VIF Neighborhood News Digest: August 26, 2019
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PAKISTAN
FM moves to paper over UAE award for Modi: Dawn
August 26, 2019

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or any other country had the right to maintain bilateral relations with countries of their choice. “International relations are above religious sentiments. The UAE and India have a history of relations in connection with investment. However, I will soon have a meeting with the UAE foreign minister to inform him about the prevailing situation in India-held Kashmir,” he said while responding to media queries regarding the grant of the UAE’s highest civilian award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Over 2,000 Polling Centers To Remain Closed On Election Day: Tolo
August 26, 2019

Figures by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) indicate that almost 2,000 polling centers will remain closed on the election day due to security threats but more than 5,000 polling centers will be remain opened countrywide. The IEC had considered 7,385 centers for the election day but only 5,373 centers will remain open, the IEC statistics show. Kabul will have 558 open polling centers and only two polling centers will be closed in the province. Almost 300 polling centers out of 462 will remain open in Herat which is a major province in the west of the country. Other provinces in the west such as Badghis, Ghor, and Farah will have the highest number of closed polling centers with 136, 111, 174 closed centers respectively. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Rohingya crisis: Funding remains great challenge: The Dhaka Tribune
August 26, 2019

Two years after the latest influx of Rohingyas that began on August 25, 2017, due to an unprecedented brutal military crackdown by Myanmar, funding to look after the persecuted people sheltering in Cox’s Bazar, remains a great challenge. Three quarters of the year has already elapsed with only 35% of the required $920 million having been made available. Some key sectors like health, protection, nutrition, and site management, remain severely underfunded, putting the lives of the Rohingyas in jeopardy. The Joint Response Plan (JPR) for 2019 was launched in Geneva on February 15, seeking $920.5 million to cover expenses for the period between January and December. Click here to read...

Myanmar
Three dead, four injured in blast: The Myanmar Times
August 26, 2019

An explosion on Saturday, said to be caused by an artillery shell, killed three children and injured four other people in Pan Myaung village near Minbya township in Rakhine State, on Saturday said U Hla Thein Aung, State Hluttaw (Assembly) MP for Minbya. “The funeral for the children was held on Sunday. Three of the other injured are receiving treatment in Sittwe. There are no more doctors in Minbya and villagers are angry,” U Hla Thein Aung said. According to residents, the attack came from a monastery built by the Tatmadaw (military) on a hill in the middle of the village, U Hla Thein Aung said. “There are no Arakan Army (AA) troops in the village. Residents and witnesses said the shells were fired by the Tatmadaw. Residents are angry about this incident,” U Hla Thein Aung said. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka
Lifting Emergency will not impact ban on terrorist outfits: MoD: Daily Mirror
August 26, 2019

Lifting the State of Emergency will not have any impact on the ban imposed on terrorist organisations, the National Media Centre of the Ministry of the Defence said yesterday. They said National Thowheed Jama’ath (MTJ), Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI) and Vilayath As Seylani organisations which were banned under 2123/3 Gazette Extraordinaire issued by President Maithripala Sirisena on May 21, will continue. “These three terrorist organisations were banned under the Clause 2 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act No 48 under the Constitution of 1978”, Chairman of the National Media Centre of the Defence Secretary, Dinesh Dodamgoda said in a special press release. The President issued the gazette notification on Thursday (22) ordering the deployment of troops from the three armed forces to maintain public order across all districts. Click here to read...

Bhutan
Bhutan achieves Hepatitis B control among children aged five: Kuensel
August 26, 2019

Bhutan achieves the 2020 control target of ‘less than or equal to one’ hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) sero-prevalence among children aged 5 years. Bhutan is one of the first four countries in the region to reach the 2020 target ahead of time. The Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR), Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, in a letter to the ministry, congratulated the government on achieving the target before time. The recognition comes after due verification by the WHO SEAR Expert Panel for Verification of Hepatitis B Control and upon careful review of the evidence provided in its second consultation held in June 2019. Click here to read...

Nepal
Tharu community stresses reconciliation but will not give up on its demands: The Kathmandu Post
August 26, 2019

Four years after the Tikapur incident, Tharu leaders have decided to continue the fight for their rights. The Tikapur incident, which occurred on August 24, 2015, was the deadliest in a series of demonstrations that were held along the plains in the run-up to the constitution promulgation. Nine people, including a toddler, were killed in the violence. At an ongoing three-day Tharuhat/Tharuwan conference in Tikapur marking four years since the incident, Tharu leaders said there is a need to launch a decisive movement to press the government for a Tharuhat province. A proposal was also tabled at the conference to demand the unconditional release of Tharu people who are serving jail terms for their alleged involvement in the Tikapur incident. Click here to read...

China
Experts: Fresh threats by US will not work: People’s Daily
August 26, 2019

China won't give in to extreme pressure by the United States on tariffs and will firmly defend its core interests, as it has sufficient countermeasures available, experts said. The reaction came after the Ministry of Commerce expressed strong opposition on Saturday to a new threat of additional tariffs by the US on about $550 billion worth of Chinese imports. The ministry urged Washington to reverse course immediately or be prepared to "bear all the consequences".Click here to read...

Commentary: Macao to further promote "one country, two systems" practice, embrace new development: Xinhuanet
August 26, 2019

The chief executive election in China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Sunday saw Ho Iat Seng elected as the SAR's chief executive-designate. Extending congratulations, a spokesperson with the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said the central government will carry out the appointment process in accordance with the law after receiving the formal report of the election delivered by the Macao SAR government. Ho, if approved by the central government, is set to take the helm of the SAR government at the end of this year. Click here to read...

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