Tag Archives: Climate Change

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 23, 2022

Afghanistan
Cargo Leaves China For Afghanistan On New Route Bypassing Russia – Oil Price

China has dispatched a first load of freight to Afghanistan on a new road and rail route transiting Central Asia which will cut travel time by several weeks.The multimodal route starts in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province then passes through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan before entering Afghanistan. Click here to read…

21 years after 9/11, where does Afghanistan stand today – Economic Times

On May 2, 2011, the U.S. Special Forces killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in operation Neptune Spear. The fact that Bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan exposed Islamabad’s failure to track down, or failure to reveal the hideout of America’s most wanted terrorist. The U.S. led NATO forces left Kabul in 2021, but the war against terror continues in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Bangladesh, Cambodia to sign FTA for boosting trade cooperation – New Age BD

During a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and her Cambodian counterpart Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in New York on Thursday night, they agreed to do it, said foreign minister AK Abdul Momen while briefing reporters about the activities of the PM on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Click here to read…

Traders worried as India top bank suspends dollar transaction with Bangladesh – TBS News

The public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI), which has been operating for four decades in Dhaka, has suspended export-import transactions in dollars with Bangladesh, raising concern among the business community of both countries as India is the second highest import source for Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan Reopens with New Sustainable Tourism Strategy – Travel Pulse

The Kingdom of Bhutan officially reopens to international travelers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic today, September 22, unveiling a new tourism strategy focusing on sustainable development, infrastructure upgrades and more. Click here to read…vv

Maldives
Maldives is proud to have demonstrated leadership at the UN General Assembly: FM Shahid – Raajje

Maldives is proud to have demonstrated leadership at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), says Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. FM Shahid said this in a message on the 57th Anniversary of the Maldives Membership at the UN, extended on Thursday. As such, FM Shahid highlighted on the fact that Maldives joined the UN at a time a small state joining the UN was questioned, 57 years ago. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US seeks action, possible UN resolution, on Myanmar junta – Channel News

The United States is seeking more pressure on Myanmar’s junta through the United Nations (UN) and is urging the international community not to recognize upcoming elections, a senior official said Thursday. Click here to read…

Mizoram chief minister meets Shah, discusses influx of refugees from Myanmar – Hindustan Times

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss the influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. In an Instagram post, Zoramthanga said Shah took stock of the situation at the meeting. Click here to read…

Tatmadaw, ARSA, Arakan army, Yaba economy – News Age BD

BANGLADESH is in a spot as far as Myanmar is concerned. Not that Myanmar is doing much better having to fight just about every ethnic group in the country. Given the truncated reality of its cartography, Myanmar probably does not qualify as a state, certainly not as a single unit or even a federation. A half of the map is under rebel control. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal’s NDC on climate change – Kathmandu Post

The last three decades of the international climate regime have shown positive accomplishments. The establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the goals of mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, the Kyoto Protocol with legally binding emissions targets for developed countries, the Paris Agreement with a temperature threshold of 2 degrees Celsius (and pursue best efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius), and establishment of the net-zero target are three key milestones of past 30 years of climate change negotiation. Click here to read…

Two Nepal projects selected under China’s GDI – Kathmandu Post

At a time when not a single project under the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiatives has commenced in Nepal, two projects from Nepal have been selected under China’s another initiative called, the Global Development Initiative. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Death toll in devastating Pakistan flooding reaches 1,596

The overall death toll in Pakistan from the devastating floods has increased to 1,596, with 12,863 others injured, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said. In the last 24 hours, 20 new fatalities were reported, reports Xinhua news agency citing the NDMA as saying. Click here to read…

China blocks action against Pakistan-based terrorist in ‘favour’ to close ally – Siasat

China has again blocked action in UN Sanctions Committee against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader and 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused Sajid Mir, drawing strong criticism from India. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Foreign ambassadors assure support to recover Sri Lanka from the economic crisis – Colombo Page

The foreign ambassadors to Sri Lanka have assured President Ranil Wickremesinghe their support to get the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to recover the island nation from the worst economic crisis in its history. Click here to read…

New resolution on Sri Lanka tabled in Geneva – Colombo Gazette

The draft resolution, which was formally handed over to the Human Rights Council Secretariat on Wednesday, has been sponsored by the UK, US, Germany, Canada, Malawi, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 22, 2022

Afghanistan
Qatar Calls on ‘All Parties’ to ‘Preserve’ Doha Peace Deal: Al Thani: Tolo News

Speaking at the UN General Assembly Annual Meeting, the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called on “all parties to preserve and build on the Doha Peace Agreement achievements, namely, preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists and radical individuals and groups.” Click here to read…

Taliban Distributes Aid to Families in Central Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

The Taliban distributed food assistance to over 1,600 needy families in Ghor province, in central Afghanistan, the Taliban-controlled Bakhtar state news agency reported. According to the report, the Taliban government’s State Ministry for Disaster Management distributed aid to 1,609 impoverished families in Ghor province who were affected by the recent natural disasters. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina invites Biden to visit Bangladesh: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited US President Joe Biden to visit Bangladesh during a reception hosted by the US President on Wednesday.
The US president, along with his wife hosted the event at the American Museum of Natural History in honour of the heads of state and heads of the government who came in New York to attend the 77th UN General Assembly. Click here to read…

PM Hasina to give prize money to Saff champions upon return: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will give prize money to all the players of the Bangladesh Women Football Team after returning home from United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Click here to read…

Bhutan
EU, Bhutan launch sustainable agriculture food systems programme – Kuensel Online

The European Union provided Euro 15 million to Bhutan for agricultural development in Thimphu on September 20. Finance Minister Namgay Tshering and the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bhutan and India, Ugo Astuto launched the programme to promote inclusive, sustainable and resilient agricultural food systems in the presence of Minister of Agriculture and Forests Yeshey Penjor, and Members of the EU Parliament. Click here to read…

Bhutanese products gain access to international markets -Kuensel Online

The Bhutanese traditional products by artisans and farmers, gained access to international markets with the support of the European Union (EU)-Bhutan Trade Support Project. Four years after launching the project in May 2018, it came to an end on September 19 with a display of businesses supported by the project. The project has helped link 1,400 artisans, farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in horticulture and textile handicraft sectors to 11 export markets. Click here to read…

Maldives
ADB approves $10 M to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination in Maldives – BioSpectrum India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $10 million grant under its Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility to help Maldives upgrade storage facilities and strengthen the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Click here to read…

Saudi Arabia, Maldives sign political consultations agreement – Saudi Gazette

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid on Tuesday for political consultations. The MoU for political consultations between both countries aim at strengthening relations of cooperation and friendship and reaching broader horizons to serve the aspirations of the governments and peoples of the two countries. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar Junta Arms Dealer Arrested in Bangkok on Drugs, Money Laundering Charges – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar national Dr Tun Min Latt, 53, was arrested along with three Thai nationals in Bangkok last week. They face narcotics and money laundering charges. Over 200 million baht (US$5.4 million) worth of drugs and other items were confiscated from them, the Thai police said. Click here to read…

Myanmar spiralling ‘from bad to worse, to horrific’, Human Rights Council hears – UN News

“With each report I have warned that unless UN Member States change course in the way they collectively respond to this crisis, the people of Myanmar will suffer even further,” he told the Human Rights Council in Geneva, saying that conditions have “gone from bad to worse, to horrific for untold numbers of innocent people in Myanmar”. Click here to read…

Economic Meltdown Highlights Success of NLD’s Policies – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s economic troubles caused by Covid have deepened intensely since last year’s coup. The economy has contracted by 18 percent since February 2021 and it is projected to grow 3 percent in the fiscal year ending this month, according to the World Bank. The kyat slumped by 60 percent against the US dollar this year. Click here to read…

