VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 28, 2022

<h5>Afghanistan </h5>

<h5>Islamic Emirate Signs Deal for Russian Oil Products, Gas and Wheat – Tolo News </h5>

The Islamic Emirate has signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan, Acting Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters. Azizi said his ministry was working to diversify its trading partners and that Russia had offered the Islamic Emirate administration a discount to average global commodity prices. The move, the first known major international economic deal struck by the Islamic Emirate since they returned to power more than a year ago, could help to ease the Islamist movement’s isolation that has effectively cut it off from the global banking system. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>UN issues warning on warfare and increase poverty in Afghanistan – The Both Side News </h5>

The Taliban’s attack on the rights of girls and women, according to a senior U.N. official, demonstrates disregard for more than 50% of Afghanistan’s population and a willingness to risk international isolation, as well as a potential internal conflict and deepening poverty in the country. Some of the Taliban’s “claimed and recognised achievements,” Markus Potzel, the U.N. deputy representative for Afghanistan, told the Security Council, are also deteriorating. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>



<h5>Bangladesh wants to mark March 25 as International Genocide Day – The Print </h5>

Describing the horrors of the 1971 genocide by the Pakistani military, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said that Bangladesh is working to get recognition of March 25 as International Genocide Day by all the countries in the world. “The Genocide of Bangladesh committed in 1971 by the Pakistani military is one of the most heinous crimes in human history … we do not know of another instance of such barbarism of such intensity and mayhem,” he said, reported The Daily Star. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Bangladesh aims for yuan trade as cushion against mighty dollar- Nikkei Asia </h5>

Hit by a strong dollar and fearful of shrinking foreign reserves, Bangladesh is turning to alternative currency arrangements including the use of the Chinese yuan in international transactions. Bangladesh Bank, the central bank, in mid-September said that authorized dealer banks (ADs) can carry out transactions in yuan for trade with China. <a href=”


<h5>Bhutan </h5>

<h5>BoB imposed Nu 6.2M for system failure – Kuensel Online </h5>

The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) has imposed Nu 6.2 million (M) on Bank of Bhutan (BoB) for the system failure for about three days earlier this month. An official from the bank said that the bank is still negotiating the penalty amount with the authority. The bank’s both offline and online banking services could not be accessed because of the system failure. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Maldives </h5>

<h5>India Supports Hanimaadhoo Airport Project In Maldives – The WatchDog </h5>

After the contract for the largest infrastructure project to be undertaken outside the Greater Male’ region in the history of Maldives was signed, the High Commission of India in the Maldives on September 26 stated that it supports the nation in the project. The aim of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project is to transform the economic image of the North Maldives. An Indian company named JMC Projects Limited has signed the pact with the Maldives government to develop the Hanimaadhoo International Airport. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Myanmar </h5>

<h5>The Two Hands of Washingtons Myanmar Policy – The Irrawaddy </h5>

Bilateral relations from the perspective of the Department of State are well-described by Murphy, the occupant of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Burma desk from 2007-12. As she relates this, US policy is about democracy, humanitarianism and free-market values that both nations share. And citizens pass on information in exchange for cash and vague promises of a US visa should things become difficult. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Intensifying pressure on Myanmar military – New Age BD </h5>

NOLEEN Heyzer, the special envoy of the UN secretary general, claimed that she would not return to Myanmar unless she could meet with former leader Aung San Suu Kyi during her brief visit there for discussions with the military leadership. According to Reuters, Suu Kyi has been detained since the February 1 coup last year and has been kept in solitary confinement since June. She has not been permitted visitors, and in August, a military spokesperson declared that the dictatorship would not permit anyone to meet with those who were charged with crimes. Suu Kyi is currently on trial for charges ranging from corruption to the disclosure of state secrets. The total maximum sentence for the crimes she is charged with is more than 190 years. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Myanmar-Thailand border point where 150 Indian techies are trapped in control of rebel group – New Indian Express </h5>

The software engineers, mostly from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, were entrapped in a job racket that four companies, primarily managed by some Dubai-based Chinese nationals, ran The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a heavily-armed Myanmar rebel group fighting the military junta in that country, is suspected to be providing “protection” to an organised Malayasian-Chinese gang which continues to hold at least 150 Indian IT professionals trapped at a location on the Myanmar-Thailand border. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Nepal </h5>

<h5>Energising India-Nepal ties, the hydropower way – The Hindu</h5>

Nepal’s move to involve India in completing the West Seti and Seti River (SR6) joint storage project has the potential to enhance much-needed cross-border power exchanges. On August 18, 2022, the Investment Board Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited to develop the West Seti and Seti River (SR6) projects — a total of 1,200 MW. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Nepal President Blocks Citizenship Law – Human Rights Watch </h5>

Nepal’s ceremonial president, Bidiya Bhandari, has refused to endorse a Citizenship Bill passed by parliament, denying an estimated 500,000 people access to citizenship documents and threatening to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis. A deadline for her to sign the law expired last week. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Pakistan </h5>

<h5>Pakistans Vicious IMF Cycle – The Diplomat </h5>

On August 29, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released the last remaining $1.1 billion in funds for Pakistan, following a combined seventh and eighth review of the extended fund facility provided to the country. The $6 billion bailout agreed upon in 2019 conditioned the IMF loan to market-determined exchange rate and rebuilding of official reserves in order to reduce public debt, ensure fiscal growth, and increase the country’s per capita income. The fund facility, extended until June 2023, is the 23rd IMF program that Pakistan has received in its 75-year existence. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>After Jaishankar swipe at US over Pakistan F-16s, Antony Blinken says only to fight terror – Indian Express </h5>

Antony Blinken said it was a programme for F-16s that Pakistan already had, and it was Washington’s “obligation” to provide military equipment to ensure that the aircraft are maintained and sustained to bolster Islamabad’s capability to deal with “clear terrorist threats” from Al Qaeda and ISIS. A day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the US decision to provide a $450-million sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet was “not fooling anybody”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is not a new programme. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>Sri Lanka </h5>

<h5>Asia’s ticking debt bomb: Sri Lanka crisis sounds alarm bells across region – Asia Nikkei </h5>

Every day after 4 p.m., residents in this quiet, leafy village listen for the putt-putting of motorbikes on the sandy road next to their homes. When they hear it, they know to shut their doors and turn off their lights. Their children are instructed to run inside and not let anyone in. A motorbike is the vehicle of choice for local debt collectors, who fan out through places like Chandana Pokuna, some 500 brick-faced, rundown houses in Sri Lanka’s rice-farming north central district of Polonnaruwa. The motorcycle men, agents of microlending companies, start work in the late afternoon, when they know residents will be at home. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>


<h5>High-security zones in Sri Lanka to ensure stability – Tribune India </h5>

The Sri Lankan Government on Monday defended its decision to declare several key locations in Colombo as high-security zones, saying the move was aimed at ensuring stability and not curbing freedom of expression. President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday declared several locations, including Parliament, the Supreme Court complex and the President’s Secretariat among others, as high-security zones (HSZs), banning any kind of protest or agitation in their vicinity. <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…</a>