India’s abstention on UNHRC’s Sri Lanka vote is delicate and nuanced, especially ahead of Tamil Nadu elections. It avoids upsetting the Rajapaksa government while the call to fulfill commitments to the Tamil community keeps the pressure. New Delhi should remain engaged with Colombo to prevent Beijing from exploiting fault lines.
SC declining to extend loan moratorium will be good for banks in a recovering economy
The Supreme Court decision to decline extension of loan moratorium and allow banks to resume classifying defaults as NPAs is timely. The economy is recovering from the pandemic and it’s critical for banks and investors to assess the problem of bad loans. Not extending the moratorium prevents moral hazard risks.
Ken-Betwa river-linking to benefit dry regions. It’s a role model
It took more than two decades of doubt and dithering by naysayers for Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s river-linking dream to see light. Ken-Betwa intra-basin transfer will bring to life the driest regions of north-central India. It’s a role model for partnerships in a country where states routinely spar over water rights.
On Covid vaccination, the stranglehold of bureaucracy is now broken
Good, the Modi government has finally accepted the need to allow Covid vaccinations to all above 45, departing from the imprudent, centralised control-quota dispensation. We’ve administered an impressive five crore doses, but needed to do better in 65 days since 16 January. The stranglehold of the bureaucracy is now broken.
Let there be no rigidity in vaccinations or dealing optimally with the pandemic. Keep changing, refining the approach, as the situation evolves. We may regret permitting 30 million pilgrims to visit Haridwar for the Kumbh mela.
The Rajapaksa clan plays rough. In January this year, a memorial erected in the University of Jaffna, in honour of the victims of the Mullivaikkal massacre, was bulldozed. They have resiled from the solemn assurance of giving greater regional autonomy to the Tamils. 2. One can understand not reopening the wounds of the last phase of the war on the LTTE, which was exceptionally cruel. Hence India’s abstention was the prudent thing to do. However, if the country is to move on, the Tamil minority – which I treat like a married daughter living in her own home – should be treated with justice and fairness, lest old hurts resurface and create unrest. 3. The Easter bombings two years ago are a reminder that there is also a disaffected Muslim minority. The hard edged Buddhist majoritarian impulse of Sri Lanka is seen in Burma as well. For a small, tear drop shaped island which can be a jewel of tourism, that is not a happy situation to be in. 4. The Foreign Office will have its hands full dealing with the Sri Lankan government. If it is fiscally stressed, let them flutter in the breeze. Large checks need not be written out.
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