Tag Archives: Maldives

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 01, 2022

Afghanistan
Interior Ministry Denies ‘Drone Attack’ in Kabul: Tolo News

The Interior Ministry denies allegations of a drone attack in Kabul.
Abdul Nafi Takoor, a spokesman of the Interior Ministry, said that a rocket hit an empty residence in the Sherpor area of Kabul city, adding there were “no casualties.” Click here to read…

Tashkent Meeting Analysis: Central Asia Wants Path to South Asia: Tolo News

Some of the participants at the Tashkent conference said that the Central Asian nations, particularly Uzbekistan, are seeking to connect to South Asia via Afghanistan. Analysts said that the formation of trade centers on the two sides of the Amu River will benefit Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. Click here to read…

Former NDS Director Says American Drones Struck Different Locations of Afghan Capital: The Khaama Press

Rahmatullah Nabil, former director of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), claims that American drones were spotted in Kabul’s airspace and attacked various Kabul locations. Following reports of at least two explosions in the capital’s Wazir Akbar Khan and Sherpur areas, Nabil posted his statement on his Twitter handle. Click here to read…

Sunday Explosions in Afghan Capital Inflict No Immediate Casualties: Taliban Officials: The Khaama Press

Locals in the Kabul areas of Sherpur and Wazir Akbar Khan have reported two explosions, and there have also been reports of explosions in the Dehmazang area of the Afghan capital. According to Taliban security authorities, no immediate casualties were caused by the explosions on Sunday morningClick here to read…

Bangladesh
EC talks with parties: Supervisory govt sought for polls- The Daily Star

Nearly half of the 39 registered political parties are in favour of a polls-time government under interim, caretaker or all-party system for ensuring a participatory and credible parliamentary election. Click here to read…

“Chinese foreign minister’s upcoming Dhaka visit part of regular contacts”- The Daily Star

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen yesterday (July 31, 2022) said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s planned visit to Bangladesh next week is part of their “regular contacts. Click here to read…

AL’s income more than doubles- The Daily Star

The ruling Awami League last year earned Tk 21.23 crore, more than double what it earned in 2020. Click here to read…

Hasina, Modi to inaugurate Rampal plant from India- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to jointly inaugurate the Rampal power station during the former’s visit to India in September, reported The Hindustan Times yesterday. Click here to read…

‘Importing’ goods ‘Made in Bangladesh’- The Daily Star

A Chinese company housed in the Chattogram Export Processing Zone imported finished goods with “Made in Bangladesh” labels by declaring those as raw materials, in an incident that violated both local and international rulesClick here to read…

Bhutan
Visiting Bhutan To Get Expensive; Indian Tourists On Target As Country Imposes – Times Now News

Bhutan is set to open its border to tourists from September 23 after being shut since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But with the latest announcement regarding sustainable development fees, touring Bhutan will not be the same as it was before the pandemic. Click here to read…

Army Chief calls on Bhutan King – Tribune India

Army Chief General Manoj Pande on Sunday called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, with discussions focused on enhancing ties between the two nations. The Chief received a Guard of Honour at ThimphuClick here to read…

Maldives
Maldives President to visit India from August 1 to 4 – Awaz The Voice

Announcing the viist, MEA Official Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said that Maldives is India’s key neighbour in the Indian Ocean region and occupies a special place in India’s Neighbourhood First policy. In recent years, the partnership has witnessed rapid growth in all areas of cooperation and President Solih’s upcoming official visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to review the progress made in this wide ranging partnership. Click here to read…

Prince Faisal bin Salman receives Maldives president in Madinah – Arab News

President of the Republic of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih arrived in Madinah on Monday to visit the Prophet’s Mosque.
The president was received by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman and a number of officials at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport. Click here to read…

Myanmar
As Myanmar suffers, the military junta is desperate, isolated and running out of options – The Conversation

The military junta’s execution of four pro-democracy activists earlier this week has again shone a spotlight on the appalling judgement and brutality of the junta leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and his top generals. Click here to read…

Defiance in Myanmar even as executions prompt fears for detained – Aljazeera

More than 70 people are on death row (others were sentenced in abstentia) for opposing the coup, including nine women, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking the military’s crackdown. AAPP says more than 2,100 civilians have been killed by the military since the coup, including dozens who have died in military custody. Click here to read…

Political situations have arisen due to improper use of political outlets: SAC’s chairman – Eleven Myanmar

Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Chairman of State Administration Council (SAC) said at the Union Government Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday that Political situations have arisen due to improper use of political outlets. Click here to read…

Japanese video journalist detained at Myanmar protest march – ABC News

A Japanese video journalist has been detained by security forces in Myanmar while covering a protest against military rule in the country’s largest city, pro-democracy activists said Sunday. Click here to read…

Nepal
Government plans to hold elections on November 20: The Kathmandu Post

The elections for the federal and provincial elections will be held on November 20, two days later than the date proposed by the Election Commission, if there is no change in the government’s plan.Click here to read…

Protest to amend Transitional Justice Bill: The Himalayan

Victim groups protested at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu today against the flawed provisions in the bill to amend the Transitional Justice Law.
The protest was organised by Victims’ Society for Justice, Conflict Victim Women National Network, Conflict Victims’ Common Platform. The victims have objected to some of the provisions of the ‘Bill to amend the Commission for Investigation, Truth and Reconciliation Act, 2071’. Click here to read…

Janardan Sharma reinstated as finance minister: The Himalayan

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Janardan Sharma was today reinstated as finance minister two days after a parliamentary panel probe found no evidence to prove he was involved in making illegal changes to the budget. He took the oath of office and secrecy from President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today itself. Click here to read…

Nepal’s economic alarm bells: Himal

Every year, as the monsoon kicks in, there’s a feverish spurt of road-building and infrastructural development across Nepal. It has nothing to do with preparing Nepal’s notoriously accident-prone roads for the rains, but with a term that is peculiar to the country: asaare bikas. The Nepali fiscal year ends in the Hindu calendar month of Asaar (around mid-July), and since budgetary allocations under capital expenditures lapse at the end of the fiscal year, government departments rush to spend whatever they can before the fiscal year runs out. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Imran foresees general elections in ‘6-8 weeks’: The Express Tribune

Imran met with Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, former federal minister Moonis Elahi and other lawmakers from Punjab in Lahore. He asked the Punjab government to expedite the implementation of the PTI’s flagship social welfare project, the Ehsaas Programme. Click here to read…

Rs30bn taxes to be imposed to save PSO from default: Dawn

The government has decided to impose additional taxes to the tune of Rs30 billion as it struggles to arrange Rs100bn emergency funding to avoid international default on oil and gas payments and keep the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) intact. Click here to read…

IMF likely to begin tranche release process this week: Dawn

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to start the process for releasing the seventh and eighth tranches of a $6 billion loan programme for Pakistan later this week, IMF and diplomatic sources told Dawn. Click here to read…

Taliban-brokered TTP talks end in deadlock: The Express Tribune

The talks between Pakistan and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have reached a deadlock as the militant group refused to budge from its demand for the reversal of the merger of erstwhile Fata with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Lankan Batiks Promotion in Antalya, Turkey- The Island

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Turkey organized the second leg of the Sri Lankan Batiks promotional event with the assistance of the Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka to Antalya Ali Kamburoglu recently (20), a statement issued by the Lankan Embassy in Ankara said. Click here to read…

UNICEF launches programme to help pre-school children- The Island

UNICEF Sri Lanka has launched a special relief package for pre-school children and mothers hardest hit by the current economic crisis., UNICEF said.The initiative, conducted in collaboration with the Colombo Municipal Council and Public Health midwives, will provide much-needed relief to the urban poor and most disadvantaged families, facing severe hardship and struggling to put food on their table. Click here to read…

Fueling a way forward for small and medium enterprises- The Island

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) has commenced an initiative to strengthen rural economies, increase forest cover, improve the living standards of rural women, and sustainable industries and small and medium enterprises in the country, by increasing the growth of suppliers for clean and modern biomass technology in line with the energy policy. Click here to read…

Maiden Policy Statement from President RW on Aug. 3- The Island

President Ranil Wickremesinghe is to deliver his maiden Policy Statement in Parliament at 11 am on Wednesday (03), Parliament sources said.The President is scheduled to commence the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament at 10 am with his Presidential Policy Statement (previously Throne Speech). Click here to read…

Lanka can’t afford fossil fuels but can’t afford to get off them either- The Island

Sri Lanka is in turmoil, with fuel and food shortages provoking citizens to storm the presidential palace and send Gotobaya Rajapaksa packing.Reliance on fossil fuel imports is a big factor in the economic crisis. Click here to read…

Japan hands over life-saving medicines procured through UNICEF to Lanka- The Island

In response to the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the Government of Japan on Thursday handed over the first consignment of a total donation of USD 1.5 million value of medicines being procured through UNICEF to address the severe shortage of medicines in hospitals and clinics in the country. Click here to read…

World Bank plans to offer new financing to Lanka put off till macroeconomic policy framework in place- The Island

The World Bank Group expressing deep concern about the dire economic situation and its impact on the people of Sri Lanka yesterday said it does not plan to offer new financing to Sri Lanka until an adequate macroeconomic policy framework is in place. Click here to read…

WB halts new funding to Sri Lanka till viable programme is put in place- The Island

Until an adequate macroeconomic policy framework is in place, the World Bank does not plan to offer new financing to Sri Lanka, it was announced yesterday. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 29, 2022

Afghanistan
Historical Heritage Neglected in Badakhshan: Tolo News

Cultural activists are concerned about the lack of attention to the historic heritage in Badakhshan province. Pul-e-Khishte is one of the historical heritage sites in Badakhshan province and it is 25 meters long and 5 meters wide. The history of this historical heritage site reportedly reaches back more than 100 years. Click here to read…

Islamic Emirate’s Leader Calls for Implementation of Sharia: Tolo News

Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, held a gathering with the provincial governors in Kandahar. Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada stressed the need to preserve Islamic values, according to the statement. Click here to read…

U.S. Senators Urge UN to Take ‘Meaningful Actions’ in Defense of Afghans Rights: The Khaama Press

At least four American senators voiced their concerns over human rights violations in Afghanistan in a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, saying “we must not stand by as the Taliban seeks to erase the human rights of Afghan women and girls.” Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Concerted effort is the key- The Daily Star

Planning Minister MA Mannan yesterday said many areas regarding child development require concerted efforts. Click here to read…

Chinese foreign minister likely to visit Dhaka next month- The Daily Star

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to visit Dhaka early next month as the country wants to strengthen the strategic partnership with Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Bhutan
TCB to assess readiness of hoteliers and operators- Kuensel

