Tag Archives: Taliban

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 September 2021

DEFENCE

  • Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21.
  • Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia.
  • India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle.
  • Pacific air chiefs’ symposium 2021.
  • 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).
  • Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’.
  • Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement.
  • Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force.
  • Inauguration of emergency landing facility.
  • DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force.
  • First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
  • India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every DefExpo.
  • 6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”.
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addresses 18th India-US Economic Summit.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

  • India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues.
Africa
Nigeria
  • Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces.
Afghanistan
  • “Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell.
  • “Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin.
  • “The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN.
Pakistan
  • “Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies.
  • Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district.
  • Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data.
  • Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha.
  • 52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana.
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case.
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee.
North-East Region Insurgency
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case.

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

  • “Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed ACSC.
  • Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks.
  • US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security.
Defence
Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia

A 200 personnel contingent of Indian Army is participating in Exercise ZAPAD 2021, a Multi Nation exercise being held at Nizhniy, Russia from 03 to 16 September 2021. ZAPAD 2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of Russian Armed Forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists. Over a dozen countries from Eurasian and South Asian Region will participate in this signature event. The NAGA Battalion group participating in the exercise will feature an all Arms combined task force. The exercise aims to enhance military and strategic ties amongst the participating nations while they plan & execute this exercise.

Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21

The India – Kazakhstan joint military exercise “KAZIND-21” commenced on 01 Sep 2021 at training node Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. This is the 5th Edition of Annual bilateral joint exercise of both Armies and will continue till 10th September 2021. The fourth edition of the exercise was held at Pithoragarh, India in Sep 2019. The contingent comprises 120 troops from Kazakhstan and 90 soldiers from the Indian Army. Both the contingents will share their expertise and skills in the field of counter terror operations. The exercise will culminate in a 48 hours joint validation exercise scheduled on 08 & 09 September 2021. Click here to read…

India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle

Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence signed a Project Agreement (PA) for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the Joint Working Group Air Systems in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) on July 30, 2021. The PA for ALUAV falls under the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Memorandum of Agreement between Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence, which was first signed in January 2006 and renewed in January 2015. The agreement is a significant step towards deepening defence technology collaboration between the two nations through co-development of defence equipment. Click here to read…

Pacific Air Chiefs’ symposium 2021

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) attended the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium 2021 (PACS-21) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii from 30 Aug to 02 Sep 21. The event themed “Enduring Cooperation towards Regional Stability” was attended by Air Chiefs from countries in the Indo-Pacific region. CAS was nominated as the Dean for the Symposium.

The Symposium saw deliberations through panel discussions, table top exercises and keynote addresses on topics ranging from aspects of Regional Security and the significance of Air Domain Awareness, to cooperation amongst Air Forces for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations.In addition to participation in the symposium, CAS met General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force and General Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Commander, Pacific Air Forces. He also held bilateral and multilateral meetings on defence cooperation and security with Air Chiefs from eleven other countries. Click here to read…

28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)

The 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) was conducted from 02 to 04 Sep 21.The Indian Navy, Singapore Navy participated with their ships and four F-16 fighter aircraft of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also participated in the exercise during the Air Defence Drills. Click here to read…

Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’

The Indian Navy Task Group participated in the 4th edition of AUSINDEX from 06 to 10 Sep 21. Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac Class Frigate, HMAS Warramunga which participated in Exercise MALABAR along with the IN units is also part of the exercise. This edition of AUSINDEX includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating Navies.

The participating Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively.

The exercise is a true representation of Joint Guidance signed by the Chief of the Naval Staff, IN and Chief of Navy, RAN on 18 Aug 21. This important document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations and aims to further consolidate shared commitment to regional and global security challenges promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Click here to read…

Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement

Raksha Mantri released in New Delhi on September 07, 2021 order on Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021, providing enhanced delegation of Revenue Procurement powers to the Armed Forces. The DFPDS 2021 aims to empower field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business and enhance jointness among the Services.

The enhanced delegation of Financial Powers to functionaries in Service Headquarters and lower formations would result in quicker decision making at all levels leading to better planning and operational preparedness of the Services in a quicker time frame and optimum utilisation of resources. Some of the highlights are:-

  • Financial powers devolved to field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business & jointness among Services
  • Two times general enhancement for Competent Financial Authorities; Up to 5-10 times at field formations in certain Schedules
  • 10% increase in Delegated Financial Powers of Vice Chiefs of Services
  • Up to three times increase in Schedules related to Indigenisation/R&D to achieve ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
  • Enabling provision of Emergency Financial Powers to Field formations below Command level for Defence Services incorporated in Emergency Powers Schedule for ops immediate military necessities

Click here to read….

Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force

Today, Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of fifty six C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain for the Indian Air Force. C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 Tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract and forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within ten years of signing of the contract. Click here to read…

Inauguration of emergency landing facility

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) was inaugurated for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Satta-Gandhav stretch on NH-925A near Barmer, Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. Two Union Ministers travelled to Barmer on C-130J aircraft to inaugurate the facility. They also witnessed aircraft operations on the ELF, which has been constructed in just 19 months by M/S GHV India Pvt. Ltd. under the supervision of IAF and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). This is the first time that a National Highway has been used for emergency landing of aircraft of Indian Air Force. This landing strip will be able to facilitate landing of all types of IAF aircraft. Click here to read…

DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force

First deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System was handed over to Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Raksha Mantri at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. The MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising of private and public sectors including MSMEs.
Key Highlights:

  • MRSAM provides air defence against aerial threats like fighter aircraft, UAVs, guided and unguided munitions & cruise missiles
  • Capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kilometres
  • Indigenously developed rocket motor & control system for achieving high manoeuvrability
  • State-of-the-art missile system
First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

India hosted the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on 11 September 2021 in New Delhi. H.E. Ms. Marise Payne, Foreign Minister, and H.E. Mr. Peter Dutton, Defence Minister, of Australia were visiting India on 10-12 September 2021 to take part in the Dialogue. From the Indian side, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar lead the delegation which comprised of officials from the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs. The inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is being held pursuant to the elevation of India-Australia bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit on 04 June 2020. The agenda for the Dialogue covered a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The RM in his interaction with the Australian Defence Minister highlighted the following issues in his address.

  • Wide-ranging discussions on bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues
  • Both sides agree to work jointly to realise full potential of India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • Partnership based on shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region
  • Military engagements to be expanded
  • Australian industry invited to take advantage of India’s liberalised FDI policies

Click here to read…

India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every Def Expo

India proposes to institutionalise the India Africa Defence Dialogue during successive Def Expos to be held once every two years. Institutionalisation of the India Africa Defence Dialogue will help building on the existing partnerships between African countries & India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements including areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter terrorism.

It has been decided that Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses shall be the knowledge partner of India Africa Defence Dialogue and will assist in providing necessary support for enhanced defence cooperation between India and Africa. It has also been decided that Raksha Mantri will host the Defence Ministers of African Nations in the next India – Africa Defence Dialogue on the sidelines of the Def Expo that is scheduled to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in March 2022. The broad theme of this India Africa Defence Dialogue will be ‘India – Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’.

6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”

Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is a Multilateral Exercise, which is conducted biennially as part of military diplomacy between Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. The 6th edition of Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is being hosted by Russia in the Orenburg Region of South West Russia from 13 to 25 September 2021. The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents.

The Indian military contingent comprising of an all arms combined force of 200 personnel to include 38 personnel from the Indian Air Force is participating in the Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION -2021. The Indian contingent was inducted to the exercise area by two IL-76 aircrafts. Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri (RM) addresses the 18th India-US Economic Summit

Delivering the inaugural address at the 18th India-US Economic Summit, on the theme ‘Bouncing Back – Resilient Recovery Path Post COVID-19’ organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce through video conferencing on September 15, 2021. The RM highlighted the defence sector as an integral part of not just the security but overall growth of the country, RM stated the initiatives taken by the Government have transformed India into a strong and reliable investment destination. He said, India is now home to stable and secure government which focuses on economic growth through series of reforms. He added that robust domestic demand and availability of talented young work force & innovation make India a major investment destination.

The RM called upon the industry leaders to focus on transfer of technology through joint ventures to realise the country’s true potential in defence sector. The foreign OEMs can set up manufacturing facilities individually or partner with Indian companies through a JV or technology agreement to capitalise on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, he added. The RM exhorted them to begin the process of Research and Development with the young minds of the country which will increase the linkages among the industries and create an ecosystem through equal contribution from academia and research.

The RM emphasised that there is a lot of scope for the American and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development, adding that Indian industry can supply components to American Industries. Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues

On 08 September 2021, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA)— Ajit Doval and Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council— Nikolai Patrushev met in New Delhi and discussed deepening the bilateral cooperation on security issues and intensifying the joint efforts on special services and military establishments, with emphasis on anti-terror track, combating illegal migration and narcotics trafficking.

The humanitarian and migration crisis in Afghanistan, including the prospects for the India-Russia joint efforts for creating the launch of peaceful settlement process on the basis of an intra-Afghan dialogue was also discussed. Click here to read…

Africa
Nigeria
Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces

In a statement released on 02 September 2021, the Nigerian armed forces informed that in last few weeks, more than 5,860 Boko Haram terrorists, including commanders, have surrendered with their families in the North-East zone. “Out of surrendered terrorists, 565 had been handed over to the government of North-Eastern Borno State for further management after thorough profiling”, said Spokesperson for the Nigerian armed forces— Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko. Click here to read…

Afghanistan
“Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell

Addressing an online forum hosted by the United States (US) Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia on 08 September, the former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—Michael Morell emphasised that the Taliban will provide safe-haven to al-Qa’ida and the latter intent to build its capability to attack the US at home. “Counter-terrorism efforts fall into a pattern in which their (al-Qa’ida’s) capabilities can be easily degraded by a focused effort, but easily rebuilds when the focus fades,” said Morell. Click here to read…

“Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin

On 09 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of Defense— Llyod Austin said that the al-Qa’ida group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack the US 20 years ago, may attempt to regenerate there following the US withdrawal that has left the Taliban in power. “We have put the Taliban on notice that we expect them to not allow that happen”, Secretary of State Austin said, referring to the possibility of al-Qa’ida using Afghanistan as a staging base in the future. Click here to read…

“The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN

On 09 September 2021, the Afghanistan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN)— Ghulam Isaczai urged that the UN should not recognise “caretaker” government formed by the Taliban which overthrew the democratically elected government in mid-August this year. “I….ask you [the UN] to withhold any recognition of any government in Afghanistan, unless it is truly inclusive and formed on the basis of the free will of the people,” said Ambassador Isaczai. Click here to read…

Pakistan
“Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Speaking at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 13 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of State—Antony Blinken said that Pakistan has harboured the members of the Taliban, including terrorists of Haqqani Network (HQN), and needs to “line-up” with a broad majority of the international community regarding Afghanistan.

Pakistan has denied its deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the group overtly and covertly. It (Pakistan) is also a nation where many senior Taliban leaders, including slain al-Qa’ida leader— Osama bin Laden, have escaped to after the US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan in 2001. Click here to read…

Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN

In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 07 September 2021, the First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN)— Vidisha Maitra said that Pakistan continues to foment a “culture of violence” at home and across the border; along with using the UN platform for hate speech against India. We dismiss and condemn all such efforts. Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies

The Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) send intelligence inputs to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) indicating that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are planning to carry out a major attack along the National Highway-44 (NH-44) in Srinagar—from Qazigund to Khanabal.

Also, there have been reports of Masood Azhar (JeM’s leader) meeting Taliban’s top leaders in Kandahar in mid-August seeking support for anti-India operations. In 2021, around 272 youths from Kashmir went missing, and it is estimated that at least 82 of them have joined terrorist groups in the Valley, with 42 being recruited by LeT. Click here to read…

Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district

In a joint operation on 09 September 2021, the 50 Rashtriya Rifle (RR), Awantipora police, and the 185th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), arrested a Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorist— Shahid Ahmed Khanday, from Androosa Khrew area of Awantipora area in Pulwama district.

During the search operation, security forces observed some suspicious movement in the area and noticed that a person was trying to flee; however, he was apprehended by the security forces personnel. Click here to read…

Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports

The intelligence reports claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been exporting the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) terrorists into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with aim to carry out major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

These IS-KP terrorists were released from Afghan jails and returned to Pakistan after the Taliban overthrew the Ghani government in Afghanistan, amidst the United States (US) withdrawal from the country. Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data

According to the annual report released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), on 14 September 2021, Chhattisgarh recorded the highest number of Maoist-related crimes in 2020. Followed by Jharkhand (133 cases registered) and Maharashtra (32 cases registered), Chhattisgarh topped in murders, loot, attempted murders, and arson by Maoists. Click here to read…

Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha

On 14 September 2021, Odisha police arrested senior Maoist leader and Special Zonal Committee member of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC)—Dubbasi Shankar aka Mahender, from Koraput district in Odisha.

