Tag Archives: Myanmar

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 7, 2022

Afghanistan
University Entrance Exams Held Around Country: Tolo News

University entrance exams were begun on Thursday in 33 provinces of the country. The Ministry of Higher Education said that the university entrance exams will continue for three days. “University entrance exams were held in 33 provinces of the country and this exam will continue for three days,” said Ahmad Taqa, a spokesman for the MoHE. Click here to read…

Requirement of dams on Kabul river for the better management of Afghanistan’s water: Opinion: The Khaama Press

Afghanistan has abundant water resources. 80% of such resources come from surface water that flows from snowfields and glaciers in the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountains. The country with a total of 75 billion cubic meters of water per annum, surface water capturing 55 billion cubic meters, and groundwater making 20 billion cubic meters, is able to consume 27% of its water and the remaining 73% flows to the neighboring countries. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina on way to her village home in Tungipara: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana have started for Tungipara by road from her official residence Ganabhaban. They left Ganabhaban at 7:15am on Friday, according to a message from PM’s press wing. Click here to read…

Dhaka, Tokyo launch cooperation for improved sewerage services: Dhaka Tribune

To promote improved sewerage services, the Asian Development Bank facilitated a high-level dialogue between Bangladesh and Japan, and launched a new partnership between Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Assam’s advantage in Bhutan-Bangladesh trade – Sentinel Assam

Bangladesh opening six new ports of call for using its waterways and seaports by Bhutan is good news for Assam as it will make the Brahmaputra River route a growing hub of trade and commerce between India’s two neighbouring countries. The development of multimodal transport facilities along the Brahmaputra will attract more Bhutanese traders to make optimal use of the improved connectivity through Assam for the expansion of their export-import business. The amended Standard Operating Procedure signed by Bangladesh and Bhutan on September 15 in Dhaka on the use of inland waterways designates Aricha, Chilmari, Sirajganj, Mongla, Chittagong and Payra Port as the new ports of call for use by Bhutan. Click here to read…

Bhutan fee funds happiness – TTR Weekly

A daily USD200 sustainable development fee is being tagged onto the cost of visiting Bhutan following the reopening of the mountain kingdom’s borders last month. It’s all about funding Gross National Happiness. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives: the legacy of Islamic State – Lowly Institute

From 2014 to 2018, more people departed the Maldives to join with Islamic State than from any other country. In total, this figure is estimated at 250 men and women from a country of only 500,000. Most who went died. The surviving women and children, around 50, are today detained in the Al Hol and Roj camps in northeast Syria. Click here to read…

MoUs signed between Maldives, Bahrain, prove commitment to further solidify bilateral ties – Raajje

He said this during a joint press conference held alongside Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He reaffirmed that the Maldivian government is committed to solidifying the relationship between both countries, to new heights. The foreign minister also thanked the respective dignitaries for bringing the two countries together. The key agreements signed between the government of Maldives and the Kingdom of Bahrain have proved the commitment of both countries to further solidify bilateral ties, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US Announces Sanctions on Myanmar Military-Linked Arms Broker – The Diplomat

The United States has announced a further round of sanctions on Myanmar’s military government, targeting three individuals and one entity “for their roles related to the procurement of Russian-produced military arms from Belarus for the Burmese regime.” Click here to read…

Indonesia told to prioritise Myanmar, Indo-Pacific: Analysts – Asia News Network

Amid preparations for November’s ASEAN Summit less than 40 days away, when the baton of the chairmanship is set to pass from Cambodia to Indonesia, calls are mounting for Jakarta to take decisive steps to address the Myanmar political crisis while juggling an abundance of other challenges that will test the Southeast Asia bloc’s unity. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal faces constitutional crisis – Greater Kashmir

Nepal has a history of the Rana regime (1901-1948), coup d’état led by King Mahendra who dismissed the elected government of B.P. KoiralaiIn 1960 and then imprisoned him which had been responsible for the launch of the democracy movement thereby finally restoring the parliament in 1991. Click here to read…

16 killed, 35 injured as bus falls into river in Nepal’s Bara – India Today

A bus skidded off the road and fell into a river in Nepal’s Bara district, killing 16 people, PTI reported, quoting media reports. As many as 35 people were also injured in the mishap in Nepal’s Madhesh province. The bus was heading towards Birgunj from Narayangadh when the incident happened. An initial probe conducted by the police revealed that the accident took place due to high speed. About 50 people were on board, police said. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Govt to use ‘full force of law’ to counter PTI march: Dawn

A meeting of the party leaders was chaired by PM Sharif wherein the participants termed the PTI’s plan of the long march a “conspiracy” against the state and decided that the government would crush its designs through the power of law, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s House. “It will not be a political long march of PTI but a march for a conspiracy,” the PML-N leaders agreed as they gave full authority to Prime Minister Sharif to take appropriate measures to tackle the situation. Click here to read…

Govt unveils big power relief for exporters: The Express Tribune

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday struck a deal with exporters under which subsidised electricity at nearly Rs20 per unit would be provided to them in a move that will restore the trader community’s confidence in the government but would not stop misuse of the subsidy for domestic production. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
New resolution on SL adopted at HR Council with 20 votes in favour: Daily Mirror

The new resolution on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ A/HRC/51/5, that was presented at the 51st regular session of the Human Rights Council has been adopted with 20 voting in favour while 7 voted against the resolution and 20 abstained from voting. Click here to read…

