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India requests UN to drop annual human rights resolution on Myanmar

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In order to uplift the citizens of Myanmar affected by violence, India asked UN members to drop the annual ritual of passing a resolution on Myanmar’s human rights situation, on Friday.

Ashok Kumar Mukerji, a permanent representative of the Partnership Group for Peace, Development and Democracy in Myanmar, said, “In Rakhine State, the Myanmar government has taken steps towards restoration of law and order and has expressed readiness to cooperate with UN and other humanitarian agencies regarding rehabilitation of those affected by violence.”

“We urged member of states to agree to the discontinuation of annual resolutions on the human rights situation in Myanmar. In our view, this would convey the world community’s strong support and encouragement for the reform measures that are already underway in Myanmar,” said Mukerji.

Myanmar had made big strides in trying to end more than 60 years of ethnic insurgencies around the country. The government’s Union Peace Making Work Committee (UPWC) and the ethnic armed groups Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) agreed on a ceasefire agreement on March 31, reported the officials.

Mukerji also stated that, “India had provided aid to help Rakhine State recover from the riots. New Delhi gave $240,000 for the rehabilitation effort after the riots first broke out and $1 million for constructing 10 schools for both communities in the affected areas.”

Development aid to Rakhine State includes $300 million earmarked for the state from the total development assistance of $1.75 billion to Myanmar, and lines of credit totaling $85 million for electricity transmission and road construction in the state, he added.

Myanmar has emerged from nearly 40 years of military rule after the military council was dissolved in 2011 following the 2010 elections. With democratic reforms underway, the general elections are scheduled for later this year.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who chaired the meeting, praised Myanmar’s “exemplary resolve in striving to achieve peace and stability in the country.”

“The reform process initiated by the Government of President U Thein Sein continues to progress steadily. The country has taken visible strides in many areas of socioeconomic development, national reconciliation and democratization,” said the Secretary General.

The meeting was attended by the Government of Myanmar including Soe Thane, Minister in the Office of President, Immigration Minister Khin Yi, Attorney General Tun Shin, and Rakhine State Chief Minister Muang Muang Ohn.

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Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)