Saturday, June 30, 2018

MOU between Myamar government, UNDP and UNHCR



The MOU can be read from the link here. As noted by experts, the MOU did not address the main issue concerning the citizenship of the affected Rohingyas, and as such, will not result in any positive outcome. Let me share the comments from the Dhaka Tribune below:
==========
Refugee leaders and human rights groups say the agreement fails to ensure basic rights for the Rohingya

Rohingya refugees returning to Myanmar will have no explicit guarantees of citizenship or freedom of movement throughout the country, under a secret agreement between the government and the United Nations seen by Reuters.

The UN struck an outline deal with Myanmar at the end of May aimed at eventually allowing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims sheltering in Bangladesh to return safely and by choice, but did not make the details of the deal public.

Reuters on Friday reviewed a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between the UN and Myanmar authorities. The draft also leaked out online.

Citizenship and rights of refugees who return to Myanmar were key points of contention during negotiations over the agreement to restore access to conflict-ravaged Rakhine state for UN agencies that have been barred since last August.

The MoU states "returnees will enjoy the same freedom of movement as all other Myanmar nationals in Rakhine State, in conformity with existing laws and regulations."

However, it does not guarantee freedom of movement beyond the borders of Rakhine or address the laws and regulations that currently prevent Rohingya from travelling freely, according to the text seen by Reuters.

Refugee leaders and human rights groups say the agreement fails to ensure basic rights for the Rohingya, some 700,000 of whom have fled a military crackdown some Western countries have called "ethnic cleansing."

"As it stands, returning Rohingya to Rakhine means returning them to an apartheid state – a place where they can't move around freely and struggle to access schools, hospitals and places they rely on for work," said Laura Haigh, Amnesty International's Myanmar researcher. "Nothing in this document provides any guarantees that this will change."

The UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, has previously called the MoU a "first and necessary step to establish a framework for cooperation" with the government.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay and Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye did not answer multiple phone calls seeking comment. The director of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population said he was not authorised to comment and directed enquiries to the permanent secretary, who did not answer the phone.

Reuters confirmed the contents of the MoU with soures at two international non-governmental organisations. The May 30 draft seen by Reuters was written a day before the deal was signed, but the phrasing of key sections was consistent with a background briefing by UNHCR for diplomats and NGOs also seen by Reuters, and a letter from UNHCR explaining the agreement delivered to refugees in Bangladesh.

‘Very angry’

Rights groups and aid agencies said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Development Programme, which spent months negotiating the deal, had not won strong concessions from the Myanmar government, especially on the key issues of citizenship and freedom of movement.

A UN spokeswoman said its policy was "not to comment on leaked documents."

"UNDP and UNHCR and the government of Myanmar continue the discussion about publicly releasing the text of the MoU," the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as an indigenous ethnic group and so denies citizenship to most. The government refers to them as "Bengalis," a term they reject as it implies they are interlopers from Bangladesh even though many trace their roots in the country back generations.

The MoU, which does not refer to refugees as Rohingya, requires the government to "issue to all returnees the appropriate identification papers and ensure a clear and voluntary pathway to citizenship for those eligible."

But most Rohingya leaders say they will not return without guarantees of citizenship and reject the National Verification Card, an alternative identity document Myanmar has been pushing them to accept, saying it classifies life-long residents as new immigrants and does not allow free travel.

On Monday, Reuters reported a senior Myanmar official told Western diplomats that a proposal to review a citizenship law that effectively renders Rohingya stateless could not be implemented.

"We are very angry with this MoU," said Mohibullah, chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, a Rohingya organisation based in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. "It does not mention the term Rohingya. Also it says free movement within Rakhine state, but that is very difficult for us."

He said Rohingya had been told by UNHCR officials that the agreement was solely about granting access to northern Rakhine for aid agencies. "We will not accept this MoU."

 

Rohingya women tell of new massacre horror

Rohingya women tell of new massacre horror: 'Soldiers threw babies in the air and slashed them with machetes.
Refugee women of Myanmar reveal the terrifying and bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing suffered by their people.

(Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
Whispered testimony from a traumatised Rohingya mother has revealed a gruesome new level of violence against the most defenceless of refugees.
Fatima Begum’s husband was shot then had his throat cut as merciless soldiers torched a village in Myanmar.
But that is just the beginning of her horrifying story. She then reveals how babies and children were slaughtered in state- ­sponsored war crimes so awful they are difficult to comprehend.
In hushed tones, wary Fatima, 25, tells me: “They threw babies in the air and then slashed them with long knives and machetes.
“I saw a dead baby cut into four and then they threw the body parts on to a fire. I saw this happen right in front of me. I was struck dumb, totally speechless. I could not believe what I was seeing.
“I know a lot of women from my village whose children were killed this way. They burned some ­children whole too.Lad on food run in cramped camp (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
Read More
“The youngest women, the beautiful and unmarried women, about 20 of them, they killed them when they tried to get away. They were put in a line in a clearing and shot.”
I meet Fatima at a refugee camp in Kutupalong, near Cox’s Bazar, on Bangladesh’s southern tip.
In stifling heat she waits patiently in the rice queue – solely responsible for giving her children food and shelter following her husband’s death at the hands of government troops last month.
Fatima is one of 700,000 persecuted Rohingya to cross into Bangladesh since last summer.
And she is prepared to speak out in a bid to prompt Britain and the UN to take action against generals who sanctioned the genocide.
She wants politicians to stop looking the other away.
Cradling her 14-month-old daughter Hasina, Fatima tells of being forced to run for her life, leaving everything behind as flames engulfed her straw-roofed home.
Kids in refugee camp (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
She says: “While I hid in the forest, my husband ran back to our home to get food for the journey ahead. But soldiers were waiting.
“First they shot him and then they cut his throat with a machete. They killed at least 30 other men by covering them in petrol and setting them on fire. It was so awful we just kept running for four days across the mountains, without any food.”
Every person I meet in sprawling camps on a strip of land near the river that separates Bangladesh and Myanmar – previously called Burma – has fled unimaginable horrors to seek sanctuary. Every word of every testimony is equally grotesque.
They paint a vivid picture of a co-ordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Tatmadaw – ­Myanmar’s forces.Young boys take on their missing fathers' role collecting food in the camps (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
Mass murder, rape and torture have been used in what has been described as the worst act of ­genocide this century.
The intense bloodshed has provoked the fastest movement of people since more than half a million fled Rwanda in 1994.
On the banks of the river we meet four Rohingya families who arrived by raft the day before.
The mountains they crossed on the side opposite are tantalisingly close. Nazima, 27, and her three children lie sprawled on the mud floor, exhausted and dehydrated.
The mother says her husband is still in Myanmar after being pistol-whipped by lurking troops as he clambered on a raft.
Snipers pick off those trying to get out, she tells me.
Nazima fled with her kids after her husband was attacked (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
There are only women in the food queue. Thousands of husbands have died in the mountains beyond.
With foreign observers prevented from entering its killing fields, aid agencies can only estimate the death toll.
I meet 20-year-old Amina sitting on a child’s plastic chair with her son Mohammed, eight months, and daughter Mahia, 18 months.
Their canvas shelter, reinforced with the help of British aid agency CAFOD, is one of nearly 800 squeezed into a patch of uneven ground the size of a football pitch. Amina’s tale is remarkable, given she was more than eight months pregnant when she made her escape.
“They were stabbing our children with knives, slashing them wildly,” Amina mutters nervously.
“They tortured my husband but he managed to get away. I couldn’t run fast because I was heavily pregnant.
“Everyone was panicking... we became separated. I carried on by myself. When I was still in jungle, somewhere near the river, I had contractions and I gave birth, on the ground, alone. I was crying. Girls from a village nearby heard me and came to help. They cut the umbilical cord.
Collecting bamboo to strengthen the refugee's shelters before the monsoon and cyclones hit (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
Read More
“I had been walking for 12 days. I was exhausted, so they helped me and Mohammed get on a canoe.”
Unsurprisingly, little Mohammed has been struck by continual health problems, having spent his life in the camp. A severe skin condition affects his entire body and he has a fever. It was many weeks after getting into Bangladesh that Amina was, miraculously, reunited with daughter Mahia.
The camp is filled with widows also grieving the loss of their children.
Tearful Nur Begum, 30, tells me how her 12-year-old son was shot dead. Nur, who managed to escape with her other children, says: “While we were all sleeping, they poured oil on the straw roofs of our houses and set them on fire.Refugee camps on the border of Myanmar in Bangladesh (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)
“We all ran out, terrified, and then they started shooting. My son fell down in front of me. He was dead. We all just had to keep running though. I had to leave his body there.”
Despite mounting evidence, Britain has been accused of not standing up to the Myanmar government as it presses for post-Brexit global trade deals. International trade Secretary Liam Fox addressed a forum in London last October aimed at boosting relationships with countries including Myanmar – just two months after the military onslaught against the Rohingya started.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell travelled to Myanmar on a trade mission last year.
And Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met the country’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February, but failed to convince her of the full scale of the atrocities committed.
Boris Johnson meeting Aung San Suu Ky (Image: EPA)
Oxford-educated Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was kept under house arrest for 15 years by the Myanmar regime, has yet to acknowledge massacres have taken place.
Pressure is growing on the world to act. Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, says: “The UK and others should stop wringing their hands and put forward a resolution referring Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.”
Labour’s Stephen Twigg, chair of the International Development Committee, urged a “dramatic change in UK policy” towards Myanmar.
For now, however, state troops continue to target the Rohingya, who are not recognised as one of Myanmar’s “national indigenous races”.
As the land journey to safety gets ever more risky, hundreds of Rohingya head out to sea to escape rather than risk being shot by taking the shorter route across the river.
This holds different risks. And every day they keep coming with new tales of heartache, an overwhelming tide of suffering that their neighbours in Bangladesh cannot hold back.

