Bangladesh and Myanmar agree on repatriation process of Rohingya Muslims

Dhaka, January 16: Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to complete the repatriation of thousands of Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar within the next two years. Myanmar has agreed to accept 1500 Rohingya each week for the next two years.

Bangladesh and Myanmar foreign ministries informed of the repatriation in a statement issued on January 16. According to the statement, Bangladesh would be setting up five transit camps on either side of the border. Myanmar, in its statement, claimed of building a transit camp with the capacity of housing 30,000 the returning migrants. The repatriation process will be starting from January 23, 2018.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has raised concerns about forcefully extraditing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya across the border, hoping “that refugees will be able to return home when they themselves choose to.”

While talking in a press conference, UNHCR spokesperson, Andrej Mahecic informed that some major changes need to be overcome to ensure successful repatriation. “These include ensuring that refugees are informed about the situation in their areas of origin and potential return and consulted on their wishes; that their safety is ensured throughout –  on departure, in transit and on return; and that the environment in the areas of return is conducive for safe and sustainable return,” he said.

More than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine state in Myanmar amidst racial violence in 2016 and 2017. The attacks by Rohingya insurgent on the security posts of Myanmar army had resulted in a fierce military backlash. Around 6700 Rohingya including 730 children were killed in August 2017 alone.

Sources – Reuters , BBC

 

 

 

Burmese Military admits murdering 100 Rohingya Muslims

The Rohingya Muslims, troubled and in an exodus, have been struggling to find their identity and live a peaceful life. In a rare admission of wrongs, the Burmese troops and villagers were behind the killing of a number of Rohingya Muslims, during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September. The bodies were found in a mass grave in Rakhine state’s Inn Din Village, the military’s commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing, said in a statement on Facebook. The local Buddhist villagers had forced the men into a grave they had dug.

In just a few months more than 6,50,000 members of the Rohingya community fled across the border into Bangladesh. The United Nations has branded the actions as ethnic cleansing.Myanmar insists they were carrying a legitimate counterinsurgency operation.

“200 Bengali terrorists attacked using sticks and swords”, which led to a clearance operation in September by the security forces. This statement was made on the Facebook page of its commander-in-chief. The Rohingya Muslims are referred to as Bengalis, which the minority dislikes as it implies they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

The statement on the social media page mentions the captives should have been handed over to the police, but the migrants were attacking unceasingly and had destroyed two military vehicles with explosives. The military decided to start killing as according to them situations were out of control. Angry ethnic Rakhine Buddhists wanted to kill the minority and stabbed them after forcing them into a grave on the outskirts of the village. The members of the security forces proceeded to shoot them, the military said.

The statement also affirms strict actions against the villagers and security officials involved in the heinous participation. The extensive investigation has featured the Burmese military condemning their mistakes.

Sources – Washington Post, The Guardian

Aung San Syuu Kyi breaks her silence over communal turmoil in Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi in a 30 minute televised speech reached out to the global community for support in a refugee crises that the UN has labelled “ethnic cleansing”, gathering outsiders to help her unite her Nation across ethnic and religious lines.

Communal brutality since August 25 has left hundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar into Bangladesh.

“Despise and dread are the primary scourges of our reality,” she said  “We don’t need Myanmar to be a country isolated by religious convictions or ethnicity”.

While expressing her distress for “all” crowds dislodged by savagery, she said her Nation stood prepared “whenever” to reclaim displaced people subject to a “confirmation” process.

It was not promptly clear what number of the evaluated 410,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar would fit the bill to return.

The UN has blamed Myanmar’s armed forces for “ethnic purging” over a campaign of claimed murder and arson that has left scores of Rohingya towns in ash.

The military denies that, demanding its operations are a relative reaction to the late August assaults by Rohingya activists, who they mark as “extremist Bengali terrorists”.

Sources: Reuters, NDTV

Bangladesh charges Myanmar with violating its air space

The Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that it had summoned the charge d’affaires of Myanmar’s embassy in Dhaka to complain about a three-time infringement on its airspace in the course of the most recent week.

“Bangladesh strongly protested the instances of violation of airspace by Myanmar military drones and helicopter on 10, 12 and 14 September 2017,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Bangladesh expressed deep concern at the repetition of such acts of provocation and demanded that Myanmar takes immediate measures to ensure that such violation of sovereignty does not occur again,” it added.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman reacted on Saturday that there was no proof of any trespassing, and that the issue was, be that as it may, being examined.

Ties between the two neighbours soured after Myanmar’s military propelled a fatal crackdown on the minority Rohingya people group in Rakhine State, driving a huge number of Muslims to escape to Bangladesh.

