Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bangladesh scraps caretaker govt for elections

Bangladesh's Parliament on Thursday approved a key constitutional amendment bill that scraps the nonpartisan caretaker system to conduct general elections, a move termed by the main opposition BNP as aimed at rigging polls by the incumbent govt in the country.The approval of 15th Amendment Bill 2011 also retains Islam as the state religion, an issue that has sparked a row with religious minority groups and civil society bodies calling it against the secular spirit of the 1972 constitution.

The parliament passed the bill with a vote of 291-1, well over the two-thirds majority needed in the 345-member popular House.The Bangladesh Nationalist party led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, which has 38 members, abstained from the voting.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the ruling Awami League, has dismissed allegations that the amendments are aimed at rigging polls."This is a historic moment for democracy," Hasina said, adding "We can't allow unelected people to oversee national elections."

The lone independent lawmaker, Fazlul Azim, opposed the amendments which also brought about a series of changes to the constitution."This will not be good for the future of our democracy," Azim was quoted as saying.BNP, which has already taken to the streets over the issue, warned of fresh protests against the move to end the interim system.It fears that general elections due in 2014 could be rigged in favour of the ruling party.BNP supremo Zia will hold an emergency press conference today when she is expected to announce the party line against the landmark amendments.

Introduced in 1996 to prevent rigging and acrimonious row during elections, the country top court recently declared the system was at odds with the constitution's main spirit that the state be governed by elected representatives.

Greece riots seize capital...Athens

Greece fended off a bankruptcy that would have roiled global markets and threatened the future of the euro when lawmakers backed controversial austerity measures in the face of violent protests.More than 100 people were injured.Investors cheered the bill - which aims to cut spending and raise taxes by Euro 28 billion (USD 40 billion) and raise Euro billion (USD 71 billion) in privatizations over five years - but, in Athens, the mood was dark.

In a haze of tear gas, protesters hurled anything they could find at riot police and tried to blockade the Parliament building.A Greek default would threaten the viability of the euro, the EU's common currency, and send shock waves through global markets similar to those that kicked off the global financial meltdown after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

While world markets rose on the news that the bill passed, Greece is not yet out of the woods.The bill - along with another that must be passed Thursday on implementing the austerity package - will release the next Euro 12 billion (USD 17 billion) installment of a Euro 110 billion (USD 157 billion) international bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker indicated after the vote that Greece would get the fifth batch of its bailout loans.

But many Greeks complain they have already paid dearly in a year that has seen public sector salaries and

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Storms kill people in northern Vietnam

Storms kill people in northern Vietnam:The government said storms in northern Vietnam have killed 22 people as five more bodies were recovered and 65 have been injured.

The Floods and Storms Control Department said on its website today that 12 of the victims were killed by lightning.The rest died from falling trees, collapsed houses or were washed away by floods in eight northern provinces before and after Tropical Storm Haima hit the region last week.

Nearly 2,700 homes were destroyed or damaged, and 990,000 acres (40,000 hectares) of rice paddy were inundated.Vietnam is prone to floods and storms which kill hundreds of people a year.

NIT Council Meeting

NIT Council Meeting Held: Shri Kapil Sibal Suggests Review of NIT System

The 2nd NIT Council meeting was held here today under the Chairmanship of Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development. The meeting was attended by distinguished members of Parliament, Chairperson & Directors of National Institute of Technology (NIT) and other Council members. Several important decisions having long-term implications on improving the quality of technical education were taken.

Since the NIT system is going to complete a decade of its existence, the Minister suggested to conduct a review of the system under the Chairmanship of Dr. Anil K.Kakodkar on the lines of the report already submitted by him on IITs.

Reports of various committees constituted by the Council earlier were approved for implementation. The Council also reviewed admission policy for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In particular, foreign student admission through DASA and centralized M.Tech admission were considered. The Minister expressed government’s desire to have one single national level examination test for admission to all Engineering institutions on which Ramasamy Committee would be submitting its report by September 2011.

A Committee was constituted for implementing centralized PG admissions on the pattern of UG admissions. Another Committee to provide merit scholarship to deserving UG students was constituted. Scheme for promoting foreign students admission through AIEEE on-line examination to be held at international level was also approved in principle.

Shri Sibal re-affirmed the support of the ministry to the NIT system in general and to Ten new NITs in particular for the development of infrastructure and recruitment of faculty and staff. He was appreciative of the progress made in this regard by NITs and remarked that these institutions have to be the torch bearers of progress and development in the technical and professional education in the country alongside the IITs.

He stressed on the need of networking amongst IITs, NITs and other institutions. In order to promote better coordination the Directors and Chairpersons of IITs and NITs must meet once a year to discuss larger issues connected with technical education and research.

The Secretary HRD laid emphasis on promotion of research and recruitment of quality faculty in NIT system. The Minister also desired that the NIT Council should meet more frequently. Accordingly the next Council meeting was fixed for November 15, 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Congress demands dismissal of Mayawati govt

Congress has demanded the dismissal of Mayawati government for deteriorating law and order situation and spurt in violence against women in Uttar Pradesh. State Unit of the party has handed over a memorandum to Governor B.L. Joshi in Lucknow on Monday. The Congress has also demanded a CBI inquiry into a number of incidents took place recently in the state including murder of a teenage girl by a group of policemen in Lakhimpur Kheri district, killing of two CMOs and mysterious death of a Deputy CMO in Lucknow jail and death of farmers in police firing at Bhatta Parsul villages in Gautam Buddha Nagar district. In its memorandum, the party has alleged that several BSP MPs and MLAs are allegedly involved in different criminal activities and some of them are in jail. AIR correspondent reports that Congress leaders, who were arrested while taking out a Nyaya March in Lucknow on Monday, have been released.
Earlier, state government had clamped prohibitory orders and refused the Congress permission to take out the march in Lucknow.

