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Myanmar authorities open new corruption cases against Suu Kyi

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(Last Updated On: June 10, 2021)

New corruption cases have been opened against Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other former officials from her government, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Thursday.

The cases are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, 75, who was overthrown by the army on Feb. 1 in a coup that has plunged the Southeast Asian country into chaos.

The state newspaper quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission as saying the accusations related to the misuse of land for the charitable Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which she chaired, as well as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.

It said case files had been opened against Suu Kyi and several other officials from the capital Naypyidaw at police stations on Wednesday.

“She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank. So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55,” the paper said. That law provides for up to 15 years in prison for those found guilty.

The lead lawyer for Suu Kyi in several other cases said that as far as he was aware the corruption investigations were continuing and were not before any court.

He described the accusations as “absurd”.

“She might have defects but personal greed and corruption are not her traits. Those who accuse her of greed and corruption are spitting towards the sky,” Khin Maung Zaw said in a message to Reuters.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, over which Suu Kyi is accused, was set up in the name of her late mother to help develop education, health and welfare in Myanmar.

Cases Suu Kyi already faced ranged from the illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act. Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

The army overthrew Suu Kyi saying her party had cheated in November elections, an accusation rejected by the previous election commission and international monitors.

Since then, the army has failed to establish control. It faces daily protests, strikes that have paralysed the economy by opponents of the junta, a rash of assassinations and bomb attacks and a resurgence of conflicts in Myanmar’s borderlands.

A military plane crashed on Thursday near Myanmar’s second-biggest city of Mandalay, killing 12 people, the city’s fire service said. There was no immediate indication that the crash was related to the crisis.

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Moscow in talks with IEA’s leaders about visit to Russia

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

Moscow is discussing a possible visit by a delegation of the Taliban-appointed government to Russia with Kabul, the RIA news agency cited a Russian foreign ministry source as saying on Friday, Reuters reported.

Separately, RIA quoted Taliban deputy culture and information minister Zabiullah Mujahid as saying that Kabul was seeking such contacts, Reuters report said.

This comes after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged the international community to refrain from putting unnecessary pressure on the new Afghan government.

Speaking at an event on Thursday in Kabul, Mutaqi warned that if a country “pursues enmity with Afghanistan instead of friendship”, it will face the resistance of Afghans.

Muttaqi also called for the establishment of neutral political relations.

“Afghanistan is not the country it was 20 years ago, and the world should not try to put pressure on it.

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Kabul residents praise IEA on law and order, but hope for jobs

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

Kabul residents on Thursday praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for their control of law and order, but concerns over job prospects and economic issues remain prevalent.

“Law and order is better under this government than under the previous government, that useless government, but they must work towards getting jobs for the people. They should pay attention to the economy, the unemployment situation,” said market porter Mohammad.

The IEA has asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Eventual U.N. acceptance of the ambassador of the IEA would be an important step in the new government’s bid for international recognition, which could help unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the IEA’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to press for inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for women, in Afghanistan.

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IEA’s foreign minister calls for ‘neutral’ foreign relations

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged the international community to refrain from putting unnecessary pressure on the new Afghan government.

Speaking at an event on Thursday in Kabul, Mutaqi warned that if a country “pursues enmity with Afghanistan instead of friendship”, it will face the resistance of Afghans.

Muttaqi also called for the establishment of neutral political relations.

“Afghanistan is not the country it was 20 years ago, and the world should not try to put pressure on it.

“Afghanistan now has good relations with the rest of the world and the region and the pressure by some countries does not affect Afghanistan because it is not alone now,” said Muttaqi.

He also said strong economic ties between Afghanistan and the region would soon be established and that these would have a positive impact on the entire region.

At the same time, the foreign ministers of China and Pakistan, on the sidelines of the UN summit, called for the lifting of economic sanctions on the Afghan government.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Pakistani foreign minister said that the world had no choice but to engage with the new Afghan government and recognize it.

“If they live up to those expectations, they would make it easier for themselves, they will get acceptability, which is required for recognition,” Shah Mahmood Hussein Qureshi told the AP.

“At the same time, the international community has to realise: What is the alternative? What are the options? This is the reality, and can they turn away from this reality?”

Qureshi said Pakistan “is in sync with the international community” in wanting to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan with no space for terrorist elements to increase their foothold, and for the Islamic Emirate to ensure “that Afghan soil is never used again against any country”.

“But we are saying, be more realistic in your approach,” Qureshi said. “Try an innovative way of engaging with them. The way that they were being dealt with has not worked.”

But some other countries, including Germany, have opposed the presence of a representative of the Islamic Emirate at the UN summit. German foreign minister said the new Afghan officials needed to show in practice that they were complying with international law.

“Unfortunately, since August 15, life has become very difficult for everyone: financial situation, poverty, level of violence, level of poverty, level of fear, level of losses are increasing day by day. We are not the women of 2001, we are not the women of the 90s. If they [Islamic Emirate] really want to rule and lead in Afghanistan, they cannot rule without [the participation of] the 50 percent of Afghanistan, women,” said Zarifa Ghafari, a women’s rights activist.

This comes after the IEA asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador.

Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Reuters reported

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