Exclusive Stories

Accountability crucial for voluntary return of Rohingyas

Rohingya

MNA Exclusive Desk: Accountability is crucial to build confidence in the Rohingyas for them to voluntarily return; without this, repatriation will not be sustainable, Bangladesh says. Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Masud Bin Momen stated this during the general debate of the General Assembly about the Human Rights Council’s report, in New York, recently. He said: “While our continued efforts and readiness for the safe, voluntary, and dignified repatriation of Rohingyas, to their original place of abode in the Rakhine state, are about to see fruition, one should, therefore, not be oblivious of the imperativeness of ...

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Much Awaited Dialogue begins at Ganobhaban

dialogue

MNA Editorial Desk: The much-talked-about dialogue between the ruling alliance leaders, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the newly-formed Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, has begun at the Ganobhabanin Dhaka on Thursday evening. In her introductory speech Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all to get united to build the country. Development of the country is now visualized after nine years’ rule of Awami League, she said. The talks began around 7pm. Through the talks with the Oikyafront, the Prime Minister opened her door of discussions over the 11th parliamentary polls before the announcement of its schedule as ...

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Myanmar says 2,000 Rohingya to arrive in Nov

Myanmar

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar will take back a first group of 2,000 Rohingya refugees from camps in Bangladesh in November, said a top official of the country on Wednesday. Officials from the two countries announced on Tuesday that some of the 720,000 Muslim Rohingya who fled a deadly military clampdown in the Buddhist-majority country last year would start returning next month. Myanmar foreign secretary Myint Thu visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday to discuss the repatriations with refugees, reported news agency. Thu said Myanmar has verified 5,000 names on a list of 8,032 Rohingya that Bangladesh authorities sent ...

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Rohingya returns must not be rushed or premature: UNHCR

Rohingya refugees

MNA Exclusive Desk: The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday that conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine state were “not yet conducive for returns”, after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to start repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya by mid-November, reported news agency. “It is critical that returns are not rushed or premature,” UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic told Reuters, noting that any returns must also be voluntary. “We would advise against imposing any timetable or target figures for repatriation.” More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed from the west of mostly Buddhist Myanmar into Bangladesh from August last year after Rohingya ...

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BD, Myanmar agree to begin Rohingya repatriation

genocide

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday agreed to begin 1st batch of Rohingyas repatriation by mid-November, reported news agency. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque made the announcement after the third Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on the repatriation of verified Rohingyas. The third JWG meeting of the foreign secretary-level, held at State guesthouse Meghna in the city, was co-chaired by Permanent Secretary Myint Thu of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and his Bangladesh counterpart Senior Secretary M Shahidul Haque of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They discussed the Rohingya repatriation issue in detail as there are ...

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Bangladesh, Myanmar to hold Rohingya repatriation talks Tuesday

Myanmar

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh and Myanmar will hold their next Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on the repatriation of verified Rohingyas on Tuesday. The foreign secretary-level meeting will be held at a State guesthouse in Dhaka, reported news agency. The meeting will be co-chaired by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Myint Thu and his Bangladesh counterpart Senior Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs M Shahidul Haque. Officials said they will discuss in detail about the Rohingya repatriation issue as there are “intensive efforts” to begin the repatriation as soon as possible. Foreign Ministry officials said Bangladesh’s JWG members ...

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Genocide still taking place in Myanmar: UN

Myanmar

MNA Exclusive Desk: Genocide is still taking place against Rohingya Muslims remaining in Myanmar and the government is increasingly demonstrating it has no interest in establishing a fully functioning democracy, UN investigators said Wednesday. Marzuki Darusman, chair of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said thousands of Rohingya are still fleeing to Bangladesh, and the estimated 250,000 to 400,000 who have stayed following last year’s brutal military campaign in the Buddhist-majority country “continue to suffer the most severe” restrictions and repression. “It is an ongoing genocide that is taking place at the moment,” he told a news conference Wednesday. Darusman ...

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Australia slaps sanctions on 5 top Myanmar army officers

Australia

MNA Exclusive Desk: Australia has imposed sanctions and travel bans on five Myanmar military generals accused of leading last year’s violent crackdown on the country’s Rohingya. Foreign Minister Marise Payne made the announcement in a statement after indicating last month that Australia was likely to take action. “I have now imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against five Myanmar military officers responsible for human rights violations committed by units under their command,” she said. It comes after the United Nations fact-finding mission to Myanmar released a report accusing the military of a systematic campaign targeting civilians that included mass ...

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US official discusses bilateral, Rohingya issues with FS

Rohingya

MNA Exclusive Desk: Visiting US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells had a meeting with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque on Sunday. They discussed bilateral, regional and global pressing issues including Rohingya one. During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they also had a brief discussion on political affairs including upcoming elections, reported news agency. They discussed strengthening the Bangladesh-US partnership and collaboration on building a prosperous, secure, and interconnected Indo-Pacific region. She reached Cox’s Bazar in the afternoon to visit Rohingya camps in the district that are sheltering nearly one ...

