The Statesman – Ram Janmabhumi: We have ‘valid’ ownership papers, says Dharm Das Maharaj

Mathura-Uttar Pradesh-India, 27 February 2018. One of the main plaintiffs of Ram Janmabhumi dispute, Dharm Das Maharaj on Tuesday said he was confident that the Supreme Court would rule in their favour as they had “valid” ownership papers.

Das is also the Mahant of the Akhil Bhartiya Panch Ramanandi Nirmani Ani Akhara.

Since the apex court has clarified that only land dispute would be settled without going through the sentiments, and since we are in possession of valid ownership papers, we are confident that the decision would come in our favour, he said in Govardhan.

Das also said that the title of the land was in favour of Ramlala.

He was here to attend a two-day congregation of seers at the Shankaracharya Ashram for chalking out a strategy for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Das said he would pay obeisance to Goverdhan Maharaj, by performing ‘parikrama’ of the Goverdhan hillock.

The parikrama is for the construction of the temple, he said, adding that a delegation would soon meet the prime minister on the issue.

Shankaracharya Adhokshjanand Tirth Maharaj said the congregation of seers was for constructive approach on the Ram temple issue.

“During my talk with few Muslim leaders, I have been assured the cooperation of the community provided the gesture is reciprocated for the construction of a mosque also, he said. – In absence of aid by Panjab government for gas cylinder blast near Amritsar; SGPC announces aid for victim families

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 26 February 2018. The apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee has announced to provide financial aid to the victims of gas cylinder blast incident in village Kale Ghanupur near Amritsar Sahib.

As per press note shared with Sikh24, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has informed that the families of seriously injured children will be given financial aid of Rupees 50,000 while the families of other injured children will be given financial aid of Rupees 20,000.

He has said that the SGPC was committed to help the families of victim children in every possible way.

Longowal has also appealed to the administration to take suitable measures to control presence of balloon sellers in public gatherings.

It may be recalled here that on February 24 at around 03:30 pm, a blast in a gas cylinder of a balloon seller named Satnam Singh had left seven children seriously injured at an annual fair in village Kale Ghanupur (near Amritsar Sahib). Balloon seller Satnam Singh died in this blast.

Satnam Singh, of Guru Nanak Pura village, was selling gas balloons at the annual fair of Baba Darshan Singh held in the village along the national highway 1.

Gurpreet Singh, 13, was injured on his right leg; Ekampreet Singh, 5, (forehead); Lovepreet Singh, 13, (right leg was severed from body); Akashdeep Singh, 14, (right thigh); Jashandeep Singh, 10, (left leg); Amritpal Singh, 8 (face, eyes and left leg) and Sneha, 6, (left leg).

A vegetable seller, also named Satnam Singh, 32, received eye injuries.

Deinze – Gent-Sint-Pieters

12 January 2018

Markt – Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk

De Leie

Markt – Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk

De Leie

13 January 2018

Track 9 for the IC to Brussel Airport

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on February 28, 2018 at 6:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Radio Today – Panjab Radio has presented a cheque for £73,740 to Sikh Relief after a fund-raising 24-hour broadcast.

Southall-Middlesex-UK, 27 February 2018. Panjab Radio’s Managing Director Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE invited the Sikh Relief team to the studios on Springfield Road, Hayes, to collect the donation from listeners.

Several leading figures of the Sikh community joined the members of staff of Sikh Relief and Panjab Radio for the cheque presentation ceremony. Present among them was Varinder Sharma MP for Southall.

The MP said: “Two of the projects I have seen Sikh Relief do a fantastic job and are much needed, the Prisoner project and the Environmental project. Both are at the heart of the Sikh Community and it is wonderful to see how much success Sikh Relief have achieved.”

Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE said: “The £73,740 raised will improve the lives of many in India and across the world, so on their behalf, we’d like to say a big thank you to our listeners for their incredible generosity and making our 2017 Appeal such a success.”

Dawn – Pakistan may find itself on FATF blacklist after June

Anwar Iqbal

Washington DC-USA, 26 February 2018. Pakistan may find itself on the blacklist of a global financial watchdog if it does not prepare a comprehensive action plan to eradicate terrorist financing by June, official sources told Dawn.

