Page 1

Osama & After 10

Business 24

Fashion 27

Spiritual Awareness 30


May 21-27, 2011 60 Cents

Bobby Jindal plays with birthers in Louisiana

One-third of India ruled by women CMs

UN commemorates 2500 years of Buddhism

Bollywood makes Cannes sing and dance

US Affairs, Page 9

India, Page 13

Religion, Page 15

Bollywood, Page 16

Attack on Pak will be attack on China: report China reportedly warned US at the joint strategic dialogue in Washington. Islamabad: In the wake of the US raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden, China has "warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China", a media report claimed Thursday. The warning was formally conveyed by the Chinese foreign minister at last week's China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying. China also advised the US to "respect Pakistan's sovereignty and solidarity", the report said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao holds a welcoming ceremony for his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Chinese Premier Wen talks at the Great Hall of the Jiabao informed his People Wednesday. The two Pakistani counterpart leaders held a 45-minute Yousuf Raza Gilani about meeting before beginning the matters taken up with talks with their delegations. Continued on page 4.... the US during their formal

Hindus second most affluent in US New York: It has been a widely held belief in the community, but there is an official stamp on the rising affluence of Indians in America. According to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Hindus are the second most affluent community in the US after a Jews sect. The survey found that 65 percent of Hindu households made over $75000 a year, coming second after Reform Jews who had 67 percent

households in the same income category, compared with just 31 percent of the population as a whole. One key factor for the vast income discrepancies among religious groups is the relationship between education and income. Indians are well known for pursuing high education levels. Then, people who make more money can send their children to better schools, exacerbating the advantages their community had.

IRS wants you to disclose your offshore bank accounts By Parveen Chopra New York: Last month two high profile cases of Indian Americans prosecuted for evading taxes by keeping big sums in undeclared accounts in HSBC India created a stir in the Indian community. More is in store. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is now authorized to compel HSBC to divulge details of US citizens or green card holders using accounts at HSBC India. The South Asian Times has now learnt that besides bank transactions, even assets and inheritance is likely to come under government scrutiny. US gov-

Prosecution in high profile cases of Indian Americans is aimed to force compliance. Assets, inheritance also likely to come under scrutiny. ernment agencies may get access to that information through PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards. The US may also approach Indian government in seeking information on Americans with Indian bank accounts under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. HSBC is already falling in

line. Its spokesperson said, “HSBC does not condone tax evasion and fully supports US efforts to promote appropriate payment of taxes by US taxpayers.� So, it is prudent to declare global income and any foreign bank accounts with more than $10,000 during a tax year. Failure to do so can invite fine of up to 50% Continued on page 4....

Two Sikhs inducted as ministers in Canada

Toronto: Two Sikhs were named to the new Canadian cabinet announced on Wednesday. In a major surprise for the millionstrong Indo-Canadian community, first-time MP Bal Gosal from a constituency in Toronto was made minister of state for sport by Prime Minister Stephen Harper whose Conservative Party was returned to power with a majority in the May 2 elections. A Sikh from a village near Jalandhar, 50-year-old Gosal, who is an insurance broker by profession, had defeated six-time MP Gurbax Malhi. Malhi himself had created history in 1993 by becom-

Tim Uppal

Bal Gosal

ing the first turbaned Sikh MP in the western world.

Tim Uppal, a 37-year-old Continued on page 4....

Media Partner

The South Asian Times will be publishing a collectible Special Edition on June 2, 2011 commemorating the Maha Kumbhabhishekam in exclusive media partnership with The Hindu Temple Society. It will be distributed to devotees during all auspicious events. For advertisement and/or sponsorships please contact at 516.390.7847 or Temple at 718.460.8484 Ex.104 or write to

Tristate Community


May 21-27, 2011

SharmilaTagore calls for support to CRY America and needy children New York: CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc, a non-profit that works to restore the rights of underprivileged children, especially in India hosted two benefit dinners in New York and Seattle. ‘Pledge 2011’ was held on May 13 at the Taj, The Pierre Hotel in New York and ‘Uphaar 2011’ on May 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. Sharmila Tagore and her daughter Soha Ali Khan were the special guests at both events. Pledge 2011 was attended by 150 people from NY-NJ area and Uphaar 2011 by 175 members from the western Washington community. Over $215,000 was raised from the two events. The evenings included talks by Puja Marwaha, CEO of CRY India, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America, and keynote addresses by Sharmila Tagore and Soha. Paintings by famous artists Ram Kumar, Murali Nagapuzha,

