Asia this week: 10 – 16 June 2021

Summary of key events in Asia over the past week.

MFR Graphic

MFR Graphic

🇧🇩 Bangladesh

Analysis reveals major flaws in environmental paperwork of China-backed Banskhali coal power project in Bangladesh

The Banskhali S. Alam power project under construction in Chattogram under fire after the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) overlooks several red flags.

🇨🇳 China

China fires back at NATO for exaggerating ‘China threat’

Response comes after NATO leaders committed to work together to counter Chinese policies. The Chinese mission to the European Union called on NATO to “view China’s development rationally, stop exaggerating various forms of ‘China threat theory’ and not to use China’s legitimate interests and legal rights as excuses for manipulating group politics (while) artificially creating confrontations.”

🇮🇳 India

Twitter loses legal protections

The platform could now be equally liable under Indian law for any unlawful content posted on it to the same measure as the person posting such content and may no longer be able to claim protection under the ''safe harbour” clause.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

French conspiracy theorist wanted for abduction deported

Rémy Daillet-Wiedemann, wanted over the disappearance of a child from her grandmother's home in eastern France, and his family are being flown home after overstaying their visas.

Provisional approval granted for vaccines

Conditional approval granted for emergency use of the single dose COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by China's CanSino Biologics and U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

🇳🇵 Nepal

World Bank Approves $60 Million to Strengthen Higher Education

The World Bank approves $60 million to improve the quality of Nepal’s higher education, scale up online learning, and expand access to academic institutions for underprivileged and vulnerable students.

🇸🇬 Singapore

Carro acquires USD360 million in funding

Carro said it raised USD360 million in a Series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and includes several other funds. The start-up operates an online marketplace where users can buy, sell or lease pre-owned and new cars and also sells financing options, insurance and maintenance services for those vehicles.

Open and free air travel within Asia remains unlikely

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said “open and free” air travel within Asia remains unlikely in the near term as parts of the region battle with an increase in COVID-19 infections. Singapore’s aviation and tourism sectors have been severely hit by the pandemic — two major contributors to economic growth.

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka

Fitch Affirms Sri Lanka at 'CCC'

 Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'CCC'. According to Fitch, the rating reflects a challenging foreign-currency sovereign external debt repayment burden over the medium term, low foreign-exchange reserves and high and rising government debt that gives rise to sustainability risks.

US President nominates Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Julie Chung as US Ambassador to to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

European Parliament resolution calls for measures to address mounting abuses

The resolution draws attention to abuses under Sri Lanka's Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows for prolonged detention, torture and abuse and which, according to the EP, the government is using to target members of minority communities and civil society, including activists, lawyers, and writers. The resolution specifically mentions Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent lawyer, and Ahnaf Jazeem, a poet, who are both detained under the act.

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