April 18, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 RSF questions the true reasons for the arrest of a Burmese journalist February 23, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information RSF_en RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 Organisation IndiaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on India News News to go further India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media March 3, 2021 Find out more IndiaAsia – Pacific News Indian journalist wrongly accused of “wantonly” inaccurate reporting On 17 April, Soe Myint was released under bail by a Barasat court (north of Calcutta).______________________________________________________________ In a letter sent to the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Jaswant Singh, Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders – RSF) asked for the real reasons for the arrest of Burmese journalist Soe Myint, managing editor of the Mizzima press agency. “We are justified in asking whether the arrest of this journalist, reputed for his reporting on human rights violations in Burma, has a direct relation with the diplomatic rapprochement between New Delhi and Rangoon. The fact that this arrest occurred twelve years after his crime, but just one week after your visit to Burma, leads us to ask for detailed explanations on this arrest,” said Robert Ménard, RSF’s General Secretary. RSF asked the minister to guarantee the safety of Burmese journalists exiled in India and their right to inform. RSF also reminded that there is no press freedom in Burma, and that at least 17 journalists are in Burmese jails for peacefully defending democracy.According to information obtained by RSF, Soe Myint, managing editor of the Mizzima press agency and vice secretary of the Burma Media Association (BMA, an affiliate of the RSF Network), was arrested at his home in New Delhi on 10 April 2002. He was transferred to Calcutta where he was held for five days. This detention was renewed on 15 April. Authorities say that he must face charges of hijacking a Thai Airways plane, flying from Calcutta to Rangoon, on 19 November 1990. This unarmed hijacking was done to attract international public opinion to human rights violations perpetrated by the Burmese junta. After spending three months in a Calcutta jail (West Bengal), Soe Myint was released. In exchange, he was supposed to check in regularly with judicial authorities in Calcutta. In 1993, he obtained refugee status from the High Commissioner for Refugees. In 1995, the General Secretary of the province of West Bengal sent a letter to the Indian government asking that the charges be dropped, since the hijacking was committed without violence. He never received a response.In 1998 Soe Myint, now 35 years old, founded Mizzima, a press agency focusing on Burma, which was very critical to the military government. Many international media use news provided by this agency, especially radio stations broadcasting in Burmese. According to Burmese and Indian sources, the Rangoon junta may have pressured the Indian government to arrest this dissident. Soe Myint’s lawyer, Nandita Haksar, told RSF that her client had been questioned about his activities as a journalist, especially by two men in the CID offices who refused to identify themselves. April 27, 2021 Find out more News
Analysis: Harry Gosling argues to not focus on the fence; the real problem is Oxford’s housing crisisYou don’t have to spend long in Oxford in order to recognise that the city has a serious problem with homelessness. The last official count took place just under 12 months ago, when 26 people were found to be sleeping rough on the streets of Oxford. This week, Councillor Bob Price told the BBC that Oxford is the least affordable place to live in the whole of Britain.Many will argue that punitive measures such as the one being taken by Queen’s College will only worsen the situation. The proposed fence, to be erected around the entrance to St Aldate’s House, will undermine an important source of shelter for a number of Oxford’s homeless population.The living conditions of these poor, and in some cases desperate people, will be considerably worsened for the sake of making a very marginal difference to the lives of privileged students. “It is disappointing to me that the College is insisting on such ethically unjustifiable measures while brushing away our plans for more proactive engagement with our neighbours.