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RIC endorses Venkatesan for MD Senate Details on page 10

Neena runs for Montgomery Township panel Details on page 10

Sri Lankan grandmother killed in accident Details on page 19

VOL 16, No. 829

July 30, 2010

50¢

Periodical Postage

HOLBROOKE BID TO PLACATE INDIA

NEW DELHI: US Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke made an unscheduled visit here to allay India's fears that US support for a Pak brokered Afghan solution involving legitimizing some elements of Taliban would lead to a Taliban takeover once Western forces leave Afghanistan. Holbrooke, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, said India has a "vitally important role" to play in the peace and stability in that country and insisted that the US was not trying to "diminish" that scope. "There is an implication that there is zero-sum game here, that if we increase our interactions with Pakistan we are somehow diminishing India," he told reporters. "I can't even imagine why anyone would think that India is being diminished if we improve relations with Pakistan. That's in India's interests."

Dr. Anil Potti

Indian researcher falsified resume for grants Details on page 7

Brothers from Bangalore die in plane crash Details on page 12

Petco organizes rally of reptile owners Details on page 19

Housing complex discrimination against Indians Details on page 28

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com

Details on page 6

This week’s question

Is the US bypassing India’s interest in Afghanistan?

Juveniles may be tried as adults

Last week’s result

SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY

Rupee symbol enhances India’s economic reputation?

India Post News Service

YES 74%

NEW JERSEY: Even as the Indian American community kept up pressure on the law enforcement authorities in Old Bridge township following the brutal killing of Dr. Divyendu Sinha, the Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced last week that his office will file a motion with a Family Court judge to seek a waiver to try the five juveniles charged with the murder, as adults. Details on page 8

NO 26%

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 34-35 Classifieds ------------------------- 47 Community Post -------------- 10-21 Date Book -------------------------- 46 Edit Page --------------------------- 50 HealthScience Post --------- 38-40 Horoscope ------------------------- 41 Immigration Post ------------- 42-44 India ------------------------------ 22-23 Life Style ----------------------- 24-27 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4

Candlelight vigil for Dr. Divyendu Sinha

GRIM DUTY: US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke (L) and US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer leave the Indian Prime Ministerís office after a meeting in New Delhi on July 22

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Real Estate ------------------------ 28 TechBiz Post ------------------- 36-37 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-31


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Publisher’s Diary

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here's so much happening all around - from across the globe to our own neck of the woods - that issues and incidents seem to be moving faster than images on a television screen; so much and so fast that mercifully one does not have to worry about any one issue for too long before the next one hits you. And like it or not, increasingly, anything happening anywhere in the world suddenly has a closer-than-you-could-imagine impact on your life. From corruption in Afghanistan government to British Petroleum lobbying to get the Lockerbie bomber released for drilling contracts in Libya, somehow our own livelihoods and everyday lives are affected. Closer home, finally, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform bill; it is meant to make life on the Main Street easier. I am skeptical of that - in this era when big corporations rule, David can never conquer Goliath - but I know it affects me directly. And then of course - you may not think it important, but the media would have you believe so - there's the issue of Lindsay Lohan not being able to serve her full 90-day sentence because of overcrowding in the jail; a Black woman being fired from her USDA job for alleged anti-White racist remarks that she DID NOT make; actor Mel Gibson abusing his wife; Sarah Palin's daughter literally kissing and making up and getting engaged to the father of her son; and so on and such. Out abroad, Iran and North Korea's nuclear ambitions affect us; but oh, not Pakistan striking a nuclear deal with China because somehow, the US administration still does not think we need to be concerned about Pakistan. The country dubbed the most dangerous on earth, has just been given on a platter, another $500 million by the Obama administration. If there's one thing that I think will indiscriminately affect everyone in the world, it is America's monetary and military aid to Pakistan. Call me paranoid, but sitting some 7,500 miles away from Islamabad, I am worried.

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Defiant Bebo Kareena Kapoor who has gained some weight recently will again sweat out to get into size zero figure.

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Cover Story: Holbrooke in India Holbrooke assures India that it has a "vitally important role" to play in the peace and stability of Afghanistan.

Community: Jody as nominee

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The Republican Indian Committee has endorsed Jody Venkatesan as Republican nominee for Maryland Senate.

India: Kashmir conference A two-day conference will be held in Delhi on the way forward to a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir issue.

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Life Style: Devika concert San Francisco based vocal artist Devika showcased her second album "Saari Raat" in Walnut Creek on July 17.

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Travel: Ketti Ketti is a small village in the Nilgiri Mountains in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

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Holbrooke bid to placate India NEW DELHI: US Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke made an unscheduled visit here to allay India's fears that US support for a Pak brokered Afghan solution involving legitimizing some elements of Taliban would lead to a Taliban takeover once Western forces leave Afghanistan. Holbrooke, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, said India has a "vitally important role" to play in the peace and stability in that country and insisted that the US was not trying to "diminish" that scope. "There is an implication that there is zero-sum game here, that if we increase our interactions with Pakistan we are somehow diminishing India," he told reporters. "I can't even imagine why anyone would think that India is be-

ing diminished if we improve relations with Pakistan. That's in India's interests." He said Lashkar-e-Taiba terror

Holbrooke, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, said India has a "vitally important role" to play in the peace and stability in that country outfit was as dangerous as Taliban and Al-Qaida with which it was working in close coordination and that Pakistan has been asked to deny it a foothold in that

country. Holbrooke also emphasized the urgent need for bringing to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks, saying Pakistan has taken "some steps" in this regard but these were not enough. At the same time, he emphasized that Afghanistan cannot be stabilized without the participation of Pakistan, which has "legitimate concerns" in that country. In an interaction with a group of journalists here, he said the LeT's goal was to create "maximum problems" between India and Pakistan besides working against the interests of western countries. "When we talk about major terrorist groups we consider it as dangerous as other groups," Holbrooke said when suggested that the US did not appear to be keen on tackling LeT on the same lines as Taliban and Al Qaida. "We understand, as govern-

Clinton bats for Indo-Pak ties; says would benefit Pak WASHINGTON: Pressing for resumption of Indo-Pak ties, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Pakistanis that normalization of relations with India would benefit them "even more," as she said even Pakistani businessmen desire expansion of trade that would offer them access to huge Indian markets. At a round table with Pakistani journalists in Islamabad, Clinton batted for Indo-Pak friendship, and applauded the leadership of the two countries for reviving peace talks despite opposition at home. Favoring a resumption of ties, she said: "I happen to think, on balance, it's even more in Pakistan's interests, because opening markets - every businessman I speak with in Pakistan kind of whispers to me, 'Please, can't we get the markets open, because I want to go compete inside India'," Clinton said in response to a question". Clinton, however, ruled out US mediation on the Kashmir issue, saying it was not a possibility as for that to happen both sides need to agree and that is not the case now. The US, she said, stands ready to encourage the dialogue between India and Pakistan that is absolutely in both countries' interests. She said she appreciated the leadership of the two countries for

going ahead with the talks despite opposition. "I really give the leadership in both countries high marks because it is not popular. They are attacked in the press, they're attacked by organizations," she said. But to a question on the prospect of former President and her husband Bill Clinton assuming

‘There are many ramifications to the longstanding disputes over Kashmir and other issues between India and Pakistan. So even though the officials of both governments have been meeting, we want to encourage much more dialogue’ the role of Special US Envoy for Pakistan and India to resolve Kashmir, she said: "Well, in order to have anyone play that role, both sides have to agree. And that has not been the case as of now". She said the US would like to encourage more dialogue between the two neighbors.

"So there are many ramifications to the longstanding disputes over Kashmir and other issues between India and Pakistan. So even though the officials of both governments have been meeting, we want to encourage much more dialogue," Clinton said according to the transcripts made available by the State Department. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15 and the talks ended on an acrimonious note with sharp differences coming out in the open at their joint press conference. "We should work as hard as we can to encourage the leadership of Pakistan and India to persevere despite the attacks in both countries," Clinton said. She observed that that it would be in the interest of long-term security and economic benefits to try to resolve bilateral disputes. India and Pakistan, which are members of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) have dismal trade figures. The bilateral trade was estimated to be as low as USD 2 billion in 2008, and Pakistan accounts less than one per cent of India's trade. Also, a large amount of merchandise between the two nations is routed through third countries, mostly through Gulf nations. -PTI

ment, that it (LeT) is a threat and we talk about it all the time with Pakistani military (asking them) to deny their territory to this organi-

He identified LeT as a part of terror conglomerate comprising Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Haqqani network. ‘Taliban has almost become a brand,’ he observed. He said these groups work more closely zation," said Holbrooke, who arrived here after a visit to Islamabad. The Special Envoy said, "We all know what it (LeT) did and

what they want to do." He identified LeT as a part of terror conglomerate comprising Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Haqqani network. "Taliban has almost become a brand," he observed. "Under intense pressure these groups seem to be growing closer to each other. Two or three years ago, they were more distinct than now," Holbrooke said. He said these groups work more closely and help each other as their long-term objective is similar -- to hurt western ideologies and create "maximum problems between India and Pakistan. "Tackling it (LeT) is equal to any other priority in the region," he said. To a question on Mumbai attacks, he said Pakistan has taken "some steps but these are not enough". He said the US was talking "frankly" to Pakistan on such issues.-PTI

Longer int'national presence needed in Afghan: Krishna NEW DELHI: With the US having announced that it will begin pulling out its troops from Afghanistan from July 2011, India has said that "international presence" in the war-torn country was needed for a much longer time. Just back from Kabul after attending an international conference on Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told PTI here that he shared President Hamid Karzai's enthusiasm for Afghan forces to take over security of the entire country from 2014. "He is very enthusiastic and I am very happy about it. He is also confident that he will be able to raise his own security force," said Krishna, who had discussions with Karzai and U S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Afghan capital. Asked if India was willing to help in raising the security forces necessary for the task, the minister replied, "Well, if Afghanistan asks India shall help. We have been helping Afghanistan in our own way. It depends on what kind of help they seek and what kind of help we can render." Responding to a question as to whether the US decision to commence troops pull out in a year was premature, Krishna said, "I feel that international presence

is needed in Afghanistan for a much longer time than it has now been projected. We hope that international presence will act as some kind of insulation to Afghanistan for normalization." Asked whether India would like the US to take a fresh look at its

S M Krishna

decision, the minister said that New Delhi had conveyed its views to the US and to Afghanistan in bilateral meetings. To a question on Pakistan's efforts to play the power broker in Afghanistan, Krishna said that India had emphasized that initiative for future set up in the country had to be "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned". Asked whether there was a shift in India's stand on good Taliban and bad Taliban, he said, "Well, we cannot wish away Taliban. Who are Taliban--they are all citizens of Afghanistan-PTI


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'Pak territory will not be used for export of Indian goods' ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has stepped in to counter mounting criticism of a proposed transit trade agreement with Afghanistan, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying the pact will not permit the export of Indian goods through Pakistani territory. "This is a bilateral agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan, period. Let's not add a third party into it," Qureshi said. One of Pakistan's "major concerns" was the Afghan government's demand to allow Indian exports to Afghanistan via the Wagah land route, he said. "That concern was adequately addressed by saying, 'No, that will not happen.' This was a major concession which was extracted through our negotiations from the Afghans," Qureshi said in response to a question during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "The major concern vis-a-vis Wagah has been put aside, the rest were minor details which have been worked out to mutual benefit," he said. Qureshi added that the Afghan side "conceded to this point" during seventh round of negotiations, following which the two

sides signed a "record note" on the proposed pact. The government has been criticized by Pakistani trade lobbies and business organizations over negotiations to finalize a new pact to replace transit trade agreement of 1965. The business organizations

The government has been criticized by Pakistani trade lobbies and business organizations over negotiations to finalize a new pact to replace transit trade agreement of 1965 have alleged that the new agreement, which is being brokered by the US, will eventually permit Indian goods to be transported to Afghanistan via Pakistan. The Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed serious concern over the proposed agreement and asked the government to take all stakeholders into confidence be-

fore giving final approval to the document. KPCCI president Riaz Arshad said the agreement was being finalized in haste and recommendations from stakeholders were ignored. The new agreement will affect Pakistan's economy as thousands of people associated with transport industry, railways and customs clearing sector will be left jobless, he claimed. The annual loss of Pakistan Railways will be around Rs 3 billion if the government allows Afghan trucks to take goods to the Wagah border, he said. Arshad said the main issues of smuggling of goods and access of Indian goods have not been adequately addressed by the government. Allowing Afghan transporters to take back goods from India and Pakistan will cripple Pakistan's transportation industry, he claimed. Protests have organized in several Pakistani cities against the agreement. The government has defended its negotiations with Afghanistan, with officials saying the proposed pact will have to be ratified by the cabinet before it is finally signed.-PTI

US will work with Pakistan on civil nuke energy: Clinton WASHINGTON: The US has to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. promised to work with Pakistan on "It took years to do it with Inthe civil nuclear energy front and dia. But we are committed to purtry to overcome the "obstacles" suing it and trying to overcome that come in the way, as it seeks the obstacles that might stand in clarifications from Beijing over its the way, because we think it is atomic agreement with Islamabad. "In our dialogue with China and Pakistan have the Pakistani Govern- an agreement under ment, we have clearly said which the former would we will work with them on supply two additional civil nuclear energy," Clinton told a group of nuclear reactors to the Pakistani journalists in latter, and the US has Islamabad on July 19, ac- sought additional cording to the transcripts made available by the clarifications over the deal State Department. Pakistan has been demanding important to get as much of a vara civilian nuclear deal with the US ied source of energy all connected on the lines of the one it has with to the grid and all being able to India. prevent the load shedding that China and Pakistan have an now is such a difficult problem for agreement under which the former people," Clinton said in response would supply two additional to a question. nuclear reactors to the latter, and She also stressed the importhe US has sought additional clari- tance for Pakistan to have a good fications over the deal as it goes distribution and transmission

system for electricity. "So we're looking at how we help the Pakistani Government create an energy system, and that requires not just looking at every form of energy, which we are, but

Hillary Clinton

also how it is put together and delivered," Clinton said. The average urban resident in Pakistan loses at least six hours a day, but the average rural resident loses from eight to 12 hours a day. "So it's not only a very unfortunate problem for individuals, but for business, for industry as well," she said.-PTI

Cancer researcher accused of falsifying resume for grants India Post News Service

ers can also be explained. -Anil." The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, has frozen payments on the five-year $729,000 grant awarded to Dr. Potti to study the genetics of lung cancer, following the allegations, according to reports. As the controversy spread, several dozen prominent biostatisticians and cancer researchers at Harvard, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and other academic institutions reportedly questioned the methodology behind the three clinical trials being conducted based on Dr. Potti's work, and urged a halt to the Duke studies - two on lung cancer and one on breast cancer - in a letter to the director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Potti's studies involve a prediction model in which genetic analysis is used to determine which chemotherapy drugs would work best for particular cancer patients. Dr. Potti and Joseph R. Nevins, a professor in

NEW YORK: An Indian American cancer researcher at Duke University, North Carolina has been placed on administrative leave, and three clinical trials based on his research have been stopped following allegations that he falsely claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar on his grant applications for funding the research. The Duke scientist, an associate professor of medicine, claimed to have won a number of prestigious prizes that he never actually received - including the Rhodes Scholarship - according to The Cancer Letter, a newsletter for cancer researchers. A spokesman for the Rhodes Trust, Oxford University, confirmed that the organization has no record of Dr. Anil Potti having been a Rhodes Scholar, wrote Paul Goldberg, the author of the article. Dr. Potti claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar in a number of resumes and forms, including an application to the Ameri- As the controversy spread, can Cancer Society for several dozen prominent a $729,000 grant he eventually received. biostatisticians and cancer "Duke is aware of the researchers at Harvard, allegations raised in the article regarding Dr. Princeton, Johns Hopkins Potti and has instituted a formal internal inves- and other academic institutigation," said Doug tions reportedly questioned Stokke, assistant vice president of communi- the methodology behind the cations for the Duke three clinical trials being University Health System, to The Raleigh conducted based on Dr. News and Observer. Potti's work, and urged a "Dr. Potti has been placed on administra- halt to the Duke studies - two tive leave pending the on lung cancer and one on outcome of the investigation." breast cancer Goldberg said he sent an e-mail to Dr. Potti, members of the Duke ad- molecular genetics at Duke mediministration, and Potti's collabo- cal school, developed the predicrator Joseph Nevins, director for tion model. Dr. Anil Potti is an Associate the Center for Applied Genomics and Technology, to request inter- Professor in the Department of views. Dr. Potti responded to the Medicine and IGSP. He received initial e-mail in which he copied his MD degree from Christian everyone on the message, but Medical College, Vellore, India. beyond a brief message neither After completing an internal Dr. Potti nor Duke officials re- medicine residency and fellowsponded to further requests for ship training in Hematology and interviews, according to the ar- medical oncology, most recently he was a fellow in the laboratory ticle. "Sounds like I need to call him of Dr. Joseph Nevins at Duke to clarify .... and probably also where he was involved in periphtalk with you all to clarify," Potti eral blood profiling and the deresponded to everyone included velopment of genomic strategies on the e-mail thread, according to improve prognosis and treatto The Cancer Letter. "I was a ment, with specific relevance to nominee... and several of the oth- lung cancer.


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Juveniles may be tried as adults SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Even as the Indian American community kept up pressure on the law enforcement authorities in Old Bridge township following the brutal killing of Dr. Divyendu Sinha, the Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced last week that his office will file a motion with a Family Court judge to seek a waiver to try the five juveniles charged with the murder, as adults. The decision was made following a thorough and comprehensive investigation to establish sufficient evidence and justification under the law to seek the waiver, Kaplan's office said. Due to the ethics rules by which the prosecution is bound, as well as the rights of the juveniles charged, the prosecutor's office is prohibited from publicly detailing the reasons and justifications in support of the waiver, it said in a release. Procedurally, however, applicable New Jersey law requires that the prosecutor's office file the waiver application with the Superior Court, Family Part. At a closed juvenile court hearing which has yet to be scheduled, the prosecution will be required to show that the juveniles are at least 16 years of age and that there is probable cause for the signing of murder complaints, which must be accompanied by a statement of reasons. If these elements are established, the Superior Court, Family Part judge hearing the case is required to issue an order waiving the juveniles to adult court. The maximum exposure in the juvenile court for murder is 20 years, while the maximum exposure in the adult court for murder is 30 years to life. With the arrest of the responsible parties, the on-going investigation continues to focus on the motives leading to the assault on Dr. Sinha and his family. Dr. Sinha was attacked by five juveniles on the night of June 25 as he was out for a walk with his wife and two sons near his home in Old Bridge. He died of the injuries sustained in the attack, on June 28. An immediate and intensive investigation was commenced by the Old Bridge Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, which quickly apprehended three 17-year-old Old Bridge males on June 26. The continuing investigation resulted in the arrest of two additional Old Bridge males, aged 16 and 17, on July 1. All five, charged with the murder of Dr. Sinha, have been detained at the Middlesex County

Mayor James Phillip and other Township officials at the memorial service and candlelight vigil for Dr. Divyendu Sinha in Old Bridge last week

Juvenile Detention Center since the date of their arrests. Kaplan's office said that while the investigation is still active and on-going, based on the facts currently known, it was believed that all those responsible have been identified and arrested and no additional arrests are contemplated at this time. "In this process, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office remains mindful of the societal aim, as expressed in the state's bias crime statute, to provide enhanced protection to racial, ethnic and religious minorities," the release said. "Therefore, the issue of whether or not this crime falls within the ambit of a bias crime will be rigorously investigated and scrutinized." Investigators continue to work to identify the existence of any direct or circumstantial evidence that would either support or negate the classification of this tragedy as a bias crime. Therefore, the investigation is actively focused on whether the parties responsible for Dr. Sinha's death knew of his race or ethnicity when they exited their car to attack him, whether they targeted him or his family because of their race or ethnicity, or whether the attack on Dr. Sinha and his family was a continuation of the violent behavior exhibited by these same juveniles just minutes before the attack, when they assaulted a Caucasian motorist. What these juveniles did and said immediately prior to the attack, during the attack and after the attack, have not yet been fully determined, the prosecutor's office said adding that after all available facts have been evaluated they would announce whether additional charges are appropriate. In view of its added responsi-

bility to ensure the safety and quality of life for all residents of Middlesex County, Kaplan's office said it has investigators dedicated to providing education and training to the public, senior citizens, civic groups and schools. Accordingly, the investigators assigned to the Middlesex Outreach and Education (MORE) unit, have and will continue to provide a

Sinha murder case Some parents have posted comments on the site stating that their children were aware who the perpetrators of the crime were. These individuals are bullies at school but school chose to ignore because they are valuable as good athletes to the school team countywide awareness education program aimed at offering all residents information as to what constitutes a bias crime, their rights in the event they believe they have been victimized, and what they can expect from the police in the event they are a victim of a bias crime. Massive turnout at Candlelight vigil Nearly 800 people gathered in the auditorium of the Old Bridge High School July 18, for a memorial service and candlelight vigil in

honor of Dr. Sinha as also to express through representatives their concerns over routine racial harassment by local teenagers. State legislators and several local public officials including those from the Old Bridge City Council and Education Board joined Old Bridge Mayor James T. Phillips for the vigil organized by various community organizations. Pradip Kothari of the Indian American Community of Tri-state area said the vigil was organized to assure the bereaved Sinha family that the Indian American as well as the mainstream community were with them in full support; and also to request the governor, attorney general and other law enforcement personnel to conduct full and speedy investigation into the case and try the accused juveniles as adults. "This incident is an eye-opener for all of us," Kothari said. "We have to work together to see that we don't have to hold this kind of memorial service again." Kothari urged the authorities to send a loud message through appropriate action to anyone likely to commit such acts in future against anyone and not just Indian Americans. Expressing his deepest regrets, Mayor Phillips said that, "While as elected representatives we can never promise that such incidents will not happen again, we promise to work together with the community to see that they won't happen again." Stating that the community should take example of Dr. Sinha's life and not his death, Mayor Phillips said that even in his final moments, Dr. Sinha benefited others by becoming an organ donor. A website set up to petition the Middlesex county prosecutor and

other authorities to bring justice to Dr. Sinha's family for this heinous crime, has received over 30,000 hits (with nearly 10,000 signing the petition) to date. Some parents have posted comments on the site stating that their children were aware who the perpetrators of the crime were. These individuals are bullies at school but school chose to ignore because they are valuable as good athletes to the school team. At Sunday's memorial service, the superintendent of schools responded by saying that the school would not condone bullying regardless of an individual's athletic or other skills. He gave specific incidents where the school took drastic action. Other speakers wanted to know what the authorities were doing to make the Indian American community feel safe. While the Township's administration and the Board of Education expressed their sorrow over the tragedy, many speakers wanted to know as to why the Township Administration and the School Board had been ignoring the telltale signs of the tragedy. It was pointed that the tragedy did not suddenly occur on the day of the attack, but its signs were obvious much earlier. Township officials assured the gathering that Old Bridge had a diverse community and that no one should have to fear living there. They asked the community to reach out, seek help, speak up and report incidents of bias. Demanding that Sinha's juvenile attackers be tried as adults, Nimesh Dave, vice president of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) pointed out that after the "Dot busters" violence in the 1980s a law was passed in New Jersey that any juveniles involved in hate/bias/racial crime should be tried as adults. Dave also pointed to several incidents where Indian Americans were harassed in the town where the local police did not take any action despite complaints. Representatives of the FIA then presented a memorandum to the Mayor wherein they demanded that the Sinha murder case be transferred to state or federal authorities as it feels that justice cannot be served under the present administration. The memo further demanded that the motives of the culprits be disclosed; that all five accused be tried as adults. FIA has also formed a 7-member committee consisting of citizens of Old Bridge, community leaders and lawyers who will be closely follow the case and work on getting justice/compensation for Dr. Sinha's family.