Debt Restructuring and Implementation of Deep Reforms Critical for Sri Lanka’s Economic Stabilization: Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is deepening with unsustainable debt and a severe balance of payment crisis on top of lingering scars of the COVID-19 pandemic. Debt restructuring and the implementation of a deep reform program are critical for Sri Lanka’s economic stabilization, says the World Bank in its twice-a-year update, underscoring the need for Sri Lanka to build resilience. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: October 06, 2022

Afghanistan
University Entrance Exams Held Around Country: Tolo News

University entrance exams were begun on Thursday in 33 provinces of the country. The Ministry of Higher Education said that the university entrance exams will continue for three days. “University entrance exams were held in 33 provinces of the country and this exam will continue for three days,” said Ahmad Taqa, a spokesman for the MoHE. Click here to read…

Requirement of dams on Kabul river for the better management of Afghanistan’s water: Opinion: The Khaama Press

Afghanistan has abundant water resources. 80% of such resources come from surface water that flows from snowfields and glaciers in the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountains. The country with a total of 75 billion cubic meters of water per annum, surface water capturing 55 billion cubic meters, and groundwater making 20 billion cubic meters, is able to consume 27% of its water and the remaining 73% flows to the neighboring countries. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
PM Hasina on way to her village home in Tungipara: Dhaka Tribune

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana have started for Tungipara by road from her official residence Ganabhaban. They left Ganabhaban at 7:15am on Friday, according to a message from PM’s press wing. Click here to read…

Dhaka, Tokyo launch cooperation for improved sewerage services: Dhaka Tribune

To promote improved sewerage services, the Asian Development Bank facilitated a high-level dialogue between Bangladesh and Japan, and launched a new partnership between Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Assam’s advantage in Bhutan-Bangladesh trade – Sentinel Assam

Bangladesh opening six new ports of call for using its waterways and seaports by Bhutan is good news for Assam as it will make the Brahmaputra River route a growing hub of trade and commerce between India’s two neighbouring countries. The development of multimodal transport facilities along the Brahmaputra will attract more Bhutanese traders to make optimal use of the improved connectivity through Assam for the expansion of their export-import business. The amended Standard Operating Procedure signed by Bangladesh and Bhutan on September 15 in Dhaka on the use of inland waterways designates Aricha, Chilmari, Sirajganj, Mongla, Chittagong and Payra Port as the new ports of call for use by Bhutan. Click here to read…

Bhutan fee funds happiness – TTR Weekly

A daily USD200 sustainable development fee is being tagged onto the cost of visiting Bhutan following the reopening of the mountain kingdom’s borders last month. It’s all about funding Gross National Happiness. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives: the legacy of Islamic State – Lowly Institute

From 2014 to 2018, more people departed the Maldives to join with Islamic State than from any other country. In total, this figure is estimated at 250 men and women from a country of only 500,000. Most who went died. The surviving women and children, around 50, are today detained in the Al Hol and Roj camps in northeast Syria. Click here to read…

MoUs signed between Maldives, Bahrain, prove commitment to further solidify bilateral ties – Raajje

He said this during a joint press conference held alongside Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He reaffirmed that the Maldivian government is committed to solidifying the relationship between both countries, to new heights. The foreign minister also thanked the respective dignitaries for bringing the two countries together. The key agreements signed between the government of Maldives and the Kingdom of Bahrain have proved the commitment of both countries to further solidify bilateral ties, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US Announces Sanctions on Myanmar Military-Linked Arms Broker – The Diplomat

The United States has announced a further round of sanctions on Myanmar’s military government, targeting three individuals and one entity “for their roles related to the procurement of Russian-produced military arms from Belarus for the Burmese regime.” Click here to read…

Indonesia told to prioritise Myanmar, Indo-Pacific: Analysts – Asia News Network

Amid preparations for November’s ASEAN Summit less than 40 days away, when the baton of the chairmanship is set to pass from Cambodia to Indonesia, calls are mounting for Jakarta to take decisive steps to address the Myanmar political crisis while juggling an abundance of other challenges that will test the Southeast Asia bloc’s unity. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal faces constitutional crisis – Greater Kashmir

Nepal has a history of the Rana regime (1901-1948), coup d’état led by King Mahendra who dismissed the elected government of B.P. KoiralaiIn 1960 and then imprisoned him which had been responsible for the launch of the democracy movement thereby finally restoring the parliament in 1991. Click here to read…

16 killed, 35 injured as bus falls into river in Nepal’s Bara – India Today

A bus skidded off the road and fell into a river in Nepal’s Bara district, killing 16 people, PTI reported, quoting media reports. As many as 35 people were also injured in the mishap in Nepal’s Madhesh province. The bus was heading towards Birgunj from Narayangadh when the incident happened. An initial probe conducted by the police revealed that the accident took place due to high speed. About 50 people were on board, police said. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Govt to use ‘full force of law’ to counter PTI march: Dawn

A meeting of the party leaders was chaired by PM Sharif wherein the participants termed the PTI’s plan of the long march a “conspiracy” against the state and decided that the government would crush its designs through the power of law, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s House. “It will not be a political long march of PTI but a march for a conspiracy,” the PML-N leaders agreed as they gave full authority to Prime Minister Sharif to take appropriate measures to tackle the situation. Click here to read…

Govt unveils big power relief for exporters: The Express Tribune

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday struck a deal with exporters under which subsidised electricity at nearly Rs20 per unit would be provided to them in a move that will restore the trader community’s confidence in the government but would not stop misuse of the subsidy for domestic production. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
New resolution on SL adopted at HR Council with 20 votes in favour: Daily Mirror

