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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

Myanmar

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

Amnesty

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

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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

Rohingya refugees

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

Accountability

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

agent

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

Myanmar

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

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’

Amnesty

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

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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

crash

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

US-Bangla

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’

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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