Kabul calls for immediate talks with Taliban
Afghanistan Times | 16th June
The government calls on the Taliban to immediately join peace negotiations, while the insurgent group insists on the release of the remaining 2,000 prisoners of them in government jails.
Javid Faisal, Spokesman for the National Security Council, said that the process of prisoner release continues, urging that it should not obstruct the beginning of peace negotiations.
“The process of Taliban prisoner release is continuing according to presidential decree. But the face to face talks with Taliban group needs to begin without any conditions and delays so that we can reach a nationwide and durable peace,” Faisal said.
Navy needs to be strengthened further to protect sea areas: PM
Bangladesh Post | 18th June
Mentioning that Bangladesh doesn’t prefer war rather want peace, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Navy needs to be further strengthened with modern technology based knowledge to protect the country’s vast sea area and its resources, reports BSS.
“We have a vast sea area—we need to strengthen our naval force further to defend the sea areas and its resources,” she said while commissioning a ship of Bangladesh Navy “BNS Sangram” from her official residence Ganabhaban here through a video conference this morning.
Indian government greenlights import of medical equipment
Maldives Times | 17th June
The Maldivian High Commission in India, revealed that the Indian government approved the transport of medical equipment purchased by the State Trading Organisation (STO).
The delivery of the equipment to the Maldives was delayed due to border closures implemented by India to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The shipment includes COVID-19 testing equipment, facemasks, bag valve masks (BVM) for ventilators, tubing used in oxygen therapy and equipment for diabetes testing.
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement: A Resistance on the Face of Authoritarianism
The Khaama Press | 19th June
Pakistan is home to approximately 30 million Pashtuns. Pashtuns account for 15 percent of the overall population of Pakistan, which exceeds the 200 million mark and constitutes a minority. Despite being a minority, Pakistani Pashtuns have always played a constructive role in the economic, cultural, political and even military fields of the country. They never hesitated from flaunting their patriotic feelings towards Pakistan. However, this patriotism was never received well, or at least it never saw a similar type of untainted payback from the other side. Wrong policies by the Pakistani state towards its Pashtun population is what caused the uprising of the dynamic Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).
Afghanistan covid-19 cases surplus 26k
Afghanistan Times | 16th June
Afghanistan has recorded 793 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours — the Afghan health ministry said that the total tally has reached to 26,310 cases across the country.
The Ministry of Public Health said that out of 1640 suspected samples, 793 were reported positive during this period.
According to MoPH 460 positive cases registered in Kabul, 13 in Kandahar, 28 in Paktia, 59 in Takhar, 34 in Logar, 34 Baghlan, 58 in Bamyan, six in Parwan, two in Nimroz, four in Kunduz, 13 in Laghman, six in Helmand, five in Panjshir, 61 in Badakhshan and 10 in Zabul provinces.
Motive behind Haibatullah’s decision to appoint Mullah Yaqoob as Taliban military chief
The Khaama Press | 18th June
The Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has appointed mullah Yaqqoob, the elder son of Mullah, as the military chief of the group, with an aim to further strengths his hold on all affairs ahead of the key negotiations with the Afghan leaders, it has been reported.
A senior Taliban leader confirmed the this during an interview with the Daily Times of Pakistan.
The Taliban leader said members of the powerful “Rehbari Shura” or leadership council is also discussing a suggestion to form a new team for the intra-Afghan dialogue.
Canada to remain engaged in helping govt overcome crises
Dhaka Tribune | 18th June
Canada's Minister of International Development Karina Gould has recalled the excellent bilateral development cooperation between Bangladesh and Canada over the years and appreciated Bangladesh‘s contribution to this relationship.
"Canada and Bangladesh have a very long-standing relationship and deep friendship. We have worked in development (area) for a very long time," she said in an exclusive interview with UNB’s Director Nahar Khan.
Bangladesh virus cases near 100,000 as new infections top 4000 in 24 hrs
Prothom Alo | 17th June
Forty three more patients died of coronavirus and 4,008 people were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
Additional directorate general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Nasima Sultana disclosed this during an online briefing on Wednesday.
She also said as many as 1,305 people have died of coronavirus while 98,489 people have been infected so far.
She added a total of 551,244 samples have been tested so far.
SMCL pushes DHI financial performance
Kuensel | 19th June
Besides revenue from hydropower, which accounted for about 81 percent of the Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) group’s revenue, it was the State Mining Corporation Limited (SMCL) that helped DHI achieve an “excellent year” in terms of financial performance in 2019.
In 2019, SMCL contributed more than Nu 235M in taxes, mineral rent and royalty. During the year, SMCL also paid more than Nu 270M to members of the community in the form of hiring, transportation charges and daily wages.
45% Debt of Maldives to be Paid to China: World Bank
Maldives Times | 18th June
A report published by the World Bank States, at the end of 2020, the debt beard by the Maldivian government is at 78.9% of GDP and about 45% of this debt is to be paid to China.
Whilst the debt amount of the government is increasing in the ongoing 2020, A report reading “Maldives Development Update Stormy Seas” states, the accounts due to other countries might as well increase up to 219.2 million USD. And 45% of this money is to be paid to China Export-Import Bank (EXIM), China Industrial and Commercial Bank, and China Development Bank.
President Solih extends partial reopening of government till June 30
The Edition | 18th June
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, extended the partial reopening of government institutions from June 21 to 30.
During this period, government offices will be open from 0900hrs to 1300hrs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Despite the partial reopening, general members of the public are not to be allowed inside any government building.
According to the President's Office, government institutions will only operate within the specified hours to complete essential tasks.
