Monthly Archives: September 2008

1,396 illegal immigrants in Sabah deported


KOTA KINABALU, WED: source from nst 24 Sept 2008,

A total of 1,396 illegal immigrants in Sabah have been deported to their countries of origin since the operation to flush out their presence in the state was launched on Aug 7.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said 4,053 were still at detention centres awaiting to be deported.

So far, a total of 11,246 immigrants were checked and they comprised 7,974 Filipinos, 3,092 Indonesians and 180 people of other nationalities, he told reporters after launching the state-level 17th Ops Sikap here today.

He said the operation against illegal immigrants would continue after the Aidilfitri celebration.

On the Ops Sikap, Noor Rashid said 319 traffic policemen and 63 volunteers were involved in the operation aimed at reducing road accidents during the Hari Raya celebration.
He said 606 accidents were recorded during the 16th Ops Sikap, from 602 previously.

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Forced labor for road repairs in Maungdaw, Arakan


source from Kaladan News, September 19, 2008

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Forced labor has been ordered by the Maungdaw Mayaka (Township Peace and Development Council –TPDC) Chairman U Khin Maung Tun on September 18, to the Mayaka (Village Peace and Development Council-VPDC) members for repair of the Maungdaw- Bawli Bazar Road, said a schoolteacher requesting anonymity.   

 

The Western Command Commander Major General Thaung Aye will visit Maungdaw Township to oversee the situation. So the TPDC Chairman ordered VPDC members to have the road repaired immediately.  

 

At least 100 villagers from every village in Maungdaw north had to go to the site for reconstruction of the road yesterday. The VPDC herded the villagers together and sent them to the site. Villagers also carried stones from the forests for paving the road.

 

The villagers also have to work in rubber plantations nurtured by U Soe Sein, the late VPDC Chairman. It is going to yield rubber soon, so the Western Command Commander will visit the plantation.

 

On September 18, the Nasaka Headquarters in Gyikan Pyin (Kawarbill) ordered villagers on the northern side of the headquarters not to carry more than three bags of rice from Maungdaw. But, the villagers were not allowed to carry any rice from Maungdaw Town.  The reason is not known, said a village elder on condition of anonymity. ##

“135 Muslim Arakanese Arrested for Traveling”


 posted by Naing,

136 Muslim Arakaneses were arrested in Kyauk Tan bridge area of Akyab, Arakan state, on 15 Sept 2008.

 

They were arrested at about 7:30 am of while they got in the cars which run to Rangoon. Authority suspected them as traveling to Rangoon therefore they were arrested and lifted by military lorries. Males were detained at no(1) police station lock-up of Akyab and females were detained in Central Jail of Akyab.

 

The source from Akyab said, “they all were sentenced to 6 months jail without court order, for their traveling from state to state. Since the military imposed restriction on the movement of Muslim Arakanese, their traveling is act like illegal”. Source also confirmed that some in the previous have been already passed more than 7 years in detention with no trail.  However, there is no such punishment for traveling in the legislation of country’s Laws..

 

He also added, “6 of 136 persons  who are believed to be agent or monitor, were lifted to Rangoon for the fulfillment of further punishment upon any-means of their relatives presently living in Rangoon”.

 

A confidential source from Rangoon said, “ we are worrying for reminiscence by authority. We have been settled in Rangoon for some decades. This is one of the unacceptable exemplary punishment on us. We were born and grown up in this country but no right to live like others”.

 

“The arrestee 136 persons are likely to be lucky compare to previous arrestees in Thaungup township who were killed by local Buddhist Rakhaings demonstrating anti-Muslims pogrom in Arakan region”. He further added.

 

“It is very hard time for us in Burma. We are not getting enough source to sustain and no right to move from one place to another. We need international intervention to free our lives”.  Said a spokesman from Islamic Affairs Council who declined to mention his named.

 

“Muslims are not our citizens. It is Buddhist country. If Muslims need to stay in our country, they would practice our customs. They would join in various Buddhist festival as well”.  Stressed a member of military from Tetma(1).

 

“We Can Form Govt’: Anwar”


posted by James, source from (http://www.anwaribrahim.com/), 16 Sept 2008

PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim told thousands of supporters yesterday he had enough defectors to oust the government and has sought a meeting with the Premier to discuss a handover.

Shouting the popular opposition battle cry of ‘Reformasi’ or reform, and ‘Merdeka’ or freedom, the crowd of about 8,000 roared with approval when Mr Anwar told them that his plan was on track.

‘We want the transition to be made in a peaceful manner. We have got the numbers, tomorrow is the D-Day and we are ready to form the government,’ he said.

He added that he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday to seek a meeting with him to discuss ‘a peaceful transition of power’ to the opposition.

He said, however, that the opposition would not take over by force today but instead ‘in the nearest time’.

