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 Vol-20  Issue-04

Inside

Katrina, Sonakshi still at war

30th UMA Convention best in years  May-2011

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P-5 AG wedding pic.

Nafiza is Miss India Fiji 2011

Emcee AtharSiddiqi introducing four panelists at the UMA convention at CHANDNI April 14 2011, see page12)

P- 2 New Modesto temple

P- 5 New Modesto temple

P- 24 Osama bin Laden dead

P- 26 Nat Saumi has unfinished

Twenty three year old NafizaNisha of Rakiraki was tonight crowned the 2011 Miss India Fiji at Tappoos City in Suva in front of a huge audience. The fifth year MBBS student of the Fiji National University won the right to represent Fiji in the Miss India International event which will take place in Dubai next week. An emotional Nisha could not contain herself as her name was announced. Speaking to FijiLive after the crowning, she said, ‘I am beyond words and can’t believe this happened.’ Nisha said she is going to give her best in Dubai and will promote the Bula Spirit. “I have a week to prepare and I will make sure that the beautiful smiles of the Fijian people reach Dubai.” Nisha added. Meanwhile, Swaran Mala was declared the second runner up while ShaizaJanif finished off as the first runner up. The concept behind the Miss India Fiji Beauty Pageant is the inspirational work of RanjitRaju, President of www.IndoFiji.com, the world’s first and largest website connecting Fiji Indians worldwide on the internet. RanjitRaju has been involved in the entertainment industry in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 15 years and has been very active in the Fijian community in the USA. Ranjit is now based in Fiji and manages a Sound System,

Revival of Fiji sugarcane industry legacy for Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama

With the appointment of t henew CEO of Fiji Sugar Corporation Abdul Khan and allocation of more a million dollars to jump start the embattled sugarcane industry, Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama is certain to create a legacy. (Cont. page 10 )

High alert on Indo-Pak border

DJ, Lighting and Event Management Services business out of Sigatoka, Fiji.May 14th is a very significant date in our history because on 14 May 1879, “Leonidas”, the ship with the first indentured laborers from India, arrived in Fiji. Ranjit’s main goal is to recognize this date, promote the Indian culture and develop and enhance the awareness of Indian arts, customs, philosophies and history through the Miss India Fiji Pageant in Fiji. As a result of Ranjit’s experience and involvement in the Indo-Fijian community, he was appointed the National Director (Fiji) for the Miss India Worldwide Pageant in March 2005 by Mr. Dharmatma Saran, President of the India Festival Committee, New York.

AMRITSAR: Border Security Force (BSF) has been put on high alert along the 553 kilometer international border with Pakistan in Punjab following the killing of alQaida chief Osama bin Laden by the US troops in Pakistan. Security has also been tightened at all the three ports of city including Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport, Attari International Railway station and Attari land border. Immigration officials have taken adequate security measures including passenger-profiling especially those arriving from Pakistan. The measure intends to thwart attempts of Pak based terror organizations to send terrorists disguised as tourists or businessmen into India. "We have increased the manpower and have asked the officers to move to border and guide the troops on possible threat from across the border," said BSF Inspector General, Frontier,

Himmat Singh told on Monday. "There have been rocket attacks from Pakistan. So we have to be on a high vigil," said Himmat Singh. Indian villages in Punjab have been on the target list of Pak based terrorists. They have come under rocket attacks at least four time since July 2009. The Pakistani attack on Punjab borders in 2009 was the first since Indo Pak partition in 1947. And for the first time, in retaliation to rocket attacks, BSF had opened machine gun and mortar fire targeting Pakistan's KS Wala Border Outpost.

FIJI SUN IS NOW ON FACEBOOK FOR ALL


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EDITORIAL

May, 2011 M H Koya (PhD)

PO Box 265, Mt. Eden, CA 94557

Editor-Publisher

PHONE : 510-677-4488 FAX : 510-781-4884

Email: fijisun@gmail.com www.fijisun-usa.com

HOLY CELEBRATION IN SACRAMENTO By courtesy of SantanDharam of Sacramento. pictures by Amrish Gosai

New Modesto Mandir on Broadmore Way

ALl’ S HALAL MEAT MARKET We sell fresh hand slaughtered Lamb, Goat, Beef. Junglee Murghi and Junglee Murgha and Ducks CALL IN ADVANCE FOR BIG ORDERS

Ali (OWNER )

PH 510-538-1885 161 HARDAR RD, HAYWARD, CA 94544




May, 2011

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May, 2011


COMMUNITY/BUSINESS NEWS

The Fiji Indians keeping the light GIRMITIYAS burning

There are a few things in your life that "has to be done", this website was one of the things on my "to do list". Although I must admit that this urgecame about a bit late in my life, due to the fact that I never chose to learn about this subject. It’s a shame that in schools in Fiji in the 1980's, we learnt about Capitan Cook, about the First Governor General of Fiji, about the Queen, and the Monarchy, but we never studied the most important part of the History of Fiji, which formed the foundations of the social and economic growth in Fiji - The

Vanita Nair

Girmit and the Girmitiya's. I, like many of you share the passion, the desire, to know and understand more about

the Girmit Era. To learn more about the "Girmitiyas", their life, their dreams and aspirations, and amongst that, the hardships. This website has been created to pay tribute to these Girmitiyas and to ensure that "we keep the light glowing" for as long as we can. I wish to thank some very knowledgeable people without whose support, and guidance, I wouldn’t be able to compile and create this website. Firstly, SatishRai who has helped me on every step.Thank you for allowing me to use your articles, and thank you for the

direction. Thakur Ranjit Singh, your passion, your work, and your articles/writings say it all; it’s like the wind which reignites the flame. My heartful thanks to DrKamlesh Sharma for financially supporting and sponsoring girmitunited.org to run for one more year (2009 - 2010). Thank you Gentlemen. Last but not least, the so many emails of support, and praise, from people who I may have never met. Your emails are a source of inspiration - keep them coming! Girmitunited.org Brisbane, Australia

GIRMIT FESTIVAL USA

The FIJI SUN USA wishes to extend to you and your festival committee hearty congratulations on hosting the first GIRMIT FESTIVAL in Sacramento, USA. For all Fiji Indians GIRMIT is central to their origin. It is also a reminder of the Indian heritage and memories of their true motherland India. It has been over 100 years since their grandparents were lured and cheated into coming to FIJI by false presences and fake promises. In scores of cases they were coerced into leaving their beloved motherland. This was a horrific breach of trust by the British trading companies and their agents who defrauded our forefathers. Much work still remains to be done to accurately document the entire history of Fiji’s GIRMIT community. Let not the passage of time burry and push into oblivion the treacherous circumstances in which our forefathers were lured into embarking on an unknown journey with unclear hopes for safe return home to

India. The alleged “agreement” under the Indentured Laborer System that came to be known as “GIRMIT” was a document that was beyond the understanding of those who signed it to get what was presented as a job opportunity. At a time when British was assailed for practicing slavery system and hue and cry were raised in the British Parliament to abolish the practice, the British Trading companies adopted a new language “The Indentured Laborer System” coning a new term for “slavery” to escape further bashing and legal challenges. Those who left India under the GIRMIT came to be known as “GIRMITIYAS” (new name for slaves). For many of us the descendants of the GIRMITIYAS it is difficult to believe that we are children of Indian slaves. But that is the hard fact. By the time the alleged GIRMIT expired or was completed many had lost contacts with relatives and friends and many their hopes to go back home to India. Only a handful that had some reading and writing ability were able to establish contacts either return or remained in touch with folks back home. Vague memories that haunted the surviving GIRMITIYAS in

58 arrested in copper theft crackdown

58 people were arrested in the western division yesterday as Operation Copperfield continues their crackdown on metal theft. Operation Copperfield is a team of police officers and Telecom Fiji Limited officers, tasked with investigating the theft of copper wires from Telecom Fiji worth half a million dollars. Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says out of the 58 that were arrested yesterday, 15 were remanded while the rest were released on bail. Sokomuri says a scrap metal dealer was also arrested and is still undergoing question-

ing by police. He adds the main message here is that the police are not taking this issue lightly and those stealing metal will be caught and dealt with.“We are really coming down hard on those who are stealing these copper wires from these companies especially Telecom Fiji and other companies and we are leaving no stones unturned. So if you are involving yourselves in this practice, please refrain from doing so.” Sokomuri says their officers are also interviewing scrap metal dealers in the north and central division.

Fiji were retold in the form of storytelling or self-styled distorted and unclear country folk songs. The hard working laborers came with a few virtues from home, the ability to save money and passion to educate their children. With the savings from the meager income soon they would stand up on their own feet, build their home and move ahead in comparison to the local indigenous people and start their own schools under tree shades. The first descendants of the GIRMITIYAS for the most part became an educated and lite class in Fiji paving the way for a progressive community in the tiny Island nation. One of the sons born to this class is Dr. BriLal, now a professor at the Australian National University, has retraced some of the history of the GIRMITIYAS in his books and writings. It is my hope that the Sacramento GIRMIT festival will set a tone for similar observations throughout USA and Canada for continued education of our heritage and culture for all. God bless you the GIRMITAYS and God bless us all. M H Koya (PhD) Editor/Publisher

ANZ Bank calls for change to Australia's tough stand on Fiji

The ANZ Bank says Australia's socalled smart sanctions aimed at securing the return of democracy in Fiji have not worked and it has called on the Australian government to change its approach. The call follows the launch of a Lowy Institute paper which suggested Australia lift its travel bans on Fiji and put together a coalition of nations, including Asian democracies such as India and Indonesia, to help Fiji with electoral reform in the lead up to a promised poll in 2014. The ANZ's Pacific CEO, Michael Rowland, says the change to Australia's approach needs to happen now. Presenter: Jemima Garrett, Speaker: Michael Rowland, ANZ Bank's Pacific CEO



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May, 2011

My heartful appreciation and thanks to the following people for their support, guidance and assistance. Thakur Ranjit Singh Writer & Human Rights Activist Chief Editor Indian Weekender (Auckland)

Dr Ganesh Chand, Fiji Director, Fiji Institute of Technology

DrKamlesh Sharma Author and Publisher KPS Publications

Satish Rai Sydney Australia Director Discover your Indian Roots Project

Anup Kumar, Sydney, Australia President, nternational Girmit Congress Inc

Dr. BrijLal has also made a significant contribution by way of his wirings, documentaries and discourses in Fiji, Australia and Mauritius. An excerpt can also by found in editor’s FIJI DIASPORA.

AG wedding picture

Fiji to Remove Street Children from Capital City Suva

Plans by the Fijian authorities are underway to remove children from the capital city of Suva, local newspaper Fiji Svun reported Tuesday on its website. UsaiaCirikiwai, a social worker for the Foundation of People in the South Pacific which deals with children living on the street and the homeless, was quoted as saying that this would take some time as they needed to identify the problems faced by these children. Cirikiwai said "there are plans in the pipeline to take them off the streets, especially in the city area," adding more planning must be done before any child was taken off the streets. According to Cirikiwai, to date, more than 80 children live on the streets of Suva. In Fiji, some of

these children are based at home, some live in groups, some sleep on benches, in parks, vacant buildings or church verandahs. Most of the time, they could be exploited because of their vulnerability. Confirmation has also been received that an operation is currently in progress to clear children and beggars off the streets of Suva and carry out assessments before placing them in institutions or other places. The Fiji Council of Social Welfare, said proper counselors were needed to work with street people and the Social Welfare Ministry should ensure that. "That is why there is a need for government to check the backgrounds of people who set up homes for the children," he said.


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FIJI NEWS

May, 2011

President RatuIloIlo gets full military funeral services

Court blocks deportation of Fiji asylum seeker

Jannif Ali came to the Bay Area on a visa with his family in 1989 and applied for political asylum, saying soldiers in his native Fiji had beaten him and dynamited his house. Immigration officials took 14 years to schedule an interview with Ali and then ordered him deported, saying State Department reports showed that conditions in Fiji had improved. But a federal appeals court said Friday that immigration judges hadn't considered evidence of Fiji's treatment of minorities since the latest military coup, in 2006, and had looked only at general conditions in the island nation - not the situation of someone like Ali who had been persecuted under a previous military regime. If U.S. authorities conducted an up-to-date analysis, there is a "reasonable likelihood" they would conclude that Ali would face persecution in Fiji, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It returned his case to the Justice Department's immigration courts for further review. Ali lives in Palo Alto, works as a handyman and has three adult children, one of them born here, said his lawyer, Anna Benvenue. She says he told her he has no family in Fiji, is scared to go back, and hopes to become a U.S. citizen.

Fiji’s Attorney General breaks traditional barriers and weds ElaGavoka

Fiji’s Attorney General AiyazSayed-Khaiyum made a statement of a different kind when he declared his love and married ElaGavoka at the Novotel convention centre in Lami yesterday. The wedding was attended by over 500 people including His Excellency the President RatuEpeliNailatikau, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, cabinet ministers and family and friends. In his speech the Prime Minister joked that he was happy to see Sayed-Khaiyum finally married

as he was previously the only single minister in his cabinet. He also joked that he was beginning to wonder why the AG was constantly in the west over the last few months where ElaGavoka lives

and works. Gavoka’s brother and maternal uncle spoke for the bride while former Fiji Law Society President Chen Bunn Young spoke for the groom. In his speech Gavoka’s maternal uncle said love was a beautiful thing and broke through any barriers including racial and religious barriers. The newly wedcouple are set to go off on their honeymoon this week. AG perhaps the first high ranking Indian Muslim to marry a Fiji woman in years which is not the usual norm in Fiji.

Fiji man charged with murder of wife in NZ

The husband of a Fijian Indian woman who burned to death on a roadside near Huntly last month will reappear in the Hamilton District Court today charged with her murder. Devesh Sharma, 29, is accused of setting his wife Ranjeeta alight while still alive, before fleeing the country to Fiji with their son the following day. He was arrested and returned to New Zealand over the weekend to face a charge of murder. Sharma has yet to enter a plea.

Fiji rated 12th friendliest nation, great place for honermoon Fiji has been adjudged the twelfth friendliest country in the world, making it one of the most preferred tourism destinations around the globe. Fiji was the only South Pacific island country that was ranked high in a survey undertaken by Forbes, a reputable international magazine. The survey which was pub-

NigitaBhartiNand, 19 is one of the contestants vying for the Miss India Fiji crown which will be held on March 27th at the Tappoos City in

lished early this month and done in consultation with a cross-section of world travelers in 2010, found Fiji as one of the “most welcome nations. Thailand came first, followed by Columbia, which was said to have very pleasant citizens and was a preferred destination, in spite of the perception of a center of drug cartel

while Costa Rica, Canada, Greece and India, captured the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh spots respectively. The United States was adjudged the eighth friendliest nation, followed by Turkey in the ninth position, New Zealand, tenth, Ghana eleventh, Fiji twelfth and Vietnam in 13th position. Fiji set a new record for the

AG ties the knot with AdiEla

Walking to the tune of a classic love song and standing ovation, Fiji’s Attorney General AiyazSayedKhaiyum escorted his new wife AdiElaGavoka into the Novotel hall in Lami for their wedding reception. The two exchanged their vows earlier today at an intimate ceremony that was described by Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama as “beautiful”. While addressing invited guests, Sayed-Khaiyum said his heart was stolen by the woman he now calls his wife. He said he was happy to marry someone like AdiEla who had a simple and yet sophisticated outlook on life. “I’m happy to have someone who I can talk with and someone I can share things with.” he said while address-

operations. Australia

ing the packed and beautifully decorated Novotel hall. Decked out in a three piece suit, the usually calm Minister said he was comfortable talking about issues his Ministry dealt with but felt that it was difficult for him to speak about his wedding; one that he felt was the most important of his life. SayedKhaiyum thanked all his guests including the President, RatuEpeli Nailatikau, cabinet ministers and business moguls. Bainimarama congratulated the newly weds and wished them a happy and prosperous marriage. Wearing a silk white Chinese-collar shirt, the Prime Minister made guests laugh when he joked that the Attorney General does not answer to him any-

took the third place,

more. Bainimarama said he was happy that SayedKhaiyum was finally married because he “had been asked awkward questions before about the Attorney General’s private life”. “Now I can say that yes he is married” He added. Sitting at the main table were the couple, Sayed-Khaiyum’s parents, AdiEla’s mother and her brother ApakukiGavoka. AdiEla’s older brother also congratulated the happy couple adding that he was happy that his sister was in capable hands. The bride is the daughter of former Fiji Rugby Union Chairman, Viliame Gavoka. She hails from Nadroga where the Attorney General’s mother, Lateefa Sayed-Khaiyum also hails from.

number of tourists to the Pacific nation last year and hosted 631,000 international visitors, a 16 per cent rise from the previous year. Australia accounted for the highest number of tourists to Fiji, representing half of all foreign visits. There were also a growing number of visitors from Canada, India and Russia.

Police officers under investigation

Two police officers who are alleged to have assaulted primary school students in Cakaudrove are currently under investigation in Labasa. Police Spokesman AtunaisaSokomuri confirmed the two police officers have been taken to the Labasa Police Station to be investigated. “The police officers have been transferred to the Labasa Police Station and investigations are ongoing at the moment.” “Until then, a directive has been issued by the Police Commissioner for all officers not to abuse their powers.” “Those caught doing so will be disciplined,” said Sokomuri. Seven students in classes Seven and Eight at a primary school were allegedly assaulted by the police officers last week. The students were examined by a doctor after the alleged assault and their medical reports are with police.


FIJI Brief News Richard Lal new president FBOA

The Fiji Bus Operators Association has appointed a new president. Richard Lal – the Managing Director of PA Lal Coachworks has been appointed to the post - at the Association AGM yesterday. Lal replaces Zane Dean – who has announced his retirement. Association general secretary VirendraKewal has been appointed the vice-president. The AGM was held at the Novotel House in Lami – yesterday.

Man charged with two murders

A suspect in Police custody has been charged with the murders of two youths in Kasavu, Nausori. The suspect, who was from the same area as the deceased had surrendered himself to police at Korovou Police Station for questioning. The suspects name has not yet been released. Assistant Police Spokesman JoneKalouniviti said police had maintained a presence in the area to ensure that there was no further violence and to keep the peace between families.

Vakaloloma, Padarath face forgery charges

Suva lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma and businessman Benjamin Padarath appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday facing a count of forgery each.The court heard that Vakaloloma, between October 14, 2009 to December 31, 2009, with intent to defraud, allegedly forged a document namely the Articles of Association for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited. They allegedly made a false Page 27 of the said Articles of Association by altering the particulars of subscribers from Adishwar Padarath of 57 Duncan Road, Domain, Suva to another person and placed his signature as the witness to the signature purported subscribers. Acting Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili also heard that Padarath on the same date allegedly forged a certain document namely the Articles of Association for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited whereby making a false Page 27 of the said Articles of Association by altering the particulars of subscribers from Adishwar Padarath of 57 Duncan Road, Domain, Suva to another person and placed his signature as one of the subscribers.The matter has been adjourned to May 20 for mention.

Bhikha seeks bail for treatment

Convicted Suncourt Hardware managing director Dhansukh Lal Bhikha has sought the court’s mercy to grant him bail pending appeal to travel to Australia for medical treatment. Bhikha who is facing a four and a half year jail term was represented by his lawyer Shalvin Singh before Appeal Court Judge Justice William Marshall. Mr Singh told the court that Bhikha is suffering from heart problems and needed treatment.

Public transport to build up capacity F

iji’s public transportation system critically needs to build up its capacity says the Transport Minister Colonel Ti m o c i L e s i N a t u v a . Speaking at the opening of the Fiji Bus Operators Association Annual General Meeting at the Novotel House in Lami this morning – Natuva says emphasis should be placed at getting a more sustainable mobility trend. He says failure to do this will result in less public interest - leading to more congestion, higher fuel prices and worsening climate change. “If both public and private

Civil service to downsize

The government is aiming to reduce its operating costs to 70 per cent. PSC Permanent Secretary Parmesh Chand says currently only 20% of government’s income is spent on people of Fiji in terms of capital investment. He says as part of the Public Sector Reform, government has set a goal to decrease the number of civil servants which currently stands at 27,000. Chand says while government will downsize the civil service, they are ensuring that key government departments such as education, health, agriculture are not affected. He says a list of ministries and departments have been identified where civil service will reduce. Chand says while doing so, the government will ensure the departments continue to run smoothly and effectively as certain services will be outsourced.

sources of financing for public transport are strained, the risk is that public transport will not be able to absorb the increasing demand in the coming years. While the car industry is currently facing overcapacity, public transport critically needs to build up its capacity. As policy and decision makers our focus will be geared towards these emerging trends and towards a more sustainable mobility patterns.” Natuva adds - their ambition is to find the best solutions to keep people moving freely and for Fiji to lead the region on this issue.

E-ticketing to go on trial in 2nd school term 

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Government is expected to trial it’s e-ticketing scheme at the start of the second school term. Telecom Fiji Limited – who won the tender to undertake the e-ticketing concept, told the Fiji Bus Operators Association AGM yesterday – that they are working to ensure the trial runs smoothly. The e-ticketing concept will see students – that are being assisted by government – through the free bus free scheme being issued an ID card – which they will use as their boarding pass. The student will tap the card onto a console -which will be installed inside all buses in the country. The console will confirm and show the student’s name – school – where the student is coming from and the

amount of fare. TFL’s RadrodroTabualevu says – the card is fully transferable – meaning anyone can use it – however – they have installed a feature in the card that will prevent it from being used twice in a given timeframe. “So – the chid can only use the card only once – in the morning. So – if they tap the 2nd time – the console beeps. You tap the 2nd time – it’s a sad beep. First time – happy beep. Second time – say the child uses the card and gives it to a cousin outside to be used in another bus. But – when they tap – it can’t go.”Tabualevu says – the e-ticketing concept aims to let the driver fully concentrate on driving on the journey and not be involved in handling cash.

economy is likely to suffer further, Mr Rowland said. Mr Rowland said of the Australian government’s current Fiji policy: “We think we really need to look at this differently and it is critical that any approach to the Fiji Government works. “Therefore there is more of a chance in our view that a coalition of interested nations, preferably lead by a respected Head of State, comes to the party and has open dialogue with Fiji. “We think it’s more than just an Australian issue now. “We think it’s a regional issue and we think the Fiji Government would be more open a multi-coalition approach. “We think that Asia has a lot to offer Fiji. We are seeing with ANZ’s broader supra-regional approach that there is a lot of investment interest in Fiji from Asia and we think, therefore, that there is a real role to play by a number of the Asian countries.

Over 5,000 Traffic Infringement Notices were issued last month – by the Land Transport Authority and the Fiji Police Force. Transport Minister Colonel TimociLesiNatuva says this is an increase of 53 per cent compared to the month of February. Over 3,000 notices were issued by LTA and over 2,000 notices were issued by the Police. 1,774 Defect Orders were also issued by the LTA. Natuva says the notices were issued following intensive efforts by the two institutions to ensure illegal operation is eliminated. He says – they have also recruited 15 new enforcement officers, purchased 22 new enforcement vehicles and 5 laptops to be used for registration and licensing data verification purposes. Road Marshall officers have also been engaged to apprehend illegal operators and will report on any malpractice related offences.

ANZ calls for change of Aussie stand on Fiji

One of Australia’s biggest international financial institutions says Australia’s so-called smart sanctions aimed at forcing early elections in Fiji have not worked. It has called on the Australian government to change its approach. ANZ Bank’s Pacific chief executive officer, Michael Rowland, said Australia’s heavy approach had failed. Mr Rowland said the Australian government should take up a suggestion from the Lowy Institute, a major political think tank. This urged that Australia put together a coalition of countries, including the Asian democracies, to offer electoral help to Fiji. The new approach would start with confidence building and an easing of travel restrictions and, if Fiji accepts the assistance, include a range of new initiatives to improve the relationship. Without this assistance, Fiji’s

May, 2011

Over 5,000 traffic offences recorded for March

China aid linked to Taiwan issue: cable

The WikiLeaks release of a US transmission from 2009 showed that a New Zealand official said China had been candid about a ‘quid pro quo’ with Fiji

By Shih Hsiu-chuan A diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks suggests the modus vivendi approach adopted by President Ma Ying-jeou’s diplomatic policies has not keep the Taiwan issue out of China’s controversial aid policy. For the past few decades, China has emerged as a major source of foreign aid aimed at securing access to resources necessary for its continued economic development and wooing nations as part of its competition with Taiwan for diplomatic allies. Beijing’s “no strings attached” aid programs have often drawn concern from Western countries. Released by WikiLeaks on Thursday, a cable dated May 19, 2009, from the US embassy in Beijing recorded observations by New Zealand embassy political official Tara Morton about China’s “massive” aid to Fiji, stating that “the People’s Republic of China

[PRC] had been candid with New Zealander interlocutors in linking Fijian support on the Taiwan issue to China’s development assistance there.” However, in talking to US officials, Zhou Jian , then-deputy director of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Division of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied the link. According to the cable, Zhou said that with the recent thaw in cross-strait relations, China’s policy in the South Pacific was looking past its traditional focus on checkbook diplomacy to buy UN votes to shore up its claim to Taiwan, and the Taiwan issue had become “less of a priority” in Chinese foreign policy with the South Pacific. The cable showed disagreement between China and countries such as New Zealand and Australia over Western-led international efforts to persuade the leadership in Fiji, which came to power after a coup in

2006, to carry out democratic reform. A Fijian embassy official told the US that a new package of Chinese economic assistance to Fiji, that was announced earlier in 2009, arrived just as Western sanctions were proving problematic and therefore had a political effect, the cable said. Another cable dated Feb. 13, 2009, from the US embassy in Beijing showed that Australia and New Zealand expressed concern to China on the eve of a trip to Fiji by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping , saying the trip would send the wrong message in light of international efforts to urge the government in Suva to reform. Beijing downplayed the Xi visit, calling it a transit stop on the way to Latin America, according to the February cable. However, a cable in June 2009 quoted Zhou as saying that China had signed at least four economic agreements with Fiji during Xi’s visit

and one of the agreements was for a 10 million yuan (US$1.54 million) grant, but the details of its use were still under discussion. Aid programs offered to Fiji and the Solomon Islands by Taiwan were also a concern for the US. A cable dated Jan. 24, 2007, from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) showed that then-AIT director Stephen Young met with then-minister of foreign affairs James Huang to discuss Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Young told Huang that it was particularly important that Taiwan follow its democratic values in its relations with Fiji and the Solomon Islands, and repeatedly said that Taiwan should hold discussions with Australia on the Solomon Islands, the cable said. A year before the Fiji coup, thenpresident Chen Shui-bian made an unscheduled visit to Fiji — which recognized China — during


8

INDIA NEWS

May, 2011

Osama saw India as enemy, wanted to join jihad in Kashmir 

NEW DELHI: While India was spared of any attack directly masterminded, or even aided by Osama himself, it did find mention in his messages suggesting that the terror ideologue looked upon India as an enemy and a potential target. The alliance between al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba, India's main terror threat, suggests that Osama had evolved into more than being just an inspirational figure for several terror groups targeting India. The links between antiIndia terror groups and Osama's jihadis have been known at least since 1998 when members of Harkatul-Ansar, a terrorist group focused on Kashmir, training alongside al-Qaida members in Afghanistan were killed in a US missile attack. In fact, the very first reference to India by Osama came in May 1998 when he said in a press conference at Khost in Afghanistan that he would love to join the

jihad in Kashmir if the Pakistani authorities allowed him. Osama's answer came in response to a question from a Pakistani journalist. In the same conference, he announced the formation of International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the US and Israel. This was followed by a long pause on India, even though his No.2 Ayman Al Zawahiri regularly spewed venom not just against India but also Hindus. In an April 2006 audio message, the emir of al-Qaida broke his silence to speak of a "Crusader-Zionist-Hindu conspiracy" against Muslims and also referred to Kashmir. "Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders' campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent

Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahideen camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims," he said in the message which sought to highlight conspiracies against Muslims all over the world. According to security expert B Raman, the message lacked focus. It was never established why he made the remark in the context of East Timor's independence from Indonesia. Much before

9/11, in November 1998, the Army claimed to have seized from militants, after an encounter in the Pir Panjal ranges, some cards with messages from Osama describing India as enemy No.1. It is a safe surmise that Osama's dependence on Pakistan for his survival may have forced him to buy more heavily into Islamabad's designs against India. A Wikileaks cable in December last year revealed that Osama was

willing to divert $20 million to support groups active in Kashmir and also that he asserted that the jihad would not suffer from lack of funds. In a meeting with US officials, joint secretary (cabinet secretariat) Sharad Kumar stated that Indian intelligence had transcripts of pre-9/11 meetings between Osama and Taliban chief Mullah Omar during which terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed. That India was an alQaida target became obvious in 2007 after 9/11 accused Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed in his testimony at Guantanamo Bay that he was involved in a conspiracy to bomb the Israeli embassy in Delhi before 2003. In a tape released in 2003, Ayman Al Zawahiri warned Pakistan army officers that President Musharraf would ''hand you over to the Hindus and flee to enjoy his secret bank accounts" if India attacked

Why can't India do a US to the likes of Dawood, Saeed?

NEW DELHI: If the US can take out Osama bin Laden, why can't India do the same with Dawood Ibrahim, Hafeez Saeed and others of their ilk? For starters, lack of political will, essentially due to the fear of an escalation with a nuclear-armed Pakistan. But even if the traditionally risk-averse political leadership did decide that enough is enough, India simply does not have the wherewithal to execute back ops. This is truer in terms of intelligence and planning, rather than the capability of special forces themselves. Moreover, Pakistan is not a country with rag-tag armed forces. Any move to insert and later extract special forces deep inside Pakistan through helicopters, like the US did to elimi-

nate Osama, will have to contend with robust air defence networks and combat air patrols geared to shoot down "enemy" aircraft. With military bases, logistics, over-flight facilities and ongoing operations in Pakistan, the US faced no such hurdles. In the India-Pakistan context, it would be tantamount to declaration of war. A "surgical strike" would, in all probability, lead to a war-like situation, with Pakistan always being over-eager to brandish its nuclear weapons. But let's take intelligence first. Indian intelligence agencies like RAW and IB suffer from several serious lacunae that prevent them from generating and sustaining credible intelligence on high-value targets within Pakistan. A former senior intelligence

official, for instance, admitted that they were never able to gather specific details of all the anti-India terrorist-training camps that they have claimed exist in Pakistan and Pakistanoccupied Kashmir. This absence of "real-time" intelligence, with exact coordinates, was one of the reasons that came in the way of an aerial strike by IAF fighters after the horrific 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India, as yet, also does not have high-tech surveillance tools used by the US, which can pick up even match-boxes on the ground through satellites, or for that matter combat drones like Predators controlled from thousands of miles away. Another officer pointed out that Indian intelligence lacked the kind of discipline the US agen-

Will decide on joining politics after June: Baba Ramdev

COIMBATORE: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday said he will decide on his entry into the political arena after June. However, Ramdev said, he will not seek power or any post if at all a "platform" was formed. The yoga guru told reporters he wanted to cleanse the system and if a political party is formed, he will field candidates in all the 534 Lok Sabha seats in the next general elections. "They could be from different political parties or fields, who

would be clean, non-corrupt and work to wipe out corruption," said Ramdev, who is also the chief of 'Bharat Swabhiman', a social and spiritual movement. Once these candidates are elected, the face of India will change totally and it will become a corruption-free nation, he claimed. On the term 'saffron terrorism', Ramdev said saffron is the colour of the clothes worn by saints who practiced nationalism and not terrorism.

cies had, especially on cultivating and sustaining sources. "Every source cultivated by an US intelligence operative is accounted for, and is verifiable," he explained. Conversely, in the Indian system, "there are far too many loopholes" and most of the intelligence flow is "hampered by vested interests and inabilities of individual operatives". In fact, he said, that is one reason why many of them are in favour of parliamentary accountability, which would help improve the intelligence set-up. While Indian intelligence operatives have carried out successful operations in places like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar to target Indian terrorists, the record of surgical strikes deep inside Pakistan is virtually non-existent.

Arunachal identifies CM copter crash site

ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday said it has zeroed in on an area in West Kameng district bordering Bhutan from where a helicopter carrying chief minister Dorjee Khandu disappeared. Following inputs from ISRO and IAF, the government has identified a 66 sqkm area in West Kameng district bordering Bhutan to trace the missing chopper. The four-seater singleengine Pawan Hans helicopter went missing on Saturday after taking off from Tawang with Khandu, his security officer, Yeshi Choddak, Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup and crew members Capt J S Babbar and Capt T S Mamik on board.

their country. He urged them to overthrow Musharraf and also condemned then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's visit to India. In 2009, there were two warnings to India from alQaida. The first was a telephonic threat in February 2009, the authenticity of which could not be established, warning India not to attack Pakistan and another one seven months later in which it warned Germany of attacks like those in Madrid and Mumbai. From time to time, there have been reports about the presence of al-Qaida from J&K to Bihar but this has never been established. Security experts like Raman have warned though that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and HuJI could "turn out to be the Trojan horse of alQaida". India's former NSA M K Narayanan even said that LeT was the "most visible manifestation" of alQaida in India.

