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Sri Lanka MPs fight in parliament as power struggle deepens
Sitting abandoned after speaker rushed by MPs loyal to Mahinda RajapaksaOne MP was hospitalised and another accused of brandishing a knife during an all-out brawl on the floor of Sri Lanka’s parliament, in the latest escalation of the political turmoil that has left the country without an agreed prime minister or cabinet.The session on Thursday morning was abandoned after supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the disputed prime minister, rushed at the parliament’s speaker, Karu Jayasuriya. Continue reading... [...]
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Rohingya must get assurances on safety before returning to Myanmar | Letters
Janet Symes of Cafod says that clear mechanisms must be in place before any repatriation of refugees can beginTomorrow, the first of 2,200 extremely vulnerable Rohingya refugees face the prospect of being repatriated to Myanmar, where they fled brutal violence a year ago (Rohingya refugees flee camps in fear of forced repatriation to ‘unsafe’ Myanmar, 14 November). No refugee should be encouraged to return until their safety can be assured and they have the means to live a dignified life. Despite very difficult and cramped conditions in the camps in Bangladesh, many Rohingya refugees tell us that they would prefer to stay than risk their lives returning. The issue of safety must be addressed, as well as guarantees that returning families would be supported to rebuild their homes and lives. This requires further assurances that there are clear mechanisms in place to help ensure safe returns.Janet SymesHead of Asia, Cafod• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Continue reading... [...]
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The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya to Myanmar: don’t make them go | Editorial
Bangladesh appears poised to repatriate members of the Muslim minority who fled the campaign of violence against them. They would be at grave riskBangladeshi soldiers, police and paramilitaries have already moved into the camps at Cox’s Bazar where some 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled last year. Repatriations to Myanmar are due to begin on Thursday. The returns are supposed to be safe, voluntary and dignified, but it is clear that none of these can be the case; the UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, says there is “terror and panic”. Listed families have gone into hiding and residents of the camps have alleged threats and beatings by officials. They are petrified at the prospect of going back to a place where thousands from the mainly Muslim Rohingya people were beaten, raped and murdered by security forces and civilians. The chair of a UN fact-finding mission, which described the violence as genocide, warned the security council that “returning them in this context is tantamount to condemning them to life as sub-humans and further mass killing”.Myanmar claims its military carried out justifiable actions against terrorists – the campaign of violence followed attacks by militants on security posts – and that villagers set fire to their own homes. What better way to show nothing is wrong than by trumpeting the return of refugees? Bangladesh worries that the international community is taking the camps for granted, and its leader, Sheikh Hasina, fears domestic political repercussions in next month’s general election. It is also under pressure from China, which wants to push through the repatriations to protect its sphere of influence and ability to get on with business in Myanmar unhindered by international criticism. Continue reading... [...]
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Chaos and confusion as Rohingya refugee repatriations set to begin
Bangladesh has said repatriations will be ‘totally voluntary’ but no refugees spoken to by the UN were willingConfusion and uncertainty remained on Thursday over whether Bangladesh would begin the scheduled repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar despite overwhelming evidence that none are willing to return voluntarily.Thousands of the Rohingya refugees who had been put on a list “approved” for return to Myanmar- due to start today- have gone into hiding out of fear that, despite assurance by the Bangladesh authorities that repatriation will be “totally voluntary”, the security forces would forcibly send them across the border. Related: Rohingya refugees flee camps to avoid return to Myanmar Related: The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya to Myanmar: don’t make them go | Editorial Continue reading... [...]
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Delhi to get new stretch of Western Peripheral Expressway, vehicular pollution to go down
Delhi to get new stretch of Western Peripheral Expressway, vehicular pollution to go down [...]
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1 dead, 8 injured as SUV rams into several vehicles in Delhi
1 dead, 8 injured as SUV rams into several vehicles in Delhi [...]
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Watch | Chennai cop saves the day, pulls man from being falling under moving train
Watch | Chennai cop saves the day, pulls man from being falling under moving train [...]
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Bangladesh army arrives in Rohingya refugee camps as repatriations loom
Presence of army, police and paramilitary is latest sign that repatriations to Myanmar may not be voluntaryPlans to send Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar on Thursday have gathered momentum, with reports of Bangladesh armed forces gathering in the Cox’s Bazar camps and allegations that refugees have been assaulted by the authorities for refusing to cooperate.The army, police and paramilitary troops have moved into several of the camps, where over 700,000 Rohingya are living after fleeing a campaign of violence, described as genocide by a UN fact-finding mission, carried out by the Myanmar military in August 2017. Related: Rohingya fears grow as refugees face forcible return to Myanmar I’ve heard they will force us cross the border. We slipped out of the camp because I could not take the risk Related: UN criticises Rohingya deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh Continue reading... [...]