The new resolution on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ A/HRC/51/5, that was presented at the 51st regular session of the Human Rights Council has been adopted with 20 voting in favour while 7 voted against the resolution and 20 abstained from voting. Click here to read…

Debt Restructuring and Implementation of Deep Reforms Critical for Sri Lanka’s Economic Stabilization: Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is deepening with unsustainable debt and a severe balance of payment crisis on top of lingering scars of the COVID-19 pandemic. Debt restructuring and the implementation of a deep reform program are critical for Sri Lanka’s economic stabilization, says the World Bank in its twice-a-year update, underscoring the need for Sri Lanka to build resilience. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 27, 2022

Afghanistan
Taliban denounce Pak PM Sharif’s ‘terror in Afghanistan’ remarks in UNGA address – Hindustan Times

Taliban has hit out at the U.S and Pakistan for claiming that terrorism exists in Afghanistan during the UN General Assembly address. In a scathing statement, the Afghanistan Foreign Ministry termed the claims as incorrect and pitched for UNGA seat handover to the Afghan government, who can then counter these ‘unsubstantiated’ concerns. Watch this video for more details. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Visit of Bangladesh Navy Operational Sea Training Group to SNC – Indian Navy

An eight member delegation from the Bangladesh Navy Operational Sea Training Group (BNOSTG) visited Headquarters Sea Training at Kochi to witness Operational Sea Training at Southern Naval Command. As part of the orientation training, interactive session along with practical classes on seamanship, firefighting, damage control, first aid and safety at sea were conducted. The interactive sessions also provided an opportunity to exchange the best practices followed. Click here to read…

No room to cut: Rising inflation traps Bangladesh climate migrants – Thomas Reuters Foundations

The rising cost of living is taking a heavy toll on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, including many already struggling to survive after climate change-fuelled disasters have claimed their homes and land. Bangladesh’s inflation rate is now about 7.5%, according to the country’s central bank, after the government dramatically boosted fuel prices in the face of rising global fossil fuel costs, in part as a result of the Ukraine conflict. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Vaccine Maitri: Bhutan and Nepal expressed their gratitude to India in UNGA, India sent vaccine to more than 100 countries – The Weekly Mail

Bhutan and Nepal expressed their gratitude to India at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. During this, he has expressed his gratitude for the significant support in the supply of covid-19 vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative of the Government of India. Let us tell you that under India’s Vaccine Friendship Initiative, neighbouring countries got a lot of help in vaccinating their population. Click here to read…

Maldives
Kyrgyzstan and Maldives sign agreement on the establishment of visa-free regime – Azer News

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev met with his Maldivian counterpart Abdullah Shahid on September 23, Trend reports citing the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry’s press service. Click here to read…

The Maldives received 100,000 more Pfizer vaccine doses from the United States – The Paradise

The US government has provided the Maldives with an additional 100,620 doses of Pfizer vaccines as part of the COVAX deal. The latest shipment comes after the United States sent 439,920 Pfizer vaccine shots to the Maldives in January 2021 and January 2022.Click here to read…

Myanmar
India should negotiate with Myanmar military, ethnic groups to restore peace: Mizoram CM – Indian Express

India should negotiate with military authorities in trouble-torn Myanmar and various ethnic groups there to restore peace in the neighbouring country, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has said. India shares an over 1,600-km-long international border with Myanmar. Click here to read…

Recruitment Crisis Bites as Myanmar Junta Scrambles to Fill Gaps in Ranks – The Irrawaddy

“The Tatmadaw wants you,” used to be a familiar slogan on recruitment posters across Myanmar. Propaganda songs, like one which began: “Support the great Tatmadaw in every way to help it gain strength, never should we forget comrades who are our kin,” were played on the television and radio. But recruitment has broken down, forcing the regime to buy recruits since before the 2021 coup. Officers are being offered promotions and other incentives to find recruits, according to analysts. Click here to read…

Oral update on the human rights situation in Myanmar to the Human Rights Council – OHCHR

Military tactics increasingly involve indiscriminate attacks and weaponry. The growing use of air power and artillery during the monsoon season is significantly impacting civilians and residential areas. In Magway and Sagaing regions as well as Kachin, Shan, Kayah, and Kayin states, residential buildings – as many as 30,000 – schools and other civilian infrastructure have been burnt to the ground during military ground operations. Click here to read…

Nepal
‘Rapid demography change happening, Islamists getting help from Pakistan’: MP from Kapilvastu discusses growing security concerns at the India-Nepal border – OpIndia

There have been several reports in the recent past highlighting the rapidly changing demography in the sections of India near the Indo-Nepal border. The number of mosques and madrasas is constantly increasing. From August 20 to 27, 2022, an OpIndia team visited Nepal areas bordering India to take an account of the ground situation on that side of the border. This is the 23rd report in a series of articles documenting the facts discovered by the OpIndia team. Click here to read…

Pakistan
US asks Pakistan to better manage ties with India

The US has advised Pakistan to improve its ties with India even as it sidestepped New Delhi’s concerns over an upgrade assistance for Islamabad’s F-16s. “In our discussions today, we talked about the importance of managing a responsible relationship with India,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an event with Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Click here to read…

