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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


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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UK nerve attack: US, EU, Australia expel over 100 Russian diplomats


MNA Exclusive Desk: The United States on Monday joined governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow, reported news agency. US would expel 60 Russian diplomats in this connection as the strongest action that U.S. President Donald Trump had taken against Russia since coming to office. He has been criticized by Democrats and members of his own Republican Party for failing to be tough enough on Russia over allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. electoral system including the 2016 presidential campaign. British ...

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‘No quick fix’ to Rohingya crisis: Chinese envoy

create conditions

MNA Exclusive Desk: Newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Dhaka Zhang Zuo yesterday said there is no quick solution to the Rohingya crisis, reported news agency. Claiming that China has “no personal interest” in the issue and will remain impartial, Zuo said his country would make genuine efforts to help Bangladesh and Myanmar resolve the crisis. The ambassador made the observations at his maiden press briefing at the Chinese embassy in Dhaka when repatriation of Rohingyas faces huge challenges due mainly to a conducive condition yet to be ensured in Rakhine. The Chinese envoy said, “China understands the situation and pressure ...

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‘Only death’ can stop me: Saudi prince Salman


MNA Exclusive Desk: Saudi Arabia’s Bin Salman is widely expected to try and encourage American investors to put money into the kingdom, while also looking to promote his plans to enact sweeping economic and social reforms in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has said “only death” can prevent him from ruling over the kingdom for several years to come. “Only God knows how long one will live, if one would live 50 years or not, but if things go their normal ways, then that’s to be expected,” Mohammed bin Salman said during a wide-ranging interview that aired on CBS ...

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‘Suu Kyi seeks support for Rakhine’

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi spoke at length about her country’s troubled western state of Rakhine at a Sydney conference on Sunday and appealed to Southeast Asian neighbours for help, Australia’s prime minister said. “We discussed the situation in Rakhine state at considerable length today,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters at the end of a summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, much of it held behind closed doors, reports Reuters. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the matter comprehensively at some considerable length herself… She seeks support from ASEAN and other ...

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Suu Kyi under fire at ASEAN summit


MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was pressed about the Rohingya crisis at an ASEAN summit in Sydney Sunday, but the regional bloc stressed it could not intervene and “force an outcome”. Suu Kyi has been under intense global criticism for her public silence amid a brutal military crackdown that has forced nearly 700,000 of the Muslim-minority Rohingya to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state for Bangladesh. The humanitarian crisis was one of the key topics at a three-day special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia. “We discussed the situation in Rakhine ...

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Mourning for Nepal plane crash victims in Bangladesh


MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh is mourning the victims of the US-Bangla plane crash in Nepal. The national flag flies at half-mast at government and nongovernmental organisations and at the Bangladesh embassies abroad. Special prayers will be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas across the country on Friday. An aircraft operated by the US-Bangla Airlines crashed with 71 people on board in Kathmandu on Monday killing 49, including 26 Bangladeshis. There were four crew members among the Bangladeshi victims. The incident prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to cut short her Singapore visit and return to Bangladesh on Wednesday. Hasina convened ...

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List of passengers aboard US-Bangla flight


MNA Exclusive Desk: The US-Bangla Airlines flight which crashed at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal was carrying 67 passengers – 32 from Bangladesh, 33 from Nepal and one each from China and the Maldives, according to sources at the airlines. They were: Mr Zhang Ming (CHN) Mrs Rizana Abdulla (MDV) Mr Ahmed Foysal(BGD) Ms Shahreen Ahmed(BGD) Mr Eakub Ali (BGD) Mr Alifuzzaman (BGD) Mrs Almun Nahar Annie (BGD) Miss Bilkis Ara (BGD) Mrs Sila Bajgain (NPL) Mrs Begum Hurun Nahar Bilquis Banu (BGD) Ms Algina Baral (NPL) Ms Charu Baral (NPL) Mrs Mst Akhtara Begum (BGD) Mr Md Shahin Bepari ...

