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A MINISTER'S answer that she could live on the dole has been marked as "inaudible" in the official transcript from her office, despite the crystal-clear video.
From today parents will move from the parenting payment to Newstart in what federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin says is aimed at getting people back to work. About 84,000 single parents will be affected.
Rebekah Devlin of The Punch wrote on 18 OCT 2012:
"A few weeks ago I spent a week living on the dole for a feature story. I had just $150 to spend on groceries, public transport, electricity bills, mobile phone, medications, photocopying of my resume and an outfit to wear to job interviews. I had no car, no internet, no computer, no food from my pantry, no private health insurance, and no Foxtel. I had always thought the dole payment was rather generous. After all, how do all those surfies survive on it? But the current level of Newstart allowance is so grossly inadequate I was shocked.
Newstart is $246.30 per week, plus a rent assistance of $60.50 per week is available, but you have to pay at least $134.36 in rent to be eligible. I couldn’t find accommodation for less than $150. The poverty line in Australia is $474.20 a week, almost $170 more than the dole. We’ve all said “Get a job”, but it ain’t that easy.
For the long-term unemployed, you may as well be asking them to fly to the moon. How do you get experience if every employer wants you to have it BEFORE they give you a job? I went shop to shop handing out my resume. Do you have any idea how humiliating it is asking a 17-year-old at a counter if they have any work? Then her telling you they only want juniors? I’m too old at 35, what a joke. The Centrelink offices are truly depressing - you feel the hopelessness as soon as you walk in the door. People are down-rodden, beaten. Some people dress up to show they don’t really belong, others gave up that charade years ago.
What hopes did they once have for their lives? Will they ever be able to break free from the cycle of poverty? Some were made redundant and haven’t been able to find work. Others had to leave their jobs for many reasons - illness, abusive bosses, inflexible work hours. Some were sacked for no apparent reason.
The Newstart allowance is not enough to lead any kind of a quality life. You are merely existing, rather than living. Life was grey, there was no colour, no joy. I couldn’t even buy a block of chocolate or hire a DVD as a treat.
Welfare groups have called for an increase of $50 a week. It is a meal at a nice restaurant for most of us, but to someone on the dole, it is extra medications, the ability to pay their electricity bill, a visit to a specialist.
A single pensioner got a rise of $17.10 per fortnight on September 20 because it is indexed differently to Newstart, which is done against CPI. Which means dole payments rose by a pathetic $2.90 a fortnight last month - $14.20 less than what pensioners received. Pensioners get $356 a week plus a supplement of $30.30, which means they get $396.30, almost $100 more than those on Newstart with the full rent assistance. How is that even remotely fair?
Are groceries cheaper just because you’re on the dole rather than the pension? In just a week on the dole I was lonely, bored and so dreadfully isolated. I cannot imagine living like that long-term.
We all know of people who happily exist on the dole with no desire to find work. But these people are the minority and policy decisions must not be based on the few who abuse the system.
There are good people out there who would love a job, and maybe if they weren’t so focused on merely surviving they might just have more time and inclination to look for a job and undertake training. After all, it’s hard to look for work when you can’t see beyond your next meal."
Cabinet Minister, Ms Macklin earns $6,321 a week, and claims she could live on the dole.
We the undersinged are requesting from Crypton Future Media-The Creators of Hatsune Miku & The Croatian Minister of Tourism to bring Hatsune Miku to Europe & Croatia, so she can held her concert!
I believe this is the ideal opportunity to decide what United Kingdom citizens collectively wish to happen with regard to Scottish Independence.
It costs the UK billions every year to support Scotland. Similarly Scotland would be left with huge debt following separation.
The implications are serious for all UK citizens so it should be the decision of all United Kingdom citizens.
TO THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The petition of certain representatives of a ‘minority ethnic Latin American community’
Draws to the attention of the House:
The Minister for Immigration discretionary power under s499 of the Migration Act 1958 and the Ministerial guidelines for unique and exceptional circumstances created under this section of the Act.
The community expectation that the Minister for Immigration will comply with this provision of the Migration Act 1958 without breaches to the ‘hearing rule’.
IT IS SUBMITTED that the Minister decision stating ‘it would not be in the public interest to intervene’, was derived from a ‘flawed assessment’ on the Applicant’s case (CLF2011/85543). The Minister ‘ignored’ to consider the applicant’s brother who is resident of Australia. Therefore, lack of ‘procedural fairness’ is a clear breach to the ‘hearing rule’. The decision must be declared invalid due to an ‘administrative error’.
IT IS SUBMITTED that the Judiciary system of Australia has not jurisdiction to review such decision. The Applicant’s brother and family members resulted aggrieved. The Applicant previously applied for Protection visa, if returned to Colombia his life would be in high risk of danger which will bring psychological consequences to his brother.
HELP FIND BEN NEEDHAM
Ben Needham from the UK was abducted whilst with his family on the Island of Kos, in Greece in 1991, aged just 21 Months. Much evidence and leads arose but were never properly investigated. To date, Ben has not been found.
Please visit our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/helpfindben and our official website at http://www.helpfindben.co.uk.
In the early 1960′s, the US government, concerned about Soviet expansion in the Indian Ocean, asked the British government to find an uninhabited island where the US could build a naval base. Returning the favour, the US would be willing to give $14 million in research and development fees for Britain’s Polaris missile program.
The first island located was Aldabra, near Madagascar. Aldabra fitted the bill in terms of it’s location and vitally it was uninhabited. However, the island was a breeding ground for a rare species of tortoise and their mating habits may have been affected by a military base. Looking for an alternative, the US decided on Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos Archipelago. This had the benefit of leaving tortoise mating undisturbed but the island was home to 1,800 Chagossians, or Ilois, who had inhabited the islands for over 200 years.
