Tag Archives: Bangladesh

Myanmar & Bangladesh News | Rohingya Muslims

More than a half-million Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar
  • Since August, nearly 520,000 Rohingya have crossed the border from their homes in Myanmar into Bangladesh, and dozens—many of them children—have died attempting to reach Bangladesh by boat.
  • Refugees spoke of attacks by the military and Buddhist vigilantes, including the burning of villages and physical assaults throughout the state of Rakhine.
  • The U.N. has condemned the violence as “ethnic cleansing” on the part of the Burmese state, which targeted Rohingya communities following an attack by Rohingya militants on a military outpost.
Read

‘I can’t take this any more:’ Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar in new surge” (Reuters | October 2017)

Rohingya crisis: Children die as boat capsizes off Bangladesh” (BBC News | October 2017)

Bangladesh to build one of world’s largest refugee camps for 800,000 Rohingya” (The Guardian | October 2017)

Myanmar & Bangladesh News | Rohingya

Hundreds of Rohingya flee Myanmar for Bangladesh as violence spreads
  • Clashes between government forces and militants have left at least 130 dead and sent hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the border into Bangladesh.
  • Some reports indicated those attempting to cross the border were gunned down or had their boats pushed away.
  • The district at the border has been locked down by Burmese soldiers, cutting off aid agencies and independent observers as reports of mass rape and looting have trickled out.

Read more:
Hundreds of Rohingya flee Myanmar army crackdown to Bangladesh: sources” (Reuters)
Hundreds of Rohingya try to escape Myanmar crackdown” (BBC News)
Violence in Burma Has Sent Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims Fleeing to Bangladesh” (TIME)

Bangladesh News | Foreigners

Terrorist attack and standoff in Bangladesh kills at least 20, injures 30
  • Seven gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter, and took hostages for 11 hours before security forces stormed in.
  • The restaurant was popular with immigrants and other foreigners, and gunmen allegedly ordered Bangladeshis to stand before attacking foreign patrons including Italians, Japanese, Indians, and Sri Lankans.
  • The attack, claimed by the Islamic State, is the largest in an escalating series targeting secularists, gay activists, foreigners, and religious minorities in the country.

Read more:
20 Hostages and Six Gunmen Killed in Bangladesh Attack” (The New York Times)
Islamist militants kill 20 in Bangladesh before commandos end siege” (Reuters)
20 killed execution-style” (Dhaka Tribune)
Fate of seven Japanese among Bangladesh hostages unknown after siege ends” (The Japan Times)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Japan Times)

Bangladesh News | Hindus

Hindu teacher attacked as Bangladesh cracks down on Islamist militants
  • Ribon Chakraborty, a college math teacher, survived a machete attack by three assailants in his home in Madaripur.
  • The government reported that the three attackers were a part of the banned group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
  • More than 11,000 have been arrested across the country in the last week, including political dissidents, as security forces have begun taking extensive action to combat the targeted killings of minorities that have left more than 30 dead since 2015.

Read more:
Hizb ut-Tahrir men hacked Madaripur teacher” (Dhaka Tribune)
Bangladesh Hindu teacher’s attacker killed in shootout” (Reuters)
194 Held in Bangladesh Mass Arrests May Have Militant Ties, Police Say” (The New York Times)

Bangladesh News | Hindus & Christians

IS claims responsibility for murder of Bangladeshi Hindu and alleged Christian
  • Debesh Chandra Pramanik, 68, died after a hacking attack in his shoe shop in the northwest district of Gaibandha.
  • The attack followed the hacking death of a doctor in Kushtia Islamist militants alleged was a Christian.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, though the government continues to maintain that IS has no presence in Bangladesh and is attempting to hijack the work of other militant groups.

Read more:
Islamic State claims fatal stabbing of Bangladeshi Hindu: monitor SITE” (Reuters)
Doctor Killed in Bangladeshi Machete Attack” (The New York Times)
Shahriar rubbishes IS claims” (Dhaka Tribune)

Bangladesh News | LGBT

Militant arrested in connection to murder of LGBT activists in Bangladesh
  • Shariful Islam, also known as Shihab, was arrested in the district of Kushtia in connection with the deaths of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy.
  • Though Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the murders, Dhaka police say Islam was affiliated with the banned local militant group Ansarullah Bangla Team.
  • Since 2013, only one in the series of killings of atheists, moderates, and foreigners in Bangladesh has been prosecuted.

