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I think Bush's faith based initiative was a trick to use government money to fund Xtian groups:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hindus transform church into temple </b>
Vijay Upadhyay / Etah 
<b>An 18-year-old church in village Bhojpur in Etah district was finally transformed into a temple by Hindu activists and 300 dalit Christians given "Yagyopaveet".</b> According to sources in the Hindu Jagran Vibhag (HJV), despite regular re-conversions by Hindu organisations in rural India, the number of Christian convertees is growing, especially in the rural parts of western Uttar Pradesh.

Rajshwar Singh, provincial head, HJV, said his outfit had set up a team of 600 Hindu activists to investigate into the reasons for the growing number of dalit Christians in the region. <b>This team recently submitted a report that pointed out the existence of a number of churches without a single Christian around.</b>

Accordingly, he said, a campaign was designed by Hindu organisations to wipe out these churches neutralise their effect, some of which came up 15-20 years ago. He said the presence of these churches was having a serious impact on the dalit community, which was being mistakenly seen as dalits embracing Christianity.

The HJV arranged for a re-conversion function in Bhojpur village about 15 km from Etah, where a church was being operated by the New Apostle Church organisation of Canada. According to Mr Singh, Vijay Maseeh, the church priest, agreed to give away the possession of this church to the village when contacted.

Mr Singh said on Wednesday, <b>a function was held in the church premises by the Vibhaag and 300 dalit Christians, frequenters to this church, were especially brought for reconversion along with Vijay Maseeh who gave the first offering in the yagna held inside the church. After the ceremony, the church was "purified" by Hindu priests, the cross removed from the apex of the building and replaced by the Hindu symbol of Om and idols of Durga were placed.</b>

After the ceremony, the Vibhaag declared a grand temple shall soon replace this building that has been used as a church for a very long time.

Notably, Etah has been the centre of conversions and re-conversions scuffle between Christian and Hindu organisations.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India Set To Release Database of Traditional Knowledge to Prevent Patent Claims

DELHI, INDIA, February 9, 2006: India's centuries-old traditional knowledge, preserved and orally passed down through generations of households, is now going digital. Over the coming months, India will unveil a first-of-its-kind encyclopedia of 30 million pages, containing thousands of herbal remedies and eventually everything from indigenous construction techniques to yoga exercises. The project represents a 21st-century approach to safeguarding intellectual property of the ancient variety. The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) aims to prevent foreign entrepreneurs from claiming Indian lore as novel, and thus patenting it. "We do not want anyone selling our own knowledge to us," says Ajay Dua, a top bureaucrat in the Department of Industrial Policy and Planning, which oversees intellectual-property rights. "Also, we would like anyone using our traditional knowledge to acknowledge that it is from India." These concerns are not unfounded.

In the past decade, India has fought several costly legal battles to get patents revoked. The impetus for TKDL came in 1997, after India successfully managed to get a US patent on the wound-healing properties of turmeric revoked. "This patent claimed the wound-healing properties as a novel finding, whereas practically every Indian housewife knows and uses it to heal wounds," says R. A. Mashelkar, chief of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The innovative idea to translate and digitize all the available information on traditional medicine was a collaborative effort of bureaucrats, scientists, and intellectual-property lawyers. "It was a way to prevent more patents from being granted. Also, it was a way of throwing the information open to the public because this traditional wealth is for the benefit of mankind," says Rajeshwari Hariharan, a partner at K&S Partners, the law firm that represented India in several high-profile patent cases, including its fight over basmati rice, turmeric, and the antibacterial properties of the neem [margosa] leaf.

Of about 5,000 patents on plant-based formulations granted by the US in 2000, 80 percent were on plants of Indian origin, says Vinod Gupta, with the National Institute for Science Communication and Information Resources. Mr. Gupta heads a team of 150 doctors, scientists, and information- technology experts who have worked on the TKDL project since 2002. Poring over ancient medical texts and punching code into computers in Delhi, they have already documented more than 110,000 formulations culled from some 100 texts belonging to the three principal systems of traditional medicine - ayurveda, unani, and siddha. Patent officers call this information "prior art," or previously existing knowledge about the applications of a product. Normally, a patent application is rejected if there is prior art on the product. But in the patent offices of the US, Europe, and Japan, prior art is recognized only if it has been published in a journal or database. Traditional knowledge and folklore passed down orally - or contained in ancient, inaccessible texts - are not prior art. "We therefore revisited the past and modernized it," says Gupta. The TKDL uses complex computer software to translate formulations written in ancient and medieval Indian languages to English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

HPI, Feb. 11, 2006 
Dear Friends,

It is Hindus only who can bring the Hindu Renaissance
Here is something you can pass around
I am trying to do a museum of (real) Indian history in Pune

Best Regards,

François Gautier
Editor In Chief La Revue de l'Inde
Correspondent South Asia Marianne


Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism
Auromodel, Auroville, 605101, India
Tel (91) 413 2622255, Fax (91) 413 2622116

FACT, Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, was started in 2003 by François Gautier, a French journalist and writer who has been covering for 25 years India and South Asia as a political correspondent for numerous newspapers such as Journal de Genève, Le Figaro, or Ouest-France. All throughout his reporting years, he noticed that most western correspondents were projecting the problems, warts and shortcomings of India, but never its positive points. He also felt that the problems of the Hindus, the majority community of India, are never highlighted, but that rather, they are despised or made fun off. On top of that, their history has been written in such a biased and unscientific manner, that very little of its unparalleled greatness and unique spirituality comes through

Hence when Francois Gautier got a journalism prize (Natchiketa award of excellence in journalism) by the Prime Minister of India, he used the prize money to mount a series of exhibitions highlighting the plight of Hindus today and throughout the ages. The first one dealt with the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindus, four hundred thousand of them having become refuges in their own country . This exhibition was shown successfully in Delhi, Bangalore, Poland, Germany, Israel, England, Holland and in the US Congress last July. Another exhibition on the Hindus in Bangladesh is ready, path-breaking project on Aurangzeb’s times has started and one more on the Inquisition in Goa is on the cards.

