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Elephants stampede Rohingya refugee camp

Tim Newton

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Wild elephants have trampled sleeping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh yesterday, killing three children and a woman in the second such incident since the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar since late August.

Besides those killed, four refugees from neighbouring tents were injured and were in critical condition at Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has announced plans to set up a civilian-led agency, with foreign assistance, to deliver aid and help resettle Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

Myanmar’s Rohingya have an unenviable combination of being poor, illiterate and an ethnic minority. They are counted among the world’s most persecuted minority. The 1982 Burmese citizenship law refused to recognise them as one of Burma’s 135 ethnicities. This has rendered them stateless, restricting their opportunities for jobs, and their rights to education, marriage, religion and free movement.

ARSA, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, targeted police posts in two separate attacks, killing 21 during August. On August 25, Burmese troops, backed by Buddhist mobs, fought back, destroying Rohingya villages and forcing the minority westward and northward towards the Bangladeshi border. Survivors recount children being killed, women being brutally raped, many of those fleeing shot in the back. Nearly 1,000 died in the putsch to rid the Rhakine state of the Rohingya. It was, according to the UN Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

SOURCES: The Guardian, Economic Times

PHOTO: Voice of America

 

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    Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current English Content Manager for the company, based in their Bangkok HQ.

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