Tag Archives: Political crisis

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 09, 2022

Bhutan
Jolted by Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan ‘taking steps to strengthen economy’, says FM Dorji – The Print

In an exclusive interview to ThePrint, Dorji said, Bhutan’s economy, though “tiny” compared to other countries, was not spared the impact of Covid-19. Hence, since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Thimphu implemented strict border containment measures and safety protocols that resulted in key economic sectors such as tourism, construction, and manufacturing being “severely affected”. Click here to read…

Why India should support China-Bhutan boundary agreement – First Post

India and Bhutan had signed a Treaty of Friendship on 9 August 1949 whereby the two nations agreed on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. However, Bhutan consented to allow India to “guide” its foreign policy and that both countries would consult each other on foreign and defence matters. Click here to read…

Bangladesh gives duty-free access to 16 more Bhutanese products – TBS News

The Internal Resource Division (IRD) of the finance ministry issued an order in this regard on 4 August and it was published on Monday. In December 2020, Bangladesh granted duty-free access to 34 products of Bhutan under a preferential trade agreement (PTA). Click here to read…

Maldives
Solih’s visit: Delhi’s push to counter anti-India sentiment in the Maldives – Deccan Herald

In a statement that was unusually long and effusive, the President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked India repeatedly for the various initiatives taken by New Delhi to assist his country shortly after the two sides had concluded delegation level talks. Click here to read…

Maldives Public Expenditure Review: Restoring fiscal health – World Bank Documents

The Maldives Public Expenditure Review (MPER) aims to help the government identify reforms to reduce fiscal and debt vulnerabilities and thus ensure a more secure, sustainable, and inclusive future. Although Maldives has bounced back strongly from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the shock has illuminated longstanding vulnerabilities in the tourism-dependent economy. Click here to read…

Undocumented in Maldives: 34k Bangladeshis to get papers – The Daily Star

About 34,000 Bangladeshi undocumented migrant workers in the Maldives are in the pipeline for regularisation under an amnesty programme there, according to an estimate of Bangladesh High Commission in Malé. Click here to read…

Continuity and challenges in the India-Maldives relations – WIO News

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s four-day visit to India has come at a time when India’s neighbourhood is in flux. The economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal is creating greater instability in a region that is already experiencing perpetual strategic hostilities by Pakistan and China against India. Click here to read…

Myanmar
‘The Sacrifice Zone’: Myanmar bears cost of green energy – News Channel

The AP investigation drew on dozens of interviews, customs data, corporate records and Chinese academic papers, along with satellite imagery and geological analysis gathered by the environmental non-profit Global Witness, to tie rare earths from Myanmar to the supply chains of 78 companies. Click here to read…

Spring Revolution Interfaith Network calls for victory within a year – Mizzima

The Spring Revolution Interfaith Network has offered a clarion call saying the revolution should be completed within one year from the date of the 34th anniversary of the 8888 People’s Uprising. The call came on Monday, the anniversary of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising in Myanmar and the one-year anniversary of the founding of the Network. Click here to read…

Myanmar: ASEAN approach requires a reboot to end horrific crimes by the Myanmar military – Amnesty International

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marks its 55th anniversary today, Amnesty International urges the regional bloc to acknowledge the failure of its five-point plan published in April 2021 to end the violence and increasing human rights violations in Myanmar.Click here to read…

Japanese company in the spotlight for Myanmar expansion, poor labour practices – Myanmar Now

Honeys Holdings, a Japanese clothing retailer that produces much of its product line in Myanmar, has decided that cheap labour costs outweigh the risks of doing business in a country in turmoil. Click here to read…

Dragging Russia Into the Myanmar Conflict – The Irrawaddy

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin was the highest-ranking foreign dignitary at the event in Naypyitaw. Two days later, Russia called Myanmar a “reliable ally and strategic partner.” When Russia invaded Ukraine, the regime backed the Kremlin, its spokesman saying that Russia was still a powerful nation that plays a role in keeping the balance of power for world peace. Click here to read…

NUG Offers Rewards for Myanmar Regime Defectors With Anti-Aircraft Weapons — The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s parallel National Unity Government (NUG) is offering cash rewards to junta soldiers who defect with anti-aircraft weapons, as the regime increasingly uses airstrikes on both resistance fighters and civilian targets. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal gives nod to India’s NHPC to build two projects totalling 1,200MW

The Investment Board Nepal on Monday gave its nod to India’s state-owned NHPC Limited to study and develop two hydropower projects totalling 1,200MW in western Nepal. Click here to read…

Will Nepal vote for change?

The election dates have finally been announced, giving much less preparation time than usual. Political parties are scrambling to find candidates, and potential candidates are already figuring out the price of an election ticket. In South Asian democracies, paying the party and its leaders to get an election ticket is an acceptable social practice, and no one will be ostracised for doing so. Click here to read…

Environment Minister Yadav pledges to free Nepal from plastic pollution

Minister for Forest and Environment Pradeep Yadav has expressed his commitment to liberate Nepal from plastic pollution.

Minister Yadav said he was effortful to free Nepal from plastic pollution.

“Plastic-induced pollution is one of the major problems in recent days. We should not make any delay in exploring its solution,” the minister added. Click here to read…

Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka to visit China

Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka will arrive in China today for a three-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. This marks the first high-level Nepalese visit to China since the formation of the current government under Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba last July. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 08, 2022

Afghanistan
MoD Requests Helicopters Be Returned to Afghanistan: Tolo News

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) once again asked Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to return the helicopters of the previous administration that were taken following the fall of the republic. Inayatullah Khwarazami, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, said that Kabul will take the helicopters in the near future. Click here to read…

Kabul-Delhi Flights Resume, Flights to Urumqi to Begin in Weeks: Tolo News

The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said once-a-week flights from Kabul to Delhi on Fridays have begun, and flights to Urumqi, China will begin in two weeks. “The flights to Delhi have started again, Ariana Afghan Airline company will have one flight a week on Fridays. And as the passengers increase, the flights will increase.” said: Imamuddin Ahmadi, spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. Click here to read…