Reportedly, Dubbasi had moved out of the jungle terrain to undergo some medical treatment in Koraput district, where he was arrested by police’s special team. Click here to read…

52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana

On 09 September 2021, 52 Maoists, including village committee members and sympathisers, from four border villages of Charlamandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana, surrendered before Superintendent of Police (SP).

Among those who surrendered were five women and seven minors from Pusuguppa, Battigudem, Bathinapalli, and Chennapuram villages. In November 2020, 33 Maoists, including village committee members, had surrendered before police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism
NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case

On 08 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against three Islamic State (IS) operatives—Mohammed Ameen aka Abu Yahya, Mushab Anwar, and Rahees Rasheed. The case was registered on 05 March 2021, pertaining to terrorist activities of Mohammed Ameen and his associates. Mohammed Ameen have been running various IS propaganda on different social media platforms, including Telegram, Hoop, and Instagram. Click here to read…

NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case

On 03 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Shihabudeenaka Sirajudeenaka Khalid aka Rajesh—an Islamic State (IS) operative, in connection with ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.

On 10 January 2020, the case was registered against Mehboob Pasha aka Abdullah, and 16 others, in several cases related to terrorism, and murder of Hindu leaders. Investigation has revealed that Shihabudeen was part of larger conspiracy and had collected & hand-over the arms & ammunition in Mumbai to other operatives to be used in the murder of the Special Sub-Inspector (SSI) Y Wilson in Tamil Nadu police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism inspired Extremism
NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee

On 31 August 2021, the Special Judge for NIA (National Investigation Agency) cases, Mohali, framed charges against eight Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) terrorists— i) Sukhraj Singh aka Sukhaaka Lakhanpal, ii) Ravinder Singh aka Ravi Dhillon, iii) Akashdeep Arora aka Dhaliwal, iv) Jagroop Singh, v) Sukhdeep Singh aka Buraaka Bhura, vi) Gurjit Singh aka Bha, vii) Inderjit Singh, and viii) Sukhmeet Pal Singh aka Sukhaka SukhBhikariwal, in connection with murder of Comrade Balwinder Singh, Shaurya Chakra awardee. On 16 October 2020, two unidentified persons killed Comrade Balwinder Singh at his residence in Bhikhiwind, Taran Tarn district in Punjab. Click here to read…

North-East Region Insurgency
NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case

On 14 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against five operatives of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in connection with 2019 Grenade Blast case. In 2019, two ULFA-I operatives threw grenade at a police party near Central Mall, RGB road, Guwahati, in which 12 people were injured. The self-styled commander-in-chief of ULFA-I—Paresh Baruah, took responsibility of the attack.

The charge-sheeted accused are identified as—Pappu Koch Bokoliyal aka BijoyAsom, Amrit Ballav Goswami, Paresh Baruah aka Paresh Asom, Arunodoy Dahotiya aka Bijit Gogoi, and Munna Baruah aka Munna Asom. Click here to read…

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

“Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed the ACSC

In a report published on 15 September 2021, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) informed that a quarter of cyber attacks reported to the Australian security officials over the past year have targeted the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and essential services, including healthcare, food distribution, and energy. The ransomware attacks increased by 15 per cent in the 2020-2021 financial year, as compared to the previous financial year. The ACSC received more than 67,500 reports of cyber-crime of all types in 2020-2021. Click here to read…

Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks

A Pune-based cyber security start-up firm—Elementik Technologies has launched “Byteseal”— a device to prevent identity-related cyber-attacks, such as phishing and credential thefts. The start-up incubated with Science and Technology Park in Pune and has raised ₹ 1 crore through the Park’s seed-funding scheme, supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

“Byteseal is a secure authentication device which helps subscribers manage their passwords in a more secure and simple way. The device carries the world’s most secure capacitive fingerprint sensor, wireless connectivity to phone and computer via Bluetooth technology and has a long-lasting rechargeable battery up to three months,” said Nikhilesh Wani—founder of the Elementik Technologies. Click here to read…

US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security

The United States (US) government expressed its interest to explore ties with Telangana State government in cyber security areas, mainly crypto currency forensics, capacity building, and technology transfer. During her visit to India in August 2021, the US Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) for Cyber & Emerging Technologies— Anne Neuberger exchanged thoughts on potential cooperation with the State government of Telangana, represented by Industries & Commerce and IT Principal Secretary— Jayesh Ranjan.

Telangana State has been a forerunner in cyber security with dedicated efforts such as State policy, Hyderabad Security Cluster (HSC) and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCE). Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, September 27, 2021

Xi calls for openness, cooperation in science & technology: Xinhuanet
September 24, 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on all countries to strengthen openness and cooperation in science and technology. Xi made the remarks while delivering a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum), which is scheduled from Sept. 24 to 28 in Beijing.
Click here to read

China issues white paper on Xinjiang’s demographic development: Xinhuanet
September 26, 2021

China’s State Council Information Office Sunday issued a white paper detailing the demographic development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The white paper, titled “Xinjiang Population Dynamics and Data,” said over the past 70 years, Xinjiang has seen rapid and steady population growth, improving population quality, higher life expectancy, and faster urbanization and modernization.
Click here to read

China says no to cartoons with unhealthy content: Xinhuanet
September 25, 2021

China’s broadcasting authorities have voiced absolute rejection of cartoons that contain plots or footage of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography. Service providers of audio-visual web programs are encouraged to create, import and broadcast cartoons that feature positive values and promote virtues of the true, the good and the beautiful, said the National Radio and Television Administration on its website.
Click here to read

J-16D and WZ-7 to debut at Airshow China 2021: China Military
September 26, 2021

The 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China 2021) will be held in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, as scheduled from September 28 to October 3. An array of main combat equipment including the J-20 stealth fighter, Y-20 heavy transport aircraft, KJ-500 early warning aircraft, H-6K bomber, and HQ-9B air-defense missile system will appear together in the exhibition. China’s J-16D electronic warfare aircraft and WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone are to debut at the upcoming air show. The systematical display of multi-type main combat equipment of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) demonstrates the new achievements of its strategic transformation.
Click here to read

China to promote vocational training of migrant workers: People’s Daily
September 26, 2021

China will promote vocational training of migrant workers as part of the efforts to consolidate its poverty alleviation outcomes, an official said Saturday.By the end of August, China has 30.85 million migrant workers who had shaken off poverty, Liu Xiaoshan, an official with the National Administration for Rural Vitalization said at a news conference.
Click here to read

Liaison office of central gov’t says anti-China group in Hong Kong cannot escape justice: China Daily
September 26, 2021

After a notorious anti-China group announced its dissolution on Saturday, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said it is the inevitable fate of anti-China groups in Hong Kong. The HKSAR government has started the procedure of banning the organization according to the law, a spokesperson of the liaison office said.
Click here to read

Power shortage in NE China’s provinces affects local livelihood: Global Times
September 26, 2021

Three provinces in Northeast China, including Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, reported experiencing electricity shortages in some areas caused by the high price of coal used for power generation. Multiple local residents said this has affected their daily livelihood.A resident of Jilin city, in Jilin Province, told the Global Times on Sunday that the power supply of his house has been intermittent recently, noting that “the unstable power supply started on Saturday but did not receive any notice in advance.”
Click here to read

Chinese Big Tech vows to support SMEs at premier internet summit: Global Times
September 26, 2021

At the water town of Wuzhen in East China’s Zhejiang Province, a high-level annual internet forum puts China’s best and brightest tech talent on show surrounded by voices of confidence and resilience from tech luminaries from both home and abroad. The country’s platform economy is seen as gaining luster, rather than the other way around as hyped by some Western media, and the new mood has been borne amid a responsible governmental push for greater fairness and effective innovation.
Click here to read

China tries to rally national pride as it paints MengWanzhou’s release as proof the US targeted an innocent woman for political reasons: South China Morning Post
September 26, 2021

The return of MengWanzhou to China without legal penalty is being used to shore up nationalist sentiment by feeding up the narrative that Huawei and China were innocent victims of the United States. Repeating Beijing’s line on the case, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying on Saturday commented in a statement that this was “an incident of political persecution against a Chinese citizen” and there were “materials that are sufficient to prove MsMeng‘s innocence”.
Click here to read

The everyday liquid that could fuel China’s race to green car targets: South China Morning Post
September 24, 2021

Scientists in China and Australia have developed a catalyst which uses urea-loaded waste water to efficiently generate clean energy, paving the way for low-cost portable fuel cells that work like batteries. Fuel cells, which have been used to power electric vehicles, are a clean source of electricity. They produce power through an electrochemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, generating heat and water as by-products.
Click here to read

Two Chinese naval vessels reportedly spotted off Taiwan’s east coast: Focus Taiwan
September 24, 2021

Two military vessels from China were seen off the east of Taiwan, in the Pacific Ocean, over the past two days, a military source said Friday. One of them, a Chinese missile frigate, was spotted 40 nautical miles, or roughly 74 kilometers, off the coast of Hualien County at around 3 a.m. Thursday, presumably heading south into the Bashi Channel, the source said.
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China Evergrande’s electric car unit’s shares tumble 26% after warning: Reuters
September 27, 2021

Shares of China Evergrande’s electric car unit plunged as much as 26% on Monday after it warned it faced an uncertain future unless it got a swift injection of cash and after it said it will not proceed with plans to issue RMB shares.The warning by China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group after the market closed on Friday was the clearest sign yet that the embattled property developer’s liquidity crisis is worsening in other parts of its business.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 29, 2021

Afghanistan
MoJ to Enforce Zahir Shah-Era Constitution: Tolo News

For an interim period, the constitution from the time of the Afghan king will be enforced, except for some articles against Sharia Law and Emirate principles. Click here to read

Afghan Businessmen Face Export Problems in Trade with Pakistan: Tolo News

Officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that once again Afghan exports face problems in crossing points with Pakistan as the neighboring country allows only 20 Afghan trucks a day while hundreds of trucks are stuck near crossing points between the two countries. Click here to read

Former Afghan officials announce government in exile: The Khaama Press

A number of former Afghan officials who have fled the country along with President Ashraf Ghani announced the continuation of the Afghan government in exile. Click here to read

Taliban to implement a constitution from nearly 60 years ago: The Khaama Press

Taliban’s acting minister of Justice Abdul Hakim Sharaee said that they will implement the constitution from the era of Muhammad Zahir Shah which was ratified 57 years ago. Click here to read

Will not engage in Afghanistan until establishment of inclusive government: Erdogan: The Khaama Pres

President of Turkey Recep Tayyib Erdogan has said that they will not engage in Afghanistan until and unless the Taliban forge an all-inclusive government in the country. Click here to read

Bangladesh
Turkey-Bangladesh ties get stronger as misconceptions clarified- Daily Sabah

Relations between Turkey and Bangladesh scaled up after disinformation about Bangladesh spoiling Muslim unity was proven wrong, Bangladeshi officials said. Click here to read

Crystal meth creeps up on city- Daily Star

There is a growing market for highly addictive drug crystal meth in the capital, operated mostly through encrypted messaging apps, officials have found out. Click here to read

Over 66 lakh shots given: Special Covid vaccination drive marks Hasina’s 75th birthday- Daily Star

The country more than doubled its previous record of single-day vaccinations as the government inoculated more than 66 lakh people against Covid-19 yesterday. Click here to read

No more brokers- Daily Star

The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has taken a plan to introduce licenced “agents” to help people get passports and renew them. Click here to read

AL focusing on polls, BNP on election-time government- Dhaka Tribune

The ruling Awami League has already begun preparations for the next general election, to be held at the end of 2023. Click here to read

Covid-19: Bangladesh records 31 more deaths, 1,310 new cases- Dhaka Tribune

As many as 29,186 samples tested in 24 hours, yielding an infection rate of 4.49%.Click here to read

High Court extends Khaleda Zia’s bail by a year in 5 cases- Dhaka Tribune

File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Collected the BNP chief is out of prison since March last year as the govt has suspended her sentence. Click here to read

Windows of democracy and Sheikh Hasina’s birthday – Asian Age

Sheikh Hasina regards the people of Bangladesh as her closest and dearest ones. Click here to read

Bangamata Parishad observes PM’s birthday- Asian Age

Bangamata Parishad observed the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday. The organization also held a discussion program in the capital’s National Museum on the same day. Click here to read

