Showing posts from January, 2017

Leaked Myanmar Police Documents Reveal Mastermind Behind Muslim Lawyer’s Murder

Here below is the latest report from the RFA on the murder of the Rohingya community leader who was also a lawyer: Leaked Myanmar police documents published on social media on Tuesday about the investigation of the gunman who killed prominent Muslim lawyer and government advisor Ko Ni named a man who is said to be the mastermind of the brutal murder. Arrested gunman Kyi Lin, 54, who shot Ko Ni at point blank range on Sunday outside Yangon airport as he held his grandson and then killed a taxi driver who chased him, told police in his five-page statement that a man named Myint Swe hired him to murder the lawyer. Ko Ni had just returned from Indonesia where he had been part of a Myanmar government delegation to discuss interfaith tolerance and reconciliation. Kyi Lin said he met Myint Swe—who is not connected to the vice president of Myanmar who has the same name—in the town of Mae Sot on the border with Thailand in late 2014. Myint Swe promised him a car as a reward for killing K

92,000 Rohingyas displaced in Myanmar

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: A series of attacks on Border Guard Police posts on 9 October 2016 in which nine police personnel were killed and subsequent security operations have triggered a new humanitarian crisis in the northern part of Rakhine State. At least 92,000 people have fled their homes, hundreds of houses and buildings have been burned, many people have been killed and allegations of serious human rights violations have been widely reported. Due to access restrictions imposed by the Government, the United Nations has not been able to independently investigate the reports of abuse. UN agencies in Bangladesh estimate that 69,000 people have fled across the border into Bangladesh since the attacks, while more than 23,000 (over 12,300 women/girls and over 11,100 men/boys) are estimated by the UN to remain displaced inside Maungdaw north. The majority of those displaced are Muslims who identify themselves as Rohingya; however, membe

Quebec Mosque Attack Forces Canadians to Confront a Strain of Intolerance

Quebec Mosque Attack Forces Canadians to Confront a Strain of Intolerance. To read the NY Times story, click here .

Trump killed an 8-year old girl

" In 2010, President  Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later  with a September 2011 drone strike . While that assassination created widespread debate — the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him  from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed,  sued Obama again after the killing was carried out  — another drone killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention," Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept writes . Greenwald's remaining part of the article is posted below: Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son , Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocen

Suspect in Quebec Mosque Attack is a White Nationalist

A mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque last night left six people dead and eight wounded. The targeted mosque, the Cultural Islamic Center of Quebec, was the same one at which a severed pig’s head was left during Ramadan last June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the episode a “terrorist attack on Muslims.” Almost immediately, various news outlets and political figures depicted the shooter as Muslim. Right-wing nationalist tabloids in the U.K. instantly linked it to Islamic violence. Fox News claimed that “witnesses said at least one gunman shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’” and then added this about the shooter’s national origin: Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show — Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017 White House press secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder o

Ohio Community Rallies Behind a Mom - labelled as a 'Terrorist'

 An Ohio community came together on Sunday to rally for a woman who was allegedly the target of anti-Muslim flyers posted around her neighborhood. Over 300 people from all across the state of Ohio rallied in front of Mason Community Center in solidarity with Rawd Saleh, 41, Saleh said. The rally was in reaction to flyers allegedly posted around Saleh’s neighborhood with her address illustrated on a map and a picture of her titled “neighborhood terrorist warning.” "As Americans, if we see suspicious activity, we should tell the authorities," Saleh told ABC News. "I don’t see any other suspicion that this person could’ve had other than I wear hijab." Saleh said she has lived in Ohio for 35 years and Mason for a year. When the mother of three returned home last week after a weekend out of town, her neighbors notified her immediately about the alleged flyer labeling her as a terrorist and said that they had contacted the police, she said. Saleh said that she

The Case for Impeachment of Donald Trump

"The ink on Donald Trump’s executive order barring Muslim immigrants from the U.S. is barely dry, but that’s all the more reason to begin calling for his impeachment," Dr. Anthony DiMaggio of Lehigh University writes. To read his article, click here .