Increasing Security Threats; Taliban Places Restrictions on Ashura Ceremony in Northern Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

Locals in Mazar-e-Sharif, in Balkh province of northern Afghanistan, say that the Taliban has prevented Ashura ceremony preparations at the shrine of Hazrat Ali, aka Rawza-e-Sharif, and denied permission to hold the Ashura event there for security reasons. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Padma Bridge leads to arrival of largest shipment of reconditioned cars: Dhaka Tribune

A cargo ship carrying a record number of reconditioned cars from Japan has arrived at Mongla Port directly for the first time. The Malaysian flag carrier, MV Malaysia Star, carrying 1,280 cars docked at jetty 6 of the port on Sunday morning, said Sheikh Fakar Uddin, harbour master of Mongla port. Click here to read…

Chinese embassy: Bangladesh-China ties promoting common prosperity, shared benefits: Dhaka Tribune

The long-standing friendship between Bangladesh and China is accelerating the development of both countries, promoting common prosperity and shared benefits, the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka said Sunday night. Click here to read…

Eastern refinery not expanded in 53 years: The Daily Star

The country has to regularly import diesel because of its inadequate oil refinery and storage facilities that have not been upgraded since 1968. A project proposal to raise the capacity of the country’s only state-owned Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) was made 10 years ago. Click here to read…

Bangladesh seeks China help to repatriate Rohingya refugees: Times of India

Bangladesh on Monday sought cooperation from China to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Myanmar during a visit by foreign minister Wang Yi, who promised better trade ties, investment and support for infrastructure development in the South Asian nation. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Should Bhutan stop importing non-essential items? – Kuensel Online

With foreign currency reserves depleting, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering during his recent visit to Bumthang informed that the government could stop the import of non-essential items if the country’s economy does not improve. Click here to read…

‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ rally organized at Bhutan border – Kuensel Online

The 6th Bn SSB, stationed at Ranighuli in Kokrajhar organized a ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ rally through its Saralpara camp along Indo-Bhutan border on Saturday. Click here to read…

Confusion galore: Who will benefit from the new tourism policy, tour operators or hoteliers? – – Kuensel Online

Citing uncertainties in the hotel business because of the increased sustainable development fees to US$ 200, the head of the company which runs about four hotels decided to send away about 100 employees, to be hired on a daily wage system if the “situation” improved. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives govt reaffirms commitment to One-China policy – Awaz The Voice

Replying to media queries, the Foreign Ministry stressed on Maldives’ commitment to the “One China” policy. At the same time, it added that the Ministry will not issue an official statement on the matter, reported Avas.mv. Click here to read…

Looking forward to increase Maldives-Jamaica relationship: Shahid – Raajje

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid has expressed hope that the strong relations that exist between Maldives and Jamaica will continue to grow in the days ahead. Minister Shahid stated this in his message of felicitations to Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, on the occasion of the 60th Independence Day of Jamaica. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar ambassador to China died on Sunday: Sources – Channel News Asia

Ambassador U Myo Thant Pe was last seen on Saturday meeting a local official in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan which borders Myanmar, according to a local news report. Click here to read…

FM urges west to impose economic sanctions on Myanmar – New Age BD

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen has urged Western leaders to impose tough economic sanctions on Myanmar in order to speed up the repatriation of Rohingyas. He also urged the ASEAN leaders to strengthen their ongoing efforts to help create a conducive environment within Myanmar to help the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals return to their homeland. Click here to read…

Myanmar shadow embassy opens in Canberra to champion Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted government – The Guardian

In Myanmar, a resistance armed with homemade weapons is trying to take down the ruling military junta. In Canberra, the fight has begun to get the Australian government to recognise Myanmar’s democratically elected national unity government (NUG). Click here to read…

Japan’s top envoy promises Tokyo will help ASEAN with Myanmar issue – Japan Times

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Saturday pledged to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that Japan will support efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to improve the situation in junta-controlled Myanmar. Click here to read…

Myanmar military shows how long it had planned its genocide – Arab News

An investigation by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, an independent war crimes investigator, indicates that documents exist from as far back as 2014 describing a “national project” of demonization and eventual expulsion. Click here to read…

Bangladesh Seeks China Help to Repatriate Rohingya Refugees – VOA News

Bangladesh on Sunday sought cooperation from China to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Myanmar during a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who promised better trade ties, investment and support for infrastructure development in the South Asian nation. Click here to read…

ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar warns on further executions – ABC News

Efforts by Myanmar’s neighbors to help restore peace and normalcy to the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation were hindered by the country’s recent executions of four political activists, Cambodia’s foreign minister said SaturdayClick here to read…

Nepal
Storm over teacup: Nepal concerned about possible Indian levies on its tea – New Indian Express

“Diplomatically India says that Nepal for India is like a younger sister, however, they are threatening us with heavy levies which will lead to a crisis in the sector and endanger livelihoods of thousands of workers,’’ says former Vice Chairman, Tea and Coffee Board of Nepal, Santosh C Kunwar. Click here to read…

Nepal Prepares to Issue Digital Currency, Drafts Necessary Amendments – bitcoin.com

A task force in Nepal has proposed legal changes allowing the country’s central bank to issue its own digital currency. The move comes after a study indicated that such an initiative is feasible and recommended certain provisions that would authorize the regulator to proceed with its realization. Click here to read…

Landslides affect seven hydropower projects in Myagdi – The Himalayan Times

Seven hydropower projects in Myagdi district have been affected by landslides. Landslides have caused road blockage thus making it difficult to supply construction materials and fuels for the projects, said projects officials. Click here to read…

Nepal Mental Health Initiative launches its website – The Annapurna Express

Nepal Mental Health Initiative launched its website containing a publically generated directory of mental health professionals amidst a program organized at the National College Auditorium Hall on Sunday. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Imran to spell out ‘counter-fascism’ strategy on Aug 13: Dawn

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that in order to counter the “fascist” government led by coalition parties, he will announce a strategy to “counter this fascism” during a rally at Islamabad’s Parade Ground on August 13. Click here to read…

