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Rohingyas seek safety, citizenship guarantees before repatriation

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Dhaka, Jan 20: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on Saturday asked for guarantees that their safety and security would be protected and that they would be granted Myanmar citizenship before being repatriated to Rakhine state.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed earlier this week to complete the refugees’ return process within two years.

Rohingya community leader Sirajul Mostafa, who lives in Bangladesh’s Kutupalong refugee camp, told Efe news that his community was demanding the “complete” implementation of the recommendations made by an advisory commission on Rakhine state led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan before being repatriated.

The commission proposed addressing the rights of Rohingyas to resolve sectarian violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, including measures such as speeding up the verification process for citizenship and granting citizenship by naturalisation.

“We are not here to stay, we want our rights back. If we had seen that peace was restored in Myanmar, there would no problem. People would go back directly,” Mostafa said, adding that the Myanmar Army was still allegedly carrying out torture as part of an ongoing campaign.

He added that no one from the mostly Muslim minority had yet been asked to prepare for repatriation.

A Rohingya activist said: “We need citizenship and that our houses be rebuilt. We must be allowed to live in our houses. We have to be recognized as an ethnic group and those who carried out barbaric attacks against us must be brought to justice,” he said.

The Rohingya demand for these preconditions comes as the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, is on a visit to Bangladesh.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on November 23 to repatriate the Rohingyas, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled sectarian violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar since August. According to the latest figures released by the UN, more than 665,500 have crossed into Bangladesh since last summer.

According to the agreement, the repatriation process must start within two months of the agreement’s signing and be completed within two years.

Amnesty International has said the plans to repatriate the Rohingya were “alarmingly premature” and warned that any “forcible returns would be a violation of international law”.

The current crisis erupted on August 25, when the Myanmar Army launched an operation in Rakhine, where around 1 million Rohingyas were living, in retaliation against an attack on multiple government outposts by a Rohingya insurgent group.

The UN and various human rights organisations have said there was clear evidence of abuses in Myanmar, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling the Army’s operations “ethnic cleansing”.

IANS

India

India asks Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on bank note

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi, Oct 30: India has asked Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on the misrepresentation of its territorial boundaries on a new bank note.

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter, and emphasized that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked Saudi Arabia to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” Srivastava said.

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Croatia announces new measures amid rise in Covid cases

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Zagreb, Oct 28 Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters has announced new measures.

The measures include mandatory physical distancing, a ban on all public events with more than 50 people, the new limit of the number of people attending weddings and funerals and the provision that public events and gatherings can last up to 10 p.m. while weddings until midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sports competitions can be held without spectators, according to the measures, which banned the sales of alcoholic beverages from midnight to 6 a.m.

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Tech

Rawalpindi cops banned from posting on TikTok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday

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Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday.

The police department of the Pakistan twin city has warned that if a video of any officer goes viral on social media, irrespective of whether it is TikTok, Facebook or YouTube, strict departmental action will be taken, The Express Tribune reported.

The new rules were communicated on Monday in a letter issued by Rawalpindi CPO Ahsan Younas to divisional SPs, circle officers and station house officers.

The letter stated that posting videos on social media and going viral presents a negative image of the department.

After the video went viral, at least one officer has been suspended.

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