Neighborhood News Digest – 06 December 2023
Aarushi Gupta


World Bank to Resume Projects in Afghanistan: Ministry- Tolo News

The Ministry of Finance in Afghanistan said that the World Bank will resume around 45 incomplete projects in the country. The payment for some projects which stopped following the collapse of the previous Afghan government will be completed by April 2024. Click here to read

China says Afghan Taliban must reform before full diplomatic ties-Dawn

China on Tuesday said the Afghanistan’s Taliban government will need to introduce political reforms, improve security and mend relations with its neighbours before receiving full diplomatic recognition. China urged Kabul to resolutely combat all types of terrorist forces, live in harmony with all countries around the world, especially neighbouring countries, and integrate with the international community at an early date. Click here to read

After long banning polio campaigns, Taliban declares war on the disease-The Washington Post

Two years after the Taliban took power, vaccinators in the country’s northeast, the center of the poliovirus outbreak, search cars for unvaccinated children at roadside checkpoints manned by Taliban soldiers. During its 20-year armed campaign, the Taliban repeatedly banned door-to-door immunization campaigns, helping to make Afghanistan one of only two countries where naturally acquired poliovirus is still endemic. Click here to read

UN Chief describes Afghanistan as a ‘Forever Emergency’-The Khama Press

The UNHCR representative for Afghanistan, Leonard Zulu, describes the situation in Afghanistan as a “forever emergency” exacerbated by a government isolating itself and undermining human rights. Leonard Zulu, emphasized that the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan has the potential to recur due to a funding shortfall. Click here to read


Govt likely to retreat from its quest for higher growth - The Daily Star

The economy is perhaps slowing, not sprinting. And the government is likely to lower its economic growth target by one percentage point for the fiscal year ending in June, veering from its quest for a higher trajectory in times of austerity. The fiscal coordination council under the finance ministry may revise the ambitious GDP and inflation targets that were fixed in the national budget in June, considering the existing economic trend. The council will meet tomorrow. Despite the raging Russia-Ukraine war, the instability in the foreign exchange market and dwindling forex reserves, a GDP growth goal of 7.5 percent and an inflation target of 6 percent were set for 2023-24. Click here to read

COP28: Bangladesh awarded in ‘Innovation in Developing Finance’ category – The Daily Star

During the ongoing climate conference, COP28 in Dubai, Bangladesh has secured the "GCA LLA Champions Awards" in the category of Innovation in Developing Finance. GCA and LLA stands for Global Center on Adaptation and Locally Led Adaptation. The initiative is carried out under the Local Government Initiative on Climate Change (LoGIC) Project, a joint endeavour implemented by the Local Government Division, supported by the European Union, Sweden, Denmark, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and United Nations Development Programme, said a statement of the UNDP Bangladesh. Click here to read

Al-Led 14-Party Alliance: Seat-sharing stuck with JSD, Workers Party – The Daily Star

The decision on Awami League's seat-sharing with the 14-party alliance partners seems to be stalled over the demands from Bangladesh Workers Party and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD). According to sources, the AL wants to share two seats with each of the parties, but Workers Party and the JSD seek to have the same number of seats they were given in the 2018 national election. Currently, both the Workers Party and the JSD have three MPs each. Click here to read


Bhutan develops a high-integrity carbon market registry – Kuensel

With the launch of Bhutan’s National Carbon Registry yesterday, the country can now collaborate with the World Bank climate warehouse. The registry was unveiled at the ongoing 28th Conference of Parties (COP28), attended by officials from the World Bank, Singapore, and the government of Bhutan. Click here to read

DNT’s electoral setback linked to unpopular decisions? – Kuensel

Securing the fourth highest votes among the five parties, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) is out of the race for the National Assembly general election 2023-24. The party won only two seats from 47 constituencies, South Thimphu, the constituency of the party’s president and former prime minister, Dr Lotay Tshering, and Khatoed-Laya in Gasa. Five years ago, in 2018, DNT formed the government by winning 30 constituencies. Click here to read


PO provided inaccurate information regarding the co-group of India-Maldives: Pres.- Raajje

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has stated that the information provided by the President's Office, regarding the India-Maldives officials' Core group, was inaccurate. The President stated that the information would not be provided by the President's Office, and continued by saying that he would be presiding over discussions about the presence of Indian military personnel during the group meetings. Click here to read

VP Hussain departs for China to attend China-Indian Ocean Region Forum- Avas

China is set to hold the second conference of China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation (CIORFDC), an organized by the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA)initiative to bring together several countries in the region to solidify its influence in the strategic waters adjacent to India's backyard. Maldives, under the presidency of Ibrahim Solih skipped the last year’s meeting. Although this year Maldivian Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef has departed for China, on an official visit to attend CIORFDC. The Forum is scheduled to be held from December 7–8, 2023 in Kunming, Yunnan Province in China. Click here to read


