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Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, MONDAY, 1 April 2019

Bhargav Reddy – APAC Assistance Operations Assistant

Main Issues in SOUTH ASIA

MONDAY 01 April

 

INDIA

PM Modi to strike Balakot in Pakistan in February. Speaking at a campaign rally yesterday, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he decided to strike Balakot in Pakistan in February because he believed it was where terrorism in India was being remote-controlled. He said “Pakistan will die its own death.” The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally was reportedly beamed across 500 places in India.

Modi is using India’s anti-Pakistan sentiment to draw votes for the Indian general elections in April-May. Some Indians may consider voting again for BJP. Recent election surveys and the outcome of the state elections in five states last December indicate that BJP, which won the first single-party majority in 2014, is no longer invincible.

NEPAL

25 killed, 400 injured by storm. At least 25 people have been killed and more than 400 injured after a storm hit southern Nepal late yesterday. The storm destroyed houses, uprooted trees and toppled electricity poles. Authorities are warning that the death is expected to increase as information about the storm is still coming in.

Storms causing high casualties in spring are rare in Nepal. Clients in affected areas in Nepal are advised to address possible disruptions in the transport and supply chain.

SRI LANKA

Government to appoint more non-Cabinet members and state ministers. The Sri Lankan government will make changes to the cabinet by appointing a few more non-Cabinet and state ministers. Currently, the cabinet is composed of 30 members, including President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with many of them holding more than one portfolio.

It appears that Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Wickremesinghe’s United National Party have struck a compromise since the country’s recent political crisis, involving a split between the two leaders. Four SLFP lawmakers have joined the government. The government has held discussions to reduce the number of portfolios held by some ministers and assign them to the four SLFP MPs.

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