Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
October 2020 - Myanmar News
- Nine Villagers Injured by Artillery Blasts in Myanmar's Rakhine Conflict Radio Free Asia 30 Oct 2020 -- Nine civilians, including three children, were injured Thursday in artillery blasts allegedly fired by the Myanmar military in two villages in war-torn Rakhine state, family members of the injured and local residents said.
- Survivors of Military Attack on Red Cross-Hired Boat in Myanmar Deny Arakan Army Connection Radio Free Asia 29 Oct 2020 -- Survivors of a deadly Myanmar Navy artillery attack on a boat delivering Red Cross supplies to war refugees in Rakhine state rejected on Thursday military claims that they were armed members of the rebel Arakan Army, saying they were fired on as they displayed documents for inspection.
- Vote cancellations raise serious doubts about integrity of Myanmar poll Press TV 29 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar's election commission has barred certain areas in the country from voting in upcoming elections, deepening concerns about the credibility of the polls, as more than 1.5 people in the Buddhist-majority country remain without the right to vote.
- Early Voting Begins in Myanmar Election VOA 29 Oct 2020 -- Despite Myanmar's growing coronavirus caseload and continuing unrest in some areas, early voting began Thursday for the November 8 general election, which involves nearly 100 political parties and contests for the upper and lower houses of the national, state and regional governments.
- Myanmar Decision to Cancel Voting in Many Precincts Hurts Ethnic Regions â€” HRW Radio Free Asia 28 Oct 2020 -- Decisions by Myanmar's Union Election Commission to cancel Nov. 8 elections in dozens of townships, including in war-torn Rakhine state, without consulting local political groups will disenfranchise more than a million ethnic minority voters, Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued Wednesday.
- Myanmar Military, Arakan Army Trade Blame After Shelling of Red Cross Aid Boat Kills Man Radio Free Asia 28 Oct 2020 -- One man was killed and two others were injured in a Myanmar Navy artillery attack Wednesday on a boat hired by the Red Cross to deliver aid to civilians displaced by armed conflict in western Rakhine state, witnesses to the clash said.
- Myanmar Steps Up COVID-19 Measures to Ensure Voter Safety in Nov. 8 Elections Radio Free Asia 27 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar is pulling out all the stops to hold national elections next month in the face of surging coronavirus infections, with leader Aung San Suu Kyi saying the country is receiving daily imports of protective gear from China and election authorities adding polling stations to ease crowds in populous areas.
- 'Serious concerns' over rights situation in Myanmar ahead of next month's elections UN News 27 Oct 2020 -- The UN human rights office (OHCHR) voiced "serious concerns" on Tuesday over the situation in Myanmar â€“ including rights violations and proliferation of hateful speech against minority communities â€“ as the country prepares for general elections next month.
- Myanmar Military Investigating Death of 2 Boys Allegedly Used as Minesweepers VOA 27 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar's military said it is investigating the recent deaths of two Muslim boys and the injury of another while the children allegedly were being used as human minesweepers when crossfire erupted between the military and the Arakan Army, an armed group seeking independence.
- Hyping China influence in India-Myanmar submarine deal attempts to provoke: experts Global Times 26 Oct 2020 -- India has delivered a submarine to Myanmar for the latter to train soldiers, but this has been hyped by some Indian and Western media as a move to counter China's growing influence in Southeast Asia, which Chinese experts said is an over-interpretation and provocation meant to disrupt China's relationship with countries in the region.
- India Gives Submarine to Myanmar Amid Growing Chinese Footprint in Indian Ocean Countries VOA 25 Oct 2020 -- India has given a submarine to Myanmar as part of a military outreach to its eastern neighbor that strategic analysts say is driven by New Delhi's bid to counter China's growing influence in Southeast Asia.
- Myanmar Warns Rebel Arakan Army to Stop Interfering in Elections in Response to Candidate Kidnapping Radio Free Asia 23 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar on Friday condemned the Arakan Army's abduction of three candidates from the ruling party as they campaigned in war-torn Rakhine state last week as a threat to hard-won democracy and a sign the ethnic rebel group is not serious about peace talks.
- Myanmar's Electoral Commission Wins Complaint Over Racial Bias in Military Daily Ahead of National Vote Radio Free Asia 23 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar's Union Electoral Commission has successfully fought declarations published in a military newspaper that candidates for election to parliament be chosen on the basis of 'race,' a violation of election laws in the multiethnic nation of 54 million people, RFA has learned.
- Arakan Army Forces Villagers in Myanmar's Chin State to Donate Rice Amid Food Shortage Radio Free Asia 22 Oct 2020 -- The rebel Arakan Army is forcing citizens to donate rice or sell it at huge markdowns in western Myanmar's Chin State, where food is scarce and transportation networks have broken down due to constant fighting with the country's military, according to a statement by a local rights NGO.
