‘People are dying’: UN official urges aid access for Myanmar’s Rakhine state
YANGON: A UN official has urged Myanmar to grant aid workers “predictable, sustained access” to Rakhine state, where fighting between government troops and rebels has displaced nearly 33,000 people since late last year, saying lack of aid has cost lives.Ursula Mueller, a UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said authorities had turned down her requests to meet those displaced by the conflict in a region barred to most aid groups since the fighting broke out.“We need access – predictable, sustained access – to reach the people in need,” Muller told Reuters late on Tuesday, at the end of a six-day visit to the southeast Asian nation.“If the assistance, including mobile clinics, cannot get to the people, they just don’t have the services and their needs are not being met and some people are dying.”Reuters could not immediately reach a government spokesman to seek comment.Rakhine has been in the global spotlight since 2017, after roughly 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing a military crackdown in response to militant attacks crossed into neighboring Bangladesh.UN investigators have called for senior military officers to be prosecuted over allegations of mass killings, gang rapes and arson. The military denies widespread wrongdoing.More recently, civilians have been caught up in clashes between the military and the Arakan Army, an insurgent group that recruits from the mainly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine population and is fighting for greater autonomy for the state.During her visit, Mueller met senior officials in the capital, Naypyitaw, including state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi who said she was working toward “development and social cohesion” in Rakhine.“I was pointing out the humanitarian needs that are existing that need to be urgently met,” she added.Mueller also visited camps outside Sittwe, the state’s capital, where thousands of Rohingya have been confined since a previous bout of violence in 2012. Most lack citizenship and face curbs on movement and access to basic services.Myanmar has been working with the UN on a strategy to close the camps, but it amounts to building new, more permanent homes in the same place rather than letting people return to areas from which they fled, Reuters reported last year.Mueller, who is also a deputy coordinator for emergency relief, said she had discussed the strategy with officials.“It’s not enough to erect buildings on the same site while the underlying causes are not addressed,” she added. “People have no freedom of movement. They are losing hope after seven years in this camp.”
Pakistan PM Khan speaks with India’s Modi to congratulate him on election win
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to Narendra Modi and congratulated the Indian leader on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both countries said on Sunday.“Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in the Lok…
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to Narendra Modi and congratulated the Indian leader on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both countries said on Sunday.“Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and congratulated him on his party’s electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections in India,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.“The Prime Minister expressed his desire for both countries to work together for the betterment of their peoples.”Tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed countries, flared in February with cross-border air strikes and a brief battle between fighter jets above Kashmir.India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed Khan had called Modi on Sunday, adding the two leaders had discussed fighting poverty together.“He (Modi) stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in our region,” the ministry added in a statement.
UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan subjected to abuse
WASHINGTON: Less than a dozen people affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group were drowned out by hundreds of counter-protesters Saturday at a rally in the midwestern US state of Ohio, authorities and local media said.The event ended peacefully without injuries or arrests, the city government of Dayton, Ohio, said in a statement…
WASHINGTON: Less than a dozen people affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group were drowned out by hundreds of counter-protesters Saturday at a rally in the midwestern US state of Ohio, authorities and local media said.The event ended peacefully without injuries or arrests, the city government of Dayton, Ohio, said in a statement on Facebook.Nine people from a group called the Honorable Sacred Knights showed up for a rally they’d obtained a permit to hold in Dayton’s Courthouse Square. They were met by 500 to 600 counter-protesters, city officials said.The counter-protesters chanted, sang and played various instruments to drown out the racist demonstrators, who had gathered behind a tall metal fence under tight police security, local media reports said.More than 350 law enforcement officers were on hand amid fears of violence.In 2017, a woman was killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.President Donald Trump sparked outrage in its aftermath after claiming there were good people “on both sides” at the rally.
India’s beleaguered Jet Airways founder held at airport
MUMBAI: Indian Immigration authorities on Saturday stopped former Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal and his wife from traveling to London, an official said, months after the debt-laden company grounded its fleet.Goyal was taken into custody at Mumbai’s international airport along with his wife Anita after authorities recalled the Dubai bound Emirates flight as it headed…
MUMBAI: Indian Immigration authorities on Saturday stopped former Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal and his wife from traveling to London, an official said, months after the debt-laden company grounded its fleet.Goyal was taken into custody at Mumbai’s international airport along with his wife Anita after authorities recalled the Dubai bound Emirates flight as it headed to the runway for take-off, a spokesperson for the immigration department said in a statement to AFP.Officials gave no explanation for the couple’s travel ban but media reports said they were allowed to leave the airport later.Goyal is not under investigation but a number of high-profile businessmen have fled India over their alleged involvement in financial crimes, causing a massive public outcry.The 69-year-old stepped down from the company’s chairmanship and board in March following a debt restructuring pact with lenders as it reeled under a loan of $1.2 billion.Anita also stepped down from the board.Once India’s top airline, Jet halted its operations after a consortium of lenders declined to pay emergency cash as it failed to find a buyer for a 75 percent stake in the carrier in April.The consortium led by State Bank of India, India’s biggest state-owned bank, took control of Jet in March, pledging to give $218 million in “immediate funding support” as part of a rescue plan.But the lenders refused dole-out cash to the beleaguered airline that has failed to pay employees’ salaries since January, forcing hundreds on to the streets as some 20,000 staff face losing their jobs.Bad investments, competition from several low-cost carriers, high oil prices and a weak rupee have led to Jet’s current financial predicament. Mismanagement has also plagued the airline.Analysts trace the start of Jet’s financial problems to its 2006 purchase of Air Sahara for $500 million in cash.Goyal, a travel-agent-turned entrepreneur, launched Jet in 1992 after the Indian government passed a series of reforms designed to make the economy more market-driven.The Mumbai-based carrier quickly gained a reputation for introducing new initiatives — Jet was the first Indian airline to offer a frequent flyer program and in-flight entertainment.But it began to take a battering from new, well-run budget airlines including IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet, which were founded between 2005 and 2006.Another low-cost carrier, Kingfisher Airlines closed in 2012 after it failed to repay loans worth millions of dollars to state-owned banks. Its owner Vijay Mallya fled India in 2016 and is currently fighting an extradition case in London court against his deportation for facing financial fraud trial.