Military chiefs blamed

Ten generals including military commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing have been named over the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
A harrowing Amnesty International report also accused three officials in the Border Guard Police (BGP) for their roles in the bloodshed.
Based on interviews, satellite imagery, verified photographs and expert forensic and weapons analysis, the report details a pattern of violations against the Rohingya – mainly Muslim people persecuted in Buddhist Myanmar.
Canada and the EU have announced sanctions on seven senior officers in the Tatmadaw – Myanmar’s state forces.
Matthew Wells, of Amnesty, said: “Those with blood on their hands must be held to account.
“Failure to act now in light of overwhelming evidence begs the question: what will it take for the international community to take justice seriously?”

Friday, June 29, 2018

Secret U.N.-Myanmar deal on Rohingya offers no guarantees on citizenship

The UN struck an outline deal with Myanmar at the end of May aimed at eventually allowing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims sheltering in Bangladesh to return safely and by choice, but did not make the details of the deal public.
Reuters on Friday reviewed a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between the UN and Myanmar authorities. The draft also leaked out online.
Citizenship and rights of refugees who return to Myanmar were key points of contention during negotiations over the agreement to restore access to conflict-ravaged Rakhine state for UN agencies that have been barred since last August.
The MoU states “returnees will enjoy the same freedom of movement as all other Myanmar nationals in Rakhine State, in conformity with existing laws and regulations”.
However, it does not guarantee freedom of movement beyond the borders of Rakhine or address the laws and regulations that currently prevent Rohingya from traveling freely, according to the text seen by Reuters.
Refugee leaders and human rights groups say the agreement fails to ensure basic rights for the Rohingya, some 700,000 of whom have fled a military crackdown some Western countries have called “ethnic cleansing”.
“As it stands, returning Rohingya to Rakhine means returning them to an apartheid state – a place where they can’t move around freely and struggle to access schools, hospitals and places they rely on for work,” said Laura Haigh, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher. “Nothing in this document provides any guarantees that this will change.”
The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, has previously called the MoU a “first and necessary step to establish a framework for cooperation” with the government.
Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay and Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye did not answer multiple phone calls seeking comment. The director of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population said he was not authorized to comment and directed enquiries to the permanent secretary, who did not answer the phone.
Reuters confirmed the contents of the MoU with sources at two international non-governmental organizations. The May 30 draft seen by Reuters was written a day before the deal was signed, but the phrasing of key sections was consistent with a background briefing by UNHCR for diplomats and NGOs also seen by Reuters, and a letter from UNHCR explaining the agreement delivered to refugees in Bangladesh.