Pak-India ‘backchannel’ talks hit dead end: The Express Tribune

Backchannel contacts between Pakistan and India have met a dead end as both sides have struggled to agree on the moves that may pave the way for slow but gradual improvement in the relationshipClick here to read…

Pakistan supports China’s ‘all efforts’ in safeguarding its sovereignty, says Ambassador Haque: The Express Tribune

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moinul Haque on Saturday said that Islamabad firmly believes in the one-China principle and supports ‘all efforts’ of the neighbouring country in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Click here to read…

PM thanks UAE president for investment; phones Emir of Qatar: The News

In a tweet on social media platform Twitter, he said, “Grateful to my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Mohamed Bin Zayed for the investment that the UAE is going to make in various sectors of Pakistan. Both brotherly countries are very keen to further strengthen their multifaceted relationship. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
RW making an effort to resolve crisis- Maithripala: Daily Mirror

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will support anyone who is committed to resolve the crisis which Sri Lanka is facing today, its Chairman Former President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterdayClick here to read…

Chinese embassy seeks urgent meeting with Sri Lankan authorities; Report: Daily Mirror

China’s embassy has sought an urgent meeting with senior Sri Lankan authorities after Colombo sought a deferment of the planned docking of a high-tech Chinese research vessel at the strategic Hambantota port over which India raised concerns, sources said. Click here to read…

JVP: Both President and ruling party MPs must be sent home: The Island

The Aragalaya protest must unite all its forces to pressure the Executive and the legislature, and the protesters should not shy away from that task, JVP trade union wing leader, KD Lalkantha, said, addressing a rally at the Ananda Samarakoon Open Air Theatre, in Nugegoda, on Saturday. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 05, 2022

Afghanistan
Mujahid: Kabul Investigating Biden’s Claims on Killing Zawahiri: Tolo News

The Islamic Emirate said that it was not aware of the al-Qaeda leader’s presence in Kabul or his trip to the city, responding to US President Joe Biden’s claims of killing Zawahiri. Click here to read…

U.S. Proved Afghanistan Not Safe-Haven for Al-Qaeda: Kirby: The Khaama Press

John Kirby, the NSC coordinator for strategic communications at the White House, said at a press conference Wednesday that Afghanistan is not a safe-haven for Al-Qaeda members, addressing the recent drone strike that killed the group’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Kabul. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Trade, Connectivity, Tourism: Bangladesh, Nepal seek greater collaboration: Dhaka Tribune

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has laid emphasis on greater collaboration with Nepal in sectors like hydroelectricity, tourism, connectivity, trade and people to people contacts. Click here to read…

Out-of-box’ solution will bring economy back on course Says new BB governor: Daily Star

In a time of elevated inflation, the interest rate is the handiest tool in the box to restore order. And yet, the new Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, in his maiden press conference yesterday, remained defiant that it would not be used. Click here to read…

Bhutan
“Special concession” on export of wheat and sugar to Bhutan – KuenselOnline

The Government of India (GoI) has given a special concession on the export of wheat and sugar to Bhutan. The Embassy of India in Thimphu has written a letter to the foreign affairs ministry on July 25, stating that “in view of friendly relations with Bhutan, the concerned authorities in India have made a special exception for Bhutan by permitting the export of 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat from India to Bhutan on the government to government request basis.” Click here to read…

Arunachal: Governor emphasises strengthening relations with Bhutan – AP Direct

“Both Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan have strong traditional and cultural links. There are great similarities in their social and cultural heritage,” Mishra said while interacting with Jigme Thinyle Namgyal, the Consul General of Bhutan in Guwahati, who called on the governor at Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Maldives
India’s challenges in Maldives – Deccan Herald

Maldives President Ibrahim Solih visited India earlier this week, with a high-level official and business delegation and met India’s top political leadership as well as business leaders in Delhi and Mumbai. Click here to read…

MMPRC promotes Maldives in Germany – Raajje

MMPRC shared that the corporation is collaborating with Dotcom Arabia to promote the Maldives in Germany. As such the promotion campaign will be held in August 2022. Click here to read…

USAID grants USD 300,000 to Maldives – Raajjje

The grant was awarded to Maldives under the USAID Maldives’, Climate Adaptation activity.

USAID works in partnership with the people of Maldives to increase prosperity, promote inclusive economic growth, and enhance the resilience of the country’s resources to shocks and stresses using a variety of approaches, projects, and partners. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Long-awaited Rohingya report provides new evidence of genocide in Myanmar – Jurist

The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) released its long-awaited report Thursday on the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar. CIJA began its investigation in 2018, looking for evidence to clear a path toward international criminal prosecutions. CIJA has previously worked in Syria, gathering evidence on Bashar Al-Assad and ISClick here to read…

Myanmar charges Japanese journalist with dissent against army – Al Jazeera

A Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar has been charged with breaching immigration law and encouraging dissent against the army, the ruling military administration said. Click here to read…

Arakan Army detains ALP executive committee member and Grade 8 student – BNI Online

Lieutenant Colonel Khaing Paw Lin, an executive committee member of Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), and a Grade 8 student were taken from their home by members of the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) in the Arakan State capital Sittwe on August 2, an ALP official said. Click here to read…

More of the same – The Statesman

UN experts and rights groups are more critical of government repression, which is marked by arbitrary arrests and killings, torture and military “sweeps” that include air attacks and burning down of entire villages. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal to go to polls in Nov as economic alarms ring – The News

The Nepali government on Thursday set a general election date for November, as the landlocked Himalayan country faces growing economic pressure from falling tourism income and lower overseas remittances. Click here to read…

NC leader Nidhi meets Indian Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – My Republica

Former Vice President of Nepali Congress (NC) Bimalendra Nidhi has held a meeting with Indian Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India Nitin Gadkari in New DelhiClick here to read…

