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  • Syria May Have Used Chemical Weapons on Idlib in 2018:OPCW
  • Japan to Release Contaminated Water from Fukushima Nuclear Station into Sea
  • Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media
  • Check Whether Photos Are Original or Photoshopped or Out of Context Pictures
  • Check Google images for Authenticity-You Can Find Help from Google Reverse Images Search
  • Beware of Fake News Websites Which Run by People With No Journalism Background to Promote Their Own Ideology
  • Check the News Sources from Other Websites Whether They Picked Up the Story or Not
  • Forwarding Social Media Messages from Unknown Sources or Little Known Sources, It Would be Better to Ignore Them
  • You Can Easily Identify Fake Messages if the Message Requests You to Share
  • Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred
  • Always Check Fact Checking Sites if You Have Some Doubts About the Authenticity of Any Information or Picture


Thailand: Offering Humanitarian Assistance to Around 1,200 Who Fled Myanmar

Nontarat Phaicharoen/Bangkok

Andrew Kirkwood, Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Myanmar, briefs reporters virtually on March 19,2021- UN Photo

Thailand said Friday it was providing humanitarian assistance to more than 1,000 people who this week fled military action in Myanmar, a day after Bangkok issued a rare statement expressing grave concern about the post-coup violence in the neighboring nation.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha had instructed all relevant relief agencies to give medical and other assistance to the 1,200 or so people who crossed the border amid military strikes in Myanmar states bordering Thailand, Anucha Burapachaisri, a Thai government spokesman, told reporters at a news conference on Friday.

“The prime minister has ordered all involved agencies … to assess the situation and to take care of displaced persons who fled to the Thai border, in accordance with international humanitarian basis,” Anucha said.

Prayuth had said on Tuesday that people crossing the border from Myanmar who didn’t come from areas gripped by post-coup violence ought to go back.

“If they are fleeing fighting [and] disasters with deaths on the other side … we will have measures to accommodate them and won’t push them back – if they were really in trouble,” he said on March 30.

A new group of 961 people from Myanmar had arrived since Thursday, joining 216 of their compatriots who were still in Thailand following an earlier influx from across the frontier over the weekend, Tanee Sangrat, the Thai foreign ministry spokesman, said during the same news conference.

Most of them are children, women, elderly, and patients, he said.

Close to 3,000 people from Myanmar’s Karen state had initially crossed into Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province, Thai officials said, after air strikes by the military.

Many of them went back in a few days and did so voluntarily, Thailand had said on Tuesday.

“We beg Myanmar authorities to exercise restraint to ease the violence and release more detainees. And may all sides involved join together to find a peaceful solution for Myanmar and the people of Myanmar through a constructive dialogue,” Tanee said.

A day earlier, Tanee made an unusually strong statement – for Thailand – calling for a halt to the violence, after a weekend of mass killings by the junta, in which the military and security forces killed at least 114 people on Saturday alone.

“Regarding the recent situation in Myanmar, Thailand is gravely troubled by the reports of more casualties among the Myanmar people during this past weekend. We reiterate our call for the exercise of utmost restraint and de-escalation of the situation.”

Myanmar security forces have killed more than 500 unarmed demonstrators protesting the military coup that toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.

Burmese air strikes on Saturday also targeted villages controlled by Karen National Union (KNU) rebels who hold large swathes of territory in the borderlands with Thailand.

The Free Burma Rangers, a multiethnic humanitarian service movement, said Myanmar military jets continued to kill civilians on Thursday, Radio Free Asia, a sister entity of BenarNews, reported. 

These air attacks raised to more than 20,000 the number of displaced civilians in Karen state.

Potential crisis in Myanmar’s Shan state

Meanwhile, a Myanmar group that helps people from the state of Shan, which also borders Thailand, expressed grave concern on Friday about the safety of thousands of internally displaced people (IDP) housed in camps.

According to a statement from the Shan State Refugee Committee, the army had announced it would “start attacking border positions of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA),” the NGO said in a statement.

“The news of possible attack has terrorized residents of the five IDP camps along the Shan-Thai border, who are mostly women and children. The IDP camps lie on exposed mountain-tops, within easy shelling range of the Burma Army camps surrounding them.”

Once these purported attacks begin, the displaced persons’ “only guaranteed safety lies on the Thai side of the border,” the NGO said.

Like the KNU, RCSS/SSA is also an armed, ethnic insurgent movement.

Also on Friday, Anutin Charnvirakul, Thai deputy prime minister, traveled to Mae Sariang district in Mae Hong Son province to deliver 2,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to local officials who are in close contact with the Myanmar refugees. 

“We brought 2,000 doses of vaccine here to Mae Sariang to cover 2,000 people. We also treated seven injured Karen and did not find any cases of COVID,” said Anutin, who is also the health minister, said at the press conference.

“If we find those who are ill, we will help them. If necessary, we will need to set up a field hospital.  … If there is a [COVID-19] outbreak, we must take care of them.”

Copyright ©2015-2020, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews

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How to identify Fake News or Messages 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 the duplicate one might be 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.

Follow WHO guidelines

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.

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.

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 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.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

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