Dhaka, Feb 11 (UNB) - Amnesty International (AI) has reported fresh evidence of violations amid ongoing military operation in Rakhine State and some 5,200 civilians have been displaced since December.
Myanmar security forces have shelled villages and blocked civilians from accessing food and humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State, AI said on Monday amid a crackdown since armed attacks by the “Arakan Army” in early January.
Security forces have also used vague and repressive laws to detain civilians in the area.
“These latest operations are yet another reminder that the Myanmar military operates without any regard for human rights. Shelling inhabited villages and withholding food supplies are unjustifiable under any circumstances,” said Tirana Hassan, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International.
Amnesty International has received reports that army divisions involved in atrocities against the Rohingya in August and September 2017 have been deployed to Rakhine State again in recent weeks.
“Despite international condemnation of the Myanmar military’s atrocities, all evidence suggests that they are brazenly committing yet more serious abuses,” said Tirana Hassan.
These violations come after a UN Fact-Finding Mission called for the criminal investigation and prosecution of senior Myanmar officials for crimes under international law against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State, and against ethnic minorities in Kachin and northern Shan States.
Arakan Army attacks
On January 4, Myanmar’s Independence Day – an ethnic Rakhine armed group known as the Arakan Army carried out coordinated attacks on four police posts in northern Rakhine State, reportedly killing 13 police officers.
The Arakan Army has fought the military as part of an alliance of armed groups in northern Myanmar and, as it has moved its attention to Chin and Rakhine State in recent years, has clashed sporadically with security forces there.
Days after the 4 January attacks, Myanmar’s civilian government instructed the military to launch an operation to “crush” the Arakan Army, which the government spokesperson referred to as a “terrorist organization”.
According to the UN, more than 5,200 men, women and children had been displaced by the ongoing fighting by 28 January.
They are overwhelmingly from predominantly Buddhist ethnic minorities, including the Mro, Khami, Daingnet and Rakhine.
Amnesty International interviewed by telephone 11 people affected by the fighting, as well as humanitarian officials and local activists in Rakhine State.
Most said they fled their villages after the security forces shelled nearby or placed restrictions on food.
Dhaka, Feb 11 (UNB) – Armenian Ambassador to Bangladesh, residing in New Delhi, Armen Martirosyan on Sunday met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed the entire range of bilateral relations including trade and culture as well as the Rohingya issue.
The Armenian Ambassador briefed the Foreign Minister about the recent developments of the bilateral cooperation, said the MoFA on Monday.
The meeting covered the entire range of bilateral relations including trade and culture as well as the Rohingya issue.
The interlocutors stressed on further strengthening the existing relations by expanding areas of cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two countries.
Both sides also stressed on the importance of strengthening Bangladesh-Armenia cooperation within international organizations.
Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB) - UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo on Sunday said human rights action must lead to real, tangible changes in the lives of people in Bangladesh.
“If we all work on it jointly in partnership, it can be done. Because that’s what human rights for all is all about: progress through action, impact and change,” she said.
As trusted partners of the government of Bangladesh, Mia Seppo said, UN agencies remain committed to working with all stakeholders in society who contribute to good faith to effective human rights action at global, regional, national and local levels.
She made the remarks while addressing a seminar titled ‘Bangladesh and Human Rights’ at Inter-Continental Hotel in the city. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen spoke as the chief in the inaugural session of the seminar.
Mia Seppo said the United Nations in Bangladesh will always welcome renewed public commitment to respect for human rights at seminars such as these.
She said without anticipating the outcome of the event they also look forward to supporting concrete action by all partners in this country.
“We’ll support continuing engagement in areas where there’s a commendable track record, and new leadership by Bangladesh on critical human rights issues. This may include national action by the recently-constituted Government, and international action, as a recently-elected member of the Human Rights Council,” said Seppo.
She said the new government has clearly committed itself to preventing any attempts to violate human rights, which is in line with its obligations under the human rights treaties.
“There’s also a supported Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendation relating to investigations into alleged extrajudicial executions, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and torture or ill-treatment,” said the UN Resident Coordinator.
Mia Seppo said any impunity must be overcome, and any such serious human rights violations prevented.
The seminar ended on a promising note - a commitment to an action plan on UPR and treaty body follow up, Mia Seppo tweeted saying, “We welcome this commitment and stand ready to support.”
In the closing session, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque reflected on state behaviour and geopolitics in a post-human rights and post-fact world, another tweet reads.
Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world must do more to change the workplace culture so that the girls who dream of being scientists, engineers and mathematicians can enjoy fulfilling careers in these fields.
“Let’s ensure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realise her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all,” he said in a message marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science that falls on February 11.
The UN chief said skills in science, technology, engineering and math drive innovation and are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Women and girls are vital in all these areas. Yet they remain woefully under-represented.”
He said gender stereotypes, a lack of visible role models and unsupportive or even hostile policies and environments can keep them from pursuing these careers.
Guterres said the world cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half its population. “We need concerted efforts to overcome these obstacles.”
He said the world must tackle misconceptions about girls’ abilities and must promote access to learning opportunities for women and girls, particularly in rural areas.
Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB) - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her re-appointment as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
In his message, the Armenian Prime Minister has also expressed conviction that the existing relations between Bangladesh and Armenia based on goodwill, mutual trust and friendship will continue to expand and strengthen benefiting the two peoples, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.
In separate message, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has congratulated Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
In his message, the Armenian Foreign Minister has also expressed conviction that Bangladesh and Armenia have untapped potential to further deepen and strengthen the existing friendly relations.
He has expressed his interest to work together to deepen relations between the two countries in that direction.
Meanwhile, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov has congratulated Foreign Minister Dr Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
The Macedonian Foreign Minister has expressed conviction that the friendly relations between Bangladesh and Macedonia will continue to advance and be further expanded in the future, both bilaterally and multilaterally.