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Myanmar violence: 400 die in a week after Rohingya militants clash with Army

According to UN officials, around 38,000 people crossed the border into Bangladesh till August 31.

In the last week, nearly 400 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, have died in violence in Myanmar, Reuters reported on Friday. The country’s military has said that this figure includes 13 security forces personnel and two government officials.

“As of August 31, 38,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh,” United Nations officials said. The exodus began after Rohingya militants allegedly attacked police posts in the restive Rakhine state on August 25. They had targeted 30 police sites at an Army base in a coordinated strike.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army had claimed responsibility for the attack. Violence has been rife in the region, with clashes between Muslim and Buddhist communities.

While the Myanmar Army has claimed that it is clearing out “extremist terrorists”, the Rohingyas fleeing the country have said that there is a “campaign of arson and killing” aimed to force them out.

On Thursday, Bangladeshi border guards recovered the bodies of at least 26 people, including children, that had washed ashore after their boats capsized in the Naf river, Al Jazeera reported. Nearly 20,000 Rohingyas are stuck at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, United Nations officials have said, as government authorities at Cox’s Bazar have denied them entry.

Myanmar treats Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. The country’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.

SC to hear plea against India’s decision to deport Rohingyas

Meanwhile, in India, the Supreme Court will hear a plea challenging the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar on September 4, PTI reported on Friday. The petition, filed by two Rohingya Muslims, said they were facing persecution in Myanmar and sending them back was in violation of various international conventions.

On August 18, India’s National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to the Home Affairs Ministry over its decision. The commission had said said that as per the Constitution of India, the Right to Life and Personal Liberty applies to all – irrespective of their citizenship.

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees live in India across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Delhi.

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Behind the garb of wealth and success, white collar criminals are hiding in plain sight

Understanding the forces that motivate leaders to become fraudsters.

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Call it greed, addiction or smarts, the 1992 and 2001 Securities Scams, for the first time, revealed the magnitude of white collar crimes in India. To fill the gaps exposed through these scams, the Securities Laws Act 1995 widened SEBI’s jurisdiction and allowed it to regulate depositories, FIIs, venture capital funds and credit-rating agencies. SEBI further received greater autonomy to penalise capital market violations with a fine of Rs 10 lakhs.

Despite an empowered regulatory body, the next white-collar crime struck India’s capital market with a massive blow. In a confession letter, Ramalinga Raju, ex-chairman of Satyam Computers convicted of criminal conspiracy and financial fraud, disclosed that Satyam’s balance sheets were cooked up to show an excess of revenues amounting to Rs. 7,000 crore. This accounting fraud allowed the chairman to keep the share prices of the company high. The deception, once revealed to unsuspecting board members and shareholders, made the company’s stock prices crash, with the investors losing as much as Rs. 14,000 crores. The crash of India’s fourth largest software services company is often likened to the bankruptcy of Enron - both companies achieved dizzying heights but collapsed to the ground taking their shareholders with them. Ramalinga Raju wrote in his letter “it was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten”, implying that even after the realisation of consequences of the crime, it was impossible for him to rectify it.

It is theorised that white-collar crimes like these are highly rationalised. The motivation for the crime can be linked to the strain theory developed by Robert K Merton who stated that society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goals (the importance of money, social status etc.). Not having the means to achieve those goals leads individuals to commit crimes.

Take the case of the executive who spent nine years in McKinsey as managing director and thereafter on the corporate and non-profit boards of Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, American Airlines, and Harvard Business School. Rajat Gupta was a figure of success. Furthermore, his commitment to philanthropy added an additional layer of credibility to his image. He created the American India Foundation which brought in millions of dollars in philanthropic contributions from NRIs to development programs across the country. Rajat Gupta’s descent started during the investigation on Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan hedge fund manager accused of insider trading. Convicted for leaking confidential information about Warren Buffet’s sizeable investment plans for Goldman Sachs to Raj Rajaratnam, Rajat Gupta was found guilty of conspiracy and three counts of securities fraud. Safe to say, Mr. Gupta’s philanthropic work did not sway the jury.

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