Nepalese policemen detain activists of the United Democratic Madhesi Front during a general strike to protest the killing of four Mahdesi protesters, Kathmandu, Nepal, March 10, 2017 (AP photo by Niranjan Shrestha).

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepalis are heading to the polls on May 14 to elect local government officials for the first time in two decades and inaugurate voting under the new constitution that passed in September 2015. But just six weeks before the voting begins, politicians are scrambling to strike a deal with the Madhesis, an ethnic group from Nepal’s southern plains that has pushed back against provisions in the new constitution. Madhesi political parties are pushing for a constitutional amendment to give them greater representation in government and redraw provincial boundaries in order to create two federal provinces that stretch […]

A Buddhist monk and villagers argue with police officers during a protest outside the inauguration ceremony of an industrial zone, Ambalantota, Hambantota district, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7, 2017 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka was an eager player in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, hoping to use Chinese capital to execute a massive postwar infrastructure upgrade. But OBOR has run into a number of problems in Sri Lanka. The country has reportedly borrowed more than $6 billion for infrastructure projects, mostly from China, and officials now say the loans are too expensive. […]