VIF Neighborhood News Digest: December 4, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Govt blames price hike on trade ban with India, weather: Dawn
December 4, 2019

Attributing the prevailing price hike to suspension of trade with India, failure of provinces in keeping administrative control over the middleman and seasonal factors, the government’s economic team has forecast easing out the inflationary pressure in the next two months. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Germans Ready to Extend Their NATO Mission: Minister: Tolo
December 4, 2019

The visiting German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at a news conference in Kabul said she hopes the Afghan election results are announced in the near future, and she hopes results will be accepted by all stakeholders. She also said that Berlin will help Afghanistan to achieve peace. “We hope that the results of the free elections which have been held, are announced soon and all stakeholders accept the results so that a strong government is formed which could strengthen peace negotiations,” said Karrenbauer. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Bangladesh-India shipping secretary-level meeting starts: Dhaka Tribune
December 4, 2019

Secretary-level meetings between the Shipping Ministries of Bangladesh and India begins on Wednesday at the Inter Continental Dhaka. The meeting will be a historic one as the under-construction Matarbari deep-sea port, Bangladesh, and Dhamra port on the shore of the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Odisha will be declared as "Port of call," - an intermediate stop for a ship on a scheduled journey for cargo transportation or taking on supplies or fuel. So far, there are 12 ports of call between these two countries; including Bangladesh’s Mongla port and India’s Karimganj seaport. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Recent clashes displace hundreds of Myanmar's Mon ethnic people: Myanmar Times
December 4, 2019

Approximately 900 ethnic Mon people were seeking refuge in refugee camps in Thailand amid ongoing tension between government forces and fighters of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) along the Thai-Myanmar border, a group of international non-governmental organisations working with refugees said. The Border Consortium said the Thai authorities reported that displaced Mon ethnic people in Thailand are living in Tao Tan and Songkalia refugee camps. It said many more are believed to be hiding in rubber plantations and areas along the border. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Will be frank with New Delhi to avoid misunderstandings: Gotabaya: Daily Mirror
December 4, 2019

Promising to be “frank” and “upfront” to avoid the misunderstandings of the past between New Delhi and Colombo, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says India and other countries in the region must invest more in Sri Lanka if they want to provide an alternative to Chinese investment. He also suggested closer coordination between the two countries and assured India that on the “main issues” of Sri Lankan ties with China and Pakistan, there would be no problem “that creates suspicions amongst Indian authorities”. Click here to read...

NEPAL
After Oli’s reservations, President holds constitutional council ordinance: The Kathmandu Post
December 4, 2019

An ordinance proposed by the government to change provisions in the Constitutional Council (Functions, Duties, Powers and Procedures) Act-2010 is stuck at the President’s Office as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, following criticism, has reservations. The ordinance is aimed at modifying provisions in the Constitutional Council so that decisions can be made on the basis of a simple majority, as opposed to consensus. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
MoE directs to defer allocation of 2 ICT periods: Kuenselonline
December 4, 2019

The education ministry called off the two Information and Communication Technology (ICT) classes a week programme that Royal Education Council (REC) announced earlier last month. The education flagship programme would require at least two periods for ICT. REC in its notification issued on November 15 announced its decision to allocate two classes a week for ICT literacy from classes IV to X. Click here to read...

CHINA
China protests as US House passes Uygur bill demanding sanctions over human rights abuses in Xinjiang camps: South China Morning Post
December 4, 2019

China has threatened to respond after the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a strongly worded bill paving the way for sanctions against Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. In a statement, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the bill “deliberately defames the human rights situation in Xinjiang and discredits Beijing’s efforts to fight against extremism and terrorism in the region”. Click here to read...

Xi meets foreign attendees to Imperial Springs Int'l Forum, calls for upholding multilateralism: Xinhua
December 4, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that all countries should shoulder their respective responsibilities, carry out constructive dialogue, seek common ground while shelving differences, and uphold multilateralism, to build a community with a shared future for humanity. Xi made the remarks when meeting in Beijing with foreign attendees to the 2019 Imperial Springs International Forum held in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, on Dec. 1-2. The international order is now at a critical crossroads, as the world is facing a choice of either multilateralism or unilateralism, Xi said. Click here to read...

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