<b>FACT has three objectives:</b>

<i>Create awareness</i>. To educate the world, particularly western nations, about the kind of terrorism affecting India. We find, for instance, that the United States or Israel, or even Russia, who have all been hit hard by terrorism, are totally ignorant of the sufferings India has endured at the hands of the same fundamentalism.

<i>Trigger action</i>. Amnesty International, The UN, UNESCO, International Human Rights organizations, have not cared to take any action upon the human rights violations perpetrated against India. The plight of the Kasmiri Pandits, or the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh, or the terrorizing of Hindus in the North-East at the hands of Christian separatist groups, are not included in any of the agendas of these organizations. We intend to remedy to that.

<i>To build an Indian History museum</i>. India has terribly suffered in the last fifteen centuries at the hands of invaders, be they Muslims, Christians, or even Chinese recently. No nation can move forward, unless it faces squarely its past. As His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, pointed out recently, “ the courage to remember, helps us not to repeat the same mistakes and to build a better future for our children ”. Hence, FACT would like to build an Indian museum where all the atrocities committed in India against Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians, will be depicted, but also where all the greatness of India, past, present and future will be projected.

For all this noble endeavours, we solicit your help and support. FACT India is a registered Trust with tax exemption,. Please send your donations to FACT, Canara Bank, Pondichery a/c N° is 27147, or mail your cheques in the name of FACT to François Gautier, Auromodel, Auroville, 605101, India.

Thanks so much for your help


François Gautier / Convener FACT
<b>Indian PM makes bid for uranium</b>

By Greg Sheridan
The Australian
Monday, March 6, 2006

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will ask John Howard to back his nuclear co-operation deal with George W.Bush and to lift the ban on sales of Australian uranium.

On the eve of Mr Howard's visit to India, Mr Singh said he would like to buy uranium from Australia to feed his country's growing appetite for the raw material.

"I hope Australia will be an important partner in this. We are short of uranium. We need to import uranium and our needs will increase in years to come," he told The Australian in an exclusive interview in his official New Delhi residence.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer ruled out last week changing the Government's policy of not selling uranium to nations such as India that have refused to sign the UN's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, comments that privately angered Indian officials.

<b>But in an interview before leaving Sydney for New Delhi yesterday, Mr Howard was more accommodating, clearly leaving open the possibility of future co-operation in the sale of uranium to India, if the US-India deal passed through the American political process.</b>

"We're certainly not going to suddenly change our policy just because the Indians and the Americans have reached an agreement," he said. "We'll study it, and if there are things that should additionally be done that are in Australia's interests then we'll do them."

Mr Singh said he planned to ask for Mr Howard's support in getting the US-India deal accepted by the international Nuclear Suppliers' Group.

Under the deal, India puts 65per cent of its nuclear reactors under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In return, it gets access to nuclear technology and fuel and keeps a minority of the reactors involved in its nuclear weapons program.

The US has welcomed the deal, saying it brings India, the world's largest democracy, under the international nuclear regime, helping its future energy needs.

Mr Singh told The Australian: "I very much hope Australia, as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, would endorse what I and President Bush have worked out. This is an arrangement which helps the cause of nuclear non-proliferation. India has an impeccable record of not entering into any unauthorised arms proliferation."

Apart from Mr Downer's comments, the main critical reaction to the India-US deal has come from China, which sees India as a strategic competitor in Asia.

<b>Mr Singh's comments will put Australia under pressure to choose between the new US-India partnership of democracies, and Canberra's traditional adherence to the non-proliferation treaty, which has no method of including any part of India's growing nuclear program in the international regime.</b>

The Americans have argued that the regime needs to be amended to take account of the reality of India's growing international role.

Mr Singh also called for increased defence co-operation between India and Australia.

He nominated protection of sea trade lanes and combating piracy as areas where Australia and India could co-operate more, but he believes co-operation can extend far beyond that.

Security issues have dominated Mr Bush's first tour of South Asia, which wrapped up yesterday in Pakistan, where he praised President Pervez Musharraf for his commitment to the war on terror, but stressed that more work was needed to defeat al-Qa'ida.

"President Musharraf made a bold decision for his people and for peace after September 11 when Pakistan chose to fight terror," Mr Bush said after the leader's dialogue.

The Pakistani leader has survived three assassination attempts since he abandoned Islamabad's support for Afghanistan's Taliban and backed the US-led military operation to topple the ultra-conservative regime.

<b>"Part of my mission today was to determine whether or not the President is as committed as he has been in the past to bringing these terrorists to justice, and
he is,"</b> Mr Bush said.

Mr Howard will follow Mr Bush to Pakistan, and Mr Singh said he did not believe his country's neighbour was doing enough yet to combat terrorism, and to prevent its territory from being used by terrorists.

He said he hoped that Mr Howard would convey this message to General Musharraf.

Mr Singh said he hoped Mr Howard's visit would take the "very much underdeveloped" bilateral relationship with Australia to a new level.

"We both play cricket, we are members of the Commonwealth, we are English-speaking and now I find there's a growing number of Indian students (25,000) whose preferred destination for education is Australia," he said.

Although Australian trade has grown more rapidly with India than with any other major nation over the past five years, Mr Singh said he believed there was potential for the economic relationship to increase substantially.

