Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Myanmar Rohingya’s uncertain future

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on

Phuket Gazette World News: Myanmar Rohingya’s uncertain future | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Muslim victims of Myanmar unrest face uncertain future
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: In Myanmar’s central heartlands, justice and security is elusive for thousands of Muslims who lost their homes in a deadly rampage by Buddhist mobs in March.

Many are detained in prison-like camps, unable to return to neighbourhoods and businesses razed in four days of violence in Meikhtila that killed at least 43 people, most of them Muslims, displaced nearly 13,000, and touched off a wave of anti-Muslim unrest fuelled by radical Buddhist monks.

“It’s for their own security,” said a police officer at a camp inside a sports stadium on Meikhtila’s outskirts. The camp holds more than 1,600 people guarded by police with orders not to let them leave, said the officer, who declined to give his name.

A dawn-to-dusk curfew has been in force in Meikhtila since the government declared martial law on March 22. Skeletal walls and piles of rubble are all that remain of Muslim homes and businesses that once covered several blocks at the heart of the town of 100,000 people in the centre of Myanmar.

Trials have begun, but so far only Muslims stand accused, raising fears that courts will further aggravate religious tension by ignoring the Buddhist ringleaders of the violence.

The unrest and the combustible sectarian relations behind it are one of the biggest tests of Myanmar’s reform-minded government, which took power in March 2011 after almost half a century of hardline military rule.

Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, but about 5 percent of its 60 million people are Muslim. They face a growing campaign of anti-Islamic sentiment led by radical Buddhist monks.

An independent commission released a report on Monday saying Myanmar must urgently address the plight of Muslims displaced by sectarian bloodshed in western Rakhine State. It came in response to violence last June and October that killed at least 192 people and left 140,000 homeless, mostly stateless Rohingya Muslims in an area dominated by ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

The trial of seven Muslim men accused of murdering a monk, believed to be the first killing in the March unrest in Meikhtila, is expected to conclude this week. Those on trial say they are innocent.

The sound of hammers ring across the city as workers dismantle what is left of the Muslim neighbourhood, stone by stone. There are no signs of Muslims on the streets.

More than 8,000 Muslims are being held in seven official camps that are off-limits to journalists. Thousands more have crowded into unofficial camps in villages near Meikhtila, where police also restrict their movements and prevented them from speaking with Reuters.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, said detaining internally displaced people (IDP) is a violation of their rights.

“Locking people up in an IDP camp is not a substitute for providing basic security and ensuring communal peace,” he said. “Even if the authorities’ intent is good, they are clearly going about this the wrong way.”

Spokesmen for the president’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

One of the office’s spokesmen, Ye Htut, has previously stressed that the monks involved in the Meikhtila violence make up only a fraction of the 500,000-strong monkhood. “All perpetrators of violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said President Thein Sein in a nationally televised speech on March 28.

Victims in relief camps “live freely and happily”, reported the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper on April 5.

Students attacked

The government has promised to help Muslims rebuild their homes, but reconstruction has yet to begin. Building more than 1,500 houses burned down or damaged would cost $7 million, it said.

Some Buddhist residents said returning Muslims were unwelcome.

“I can’t accept living with them again, because they insulted Buddhism and a monk’s blood was spilled on the ground,” said Than Htun, as he waited outside a prison to see his son who was arrested for looting money from a Muslim home during the rioting.

Such hostility could influence the outcome of the ongoing murder trial, suggested Thein Than Oo, a lawyer for three of the seven Muslims accused, who believed the judge is under pressure from Buddhists to deliver a guilty verdict.

“He has to satisfy the people,” he said.

He pointed to the case of the Muslim owner of a gold shop, his wife and an employee who on April 11 received 14 years without parole for theft and assault. The charges stemmed from an argument with a Buddhist customer, which sparked the first bout of rioting earlier on the day the monk was killed.

The court imposed harsh sentences due to the violence that erupted afterwards, said Thein Than Oo.

Most victims of the rioting were Muslim but no Buddhists have appeared in court. The district judge said they would be tried after the current trial ends.

Neither the judge nor the district police could say if any monks would be charged. Monks led many of the mobs, according to dozens of witnesses interviewed by Reuters.

New York-based Physicians for Human Rights called for an independent investigation into a report of a massacre at an Islamic school on March 21. The group said 32 students and four teachers were missing.

One student, Soe Min Oo, 18, said he fled with other students and teachers when the school was attacked, taking refuge with other Muslims in a nearby compound.

Soe Min Oo said the mob tossed petrol bombs into the compound until police arrived and offered to bring the nearly 200 Muslims to safety. But the few dozen officers could only protect some of them, said Soe Min Oo, pausing frequently to fight back tears.

He said the Buddhist mob hit them and threw stones as they left the compound, and those who came out last were beaten to death. He saw three friends killed.

“I’ve never faced anything like this situation before,” said Soe Min Oo. “I feel very sad.”

Soe Min Oo spoke to Reuters in a tiny Muslim village about half an hour outside Meikhtila where he was staying with family. During the interview, an official who wouldn’t say who he worked for arrived on a motorcycle and demanded names and contact numbers from journalists.

Mandalay chief minister Ye Myint denied a Reuters request to visit official camps in his region, which includes Meikhtila. Immigration and police officers banned access to an unofficial camp in Yindaw, a village about a 45-minute drive from Meikhtila.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand and SmartJob Indonesia. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group or get out on a yacht anywhere with Boatcrowd. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Environment

Second death in China from virus concerns officials with the CNY holidays looming

The Thaiger

Published

on

Second death in China from virus concerns officials with the CNY holidays looming | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Five patients remain in serious condition in Wuhan - New York Times

“At least 41 people have now been diagnosed as being infected this latest flu-like strain.”