As per most recent assessments, around 391,000 Rohingya people have crossed into Bangladesh since the brutality emitted three weeks prior, making it one of the quickest developing outcast emergencies lately.

Since August 25, the Myanmar military has been assaulting Rohingya Muslims and burning their towns in Rakhine. The assaults have seen a sharp ascent since August 25, following various outfitted assaults on police and military posts in the harried western state.

There have been reports of deaths and ethnic cleansing by Myanmar’s soldiers on the Muslim populace in Rakhine.

Sources: ANI , Business Standard

India sends out its relief to Rohingya Refugees

India sent 53 tonnes of relief materials for the lakhs of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Rakhine provine of Bangladesh under the operation ‘Insaaniyat.’ The relief material consists of items the packets of food staples namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits and some urgently required basic amenities like mosquito nets, tents etc. Bangladesh is currently facing huges problem due to huge exodus of muslims from neighboring country Mayanmar and settling in the former.

According to the reports India will provide 7000 tonnes of relief material to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali discussed the influx crisis in detail with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week. India’s stance on the issue was a reason for garnering flak and the first assistance came days after Dhaka approached India.

The external Ministry in New Delhi quoted, “In response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, Government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh.”

According to the UN reports, more than 379,000 refugees have crossed Bangladesh Border since the violence erupted in the country On Aug 25 and they also claimed that a brutal campaign was lauched against them in their own country.  UN has also made an emergency appeal for $77 million to address the Rohingya crisis.

SOURCES : The Wire  Economic Times

DRI seizes gold worth Rs 2 crore, smuggled in India

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized more than seven kilograms of gold bar smuggled into India from Bangladesh, reported Financial Express and Business standards. The value of these gold bar is estimated to be over Rs two crores.

Nearly 50 gold bars having foreign markings, weighing 7412.43 grams, and valued at over Rs 2.04 crore were found and seized from the three accused. The agency was working on a tip-off. They got hold of a black Alto car from the eastern part of Kolkata and arrested the three accused Indrajit Biswas, Selim Molla and Rabiul Islam, who hail from India-Bangladesh border areas.

The accused admitted of smuggling the gold bars from Bangladesh into

India. The accused were supposed to further deliver them at Kolkata. All the three accused had been produced before the court and have been remanded judicial custody till September 21.

This year, the agency has seized over 150 kg of gold from West Bengal and north-eastern states. The value of this is valued close to Rs 44 crore in the market, which was smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Bhutan.

News Source: Financial Express, Business Standard

Image Source: Indian Express

Innocent Lives are Price for Protection here

 

The Border Security Forces (BSF) who are responsible for protecting the Indo-Bangladesh frontier usher violence upon the people of the border areas in the north-eastern states.

In a latest and one of the most shocking incidents, two BSF personnel posted at Silsury Border Outpost (BOP) under Mami district of Mizoram the allegedly raped a woman and killed another, along the Indo- Bangladesh border in Mamit district. The rape survivor, identified as Dangubi Milebo Chakma (name changed) in a statement alleged that on July 16 she was waylaid and gang raped while she, along with another woman Rangabi Chakma, had gone to collect bamboo shoots into the forest. The survivor’s account speaks of more than just this. She told the police that when she resisted the rape attempt, the BSF personnel rubbed an acid-soaked cloth on her face. She has suffered serious injuries on her face and eyes and is undergoing treatment at Aizwal.

Many untold stories of BSF’s atrocities reside in these areas and very few cases see the light of the media and even aspire to seek justice. To note some, on January7, 2011 BSF personnel killed 14 year old Felani Khatun near Anantpur. A year before that, on November 30, 2010 a man named Khoka Mia was shot while trying to save his daughter Tulu Aktar from being molested by BSF jawans at Amzadnagar, Belonia, in the state of Tripura. On April 15, 2006 the BSF indiscriminately open fired upon the Chakma tribal village at Bulongsuri under the Lunglei district when the villagers protested against the BSF for the mistreatment of a Buddhist monk. And many have still not found justice under the judicial files.

To take stringent measures against the BSF becomes tough as they are protected under Sections 46 and 47 of the BSF Act, 1968 that grants BSF personnel immunity from being tried in regular courts, thus making them virtually inaccessible.

Biplab Mukherjee, secretary of Kolkata-based Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), that filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the BSF Act, says that on an average ten cases of BSF related violence are reported every month in the Bengal-Bangladesh border. And this is only a scratch on the surface of the bigger reality that exists.

 

Sources: Newslaundry, The Northeast Today