Shefali Sunderlal, President, CRY America with Sharmila Tagore, legendary actress and Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY (India). Nitin Dadrawala and private lunches with Sharmila and Soha sponsored by Vermillion restaurant were auctioned by Sotheby’s at the New York Dinner which raised $43,000. “Indians living abroad are in-

creasingly concerned with development in India, their voices are heard by policy makers and they have the resources to enable bigger changes. Our hope is that this community will join CRY America’s efforts in larger numbers to en-

Ashok Mahajan from Mumbai, Kamal Gupta who won the bid for a brunch with Sharmila Tagore, CRY Patron Ravi Bhooplapur and Mr. Matlani at Mrs Nimmi Mehta and Mrs. Sangita Matlani with Qawalli Band who performed at the event. the event.

Mangano to headline Business Forum Hicksville: Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, prominent business owners such as Dr Nitin Doshi and Dr Leena Doshi , professionals and community leaders are scheduled to make presentations at a Business Forum held in the Legislative Chambers of the County in Mineola May 26. It is the inaugural event of Business Resources Group, set up recently by a group of 13 businessmen and professionals to

provide education, motivation and resources to entrepreneurs and professionals to be even more successful than they are so far. Salil Zaveri, President of Business Resources Group, said over 100 business owners, professionals and dignitaries are expected at the event. It’s a free event, but pre-registration is required by going to

sure the rights of underprivileged children and help make this issue into a national and international priority,” said Shefali Sunderlal. Sharmila Tagore, legendary Indian actor and a supporter of CRY America, said, “The basic difference between other organizations and CRY is that they involve the parents and the entire community towards impacting the child. Community groups are made aware and empowered to tackle their own problems, instead of outsiders coming to ‘help’ them. CRY’s approach is holistic concept, ensuring change that lasts for generations.” Puja Marwaha said, “Millions of children across India are excluded from education, healthcare, protection from exploitation and abuse. With grassroots experience CRY understands and works on causes that exclude children from their rights. We address the problems including lack of livelihoods for par-

Ladies Group of Long Island at the event

ents, healthcare, child labor and gender bias.” Soha Ali Khan, young Indian actor, shared her strong belief “that all girl children should be given the opportunity to quality education and encouraged to have a career of their choice, just like I did.” CRY America thanks its donors for their generous support, with a special mention to their Patrons Ravi and Jaya Bhooplapur, Anu and Naveen Jain, Dr. Ganesh Bhat, Rotary Club of Hicksville and Intelius. CRY also thanks its media sponsors for their support – Zee TV, Parikh Worldwide Media, Rediff India Abroad and Mera Sangeet. With the support of over 500 volunteers and 15,000 donors, CRY America has impacted the lives of over 358,000 children living across 1,900 urban, rural and tribal communities in India and the USA through support to 52 projects.

Soha Ali Khan at the CRY America Benefit Dinner.

Jain community in North America protests muni’s arrest in UP New York: A Jain muni along with 100 supporters was arrested last week while fasting to protest Uttar Pradesh government’s move to set up eight slaughter houses in the state. Muni Shri Maitri Prabh Sagar ji Maharaj was on fast-unto-death since April 26 in a peaceful way. The UP police arrested him, took in a van and later released him. A Jain monk takes a lifelong vow to never hurt anyone, never

to use and cause violence towards any (humans and non humans) and never to use any kind of vehicle (human , animal or mechanical driven). Never before in the history of Jains in India has any Jain sadhu been arrested and his vows broken while observing his/her vows and demonstrating against policies of the state that promote violence, killing and slaughter of animals.

The entire Jain community in USA and Canada is in a state of shock and anguish. The president of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA), Lata Champsee has sent letters of protest to the Prime Minister of India, the chief minister of UP and other officials. Many more such letters are being sent by 100s of Jain centers and thousands of Jains in North America.



