Tuesday July 16, 2019
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Amnesty International Accuses India Of Disregarding National Law After It Deports A Rohingya Family

Around 18,000 Rohingya in India are registered with the United Nations refugee agency.

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Members of a Muslim Rohingya family sit as they pose for a photograph with Indian and Myanmar security officials before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, Jan. 3, 2019. VOA

Amnesty International on Monday accused India of disregarding international law after a Rohingya family was deported to Myanmar where the military is accused of genocide against the stateless Muslim minority.

The family of five, who had been in prison in India’s northeastern Assam state since 2013, was handed over to Myanmar authorities on Thursday — the second such deportation in just months after seven men were returned in October.

The United Nations expressed concern over the forcible repatriation of the Rohingya while rights groups warned New Delhi was putting the community at serious risk by returning them to Myanmar, where for decades the minority has been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.

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Rohingya women and children are seen at a temporary shelter in the Kalindi Kunj area of New Delhi, India, April 15, 2018. VOA

The Rohingya are despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them “Bengali” illegal immigrants.

They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicentre of a Myanmar army offensive that since August 2017 has driven some 720,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.

“The Rohingya population in Rakhine state in Myanmar continue to live under a system of apartheid,” Amnesty India’s Abhirr V. P. said in a statement.

“The expulsion of asylum-seekers and refugees amounts to a violation of India’s obligations under customary international law, which prohibits governments from returning people to a territory where they are at risk of serious human rights violations.”

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Formin Akter applies makeup before heading to Chittagong to attend school at the Asian University for Women in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Aug. 24, 2018. VOA

India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

Indian officials say around 40,000 Rohingya are living in the country, where Hindu hardliners have called for their mass deportation.

Also Read: Second Group Of Rohingya Muslims Get Deported By India

Around 18,000 Rohingya in India are registered with the United Nations refugee agency.

UNHCR said despite repeated requests they were not granted access to the Rohingya family detained in Assam before their deportation.

India’s home ministry told parliament last week that 478 Rohingya were arrested between 2015 and 2018, with last year topping the list with 230 detentions along the nation’s borders. (VOA)

  • P. B. Josh

    Amnesty, just give us one word against Saudi Arabia or shut your mouth forever.

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

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FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

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India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)