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12 Rohingya Migrants Killed in Bangladesh Boat Capsize

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A group of Rohingyas
A group of Rohingya Refugees. voa

Dhaka, Oct 9: At least 12 Rohingya migrants were killed after a boat carrying them capsized off the coast of Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, police said on Monday.

“The bodies of 10 children, one man and one woman have been recovered,” Xinhua news agency quoted a senior police official as saying.

He said the accident took place late Sunday night.

Law enforcement officials recovered the bodies which were floating in the Bay of Bengal near Shah Porir Island of the district which is now home to nearly 1 million Rohingya migrants from Myanmar, the official added.

Around 11 migrants were rescued and the official said the toll might increase as many were reported missing.

A search operation is underway.

The bodies of 132 Rohingya migrants and a Bangladeshi boat man were recovered from the Naf River since August 29 in at least 25 boat accidents.

Over half a million Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state amid a fresh wave of violence in the region since August 25.  (IANS)

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Rohingya Camp Refugees face Challenges in Family Planning Brought up by Bangladesh Officials

The Bangladesh Govt is promoting the use of contraceptives to promote family planning among Rohingya Muslims but there are still challenges to be faced

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One of the Rohingya Refugees settled in the hut with their fifth child
One of the Rohingya Refugees settled in the hut with their fifth child . BENAR.

Bangladesh, November 14: As Bangladesh’s government struggled this week to persuade residents of overcrowded refugee camps to use contraceptives as part of a new push to promote family planning among Rohingya Muslims, Nurul Islam’s wife gave birth to their fifth child.

Three-day-old Ayesha was born Tuesday in a tiny, one-room hut in Teknaf upazila (sub-district) in Cox’s Bazar district that her parents and four brothers have called home for the past two months since they fled a fresh cycle of violence and atrocities allegedly committed against the Rohingya minority by the military in neighboring Myanmar.

Islam was elated at what he described as his “latest achievement.”

“Having a child shows that you are a strong man. I now have five of them,” the 32-year-old told BenarNews proudly. “And I will try for more,” he added with an air of confidence.

Unlike most other members of his community, Islam said, he was aware of birth control procedures but wasn’t interested because the practice was “considered a sin.”

“I know what a condom is… but have never used one,” he said – a telling statement uttered by a majority of Rohingya that prompted the family planning office of Cox’s Bazar to introduce birth control steps in about 15 refugee camps sheltering nearly 1 million members of the displaced group.

More than 600,000 of them, including about 20,000 pregnant women, have arrived in southeastern Bangladesh from Buddhist-majority Myanmar since its military launched a counter-offensive in response to insurgent attacks in Rakhine state on Aug. 25, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations.

Rohingya Refugee Camps set up by Bangladesh Government
Rohingya Refugee Camps set up by Bangladesh Government. Wikimedia.

‘Deep-rooted problem’

Officials with the Directorate of Family Planning, which is connected to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, launched the birth control program in Rohingya camps in September.

But soon after, they realized they were “only scratching the surface of a deep-rooted problem,” Pintu Kanti Bhattacharjee, the department’s deputy director, told BenarNews.

“A majority of Rohingya, who are largely uneducated, are not aware of birth control measures. The ones who are aware are convinced that family planning methods conflict with their faith,” he said, adding, “We then realized we were faced with a huge challenge.”

Before the refugee crisis exploded in late August, Bhattacharjee’s department had about 50 workers.

“We have hired about 200 people over the past few weeks and still feel the need for more staff,” he said. The near 250 health workers operate out of 13 offices in Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts and “go door-to-door to educate Rohingya about the benefits of family planning.”

“So far, we have managed to talk about birth control with 150,000 Rohingya. We convinced 7,500 of them to take contraceptive measures like condoms, pills and injections,” Bhattacharjee said.

‘I would like to opt for birth control

Islam, the refugee who became a father for the fifth time this week, was among the unconvinced multitude.