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is validating and assessing tourism service providers – tour operators and hoteliers – on their readiness to welcome tourists under the new tariff regime beginning September 23 this year. Click here to read…

Youths draw attention to tiger conservation- Kuensel

Addressing the youth ambassadors, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, said: “Where tigers have vanished, the lands are barren and devoid of life forms. Put simply, the tiger is a barometer of life in our forests and, by extension, the health of our living planet.” Click here to read…

Bhutan needs to gear towards improving tourism infrastructure- Bhutan Times

3,500 licensed tour operators in the country will have to compete through the quality of services, programmes and facilities while providing itineraries to the tourists. This would mean the tour operators should start working to improve the facilities. Click here to read…

Maldives
President of Maldives on 4-day visit to India from August 1 – Indian Express

MALDIVES PRESIDENT Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be coming on a four-day visit to India from August 1, which will provide an opportunity to review the progress made in the wide-ranging partnership. Click here to read…

Maldives CDF Maj Gen Abdulla Shamaal receives Guard of Honour in Delhi – ANI News

The Chief of Defence Force (CDF) of the Maldives, Major General Abdulla Shamaal, received a Guard of Honour at the South Block in Delhi on July 28. Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pandey accorded him a warm welcome to India. Click here to read…

Maldives industry fights higher tourism tax – TTG Asia

Raising the Tourism Goods and Services Tax (T-GST) to 16 per cent from 12 per cent effective next year would significantly impact Maldives’ tourism performance, particularly at a time when destination competition is intensifying post-lockdown, said industry stakeholders. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Engagement with Tatmadaw is key to peace in Assam and Northeast – NENow

Myanmar’s domestic political situation is extremely critical for India’s national interest. India shares a border of 1643 kilometers with Myanmar. Thus, a stable and friendly Myanmar is key to India’s security, especially in India’s Northeast. Click here to read…

India raises ‘deep concern’ over execution of 4 pro-democracy activists in Myanmar – The Print

India on Thursday expressed deep concern over the execution of four pro-democracy activists by Myanmar’s military government and asserted that the rule of law and democratic process must be upheld in the country. Click here to read…

Shan Armed Group Poised for Myanmar Junta Attack – The Irrawaddy

Military tensions are escalating between the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and Myanmar’s regime in Mong Hsu Township, southern Shan Township, as junta reinforcements arrive in the town, according to residents. Click here to read…

Nepal
Upper House passes Citizenship Bill- Himalayan Times

The National Assembly today passed the Citizenship Bill, which will become a law when President Bidhya Devi Bhandari certifies it. The bill was sent to the Upper House after the House of Representatives passed it on July 23 through a fast-track process. Click here to read…

How probe turns into a farce: House panel says it found nothing against Sharma- Kathmandu Post

Committee is divided with ruling party members pressing for absolving ex-finance minister, as the four representatives from the CPN-UML write their dissent. Click here to read…

House endorses bill to amend Citizenship Act- Kathmandu Post

Once the bill gets through upper house, children of parents who got citizenship by birth will get citizenship by descent. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Import-ban-on-luxury-items-lifted: Dawn

The government has increased dealers’ commission on the sale of petroleum products by up to an unprecedented 70 per cent and lifted a ban imposed in May on the import of “non-essential and luxury items”, excluding automobiles, cell phones and electronics. Click here to read…

Editorial: false-equivalence: Dawn

CELEBRATING his party’s triumph in dislodging the PML-N government in Punjab, former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday made what sounded unmistakably like a speech delivered on the hustings, by a man confident of the ultimate prize. Click here to read…

Elections to be held on time, govt to complete its tenure: PDM: The Express Tribune

Amid calls by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for snap polls in the country, the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) has reiterated its stance that the general elections will be held on time and the coalition government will complete its tenure. Click here to read…

Rupee’s downward spiral continues, inter-bank rate at Rs242: The Express Tribune

The Pakistani rupee hit a new all-time low of over Rs242 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market around midday on Thursday. The domestic currency slumped a fresh 2.64% (or Rs6.24) to Rs242.26 at around 12:08 pm compared to Wednesday’s close of Rs236.02. Click here to read…

Govt may increase petrol, diesel prices by Rs10-17per litre: The News

From August 01, 2022, there may be an increase in petrol and diesel prices by Rs10-17 per litre despite the fact that prices of petroleum products and crude oil remained just a little lower. However, the increase has been estimated upwards just because of the fact that the exchange rate has gone crazy. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Govt. initiates talks for all-party govt- The Daily Mirror

The government initiated negotiations with the parties in the opposition yesterday in a bid to form what is called ‘an all-party’ government. Click here to read…

CB issues guidelines to non-bank borrowers on loan concessions- The Daily Mirror

The Central Bank has issued fresh guidelines to the non-bank lenders stipulating how they must go about providing concessions to borrowers affected by the current economic crisis which is sending shockwaves across almost every sectorClick here to read…

Popular South Indian Actor Kamal Haasan discusses Sri Lanka- The Daily Mirror

On the invitation extended by Dr. D. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Chennai, famous South Indian Cinema actor Kamal Haasan and director, visited the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission of Chennai for the first time in the Mission’s History on July 24. Click here to read…

Rs. 17.85 Million cash recovered inside President’s House: Police yet to keep recovered money in judicial custody- The Daily Mirror

It was transpired before Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court that even after the lapse of three weeks, the Fort Police is yet to keep Rs. 17.85 Million in cash recovered from the President’s House, under judicial custody. Click here to read…

Extension of state of emergency to hit tourism industry hard- The Daily Mirror

The decision to extend the state of emergency for a month by Parliament yesterday will further hit the tourism industry that is expected to bring in the necessary foreign exchange to Sri Lanka, as more countries could slap travel bans on Sri LankaClick here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 28, 2022

Afghanistan
Afghan Exports Surge in Past Three Months: Tolo News

Afghanistan’s exports doubled over the past three months compared to the same period in previous years, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said. According to the ACCI, during the first three months of the solar year of 1401, exports exceeded $400 millionClick here to read…

Second Phase of Kajaki Power Dam Completed: Tolo News

The second phase of the Kajaki power dam, now providing 100 megawatts of power, was inaugurated on Wednesday with senior officials of the Islamic Emirate and a top Turkish diplomat attending. Click here to read…

Afghanistan Economic Stabilization World Interest: U.S. Envoy: The Khaama Press

The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West said that the United States is ready to support dialogue among Afghans, exclaiming such is the “world’s interest to stay focused on Afghanistan economic stabilizationClick here to read…

German FM Says ‘Every Human Right Has Been Taken From Women and Girls in Afghanistan’: The Khaama Press

Under Taliban rule, Afghanistan is experiencing the “biggest women’s rights violations on Earth,” according to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. German media reported on Tuesday, July 26, that Annalena Baerbock, the foreign minister of Germany, had said that the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan was a unique instance of egregious human rights abuses. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Solar irrigation pumps prove a boon for farmers- The Daily Star

Farmers who depend on rainwaters to grow Aman paddy in Dinajpur have been left distraught from early July owing to a drought-like situation in the absence of rains. Click here to read…

Land crisis key barrier- The Daily Star

Scarcity of land is the main obstacle to establishing playgrounds and parks in the capital, said Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh yesterday. Click here to read…

Govt may not remove interest rate caps- The Daily Star

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday indicated that the government would be unwilling to remove the interest rate cap on loans and deposits, which is expected to be a condition tagged by the International Monetary Fund with its support package. Click here to read…

Barapukuria mine: Coal production resumes after three month- The Daily Star

Production at Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) resumed yesterday after three months. Click here to read…

Forex reserves enough for 6-9 months’ food import: PM- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh would be able to meet six to nine months’ food import expenditures with its current forex reserves. Click here to read…

“No shortage in fuel stock, don’t pay heed to rumours”- The Daily Star

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid has called upon the public to not pay heed to any rumours regarding shortage in fuel stock in the country. Click here to read…

Preferential Trade Agreement among D-8 to be operational by October- The Daily Star

Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) among the D-8 countries is going to be operational by October this year, which could significantly boost trade in the bloc. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Supreme Court orders 7 workshop operators to vacate in 6 months- Kuensel

After nearly three years of litigations at various courts, the Supreme Court on July 20 finally decided that seven automobile workshop operators at Olakaha, Thimphu, have to vacate the properties. Click here to read…

Health ministry vigilant against monkeypox- Kuensel

With international borders opening for visitors from September 23, Bhutan strengthened its surveillance against monkeypox spread, according to officials of the health ministry. Click here to read…

Fuel price increases- Kuensel

Petrol price increased by Nu 1.57 per litre and diesel by chhetrum 59 per litre from midnight after the independent fuel pricing committee reviewed the appeal on the domestic fuel price model. Click here to read…

More than 3,500 holders of tourism licenses must compete- Bhutan Times

In order to compete, more than 3,500 licensed operators will need to offer high-quality services, programs, and facilities while providing tourists autonomy over their itineraries. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives government’s economic measures are good: IMF – Avas

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised the Maldives government’s efforts to improve the country’s reserves. A delegation from IMF visited the Maldives in late June to assess the country’s economic situation. Click here to read…

Maldives added to Indonesia’s on-arrival visa list – Raajje

The government of Indonesia has added Maldives to the list of countries granted visa-on-arrival. This was revealed by the Immigration department of Indonesia. The authority revealed that with the addition of Maldives to the list of countries granted on-arrival visa by the country, the list currently includes 75 countries. Click here to read…

A Single Use Plastics Free Maldives: Turning the Tide of Waste into Wealth – YouTube

Poorly managed plastic waste is threatening the marine ecosystem and economy of the Maldives, with over 860 metric tons of waste—the majority plastic—generated daily. In response, the government has adopted a waste to wealth approach, shifting from a linear “use and dispose” system of waste management to a circular economy. Two World Bank-financed projects, also supported by PROBLUE, have been helping the country develop a sustainable waste management system, build capacity, and teach youth to lay the groundwork for a cleaner and safer Maldives. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar Regime’s Brutality Began Long Before The Coup – Analysis – Eurasia Review

For over a year, members of the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military, have been fighting a civil war against the country’s people. After the overthrow in 2021 of the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, remnants of her party, the National League for Democracy, and armed groups it is linked to under the umbrella People’s Defense Force, have been leading a tenacious resistance against the junta. Click here to read…

Asean must recognise hard truths about Myanmar – NST

THE Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM) next week will see more discussions on one of its most intractable conundrums — how the regional organisation manages its relationship with Myanmar’s military junta, which is murdering its own dissenting population. Click here to read…

Asean foreign ministers urged to keep Rohingya issue in sight – Malaysia Now
The special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer has urged Asean foreign ministers to keep the Rohingya issue high on their agendas, highlighting as well the community’s need for education to prevent a “lost generation”. Click here to read…

