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Aung San Suu Kyi shows contempt for case against Myanmar army in international court

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Aung San Suu Kyi shows contempt for case against Myanmar army in international court | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: LA Times

Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has shown contempt for UN judges investigating the genocide case relating to the Myanmar army’s attacks on the Rohingya in 2017. In her speeches she defended the generals she once defied, for their genocide against the muslim minority living in the Rhakine state, west of the country.

Her supporters gathered outside the court in The Hague chanting as she arrived for the hearing… “We stand with you Aung San Suu Kyi”

She’s asked the International Court of Justice to throw out a genocide case against Myanmar, warning it would reignite the crisis that forced around three quarters of a million Rohingya Muslims from their homes, north over the border into Bangladesh. During her speech Suu Kyi refused to refer to the Rohingya muslims by their ethnic name.

The hearing went for three days, but in her six minute closing argument, Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader issued a stark warning to judges that allowing a case against Myanmar to go ahead could “undermine reconciliation”.

The case could take years to prosecute if accepted by the International Court of Justice.

Wearing traditional Burmese dress and flowers in her hair she hoped that the Court’s “wisdom and vision of justice will help us to create unity out of diversity.”

“Ending the ongoing internal conflict… is of the utmost importance for our country. But it is equally important to avoid any reignition of the 2016-17 internal armed conflict in northern Rakhine.”

The small African, mainly Muslim state of Gambia, is taking majority-Muslim Myanmar to the UN’s top court in The Hague accusing it of breaching the 1948 UN genocide convention. Backed by the 57 nation Organisation of Islamic Conference, Canada and the Netherlands, Gambia is seeking emergency measures to prevent further violence against the Rohingya.

Up to 750,000 Rohingya fled across the Bangladesh border into make-shift refugee camps after the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) launched a huge crackdown in the Rakhine state in August 2017.

Suu Kyi told the court that there was no proof of “genocidal intent” and said the army operation was in response to attacks on Myanmar military posts by Rohingya militants.

Suu Kyi has said little about the incident, or the global condemnation of the genocide, since the UN and other countries independently and officially condemned the violence after corroborated reports emerged of the systematic attacks on the Rohingya muslims.

Gambia’s lawyer Philippe Sands condemned Suu Kyi’s lack of words.

“Madame agent, your silence said far more than your words. The word ‘rape’ did not once pass the lips of the agent.”

Suu Kyi sat impassively in the courtroom whilst the Gambian lawyer pressed his country’s charges.

He recounted incidents included in the UN report including “infants beaten to death or torn from their mothers’ arms and thrown into rivers to drown.

“Armed conflict can never be an excuse for genocide.”

The lawyer said Suu Kyi had also failed to deny the conclusions of a 2018 UN investigation that found that genocide had been committed in Myanmar against the Rohingya.

A decision on the emergency measures sought by Gambia could take months, while a final ruling if the International Court of Justice decides to take on the full case could take years.

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Myanmar

Tourists to Myanmar going up, but falling short of projections

The Thaiger

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Tourists to Myanmar going up, but falling short of projections | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Numbers going up, but falling short of projections - South China Morning Post

Vietnam to the right of me, Myanmar to the left, Thailand stuck in the middle….

Myanmar’s 2019 tourism figures improved 15% to give the country 1,324,000 tourist arrivals through the main airport at Yangon. Officials released the 2019 visitor data for Yangon Airport, which excludes cross border arrivals and arrivals through Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports, the country’s two other international aviation gateways.

Once overland arrivals at border checkpoints are counted, the annual inbound tourist numbers are expected to swell to around 4 million for the full 2019 year. But the numbers fall well short of the projections made for 2020 which said there would be 7.5 million tourist arrivals by the end of the last decade by the Asian Development Bank. The projections were made by a detailed report on Bumese tourism back in 2013.

In 2019, Asian tourist emerged as the dominant supply with 1,060,396 arrivals at Yangon airport last year, an increase of 20%. This compares with 142,443 arrivals from Western Europe, 0% growth for 2019

China drives the growth in Asian markets, delivering 344,268 passengers, up by a massive 75%, Thailand is now the second-largest source market, dropping from the top spot.

