Major Rohingya refugee camp populations in Bangladesh. AFPA plan to start repatriating Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar is premature and the refugees are “terrified” about leaving Bangladesh where they sought refuge, dozens of aid agencies working in the region said Friday.More than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state after a heavyhanded army crackdown in August last year that survivors say involved mass rape and extrajudicial killings.UN officials say the country’s military leaders should be investigated for genocide but Myanmar has rebuffed the calls, arguing it was only defending itself against Rohingya militants who attacked police posts.Both Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation agreement in November last year to allow Rohingya to return but many fear going back without guarantees of citizenship, freedom of movement and safety.However the governments confirmed in recent weeks that they were pushing ahead with the first large-scale repatriation set for mid-November, prompting an outcry from activists who say conditions on the ground in Rakhine are not adequate to take the refugees back.Rohingya Camp”They are terrified about what will happen to them if they are returned to Myanmar now, and distressed by the lack of information they have received,” the group of 42 aid agencies and civil society groups said in a statement that referred to the push as “dangerous.””They fled to Bangladesh to seek safety and they are very grateful to the Government of Bangladesh for giving them a safe haven.”Oxfam, World Vision and Save the Children were among the groups working in Myanmar and Bangladesh that signed the statement.They said refugees fear living in enclosed settlements like the one in central Rakhine state, where more than 120,000 Rohingya have been confined to camps for six years since intercommunal violence erupted in the region in 2012.Myint Khaing, the Maungdaw township administrator in northern Rakhine, told AFP that November 15 is the estimated repatriation start date and that the plan is to receive more than 2,200 people in total at a rate of 150 per day.But he seemed unsure if it would go ahead.”We can confirm only on the 15th whether the people from our given list are coming or not,” he said.Northern Rakhine has been largely sealed off since the crackdown except for tightly organised government trips for media and senior visiting diplomats.The UN has been granted access to the area to assess conditions on the ground but the approvals have been slow and the amount of territory accessible has been limited.Authorities in Bangladesh worry that Rohingya may once again risk travelling to other parts of Southeast Asia by boat, a route previously popular with those seeking economic opportunities outside the grim camps.This week Bangladesh’s coast guard rescued 33 Rohingyas and detained six alleged human traffickers from a fishing trawler headed for Malaysia in the Bay of Bengal.
Kolkata: The alumni of 1993 batch of IIT Kharagpur have joined hands with their alma mater to set up six Distinguished Chair Professorships in AI and Machine Learning in memory of their martyred batch mate. Ajay Kumar Singh, an IPS officer, had laid down his life during an operation against insurgents near Ranchi in 2000.IIT KGP Director Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said on his Facebook page, “A Truly KGP-ian way to remember a martyred batch mate who had dedicated his life in Service of the Nation and performed the highest sacrifice. Let us use this to build a new initiative to touch the lives of the People of India. Thanks 1993 team. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIIT KGP is already in the process of setting up a Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and researchers in several departments in the institute are working on product development or applications related to AI.The campaign for Chair Professorships in AI was led by Neeraj Mendiratta and created buzz among his batch mates across the globe with around hundred alumni having donated close to Rs 75 Lakh, an IIT KGP statement said.Of the total amount, a sum of Rs 36 Lakh will be contributed towards the Ajay Kumar Singh Chair Professorships in AI and the remaining for endowment in the name of the batch. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe alumni are aiming to reach Rs 50 Lakh figure for the endowment which will give them a classroom at IIT KGP named after their batch.Dean of Alumni Affairs, Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay said, “I am overwhelmed with the initiative of IIT KGP alumni to give back to their alma mater. We just need to create avenues which the alumni would find worthwhile and beneficial for country and they would generously contribute towards it.” The Chair Professorships will be for two years duration for existing and new teachers including visiting and adjunct faculty in Artificial Intelligence starting from academic year 2018-19. The support will be in the form of a top-up salary which will be Rs 25,000 every month.”We, the batch mates of Ajay, fondly remember him as a braveheart . We wanted to commemorate his name in association with an initiative like excellence in teaching and research in the area of machine learning which can do wonders for India,” batch mate Paresh Krishnakant Joshi said.He expressed hope that through this initiative, IIT KGP would be able to promote AI teaching and in a way that it could be simplified and mass marketed.AI and Machine Learning has become the next big thing in the 21st century impacting healthcare, electronics and communication, space technology, transport, automobiles and even home appliances.
TORONTO — Intrepid Travel is taking 10% off more than 1,000 small-group tours in 100 countries for its Canadian clients.Tours on offer include everything from best-selling itineraries like Best of Morocco, Vietnam Express Southbound and Everest Base Camp to brand-new 2018 tours like the 10-day Iran Real Food Adventure and Azores and Portugal. The sale also includes Intrepid Travel’s specialty tour ranges like Family, Cycling, Sailing and Wildlife.The discount is open to Canadian and U.S. travellers who book a trip – with a $400 deposit – from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28, 2017, for tour departures between Nov. 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.“With over 1,000 trips on offer we are confident agents across Canada will be able to find the perfect tour for their clients,” said Leigh Barnes, Intrepid Travel’s Director for North America. “Whether Canadians are looking for a winter escape to Central America or a far-flung adventure in Asia or Africa, we hope travellers and agents take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the world for less.”More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more information on the terms of the discount visit intrepidtravel.com/ca/10-off-sale. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by 1,000+ winter departures on sale with Intrepid Travel Tags: Intrepid Travel, Promotions Tuesday, September 19, 2017