The 37-nation Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its plenary meeting in Paris last week where it placed Pakistan on a watchlist of the countries where terrorist outfits are still allowed to raise funds.

On Friday, the group issued an updated grey list, along with a statement announcing the decisions taken at the plenary session, and Pakistan was not on the list. Officials in Islamabad interpreted this as a “breather”, although it’s more of a technical detail.

The grey list identifies the “jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF”.

Pakistan has not yet worked out the proposed plan with the FATF and that’s why it’s not on the list.

The FATF carries out an in-depth study of the financial system of a country, known as “mutual evaluation”, as part of the process to avoid blacklisting.

The next evaluation starts in April, which may take 18 months, and will be followed by another 12 months of analysis. A mutually agreed action plan for overcoming “strategic deficiencies” would become operative at the end of evaluation.

Between now and June, Pakistan will have to work out the details of the evaluation process with the FATF and a failure to do so could trigger another process, which may push Pakistan on the blacklist of wilful violators.

Usually, the FATF waits for a mutual evaluation report before starting the listing process but in Pakistan’s case, the group took an unprecedented step when it agreed to debate a US proposal, backed by Britain, France and Germany, to nominate Pakistan as a country having “strategic deficiencies” in “countering financing of terrorism”.

“The move was against the understanding given to Pakistan that Islamabad will be asked to work with the FATF on an action plan, before the listing process starts,” an official source told Dawn.

The Paris plenary held its first meeting on Pakistan on 20 February where China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which was representing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as it’s not a full member, opposed the move to place Pakistan on the watchlist. But the US pushed for an unprecedented second discussion on Pakistan, held on 22 February.

By then, Washington had convinced Riyadh to give up its support to Pakistan in return for a full FATF membership. This left only two, China and Turkey, in the Pakistan camp, one less than the required number of three members to stall a move.

At this stage, the Chinese informed Islamabad that they were opting out as they did not want to “lose face by supporting a move that’s doomed to fail”, another official source told Dawn.

“Pakistan appreciated the Chinese position and conveyed its gratitude to Turkey for continuing to support Islamabad against all odds,” the source added.

After the 20 February meeting, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif sent out a celebratory tweet, saying that Pakistan had won a three-month reprieve.

Hours after the tweet, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert indicated at a news briefing in Washington that Islamabad’s celebrations were premature. She said the Paris plenary was not over yet and it would hold another meeting on Pakistan on 22 February, as it did.

She also mentioned Hafiz Saeed and his activities while detailing US complaints against Pakistan and the sources that spoke to Dawn after the 22 February meeting said that indeed Hafiz Saeed and his “charities” were top on the list of the groups that the FATF wanted Pakistan to act against.

Pakistan did make some laws before the Paris meeting that would allow it to act against these groups but apparently that was not enough to convince the FATF.

Pakistan was first put on the FATF grey list in 2012 but was removed in 2015, after the FATF certified that Islamabad had done enough to counter terror financing.

Now, Pakistan will have to follow the same process that it did in 2015, starting with an action plan that Islamabad is required to submit in May.

If the FATF approves the action plan in June, it will make a formal announcement about placing Pakistan on the grey list. Should Islamabad fail to submit an action plan, or if the FATF does not accept it, the group can place Pakistan on its black list, along with North Korea and Iran.

BBC News – India: Kerala mob takes selfies while lynching man

Kadukumanna-Palakkad district-Kerala-India, 23 February 2018. Police in the south Indian state of Kerala have arrested two people after a video of a mob lynching a man accused of theft went viral.

Footage of the incident horrified Indians, along with images of people taking selfies while watching the man, who was tied up, being killed.

The victim was identified as a tribesman who lived in the area.

Police told the BBC that they were actively searching for other people involved in the murder.

Senior police official Prateesh Kumar said a team had rushed to the spot in the state’s Palakkad district after receiving information that a man was being attacked.

They managed to halt the attack and rushed the man, named Madhu, to hospital. However, he died before he could receive any medical attention, Mr Kumar added.

There was widespread horror in Kerala when graphic footage of the incident emerged, and some of it was broadcast on TV.

Popular Kerala actor Mammooty made an impassioned statement on Facebook about the incident.

“Madhu’s death is because our system is responsible… a system which has ordered mob justice and a person who attacks another is no human. How can we declare ourselves modern and progressive?” his post read.

State chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that “strict action” would be taken against the attackers and that the incident was a “blot” on Kerala’s progressive society.

“The worst thing that one person can do to another is to take a selfie in such a situation,” tribal activist Dhanya Raman told BBC Hindi.

The Tribune – Pakistan Hindus object to oath-taking of lawmaker accused of murdering Sikh leader

Peshawar-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan, 26 February 2018. The Hindu community in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakthunkhwa is protesting against the planned oath-taking ceremony of a member of the provincial assembly accused of murdering a Sikh lawmaker.

Baldev Kumar, who is in jail in the murder case of Sikh lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh, was to be produced in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly today.

Speaker Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) Assembly Asad Qaisar today withdrew the Assembly Secretariat letter dated February 23 regarding production order of Kumar in the assembly today. Now he will take oath tomorrow.

Coordinator KP chief minister on Minorities Ravi Kumar described the oath-taking of Kumar as a sad day for the minorities of the province.

Haroon Sarab Diyal, the leader of Hindu community in the province, said the Hindus would protest if he was administered oath.

Singh, a lawmaker from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was shot dead in April 2016 in Buner district of the province. Singh was elected to the provincial assembly on a minority seat.

His son Ajay yesterday appealed the provincial government not to bring the killer of his father in the provincial assembly for obtaining his vote for PTI Senate candidate in the upcoming Senate elections due for March 3.

Kumar, the second in the list of Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s candidates for a reserved seat for minorities, has been facing a trial in the case.

Gent: Lippensplein – Gentbrugge: Braemstraat

Tram 2 and 4
08 January 2018

Tram 4 to Ledebergplein and Stelpaats
No trams between Ledebergplein and Moscou because of works

Works Farys Stad Gent
10 January 2018

Digging to replace the drainage pipes

Serious machinery
In order to get to the tram-stop we have to manage various hurdles

Braemstraat in between Raf Verhaeststraat and Mathilde Pedestraat

Evi’s Christmas decoration
11 January 2018

Notice the silver ‘mor’ on the right

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Harjinder Singh
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World Sikh Organisation – WSO rejects allegations of rising radicalism against Canadian Sikhs

Ottawa-Ontario-Canada, 26 February 2018. The World Sikh Organization is deeply concerned by the recent announcement of the Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism between Canada and India (‘Framework’).

The Framework, announced on Friday after the meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, formalizes “increased collaboration between the law enforcement and security agencies of both countries” and will “develop exchanges and facilitate effective cooperation in the fields of security, finance, justice, and law enforcement, including, where appropriate, at the operational level.”

Indian security and intelligence agencies are regularly implicated in the serious violation of human rights and the WSO fears that increased collaboration between Canadian and Indian counterparts may jeopardise the lives of Canadian Sikhs or their family and friends in India.

While many of the agreements and Memorandums of Understanding signed between Canada and India are important steps forward in strengthening bilateral relations, the Framework has been met with considerable concern within the Canadian Sikh community.

Canada and India had an intelligence sharing arrangement before, during the height of the insurgency in Punjab in the 80s and 90s. That arrangement, however, was stopped after Indian police and paramilitary were found to be targeting the Indian relatives of Canadian Sikhs whose names appeared in intelligence reports shared by Canada.

The targeting had resulted in the abduction, torture and, in some cases, even killing of those relatives by Indian authorities.

Indian security forces have regularly been implicated in the flagrant violation of human rights, particularly with respect to minority communities in India. Both the Amnesty International 2017/18 report and Human Rights Watch 2018 report set out ongoing excesses committed by Indian forces.

In September 2017, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale released the Ministerial Direction to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service: Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities. The Direction prohibits:

the disclosure of information that would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment of an individual by a foreign entity;

the making of requests for information that would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment of an individual by a foreign entity; and

certain uses of information that was likely obtained through the mistreatment of an individual by a foreign entity.

It is unclear how the Framework will be in compliance with this Ministerial Direction.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said today, “we are concerned that the establishment of the Framework, without adequate safeguards for the protection of human rights will have a serious negative impact on Canadian Sikhs and we fear it may even result in serious harm or death of Sikhs in India.

