Exclusive Stories

Pope flies for Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis

Pope

MNA Exclusive Desk: Pope Francis flew to Myanmar on Monday in one of his most sensitive trips yet, as religious tensions fester in the mainly Buddhist nation that has bristled at global outrage over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar’s military is accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the stateless Muslim minority, more than 600,000 of whom have fled a crackdown in northern Rakhine State for neighbouring Bangladesh. Francis will meet powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing during the trip in a highly anticipated encounter between a religious leader who has championed the rights of refugees and the ...

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Myanmar to take back only recent Rohingyas

agreement

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar will take back only those refugees who fled to Bangladesh following the violence on Oct 9, 2016 and Aug 25 this year. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali briefed the media on Saturday on his recent trip to Myanmar and a Rohingya repatriation agreement signed with the Southeast Asian nation on Nov 23. The deal covers the residents of Rakhine State who have crossed over to Bangladesh after Oct 9, 2016 and Aug 25, 2017. The repatriation of residents who crossed over to Bangladesh earlier will be considered separately on the conclusion of the present agreement, according ...

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Colourful rally on “March 7: Aloker Jharnadhara”

Mourning Day

MNA Exclusive Desk: A colourful rally and seminar on “March 7: Aloker Jharnadhara” will be held in Dhaka on Saturday. The rally will be held at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital in the afternoon where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest. A discussion will also be held at 10am in the BMA auditorium here. Information and Research Sub-Committee of Awami League will organize the seminar on the occasion of UNESCO recognition to the historic March 7 Speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage. Awami League General Secretary and Road ...

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Pope to meet Rohingyas in Bangladesh camps

Pope Francis

MNA Exclusive Desk: Pope Francis will meet the head of Myanmar’s army and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, both late additions to a tour of the two countries next week. Human rights monitors and UN officials have accused Myanmar’s military of atrocities, including mass rape, against the stateless Rohingya during operations that followed insurgent attacks on 30 police posts and an army base. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said on Wednesday that the pope would meet army head Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on 30 November in a church residence in Yangon. Myanmar Cardinal Charles Maung Bo had talks with the pope ...

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Pope releases video message for Bangladesh

video message

MNA Exclusive Desk: Pope Francis has sent a video message of greetings and blessings to the people of Bangladesh. The 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City, is due to make a three-day visit to Bangladesh from Nov 30 to Dec 2. It will be on the second leg of a tour that also takes him to Myanmar from Nov 27-30. Vatian Radio released the video, which has English subtitles, on Tuesday. “I come as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to ...

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Myanmar hopes for deal with Bangladesh on Rohingya: Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi

MNA Exclusive Desk: Amid mounting international pressure, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday planned to sign an MoU with Bangladesh this week to enable them to start the repatriation process of all Rohingyas from Bangladesh. “What we’re trying to do is to sign an MoU that will enable us to start the repatriation of all those refugees who have gone over the border,” she told a crowded press conference at Myanmar International Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. Suu Kyi, however, said restoring peace and stability in the troubled Rakhine State will not be possible overnight. “Nothing ...

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China proposes 3-stage path to resolve Rohingya crisis

Rohingya crisis

MNA Exclusive Desk: China has proposed a three-phase plan for resolving the Rohingya crisis, starting with a ceasefire in Myanmar’s Rakhine State so that refugees can return from Bangladesh, China’s Foreign Ministry said ahead of meeting of European and Asian officials in Myanmar on Monday. The foreign ministers Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, opening in the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw is an important multilateral diplomatic gathering which happens once every two years and is designed to discuss issues between Asia and Europe. The meeting was scheduled to take place in Myanmar before the outbreak of the current crisis. Speaking in Naypyitaw on ...

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It’s revenge of history: Sheikh Hasina

revenge

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the recognition of the historic 7th March speech by UNESCO is the revenge of history against those who had tried to erase the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “History takes its revenge, history always upholds the truth and history will make his (Bangabandhu’s) place defying all those who try to erase that. Today, Bangladesh has got that recognition,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while addressing a grand rally organised to celebrate the recognition of the historic 7th March speech of Sheikh Mujibur as a world documentary heritage. ...

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Suhrawardy ready to celebrate March 7 speech recognition

March 7 speech

MNA Exclusive Desk: A grand rally will be held in Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday to celebrate the recognition of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7 speech as a world documentary heritage by UNESCO. Nagorik Committee is organizing the rally where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend it as the chief guest. Dhaka University Emeritus Professor Dr Anisuzzaman will preside over the rally at 2:30 pm, reported news agency. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised the historic 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu as part of world’s documentary heritage on October 31. UNESCO ...

