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Trump, Kim make history with Singapore handshake

Kim

MNA Exclusive Desk: US president Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un kicked off a momentous summit Tuesday that could determine historic peace or raise the spectre of a growing nuclear threat, with Trump declaring they would have a “great discussion” and Kim saying they had overcome obstacles to get to this point. Standing on a red carpet in front of a row of alternating US and North Korean flags, the leaders shook hands warmly at a Singapore island resort, creating an indelible image of the two unorthodox leaders. They then moved into a one-on-one meeting, joined only by ...

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Monsoon rains hit Rohingya camps

monsoon rains

MNA Exclusive Desk: The first monsoon rains have hit camps in Bangladesh housing around a million Rohingya refugees, triggering floods and landslides but no casualties or major damage so far, officials said Sunday. Aid agencies have been warning that the monsoon season could prompt a humanitarian catastrophe in coming months at what is the world’s biggest refugee camp, sheltering people fleeing violence in Myanmar. The sites in southeastern Bangladesh are predicted to be hit by powerful cyclones and by more than 2.5 metres (eight feet) of rainfall over the coming three months of monsoon — roughly triple what Britain gets ...

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Myanmar army, government hold rare meeting over Rohingya crisis

rare

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s army and civilian leadership held a rare “national security” meeting on Friday (Jun 8) and discussed an internal investigation into the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state, the president’s office said. The meeting – only the third of its kind since Aung San Suu Kyi’s government took power in 2016 – follows a deal to allow the UN to enter Rakhine to assess when refugees may be able to return. Some 700,000 of the Muslim minority have fled over the border to Bangladesh after the military launched a violent crackdown on Rohingya insurgents last August that the ...

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Rohingya crisis threatens biodiversity of Cox’s Bazar

rumours

MNA Exclusive Desk: Some 2,000 hectares of forestland — equivalent to four football fields — around Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, has disappeared due to Rohingya refugees cutting trees for firewood, according to a report by the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG). It added that 86 percent of drinking-water wells have been contaminated with the E.coli bacteria from fecal matter. Due to the “extreme level” of deforestation, the area’s biodiversity has been jeopardized, said Saiful Islam, assistant director of the environmental office in Cox’s Bazar. The government will implement a reforestation plan once 100,000 Rohingya are relocated to Bhashan Char island in ...

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Myanmar willing to take back all Rohingya refugees

willing

MNA Editorial Desk: Myanmar is willing to take back all 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh if they volunteer to return, the country’s National Security Adviser Thaung Tun said on Saturday. He was speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference in Singapore, where he was asked if the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where most Rohingya live, could trigger use of the Responsibility to Protect framework of the United Nations. The so-called R2P framework was adopted at the 2005 UN World Summit in which nations agreed to protect their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ...

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US for more global action over Rohingya crisis

Rohingya

MNA Exclusive Desk: The United States has indicated more action from the international community over Rohingya crisis and other areas of concerns in Myanmar in the coming days terming the situation ‘dire’. “Secretary (former) Tillerson had announced the finding of ethnic cleansing, and I believe it’s ethnic cleansing of a religious minority that’s taking place,” said Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. Recalling his visit to several refugee camps in Bangladesh about a month ago, Ambassador Brownback said, “The situation is dire. We must do more to help them, as they continue to be targeted for their faith.” The ...

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Myanmar continues Rohingya ethnic cleansing: US

attacks

MNA Exclusive Desk: Ethnic cleansing targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has not stopped despite growing condemnation from the international community, the Trump administration said Tuesday. In November, the United States declared that violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state constituted ethnic cleansing, and the US later imposed sanctions. Ambassador Sam Brownback, the US envoy for global religious freedom, said the violence is continuing. “I don’t think we’ve seen progress there in that country,” Brownback said as he unveiled the State Department’s annual report on international religious freedom. The report estimates that about 680,000 people fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh ...

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Some Rohingya refugees returned voluntarily: Myanmar

voluntarily

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar says dozens of Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh have returned voluntarily and will be sent to a transit centre pending resettlement, reported news agency. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya fled mainly Buddhist Myanmar after a violent army crackdown began last August in the western state of Rakhine, a process that the US and UN have described as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has said it is ready to take them back and has traded accusations with Bangladesh over who is responsible for the delay in implementing a repatriation deal. Critics question its sincerity. The long-persecuted stateless minority have ...

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Rohingya ‘militants’ massacred Hindus: AI

attacks

MNA Exclusive Desk: Rohingya militants massacred Hindu villagers during last year’s uprising in Myanmar’s Rakhine, Amnesty International said Wednesday in a report that sheds fresh light on the complex ethnic rivalries in the state, reported news agency. The killings took place on August 25, 2017, the report said, the same day that the Rohingya insurgents staged coordinated deadly raids on police posts that tipped the state into crisis. Myanmar’s military responded to the insurgent raids with harsh reprisals that forced some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the mainly Buddhist country where they have faced persecution for years. The UN says ...

