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The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #27, 1 July 2023, Saturday

Opposition to block government's debt restructuring plan in Sri Lanka

Over 1.8 million displaced internally in Myanmar

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #27, 1 July 2023, Saturday
By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Melvin George, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H

Phurba Sherpa wins the World Guide Award
On 29 June, Phurba Sherpa from Nepal was awarded the Wanderlust World Guide Award for his expertise in walking and outdoor activities. Born and raised in Lukla, near Mount Everest, he started as a porter and rose to become an Assistant Guide. Phurwa's dedication to improving his language and communication skills helped him lead groups across Nepal. He also mentors assistant guides and porters and actively participates in community work to protect culture, wildlife, and communities. Wanderlust launched the World Guide Awards 2006 to award guides, recognizing their integral part in travel and tourism. ("Nepal's
 Phurba Sherpa won the World Guide Award," ANI, 30 June 2023)

Opposition vows to block government's debt restructuring plan
On 30 June, most of the opposition political parties decided to vote against the proposed debt restructuring plan during the parliament meeting. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa criticized the government's agreement with the IMF and further questioned President Ranil Wickremesinghe's competence to deal with international organizations. SJB MP Nalin Bandara said that his party didn't like how negotiations were held with the IMF. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam also accused the plan of being a tool to misuse EPF and ETF pension funds. ("
Opposition to vote against debt restructuring plan," The Island, 1 July 2023)

Over 1.8 million displaced internally in Myanmar
According to the UNHCR, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Myanmar has exceeded 1.8 million, with 82 per cent of them being displaced due to the civil war since the 2021 military coup. Sagaing Region has the highest number of IDPs, with 765,200 individuals. Junta troops have destroyed over 53,816 homes in resistance strongholds in that region. The distribution of IDPs shows 41 per cent from Sagaing Region, 13 per cent from Rakhine State, and smaller percentages from other regions and states across Myanmar. ("
Number of IDPs in Myanmar Has Surged Above 1.8 Million," The Irrawaddy, 30 June 2023)

US looking forward to working with the new government
On 29 June, the US Ambassador to Thailand, Robert F Godec, declared the US's interest in promoting trade and investment and education diplomacy with the new government of Thailand. Speaking at a US Independence Day event in Bangkok, he underlined the scope for an economic partnership to further boost employment in Thailand, through investment in Thailand, and opportunities in the technology sector of the US. Additionally, stressed on collaborations in education, through academic and research exchanges and student exchanges. 

Iran to join the Shanghai alliance
On 1 July, Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian stated that Iran would join the Shanghai Cooperation following a phone conversation with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Additionally, he stated that the membership would be announced in the upcoming SCO meeting. He stated that the membership would provide a novel and increasing capacity to SCO. ("
Iran to join Shanghai alliance with China, Russia next week: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov,The Hindu, 1 July 2023)

Israel not to attack Iranian nuclear sites
On 30 June, Reuters reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu's adviser has stated that Israel is not nearing an attack on Iranian nuclear sites. The discussions with Israel and US in Iran have not given a clear outline that could limit Tehran's nuclear programme. Netanyahu has stated that Iran's uranium enrichment has 90 per cent fissile purity and Iran has ramped up enrichment to 60 per cent in recent years. ("
Israel no closer to attack on Iran nuclear sites, official says," Reuters, 1 July 2023)

US report criticizes poor withdrawal in Afghanistan
On 30 June, Al Jazeera reported that the After Action Review stated that the US State Department did not prepare for the collapse of the Afghanistan government in 2021. Additionally, the report stated that President Joe Biden and Donal Trump's measures lead to serious consequences The report criticized the State Department for failing to keep up the crisis management task force during the evacuation. The report stated that naming a seventh-floor principal would have improved the coordination across different lines. ("
US report slams poor planning for Afghanistan withdrawal,Al Jazeera, 30 June 2023)

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