The Asian Age – Rahul’s convoy attacked; Congress, BJP trade charges

Brick hurled at leader’s car while touring flood-hit areas

New Delhi, 5 August 2017. The Congress and the BJP entered into a full-blown war after the cavalcade of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president, was attacked while he was touring the flood-hit areas of Gujarat.

Reacting sharply, former PM Manmohan Singh said, “I condemn the attack on Mr Gandhi in Gujarat. Political violence has no place in a democracy.”

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi alleged that when Mr Gandhi was passing through the Lal Chowk area on his way to flood-affected areas of Banaskantha, he was attacked with cement bricks allegedly by BJP “goons”.

Not one to sit back, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “For God’s sake, don’t call people goons. People are tired of the kind of politics that Mr Gandhi and his party are indulging in. Let us respect people’s emotions.”

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani tweeted, “During Mr. Gandhi’s visit, the Gujarat Congress MLAs are nowhere to be seen. This is what the people want to know.”

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel sought the government to initiate an enquiry against those responsible for Mr Gandhi’s safety. Condemning the attack, the Gujarat CM said, “I have instructed the concerned officials to take strict action against the guilty.”

After the attack, Mr Gandhi tweeted, “Neither black flags, nor stones will deter us. We will put our full strength in helping the people.”

The Congress is likely to raise the issue during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament and dem-and the government to explain the security lapse.

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/050817/rahuls-convoy-attacked-cong-bjp-trade-charges.html

The Tribune – Americans call to combat racism, violence on 5th anniversary of Wisconsin gurdwara shooting

Washington, 6 August 2017. Cutting across party lines, various people in the US have called for combating racism, intolerance and violence during the fifth anniversary of the tragic Oak Creek massacre that killed six innocent Sikhs five years ago.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said: “Over the last five years, the people of Oak Creek have proved they’re stronger than hate and division.” Ryan represents the Congressional district in Wisconsin where a white supremacist went on a shooting rampage at a Sikh gurdwara on August 5, 2012.

“Five years ago, Oak Creek was rocked by a heinous attack on the Sikh temple [gurdwara], and today we look back on that act of violence with solemn remembrance of those who were lost,” he said in a statement.

“The Sikh community is in our thoughts on this fifth anniversary of the Oak Creek attack,” said Senator Ron Johnson.

“Today, we join together as one community on the fifth anniversary of the horrific attack on the Sikh Temple[gurdwara] of Wisconsin,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin.

“I’m also incredibly proud of our Sikh community. Their grace and hopeful message of peace moved an entire nation,” she added.

“Five years after the senseless shooting in Oak Creek, we continue to remember the innocent victims who were killed in this horrible attack,” said Grace Meng, Democratic lawmaker from New York.

“For many generations, the Sikh-American community has made important contributions to our nation and it is unacceptable that they continue to be targets of violence and bigotry. We must combat racism, intolerance, and violence wherever it exists,” she said.

Five years ago, America was struck by a “cowardly and tragic act of violence” that took the lives of six innocent worshippers in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, said House Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley.

“As we grieve for the victims, their loved ones, and the greater Sikh American community, we are reminded that much work remains to be done. Whether it is a gurdwara in Oak Creek, a church in Charleston, or a mosque in Quebec City, an attack on one faith is an attack on all,” he said in a statement.

“On this somber anniversary, we must reaffirm our commitment to fighting intolerance anywhere and everywhere,” Crowley said.

“A neo-Nazi killed six people at a Sikh temple five years ago. Remember Oak Creek and resist hate in all its forms,” said Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapala.

Eminent Indian-American from Indiana Gurinder Singh Khalsa said the Oak Creek tragedy was a wake-up call for the Sikh community.

“The community needs to engage, educate and empower.

“Sikhs need to do more on the awareness front,” said Khalsa, founder and head of the Sikhs Political Action Committee.

At a time when divisive rhetoric has taken over our country, Sikhs have to remain vigilant while still staying in steadfast to their beliefs and principles,” said Baldev Singh from the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Wade Michael Page, a known white supremacist, shot and murdered six people and injured four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. This was one of the worst shooting incidents in the recent American history.

Those who were killed in this shooting spree were Paramjit Kaur, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Prakash Singh, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, and Suveg Singh. (PTI)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/diaspora/americans-call-to-combat-racism-violence-on-5th-anniversary-of-wisconsin-gurdwara-shooting/448013.html

Den Haag: Public Transport Museum – Stationsweg – Bierkade

Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum
Parallelweg 224
2525 NL Den Haag
13 July 2017

PCC Car

PCC Cars

Den Haag HS
Stationsplein
13 Juli 2017

New tracks for Tram 11 and 12

Stationsweg / Bierkade
13 Juli 2017

Stationsweg
Moskee El Mouhsinin

Bierkade

Bierkade

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Times UK – The Golden Temple’s long-buried secrets

Whitehall’s drift towards keeping files classified fuels conjecture about our role in the Amritsar massacre

Ben Macintyre

London, 5 August 2017. Thirty-three years ago Margaret Thatcher sent an SAS officer to advise the Indian government on its efforts to expel Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Four months later, in June 1984, the Indian army launched Operation Blue Star, an all-out assault on Sikhism’s holiest place, in which hundreds died.