'Tere Bin Laden' producer considering re-release of movie

MUMBAI: Terror mastermind Osama bin Laden's death has led to an unlikely effect on Bollywood. There is a move afoot to re-release the Osamaspoof, Tere Bin Laden, in cinema halls and on satellite channels. The film's producer, Pooja Shetty Deora, told TOI, "We are considering re-releasing the movie, but we have still not been able to contact our distributors in this regard. We will have to wait for a couple of days to gauge whether the public really wants to see the film in theatres all over again." The interest was also apparent on social networking sites; the film's title was often used across various websites throughout Monday. One Tweet said, "Bin Tere Laden America is lost they'll have to create a new victim and find the next nation to ruin (sic)." Writer Pritish Nandy tweeted, "Interested to see who is presented as the captured young wife of Osama. Anyone in Hollywood will give her right arm for the role." Another one said: "What will Al Qaeda do after Laden is dead watch Tere Bin Laden!.(sic)."

Jairam Ramesh clears Posco project NEW DELHI: The Rs 54,000 crore Posco integrated steel plant got the final clearance from Union environment and forests ministry on Monday. Jairam Ramesh gave the nod for the pending forest clearance to the state government, paving the way for the Korean steel giant to acquire the forest land required for the project. In January, Ramesh had put one last condition before the state government to acquire the forest land. He had asked for an assurance from the state that no rights of people existed on the land under the Forest Rights Act. The state sent its assurance but Ramesh, having received evidence to the contrary,

asked the Naveen Patnaik government to come back again with clarity. The state government wrote back to the Centre on April 29 claiming that the resolutions of the two villages – Govindpur and Dhinkia -- opposing the plant and claiming community rights over the forests were illegal. Ramesh moved quickly to decide in favour of the state government, dismissing the village resolutions that he had a copy of. For long under pressure from the PMO on the project, passing the order in favour of the state government, Ramesh noted, "Faith and trust in what the state government says is an essential pillar of cooperative federalism."


Man who tweeted the Osama operation live A

PAKISTAN NEWS Hundreds join first Pakistan rally to honour Osama bin Laden

QUETTA, PAKISTAN: Hundreds took to the streets of Pakistan's city of Quetta on Monday to pay homage to Osama bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag, witnesses and organisers said. Angry participants belonging to a religious party in Quetta, the capital of southwestern province Baluchistan, were led by federal lawmaker Maulawi Asmatullah. They also torched a US flag before dispersing peacefully. It was the first rally in Pakistan after the United States announced that bin Laden had been killed in an overnight commando mission in Pakistan. Organisers said between 1,000 and 1,200 people attended the rally, but witnesses put the figure closer to 800. "Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed (Muslim fighter)," Asmatullah said.



May, 2011

9

Host to the ghost: Was Osama in ISI guesthouse?

huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty" — that's what went through Sohaib Athar's mind as a helicopter hovering nearby rattled the windows and doors around 1am near the Abbottabad mansion where Osama Bin Laden was hauled in. After posting the information on Twitter via his account "ReallyVirtual," the 33-year-old IT consultant who also runs a coffee shop, followed it up with a blow-byblow account of everything he heard and overheard in the next few hours. And by doing so, he unwittingly live tweeted the US raid against Osama Bin Laden and became a celebrity the following day. Athar, who is "taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops", tweeted every bit of information that came his way. He was disturbed by the noise generated by the helicopter at an unearthly hour. "Go away helicopter before I take out my giant swatter," he joked in a tweet around 1am. Athar was located barely 2-3 kilometres from the spot. Soon he also tweeted, "Since Taliban (probably) don't have helicopters, and since they're saying it was not "ours", so must be a complicated situation." It was only some eight hours later that the official

announcement confirming the operation and the consequent death of bin Laden came from the US president's office. At about 9 in the morning, Athar tweeted. "Report from a taxi driver: The army has cordoned off the crash area and is conducting door-to-door search in the surrounding." About an hour later, he retweeted the news of Osama's death from a New York based tweeter @IsuckBigTime. And then it dawned upon Athar what he had inadvertently done. "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it," he tweeted, with a composure he maintained for the remainder of the day. His twitterfollower count climbed steadily. By 5.30pm on Monday, it stood at near-

ly 25,000; 5,000 more than what it was half an hour earlier. Tweets poured in to enquire after his safety and to tell him how famous he had become for live tweeting the raid. "I am JUST a tweeter, awake at the time of the crash. Not many twitter users in Abbottabad, these guys are more into Facebook. That's all," he tweeted a few hours later. As Athar tweeted about traffic blocks in various parts of town, he also posted a picture of the scene outside his window that showed a deserted street on a sunny Monday morning in Abbottabad. Needless to say, news organizations flooded him with interview requests. "Reuters got me before I could go to sleep," he tweeted later.

LONDON: The sprawling house in the garrison town of Abbottabad, about 60km from Islamabad, where Osama bin Laden was killed may be an Inter-Services Intelligence's guesthouse, a Pakistani source told TOI. There was no confirmation of the claim, but the fact that the house was within a few hundred metres of the Pakistani military academy and in an area where retired army generals stay, lends credibility to the assertion. Farzana Shaikh, of Royal Institute of International Affairs, told BBC: ''Many people around the world are going to find their worst suspicions confirmed — that there has been, right from the outset, complicity on the part of the Pakistani state in aiding and abetting Osama bin Laden." Hamid Gul, the former ISI chief, told a TV channel that most big names (in the Al-Qaida leadership) were caught in Pakistan and the US didn't take the Pakistan government into confidence in the operation. ''Are our military installations safe (from the American intervention)," Gul asked. James Inkster, retired assistant chief of the MI6, the British external intelligence organisation, said: ''This is as good as it gets.

buses on Tuesday that killed four persons and injured 56 others. The bomb, believed to be rigged to a motorcycle and containing about three kilograms of explosives, was triggered by remote control as the bus passed by, Tarar said. Explaining the possible motive of the attack, Tarar said security agencies are the "main target" of terrorists. At least three vehicles, including a bus, and a petrol pump were damaged by the blast. Footage on television showed one side of the navy bus was severely damaged by the explosion. The windows were blown out and shrapnel ripped through the side of the bus.Armed forces personnel cordoned off the site and scoured the area for clues.

No group claimed responsibility for today's attack. The Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attacks on two navy buses.Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan had said on Tuesday that the militants would target security forces in future because they were "killing their own people in Waziristan and elsewhere at the behest of the US". The attack occurred at the same spot where slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's motorcade was attacked by two suicide bombers shortly after she returned to Pakistan from self-exile in October 2007. Karachi is Pakistan's biggest city and home to the main base of the Pakistani Navy.

WASHINGTON: Apparently fearing a leak, the US did not inform Pakistan about the closely guarded operation on the outskirts of Islamabad on Monday that resulted in the death of al Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden, a senior administration official said. "The information was not shared with any other country including Pakistan," the official said, adding that in such a kind of operation, the information is kept only to a few people and this was done in this case too. The official told White House correspondents that the successful 40-minute operation was carried out by two US helicopters.

Besides, Osama bin Laden, three men and one woman was killed in this operation. One helicopter was damaged due to mechanical failure, but no US special forces were injured or hurt in this operation. Announcing the death of bin Laden, President Barack Obama asked Pakistan to co-operate with the US in the war against terror. "Going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates," Obama said in his live televised speech. "Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday mounted a defence of Pakistan's ISI in the wake of reports that the US had listed it as a terrorist support organisation, saying the spy agency had the backing of his government for all actions. "Wrong propaganda is being floated about intelligence agencies through newspapers. I want to tell them that the intelligence agencies are under the Pakistan government," Gilani said at an official function on the outskirts of Islamabad. He contended that intelligence agencies, including the powerful ISI, function under the directives of the government."And without the government, they can't do anything that

goes against national interests. If the ISI has done something, they had our backing and we are with them," he said.Gilani's remarks came in the wake of a warning by Admiral Mike Mullen, America's top military official, that the ISI's long-standing ties with the Haqqani militant network are at the core of US's strained and problematic relations with the Pakistan. Secret documents leaked by WikiLeaks showed that the US military categorised the ISI along with al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-eMohammed and Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami as terrorist or terrorist support groups.The ISI was listed along with the terror groups in a document provided to officials who

assessed terror suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay. The revelation came at a time when ties between Pakistani and American spy agencies have hit a new low following the arrest in January of CIA contractor Raymond Davis for gunning down two Pakistani men in January. Davis was pardoned and freed by a court after over two million dollars was paid as "blood money" under Islamic laws to the families of the dead men but ties between the ISI and the CIA are yet to be restored to an even keel. Pakistan has also strongly opposed attacks by CIA-operated drones in its tribal belt, described by American officials as a haven for Taliban and alQaida elements.

Bomb attack on Pakistan navy bus kills three Pakistan not informed about strike on Osama hideout ISLAMABAD: A roadside bomb ripped through a Pakistan navy bus on a key thoroughfare in the southern port city of Karachi on Thursday, killing three persons and injuring more than 15 others in the third such attack in two days. Two navy sailors and a civilian were killed, a naval spokesman told the media. Over 15 injured people, including civilians, were taken to two nearby hospitals. Officials at Jinnah Hospital said one civilian was in a serious condition. The bus carrying junior naval personnel was targeted as it left a naval facility on Shara-e-Faisal road. Deputy Inspector General of Police Iftikhar Tarar said the attack was similar to the bombing of two Pakistan navy

Rushdie demands Pakistan be declared terrorist state

WASHINGTON: Author Salman Rushdie, target of extremists for many years, led the way in demanding that Pakistan be declared a terrorist state, as the dodgy US ally is coming under fire from across the American political spectrum for its fostering of terrorism and using it as a policy option. Osama bin Laden has given way to Pakistan as the trending topic in US political and media discourse as the country's flirtation with terrorism is being exposed ruthlessly. Across the country, in television debates and radio shows, in print op-eds and online analyses, demand is growing to cut all aid to a country that is variously referred to as "Terroristan" and "Paranoidistan."

Gilani defends ISI, says govt backs all actions of spy agency


Reforms That Helped Elect Candidates of Color in SF, Oakland Under Attack 10



PACIFIC/COMMUNITY/BUSINESS NEWS

May, 2011

W

hile political representation for people of color continues to decline nationally, the San Francisco Bay Area has benefited from political reforms that have boosted the number of minority elected officials —and made ethnic voters excited to participate in the electoral process. Not surprisingly, the old guard hasn’t taken lightly to these challenges to its power. Now reforms such as ranked-choice voting (RCV) and public financing of campaigns are under attack from mainstream media and business groups. RCV (also known as instant runoff) allows voters to select their first-, second- and thirdchoice candidates when they cast their ballots for city officials, thus avoiding costly runoff elections. Last November, RCV helped Oakland’s Jean Quan overcome a 4-to-1 spending advantage by the favorite, Democratic powerhouse Don Perata, to become the first AsianAmerican woman directly elected mayor of a major U.S. city. In San Francisco, meanwhile, RCV and public financing have helped elect the most diverse Board of Supervisors in the city’s history. Currently, eight out of 11 supervisors are people of color, including four Asians (three of whom are Chinese); three are female and two are openly gay. Since RCV and public financing became the law, the number of people of color elected to the Board of Supervisors has doubled. The ability of diverse communities to choose their own representatives is an important indicator of the health of our democracy. But two leading San Francisco institutions—the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chamber of Commerce, whose president, Steve Falk, is the Chronicle’s former publisher— are urging

repeal of RCV and a return to the old runoff system. Oddly, RCV opponents (including political consultants whose candidates, such as Perata, have lost in RCV races) are calling multiracial coalition building "gaming the system." Instead of asking how these wellpaid consultants could have run more effective campaigns, they are blaming RCV.

REFORM 1: AN END TO VOTESPLITTING

Perhaps the most important way that RCV helps voters of color is by allowing several candidates from the same ethnic community to run against each other without splitting the ethnic vote. In 2008, RCV made it possible for four strong Latino candidates to compete in San Francisco’s heavily Hispanic District 9 without fear of losing to a non-Latino because voters could rank several candidates as their first, second, and third choices. Last November, RCV allowed District 10—one of the last remaining black communities in San Francisco—to elect an African-American supervisor despite a crowded field. Malia Cohen won by picking up the second- and third-choice votes of supporters of other black (and white and Asian) candidates. The next big test of RCV happens this fall, when, for the first time, San Francisco’s mayoral election will be subject to rankedchoice balloting. The field includes at least three Asian candidates: state Senator Leland Yee, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. If the city were still using the old voting system, there is no doubt that the Asian vote would split among these candidates, possibly resulting in none of them making it into the December

Revival of Fiji sugarcane industry (Continue from page 1)

Applauding the bold steps taken by the Hon. Prime Minister, Frank Bainimaram, the editor: “Dear Mr. Prime Minister: Revival of Fiji Sugar Industry will be your legacy One of the deepest concerns for us the Fiji immigrant community living abroad has been Fiji’s declining sugar industry once the backbone of the economy. I would be frustrated if you left the office without doing anything. God bless you! You will go down in history for taking a bold step to restore this vital industry to its original position. I read carefully the recent

press report by the new CEO Abdul Khan who seems to make much sense in these dark days of the industry and appears to have a clear and convincing path to make significant progress. The nation would be highly indebted to you sir for granting over a $100 Million to jump start industry that we have all been proud of and directly benefitted from for affluent living. I look forward to meeting your Excellency at the 50th Ahmadiyya Muslim Jubilee Celebration on my way to Australia. My continued best wishes and prayers for you for leading Fiji on a path to success.” (Editor)

runoff. To prevent that from happening, the Asian community would have already seen all sorts of backroom wheeling and dealing, as powerbrokers twisted arms to keep two of those candidates out of the race. But with RCV, all of them can run—generating unprecedented excitement in the Asian community. Whichever candidate proves strongest will emerge with the most Asian first-, second- and third-place votes

R E F O R M 2 : M O R E VO T E R S H A V E A S AY

RCV also has significantly boosted the ability of voters— especially in communities of color—to have a say in the final outcome of an election. This is because RCV takes advantage of the turnout and excitement generated during November elections—when more people tend to come to the polls because of presidential and gubernatorial elections than turn out to vote in June primaries or December runoffs. In the 2010 Oakland mayoral election, held in November, some 119,000 voters cast ballots, compared with 84,000 in the 2006 election, held in June. That’s a

huge increase—42 percent. But the greater impact is felt after the first round of RCV votes are counted. In RCV, as in regular elections, any candidate who wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round is the winner. But in cases where there is no clear victor, RCV factors in second- and third-choice rankings—which gives a lot more voters a say in picking the final winner than happens in runoffs (where the turnout is almost always lower, so the ultimate choice is made by a much smaller pool of voters.) In Oakland, for example, Jean Quan won with 54,000 votes, versus 42,000 for Ron Dellums in 2006. In the 34 races held in San Francisco since the first RCV election in 2004, nearly all have seen more voters participating in the final RCV tally than in the old December runoffs. A study of the 2005 Assessor Recorder's race found that RCV had increased citywide voter participation in the decisive round of that race by 168 percent, or 120,000 voters more than if there had been a December runoff. Moreover, the study found that voter participation tripled in six of the poorest and most diverse neighborhoods due to having a single RCV election in November.

REFORM 3: BIG MONEY NO LONGER BEATS ALL

RCV also has reduced the impact of money in elections—a critical issue since the U.S. Supreme Court’s disasterous decision in the Citizens United case last year gave carte blanche to corporate interests seeking to influence the political process. With no runoff to worry about, candidates only have to raise enough funds for the November election. More important, to win they have to get out into the community to earn second and third rank-

ings from supporters of other candidates. With RCV, grassroots campaigning can be more influential than big-money ads. Apparently the Chronicle— which endorsed Perata as well as two Board of Supervisors candidates who lost because of RCV—does not value diversity and broad representation. Since last November's election, the Chronicle has published more than three dozen articles, columns and blog posts highlighting RCV elections, many with a negative slant. One column calling for repeal of RCV was written by the Chronicle’s editorial page editor. Another anti-RCV article, the day’s lead story, was based on a methodologically dubious poll commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce, an RCV opponent, and purporting to show that RCV confuses many voters. Yet the Chronicle has never reported on two exit poll studies conducted by respected researchers at San Francisco State University from in 2004-05 that showed that 87 percent of respondents said they "understood" RCV. Wouldn’t those SFSU polls have been worth a mention in an article about voter confusion? Do we detect a pattern here? If the Chronicle truly believes RCV is confusing, why didn’t it publish more articles aimed at educating voters before last November’s election? What do the Chronicle and the Chamber of Commerce have against representation from communities of color? That's what everyone should be asking them.

Esperanza TervalonDaumont is executive director of Oakland Rising (www.oaklandrising.org) and Alicia Garza is co-executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) in San Francisco (www.peopleorganized.org).

NEW MANDIR IN MODESTO

SHIU BHAWAN SARASWATI RAMAYAN BHAJAN MANDALI OF MODESTO, CA has opened a new Mandir in Modesto this April 2011 commencing with the grand celebration with Ram Navmi. It is known as SHIU BHAWAN MANDIR and open to all Devotees. The Mandali

was founded in 1986 by Late MrSarjeet Singh and Late MrHari Singh and has Running Trustees with approximately 40 Committee Members. Shiu Bhawan Mandir is located at 201 N Carpenter Rd, Modesto, Ca 95358. The Ram Navmi celebration was very suc-

cessful and Ramayan is held every Tuesdays from 7-9pm by Mandir Purohit Pt Hari Shanker Sharma, for further information, please call the President, MrReetesh Chand at 209-247-5336. (Please check us out on Facebook for details). Thank you, PrakeshDeo.