Nepal
Asian Development Bank cuts Nepal’s economic growth forecast – Kathmandu Post

The Asian Development Bank has downgraded Nepal’s growth forecast for the current fiscal year as the economy takes a beating from high inflation, slowed trade and monetary tightening.The Manila-based bank says Nepal’s economy is estimated to expand by 4.7 percent in the fiscal year 2022-23, down from an estimated 5.8 percent in the last fiscal year. Click here to read…

Japan helping Nepal rehabilitate oldest irrigation system with Rs 2 bln grant – Online Khabhar

Japan has committed to helping Nepal rehabilitate its oldest irrigation system with the grant support of Rs two billion. Officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Nepal and the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday signed an agreement in this regard, in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Biden urges world to help ‘underwater’ Pakistan: Dawn

As Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the international community on Wednesday to stay engaged with Islamabad as it struggles to recover from the devastating effects of this season’s unprecedent floods, US President Joe Biden made a fervent appeal to the world to help Pakistan deal with the devastation of the recent floods in his speech to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Click here to read…

Current account deficit narrows to $0.7bn: Dawn

Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD) fell to $0.7 billion in August, compared to $1.2bn in the previous month, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said late on Wednesday night. This equates to a decline of 41.67 per cent month-on-month. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Petroleum Products Bill inconsistent with Constitution: SC informs Speaker:,Daily Mirror

The Supreme Court informed speaker that Petroleum Products Special Provisions Amendment Bill is inconsistent as a whole with the article 12(1) of the Constitution, Speaker announced a shortwhile ago. Click here to read…

National inflation breaches 70% in August: Daily Mirror

The national index of consumer prices for August notched above 70 percent, as the sharp electricity tariff revision, which came into effect from the start of the month, hit the consumer wallets hard on top of the soaring food prices. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 21, 2022

Afghanistan
UN Chief Calls on Afghan Authorities to Open Girls’ School: Tolo News

UN Sec. Gen. Antonio Guterres at the Transforming Global Education summit hosted by the United Nations, called on the Taliban to lift all restrictions on girls’ access to education immediately. Click here to read…

Peaceful Afghanistan, ‘Priority’ for Pakistan, Says Pakistani Foreign Minister: The Khaama Press

Pakistani Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, said that a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan is a “priority” for Pakistan while meeting the US special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, in New York. Click here to read…

US Seeks to Exchange Afghan Aircraft for Assistance in Countering Terrorism: The Khaama Press

As the Afghan government crumbled last year, the US began talks with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to exchange roughly 50 military aircraft that had been moved across the border in exchange for assistance in countering terrorists in Afghanistan. The US wants to trade US-donated Afghan aircraft for Central Asian countries’ support in battling terrorism in Afghanistan, according to reports in the international media citing sources with knowledge of the negotiations. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina: Bangladesh will raise children as global citizens: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government is going to introduce a fresh national curriculum from next year aimed at raising Bangladeshi children as global citizens to make them befit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Click here to read…

Rohingyas form human chain to protest violence at border: Dhaka Tribune

Several Rohingyas in Bangladesh on Tuesday formed a human chain in the Tumbru no-man’s land protesting violence along the country’s border with Myanmar. They said they were passing their days in fear of further escalation of violence. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Traders and tourism stakeholders on familiarisation trip to Bhutan – Telegraph India

Tra¬ders and tourism stakeholders at Jaigaon — the town in Ali¬purduar district — on Tuesd-ay entered Phuentsholing, wh¬ich is located just across the border in Bhutan, after a gap of two-and-a-half years for a familiarisation trip. Click here to read…

UN Peace Day: Bhutanese to rally in front of UNGA demanding human rights of Bhutanese refugees – DND

The Bhutanese activists hope to use the global significance of the UN General Assembly taking place to draw attention to their cause and call on the “moral conscience of the world leaders,” to mediate and bring Bhutan “to an open and honest dialogue in order to find a mutually agreeable solution.” Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives-Middle East Connections – MEI@75

While there have been academic studies on some its neighbors’ relations with countries in the Middle East, such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by this author and others, there has been nothing of that nature regarding the Maldives, most likely because of the paucity of available published sources on contemporary Maldivian affairs and the fact that many small states are not given much attention by academics. Click here to read…

Maldives hopes for first U.S. embassy late this year or early next – Reuters

The Maldives hopes to see the United States open a first embassy in the country at the end of the year, or early next, and the Indian Ocean state hopes to reopen its embassy in Washington by the end of this year, the Maldivian foreign minister said on Sunday. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Amid Myanmar’s Civil War, Unity Emerges – Christianity Today

Christian NGO Free Burma Rangers (FBR), which has trained 6,000 ethnic minorities as first responders in the past two decades, has observed this growing unity up close. Increasingly, young Bamar people from cities like Yangon and Mandalay have left their college studies and careers to help the growing popular resistance. Click here to read…

Japan to Abandon Controversial Training Program for Myanmar Cadets – The Diplomat

Yesterday, Japan’s government announced that it will suspend the military training of Myanmar military officers from next year, after weathering a storm of criticism for its continued links to the Tatmadaw. Click here to read…

Myanmar eyes Chinese yuan, Russian rouble to replace US dollar that’s being used ‘to bully smaller nations’ – SCMP

Myanmar wants to broaden its use of Chinese and Russian currencies and lessen its dependence on the dollar, which a spokesman for the ruling junta said some countries are using “to bully smaller nations”. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari refuses to ratify Citizenship Bill, invites constitutional crisis – Times of India

Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari denied authenticating the citizenship bill despite the constitutionally bounded provision to ratify it within 15 days after it has been reproved by the two houses. Click here to read…

What should Nepal’s position on UN reform be – Kathmandu Post

The 77th General Assembly of the United Nations formally started on Tuesday. While the world will be paying attention to what world leaders, including heads of states, heads of governments and top diplomats, will say at the first world conference after the Russia-Ukraine war, the subject of UN reform will also take precedence. The subject is one of the 178 agenda items that will be discussed in the Assembly taking place in New York. Click here to read…

Pakistan
World leaders join Pakistan for SOS on flood and debt: Dawn

“Pakistan is drowning, not only in floodwater but in debt” too, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif urged the international community on Tuesday to stay engaged with the country as it deals with this huge humanitarian crisis. Click here to read…

France to help Pakistan ‘revive’ economy: The Express Tribune

The decisions were announced through a joint statement after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and French President Emmanuel Macron held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Click here to read…

‘Big and bold’ decisions inevitable to lift country out of crises: Imran: The Express Tribune

“We have to take those steps that have not been taken ever due to public pressure and other reasons… in parliamentary democracy, coalition governments are very weak,” he said in an interactive session with interactive Zoom session with digital broadcasters and economic analysts on Tuesday. Click here to read…

‘Enforced disappearances violation of Constitution’: The News

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday said that only Imran Khan knows who is Mr X and Y, adding the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman should have courage and name them. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
SL’s fuel prices still lowest among non-oil producing countries: Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka raised its fuel price at the pump to at least thrice the level it was, in a matter of months as it became impossible to continue to subsidise the prices following the Russia-Ukraine war sending global energy prices soaring, bringing the Sri Lankan economy crashing down after exhausting its foreign currency reserves. Click here to read…

Invites them to invest in Sri Lanka: Daily Mirror

President Ranil Wickremesinghe who is currently in the United Kingdom invited the Sri Lankans living there to join the new investment opportunities created in Sri Lanka, President’s Media Division said. The visiting President made this remarks when he met with the Sri Lankan Diaspora in Britain on Monday. Many Sri Lankan businessmen, investors and professionals living in Britain attended the meeting organised by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain. Click here to read…

