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Myanmar army, government aim to silence independent journalism: UN

YANGON: Military and government officials in Myanmar have waged a “political campaign” to quash independent journalism, arresting and prosecuting many through the use of vague and overly broad laws, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday. Its report examined five cases, including that of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, found guilty last week of breaching the law on state secrets and sentenced to seven years in prison after investigating a massacre of 10 Rohingya men. The U.N. report called it a…

Myanmar army apologises for mistaken photos in book on Rohingya crisis

YANGON: The Myanmar military issued a rare apology on Monday, acknowledging that two photographs it published in a book on the crisis over the Rohingya Muslim minority were “published incorrectly”. Reuters published an exclusive report on Friday revealing that two of the pictures in the book that aimed at illustrating the army’s account of last year’s events in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine, were in fact archive pictures of different conflicts, and one was posted with an incorrect caption. The erroneous…

Myanmar army opens probe amid reports of killings, abuse of Rohingya Muslims

YANGON: Myanmar’s military has launched an internal probe into the conduct of soldiers during a counteroffensive that has sent more than half a million Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, many saying they witnessed killings, rape and arson by troops. Coordinated Rohingya insurgent attacks on 30 security posts on Aug. 25 sparked a ferocious military response in the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine state that the United Nations has said was ethnic cleansing. A committee led by military Lieutenant-General Aye…

Myanmar army chief says Rohingya Muslims “not natives”, numbers fleeing exaggerated

YANGON: Rohingya Muslims are not native to Myanmar, the Myanmar army chief told the U.S. ambassador in a meeting in which he apparently did not address accusations of abuses by his men and said media was complicit in exaggerating the number of refugees fleeing. The U.N. human rights office said on Wednesday Myanmar forces had brutally driven out half a million Rohingya from northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh in recent weeks, torching homes, crops and villages to prevent them from returning. Thousands of Rohingya were…

UN plans food aid for up to 700,000 Rohingya

COX’S BAZAR: The UN has drawn up a contingency plan to feed up to 700,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after some 480,000 fled to Bangladesh over the past month and arrivals continue. A senior official from the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) told AFP they were now prepared to provide massive food and other emergency aid if the influx continues in coming weeks. "All the UN agencies together have now set a plan for a new influx of 700,000. We can cover if the new influx reaches 700,000," said the WFP’s deputy…

UN urged to punish Myanmar army over Rohingya ‘atrocities’

YANGON: Pressure grew on Myanmar Monday as a rights group urged world leaders to impose sanctions on its military, which is accused of driving out more than 410,000 Rohingya Muslims in an orchestrated "ethnic cleansing" campaign. The call from Human Rights Watch came as the UN General Assembly prepared to convene in New York, with the crisis in Myanmar one of the most pressing topics. It also came on the eve of a highly-anticipated national address by Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi -- her first on the…

Myanmar faces mounting pressure over Rohingya refugee exodus

YANGON: Pressure mounted on Myanmar on Tuesday to end violence that has sent more than 300,000 Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, with the United States calling for the protection of civilians and Bangladesh seeking international help to handle the crisis. The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar says its security forces are fighting “terrorists” behind the latest wave of attacks, which began on Aug. 25, and they are doing all they can to avoid harming civilians. The top UN human rights official denounced Myanmar on…

Rohingya insurgents declare temporary ceasefire amid humanitarian crisis

BANGKOK/COX‘S BAZAR: Rohingya insurgents declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire, starting on Sunday, to enable aid groups to help ease a humanitarian crisis in northwest Myanmar. Nearly 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced inside Myanmar after the military launched a counter-offensive following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents on 30 police posts and an army base on August 25. “ARSA strongly encourages all concerned humanitarian…

Myanmar ‘to provide aid’ to displaced Rohingya inside country

YANGON: Camps will be set up to provide aid for displaced Muslims inside Rakhine state, state-backed media said Saturday, the first time in a 16-day crisis Myanmar's government has offered any relief for Rohingya scattered by violence, many to Bangladesh. Around 270,000 Rohingya have fled since August 25 when militant attacks sent unrest churning through Rakhine, arriving in Bangladesh hungry and exhausted and squashing into already overcrowded refugee camps. Tens of thousands more are believed to be on the move inside…

Security beefed up in Islamabad amid Rohingya protest

ISLAMABAD: A demonstration is being held in Aabpara area of the federal capital today to protest against persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Various political parties held a protest demonstration demanding to deport Myanmar’s ambassador in Pakistan. The protest was led by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Amir Sirajul Haq. In an anticipation of big protest demonstration, the city administration has blocked all entry routes into Red Zone to avert any untoward incident and potential move by the rally’s participants. As…