‘Why do we not want to seize power tomorrow? We don’t want to force it. We do not want to go to Putrajaya and force them out,’ he said.

‘We want to discuss with PM, if he wants a week or two weeks, we promise we will not follow the rule of the jungle and there will be no witch- hunt. What is past is past. What we want is to rule without corruption, detention without trial or the theft of the people’s resources,’ he added.

The mass rally in a stadium just outside Kuala Lumpur was organised on the eve of Mr Anwar’s self-imposed deadline to take over the federal government with what he said would be at least 30 defecting Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs.

He chose Sept 16 or Malaysia Day, on which Sabah and Sarawak joined the federation in 1963, as most of the MPs he targeted come from these states.

The rally, which was both a protest as well as a celebration of Malaysia Day, is a signal that Mr Anwar has no intention of giving up his plans to seize power even if his Sept 16 deadline is missed.

Most analysts do not expect a change of government today.

Mr Anwar has also said several times that his plans could be deferred because of last week’s arrests under the Internal Security Act (ISA) that allows for detention without trial.

But the large crowd that turned up for the rally is a clear show of strength that signals to the government that he is not defeated, and has the people on his side.

Nevertheless, observers note that if he is unable to announce even one defection by today, it would not be a good sign. His bold declaration would be called a bluff by the ruling coalition, and it would make it harder for him to convince fence-sitters.

Mr Anwar told his cheering supporters yesterday that if he came to power, he would abolish the ISA.

‘This is an arrogant government that simply detains anybody who criticises…we want to restore the dignity of all Malaysians.’

Blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and a Democratic Action Party MP Teresa Kok remain in custody despite the growing pressure on the government to release them.

A Chinese press reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was released on Saturday after being held overnight for reporting on the fiery remarks of an Umno politician who described the Chinese community as ‘immigrants and squatters’.

The politician, Mr Ahmad Ismail, was suspended by Umno for three years for refusing to apologise as he insisted that his remarks were made in a historical context.

The ISA arrests have been neatly turned around by the opposition to urge Malaysians not to accept another five years of BN governance.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat treasurer William Leong, in a statement, said the improper use of the ISA makes it more imperative that Malaysia does not wait till the next election.

‘Now is the time to act, the nation cannot wait for five years. The ability to allow MPs to cross the floor recognises that there may be a significant shift in public opinion that does not require fresh elections but needs to be reflected in the Parliament,’ he said.

The next few days are expected to be tense as all eyes are on Mr Anwar’s movements, and the reaction from the government which has shown that it will not sit by quietly as the opposition threatens its position.

Mr Abdullah, however, remained nonchalant about the threat to his government, dismissing Mr Anwar’s claim as ‘empty talk’ last night.

‘We like to go on and on about this (change of government). It won’t happen,’ he said at the breaking of fast with local leaders and people at the Abidin Mosque in Kuala Terengganu.

U.S. Goals for Iraqi Refugees are Inadequate


posted by James, source from refugees international, 12 Sept 2008
New Resettlement Numbers Fall Far Short of Needs

Washington, D.C. – Refugees International expressed disappointment
today at the State Department’s goal of resettling only 17,000 Iraqi
refugees for the 2009 fiscal year, which begins October 1. While the United
States achieved its target of resettling over 12,000 Iraqi refugees in
2008, the needs are far greater. The Office of the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in 2009, 90,000 Iraqi refugees in
the region will be in urgent need of resettlement. This number does not
include vulnerable Iraqis who remain inside their country, or
Palestinian refugees from Iraq, who live in desperate conditions at the
Syria-Iraqi border.

“The U.S. certainly met its goal for this year, but next year’s target
of resettling 17,000 Iraqi refugees falls far short of what is needed,”
said Senior Advocate Kristele Younes. “Ultimately there can be no
stability in Iraq and the wider region without resolving the situation for
the nearly five million Iraqis forced from their homes. The next
administration must increase the number of Iraqi refugees it resettles, as
well as increase assistance to countries that will continue to host
Iraqi refugees.”

More than 2.7 million people are now displaced inside Iraq, and over 2
million have fled to neighboring countries since the war begin in 2003.
These refugees were forced to flee targeted persecution based on
religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation, especially individuals who
chose to cooperate with the United States. Refugees International is
concerned that without the legal right to work in their countries of
asylum, many refugees are struggling to survive on limited savings and their
status in neighboring countries remains extremely precarious.

“The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security must work
together to remove the bureaucratic bottlenecks and resettle far
larger numbers of Iraqis who are most vulnerable, including many who are
still in Iraq,” added Younes. “We also must ensure that host countries
like Jordan and Syria have the means to provide assistance to the millions
of refugees in their countries. Regardless of the America’s future
course in Iraq, providing for the well-being of Iraqi refugees is
essential for establishing stability in the Middle East.”