China keeps Pakistan, Sri Lanka waiting on loan deals: Hindu

China has offered Pakistan’s visiting Army Chief technical help as the country deals with record floods, but did not announce any substantial financial assistance which its “all-weather” ally has been seeking. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 20, 2022

Afghanistan
Bashir Noorzai Released by US in Exchange for Mark Frerichs: Muttaqi: Tolo News

Haji Bashir Noorzai, a senior member of the Taliban, arrived in Kabul today after being released from detention by the US, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate said on Twitter. Speaking at a gathering held to announce the release of Bashir Noorzai, acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that Noorzai was released in exchange for American citizen Mark Frerichs. Click here to read…

Calls Mount to Reopen Girls’ Schools Above Grade 6: Tolo News

The former deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hekmat Khalil Karzai, expressed criticism over the closure of girls’ schools above grade six for over a year. “In the 21st century, Afghanistan is the ONLY country in the world where girls above grade six are banned from going to school,” he said. “A full year has gone by where girls have been deprived of their dreams and future. All of us are not only responsible but should be ashamed!” Click here to read…

Taliban Conducts Nighttime Door-to-Door Search: The Khaama Press

Local sources in the central and southern Afghan provinces of Parwan and Kandahar, respectively, have said that the Taliban has begun carrying out sweeping door-to-door searches. In the Kolami area of the Salang district of Parwan province, the Taliban are said to have first arrested men and searched homes while breaking in, according to sources in Parwan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
President Murmu meets Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, sister ahead of Queen’s funeral: Mint

As world leaders gather to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch of British history, President of India Droupadi Murmu took to Twitter to post a picture where she met with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and her sister, Sheikh Rehana. Click here to read…

PM Hasina in New York to attend UNGA: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in New York, USA to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). A VVIP chartered flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage landed at JFK International Airport here at about 10:25pm (New York time). Click here to read…

Bhutan
Climate change is a major threat for Bhutan: Kanni Wignaraja – Kuensel Online

The UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Kanni Wignaraja, said that climate change is a major threat facing Bhutan as global warming increases the risk of glacial lake outburst floods. Click here to read…

King and Queen of Bhutan dubbed the ‘Prince William and Kate Middleton of the Himalayas’ paid their respects to Her Majesty and joined world leaders for the ‘reception of the century’ at Buckingham Palace – Daily Mail

The King and Queen of Bhutan last night paid tribute to the Queen while she was lying-in-state at Westminster Hall. King Jigme Khesar and Queen Jetsun Pema, dubbed the ‘Prince William and Kate Middleton of the Himalayas’, made the journey to London ahead of the state funeral todayClick here to read…

Maldives
How The Maldives Is Fighting The Climate Crisis With Coral Reefs – Plant based News

The result of this is that, by 2050, 80 percent of its islands could become uninhabitable at current global warming rates. Despite only being responsible for around 0.003 percent of global emissions, the island is set to be adversely affected by the climate crisis. Currently, more than 90 percent of the islands in the Maldives have severe erosion, and 97 percent of the country no longer has fresh groundwater (the water found beneath the Earth’s surface). Click here to read…

Myanmar
Lured by IT jobs in Thailand, over 300 Indians held hostage in Myanmar, forced to do cybercrime activities; also given ‘electric shocks’ – Times Now News

In a disturbing news, it is alleged that more than 300 Indian have been held hostage in Myanmar after they were lured to Thailand by a job racket. At least 60 people are from Tamil Nadu. The hostages are being forced to work in cybercrime industry. A report in Times of India said these hostages are being held by a gang at Myawaddy in Myanmar. Click here to read…

Bangladesh-Myanmar border tension: ASEAN envoys to relay Dhaka’s concerns – TBS News

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) envoys stationed in Dhaka have said they will relay Bangladesh’s concerns over the situation along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to their capitals. Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral Md Khorshed Alam (retired) briefed the heads of missions from the southeast Asian countries in Dhaka Monday and informed them about the current situation in the bordering areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Click here to read…

Jaishankar discusses G20, situation in Myanmar with Indonesian counterpart – Money Control

The sources added given that India will be succeeding Indonesia as the G20 Chair, it is important that the Indonesian presidency is successful. It was also underlined during the meeting on how to focus the world’s attention on the relevant and pressing issues currently facing the planet, which is the big concern right now. Click here to read…

Myanmar military helicopters strafe religious school, killing 7 children and at least 6 adults: eyewitness report – SCMP

Government helicopters have attacked a school and village in north-central Myanmar, killing at least 13 people including seven children. Civilian casualties often occur in attacks by the military government on pro-democracy insurgents and their allies. However, the number of children killed in the air attack on Friday last week in Tabayin township appeared to be the highest since the army seized power in February last year, ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Click here to read…

Regime imposes travel ban on local, international NGOs in Arakan State – BNI Online

Myanmar’s military regime has barred local and international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) from travelling to multiple townships in Arakan State following the renewed fighting between junta troops and the Arakan Army (AA) over recent weeks. Local and international NGOs have been barred from travelling to Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Minbya, Mrauk-U and Myebon townships as of Friday, an employee from an international NGO told DMG on condition of anonymity. Click here to read…

Nepal
‘Nepal is well positioned to leapfrog to a green development path’ – Himalayan Times

World Bank’s recently launched Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) has highlighted the impacts of climate risk and suggested Nepal to take an integrated approach to water, agriculture, and forests, harness the hydropower opportunity and energy transition, manage sustainable urbanisation, and strengthen low-carbon resilient connectivity. Click here to read…

India considers laying more petro pipelines for Nepal – Live Mint

India is considering setting up more pipelines for transporting refined petroleum products such as diesel to Nepal, two officials aware of the development said, outlining a measure to enhance New Delhi’s ties with Nepal and thwart China’s influence in the neighbourhood. Click here to read…

India, Nepal lay foundation stone for cross-border bridge – Big News Network

Senior officials of India and Nepal on Monday laid the foundation stone for the construction of a motorable cross-border bridge over the Mahakali River. Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister of India’s northern Uttarakhand state took part in a special prayer ceremony before he laid the foundation stone on the Indian side of the border. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Gastro, malaria claim 12 more lives: Dawn

Twelve more flood victims died of gastroenteritis and malaria within a day in different areas of Dadu and Kandhkot-Kashmore districts on Monday. The two diseases have so far proved to be the major cause behind most of the deaths among internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in squalid conditions at relief camps and flooded localities. Click here to read…

Editorial: The youngest victims: Dawn

FOR millions of children in Pakistan, life is going to be particularly precarious in the coming months, with consequences that will last well into the future — at least for those of them that manage to make it to adulthood. Click here to read…

COAS meets Chinese defence minister: The News

He expressed these views while talking to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa who is on an official two-day visit to China. General Bajwa called on Chinese Minister for Defence General Wei Fenghe, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said on Monday. Click here to read…

Nation won’t forget traitors behind ‘imported’ govt: Imran: The News

Address a public meeting here, Imran asked the youth to break the idols of fear and scare those who scared them over phone from unknown numbers. He said those scaring the youth were worth nothing adding that the decision to elect their representatives to lead the country rested fairly and squarely with the people and none else. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
People’s revolt inevitable if no polls are held within 6 months. Ven. Dhammarathana: Daily Mirror

If a general election is not held within the the next six months after the formation of an all-party government, a revolt by public could become inevitable, Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya head Ven. Valahangunawewe Dhammarathana Thera said. He made this comment when Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena visited the temple yesterday. Click here to read…

Tourist arrivals during Sept. 1-15 hit almost 15k: Daily Mirror

Tourist arrivals for the first 15 days of September totaled 14,833, bringing the arrivals for the January 1 to September 15 period to 511,263. An analysis of the daily arrival numbers, as shared by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, showed that the average arrival per day for the month is 988. Click here to read…