The Chagossians were employed, grew their own food and fished and had built their own stores and a church. However, the courtesy for tortoises evidently didn’t apply to human beings. The government soon began a campaign to deal with the “population problem” to “maintain the pretense there [are] no permanent inhabitants.” This appalling attitude persisted and rather than seeing Diego Garcia as the society it was, it was regarded as a nuisance, summed up by the British diplomat Dennis Greenhill who said: “unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Man Fridays whose origins are obscure and who are hopefully being wished on to Mauritius.”
They were “wished on to Mauritius”, as well as the Seychelles and the UK. This began in 1968 when residents who left Diego Garcia merely to visit Mauritius were refused return to the island. They were stranded in Mauritius, without any assistance in resettling or any compensation. To this day, the Chagossians in Mauritius still live in poverty. Soon after, the Americans began to arrive and the rest of the indigenous population were forced to leave. Only allowed to take clothes, their homes and possessions had to be abandoned and their pets were killed amidst threats that if they did not leave, they would otherwise be “bombed” and wouldn’t “be fed any longer.” All this was with the full knowledge and approval of Harold Wilson, Roy Jenkins and Denis Healey.
The inhumane treatment was compounded by the compensation later given to the Mauritius government. The £1.4 million only covered the debts incurred from resettlement and when it was dealt out to 595 Chagossian families, it was years later and significantly reduced by inflation. Another £6 million was paid in compensation but when the Chagossians claimed for it, they were required to endorse a renunciation form, written in English though they speak Creole, that forfeited their right to return home. This wasn’t even translated for them.
Injustice after injustice, finally in 2000 it was ruled that the forced removal was illegal and the right to return to the outer Chagos Islands was returned. This slight progress was then reneged when Jack Straw issued two Orders in Council in 2004 and the right to return was take away again. Even as soon as April this year, the Foreign Office proposed plans for a Marine Protected Area in the Chagos Archipelago that erects a barrier to any return to the islands. The outright dismissal of their rights continues.
That’s the story. Tragic, inhumane and unlawful. We desperately have to make amends and the best place to begin is by changing our policy on Chagos and campaigning for their right to return. To achieve this, we need your support.
VICTORIA'S Health Minister has given the green light for GPs to charge patients if they turn up late, saying it's not his role to stop them.
"It’s up to GPs whether they charge patients for being late", Health Minister Daniel Andrews said.
Copy and paste all lines of this URL to read more about it.
The Herald Sun revealed this morning, July 1, that doctors have begun charging patients a fee of up to $50 for being just 10 minutes late for appointments.
It is most unfair for people with genuine reasons for being late, to have to pay over and above their consultation fee. Those who cannot drive, like the elderly, are at the mercy of taxi or bus drivers, to get them there on time for their appointments.
There are ways for GPs to continue on with their schedules if anyone is late, so a late- fee is most unacceptable. For example,a doctor can take the next patient in line and the late comer will take his turn later.
Mr Andrews' words contain no warnings or cautions to the doctors. In fact, they sound like he approves of the idea.
If this system comes into Victoria, it will be no time before the other states follow suit.
We ask citizens, Australia wide, to sign this petition.
Or write to :
Daniel Andrews, MP
Level 22, 50 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne Vic 3000
Ph: 9096 8561
Fax: 9096 8355
In the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat cabinet Theresa May has been appointed as Minister for Women and Equality.
Prior to this appointment her voting record on gay rights has included:
- Voting against further discussion on the repeal of section 28, preferring to let it stand;
- Voting against lowering the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16;
- Voting against gay adoption rights; as well as numerous other votes that have offended both homosexual and heterosexual communities. For these reasons we do not feel she is appropriate for the post of Minister for Equality.
We would like to make it clear that this campaign is not politically motivated, and is in no way a campaign against any political party.
Furthermore it is campaigning only for Theresa May's removal from this specific post, and not from any other position that she holds.
Little Billy Caldwell was born on the 26th July 2005 and at only 4 months of age little Billy awoke from his sleep stared wide-eyed for thirty second and then seemed to doze off. He repeated this two more times that night at thirty minute intervals.
Billy was eventually taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children for further care under a specialist Neurological Paediatrician. Billy remained in the RBHSC for the next fourteen weeks as Charlotte watched as the doctor experienced the full range of seizures Billy was now taken. Eventually Charlotte was told their was no more they could do for her son and prescribed to Charlotte that sh would be shown how to administrate Morphine to Billy To Make his last few months on Mother Earth a little bit comfortable.
But Charlotte Caldwell Did not want her son to die so she researched and found a hospital in Chicago and today thanks to Charlotte Caldwell her son is alive but he needs special treatment which the Northern Ireland Government is now Refusing to give Billy.
Since Mary Harney, the Minister for Health and Children in Ireland, has been in her position there have been many controversial stories ranging from using government jet for a Trip to Florida costing the taxpayer in the region of 80,000 Euro and reportedly she had a haircut costing 400 dollars, in 2006 controversy about 455 patients waiting on hospital trolleys one day, and recently has been in news as stories emerged of her moving cancer services from Sligo General Hospital to Galway Hospital (around 2 hour journey for Cancer patients) with dis-regard to huge public outcry.
And also the handling of closing wards and operating theatres in Crumlin Children's Hospital up in Dublin that nationally treats sick children in Ireland claiming that they had overspent on Budgets.
