India to send stock of essential medicines worth Rs. 88.7 million to Sri Lanka
Colombo Page | 17th May
India has taken steps to send a consignment of essential medicines worth around Rs. 88.7 million to crisis-stricken Sri Lanka as aid.
The state government of Tamil Nadu has taken steps to send this stock of essential medicines to Sri Lanka. It is also reported that Health Minister Ma Subramanian, inspected the drug warehouse in Chennai which stores essential medicines that the State plans to send to Sri Lanka, in the first phase.

Modi in Lumbini: Nepal, India sign 6 agreements
Onlinekhabar | 16th May
Nepal and India have signed six agreements as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lumbini of Nepal on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti on Monday.
Concerned officials of the two countries signed the agreements in an agreement witnessed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Indian PM Modi.

U.S. Withdrawal Biggest Factor in Collapse of Afghan Forces: Watchdog Findings
The Khaama Press | 19th May
The United States decision to withdraw forces and contractors from Afghanistan through an agreement with the Taliban was the biggest factor that led to the collapse of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), watchdog report finds.

SRI LANKA

PM informs Parliament USD 160 mn received from World Bank
The Island | 18th May
The World Bank had provided USD 160 million to Sri Lanka and discussions were underway to consider if the funds could be used for petroleum purchases, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.
Responding to a question raised by SJB MP Dr Harsha de Silva, the Prime Minister said:
“160 million dollars has been received from the World Bank and a grant from the ADB (Asian Development Bank) is also expected.”

China offers shipment of diesel, but no response from Sri Lanka
Daily Mirror | 19th May
Sri Lanka is yet to respond to a Chinese offer of a shipment of diesel to tide over the present crisis of fuel shortage, Daily Mirror learns.
According to an informed source, China has made the offer in terms of emergency assistance. However, Sri Lanka has not yet responded to it.
The country is currently going through a fuel crisis. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced earlier that diesel stocks have been secured, but the country has been down to its last day of petrol.
 

PAKISTAN

With 6% growth rate, Pakistan’s economic size jumps to $383 billion
The Express Tribune | 19th May
Fueled by imports and consumption, Pakistan’s economic growth rate accelerated to 6% during the last year of Imran Khan’s government  – the highest pace in four years – helping to increase the size of the nation’s economy to $383 billion besides jacking up per-capita income.
The provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the year 2021-22 is estimated at 5.97%, announced the Planning Ministry after a meeting of the National Accounts Committee.

PM Desires Further Deepening Of Pakistan-EU Cooperative Ties
The Nation | 19th May
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday stressing the importance Pakistan attaches to its relationship with the European Union reiterated his desire to further deepen and broaden the already existing bilateral cooperative ties with the EU member states.
The Prime Minister expressed these views as he received a telephone call from the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

Rising temperatures trigger water, food insecurity in Pakistan, India
Dawn | 19th May
Rising temperatures, a direct result of climate change, are aggravating water, food, and biodiversity insecurity in Pakistan and India, which may worsen in years to come, said environmentalists based in the region.
An intense heatwave is currently sweeping through the two nuclear-armed neighbors with temperatures hitting 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in Pakistan and 49 degrees Celsius in India.

FM Bilawal Bhutto to embark on maiden US visit on May 18
The News | 16th May
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will travel to New York on a two-day official visit next week at the invitation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Foreign Office said Monday.
Bilawal is visiting New York for the ministerial meeting on the “Global Food Security Call to Action” to be held at the United Nations on May 18, 2022.
 

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan Political Leaders Meet in Turkey
TOLO News | 19th May
A number of Afghan politicians and former Jihadi leaders met in Turkey, a spokesman for the Hizb-e-Junbish Party said, adding that the meeting focused on the current Afghan situation.
The spokesman said the meeting will last for several days.
“Marshal Dostum hosted the political and influential leaders. The meeting was held to exchange views on how to change the situation in Afghanistan,” said Ihsan Niro, a spokesman for the Hizb-e-Junbish, led by Marshal Abdul Rasheed Dostum.

UN Rapporteur Visiting Afghanistan for First Time
Afghanistan Times | 16th May
After August Collapse AT News KABUL: The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, is reportedly scheduled to visit Afghanistan from May 15 to May 26, a a UN statement said.
“Bennett said he would engage with the de facto authorities and a broad range of stakeholders to assess the situation of human rights, including with regard to the implementation of obligations under international human rights instruments ratified by Afghanistan, and to offer assistance to address and prevent violations and abuses,” the statement said.

Outstanding Debt Hit $100M: Afghanistan Energy  
The Khaama Press | 18th May
While the current leadership struggles to shape political and economic crisis in the country, the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) said Afghanistan owes more than $100 million for electricity imported from neighboring nations.
Currently, 73% of Afghan power supply is imported—22% from Iran, 4% from Tajikistan, 17% from Turkmenistan, and 57% from Uzbekistan, according to sources.
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh seeks more support from Singapore, ASEAN
Prothom Alo | 20th May
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has sought more support from Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the early repatriation of Rohingya people from Bangladesh to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, reports news agency UNB.
Masud made the call as Derek Loh, non-resident high commissioner of Singapore to Bangladesh, met him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka Thursday.

US lawmakers keen to cement Washington-Dhaka ties
Bangladesh Post | 19th May
United States (US) Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) and Congressman Steve Chabot (Republican-Ohio) have expressed their willingness to facilitate further strengthening Washington-Dhaka relations.
They said this while having meetings with a four-member delegation from the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh National Parliament led by its Chairman Muhammad Faruk Khan on Wednesday in Washington DC.

Bangladesh-India train services to resume soon
Dhaka Tribune | 20th May
The cross-border train services between Bangladesh and India will resume soon, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Friday.
The Maitree Express service between Dhaka-Kolkata and the Bandhan Express Service between Kolkata-Khulna will resume on 29 May 2022.
The Maitree Express will start its service from Dhaka while the Bandhan Express will start from Kolkata. The services were suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic.
 

BHUTAN

Cross border energy trade redeems current account imbalance in Bhutan
Kuensel | 16th May
Bhutan is the only South Asian country with surplus energy exporting more than 80 percent of its hydroelectricity generation to India.
For Bhutan cross border electricity trade has been initiated with the government of India’s investment in Bhutanese hydropower power projects ensued by the power purchase agreements, guaranteeing the kingdom’s energy market in India.

Towards achieving Zero Waste Bhutan by 2030
Business Bhutan | 17th May
Zero Waste Bhutan App is currently being developed and it will be used for education, awareness and enforcement purposes
The National Environment Commission (NEC) has presently installed a 300kg/cycle biomedical and hazardous waste incinerator at Memelakha in Thimphu and another 300kg/cycle biomedical and hazardous waste incinerator in Phuentsholing Thromde, Chhukha as part of the activities to achieve Zero Waste Society by 2030.
 

MALDIVES

India tops Maldives tourist arrival markets
The Edition | 19th May
India has once again become the market with the most number of tourists to Maldives.
According to the statistics released by the Tourism Ministry, over 80,000 tourists have visited Maldives this year from India so far. This is 13 percent of the over 650,000 tourists that have visited Maldives this year.

Fruitful discussions held on investments in agriculture, mariculture between Maldives, Japan
Raajje | 19th May
Discussions have been held regarding investments in agriculture and mariculture between the governments of Maldives and Japan.
The discussions were held at the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture on Tuesday, between the fisheries minister and Ambassador of Japan to Maldives.
During the meeting, the minister discussed investment opportunities for Japan in the Maldives.

President Solih: Islands not discriminated by population in development
Sun | 19th May
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, has stated that his administration will not discriminate islands based on population and size when facilitating developmental opportunities.
He had remarked this during a meeting held with GA. Kondey Council at the President’s Office this afternoon.
 

MYANMAR

Myanmar Junta Threatens to Downgrade Australia Ties Over Snub
The Irrawaddy | 20th May
Myanmar’s junta on Thursday threatened to downgrade diplomatic ties with Australia after the country said it would not replace its recently departed ambassador to the military-run country.
Western governments have led international criticism of last year’s coup that ousted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration and unleashed a violent crackdown on dissent, with some imposing sanctions and meeting with opposition figures.

Myanmar junta accuses Malaysia of ‘abetting terrorism’ by meeting National Unity Government 
Myanmar Now | 20th May
Myanmar’s military council issued multiple objections to a meeting held last week between personnel from the Malaysian government and the National Unity Government (NUG), a junta spokesperson said in a press conference on Thursday.
On May 14, Malaysia’s foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah met with Zin Mar Aung, who holds the same position within the NUG—a cabinet formed and endorsed by elected lawmakers ousted in the February 2021 coup.
 

NEPAL

Narendra Modi’s religious diplomacy, powered by agreement on energy
The Kathmandu Post | 17th May
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday concluded an hours-long Nepal visit, laying stress on further enhancing bilateral ties, just while he also sent a political message as he continued his religious diplomacy.
Modi arrived in Lumbini on Monday morning on the occasion of the 2566th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.

Nepal reports first African swine fever outbreak, OIE says
The Himalayan Times | 19th May
Nepal has reported its first cases of African swine fever, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday.
Six outbreaks of the virus were recorded among farm pigs in the region around the capital Kathmandu, with 934 animals dying of the disease out of 1,364 infections, the OIE said, citing a report from the Nepalese authorities.

 

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