VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 05, 2021
Taliban Killed 'Possibly 800-900 People' in Kandahar: Tadin Khan: Tolo News

The former police chief of Kandahar and a member of the High Council of the National Reconciliation (HCNR), Tadin Khan, on Wednesday stated that the Taliban "does not believe in human rights," saying the group has killed potentially up to 900 people in Kandahar province in the past month and a half. Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement saying that Taliban forces that are advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government.
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8 Killed, 20 Wounded in Attack on Acting Defense Minister's House: Tolo News

At least eight people, including a woman, were killed and more than 20 others were wounded in a car bomb blast near the residence of Acting Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi on Tuesday night, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The attack took place at around 8pm local time in Shirpoor area in Kabul's District 10 where most of the high-ranking government officials house are located.
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Afghan government asks for special gathering of UNSC on Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar in a telephonic call on Tuesday asked his Indian counterpart to raise the issue of ongoing atrocities in Afghanistan in the UN Security Council as the latter assumed the council’s presidency for the month of August. Muhammad Hanif Atmar asked Jishanker to arrange a special gathering of the UNSC on Afghanistan. The Afghan Foreign minister and Jishanker talked about the escalation of violence in Afghanistan and the violation of human rights by the Taliban and other terror groups.
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AICHR accuses International Community of double standard: The Khaama Press

Afghanistan Independent Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) accused the International community of double standard when it comes to the ongoing situation of Afghanistan. The body asked United Nations, UN Security Council, and International Criminal Court to go beyond issuing statements and get the warring sides in Afghanistan to sit at the negotiating table. Head of AICHR Lalgul Lal said that the International community has been playing a double standard role by merely condemning the atrocities rather than trying for putting an end to the misery pragmatically.
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13,817 COVID-19 cases, 241 deaths recorded in 24 hours- The Financial Express

“Bangladesh has registered 241 new deaths from the COVID-19 illness in a day, taking the toll to 21,638. The caseload climbed to 1,309,910 after 13,817 people tested positive for the disease in the 24 hours to 8:00 am Wednesday, according to the latest government data.”
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Remittance inflow into Bangladesh falls 28pc to $1.87b in July- The Financial Express

“The inflow of remittances plunged by nearly 28 per cent or US$726.72 million to $1.87 billion in July, the first month of the current fiscal year (FY), 2021-22, from $2.60 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank's latest statistics, released on Monday. The amount was $1.94 billion in June 2021.”
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Gender stereotypes and its impact: Atia Sanjida Sushoma- New Age

“One of the issues that affect women’s self-confidence and career is gender stereotypes. According to a 2020 report, about 29 per cent of women are in senior positions worldwide which is shocking in the 21st century. Many laws and policies are made to ensure gender equality, but gender stereotypes still exist.”
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Bangladesh, India planning limited flight operation- Dhaka Tribune

“Bangladesh and India are examining the feasibility of resuming flight operations between the two countries on a very limited scale as the Covid-19 situation is gradually improving in India. An inter-ministerial meeting was held on Wednesday as there was a request from India to examine the situation for the resumption of limited flight operation.”
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India now holds the record for the highest road in the world- Prothom-alo
(বিশ্বে সবচেয়ে উঁচুতে সড়কের রেকর্ড এখন ভারতের)

“India has set a new world record in road construction. The country's Border Roads Organization (BRO) has built roads at an altitude of 19,300 feet in the remote highlands of Ladakh. Bolivia, a South American country, previously held the record for the highest road construction.”
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Vaccine side effects drop significantly during second vaccination drive- Bhutan Times

"In the past two weeks after the second vaccination drive, some 3,850 people reported minor side effects after receiving their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This is a drop of more than twice the earlier figure – with some 9,400 cases – reported during the first national immunization drive.”
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India@75 Export promotion of Indian mangoes in Bhutan- Business Bhutan

