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January 4th 2021: Briefings from South Asia



1) Indian domestic demand to be met first before exporting of COVID-19 vaccine

• Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, said that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was granted emergency approval by the Indian regulator on the condition of meeting the domestic demand first.

• The first 100 million doses will be sold to the Indian government at a special price of USD 2.74

• Mr. Poonawalla mentioned that everyone cannot be vaccinated now due to a gap in supply and demand; the Serum Institute will prioritize the vulnerable countries and population after domestic demand is met.


2) Tibetans in exile vote for their new leader

• Hundreds of Tibetans in exile voted for their new leader at Dharamsala, India, where the exiled government is based. The leaders are elected for a five-year term. The second and final round of voting will take place in April.

• Tibet’s government-in-exile was formed in 1959. It is now called the Central Tibetan Administration. It consists of executive, judiciary, and legislative branches.

• China says Tibet is historically a part of its territory since the mid-13th century, and its Communist Party has been governing the region since 1951.

3) Nepali Congress to conduct a nationwide protest

• Nepali Congress will hold protest rallies and mass gatherings across 330 provincial constituencies on January 9, in all 753 local levels on January 16, and all ward levels on January 21.

• The party said the dissolution of the House of Representatives was an undemocratic and unconstitutional move.

• Nepal is under a possible political crisis due to an ongoing disagreement within the Nepal Communist Party.

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