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The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #25, 29 June 2023, Thursday

Airstrikes in Sagaing kills 11, as violence continues in Myanmar

World Bank approves USD 700 mn aid to Sri Lanka

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #25, 29 June 2023, Thursday
By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Melvin George, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H

Supreme Court orders registration of same-sex marriages
On 27 June, the Supreme Court of Nepal directed the government to register marriages of same-sex and traditional non-heterosexual couples, emphasizing constitutional provisions for equality. The court issued an interim order and a show cause notice demanding clarification on legal instruments related to same-sex marriage. The ruling stated that same-sex marriages should be registered according to constitutional provisions. The government is required to establish an interim mechanism for registration until a final verdict is reached. This decision is seen as a significant step towards ensuring equal rights for sexual and gender minorities in Nepal. (Binod Ghimire, "Top court orders registration of same sex marriages," The Kathmandu Post, 29 June 2023)

Airstrikes in Sagaing kills 11
On 27 June, jets dropped three bombs, killing eleven civilians and injuring five in the Pale Township of Sagaing region. The airstrike damaged a pagoda and two monasteries and destroyed thirteen houses. Regime'sRegime's troops raided the two villages near Nyuang Kone village where the airstrike happened, allegedly to feed allied Pyu Saw Htee militia villages. According to a Pale Township people'speople's administration spokesman: " "Three women and seven men, including a monk, were killed by the airstrike. Five villagers, including a two-year-old girl, were wounded" ("Myanmar Junta Airstrikes Kills 11 Sagaing Civilians," The Irrawaddy, 28 June 2023) 

FPO calls for debt restructuring in state financial institutions
On 29 June, Bangkok Post reported that the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) 's 's director general Pornchai Thiraveja said the debt restructuring measures must be adopted by state'sstate's financial institutions and commercial banks rather than extending repayment periods to reduce debt repayment burdens. The debt restructuring assistance will be extended by the central bank till the end of the year. According to Finance Ministry, the debt restructuring measures will indicate the performance of state'sstate's financial institutions. The ministry also plans to hold a debt mediation event to improve the financial literacy for helping people with debt repayment issues. To deal with elevated household debts and protect consumer rights, FPO, the Bank of Thailand, and various other agencies have come out with a royal decree to regulate auto-hire purchase and leasing of vehicles. Bank of Thailand aims to reduce household debts below 80 per cent of the GDP, which was 86.9 per cent last year with 15.1 trillion Baht. ("FPO requests debt restructuring," Bangkok Post, 29 June 2023)

World Bank approves USD 700 mn aid
On 29 June, the World Bank approved USD 700 mn to aid the crisis-hit country. Of the total aid, USD 500 mn would go for budgetary support, and the rest will be allocated for welfare support. The World Bank'sBank's country director for Sri Lankan said in a statement, "Through a phased approach, the World Bank Group strategy focuses on early economic stabilization, structural reforms, and protection of the poor and vulnerable." ("World Bank approves $700 mln for crisis-hit Sri Lanka," Daily Mirror, 29 June 2023)

Tehran holds Canada accountable in civil court
On 28 June, Al Jazeera reported that Iran had filed a complaint against Canada at the International Court of Justice, accusing Ottawa of violating international obligations. The International Court of Justice stated Iran alleges Canada has failed to respect the immunities of Iran and its property. Canada'sCanada's foreign ministry was not available to comment on the issue. ("Iran takes Canada to UN court over civil damages claims, "Al Jazeera, 28 June 2023)

European Countries to retain ballistic sanctions on Iran
On 29 June, Reuters reported that European diplomats have stated they plan to retain European Union ballistic missile sanctions on Iran set to expire in October under the defunct 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Officials cited Russian usage of Iranian drones, transfer of ballistic missiles to Russia and Violation of the accord by Tehran as the reasons for the retention. Iran denied seeking nuclear weapons. ("Exclusive: Europeans plan to keep ballistic missile sanctions on Iran," Reuters, 29 June 2023)

Iran faces challenges importing from India
On 29 June, Hindustan Times reported that Iran struggles to import due to its rupee reserves depletion. Iran mainly imports basmati rice, tea and pharmaceuticals, which were bought using rupee reserves during oil export to India. New Delhi terminated the oil import following US sanctions in 2019. In 2022-23 India exported goods worth USD 1.66 billion, but imports from Iran were worth USD 672 million. During meetings, Iranian officials flagged the issue to India and offered to export oil. ("Rupee reserves depleting, Iran struggles to import from India," Hindustan Times, 29 June 2023)

Afghan deportees face mistreatment at Turkish Border
On 29 June, ANI News reported that Afghan migrants deported from Turkey said mistreatment by the Turkish Border Force. The victims claimed they were assaulted following the arrest. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah stated that deportation must be carried out without harassment. Zabiullah also noted that the Islamic Emirate had contacted Turkey to correct their treatment of Afghan refugees. ("Afghan deportees complain of mistreatment by Turkish border forces,ANI news, 29 June 2023)


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