- Joint Press Statement of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees US Dept. of State 22 Oct 2020 -- Following is the text of a joint press statement by the Government of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- Virtual Fundraiser Collects $600M in Pledges to Aid Rohingya in Bangladesh, Myanmar Radio Free Asia 22 Oct 2020 -- An international conference on Thursday to raise funds urgently needed for supporting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and those displaced inside Myanmar received about U.S. $600 million in pledges led by donations from the United States and the United Kingdom, according to organizers.
- Dominic Raab urges world "not to turn away from Rohingya's suffering" as the UK pledges life-saving support UK FCDO 22 Oct 2020 -- The Foreign Secretary announces Â£47.5 million new UK aid to support 860,000 Rohingya refugees and help Bangladesh deal with coronavirus and natural disasters.
- Rohingya conference pledges to 'remain steadfast' in finding solutions to crisis UN News 22 Oct 2020 -- A joint UN-hosted donor conference to rally international support behind Myanmar's displaced Rohingya minority, ended on Thursday with a promise to continue engaging with concerned countries towards finding a long-term solution to their plight.
- U.S. Announces Humanitarian Assistance at the International Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response US Dept. of State 22 Oct 2020 -- Today, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) conducted a virtual conference on Sustaining International Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response.
- Anger After Myanmar Election Authorities Cancel Voting in 56 Townships, Citing Armed Conflict Radio Free Asia 20 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar regional political parties have expressed shock and anger after election authorities cancelled voting in more than 50 townships across the country, citing military conflict -- a move critics says favors the military and ruling party while stripping 1.3 million voters of a choice on Nov. 8.
- Arakan Army Admits to Abducting Myanmar Ruling Party Candidates, Demands Prisoner Release Radio Free Asia 19 Oct 2020 -- Five days after armed men in a speedboat snatched three candidates from Myanmar's ruling party as they campaigned in rural Rakhine, the rebel Arakan Army on Monday claimed responsibility for the abductions and demanded the release of detained civilians and student anti-war protesters.
- Myanmar Reports First COVID-19 Case in Rakhine War Refugee Camps Radio Free Asia 16 Oct 2020 -- An elderly woman at one of dozens of war refugee camps in Myanmar's Rakhine state has tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed case among more than 200,000 people displaced by nearly 23 months of fighting, government authorities said Friday as a WHO official predicted more cases.
- Myanmar Confident Elections Can Proceed Smoothly Despite COVID-19 Surge Radio Free Asia 15 Oct 2020 -- With "scrupulous regulations" to protect voters and advice from Asian countries that have held elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar is confident it can hold nationwide polls on Nov. 8, despite a surge in cases that has prompted calls for postponing the vote, a senior election official told RFA on Thursday.
- Interview: 'We Are Working in Order to Have Free And Fair Elections' Radio Free Asia 15 Oct 2020 -- On Nov. 8. Myanmar holds national and regional elections, in which nearly 7,000 candidates from more than 90 parties, as well as independents, are vying for 1,171 legislative seats at all levels. Leader Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling National League for Democracy is seeking to be returned to office after taking power from the pro-military Union Social Development Party in the last national vote held in 2015. The stiffest competition will again be between the NLD, which is fielding 1,143 candidates, and the USDP, which has put forward 1,129 candidates. Amid a resurgence of coronavirus that has raised concerns about low turnout and prompted calls to postpone the vote, Union Election Commission member Myint Naing spoke to Thet Su Aung of RFA's Myanmar Service in an interview in the capital Naypyitaw on Thursday.
- Soaring Myanmar COVID-19 Cases Test Long-Neglected Health Care System VOA 15 Oct 2020 -- Having contained its first brush with the novel coronavirus even as infections in neighboring countries surged, Myanmar is now straining to check a soaring second wave with a health care system blighted by decades of neglect under military rule.
- US to Join EU and UN in Donor Conference to Aid Rohingya Radio Free Asia 15 Oct 2020 -- As an international consortium announced an upcoming donor conference for Rohingya refugees, U.S. and Bangladesh officials on Thursday discussed challenges faced by nearly 1 million members of the stateless minority who live in sprawling camps in southeastern Cox's Bazar district.
- Joint Press Statement of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees US Dept. of State 15 Oct 2020 -- The following is the text of a joint press statement by the Government of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- Three Myanmar Ruling Party Candidates Abducted in Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 14 Oct 2020 -- An unidentified armed group abducted three candidates from Myanmar's ruling party as they campaigned in rural areas of southern Rakhine state on Wednesday, spiriting the men away in a speedboat and cursing them as traitors, witnesses and a party official said.
- Myanmar Election Officials Disqualify Two More Candidates Radio Free Asia 14 Oct 2020 -- With just more than three weeks before voting, Myanmar election authorities have disqualified two more opposition party candidates, saying they did not meet citizenship requirements under the country's election statutes.
- Myanmar: 'Shocking' killing of children allegedly used as human shields UN News 14 Oct 2020 -- UN agencies in Myanmar have expressed 'sadness' and 'shock' over the killing of two boys, allegedly used as human shields by security forces in the country's northern Rakhine province, earlier this month.