For more reading:
To the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd,
On June 12, 2009, millions of Iranians, many of whom have friends and family here in Australia, went to the polls to elect their next president. Unlike the 2005 presidential elections where 48% of the electorate voted in run-off elections to choose Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many more voters were expected to and did turn-out to vote against his disastrous domestic and foreign policies.
However, even before a tally of the votes could be taken Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters declared victory with 63% of the popular vote. With lightning speed his rival’s campaign headquarters were closed, many of their leaders were arrested and a heavy police and paramilitary presence was brought into the streets. Are these the actions of someone who has won a free and fair election?
Although the world does not yet realize it, on June 13th we witnessed an unprecedented coup d’état veiled in the guise of a popular election. If this coup is allowed to succeed and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) are allowed to consolidate their power, not only will they pose a danger to the Iranian people, but will also become a much greater threat to the outside world.
The implications of this coup are far-reaching. Whereas before the hard-line elements in the IRGC were held in check by the Supreme Leader and the clergy, over the last four years they have come to assume a position of immense power in Iran.
This coup represents the consummation of their new position in the state, and has grave implications for the Iranian people, Australia and the Western world.
STOP UNCONTROLLED GAMBLING IN NOVA SCOTIA
SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO GOVERNMENT WE THE PUBLIC ARE GOING TO PROTECT OUR YOUTH OUR FAMILIES AND OUR SENIORS FROM BEING VICTIMIZED.
1. GAMING CONTROL ACT: STATES: AS ITS PURPOSE TO REGULATE, CASINOS, LOTTERY SCHEMES AND TO INCREASE REVENUE FOR THE PROVINCE.
ENSURE THAT ANY MEASURES TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO CASINOS AND OTHER LOTTERY SCHEMES ARE UNDERTAKEN FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD AND IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PUBLIC AND WITHOUT LIMITYING THE LIMITING OF THE FOREGOING, TO MINIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT GIVE RISE TO PROBLEM GAMBLING AND OTHER ILLNESSES CRIME AND SOCIAL DISRUPTION, (1994-95,C,4,S.2.)THESE OPERATIONS ARE LICENCED PURSUANT TO THIS AND THE REGULATIONS AND THE CRIMINAL CODE (CANADA) TO CONDUCT AND MANAGE LOTTERY.
2. CONTROLLED BY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND MINISTER OF LABOR FOR THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA. PART I AND PART I I .
THE GAMING CONTROL ACT SECTION 20 SUB SECTION C STATES OPERATORS AND RGULATORS MUST HAVE IN PLACE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO IDENTIFY AND REMOVE PROBLEM GAMBLERS NO WHERE IN THE ACT DOES IT SAY SELF-EXCLUSION FOR A PROBLEM GAMBLER.
3. MANAGED BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL THERE ARE THREE TO FIVE BOARD MEMBERS APPOINTED.
4. THE CORPORATION SECTION E STATES REPORT FORTHWITH TO THE MINISTER AND THE COMMISSION ANY DEFECT, ABUSE, ILLEGALITY OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN RELATION TO CASINOS AND OTHER LOTTERY SCHEMES;
5. NOVA SCOTIANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO TO GAMBLING IN THE PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA. CASINO OPERATIONS AND VLTS OPERATIONS MUST BE STOPPED. GAMBLING IS A VERY DANGEROUS PAST TIME FOR ALL.
6. THE PAST AND PRESENT GOVERNMENT HAVE SHOWN THE PUBLIC JUST HOW INTEGRITY AND HONESTY REALLY WORKS JUST TAKE A LOOK AT PROBLEM GAMBLERS BANK ACCOUNTS. HOW MUCH MORE ABUSE AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY CAN WE TAKE. THIS IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT. THE OMBUDSMANS REPORT WAS FINISHED IN 2007. THE RECOMMENDATIONS MOVE VERY SLOW AND ARE ONLY 50 % COMPLETE AFTER TWO YEARS. WILL WE EVER SEE ALL RECOMMENDATIONS COMPLETED?
7. WHEN GAMBLING ON MACHINES WAS ILLEGAL GOVERNMENT ACTED SWIFTLY AND WITHIN ONE DAY ALL WERE GATHERED UP AND DESTROYED. WHAT HAS CHANGED NOW? “NOTHING”
PLEASE SIGN WITH NAME ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER:
NAME: ADDRESS: PHONE NUMBER: VOTE:
PAUL BURRELL 269 CHARLOTTE STREET 902-578-0340 NO CASINOS &VLT’S
Clayton Miller was found dead on May 6, 1990. He disappeared during a police raid at a secluded outdoor party area called "the nest" in New Waterford, NS on the night of May 4, 1990.
Several people traveled the area of the nest on May 5, 1990 (including the spot on which Clayton's body was discovered on May 6, 1990). Clayton's body was not there. The New Waterford, NS Police deny having the boy in custody from May 4, 1990 to May 6, 1990.
Police photos of the boy's body, documented evidence and years of investigation by the family of Clayton Miller, clearly show the murder of this boy and cover-up afterwards.
Find details at http://www.injusticebusters.com/index.htm/claytonmiller.htm
15. Get Out PM Brown
Under Gordon Brown's "leadership", the UK has become a much more expensive and dangerous place to live, and he continues to do nothing about it.
In 2004, Tony Blair, the then Labour Party leader and British Prime Minister, promised the country a referendum on the EU Constitution.
He did this because the EU Constitution altered Britain’s relationship with the European Union and handed over a massive amount of power to Brussels. In 2005, the Labour Party fought and won a General Election with the referendum pledge contained in their manifesto.
Also in 2005, the EU Constitution was rejected by French and Dutch voters, ensuring the proposed constitution was scrapped.
