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UN Refugee Agency Urges Myanmar Actions to Solve 3-Year-Old Rohingya Refugee Crisis

By Richard Finney

A File Picture of a Refugee in the Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh- UN Photo by KM Asad

Myanmar must address citizenship policies and other barriers to the return of ethnic Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh three years ago to escape a deadly military crackdown on the Muslim minority, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement on Friday.

“Three years on from the latest exodus of Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar and sought sanctuary in Bangladesh from August 2017 onwards, challenges persist and continue to evolve,” UNHCR said, noting that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic “has added additional complexities.”

“The international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their host communities, but adapt to critical needs and expand the search for solutions,” the refugee agency said.

More than 740,000 Rohingya fled to southeastern Bangladesh from Myanmar after government security forces launched a brutal crackdown in August 2017 in the wake of deadly attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police and army posts in Rakhine state.

Various U.N. and international agencies and NGOs describe the campaign as ethnic cleansing, if not genocidal, and top Myanmar military figures have faced Western sanctions and war crimes charges in international courts.

In a precursor to the big exodus from the scorched-earth military campaign three years ago on Aug. 25, about 100,000 Rohingya also fled to Bangladesh after an army campaign in 2016.

Since then, over 860,000 Rohingya have been individually registered by UNHCR and the Bangladesh government as refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee settlements alone, UNHCR said, adding that “Bangladesh has demonstrated a profound humanitarian commitment to Rohingya refugees,” ensuring their protection and extending humanitarian support.

Repatriation efforts fail

Myanmar and Bangladesh have tried twice to repatriate Rohingya refugees who fled during the 2017 crackdown, but their efforts failed after no one showed up at the border for re-entry processing. Rohingya refugees said they feared for their safety and didn’t see citizenship policy changes that would entice them back.

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority group in majority-Buddhist Myanmar, have long struggled against discrimination, being widely viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh though many have lived in Myanmar for generations under ancient kingdoms in lands later conquered by the Burmese and which became part of the British Empire in the 19th century.

After the former Burma’s independence from Britain in 1948, Rohingya received National Registration Cards issued by the government that carried provided full citizenship rights.

But in 1982, Myanmar enacted a Citizenship Law that decreed that only members of the “national races” seen as having settled in Myanmar prior to beginning of British colonial rule in 1824 were entitled to citizenship. The Rohingya were not included among the 135 official ethnic groups and were suddenly excluded from full citizenship.

“Ultimately, the solution to the plight of the Rohingya lies in Myanmar,” UNHCR said, urging Myanmar’s full compliance with recommendations made by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, “to which the government of Myanmar has committed.”

Following a year-long review of ethnic strife in the western Myanmar state, the nine-member Commission led by late former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called in August 2017 for a review of Rohingya citizenship rights, equality before the law, freedom of movement, and improved conditions in Rakhine allowing Rohingya to return.

“Creating conditions that are conducive to the Rohingya people’s safe and sustainable return will require whole of society engagement, resuming and enhancing the dialogue between the Myanmar authorities and Rohingya refugees,” UNHCR said.

Conditions not conducive to return

Conditions have not been conducive for a return to Rakhine State, which has since early 2019 become embroiled in a war between the ethnic Rakhine-based Arakan Army and the national army that has created 200,000 more internal refugees.

The state, a mix of river delta and hilly farmland the size of the Netherlands or the U.S. state of Maryland with a population of 3.2 million, has been scarred by sectarian violence between ethnic Rakhines and Rohingya Muslims since riots in June 2012 killed more than 200 people.

Most of the 120,000 Rohingya who were burned out of their homes in 2012 recently marked eight years in the roughly 14 camps that house the Muslims in the region around the state capital, Sittwe.

A fire on Friday in Ohndawgyi camp, one of the three largest Rohingya camps near Sittwe, destroyed more than 70 homes, according to Ba Sein, a Rohingya resident in the camp. The fire started from a home that was selling fuel, and burned for three hours, he said.

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

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India News Brief

18 September 2020

COVID-19 Cases:5,118,2553  Deaths: 83,198

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 29 August

Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7thSeptember 2020 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.

Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 101 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21stSeptember 2020.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30 September.
Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from 21stSeptember 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places remain closed.

According to MHA directive, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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