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July 30, 2010

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Judge orders police to re-investigate India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Metropolitan Magistrate Munish Markan has ordered the police to re-investigate the Barry Bhangoo case keeping in mind the facts that Bhangoo had given in his complaint submitted to court. The police was also told to look at all the video evidence and another copy of the DVD containing the evidence was given to them (this time in front of the judge). The court fixed the next date as 31st July. Bhangoo's lawyer also submitted a new application for the addition of sections 325 and 506 to Henry's charge sheet. He said if Henry still wants to plead guilty, they had no objection. In the case in High Court, Justice Ajit Bharihoke had told Barry's counsel to come back if the lower court refused to hear the complaint. When the lower court judge was informed of this, he ordered that Bhangoo's complaint and Henry's plea be combined. Both were heard on July 20. The court session was called in response to Henry Vega's attorneys 2nd application saying that he wanted to plead guilty. There had been a similar hearing on the subject on 2nd July where his attorney had tried to make him say that he was guilty but he had refused. This time, Mr. Maninder Singh was standing next to him in the court to make sure he does plead guilty. Barry told India Post that Mr. Maninder Singh was a major participant in the crime that night and so far the police have shielded him from all charges. Since he is not charged with anything there was no other reason for him to be present in court. Henry's attorney started saying that he may please be allowed to plead guilty. The judge remarked that we have done this before which was a long futile exercise and if this was going to be similar? Henry's attorney replied no, actually he does not understand English, he only speaks French. Barry's attorney Ms. Sidhu remarked that in the last hearing, the judge had very clearly asked him if he understood English and he had said yes. She also showed the court his hand written statement in English to the police. Henry attorney said Henry did not write that. Henry's attorney kept insisting that his guilty plea may be heard. He said that since the police had already completed their investigation there was no possibility of

any new charges coming up against Henry. Barry's attorney Mr. Sunil Mittal informed the court that they had appeared in the High Court and the court had asked them to come back if the lower court did not hear the complaint. He requested the judge, the plea may please be postponed until the full complaint is reviewed and all the charges have been filed against him. How can he be allowed to plead on half the charges?

not do anything until it has had a chance to review this evidence. The judge then ordered that the plea hearing and the complaint 200 be combined. In the High Court Justice Ajit Bharihoke inquired why Barry Bhnagoo's attorney not filed a complaint 200 in the lower court. He was informed him that the complaint was filed but "we were not being heard in court and instead the dependant Henry Vega had been given another date to plead guilty, once again." The Judge inquired from the police attorney if charges had been filed yet and Ms. Bhatia said the charges had already been filed. Barry's attorney Ms. Sidhu requested the justice to review the irregularities in the police investigation of the case. How can the lower court allow a plea when all charges have not been filed? The other culprits have not even been named in the police case. Charges were filed against Henry and then reduced without reason. The police investigation is full of holes. Justice Bharihoke said he would hear the case after the lower case has considered the application and if the lower court fails to act on the complaint made against Henry and the other culprits. Barry requested the justice that he may please be heard; the judge replied that he would hear him once the lower court has completed its activity. The writ against the police was kept open pending the lower court action.

JUSTICE FOR BHANGOO The SHO then handed the judge a CD that contained the police evidence of the CCTV foot-

Barry told India Post that Mr. Maninder Singh was a major participant in the crime that night and so far the police have shielded him from all charges. Since he is not charged with anything there was no other reason for him to be present in court

age as compiled by FSL Rohini. Since this was the first time that police had presented video evidence to the court the court could

Kishanganga: India, Pak disagree on nominees for arbitration ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan have rejected each other's proposed nominees for the Court of Arbitration to adjudicate on a dispute over the Kishanganga hydropower project in Jammu and Kashmir. The two sides have decided to draw lots to determine three individuals who will now select the umpires under three categories -chairman, legal member and engineer member, media reports said. Pakistan made a request two months ago for arbitration on the disputed project which, it alleges, violates the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. On July 13, delegations from India and Pakistan had exchanged the names of proposed members for the court. The Pakistani side was led by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Water Resources Kamal Majidullah and the Indian side by Central Water Commission Chairman A K Bajaj.

Mystery over change in Krishna's schedule persists NEW DELHI: The mystery about the last-minute switch in External Affairs Minister's meetings with Pakistani leaders persists with S M Krishna himself saying that he doesn't know the reason. The sudden change in his schedule on the afternoon of July 15 in Islamabad in the midst of his discussions with his Pakistani

MEA wants IRS officers to monitor aid projects abroad NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has requested the Finance Ministry to depute a contingent of meritorious revenue service officials to monitor India's aid projects to various countries worth thousands of crores of rupees. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has written a letter to Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra in this regard seeking deputation of officers of Income Tax and Customs for the purpose. Official sources said a panel of almost a dozen bright officials from both the Income Tax and Customs department will be dispatched soon to the MEA which has taken the step keeping in mind "the increasing importance of economic diplomacy" in India's foreign policy. Rao, in her letter written last month, has said with the fresh induction of such revenue officials, her ministry would have a "greater

Rao has also underlined India's commitments worth thousand of crores of rupees in support of development projects in neighboring countries and other nations degree of economic and financial expertise at the policy-making level within MEA". "With the increasing importance of economic diplomacy in the overall foreign policy framework of India, there is a requirement to instill a greater degree of economic and financial expertise at the policy-making level within MEA. This requirement is felt particu-

After the two sides failed to agree on any names, they decided to set up a panel comprising a chairman, a legal member and an engineer to select the umpires. The panel will be chosen by drawing lots. Pakistan is waiting for a date, time and venue in New Delhi to draw the lots. Pakistan and India will follow the dispute resolution mechanism outlined in the treaty to settle their differences. Pakistan has also engaged the services of Alan Vaughan Lowe, a professor of public international law with Oxford University and an expert in water-related matters. Islamabad has opposed the Kishanganga project on the ground that it will reduce the generation capacity of the 969-MW Neelum-Jhelum power project on the same river downstream at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.-PTI

larly in the two specialized economic divisions of the ministry.... Investment and Technology Promotion Division and the Multi-lateral Economic Relations Division," she said in her letter. Rao has also underlined India's commitments worth thousand of crores of rupees in support of development projects in neighboring countries and other nations and the requirement of such officials for effective implementation of these projects. "A number of territorial divisions in MEA are engaged in supervision of bilateral aid projects in countries of diplomatic importance to us. Our commitments in these projects, which are being undertaken not only in neighboring countries but also through grant or Credit support in African nations, runs to thousands of crores of rupees. -PTI

counterpart S M Qureshi has generated considerable speculation as to how the script may have gone wrong. "The order of my meetings was changed. I came to know only when I was going. They said I would be meeting the President first and then the Prime Minister. I do not know what was the reason," Krishna told PTI. Krishna and Qureshi were said to have made good progress during their first session of talks which started at 11 am and lasted for nearly five hours, well beyond the schedule. The minister's schedule was to leave at 3.20 pm and to reach Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's office to meet him at 3.30 pm. The call on President Asif Ali Zardari was to follow at 5.30 pm at the Presidential palace. In the time slot Krishna was to meet Gilani, Pakistan's powerful army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met the Prime Minister. Kayani had also met Zardari. When the talks resumed after Krishna's two call-ons, the atmosphere totally changed and Pakistan took an unexpectedly stringent posture leading to the deadlock at the talks. Many commentators in India feel that it was Pakistani Army which put spokes in the way of progress between India and Pakistan. Krishna did not want to go into the details of what went wrong but insisted that his meetings with both leaders went off very well and that was what matters. -PTI


Desi News NRI Press Club hosts luncheon for Ellis winner Asian Community News Services, USA

CHICAGO: NRI Press Club, an organization of ethnic Indian journalists, hosted a luncheon reception for Dr. Hemant Patel, a recent recipient of Ellis medal and the head of AAPI Charitable Organization NY-NJ, at North shore Banquet Hall on Devon Avenue in Chicago The objective of the cozy luncheon for Dr. Patel was to discuss some of the initiatives of AAPI with the members of the press from India and Pakistan. Representatives of India Tribune. Details on page 12

Youth Camp by Bharat Seva Sangha SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Bharat Seva Sangh, a socio-religious no-profit body of Indians here, organized a youth camp at its facility in Aurora, south west Chicago suburb, from July 12 to 16. Participating youth and children chanted Vedic prayers when they came in. The teacher and coordinator of the camp, Mrs. Sucheta Sadhukhan explained the meanings of the prayers. The children practiced meditation for five minutes everyday. During meditation, they relaxed their bodies and freed their minds from all thoughts by observing their breathing. Details on page 15

FairBridge Hotels comes to Illinois JODH SINGH RAWAT

CHICAGO: The newly created FairBridge hotel brand announced its arrival to the Chicago market during a recent dinner event held at India House in Schaumburg, a north side Chicago suburb. At a dinner sponsored by the FairBridge family of brands, which include the Loyalty Inns. Details on page 18

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

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Lankan grandmother killed in accident

July 30, 2010

Details on page 19

RIC endorses Venkatesan for Maryland Senate India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Republican Indian Committee (RIC) has endorsed Jody Venkatesan who is running for the Republican nomination for Maryland Senate, District 13 (Howard County). Son of a Tamil immigrant from India who came to the United States in 1968, Venkatesan was born in upstate New York. RIC strongly believes that Jody is a candidate who can help to restore and revitalize the Maryland economy as he would be a pragmatic representative who would focus his energies on creating jobs throughout the State of Maryland. Venkatesan is a US Army veteran, who specialized in counter-

RIC strongly believes that Jody is a candidate who can help to restore and revitalize the Maryland economy as he would be a pragmatic representative who would focus his energies on creating jobs Jody Venkatesan

intelligence, counterterrorism, signal intelligence and information security. Professionally, as an auditor, he has led numerous independent audits of large govern-

ment agencies and Fortune 500 companies and is experienced in writing cost-effective recommendations to ensure that government processes are efficiently executed.

Venkatesan holds undergraduate degrees in finance and international business and graduated summa cum laude in 1996 from Harding University. He is a partner in a local CPA firm and spent his early career with Marriott International and with Manor Care Health Services. Venkatesan has lived in District 13 for 13 years with his wife Louise and children Bethanne (12), Emily (9) and Philip (6). They attend church at the Silver Spring Church of Christ where he has been a Deacon for 10 years. If elected, Venkatesan hopes to bring about increased job opportunities by supporting small businesses; bring fiscal responsibility to Annapolis and quality education for all District 13 children.

Neena Singh runs for Montgomery Township Committee India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Neena Singh, an Indian American community leader, is running for Montgomery Township Committee, New Jersey, as a Democratic candidate in the November 2 elections. Singh's candidacy is expected to not only give a strong voice to the growing Indian community but also add diversity and a multicultural perspective that is currently lacking in local governments, according to her campaign. Singh strongly feels that if the shared vision of a great community and opportunities for Asian American children are to be realized, then the community has to be part of the decision making process.

Singh's candidacy is expected to not only give a strong voice to the growing Indian community but also add diversity and a multicultural perspective Neena Singh

Singh and her running mate Louise Wilson, a long time former mayor and a supporter of the Asian American community, plan to control taxes and fight for highquality education. Educated in India, Singh earned a bachelor's degree in political sci-

ence from Gandhi Memorial National College and has made community service her life's mission. She co-founded MILAN, a nonprofit organization of Montgomery Township residents of Indian origin with the mission of creating a meeting place and fostering an

environment of outreach and service. She is active in the PTA and serves on the multicultural outreach committee, a joint committee among the PTAs to promote cultural diversity in local schools. In 2009, Singh was honored with the Wynona M. Lipman Synergy award by the Governor of New Jersey for her outstanding efforts. This award recognizes an individual for making distinct and definitive positive change in their community. Her strong management background in sales and marketing have made her a senior partner at Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty in Montgomery Township. Singh has lived in Montgomery for 15 years with her husband and three children.


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July 30, 2010

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Brothers from Bangalore die in plane crash PRASAD THOTAKURA

DALLAS, TX: Kartik Kalaichelvan, 22 and Casey Brinegar, 26 , both pilot instructors at Skymates Flight College in Arlington, TX and Pratik Kalaichelvan, 19, got killed in a plane crash on July 13 in a small town called Tolar (45miles of Southwest of Fort Worth). Pratik who was studying dentistry in Chennai came to visit his brother and was supposed to go back to India in a couple of days. Casey and Kartik were showing Pratik Texas from the sky. All three

Pratik Kalaichelyan

Kartik Kalaichelyan

Plane that crashed

of them flew out in Casey's fourseat, single engine aircraft for a dinner and were coming back to Arlington Airport when this accident happened. The right wing of the 1964 "Beech Craft Bonanza" hit the ground and the single-engine plane tumbled, according to an NTSB investigator. A witness told investigators that the engine sounded rough and then the fourseat airplane nose dived. Kartik learned to fly from Casey, and was accumulating flight time before returning to India to be a commercial pilot like his dad. Kartik and Pratik's father

Pratik who was studying dentistry in Chennai came to visit his brother and was supposed to go back to India in a couple of days. Casey and Kartik were showing Pratik Texas from the sky

Alangiam P. Kalaichelvan works as a pilot for Kingfisher Airlines in Bangalore. Casey and Kartik died at the scene and Pratik was taken by helicopter to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where he died later. There was no fire and no one else was hurt. The cause of the crash was still under investigation. Parents of Kartik and Pratik are arriving in Dallas. Srinivas Lanka, Morgan, friends of Kartik and a team of volunteers are making arrangements to get all the needed documents and transfer the bodies to a local funeral home.

AIA honors Dr Hemant Patel & others Asian Community News Services USA

DOWNERS GROVE: The Association of Indians in America (AIA), Illinois Chapter, held its 30th Annual Banquet at Ashyana Hall in Downer's Grove which was attended by over 150 members, guests and community leaders.

AIA President Naren Patel

The Guests of Honor included Ellis Award winner Dr Hemant Patel of NJ, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri and Raja Krishnamurthy.

The event began with energetic and upbeat dances from students of the Payal Dance Studio. Choreographer Trupti Patel worked with the very talented girls ranging in ages of 7-15. Isha Sharma and Richa Bhargava gave a dazzling performance to the song "Desi Girl". Anil Sharma, the DJ and the dexter-

Dr. Ghanshyam N. Pandey, Director of Biological Research Laboratories of UIC and as AIA Chairman of the Board of Trustees, talked about the contributions his organization had made for the betterment of society in general and Indian Americans in particular. Specifically, he mentioned that it has voiced the concern of Indians settlers here over the visa problem and renunciation fee ous singer, recited the American National Anthem and the Indian National Anthem with many audience members joining in. Manoranjan Mishra, the Vice President of National AIA, gave the welcome ad-

Honored Guest Dr Hemant Patel (center) with Beena Patel, Dr. Ghanshyam Pandey, Sumitra Patel and Naren Patel

dress. The Illinois Chapter President Naren Patel thanking the guests for their continued support with the organization's goals and efforts. Dr. Ghanshyam N. Pandey, Director of Biological Research Laboratories of UIC and as AIA Chairman of the Board of Trustees, talked about the contributions his organization had made for the betterment of society in general and Indian Americans in particular. Specifically, he mentioned that it has voiced the concern of Indians settlers here over the visa problem and renunciation fee. He also talked about AIA role in helping curb HIA type diseases in India. He was recognized

for his 2010 Research Award from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Dr. Hemant Patel was also recognized for his recent Ellis Island Award, one of the most prestigious civilian awards in America. Dr. Hemant Patel is a former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). He spoke of three critical projects that the organization is doing currently. The Sevak Project screens rural Indian villages for diabetes, which has become very common in India. Cont’d on page 13


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NRI Press Club hosts luncheon for Ellis winner Asian Community News Services, USA

CHICAGO: NRI Press Club, an organization of ethnic Indian journalists, hosted a luncheon reception for Dr. Hemant Patel, a recent recipient of Ellis medal and the head of AAPI Charitable Organization NY-NJ, at North shore Banquet Hall on Devon Avenue in Chicago The objective of the cozy luncheon for Dr. Patel was to discuss some of the initiatives of AAPI with the members of the press from India and Pakistan. Representatives of India Tribune, India Post, Urdu Times, Hi India, Divya Bhaskar and Asian Community

and found an incidence of 8%, a shockingly high discovery. Next, Dr. Patel spoke of the American University of Antigua Scholarship for Indian medical students. The scholarship is given once a semester to three students who are academically outstanding and require financial aid. Dr. Patel said, "There are many brilliant students that want to pursue medicine but cannot due to financial restrictions. It is important that they be given the opportunity". Finally, Dr. Patel spoke of renal failure patients in villages. In order to better the quality of life, dialysis machines are required

Dr. Patel also talked about his previous projects specifically the Women's Healthcare Summit in Texas. He had helped start this project to highlight important healthcare information for women including symptoms, prevention and treatment of prominent diseases such as depression, breast cancer, cervical cancer and others News Services, USA, were present During this event he spoke of three ongoing projects of AAPI. Sevak is a screening project for rural Indians. Sevak screens villagers for diabetes and high blood pressure. The screening is done by Sevaks, who are trained and compensated members of the village. They are given basic paramedical skills and can conduct basic testing as well as shed light on prominent health ailments. The training takes 10 weeks and is conducted by AAPI and the Texas A&M University. Initially, the project screened 1000 individuals in the village of Karakhadi

which are lacking in the area. AAPI has obtained 60 units, most of which are functional and nonfunctional machines can be used as spare parts. Dr. Patel also talked about his previous projects specifically the Women's Healthcare Summit in Texas. He had helped start this project to highlight important healthcare information for women including symptoms, prevention and treatment of prominent diseases such as depression, breast cancer, cervical cancer and others. Dr. Patel was recently awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, one of the highest

Dr Hemant Patel (second from right) addressing members of press

civilian recognitions in the country, for his outstanding service to the community. Dr. Patel is the founder of the Indo American Cultural Association and the Essex Country Chapter of AAPI in New Jersey. Both organizations have played a pivotal role in healthcare here and in India. Over the years he started a scholarship program for the 'best outgoing medical student of Indian origin', brought attention and fundraised for the Kargil conflict, the Gujarati Earthquake Relief fund, organized a vigil for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, started a women's health care summit, supervised 18 clinics in India and much more. Dr. Patel was one of the organizers and

a speaker along with Condoleezza Rice in support of Indo-US Civil nuclear agreement at a luncheon meeting held in 2007 in DC. He arranged two legislative days in September 2007 and April 2008, in Washington, DC to meet notable politicians and discuss key points that include access to affordable and quality healthcare as well as to make the Indian physicians' voice heard. Dr. Patel was very enthusiastic and articulate when talking to the press during the luncheon. Editor of Asian Media, Fatima Merchant, exclaimed that to score so many achievements at his age (Dr Patel looked young and vibrant) seem extraordinary.

SIAEA cruise for networking on the Hudson SUDHIR VYAS

NEW YORK: Notwithstanding the World Cup Soccer final and the hot humid weather, hundreds of members of the Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA) and their families joined the annual dinner cruise on the Hudson River. It was a fun filled evening where socializing and networking went hand in hand. The cruise on board World

future. Ravi Shenoy, president of the Society during the cruise spoke about his presidency and how successful it had been so far. He claimed that "there was renewed enthusiasm and zeal among the members to take the society to the next level. We have been able to take the membership drive to 160 new members joining the elite

Shenoy gave details of the new concept of increasing the networking. ‘Towards this end we started a program whereby the Society goes to places where they see opportunity instead of the prospective members coming all the way to NY’ Yatch `Princess' is a much awaited event not only for members of the Society members but also for their family members as it gives them an opportunity to catch up with events and changes evolving in their profession and personal life. While some made new friends, others re-establish lost contacts and pledge to work together in

group", he said adding, "there is potential to improve and net in the younger generation of engineers and architects". Shenoy gave details of the new concept of increasing the networking. "Towards this end we started a program whereby the Society goes to places where they see opportunity instead of the pro-

Uday Durg, Program Executive with MTA Capital Construction with office bearers of the Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects during its networking cruise on the Hudson River in New York.

spective members coming all the way to New York. Town hall style grassroots meeting were held in Parsippany and Edison in New Jersey and Queens, in New York. For the first time we held such a meeting in Stamford Connecticut.

These meetings were a huge success", he claimed. "As a result of this we not only inducted new members but also grew in our networking which is the key to our success". When asked where he sees the

Society five years from now, Shenoy said "I hope to see the Society grow by leaps and bounds. Generate more awareness and ensure that new members join our team. Cont’d on page 13


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SIAEA cruise for networking on the Hudson Cont’d from page 12

During our recent interaction with the Indian Surface Transport minister Kamal Nath during his recent visit to New York, he has shown interest to work with the Society with regards to projects in India. Some have also suggested that we nominate a person for the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Divas award as there was tremendous talent within the engineers and architects of Indian origin", he claimed.

President-elect Nayan Parikh is also keen to expand the scope and horizon of the Society. "By next year when I take office, plans are drawn to open up a chapter of the Society in all states of the United States and have a 10-time increase in membership to take it to the 10,000 mark." Speaking about the future of the engineers and architects visà-vis the economic situation Parikh said "by the year 2012 there will be tremendous growth in the industry and these engi-

AIA honors Dr Hemant Patel & others

AIA office bearers and guests Cont’d from page 11

They train civilians as Sevaks, specifically they give them the paramedical skills necessary to screen residents without the assistance of physicians. The project was expanded recently and is screening approximately 17,000 individuals. Secondly, Dr. Patel told guests of the American University of

and AAPI's success in acquiring 60 units; 50 of which were functional and 10 that could be used for spare parts. "This accomplishment can alter the prognosis of renal failure patients in rural India", said Dr. Patel. The formal ceremonies came to a close with President Naren Patel awarding a plaque to Indian CG Attri for his continued support to AIA over the years. This followed

Dr. Patel spoke of the need of dialysis machines in India and AAPI's success in acquiring 60 units; 50 of which were functional and 10 that could be used for spare parts Dr Hemant Patel

Antigua Scholarship for Indian students desiring to study medicine. The scholarship is given to three students per year who are academically distinguished but have financial difficulty. Dr. Patel said, "There are too many brilliant students that want to pursue medicine but cannot due to financial restrictions, it is important that they be given the opportunity". Lastly, Dr. Patel spoke of the need of dialysis machines in India

with a delicious dinner and musical entertainment from Anil Sharma. AIA is the oldest Indian organization in America. It was founded in 1967 and has chapters all over the nation. Their objective is simple and based on democratic principles of "one member, one vote". AIA represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian Heritage and American Commitment.