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8000 Rohingyas to return to Myanmar soon

Myanmar soon

MNA Exclusive Desk: Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Friday expressed hope that the first batch of 8000 Rohingya people would be able to return to their original villages in Rakhine State of Myanmar soon. Citing the issue of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who took shelter in Bangladesh, he expressed his gratitude to the international community for their continued support to Bangladesh for resolving this complex issue with Myanmar. He made the remark while delivering his statement in the second plenary titled “Reinforcing the multilateral system: advancing the ASEM partnership on global challenges” in Brussels, according to the foreign ministry ...

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UNSC asked to hear from UN mission on Myanmar atrocities

Myanmar

MNA Exclusive Desk: The United States and eight other countries on Tuesday requested a UN Security Council meeting on Myanmar to hear from a UN fact-finding mission that has accused the country’s military of atrocities against Muslim Rohingyas. The request is likely to run into opposition from China, which has friendly ties with Myanmar’s military and has sought to shield Myanmar from action by the Security Council. In a joint letter seen by news agnecy, the nine countries said the mission’s chairperson should brief the council to allow it to “receive further information on this situation and its implications for ...

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Myanmar monk hits back at international community

monk

MNA Exclusive Desk: An ultra-nationalist monk—dubbed the “Buddhist Bin Laden”—on Sunday condemned the international community for their calls to bring Myanmar’s generals to justice over the Rohingya crisis. Firebrand monk Wirathu, known as the face of Myanmar’s Buddhist nationalist movement, was speaking at a pro-military rally that attracted hundreds of supporters, his first since being barred from giving public sermons last year. The ban, which ended in March, was issued by a council of senior monks who said Wirathu had “repeatedly delivered hate speech against religions to cause communal strife”. The hate speech he espouses—which includes calling the Rohingya Muslim ...

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Bangladesh becomes UNHRC member

UNHCR

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh has been elected a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the next three years in an election that took place in New York on Friday. Bangladesh bagged 178 votes in the election where the members of the UN General Assembly voted, reported news agency. Bangladesh will serve as the UN rights body member for the 2019-21 tenure. Last time, Bangladesh served the UNHRC as a member from 2015 till 2017. The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human ...

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Japan calls for credible Rohingya probe

credible

MNA Exclusive Desk: Japan urged Myanmar for a credible investigation into alleged human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a joint news conference after holding talks on Tuesday with Aung San Suu Kyi that Japan will support efforts by her country to accommodate Rohingya who return home from refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, reported news agency. Myanmar’s military is accused of widespread rights violations, including rape, murder, torture and burning villages, which sent about 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh since August last year. Buddhist-dominated Myanmar has denied abuses by its military. Suu ...

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Suu Kyi vows ‘transparency’ over Rohingya atrocities

transparency

MNA Exclusive Desk: Aung San Suu Kyi promised Monday to increase transparency over her government’s handling of the Rohingya crisis while pitching for foreign investment in Myanmar ahead of a regional summit in Tokyo. Suu Kyi, once garlanded as a global rights champion, has seen a sharp fall from grace due to her failure to speak up following a brutal military crackdown on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. “I’m ready to acknowledge that we have challenges to face particularly with regard to the Rakhine and with the struggles we have on the peace front,” Suu Kyi said in a speech before Japanese ...

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UN expresses ‘great concern’ over India’s deportation of Rohingya

genocide

MNA Exclusive Desk: The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) voiced “great concern” for the safety and security of seven Rohingya men who have been sent home by Indian authorities, after reportedly being denied access to lawyers, or full consideration of their asylum applications. “[We] continue to seek clarification from the authorities on the circumstances under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar,” said Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for UNHCR, to journalists at the UN Office at Geneva. The deportation of Rohingya refugees took place as the UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress was visiting India last week. “On learning of their detention ...

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Dhaka protests Myanmar’s claim to St. Martin’s Island

St Martin's Island

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar has come up with another false claim insisting Bangladesh’s St Martin’s Island as part of their territory, reported news agency. The move prompted Dhaka to react sharply and lodge a strong protest officially against the ‘deliberate’ attempt. The government on Saturday summoned Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U Lwin Oo and strongly protested the matter. Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry Rear Admiral (retd) M Khurshed Alam summoned the Myanmar envoy to his office in the afternoon and handed over a strongly-worded protest note to him. However, Myanmar Ambassador Lwin acknowledged the ...

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Force Myanmar to take back Rohingyas: UN chief urges India

Rohingyas

MNA Exclusive Desk: UN secretary general Antonio Guterres urged India to pressure Myanmar for the safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their homeland. Speaking up for Bangladesh, he said, “It was unacceptable that countries like Bangladesh have to accept a million refugees. Generosity is inversely proportional to richness, I think.” Guterres reserved some of his sharpest commentary for the Myanmar authorities. “I have never seen a community so discriminated in the world as the Rohingya.” He acknowledged reform of the UN Security Council is necessary but much as he would want it, he was powerless to do it alone, ...

