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Rest of South Asia  
UN's Navi Pillay visits Sri Lanka on fact-finding mission on war crimes
8/26/2013 11:05:00 AM

London, Aug. 26 (ANI): The United Nation's human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, has arrived in Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission on war crimes.

Pillay's visit comes after the Sri Lankan government said she could visit former conflict zones.

As part of her week-long visit, Pillay is due to travel to former war zones in the north and east, and is also expected to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Pillay is also expected to hold meetings with members

Restructuring India-Bangladesh relations
8/19/2013 11:39:00 AM

Mumbai, Aug.19 (ANI): On the surface, India-Bangladesh relations appear to be sailing through troubled waters. The Teesta River Agreement has not been signed. The Indian Parliament has not been able to endorse the land-boundary deal. Power trade has not materialised. Cattle smuggling across the border is a growing problem. However, if we scratch the surface, another reality looks possible.

The stalled Teesta River Agreement is an example. The differences between the positions of Bangladesh,

Sri Lanka launches new probe into thousands missing during ethnic war
8/15/2013 3:39:00 PM

Colombo, Aug. 15 (ANI): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered a new investigation into the disappearance of thousands of people during an ethnic war, which ended four years ago.

The announcement comes just days before UN human rights chief Navi Pillay is due to visit the island.

Pillay will be visiting Sri Lanka amid international criticism of Colombo's human rights record during the war against Tamil separatists, the Daily Times reports.

According to the report,

Nepal declares one part of capital as 'bird flu emergency zone'
8/15/2013 3:39:00 PM

Kathmandu, Aug. 15 (Xinhua-ANI): Amid new cases of bird flu emerging almost every day for the past one month, Nepal has declared Bhaktapur, one of the three districts of Kathmandu valley, as the emergency zone, said officials on Thursday.

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting held between government officials and the poultry farmers on Wednesday evening, to be executed from Thursday onward, according to Narayan Ghimire, the government's spokesperson for bird flu control

Bangladesh's Islamist party student-wing leader killed in hartal clashes
8/14/2013 3:04:00 PM

Dhaka, Aug. 14 (Xinhua-ANI): A protester was killed as security forces and Bangladesh's largest Islamist party men fought street battles in capital Dhaka on Wednesday morning in the second day of a nationwide general strike, with dozens including policemen and journalists injured.

Khalilur Rahman, president of a ward unit of Islami Chhatra Shibir (the student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party) died in a city hospital where he was rushed with head injuries, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam,

India needs to show political will to support Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina: Lt. Gen. Sinha
8/11/2013 10:36:00 AM

New Delhi, Aug.11 (ANI): Former Governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, Lt. Gen. (Retired) Srinivas Kumar Sinha, has said India should exhibit political will to strengthen ties with Bangladesh and wholeheartedly support incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed to neutralise Islamist and Jihadist elements.

In a recent interview given to ANI, Lt. Gen. Sinha, a former Vice Chief of Army Staff, who has written extensively on the issue of illegal migration in India's north eastern states,

Sri Lanka should probe 'Clean Water' protest deaths: HRW
8/10/2013 12:02:00 AM

New York, Aug.10 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Government should stop issuing misleading information and promptly create an independent and transparent inquiry into the deaths of protesters at Weliweriya on August 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today.

At least three people were killed and several injured after security forces fired live ammunition at protesters who were demanding access to clean drinking water.

According to news reports, soldiers fired on local residents and Buddhist

Despite apologising for plotting Fed bomb attack, Bangladeshi man imprisoned for 30 years
8/10/2013 12:02:00 AM

London, Aug. 10 (ANI): A Bangladeshi man, who is one of the prime accused for plotting to bomb the U.S. Federal Reserve, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using weapons of mass destruction and supporting the terrorist outfit, Al Qaeda.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, aged 22, had driven a van loaded with dummy explosives to the central bank branch in a bid to set them off using a mobile phone detonator from a hotel room, the BBC reports.

Earlier, Nafis had written

Nepal to tighten rules governing Everest expeditions to ward off current chaos
8/3/2013 9:59:00 AM

London, Aug. 3 (ANI): The rules to the expeditions on the Mount Everest are reportedly going to be tightened and for the first time a government team will be located at the base camp to monitor the activities of climbers.

According to the BBC, Nepalese officials have said that the government team at the base camp will help coordinate rescue measures and also protect the environment.

Chief of the tourism industry division that oversees mountaineering, Purna Chandra Bhattarai said

HRW concerned over random killings by Bangladesh security agencies
8/1/2013 1:38:00 PM

Washington, August 1 (ANI): Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has revealed that Bangladeshi security forces have frequently used excessive force in responding to street protests, killing at least 150 protesters and injuring at least 2,000 since February 2013.

HRW report 'Blood On The Streets: The Use of Excessive Force During Bangladesh Protests' documents cases in which police, paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) has opened fire into crowds

Sri Lanka arrests 65 Indian fishermen
7/31/2013 11:51:00 AM

Colombo, July 31 (Xinhua-ANI): The Sri Lankan navy on Wednesday arrested 65 Indian fishermen who allegedly entered Sri Lankan waters illegally to catch fish.

