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Thursday, 18 September 2014

 

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Some 22 million displaced by natural disasters in 2013: UN-backed report -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 18 (APP): A new U.N.-backed report launched Thursday reveals that 22 million people worldwide were displaced in 2013 by disasters sparked largely by earthquakes or climate-and weather-related events, almost three times more than by conflict in the same year.


UN Mideast envoy announces deal on reconstruction in Gaza -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 17 (APP) : With the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire holding in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations has reached agreement with Israel and Palestinian Authority on a new reconstruction mechanism for the enclave to kick start recovery and rehabilitation and give hope to the people there, a senior UN envoy announced.


Amid many challenges facing the world, UN General Assembly's 69th session opens -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 17 (APP):  With myriad devastating crises gripping the world, the United Nations General Assembly opened its 69th annual session Tuesday, with the body's new president calling on member states to harness opportunities and to find solutions to the challenges confronting humanity.


World hunger falls, but undernourished remain 'unacceptably high': UN report -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 16 (APP): More than 800 million people - or one in every nine on the planet - suffer from hunger, but a new joint UN agency report released Tuesday stated that the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is still within reach.


Actor DiCaprio named UN Messenger of Peace -
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 16 (APP): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has tapped top Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio as a United Nations Messenger of Peace to help promote global action on climate change.


Sport News
FIH officials greet PHF Secretary
LAHORE, Sept 17 (APP): President, International hockey Federation (FIH) Leandro Negre and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather have congratulated Secretary ,Pakistan Hockey Federation Rana Mujahid on his election as the Vice-President of Asian Hockey Federation.
 
Pakistan focused on ICC World Cup 2015 preparations
ISLAMABAD, Sep 17 (APP): The ICC World Cup 2015 trophy made its first public appearance in Pakistan at the iconic Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore as part of its global tour.
 
Pak hockey team to feature in Indian hockey tournament
LAHORE, Sept 16 (APP) :Pakistan hockey team will take part in the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy-2014 to be held in Bhubaneswar, India from December 6-14.
 
PHF honours Tayyab Ikram on becoming CEO of Asian hockey
LAHORE, Sept 16 (APP) : Hockey community of Pakistan in general and the Lahorites in particular honoured their scion Tayyab Ikram on his appointment as the Chief Executive of Asian Hockey Federation (AFH) in a graceful ceremony organized by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) at a local hotel here on Tuesday.
 
Asjad, Sajjad, Imran, Sattar in NBP Cup Snooker semis
KARACHI, Sept 16 (APP): Defending Champion Asjad Iqbal, Muhammad Sajjad, Imran Shahzad and Abdul Sattar advanced in the semi-finals of 6th NBP Cup National Ranking Snooker Championship after contrasting victories here at the NBP Sports Complex Billiards Hall on Tuesday.
 
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Rohingyas Muslims face ‘severest’ discrimination, restrictions: US Report PDF Print E-mail
WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (APP): The constitution, laws and policies in Myanmar (formerly Burma) restrict religious freedom and Rohingyas Muslims face ‘severest’ form of discrimination and restrictions including on access to education and health, a US report on the state of religious freedom said. Released this week, the annual International Religious Freedom Report 2011 noted that Muslims across Myanmar, as well as ethnic Chinese and Indians, often were required to obtain permission from township authorities to leave their hometowns.  Authorities often denied Rohingya and other Muslims living in Rakhine State permission to travel for any purpose, the report says. However, it adds, permission was sometimes obtained through bribery.

