Exclusive Stories

Secret UN-Myanmar deal guarantees no Rohingya citizenship

guarantees

MNA Exclusive Desk: Rohingya refugees returning to Myanmar will have no explicit guarantees of citizenship or freedom of movement throughout the country, under a secret agreement between the government and the United Nations seen by Reuters. The UN struck an outline deal with Myanmar at the end of May aimed at eventually allowing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims sheltering in Bangladesh to return safely and by choice, but did not make the details of the deal public. Reuters on Friday reviewed a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between the UN and Myanmar authorities. The draft also ...

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Myanmar top brass accused of ‘crimes against humanity’

top brass

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s military chief and other top brass have been accused by Amnesty International of crimes against humanity for overseeing a “systematic” attack against Rohingya Muslims, according to a report by the rights group Wednesday calling for prosecution at the International Criminal Court, reported news agency. A new report from Amnesty said army commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and 12 other senior military and security officials oversaw an orchestrated campaign of violence in the restive state where the Rohingya have been historically marginalized. “The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population was achieved by a relentless and systematic campaign in ...

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Myanmar sacks general involved in Rohingya crackdown

Myanmar

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s military said it sacked a top general who was named in fresh EU sanctions against security officials accused of serious rights violations in the Rohingya crisis, including killings and sexual violence. Myanmar is accused of waging a crackdown in Rakhine state that forced 700,000 to flee that the UN and major western powers have said amounts to “ethnic cleansing”. Its leaders have come under fire for taking little punitive action against the military, which has maintained its troops were responding to attacks by Rohingya militants. But the military said late Monday in a Facebook post that ...

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29 platoons BGB deployed ahead of Gazipur city polls

BGB

MNA Editorial Desk: 29 platoons of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) has deployed in preparation for the coming Gazipur City Corporation polls. BGB personnel vehicles were seen patrolling the area on Sunday morning. “The BGB personnel will patrol the area until Wednesday,” BGB Public Relations official Mohsin Reza told. “More BGB personnel are on standby and will be deployed if necessary.” Each platoon will oversee two of the city’s 57 wards. Each of the platoons consists of 20-30 personnel. According to Gazipur Additional District Magistrate Sanjeeb Kumar Debnath, seven platoons will cover the Konabari and Kashimpur area, 10 will cover the ...

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69th Anniversary of Awami League Observed

anniversary

MNA National Desk: 69th founding anniversary of country’s largest and oldest political party, Bangladesh Awami League has been observed today. The occasion was celebrated all around the country by its leaders and activists. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday paid glowing tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking the 69th founding anniversary of the Awami League. To mark the occasion, she placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32 this morning. After laying the wreath, the prime minister stood in solemn silence for sometime as a mark of respect to ...

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Rohingya girls face ‘prison-like’ conditions in refugee camps

Rohingya girls

MNA Exclusive Desk: Adolescent Rohingya girls are being kept in stifling conditions in refugee camps in Bangladesh, unable to go out, deprived of education and facing prospects of early marriage whether they want it or not, according to a report by the charity Plan International launched on World Refugee Day. The report, Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices of the Rohingya is based on interviews with 300 refugee girls between 10 and 19 years old living in camps outside Cox’s Bazar. More than a million Rohingya, a Muslim minority from neighboring Myanmar, have fled across the border to Bangladesh since an ...

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Planned attacks targetting Rohingyas continue: OHCHR

attacks

MNA Exclusive Desk: UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on Monday that there are indications that well-organised attacks are continuing to target Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. “In Myanmar, as the council is aware, there are clear indications of well-organised, widespread and systematic attacks continuing to target the Rohingyas in Rakhine state as an ethnic group, amounting possibly to acts of genocide if so established by a court of law,” he said. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was delivering his opening statement and global update of human rights concerns at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council ...

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PM’s Eid gifts for Rohingyas

gifts

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sent gifts worth Tk10 crore to the people of Cox’s Bazar on the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr— the largest religious festival of Muslims. The matter was confirmed by sources from the Cox’s Bazar district administration. The gifts were sent from the personal relief fund of the prime minister. The district administration formally started distributing these gifts items from the Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib Women’s College campus in Ukhiya, around 11am on Tuesday. The distribution ceremony was inaugurated by Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya. Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung townships ...

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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

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

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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