Tag Archives: Myanmar

Bangladesh says Myanmar isn’t tackling Rohingya concerns

Bangladesh

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar has also made no demonstrable effort to address the concerns of the Rohingyas and the international community, said Bangladesh’s UN Ambassador in a letter to the UN Security Council. Bangladesh is urging the UN Security Council to take actions regarding the safe return of Rohingyas to Myanmar, as Myanmar is failing to tackle the concerns of over 1 million Rohingya Muslims who fled the country. In a letter circulated Tuesday to the council, Bangladesh’s UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen said that, even though his government continues to engage with Myanmar “in good faith” about the repatriation ...

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Myanmar appoints panel to probe Rohingya abuses

abuses

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar has established a commission of inquiry to probe allegations of human rights abuses in conflict-torn Rakhine state, authorities said on Monday, reported news agency. The four-person commission will be comprised of two local and two international members – Filipino diplomat Rosario Manalo and Kenzo Oshima, Japan’s former ambassador to the U.N – the Myanmar President’s Office said in a statement. Manalo, 82, a former undersecretary of foreign affairs, will chair the commission. The two local members are lawyer Mya Thein and Aung Tun Thet, an economist and former UN official. Aung Tun Thet was last year ...

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Myanmar in dialogue, not in action: PM on Rohingya issue

Rohingya issues

MNA Exclusive Desk: Bangladesh is in dialogue with Myanmar over the Rohingya issues, but Naypyidaw still remains in a complete inactivity mode, said Prime Minister Sheikh Haisna on Sunday. “We are having dialogues with Myanmar as it wants to resolve the crisis peacefully. Unfortunately, Myanmar agrees on everything, but doesn’t act on anything,” she said when visiting President of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Advocacy Organization Kerry Kennedy made a courtesy call on her at her Tejgaon office in Dhaka. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said they mostly discussed the Rohingya issues, reported enws agency. The prime minister said the ...

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Rohingya Repatriation: FM to visit Myanmar soon

Myanmar military

MNA National Desk: Amid growing pressure on Myanmar to create conditions for the safe return of Rohingyas, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will soon visit Myanmar to see in person the conditions in Rakhine State, reported news agency. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque on Tuesday shared Minister Ali’s plan to visit Myanmar to see whether any visible progress is there in Rakhine. Haque spoke to journalists after inaugurating a workshop on maritime counter-terrorism in Dhaka. The decision follows a recent meeting between the foreign minister and Myanmar’s Union Minister for the State Counsellor’s Office Kyaw Tint Swe with Chinese Foreign ...

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Myanmar court charges Reuters journalists

Reuters journalists

MNA Exclusive Desk: A court in Myanmar on Monday charged two jailed Reuters journalists with obtaining secret state documents, moving the landmark press freedom case into its trial stage after six months of preliminary hearings. Yangon district judge Ye Lwin charged reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, with breaching of the colonial-era Official Secret Act which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. The journalists pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. The case has attracted global attention. Some Western diplomats and rights groups say it is a test of progress towards full democracy under the ...

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Rohingya refugees reject UN-Myanmar repatriation agreement

agreement

MNA Exclusive Desk: Rohingya community leaders have rejected an agreement between the United Nations and government of Myanmar for the return of refugees who fled violence in Rakhine state. Having seen a leaked text, the leaders say it does not address their concerns and will not help in the repatriation of the refugees. “The agreement is on the issue of return of the Rohingya to their homes. Strangely, they did not bother to consult the Rohingya community before going for the deal. In the agreement there is no commitment from the Burmese government to fulfill our key demands as a ...

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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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Myanmar, UN sign pact on initial steps for Rohingya return

agreement

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar and U.N. agencies signed an agreement that might eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled brutal persecution by the country’s security forces and are now crowded into makeshift camps in Bangladesh. The memorandum of understanding signed Wednesday promises to establish a “framework of cooperation” that aims to create the conditions for “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” repatriation of Rohingya refugees, reported news agency. Myanmar’s security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes. The U.N. and U.S. have described the army crackdown that ...

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Rohingya crisis threatens biodiversity of Cox’s Bazar

Bazar

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 crisis

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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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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Children of Ethnic Cleansing: Myanmar’s undeniable responsibility

national election

MNA Editorial Desk: Rohingya crisis, a severe humanitarian issue, has struck Bangladesh with around a million refugees. Myanmar army’s barbaric oppression and torture has compelled more than a million people to flee in Bangladesh from the Rakhine state of Myanmar. These people, mostly Muslims, have faced extreme torture, been victims of killings and rape and been mentally traumatised as the Myanmar military started the third phase of this torture with the help of local Buddhists in 2016. Despite their effort to stay in own country, these Rohingyas could not sustain the continuous tortures and eventually most of them left Rakhine. ...

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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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Myanmar to free over 8,000 prisoners

prisoners

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s new president said on Tuesday over 8,000 prisoners will be freed in an amnesty, a move the government said would bring about humanitarian support amid the country’s political reforms after decades of military rule. The presidential pardon, signed by newly-elected President Win Myint, said the move was aimed to bring peace as part of celebrations of the Myanmar new year. It did not specify when the amnesty would take place, reported news agency. ‘To bring peace and pleasure to people’s heart, and for the sake of humanitarian support, 8,490 prisoners from respective prisons will be given ...

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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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Myanmar’s president Htin Kyaw resigns

Htin Kyaw

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s civilian president, Htin Kyaw, has resigned with immediate effect ‘in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities’, his office said in a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday. Htin Kyaw, whose post is largely ceremonial, has been a close ally of the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. He was handpicked by the Nobel peace prize laureate to become president because a constitution drafted by the country’s former junta bars her from the top office. There has been speculation in the local media for some months that Htin Kyaw was in ...

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Suu Kyi under fire at ASEAN summit

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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Observers urged Myanmar not to drag out Reuters reporters case

Reuters

MNA International Desk: Some international observers urged Myanmar on Wednesday not to drag out legal proceedings against two Reuters journalists, as they appeared in court for the 10th time since they were arrested in December and accused of possessing secret government papers. A Yangon court began preliminary hearings in January to decide whether reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, will face charges under the colonial-era Officials Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. Denmark’s embassy in Yangon, which has closely followed the case, said ahead of the latest hearing that the journalists ...

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UN calls for Myanmar war crimes panel

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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Bombs hit capital of Myanmar’s Rakhine state

bombs

MNA International Desk: Three bombs exploded in different locations around Rakhine’s state capital Sittwe early Saturday morning, including at the home of a high ranking official, Myanmar police told media, adding that no deaths were reported. It is the latest violence to hit Rakhine, which is festering with ethnic tensions and has been roiled by communal violence in the north against the Rohingya and insurgencies in other parts of the state. Bombings in the state capital are rare however. The blasts took place around 4:00am (2130 GMT Friday), the officer said. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear. ...

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Will the Rohingya Ever Return Home?

Bangladesh

MNA Feature Desk: A senior cabinet minister and army general from Myanmar arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday to discuss a trouble-plagued scheme to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled military assaults and now are in camps in Bangladesh. In less than half a year, around 700,000 Rohingya escaped attacks in their home state, Rakhine, and what the international community has called ethnic cleansing by Myanmar’s security forces. The Myanmar government insists it is committed to the repatriation of those Rohingyas who can prove they recently left Rakhine. The Bangladeshi side says the same. But few expect that the two days ...

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Myanmar Home Minister Swe in Dhaka

Swe

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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