No alternative to Sheikh Hasina to reach desired destination: Hasan- The Observer

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reach the country in its desired destination. Click here to read

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina likely to visit India next year- Times of India

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to visit New Delhi early next year. The dates for the visit expected to be in January or February 2022, will be finalised only after a formal invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi is extended to her. Click here to read

Consultancy contract signed between India & Bangladesh for a new railway line from Bogura to Sirajganj- All India Radio

A new direct rail line from Bogura to Sirajganj in Bangladesh will be developed under a government of India Line of Credit (LoC). Click here to read

Fifty years ago, remote Dimapur airstrip gave wings to fledgling Bangladesh Air Force- Economic time

By November 5, we could proudly say Bangladeshi and Indian Air forces had freed the skies over Bangladesh. The victory over land forces took 11 more days. Click here to read

Bhutan
No local Covid-19 cases for 45 straight days- Kuensel

Bhutan has not reported any positive Covid-19 cases from the community for 45 straight days. The last positive case from the community was reported on August 14: an individual from Gomtu, Samtse. Click here to read

RUB colleges establish happiness and wellbeing centres- Kuensel

Colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) are establishing happiness and wellbeing centres to address mental health problems. Click here to read

Pandemic impacts nettle fabric business- Kuensel

Like many businesses, the pandemic impacted women who make a living weaving fabric from nettle yarn in Trongsa. Click here to read

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world- Daily Bhutan

Email There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this mushroom. Click here to read

PM hosts reception to mark 50th anniversary Bhutan’s membership to the UN- Bhutan Times

A limited edition collectible commemorative stamp developed in partnership with Bhutan Post to mark the 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s membership to the UN was also launched by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and UN Resident Representative Gerald Daly on 21 September. Click here to read

Construction of new bridge along Damchhu-Haa bypass to begin from November- BBS

A new bridge over Wangchhu along the Damchhu-Haa bypass will be constructed from November. The project DANTAK will construct the bridge. The previous bridge which was almost complete collapsed in February this year killing nine Indian workers. Click here to read

Flagship programmes make slow progress amid the pandemic- BBS

With the 12th Five Year Plan already midway, the government was able to utilise only more than Nu 2bn on the flagship programmes so far. A total budget of Nu 10bn was identified for these programmes. Click here to read

How digital cash can lift gross national happiness in Bhutan- Mint

Cash is a relatively new construct in Bhutan. Click here to read

COVID-19 and rabies: Bhutan highlights the importance of cross-border dog vaccination- WHO

Despite the sad loss of its young citizen recently, Bhutan is on the right track to achieve this goal. Click here to read

India inks pact for joint development of small satellite for Bhutan- New Indian Express

India on Friday signed the implementing arrangement on the joint development of a small satellite for Bhutan. Click here to read

Maldives
‘Against Freedom of Expression’: Maldives Journalist Bodies Oppose Provisions in New Bill – The Wire

Journalist organisations and NGOs in Maldives have, in a joint statement issued on Tuesday, September 28, called for the country’s authorities to drop certain provisions from the Evidence Bill which is currently being debated in the country’s parliament. Click here to read

Over 100,000 arrivals recorded for the fourth month this ongoing year! – Raajje

The Ministry of Tourism, through its latest daily statistics revealed that Maldives observed a total of 102,745 arrivals between September 1 – 26. Click here to read

Maldives committed to One-China Policy, bilateral cooperation in int’l arena: FM – ECNS

Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the One-China Policy and willingness to work with China in areas of mutual interest. Click here to read

India’s 228 million social housing project in Maldives and its significance- Inventiva

Maldives’ state-owned Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation signed a loan agreement with India’s state-owned National Buildings Construction Company which is also known as NBCC, along with JMC Projects India Ltd. on Thursday. Click here to read

Myanmar
Afghanistan, Myanmar left in UN meet – Manila Times

The United Nations General Assembly drew to a close on Monday without speeches by Afghanistan or Myanmar after world powers intervened in disputes over who would represent the two countries. Click here to read

Junta mouthpiece criticises NLD-led decision to disband Union Democratic Party last year – Myanmar Now

A military-run newspaper has published an op-ed criticising the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government for overseeing the decision to dissolve the Union Democratic Party (UDP) shortly before last year’s general election. Click here to read

Growing numbers of young people seek to flee Myanmar – BNI Online

Young people disheartened by life in Myanmar following the coup are trying in growing numbers to leave the country and find work to help support their families, RFA reported. Click here to read
Myanmar Junta Troops Ambushed in Shan State – The Irrawaddy

At least 20 Myanmar military soldiers were reportedly killed or wounded on Monday, after Karenni resistance fighters ambushed a convoy of junta reinforcements in Pinlaung, Shan State in southeastern Myanmar. Click here to read

Int’l Rights Experts Urge UN to Declare Myanmar Junta ‘Terrorist’ Organization – The Irrawaddy

An independent group of prominent former UN human rights experts has urged the United Nations Security Council to declare the Myanmar military junta a “terrorist organization” for its atrocities against its own civilians including public torture, executions and taking hostages, including children as young as 2. Click here to read

Nepal
Minister Sharma stresses fully proportional election- Himalaya

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma said the fully proportional electoral system is necessary to eliminate unhealthy competition and malpractices in the election. Click here to read

Government to support tourism sector, says PM Deuba- Himalaya

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the government is committed to support country’s tourism sector which has been hit hard by the COVID -19 pandemic. Click here to read

Poorly handled Covid-19 garbage could give rise to hazardous waste crisis- TKP

Amount of coronavirus-related refuse is increasing. There are protocols to manage such items, but implementation has been weak, leaving public health in peril. Click here to read

Panel on Nepal-China border issues calls for bilateral intervention- TKP

Government committee suggests joint inspection team of experts from both sides to deal with the dispute, if any. Click here to read

MCC ball in Nepal’s court- Nepali Times

‘Take it or leave it’ is the message to Kathmandu after visit by US officials. Click here to read

Maoist leader Barshaman Pun leaves for Thailand for treatment- Republica

CPN (Maoist Center) standing committee member Barshaman Pun left for Thailand today. Click here to read

Writ filed seeking annulment of oath taken by Foreign Minister Khadka- Republica

A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking an order to annul the oath taken by Foreign Minister Dr Narayan Khadka. Click here to read

Diplomats gather in Pokhara to revive Covid-19-hit Nepal tourism- Online Khabar

Just as the clouds were covering the Annapurna range, Park Chong-Suk, South Korean ambassador to Nepal, quickly took a selfie with his wife. This was at Naudanda, a few kilometres away from Pokhara, the tourism capital of Nepal. Click here to read

Border Roads Bring India and Nepal Closer- The Diplomat

The 35-km-long Uttarey-Chiwanbhangjyang road will link western Sikkim in India not just to areas on the Nepali side of the border but to western Nepal. Click here to read

Nepali Youth Protest in Capital Kathmandu Against Chinese Land Encroachment- NDTV

A youth association affiliated with Nepal’s Democratic Socialist Party led by Mahantha Thakur staged a protest against China on Tuesday for allegedly encroaching Nepal’s land. Click here to read

India MEA official reaches Nepal, to hold series of discussions- Wion

India MEA official reaches Nepal, to hold series of discussions Read more At: Click here to read

Pakistan
Qureshi again urges world to engage with ‘new reality’ in Afghanistan: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has once again urged the international community to engage with the “new reality” in Afghanistan and unfreeze the country’s assets so that things do not fall apart. Click here to read

Mazari rebukes US for introducing bill targeting Pakistan for Afghan failure: The Express Tribune

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has warned that Pakistan will be made to “pay heavy price” for being an ally of the United States in its ‘war on terror’Click here to read

Shehbaz can be sent to prison for 25 years over corruption: Fawad: The Express Tribune

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif would be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison “if hearing of his corruption case is conducted on merit” Click here to read

US senators want Pak role probed in Taliban win: The News

A bill was Monday introduced in the US Senate requiring assessments and imposition of sanctions on the Taliban and persons assisting them in Afghanistan. Click here to read

NCOC for vaccination of children aged 12-years, above: The News

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to vaccinate children aged 12 years and above. “In today’s meeting of NCOC, it has been decided to vaccinate all above 12 years and above,” Click here to read

Sri Lanka

932 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

Daily COVID-19 detections remained below 1,000 for the second consecutive day with 932 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Click here to read

Ensure workers’ rights before extending GSP+: EPZ workers write to EU Ambassador – The Morning

The Stand Up Movement Lanka organisation has written to the European Union (EU), requesting that it intervene to ensure that the rights of workers in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are addressed prior to deciding on whether or not to extend the grant of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade concessions to Sri Lanka. Click here to read

Sri Lanka Govt. suspends order placed to procure Oxygen from India – Daily Mirror

The Government has decided to suspend the order placed to purchase 1,080 tonnes of liquid oxygen from India, required for the next three weeks. Click here to read

National Issues Haunt GoSL at UNGA 2021 – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka’s long-standing problem of seeking justice for the Tamils, and Catholics after the Easter Sunday attacks, has reached the United Nations Headquarters. Click here to read

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 28, 2021

Afghanistan
Violations of building rules continue unabated in Kabul- Pajhwok Afghan

Based on current laws, construction of more than three-storey buildings in residential areas is not permissible in Kabul.
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Save the Children to expand activities in Kandahar: Chief- Pajhwok Afghan

The Children organization chief says they will extend their services to areas where they had no access to due the conflict.
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Former president Ghani’s Facebook page hacked- Pajhwok Afghan

Former President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday said his Facebook page has been hacked and disowned recent posts on the page.
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No One from Afghanistan Will Address UNGA: Reuters- Tolo News

No representative from Afghanistan will address the annual high-level U.N. General Assembly in New York after the ambassador for the government ousted by the Taliban – who was due to speak on Monday – withdrew his name.
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Bangladesh
PM Hasina’s 75th birthday today- Asian Age

Today is the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Awami League (AL) and its affiliated and likeminded bodies are celebrating the day through various programs highlighting the life and achievements of Sheikh Hasina.
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Shots for Higher Edn Students: Half yet not registered- Daily Star

Although the government said any university or its affiliated colleges could resume in-person classes if all their students completed the Covid-19 vaccine registration by yesterday.
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25 lakh Pfizer vaccines arrive in Dhaka airport- Daily Star

Twenty-five lakh more doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, under the COVAX facility, arrived in Bangladesh early today.
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Child marriage: Many girls long for a return to schools- Dhaka Tribune

Up to 70% of girls in grade 9 and 10 in many schools are yet to return to classes.
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Rt-PCR test to start in full capacity at Dhaka airport from Tuesday- Dhaka Tribune

The Covid-19 rt-PCR laboratory set up for UAE passengers at Dhaka airport is fully prepared.
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Minister Mannan: Corruption is a reality- Dhaka Tribune

Government does not want to curb corruption through hustle, he says.
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Bhutan
The significance of offering seven bowls of water- Bhutan Times

The 7 bowls signify respectively: water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfume, and food.
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12th Five-Year Plan reprioritised to stimulate growth- Kuensel

These are a part of the three major new activities the government had to reprioritise and adopt in the 12th FYP as part of the Covid-19 interventions and Economic Contingency plan.
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Raising healthy and resilient future- Kuensel

There is a need for schools to improve mental resilience programmes.
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Let Climate Change not slide this time- Kuensel

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, requires each State to prepare, outline and communicate its NDCs.
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Bhutan’s journey to become a model eco-tourism destination- BBS

To promote Bhutan as a model eco-tourism destination, the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched the ecotourism project in Trashigang.
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Maldives
Small islands caught between tourism economy, climate change – New Indian Express

Come visit the Maldives, its president entreated the world at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, moments before switching to an impassioned plea for help combating climate change. The adjacent appeals illustrated a central dilemma for many small island developing states: their livelihoods, or their lives?
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India Exim Bank extends Buyer’s Credit facilities under NEIA aggregating $226.95M to Republic of Maldives govt – India infonline

Export-Import Bank of India [India Exim Bank] has extended two Buyer’s Credit [BC] facilities under National Export Insurance Account [NEIA] aggregating USD 226.95 mn to Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation Ltd. (FDCL), Government of Republic of Maldives (GoM) for construction of 4000 Social Housing Units in Hulhumale, Maldives by NBCC (India) Ltd. (NBCC) and JMC Projects (India) Ltd. (JMC).
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Maldives Telecommunications Strategic SWOT Analysis Review and Outlook to 2025-Analysis of Maldives Mobile, Fixed Telephone and Broadband Markets – Today’s Newspaper

This contemporary research presentation and detailed market research synopsis on Maldives Telecommunications market is a real time presentation of all the specific market developments that have a lingering impact on current growth trajectory, besides also harping on vital predications in the realm of future growth scope.
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Next hearing in Yameen’s sentence appeal trial scheduled for October – Raajje

During Monday’s hearing in the money laundering trial, state prosecutors have refuted claims that they had ever decided against halting the cases linked to the suspects of the grand corruption scandal involving Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
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Myanmar
Quad Leaders Call on Myanmar Junta to End Violence – The Irrawaddy

Leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on Friday called for an end to the violence in Myanmar in a joint statement. US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday participated in the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit, hosted by Biden in Washington.
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Rebel Fighters From India Cooperating With Myanmar Military Regime – The Irrawaddy

After the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup, Tamu was one of the first towns to take up arms against the junta, following a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
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‘No Future’ for Myanmar People Unless Spring Revolution Succeeds – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime has been waging war in Chin State in the mountainous far west of the country for months. Intense fighting between the junta and civilian resistance groups has forced thousands of people to flee their homes, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. soldiers also shot down a Christian pastor in the town and mutilated his corpse.
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Myanmar’s NLD Marks 33rd Anniversary Facing Abolition Threat – The Irrawaddy

The National League for Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s most popular political party, turns 33 years old on Monday. But a question mark hangs over its future following the military’s Feb. 1 coup.
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China Aiding Myanmar Armed Groups in Their COVID-19 Fight – The Diplomat

Earlier this week, the news agency AFP carried an interesting report detailing the Chinese government’s support to Myanmar’s ethnic armed organizations and rebel groups.
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Nepal
Khadka rules out amendment to MCC- Himalaya

Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka has said there can be no amendment to the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement that Nepal has signed with the United States of America.
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Buddha Air aircraft safely lands at TIA amid reports of ‘landing gear issue’- Himalaya

A Buddha Air aircraft safely landed in Tribhuvan International Airport after a malfunction was reportedly detected in its landing gear early on Monday.
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Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts are vaccinating everyone above 18 years- TKP

Everyone above 18 can take the AstraZeneca vaccine from immunisation centers of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and those in the municipalities of the district can take the Vero Cell vaccine.
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After Covid-19 pandemic, it’s price rise that is biting Nepalis hard

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People exchanging old banknotes with new ones at NRB- Republica

Banks and financial institutions have started providing new bank notes starting Monday.
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Saptapatal Pokhari: A motivating case for Kathmandu heritage conservation- OnlineKhabar

The pond, which had a lot of religious significance, gradually got lost during the Kathmandu valley’s urbanisation drive.
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Pakistan
Govt, PML-N clash over UK court’s order on Sharifs- The Dawn

A UK court has ordered unfreezing of the bank accounts of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and his son Suleman Shehbaz after the country’s National Crime Agency (NCA) did not find evidence regarding ‘suspicious bank transactions’ against them.
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Pakistan discussing expansion of CPEC to Afghanistan: envoy- The Dawn

Pakistan has discussed the Taliban-led Afghanistan joining the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, the Pakistan’s ambassador to the country said on Monday.
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No problem if country gets rule of law through reconciliation, says Nawaz Sharif- The News

MLN leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that if the country will get rule of law and implementation of the Constitution through reconciliation then there is no need to fight.
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Pakistan supports inclusive govt in Afghanistan: Moeed Yousaf- The News

National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Moeed Yousaf has said Pakistan has always been supportive to the concerns and legitimate demands of the international community regarding an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
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‘Don’t blame Pakistan for the outcome of the war in Afghanistan’- The News

Let me put it plainly. Since 2001, I have repeatedly warned that the Afghan war was unwinnable.
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PML-N will ‘bury’ PTI in 2023 polls: Shehbaz- The Tribune

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said his party, under the leadership of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, would “bury for good” the politics of the ruling PTI in the 2023 general elections.
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Sri Lanka
Why Sri Lanka is losing many European tourists- Island

The tourist season, in Sri Lanka, will comence in November.
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Self-Employed Traders petition SC over govt. favouring liquor dealers- Island

The Supreme Court has decided take up, on 04 Oct. for hearing a petition filed by the Association of Self-Employed Traders against the opening of liquor stores during the current lockdown.
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Australia’s richest woman warns Australia will end up impoverished like Sri Lanka- Island

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman worth $31billion, has warned Australia is on the same track as Sri Lanka and Argentina in falling from prosperity to poverty due to a big-spending, regulation-heavy government.
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CMC members launch Satyagraha- Daily Mirror

Some Members of the Colombo Municipal Council staged a Satyagraha yesterday against the alleged move by the Municipal Treasurer to delay funds to purchase dry rations for the needy people in the city who have been affected by the lockdown.
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Iran, Sri Lanka pledge to boost ties- Daily News

Emphasized on taking new steps in developing economic, trade relations with the South Asian Island nation.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 27, 2021

Afghanistan
Female Leaders at UNGA Call for Afghan Women’s Rights: Tolo News

A number of women leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York are vocally advocating for Afghan women and girls, saying their rights should not be taken away and the Taliban should refrain from violence.
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Imran Khan Seeks World’s Support to Taliban: Tolo News

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York urged the international community to engage with and support the Taliban instead of isolating them.
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Impossible for us to recognize Taliban: Italian FM: The Khaama Press

The foreign minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio strongly reacted to the Taliban’s caretaker cabinet and said that it is impossible for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to be recognized by them.
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Strengthening banking system, economic growth is of utmost importance: Taliban: The Khaama Press

Taliban say that the strengthening of the banking system, growth of commerce, and economy of Afghanistan is vital and will do their best in this regard.
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Bangladesh
80 lakh Covid shots in a single day!- Daily Star

The premises of a vaccination centre in Khulna Sadar Hospital is crammed with people waiting for their Covid shot. Volunteers at the centre said it is almost impossible to maintain social distancing when the crowd is so large.
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2 arrested for torturing teenager- Daily Star

Police have arrested two persons for brutally torturing a teenage boy for ransom in Natore on Saturday night.
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2002 attack on Hasina’s motorcade in Satkhira: Fugitive convict arrested in Dhaka- Daily Star

Detectives have arrested a convict in a case filed over the attack on the motorcade of the then opposition leader and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Satkhira 19 years ago.
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Experts wary of importing LNG- Dhaka Tribune

Three cargoes of LNG are being procured from the spot market to increase the country’s gas supply.
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World Sindhi Congress held protest in Geneva against human rights violations in Pak’s Sindh- Asian Age

The World Sindhi Congress (WSC on Thursday held a protest here against human rights violations in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
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BNP sees no success in PM’s US visit- Asian Age

Stating that the Prime Minister’s visit to the USA has ‘no success’, BNP on Sunday alleged that the government wants to take international advantage by keeping the Rohingya problem alive.
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Sedition case: Three Rajshahi BNP leaders granted bail- Daily Observer

The three leaders are BNP Chairperson’s adviser and former Rajshahi City mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu, Rajshahi City BNP president Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and general secretary Shafiqul HuqueMilon.
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UNGA ends without speeches by Afghan, Myanmar delegates- New Age

The United Nations General Assembly in New York ends Monday but without speeches by those in power in Afghanistan and Myanmar.
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‘Bangabandhu’s historic UNGA speech in Bangla was greatest day of Bangabandhu’s life’- The Independent

Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Bangalee who made history by delivering the first Bangla speech, for the first time in its history, at the 29th the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25, 1974.
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LPG pricing by BPC faces opposition from energy regulator, rights groups- Financial Express

A government move allowing BPC monopoly on pricing its liquefied petroleum gas, bypassing scrutiny, came under a broadside from both the country’s energy regulator and rights group.
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Bhutan
Are we normalising sexual harassment?- Kuensel

Playful age-old culture, many say, is being used to normalise sexual harassment today. The work place has changed from fields to offices and many now question if Bhutanese society is normalising sexual harassment in the name of culture.
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Let Climate Change not slide this time- Kuensel

The National Determined Contributions (NDC) synthesis report, published last week, reports on NDCs from all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement.
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LG members to resign in the last week of October- Kuensel

The second local governments (LGs) will complete their terms in the last week of October.
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LDCs call for more climate finance- Kuensel

UN Climate Change published a report last week. Following the report, the Least Development Countries (LDC) called for deep emission cuts and scaled-up climate finance.
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Trucks ferrying boulders from Gelephu barred from plying via Meghalaya, India- Kuensel

Thirty-three trucks carrying boulders from Gelephu were stranded at the Assam-Meghalaya border in India for three weeks after being barred from entering Meghalaya on August 26.
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Dairy farmers start first yoghurt production firm in Dagana- Kuensel

Dagana’s deputy chief livestock officer, Pema Wangchuk, said that the 19-member dairy group was formed in 2014 to meet market demand for local milk, butter, and cheese.
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Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world- Daily Bhutan

Email There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this mushroom.
Click here to read

Bhutan takes dog population management to another level- BBS

Today there are more than 72,000 dogs in the country and the number is only increasing. With it, there is an increase in dog bite cases and rabies outbreaks every year. To address this issue, the Livestock Department has come up with a strategy to achieve a hundred per cent sterilization of stray dogs.
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Implementing transformative pedagogy in schools effectively- Monggar- BBS

Transformative pedagogy is a teaching method that focuses more on engaging students in the learning process rather than a teacher giving lectures.
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Maldives
789 Covid-19 vaccination doses administered on Saturday – Raajje

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Saturday’s vaccinations included 156 first doses administered to 104 atoll residents and 52 residents of the Greater Malé Region, as well as 633 second doses.
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India remains top source market for Maldives tourism as total arrivals top 843,552 – Raajje

With 191,824 visitors by the end of the third month of the ongoing year, neighboring India remains the top source market for Maldives tourism.
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Myanmar
Forever ‘engaging’ the Tatmadaw? – The Star

THE suffering of millions of our neighbors in Myanmar is fading from our radar, as the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan has raised fears of homegrown terrorists and lone wolves.
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Military assigns civilians administrative duties without its direct involvement: SAC chairman – Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar’s Tatmadaw (military) has assigned respective civilian administrative bodies without direct involvement with State administration as ruling over the public through armed bullying and fear is unacceptable, said Chairman of the State Administration Council and Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Click here to read

Military cuts off internet connection in 11 more townships in northwestern Myanmar -Myanmar Now

The junta cut off mobile internet access and most Wi-Fi services to 11 townships in war-torn areas of Chin State and Magway Region at 6pm on Thursday evening, according to locals and members of the local resistance forces in the area.
Click here to read

It’s virtually certain no one will speak for Myanmar at U.N. – The Hindu

The dispute between Myanmar’s military rulers and the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi that they ousted about who should represent the country at the United Nations hasn’t been resolved.
Click here to read

Risks of India getting sucked into Rakhine conflict – North East Now

A new book – “Irrawaddy Imperatives” by a serving Indian army brigadier Jaideep Chanda has pointed to the risks involved in Delhi getting militarily ‘sucked’ into the Rakhine conflict in Myanmar.
Click here to read

Nepal
730 new Covid-19 cases surface on Sunday, active caseload drops to 19142- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 791,392 on Sunday with 730 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
Click here to read

‘CPN-UML will be defeated in polls’- Himalaya

Nepal Communist Party-Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the CPN-UML would face defeat in the upcoming general elections.
Click here to read

Schools to run classes in-person- Himalaya

A large number of urban migrants’ kids are back in their villages and are virtually attending classes in their schools based in Kathmandu valley.
Click here to read

PM directs NA to identify security challenges- Himalaya

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed commitment not to let the Nepali Army suffer on account of inadequacy of resources.
Click here to read

Deuba is struggling. But what is Maoist Centre up to?- Kathmandu Post

It has intrigued many as to why Dahal, the leader of the key coalition partner, is not providing a list of ministers to the prime minister to help him expand the Cabinet.
Click here to read

No need to disclose investment source raises money laundering risk- Kathmandu Post

A new provision in the Financial Act for this fiscal year that it would not seek source of income from investors if they are investing in infrastructure projects and businesses has raised a question of policy reversal.
Click here to read

Indra Jatra observed amid fanfare- Kathmandu Post

The eight-day festival, celebrated mainly in the three districts of Kathmandu Valley, Dhulikhel and Dolakha, formally began with the installation of lingo (a sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square on Saturday morning.
Click here to read

