The Statesman – No easy solutions as UNSC visits Myanmar and Bangladesh

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi received a UN Security Council delegation in the highest-level diplomatic visit since the start of the Rohingya crisis

Cod Satrusayang

Bangkok – Thailand, 1 May 2018. The United Nations Security Council visited Myanmar and Bangladesh over the past few days to assess the Rohingya situation.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi received a UN Security Council delegation yesterday in the highest-level diplomatic visit since the start of the Rohingya crisis, which will include a brief tour of violence-hit Rakhine State.

Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of mainly Buddhist Myanmar, has been pilloried overseas for her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas or publicly condemn the army for driving them out of the country.

The UN delegates will travel by helicopter today over the scarred landscape of northern Rakhine state, the scene of an army campaign starting last August that drove around 700,000 of the minority into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Their visit to Myanmar comes after an emotionally-charged stay in Bangladesh where Rohingya refugees told delegates of their trauma, rape, killing and burning of houses in Rakhine where they have been denied citizenship and other basic rights including healthcare since 1982.

Earlier, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told United Nations’ Security Council members that the Rohingya crisis is Myanmar’s internal problem imposed on Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is hosting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Refugees that have fled ethnic violence and persecution in Myanmar.

Debriefing the 15-member UN Security Council delegation at Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar, after the council’s official visit to Rohingya camps, the junior minister said “the solution to this problem lies in Myanmar”.

“It is Myanmar’s internal conflict, forced on to the shoulder of Bangladesh. The problem has come from there and the solution lies there as well.”

Demands from the refugees and rights bodies are growing louder for referring Myanmar’s atrocities to the International Criminal Court as the Southeast Asian country’s security forces are accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the minority group.

Calls for Foreign Assistance

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh expects China, Russia, India and Japan to play a major role in resolving the Rohingya crisis.

The UNSC has so far failed to take concrete actions against Myanmar mostly because of oppositions from China and Russia.

As the delegation left Dhaka yesterday after a two-day visit, they said they would press Myanmar to ensure the safe return of those who fled into Bangladesh.

However, deputy Russian ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy, whose country has supported Myanmar, warned on Sunday that the council did not have a “magic stick” solution.

“We are not looking away from this crisis, we are not closing our eyes,” he said.

They also focused on implementation of the bilateral deal signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in November. No refugees have returned so far.

The UN Refugee Agency negotiated for a tripartite agreement on repatriation, but Myanmar so far refused it. Recently, Bangladesh signed a deal with UNHCR on safe and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya. Myanmar is supposed to sign a deal, but that has not been done yet.

Myanmar’s military has kept Rakhine in a lockdown since August, blocking access to independent observers, journalists and many aid groups except on tightly-controlled chaperoned trips.

Rights groups say freedom of movement of the Rohingyas and their access to the marketplaces in Rakhine is limited. – Subramanian says all Indians are genetically Hindu; Sikh intellectual torpedoes his claim

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib – Panjab – India, 30 April 2018. Addressing a seminar on April 29 in the holy city Amritsar Sahib, the BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swami stated that everyone taking birth in India is genetically Hindu. Interestingly, the seminar was being hosted by an RSS affiliated body Vishav Samvad Samiti.

It is pertinent to note here that Subramanian Swami is renowned for earning sympathy of common Sikhs by issuing statements in favor of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale.

Like earlier, Subramanian Swami said in this seminar that Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale was his friend but he never demanded an independent sovereign Sikh state.

Like every Indian nationalistic, Swami also blamed the external powers for encouraging the pro-Khalistan movement in Punjab during the late 1980s and early 1990s to disintegrate India.

On being reminded of Sant Jarnail Singh’s speech in which he is seen saying that army attack on Golden Temple would lay the foundation of Khalistan, Swami said, “As per my conversation with him, he did not demand Khalistan, but said he won’t reject it (Khalistan) if anybody gifts it to them”.

Sharply reacting to Subramanian Swami’s statement, Sikh Intellectual S Gurtej Singh IAS has said that Swami needs to know the fact that who named his religion as ‘Hindu’. He further said that the modern age Hindus like Subramanian Swami preach that the Aryans preached Hinduism, but they forget that the Aryans also immigrated to this sub-continent.

“Sanskrit language, in which most Hindu scriptures are written, is spoken by a few thousand people” he added.

Sikh activist S Papalpreet Singh has said that Subramanian Swami is promoting the ideology of RSS to oppress minorities in India. He added that religion isn’t about genes instead it is about faith.

