Showing posts from June 6, 2021

Here's how Sri Lankan Tamils reacted after watching 'The Family Man 2'

New Delhi : Those among Sri Lankan Tamils who watched ' The Family Man 2 ' have one thing to say in unison - "It's a brilliant fiction thriller". While some of the viewers did have differences of opinion and disliked some portions, none of them felt that the spy-thriller-drama series deserved a ban.   It is notable that Naam Tamilar Katchi in Tamil Nadu and the ruling  DMK Government have been demanding a ban , just after watching the trailer. Their demands for a ban continued even after the series released.  Playing the usual "anti-Tamil" card and stating that Eelam Tamils (Lankan Tamils) are portrayed in a highly objectionable manner, these parties sought a ban on the series directed by Indian duo Raj and DK. Many on social media were quick to call for the boycott of actor Samantha Akkineni's films. Some individuals even went to the extent of threatening to boycott Amazon and their Prime Video Service. While the ban on Family Man 2 was first demand

"Global forces" need to come together in terror fight with Islamic State in Africa

  New Delhi, June 12 : The ghastly terror attacks in Mozambiques Palma town on March 24, which received a rather muted response across the world, is a wake-up call for global civil society as well as the business community. According to Vision for Humanitys Global Peace Index, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levants (ISIL) centre of gravity is now shifting to Sub-Saharan Africa with total deaths in the region increasing by 50 per cent in 2019. Experts underlined the need for global forces to immediately come together to help Africa fight the terrorism menace. After the Palma attacks, the Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber which strongly condemned the incident, called for the international community to come together to deal with terrorism in the region. "Terrorism is a global problem and Mozambique must therefore not be left to deal with it alone," the chamber said in a statement. There are visible signs that there has been a surge in ISIL's influence in Africa. In Nigeria,

Taliban oppose Turkey's proposal to guard Kabul airport, says must leave Afghanistan as per 2020 deal

  Kabul [Afghanistan], June 12 (ANI): Taliban on Friday opposed Turkey's proposal to guard Kabul airport and said that Ankara must leave Afghanistan as per the 2020 deal. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson to the Taliban expressed his opposition to Turkey's proposal to safeguard the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul after the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) troops' withdrawal, reported The Khaama Press Agency. Previously Turkey has said it will protect the Kabul airport with 500 soldiers if the NATO allies provide financial, logistical, and political supports to them. Turkey was interested in taking control of Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai International Airport if NATO allies permit. Khaama Press reported that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkish forces have agreed to take the control of the Hamid Karzai International Airport if allies provide support. "500 Turkish forces in Afghanistan will take the control and responsibility

Close to 10,000 Mozambicans fleeing violence forcibly removed from Tanzania: U.N.

  GENEVA (Reuters) - Almost 10,000 Mozambicans have been forcibly removed from Tanzania so far this year after fleeing a deadly Islamist insurgency in their homeland, a spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday. Mozambique's northern-most province of Cabo Delgado has been the focus of an insurgency linked to Islamic State since October 2017, but the conflict began gathering pace last year with militants regularly seizing and holding key towns. That culminated in an attack on the town of Palma in March, which killed dozens, displaced 70,000 according to the UNHCR and forced oil giant Total to halt its nearby $20 billion gas project. Many people headed north to the Tanzanian border, but were rejected, or were admitted then returned via a different border post hours inland. UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said on Friday 9,600 people had been forcibly removed from Tanzania since January. "Those pushed back from Tanzania end up in a dire situation at the border and ar

Four Kerala Women Who Joined Islamic State May Not Be Allowed To Return To India From Afghanistan: Report

  According to a senior government official, four Indian women lodged in an Afghanistan prison after accompanying their husbands to join the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) would not be allowed to return to India. The four women, all of them hailing from Kerala, travelled to Nangarhar in Afghanistan between the years 2016 and 2018. Around 408 members of the Islamic State from 13 countries are lodged in Afghanistan prisons. Among them are four Indians, 16 Chinese, 299 Pakistanis, two Bangladeshis, two from the Maldives,  reports  The Hindu. The four Indians are lodged in prison by Afghan authorities after their husbands were killed in different attacks in Afghanistan. The four women are Sonia Sebastian alias Ayisha, Raffeala, Merrin Jacob alias Mariyam and Nimisha alias Fathima Isa. These women were interviewed in 2019 by Indian security agencies in Kabul after their surrender. It revealed that they are highly radicalised. “One line of thought was to allow them to come back an

US School Removes Names Of Holidays From Calendar To Avoid Hurting Religious Sentiments