“We will try to improve relations between residents of St Aldate’s and the homeless shelter across the road, no matter whether the college is supporting or impeding our efforts.”Freya Turner, chair of OUSU’s homelessness campaign On Your Doorstep, told Cherwell, “On Your Doorstep supports the MCR in its ethical concerns over the use of defensive architecture like fencing. We agree that this is neither a compassionate nor a long-term solution to the problems faced by both the students and the homeless.“We also support the MCR in its efforts to try to reach out to the homeless community, but would encourage them to get informed about the problem first, by meeting with those who run O’Hanlon House before deciding on how they could best be of help.” Queen’s MCR has voted unanimously to request the removal of a fence which would prevent homeless people from taking shelter in the porch of a Queen’s student accommodation block.A temporary structure has allegedly been erected by the College. Students resident in Aldates House have in the past made complaints about verbal threats and racial comments while entering and leaving the building. The students understand that the fence is intended to reduce the frequency of these incidents and keep students safe, and that the College plans to install a permanent structure.The MCR’s online survey on the matter, to which 66 MCR members responded, found that 21 per cent (12 people) had experienced a negative encounter with the homeless people outside the building.However, Queen’s MCR agreed at the meeting that the current temporary fence has significantly exacerbated the situation, causing homeless people to be pushed in front of the door.The MCR raised ethical concerns about deliberately restricting homeless people’s access to shelter. The motion stated, “Queen’s College has a duty not only to its students, but also to all of humankind. This fence will have a negative and unfair impact on the lives of homeless persons.”It also resolved to improve its relations with the homeless community by establishing an outreach project. This will involve making tea for the homeless in the St Aldate’s area and fundraising for the nearby homeless shelter O’Hanlon House, which has endured budget cuts of 25 per cent over the past six years.Sonja Wiencke, an MCR member and resident of St Aldate’s House, commented, “Forcing the homeless people a couple of metres away is not going to make the area more safe; it could even give rise to hostilities. More importantly, the fence is demeaning and dehumanising towards homeless people, which is why we unanimously called for the provisional construction there to be removed and the plans to be dropped. Indeed this incident, some might suggest, is indicative of a broader uncaring culture amongst both colleges and much of the student body in Oxford. With many colleges having endowment funds that run into the hundreds of millions, it seems thoughtless at best and callous at worst for colleges to use their wealth to erect physical barriers against the homeless.It is important, however, to see the issue from the College’s point of view as well. As students, our list of demands for college action on various issues often appears endless. We want our colleges to divest from fossil fuels, to bring down accommodation rates, to produce better food – the list goes on.It thus seems a little hypocritical to complain when colleges do on occasion put students’ welfare first. In this case, the primary concern of Queen’s College is with the safety of its students. We should respect this position and, instead of putting our effort into campaigning against the erection of this permanent fence, we should focus our efforts on working to make substantial improvements to the lives of the homeless in Oxford.The first action we can take is in educating our peers on the real causes of homelessness in Oxford. In a survey of over 1,000 students, it was found that the most common perceived cause of homelessness was addiction.In actual fact, most find themselves homeless as a result of relationship breakdown. The disparity between perception and reality is dangerous: addressing it should encourage greater concern with the homeless.Instead of organising to oppose college measures intended to protect them, students should rally around making a positive, substantial difference to the lives of the homeless in Oxford. Donations to charities such as Oxford Homeless Pathways can improve lives and help to remove homelessness from the streets of Oxford.Punitive college measures are always contentious and are rarely popular. As students, however, we should recognise that colleges have to make difficult decisions. In this case, Queen’s has the interests of its students at heart. Let’s move the focus away from colleges and instead work to get positive change for those who find themselves homeless.
