A house is seen on fire in Gawduthar village, Maungdaw township, in the north of Rakhine state, Myanmar, on 7 September 2017. — Photo: ReutersMyanmar’s minister for religion on Tuesday said Rohingya Muslim refugees living in neighbouring Bangladesh are being “brainwashed” into “marching” on the Buddhist-majority nation, amid a diplomatic feud over the fate of the persecuted minority.More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the wake of a brutal army crackdown last August, UN agencies say, and are now living in crowded Bangladeshi refugee camps.UN investigators have accused Myanmar soldiers of carrying out mass killings, rapes and burning hundreds of villages with “genocidal intent”. Myanmar denies most of the allegations.Thura Aung Ko said Bangladesh was “not letting them return”, referring to the Rohingya as “Bengalis”, a term commonly used in Myanmar to imply that they are recent interlopers from Bangladesh. Rohingya say they are native to Rakhine state.“If [they] release them, the population will drop,” he said in a video shared by NewsWatch, a news website. “And then, they, at the camps, also feed and brainwash Bengali youths to truly march. They will march on Myanmar. The future goal of those over populated Bengalis is to march on Myanmar.”Plans to repatriate an initial group of 2,260 Rohingya from the camps last month were scuppered after none of the refugees agreed to go back, saying they wanted guarantees of safety and citizenship.Thura Aung Ko, a former general who was appointed to the cabinet by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi after she came to power in 2016, was expanding on comments he made at the funeral of a prominent monk last week. On 27 November, he expounded on birth rates among members of an unnamed “extreme religion” and the threat it posed to Buddhism in Myanmar.“While we Buddhists practise monogamy and have only one or two children, an extreme religion encourages to have three or four wives and give birth to 15 to 20 children,” he said in a video published by Radio Free Asia. “After three, four, five decades in this Buddhist country, the Buddhist community will certainly become the minority.”On Tuesday, he clarified: “In fact, ‘other religion’ means Bengalis.”San Aung, the chairman of an Islamic society based in Yangon, told Reuters by phone the comments were “very sad”.“As a minister for religion he shouldn’t speak irresponsibly,” he said.
It comes as no surprise to most that Google have been one of the largest buyers of renewable energy. Over 2017 alone, Google have purchased over 7 billion kilowatt-hour (kWh) from solar panels and wind farms designed especially for their electricity consumption. In light of the IPCC 6 Climate Change report which was released just a couple of days back, Google have also released a paper discussing their efforts regarding their 24/7 carbon-free energy initiative. What does the Google paper say In line with their promise of moving towards a future driven by carbon-free energy, Google’s paper discusses the steps Google are taking to reduce their carbon footprint. Key aspects discussed in this paper, aptly titled ‘Moving toward 24×7 Carbon-Free Energy at Google Data Centers: Progress and Insights’, are: Google’s framework for using 24/7 carbon-free energy How Google are currently utilizing carbon-free energy to power their data centers across different campuses situated all over the world. Finland, North Carolina, Netherlands, Iowa, and Taiwan are some of the examples where this is being achieved. Analysis of the power usage currently and how the insights derived can be used in their journey ahead Why Google is striving for adopting a carbon-free strategy Per Google, they have been carbon-neutral since 2007, and met their goal of matching all of their global energy consumption with renewable energy. Considering the scale of Google’s business and the size of their existing infrastructure, they have always been a large consumer of electricity. Google’s business expansion plans in the near future too, in turn, could have direct effects on the environmental footprint. As such, their strategy of 24/7 carbon-free energy makes complete sense. According to Google, “Pursuing this long-term objective is important for elevating carbon-free energy from being an important but limited element of the global electricity supply portfolio today, to a resource that fully powers our operations and ultimately the entire electric grid.” This is a positive and important step by Google towards building a carbon-free future with more dependence on renewable energy sources. It will also encourage other organizations of similar scale to adopt a similar approach to reduce carbon emissions. Microsoft, for example, have already pledged a 75% reduction of their carbon footprint in the environment by 2030. Oracle have also increased their solar power usage as a part of their plan to reduce their carbon emissions. Read more: Google, Amazon, AT&T met the U.S Senate Committee to discuss consumer data privacy, yesterday Google’s new Privacy Chief officer proposes a new framework for Security Regulation Ex-googler who quit Google on moral grounds writes to Senate about company’s “Unethical” China censorship plan