‘China a very close friend, but India is…’: Sri Lanka envoy on research ship: Hindustan Times

Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda on Monday extended gratitude to India for providing a “strong lifeline” during the economic crisis in the island nation and hoped that it will play a crucial role in the economic revival of his country. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 19, 2022

Afghanistan
Sunday Marks One Year of Girls’ Ban from School: Tolo News

Sunday marks one-year since schools above grade six remain closed for girls’ students in grades 7-12 in Afghanistan. After coming to power, the Islamic Emirate closed schools for female students beyond grade six. Click here to read…

Moscow Stresses Need for Inclusive Afghan Govt: Tolo News

The Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, saying that the recognition of the Islamic Emirate depends on its internal politics. The top Russian diplomat said that he has not seen evidence about the killing of Ayman-al-Zawahiri, the leader of the al-Qaeda network. Click here to read…

Taliban to ban TikTok and Pubg apps in Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

Taliban is going to ban TikTok and Pubg applications in Afghanistan within next 3 months times, the Ministry of Telecommunication announced on Saturday. The Ministry of Telecommunication in a meeting with the representatives of the security sector and a representative from the Sharia law enforcement administration has decided to ban both TikTok and Pubg applications in Afghanistan within a 90 days period of time. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina: Bangladesh gets free, fair elections only under Awami League: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said free and fair elections are held only during the Awami League’s regimes as she always struggled to establish democracy and democratic rights in the country. “Only during the Awami League government periods, you can see free fair elections,” she told BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg in an interview aired on Sunday. Click here to read…

Mozammel bats for international recognition of genocide of 1971: Dhaka Tribune

Urging all those who believe in the spirit of the liberation war to unite for the recognition of the genocide of 1971, Liberation War minister AKM Mozammel Haque said that the international recognition of the genocide carried out by the Pakistani invading forces on the liberation-seeking people of Bangladesh has not been achieved even in 51 years. Click here to read…

Bhutan
India-Bhutan border gates set to reopen from September 23 – Times of India

India-Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam frontier will reopen for tourists from September 23. This move comes after a hiatus of 2.5 years, the first time after COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Click here to read…

Bhutan is 127th on human development index – Kuensel Online

Bhutan has been ranked 127th out of 191 countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI). The 2022 report was launched yesterday. Bhutan’s ranking has moved up by two ranks from 129 from the previous year. Click here to read…

Maldives

Tourist arrivals at 1.13 mln – Avas

Tourist arrivals to the Maldives thus far this year have reached 1.13 million. According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists visiting the country has increased by 38 percent so far this year compared to the previous year. Click here to read…

Maldives granted SCO’s dialogue member status – Avas

The decision to grant dialogue membership to the Maldives was reached at the Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from 27-28 July 2022. However, the decision was approved at the SCO summit in Uzbekistan on Friday. In addition to the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Egypt were granted SCO dialogue member status. Click here to read…

Myanmar
On Leadership and Power in Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

Some observers, of whom this writer is one, have long considered General Ne Win as the most destructive personal force in Myanmar’s modern history. In his various pivotal but detrimental roles as minister, deputy prime minister, prime minister, political party chairman, and commander of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s armed forces), he led the state in a mercurial and essentially whimsical manner—ever downward at his discretionClick here to read…

Myanmar Ethnic Armies AA and UWSA Leaders Meet to Build Relations – The Irrawaddy

New leaders of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and deputy commander-in-chief of the Arakan Army Brigadier General Nyo Tun Aung recently met in Mongla, eastern Shan State. Brig-Gen Nyo Tun Aung, 41, traveled from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) headquarters in Laiza to Mongla to meet the UWSA’s new deputy leader, Bao Ai Chan, also known as Bao Junping, 41. Click here to read…

Military uses waterways to step up Maungdaw operations as Arakan Army seizes territory – Myanmar Now

The Arakan Army (AA) overran a military base in northern Rakhine State’s Maungdaw on Thursday evening, one day after some 500 junta reinforcement troops were sent to the township by boat to avoid AA-controlled land routes. Click here to read…

Nepal
World Bank Vice President: Federalism is Good Foundation for Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Nepal – Mirage News

World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Martin Raiser, concluded his first visit to Nepal today, with the commitment to support the country’s federalism and Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID). Click here to read…

Why is Chief Justice of Nepal now under house arrest after surviving impeachment – Times Now News

98 Nepali lawmakers filed a general indictment against the CJN in February this year, accusing him of undermining the ruling coalition. A month later, they presented the impeachment to the legislature and established an 11-member committee to make recommendations regarding it. Sunday’s attempt by suspended Chief Justice Rana to visit the Supreme Court was unsuccessful. However, the action also caused a hornet’s nest in terms of its effects on more general politics. Click here to read…

Nepal, World Bank sign agreements worth over Rs52 billion – Kathmandu Post

The government of Nepal and the World Bank signed concessional financing agreements for $275 million (equivalent to Rs34.96 billion) for the Accelerating Nepal’s Regional Transport and Trade Connectivity (ACCESS) Project and $140 million (equivalent to Rs17.79 billion) for the Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) Project on Sunday. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Selection of army chief must not be politicised: Asif: Dawn

As speculation around the appointment of the next army chief grows, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters in London on Sunday that the appointment “should not be politicised as it hurts the institution”. Mr Asif is in London accompanying Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is in the United Kingdom to attend the state funeral of the Queen on Monday (today), upon the invitation of the UK government. Click here to read…

Pakistan won’t default on debts despite floods, says Miftah: Dawn

Pakistan will “absolutely not” default on debt obligations despite catastrophic floods, the finance minister said on Sunday, signalling there would be no major deviation from reforms designed to stabilise a struggling economy. Click here to read…

Pakistan mulls importing Russia oil on deferred payment: The Express Tribune

Pakistan can import oil from Russia on deferred payment as both countries are in talks to discuss the possibility, a senior government functionary revealed on Sunday after the recent meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
With $968 mn of loans, India surpasses China to become largest lender of Sri Lanka: Mint

Surpassing China, India has become the largest bilateral lender to Sri Lanka by disbursing a total of $968 million in loans in four months of 2022, according to a media report. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka to brief creditors on IMF deal: Daily Mirror

The Sri Lankan government will virtually brief all its external creditors on September 23, 2022, on the deal agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the economic recovery and the next steps in the debt restructuring process. On September 1, the IMF reached a staff-level agreement to support Sri Lanka’s economic policies with a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of about $2.9 billion. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 16, 2022

Afghanistan
US Establishes ‘Afghan Fund’ in Switzerland With $3.5B of Frozen Assets: Tolo News

The United States established a fund to assist the people of Afghanistan, known as the “Afghan Fund,” through the Departments of the Treasury and of State, in cooperation with international partners including the government of Switzerland and Afghan economic experts. Click here to read…

Vienna Meeting to Discuss Afghanistan’s Future: Afghan Political Figures Gather in Austria

Political adversaries of the Taliban have gathered in Vienna, the capital of Austria, for a three-day meeting, behind closed doors, to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and resistance against the Taliban. At least 31 Afghan political figures and civil activists were invited to the meeting, according to preliminary knowledge acquired by Khaama Press; however, some of them were unable to attend the first day due to personal or visa-related reasons. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Doraiswami: Bangladesh-India are connected through the heart: Dhaka Tribune

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami has said Bangladesh-India relationship is a “train” that must keep moving to do more great things together. “That energy needs to be carried through,” he said, adding that there are many great things that the two countries have achieved together in the past decade which should be celebrated. Click here to read…

India pitches for trans-shipment of goods bound for Bangladesh via Indian ports: Hindustan Times

India has proposed several measures to Bangladesh to boost trade and connectivity between the two sides, including greater trans-shipment of goods via Indian ports and the import of tea from India’s northeastern states, people familiar with the matter said. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan is 127th on human development index: Kuensel

