Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg

Southeast Asia
Trafficking route for persecuted Rohingya Muslims appears open for business despite


Shut out from Bangladesh schools, Rohingyas turn to madrassas
[AlAhram] Half a million refugee Rohingya children are shut out of local schools in Bangladesh, leaving many in religious madrassas where critics say educational standards are low and students are vulnerable to indoctrination.

Around 740,000 Moslem Rohingya fled into the country during a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military, swelling the numbers of the minority in Bangladesh to around a million.

But while their language and culture are similar to people in southeastern Bangladesh, authorities regard the Rohingya as temporary guests and their children are denied access to local schools, raising fears of a "lost generation".

PM Hasina accuses Myanmar of being reluctant in taking Rohingyas back
[Dhaka Tribune] Prime Minister the loathesome Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums..
has accused Myanmar of being reluctant in repatriating over a million Rohingya nationals defying their promise and feared that some international aid agencies to tend to keep the crisis alive.

"The problem lies with Myanmar as they don’t want to take back the Rohingyas by any means though Naypyidaw
...generally translated as royal capital, seat of the king or abode of kings because the general in charge had a massive ego. It was founded in 2002 because Rangoon was worn out. Traditionally, Naypyidaw was used as a suffix to the names of royal capitals, such as Mandalay, which was called Yadanabon Naypyidaw in Burmese...
signed an agreement with Bangladesh promising to repatriate them," she said while briefing media at her residence Ganabhaban on Sunday.

The premier simultaneously feared that some international aid and voluntary agencies too were unwilling to resolve the crisis saying: "They never want the refugees to return their home."

"This is what I see," Sheikh Hasina told the presser, a day after her return home following her tri-nation tour to Japan, Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
and Finland, reports BSS.

Asked for comments about a perception that three major countries ‐ China, Japan and India ‐ took Myanmar’s side in the crisis, the premier said Dhaka separately held talks with these countries where all of them acknowledged Rohingyas as Myanmar nationals and agreed that they should return there.

"(But) they (three countries) simultaneously argued that if all of them confront Myanmar over the issue, then who will be there to convince them (Naypyidaw)," she said.

8 killed in ‘gunfights’ in four days
Post rolled over because y’all simply must see the RAB videos Grulet Snimp9110 posted late yesterday while I was busy doing articles for today.

—trailing wife at 12:44 a.m, EDT Sunday 12/9
[Dhaka Tribune] At least eight suspected criminals were killed in reported shootouts with members of law enforcement agencies across the country in the last four days.

In Cox’s Bazar, three suspected criminals of the Rohingya community were killed in a reported shootout with police near the Leda Rohingya camp in the Teknaf upazila on Friday.

The dear departed Shamsul Alam, 35, and Nur Alam, 21 were from Ukhiya’s Thaingkhali camp while Habib, 20, was from Teknaf’s Leda camp, said Prodip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf cop shoppe.

Police also recovered three guns and eight rounds of bullets from the spot.

Three police constables‐Saikat Barua, Arshedul, and Sekandar‐were maimed in the incident.

In Comilla, a suspected drug pusher was killed in a reported shootout with BGB members at Ghilatoli in the Adarsha Sadar Upazila on Friday.

The dear departed was identified as Helal Uddin, son of Sundar Ali of Bajgadda of the upazila, said Lt Col Abu Mohammad Mahiuddin, commanding officer of BGB 10.

BGB also recovered 3,000 yaba pills from his possession.

In Thakurgaon, a suspected drug trader was killed in a reported shootout with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in the Bangabandhu market area in Fakirganj on Thursday.

The dear departed Monirul Islam Babul, son of late Maidul Islam, was from the Birganj upazila of Dinajpur district, said Dinajpur-42 BGB Commander Lt Col Gazi Nahiduzzaman.

In Gazipur, a suspected drug pusher was killed in a reported shootout with a RAB patrol team in Tongi’s Nodi Bondor area on Tuesday.

There were a total of 17 drug cases against deceased Ismail Hossain, 40 with several cop shoppes, said Additional Superintendent of RAB Kamruzzaman.

Two RAB members also sustained injuries in this incident.

