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Myanmar court jails Reuters reporters for 7 years

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YANGON — A Myanmar judge has found two Reuters journalists guilty of breaching a law on state secrets and jailed them for seven years on Monday, in a landmark case seen as a test of progress toward democracy in the Southeast Asian country.

Yangon northern district judge Ye Lwin said Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, breached the colonial-era Official Secrets Act when they collected and obtained confidential documents.

“The defendants … have breached Official Secrets Act section 3.1.c, and are sentenced to seven years,” the judge said, adding that the time served since they were detained on Dec.

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12 would be taken into account. The defense can appeal the decision to a regional court and then the supreme court.

The verdict comes amid mounting pressure on the government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi over a security crackdown sparked by attacks by Rohingya Muslim insurgents on security forces in Rakhine State in west Myanmar in August 2017.

More than 700,000 stateless Rohingya Muslims have fled into Bangladesh since then, according to U.N. agencies.

The two reporters, who were investigating the killing by the security forces of Rohingya villagers at the time of their arrest, had pleaded not guilty.

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All programmes of Nepal Sambat New Year 1139 cancelled

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KATHMANDU— All the programmes to be organised on the occasion of the Nepal Sambat New Year 1139 have been cancelled due to the demise of pioneer of the Nepal Sambat movement, and leader of the Indigenous Nationalities movement and human rights movement, Padma Ratna Tuladhar.

All the programmes have been cancelled in honour of late Tuladhar. A meeting of Nepal Sambat Nhudah National Celebration Committee held today took the decision to this effect.

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A Main Celebration Programme had already been scheduled at Basantapur, Kathmandu, on November 8 on the occasion of Nepal Sambat 1139 New Year this year too as in the previous years. All programmes to be organised at different places on the same day have also been cancelled.

Coordinator of Newa Jagaran Manch, Sujib Bajracharya, said that the meeting also decided to organise all the cancelled programmes at suitable time after the 13th day of the demise of Tuladhar.

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