Pakistan FM replaced, veracity of audio tapes established – Tribune India

Rumours over the bugging of the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office were vindicated after the ruling coalition government replaced its Finance Minister as was discussed in a viral audio tape of conversation between PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz and her uncle and PM Shehbaz Sharif. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka keen to restart cancelled Japanese projects; Japan willing to lead creditor talks – Economy Next

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has told Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi that his government is keen to restart Japan-funded projects cancelled by the previous administration, while Minister Hayashi has expressed his country’s willingness to take a leading role in Sri Lanka’s negotiations with her creditors. Click here to read…

HNB allocates Rs. 10Mn to assist MSMEs affected by the economic crisis – Colombo Page

Sri Lanka’s most MSME-friendly bank, HNB PLC, once again allocated Rs. 10 million to assist entrepreneurs affected by the ongoing economic crisis as a part of its flagship ‘Oba Venuwen Api’ initiative to rebuild and revive the economy. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 26, 2022

Afghanistan
Blast kills 1, wounds 3 in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province – Dajji World

One person was killed and three others injured as a blast rocked Faizabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan province, Provincial Head of Information and Culture Department Qari Maazudin Ahmadi said. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Boat on way to Mahalaya festival sinks in Bangladesh, killing 24; at least 30 missing – Dajji World

At least 24 people have died after a boat capsized in the Koratoya river in Bangladesh’s Panchagarh district with passengers to a temple on board on the Mahalaya festival ahead of Durga Puja. Click here to read…

Rupee-Taka trade: Rupee loan facility to Bangladesh may be under consideration to lessen strain on its forex kitty – Times Now

Soon, India could extend a rupee loan line to Bangladesh and see trade happening in local currency as the neighbouring country faces a dollar crunch, decline in it’s foreign exchange reserves and a weakening taka.Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan unveils new national brand: ‘Believe’ – Kuensel Online

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched the new brand Bhutan ‘Believe’ yesterday. The country unveiled a new tourism strategy, underpinned by transformations in three key areas: enhancements to its sustainable development policies, infrastructure upgrades, and the elevation of the guest experience. Bhutan’s new tagline, Believe, reflects this determined focus on the future, as well as the transformative journeys experienced by its guests. Click here to read…

Maldives
‘Bharat ko badhaai’: At UN-India event, Maldives FM begins address on a special note – Hindustan Times

Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid further said that India has been a valuable partner in helping meet challenges from disaster relief to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and accessing vaccines to economic development and recovery. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US ‘Exploring Ways to Ramp Up Support’ for Myanmar Opposition: State Dept – The Irrawaddy

Earlier this week US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet met with representatives of Myanmar’s civilian parallel National Unity Government and some ethnic armed organizations. On Friday, he spoke with The Irrawaddy about those discussions, as well the ongoing US and international responses to the crisis in Myanmar. Click here to read…

Junta Watch: Drones Put Military on Edge; Nuclear Plans Proceed; and More – The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar military regime is installing anti-drone guns at important buildings and places, junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said at the regime’s regular press conference on Tuesday, an indication that the resistance’s drone warfare against the regime is working effectively. Click here to read…

Nepal
OpIndia Impact: Thermal cameras to be installed on the Indo-Nepal border, operators of Madarsas in border villages missing, pujari’s killer held after 2 years – OpIndia

The OpIndia team visited the Indo-Nepal border from August 20 to August 27, 2022, to learn about the ground realities of the demographic change amid the growing Muslim population and media reports of Islamic places of worship along the border. During this time, we obtained information about the Indian districts of Shravasti, Balrampur, Maharajganj, and Siddharthnagar, as well as the Dong and Kapilvastu districts in Nepal. Click here to read…

Pakistan
US’s $450 million F-16 package for Pakistan: A message for India, China factor, or quid pro quo – Times of India

America’s recent decision to approve a $450 million sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet has signalled a marked shift in Washington’s stand on Islamabad and stoked valid concerns in India. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry – CGTN

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry on the sidelines of the general debate of the UNGA 77 in New York on September 23. Wang Yi said that China and Sri Lanka established the relations of strategic partnership of cooperation, and the two countries have always shared weal and woe and treated each other in all sincerity. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, which is of great significance to inherit the past and usher in the future. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 23, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bhutan
Bhutan Reopens with New Sustainable Tourism Strategy – Travel Pulse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nepal
Nepal’s NDC on climate change – Kathmandu Post

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

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

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

Pakistan
Death toll in devastating Pakistan flooding reaches 1,596

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

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

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

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

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

New resolution on Sri Lanka tabled in Geneva – Colombo Gazette

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

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 22, 2022

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

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

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

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

Bangladesh
PM Hasina invites Biden to visit Bangladesh: Dhaka Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

Bhutanese products gain access to international markets -Kuensel Online

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

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

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

Saudi Arabia, Maldives sign political consultations agreement – Saudi Gazette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current account deficit narrows to $0.7bn: Dawn