‘By the year 2012 there will be tremendous growth in the industry and these engineers and architects will be amongst the highest paid individuals in the country’

neers and architects will be amongst the highest paid individuals in the country. Right now US was way behind China and India so far as providing new infrastructure was concerned but things are set to change soon." He was also happy the way the Obama stimulus money was being used judiciously in New York State. "I myself am a beneficiary of this", he claimed. Though Parikh would love to do business with India, given the tremendous potential the coun-

try has to offer, he is skeptical as "it is very difficult to do business in the Indian environment. Despite this I will go aggressively on this front during my tenure as president of the Society but it will take a lot of effort to penetrate the Indian bureaucracy. However the silver lining is the fact that the younger generation of engineers and architects do not fall in this bureaucracy tangle so it will be that much easier". Cont’d on page 14


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$115,000 raised for scholarships to Punjab's students India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: Over 450 guests from all over the Washington area helped raise $115,000 during a gala dinner event titled 'Umeedan di Shaam' organized by the Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF). This was the 5th fund raising event marking the 10th anniversary of the Washington based organization at the Sheraton Premier hotel in Vienna, Virginia. SHDF provides scholarships for higher education to needy students who come from households earning less than dollar a day per person. SHDF, in the last ten years, has provided 1457 scholarships in Northern Indian states including Punjab. "This is an evening to celebrate because 396 boys and girls have already graduated with profes-

Dr. G.P. Singh speaking during the event

sional degrees and most have found good jobs. They, in turn, are financing the education of their brothers and sisters. Thus, your scholarship is not building one life; it is building several lives." With these words, Amar Jit Singh

Gajinder Singh Ahuja and Dr. Rajwant Singh appealing for funds during the event.

Amar Jit Singh Sodhi

Sodhi, Chairman of the Sikh Human Development Foundation, set up the mood for the evening. Mr Sodhi added, "Believe me, these scholarships are transform-

A moving video, featuring comments and sentiments expressed by scholarship recipients in India was shown to the audience. Dr. Rajwant Singh and Gajinder Singh Ahuja, Director Outreach and Secretary General of SHDF respectively, followed this by appealing to the audience to donate and pledge their support ing lives. Therefore, this is an evening to celebrate. In fact, I should say thank you 1,457 times because you have touched the lives of 1457 students with scholarships; you have brightened their future. You have given them hope."

Abinash Singh, SHDF board member and an official at Northrop Grumman, introduced the chief guest of the evening, Dr. G.P.Singh , an entrepreneur from San Antonio, TX and a Trustee of the Sikh Spirit Foundation. Baldev Singh, an entrepreneur based in Maryland and a former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab assembly, presented a plaque honoring G.P.Singh on behalf of the organization. A moving video, featuring comments and sentiments expressed by scholarship recipients in India was shown to the audience. Dr. Rajwant Singh and Gajinder Singh Ahuja, Director Outreach and Secretary General of SHDF respectively, followed this by appealing to the audience to donate and pledge their support. They laid out the target of raising money for 100 scholarships of $425.00 each. The audience gave a thundering response within minutes by supporting over 125 scholarships. Many other large donations poured in. Dr. Rajwant Singh, emcee of the event, expressed his joy at the response of the audience. He declared that "This is the only place that so many people have gathered for the cause of supporting

higher education in Punjab. No other NGO has invested as much for the youth back home and this audience deserves our heartfelt thanks for their generosity. We hope to replicate this effort in other parts of the US and the world."

Dr. Pavanjit Kaur Sawhney speaking during the event

While delivering his keynote speech, G.P. Singh, said, "All of us came to the US as immigrants and have done very well for ourselves. In fact, no matter how you analyze it, we live better than 98% of the world population. Now, think

about it, if people in the top 2% won't help our brothers and sisters in need, who will? Your support of $40 a month, to help educate a young person, who is smart and well deserving, cannot only change his/her life but also trans-

‘If people in the top 2% won't help our brothers and sisters in need, who will? Your support of $40 a month, to help educate a young person, who is smart and well deserving, cannot only change his/her life but also transform an entire family’ form an entire family. In my opinion this is the best $40/month you will ever spend. I urge you to support as many students as you can. This is a very worthwhile cause." Cont’d on page 16

SIAEA cruise for networking on the Hudson Cont’d from page 13

Uday Durg, program executive of the Lower Manhattan projects with the MTA Capital Construction, who was also the guest of honor for the evening told this correspondent in an exclusive chat that "the idea is to provide a better working relationship between the Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) and the government projects. We encourage contractors to work with our organization with a new vision and it is good to see that these MBEs already have a head start on this front." "The MTA promotes contractors owned by these MBEs and always throws up avenues for growth and working together as they are capable of doing it on time and on budget", Mr. Durg said. According to Mr.

Durg my project itself is worth almost $ 2 billion and I encourage ensuring networking to reap the benefits. All our contracts are assigned goals and hence I would like all businesses to check our procurement

would be ideal to talk to us and reap the benefits of your expertise", he told the gathering. He said "there were almost 450 to 700 contractors from the minority community

He said "there were almost 450 to 700 contractors from the minority community and my experience says that there has never been any bias towards the Indian engineers and architects who are known for their work ethics” and contract websites and be abreast of all opportunities in these areas. "MTA was coming up with new projects worth $ 10 billion in the next four years and another $ 18 b. in the next five to 7 years and hence it

and my experience says that there has never been any bias towards the Indian engineers and architects who are known for their work ethics. Contractors who deliver will always finds a place in the things to come", he as-

sured the engineers and architects. Michael Clay, Director Office of Opportunity Programs with the Dormitory Authority State of New York was of the opinion that "opportunities be provided for these MBEs. They have the vision and goal and they just need the push for them to prosper in their field". As the cruise progressed on the Hudson and members and their family were entertained and fed sumptuous food from Tandoor restaurant and danced their heart out. The gold sponsors for the event included TDX Construction, H.R.A.D. Construction, the silver sponsors were HAKS, Howell Industries, IPWest and the bronze sponsor was V J Associates. The sponsors and guest of honor were presented a plaque for their continued support.


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Youth Camp by Bharat Seva Sangha SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Bharat Seva Sangh, a socio-religious no-profit body of Indians here, organized a youth camp at its facility in Aurora, south west Chicago suburb, from July 12 to 16. Participating youth and children chanted Vedic prayers when they came in. The teacher and coordinator of the camp, Mrs. Sucheta Sadhukhan explained the meanings of the prayers. The children practiced meditation for five minutes everyday. During meditation, they relaxed their bodies and freed their minds from all thoughts by observing their breathing. Then, the children listened to the story of the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, told by Shantanu Maharaj. After that, the campers did yoga [asanas] and practiced the sun salutation, under the supervision of Jeff, the yoga teacher. Then the children were allowed to have

Swami Purnatmanandji with kids

explained by Swami Purnatmanandaji Maharaj. While going home at the end of the camp,

campers took folders which included teachers' handouts and Geeta Sar photo frame given out by Swami Purnatmanandaji. Dr. Prashanta Banerjee distributed a book called The Complete

Swami performing Havan during Youth Camp

told the children the importance of attending camps like this. Ashok Parida did a presentation on global warming, and gave the kids a packet explaining the causes of global warming and how we can

The kids attentively listened as the guest speakers spoke on a variety of topics including global warming, basics of Hindu religion, importance of vegetarianism, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi

Kids with folders at the camp

some free time. Around noon, the kids enjoyed a healthy meal for lunch, which included Indian and American cuisine. In the afternoon the children were exposed to the great tradition of Indian dance. Eshara Mandal, a recent Bharatnatyam graduate, taught them a dance called Ganesh Bandana. The kids attentively listened as the guest speakers spoke on a variety of topics including global warming, basics of Hindu religion, importance of vegetarianism, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, importance of volunteering, the Buddha etc. During the camp, the campers also enjoyed making different crafts. They worked on preparing a Geeta Saar photo frame, and other crafts that had to do with Hindu religion. On the second day of camp, the kids went on a field trip to Fermi Lab. They saw the different exhibits there, and also went to see the Buffalo. On the last day of the camp, the "graduation ceremony" was held. Children preformed Homa and the Ganesh Bandana dance. The meaning of the mantras said during the Homa were

Idiots Guide to Hinduism. He explained to the kids how to use the book. He also talked about the idea of Hinduism in modern times. He

prevent it. He also explained the importance of water conservation. Ranjita Chattopadhyay told the life story of Swami Vivekananda and

how he inspired young children to be strong future citizens. She also told the kids about why the cow is worshipped in Hindu religion. Mrs. Sita Chatterjee discussed the importance of volunteering, and what volunteering is. Ms. Lolis talked about healthy eating and how food affects a person's mood, ability to concentrate, and focus. The focus of her discussion was vegetarianism. She also talked about the importance of drinking water vs. soda. Indrani Mandal related the story of Lord Buddha. The children also listened to a story of Jataka. Cont’d on page 18


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Spelling Bee winners of NJ & Washington The 2010 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee continued its 9-city tour with stops in New Jersey and Washington DC Metro.

DC METRO WINNERS: (From L to R) First Runner Up Anjithaa Radakrishnan of Nashua, NH; Regional Champ Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, NY and Second Runner Up Prakash Mishra of Marvin, NC posing with Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee

NJ WINNERS: (From L to R) First Runner Up Neetu Chandak of Seneca Falls, NY; Regional Champ Anahita Iyer of Doyleswtown, PA and Second Runner Up Arvind Mahankali of Forest Hills, NY posing with Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee

$115,000 raised for scholarships to Punjab's students Cont’d from page 14

According to Gajinder Singh Ahuja, Secretary General of SHDF, "the foundation awards scholarships without distinction of caste, religion or gender. Mr. Ahuja stated that the foundation's mission was to financially empower needy students and help them realize their full potential by improving their access to higher professional education. 396 Scholarships recipients have already graduated in various disciplines of engineering, medicine, nursing and many other professions. The funds raised here will be distributed to the scholarship recipients through the SHDF partner organization, Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council in Delhi, after the selection criteria is fulfilled." G.P.Singh added, "SHDF has supported several hundred students over the past ten years. Evidence has shown that your support to help educate a young person transforms the entire family. This is particularly true as they get a job and start helping their family. The whole family is uplifted out of poverty. Your support can have an unbelievable impact. Please support SHDF and young students." Parvinder Kaur, a Trustee of the Sikh Spirit Foundation and the wife of G.P. Singh, said, "SHDF event was very well organized. While there was great entertainment, best part was to meet so many like minded people and help raise nearly 120,000 dollars. Congratulations to the organizers for doing

L-R: Gajinder Singh Ahuja, Baldev Singh, Satnam Singh Gidha, Amar Jit Singh Sodhi and Dr. Darshan Singh Saluja

a fabulous job." Dr. Pavanjit Kaur Sawhney, the guest of honor, who has exceeded the donation of $100,000 to SHDF, made a passionate appeal to the audience to support the program. She said, "Most of us gathered tonight are immigrants. We came to the US for better education and opportunity and for the future of our children. With the grace of God, we have achieved abundance, more than most of us could imagine. For most of us this is the result of our education, our parent's support, and sometimes luck. Education is liberation, Education is freedom. Education is the most important instrument to eradicate poverty". While talking about her visit to meet some scholarship recipients in India, she said, "I still can see the faces of these young students working on fulfilling their dreams.

Please think of them this evening and find it in your heart to do the best that you can." Dr. Sawhney

G.P.Singh said, ‘SHDF has supported several hundred students over the past ten years. Evidence has shown that your support to help educate a young person transforms the entire family’ was given a plaque by Permvir Singh, an active member of the Sikh community in Virginia, and

Giddha performance at the event.

who has recently become a gold circle donor of SHDF by donating $25,000. High energy Giddha by 15 Washingtonian ladies enthralled the audience with their charm, fast clapping and their recreation of Punjab's folk scene. They prepared for the dance for months. It is noteworthy that all of them are volunteers and most of them are professionals. Amanpreet Kaur, Preet Amrit Kaur and Dr. Harminder Kaur Mangat put this entire performance together. In addition, a leading female artist in North America, Parminder Seen, entertained the audience with her rendering of popular Punjabi songs and her melodious voice. Parminder runs a school teaching Indian classical music in NY. She was accompanied by eight musicians. Ms. Seen was introduced by Dr. Kirpal Kaur Bajaj, another Gold circle donor of SHDF,

who donated $25,000 for the "noble cause". Meeta Kaur Saluja, a major donor for SHDF, gave a plaque to Ms. Seen honoring her for her performance. Veena Oberoi, Public Relations officer of SHDF thanked the volunteers and the guests for their support in 'making this event a great success'. Voluteers who helped in selling tickets, preparing the materials for the evening and helped at the reception were: Manpreet Singh, Sarabjit Singh Bakshi, Meenu Kaur Nandra, Mona Kaur Babra, Meeta Broca, Rimmi Kaur, Harsharan Kaur, Mandeep Singh, Manranjan Singh, Sehejneet Kaur, Zeena Kaur Sodhi, Romy Gumer, Rajinder Singh Babra, Satinder Kaur Sodhi, Kawaljit Singh Bhutani, and Surinder Kaur Ahuja. Event EQ provided the DJ music and the sound system.


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Gujarat wins top UN Public Service Award SUDHIR VYAS

NEW YORK: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's office has been named recipient of the prestigious 2010 United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA). State Wide Attention on Grievances with Application of Technology (Swagat) has won the UN Public Service Award in the category

Ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, on June 23, coinciding with the United Nations Public Service Day. The UN Public Service Award recognizes the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public service administration in

The UN Public Service Award recognizes the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public service administration 'Improving Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Public Service'. Chief Minister's Secretary A. K. Sharma recently received the award in Spain Talking exclusively to this correspondent from Gandhinagar, Jaynarayan Vyas and Saurabh Patel outlined the brief of award saying it was handed out at the 2010 UN Public Service Awards

countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the awards promote the role, professionalism, and visibility of public service. Responding to the award Chief Minister Narendra Modi said: "People's voice is the key driver of a democracy, and listening to that voice is the key test of good governance". Cont’d on page 18

JP recognized Loan Broker of the Year

JP getting Award from David Frank. India Post News Service They do only SBA 504 Loan for

CHICAGO: A front ranking Mortgage Broker in Chicagoland, Jyotindra Patel (known popularly as JP), was recently given Somer Cor 504 Best Loan Officer Award for 2009. JP heads Sunil Associates Inc while ISomer Cor 504 Inc is non Profit Organization established for development of Illinois State for small business.

purchase of Small Business with Real Estate Property. An annual Appreciation Award function was held in Schaumburg and JP was presented with the award by David Frank, President of Somer Cor 504. Somer Cor 504 Inc recognized JP with the Award as Loan Broker of the year 2009 since their record placed him higher than any other mortgage broker in the loan business area.

Yoga in US schools can tackle obesity SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Introducing Yoga in schools can help overcome the obesity crisis, feel Yoga teachers and experts here. Madhu Patel, president of NRI Foundation and a yoga teacher at some of the socio facilities in Chicagoland, maintains that the regular practice of Yoga, Pranayam and Surya Namaskar would help overcome not only the obesity crisis at the school level but would surely lead to good health for many in the society. Dia Gidwany, founder president of Sindhulogy, said that not only Yoga but inculcating the spirit of non-violence - Ahimsa should also be part of curriculum in schools. It would help to impart physical and mental discipline among school children. Sohan Joshi, a great advocate of Sun Salutation said that Surya Namaskars are traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day. The sequence of eight postures can be a complete practice in itself, or can prepare one for a longer asana routine. Sun Salutes are often performed in sets of 5, but for a newcomer it is wise to practice 2 or 3 postures. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism in Nevada, said there was a significant need to incorporate Yoga in the lives of children and youth of the country. Though Yoga originated in India with traces going back to around 2,000 BCE, it was "a living fossil" and a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. According to reports, over twothirds of adults in USA are overweight or obese and about 17 percent children/adolescents from 619 years are overweight. Overweight and obesity are risk factors

Yoga asanas

for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health problems. The obese spent about 42 percent more in health care costs compared to normal-weight persons. Exercise and behavior modification form part of the prevention/ treatment of obesity/overweight. About 40 percent of adults report

no leisure-time physical activity and as children get older, participation in regular physical activity decreases dramatically, reports suggest. According to National Institutes of Health, Yoga may help one to feel relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, develop deep breathing and get rid of stress.


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Gujarat wins top UN Public Service Award Cont’d from page 17

The award comes as a result of the hard work of the administration at all levels: State, District and Taluka. Winning the 2010 UNPSA has rewarded the dedication of all the administration who have invested in the project. While few countries win the UN Public Service Award it was sense of pride as a state like Gujarat has successfully managed to win the award twice in 2009, and now again in 2010. In 2009, Gujarat won the UN Public Service Award for Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO) in the category 'Fostering participation in policy-making decisions through innovative mechanisms'. Gujarat is the only State in India to win the UN Public Service Award for the second time. Swagat operates on the principle that grievance redressal is essential for good governance especially to vitalize a democracy. Every month the Chief Minister considers grievance cases through multi-video conferencing with all 26 Districts and all 225 Taluka Offices. Swagat is outcome focused and cases are redressed on the same day or in a time-bound manner. This is the first time that the common citizen can access the highest level office with other officers present in real-time through video-conferencing. The advanced technology system allows attention and monitoring of grievances across the State to ensure resolution. Swagat operates across the state and has dealt with

50,585 cases at State and District level and 43,621 cases at Taluka level. 97% of grievances have been resolved since Swagat began in April 2003. At monthly State Sessions, Hon. CM reviews District and Taluka cases for quality of redressal and understanding the nature of problems at local level. All grievances and redressal information (State, District & Sub District) are fed into the same system, through an internet portal. Total Transparency is given as applicants are given a unique ID through which applicants can access their case details and status online.

Every month the Chief Minister considers grievance cases through multi-video conferencing with all 26 Districts and all 225 Taluka Offices A number of Swagat cases have been highlighted at the UNPSA Forum in Spain, and on the UNPAN website. Gujarat's winning entries for this award exemplifies the excellence the State has achieved in harnessing good governance to serve the community at large. It is a great achievement for Gujarat as this award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.

Apna Ghar to organize Fun-Run Walk MOHAMMAD GHOUSE

CHICAGO: Apna Ghar (Our Home) is hosting its 4th annual Stride Against Violence (SAV) 5K Fun Run/Walk on Sunday, September 12 in the scenic Lincoln Park, Chicago to raise awareness over the issue of domestic violence and to support Apna Ghar's important programs and services. Apna Ghar provides culturally-appropriate, multilingual services, including emer-

gency shelter to survivors of domestic abuse with a primary focus on South Asian and other immigrant communities. Due to the current economic climate and decreased state funding levels, Apna Ghar is relying on a Stride Against Violence event to raise funds for the agency and ensure the continuation of the programs and services, according to Shuchi Kumar, a Ghar volunteer.

FairBridge Hotels comes to Illinois JODH SINGH RAWAT

CHICAGO: The newly created FairBridge hotel brand announced its arrival to the Chicago market during a recent dinner event held at India House in Schaumburg, a north side Chicago suburb. At a dinner sponsored by the FairBridge family of brands, which include the Loyalty Inns, FairBridge Inn Express, FairBridge Inn & Suites, and FairBridge Hotels, invited guests were introduced to FairBridge Membership Director Sumi Kohli who shared news of the company's plan to expand into the US Midwest region in the months ahead. FairBridge announced the selection of Skokie, a Chicago suburb, as the location of the FairBridge Midwest Operations to service the six state region that includes Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Iowa. Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, FairBridge Inns LLC is the newest membership based hotel brand to emerge in over a decade that combines the benefits of attractive brand affiliation with the affordability & simplicity of a membership based solution to brand licensing. Increasing franchise related fees and costs have devastated many hotel operators currently struggling to survive during crippling economic times. FairBridge offers hotel owners a complete branded solution as an alternative to franchising. Currently two properties, both limited service hotels in Washington, have reflagged to the FairBridge brand. Both the FairBridge Inn Express and the FairBridge Inn & Suites have experienced the enormous financial benefits and rewards of membership based hotel license agreements. A third property, in Illinois is scheduled to open this September and with plans for more area properties to join the network as operators learn more about FairBridge.

The FairBridge program brings occupancy, rate and revenue to hotels by creating local marketing initiatives designed to attract and capture business using a property-specific blend of both conventional and web-driven advertising. The marketing plans for each hotel in the FairBridge affiliate network are custom tailored for each hotel's specific local market and customer needs.

Currently two properties, both limited service hotels in Washington, have reflagged to the FairBridge brand. Both the FairBridge Inn Express and the FairBridge Inn & Suites have experienced the enormous financial benefits and rewards of membership based hotel license agreements. A third property, in Illinois is scheduled to open this September The attractive brand identity for FairBridge provides operators with a unique style and visibly that stands out as among the best in the hospitality marketplace. FairBridge Inns is actively pursuing affiliate licensing arrangements with hotel owners, developers, and management companies in seek of a proven low-cost and high return brand affiliation alternative for existing or upcoming hospitality ventures.

Youth Camp by Bharat Seva Sangha Cont’d from page 15

The lesson behind the story was true pleasure comes through self sacrifice and desires give birth to sorrow and misery. Krishna Chakrabarty told the children the life story of Gandhiji and his contribution to Indian freedom struggle. Amlan Datta taught the older children about the importance of leadership and balance between studies and play. He taught the younger children about money management. He also supervised the children when doing a debate about different TV shows.

Raphsody Datta talked about Globalization, what it's doing to the world, and some ways to prevent it. Later she helped the children make origami frogs. Swami Purnatmanandaji Maharaj, the head of the organization, explained the true essence of religion observing that humanity is the only religion in the world. The God is also One for all but we worship many forms of Him, he said. Although God is present everywhere, he lives specially within one's heart. Through discipline and practice, we can realize the God within.


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Lankan grandmother killed in accident JS BEDI India Post News Service

RESEDA, Los Angeles: A Sri Lankan woman was killed by a suspected drunken driver outside her home in Reseda right in front of her horrified husband. The driver of the other car, a Marine, is in jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter. Chandrika de Silva, 51, and her husband had just arrived home on Strathern Street with their 5-year-old grandson in her Prius about 2 a.m. Sunday. They were returning from a party at Cerritos some 50 miles away. Her husband got out of the car, to open the gate to their home, and she got out to unhitch the child from the child seat. A part of the tail section of the car was sticking out on the street. A Jeep Cherokee driven by Richard Albert Buitron, 22, a Marine, Tboned the Prius. The impact flipped the Prius, killing the woman and throwing the boy out. The boy was taken to intensive care at Children's Hospital, where he was treated for a concussion and other injuries and has since returned home. Buitron did not flee the scene and was jailed in a Van Nuys jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter. He is also suspected of being drunk when the accident happened. At a memorial, about 100 family and friends in the Sri Lankan community paid

their respects and set up a memorial fund for the grandmother, who worked vigorously for the disadvantaged both here and in her native Sri Lanka "I'm going in and out of shock," her son, Chatura de Silva, told a local TV station. "It

them because you never know what's going to happen, `cause in a matter of seconds she disappeared from us and she was just right there." De Silva's daughter spoke through tears describing the loss of her mother.

At a memorial, about 100 family and friends in the Sri Lankan community paid their respects and set up a memorial fund for the grandmother, who worked vigorously for the disadvantaged both here and in her native Sri Lanka "I'm going in and out of shock," her son, Chatura de Silva, told a local TV station Chandrika de Silva

just feels like she's gone on a long vacation and she'll be back soon. "Every morning kiss your mother, kiss your daughter, kiss your son," he said. "Give them a hug. Just let them know you love

"I'm 28 years old and my brother, he'll be turning 21 and we need our mom," said daughter Sam de Silva. "Nothing he does will bring her back." This is a monumental tragedy and people

are asking "Why"‌‌..and even more bizarre is that it happened on a quiet street in a residential area. Strathern Street is as laid back and sleepy as it can get. There is hardly any traffic during the day and this was at 2 o clock at night. Understandably the community is very upset and distraught. Sunil Khullar owns New Delhi Spiceland barely half a mile away on Roscoe and Wilbur. "She used to shop at my store and was a regular customer. This is very sad and my prayers go out for her family. May her soul rest in peace" he said. Gamini Edirisinghe is a prominent member of the Southland's Sri Lankan community and the Edirsinghe and the De Silva families are longtime friends. "Yes, on all sides this is very tragic. On our side, they lost their mother. On the other side, a young man, a marine aged 22 - about the same age as the son of Chandrika, is in jail facing manslaughter charges. My heart goes out to him, too. He is also a son of another poor family. He did not willfully do it, but this accident happened within seconds due to one mishap putting everybody in tragedy. How strange is the twist of fate" he said in an email. Whilst the family is left to pick up the pieces, Marine Albert Buitron sits in a jail cell with plenty of time to reflect and repent for his actions. But remorse and regret or any amount of apologies is not going to get Chatura and Sam their mother back again.