UP Police threatened to implicate Tripathi in false case

UP Police threatened to implicate Tripathi in false case
PTI Lucknow:Senior journalist of a news channel was allegedly picked up "forcibly" by police in Hazratganj area here after which journalists staged a demonstration near Chief Minister Mayawati's residence.Shalabh Mani Tripathi, state bureau chief of Hindi news channel IBN7, was picked up by SP (City) BP Ashok and Circle Officer Anup Kumar while he was coming out of his office last evening, Tripathi's colleagues alleged.

They alleged that the police not only manhandled Tripathi, but also thrashed his assistant and took them to the police station forcibly.Police have threatened to implicate Tripathi in false case, they alleged.

Protesting the incident, journalists staged a demonstration near Chief Minister's residence.Meanwhile, principal secretary to UP CM Navneet Sehgal told reporters that "the process for suspension of the two police officers has been initiated."
Media agencies

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Burmese prisoners freed from Kolkatta after 13 years

Indian Navy arrested the 36 Burmese on February 11, 1998 and two managed to escaped from custody still their whereabouts are not known. Thirty-four are released from Kolkata Prison on May 19, 2011 and gave their public appearance at Gandhi peace foundation today.

Indian officers lured the rebels to Landfall Island in the Andaman Islands more than 13 years ago. Six revolutionaries were murdered in cold blood and the remaining 36 languished behind bars.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charged them with illegal entry into Indian maritime territory and possession of arms and explosives, claiming that the arms and explosives were destined for insurgents in Northeast India.
The 31 former rebels are currently living in New Delhi as refugees under the protection of the UNHCR.

Four Bombs explosion in Brumese three Cities

In Maymyo (Pyinoolwin), rumours are circulated that more bombs will be detonated.
A second bomb exploded in Mandalay on 84th Road between 31st Road and 32nd Road at around 3 p.m. on Friday. There were no injuries.

The bomb exploded near the Sainsabelphoo gold shop and a rubbish pile located near Pariyatti Sasana Association. The location is 800 feet from the site of the first bomb explosion around noon.

Three powerful bombs exploded within minutes of each other in Mandalay, Naypyitaw, the capital, and Maymyo on Friday.This was followed by a second bomb explosion in Mandalay a few hours later.Military officers investigate after a bomb explosion destroyed a parked car in front of the Zaygyo Hotel in Mandalay on Friday, June 24, 2011. At least one person was injured in the blast.

Military officers investigate after a bomb explosion destroyed a parked car in front of the Zaygyo Hotel in Mandalay on Friday, June 24, 2011. At least one person was injured in the blast.The first bomb exploded at noon in downtown Mandalay. The bomb was placed in a Pajero sports utility vehicle with the license plate number 3B-1904 parked in front of the Zaygyo Hotel.

One traffic police officer was injured, according to a fire brigade officer in the city.‘The car was entirely destroyed’, he told to Mizzima. An eyewitness said firefighters were stopped by high-ranking military officers who told them, ‘It is none of your business’.‘I thought it was a thunderstorm because the explosion was so loud’, a resident told Mizzima.An eyewitness said that he saw ambulances take two injured people from the scene.A second bomb blast went off in Naypyitaw at 12:30 p.m. when it exploded at No. 46, Shwelabkaung Street in Thapyaygone Quarter. No other details were available.

Nearly at same time on Friday, a third bomb blast destroyed the upper floor of a two-story house in Quarter 4 in Maymyo. The area is home to a large number of military schools. Rumours in the town claim more bombs have been planted and security check points have been strengthened, according to residents.

Fourth bomb is reported to have exploded in a rubbish dump in Mandalay at about 3 p.m. The area, about 800 feet from the earlier explosion, was cordoned off by security forces two hours prior to the bomb going off.Residents gather at the scene of a bomb explosion which destroyed a two-storey home in Quarter No. 4 in Pyin Oo Lwin, or Maymyo and Residents gather at the scene of a bomb explosion which destroyed a home on Shwelabkaung Street in Thabyaykone Quarter, Takkon Township, in Naypyitaw. Residents gather at the scene of a bomb explosion which destroyed a home on Shwelabkaung Street in Thabyaykone Quarter, Takkon Township, in Naypyitaw on Friday. About the same time, bombs also went off in Naypyidaw and Maymyom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Somdev sets up clash with Youzhny in Wimbledon 2nd round

Somdev sets up clash with Youzhny in Wimbledon 2nd round

India's Somdev Devvarman sailed into the second round of Wimbledon Tennis Championships after his German opponent Denis Gremelmayr retired hurt midway through their opening match here.

Somdev was leading 6-4 4-2 when Gremelmayr conceded the match to the Indian.

Somdev will next face Russian Davis Cup stalwart Mikhail Youzhny. The 18th seed defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 4-6 6-2 6-2 4-6 6-4 in his first-round clash.

Somdev's booming serve gave him the advantage as he sent down six aces in the very first set, which lasted 35 minutes.

The Indian didn't concede a single break chance to his rival and converted one of the four he earned to nose ahead.

In the second set as well, Somdev had the upperhand after breaking Gremelmayr, who eventually conceded the match after being on court for just over an hour.

Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her 66th birthday

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her 66th birthday on Sunday.The Nobel Peace laureate turned 66,her best gift awaited at Yangon's international airport,arrival of her youngest son, Kim Aris, who lives in Britain and kissed his mother on arrival.Suu Kyi,who has celebrated 15 birthdays in detention or house arrest over the past 22 years, the first in nine years that she was able to celebrate freely with friends, family and supporters.

Ruled by the military since 1962, Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years in November. Suu Kyi was released from seven years of house arrest just days after the poll, which her party boycotted.The junta handed power to a civilian government in March, but critics say it's merely a front for continued army rule.