"We would like Australian companies to look at the possibility of investing in the exploration and development of India's mineral resources," he said.

He also said he would encourage Indian companies to "take a stake in Australian mineral industries", as well as information technology and other areas.
<b>Somalian pirates ask for 400,000 USD ransom for Indian ship</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Porbandar (Gujarat), Mar 07: Alleged Somalian pirates have set a ransom of 400,000 US dollars to release Indian cargo ship `Bhaktisagar` and its 21-man crew.

The cargo ship, which left here early last month, was scheduled to reach Mogadishu in Somalia by February third week, but nothing was heard from it since then till its owner Udaybhai Natwarbhai Bhabha received an e-mail message from Somalia asking for the ransom money......................<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Magnitude 5.2</b> (Moderate)
Date-Time Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at 18:20:46 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
<b>Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at 11:50:46 PM
= local time at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones </b>

Location 23.768°N, 70.853°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
<b>Distances 160 km (100 miles) N of Rajkot, Gujarat, India
165 km (100 miles) NNE of Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
200 km (125 miles) WNW of Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India
825 km (520 miles) SW of NEW DELHI, Delhi, India </b>
<b>Related News about Varanasi Blasts</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even as the blood stains remained still wet at Varansi Cantonment Railways station and at Hanuman temple in varanasi where bomb blast occurred on Tuesday 7th of March at around 5 P.M IST took 20  lives ...the central government guided by Smt Sonia Gandhiji's and supported by forces that are committed to secularism and communal harmony and headed by the most prolific economic reformer, strong willed prime minister clarified that the government cannot be cowed down by such threats.

Railway Minister Lalu prasdah yadav didn’t rule out that the bomb blast in the station was accidental and said two enquiry committees will be set into probing this incident. One to ascertain if this was an accident and the next to find out methods to prevent such accidents in future.
He mentioned that he has already directed the RPF number of times to take extreme precautionary measures to pre-empt such accidents.

Instead of extending support to the secular forces ruling the country the Hinduthva fundamental forces headed by BJP and some elements of sangh parivar like RSS and VHP toned up their pitch and squarely blamed the government for failing to take strict action and terrorists and also giving least importance to Internal security.. They also blamed that all efforts by the previous govt headed by BJP at the centre towards marinating law and order and also guaranteeing internal security have been diluted by the present government.

One of the VHP activist (whose name is withheld and whom some reporters met and interviewed) also pointed out that some minority community members were seen roaming around the temple and railway station since Monday ..Which though not unusual..but at the same time cannot rule put their hand behind the blast.

Media were quick on their feet to condemn the Bandh called by VHP and BJP in UP on Wednesday and also the above irresponsible statement from a VHP activist.

Though no extremist outfit has claimed responsibility however individual political experts feel it could be some handy work of communal forces of the majority community.

Couple of the reliable sources from PMO and also that in Home Ministry department confirmed that the government is looking at the possibilities of Hindu hand behind the blasts.

Quoting this news in the media the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karath said CPI(M) is committed to peace justice democracy and non violence and are the credible voice that support minority rights.

He said the minority community has the right to delink themselves from such a terror attack and also have the right to blame the Fascists outfits like the sanghparivar for such blasts. It is the duty of the Majority community members to guarantee peace and also provide sweets to minority committee members to ascertain peace and re-instill confidence and sense of security.

Recalling that history has always proved that the Hindus have the knack of shifting the blame on minority committee for the heinous crime they commit.. Eminent Historian Romila Thapar pointed out a similar incident in history about Gazni Mohammad who actually was only a visitor to Gujarat Somnath temple and never ever have attacked looted or destroyed the temple.

Supporting the above historical fact Professor Michael witzel of Harvard University Sanskrit Department and Steve Farmer His close friend said the Linguistics data from atleast 500 600 B.C.E support such a destructive mindset of Aryans.. Read Hindus. They also recalled the recent CA History text book initiative and spat and pointed out how Hindus push dirty things under the carpet and blame others for the crimes they commit. They also reiterated they are not Hindu haters and infact admire kalki puranam and brmhavaivathra puranam.

It is to be noted that there are talks that go around in recommending Steve Farmer for Nobel price in math for contributing methods to differentiate a first order algebraic equation.

Meanwhile in India the home minister was quick at his feet to appoint a commission to enquire in to the Serial blasts while the opposition BJP and their communal partner VHP demanded a CBI enquiry in to such an appointment of commission.

Recalling how justice has been established while ascertain the truth that in Godhra Railway station Gujarat where 53 Hindus couldn’t escape an accidental fire in one of the compartments of the train Srimathi Sonia Gandhi said government will never hesitate to adopt a similar strategy and bring to the attention of people about communal forces who the Congress spokespersons lambasted the irresponsible way how Modi government had been a precursor to such incidents.

He added that if Modi government had found that godhra was an accident we could have avoided such an accident at varanasi.. However he acknowledged Osam bin laden and Abu salem and Dawood Ibrahim were terrorists.

Some NGOS and Social Organizations like AID has called for a peace march and a marathon in the U.S some time in first week of May.

They said this would send a wake up call to all Hindus Americans about the lies and rumors Hindu community spreads. They said while absolute calm must be maintained Hindus have called for un-necessary bandh.. They said communal harmony is necessary for India development and thus sought to stay clear of any political affiliations and justified their protests against communal outfits.

Some AID volunteers said he would undertake a mass email forwarding to raise funds from members of some email groups to support this Marathon.

AID spokespersons and Jevan Sathis in one exclusive interview to a news channels said though they are apolitical and committed to promote peace and harmony in the society they will nto hesitate to protest in their individual capacity against Fascist Hindu forces.