Mikhail Gorbachev is worried about a world war

The last time Mikhail Gorbachev made American news , the former Soviet leader sounded upbeat. Of the incoming President Trump, he told the Associated Press in December: “He has little political experience, but maybe it's good.” Of his successor, autocratic Russian President Vladimir Putin: “He is a strong person,” Gorbachev, 85, said. “Together, they could lead the world” to peace, he told the reporter, and he sang a song after the interview. Putin and Trump have called for stronger nuclear weapons in their countries since then. Now Gorbachev is back in the media — warning of possible global war. “The world today is overwhelmed with problems,” he wrote in the first line of his essay. “Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss.” He listed some problems: “the militarization of politics and the new arms races,” bellicose world leaders and a media that echoes them. Tanks and weapons in Europe — “placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank.” [ Putin just called

Yanghee Lee of the UN condemns assassination of Rohingya lawyer

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee   on Monday strongly condemned the murder of Muslim lawyer Ko Ni, who was shot to death on Sunday outside of an airport in Myanmar. In a press release Lee said , "I am shocked to the core by the senseless killing of a highly respected and knowledgeable individual, whom I have met during all of my visits to the country." The lawyer, who worked as the legal adviser to the National League for Democracy , was shot while holding his grandchild. Lee called on the Myanmar government to condemn the killing and thoroughly investigate. A suspect has been taken into custody [BBC report], but no motive has been determined. Reports of human rights violations in Myanmar has prompted international concern. In November a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern [JURIST report] about possible crimes against humanity committed against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority. The

Texas mosque destroyed on Saturday

VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — An early-morning fire Saturday destroyed a Texas mosque that was a target of hatred several years ago and experienced a burglary just a week ago. A clerk at a convenience store spotted smoke and flames billowing from the Islamic Center of Victoria at around 2 a.m. and called the fire department. "It's sad to stand there and watch it collapse down, and the fire was so huge," Shahid Hashmi, the Islamic center's president, said. "It looks completely destroyed." Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler asked for help from the Texas Fire Marshal's Office and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine what caused the blaze. Hashmi said authorities have told him it was too early to speculate. "None whatsoever right now," the center director said. "We don't have any lead or information as to what started the fire and what happened. So I'm sure it's going to be a few days, they told us,

6 dead in Quebec mosque shooting

Quebec City (CNN): Six people are dead after a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, according to Quebec Provincial Police. Eight people were injured. The attack, which took place at the city's Quebec Islamic Cultural Center on Sunday, is being investigated as an act of terrorism by police. In what was described as a coordinated attack, witnesses say at least two gunmen wearing black fired indiscriminately into the dozens of worshipers -- including families -- in the mosque. Thirty-nine people who were at the mosque during shooting were unharmed, Christine Coulombe, spokeswoman of National Police of Quebec, said. Of the eight injured, six are described as being in critical condition. Two people have been arrested, a police said at a news conference. One was captured near the mosque and the other was apprehended on a highway nearby. The Canadian province's premier, Philippe Couillard, called the shooting a terrorist act on Twitter. He a

Assassination of U Ko Ni - message from Rohingya leaders

The murder of U Ko Ni, a longtime rights and democracy activist, respected constitutional lawyer, and legal advisor for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, is a grave loss for Burma and for all those who seek to promote tolerance and respect for human rights in the country. As one of the few remaining Muslims with the stature to influence the NLD’s policies, he was a voice of reason amid a rising tide of intolerance.  On Sunday afternoon, U Ko Ni was shot dead outside Rangoon airport while holding his grandson in his arms. He had just returned from accompanying a government minister on an official trip to Indonesia to discuss ways to overcome inter-religious differences. The alleged gunman was arrested while attempting to flee the scene.  I first met U Ko Ni in Rangoon last June, at a Human Rights Watch news conference for the launch of a report I wrote calling on the newly elected NLD government to amend or repeal laws criminalizing peaceful speech and assembly

