VIF Neighborhood News Digest: November 15, 2019
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PAKISTAN
World must stop India before it’s too late, says PM: Dawn
November 15, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for regional peace and stressed that friendly relations between India and Pakistan are vital for peace in South Asia. “Rather than fighting each other, together we [Pakistan and India] can fight poverty, challenges of climate change and hunger,” the prime minister said while addressing the concluding session of Margalla Dialogue 2019 on “Peace and development in South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia” on Thursday. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Logar Civil Society Reports Abuse of ‘550 Children and Youth’: Tolo
November 15, 2019

Research done by Logar’s Civil Society over the past six months reports sexual abuse of “550 children and youth” from six schools. TOLOnews reporter Sharif Amir visited Logar on Thursday and talked to abuse victims. He said: “The children and youth are not safe at school.” Responding to an article published by the UK’s Guardian on Wednesday, the Afghan Education Ministry has assigned a “fact-finding delegation” to investigate reports of “abuse of school children in Logar,” the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
PM: Onions rotting in some places, but not going to market: Dhaka Tribune
November 15, 2019

As the onion price has hit all-time high of Tk200 per kg, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said there was enough stock of onions but those are not being released to the market. “It seems there’s stock of onions in the country and these are rotting in many places. But onions are not being released to the market,” she said, while delivering her valedictory speech of the fifth session of the 11th parliament, reports UNB. She said drives were conducted in many places against such hoarding of onions. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Activists seek review of rights commission: Myanmar Times
November 15, 2019

Local and foreign rights activists are calling for a review of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) as the five-year mandate of the commissioners expired on September 23. President U Win Myint has yet to decide whether to reinstate the commission. Sean Bain, legal adviser of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), sought prompt reform of the commission that would make it independent in performing its functions. “The National League for Democracy-led government should promptly reform the MNHRC Law to enable the selection of better qualified and representative commissioners and grant them the independence and resources necessary for their work,” he said in a statement. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan author attacked ahead of key presidential polls: Al Jazeera
November 15, 2019

Armed men have stabbed and injured a Sri Lankan writer in the southern Galle district, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate in Saturday's presidential polls, police said. The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne on Thursday, who released his book Wasteful Development and Corruption last week and gave a copy to the ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Intelligence department to get sweeping powers to carry out domestic and foreign counterintelligence: The Kathmandu Post
November 15, 2019

The government has registered an amendment bill at the National Assembly that will give sweeping powers to the National Intelligence Department to carry out counterintelligence work, including spying on foreign countries, institutions or groups that it deems “detrimental to national security”. A draft amendment to the Special Service Act-1985 was registered last week at the Upper House. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has brought the National Intelligence Department directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, vowing to transform the department into a national security agency “that would not only gather and analyse information but also help set key national security policies”. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
SOEs’ salary revision to be decided this week: Kuenselonline
November 15, 2019

The salary revision for State Owned Enterprises (SOE) will be decided within this week, according to Finance Minister Namgay Tshering. He said a cabinet meeting on November 12 discussed the pay revision of SOEs, but did not endorse the proposed hike. The finance minister cited lack of clarity for the delay in the pay revision of SOEs. All the SOEs have submitted their report to the government. Lyonpo Namgay Tshering also said that the government wanted to give the pay hike based on performance. “Incentives should be given to boost performance.” Click here to read...

CHINA
Xi says HK's most pressing task is to end violence, chaos and restore order: Xinhuanet
November 15, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the most pressing task for Hong Kong at present is to bring violence and chaos to an end and restore order. Xi made this clear stance of the Chinese government on Hong Kong's situation while he was attending the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Thursday. Click here to read...

If China puts troops in Hong Kong, suspend city’s trade status: US commission: South China Morning Post
November 15, 2019

Washington should suspend the special economic status granted to Hong Kong if Beijing deploys its military forces in the city, a congressional body warned on Thursday, along with a range of other recommendations addressing perceived threats the US faces as a result of its engagement with China. Click here to read...

Xi urges BRICS countries to champion multilateralism: People's Daily
November 15, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on the BRICS countries to undertake their due obligations in championing and practicing multilateralism. Xi made the appeal in a speech entitled "Together for a New Chapter in BRICS Cooperation" at the 11th summit of BRICS, an emerging-market bloc that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Click here to read...

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