On her last year birthday ,Suu Kyi was alone, locked in her dilapidated lakeside compound while world leaders called for her release and supporters held somber ceremonies elsewhere in Yangon in her honor.This year she offer a meal to Buddhist monks, attend a celebration at her political party headquarters and enjoy a private garden party with friends and relatives.Suu Kyi was born June 19, 1945, in Rangoon, now Yangon,won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her determined nonviolent struggle for democracy.

She was last arrested in May 2003 after her motorcade was attacked in northwestern Myanmar by a pro-junta mob while she was on a political tour. This month, she plans her first trip across the countryside since that ill-fated tour.

Since her release last year, Suu Kyi has continued to be outspoken, but little has changed in the repressive nation, which still holds more than 2,000 political prisoners and deploys security agents to monitor Suu Kyi closely.

Nirupama Rao meets Suu Kyi in Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met and both expressed a desire for the bilateral relationship to "blossom and grow".Rao, who was here as part of the delegation of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during his three-day visit to Myanmar that ended on Wednesday, called on Suu Kyi on Monday at her residence, official sources said.

The meeting, which was not part of Rao's schedule, lasted for an hour, during which she "felicitated" Suu Kyi on her 66th birthday which was on Sunday, they said."Both expressed a desire for this relationship to blossom and grow," a source said.

Asked why Krishna, who headed the Indian delegation, did not meet Suu Kyi, the sources said he had a tight schedule and that the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, V S Seshadri, had met her earlier.Rao's meeting with Suu Kyi was, however, kept under wraps till the Indian delegation left the country.

The sources privy to the conversation that took place between the two said that Suu Kyi recalled her days in India, including the time she spent with her Indian friends.Suu Kyi, who was recently freed from several years of house arrest, had done her Bachelors in Political Science from Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi from where she graduated in 1964.She also lived in Shimla prior to her return to Myanmar in 1988.

The sources said Rao spoke to Suu Kyi about India's relationship with Myanmar, which recently got its first civilian government in years, and New Delhi's help to this country in various fields.Suu Kyi, welcoming India's role as a partner in economic development of Myanmar, spoke about the need for greater people-to-people contacts, the sources said.She also spoke about the emotional and religious ties between the two countries.

As a prisoner in her own country, locked in her lakeside home in Yangon, Suu Kyi spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest.She was freed in November last year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

President Sein to visit India

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Wednesday concluded his three day visit to Myanmar during which he held talks with practically the entire leadership of the recently-formed civilian government focusing on security, agriculture and trade among other issues.India also "encouraged" Myanmar on its efforts of national reconciliation which it believes need to be broad based and inclusive."It was a very useful exchange of views," Krishna said when asked about his parleys with Myanmar leaders including President Then Sein.He said India values the bilateral relations and looks forward to blossoming of robust bilateral relationship.

Krishna had also extended President Pratibha Patil's invitation to Sein to visit India which was accepted by him.

Krishna's visit, along with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, is the first high-level tour from India since the government took over in March after years of military rule.Official sources said the visit was an opportunity to engage with the new civilian government to understand their priorities and needs.Sources said the visit was very "positive and constructive" and helped in furthering the India-Myanmar relationship.While the idea was to engage with the new government to get a better viewpoint of their thinking, a number of bilateral issues were discussed.

On the investment front, Krishna quoted Sein as saying that Myanmar was open to investments and would like to see more Indian companies there.India already has a presence in the country but is looking at a bigger role and is currently identifying mutually beneficial areas of cooperation.India is the thirteenth largest investor with an investment estimated at USD 189 million in five projects.

However, China is the biggest investor in Myanmar with investments totalling to about USD 9.6 billion.Sources said Sein suggested Small Medium Enterprises sector, hydro electricity, agriculture and capacity building as the main segments that India could chip in besides others.The two sides also discussed issues relating to security, connectivity, and more people to people contacts and parliamentary exchanges.

On the security front, Myanmar gave "firm assurances" to India that its territory will not be used for anti-India activities.Krishna had said security is the "most crucial and sensitive issue".

Security cooperation has been a major part of India- Myanmar relations because of the long border that it shares with four northeast states.Many insurgent groups operating in the area are known to take advantage of the thick jungles along the border in Myanmar to take refuge.

While the meetings were a bid to foster strategic and economic ties between the two neighbours, sources said a number of issues with regard to cooperation in the field of health and agriculture were also discussed.India has in principle agreed to modernise the children's hospital in Yangon by supplying the latest modern equipments.Talks are also on for building a state of the art general hospital in Sittwe with Indian help, sources said.

Extending a helping hand to cyclone-prone Myanmar, India handed over 10 modern and disaster-proof rice silos built at a cost of USD 2 million to preserve grains during natural

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

India gifts 10 modern rice silos to Myanmar

India extending a helping hand to the cyclone prone country,on Tuesday dedicated 10 modern and disaster-proof rice silos in Myanmar to ensure that no one goes hungry during natural calamities.External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, on a three day visit to the country, inaugurated the silos, having a combined capacity of 5,000 tonne storage build with the assistance of India.

India had given USD 2 million for the construction of these silos, whose need was felt after the devastating May 2008 Cyclone Nargis.

"One of the lessons learnt from this catastrophe (cyclone) was the need to have strong and weather-proof rice warehouses located at strategic positions in the cyclone prone area to enable speedy distribution of food grains to the people in times of need," Krishna said while inaugurating three silos in the presence of Myanmarese Commerce Minister Win Myint.

The silos are capable of withstanding wind speeds of 150 km per hour and are earthquake resistant up to eight on the Richter scale.For flood prevention, the silos are built on plinths two metres from the ground.