“VERY ANGRY”

Rights groups and aid agencies said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Development Programme, which spent months negotiating the deal, had not won strong concessions from the Myanmar government, especially on the key issues of citizenship and freedom of movement.
A UN spokeswoman said its policy was “not to comment on leaked documents”.
“UNDP and UNHCR and the government of Myanmar continue the discussion about publicly releasing the text of the MoU,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as an indigenous ethnic group and so denies citizenship to most. The government refers to them as “Bengalis”, a term they reject as it implies they are interlopers from Bangladesh even though many trace their roots in the country back generations.
The MoU, which does not refer to refugees as Rohingya, requires the government to “issue to all returnees the appropriate identification papers and ensure a clear and voluntary pathway to citizenship for those eligible”.
But most Rohingya leaders say they will not return without guarantees of citizenship and reject the National Verification Card, an alternative identity document Myanmar has been pushing them to accept, saying it classifies life-long residents as new immigrants and does not allow free travel.
On Monday, Reuters reported a senior Myanmar official told Western diplomats that a proposal to review a citizenship law that effectively renders Rohingya stateless could not be implemented.
“We are very angry with this MoU,” said Mohibullah, chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, a Rohingya organization based in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. “It does not mention the term Rohingya. Also it says free movement within Rakhine state, but that is very difficult for us.”
He said Rohingya had been told by UNHCR officials that the agreement was solely about granting access to northern Rakhine for aid agencies. “We will not accept this MoU.”
==========
Reporting by Poppy Elena McPherson and Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Alex Richardson

Terrorism is not due to religion: Locate underlying Politics!

By Ram Puniyani

Politics in contemporary times is wearing the clothes of religion; much too often. It may be global politics of imperialist countries, to control the oil wealth, or the politics to re-impose values of birth based inequality in South Asian countries, religion is the cover. In Pakistan and many West Asian countries , it in the name of Islam that feudalism-authoritarianism persists and is being strengthened, in Myanmar-Sri Lanka Buddhism is the cover, while in India, it is the label of Hinduism, which is being abused to stifle the values of equality and liberalism. Too often such acts of sectarian politics affect the creative people, their gazal concerts are disrupted, their films are banned-attacked by the storm troopers. Many times warnings are given to them and apologies sought for the hurt feelings of religion or nationalism.
Priyanka Chopra, the star from bollywood who has been doing a serial in US television, Quantico, has been in the news for similar reasons (June 2018). In one episode of this series; the character played by her thwarts the nuclear attack by some Hindu-Indian terrorist, in the nick of time when Indo Pakistan summit is to take place. The hurt sentiment brigade announced “Hindu Sena appeals to public in general to boycott any work, ads or movies of Priyanka Chopra and appeals to Indian government to strip her of Indian citizenship and deny her entry in India.” In an over bending attitude the actor tweeted “I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico. That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologize. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change,” One actor from film industry Pooja Bhat did firmly stand with Chopra, defending her right of freedom as an actor.
What is in continuation with this pattern is that while in current times the films, serials, acts of fiction abound with Muslim characters as terrorists-extremists, this episode of Quantico, showing a Hindu character in the evil role brought forth the usual threats and demanded the cancellation of citizenship of the actor! One must say that labeling any act of violence in the name of religion is a trend which has picked up in the wake of 9/11 twin tower tragedy. While the terrorist groups were groomed, indoctrinated by the superpower US, to join the military fight against Soviet Russia’s occupation of Afghanistan, the whole exercise of indoctrination was done by using a version of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia. The master of the planning was sitting in Washington. The whole act of insane terrorism was done in the name of Islam. The US media came to coin the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’ and religion and terrorism got associated for the first time, despite the fact the people from many religions have been involved in the acts of terror most of the time. It was in continuation with this trend that when India witnessed the involvement of number of Hindu nationalists in the acts of terror, the word, Hindu terror, saffron terror or Hindutva terror started floating in the air. Apologies were demanded for use of this term in the wake of granting bail to the likes of Pragya Thakur or Aseemanand.
In the aftermath of Malegaon blast of 2008, the meticulous investigation of Hemant Karkare, the Maharashtra ATS chief, brought forth the fact that the motor cycle used for the blast was owned by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, an associate of different Hidnutva organizations. With his investigation hoards of Hindu names cropped up. This led the trail to Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, Major Upadhaya, Swami Dayanand and Swami Aseemanand among many others who were part of Hindu nationalist organizations, some owing allegiance to RSS directly. The investigation did lead to arrest of many of them; two of them, RSS ex Pracharaks have been convicted for life term in case of Ajmer blast.
The likes of Sadhvi Pragya, Purohit and Assemanand have been let off on bail. Swami had confessed and given the details of planning of terror acts in presence of a Magistrate and lot of material was recovered from the lap top of Swami Dayanand Pande. One Sunil Joshi, who was also alleged to be part of the team, was murdered and it was presumed that he was murdered for making sexual advances to Sadhvi Pragya. Despite these investigations; later due to change of the Government at Center (2014); the likes of Sadhvi and Swami have got bail! Whether the truth will ever be upheld and honored is the question. What also remains unanswered is that Rohini Salian, who was the public prosecutor in the cases involving Sadhvi etc. was asked to go soft on the cases with the change of Government at the center. It does raise many question related to crime and punishment. In Mumbai blast (1993) cases one Rubina Memon was given life imprisonment as the car used for blast cases was registered in her name. In Malegaon blast, Sadhvi owned the motorcycle used for blasts but was given the bail!
In present times things are much worse as during last few years the number of Hindus involved in lynching in the name of cow has gone up immensely, funds are collected for the family of Shambhulal Regar the brutal killer of Afrazul, in the name of love Jihad! The associations of killers of Prof Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh to Hindutva organizations are coming forth. While the actors of the stature of Chopra can wriggle out to save their careers and films with an apology, the need to look at the construction of perceptions is needed more than before, as religion has been dragged in the murky World of politics all round.    

