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UN says Myanmar must protect Rohingya minority Muslims

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UN says Myanmar must protect Rohingya minority Muslims | Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Myanmar must protect Muslims and halt discrimination, U.N. says
Reuters
Phuket: U.N. human rights investigators called on Myanmar yesterday to halt deadly sectarian violence and warned it not to use the conflict as a pretext to remove Rohingya minority Muslims.

Some 89 people have been killed in clashes between Buddhist Rakhines and Muslim Rohingyas in western Myanmar in the past 10 days, according to the latest official toll.

“This situation must not become an opportunity to permanently remove an unwelcome community,” said a joint statement issued by Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on Myanmar, and independent experts on minority issues and the internally displaced.

They voiced their “deep concern about the assertion of the government and others that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants and stateless persons”.

“If the country is to be successful in the process of democratic transition, it must be bold in addressing the human rights challenges that exist,” Ojea Quintana said.

“In the case of Rakhine State, this involves addressing the long-standing endemic discrimination against the Rohingya community that exists within sections of local and national government as well as society at large.”

The Rohingyas say their homes were burned down by Rakhines armed with slingshots, wooden staves, knives and gasoline.

The United Nations says more than 97 percent of the 28,108 people who have fled the violence are Muslims, mostly stateless Rohingya. Many now live in camps, joining 75,000 mostly Rohingya displaced in June after a previous explosion of sectarian violence killed at least 80 people.

Fearful Buddhists and Muslims are arming themselves with homemade weapons, testing the reformist government’s resolve to prevent a new wave of violence.

Rita Izsak, U.N. independent expert on minority issues, said the Rohingya constituted a minority which must be protected according to international minority rights standards.

“The government must take steps to review relevant laws and procedures to provide equal access by the Rohingya community to citizenship and promote dialogue and reconciliation between communities,” she said.

The U.N. refugee agency has called on authorities to restore law and order so as to prevent further bloodshed and displacement. An estimated 6,000 people are stranded on boats or on islets along Myanmar’s western coast, it said on Tuesday.

“We are appealing to neighboring countries, Bangladesh being very much one of them, to keep borders open. It is clearly important that people do have access to safe haven,” UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing.

In the photo above Noor Begum, 23, sits with her child Muhammad Umair in a house as she hides with other relatives in Teknaf yesterday.

Noor, a widow, who belongs to a group of Rohingya Muslims is currently hiding with local villagers to avoid being arrested by border guards of Bangladesh. She claims that she was raped by five Rakhain men during the sectarian violence in Myanmar.

According to her, Noor and her family had to pay ten thousand taka each to the agent to get into neighboring Bangladesh after fleeing the mass burning of houses and violence in Myanmar.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | Thaiger

Prince Philip, the husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in the history of the United Kingdom, retiring in 2017 after more than 20,000 public engagements. Born on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip had 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren with the Queen. Buckingham Palace released a statement mourning the loss.

Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921 on the island of Corfu, Greece. He married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

 

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace | Thaiger

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, has died at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace announced his death in the last hour.

Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947, 5 years before she became Queen. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

The couple had 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

SOURCE: BBC

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Thai fishing industry officials protest controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary

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Thai fishing industry officials protest controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary | Thaiger
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Thai fishing industry officials are protesting the controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary as they say its information, regarding human trafficking, is outdated. The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre spokesman Pokkhrong Monthatphalin, says the government had been cleaning up the fishing industry for years after its illegal practises were highlighted in 2015. He says Thai authorities have been trying to invited the documentary’s producers to come inspect the nation’s fishing practises themselves.

The documentary, Seaspiracy, focused on the extreme consequences of commercial fishing on local ecology. It also spotlighted Thailand’s fishing industry by interviewing former fishing boat workers who said they were trafficked to work on the boats as migrants. The workers said they were living in hell and were modern-day slaves.

In response to the damning allegations by former workers, Pokkhrong says Thailand’s commitment to ending such illegal practices had been recognised by the international community. He says the EU had taken the country off of its yellow-card status in 2019, citing Thailand’s alignment of its legal systems with international obligations to fight IUU fishing.

He says that year Thailand was taken off the yellow-card status, the nation had also set basic decent standards for those working in the fishing industry-a first for Asia. The US’s Trafficking in Persons Report also recognised Thailand for making headway in tackling human trafficking in the past few years.

But the Seafood Working Group has backed up the documentary by proposing the US State Department to downgrade Thailand to the Tier 2 Watchlist again, after the group claimed the recognition of workers’ rights was even more shoddy due to the Covid pandemic.

But Pokkhrong insisted that Thai authorities remained dedicated to promoting sustainable fishing and ending human trafficking in the seafood industry. The documentary, however, pointed to high-level corruption in the police department, with such officials allegedly playing a part in the trafficking of migrant workers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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