May 21-27, 2011

Sikh Summit held in Washington DC Washington, DC: Nearly 50 Sikh community members met over 30 members of Congress and government agencies to advocate for Sikh civil and human rights at the 3rd Annual Sikh Summit from May 26 here. The annual advocacy week consists of addressing ongoing civil “I, Shveta w/o Girish Sondhi, resident of H.No. NC 76 Kot Kishan Chand, Jalandhar, Punjab 144001 India / 165 Baldwin Path Deer Park NY 11729, have changed my name to Shveta Sondhi. All concerned please note.”


rights issues that most affect the Sikh community nationally to reach meaningful solutions. The Summit is an opportunity for Sikh community members to advocate for policies that protect and honor Sikh civil rights by presenting their personal experiences to lawmakers to effect positive change on a national level. “As Chairman Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific

American Caucus, I see UNITED SIKHS' work in preserving cultural heritage, promoting civic engagement and providing humanitarian relief as vital to the broader mission of the Asian American community," said Congressman Mike Honda in a statement. The Sikh Summit dinner, held midweek, was another opportunity for community members from all over the country to bring up rele-

Attack on pak Story Continued from page 1 The Chinese leadership was "extremely forthcoming in assuring its unprecedented support to Pakistan for its national cause and security" and discussed all subjects of mutual interest with Gilani, the report said. Gilani described Pakistan-China relations and friendship as "unique". Talking to Pakistani journalists accompanying him, he said that China had acknowledged his country's contribution and sacrifices in the war against terrorism and supported its cause at the international level. Gilani said China has asked the US to improve its relations with Pakistan, keeping in view the present scenario. Pakistan reiterated its position on the one-China policy and said it fully supports China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet, he said. He said both sides will continue their consultations on UN reforms. China has agreed to provide Pakistan 50 new JF-17 Thunder

multi-role jets under a co-production agreement, The News reported. The two countries are also discussing the supply of Chinese J20 stealth jets and Xiaolong/FC-1 multi-purpose light fighter aircraft to Pakistan. IRS Story Continued from page 1 of the balance in your account. IRS’s voluntary disclosure program expires on August 31. The scare in the Indian communtiy hit home when Vaibhav Dahake of Somerset, NJ, and Josephine Bhasin, of Huntington, NY, became national headlines. Bhasin pleaded guilty to filing a false 2008 tax return ignoring HSBC India accounts valued at approximately $8.3 million. Dahake was indicted by a court in Newark with conspiracy to defraud the US by using undeclared accounts in the British Virgin Islands and HSBC India to dodge paying taxes. It was discovered that employees of HSBC Holdings and its affiliates in the US assured him that his HSBC accounts in India would not be reported to the IRS.

Sikh Summit delegates on Capitol Hill Which is not the case anymore when days of even ‘secret’ Swiss banks are numbered after UBS AG entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice. HSBC informed the IRS last year that at least 9,000 US "premier" clients (high-net-worth customers) had accounts with HSBC India. Their deposits are estimated at nearly $400 million in 2009. US officials said that as of 2009 only 1,921 HSBC accounts in India were disclosed by US taxpayers. The IRS is seeking client information on premier accounts as well as standard accounts maintained for less-wealthy customers. According to an IRS spokesperson, “our international efforts are not about just one country or one bank, it's about our wider effort to ensure compliance with the nation's tax laws." The problem of taxpayers using secret offshore bank accounts is costing US Treasury at least $100 billion annually, according to a 2008 Senate report. Two Sikhs Inducted Story Continued from page 1

vant issues. Attendees were able to hear comments from the White House Office of Public Engagements Associate Director Paul Monteiro, Congressman John Conyers, and Congresswoman Judy Chu. Renowned social justice rap artist GNE had a special surprise in store, and after dinner, the crowd was able to enjoy a program entitled, “Rapping for Human Rights.” Canadian-born turbaned Sikh from Edmonton, was made minister of state for democratic reform. This is Uppal's second term in the parliament. However, what shocked many in the Indo-Canadian community was the omission of senior-most MP Deepak Obhrai from the ministry. A six-time MP from Calgary, he was a parliamentary secretary in the outgoing ministry. Many community leaders, who had pushed his name for a Cabinet berth, were left disappointed. "I have nothing to say and will talk to you later,'' Obhrai said when asked about his exclusion from the cabinet. "I think the PM has done a smart job by including two Indians in Cabinet for the first time. But Obhrai deserved a berth for his work to promote CanadaIndian ties,'' said Gujarati businessman Hemant Shah. Former health minister Ujjal Dosanjh of the Liberal Party was the last Indian face in the Canadian Cabinet from 2004 to 2006. In the 308-member parliament, there are nine MPs of Indian origin.