Pakistan
NAB bill passed amid PTI uproar: Dawn

The opposition resorted to protests after Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan moved a motion seeking suspension of rules to introduce the NAB amendment bill. Mr Awan’s request was opposed by the opposition on the grounds that the coalition government wanted to save its leadership by clipping NAB’s wings. The government, however, said the bill was being moved in the public interest. Click here to read…

‘Secret powers’ want to rig elections through ECP to control public: Imran: The Express Tribune

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said that the ruling alliance after failing in its all attempts to control the “people of Pakistan” is now trying to steal the public mandate through the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), terming the electoral body a major hurdle in achieving “real freedom” through strong democracy. Click here to read…

Govt agrees to deregulate oil prices: The Express Tribune

The government has agreed to give a free hand to the oil industry to set petroleum product prices by implementing a deregulation mechanism under the new proposed oil policy effective November 1, 2022. Click here to read…

PKR to Dollar: Rupee appreciates further: The News

The Pakistani currency gained further ground Friday against the US dollar in the interbank market as the country slowly recovers from the currency crisis amid hopes of the revival of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Protesters move court against bid to remove them: The Island

Several anti-government protesters at Gota Go Gama have filed four writ petitions at the Court of Appeal requesting the court to prevent the police from removing them from the Galle Face protest site. Earlier, the OIC at the Colombo Fort Police station issued written and oral orders. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s crisis an opportunity for more democratic, inclusive govt: Blinken: Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka is in a moment of challenge and crisis but has an opportunity to create a more democratic and inclusive government, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday.Blinken made the remarks in Cambodia at the start of a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry, who said his country appreciates the U.S. role in securing support from the International Monetary Fund. Click here to read…

Countries must refrain from provocations – Ranil tells Chinese envoy: Daily Mirror

While claiming that countries must refrain from provocations which further escalate the current global tension, President Ranil Wickremesinghe informed the Chinese Ambassador in Colombo that Sri Lanka is committed to one-China policy. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 04, 2022

Afghanistan
Over 200 Afghan Media Outlets Shut Down in Past Year: Journalist Federation: Tolo News

The Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Media expressed concerns over the situation of media in Afghanistan and said that over 200 media outlets have ceased operations and 7,000 media workers have lost their jobs in the past year. Officials of the group noted that they had made suggestions to the international community and the Islamic Emirate about the protection of media workers, but the problem has not been solved. Click here to read…

Hanafi Calls U.S. Drone Strike Violation of Doha Agreement: The Khaama Press

Abdul Salam Hanafi, the second Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate, said the United States drone strike in Kabul violates both national sovereignty and the Doha Agreement, according to sources. On Monday night, President Biden administration announced an American drone strike killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri at an urban safe house in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Taliban Settles Multi-Million Dollar Unpaid Debt to Uzbekistan for Electricity: The Khaama Press

The Energy Ministry of Uzbekistan announced on Monday that Afghanistan has paid off its debt to Uzbekistan for the supply of electricity for the year 2021. Afghanistan has fully paid for the supply of energy in 2021 and is now making payments for the supply of electricity in 2022, according to the Uzbek Energy Ministry. Click here to read…

Drowning in Debt; Afghanistan Owes $28 Million to Tajikistan: The Khaama Press

Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) of Afghanistan owes Tajikistan $28 million for electricity, said Mohammad Omar Asuzada, the head of the national electricity company of Tajikistan, Barqi Tojik. In a press conference on August 1, the Tajik energy official stated that transferring money from the DABS company to Barqi Tojik became challenging after the banks responsible for purchasing electricity came under sanctions. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Mishra emphasizes on strengthening relationship between Arunachal and Bhutan – Arunachal Times

Governor B D Mishra has emphasized on strengthening the age-old relationships between Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. “Both Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan have strong traditional cultural links and there are great similarities in their social and cultural heritage,” Governor said when Consul General of Bhutan, Royal Bhutanese Consulate General, Guwahati, Jigme Thinyle Namgyal called on him at Raj Bhavan here Wednesday. Click here to read…

Plan to secure tigers of the rivers – Kuensel Online

Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), also known as Tigers of the Rivers, is an endangered fish species found in rivers of Southern and Eastern Bhutan. The fish is locally called sernya. Today, the fish faces threats from developmental activities, climate change and illegal fishing, among others. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Foreign secretary: No discussion on new loan during Chinese FM’s visit: Dhaka Tribune

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said taking a new loan from China will not be a part of their agenda during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s upcoming Bangladesh visit. “This time, the issue of taking loan afresh isn’t there at least,” he said on Wednesday when a reporter wanted to know whether Bangladesh is going to take a loan from China again. Click here to read…

Businesses for using multiple currencies: The Daily Star

Bangladesh should cut its over-reliance on the US dollar and increase the use of other currencies such as the Chinese renminbi (RMB) in international trade to ease pressure in the foreign currency market, businesses saidClick here to read…

Editorial: Petrobangla’s dangerous dependency on gas imports: The Daily Star

Who gave Petrobangla the permission to spend Tk 2,000 crore from the Gas Development Fund (GDF) to import liquefied natural gas (LNG)? Certainly not the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), even though Petrobangla is legally bound to ask the commission before spending from the fund, which was set up in 2009 for gas exploration. While officials are fully aware that this fund is not for gas import, the money, apparently, was taken as a loan for emergency circumstances with the approval of the Finance Division. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives President Concludes India Visit – Foreign Brief

The President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih concludes a visit to India today. During the four-day official trip, Solih met with an Indian business delegation and held diplomatic talks with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders discussed a number of issues around security and political cooperation. Click here to read…

President attends the India-Maldives Business Forum in Mumbai – Raajje

The India-Maldives Business Forum hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), brought together prominent business leaders from the Maldives and India to discuss promoting economic links between the two countries. Click here to read…

India to supply Landing Assault Craft, 24 Utility Vehicles to bolster Maldives’ maritime security – News On Air

Taking the time-tested India-Maldives defence & security partnership to a notch higher, India has announced the supply of a second Landing Assault Craft (LCA) and a replacement ship for earlier provided CGS Huravee to bolster the maritime apparatus of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). Click here to read…