In Myanmar and abroad, anti-junta protests continue after executions of four pro-democracy activists – France 24

The executions of four pro-democracy activists in Myanmar by the military junta not only attracted international condemnation but also fuelled anti-junta demonstrations that have been taking place in the country since early 2021. The FRANCE 24 Observers spoke to demonstrators in Myanmar and abroad for whom the junta’s brutality only served as a catalyst for their determination to achieve democracy. Click here to read…

Nepal
Monetary Policy to uplift economy, but has its own challenges: CBFIN- Himalayan Times

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has taken into consideration the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, various world events, country’s economic indicators and aspirations of the general public. Click here to read…

President appoints ambassadors to various countries- Himalayan Times

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has appointed ambassadors of Nepal to various countries in accordance with Article 282 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal and on the recommendation Of the Council of Ministers. Click here to read…

Top American official arriving today amid row over US State Partnership Program- Kathmandu Post

Donald Lu, who played a crucial role in the passage of MCC compact, is visiting Kathmandu weeks after Nepal’s decision not to participate in the SPP. Click here to read…

Nepal’s import of agricultural products jumps more than double to around Rs 379 billion in the past seven years- Republica

Nepal imported agriculture products worth Rs 378.60 billion in 2021/22, which was Rs 55 billion more than the import expenses on the headings of the previous year. Click here to read…

Living with climate anxiety- Nepali Times

Coming to terms with climate inaction and hypocrisy, while working professionally to avert a global emergency. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Pakistan’s current account deficit swells to $17.4bn: Dawn

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday reported that the country recorded a CAD of $17.406bn in FY22 compared to a gap of just $2.82bn in FY21.
The massive CAD speaks a lot about the severe problem of the balance of payments. The PML-N-led coalition government posted a CAD of $4.323bn in the April-June period of 2021-22, which was the second highest quarterly deficit of the fiscal year that ended on June 30. Click here to read…

Petroleum levy set to rise on IMF demand: The Express Tribune

Pakistan was ready to meet the remaining one prior condition of a further increase in the levy on all petroleum products that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had set for calling the board meeting to revive the programme, said Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Pakistani clerics, Afghan PM discuss bilateral ties in Kabul: The Express Tribune

A delegation of Pakistani religious scholars, headed by Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani, on Wednesday met acting Afghan prime minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund at the Arg Palace. Mufti Usmani conveyed to the Afghan premier that “Afghanistan and Pakistan are two Islamic countries and called for solidarity and good relations between the two neighbours. Click here to read…

Can talk with TTP and Baloch, Sindhi nationalists but not with thieves: Imran Khan: The News

PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan Thursday said he could talk to the banned terrorist outfit TTP and Baloch and Sindhi nationalists but the day “you strike a deal with thieves, the entire society comes crashing down.” He expressed these views while addressing the main thanksgiving function on a video link at the F-9 Park here. Click here to read…

PDM will deliberate on Nawaz proposal for quitting govt forthwith: The News

The Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA) in its summit meeting today (Thursday) will deliberate the suggestion put up by Quaid of the PML-N Nawaz Sharif for quitting the government at the earliest and make movement for holding fresh poll in the country. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Foreign financial assistance sought to electrify Kelani Valley railway line- The Daily Mirror

Amid the growing demand for public transport, Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Bandula Gunawardane is planning to seek foreign funds to electrify the Kelani Valley (KV) railway line. Click here to read…

Demanding to dissolve parliament- The Daily Mirror

The Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC) today staged a protest opposite the Fort Railway station under the theme “Allow new public opinion’ and demanded to dissolve the parliament. Click here to read…

Parliament approves emergency regulations- The Daily Mirror

The emergency regulations declared by the then Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe were approved in Parliament today with 120 MPs voting for it and 63 against. Click here to read…

US Amb. meets President to discuss SL’s economic and political crisis- The Daily Mirror

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung said that she met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss how Sri Lanka arrived to this point of economic and political crisis, and how they can work together to navigate towards a brighter future for all. Click here to read…

Dinouk Colombage appointed Director, Int’l Affairs at President’s Office- The Daily Mirror

Journalist Dinouk Colombage has been appointed as the Director, International Affairs at the President’s Office, the President’s Office said today. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 25, 2022

Afghanistan
WHO Contract With Afghan-Japan Hospital Ends- Tolo News

The officials of Afghan-Japan Hospital said it has been over a week since the contract of some employees of this hospital with the World Health Organization (WHO) has ended, and these employees are working voluntarily in the hospital. Click here to read…

Intl Favors Not Welcome if ‘Against Islam’: Hanafi- Tolo News

Acting Minister of Vice and Virtue, Khalid Hanafi, while visiting Ghazni decried sanctions and said the Islamic Emirate is ready for engagement with the international community, but its offers, if they are against Islam, are not acceptable. Click here to read…

Kabul Facing Water Shortages: AUWSSC- Tolo News

The Afghanistan Urban Water Supply and Sewage Corporation (AUWSSC) said that Kabul is facing an extreme decrease in groundwaterClick here to read…

Tashkent to Host Intl Conference on Afghanistan- Tolo News

A delegation of the Islamic Emirate led by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, left Kabul for Tashkent to attend the international conference on Afghanistan held on July 25th and 26th. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Energy crisis: Govt strategy to blame, not war- The Daily Star

The current energy crisis in the country has more to do with the government’s reluctance to explore natural gas than the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, observes prominent energy expert Prof Badrul Imam. Click here to read…

PM rules out Sri Lanka-like crisis- The Daily Star

The prime minister yesterday lambasted those who are making wholesale criticism that Bangladesh will face the same situation like that of Sri Lanka. Click here to read…

US envoy visits RMP headquarters- The Daily Star

US Ambassador Peter Haas visited different US-supported activities at Rajshahi Metropolitan Police headquarters yesterday. Click here to read…

Turning Brahmaputra into a dumping zone- The Daily Star

The dumping of garbage by Mymensingh municipal authorities into the Old Brahmaputra River at Kalibari Puran Gudaraghat has become a menace for residents and a serious threat to the already dying river’s health. Click here to read…

‘Economic crisis’ not ending soon- The Daily Star

Bangladesh is now facing an “economic crisis” that will not be over soon as the global economy is also going through turmoil, economists said yesterday. Click here to read…

Maintain the diplomatic norms, protocols- The Daily Star

In view of certain “recent occurrences”, the foreign ministry recently wrote to all foreign diplomats, UN representatives and international organisations in Dhaka, urging them to maintain the diplomatic norm and protocol. Click here to read…

Kenya offers vast farmland to Bangladesh for agriculture- The Daily Star

Kenya has offered Bangladesh to take advantage of the African nation’s vast farmland for food production as Bangladesh has developed good expertise and demonstrated immense success in the field. Click here to read…

Extend support in Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar: PM urges Japan- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (July 24, 2022) sought Japanese support for the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, their homeland, as the forcibly displaced people have become a burden on Bangladesh for the last several years. Click here to read…

Insulting journalist over published report: HC blasts Teknaf UNO- The Daily Star

The High Court today (July 24, 2022) slammed Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Kaisar Khasru for allegedly insulting a journalist with objectionable words over a story mentioning his (UNO) comments on damages to several houses gifted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to underprivileged people. Click here to read…

Momen objects to Pakistan High Commission using merged image of flags- The Daily Star

Foreign Ministry has objected to the way Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka used the national flags of Bangladesh and Pakistan on their Facebook page. Click here to read…

‘Centralisation of power ominous sign for democracy’- The Daily Star

Pointing to the present governance system, former finance secretary and adviser to the caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said it is necessary to nurture democracy in the country. Click here to read…

Bhutan
GoI and RGoB agree to close Kholongchhu Joint Venture- BBS

The government says the Kholongchhu project is stopped for now with the Joint Venture company being initiated to close. According to the Economic Affairs Minister, this was decided during his meeting with Indian officials in New Delhi recently. LyonpoClick here to read…

Random tests for controlled drugs in schools- Kuensel

Schools in Thimphu are asking parents to sign consent letters to allow their children to attend random tests for controlled drugs. Click here to read…

Eastern and southern dzongkhags prepare to welcome tourists amid limited infrastructure- Kuensel

Amid limited infrastructures, eastern and southern dzongkhags are preparing to welcome tourists as the country is scheduled to reopen its borders to tourists on September 23. Click here to read…

More than 3,500 holders of tourism licenses must compete- Bhutan Times

In order to compete, more than 3,500 licensed operators will need to offer high-quality services, programs, and facilities while providing tourists autonomy over their itineraries. Click here to read…

Maldives
Floating City May Protect the Maldives From High Sea Levels – youTube

A floating city may mean hope for the Maldives. Rising sea levels caused by climate change are threatening the Maldives at an alarming rate. The sea level is rising three to four millimeters every year. At the current rate, the Maldives could be uninhabitable by 2050. The government has stepped in with an idea they hope will house residents and continue to attract tourists: a floating city. By staying on top of the water, the island can rise and fall with the sea level. Click here to read…

Operational tourist facilities across Maldives rise to 1,167 – Raajje

The latest weekly statistics publicized by the Ministry of Tourism revealed that a total of 1,167 tourist accommodation establishments are currently operational across Maldives, with a total of 57,487 tourist beds. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar executes NLD lawmaker, 3 other political detainees – ABC News

Myanmar has carried out its first executions in nearly 50 years with the hangings of a former National League for Democracy lawmaker, a democracy activist and two men accused of violence after the country’s military takeover last year. Click here to read…

Myanmar building projects worth $1.3bn frozen since army took power – Asia Neikkei

Seventeen months after the military seized power in Myanmar, many real estate development projects in the country, once viewed as having great growth potential by foreign investors, stand incomplete. Until the dark cloud over the economic future of the Southeast Asian nation clears, these projects are unlikely to be restarted. Click here to read…

Myanmar military prepares for election in bid for legitimacy – Asia Nekkei

A year from its promised August 2023 deadline, Myanmar’s military government is touting progress toward a general election whose fairness has been questioned and that many voters appear likely to boycott. Click here to read…

UN court rejects Myanmar claims, will hear Rohingya case – Miami Herald

Judges at the United Nations’ highest court on Friday dismissed preliminary objections by Myanmar to a case alleging the Southeast Asian nation is responsible for genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority. Click here to read…

Burmese Army Force Ethnic Men to Enlist as Troop Casualties Rise – VOA News

Myanmar’s military regime is struggling to find new recruits after facing heavy casualties in the first year since the coup. Nationwide, young men are fleeing their homes, and country, rather than serve under a junta renowned for its “scorched earth” campaign against the civilian population. For VOA, Steve Sandford spoke to families affected by this push for “unofficial conscription” by the Burmese junta. Click here to read…

