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Abstract: India's neighbourhood is in considerable turmoil at the
present moment. The instability is likely to continue for the
foreseeable future. India has sought to improve its relations
with neighbouring countries. Regional cooperation is an
important instrument of India's policy towards its
neighbours. The neighbouring countries have also derived
considerable mileage from economic cooperation with India.
This is particularly true of countries like Nepal, Bhutan and
Sri Lanka. Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and
Bangladesh have held peaceful elections in the recent past.
The upsurge of democracy in South Asia should normally
provide a sound foundation for better relationship between
India and these countries.
However, several challenges remain. There are powerful anti-
India forces in many of our neighbouring countries. Regional
cooperation, particularly in the context of SAARC, has not
made visible difference to the life of the common person in
South Asia. The democratic institutions in India's
neighbourhood are fragile. China is making inroads into
South Asia. India's borders are porous and ill-regulated.
Terrorism, human and arms trafficking, smuggling and
organized crime are rampant. Pakistan uses Nepal and
Bangladesh to launch terrorists into India. Groups like LeT
have presence in even Sri Lanka and Maldives. Maritime
security is a matter of concern for India. It is in this
background that India needs to devise its South Asia policies.
Abstract: The Election Commission of Maldives has finally announced the provisional but official list of candidates who have won the Parliamentary Elections held on 9th May 2009. The DRP combined with the PA will form a very strong opposition with just 4 seats short for a simple majority. It is expected that it will make it to a majority with some independents who had links with the party earlier.
While I had indicated in my earlier paper that is it is not a major setback to President Nasheed or his party, the very active Maldivian Press thinks that it is otherwise. The Press has not spared the President for going it alone and not with the coalition partners as in the Presidential elections, being arrogant, over confident, threatening to be ruthless etc. These barbs are unjustified.
True, if the MDP had taken along with other alliance partners as in the run off to the Presidential elections, the alliance as such would have got ten more members, thus giving the President and his allies a clear majority.
One welcome development has been the open admission of the deputy leader of the DRP, Thasmeen Ali that the election was free and fair despite some minor issues in some constituencies.
Abstract: Terrorism Monitor is a publication
of The Jamestown Foundation.
The Terrorism Monitor is
designed to be read by policymakers
and other specialists
yet be accessible to the general
public. The opinions expressed
within are solely those of the
authors and do not necessarily
reflect those of The Jamestown
Abstract: This brief analyzes the condition of statehood in South Asia. The author argues that apart from India, political instability and violent conflicts are frequent and that achieving monopoly of power poses problems for almost every country in South Asia.
In contrast to some other regions, the long-term trend
in South Asia – comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri
Lanka – since 1991 has not been towards more democracy.
The significant exception is India, where democratic
structures are holding their ground. Political instability
and violent conflicts are frequent; achieving a
complete monopoly of power poses problems for almost
every country. Democratic legitimation is demanded
by many people, but in fact democratic, religious and
ideological forms of legitimacy as well as clientelism
exist side by side. While competence for macroeconomic
regulation is growing nearly everywhere, there
are major deficiencies in the areas of security, the legal
system and social welfare in most countries. Economic
growth provides scope for policies of social adjustment
and sustainable development, but they have yet to be
Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth in Asia for 1970–2004. Our panel estimations show that transnational terrorist attacks had a significant growth-limiting effect. Transnational terrorism reduces growth by crowding in government expenditures. An internal conflict has the greatest growth concern, about twice that of transnational terrorism. For developing Asian countries, intrastate and interstate wars have a much greater impact than terrorism does on the crowding-in of government spending.
Policy recommendations indicate the need for rich Asian countries to assist their poorer neighbors in coping with the negative growth consequences of political violence. Failure to assist may result in region-wide repercussions. Conflict and terrorism in one country can create production bottlenecks with region-wide economic consequences. International and nongovernmental organizations as well as developed Western countries and regions could assist at-risk Asian countries with attack prevention and post-attack recovery.
This study has six purposes. First, and foremost, we present panel estimates for a sample of 42 Asian countries to quantify the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth for 1970–2004. Panel estimation methods control for country-specific and timespecific unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we distinguish the influence of terrorism on economic growth from that of internal and external conflicts. Third, these influences are investigated for cohorts of developed and developing countries to ascertain whether development can better allow a country to absorb the impact of political violence. Fourth, econometric estimations relate violence-induced growth reductions to two pathways— reduced investment and increased government expenditures. Fifth, a host of diagnostic and sensitivity tests to support our empirical specifications. Last, we draw some policy conclusions.