Refugees International is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that
advocates to end refugee crises. Since November 2006, the organization
has conducted five missions to the Middle East to assess the needs of
Iraqi refugees and work with international leaders to develop effective
solutions to this crisis. A new mission to assess the situation for Iraqi
refugees in Lebanon and Syria will take place between September 21 and
October 9. For more information, go to
http://www.refugeesinternational.org/iraq.

Remarks at the Annual State Department Iftaar Dinner


 

Speeches: Remarks at the Annual State Department Iftaar Dinner
Mon, 08 Sep 2008 23:00:00 -0500 , posted by James

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
September 9, 2008(8:00 p.m. EDT)
 

SECRETARY RICE: Good evening, and Ramadan Kareem. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining me tonight to observe Ramadan. I’m really honored to welcome the distinguished members of the diplomatic community who are joining us, members of Congress, representatives of our civil society and our religious and academic communities.
 

I also want to extend a special welcome to the poets and musicians and writers and other artists who are with us tonight. Your work enriches our lives and deepens our understanding of Islam’s rich culture.
 

In recent years, I have had the privilege of hosting several Iftaar dinners here at the State Department and of attending several more at the White House, and this time several abroad. in fact, several in one day. (Laughter.) This is my last time to host you as Secretary of State. And I’m very glad that you did not think that that was an applause line. (Laughter.)
 

These Iftaar celebrations over the past several years have given me an opportunity to speak with my many Muslim men and women friends and colleagues, and to gain a deeper understanding of this holy month. More than one billion people find comfort and hope in Islam, and Ramadan inspires them to renew their faith through sacrifice and prayer, reflection and charity. People of all faiths can appreciate Ramadan’s spirit, one of love for family, devotion to community, and gratitude toward God.
 

That spirit has no better representative than Imam Hendi. Thank you for that beautiful invocation and for your efforts to promote peace and unity among different faiths and different peoples. The message of understanding and tolerance and pluralism describes the better future that we all hope to build.
 

Across America, Muslim families are coming together each night of Ramadan to celebrate their devotion to Islam. The many faiths and traditions to which Americans belong enrich our nation and reflect what is best about America. To be American is to adopt our country’s creed that all men and women are created equal, that as equals we enjoy certain universal and inalienable rights, and that among these are the right to live without oppression, to worship without persecution, and to think and speak and assemble without retribution.
 

For hundreds of years, people of all faiths and people of no faith at all have come to the United States to live by these principles, and we have welcomed them. We welcome them still. Every individual who embraces the rights and responsibilities of citizenship makes America more American.
 

Our belief in the universal liberties of every human being is also what leads our country into the world, not to impose our will or our ways on others, certainly not because we believe ourselves to be perfect. We are anything but perfect. But those imperfections lead us to believe that in the pursuit of a more democratic future, we are doing the work that humanity deserves and desires.
 

Ladies and gentlemen, our celebration tonight honors artists whose lives and work teaches the value of liberty, the good that comes from individuals having the freedom to express the ideas and values and influences that matter the most. The poetry that is written, the music that is composed, the history that is unearthed, the buildings that are designed – all of this generously shares Islam with the American people. It reminds us of Islam’s culture and scientific contributions to our lives, and it challenges us both as individuals and society to be better, to be more humble and to be more charitable, to think less about ourselves and to think more about others. Your work helps us to show that freedom of expression unleashes the power of art and literature and scholarship at the same time that it holds leaders accountable and makes governments more responsive and ultimately makes lives better.
 

So on behalf of the men and women of the State Department and the men and women of the United States Government worldwide, thank you for honoring us with your presence tonight. You all the bearers of a great faith, a religion of peace and love. And your work ensures that an already rich civilization continues to grow richer.
 

Thank you again. And again, Ramadam Kareem. (Applause.)
2008/697
 

 
Released on September 9, 2008

UN to consider Burma’s pro democracy candidates request.


Mike MullenThe top American military commander says he’s not convinced his country is winning the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan. UN to consider Burma’s pro democracy candidates request.

RACIAL SLUR:Ahmad Ismail suspended from holding any post in Umno for three years


posted by Naing, source from nst, 10 Sept 2008,

THE Umno Supreme Council this afternoon suspended its Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail from holding any post in the party for three years effective immediately over his racial statements.

UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak chairing the Umno Supreme Council Emergency meeting to decide on the action to be taken against Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail for his racial slur.UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak chairing the Umno Supreme Council Emergency meeting to decide on the action to be taken against Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail for his racial slur.

The decision to suspend him was made after nearly a three-hour meeting chaired by party president, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the party headquarters today.

The emergency meeting was called following unhappiness among BN component party chiefs who had yesterday unanimously conveyed their dissatisfaction over Ahmad’s racial statements.

During the BN Supreme Council meeting, party chiefs had demanded swift action against Ahmad while Umno members on the Council had assured them action would be swift.