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

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

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

National inflation breaches 70% in August: Daily Mirror

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

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 September 2022

DEFENCE

  • Indian Army Contingent Participates in Exercise Vostok- 2022.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissions India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi.
  • Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, to visit Nepal.
  • First Ever Visit by Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia.
  • Raksha Mantri participates in India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo.
  • CoE – SURVEI standardizes Drone images for land Survey.
  • DRDO & Indian Army successfully conduct six flight-tests of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system.
  • India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue and India-U.S.A Maritime Security Dialogue.
  • 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting.
  • 1st Indian Army Logistics seminar held.
  • Japan-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise – Jimex 2022.
  • Exercise Pitch Black 2022 Concludes.
  • Multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022.
  • 36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference – South held in Port Blair.
  • Raksha Mantri’s telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
  • Somalian forces eliminated senior al-Shabaab terrorist and freed hostages in Lower Shabelle region.
Afghanistan
  • “JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar in Pakistan,” claimed Taliban.
  • Islamic State-led suicide attack killed two diplomats at Russian Embassy in Kabul.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NIA filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the “targeted killing of Sarpanch of Village” case.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against eight terrorists/OGWs in “Pulwama JeM conspiracy” case.
  • Security forces eliminated two HM terrorists in gunfight in Anantnag.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in the “Maoist Terror Funding” case.
    Police arrested two Maoists from Telangana.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against two Maoists in “PGLA Recruitment case” of Kerala.
  • Security forces unearthed a Maoist dump in Andhra Pradesh.
Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
  • NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted IS terrorist in “IS Wandoor Case” of Kerala.
  • NIA officials searched multiple locations in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in the “PFI conspiracy” case.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against six JMB terrorists in “JMB Bhopal” case.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • Canada-based think-tank endorsed “Khalistan Referendum”.
North-East India Insurgency
  • NIA searched locations in Mizoram in connection with pilferage of explosives from India to Myanmar.
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Assam in connection with ULFA recruitment case.
Narcotics Trafficking
  • NIA officials arrested three people in “Mundra Heroin” case.

DEFENCE

Indian Army Contingent Participates in Exercise Vostok- 2022.

A multilateral strategic and command Exercise Vostok – 2022 was held at the training grounds of the Eastern Military District of Russia from 01 to 07 September 2022. The exercise is aimed at interaction and coordination amongst other participating military contingents and observers.

The Indian Army contingent comprising of troops from 7/8 Gorkha Rifles had arrived at the exercise location and over the next seven days will undertake joint manoeuvres to include joint field training exercises, combat discussions, and firepower exercises. The Indian Army contingent will look forward to sharing practical aspects and put into practice the validated drills, procedures and practice amalgamation of new technology through discussions and tactical exercises.
Reference: Click here to read…

Prime Minister commissions India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissioned the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on September 02, 2022. During the event, the Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage. He dedicated the new ensign to Chhatrapati Shivaji.

INS Vikrant is designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard, Vikrant has been built with state of the art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in maritime history of India. The 262.5 m long and 61.6 m wide Vikrant displaces approx 43,000 T, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with endurance of 7,500 Nautical Miles. The ship has around 2,200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,600 including women officers and sailors.

The ship is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard. With 76% indigenous content, construction of INS Vikrant has resulted in direct employment generation for over 2,000 employees of CSL. In addition, it has resulted in indirect employment generation for approx 12,500 employees for over 550 OEMs, sub-contractors, ancillary industries and over 100 MSMEs as well, thereby bolstering plough back effect on economy.

New Ensign of Navy

Resonant to the ongoing national endeavour to move away from colonial past, need was felt to transition to a new design that drew inspiration from our history. The White Ensign identified nation-wide with the Navy, now comprises of two main constituents – the National Flag in the upper left canton, and a Navy Blue – Gold octagon at the centre of the fly side (away from the staff). The Octagon is with twin golden octagonal borders encompassing the golden National Emblem (Lion Capital of Ashoka – underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in blue Devnagri script) resting atop an anchor; and superimposed on a shield. Below the shield, within the octagon, in a golden bordered ribbon, on a Navy Blue background, is inscribed the motto of the Indian Navy ‘Sam No Varunah’ in golden Devnagriscript. The design encompassed within the octagon has been taken from the Indian Naval crest, wherein the fouled anchor, which is also associated with colonial legacy, has been replaced with a clear anchor underscoring the steadfastness of the Indian Navy.
For more information: Click here to read…

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, to visit Nepal.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, is scheduled to visit Nepal from 05 to 08 September 2022. This is his first visit to Nepal as COAS. During his visit, the Army Chief will call on the thePresident of Nepal, the Prime Minister of Nepal and the Chief of the Army Staff of Nepali Army, apart from meeting with the Country’s senior military and civilian leadership where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-Nepal defence relations.
For more information: Click here to read…

First Ever Visit by Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia.

The RM will pay an official visit to Mongolia from 05-07 September, 2022. The upcoming visit by Raksha Mantri is the first ever visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia and will further consolidate the defence cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries. During his visit he inaugurated the Cyber Security Training Centre, built with assistance from Government of India, at National Defence University in Ulaanbaatar. Shri Rajnath Singh, along with Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia, laid the foundation stone of the India-Mongolia Friendship School, which is being established with the assistance from Government of India.
For more information: Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri participates in India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo.

Upon completion of his visit to Mongolia, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh arrived in Japan on September 07, 2022 for a four-day official visit. The Raksha Mantri, along with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, participated in the 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo on September 08, 2022.

The RM held bilateral talks with Minister of Defense of Japan Mr Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo on September 08, 2022. The two Ministers reviewed various aspects of bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional affairs. During the delegation-level talks, Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted that the growing complexities in the India-Japan bilateral defence exercises is a testimony to the deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries. The Ministers expressed their commitment in continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including ‘Dharma Guardian’, ‘JIMEX’ and ‘Malabar’. They welcomed the operationalisation of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement during Exercise ‘MILAN’ in March this year. The two Ministers agreed that the early conduct of the inaugural fighter exercise will pave way for much greater cooperation and interoperability between the Air Forces of the two countries.

