Exclusive Stories

Reuters report on Myanmar massacre brings calls for independent probe

aid chief

MNA Exclusive Desk: A Reuters investigation into the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar prompted a demand from Washington for a credible probe into the bloodshed there and calls for the release of two journalists who were arrested while working on the report. The special report, published overnight, lays out events leading up to the killing of 10 Rohingya men from Inn Din village in Rakhine state who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbors and soldiers. ‘As with other, previous reports of mass graves, this report highlights the ongoing and ...

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Separate lane for VIPs unconstitutional: TIB

separate lane

MNA Exclusive Desk: Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed concern over the government move to earmark separate lane in the capital for law enforcing agencies, emergency services and very important person (VIP). TIB urged the cabinet division to revoke its proposal for separate lane for the VIPs, terming it unconstitutional and discriminatory. “We are worried over the proposal as it is a clear violation of the constitution and abuse of power. It is also discriminatory,” TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said in a press statement. TIB thinks that giving unconstitutional and unethical facility to a special group including VIPs and law ...

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Rohingya crisis could endanger regional security: UN

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MNA Exclusive Desk: The UN’s human rights chief has warned that Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority has the potential to spark regional conflict. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein reiterated while in Indonesia on Monday that acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing may have occurred in the campaign of violence against Rohingya that sparked an exodus of nearly 1 million people to neighbouring Bangladesh. “Myanmar faces a very serious crisis with a potentially severe impact on the security of the region,” Zaid said in a speech to a rights conference at Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It is sometimes said that ...

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Justice Wahhab Miah resigns

Wahhab Miah

MNA Exclusive Desk: Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, senior-most judge of Supreme Court, has resigned hours after appointment of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain as the Chief Justice. In the resignation letter sent to President Md Abdul Hamid, Justice Miah said he was resigning for some ‘unavoidable personal reason’. The president had made Justice Miah the acting head of the judiciary during the then chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha’s two-week foreign trip on Sept 10. Wahhab Miah was due to retire on 10 November this year. The president on Friday afternoon appointed the second most senior SC judge Syed Mahmud Hossain ...

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BCL Attacks Protesting Students Block DU Building

Building

MNA Editorial Desk: Leftist students have sealed off the main entrance of the Arts Building at Dhaka University as part of their protests against ‘attacks’ by the ruling party’s student wing. They took position outside the building at 7am Monday forcing students and teachers to use the back door of the building and other entrances through the proctor’s office and the dean’s office to reach classrooms. Later they took out a procession. The alliance that identifies itself as Progotoshil Chhatra Jote has made four demands—the authorities must open an inquiry and arrest the Chhatra League activists who assaulted demonstrators outside ...

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Myanmar to face stronger EU pressure in Feb

pressure

MNA Exclusive Desk: The European Union is likely to come up with a more genuine pressure on Myanmar in February so that it acts promptly and creates an environment for the sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh. ‘I’m sure there’ll be new (EU) council conclusions on Myanmar in February. I hope there’ll be more pressure. The only thing is to put more pressure on Myanmar,’ EU Head of Delegation Ambassador Rensje Teerink told news agency in an interview. In October last year, the Council of the EU in its conclusions said it may consider additional measures if ...

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UNICEF wants access to Myanmar before Rohingya repatriation

babies

MNA Exclusive Desk: Improved security and unimpeded humanitarian access to Myanmar must be ensured before Rohingya children are sent back from Bangladesh, a top UNICEF official said on Wednesday. “Some 58% of the refugees are children, many of whom are still traumatised by their experiences of violence”, UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth said speaking from the Kutapalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. “It is critical that their rights and needs in terms of protection and aid are front and centre in any agreement to return families to Myanmar. Return of refugees to Myanmar must be voluntary, safe and dignified,” ...

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Start of Rohingya return to Myanmar delayed

voluntarily

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh has delayed the repatriation of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar, set to start on Tuesday, because the process of compiling and verifying the list of people to be sent back is incomplete, a senior Bangladesh official said. The decision comes as tensions have risen in camps holding hundreds of thousands of refugees, some of whom are opposing their transfer back to Myanmar because of lack of security guarantees. Myanmar agreed earlier this month to receive the Rohingya refugees at two reception centres and a temporary camp near its border with Bangladesh over a two-year period starting ...

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Rohingya man stabbed to death in Camp

attacks

MNA Exclusive Desk: A Rohingya man was stabbed to death by some miscreants at Balukhali Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar early Monday. The deceased was identified as Yousuf Ali, 50, a resident of D block of the camp. He worked as Imam at a mosque of the camp area. Some assailants attacked Yousuf when he went out his tent for calling for prayer (Azan) early in the morning and stabbed him, leaving him dead on the spot, said Abul Khayer, officer-in-charge of Ukhia Police Station. Earlier on Friday night, a Rohingya man was gunned down by some ...

