PM vows to fight till last ball, will address nation today
The Express Tribune | 7th April
Hours after the Supreme Court decision that set aside National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling, ordering vote on opposition’s no-confidence motion on Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would address the nation on Friday (today) after chairing a cabinet meeting.
Writing on microblogging website, Twitter, the prime minister said that he had also summoned a meeting of the parliamentary party meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He added that he would continue to fight till the last ball.

India delivers two shipments of 76,000 MT fuel to Sri Lanka in 24 hours
Colombo Page | 6th April
As Sri Lanka’s fuel shortages continued, India has delivered two shipments of fuel to Sri Lanka in the last 24 hours under Indian assistance through Line of Credit.
The High Commission of India in Colombo said in a Twitter post that in the past 24 hours, India has sent 36,000 tonnes of petrol and 40,000 tonnes of diesel to Sri Lanka bringing up the total supply of fuel under Indian assistance to 270,000 tonnes.

Intl Reactions Remain High on Girl’s Education in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Times | 6th April
The ban on girls access to school above grade six is still facing widespread reaction from various countries and organizations.
The UN Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) called the ban on girls’ access to education “shocking” and said Afghanistan is the only country where girls are being denied access to education.
The EU, Human Rights Watch as well as Ireland mission to the UN also voiced concerns over the Islamic Emirate’s recent decision to prevent girls in grade 7-12 from going to school.

 

SRI LANKA

President appoints a team of economic experts to advise on debt crisis
Colombo Page | 6th April
Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a team of eminent economic and fiscal experts as Members of the Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability, the President’s Media Division announced.
Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Former Director, Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat; Prof. Shanta Devarajan, Professor of the Practice of Development, Georgetown University and Former Chief Economist, World Bank and Dr Sharmini Coorey, Former Director, Institute of Capacity Development of the IMF Institute, and Former Deputy Director, Africa Department, IMF have been appointed as the Members of the Advisory Group.

Unprecedented controversy: PUCSL bypasses govt., seeks Indian help to ensure power supply
The Island | 8th April
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has directly sought Indian assistance to ensure an uninterrupted power supply during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of the PUCSL has written to Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay requesting 37,000 MT of diesel on April 10 or 11th through the recently arranged Indian credit line in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

UN suspends Russia from Human Rights Council: SL abstains from voting
Daily Mirror | 7th April
The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council after high-profile allegations of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers during the war in Ukraine.
The voting result was 93 in favor, 24 against and 58 abstentions including Sri Lanka.
A draft of the resolution says the General Assembly may "suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights."
 

PAKISTAN

Economy faces growth challenges amid global price spike
Dawn | 6th April
With expenditures overshooting for interest payments, vaccines and subsidies in 2021-22, the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday highlighted a series of challenges to growth prospects including international commodity prices and global economic slowdown, leading to inflationary pressures over the remaining period of the current fiscal year.
This is the crux of the Mid-Year Budget Review 2021-22 submitted to the National Assembly as required under section 34(1) of the Public Finance Management Act 2019 before it was dissolved in controversial circumstances.

Russia slams US for ‘shameless interference’ in Pakistan’s internal affairs
The News | 5th April
Reacting to reports about a “foreign conspiracy’ to change the regime in Pakistan through a no-confidence motion, Russia on Tuesday slammed Washington for “another attempt of shameless interference” in the internal affairs of Pakistan for its “own selfish purposes”.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation spokesperson Maria Zakharova noted that the ongoing political situation in Pakistan “leaves no doubt” that the US intended to punish "disobedient" Prime Minister Imran Khan.
 

AFGHANISTAN

UN’s 20th package of $32M arrives in Kabul, total amounts to $640M
The Khaama Press | 6th April
Afghanistan’s Central Bank-Da Afghanistan Bank- in a statement said that the United Nation’s 20th package of $32 million arrived in Kabul on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.
The press release added that the money was delivered to Afghanistan International Bank (AIB).
The cash is part of the humanitarian assistance pledged by the UN last year to address the lack of cash that led to a spike in the prices of food items and fuel.

New Zealand Fund to Support Afghan Farmers: FAO
TOLO News | 4th April
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that New Zealand is funding a $2 million project of the organization to provide humanitarian assistance in the form of agricultural inputs and cash assistance to 94,500 vulnerable rural people from farming communities in Afghanistan.
Farmers of the provinces of Kunduz, Nangarhar, Parwan and Wardak will benefit from the funding.

Unprecedented rise in measles outbreak, 25k Afghan children contracted
The Khaama Press | 5th April
As Afghanistan is suffering from the worst economic situation and mass poverty, the outbreak of infectious measles is another headache that is contributing to the suffering of vulnerable Afghans.
The Public Health Ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said that 25,000 children have contracted the disease during the first three months of 2022 with 12,000 cases recorded only in past one month.
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh will not face economic crisis: PM Hasina
Prothom Alo | 6th April
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the parliament that there is no possibility of economic crisis like that in Sri Lanka as the economic base of Bangladesh is very strong.
"We're very much aware," she said as deputy opposition leader GM Quader apprehended a Sri Lanka-like situation while delivering his speech in parliament.
The prime minister responded to this point while giving the valedictory speech of the 16th session in the 11th parliament with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

Dhaka, Washington agree to boost ties
Bangladesh Post | 6th April
Bangladesh and the US have discussed a number of issues including enhancing trade and investment, withdrawing sanctions on RAB and extraditing Bangabandhu's killer Rashed Chowdhury to take the bilateral relations further forward.
Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held the bilateral meeting on Monday in Washington DC, on the very day of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the countries.