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Take ‘concrete steps’ on Rohingya rights: US aid chief to Myanmar

aid chief

MNA Exclusive Desk: The US government’s aid chief urged Myanmar on Sunday to take “concrete steps” to guarantee the rights of Rohingya Muslims and to show sincerity in that endeavour in order to encourage hundreds of thousands who have fled the country to return. Mark Green, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ended his three-day visit to Myanmar touring Rohingya and Rakhine communities in western Rakhine State, including a camp for displaced Rohingya people. Green said the refugees, whom he met during the previous leg of the trip in camps in Bangladesh, are fearful and while ...

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Rohingya crisis needs urgent action: Canadian aid workers

rare

MNA Exclusive Desk: A group of Canadian aid workers is urging the federal government to act quickly on some of the recommendations made in a report on the Rohingya crisis by Bob Rae, Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar. At a news conference in Toronto on Friday, the group Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN) said the wait has been unacceptable. “We must lead the international community. The inaction is unbelievable,” said CSRDN co-chair Dr. Aliya Khan, noting that it’s been six weeks since the government released a report from Mr. Rae outlining the crisis, yet no actions ...

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60 babies born a day in Rohingya camps

babies

MNA Exclusive Desk: More than 16,000 Rohingya babies were born in Rohingya camps and informal settlements in Cox’s Bazar in the nine months since Myanmar forced thousands of families to flee their homes across the border from its in Rakhine State. “Around 60 babies are born a day and are taking their first breath in appalling conditions, away from home, to mothers who have survived displacement, violence, trauma and, at times, rape,” said Unicef Representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder. “This is far from the best start in life. It has been nine months since the wave of violence forced thousands ...

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Bangabandhu-1: BD joins satellite club

satellite

MNA Exclusive Desk: SpaceX on Friday blasted off its newest and most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh and marking a leap forward in re-usability for the California-based aerospace company. The rocket is designed to require far less maintenance and refurbishment between flights, and is certified to carry humans to space later this year when SpaceX launches its Dragon crew capsule to the International Space Station. “Three, two one, zero, ignition, liftoff,” a SpaceX commentator said as the rocket launched at 4:14 pm (2014 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. ...

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UN expert expresses grave concern over Myanmar fighting

create conditions

MNA Exclusive Desk: A United Nations rights expert expressed grave concern Tuesday over reports that Myanmar’s military has used heavy weapons and conducted aerial bombings in civilian areas as fighting against ethnic rebels in northern Kachin state has escalated sharply. While the world focuses on the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, a civil war has flared against the Kachin Independence Army, with thousands of civilians displaced from their villages near the Chinese border, according to the United Nations. The U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said the situation in Kachin state “is wholly ...

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UN envoys meet Suu Kyi over Rohingya crisis

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s government leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with United Nations Security Council envoys on Monday over the plight of nearly 700,000 mainly Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh amid a military crackdown, pledging to investigate any credible accusations of abuse, said diplomats who attended the meeting. During the nearly hour-long meeting, Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, also noted Myanmar’s difficulties transitioning to rule of law after decades of military dictatorship, said diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity. Myanmar civilian government spokesman Zaw Htay was not immediately available for comment. Myanmar National Security Advisor Thaung ...

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Indonesian police bust fake Rohingya people-smuggling network

Indonesian police

MNA Exclusive Desk: Indonesian police say they have worked with the Australian Federal Police to unravel a people-smuggling network that was active in “bringing in fake Rohingya refugees to Australia”. The revelation comes as real Rohingya refugees took to the water to escape persecution in Myanmar and crowded camps over the border in Bangladesh, the ABC News reported. Brigadier General Herry Rudolf Nahak said the men were, in fact, Bangladeshis working in Malaysia who were convinced by the people smugglers that they would earn more money in Australia. Indonesian police said one of the three alleged people smugglers was a ...

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Myanmar blocks Rohingya aid

aid

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar on Thursday pledged safe repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh as soon as possible despite accusations of activists claiming the government was intentionally blocking aid for refugees facing dire food shortage in Rakhine state, according to Anadolu Agency. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal last November, but Dhaka claims not a single refugee has returned. The UN maintains the Myanmar government has been unable to assure safe return for the refugees, and remaining houses in entire villages have been razed to the ground in the name of development works, the Ankara-based agency said. On Thursday, Myanmar ...

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‘Raped, killed because they are Rohingya’

killed

MNA Exclusive Desk: “Where I come from, women and girls have been gang-raped, tortured and killed by the Myanmar army, for no other reason than for being a Rohingya,” said Sultana Razia, a lawyer who specialises in trauma, mass rape, and trafficking of Rohingya girls and women. She said her research showed that Myanmar troops raped well over 300 women and girls in 17 villages in Rakhine State since August last year. “With over 350 villages attacked and burned since August 2017, this number is likely only a fraction of the actual total number of women raped,” she said at ...