UN chief heads to Bangladesh

According to UN spokesperson St├ęphane Dujarric, the visit will also highlight the “generosity” of Bangladesh in hosting the refugees as well as the need for the international community “to do more.”
During the mission, the Secretary-General will be joined by Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group. The two top officials are expected to meet with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other senior officials in the capital, Dhaka.
On Monday, they are due to travel to Cox’s Bazar to visit Rohingya refugee communities and humanitarian workers, and advocate for increased donor support.
IOM 2018
Flash flooding has damaged key infrastructure including this bridge in Balukhali camp.

‘One storm can wash us all away,’ refugees fear

The greatest threat that hundreds-of-thousands face on the ground today, is the ongoing monsoon season, with torrential rain that can cause flash-flooding, and the heightened risk of cyclones which accompany it. For refugees in makeshift dwellings, perched on unstable, flood and landslide-prone terrain, the risks are even higher.
“With the monsoon in full swing, it would take just one storm to wash us all away,” says 45-year-old Ayesha Begum, who lives with her two daughters and five sons whose shelter is in one of the precarious places most at risk of landslides.
“If there is a thunderstorm then the soil might get loose, anything could happen … I want a safer place, but I want to go to a place where there is a school for my son.”
Ms. Begum is on a list of 41,000 people deemed most vulnerable to floods and landslides within the Cox’s Bazar settlements, which sprawl across steep hillsides. At least 16,700 have been relocated.

‘Midwives save lives, it’s that simple’

In this complex humanitarian crisis, ensuring that pregnant women and their unborn children are protected from the myriad threats looming over them, is all the more pressing.
Midwives, trained by a UN Population Fund (UNFPA)-supported programme to care for pregnant and post-partum refugees, are saving lives.
“There’s a clear nexus here between increasing capacity to ensure safer pregnancy and childbirth for the most vulnerable women in Bangladesh itself and the ability to respond better to humanitarian needs, as with the Rohingya situation,” explains Rondi Anderson, a UNFPA midwifery specialist.
The evidence of this can be seen as women in labour, arrive at maternity centres in the camp, where they are provided with quality delivery services. A few hours later, the vast majority are cradling a healthy new-born girl or boy in their arms, in spite of the problems around them, says UNFPA.
UNFPA Bangladesh/Allison Joyce
Health workers rush to assist a pregnant woman at the Nayapara refugee camp maternity centre.

Top UN officials to accompany Secretary-General Guterres

On his mission, Mr. Guterres will also be accompanied by number of senior UN officials, including the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem.
“They will review the situation of the newly arrived Rohingyas in Bangladesh, and assess progress towards a safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees in line with international standards,” added the UN Spokesman on Thursday.
Since late August 2017, widespread and systematic violence against Myanmar’s mainly-Muslim minority Rohingya, has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in Rakhine state and seek refuge across the country’s border, in Bangladesh. Prior to that, well over 200,000 Rohingya refugees were sheltering in Bangladesh as a result of earlier displacements.
Even though the number of new arrivals has tapered off, and an agreement has been reached between the UN on the ground and the government, over establishing conditions in Myanmar to allow refugees’ voluntary and safe return, UN agencies there have reported that such conditions have not yet materialized.
As of 24 May, there are an estimated 905,000 refugees in Cox’s Bazar. To address the ongoing and increasing needs, the UN launched a Joint Response Plan in March, urging $951 million to provide life-saving assistance the refugees and host communities. However, the appeal remains only 18 per cent funded.
On Thursday, the World Bank announced close to half-a-billion dollars in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management, and social protection.
World Bank Group President Kim said that the grant will go a long way in helping the country support the refugees in their hour of need.
“We are deeply moved by the suffering of the Rohingya people and stand ready to help them until they can return home in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner. At the same time, we are also continuing to support the Bangladeshi people and the host communities, who have shown great generosity by welcoming these refugees.”