Tristate Community

May 21-27, 2011

INOC-NJ felicitates ex-ministers from Punjab Fords, NJ: Pam Kwatra, president of Indian National Overseas Congress (IONC)-New Jersey chapter, held a dinner reception in honor of visiting team of former Congress ministers from Punjab at Royal Albert’s Palace here on April 29. At the occasion, she also announced the new executive board of INOC’s NJ chapter. Pam Kwatra extended hearty welcome to the visiting team of Punjab ministers and activists including: Krishan Kumar Bawa, Jasbir Singh Sangrur, Malkit Singh Dakha and Charan Singh Gurm. Housefed chairman K.K. Bawa was a victim of more than 12 bullets during Punjab riots who with the Baba Banda Singh foundation has built a sanctuary for widows and women victims of domestic violence. He was clearly the star of the evening.The New Board for IONC NJ includes Man-

Indus American Bank rolls out enhanced loan program for medical professionals

Pam Kwatra flanked by assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (to her right) and honoree K.K. Bawa, posing with visiting team from Punjab and the new board of INOC-NJ deep Singh Hans as Chairman, Raj Patel as Co-Chairman, Jasjit Singh Bindra as General Secretary, Jitu Rathod as Treasurer and Rahul Bathla as the Youth Chairman.In her closing remarks Pam Kwatra thanked the community and politi-

cal leaders present: Upendra Chivukula, Gulshan Chhabra, Rupender Singh Nayar and others. She mentioned that INOC aims to protect democracy and promote secularism and give India and Indians better representation and respect.

Court allows use of Facebook posts of teens charged in Dr Sinha case Old Bridge: Some Facebook conversations and text messages between several Old Bridge teenagers can be used against them in their murder trial in the beating death of a township resident on the sidewalk in front of his home, The Star-Ledger reported. Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz ruled 29 of 34 text messages were admissible, but said five others were too inflammatory, dealing with bragging by several of the boys about their actions in the attack on Divyendu Sinha. The text messages were between Julian Daley, 16, Christopher Conway, 17, and Cash Johnson, 17, the night of June 25, shortly after Sin-

ha and his two sons were attacked in front of their home on Fela Drive. In the text messages that were admitted, Conway and Daley allegedly plan to beat someone else up the night of June 26 and discuss what they should say if questioned by police. In the messages not admitted, the two allegedly discuss how much they enjoyed beating up Sinha. The Facebook entries that were admitted were between Daley and Johnson and another series between Daley and another friend in which Daley relates what he, Johnson, Conway, Christian Tinli, 18, and Steven Contreras, 17, had just done. The two also discuss how Daley could

hide his identity from police. Many of the text messages were made within 10 minutes of the assault and discussed the attack, according to Kuberiet, who sought to use them in the boys’ upcoming trial. Authorities said the juveniles, who will be tried as adults on charges of murdering Sinha, had been drinking before the attack and decided to go "wilding," and look for people to attack. Ferencz said he plans to set a trial date in either August or September. Four of the five teenagers are free on bail. Daley, who has twice violated conditions of his bail, is in the Middlesex County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Iselin, NJ: Indus American Bank has rolled out an enhanced loan program for medical professionals. The program is specially designed to help practicing medical professionals for their working capital needs including financing for implementing or upgrading their Electronic Health Records (EHR). The line of credit is available on competitive terms, to qualified borrowers. “This is a great opportunity to partner with medical professionals in the communities we serve by providing enhanced financial solutions”, said Jasbir

Kanwar Sibal, former Foreign Secretary of India, was the chief guest, seen here with the Consul General, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal.

Chopra, President & CEO of the Bank. On this occasion, Dr. Sharad Wagle, Director of Indus American Bank and Chief of Psychiatry at Holy Name Hospital said “As a professional in this field, I am excited that this program will greatly help medical professionals to move to electronic records system and take advantage of federal incentive programs for meaningful use of EHR as per provisions of the Health Care Plan.”

Sabhnani ‘slave’ home auctioned, goes for $1.1 million New York: The house of Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani, the Indian American couple, who are in prison for enslaving their Indonesian housekeepers was auctioned by the Federal authorities on Thursday in Muttontown. The half acre property went to a local real estate investor for $1.1 million, half of its valued price. The Sabhnanis made millions out of a

perfume business in the Middle East were convicted in 2007 and ordered to pay $680000 to the victims. The auction proceeds will go to the government. The convictions included forced labor, involuntary servitude and harboring aliens. The victims testified that the couple had them work 19-hour days and sleep on kitchen mats.