Petco organizes reptile owners rally India Post News Service

SAN DIEGO: To many, the idea of being in close quarters with a reptile sends shivers up their spine, but surprisingly there are 4.7 million reptile owning households in the US today, according to the American Pet Products Association Survey 2009/2010. To help those overcome their fear and let others show off their coldblooded friends, Petco held its inaugural reptile rally here. Thousands of reptile owners and perspective owners all over the nation united in support of their scaley friends. Attendees had the opportunity to handle the animals hands-on, learn about their care and maintenance, and hear spe-

cialists speak about their feeding habits and habitat. Feedback from across the country came pouring in. A Petco

manager stated, "This was probably one of the best events we have had so far. All the people appeared to enjoy learning about

"Chuckie," the 14-year-old iguana. A Petco representative from the St. George store described the event as "astounding.

We lost count of how many people attended. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the customers or the staff." For the parent or reptile novice considering taking on a new, cold-blooded pet, some incentives include maintenance averages $10-15 per month. They make virtually no noise, and do not require exercise or an over-abundance of attention. Attendees had a chance to interact with Petco's favorite reptiles including Leopard Geckos, Bearded Dragons, Corn Snakes, Ball Pythons, and Tortoises. The event was such a success, Petco hoped that this will be the first of many reptile-themed events to come.


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Satpal Khalsa helps visa nightmare victim JS BEDI India Post News Service

FRESNO, CA: When Kuljeet Kaur Chahal's husband passed away, she wanted to go to India to immerse his remains at Sri Kiratpur Sahib as per Sikh traditions. Being a naturalized US citizen she applied for a Visa at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. That's when her nightmare began. At first they kept asking for all kinds of documents which she complied only to be denied two times in two months, January and February of 2010. The Consulate told her the reason for denial is because her father came here on a political asylum. It's a different matter that nobody at the Consulate cared to note that Kuljeet Kaur was only 12 years old when she landed in this country. On March 16, Kuljeet emailed Singh Sahib Bhai Satpal Singh Khalsa, Ambassador of the Sikh Dharma, requesting his intervention and assistance. "As the Ambassador for the Sikh community in the western hemisphere of the world, I very humbly and very respectfully request your Excellency to intervene on my behalf and kindly request Ms. Sushmita Thomas, the Consul General in San Francisco, to make an exception in my case based solely on humanitarian grounds. You are my last hope in making it possible for me to

keep my promise to my husband as he lay on his death bed to take his remains to Kiratpur, Punjab," she said in her email to Bhai Satpal Singh Khalsa. Bhai Satpal Singh in turn mobilized his

The Consulate told her the reason for denial is because her father came here on a political asylum. It's a different matter that nobody at the Consulate cared to note that Kuljeet Kaur was only 12 years old when she landed in this country. On March 16, Kuljeet emailed Singh Sahib Bhai Satpal Singh Khalsa, Ambassador of the Sikh Dharma, requesting his intervention and assistance resources writing letters to S. Tarlochan Singh MP, MOS Foreign Affairs Maharani Praneet Kaur, Home Minister P Chidambaram and a host of senior politicians and bureaucrats. S. Tarlochan Singh

approached Chidambaram and things began to roll. Finally during the first week of July this year she was informed that her case has been approved. On July 8 she emailed again

Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Khalsa Ambassador of the Sikh Dharma

to express her gratitude to Bhai Satpal Singh. "I want to thank you very much for your efforts and for all you have done in helping a helpless lady in distress. The Consulate General of India in San Francisco requested

Hundreds attend 'Cosmic Grace Convention'

a copy of my husband's death certificate last week and today I received an email from them saying that they have approved my visa. I very respectfully and very humbly say thank you for your efforts in taking up my cause with the Central Government in India." Back in the 80s many Sikhs emigrated to the USA seeking political asylum. Most of them were economic immigrants and keeping in mind the turmoil in Punjab this was an easy way not only to get a visa but also permanent residence and a green card and subsequent citizenship. The Indian government created some kind of a Black List which meant that those here on Political asylum would never get a visa to India. Nobody in the maze of India's officialdom paused to note that the asylum seekers came with their families and also on the list were the names of people who were minors when they landed in the USA. And now as adults they are being denied a chance to revisit their roots. Kuljeet Kaur is one such example and hers was a landmark decision. Commenting on the matter Bhai Satpal Singh Khalsa said, "Now all the children of blacklisted persons who have been denied visa can apply and the Indian government will consider giving visa to the children of all black listed persons in USA. This is a major development and the Sikhs are very happy that their children who were denied visas now have a chance."

Karnataka Association picnic in Cerritos VIJAY KOTRAPPA

India Post News Service

NORCO, CA: Groups of devotees flocked to this small town in Orange county near Los Angeles, California to have Darshan of their favorite saint who arrived from their native land, India. The devotees spent hours listening to Swami Ji and received a 'Mantra' from him that they believed could heal their body and the soul. With his chanting of holy mantras and delivery of religious dis-

Science alone is not capable of understanding the design of the cosmos. ‘One must look beyond the material world to understand the message of invisible forces that control our lives’ courses, Brahmarshi Kumar Swami generated positive energy and motivated hundreds of men, women and children to pray and worship the Divine Forces of the universe that control our mind and body. "Our ancient scriptures consist of hundreds of thousands of holy

Kumar Swami receiving the greetings of a devotee in Norco, CA

mantras that offer scientific, medical, and spiritual knowledge. They also help us make spiritual connections between the soul and the Divine Forces", said Kumar Swami. Addressing media persons at the convention Brahmarishi Shree Kumar Swami Ji said that modern man is deprived of spiritual knowledge. Science alone is not capable of understanding the design of the cosmos. "One must look beyond the material world to understand the message of invisible forces that control our lives", he said. Guru Ji invited his followers to spend time reciting the mantras im-

parted by him. "Spend a few minutes every day in prayer and meditation. One could pray to many gods and goddesses, such as, Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and Ganesha. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for wealth while the intellectuals pray to Goddess Saraswati to help them acquire worthy knowledge", he explained. Kumar Swami touched the lives of hundreds of people who came from far flung areas to get his blessings. A number of devotees narrated their experiences about how their lives were improved after they followed the advice of the Guru.

CERRITOS, CA: The Karnataka Cultural Association of Southern California (KCA-SC) celebrated their annual picnic at the Cerritos Regional Park. On a perfect Southern California day, more than 250 members participated in various games and enjoyed rare treats such as Jack Fruit and Tender Coconut Water. Prizes were awarded to winners of various sports events. Dr. Kavitha Kotrappa, the newly elected President of KCASC said, “After a few intense weeks preparing for Navika’s Kannada Summit in Pasadena, it was nice to unwind in a relaxing atmosphere”. She added, “This

year, we started a new tradition in recognizing and felicitating high school graduates and their parents. 12 students graduated this year and are moving on to very prestigious colleges. It is amazing to see how balanced they are in terms of academic and cultural accomplishments. It is a true testimonial to their parents and to organizations such as KCA-SC that bring the community together”. Three weeks ago, KCA-SC had organized a cricket tournament in which more than 40 members competed in inter-region limited-over matches. Cont’d on page 21


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Navika youth represent India at World Cultural Expo NEEL KOTRAPPA

LOS ANGELES: As if the North American Vishwa Kannada Association (Navika) First World Kannada Convention's unprecedented success was not enough, the youth of Navika showcased India's heritage at the International Youth Fellowship World Cultural Exposition (IYF) held at UCLA on July 17. At the festival, fifteen Consulate Generals and city generals from around the globe represented their own nations to showcase the different cultures and traditions their country boasts. Through visual and performing arts, ethnic food, traditional games, and other activities, many of the Navika volunteers and sponsors helped bring cultural awareness in

Navika Fashion Show participants and Expo Volunteers in front of Royce Hall (UCLA)

the Southern California area. Dr. Sri Iyengar was asked to represent India, and with it, Navika. He spoke in front of over four hundred people about the importance of culture in our lives. He

Through visual and performing arts, ethnic food, traditional games, and other activities, many of the Navika volunteers and sponsors helped bring cultural awareness in the Southern California area. Dr. Sri Iyengar was asked to represent India, and with it, Navika

Jyothi Chakravarthy illustrating Indian Art and Culture at the India boot at IYF World Expo.

Karnataka Association picnic in Cerritos Cont’d from page 20

The Orange County Challengers barely edged out the Diamond Bar Daredevils by 1 run and 2 balls to spare. Each team included at least 3 youth. The Diamond Bar team had 6. The future of cricket seems to be safe in the hands of our youngsters. Notably, the winning team was awarded the rolling trophy by the Kannada Film Mega star Shivaraj Kumar during the recent Navika convention. Unfortunately, star cricket players G.R. Vishwanath and B.S. Chandrashekar had to cancel their trip to Navika at the last minute. They have assured us that they will make a separate trip to LA. This year’s KCA-SC annual picnic’s coordinators Jagannath Shankam and Soma Somashekar remarked that it is gratifying to see the youngsters take a more active

role in our organization. The Youth committee also conducted their elections. Sowmya Murthy was elected President and Vivahni Shastry was elected Vice President. The KCA-SC youth Committee typically organizes several fundraising drives and takes a lead in

programs such as the Children’s Day event. KCA-SC is a non-profit organization that brings people interested in the heritage of the Indian state of Karnataka and Kannada enthusiasts together. The next major event will be the Ganesh Pooja to be celebrated at the Jain Temple on Sunday, Sept. 19th in Buena Park.

Navika Fashion Show participants in front of Royce Hall (UCLA)

continued that each country's culture lies in the hands of its youth, and thus it is "our job as parents and family to encourage participation and instill in them a sense of culture and tradition." His words of youth participation were echoed the following day when many of the Navika youth and adults participated in a fashion show depicting bridal wear from India. Coordinated and choreographed by Bhavani Rao, the show received applause and praise for its complicated and dazzling costumes. The array of costumes was an important component of the show that significantly helped illustrate the diverse culture and traditions present in a land so vast and mul-

tifaceted as India. Officers of IYF had attended Navika's cultural program and had invited Jyothi and Venkatesh Chakravarthy to participate at the UCLA exposition. Both Jyothi and Venkatesh had taken lead roles at the 2010 Navika Convention, as well. Overall, Navika's showing at IYF was a great success. Dr. Sri Iyengar and all of the other participants represented both India and Navika beautifully. Just like at this event, the youth of Navika are taking it beyond the convention, and making the presence of Indian culture felt in the Southern California communities. The youth are setting a new norm for cultural performances of going beyond the standard.

Prince Charles honors South Asian soldiers India Post News Service

PAS DE CALAIS, France: Prince Charles of UK and his wife Camilla visited Neuve-Chapelle Memorial here on July 19 in memory of soldiers from South Asia who gave their lives fighting for the British Indian Army in the First World War. The royal couple met a delegation from the Sikh community and students from the United Kingdom and France. Representatives of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail, the UK's foremost charity promoting Sikh heritage led the Sikh delegation. This included Jaimal Singh Johal, whose grandfather Subedar Manta Singh was wounded at Neuve Chapelle and later died at the Indian Military Hospital, Brighton. Another member of the group, Rasnam Singh, a pupil of St Helens College, London, recited a poem dedicated to Harnam Singh of the Sikh regiment in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Harbinder Singh, Honorary Director of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail commented, "The Battle of Neuve Chapelle is synonymous with the Sikh regiment. Along with other Indian troops they were here

as volunteers to fight, not for their own freedom, but for the freedom of present day Europe." "To allow the memory of their sacrifices to diminish would be the greatest travesty for it is due to them

that we hold our heads high with pride today. This Royal visit serves to bestow rightful respect upon valiant deeds of these heroes who would fall on foreign soils never again to set foot in their homelands"


„

Briefs

Kashmiri Pandits perform Yagya for peace, tranquility

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Pandits here prayed for peace and tranquility in south Asian region, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, during a 'Yagya' (special prayer) in the temple of Mata Sidhlaxami in Anantnag district. "We prayed for return of peace and tranquility in south Asian region and Jammu and Kashmir during the night-long Yagya which concluded with Puran Aahuti," organizers said. Nearly 250 Kashmiri Pandits, including women, participated in the Yagya organized by Dooru Shahabad Migrant Coordination Committee in collaboration with All Parties Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC). Despite restrictions on movement of people in the Valley in the wake of ongoing unrest, local Muslims helped in organizing the Yagya at Lukbhavan in Dooru, 70 kms from here, Chairman of APMCC Vinod Pandit said. -PTI

„ Sagar appeals to Kashmiri to play proactive role SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has appealed to the people to play a proactive role in restoring peace in the Valley as certain forces were trying to "plunge the state into chaos to further their political agenda". Some groups are trying to "exploit unfortunate incidents for their political interests" without giving a thought to the problems being faced by the people of the state, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar said while addressing a public gathering here. "The Government has already initiated inquiries into various incidents which have occurred in different parts of the Valley. Certain forces are trying to plunge the state into chaos to further their narrow political agenda. -PTI

„ Govt sanctions funds for unique identity numbers NEW DELHI: The Government has sanctioned funds for the second phase of the ambitious scheme to allocate unique identity numbers to 10 crore of the country's population. The Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the commencement of Phase II of the scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 3023.01 crore. -PTI

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If someone can do the job better, I will be happy: Chidambaram NEW DELHI: Criticized by his party colleague Digvijay Singh on anti-Naxal strategy, Home Minister P Chidambaram has said if someone can do the job better he would be the happiest person. "He (Singh) is the general secretary of our party. I have a job to do and I am doing my job to the best of my ability. If someone can do the job better, I would be the happiest person," he told a business newspaper. -PTI

July 30, 2010

Conference to discuss situation in Kashmir Valley SRINAGAR: The way forward to a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir issue in the backdrop of the current situation in the Valley will be the focus of a two-day conference to be held by Awami National Conference in Delhi. Prominent people and representatives from all the three regions of the state - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh - and also from outside will take part in the conference beginning August 2, senior vice president of the party Muzaffar Shah told reporters here. The conference is being held to "draw the attention of the country to the happenings in the Valley", he said. He said the party will also hold "the first session of an intra-Kashmir conference in Srinagar immediately after the holy month of Ramadan in September". Omar, Vohra to convene meeting with J&K varsities head Meanwhile, concerned over disruption in education sector in

Indian paramilitary personnel stand guard at a checkpoint during a curfew in Srinagar. A security lockdown and a general strike called by separatists crippled life in Kashmir Valley after a brief calm returned to the region

Prominent people and representatives from all the three regions of the state - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh - and also from outside will take part in the conference the Valley due to strikes and curfew, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra along with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has decided to convene an urgent meet-

ing with the University Vice Chancellors and the state education authorities in Srinagar. "The Governor is seriously concerned about the grave con-

sequences of the disruption of the academic schedules, resulting in the closure of schools, colleges and universities. To identify various possible remedial steps it was agreed that the Governor with the Chief Minister, would convene an urgent meeting with the Vice Chancellors and the State Education authorities," officials said. Abdullah called upon the Governor and briefed him about the recent developments and the situation in the state. The Chief Minister apprised the Governor about the ongoing meetings of the various District Development Boards and the steps being taken to speed up the implementation of development and welfare schemes. He also informed him about his recent visit to New Delhi and the meetings he had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. -PTI

India heralds vaccine revolution PRAKASH M SWAMY

CHENNAI: There should be continuous emphasis on spreading vigorous immunization programs all across the globe. This is true not only of developing countries but also amongst the most affluent nations like the US and European Union. An estimated 500,000 adults die annually in the US from conditions that could have been prevented by vaccination. These include pneumonia, influenza and Hepatitis B, according to P. Sundara Paripooranan, chairman of Green Signal Bio Pharma (GSBPL) in Chennai. Talking to a group of journalists from India and the US who were taken on a factory visit to showcase the achievement of the company in the field of manufacturing of vaccines. As one of the world's largest manufacturers of human vaccines, GSBPL is associated closely with the Vistar Laboratories in the US, a 100-year-old premier research institute. Many distinguished Sci-

entists have contributed to the growth of this prestigious Institute. Nobel Laureate Professor Stanley Plotkin is one among them who is the inventor of Rubella vaccine. A new vaccine center was

GSBPL manufacturing unit acquired the distinction of being the first private vaccine unit in Tamil Nadu State, second BCG manufacturing unit in India and the ninth in the world to manufacture vaccines. High-end equipment imported from across the world is

GSBPL received seed strains and technical know how from these American scientific labs and currently they are working on vaccines for measles P. Sundara Paripooranan, Chairman of Green Signal Bio Pharma (GSBPL)

established by the Vistar Laboratories under his guidance for which Mr. P. Sundara Paripooranan was invited from India as a special guest of honor for his contribution to preventive medicine and possible collaboration.

used in the production and manufacturing and quality control are on par with international standards. He is talking with several medical software companies in the US for acquisition. GSBPL also collaborates with leading US-based companies in the field to promote joint research and training in the field of vaccines. Indian scientists from

GSBPL visit these research labs in the US and work with American scientists and collaborate on developing new vaccines. GSBPL received seed strains and technical know how from these American scientific labs and currently they are working on vaccines for measles and a manufacturing plant for viral facility is coming up near Chennai, he said. "Our unit near Chennai has a dedicated BCG vaccine facility and one of its kinds in the world. The current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) complaint plant makes 10.8 million vials per year," Sundara Paripooranan said. The company now produces both curative and preventive medicines. It makes BCG vaccines for tuberculosis and curative medicine for bladder cancer called BCG ONCO. The unit has potential to make 50,000 vials a month for the oncology product. The company is soon planning to roll out vaccines for measles, rubella, mums and rabies at a very affordable price, he added.


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Lym Computers branching out to Nashik FRANK FERNANDES India Post News Service

MUMBAI: A Mumbai based front ranking computer servicing company, Lym Computers Pvt Ltd, has branched out to Nashik, a fast

The service center and branch office was launched in a grand way with graceful presence of guests

Dr Vasantrao lighting ceremonial lamp

Mayor Nayana Walzade lighting ceremonial lamp flanked by Mahendra Thakkar (on her left) and Mayank Thakkar (on her right) seen in the picture

burgeoning city in Western Maharashtra. Mayank Thakkar, CEO said the Nashik facility was being started with a view to serve the growing rank of "our customers" better. The service center and branch office was launched in a grand way with graceful presence of guests among who included Dr. Vasantraoji Pawar (ex MP, running more than 350 schools & colleges, chairman of a Bank, president of sugar co -operative ), Mayor Nayana Gholap Walzade, Dr. Walzade, a community activist and husband of Nayana Walzade, and others.

HC dismisses Sajjan Kumar's plea in anti-Sikh riots case NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has dismissed senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's petition challenging a trial court's order to frame charges against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Former Outer Delhi MP Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in two cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against Sikh community in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984, leading to killings of several persons. In the order, Justice Vipin Sanghi questioned the motive of Delhi Police for canceling the FIR against the politician when the matter was still being probed by the CBI. A trial court had termed the case as "untraced" in July 2008 after the Delhi Police filed a cancellation report stating that the complainant was not traceable. Rejecting the plea of Kumar, Justice Sanghi directed the trial court to hold the proceedings against him expeditiously in the anti-Sikh riots cases. The trial court had in May this year framed charges under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other pro-

visions of the IPC paving the way for trial of Kumar and five others. CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against members of a particular community during the carnage that led to the killing of five persons in Delhi Cantonment area. Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

NEW DELHI: Home Minister P Chidambaram has regretted the enormous delay in rescue and relief teams reaching the train accident site at Sainthia in West Bengal and said use of helicopters or small planes on such occasions should be looked into. He said the capacity of disaster management is tested only when a disasters strikes and one has to increase their capacity. "I was informed that the first relief team could leave only about 2 hours and 30 minutes after the accident happened. The second team could only leave seven hours after the accident and they had to drive for about 220 kms which means there is a clear gap in the mobility of the disaster team. "So we need to increase our capacity to be able to move disaster relief teams quickly which means perhaps helicopters, small planes. All this would cost money but I think capacity has to be built," he said. Speaking at a function organized by the National Disaster

Management Authority, Chidambaram said, "I compliment the NDMA and NDRF for vastly improving our capacity in case of natural disasters like flood or cyclone or fire. But there are some other cases I think in which our response should be better, for example if there is a train disaster."

A trial court had termed the case as "untraced" in July 2008 after the Delhi Police filed a cancellation report CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others on January 13 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots. The trial court had on July seven framed charges against the politician in another case in connection with the antiSikh riots. -PTI

Mamata busy with WB politics, HM suggests use of aircraft ignoring Rail Ministry: Parties to reach accident sites NEW DELHI/PATNA: The collision between Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga Express and Uttaranchal-bound Vananchal Express in Bhirbhum district of West Bengal has given fodder to nonUPA parties to target Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee who was accused of being busy with West Bengal politics at the cost of her ministry but the government defended her. BJP, LJP, RJD and CPI (M) said the collision between Sealdahbound Uttarbanga Express and Uttaranchal-bound Vananchal Express in Bhirbhum district of West Bengal was the result of a lapse for which they held Banerjee answerable. "The people are raising serious doubts about her (Banerjee's) capability and her willingness and her sincerity whether she can provide safety in the railways," BJP spokesman Tarun Vijay said in New Delhi while noting that this was the second major train mishap in one month. "You have a Minister whose attention is elsewhere and the country is paying the price for that," CPI

(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said. Contending that "this is something which cannot be accepted in the collective responsibility of the Cabinet," he said, "The Prime Minister has to take a call. It is high time he takes a call because

'The people are raising serious doubts about her (Banerjee's) capability and her willingness and her sincerity whether she can provide safety in the railways' in the past one year, the highest number of railway accidents have taken place." LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said in Patna that the Railway Minister will have to "make a choice as to whether she wants to be Railway Minister or do West Bengal politics. Both cannot go together. The loss of so many lives in every three months is not tolerable."