And Abdullah told them the party will convene an Umno supreme council meeting to deal with it.

Anwar calls it ‘trial by ambush’


posted by James, source from nst news, 10 Sept 2008,

CASE POSTPONED TO SEPT 24: Anwar at the Sessions Court this morning. NST PIX BY Rosdan Wahid

The PKR leader and newly-elected MP for Permatang Pauh related this to the prosecution’s failure to inform the defence of their application to have the case transferred to the High Court.
Speaking at a press conference outside the court, he said the defence team was not given enough time to prepare the case.
Sessions Court judge S M Komathy Suppiah had postponed the case to September 24.
Datuk Yusuf Zainal Abiden, appearing for the prosecution, had applied for the case to be transferred to the High Court citing public importance.
As the application to transfer was signed by the Attorney-General, Anwar’s counsel Sulaiman Abdullah objected to it.

Sulaiman said the Attorney-General should not be making decisions and getting involved in the case involving the PKR leader and newly-elected MP of Permatang Pauh.
Anwar, who was dressed in a dark blue suit in court today, was formally charged on Aug 7 with committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on his former aide, 23 year old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in a Kuala Lumpur condominium in June.
Yusof, Datuk Nordin Hassan and Hanafiah Zakaria are appearing for the prosecution. Anwar’s legal team com prised Sulaiman, R Sivarasa, N Sankara Nair, Amer Hamzah Arshad and Latheefa Koya.

“UNHCR’s Top Secret Meeting with Local Authorities”


 Researcher Theng

A top secret meeting was held between UNHCR and local authorities in Dewan, Taman Willayah, Selayang Baru.

 

Meeting started at 09:00am and ended at 1:10 pm. The meeting was organized by UNHCR while ministry, immigration, police, municipal departments, garbage collector Alam Flora Sdn-Bhd and some residents from Selayang Baru area were took part in the event.

 

The meeting was discussed about “Close Selayang Market, City Hall Told”, which was highlighted in Malaymail newspaper on 02 Sept 2008, including the allegation to illegal traders, lightering, ranging, hawkers, clean-less, hosting criminal activities, gangstarism, drug abuse and peddling – in the sovereign country.

 

“We are so sorry about the behaviors of UNHCR they had restricted the context of speaking to the panel in English or Malay and to some refugees and human rights activists”, the group said. They also said, “talking of truthfulness sources was not allowed while media was ignored there, in order to play insincere game with refugees”.

 

The group also criticized the explanation of UNHCR that “Rohingyas and Myanmar Muslim refugees are easy today in Malaysia”.

 

A Burmese refugee who attended this meeting said, “I lived here for 20 years above, about 300 of UNHCR card holding refugees living here, including 200 of them are Rohingya refugees and only about 30 persons are surviving by working in this bazzer. The cases of Rohingya refugees are pending for UNHCR’s impartial solution like other refugees, but, because of being Rohingya, they were unfortunate yet. While their pending by own survival, they had have dared to survive, but it causes to disputes. Beside, it also not means to elaborate criminal activities, it might be carried out in deed”.

 

He also expressed on enforcement director Dato’ Ishak’s theis about refugees in this meeting that, “please, urgent inform to me if refugee women and child were got arrest, I will be carried out, Indeed- I really did not know”. He shocked according to Dato’ Ishak’s thesis and yet to ask that :

 

why yet remaining woman and child refugees in various detention camps?

 

Why UNHCR recognized a nursing mother and 2 days old baby were detained in Juru detention camp in Penang state after handed over by hospital’s medical doctor on 20 Aug 2008 ?

 

why a Malaysian women was detained and till delivered baby in Lenggeng camp, were put for 11 months?

 

An activist who living in Selayang but he was not allowed to attend the meeting said, “various complaints of afore cases were held by none of UNHCR’s refugee card holders, a few numbers of refugees surviving at the bazzer but by hiring, while no providing facility by UNHCR. But it might not be enable to allow or omit various crimes, against the justice. Beside, Rohingya refugees will be also arrested by various operations, is a different issue while their long standing problems is never solved like other refugees.

 

He also added, “I am very aware of UNHCR’s this kind of quick appreciation for the matter where refugees not involved, compare to the past time of UNHCR’s absence to pave protection over the time of it refugees were got arrests. This was affected like all causes were believed to be by refugees. Believe that it is not some task of advantagment, UNHCR would be played a key role for Rohingya refugees to solve their long standing problems, like others refugees, soon. But the worst is that lack of UNHCR’s highlighting of tendams affects of Rohingya refugees”.

 

“For this kind of perception, UNHCR terminated some interpreters who did not accept UNHCR’s misinterpretation in last month, by the accusation of against them. In fact, Interpreters are not authorized persons to do some fact or process in UNHCR. And then reassigned new some new interpreters who may be fix in the frame”, he further added.

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