U.S. military ready to strike Syria
The U.S. military stands ready to strike Syria at once if President Barack Obama gives the order, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said as the United States prepared to formally declare that chemical weapons had been used in the Syrian civil war. The U.S., along with allies in Europe, appeared to be laying the groundwork for the most aggressive response since Syria’s civil war began more than two years ago. Britain could join a possible U.S.-led military strike. Moscow, on the other hand, has warned that any foreign intervention in Syria without a UN mandate would be “a grave violation of international law”. Reuters reports that U.S. strike would aim to teach Assad and Iran a lesson on the risks of defying the West, but not try to turn the tide of the civil war.
Communal violence escalates in Myanmar
Buddhist mobs went on a rampage burning Muslim shops and houses at the weekend leaving hundreds homeless. Violent episodes like this show how far anti-Muslim anger has spread in the Buddhist-dominated country. Attacks against Muslims who make up at least four percent of the population have exposed deep rifts in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, overshadowing widely praised political reforms since military rule ended in 2011. The communal conflicts are a part of emerging conflicts Myanmar faces today.
China rules out top-level talks with Japan at G20
China has ruled out a top-level meeting at the September G20 summit with Japan to discuss a territorial dispute in the East China Sea. China’s deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong noted that Japanese leaders are ignoring historical facts and unwilling to face existing problems in China-Japan relations, while remain reluctant to hold substantive discussions on the Diaoyu Islands.
Sri Lanka criticizes the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner
U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay is on a five-day visit to assess human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Members of the majority Sinhalese community protested in Colombo, calling on Pillay to get out of the country and stop criticising its rights record. Pillay’s seven-day visit comes after a second United States-sponsored U.N. resolution in March this year urged Sri Lanka to carry out credible investigations into killings and disappearances during the war.
Daily updates are brought to you by Divya Gangadar at the Takshashila Institution.
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