Nepal
HoR passes prison management bill- Himalayan Times

The House of Representatives (HoR) has passed the ‘prison management bill, 2076’. Click here to read…

NEPSE on bullish trend after issuance of monetary policy- Himalayan Times

Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) index closed all green today, the opening day, of the week that marked the first transactions following the issuance of a new monetary policy. Click here to read…

Households feel the heat as kitchen gets expensive with rising food prices- Kathmandu Post

People are cutting down budget for meals, as plates have become more expensive in what is termed ‘lunchflation’. Click here to read…

Panel probing tax tweak charges seeks film footage from Singha Durbar gates- Kathamdnu Post

Committee yet to find anything substantial as police take time to look into the hard drive it gave on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Elahi suffers shock defeat as Hamza retains Punjab CM position after deputy speaker’s contentious ruling- Dawn

In a shock result, PML-Q’s PTI-backed candidate Parvez Elahi lost the Punjab chief minister’s election to PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz on Friday, after Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari ruled that PML-Q members’ votes were not counted in light of party head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s letter. Click here to read…

Opinion: Pakistan default- Dawn

WILL Pakistan actually default if the IMF, Saudi Arabia and other donors do not disburse a few billion dollars? Some are sounding the alarm bell, but others — including the government — insist that our economic ship is not about to sink anytime soon. They tell us we will not become Sri Lanka.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1700981/pakistan-default” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

PM Shehbaz reaffirms pledge to achieve SCO goals- Dawn

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that Pakistan was keen to work with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) member countries to promote cooperation in various fields and meet its goals. Click here to read…

37-member Punjab cabinet sworn in- Dawn

A 37-member cabinet of Punjab’s “trustee” Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz took oath of their offices here on Sunday evening, provoking the ire of the opposition PTI and PML-Q which termed it a violation of the court orders. Click here to read…

Completion of work on Rawal Dam Interchange flyover by July end ordered- Dawn

Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed on Sunday directed the engineering wing of the civic body to wrap up construction work on the Rawal Dam Interchange project by August 30, especially the flyover that he wanted to be up and running by the end of this month. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Open-Air theatre at Viharamahadevi Park available for peaceful protests: Prez- The Daily Mirror

President Ranil Wickremesinghe briefed the diplomatic community that facilitates within Colombo, such as the Open-Air theatre at Viharamahadevi Park, New Town Hall, Hyde Park and Campbell Park were all being made available for non-violent protests. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka faces risk of airlines pulling out as jet fuel issue worsens- The Daily Mirror

With no credible solution in sight to resolve the jet fuel shortage and the fund repatriation issues faced by the country’s aviation industry, several airlines are contemplating on suspending their operations to Sri Lanka threatening tourism industry’s recovery, which depends on air connectivity. Click here to read…

Rights group seeks arrest of former president Rajapaksa in Singapore- The Daily Mirror

A rights group documenting alleged abuses in Sri Lanka has filed a criminal complaint with Singapore’s attorney general, seeking the arrest of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his role in the South Asian nation’s decades-long civil war, the Reuters reported. Click here to read…

UK minister Tariq Ahmad says will continue to support Sri Lanka- The Daily Mirror

The United Kingdom (UK) will continue to support Sri Lanka through these challenges, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad said yesterday. Click here to read…

Not far from Sri Lanka moment, warns Imran- The Daily Mirror

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday warned that Pakistan is not far from a Sri Lanka moment when the public will fill the streets for the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’. Click here to read…

EU condemns unwarranted use of force against peaceful demonstrators- The Daily Mirror

While condemning the unwarranted use of force against peaceful demonstrators, the European Union (EU) has stressed the importance of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Click here to read…

Tamil Nadu sends INR74 crore worth rice, medicines to Sri Lanka- The Daily Mirror

Essential goods, including rice, milk powder and medicines all valued at ₹74 crore, was dispatched to Sri Lanka from the VOC Port Madurei by Lok Sabha MP K. Kanimozhi on Saturday. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 22, 2022

Afghanistan
180 Men Arrested in Kunduz in Past 3 Months: Tolo News

Security officials in Kunduz province said that during the past three months they have ar-rested 180 men on different criminal charges in the city and various districts of the prov-ince. According to the Kunduz Police Command, these men have been arrested due to var-ious crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, and murder. Click here to read…

Kabul, Islamabad Discuss Bilateral Trade: Tolo News

The acting Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nooruddin Azizi, said that Kabul is in talks with the Pakistani delegation that arrived in Kabul on Monday evening to sign an agree-ment to facilitate trade, transit and barter trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The barter trade, which is a serious issue for Afghan traders, cross-staffing, the trade of mate-rials, and coal will be discussed,” he said. Click here to read…

Facebook Bans Taliban-controlled Media Pages, Bakhtar News Agency & Afghanistan National Television: The Khaama Press

Facebook had suspended the Pashto and Dari pages of this media organization, according to Ahmadullah Wasiq, head of Afghanistan National Television. When the Taliban took Kabul on August 15, 2021, they seized control of Afghanistan National Television’s media center. As a result, they conducted extensive media activities. However, the pages of this media center and Bakhtar News Agency are currently inaccessibleClick here to read…

Forecasted Heavy Rainfall and Flash Floods in 19 Provinces of Afghanistan Prompts Warning from National Meteorological Department: The Khaama Press

Meteorologists at the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan Meteorological Department (AMD) have issued a warning due to the possibility of heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, wind gusts, and flash floods in 19 provinces across Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Narail communal attack: How it all went down- Dhaka Tribune

As many as 17 victims lost their valuables worth hundreds of thousands of taka due to the barbaric attack on Friday. Click here to read…

BD sets export target of $67 billion for FY23- Asian Age

This target, announced by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday, shows an over 10% growth estate, despite the volatility in the global economy owing to the Russia-Ukraine war, UNB reports. Click here to read…

Largest loan from IMF on the cards- The Daily Star

The International Monetary Fund is expecting a formal request for a loan from Bangla-desh soon to provide a buffer to the delicate foreign currency reserves amid global eco-nomic volatility even though the government remains in two minds about it. Click here to read…

IOM deputy DG in city- The Daily Star

IOM Deputy Director General Ugochi Daniels is coming to Bangladesh on a five-day visit today. Click here to read…

Media employees bill: Make it journo friendly- The Daily Star

Leaders of different journalist organisations yesterday demanded the government bring several changes to the Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill-2022, including dropping the provision of setting up mass media court, to make the proposed law journal-ist friendly. Click here to read…

2 ministries ask officials to cut energy expenses- The Daily Star

The finance ministry yesterday directed government officials to lower fuel and lubricant expenditures for their vehicles by 20 percent while the public administration ministry asked officials not to waste power. Click here to read…

Let us know of any homeless person- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would ensure home for every countryman. Click here to read…

Yet-to-start mega projects: Consider putting them on hold- The Daily Star

Given the current economic situation, the government should consider suspending mega projects the physical work of which has yet to begin, economist Debapriya Bhattacharya said yesterday. Click here to read…

Narco trade rose alarmingly since Rohingya influx- The Daily Star

Trafficking of illegal drugs, notably methamphetamine or ‘yaba’, from Myanmar to all its neighbouring countries has risen alarmingly since the 2017 Rohingya influx in Bangla-desh. Click here to read…

Fight against Trafficking: US recognises Tariqul Islam- The Daily Star

The US government has recognised Bangladesh’s Tariqul Islam, an advocate for victims of human trafficking whose work has helped increase tBangladesh government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute traffickers. Click here to read…

“Padma Bridge to strengthen Bangladesh-West Bengal ties”: PM invites Mama-ta- The Daily Star

“Padma Bridge is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between Bangladesh and West Bengal, or rather entire India, and open up new avenues for bilateral trade between the two countries,” PM Sheikh Hasina said in a letter to Mamata. Click here to read…

Bhutan
No vaccination for children under five for now- Kuensel

Children between the ages of six months and four years will not be given Covid-19 vac-cines for now. The National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) recom-mended this during the meeting held on July 22. Click here to read…

Coming to consensus: MMIV- Kuensel

The government’s discussion with the banks and the private sector on the monetary measures Phase IV is yet to arrive at a consensus. Click here to read…

Chinese villages in Bhutan’s Doklam now fully occupied- Deccan Chronical

In a worrying sign for India, new satellite images show that a village constructed by China in Bhutanese territory near Doklam is now fully occupied with “cars parked at the door-step of virtually every home”, as part of its salami slicing tactics. Click here to read…

At least four people come in conflict with law everyday in core Thimphu- BBS

The Central Thimphu Police Station alone arrest at least four people in a day for various crimes and offences. As per the RBP’s statistical report for 2020, the highest number of arrests made in the year was for battery cases. Today, the police have brought down crime in the city, including battery cases, through intense patrolling. Click here to read…

Maldives
India and Maldives to sign MoU on judicial cooperation – The Hindu

The MoU will provide a platform to tap benefits of Information Technology for court digit-ization, and can be a potential growth area for the IT companies and start-ups in both the countries, a statement from the Law Ministry said. Click here to read…

FM Shahid hopeful that Maldives-Colombia close bonds will continue to solid-ify – Raajje

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid has expressed hope that the close bonds of friendship and cooperation that exist between Maldives and Colombia, will continue to so-lidify in the future. Click here to read…

Pres. ratifies International Trade Controls on Endangered Species Act – Raajje

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the bill (No. 13/2022) on Wednesday, following which it has been publicized in the government gazette. The bill will come into effect three months from the date of ratification. The People’s Majlis passed the bill at the 22nd sitting of the second session of 2022, on June 30. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Coup, Covid, climate: the triple threat chasing citizens from Myanmar’s rice bowl – The Guardian

Climate changes in the baking heartlands, Covid-19 and the military’s violent attacks on villages since its coup in 2021 have prompted an exodus of young people from the region. Click here to read…

Regime’s Foreign Currency Restrictions Push Myanmar Towards Bankruptcy – The Irrawaddy

The new restrictions on US dollars introduced last week by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) have come as a crippling blow to businesses already struggling in an economic re-cession resulting from post-coup political turmoil and the COVID-19 pandemicClick here to read…

ASEAN special envoy plans third trip to Myanmar; hopes to use Aung San Suu Kyi’s influence to end violence – Channel News Asia

The Southeast Asian bloc’s special envoy for the crisis in Myanmar said on Wednesday (Jul 20) that he is planning a third official trip to the crisis-hit country and that if he meets Aung San Suu Kyi, wants to use her influence to end the violence there. Click here to read…

Military-Ruled Myanmar Facing Second Year of Negative Growth – The Diplo-mat

Myanmar is due for a second successive year of economic contraction, as global financial turbulence converges with the political and economic turmoil triggered by the February 2021 coup d’état, according to a prominent risk assessment agency. Click here to read…

The rapid rise of the Arakan Army – Mizzima

The Arakan Army (AA), despite being one of the more recently formed ethnic armed or-ganisations (EAOs) has rapidly risen to become one of the most powerful. The AA was formed in December 2009 in Kachin State by Tun Myat Naing, an ethnic Rakhine. It is the military wing of the United League of Arakan (ULA). The AA’s ideology is based on what they call The Rakhita Way. Click here to read…

Australian embassy spends $750,000 at luxury hotel linked to Myanmar’s military junta – ABC Net

Since last year’s military coup in Myanmar, an Australian embassy has spent more than $750,000 at a hotel in Yangon with links to the country’s junta, FOI documents show. Ac-tivists say Australian taxpayer dollars should not be spent at the hotel, which is built on land owned and leased by the country’s military. Click here to read…

Nepal
Aimless Nepali tourism awaits post-pandemic recovery- Kathmandu Post

Government fails to promote country after it reopened to foreign tourists following virus closures, travel traders say. Click here to read…

Bhim Rawal holds House to ransom- The Himalayan

On June 20, the government had decided to withdraw from the SPP after communist par-ties created a ruckus over the programme. Click here to read…

HoR endorses NEC (First Amendment) Bill- Himalayan

A meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today unanimously endorsed the Nepal Engineering Council (First Amendment) Bill, 2019. Click here to read…

Nepalis on foreign trips allowed to swap $200 thru money changers- Himala-yan

Nepali citizens travelling abroad can now exchange a maximum of $200 from the coun-try’s licensed money changers. Click here to read…

Victims object to proposed changes in laws that aim to absolve perpetrators- Kathmandu Post

There’s demand for withdrawal of the bill registered in parliament secretariat to amend the transitional justice Act so as to make it in line with the 2015 Supreme Court order. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Miftah sees economy stabilising with inflows ‘on cards’: Dawn

Blaming political factors for the latest downturn in currency and share markets, Pakistan’s economic managers tried on Wednesday to reassure that macroeconomic fundamentals were stabilising and $8.5-10 billion inflows have been lined up from friendly countries against a financing gap of $4bn estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Click here to read…

IMF not adding new conditions to pact: Ahsan Iqbal: Dawn

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not added new conditions to the staff-level agreement it concluded with Pakistan last week. Click here to read…

Rupee slides to record low of Rs226 against USD: The Express Tribune

The rupee’s downward spiral continued on Wednesday for the third consecutive day as it plunged by Rs4 against the greenback and was being traded at Rs226.51 in the inter-bank market. Click here to read…

PML-N in no mood to give PTI walkover in CM vote: The Express Tribune

The PTI has slogged it out in the heat and dust of legal cases to win back the country’s po-litical capital after being ousted from Islamabad and now, the long-anticipated nail-biting test match in Punjab is finally set to play out on Friday. Click here to read…

Horse-trading charges fly in Punjab: The News

Barbs and allegations kept flying on Wednesday between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) leaders about horse-trading, with demands from the former to send Asif Zardari, Rana Sanaullah and Atta Tarar to jail for indulging in illegal and unconstitutional act of buying loyalties of the Punjab MPAs. Click here to read…

Bound to increase electricity prices: Miftah: The News

Ruling out the possibility of breaching the IMF agreement, Minister for Finance Miftah Is-mail on Wednesday shared an ambitious plan to generate $11 billion, including sale of two RLNG-based power plants to a friendly country. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka made ‘dumb bets’ on China: CIA chief on crises-hit country: Hindu-stan Times

The chief of the US spy agency on Wednesday blamed “dumb bets” on high-debt Chinese investment as a factor in Sri Lanka’s economic collapse that triggered a political crisis in the island nation. Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, CIA chief Bill Burns said the mis-take should serve as a warning to other nations. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention: UN experts: National Herlad

Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention, not just from humanitari-an agencies, but also from international financial institutions and other countries who must come to the bankrupt country’s aid, according to UN human rights experts. Click here to read…

Ray of hope for Sri Lanka as India likely to begin trading with crisis-hit island nation in rupee: The News Indian Express

India sees a ray of hope in Sri Lanka with the election of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President of the island nation caught in economic bankruptcy and subsequent social un-rest. Click here to read…

Dinesh to be sworn in today- The Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena will take oaths as the Prime Minister today morning along with the previous cabinet of ministers, a senior SLPP source told Daily Mirror last night. Click here to read…

US concerned about actions taken against protesters- The Daily Mirror

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung today said that they are deeply concerned about actions taken against protesters at Galle Face in the middle of the night. Click here to read…

Tense situation at Galle Face protest site as security forces move in- The Daily Mirror

A tense situation is reported at the Galle Face protest site near the Presidential Secretariat as Police and troops moved in and remove protesters from the area. Click here to read…

National Fuel Pass QR code successfully experimented: Minister- The Daily Mirror

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijeskera today said that the QR code system un-der the National Fuel Pass portal was successfully experimented after the initial technical flaws.
https://www.dailymirror.lk/latest_news/National-Fuel-Pass-QR-code-successfully-experimented-Minister/342-241532″ target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

President visits Defence Ministry- The Daily Mirror

General Kamal Gunaratne, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence received the President upon his arrival at the Ministry. Click here to read…

UN acknowledges constitutional transfer of power in SL- The Daily Mirror

The United Nations has acknowledged the constitutional transfer of power to a new Pres-ident in Sri Lanka. Click here to read…

CIA chief says SL made ’dumb bets’ on China, and all the latest news- The Dai-ly Mirror

China’s debt trap diplomacy is believed to have become a major cause of Sri Lanka’s un-precedented economic crisis as it failed to take better steps to restructure its debts in dia-logue with the IMF. Click here to read…

20-25 member Cabinet to be appointed- The Daily Mirror

A Cabinet of 20-25 members will be appointed within the next few days to serve under President Ranil Wickremesinghe who will be sworn in tomorrow, Daily Mirror learns. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 21, 2022

Afghanistan
180 Men Arrested in Kunduz in Past 3 Months: Tolo News

Security officials in Kunduz province said that during the past three months they have arrested 180 men on different criminal charges in the city and various districts of the province. According to the Kunduz Police Command, these men have been arrested due to various crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, and murder. Click here to read…

Kabul, Islamabad Discuss Bilateral Trade: Tolo News

The acting Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nooruddin Azizi, said that Kabul is in talks with the Pakistani delegation that arrived in Kabul on Monday evening to sign an agreement to facilitate trade, transit and barter trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The barter trade, which is a serious issue for Afghan traders, cross-staffing, the trade of materials, and coal will be discussed,” he said. Click here to read…

Facebook Bans Taliban-controlled Media Pages, Bakhtar News Agency & Afghanistan National Television: The Khaama Press

Facebook had suspended the Pashto and Dari pages of this media organization, according to Ahmadullah Wasiq, head of Afghanistan National Television. When the Taliban took Kabul on August 15, 2021, they seized control of Afghanistan National Television’s media center. As a result, they conducted extensive media activities. However, the pages of this media center and Bakhtar News Agency are currently inaccessible. Click here to read…

Forecasted Heavy Rainfall and Flash Floods in 19 Provinces of Afghanistan Prompts Warning from National Meteorological Department: The Khaama Press

Meteorologists at the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan Meteorological Department (AMD) have issued a warning due to the possibility of heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, wind gusts, and flash floods in 19 provinces across Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Narail communal attack: How it all went down- Dhaka Tribune

As many as 17 victims lost their valuables worth hundreds of thousands of taka due to the barbaric attack on Friday. Click here to read…

BD sets export target of $67 billion for FY23- Asian Age

This target, announced by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday, shows an over 10% growth estate, despite the volatility in the global economy owing to the Russia-Ukraine war, UNB reports. Click here to read…

Bhutan
No vaccination for children under five for now- Kuensel

Children between the ages of six months and four years will not be given Covid-19 vaccines for now. The National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) recommended this during the meeting held on July 22. Click here to read…

Coming to consensus: MMIV- Kuensel

The government’s discussion with the banks and the private sector on the monetary measures Phase IV is yet to arrive at a consensus. Click here to read…

Chinese villages in Bhutan’s Doklam now fully occupied- Deccan Chronical

In a worrying sign for India, new satellite images show that a village constructed by China in Bhutanese territory near Doklam is now fully occupied with “cars parked at the doorstep of virtually every home”, as part of its salami slicing tactics. Click here to read…

At least four people come in conflict with law everyday in core Thimphu- BBS

The Central Thimphu Police Station alone arrest at least four people in a day for various crimes and offences. As per the RBP’s statistical report for 2020, the highest number of arrests made in the year was for battery cases. Today, the police have brought down crime in the city, including battery cases, through intense patrolling. Click here to read…

Maldives
India and Maldives to sign MoU on judicial cooperation – The Hindu

The MoU will provide a platform to tap benefits of Information Technology for court digitization, and can be a potential growth area for the IT companies and start-ups in both the countries, a statement from the Law Ministry said. Click here to read…

FM Shahid hopeful that Maldives-Colombia close bonds will continue to solidify – Raajje

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid has expressed hope that the close bonds of friendship and cooperation that exist between Maldives and Colombia, will continue to solidify in the future. Click here to read…

Pres. ratifies International Trade Controls on Endangered Species Act – Raajje

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the bill (No. 13/2022) on Wednesday, following which it has been publicized in the government gazette. The bill will come into effect three months from the date of ratification. The People’s Majlis passed the bill at the 22nd sitting of the second session of 2022, on June 30. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Coup, Covid, climate: the triple threat chasing citizens from Myanmar’s rice bowl – The Guardian

Climate changes in the baking heartlands, Covid-19 and the military’s violent attacks on villages since its coup in 2021 have prompted an exodus of young people from the region. Click here to read…

Regime’s Foreign Currency Restrictions Push Myanmar Towards Bankruptcy – The Irrawaddy

The new restrictions on US dollars introduced last week by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) have come as a crippling blow to businesses already struggling in an economic recession resulting from post-coup political turmoil and the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read…

ASEAN special envoy plans third trip to Myanmar; hopes to use Aung San Suu Kyi’s influence to end violence – Channel News Asia

The Southeast Asian bloc’s special envoy for the crisis in Myanmar said on Wednesday (Jul 20) that he is planning a third official trip to the crisis-hit country and that if he meets Aung San Suu Kyi, wants to use her influence to end the violence there. Click here to read…

