India says Myanmar must take back Rohingya Muslims

A Rohingya refugee woman who crossed the border from Myanmar this week cries while waiting to get a shelter in Kotupalang refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on Saturday. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 October 2017
0

India says Myanmar must take back Rohingya Muslims

DHAKA, Bangladesh: India’s foreign minister told Bangladesh’s government that Myanmar must take back Rohingya Muslims to resolve one of Asia’s largest refugee crises in decades, the government said.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj conveyed her message Sunday during a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who ordered border guards and her administration to allow the Rohingya to cross the border and shelter in makeshift camps in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
Nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state since Aug. 25 to escape persecution that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing.
The United News of Bangladesh agency reported that Swaraj said, “Myanmar must take back their nationals ... this is a big burden for Bangladesh. How long will Bangladesh bear it? There should be a permanent solution to this crisis.”
She met earlier with her Bangladeshi counterpart A.H.Mahmood Ali and said India was worried about the violence. Human rights groups have interviewed refugees who said Myanmar security forces killed indiscriminately, committed rapes and burned villages to force Rohingya to leave.
“We’ve urged the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population,” Swaraj said in a statement.
Swaraj also said India supported the implementation of recommendations suggesting recognition of the Rohingya ethnic group within Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and are effectively stateless.
In the statement, she also said creating economic opportunity in the troubled Rakhine state could help resolve the situation.
“In our view, the only long-term solution to the situation in Rakhine State is rapid socio-economic and infrastructure development that would have a positive impact on all the communities living in the state,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister urged India to play a greater role by “exerting sustained pressure” on Myanmar to find a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis.
India’s shift toward resolving the Rohinga crisis would mean a lot to China’s policy to support Myanmar.
An official with China’s ruling Communist Party said Saturday the country supports Myanmar in “safeguarding peace and stability” and won’t join other nations in condemning the government’s actions. Beijing condemns “violence and terror acts” and backs measures to restore order, said the vice minister of the party’s International Department, Guo Yezhou, apparently referring to attacks by Rohingya rebels on Myanmar security forces.


Thousands rally against leading, far-right Brazil candidate

Updated 3 min 10 sec ago
0

Thousands rally against leading, far-right Brazil candidate

SAO PAULO: Thousands of people took to the streets in Brazil Saturday to protest the candidacy of presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro, shouting “Not him!” which has become the rallying cry against the far-right former army captain.
In Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and 24 other cities, large crowds filled avenues and squares a week before the Oct. 28 second-round vote polls suggest Bolsonaro is likely to win.
Bolsonaro, who has angered many Brazilians by praising the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and making comments offensive to gays, women and blacks, won the first round of voting on Oct. 7, getting 46 percent against 29 for Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party.
In front of the Sao Paulo Art Museum, people beat drums and waved gay pride flags as they denounced Bolsonaro. Many carried cardboard signs bearing Haddad’s name and photo.
Tiago Silva, a 27-year-old philosophy teacher, said Bolsonaro “represents the fascism, intolerance and violence we are seeing in Europe and in the United States.”
“It will be a disaster if he wins — and it looks like he will,” he added.
Vinicius Bento, a 27-year-old lawyer, said voting for Haddad is “the only way to stop Bolsonaro and his racist, misogynist and fascists views from reaching the presidency.”
“We have to get Haddad elected,” he said, acknowledging that he didn’t vote for him in the first round because he’d “lost faith” in the Workers’ Party as a result of the corruption scandals it has been involved with. The left-leaning party governed Brazil between 2003 and 2016, and has been dogged by the massive “Carwash” corruption investigation.
Bolsonaro has appealed to many Brazilians weary of crime and corruption by promising a violent crackdown on drug gangs and other criminals, and by highlighting the corruption that took place under past Workers’ Party administrations. He has also promised a return to “traditional Brazilian values.”
Haddad, the hand-picked successor to jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has promised to bring back the boom times Brazil experienced under da Silva, fight inequality, invest more in education and improve state services.