Myanmar violated its obligations to the United Nations child rights convention in its crackdown on the Rohingya that led to an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from the minority community, legal experts have found. Children make up around half of the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh since the start of a military crackdown last August. The U.N. has called the Myanmar military operations a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Myanmar denies the allegation and has said it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation after Muslim militants attacked security posts. Legal experts commissioned by Save the Children Norway analysed research by U.N. bodies and international human rights groups who have alleged that mass killings, arson, and torture were conducted by Myanmar security forces on the Rohingya. “The research finds that the response by the Myanmar Government to the August 2017 attacks on police posts, together with the ongoing discrimination against Rohingya, constitute violations of at least seven key articles of the (UN convention on the rights of the child),” their report said. The analysis found both the government and the security forces at fault. The Myanmar government “took positive steps” to assist the military operations and there was no evidence to suggest it did anything to curtail or condemn the security forces’ actions, the report said. Myanmar acceded to the United Nations convention on the rights of the child in 1991 and is bound to it by law. Representatives of the Myanmar government and military did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The violations highlighted in the report include failure to protect children from violence, abuse, neglect, sexual and other exploitation, inhumane treatment and detention. It refers to “indiscriminate and extrajudicial killing of Rohingya children, and the torture, ill-treatment and gender-based violence” committed against them. The government’s failure to conduct an independent investigation into the events following the August 2017 attacks, and ongoing discrimination against Rohingya children by denying them citizenship also are in violation of Myanmar’s obligations to the child rights convention, the report said. The report was shared exclusively with Reuters ahead of its release next week. “The list of violations we have found is not exhaustive,” said Guy Goodwin-Gill, emeritus professor of international refugee law at Oxford University, who co-authored the report. “It represents only the most serious violations and there most likely are several others.” [i]Source: Reuters[/i]
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday reiterated her call to the international community to keep up their pressure on the Myanmar government to take back the Rohingya people from Bangladesh. “The global community will have to continue their pressure on the Myanmar government to take back the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” she said when International Rescue Committee (IRC) President and CEO David Miliband paid a courtesy call on her at the Prime Minister’s Jatiya Sangsad office here this noon. Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said the prime minister and the IRC chief mainly discussed the Rohingya issue. The premier said Bangladesh is holding discussions with Myanmar on the issue and pursuing them to take back their nationals from here. Sheikh Hasina informed Miliband that the local people of ***’s Bazar are suffering most and the environment is being affected due to the influx of a huge number of Rohingya people there. The premier said arrangements are being made to shift the Rohingyas to a safe place. “We are providing healthcare services to the Rohingya people and also developing an island named Bhashan Char to shift them there,” she said. The IRC president informed the premier that he came to Bangladesh with a team to see the condition of the Rohingyas. Miliband, a British Labour Party politician and former secretary of state, highly praised the Bangladesh government for giving shelter to over 11 lakh Rohingyas. “Opening the border for the Rohingyas is a significant humanitarian gesture and it’s a signal to the international community,” he said. Miliband said an IRC team is working in Bangladesh for the assistance of the Rohingyas and assured that they will continue their help. “We will recruit 100 staff from Bangladesh for the support of the Rohingyas,” he said. The IRC chief stressed the need for decongesting the areas where the Rohingyas have taken shelter. Both the prime minister and the IRC chief feared that the biggest problem for the Rohingyas would be landslide in the upcoming monsoon, the press secretary said. Miliband thanked the Bangladesh government for supporting the registration of the Rohingya people. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi and Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman were present on the occasion. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. The IRC is currently working in over 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sufficient. [i]Source: BSS[/i]
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have made recommendations to strengthen diplomatic relations with Russia and China to help resolve Rohingya crisis. The recommendations on Thursday came at the 17th meeting of the committee held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with its Chairman Dr Dipu Moni in the chair. Other members of the committee — Foreign Affairs Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali, Muhammad Faruq Khan, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, Raji Mohammad Fakhrul, Selim Uddin and Begum Mahjabin Khaled attended the meeting. It was discussed in the meeting that heads of government from different countries and top officials of international organizations are visiting ***’s Bazar to see the situation of the Rohingya people. So, the committee recommended modernization and expansion of ***’s Bazar Airport. The meeting suggested the Foreign Affairs Ministry to take initiatives to ensure safe return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