Bangladesh opens visa center in India’s Siliguri
Dhaka Tribune | 7th April
The authorities inaugurated a new centre for processing applications for Bangladeshi visas in Siliguri.
The office, located at International Market on Sevoke Road near Panitanki More, will be run by the Kolkata-based DU Digital Global, reports The Telegraph.
The move comes amid plans made by the authorities of the two counties to start a train service between Dhaka and Siliguri.

Empower children to ensure climate justice: speakers
The Daily Star | 7th April
Children and youth affected by climate change induced disasters are the future agents who will ensure climate justice for the world, said speakers at an event yesterday.
The event titled "Climate Change, Children and Violence" was hosted by Unicef, World Vision and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at a Dhaka hotel.
 

BHUTAN

Private sector development for economic recovery: ADO
Kuensel | 7th April
With the economic recovery, Bhutan has to create a conducive environment for the private sector development, while at the same time reducing dependence on the hydropower sector and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 released.
The ADO report estimated Bhutan’s gross domestic product (GDP) to moderately grow by 3.5 percent in 2021, as economic activity picked up following the government’s stimulus measures and steps to ease supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

Prices of consumer goods and services increased by 5.32% in February
Business Bhutan | 7th April
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of February 2022 increased by 5.32% compared to the same month the previous year, according to the CPI Bulletin for February 2022 released by the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) recently.
The inflation rate is 0.02% points lower than the rate recorded in the previous month of January, which was 6.03%.
 

MALDIVES

State announces several developmental projects through India's grant aid
The Edition | 7th April
The government of Maldives announced initiating several developmental projects in various atolls of the country through India's grant aid.
Earlier, India announced that it was extending a grant worth MVR27 million which will be distributed towards various developmental projects in a total of six different atolls.
The projects and India's decision of providing the grant were confirmed during the most recent visit by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Maldives neutral to suspending Russia from UN Human Rights Council
Sun | 8th April
Maldives on neutral grounds in vote cast in the vote to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
During the meeting of the UN general assembly held on Thursday, with 93 members voting in favour, Russia was suspended from the council for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
While the majority voted to suspend Russia, 24 votes were cases against this and 58 countries, including Maldives abstained.

State revenue reaches MVR 7 Billion
Raajje | 7th April
Ministry of Finance revealed that the state has received MVR seven Billion as revenue, so far this year.
Statistics revealed by the Ministry of Finance show that the state had earned MVR 7.2 Billion by the end of March 2022, compared to MVR 5.6 Billion received as revenue from 01 st January to 31 March in 2021.
 

MYANMAR

March Deadliest Month This Year for Myanmar Military Amid Fierce Fighting in Karen
The Irrawaddy | 7th April
March turned out to be the deadliest and most miserable month so far this year for Myanmar junta troops, as more than 400 soldiers have been killed in more than 500 clashes with ethnic Karen fighters in the country’s south.
The Karen National Union (KNU) said in a statement on Tuesday that fighting broke out between its armed wings and regime troops every day last month in the areas it controls in Karen State, adding that there were 510 clashes in total with 429 deaths.

Junta plans to bring fire department, Red Cross and Buddhist network into new ‘security force’
Myanmar Now | 7th April
A leaked order recently issued by the military outlines plans to use members of the fire department and the Myanmar Red Cross in the junta’s ongoing battles against armed resistance.
The March 25 directive from the military council’s planning and finance ministry stated that military chief Min Aung Hlaing had delivered instructions to form a “public security force” made up of retired military officers and police, and members of militias, fire departments and the Red Cross. 
 

NEPAL

Once reluctant, India now open to power trade to and from Nepal, and beyond
Kathmandu Post | 5th April
Purusottam Ojha, a former commerce secretary, still remembers the scorn from some Indian officials over Nepal’s proposal on a transit arrangement for energy, especially for landlocked countries, about two decades ago.
During the ministerial meeting of the landlocked countries in Almaty, Kazakhstan in August 2003, Nepal had floated a separate proposal that transmission lines be included in the transit arrangement as a privilege to the landlocked countries.

India to provide fund for school, health post buildings
The Himalayan Times | 7th April
The Embassy of India and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Government of Nepal, signed three memorandums of understanding today.
The first memorandum of understanding was with Duhun Rural Municipality, Darchula, for the construction of Janabikash Secondary School, the second MoU was signed with Naugad Rural Municipality, Darchula, for construction of Earcoat Health Post building, and the third MoU was signed with Galchhi Rural Municipality, Dhading, for Maheshfaat Irrigation Project, respectively.

ADB projects 3.9% economic growth in Nepal this fiscal year
Onlinekhabar | 6th April
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected Nepal’s economic growth (gross domestic product growth) rate to be 3.9 per cent for the fiscal year 2021/22.
In its latest update made public on Wednesday, the bank projected the rate much lower than the government’s 7 per cent target. However, it is equal to the World Bank’s projection.
Growth is expected to rebound on the back of the ongoing vaccination campaign against the Covid pandemic to control infections, fostering a gradual normalisation in economic activity and a steady path to higher growth supported by accommodative macroeconomic policies, the bank says.
 

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