Myanmar
Scandinavian governments condemn executions in Myanmar – ScandAsia

Scandinavia stands united in its condemnation of the recent executions in Myanmar. On July 26, the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in Myanmar all published strong language opposing the recent executions of four pro-democracy and opposition leaders in that country. This stands in line with the broader opposition to the use of the death penalty by the European Union. Click here to read…

Asean Five-Point Consensus achieves little in Myanmar: Hun Sen – Asia News Network

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the current situation in Myanmar is seemingly worse than it was before the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus (5PC) was reached in April last year, with the ongoing crisis exacerbated by the recent execution of four opposition activists. Click here to read…

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visits Myanmar, backs junta’s efforts to ‘stabilise’ country – NE Now

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday for meetings with the country’s junta leaders. Russia backs the Myanmar junta’s efforts to ‘stabilise’ the crisis-wracked country, foreign minister Lavrov said during talks with Myanmar junta leadersClick here to read…

Friends of Japanese journalist demand his release in Myanmar – ABC News

Friends of Toru Kubota, a Japanese journalist detained in military-ruled Myanmar while covering a protest, called for his immediate release Wednesday and an online petition has collected more than 41,000 signatures. Click here to read…

Two students killed, three others injured as the carrying boat was shot at in Paletwa – Narinjara

A boat carrying a number of students was shot at in Nama Da creek of upper Kaladan river at around 2 pm on Tuesday, killing two students and injuring three others. The wounded, including two students and one school employee, were sent to Paletwa hospital in the evening hours. Click here to read…

Nepal
India set for Agnipath, worry in Nepal over Gorkha recruits – Indian Express

On his first visit to Nepal as Prime Minister in 2014, Narendra Modi told Nepal Parliament that there was no war India had fought in which Nepali blood had not been sacrificed. Praising the contribution and bravery of Gorkha soldiers in Indian Army, Modi said, “I salute the bravehearts who laid their lives for India.” Click here to read…

China using lending scam to destabilise India: Nepal police – Mid Day

A Chinese national, who has emerged as the brain behind the loan app racket and is wanted by the Mumbai and Odisha police, was in Nepal on July 25. Liu Yi escaped from the country after the police busted an illegal call centre in Rupandehi district for extorting money from Indian borrowers. Sources in Nepal police said they are worried about the recent trend of illegal activities targeting Indians being run from their soil. Click here to read…

116 Villages along Nepal border are now ‘Muslim majority’, madrasas and mosques mushrooming everywhere: Report – OpIndia

Intelligence agencies have recommended increasing the range of Border Security Forces (BSF) to 100 KM, owning to the unexpected demographic change in the border areas. As per reports, the Muslim population in border areas has increased by approx 32 per cent, significantly above the national average. Click here to read…

China says it appreciates Nepal’s longstanding commitment to ‘one China’ policy – In.Investing

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said on Wednesday that his country highly appreciates Nepal’s longstanding commitment to the “one China” principle and resolute opposition to “Taiwan’s Independence”. Click here to read…

Pakistan
NAB won’t be able to probe graft cases below Rs500m: Dawn

The National Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday that aims to further clip the wings of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by proposing that all corruption cases involving an amount below Rs500 million would not come in its purview. Click here to read…

PTI files reference with Supreme Judicial Council, seeks removal of CEC: Dawn

A day after the announcement of the verdict by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the prohibited funding case, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf moved a reference before the Supreme Judicial Council against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Pakistan spends $1b for rebuilding of war-hit Afghanistan: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has contributed $1 billion to support the reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan by building hospitals, schools and roads to manifest its commitment for a prosperous Afghanistan and falsify the impression of using the country as its proxy state. Click here to read…

Rupee gains significant ground against USD, trades at Rs228.50 in interbank: The Express Tribune

The Pakistani rupee made its first major recovery of around Rs10 to reach a one-week high of Rs228.50 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Wednesday. Click here to read…

China rolls over $2bn loan for a year: The News

China has rolled over $2 billion loan in safe deposits for cash-strapped Pakistan’s economy amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves, The News has learnt. Click here to read…

Downpour in July shatters 61-year record in Pakistan: PMD: The News

With 181% above average rainfall, July 2022 happened to be an excessive-rain month with 177.6mm of rain against its normal of 63.1mm making it the wettest July since 1961, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
BASL calls IGP to immediately probe recent shooting incidents and dead bodies found on Galle Face beach: Daily Mirror

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has requested Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne to immediately conduct a fully-fledged investigation into the spate of shooting incidents and the dead bodies found on the Galle Face beach, the sources said yesterday. The BASL reportedly drew the attention of the IGP regarding the recent shooting incidents which have been reported from various parts of the country over several days, resulting in the deaths of several individuals. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka president thanks India for timely assistance: Times of India

As he called for an all party government to deal with the economic crisis Sri Lanka is facing, President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday thanked PM Modi for providing the island nation “a breath of life” by lending timely economic assistance. “I wish to specially mention the assistance provided by India, our closest neighbour, in our efforts of economic revitalisation,” he said. Click here to read…

Govt. formed by Ranil-Rajapaksa camp not an all-party arrangement – JVP: The Island

Declaring that President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his maiden policy statement delivered in Parliament yesterday, hadn’t said anything new or offered any hope for the country, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that an administration formed by Ranil-Rajapaksa camp couldn’t be considered an All-Party Government under any circumstances. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 03, 2022

Afghanistan
Biden: Zawahiri ‘Mastermind Behind Attacks Against Americans’: Tolo News

US President Joe Biden in a live address on Tuesday morning, Afghanistan time, announced the death of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In his speech, Biden said that Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in an American drone strike in Kabul. Click here to read…

Afghan Refugees in Iran, Pakistan Call for UNHCR to Act: Tolo News

Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan have once more voiced their concerns about the lack of progress being made in their applications for asylum. They said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Western nations’ agencies in Pakistan have not paid attention to their requests. Click here to read…

Student Enrollment Plummets at Private Universities in Kunduz: Officials: Tolo News