Community pays tribute to NJ pharmacist New Jersey: More than 500 people attended a memorial service at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords to pay homage to Arjun Reddy Dyapa, 54, who was fatally shot April 29 by an unidentified gunman at his pharmacy in Trenton, N.J. The memorial was organized by "Friends of Arjun," a team comprising Mohan Talamati, Malla Reddy, Mahender Musuku, Samba Reddy, Amar Reddy, Ram Reddy, Ravi Gummakonda, Parmesh Bheemreddy, Balwanth, Srinivas Ganagoni, Suresh Reddy, Gade Srinivas and oth-

NY Consulate hosts Baisakhi celebration New York: The Consulate General of India, in association with the Sikh Art and Film Foundation organized a function to celebrate Baisakhi on May 11, 2011. The event was attended by around 200 persons. Prabhu Dayal, Consul General welcomed the guests and said that the Consulate has been celebrating all festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, Eid, Christmas, Baisakhi with the involvement of Indian community organizations. He said that Baisakhi was celebrated all over India but it was particularly significant for the Sikh community as it was on this day that Guru Gobind Singh had founded the Sikh Khalsa.


The Consul General thanked community members for turning up in such a large number for celebrating Baisakhi at the Consulate. Kanwar Sibal, former Foreign Secretary of India was the Chief Guest at the function. During his address he appreciated the role of the Indian-American community for strengthening India's relations with the United States. He said that in the past there had been some hurdles which impeded the full growth of the bilateral relations but these were being slowly removed. He said that the potential for the growth of Indo-US relations was very high and ex-

horted the Indian-American community to continue working for bringing the two countries closer together. Teji Bindra, President of the Sikh Art & Film Foundation also addressed the gathering and explained the significance of Baisakhi. He said that there was a high level of interest in America in Sikh religion and a Chair on Sikh Studies had been set up at Hofstra University. Bindra appreciated the efforts of the Consulate for celebrating Baisakhi and inviting such a large gathering, especially members of the Sikh community.

ers. Organizers have also set up a trust fund to support the family. Dyapa, an active community leader, was one of the founders of the North American Telugu Association and a senior leader of several social and cultural organizations, the press release said. He was also the vice president of the Indo-American Friendship Council. He is survived by his wife Geetha, also a pharmacist, and daughter Pooja, 21.Police have released a video image of a suspect from an onsite security camera.

OFBJP to hold protests to back Ramdev’s antigraft drive New York: Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), USA is supporting Baba Ramdev's fight against corruption in India. It will organize mass protests on June 4 across the country in support of Baba Ramdev's fast unto death/'Satyagraha Against Corruption starting on the same day in India. Many Indian American organizations have agreed to participate in this OFBJP led campaign in several states and cities across USA. The protests will be organized in theTristate area, Delaware, Washington DC, Houston-TX, Dallas-TX, Atlanta-GA, Chicago-IL and California.


Tristate Community

May 21-27, 2011

Miami Imam charged for aiding Taliban, to plead not guilty Washington, DC: Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, imam of South Florida’s oldest mosque has been accused of financing Pakistani Taliban from 2008 to 2010. His lawyers though have said that he will plead not guilty to the charges. Khan and his two of his sons and three other people has been charged with providing material assistance to Taliban. The mosque has received threats since the charges were publicized on Saturday. The indictment says the defendants conspired to provide material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap people overseas, including planning to funnel at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban.

Of the 50 largest terrorism cases in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, about 70 percent have involved financing or other support for terrorist groups, according to the Center on Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. According to the indictment, a taperecorded phone conversation has Mr. Khan calling for an attack on the Pakistani Assembly similar to a suicide bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Sept. 20, 2008. Prosecutors say that in another phone conversation, Mr. Khan “declared his wish that God kill 50,000” American soldiers. Mr. Khan’s lawyer declined to discuss the specific charges.

Indian American student in top 10 Prudential Award winners New Jersey: Rujul Zaparde, 16, a junior at The Lawrenceville School in Plainsboro, New Jersey, made it to the list of top 10 national winners of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards held in Washington DC on May 2. The awards are given for outstanding volunteer community service in 2011. Five high school students and five middle school students were honored. Selected from a field of more than 29,000

participants in the U.S., Zaparde won $5,000, a gold medallion and a crystal trophy for his school. In addition, the Prudential Foundation is awarding $5,000 grants to nonprofit charitable organizations of each winner’s choice. Zaparde co-founded a nonprofit organization that has motivated more than 450 students at 23 schools to raise funds used to dig over 30 water wells in rural India.