A navy spokesman said that 34 Indians were arrested off Point Pedro in the north of the country and the other 31 fishermen were arrested off Trincomalee in the east.

The navy said that it also seized nine boats used by the fishermen to cross the International Boundary Line (IMBL) that divides the two countries.

The Indians

Now, Bangladesh army calls factory girl who survived 17 days trapped beneath debris a hoax
7/3/2013 12:15:00 AM

Islamabad, July 3 (ANI): The Bangladesh army has reportedly called the media reports of 'miraculous rescue' of seamstress Reshma Begum from the Rana Plaza Building collapse as 'hoax' and 'fictitious'.

The media reports had claimed that Begum had been trapped under the rubble for 17 days before being rescued by the army, whereas the military which oversaw the rescue and recovery operation slamming the reports has said that reports are 'misleading, imprudent and fictitious',

Bangladesh factory girl who survived 17 days trapped beneath debris declared a hoax
7/1/2013 10:11:00 AM

Washington, July 1 (ANI): A Bangladesh factory worker who was rescued after 17 days trapped beneath the collapsed factory's debris is now being declared a hoax by a former colleague and survivor.

Reshma Begum, 19, escaped on foot from under the nine-story building and was hospitalized the very same day in April, according to claims made to a British newspaper.

A former Rana Plaza worker, who allegedly worked with Begum, said that the two escaped together and walked away from the

Nearly 400 Bangladesh garment workers sick after drinking factory supplied water
6/30/2013 4:03:00 PM

Dhaka, June 30 (Xinhua-ANI): Some 400 garment workers fell sick at their factory in Ashulia on the outskirts of Bangladesh capital Dhaka Sunday morning after drinking water there, police said.

Md Badrul Alam, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, told Xinhua over phone that Some 400 workers were treated at various hospitals after the incident.

He said The workers of The Rose Dresses Limited, owned by Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President

UNESCO to consider making Earth Anthem by Indian poet-diplomat a global initiative
6/26/2013 12:58:00 AM

Kathmandu, June 26 (ANI): The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has agreed to consider making the Earth Anthem written by Indian diplomat-poet Abhay K. a global initiative.

The Earth Anthem has been composed and sung by Nepalese citizens Sapan Ghimere and Shreya Sotang and highlights people to people cooperation between India and Nepal.

Speaking on the occasion, UNESCO representative to Nepal Alex Plathe said: I am happy that you (Abhay K.)

Nepal-Africa Film Festival inaugurated in Kathmandu with `Earth Anthem'
6/20/2013 12:53:00 AM

Kathmandu, June 20 (ANI): The third Nepal-Africa Film Festival was inaugurated on June 18 with the screening of the `Earth Anthem' - a short film written, produced and directed by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K. at the Russian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu.

The Nepalese film uindustry is popularly known as Kollywood.

The Earth Anthem originally a poem written by the poet Abhay K. In 2009, it was set to music by Sapan Ghimire, a music composer from Darjeeling and has been sung by

Want to bust stress in office? Bring your dog along with you
6/3/2013 11:00:00 AM

Melbourne, Jun. 3 (ANI): One South Australian family-owned business has allowed its workers to bring their dogs to the office.

SACARE's marketing communications manager Chloe Kempe said that as working in the disability services area was quite an emotional task, having pets in the office was a great stress buster, News.com.au reported.

The company owns supported accommodation for people, who are suffering from mental illness or have high and complex needs resulting from degenerative

Sri Lankan human rights campaigner Jayawardena dies at 59
5/31/2013 10:27:00 AM

London, May 31 (ANI): Eminent Sri Lankan human rights campaigner Jayalath Jayawardena has died in a hospital in Singapore at the age of 59, according to medical officials.

Jayawardena had been suffering from heart disease in recent years, the BBC News reports.

According to the report, Jayawardena had been a resolute member of the Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party and was widely admired for his work on human rights.

After being elected in the parliament in

Nepal introduces identity cards for all Everest summiteers
5/28/2013 4:36:00 PM

Beijing, May 28 (Xinhua-ANI): Nepal on Tuesday launched a new system of providing identity cards to all summiteers of Mt. Everest (Qomolongma) so that they get recognition and respect in their daily lives.

The first batch of identity cards were distributed to famous Sherpa mountaineers, without whose help, scaling Mt. Everest has become virtually impossible.

We want that all Everest summiteers, irrespective of their nationalities, live a dignified life and that you will be known

Burma: HRW calls for revocation of Rohingya two child policy
5/28/2013 4:36:00 PM

Bangkok, May 28 (ANI): Burma's government should publicly revoke a discriminatory population control regulation that restricts Rohingya Muslims to having two children, Human Rights Watch said today.

Implementation of this policy is consistent with the wider persecution of the largely stateless Rohingya, violating international human rights protections, and endangering women's physical and mental health.

The Arakan State spokesperson, Win Myaing, told the media on May 26 that

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