VIF Neighborhood News Digest: October 23, 2019
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PAKISTAN

Cabinet ignores criticism, okays eight ordinances: Dawn

October 23, 2019

Despite facing criticism for “bypassing the parliament and relying on presidential ordinances for legislation”, the federal cabinet on Tuesday approved more than half a dozen ordinances, majority of which deal with the judiciary and one specifically relates to amending the NAB Ordinance that may affect high-profile political prisoners in the country. The cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, formally approved an agreement between Pakistan and India for implementation of Kartarpur Corridor project. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Pentagon Draws up Plan for an Abrupt Afghan Withdrawal: Sources: Tolo

October 23, 2019

The United States recently started drawing up plans for an abrupt withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, NBC reported, citing three current and former US defense officials. The contingency planning is ongoing, and includes the possibility of President Donald Trump ordering all American troops out of Afghanistan within weeks, wrote the NBC in an article, quoting current and former US defense officials as saying. Officials cautioned, however, that the planning is a precaution and there is currently no directive from the White House to pull American troops out of Afghanistan. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh finds Myanmar’s claim regarding 29 Rohingya repatriation as propaganda: Dhaka Tribune

October 23, 2019

The claim by the Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka, on the repatriation of 29 Rohingyas from Bangladesh, is nothing but propaganda, said a top official involved in managing Rohingyas in Bangladesh. The Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, claimed that 29 more displaced Rohingyas went back to Myanmar from Bangladesh, on their own volition, through the Taung Pyo Letwe Reception Center. However, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Md Mahbub Alam Talukder told Dhaka Tribune that it is a false propaganda by Myanmar. “We do not have any information on this. If a refugee wanted to be repatriated, they will have to follow the process maintained by RRRC, and UNHCR,” he said. Click here to read...

MYANMAR

Myanmar offers good opportunities for investors: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Times

October 23, 2019

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Su Kyi says Myanmar offer investors a chance to capitalize on the country’s new-found economic vibrancy. The State Counsellor said this during her official visit to Japan, where she has for mar met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and also attended the Second Myanmar Investment Conference on October 21. “We in Myanmar believe that a quality investment, one that is responsible and sustainable, can and must play a role and it is for this reason that I value forums such as this. We can offer participants a chance to capitalize on Myanmar’s new-found economic vibrancy. At the same time, it gives us an opportunity to highlight sectors where the right mix of reform, ambition and political will can unlock additional opportunities,’’ Daw Aung San Su Kyi said in her speech for the investment conference. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA

TISL urges Cabinet to revoke perks granted to President: Daily Mirror

October 23, 2019

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) today expressed its concerns with regard to the perks approved by the Cabinet last week to be granted to President Maithripala Sirisena and urged the Cabinet to revoke its decision while citing it as a clear case of a conflict of interest. TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said the timing of the decision when the President was still in office and was the Head of Cabinet raises serious questions regarding conflicts of interest. “This is underscored by the decision of the Supreme Court in 2007 regarding the premature exercise of executive power under the Presidents Entitlements Act of 1986,” Mr. Obeysekara said. Click here to read...

NEPAL

The crimes Alam has been accused of are grave, but his party has little to say: The Kathmandu Post

October 23, 2019

Despite the arrest of party lawmaker Mohammad Aftab Alam for murder, the Nepali Congress has largely maintained a stony silence, except for incidental remarks saying that the guilty should be punished. Instead, senior leaders have made irresponsible remarks regarding the arrest of Alam for a grisly mass murder that took place in Rautahat 12 years ago. Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba, earlier this week, described the arrest as a “conspiracy”, only retracting the statement after massive criticism. He has since said that the Congress will support an independent investigation into the case. Click here to read...

BHUTAN

Allow the government to implement its pledges: PM: Kuenselonline

October 23, 2019

If the government is the heart, the local governments are the vital organs, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said stressing the importance of the local governments. He urged the gups, who gathered in Bumthang for the annual gups’ conference not to assume that the government is incapable without actually seeing the real potential. Lyonchhen highlighted the different governance model government initiated and claimed some are already implemented. He said it is time to change the five-year plan model by reducing the number of years. “Changing the 12th Plan was difficult, as some of the plans have come from local government.” Click here to read...

CHINA

Hong Kong murder suspect Chan Tong-kai who triggered protest crisis over botched extradition bill released from jail, issues public apology: South China Morning Post

October 23, 2019

A Hong Kong murder suspect whose case sparked the city’s extradition bill crisis made a public apology today as he was released from prison amid an escalating political row with Taiwan. Click here to read...

Cooperation in clean energy to expand, Xi says: People's Daily

October 23, 2019

The country is ready to work with the international community to strengthen all-around energy cooperation, safeguard energy security and address climate change, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday. China will also cooperate with other countries to promote ecological and environmental protection, push sustainable development and bring more benefits to people around the world, Xi said in a congratulatory letter sent to the Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum, which opened on Tuesday in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. The forum runs through Thursday. Click here to read...

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