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Rethink about Rohingyas: UN

rethink

MNA Exclusive Desk: Criticising human rights violations committed by the Myanmar authority, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, on Saturday asked the authorities to rethink their position, and to put the victims first. She came up with this remark while visiting Rohingya camps in Teknaf early morning on Saturday. After her Bangladesh visit until January 24, the Special Rapporteur will visit Thailand where she will stay till January 30. She visited Damdamia Rohingya camp in Teknaf early morning and talked to 20 Rohingyas – 10 men and 10 women – at the reception centre of ...

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WB suggests need of more aid as Rohingya crisis grows

crisis

MNA Editorial Desk: The Rohingya refugee crisis is growing in Bangladesh rapidly and support is needed to help cope with the influx, the World Bank said. World Bank South Asia Region Vice President Annette Dixon lauded the Bangladesh government for sheltering and caring for the Myanmar refugees. He also said the organization was ready to help the country and the displaced Rohingyas. “The scale of the influx is enormous. As far as the eyes can see, lines after lines of shelters—made of plastic sheets and bamboos—stretched over the deforested hills. It is creating huge pressure on the infrastructure and services ...

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UNHCR involvement in Rohingya repatriation iterated

prosecutor

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on Tuesday to complete within two years the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled an army crackdown last year in Myanmar. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), responding to the plan, said they were concerned about forcibly repatriating over 650,000 Rohingya who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after a conflict erupted in western Rakhine state in August. Statements from the Myanmar and Bangladesh foreign ministries said Bangladesh would set up five transit camps on its side of the border. Those camps would send Rohingyas to ...

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Ivy blames Shamim for attack on her

Shamim

MNA Exclusive Desk: Narayanganj city mayor Selina Hayat Ivy came under an attack in the city on Tuesday afternoon. Ivy and her supporters blamed for the attack the followers of local Member of Parliament from Awami League Shamim Osman, who had long enmity with her. The incident took place over eviction of hawkers from the footpath in Chashara area of Narayanganj, a river port city with long tradition of business. According to police and witnesses, Ivy, accompanied by her followers, was walking towards Chashara. All of a sudden, brick chips were thrown on the supporters of Ivy from Shamim Plaza. ...

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Doubts on Rohingya repatriation prior Myanmar, Bangladesh meet

Myanmar

MNA Editorial Desk: Officials from Myanmar and Bangladesh meet on Monday to discuss how to implement another deal, signed on Nov 23, on the return of more than 650,000 Rohingya who have escaped an army crackdown since late August. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has for years denied Rohingya citizenship, freedom of movement and access to many basic services such as healthcare and education. They are considered illegal immigrants from mainly Muslim Bangladesh. The authorities have said returnees could apply for citizenship if they can show their forebears have lived in Myanmar. But the latest deal – like the one in 1992 – ...

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Next parliamentary polls as per constitution: PM

Wednesday

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared and cleared her position on the next parliamentary polls on the completion of four years of her second consecutive term. Sheikh Hasina addressed the nation on Friday evening on completion of the fourth year in office of the second consecutive term of her government. The PM started delivering her speech at 7:30pm. The address was aired simultaneously on Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar as well as on private TV channels and radio stations. She also said an ‘election-time government’ will be formed following a cabinet reboot again this time like in 2013. The ...

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Hasina calls Khaleda mad in parliament

Khaleda

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday blasted apparently her arch-rival BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for her remarks over the Padma Bridge. “It’s true that a bridge is made attaching different parts. But what she meant by patchwork is not understandable to me… I’ll say it’s better not to concentrate much on the remarks of such a mad person. Any person with a sound brain can’t utter such words,” the prime minister told parliament. Sheikh Hasina was answering a supplementary question from Awami League MP Fazilatunnasa Bappy. Last week at an event of the student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra ...

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‘Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was not a rebel’

rebel

MNA Exclusive Desk: Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said to a group of lawyers gathered at Punjab House, Islamabad on Tuesday, ‘Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was not a rebel, but was made into one.’ Sharif remarked, referring to the tragic consequences that followed the state’s refusal to allow a popularly elected leader to hold the prime minister’s office, reports the Daily Dawn. Claiming that that he had been ‘persecuted’ over the years and ‘pushed towards revolt’, Sharif drew parallels between what he considers to be his own ‘cornering’ by the state and the events that led to the secession of ...

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Guardian tortured at son’s school

guardian

MNA Exclusive Desk: A case was filed with Cox’s Bazar Sadar Model Police on Monday over alleged torture of the guardian of a kindergarten student by school authorities in Khorulia  of Sadar upazila of Cox’s Bazar. Ranjit Kumar Barua, officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station, said Ayatullah, the guardian, filed a case on Monday night around 7:00pm accusing six named and 5 unnamed individuals. The accused are Jahirul Haque, Headmaster of Khorulia High School, Md Obayet Hossain, an assistant teacher of the school, Borhan Uddin, Headmaster of the adjoining KG and Pre-cadet School, Nurul Hossain, a record-keeper of the school, ...