HEALTH/FITNESS

F

rom workouts to a healthy diet to medical checkups and getting your timing right with healthy habits makes a big difference to every day health. Not only will routine scheduling of all healthy habits lead to a better understanding of what your body needs, but it will also enable you to follow these healthy habits more closely and appropriately. The difference between good and bad health is all about planning and timing and today we are looking at the when to do what in healthy living. If you're past 30, get a cholesterol check done at least once a year: In order to get a complete picture about your lipid levels, go in for routine cholesterol tests. Since cholesterol related health concerns often go undetected due to low to no symptoms, it's best to stay alert. Commit a part of your day to daily exercise: The verdict's still out on what's the best time to exercise, but several studies prove that exercising by daily appointment is the most effective way to maintain regular workout. While your workout timings depend on your daily schedule and mental make-up, designating a fixed time for daily exercise is the way to go. Make sure you floss at night: Your teeth will thank you for this daily habit. Always floss just before you go to bed every night. Flossing at night will ensure that



May, 2011

When to-do health guide

food doesn't sit in between your teeth cause harmful bacteria from developing. Fill up your prescriptions at the starting of the month: Make a note of all the prescriptions, vitamins and other health supplements that you take daily, and stock up at the beginning of every month. This will help you ensure that you take your supplements and medication daily without any breaks due to poor planning. Routine power naps in the day: Studies suggest that power naps

new research has A described old-school beverages—tea, coffee and low

I

FISH PEDICURE SPREADS

INFECTION DISEASE

improve concentration levels and maintain high energy levels through the day. Take a quick nap at your desk, if you can manage it, or ensure that you learn the fine art of dosing with your back flat against your work chair, for a few minutes to destress. Improve your concentration levels by playing crosswords in the morning: Morning is the time when we are maximally alert. Try and play a crossword or a Sudoku game or try and learn a

new language on net right in the morning when your mind is at its active best. Addicted to sports drinks and caffeine? Brush at regular intervals: Sports drinks and caffeinated beverages can easily erode your teeth as they are high in acidic pH levels. So, do try and brush your teeth within an hour or two of downing these drinks. If you can't afford brushing, try and drink two cups of water after a cup of coffee or a glass of that sports drink.

T E A , C O F FE E , M I L K B E S T H E AL T H Y B E V E R A G E S

fat or chocolate milk—as the best elixirs for nutrition, health and workout recovery. Research indicates that tea strengthens the body's immune system, reduces buildup of plaque on arterial walls, and aids in the control and prevention of diabetes. Tea is an antioxidant-rich beverage containing more polyphenols than many fruits and vegetables, according to

n Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga, Soames, the rich and acquisitive Man of Property, is enthralled by the beautiful Irene. He wants to possess her beauty, the way he possesses the grand mansion he buys for her, full of exquisite and expensive works of art. But the harder Soames tries to claim her as his own, the more he repels Irene. The only man she is comfortable with is the elderly Jolyon. While conscious of her beauty, the ageing Jolyon has no desire to possess it. In the twilight of his life, he basks in her radiance as a man warming himself in front of the glowing embers of a fire on a cold day. Soames and Jolyon represent two very different perceptions, not only of beauty

11

the study. Besides being rich in compounds that combat cell-damaging oxidative stress, tea has a chemical makeup that includes enzymes, carbohydrates, protein, and lipids. Oxidative stress is a molecular imbalance that interferes with the body's ability to detoxify harmful compounds leading to cellular damage and is associated with chronic health problems such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, dementia, and even cancer.

but of consciousness itself. Like most of us, Soames wants to lay claim to the beautiful – which is another word for perfection – and make it his own. In his case, the beautiful, or the perfect, is represented by a woman. In the case of a poet or an artist, the beautiful could be represented by the music of language or the splendour of a sunrise which the creative imagination seeks to capture in a line of verse or by brush strokes on canvas. But beauty can't be owned by an individual: the poet and the artist know that what they create is of value only if it belongs to the whole world and not to themselves alone. Unlike Soames, the Man of Property, Jolyon, like the poet and artist, understands

Packed with compounds that protect cells from oxidative stress, tea has emerged as a natural dietary aid to lower the risk of these ailments. Like tea, coffee is packed with polyphenols, and it actually has a higher content of antioxidants than green or black tea and other beverages such as fruit and vegetables juices. Researchers suggested that coffee consumption can lower cardiovascular risks as well as

lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent. Coffee also appears to have a positive effect on neurological diseases with coffee consumption possibly reducing the risk of both Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The findings also detail the benefits of whole, low-fat, and chocolate milk when it comes to overall nutrition, bone density, weight loss, muscle-building and more.

TRUE BEAUTY OF BEING

that beauty can never be a possession; it is always and essentially a celebration, a glimpse of perfection all the more haunting in its elusiveness. As William Blake said: "He who bends to himself a joy/ Does the winged life destroy;/ But he who kisses the joy as it flies/ Lives in eternity's sunrise." Soames wants to possess Irene's beauty, and is doomed to fail; Jolyon celebrates her beauty and is rewarded by

the glow of her presence. These two ways of perceiving beauty belong to two distinct categories of consciousness: being and having. Being is consciousness without the attached strings of attachment and ego. Being is a way of seeing the world, and everything in it, through the consciousness of a poet, or an artist, or a sage. Being has no title deed, no desire of posses-

sion, no stamp of ownership. The polar opposite of being is consciousness in the mode of having.

he latest beauty craze— T fish pedicures—offered in salons and spas across the

world have raised serious health concerns. British experts are worried that the trend that is sweeping the country could spread infection and disease, reports the Daily Mail. The Health Protection

Agency is investigating after the treatment was banned by 14 American states. The treatment, which costs between 10 and 50 pounds, involves customers dunking their feet in tanks to have their dead skin nibbled away by scores of Turkish miniature toothless carp. But it has been revealed the pedicures using the garra rufa fish could spread infection from person to person through open wounds. Salons said they use UV-lit tanks, which are constantly filtered to keep them clear of disease. But the therapy's opponents said that unlike usual salon rules, which compel staff to throw away or sanitise tools after each use, the epidermis-eating fish are too expensive to discard. The agency began investigating after being contacted by environmental health officers. "The HPA will examine the most up-to-date evidence of any possible risks associated with garra rufa fish pedicures," said an agency spokesman.


BEST UMA CONVENTION IN YEARS 12



May, 2011

30 Annual Convention of United Muslims of America held at CHANDNI RESTAURANT By Editor, Dr. H.Koya (Emcee AtharSiddiqee introducing the four panelists Michael Wolfe, Sally Mahe, Dr. Shaikh Kabir Helminski and Paul George at the 30th UMA Annual Dinner)

INTERFAITH

Message from UMApresident Shafi Refai

Some people in America have made it their full time business to demonize Islam and Muslims after 9/11/01. They present Islam as a man-made violent ideology rather than a revealed religion with an impressive history of 14 centuries. The current radicalism and upheaval in the Muslim world is the result of the geopolitical conditions, brilliantly portrayed by Graham Fuller, Former Vice Chairman of Intelligence Council of CIA, in his book: A World without Islam. American Muslims have to build alliances with the American people of all faiths to work with them to fight the rising Islamophobia.

After Russian fall “the war on global terror: Islam a new enemy”: Paul George

The concluding panelist Paul George made equally remarkable statements. In his bold analysis, Paul pointed out that after fall of Russia there was no communistenemy to fight against hence need for newenemy. The new crusade, Paul argued, was George Bush’s “Attack on global terror” that targeted Muslim countries. It is obvious that fallouts from the crusade would come in the form Islamophobia as Muslims around the world felt offended in several different ways the Danish Cartoonist, the consistent bombardment of select Muslim countries, the threat to publicly burn the Holy Quran, the ban on Burqah, the

Peter King Congressional hearing on Islam and calls for ban on Sharia Law. None of these have been prompted by Muslim acts. The Middle Eastern Muslims have been wearing Hijab and Burqah for ages and have been traveling around the world without threat of intrusion into their privacy. The War on Terror campaign has adversely affected important Muslim culture.

“Profound ignorance! Colossal! Three days later she (my daughter) called me and said,” I converted.” Salley Mahe, URI Director It is a pleasure to speak to this UMA gathering. I am happy because by being here I am able to return in a very small measure, countless acts of thoughtfulness and significant cross-religion bridge-building which Iftekar Hai, Waheed Siddique and other members of UMA have provided over the years to me and my organization, the United Religions Initiative. I was relieved to read that this evening was to focus on conversation about Islamophobia and that no one was expected to come to this challenging topic as an expert. I am no expert. For my part, I want to take refuge in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he and she live in; the school or college he attends; …[the] office where she works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.” Muslims and non-Muslim ask, how do we enter into this uncomfortable climate of fear, misinformation and prejudice? We may not like it but for a time Islamophobia is here with us. I am glad that

professionals from different sectors - scholars, theologians, historians, pollsters, journalists, social scientists are staying up late, contributing perspectives and studying root causes, demographics, religious origins, impact, etc. We need the best and the brightest to bring forward information and open up conversation and perspectives. But I want to focus on the significance of our own experiences - what we think and do in “small places close to home.” A man named Marcus Braybrooke, an early pioneer in interfaith work, said that when we speak of people’s faith and enter into sharing practices together, we must remember to take off our shoes, because we are entering upon holy ground. Likewise, I think this topic Islamophobia - an irrational fear of Islam, Muslim people, - especially the question: why people have fear, how it gets stirred up, and how it can be stopped - need to be entered into with shoes off too – not just as a subject for head and analysis but a place that requires deeper levels of inner work, deep learning, openness, and forgiveness. I realize that this is why my story is valuable to this conversation. I want to offer a few personal experiences. “Profound Ignorance” – The event was the annual dinner of United Muslims of America. The year was 1997.

I had just started doing interfaith work. Iftekhar invited me and other URI staff to attend this dinner. I found myself driving here alone from Oakland. Other staff couldn’t attend. I was recently divorced, so I had no husband to accompany me. My memory is that I was really afraid. I had stereotype images (from who knows where) in my head…would I be welcome as a Christian? Would I feel uncomfortable being alone? Would it be

from ignorance is real - there are people in the grip of Islamophobia that are as ignorant now as I was then. Colossal ignorance is dangerous… but curable. The Choice – The second story comes in 2001 a few months after 9.11. My daughter Lizzie, who had been teaching at St. Michael’s--an international school in Kobe, Japan-- called me to say she was considering converting to Islam. She said she had met women at the mosque nearby

dangerous? I’m embarrassed now to admit – how stupidly ignorant I was then. I simply didn’t know any better. Of course, when I arrived, I was warmly greeted and graciously ushered to sit with women whom I found to be delightful in every way and very much like me! I start with this personal anecdote because prejudice

her home whom she admired. She found answers to deep questions about how she could live a life of faith. Of course, I was shocked… and stunned… Her timing was terrible – with the US beginning to bomb Afghanistan! I tried to convince her to postpone her decision by saying she should think of conversion like a marriage, a core

lifelong commitment and one that needs time and consideration. I suggested a year of engagement. Respectfully she thanked me for my advice. In three days she called me back and said, "I converted." Shortly after that when we were together celebrating a special Christmas holiday. We shared a hotel room. When I awoke in the morning, there was Lizzie covered from head to foot in her prayer garment, kneeling on the floor at the side of my bed praying. The reality shot through me. In an instant I saw the young woman who was no longer the daughter I thought I knew. She was dressed in a garment that looked strange. She had taken a path that I felt would separate her from me and our family. Islam was coming under attack around the world. Would she be safe? I was afraid...for her and for me. At the same moment, I saw her serenity. I had a choice in that split second…without thinking, I bent over and kissed her on the forehead. The choice happened, I’m still not sure how – to accept her in that moment and all that would flow from it. I offer this story – because it shows how central private choices are. Perhaps our choices are not always as dramatic as this one, but when we are challenged with an unknown or a prejudice do we react with fear… Or, do we choose to respond with

trust. When we hear stories of prejudice and hostility, do we choose to repeat those negative stories more than stories of positive encounters? The third story is about my work with the United Religions Initiative. Another staff member and I were inspired by the Tool Kit that CAIR (Council on America Islamic Relations) put out for the Muslim community to help people respond to fears stirred up last year by the minister who threatened to burn the Koran. CAIR’s Tool Kit was for the Muslim Community and our Tool Kit was for non Muslim communities. We focused on what might be considered “small acts” for individuals or groups. Send a card or flowers with a message of support to a neighborhood mosque, ask one’s own religious leader to speak out against Islamophobia during times when fears are stirred up; organize 9. conversations where people share positive encounters and stories of respect and friendship. We have Tool Kit cards on the back table and you can get a copy of the entire Tool Kit from URI’s website. www.uri.org It is a time, with thousands of people all over the world, to reach out to meet ugly and uncomfortable experiences with positive actions that weave a stronger fabric of community.


“Islamophobia is all about presidential election,” Michael Wolfe INTERFAITH IN GALLERY

It’s never been simple or trouble-free to be a Muslim in America. What we’re calling Islamophobia today is nothing new. But a person would have to be tone deaf not to know that in the last year, a rhetoric that was previously extreme is now trying to get itself normalized—in the blogosphere, in the print media, on TV and radio, and finally at the voting booth. This push to normalize extreme language against Islam began around 9/11 with the so-called Ground Zero Mosque controversy; it continued with the rfeesboro mosque protests, and later with demonstrations around the country that try to tie Islam with not being American. A year ago, we saw a different racial argument being made, focused on the Latino community in Arizona. That is where the language was first forged that is now being trained on Muslims and Islam in the U.S. In each case, it has to do with waving the flag and coordinating a voter base around an immigration question, invoking the politics of paranoia. It is a voter base many politicians are stooping to appeal to. A recent Gallup poll has shown that those who embrace Islamophobia are also anti-Semitic. It’s a base that can’t get adjusted to contemporary society, a base of insular-thinking people who feel threatened by 21stcentury globalism. People who claim they want Islam excluded from American society cite passages from the Quran that advocate violence. They try to make people think that “Because one line of the Quran says this _____, all Muslims are compelled to believe and act on it without exception.” The equivalent would be to claim that Jews stone disobedient sons to death because it says they should in

Deuteronomy (21:18- 21). Or that Christians slay all nonChristians because it says they must in Luke (19:27). Or they hold Muslims here responsible for the acts of terrorists or Jihadists ten thousand miles away. “Look what they do in Waziristan. They’re all that way.” In this context, our weakest links are the few, confused young would-be Jihadists in our midst. We need to talk more plainly with them. The best allegiance, the best solidarity is with our principles. The hare-brained violent behavior exhibited here from time to time has no place in our community. Nor is it limited to our community. Every group has this, including the very people who would like to stigmatize Muslims and Islam—as we saw with the recent shooting of an elected representative in Arizona. Several politicians are currently conflating Shariah with Terrorism, and bills are up for votes in several state houses to, as they say, “ban Shariah,” as if rather than being a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, Shariah were a body of foreign law seeking somehow to impose itself on the life of a pluralistic society. In Arizona, they are also hoping to ban “karma.” That’s how the law is written… I doubt they’ll succeed on that one. To paraphrase Sarah Palin’s tagline, “So, how’s that ban on karma workin for ya?”



