Ashay Anand (Delhi): Sikkim: An Insurgency Free State. Asifa Zunaidha (JNU): Ethnicity and Nation Building: The Case of Sri Lanka. Former humanitarian chief John Holmes has defended the UN’s highly controversial record during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka. The fierce one: Deepak Adhikari on Prachanda’s long tussle for power in Nepal. Michael Van Es on the alchemy of transition in South Asia. Toby Cadman on Bangladesh justice: Have politics irreversibly stolen fair and impartial justice from the victims of the 1971 War of Liberation? Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan’s extremist democracy. Two cheers for Pakistani democracy: Omar Waraich on a sobering milestone. Know your own strength: India is poised to become one of the four largest military powers in the world by the end of the decade — it needs to think about what that means. Mark Thompson on avoiding Armageddon on the sub-continent. Arundhati Virmani on aesthetics in cartography.