The Hindustan Times – UN Security Council to discuss J&K in closed-door consultation today

China on Wednesday threw its weight behind its all-weather ally Pakistan’s call for convening an “urgent meeting” of the Security Council to take up the agenda item “India-Pakistan Question” to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision to end the state’s special status and split it into two Union Territories.

Yashwant Raj and Rezaul H Laskar

Washington DC/New Delhi, 16 August 2019. The UN Security Council is set to take up the situation in Kashmir during closed door informal consultations on Friday, instead of the open and formal meeting Islamabad sought along with the right to address it, people familiar with developments said on Thursday.

China on Wednesday threw its weight behind its all-weather ally Pakistan’s call for convening an “urgent meeting” of the Security Council to take up the agenda item “India-Pakistan Question” to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision to end the state’s special status and split it into two Union Territories.

China’s statement backing Pakistan’s call for the meeting said the 15-member Security Council should hold “closed consultations under the agenda ‘India-Pakistan Question’” and invite the Department of Political and Peace-building Affairs and Department of Peace Operations to brief the body.

If China had wanted a broader formal meeting, it would have said so instead of seeking “consultations”, the people said.

“The UN Security Council will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16,” Poland’s permanent representative to the UN and current Security Council president, Joanna Wronecka, was quoted as saying by Geo News channel. Poland holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency for August.

Russia’s acting UN envoy, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters that Moscow did not object to the holding of such a meeting but that the issue should be discussed behind closed doors. Security Council members need to coordinate their positions first because the Kashmir issue hasn’t been on the agenda for quite a while, he added.

“Consultations” and an “open” or a “closed meeting” are technically and substantively different, reflecting the gravity of the issue.

According to the UN’s definitions, both open and closed meetings are formal meetings of the Security Council, though closed meetings are not open to the public and no verbatim record of statements is kept and the council issues a communiqué. Consultations are informal meetings of the council members and aren’t covered in the repertoire.

The Security Council holds such consultations frequently, sometimes thrice a week, and members can raise any issue and several topics can come up at these discussions.

China has inserted Kashmir into the agenda and it will be one of them on Friday, the people cited above said. The session will neither be recorded nor telecast live and Pakistan won’t get to address the members, they added.

France had even proposed the council should discuss the issue in a less formal manner, known as “any other business”, next week, Reuters quoted unnamed diplomats as saying.

Russia has already said India and Pakistan should address their differences bilaterally, a position also adopted by Poland and the European Union. The US, too, has ruled out mediation on the Kashmir issue and called for a dialogue between India and Pakistan.

A letter sent by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the Security Council president on August 13 said a representative of the Pakistani government should be allowed to join the meeting. Experts said if this request were to be accepted by the council, an Indian representative would also have to be allowed to participate in the discussions.

The experts said much depends on the format of discussions and their outcomes – such as whether there is a binding or non-binding resolution and whether the minutes are recorded.

The people cited above also said that though Pakistan had tried many times to internationalise the Kashmir issue, the situation on the ground had changed since the Indian government’s decision on August 5 to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

“In the past, such efforts to internationalise the matter were aimed at discussing the status of Kashmir. This is no longer the case now as the status has changed,” said a person who did not want to be identified.

The people noted that Pakistan was persisting with efforts to portray a “doomsday picture”, including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public remarks and tweets, and Qureshi’s letter to the Security Council.

Qureshi wrote in his letter that the situation in Kashmir poses “an imminent threat to international peace”. Qureshi also referred to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, killed by security forces in 2016, as a “popular resistance leader”.

“There is, furthermore, a clear and present danger that India will provoke another conflict with Pakistan to divert attention from its recent actions in Jammu & Kashmir,” Qureshi wrote in the letter.

He added, “Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness. If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defense, with all its capabilities.”

The Indian government hasn’t formally responded to the remarks by the Pakistani leadership and the people cited above said the changes in Kashmir were purely an internal issue.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/unsc-to-discuss-j-k-in-closed-door-consultation/story-GmHC9IZPUEz3MACePTsDkN.html

The Tribune – No FIR against Dalit protesters: Panjab Chief Minister

Will lead Ravidasia delegation to seek PM’s intervention

Deepkamal Kaur, Tribune News Service

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 14 August 2019. Having already supported the Dalit activists who organised Punjab bandh yesterday, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today said no FIRs would be registered against them for blocking the highways for eight to 10 hours during the bandh.

Giving a leeway to the protestors, who were agitating against the demolition of Guru Ravidas Temple in Delhi, the CM, who was with minister Charanjit Singh Channi, said, “We have to look from case to case.

