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Pope says his defense of Rohingya got through in Myanmar

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis on Saturday defended his strategy of avoiding the term “Rohingya” in Myanmar, saying he believed he got his message across to both the civilian and military leadership without shutting down dialogue, reported Reuters. Speaking to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from Bangladesh, the pontiff also indicated that…

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Pope says he ‘wept’ while meeting Rohingya refugees

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Saturday said he wept hearing the plight first-hand of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, adding that this meeting was a condition set for his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Rohingya meeting was a highly symbolic gesture of solidarity with the Muslim minority fleeing violence in Myanmar, and the pontiff told…

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Pope urges respect for rights, justice and ethnic diversity in Myanmar speech

Yangon: Pope Francis on Tuesday urged Myanmar to respect human rights, justice and different ethnicities in a keenly-watched public speech in a country waiting to see if he will address the Rohingya crisis head-on. Peace can only be achieved through “justice and a respect for human rights”, he said in an speech that also called…

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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of honor in Oxford

LONDON: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the honorific freedom of Oxford, the British city where she studied and raised her children, over her “inaction” in the Rohingya crisis. “When Aung San Suu Kyi was given the Freedom of the City in 1997 it was because she reflected Oxford’s values ​​of…

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Pope faces diplomatic dilemma in Myanmar visit

Pope Francis visits Myanmar next week, a delicate trip for the world’s most senior Christian to a majority Buddhist country accused by Washington of the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslim Rohingya people. He will also visit Bangladesh to where more than 600,000 people have fled from what Amnesty International called “crimes against humanity” including murder, rape…

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Myanmar and Bangladesh sign deal over Rohingya repatriation

Yangon: Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal on Thursday paving the way for the possible repatriation of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Rakhine state, officials said, as global pressure mounts over the refugee crisis. More than 620,000 Rohingya have poured into Bangladesh since August, running from a Myanmar military crackdown that Washington said…

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U.S. calls Myanmar operation against Rohingya ‘ethnic cleansing’

The United States called the Myanmar military operation against the Rohingya population “ethnic cleansing” on Wednesday and said it would consider targeted sanctions against those responsible, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.  Referring to “horrendous atrocities” that have occurred, Tillerson said, “After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is…

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China to help resolve Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh

Dhaka: China has offered to help defuse the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh said Saturday, following meetings with Beijing’s top diplomat that Dhaka hopes will apply pressure on Myanmar take back hundreds of thousands of refugees. More than 600,000 Rohingya are languishing in Bangladeshi refugee camps after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army campaign launched in late August….

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Rohingya can return only if Myanmar’s ‘real citizens’ accept: Army

Yangon: Rohingya refugees cannot return to Rakhine state until “real Myanmar citizens” are ready to accept them, the country’s army chief said Thursday, casting doubt over government pledges to begin repatriating the persecuted Muslim minority. More than 600,000 Rohingya are languishing in Bangladeshi refugee camps after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army campaign launched in late…

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Myanmar troops systematically gang-raped Rohingya women: UN

DHAKA: Myanmar soldiers “systematically targeted” Rohingya women for gang-rape during violence against the minority Muslim community which triggered an exodus to Bangladesh, an UN special envoy said Sunday. Pramila Patten, a special representative of the UN Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict, made the comments after visiting Bangladesh’s southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar where some…

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U.N. Security Council urges Myanmar to stop excessive military force

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council urged the Myanmar government on Monday to “ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine state,” where violence has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee the Buddhist-majority Asian country, reported Reuters. The United Nations has denounced the violence during the past 10 weeks as…

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Myanmar must give citizenship to Rohingya: UN refugee chief

UNITED NATIONS: Myanmar must grant citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims so that they can return from Bangladesh to the Southeast Asian country, where they fled government-run violence against the persecuted minority group, the head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said. “These people cannot remain…

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Four Rohingya drown as refugee boat capsizes off Bangladesh

COX‘S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Four Rohingya Muslims, a man, woman and two children, drowned when a small wooden fishing boat carrying dozens of refugees fleeing ethnic violence in Myanmar capsized off the Bangladesh coast on Tuesday, police said. People living in the coastal strip south of the Bangladesh port of Cox’s Bazar fished 37 survivors out…

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Suu Kyi: From the Queen of Hearts to a fallen portrait

By Shahbana Mahfooz She gazes at you through the portrait. The painter captures her earnestness well, the sincerity in her eyes, the goodwill and honesty in her smile. Her radiant being stands framed in her loved one’s abode and then adorns one of the walls surrounding an arena where she learned to value the principles…

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Myanmar: Foreign journalists charged over parliament drone flight

NEWS DESK: Myanmar police have charged two foreign journalists and two Burmese with breaking import laws after they flew a drone near the country’s parliament, reported BBC. They are being held in custody until their first hearing and could face up to three years in jail. The Malaysian and Singaporean were working for Turkish broadcaster…

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Tillerson tells Myanmar army chief U.S. concerned about reported atrocities

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke on Thursday with Myanmar’s army chief and expressed concern over reported atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, the U.S. State Department said in a statement, reported Reuters. Tillerson urged the army chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to support the Myanmar government in ending the violence…

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U.S. says it is considering sanctions over Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya

WASHINGTON: The United States is taking steps and considering a range of further actions over Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, including targeted sanctions under its Global Magnitsky law, the State Department said on Monday, reported Reuters. “We express our gravest concern with recent events in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses…

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Rohingyas must go home but to safety, Bangladesh says

GENEVA: Bangladesh called on Myanmar on Monday to allow nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslim refugees to return home under safe conditions, saying that the burden had become “untenable” on its territory, reported Reuters. About 600,000 people have crossed the border since Aug. 25 when Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts were met by a counter-offensive…

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Bangladesh says Rohingya outflow ‘untenable’, seeks solution

GENEVA: Nearly one million Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar are now in Bangladesh, which is an “untenable situation”, Bangladesh told a U.N. meeting on Monday, reported Reuters. Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told a donors meeting that his country was pursuing efforts with Myanmar to find a…

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Over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, UN says

TEKNAF: More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted in northern Rakhine in August, a UN report said Sunday.

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Fire destroys landmark hotel in Myanmar’s largest city, kills one

YANGON: One person was killed on Thursday in a massive fire that destroyed one of Yangon’s best-known hotels, sending dark smoke billowing over the center of Myanmar’s largest city and triggering an hours-long battle to put out the flames, reported Reuters. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which broke out around 3:20…

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