Southeast Asian leaders will focus on trade wars, the crisis in Burma and security tensions in the disputed South China Sea at a summit this weekend, but it’s highly unlikely there will be any headline-grabbing progress on the issues.
Burma’s army chief Min Aung Hlaing has told military personnel in the country that they must obey the law, citing as an example the sentencing of seven soldiers for a massacre of Rohingya Muslim men that was the subject of a Reuters investigation.
A Burmese minister expressed concerns on Thursday about “very poor conditions” in Rohingya refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh, and said repatriation of the Muslim minority should start as soon as possible due to the coming monsoon season.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday more international pressure was needed on Burma to take back Rohingya refugees, rejecting a claim by the Burmese government that it had repatriated a family of five.
Burma on Saturday repatriated the first Rohingya family from nearly 700,000 refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, after months of fraught talks with Dhaka and amid the United Nations’ warnings that the country is not ready for their return.
The United Nations refugee agency is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh laying out a framework for the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Burma, an agency spokesman said on Wednesday.
The relatives of 10 Rohingya men massacred in the Rakhine State village of Inn Din did not learn of the killings for many months — in some cases, not until Reuters reporters tracked them down in the refugee camps and told them what had happened. This is their story
Burmese civil society groups on Wednesday welcomed a commitment by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to increase efforts to curb messages inciting violence, but urged the social media giant to deploy more resources in the Southeast Asian country.
A Burmese minister told Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh on Wednesday their repatriation was a priority, during the first visit by a top Burmese official to victims of what the United Nations says was “ethnic cleansing” by the Burma Army.
Seven Burmese soldiers have been sentenced to “10 years in prison with hard labour in a remote area” for participating in a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in a village in northwestern Rakhine State last September, the army said on Tuesday.
A Burmese government minister will visit Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on Wednesday, officials said, a rare trip that Dhaka hopes will help speed the return home of hundreds of thousands of the neighbouring nation’s Muslim minority.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked it to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over the deportations of Rohingya people from Burma to Bangladesh, a possible crime against humanity, according to a filing published on Monday.
Burma is not ready for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, said the most senior United Nations official to visit the country this year, after Burma was accused of instigating ethnic cleansing and driving nearly 700,000 Muslims to Bangladesh.
Southeast Asians have united to defend hugely popular “chicken rendang” that was knocked out of a British cooking competition television show for not being crispy enough, but the longstanding debate on the origins of the dish rages on.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is opening the economy and growth is rebounding in Burma, though the possibility of broader Western sanctions over the Rohingya crisis is nevertheless giving some foreign investors pause, according to a senior IMF official.
Burma’s panel of international advisers on Rohingya issues says the coming monsoon season could bring “enormous deaths” as refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh are not built to withstand the storms.
Malaysia intercepted a boat carrying 56 Rohingya refugees from Burma off its northern island of Langkawi on Tuesday and will allow them to enter on humanitarian grounds, with rights groups expecting further such perilous journeys by sea.
Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on Sunday for her people to remain united, saying the Southeast Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a historic vote.
A boat with Rohingya refugees restocked with essential supplies at an island in southern Thailand on Sunday, authorities said, amid signs that overcrowding in Bangladeshi camps could prompt many others to make similarly perilous sea crossings.
Prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters reporters jailed in Burma, who are accused of possessing secret government papers, her office said on Thursday.
Lawyers for two Reuters reporters jailed in Burma asked a court on Wednesday to throw out the case, saying there was insufficient evidence to support charges against the pair, who are accused of possessing secret government papers.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “shock” at comments by Burma’s military chief in which he said the Rohingya minority shared nothing in common with the rest of the population and that their demand for citizenship had stoked recent violence.
Minister says Bangladesh is paying the entire US$280 million to build homes and fortify the muddy island in the Bay of Bengal from cyclones, and that it was mulling a formal request for international funds.
Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, the firms said on Monday, marking the US company’s second retreat from an Asian market.