Bhutan has been ranked 127th out of 191 countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI). The 2022 report was launched yesterday. Bhutan’s ranking has moved up by two ranks from 129 from the previous year. Click here to read…

India-Bhutan border to be reopened from September 23: ThePrint

“Government of Bhutan has officially announced that international border with India will be opened on Sept 23 as Covid cases have subsided. We prepare to open the border and give visitors a good experience, said Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom’s Director (law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. Click here to read…

Maldives
Abdul Ghafoor officially appointed Ambassador to US: Sun Online

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, appointed Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed as the Ambassador of the Maldives to the United States (US). Ghafoor’s letter of appointment was presented to him by the president at a special ceremony held at the President’s Office on Thursday morning. Click here to read…

Discussions underway on controlling drug prices: Avas

Discussions are underway on controlling the price of medical drugs, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed said.
At a press conference at the President’s Office on Thursday, Miuwan said the government believes that the price of medicines is closely linked to the welfare of the people. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Leaked document suggests Myanmar military units are in disarray: Myanmar Now

A leaked copy of a speech delivered by junta chief Min Aung Hlaing in a June meeting of military officials suggested that the regime’s armed forces are struggling to cope with heavy losses caused by clashes with resistance forces across Myanmar. Click here to read…

Mizoram CM seeks New Delhi’s proactive role in restoring peace in Myanmar: Hindustan Times

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga has sought New Delhi’s proactive role in restoring peace in Myanmar in the wake of the increasing influx of refugees from that country since the Myanmarese army ousted the democratically-elected government and seized power in February last year. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Editorial: No end to impunity: Dawn

SOME things in Pakistan, it seems, never change. Among these is the abhorrent ‘kill-and-dump’ policy allegedly employed by sections of the deep state to get rid of ‘undesirable’ elements. Click here to read…

Putin offers Shehbaz gas to warm ties: The Express Tribune

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Samarkand on Thursday in a significant move that highlights that despite the change of government in Islamabad both the sides are keen to deepen their bilateral cooperation. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
India plans to stop financial aid to Sri Lanka after IMF bailout: Report: Daily Mirror

India does not plan to provide fresh financial support to Sri Lanka on top of the nearly $4 billion it has extended this year, two sources told Reuters, as the island’s battered economy starts to stabilise after a preliminary loan agreement with the IMFClick here to read…

Sri Lanka will not be part of any Indian Ocean turf war: President Ranil Wickremesinghe: India Today

Sri Lanka will not take part in any “big power rivalry” in the Indian Ocean and it is unfortunate that his country has been made the “punching bag” for Hambantota, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said, weeks after India and China clashed over the docking of a high-tech Chinese ship at the country’s southern port. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 09, 2022

Afghanistan
UAE company to manage planes at major Afghanistan airports – Pajhwok

Abu Dhabi-based firm GAAC Solutions will provide flight services and manage planes at three major airports of Afghanistan under a deal signed. Click here to read…

Afghanistan Food Security Update Round 11: July 2022 – Relief Web

Afghanistan continues to face alarming levels of hunger. Month after month, some nine in ten households continue to face insufficient food consumption. The repercussions of the global food crisis are threatening to wreak further havoc on food security. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
India’s rice export rates hit one-year peak on high demand from Bangladesh – Business Standard

Prices of rice exported from India held firm near their highest level in more than a year this week as demand from neighbouring Bangladesh remained strong, while supply concerns and an uptick in demand buoyed rates in Thailand. Click here to read…

Engaging with Bangladesh – Financial Express

By all accounts, Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India was fruitful with several outcomes on the table. India’s relations with fast-rising Bangladesh—which will soon graduate from UN’s least developed country status to a developing country—are a stellar example of its Neighbourhood First policy thrust to integrate South Asia. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Temenos And Bahwan CyberTek Forge Exclusive Partnership To Expand Market Reach Across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal And Bhutan – Indian Education Dictionary

Temenos (SIX: TEMN) and Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a global digital transformation company, today announced the signing of an exclusive strategic agreement to scale Temenos’ operations in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. As part of the agreement, BCT will market, implement, and support all Temenos products and solutions in these countries. Click here to read…

Maldives
Ruling party feud casts shadow over election prospects in the Maldives – The Hindu

There is a factional war going on within the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the first registered political party in the Maldives and widely seen as the closest ally of India, like the Awami League of Bangladesh. The faction feud, however, threatens to make the average Maldivian reconsider voting for the party in 2023. Click here to read…

Shark-fishing ban faces pushback from small-scale Maldives anglers – Business.com

In 2021, faced with an economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the island nation of Maldives considered lifting a ban on shark fishing that had been in place since 2010. A global outcry followed, and the government quickly abandoned the idea. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Price of medicines soars in Myanmar, leaving clinics short of supplies – RFA

Rises in the cost of medicines in Myanmar are leaving many without access to treatment, with prices of basic drugs sometimes doubling and clinics often short of supplies, sources in the military-ruled country say. Click here to read…

Resistance Groups Hail Ambushes on Myanmar Junta Boats – The Irrawaddy

At least 12 Myanmar junta soldiers were reportedly killed by resistance groups during attacks on regime motorboats on the Chindwin River in three Sagaing Region townships within two days. On Tuesday evening, fighting broke out in Myaung Township when 27 resistance groups attacked four junta boats. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Adviser Calls for Better Civil-Military Relations – The Irrawaddy

While the Myanmar military regime is torching villages, committing extrajudicial killings and launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, junta adviser Dr. Zaw Oo says there is a need for “good civil-military relations” and urged anyone involved in Myanmar issues to take his call seriously. Click here to read…

Putin Says ‘Impossible’ to Isolate Russia, Vows Gas and Oil Supply Cuts – The Irrawaddy

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday it was “impossible” to isolate Moscow and vowed to cut gas and oil deliveries to countries imposing a price cap on supplies. Speaking at an economic forum, over six months after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, the Russian leader sought to pivot towards allies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa as his country faces a barrage of Western sanctionsClick here to read…

Myanmar is emerging as a human trafficking hub in Southeast Asia and this interestingly involves Chinese citizens as victims. Shwe Kokko New City in southeast Myanmar’s Karen State has allegedly become a people-trafficking hubClick here to read…

Nepal
Bangladesh asks India for passage to buy Nepal’s energy – Kathmandu Post

Bangladesh has requested India for a power transmission corridor to import electricity generated in Nepal. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who wrapped up her four-day official visit to India on Thursday, took up the matter with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, seeking New Delhi’s permission to use the Indian territory for power transmission. Click here to read…

Many sides to Nepal visit of China’s top legislator – Kathmandu Post

Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, is arriving on a three-day official visit to Kathmandu on Monday. He leads an eight dozen-strong delegation of ministers, deputy ministers, officials and leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.Click here to read…

Pakistan
Pakistan court to indict former PM Imran Khan in contempt case – Aljazeera

A court in Pakistan has ruled that it will indict former Prime Minister Imran Khan on charges of contempt of court relating to remarks made against the judge of a lower court, and charges against him will be framed on September 22. Click here to read…

Floods in Pakistan and the pulls and pressures of India-Pak disaster diplomacy – Indian Express

As a flood that has been described as one of Biblical proportions devastated Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and hoped “for an early restoration of normalcy”. “Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy,” Modi said in a tweet on August 29Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Ranil expands govt. with 37 new State Ministers, draws backlash – The Hindu

Sri Lanka on Thursday appointed 37 State ministers, including one from the Rajapaksa family, as President Ranil Wickremesinghe expanded his government amid efforts to set the country’s battered economy on a recovery path. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s August Dollar reserves revealed – News Wire