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Three protesters picked up by DB; Released later

three

MNA Exclusive Desk: Detective Branch (DB) of police detained and questioned three leaders of the quota reform protests after they held a press conference at Dhaka University. The three are the joint conveners of the protest movement, Nurul Haque Nur, Farooq Hasan and Muhammad Rashed Khan, reported news agency. They were picked from the Dhaka University (DU) area immediately after the press conference, claimed convener Hasan Al Mamun. DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten told media, “They were brought in for questioning as part of the investigation and were released.” After their release, Farooq Hasan, Joint convener of Bangladesh General Students’ ...

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Myanmar repatriates 5 out of 700,000 Rohingyas

guarantees

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar on Saturday repatriated the first Rohingya family from nearly 700,000 refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, after months of fraught talks with Dhaka and amid the United Nations’ warnings that the country is not ready for their return. Fleeing Rohingya refugees have reported killings, rape and arson on a large scale. The United States and the United Nations have described the Myanmar military operation as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied nearly all allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation. The army has said its crackdown was provoked by the attacks of Rohingya militants on more ...

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Audio clip of Tarique’s conversation goes viral

conversation

MNA Exclusive Desk: An audio clip of the telephone conversation of BNP leader Tarique Rahman had with Dhaka University teacher Mamun Ahmed about the agitation for quota reforms has gone viral on the social media, reported news agency. Prof Mamun has acknowledged having the conversation with the London-based acting chairperson of the BNP on Tuesday. Speaking to news agency on Wednesday evening, he said: “(Tarique) asked about what stance the White Panel (of pro-BNP teachers) has taken on the movement.” “I told him our position on the issue is much the same as the others. We favour reforms.” Prof Mamun ...

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ICC prosecutor seeks Rohingya probe

prosecutor

MNA Exclusive Desk: The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked it to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over the deportations of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a possible crime against humanity, according to a filing published on Monday. A ruling affirming jurisdiction could pave the way for Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate the deportation of many thousands of Rohingya, though Myanmar is unlikely to cooperate. ‘This is not an abstract question but a concrete one, affecting whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction … to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute,’ Bensouda said in the filing. The ...

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Little progress in resolving Rohingya crisis despite efforts: PM Hasina

efforts

MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh hasina has told that despite efforts, little progress have been made in resolving Rohingya crisis. Bangladesh and Myanmar have been making several efforts to repatriate over a million of Rohingyas but little progress is seen in reality, she said. “We have signed a deal, ministers from Myanmar have visited Bangladesh and witnessed plights of the displaced people. But little progress is seen in reality,” she said during her meeting with Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, on Thursday. The meeting was held at Ganabhaban, PM’s official residence. PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed ...

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Canada should take in Rohingya refugees

MNA Exclusive Desk: Canada should take in Rohingya refugees and press other nations to do the same, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s special envoy to Myanmar said. Special envoy Bob Rae – on the heels of his fact-finding mission to Bangladesh and Myanmar – also urged Ottawa to increase humanitarian aid for the Rohingya, to continue to target human rights abusers with sanctions and to gather and protect evidence for possible future trials. “Canada should signal a willingness to welcome refugees from the Rohingya community in both Bangladesh and Myanmar and should encourage a discussion among like-minded countries to do the ...

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Malaysia intercepts boat carrying Rohingyas

boat carrying

MNA Exclusive Desk: Malaysia has intercepted a boat carrying 56 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar off its northern island of Langkawi, authorities said on Tuesday, with rights groups expecting further perilous journeys by sea after last year’s surge in violence in Myanmar, reported news agency. The boat had stopped at an island in southern Thailand on Saturday after a storm, with officials there saying the refugees were heading to Malaysia. It had set sail from central Rakhine state in Myanmar, the U.N. refugee agency said. According to UN and other rights groups, some 700,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya fled their homes in ...

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Myanmar lures BD Buddhists to take over Rohingya land

Bangladesh

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar authorities have lured dozens of mainly Buddhist Bangladeshi tribal families to cross the border and resettle on land abandoned by fleeing Muslim Rohingya, officials said Monday. About 50 families from remote hill and forest areas on the Bangladesh side, attracted by offers of free land and food, have moved to Rakhine state in mainly Buddhist Myanmar—the scene of a brutal army crackdown which prompted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee, AFP reports. The families from the ethnic Marma and Mro tribes have left their homes in the Bandarban hill district, local councillor Muing Swi Thwee ...

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Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar need to be relocated: UN

MNA Exclusive Desk: About 1.5 lakh Rohingya refugees, who fled violence in Myanmar to settle in crowded camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, are living in flood-prone areas and must be relocated ahead of the coming rainy season, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said. “In relation to Cox’s Bazar, the monsoon is the biggest concern. We believe that about 150,000 people are in areas that are flood-prone or can be negatively impacted by the monsoon in a dangerous way for the people,” he told media. The UN chief was responding to a question on the need to relocate the Rohingya refugees ...

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