When asked about this marathon.. Another AID spokesperson distanced away from this and said they are individuals and AID as such do not have anything to do with this and however it will strive for communal harmony and peace which is necessary for India development their motto.

It is also to be noted how in spite of oppression the Christian community have woke to this incident. Pastor Dumbuku niymuya stunga of nagaland and Brother Reverend Paul Sebastian kadhiravan of the famous Hear Jesus Now or doomed to be deaf Ministry rushed aid to varanasi.

They said in varanasi the rule of Satan needs to be undermined and till then such incidents are bound to happen. But they also said Hindus respective community must maintain calm and not react to these incidents.

He also pointed out they soft and graceful hands of Christ has already reached out the near and dear of those dead to give them spiritual comfort.. he reiterated that these people promised to swear by Jesus and have realized that only because the victims visited a satan temple they got killed in the bomb blasts.

Swami agni-indra vayur tejomaya ananda of hrisikesh said he would call for a joint communal prayer next Tuesday.

The reaction from public is also surprising as this incident doesn’t seem to bothered them much

Dharesh from Middle class said He had to catch a bus at 8 15 and didn’t bother to answer this question about whet he felt about this blast.

A temple priest ganapathy sastrigal said "nan yedhavadhu sonna ava yenna adipAla namaken vambu?? (if I say something wont they hit me?? Why must I comment) obviously proving how innocent and poor members are Hindu community are terrified to open their mouth obviously pointing fingers indirectly at Hindu communal forces.
Somebody post this on BRF @ "Blot on the Nation"


New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court today asked former Calcutta High Court judge Justice B P Banerjee to vacate his Salt Lake City residence, land of which was allotted by the West Bengal government, and accept Rs 30.15 lakh as construction expenses for the house which was already auctioned.

A Bench of Justice H K Sema and Justice A R Lakshmanan asked Justice Banerjee to accept the amount without any demeanour and vacate the house within a week of the receipt of money, failing which the government would initiate eviction proceedings against him.

Justice Banerjee was allotted the land in the posh Salt Lake City area of Kolkata by the then West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu, but the allotment was cancelled by the Supreme Court in 2004 on the ground that Justice Banerjee had managed to get it allotted "wrongfully", and the court had ordered the house to be auctioned.

The court had said that the price of the land would go back to the government, while Justice Banerjee would get the cost of construction.

In an interim application, Justice Banerjee had challenged the auction before the Supreme Court on the ground that it was not done properly.

The court deprecated the filing of such applications, terming it as an attempt to circumvent its order.

The Bench also directed the Registry not to accept any such interim applications without its prior permission. PTI
<b>Ex-Yugoslav Leader Milosevic Dies in Cell </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Former Serb leader     Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his prison cell Saturday, abruptly ending his four-year U.N. war crimes trial for orchestrating a decade of conflict that killed 250,000 people and tore the Yugoslav federation asunder. He was 64.
Milosevic apparently died of natural causes, according to the U.N. tribunal that was trying him on 66 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. His chronic heart ailments and high blood pressure had caused numerous long recesses.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Second death in one week.
<b>Report: Drug Traces Found in Milosevic </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Traces of a <b>drug used to treat leprosy and tuberculosis were found in a blood sample </b>taken in recent months from former Yugoslav President     Slobodan Milosevic, a Dutch news report said, citing an unidentified "adviser" to the U.N. war crimes tribunal. ...............
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dutch Immigrants Must Watch Racy Film</b>
Thursday, March 16, 2006

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — <b>The camera focuses on two gay men kissing in a park. Later, a topless woman emerges from the sea and walks onto a crowded beach. For would-be immigrants to the Netherlands, this film is a test of their readiness to participate in the liberal Dutch culture.</b>  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

If they can't stomach it, no need to apply.  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Despite whether they find the film offensive, applicants must buy a copy and watch it if they hope to pass the Netherlands' new entrance examination.

The test — the first of its kind in the world — became compulsory Wednesday, and was made available at 138 Dutch embassies.

Taking the exam costs $420. The price for a preparation package that includes the film, a CD ROM and a picture album of famous Dutch people is $75.

"As of today, immigrants wishing to settle in the Netherlands for, in particular, the purposes of marrying or forming a relationship will be required to take the civic integration examination abroad," the Immigration Ministry said in a statement.

The test is part of a broader crackdown on immigration that has been gathering momentum in the Netherlands since 2001.

Anti-immigration sentiment peaked with filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by a Dutch national of Moroccan descent in November 2004.

Both praise and scorn have been poured on Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, the architect of the new test and other policies that have reduced immigration by at least a third.

"If you pass, you're more than welcome," Verdonk said. "It is in the interest of Dutch society and those concerned."

Not everyone is happy with the new test.

"Today is a black day for the people intending to bring their partners to Holland," said Buitenlandse Partner, a lobbying group for mixed Dutch/immigrant couples.

<b>Dutch theologian Karel Steenbrink criticized the 105-minute movie, saying it would be offensive to some Muslims.</b>

"It is not a prudent way of welcoming people to the Netherlands," said Steenbrink, a professor at the University of Utrecht. "Minister Verdonk has radical ideas."

But Mohammed Sini, the chairman of Islam and Citizenship, a national Muslim organization, defended the film, saying that homosexuality is "a reality."

Sini urged all immigrants "to embrace modernity."

A censored version with no homosexual and nude material had been prepared because it is illegal to show such images in Iran and some other countries, filmmaker Walter Goverde said.

"With all the respect I have for all religions, I think people need to understand that Holland has its own liberal side as well," he said.

After viewing the film, which is available in most languages, applicants are then quizzed on important Dutch factoids such as the number of provinces that make up the Netherlands; the role played by William of Orange in the country's history; and Queen Beatrix's monarchial functions.