“Both of us want to win,” Pep Guardiola once said when asked about the differences between him and Jose Mourinho. “But our paths are very different.”The rivalry between Guardiola and Mourinho wasn’t supposed to be quite so bitter. In fact, it started as a perfectly pleasant rapport — if not a friendship, certainly a good working relationship.Mourinho’s spell as an assistant to two Barcelona coaches, Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal, was a crucial period of his coaching development. It wasn’t simply about the basics — the training ground exercises, the tactics, the physical conditioning — but also about the personalities, the egos and the dressing-room spirit. Mourinho, of course, had never experienced a football club from the inside as a player, and while he had worked with some fine footballers under Robson in Portugal, at the Camp Nou he was dealing with bigger stars.In the beginning, those stars weren’t particularly concerned by the views of the “interpreter,” as he was repeatedly referred to in Catalonia. Two, however, found Mourinho engaging and were interested in his thoughts: Laurent Blanc and Guardiola. Amazingly, 17 years later, PSG’s Blanc, Mourinho and Guardiola might guide their respective sides to three major league titles this season.It remains impossible to deduce quite how much influence Mourinho and Guardiola had upon each other — Mourinho certainly wouldn’t dare to credit Guardiola (at that time, a player he was supposed to be in charge of) for helping his coaching development, while Guardiola is rather coy. “We would exchange ideas,” he admitted. “But I don’t see that as something that defined our relationship.”Nevertheless, it remains a genuinely fascinating and relatively unexplored relationship between the two highest-profile coaches currently active in club football: Two men who despise one another were once on the same side. Guardiola found Mourinho’s antics particularly insulting given their previous cohabitation. “I only want to remind him that we were together for four years,” he said when the rivalry was at its nastiest. “It is difficult,” legendary Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi said, “when you have two Picassos in the same period.” He was speaking about this great coaching rivalry: Guardiola against Mourinho, the only two current club managers included in ESPNFC’s list of the 20 greatest managers of all time.It’s a great quote, but it probably misrepresents the situation. Guardiola and Mourinho have more than an influence upon their side — their dominant personalities have transcended the footballing battle. We’re talking about Pep versus Jose, not Bayern versus Chelsea, ahead of the European Super Cup game in Prague. Modern football has increasingly placed great emphasis upon individual managers — their personalities, their appearance and their rhetoric — rather than their actual creation: the team. To adapt Sacchi’s phrase, Guardiola and Mourinho aren’t two Picassos; they’ve become two Mona Lisas.They’ve achieved this in different ways. Guardiola became the epitome of Barcelona almost helplessly: He grew up in Catalonia, was a ball boy at the Camp Nou, rose through the ranks at La Masia before spending the majority of his career at the club. When he returned to the club, he furthered Barcelona’s ideological obsession with a certain type of football and fielded, at times, nine youth-team products together.Mourinho’s rise into his club’s central figure is more cunning, more strategic. There is an element of pure personality involved. Mourinho wants to be the star; he wants the attention. However, there is also a tactical element to his prominence — it takes the pressure away from his players, who can get on with playing football. When Guardiola was at Barca, Lionel Messi was still the star — but Mourinho has never coached a player more famous than himself.The two have produced some tremendous games, but when you think of their rivalry, you don’t think about the football. You think of Mourinho’s post-match sprinkler-interrupted celebration at the Camp Nou, of Guardiola’s rant, of Mourinho poking Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye, of Guardiola giving Zlatan Ibrahimovic tactical instructions with Mourinho sneaking over to interrupt. These incidents occur before the games, or after them. On the sidelines or in the press conferences. The happenings on the pitch are often forgotten. Managers are not supposed to dominate so much — their influence should be reflected in the way their players act, the way the team functions. Both managers are excellent in this respect — Guardiola’s Barcelona genuinely revolutionised passing football, Mourinho has created devastating counterattacking sides in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.The meetings between the two have been fascinating because they approach matches so differently. Guardiola is about possession and control, Mourinho is about position and counter. The 2010 meeting between Guardiola’s Barcelona and Mourinho’s Inter at the Camp Nou was one of the modern classic matches — not because they attempted to outdo each other at a particular concept, but because they were using entirely different strategies. Guardiola preached the importance of the ball; Mourinho told his players to give it away. Few other sports are capable of evenly balanced contests between two competitors doing utterly opposite things.Anyone can squabble in a press conference or poke an opponent in the eye — events that sometimes feel like planned, scripted prefight bust-ups between two boxers attempting to boost pay-per-view figures. Very few can create football sides as brilliant as these two.On a pure footballing level, Guardiola loves his battles against Mourinho. “It becomes like the basketball playoffs — you do one thing, they respond with another, you answer in another way,” he said in Guillem Balague’s biography of him. “The guessing, the changing, the preparing, the switches during games … this is what makes everything enjoyable, which gives meaning to everything. It is the thing that made those encounters fascinating.”Mourinho’s various strategies against Guardiola’s sides, with Inter and then Real Madrid — defend and lose, then defend and win, then attack and lose, then defend and survive, then defend and win, then attack and win — were truly fascinating. This week should see the latest instalment of a brilliant sporting rivalry, rather than an unbearable personal war.