Military-Ruled Myanmar Facing Second Year of Negative Growth – The Diplomat

Myanmar is due for a second successive year of economic contraction, as global financial turbulence converges with the political and economic turmoil triggered by the February 2021 coup d’état, according to a prominent risk assessment agency. Click here to read…

Nepal
Aimless Nepali tourism awaits post-pandemic recovery- Kathmandu Post

Government fails to promote country after it reopened to foreign tourists following virus closures, travel traders say. Click here to read…

Bhim Rawal holds House to ransom- The Himalayan

On June 20, the government had decided to withdraw from the SPP after communist parties created a ruckus over the programme. Click here to read…

HoR endorses NEC (First Amendment) Bill- Himalayan

A meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today unanimously endorsed the Nepal Engineering Council (First Amendment) Bill, 2019. Click here to read…

Nepalis on foreign trips allowed to swap $200 thru money changers- Himalayan

Nepali citizens travelling abroad can now exchange a maximum of $200 from the country’s licensed money changers. Click here to read…

Victims object to proposed changes in laws that aim to absolve perpetrators- Kathmandu Post

There’s demand for withdrawal of the bill registered in parliament secretariat to amend the transitional justice Act so as to make it in line with the 2015 Supreme Court order. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Miftah sees economy stabilising with inflows ‘on cards’: Dawn

Blaming political factors for the latest downturn in currency and share markets, Pakistan’s economic managers tried on Wednesday to reassure that macroeconomic fundamentals were stabilising and $8.5-10 billion inflows have been lined up from friendly countries against a financing gap of $4bn estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Click here to read…

IMF not adding new conditions to pact: Ahsan Iqbal: Dawn

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not added new conditions to the staff-level agreement it concluded with Pakistan last week. Click here to read…

Rupee slides to record low of Rs226 against USD: The Express Tribune

The rupee’s downward spiral continued on Wednesday for the third consecutive day as it plunged by Rs4 against the greenback and was being traded at Rs226.51 in the inter-bank market. Click here to read…

PML-N in no mood to give PTI walkover in CM vote: The Express Tribune

The PTI has slogged it out in the heat and dust of legal cases to win back the country’s political capital after being ousted from Islamabad and now, the long-anticipated nail-biting test match in Punjab is finally set to play out on Friday. Click here to read…

Horse-trading charges fly in Punjab: The News

Barbs and allegations kept flying on Wednesday between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) leaders about horse-trading, with demands from the former to send Asif Zardari, Rana Sanaullah and Atta Tarar to jail for indulging in illegal and unconstitutional act of buying loyalties of the Punjab MPAs. Click here to read…

Bound to increase electricity prices: Miftah: The News

Ruling out the possibility of breaching the IMF agreement, Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail on Wednesday shared an ambitious plan to generate $11 billion, including sale of two RLNG-based power plants to a friendly country. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka made ‘dumb bets’ on China: CIA chief on crises-hit country: Hindustan Times

The chief of the US spy agency on Wednesday blamed “dumb bets” on high-debt Chinese investment as a factor in Sri Lanka’s economic collapse that triggered a political crisis in the island nation. Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, CIA chief Bill Burns said the mistake should serve as a warning to other nations. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention: UN experts: National Herlad

Sri Lanka’s economic collapse needs immediate global attention, not just from humanitarian agencies, but also from international financial institutions and other countries who must come to the bankrupt country’s aid, according to UN human rights experts. Click here to read…

Ray of hope for Sri Lanka as India likely to begin trading with crisis-hit island nation in rupee: The News Indian Express

India sees a ray of hope in Sri Lanka with the election of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President of the island nation caught in economic bankruptcy and subsequent social unrest. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 20, 2022

Bhutan
BCCI study identifies 20 potential business opportunities- Kuensel

There are 20 potential business opportunities in agriculture, education, energy, manufacturing, information and communication technology, and tourism sectors across 20 dzongkhags according to a study initiated by the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Click here to read…

Bhutan to host 75th RCM- Kuensel

Bhutan will host the 75th Regional Committee Meeting (RCM-75) for the third time this year from September 5 to 9 in Paro. Click here to read…

Nepal
Efforts on to forge left ideological alliance- Himalayan Times

Five top communist leaders – Chair of CPN-Maoist Centre Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Chair of CPN (Unified Socialist) Madhav Kumar Nepal, senior CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhalanath Khanal, and Coordinator of CPN-Unity National Campaign Bamdev Gautam – met here today and discussed the possibility of left ideological alliance or unity. Click here to read…

MC Chair Dahal and former PM Bhattarai hold meeting- Himalayan Times

CPN (Maoist Centre) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai have held talks today on contemporary political issues. Click here to read…

Streamline mountain tourism: NMA- Himalayan Times

Nepal Mountaineering Association, the country’s only alpine club, has asked the government to introduce a one-door policy to streamline all activities related to mountaineering tourism. Click here to read…

Leftists in Congress-led coalition discuss socialist centre idea- Kathmandu Post

Dahal, Bhattarai and Unified Socialist leaders explore possibility of a left front as observers wonder if the bid is aimed at creating a sub-alliance minus UML for the upcoming polls. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 19, 2022

Afghanistan
U.S. Simplifies Application Process for Afghan Special Immigrant Visa: Tolo News

The United States will simplify the application process for Afghan special immigrant visas with applicants only needing to file one form, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Click here to read…

Qatar Foundation Reports Helping More Than 400 Families in Nimroz: Tolo News

A Qatari foreign aid organization has provided food aid to more than 400 families in Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz. The aid was provided by Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani charity, also known as the Qatar FoundationClick here to read…

Earthquakes Devastate Quake-Hit Afghanistan Again: The Khaama Press

Two relatively powerful earthquakes have been reported by local sources in the provinces of Paktika, Paktia, Logar, and Badakhshan. In the Gayan district of Paktika province, which was already severely damaged by the earthquake on June 22nd, reports of damages include the demolition of several homes and the injury of many people. Click here to read…

Taliban’s Central Bank Injects $12 Million to the Market to Maintain the Currency Value: The Khaama Press

The Central Bank will hold a foreign currency auction on Tuesday, 19 July, according to the Central Bank’s newsletter, inviting banks, money exchange dealers, and other competent parties including qualified money service companies to participate. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Economic jitters felt by stock market- The Daily Star

The jitters surrounding the state of the economy are reverberating on the stock market, with the key index dropping for the fifth day in a row. Click here to read…

Indian army chief here on a 5-day visit- The Daily Star

Indian army chief General Manoj Pande yesterday lauded Bangladesh Army’s leadership and overall high standards. Click here to read…

Bangladesh seeks time to respond to UN- The Daily Star

Bangladesh has sought a week from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to respond to a letter wanting to know the country’s human rights issues and the government’s relations with rights bodies. Click here to read…

India for 4th Dhaka-Kolkata train service- The Daily Star

India has formally proposed to operate a fourth inter-country train service from Dhaka to Kolkata. Click here to read…

EU delegation here to talk about trade standards- The Daily Star

A six-member delegation of the European Parliament arrived in Dhaka yesterday to learn about the country’s trade with Europe and its progress in adapting to more demanding trade standards. Click here to read…

Bhutan
PM assures Autsho shopkeepers follow-up on plot allotment issue- Kuensel

The shopkeepers of Autsho town say they are hopeful of getting plots in the town after Lyonchen Dr Lotay Tshering committed to follow-up with the relevant agencies regarding the long overdue plot allotment of Austho satellite town last weekend during his visit to Lhuentse. Click here to read…

New machines to reduce TB testing time- Kuensel

The health ministry (MoH) yesterday launched VITEK MS and VITEK 2 compact services at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDNRH) that would cut turnaround time and improve service delivery with efficient and test results. Click here to read…

Bhutan to host 75th RCM- Kuensel

Bhutan will host the 75th Regional Committee Meeting (RCM-75) for the third time this year from September 5 to 9 in Paro. Click here to read…

Maldives
Indian travel agents arrives in Maldives for familiarization trip – Raajje

Travel agents from leading travel agencies from India have arrived in the Maldives on an invitation by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relation Corporation (MMPRC) on a familiarization trip. Click here to read…

President ratifies the Evidence Act – Raajje

President Solih ratified the Evidence Act on Monday. The Evidence Act bill was passed by the Parliament at the 22nd sitting of its second session on June 30, 2022. The act specifies the procedures to be followed when gathering evidence in civil and criminal proceedings. The act also specifies the processes to be followed when submitting, accepting, and evaluating evidence. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Thailand’s Myanmar Policy Is Costing Communities on Both Sides of the Border – The Diplomat

On June 30, a Myanmar air force jet, identified as a Russian-made MiG-29, violated Thai airspace while on a bombing raid in eastern Myanmar. The jet’s incursion prompted the evacuation of homes and classrooms in the Phop Phra district of Thailand’s Tak provinceClick here to read…

China-Backed Illegal Rare Earth Mining Surging in Northern Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

Illegal rare earth mining has surged in northern Kachin State since last year’s coup in areas along the border with China controlled by a militia sponsored by the Myanmar military. Click here to read…

Myanmar leader shops for support, weapons in Moscow – Aljazeera

With both regimes increasingly isolated on the world stage, Myanmar’s top general has been in Moscow to meet senior officials from Russia’s defence ministry, pledging deeper military ties and cooperation on nuclear energy. Click here to read…

Six Myanmar Regime Officials Assassinated in Yangon in Last Four Days – The Irrawaddy

At least six Myanmar junta officials including a judge and an army captain have been killed in the commercial capital Yangon in the last four days. On Monday morning, army captain Aung Naing Phyoe from the military’s weapons factory and his wife Ma Jue Jue Aung were shot dead by gunmen in Yangon’s Hlaing Township while they were drivingClick here to read…

India signs MoUs with Myanmar, other countries to increase pulses import – ZeeBiz

In a bid to ease the supply-side pressure amid rising inflation, the government has decided to increase the import of Tur and Urad for the next five years. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday issued a notification stating that New Delhi will import Tur and Urad from Myanmar, Malawi and Mozambique. Click here to read…

Myanmar central bank orders firms with up to 35% foreign ownership to convert forex – ChannelNewsAsia

Myanmar’s central bank has ordered companies with up to 35 per cent foreign ownership to convert foreign exchange into the local currency, state media reported on Monday, extending a rule aimed at relieving pressure on the kyat to include more businesses. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal Oil to pay Rs17 billion to Indian oil supplier to reduce outstanding dues- The Kathmandu Post

Despite reduced fuel cost amid decreasing fuel price internationally, the oil monopoly has kept prices unchanged. Click here to read…

Dahal receives warm welcome in Delhi as Nepal’s envoy is kept cooling his heels- The Kathmandu Post