In Chittagong, two suspected robbers were killed during an alleged shootout with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Tuesday.

The alleged shootout ensued when they were robbing the people of a Dhaka-bound private car in the Chhoto Kumira area under the Sitakunda upazila, said Masuqur Rahman, assistant director (media) of RAB 7.

Three firearms and 31 rounds of bullets were recovered from the spot, he added.

Southeast Asia
Amnesty accuses Myanmar military of fresh 'war crimes' in Rakhine
[DAWN] Myanmar's military is guilty of committing new "war crimes", extrajudicial killings and torture in its fight against ethnic Rakhine rebels, Amnesia Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The armed forces have deployed thousands of troops and heavy artillery across northern Rakhine state in recent months where Arakan Army (AA) rebels are fighting for more autonomy for the state's ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

The state was also the scene of the military's bloody crackdown against the Rohingya Moslem community in 2017. That campaign pushed some 740,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh in violence, UN Sherlocks say, warrants prosecution of top generals for "genocide".

The Amnesty said on Wednesday it had "new evidence" that Myanmar's military is now "committing war crimes and other human rights
...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty...
violations" against the ethnic Rakhine, listing extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearances.

Access to the conflict area is heavily restricted but details of civilian deaths have emerged over recent weeks and months. But the army has confirmed it rubbed out six detainees late last month in the village of Kyauk Tan.

The Amnesty's report is based on scores of interviews with people from various ethnic groups, photographs, videos and satellite imagery.

It documents seven unlawful attacks that killed 14 civilians and injured dozens more, saying notorious infantry units have been deployed against the ethnic Rakhine. Some Rohingya Moslems who have remained in the area have also been killed.

"The new operations in Rakhine State show an unrepentant, unreformed and unaccountable military terrorising civilians," said regional director Nicholas Bequelin.


Southeast Asia
Myanmar soldiers jailed for Rohingya killings freed after less than a year
[DAWN] Myanmar has granted early release to seven soldiers placed in durance vile
Please don't kill me!
for the killing of 10 Rohingya Moslem men and boys during a 2017 military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine, two prison officials, two former fellow inmates and one of the soldiers told Rooters.

The soldiers were freed in November last year, the two inmates said, meaning they served less than one year of their 10-year prison terms for the killings at Inn Din village.

They also served less jail time than two Rooters news hounds who uncovered the killings. The journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, spent more than 16 months behind bars on charges of obtaining state secrets. The two were released in an amnesty on May 6.

