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Pope Francis urges Myanmar youth to defend human rights

Pope Francis urges Myanmar youth to defend human rights

Francis, the second pontiff to visit the nation of Bangladesh, landed in Dhaka in the mid- afternoon after spending the earlier part of the week in neighboring Myanmar.

The Vatican on Wednesday defended Pope Francis' decision not to use the word "Rohingya" in public during his visit to Myanmar, saying his moral authority was unblemished and that his mere presence drew attention to the refugee crisis.

Photo A Rohingya refugee at the Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, this month. Their plight worsened dramatically in August, when the army began what it called clearance operations in Rakhine state following attacks on security positions by a group of Rohingya militants.

The Muslim body has also taken note of the agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar to repatriate Rohingya to their homeland and maintains that any such agreement must clearly identify the terms and conditions, including the numbers that will be returned and provide guarantees of safety.

Meanwhile, Mr Hamid has accused Myanmar's military of committing "ruthless atrocities" against Rohingyas and is demanding global help in returning them safely to their homes and integrating them into Myanmar society.

Calvin Harris has answered DJ Snake's call to donate money to the Rohingya refugee crisis by generousluy donating $20,000 to the campaign. "Women and children were brutally killed, thousands of women were violated", he added. "They saw their homes burnt into ashes", Hamid said. He explained that the history of the Burmese - who lived for six decades without a sense of their own rights - has made it hard for them "to understand that other people have rights too", and that right now it is a learning situation in Myanmar as regards human rights, tollerance and solidarity.

Rohingya children wait at a relief centre at the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar yesterday
Rohingya children wait at a relief centre at the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar yesterday

A planned meeting with a small group of Rohingyas is expected to be a high point during the Pope's Dhaka visit. Pope Paul VI visited Bangladesh, when it was known as East Pakistan, a province of Pakistan, in 1970.

In his speech, Hamid said Bangladesh was pursuing a "zero-tolerance policy in eradicating the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism". "I don't know any foreigner", she said.

About religious interfaith, the President said no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism.

The country's Catholic community is tiny, making up about 0.2 percent of the population of about 163 million, but it has also been targeted by Muslim extremists. His Bangladesh visit comes days after a priest, Walter William Rosario, went missing in Natore district, where a Christian businessman was murdered previous year.

In July, 2016, the nation was rocked by a terrorist attack in which gunmen stormed an upscale café in Dhaka, leaving 29 people dead, including nine Italians and the five attackers.

Reported byBenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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