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‘Mounting evidence’ of Rohingya genocide

registration

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar security forces slit the throats of Muslim Rohingya and burned victims alive, watchdogs said in a report on Wednesday that cited mounting evidence of genocide against the minority group. The report by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Southeast Asia-based Fortify Rights documents “widespread and systematic attacks” on Rohingya civilians between October 9 and December of last year, and from August 25 of this year. The 30-page report, entitled “They tried to kill us all,” is based on more than 200 interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, as well as international aid workers. Evidence gathered by ...

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Myanmar military denies all violence against Rohingya

army

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s army released a report on Monday denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces, having days earlier replaced the general in charge of the operation that drove more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. No reason was given for Major General Maung Maung Soe being transferred from his post as the head of Western Command in Rakhine state, where Myanmar’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, launched a sweeping counter-insurgency operation in August. ‘I don’t know the reason why he was transferred,’ Major General Aye Lwin, deputy director of the psychological warfare and ...

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BNP will not take part in election under Hasina: Khaleda

national

MNA Editorial Desk: After boycotting the national elections of 2014, BNP has once again made it clear that they will not take part in the next national elections under the Awami League administration. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said, “A fair election is not possible with Hasina in power. I tell the chief election commissioner that it’s your responsibility to hold a credible election in the country,” in a rally in Dhaka on Sunday, when she restated her demand for a ‘neutral government’ for the polls. The 13th constitutional amendment scrapped the provision of a polls-time caretaker government and paved the ...

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‘Bangladesh close to Rohingya repatriation deal with Myanmar’

fleeing

MNA Exclusive Desk: Remained focused on having a ‘bilateral’ solution to the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh is very close to reaching a repatriation agreement with Myanmar, said foreign secretary Shahidul Haque on Saturday. “Currently, we’re focusing on signing a bilateral agreement for the return of Rohingyas…we’re very close in terms of reaching a retu rn agreement with Myanmar authorities,” he said. The foreign secretary was addressing a dialogue titled ‘Addressing Rohingya Crisis: Options for Bangladesh’ arranged by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at a city hotel. He, however, said if the bilateral arrangement does not work finally, Bangladesh has other options ...

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Rangpur Mayhem: Several Hindu homes burnt, 1 Muslim killed, 30 injured and 33 detained

Rangpur

MNA Exclusive Desk: Police have detained 33 people in connection with arson attacks on the house of local Hindus in Rangpur yesterday. A man was killed and 30 others were hurt, including 7 policemen and mostly Muslim, after police fired rubber bullets and teargas shells as violence flared up in Horkoli Thakurpara village of Rangpur yesterday over an alleged Facebook post “demeaning Islam”. The deceased was identified as Habibur Rahman, a local Muslim. He died of bullet injuries at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) where 11 of those wounded were undergoing treatment. At least 8 Hindu houses were burned and ...

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23rd Kolkata International Film Festival begins

Kolkata International Film Festival

MNA Culture & Entertainment Desk: The 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival began on Friday with the screening of Iranian film Yellow. Altogether 143 films from India and abroad will be screened in the 8-day festival which was inaugurated at the packed Netaji Indoor Stadium. Megastars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Haasan, besides British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were present at the inaugural function. The KIFF has become the landmark for showcasing best cinema across the world and he is happy to be back in a city which always holds special memories, Bachchan ...

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Sheikh Hasina, Modi flag off Khulna-Kolkata rail service

Khulna

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday jointly flagged off the Khulna-Kolkata train service and opened two bridges on railway routes connecting Dhaka with Sylhet and Chittagong. The two premiers along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the projects through a videoconferencing from Dhaka and New Delhi when they also launched an ‘end to end’ immigration and customs facilities to ease Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Train services. Sheikh Hasina opened the projects from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka, while Narendra Modi inaugurated the schemes from his office in New Delhi. West ...

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Paradise Papers exposes tax heaven secrets of Queen, US official

tax havens

MNA Exclusive Desk: A huge new leak of financial documents revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens, reports the BBC news. Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. As with last year’s Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to ...

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Sheikh Hasina 30th most powerful woman

powerful

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has moved up to 30th position on the list of 100 most powerful women on earth this year. She was 36th most powerful woman in the last year’s list, prepared by Forbes magazine, reports news agency. Sheikh Hasina has been dubbed the “Lady of Dhaka” in her profile published with the list on Wednesday. Forbes said Hasina has promised aid to the Rohingya people in stark contrast to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar and allocated 2,000 acres of land to provide them shelter. Citing Bangladesh’s own state sanctioned genocide during 1971’s liberation ...

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Khaleda’s motorcade passes through firebombing

MNA Editorial Desk: As the BNP motorcade carrying party Chairperson Khaleda Zia passed through on its way back to Dhaka from the Rohingya refugee camps, two buses were firebombed and explosives were detonated in Feni. The incident occurred around 4:30pm on Tuesday as the motorcade drove past the Mahipal filling station. Two explosions were heard after 30-35 cars in the convoy passed the area, witnesses said. Two buses parked on the opposite of the road were set into fire. Violence hit the roof in the area, causing disruptions. Though the motorcade had been scheduled to halt its journey at the ...