Medical officials in China’s Wuhan city have announced that another man had died after being infected by the new coronavirus strain. Thailand and Japan have now reported new cases of a the Chinese Coronavirus that has already killed two and infected at least 40 in China. There are growing concerns about the spread of the virus beyond Chinese ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays. Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 25 this year but many Chinese, and people of Chinese ethnicity, travel before and after this date, including trips over seas.

The Chinese man, reported to be aged 69, was admitted to a Wuhan hospital on December 31 with “abnormal renal function”. The man died from pneumonia linked to the new strain of the coronavirus outbreak in the central China province.

Chinese scientists identified the illness as a new strain of coronavirus, which is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Symptoms of coronaviruses can range from fever and coughing to kidney failure, and in some cases lead to death.

At least 41 people have now been diagnosed as being infected this latest flu-like strain, earlier called the “Wuhan Flu”, and now referred to as Chinese Coronavirus.

Five patients still remain in a serious condition. Chinese medical officials state that no cases of human-to-human transmission of the new viral strain have been confirmed so far.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Crime

2 more alleged call centre scam suspects arrested in Japan

Greeley Pulitzer

Published

on

2 more alleged call centre scam suspects arrested in Japan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Japanese suspects arrested during a raid in Chon Buri in late March 2019

Two men arrested in Japan yesterday stand accused of operating a large-scale call centre scam based in Thailand, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to 28. Japanese police believe 36 year old Kengo Yasutake and 34 year old Shimpei Hirata operated a luxury home in Pattaya, where a team of Japanese men would call people across Japan and tell them their subscription fees for a website were overdue.

Police say the gang has tricked more than 200 people and collected a total of more than 55 million baht. Fifteen Japanese men have already been arrested by Thai police last March at another luxury house location, also in Chon Buri province, and Japanese investigators arrested more in May 2019 as they attempted to leave Thailand for Japan.

Investigators say the group had a well-organised division of labour conducting the scam, with individual members making phone calls, cashing swindled electronic gift cards and as managing the scam web site.

They were arrested on suspicion of scamming a woman and two others living in the city of Fukui, central Japan, alleging in an email that they had failed to pay website subscription fees, and coercing them into purchasing electronic gift cards worth a total 780,000 yen, or about 215,000 baht.

SOURCE: Japan Times
Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Well-Being

First ‘China coronavirus’ case confirmed in Japan

Greeley Pulitzer

Published

on

First ‘China coronavirus’ case confirmed in Japan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The first case of the 'Wuhan Flu' identified in Japan - The Economist

As Thailand’s airports continue screening passengers arriving from China, Japan has confirmed its first case of the new China coronavirus that has killed one and attracted a travel alert from the US State Department. The patient, a man from Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo, had recently visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, where an outbreak of a pneumonia strain is believed to be caused by the new coronavirus.

The US State Department issued a warning on Wednesday about travel to the Wuhan region in China, citing an alert by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which urges citizens travelling in the region to avoid contact with animals, animal markets or animal products, among other precautions.

Health authorities in Thailand announced on Wednesday they are stepping up screening of passengers arriving by air ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, when 800,000 Chinese tourists are expected to head for the Kingdom.

Though there has been no known human-to-human transmission, the World Health Organisation says the new virus could spread and is warning hospitals worldwide. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, aka. SARS. Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while some, like the one that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), are far more severe.

The Japanese patient returned from Wuhan and was hospitalised with a fever. He was released yesterday after the symptoms subsided.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading
สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน1 day ago

สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF)

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้ | The Thaiger
คลิป4 days ago

ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า | The Thaiger
สื่อไทย6 days ago

ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล6 days ago

ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่ | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล7 days ago

VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5 | The Thaiger
พรีเมียร์ลีก7 days ago

แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลหญิงไทย-คาซัค รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน! | The Thaiger
อาชญากรรม1 week ago

หนุ่มเล่าวินาทีโจรปล้นร้านทองลพบุรี ยิงทุกคนที่เดินผ่าน!

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020 | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน1 week ago

ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23 | The Thaiger
ทีมชาติไทย1 week ago

ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก | The Thaiger
คาราบาวคัพ2 weeks ago

ครึ่งแรกเละ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 1-3 แมนซิตี้ : คาราบาวคัพ นัดแรก – แรช ตีไข่แตก

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.) | The Thaiger
แบดมินตัน2 weeks ago

ชนะแค่คู่เดียว จากทั้งหมด ! ไฮไลท์ แบดมินตัน Malaysia Masters 2020 (7 ม.ค.)

7 ม.ค. ถ่ายทอสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ไต้หวัน คัดโอลิมปิก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

7 ม.ค. ถ่ายทอสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ไต้หวัน คัดโอลิมปิก

ไปดูแบบเต็ม ๆ ! คลิป: มินามิโนะ VS เอฟเวอร์ตัน – คล็อปป์ บอกฟอร์มใช้ได้ | The Thaiger
ลิเวอร์พูล2 weeks ago

ไปดูแบบเต็ม ๆ ! คลิป: มินามิโนะ VS เอฟเวอร์ตัน – คล็อปป์ บอกฟอร์มใช้ได้

Trending