VIF Neighborhood News Digest: November 1, 2019
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PAKISTAN
Eight ordinances promulgated: Dawn
November 1, 2019

President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday promulgated eight ordinances which had already been approved by the federal cabinet at its last meeting. The promulgated ordinances are related to the judiciary and one specifically concerning about amending the NAB Ordinance which could affect high-profile political prisoners in the country. Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had recently blamed the opposition parties for compelling the government to opt for legislations through ordinances. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Watchdogs Raise Concerns Over Afghan Civilian Casualties: Tolo
November 1, 2019

Amid an unprecedented surge in US air strikes on insurgents, Amnesty International on Thursday called on all parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan to respect the ‘law of war’ and stop harming the civilians in the country. “They should respect the law of war and do whatever they can practically to reduce the number of civilian casualties to zero,” said Zaman Sultani, South Asia Researcher at Amnesty International. The Human Rights Watch office in Kabul released a report on Thursday referencing “summary executions” and “other grave abuses without accountability” by the CIA-backed Afghan forces in some parts of Afghanistan. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Bangladesh asks EU to curb Myanmar GSP till Rohingyas return: Dhaka Tribune
November 1, 2019

Bangladesh has asked European nations to suspend the generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) under which Myanmar gets EBA (Everything But Arms) privilege, until hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas are repatriated to Rakhine state. After returning from his visits to Germany, France, Italy, Greece and Azerbaijan on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his office yesterday that he had said in the European capitals that: “You sing for humanity. You shout loudly about human rights. According to your information and UN information, genocide has taken place in that country [Myanmar]. Ethnic cleansing has taken place. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Military gathers evidence against soldiers accused of abuses in Rakhine: Myanmar Times
November 1, 2019

The Tatmadaw (military) is collecting evidence to prosecute soldiers accused of violating military regulations in northern Rakhine State in 2017, according to its official website. ‘’Further measures will be taken to seek legal advice, to set up a court-martial, and to conduct a trial,’’ the military statement said on Tuesday. Earlier, the military established a team to investigate allegations of mass graves found in Gu Dar Pyin village of Buthidaung township in northern Rakhine. The Court of Inquiry, chaired by Maj Gen Myat Kyaw, decided that some incidents in the village should be subject to a court-martial, according to the statement. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka candidate promises laws against religious 'extremism': Al Jazeera
November 1, 2019

Sri Lanka's governing party presidential candidate has pledged to refocus the country's security policy and introduce tough laws to tackle religious "extremism" and "terrorism". In his election platform on Thursday, Sajith Premadasa identified religious "extremism", illegal drugs and corruption as three issues that require urgent attention. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Over murky details, Oli’s health raises questions about his fitness to govern: The Kathmandu Post
November 1, 2019

Over the past 24 hours, there has been much speculation and conjecture about Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s health. Ever since Oli was admitted to Grande International Hospital on Wednesday morning, little information has been forthcoming from the government authorities. But on Thursday, a medical doctor who has been monitoring Oli’s health told the Post that the prime minister had undergone a second procedure for urethral dilation on Wednesday due to difficulties in passing urine. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
Govt. to revisit the non-hydro debt ceiling: Kuenselonline
November 1, 2019

The external debt ceiling on non-hydro loan, which came into effect with the public debt policy initiated by the former government, is now under the radar of the current government. The public debt policy, which was introduced in 2016, sets thresholds for non-hydro power debt stock at 35 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the Five Year Plan period, while the general government debt is capped at less than 22 percent of domestic revenue in any given financial year. The policy also states that Bhutan’s annual debt service obligations of total external debt should not exceed 25 percent of total exports of goods and services. Click here to read...

CHINA
Xinhua Headlines: Key CPC session highlights strength of China's system, governance: Xinhuanet
November 1, 2019

The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded its fourth plenary session in Beijing on Thursday with the release of a communique. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made an important speech at the session presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Click here to read...

Beijing criticizes jurisdictional moves by New Delhi in boundary region: People's Daily
November 1, 2019

Beijing slammed on Thursday New Delhi's inclusion of part of China's territory into its administrative jurisdiction, saying the move is unlawful. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes India's announcement of establishing the so-called Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and the Ladakh Union Territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing. Click here to read...

Beijing criticizes jurisdictional moves by New Delhi in boundary region: China Daily
November 1, 2019

Beijing slammed on Thursday New Delhi's inclusion of part of China's territory into its administrative jurisdiction, saying the move is unlawful. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes India's announcement of establishing the so-called Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and the Ladakh Union Territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing. Click here to read...

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