The RM emphasised on the need to expand the scope of partnership in the field of Defence Equipment and Technological Cooperation. He invited Japanese industries to invest in India’s defence corridors where a conducive environment for the growth of the defence industry has been created by the Government of India. This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. As two robust democracies, the two countries are pursuing a Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
For more Information: Click here to read…

CoE – SURVEI standardizes Drone images for land Survey.

Setting World’s first standard on land survey using drone, the Ministry of Defense’s Centre of Excellence – Satellite and Unmanned Remote Vehicle Initiative (CoE – SURVEI) has published a draft concept paper prescribing the technical parameters which may serve as a reference standard to estimate the image quality of drone survey output. The COE-SURVEI has solicited comments from the stakeholders in this regard for laying down uniform standards to evaluate quality of output of drone images for purpose of land survey. At present no uniform parameters exist for evaluation of images obtained by the use of drones for the purpose of land survey at present. This poses a challenge in carrying out post-processing analysis on the drone imagery output, restricting the ability to extract relevant information from drone data by using AI & ML tools.

CoE – SURVEI, in association with its knowledge partners has taken a lead in developing draft standards for drone survey output, and published the same for seeking views and wider consultations with drone community and other stakeholders. The draft standards prescribe 19 parameters to evaluate quality of drone output and 8 extension metrics/ techniques to estimate image quality, apart from indicating sample benchmarking from literature.
Reference: Click here to read…

India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue and India-U.S.A Maritime Security Dialogue.

India-USA 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting was held on 07 September 2022 in New Delhi to follow-up on the India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in April 2022 in Washington D.C. Both sides reviewed implementation of outcomes of the 2+2 Ministerial pertaining to bilateral cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism, maritime security, education, health, climate and clean energy, critical technologies, space, and people-to-people linkages. They discussed ways to further strengthen the Major Defence Partnership, including in new and emerging areas in the defence domain such as space, AI and cyber.

The 5th India-US Maritime Security Dialogue (MSD) was held on 08 September 2022 in New Delhi. During MSD, the two sides discussed developments in the global maritime domain, bilateral maritime cooperation endeavors, regional support initiatives and collaborative efforts such as Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness. They affirmed their shared desire to enhance maritime security internationally and strengthen cooperation towards a free, open and inclusive maritime order that would support security, inclusive growth and prosperity.
For more information: Click here to read…

16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting.

On 8th September 2022, according to the consensus reached in the 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting, the Indian and Chinese troops in the area of Gogra-Hotsprings (PP-15) have begun to disengage in a coordinated and planned way, which is conducive to the peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Reference: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1857830″ target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

1st Indian Army Logistics seminar held.

In the keynote address at the conference at the first Indian Army Logistics seminar, organised on the theme ‘Samanjasya Se Shakti’, in New Delhi on September 12, 2022, the RM termed jointness among the three services as one of the major policy changes made in Ministry of Defence in the last few years, which has benefited a number of sectors across the board, especially logistics. He said, the foundation has been laid to establish a strong logistics system, which is pivotal for operational preparedness of the Armed Forces as it ensures that right items, with right quality & quantity, are available to the military at the right time and right place. Military logistics is an extremely important aspect that determines the outcome of a war, he said.
For more information: Click here to read…

Japan-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise – Jimex 2022.

The sixth edition of Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) hosted by Indian Navy commenced in the Bay of Bengal on 11 Sep 22. This edition marks the 10th anniversary of JIMEX, which began in Japan in 2012. It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of establishing of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between maritime forces of the two countries, through complex exercises in the surface, sub-surface and air domains.
For more information: Click here to read…

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 Concludes.

The Indian Air Force contingent participating in Exercise Pitch Black 22 in Australia has returned after successful participation in the multinational exercise. Exercise Pitch Black 22 was hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force at its Darwin Air Base. Spanning over a duration of three weeks, the exercise saw the participation of 17 Air Forces and over 2500 military personnel. The IAF contingent included four Su-30 MKI & two C-17 aircraft. The participating forces took part in various multi-aircraft combat drills by day & night, simulating complex aerial scenarios, involving large formations.
For more information: Click here to read…

Multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022.

INS Satpura and a P8 I Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Indian Navy reached Darwin in Australia on 12 Sep 22, for participation in the multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022, hosted by the Royal Australian Navy. The two week-long Exercise, both in harbour and sea, involves ships and maritime aircraft from 14 navies.
For more information: Click here to read…

36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference – South held in Port Blair.

36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference (TSCC) – South was held at Port Blair on 12th & 13th September 2022 under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The two-day conference was hosted by Commander-in-Chief, Andaman Nicobar Command Lt Gen Ajai Singh. GOC-in-C, Southern Command Lt Gen JS Nain; FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command V Adm Ajendra Bahadur Singh; FOC-in-C, Southern Naval Command V Adm MA Hampiholi; AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command Air Mshl J Chalapati and Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command V Adm Sanjay Vatsayan were among those who attended the conference.

The senior leadership deliberated upon aspects various pertaining to the geostrategic situation and infrastructure development in the Indian Ocean Region, coordinating the actions of Regional Command of the three services as well as avenues of augmenting tri-services training and readiness of all components. The conference was aimed at synergising collective strengths and capabilities of India’s littoral service and Integrated-Service commands. It focused on addressing contemporary security paradigms while seeking ways to enhance combat capability and make operations more effective and efficient.
Reference: Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri’s (RM) telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence.