Myanmar: Prosecute Dismissed Officers for mass murder


Emergency, Indira Gandhi and RSS

By LS HERDENIA, BHOPAL

 DATED: june 28, 2018
 I do not hold any brief for Indira Gandhi as far her decision to impose emergency is concerned. There is no doubt that emergency period will be recorded as a black chapter in the democratic history of the country. But certainly I have every reason to differ with Arun Jaitely when he compares Indira Gandhi with Hitler.
Hitler perhaps was the cruellest ruler in the history of mankind. Besides destroying all the democratic institutions of Germany, which had a glorious history of democracy. He targeted one particular community (Jews) and wanted their total physical annihilation. But Indira did not target any particular community. In our country there are leaders who orchestrated the genocide of people belonging to particular community in Gujarat. Hitler’s cruelty did not have any limits. Because of his brutal attitude even great scientist like Albert Einstein had to leave his motherland. But during the emergency there is no record that anybody left India because of the so called atrocities committed by Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial regime. On the contrary stalwarts like Jayaprakash Narayan were allowed the access to highest possible medical help. Similarly J. B. Krtiplani, a great freedom fighter and Gandhi’s chosen disciple was not arrested despite the fact he continued to lead public stir against emergency. In fact Kriplani complained that he had been left out while all his friends were given the privilege of imprisonment.
Hitler not only destroyed democracy but destroyed Germany itself. But Jaitely must appreciate the fact that Indira restored democracy, ordered elections fully knowing that total annihilation awaits her. Perhaps, she was aware that the voters are going to punish her severely for her decision to impose emergency. Here I will like to draw attention that if the emergency was so bad why the then Chief of the RSS congratulated Indira Gandhi when the Supreme Court gave judgment in her favour.
MD Deoras, in his letter written from Yerwada Central Jail, dated 10th November 1975 wrote “Respected Smt. Gandhi, Prime Minister Government of India, New Delhi, let me congratulate you and five judges of the Supreme Court have declared the validity of your election”. Prior to that Deoras in his letter written from Yerwada Jail dated 22nd August 1975 addressed to Mrs. Gandhi stated “Respectful Namaskar from the Jail, I listened with rapt attention to your broadcast message relayed from the AIR and address to the nation on August 15, 1975. Your speech was suitable for the occasion and well balanced. I took my pen to write this letter.” In this letter Deoras praised the programme which Mrs. Gandhi announced in the course of his speech. Deoras writes “as you said in your speech delivered on 15th August 1975 inviting the entire country to this work, it was most befitting occasion and the time”.
At present the BJP and the RSS claim that they were the main opponents of the emergency and it was largely due to their struggle that the emergency was lifted. But the fact is that the RSS assured Mrs. Gandhi that the Sangh keeps itself aloof from the power politics. In the same letter dated 10th November 1975 Deoras writes “The Sangh has been referred to in connection with the movement of Jaya Prakash Narayan. The name of the Sangh has been linked with the Bihar and Gujarat movements again and again and without any cause. In reference to the clarification of the fact that the “Sangh has no connection with these movements.”
Deoras repeatedly reassured the Prime Minister to “set free thousands of RSS workers and remove the restriction on the Sangh. If done so power of selfless work on the part of lakhs of RSS volunteers will be utilised for national upliftment (government as well as non-government)”.
Deoras also sought the help of Vinoba Bhave in lifting the ban on the RSS. He wrote from St. George’s Hospital’s prison ward no. 14, Bombay. Deoras writes “at the feet of respected Acharya Vinobaji, this is my prayer to you that you kindly try to remove the wrong notion of the Prime Minister about the Sangh and as a result of which the RSS volunteers will be set free. The ban on the Sangh will be lifted and such a condition will prevail as to enable the volunteers of the Sangh to participate in the planned programme of action relating to country’s progress and prosperity under the leadership of the Prime Minister. Prayer for your blessings.”
Shri Jaitely claims that Indira Gandhi was like Hitler, why the Sangh, of which you were part in 1975 and even now, top boss accepted Indira Gandhi as his leader. It may be mentioned here that Vinod Dua in his popular programme “Jan Gan Man Ki Baat” has termed Deoras’s letters as piece of apology.
During emergency a slogan was very popular. The slogan was “Emergency ke teen dalal, Vidya, Sanjay, Bansilal”. At that time Vidya Charan Shukla was the Information & Broadcasting Minister, Bansilal was the Defence Minister and Sanjay Gandhi was the most confident person of Indira Gandhi (Sanjay was the younger son of Indira Gandhi). All these three were the main executioner of the emergency. Later BJP co-opted both V. C. Shukla and Bansilal. V. C. Shukla contested Lok Sabha election on BJP ticket, BJP became part of the Haryana state ministry headed by Bansilal. Sanjay died in an air crash in 1980 but BJP admitted his wife Maneka Gandhi in the party and made her Central Minster and she continues to be so. To the best of our information Maneka Gandhi did not condemn the emergency so far. If Indira was like Hitler then VC, Bansilal and Sanjay Gandhi were her main commanders. Shah Commission, which the Janata Government constituted to enquire into atrocities during emergency found them guilty of doing several acts to enforce provisions of emergency. It was V. C. Shukla who monitored the censorship on media. What happened that the BJP rewarded Shukla? This was the volte face of the BJP which is political wing of the RSS.
In the end it may be mentioned that RSS has admiration for Hitler. This admiration was reflected in some school textbooks of Gujarat. There was hue and cry against the act of the Gujarat government and then laudable references to Hitler were removed.                       