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‘Myanmar builds military bases in Rohingya homes, mosques’


MNA Exclusive Desk: After driving nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country, Myanmar’s military is building bases where some of their homes and mosques once stood, Amnesty International said on Monday, citing new evidence from satellite imagery. A harsh security response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on 25 Aug sent members of the mostly stateless minority fleeing to Bangladesh and saw more than 350 villages destroyed by fire in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. An Amnesty report published on Monday echoed previous ones by saying the remains of some of those villages – and some buildings not previously damaged – ...

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Child marriage increases in Bangladesh: UNICEF

child marriage

MNA Exclusive Desk: While the incidence of child marriage has decreased worldwide, it has increased in Bangladesh. Bangladesh stands fourth in child marriage prevalence, second only to India in numbers. The three other countries where the child marriage rate is higher than Bangladesh are backward African countries. This report was launched globally on 6 March by UNICEF. In a statement issued on the day, UNICEF stated that over the past one decade it had been possible to prevent 25 million child marriages. Presently, one out of every five girls is married before 18 years of age. A decade ago this ...

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Rohingya living in ‘no man’s land’ insist they will stay


MNA Exclusive Desk: From their home, a tent hastily erected in a grassy field, the young Muslim Rohingya couple can see the village they left behind last year, fleeing attacks by Buddhist mobs and Myanmar security forces. They arrived in a no man’s land, one of the small, ill-defined areas that exist at the cloudiest edges of the borderlands, places that seem to be neither Myanmar nor Bangladesh. While nearly every other Rohingya refugee who crossed the border has sought protection in the immense camps a few miles deeper into Bangladesh, these people say they will go no farther. “My ...

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UN calls for Myanmar war crimes panel


MNA Exclusive Desk: The UN human rights chief on Wednesday called for a new body tasked with preparing criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar, after a similar panel was created for the Syrian conflict. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council has set up multiple investigations and fact-finding missions into major trouble spots, including an active one for Myanmar. But some have expressed concern over the limitations of those probes, which focus on gathering a broad range of evidence about alleged atrocities, rather than assembling specific legal cases against individuals that can be taken to court. In the Syrian case, ...

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Forced starvation: A new weapon against Rohingyas


MNA Exclusive Desk: United Nations Human Rights on Tuesday said Myanmar authority now using ‘forced starvation’ as a new tactic weapon to torture Rohingya people. Myanmar has not stopped its ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Rakhine state, a United Nations human rights official said, reported news agency. The UN envoy’s assessment of a continued “campaign of terror and forced starvation” comes six months after a military crackdown caused a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims. Some 700,000 people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since August. They have since told of murder, rape and arson by soldiers and vigilantes. Myanmar’s ...

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US to stand by BD in resolving Rohingya crisis

Rohingya crisis

MNA Exclusive Desk: Visiting Deputy Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council Lisa Curtis today said the USA will remain with and stand by Bangladesh in resolving the Rohingya crisis. She made the vow while held a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, at the latter’s office this morning, reported news agency. The Donald Trump’s aide said the USA offers further assistance to deal with the upcoming challenges, especially when the monsoon is approaching soon. During the meeting, she shared her experience of visiting Cox’s ...

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Troops deployed for internal security: Myanmar


MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar on Friday defended the deployment of troops and artillery along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border saying that it was done for internal security. Myanmar, in the wake of Thursday’s strong protest by Dhaka, also refuted the claim of firing blank shots along the border and assured Bangladesh of informing it prior to doing anything like that along the border in the future. The Myanmar side came up with its position at a flag meeting held between the two countries on Friday at Bangladesh-Myanmar Friendship Bridge point. Earlier on Thursday, Myanmar suddenly deployed a huge contingent of its army ...

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BD group in US sanction list for terrorism

sanctions list

MNA Exclusive Desk: The US Treasury Department has added two individuals and seven organisations in Africa and Asia connected to Islamic State to its sanctions list for global terrorism, it said on Tuesday. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said on its website it had added Abu Musab Al-Barnawi of Nigeria and Mahad Moalim of Somalia, and seven groups from Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, Somalia, Nigeria and Tunisia to its sanctions list. The additions include ISIS-Bangladesh, ISIS-Egypt, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Somalia, ISIS-West Africa, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, also known as ISIS-Tunisia, and the Philippines-based Maute Group, also known as Islamic State of ...