Canadian Sikhs remember that intelligence sharing by Canada and India in the 80s and 90s lead to the abduction, torture and even killing of Sikhs in Punjab.

It is far from clear how intelligence sharing with India will be in compliance with the Ministerial Direction to CSIS on Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities released by this government just last fall. ”

Furthermore, in Canada, members of the Sikh community have repeatedly accused Indian intelligence agencies of ongoing interference in community affairs.

Maloy Krishna Dhar, a former Joint Director and a 29 year veteran of the Indian Intelligence Bureau, who was in Ottawa on a diplomatic posting from 1983-87, confirmed in his book “Open Secrets” that his mission was to penetrate Gurdwaras, Punjabi media, create assets in the Sikh community and also to cultivate “a few friends amongst the Canadian Members of Parliament”.

Dhar wrote, “I do not intend to disclose the details of the intelligence operations that were carried out between Mani, Shashi and me in deference to the niceties of diplomatic protocol. But we did a lot and reached appreciable penetration in the key Sikh inhabited cities in Canada.”

Members of the Canadian Sikh community have continued to allege interference of Indian intelligence agencies in community affairs, media and events and have faced ongoing pressure and coercion by Indian officials in Canada.
Prominent members of the Canadian Sikh community, including media personalities and politicians have been denied visas to India due to their expression of views objectionable to India.

Most recently, organizers of the 2017 Carabram Punjab pavilion in Brampton reported last summer, being pressured by Indian diplomats in Toronto to cancel or merge their pavilion with the India pavilion as a separate Punjab pavilion was considered an affront to India’s unity and integrity.

WSO Senior Vice President Bhavjinder Kaur said, “Indian intelligence bodies continue to be accused of interfering in the affairs of Sikhs in Canada.

While increased trade between Canada and India is beneficial to both countries, it cannot be at the expense of our human rights principles or by compromising the safety and security of individuals, as may happen with this Framework.

Without dramatic improvements to their human rights records, increased cooperation with Indian security and intelligence bodies is very problematic.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.

For follow up questions any interview requests please contact our team at:

World Sikh Organization of Canada
Copyright © 2018 World Sikh Organization of Canada, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
World Sikh Organization of Canada
1183 Cecil Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1H 7Z6

The Hindu – Everyone living in India is a Hindu: Mohan Bhagwat

Staff reporter

Meerut-UP-India, 25 February 2018. One may follow a different religion, different culture, philosophy, language and style of eating but everyone living in India is a Hindu, asserted the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat here in Meerut on Sunday while addressing a huge crowd of RSS workers, supporters and sympathisers on Sunday.

He also emphasised on unifying Hindus in a situation when West Uttar Pradesh has seen several caste related clashes and emergence of dalit groups like Bhim Army since BJP government came in power in the State.

“Every Hindu is my own brother. In India one may follow a different eating habits, way of worshipping the gods, philosophy, language and culture. But all of them are Hindus.

There are many who are Hindu but they are not aware of it. Only those who consider Bharat Mata his own mother are true Hindus,” said the RSS chief while addressing a crowd which is estimated to be over a lakh.

This was the largest ever gathering of RSS workers in Uttar Pradesh for which the organisation was preparing for last one year, something which is being interpreted as RSS preparing the ground for the BJP ahead of the 2019 General Elections.

While repeatedly treating diversity as a feature of Indian civilisation which highlights unity, Mr. Bhagwat said,” Entire world thinks that to be one every one needs to follow the same culture, same way of living but it is in India we talks about Vasudeva Kutumbakam. But all diversity only emphasis it’s oneness and the unifying feature of diversity.”

While talking about importance of self-pride in being a Hindu, he said, “Everyone should accept with pride that they are a Hindu. That is why we are one.”

“We Hindu need to be one because taking care of this country is our responsibility and we are accountable for that. Since the time immemorial we have been living here. We need to know how to defend ourselves. Those who don’t know how to defend themselves how will they develop. We need to be ready for that,” Mr. Bhagwat said.

He also claimed that one RSS worker in Raiganj district of West Bengal became a martyr while fighting along with the BSF at West Bengal-Bangladesh order in 1971 war.

Mr. Bhagwat raised the issue of being a “kattar Hindu (hardcore Hindu)” and said “being a kattar Hindu means udarta (being liberal)”.