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Sri Lanka MPs pass no-confidence vote against disputed PM Rajapaksa
Rajapaksa’s allies refuse to recognise legitimacy of vote, deepening constitutional crisisSri Lankan lawmakers say they have passed a no-confidence motion against the country’s purported prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, removing the PM and his cabinet from their posts and deepening an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the country.But allies of Rajapaksa – controversially appointed by Sirisena last month after the president sacked the incumbent PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe – say they are refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Wednesday’s vote, extending the uncertainty that paralysed the government for the past fortnight. Related: Sri Lanka's supreme court suspends president's decision to dissolve parliament Continue reading... [...]
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Sri Lanka's supreme court suspends president's decision to dissolve parliament
Purportedly sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says president is ‘not above the law’Sri Lanka’s supreme court has suspended the president’s controversial decision to dissolve parliament and MPs are planning to meet to decide between the two men claiming to be the country’s lawful prime minister.In a verdict hailed as one of the most important in Sri Lankan history, the court ruled on Tuesday evening to suspend the order by the president, Maithripala Sirisena, calling for fresh elections that followed his attempt to install Buddhist strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in the prime minister’s office. Related: Sri Lankan political crisis could lead to bloodbath, says speaker Continue reading... [...]
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Foreign Office 'allowed Pakistan mob to dictate Asia Bibi asylum case'
Home Office urged not to grant asylum out of fears for the safety of consular staffThe Foreign Office has been accused of allowing government asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK out of fear for the safety of UK consular staff.Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy, is seeking asylum after threats to her life in Pakistan. The former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson was among many MPs calling for her and her family to be granted sanctuary in Britain. Continue reading... [...]
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Rohingya refugees flee camps to avoid return to Myanmar
Repatriations are set to begin on Thursday, but most, if not all, have said they do not want to go back Rohingya refugees are fleeing the camps in Bangladesh, and some have gone into hiding, out of fear of being sent back to Myanmar this week, according to aid groups.Repatriation of the Rohingya is scheduled to begin on Thursday, but it is proving controversial, with the first batch of 4,000 “approved” refugees put on a list for return without their consent and most, if not all, have said they do not want to go back to Myanmar under current conditions. Related: Rohingya fears grow as refugees face forcible return to Myanmar Related: Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty's highest honour over 'shameful betrayal' Continue reading... [...]
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Rafale deal: Dassault CEO Eric Trappier's interview a dictated PR stunt, says Congress
Rafale deal: Dassault CEO Eric Trappier's interview a dictated PR stunt, says Congress [...]
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200 terrorists eliminated in Jammu & Kashmir in 2018
200 terrorists eliminated in Jammu & Kashmir in 2018 [...]
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Rajini clarifies earlier remark, says Opposition ganging up on BJP shows its strength
Rajini clarifies earlier remark, says Opposition ganging up on BJP shows its strength [...]
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Pakistan failing to provide millions of girls with an education, report says
A third of girls are unable to attend primary school due to lack of facilities, research by Human Rights Watch revealsPakistan’s school system is in crisis, with a lack of government facilities creating “education deserts” for poor children, especially girls, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.A third of girls across the country are not attending primary school, compared with 21% of boys. By the ninth grade, just 13% of girls are still in school, it said. Related: The invisible female candidates shut out of Pakistan's elections | Munizae Jahangir Continue reading... [...]
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Justin Trudeau says Canada in talks with Pakistan over Asia Bibi
PM says Canada is a ‘welcoming country’ and that discussions are being held over fate of freed Christian woman Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has said talks are underway with Pakistan over Asia Bibi, a Christian woman whose acquittal on blasphemy charges against Islam last month sparked mass protests in the South Asian country.“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview with Agence France Presse in Paris, where he attended an anniversary event marking the end of world war one. His comments were confirmed by a spokesman in Ottawa. Related: The release of Asia Bibi is a small step towards a more open Pakistan | Kunwar Khuldune Shahid Continue reading... [...]