There are some major exemptions. EU nationals, asylum-seekers and skilled workers who earn more than $54,000 per year will not be required to take the 30-minute computerized exam.

Also, citizens of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Switzerland are exempt.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India's top cop to tackle Maoist threat</b>

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) - India's most celebrated policeman Kanwar Pal Singh Gill agreed to join the fight against Maoist rebels in a strife-torn state as New Delhi looks to snuff out a spreading insurgency.

Gill, credited with ending a 13-year-long Sikh rebellion in the 1990s, is now going to central Chhattisgarh state to help the beleaguered administration.

"I will take up the job next week and will speak on the Maoist problem in a month from then," Gill told AFP on Thursday.

The 72-year-old earned a media tag of "supercop" for his success in handling problems in Punjab, where 25,000 people died between 1983 and 1996.

Maoist violence has been increasing in Chhattisgarh as 50 troopers and 28 civilians have been killed in recent months.

The incidents prompted state officials to call for Gill, who has also battled tribal rebels in India's troubled northeast and advised Colombo on its 30-year war with Tamil separatists.

Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary R.P. Bagai said Gill was being brought in solely as a security adviser to help battle the Maoist guerrillas.

"Gill's appointment will be valid for one year from the date of his assuming office," Bagai added.

Chhattisgarh on Tuesday ended an experimental 10-month campaign that included government-sponsored anti-Maoist rallies but guerrillas often attacked unarmed civilian activists.

A security think-tank which Gill set up after retirement from police service has lambasted the propaganda efforts.

"As a result today there are 45,000 civilians in makeshift security camps out of fear of retribution from the guerrillas they were told to oppose," said Saaji Cherian, a Maoist expert at Gill's Institute for Conflict Management.

"The state virtually used these civilians as human shields and now it has turned them into refugees in their own land," Cherian said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Tuesday with the chief secretaries of India's 29 states looking for ways to tackle the insurgency, a spokesman for the premier said.

Some 669 people died in 2005 in violence linked to more than 9,000 armed rebels who have spread over 15 states, according to government estimates.

Some 556 died in 2004 and 116 people were killed in the first two months of this year.

New Delhi refuses to negotiate with the armed Maoists, who launched their campaign in 1967 and claim to be fighting for the landless poor and against exploitation by powerful feudal lords.

04/14/2006 03:07
<b>Agni-III develops snag, falls into sea</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The launch of the nuclear-capable missile, designed to hit targets at a distance of 3,500 km, from the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island was "successful" but its second stage did not separate and it fell into the sea, the sources said.
They said the missile went up vertically to a height of about 12 km before the snag developed. The sources attributed the problem to a "design failure"<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>'Kalam wore Army disguise'</b>
7/20/2006 11:52:57 PM
- By Sanjay Basak

New Delhi, July 20: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam wore a military uniform to keep his identity a secret while supervising preparations for the nuclear tests at Pokhran during the NDA regime in 1998, former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh reveals in his new book, A Call to Honour. President Kalam was then the scientific adviser to the government of India.

To maintain complete secrecy before the blasts, the scientists, clad in military uniforms, were also given "alternative identities", the book, published by Rupa & Co. and expected to hit book stores on Friday, discloses.

Recalling the "sounds of silence", Mr Singh writes; "Some of the precautions may, in retrospect, cause amusement but were in reality very serious business." He revealed; "Each of the four principal scientists involved had to be on site and off it frequently and for considerable lengths of time. They had to travel to and from the site repeatedly and as cover had alternative identities." Mr Singh added, "This they decided to achieve through the Army and the military uniform. Thereafter, Kalam, Chidambaram, Kakodkar and K. Santhanam donned military uniforms, name, badges and ranks. If I recollect correctly, of a colonel and below."

Mr Singh observes in his book: "To maintain this secrecy had not been easy... To have done this in Pokhran, at least a thousand kilometres away from major facilities, without giving away a whiff, in a country by nature loquacious — merits special mention."

The "secrecy", Mr Singh says, had some "unexpected consequences". He recalled that "two aspects of it greatly disturbed the United States: first that the tests were conducted at all, and second, which riled them more, that all their intelligence agencies and satellite surveillance, indeed an entire array of technical gadgetry had failed to get even an inkling of the tests."

Mr Singh then refers to a meeting between him and the then US ambassador to India, Richard Frank Celeste. Mr Celeste was holidaying in the US when Pokhran II occurred. After his return, Mr Celeste called Mr Singh and said; "Jaswant, I have a young son, he is barely a year-and-a-half, I do not want him to grow up in a world filled with such perils, such horrors..." Unable to reply, Mr Singh "excused" himself and went to another room and shared his "painful dilemma" with his wife. He writes, "With a woman's assured instinct, she gave me a small silver toy from Rajasthan, meant for young children." It had a "built-in a "built-in whistle that when blown emitted a song-like sound and had a cluster of tiny bells, like a bunch of grapes, which jingled merrily when shaken." She told Mr Singh to give it to the ambassador as a gift for his children with a short message: "If I give your son this gift, then how do you imagine I have any intention of harming his future?"

Mr Singh justifies the Vajpayee government's decision to conduct the Pokhran II tests and declare India a "nuclear weapons state". The day the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, decided to "bite the bullet" was in 1996, Mr Singh writes. He discloses that in 1996, when P.V. Narasimha Rao demitted office as Prime Minister, he took aside his successor, Mr Vajpayee, and said, "I could not do it though I wanted very much. So it is really up to you now."

