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Myanmar military likely killed and raped hundreds during Rohingya crackdown: UN report

A Human Rights Office spokesperson said the violations documented by the global body 'could be described as ethnic cleansing'.

Myanmar’s military likely killed and raped hundreds of people including children in its crackdown against the Rohingya Muslims, the United Nations said on Friday. A report by the UN’s Human Rights Office said that the “area clearance operations” launched in the country’s Rakhine province in October 2016 “has likely resulted in several hundred deaths”, with Rohingya refugees reporting violations amounting to crimes against humanity, AFP reported.

Forty-seven percent of those interviewed by the UN for the report said that they had a family member who was killed in the operation, while 43% reported being raped, the Rights Office said. “An eight-month-old baby was reportedly killed while his mother was gang-raped by five security officers,” the office said. “What kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk?” asked Human Rights Commissioner Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein.

A spokesperson for the Rights Office said that the violations documented by the UN “could be described as ethnic cleansing”. The report added that the violence against the Rohingyas was because of a “purposeful policy” designed by one group to remove them from area “through violent and terror-inspiring means”. “The Government of Myanmar must immediately halt these grave human rights violations against its own people, instead of continuing to deny they have occurred,” al-Hussein said. However, a Myanmar government spokesperson did not comment, saying that he had not seen the UN’s report.

In November 2016, the UN said that at least 10,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar and had sought refuge in Bangladesh during that month. Nearly 70,000 people from the community have sought refuge in Bangladesh because of the crisis. Myanmar treats Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has also been criticised for not doing enough to resolve the Rohingya crisis. Access to the troubled Rakhine state has also been blocked to journalists and aid workers, according to reports.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.