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Khaleda Zia’s convoy comes under attack

convoy

MNA Exclusive Desk: The convoy of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia, heading towards Cox’s Bazar, came under attack at Mohammad Ali Bazaar near Feni town on Saturday. When Khaleda Zia’s vehicle crossed the bazaar at about 4:45pm, a group of unruly people attacked the vehicles of her convoy, witnesses said. They damaged a number of vehicles, including microbuses of Channel I, DBC, Ekattor and Baishakhi televisions and beat several journalists and leaders and activists of BNP who were going with Khaleda Zia, reported news agency. However, Khaleda Zia reached Feni Circuit House safely at about 5:00pm. After taking ...

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Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover opened

Moghbazar-Mouchak

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday opened the Kakrail-Malibagh, Rajarbagh-Mouchak, Rampura-Mouchak and Mouchak-Eskaton portions of the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover. She inaugurated the flyover through a video conference at noon. With the inauguration of the rest 5.5-km overpass of the entire 8.7-km one, vehicles can now go over eight road intersections and three level-crossings at Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Malibagh, substantially improving the city trips. A total of Tk 1,218 crore has been spent on the construction of the country’s longest flyover. The construction work on the integrated Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project began in January 2013 with a deadline ...

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Myanmar starts work to take back Rohingyas: Suu Kyi

back

MNA Exclusive Desk: The Myanmar government has begun to work on taking back those who crossed the border into Bangladesh from Rakhine state, says the country’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Myanmar state counsellor and leader of the ruling party made the statement during a meeting with Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in the capital city of Naypyidaw on Wednesday. A ten-member delegation led by Khan attended the hour-long discussion with Suu Kyi, said the office of Home Ministry. Suu Kyi said her government is working on the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar. She also spoke of adopting ...

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Over 600,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh

panel

MNA Exclusive Desk: More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted in northern Rakhine in August, a UN report said Sunday. The grim new landmark comes as authorities in Bangladesh were bracing for another possible surge in Rohingya arrivals, with thousands from the Muslim minority believed to be stranded along the border waiting to cross. Rohingya refugees have headed for Bangladesh in huge numbers after militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state sparked a major army crackdown on the community likened to ethnic cleansing by the UN. Now the UN-led Inter-Sector Coordination Group ...

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UN chief Guterres talks to PM over phone

PM

MNA Exclusive Desk: PM Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her call to the international community, especially the United Nations, for exerting more pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas from Bangladesh. She reiterated Bangladesh’s demand during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday night, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters. He said Guterres made the phone call to Hasina at around 9:30 pm and the conversation lasted for about 20 minutes on the Rohingya crisis. The press secretary said the UN secretary general expressed ‘grave concern’ over the exodus of hundreds of thousands of ...

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I intervened in Hasina, Khaleda release: Pranab Mukherjee

legal notice

MNA Exclusive Desk: Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee has said he urged the then Bangladesh army chief Moeen U Ahmed to release political prisoners during the 2007-08 caretaker government. “In February 2008, Bangladesh army chief Moeen Ahmed came to India on a six-day visit. He called on me too. During the informal interaction, I impressed upon him the importance of releasing political prisoners,” Pranab Mukherjee stated in his autobiography, The Coalition Years (1196-2012), according to India Today. Pranab mentioned in his book that during the period, all prominent political leaders were imprisoned. Sheikh Hasina too was jailed. According to Pranab, ...

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BNP chief Khaleda Zia returned to Dhaka

Khaleda Zia

MNA Editorial Desk: BNP chief Khaleda Zia has returned to Dhaka after a three-month stay in the UK. She arrived at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:15pm, amid tightened security and gathering of supporters. Law-enforcement agencies have beefed up security around the airport for her arrival. Armed personnel carriers, water cannons and additional police were seen lining the VIP road. “We have provided extra security because party members have gathered in the area to welcome Khaleda Zia,” said Airport Police OC Noor-e-Ajam. Meanwhile, crowds of BNP leaders and activists were disrupting traffic on the vital road. Central leaders of ...

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Rohingya villages burned also after military operations: HRW

Rohingya

MNA Exclusive Desk: Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday reported destruction of tens of thousands of structures in Myanmar, which are primarily homes inhabited by ethnic Rohingya Muslims. Referring to some newly released satellite images, the rights group said at least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine state since 25 August 2017. HRW analysis says the burnings took place after the Myanmar officials claimed security force “clearance operations” had ceased. The images show at least 66 villages were burned after 5 September, when security force operations supposedly ended, according to a 18 September speech ...

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