- Hate Speech Against Rohingya in Myanmar Election Has Worrisome Precedents Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- Online and offline hate speech targeting Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims has reared its head in the run-up to national elections in November, as some candidates and others target the largely disenfranchised and despised ethnic minority group to gain support from voters.
- Myanmar News Site Mimics RFA to Spread Disinformation Before Elections Radio Free Asia 13 Oct 2020 -- A Myanmar media site imitating the look of RFA has been outed by a watchdog group and local news outlets as a serial spreader of disinformation and hate speech, drawing calls for legal action from the ruling party that was the target of many of the false reports seen aimed at influencing Nov. 8 elections.
- Amnesty report highlights Myanmar military's disregard for civilian suffering Press TV 12 Oct 2020 -- Amnesty International has accused Myanmar's army of human rights abuses against civilians in the states of Chin and Rakhine under the pretext of fighting an armed group called the Arakan Army.
- Ethnic Rakhine in Bangladesh Protest Against Myanmar's 'Military Aggression' Radio Free Asia 12 Oct 2020 -- Hundreds of mainly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine people living in Bangladesh staged a rare, if not unprecedented, protest over the weekend against Myanmar's alleged military aggression in Rakhine state, saying their community there faces "ethnic cleansing," much like the stateless Rohingya.
- UN in Myanmar comes together to protect people from COVID-19 UN News 11 Oct 2020 -- More than 20 UN agencies in Myanmar have come together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff are putting their lives on their line to support the Organization's efforts to protect lives and boost livelihoods.
- Poll Shows Strong Trust in Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar Heartland Radio Free Asia 09 Oct 2020 -- As Myanmar's general election campaign enters its final month, a survey released this week shows a year-on-year nine-point increase in public trust in leader Aung San Suu Kyi, while in war-torn ethnic minority regions not captured in the poll, experts say support has dropped over her fruitless peace process.
- Rohingya Muslim refugees living in 'open prison' in Myanmar: HRW Press TV 08 Oct 2020 -- The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has denounced as an "open prison" the refugee camps housing tens of thousands of Rohyngia Muslims in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine and called for an immediate end to the mass detention of the ethnic minority.
- Rights Group Calls for End to Rohingya 'Prison' Camps in Myanmar VOA 08 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar should end the "apartheid regime" that has left thousands of Muslim ethnic Rohingya families trapped in stifling displacement camps eight years after deadly communal clashes tore through the Buddhist-majority country's far west, the U.S. advocacy group Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday.
- Bangladesh Moves to Control Outbreak of Gang Violence at Rohingya Camps Radio Free Asia 07 Oct 2020 -- At least eight people â€“ mostly refugees â€“ have died since violence broke out between rival Rohingya groups at a sprawling camp in southeastern Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district late last week, officials said Wednesday, assuring the public that security forces had regained control of law and order.
- Rights Group Sees 'Apartheid' in Myanmar Holding Rohingya in Camps Since 2012 Radio Free Asia 07 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar's confinement of 130,000 mostly Rohingya Muslims in dire and oppressive conditions in open-air camps since 2012 compounds the country's crimes against humanity against the ethnic minority and amounts to "apartheid," according to a report issued Thursday by Human Rights Watch.
- Misleading Absentee Ballot Reports Spark Concern in Myanmar Race Radio Free Asia 07 Oct 2020 -- With a month to go before Myanmar's general elections on Nov. 8, the county's two main political parties warned followers on Wednesday about misleading and false claims about absentee ballots for expatriate citizens spreading on social media.
- Five Rohingya Killed in Shooting Incidents in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 06 Oct 2020 -- Two shooting incidents in western Myanmar's Rakhine state have killed five members of the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, including two children slain in a firefight between rebels and government troops patrolling behind civilians forced to walk through mined territory, residents said Tuesday.
- Myanmar's Effort to Trace COVID-19 Spread Treads on Sensitive Territory Radio Free Asia 06 Oct 2020 -- Myanmar's second wave of coronavirus may have been triggered by "returnees" from neighboring Bangladesh, who brought the illness back with them when they illegally entered Rakhine state, which is now a COVID-19 hotspot, according to a senior government health official.
- Learning lessons from COVID-19 in Myanmar UN News 05 Oct 2020 -- School closures in Myanmar resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have affected millions of students. The UN is working with the country's authorities to ensure that the education system is made more resilient, and children's schooling is protected as much as possible.
- Arrest of Obscure Party Chief as Wanted Fugitive Adds Intrigue to Myanmar Elections Radio Free Asia 01 Oct 2020 -- The arrest of an alleged fugitive with a shadowy past who leads an obscure Myanmar political party running the second-largest slate of candidates has sparked intrigue as well as criticism of lax election standards just five weeks before the Southeast Asian nation goes to the polls.
- Bangladesh: Rights Group Claims Rohingya Beaten on Bhashan Char Radio Free Asia 01 Oct 2020 -- Rohingya refugees living on Bhashan Char said Bangladesh Navy personnel beat them with rubber clubs and tree branches last month when they protested their detention on the island, according to a Human Rights Watch statement on Thursday, drawing denials from government officials.
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