(Opinion) Helping Nepal’s Covid orphans- Nepali Times

Nearly 11,000 Nepalis have lost their lives to Covid-19 since the outbreak began in January 2020, most of them in the age group 20-50, but there are also children under 18. Hundreds of children have become orphans in the wake of the pandemic.
Click here to read

Red tax: Everything you should know about Nepal protest over sanitary pad price- OnlineKahabar

The budget subsequently increased the price of sanitary pads in the market, creating a hullaballoo on social media and the country.
Click here to read

NC 14th general convention: Myagdi and Mustang District Committees get new leadership- Republica

New leadership has been elected in all local levels of Myagdi and Mustang districts under the 14th General Convention of the Nepali Congress (NC).
Click here to read

Make arrangements for students who returned from China due to COVID-19 to go back: Parliamentary committee- Republica

A parliamentary committee has directed the government to immediately make arrangements for students who returned from China due to COVID-19 to back and continue their studies.
Click here to read

Border Study Committee Submits Report to Home Minister- Rising Nepal

The Committee formed to study the border issue between Nepal and China submitted its report to the government on Sunday.
Click here to read

PM welcomes inclusion of Karachi coastal uplift plan in CPEC: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday lauded the inclusion of Karachi’s coastal development plan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said the move would bring the city on a par with developed port cities of the world.
Click here to read

FM Qureshi arrives in London on three-day official visit: The Express Tribune

Upon arrival at the Heathrow Airport, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Moazzam Ahmad Khan and Deputy High Commissioner Dr Faisal Aziz and other senior officials of the High Commission welcomed the foreign minister.
Click here to read

Pakistan allows Afghan airline to operate Islamabad-Kabul flights: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has allowed an Afghan airline to operate its flights from Islamabad to Kabul, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official said on Sunday.
Click here to read

‘Pakistan seeks trade deals with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman’: The News

Pakistan will pursue individual trade deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said on Sunday, as talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council remain stalled, foreign media reported.
Click here to read

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 23, 2021

Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Climate, Covid-19 Dominate UNGA: Tolo News

In the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which is ongoing in New York City, the political situation in Afghanistan, COVID-19 and issues around climate change dominated the summit. Click here to read

Five Killed in Five Attacks in Jalalabad: Tolo News

Jalalabad city in the eastern province of Nangarhar witnessed five security incidents on Wednesday morning. Four explosions in different parts of the city took the lives of two people and injured three others, eyewitnesses told TOLOnews. Click here to read

Bakhtarian Treasure is safe and preserved in Kabul: Taliban: The Khaama Press

Officials of the ministry of information and culture said that the Bakhtarian Treasure is kept in Kabul and assured of its full safety and security. Click here to read

Taliban asks UN to accept their permanent representative: The Khaama Press

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in a letter to the United Nations said that the spokesperson of their political office in Doha, Sohail Shaheen to be accepted as the new permanent representative of Afghanistan to the UN. Click here to read

Intl-Community should engage with Taliban, prevent its isolation: Qatar: The Khaama Press

Qatari Emir Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani called on the international community to get engaged with the Taliban and provide the country with humanitarian aid so that they prevent the country’s isolation. Click here to read

Kabul Restaurants Owned, Staffed by Women Now Closed: Tolo News

Women-owned businesses, especially restaurants and cafes, have remained closed for the past month since the Taliban entered Kabul city. Click here to read

Bangladesh
E-commerce transactions hit five-month low- The Daily Star

Appetite for purchases through online platforms declined in July from a month ago, as people became cautious in placing orders when a series of scams centring e-commerce companies started coming to the light. Click here to read

Local Body Polls: Uncontested wins, rebels bug AL- The Daily Star

The ruling Awami League finds itself in a strange predicament over local body polls. Click here to read

Bangladesh to export 2,080 tonnes of hilsha to India- The Daily Star

The commerce ministry today gave go-ahead to 52 companies to export 2,080 tonnes of hilsa fish to India by October 10 this year. Click here to read

Another satellite on the cards- Dhaka Tribune

Government encouraged by domestic success of Bangabandhu-1, efforts to find foreign buyers underway. Click here to read

ADB revises Bangladesh’s GDP outlook down to 6.8%- Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh remains one of the few countries to achieve commendable economic growth amid the pandemic, says ADB. Click here to read

US declares $180m assistance for Rohingyas; total reaches $1.5b- Dhaka Tribune

Funding also provides support to members of the local host community in Bangladesh.Click here to read

Global inaction over Rohingya repatriation shocks Bangladesh: PM- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded intensified global actions with “real urgency” to repatriate Rohingyas. Click here to read

Declare Covid vaccines ‘global public good’: PM- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called to declare the Covid-19 vaccines as ‘global public good’. Click here to read

5G to be launched at end of 2021: Joy- Observer

Prime Minister’s Information and Communication Technology Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has revealed that the launching of 5G service in Bangladesh will take place at the end of this yearClick here to read

Bangladesh reports 1,376 fresh cases, 36 deaths from COVID-19- The Independent

Bangladesh today reported 1,376 COVID-19 cases while the coronavirus claimed overnight 36 lives. Click here to read

Bangladesh Bank relaxes forex rules in export, import- Financial Express

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has brought relaxation in foreign-exchange regulations in export, import, remittance and other trade services to overcome economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to read

SAARC calls off FM-level talks over Afghan representation row- New Age

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on Wednesday called off a meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers due to a lack of support from some member countries. Click here to read

Bhutan
Hydropower generation decreases by over 12 percent- Kuensel

Hydropower, which has remained the bedrock of the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, recorded a 12.7 percent decrease in generation in the first eight months of 2021, compared to a corresponding time period last year. Click here to read

Graduates perform poorly in civil service preliminary exams- Kuensel

Close to 70 percent of graduates who appeared in the Bhutan Civil Service Examination’s (BCSE) preliminary examination (PE) did not qualify for the main examination. Click here to read

GoI finalises commitment to allocate Nu 45B for the 12th Five Year Plan- Kuensel

Foreign Secretary Kinga Singye and Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Ruchira Kamboj, signed the minutes of the third Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks yesterday. Click here to read

PM hosts reception to mark 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s membership to UN- BBS

The Prime Minister hosted a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s membership to the United Nations yesterday. Bhutan formally became the 128th member of the UN in 1971. Click here to read

Finance minister to assume roles of Chair and Vice-Chair for the World Bank’s Small States Forum- BBS

The finance minister Namgay Tshering will step in as the Chair of Small States Forum and the Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of the World Bank Group. He is the country’s first finance minister to assume the roles. Click here to read

Maldives
Addu Police Academy is not an Indian asset, it will be operated by the Police: Ambassador- The Edition

The Indian Ambassador to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir said that the Police Academy being developed in Addu with grant aid from India is not an Indian asset but rather belongs to the Maldivian police. Click here to read

Ali Waheed: Not guilty, is being set up- The Edition

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, accused of rape and sexually assaulting employees while he was in office, stated on Monday that he did not commit any of the crimes he has been accused of. Click here to read

Cardiac center services resume at Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital- MVAVAS

Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital (KRC)’s Cardiac Centre services have been resumed. Click here to read

Aasandha to discontinue COVID-19 easements from October-MVAVAS

Aasandha has brought changes to the new regulations it introduced to ease COVID-19 difficulties. Click here to read

BML Islamic upgrades home improvement facility to include cash payments-MVAVAS

Bank of Maldives (BML)’s Islamic Branch has upgraded its ‘Home Improvement Financing’ facility for social housing flat recipients to include cash payments. Click here to read

UNGA statement testament to Maldives’ prowess in the global community-MVAVAS

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that being able to address the presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in Maldives’ mother tongue, Dhivehi, is a testament to Maldives’ successes as a small, sovereign, island state. Click here to read

Maldives will continue to call for full recognition of Palestine: Pres-MVAVAS

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said the Government and the people of Maldives stand firmly and resolutely with the Palestinian people. Click here to read

Myanmar
Thousands of civilians flee Myanmar town after military clash with rebels: The Guardian

Thousands have fled a town in western Myanmar after days of fighting between anti-junta dissidents and the military, during which soldiers bombed civilian homes, according to residents and mediaClick here to read

Myanmar Junta’s Internet Blackout Violates Residents’ Rights: The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar junta’s continuous blocking of the internet in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township and townships in Sagaing Region is increasing security concerns and violating the socio-economic rights of residents, say locals.https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-juntas-internet-blackout-violates-residents-rights.html” target=”_blank”>Click here to read

Suu Kyi pleads ‘not guilty’ as junta court indicts her on incitement charges : Myanmar Now

A military council court in Naypyitaw indicted detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday for incitement under Section 505b of the Penal Code, according to her legal defence team. Click here to read

Nepal
Narayan Khadka is the new foreign affairs minister of Nepal- Online Khabar

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has appointed his Nepali Congress party’s member Narayan Khadka as the foreign affairs minister of his cabinet on Wednesday. Click here to read

Nepal-China border ‘dispute’: Govt team busy visiting border pillars in Humla- Online Khabar

The border monitoring team of the Ministry of Home Affairs deployed to study the alleged Nepal-China border dispute has reached Hilsa in Humla after visiting a border pillar at Limi Lapcha area in the district. Click here to read

New rule may prevent conflicts of interest in user groups- Kathmandu Post

Elected officials, office-bearers of political parties and government staff, among others, may be denied seats on user committees for public projects. Click here to read

Deuba faces censure from own party over Cabinet expansion- Kathmandu Post

The ruling coalition, despite a series of meetings, has failed to provide names for ministerial posts, earning bad repute for the government. Click here to read

1251 new Covid-19 cases surface on Wednesday, active caseload stands at 21139- Himalaya Post

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 787,828 on Wednesday with 1,251 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours. Click here to read

Human trafficking cases increasing amid coronavirus pandemic in Sudurpaschim- Himalaya Post

Cases related to human trafficking have increased amid the coronavirus pandemic in Sudurpaschim province. Click here to read

Chinese President Xi, PM Li, UNSG extend best wishes to Nepal- Himalaya

Chinese President Xi Jinping, China’s Premier Li Keqiang, and United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have extended their best wishes to the head of the state and the head of the government in Nepal. Click here to read

40% Of Valley People Fully Vaccinated For COVID-19- Rising Nepal

With the vaccination campaign as the first priority of government, 40 per cent of people in the Kathmandu Valley have already received both doses of vaccine. Click here to read

Pakistan
Tarin unveils steps to curb imports ahead of IMF talks: Dawn

Speaking at a hurriedly called news conference along with prime minister’s special assistant Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Minister of State for Information Furrukh Habib, the finance minister said the government would immediately reduce the prices of vegetable ghee, sugar and wheat across the country. Click here to read

China’s no to coal plants raises questions about $50bn investment: Dawn

China’s pledge to stop building coal-fired power plants overseas could cull $50 billion of investment as it slashes future carbon emissions, analysts said. Click here to read

Taliban apologise to Pakistan over flag removal incident at Torkham border: The Express Tribune

The interim government in Afghanistan on Wednesday apologised to Pakistan over a flags’ removal incident from aid trucks at the Torkham border, calling it “regrettable”. Click here to read

Pakistan wants better ties with US: Qureshi: The Express Tribune

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan wants a strong relationship with the US beyond counter-terrorism and Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country. Click here to read

Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan conclude military drills: ISPR: The Express Tribune

A two-week long trilateral exercise between military contingents of Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan in Baku has concluded, said a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2321392/pakistan-turkey-azerbaijan-conclude-military-drills-ispr” target=”_blank”>Click here to read

Stop supporting crumbling govt, Nawaz asks institutions: The News

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) supremo and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the institutions to stop shouldering the government, which is about to fall. Click here to read

National security is empowerment of people: Moeed: The News

Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday said the government was pursuing economic security which ultimately would contribute to national security and people’s welfareClick here to read

ADB lowers GDP growth forecast for SL and rest of developing Asia – Daily FT

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered Sri Lanka’s 2021 GDP growth forecast to 3.4% from 4.1% estimated in the April. Click here to read

1,342 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

The detection of 1,342 COVID-19 patients yesterday brought the country’s COVID-19 case count to 508,672. Click here to read

SAARC meet cancelled as Pakistan insists on Taliban participation – Ceylon Today

A meeting of foreign ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, slated to be held on Saturday in New York, has been cancelled. Click here to read

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 22, 2021

Afghanistan
New Cabinet Members Announced, Inauguration Cancelled: Tolo News

Some new members of the caretaker cabinet of the Taliban were announced on Tuesday with an effort to ensure inclusivity by adding “minorities” to the cabinet as Zabihullah Mujahid, the deputy minister for information and culture, said.
Click here to read…