  To avoid offending religious sentiments and to be more inclusive of its kids, a school board in New Jersey has opted to remove the names of all holidays from its academic calendar, said reports. At a meeting with nearly 100 people on June 10, Thursday, the Randolph Township in Morris County unanimously voted to remove all holiday names from the school calendar, including Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and even religious days like Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanah. As per the report, these holidays will henceforth simply be referred to as "days off" in Morris County schools, as decided by the Randolph Board of Education. US School holidays renamed The decision was made to alleviate any potential offence that may have been caused by holidays honouring specific historical people or ethnic groupings. A board member, Dorene Roche, told US media that if they don't have anything on the calendar, they won't be hurt. While some argued that naming the holidays was not the

Dr. Fauci dubs criticism against him as 'Attack on Science'; softens stance on China probe

Dr Anthony Fauci proudly dismissed the questions raised against him and defended himself as a leading official in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Underfire over his leaked thousands of pages of e-mails and the constant flip-flop of his stance over the COVID-19 origins probe, America's top medical expert Dr. Anthony Fauci haughtily brushed off the criticism against him as 'attacks on science'. The 80-year-old 'medical marvel' who heads America's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) proudly dismissed the questions raised against him and defended himself as a leading official in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a recent interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd, Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed the growing criticism against him on various fronts, with many also demanding accountability and answers to suspicious fundings from the NIAID chief. Fauci downplayed the criticism against him, labelling it as 'preposterous and pa

Hong Kong Activist Agnes Chow Released on Pro-Democracy Protest Anniversary

  Hong Kong democracy activist Agnes Chow described prison as “agony” on Saturday after she was released on the second anniversary of the city’s huge democracy rallies, with police out in force and protests now all but banned. Two thousand officers have been placed on standby after social media calls for residents to commemorate the failed democracy demonstrations. Authorities have kept a coronavirus prohibition on public gatherings, despite the city recording just three local infections in the last month. A Beijing-imposed national security law has also criminalised much dissent and most of the city’s democracy leaders have been arrested, jailed or fled overseas. On Saturday morning, one of those figures walked free. Chow, 24, was mobbed by waiting media but opted for a quiet exit, making no comment. Instead, she wrote a short Instagram post after her release. “The… agony is finally over,” she wrote, adding that she intended to rest after becoming “weak” while behind bars. Chow hails

Mass shootings in Chicago and Austin. At least 23 people wounded, reports say: Gun Extremism

  Two mass shootings have left at least 23 people injured, according to reports. A shooting in Austin, Texas, injured at least 13 people, officials said. At least 10 adults were shot outside the Frances Cocktail Lounge in Chicago, local media reported. At least 23 people were injured in mass shootings in Chicago, Illinois, and Austin, Texas, on Saturday morning, according to reports. In downtown Austin, multiple shots fired near a restaurant injured at least 13 people, the City of Austin Police Department said in a  press release . Two people are in critical condition,  according to a tweet by ATCEMS. Police said the suspected shooter was not in custody. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Team is on the scene, according to CNN. At least 10 adults were also shot at Frances Cocktail Lounge in the South Side of Chicago during the early hours of Saturday morning, according to  ABC 7 Chicago . A 29-year-old woman was shot in the abdomen and left knee and later died at the University of Chic

''Xi Jinping is my spiritual leader'': China''s education drive in Tibet

LHASA, China (Reuters) - Under clear blue skies, rugged peaks and the spectacular Potala Palace, one image is ubiquitous in Tibet`s capital city Lhasa: portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping and fellow leaders.  In a rare and tightly chaperoned government tour of the region last week, a Reuters journalist saw the portraits in classrooms, streets, religious institutions, houses, and the bedroom of a Buddhist monk. More than a dozen other reporters were also on the trip. China is broadening a political education campaign as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of its control over Tibet.  Chinese officials say the campaign is key to the future of Tibet, a region which makes up over 12% of China`s land mass but is home to just 3.5 million people, mostly ethnic Tibetans.  Civilians and religious figures who the government arranged to be interviewed on the five-day trip pledged loyalty to the Communist Party and Xi. Asked who his spiritual leader was, a monk at Lhasa`s historic Jokhang temp

Iraq remembers Speicher massacre anniversary

  Seven years ago members of ISIS kidnapped more than 1,700 unarmed young cadets who had been training in Iraq and executed them.   The Speicher Massacre as it became known was one of the first examples of the genocidal brutality of  ISIS . Nothing on this scale had been done before, with such Nazi-like systematic murder, by a terrorist group and it illustrated how ISIS was not like Al Qaeda or groups that came before Terror groups had done major bombings before, targeting Shi’ites, Christians and  Yazidis  in Iraq, but this was a more complex plan and the men who were massacred were carefully chosen and moved around before their execution.  So many men were murdered in one place that the streams flowed red with blood. In other cases they were taken to the dry desert and machine gunned. ISIS would do the same later when they targeted Yazidis, but they would increase their brutality by selling women and children into slavery. Thousands of Yazidi women and children are still missing.   M

