VIF Neighborhood News Digest: December 5, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Inflation surges to nine-year high: Dawn
December 5, 2019

Inflation rose to 12.7 per cent year-on-year, the highest level in nine years mainly driven by an increase in prices of food items, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday. Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 1.3pc over the previous month after the PBS revised its calculation methodology by setting the new base year 2015-16 instead of the previous 2007-08 financial year. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Khalilzad Will “Rejoin Talks with the Taliban”: US: Tolo
December 5, 2019

The US State Department on Wednesday said that Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad “will rejoin the talks with the Taliban in Doha to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement to the ongoing conflict in the country.” The statement read: “In Kabul, Special Representative Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government representatives and other Afghan leaders to follow up on President Trump’s recent visit and to discuss how best to support accelerated efforts to get all parties to intra-Afghan negotiations. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
US shares views on Indo-Pacific Strategy with Bangladesh: Dhaka Tribune
December 5, 2019

The United States on Wednesday said they have no issue with Bangladesh in improving relations with other countries mentioning that its Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) is not a direct counter to China or China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “We expect Bangladesh will have good relations with its neighbours and we have no issue with Bangladesh in improving relations with other countries,” said US Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall G Schriver. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Local company proposes eco beach resort project in Gwa, Rakhine: Myanmar Times
December 5, 2019

Local company Sea Lion Group has announced its intention to build an eco-resort at a site located along Ma Kyay Ngu Beach, near Gwa Township, Rakhine State. The company is proposing to build a hotel, shopping centre, and organic farm on a 20 hectare site across the Gwa River from Gwa Township. The project, which will be the first of its kind in Gwa, will include swimming pools, an 80-room hotel, arrival jetty, and areas specifically for shallow swimming, water sports, and children. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
UNP condemns UK’s manifesto on two-state solution: Daily Mirror
December 5, 2019

UNP today criticized the manifesto of UK’s Conservative Party which had called for a two-state solution for the national issue in Sri Lanka and urged the party to scrap it. UNP National Organiser and Member of Parliament Navin Dissanayake told a press conference that his party vehemently condemn this inclusion in the Conservative Party manifesto and expect the party to scrap it from the document. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Government provides free vans to ferry bodies of migrant workers. Families say the process lacks dignity. : The Kathmandu Post
December 5, 2019

When Sikandar Raut left his village to work in Dubai this summer, he told his family that he would be back in a few months. He had been working in the United Arab Emirates for over ten years and made several trips in between. Sikandar had bought a piece of land in Dhanusha and spent some money on the marriages of four of his daughters. He also spent a substantial amount of money on his wife’s treatment. All that meant, he still had loans to pay. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
Corporate pay revision violates Constitution: Opposition: Kuenselonline
December 5, 2019

The government’s decision to endorse the corporate pay revision without recommendations from a Pay Commission was in violation of the Constitution, the opposition party and observers say. According to some interpretations, the fourth Pay Commission should have included recommendations for the corporate sector in its report. But the problem was that the Terms of Reference (ToR), which the government issues, for the fourth Pay Commission did not have reference to corporate pay, it was learnt. Click here to read...

CHINA
China’s man in Washington says US building ‘Berlin Wall’ against Beijing: South China Morning Post
December 5, 2019

China’s top envoy to the United States has struck out at Washington’s hardline measures against Beijing, accusing US officials of building a “Berlin Wall” between the two sides. Speaking at the US-China Business Council’s annual gala in Washington on Wednesday, Ambassador Cui Tiankai said “obstinate prejudice” was behind criticism directed at the Chinese government for its policies on trade and investment, Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Click here to read...

China urges U.S. to learn lessons from 9/11 attacks, stop double standards on anti-terrorism: Xinhua
December 5, 2019

China warned Wednesday if the United States continues to play with double standards on anti-terrorism or even try to infringe upon other countries' sovereignty and security, it will end up swallowing a bitter fruit with its own interests harmed. "It hasn't been long since the Sept. 11 attacks. The U.S. should not forget the pain as wounds heal," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference. Click here to read...

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