Demanding a judicial probe into the train mishap, the former Railway Minister said, "It is a serious lapse on the part of the Railways...There were no Naxal activities and no fog even then such a major accident occurred." Banerjee's predecessor and RJD chief Lalu Prasad said, "This is a sad incident and a serious lapse." Apparently targeting Banerjee, he said, "I don't understand why such accidents are taking place." He, however, evaded a direct reply when asked about allegations that Banerjee was concentrating on West Bengal politics and in turn ignoring her department. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, meanwhile, sought to dismiss suggestions that Banerjee's absence from her Ministry was the reason for recurrence of train accidents. "Accidents are accidents. Nobody can predict, that's why it is an accident. I don't think so," he told reporters when asked whether the country needs "a full-time" Railway Minister as there was another acci-

Home Minister P Chidambaram

He said in the last one-and-ahalf years, the response to disaster has been better especially to natural ones. "More lives are being saved, more relief and aid is being rushed to affected people, more quickly and the situation brought to control within a few days," he said. -PTI


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Manesh Judge, Noor Lodhi, Devika, Mike Anand and Asim Wali

India Post News Service

WALNUT: Comcast with Xfinity and Faith Records presented San Francisco based vocal artist, Devika, at the prestigious Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek on July 17, in a house-full concert showcasing her second album "Saari Raat". Devika's vocals were complemented on stage by world famous Master Percussionist Manesh Judge on drums and musicians Noor Lodhi on bass guitar, Mike Anand on guitars and

Asim Wali on keyboards. The performance featured a unique combination of songs from "Saari Raat", her first self-titled album, as well as some classics. The concert opened with Devika's soulful rendition of legendary ghazals including 'Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo', originally sung by Habib Wali Mohd. Devika's rendition highlighted her classical background and training, and the music had a very jazzy appeal. The fusion was well received by the audience. She then presented songs from both her albums

including a reggae influenced version of her song, 'Kehnde Ne Naina.' The finale of the first half was Devika's original number 'Nayyo Lagda' featuring complicated solo jams by Mike, Asim and Noor, on their respective instruments and a spectacular drum solo by Manesh Judge. The audience was blown away by the jams on this number. The evening continued on with Devika presenting her songs in a truly unique and elegant way. To the audience's delight, Devika also performed duets with each of

the musicians. She showcased her versatility by singing a famous ABBA number with Mike, a ballad with Asim, and a Bollywood film hit, 'Intehaan Ho Gayee', with Noor. She wrapped up the duets with Manesh Judge in a classical fusion bandish in raag bahaar that truly left the audience breathless. The performance continued with more songs from her album including 'Barkha Bahar', composed by Shahi, a ghazal fusion, 'Unka Khayal', composed by Manesh and Noor, concluding with a rocking grand finale featuring Asha Bhosle's Kajra Mohabbat Wala that had the audience screaming for more and more. Devika's voice was crisp and melodic throughout the entire evening, and the music was beautiful and powerful. The sound, lighting and the entire production were nothing short of perfect. Sound engineering was provided by Tom Narayan of Pacific Soundz.

The concert opened with Devika's soulful rendition of legendary ghazals including 'Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo', originally sung by Habib Wali Mohd. Devika's rendition highlighted her classical background and training, and the music had a very jazzy appeal Devika's album released by Saregama India Limited, India's leading record label, has climbed to as high as #2 on the India West/Rhythm House non-film music charts. Her previous album's featured track "Kehnde Ne Naina" was licensed by Sony Music India for their compilation titled "Teri Deewani" which remained #1 on the Indian pop music charts for most of 2008 (Rhythm House, India West 2008). Devika has also collaborated with Punjabi Rapper Bohemia on his last album. "Saari Raat" has been a culmination of a cross continent collaboration across Asia & North America, made possible by the digitally connected world we live in. Music for Saari Raat as well as her first album has been composed and produced by Shehzad Hasan (Shahi) - one of the world's most talented music producers (Vital Signs & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Maan Ki Lagan, Paap) and SF bay area based award winning music producers and composers Manesh Judge & Noor Lodhi. (Maya) Mike Anand has also played guitars on both albums. The emotional theme and core of the album is the waiting, longing and sweet pain in the real world of love, as metaphorically suggested by the name "Saari Raat". "The music is best described as being contemporary Sufi", said Devika. The main video "Barkha Bahaar" has been directed by Sam Burbank, acclaimed for over two dozen documentaries for National Geographic and Discovery Channel and was shot on location in San Francisco.


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'Jai Ho' leads to demand for Indian music India Post News Service

The article says, "Since Ms. Acharia-Bath started Desi Hits! in 2007 with Arun Sandhu and her husband, Ranj Bath, it has gained the support of some of the big-

O

ne of the largest music companies, Universal, has agreed to team with Desi Hits!, a company that promotes South Asian entertainment on desihits.com, to create a label for musicians from India or with South Asian roots. The goal is to reach a global audience. According to a recent article in New York Times by Joseph Plambeck says that "Jai Ho," the Academy Award-winning song written by the Indian composer A. R. Rahman for "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), raced up pop charts worldwide as its catchy dance beat shimmied across borders with ease. And Universal believes that Western audiences might have an appetite for more music with an Indian flavor. "There's a huge amount of opportunity, given that it's relatively untapped," David Joseph, chief

‘There's never been an infrastructure for this music,’ Ms. AchariaBath said. After ‘Slumdog,’ she said, ‘everyone saw that with some resources some of these songs really popped’ Anjula Acharia-Bath, the chief executive of Desi Hits!

executive of Universal Music U.K., told NYT referring to South Asian pop music. "It's far from a vanity project for us." Anjula Acharia-Bath, chief ex-

ecutive of Desi Hits!, which is based in New York, said the new label, called Desi Hits! Universal, is going "to give this genre a home."

gest names in the music business. Jimmy Iovine, who runs Interscope, a Universal label, sits on the board, as does Charlie Walk, a former president of Epic Records. Desi Hits! had good timing, starting just a year before the re-

lease of "Slumdog Millionaire," which grossed more than $140 million at the domestic box office and set off a mini-boom of interest in Indian culture in the United States. The "Slumdog" soundtrack sold nearly 400,000 copies, and "Jai Ho" won a Grammy in addition to an Oscar. "There's never been an infrastructure for this music," Ms. Acharia-Bath said. After "Slumdog," she said, "everyone saw that with some resources some of these songs really popped." By starting a label now, Ms. Acharia-Bath said, she hopes to "leap ahead of the competitors" and to have a first crack at signing artists. "As India keeps building itself, there's enormous potential," said Mr. Iovine, whose Interscope label released the "Slumdog" soundtrack. "There's great cultural potential that's only started to be tapped by the West."

Sarah represents Sri Lanka in Miss Asia USA JS BEDI India Post News Service

S

arah Makandura is representing Sri Lanka in Miss Asia USA 2010. This University of California Riverside student said that representing her country "has been a great honor and an amazing experience". She says that "Being able to represent my country has been a more thrilling experience than I imagined! I am able to share my county and my culture to the other wonderful delegates as well as the world! It has brought me closer to my family and my roots. “Being a part of this wonderful pageant as given me the opportunity to enhance and educate myself. I have learned so much about myself and it has only made me a better person. I have also have been able to educate myself about other Asian countries and cultures. The experiences I have gained from being in this pageant are irreplaceable! I've learned so much from the other girls." This Sociology Administration major has come far from went he pageant first started, "Although I have been to Sri Lanka a few times now, it has made me want to go visit now more than ever! And share what I learn and share what I see with others! Sri Lanka is such a beautiful place." Sarah enjoys spending time with her big but close knit family. She also enjoys going to school at the University of Cali-

fornia Riverside, exploring new restaurants, hiking, traveling and meeting new people. Sarah's past

Sarah enjoys spending time with her big but close knit family. She also enjoys going to school at the University of California Riverside trip to Sri Lanka she said was "[her] most memorable". She went with her family for two

Sarah Makandura

weeks and visited family and also made a trip to the city of Anuradapura in Sri Lanka, there she not only visited religious sites but also passed out backpacks, shoes and notebooks to local Sunday School students. She said "this trip was one of the most memorable because I was able to help the youth in Sri Lanka. It felt good to assist them in their dreams of going to school and furthering themselves." Standing five feet and five inches tall, Sarah says, "I am so glad I took the opportunity to be in this pageant. It has definitely changed my life forever. I enjoy

being a part of Miss Asia USA because I am able to learn more about where I came from, although I was born in the US, I will never lose site of where my roots are. The pageant is a beautiful blend of all the Asian cultures. Its amazing how much we have in common!" When asked what she would do if she won she said "I would be honored! I would not only represent Sri Lanka the best I can, but also represent and embrace all the beautiful Asian countries and put all my energy into making a difference in the lives of others."

Miss Asia 2010 Fashion show Glimpses of the Miss Asia 2010 Fashion show held July 18 at the Universal Sheraton Universal City Ca. More pictures and details next week.

Former Argentine Beauty queen and Hollywood actress Luz Maria Utrera

Sri Lanka's Sarah Makandura and Indiaís Rachna Mamidi

Virgelia Villegas


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Kiran Gupta's art exhibition in London India Post News Service

LONDON: Nehru Gallery London is showcasing 'The Great Indian Desert' exhibiting the artworks of Kiran Soni Gupta The show was inaugurated by Lord Swraj Paul on July 20 amidst a large gathering of art lovers including many renowned artists Kiran took the opportunity to share her artistic inspirations and her experiences in the artistic ventures. Present on the occasion was also Ms Anjali a great promoter of Indian arts and Baroness Sheila. The exhibit 'The Great Indian Desert' showcases 94 of her artworks executed in different styles and

themes. She also launched art portfolio "God's Finest Creation" based on the conviction that God is the greatest artist and a woman is his best creation.

She also presented her book" Kiran's Art Renderings" brought out by Times of India The august gathering was welcomed by Ms Monica Kapil, the director of the Nehru Centre. She said that Indian art has played a vivacious role in enriching the

cultures. Globally Indian art has made its mark. Lord Swraj Paul was full of appreciation and admired the courage and grit of the artist to combine deftly the art and administration. Applauding her achievements he mentioned that empathy and sensitivity are the hallmarks of any good administrator which are indeed the cornerstone of creative arts. She also presented her book" Kiran's Art Renderings" brought out by Times of India. The book is wonderful collection of exquisite artworks of Kiran Soni Gupta. Kiran seems to have permanently etched a place for artwork in the world of art. Combining art and administration is

Lord Swraj Paul at the exhibition

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difficult which Kiran seems to have accomplished in her daily life. Sensitivity and empathy which lies at the core of effective public service are also the greatest assets for any creative artist. Kiran seems to be a complete departure from the stereotype bureaucrat keeping her creativity and soul alive through her childhood interest which is now fully blossomed into a passion and obsession. The paintings captivate the essence of life in its full diversity. The art exhibit is on display at from July 30 daily from 11 am to 7 pm. Kiran Soni Gupta is an artist, writer and an activist administrator. She is presently Divisional Commissioner, Jaipur in Rajasthan. After joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1985 she has held various distinguished assignments in the Government of India, Kerala and Rajasthan. Kiran has studied public policy and development at the best schools, Maxwell Syracuse and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she was a Mason Fellow in 2005-06.

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NEW YORK: Zee TV has launched the first phase of its global interactive marketing campaign for a new show. In addition to large-scale promotional activities in India, Zee TV is inviting South Asians in the United States to send their creative ideas and suggestions for the name of an upcoming show online at www.zeetvusa.com. The new show, starring Dance India Dance stars Iqbal Khan and Binny Sharma, follows the contemporary love story of two unlikely soul mates. Rudra, whose life is fulfilled and complete in every sense of the word, except for love, and Gauri, who has no time or space in her life for love, find unconditional love and fulfillment with each other. "This groundbreaking, interactive campaign embodies our unwavering commitment to excellence in programming, technology and innovation," says Subroto Bhattacharya, Zee TV's Country Head for the Americas. "We're embracing and rewarding the millions of loyal South Asians in the United States who tune into Zee TV everyday with a personal connection and sense of belonging not only to our dramatic stories, social messages and genuine characters, but also to the creative concepts that will be looming large and high on buses, train stations and even highways in cities and towns across the great American landscape."


July 30, 2010

India Post www.indiapost.com

Indo-US fashion students exchange program Adriani-Lauren Hueso Hometown: San Diego, Upon completing her semester at NIFT in Mangalore, Adriane will begin an internship with Beximco Textiles in Dhaka, Bangladesh Jennifer Isaza Hometown: San Francisco, CA Jennifer's prints and graphics recently earned her the award first-prize winner by Stylesight, leading seasonal trends and forecasts group The two US students in Bangalore India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: In response to the San Francisco - Bangalore Sister City Initiative, the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Bangalore, India established an international student exchange program that will commence this fall. The educational institutions have agreed to the international student exchange program for a minimum period of three years, sending two students from each school every fall and spring semester. Academy of Art University and NIFT expect that the successes of the exchange, coupled with the sustained interest of the students, are factors likely to influence the

continuation and expansion of the exchange well beyond 2013. The student exchange is open to both undergraduate and graduate fashion students. Top students from each school are encouraged to apply; students are selected through the process of interviews and portfolio reviews with academic and administrative leads before being confirmed for the exchange. The upcoming fall semester marks the commencement of the program. Academy of Art University's textile design students, Adriane-Lauren Hueso and Jennifer Isaza, will study at NIFT's Bangalore campus, and NIFT's textile design students, Soumya Nandivada and Sumit Gill, will study at the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

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„

Realty Tidbits

No residences near Rashtrapati Bhavan

Real Estate

C

hallenging the order of a single bench of Delhi high court which allowed a real estate company to develop a residential colony on a plot near Rashtrapati Bhavan, union urban development ministry has moved a division bench against the judgment. In May this year, a single judge bench had allowed the petition of Edward Keventer Successors Private Ltd (EKSPL), a subsidiary of real estate company DLF, to use 9.26-hectare (22.9 acres) dairy farm in the vicinity of Rashtrapati Bhawan for residential purposes. The court had also directed EKSPL to deposit the conversion charges of the land worth Rs 1200 crore with the government.

„ Real estate bill would raise costs: Credia NEW DELHI: Realtors body Credai has said the proposed model real estate regulation bill in its current form would delay realty projects causing a cost escalation of around Rs 300 per sq ft. "Credai has estimated that the construction cost could shoot by up to Rs 296 per sq ft. The most immediate impact will be felt by the affordable segment as costs can jump up significantly due to certain provisions proposed in the Bill," Credai Chairman Kumar Gera told reporters here. The Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation is planning to bring a model Real Estate (Regulation of development) Act, which states can follow.-PTI

„

Singapore's Banyan seeks majority stake in Aman

S

ingaporean luxury resorts chain Banyan Tree is in talks on buying a majority stake in fellow high-end hotel group Amanresorts, India's Financial Express newspaper reported. The daily quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying that DLF, the Indian real estate firm that owns Aman, was in advanced talks to sell most of the business for about 350 million dollars. Banyan Tree has a range of interests, from hotels and resorts to spas, shopping centres and golf courses around the world. The newspaper said DLF, India's largest real estate group, was seeking to sell a "controlling stake" in the group as part of a plan to cut its debt in the wake of the global downturn in the real estate market.

28 India Post

www.indiapost.com

July 30, 2010

Neev Homes’ new residential project at Malad

M

umbai based real estate developer; Neev Homes has announced the launch of its new residential project “Neev Bellevue” at Malad - East. Positioned as a qualitative and affordable project, this new launch is strategically being developed to cater to the growing demand of home buyers in the mid-income segment in the Northern suburban region of the city. Hemal Jain, Business Development Head of Neev Homes said, “Hitherto, our focus for developing residential projects has primarily been in the South Mumbai region.

DOJ sues housing complex for discriminating against Indians India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The US Justice Department has filed a Fair Housing Lawsuit against an apartment complex in Washington State for allegedly discriminating against Indians. The suit filed against the owner, management company and former manager of Summerhill Place Apartments, a 268-unit apartment complex in Renton, Wash., for violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin and familial status in the rental of apartments. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, names as defendants Summerhill Place LLC (the owner of Summerhill Place Apartments), GRAN Inc. (the management company) and Rita Lovejoy (the former on site manager). The suit alleges, among other things, that the defendants steered Indian tenants away from one of the five buildings at Summerhill, treated

tenants from India less favorably than other tenants, and discouraged African Americans, Hispanics and families with children from living at Summerhill. "Equal access to housing in the United States is a fundamental

mental to success and happiness than having a safe place to live. Fair and equal access to housing is a cornerstone of our society," said US Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny A. Durkan. "Apartment owners must

‘Housing discrimination is illegal and unacceptable," said Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña. "HUD and the Justice Department work to eliminate it’ right, and this nation will not tolerate discrimination in housing," said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. "The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of Fair Housing laws along with its partners at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)." "Few things are more funda-

ensure that their managers treat all tenants, and potential tenants, in a fair and equitable manner without regard to race, national origin or whether they have children. The US Attorney's Office will actively pursue these cases with the goal of fairness and equity for all." As alleged in the complaint, two Summerhill employees contacted the King County Office of Civil

Rights (KCOCR) in 2007 and complained of discriminatory housing practices at Summerhill. KCOCR then contracted with the Fair Housing Council of Washington to conduct testing at Summerhill. After testing was conducted, KCOCR referred the matter to HUD. After an investigation, the Secretary of HUD determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred and issued a charge of discrimination. The defendants elected to have the matters asserted in the HUD charge heard in federal court. "Housing discrimination is illegal and unacceptable," said Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña. "HUD and the Justice Department work to eliminate it." The suit seeks monetary damages for those harmed by the defendants' actions, civil penalties and a court order barring future discrimination.

Delhi most popular for property purchase D

elhi is the most popular place to buy a property, according to a survey. The report reveals that 34% of those surveyed want to purchase a flat in Delhi, followed by 28% plugging for Mumbai and 11% each opting for Bangalore and Hyderabad. The survey also reveals that the realty sector in 2010 is going to be driven by end users.

surveyed citing this reason. Some 23% are looking for property as a long-term investment while 10% are looking at it through the prism of a short-term investment. The survey has also found that the cost of buying a property is marginally higher now due to the hike in prices of construction material, taxes and rising interest

The survey has also found that the cost of buying a property is marginally higher now due to the hike in prices of construction material, taxes and rising interest rates Due to the recession and fluctuating property prices, property seekers shied away from making a property purchase last year - but with an improving economy and slightly stable property prices, end users are ready to jump into the market this year. Most of the buyers who are interested in buying a house this year want it for their personal use with 67% of those

rates. Cement and steel prices are increasing and this is likely to be passed on directly by developers to the customers while a 10% service tax on purchase of apartments will make buying more costly, according to the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI). Recently, the State Bank of India, one of the leading players in

the housing finance market, raised interest rates on home loans. Although the bank will continue with its 8% teaser rate for the first year, it has increased rates for subsequent years. "There is a strong possibility of price hike as factors like service tax and rise of input prices will be passed on to the end users," Raj Menda of CREDAI said. The real estate sector had been hit by the recession due to falling demand and repayment pressures.

However, the sector is now looking up with some tangible signs of economic revival. "Roughly, as of now, real estate developers are saddled with 6% of unsold properties. In commercial property, there is an oversupply, which is expected to be absorbed in the next two years," Menda added. Banks are still cautious about providing housing loan to consumers and asking for higher collaterals for lending to real estate developers.


29 India Post

www.indiapost.com

K

etti is a small village in the Nilgiri Mountains in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Situated at a height of 7,000 feet, Ketti is on the road to Coonoor from Ooty. Best time to visit: Ketti has a beautiful climate and the place is suitable for visit in all seasons except monsoons. During summers, the temperature is rarely higher than 25°C or lower than 10°C. Winters are distinctly cooler with a high of 21°C and a low of 5°C.

July 30, 2010

History: There is not much of known history about Ketti. It is a relatively new destination and better known for its tribes and tea plantation. Tea plantation was introduced for the first time in the Ketti valley in 1835. This was perhaps the first time when tea plantation was started in south India and commercial plantation in south India also started from Ketti. After the successful trial of commercial tea plantation here, the process was introduced in the other parts of the Nilgiris. Tourist attractions: Ketti is a picturesque village nestled in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu near Ootacamund or Ooty. Cont’d on page 30


30

India Post

Travel & Hospitality Post

July 30, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Ketti: Idyllic mountain village known for tribes and tea Cont’d from page 29

Once in the village, one soon adapts to the 'early to bed, early to rise' mode. Even before the sun has risen, the village wakes up. Cowbells resonate musically across the valley while smoke spirals skywards from the tiled houses below. A walk around the village can be an invigorating afternoon occupation for the tourists, winding up above stately buildings such as the Sunny Bank within the boundary of Ooty town. When night falls, one will delight in the unbelievable clusters of stars that seem just an arm's length away. The idyllic mountain village of Ketti is home to tribes such as the Todas and the Badagas, who even now continue with their traditional tribal way of life. Ketti represents a rural lifestyle that revolves around caring for livestock, and cultivation of vegetables. The scenery is idyllic in the Ketti valley and the weather salubrious. Also at hand for the visitor to

CSI College of Engineering - Ketti Valley

Ketti is a wealth of natural beauty in the Wenlock Downs, the Municipal Gardens and the Dodabetta Peak at 2, 623 m, the highest in the Nilgiri Mountains. Places around Called the 'Queen of Hill Stations' and better known as Ooty, the picturesque green Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund is the most popular hill station in

Also at hand for the visitor to Ketti is a wealth of natural beauty in the Wenlock Downs, the Municipal Gardens and the Dodabetta Peak at 2, 623 m, the highest in the Nilgiri Mountains south India. Located in the Western Ghats at a height of 2,240 m, Udhagamandalam is the headquarters

The Ketti Railway Station

of the Nilgiri district where the two Ghats (western and eastern) meet. Situated at an altitude of 2,000 ft and near Ketti is Coonoor, a small town with an equable climate that has made it a popular hill resort in its own right. The main attraction is the Sim's Park, a small well-maintained botanical garden that has several rare varieties of plants that are not found in the other hill stations. View points and picnic spots around Coonoor include Lambs Rock, Lady Canning's Seat, and Dolphin's Nose. How to reach Air - The airport nearest to Ketti

is at Coimbatore around 100 km away. There are direct bus services from Ketti and Ootacamund to Coimbatore. Rail - Ketti is a part of the now famous Nilgiri Railway with its locomotive trains. Railways link Ketti with nearby places like Coonoor and Ootacamund. Road - Ketti is easily reached by good, all-weather roads from Ootacamund and Coimbatore within Tamil Nadu in the south and with Bangalore via the Madhumalai-Bandipur Game Sanctuary and Mysore in Karnataka to the north

Gujarat to develop whale shark tourism AHMEDABAD: To woo tourists to coastal Gujarat, the state is planning to introduce an Australian concept in which expert spotters and air planes will be used to locate whale sharks in the sea. "Australia has developed a kind of system in which they use air planes and expert spotters to identify places where the whale shark are present at that stage in the sea which is very effective," Principal chief conservator of forests of Gujarat Pradeep Khanna said.