Olde Tyme Religion
Moderate Muslims’ dilemma
[DAWN] THE Easter bombings in Sri Lanka once again turned a spotlight on the challenge of global jihad, terrorism and Islamophobia
...the irrational fear that Moslems will act the way they usually do...
. Moslem scholars and community leaders from across the world have condemned the attack, dissociated themselves from the perpetrators and defended Islam as a religion of peace.
We can see that.
Many Moslems are constantly feeling like they need to apologise. Still, they continue to face a backlash and stereotyping of their community. The fear of reprisals combined with growing Islamophobia compels Moslems to insist that these acts have nothing to do with their faith. This urge to separate religion from the violence committed in its name is well intentioned and understandable, yet counterproductive.
If the two are one, separating them really is counterproductive.
It is true that these Death Eaters do not represent the overwhelming majority of Moslems, who oppose terrorist groups like the holy warrior Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS), the Taliban
...mindless ferocity in a turban...
, and Al Qaeda. However,
those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things...
it does not necessarily mean that they have nothing to do with religion. They may not represent the Islam that moderate Moslems know and follow, but their actions are inspired by their own version or interpretation of it.
Still, we seldom hear of Lutherans blowing things up, or even of Lutherans oppressing other Lutherans. Catholics do it a little more often, but not usually in the name of Catholicism. I never even heard the words "radical" and "Buddhists" in the same sentence until the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army managed to set off the backlash in Burma, though there were a few monks who set fire to themselves to protest the Ziem regime in Saigon in the early 60's. They didn't do it in the name of Buddhism and none exploded.
Here, it is worth emphasising that, as a Moslem, I strongly believe that the Moslem belief is no more ’violent’ than those of other religions. Neither is religion the only cause of such violence. Instead, violent extremism is a complex phenomenon with multiple driving factors including injustice, identity crisis, bad boy ideologies, and socioeconomic reasons. Their salience varies across time and space. There is no clear profile or single causal pathway that can define the process of radicalisation.
Yet still, you never hear of Mormons chopping non-believers' heads off. I've never even heard of them beating anybody up.
Similarly, there is also no denying that colonialism, Western military interventions in Moslem countries and support to authoritarian Moslem rulers have played a role in the rise of Islamic bully boyz and bandidos snuffies in the Moslem world. To summarise, it is often a combination of politics and bad boy interpretations of Islam that produces the vitriolic narrative and rampage that most Moslem countries face today.
I'll admit that the former Belgian Congo teems with people who treat each other in ways that cause me to gag. And there was that whole Rwanda thing, and the Serbs slaughtering Croats, Bosnians, and Kosovars, and vice versa. So it's a tribal thing?
The problem is that while Moslems almost always talk about the politics that creates terrorism, and rightly so, they are reluctant to discuss the role of radicalised interpretations in inspiring terrorist violence. Interventionist Western foreign policies alone do not explain the origin and sustenance of terrorist groups like Taliban, Al Qaeda and IS. These groups derive their sustenance mainly from obscurantist ideology that views the modern nation-state as a system of kufr and affirms the inherent right of Moslems to rule. The desire and motivation to kill and be killed comes from a sincere belief in the notion of achieving paradise through ’martyrdom’.
So maybe the root cause of the terrorism that we've been seeing for the past fifty years or so stems from the Moslem tribes of the world trying to kill the non-Moslem tribes of the world. And the Sunni tribes trying to kill the Shiite tribes, and the Hanafi tribes trying to kill the Sufi tribes, and the Salafist tribes trying to murder all the non-Salafists?
In Moslem-majority countries, a small segment of Moslems do recognise the challenge posed by radical interpretations of religion and disputes a literalist reading advocated by fundamentalists. Koranic verses, they argue, are often misinterpreted and quoted out of context. There are, however, two points which must be considered in the debate.
Which two points are those?
First, these debates are restricted to the drawing rooms and private gatherings of a tiny liberal, secular and left-leaning class that is often insulated from the rest of society which is generally conservative. Publicly, most Moslems are reluctant to openly engage in a debate regarding religion. Those who do so often pay a huge price.
In Pakistain they're accused of blasphemy and killed.
Second, the lack of an authoritative hierarchy in doctrinal interpretation means that any Moslem can interpret religion the way he or she likes. While making Islam more egalitarian and democratic, this also makes it easier for bully boyz to promulgate their literal interpretations despite opposition by a large majority of Moslem holy mans and scholars.
Protestanism doesn't have a hierarchy either, but it's been quite a few years since Anglicans and Presbyterians blew each other up. I think I'd stick with the tribe theory.
Moderate Moslems cannot be blamed for not engaging in open public debate because most Moslem countries lack the environment required for discussing sensitive issues. The countries where there is space for critical debates are the relatively advanced democracies of the developed world. However,
those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things...
in almost all such countries, Moslems are also a minority
Is there a reason for that?
and often the victims of hatred and prejudice inspired by Islamophobia.
My definition of Islamophobia may read like smart-assery, but it's the result of several years of research, and I haven't seen anything to make me doubt its accuracy.
Consequently, conscious of their minority status, moderate and liberal Moslems in these countries hold back their views on religion for fear of being seen as abettors of Islamophobia.
And they don't express their views on religion on Moslem majority countries because they'll be killed?
The rise of right-wing nationalism in Europe
...also known as Moslem Lebensraum...
and America has only reinforced their concerns.
Right wing nationalism was pretty much a dead concept until Moslem colonization began in earnest. Or did I miss something?
Diaspora Moslems fear that even pointing out that militancy might have something to do with a certain interpretation will feed into Islamophobia. The nuance about particular interpretations, the argument goes on, would gradually disappear in the public debate and Islam as a religion and Moslems as a group would be criticised. These are legitimate concerns and it is, therefore, not surprising that diaspora Moslems scholars and intellectuals are at the forefront of the ’IS-has-nothing-to-do-with-religion’ school of thought.
Even though the argument's ridiculous on its face.
The real challenge for Moslems is to be able to have these difficult conversations in a way that does not lead to more Islamophobia or buttress the West’s Orientalist and stereotypical view of Islam and the Moslem world. Media, scholars, journalists and governments in the Moslem and Western world have a responsibility to assuage these fears and ensure a safe space where such conversations can be held.
I'm not sure why we have the responsibility. Would the Moslem world have just as much a responsibility? Shouldn't they take responsibility for "scholars" who're unacquainted with concepts like reciprocity, cause and effect, and logic? I'm required to tolerate your religion, but you're not required to tolerate mine because yours says mine if wrong? Oh, but of course!
Moreover, they should also not mistake this as an acceptance that an bad boy version of Islam is the only or main source of terrorist violence.
True. Perhaps the entire religion is damned by its penchant for violence and tyranny.
Instead, the discussion about addressing other important drivers of violent extremism should continue. Defeating violent extremism requires a holistic strategy that should simultaneously address its social, economic and political causes. Reclaiming control of theological interpretations should be just one bit of the wider strategy.
Define a problem widely enough and you lose any hope of solving it.
Moderate Moslems must understand, deconstruct and delegitimise the bad boys’ version of Islam rather than denying the existence of their interpretation. By denying any link between faith and the violence carried out in its name, Moslems foreclose all public debate on different interpretations and help bad boy Moslems get away with their context-less versions.