"It is a matter of pride and satisfaction to me that India has been associated with such a worthwhile project, which will directly benefit the friendly people of Myanmar," Krishna said.Of the 10 silos constructed in a year ending February, four are in Yangon region while seven are in Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) region.

Official sources said the construction of the silos is part of India's efforts to forger deeper and stronger relations with the country, seen as strategically important.Win Myint expressed Myanmar's 'gratitude for the generosity'.

He also said that the two countries were existing with a sense of 'peace, co-existence and cooperation', and this extended to the areas of education and economic development.

Bring back Indian money stashed abroad: Mamata

Banerjee said "if anyone says all politicians are corrupt, then let them join politics." Pressing for a comprehensive package to check the menace of corruption at all levels, Trinamool Congress chief demanded that the moneys illegally stashed abroad should be brought back.

She also suggested that electoral reform measures be carried out by the Election Commission and said state funding of polls would go a long way to curb the use of black money in the electoral process.She also suggested that electoral reform measures be carried out by the Election Commission and said state funding of polls would go a long way to curb the use of black money in the electoral process.

Suggesting a "comprehensive collective package" to fight all lacunaes in the system, she also wanted strengthening of the vigilance machinery to check corruption at all levels.She refused to take a question on Baba Ramdev saying "Ask me questions relating to Bengal and not on Delhi."When her comments were sought on the midnight swoop on Baba Ramdev and his followers, Banerjee said "I was not in Delhi."
She also added that Anna Hazare was given a lot of respect by the UPA government.
On her party's views on the issue of corruption, she said "when the all-party meeting takes place, we will discuss and we will give our opinion."

Monday, June 20, 2011

S M Krishna to leave for Myanmar today

Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc: New Delhi Jun 20,2011
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will leave for Myanmar today. He will be accompanied by the Foreign Secretary Nirupma Rao and other senior officials. This will be the first Indian high level visit after the formation of Civil Government in Myanmar in March this year. Broad based exchange on the issues of transportation, connectivity, Information Technology, telecommunication and infrastructure are high on the agenda of the Indian delegation. Our correspondent adds that India will also seek cooperation from Myanmar under its Look East policy. The success of programmes like trilateral highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand, Trans-Asian Railway to connect New Delhi with Hanoi and the Kaladan multi-modal transport project will depend only with Myanmar cooperation. India is also eager to boost its investment in gas and hydro-electricity projects in Myanmar and is eyeing oil and gas fields.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

India, Denmark should fight terror together: Meira Kumar

India and Denmark need to pool in their resources to deal with the menace of terrorism. The Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said this during her visit to Copenhagen yesterday. She said India and Denmark, both targets of global terrorism, need to work together to isolate the forces of terror, violence and intolerance and pool their resources to deal with the menace and to build effective defense against it. She is leading a Parliamentary delegation to Denmark where she held discussions with the five member Presidium of the Danish Parliament. The Indian delegation also called on the Queen of Denmark.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Myanmar for role in realizing ASEAN community

YANGON, Myanmar Union Minister of Finance and Revenue U Hla Tun has called for the role of customs departments in realizing ASEAN Community, stressing the need for encouraging commodity flow integration, earning revenue for the state and handling border trade in line with policy and law, an official media reported last week.

U Hla Tun made the call at a senior customs officials meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Nay Pyi Taw , said the New Light of Myanmar.

He noted that Myanmar has formed National Window System Leading Committee which will join ASEAN window system via ICT tools as it is one of pivotal pledges of ASEAN nations.

Dr. JP to address IIM and Public Meeting in Bangalore

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan will be addressing students and faculty of two institutes of technology and management in Bangalore on June 16 and 17.He will be chief guest at the graduation ceremony of the Reva Institute of Technology & Management on June 16. He will be taking part in a seminar on the ‘The Role of youth in Politics and Nation Building’ at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM) on June 17.Dr JP will be addressing a public meeting on 17th at 5pm on the anti-corruption campaign at Rotary House of Friendship, Lavelle Road, Bangalore. Loksatta Party, Karnataka, would like to invite you to meet and interact with Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP), the National President of Loksatta Party, and the serving MLA from Kukatpally constituency in Andhra Pradesh.
Dr. JP has been an important figure in the long and emerging national consciousness against corruption in public office, and has a stellar record of promoting reforms in government and politics. He was instrumental in the passage of the Right to Information Act, the strengthening of the Anti-Defection law, and the introduction of a cap on the number of cabinet positions in ministries of state and central governments. The requirement that all candidates to elections should declare their assets publicly, is another feather in Dr.JP's cap.
In late April this year, Dr JP convened the national Round Table discussion of the proposed Lokpal Bill in Delhi, attended by the best public servants in the country, to develop consensus on the provisions of the law. In 2008, he tabled the Andhra Pradesh Anti Corruption Bill in the State Assembly, which is almost is on the lines of Jan Lokayuta advocated by Jan Lokpal committee.

ON 17th June, he will address us on the topic: "Growing Public Participation in Politics in the Backdrop of the Jan Lokpal Bill Movement".

Mamata unhappy with food department officials

Mamata unhappy with food department officials reports PTI West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the Food Department headquarters here today, said essential items were not reaching the poor and threatened to sack the officers responsible for it."Those from whom food is not reaching the people must be sacked," Banerjee told the department's officers when they informed her that items meant for PDS were not reaching the beneficiaries because of a section of Food Department staff and some businessmen.

Describing the food department as one 'without a father and a mother,' she said "nothing is monitored here. Funds are being spent on food items but it is not reaching the common people. This cannot be allowed to continue."

Warning the officers that they would be monitored, she said, however, that the government would not victimise anyone."We will all have to work together.

Mamata unhappy with food department officials

(PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the Food Department headquarters here today, said essential items were not reaching the poor and threatened to sack the officers responsible for it.

