VIF Neighborhood News Digest: November 19, 2019
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PAKISTAN
'High-end' air ambulance arrives in Lahore to carry Nawaz abroad for medical treatment: Dawn
November 19, 2019

A "high-end" air ambulance has arrived in Lahore from Doha in order to carry ailing PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who is set to travel abroad for medical treatment today. Arrangements for the former prime minister's departure have been made at Lahore airport's Haj Terminal. Supporters and workers, carrying posters of Nawaz, have gathered outside Jati Umra. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Govt Has ‘Clear and Real’ Will for Peace: Sediqqi: Tolo
November 19, 2019

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Monday said that recent attacks indicated that the Taliban’s war mindset has not changed, but he stressed that the Afghan government will continue peace efforts, despite the delayed exchange of three Haqqani Network prisoners for two Western professors. Sediqqi said the attacks have affected the peace process, referring to, among others, a blast in Kabul on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people, including children. “Our commitment, our will for peace is clear and real. But our opposite side does not have anything except violence, which, unfortunately…affects our people,” he said. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Bangladesh, Kosovo working on agreements to enhance ties, including trade: Dhaka Tribune
November 19, 2019

Bangladesh recognized Kosovo, the newest country in Europe, on February 17, 2017, the day the Balkan nation celebrated the ninth anniversary of declaring its independence. Exactly a year later, Bangladesh and Kosovo, the second youngest country in the world after South Sudan, established diplomatic ties on February 17, 2018. Kosovo, a formerly autonomous province of former Yugoslavia, emerged as an independent country after a bloody war instigated by Serbia that wanted to thwart Kosovo’s aspiration for freedom. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Govt says Bangladesh holding up repatriation: Myanmar Times
November 19, 2019

The Myanmar government has urged Bangladesh to abide by their bilateral agreement on the repatriation of the more than 700,000 refugees from Rakhine State living in cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar. U Zaw Htay, spokesperson for the President’s Office, accused Bangladesh of not cooperating in the repatriation, which has worsened the refugees’ living conditions. He said that children and the elderly are suffering the most, that members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) have infiltrated the camp, and that drug use is rampant. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
EC should continue to enjoy independence: Ranil: Daily Mirror
November 19, 2019

ssuing a special statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today it was his desire to see the continuance of independence enjoyed by the Elections Commission (EC). “This year’s presidential election was peaceful, free and fair as a result of our efforts to maintain a conducive atmosphere. It is my desire to see this independence prevailing in the future,” he said. He expressed his gratitude to the EC Chairman, public servants, police and the armed forces who helped in conducting a peaceful election. He also thanked those who voted for NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Despite officials’ bold statements to constituencies, little diplomatic progress has been made on Kalapani: The Kathmandu Post
November 19, 2019

Despite government officials, including the prime minister and several sitting ministers, issuing strongly-worded statements regarding Kalapani, there has been little headway on the political and diplomatic front when it comes to pursuing Nepal’s interests along its western border with India. On Sunday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli asked India to remove its army from Nepali territory—but at a meeting of the Nepal Communist Party young wing, not during any bilateral forum or directly to the Indian government. Similarly, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and three former prime ministers—Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal—have also issued statements regarding India’s inclusion of the territory of Kalapani within its borders. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
7 educationists, former and present invested in Rigzom Academy: Kuenselonline
November 19, 2019

The Opposition Party, last week, demanded the education ministry make the shareholders of Rigzom Academy, a private school in Paro, public. The reason for the demand too is not made public, but the party is suspecting the ownership structure of the school and how the school benefitted from the government’s decision to do away with the Class X cut-off point and sponsoring students. The party’s media spokesperson, Bartsham-Shongphu’s Member of Parliament, Passang Dorji, refused to elaborate on the reasons for the party’s demand. Click here to read...

CHINA
Chinese premier urges efforts to push water diversion project: Xinhuanet
November 19, 2019

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday called for more efforts to push the south-to-north water diversion project and other major water conservancy projects. Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while presiding over a work meeting on follow-up efforts in the south-to-north water diversion project. Click here to read...

Ministry: China, US trade negotiators in close contact: China Daily
November 19, 2019

Top trade negotiators for China and the United States agreed in their latest phone call to remain in close communication after "constructive" discussions on each other's core concerns for a phase-one deal, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday. Click here to read...

New Hong Kong police Chief Chris Tang tells residents: the force cannot end the protests alone: South China Morning Post
November 19, 2019

Hong Kong’s incoming police chief says the 31,000-strong force cannot end the city’s unprecedented social unrest on its own, and needs the support of Hongkongers. Click here to read...

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