The Statesman – Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims continue: UN

Nay Pyi Taw

New York – United Nations, 06 March 2018. The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar is continuing in Rakhine state, from where at least 700,000 people have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017, the UN said Tuesday.

The UN and human rights organisations have repeatedly criticised the atrocities allegedly committed by the Myanmar military in a campaign against the Rohingya that began in northern Rakhine following a coordinated assault by the Rohingya insurgent movement on August 25, 2017, reports Efe news.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said that while the level of violence had been reduced, murder, rape, torture, abductions as well as forced starvation continued.

“It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists,” Gilmour said in a statement issued after his visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

“The nature of the violence has changed from the frenzied blood-letting and mass rape of last year to a lower intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation that seems to be designed to drive the remaining Rohingya from their homes and into Bangladesh,” he added.

The UN expert also questioned how the Myanmar government could say that it was ready for the return of the Rohingya refugees while atrocities committed against them continued, and argued that “safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions”.

Gilmour also praised the humanitarian response of Bangladesh and other international organizations to the Rohingya refugee crisis, but warned that the rainy season could leave “a devastating effect” on the refugee camps.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement to start repatriating the Rohingya refugees at the end of January but the deal was suspended at the last minute by the Dhaka government.

The Myanmar military has denied claims of abuses, but in January recognised the extrajudicial killings of Rohingya in September 2017.

Myanmar does not recognize Rohingya as its citizens, arguing they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, which has led to continued discrimination against the Rohingya community as well as restrictions on their freedom of movement.

The Tribune – Spain terror attack: UK Sikh wins bravery award

Birmingham – West Midlands – UK, 5 March 2018. An Indian-origin man, who risked his life to help a fatally injured boy in last year’s Barcelona terror attack, has been selected for this year’s ‘Pride of Birmingham’ award.

Harry Athwal, a project manager from Great Barr area of north-west Birmingham, was in Spain on holiday with friends and family when a terrorist drove a van into pedestrians at Barcelona’s Las Ramblas tourist spot on August 17, 2017, killing 13 persons and injuring hundreds.

He ran to help seven-year-old Julian Alessandro Cadman, who was among those hit, and defied police orders to evacuate the area to keep holding on to him until the emergency services arrived.

The boy, who had dual nationality (British and Australian), died on the spot, but his family have since thanked Athwal for being there for him. “I am a Sikh, and in Sikhism it is my duty to go and help somebody who is hurt or who is being bullied. That, in a sense, overtook me. I didn’t have time to think,” Athwal told the Birmingham Mail.

Athwal is among 11 winners who will be presented awards at a ceremony at the University of Birmingham on March 8. (PTI)

Gentbrugge Braemstraat – Gent Elyzeese Velden

Braemstraat = Braemlake
Werken Farys en Stad Gent
21 January 2018

Braemstraat turned into Braemlake

Elyzeese Velden
Zen Sangha
23 January 2018

Zen Sangha

Zen Sangha

Barge, Brugsevaart and Groendreef

Barges, Brugsevaart and Groendreef

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Times of India – Gurdwara withdraws MP’s Vaisakhi invite

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 06 March 2018. Relations between Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, who represents Calgary Forest Lawn constituency of Alberta in the Canadian parliament, and some members of the Sikh community appear to be worsening after the episode of controversial motion mentioning “Khalistani terrorism” and “united India”.

With Obhrai facing criticism, the Gurdwara Dashmesh Cultural Society, Calgary, has announced to rescind the invitation sent to him for the ‘Khalsa Day Parade’.

The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ is taken out to celebrate Vaisakhi festival and thousands of Sikhs participate in it. The decision to rescind the invitation was announced by gurdwara president Ranbir Singh Parmar in a congregation on Sunday. The video of Parmar’s announcement is being widely shared on social media platforms.

It was after their intense lobbying with Conservative MPs and Sikh leaders of the party that the motion was put on hold. On 03 March Obhrai posted on his official Facebook page that he had come under attack from a few individuals from the Sikh community “in reference to his stance on the unity of India and on the term genocide”.

The Hindu – When Biplab engineered a ‘revolution’ for the BJP

BJP’s choice of a young leader clicked in Tripura

Rahul Karmakar

Agartala – Tripura – India, 06 March 2018. Sunil Deodhar, the man who steered the BJP ship in Tripura, had before the counting day said sweeping the Left Front out would be nothing short of a revolution.

The Bengali word for revolution is biplab.

Unlike in the 2016 Assam polls, where the BJP’s slogan was Asomore ananda Sarbananda to promote Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as the harbinger of happiness, the party had no jingle based on its Tripura unit chief Biplab Kumar Deb, chosen on Tuesday to head the first BJP government in the landlocked State.

Rather, the ousted CPI(M) had a campaign song that went Biplab aashbei…, meaning revolution will come.

“Biplab has indeed come, in person and in ideology to cover Tripura in saffron,” Mrinmoy Sinha, a BJP campaign manager, said.


It has indeed been a homecoming for Mr. Deb, who spent 15 years in New Delhi and elsewhere in northern India before being entrusted with heading the BJP in Tripura in January 2016.

He replaced Sudhindra Dasgupta, a veteran who was party president for five years.

Buoyed by the success of young leaders who helped the BJP win Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, the party had been looking for a fresh young face to do the job in Tripura.

What weighed in favour of Mr Deb, 48, was his stint in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

His mentor in the Sangh was K N Govindacharya and his trainer was Mr Deodhar, now the party’s Prabhari for Tripura.

Mr Deb, whose Delhi-based wife is a Deputy Manager in the State Bank of India’s Parliament House branch, thanked the people for voting for a change.

“The people have voted for a change and in the process have given us a huge responsibility to bail the State out of 25 years of Left Front misrule,” Mr Deb said, recalling the “sacrifice” of 11 party members who were killed in the run-up to the elections.