The Union of Private Universities in Kunduz Province said that the number of students attending private universities has dropped by 65 percent in recent months. Officials at these universities added that in seven private universities of Kunduz the total number of students was around 5,000, whereas under the previous government the number exceeded 11,000. Click here to read…

Amount of Cash Aid to Afghanistan Surpasses $1 Billion 33 Million: The Khaama Press

According to the Taliban-run Central Bank of Afghanistan, a cash package containing $40 million arrived in Kabul on Tuesday, August 2, as part of continuous humanitarian assistance from the international community. The aid shipment, which arrived in Kabul today, was placed at one of the commercial banks, while a shipment totaling $40 million was handed to a commercial bank in Kabul two days ago. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Khalid welcomes US support for inland waterways management: Dhaka Tribune

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, has expressed hope that the US investment and technology will improve the waterways management of Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Minister: Madhukhali-Magura rail project to miss deadline: Dhaka Tribune

The railway project from Madhukhali to Magura via the Kamarkhali Broad Gauge will not be completed within deadline, says Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan. Even though the deadline will be extended, the project cost will remain unchanged, he said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Wheat prices may cool off in local market: The Daily Star

The price of wheat in Bangladesh may come down as its export from Ukraine has resumed following an agreement with Russia. Prior to the Russia-Ukraine war, 40 per cent of Bangladesh’s wheat import was made from the two countries. Click here to read…

Trade with neighbours to soar come 2029: The Daily Star

Bangladesh’s regional trade can increase by a staggering 93 percent thanks to the $1.4 billion project the World Bank has set in motion to accelerate trade and transport connectivity in Eastern South Asia — a development that can cushion the country from the anticipated export losses from LDC graduation. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Saving the majestic big cats – Bhutan Times

The Bhutan Center for Tigers and Department of Forests and Parks Services (DoFPS) had proposed for community-based tiger conservation fund to mitigate human-wildlife conflict which is the biggest threat in protection and conservation of tigers in Bhutan. Click here to read…

Concerns regarding loan repayment in the agricultural sector – Bhutan Times

Loan recipients from the agriculture sectors are concerned about their loan repayments after the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA) released the terms of the fourth phase of monetary measures. A low-risk area, according to the RMA’s most recent risk assessment, is the agriculture sector. Click here to read…

Maldives
During Visit, Maldives President Reaffirms ‘India-First’ Policy – The Wire

Maldives President Ibrahim Solih on Tuesday reaffirmed the island nation’s “India-first” policy during his visit to New Delhi, with both countries reassuring each other that they continued to remain mindful of the other’s security concerns. Click here to read…

President Solih pays courtesy call on the President of India – Raajje

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has paid a courtesy call on the President of India Droupadi Murmu. The call took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, India on Tuesday evening. During the meeting President Solih congratulated President Murmu on her inauguration to office. Click here to read…

President assures of conducive environment for foreign investments – Raajje

The President made this remark while addressing the India-Maldives Business Forum in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday. Inviting Indian entrepreneurs to the Maldives to explore business prospects, the President assured them of his commitment to facilitate a conducive environment for foreign investments. Click here to read…

India is highest priority, says Maldives President Solih after signing six agreements – the Hindu

The Maldives on August 2 signed a cyber security agreement with India as both sides affirmed bilateral will to strengthen ties to take on “transnational crimes and terrorism” in the Indian Ocean region. Addressing the media after the signing of six agreements, President Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Solih expressed gratitude to India for the help extended to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and for providing a landing craft and utility vehicles to the Maldives National Defence Force. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar: Detainees tortured to crush opposition to coup – Amnesty.org

Authorities in Myanmar’s prisons and interrogation centres routinely subject people detained for resisting the 2021 military coup to torture and other cruel or degrading treatment, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing, more than a year and a half after the power grab shattered the country’s halting transition to civilian rule. Click here to read…

Myanmar Military’s Proxy Party Involved in Pro-Execution Rallies – The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar junta’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) was involved in organizing pro-execution rallies held last week in Yangon and Mandalay. The rallies came as the executions of four pro-democracy activists in late July sparked condemnation around the world. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s Unfulfilled Irenic Dream – The Irrawaddy

Now, “Peace in our time” as in 1938, is more than unlikely: a slogan rather than a plan. A need for hope sustains a beleaguered population, but a constant call for hope defies reality. Would that it were possible to offer it, but illusions destroy policyClick here to read…

Drugs smuggled from Myanmar seized in Assam, 3 held – Mangalorean

Smuggling of drugs from Myanmar continues unabated in northeast India with drugs, valued at Rs 15 crore, being seized by Assam Police and three persons were arrested in this connection on Tuesday, officials said. Click here to read…

Myanmar-China border town hit by bomb blast and shootings, killing 2 – SCMP

A bomb blast and a spate of shootings in a Myanmar-China border town have killed two people and wounded at least nine, rescuers and locals said.
No group has so far claimed the attacks in Muse – Myanmar’s main gateway to China – which is home to several militia groups jockeying for control over lucrative casinos and the drug trade. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s junta using Chinese face recognition tech to eliminate opponents – Business Standard

In order to expand its public surveillance capabilities, Myanmar’s military regime is using facial recognition technology, raising fresh concerns about the safety of democracy activists and resistance groups in Myanmar. Click here to read…

Russia’s Lavrov to meet military leader on visit to Myanmar -TASS – Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Myanmar on Wednesday, TASS news agency reported, marking one of the most high-profile visits to the Southeast Asian country since the military seized power in a coup last year. Click here to read…

Nepal
India-Nepal Ties Finally Easing Down, But Will the Momentum Last? – The Quint

As a result of the recent political engagements between the prime ministers of Nepal and India, some gains are visible in the relations between the two countries, which, not very long ago, witnessed a strain in the combined aftermath of the map row, COVID-19 related problems and domestic politics in Nepal. Click here to read…

A safer journey for vaccines – Relief Web

Across Nepal, cold chain support provided by the Government of Japan through UNICEF is helping to ensure that vaccines – both for routine immunization of children and COVID-19 protection – reach communities safelyClick here to read…

