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ASEAN chair alarmed over escalating Myanmar violence

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ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN is desperately concerned about an escalation of violence in Myanmar and is urging for restraint and an immediate cessation of fighting, the bloc’s chair Cambodia said.

Myanmar has been trapped in a cycle of violence since the army threw out Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February 2021, detaining her and thousands of activists and launching a brutal crackdown that has given rise to armed resistance movements.

Recent weeks have seen some of the bloodiest incidents, with dozens killed.

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In a statement, the ASEAN chair cited the bombing of Myanmar’s largest prison, conflict in Karen State and an air strike in Kachin State on Sunday, 23 October, which is reported to have killed at least 50 people.

“We are deeply saddened by the incidents and the immense suffering that ordinary people in Myanmar have tolerated,” said the article.

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The fight was not only exacerbating the humanitarian situation but was also undermining efforts to implement a peace “consensus” agreed upon between ASEAN and the junta last year, also added to the article.

“We, therefore, strongly urge utmost restraint and immediate cessation to violence,” said the statement, which called for all parties to pursue dialogue.

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ASEAN is leading diplomatic efforts to bring peace to Myanmar but the junta has done little to implement the “consensus”, which committed to an immediate stop to violence and the start of debate towards a peace agreement.

ASEAN foreign ministers are due to meet on Thursday, 27 October, to discuss the crisis, Cambodia said on Sunday.

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A group of 457 Myanmar civil society organizations has called in an open letter for ASEAN leaders to scrap the peace plan it agreed with the military and instead work with civilian leaders and a shadow government.

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World Biz

South Asian Stock hikes on the outgoing week

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South Asian Bourse or Stock Markets saw growth last week. Among them, the hike was in the stock markets of India and Pakistan.

A review of South Asian markets shows that India’s Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index BSE Sensex has hiked 1,464 points during the week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 58,991 points. On the other hand, the Nifty-50 index of the country’s National Stock Exchange rose by 414 points last week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 17,359 points.

Pakistan Stock Exchange Index ‘KSE 100’ earned 58 points last week. After a week of gaining, the index settled at 40,000 points.

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On the hand The Sri Lankan stock market hiked, the Colombo Stock Exchange index ‘ASPI’ lost 118 points in a week. After a week the index settled at 9,301 points.

Bhutan’s stock market index ‘BSI’ hiked by 68 point and the index stood at 1,195 points throughout the whole week. Nepal’s ‘NEPSE’ lost 7 points last week, as the index stands at 1,908 points.

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Economy

At least 20 Umrah Pilgrims died in Saudi Arabia Bus Crash

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At least 20 Umrah pilgrims were killed and 29 injured in a horrific bus crash southwest of Saudi Arabia, according to Gulf News reports.

The passenger bus crashed into a bridge on Monday, overturned, and caught fire, killing 20 and injuring 29.

According to Saudi media, the accident occurred around 4pm on the 14 km-long Aqabat Shaar road in the Asir province, as the bus was traveling from Khamis Mushayt to Abha.

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The road, according to Saudi Press Agency, cuts through mountains, and has 11 tunnels and 32 bridges. When the bus was making its way down a bridge it underwent a brake failure, which caused it to crash into a barrier at the end of the bridge, overturn and catch fire. About 29 other people were also injured in the accident, according to reports.

The Saudi civil defense and Red Crescent Authority teams rushed to the site of the accident and cordoned off the area.

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The deceased and the injured have reportedly been transferred to nearby hospitals.

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Economy

UN says: Extraordinary economic dev among BD’s many achievements

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Greeting Bangladesh, the United Nations on Sunday (26th March) said Bangladesh has many accomplishments — extraordinary economic development, a significant cultural legacy, leadership on a global stage for climate-vulnerable countries, and immense generosity in welcoming and hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees.

“The hospitality of Bangladesh’s diverse people is just one of the many facets of a country that my colleagues and I have been fortunate to experience every day,” UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said in a press statement on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I warmly congratulate the people of Bangladesh on the 52nd anniversary of independence,” she said.

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Over the last 52 years, Bangladesh has made impressive and remarkable achievements: evolving from a war-torn country to one of the leading economic powers in South Asia, standing at the threshold of upcoming graduation from least developed countries (LDCs) in 2026, and planned achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030, she said.

The UN fully supports Bangladesh’s commitments to economic and sustainable development and appreciates the strong and long-lasting relationship with Bangladesh and our shared values.

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The constitution of the country, which was adopted even before Bangladesh had formally become a member of the United Nations in 1974, guarantees fundamental human rights. The right to freedom of speech, religion, movement and assembly, the right to speak one’s own language and other rights that are in line with the UN charter, said the UNRC.

“Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day!” — she concluded.

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