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Myanmar bulldozes 55 Rohingya villages


MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar has bulldozed at least 55 villages that were emptied of their Rohingya Muslim inhabitants during violence that began last year, Human Rights Watch said on Friday citing a review of new satellite imagery. The group said the demolitions in the northern part of Rakhine State could have destroyed evidence of atrocities by troops who swept through villages after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 police posts and an army base on Aug 25. The military response to the August attacks pushed 688,000 people across the border into Bangladesh, many of them recounting killings, rape and arson by Myanmar ...

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100 British MPs for ICC referral for Myanmar’s military general


MNA Exclusive Desk: Over 100 British Parliamentarians have said it is time for the UK to state that Myanmar’s military should be referred to ICC for their appalling ‘security operations’ against the Rohingya, described as ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide by OHCHR. ‘It’s time for the British government to unequivocally state that the situation in Myanmar should be referred to the International Criminal Court,’ they said. The Parliamentarians wrote to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday seeking measures in line with their call. ‘I’ve sent a letter to the Foreign Secretary signed by over 100 Parliamentarians calling for an ...

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Repatriation of Rohingyas on no-man’s land


MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh and Myanmar officials are now in discussion over the repatriation of over 6,500 Rohingyas living in no-man’s land near Tambru on Bangladesh-Myanmar border. The meeting began at 10:00am on Tuesday on the zero line near Tombru of Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Divisional Commissioner Abdul Mannan, Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam are attending the meeting as part of 12-member Bangladesh team. Bangladesh has handed over a list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland in Rakhine state. ‘The Myanmar side has ...

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PM assures of polls with or without BNP


MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has restated that the national election will be held in time with or without the BNP as she attended a press briefing after returning from Rome at Dhaka on Monday. “We cannot do anything if the BNP doesn’t participate in the election. The election will be held in time,” Hasina said. The BNP had stayed away from the 2014 election demanding a neutral polls-time administration, which they still want. Now, the BNP has ruled out going to the election with Chairperson Khaleda Zia in prison. “Nobody can do anything, if they don’t participate,” ...

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BD hands list of 8,032 Rohingyas to Myanmar


MNA Exclusive Desk: Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has handed a list 8,032 Rohingya refugees to his Myanmar counterpart Kyaw Swe for repatriation. After a meeting between delegations of the two countries in Dhaka on Friday, Kamal said Bangladesh has listed around 1.1 million Myanmar nationals who have crossed the border. He said the people on the list handed to Swe were from 1,673 families. Around 700,000 refugees crossed the border after the Myanmar Army launched an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas on Aug 25 last year following insurgent attacks on security forces in Rakhine State. The Home Minister said ...

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Myanmar Home Minister Swe in Dhaka


MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s Home Minister Lt Gen Kyaw Swe arrived in Dhaka on Thursday afternoon on a three-day visit when Bangladesh is expected to press for restoration of peace and stability in Rakhine State for sustainable return of Rohingyas. He landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a Thai Airlines flight around 12:48pm. The Myanmar Minister will meet President Abdul Hamid on Thursday evening. Swe will hold a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan on Friday. Apart from the Rohingya crisis, the two sides will discuss halting smuggling of arms and drugs and full implementation of border agreement, ...

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Myanmar fails to ensure safe return of Rohingyas: UN


MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar has failed to put in place conditions for the safe return of 688,000 Rohingya refugees who fled an army crackdown six months ago, the UN refugee chief said Monday. The refugees are sheltering in makeshift camps in Bangladesh despite an agreement reached between Myanmar and Bangladesh allowing for their safe return to their homes in Rakhine state. “Let me be clear: conditions are not yet conducive to the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told a Security Council meeting, speaking by videoconference from Geneva. “The causes of their flight have ...

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Soldiers, police facing action over killings of Rohingyas


MNA Exclusive Desk: Action will be taken against 10 members of Myanmar’s security forces in connection with the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, a government spokesman said on Sunday, adding it was not related to a Reuters report on the incident. Reuters on Friday published a report laying out events that led up to the killing of 10 Rohingya men in the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers. A Myanmar government spokesman, Zaw Htay, said that “action according ...

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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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