“Our children are Allah’s gift to us. We will accept as many as he gives us,” he said, as he prepared to walk 1 km (0.6 mile) to the nearest food distribution center to bring his family something to eat.

“Allah will take care of them,” he added, before disappearing into the crowd of refugees rushing to get ration supplies.

Islam’s wife, Amina Khatun, 24, said she did not agree with her husband.

“If they [family planning workers] come here, I would like to opt for birth control,” she told BenarNews.

She had their first child when she was 16 years old, two years after getting married. Over the next eight years she delivered four more children. All of them, including the latest addition to their family, were born at home with help from women in the neighborhood.

“It’s not easy to take care of so many children. And my husband wants to have more,” Khatun said exhaustedly as she breastfed her newborn.

Abdul Muktalif, 57, a camp leader in Teknaf, said that all Rohingya couples had “at least five children in hopes that the more kids they have, the more money they will bring in when they grow up.”

Muktalif, who has been living at the Leda camp for the last 14 years, has 15 children – the youngest 1 year old – from three wives.

Officials weigh voluntary sterilization

Bhattacharjee said his office was mulling the idea of providing voluntary sterilization to Rohingya but “cannot implement it unless the Ministry (of Health and Family Welfare) approves it.”

In a statement issued Thursday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said: “Simply offering sterilization would be a narrow and unethical approach.

“Family planning is a matter of individual choice, should be completely voluntary, and women, girls and couples should have access to the widest method mix for them to choose from complemented by adequate information and counseling on available methods and services,” it said. (Benar)

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‘No Choice But to Accept’: Myanmar Hindus Face Forced Conversion In Refugee Camps

Hindu ladies who are living there told that they are being asked to remove sindoor and break their bangles. A large number of ladies are allegedly compelled to surrender their Hindu customs.

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Refugee camps near Cox's Bazar.
Refugee camps near Cox's Bazar. wikimedia
  • The article is based on the facts and data published by dailymail India, on Myanmar Hindus.

Myanmar Hindus who fled to Bangladesh border seeking refuge are now facing new troubles in the Relief Camps.

Reportedly, some organizations are forcing conversion on Hindus living in the Refugee Camps in Bangladesh. Most of the victims are helpless women and the young girls of Hindu community who have no choice but to accept, to survive in the immediate situation.

The Relief Camps are situated in Cox’s Bazar, a Muslim majority area situated at the border of Bangladesh.

Myanmar Hindu women forced to Convert

Hindu ladies who are living there told that they are being asked to remove sindoor (a customary vermilion red powder worn by married women) and break their bangles. A large number of ladies are allegedly compelled to surrender their Hindu customs and read namaz (Muslim prayer) 5 times each day.

One such woman is Puja Mullick who was forced to convert a month ago. She has experienced torture for about three weeks, Now she is known as Rabia.

Another woman Rica Dhar alias Sadia narrating the August incidence told ‘they entered all the Hindu residences and attacked. First, the mobile phones were taken away and then men were tied and beaten brutally. My husband worked as a goldsmith’.

‘They took away all my jewellery and began beating me. All Hindus were identified and taken to a nearby hill. They were then killed in a row. Only eight women were allowed to stay among them… mostly young and beautiful’.

Puja Mullick (alias Rabia) in red saree and Rica Dhar(alias Sadia) with her baby.
Puja Mullick (alias Rabia) in red saree and Rica Dhar(alias Sadia) with her baby. dailymail

Puja is originally a Hindu who was seeking shelter after the situation worsened in Myanmar. Be that as it may, conditions flipped around her life.

lost her husband in the attack which took place in the last week of August, probably around the time when the conflict grew.

She told that her husband was not killed by the armed forces, it was a group of men clad in black, whose faces were hidden, possibly she meant the Radical Islamists.

Role of Local Authorities

Around 500 Myanmar Hindus have been driven out from their own houses. They have entered into Bangladeshi territory and are scattered in different parts of this district.

