VIF Neighborhood News Digest: November 29, 2019
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PAKISTAN
General Bajwa to stay on as COAS for 6 more months: SC : Dawn
November 29, 2019

The Supreme Court on Thursday in its short order announced that Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will remain the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) for another six months, during which the parliament will legislate on the extension/reappointment of an army chief. A three-member bench — comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Mian Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah — announced the much-anticipated verdict after being assured by the government that parliament will pass legislation within six months. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Afghan Peace Should be Inclusive: Indian Envoy:Tolo
November 29, 2019

Speaking at an event on the Afghan peace process on Thursday at the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS), Ambassador Vinay Kumar said that New Delhi has had serious talks with Washington about peace in Afghanistan, and he thinks Afghans should have full ownership of the peace process. The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan stressed that the goal of peace efforts in Afghanistan should be to completely cut off terrorism in the region, and the Afghan process should be inclusive. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
BPDB proposes 23% hike for bulk power tariff: Dhaka Tribune
November 29, 2019

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has proposed to raise the bulk tariff of electricity by 23.28% from next year to tackle massive financial deficit. However, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), to which the proposal was placed, has recommended raising the prices for bulk consumers by 19.50%. The proposals were discussed at the TCB auditorium in Dhaka on Thursday, the first day of a four-day mass hearing on power tariff hike proposals. Click here to read...

MYANMAR
Yangon wait for the safe zones, and the big ones: Myanmar Times
November 29, 2019

Experts warn that Yangon, the country’s economic capital, with over five million inhabitants, is built on soft soil from the deposition of sediment carried by the Bago and Yangon rivers to the delta where they meet. This was brought home to the Yangon’s easy-going people when the city was jolted by a mild magnitude 4.1 earthquake that roused them from their sleep on November 12. The quake caused 20 buildings to lean off-kilter, including eight that will need repairs as their tilt went over the maximum allowed 17 centimetres from vertical. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
Swiss raise alarm over ‘attack’ on Sri Lanka embassy employee: Daily Mirror
November 29, 2019

Swiss authorities have hit out at the detention of an employee of the country's embassy in Sri Lanka, branding the development "grave and unacceptable". A spokesman for Switzerland's Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday that the embassy employee was "detained against her will on the street and threatened at length" in an attempt to pressure her into releasing information. Click here to read...

NEPAL
Former anti-graft body chief abruptly suspended investigation into a dozen lawmakers and government officials, record shows: The Kathmandu Post
November 29, 2019

Two years ago, in the middle of an investigation into Nepali Congress lawmaker Mohamad Aftab Alam, the commission for investigation of abuse of authority abruptly suspended the probe, saying there wasn’t enough evidence against him. Click here to read...

BHUTAN
SC rules in favor of Tashi: Kuenselonline
November 29, 2019

The Supreme Court ruled that Tashi Commercial Corporation (TCC) could now initiate development activities in its two plots of lands, plot I-22 and L-1, in Lungtenzampa, yesterday. In a judgment signed by three justices and the Chief Justice, it stated that the two areas are not in G2 –Green Space System as claimed by Thimphu thromde but in the urban core. Click here to read...

CHINA
China slams US warships’ trespassing in South China Sea: Xinhuanet
November 29, 2019

A spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense on Thursday slammed U.S. warships and military aircraft's willful and repeated trespassing into the adjacent waters and airspace of China's islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Click here to read...

China open to closer relationship with Vatican, Beijing says after Pope Francis’ word of peace: South China Morning Post
November 29, 2019

China is keen to develop its relationship with the Vatican and appreciates the goodwill shown by
Pope Francis, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. On a flight from Tokyo to Rome on Tuesday, the pontiff said that he “loves China” and “would like to go to Beijing”. Click here to read...

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