Rohingya Muslim Current Affairs - 2019

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India hands over 250 pre-fabricated houses to Myanmar’s Rakhine State

India handed over 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of displaced Muslim minorities, who are currently residing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The houses delivered to Myanmar for displaced Rohingya returnees in Rakhine State are under India’s ‘Rakhine State Development Programme’ (RSDP) for $25 Million for a period of 5 years.

Background

In December 2017 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Myanmar on Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP). $25 million RSDP focused on providing a sustainable solution in violence-torn Rakhine state for socio-economic development. It also aimed towards contributing to socio-economic development in northern Rakhine State.

Need: Due to rising violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, 1000s of them have entered India and Bangladesh to seek refuge.

Key Highlights

Saurabh Kumar, Ambassador of India to Myanmar, handed over documents related to 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of displaced returnees from Bangladesh to U Aung Kyaw Zan, Joint-chairman of Returnee Resettlement Work Committee and Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation of Rakhine State Government at a ceremony in Maung Daw, Rakhine State.

Out of 250 pre-fabricated houses put together by India in three villages in Northern Rakhine region 148 units are in Shwe Zar village, 60 in Kyein Chaung village and 42 in Nan Thar Taung.

These houses besides being rust free and water proof are designed to survive earthquakes and cyclonic storms.

Houses Made By: The project was undertaken by Indian companies- M/s Hindustan Prefab Limited as Project Management Consultant and M/s Enertech Limited as contractor.

Way Ahead: Construction of 250 houses was 1st initiative under RSDP has been successfully completed. Now another 22 proposals which include construction-related projects, capacity building projects, solar power related projects and agriculture mechanisation projects are presently under consideration.

World Press Freedom Prize 2019 awarded to Myanmar Journalists

The World Press Freedom Prize also known as UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is formally conferred every year by Director-General of UNESCO, on occasion of World Press Freedom Day observed on 3 May.

Recipients of World Press Freedom Prize 2019

  • In 2019 award would be shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists ‘Wa Lone’ and ‘Kyaw Soe Oo’ who reported on alleged human rights violations in state of Rakhine, Myanmar.
  • The Reuters reporters are serving seven year prison sentence in Myanmar. They are charged with breaking country’s secrets law for their journalistic investigation on military’s brutal crackdown and killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

Importance

It honours a person, organization or institution which has made an outstanding contribution for defending and promoting freedom of press anywhere in world, especially when achieved it in face of danger by fighting all odds.

It includes a cash Prize worth $25000.

Background

It was established in 1997 on initiative of UNESCO’s Executive Board. The name ‘Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize’ is to honour Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was a vocal critic of Columbosa’s powerful drug barons and was assassinated in front of his newspaper El Espectador office in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986.