As per the dailymail, when Bangladesh officials were asked about the issue of forced conversion, they gave assurance to investigate the matter and give punish whosoever is behind all this.

Myanmar hindu camps at Bangladesh border.
Myanmar hindu camps at Bangladesh border.

Though all the refugees are living in different camps among their religion or community, even then also the conditions are tough.

One cannot guess what has been happening to those Myanmar Hindus who have been suffering it since past few months.

Is it bad to talk about Hindus in this country?

There is an open discussion on every subject in India then, why is this issue being cornered?

Indian media and political leaders debate about other religions all day, but when it comes to talking about Hindus, no one is interested.

What is the future of Myanmar Hindus? It has become very important to talk about this subject.

The elite media houses are only exposed to certain issues only, they have already sold themselves to different ideologies, that is why they do not give any coverage to Myanmar Hindu issue.

As a mindful individual, everyone should come forward and raise their voice against the torture and injustice done to Myanmar Hindus.

 

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India third among the countries that have faced most natural disasters in the last half century, says UN Secretary General

"It is high time to get off the path of suicidal emissions. We know enough today to act"

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UN Secretary General , António Guterres
UN Secretary General, António Guterres. Wikimedia
  • The UN Secretary General has said on Tuesday, that India ranked third among the countries that have faced most natural disasters in the last half century 
  • Guterres listed climate change among the seven global threats needing immediate global action 
  • He called for intensifying the global efforts against terrorism and radicalization 

New Delhi, September 20, 2017: India ranked third among the countries that have faced the most natural disasters in the last half century, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday pleading for unwavering international action on climate change.

In his first speech to the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, he said, “It is high time to get off the path of suicidal emissions. We know enough today to act.”

“I urge governments to implement the historic Paris Agreement with ever greater ambition,” he said.

United States President Donald Trump has declared that his country is pulling out of the Paris agreement on combating climate change.

Pointedly, Guterres said, “The United States, followed by China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia, have experienced the most disasters since 1995 – more than 1,600, or once every five days.”

Climate change was among the seven global threats that he listed needing immediate global action.

International terrorism is taking a great toll on the world, he said and called for intensifying the global efforts against terrorism and radicalisation.

“Stronger international cooperation remains crucial,” he said. “Together, we need to make full use of UN instruments, and expand our efforts to support survivors.

But he added, “Experience has also shown that harsh crackdowns and heavy-handed approaches are counterproductive.”

Foremost among the seven perils he listed is the nuclear threat emanating from North Korea.

“Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War,” Guterres warned. “The fear is not abstract. Millions of people live under a shadow of dread cast by the provocative nuclear and missile tests of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

He appealed to the Security council to act unitedly to meet the threat and to all countries to comply with its resolution imposing sanctions.

“Only that unity can lead to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and — as the resolution recognises — create an opportunity for diplomatic engagement to resolve the crisis,” he said while condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests.

“The dark side of innovation” is another global peril, he said, adding “it has moved from the frontier to the front door.”

Also readWorld Riddled with Genocide, War Crimes and Ethnic Cleaning; ‘We Must Do More’, Asserts UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“Cyber war is becoming less and less a hidden reality — and more and more able to disrupt relations among States and destroy some of the structures and systems of modern life,” he said.

Genetic engineering has also raised ethical questions that have not been resolved, he said.

The humanitarian crisis from unresolved conflicts and violations of international law that is manifested in the flow of refugees is another peril the world faces, he said.

He mentioned the Rohingya crisis, and said, “The authorities in Myanmar must end the military operations, and allow unhindered humanitarian access. They must also address the grievances of the Rohingya.”

The other threats are the growing inequality among nations and within nations, and human migration.

Emphasising the need for global unity to meet the great perils facing humanity, Guterres said, “We come from different corners of the world. Our cultures, religions, traditions vary widely — and wonderfully. At times, there are competing interests among us. At others, there is even open conflict.”

“That is exactly why we need the United Nations, he said. “That is why multilateralism is more important than ever.” (IANS)