A scheduled I animal under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, there are about 500 whale sharks in Indian waters and most of them are spotted largely on the coast of Gujarat. A team of state forest department, headed by Khanna along with representative of NGO, Wildlife Trust of India, had gone to Australia recently to study satellite tagging of whale shark and also to learn about tourism concerning the mammal to help kick-start a

similar process at home. "We liked the system developed by Australia and it can be implemented here," Khanna said adding "but for it, pilot and spotters are required to be trained." Tourists can be guided to those areas where whale sharks are found by spotters, he said. "Australia has shown deep interest in developing ties with India for whale shark conservation, satellite tagging and development of tourism related to the mammal," Khanna said. -PTI

'Discover Kerala' initiative for UAE nationals DUBAI: A Malayalee association here is organizing a unique initiative to lead a delegation from UAE to Kerala for exploring the art, culture and traditions of the south Indian state. The initiative "Discover Kerala", which has been taken up by the World Malayalee Council (WMC) in association with Kerala Tourism Ministry, will enable a group of 20 UAE nationals to visit "God's own country" by the yearend. "Through the first-of-its-kind initiative, WMC aims to familiarize the chosen delegates, including government officials and promi-

nent community members, with Kerala's tourism potentials, especially backwater tourism and ecotourism, and the art forms, culture and traditions of the state," WMC publicity and media convener Sajan Veloor said. "We are also trying to let them understand the potentials of Ayurvedic treatment methods," Veloor said, adding, this will be the first time that a group of Emiratis are visiting Kerala on an official trip. "Officials of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing have already expressed their interest in such an initiative. On the

other hand, we have secured the support from the Kerala Tourism Ministry. Our members from the business community are sponsoring the Emirati delegation, by bearing all expenses for their travel and stay," he said. The initiative has been announced as part of the 17th anniversary celebrations of WMC which were held in Dubai. The association has also decided to sponsor the education of 1,000 students from villages in Kerala for a year and would also support an awareness campaign against pollution of rivers in the state. -PTI


July 30, 2010

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

31

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Mathura, Varanasi as 'ideal tourist centers' LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has asked her officials to develop Mathura, Vrindavan and Varanasi as "ideal tourist centers" by providing all necessary basic amenities there on a priority basis. The chief minister, who held a meeting with officials, asked them to complete the work related to qualitative basic amenities within the timeframe and provide potable water, electricity, roads, flyovers and parking spots in Mathura, Vrindavan and Varanasi for the

benefit of both tourists as well as the locals, an official release said. She directed construction of a theme park on Yamuna bank in Mathura and rope way in Vrindavan for attracting more tourists. Besides directing the setting up of fountains at the Radha and Shyam Kunds in Vrindavan for their beautification, the chief minister said a tourism development plan should be chalked up for all-round development of the Brij kshetra including Vrindavan, Barsana,

Govardhan and Nand Gaon. For Varaansi, the chief minister said work on sewer treatment plant, flyovers, potable water and proper power supply in congested areas should be done in the night hours, if required, to cause minimum trouble to locals and tourists. Mayawati instructed work on Pandeypur flyover in Varanasi be completed by December 2010 and Choka Ghat bridge by December 2011 besides giving a momentum to the 58km Ring Road and beautification of ghats. -PTI

Over 3000 tourists availed Visa on Arrival scheme NEW DELHI: Six months after the government launched the Visa on Arrival (VoA) for citizens of five countries, 3,151 tourists have availed of the scheme so far. The VoA was launched from January this year as a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. According to an official release, from January to June this year,

3,151 VoAs were issued under the scheme in which tourists from Singapore accounted for maximum such visas. While the number of tourists from Singapore availing this visa was 1,040, it was followed by Finland with 802, New Zealand with 768, Japan 521 and Luxembourg 20. The maximum number of VoAs were issued at Delhi airport (1,663), followed by Mumbai (689), Chennai (635) and Kolkata (164). -PTI

MoU for hotel management courses NEW DELHI: Keeping in mind the acute shortage of skilled hands in the hospitality sector, the HRD Ministry and the Tourism Ministry have signed an agreement to introduce a program in hotel management and catering technology at the plus two level. An MoU was signed in this regard between the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) and CBSE to offer two trade-specific courses like 'food production' and 'food and beverage services' under the vocational stream from this academic session. "The aim is to address the acute shortage of skilled hands in the hospitality sector which is facing a shortfall of over 2.3 lakh," Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said at the function attended by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. Initially, 26 CBSE schools will offer the two trade courses from this academic session. They are 19 Novadaya Vidyalayas, two Kendriya Vidyalayas, two Tibetan schools and three schools under the Delhi Government. "The unique advantage of the program is that students passing out will have a leverage at the un-

dergraduate level in hospitality courses and will enjoy certain relaxations," said an HRD official.

Seeking increased private participation for producing more professionals for this sector, Sibal said that he has already started a dialogue process with the Hotel Association of India to set up a 'gourmet cooking centre' in Delhi which will train students nurturing a dream to enter this field The curriculum including the text books and the teachers for the program have been provided by NCHMCT. At the end of the

course, students will be provided joint certificates, Selja said. Sibal hoped students will take full advantage of the course in view of the exponential growth in this industry. The restaurant sector alone, as per a survey, requires five million skilled professionals. Seeking increased private participation for producing more professionals for this sector, Sibal said that he has already started a dialogue process with the Hotel Association of India to set up a 'gourmet cooking centre' in Delhi which will train students nurturing a dream to enter this field. He also urged parents not to dissuade their wards from following their chosen professions and rued that even today, "professions other then engineering and science are looked down upon". The HRD Ministry is also planning to offer courses in retail and designing and animation under the vocational stream in view of the market demand. The Tourism Minister urged Sibal to start courses on heritage monuments to inculcate a sense of pride and ownership for the priceless structures. -PTI

Malaysia targets 36 million tourists by 2020 PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia: The Malaysian government targets 36 million tourist arrivals by 2020 as there has been a steady increase in the number of tourists each year, said Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen. "Malaysia is becoming more and popular as a tourist destination, in fact we were in ninth place

as the most visited country last year," she said. Ng said, from January till May this year, tourist arrivals also increased to 9.6 million persons as compared to 9.2 million for the same period last year. "In Asean, Malaysia has the highest tourist arrivals followed by

Singapore," she said. Ng has said each and every Malaysian must do his or her part towards ensuring cleanliness of their surroundings. She said the tourism industry is very competitive and that clean surroundings gave the country and edge over others. -PTI

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Madno: Lamhaa 2

Ranjha Ranjha: Raavan

3 Main Kaun Hoon: Lamhaa 4 Rabba Luck Barsa: Kajraare 5 Fariyaad Hai: Mr.Singh Mrs.Mehta

34 India Post

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July 30, 2010

T

he size zero Kareena Kapoor will be back. Kareena who has gained some weight recently will again sweat out to get into size zero figure. Bebo has experienced several odd instances of rigorous work-out and dieting like collapsing on the set, dizziness and so on. All those incidents did not go well with Saif Ali Khan and he strictly restricted Bebo from going back to size zero. But the actress went against Saif's wording and started working out rigorously for her next film opposite Imran Khan. The film in question is Karan Johar's 'Short Term Shaadi' which is an adaptation of Cameron Diaz-Ashton Kutcher starrer 'What Happened in Vegas'. To match up to Imran Khan's looks, Karan asked her not only to cut her size but also to short her hair. Kareena's decision upset her beau as she has signed the project against Saif's decision. Both Imran and Kareena are not reluctant to spill the beams. When asked about the project, Imran quips, "I'm not at liberty to discuss anything about the film right now.".

G

lam chick Sonam Kapoor has been termed a great kisser by her co-star Abhay Deol, who will be seen romancing with the actress in their forthcoming film 'Aisha'. Buzz has it that the uber cool couple share a hot kissing scene in the movie, which is an adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma'. While, Abhay Deol can be tagged a pro in the act, Sonam in 'Aisha' will be seen kissing for the first time in her career so far. Abhay has previously locked lips with hotties like Neha Dhupia in 'Ek Chalis Ki Last Local', Mahie Gill in 'Dev.D' and

Neetu Chandra 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' On being asked about the ratings he would give to Sonam on the kissing meter, the actor says that the girl is a cut above the rest. Abhay said that "Sonam is a great kisser", and further declared, "In fact, she's the best kisser out of all the co-stars I have shared a kissing scene with." As to whether the two felt awkward while shooting for the intimate kissing scene, Abhay instantly quipped, "Not at all! Sonam and I share a great bond and due to the comfort level we share, doing the lip locking scene wasn't very difficult."

Great kisser

6 Bin Tere: I Hate Luv Storys 7

Tum Chain Ho: Milenge Milenge

8 Sajde: Khatta Meetha (New) 9 Tum Jo Aaye (Reprise): Once Upon A Time in Mumbai 10 I Love Amreeka: Tere Bin Laden


July 30, 2010

Bollywood

India Post

35

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Phuket BIRTHDAY

P

riyanka Chopra may be quite busy these days with the shoot of films like 'Anjaana Anjaani' and 'Saat Khoon Maaf', going on but she makes it a point not to miss the fun in her life. She had a gala all-girls party on her 28th birthday in Phuket, an island in the south of Thailand. As she went on with six of her girlfriends, she posted on micro-blogging site Twitter: 'Off for my sinful holiday with my girls! Oh sooooo needed it‌ See you guys in paradise.' After bagging the Miss World 2000 title, Priyanka stepped into Bollywood and is, at present, one of the reigning actresses of Bollywood. The actress has worked with almost all of the leading men around, which includes stars like Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Shahid Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor.

New ventures

B

ollywood's cutie Ayesha Takia is now trying her hand at different ventures this time, given that her acting career is not going great guns. She is not only all set to launch her designer label called 'Ayesha', she is also setting up her own coffee chain shops across the nation and for this new venture, the actress is spending quite some time traveling and doing all the ground work. Talking about her new business Ayesha says, "I have decided to open my own chain of coffee shops across the nation. While doing films remains my core passion, I will still love to try out a few new things in life. Opening coffee shops is just one of the ideas that has got me completely absorbed at the moment." On the personal front too, Ayesha is having a passionate time with hubby Farhan Azmi. Where Ayesha takes keen interest in Farhan's hotel business, Azmi, too, stands by her side in her new ventures.

D

N

Kids first

eepika Padukone has been crowned as the sexiest woman in the world by men's magazine FHM. After donning the glamorous look in Houseful and Karthik calling Karthik, the dusky beauty has definitely captured people's imagination. The sultry siren has grabbed the related stories 'Sexiest woman of the world' title by overthrowing reigning beauty Katrina Kaif from the top spot. Deepika has always received rave reviews for her unique attitude and sense of style. And now, she has jumped five places from her No. 6 spot last year to grab the top spot. Katrina Kaif had been topping the list for the past two years.

o questions to the fact that Saif Ali Khan is bowled over by his girlfriend Kareena Kapoor who happens to be the style diva of Bollywood, but when it comes to his kids, Chhote Nawab has his priorities defined. Kareena is believed not to be very comfortable with her boyfriend's children and supposedly avoids them when they are around or chooses to be in her own apartment when the children are with Saif. This time, Saif chose to spend time with his kids rather than his charming girlfriend after she completed his schedule of 'Agent Vinod' in Morocco where he was shooting along with Kareena. He flew for London to spend with his kids Sara and Ebrahim, who were holidaying in London with their mother Amrita Singh. London is one of Amrita's favorite holiday destinations and she has quite a few friends there. Her kids too enjoy there whenever they go.


Tech News BHU bio-reactor to extract harmful gases from air VARANASI: A group of teachers from Banaras Hindu University has developed a bio-reactor to filter harmful gases emanating from industrial units. "The bio-reactor uses pseudomonas and bassilus bacteria to filter volatile organic compound (VOC) gases, which emanates from the industrial units," R S Singh, a faculty of chemical engineering department of IT BHU, said. VOCs refers to organic chemical compounds which can affect the environment and human health. -PTI

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New chamber of commerce launched in NJ India Post News Service

Economy has can grow by 10pc: Cabinet Secy NEW DELHI: Exuding confidence in the economic fundamentals of the country, the government has said the economy has the capacity to grow by 10 per cent in the coming years. "We are estimating something like 8.5 per cent growth (this fiscal)...even the IMF thinks our growth will be 9.4 per cent...I don't think there is anything standing in our way of achieving 10 per cent growth," Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar told reporters on the sidelines of a CII function here. Chandrasekhar said sustained double-digit GDP growth is largely contingent on the farm sector achieving a sustained 4 per cent growth over the coming years. At the same time, the nation's top bureaucrat said emphasis should be laid on creating and meeting the rural demand. -PTI

July 30, 2010

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Olive Telecom America, David Hind (L) Chairman Olive Telecommunications India, Arun Khanna (C) and CEO Olive Telecom, Artem Orange (R) during a launch of India's first 3G Tablet-Olive pad-VT100 in New Delhi on July 22

NEW JERSEY:Aiming to meet the challenges of a changing global economic landscape the International Business Chamber of Commerce (IBCOC) was launched in Princeton, New Jersey earlier this month. Several dignitaries including public officials attended the launch event on July 10, among them Consul General of India, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal; Con-

through networking, education, partnerships and alliances." Consul General Dayal expressed confidence that the Chamber would help promote economic and commercial relations between India and the US. Expressing his happiness at such a large turn-out of prominent businessmen at the function, he said that this was a clear indication of the trust they reposed in Seema Singh's ability to bring them together under one

Consul General Dayal expressed confidence that the Chamber would help promote economic and commercial relations between India and the US. gressman Rush Holt; Congressman Frank Pallone; Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein; Mayor Cantu from Plainsboro and Mayor Gambeteze from South Brunswick and several county Freeholders. President of this newly founded non-profit organization, Seema M. Singh said, "IBCOC meets the timely needs of globalization. It provides a dynamic connection to businesses all across the globe and promotes growth and prosperity

umbrella and enable them to utilize their collective experience and efforts for realizing the full potential of Indo-US trade and investment. He hoped that the new Chamber would work closely with the Indian Consulate and promised full support in this regard. Congressman Rush Holt added, "In our increasingly interconnected world, we need groups like the International Business Chamber of Commerce to help

businesses cultivate productive international relationships that facilitate entrepreneurship and job creation here at home. I look forward to working with the Chamber to help ensure that the smalland medium-sized businesses and manufacturers of Central New Jersey have the tools they need to succeed in the global economy." Congressman Frank Pallone appreciated "the Indian-American community's dedication to making a difference and staying engaged on global issues that affect the US-India relationship."

The launch event was also attended by the IBCOC Board of Directors from across the globe including India, London and Dubai. Also present were Consuls and their representatives from Australia, Switzerland, India, and other Asian countries. A representative from the World Bank also attended to establish the relevant connections with IBCOC members. The event was attended by over 100 companies including sectors such as the financial, banking, shipping, money transmission, IT, television, legal and others.

India is an emerging mineral power: Minister India Post News Service

NEW YORK: India-America Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of the Indian National Overseas Congress (USA) hosted a special evening in honor of Bijoy Krishna Handique, India's Minister for Mines. The event was organized to discuss the growth of India as the emerging mineral producer of the world. "There was a time when people worried how India would ever develop considering its lack of mineral wealth. The enunciation of the Natural Mineral Policy has put these fears to rest. India has made incredible progress in attracting foreign investment in its mining sector from Canada, USA, Austra-

Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique with IACC members

lia, UK and South Africa due to the attraction incentives provided in the Natural Mineral Policy," said Rajiv Khanna, Chamber President and INOC Business Council Chair. The Mines Minister assured the investors that the crusade for increasing the share of mineral development in the country's GDP would

continue and India will continue to make it more attractive for foreign investors to invest in its mineral sector. Minerals will not be allowed to be a limiting factor in India's growth story and India will do what is necessary to develop its mineral sector for economic growth. Cont’d on page 37


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Edison tips for keeping summer bills low India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: In the wake of the recent heat wave, Southern California Edison (SCE) encourages customers to be more energy efficient now, so they can lower their summer bills. The utility, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies for its groundbreaking work in energy efficiency, offers multiple solutions for residential and business customers that can help save energy, money and the environment. "There are so many free and low-cost ways to stay cool and comfortable this summer - while keeping electricity costs in check," said Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar. "Now more than ever, people are interested in saving money and the environment. We're focused on being able to help our customers do that." Here are three steps customers can take to get started: 1. Take an energy efficiency survey for home or business. The survey provides customized results that outline opportunities for energy savings that even the most energy-conscious customer will find valuable 2. Look for SCE's rebates and incentives for homes and businesses. *Energy Starqualified room air conditioners ($50) *Whole house fans ($50) *Energy efficient evaporative cooling systems (from $300-$600)

*Refrigerator and freezer recycling program ($50) * Energy Star -qualified refrigerator purchase ($50) 3. Rebates for businesses include: *Reflective window film ($1.35/per square foot) *Energy-efficient evaporative coolers ($123 per ton) *Package terminal air conditioners mounted on walls ($100) Make the switch to CFLs. A recent survey revealed that many customers who have bought CFLs, or compact fluorescent lights, are waiting until their current inefficient incandescent bulbs burn out before installing these energy and money-saving bulbs. This delays the tremendous savings the CFLs provide. Not only are CFLs up to 75 percent more efficient, but they emit much less heat, reducing the need for air conditioning. SCE works with manufacturers and retailers to lower the cost of Energy Star-qualified CFLs in SCE territory, so that price is not a hindrance to its customers. Other ways to keep power usage down this summer include drawing drapes to keep sunlight out; keeping the air conditioning at 78 degrees or above; shutting off vents and doors to unoccupied areas to direct cool air only to the rooms you're using; using a microwave or barbecue for cooking instead of the stove; and running a fan, which makes a room feel 5 degrees cooler.

India is an emerging mineral power: Minister Cont’d from page 36

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In addition to the Mines Minister, several important guests joined the event including, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General, Dr. Surinder Malhotra, President, INOC, George Abraham, General Secretary, INOC, Mahesh Saladi, General Secretary, INOC, Malini Shah, the Chair

of the Diamond Council which operates under the INOC Business Council, Najma Sultana, Vice President, INOC and other prominent executive committee members of INOC. The evening brought together members of the INOC Business Council, the Chamber and an exciting line-up of investors interested in India's economic growth.

Major nations agree to launch clean energy initiatives WASHINGTON: The world's top economies have agreed to an action plan to improve efficiency of electricity-guzzlers from televisions to cars in a bid to cut energy waste at the first clean energy ministerial, including India here. The two-day Clean Energy Ministerial, hosted by the US and attended 24 major economies of the world, including India, pledged to the launch of 10 international clean energy initiatives which will cut energy waste, help deploy smart grid, electric vehicle, and carbon capture technologies. These initiatives are aimed to support renewable energy markets, expand access to clean energy resources and jobs and support women pursuing careers in clean energy. The new programs offer partners concrete, technical actions to promote economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. The initiatives by economies making up more than 80 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product will eliminate the need to build more than 500 mid-sized power plants world-wide in the next 20 years. "The Clean Energy Ministerial has brought together leaders from around the world to take unprecedented actions to deploy clean energy technologies - from en-

ergy efficiency to renewable energy to smart grids to carbon capture. These steps will promote economic growth, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions," said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "What we've seen here is that working together, we can accomplish more, faster, than working alone," he said. The participating countries represent

The new programs offer partners concrete, technical actions to promote economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants more than 80 percent of global energy consumption and a similar percentage of the world market for clean energy technologies. Launched under the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge, these projects will cut energy waste around the world by deploying super-efficient appliances, improving industrial and building efficiency for largescale facilities, implementing smart grid technologies, and helping to put millions of electric vehicles on the roads. -PTI


„ Health Line Vaccination at poll booth queues

WINDER: It's not unusual for voters to vacillate on election day, but now they can get vaccinated while they're trying to decide. Barrow County Health Department nurse Susan Kristal vaccinated more than 200 people last week during a pilot ``Votes and Vax'' program, which offers tetanus and pertussis vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine at no cost for those who show up to vote. On election day, she'll be traveling to four Barrow County polling places to inoculate more voters. The Barrow County Health Department received a federal grant to buy vaccine for the program. Kristal is hoping there will be enough money to run another Vote and Vax program for flu shots before the Nov. 2 election. -AP

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Ga. workers' medical fund running short

ATLANTA: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the fund that pays health insurance claims for state workers is running short of money. Lisa Marie Shekell, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Health, says the state Health Benefit Plan's surplus of more than $472 million has been sharply reduced by budget cuts and work force reductions. The department's interim chief financial officer, Scott Frederking, says the fund could be broke by next spring unless action is taken. State officials plan to raise the health insurance premiums of workers and retirees by about 10 percent in January. -AP

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NYC jails doctor resigns abruptly

NEW YORK: New York City's jails doctor has abruptly resigned amid questions about his medical certification. Dr. Trevor Parks oversaw the care of 12,000 inmates at Rikers Island and the Manhattan Detention Center. Parks worked for Prison Health Services. The company has a $123 million contract with the city's Health and Mental Hygiene Department, which oversees the delivery of medical care to jail inmates. Parks told The New York Times he quit to focus on appealing the American Board of Internal Medicine's recommendation to suspend his certification. He declined to elaborate. -AP

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Schwan's cuts sodium in school pizzas early MARSHALL, Minn.: Food maker Schwan's says kids this fall will be eating less sodium in their pizzas a year earlier than the company initially planned. The Schwan Food Co. also says it cut more salt from its Big Daddy's brand pizza beyond its 10 percent goal. -AP

AIDS breakthrough: Gel helps prevent infection MILWAUKEE: For the first time, a vaginal gel has proved capable of blocking the AIDS virus: It cuts in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner in a study in South Africa. Scientists called it a breakthrough in the long quest for a tool to help women whose partners won't use condoms. The results need to be confirmed in another study and that level of protection may not be enough to win approval of the microbicide gel in countries like the United States, researchers say. But they are optimistic it can be improved. ``It's the first time we've ever seen any microbicide give a positive result'' that scientists agree is true evidence of protection, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy

and Infectious Diseases. The gel, spiked with the AIDS drug tenofovir, cut the risk of HIV infection by 50 percent after one year of use and 39 percent after 2 1/2 years, compared to a gel that contained no medicine.

consistently. In the study, women used the gel only 60 percent of the time; those who used it more often had higher rates of protection. The gel also cut in half the chances of getting HSV-2, the herpes virus that causes genital warts.

Even partial protection is a huge victory that could be a boon not just in poor countries but for couples anywhere when one partner has HIV and the other does not, said Dr. Salim Abdool Karim To be licensed in the U.S., a gel or cream to prevent HIV infection may need to be at least 80 percent effective, Fauci said. That might be achieved by adding more tenofovir or getting women to use it more

Even partial protection is a huge victory that could be a boon not just in poor countries but for couples anywhere when one partner has HIV and the other does not, said Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, the

South African researcher who led the study. In the U.S., nearly a third of new infections each year are among heterosexuals, he noted. He presented results of the study at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna. The research was published online by the journal Science. ``We now have a product that potentially can alter the epidemic trends ... and save millions of lives,'' said Dr. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, the lead researcher's wife and associate director of the South African program that led the testing. Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, a nonprofit group that works on HIV prevention tools, said the study shows a preventive gel is possible. Cont’d on page 40

EU patents threat to safe drugs access BOBBY RAMAKANT Citizen News Service

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he European Union's actions are a direct threat to access to safe, effective and affordable medicines across the developing world. The European Union is demanding longer patents through free trade agreements (FTAs), longer than demanded by the World Trade Organization. Negotiations on drug price with over 90 low income countries become difficult with patents, for example, in countries like Guatemala the prices of some drugs went up by 845,000 times. European Commission (EC) is demanding such patents from 90 developing countries, including one of the poorest nations in the world. EC is also negotiating such an agreement with India, and wants the negotiation to be done by end of this year. "We all know India produces 92% of generic medicines in the world, and what would happen to those countries that rely on imports from India, if India agrees to EC" wondered Sanya Reid Smith from Third World Network. Anand Grover, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Health

said: "In the year 2000, the price of one year of ART was USD 15,000 that was brought down to USD 80 per year due to generic competition. The World Trade Organization (WTO) through TRIPS mandated that every country should have patents for 20 years, and also gave the flexibility to developing countries. But through TRIPS Plus/ free trade agreements

nerics in a country. Instead of allowing competition immediately after the patent term is over, they restrict generic competition. It is because of generic competition that we could have such reduced prices. All such measures are what is called as the 'TRIPS Plus' measures, attempt to delay the generic competition" said Anand Grover, UN Special Rapporteur on

Without the continued supply of safe, effective and affordable generic HIV medicines, the future of universal access looks bleak. Higher prices mean fewer people on ARVs (FTAs) what developed countries like US, Japan or regions like EU are trying to do actually goes beyond TRIPS. For example, with TRIPS the patent term was for 20 years, they want patent term extension - so patent term will be for a longer duration than 20 years." "They (through FTAs) also want other provisions, linking patents with drug regulatory regimes (patent linkage), through data exclusivity. All these actually impact how generics come into the country - they delay the onset of ge-

Right to Health. "These agreements are thrust upon a country when they are not even supposed to have signed TRIPS. For example, countries from the Francophone Africa, they are among the least developed countries in the world, and they were supposed to sign TRIPS by only 2016, but you would not believe it that TRIPS agreement was actually complied with by large number of these countries even before India did. So they have so called 'good laws' for the "West" and very bad

laws for their own countries" added Anand Grover. Arm twisting measures "These negotiations aren't done across the table in arms' length negotiations. They are done through special conditions put by developed countries on developing countries, like trade barriers." "These are the types of arm twisting measures developed countries resort. So any type of FTAs do not allow access to medicine at an affordable price, but delay generic competition and thereby promote monopoly. "My report, which is the first report as UN Special Rapporteur, has highlighted this and I will call upon the developed countries not to use such arm twisting measures" said Anand Grover, who apart from being the UN Special Rapporteur is also a reputed lawyer of Supreme Court of India and heads Lawyers' Collective. Without the continued supply of safe, effective and affordable generic HIV medicines, the future of universal access looks bleak. Higher prices mean fewer people on ARVs; for those already on treatment newer treatment will not be available when resistance develops.


