FILE- In this Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, file photo, Rohingya Muslim women refugees wait in a queue to receive relief material at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. Three female Nobel Peace Laureates are beginning a weeklong trip to Bangladesh to meet Rohingya women who have been tortured, raped and even killed by Myanmar soldiers amid a delayed repatriation process. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
Rohingya women wait in a queue to receive relief material at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar. Three female Nobel Peace Laureates are beginning a week-long trip to Bangladesh to meet RohingShow more

Months after exodus began, Rohingya see no end to suffering



Their houses are often made of plastic sheets. Much of their food comes from aid agencies. Jobs are few, and there is painfully little to do. The nightmares are relentless.

But six months after their horrors began, the Rohingya Muslims who fled army attacks in Myanmar for refuge in Bangladesh feel immense consolation.

"Nobody is coming to kill us, that's for sure," said Mohammed Amanullah, whose village was destroyed last year just before he left for Bangladesh with his wife and three children. They now live in the Kutupalong refugee camp outside the coastal city of Cox's Bazar.

"We have peace here," Mr Amanullah said.

On August 25, Rohingya insurgents attacked several security posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state, killing at least 14 people. Within hours, waves of revenge attacks broke out, with the military and Buddhist mobs marauding through Rohingya villages in bloody pogroms, killing thousands, raping women and girls, and burning houses and whole villages. The aid group Doctors Without Borders has estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Myanmar in the first month of the violence, including at least 730 children younger than five. The survivors flooded into Bangladesh.

Six months later, there are few signs that the displaced Rohingya are going home anytime soon.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement to gradually repatriate Rohingya in "safety, security and dignity," but the process has been opaque and the dangers remain. New satellite images have shown empty villages and hamlets leveled, erasing evidence of the Rohingya's former lives. And with 700,000 having fled Myanmar since August, more Rohingya continue to flee.

So for now, the refugees wait.

"If they agree to send us back, that's fine, but is it that easy?" asked Mr Amanullah. "Myanmar must give us citizenship. That is our home. Without citizenship, they will torture us again. They will kill us again."

He said he would only return under the protection of UN peacekeepers: "They must take care of us there. Otherwise it will not work. "

Buddhist-majority Myanmar doesn't recognize the Rohingya as an official ethnic group, and they face intense discrimination and persecution. Myanmar authorities maintain that security operations in Rakhine state have been aimed at clearing out insurgents.

M. Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh's junior foreign minister, said his country would not repatriate any Rohingya against their will, but urged the international community to continue to put pressure on Myanmar to create conditions for a sustainable repatriation.

He also expressed displeasure at reports that Rohingya were still arriving in Bangladesh.

"We need to recognize that the problem has its origin in Rakhine and its comprehensive solution has to be found there," Mr Alam was quoted as saying on Sunday by the United News of Bangladesh agency. "Bangladesh is only unjustifiably bearing the brunt of it."

_______________

Read more:

Myanmar government bulldozes what is left of Rohingya villages

British lawmakers call for referral of Myanmar’s military leaders to ICC

Bangladesh hands list of Rohingya returnees to Myanmar

Red Cross says budget higher because of protracted conflicts

_______________

On Sunday, two Nobel Peace laureates visited refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and talked to rape victims. Myanmar security forces have been accused of raping and sexually assaulting women and girls before and during major attacks on Rohingya villages.

Katia Gianneschi, a spokeswoman for the Nobel Women's Initiative who accompanied Yemen's Tawakkol Karman and Northern Ireland's Mairead Maguire to the camp, said in an email that the women talked to the victims and heard their stories. Another laureate, Iran's Shirin Ebadi, will join her colleagues on Monday.

The Nobel Women's Initiative, established in 2006, is a platform of six female Nobel Peace laureates.

The three laureates, who are on a week-long visit to Bangladesh to meet the refugees, accused Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her country's military of unleashing atrocities, and said the international community should bring those responsible to justice.

Minara Begum, 25, who said she was raped and tortured by soldiers, talked to reporters after the laureates' visit.

"They were overwhelmed. They cried with us. They could not hold their tears," Begum said of the women. "I was also touched by their eagerness to know our sad stories."

Ms Karman said in an email on Saturday that she and her colleagues were standing "in solidarity with displaced Rohingya women and calling for Rohingya women's voices to be heard."

She said Rohingya women are twice victimised — for being Rohingya and for being women — and "are affected by the ethnic cleansing and are also subject to high levels of sexual and gender-based violence."

"Rohingya women's unique needs are largely unmet in refugee camps in Bangladesh," she said. "Less than 20 per cent of displaced Rohingya women who have survived sexual violence have access to post-rape care."

Meanwhile, the children in the camps face a particularly difficult time. The UN estimates children are the heads of 5,600 refugee families.

A survey of children's lives inside the camps showed they faced an array of terrors, from girls reporting concerns of harassments near the camp toilets to fears that elephants and snakes could attack them as they collect firewood.

"We cannot expect Rohingya children to overcome the traumatic experiences they've suffered when exposed to further insecurity and fears of violence in the camps," Mark Pierce, country director for Save the Children in Bangladesh, said in a statement.

"The overwhelming message from these children is that they are afraid," Mr Pierce said. "This is no way for a child to live."

The situation will worsen soon. Seasonal monsoon rains will begin pounding the refugees' plastic-and-bamboo city in April.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The nine articles of the 50-Year Charter

1. Dubai silk road

2.  A geo-economic map for Dubai

3. First virtual commercial city

4. A central education file for every citizen

5. A doctor to every citizen

6. Free economic and creative zones in universities

7. Self-sufficiency in Dubai homes

8. Co-operative companies in various sectors

­9: Annual growth in philanthropy

Why does a queen bee feast only on royal jelly?

Some facts about bees:

The queen bee eats only royal jelly, an extraordinary food created by worker bees so she lives much longer

The life cycle of a worker bee is from 40-60 days

A queen bee lives for 3-5 years

This allows her to lay millions of eggs and allows the continuity of the bee colony

About 20,000 honey bees and one queen populate each hive

Honey is packed with vital vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water and anti-oxidants.

Apart from honey, five other products are royal jelly, the special food bees feed their queen 

Pollen is their protein source, a super food that is nutritious, rich in amino acids

Beewax is used to construct the combs. Due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial elements, it is used in skin treatments

Propolis, a resin-like material produced by bees is used to make hives. It has natural antibiotic qualities so works to sterilize hive,  protects from disease, keeps their home free from germs. Also used to treat sores, infection, warts

Bee venom is used by bees to protect themselves. Has anti-inflammatory properties, sometimes used to relieve conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, nerve and muscle pain

Honey, royal jelly, pollen have health enhancing qualities

The other three products are used for therapeutic purposes

Is beekeeping dangerous?

As long as you deal with bees gently, you will be safe, says Mohammed Al Najeh, who has worked with bees since he was a boy.

“The biggest mistake people make is they panic when they see a bee. They are small but smart creatures. If you move your hand quickly to hit the bees, this is an aggressive action and bees will defend themselves. They can sense the adrenalin in our body. But if we are calm, they are move away.”

 

 

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

'The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window'

Director:Michael Lehmann

Stars:Kristen Bell

Rating: 1/5