VIF Neighborhood News Digest: August 20, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan alarmed at Indian attitude over water treaty: Dawn
August 20, 2019

Expressing “deep concern” over Indian attitude towards implementation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, Pakistan on Monday said it would exercise all options to protect its rights given in the treaty. Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda pointed out in a statement that India was obligated under the treaty to provide information about extraordinary flood to Pakistan but had been failing to deliver on the treaty obligation despite repeated requests and reminders. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Ghani Vows to Crush Daesh Havens after Wedding Attack: Tolo
August 20, 2019

President Ashraf Ghani on Monday vowed to “eliminate” all safe havens of the Daesh as the country marked 100th Independence Day after a horrific wedding attack claimed by the militant group that killed 63 people – all civilians. Mr. Ghani laid a wreath at the Azadi Memorial minaret on Independence Day. Later he appeared at a ceremony in Darul Aman Palace, which has been renovated. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
Aug 22 Repatriation of Rohingyas: Doubts linger over voluntary return: The Daily Star
August 20, 2019

The much-awaited Rohingya repatriation is set to begin on Thursday, around 10 months after the first attempt failed as the refugees didn’t choose to go back. A list of 3,450 Rohingyas, who have been cleared by the Myanmar government for return, was shared with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Bangladesh earlier this month so that the agency could assist in checking whether the refugees wished to return voluntarily. Click here to read....

Myanmar
Kutkai in Shan State cut off by fighting: The Myanmar Times
August 20, 2019

Fierce fighting between the Tatmadaw (military) and Northern Alliance has broken out near Kutkai Township in northern Shan State, and locals as well as travelers are not allowed to leave the town, according to residents. The fighting follows surprise attacks launched by the alliance on several locations in Mandalay Region and Shan last Thursday. “It has been three days since we fled our village due to fighting. When we wanted to go back to our village to feed our animals, we were told that we would not be allowed back into Kutkai if we left. Once we were in town we were not allowed to leave, so only one person from our group went back to our village to feed the animals,” said Daw Nan Ohn, a resident of Nan Par Chi village, six kilometers from Kutkai. Click here to read....

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan general accused of war abuses appointed army chief: Al Jazeera
August 20, 2019

President Maithripala Sirisena has named a general accused of grave human rights abuses in Sri Lanka's long-running civil war as the country's new army chief, an appointment sharply criticized as a move likely to undermine reconciliation efforts. Major General Shavendra Silva, who on Monday was also promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, was in charge of an army division that encircled the final stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the final stages of the war that ended a decade ago. Click here to read....

Bhutan
"India, Bhutan Expanding Satellite Cooperation," Says PM Modi: Highlights: NDTV
August 20, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for home after concluding his two-day state visit to Bhutan during which he held talks with the country's leaders to further deepen the bilateral ties. "Thank you Bhutan! It was a memorable visit. The affection I have received from the people of this wonderful nation can never be forgotten. There were many programmes which I had the honor of taking part in. The outcomes of the visit will enhance bilateral ties," PM Modi said just before his departure from Bhutan. Click here to read....

Nepal
Debate on order of precedence takes center stage in the ruling party: The Himalayan Times
August 20, 2019

Madhav Kumar Nepal, a senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, has expressed dissatisfaction and said he felt humiliated at the leadership’s decision to promote Jhalanath Khanal as the party’s third-ranked leader. Nepal, who has never been ranked fourth in his political career, expressed his dismay at the party’s decision soon after he arrived at Janakpur airport on Monday. “Earlier it was Khanal, and this time it’s my turn to be humiliated,” he told reporters. Nepal, who was third in the party order of precedence, after two Co-chairs KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, has now been relegated to fourth position in the party. Click here to read....

China
US urged to observe one-China principle, revoke planned sale of F-16 jets to Taiwan: China Daily
August 20, 2019

The United States should immediately revoke its planned sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan or accept the possible consequences, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday; after US President Donald Trump was quoted in reports as saying he had given a green light to the $8 billion deal. Click here to read....

Twitter and Facebook suspend accounts for being part of China-backed campaign to disrupt Hong Kong protests: South China Morning Post
August 20, 2019

The social-media platform Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts alleged to be part of a Chinese government-backed campaign to sow political discord in Hong Kong, and will no longer accept advertising from state-controlled media outlets, the company announced on Monday. Click here to read....

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