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Exchange reserves were down to 1,716 million US dollars in August 2022, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) reported. According to CBSL data, the forex reserves had dropped in August from the 1,817 million US dollars reported in July 2022. Sri Lanka’s gross forex reserves have tended to fluctuate between 1.9 to 1.8 billion since March 2022 after running out of previously collected reserves. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 08, 2022

Afghanistan
MoFA Criticizes Presence of US Drones in Afghan Airspace: Tolo News

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi expressed criticism over reports of US drones that are flying above Afghanistan and called on Washington to stop the violation of Afghan air space. Muttaqi called on the international community to put pressure on the US to stop violating Afghan airspace. Click here to read…

Hundreds of Kilograms of Drugs Trafficked by 2 Afghan Nationals Seized by Indian Police: The Khaama Press

Two Afghan nationals were reportedly arrested in New Delhi, India’s capital, for trafficking 312.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Rs. 1,200 crores). The Indian special cell, according to Indian media, apprehended two Afghan nationals who were in possession of drugs close to a metro station in New Delhi, capturing hundreds of kilograms of drugs in “one of the largest seizures” of drug operations in Indian history. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Target $100b export by 2030: BGMEA focuses on Asia, non-cotton items: The Daily Star

Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers are pinning their hopes on the burgeoning Asian markets and the growing use of non-cotton apparel items to elevate their export earnings to $100 billion by 2030. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is drawing up a roadmap to hit the target, in association with an international lender and an international research firm. Click here to read…

Bangladesh-India sign first defence contract under $500 million LoC: Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh and India have signed the first contract under $500 million Line of Credit (LoC) which India finds an important first step in strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries. “I think the first contract under the defence Line of Credit was signed earlier this week. I’m sure you have been following this closely. It was a modest amount but it was an important first step,” said Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra in New Delhi on Tuesday night. Click here to read…

Jaishankar: For Indians, Bangabandhu is a man of action, courage, conviction: Dhaka Tribune

External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar has said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for them in India, is iconic – a man of action, courage and conviction. Click here to read…

SEAR commits to universal access to people-centred mental health care and services – Kuensel Online

WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR) member countries adopted the Paro Declaration which commits to universal access to people-centred mental health care and services. The Paro Declaration was adopted at the ministerial roundtable meeting on addressing mental health through primary care and community engagement on the second day of the ongoing 75th Session of the WHO South-East Asia Regional Committee Session. Click here to read…

Maldives
Cabinet clears India-Maldives MoU on disaster management – Indian Express

THE UNION Cabinet on Wednesday approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between India and Maldives in the filed of disaster management. The MoU was signed between the National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA) of the two countries on August 2. Click here to read…

First visit by UN experts on discrimination against women and girls: Maldives – OHCHR

A United Nations expert group on discrimination against women and girls will undertake its first official visit to the Maldives from 11 to 22 September 2022 to assess progress and challenges in achieving gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women and girls in the country. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Airspace violation and shelling: Reckless mistakes or acts of provocation – TBS News

Over the last two weeks, Dhaka summoned the Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka, U Aung Kyaw Moe, three times over their army’s mortar shells landing on Bangladesh soil. The Bangladesh Embassy in Yangon also raised the issue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. Click here to read…

India supports all efforts towards repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar: MEA – Economic Times

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, on September 06, said that India supports all efforts toward repatriating Rohingyas to Myanmar. Addressing a Press Conference, Kwatra said, “We are aware of the Rohingya issue. There is a global appreciation of Bangladesh’s role in giving them refuge. We have also provided financial help. In the future, whatever assistance is required, GoI will give. India supports all efforts towards their repatriation to Myanmar. Click here to read…

Fighting Flares Up Between Military And KIA In Northern Shan State – BNI Online

Fighting between the Burma Army (BA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) brought traffic to a standstill in Kutkai Township on Sunday, 4 September. An anonymous motorcyclist said: “We heard guns and heavy weapons fired” near the highway outside Mang Pein village in the village tract sharing the same name for about an hour at midday. Click here to read…

Myanmar conflict under control, junta chief says – Reuters

Speaking to Russian news agency RIA in a rare interview published on Wednesday, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said it was too soon to discuss postponing the elections, tentatively slated for August next year, and the junta still had plenty of time to restore order. Click here to read…

30,401 from Myanmar took refuge in Mizoram after Feb 2021 coup: Minister – Business Standard

Altogether 30,401 people from Myanmar have crossed the international border and taken refuge in Mizoram after the neighbouring country’s military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February last year, state Home Minister Lalchamliana has informed the assembly. Click here to read…

Displaced IDPs increase up to 9600 in Rakhine and southern Chin State due to recent conflicts: UN – Narinjara

No less than 9600 people have been displaced because of the ongoing military conflicts between the Burmese forces and Arakan Army members in various parts of Rakhine and Paletwa township of Chin State, said the UN. As of 5 September, these people have fled their places and it has finally increased the total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) up to 84,000, stated in UN figures. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal on the horns of dilemma over China’s Global Security Initiative – Kathmandu Post

On Tuesday, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala sought the government’s position on the Global Security Initiative (GSI) pushed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and first announced at the Boao Forum for Asia in AprilClick here to read…

Rising cases of love jihad in Nepal and its Delhi connection, smuggling plaguing India’s border with Nepal: Ground report – OpIndia

Several recent reports have shown that demography is changing rapidly along India’s border with Nepal. The number of mosques and madarasas is constantly increasing. From August 20 to 27, 2022, an OpIndia team visited several areas in Nepal bordering India to observe the ground situation. What follows here is the third episode of the series of reports documenting the facts noticed by the OpIndia team. Click here to read…

BRI contributes to the devt of Nepal – Global Times

Since Nepal joined the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017, the two countries have cooperated on a widely based on mutual trust and mutual benefits, which also benefits the development of South Asia. The BRI is “the foundation for global development and the elimination of poverty,” said a recent article published by Kathmandu Tribune, an online English daily in Nepal. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Floodwaters from Manchhar, MNVD breaches pose threat to Bhan Syedabad: Dawn

Floodwater from breaches in Manchhar Lake is increasing pressure along Indus Link canal near Bhan Syedabad town after having inundated several villages in the union councils of Wahur, Arazi, Dal, Bubak and Jaffarabad in Sehwan taluka on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Power tariff rebate to be recovered: Miftah: The Express Tribune

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday cleared the air about electricity relief to the consumers of 300 units a month on account of the fuel cost adjustment (FCA) for the month of June — being recovered in coming months. Click here to read…

Probe reveals Imran withdrew Rs8m from PTI account: The News

Fifty-two transactions from five bank accounts of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) should have been flagged as suspicious, a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probe said. These include two large withdrawals made by party Chairman Imran Khan amounting to Rs8 million from a PTI account in March 2013. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka explores US $ 6 billion fuel credit line from Saudi Arabia: Daily Mirror

Environment Minister Naseer Ahamed, in his capacity of the president’s envoy to Saudi Arabia, has initiated discussions with the Saudi government last week seeking for a five year credit line of US $ 6 billion for the supply of fuel on a government to government basis, as a long-term solution to Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis, Daily Mirror learns. Click here to read…

‘Sri Lanka’s economic crisis a result of past impunity…’: UN report: Hindustan Times

Sri Lanka is facing a “devastating” economic crisis, a UN report has said, noting that “impunity” for past and present human rights abuses, economic crimes and corruption were the underlying causes for the island nation’s collapse. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 07, 2022

Afghanistan
Following Attack Near Embassy, Russia Halts Visas for Afghans: Tolo News

Following a suicide bombing attack in the vicinity of the Russian embassy in PD7 of Kabul, the embassy announced on Twitter that it has stopped issuing visas for applicants.“Dear Applicants! The reception of citizens in the Consular Department is temporarily suspended. Further information will be announced about the resumption of the reception,” the Russian Embassy in Kabul said on Twitter. “Dear applicants! The Consular Section is temporarily closed. The resumption of admission will be announced later. Click here to read…