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Imran Khan’s treatment of Asia Bibi is a dangerous betrayal | Samira Shackle
While Pakistan’s blasphemy law has long been a flashpoint, the leader’s capitulation to violent extremists is deadly seriousOn 31 October, Pakistan’s supreme court acquitted Asia Bibi, a 54-year-old Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy. Bibi, a farm labourer and mother of five, had spent eight years on death row, accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad after an argument with her neighbours. After her acquittal, protests erupted in all of Pakistan’s major cities: smashed shopfronts, blocked motorways, burning tyres. And it has left the prime minister, Imran Khan, wavering between defending the verdict and trying to appease the hardline religious protesters. Related: Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence Related: Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan Continue reading... [...]
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Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty's highest honour over 'shameful betrayal'
Organisation cites ‘apparent indifference’ to atrocities committed against the Rohingya by Myanmar’s militaryAmnesty International has withdrawn a prestigious human rights award from Aung San Suu Kyi, following what it described as a “shameful betrayal” of the values she once stood for.It is the latest in a series of accolades to be withdrawn from Aung San Suu Kyi, including the US Holocaust Museum’s Elie Weisel award and Freedom of the City awards, which were revoked by Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle. Related: Who are the Rohingya and what is happening in Myanmar? Continue reading... [...]
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Shiv Sena, RSS at loggerheads for clashing in Ayodhya over Ram temple issue
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RBI Governor Urjit Patel met PM Modi last week to sort out differences with Centre
RBI Governor Urjit Patel met PM Modi last week to sort out differences with Centre [...]
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Delhi's newest bridge gets deck to deter risky selfie takers
Photos of people climbing on Signature Bridge cables emerge as India tries to prevent more selfie deathsAuthorities in Delhi were hoping a newly opened bridge would be a draw for tourists – but are now struggling to find ways to stop them taking dangerous selfies on the structure.A 154m-high viewing deck is being built and several “selfie points” will be designated to dissuade people from risking their lives for pictures, in a country where more people die taking selfies than anywhere else in the world.People risk their lives to click pictures at newly-inaugurated Signature Bridge in Delhi; #visuals from last night pic.twitter.com/slI35essc2 Related: Goa brings in 'no-selfie zones' on coast after spate of deaths Continue reading... [...]
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WhatsApp struggling to control fake news in India, researchers say
Hindu nationalism and cheap mobile data driving spread of disinformation, BBC study saysHindu nationalism and the plummeting cost of mobile phone data services are driving the explosive growth of fake news in India, according to a study that suggests WhatsApp is struggling to limit the spread of online disinformation on its service.The research by the BBC World Service sheds light on the conundrum surrounding online disinformation and fake news in the world’s biggest democracy, where the explosive popularity of the group-messaging app has been linked to a string of murders and growing anti-Muslim sentiment. Related: 'The next billion users': Google targets India's lucrative mobile market Continue reading... [...]
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Rohingya fears grow as refugees face forcible return to Myanmar
Aid agencies give warning as Myanmar and Bangladesh begin return of ‘terrified’ refugees to Rahkine stateThe governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar are to push ahead with the repatriation of thousands of Rohingya this week, despite objections by the UN, and against the wishes of the refugees, who spoke of being “terrified” at being sent back.Last week fear gripped the camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh at the news that, without their consent, 4,355 people had been placed on a list of Rohingya approved for return by Myanmar. The first repatriations are due from Thursday, but not everyone who is on the list has been informed and it is unclear how it was compiled.Families are very confused and anxious. We do not know what is going to happen to us Continue reading... [...]
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Chhattisgarh elections: Hours before voting, Congress state VP ditches party to join BJP
Chhattisgarh elections: Hours before voting, Congress state VP ditches party to join BJP [...]
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Sri Lanka political crisis: Rajapaksa severs ties with Sirisena, will head to polls solo
Sri Lanka political crisis: Rajapaksa severs ties with Sirisena, will head to polls solo [...]
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Chandrababu Naidu inducts two new faces including one Muslim into his cabinet
Chandrababu Naidu inducts two new faces including one Muslim into his cabinet [...]
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How love and a taste of honey brought one Indian woman’s 16-year hunger strike to an end
Force-fed through a nasal tube, human rights activist Irom Sharmila was revered by supporters. But she grew disillusioned. Then a suitor arrived from England…Journalists from around the world watched expectantly. Irom Sharmila peered at the smear of honey in her hand. Her face was twisted in anguish. She wept. Then, with a glance at the sky, she scooped a finger of honey on to her tongue.And that was how it ended. On a cloudy morning in August 2016, in Imphal, the capital of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, the world’s longest hunger strike was over. Sharmila had eaten for the first time in nearly 16 years. Continue reading... [...]
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