Now, in place of the failed EU Constitution, EU leaders, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have signed a Reform Treaty, which is almost identical to the EU Constitution. It also involves a huge amount of powers being transferred to Brussels. However, the Labour Party has gone back on its referendum pledge of 2005 and is refusing to give the people a vote.
We, the UK Independence Party South Sefton Branch, believe that this is a disgrace and a betrayal of the British people. Therefore we are calling on Bootle’s Labour MP to follow the lead of his Labour colleagues on Merseyside, Frank Field MP and Bob Wareing MP, and support a referendum.
In reliance of the Prime Minister's pre-election promises we the undersigned hereby petition the Prime Minister to Ban Live Exports in accordance with ALP`s then stated policy.
The petition of the undersigned protests in the strongest possible terms against the live export of Australian animals and the ALP broken pre-election promises.
The Prime Minister is aware that the ALP pre policy promises aired on ABC Landline regarding the cruel live export trade have been broken by his Government within weeks of the 2007 elections.
During transportation the animals are subjected to inhumane conditions resulting in unacceptably high death rates and suffering. Upon arrival they suffer extreme cruelty and barbarism prior and during slaughter- practices that are illegal in Australia.
Pakistan former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has died after a suicide bombing that killed at least 14 of her supporters, ex-government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan and Pakistan's primary television networks said.
Bhutto is helped from her vehicle following the October 18 suicide attack on her motorcade.
1 of 2 Bhutto suffered bullet wounds in the aftermath of the bomb attack, TV networks report.
Video of the scene just moments before the explosion showed Bhutto stepping into a heavily-guarded vehicle to leave the rally.
Khan said while it appeared Bhutto was shot, it was unclear if her bullet wounds were caused by a shooting or shrapnel from the bomb.
The suicide attack left at least 14 dead and 40 injured, Khan told CNN in a telephone interview.
The attacker is said to have detonated a bomb as he tried to enter the rally where thousands of people gathered to hear Bhutto speak, police said.
Video from the scene of the blast broadcast from Geo TV showed wounded people being loaded into ambulances.
Up to 20 people are dead, the report said.
Earlier, four supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died when members of another political party opened fire on them at a rally near the Islamabad airport Friday, local police said.
Several other members of Sharif's party were wounded, police added.
While President Pervez Musharraf has promised free and fair parliamentary elections next month, continued instability in the tribal areas and the threat of attack on large crowds has kept people from attending political rallies and dampened the country's political process.
Campaigners from various political groups say fewer people are coming out to show their support due to government crackdowns and the threat of violence.
A person can be imprisoned for a period of time and be released early due to parole but a person who is disqualified from driving a vehicle dose not have this option regardless that it may be a much less serious offense.
If a person who has lost their license or driven whilst disqualified, and has not re-offended after a period of time, they should have the option to reduce their disqualification period and/or be able to obtain a restricted work license.
People make mistakes and people change and I believe that my submission is fair and just.
We 400 million Urban residents of India are constantly barraged by unwanted intrusive traffic noises, especially honking 24/7.
It severely affects our health and well being.
It has enormous, immeasurable cascading deleterious effects on the entire society.
We beg for enforced Silence.
SRI LANKA ARMED FORCES RELEIF FOUNDATION (SLAFRF) WOULD LIKE TO ALL PEACE LOVING SRI LANKANS TO TAKE PART IN THIS WORLD WIDE REQUEST TO SIGN THIS PETITION IN FAVOUR OF FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS AND TO FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISAM OF THE LTTE IN SRI LANKA.
Killing innocent civilians have always been 'fair play' for sick LTTE Tamil terrorists since the beginning of the conflict in Sri Lanka, particularly just after suffering a setback at the hands of the Sri Lankan army. The most recent cases being when they exploded a massive truck bomb killing over 100 people and injuring over 1000 in Colombo on 31 Jan 1996, soon after loosing control of Jaffna peninsula and exploding another massive truck bomb and shooting unarmed security guards killing 12 civilians on 15 October 1997, just as they were loosing the battle to halt the Sri Lankan army clearing a land route to Jaffna peninsula.
These are some of the other instances where LTTE has killed innocent civilians after suffering a setback.
Nov 30 LTTE Attacks on Sinhalese villages in north-eastern border areas kill 127 people, mostly sinhalese.
May 14 LTTE terrorists attack sacred north-central city of Anuradhapura, killing 150
May 3 Air Lanka airplane bombed at Colombo airport, killing 16 people.
May 7 Bomb destroys central telegraph office killing 14 people.
April 21 Car bomb exploded by LTTE terrorists at Colombo bus stand killing 113
June 2 LTTE terrorists stop bus and shoot 33 people, including 29 Buddhist monks near the eastern town of Arantalawa.
May 1 LTTE planted Landmine blows up bus killing 22 passengers in Trincomalee.
Nov 14 27 Sinhalese die in attack on bus at Trincomalee by LTTE terrorists.
Feb 11 34 Sinhalese killed in shootings at Duluwewa in north-east.
Feb 28 Terrorists kill 37 Sinhalese at Borawewa in Northcentral Province.
April 13 Car bomb in Trincomalee kills 51 people shopping for new year.
Aug 3 140 Moslems praying at mosque in eastern village of Kattankudy killed in machete, gun and grenade attack
Aug 12 120 Moslems killed at Eravur, north of Batticaloa.
March 2 Deputy defence minister Ranjan Wijeratne killed by LTTE car bomb in Colombo.
April 21 21 villagers killed in attacks in south-east Moneragala.
July 8 27 civilians killed in Batticaloa.
