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Rohingya politicians excluded from Myanmar’s upcoming election | Myanmar News



Aspiring politician Abdul Rasheed was born in Myanmar and is one of very few majority-Muslim Rohingya to have Myanmar citizenship.

His father was a civil servant. But when the country goes to the polls in November, the businessman will not be able to stand as a candidate because officials accuse him of having foreign roots.

Rasheed is among at least a dozen Rohingya with Myanmar citizenship who have applied to be candidates in the November 8 general election, hoping to get into politics under the new democratic government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Six of them had been rejected after officials said they failed to prove their parents were citizens at the time of their birth, a requirement under the election law.

Everyone in Myanmar, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, must have the same opportunity to contest in elections.

Tun Khin, head of the Burma Rohingya Organization UK

The election is another important test for Myanmar as it makes a transition away from military rule but rights groups say the disqualification of Rohingya candidates demonstrates the limits of reform.

“Everyone in Myanmar, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, must have the same opportunity to contest in elections,” said Tun Khin, head of the Burma Rohingya Organisation UK, urging international donors to halt funding to the electoral agency.

In his apartment in Yangon, Rasheed leafed through reams of identity cards and letters.

“We have all these documents that the government issued, and they don’t accept the fact that my parents are citizens. I feel bad about that and concerned,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Undocumented immigrants

Myanmar does not recognise the term Rohingya or the community as an Indigenous ethnic group.

Instead, they are derided as “Bengalis”, implying they are undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, despite tracing their history in Myanmar’s Rakhine state back centuries.

Successive military governments that ruled Myanmar stripped the Rohingya of identity documents, leaving many with no proof of their origins.

More than 730,000 fled from Myanmar in 2017 after a military crackdown the United Nations said was carried out with genocidal intent. In January, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to protect the Rohingya from genocide.

More than 750,000 Rohingya were forced to seek shelter in Bangladesh after the Myanmar army launched a brutal crackdown on August 25, 2017 [File: Reuters]

Myanmar denies genocide, saying its security forces were engaged in a legitimate campaign against a Rohingya armed group.

Several hundred thousand Rohingya who remain in Myanmar are mostly confined to camps and villages and subjected to curbs on movement and access to healthcare.

Monywa Aung Shin, a senior official from Aung San Suu Kyi’s governing National League for Democracy, said the electoral organisations that rejected the candidates were just following the law.

“Whether Bengali or not, foreigners and non-ethnic people are not allowed to run in the election,” he told Reuters.

‘No voter list’

Tin Hlaing, chairwoman of the Rakhine state election commission that rejected Rasheed’s application, said it was “certain” his parents were not citizens at the time he was born.

In his apartment, Rasheed held up the documents held by both his parents, which he said once sufficed as proof of citizenship. The cards were withdrawn in the 1990s when many Rohingya found such cards replaced with temporary “white cards”.

In 2015, President then-Thein Sein announced the white cards would also be nullified, stripping Rohingya of the right to vote in the 2015 polls that brought Aung San Suu Kyi to power.

While excluded from voting or standing in that election, many Rohingya put their faith in the longtime democracy leader’s party.

“We can understand the previous situation, that previous governments backed up by the military did not follow the democratic norms,” said Kyaw Soe Aung, the general secretary from Democracy and Human Rights party (DHRP), one of three Rohingya parties in Myanmar.

We have all these documents that the government issued, and they don’t accept the fact that my parents are citizens.

Abdul Rasheed, Rohingya politician

“But it is difficult to understand that Aung San Suu Kyi and her democratic government would do the same.”

The party chairman, Kyaw Min, 72, was also rejected this week, despite winning a seat in a 1990 election, that was nullified by the former military government, and spending years in prison along with other democracy activists.

Abu Tahay, an independent Rohingya candidate who was also barred from the polls, said the exclusion of Rohingya people from the election – as candidates and voters – meant they would feel thwarted in trying to reach their goals of securing citizenship and living in “peaceful coexistence” with all citizens.

“They don’t have any hope for their future,” he said.

While voter lists have been posted across the country, none has appeared at the camps outside the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, where about 100,000 Rohingya are confined, community elder Kyaw Hla Aung told Reuters by telephone.

“In 2015, about 200 people appeared on the voter list but this time, there is no voter list.”

Aye Win, one of the six Rohingya who have been approved to stand in the election, said there was little hope of victory unless many more Rohingya were granted citizenship ahead of the vote.

“If not, the situation is not good,” he said.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

Source –

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