“Under the ambit of India@75 ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence, the Embassy of India and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA) organized a virtual Buyer-Seller Meet on July 29 between the Uttar Pradesh State’s Horticultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (HOFED) and the Bhutanese importers in order to promote the export of Indian mangoes to Bhutan, particularly from Uttar Pradesh.”
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Rice self-sufficiency dream! - Business Bhutan

“Instead of growing rice, an increasing number of farmers in Paro and Thimphu these days are growing other crops in their paddy fields, especially vegetables like asparagus and cucumber that fetch better income in the market.”
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Maldives and Indian relationship - Daily Pioneer

Maldives and India are having a relationship crisis owing to media articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the Indian High Commission office in that country. The Indian High commission wrote a letter to the ministry of external affairs that was shared with the Maldivian local media. The commission complained letter about the malicious and increasingly personal attacks that may damage the bilateral relations between India and the Maldives.
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100,000 people in the Greater Male' Area remain unvaccinated - Avas

Over 100,000 people in the Greater Male' Area remain unvaccinated, statistics have shown. The Maldives kicked off its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in February this year. Since then, 271,552 people have completed the full dose of the vaccine while 323,568 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. The government earlier said around 27 percent of the eligible population remain unvaccinated.
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Myanmar shadow government condemns army ruler for taking PM role - Euro News

Members of a shadow government set up by opponents of Myanmar’s coup condemned on Monday the country’s military ruler for taking on the role of prime minister in a caretaker government and said the move was designed to try to win legitimacy. Military ruler Min Aung Hlaing made the announcement in a speech on Sunday, six months after the army seized power by overthrowing an elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
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World Bank’s Proposal: Local Integration Of Rohingyas In Bangladesh Possible? – Eurasiareview

Recently, World Bank prosed Bangladesh regarding the local integration of Rohingyas into Bangladesh community. For this they promised to economic assistance. I want to say the world financial institution that the People of Bangladesh will never agree with this. Although the people of Bangladesh are very liberal and friendly, but there have some reality in this regard. The current government stabilized the country from various heinous criminal activities. But after the intrusion of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar in 2017, Bangladesh is seeing a serious devastation in this regard.
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Myanmar limits foreign hires in banks in troubled financial sector - Reuters

Myanmar is limiting the number of foreign staff allowed to work in domestic banks, a move that industry sources warn could further impede financial development in a country that had seen a boom in foreign investment before the military coup. A letter dated Aug. 2 and posted on the central bank’s website said major banks can now employ no more than 25 foreign staff, 15 at a medium-sized bank and eight at small lenders.
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ULA/AA to establish its own judicial system in Rakhine State - Myanmar now

The United League of Arakan (ULA), the political wing of the Arakan Army (AA), has announced that it will set up a judiciary in Rakhine State. According to a statement published on the social media account of AA deputy commander Brig-Gen Nyo Twan Aung on Sunday, all legal cases, including cases related to violence, theft and land disputes will be referred to the ULA judiciary.
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Investment in Myanmar port not in violation of US sanctions: Adani Ports - Business Standard

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) on Tuesday said that the company believes that its investment in a port in Myanmar is not in violation of any sanction guidelines issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury
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Nepal records highest single-day spike of 4,107 new cases on Wednesday since relaxation of prohibitory orders- The Republica

“August 4: Nepal on Wednesday recorded the highest single-day spike of 4,107 new cases of COVID-19 after the government relaxed the prohibitory orders a few weeks ago.”
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Ex-PM Khanal undergoes kidney transplant in India- Nepal Live Today

“Former Prime Minister and CPN-UML senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal underwent a kidney transplant on Wednesday. Khanal, who has been undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital in India for the past two months, underwent a successful transplant today, his Personal Secretary Krishna Bhattarai said.”
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Japan-donated AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive in Nepal on Saturday, Sunday – Kathmandu Post

“The Japanese-made AstraZeneca vaccine for Nepal is scheduled to be airlifted on August 5 and 6 from Japan to Nepal, expected to arrive in Kathmandu on August 7 and 8 respectively,” the Japanese embassy in Kathmandu said in a statement on Wednesday.
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The broken drum of meritocracy: CK Lal– Kathmandu Post

