Monday, February 20, 2017
COLOMBO (IPS): Sri Lanka’s long-awaited and much-debated Right to Information (RTI) Act became law this month without much fanfare.
There was no big PR campaign on the part of the government to unveil it on F .. Read More
NEW DELHI: In a first major indication regarding which way the United State’s 15 year long war in Afghanistan is going to go, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan has asked for several thousand new troops to break the s ..
UNITED NATIONS (IPS): A UN Special Rapporteur has expressed grave concern over escalating violence and discrimination against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.
Following a fact-finding mission, Special Rapporteur o ..
NEW DELHI: Myanmar’s government forces committed rape and other sexual violence against ethnic Rohingya women and girls as young as 13 during security operations in northern Rakhine State in late 2016, rights group Human Rig ..
The United Nations' Refugee Agency had asked Bangladesh to allow it to negotiate with the United States, Canada and some European countries to resettle around 1,000 Rohingya Muslims living in Bangladesh. UNHCR's Bangladesh representative, Shinji Kubo, told Reuters that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) would push for resettlement of those most in need, despite growing resistance in some developed countries, particularly the United States under President Donald Trump. Kubo said 1,000 Rohingya refugees had been identified as priorities for resettlement on medical grounds or because they had been separated from their family members living abroad. H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said the resettlement proposal was "unrealistic" due to reluctance in the United States and Europe to take further Muslim refugees. Canada, Australia and the United States were the top providers of asylum to Rohingya Muslims who came to Bangladesh from Myanmar before Dhaka stopped the programme around 2012. A Bangladesh government official said it was feared the programme would encourage more people from Myanmar to use it as a transit country to seek asylum in the West.
The Senate in Pakistan had passed “ The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017’ paving he way for the Hindu community to have its won personal law for the first time. The bill — approved by the National Assembly on Sept 26, 2015 — was likely to get presidential assent next week to become a law. The bill would mainly help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage. It would be the first personal law for Pakistani Hindus, applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sindh had already formulated its own Hindu marriage law. The bill presented in the Senate by Law Minister Zahid Hamid faced no opposition or objection. It was mainly due to the considerate and sympathetic views expressed by the senators and the MNAs of all political parties in the relevant standing committees. The bill was approved by the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Jan 2 with an overwhelming majority. However, Senator Mufti Abdul Sattar of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl had opposed the bill, claiming that the Constitution was vast enough to cater for such needs. Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who had been working relentlessly for three years to have a Hindu marriage law in the country, expressed gratitude to the parliamentarians. He said “Such laws will help discourage forced conversions and streamline the Hindu community after the marriage of individuals,”. The law envisaged a document ‘Shadi Parath’ — similar to Nikahnama for Muslims — to be signed by a pundit and registered with the relevant government department.