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No option but to fight: Rohingya insurgents

insurgents

MNA Exclusive Desk: Rohingya Muslim insurgents said on Sunday they have no option to fight what they called Myanmar state-sponsored terrorism to defend the Rohingya community, and they demanded that the Rohingya be consulted on all decisions affecting their future. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) launched raids on the Myanmar security forces on Aug. 25, which sparked sweeping counter-insurgency operations in the Muslim-majority north of Rakhine State that led to widespread violence and arson and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh. The United Nations condemned the Myanmar military campaign as ethnic cleansing. Buddhist-majority Myanmar rejected that. ...

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90pc Rohingya under-nourished: UN

Rohingya refugees

MNA Exclusive Desk: A new UN study has revealed that over 90 per cent of the recent Rohingya arrivals in Bangladesh are under-nourished despite receiving emergency food assistance. The World Food Programme (WFP) Rohingya Emergency Vulnerability Assessment and food security sector partners study in November and December 2017 raised concerns over limited access to a well diversified and balanced diet, deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq announced on Friday. As a result, he said, the WFP will scale up its e-voucher programmes in 2018 to reach new arrivals in Cox’s Bazar district, reports news agency. Some 90,000 people are enrolled in ...

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US urges Myanmar to ensure democracy

ensure

MNA Exclusive Desk: The United States has urged the Myanmar authorities to take further steps to ensure everyone has full and equal access to the opportunities and the benefits of a democratic society. “For decades, the United States has stood with the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of peace, freedom, and justice,” said Rex W Tillerson, secretary of state, in a press statement on Wednesday. Tillerson said the US remains committed to helping advance Myanmar’s democratic transition, and continue to support the civilian government in efforts to end decades of conflict; strengthen respect for human rights, transparency, and rule ...

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Govt targets 100,000 Rohingya for first repatriation

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MNA Exclusive Desk: The government wants to send up to 100,000 Rohingya back to Myanmar in the first batch of repatriations of Muslims who fled ethnic violence this year, officials said Friday. Obaidul Quader said a list of 100,000 names was to be sent to Myanmar authorities on Friday so repatriations could start in late January under an accord between the two governments. More than 655,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have sought refuge in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in late August, fleeing what the US and United Nations have described as ethnic cleansing. That added to more than ...

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US sanctions based on ‘unreliable accusations’: Myanmar

attacks

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar “feels sad” over a US decision to sanction a military general, a government spokesman said, after Washington linked the commander last week to abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority. “This targeted sanction is based on unreliable accusations without evidence, as we have repeatedly said, so we feel sad for that,” said Zaw Htay, spokesman for Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reported news agency. The Trump administration announced on Dec 21 that it was sanctioning Major General Maung Maung Soe, who was in charge of a crackdown on the Rohingya minority. The United States, as ...

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Suu Kyi ‘avoided’ discussion of Rohingya rape during UN meeting

avoided

MNA Exclusive Desk: Aung San Suu Kyi avoided discussing reports of Rohingya women and girls being raped by Myanmar troops and police when she met a senior UN official, according to an internal memo seen by the Guardian. Pramila Patten, the special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, travelled to the country for a four-day visit in mid-December to raise the crisis with government officials. But she said Aung San Suu Kyi, a state counsellor in the Myanmar government, avoided to engage in “any substantive discussion” of reports that soldiers, border guard police and Rakhine Buddhist militias carried out “widespread ...

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Analysis: No sign Rohingya will be allowed to return

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MNA Exclusive Desk: After facing international outrage and charges of ethnic cleansing, Myanmar made a pledge: Rohingya Muslims who fled the country by the hundreds of thousands would start their journey home within weeks. With so many obstacles, however, and no real sign of good will, few believe that will happen, AP reports. The returns are supposed to be voluntary. But many members of the religious minority, now living in sprawling refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, are afraid to go back. They don’t trust the nationalist-led government and feel widely hated by the general population. Meanwhile, the military – which ...

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US sanctions Myanmar general for abuses

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MNA Exclusive Desk: The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on 13 “serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors” including Myanmar general Maung Maung Soe, who oversaw this year’s brutal crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority. The US government, applying penalties for the first time under a law passed last year, also targeted 39 other individuals and entities with sanctions that block their assets under US jurisdiction, bar most Americans from dealing with them and largely cut them off from the global financial system. The Treasury Department said those sanctioned included Benjamin Bol Mel, who has served as an adviser ...

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