“The saffron Indian state deliberately provided a stage to Subramanian Swami in Amritsar Sahib to issue statement against Khalistan on April 29, when the worldwide Sikhs were observing April 29 as Khalistan Declaration Day” he said.

Gent: Leie – Gent Zuid – Bevrijdingslaan – Braemstraat

04 March 2018

Traditional sailing boat

Gent Zuid
05 March 2018

Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

05 March 2018

Bus 3 to Mariakerke Post

Gent Zuid
05 March 2018

Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

06 March 2018

Slowly we are moving towards an all new street !


To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

NewsBytes – Hafiz Saeed’s MML woes Pakistani Sikhs ahead of elections

Gogona Saikia

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 May 2018. Hafiz Saeed, JuD chief and alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is now wooing Pakistani Sikhs ahead of general elections.

To that effect, the Milli Muslim League (MML), JuD’s political front, held a convention at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

MML is reportedly fielding candidates in most constituencies, despite it still not being registered by the Election Commission.

The formation of the MML and its rise

Saeed’s JuD formed the MML last August to “get (their) message to the grassroots”.

Despite non-recognition, MML candidates Yaqoob Sheikh and Liaqat Khan contested by-elections in Lahore and Peshawar and diverted votes from the ruling PML-N.

Saeed has also disclosed his plans to contest the 2018 general elections.

Earlier this month, the US designated MML a ‘terrorist organization.’

PSGPC comes out in support of MML

Saeed and the MML now have the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) backing it.

So much so, that when his brother-in-law used objectionable language against Guru Nanak at a Multan rally a few days ago, the PSGPC didn’t even condemn it.

PSGPC General Secretary Gopal Singh Chawla is known to share close ties with Saeed since before; he has often posted their pictures together on social media.

MML leaders “spewed venom against India” at MML event

With Chawla’s help, the MML convention was held at Nankana Sahib Saturday, attended by Saeed and MML-president Saifullah Khalid.

The event was the ground for many anti-India comments.

“Sikhs are a brave nation but atrocities are being committed against it in India,” Saeed said.

TOI quoted sources as saying that Gopal, Saeed and Khalid also raked up Kashmir and Khalistan to attack India.

So does Saeed have the support of Pakistan’s Sikhs?

According to a Peshawar-based Sikh leader, only a handful of Sikhs support the MML, especially those living in the Nankana Sahib and Lahore regions. Apart from them, most Pakistani Sikhs are against the JuD and Saeed’s other terrorist outfit, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, he added.

The Hindu – Kanhaiya Kumar all set to turn full-time politician

In two months Mr Kumar will cease to be a student at JNU

Sobhana K Nair

New Delhi – India, 01 May 2018. Two years after he was arrested by the Delhi police on the charge of sedition, turning him overnight into a symbol of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ movement, former students union president Kanhaiya Kumar is finally moving out of university politics to being a fulltime politician.

On Sunday, on the concluding day of the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of India in Kollam, Kerala, the 31-year-old was elected to the 126-member National Council of the party.

Left parties find themselves in an ironical position, as despite a strong presence in university politics, they are starved of young blood. Mr. Kumar says the situation is about to change.

Drawing on the famous Charles Dickens line ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,’ he says, “for youth, it is a bad time as well as a good time to be in politics. There is a serious threat to all our democratic institutions and there is so much hatred and polarisation.

But this has also increased ideological awareness among the youth who are now more than willing to join mainstream politics.”

In two months Mr Kumar will cease to be a student at JNU. “21st July is the last date for me to submit my thesis. After that I will be a social activist and not a students leader. But JNU is a second home for me and I will always remain organically connected to it,” he says.

Criticising the government alone is no solution, he says. Instead one has to offer an alternative. “Merely attacking the Narendra Modi and BJP government does not serve any purpose. We have to offer an alternative policy framework for the people to choose from.”

Mr Kumar was born in Bihat, in Begusarai district of Bihar, a stronghold of the Communist Party of India. He does not deny that he will be fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Begusarai Lok Sabha seat is currently held by the BJP’s Bhola Singh.

The CPI did get 17% of the voteshare in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “Now I am a part of the CPI and I will do whatever the party and its allies decide. I am not saying that if given a chance I will not fight the polls,” he added.

As a member of the CPI’s student wing, All India Students Association, he was elected president of the JNU students union.

He was arrested on 12 February 2016, under section 124-A (sedition) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) for allegedly organising an event where some students protested the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and allegedly shouted ‘anti-national’ slogans.