VIF Neighborhood News Digest: December 6, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Govt trying to get $9bn Chinese loan for railway project at 2pc: Dawn
December 6, 2019

No allocations would be made in the next budget for unapproved projects and efforts are in progress to secure a $9 billion Chinese loan for Main Railway Line (ML-1) at around two per cent interest, a Senate committee was told on Thursday. At a meeting of the panel, federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Asad Umar said he had issued directives that no unapproved project should be included in the next Public Sector Development Programme. No project will be included in the PSDP in future till land is purchased for it. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Afghans Hold Vigils for Slain Dr. Nakamura: Tolo
December 6, 2019

Afghans on Thursday held a nationwide candlelight vigil prayer ceremony in remembrance of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, the head of Japanese NGO Peace Japan Medical Services (PJMS), who lost his life along with five others in an attack in Jalalabad city, the capital of Nangarhar province, on Wednesday morning. The murder of Nakamura sparked a strong backlash and an outpouring of grief from the Afghan people with whom he spent thirty years of his life. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH

Rohingya crisis: Draft of 2020 joint response plan seeking $877m prepared: Dhaka Tribune
December 6, 2019

The United Nations agencies and NGOs, along with donors, have prepared a draft of joint response plan (JRP) for 2020, for about $877 million, to look after the Rohingya refugees currently sheltered in Cox’s Bazar as well as the host communities, multiple sources have told Dhaka Tribune. After the draft is finalized, an appeal for the amount, which is $43 million less than the $920 million target in 2019 JRP, is likely to be launched in a couple of months, the sources said. Click here to read....

MYANMAR
Kayin battlefield rises from the ashes: Myanmar Times
December 6, 2019

After passing a road sign that reads, “Welcome to Lay Kay Kaw new city,” motorists pass other signs giving such information as “Fierce fighting happened here” and “No one lived here five years ago.” A few metres off the road, near Thaung Yin River in Kawkareik township of Kayin State, another sign reads Pha Lu Hill in the Kayin and Myanmar languages. The area is the location of the once-impregnable “Pha Lu camp,” a major outpost of the Karen National Union (KNU) and its Karen National Liberation Army. Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
Ranil nominates Sajith as Opposition Leader: Daily Mirror
December 6, 2019

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has nominated MP Sajith Premadasa as the Opposition Leader of Parliament, party sources said. Mr. Wickremesinghe has decided to nominate Mr. Premadasa to the post following the consultations held with the UNP Parliamentary Group this evening. Meanwhile, MP Premadasa has said that the discussions on the changes to the party leadership should begin on Monday. Click here to read....

NEPAL
Without calendar, House sessions are called at government’s convenience: The Kathmandu Post
December 6, 2019

The winter session of federal parliament is just about to commence. But neither the Parliament Secretariat nor the government knows exactly when. The confusion largely stems from the lack of a set calendar. Nepal has had parliamentary democracy for the last three decades, but House sessions have always been called as wanted by the government of the day. Click here to read....

BHUTAN
Forgery rampant due to weak tendering process: Kuenselonline
December 6, 2019

The tendering committee of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) has found presence of fraudulent practices in BD Commercial’s tendering documents. BD Commercial had submitted the documents for the supply of HID printers and accessories. This flaw and others in the government’s tendering system have widened gaps in the provision of quality services and products. MoIC has taken up the case with Procurement and Property Management Division under the Department of National Properties. Click here to read....

CHINA
Huawei asks US court to overturn ban: People's Daily
December 6, 2019

The legal battle between Huawei Technologies Co and United States government intensified on Thursday. The Chinese tech heavyweight announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn the latter's order that bans telecom carriers from buying the company's equipment via federal subsidies. Click here to read....

Commentary: Xinjiang-related bill again reveals U.S. true nature of hegemony: Xinhuanet
December 6, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives, with a group of politicians who may have never set foot on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has passed a bill related to the northwest China region, criticizing the human rights situation there. The approval of the so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019" plainly reveals the true nature of the United States as a hegemonic power that wantonly meddles in the internal affairs of other countries. Click here to read....

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