The RM and his US counterpart Secretary of Defence Mr Lloyd Austin had a warm and fruitful telephonic conversation on 14th Sep. They reviewed the multi-faceted India-US defence cooperation and reiterated mutual commitment to further strengthen military-to-military ties. The RM and Secretary Austin also discussed regional issues and affirmed their shared desire for maintaining peace and stability in the region and beyond. Shri Rajnath Singh conveyed India’s concerns over the US decision to provide sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.
For more information: Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
Somalian forces eliminated senior al-Shabaab terrorist and freed hostages in Lower Shabelle region.

On 10 September 2022, the Somali National Army (SNA) carried out counter-terrorism (CT) operation and killed al-Qa’ida affiliated al-Shabaab’s leader Carab, and injured other senior members, in the town of Mubaarak of Lower Shabelle region in southwest to Mogadishu, according to a statement issued by Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism. During the operation, the security forces freed several civilians who were being held by al-Shabaab in the Centre.
For more information: Click here to read…

Afghanistan
“JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar in Pakistan,” claimed Taliban.

In response to Pakistan’s letter to Afghanistan for the arrest of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid denied the presence of Masood Azhar in Afghanistan, as accused by Pakistan. “The leader of JeM group is not here [Afghanistan]. This is an organisation which could be in Pakistan. We have heard about this in news. Our [Taliban] reaction is that this is not true,” said Zabiullah Mujahid. “We also call on all parties to refrain from such allegations lacking any proof and documentation. Such media allegations can adversely affect bilateral relations between Kabul and Islamabad,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman of Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
For more information: Click here to read…

Islamic State-led suicide attack killed two diplomats at Russian Embassy in Kabul.

On 05 September 2022, a suicide bombing outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul killed two officials of the embassy staff and at least one civilian. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry and State news agency— RIA Novosti, the explosion occurred at the entrance to the embassy’s consular section where several Afghans were waiting for the update on their visa applications. The Islamic State claimed the responsibility of the attack.

The incident is the recent in a series of attacks since the Taliban seized Kabul a year ago. The explosion appeared to be first of its kind to target a foreign diplomatic mission in Kabul.
For more information: Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NIA filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the “targeted killing of Sarpanch of Village” case.

On 09 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the case related to the targeted killing of the Sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir, Sarpanch of village Adoora in Kulgam district. The killing was carried by Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists.

Aside from this incident, carrying out targeted killings in Kashmir Valley was a part of a larger plot by HM and other terrorist organisations to disturb the peace, undermine the Panchayti Raj System’s established democratic process in Kashmir Valley, as well as to instil fear among the region’s political leaders.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against eight terrorists/OGWs in “Pulwama JeM conspiracy” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet in NIA Special Court, Jammu, against eight terrorists, including Over-Ground Workers (OGWs) of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) to execute terrorist activities against security forces in Southern Kashmir.

The investigations in the case— RC-02/2022/NIA/JMU have revealed that the chargesheet terrorists/OGWs had provided shelter, transportation, and other logistics support to JeM terrorists— Aquaib Mushtaq Bhat (local) and Kamaal Bhai (Pakistani), who were conspiring to carry out terrorist acts against security forces.
For more information: Click here to read…

Security forces eliminated two HM terrorists in gunfight in Anantnag.

On 06 September 2022, security forces killed two Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists— Danish Bhat and Basharat Nabi, in a gunfight in Pooshkreeri area of Srigufwara in Bijbehara area in Anantnag district of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Both terrorists were involved in the killing of a Territorial Army (TA) officer— Saleem Pandit in Bijbehara and two civilians in Jablipora area in Anantnag district in 2021.

More than 130 terrorists have been killed this year, including 32 Pakistani national. Terrorists have been targeting Kashmiri Pandits, non-locals, policemen on leave, and politically-affiliated locals.
For more information: Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in the “Maoist Terror Funding” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials carried out search operations at five locations in Jehanabad, Gaya, and Aurangabad districts of Bihar in Maoist terror-funding case in the Magadh region of Bihar for the revival of Magadh Zone of the CPI (Maoist).
For more information: Click here to read…

Police arrested two Maoists from Telangana.

In a joint operation with CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel, Charla Police, on 13 September 2022, arrested two Maoists— i) Vando Joga, and ii) Ravva Ungal, from Korakatpadu forest area in Charla Mandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana. Both arrested Maoists were members of a Maoist dalam led by Charla Local Organising Squad (LOS) commander Rajitha that planned to install landmines in the Kurnapalli-Bodanelli forest area in early September 2022 to kill police officers.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against two Maoists in “PGLA Recruitment case” of Kerala.

On 03 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against two Maoists in connection with the case— RC-01/2022/NIA/KOC which pertains to recruitment and training of youth by the CPI (Maoist) and their front organisations besides organising camps to further carry out their activities and spread of Maoist ideologies.
For more information: Click here to read…

Security forces unearthed a Maoist dump in Andhra Pradesh.

On 08 September 2022, security forces comprising of Alluri Sitarama Raju district special police and CRPF force of 198 and 234 Battalions, in a joint combing operation, discovered a huge Maoist dump in a forest area near Jakkam village in Pedabayalu mandal in Visakhapatanam district in Andhra Pradesh.