There has to be a basis to register a case. The Dalits were emotionally disturbed. It was their 500-year-old temple which was demolished. It could have been a church or a mosque too. It was all reactionary.”

He added, “No doubt this was a Supreme Court order and we have to accept it. But before it came to this stage, it should have been taken care of. As many as 30 per cent of Punjabis are from this community.”

On hooliganism that they indulged in, he said, “When such things happen, the youth will do whatever comes to them. Bache tan bache hi ne, chahe jinna vi samjhalo. (Kids will remain kids. However hard you may try to counsel them).”

The CM also announced to lead a delegation of the Ravidasia community to meet the Prime Minister for resolution of the crisis triggered by the demolition of their historic temple.

The CM, who met Sants and leaders of the community at Punjab Armed Police today, acceded to their request to lead them for a personal meeting with the Prime Minister to seek the latter’s intervention in the case.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister also promised to look into the demand of the leaders for withdrawal of the five cases against members of the community for the 2009 violence in Jalandhar during protests against firing at the head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan and his close associate in Vienna.

The community was represented by 25 Sants, including Shri Guru Ravidas Sadhu Sampardai Society President Sant Kulwant Ram, Vice-President Sant Gurdip Giri, Chairman Sant Mohinder Pal, General Secretary Sant Nirmal Singh as well as Dera Sachkhand Ballan Sant Lekhraj.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/no-fir-against-dalit-protesters-cm/817929.html

Brussel Zuid MIVB Premetro – Brussel Zuid NMBS – Gent Veergrep

Brussel Zuid/Bruxelles Midi
MIVB Premetro/Metro
03 August 2019


Premetro (underground tram) platform


Metro train


Brussel Zuid Metro/Premetro station

Brussel Zuid/Bruxelles Midi
NMBS
03 August 2019


Benelux Intercity NS/NMBS
Brussel Zuid – Amsterdam CS vv


16:26 to Oostende via Brugge and Gent

Gent Veergrep
04 August 2019


The new Veergrep tram stop
Kortrijksepoortstraat – Tram 1 to Evergem

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

350.org – Strike for the climate

Mailed to Harjinder Singh by Krishna Ariola for 350.org <350@350.org>

I’m Krishna Ariola, and I’m a 21-year old youth climate activist from the Philippines.

Where I come from, for decades we’ve been caught between the powerful coal industry and people’s dream of clean renewable energy. I know first-hand what it’s like to resist, and win.

I’m writing to ask you to join me and millions around the world to strike for the climate this September.

Find a Global Climate Strike event near where you live, or sign up to join the strikes, and we’ll let you know as soon as there’s an event planned in your area.

The story of the struggle against coal in my province Negros Occidental started the same year I was born, in 1997.

Since then, for over 20 years, women organisers have been leading countless mobilisations, protests and campaigns. We’ve won amazing victories, prevented four proposed coal burning plants from being built, and earned the name of the “renewable energy capital of the Philippines”.

We did all this by organising our communities, speaking out against injustice – and persevering. But we haven’t won everything yet, and we keep mobilising.

My parents and grandparents stood strong in protecting our homeland and the people who live here. My generation owes it to them to continue this fight.

That’s why I joined the youth climate strikers and that’s why on September 20, I’ll be on the streets of Negros Occidental, Philippines. There’ll be thousands of us on the streets – and millions more worldwide striking for a safe climate and a better future.

You too can join together with people where you live for the September climate strikes. Check out the map of events, and RSVP if there’s an event near you. No event yet planned in your area? Sign up to support the strike, and we’ll let you know as soon as there’s something.

Everyone is invited. Please help us make the climate strikes in September a turning point not just for the Philippines, but globally. Talk to your leaders, engage with your community, and be brave enough to imagine a better future. That is where we are heading together.

See you in the streets.

Sincere thanks,

Krishna,

Youth for Climate Strikes Philippines via 350.org

This email is sent by 350.org on behalf of Krishna Ariola.

The Hindu – SAD, BJP team to meet PM over Guru Ravidas temple demolition

SAD, BJP team to meet PM

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 16 August 2019. Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said a SAD-BJP delegation would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge him to provide a piece of land for rebuilding the Guru Ravidas temple which was demolished in Delhi’s Tughlakabad area.

The delegation would ask the Prime Minister to assuage the hurt feelings of the Dalit community and find an amicable solution, he told a gathering on the occasion of ‘Rakhar Punia’ here.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/politics-live-sad-bjp-team-to-meet-pm-over-guru-ravidas-temple-demolition/article29107675.ece?homepage=true