17
Saturday
November 2018
5:46 AM IST
News Headlines
Sindhu crashes out; Srikanth, Sameer enter quarterfinals of Hong Kong Open        No more chopping and changing till World Cup: Ravi Shastri        Air India eyes Rs 800 cr from sale of over 70 properties        Intel India opens design house costing Rs 1,100 cr at B'luru        US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region        Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid        EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests        Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case        Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu        Top India, China officials hold defence, security dialogue, agree to step up military exchanges        Jailed Om Prakash Chautala Expels Older Son For "Anti-Party Activities"        ISRO Launches Communication Satellite, Has 'Geo-Eye' To Monitor India        US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya        Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa        Mitchell Starc released from IPL contract ahead of Ashes, WC        World Championships: Older, wiser, stronger Mary Kom attempts to win 6th global title        India to host Italy on grass in Kolkata        It won't be easy for Mary Kom, says High Performance Director Nieva        Sensex rebounds 332 pts on easing crude, rupee gains        Govt mulls second round of 2,500 MW medium-term PPA auction        
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | About Deepika 
International News
Pope leads Dhaka mass before Rohingya meeting
 
(Dec 1, 2017): Pope Francis led a giant open-air mass in Dhaka on Friday ahead of finally coming face to face with Rohingya refugees whose desperate plight has dominated his landmark tour of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The meeting comes a day after Francis urged the world to take "decisive measures" to resolve the crisis that has forced more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee ethnic unrest in Myanmar for overstretched camps in Bangladesh.

Amid tight security, Francis, the first pope to visit Muslim-majority Bangladesh in 31 years, arrived in a locally-made popemobile -- a pickup truck covered in glass -- at Suhrawardy Udyan park where nearly 100,000 people waited to celebrate the mass.

Buses of faithful came from all over the country. Many queued for hours to get into the park guarded by thousands of security forces.

Suborna Costa, 34, hoped the prayers of the 80-year-old pontiff will help end her family woes.

Costa's husband is ill, her brother went missing in Turkey after he illegally tried to enter Italy and one of her sisters has been unable to speak since childhood.

"For years we don't have any good news in my family. My parents have been in shock since we lost contact with our brother," she said.

"I have been eagerly waiting for this day since his visit was announced several months ago. He is a saintly man and above any sin," said Costa.

Holding a granddaughter, 60-year-old widow Pronita Mra stood in the queue for three hours after arriving from a remote northeastern village near the Indian border.

"I feel like I am blessed to join the Pope's prayers. I'll pray for my late husband and parents so that they go to heaven. I hope the Pope will pray for peace and harmony among all communities in Bangladesh," she said.

The worries of the Rohingya masses who have packed camps on the Myanmar border have dominated the papal tour however.

Francis arrived in Dhaka on Thursday from Myanmar, where he walked a diplomatic tightrope, publicly avoiding allegations that the army is waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya.

Help Bangladesh

He has not used the word Rohingya in public, preferring to refer to them as "the refugees from Rakhine state" -- their home in Myanmar where they have been persecuted for decades and refused citizenship.

Francis praised Bangladesh for giving refuge to the Rohingya who have flooded in since a military crackdown in Rakhine state in August.

"This has been done at no little sacrifice. It has also been done before the eyes of the whole world," he said, calling on other countries to offer "immediate material assistance to Bangladesh in its effort to respond effectively to urgent human needs".

Francis will speak with 16 Rohingya refugees, including two children, at a meeting with leaders of other faiths.

Farid Uddin Masoud, a top Muslim cleric who will attend, said he hoped the pope would speak out for the Rohingya.

"He is respected across the globe, not by Christians alone, for being a champion of the poor and oppressed people... So we will strongly expect him to speak for the oppressed Rohingya," he told AFP.

Although the influx has slowed, hundreds of Rohingya refugees are still crossing the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar every day, according to the United Nations.

Many have brought stories of horrific abuses at the hands of the Myanmar military and local Buddhist mobs, including rape, arson and murder.

"When I meet him, I would like to tell him about our plight, about how Myanmar's military tortured us, killed us, raped our women, about the kind of persecution we have been facing," 35-year-old refugee Abul Fayaz told AFP in Cox's Bazar where the camps are located.

"We want him to help us get Rohingya citizenship, ensure our safety, help us move freely to wherever we want... and most importantly make a way so we can say our prayers with freedom like they (Buddhists) do."

Francis is spending three days in the country of 160 million, where a rise in Islamist extremism has seen Catholics attacked.

Christians make up less than 0.5 percent of Bangladesh's population and community leaders say some have left as it becomes more difficult to practise faith openly.

Since 2015 at least three Christians, including two converts from Islam, have been hacked to death in attacks blamed on Islamist militants.(AFP)


US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region
Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid
US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya
Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa
UK says Brexit deal 'almost within touching distance'
Trump criticises Macron again over European defence remarks
175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak
Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena
Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California
"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police
Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China
Russia says it thwarted drone attacks at World Cup
Pak PM Imran Khan wishes Hindu community on Diwali
UK opens up armed forces recruitment to more Indians
US midterms: Key factors that will drive verdict on 21 months of Trumpism
India, China Among 8 Countries Exempt From US Sanctions On Iran Oil
"Help Us Exit From Pakistan": Asia Bibi's Husband Asks Trump For Refuge
Sri Lanka's ousted PM says US, Japan freeze aid over political crisis
New Caledonia votes to remain French in referendum
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
NATIONAL NEWS
EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests
 New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) Accepting the demand of some civil society groups, the Election Commission o
Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case
Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu
Jailed Om Prakash Chautala Expels Older Son For "Anti-Party Activities"
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2018 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.