“Articles such as communication manpack trans-receivers and a large quantity of Cordtex (detonating cord is a thin, flexible plastic tube filled with pentaerythritol) were found in the dump and police analysed its intensity of explosion by material,” said Alluri Sitarama Raju district Superintendent of Police (SP) Sateesh Kumar.
For more information: Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted IS terrorist in “IS Wandoor Case” of Kerala.

On 14 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, Ernakulam, convicted an Islamic State (IS) terrorist— Shaibu Nihar V.K., under Sections 120B r/w 125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), r/w Sec 38, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], and also separately u/s 125 IPC, 38, 39 and 40 of the UA(P)A.

As per investigation, Shaibu Nihar had raised funds with intention of furthering the activities of IS and provided the same to co-accused of their intended travel to Syria. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on 19 September 2022.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA officials searched multiple locations in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in the “PFI conspiracy” case.

On 08 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched 20 locations in nine districts of Bihar, including Nalanda, Katihar, Arariya, Madhubani, Patna, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, and Saran. Along with, as a separate incident, NIA officials searched locations at Shiv Ganga district in Tamil Nadu and South Kannada district in Karnataka in connection with the case— RC-31/2022/NIA/DLI pertaining to the involvement of Popular Front of India (PFI) in anti-national activities.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against six JMB terrorists in “JMB Bhopal” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet against six Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorists— i) Fazar Ali, ii) Waliullah Milon, iii) Jainul Abidin, iv) Aqeel Ahmad Shaikh, v) Abdul Karim, and vi) Sheban Khan, in the case related to the arrest of six JMB terrorists, including three illegal Bangladeshi nationals, from Bhopal. The terrorists were involved in propagating JMB ideology and motivating youth to carryout jihad against India.
For more information: Click here to read…

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
Canada-based think-tank endorsed “Khalistan Referendum”.

In a press conference in Toronto and a virtual discussion, the chairman and members of the “Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC)”, released a report titled From Golden Temple to Punjab Independence, advocating the so-called Khalistan Referendum. The report was jointly published by Canada-based Research Institute on Self-Determination of Peoples and National (IRAI). The report reviewed the validity of ongoing Sikh secessionist referendum under international laws and established democratic norms.
“The referendum voting in the UK and European capitals had been a huge success and registered as a new model of campaigning. The model followed by Sikh for Justice (SFJ) can serve as a beacon for all those nations, ethnicities and groups who want to obtain their right to self-determination through peaceful ways,” said Matt Qvortrup, Chair of the PRC and academician at the Coventry University, UK.
For more information: Click here to read…

North-East India Insurgency
NIA searched locations in Mizoram in connection with pilferage of explosives from India to Myanmar.

On 13 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched two locations in Aizwal district in Mizoram in connection with the case of recovery of 2,400 kilograms of explosives, including 1,000 detonators, and 4,500 metres of detonating wire, cash of worth ₹ 73,500 and 9,35,500 Kyat (Myanmar currency unit).

Investigation revealed that the consignment of explosives was meant for the Myanmar based outfit— Chin National Front (CNF) which has been accumulating arms, ammunition and explosives for armed struggle against the Government of Myanmar. In the case— RC-09/2022/NIA/DLI, NIA had arrested and filed chargesheet against three accused on 19 April 2022.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA searched multiple locations in Assam in connection with ULFA recruitment case.

On 02 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched 16 locations in seven districts of Assam, including Kamrup, Nalbari, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sadiya, Charaideo, and Sibasagar in the case— RC-23/2022/NIA/DLI pertaining to the recruitment and other activities of ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom), and their training camps based across the India-Myanmar border in Myanmar.
For more information: Click here to read…

Narcotics Trafficking
NIA officials arrested three people in “Mundra Heroin” case.

On 14 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials arrested three people— i) Rah Matullah (permanent resident of Kabul, Afghanistan), ii) Ishwinder Singh, and iii) Jasbir Singh, for their active involvement in smuggling of heroin in large consignments camouflaged in containers of talc stones, bituminous coal, through maritime road.

The case involves one of the greatest international drug smuggling syndicates, which is run by the “Daad brothers”—Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad (both Afghan nationals), who are already wanted by the NIA in the Mundra case. The duo has smuggled many consignments of heroin into India, camouflaged in seemingly benign consignments of products such as semi-processed Talc stones and Bituminous coal. These consignments were imported through various Indian ports, including Mundra, Gujarat, and Kolkata, and then trucked to New Delhi. The investigation uncovered a vast and widespread network of drug traffickers, international facilitators/conduits, importers using fake/shell companies, distributors, and local wholesalers and retailers operating a massive international drug smuggling racket from a variety of countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 21, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maldives
Maldives-Middle East Connections – MEI@75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Enforced disappearances violation of Constitution’: The News

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

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

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

Invites them to invest in Sri Lanka: Daily Mirror

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

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

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

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 20, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PM Hasina in New York to attend UNGA: Dhaka Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India considers laying more petro pipelines for Nepal – Live Mint

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

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

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

Pakistan
Gastro, malaria claim 12 more lives: Dawn

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

Editorial: The youngest victims: Dawn

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

COAS meets Chinese defence minister: The News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 19, 2022

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

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

Moscow Stresses Need for Inclusive Afghan Govt: Tolo News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bhutan is 127th on human development index – Kuensel Online

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

Maldives

Tourist arrivals at 1.13 mln – Avas

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

Maldives granted SCO’s dialogue member status – Avas

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

Myanmar
On Leadership and Power in Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sri Lanka to brief creditors on IMF deal: Daily Mirror

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