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Amnesty International withdraws award to Aung San Suu Kyi for ‘shameful betrayal’

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Amnesty International has withdrawn its highest honour ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ from Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi in light of what it said was the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s “shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for.”

This is the latest in a string of awards the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner lost since Myanmar’s military drove 720,000 Rohingya out of the Buddhist majority country in what the United Nations has called an act of genocide.

Amnesty International announced Monday, Nov 12, that its secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, informed Suu Kyi that it was revoking the award it gave her in 2009 “in recognition of her peaceful and non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights” while she was still under house arrest.

Amnesty said it was withdrawing the award “with great sadness” because of Suu Kyi’s “apparent indifference to atrocities committed by the Myanmar military and increasing intolerance of freedom of expression”.

Amnesty has criticized the failure of Suu Kyi and her government to speak out about military atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim population.

Naidoo said in a letter to Ms Suu Kyi: “Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself. Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights.”

He continued: “Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you.”

Amnesty said it informed the 73-year-old of the decision on Sunday. She has so far issued no public response.

Suu Kyi was globally hailed as a freedom fighter who stood up to her country’s feared military junta while spending 15 years under house arrest. Her plight received added attention when she was visited by Hillary Clinton when the two-time US presidential candidate was still Secretary of State in 2011.

Suu Kyi then reaffirmed her commitment to working with the United States to bring democracy to her country of around 50 million people.

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to power in a 2015 landslide that brought hope of Myanmar correcting injustices inflicted over 50 years of brutal military rule. But her tenure has been marred by a failure to speak up for Rohingya Muslims. Her government is also fighting an uphill struggle against corruption and local conflicts.

Since a fresh wave of violence began last year, the security forces are accused of having killed thousands, raping women and girls, detaining and torturing men and boys, and razing hundreds of homes to the ground in what a UN fact-finding mission has called it a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

More than 720,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh, but the government there have since struck a deal with Myanmar to send them back.

Naidoo wrote: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to speak out for the Rohingya is one reason why we can no longer justify her status as an Ambassador of Conscience.

“Her denial of the gravity and scale of the atrocities means there is little prospect of the situation improving for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in limbo in Bangladesh or for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State.

“Without acknowledgement of the horrific crimes against the community, it is hard to see how the government can take steps to protect them from future atrocities.”

Amnesty said it believes thousands of Rohingyas were killed in Myanmar’s western Rakhine province since the campaign began August 2017. Many more are thought to have been either tortured and raped.

Myanmar has justified the military’s actions as necessary to combat terrorism.

Amnesty conceded that the civilian government Suu Kyi informally heads does not directly control the powerful security services. But it accused her of standing up for the crimes and obstructing international investigations into abuses.

It added that human rights campaigners and journalists continued to be detained and intimidated by the government since her party’s victory.

Last month, Suu Kyi was stripped of her honourary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas. She has also been stripped of the US Holocaust Museum’s Elie Weisel award and Freedom of the City awards, which were withdrawn by Dublin, Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle.

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UN ECOSOC: UN Council gives recognition to Dalit NGO, many countries including India had objected

United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organizations of the UN. This council looks after economic and social matters.

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UN ECOSOC: UN Council

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recognized 9 NGOs, including a Dalit human rights organization on Thursday. Many countries including India, China and Russia had objected to this, yet UN took steps forward in this direction. These nine NGOs will be given the status of special consultants.

For the unversed, the United Nations Economic and Social Council is one of the six principal organizations of the UN. This council looks after economic and social matters.

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A US-sponsored resolution was voted on Wednesday to give recognition to these organizations. The NGOs are: International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), Arab-European Center for Human Rights and International Law, Bahrain Human Rights Center, Coptic Solidarity Gulf Center for Human Rights, Interregional Non-Governmental Human Rights Organization Man and Law, Health and Social Justice Andrey Rylkov Foundation, The World Union of Cossack Atamans and World Without Genocide.

A record 24 votes were cast in favor of the proposal, while 17 were against. 12 members remained absent. The 19-member committee of the council had rejected recognition applications of nine NGOs in September this year. This committee considers the recognition applications of NGOs. Once the application is reviewed and approved by the committee, it is recommended to be a consultant.

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Indonesia bans sex before marriage in new criminal code

Indonesia’s government on Tuesday approved a new criminal code under which it has put a complete ban on having sex before marriage in the country

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Indonesia sex law

Indonesia’s government on Tuesday approved a new criminal code under which it has put a complete ban on having sex before marriage in the country. According to the media and reports, it has been further revealed that if a people caught violating the new law, He/she will be given punished by sending them to jail for one year.

The new laws, which applies to tourists and citizen of the country prohibit people to stay together and having a sexual relationship without being married. Apart from this, under these new laws, people can not insult the president or state institutions, spread their opinion about the country’s ideology, and stage protests without any permission.

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However, the new laws are still unsigned by the country’s president. Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Hiariej said that the new criminal code will take more than 3 years to set up and apply in the country. He further stated that the lawmakers in the country provide the strictest possible explanation that distinguishes between insults and criticism.

Reacting about the same, Yasonna Laoly, minister of law and human rights said that they have tried their best to accommodate the important issues and different opinions which were debated. However, it is time for them to make a historical decision on the penal code amendment and to leave the colonial criminal code we inherited behind, Laoly added in his statement.

Meanwhile, when the planned laws’ draft was shared among the public in 2019, a nationwide protest (mainly led by students) sparked in the country, fearing that the rule might kill the personal freedoms of the citizen. That protest left more than 300 people hurt and many were badly injured.

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Zombie Virus memes storms internet after Russian scientists’ revelation

Scientists that researched the virus found that it may be contagious and hence pose a health danger.

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Zombie Virus memes storms internet after Russian scientists’ revive the virus

Zombie virus has been trending on twitter following the Russian scientists’s reviving a 48,000-year-old virus.

After the Covid-19 epidemic, it is impossible for anyone to handle the terms virus or lockdown. The zombie virus, which had been hidden for decades under a frozen lake in Russia, has suddenly been discovered. Over a dozen ancient viruses were revealed by researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research, and the so-called “zombie-virus” was found in the Siberian permafrost. The oldest is known to be 48,500 years old and is called as Pandoravirus yedoma.

A twitter user, going by the name of Mr. Stark took the meme game to whole another level by taking a snap from last edition of film Avengers and said that we were in the endgame now.

Another Twitter user asked the question that how did a virus got buried under a lake and what could have been the possible reason behind scientists digging it?

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Taking a funny scene of Joey’s reaction, a character from the popular American TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S., a social media attributed how afraid the people were of another pandemic.

Is there really cause for alarm, even though Twitter is fully anticipating the zombie virus to inflict some sort of retaliatory vengeance upon humanity? In any case, scientists that researched the virus found that it may be contagious and hence pose a health danger. Twitter has begun disseminating memes to handle the news, as it normally does.

The reports claim that the thawing of old permafrost layers increases the likelihood of older virus particles remaining contagious and re-entering the population. Therefore, if the scientists are isolating live viruses from ancient permafrost, it is possible that the even smaller, simpler mammalian viruses will also survive frozen for aeons, according to University of California virologist Eric Delwart.

Similar responses were made earlier on Twitter when the India lockdown started to trend as if another wave of Covid-19 had arrived over night. Thank goodness it hadn’t. A film titled India lockdown directed by director Madhur Bhandarkar is going to premiere on OTT. The #IndiaLockdown began to trend on Twitter after the movie’s teaser was unveiled.

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