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The Greek clash with the EU continues. Jean-Claude Junker, the European Union Commission’s President has publically taken umbrage at the Greek Prime Minister’s attack on him. In Parliament at the end of last week, Alexis Tsipras said Junker’s latest proposals were “absurd” and “irrational, blackmailing demands”.

 

The Turkish electorate has given democracy a second chance. But it’s still a first step.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan should have seen it coming. Perhaps he did, given that opinion polls were reasonably accurate in predicting the result of Sunday’s parliamentary election in Turkey. In which case, his belligerent tactics clearly backfired.

 

An unexpected victory by the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the Turkish elections; in fact, the HDP leadership itself seems somewhat taken aback by this surprising turn of events. Indeed, a recent edition of The Economist carried a piece where it predicted the ruling AKP to win. The AKP has lost its majority in parliament, first time in 13 years.

 

How India can help solve the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

 

How India can help solve the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

 

It is mystifying that a Western-led coalition should now be seen as the fire-fighters of the Syrian conflict, when it has actually kept the fires burning with diplomatic and military assistance

 

The images of emaciated Rohingyas stranded mid-sea and reports of mass graves of trafficked people in Thailand and Malaysia, which have shocked the world, speak of a history of ethnicity-based marginalisation where certain groups are victims of systematic oppression

 

The threat of chemical and biological jihad in the UK has raised serious questions about the security of its nuclear weapons

 
By Barrister Harun ur Rashid   Over the last 15 days, the world watched with horror and disbelief the news reports about Rohingyas from Myanmar drifting in over-crowded vessels in the Andaman Sea, half-starved, disease-stricken and dying.   Official figures of the Rakhine state's population in Myanmar stands less than four million as of 2014 and the number of Rohingya population is about 735,000 as of 2013. According to the UN, they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.   Historians assert that Rohingyas have been living in the Rakhine state (Arakan) since the eighth century. However the Myanmar government maintains that under the 1982 Citizenship Act, as the Rohingyas came to Myanmar after 1823, they are not eligible to become Myanmar citizens.   On May26, a high-profile three-day international conference on the plight of Rohingyas was held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.   In his pre-recorded address to the conference, Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu, leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s, called for an end to the slow genocide of the Rohingyas.   Tutu's appeal was supported  by six other fellow Nobel Peace laureates: Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland, Jody Williams from the USA, Tawakkol Karman from Yemen, Shirin Ibadi from Iran, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia, and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel from Argentina. In a statement, they said, "What Rohingyas are facing is a textbook case of genocide in which an entire indigenous community is being systematically wiped out by the Burmese government."   Philanthropist George Soros in a pre-recorded address to the Oslo conference said, "In 1944, as a Jew in Budapest, I, too was a Rohingya…The parallels to the Nazi genocide are alarming."   Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi was not invited to the conference because of her stance on the Rohingya issue. When hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas in the Rakhine state were driven from their homes in 2012, Suu Kyi did not speak up against this gross violation of human rights.   In his video statement, Desmond Tutu reportedly made a remark directed toward Suu Kyi, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” Tutu further says, “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” The Dalai Lama also urged Suu Kyi to speak up for Rohingyas.   Most of her admirers abroad were astonished that she abdicated her moral responsibility to denounce such grave abuses against an ethnic minority in her country. John Sifton, Asia Advocacy director for Human Rights, said, “It is her authority as an iconic Nobel Peace Prize that she has failed to wield.”   There could be several reasons for Suu Kyi not speaking up for Rohingyas.   With the withdrawal of the Japanese army from Myanmar after the Second World War, the undisputed leader of Myanmar's independence U Aung San (Suu Kyi's father) convened the Panglong conference in 1947. The conference was held to discuss the constitutional future of Myanmar and Aung San invited only the Buddhist representatives of the Rakhine state. The Muslims (Rohingyas) found themselves excluded from the Panglong conference and thus, their grievances were not presented.   The Agreement following the Panglong Conference set the stage for the Myanmar Constitution of 1947. The legal status of more than half a million Rohingyas in Myanmar has been suspect in the eyes of the Myanmar leadership since then. Many believe that since her father, the founder of Myanmar, mistakenly excluded the Rohingyas, Suu Kyi is hesitant to support their cause.   Moreover, she has political ambitions to eventually head her country and so probably does not wish to alienate the Buddhist voters by supporting the Rohingyas. Under the present constitution of Myanmar, she is not eligible to run for presidency because her two sons are British citizens by birth. There are speculations that she could be made the Speaker of the Parliament which is also a powerful position. This being the case, she does not wish to annoy the government, particularly the powerful military establishment.   It is also reported that Suu Kyi's Chief of Staff is Dr. Tin Mary Aung, a doctor who belongs to an ethnic group that is fighting against the Rohingyas, and this has influenced Suu Kyi's decision to keep a low profile regarding the Rohingyas.   Suu Kyi would be able to restore her image and change the image of her country by speaking up for the rights of Rohingyas. The international world expects her to support Rohingyas' rights to citizenship. This, I believe, is a fair, just and humane demand.   (The writer is former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.)   The Daily Star, June 2, 2015
 


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spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
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Chief of General Staff, United Kingdom, Gen Sir Nicholas Carter’s, visit to India in mid-February was covered by Defence Ministry releasing five photographs and not a word on his engagements/itinerary, writes Anil Bhat
 
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Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
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The largest military exercises in Southeast Asia concluded on February 23 in Thailand, after 11 days of drills, social and humanitarian projects and traditional jungle training. A total of 11,075 soldiers from 29 countries participated in the Cobra Gold 2018 training, held in eastern Thailand, reports Efe news.
 
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Maldives President Abdulla Yameen “conveyed that mediation was not wanted at this stage” when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to him last week, Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujrric confirmed Thursday, writes Arul Louis
 
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Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
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The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
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Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “China's Belt and Road Initiative: Nature, Implications and India's Response”

 
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What is history? How does a land become a homeland? How are cultural identities formed? The Making of Early Kashmir explores these questions in relation to the birth of Kashmir and the discursive and material practices that shaped it up to the ...

 
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A group of teenagers in a Karachi high school puts on a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible— and one goes missing. The incident sets off ripples through their already fraught education in lust and witches, and over the years ...

 
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Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
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From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
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'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...