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Abortion foes win a round in health overhaul WASHINGTON: Abortion foes have won a round in the first test of how President Barack Obama's health care law will be applied to the politically charged issue. Meanwhile, traditional allies of the administration are grumbling about a decision to ban most abortion coverage in insurance pools for those unable to purchase health care on their own. The Catholic bishops ``welcome this new policy,'' said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, although he added the organization remains concerned that other parts of the health care overhaul will promote abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America called it "inexplicable and wrongheaded.'' Abortion politics flared up after at least one state New Mexico initially decided to allow coverage of elective abortion in a new federally funded program to provide coverage for high-risk uninsured people turned away by private carriers. Abortion opponents also raised questions about Pennsylvania and Maryland, but officials in those states denied that their plans would have covered abortions.

Trying to head off more problems, the Health and Human Services Department announced last week the program will not cover abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger exceptions traditionally allowed under federal law. That's a more restrictive policy than will be generally applied under Obama's new health care law.

'We didn't expect that women would be treated differently here with regard to the highrisk insurance pool,' said NARAL president Nancy Keenan Starting in 2014, the overhaul will allow federally subsidized health insurance plans to cover abortions, but only if policyholders pay for coverage separately and the money is segregated from government funds. The current program for the high-risk uninsured was also authorized by the health care law, as tem-

porary help for the most vulnerable until the big coverage expansion in 2014. But Congress didn't spell out how to deal with abortion. Abortion rights supporters say the Obama administration's restrictions go too far. ``We didn't expect that women would be treated differently here with regard to the high-risk insurance pool,'' said NARAL president Nancy Keenan. ``This is inexplicable and wrongheaded to us, and it puts women's lives in jeopardy.'' ``I think the administration got it wrong,'' said Jessica Arons, director of women's health at the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy institute. ``They have imposed a ban on abortion coverage in the high-risk pools and nothing in the law requires that action.'' The turnabout comes amid growing recognition among Democrats that the nation's unsettled political climate could cost them control of the House in the fall elections. The health care law remains a powerful motivator for opponents of Obama's policies, and no issue stirs deeper passions than abortion. -AP

New York mulls indoor tanning rules, cites cancer risk ALBANY, N.Y.: New York health officials are ramping up their regulation of more than 2,000 tanning salons and gyms offering indoor ultraviolet rays even as health advocates push for a law banning exposure by anyone under 18. ``We're not claiming that people get addicted to tanning the same way you do nicotine, but it clearly is a habit you develop as a teenager,'' said Peter Slocum, vice president for advocacy at the American Cancer Society in Albany. ``That's when most people start frequenting the cancer chambers.'' Last year, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning as a definite human carcinogen, putting it in the same category as smoking. New York law currently bans commercial indoor tanning for children under 14 and requires written parental consent for those from 14 up to 18. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states regulate tanning by minors. Society spokeswoman Angela Pause-Smith said legislation to outlaw it has been introduced in about 20 states. According to the Cancer Society, the tanning reclassification was

based on a 2006 analysis concluding individuals who tanned indoors before age 30 increased their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. Another study showed teen use of tanning beds rose from 1 percent in 1998 to 27 percent a decade later. The ACS estimates more than one million cases of basal and squamous skin cancers and 68,720 cases of melanoma this year. Its data also project 11,600 deaths

New York law currently bans commercial indoor tanning for children under 14 and requires written parental consent for those from 14 up to 18 from skin cancers, more than twothirds from melanoma. The incidence of melanoma has been rising for 30 years, faster among young white women and older men, as a result of exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. The legislation cleared Senate and Assembly committees but didn't reach the floor in either chamber before lawmakers adjourned two weeks ago. -AP


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No appeal on suit against Mo. health care measure JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.: The people who challenged a Missouri ballot taking aim at a key provision in the new federal health care law have decided not to appeal a judge's decision against their lawsuit. Attorney Chip Gentry said that his clients don't plan to take the case to the Missouri Supreme Court, because even if they were successful it would be too late to halt the printing of ballots for the Aug. 3 election. The Missouri ballot proposal would bar governments from requiring people to have health in-

surance or from penalizing people for paying their health bills with their own money. If passed, it would conflict with a requirement of a new federal law requiring most people to have health insurance or face fines by 2014. Cole County Circuit Judge Paul Wilson dismissed their lawsuit seeking to strike the ballot proposal on grounds that legislators violated the state constitution in the way they drafted the measure. The judge rejected all the arguments raised by the two women who had sued in their taxpayer capacities.

``While we feel strong about the case, and we've got a shot at the Supreme Court reversing Judge

The Missouri ballot proposal would bar governments from requiring people to have health insurance or from penalizing Wilson's decision, at the end of the day, if we hit that home run, the money has already been spent by the state,'' Gentry said.

Kagan would weigh health law recusal case-by-case WASHINGTON: Responding to a final GOP challenge, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has said that she would weigh recusing herself from matters related to the new health care law on a caseby-case basis. Kagan was responding to a list of questions from Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans about her involvement as solicitor general in defending the health law. The committee is likely to approve it her nomination after the GOP minority delayed the vote for a week to get her answers. Kagan, President Barack Obama's second Supreme Court nominee, was solicitor general while the health law was being passed and as states sued the federal government in March to challenge its constitutionality. She told Republicans in written responses to 13 questions that she

had no involvement in developing the government's response to the lawsuit and never was asked her views or offered them. She said she attended at least one meeting where the litigation was briefly mentioned, and that

Kagan, President Barack Obama's second Supreme Court nominee, was solicitor general while the health law was being passed the Justice Department filed a number of documents in the case during her tenure, but that she had no firsthand knowledge of any of the filings. Kagan reiterated what she said during her confirmation hear-

ings: She intends to recuse herself in cases where she served as lead counsel or played a substantial role. In all other circumstances she would consider recusal on a caseby-case basis, she said. That would include Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the lawsuit by some 20 states that questions whether the federal government can require individuals to purchase health care insurance and fine those who fail to do so. ``I never served as counsel of record nor played any substantial role'' in the case, Kagan wrote. ``Therefore, I would consider recusal on a case-by-case basis, carefully considering any arguments made for recusal and consulting with my colleagues and, if appropriate, with experts on judicial ethics.'' -AP

AIDS breakthrough: Gel helps prevent infection Cont’d from page 38

``We can now say with great certainty that the concept has been proved. And that in itself is a day for celebration,'' he said. The gel is in limited supply; it's not a commercial product, and was made for this and another ongoing study from a drug donated by California-based Gilead Sciences Inc., which sells tenofovir in pill form as Viread. If further study proves the gel effective, a full-scale production system would need to be geared up to make it. The study tested the gel in 889 heterosexual women in and near Durban, South Africa. Researchers had no information on the women's partners, but the women

were heterosexual and, in general, not in a high-risk group, such as prostitutes. Half of the women were given the microbicide and the others, a dummy gel. Women were told to use it 12 hours before sex and as soon as possible within 12 hours afterward. At the study's end, there were 38 HIV infections among the microbicide group versus 60 in the others. The gel seemed safe - only mild diarrhea was slightly more common among those using it. Surveys showed that the vast majority of women found it easy to use and said their partners didn't mind it. And 99 percent of

the women said they would use the gel if they knew for sure that it prevented HIV. This shows that new studies testing the gel's effectiveness without a placebo group should immediately be launched, said Salim Abdool Karim. The only other study testing the gel now compares it to placebo and will take a couple more years to complete. The study was sponsored by the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, or CAPRISA; Family Health International; CONRAD, an AIDS research effort based at Eastern Virginia Medical School; and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. -AP

Missouri's ballot measure essentially would be the nation's first statewide popularity vote on the health care law backed by President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress. But its legal affect is questionable, because federal laws generally supersede those in states. The election coincides with Missouri's party primaries. Supporters of the ballot measure have been raising money in hopes of mounting an advertising campaign in the final two weeks before the vote. As of the end of June, the com-

mittee backing the ballot measure had raised less than $23,000. But Republican state Sen. Jane Cunningham, of Chesterfield, one of the sponsors of the measure, said fundraising had picked up after court decision upholding the legislation that placed the measure on the ballot. She said fundraisers received a $25,000 contribution pledge. ``We did have some of our major donors who were reluctant to donate to something if they thought it would be pulled from the ballot,'' Cunningham said. ``So this gives us an open road to the election.'' -AP

UnitedHealth's 2Q net income climbs 31 percent INDIANAPOLIS: Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. says its second-quarter net income jumped 31 percent as enrollment and costs came in better than Wall Street expected. The Minnetonka, Minn., insurer saw its total enrollment grow about 1 percent to 32.5 million compared to last year, with gains in Medicare and Medicaid businesses offsetting commercial health insurance losses that appear to be slowing. Commercial insurance, which includes employer-sponsored group coverage and individual policies, makes up more than 75 percent of UnitedHealth's medical enrollment. That segment's enrollment fell by 440,000, or less than 2 percent, from a year ago. Last year, commercial enrollment fell 6 percent in the second quarter compared to 2008, as UnitedHealth and other insurers dealt with employer job cuts during the recession. UnitedHealth ``delivered another stellar quarter'' in part because it exceeded expectations for both enrollment and medical-loss ratio, which measures the percentage of premiums spent on medical costs, Sanford Bernstein analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note. The insurer earned $1.12 billion, or 99 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30. That's up from the $859 million, or 73 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue grew 7 percent to $23.26 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast, on average, earnings of 75 cents per share on nearly $23 billion in revenue. UnitedHealth spent 82.2 percent of its premium revenue on medical care for its commercial health insurance, down 2 percent from a year ago. Medical-loss ratios give ana-

lysts a sense of whether insurance is priced correctly. The health care reform law passed earlier this year will require insurers to spend at least 85 percent of their premium revenue on medical care for large group coverage and 80 percent for individual and small group coverage. Details of that part of the law have yet to be worked out, but Citi analyst Carl McDonald said in a note the company's profit margins likely will have to fall next year, when those minimums are implemented. For this year, UnitedHealth raised its profit forecast. The insurer now expects to earn $3.40 to $3.60 per share, up from $3.15 to $3.35 per share, on $93 billion in revenue.

Last year, commercial enrollment fell 6 percent in the second quarter compared to 2008, as UnitedHealth and other insurers dealt with employer job cuts during the recession Analysts expected a profit of $3.33 per share and $92.18 billion in revenue. The insurer's stock price fell 24 cents to $30.58 in midday trading, as broader trading indexes fell slightly. Miller Tabak analyst Les Funtleyder said investor concern over whether the insurer's big profit will draw unwanted attention may have played a role in the muted stock reaction. Insurers have been blasted by the Obama administration and others for hiking the premiums they charge customers in some segments of their business while raking in large profits. -AP


Horoscope

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ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 It will be an expensive week. Advertising or phone bills will be very high. You will be looking for ways out to defeat opponents or competitors. Some one family will go on a short trip. Avoid having any tension about an issue bothering you for quite some time as excellent outcome is only a few weeks are away.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 It should be a very fortunate week. You may strike a big deal. New partners will bring lots of money and experience with them. You may need to take extra care of your skin for some time. All meetings will go well and the boss will be ready to put in necessary words. You may travel to a nice but very warm area with family.

SAGITTARIUS

July 30 to August 5

Nov 23-Dec 22 You may have a serous discussion with boss to make your claim. Money wise it will continue to improve but at slow pace as returns from earlier investments will be some what poor. You will be making plans to visit an old friend living for off. You may miss someone badly who was very close at one time in your life.

Readers Write... www.indiapost.com

Harassment by Indian Consulate

A

s the population of Indian-Americans swells, the demand for the need for Consular services grew multi-fold. The Indian Consulate in San Francisco on the West Coast still continues to serve as the only office. It's a shame that though the Southern California commands the highest population of the Indians, it still has no office of its own. One would be surprised to know that the San Francisco office is amongst the top four consulates in the world in terms of revenues and under five percent of these revenues are being spent here in the U.S. (S.F.). The remaining is monies are a mystery. For the kind of tedious documentations they have adopted to, they are surely short handed and need to have an increase their staff by one hundred percent. The community that brought clout to the Indian Consulate is now being virtually harassed by the close-door policies of the same very Consulate. People, who have questions, need clarifications or have emergencies

have no one to turn to, because one is put on hold forever when calling the Consulate's office. The Outsourced Agency merely is a processor and has no answerers. And so a common man is left high and dry. It's indeed a pity that the attitude of the staff at the Consulate Office in San Francisco has always showed disrespect and arrogance towards its own fellow Indians, let alone showing cooperation or courtesy. They are grilled and questioned like they are the INS, while nondesis have no problems getting their visas to India. Now under the guise of security measures, they are holding people's passport /visa at ransom, and treating their own people as third class citizens. In fact more people will stop going to India (unless they have some grave emergencies) for fun and actually they must stop going to India, unless and until Government of India and their representatives here straighten up and mend their ways. Ramesh Mahajan Los Angeles

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Results will ultimately come but will cause lots of stress initially. You will make few useful and good contacts. Money wise you will stay comfortable after disposing off some stocks for a profit. It will be another good week for people working as brokers. Do not ignore any problem in stomach region and eat on time.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 Transiting Mars in first can give some health concerns but with timely help you will overcome the difficulty, just be careful for next few weeks. You will find yourself getting attracted to a person with different culture. You will need to make up your mind and take the decision quick about ongoing overseas project.

CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 Things will once again start to turn around. You will be able to recover and salvage a lot. Valuable leads coming from an experienced person. Boss may ask you to train a new recruit. Its a promising week for people out of job for some time. You will become very ambitious and will not be scared to take big risks.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 It will be a very constructive week. Your new actions will lay foundation to a better and sound future as far as the money is concerned. You will write a small check to a government agency in shape of back taxes or fine. You may plan a very short trip with children and get ready for an upcoming important big celebration.

LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 Do not allow minor setbacks shake your confidence. Money may go towards remodeling or repairs. New proposal will be attractive but may exceed your budget. You may take a trip to nice area with family to meet an old friend. Boss may involve you in a big and prestigious project. Some of you will be relocating soon.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 Things will slow down a little bit and you will try to make good use of extra time on hands and try to relax as much. You may be suggested minor surgery to resolve an old health issue that pops up from time to time. One of your kid will come up with a very good idea. Do more investigation before you jump on the deal.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 Being polite and diplomatic at the same time will open many new doors and you will make excellent contacts. You may take family out to a nice place for dinner and may even invite few close relatives. Advice and blessings of a matured person will help clear few confusions. People in business will see increased traffic.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 Efforts will pay off and you will receive the news through email as well over the phone. You will have lot left after making the payments. You will gain friendship of some important people. New associate will be younger and have a jolly nature. People in business will have better sales and make many new clients.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 You will be able to shed off lots of pounds with the help of exercises and little diet. Things will happen in a mysterious way and you will be very happy with new developments in career. Money wise you will become more optimistic. Watch out for a person with different ethnic background who is trying to come too close.


In Brief Nebraska city bars homes to illegals FREMONT, Neb.: The city of Fremont has moved ahead with the implementation of a new ordinance barring residents from hiring or renting homes to illegal immigrants, despite the threat of a legal challenge. The city announced that forms to obtain a renter's license, along with information for employers, would be available on its website, www.fremontne.gov. The city also scheduled three orientation sessions to answer questions about the ordinance. The Fremont City Council approved the ordinance. Residents approved the ban last month in a vote certified by election officials, but it needed council approval before it could take effect. The ban could take effect in about two weeks, but the American Civil Liberties Union has promised to challenge it in court. -AP

Nevadans back Arizona-style immigration law LAS VEGAS: A statewide poll shows that support has grown in Nevada for an Arizona-style law targeting illegal immigrants. The poll, conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLASTV, shows 63 percent of Nevadans surveyed support such a law. That's up from an early June poll that found 57 percent favored bringing such a law to Nevada. The latest poll found Nevada Democrats were evenly split on the issue, with 44 percent for the law, 44 percent against it and 12 percent undecided. The poll also shows 65 percent opposed the Obama administration's decision to file a lawsuit over Arizona's law. -AP

Georgia voters support crackdown on immigration ATLANTA: A new poll shows a majority of Georgia voters would support giving local police the power to arrest people who cannot prove they're in the country legally. The poll results showed 68 percent of voters support enacting a law similar to one recently adopted in Arizona. It allows police to inquire about the immigration status of people already stopped for other offenses. Three-quarters of whites and 63 percent of Hispanics said they would support such a law. Just under half of blacks approved. -AP

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July 30, 2010

US against letting lawmaker enter Ariz. law case PHOENIX: The federal government is urging a federal judge to deny the state legislator who championed Arizona's new immigration law a seat at the table in a legal fight over the law's constitutionality. -AP

Undocumented Indian sentenced for possessing illegal firearms India Post News Service

NEW YORK: An Indian business owner in Millbrook, Alabama has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for being an illegal alien in possession of firearms. Narendrakumar "Nick" Patel, a citizen and national of India, was sentenced earlier this month, by US District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins to 15 months in federal prison for being an alien unlawfully in possession of a firearm, following an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Patel was tried and convicted by a jury in April.

Patel, 45, received 15 months in federal prison for being an alien possessing a loaded Omega, Model 32, .32 Smith and Wesson Caliber, Revolver on Oct. 30, 2008.

vealed Patel, a native and citizen of India, had illegally entered the United States in the mid-1990s. Since that entry, Patel remained an alien, illegally present in the

Patel, 45, received 15 months in federal prison for being an alien possessing a loaded Omega, Model 32, .32 Smith and Wesson Caliber, Revolver on Oct. 30, 2008 Law enforcement found the loaded firearm lying on a shelf above the cash register during the execution of a search warrant in Patel's former business, the Pit Stop, in Millbrook, Alabama. Subsequent investigation re-

United States, having failed to successfully adjust his immigration status. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Watkins sentenced Patel to serve two years of supervised release under the supervi-

sion of a federal probation officer. Patel also faces administrative removal proceedings with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "Prison terms like this one are a reminder that there are consequences for violating immigration law," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Homeland Security Investigation's (HSI) in New Orleans. "Federal immigration prosecutions are an important component of ICE's interior immigration enforcement strategy and we will continue to work closely with the US Department of Justice to bring these cases forward."

LULAC targeting opponents of immigration reform ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: The leader of the nation's largest Hispanic rights group said senators and congressmen who don't support President Barack Obama's push for comprehensive immigration reform will be ``shaking in their boots.'' League of United Latin American Citizens President Rosa Rosales predicted the effort will

be enacted, and she pledged that her group will aggressively target anyone in Congress who doesn't support reform efforts. Rosales spoke during a panel town hall on immigration reform at the organization's national convention in New Mexico, drawing applause and cheers with a stirring call for LULAC members to hold their elected officials accountable.

``We have a list that will show you who's with us and who's not,'' Rosales said. ``Go back to your representatives, your senators and congressmen. If they're not with us, you tell them, look them in the eye and say, 'If you're not for comprehensive immigration reform, I'm going to come after you.''' Rosales, wearing a black dress

and broad-rimmed black hat, pounded her fist on a lectern as she urged delegates to organize voter registration drives and get voters to the polls. That's the strongest message elected officials will recognize, she said. “If they don't vote with us, they're going to be shaking in their boots because we are going to win,'' Rosales said. -AP

Lawsuit against Arizona Immigration Law CYRUS D. MEHTA

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he Department of Justice challenged the state of Arizona's recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070, in federal court on July 6. The Department has requested a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law, arguing that the law's operation will cause irreparable harm. In a brief filed in the District of Arizona, the Department said S.B. 1070 unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy, explaining that "the Constitution and federal law do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country." Having enacted its own immigra-

tion policy that conflicts with federal immigration law, Arizona "crossed a constitutional line." The Department also argued that S.B. 1070 will place significant burdens on federal agencies, di-

readily prove their lawful status. In declarations filed with the brief, Arizona law enforcement officials, including the Chiefs of Police of Phoenix and Tucson, said that S.B. 1070 will hamper their

The Department also argued that S.B. 1070 will place significant burdens on federal agencies, diverting their resources from high-priority targets. In addition, the Department expressed concerns that the law would result in the harassment verting their resources from highpriority targets. In addition, the Department expressed concerns that the law would result in the harassment and detention of foreign visitors and legal immigrants, as well as U.S. citizens, who cannot

ability to police their communities effectively. The chiefs said that victims of or witnesses to crimes would be less likely to contact or cooperate with law enforcement officials and that implementation of the law would require them to

reassign officers from critical areas such as violent crimes, property crimes, and home invasions. The Department said it filed the suit after extensive consultation with Arizona officials, law enforcement officers and groups, and civil rights advocates. The suit was filed on behalf of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigration laws. "Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns," Attorney General Eric Holder commented. Cont’d on page 44


Immigration Post

July 30, 2010

India Post

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WLP interns discuss 'Diaspora' with officials jectives of her organization Indicorps and that the idea was to serve with communities to get a better understanding of your own identity. Ultimately, she stated, the goal is to leverage one's identity to be a better person. The presentation by both women invoked profound and difficult questions regarding issues such as immigration and the

Suneet Dhillon, Sara Shroff, Monica Patel, Neha Gupta, Raj Kumar, Venkat Mendu, Rishabh Parikh, Herschel Patel, Niraj Antani, and Sonal Shah

WASHINGTON: On July 14, the Washington Leadership Program partnered once again with NetSAP and the Atlantic Council of the United States to accommodate a discussion on "The Role of the Diaspora in South Asia." Panelists included Sara Shroff, Senior Director of Change our World, and Sonal Shah, Founder of Indicorp as well as the Director of White House Office on Social Innovation. The event was effectively moderated by the President of Dev Ex International Development, Raj Kumar. Both panelists highlighted the importance of a global identity. Shroff began the discussion by emphasizing the importance of whom and what makes up the Diaspora. For her factors such as affinity, economic aspects, such as remittances, and the networks one has plays a big role in the engagement that will occur from both sides of the Diaspora. Shroff concluded her thoughts by outlining six models she believed could lead to successful engagement. These included: philanthropy, leadership platforms, business professional networks, volunteer corps, direct investment, and policy making. Shah continued the discussion by stressing the need for importance to be placed on the social sector and fixing problems. She

stated, "Our [South Asians] role in the civic sector is not just voting, it is participating." In her discussion, Shah highlighted three components that were essential to success. First, that understanding how the legislative process works is key to making a difference. Second, that the politics of South Asia is beginning to change, and that the most productive communities and agencies are those that share information and communicate. Finally, she spoke about the importance of Diasporas working together and identifying common issues to fight. The example she

role of affinity within the Diaspora. The panel seemed to have a profound impact on the audience, when the moderator asked the audience who would be interested in working in South Asia after this discussion, more than 75 percent of the audience raised their hands. The panel offered a fresh and new perspective to the WLP scholars on how they could suc-

