Showing posts from August, 2017

Floods in South Asia

At least 1,200 people have been killed and millions have been left homeless following devastating floods that have hit India, Bangladesh and Nepal, in one of the worst flooding disasters to have affected the region in years.
International aid agencies said thousands of villages have been cut off by flooding with people being deprived of food and clean water for days.
South Asia suffers from frequent flooding during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, but authorities have said this year's floods have been much worse.
In the eastern Indian state of Bihar, the death toll has risen to more than 500, the Straits Times reported, quoting disaster management officials.
The paper said the ongoing floods had so far affected 17 mllion people in India, with thousands sheltered in relief camps.
Anirudh Kumar, a disaster management official in Patna, the capital of Bihar, a poor state known for its mass migration from rural areas to cities, said this year's farming had c…

Mueller stopping Trump from pardoning him

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly teamed up with a powerful New York prosecutor to investigate Donald Trump’s former campaign manager – a disturbing development for the White House as the President does not have the power to pardon state crimes.
To find out more, click here.

India’s Tryst with Godmen Criminals by Farzana Versey

Charlatan godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, head of the Dera Sacha Sauda, has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for the rape of two of his devotees. To prepare for this court pronouncement, the army had to conduct a flag march, the police was on high alert, some areas were placed under curfew. One might have imagined that a terrorist was on the loose.
In India when a godman is arrested on rape or murder charges, his followers can and will take to the streets to avenge a court order. This happened on Friday, August 26 as a Central Bureau of Investigation court convicted Singh. The country was shocked that 200,000 of his band of followers had congregated well before the verdict precisely as a strategy to create mayhem — they stoned building windows, torched buses and cars, including television broadcast vans; 30 people were killed and over 250 injured. What the country does not get shocked over is the existence of such fake gurus and the respect they command among …

The endless wait for Kashmir's disappeared to return

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir - In a central park in Kashmir's Srinagar, relatives of the disappeared gather for a day of remembrance and mourning.
Some burst into tears as they hold photographs of their lost loved ones, some of whom have been missing for years and whose fate remains unknown.
It is the International Day of the Disappeared and these families have one simple question: are their loved ones dead or alive?
They have waited years for any sign of them.
They have visited graveyards, morgues, prisons and torture centres, but found no trace of their missing kin.
The families were brought together by Parveena Ahanger, a 55-year-old woman whose own teenage son disappeared in 1990.
Ahanger heads the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and tells Al Jazeera that the group will continue to protest and appeal to the international community until they are informed about their missing relatives.
"We want to ask the government what they have done to our …

Since Trump’s Mideast visit, extrajudicial killings have spiked in Egypt

CAIRO —Two months after Sabry Mohammed Said vanished, his body turned up at the morgue. He had been shot three times and severely beaten, his family said.
The 46-year-old accountant and father of five was a rank-and-file member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement. Egyptian authorities claimed he was also a terrorist who was killed in a June gun battle with police.
But Said’s daughter Sara Sabry said he hadn’t been politically active in three years and had never been arrested. When relatives went to get a police report, the precinct had no record of the incident.
Now, Sabry is convinced that her father died in the custody of Egypt’s notorious state security forces.
“They killed him because he opposed the government,” said Sabry, her face somber and framed by a lime-green headscarf. “Anyone in the opposition is at risk of having this happen to him these days.”
Said’s death is part of a spike in extrajudicial killings and other forms of state abuses that have been committed in re…

US Ambassador Rejects Govt Implication of Aid Agencies

YANGON — The US Ambassador to Myanmar Scot Marciel on Thursday rejected suggestions by the Myanmar government that international aid agencies—including the US Agency for International Development (USAID)—are supporting the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in northern Rakhine State.
“Any suggestion that USAID, or any other US government agency is providing support to ARSA, an organization we have condemned, is absurd,” Marciel told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.
“Everything that we have been doing, and that we continue to do, is in support of the Myanmar people and their effort to build democracy, peace, and prosperity,” he said, adding that embassy staff had spoken to the government regarding the allegations.
The Myanmar government reported the discovery of aid items in suspected militant camps in a number of official statements, as it has launched large security operations in northern Rakhine State after ARSA attacked police and military posts last Friday.
The attacks and continuing vio…

Are Rohingya Muslims On The Path To Extinction? by Ewelina U. Ochab

Are Rohingya Muslims On The Path To Extinction? asks  Ewelina U. Ochab.
I write on human rights and persecution of minorities around the worldOpinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Over the weekend, Pope Francis spoke about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Pope Francis is also planning a visit to Burma later this year. His speech was followed by statements from the United Nations and state officials about recent developments in Burma and the worsening situation of the Rohingya Muslims. The question is: what is happening to Rohingya Muslims in Burma?
This August 29, 2017, photo shows an elderly Rohingya refugee holding her sleeping grandson in her lap at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh. (Photo credit: EMRUL KAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) Rohingyas are the people indigenous to the western Rakhine State of Burma. They are predominately Muslims. Despite the…

Charlie Hebdo in the news

Remember Charlie Hebdo?
The most recent cover of French magazine Charlie Hebdo mocks victims of Hurricane Harvey with art of neo-Nazis drowning and text that translates to, “God Exists! He Drowned All the Neo-Nazis of Texas.”
The cover features an image of swastika flags and arms in the Nazi salute being submerged in rainwater. The hurricane and massive flooding in the Houston area has killed at least 31 people and left thousands stranded.