ALPS Kotak India Growth Fund to provide U.S. Investors with multi-cap, cross-sector exposure to Indian equities New York: Kotak Group, one of India's leading diversified financial services providers, continues to build its U.S. presence with the launch of the first U.S. mutual fund from an India-based firm. The ALPS Kotak India Growth Fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing in large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap Indian companies with high growth potential, and is intended to provide U.S. retail and institutional investors with an opportunity to gain broad exposure across all key sectors of India's large and growing economy. ALPS Advisors Inc., will serve as the Fund's investment advisor while Kotak will act as sub-advisor and will manage the Fund's investment portfolio.Kotak

Mahindra (UK) Ltd.'s Nitin Jain will serve as principal Portfolio Manager for the Fund and will oversee a team of fund managers and analysts seeking to identify the most attractive growth companies among India's top listed companies representing all levels of market capitalization and across all sectors. "The India growth story is a multifaceted one, driven by a number of key, sometimes inter-related themes and trends, including demographic led growth in consumption, expansion of the financial sector, massive investment in infrastructure, continued growth in India's role as an outsourcing center and the cyclical impact of commodities," explained Mr. Jain

Free heath camp at NJ Gayatri Chetna Center New Jersey: The Gayatri Pariwar has organized a free medical camp on June 19th for benefit of community members who do not have medical insurance coverage. On Saturday, June 11th, 2011 (Morning), blood test will be conducted between 8:00 am and 11:00 am. Overnight fasting is required before blood test. In the morning of Sunday, June 19th, 2011, several volunteer doctors and medical staff with expertise

in general consultation, pain management, cardiology, OBGYN and other specialties will be present at Gayatri Chetna Center to review the blood report and provide medical advise. There are no fees for blood work or medical consultation. However, pre-registration is required to participate in the health camp. One must fill out all required forms and pay administrative fee of $15 per patient by 5 June, 2011 to

participate in camp. Please contact973-7141062 or 908-310-5531 or visit Gayatri Chetna Center (240 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854Phone: 732-357-8200) for registration. If you have medical background ( nursing, lab technician, medical doctor, dentist) and if you would like to volunteer for the camp, send an email to

Shakuntal Arts brings folk art to NJ New Jersey: Juni Rangbhoomi – the old theatre art form which has long disappeared from the art circuit in India found takers in the US when actor-director Sailesh Trivedi of Shakuntal Arts came up with an interesting presentation on the occasion of celebration of 205th issue of Gujarat Darpan & Swarnim Gujarat program recently. Bhavai – a popular folk art from Gujarat and a Juni Rangbhoomi play (old theatre) were woven in the play titled ‘Dada no dangoro lidho’ where in children get to learn about the art forms – Bhavai, Ramlila, Desi Natak and Mime – from their grandfather. The Bhavai was titled ‘Bapu ni Baa’ while the Juni Rangbhoomi play was

Ramlila, Bhavai, Desi natak and mime were woven in the play titled ‘Draupadi Vastraharan’. The latter was quite an entertainment as keeping in with the tradition a male actor did the part of the actress too. The cast included Sailesh Trivedi (Ranglo,Bapu &

Dushashan), Smita Gandhi (Rangli), Samir Shah (Vidushak & Krishna), Bharat Patel (Draupadi), Vandana Majmudar (Baa), Dilip Shah (Dada), Sheth (Kaushik Amin) and Kush, Krish, Janu and Pooja (Children).

National Community


May 21-27, 2011

Sikh American paramedic sues hospital for discrimination Washington DC: The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) has filed charges with the New Mexico Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Española Hospital and Presbyterian Health Services (PHS) for religious discrimination against a Sikh American. The plaintiff, Sahaj Singh Khalsa, alleges that hospital administrators actively discriminated against him because of his religion, made disparaging remarks and threats, and, in one incident, physically assaulted him. Khalsa was employed by PHS as a Paramedic and Field Operations Supervisor for nine years from 2001 to 2010. During

Sahaj Singh Khalsa this time, Khalsa maintained an exemplary work record and provided excellent care to people in need. However, beginning in 2008

the working environment at Española Hospital became progressively hostile to him and other Sikh American employees. When Khalsa reported this discrimination to the hospital human resource office, they acknowledged the hostile work environment, but failed to discipline those responsible. Instead, hospital administration targeted Khalsa by suddenly implementing a nobeards policy in retaliation for his complaints, telling he must either shave or lose his job. Khalsa suggested a reasonable compromise, offering to wear a larger respirator that would cover his facial hair while he administered aid but this accommodation was refused without justification.