In the section "Regime Change in the Nuclear Orbit", Mr Singh writes that "the rise of China and continued strains with Pakistan made the early 1990s a greatly troubling period for India". He argues that the to maintain India's "national security", the tests had become "inevitable". He observes: "In the absence of universal disarmament, India could scarcely accept a regime that arbitrarily divided nuclear haves from have nots." "If the possession of nuclear weapons by the Permanent Five (US, Britain, France, Russia and China), the five legitimate nuclear weapon states in 1998 as per the NPT, enhanced the global architecture of security, why and how would India's bomb alone be dangerous?"

He observes: "The forcing of a conditional and indefinite extension of the NPT on the international community in 1995 was the watershed. India was left with no option but to go in for overt nuclear weaponisation."

He points out that "Chinese and Pakistani proliferation was no secret, but, neither was America's docile acquiescence... India had to protect its destiny and exercise the nuclear option."

Taking a jab at the US' pro-Pakistan policy, Mr Singh writes: "The United States had consistently turned its eyes away, decade after decade, from even seeing such activities in Pakistan and was even then an ally of Pakistan, that (and is) the reality."

The book also records the moments before the first blasts on May 11, 1998. "Exactly at 3.45 pm the phone at Mr Vajpayee's Race Course Road residence rang." Mr Brajesh Mishra, the then principal secretary to the Prime Minister, answered the call and announced "the test has been successfully conducted". He writes, "Was there any breaking open of champagne bottles or any similar cheering or rejoicing? No, there was not." Mr Singh remembered walking up to the Prime Minister, shaking him by the hand and saying, "Congratulations. You have acted with great courage, Atalji."

Mr Singh then recalled the world reactions that "exploded in our face". Stating that Pakistan's reaction was "harsher" than of other nations, Mr Singh gives details of Pakistan's move to respond with nuclear tests. However, after the blasts on May 28, "the then Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, telephoned US President Bill Clinton and apologised for the tests in a rather unbecoming conversation between two heads of governments," Mr Singh reveals.

He recalled another "bizarre scare" raised by Pakistan. Mr Satish Chandra, the then high commissioner in Islamabad, was called at midnight of May 27-28 by the Pakistan foreign office. The Pakistan charge was that India was "going to attack Kahuta and other targets in Pakistan in a midnight/dawn aerial raid, in collusion with Israel, also that aircraft had already been placed on runway readiness for being launched." Mr Singh quips: "This was so tragically comic, so pathetically untrue."

Mr Singh then refers to reports that quoted him replying to then US secretary of state Madeleine Albright's remark that "India and Pakistan should climb out of the hole they have dug themselves into". Mr Singh's reply to the remark was, "I must point out that civilisationally, we in India do not dig holes to bury ourselves in, no, not even metaphorically speaking. Therefore this observation exemplifies yet another fundamental lack of comprehension about the Indian stand and about addressing Indian sensitivities."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Must read .
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Indians who disgrace India </b>
Sunanda K Datta-Ray
From swatting flies to crushing protesters under tanks, the Chinese Government holds a world record in disciplining people. The means and ends are not to everyone's liking but flying back from Bangkok the other day, I could understand why 12 Chinese will never be hauled off an aircraft, manhandled, handcuffed, detained and questioned. I must also add that whatever the provocation, no Western authority would dare to treat Chinese citizens so roughly.

My ordeal began at Bangkok airport when the man sitting next to me raised his arms over his head and kept them there. A few inches from my nose, his armpit stank. He was a well-dressed passenger booked on the same Thai flight to Kolkata.

It used to be an empty plane but for a few demure chokras going to Bangkok without luggage and returning laden with cheap contraband. Nowadays, it's packed with noisily assertive passengers. With Stinking Armpit mercifully across the aisle, I read of China's latest campaign to stop "uncouth" Chinese going abroad.

According to China Daily, they spit, clear their throats loudly, shout into mobile phones and take off their shoes in planes. Since such "behaviour is not compatible with the nation's economic strength and growing international status," the Communist Party's Spiritual Civilisation Steering Committee will re-educate tourists.

I wish Indians were as moved by pride or sensitivity. This has nothing to do with ethnic profiling or terrorist alarms. But, paradoxically, one experiences India at its worst on flights abroad. The logical corollary to Malcolm Muggeridge's claim that the only Englishmen left in the world are Indians is that the only Indians lurk in a time warp in Silicon Valley or Southall. The <span style='color:red'>12 Mumbai textile traders were not Non-Resident Indians. But whether NRIs, People of Indian Origin, plain desis, manual workers and professionals, all share common traits that are as offensive as anything China Daily complains of.</span>

It's not only a cattle class problem. Since <b>Air India automatically upgrades Government officials, politicians and anyone with clout, the same culture dominates business and first class cabins.</b>

Indians used to be diffident abroad, especially in the West, when we feared snubs. Khushwant Singh's advice when I was taking up a posting in London soon after Enoch Powell's outburst in the late sixties was to "haw-haw it out" at Heathrow. Just back from England then, Neena Vyas, daughter of the veteran editor Shyam Lal and herself a journalist, said she had avoided unpleasantness only by claiming to work for the "Indian embassy." Visiting America's Deep South a decade earlier, Mohie Das, highly Anglicised first Indian head of Mackinnon Mackenzie, carried a turban to clamp on his head when entering restaurants. Maharajahs escaped discrimination.

