Dhaka, Aug 27 (UNB) – Facebook on Monday banned Myanmar’s army chief and removed dozens of other pages, which, the social media platform said, have covertly pushed the messages of the Myanmar military.
“Specifically, we are banning 20 individuals and organizations from Facebook in Myanmar — including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military’s Myawady television network,” announced Facebook in a statement.
The Facebook move came at a time when international experts, most recently in a report by the UN Human Rights Council-authorized Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, have found evidence that many of these individuals and organizations committed or enabled serious human rights abuses in the country.
“And we want to prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions. This has led us to remove six Pages and six accounts from Facebook — and one account from Instagram — which are connected to these individuals and organizations. We have not found a presence on Facebook or Instagram for all 20 individuals and organizations we are banning,” stated Facebook.
The world’s most popular social media platform further stated that the ethnic violence in Myanmar has been truly horrific. “Earlier this month, we shared an update on the steps we’re taking to prevent the spread of hate and misinformation on Facebook. While we were too slow to act, we’re now making progress – with better technology to identify hate speech, improved reporting tools, and more people to review content.”
Facebook announced, “Today, we are taking more action in Myanmar, removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by almost 12 million people. We are preserving data, including content, on the accounts and Pages we have removed.”
Facebook also removed 46 Pages and 12 accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on its platform. During a recent investigation, Facebook discovered that they used seemingly independent news and opinion Pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military. “This type of behavior is banned on Facebook because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make.”
Facebook statement also said, “We continue to work to prevent the misuse of Facebook in Myanmar — including through the independent human rights impact assessment we commissioned earlier in the year. This is a huge responsibility given so many people there rely on Facebook for information — more so than in almost any other country given the nascent state of the news media and the recent rapid adoption of mobile phones. It’s why we’re so determined to do better in the future.”
Chattogram, Aug 27 (UNB) – A young man was pushed to death from a moving bus allegedly by its helper in City Gate area of the port city on Monday afternoon.
The deceased was identified as Ashrafuzzaman Rony, 30, son of Oli Ahmed of Uttar Kattali in the city.
Quoting locals, officer-in-charge of Akbar Shah Police Station Jasim Uddin said Rony had an altercation with the helper of the bus which runs from New Market to Bhatiari.
At one stage, the helper pushed the youth out of the bus around 3:30pm, leaving him dead on the spot.
Angered at the incident, locals blocked the Chattogram-Dhaka highway in front of the City Gate for half an hour.
Later, police brought the situation under control.
They also seized the bus but its driver and helper managed to flee.
Dhaka, Aug 26 (UNB) – The Election Commission will sit in a meeting again on August 30 to take a decision over the amendment to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) ahead of the next general election.
Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam said this while talking to reporters after the Commission’s meeting over the RPO amendment at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city on Sunday.
He said today’s meeting held with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair ended inconclusively over the RPO amendment.
“The discussion over RPO amendment has started. The decision over bringing changes to some articles of the RPO will be taken after several meetings,” Rafiqul Islam said.
He, however, said they are yet to decide which articles of the RPO will see changes.
The Commissioner also said they are still not sure whether the proposal for RPO amendment can be sent to Parliament during its next session.
“We don’t want to hurry in giving the final decision as we’re looking for a good law,” Rafiqul added.
Dhaka, Aug 26 (UNB) – An elderly couple died as an alleged organised gang sedated them before looting their house in the capital’s Demra area on Sunday.
The deceased were identified as Abdus Sattar, 75, and his wife Sahera Begum, 60, of Sarulia in Demra.
Quoting neighbours, Inspector (Investigation) of Demra Police Station Md Selim told UNB that a group of 4-5 women, wearing burqas, went to the house of Sattar on Saturday, saying they wanted to rent a room of the house.
Neighbours saw five women, also wearing burqas, coming to the house again around 9am on Sunday when the couple was staying there alone, he said, adding that their son Aminul Islam was in his workplace while his family at the village home.
When neighbours went to the house around 4pm, they found them lying unconscious, the Inspector said.
They were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where Sahera died around 7pm while Sattar around 7:50pm.
Mentioning that they found valuables scattered in the house, Selim said they were yet to be sure whether anything was looted.
Jashore, Aug 26 (UNB) – A local BNP activist was stabbed and shot to death by miscreants at Shankarpur in the district town on Sunday afternoon.
The deceased was identified as Mashiar Rahman, 45, an activist of local unit of BNP and son of Takabbar Sheikh of the area.
Police and locals said a group of criminals swooped on Mashiar around 5pm and stabbed him indiscriminately.
As the BNP activist started running, the attackers fired two shots at him. He collapsed on the ground as one of the bullets hit his chest.
Local rescued him and took him to Jashore 250-bed Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station Opurba Hasan said the incident took place over establishing supremacy in the locality and extortion.