Frank Jack's Feed
Nov 18, 2012

Insight: Sri Lanka’s “people’s dynasty” – help or harm for growth?

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) – From foreign hotel towers sprouting on Colombo’s seafront to the new motorbikes and mobile phones buzzing in war-ravaged Jaffna, at first glance, Sri Lanka seems to be living up to its claim as Asia’s latest frontier market.

But private businesses are not investing enough, threatening the boom that has swept the island since the end of a long ethnic conflict, while President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are tightening their grip on the economy and institutions with what critics see as an unusually personalized system of government.

Nov 18, 2012

Sri Lanka’s “people’s dynasty” – help or harm for growth?

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, Nov 19 (Reuters) – From foreign hotel
towers sprouting on Colombo’s seafront to the new motorbikes and
mobile phones buzzing in war-ravaged Jaffna, at first glance,
Sri Lanka seems to be living up to its claim as Asia’s latest
frontier market.

But private businesses are not investing enough, threatening
the boom that has swept the island since the end of a long
ethnic conflict, while President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his
family are tightening their grip on the economy and institutions
with what critics see as an unusually personalised system of
government.

Nov 14, 2012

Suu Kyi asks India to stand by democracy in Myanmar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged India on Wednesday to stand by Myanmar on its journey to democracy, on her first trip to Myanmar’s neighbour since it dropped its support for her democracy movement two decades ago in favour of the ruling junta.

Suu Kyi spent part of her youth in Delhi and was close to independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru but, after first backing her democracy movement, India began courting the junta as part of a “Look East” policy partly aimed at competing with China.

Nov 14, 2012

Jilted Suu Kyi asks India to stand by democracy in Myanmar

NEW DELHI, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi urged India on Wednesday to stand by Myanmar on its journey
to democracy, on her first trip to Myanmar’s neighbour since it
dropped its support for her democracy movement two decades ago
in favour of the ruling junta.

Suu Kyi spent part of her youth in Delhi and was close to
independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru but, after first backing
her democracy movement, India began courting the junta as part
of a “Look East” policy partly aimed at competing with China.

Nov 12, 2012

Afghanistan seeks India’s help as West pullout nears

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India will step up training of the Afghan police and military after a request on Monday by President Hamid Karzai, who also urged Indian businesses to invest in his battle-weary nation as it gears up for the departure of NATO troops.

The extra help is likely to be welcomed by the United States, which sees India as a stabilizing power in South Asia. But it may unnerve Pakistan, which frets about losing influence in neighboring Afghanistan.

Oct 28, 2012

Eyeing elections, PM adds new blood to cabinet

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave his cabinet an overdue facelift on Sunday, bringing in younger ministers in a bid to breathe new life into his aged, scandal-tainted government ahead of state and Lok Sabha elections.

The reshuffle, which has been on the cards for six months, may be Singh’s last chance to significantly change the direction of his government and convince voters the ruling Congress party deserves a third consecutive term in 2014.

Oct 28, 2012

Eyeing elections, India PM adds new blood to cabinet

NEW DELHI, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh gave his cabinet an overdue facelift on Sunday, bringing
in younger ministers in a bid to breathe new life into his aged,
scandal-tainted government ahead of state and federal elections.

The reshuffle, which has been on the cards for six months,
may be Singh’s last chance to significantly change the direction
of his government and convince voters the ruling Congress party
deserves a third consecutive term in 2014.

Oct 4, 2012

Cabinet clears insurance, pension FDI bills

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The cabinet approved bills on Thursday to attract foreign investment into insurance and pensions in the latest move by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to restore confidence in the economy, but the reforms will face a tough fight in parliament.

The insurance bill would raise the cap on foreign ownership of insurance companies to 49 percent, Sports Minister Ajay Maken told reporters after the cabinet meeting at Singh’s residence. The limit now is 26 percent.

Oct 4, 2012

India’s cabinet backs insurance, pension reform bills

NEW DELHI, Oct 4 (Reuters) – India’s cabinet approved bills
on Thursday to attract foreign investment into insurance and
pensions in the latest move by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to
restore confidence in the economy, but the reforms will face a
tough fight in parliament.

The insurance bill would raise the cap on foreign ownership
of insurance companies to 49 percent, Sports Minister Ajay Maken
told reporters after the cabinet meeting at Singh’s residence.
the limit now is 26 percent.

Sep 17, 2012

India’s “big bang Friday” reforms might just stick

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – There were quiet celebrations in the offices of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late last week after he stunned the country with a slew of steps to revive the tanking economy.

In the space of 24 hours, Singh had dispelled the image of an elderly ditherer and demonstrated – two decades after he launched India’s transformative drive for economic liberalisation – that he remains a champion of reform.