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Repatriation stalls as Rohingya refuse to return to Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): Authorities in Bangladesh have pushed back a plan to repatriate thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar to next year after the latest attempt stalled amid opposition and safety concerns from Rohingya, rights groups and aid agencies.
 

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Leadership training for Myanmar’s young people

MANDALAY (UCAN): The Jesuits in Myanmar have opened the Myanmar Leadership Institute (MLI), a youth leadership training institute with the enthusiastic encouragement of Charles Cardinal Maung Bo of Yangon.
 
With the motto, Learn to Lead, Lead to Serve, the institute aims to help develop a more just society for the poor with professional leaders inspired by a commitment to peace and human rights, concentrating on the preparation of leaders in the fields of education, business and civil society.
 

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United Nations initiative on Myanmar atrocities an important step

Mandalay (UCAN): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution on September 27 that creates an independent, international body to help prepare case files for future criminal proceedings against perpetrators of atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
 
The UNHRC’s 47 members voted in favour of the resolution, 37 to 3 with seven abstentions. China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against the resolution, which was drafted by the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
 

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Aung San Suu Kyi fails on rule of law

by Michael Sainsbury
 
 
In Myanmar and across the Western world, there is outrage at the jailing of two local Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, for seven years using antiquated colonial-era laws around state secrets—one of which, bizarrely, was a download of Pope Francis’ schedule for his visit last year.
 








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Calls for accountability over Myanmar atrocities

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Accountability is essential for genuine reconciliation between all ethnic groups and is a prerequisite for regional security and stability,” United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said, as he called for accountability over the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar which he described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian and human rights crises.
 

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Myanmar accused of blocking humanitarian aid

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Depriving civilians of aid in an attempt to overcome an ethnic army is a perverse, unlawful and ineffective strategy,” Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights, said on August 30. 
 
“All parties to this war have a duty to protect civilians and that includes by ensuring access to adequate aid,” he said.
 

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Bishop calls for jade mine regulations in Myanmar

Mandalay (UCAN): Bishop Francis Daw Tang of Myitkyina, Myamar, called for an urgent improvement of jade mining regulations and protect the environment. He said there are no proper regulations or systems for properly managing soil dumps that have killed hundreds of people annually in conflict-stricken Kachin State.
 

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Stepping up aid to Myanmar flood victims

MANDALAY  (UCAN):  “We are getting more assessments and then delivering aid to other affected areas,” Father Paul Thar San, director of Karuna, in Hpa-an, the capital city of Kayin State, Myanmar. The area was been hit with strong monsoon winds and heavy rain since the third week of July, causing rivers to swell.
 
At least 11 people have died and more than 100,000 people have been displaced by the widespread flooding, according to the disaster management department.
 

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Myanmar farmland grabs condemned

MANDALY (UCAN): Myanmar must provide redress for illegally confiscating land and enact laws and regulations “to safeguard the rights of farmers” and other small landholders, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a July 17 report.
 
The report said that over the last 30 years the government as well as military officials have seized hundreds of thousands of acres from farmers while providing little or no compensation and that this has jeopardised their livelihoods and eroded their access to basic services.
 

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Buddhist group banned again in Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): On July 20, Myanmar’s Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee (Ma Ha Na), the government-appointed body that regulates Buddhist clergy, ordered the Buddha Dhamma Parahita Foundation, formerly known as Ma Ba Tha, to end its activities and remove its signboards within 45 days.

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