Afghan Delegation to Discuss Political Crisis in Afghanistan at UN Office in Vienna: The Khaama Press

The Vienna meeting on the current situation in Afghanistan, solutions, and challenges will be convened on September 15th, with the presence of 31 political figures opposed to the Taliban at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), in the capital of Austria. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
The Mirage of Teesta Treaty: The Daily Star

Every time the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India visit each other’s country, the issue of the Teesta treaty surfaces in public discussions – at least in Bangladesh. The same has happened during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ongoing visit to India. Click here to read…

Dhaka to list Indian Oil as G2G supplier of refined petroleum products: Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh has agreed to designate Indian Oil Corporation Limited as a government-to-government, or G2G, supplier of refined petroleum products, according to Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Inflation rises 6.61 percent in July – Kuensel Online

Consumers had to pay 6.61 percent more for the same goods in July this year than the same month last year. This is according to the National Statistics Bureau’s (NSB) latest consumer price index (CPI), released on August 31. For example, if a packet of milk was Nu 100 and the price increased by Nu 6.61 compared with a year earlier, then the milk’s inflation rate is 6.61 percent. Click here to read…

25 percent bond deposit must to appeal in monetary cases – Kuensel Online

Some litigants dissatisfied with lower court’s rulings could not appeal to the High Court (HC) on August 24 after they were asked to deposit 25 percent of the amount involved in the case. “We were shocked to hear that the appellate court wouldn’t accept an appeal without the appeal bond deposit,” one of the litigants said. “We would have taken the money if the judiciary notified the public about the new rule.” Click here to read…

Maldives
A/HRC/51/29/Add.1: Visit to Maldives – Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – OHCHR

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention visited Maldives from 29 November to 9 December 2021 upon the invitation of the Government. The Working Group identified positive developments, including: the ratification of international human rights instruments; the functioning of the Human Rights Commission, including its mandate as the national preventive mechanism for Maldives. Click here to read…

Stark Warning from Maldives Environment Minister – Climate Change Above Internationally Agreed Threshold is ”Death Sentence” for Low-Lying Nations – wral.com

Maldives Climate Crisis Death Sentence – Stark Warning from Maldives Environment Minister – Climate Change Above Internationally Agreed Threshold is ”Death Sentence” for Low-Lying NationsClick here to read…

Myanmar
AA Chief Claims Myanmar Junta Holding Mrauk-U Hostage – The Irrawaddy

The Arakan Army (AA) chief has accused Myanmar’s regime of using Mrauk-U, the historic Rakhine capital, as a hostage amid escalating violence. “The SAC [State Administrative Council] is unleashing its dastardly playbook and modus operandi. Mrauk-U is being held hostage by the cowards who dare fight only against the unarmed civilians,” Major General Tun Myat Naing tweeted on Sunday, using the regime’s name for itself. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Leader to Meet Putin in Russia – The Irrawaddy

It will be Min Aung Hlaing’s first meeting with Putin, and the Russian president will be the first leader of a powerful country to host the junta boss, who has been shunned internationally for his military coup and brutal crackdowns on opponents. So far the Myanmar junta has killed more than 2,000 people for rejecting military rule. Click here to read…

UN Envoy Warns of ‘Multidimensional Catastrophe’ in Myanmar, Urges Global Action – The Irrawaddy

The UN Special envoy on Myanmar has warned of a “multidimensional catastrophe” if the regional and international communities don’t make a serious effort to support the Southeast Asian country, which has descended into conflict since last year’s military coup. Click here to read…

Feeble Myanmar Currency and Junta Restrictions Hammer Border Trade – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s border trade has ceased as the kyat continues to slump against the Chinese yuan and Thai baht, border traders have told The Irrawaddy. The kyat fell heavily in August with exchange rates reaching 4,500 kyats per US dollar, over 90 kyats per baht and nearly 500 kyats per yuan. Click here to read…

Myanmar Army shells again fall on Bangladesh – Mizzima

Bangladesh officially complained to the Myanmar ambassador about the violation of its airspace by Myanmar for the third time in two weeks. A Bangladesh foreign ministry official, Miah Md. Mainul Kabir said to Anadolu Agency: “We summoned Myanmar’s ambassador over the recent landing of Myanmar’s mortar shells inside Bangladesh. We strongly condemned the violation of airspace and shelling along the border areas”. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal should make its position clear on China’s GSI – Khabar Hub

The labyrinth of geopolitical tug-of-war in a purely volatile world with its own set of norms of values backed up by economic mightiness and ideological variations are creating tension–making the survival of the economically vulnerable countries on edge of the sword. Click here to read…

3 arrested for smuggling marijuana to Nepal from the US via the post office – Online Khabar

Police have arrested three persons on the charge of smuggling marijuana to Nepal from the United States via the post office. SSP Bikas Raj Khanal of the Nepal Police Narcotics Control Bureau says the police first arrested Manoj Kumar Rai of Kavre, who went to the Dillibazar post office to receive his parcel on Monday. Click here to read…

Government issues law for E-governance Commission formation – The Himalayan Times

The federal government has issued the E-governance Commission (Formation and Operation) Order, 2022, for the promotion of electronic system in public service delivery and government functions. Click here to read…

Nepalis do not have to breathe dirty air – Nepali Times

Another report last month, the latest State of Global Air 2022 on Air Quality and the Health of Cities, showed that more than 5,000 deaths in 2019 in Kathmandu alone were due to air pollution. This added up to 42,100 additional deaths in 2019 due to poor air quality. Click here to read…

Pakistan
WHO warns of worsening situation in Pakistan: Dawn

Amid the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) warning that the humanitarian situation in flood-ravaged Pakistan is expected to get worse, Japan pledged to give emergency aid of $7 million, Qatar launched an air bridge and the UN refugee agency mounted a huge airlift operation from Dubai. Click here to read…

Efforts afoot to pit army, judges against PTI, claims Imran: The Express Tribune

PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan on Tuesday maintained that efforts were being made to turn the judiciary and army against him. Addressing a rally in Peshawar, he defended his three-day old statement, saying that he had talked about appointing the army chief on merit because “thieves” could not be given the authority to appoint him. Click here to read…

Nepra hikes power tariff by Rs3.39 per unit: The Express Tribune

Amid ongoing protests against inflated electricity bills, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has indicated allowing power distribution companies to raise the power tariff by Rs3.39 per unit on account of quarterly adjustmentsClick here to read…

Sri Lanka
Govt. sets up multi-sectoral integrated mechanism for food security: Daily Mirror

With growing fears of a severe food shortage coupled with price inflation, the government has decided to establish a multi-sectoral integrated mechanism for food security and nutrition at the National Food Security and Nutrition Council for the next two-year period. Click here to read…

No kerosene, no food, Sri Lanka’s fishermen say: The Indian Express

As the sun rose over Sri Lanka one morning in late August, around a dozen fishermen were laying out their nets on a beach in Mannar, a small island just off the country’s northwestern coast, the start of the day’s work. But many other fishermen in the community are unable to go to sea at all, crippled by the country’s devastating economic crisis, the worst it has faced since independence in 1948. Click here to read…

Proposed National Council to be finalised next week: Prez: Daily Mirror

Highlighting that a ‘Devani Aragalaya’ (A second struggle) will be launched for a systems change shortly, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said the parties will finalise an agreement on the proposed National Council. Speaking during a gathering held to mark the 76th anniversary of UNP, the President said Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had informed him that parties will finalise an agreement on the National Council next week. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 06, 2022