Sept 1 Bicycle bomb in eastern Batticaloa kills 22 Moslems.
Oct 15 166 Moslems killed in north-eastern Palliyagodella.
April 23 LTTE terrorists kill former security minister Lalith Athulathmudali at rally in Colombo.
May 1 LTTE suicide bomber kills President Ranasinghe Premadasa and 23 others in Colombo.
Jan 19 15 bus passengers killed in bomb blast at Anuradhapura.
March 21 22 fishermen killed in north-western Puttalam.
Apri l8 Three bombs explode at Colombo hotels, killing two.
Nov 24 Opposition leader Gamini Dissanayake and 51 others killed by suicide bomber.
May 26 42 Sinhalese villagers killed at Kallarawa near Trincomalee.
June 4 Ship chartered by International Committee of the Red Cross blown up in northern Jaffna.
Aug 7 Suicide bomber explodes bomb hidden in coconut cart in Colombo killing 24 and wounding 40.
Oct 20 LTTE terrorists blow up two oil depots in Colombo, killing more than 20 security personnel.
Oct 26 24 Sinhalese villagers massacred in east after 90 slaughtered in earlier attacks in what government said was attempt to divert troops from north.
Nov 11 Two suicide bombers kill 15 people in Colombo in unsuccessful attack on Army headquarters.
Jan 31 A truck packed with what police said was a 500-kg plastic bomb rams into the Central Bank building. The explosion brings down a huge section of the nine-storey building, killing 100 people and injured about 1,400.
July 4 A woman suicide bomber kills at least 21 soldiers and civilians, and wounds 50, including a cabinet minister.
July 24 LTTE explodes two bombs on a rush-hour commuter train kill 57 people and injure at least 257.
July 5 LTTE murders Lawmaker Arunsalam Thangathurai and four other Tamils in a grenade attack.
July 17 North Korean ship carrying food, attacked and seized, killing one crew member.
Sept 9 Civilian ship attacked north of the eastern port of Trincomalee. Thirty-two people killed in a gun battle between terrorists and the Sri Lankan navy.
Oct 15 At least 11 people killed in LTTE terrorist bomb blast and ensuing gun battle in central Colombo.
July 5, 2006
The health minister of India Mr. Anbumani Ramadoss has been squabbling with Dr. Venugopal, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), New Delhi over the anti-resrvation protest issue.
He has systematically undermined the autonomy of the prestigious institute and demoralized the doctors who fought for a legitimate cause which is their fundamental right.
As the proverbial last straw that broke the camel's back, he has ousted the Director of AIIMS who did not ascribe to his views.
This petition is now closed.
July 2, 2006
Assam to Asom what's in a name?
Mr. Chandra Prasad Saikia, ex President of Oxom Xahityo Xobha, proposed, through the Assamese magazine "Gariyoshi" that the name ASSAM is not an indigenous one, and claimed that it is a word coined by the British during the colonial rule for their own convenience and therefore the name ASSAM should be changed.
Without discussing the merits of the suggestion with any official literary organization or any other entity, last February the government of Assam took the decision to change the name of the State from Assam to Asom. This decision was based on the above suggestion. The ruling congress party took this political decision before the assembly election.
This shows that we not only have serious problem in practicing the democratic values in Assam, but it also shows that there are some grave misconceptions even among the educated people in Assam regarding the origins of the names of the state: OXOM and ASSAM. This is rather a very sad and pathetic situation.
Mr. Chandra Prasad Saikia is wrong in his assumption that the word Assam is coined by the British. Local newspapers like Amar Oxom etc are asking for an open debate on the issue. Recently the joint Xahityo Xobha Monso of Assam also took a resolution against the spelling ASOM.
The Tai-Ahom and the Buddhist organizations in Assam are sending petitions to Government of India against the spelling ASOM. Moreover the decision of the Assam Government is still pending and it has not issued any notification to that effect.
No news paper from Assam has actually written any Editorial on the issue worth its name. Respected and prestigious English language news papers like The Assam Tribune and Sentinel, instead of playing a leadership role in the debate for the right spelling of the word ASOM or ASSAM have started using the name Asom.
By this blind adoption, The Assam tribune and Sentinel are trying to make it a fait accompli.
In a democracy there is no room for a hasty decision without any public debate to pass a political resolution. The government of Assam should give the arguments for their proposal to change the name of the State. It seems in Assam those who speak, they don't know, and those who know, they don't speak.
As there are several arguments in defence of the name Assam which existed before the British came to India, the Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS), we are voicing our strong opposition to the Government of Assam's hasty decision without any public debate to pass a political resolution for the use of the spelling ASOM.
Mr. Chandra Prasad Saikia who initiated the name change has not come forward to defend his contention. The cabinet decision by itself does not become automatic implementation. As the name Assam is enshrined in the Constitution, to change the name requires a Constitutional amendment.
For this reason we from the Friends of Assam and Seven Sisiters (FASS) would like to submit a petition to the to the President of India, Prime Minister, Union Law Minister, Governor and Chief Minister of the State resenting the recent move of the State Government to respell the name of the State as 'Asom' in English.
Please find enclosed the petition we are trying to push through. We know that this change does not necessary affect each one of you and that it may not impact your individual situations but we do hope you will on principle support us in asking the Indian government to react.
In the event that you do support this letter please reply before 99-99-9999
with a yes. We shall then include your name in the petition to the Prime
Minister of India.
Counting on your support.
Rajen Baruah, Huston Texas, USA
Shantikam Hazarika, Guwahati, India
Wahid Saleh, Berkel en Rodenrijs, The Netherlands
On behalf of Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters
PS: If you want to have extra information on this subject, please download two papers written by Rajen Baruah of FASS. The papers may be found at http://www.indiawijzer.nl & for more inofrmation contact the author of this petition.