Officials at the Nepali embassy say they are still awaiting response from the Indian ministries for formal meetings with Shankar Sharma, Kathmandu’s ambassador to India. Click here to read…

Government to provide Rs 7 billion loan to NOC- The Himalayan Times

The government is to provide a loan of Rs 7 billion to Nepal Oil Corporation to make the supply of petroleum products smooth. Click here to read…

Ban continues on import of 10 types of goods- The Himalayan Times

The government has retained the prohibition on the import of 10 various goods. Before this, the ban had been imposed until the end of Asar (July 16). It has been extended till August 30. Click here to read…

Undeterred coalition resolves not to rush into election: Dawn

Amid the opposition Pakis¬tan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) fresh demand for early general elections after registering a thumping victory in the crucial Punjab by-elections on Sunday, the two main component parties of the ruling coalition — the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakis¬tan Peoples Party (PPP) — on Monday insisted the Nat¬ional Assembly will complete its term until mid-next year, and general elections be held after the government carries out electoral reforms and fixes the economy. Click here to read…

Basking in poll glory, Imran toughens line: The Express Tribune

A day after securing a resounding victory in Punjab by-polls, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday reiterated his demand for holding fresh elections in the country under a new chief election commissioner (CEC). Click here to read…

US dollar soars to new high against PKR in interbank market: The News

The Pakistani rupee depreciated further in the interbank market on Tuesday hitting a new low of 216.75 in the interbank market against the US dollar.The rupee lost 1.55 during the intraday trade. It lost 4.25 rupees or 1.97% against the greenback on Monday and closed at 215.20, suffering one of the biggest single-day falls. Click here to read…

Remittances surge to record high of $31.2bn in FY2022: The News

Pakistan received $31.2 billion in remittances from overseas in July-June FY2022, a 6.1 percent increase from $29.4 billion in the previous year. Remittances increased 18.4 percent month-on-month to $2.76 billion in June. These inflows saw 1.7 percent year-on-year growth in June. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa withdraws from Presidential nomination- The Daily Mirror

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has decided to withdraw his presidential nomination and the SJB will support SLPP MP Dullas Allahapperuma in the Presidential election in Parliament tomorrow. Click here to read…

Israel’s Arkia considering to operate flights to Sri Lanka- The Daily Mirror

Israel’s second largest airline, Arkia is looking at expanding its operations to Sri Lanka and Thailand, following Saudi Arabia’s plan to allow unfettered access to its airspace to Israeli airlines. Click here to read…

70% of Sri Lankans believe that the Executive Presidency should be abolished- The Daily Mirror

The June 2022 syndicated survey conducted by Verité Research, revealed that 70% (± 2%) of the country’s population is of the opinion that the executive presidency should be abolished. Click here to read…

Freighted petrol undergoes quality sampling, unloading tomorrow: Minister- The Daily Mirror

One shipment of Petrol reached the country is presently undergoing quality sampling and unloading will begin tomorrow, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said. Click here to read…

RW to seek assistance of UK govt. & intelligence over Easter Sunday attacks- The Daily Mirror

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe today stated that the absence of a proper Easter Sunday investigation has meant that this issue has still not been fully resolved and he is requesting the assistance of the UK Government and their intelligence services. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s ambassador urges ADB and World Bank to take bigger role in debt restructure- The Island

Sri Lanka has not reached any initial agreement with the IMF on debt relief, and its largest creditors -the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank – are urged to come up with a package that would speed up its debt restructuring process, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Palitha Kohona told the Global Times in an exclusive interviewClick here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 18, 2022

Afghanistan
UN Official Calls for Afghan Girls’ Access to Secondary Education: Tolo News

Markus Potzel, the UN deputy special envoy for Afghanistan, in a visit to the eastern province of Nangarhar, stressed the need for Afghan girls’ access to secondary education and said girls and boys should be provided with the same rights to educationClick here to read…

Interior Minister Asks World to Recognize Islamic Emirate: Tolo News

“Based on international principles and our Islamic and national traditions they should recognize the Islamic Emirate, but if they don’t recognize it, I assure our people that Afghans are not without resolve. They (Afghans) have fought for 20 years without foreign resources, and with their faith and zeal, they will fight against the economic situation with the strength of their arms,” he said. Click here to read…

Gunmen Shoot a Newly Returned Man from Iran Dead in Northern Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

According to local sources in Faryab province in northern Afghanistan, unidentified assailants shot and killed a man in the district of Almar, which is located about 35 kilometers from the provincial capital. The incident, according to sources occurred in Halwa Khor village of the said district on Saturday night, July 16. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Fuel stocks dwindling- The Daily Star

Uncertainty looms over the country’s fuel stock as the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation is finding it difficult to import fuel amid a dollar shortage at local banks. Click here to read…

Stop illegal entry of Rohingyas in Bangladesh- The Daily Star

Dhaka has requested Delhi to stop the illegal entry of Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh from India. Click here to read…

Dhaka Metro Rail now set to cost 50% more- The Daily Star

With the partial launch of the country’s first ever metro rail only five months away, the project cost is set to rise by more than half, and the deadline is also going to be extended by a year and half. Click here to read…

Rice import resumes at Benapole land port after 10 months- The Daily Star

Import of rice from India resumed at Benapole land port today (July 17) after 10 months with a consignment of 512 tonnes rice entering Bangladesh side in the afternoon. Click here to read…

Indian Army chief on 3-day visit to Bangladesh- The Daily Star

Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Pande today embarked on a three-day visit to Bangladesh beginning tomorrow (July 18), his first foreign trip since assuming office. Click here to read…

Labour rights violations, red-tapism might hamper Bangladesh-EU trade: Envoy- The Daily Star

Violation of labour rights and “red-tapism” in business are the two big factors that might hamper trade between Bangladesh and Europe, said EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whitely today (July 15), stressing the need to improve on these fronts. Click here to read…

Bhutan
New tourist entry points in southern dzongkhags from September- Kuensel

When tourism formally reopens on September 23, new entry and exit points for tourists in southern dzongkhags will also open, according to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB). Click here to read…

Will the new tourism policy impact tour guides?- Kuensel

With the new Tourism Levy Act coming into effect on June 20, tour guides are unsure about their engagementClick here to read…

Bhutan records the highest temperature at 38.5C amid global heat warning- BBS

Many around the globe are feeling extreme heat this time around. It is no different for Bhutan. The country recorded historically the highest temperature of 38.5C in Punakha yesterday. This is 0.5C higher than the historical temperature which was also recorded in Punakha in 2019. Click here to read…

(Interview) Bhutan-China ties won’t harm India’s interests: Bhutan Foreign Minister the Hindu

India’s interests on the Doklam tri-junction will not be harmed or “compromised” by the agreement between Bhutan and China for a three-step “road map” to resolve their outstanding border disputes, Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji said in an interview to The Hindu. Click here to read…

Maldives
Bill to increase GST, TGST to be submitted to parliament before new session begins- The SUN

Finance Ministry, on Sunday, has stated that the bill pertaining to increase of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Tourism Goods and Service Tax (TGST) will be submitted to the parliament before they convene for new session. Click here to read…

Madduvari MP: Gov needs to explain hesitancy to investigate Maduvvari rape case- The SUN

Parliament representative for Maduvvari constituency and Parliamentary group leader of the opposition, MP Adam Shareef said that the government needs to explain its hesitancy towards re-kindling the investigation of the gang rape of a 14-year-old student girl in R. Maduvvari. Click here to read…

President Solih to visit India on official trip- The SUN

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is scheduled to visit India on an official trip. Click here to read…

Foreign Minister Shahid conferred Grand Cross of Order of Antonio Jose de Irisarri- The SUN

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has been conferred the Grand Cross of the Order of Antonio Jose de Irisarri by the Guatemalan government. Click here to read…

President ratifies amendment to Fisheries Act- The SUN

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Sunday, ratified the first amendment to the Fisheries Act. Click here to read…

President: Reopening of border led to economic revival- The SUN

The decision to reopen Maldives’ borders after the lockdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic was a good decision which led to economic revival, elevating the country to where it currently stands, states President Ibrahim Mohamed Soli. Click here to read…

Soldiers drain flooded streets as rain continues to batter Male’- The SUN

Officers from the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Fire and Rescue Service have been dispatched to drain the flooded streets as rain continues to batter Male’ City. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar companies with 35% ownership of foreigners must convert foreign currency to Myanmar kyat- The Global New Light of Myanmar

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) made an announcement on 15 July, stating that Myanmar companies with 35 per cent ownership of foreigners must convert foreign currencies from their foreign exchange accounts to Myanmar Kyat, according to the decision of the Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee (FESC)’s meeting No 32/2022. Click here to read…

Myawady Trade Zone handled US$ 42.262 million worth of trade volume- The Global New Light of Myanmar

According to the Ministry of Commerce, a trade volume worth US$ 42.262 million was handled at the Myawady Trade Zone in June. Click here to read…

Maximum amount of CMP garments, industrial raw materials, agricultural products exported abroad in Q1- The Global New Light of Myanmar

During the three months of the 2022-2023 Financial Year-FY, industrial raw materials, including CMP garments, were exported the most, and agricultural products were the second largest, according to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Click here to read…

SAC Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing holds talks with Head of Novosibirsk, arrives back from Russian Federation- The Global New Light of Myanmar

Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing currently in Novosibirsk of the Russian Federation held discussions with Head of Novosibirsk Mr Andrey Alexandrovich Travnikov at the latter’s office meeting hall yesterday. Click here to read…

Govt allocates US$16 mln for ART medicines, medical supplies in current FY – The Global New Light of Myanmar

The government allocated $16 million to buy ART medicines and medical supplies in the 2022-23 Financial Year (FY), according to the Ministry of HealthClick here to read…

Myanmar attends 32nd South East Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) Council Meeting in Cambodia- The Global New Light of Myanmar

Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs U Min Thein Zan attended the 32nd South East Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) Council Meeting held in Cambodia between 11 and 13 July together with the director-general and other four members of the Department of Sports and Physical Education. Click here to read…

Dagon University signs MoU with Gifu University of Japan- The Global New Light of Myanmar

A signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Science Departments of Dagon University and those under the Engineering Faculty of Gifu University, Japan, was held at the meeting hall of the Rector’s Office in Dagon University yesterday. Click here to read…

China-Backed Illegal Rare Earth Mining Surging in Northern Myanmar- The Irrawaddy

Illegal rare earth mining has surged in northern Kachin State since last year’s coup in areas along the border with China controlled by a militia sponsored by the Myanmar military. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi testifies in election fraud trial- Caledonian Record

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is testifying for the first time in an election fraud charge against her and two co-defendantsClick here to read…