Two Lynched Within 24 Hours in Trupura state of India


India under Modi government is becoming a den of hatred and lynching mob for minorities, esp. Muslims. See the report below from Outlook India.
==============
On Wednesday evening, a mentally-challenged man was thrashed and left with serious injuries by a mob over similar child-lifting and organ trafficking rumours in Agartala. A video of the incident had also gone viral on social media.
The trigger for the three back-to-back attacks, the sources said, were the alleged reports about illegal harvesting of the kidneys and other organs of an 11-year-old boy, Purna Biswas, who was found dead in the Tulabagan area of West Tripura district on Tuesday. Amid reports of clashes between locals and the police over the incident, chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to social media to debunk the rumours, and claimed that the kidneys and other organs of the boy were found intact, citing the autopsy report.
In fact, to counter the social media reports, Deb said there was no facility for kidney or liver transplant in the entire state or even in the adjacent districts of Bangladesh.
"Strongest possible action shall be taken against all the miscreants who are attempting to disrupt our peaceful and beloved Tripura. Urge citizens to not indulge in spreading rumours and fake news. Bring any such matters to immediate notice of Tripura_Police,” the chief minister tweeted.
Urge citizens to not indulge in spreading rumours and fake news. Bring any such matters to immediate notice of @Tripura_Police.
The incidents come as a grim reminder of the brutal lynching of two friends – Nilotpal Das, 29, and Abhijeet Nath, 30, – in neighbouring Assam’s Karbi Anglong district after they were mistaken as child lifters by a mob of more than 200 people.


Chakraborty, a microphone announcer, was reportedly hacked to death on Thursday, while two government officials accompanying him were thrashed by a mob at Manu Bazar in southern Tripura, 130 km south of Agartala, while they were announcing that the reports on child lifters were false. Their vehicle was also badly damaged in the attack. Tension prevailed in Subroom sub-division after the incident.

"Sukanta Chakraborty was attacked when he was appealing to the public on behalf of the administration not to heed to rumours. Senior civil and police officials have rushed to these areas and additional security has been deployed to control the situation," an official told the local media.



While the Murabari incident reportedly took place, when Khan and two other hawkers -- Khushit Khan from Uttar Pradesh and Gulzar Khan from Bihar -- reached the tribal-dominated area around 9:30 am from Bitterban, an urban slum, to sell garments on a vehicle. Locals suspected them to be child lifters and started assaulting them, police sources said.

Chased by the mob, the hawkers and their driver ran into the nearby Tripura State Rifles camp, police said. As the situation went out of control, the TSR personnel fired several rounds in the air and also burst tear gas shells, but the mob continued to beat the men. While Khan died on the spot, Khushit, Gulzar and their driver Swapan Miah were seriously injured in the attack, police said, adding that a constable Sumit Sanyal was also injured.