Japan, South Korea and the US make up the third, fourth and firth largest tourist markets arriving at the country’s largest airport. Other strong top performers were: Singapore 52,461, Vietnam 50,203, India 42,548, Malaysia 40,891 and Taiwan 36,874.

Arrivals from the UK market dropped 7%, France slumped 2% and Switzerland declined 10%. Australia tourism to Myanmar declined 8% over the past year.

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

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Bangkok

Large Bangkok drug haul – meth pills, crystal meth and Ketamine

The Thaiger

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Large Bangkok drug haul – meth pills, crystal meth and Ketamine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The seized drugs on parade during yesterday's media briefing in Bangkok - INN News

Metropolitan Police have reported the seizure of 1,600,000 methamphetamine pills (yaba), 34 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ice), and 40 kilograms of Ketamine. Officials also seized a pick-up involved in the drug gang’s business as well as weapons. The Patrol and Special Operation Division 191 Police seized the drugs from Nipol ‘Hin’ Janprapat and Anuwat ‘James’ Bunjeen while they were in Bang Khae District, western Bangkok.

Police Lieutenant General Pokpong Pongpetra related that the investigation revealed suspects had been renting a home to use as a drug warehouse. The drugs had been sourced from the border areas of northern Thailand, transported south, and then stored in the rented house. They’d then wait for delivery instructions around the Bangkok area.

The 2 suspects already have links with previous drug smuggling operations and, with links to arrests in Pak Kret, Nonthaburi Province and Thonburi District.

Officials also arrested 49 year old Toh-r Denbonfahthai on January 15, who police allege has connections to the ‘Karen people’, a Burmese ethnicity living to the north of the Thai border. He was nabbed with 66 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at the Bangkok Bus Terminal in Chatuchak. He was travelling in a Toyota Sport Rider. His arrest led officials to an abandoned vehicle which was loaded up with 31 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Discussing the modus operandi, police say the suspects would deliver the drugs through multiple drug smuggling gangs using public transportation from Mae Sot and Tak provinces (northern Thailand) to Mo Chit in Bangkok. They allege the drugs are then intercepted by another group who would put the drugs into the abandoned car parked on Nawamin Road.

The drugs are then delivered to the person who has ordered the drugs. In this case, the buyer was known as ‘Ma-ah from Myanmar’, living in Thailand. The investigation continues.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

Large Bangkok drug haul - meth pills, crystal meth and Ketamine | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: INN News

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Crime

Thai policeman arrested as key suspect in human trafficking of Rohingya

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thai policeman arrested as key suspect in human trafficking of Rohingya | The Thaiger

Police have arrested a man who they believe has trafficked at least 200 Rohingya refugees into Thailand on their way to Malaysia.

56 year old Charin Chuenchom was arrested over the weekend at a house in Ratchaburi, east of Bangkok. Chanin consequently confessed and was handed over to authorities for prosecution

The Rohingya are a stateless, mainly Muslim ethnic group living in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. They are not permitted to hold Burmese citizenship and have faced historical persecution culminating in the August 2017 attacks on them by the Burmese army (Tatmadaw). There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya in Myanmar before the 2016–17 crisis in which many fled, many by sea and others as refugees crossing the northern border into Bangladesh.

Thailand does not recognise Rohingya as refugees and in the past has arrested, detained and deported them back to Myanmar.

In 2013 the UN described the Rohingya as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, comparing their conditions to apartheid and accusing the Tatmadaw of “genocide”.

Police believe Chanin was a key player in a human trafficking gang, including a former railway policeman, illegally moving Rohingya people out of Myanmar through Thailand to Malaysia. The Bangkok Post reports that they charged each migrant 12,000 baht for ‘safe’ passage to Malaysia.

“We believe the gang have smuggled Rohingya people into Thailand more than 20 times, with 10-15 people each time, and collected more than 4 million baht,” police told Bangkok Post.

Authorities arrested 14 Rohingya migrants and two Thai smugglers on a train in Nakhon Si Thammarat in January last year. They suspect Chanin used stolen identities to buy their train tickets. He’s been charged with smuggling migrants and human trafficking.

The train was headed for the Thai-Malaysian border. The migrants were extremely hungry as they had no food and only a little drinking water.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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