The Washington Post Editorial on Myanmar

The editorial below is from the Washington Post Editorial Board: TRANSITION FROM military rule to democracy remains far from assured in Burma, where the military continues to be a formidable force. Now it is carrying out a scorched-earth offensive against Rohingya Muslim militants in Rakhine state, a campaign that has forced 65,000 civilians to flee across the border to Bangladesh amid reports of mass rape, torture and the killing of innocents . Some 90 people have died . Therein lies a challenge for Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democracy movement who now tenuously steers the country, and for Burma’s foreign partners. We have urged Aung San Suu Kyi to be more outspoken in support of the long-suffering Rohingya minority, especially now that she has made the crossing from dissident to political leader of her country, which is also known as Myanmar. We think she should bring to bear her considerable moral standing as a Nobel laureate and do what she can — including promote u

Emily Hilton's article on Trump presidency

Here below is the link to article: ============ In the last six months of the Second World War, my grandfather escaped a train travelling to Auschwitz. He cut a hole in the bottom of the cattle cart and lay down on the tracks. He often remarked how slowly the trains moved, rendering him completely unharmed by this process. Afterwards, he walked back to Budapest and was hidden by a woman for the remainder of the war, then working with the Soviets pointing out collaborators and Nazis once the city was liberated. Therefore, I was rather unsettled by the fact that a week before  Holocaust Memorial Day ,  Donald Trump  used his inauguration speech to bring back into fashion that classic phrase ‘America First.’ I had many conversations in the lead up to the election with colleagues and friends that Trump’s words were just ways of galvanising voters (as if using racism to make people vote for you isn’t in itself extremely offensive ), and that it would be different if he’s actually e

Banning Refugees From Countries America Destroyed Is Wrong

Here below is an article from : ------------ President Donald Trump has been busy during his first week. The speed of his executive orders, and the confidence with which he has signed plans to build a wall, and to replace ObamaCare with… something else has been shocking, considering how shellshocked he looked when he actually won. Trump also followed through on his campaign promises – or threats, if you prefer – to ban refugees from nations "of particular concern," if his apparent draft executive order is to be believed. Which nations are included in that list? Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Let’s see, the US played both sides in Syria, helped it destabilize, bombed it; they completely took over Iraq, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands; they helped stage a coup in Iran, not to mention helped Iraq use chemical weapons on its soldiers and shot down one of its passenger planes in the 1980s; the US invaded

A bigot attacks a hijab-clad airline employee at JFK

A Massachusetts man is accused of attacking a Muslim airline employee at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, allegedly kicking and shouting obscenities at the woman and telling her that President Donald Trump “will get rid of all of you,” authorities said. The Queens District Attorney’s Office said Robin Rhodes, of Worchester, had arrived from Aruba and was awaiting a connecting flight to Massachusetts Wednesday night when he approached Delta employee Rabeeya Khan, who wears a hijab, while she was sitting in her office. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Rhodes came up to the door and went on a profanity-laced tirade, asking the woman if she was praying. Rhodes then allegedly punched the door, which hit the back of Khan’s chair. Khan asked Rhodes what she had done to him and Rhodes replied, “You did nothing.” He then cursed at her and kicked her in the leg, Brown said. When another person tried to calm him down, Brown said Rhodes moved away from the door

The Empire Has No Clothes by Paul Street

Here is the link to Paul Street's article on The Empire Has No Clothes.

Israel approves 153 more east Jerusalem settler homes

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israeli officials gave final approval Thursday to 153 east Jerusalem settler homes, the deputy mayor said, adding to a sharp increase in such projects since US President Donald Trump took office. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told AFP the approvals by a city planning committee were among those held up due to pressure from former US president Barack Obama's administration. Turgeman said developers "could start building from tomorrow". To read the full text of the news above, click here .

Rohingya Children Give Eyewitness Accounts of Atrocities in Myanmar

Myanmar government is in its denial of gross violations of human rights including raping of Rohingyas by its rapist security forces. But facts are facts, and cannot be hidden under the rug. Here below are some reports on rape from Rohingya refugees, as reported by Radio Free Asia. --------- Rohingya boys and girls as young as 11 and 12 spoke of atrocities they had witnessed that forced them to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state in recent weeks, with some telling BenarNews they saw Burmese security personnel burn their siblings alive. A correspondent for BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, interviewed at least 19 children during visits to refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, a district in southeastern Bangladesh where some 65,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Rakhine state since early October, according to U.N. estimates. “The military whisked away my brother and killed him, set fire to our house, and tortured the women,” said Tasmin Khatun, 11, using a term that refers to the rap