UN watchdog asks Nepal to split Civil Aviation Authority- Kathmandu Post

United Nations aviation watchdog International Civil Aviation Organisation has formally asked Nepal to split the civil aviation body into two entities—service provider and regulator. The separation is a crucial organisational reform agenda which has been a work in progress for the last one and a half decades. Click here to read…

Nepal Nearly Triples Its Wild Tiger Population in 13 Years – Yahoo

According to a report recently released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are almost three times as many tigers in Nepal today as there were in 2009. This good news follows the upward trend of other tiger populations — 2016 marked the first time in 100 years that the world population of tigers increased. Click here to read…

Nepal doesn’t produce its 2 biggest export items – Nepal Times

How is that possible when the country does not even produce these commodities? The reason is that Nepal’s private traders import soyabean and palm oil in bulk and re-export them to India exploiting tariff differentials. Click here to read…

Pakistan
After 22 months, exports tumble 24pc in July: Dawn

The export proceeds fell 5.17 per cent to $2.21 billion in the first month of the current fiscal year from $2.34bn in the corresponding month last year, data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Govt leaders want Imran banned, disqualified over ECP ‘charge sheet’: Dawn

Terming the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the prohibited funding case of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) a “charge sheet” against the party, members of the ruling coalition claim it has proved ‘anti-Pakistan forces’ were behind establishment of the party, and labelled party chief Imran Khan everything from a liar, corrupt, foreign agent to a money launderer. Click here to read…

IMF toughens stance on loan tranche release: The Express Tribune

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday conditioned the approval of the $1.2 billion loan tranche in late August with Pakistan’s ability to timely secure ‘adequate assurances’ from friendly countries for more loans to bridge financing gap, exposing Islamabad to demands by its bilateral creditors. Click here to read…

Govt weighs knock-out punch: The Express Tribune

The ECP’s ruling that the PTI did receive prohibited funding after an eight-year delay has come as a shot in the arm of the beleaguered ruling coalition that swung into action on Tuesday to find ways to knock out the Imran Khan-led party. Click here to read…

Imran approves Punjab cabinet; no PMLQ member included: The News

According to sources, the cabinet consists of PTI MPAs only, while the party chief also withdrew two ministries given to the PMLQ in former Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s cabinet. Mian Mehmood-ur-Rashid is likely to get the Ministry of Local Government, Yasmin Rashid the Ministry of Health, Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal the Ministry of Housing and Works and Dr Murad Raas the Ministry of Federal Education. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed makes phone call to Sri Lankan President: Daily Mirror

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has made a phone call to the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, congratulating him on his election as the country’s new president. Sheikh Mohamed also wished him success in leading Sri Lanka towards stability and peace and overcoming the circumstances it is going through. Click here to read…

Immediate government assistance sought to avoid paralysis of tea exports: Daily Mirror

The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) along with industry stakeholders seeks a well-coordinated and synergised mechanism from the government to resolve the fuel and agrochemical shortages threatening Sri Lanka’s tea production and industry sustainability. Click here to read…

Bankrupt Sri Lanka seeks urgent help to feed children: Deccan Herald

The Ministry for Women and Child Affairs said they were seeking private donations to feed possibly several hundred thousand children wasting due to insufficient food. The bankrupt state, grappling with Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis. Click here to read…

Foreign Minister to attend 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Cambodia: News.Ik

Minister of Foreign Affairs, M.U.M. Ali Sabry will travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to take part in the forthcoming 29th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting from 4 to 5 August, 2022. The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is composed of 27 members, Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 02, 2022

Afghanistan
Biden: Al Qaeda Chief Zawahiri Killed in US Drone Strike in Kabul: Tolo News

US President Joe Biden in a live address said: “Justice has been delivered” in US strike killing al-Qaida leader al-Zawahri; “this terrorist leader is no more.” He confirmed reports that began hours earlier about the attack. Click here to read…

Tashkent Mtg Participants Show Readiness to Engage With Kabul: Tolo News

Attending a session held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, the acting foreign minister said the Tashkent International conference was a good opportunity for engagement between the international community and Afghanistan. Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi urged countries to accredit Islamic Emirate diplomats in order to create official engagement. Click here to read…

Joint Committee for Preventing Border Skirmishes to be Formed by Iran & Taliban: The Khaama Press

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, stated that a meeting was held with Iranian representatives and the Ministry of Defense of the Taliban government, announcing the formation of a joint committee to prevent border clashes. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Rise in remittance, dip in imports: Some breathing space for now: The Daily Star

The country’s economy has got a welcome respite from the ongoing volatility, thanks to a rise in remittance inflow and decrease in imports last month.Imports in July fell by 31 percent to $5.50 billion from $7.96 billion a month ago while remittance went up by 14 percent to $2.09 billion from $1.83 billion, shows Bangladesh Bank data.

Bangabandhu Mobile Railway Museum starts nationwide displaying: Dhaka Tribune

The “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Mobile Rail Museum”’ has started its journey on the tracks on Monday, to convey the ideals and struggles of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the people of Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Bangladesh receives ‘International Peace Award’: Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh has received “International Peace Award ” as one of the founding member of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation. The foundation on Monday handed over the award over the award comprising of a crest and a letter to Mosud Mannan, ambassador of Bangladesh to Turkey accredited to Georgia. Click here to read…

PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina to inaugurate Maitree Power Project in Bangladesh: Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are expected to jointly inaugurate the 1320 MegaWatt Maitree Super Thermal Power Station when the latter visits India for a three-day visit in the first week of September. Touted to be Bangladesh’s largest power plant, the coal-fired station is being set up by Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company Limited, a 50:50 joint venture between India’s NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board. The project is worth USD 1.5 billion. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Is Bhutan’s economy headed for a similar economic crisis like Sri Lanka? – The Statesman

After the economic crisis of Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s name has been doing the rounds in the list f troubled economies. However, the latest entry in the list of economies facing acute crisis, is that of Bhutan. The import of non-essential goods could be discouraged and even restricted to control the widening trade deficit and protect the depleting foreign currency reserve. Click here to read…

