Monday, August 7, 2017


An inquiry by the Myanmar government into allegations of human rights abuses against minority Rohingya Muslims has concluded that no such crimes occurred.
A panel set up by the government last December to investigate the claims announced on Sunday that it found no evidence of crimes against humanity.
Myanmar’s security authorities are accused of indiscriminate mass killings and sexual violence during a military operation in the western state of Rakhine after armed Rohingyas attacked police facilities last October.
The panel said interviews with residents in Rohingya villages and people who fled to neighboring Bangladesh suggested no evidence of suppression by authorities.
In February, a UN human rights body released a report that implicated Myanmar authorities of involvement in crimes against humanity. The report was based on interviews with people who fled to Bangladesh.
The Myanmar government has since come under fire for barring a UN fact-finding mission and journalists from the area.
Edit"No human rights abuses against Rohingyas"


ASEAN foreign ministers have issued a joint statement that does not say whether a code of conduct for the South China Sea is legally binding for them and China.
At a meeting in the Philippine capital Manila on Sunday, foreign ministers from ASEAN and China formally approved a draft code of conduct for the South China Sea. They agreed to start negotiations on the provisions of the code with the aim of preventing maritime conflicts.
During a meeting the previous day, ASEAN foreign ministers worked on adjusting differences of opinion between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Vietnam insisted on clarifying in a joint statement that the code is legally binding.
Vietnam has had conflicts with China over rights of possession in the South China Sea.
But Cambodia objected to Vietnam’s stance. Cambodia places priority on relations with China.
The statement issued on Sunday evening used the expression “effective” instead of “legally binding”.
It appeared to take into consideration China’s position of wanting to maintain unlimited activities in the disputed waters.
ASEAN nations and China must now work out effective rules for the disputed waters.
Edit"ASEAN on conduct for South China Sea"


An air strike in northern Yemen on Friday reportedly killed 9 people, including 6 children.
The head of the local health department in Saada Governorate told Reuters that the attack hit a civilian home. He said three were injured. He called the attack a crime by Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces.
The coalition backs the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in its war with the anti-government group that has control of the capital, Sanaa.
Footage from the scene shows the charred ruins of the house.
Coalition air raids have claimed many lives in the 2-year civil war.
On July 18th, at least 20 people, including children, who evacuated to a settlement in southern Yemen were killed in an air strike.
The United Nations says more than 2 million people have been displaced by the conflict, and more than 300,000 people are suspected of having cholera. NHK & Media agencies
Edit"Saudi-led air strike hit Yemen"


Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono confirmed his country’s determination to establish constructive dialogue between Tokyo and Moscow at a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Kono said that he “is glad to see the ongoing intense political dialogue”  led by the two countries’ leaders, TASS reports.
The newly-appointed Japanese foreign minister remarked that his grandfather took part in peace treaty negotiations between Japan and the Soviet Union. Further on the issue of North Korea two countries foreign minister agreed  for cooperation to bring change in attitude of North Korea by dialogues at various fora.
Japan’s new Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have agreed to cooperate in dealing with North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches and other provocations.
The two foreign ministers met in the Philippines’ capital, Manila, on Monday for the first time.
Lavrov said he has had fruitful dialogue with Kono’s predecessor, Fumio Kishida, and wants to do the same with Kono.
Kono responded that his father and grandfather, both politicians, played a role in Japan-Soviet and Japan-Russia ties. He noted that he wants to have constructive discussions with Lavrov.
Regarding North Korea, Kono said strengthening pressure on the country is necessary to change its behavior.
The two ministers welcomed the adoption of a new sanctions resolution against the North by the UN Security Council. They confirmed their countries will cooperate to deal with the North at the UN and other venues.
Leaders of both countries  agreed to hold vice-ministerial-level talks in Moscow on August 17th regarding joint economic activities on Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.
The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.
They agreed to work to realize economically meaningful projects on the islands as early as possible in a way that will not harm each country’s legal stance.
The presidents of the US and South Korea say an agreement to ramp up sanctions against North Korea is an important step in the push to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in spoke for an hour by telephone, one day after the UN Security Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to tighten penalties against the North.
South Korean officials say the leaders shared their concerns over recent developments in North Korea’s missile technology.
Trump and Moon agreed that the only way the international community can change Pyongyang’s attitude is by applying maximum pressure.
Trump tweeted on Sunday night that he was “very happy and impressed” with the 15-0 Security Council vote.

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