UN: Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Refugees Face Uncertain Future
Mar 11, 2019GeneralComments Off on UN: Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Refugees Face Uncertain Future
A special investigator looking at the human rights situation in Myanmar warns the minority Rohingya Muslims in that country face an uncertain future as do hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled to Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh due to violence.
The investigator's report is under review by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees are living in cramped, squalid conditions in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Most headed there in August 2017 to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar. Special investigator Yanghee Lee says their welcome is wearing thin and the situation in Myanmar remains too dangerous for them to return to their homes of origin.
Lee said conditions in Myanmar itself have not improved for the Rohingya who remain in Rakhine state. She says she is deeply concerned about their future as well as for the future of those who fled to Bangladesh and other lands.
"I am becoming fearful of an increasingly internationalized situation of the Rohingya, with deportations from India and Saudi Arabia recently, as well as a boat arrival in Malaysia just last week," she said. "The boat arrival is particularly worrying; it illustrates the desperate situation of the people who decided to take the perilous journey, and harks back to the boat crisis of 2015, which must not be repeated."
That refers to the thousands of Rohingya who set off in fear of their lives from the Bay of Bengal in 2015 in boats that were not seaworthy. Many became stranded at sea and died.
Lee said she also is troubled by a proposed plan by Bangladeshi authorities to relocate 23,000 Rohingya refugees from camps in Cox's Bazar to an island in the Bay of Bengal, which she fears may not be truly habitable.
The U.N. investigator also accuses Myanmar's highranking military and exmilitary officials of making vast profits by plundering the country's natural resources and devastating the state's forests by selling timber on the international market for huge sums.
"Revenues from natural resource extraction are needed for vital services and development being diverted to the military and its allies undermines the civilian government, democratic reforms, the peace process, sustainable development and the realization of rights," she said.
Myanmar's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Kyaw Moe Tun, called Yanghee Lee's report biased. He accused her of not complying with the appropriate code of conduct and said Myanmar will discontinue cooperation with her.
He said his country has embarked on economic and human rights reforms. He added that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees should begin expeditiously, noting that all returns would happen in a safe and dignified manner.
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel