Author: Ricardo Delgado

Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

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Berlin (2/3 – 62.50). Lt. Gen. Alfons Mais says the €100 billion committed by the government last year is insufficient. Meanwhile, an association representing soldiers says the Bundeswehr turnaround needs to speed up. Germany would have to spend more money on its armed forces if it wants it fully equipped, army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais said on Sunday. He told the German news agency, dpa, the €100 billion ($107 billion) to speed up the modernization of the armed forces promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia invaded Ukraine was not enough. Mais, caused a stir last year when he criticized what he described…

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In the whirlwind of Sri Lankan politics, last week’s visit by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) to India carved a narrative that has both intrigued and polarised the political arena. This spectacle showcased the delicate art of political communication, underscoring the critical importance of reputation management and the nuanced dance of damage control in the face of adversity. For years, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), questioning authority and challenging the status quo, found itself in an unfamiliar position – defending rather than accusing. The controversial trip to India marked a turning point. Critics pounced, dissecting every word, every move, with relentless…

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Infighting over the succession and growing frustration in the regions could shatter the stability that the Tajik president has been building for so many years. Next year will mark thirty years of Emomali Rahmon’s presidency in Tajikistan, now the only country in Central Asia that has not seen a change of leadership since the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, there have been rumors of an imminent transition of power for a decade. The name of the successor is no secret: it’s Rahmon’s son, thirty-six-year-old Rustam Emomali. But there is no consensus within the president’s large family over the succession. Some of the…

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PA President’s son Tareq Abbas also holds positions in other ventures incorporated by offshore company. Leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal Tareq Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, holds shares worth nearly $1 million in an offshore company with ties to the Palestinian Authority. The documents, leaked as part of the massive ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, show that a company called the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) was registered in September 1994 in the British Virgin Islands. Since then, the company’s economic portfolio has grown substantially, and is active in virtually every Palestinian economic sphere, including…

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Rustam Emomali is increasingly the face of his country on the international stage On January 29, China signed off on an agreement to hand Tajikistan the gift of $2 million to fund the construction of a conference room in a government building. As grants go, it is not a lot, but the real significance of the development lies elsewhere. As an official press release asserts, that the money was disbursed at all was the result of a visit paid to Beijing by the 36-year-old chair of the Senate, Rustam Emomali, better known to the public for being the son of President Emomali Rahmon. Common…

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Nimisha Priya, barely 19, left the southern Indian state of Kerala for Yemen in 2008 with big dreams. She had found work as a nurse in a government-run hospital in the capital Sanaa and told her mother, a poorly-paid domestic helper, that their days of hardships would be over soon. Fifteen years later, that dream has turned into a nightmare for Nimisha and her family. The 34-year-old is on death row for murdering a local man, Talal Abdo Madhi. She’s counting out her days in Sanaa central jail in the capital of the war-torn country. On 13 November, Yemen’s Supreme…

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If you’re dancing along to bangers at a Bollywood club night, chances are there’ll be a song by Badshah. The rapper has dominated the Indian music scene for almost a decade, with hits such as Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai, Kala Chashma and Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hain. You might think the man with the “it’s your boy Badshaaah” catchphrase would be “the happy guy” at the heart of any party. But he admits the attention is hard. “You will never find me in the centre of room, you will always find me in the corner,” he tells BBC Asian…

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Berlin (06/11 – 58) UN Special Rapporteur of Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, has once again called on the authorities of Tajikistan to release imprisoned Tajik journalists and bloggers. Mary Lawlor posted on her social media account, formerly Twitter, that during a meeting with Tajikistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Jonibek Hikmat, in New York on October 24, she reiterated her call for the Tajik authorities to release the convicted human rights defenders and journalists, including Daler Imomali, Abdullo Gurbati, and Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoeva. Last year, in Tajikistan, eight journalists and bloggers were sentenced to various prison terms, ranging from 7…

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A specialist drilling machine has been deployed to rescue 40 Indian workers trapped inside a tunnel for more than four days in Uttarakhand state. It was flown in from Delhi on Wednesday after attempts to drill through the debris using another machine failed. The machine will help drill a passage so that a pipe can be inserted through which the workers can crawl out. They have been stuck inside since Sunday, after a landslide caused a portion of the tunnel to collapse. Authorities told the BBC that they did not want to speculate how long the task of clearing the…

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