1. On the origins of the names of Oxom and Assam in English. (http://www.indiawijzer.nl)
2. On the origins of the names of Oxom and Assam (Assamese text). (http://www.indiawijzer.nl)
June 29, 2006
The Finance Minister has been under the false impression that the ordinary caterer who has been providing simple food to the common man is earning huge profits from the people & hence he has levied a strange tax called VAT which is @ 8% to 12.5% whereas on other business comodities it is @ 4% & on food which is the most essential part of life it is 8 to 12 percent.
Also on the most luxurious item like gold of which nowadays an ordinary man cannot think of buying the VAT percent is @ 1%.
So We request the Hon. F M to abolish VAT on food & cateriong services.
June 8, 2006
Innocent Nkung, a teacher and human rights campaigner, arrived in the UK in May 2005 after fleeing for his life from the "Democratic" Republic of Congo where he had been demonstrating for free elections and for an end to the large-scale attrocities and human rights abuses that the Congolese people are currently facing.
He is being supported by local people who have helped him in his campaign to stay in the UK. We have been raising awareness of the issues in Congo by arranging Congolese social evenings for the community with traditional food and music.
Here we have discussed such topics as the reasons for the poverty in Africa and the refugee crisis and why globally we are all responsible. Innocent has given so much to our community in terms of devoting the majority of his time to volunteering for good causes and in providing unpaid french tuition to school children and we continue to support him in his aim to present 5,000 signatures to the UK Home Office to support his application for asylum.
He has also gained the support of our local media, our MP and the UK Respect Party. At present we have 3,000 signatures and we hope to reach our target by the end of July when we shall present them to the Government.
If we fail and the Government decide to ignore all the current evidence of what awaits those deported back to Congo, this warm and amiable man will certainly be murdered upon his return.
This petition is in response to the proposal for 27% reservation quota in favor of the backward classes by HRD Minister Arjun Singh.
This letter voices the strong opposition to this recent proposal, and is not by any means, must be seen as an evidence of contempt towards the SC/ST/OBC. In the form of this letter, we attempt to initiate the realization of the major flaws in the whole system.
To do so, we require to carefully examine the legal, economical and the logical aspects as to why these quota reservations could pose a major threat to the well being of our country.
Need for Reservation- Reality or Myth?
The basic motive was to give the students belonging to the SC/ST/OBC equal opportunities because of their social disadvantages and lack of resources & exposure.
We need to ask ourselves: Has this motive been accomplished by the said reservation quotas?? Ask any doctor or engineer who has graduated with the tag of 'quota' and it will be clear that the procedure has failed to achieve genuine equality, depriving us from the Fundamental Right to Equality.
Constitution and Reservation:
Where articles 15 and 16 ensure every citizen freedom and equality before law, the unpractical provisions for reservation only highlight the contradictions in the machinery of the government.
Reservations were a part of the constitution when it was released in 1950. However, that was supposed to be a temporary measure and was to last for 10 years.
Part XVI of the Constitution makes certain reservations for the SC/ ST/ OBC for their election in the Legislative Assemblies and the House of People. Article 334 expressly provides that the reservations and special representations will cease after a period of fifty years. An Amendment (79th amendment w.e.f. 25-1-2000) to the Constitution in 1999 extended this time frame of fifty years to sixty years. Is this justified? Isn't this detrimental to the interests of the general members of the country who will now consider themselves unfortunate for not being tagged as "depressed" classes.
More than 50 years later the reservations continue to exist and have only become higher with passing years. The politicians, in an attempt to woo more votes from the public, continue to reserve more and more seats for SCs/ STs/ OBCs. This makes us feel as if the government covers its vested interests and political peripherals in the large cloak of democracy.
Certain Consequence of Reservation Regime:
The following are the sure consequences in case if the reservation regime is passed inspite of major oppositions by the IITs, and IIMs:
The caste-hatred in the country will increase, leading to aggravated tensions in the IIT and IIM class rooms.
Youngsters will lose faith in the democratic system of the country. If vote banks are so important to our politicians then we assure them that they'd lose a considerable part of it. We will not stay unplugged.
The benefit of reservation is always lapped up by the quota-students coming into the creamy layer, not being entitled for reservation, while candidates who may be more meritorious miss out on those seats. Such candidates might decide to go abroad, considering their encroachment of opportunities, to accomplish their further studies. This results in India losing talented people, who could have been the country's future.
The quota system, created to facilitate the poor, ends up wrongly being utilized by children of rich people, ministers and IAS officers belonging to SC/ST/OBC. The government and the ministers need to sit and carefully analyze the possible effects on their moves.
Quota helps students secure seat, not degree. This is a hard truth.
Brain Drain- With the reservation regime being proposed with ease and pomp, most of the parents are pushing their children to pursue their academics from institutions abroad sans the inequality and the so called privileged treatment confined only to the "depressed" classes. This will result in a major brain drain. There will be a time when we'll have to have reservation.
It is a well known fact that Where there is a Will, there is a way. If a certain member of the so called SC/ ST/ OBCs is really deserving and hard working then he/ she will surely rise through the ranks. There are already a lot of opportunities. People don't ask you now whether or not you are a member of SC/ ST/ OBCs if you're hard working enough. Then why should the SC/ ST/ OBCs come out and expressly mention their caste details in order to be treated in a privileged manner? Dr. Ambedkar, too, worked his way to the top in an era that was plagued with inequality and untouchability sans the reservation and quota policy. It is surprising to not to know any famous person who has reached the heights that Dr. Ambedkar himself has reached inspite of the quota tainted five decades. This is the biggest failure of the concept of Reservation.
