The Hindustan Times – Modi recalls peace overture to Islamabad in meeting with Pompeo and Mattis

India and the US signed a foundational defence partnership agreement during the dialogue and also agreed on several other measures to boost defence ties

Shishir Gupta

New Delhi – India, 06 September 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his December 2015 peace overture to Islamabad before dignitaries including Secretary of Defence James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff who called on him for 45 minutes.

The US delegation was in India for the two-plus-two dialogue between Mattis and Pompeo and their Indian counterparts, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, and met the Prime Minister for around 45-minutes.

Pompeo conveyed to India that Pakistan has been told to take action against pan-Islamic terrorist group and not just talk; Pompeo spent a few hours in Pakistan before arriving in India on Wednesday and had a get-tough-on-terror message for the country’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan.

India and the US signed a foundational defence partnership agreement during the dialogue and also agreed on several other measures to boost defence ties. Prime Minister Modi is believed to have personally reviewed several aspects of the dialogue with all principals on the eve of the talks.

Hindustan Times learns that contrary to what was expected, the issue of a possible visit by US President Donald Trump to India early next year was not taken up during the meeting but that PM Modi asked the visiting dignitaries to convey his greetings to their President.

He fondly recalled his interactions with President Trump and told the US delegation that both Swaraj and Sitharaman were very happy with the outcome of the visit.

The visiting team did not raise the issue of the waiver to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSAA) that would facilitate India’s plan to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia.

Only macro issues were discussed, a senior South Block official said on condition of anonymity. “There is a CATSAA waiver by President Trump. We will discuss the issue when the acquisition is finalized,” said a senior South Block official.

The Indian side however, briefed the team on its legacy relationship with Iran for oil purchases and the effort being made to reduce the imports. The Indian side also explained the importance of Chahbahar port in stabilizing Afghanistan.

Both Pompeo and Mattis said that US will work with India on how to sort out the two issues with Iran, both of which could see India fall afoul of US sanctions against the West Asian nation. – SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur asks Sukhbir Badal to resign from SAD’s presidency

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 06 September 2018. After getting exposed by the Justice Ranjit Singh led Investigation Commission, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) headed by Sukhbir Badal is facing a dramatic downfall.

A number of its leaders have started speaking against Badals openly while two or three have even left the party.

SAD (Badal) affiliated SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur has even sought the resignation of Sukhbir Badal while strongly criticizing his working.

“Shiromani Akali Dal came into existence with innumerable sacrifices for upholding Sikh causes. That a former SGPC President should reveal that the institution of Akal Takht has been manipulated by the President of Shiromani Akali Dal is a breach of trust. Sikhs are angry.

The solution to present crisis could be that Sukhbir Badal should step down as the President of the party and own responsibility for undermining panthak Maryada which has led to the present crisis of credibility of Akali Dal. Let someone else lead the party out of this mess…” she wrote from her Facebook.

Interacting with media on September 5, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said that there is widespread wrath among Sikh masses and the angry Sikhs are seeing no difference SAD president and SAD.

Citing the revelations made by the former SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said that Makkar has also accused Sukhbir Badal for using the temporal Sikh institution Sri Akal Takht Sahib for his vested interests.

Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
22 July 2018

Not so wild boar with babies’ names and date of birth

Babies’ names and date of birth

Nice yellow flowers

More of the same

Babies’ names and date of birth


I messed up the sequence of the pictures
We jumped back to 20 July and will return to August
in due course.
Man in Blue

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – Punjab: Navjot Sidhu releases video of police firing during 2015 protests against alleged sacrilege

The Congress leader said the report of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, which probed sacrilege incidents, provides evidence against the Badals.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 06 September 2018. Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday released CCTV footage from 2015, showing police action against people demonstrating against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, in Kotkapura city.

Two people had been killed and 60 hurt in the clashes on October 14, 2015.

Sidhu held former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal responsible for the police firing, PTI reported.

Sidhu said both should be booked because there was evidence against them in report of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, which investigated alleged incidents of sacrilege in Punjab.

“Both Badals should be booked first and later the proposed special investigation team can investigate the matter,” Sidhu said. “The commission says there is prima facie evidence against them.”