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Shroff concluded her thoughts by outlining six models she believed could lead to successful engagement. These included: philanthropy, leadership platforms, business professional networks, volunteer corps, direct investment, and policy making


44

India Post

Immigration Post

July 30, 2010

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Lawsuit against Arizona Immigration Law Cont’d from page 42

"But diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country's safety. Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility. Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves." Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that when she was governor of Arizona, with the strong support of state and local law enforcement, she vetoed several similar pieces of legislation "because they would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve. We are actively working with members of Congress from both parties to comprehensively reform our immigration system at the federal level." While this effort progresses, she said, the Department of Homeland Security "will continue to enforce the laws on the books by enhancing border security and removing criminal aliens from this country." State Dep't explains biometric visa program's fingerscan, photo requirements The Department of State has published a notice in the Federal Register that explains when fingerscans and other biometric identifiers are required, and notes exceptions to the general requirements. The notice explains that the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 has required, since October 26, 2004, that all visas issued by the Depart-

ment of State (DOS) must be machine-readable and tamper-resistant and use biometric identifiers. DOS determined, in consultation with the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ), that fingerprints and a photo image should be required as biometric identifiers. When the biometric visa program began, available technology allowed for the efficient capture and comparisons of only two fingerscans. As a result of technological improvements, DOS instituted a 10-fingerscan standard. DOS's Biometric Visa Program is a partner program to DHS's US-

All visa applicants must submit a photograph with the visa application, the notice explains, except at consular posts in Mexico VISIT program in effect at U.S. ports of entry that uses the same biometric identifiers. The DOS notice explains that fingerscans and photos of visa applicants are sent to DHS databases. When a person to whom a visa has been issued arrives at a port of entry, his or her photo is retrieved from a database and projected on the computer screen of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, who compares the person's fingerscans to the fingerscans in the database. Certain exemptions to the fingerscans under the Biometric Visa Program have been coordinated with DHS to coincide with the exemptions to fingerscans under US-VISIT. Under the Biometric Visa Program, applicants for

diplomatic or official visas, for visas to represent their governments at recognized international organizations such as the United Nations or for visas to serve as employees of such organizations, for NATO visas, or for government officials on official transit through the U.S. are exempt from the fingerscans. The aforementioned are represented by these visa categories: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, NATO-6 and C-3 (except for attendants, servants, or personal employees of accredited officials). In addition, the notice states, persons under age 14 and persons age 80 or above are generally exempt from the fingerscans, unless the person is applying for a visa at a consular post in Mexico and in Yemen. In Mexico, fingerscans are required for applicants beginning at age 7 and above under the program for issuance of biometric Border Crossing Cards (commonly known as "laser visas''), which began in 1998. DOS recently expanded that policy to include visa applicants in Yemen, and may further expand it to include additional countries in the future. DOS retains the authority to require fingerscans of children under age 14 or adults age 80 or above in all other countries. All visa applicants must submit a photograph with the visa application, the notice explains, except at consular posts in Mexico where most nonimmigrant visa applicants have a livecapture photo taken at the post. All persons, regardless of whether they submit fingerscans, are reviewed against the Department's facial recognition database. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


July 30, 2010

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46

Datebook

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July 30, 2010

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NEW YORK

ILLINOIS

NEW JERSEY

WASHINGTON DC

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sat July 31 to Sat Sept 18

Thurs July 29

Every Sunday

• World Premiere: Encountering the Other

Fri July 30 Mon Aug 2

• Carnatic Music Idol Venue: Online competition, Maryland, Maryland, NY Time: 6pm Contact: 410-499-9127

Venue: Storefront Theater, 66 E Randolph Street, Chicago Time: 7:30pm Contact: 312-212-1240

• Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan host Satsang, Bhajan & Meditation Program

• The Art of Living Yoga and Meditation Course

Thurs Aug 1

Fri July 30

Venue: Ashburn Center, ashburn, Virginia Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: 703-723-8181

• Vidushi Sumitra Guha Live in Concert!

• Ustad Amjad Ali Khan - De Almaas Live Sarod Concert

Venue: Woodbridge township ambulance and Rescue squad, 77 Queen Road, 3rd Floor, Iselin, NJ 08830 Time: 10:30am to 1pm Contact: (732) 485-0647 Highlights: Lecture by close disciple of Shree Ashutosh Ji Maharaj, Bhajans, free meditation and Mahaprasad.

Venue: Reflections Yoga, 250 West 49th Street, 2nd Floor, NY Time: 7pm 9:30pm Contact: 917-853-1416

Mon Aug 2 to Sat Aug 7 • Ramayan Sar - Essence of Ramayan Venue: Hanuman Temple of New York., 111 Jerusalem Ave, Hempstead, New York Time: 7pm to 8:30pm Contact: (516) 483-9500

Sun Aug 8 to Sun Aug 15 • Essentials of Gita- Part I for children and their parents Venue: Asamai Temple, 80E Barclay St, Hicksville, NY Time: 11:30am to 1:30 Contact: 516-281-5973

Venue: Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Time: 8pm to 11pm Contact: 414-467-3032

Sun Aug 1 • World Premiere: Encountering the Other

• Jeeyar Edu Trust Viswa Santhi Sri Yagam Venue: Jeeyar Asramam, 222 Dey Road, Cranbury, New Jersey Time: 7am Contact: 609-610-3307

Venue: Shri Durga temple, 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, Virginia Time: 3:30pm to 8pm Contact: 703-690-9355

Sun Aug 8

Fri July 30

Wed Aug 4 • Seminar on Medication and Diabetes

Venue: 300 Frank W Burr Blvd, Glenpointe, Teaneck, NJ Time: 10am to 2pm Contact: 201-692-3159

Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave. Niles, Chicago Time: 10am to 12 noon Contact: (773)-465-1205

Sun Aug 8

• Indian Dance Competition Season -3

• IBA India Day Parade Venue: Oak Tree Rd, Iselin, New Jersey Time: 1pm to 7pm Contact: 732-283-9020

Venue: Murugan Temple Auditorium, Murugan Temple of North America, 6300 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, Maryland Time: 9am to 9pm Contact: 240-422-1986

Fri Aug 13

Sat Aug 21

Sat Aug 7

• Essentials of Gita- Part I for children and their parents

• Veggie Fest 2010 Venue: Science Of Spirituality, 4S 175 NapervilleWheaton Rd, Naperville, Illinois Time: 11am to 8pm Contact: 800-222-2207

• Mela, Pakistan Independence Day

• Kumon Franchise Seminar

Tues Aug 10

Sat Aug 14

• Abhinayam Intensive with Smt. Bragha Bessell

• Bollywood Dance in Chicago! Venue: Dance SPA, 1890 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago Time: 10:30am Contact: 650-380-6270

Venue: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, Virginia Time: 9pm Contact: 443-254-4969

Sat Sept 12

• Jay Sean LIVE in CONCERT

Venue: Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th St, NYC, New York Contact: info@sonaliskandan.com

• Shri Ram katha by Pujya Didi Ma sadhavi Ritambaraji

Venue: Storefront Theater, 66 E Randolph Street, Chicago Time: 3pm Contact: 312-212-1240

Sun Aug 8 Venue: Asamai Temple, 80E Barclay St, Hicksville, NY Time: 11:30am to 1:30pm Contact: 516-281-5973

Fri July 23 to Sun Aug 1

Fri Aug 6 to Sun Aug 8

Venue: Trump Taj Mahal, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey Time: 9pm Contact: 610-664-3011

• Swara Thandavam 2010 Venue: JSS Mission, 7710 Hawkins Creamery, Gaithersburg, Maryland Time: 10am to 6pm Contact: 301-693-1633

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sat July 31

Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8)

• Arangetram by Sneha Jayaprakash • Gurukul Classes for Children Venue: Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Venue: Sindhu Center, South California Alto, California Time: 2pm to 4pm Time: 4pm to 6pm Contact: 818-541-1754 & 909-576-1114 Highlights: Children between the ages of 5 and 18. ChilSun Aug 14 dren will be taught the Fundamentals of Hinduism, • Instant Karma Presents DJ AKBAR SAMI Prayers, Shlokas, Bhajans and Values of our culture. Venue: AVALON, 777 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara, CA Sun Jul 31 Time: 8:45pm Contact: 408-368-6865 • Arangetram by Sneha Jayaprakash Venue: Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Mon Aug 15 Alto, California • Abhinaya's 30th Anniversary Celebration Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm Venue: Mexican Heritage Theater, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, Hosted By: Jayendra Kalakendra San Jose, California Sun Aug 1 Time: 4pm Contact: (408) 871-5959 • Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Aman

Ki Aasha in LA Venue: LA Sports Arena, 3939 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles Hinduism Summit (Hindu Dharma Sabha) Time: 7pm Venue: Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, 420-450 Persian Contact: 562-860-6003 Drive, Sunnyvale, CA Time: 2:30pm to 6pm Sat Aug 7 Contact: 877-303-3342 & • Mela Teeyan Da info@forumforhinduawakening.org Venue: The Ranch a Brand New State of the Art BanHighlights: These are some of the experiences and comquet Hall 8590 Bedford motorway Corona, Ca 92883 ments shared by the attendees of the 6 Hinduism SumTime: 11am to 5pm mits held by the Forum Hindu Awakening (FHA) in Contact: 909-793-5566 different parts of the world over the past year. Highlights: For Girls and Ladies Mrs. Punjaban beauty Contest, Stalls of Punjabi Food, Suits, Jewelry etc.

Sat Aug 28

Thurs Aug 19 • Art of Living Course

Sun Aug 8

Venue: Stonelake Clubhouse, 10270 E Taron Dr, Elk • 5th Annual S.S.Bajwa Memorial Golf tournament Grove, California, Venue: Sierra Lakes Golf Club, 16600 Clubhouse Drive Time: 7pm Fontana, CA Contact: 916-529-7800 Time: 12:30pm Dinner: 8:30pm Contact: 323-228-3085

Sun Aug 1

• Bharatanatyam by senior students Sun Aug 15 • India Association of the Inland Emof Sugandha Sreenath Venue: Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 pire Celebrate India's 63rd AnniverFabian Way, Palo Alto, California sary Independence Day Contact: (408) 270-9295

Sat Aug 21

Venue: 20010 Orange Terrace Parkway, Riverside, CA Time: 5pm to 8pm Contasct: 909-418-1981

• Singh Entertainment, Inc. Presents Wed Aug 7 Gurdas Maan Live In Concert • Jinnder's RED CARPET GALA Venue: Center For The Performing Arts, 255 South Venue: Long Beach Hilton Hotel, 701 W. Ocean Blvd., Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, California, Long Beach, California Time: 7:30pm Time: 6pm to 2am Contact: 408-666-8311 Contact: 310-994-9500


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Philosophy

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July 30, 2010

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis H. P. BLAVATSKY

T

he "Breath" of the One Existence is used in its application only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic esotericism; otherwise, it is replaced by its equivalent in the material plane - Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense; coexistent with which are - endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter, and motion - absolute "perpetual motion" which is the "breath" of the "One" Element. This breath, as seen, can never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities. In Puranas, Brahma is the cause of the potencies that are to be generated subsequently for the work of "creation." When a translator says, "And from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they had become the real cause": "and from IT proceed the potencies that will create as they become the real cause" (on the material plane) would perhaps be more correct? Save that one (causeless) ideal cause there is no other to which the universe can be referred. "Worthiest of ascetics! through its potency - i.e., through the potency of that cause - every created thing comes by its inherent or proper nature." If, in the Vedanta and Nyaya, nimitta is the efficient cause, as contrasted with upadana, the material cause, (and SWAMI TEJOMAYANANDA

T

he most difficult thing to do is to live in peace and har mony with people. It is, perhaps, easier to live with birds and animals. Why is living with people a problem? We know that fire is hot and we accept that fact. If we are burnt by touching fire, we do not blame it. If a whole house is burnt down, we may condemn other factors or blame our negligence, but would accept fire as it is. Its place is undeniable and it is not rejected. Similarly, we accept the coolness of ice, the beauty of flowers, fruits, trees and plants. Again, if we are admiring a beautiful, full moon and someone else comes and starts appreciating it, we don't say, "Why are you looking at my moon? You have no right to see it!" There is no sense of ownership, no possessiveness; there is acceptance without any projection of likes and dislikes. The Bhagavad Gita says that a wise person moves everywhere with love and affection Like the wind blowing freely, he does not get attached to anything. He accepts all. Sometimes people behave nicely, sometimes they don't.

in the Sankhya, pradhana implies the functions of both); in the Esoteric philosophy, which reconciles all these systems, and the nearest exponent of which is the Vedanta as expounded by the Advaita Vedantists, none but the upadana can be speculated upon; that which is in the minds of the Vaishnavas (the Vasishta-dvaita) as the ideal in contradistinction to the real - or Parabrahm and Isvara - can find no room in published

MOVER, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence. And thus being Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Motion - to the limited senses of those who describe this indescribable it is unconsciousness and immoveableness. Concrete consciousness cannot be predicated of abstract Consciousness, any more than the quality wet can be predicated of water - wetness being its own at-

guage that we have no term to distinguish the knowledge not actively thought of, from knowledge we are unable to recall to memory. To forget is synonymous with not to remember. How much greater must be the difficulty of finding terms to describe, and to distinguish between, abstract metaphysical facts or differences. It must not be forgotten, also, that we give names to things according to the appearances they as-

Eternal Breath which knows itself not H. P. Blavatsky

Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned

speculations, since that ideal even is a misnomer, when applied to that of which no human reason, even that of an adept, can conceive. To know itself or oneself, necessitates consciousness and perception (both limited faculties in relation to any subject except Parabrahm), to be cognized. Hence the "Eternal Breath which knows itself not." Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned. In the occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable

tribute and the cause of the wet quality in other things. Consciousness implies limitations and qualifications; something to be conscious of, and someone to be conscious of it. But Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one. No man is conscious of more than that portion of his knowledge that happens to have been recalled to his mind at any particular time, yet such is the poverty of lan-

sume for ourselves. We call absolute consciousness "unconsciousness," because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, "Darkness," because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable, yet we recognize fully that our perception of such things does not do them justice. The 179th birth anniversary of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky will be observed on July 31 Excerpted from The Secret Doctrine

This neither elates nor depresses the wise person. "Such a man of wisdom lives with his senses under control, free from personal likes and dislikes, and therefore, enjoys every object, place, situation and person". Also, we find it difficult to live with people because we have too many expectations of them. If I expect something of another, that

me as I am". It is important to understand the message clearly and completely. The message is that one should accept the fact as it is. Then if a change is necessary, try to make that change, but do not insist on it. Every parent wants the child to perform well and excel whether in sports or in studies. There is nothing wrong with that.

be forced into the family business. Expectations should be reasonable and based on knowledge and wisdom. As far as nature or the moon is concerned, we do not feel a sense of ownership or possessiveness. But with regard to people this feeling is deep seated and can be very destructive. What we need to have is love and affection. Along with

Why is living with people such a problem? Swami Tejomayananda

person may also expect something of me. Furthermore, I am unable to fulfill my own expectations of myself. I want to do so many things, but I am unable to do them. Thus, we feel disappointed and frustrated with ourselves, and aggrieved or upset with others when they fail to satisfy our expectations. I saw a sticker that said, "Don't try to change me. Accept

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. -Rabindranath Tagore And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. -Kahlil Gibran All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened. -Maya Angelou Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant. Edgar Allan Poe A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. -Robert Frost

We find it difficult to live with people because we have too many expectations of them. If I expect something of another, that person may also expect something of me

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

But, to expect something that may not be possible for the child to do, and unnecessarily apply pressure and force, will cause frustration to all. When one is living with people it may not be possible to have no expectations at all, so one should have reasonable expectations. An artistically inclined child with no aptitude for commerce should not

All significant truths are private truths. As they become public they cease to become truths; they become facts, or at best, part of the public character; or at worst, catchwords. -T. S. Eliot

that there should be freedom and space, too. Two hands joined together leave a gap and can be easily separated. Similarly, we should give space to people. Often we hear people say, "Give me some space please!" If you love a bird, will you cage it and expect it to be happy? It is not possible to love someone and also confine them in that love.

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Kabul Conference & countdown to another disaster D SUBA CHANDRAN

T

he much talked about Kabul Conference got over on 20 July; three issues emerge clear. First, Karzai wants to take over the complete security of Afghanistan as early as possible, perhaps sooner than the international forces want to leave; second, he wants 'Afghan' ownership (read 'his') of the administration and distribution of aid; and third, the international community has decided to leave Afghanistan (perhaps abandon?) as early as possible. All these are invitations to disaster; perhaps the countdown has already started. Consider the following questions. Will the ANA be ready by 2014? Is the Afghan National Army

grate and merge with the Taliban? The ANA is ethnically diverse; from a historical perspective, the soldiers always fought along ethnic lines and were more loyal to their clan leaders. This will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of any security situation that will arise after 2014. The above scenario does not include a section of the Taliban waging a ferocious insurgency, or other groups, for example, led by former Mujahideen leaders like Hekmetyar. This also does not include the situation in which the Afghan government becomes unstable, with ethnic minorities walking out, along with their respective brethren in the ANA. Will there be an effective and

Afgan President Hamid Karzai (C), flanked by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (centre R) and UN chief Ban Ki-moon and other delegates pose for a group photo following the International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul on July 20

(ANA) in any position to take over the security situation by 2014? Ever since the international community started its program on building an Afghan Army and started investing in the necessary infrastructure and training, until today, there has not been a single military operation that has been fully undertaken by the ANA, and which could be considered a success. Though the preparedness of the ANA needs a separate analysis, it is sufficient to state here that the ANA is far from ready to take over the security of Afghanistan in 2014. Why would Karzai ask for the same? Does he not understand the limitations of the ANA and its preparedness? Perhaps, Karzai is sure about his proposed dialogue with the Taliban and he believes that by 2014, there will be an understanding with the Taliban, or sections of it led by the Haqqani network. It is difficult to foresee a situation in which Karzai and Taliban (or sections of it) are working together, thereby not really challenging the ANA. But even if this scenario is accepted, what will happen to the Taliban and its fighters? Will the Taliban want to reintegrate its fighters into ANA, as the Maoists in Nepal have demanded? Or will the ANA disinte-

inclusive administration by 2014? Karzai is anxious to take over as early as possible and be in charge of the complete administration. As of now, less than onefifth of the aid is distributed through the Afghan government.

Let us not abandon Afghanistan once again. Let us not fall into Karzai's trap or make him our scapegoat. Afghanistan needs a larger engagement for a sustained period of time Thanks to the prevailing level of corruption and the ineffectiveness of local administration, the donor agencies prefer distributing aid directly. One could understand Karzai's frustrations; he would prefer his officials sharing a larger booty and distributing it among themselves. More importantly, it will also make him and his kitchen cabinet more important, for they

will be seen as the reservoir of aid. Perhaps, Karzai believes, he can buy loyalty. Again from a historical perspective, this may be counterproductive and least helpful in the nation building process. With the legal institutions in tatters and no sign of courts questioning and enforcing accountability, one is likely to see more corruption. In fact, the complete ownership of the Afghan government by Karzai, in 2014 with little checks and balances, and lack of effective legal mechanisms will only result in the government becoming a reservoir of corruption. Karzai's administration is simply not in the position to 'own the government' by 2014. Unfortunately, he seems to have convinced the international community otherwise; one is likely to see more alienation of the common man. 'Abandon Afghanistan Project' of the International Community Finally, the international community is anxious to leave Afghanistan as early as possible. There is absolutely no use in criticizing the US alone; the international community has neither the patience nor the will (political and military) to ensure a stable Afghanistan. One is not sure whether Karzai is making all those statements because he wants to or because he has no other option. Perhaps, the reluctance of the international community is forcing him to deal with the devil(s) in Afghanistan. What has been achieved in Afghanistan since 9/11, in the last ten years, that the international community is willing to leave Afghanistan today? Has the al Qaeda network been neutralized? Has the Taliban lost its fighting capacity? Does the local population support Karzai's government and is it willing to take part in the governance process? Are the differences between various ethnic communities within Afghanistan addressed? Are the regional neighbors - Pakistan, India, Iran and Central Asia willing to work 'together' in Afghanistan? Let us not abandon Afghanistan once again. Let us not fall into Karzai's trap or make him our scapegoat. Afghanistan needs a larger engagement for a sustained period of time. There is no example in human history where a nation was built in less than a decade. It is certainly impossible to conceive of the same in Afghanistan. The writer is Deputy Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi

India Post Indian tolerance

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he tolerance level of Indians is very high. Even by these standards the equanimity of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the face thousands of deaths taking place around him in frequent railway accidents is remarkable. The crime of former minister Shashi Tharoor was that he seemed to be favoring a girlfriend in an IPL franchise deal. He was quickly shown the door. But even after seven big railway accidents (in all over 200 accidents in 14 months) and 400-plus lives lost, the Prime Minister of India is unable to even pull up the Minister for Railways, popularly known as Mamata Didi. The deaths of ordinary people taking place because of poor governance matters little to him. And still he is considered an honorable man, a decent person whose incorruptibility is put forward as an example. Manmohan Singh cannot be seen taking any action against Mamata Didi because his minority government badly needs the support of the 19 Trinamool MPs she commands. Displeasing her at this moment when she has her eyes on the prize of West Bengal chief ministership in the incumbent elections would mean upsetting his own government at the Center. So that is the priority of our honest Prime Minister and if in the bargain ordinary Indians keep dying, well, sorry can't be helped! What is important for the UPA-II government at the Center is survival. That is the bane of coalition politics. The leading constituent is at the mercy of the allies, who can pull the rug from under its feet at the slightest provocation. Be that as it may, but does that mean the government should forget that the main purpose of its existence is the protection of life and property of its citizens. On the one hand the government wants to portray its achievements to the world by organizing the Commonwealth Games in Delhi to showcase the best of infrastructure, facilities and organization by spending crores. But when it comes to safety measures for running railways in the country, a paucity of funds is cited. Or there is just neglect of this aspect of safety of the citizens. It is not a priority. Measures like installing anti-collision devices to avert disasters have been in the pipeline for the last 11 years which shows the culpability of a succession of railway ministers. But the present railway minister is not even present in the capital while a file relating to 90,000 safety related posts awaits her attention. The government should be asked, what do such accidents do to the image of the country that the government wants to promote by organizing great international events? The nations of the world are not fools that they would be taken in by the standard of a few international sports venues in Delhi while the rest of country suffers from poor roads, transport, health and education. Sportsmen of participating countries must be reading all these reports about man-made disasters in India and they won't be greatly enthused about coming to participate in the games. So risk-averse is the UPA-II that it has become almost ineffective. The Foreign Minister of the country SM Krishna coolly listened to the diatribe of the host Pakistani Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi against India's home secretary for saying that the Mumbai attack was masterminded by the ISI from beginning to end. These facts, based on revelations by LeT operative and Pakistani-American David Headley now in US custody, are incontrovertible and yet Krishna tolerated the Pakistani audacity of comparing it to the hate speeches of LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed!


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