China is deploying missiles in the disputed South China Sea to intimidate and coerce its neighbours, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said. Speaking in Singapore, General Mattis said Beijing's actions called into question its broader goals. He also said the issue of US troops in South Korea was "not on the table" at this month's summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. The US wanted complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, he added. South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo also told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that US forces in South Korea was a "separate issue from North Korea's nuclear issue". There are currently about 28,500 US troops based in South Korea. Mr Mattis told the security summit that Beijing had deployed military hardware including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers to locations across the South China Sea. "Despite China's claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion," Gen Mattis said. Gen Mattis said the Trump administration wanted a constructive relationship with China but would compete vigorously if necessary. He also said the US recognised that China had a role to play in the region. The South China Sea, a key trade route, is subject to overlapping claims by six countries. China has been building small islands and other maritime features into military facilities there. Last month China said it had for the first time landed bombers on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, prompting US warnings that it was destabilising the region. [i]Source: BBC[/i]
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Mexico of doing “nothing” to stop illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, and repeated his election campaign pledge that Mexico would pay for his planned border wall. Trump was addressing supporters in a campaign-style rally in Nashville, Tennessee when he returned to the wall he wants built on the U.S. southern border to keep out illegal immigrants. The wall was a favorite campaign theme of Trump’s and has been a longstanding bone of contention with Mexico. “In the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” Trump told the crowd. “They do absolutely nothing to stop people from going through Mexico, from Honduras and all these other countries ... They do nothing to help us.” About an hour later, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto took to Twitter to hit back. “President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us),” Pena Nieto wrote in English. He then repeated the tweet in Spanish. The United States, Mexico and Canada are locked in tortuous negotiations to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and are also seeking to avoid a potential stand-off over U.S. threats to impose steel and aluminum tariffs. [i]Source: Agencies[/i]
Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, blaming his decision on a threatening statement from the Pyongyang regime. In a formal letter to Kim released by the White House, Trump said he had been “very much looking forward” to the summit in Singapore on 12 June. But he wrote: “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” Trump declared that the meeting would not take place “for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” The president’s change of mind appeared to have been sudden and recent. In an interview recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday morning on Fox News, Trump had offered a concession to North Korea, saying he could accept a phased disarmament, contradicting his own top foreign policy officials. The about-face followed a strongly worded statement by North Korea’s vice-foreign minister Choe Son-hui, which in turn was a response to hardline comments by US vice-president Mike Pence. In her statement, Choe warned that Pyongyang could make the US “taste an appalling tragedy”. If the talks are cancelled, Choe suggested the two countries could engage in a “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown”. She said: “Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision … of the US. We will neither beg the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.” In his letter, Trump thanked Kim for releasing three US citizens last month. He said: “That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.” He left the door open to a future meeting if and when the war of words calmed down. “I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” he wrote in a letter that appeared to have been directly dictated by Trump, reflecting his speaking style, without corrections to syntax and grammar. “If you change your mind having to do with this important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.” The immediate trigger for the row that erupted between Washington and Pyongyang and derailed the summit was the Trump administration’s repeated references to the “Libyan model”, which was presented by some officials as referring to Muammar Gaddafi’s 2003 agreement to abandon his nuclear weapons programme and surrender related equipment and materials to the US. Trump and Pence, however, used the phrase to refer to the 2011 toppling of Gaddafi and his subsequent murder at the hands of rebels after a Nato-back insurrection. On Monday, Pence echoed the president when he said on Monday: “This will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.” This triggered Choe’s statement on Thursday, dismissing Pence’s remarks as “stupid” and issuing reciprocal threats. [i]Source: The Guardian[/i]
Bangladesh's first geostationary communication satellite Bangabandhu-I (BS-I) has reached the desired location (orbital slot) 10 days after its launch from Florida. "Our satellite has taken its position and started functioning normally," Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) Managing Director Md. Saiful Islam said today. The BS-I was successfully launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida of United States 16:14 local time (02:14 BST) on May 11. Most modern rocket "Block 5" version of the Falcon 9 of SpaceX has lifted the BS-I for the orbit located at 119.1 degree east. The BCSCL Managing Director said now they will conduct a series of tests before starting commercial operation. "Within three months, we will go into commercial operation," added Islam. Officials said BS-I will move round the earth once in every 24 hours positioning on 36,000 kilometers height with the similar pace of the earth. Immediately after the launch by the Block 5 of Falcon 9, the BS-I travelled 35,700 kilometers and then it took ten days to travel another 300 kilometers. This process is termed "launch and early orbit phase". Tajul Islam, Operation Engineer at Gazipur Ground Station, earlier said that BS-I has started sending signal to the ground station. He said around two months will be required to get full control of BS-I from the ground stations located in Gazipur's Joydebpur and Rangamati's Betbunia. BS-I will be mainly controlled from the ground station in Gazipur while Betbunia's ground station will be used as back up of Gazipur. According to the agreement, manufacturing firm Thales Alenia Space of France will handle the satellite along with local engineers for next three years. To this end, an 18-member team of local engineers has been trained up already. Bangladesh will operate satellite from 119.1 degree east using a payload comprising 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders to deliver focused telecommunications coverage to Bangladesh. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz. Ku-band covers Bangladesh and its territorial area of the Bay of Bengal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. C-band covers Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and portions of Kazakhstan. The government took the Bangabandhu-I project in May 2015 and assigned the Thales Alenia by signing a $248-million deal in November the same year. Thales Alenia completed the manufacturing works of the satellite few months ago and kept it in a warehouse in Cannes of France. On March 29, the satellite was shifted to Florida. The satellite has 15 years for mission life span while another three years for its design. The satellite will offer video services for Direct-to-Home (DTH), e-learning, Tele-medicine, Family Planning, Farming etc while voice service to cellular backhaul and disaster recovery, and data service for internet, SCADA, SOHO as well as business-to-business (VSAT). [i]Source: BSS[/i]
