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Rohingya displaced Muslims. Wikimedia Commons

By Ralph Jennings

Myanmar’s military government, seen as the chief force behind previous long-term violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, is leaving the population alone for now as it battles protesters. But analysts say the junta is expected to resume the old crackdown over time.

The junta seized power in a February coup from a civilian government and has been focused on quelling protesters, rather than the Rohingya minority that lives in a western region of Myanmar and continues to push for civil rights. At least 11 protesters were killed on Monday and 57 over the weekend in the bloodiest period since the military coup last month, the United Nations says on its website.

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“The Tatmadaw is not going to change its policy toward the Rohingyas,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. “Tatmadaw” refers to the armed forces in the Myanmar language.

Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State. Wikimedia Commons

“Right now, it’s just preoccupied,” he said. “I think it has been consumed by other crises and it’s actually facing a nationwide revolt against the coup, so I think the Rohingya issue now is on the back burner.” The protests could turn into a “prolonged crisis”, he added.

Myanmar officials had targeted the Rohingyas in a “systematic” way, the U.N. International Court of Justice said last year. It said, “genocidal acts” including mass murder, rape, and setting fires were intended to wipe out the group and cited a hardening crackdown since August 2017.

Civilian governments ran Myanmar from 2011 through this past January, but the military still held sway in national affairs. The Rohingya issue tainted the international reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, a one-time opposition figure and the de facto head of state from 2016 through February. She was detained after the coup.

A burnt-down house in a Rohingya village in northern Rakhine State, a result of sectarian violence in August 2017. Wikimedia Commons

An estimated 400,000 to 600,000 Rohingya live in Myanmar today. Conflicts with the government have left them without access to healthcare, education, and a viable market for commercial trade places, said Tun Khin, president of the advocacy group Burmese Rohingya Organization UK. Roughly one million Rohingyas who have fled to camps in Bangladesh live there now in poverty.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has a long history of strife with the Muslim Rohingya dating back to the alliance between the Rohingya and Myanmar’s former colonizer, Britain, who fought together against a local Buddhist group. After Myanmar became independent in 1948, the government of the largely Buddhist country denied the Rohingya people citizenship. The Military led Myanmar from 1962 to 2011.

Junta lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe said Myanmar’s generals want to repatriate Rohingyas who have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, Reuters reported on March 7.

Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh after being driven out of Myanmar, 2017. Wikimedia Commons

The military government showed a further relaxation toward old rivals on March 11 by removing a rebel group, the Arakan Army, from a formal list of terrorist organizations. The group had quit its attacks to seek peace, the state-run Mirror Daily said as cited in foreign media outlets.

ALSO READ: Myanmar’s Beauty Queen Takes Up Arms Against Military Junta

“Most people outside (the country) don’t realize how serious it is — they’re all fixated on this Rohingya issue,” Priscilla Clapp, former permanent charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar, told VOA in June.

Fighting with the Arakan Army in Rakhine state had added a threat to the Rohingya’s troubles. The state is a major base for Rohingya who remains in the country. Today’s government envisions building “nationwide eternal peace”, the Mirror Daily report said. In January last year, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to prevent any acts of genocide against the Rohingya people. (VOA/KB)

(Muslim minorities in Myanmar, Myanmar Muslim crisis, Rohingya crisis 2017, Myanmar junta violence, the Rohingya genocide)


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Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.

Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

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man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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