Afghan Media Face Budget Issues, Lack of Access to Information: Tolo News

Afghan media outlets are running out of budget and are faced with lack of information under the Taliban, watchdog organizations said, alarming that it will leave long-term impacts on their activities.
Click here to read…

Only minister of Ashraf Ghani’s cabinet sacked by Taliban: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan sacked the only remaining acting minister of the previous government Waheed Majroh and appointed Qalandar Ebad as acting minister of public health on Tuesday, September 21.
Click here to read…

Pakistan, China, Russia’s envoys meet Taliban premier, Afghan politicians: The Khaama Press

Special representatives of Russia, China, and Pakistan to Afghanistan met with the Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund in the presidential Palace (Arg) on Tuesday, September 21.
Click here to read…

Taliban changes name of university in Kabul: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan officially changed the name of a government university from University of Burhanuddin Rabbani-former Afghan President and founder of Afghanistan’s second-biggest political party- to Kabul Education University.
Click here to read…

Bangladesh
‘Bangladesh to get 89 lakh Covid vaccine doses in last quarter of 2021’- The Daily Star

A total of 89 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be shipped to Bangladesh in the last three months of the year, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said in a Facebook post early on Wednesday.
Click here to read…

Chart roadmap for the ones left behind- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for charting out a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put the world back on the SDGs track.
Click here to read…

Indian officials claim to have seized 3 tonnes of Afghan heroin- The Daily Star

Indian officials said on Tuesday they had seized nearly three tonnes of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated 200 billion rupees ($2.72 billion) amid the chaos following last month’s takeover of the country by the Taliban.
Click here to read…

Covid test at airport: Six labs expected to test samples- Dhaka Tribune

Hossain/Dhaka Tribune Lack of coordination among government authorities delaying the set-up of rt-PCR labs at Dhaka airport, says expatriate minister.
Click here to read…

Get organized for anti-govt movement- New Age

Stating that farmers are now the most neglected section of people in Bangladesh, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday urged the peasants to get organised for waging a strong anti-government movement.
Click here to read…

Time to introduce online agricultural supply chain- The Observer

It is widely known that, during the initial days of the lockdown in 2020, farmers and wholesalers around the country had to struggle for delivering their products to the markets of large cities.
Click here to read…

PM seeks US investment in ICT, renewable energy, blue economy- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought US investment in country’s different promising sectors such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), renewable energy, agro-processing, blue economy, tourism and hi-tech parks.
Click here to read…

PM for forming Women Leaders’ Network to pursue gender equality- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid special emphasis on forming a Women Leaders’ Network as it can act as a force to ensure gender equality.
Click here to read…

Bangladesh PM gets SDG Progress Award- New Age

The UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network has conferred prime minister Sheikh Hasina with ‘SDG Progress Award’ for Bangladesh’s.
Click here to read…

Bhutan
India Commits Rs.45 Billion For Bhutan’s Development For 12th Five-year Plan- Republic World

Strengthening India’s diplomatic ties with Bhutan, India has announced the allocation of Rs. 45 Billon for Bhutan’s development in its 12th Five-year plan.
Click here to read…

Bhutan celebrates 50 years of UN membership- Kuensel

More than 50 years after His late Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck delivered this landmark address in 1971, after Bhutan’s successful admission to the United Nations Organisation.
Click here to read…

6 ways Bhutan is building better food systems – from farm to table- ReliefWeb

To overcome systemic problems in Bhutan’s food systems — which include every step involved in getting food from farm to table — the World Food Programme (WFP) is investing US$7 million to support the Royal Government of Bhutan in improving climate-resilient agriculture.
Click here to read…

Ericsson to install 5G network in Kingdom of Bhutan- Capacity

Ericsson has won a 5G contract with Bhutan Telecom as the landlocked Eastern Himalayan country prepares to launch 5G services at the end of the year.
Click here to read…

Bhutan’s boulder exports stuck since 1st September Tenzing Lamsang- The Bhutanese

Bhutan’s thriving boulder exports business is stuck since the 1st of September as Bhutanese trucks from Phuentsholing and Samtse are not being allowed to move in West Bengal.
Click here to read…

Once in a Life Time Event: How Bhutan celebrated her admission to the United Nations- Kuensel

Exactly fifty years ago, Bhutan was unanimously elected as the 128th member of the United Nations.
Click here to read…

Illegal structures on State land removed in Tsirang- Kuensel

The Tsirang dzongkhag administration demolished 12 of the 14 houses that were built illegally on State land in Dzomlingthang under Gosarling gewog on September 15.
Click here to read…

RCSC removes about 500 positions in civil service- Kuensel

The 12th Five-Year Plan staffing and organisation structure review resulted in removal of 228 messenger (GSP) positions.
Click here to read…

Bhutan’s pursuit of happiness in the pandemic era- The Asia Pacific Policy Society

After decades of development gains, the impacts of COVID-19 threaten the inclusiveness and sustainability of Bhutan’s future, Dendup Chophel and Phurba write.
Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addresses the UN – UPI

Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. (Pool Photo by John Minchillo/UPI)
Click here to read…

ISRO case: Maldives women urge CBI to place their damages claim before Supreme Court – New Indian Express

Two Maldives nationals, who were also arrested along with scientist Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 ISRO spy case, have moved the CBI requesting it to place before the Supreme Court their claim for damages of Rs 2 crore from each of the 18 officers who are arrayed as accused in the conspiracy case being probed by the agency.
Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar’s extreme Buddhist nationalists – Lowly Institute

In a surprise move, Myanmar’s ruling military junta announced on 6 September the release from prison of Ashin Wirathu, a controversial Buddhist monk whose sermons have been blamed for inciting anti-Muslim violence over the last decade.
Click here to read…

Junta steps up raids and arrests in effort to stamp out Yangon guerrilla attacks – Myanmar Now

Soldiers carried out raids from Monday through Thursday in five townships across Myanmar’s largest city after resistance forces carried out several recent attacks against the junta’s armed forces.
Click here to read…

Rohingya Armed Groups Active Again in Western Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

Long before the junta’s February 1 coup, the Rohingya crisis was making headlines in the international media.
Click here to read…

This video has circulated in reports since 2020 about another conflict in Myanmar – Fact Check

A video of an attack on a military convoy has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts in August 2021 that claim it shows a recent ambush in Myanmar.
Click here to read…

U.S. and China Avert Potential Clash in U.N. Over Myanmar Representation – WSJ

Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations, a holdover from the country’s deposed civilian government, will sit out a series of high-level meetings in New York this week, averting for now a potential clash between the U.S. and China over who should represent the country on the world stage.
Click here to read…

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (14 – 20 September 2021) – Relief Web

The humanitarian situation in Sagaing Region remains challenging, with armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and local People’s Defence Forces (PDF) reported in several areas, which led to the displacement of some 18,600 people from Kalay, Kani, and Myaung townships between 7 and 10 September.
Click here to read…

Nepal
We have ample evidence that China has encroached upon our land in Humla: Lawmaker Shahi- KhbaraHub

Members of the committee recently formed by the government to study the border dispute in t Shahihe Humla district are currently working on the report.
Click here to read…

1036 new Covid cases recorded Tuesday, active caseload stands at 21,524- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 786,577 on Tuesday with 1,036 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
Click here to read…

Nepal Infrastructure Bank (NIFRA) proposes 8.50 per cent cash dividend- Himalaya

Nepal Infrastructure Bank (NIFRA) has proposed to distribute dividends to the shareholders from the FY 2077/78.
Click here to read…

Appropriation Bill tabled in National Assembly- Himalaya

The Appropriation Bill, 2078 BS was tabled in the National Assembly today.
Click here to read…

SAARC meet on UN assembly sidelines called off over Afghanistan- Kathmandu Post

Officials say there was lack of concurrence from member states on the meeting which Nepal proposed last week and sent out invitations to all except Kabul. https://tkpo.st/3EDy6lQ” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…
Click here to read…

UML’s partisan politics enters upper house, as members demand Speaker’s resignation- Kathmandu Post

Observers say Nepali parties have failed to comprehend the spirit of the National Assembly and made it a platform to squabble over petty interests.
Click here to read…

Deuba recalls 12 envoys appointed by Oli- Kathmandu Post

Twenty-three missions are now set to go headless, and some are in key countries—India, China, US, UK and Qatar.
Click here to read…

Prithvi Highway disrupted after landslide- Republica

Landslide occurred at Ichhakamana in Chitwan has disrupted vehicular movement along the Prithvi Highway.
Click here to read…

Gilles Bourbao is the new French ambassador to Nepal- Online Khabar

France has appointed senior foreign affairs advisor Gilles Bourbao as the new ambassador to Nepal.
Click here to read…

Landslide Buries Three to Dead In Gulmi- Rising Nepal

At least three people died after a landslide buried their house in Gulmi.
Click here to read…

Pakistan
Qureshi says no rush to recognise Taliban govt in Afghanistan: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country
Click here to read…

Pakistan feels ‘used and binned’, says Ramiz after England cancels tour: Dawn

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja said on Tuesday he felt “used and then binned” after England cancelled a white-ball tour for their men’s and women’s teams next month.
Click here to read…

Pakistan calls for unfreezing of Afghan assets ahead of UN talks: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has called on world powers to unblock billions of dollars in Afghan assets frozen after the Taliban takeover but said it did not expect recognition soon of the new government.
Click here to read…

Afghanistan will descend into civil war without inclusive govt: PM: The Express Tribune

If they [Taliban] don’t include all factions, sooner or later they will have again a sort of a civil war,” the premier said in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday.
Click here to read…

NCOC to relax COVID-19 curbs in Punjab, KP districts from September 23: The News

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday decided to ease additional restrictions in districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after September 23.
Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
President Rajapaksa and Kuwait PM hold bilateral talks in NY – Adaderana

A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, has taken plane in Manhattan, New York on Sunday (Sep. 19), on the side lines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
has made a request for more employment opportunities for skilled workers.
Click here to read…

IMF has a role in Sri Lanka after framework decided: Jayasundera – economynext

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will “definitely” have a role to play in Sri Lanka’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery, but that will be after the authorities formulate the policy framework, President’s Secretary P B Jayasundera said.
Click here to read…

1,321 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 507,330 with the detection of 1,321 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday. Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday include 1,321 persons from the New Year cluster.
Click here to read…

Sri Lanka, World Bank sign agreement to strengthen climate resilience – Ceylon Today

The Government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank recently signed a US$ 92 million financing agreement for the Climate Resilience Multi-Phased Program Phase I Project.
Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 21, 2021

Afghanistan
After Recognition We Will Address Rights Issues: Mujahid: Tolo News

Zabihullah Mujahid, deputy minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the caretaker cabinet, said on Monday that if the international community recognizes the new government, they will address the concerns over allegations of human rights violations.
Click here to read…

IMF Funds for Afghanistan ‘On Hold,’ Says Spokesman: Tolo News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently announced a $650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation for member countries, but Afghanistan at the moment will not be allowed to access these funds.
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China to provide unconditional aid to Afghanistan by winter: The Khaama Press

Chinese ambassador to Kabul Wang yu said that his country is prepared to continue his country’s unconditional humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan.
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ISIS-K claims responsibly for blasts in Nangarhar province: The Khaama Press

The Khurasan branch of Islamic State (ISIS-K) has claimed that they have conducted three blasts on Saturday, September 18 and one the following day in the capital city-Jalalabad- of eastern Nangarhar province.
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Ex-Officials Seek Urgent Attention as Banking Crisis Deepens: Tolo News

As the banking crisis deepens in Afghanistan, some senior officials from the previous administration at a meeting on Monday asked immediate attention by the US government and the Taliban to make sure Afghan reserves are unfrozen as a short-term solution to the current crisis in the country.
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Bangladesh
PM plants tree, unveils bench dedicated to Bangabandhu at UN gardens- Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday planted a honey locust tree and unveiled a bench at UN gardens.
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First Phase Up Polls: Three killed as violence rules the day- Daily Star

At least three people were killed and dozens others injured in clashes between supporters of ruling Awami League’s chairman candidates and party rebels.
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Strictly implement Paris accord- Daily Star

Sheikh Hasina has asked global leaders to take stronger steps urgently to address the planetary emergency of climate change.
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Child Marriage: Creeping through the pandemic- Daily Star

Eighty-five girl students out of 345 of Baravita Girls High School in Kurigram’s Phulbari upazila have been married off during the closure of the school amid the pandemic.
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Bangladesh to get vaccines from India as priority- Dhaka Tribune