DOE commits $25 million for U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center Washington, D.C : As part of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh of India last November, the Department of Energy has committed $25 million over the next five years to support the U.S.India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC). This first-of-a-kind effort is a key component of the U.S. and India’s commitment to improve energy access and

promote low-carbon growth by facilitating joint research and development of clean energy technologies. Teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India will initially focus on research in three priority areas – building energy efficiency, second-generation biofuels and solar energy. “Developing and investing in new technologies is a key component to meeting the goals of a clean energy future,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “This

Rabindra Sangeet: Sudeshna Basu and Debu Nayak at the event on the life and legacy of Rabindranath Tagore jointly hosted by the Indian Embassy and Asia Society DC at the Asia Society DC premises on May 12, 2011.

innovative approach to collaborative research is a testament to the special relationship shared by the two countries. By working with our partners in India and sharing a strong commitment to building a clean energy economy, we can get further, faster, than by working alone.” The Department of Energy will provide awards under each of the JCERDC's three initial priority areas. Universities, national labs, private companies and others are eligible to apply. Applications are due by August 16, 2011, with selections expected later this fall. Funding from the Department of Energy will be matched by U.S. grantees to support $50 million in U.S. research. The Indian Ministry of Science and Technology will provide an additional $50 million in Indian public and private funding to support research in India. The JCERDC will be located in existing facilities in both countries and funding from the U.S. government will only be used to support work conducted by U.S. institutions and individuals.

Hospital administration reportedly continued this pattern of discrimination and retaliation until Khalsa was forced to the conclusion that PHS had no intention of making reasonable accommodations for his sincerely-held religious beliefs as required by law. He also concluded that PHS had no interest in truly addressing the toxic environment of workplace discrimination. Having exhausted every reasonable option,Khalsa was forced to resign in December 2010. He contacted SALDEF last year seeking assistance, said, “All I wanted was to do my job helping people in my community get the urgent medical care they needed. My Sikh religion did not prevent me from performing that job, but

the prejudice of my supervisors did. I am thankful that organizations like the ACLU and SALDEF are safeguarding our basic freedoms.” “The actions of Española Hospital and Presbyterian Health Services are another example of the widespread and serious problem of workplace discrimination against practicing Sikh Americans,” said Kavneet Singh, SALDEF Managing Director. “Every day, Sikh Americans face employment discrimination, hate crimes, school bullying, and harassment due to misconceptions about the Sikh identity. We commend Sahaj Singh Khalsa for demanding his constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.”

IAFPE presents a night of wonderful “Ghazal-ka-Safar” By Chander Gambhir Virginia: The Indian American Forum for Political Education presented the “Ghazal Ka Safar” where famous ghazal singers from Pune, Dattaprasad Ranade and Saavani Ravindra, mesmerized the audience for more than four hours on April 29 at the Spectrum Theatre in Arlington. The evening gave an opportunity for the IAFPE to voice its message of ‘Political Participation through Political Education.’ IAFPE has been active in the USA for the last 20 years. It was a matter of great appreciation by the South Asian American Community of the Washington Baltimore Metro area. NICHE entertainment of Pune, India, which had performed in Washington successful shows in the past, like Black and White and Bhairav Te Bhairavi, showered the ghazals into a journey of beautiful rendering by Dattaprasad and Saavani with melodious voice. It was accompanied by acclaimed musicians Mr. Kulkarni on Tabla and

Professor Gulawani on Violin. The very informative narration was written by Mr. Salim Akhtar of Mumbai and presented by Mr. Milind Oak and Mr. Bharat Bhargava. The event was attended and enjoyed by many ghazal lovers of Indian/Asian communities. Many prominent members of the community, professional, CEOs and half a dozen of doctors some officials from the Embassy of India did participate. In addition to local Washington Metro Area; connoisseurs of ghazal came as far as from Baltimore to Gaithersburg Maryland and from Leesburg to Fredericksburg Virginia. Along with the various Indian American Associations patrons from the Pakistani American community attended and were very pleased to be a part of the unique presentation of the journey with narration and poetry accompanied by music. Two members of the community, Dr. Ram Singh and Mrs Vatsala Mehra were felicitated for their long time service to the community and for her long time dedication in the field of ghazal singing, respectively.