"Those from whom food is not reaching the people must be sacked," Banerjee told the department's officers when they informed her that items meant for PDS were not reaching the beneficiaries because of a section of Food Department staff and some businessmen.

Describing the food department as one 'without a father and a mother,' she said "nothing is monitored here. Funds are being spent on food items but it is not reaching the common people. This cannot be allowed to continue."

Warning the officers that they would be monitored, she said, however, that the government would not victimise anyone.

"We will all have to work together.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

China Brahmaputra's dam to adopt interest of downstream countries.

A day after India sought details from Beijing on its plans to divert waters of the Brahmaputra by building a dam on it in Tibet, China today said it will adopt a "responsible" attitude taking into "full consideration" the interest of downstream countries."China adopts a responsible attitude towards the development of cross border water resources," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here.He was answering a question on concerns in India over Beijing's plans to build a dam on Brahmaputra resulting in diversion of waters.

"We adopt a policy that protection goes together with development, and take into full consideration the interests of downstream countries," he said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Congress' critical role in warmaking decisions

House of Representatives passed a new defense bill two weeks ago that strips Congress' critical role in warmaking decisions, and forces the armed forces to take on a new mission as judge, jury and jailor of all future foreign terrorism suspects. The Senate Armed Services Committee will decide whether to follow suit or change course starting this Wednesday.

Tell the Senate Armed Services Committee to protect Congress' role in deciding whether to go to war and limit the mission of our armed forces to prosecuting wars, not people. Not only are such choices smarter national security, they uphold the rule of law and American values.

The House version of the defense bill would:

Strip Congress of its critical role in warmaking decisions by ceding to the president unfettered authority to use military force anywhere in the world;
Force the military to become the judge, jury and jailor for all future foreign terrorism suspects, expanding the failed experiment at Guantanamo; and
Turn Guantanamo into the Hotel California where you get in but can never get out, even if you are innocent.

Sign the petition and tell the Senate Armed Services Committee to oppose any measures in the defense authorization bill that place politics over national security.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A silent march on 18 June from Rajghat to the office of the NH RC

New Delhi11 June 2011
Rashtriya Swabhiman Andola (RSA) appeals to all anti-corruption activists to join hands. We have convened a meeting of different organisations active nationwide in the fight against corruption on 25 June, the day Emergency was imposed on this country. We are confident that a common strategy can be evolved for the forward march. The fight against corruption demands that members of civil society should overcome ideological untouchability and act as per people’s sentiments to reign in the virus of corruption.

RSA has also decided to organise a silent march on 18 June from Rajghat to the office of the National Human Rights Commission to highlight the plight of the people oppressed by a despotic government. Holding peaceful demonstrations to protest the flaws in the system is their democratic right. RSA appeals to all to participate in this march in big numbers to register people’s serious objection to the atrocities of the authority.

RSA appeals to Swami Ramdev to call off his indefinite hunger strike in view of his failing health. By endangering his health, Swami Ramdev will only help the insensitive UPA Government that is not serious about exposing the corrupt but is scurrying for cover to save its skin. The anti-corruption movement in this country needs him to relaunch the fight with renewed vigour.

We strongly demand to the government to declare India’s money stashed in tax havens as national property immediately and pass the ordinance for the same for Baba Ramdev to have a reason to end his fast.

We strongly condemn the Union Government for its demonic attempt to muzzle public dissent on the night of 4 June. It was creating a situation reminiscent of Emergency, unmindful of its consequences. This repression will fail to strangulate democracy, no matter what brutal means the police employ, a deplorable example of which they displayed by beating innocent satyagrahis half-asleep in the fateful night of 4 June.

We would like to bring to your notice the statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in his interview to Doordarshan and that of Mr Kapil Sibal in his interview on All India Radio. They were both blatant distortions of facts. They were trying to divert public attention from the issue of corruption by adding a political hue to a popular movement.

Those occupying such responsible positions in the government have said that I, Govindacharya, was ghost-managing the Bharat Swabhiman show. Mr Sibal even claimed that I was present on the dais and that Swami Ramdev was a mere mask of the Rashtriys Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). I deny this charge and challenge the Telecom Minister to prove the allegation, failing which he should render an unconditional apology. This government, whose ministers are issuing such irresponsible statements, does not deserve to continue in power. It is distorting facts and trying to run down the anti-corruption movements in the same way in which Indira Gandhi had tried to berate the J P movement before imposing Emergency. You may all recall that, in order to belittle people’s movement for change, the then government had termed Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan a CIA agent! A divided, bewildered Congress faced with insecurity of losing power then imposed emergency. People, however, taught the Congress a lesson and defeated it with a massive mandate and demonstrated their faith in democracy and abhorrence for dictatorship.

The issues confronting the country are unemployment, corruption and price rise. This government, having completely failed to address them, is trying to deflect attention from them. Its intentions are mala fide. Otherwise, how could the government not act on the FIR against Hasan Ali, the conduit of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, for four years? Why is the government not disclosing the names of people who have stashed black money in tax haven countries? What are the compulsions of the government that it cannot get an ordinance passed on the issue of black money? Now it is clear that the Prime Minister was aware of the 2G and Commonwealth Games scams. Why were actions not taken against those responsible? All these show the intentions of the government to shield the corrupt and the guilty.

I appeal to all to join this fight against corruption in whichever way they can.

KN Govindacharya
Patron
Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Campaign against Hazare, Ramdev

Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev this year has created absolutely awareness in public domain to scuttle the rein of corruption and money laundering in foreign banks with media doing its own investigation and scams emerging every month by which the ruling party is in back foot trying to defence its governance model and thus Congress launches campaign against Anna Hazare, Yog guru Ramdev

Kolkata, Jun 12 (PTI) The Congress today launched a campaign to counter the anti-graft movement by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev and accused a section of civil society of trying to weaken democratic institutions.