India is set to resume export under “Vaccine Maitri” in the fourth quarter starting from October.
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Covid-19: Less than 10% fully vaccinated in Bangladesh- Dhaka Tribune

Less than 10% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated despite the frantic efforts of the government.
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Four new sectors to get cash assistance on export- The Daily Observer

The government has taken a decision to provide export incentive or cash assistance to four new sectors for the current fiscal year 2021-22.
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Bangladesh health department driver jailed for 30 years- New Age

The Dhaka Special Tribunal-4 on Monday jailed Abdul Malek, a driver at the Directorate General of Health Service, for 30 years in a case of possessing an illegal firearm and ammunitions.
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3 killed as violence, rigging mark Bangladesh local body polls- New Age

At least three people were killed and several dozens injured in violence over the first phase of union parishad elections held on Monday.
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Saudi Arabia keen to invest more in Bangladesh- The Independent

Noting that Bangladesh has an investment-friendly climate, the Saudi investment minister said there is a potential for more Saudi investment in Bangladesh.
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Bhutan
MoE seeks urgent strategised interventions to improve students’ performance- Kuensel

Around 46 percent of Class IV-XII students scored lower than 40 percent on the 2021 midterm examinations, according to the Ministry of Education’s consolidated midterm examination report.
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The importance of agriculture- Kuensel

Agriculture development in the country must take a new turn. Otherwise, we would be talking about the same problems 100 years from now.
https://kuenselonline.com/the-importance-of-agriculture/” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

Potato exporters worry as their trucks stopped at border- Kuensel

Customs officials in India stopped trucks carrying potatoes from Bhutan without a plant quarantine certificate (PQC), which has affected business for potato exporters and bidders in Samdrupjongkhar.
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Maintaining small, compact and efficient Civil Service still a challenge- BBS

As per the commission’s Annual Report 2020 – 2021, this time, the increase in the number of civil servants is due to the increased demand in the education and health sectors.
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HH awards Toedtse Jim to Khenpo Karma Loday- BBS

The special award is an honorary appreciation for 59-year-old Khenpo Karma Loday’s unwavering service for the benefit of all sentient beings. He is from Toepaisa in Punakha.
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Maldives
Three pilots trained by India for MNDF – Edition

Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir said India have been training pilots for helicopters and the Dornier aircrafts gifted to Maldives. Three pilots have returned to Maldives after completing their training, according to the high commissioner.
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UNGA President hosts special dinner for President Solih upon arrival to attend 76th UNGA session – Raajje

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid has hosted a special dinner in honor of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is currently in the states to attend the 76th UNGA session.
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Myanmar
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Denies False Reports That She Opposes Armed Resistance to Junta – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has denied false reports that she didn’t accept armed resistance against the military regime.
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Agreement Moves Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu Port Project a Step Forward – The Irrawaddy

An agreement to conduct preliminary field investigation work for the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Deep Sea Port Project has been signed.
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Rohingya Armed Groups Active Again in Western Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

Long before the junta’s February 1 coup, the Rohingya crisis was making headlines in the international media.
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Nepal
Govt told not to arrest anyone for negative remarks- Himalaya

The Supreme Court today issued a stay order against the government asking it not to arrest anyone for making negative statements.
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India to resume export of COVID-19 vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme from October-December- Himalaya

India is all set to resume the export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ program.
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‘Opposition must play responsible role in Parliament- Himalaya

The government has urged the opposition to play a responsible role in running the federal Parliament.
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Deuba’s plan for Cabinet expansion constrained by coalition partners- Kathmandu Post

Janata Samajbadi Party wants ordinance to ease party splits withdrawn while CPN (Unified Socialist) wants the prime minister to wait until court order on Oli’s petition/
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Government allocates record Rs15 billion to ensure fertiliser- Kathmandu Post

The government has set aside a record Rs15 billion for its fertiliser subsidy programme this year, fearing steep price rises in the world market may result in shortages.
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Mahalaya in Nepal: Why Hindus remember their forefathers before the festive season- OnlineKhabar

The offerings made to the priest during the ceremony is believed to reach the three generations caught in pitri lok.
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Budhigandaki hydropower project delay incurs a loss of billions: BRB- OnlineKhabar

Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai joins a protest programme demanding the early launch of the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, in Kathmandu, on Monday, September 20, 2021.
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Energy Roadmap Launched for Achieving SDG-7- Rising Nepal

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal formally launched the roadmap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-7) on Monday.
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Supreme Court hearing writ against 14 lawmakers today- KhabarHub

A hearing of the writ petition filed at the Supreme Court (SC) demanding to revoke the membership of 14 UML lawmakers will be conducted today.
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लोकतन्त्रविरोधी अध्यादेश खारेजी नभएसम्म सरकारले पूर्णता पाउँदैन : उपेन्द्र यादव
(Government will not be complete until anti-democracy ordinance is repealed: Upendra Yadav)- Nepal News

Yadav said that the Council of Ministers would not be complete until the ordinance weakening democracy and political parties was repealed.
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Pakistan
Pakistan satisfied with security assurances by Afghan Taliban: ISPR: Dawn

Pakistan is maintaining a regular engagement with the Afghan Taliban for safeguarding the country’s security interests, said military spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Monday.
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Pakistan GDP to grow at 4.2pc: Fitch: Dawn

With some subdued downward risks, Fitch Ratings on Monday forecast Pakistan’s economic growth at 4.2 per cent — against the government’s target of 4.8pc.
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Govt refuses to reveal details of foreign gifts given to PM Imran: The Express Tribune

The federal government has refused to make public details of gifts given to Prime Minister Imran Khan by foreign heads of states, saying the disclosure can damage country’s national interest and its relations with other states.
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Saudi Arabia offers to play role in easing Pakistan-India tension: The Express Tribune

Saudi Foreign Minister Amir Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who is on his maiden visit to India, has said that Saudi Arabia could play a role in easing tensions between archrivals Pakistan and India.
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Security concerns: ECB also pulls out of October twin series: The News

England cricket chiefs on Monday withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from next month’s white-ball series in Pakistan citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”.
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‘Contact with Taliban in national interest’: The News

Pakistan is confident that the Taliban will fulfil their commitment of not allowing any terrorist organisation to use the Afghan soil against any country including Pakistan.
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Sri Lanka
Lanka, Turkish FMs powwow in NY- The Island

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris has expressed condolences on the death of two Turkish nationals as a result of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks when he met the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu at the Turkish House.
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‘War crimes’: Lanka rejects fresh probe- The Island

Sri Lanka yesterday (14) rejected the UNHCR proposal to initiate a fresh inquiry into accountability issues.
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Vaccination centres drying up as youngsters refuse vaccines- Daily Mirror

Health authorities yesterday raised serious concerns over the lack of interest among the 20 to 29 age group to get themselves vaccinated against COVID19 with many having fears that it may lead to infertility while some preferred unproven natural remedies.
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Jayantha Ketagoda to be sworn in today- Daily Mirror

Jayantha Ketagoda who is expected to fill the National List MP slot created after the resignation of former State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal is to be sworn in today, Serjeant-at-arms Narendra Fernando said yesterday.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 20, 2021

Afghanistan
Nangarhar: Taliban Vehicle Targeted by Blast, Child Killed: Tolo News

A child was killed and two people, including a Taliban forces member, were injured in an explosion on Sunday evening in Nangarhar province.
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Guterres Calls for UN Engagement with Taliban: Tolo News

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in an interview with the Associated Press says the international community wants to see an inclusive government in Afghanistan and to achieve that the United Nations must engage with the Taliban.
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Taliban have not met their commitments: former Afghan president: The Khaama Press

The former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in his recent interview said that the Taliban have pledged education of girls, women’s rights, the national flag, and other national values but no implementation of the promises has been seen yet.
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Women protest in Kabul against Taliban’s policies for them: The Khaama Press

A number of women gathered at the gate of the ministry of women affairs-now replaced- and protested against the policies of the Taliban vis-à-vis them asked for the rights of education and work on Sunday, September 19.
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Fuel Prices in Kabul Rise in Past Week: Tolo News

According to residents, gas prices rose by 15 Afs per kilo and oil prices increased 4 Afs per liter during the last week. Currently the price of each kilo of gas is 75 Afs in the Kabul market.
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Bangladesh
Exports to Bhutan go up as trade agreement kicks in- Daily Star

Bangladesh’s exports to Bhutan could rise on the back of the bilateral trade pact signed last year.
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Khaleda’s Jail Term: Suspended for another 6 months- Daily Star

The government has extended for six months the suspension of the jail term of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
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Govt mulls new citizens’ database- Daily Star

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics is going to develop what officials said would be an extensive and comprehensive identity database.
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’Non-Muslims, transgender people their new target’- Daily Star

Militant outfit Ansar al Islam, said to be the Bangladesh chapter of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, is now targeting non-Muslims and transgender people to recruit them into militancy.
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Government mulls vaccinating 20m people a month- The Asian Age

DG of Directorate General of Health Services- DGHS has said, the government is mulling vaccinating 20 million doses of Covid vaccines a month.
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UN ready to provide electoral assistance to BD- The Asian Age

The United Nations is ready to offer assistance to Bangladesh in its next national elections only if the government asks for it.
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Inter-district bus terminals to be moved outside Dhaka- Dhaka Tribune

The government plans to build five new inter-district bus terminals outside Dhaka city, aiming to reduce traffic congestion in the capital.
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PM arrives in New York to attend UNGA- The Observer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in New York on Sunday afternoon to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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Bhutan
Are the wetlands safe? – Kuensel

A few years ago, villagers in Sangtana in Gangtey gewog complained about ABC Lodge discharging grey water directly into the wetland, threatening the black-necked cranes and their habitat.
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More buses with modern amenities in Thimphu Thromde from November– Kuensel

The thromde added 27 new buses to its fleet on August 29.
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The Buxa Durbar– Kuensel

The story of how Bhutan received its subsidy in 1909 from the British.
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Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan- Daily Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.
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Maldives
Ambassador of Nepal to Bangladesh and High Commissioner of Maldives to Bangladesh visit UAP on Invitation from OIA – The Daily Star

On September 14, 2021, two teams from of the Embassy of Nepal and the High Commission of Maldives to Bangladesh visited University of Asia Pacific (UAP) on invitation from the Office of International Affairs (OIA), UAP.
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Maldives removed from UK’s red list – Raajje

After weeks of remaining hopeful of being moved up to the United Kingdom’s Travel Amber List, Maldives has been removed from the country’s Travel Red list.
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Pres Solih departs to New York to attend UNGA – Avas

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Saturday departed to New York City, United States, to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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Myanmar
Burmese Army Attacks a Baptist Church in Chin State – Persecution

Following intense fighting between the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) and the local defense groups in Myanmar’s Christian-majority Chin state, on September 14, the Tatmadaw shelled a Baptist church in Thantlang township.
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Myanmar’s All-Out War in the Making – The Diplomat

After the announcement of the all-out war (dubbed D-Day) by the National Unity Government (NUG) on September 7, some Myanmar people resorted to panic buying.
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Myanmar Is a Failing State—and Could Be a Danger to Its Neighbors – Council on Foreign Relations

When the new coronavirus emerged, Myanmar remained relatively unaffected: Until August 2020, it had recorded only six COVID-19 deaths, and development specialists praised the civilian government, led by the National League for Democracy (NLD), for implementing measures to limit the virus’s spread.
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Myanmar Military Launches Artillery Strike Near Kachin Armed Group’s HQ – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military fired artillery on Wednesday night near Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State, for no reason, said KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu.
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Court jails Rakhine anti-war protesters for two and a half years – Myanmar Now

Four student activists who were arrested for staging an anti-war protest last year were each sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Thursday, almost a year after they were first detained.
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Attacks on Myanmar telecom towers show evolving tactics in conflict – Reuters

Around 700,000 people in Myanmar are estimated to have lost internet access after attacks on telecommunication equipment run by Mytel, the partly army-controlled company said amid reports that dozens of its towers were damaged.
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Nepal
SSB arrests two persons including Chinese national from India-Nepal border- ANI

SSB arrests two persons including Chinese national from India-Nepal border.
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1413 recover as 656 new Covid-19 cases surface; 12 deaths reported- Himalaya

Nepal’s coronavirus caseload reached 784,566 on Sunday with 656 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.
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Need to realize the aspirations of the people: President Bhandari- Himalaya

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said that it is our eternal duty to realize the people’s aspirations guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal.
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No regard for rule of law as Nepali state runs on ad hocism- Kathmandu Post

Ordinances are allowed by constitution but governments are issuing them as per their wish, not paying attention to their timely approval, leading to legal vacuum.
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Nepal observes Constitution Day- Kathmandu Post

