• Monday, March 02, 2015

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Myanmar revokes Rohingya votes

Myanmar revokes Rohingya votes

Rohingya Muslims will not be able to vote in Myanmar's referendum after the prime minister withdrew temporary voting rights following protests. Hundreds of Buddhists took to the streets following the passage of a law that would allow temporary residents who hold "white papers" to vote. More than one million Rohingya live in Myanmar, but they...


A long overdue UN resolution

In a much-awaited move, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Monday urging Myanmar to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslim minority including equal access to services with other citizens of the country. We welcome this development wholeheartedly because Bangladesh has been at the receiving end of the repercussions of the ethnic conflict in the Rakhine state in the shape of Rohingyas fleeing their hearths and homes seeking refuge in Bangladesh. From time to time Bangladesh in the...

Human Rights

Bangladesh's Rohingya camps - promise or peril?

BANGLADESH'S announcement that it will move two camps housing some 30,000 officially documented Rohingya refugees has heightened anxieties among the Muslim minority, who fled persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. Observers applaud the possibility of improving camp conditions, but are concerned the move could also increase insecurity. On 6 November, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a meeting with the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, said the camps would be moved to a "better location", which was later described by her press secretary...

Give Rohingyas citizenship

The United Nations has adopted a resolution urging Myanmar to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslim minority, ramping up pressure on Naypyidaw to scrap a controversial identity plan. The measure was adopted on Friday by consensus in the General Assembly's rights committee following some wrangling with countries from the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which had sought stronger language. The resolution expresses "serious concern" over the plight of the Rohingya in Rakhine state, where 140,000 people live in squalid camps...

Myanmar profits off Rohingya exodus

The small wooden boats leave the shores of western Myanmar nearly every day, overloaded with desperate Rohingya Muslims who are part of one the largest boat exoduses in Asia since the Vietnam War. Helping them on their way: Myanmar's own security forces, who are profiting off the mass departure of one of the world's most persecuted minorities by extracting payments from those fleeing. A report to be released by the Bangkok-based advocacy group Fortify Rights, and reporting by The Associated Press,...

Rohingya camps to be shifted

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government has planned for shifting Rohingya refugees to suitable places from the existing camps at Kutupalang and Nayapara in Cox's Bazar. She was speaking at a meeting with the high officials of the disaster management and relief ministry at Bangladesh Secretariat. The Rohingya refugees will be shifted to a wider area as they are now living in a very inhumane condition, PM's Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury told newsmen after the meeting, quoting the...

UN to 'end' statelessness in 10yrs

UN to 'end' statelessness in 10yrs

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, is to launch a campaign to end statelessness worldwide within 10 years. It estimates that at least 10 million people are currently stateless, having neither nationality nor passport. This can lead to denial of their access to medical care, education and political rights, such as voting. The UNHCR wants to...

Rohingya refugees trafficked to Thailand

People-smugglers kidnapped dozens of Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh after duping them with fake job offers, and trafficked them to a rubber plantation in southern Thailand, officials said yesterday. The 53 men -- mostly Rohingya refugees from Myanmar but also including Bangladeshi citizens -- were found on Saturday on the plantation in Takua Pa district in the southern Thai coastal province of Phang Nga. "Two Thai men have been charged with human trafficking," Nappadon Thiraprawat of Takua Pa police told AFP. The...

Ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas

QUITE predictably, the 2014 national census of Myanmar has come back to haunt the ethnic Rohingyas.  Media reports inform that the Myanmarese government has devised a new plan under which members of the Rohingya community would be given the thorny choice: accept ethnic reclassification and the prospect of citizenship or be detained.  Under the new arrangement the community members would be required to identify themselves as 'Bengalis' (and not as 'Rohingyas') or face detention. Plans are underway to “construct...


Register as Bengalis or....

ACCORDING to a news report carried in this paper on Sunday the Myanmar government has drafted a plan to offer the Rohingyas an option to register as 'Bengalis' or face detention in camps. This either-or-option for an ethnic group that has been living in that country for several centuries and suffering unbridled persecution there for a long time is really asking them to choose between the devil and the deep sea. Bangladesh has a real concern about the Rohingyas and...

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