Read more:
Suspect arrested over murders of Bangladesh LGBT rights activist Xulhaz, his friend Tonoy” (bdnews24.com)
Bangladesh police arrest Islamist over gay activists’ killing” (Reuters)
Bangladesh police arrest suspect in stabbing death of USAID worker” (AP via The Chicago Tribune)

(Image Credit: AP photo, via The Chicago Tribune)

May Day || Global

Global May Day 2016

One of the few truly global holidays, International Workers’ Day (May Day) is both a worldwide celebration of the working classes as well as a day to draw attention to ongoing insecurities workers around the world face. May Day has historically had a twofold purpose: a day for workers to voice their concerns over contentious labor policies and for governments to reaffirm their commitments to workers’ rights and just labor practices. At times little more than public relations campaigns and at others violent clashes between governments and workers, global May Day events have highlighted the diverse relationships between labor, employers, and government around the world. Here are the highlights of May Day 2016 in more than 30 countries:


Asia Pacific

Bike rallies were held in Pune as Indian PM Narendra Modi saluted workers on Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, a public holiday. Pakistan‘s major labor unions convened in Lahore to speak out against poor working conditions, violations of international labor conventions, and ongoing privatization in the country. As Bangladeshi officials addressed labor relations and welfare reforms amidst a day of union-organized programming, in Kathmandu, Nepali workers marched while awaiting the ratification of the Labour Act, which guarantees greater social security for workers. Across the Indian Ocean, Australian union leader singled out penalty rate protection and tax reform as major Labour Day issues, with the date of the holiday having been a point of contention as well.

Throughout East Asia, workers rallied to draw attention to labor conditions and call for reforms, from ending contractualization in the Philippines to protecting job security in South KoreaHong Kong saw thousands take to the streets to demand fair and standardized working hours along with a universal pension program. In Malaysia, PM Najib Razak took the day to announce an increase in the national minimum wage and an insurance scheme proposal.

Europe & Eurasia

In cities across France, tens of thousands marched in protest against proposed labor reforms that would loosen the country’s controversial employment and job security policies. Jeremy Corbyn became the first U.K. Labour party  leader to attend a May Day rally in a half-century when he spoke to a crowd of thousands in London, reaffirming solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and addressing anti-Semitism accusations that have plagued his party recently. Spain saw thousands across its cities gather, many protesting ongoing austerity measures. An estimated 800,000 gathered in Rome‘s San Giovanni Square, with this year’s event dedicated to slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Some 2,000 convened in rain-soaked Zagreb to hear labor leaders protest the increased retirement age and ongoing poverty in Croatia. Moscow hosted a mass demonstration in the city’s Red Square estimated in size from the tens of thousands to 100,000, while thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district under a heavy police presence in the wake of urban suicide attacks and ongoing violence across Turkey.

The Americas

From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrations in the U.S. highlighted widening economic inequality in the country and an election season marred by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sentiment. While most protests took place without incident, a peaceful march turned violent in Seattle, leading to five injured officers and nine arrests. A similar outbreak in Montreal led to one injury and 10 arrests.

In Latin America, Brazil‘s embattled president and Workers’ Party leader Dilma Roussef rallied alongside hundreds of thousands across the country as her impeachment proceedings continue and workers fear the inauguration of her center-right vice president. Cuba‘s May Day parade continued the national tradition of expressing support for the Castro regime rather than directly celebrating labor or expressing concerns over labor conditions. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macro backed employers and touted labor proposals that had spurred mass demonstrations only days before. Elsewhere in the region, minimum wage increases were announced in Venezuela and Bolivia and a march took place in Santiago as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a review of her labor reforms after the Supreme Court rejected a key provision granting exclusive negotiating rights to unions.

Middle East & Africa

Police in Egypt blocked hundreds of workers from assembling in a Cairo office as labor leaders and international organizations called for the government to decriminalize independent union organization. In Israel, more than 5,000 youth marched in Tel Aviv, while a Palestinian trade union renewed its call for the establishment of a minimum wage and the dismantlement of the Gaza blockade. A government-sponsored event in Dubai reportedly drew nearly 200 workers, though labor practices in the UAE continue to draw international scrutiny.

South of the Sahara, events popped up across South Africa as politicians sought to address the country’s high unemployment rate and appeal to workers ahead of August elections. In Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari spoke to thousands of workers in Abuja, touting his anti-corruption campaign. A Mozambique labor leader addressed a crowd in Maputo about the debts of state-owned companies and the need for wage and workplace reform. As the decline of oil prices has created economic hardship throughout Angola, the country’s two labor unions marched to draw attention to deteriorating worker conditions and the need for infrastructure maintenance. Workers in Ghana protested the privatization of the management of the state-owned Electric Company of Ghana, while the government insisted the company was still run by the state. Meanwhile, Ethiopia sidestepped Sunday commemorations altogether by moving May Day to May 3, when labor leaders plan to highlight ongoing struggles to organize Ethiopian workers.