The name of the SAS officer has not been released. The extent of British involvement remains a matter of conjecture and wild conspiracy theory. Despite Sikh demands for clarity many of the key files remain sealed.

It has now emerged that the Foreign Office is withholding almost a third of its files on India from 1985, part of a deeply disturbing trend towards historical concealment.

Official secrecy ebbs and flows in a way that is unique to Britain, with its long-running ambivalence over what should, or should not, be made public.

A generation ago secrecy had seeped into the very soul of government. Partly as a result of wartime discretion officials felt little obligation to release records. What happened in Whitehall stayed in Whitehall. Merely to report the colour of the carpets inside MI6 was to risk prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

For a brief time that culture appeared to be over. The Freedom of Information Act in 2000 reversed the presumption of secrecy in favour of disclosure wherever possible.

Now the tide is flowing back in the opposite direction. Last year government departments applied to keep nearly 1,000 files secret, more than twice the number for 2013.

Many of the withheld files relate to defence sales to India and Saudi Arabia. Under existing legislation all government documents should be routinely passed to the National Archives after 30 years (new rules will reduce this to 20) unless government departments apply to have them withheld.

Officials are doing this more often, on flimsier grounds but with greater success. The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, which adjudicates on such cases, found that a significantly larger proportion of applications to censor material were invalid, reflex requests for secrecy to which officials “had not given enough thought”.

Increasingly, not as matter of policy but through a reactionary instinct, your government is becoming more secretive. The impact of this is twofold: it makes officials feel less accountable but at the same time gives rise to conspiracy theories that are frequently baseless.

Nothing illustrates that more clearly than the continuing battle over the 1984 assault on the Golden Temple, a pivotal moment in Sikh history and the source of continuing anger in the Sikh community.

Among the Foreign Office files that remain sealed is one labelled “UK/Indian relations: situation in Punjab; activities of Sikh extremists”. An investigation ordered by David Cameron stated that although a British military officer had provided advice there was “no evidence of UK government involvement in the operation itself”.

That bland conclusion did nothing to damp down the belief of many Sikhs that the level of co-operation between Britain and India over Operation Blue Star was much greater than has been admitted, and was covered up.

The secrecy has merely added fuel to a conspiracy theory that is almost certainly wrong. Rather than backing the military assault on the temple Britain was under pressure from India to provide other help, notably furnishing intelligence on Sikh militancy in the Punjab and Britain.

The royal family faces an analogous situation with its Windsor archives. By refusing to release files relating to links between the royals and the Nazi regime successive royal archivists have successfully fostered the legend that those contacts were far more extensive and significant than they really were.

Allowing historians access to the Golden Temple files is the only way to lance the boil of conspiracy that claims Britain played a central role in the operation, just as releasing the royal archives would finally put paid to the myth that every Windsor was an enthusiastic fascist.

Avoiding embarrassment, protecting privacy, easing international relations and covering up cock-ups are not sufficient justifications for hiding the past.

After 20 years all aspects of government behaviour should become transparent, with the exception of those with a direct impact on national security. These are rare. MI6 cannot function without confidentiality but even in intelligence the need for secrecy erodes with passing time.

Some civil servants argue that their freedom of action is curtailed by knowing whatever they say and do will be subject to public scrutiny in their lifetimes. On the contrary, most civil servants (except spies) will do their jobs far better knowing that within 20 years they may have to justify their actions.

After three decades the files relating to the Golden Temple assault cannot have any impact on national security.
Britain should release all its files and so should India. This would be a symbolic demonstration of openness and understanding to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence. Because the more you hide as a government, the more the public assumes you have something to hide.

Posted to Sikh News Discussion by:
“Sikh Federation (UK) federation” <sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk>

The Hindu – Doklam: Give up illusion, Beijing tells New Delhi

Says no country should underestimate its forces

Atul Aneja

Beijing, 4 August 2017. China’s defence ministry on Thursday stepped up calls for immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from the Doklam plateau. It asserted that Beijing will “resolutely protect” the country’s territorial sovereignty and security interests.

In a statement released on Thursday night, defence ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang urged the “Indian side to give up the illusion of its delaying tactic, as no country should underestimate the Chinese forces’ confidence and capability to safeguard peace and their resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests”.

“Chinese armed forces will resolutely protect the country’s territorial sovereignty and security interests,” he said.

The statement reiterated the Chinese position that Indian troops in Doklam were being scaled down. It pointed out that as of Thursday “there are still Indian border troops illegally staying in the Chinese territory”.

A 15-page statement by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday fixed the Indian troop presence at “over 40,” from a peak of 400 and in New Delhi, Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese embassy said on Thursday that Indian forces in Doklam numbered 48.

Colonel Ren said that since the incident occurred, “China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels to resolve the incident.

Chinese armed forces have also shown a high level of restraint with an eye to the general bilateral relations and the regional peace and stability”. But he warned that “goodwill has its principles and restraint has its bottom line”.

Colonel Ren called upon India to “swiftly address the situation in a proper manner to restore peace and tranquillity in the border region”.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chinese-defence-ministry-reinforces-demand-for-indias-immediate-pullback-from-doklam/article19427343.ece