:>)

These are the rhetorical tricks of politicians manufacturing falsehoods masquerading as truth to get cheap votes. slamophobia: I’m not sure we spell it right. Maybe we should spell it OBAMAPHOBIA. Because, concerning the recent escalation of the attack against Islam and Muslims in the USA, this is all about a presidential election. Given what many Americans are shown about Islam and Muslims on TV, it’s a wonder every one of them doesn’t think Islam is a thirdrate religion of people who want to conquer America the first chance they get. What can Muslims do about this? Two things: Demonstrate proactively that Muslim Americans are not a 5th column in modern society. Let people understand that Muslim values are human values, that the values of Tahrir square resonate with American values—freedom of speech, representative gov-

ernment, protecting the rights of other religions, treating religion as a personal choice not a political position. And second: Don’t get defensive. Don’t even respond if you can help it. The framing of the “question” ensures you’re going to have to fight uphill. Instead of arguing back self-defensively, Muslims should concentrate on activating their OWN base of ‘mainstream’ Americans who already have good working, friendly relationships with Muslims. Form alliances. Develop allies. Let others speak for how authentic you are. It’s much more credible. Dialogue is the best medicine for this illness. On 9/12 /11, we showed a film at the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” and most of the people who attended were mainstream New Yorkers who came, watched, sat on the floor, shared food and talked. That one event resulted in a dozen more similar events around Manhattan in the next two weeks. The events go on… The word “dialogue” reminds me of something Tariq Ramadan said last week when he spoke at Stanford: When “Let’s have a dialogue” really means “Listen to me,” you don’t have a dialogue. You have an interactive monologue. DIALOGUE REQUIRES RESPECT. When we stand on our principles and judge people by their own group’s worst

May, 2011

practices, that’s not respectful. Judging from the top of our group’s theoretical performance down to the bottom of another group’s worst examples is an unfair judgment. It goes nowhere. We need to talk on common ground. Talking from the edges of our differences is guaranteed not to go very far. It’s only skin deep. The real common ground we all share is the base note of existence: our mortality, our fragility, our complex identities, and our flaws— which demand compassion and understanding, acceptance and forgiveness. The deeper the level you share on, the more a person can know that you’re alive. “Show me what you love, and show me how you suffer: That’s how to show me who you are.” Again, the best allegiance, the best solidarity is with our principles. Be ready to oppose oppression when it comes from our own community too, not just when it comes from another community that threatens our comfort. We have to be vigilant against people in our own house who seem to be like us but actually represent the forces of chaos. We have to step out of our comfort zone… Muslims in times like these could try to remember the story of Hamza, coming home from another day of hunting and passing by the town square where he sees a person being humiliated for his

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beliefs. Hamza, a respectable member of his community, does an extraordinary thing: he joins the person being humiliated. Muslims need to find the of American society, the people who understand that if a Muslim’s religious and civil rights are compromised, then their own rights aren’t safe either. That we don’t have to agree in order to respect other people’s right to believe as they do. What we expect for ourselves we have to extend to others. Allies are drawn to those who set an unshakeable example in adverse times. The best prescription against Islamophobia is to forge allies. Finding allies, forging new alliances, and most important getting your allies to speak up for you in public. Here’s a Facebook page we’ve just put up for you to use: The operating instructions, for Muslims to pass on to mainstream neighbors, are simple: "62% of Americans have never met a Muslim. Do you know a Muslim? Share your story through YouTube on this page. " The idea is for mainstream Americans to post a collection of short personal videos talking about their friendships with individual Muslims. We're hoping it will find many fans by 9/11/2011. Watch a few of the volunteered videos and you'll see the idea. If you know of individuals who would want to turn their cell phone or computer into a camera and upload a personal video, encourage them. Encourage them. The more authentic, honest, genuine the brief piece is, the best. Let me leave you with two bits of wisdom from rural Morocco: 1. Don’t put too much faith in politicians. “Politicians weep with the shepherd and dine with the jackal.” 2. “The camel doesn’t see his hump; he sees the hump of his brother.”

“Muslims Need Serious House Clarification! Unwarranted and blatant violations!”

Dr. Shaikh Kabir Helminski Arenowned Sufi, scholar, writer and poet Dr. Shaikh Kabir Helminski zeroed in on inside Muslim world for reformation and clarification directing the focus to responding with “good for evil done to them.” Dr. Shaikh Kabir Helminski’s take “ Repel evil with good deeds – Aserious house clarification needed” The approach suggested by Dr. Shaikh Kabir Helminski to deal with whenMuslims are faced with adverse situation is most idea Islamic and spiritual path. Dr. Helminski quite rightly pointed out as he opened his presentationthat Muslims are enjoined to “repel evil

with good deeds.” Calling on Muslims to do “serious house clarification,” Dr. Kabir Helminski said

that among things that gave Muslims grounds foradversity is Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law. Dr.

Helminski was the only panelist who openly mentioned the impactof the evil law which has in

recent months given bad name both toPakistan and Muslims all over the world.


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May, 2011

I'M NOT AVERSE TO ITEM NUMBERS

Sonakshi

A

ctress Sonakshi Sinha wants to prove that she is truly Dabangg when it comes to her professional career. Brushing aside the rumours that she wants to refrain from doing item numbers, the actress came out saying that she is not scared of doing them. The 23-year-old, who has shown her dancing expertise on stage at various award shows earlier this year, revealed that she has no problems in joining the lines of Katrina Kaif, Malaika Arora Khan and Mallika Sherawat by doing an item number, but she has to be comfortable in doing so. "I’m not scared of doing item numbers. For me, when I did stage shows, I was wearing what I was comfortable in and the moves that I was doing were also what I was comfortable doing. So all depends on comfort. If what is offered to me, I’m comfortable doing that, then I might Sonakshijust take it up. I’m not averse to it," Sonakshi told reporters here. Sonakshi, the daughter of veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha, has laid down various rules for herself. She has been maintaining that she won’t be doing any kissing scenes in films and also won’t sport a bikini on screen ever. Yet the budding actress has been getting plump Bollywood offers. After her debut film Dabangg with Salman Khan, the actress will be seen in Joker with Akshay Kumar and is also a part of Race 2. At an event Tuesday, she was also named as the brand ambassador of fashion brand Provogue, that has had actors like Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Fardeen Khan and Katrina Kaif endorsing it in the past. "I’m very happy to be associated with Provogue. I think they’ve seen how my career is shaping up and they think that I’m able to contribute to their brand in some way as a brand ambassador. So very happy about this association and hopefully it will be a long and fruitful one for both of us," said Sonakshi.

F

arah Khan and the record label T-Series have learnt that at least 50 Indian and 10 international DJs have illegally remixed the Sheila Ki Jawaani song and released it on the net as their own composition. A special case among them all is international DJ NYK, who has even made a video of the remixed version and uploaded it on his official website. This comes after international artiste Timbaland ripped off Aradhana's hit track Baagon Mein Bahaar Hai for one of his singers in the US. Now Farah and Bhushan Kumar plan to take legal action as they have lost Rs 60-70 lakh, which they would have charged for remix rights. The record label's spokesperson says, "We have lost lakhs here. Almost all DJs in India remix songs, but they mostly play them at night clubs and don't release it. However in this case, they are also

Sheila vs Munni

Part 2

BOLLYWOOD claiming that it is an exclusive remix of the original. We need a watchdog to look out for such copycats. How can one filmmaker or record label keep tab on so many things?" Farah adds, "We haven't given any rights and these DJs have been ripping off my song. It is a serious crime. Though at one level I'm flattered that so many people have made these remixes, I have to take action. We need to threaten people with dire consequences or else they won't stop ripping off songs." It's Sheila vs Munni here too If Sheila Ki Jawaani is a hot favourite for illegal releases, Munni Badnaam Hui is not too far behind. Malaika Arora Khan's sexy number has been illegally remixed by 34 DJs, but it has yet not been released as his/her original piece of work. Thus, the loss margin is much lesser. It is an estimated Rs 20 lakh, analysts say.

Kapoor's There’s no bikini in Rascals family day out T

Kangna

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ctor Kangna Ranuat, who recently made headlines, for her refusal to wear a bikini in David Dhawan's Rascals, says it was nothing but a rumour. She says, “That is not true at all and only a rumour. Only 10 per cent what is written about me is true. There is no bikini in Rascals. Not yet. If David finds curiosity for bikini and wants to put it, then it is a different story.” The 24-year-old actor who recently impressed audience with her comic antics in Tanu Weds Manu, has played the role of a cop in her just released film Game which also stars Abhishek Bachchan. When asked about her character, Ranaut, who was recently in the capital for her film’s promotion seemed visibly excited and said, “I play the character of a detective cop called Sia Agnihotri. My role was initially written keeping a guy in mind but then the makers felt that it would be better if a woman portrayed it. It was challenging to come into a hero’s shoes.”\ Kangna has numerous big films in her kitty including Rascals, Happy New Year and Double Dhamaal. Is it a conscious descision to do comedies? “It is not a conscious decision, I have to choose from options I get. Sometimes, people get carried away and want to encash on the success of Tanu Weds Manu where I did a light role,” she said.

Arjun Rampal D to copy Chulbul Pandey's style

he Kapoor family including Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Krishna Kapoor and Ritu Nanda were seen in what can only be described as a rare photo op in Delhi recently. The family with a rich Bollywood legacy, that goes without saying, stepped out for a family get together to a Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon and were in quite an upbeat mood as they discussed topics ranging from cricket to new little additions in their family. Rishi, who was in Delhi as his daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni recently was blessed with a baby girl, said, "Neetu could not be here with us right now as she's with Riddhima and the baby. You now, it feels great to be a grandfather... a great feeling." Riddhima has named her daughter Samara. The other Kapoors were excited as well, probably because this is the second baby in the family this year after Randhir's daughter and actress Karisma Kapur gave birth to baby boy Kiaan last year. Said Ritu Nanda, "Rishi's granddaughter, Samara brought us all here. It is certainly great to have an addition in the family." Rishi, on the other hand, preferred to talk about cricket and said, "I can already foresee the cricket future. India has already won the World Cup for me."

etermined to break the cliches of a small-town cop, Tigmanshu Dhulia is giving Arjun Rampal time to essay the real-life character based in Jai Ramji The man is incredible. He is not only a super capable police officer but also a connoisseur of French wines and Hindustani classical music. He can nab a criminal as swiftly as he can identify a thumri or dadra," describes neo-realist director Tigmanshu Dhulia about the reallife cop from Allahabad, who is the subject of his film Jai Ramji. Arjun Rampal, who will essay the character, is heading to Allahabad next month to meet the subject of the film. Dhulia is adamant that Rampal

take time to understand the real-life cop because he wants to break the stereotypical depiction of a small-time boorish cop with his khaki shirt open to his naval and his gun half out of his holster. As Dhulia explains, "Why must we always presume that small-town cops from North India are like Chulbul Pandey? I know so many civil servants in UP who are suave, worldly, wise, literate and erudite. Arun's character of the cop is as much into aesthetics and arts as he is into nabbing hardcore criminals. I want him to spend at least two weeks in preparation. I don't want him to just wear khaki and behave like a filmi cop."


HRITHIK'S

BOLLYWOOD

A

amir did it for Ghajini, John Abraham for khakha khakha remake and now Hrithik is doing it for his much awaited Agneepath remake, a film produced by Karan Johar. We've heard the actor has added new equipments in his inhouse gym too and is working out for not less than 3 hours a day!

GETTING BIGGER THAN

Hrithik's trainer Satya, who has worked with Aamir on Ghajini has revealed how the actor needs to gain 14 kgs for his role in Agneepath remake. The actor who weighs 70, needs to weigh 84! Both Priyanka and Hrithik have kept their looks for the film hidden by not posting their pictures on networking sites in spite

K

May, 2011

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of their fans insisting on it. Priyanka said, "I am shooting for Agneepath but cannot put up the pics as we have different looks and cannot reveal it as yet." John Abraham on the contrary has been asked to lose weight for Dostana sequel! Seems like everyone's taking perfection to another level in Bollywood!

KATRINA, SONAKSHI STILL AT WAR

atrina Kaif seems to be in no mood to have any sort of association with Sonakshi Sinha. TOI bro the story of the the Daban ke actress messaging Ka gg t clear the air between the to m. However the senior actress refused to acknow ledge the message or even reply. It has now bee n fifteen days since well, So offered the Rajneeti sta na r, an olive branch. And there hasn't been any respon from the other side. It se is clear indication that the a war is on and Kat isn't in the mood to wave the wh ite flag. Meanwhile, a n o t h e r

JOHN! 

instance has angered Kat again. A report said that Sona has beaten Kat, Kareena, Aishwarya Ra Bachchan and Priyan i Chopra in a popularity ka poll and the industry is wo ndering which poll is this tha Sona has won given she t just one film old. Looks is like Salman Khan's find is creating a circle of ene mies around her. Watch ou babe! Even Sallu won't t able to save you from thebe se actresses.

Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Nikhil Dwivedi, Pitobash Tripathi, Senthil Ramamurthy, Zakir Hussain Direction: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK Genre: Drama Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Story: Tusshar Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi and Pitobash Tripathi are three typical wasters who throng the streets of Mumbai, looking for a high adrenalin fix. They steal a bag from a local train, just for kicks, and find it to be full of guns in all shapes and sizes. Next stop: find suitable customers for their unusual loot. Add to this a wannabe cricketer who must find some big money to bribe his way into the Indian team and an NRI (Senthil Ramamurthy) who wants to set up his business in India, without paying the requisite security to the local mafia (Zakir Hussain) and you have a sizzling kaleidoscope on chaotic Mumbai.

SHOR IN THE CITY

Movie Review: Shor in the City may be another dekko at merry, murky, mad city Mumbai but not once do you get a sense of deja vu. And that's because this one's a completely quirky cameo on a city that continues to hypnotize people with its chameleon hues. The film posits the metropolis as a character in the film. One that is as jagged, enigmatic and hysterical as the living-breathing protagonists of the film. And yet, despite the hurtling-towards-doom scenario, there is an undercurrent of hope and innocence which seems to spring from the most unusual places. Like Tusshar Kapoor's character and the diehard aspiring young cricketer's zeal... The threesome of Tusshar, Nikhil and Pitobash form the central core of the film. It's a tangy desi Reservoir Dog's combo, with Nikhil Dwivedi and Pitobash Tripathi providing the edge and Tusshar pitching in the equipoise. His discovery of Paulo Coelho and his uplifting psy-co-low-gee, as he tries to read The Alchemist, dictionary in hand, is so very funny and funky. All this, while he is also trying to discover the sensual charms of his newly-wedded wife, Radhika Apte, and his friends are trying to distract him with their treasure of AK-47s and 56s. Senthil Ramamurthy's track is equally spicy too, specially his encounters with gangster Zakir Hussain who can't understand why the oaf can't understand the petty gangster's code that rules Mumbai. Not even, when it's a matter of life and death. With a zany screenplay (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), excellent cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray and peppy music by Sachin-Jigar, Shor in the City is another breaking-norm film from Ekta Kapoor (producer) after Love Sex aur Dhokha and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. Don't miss this black comedy that has heart and soul.


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May, 2011


Goodbye to "Karen from CIA"

WORLD NEWS



WASHINGTON: Kiran Pasricha came to Washington DC on a posting as representative of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) the same year as your correspondent arrived here. It was 1994 and India was just a blip on the American radar. Typically those days, a US posting was seen as a sinecure, the icing on a long career to enable the recipient to build a nest egg before retirement. But we were both young professionals, barely in our 30s, and before long we realized, forget retirement plans, we were working like galley slaves on what would turn out to be the ride of our lives on the USIndia boat. When we arrived here, the internet was still in its infancy. The standard mode of communication those days was the phone and fax. If you haven't heard the groan of a document going through the fax machine and climactic beep to signal it had been received at the other end, you don't know torture and reward. Then came dial-up internet -- its modem squeaking, hissing, whooshing and gurgling -- and more torment. The term outsourcing was not current although GE, AmEx, H-P and few others had begun operations in India in the 1980s. The cell phone, born in 1973, still belonged to ultra-elites and uber-geeks. Tech challenges were least of our problems. The biggest issue was access. It was hard to get attention, forget face time, with administration officials, lawmakers, and big business. Bill Clinton was midway into his first term and was caught up in domestic issues (in more than one sense). A visit to US by the Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao went virtually unreported in the

American media. Kiran recalls phoning the office of an administration official and having the "who-shall-I-say-is-calling" assistant patch through "Karen from CIA." CII and its affiliates Indian companies were marginal. Ta-ta was a way to say goodbye, and Mittals and Jindals were mostly unknown outside India. US-India trade was measured in millions, not billions. The Enron-Dhabol project was a nightmare in the making. Indian lobbying, or what passed for it, was highly personalized and spasmodic. Forget Indian industry, even New Delhi was a reluctant lobbyist, with just one Nehru-Gandhi family friend named Janaki Ganju doing all the spade work. Bill Clinton tried to get things going in his second term starting 1996. But each time there was a bit of momentum the government in India would

Israel mourns 6 million Jewish Holocaust victims of World War II

JERUSALEM: Israel's PM warned that the nation must not dismiss Iran's threats to its existence, drawing a parallel at a ceremony in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, a mass murder that still reverberates in the Jewish state more than six decades later. Iran and its allies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, openly call for the destruction of Israel, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, and "Iran is even arming itself with nuclear weapons to accomplish that goal." He said the most important lesson of the Holocaust for the Jewish people is, "if someone threatens to destroy us, we must not ignore their threats." Netanyahu addressed a crowd of hundreds of Holocaust survivors, diplomats and Israeli leaders at Yad

Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial center. "The threat against our existence and our future is not theoretical," he said. "It must be stopped." Iran denies it is making nuclear weapons. For years Israel has called for world action to stop the Iranian nuclear program, backing diplomatic efforts and sanctions but never taking the option of a military strike off the table. At the memorial ceremony, six Holocaust survivors lit symbolic torches to mark the beginning of the annual observance. At midmorning on Sunday, air raid sirens were to sound around the country to mark two minutes of silence in honour of the victims, followed by ceremonies called "Each Person Has a Name," in which people read out the names of victims at Israel's parliament and other public locations.

fall. Then came the low point in the relationship. India went overtly nuclear in May 1998. Washington exploded. "Why don't you just shut down your office and go home?" Kiran recalls one executive telling her. Indians were persona non-grata, although friends joked about my becoming "Persona Rajghatta" because TV channels sought out anyone who could explain what India had done. We learned two lessons from the episode: The value of being upfront with Americans, and laying it out in simple, sound-bite terms. "If Canada and Mexico were malevolent neighbors with nukes, would you Americans be sitting on your butt?" did more than lengthy editorials. From adversity came opportunity. We thought Kargil would doom us (travel advisories presuming the direst scenarios) but Washington

12-year-old suicide bomber kills four in Afghanistan

KABUL: A 12-year-old suicide bomber killed four people and wounded a dozen in eastern Afghanistan today, officials said. The boy - thought to be one of the country's youngestever suicide attackers - detonated a vest packed with explosives in a marketplace in Paktika province, on the border with Pakistan, provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan said in a statement. "The head of Shkin district council, Shair Nawaz, a woman and two other men were killed and 12 others were wounded," the statement said. The Afghan interior ministry had earlier put the death toll at three, with 11 wounded. Civilians are increasingly getting caught up in the violence that has blighted Afghanistan since a US-led invasion in 2001 ousted the Taliban, triggering an insurgency whose intensity has increased in recent years.