Southeast Asia
UN mission urges financial isolation of Myanmar’s military over human rights abuses
[DAWN] An international fact-finding mission is urging that countries cut off all business with Myanmar's military as part of efforts to hold the army accountable for human rights
...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...

The UN Human Rights Council said in a statement on Tuesday that there has been no progress toward resolving the crisis over Myanmar's mostly Moslem Rohingya minority, more than 1 million of whom have fled military "clearance operations" in the northwest Rakhine region.

The statement issued in Geneva said the situation was at a standstill.

Myanmar authorities have razed deserted Rohingya villages and those remaining in the country live in displacement camps and in fear.

Bangladesh rescues 23 Rohingya girls from traffickers
[DAWN] Twenty-three teenage Rohingya girls were rescued after being brought from refugee camps to the capital Dhaka to be sent to Malaysia by air, Bangladesh police said on Sunday.

Dhaka police also jugged
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
four human traffickers including a Rohingya couple and recovered over 50 Bangladeshi passports from them on Saturday.

Police front man Mokhlesur Rahman said they raided a residence in the northern part of the city and found the teenagers hiding in a room behind a tailoring shop.

"They were promised jobs in Malaysia and brought from refugee camps in Cox's Bazar," he told AFP, referring to the Rohingya settlements in Bangladesh's southeastern coastal district.

The girls ‐ aged between 15 and 19 ‐ could have been potential victims of forced prostitution, the official said.

"We have filed cases against the four arrested persons and sent the girls back to their camps in Cox's Bazar," Rahman said.

Abul Khair, local police chief of Ukhiya, where Kutupalong, the largest refugee camp in the world, is situated, said he received the girls and would send them to their homes in the camps.

Home Front: Politix
Why Is Ilhan Omar's Collusion With Islamists Acceptable?
[The Federalist] Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has distinguished herself with often offensive, outrageous, and unpatriotic rhetoric. One week she invokes classic anti-Jewish tropes. The next she trivializes the September 11 jihadist attacks. Another it is unearthed that she espouses morally relativistic if not overtly anti-American views about U.S. soldiers, the very ones who fought to defend civilians in her native Somalia to boot.

Omar’s penchant for provoking millions of Americans with odious words has masked the related, equally if not more troubling, elements of her associations, ideology, and background.

Consider, for example, the revelation, largely unnoticed outside of conservative media, that as a Minnesota Assemblywoman Omar had a closed-press meeting in fall 2017 with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to a curiously now-deleted article from the local Somalian-language periodical in her district, the Tusmo Times, she and the Islamist authoritarian president met during his U.N. General Assembly visit to New York.