US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran. Calling it "decaying and rotten", he said the deal was "an embarrassment" to him "as a citizen". Going against advice from European allies, he said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015. In response, Iran said it was preparing to restart uranium enrichment, key for making both nuclear energy and weapons. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said: "The US has announced that it doesn't respect its commitments. "I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready for action if needed, so that if necessary we can resume our enrichment on an industrial level without any limitations." He said he would "wait a few weeks" to speak to allies and the other signatories to the nuclear deal first. "If we achieve the deal's goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place," he said. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by the UN, US and EU. Mr Trump had previously complained that the deal only limited Iran's nuclear activities for a fixed period; had failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles; and had handed Iran a $100bn (£74bn) windfall that it used "as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression" across the Middle East. Former President Barack Obama, who signed the deal on behalf of the US three years ago, called Mr Trump's announcement "misguided". [i]Agencies[/i]
Syrian state media says Israel has launched an air strike against an army position south of the capital Damascus. The Sana news agency said Syrian air defences had shot down two Israeli missiles in the Kiswah area on Tuesday. It reported no casualties, but a monitoring group says at least nine pro-government forces had been killed, including Iranian-backed fighters. Earlier on Tuesday, there were reports of loud explosions at a military base in the area. A commander supporting President Bashar al-Assad told a news agency that the strike had targeted a Syrian army position. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said the target was an arms depot. The dead included members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and other Shia militiamen, it added. Israel has not commented on the reports, but it has said it will stop what it considers Iran's military "entrenchment" in Syria. Iran has supported the Syrian government during the country's seven-year civil war, deploying hundreds of military advisers and thousands of militiamen to the country. It has reportedly built a military base in the area where Tuesday's strike is said to have happened. [i]Source: BBC[/i]
Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull on Saturday reaffirmed that his government would continue to stand by Dhaka on the Rohingya issue as he joined a meeting with his visiting Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh premier's press secretary Ihsanul Karim said the meeting was held Turnbull's residence where the Australian prime minister reiterated his country's stance on the crisis, reassuring his counterpart of keeping sustained pressures on Myanmar as well to take the Rohingya nationals back to their homeland. The premier, he said, informed Turnbull of the steps taken by Dhaka in giving temporary shelter to Rohingyas in Bangladesh and her government's future plans for the forcibly displaced people. Karim said both the leaders discussed issues of bilateral trade and investment and agreed to find out a viable means to boost up cooperation. Sheikh Hasina invited Turnbull to Bangladesh while the Australian premier accepted it saying he would visit Dhaka at a mutually convenient time. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali was present during the meeting. [i]Source: BSS[/i]
Kim Jong-un will on Friday become the first North Korean leader to cross into South Korean territory since the end of the Korean War in 1953. In newly announced details, South Korea said President Moon Jae-in would personally meet Mr Kim at the border at 09:30 local time (00:30 GMT). The historic talks will focus on the North's recent indications it could be willing to give up its nuclear weapons. The landmark summit is a breakthrough after years of mounting tension. But Seoul has warned reaching an agreement aimed at ridding Pyongyang of its nuclear weapons will be "difficult", because North Korea's nuclear and missile technology has advanced so much since the sides last held talks. "The difficult part is at what level the two leaders will be able to reach an agreement regarding willingness to denuclearise," South Korean presidential spokesperson Im Jong-seok said. The meeting - the third of its kind following summits in 2000 and 2007 - is the result of months of improving relations between the two Koreas, and paves the way to a possible meeting between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. As well as addressing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the leaders are expected to discuss a path to peace on the peninsula to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, and a series of economic and social issues. Mr Moon will meet Mr Kim and his delegation of nine officials at the border, Mr Im told reporters on Thursday. DESHISMASH.COM
As many as 13 children were killed on Thursday morning when a school vehicle collided with a moving train at an unmanned rail crossing near Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh. Eight students have been critically injured and the death toll may rise, said a local police official to ANI. Eighteen children were traveling in the school vehicle. The accident occurred at a rail crossing in Dudhi near Kushinagar town. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath is said to be rushing to Kushinagar and the accident site for an on-the-spot assessment. He expressed his deepest condolences, and directed the district administration to provide all help and medical aid to the injured. He also declared an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs and directed an inquiry into the cause of the accident. [i]TIMES OF INDIA[/i]