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made a fair call (backing India). The danger passed, as did Pakistan, and Clinton, looking for a nice finale to his two terms and a way to patch up with a country he really liked, embarked on a historic India visit. It was the first of three presidential visits in the last decade, each more successful than the previous, each driving US-India ties to new levels, and in each of which Kiran was a livewire on the business side of things. She lived through the worst (nuke test) and the best (nuke deal). Asked to recall a standout moment, she recalled Hillary Clinton, then a New York Senator, accompanying an Indian business delegation on a road trip for two days -- including staying overnight with them at a $ 50-a-night motel. At fond farewells last week, they came to say goodbye to "Karen from CIA" - administration officials who hadn't returned her calls, corporate honchos who she had wrangled with, lawmakers she had badgered. When she first came here, there were maybe a dozen Indian-American staffers on the Hill. Now there were a dozen senior administration officials of Indian origin, including Suresh Kumar, Obama's Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Ray Vickery, Kumar's predecessor many times removed (under Clinton) was moved enough to recite indecipherable Urdu poetry as he wished her Godspeed. Others Americans plied her with "Namaste" and "Dhanyavad," although she jokingly pleaded for a Single Malt to overcome the uprush of emotion -- both a sign of the distance the two people and countries have traversed. It will be a road much traveled in the years to come.

9 Americans dead after Afghan military pilot opens fire

KABUL: Eight American troops and a US contractor died on Wednesday after an Afghan military pilot opened fire during a meeting at Kabul airport -- the deadliest episode to date of an Afghan turning against his coalition partners, officials said. The Afghan officer, who was a veteran military pilot, fired on the Americans after an argument, the Afghan defense ministry said. All nine killed were American, according to a senior US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information has not yet been made public. The shooting

occurred in an operations room of the Afghan Air Corps at Kabul airport. "Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started," said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Col. Bahader, who uses only one name. "After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away." Five Afghan soldiers were injured. At least one Afghan soldier was shot -- in the wrist -- but most of the soldiers suffered broken bones and cuts, Bahader said.

Canadian parliament may see more Indian-origin MPs

TORONTO: With main three national parties putting up 23 Indo-Canadian candidates for the May 2 general election, the Canadian parliament may see more MPs of Indian-origin this time. In the outgoing 308-member House of Commons, there were nine MPs of Indian origin - four from the ruling Conservative Party and five from the opposition Liberal Party. The ruling Conservative party has fielded eight, the main opposition Liberal Party 10 and the New Democratic Party (NDP) five Indo-Canadian candidates in this election. While all the sitting MPs - Ujjal Dosanjh, Ruby Dhalla, Navdeep Bains, Gurbax Malhi, Sukh Dhaliwal, Nina Grewal, Deepak Obhrai, Devinder Shory and Tim Oppal - have been re-nominated by their parties, there are many new faces in the fray this time.

Though most of the siting Indo-Canadian MPs are expected to be back in the House of Commons, veteran Ujjal Dosanjh and Ruby Dhalla of the opposition Liberal Party face tough battle this time. In the 2008 elections, Dosanjh had managed to win in the Vancouver South constituency by just 20 votes. Dhalla, who is one of the first Sikh MPs in Canada, too had retained her seat by about 700 votes. The ruling Conservative Party, which has failed to achieve a simple majority in the last three elections, is trying very hard to unseat both Dosanjh and Dhalla. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and immigration minister Jason Kenney have visited Dhalla's constituency of Brampton-Springdale on the outskirts of Toronto in support of their candidate Parm Gill.

Tennis stars Venus Williams, left, and her sister Serena Williams, share a laugh during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington.


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April, 2011

Lenin's largest statue razed in central Asia

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN: Workers began pulling down the largest statue of Vladimir Lenin in ex-Soviet Central Asia from its place of honour on Friday, earning outrage from diehard communists celebrating the Russian revolutionary's 141st birthday. A significant but waning number of people in former Soviet countries remain faithful to the iconic founder of the Soviet state even twenty years after the collapse of Communism. Lenin statues were demolished as Communist regimes crumbled two decades ago, but the monuments remain ubiquitous — and sometimes controversial — across parts of the former Soviet Union still ambivalent about the era. As hundreds of Communists laid flowers at Lenin's Red Square tomb in Moscow, workers in Tajikistan were dismantling the 22.5-meter (74-foot ) Lenin monument in the city center of Khujand, once known as Leninabad in honour of the Soviet founder.

Berlo caught on camera joking about sex with aide

L O N D O N : Controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been filmed making a lewd joke about his secretary. Berlusconi, who is facing a charge of paying a 17-year-old for sex, cracked the lewd joke while being interviewed – before asking the media persons to make it off the record. The billionaire tycoon was asked to recall the best manager to lead AC Milan, the Italian football club he is president of. "Look I

am getting old. This morning I was chasing my secretary to do her on the table and she

said: 'Prime Minister we only did it two hours ago.' So you see my memory is going," the PM says in the clip. Prime Minister was then heard saying to the crew: "If you lot broadcast that then you are all a bunch of ***** ." Footage of his latest gaffe was screened on Italian TV show Annozero. It revealed how the film had actually been shot earlier this month but not screened after journalists present agreed not to report it.

Libyan leader Gaddafi survives Nato air strike, son killed

Muammar Gaddafi's son killed Damage which the Libyan government said was caused by a coalition air strike is seen at the house of Saif Al-Arab Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in Tripoli April 30, 2011. (Reuters Photo) TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi survived a Nato air strike that killed his youngest son and three grandchildren and destroyed a Tripoli house, a Libyan government spokesman said on Saturday. "What we have now is the law of the jungle," government

spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told a news conference. "We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians." Gaddafi, who seized power in a 1969 coup, is fighting an uprising by rebels who have seized much of the eastern part of the country. British and French-led Nato forces are permitted under a United Nations resolution to attack Gaddafi forces to protect civilians. There was no immediate

Nato reaction or independent confirmation of the incident. Libya's government took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles. The roof had completely caved in in some areas, leaving mangled rods of reinforcing steel hanging down among chunks of concrete. A table football machine stood outside in the garden of the house, which was in a wealthy residential area of Tripoli. The blasts had been heard across

White House hails agreement on ending Yemen crisis

WASHINGTON: The White House welcomed on Saturday a plan for Yemen's longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, urging all sides to "swiftly" implement a peaceful transfer of power. "We applaud the announcements by the Yemeni Government and the opposition that they have accepted the GCC-brokered agreement to resolve the political crisis in a peaceful and orderly manner," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "The United States supports a peaceful transfer of power in Yemen that is responsive to the aspirations of the Yemeni people." Carney also urged "all parties to move swiftly to implement the terms of the agreement so that the Yemeni people can soon realize the security, unity, and prosperity that they have so courageously sought and so richly deserve." His comments came after a senior official for Yemen's ruling General People's Congress said the party has accepted a plan from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) under which Saleh would stand down. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner earlier said "the timing

and form of this transition should be identified through dialogue and begin immediately." He also called for "genuine participation" from all sides and urged them to refrain from violence. The Gulf plan would see Saleh submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days, with a presidential vote to be held within two months. "The GPC and its allies have accepted the GCC initiative in its entirety," said Soltan al-Barakani, the party's deputy secretary general and head of the its parliamentary bloc. Gulf Arab nations have also proposed forming a government of national unity in Yemen, Saleh transferring his powers to his vice president and an end to deadly protests rocking the impoverished country. The opposition Common Forum coalition had said it would reject any national unity government while Saleh remains in office. A defiant Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, has publicly insisted on sticking to the constitution in any transfer of power throughout the violent turmoil wracking his country since January that has left over 130 people dead in clashes between security forces and anti-regime protesters.

the city late on Saturday. Rifle fire and car horns rang out in the rebels' eastern capital of Benghazi as news of the attack spread. Authorities said Gaddafi's youngest son, Saif al-Arab, had been killed in the attack. Saif alArab is one of Gaddafi's less prominent sons, with a limited role in the Tripoli power structure. Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab, 29, was a student who had studied in Germany. "We will fight and fight if we have to," Ibrahim said. "The leader offered peace to Nato yesterday and Nato rejected it."

Lindsay Lohan sentenced to 120 days jail

LOS ANGELES: Actress Lindsay Lohan was sentenced on Friday to 120 days in jail for violating her probation on a 2007 drunk driving conviction. Lohan was taken from a Los Angeles court by sheriff's deputies officials at the end of a preliminary hearing on a jewelry theft charge. Lohan was earlier ordered to stand trial in June on a reduced, misdemeanor charge of stealing a $2,500 necklace in January. But the judge on Friday ruled that the jewelry incident was a probation violation and sentenced her to 120 days jail and 480 hours community service. Lohan's lawyer said she would file an immediate appeal.

WORLD NEWS France's 'first baby': Sarkozys awaiting visit from stork?

LONDON: France is set to have a 'first baby'. Newspapers across the Gallic nation reported on Sunday that President Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni are expecting a child. The baby would be the 43-year-old's first with Sarkozy, 56, whom she married following a whirlwind romance in 2008, reported Daily Mail online. Rumours of the pregnancy first appeared in the latest edition of French magazine Closer under the headline 'Pregnant at last', with sources telling the weekly glossy they were "absolutely certain" about the information. Closer has printed similar stories before, all of which have proved to be false, but today papers including Le Journal du Dimanche, Le Parisien, and Le Figaro ran articles on the claims. Neither the Elysee Palace nor senior ministers have denied the claims, solely explaining that they could not say anything more because the matter was to do with the couple's private life. Sources quoted in other publications said that the French first lady is in the "early weeks of her pregnancy", meaning the child would be born in time for the next spring's presidential campaign, when Sarkozy hopes to be returned to the Elysee Palace for a second term.

It's love at first kill for a growing number of gamers

This is a love story. It began on a hot summer night in Santa Barbara , California, when Tamara Langman helped kill the yellow-eyed demon known as Prince Malchezaar. She was logged into World of Warcraft, the multiplayer fantasy game, and her avatar — Arixi Fizzlebolt , a busty gnome with three blond pigtails — had also managed to pique the interest of John Bentley, aka Weulfgar McDoal. A note to the uninitiated: World of Warcraft is a vast online game where monsters are meant to be vanquished, but it is also a social networking experience. When players aren't battling monsters, their avatars are exploring fantastical landscapes (lush jungles, snowy forests, misty beaches), where they can meet and gab via the game's instant message feature, or through voice communication software. And so Langman and Bentley found a quiet spot for their avatars to sit. Hours evaporated as they discussed everything from their families to their futures. Sometime before dawn, Langman realized that while she was in the fictional world of Azeroth, she was also on a date.

For the next two months, Langman, 27, and Bentley, 24, rendezvoused in Azeroth, until one day they decided to meet in Santa Barbara instead . When Bentley stepped onto the tarmac at the Santa Barbara airport on a bright October afternoon in 2008, Langman ran to him. Bentley scooped her up into his arms and spun her around. He had planned to stay for a couple of weeks before returning to Atlanta. But two weeks became two years, and Bentley and Langman are still together. Who knew a World of Warcraft subscription could deliver more romance than Match.com? Langman and Bentley are hardly the only couple to have forged an avatar love connection . Gaming forums are rife with anecdotes from players who are dating and marrying. Some couples have even had their avatars marry. (You can watch videos of the ceremonies on YouTube.) And while it may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, more people are likely to meet this way as the genre (known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs) continues to grow.


Prominent & Successful Indians Abroad

SYDNEY’S SHARMA SETS SUPERB SOCIAL SERVICES PEOPLE’S PAGE

The Indian News Media in Sydney will be publishing regular articles on some of the prominent and successful IndoAustralians in Sydney. In the current issue, Benn Bhan Sharma, also known as Benny to his associates, and ‘Uncle Benn’ to Fiji Indian soccer community, has been honoured as a rare individual and a role model to the society. An energetic multi-talented Benn Bhan, enjoys contributing his professional services to promote and develop Hinduism in today’s multi-cultural and multi-religious society. It is extremely beneficial for the Indian community to have access to Benny’s services as he readily departs knowledge on various matters and does not shy away from responsibilities. In 2007, Mr Sharma received “Best Community Service Award” at the South Asian Small Business and Cultural Awards. This prestigious award was presented at the Gala Dinner at Ryde City Council by Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and Commonwealth Bank. Generally, most Fiji Indians tend to belong to either social, religious or sports groups and Benny has been actively involved in leadership roles across all three f a c t i o n s . The highlights of some of his contribution to the community are: • As a practicing Hindu, Benny has helped establish Ramayan Mandalis, chaired Diwali Mela (2004/05), and has been the co-founder and current Trustee of the Australian Hindu Multicultural Association. He is also the co-founder and Honorary Patron of the Shree Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of NSW. More recently, Benny and his Fiji Indian associates in Brisbane met with the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh(pictured), to advance discussions on a Mandir project. • In addition to participating in religious activities, Benny enjoys letting his hair down with the ‘golden nectar’ he calls scotch. Benny believes there is a time for everything, religious activities should be observed during the festive seasons and this should be balanced with other attractions of a western society. As a co-founder and General Secretary of Friends of Fiji – Australia (NSW Branch), Benny has successfully organised social nights for the former Fiji residents in Sydney. His new social group’s vision is to establish a cultural centre where all ex-Fiji residents, despite their individual cultural identities can interact and preserve the unique Fiji heritage. • In the sporting arena, Benny was one of the founders and currently President of Sydney Sanatan Sports Association and chairman/patron of Australian



Sanatan Sports Assn. Currently as Patron of the World Sanatan Sports Association, Benny and his associates have successfully organised four Sanatan World Cup soccer tournaments in Australia, New Zealand, United States and most recently in Fiji. In addition, Benny is the Patron of Sydney Ba Soccer Association of NSW and enjoys his role as public relations officer at regular international or inter-state soccer tournaments. Other ethnic organisations also value Benny’s contribution to the sport and have appointed him as Hon. Patron of Ba Muslim and Ba Sangam soccer associations in NSW. More recently, in the last weekend of January, Benny was the one of the coordinators for the four Sydney teams in the annual International Masters veterans’ tournament held in Auckland, NZ. One of the teams competed under the banner Syndey Nalawa BV and won the over 40s tournament, while the other Sydney Ba Veterans team won the over 35s competition. Once again, Benny has proven himself to be an outstanding Ambassador for Sydney soccer teams abroad and a brilliant compeer at the new Central Park Stadium. Benny hails from Ba, Fiji, the once sugarcane capital of Fiji, and still the most feared name in Fiji, and is still the most feared name in Fiji soccer, and amongst the Fijian communities in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. Benny’s former hometown carries the tradition of producing some of the best soccer players in the country, which has led to his passion in the sport and hard work to ensure the tradition continues in his current hometown. The other reason for Benn Bhan Sharma’s popularity amongst the Fiji Indian community in Sydney, is mostly due to his entertaining nature and excellent sense of humour which seems to flow spontaneously during soccer commentaries and social functions that he hosts. One of his favourite lines during soccer commentaries is “Mein Hoon Nah,” which always seems to create a sensation at soccer tournaments in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Fiji. His sense of humor and popularity is widely appreciated and even if he is not meant to be commentating, seeing him at sports venues, the organisers always find a role for Benny. In addition to creating a fun atmosphere at soccer tournaments, Benny is exceptionally talented public speaker and naturally entertains large crowds in either English, Hindi, Urdu or Fijian. While fulfilling his role as a master of ceremony, Benny’s wit is evident as his dialogues are generally tame and humour is family oriented. His charismatic personality ensures no shortage of fans. It is amazing to see even the young generation of Fijian soccer players who often participate at the tournaments in Sydney acknowledge Benny by

