For Sri Lankans, 26 December 2004 was a ‘double’ holiday – apart from being the day after Christmas, a secular celebration enjoyed by all communities, it was also the full-moon day known as Unduwap Poya, observed by the country’s Buddhist majority in remembrance of the third-century arrival on the island of Sanghamitta, the only daughter of Emperor Ashoka. From around 6 am, 1500 people, many of them in family groups with excited children dressed in their best outfits, flocked to Colombo’s Maradana railway station and filled to capacity a train that they thought would whisk them to ‘a magic land of white sand and blue seas’ – the south coast of the island – to quote from Grace Delobel’s short story, ‘Queen of the Sea’.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).