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Rohingya exodus: Myanmar signs repatriation pact with Bangladesh

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Rohingya exodus: Myanmar signs repatriation pact with Bangladesh

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since the army began an ethnic cleansing drive in August; repatriation to begin in two months

Even as global leaders and human rights organisations continue to voice concerns over the safety of Rohingya Muslims in the strife-torn Rakhine State, the Myanmar government signed a repatriation deal with Bangladesh, on Thursday, under which it would allow members of the persecuted ethnic minority to return to their home country.

The deal, termed by the Bangladeshi establishment as a “primary step” towards the rehabilitation of Rohingya Muslims, will however take about two months to come into effect since both countries will first have to prepare the ground work for identifying and then verifying Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State since August this year.

The Rohingyas, often seen as the world’s most persecuted ethnic minority, had begun to flee the Rakhine State – a majority of them taking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh – since August this year when Myanmar’s military began a violent and barbaric crackdown against the community. The crackdown, described by the international community and more recently by US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson as ‘ethnic cleansing’, had begun after militant members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) allegedly attacked an outpost of the Myanmar army.

Thursday’s repatriation deal was signed by Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH. Mahmud Ali and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been under a strident attack by the global community and her brethren from the Nobel laureate fraternity for allegedly turning a blind eye towards the atrocities on the Rohingyas.

According to some estimate, over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh since August this year. The mass exodus of the people from Rakhine State has caused huge stress on the resources of a financially constrained Bangladesh which also stare at the possibility of clashes erupting on its soil if the humanitarian crisis is not addressed at a war footing.

Details on the repatriation deal were, however, not immediately available and the Bangladesh foreign minister was quoted in media reports as saying that his government would elaborate on the nuances of the memorandum of understanding “once we return to Dhaka.”

“We have to start the process. The houses there (in Rakhine State) have been torched… levelled. They need to be rebuilt… We are ready to take them (Rohingyas) back as soon as possible after Bangladesh sends the (registration) forms back to us,” Myint Kyaing, a permanent secretary at Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, told mediapersons in Naypyidaw.

All Rohingya refugees who wish to avail benefits of the repatriation deal are required to fill the registration forms and submit them to the Bangladesh government. These forms will then be verified by the Myanmar government following which the repatriation process is expected to commence.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had, prior to signing of the deal with Suu Kyi, renewed her call to Myanmar to immediately start the repatriation of Rohingya.

While Bangladesh has been insistent on repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims within a time-bound framework, it is learnt that the Myanmar government has not agreed to such conditionality yet and has also rejected the possibility of involvement of agencies affiliated with the United Nations to help in the verification process.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have, however, decided to form a joint working group at the foreign-secretary level to start the repatriation process which Aung San Suu Kyi has described as a “win-win situation for both countries” while calling for “amicable bilateral negotiations” to end the crisis.

On September 18, Under attack from the global community and her fellow Nobel laureates, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi had invited diplomats of various missions in her country to speak to them on the issue of violence in the troubled Rakhine state and the measures being taken by her government to restore peace.

Suu Kyi had then asserted: “We are concerned to hear that numbers of Muslims are fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. We want to find out why the exodus is happening.” She had, however, also sought to apparently downplay the extent of the humanitarian crisis in her country by asserting that while her administration wanted to “talk to those who have fled”, it also felt important that the world must take into account “those who have stayed”.

“More than 50 per cent of villages of Muslims are intact and are as they were before the attacks took place”, Suu Kyi had said, despite reports from the ground and by various independent human rights groups who visited Rakhine during the period suggesting otherwise.

It was during her 30-minute speech to diplomats in September that Suu Kyi had first announced that her government was “prepared to start the verification process of refugees (who moved to Bangladesh from the Rakhine) who wish to return” to Myanmar and insisted that “those who have been verified as refugees will be accepted without any problems and with full assurance of security and access to humanitarian aid.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Turbulence in Singapore Airlines flight leaves 1 dead, 30 injured, plan makes emergency landing in Bangkok

One person died and several sustained injuries after a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore encountered severe turbulence.

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Turbulence in Singapore Airlines flight leaves 1 dead, 30 injured, plan makes emergency landing in Bangkok

A passenger travelling in Singapore Airlines flight was found dead after the plan encountered severe turbulence caused by adverse weather. Over 30 people were also injured in turbulence. The was coming from London and was going to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines stated in a statement that flight SQ321, which was traveling to Singapore when it took off on Monday from London’s Heathrow Airport, encountered severe turbulence en route. After being diverted, the plane touched down at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. (local time).

The deceased passenger’s name has not been revealed.

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board at the Boeing 777-300 ER.

The airline also said, they can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing. However, their priority is to help every passenger and member of the crew on board the aircraft as much as they can. They are sending a team to Bangkok to provide any further aid required, and they are collaborating with the Thai local authorities to provide the required medical assistance, it added.

Medical staff have boarded the aircraft to assess injuries, but the number of casualties has not been confirmed, according to Thai immigration police, and some uninjured passengers have been deplaned.

Emergency personnel from Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital were on hand to help injured passengers get medical attention as soon as they landed. A line of ambulances was seen flowing to the site in videos that Suvarnabhumi Airport shared on the messaging app LINE, according to the reports.

The Singapore Airlines flight was traveling at a height of 37,000 feet, according to tracking data that was obtained by FlightRadar24 and examined by AP. The aircraft abruptly and violently dipped down to 31,000 feet over the course of around three minutes, shortly after 0800 GMT. After less than ten minutes at 31,000 feet, the plane descended quickly and touched down in Bangkok in less than thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, as per experts, these types of injuries typically occur when passengers fail to fasten their seatbelts and the pilot is unable to issue an early warning due to the weather radar data not indicating turbulence. Passengers may get injuries if they are flung around in the cockpit in such circumstances.


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PM Modi condoles Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death says India stands with Iran

PM Narendra Modi extended condolences to Ebrahim Raisi’s family and the people of Iran.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condoled Iran president Ebrahim Raisi’s death and said he was deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise. The PM also said contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral ties will always be remembered.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic passing of Iran’s president, Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi. He also said, he will never forget his contribution to the bilateral ties between Iran and India. The PM said his heartfelt condolences are his family and the people of Iran, he added. PM Modi wrote, India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.

Ebrahim Raisi was found dead a day after his helicopter went missing. He reportedly died in a chopper crash in the mountainous region of the country.

The helicopter crash claimed the lives of officials, bodyguards, and Iran’s foreign minister in addition to Raisi.

State television announced on Monday that Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, the servant of the Iranian nation, has achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people, and Mehr news agency confirmed his death.

The missing helicopter was being looked for by Iranian authorities since Sunday afternoon.

Reportedly, the crash occurred in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran and claimed the lives of nine individuals, including Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

There was no proof that the passengers were still alive, according to reports from Iranian media.

Out of the three helicopters in his convoy, only two made it to their destination, including Ebrahim Raisi. He had traveled to the northwest province to join President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the inauguration of a dam project in Jolfa.

It was anticipated that Raisi, a devout conservative, would succeed the eighty-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Since 2021, Ebrahim Raisi has served as Iran’s president. He replaced Hassan Rouhani, the centrist president.

Under his leadership, the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman who had been detained for violating the Iranian dress code for women, sparked widespread public unrest throughout the nation.

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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