If colour prejudice forced Indians to exercise restraint, confidence has opened the floodgates of boisterousness. Paul Theroux says anyone who sits next to an Indian on a plane can vouch for national loquacity. Film star Amisha Patel's reported tantrum at Mumbai airport recalled Indian's counter at Changi when the airline still connected Singapore and Kolkata. <b>Passengers who queued quietly for Singapore Airlines bunched round Indian's desk, waving tickets and passports, pushing and shoving. An extension of home, the airline allowed Indians to be Indian.</b>

Freed from inhibition, our Johnny-know-alls go wild on the perks of flying. They treat the crew as personal servants, peremptorily demand drinks before take-off, complain about the food, call loudly for magazines, headsets and blankets, ignore Fasten Seat-belt signs, chatter on their mobiles, constantly open overhead lockers, and parade the aisles forcing meal trolleys to retreat. Bathrooms are a filthy mess in their wake. Only the scowling surliness of Aeroflot's male stewards keep them silent in their seats.

Such is the level of English of many flyers that I heard a Royal Brunei hostess warn another, "They don't understand 'vegetarian'. You must say 'aloo-gobi'!" I have filled in landing cards for countless passengers who produce their passports when asked for name and address, but never for an unlettered qualified surgeon, as Tapan Raychowdhury, the Oxford historian, had to do. Though with a surgery degree from some Uttar Pradesh university, the woman who sought his help called the entire British Isles - including Dublin where she was joining her doctor husband - "London."

Airlines understand their traffic. Emirates service improves miraculously after Dubai. For Lufthansa, it's Frankfurt. Ask for a martini on an eastern Air India flight and the steward will explain politely that cocktails are served only on Western routes. It's raw spirits in the East. <b>A steward on Indian's early morning Bangkok-Kolkata flight used to walk down the aisle with an open bottle of Black Label, pouring out generous libations. Passengers complained if he didn't.</b>

Drink can be demeaning. Though the Qantas hostess snapped that the bar was closed for landing, a Mumbai- Cairns passenger kept pleading for free champagne because he had never before been upgraded. <b>London is the worst route. North Indian field hands who have acquired an insatiable appetite for whisky and a raucous bonhomie when reborn as British factory workers invite the superciliousness of British Airways crews with little other experience of Indians</b>. A Britindian hostess stopped at a row of noisy drinkers once to say in heavily accented Hindi that they made her feel ashamed of being Indian.

Despite personal crudities, Chinese flyers are less demanding. Not feeling quite as deprived at home, they don't throw their weight about abroad. Many Westerners claim that China is a more serious nation, less given to distractions. If Beijing would not take what happened in Amsterdam lying down, it would also ensure that its citizens do not invite insult

China's second cultural revolution will last till the end of 2008 when it will host the Summer Olympics. According to official statistics, Chinese tourists last year made 31 million foreign and 1.2 billion domestic trips. They are expected to make 100 million overseas trips by 2020.

Indians might make even more. I wish instead of exhorting us to welcome foreigners as honoured guests, Jawaharlal Nehru had insisted on a compulsory crash course in manners (like P Forms, income tax clearance and other forgotten nightmares) before going abroad. Realising cultural deficiencies, he laid down deportment rules for official entertainment and civil service trainees; let his successors start with textile delegations from Mumbai.<b> My having to suffer Stinking Armpit doesn't matter. The national image does.</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Film Shows Youths Training to Fight for Jesus
New Documentary Features Controversial Bible Camp, Evangelical Movement
http://www.abcnews. go.com/WNT/ story?id= 2455343&page=1

Sept. 17, 2006 — An in-your-face documentary out this weekend is raising eyebrows, raising hackles and raising questions about evangelizing to young people.

Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush — these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire," subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."

"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Fisher said. "Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

"A lot of people die for God," one camper said, "and they're not afraid."
"We're kinda being trained to be warriors," said another, "only in a funner way."

The film has caused a split among evangelicals. Some say it's designed to demonize. Others have embraced it, including Fischer, who's helping promote the film.

"I never felt at any point that I was exploited," Fischer said.

"I think there is a push right now in a lot of evangelical churches to definitely keep the teenagers and keep the children in the faith," said Heidi Ewing, co-director of "Jesus Camp." "And this is one version of that attempt."

<b>A Growing Movement </b>

This camp is, by many accounts, a small — and perhaps extreme — slice of what some say is a growing, intensifying evangelical youth movement.

Over the past decade and a half, enrollment at Christian colleges is up 70 percent. Sales of Christian music are up 300 percent. Tens of thousands of youth pastors have been trained.

Young people are targeted through Christian music festivals, skateboard competitions and rodeos.

"This is an enormous youth movement," said Lauren Sandler, a secular, liberal feminist from New York City who spent months among the believers researching her new book, "Righteous."

Sandler says the evangelical youth movement will have a negative impact on the country's future, because even the most moderate young evangelicals are inflexible on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

"It's an absolute, straight-up us-against-them," Sandler said. "It's, you're either with us or you're against us. … Not only are you a sinner, but you are working for the enemy — the enemy being Satan."

Chap Clark, an associate professor at the Fuller Theological Seminary who's trained youth pastors for decades, said people who see "Jesus Camp" should not come away with the idea that evangelizing to youth consists mainly of political indoctrination.

Clark said youth pastors focus much more on providing meaning to kids who can't find it in a materialistic culture or in their family lives — "which is going to translate into much healthier adults who are more able to be into respectful dialogue and come alongside people who disagree with them.

"I think this is a very hopeful time because of the youth ministry movement," he added.

There's disagreement about whether this movement is good for the country and whether the movie is an accurate portrayal of the movement.

But there's growing agreement that these children will have a real impact. One child in "Jesus Camp" goes so far as to say, "We're a key generation to bringing Jesus back." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Thai coup leader to install new PM in 2 weeks</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thailand's military coup leaders will choose a new prime minister within two weeks and step back from power, army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin said on Wednesday.

But, speaking less than 24 hours after h<b>e led a bloodless coup to oust billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra</b>, Sonthi said it would take a year to produce a new constitution leading to a fresh general election.