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Malaysia to no longer support Suu Kyi

Kyi

MNA Exclusive Desk: Stating that he lost all faith in Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said his country will no longer support the leadership of Myanmar’s leader over handling of the Rohingya crisis in her country. In an interview with Turkish international news channel TRT World, Dr Mahathir said Suu Kyi seemed to be a “changed person” in over the plight of the Rohingya people, reports Malaysia’s The Star Online on Sunday. “Over this issue, she seems to be a changed person. She did not want to say anything against the action taken by ...

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Bangladesh, UN agree to address sexual violence against Rohingyas

MNA Exclusive Desk: The government of Bangladesh and the United Nations will jointly address conflict-related sexual violence committed against members of the Rohingya population forcibly displaced from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The United Nations and the government of Bangladesh signed a ‘Framework of Cooperation’ in this regard, reported news agency. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, after signing the document, said, “I believe that through this Framework of Cooperation the Rohingya survivors of sexual violence will benefit from enhanced service-delivery, accountability and protection.” During her two official visits to Bangladesh, in November 2017 ...

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PM receives ‘Int’l Achievement Award’ & ‘Special Distinction Award for Outstanding Leadership’

Outstanding Leadership

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been conferred with the prestigious ‘International Achievement Award’ and the ‘2018 Special Distinction Award for Outstanding Leadership’ for her humanitarian and responsible policy in hosting the Rohingyas. Inter Press Service (IPS), a global news agency, conferred her on the ‘International Achievement Award’, while the Global Hope Coalition, a network of three not-for-profit foundations based in New York, Zurich and Hong Kong, honoured with the ‘2018 Special Distinction Award for Outstanding Leadership’. The prime minister received the awards at two separate functions in New York Thursday evening. She received the ‘International Achievement Award’ ...

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‘Flying news’: Humanitarian media counter Rohingya refugee rumours

rumours

MNA Exclusive Desk: As aid workers rushed to vaccinate Rohingya refugees against measles earlier this year, rumours swirled through the overcrowded camps in Bangladesh – the injections would make women sterile and convert children into Christians. The anecdote, included in an August report from the United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, illustrates how the refugees, who have fled Myanmar, are vulnerable to misinformation, “with little or no access to television, radio, or other media”. In response, humanitarians are trying innovative projects to counter rumours – translated as ‘flying news’ in the Rohingya language – and to let refugees know how to ...

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Myanmar’s delaying tactics blocking Rohingya return: PM

markets

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused neighbouring Myanmar of finding new excuses to delay the return of Rohingya who were forced across the border over the past year. “I already have 160 million people in my country,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, when asked whether Bangladesh would be willing to walk back its policy against permanent integration. “I can’t take any other burden. I can’t take it. My country cannot bear.” Hasina was speaking to Reuters in New York, where she is attending the annual United Nations meeting of world leaders. The prime minister, who faces a national ...

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Resolve Rohingya crisis from its root: PM

Sheikh Hasina

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday placed three recommendations, including abolishing discriminatory laws, policies and practices by Myanmar against Rohingyas, to solve the protracted Rohingya crisis from its root. Sheikh Hasina placed there commendations at the ‘High-level Event on the Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation’ held at the UN headquarters here with UN Secretary General António Guterres in the chair. Her second recommendation is Myanmar must create conducive environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, create a ‘safe zone’ inside Myanmar ...

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UN has no right to interfere in Myanmar: Army chief

right

MNA Exclusive Desk: The head of Myanmar’s defence forces says that the UN has no right to interfere the country’s sovereignty, reports news agency. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s remarks came after UN investigators called for the prosecution of Hliang and other top Myanmar military brass for the ‘genocide’ perpetrated against the Rohingyas. “Protecting the interests of the country and ethnics amount to waging a just war,” Hliang said at a meeting with military personnel on Sunday. “Take a look at the democratic practices in the world. Countries exercise the democratic system suited to them. So, the democratic practices of ...

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ICC recognizes its capacity to deal with the Rohingya issue: UN chief

Rohingyas

MNA Exclusive Desk: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the International Criminal Court (ICC) has recognized its capacity to deal with the Rohingya issue to investigate widespread allegations that Myanmar forces have driven Rohingyas from their homes, reported news agency. “As far as I understand, the ICC has recognized its capacity to deal with the issue. So, I think that this is already on course,” he said. The UN chief said there was an initiative already by Bangladesh in relation to the ICC. “So, the question is already on the table.” The UN chief made the remarks at a ...

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WB okays $25m for Rohingya children’s education

Rohingya children

MNA Exclusive Desk: The World Bank (WB) has approved US$25 million to help Bangladesh provide education and support to heal the psychological wounds of Rohingya children and youth. The second in a series to help Bangladesh deal with the crisis, the additional financing on grant terms expands an existing World Bank project to help about 350,000 Rohingya children and adolescents get basic education in learning centers. The existing ‘Reaching Out of School Children Project II (ROSC II)’ project is also being extended for two years, which will enable the enrollment of poor children in the host communities in Cox’s Bazar, ...

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