"There were around 300 to 400 people who attacked us. They suspected us child lifters in reference to the Mohanpur incident. I showed them my driving licence, Aadhaar and identity cards but they still attacked us,” Miah told news agency
A day ago, in a widely-circulated video, a mob was purportedly seen beating a man, who is yet to be identified, on the suspicion that he was a child kidnapper.
In view of rumour-mongering, director-general of police Akhil Kumar Shukla issued a notification on Thursday, suspending all SMS and Internet services for the next 48 hours.
"It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being widely used for transmission of fake images, videos and text messages which have the potential to incite violence in the state," the notification stated.
The nation has witnessed several incidents of mob violence following rumours on social media in the past a few months, leading to assaults and murders. One of the first cases was reported from Obanapalle village in Andhra Pradesh on April 28 when locals thrashed a mentally unsound man to death.
On the same day, another mentally unstable man was hacked to death by a mob in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu after several WhatsApp posts claimed that around 200 miscreants from “north India” either entered or were entering into the state to abduct children. Two more similar incidents came to light from the state within two weeks.
Similar incidents of people being thrashed over social media rumours were also reported from several states including Odisha, Karnataka and Gujarat.

Money of Indians in Swiss Banks jumps 50%

After declining for three successive years, money parked by Indians in Swiss Banks rose 50 per cent to CHF (Swiss Franc) 1.02 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017 over the previous year.
While overall, total foreign deposits rose by only 3 per cent, China also saw a significant jump in the money parked by its residents — up 69 per cent, from CHF 9.45 billion in 2016 to CHF 15.95 billion.
The latest data from Zurich-based Swiss National Bank (SNB) comes months after a new framework has been put in place for automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and India to help check the black money menace. While Switzerland has begun sharing foreign client details on evidence of wrongdoing provided by India and some other countries, it has agreed to further expand its cooperation on India’s fight against black money with a new pact for automatic information exchange.
Bankers attributed the jump in Indian deposits to a variety of factors: the 39 per cent increase in foreign remittances (total of Rs 77,939 crore in 2017-18) under the RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme (under which a resident Indian can remit $250,000 per year); increase in reporting after a three-year crackdown on disclosure of black money parked abroad. At Rs 7000 crore, this is a fraction of the Rs 44,500 crore that was parked in Swiss banks by Indians in 2006.

The increase in 2017 comes after money parked by Indians in Swiss banks dropped sharply from CHF 2.03 billion (Rs 14,000 crore) in 2013 to CHF 676 million (Rs 4,660 crore) in 2016.
In fact, this dip coincided with the crackdown and came despite the fact that LRS limits were eased, from $75,000 in August 2013 to $250,000 in May 2015.
Data shows that Indian money in Swiss banks included Rs 3,200 crore in the form of customer deposits, Rs 1,050 crore through other banks and Rs 2,640 crore as other liabilities such as securities at the end of 2017. Another Rs 112 crore was held through fiduciaries or wealth managers.

For Pakistan, it declined from CHF 1.38 billion to CHF 1.1 billion in the same period. The deposits of US residents in Swiss Banks stood at CHF 165 billion and declined from CHF 175 billion in 2016.
Over the last three years the Indian government took several measures to crack down on black money. After the Enactment of Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 under which it provided a one-time compliance window to taxpayers to make declarations of their undisclosed foreign assets, the government provided compliance window for declaration of undisclosed income through the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) in 2016. This was followed by Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) in post-demonetisation phase.
While assets worth Rs 4,100 crore were declared by over 640 persons under the black money Act, under IDS, disclosures worth Rs 67,300 crore were made by over 71,000 persons. Under PMGKY, disclosures of about Rs 4,900 crore were made by about 21,000 persons.
In addition, a joint declaration for the implementation of automatic exchange of information (AEOI) was signed between Switzerland and India in November last year which provides that both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards. With the completion of the parliamentary procedure in Switzerland and signing of mutual agreement, India and Switzerland are set for automatic exchange of information for the period beginning from January 1, 2018, the CBDT had said in December last year.
Even the Swiss Parliament had in 2014 tightened the country’s money-laundering rules stating that there would be a cap of CHF 100,000 ($104,000) on cash transactions. It also said that all individuals including foreign politicians and high-profile officials will be watched more closely.