The cover is presumably poking fun at the tragic events in Charlottesville earlier this month when violence erupted at a White Supremacy rally, killing three people. Users quickly rushed to Twitter to criticize the cover, with many people noting that the magazine has the right to print whatever it wants.

Rohingya: Even Women and Children Not Spared by Myanmar army

I have stated a few times that what the Myanmar rapist military is doing in the Rohingya territories is nothing short of genocide in which even the fleeing women and children are  shot at and are not spared.
The minority Rohingya community have told Al Jazeera that the casualties are much higher. They say nearly 800 Muslim Rohingyas, including women and children, have been killed in the latest violence.
Locals and activists accuse the state police of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women and children and carrying out arson attacks in what they have declared is a war against "terrorism," especially around the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung. The area has a population of around 800,000 people. They have also imposed a curfew in the affected region.
Thousands of Rohingya have tried to flee into Bangladesh, but Bangladeshi border guards are reportedly turning them back.
Aziz Khan, a Maungdaw resident, said the army stormed his village early…

Journalist Detained in Myanmar For ‘Defaming’ a fascist Monk responsible for initiating genocidal crimes

Read the news below to see the height of moral bankruptcy in this Buddhist country called Myanmar. A fascist monk - Wirathu - who has been responsible for initiating genocidal crimes against the most persecuted Rohingya people is treated as a celebrity - an untouchable Don. He had a role in the killing of a prominent Rohingya lawyer. When a honest journalist shared a post on Facebook suggesting Wirathu had violated the monastic code of conduct by making statements commending the Jan. 28 assassination of a well-known Muslim lawyer, the journalist was charged for defaming Wirathu. What a sickening display of law and justice in this den of hatred!!

Burmese authorities arrested an award-winning investigative journalist at Yangon International Airport last montht as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok, claiming that he might try to evade a criminal defamation charge leveled against him earlier this year.
Local broadcaster DVB reports that Swe Win, chief editor and correspondent for Myanmar …

About 18,000 Rohingya Have Fled Myanmar Since Genocidal Violence Erupted Last Week

An estimated 18,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled across the border into Bangladesh since Friday to escape the latest escalation of violence in western Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday that more are expected in the coming days as “hundreds and hundreds” remained stranded at the border, Reuters reports. Violence erupted on Aug. 25 when Rohingya insurgents allegedly attacked dozens of state security stations as a result of on-going genocidal crimes of the Myanmar government and its Buddhist people. ============  At least 109 people were killed during and after the the attacks, most of them insurgents, according to government figures. The attacks occurred shortly after a sharp uptick in the deployment of Myanmar military troops to the volatile area, a move prompting the U.N. rights rapporteur to Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, to express "major concern." Rakhine is home to an estimated 1.1 million Rohingya, a stateless Musl…

How Israel Won the War and Defeated the Palestinian Dream

To read the story, click here.

Report from Rohngya victims

Here below are eye-witness reports, published in the Arakan Times, from  victims of the latest genocidal activities of the Myanmar army:
A middle school teacher, U Maung Ni, from ThihoKyun of Northern Maungdaw reported that Myanmar army burnt down their homes, killed 100s of civilians and alleged them Bengali terrorists. Maung Ni said “Military came to our village and started open fire on us on 26 August 2017. We all ran to save our lives. Later, army blazed our homes. Myanmar regime has been labeling us Bengali terrorists since 1990. We are not terrorists. We are victims of Genocide since 1990. I condemned ARSA militants’ attack on Border Guard Posts in October 9, 2016. Instead of finding the attackers, military and border guards targeted only civilians in October, November and December. In November, ARSA militants came to our village, forced villagers prepare food for them. Ali Akbar informed military about the militants. When soldiers came, they arrested those who fed mil…

Rohingya: Even babies were not spared by the army

Myanmar troops shot at Rohingya civilians with mortars and machine guns near the Bangladesh border yesterday. They were mostly women and children.
The Myanmar army has been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings in the restive Rakhine region, with residents and activists accusing soldiers of shooting indiscriminately at unarmed Rohingya men, women and children and carrying out arson attacks. Authorities in Myanmar say close to 100 people have been killed since Friday when armed men, reportedly from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), launched a pre-dawn raid on police outposts in the restive region.
The army has declared a war against "terrorism", encircling the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung, home to around 800,000 people, and imposed a curfew from 6pm (11:30 GMT) to 6am (23:30 GMT). However, advocates for the Rohingya have given a much higher death toll, telling Al Jazeera that at least 800 of the Muslim minority, including dozens of women and …

ARNO press release on Kofi Annan-led Commission Report on Arakan

Press release 27 August 2017
Implement Recommendations, Stop Military Atrocities, and Allow UN Fact-Finding Mission
Arakan Rohingya National Organisation welcomes the report of Annan's Advisory Commission on Rakhine State released on 24 August 2017. Now the responsibility lies with the NLD-led government for the full implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. It is noteworthy that the Commission has stressed to address the Rohingya problem and their "legitimate concerns" without use of force, and warned of radicalization if not executed swiftly.

We reiterate that the deployment of hundreds of soldiers to Northern Arakan from 11 August was a joint conspiracy of some Rakhine leaders and Myanmar military. Despite concerns raised by ARNO with the Rohingya people, and international rights groups, including UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee, the armed forces have created an extreme situation that caused the latest unwanted clashes from last Friday, between soldiers a…

Kushner's visit to the Middle East

Kushner tells Abbas Israeli Squatter Expansion can’t be stopped b/c Netanyahu Gov’t would Fall. To read more, click here.

The tragic tale of Egypt’s decline: Is it also the story of America’s future?

Steven A. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His new book, "False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East," was recently published by Oxford University Press. Here is the link to his article on Trump's America and Egyptian dictators who led to her decline.

Two Muslim youths Carrying Cattle Lynched By Mob In West Bengal's Jalpaiguri

Eid al-Adha will be celebrated by Muslims next week in commemoration of sacrifice made by Prophet Abraham. India has nearly 14% Muslims who are preparing for the festival. Unfortunately, Hindu fascism is now the new norm in India which lets Hindu fascists to lynch anyone suspected of being a non-Hindu. And when it comes to trading in cattle, carrying cows these low lives are all excited and don't mind taking actions in their own hands. Two teenager Muslims were beaten to death in West Bengal of India. This is the new India we have learned to see these days!!!
See the latest report below:
According to police sources, the incident took place around 3 am in Dadon 2 village about 15 kms from Dhupguri town.
Two persons were lynched by a mob, which dragged them out of a pick-up van carrying cows, at Barhoria village in Jalpaiguri district on Sunday the police said.
According to police sources, the incident took place around 3 am in Dadon 2 village about 15 kms from Dhupguri town,…

Myanmar troops open fire on civilians fleeing attacks

Myanmar soldiers opened fire on fleeing Rohingya civilians - mostly women and children - as they attempted to cross the border into Bangladesh and escape surging violence.
On Saturday, an AFP news agency reporter at Bangladesh's Ghumdhum border post counted more than a dozen mortar shells and countless machine-gun rounds fired by Myanmar security forces in nearby hills onto a large group of Rohingya desperately trying to cross.
It was not immediately clear if any were hit, but the civilians scattered to evade the barrage.
"They have fired on civilians, mostly women and children, hiding in the hills near the zero line," Border Guard Bangladesh's (BGB) station chief Manzurul Hassan Khan confirmed.
"They fired machine guns and mortar shells suddenly, targeting the civilians. They have not consulted with the BGB," he added.
Anita Schug of the European Rohingya Council, speaking from the Swiss city of Solothurn, told Al Jazeera her organisation could verify the …

UN Aid Chief Issues Bleak Warning On Central African Republic - Genocide Watch

The UN's aid chief Stephen O'Brien has briefed the Security Council on the ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR). He echoed his own earlier comments that "the early warnings of genocide are there." As  I have also notedseparately in my blog, the Muslims of CAR face genocide. The warning from the UN's aid chief should be a sufficient wakeup call to stop that genocide of minority Muslims in CAR. Violent clashes in the Central African Republic could soon become genocide if the United Nations doesn't bolster its peacekeeping mission, the UN's humanitarian chief said on Tuesday. Aid chief Stephen O'Brien made the remarks during a closed-door meeting with the Security Council, requested by France, following his return from an official visit to the strife-torn country. O'Brien had said earlier this month on his return that "the early warnings of genocide are there." O'Brien told the Associated Press news agency that he witnes…

Uri Avnery's latest article

Jabotinsky and Greater Israel
by Uri AvneryPosted on August 26, 2017August 25, 2017
The spectacle is almost bizarre: a political party refuses to accept new members. And not just a few individuals, but tens of thousands. And not just any party, but the Likud ("Unification"), the main force in Israel’s governing coalition.
Strange? But there is method in this madness. It may soon come before Israel’s highest court.
The present leaders of the party, Binyamin Netanyahu and his fellows, are afraid that the people who are now seeking to register as Likud members are really settlers in the occupied territories, who want to take over the Likud, while in practice remaining loyal to their own parties, which are even more extremist.
One of the present Likud members of the Knesset has submitted a bill that may well be unique in the world. It arises from the fear that these new Likud members will not vote for the Likud in the general elections. To counter this possibili…