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International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to stop Rohingya genocide

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International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to stop Rohingya genocide | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sprawling refugee camps remain in Cox's Bazar housing 600,000+ Rohingya refugees - UN News
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The UN’s highest court is instructing Myanmar to do “everything in its power” to prevent the genocide of its Rohingya Muslim population. It’s the first time the International Court of Justice has stepped into the ongoing crisis. The Court has rejected arguments from Myanmar’s proxy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sets out urgent steps to end the violence on the ethnic minority living in the west of the country.

A 2017 military crackdown by Burmese army soldiers (the Tatmadaw) sent around 740,000 Rohingya fleeing north into Bangladesh. Thousands are suspected to have been killed in the crackdown, that’s been termed ‘ethnic genocide’ by the UN, and refugees have made widespread reports of rape and the burning of their villages by the Tatmadaw and local Buddhist militias. 600,000 people remain in the Bangladeshi refugee camps, mostly around the border city of Cox’s Bazar, remain awaiting repatriation.

The International Court of Justice judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf says that “the court was of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable”.

The court ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts” described by the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

The court has issued specific ordered to the Myanmar government to report back to the UN within four months, and then provide updates every six months. It’s also instructed Burmese authorities to prevent destroying evidence of crimes against the Rohingya.

Nobel peace laureate, and now civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been widely criticised for her defence of the same military organisation that imprisoned her for years, claimed in an opinion piece that some Rohingya refugees “may have exaggerated” the extent of the abuses.

Writing in the Financial Times, “…the international justice system may not yet be equipped to filter out misleading information before shadows of incrimination are cast over entire nations and governments.”

Suu Kyi also asked that Burmese authorities should have time to act on the results of an “internal investigation”, which this week admitted war crimes may have been committed but ruled out genocide.

The Myanmar military continues to obfuscate with a spokesperson telling reporters yesterday in the capital Naypyidaw it would simply “follow the instructions of the government”.

SOURCE: AFP | Thai PBS World

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Tourism

Myanmar tourism increases a massive 40% in 2019

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Myanmar tourism increases a massive 40% in 2019 | The Thaiger

Myanmar has ranked highest among the world’s 20 quickest-growing travel destinations over the past 12 months. The report from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Vietnam and The Philippines are also regional winners over the past year that made it into the top 10 best performing emerging travel destinations.

Myanmar Tourism Marketing, part of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, reports that the country enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 40.2% in tourism. Puerto Rico had a 31.2% rise and Iran at 27.9%. Also in the top 10 were Vietnam and The Philippines, ranked as the 7th and 8th top performing countries for 2019.

May Myat Mon Win, Myanmar’s Tourism Marketing chairperson says they are trying to maintain the growth.

“We need to keep this momentum going for many more years,”.

The Burmese government has introduced new regulations to facilitate easier access for tourists as a next step to open Myanmar up to the world. Myanmar grants residents of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and some Southeast Asian countries visa-free entry. People from India, the Chinese mainland, Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and Switzerland are granted visas on arrival.

Citizens of more than 100 countries are also eligible for e-visas via this link and can expect approval within three days. Myanmar Tourism Marketing are launching their annual “Green Season” campaign for May through September with the support of hotels, airlines and tour operators. “Green Season” refers to the region’s annual wet season monsoon.

Although Myanmar possesses great tourist potential and attractions in many fields, much of the industry remains to be developed. Also, the number of visitors to Burma is small compared to her neighbours — outpaced by even Laos. This is primarily due to its political situation. However, after the junta transferred power to the civilian government, the tourism sector saw an increase in tourism arrivals and in 2012, tourist arrivals surpassed the one million mark for the first time. In 2013, the Tourism Master Plan was created, targeting 7.5 million arrivals by 2020 – Wikipedia

Fastest-growing travel destinations…

1. Myanmar 40.2%

2. Puerto Rico 31.2%

3. Iran 27.9%

4. Uzbekistan 27.3%

5. Montenegro 21.4%

6. Egypt 21.1%

7. Vietnam 16.2%

8. The Philippines 15.1%

9. Maldives 14.9%

10. Bahamas 14.6%

11. Qatar 14.5%

12. Armenia 14.4%

12. South Korea 14.4%

13. Turkey 14%

14. Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.7%

15. Tunisia 13.6%

16. Laos 11.5%

17. Azerbaijan 11.4%

18. Israel 10.5%

19. Lithuania 10.1%

20. Kazakhstan 10%

SOURCE: The Nation

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Tourism

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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Crime

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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