Muslims in other regions were granted more freedom to travel, but still faced restrictions. For example, Rohingyas living in Rangoon needed permission from immigration authorities to travel into and out of Rakhine State.
“Muslims in Rakhine State, particularly those of the Rohingya minority group, continued to experience the severest forms of legal, economic, educational, and social discrimination,” the State Department report said, documenting the plight of Rohingya Muslims during last year.
There were reports that Buddhist physicians would not provide Muslims the endorsement required by the Ministry of Health that permits Muslims to travel outside Rakhine State to seek advanced medical treatment.
The government denied citizenship status to Rohingyas, claiming that their ancestors did not reside in the country at the start of British colonial rule, as the 1982 citizenship law required. The Rohingyas asserted that their presence in the area predates the British arrival by several centuries. In November 2008 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women urged the government to review its citizenship law. In February 2010 the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar visited the country and noted discrimination against Muslims.
Many of the approximately 28,500 Rohingya Muslims registered in two refugee camps in Bangladesh and the estimated 200,000 Rohingya Muslims living outside those camps, also in Bangladesh, refused to return to the country because they feared human rights abuses, including religious persecution.
Essentially treated as illegal foreigners, Rohingyas were not issued Foreigner Registration Cards (FRCs).
Since they also were not generally eligible for NRCs, Rohingyas have been commonly referred to as ‘stateless’. In the run-up to national elections in November 2010, the government issued Temporary Registration Cards (TRCs) to residents in northern Rakhine State; the majority of them are Rohingyas. The issuance of TRCs was primarily done, it appears, to allow Rohingyas participation in the elections.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) worked with approximately 750,000 residents of Rakhine State who did not hold citizenship in the country. At the end of the reporting period, the UNHCR (quoting government estimates) indicated that 85 percent of eligible residents (637,500 stateless persons) over the age of 10 possessed TRCs.
The UNHCR noted that according to information from individuals in northern Rakhine State, many individuals issued TRCs were actually only given a TRC number and no document. The UNHCR also assisted Rohingyas with education, health, infrastructure, water and sanitation, and agriculture.
Without citizenship status Rohingyas did not have access to secondary education in state-run schools. Those Muslim students from Rakhine State who completed high school were not permitted to travel outside the state to attend college or university.
During the period covered by the 2011 report, the document also makes note of the government’s implementation of considerable political  reforms, but says it did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom.
The government maintained restrictions on certain religious activities and limited freedom of religion, although it generally permitted adherents of government-registered religious groups to worship as they chose.
Authorities continued to bar Muslim university students who did not possess NRCs from graduating. These students were permitted to attend classes and sit for examinations, but they could not receive diplomas unless they claimed a foreign ethnic minority affiliation.
Rohingyas also were unable to obtain employment in any civil service positions.
Rohingya couples needed also to obtain government permission to marry and faced restrictions on the number of children they could have. Muslim newcomers were not allowed to buy property or reside in Thandwe, Rakhine State, and authorities prevented Muslims from living in the state’s Gwa or Taungup areas.
The government continued to monitor Muslim activities closely. Restrictions on worship for other non-Buddhist minority groups also continued.
Although there were no new reports of forced conversions of non-Buddhists, authorities in some cases influenced the placement of orphans and homeless youth, preferring Buddhist monasteries to Christian orphanages.
Adherence or conversion to Buddhism was an unwritten prerequisite for promotion to most senior government and military ranks.
Nearly all senior level officers of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the armed forces are Buddhists.
There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. During the year, social tensions continued between the Buddhist majority and the Christian and Muslim minorities.
According to the report, widespread prejudice existed against citizens of South Asian origin, many of whom are Muslims. The government continued to refuse to recognize the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority as citizens and imposed restrictions on their movement and marriage.
Antidiscrimination laws do not apply to ethnic groups not formally recognized under the 1982 Citizenship Law, such as the Muslim Rohingyas in northern Rakhine State.
There were reports of abuses of religious freedom, including the continued detention and incarceration of Buddhist monks throughout the country, the arrest of Muslims in the broader Rangoon area for unauthorized teaching as well as praying in living quarters, and the interrogation and harassment of Baptists in Kachin State.
The government selectively enforced legal restrictions on religious freedom. Religious organizations were subject to restrictions on freedom of expression and association. The government’s pervasive internal security apparatus imposed implicit restrictions on collective and individual  worship through infiltrating and monitoring meetings and activities of virtually all organizations.
In practice, authorities restricted the quantity of imported Bibles and Qur’ans, although individuals continued to bring them into the country in small quantities for personal use.
Government censors continued to enforce restrictions on local publication of the Bible, Qur’an, and other Christian and Islamic texts.
 

     

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