VIF Neighborhood News Digest: August 29, 2019
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PAKISTAN
No decision yet on airspace closure to India: FM: Dawn
August 29, 2019

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made it clear on Wednesday that no decision had yet been taken to close Pakistan’s airspace to India. Talking to reporters during a visit to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), he dismissed as speculative reports suggesting that the airspace was being shut for India. “A decision to this effect will be taken after due consideration and looking into each and every aspect of the move through consultation,” he said. Prime Minister Imran Khan would have the final word, the foreign minister added. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Ready To Quit Elections For The Sake Of Peace: Abdullah: Tolo
August 29, 2019

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at a campaign rally in Kabul on Wednesday said his team is ready to quit elections for the sake of peace in Afghanistan “even if peace comes a day before or after the presidential polls”. “If the opportunity comes one day before or after the elections, we are ready for that and there is no doubt in it,” Mr. Abdullah said. This comes as efforts for peace and elections are moving together in war-weary Afghanistan. Mr. Abdullah pledged to establish the Kochi ministry if he is elected as the next president. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Rohingya crisis: Population exploding as 91,000 babies are born in two years: Dhaka Tribune
August 29, 2019

After being forcibly displaced from Myanmar, 25-years old Sulaiman got married to teenager Nure Kayda last year in the refugee camp. Now they have a three month old daughter. Sulaiman, teacher of a learning centre at camp 15, said: “A child is a gift from Allah, and we wanted it so that we can forget our sorrow.” Health care professionals working at the camps in Cox's Bazar said ‘‘Although there are multi – level approaches to generate awareness among these people about birth control methods, it seems like we have failed to some extent.’’ In a recently published population report on displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said some 91,000 children were born inside the camps after the latest Rohingya exodus in 2017. Click here to read...

Myanmar
Chinese firm in talks to develop industrial zone: The Myanmar Times
August 29, 2019

A Chinese firm is the latest foreign investor to express an interest to develop an industrial zone in Hlaing Thayar Township in the commercial capital of Yangon, where land nearer to downtown townships has become scarcer in recent years. Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) chair U Zaw Min Win said a meeting was held between this Chinese firm and Vice-President U Myint Swe on August 23 to discuss details of the zone project. He said the country should take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to welcome foreign investors who want to develop industrial zones. Click here to read...

Sri Lanka
Moves by UNP to abolish executive presidency: Opposition: Daily Mirror
August 29, 2019

The Opposition today said the moves by the UNP to get the executive presidency abolished by requesting the President to do so was an attempt to cover up its inability to face the presidential election. Addressing a news conference held at the Opposition Leader’s Office, MP Susil Premajayantha said there were reports of the Prime Minister and UNP MPs requesting the President to abolish the Executive Presidency. “This is an attempt to get the presidential poll delayed and to cover up the UNP’s inability to face elections. We request the government not to scuttle the country any more. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe keep opening up projects and say that he has plans for the next five years or so. He does not comment on what he has done so far,” he said. Click here to read...

Bhutan
Thimphu dzongkhag court convicts six, including home minister: Kuensel
August 29, 2019

Thimphu dzongkhag court’s criminal bench I convicted Home Minister Sherub Gyeltshen to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546. According to the judgment passed yesterday, the statements shared by Lyonpo on claiming insurance for his vehicle were inconsistent in nature. Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen in his intimation letter to Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd (RICBL) stated that his Toyota Prado met with an accident at Lamperi on the Thimphu-Wangdue highway on July 21, 2016. In another statement Lyonpo claimed that his car engine malfunctioned when it was on the way to Mongar. Click here to read...

Nepal
Government extends Kathmandu-Tarai expressway deadline to 2024: The Kathmandu Post
August 29, 2019

The government has extended the deadline for Kathmandu-Tarai expressway by more than two years, pushing the completion date to February 2024. The detailed project report, which states the project will be completed within four and a half years from the day of its approval, was endorsed by the Cabinet on August 18. When the national pride project was handed over to the Nepal Army in August 2017, the government had set August 2021 deadline. But even two years since the start of the construction, the national defence force has hardly completed eight percent of the work. Click here to read...

China
Xi asks China, Uzbekistan to promote quality Belt and Road construction: People's Daily
August 29, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov here on Wednesday, calling on the two countries to jointly push forward the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road. Xi asked Aripov to convey his sincere regards to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The key to the constant leap-forward development of China-Uzbekistan relations is that both sides always adhere to the spirit of good-neighborliness, mutual benefit and mutual assistance, according to Xi. Click here to read...

Chinese military’s move into Hong Kong before sunrise ‘was routine annual rotation’: South China Morning Post
August 29, 2019

The Chinese military conducted the latest rotation of its troops in Hong Kong on Thursday and was prepared to help maintain the city’s prosperity and stability, state media reported, amid massive anti-government protests. The Xinhua news agency reported the rotation at 4am on Thursday. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison has a rotation every year, but on previous occasions state media would release a report only when the handovers were fully completed. Click here to read...

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