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achievements and memories

calling out his famous line, “mein hoon nah.” With such natural entertaining ability, Benny would have definitely benefitted from being born in Bollywood. But for now, lets just regard him as Fiji’s Rajesh Khanna, as he does play the scene when dressed up in ‘kurta pyjama’, uttering polished Hindi, with the occasional shayeri, while officiating at Indian functions. Along with his bubbly sociable personality, there is a serious nature to Benny who can be extremely business oriented but at the same time community focused. Benny is a unique example to the Fiji Indian community on how people can utilise the best of both worlds, - our cultural heritage combined with what the western world has to offer, and lead an enjoyable lifestyle in the modern world. As a real estate professional, Benny has demonstrated a perfect balance between competing business priorities and his dedication to development and enhancement of Hinduism in our society, and his love for Fiji’s national sport ‘soccer’. Benny’s extensive contribution to the establishment of religious organisations, promotion of soccer, and constant visible presence in the Indo-Fijian community, has earned him the honor of being recognised as a prominent and successful Fiji Indian in Sydney. His purpose in life is to genuinely help people and organisations change for the better, regardless of race or religion. His incredible energy level and sincere

interest in the well being of others has earned him recognisable status as a Justice of Peace in NSW, Sanatan Ambassador, Noted Journalist and nominated for Premier’s Business/Community Service Awards. Being a true follower of Sanatan Dharam, Benny believes in live and let live – “jeeyo aur jeene doh.” While we have all suffered some setbacks in our lives, it is these experiences which either makes or breaks a person. Some people choose to think only of themselves and their families, while others sacrifice their time and energy for the benefit of the greater community. Benny lives by the ancient Chinese belief, “fall down eight times, get up nine times,” in other words people should always be ready to bounce back more often than they fall. The community would be a lot better place if people were not self-centered and applied themselves in areas where they could make a positive difference to the society. The Bhagavat Gita regards life on earth as temporary and states nothing in this world is permanent. Why not learn from Benny and enjoy your time on earth, most importantly, enjoy whats here now. Yesterday is history, no one has seen tomorrow, today is a gift from God and that’s why its called ‘present’. As a true Sanatani, Benny has demonstrated many times that “sewa mein mewa hai.” We salute you sir… Cheers!! -From Arveen Sharma in Canberra ACT


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May, 2011

NY police chief calls bin Laden death 'welcome milestone'

NEW YORK: New York's police chief on Sunday called the killing of Osama bin Laden a "welcome milestone" for the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. About 3,000 people were killed in the attacks, including more than 2,600 in the demolition of the World Trade Center towers by Al-Qaida hijackers. "The death of Osama Bin Laden is a welcome milestone for the friends and families of those killed on 9/11, and for all who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack," said New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly in a statement. Media reports said that extra security would be laid on in the city after the announcement. The police department refused to comment.

US Updates

Threat remains after bin Laden killed by US forces

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned Americans on Sunday night to remain vigilant even after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and while there are no known credible threats, the risk of attacks remains. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have not issued any warning of a credible or imminent threat in the wake of news that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, but security will likely be ramped up to guard against possible retaliation. "There is no doubt that al-Qaida

will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad," Obama said in a latenight televised statement announcing that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden. DHS and FBI officials had no immediate comment about the risk of attacks or any new threats. While bin Laden was seen as the leader of al-Qaida, because he was in hiding from U.S. forces he was reduced more to a figurehead, experts said. Meanwhile affiliates of his militant group have taken the lead in launching

Osama death turning point in USPak counterterror ties: Experts

WASHINGTON: Noting that they never doubted Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, American experts today said his death could turn out to be a turning point in US-Pak counter-terrorism partnership. The death of the wanted terrorist could also help with efforts to split the Taliban from al-Qaeda, they said. "No surprise there -we always believed he was in Pakistan," Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think-tank, told PTI. "While we are awaiting details on this cooperation, initial reports suggest Pakistan's role in the operation was important and thus will be

deeply appreciated by US officials," said Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank. "This could be a turning point in the US-Pakistan counter-terrorism partnership. Many in Washington had begun to doubt Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism. But this historic development is likely to foster a tremendous amount of goodwill from Washington toward Islamabad and bolster the relationship," Curtis said. Curtis said Al Zawahiri almost certainly will take over as al-Qaeda's new chief. "We are likely to hear a statement from him soon urging al-Qaeda followers and its affiliates to remain committed to the

Tweets beat US prez on the big breaking news

WASHINGTON: The White House announced that Barack Obama would address the nation at 10.30pm on Sunday. But before the president took the mike, Twitter and other social networking sites were abuzz with speculation that Osama bin Laden could be dead. At 9.45pm, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote on Twitter: "POTUS to address the nation tonight at 10.30pm." Sharing the same message that had just been transmitted to the White House press corps. According to NBC news anchor Brian Williams, "some journalists received a three-word e-mail that simply read, 'Get to work', the New York Times said. The nation's television anchors and newspaper editors did not know, at first, that Obama would be announcing the death of bin Laden, but reporters in Washington suspected almost immediately that the announcement could be about the al-Qaida chief. Wishful thinking about bin Laden's death ricocheted across the web — and then at 10.25pm, while Obama was writing his speech, one particular tweet seemed to confirm it. Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff for the former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, wrote, "So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn." Urbahn quickly added, "Don't know if it's true, but let's pray it is." He was credited by many on the web with breaking the news, though he did not have first-hand confirmation. Within minutes, anonymous sources at the Pentagon and the White House started to tell reporters the same information. ABC, CBS and NBC interrupted programming across the country at almost the same minute, 10.45pm, with the news. "We're hearing absolute jubilation throughout government," the ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz reported. Brian Williams on NBC told viewers, "This story started to leak out in the public domain largely when some Congressional staffers started to make phone calls."

attacks. Most attacks against U.S. interests have been by a Yemeni affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The group has claimed responsibility for trying in October to send bombs packed in toner cartridges aboard cargo planes bound for the United States. They were intercepted and failed to detonate. AQAP also backed an attempt on Christmas Day 2009 by a Nigerian man who tried but failed to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear while aboard a U.S. commercial flight as it

approached Detroit from Amsterdam. "This doesn't end the terrorist threat to the United States, but it's the end of a key chapter to the War of Terror," said Juan Zarate, who served as deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism during George W. Bush's presidency. "There may be a spike of threats initially, and there are other elements of the al-Qaida network who remain dangerous," said Zarate, now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Laden hid behind his wife during US forces raid: White House

cause," she said. "However, bin Laden was the founder and spiritual head of alQaeda and his death will demoralize the ranks of the organization and thus be a major setback for the movement," Curtis said. Curtis said the death of bin Laden could help with efforts to split the Taliban from al-Qaeda. "It could diminish the importance of alQaeda for the Taliban and thus make it easier for the Taliban to renounce its ties to the organization. At the least, bin Laden's death will cause soulsearching among the Taliban leadership as they weigh the utility of remaining allied to an organization that has lost its founding leader," she said.

WASHINGTON: Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who ordered several terror attacks, used a woman, believed to his wife, as a shield when US special forces raided the one million dollar house in Pakistan's Abbottabad where he was hiding, the White House has said. "Thinking about that from a visual perspective, here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this milliondollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," Deputy National Security Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan told reporters at the White House. "I

think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years." "And so, again, looking at what bin Laden was doing hiding there while he's putting other people out there to carry out attacks again just speaks to, I think, the nature of the individual he was," Brennan said. Besides, bin Laden, the two alQaida facilitators - who were the courier, his son Khalid and a woman presumed to be his wife, who was shielding bin Laden, died in yesterday's pre-dawn operations. "She served as a shield; again, this is my understanding. And we're still getting the reports of exactly what happened at particular moments.

The costliest and bloodiest manhunt in human history came to an end when Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in a nighttime shootout in Abbotabad, Pakistan. With a bounty of $50 million on his head, Osama had played hide and seek with the US for nearly a decade since former president Bush declared him the arch terrorist and the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. The US launched a Global War on Terror after the attacks. Initially focused on Afghanistan, where bin Laden was supposed to be hiding, this war soon spread to Iraq, and distant places like the Horn of Africa and Philippines. Dozens of countries got involved. But the centerpiece remained the elusive bin Laden. The US has spent $1.28 trillion till now on this war, according to a recently released study of the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the US Congress. The bulk of this — $806 billion or 63% of the total — has been spent in Iraq while Afghanistan sucked up $444 billion or 35%. Strengthening of US military bases

all over the world has taken up about $29 billion. The researchers could not account for the balance $6 billion. The US Congressional Budget Office has projected that the total cost of war would reach a mind-boggling $1.8 trillion by 2021. This includes the declared troops reduction schedules. Even with bin Laden dead, expenditure on the war effort is unlikely to reduce any further since in both Iraq and Afghanistan, bin Laden or his organization alQaida are not the main opposition to US. The Osama manhunt easily qualifies as the bloodiest ever. US itself has lost nearly 6000 of its troops and another 55,000 have sustained injuries. But the price paid by civilians has been very high. Over 1.2 million people are estimated to have died in Iraq in direct armed conflict although other studies put the figure much higher. In Afghanistan, over 20,000 people have been killed and nearly 50,000 injured in the war. In Somalia and neighbouring countries at least 6500 people died in the course of the past decade. All figures are at best approximate and likely to be under-

estimates as there are no official body counts. There have been at least 13 major terrorist attacks since 9/11, killing over 1000 persons. Besides these, there have been at least 10 planned attacks that were busted. Not all of these attacks can be directly linked to bin Laden or alQaida. The war on terror has had widespread political fallout as governments in several allies of the US lost elections due to public discontent against participation in the war. In other countries, governments faced protests and criticism. President Obama himself won the presidency promising draw down of the war. Experts are unsure whether the elimination of Osama bin Laden will lead to lessening of the terror threat. In his life, he first served as a cash rich rallying force for the Afghan Mujahedin in their jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan — an avatar that got him the support of the US. Later when he turned against the US, he became the reason for the global war. Now, in his death, he ironically serves the political interest of the US again.

It took US 10 yrs, $1.3tn to kill Osama bin Laden and avenge 9/11


STAR AGE ARIES

March-21 to April-20

CANCER

June-22 to July-23

Going to one extreme or the other where cash is concerned is not helpful. If you save to the extent that you’re not able to give yourself the odd present or treat then you’ll feel deprived. But if you pleasure your senses and give yourself the goodies of life without limits then you will get the budget unbalanced. Moderation is the answer.

Don’t get jealous if a friend pays more attention to someone else, because it will pass by very quickly. You will be asking yourself profound questions about the meaning of your life. This can feel a slightly odd time as you find your old value-systems dissolving and the new guidelines you want for yourself are still in the process of developing.

It may be that you have to come to new arrangements and new agreements with very close partners, maybe over joint finances or over your intimate emotional life. It could only be minor adjustments you are September-24 looking for. Neptune is a rather contrary energy to have around. But if to you work in a spirit of service to othOctober-22 ers, it turns out well.

LIBRA

CAPRICON

December-23 to Januar-20

Relationships with women, no matter what gender you are, are usually good with the moon shining its motherly light on you. You will want to show yourself in a positive way, coming across as nurturing. If you take care of others, then they are likely to respond in like manner. Everyday relationships with friends and workmates will be good.



TAURUS

April-21 to May-20

LEO

July-24 to August-23

SCORPIO

October-23 to November-22

AQUARIES

January-21 to February-19

More even than usual you will want to be loved, nurtured, protected. What’s important is to have solid, reassuring mates around. You will believe what you want to believe where friends or team mates are concerned. Being gullible to the promises of those who are unrealistic or unreliable will only create confusion in the long run. Clearly you’ve decided you’re not going to get enough attention at home, so you have to go out into the world and get it. You’ll be sensitive, very responsive to the mood around you at work, and therefore very good about handling group situations. You have incentive and ambition, but you’re putting it across in a very nice kind of way. Whether it’s at home or at work, you want the solid, reassuring support of people who can be there for you. Give a wide berth to grumblers, gripes and general bores. Look for supportive buddies, who have been there for you in the past. Maybe you pitched your expectations too high about an emotional matter and the reality was never going to match your inner visions. Push away the people who are awkward, back off circumstances which are tricky and find a little niche in the office or at home, when you can be in charge of all you survey. You want to be wrapped up in cotton wool, giving yourself the goodies of life. You do want to be idealistic and generous about money and your possessions.

GEMINI

May-21 to June-21

VIRGO

August-24 to September-23

SAGITTARIUS

November-23 to December-22

PISCES

February-20 to March-20

May, 2011

25

You will be picking up subtle clues and hints of the unspoken needs of close companions. This can make you caring, but will have to watch that you’re not pulled into carrying everyone else’s problems. Protect yourself from being drained too much or getting dragged into activities that basically don’t interest you terribly. Make sure that you’re sorting more entertaining and intriguing things to do, because you want to be mentally stretched. You want to meet new friends, to hear about different backgrounds, different countries. Anything frankly which makes you feel that everything is a bubblier, brighter, breezier. Companions may be evasive or unreliable. It’s important that you don’t let other people demand too much of you. If you are giving out a great deal then it’s obviously a bright idea to look at your body, see what you need to do to give it a bit of a boost. There may be some emotional confusion at home now. You are beginning to look at one situation and feel rather let down. Scattering yourself too widely, getting a bit frantic is all too likely now. If you can detach your feelings from your thinking then you’ll find it easier to focus and concentrate. If you can hide your confusion behind a mask of mystique, then you can fool most of the people most of the time. You are looking at almost every aspect of your life now.

HOW TO KEEP YOURSELF AWAY FROM BAD THOUGHTS

It is very difficult, if not impossible to eliminate bad and undesirable thoughts from crossing our mind. While we are learning new ways of thinking and working in the 21st century. The human mind wanders in darkness like a bat. There are many people on this planet who suffer from depression. The best way to eliminate this problem is by worshipping lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman purifies our mind with his wisdom. To fight depression, get up early in the morning and practise 'pranayama'. After doing yoga chant the following mantra of Lord Hanuman"Mahabeer Bikram Bajrangi, Kumati niwaar sumati ke sangi" Chanting this holy mantra will purify your thought process. Worshipping lord Hanuman can help us to eradicate all of our personal problems. Lord hanuman can purify our mind with his wisdom.


Nat Saumi has unfinished business at Plymouth Albion as he heads for Fiji 26



FIJI SPORTS

May, 2011

PLYMOUTH Albion coach Nat Saumi flies home to Fiji today – but the former international will be back at Brickfields in just six weeks to help co-ordinate the club's pre-season campaign. Saumi had initially intended to return to Fiji permanently this summer after 15 years playing and coaching in the West Country. But the 40-year-old qualified IRB coach changed his mind because he feels there is unfinished business at Brickfields after a disappointing 2010/11 campaign. And, unlike in previous years, he will return in time for the start of pre-season, which he says will be a tough as it can be for the players. "It (agreeing to return) was a big decision for me," said Saumi, who has a wife and two children in Fiji. "And it was because of the way we finished this season. I was not very happy about that. "The challenge for next season is to try and get Plymouth back where they used to be. "All supporters know about Plymouth Albion in times past and we are trying to get back to that. "That means I have to cut down on my time in Fiji. The same as when I was playing, I am only going to have six weeks leave," said Saumi, who joined Albion as a player in 2003. "Hopefully, everyone will be more commit-

ted. It all comes down to hard graft. Everyone is going to have to work hard. "It has been painful for me these last two or three seasons seeing the team fighting to stay up."It is a big challenge now for next season. "Players have to come in ready for the

season and ready for hard work." Saumi has already told the current players that he is staying and that pre-season training is going to be hard. Last year the Fijian missed the whole of pre-season. "I will be starting the season properly this year. Last season I only

came with one week to go before the season started. "But we have to all start together as a team and really work hard." Albion's chairman of rugby Graham Dawe is delighted that Saumi has decided to stay at the club. In the past, Albion have tended to only have fulltime player-coaches rather than just a specialist coach. "Nat is committed to coming back next season," said Dawe. "That shows continuity and stability on the coaching front and the players do enjoy working with him. "They respect his commitment, his work ethic and the way he wants to play the game. "We are very fortunate to have a coach of Nat's commitment and ability. "All he asks is 100 per cent commitment on the training field." Albion already have their pre-season training programme planned out and they have also got four friendlies pencilled in. Two of the pre-season games will definitely be at home, most likely on a Friday evening. "It is possible we will have three at home and one away, but it may only be two at home. "We are just waiting for confirmation of dates and confirmation in writing before announcing them," said Dawe. Last season, Albion were let down by two teams late on, meaning they were left with just two first team pre-season matches, both against Neath.