Johnson & Johnson to toss 60 MN doses of COVID-19 vaccine made at Baltimore plant: Report

  The US FDA told Johnson & Johnson to discard about 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were produced at a troubled Baltimore plant. The US Food and Drug Administration has reportedly told Johnson & Johnson to discard about 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were produced at a troubled Baltimore plant. According to NBC News, the FDA ordered the vaccines to be tossed after determining they were “not suitable for use”. However, two people familiar with the decision told the media outlet that the FDA is planning to allow Johnson & Johnson to distribute 10 million doses that were manufactured at the same facility.  The doses in question were produced at the Emergency BioSolutions plant in Baltimore. As per reports, the facility threw away ingredients for 15 million does in late April because of contamination with materials from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was also manufactured at the same plant. At that time the FDA’s subsequent inspection of the Baltim

Why extremists fear a girl with a book more than a drone overhead

  Lying in her hospital bed in Kabul, Afghanistan, having survived an extremist group’s bombing that killed more than 80 students at her school, a 17-year-old named Arifa was as determined as she was frightened. “I will continue my education, even if I’m afraid,” Arifa, who hopes to become a doctor, vowed to Richard Engel of NBC News. Source:

To Prevent Violent Extremism in Tajikistan, Promote Religious Freedom

 Tajikistan is located in a dangerous neighborhood, sharing a long border with Afghanistan that is a growing concern amid the imminent U.S. withdrawal. While the United States engages with Tajikistan on such security issues, the government of Tajikistan continues to operate under the fallacy that security requires strict control of religion, justifying gross violations of religious freedom and facilitating a deeply counterproductive strategy for preventing and countering violent extremism.  Given these circumstances, U.S. assistance to Tajikistan should come with conditions, and should not ignore or condone domestic policies that generate the kinds of grievances that contribute to radicalization. Instead, the U.S. should promote and directly incorporate religious freedom training as a requirement to receive aid.  Research  has  found  such training to be an effective antidote to violent extremism, and international bodies like the  Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O

Scottish Separatists and Boris Johnson’s Victory

  Nicholas Sturgeon’s separatists lack the absolute majority of the Scottish Parliament needed to legitimize calls for a new referendum on independence from the British crown. But the game remains open. This content was published on May 08, 2021 – at 10:42 pm May 08, 2021 – 10:42 pm tvsvwitzerland / ats / spal with RSI (TG of 8.5.2021) In the British administrative elections, the separatists won their fourth consecutive victory in Parliament in Edinburgh 64 times. Also enough to secure the leadership of the next local government, but not to touch 65, which would have given him 50% plus of the assembly. First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon believes there is “no justification” that could prevent a new referendum on Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom. Commenting on the election results, Sturgeon said that the Scottish Parliament “undoubtedly has a majority in favor of independence”, pointing to a possible settlement with the Scottish Greens. This matter will be the s

Support for independence reaches historic low in Spain’s Basque Country

  SUPPORT for breaking away from Spain has fallen to a historic low in the Basque Country which went through a forty year armed conflict over the issue of independence, according to a survey.   Only 21% of respondents in a survey for  El último Sociómetro del Gobierno vasco   in a survey for the Basque regional government said they supported secession.  Meanwhile, some 41% said they opposed separatism, the highest figure since 1998 when the polls by the regional government began.    The Basque separatist organisation Eta declared a ceasefire in 2011 after a forty year armed conflict in which 829 people lost their lives.  In 2014, some 30% of Basques said they supported independence, the highest level of support for forming a new state. The latest study shows a seven point rise in the percentage of Basques who say they opposed independence.  In a 2019 poll, 34% of people said they were against splitting from Spain.   The survey of 3,333 people was carried out between 17 and 21 May.  It

The silence of friends: Why does the Muslim world support Palestine but ignore Kurdistan’s struggle?

  Two nations, orphaned by the demise of the Ottoman Empire, are fighting for statehood. But the response of global Muslim community to each is quite different. Kurdistan is a nation without a state. So is Palestine. A nation is a group of people who have a strong sense of unity and common consciousness. Possession of a definite territory and sovereignty are  sine qua non  for a state but  not  for a nation. Nations can survive even without sovereignty.  Kurdistan is a nation stretched across many states in West Asia. The Kurdish people, around 40 million in number, inhabit in eastern Turkey, north Iraq, north-western Iran, north-eastern Syria and some territories of Armenia. Around 22 million of Turkey’s 84 million people are Kurdish. Most of Kurdish people are Sunni Muslims and only a few are Christians.  Advertisement They are the third-largest ethnic group in the West Asia and the largest nation without a state in the world, says Davan Yahya Khalil in his book  Kurdistan: Genocide