Daily Briefs

Photo : Dhaka Tribune

NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #20, 23 June 2023, Friday

Nepal PM to visit China

74th founding day of the Awami League

NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #20, 23 June 2023, Friday
By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Melvin George, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H

PM Dahal to visit China in September
PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal is likely to visit China in September. He is expected to visit the US in the third week of September to attend the general debate of the UNGA. Nepal's Foreign Minister, NP Saud, will visit China in July to arrange Dahal's visit. This will be Dahal's second foreign visit of the Prime Minister, following his recent visit to India after assuming office. (Anil Giri, "Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal plans to visit China in September," The Kathmandu Post, 23 June 2023)

Nepal and Cameroon establish diplomatic relations
On 22 June, Kathmandu and Yaoundé signed a Joint Communique at the UN Headquarters in New York, making Cameroon the 180th country to have diplomatic ties with Nepal. Cameroon is a West African country with 27 million population. Both countries are members of the Non-Aligned Movement. ("Nepal and Cameroon establish diplomatic ties," Nepal News, 23 June 2023)

"More than 3 lakh mts of coal have arrived in the last two months," says The Daily Star
On 23 June, MV Athena, a ship carrying 41,207 metric tonnes of coal, reached Payra Port from Indonesia. The power generation at Payra Power Plant was suspended for 18 days due to a coal shortage. According to the managing director of Bangladesh China Power Company Limited (BCPCL), the owner of the power plant, the power generation will start on 25 June, and another shipment will reach shortly. According to BCPCL, the loan to buy the coal was provided by China National Machinery Import and Export Company (CMC), the Chinese partner of the power plant. Similarly, 64,300 tonnes of coal arrived at the Matabari power plant on 23 June from Indonesia on the fifth ship to bring coal to this power plant. ("Ship with coal reaches port, power generation to resume Sunday," The Daily Star, 23 June 2023; "64,300 tonnes of coal for Matarbari power plant arrives," The Daily Star, 23 June 2023)

AL celebrates its 74th founding anniversary
On 23 June, celebrating the 74th anniversary of the Awami League, the party president and Prime Minister of the country, Sheikh Hasina, paid homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Awami League was formed on 23 June 1949 as the Awami Muslim League. It was later renamed the Bangladesh Awami League, giving it a secular look. ("Awami League celebrates 74th founding anniversary," Dhaka Tribune, 23 June 2023)

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga rejects reports of resigning
On 23 June, Bangkok Post reported that United Thai Nation (UTN) party leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga rejected the news, which said that he was leaving the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha through his resignation from the party and his secretary post. He said: "I'll absolutely never abandon a person as respectable as Gen Prayut." He also emphasised that he would continue to work as usual as the Secretary General of PM until the new government takes over. (Wassana Nanuam, "UTN leader 'won't ditch' Gen Prayut, Bangkok Post 23 June 2023)

"It is wrong to say that a House speaker must only come from a party with the initial 'M'": says Chalerm Yubunrung
On 23 June, Bangkok Post reported Pheu Thai Party politician Chalerm Yubunrung referring to the eight-member parties of the coalition of Move Forward Party discussing the suitable person for the House Speaker post. He said he is willing to comply with the party decision that the MPs would vote in the parliament to select the House speaker. On Pita Lmjaroenrat's candidacy for Prime Minister, he said that he can not support anyone other than the Pheu Thai member. He said, referring to the MFP: "That party wants to take everything. If anyone has what it takes to be House speaker, there is no problem [in choosing that person]." (Aekarach Sattaburuth, "Chalerm enters speaker fray," Bangkok Post 23 June 2023)

Sri Lanka should acknowledge past violations and undertake credible investigations: UNHRC
On 21 June, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, declared that a special team was investigating the alleged war crimes. Nashif said, "The team is in the process of providing concrete support to several jurisdictions who have ongoing criminal justice investigations." He added: "As long as impunity prevails, Sri Lanka will achieve neither genuine reconciliation nor sustainable peace." ("'War crimes': UNHRC warns SL of universal jurisdiction," The Island, 23 June 2023)

Will advocate for the rights of the victims of conflict, says Canadian High Commission 
On 21 June, the Canadian High Commission in Colombo said that the Canadians' thoughts were with the victims and survivors of the conflict in Sri Lanka. This statement came in response to the query by The Island whether Canada's investigation on the matter has proved that no genocide took place. This query was raised over the recent claims of Canada's reversed position regarding the genocidal accusations. The Canadian HC spokesperson said that Premier Justin Trudeau's statement on 18 May 2023 is Canada's stand and will continue to advocate for the rights of the victims of the conflict. ("Canada reiterates genocide charge, holds MR, GR accountable," The Island, 23 June 2023)

Iranian envoy expresses concern over drug production in Afghanistan
On 22 June, ANI news reported that the Iranian representative to the UN, Saeed Iravani, expressed concerns over the expansion of drug production in Afghanistan during a Security Council meeting. Irvani stated that drug trafficking had not been eradicated and expressed his concerns over lab tests of processed drugs in Afghanistan. Additionally, Irvani criticised the Taliban's repressive policy towards women, ethnic groups, factions and youth. He stated that freezing assets and imposing unilateral sanctions have led to a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. ("Iran's envoy to Afghanistan expresses concern over expansion of drug production in country,ANI news, 22 June 2023)

UAE President hosts Iranian Foreign Minister
On 22 June 2023, Arab News reported that UAE President Zayed Al-Nahyan met with Iranian foreign affairs minister Hossein Amir- Abdollahian during his diplomatic tour of Gulf countries. The officials held diplomatic discussions on bilateral relations and regional and international issues. Abdolliahian earlier met with the leaders and officials of Qatar and Oman. ("UAE President Sheikh Mohamed meets Iran's top envoy, "Arab News, 22 June 2023)

Kabul residents express concerns over an increase in crime
On 23 June, ANI news reported that residents in Kabul had raised concerns about a surge in crime rates following the Taliban takeover. It stated that more focus is required to uphold Kabul's security. The law and order situation has deteriorated since August 2021. The Taliban had additionally placed restrictions on women in occupation and education. Afghanistan also faces an economic crisis following a suspension of international aid and the freezing USD 9 billion in foreign reserves. ("Afghanistan: Kabul residents raise concern over surge in crime,ANI news, 23 June 2023)

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