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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#09: 12 APRIL 2017

Bangladesh’s Unique War on the Islamic State 

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Bangladesh has launched a unique war on home grown militants with clear ideological linkages with the Islamic State, even while dismissing speculations regarding the IS presence in the country. Raids on militant dens, killings and arrests of militants have followed bigger and smaller terror attacks on Bangladeshi soil. Much of these terror neutralisation strategy, however, has remained mired in controversy and laced with allegations that the Awami League government could be attempting to protect its own interests while killing terrorists. This strategy of eliminating terrorism by eliminating terrorists may not be entirely effective, as Dhaka’spast endeavours demonstrate.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#08: 28 FEBRUARY 2017

Inspire, Enlist, and Execute: The Islamic State’s Strategy in Southeast Asia

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Close to 800 persons from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines are among the foreign fighter network of the Islamic State (IS). The estimate is far larger than the number of Southeast Asians who had travelled to Afghanistan to be a part of the anti-Soviet Jihad. Some of these IS cadres are now in charge of the propaganda machinery that not only asks more people from the region to join the outfit, but exhorts  those who cannot, to carry out attacks at home. Year 2016 saw a number of IS inspires terror attacks in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. With the authorities still in the process of giving shape to their respective national approaches to deal with the resurgence of Islamist radicalism, the IS seems to be making some significant gains within the region using a supportive ecosystem.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#07: 10 OCTOBER 2016

Why Kazakhstan learns from Singapore

Boh Ze Kai

Abstract

Kazakhstan’s adoption of the Singaporean governance and economic model is a fascinating subject worth exploration. Focusing on the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, the civil service structure, and healthcare services in Kazakhstan, this article delves into examining how the Kazakh government has attempted to reform its economy and bureaucracy to build a highly functional state. 

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 MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#06: 03 OCTOBER 2016

India: Lessons from ‘surgical strikes’ in Myanmar

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

It is not a commentary on the ability of the Indian army to carry out surgical strikes. Such strikes do not come with an element of success woven into them. And yet before the first shots are fired politics takes over. Chest thumping machismo is forced to beat a hasty retreat when facts emerge. The 2015 and 2016 surgical strikes in Myanmar to avenge the death of 18 Army personnel in Manipur in June 2015 impart few lessons.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#05: 08 APRIL 2016

One Belt, One Road, One Singapore

Boh Ze Kai

Abstract

In the 14th century, Mongol dominance in Asia resulted in the Pax Mongolica, a framework of peaceful trading relationships straddling the Maritime and Overland Silk Roads, allowing the Kingdom of Singapura to flourish into a wealthy entrepot trading port. Today, the two roads are severed, and trade between Central Asia and Singapore is tiny, much more so for non-oil merchandise. The low volume of trade is evident considering Central Asia’s landlocked position presents a significant barrier of trade to the maritime trading hub that is Singapore. Today, China’s One Belt-One Road (OBOR) initiative promises to direct international attention to regional infrastructure development, effectively resurrecting a new Pax Sinica. This new economic paradigm could well create exciting new opportunities for Singaporean trade and investment in an untapped region. This report will focus on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and the ways Singapore can capitalise on its unique expertise in the OBOR initiative.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#04: 11 MARCH 2016

Expanding Chinese Infrastructure on the Indian border

Jhinuk Chowdhury 

Abstract

Three key focus areas of China’s massive infrastructure build up along the Sino-Indian border  are: integrating the border region to Chinese mainland, accessibility to the Line of Control, and strengthening counter offensive capabilities. This calls for an urgent attention from New Delhi as a reactionary policy would not suffice.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#03: 27 JANUARY 2016

Narco Diplomacy: Foreign Policy of the United Wa State Army

Boh Ze Kai

Abstract

Once a remote, uncontrollable region, Shan State in North Myanmar is home to the ‘Wild’ Wa people, who make up 10percent of its population. Nonetheless, with 30,000 active soldiers, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), is prima inter pares in the narcotics production zone of the Golden Triangle and one of the largest rebel armies in the world. Part of the UWSA’s success can be attributed to their skilful diplomacy with state and regional actors, capitalising on connections gained from their time in the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) to build vital trade and military alliances. In light of political change in the 2015 Myanmar Elections, this article aims to explore ‘foreign’ policy options for the UWSA with the Myanmar Government, the Chinese Government, narcotics groups in Thailand and rebel groups in the Shan State.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#02: 16 JULY 2015

Islamic State’s Indian Brigade

Surya Valliappan Krishna & Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Over the past year, number of Indians and people of Indian origin have been associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Mantraya.org profiles these individuals who have shared different categories of alliances with the Islamic State as fighters, propagandists, fan-boys, wannabe extremists and even people willing to live and perish in the established Caliphate. There is no agreement on the actual number of Indians or people of Indian origin associated with the Islamic State. This database by Mantraya.org, the only one of its kind till date, focuses on the confirmed participants.

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MANTRAYA SPECIAL REPORT#01: 13 JULY 2015

Made in Myanmar: Small Arms for North-eastern Insurgents

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

In addition to the Chinese-manufactured small arms that land up regularly in the hands of the insurgents operating in India’s northeast, Myanmar is emerging of late as a significant source of such weapons. At the heart of the journey of these tools of terror from a gun factory in Kachin state to Taga, the biggest insurgent camp in the Sagaing division, is a deep rooted political and criminal nexus in Myanmar, which needs to be targeted for the insurgency in the northeast to be weakened.

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