“Ease of getting the certificate of citizenship is the primary requirement that ensures voting rights. The media and civil society have to be constantly engaged to create awareness. Political parties have to function as platforms of organised action against social injustice. The much-decried "democratic decay" in South Asia owes as much to the dysfunctional participation mechanism as the hubristic layer that rules without accountability in the name of meritocracy. The almost-20 generation born in the early-noughties needs to ponder over ways to mend rather than keep beating the same old drum of conformism.”
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US wants Pakistan to keep Afghan border open for DPs: Dawn

The United States wants Pakistan to keep its borders with Afghanistan open for Afghan refugees, a demand that could strain already tense relations between the two countries.“So, in a place like Pakistan, it’ll be important that their borders remain open,” said a senior State Department official while briefing journalists on the new US refugee admission programme for Afghan nationals.
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Centre plans crackdown on dacoits in Sindh: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday decided to cleanse Sindh of street crimes, lawlessness and dacoits with the help of security forces and other agencies working under the federal government.The prime minister took the decision while presiding over a high-level meeting on security issues of Sindh. Sources in the PM House said the Centre decided to bear down on those involved in extortion, street crime and armed robberies through the four
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PTI's Abdul Qayyum Niazi elected 13th AJK PM: The Express Tribune

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Abdul Qayyum Niazi was elected the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday. Niazi, elected from LA-18 Abbaspur, has become the 13th prime minister of AJK, after securing 33 votes for the slot of Leader of the House in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. The joint candidate of the Opposition, Chaudhry Latif Akbar, secured 15 votes.

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Qureshi asks UN to take note of India's illegal steps in Kashmir: The Express Tribune

On the completion of two years of India’s annexation of Occupied Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the United Nations on Wednesday to play its role in upholding the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. In a letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council and Security General, Qureshi drew attention to the "blatant measures" taken by India on August 5, 2019, to consolidate its occupation of the disputed territory that was followed by additional unlawful step
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Sri Lanka
Foreign Ministers welcomed the opening of the New Zealand High Commission in Colombo -

New Zealand and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministers, Nanaia Mahuta and Dinesh Gunawardena have welcomed the opening of the New Zealand High Commission in Colombo next week. The Foreign Ministers, who met virtually yesterday, spoke about the opening of the High Commission as a major milestone in the bilateral relationship. Both Ministers stressed that New Zealand's diplomatic presence in Sri Lanka is a further affirmation of the significance of the steadily expanding bilateral engagement in recent times.

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All Major Hospitals Filled with COVID-19 Patients - Ceylon Today

Due to a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, some hospitals have reached maximum capacity, and have been forced to declare an emergency. Most hospitals have run out of the facilities available to treat COVID-19 infected people, and sources said due to a sudden spike in people infected with COVID pneumonia the ICU facilities had also become scarce. Hence, health authorities warned the rate of deaths from the illness could increase alarmingly in the coming days and weeks.

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Several policemen injured as IUSF-led protesters topple police barricades - The Island

Several policemen had been injured on Tuesday when undergraduates, led by the Inter-University Students Federation, toppled barricades set up to prevent them from marching on the road leading to Parliament. Among the injured is OIC of the Maharagama police, Chief Inspector H.H. Janakantha, who was operated on at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital. Three of his fingers in his hand were badly mangled.

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US Ambassador’s remarks on CHEC Port City: Investor sets the record straight - The Island

CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd says US Ambassador in Colombo Alaina B. Teplitz has misconstrued facts pertaining to the project. Apropos ‘US won’t prevent its companies from investing in Port City’ in July 30 edition of The Island and other reports based on remarks made by Ambassador Teplitz, while addressing a group of journalists on 29th July 2021, the CHEC Port City Colombo has sent us the following clarification: “Wherein she stated that (quote) “the United States does have one of the companies working on the Port City Development on our sanctions list so doing business with that company may not be something that’s advisable.”

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