Army Chief meets Bhutan King in Thimphu; focus on further boosting enduring strategic ties – The Hindu

Chief of Army Staff Gen Manoj Pande has met Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and other top civil and military leaders of Bhutan with a focus on further boosting enduring strategic ties. Click here to read…

ADB approves $10m loan to help Bhutan buy COVID-19 vaccines – Devidiscourse

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $10 million loan to help the Government of Bhutan purchase safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19. The project is part of ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) launched in December 2020 to offer vaccine-related support to ADB developing member countries. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives President Ibrahim Solih meets EAM Jaishankar in Delhi – Times of India

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on August 01 met External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar at Hyderabad House in Delhi. President Solih is on a 4-day official visit to India. Click here to read…

Maldives confirms 183 new Covid-19 cases – Raajje

This was revealed by the Health Protection Agency ((HPA) in its latest figures publicized on Monday. As such, statistics revealed that between July 24 – 30, a total of 183 new Covid-19 infections were confirmed nationwide, including 33 from the Greater Malé Region, 85 from residential islands outside of the capital and 65 reported from others including industrial islands, liveaboard vessels and resorts. Click here to read…

Male Connectivity Project: India-Maldives mega infrastructure push – WIONews

In a major boost to ties between India and Maldives, the ground-breaking ceremony of the Maldives biggest infrastructure project will be held today in New Delhi. Maldives President is in New Delhi on a four-day visit. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar Junta Extends State of Emergency – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military government has extended a state of emergency by six months, state media said Monday, with the junta chief saying elections could only take place when the conflict-wracked country was “stable and peaceful”. Click here to read…

Role Of External Powers In Keeping The Myanmar Military In Power – Analysis – Eurasia Review

The Myanmar junta is losing on the military and economic fronts. And yet, it stays in power because the major regional and global powers either pussyfoot on it or support it in one way or another, experts on the country say. Click here to read…

Myanmar military charges eight Mrauk-U men with incitement – BNI Online

The Myanmar military has filed an incitement lawsuit against eight residents in Arakan State’s Mrauk-U Township under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code at the Mrauk-U District Court, according to family members of the accused. Click here to read…

Three Brotherhood Alliance Condemns Regime Executions – BNI Online

The Three Brotherhood Alliance has criticised the execution of four political prisoners by the military regime, which threatens to further isolate them. “It is also totally against the ASEAN 5-point proposal…It is also against the path of national reconciliation proposed by the (ruling) State Administration Council (SAC),” said a 27 July joint statement by member groups, Palaung State Liberation Army/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA), United League of Arakan/Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal cenbank governor sees no need for IMF loan as tourism earnings rise – Reuters

Nepal sees no need to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a fresh loan as pressure on foreign exchange reserves is easing after a pick up in tourism, its central bank governor said on Monday. Click here to read…

Human trafficking in India and Nepal – NewsUS

With economic opportunities further dwindling after the pandemic, millions more are at risk of Human trafficking across the world. Up to 800,000 people are estimated to be trafficked within Asia each year. In South Asia, India and Nepal are two of the most affected countries. Click here to read…

Nepal’s tea sector sees trouble brewing as India mulls restrictions on imports – The Kathmandu Post

Nepali tea producers and traders have been concerned ever since India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce in June asked the Indian government to apply stringent requirements for the certificate of origin on tea imported from Nepal. Click here to read…

China wary of Indian influence in Nepal – Tribune India

Reports suggest that the Chinese are unhappy that Ambassador Hou Yanqui was unable to prevent Nepal PM Deuba from proposing the Millennium Challenge Corporation, though the Chinese did scuttle America’s State Partnership Programme. They claim the latter is also a military alliance that allows US troops to enter Nepal at will and use its facilities and infringes Nepal’s sovereignty.Click here to read…

Nepal becoming Dialogue Partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – SangriToday

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has given the status of Dialogue Partner to Nepal. It is being considered a sign of Nepal’s growing international identity. But many Nepalese diplomats believe that while strengthening ties with the new group, now Nepal will have to proceed more carefully in the diplomatic realm. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Imran issues fresh call for protest outside ECP office in Islamabad on August 4: Dawn

PTI chairman Imran Khan on Monday issued a call for a fresh protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office in Islamabad on Thursday (August 4) to demand Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja’s resignation. Click here to read…

Inflation jumps to 14-year high of 24.9pc: The News

Consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 24.93 per cent in July, whereas in July 2021, it was recorded at 8.4 per cent, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic. That compares with a 21.3 per cent jump in June. This level was last seen in August 2008. Click here to read…

IK’s negligence led to foreign funding case: The News

Now that the PTI foreign funding verdict will be announced today (Tuesday), one needs to know what led Akbar S Babar, the founding member of the party, to file the foreign funding case in the Election Commission of Pakistan. Click here to read…

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

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

Sri Lanka
Closely monitoring ‘fast-moving situation’ in SL – UK: Daily Mirror

The UK government said that it is ‘closely monitoring the fast-moving situation, including the recent appointment of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as President’ in Sri Lanka. Click here to read…

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ‘not accorded any privileges’ in S’pore: MFA: Daily Mirror

Singapore’s foreign minister said yesterday that former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not being accorded any privileges or immunity in Singapore. Rajapaksa landed in Singapore on July 14, a day after fleeing his crisis-ridden country via Maldives and following a popular uprising that forced him to resign as president. Click here to read…

Sampanthan, Wimal, Champika ready to join all-party govt.: The Island

TNA leader R Sampanthan, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa and Patali Champika Ranawaka have expressed their willingness to join an all-party government. Weerawansa and Ranawaka, in response to a letter by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, have written that they are willing to join an all-party government to save the country. Click here to read…

Agriculture Ministry urges govt. to halt rice imports: The Island

The Agriculture Ministry yesterday informed the Cabinet that there were enough rice stocks in the country, and rice imports had to be suspended. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that he requested the Cabinet to suspend the import of rice until December. Click here to read…