Most quota students are not able to meet the standards of IITs, IIMs or other Indian institutes which are now globally acknowledged. These places of learning will have to bring down their standards and compromise on quality, which will, as an end-result affect the efficient development of the nation. It remains to be seen if the politicians consider their vote banks as important or the economic development of their country and the integrity of the constitution.
The placements of these revered institutes too bear the brunt.
Some statistics that highlight that Reservation Regime will lead nowhere:
The majority of quota students have failed to achieve even average performance:
o At IIM-Lucknow in 2004-05, large number of quota students failed to clear PG prog-I
o At GSVM Medical College, Kanpur, 50%admitted under quota flunk this year,35% get grace marks.
o 60% students fail to clear BSc exam,50% BCom and 40% BA under Allahabad University.
The government might be pushing for reservations for OBCs, but as things stand on the ground, even the 22.5% quota (SC/ST) in higher educations remains unfilled.
DATA collected by HRD Ministry for 2003-04 (latest figures available) show that the total number of students in higher educational institutes-a little over one crore-only 16% are SCs/ST. Which clearly means even with the existing quota, 6.5% of reserved seats are going vacant.
The ministry's data on admission says:
o In classes 1 to 5, as many as 27% of students are from SC/ST category.
o In higher classes, heir number reduces - so that only 24% SC/ST students remain in class 5 to 8, and just 19.1% in class 12.
o Of the 1489 seats in IIMs, 16.4% are filled up by SC/ST students.
o In IITs,it is about 18%.
Even now more than 60% of the students, whose performance are discussed in the Student Review Committee meetings of IIT Delhi, belong to the reserved categories.
o The cumulative grade point average of these students hovers in 5-6.5 range.
o This despite the fact that a one year preparatory course in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics is conducted for them.
Moreover, its not just academics that suffer in the hands of reservation. We feel that government is dragging down the level of premier institutions instead of trying to bring them up to international levels.
Alternative solutions to the hike in quota:
The number of seats in premier institutes may be increased, but then the quality of education should not be hampered, to attain which, it will be necessary to increase the teaching faculty as well along with the infrastructure.
The unavailability of seats is not as big a problem to the SC/ST/OBC as their financial crunch is. Assistance may be provided in the forms of scholarships.
The expenditure on higher and technical education is 0.4% and 0.1% of GDP, respectively. This should be raised.
Progeny of those who have got a position through quota should be denied the same privilege. One 'quota-case' in every family is sufficient.
The misuse of the quota by the powerful and the rich should be taken care of. Proper investigations and checks must be undertaken by the ministers who so loudly advocate the reservation regime.
The level of primary and secondary education must be boosted. All the problems start from primary level itself, if a student does not have a strong base, then he cannot complete higher education successfully.
The government should make efforts to uplift backward classes by strengthening the educational base of these classes at the primary level. Caste does not define how intelligent a person is. Rather it is differences in resources and exposure.
The government should start some campaigns to ensure that students from all sections of society are encouraged to pursue studies atleast till 12th standard.
Reservations in premier institutes are of no use unless creamy layer of students is kept out of it.
Merit V/s Quota
* FICCI president Y K Modi on September 4, 2004: "No where in the world is there reservation in the private sector".
* CII president Anand Mahindra on May 31, 2004: "The concept of reservation without reference to merit could have a distorting effect on the operations of the private sector".
* Ratan Tata: "Though I do not want to comment on it (reservation), it is bad in some way, it will tend to divide the country into different groups." " While uplift of socially backward classes is important, merit is an important aspect and should not be compromised"
* Assocham president K Sanghi on June 14, 2004: "It will have a far reaching impact on the industry as it may completely destroy the meritocracy in such units and bring inefficiency".
* FICCI president Y K Modi on September 04, 2004: "We oppose it as the move is against industrialisation and will lead to job reduction".
* NASSCOM president Kiran Karnik on May 31, 2004: "It will completely destroy the meritocracy in the private sector".
* Pune-based Alfa Laval India's MD Satish Tondon on August 08, 2004: "If I employ 1,000 staff, 5 per cent reservation would mean I have to recruit 50 people I may not need".
In the end we'd like to mention that the upliftment of socially backward classes is important, merit is an important aspect and should not be compromised. If the quota system has failed to serve the purpose till now, how is it going to help by increasing it?
India ranks 127 amongst 177 countries with regards to the Human Development Index. India spends just over 1% of it's total GDP on Health. This is equal to Rupees 160 (just over 3 Euro's) per head per anum. India's low health spending means India ranks an abysmal 171 out of 175 according to 2004 UNDP report.
Union health secretary J V R Prasad Rao explains what this skewed funding pattern means for India’s people: “With the funding so low, we can either fund doctors or get medicines or provide support services. We cannot take care of all this.”
80% of the population lives in rural areas, but 80% of health provision is urban. Over 85% of health provision is through private enterprise.
To make matters worse - immoral and unethical practices are a norm within the health sector. Unfortunately for a private medical practioner, earning a decent living (comparable to otherprofessionals from IT / MBA sector) is impossible without being a part of such corruption. The latter includes giving kick-backs to referring colleagues. Often this leads to quick & dirty ways of earning money i.e. 'sham' or 'unwanted' procedures. The other option is to consider working in public hospitals where you could get paid just as much as in a call-centre. In contrast salaries of those working in BPOs / software industry are 2-3 times higher.