"The Constitution has given the power to legislate only to Parliament and the state Assemblies. If 5,000 or 6,000 people dictate from outside what the Parliament ought to do, this will weaken democracy," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told a press conference.

Mukherjee, who released a document in English containing his party's views on the issue, said the Congress was launching an awareness campaign all over the country.

"The documents will be made available in other languages.

Debates, discussions and seminars would be organised right from the district to the block levels to put forth our views," he said.

India beat WI in Antigua to clinch five-match ODI series

India beat West Indies by three wickets in the third one dayer at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua last night to clinch the five -match ODI series.Chasing a victory target of 226, India made 228 for 7 in 46.2 overs. Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten at 86.For West Indies Andre Russell remained not out at 92. Amit Mishra and Munaf Patel took three wickets each.Rohit Sharma scored a fantastic unbeaten 86 under pressure as India beat West Indies by three wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series in Antigua on Saturday. Except Parthiv Patel (46, 56 balls, 4x4, 1x6), none of the top-order batsmen showed intent although Virat Kohli got a poor leg-before decision when the ball seemed to be traveling down leg-side.

Chasing a target of 226, the visitors were reeling at 92 for six but Rohit (86 not out, 91 balls, 5x4, 2x6) along with senior-pro Harbhajan Singh (41, 64 balls, 1x6, 1x4) added 88 runs as India finally got home rather comfortably with 22 balls to spare.Praveen Kumar (25 no, 14 balls) provided final flourish after Harbhajan was dismissed.

The last two matches of the series will thus be rendered inconsequential as Rohit kept his composure when the team was in dire straits.He got an able ally in Harbhajan as the two batted with utmost responsibility.They never did anything flashy during their seventh wicket stand that lasted 18.4 overs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

CWG Delhi 2010 lacked mechanism,transparency,accountability

10.6.2011 New Delhi Nksagar- Sagar Media Inc;
Hazards Centre successfully organised the Press Conference on the Commonwealth Games 2010 at Indian Women’s Press Corps, New Delhi from 2pm-5pm on 10.6.2011.

Mr. Dunu Roy threw light on the issues that Commonwealth Games was part of an ad-hoc violation of the planning process and without public disclosure of and debate on all the decisions related to the Games. Who then are the real players? Because eventually the expenditure of the Games will be paid for by this “nation” whether it “watched” the Games or not. What were the steps taken by the State on the apprehensions and projections that were made in the report and, if not, then why?

Summary Note
While exploring the phenomena of Big Games, Hazards Centre published a report in 2007 titled “2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi: How much does national prestige cost?’’, in which the historical record of Big Games was examined. Thus, in the 1968 Olympics Mexico had plunged into a debt for 25 to 35 years. Both Munich and Montreal reported a deficit of $1,000mn in 1972 and 1976. Seoul suffered from a $45,000mn national debt in 1988; Barcelona incurred a loss of $1,400mn in 1992, and Sydney’s debt was $2,600mn in 2002. The $16,000mn Olympics in Athens in 2006 are linked by analysts to the current economic crisis in Greece, while the recovery of the spending of $37,000mn in Beijing in 2008 is yet to be seen. The analysis of the impact of big sporting events like the Olympics, World Cups, and Commonwealth Games, on the host cities show that the Games have little to do with sports or with pride. They are part of the larger economic strategy that is promoted by big financial interests through a programme of urban renewal along with advertising and marketing revenues.

This report was not only released publicly on 18 September, 2007, three years before the Commonwealth Games, but copies were sent to the various concerned Ministries. A copy was personally delivered to the then Minister for Sports. On his advice, copies were then sent to a selected list of hundred Members of Parliament and each one of them was contacted telephonically thereafter. However, there was no response from any of the Ministries or MPs – except for NCP MP Shri Tariq Anwar who merely acknowledged receipt of the report. Now, almost a year after the Games, we learn from responses to a RTI query by Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal that our report was forwarded by the Sports Minister to the Prime Minister on as early as 19 September 2007 with the comment that “this document must make us pause and think before we continue down this disastrous path that heads of sports federations, doubling as statesmen in Parliament, are attempting to take us down” (emphasis added).

An analytical note was also prepared by the Secretary (Sports) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on the same date of 17.9.2007 and forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office. This note states that the report “is an extremely well researched and argued paper” although “some of comparisons and conclusions may be questioned”, because “there is no clear comparison of the revenue expenditure and revenue income”. However, the note goes on to acknowledge that “the paper attempts to cogently demolish several popular myths and arguments that support conduct of mega events”. These ‘myths’ include the “likely benefits of the revenues”, “the stark reality of social and environmental costs”, “the single minded trampling of environmental laws and safety-nets of the poor”, “the relative rise of prices due to so-called development”, and “negative impact on employment and environment and civil liberties”. The note comments that the report “could have elaborated on the mechanisms adopted by them (Olympic bodies and Organizing Committees)” to vest control in “a few multi-national companies and consulting firms”.

In an internal note circulated by the Director in the Prime Minister’s Office on 30.10,2007, the above observations are repeated with the acknowledgement that “there is no doubt that all the games have suffered deficit” (emphasis added). The Director further notes that “The whole issue of Commonwealth Games cost and benefits is repeatedly coming in focus due to serious differences between the Ministry and the Organizing Committee – while the Ministry insists on transparency and accountability, the OC wants to preserve its fiefdom”. She further comments that “The Cabinet Secretariat had reported resolution of the issues but that is not so”. Interestingly enough, this note is seen by the Joint Secretary (M) who remarks on 31.10.2007 itself, “No further action is required on this” (emphasis added).