Afghanistan
Attack Near Russian Embassy in Kabul Sparks Reactions: Tolo News

The suicide attack near the Russian embassy in PD 7 of Kabul faced strong reactions at the national and international level. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the blast. Click here to read…

Kabul Eyes China, India for Coal Exports, Expanding Global Market: The Khaama Press

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum on Sunday said Afghanistan is looking for new markets to expands distribution of its coal, as India and China show interest in the product. Pakistan is the biggest buyer of Afghan coal for many years, covering its winter needs for thousands of households in the country. Click here to read…

Devastating Earthquake Jolts Eastern Afghanistan Killing and Injuring at Least 10: The Khaama Press

A 5.3 magnitude powerful earthquake shook eastern provinces of Afghanistan on Monday morning, inflicting both human and financial losses to the quake-hit, impoverished people of Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina: Any problem with India can be resolved through discussion: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said any existing problems between Bangladesh and India can be solved through discussion. She also described India as a trusted friend of Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Bangladesh sends 8 tons of hilsha to India: Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh exported eight tons of hilsha to India on the occasion of the upcoming Durga Puja. The two trucks carrying the fish entered Petrapole port in India after completing Benapole customs and port formalities on Monday evening. Click here to read…

Bhutan
75th session of Regional Committee for WHO South-East Asia begins in Bhutan – The Print

The seventy-fifth session of the Regional Committee for WHO South-East Asia commenced in Bhutan on Monday with health leaders emphasizing continued efforts and sustainable recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read…

Maldives
New High Commissioner of Ghana proposes to seek tourism investment opportunities in Maldives – Raajje

The new High Commissioner of Ghana presented his Letter of Credence to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday. Discussions were held following the credentials’ ceremony, at the President’s Office. The meeting saw President Solih welcoming the new high commissioner and congratulating him on his appointment. Click here to read…

First-ever Ambassador of Panama to Maldives, presents credentials – Raajje

The new Ambassador of Panama to Maldives, Itzel Patiño de Villarreal presented her Letter of Credence to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday. The credentials ceremony was held at the President’s Office. During the meeting that followed, the Maldivian leader highlighted that this is the first time a Panamanian Ambassador had been appointed to the MaldivesClick here to read…

Discussions held on mutually beneficial trade opportunities between Maldives, Gambia – Raajje

The Maldivian leader and the Gambian HC held discussions regarding the long-standing friendly relations between Maldives and Gambia. Further, the president noted that both countries share numerous mutual values such as a shared belief in Islam, historical ties, democratic principles as well as membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Commonwealth of Nations. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar junta ‘losing control’ as armed resistance digs in, rights experts say – SCMP

Myanmar’s junta has lost its grip over most of the country as the pro-democracy resistance drags the army into territory-wide whack-a-mole operations, draining its resources, manpower and morale, a report by human rights experts said on Monday. Click here to read…

Myanmar Must Deescalate Tensions At Bangladesh Border – Eurasia Review

Armed with powerful guns and ammunition, Myanmar soldiers have been patrolling along the barbed wire barriers close to the Bangladeshi border. On Sunday, Maynmar soldiers were also spotted with heavy weapons stationed in bunkers close to the border (4 September). Click here to read…

Sairang-Hmawngbuchhuah railway project in NE to be revived soon – Tripura Times

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) would link Myanmar border by rail through Manipur and Mizoram, officials said on Saturday. A senior NFR official said that while the final location survey of the 111 km Imphal-Moreh (along Myanmar border) section is already underway for the construction of a new broad gauge line, it would construct a broad gauge line from Sairang, near Aizawl, to Hmawngbuchhuah in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district, near the Myanmar border. Click here to read…

‘Two Asian powerhouses are competing in Myanmar’s Rakhine’ – Daily Star

Myanmar has recently deployed troops on the Bangladesh border. Bangladesh has expressed its concern by writing a letter to the UN Security Council. The Myanmar government-controlled media are seen propagating that Bangladesh has deployed troops on the Myanmar border. Click here to read…

Rohingyas big burden, India can play big role in their return to Myanmar: Sheikh Hasina ahead of India visit – India Today

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that Rohingya refugees are a “big burden” on Bangladesh and the country is reaching out to the international community to ensure they return to their homeland. Click here to read…

AA attacks military bases near Indian border, authority responds with fighter jet – Narinjara

The ongoing fight between the Burmese soldiers and Arakan Army members has affected the socio-political scenario of western Myanmar. Lately, AA members attacked the Myeik Wa-based military camp near the Indian border, which was retaliated by the military Juna forces with aerial bombing. Now hundreds of families from Myeik Wa village had fled to India. Click here to read…

Nepal
“Seat-sharing delayed due to Nepali Congress” – Khabar Hub

Five ruling partners have intensified political meetings of late. Elections to the House of Representatives and State Assembly have been scheduled for November 20.
However, the ruling partners have failed to decide the distribution of seats so far. Nepali Congress (NC) has claimed 100 seats, CPN-Maoist Center 60, and the United Socialist 40. Other fringe parties, too, have put forth their positions. Click here to read…

Nepal looks to build cross-border railway – China Daily

Nepalis are dreaming of a China-Nepal cross-border railway that they believe will enhance connectivity, trade and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and beyond, said Bishnu Pukar Shrestha, Nepal’s ambassador to China. Click here to read…

Army chief hands over military equipment to Nepal counterpart – Economic Times

Army chief Manoj Pande was conferred a traditional honorary rank during his first visit to Nepal on Monday. He handed over military equipment, including mine protected armoured vehicles, to his counterpart. The honorary rank of General of the Nepal Army was conferred on Pande by President Bidya Devi Bhandari at a ceremony in Kathmandu. Click here to read…

Pakistan
‘Relief cut’ on Manchhar dyke aggravates flooding in five Sindh UCs: Dawn

The ‘relief cut’ given on Sunday to Manchhar Lake embankment in order to save densely populated cities and towns, including Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad, aggravated flooding in over 100 villages in five union councils’ areas, reports reaching here till Monday evening suggested. Click here to read…

US delegation to support relief efforts: Dawn

US Department of State Counsellor Derek Chollet will arrive in Pakistan this week with an inter-agency delegation to reaffirm the US’ commitment to help Pakistan in dealing with the catastrophic floods. Click here to read…

Army ‘aghast’ at Imran’s ‘defamatory’ allegations on COAS appointment: The Express Tribune

Pakistan Army has been shocked and appalled by what its chief spokesperson called “defamatory and uncalled for” statement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan about the military top brass. Click here to read…

Miftah asked to open India trade: The Express Tribune

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, on Monday, hinted at allowing imports of cotton from India after textile exporters demanded 2.5 million bales to meet an emergent shortfall caused by the calamitous floods that washed away about half the country’s total crop. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has an IMF deal, now it courts China and India: Money Control

Sri Lanka’s International Monetary Fund bailout plan could be a turning point in its worst economic crisis, but far-from-stable politics and a need to get debt relief from competing powers China, India and Japan means some of the hardest work is still to come. Click here to read…

SC determines some clauses inconsistent with Constitution; needs to be approved by referendum: Speaker: Daily Mirror

The Supreme Court has determined that some clauses of 22nd Amendment to the Constitution are inconsistent with the Constitution and needs to be approved through a special majority in Parliament and a referendum, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardane told Parliament today. Click here to read…

11 Sri Lankans planning to sail to Canada held in Kerala: Police: Daily Mirror

Kerala police on Monday arrested 11 Sri Lankans from a hotel in Kollam in south Kerala after a tip off from Tamil Nadu police that they were planning to sail to Canada in a fishing boat. Police said two Sri Lankan nationals, who reached Tamil Nadu on tourist visa last week, were found to be missing and Q Branch (a CID wing) followed their phone signals and located them in Kollam and alerted its counterparts. Click here to read…