The Medical Council of India currently functions only as a registration body. Once registered the MCI has no idea about the whereabouts of a doctor. Further it has no teeth and is unable to curb curruption and unethical practices including those carried out by quacks.
Open letter from the Community of Global Defenders of Truth, Justice, Peace and Tolerance:
The modern world is crying with blood and tears for a universal and sincere recognition of these values. Are not these values enshrined in the Holy Quran and the teachings of our beloved Prophet (saw)?
Over the last 50 years (half a century!) no single human being has supported and defended these values more ardently than the Most Venerable Sheikh ul Islam Muhammed Nazim Adil Haqqani.
He was born in Cyprus and brought up and educated in a great tradition of learning and practice by some of the greatest saintly scholars of Islam, in the last century. In his mission to serve the Almighty Allah Ta'ala, Sheikh Nazim has traveled the world to communicate the message of Truth from the shores of California in the west to those of Japan in the east, and from the confines of the Caucasus in the North to the perimeter of the southern seas in South Africa. His 25 years (1975-2000)of observance of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Britain, the nightly celebration of Teravih prayers in London, and endless weeks of lecturing, advice and support to countless number of adherents to the faith of Islam, and to non-Muslims, are all testimony to a remarkable life dedicated to preaching Truth, Justice, Peace and Tolerance.
Having now returned to his native Cyprus he continues to dedicate whatever remains of his life to serving the cause of Allah Ta'ala as before. Recent events in TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) regarding the harassment of Sheikh Nazim are deplorable to say the least. His weekly newsletter- one sided A4 printout, 40-50 in number- has worried the TRNC police (in TRNC police forces are under the military forces of mainland Turkey and not the local government minister) so much so that they confiscated a computer on 22-03-2006 and they are now running a full scale investigation which will lead to the prosecution of Sheikh Nazim for allegedly acting against the TRNC!
The message given out in Sheikh Nazim's leaflets do not carry any material that threatens national security or is inflammatory and likely to produce an upheaval. They are simple guidance calling on all people to recognize their creator and not to neglect their duty to Him. The forces responsible for this unfortunate behavior are acting independently of the democratic government of the TRNC.
The government of the TRNC is democratically elected and the whole world has followed with intent the evolution of democracy on mainland Turkey and the TRNC. It is a great credit to the people of these lands that they act as a beacon of democracy to the rest of the Muslim world, which is at present caught up in the throes of change.
The personality and standing of Sheikh Nazim is undoubtedly linked to the march towards freedom and peace of this important geographical and strategic region of the globe. It is sad to note that those who want to hamper this natural evolution of events leading to the welfare and prosperity of society misunderstand the essence of Sheikh Nazim's message.
After more than a century of official atheism, crass materialism, capitalism -you name it- human society across the world inspite of severe dislocations to- day seem to be poised to recognize the role of his creator in his worldly affairs. Many heads of state and government across the world do not hesitate to express publicly their belief in and worship of God.
The message of Sheikh Nazim is pure and simple, namely : Acknowledge Allah Ta'ala as your creator and Master first and the rest will follow. Let government and society show allegiance to the Lord Almighty- the fall out of a sincere and genuine faith in Him can but lead to peace, prosperity and happiness not only in this physical world but most importantly in the next world after death.
No amount of improvement in economic, scientific and technological progress etc is likely to bring peace to a world in dire need of it when this important criterion of Belief in Allah Ta'ala is missing in human affairs.
Sheikh Nazim is highly respected by both governments on the island of Cyprus as an exponent for peace. His role in the last referendum for unification of Cyprus was crucial in enabling the TRNC to project a worldwide and unique image of tolerance. This tolerance in fact is a national characteristic of the TRNC people.
We call on the police and the Turkish military presence in the TRNC to reconsider their position in the light above. May Allah Ta'ala help them to do so.
This open letter is being sent to President and Prime Minister of TRNC, the UN Secretary General and also being supported as a petition on the web site
President of TRNC
firstname.lastname@example.org fax:+90(392) 227 22 52
Prime Minister of TRNC e mail : email@example.com fax : +90(392) 227 72 25
March 19, 2006
Blair has started behaving like the Queen. He seems to think he's above politics now, and representative of some kind of mystic national destiny.
The longer he is allowed to hang around in this present situation, the weirder he's going to get. He has to go. NOW.
February 27, 2006
Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
Ex Chief Minister of State & Leader of Opposition Party.
Chilkur Balaji Temple situated in Osmansagar (Chilkur village), Hyd is the only Temple in the World that boasts of not having a 'Hundi' and does not discriminate among any devotees based on their social status.
Devotees are NOT EXPECTED to make any MONETARY OFFERINGS neither are they accepted. The temple run by the Head Priest, Sri Soundara Rajan is being maintained well & the Lord is answering devotees prayers in bountiful.
The taking over of the Temple by the Endowments Department WILL introduce the 'Hundi' system and other special darshans for the VIP's. The common man who has been able to have darshan of the Lord JUST LIKE ANY OTHER VIP will be DENIED this privilege. Devotees will have to BUY tickets to have darshan of the Lord and more than anything else, it will lead to the COMMERCIALISATION of the Temple.
As you are aware that there is currently an ongoing agitation regarding the taking over of the temple by the Endowments Department; As the Ex Chief Minister of the State and a strong Leader of the Opposition Party, I expect COMPLETE SUPPORT from YOU towards the Temple Protection Movement.
We HOPE you will HELP US in seeing Chilkur Balaji Temple being taken care of by the same Archaka family, run on the SAME PRINCIPLES.
This is POSSIBLE ONLY WHEN NOT engulfed by the Endowments.
Thanks for your support.