Malala calls on fellow laureate Suu Kyi to condemn Rohingya treatment

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai listens to eyewitness accounts of the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, which took place on Dec. 16, 2014, and killed 150 people, as she attends the "Poppies for Peace in Peshawar" event in Birmingham, central England, Tuesday Dec. 15, 2015. The 18-year-old said comments such as those by controversial United States presidential hopeful Donald Trump could "radicalize more terrorists" and urged politicians to think carefully before speaking. (AP)
Updated 04 September 2017
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Malala calls on fellow laureate Suu Kyi to condemn Rohingya treatment

LONDON: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, called on her fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the “shameful” treatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, saying “the world is waiting” for her to speak out.
Nearly 90,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar in August, in the biggest political challenge facing the country’s leader Suu Kyi, who stands accused by Western critics of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution.
“Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment,” Malala said in a statement on Twitter. “I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same.
“The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.”
Activists from Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, on Saturday called on the Nobel committee to withdraw Suu Kyi’s peace prize during protests outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta, state news agency Antara reported.
The recent violence in Myanmar was set off by a coordinated attack on Aug. 25 on dozens of police posts and an army base by Rohingya insurgents. The ensuing clashes and a major military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people.
Myanmar officials blamed the Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh say a campaign of arson and killings by the Myanmar army aims to force them out.
Malala, 20, came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012 after she was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.


Sri Lanka’s president orders execution of 4 drug convicts

Updated 26 June 2019
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Sri Lanka’s president orders execution of 4 drug convicts

  • The executions if carried out will end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment
  • President Maithripala Sirisena says narcotic drugs have become a serious menace across the country with 300,000 addicts

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s president said on Wednesday that he has ordered the executions of four drug offenders who will be hanged in prison soon, amid alarm over drug-related crimes in this Indian Ocean island nation.
The executions if carried out will end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment.
President Maithripala Sirisena told a media discussion on Wednesday that he has signed the death warrants including the days of the executions and sent them to prison authorities.
He said narcotic drugs have become a serious menace across the country with 300,000 addicts. According to Sirisena, 60 percent of 24,000 inmates have been jailed for drug-related offenses. Sri Lanka prisons are built to accommodate 11,000 people.
Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976. Currently, 1,299 prisoners are on death row, including 48 convicted of drug offenses.
Prison authorities are now in the process of recruiting two hangmen after two others quit without executing anyone.
At present, 26 people have been shortlisted for a two-day training, said Bandula Jayasinghe, an official at the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry.
Drug trafficking is a capital offense in Sri Lanka, which authorities believe is used by peddlers as a transit hub.
Rights groups and foreign governments including the EU have previously criticized Sirisena’s suggestions to revive the death penalty, saying there is no perfect criminal justice system and the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated.
Sirisena, who visited the Philippines in January, praised President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs as “an example to the world.” Thousands of suspects, mostly urban poor, have been slain since Duterte took office in 2016. Rights groups have denounced what they say are extrajudicial killings. Police say most of the suspects were killed in encounters with officers.
Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, a religion that advocates non-violence. Sirisena has previously said the country has had positive influences from all religions but tough law enforcement is necessary to curb crime and maintain order.
In April, police publicly destroyed 770 kilograms (1,695 pounds) of drugs seized in 2016 and 2017. Police have seized 731 kilograms (1,608 pounds) of heroin, 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine and 1,607 kilograms (3,535 pounds) of marijuana so far this year.
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in Sri Lanka, followed by heroin and cocaine. Drug-related arrests rose 2 percent in 2017 from the previous year to 81,156.