Abstract: Discontent over malfunctioning democracies and legal systems and the consequent
setbacks these shortcomings cause for human rights and the rule of law, as well as
aggressively expressed aspirations to resolve such problems, are marked features that
define the year 2006 in many Asian countries.
Abstract: South Asia Analysis Group is a non profit non commercial think tank. The objective of the group is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding. In so doing, the SAAG seeks to address the decision makers, strategic planners, academics and the media in South Asia and the world at large. The group holds the concept of strategy in its broadest meaning-including mobilization and application of all resources to understand national and international security. The articles in this site are provided by scholars with many years of experience in political and strategic analysis. The aim of the group is not to compete with Governments, Academics, NGOs or other institutions dealing with strategic analysis and national security but to provide another point of view for the decision makers and other national/international think tanks.
Abstract: This working paper explores the reasons commonly identified for the rise of political and radical
Islam throughout the Muslim world. Besides Anti-American sentiment which is often attributed
to U.S. support for Israel as well as American backing for hated repressive regimes, especially in
the Middle East, the paper also looks at the radicalization of Asian Muslim communities. Regional
conflicts have created large cadres of committed Jihadis and unresolved conflicts have likewise
contributed to the growth of radicalism.
Which ever the case, the absence of ideological alternatives and the declining performance of the
state in caring for its citizens is a major factor, which have been exploited by well-funded and
organized radical groups. Western aid, as experience has shown in South Asia, has largely been
used in terms of short-term security interests.
Abstract: Few parts of the world are as interdependent as the five
Central Asian landlocked countries. The five former Soviet
republicsxe2x80x94Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistanxe2x80x94are more distant from the nearest seaports
than any other countries in the world. Especially for the
smaller states, land transit routes represent irreplaceable
economic lifelines. The Central Asian republics are also
bound together by their water and energy endowments,
with upstream countries holding some of the world's largest
freshwater reserves, and downstream countries containing
important fossil fuel resources. While the latter depend upon
their upstream neighbours for irrigating water-intensive
cotton production, the upstream countries depend equally
on their downstream neighbours for their energy needs.
Abstract: The Republic of Maldives has a parliamentary style of government with a strong executive. Political parties are not allowed to function. The President appoints the Cabinet, members of the judiciary, and 8 members of the 50-member Parliament. The President derives additional influence from his constitutional role as the "Supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam." The unicameral legislature, the People's Majlis, selects a single presidential nominee who is approved or rejected in a national referendum. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was approved for a sixth 5-year term in October 2003. The People's Majlis must approve all legislation and is empowered to enact legislation without presidential approval. In May, elections were held for the members of the People's Special Majlis, a constitutional body convoked by the President specifically to address constitutional reforms. During the year, the Special Majlis, consisting of the 50 members of the regular People's Majlis and 50 members elected or appointed specifically for this reform process, met several times. Civil law is subordinate to Shari'a (Islamic law), but civil law generally is applied in criminal and civil cases. The judiciary is subject to executive influence.
Abstract: After the Tsunami: Human Rights of Vulnerable Populations is based on interviews conducted by research teams in March and April 2005 with hundreds of tsunami survivors, government officials, human rights activists, and aid workers in five tsunami-affected countriesxe2x80x94India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Thailand.
Survivors continue to suffer from inequities in aid distribution and substandard shelter throughout countries affected by the December 2004 tsunami. After the Tsunami also documents numerous violations of human rights in the wake of the tsunami, including arbitrary arrests, recruitment of children into fighting forces, discrimination in aid distribution, enforced relocation, and sexual and gender-based violence. Tsunami survivors reported widespread inequities in aid distribution on the part of some government agencies as a result of favoritism and political influence, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and caste affiliation. Government authorities rarely, if ever, investigated such abuses. Finally, government agencies and aid organizations often failed to consult people in affected communities about aid distribution and reconstruction.
The study recommends that governments in tsunami-affected countries should commission an independent# study to investigate reports of inequities in aid distribution; increase accountability and transparency of public and private aid providers; and develop mechanisms that will enable tsunami survivors to participate in reconstruction planning and implementation.
Abstract: Despite mounting concern worldwide and within the country, the Government of Maldives has not released any of the prisoners of conscience which it has kept in detention for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
Abstract: In the past decade, dozens of people - including politicians, journalists and others protesting government policies - have been detained arbitrarily in defiance of their fundamental right to freedom of expression and assembly. Several prisoners of conscience have been tried and convicted by the Criminal Court without having access to a lawyer, or to an independent and impartial appeal mechanism. They have been denied even the most basic facilities such as pen and paper to prepare written statements in their own defence. They are serving their sentences after grossly unfair trials. One prisoners of conscience is reportedly awaiting a similar trial.