Subsequent to this, just before the Games on 25 August, 2010, Hazards Centre released its second report titled “Heritage Games: cleaning up the debris”, in which it was reported that only 6 projects had been completed with the remaining still under construction, and the cost had risen to a staggering Rs102,000 crores, with Rs55,398 crores being directly invested as part of the Games related infrastructure. The report also predicted that the city would eventually have to pay for this investment in one way or another and for many years. On October 15, 2010, after the Games, Hazards Centre issued a press release documenting the adverse impacts of the Games on the workers who constructed the infrastructure, the other workers who serviced the city, the athletes who had participated in the Games, on the use of the infrastructure, the housing that had been built, the transport system that had been put in place, the revenues to the city, and the prices of property and consumer goods and essential commodities. Both these reports were given to the press, sent to the Prime Minister, and posted to all Members of Parliament as well as to investigating agencies. Once again, there was no response.
Conclusion:Some critical questions arise from this entire episode:
1. If the first report cogently demolished several myths and arguments that support conduct of mega events, why did the concerned Ministries not launch an enquiry into the mechanisms adopted by the Olympic bodies and Organizing Committees to vest control in a few multi-national companies and consulting firms?
2. If there was no doubt that all the games have suffered deficits and the OC wanted to preserve its fiefdom while the Sports Ministry was insisting on transparency and accountability, on what basis did the Joint Secretary in the PMO decide that no further action was required?
3. Why did all Members of Parliament abandon their mandatory rights of oversight and not raise questions about the profligate and unaccountable spending of public money even though they were warned three years before the Games were to take place?
4. What does it say about the accountability of parliamentary democracy if the Sports Minister is compelled to comment that the nation is going down a disastrous path at the behest of heads of sports federations, who are doubling as statesmen in Parliament?



We hope that the media will perform its role of vigilant watchdog over democracy and pose these questions before the appropriate authorities.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ramdev protest: UP Congress leader resigns

Ramdev protest: UP Congress leader resigns
PTI / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 14:48 IST
A local Congress leader here resigned today from the party in protest against police crackdown on the camp of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev in Ramlila ground in Delhi.A local Congress leader here resigned today from the party in protest against police crackdown on the camp of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev in Ramlila ground in Delhi.
Pramila Vashishtha, vice-president of district Congress committee, resigned from her post in protest against alleged cruelty on women during forceful eviction of yoga guru Baba Ramdev from the Ramlila ground.Condemning the crackdown in her resignation letter, she extended full support to Ramdev's anti-corruption drive.
Meanwhile, the police crackdown is drawing flak from people from all walks of life here.Leaders of various social, political and religious organisations, have strongly deplored the midnight police action against Ramdev and his supporters at Ramlila Ground in Delhi.All India Teerth Purohit Mahasabha ,Rashtriya Mahila Sansthanand several other organisations have joined hands to condemn action against the Yoga guru.President of All India Teerth Mahasabha Yogesh Upadhyaya, extending full support to Ramdev's drive, criticised the UPA government for allegedly trying to curb a people's movement.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Disagreement of Lokpal panel

Disagreement of Lokpal panel for drafting the Lokpal Bill is situation of ego clashing rather than any positive step to move forward,bill drafting is legislature prerogative and civil society is nowhere mentioned to be part of the bill drafting panel but the bill needs to be brought in public domain for hearing an the procedure civil society to be heard by the elected members is getting murkier each meet. A day after boycotting the meeting of Lokpal bill drafting committee, Anna Hazare-led team has made it clear that they had no intention to quit the joint panel.Activist Arvind Kejriwal said civil society members will attend the next meeting and contended that if they leave the ten-member committee, it will have "no credibility" as it will only remain a government panel with five ministers.

"Kapil Sibal has said that whether we come or not, they will go ahead (with the drafting of the Lokpal Bill). Why did that question arise? We had written to (Finance Minister) Pranab Mukherjee that we will not be attending today's (June 6) meeting."We also said that Anna Hazare will not be available on June 10 and so that the meeting on that be postponed. So it makes it clear that we are going to attend meetings. We are not going to leave the committee just like that," he said.Despite the five civil society members boycotting the meeting on Monday, the ministers went ahead and finalized some provisions of the proposed Lokpal Bill.

Later, Sibal took objection to the boycott of the meeting by civil society members and said that the committee would do its work "whether or not someone comes".The activists also defended their insistence on live telecast of joint committee proceedings saying it will give a better picture of the stands taken by both the sides.On the question of live telecast, Bhushan said why the government was against the live telecast if they have nothing to hide.

Monday, June 6, 2011

India's war on to fight Corruption

Twitter reports janlokpal Janlokpal #SC issues suo motu notice to Govt on forceful eviction of #Ramdev from #ramlila maidan Janlokpal Janlokpal #janlokpal Anna Hazare fasts on 8th June @ jantar mantar, join him, spread the word! janlokpal Janlokpal.

Baba Ramadev movement will become another Tahir Square event, committed this brutal attack and even possibly planned to kill Baba Ramadev ji (as was predicted just few days ago). It is time to wake up.

Wake up India.

Regards,
Satya

Saturday, June 4, 2011

LS Speaker advocates increasing duration of Parliament’s session

Jun 4,2011 New Delhi: Nksagar Sagar Media Inc:
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has advocated increasing the duration of session of the house. She says there is need to increase the days of sitting of the session from the current seventy days to at least hundred days in a year for carrying out ever increasing business smoothly in the house. In an exclusive interview to AIR correspondent Manikant Thakur Kumar, she said the increase in working days will sufficient time for debates on various problems facing a vast country like India.