Nepal
Ensure security personnel, staff on poll day get to vote: SC- Himalayan Times

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to ensure that security personnel, including Nepali Army soldiers in military barracks, government employees deployed on poll duty, prisoners, and detainees have the right to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections likely to be held in November. Click here to read…

Drought hits paddy in Tarai- Himalayan Times

At this time of the year, farmers should have been busy planting paddy. But, drought has left farmers in misery. They are just looking at the sky expecting rain. Click here to read…

Indian envoy Srivastava calls on HoR speaker- Himalayan Times

Newly appointed Ambassador of India to Nepal Naveen Srivastava today paid a courtesy call on Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal Agni Prasad Sapkota at the latter’s office in Singha Durbar.Click here to read…

‘Visit fruitful, I had candid talks with Indian leaders in Delhi’- Kathmandu Post

The Maoist Centre chair on his three-day India trip, its purpose and the outcome.
Click here to read…

India visit fruitful: Maoist Center Chairman Dahal- Republica

Talking to media persons at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival from India after concluding a three-day visit on Sunday evening, Chairman Dahal said that the conversation with the Indian side was held in a cordial atmosphere. Click here to read…

What message did Liu Jianchao bring to Kathmandu on Nepal-China relations?- Online Khabar

It was only in 2003 that the Chinese government gave its first official view on the armed conflict that started in Nepal in 1996. “A group in Nepal are defaming our respected leader Mao Zedong,” their statement read. Click here to read…

Pakistan
PTI stuns PML-N with thumping win: Dawn

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Sunday routed the PML-N by winning at least 15 seats in the crucial by-elections on 20 seats that got vacated after the disqualification of PTI members who had voted for Hamza Shehbaz for Punjab chief minister’s office. Click here to read…

US terms Imran’s claim disturbing, looks ahead to strong ties: Dawn

Addressing a convention of Pakistani physicians in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Director Pakistan Desk Neil W. Hop described US-Pakis¬tan relations as “a partnership we cannot do without”. Click here to read…

Imran renews call for fair polls after PTI’s landslide victory over PML-N in Punjab: The Express Tribune

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) saw its victory in Sunday’s by-elections in Punjab as an endorsement of its demand for fresh elections in the country, with the party Chairman Imran Khan reiterating that “fair polls” were only way forward. Click here to read…

Latest party position in Punjab Assembly after by-elections: The News

The landslide victory of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab by-polls has completely changed the numbers game in the Punjab Assembly and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi is most likely to replace Hamza Shehbaz Sharif as the new chief minister of the province in coming days. Click here to read…

What now for PDM?: The News

They have for sure put an end to Hamza Shehbaz’s dreams of retaining chief ministership of Punjab. The PMLN needed to win at least 11 seats so that Hamza Shehbaz could be re-elected as Punjab chief minister while the PTI needed at least 14 for its CM candidate Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to win the elections. The results that came in showed a triumphant PTI hitting the proverbial home run. The PMLN has conceded defeat and it is now merely a formality of a vote before the PMLQ’s Pervaiz Elahi becomes the next CM of Punjab. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
State of Emergency declared from today- The Daily Mirror

An Extraordinary Gazette has been issued declaring a State of Emergency across the island with effect from today. Click here to read…

India eclipses China to become top lender to debt-laden Sri Lanka – The Daily Mirror

India has surpassed China to become the top lender to Sri Lanka, as the former came to the rescue when Sri Lanka started experiencing some acute shortage of foreign currency from the beginning of the year which reached a breaking point in March causing a complete collapse of the country’s economy. Click here to read…

CPC to low fuel prices from tonight- The Daily Mirror

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has decided to reduce the retail price of their fuel from 10.00 pm today. Click here to read…

Much needs to be done to prevent falling down; Ranil- The Daily Mirror- The Daily Mirror

Whilst revealing that the G7 alliance on the global food crisis has offered Sri Lanka US$ 14 million to spend on food, Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe said there is much to be done to avoid third-world countries such as Sri Lanka falling down on their knees in the face of the global situationClick here to read…

US organization donates medical supplies worth USD 908,547 to SL- The Daily Mirror

Heart to Heart International, a renowned global humanitarian organization in the United States made urgent medicinal supplies worth USD 908,547 (LKR 326,077,518.30) to the people of Sri Lanka following a request by Sri Lankan Ambassador for US Mahinda Samarasinghe. Click here to read…

Possible recession in eurozone likely to worsen SL’s forex woes- The Daily Mirror

Fitch Ratings this week warned that Sri Lanka’s export and tourism sectors are likely to take a hit from the possible recession in the eurozone and it could further exacerbate the country’s actuate foreign exchange shortage. Click here to read…

IMF hopes to soon resume Sri Lanka high-level discussions- The Daily Mirror

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is still in contact with the officials at technical levels within the Sri Lankan government and hopes to be able to resume discussions with higher-level officials, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, after Sri Lanka’s president announced his resignation. Click here to read…

China to play positive role in supporting SL: Wang Wenbin- The Daily Mirror

China is ready to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to continue to play a positive role in supporting Sri Lanka in overcoming difficulties, easing its debt burden and realizing sustainable development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday. Click here to read…

China will agree to US$4 billion aid for Sri Lanka ’at some point’: Kohona- The Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka is continuing negotiations with China for as much as US$4 billion in aid and is confident Beijing will agree “at some point,” Bloomberg News reported on Friday (Jul 15), citing Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China. Click here to read…

India to support early solution in SL through democratic means: Indian HC- The Daily Mirror

India will continue to stand with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values as well as established institutions and a constitutional framework, Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: July 15, 2022

Afghanistan
Noted religious scholar gunned down in Kabul- Pajhwok

Noted religious scholar Sardar Wali Saqib has been killed by unknown gunmen in the capital Kabul, an official said on Thursday. Click here to read…

Taliban to Participate in Tashkent International Conference- Afghanistan Times

he Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) delegations will participate in an International Conference on Afghanistan which will be held On July 25-26, 2022, in Tashkent with the participation of more than 20 countries and international organizations, a statement from the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs published. Click here to read…

Dozens Dead as Flash Flood in Afghanistan- Afghanistan Times

Unseasonal rain and flooding has plagued Afghanistan over the past week. The UN has reported at least 39 deaths and 14 injuries. The central Afghan province of Ghazni is the hardest-hit region. Afghanistan’s eastern region has experienced three flash floods in less than a month. Click here to read…

Afghanistan Ranked Worst Country for Gender Gap- Tolo News

Afghanistan was ranked 146 — the lowest country — in the Global Gender Gap Index 2022 rankings. Click here to read…

Kabul Asks Ex-ANDSF Soldiers Studying in India to Return- Tolo News

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs asked all military students who are in India and other countries to return to Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Country first in S Asia for secondary education- Daily Star

Bangladesh has the lowest proportion of youths aged between 15 and 24 without secondary education level skills in South Asia, found a recent study. Click here to read…

Jute, jute goods exports fall for soaring shipping costs- Daily Star

Exports of jute and jute goods from Bangladesh declined in the last fiscal year due to the unprecedented surge in shipping costs and the higher price of raw fibres. Click here to read…

G20 finance leaders meet in Bali under cloud of Ukraine war- Dhaka Tribune

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”, has overshadowed previous G20 meetings, including last week’s gathering of foreign ministers. Click here to read…

Foreign loans stressed to keep forex reserves in good shape- Asian Age

As a precautionary move, Bangladesh has started talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about taking a loan of $4-4.5 billion to shore up the precarious foreign currency reservesClick here to read…

Bangladesh may face Sri Lanka-like situation: GM Quader- Asian Age

Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quade on Thursday warned that Bangladesh may face a Sri Lanka-like situation due to the implementation of mega projects with foreign loans. Click here to read…

Bhutan
DTT members confident of getting party registered- Kuensel

Members of the newly formed political party, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT), are confident of getting the party registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). Click here to read…

Both countries should ensure minimum cost and avoid delays to maintain viability of future hydro projects- Kuensel

Outgoing Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Ruchira Kamboj, talks to Kuensel reporter Dechen Dolkar on issues pertaining to hydropower projects, fuel prices and railway network. Click here to read…

Nepal
Facilitating Nepal’s economic growth and strengthening trade ties are key priorities, says Dean Thompson, US Ambassador nominee to Nepal- Himalayan Times

US Ambassador nominee to Nepal, Dean R Thompson said that facilitating Nepal’s economic growth and strengthening trade ties are his key priorities during his time in Nepal, in his opening statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Click here to read…

National pride projects’ cost goes up- Himalayan Times

Both the cost and completion time of projects run under the national pride projects have increased, finds the report released by the Office of the Auditor General yesterday. Click here to read…

‘Eligible people deprived of Nepali citizenship’- Himalayan Times

The House of Representatives today held a debate on the Nepal Citizenship (First Amendment) Bill. Lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties said that eligible citizens had been deprived of citizenship for long due to non-enactment of new federal citizenship law. Click here to read…

US envoy nominee: Nepal ratified MCC despite China’s ‘disinformation campaign’- Kathmandu Post

In his opening statement before the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, Thompson says he is ‘well prepared’ to take up the assignment in Kathmandu. Click here to read…

Nepal, China agree to activate existing boundary mechanisms- Kathmandu Post

Mechanisms will be formed soon, either during Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka’s upcoming China visit, or at another bilateral meeting, officials say. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Imran ‘deeply hurt’ by detailed SC judgement- Dawn

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, expressing his disappointment with the detailed verdict issued by the Supreme Court in suo motu case against the ruling of the deputy speaker on Wednesday night, said the top court should have probed the issue after President Arif Alvi shared it with the chief justice. Click here to read…

Authorities across country brace for ‘rain disaster’- Dawn

Disaster management authorities are bracing for another spell of torrential rains, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan, in anticipation of a “vigorous monsoon” as rain lashed parts of Balochistan, triggering another wave of flash floods in the southwestern province on Thursday. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Urea under Indian credit line arrives- Daily Mirror

Forty-six thousand metric tons of urea fertilizer under the Indian credit line reached Sri Lanka recently. The consignment was taken to government warehouses in Colombo yesterday. Click here to read…

Nod given for use of lethal force- Island

The Armed Forces had been ordered to use lethal force if it is necessary to protect public property, key installations, vulnerable points and human lives, the Army announced yesterday. Click here to read…

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation official- Ceylon Today

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially resigned as Sri Lanka’s President. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena made the announcement at a media briefing earlier this morningClick here to read…

Fulfill people’s expectations within democratic framework: Chief Prelates- Daily News

The country will become anarchic, through arbitrary power struggles, the Mahanayake Theras of the Three Chapters issuing a statement said yesterday (14). Click here to read…