Jakarta sends more humanitarian aid relief for Rohingya

Indonesian Muslims hold a rally outside of the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta against the ongoing crackdown in Maungdaw. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2017
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Jakarta sends more humanitarian aid relief for Rohingya

JAKARTA: Two Hercules aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for the Rohingya community in Myanmar’s Rakhine state departed from Jakarta on Wednesday.
“The two planes carry tents, water tanks, blankets, family kits, five tons of instant food and nearly a ton of medicines,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, which is tasked by the government with handling aid shipments to the Rohingya community. The aid will be handed to Myanmar’s government in Yangon for distribution.
Nugroho said Indonesia previously sent eight sortie missions to help the relief effort in Bangladesh.
The eight sorties transported 74 tons of aid, comprising rice, instant food packages, power generators, water tanks, tents, family kits, clothing, sugar, biscuits and cooking oil.
Indonesia’s ambassador to Bangladesh, Rina Soemarno, on Monday said rice brought from Indonesia has been distributed among 120,000 refugees.
Volunteers from the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar (AKIM), comprising 11 civil society and charity groups, have arrived in Dhaka to “conduct the aid distribution to the refugees,” she added.
AKIM member Rumah Zakat said they continue to receive donations for Rohingya refugees. On Wednesday, AKIM received a cash donation of 350 million Indonesian rupiah ($26,363) from a congregation at Al-Haqqul Mubiin Mosque in Jakarta.
Mosque caretaker Muhammad Sukron said they raised the fund for Rohingya refugees in about two weeks.
Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told Arab News: “The developments in Myanmar, the plight of the Rohingya, have moved the conscience of nations and people throughout the world.”
The crisis constitutes a litmus test for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to present itself as part of the solution, said Natalegawa, who dealt with the issue during his 2009-2014 tenure, and visited Rakhine in 2013.
Muhyiddin Junaidi, head of the international relations department at the Indonesian Ulema Council, said the Indonesian people are concerned about the Rohingya because they are fellow Muslims and Asians.
Muslim population make up about 42 percent of the 634 million population in the 10 Southeast Asian nations.
“The Indonesian people sympathize with the Rohingya because we went through the same phase that Myanmar is going through now, transitioning from authoritarian military rule to democracy,” Junaidi told Arab News.


10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

Updated 22 min 33 sec ago
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10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

  • Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police.
  • Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
MANAGUA: Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua's pension system have left at least 10 people dead over two days, the government said Friday.
In the biggest protests in President Daniel Ortega's 11 years in office in this poor Central American country, people are angry over the plan because workers and employers would have to chip in more toward the retirement system.
The government is willing to hold a dialogue and Ortega will issue a formal call on Saturday, Vice President Rosario Murillo said, adding: "At least 10 compatriots have died."
Demonstrations rocked the capital Managua and nearby cities for a third day.
The new law, besides increasing employer and employee contributions, would cut the overall pension amount by five percent.
"We are against these reforms, which means we're against this government taking from the pockets of Nicaraguans," said Juan Bautista.
He said riot police brutally attacked demonstrators like him because "the dictator does not like people to protest."
A woman nearby shouted: "The people are tired of this repression!"
Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police. Other students took refuge in nearby buildings or residences.
In Las Colinas, south of the capital, demonstrators raised small barricades and with their hands raised asked the riot police not to target them.
Four independent television outlets were taken off the air after they broadcast the demonstrations on Thursday, and two were still blocked on Friday.
Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
The opposition said more than 20 people were wounded while the writers group Pen Nicaragua said that at least 11 journalists were attacked while covering the demonstrations.
"We call on the Nicaraguan authorities to act to prevent further attacks on demonstrators and on the media," said Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights."
She urged the government to let people "exercise their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and association," and urged protesters to demonstrate "peacefully."
She also said demonstrators were attacked by government supporters in the city of Masaya.
Miguel Mora, director of the private television channel 100% Noticias -- which the government blocked -- accused Ortega of applying the same censorship he imposed in the 1980s during the Sandinista Revolution.
When Ortega returned to power in 2007 he promised to "never censor a media outlet -- and today he is doing just that," Mora told Channel 14.