Rohingya refugee

Rohingyan Muslims are an ethnic group who practice Islam and speak a language related Bengali. The origin of this group of people is disputed with some saying they are indigenous to the state of Rakhine in Myanmar while others contend they are migrants who came from Bengal, latterly Bangladesh, to Burma (Myanmar) during the period of British colonial rule. According to the United Nations, Rohingyans are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Many Rohingyans have fled Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh and to areas along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Briefs, January 23, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 5:15am

Canadian kills two in Philippine court

MANILA -A Canadian man facing charges of illegal possession of firearms opened fire in a Philippine court, killing two people before killing himself. The former journalist, John Pope, was in court in Cebu City to face the charges when he pulled out a gun and shot a lawyer and a doctor who filed a case against him. Pope also fired at a prosecutor before police shot and wounded him. He then shot himself in the head. The doctor, a neighbour of Pope's, had accused him of threatening him and other condominium residents with a gun. AFP


Girl killed as quake strikes Aceh

BANDA ACEH - A strong earthquake rocked parts of western Indonesia, killing a nine-year-old girl, panicking residents and destroying homes. The quake struck 112 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, at a depth of 37 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said, putting the magnitude at 5.9. Sarjani Abdullah, the district head of Pidie, said a nine-year-old girl was found dead in the ruins of her home. At least seven other people suffered cuts and broken bones. Aceh province's disaster agency said at least 30 houses and a mosque were levelled in Pidie Jaya district and that hundreds were evacuated to temporary shelters. AP


Officers suspended over refugee trafficking

BANGKOK - Two high-ranking Thai army officers, including a colonel, have been temporarily removed from their posts while they are investigated for suspected involvement in trafficking refugees from Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority to a third country. Lieutenant General Udomchai Thammasarorat said he had set up a committee to probe the claims. The quick reaction to the charges is unusual, as Thai army officers are rarely prosecuted for alleged abuses, and reflects the seriousness of the allegations. AP


'Third gender' recognised in Nepal

KATHMANDU - Nepal's government would begin issuing citizenship certificates with the category "third gender" for people who did not wish to be identified as male or female, an official said. Activists said the decision was an achievement for gay and transgender rights. Nepal's Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government should issue third-gender citizenship certificates. It has taken since then to implement the decision. AP



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Briefs, January 23, 2013

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