Daily Briefs

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The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #22, 26 June 2023, Monday

Continuing Instability in the Maldives 

India-US joint statement on 'deteriorating situation in Myanmar' denounced by the Junta

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #22, 26 June 2023, Monday
By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Melvin George, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H

News of the Day: Continuing Instability in the Maldives 
The Democrats are to be registered in the coming week
On 25 June, the Election Commission's Vice Chairman Ismail Habeeb said that The Democrats would receive their permit to form the party on 2 July. He said that the decision was made after individual discussions with the commissioners. Previously, the decision to grant a permit was halted as three of the five Election Commissioners boycotted the meeting held to vote on the matter. ("
EC to register Democrats next week," Sun.mv, 25 June 2023)

MP Abdulla Jabir rejoins MDP
On 25 June, Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir signed for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in a ceremony held in Malé. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih told the reporters: "I have no doubt he will contribute to securing a victory in the upcoming presidential election." In response, Jabir said he had never been "far from MDP," and rejoined MPD to ensure President Solih's victory for a second term. ("
President: Jabir's support will make for easier election victory," Sun.mv, 25 June 2023)

The Democrats, the Opposition coalition to work together 
On 25 June, The Democrats and the opposition coalition parties - the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People's National Congress (PNC) announced their decision to form an alliance and held the first official meeting. The motive behind the alliance is to end the rule of President Ibrahim Mohamed. After the meeting, MP for Central Henveiru Ali Azim, who is also the representative of The Democrats in the coalition, addressed the press: "We will do everything to end the government." ("
The Democrats, Opposition coalition form alliance,Sun.mv, 25 June 2023)

The anti-corruption body takes control of the Pashupatinath temple over claims of missing gold
On 25 June, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the anti-corruption body of Nepal, took control of the Pashupatinath temple to probe the claims that 10 kgs of gold were missing from the Jalanari ornament. Last year, a new gold Jalahari ornament was installed around the Shiva Linga during the Maha Shivaratri festival. The anti-graft body has taken the Jalahari to investigate the same. Entry into the temple was barred since 1530 hrs. ("Nepal's CIAA begins probe over missing gold report in Pashupatinath temple; devotees barred from entry," The Hindu, 25 June 2023)

Nepal's territory not allowed to be encroached upon, says the Foreign Minister
On 26 June, responding to queries by the MPs during a discussion at the parliament, Foreign Minister NP Saud stated that not an inch of Nepal's territory will be allowed to be encroached upon. He added that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's recent visit to India resulted in an agreement to resolve border issues and prevent encroachment. Minister Saud highlighted the positive outcomes of the visit, including progress on a long-term power trade agreement and discussions on electricity export. Additionally, Minister Saud emphasized the need for a unified foreign policy among all parties in the interest of national welfare. ("Nepal's territory not allowed to be encroached upon: Foreign Minister Saud," Nepal news, 26 June 2023)

Kushiyara River: Bangladesh to soon get water from India 
On 24 June, the representatives of India and Bangladesh, in a meeting in Assam, discussed water sharing of the Kushiyara River. An interim agreement was signed last year on water sharing. The officials stated that water from the Kushiyara River will flow through the Sylhet district of Bangladesh during the dry season. The Kushiyara river is a transboundary river of Bangladesh and India. ("Bangladesh to get water from Kushiyara river soon," Time of India, 26 June 2023)

Illegal drugs worth USD 446 million destroyed
On 26 June, marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, authorities in Myanmar destroyed over $446 million worth of illegal drugs that had been seized across the country. The drug burn coincided with warnings from UN experts about the rising production of opium, heroin, and methamphetamine in Myanmar, posing a threat to markets in South and Southeast Asia. Myanmar is a significant producer and exporter of methamphetamine, opium, and heroin, ranking second only to Afghanistan. The country's political and economic instability, coupled with armed conflicts, have contributed to its long-standing drug production history. ("Myanmar burns $446 million worth of seized drugs as illicit trade booms in Southeast Asia," AP News, 26 June 2023)

India-US joint statement on 'deteriorating situation in Myanmar' denounced
On 26 June, The Irrawaddy reported that Myanmar's junta has denounced the joint statement issued by US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to the "deteriorating situation in Myanmar." The statement expressed concern, calling for the release of political prisoners and a transition to a federal democratic system. However, India is one of the few countries to maintain relations with the regime. The US has imposed sanctions on Myanmar's Ministry of Defense and state-owned banks. The junta claims no unlawful detentions and seeks international understanding. ("Junta Condemns Indo-US Statement on Deteriorating Situation in Myanmar," The Irrawaddy, 26 June 2023)

Airlines management responsible for mass resignations: ALPGSL Secretary 
On 25 June, Captain Manil Abeyaratne, Secretary of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL), issued a statement, blaming the top Sri Lankan Airlines management for over 70 pilots resigning during the 2022-2023 period. He stated that "there have been serious and oftentimes critical issues which have not been addressed by the Management of the Airline resulting in the current catastrophic state of affairs." Low wages below the industry standards and inactions on the part of the management were blamed for having contributed to issue. ("SriLankan crisis: Pilots lambaste top management for mess," The Island, 26 June 2023)

Discussion with Saudi Arabia on Railway Links
On 26 June, Tehran Times reported that the Saudi government stated that they are considering plans to link the Iranian railway through Kuwait and Busra. Iranian Foreign Minister Abdollahian and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal reestablished ties in Tehran. Prince Faisal conveyed Saudi King Salman's intentions of establishing working groups to boost strategic relations with Iran. ("Saudi Arabia eyes linking its railways to Iran: report, "Tehran Times, 26 June 2023)

Foreign Minister on a tour to Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and UAE
On 24 June, Al Jazeera reported that Foreign Minister Abdollahian visited Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, from 19 June to 22 June. Abdollahian discussed the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen, a truce with the Yemeni government. At each visit, Abdollahian emphasized on improving bilateral, economic and trade relations. Abdollahian invited President Sheikh Al Nahyan to Tehran. ("Iran eyes regional initiative in top diplomat's four-nation tour", Al Jazeera, 24 June 2023)

Afghan Supreme Leader claims to save women from oppression
On 26 June, the Hindu reported that Afghan supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada stated that women are comfortable and prosperous in accordance with Sharia law. He said that women were being liberated from traditional oppressors. Additionally, he stated that the institutions are obliged to help women in marriage, inheritance and other rights. This comes as a response to the UN's concerns about the condition of women in Afghanistan. ("Afghan supreme leader says women 'saved from oppression' by Taliban," The Hindu, 26 June 2023)

Taliban intends good political and economic relations with the world
On 26 June, ANI news reported that Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada stated that the Taliban intends good political and economic relations with other countries, especially Islamic countries. Additionally, he stated that the Taliban will not tolerate interference in internal affairs. He expressed that economic collapse was avoided with the Taliban's wise measures, sincerity and transparency. ("Want good political, economic relations with world: Taliban,ANI news, 26 June 2023)

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