Per one account, they discussed: "issues involving Omar’s native Somalia and issues for Somalis in Minnesota. She [Omar] thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s support for the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The two also discussed investment and trade between Turkey and Somalia. The meeting ended with Erdogan asking Omar to voice her support for Turkey. The report concludes by adding that Omar not only met with Erdogan, but also with the Turkish prime minister and other senior Turkish officials."

A political-media establishment frenzied over foreign influence might ask many questions about this meeting, such as: Why did a state lawmaker have it? Was it appropriate for her to be discussing Turkish-Somali relations as an American representative? On whose behalf was she speaking? Did anyone bless this meeting at the federal level, and on what grounds? Did Omar have any reservations about meeting with President Erdogan given the totalitarian, bellicose, and bigoted nature of his regime? What do Omar’s Democratic colleagues at the national level make of this meeting?
Lengthy article.

Bangladesh jails three Rohingya extremists for 10 years
[DAWN] A Bangladesh court on Sunday sentenced three Rohingya turbans of a now defunct krazed killer group to 10 years in jail for possessing bomb-making materials, a prosecutor said.

The trio were tossed in the slammer
Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un!
in 2014 in Dhaka with materials to be used for making improvised bombs (IEDs), said Salahuddin Howlader, a prosecutor at the Metropolitan Special Tribunal in the capital.

They were found guilty and sentenced immediately under the country's explosives laws, the prosecutor said, adding one of them was sentenced in absentia as he was on the run.

"They were involved with several international krazed killer outfits including the RSO," he told AFP, referring to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, a small krazed killer group that was active in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state in the 1980s and 1990s.

Local media, citing the police charge-sheet on the case, said the three men were suspects in the 2014 Burdwan blast in the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal that killed at least two people and maimed several while they were allegedly making IEDs.

"The charge-sheet read the accused admitted planning sabotage in Bangladesh with the assistance of international Islamist holy warrior outfits," the online edition of the mass circulation Bengali daily Prothom Alo said.

In recent years, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) has emerged as the main Rohingya krazed killer group operating in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state that borders Bangladesh's southeast.

In August 2017, Arsa attacked several police posts in Rakhine prompting a massive military crackdown that forced some 740,000 Rohingya Moslems to flee to Bangladesh, where they are housed in squalid refugee camps. The refugees joined some 300,000 Rohingya who have been living in the camps for years and even decades.

Bangladeshi security officials say no holy warrior groups such as Arsa or RSO operate in the camps, but this week the International Crisis Group said gunnies were increasing their grip on the settlements and were responsible for the murder of at least one Rohingya camp leader.

The conflict research group has urged Bangladesh to step up its police presence in the camps, saying gangs and holy warrior groups were now operating openly in the settlements.

Threats from turbans had left Rohingya leaders fearful for their lives and frequent murders were rarely investigated, the group said.

Bangladesh police said the creation of seven new police posts, the deployment of armed officers and better intelligence had improved security.


Southeast Asia
Myanmar targets civilians with helicopters, 7 dead: UN
[AA.TR] Myanmar military has targeted civilians in Rakhine state, killing seven of them and injuring 18 others, a UN official said on Friday.

In a media briefing, Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, said: "On the evening of 3 April, two military helicopters flew over Hpon Nyo Leik village tract in south Buthidaung township and fired on civilians tending cows and paddy fields, killing at least seven civilians and injuring 18 others".

Shamdasani said that there are report that the fighting has intensified in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U, and Sittwe townships in Rakhine State in recent weeks, leading to the displacement of over 20,000 civilians.

"We are deeply disturbed by the intensification of the conflict in Rakhine State in recent weeks, and condemn what appear to be indiscriminate attacks and attacks directed at civilians by the Myanmar military and armed fighters," she added.

According to the reports, the spokeswoman said, some 4,000 Rohingya were displaced from March 25-30 from the villages along the road connecting Buthidaung and Rathedaung towns.

The spokeswoman said the Myanmar military’s attack against its own civilians "may constitute war crimes".

"The consequences of impunity will continue to be deadly," she added.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesia Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and kiddies, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Moslem community in August 2017.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Moslems have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".


-12 More