Myanmar junta accused of chemical warfare - Dhaka Tribune

The Arakan Army (AA), a member of the Brotherhood Alliance engaged in Operation 1027 in northern Shan State, alleged that Myanmar’s junta deployed chemical weapons in Chin State since Sunday. The AA, targeting regime hilltop outposts in Traunaing and Hnonebuu villages bordering Rakhine State, claimed that “chemical warfare agents” were dropped from Y-8 and Y-12 aircraft on Sunday evening, the Irrawaddy reported. Click here to read

Myanmar central bank to no longer set forex rates - Malay mail

Myanmar’s central bank will no longer set exchange rates for foreign currencies and will allow banks and licensed dealers to decide their own rates, state media reported today, in a rare easing of some of its tight controls. The report gave no reason for today's decision by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) and no notice of the policy change was posted on the CBM’s website. Calls to the CBM went unanswered early today. Click here to read

China raises stakes in cyber scam crackdown in Myanmar, though loopholes remain - CTV News

China is ramping up a crackdown on online scams operated by criminal syndicates in border areas of military-ruled Myanmar in an effort that has included a shootout, confession videos and national TV broadcasts of arrests of high-profile suspects. Click here to read


Nepal court convicts 2 for their involvement in planting bomb on Indian train - Deccan Herald

The two are identified as Samsul Hoda and Brij Kishor Giri, according to Special Court’s spokesperson Dhan Bahadur Karki. The court gave the verdict in a case filed by the Money Laundering Department against the two Nepali nationals. Neither the details of the incident, nor the verdict have yet been made public. The court will pronounce the sentence against the duo in the next hearing, the court official said. Click here to read

Nepal and other countries affected by climate change should collaborate to mitigate its impact: President Poudel - Devi Discourse

Nepal and other countries affected by climate change should collaborate to avail benefits from financial and technical assistance aimed at mitigating its impact, President Ram Chandra Poudel said here on Tuesday. Poudel was speaking at an event organised to mark the 40th anniversary of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Click here to read

US returns $1 million in stolen antiquities to Nepal - Wion News

The United States has returned four antiquities worth $1 million to Nepal, including a pair of gilt copper masks representing a Hindu deity, following anti-trafficking operations. Click here to read


Govt freezes monetised cost of free units of electricity – Dawn

The power division has notified a freeze on monetised cost of free electricity units to all the senior employees of power companies and the Water and Po­­w­er Development Authority (Wapda) at the existing level for future. In a notification issued here on Tuesday, the power division said the federal cabinet had approved monetisation of free electricity units admissible to the employees of Wapda, ex-Wapda companies, including distribution companies (Discos), generation companies (Gencos), National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Power Information Technology Company (PITC). Click here to read

Three children among four injured in blast at Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province – The Hindu

At least four people, including three children, were injured on Tuesday, December 5, when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded here in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to the police, the blast occurred around 9.10 a.m. near a school in the provincial capital of Peshawar, Geo News reported. At least four kilogrammes of explosives, planted in a “cemented block” on the side of the road, were used in the blast. Click here to read

Pakistan's election body asks government to deploy army for general election day – Hindustan Times

Pakistan, which is facing both political and economic instability, is going to the polls on February 8. Pakistan's election commission has asked the government to deploy army troops to maintain peace on the day of the general election, citing the shortage of 2.77 lakh police personnel to provide security during the polling. Click here to read

Sri Lanka

SLAF invests USD 36 Mn to acquire two new Y-12IV aircraft from China – Daily Mirror Online

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) took delivery of two brand-new Harbin Y-12IV aircraft yesterday, marking a significant milestone in the modernization and expansion of its fleet. Manufactured by Harbin Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. in China, the acquisition of these state-of-the-art aircraft, at a cost of USD 36 million, is expected to play a pivotal role in promoting tourism within Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Air Force began exploring the possibility of acquiring new Y-12IV aircraft in 2017. After a thorough evaluation process, a contract was signed on December 16, 2019 between the Sri Lankan Government and the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation. These aircraft will be inducted to the No. 8 "Light Transport" Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force. Click here to read

Government planning to enable women to head security forces: State Minister – Daily Mirror Online

State Minister of Defense Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said that the government is planning to enable women to head the Army, Navy and Air Force. Making his remarks in Parliament, he said that a woman can only reach the rank of major in the Army and that the government is planning to change military laws to allow women to get promoted and in time head the three forces. Click here to read

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