The military leadership was poring over candidates who loved "democracy and constitutional monarchy" to replace Thaksin, ousted on Tuesday as he attended the United Nations in New York.
Concerns about a conflict or even a counter-coup by Thaksin's supporters were dampened by news that Thaksin's main deputy, Chidchai Vanasatidya, had been "invited to stay" at Army Headquarters.

Thaksin was welcome to return to his homeland, Sonthi said.

"Thaksin is a Thai and a fellow countryman and there will be no problem should he decide to return," he said.

<b>Thaksin had chartered a Russian plane to fly him and his entourage from New York to London, where one of his daughters was studying</b>, a reporter traveling with him said.

<b>The military said the coup was necessary to institute reforms to resolve a political stalemate that pitted Thaksin against the political old guard and street campaigners, who accused him of subverting democracy for his family and friends in big business</b>.

Thaksin argued he was democracy's defender against opponents using unconstitutional means.

Late on Tuesday, <b>television showed the armed forces chiefs heading in a motorcade to the palace to report to revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, images likely to dampen any agitation in the countryside by associating the coup with the crown.</b>

Same can happen in Nepal.
<b>Media Bias Against Indians in Trinidad </b>

<b>Afro-Trinis in front</b>

<i>"The press, as a powerful instrument in the moulding of public
opinion.should exercise great care in the publication of material that may
adversely affect race relations." Principle No 6, Principles of Fairness Committee</i>

Throughout my life as a young, Indo-Trini male, I've heard the same stories
you have about how ethnic groups are depicted in the media. Even when I
began working in journalism six years ago, I was warned about certain ethnic
imbalances. Thus, when I had to decide on an undergraduate thesis topic, I
decided to find out if at least one of these stereotypes was true.

As a cultural practice that enables other social action, the mass media is
increasingly central to people's formation of beliefs, and to creating
meaning. Furthermore, with commercial success as the ultimate goals of media
houses, the media is not a neutral agent.

The media, therefore, treads on dangerous territory when it comes to race.
According to an ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre poll, most
Trinidadians and Tobagonians believe race relations are deteriorating, and
that not enough is being done to bring about racial harmony.

The media-while aiming to satisfy its readership, remain profitable, and
adhere to its ideologies-runs the risk of alienating or provoking entire
race groups if they (race groups) feel misrepresented or underrepresented.
That newspapers do not adhere to any set code of ethics in T&T is,
therefore, a point of concern.

Distorted coverage

Today, Indo-Trinidadians comprise the largest single race group in T&T and
have appreciably increased their media presence.

Yet, newspapers remain the site of controversy. The charge is that
Indo-Trinidadians are not only misrepresented, but also underrepresented,
and that preference (such as front-page positioning) continues to be granted
to Afro-Trinidadian culture, religion and public figures.

Conversely, in the zeal to capitalise on this "niche market" and to present
a more "neutral" image, some people believe Afro-Trinidadian content has
considerably faded based on the fact that, within a swift
period-1986-present-media targeting Indo-Trinidadians has proliferated. The
overall portrayal of national culture, therefore, has opened up and the
representation of other cultures is, perhaps, seen as a negative definition,
projecting what "national" culture is not.

After examining the front pages of two national newspapers over a one-year
period, it was discovered that the former perception holds true.

In 2004, 55 per cent of references, both syntactic and photographic, were
made to Afro-Trinidadians. Indo-Trinidadians received 32 per cent of
front-page coverage, and mixed/other groups, 13 per cent.

In particular, 71 per cent of references to "culture" were actually
references to Afro-Trinidadians, 16 per cent to mixed/other groups, and 13
per cent to Indo-Trinidadians. Afro-Trinidadians also formed the bulk of
political references, and most of those made regarding Indo-Trinidadians
dealt with race issues (such as, coincidentally, charges of racial bias, eg
Maha Sabha radio licence issue).

The only category in which Afro-Trinidadians were statistically eclipsed was
crime; Indo-Trinidadians were more frequently presented as victims,
Afro-Trinidadians as perpetrators.

Race issues were presented within a strict framework of conflict. Concrete,
transitive verbs such as "denied," "charges," "slams," and "rejects" were
paired with abstract nouns-bloodshed," "row" and "bias"-creating a
linguistic context of conflict, violence and injustice.

There were few, if any, deliberate depictions of racial unity. National
culture (Carnival, Independence Day celebrations) was invariably shown to
comprise Afro-Trinidadians.

One glaring Emancipation Day caption spoke of "honouring the traditions of
our ancestors."

Establishment endures

The historical imbalance of newspaper content regarding race has endured,
corroborating with the projections of Selwyn Ryan and John La Guerre,
formerly of the Centre for Ethnic Studies, UWI.

Overall, more than one-half of newspaper front-page content-the preferred
and most important position in newspapers-is devoted to a single group,
while the multitude of others is left to share a disproportionate slice of
the print media's pie.

In a society that has perhaps more race variations than one could count, and
in a nation where Afro-Trinidadians are not the largest single race group,
the media hazard alienating and even inciting entire groups when they are
continually disregarded. In the portrayal of national society, minority
groups such as the Chinese and Portuguese are largely ignored, and the
majority group, Indo-Trinidadians, is underrepresented.

The frameworks adopted in news on race issues are especially disturbing. In
the pursuit of racial unity, newspapers should be reminded of their
imperative role in belief formation: that projecting a positive image could,
indeed, lead to positive results.

The study demonstrated the need for guidelines on ethics and fairness in the
way newspapers present race issues to emphasise certain ideals, notably
representative democracy.

No suprise here, the usual racist East Europeans...., wasn't it some Russian orthodox priest who said that Hindu's are devil worshippers ?



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