Sunday, June 19, 2016

Where Is Bangladesh Headed? A Conversation With the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh

Md. Shahidul Haque
Foreign Secretary, Government of Bangladesh
Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations

Thursday, June 23, 2016
2:00 p.m.–2:15 p.m.: Registration
2:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Discussion

Council on Foreign Relations
1777 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Rohingyas in Buthidaung Township of Arakan State threatened by the police for praying

Even after a change of the old guards in Myanmar, the deplorable condition of the Rohingyas continue. It is a shameful record of bigotry in Suu Kyi's Burma. 

Rohingyas in Buthidaung Township of Arakan State were threatened by the police while they were praying.

Since violence erupted in Arakan State in June 2012, praying at mosques is prohibited and a curfew was imposed. Up to date the curfew is still in place and Rohingyas can’t gather in groups of more than five persons although the Buddhists, Hindu and Christians can gather hundreds at their respective monasteries, temples and churches. The curfew is in place just to restrict the Rohingya Muslims.

Today, June 18, 2016 in the afternoon at about 1:00 pm a few dozen Rohingya Muslims in Ward No. (4) gathered to pray at a mosque, called Tha Byay Gone Mosque, and the police from Myoma police station came and filmed them while discouraging them from gathering.

“The police came and shot the video. Then the police said, 'who allowed you guys to pray here. Next time you guys will be sued if pray again.'” a Rohingya told RB News.

It is currently Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, and Muslims want to pray at mosque daily five times, but unfortunately Rohingyas are restricted in many ways to prevent them from doing so. The Rohingyas in Myanmar have been facing seriously restrictions on movement, business, education, marriage, birth etc. Experts have said that the Rohingyas are facing genocide.

With the new government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi ruling the country since April 1st, 2016, people thought the persecution on Rohingyas would be eased, but nothing has changed. The policy on Rohingyas is same and the Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to allow Rohingya to self-identify as such, which denies them even a basic universal human right. Recently the Myanmar government delegation at the 32nd UN Human Rights Council summit in Geneva urged the UN to use the term 'Muslims from Rakhine State' instead of saying 'Rohingyas.'

- See more at:

We Buried the Disgraceful Truth by Steve Coll

To read this article click here.

Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims

An Indian court jailed 11 Hindus for life on Friday for the murder of dozens of Muslims during riots in Gujarat in 2002 that shook India at a time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state's chief minister.

The court called the massacre the "darkest day" but rejected prosecutors' demand to sentence the defendants to death, after ruling that the attack was not planned.

A Hindu mob scaled the boundary wall of a housing complex in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's largest city, in February 2002 before torching the homes in which Muslim families were trapped.

Among the victims were children and women who were burned to death.

The riots, among the worst since India's independence from Britain in 1947, have dogged Modi's political career for years after he was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence.

Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ehsan, a former Congress party legislator, died in the blaze at the housing complex, said the sentences on Friday were too lenient.

"I am not satisfied with this verdict. I have to start all over again. This is wrong," she told media.

The trial began in 2009 and four of the defendants died during the lengthy proceedings.

Jafri, who is fighting what may be the last legal battle to pin blame on Modi, says she saw her husband making repeated desperate calls to police for help but none came.

He was dragged out of his home by sword-wielding men and within minutes was stripped and killed, according to Jafri.

"This was a massacre. So many people came together to do this, so what happened was clearly the result of a conspiracy. The 24 people should have been sentenced to life in prison. We will appeal," S.M. Vohra, a lawyer for some of the victims, told Reuters.

The court had dropped charges of criminal conspiracy against the accused, and acquitted 36 other defendants earlier this month.

Click here to read the news.

Rape, abuse stalk migrant children in French slums, UN warns

Migrant children stuck in slums on France's northern coast face a "permanent danger" of sexual abuse or exploitation, the UN Children's Fund has warned, urging the creation of protected areas for minors.
"They fear going out at night, after dark, for fear of rape," UNICEF said in a hard-hitting report on unaccompanied children titled "Neither Safe nor Sound".
Click here to read the news.

Barak flogs Netanyahu, laments ‘budding fascism’ in Israel

Israel former PM Ehud Barak laments budding fascism in Israel. “Only a blind person or a sheep, an ignoramus or someone jaded, can’t see the erosion of democracy and the ‘budding fascism,'” Barak said, to considerable applause from the audience in Herzliya on June 16.

He summarized Netanyahu's agenda: “One, Israel plans to continue controlling the area that was conquered, liberated in 1967 forever. Two, Israel is not interested in two states, and doesn’t want a Palestinian state right next door. Three, Israel is waiting for the world to adapt to and accept this reality, and is hoping that tough incidents — like terror attacks in Europe, the situation in Syria, and so on — will divert its attention [from the situation here],” Barak said.

“Four, Israel will agree to autonomy with limited rights for Palestinians, but not a state. Five, Israel will continue carefully building in the settlements and beyond them in order to gradually create irreversible facts on the ground,” he added.

Israel, Barak said, was rapidly approaching a fork in the road, one way leading to all-out war with the Palestinians, and the other leading to an apartheid state.

“We are at the start of the path, whose inevitable end is similar to Belfast and Bosnia or old Johannesburg, and even all three together,” he said.

That situation would lead to a break between Israel and other countries around the world, as well as a deterioration in the relationship between Israel and Jewish communities in America.

“They will only accept a single state if — and only if — it’s a Jewish-Arab nation of all its citizens, operating on the condition of ‘one person, one vote’ — and who among us wants that?” he asked.

You can read the news by clicking here.

Dan Sanchez on Orlando shooting

Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Here he analyzes the Orlando shooting.