Asked whether she would like to shift the Lok Sabha question hour from 11.am to 2.00 pm as done in Rajya Sabha to avoid repeated adjournments, Meira Kumar said that she is thinking in those terms but no consensus has been achieved on the issue so far.
Expressing concern over the delay in the passage of women's reservation bill, she expressed hope that unanimity amongst various stake holders will be reached.Media agencies

UPA : The most corrupt Government since independence

Lucknow Friday, 3 June 2011:
Bharatiya Janata Party National Executive Committee Meeting Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) June 3rd & 4th 2011:Resolution on Corruption of the UPA Government:
UPA : The most corrupt Government since independence:
The Government of UPA II under the Prime Ministership of Dr. Manmohan Singh has completed its second year in office. On the said occasion both the UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh declared their resolve to take strong action against the menace of corruption. Nothing could be more ironical as this hollow declaration was being made in the backdrop of one of the own erstwhile Ministerial colleague, a senior Congress Member of Parliament and the daughter of the leader of an important constituent of the UPA detained in Tihar Jail on serious charges of massive corruption. It is indeed very important that these arrests were possible only because of a very assertive campaign by the opposition notably the BJP, vigilant media and lastly because of monitoring by the Courts mainly the Supreme Court. Obviously, Dr. Manmohan Singh or, his Government cannot claim any credit because in stead of taking action he had given certificate of innocence to some of them. It is evident that Dr. Manmohan Singh presides over the most corrupt Government since independence. It lacks transparency, there is collusion at high level, no checks and balances and there is virtual collapse of system where scam after scam and scandal after scandal has become the order of the day. In fact, the Prime Minister maintained a “conspiracy of silence”, “culpability of inaction”, and “guilty of gross indifference” when nations wealth was being plundered by the then Minister right under his nose by a massive abuse of system and yet Dr. Manmohan Singh looked the other way. The silence of all powerful Smt. Sonia Gandhi was too conspicuous.

Friday, June 3, 2011

World Environment Day,Instituto Cervantes

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, being India the host country, The Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi, in the presence of the Director of UNIC and the Chief of Communication of UNEP in Nairobi, would like to present“The first ever attempt of a world tour on a hybrid solar electric bicycle”
by Guim Valls Teruel and Nguyen Thuy Anh
Date and time: on 7th June 2011, at 6.30pm.
Place: Conference room at Instituto Cervantes, 48 Hanuman Rd, New Delhi.
Free admission

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Japan PM Naoto Kan faces no-confidence vote

No-confidence motion submitted by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), along with their coalition partners the New Komeito party and the Sunrise Party, which may be backed by the Communist Party.LDP accused Mr Naoto Kan of unable to handle restructure the required relief efforts following the tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.On Wednesday, LDP leader Sadakazu Tanigaki told Mr Kan,"You have no personal virtues or ability to unite your own party members. I'm telling you to quit."Once you leave, there will be many ways for us to unite, to revitalise Japan beyond party lines." The prime minister Naoto Kan said no intention of stepping down.

LDP has charged Mr Kan of inadequate handling the reconstruction and relief efforts following the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan rejected charges for his resignation, after opposition parties tabled a motion of no-confidence against him.Thus in case Mr Kan loses the vote of confidence, due in parliament, he would be forced to resign or call an election. Media reports suggest important members of his Democratic Party may vote against him.Mr Kan's main rival within the party, Ichiro Ozawa, said he would support the move against the prime minister,replicate the former premier Yukio Hatoyama, Kyodo news reported.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

GDP growth slows down

Confirming fears of a slowdown, India's economy grew by just 7.8 pc in the fourth quarter ending March this year, mainly due to poor performance of the manufacturing sector, as against 9.4 pc in the same three-month period of the previous fiscal.

However, economic growth, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product, improved to 8.5 per cent in 2010-11 from 8 per cent in 2009-10 due to better farm output and construction activities and financial services performance.

Meanwhile, the GDP growth figures for the first and third quarters of FY'11 have been revised upward. While the GDP growth figure for Quarter 1 has been pegged at 9.3 per cent -- as against the earlier estimate of 8.9 per cent -- the Q3 GDP growth has been revised upward to 8.3 per cent from 8.2 per cent.

During the quarter ending March 31 this year, growth in the manufacturing sector slowed down to 5.5 per cent from 15.2 per cent in the same quarter of 2009-10.

In addition, the mining and quarrying sector grew by only 1.7 per cent during the quarter under review, as against 8.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal.

Furthermore, the trade, hotels, transport and communications segment grew by 9.3 per cent in the March quarter this year, as against 13.7 per cent expansion in the same the period of 2010.

However, services including banking and insurance grew by 9 per cent in the March quarter this year, compared to 6.3 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

Farm output showed tremendous improvement, growing at 7.5 per cent during the quarter under review, compared to a meagre 1.1 per cent in the same three-month period last year.Though economic expansion slowed down in the fourth quarter, overall GDP growth touched the 8.5 per cent mark in 2010-11, as against 8 per cent in 2009-10, due the smart recovery in farm output.

The agriculture and allied sectors grew by 6.6 per cent during the fiscal, as against a meagre 0.4 per cent in the previous year.The growth of services, including banking and insurance, improved to 9.9 per cent in 2010-11 from 9.2 per cent in the previous fiscal.

The trade, hotels, transport and communication segment grew by 10.3 per cent in FY'11, as against 9.7 per cent last fiscal, while growth of the construction sector stood at 8.1 per cent, as against 7 per cent in the previous financial year.

However manufacturing sector growth slowed down to 8.3 per cent in the 2010-11 financial year from 8.8 per cent in 2009-10.Growth of the mining and quarrying sector also slowed to 5.8 per cent in 2010-11 from 6.9 per cent in 2009-10.
The electricity, gas and water supply segment grew by 5.7 per cent last fiscal, compared to 6.4 per cent in 2009-10.

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