News / Asia

    Bangladesh Orders Suspension of Aid to Rohingya Refugees

    Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
    x
    Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
    Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
    VOA News
    Bangladesh is ordering international humanitarian groups to stop providing aid to ethnic Rohingya refugees who have fled deadly communal violence in neighboring Burma.

    Local administrator Joynal Bari confirmed Thursday to VOA that the groups Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger and Muslim Aid have been instructed to stop their activities in the southeastern district of Cox's Bazar, which borders Burma.  

    Bari said the directive came in a letter from Bangladesh's NGO Affairs Bureau, in which the groups were told they were "working beyond their mandate." The local official would not give details, including how many Rohinyga refugees were being helped by the aid agencies.

    Diderik Van Halsema, a spokesperson for Doctor's Without Borders [MSF] said his organization has received the directive.

    "At MSF we do confirm that we have received a letter from the Bangladeshi authorities requesting us to stop our activities at our project in Cox's Bazar district in Bangladesh," said Van Halsema. "We are currently discussing this matter with the Bangladeshi authorities, so obviously we don't want to influence those conversations and we await the outcome of that."

    Muslim Aid UK, told the French news agency that officials ordered them to stop their so-called "illegal" services in the same area because they supposedly were "encouraging an influx of Rohingya refugees" from Burma.

    Sectarian violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Burma's western Rakhine state has left dozens dead since June. Rights groups say Burmese security forces also have carried out a campaign of killings and mass arrests against the Rohingya population.

    The Rohingya are considered by most Burmese to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and most are denied citizenship there. But they also are denied citizenship in Bangladesh, where authorities say the group has been living in Burma for centuries.

    Despite pressure from the United States and rights groups, Bangladesh has turned away boats carrying scores of Rohingyas who are trying to escape the violence in Burma.

    On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released a report saying that Burmese security forces have committed killings, rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya in the aftermath of the communal violence.

    Burma's government, which has a long history of violence against ethnic minorities, has denied that security forces have committed abuses against the Rohingya, saying it has exercised "maximum restraint" in dealing with the conflict.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora