caste even in Britain

    Had Babasaheb Ambedkar lived in London today, he might have reconsidered his saying “my five years of staying in Europe and America had completely wiped out of my mind any consciousness that I was an untouchable, and that an untouchable wherever he went in India was a problem to himself and to others.” According to…

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  • Diplomacy: It takes two to tango

    Just when North Korea’s Kim Jong-un seems willing to compromise on his nuclear ambitions, Donald Trump appears to be determined to provoke Iran’s Hassan Rouhani into taking up an aggressive nuclear posture. The common factor for him is American pressure. Five years ago, this column recorded that the world — especially Asia — heaved a…

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  • Britain accommodates China, not India

    As competition between India and China extends even to studying in the United Kingdom, New Delhi must be delighted with the latest suggestion that India may be making up for lost ground. The British government’s figures show the first increase — of 27 per cent — since 2010 in the number of long-term study visas…

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  • Will China be Narendra Modi’s diplomatic coup?

    It’s blow hot blow cold for Sino-Indian relations. If Narendra Modi is to be complimented for bold new initiatives, he must also be cautioned against long-term concessions for the sake of dazzling instant publicity. A rapprochement is far more in India’s interest than China’s. As virtual president for life, Xi Jinping does not need diplomatic…

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  • Syria Crisis: Mission unaccomplished

    It’s anyone’s guess why the French president, Emmanuel Macron, takes such pride in claiming to have persuaded Donald Trump to keep US forces in Syria for the “long term”. Mr Trump himself declared “mission accomplished” while his defence secretary, James Mattis, called the 105 missile strikes against three targets near Damascus and Homs which the…

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  • The ghetto of Asian cuisine in Britain

    A revolt may be simmering in the kitchens of thousands of Indian (or Bangladeshi) restaurants throughout the British isles. Many of the Bangladeshis were originally lascars from Sylhet in undivided India, who jumped ship in the United Kingdom and drifted into the flourishing curry industry, as it’s popularly called. With their livelihood now at stake…

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  • A special obligation to the youth

    There are few signs of excitement or even anticipation here in London about the Commonwealth heads of government meeting which will be held here later this month because its original venue, the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, was devastated by Cyclone Pam. No one seems interested enough even to echo the old complaint of “no…

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  • Taking care of the human cargo

    The Don Pacifico affair is history’s best-known instance of a government flexing its muscles to protect its citizens abroad. It comes to mind as a sharp contrast to Sushma Swaraj’s callous handling of the death of 39 Indian workers, whom terrorists of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant kidnapped and murdered in Iraq….

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  • Spy v/s Spy and East v/s West, Second Cold War hovers on horizon

    As a Second Cold War hovers on the horizon, one cannot but wonder why Vladimir Putin so unimaginatively expelled exactly the same number of British diplomats as Theresa May did Russian diplomats. Moscow should have sent 46 Brits packing and proclaimed loud and clear that one Russian spy was as good as two from Britain….

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  • Will Kim Jong-un take Donald Trump for a ride?

    It is not often remembered that 65 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement was designed to “insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved”, the Korean peninsula is still at war. A high-level US-North Korean dialogue might end this dangerous situation…

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  • No escape from Chinese tentacles

    Although China is making alarming inroads in India’s neighbourhood, it must be admitted that India’s relations with its neighbours were fractious long before this intervention. It began with Pakistan’s outright hostility, rooted in the complexes that led to Partition. Behind Pakistan was the United States which saw in the Islamic republic a means first of…

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