AA Attacks Won’t Destabilize Rakhine Administration nor Prompt Military Takeover: Myanmar Govt
The Irrawaddy | 17th June
The Myanmar government said that attacks by the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State neither pose a threat to the administration of the state nor will they cause the military to take administrative control over Rakhine.
“The Rakhine State government is working hard for peace and for its administrative mechanisms to function in the [conflict] area,” said U Myint Than, director-general of the Ministry of the Office of the Union Government at a press conference in Naypyitaw.
Established in 2009 in Laiza, Kachin State, the AA announced in 2014 its long-term plan to return to its homeland of Rakhine State, saying it would install its own government in Rakhine.
Myanmar election body to post voters list online
Myanmar Times | 16th June
The Union Election Commission (UEC) said it will post the electoral roll online to make it easier for people to check their names and polling stations before they vote.
The move was aimed at generating more public interest in the November general elections, which would be Myanmar’s second free election after more than half a century of military rule.
U Hla Thein, UEC chair, said the UEC has sought the help of experts in developing a mobile application that is easily accessible and would avoid crowding at polling stations by people checking their names on the voters list.
India-Myanmar Border Town Opposes Quarantine Center Amid COVID-19 Fears
The Irrawaddy | 16th June
Civil society organizations and residents in Sagaing Region’s Tamu Township on the Indian border have objected to plans to use a sports hall as a quarantine center for returnees from India.
More than 100 migrants, who have been stranded in the Indian state of Manipur by COVID-19, are due to return soon through the Tamu-Moreh border.
The Tamu Township authorities planned to place returnees in the sports hall for 21 days.
ADB, UNICEF join hands to supply medical equipment
The Himalayan Times | 18th June
United Nations Children’s Fund has delivered protective medical equipment and supplies to Nepal for protection of health workers.
The delivery was made possible by the financial contribution from the Asian Development Bank, said a joint press release issued by UNICEF and ADB. The USD 300,000 grant provided by the ADB to the UNICEF was funded for the purchase of emergency medical supplies and equipment in support of Nepal’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diplomatic talks with India unlikely in the aftermath of the clash between India and China
The Kathmandu Post | 19th June
Days after a fatal clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the disputed Galwan Valley left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead, the world continues to closely follow developments. Nepal has significant interests of its own in a peaceful diplomatic solution to the tensions, but it also has its own border disputes with India and any hope of resolving the issue early through diplomatic talks might just have vanished, say analysts.
Strategic experts and former ministers believe that India will likely focus all of its attention on first settling the dispute with China, which will lead to Nepal’s demands for talks falling by the wayside.
China provides health materials worth millions
The Himalayan Times | 16th June
Tibet Autonomous Region under the Chinese government gave health materials worth millions for the control and prevention of novel coronavirus to Mustang for the second time yesterday.
Tibet’s Jhomba County had provided health materials to Mustang. Earlier, Mustang District Disaster Management Committee had sought health materials from the Tibet government to control and contain COV- ID-19 in the district.
CPEC Phase-II to uplift infrastructure, says Asim Bajwa
The Nation | 19th June
Chairman China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Lt. Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa on Thursday said that timely completion of the CPEC Phase-II will uplift the infrastructure of the country.
He said this while addressing a signing ceremony of Business Cooperation Agreements in various fields between leading Chinese entrepreneurs and Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) in Taxila.
The Chairman CPEC Authority said that around 1870km railway track will be revamped in the CPEC phase-II, dry ports will be established and underpasses will be constructed at every railway crossing.
AIIB approves $500m loan for Pakistan’s Covid-19 response
Dawn | 19th June
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $500 million loan to help Pakistan effectively manage the Covid-19 outbreak and reduce its immediate social and economic impacts.
In statement, the board of directors of the Beijing-based lending agency said the loan under Covid-10 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) programme was a quick disbursing window with a total allocation of $5-10 billion created by the AIIB to co-fianance immediate needs of the member countries with the support of multilateral lending agencies like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Govt prints ‘shorter’ version of budget-in-brief
The Express Tribune | 19th June
Days after presenting budget in parliament, the Ministry of Finance has printed a second but “shorter” version of the budget-in-brief and excluded revised budget estimates for the outgoing fiscal year from the most sought-after document.
The government has also not printed the Foreign Economic Assistance 2020-21 budget book for the first time. It used to carry project-wise details of foreign loans and grants.
Sri Lanka President seeks to attract new investments from EU
Colombo Page | 18th June
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with the EU ambassadors at the Presidential Secretariat for discussions centered on rebuilding the economy after passing the COVID-19 crisis.
President Rajapaksa explained to the envoys of the European Union countries that the country was able to quickly deploy the public health system to address the health threat caused by the pandemic and the Public Health Inspectors with the support of the Police and Security Forces were able to engage in contact tracing accurately.
COVID - 19 prevention activities: Japan grants Yen 800mn to Sri Lanka
Daily Mirror | 18th June
The of Japan has given its consent to award an aid of Japanese Yen 800 million (approximately Rupees 1,360 million) for the supply of medical equipment required for strengthening the activities of prevention of COVID -19 pandemic situation within Sri Lanka.
This will be awarded under Japanese non - project grant scheme, announced at the cabinet news briefing held today.
Medical equipment such as MRI scanners, CT Scanners, Bedside X - Ray Systems, Central Monitors, Bedside Monitors and Defibrillators etc can be supplied under that.
Chinese President applauds Sri Lanka’s successful fight against COVID-19 - PMD
Colombo Page | 18th June
The Acting Ambassador for China Hu Wei met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (18) at the Presidential Secretariat. He brought a letter from President Xi Jinping wishing President Gotabaya for his upcoming birthday on June 20, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
The Chinese delegation also conveyed President Xi’s deep appreciation of Sri Lanka’s successful efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, PMD said in a media release.