Sidhu said that he had acquired the footage from cameras installed on the main road, connecting Moga, Jaitu and Muktsar areas in Kotkapura. He added that the CCTV footage showed senior Indian Police Service Officer RS Khatra and other officers urging the protestors to end the dharna.

When the demonstrators refused to do so, several police officials picked up Panthpreet Singh, the group’s leader, and forcibly took him away, Sidhu said.

The Congress leader said the police lobbed tear gas shells and opened fire to disperse the crowd. “The people who were sitting peacefully at the dharna site in Kotkapura were brutally thrashed by the police,” he alleged.

The minister also released a statement by Kulwinderpal Singh, a doctor who had been asked by the police to reach Kotkapura city on October 14, 2015, as “any eventuality might arise” due to the protests.

In August, the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab passed a law to make desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible punishable with life imprisonment.

The Hindu – Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality, says history owes LGBTQ community an apology

Krishnadas Rajagopal

New Delhi – India, 06 September 2018. Constitution Bench declares the 156-year-old “tyranny” of Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”.

The Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised homosexuality with a prayer to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community to forgive history for their “brutal” suppression.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra unanimously held that criminalisation of private consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is clearly unconstitutional.

The court, however, held that Section 377 will apply to “unnatural” sexual acts like bestiality. Sexual acts without consent continues to be a crime under the Section.

In four concurring opinions, the Bench declared the 156-year-old “tyranny” of Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”.

Section 377 punished homosexuality with a 10-year imprisonment.

The prayer for forgiveness came from Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the Constitution Bench. “History owes an apology,” she reached out to the rainbow spectrum.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud called Section 377 “Macaulay’s legacy”, which continued for 68 years despite a liberal Constitution because of the manifest lethargy of lawmakers. He said the Section shackled the human instinct to love. It had been a reason for tragedy and anguish. “It is difficult to right a wrong by history. But we can set the course for the future,” he wrote in his separate opinion.

‘It is just a step’

Justice Chandrachud said decriminalisation of homosexuality was just a step. This case was about people wanting to live with dignity. Citizens cannot be pushed into obscurity by a colonial law.

Section 377 discriminates against a minority solely for their sexual orientation. It violates the right of the LGBTIQ community to “equal citizenship and equal protection of laws”. The court held that bodily autonomy is individualistic. Choice of partner is part of the fundamental right to privacy.

The Bench set aside the 2013 judgment of the court in the Suresh Koushal case.

Legal experts said this was a much-needed self-correction of a past judicial wrong committed on the LGBTQ community. The verdict would become the foundation for members of the community to seek individual rights like.

The 2013 judgment upheld Section 377 and set aside the reprieve won by the LGBTQ community through the Delhi High Court verdict of 2009, which decriminalised homosexuality. It had cast the community back into the shadows as “unconvicted felons”.

The court declared that once a nine-judge Bench has declared privacy to be a part of the fundamental right to life, nothing could stop the Supreme Court from upholding bodily autonomy and sexual orientation as fundamental rights too.

‘LGBTQ community possesses equal rights’

The CJI, in his separate opinion shared with Justice A M Khanwilkar, held that the LGBTQ community possesses equal rights as any other citizen. Any societal repression of their innate and biological sexual orientation is against the fundamental right to free expression. Homosexuality is their order of nature.

The CJI said the community needs the rainbow of hope for the sake of humanity. They should be allowed to live with dignity and without pretence about their identity. This verdict is the beginning of a journey towards greater dignity, equality and liberty.

Fundamental right to live with dignity

Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, in his separate opinion, held that homosexuals have a fundamental right to live with dignity. They are entitled to be treated as human beings and should be allowed to imbibe the spirit of fraternity.

Justice Nariman embraced the ”Yogyakarta” Principles, which recognise freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity as part of human rights, saying they “animate” the right to equality and equal protection by laws.

Justice Chandrachud said medical science should stop being a party to the stigmatisation of homosexuals by “trying to cure something that is not even a disease”. Medical professionals and counsellors should tweak their own attitude. Stigmatisation seriously affects members of the LGBTQ community.

Justice Chandrachud pointed out how variations in sexual orientation have become a reason for blackmail on the Internet. Quoting Lenoard Cohen, he described how “shadows of a receding past” still controlled the quest of LGBTQ community for fulfillment.

“Civilisation has been brutal,” he wrote.