On Sunday, President Bidya Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, ministers and other dignitaries attended a special programme organised at Tundikhel to observe the Constitution Day.
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Foreign firms showed interest to invest in two dozen hotels in first two months of current FY- Republica

Foreign investors are found increasingly attracted to run hotels in Nepal with such companies proposing to invest in around two dozen hotels in the first two months of the current fiscal year.
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Many cooperatives in Nepal into fraud thanks to nominal monitoring- OnlineKhabar

The Cooperative Federation’s Kandel says problems are arising because it has only been a few years since the task of monitoring was handed to the local governments and hence calls for patience.
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Nepali theatre is making a comeback, slowly but steadily- OnlineKhabar

The Nepali theatre sector that was trying to get up after the first wave of Covid-19 was again brought to a standstill in the second wave.
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Teachers Of Private Schools Lose Jobs To COVID-19- Rising Nepal

Teachers of private schools might be the worst affected professionals from COVID-19 in Nepal.
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PM Stresses Constitution’s Full Implementation for Attaining Prosperity- Rising Nepal

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the objective of the government is to ensure the prosperity of the nation through successful implementation of the Constitution.
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Pakistan
‘No other way’: Fawad says 2023 general elections will be based on reforms-Dawn

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that the 2023 general election would be based on and possible only after electoral reforms, adding that “there is no other way [possible] except this.”
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NZ tour abandoned after alert from ‘Five Eyes’ alliance about a ‘serious’ threat: PCB CEO- Dawn

The Black Caps devastated Pakistan’s cricket fraternity on Friday after opting out of their tour of Pakistan minutes before the first ODI was to be played. They had cited a “security threat” as the reason without divulging any further.
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Taxes on imports fuel inflation: The Express Tribune

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data showed that the Rs149 billion revenues during July-August 2021 period were also 132% more than the collection during the same period of the last fiscal year.
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Pakistan begins dispatching humanitarian aid to Afghanistan via Torkham: The Express Tribune

Pakistan on Sunday started dispatching humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through land route and sent 13 truckloads of fresh consignment of humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country through Torkham border crossing.
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Corona kills 71 more: Unvaccinated people in Sindh to be arrested: The News

The Sindh government has decided to arrest unvaccinated people after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued fresh directives for expediting COVID vaccination in the country.
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Sri Lanka
SL receives 20 state-of-the-art Indian train coaches – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka received 20 state-of-the-art custom-made modern train coaches from India as part of the USD 82.6 million contract.
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Govt.’s secret deal with US company affects Lanka’s sovereignty, says FSP – The Island

Sri Lanka was now dependent on the United States to supply LNG to Sri Lankan power stations thanks to an agreement it had entered into with a US-based energy company.
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President arrives in New York to attend 76th UNGA Session – PMDnews

The delegation headed by the President arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on September 18.
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Foreign Minister Peiris Reaffirms Sri Lanka’s Active Commitment to Dialogue And Engagement With The Commonwealth – MFA

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s active commitment to dialogue and engagement with the Commonwealth at a virtual meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland in New York.
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Sri Lanka, Ukraine discuss potential for enhancing tourism and economic ties – Daily FT

State Minister of Regional Co-operation TharakaBalasuriya undertook an official visit to Ukraine from 8-10 September to participate in a Sri Lanka tourism promotion campaign.
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VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 17, 2021

Afghanistan
Ghani’s Fleeing Ruined Last-Minute Deal: Khalilzad: Tolo News

According to Khalilzad, the plan was to keep Kabul out of the Taliban’s hands and negotiate a political transition, but Ghani’s escape created a power vacuum and the Taliban entered the city, the Financial Times reported.
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Afghan Students Anxious as Schools Remain Closed: Tolo News

Although a month has passed since the fall of the previous government, secondary schools (grade 7 and up) remain closed, causing concerns, a number of students told TOLOnews on Thursday.
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Black Market Visa Business Booming in Afghanistan: Tolo News

As most embassies in Kabul closed following the collapse of the former government, and the number of people demanding visas has increased, the black market business for visas is skyrocketing.
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We impose no conditions on Taliban, they declared their objective themselves: Russia: The Khaama Press

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that they are not imposing any conditions on the Taliban and added that they are declaring their objectives themselves which are fighting terrorism and drug trafficking.
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Taliban asks UN’s cooperation in recognition, lifting sanctions: The Khaama Press

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan asked the UN to help them in recognition of their government, removing names of the Taliban leaders from the black list, and lifting all other sanctions imposed by the international community.
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Bangladesh
Quarterly GDP growth data from next fiscal year- Daily Star

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is going to publish the gross domestic product (GDP) growth data every quarter from the next fiscal year.
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PM at UNGA: Post-pandemic recovery high on agenda- Daily Star

Bangladesh will focus on post-Covid economic recovery, climate change and Rohingya crisis at the UN General Assembly in New York, where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend from September 21
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Social Safety Net: High allocations, but off target- Daily Star

Bangladesh is failing to reap the maximum benefit from its high social safety net allocations.
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Editors’ Council concerned as BFIU seeks bank details of journos- Asian Age

The Editors’ Council has expressed concern as the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has sought bank details of eleven journalist leaders.
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Investigate how many people Zia killed in jail- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged lawmakers to find out how many people were killed in each jail across the country during Ziaur Rahman’s regime.
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ED: A scientifically sound climate strategy for Bangladesh- Dhaka Tribune

COURTESY With the weakening of Bangladesh’s naturally protective mechanisms such as the Sundarbans, the government needs to take adequate steps to reverse the damage.
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BNP policymakers now will sit with grassroots leaders- The Observer

BNP policymakers now will sit with grassroots leaders BNP policymakers are now planning to sit with the grassroots leaders.
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PM flies for Finland Friday morning on her way to UNGA- The Independent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for Finland on Friday morning as part of a two-week official visit to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
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Hasina pledges concrete-steel houses for poor- New Age

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that the government was now building houses with concrete and steel for homeless people so that none could damage those easily.
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Bhutan
Parties renewing membership without consent?- Kuensel

Despite being the ruling party, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has become the smallest party in terms of membership.
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Lhuentse-Mongar local bus service resumes- Kuensel

Local bus service from Lhuentse to Mongar resumed on September 14 almost five months after.
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Understanding mental health and well-being: Me For Myself- Kuensel

About 50 Bhutanese youths are engaged in the Me For Myself (M4M) campaign that focuses on mental health and well-being.
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Commercial youth farmers wait for NLCS’s approval- Kuensel

To expand their commercial farming, a youth group in Samarchu, Dagana, proposed to lease 11.40 acres of state land nearby their farm in March this year.
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200-bedded quarantine facility at Dhamdum ready- Samtse- BBS

The 200-bedded Quarantine Facility at Dhamdum in Samtse is now ready. The facility which was inaugurated on Tuesday.
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Maldives
Nepal, Maldives envoys visit UAP – New Age

Two teams from of the embassy of Nepal and the high commission of Maldives to Bangladesh headed by Nepal ambassador Banshidhar Mishra and Maldives high commissioner Shiruzimath Sameer visited University of Asia Pacific.
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UNWTO Plans Restart of Tourism Across Asia and the Pacific – Travel Agent Central

The 33rd joint meeting of the World Tourism Organization’s Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and its Commission for South Asia was held September 14, 2021.
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Ex-pres. issued warning for violating house arrest terms – Raajje

Maldives Correction Service (MCS) has closed the case of incarcerated Former President Abdulla Yameen violating the conditions and terms of his house arrest by taking part in an opposition rally, after issuing a warning.
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Hungary consulate opens in the Maldives – Avas

The Consulate was opened by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Hungarian Ambassador to the Maldives, András László Király and Maldives’ Horonary Consul to Hungary, Mohamed Ali Janah at a special ceremony held Thursday.
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Myanmar
Norway’s Telenor says Myanmar unit sale plan followed junta’s pressure on surveillance tech – Reuters

Norwegian telecom firm Telenor is selling its Myanmar operations to avoid European Union sanctions after “continued pressure” from Myanmar’s military junta to activate intercept surveillance technology, the company’s Asia head told Reuters.
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Cold, frightened and armed: In Myanmar’s jungles, a struggling resistance – Indian Express

The Myanmar soldiers attacked the village of Yay Shin, deep in the furrows of the Himalayan foothills, just after dusk, descending with flamethrowers and heavy weaponry.
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Finding fault lines within the Tatmadaw – Frontier Myanmar

A split in the Tatmadaw has been unlikely since its founding in 1962, but a steady increase in defections and desertions since the coup amid plunging morale has some questioning whether unity can be maintained within the nation’s most powerful institution.
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Myanmar Military Battles Ethnic Armed Group in Kachin State – The Irrawaddy

The ethnic armed group and the Myanmar military have been clashing on the strategic Tanai-Shingbwiyang Road since September 7, after regime soldiers attempted to retake control of Tarong Village, which lies along the road, said KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu.
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Military Junta Attempts To Undermine AA Rule In Rakhine State – BNI Online

The Tatmadaw has called up leaders of Muslim villages in Kyauktaw Township to tell them not to accept the authority of the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) in Rakhine State, whose hold over the area has grown since an informal ceasefire late last year temporarily ending years of conflict.
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Nepal
Oli rules out Nepal’s return to CPN-UML- Himalaya

CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli today said UML’s door was shut for Madhav Kumar Nepal as he had led a campaign to topple his own party’s government and support the leader of opposition to form a new government.
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Arun Valley Hydropower Development Company (AHPC) proposes 10 per cent Bonus shares; When’s the book closure?

Arun Valley Hydropower Development Company Limited (AHPC) has proposed 10 per cent bounus shares and 0.526% cash dividends on Thursday.
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Nepal to wrap up evacuation of its citizens from Afghanistan on September 18- Kathmandu Post

The government is preparing to wrap up the evacuation of its citizens from crisis-ridden Afghanistan on September 18.
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A load of rubbish- Nepali Times

Kathmandu’s garbage problem is not new, it has been five decades in the making.
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TU urges colleges to run physical classes- Republica

The Tribhuvan University (TU) has urged the campuses affiliated to it to run physical classes from Friday.
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NRB injects additional Rs 20 billion in country’s financial market to ease liquidity crunch- Republica

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Thursday injected an additional Rs 20 billion in the domestic financial system in an attempt to ease a growing shortfall of liquidity in the banking system.
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Pakistan
SCO leaders caution against abandoning Afghanistan: Dawn

Several regional leaders participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on Thursday underscored the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan and concurred with Pakistan that the war-ravaged country should not be abandoned after the Taliban takeover.
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US urges Pakistan’s constructive role in resolving Afghan crisis: Dawn

The US State Department has urged Pakistan to play a constructive role in persuading the Taliban to fulfil their commitments.

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Ties with Russia key priority for Pakistan, says foreign minister: The Express Tribune

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Dushanbe and reiterated commitment to further enhance the bilateral ties.
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Pakistan to recognise Taliban govt ‘independently, not under duress’: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has announced that it will take an independent decision in line with its interests on recognising the Taliban government in a major policy statement rejecting the US demand asking Islamabad not to give legitimacy to Afghanistan’s new rulers unless they meet international demands.
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Slow pace of work on CPEC irks Chinese companies: Dawn

A Senate panel on Thursday expressed concern over the slow pace of development on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and dissatisfaction being expressed by the Chinese companies over the negligible progress over the past three years.
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UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls on COAS: The News

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance were discussed.
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Taliban be given time to run country effectively: Rashid: The News

The world needs to understand the ground realities about Afghanistan, said Rashid. He added that the Taliban must ensure the availability of financial and human resources for governance.
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Sri Lanka
Port City’s International Financial Centre postponed – The Morning

D to the prevailing pandemic situation, commencement of construction has been postponed.
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2,271 persons test positive for COVID-19 – Daily FT

COVID-19 detections in the country rose to 498,694 with the detection of 2,271 COVID-19 cases yesterday.
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Fresh concerns as manufacturing, services contract in August – Daily FT

The country’s manufacturing and services sector had contracted in August as per the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) compiled by the Central Bank, sparking fresh concerns over the impact of the COVID third-wave-induced lockdowns.
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EU delegation to visit Sri Lanka for talks on GSP+ concessions – Adaderana

A delegation of the European Union is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on September 27, the Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage said.
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United States Delivers $40 Million in Financing to Support Small Businesses and Empower Sri Lankan Women – US Embassy

The United States provided $40 million in financing to SDB Bank in order to bolster Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) sector and assist women entrepreneurs.
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