Warnings were not Cricket Fiji School athletes to adhered to: Police holds trials make up Fiji squad

The Fiji Police Force has commended the public’s support for a successful and incident free Coca Cola Games which ended yesterday. However Police spokesperson – AtunaisaSokomuri says despite numerous warnings a large number of students were found loitering in the city at night. “According to out calculations there were 6000 people in Suva city last night until the early hours of today and this prompted the Fiji Police Force to call for re-enforcement early this morning so that we could monitor the movement of the people. Despite our effort and pro-active approach the students and people still turned up in the city after the games.” Meanwhile - the Land Transport Authority says they

are happy with the response from students – with regards to their behaviour in busses during the Coca Cola Games. LTA CEO NaisaTuinaceva says directives given were well taken into consideration by students and the public at large. Tuinaceva says there was no report of indiscipline of students on our roads.

Cricket Fiji is today holding trials for its Suva-based national squad members as the preparations continue for the international outings for the year. Fiji will be playing in the East Asia Pacific Division One Twenty/Twenty preliminary qualifiers in Papua New Guinea in July. Fiji needs to win these play-offs to stand a chance of playing the Twenty/Twenty World Cup qualifiers. Following that the side will play at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia in August followed by the World Cricket League Division 6 in September in Malaysia. The current squad has been trimmed to 30 plus overseas-based players, although two new players have been added to the list since it was initially named. Under-19 representative CakacakaVeritaki and Moce all-rounder SeruTupou are the newcomers.The Fiji squad has the likes of IniasiCakacaka, Josefa Rika, WaisakeTukaha, JosefaDabea and MaciuGauna, who all are likely to get the nod in the final team.

Venue change for Fiji FACT

The Fiji Football Association Cup Tournament (FACT) will now be played at Lautoka’s Churchill Park and not at Govind Park as earlier decided. Fiji FA Chief Executive Officer Bob Kumar confirmed the change today and said the tournament had to be shifted since Govind Park was pre-booked from last year for the same weekend on which the tournament falls. “We had to move the tournament to Lautoka as Govind Park was pre-booked by another organization last year,” said Kumar. “The change to Lautoka was possible as Churchill Park was free for the long weekend plus we wanted to have the tournament in the western division since the other tournaments namely the Battle Of the Giants and Inter District Championship will be played in the southern division.”

“Churchill Park has one of the best pitches in the country and the facilities there are in tip top condition so we will not face any problem in hosting the tournament there.” The tournament was played at the same venue last season as well. The Vodafone Fiji FACT will be played from June 9-13.

Koro wins Island Zone

Koro battles it out witj Moturiki in the Island Zone final. Koro won 19-0.

Majority of the gold medallists at the Coca Cola Games, which ended yesterday, are expected to make the final cut in the Fiji team for the Pacific Games in August. Leading the lot is the fastest schoolboy ever, RatuBanuveTabakaucoro, who won the 100, 200 and 4 X 100 metres in the two-day meet. RatutiraNarara and VarasikoTomeru of Marist, BeniaminoMaravu of Saint Bedes College, Suva Grammar’s PauliniKorowaqa, MereseiniNaidau of Nadarivatu, AdiCakobau School captain Ana Kaloucava and her team mate ElenoaSailosi are some of the names likely to make the cut. Tabakaucoro is also being considered for the 400 metres and could be taking part in four events in New Caledonia. Meanwhile, Suva Grammar won the boys division for the fifth year in a row, while ACS made it 11 years on the trot in the girl’s grade.

RatuBanuveTabakaucoro


S

FOOD



27

May, 2011

hort of ideas to toss up a salad that'll be appreciated by all at home? We b r i n g y o u s o m e quick summer salad recipes that are perfect for a small home gathering a n d a b i g luncheon too. Go ahead, create you own wonderful green array!

R U S S I A N S A LA D

FOR A SMALL HOME GATHERING Ingredients : Boiled potatoes, apples, boiled chicken, boiled beans, cream, yoghurt, mayonnaise, and salt to taste Method : Cut potatoes, chicken and apple into pieces. Mix yoghurt, cream and mayonnaise well. Add potatoes, chicken and apples, and your Russian salad is ready.

H A N D T O S S E D S A LA D

AN IDEAL PICNIC SALAD Ingredients : Diced cucumber, tomato, radish, onion, carrot, beetroot, cabbage, lettuce, salt, white pepper, malt vinegar and coriander. Method : This is the most basic hand tossed salad, yet always a winner. Mix all diced vegetables. Add few drops of malt vinegar, salt/pepper to taste and garnish with coriander.

C U C U M B ER C R EA M S AL AD

TO ACCOMPANY A RICH MUGHLAI MEAL Ingredients : Diced

UNIQUE GREEN

SALAD IDEAS

cucumber, salt, crushed green pepper corn, lemon and fresh cream. Method : Mix all ingredients together and serve chilled.

P A C H A D I A S A LA D

TO ACCOMPANY A SOUTH INDIAN MENU Ingredients : Cucumber, carrots, tomato, onion, curry leaves, mustard seeds, hang curd (dried curd), fresh cream, salt and pepper. Method : Cut all vegetables in Julian style. Mix

SPICY

Chicken Wings

Ingredients : Chicken wings: 8; Salt to taste; Black pepper to taste; Barbecue sauce: 35 ml; Honey: 15 ml; Dijon mustard: 5 gms; Worcestershire sauce: 5 ml; Tabasco sauce to taste; Crushed garlic: 1 tbsp; Oil: 30 ml. Method : Rinse chicken wings and pat dry with a kitchen paper towel. Cut off and discard wing tips, also known as winglets. Then cut each wing at the joint to make two pieces. Rub chicken wings with crushed garlic and sprinkle wing pieces with salt and pepper. Keep the chicken for 15 minutes to absorb the garlic. Mix together dijon mustard, honey, barbecue sauce and Worcestershire sauce to form a marinate. Mix chicken wings with marinate and leave aside for another 30 minutes. Place the broiler pan on fire and add a few drops of oil. Place wings on the heated pan. Boil for 5-6 minutes on each side or until chicken wings are nicely brown and cooked. Serve hot.

them with curd and add fried mustard and curry leaves for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

all together with chilli paste, lemon juice and cumin seed powder. Add salt/pepper to taste.

TO ACCOMPANY MEXICAN DELICACIES Ingredients : Cucumbers, red and yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, finely chopped coriander, carrots, red chilli paste, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped garlic and cumin seeds powder. Method : Cut all vegetables into fine cubes. Mix

TO ACCOMPANY A CONTINENTAL MEAL Ingredients : Iceberg lettuce, red/yellow/green bell pepper, olives, sliced onions, croutons (fried bread crumbs), olive oil, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, mustard sauce and fresh cream. Method : Break the lettuce leaves into two

PI C O T I C A S A L A D

PENNE

ALLA OLIO

Ingredients : Penne: 200 gms, Vegetable stock: 50 ml, Garlic: 20 gms, Basil: 5 gms, Parmesan: 25 gms, White wine: 10 ml, Extra virgin olive oil: 20 ml, Salt to taste, Chilli flakes: 2 gms, Black peppercorn: 2 gms, Chopped tomato: 5 gms.

Method:  Boil the penne till ala dente or firm to bite.  Heat the extra virgin olive oil and sautĂŠ the chopped garlic.  Add the white wine and then add the penne.  Add chilli flakes, black peppercorn and the seasoning.  Add a little veg stock and then finish off with parmesan cheese, chopped tomato and basil.

C A E SA R S A L A D

bunches with your hand. All bell pepper must be cut in diamond shape. Mix with onions, olives and add salt and pepper. Method for dressing : Mix one egg yolk with 200 ml olive oil , fresh cream and mustard sauce. This will serve as the dressing. Garnish with croutons and parmesan cheese.

C R U D IT E S

TO ACCOMPANY FINGER FOOD Finger foods are usually accompanied by cruditĂŠs which are vegetables dipped in vinagerette sauce. Vegetables used are carrots, radish, cucumber, beetroot, finger capsicum. These accompaniments are usually dipped in tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or barbeque sauce.

Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients : Penne pasta (uncooked): 60 gm, Olive oil: 40 ml, Chopped red onion: 20 gm, Chopped garlic: 10 gm, Crushed red pepper: 5 gm, White mushroom (sliced): 100 gm, Tomato sauce: 30 gm, Black olives: 20 gm, Chopped drained capers: 3 tbs, Salt: 1 tsp, Grated parmesan cheese: 30 gm.

Method  In a large saucepan, cook pasta in salted water. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high heat, heat olive oil until hot.  Add onion, garlic and red pepper; cook, stir until garlic is fragrant.  Add mushrooms; reduce heat to medium high; cook, stir until golden for five minutes.  Add blanched skinned tomatoes and tomato sauce; reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered, until slightly thickened.  Stir in olives, capers and salt; add reserved drained pasta.  Add parmesan cheese.  Simmer until pasta absorbs the sauce till three minutes.  Serve immediately.


Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu killed in chopper crash 28



May, 2011

NEW DELHI: The ministry of external affairs confirmed on Wednesday that Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu has been killed in a chopper crash, according to Times Now. The chopper crashed between Kyela and Lobothang near Tawang district at a height of 4900 metres. Search operations are on to locate the chief minister's body. Isro pictures identified crash site of Khandu. Six helicopters have been sent to the crash site to confirm the identity of bodies. External affairs minister SM Krishna said he is deeply pained by the demise of Dorjee Khandu. (Read: Krishna condoles demise of Arunachal CM) A relative and panchayat leader of Khandu's assembly constituency also identified his body, according to Union minister for development of North Eastern region BK Handique. (Read: Khandu's relative identifies his body) "I am afraid the news is grim and sad," home minister P Chidambaram said on Arunachal CM's chopper crash. Earlier in the day, Chidambaram said the crash site had been located and some bodies sighted. "Not encouraging and not good news," the minister told reporters, adding that a rescue team had spotted what appeared to be an aircraft in an area between Kyela and Lobothang at an altitude of 4,900 metres (16,076 feet). "They have sighted three bodies.

This sighting has been made from a height. They have not been able to go down to the place where the aircraft is (lying) crashed. The message has been given to the nearest Army post which is sending a team," he had told reporters. After the death of Dorjee Khandu in a chopper crash, Nabam Tuki, PCC president and PWD minister, is likely to be the new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. (Read: Nabam Tuki likely to be the new CM of Arunachal)

Osama's will obtained?

NEW DELHI: A Kuwaiti newspaper, Al Anbaa has reportedly obtained what it claims is Osama bin Laden's will, written on December 14, 2001, three months after the 9/11 attacks, when he was on the run from the US in Afghanistan. In the will, Bin Laden takes credit for most of his achievements in terrorism, culminating in the 9/11 attacks. He also orders his wives not to remarry after his death. According to reports, the four-page document was typed out on a computer and signed, "your brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad Bin Laden". In his letter, Bin Laden is said to have predicted that he would be killed by the "treach-

'Don't make martyr of Osama'

MADRID: Relatives and survivors of attacks carried out in the name of alQaida in Europe and Africa expressed joy and relief on Monday at Osama bin Laden's death but some warned he may become a martyr who continues to inspire terrorists. Pilar Manjon, whose 20-yearold son was one of the 191 people who were killed in the bombings of four packed commuter trains on March 11, 2004, in Europe's worst Islamic terror attack said bin Laden's death "serves us little". "A monster has died, but they have killed a martyr, they are going to transform him into a martyr," said Majon, who heads Spain's main association of victims of Madrid bombings. While the news was also welcomed in countries like Spain, Britain and Kenya that suffered deadly attacks linked to bin Laden's militant alQaida movement, the reaction outside of the United States was more muted.

ery" of those around him. According to the Al-Anbaa newspaper, the document lists the assault on New York's twin towers in a sequence beginning with the suicide bombing attack on US marines in Lebanon in 1983, the killing of 19 US marines serving as UN peacekeepers in Somalia in 1993, and the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998. But the most surprising part of the will is that Osama bin Laden asked his children not to join al-Qaida or join the front in the war against the West. Instead he expresses regret to his children for not having spent enough time with them because he was too busy working at his jihad.

On Wednesday morning, search operation for missing helicopter carrying Khandu focussed on in three areas along Indo-Bhutan border. "Based on inputs received from the ISRO satellite and the Sukhoi-30 aircraft, as well as information provided by some local people, the search operations are now going inNagar GG, District Tawang; immediate south of Sela Pass known as Eagle's Nest Reserve Forest and district Phangrong in Bhutan", said home ministry joint secretary Sambhu Singh. Singh had said, "The search operations are being carried out by teams from the Army, ITBP, SSB, Arunachal Pradesh Police, NDRF and grazers from Arunachal Pradesh. The Government of Bhutan has also deployed search teams on its side of the border". The Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying the chief minister took off from Tawang at 9.50 am on Saturday. The last radio contact with the ground was about 20 minutes after take off as it flew over the Sela Pass along the Chinese border perched at an altitude of 13,700 feet. Apart from Khandu, the people on board included crew members Captain J S Babbar and Captain K S Malick, Khandu's security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lamu, sister of Tawang legislator Tsewang Dhondup. There were about 3,500 personnel deployed in the search operations.

CID

INDIA / WORLD NEWS

CENTRAL INVESTIGTIONS DIVISON

1-800-757-6619

Let’s face it: Many times you are not sure of powers so you cannot touch anything. You do not have time. You do not have skills and license. You need independent party to verify. The job is half done. Police did not do a complete investigation. They have don’t time. You are not sure what to do and how to it. What’s where we come in the experts-CID. You have a dispute: Someone owes you person loan and the party is not paying. Repair work on your car, home and any property has been screwed up. Unknown/blocked callers are harassing you. You suspect someone has damaged your car/property etc. You think someone has committed an offense against you. Or anything else you feel needs to be investigated. Check us out first. CID Here’s what you get! Full report! Where necessary pictures and documents! Video footage where necessary! Audio recording where necessary! Self-Help for Legal Action !

Swiss identify $415m Gaddafi assets to freeze GENEVA: The Swiss government says it has identified potential assets to be frozen worth 830 million Swiss francs ($957 million) belonging to Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and the ousted presidents of Egypt and Tunisia. Foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, speaking at a diplomatic meeting in the Tunisian capital Tunis, said on Monday that the assets include 360 million Swiss francs ($415 million) that may belong to Gaddafi or his entourage. She said Switzerland had also linked some 410 million francs

($473 million) to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and 60 million francs ($69 million) to Tunisia's deposed autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Switzerland has ordered banks and other financial institutions to freeze possible assets belonging to the three men and their key supporters to prevent the funds from being secretly withdrawn. The Swiss government has said that Tunisia and Egypt have already started legal proceedings to claim the assets. Switzerland froze assets linked to Ben Ali and 40 people in his entourage on January 19, less than a week after he was toppled by a popular revolt. On February 11, Switzerland froze assets of Mubarak and his associates. ap

PARIS: French investigators have found and recovered the cockpit voice recorder from an Air France flight that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean almost two years ago, killing all 228 people on board, the agency that probes air accidents said on Tuesday. The machine that records cockpit conversations was located on Monday and raised from the ocean depths on Tuesday, a statement by the agency said. The plane's flight data recorder was recovered on Sunday, meaning both pieces critical in helping to determine the cause of the crash have now been found. The memory unit was found by a submarine probing 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) below the ocean's surface. The condition of the instruments was not immediately

clear. Like the memory unit, the cockpit voice recorder was lifted onto the Ile de Sein, a ship helping to conduct the probe, the statement from the BEA agency said. Investigators hope the discoveries will allow them to determine what caused the June 1, 2009, crash of Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris. The aircraft slammed into the Atlantic northeast of Brazil after running into an intense high-altitude thunderstorm. Experts had said that without the voice and data recorders there would be almost no chance of determining what caused the worst disaster in Air France's history. Automatic messages sent by the Airbus 330's computers showed the aircraft was receiving false air speed readings from sensors known as pitot tubes.

Spain sentences Somali Voice recorder of 2009 Air France flight found pirates to 439 years in prison

MADRID: Spain's high court sentenced two Somali pirates to 439 years in prison each for their part in the hijacking of a Spanish fishing boat in the Indian Ocean in 2009, according to a court statement released on Tuesday. The court also found that the government had paid a ransom to gain the freedom of 36 crew -- including 16 Spaniards -- on the Alakrana fishing boat that was held by pirates for 46 days. The government repeated its denial that it had paid a ransom. Cabdiweli Cabdullahi and Raageggesey Hassan Aji were found guilty on charges ranging from kidnapping to violent robbery after a court appearance on Monday. But they were cleared of charges of terrorism, belonging to an armed gang,

and torture. The two men were part of a group that took control of the Alakrana and were captured in an operation led by the Spanish navy which the rest of the pirates managed to escape. The crew was freed in November 2009, and the pirates said they received $3.5 million as a ransom fee. The Spanish court said there was no doubt the fee was paid. "The government has already said it did not pay a ransom and I reiterate that," foreign minister Trinidad Jimenez told reporters. The defendants had tried to have the case thrown out arguing Spain had no jurisdiction in the case, but the high court said in December it had jurisdiction under international law and because it was a Spanish ship.




May, 2011

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May, 2011

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May, 2011


FIJI SUN MAY 11