ICE announces expanded list of degree programs Washington, D.C.: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has published an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. By expanding the list of STEM degrees to include such fields as Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Mathematics and Computer Science, the administration hopes to address shortages in certain high tech sectors of talented scien-

tists and technology experts-permitting highly skilled foreign graduates who wish to work in their field of study upon graduation and extend their post-graduate training in the United States. Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate with one of the newly-expanded STEM degrees can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.


National Community

May 21-27, 2011

Indian American community raises over $100K for Japan Los Angeles: A benefit concert featuring a quartet of rising tabla stars and the world’s first Korean Kathak dancer cum tabla player raised over $100,000 last month for the victims of the deadly series of disasters in Japan. An effort spearheaded by the Jain Center of Southern California, in association with various Indian organizations in the region, the concert entitled ‘Drums and Dance of India’ was held at the Jain Center Cultural Complex and attended by over 800 guests including

Korean Kathak dancer, choreographer, tabla player and teacher Jin (JoungJin) Won mesmerized the audience with her performance

Buena Park Mayor Fred R. Smith and Los Angeles Japanese Consul General Junichi Ihara. Kathak dancer Jin (JoungJin) Won and contemporary classical tabla ensemble Talavya enthralled the audience which their performances and encouraged a large outpouring of support from the Indian American community. Based in Ahmedabad, India, these artists were on a one-month tour in the US. “When the earthquake and tsunami happened, like so many others, we too wanted to do something,” says Talavya artist Rushi Vakil. “Our LA concert was already planned and when the organizers wished to change it to a benefit concert, our desire to use our art for the victims and their families was also fulfilled.” Talavya wowed the audience with their unique presentation of Indian percussion. The brainchild of Pandit Divyang Vakil, Talavya gives a modern flavor to classical tabla playing to create an unmatched rhythmic journey. Showcasing the beauty of Indian classical dance was Korean artist Jin. A Kathak dancer and choreographer, tabla player and teacher of Kathak and tabla, Jin has been living in India for the past 15 years and is a global ambassador of Indian classical arts. She opened the evening with a mesmerizing performance, including a tale of a woman's pain and sorrow where she compared her tears to the rain. With over $100,000 raised at the benefit, in

Talavya members the coming weeks, at least two representatives from the Indian American community in Southern California will travel at their own expense to Japan to offer services and support. The concert was the result of dedication of Jain Center of Southern California along

with the Gayatri Pariwar, SAHARA, Vaishnav Pariwar, Federation of IndoAmerican Associations, Matiya Patidar Samaj, Indian American Senior Heritage, Asian Indian Seniors Association and the Academy of Indian Culture.

Desi director wins gold at Houston Film Fest Houston: Trisha Ray's film 'Sugarbaby', about a trio of street singers in Kolkata, has won a Gold Remi for the 'Best Theatrical Feature Film' at the Houston's Worldfest 2011. The film with actors from both the US and India, also stars two Satyajit Ray heroes, Soumitra Chatterjee and Barun Chanda. Trisha Ray is famous theater personality Karuna Banerjee's grandniece. 'Sugarbaby' is based on a novel by Brian Stewart. The movie is about three girls, Maria (Iheny from Venezuela), Sally (Cristina from the US) and Tara (Jasmine, also from the US), who are street singers. One day they find an abandoned baby and their lives change forever. "I am showing the girls as Anglo-Indians. I was supposed to shoot the film in New York, but then I thought why not Kolkata. I always wanted to do Bengali films and

Trisha Ray wrote a couple of scripts but couldn't find producers. When I told my producers that I wanted to shoot in Kolkata, they agreed. "I wanted to show the city with the flavor of an international city, that's why the three protagonists are neither Indians nor foreigners," Ray said.

Patel couple pleads guilty for selling fake drugs Washington, DC: An Indian-American couple has pleaded guilty to charges of selling counterfeit prescription drugs manufactured in India to customers in the United States. Nita Patel, 47, and her husband, Harshad, 53, an Indian national, entered their pleas before US District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden, Monday. The Patels each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing was set for August 23. In February 2009, the FBI became aware that Nita Patel was offering generic forms of patented pharma-

ceutical products for sale over the Internet, United States Attorney Paul J Fishman said. When contacted by an undercover officer in July 2009, authorities said, Nita Patel provided a price list of products that included 'generic' Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, each of which is a patent-protected erectile dysfunction drug made in the US. Over a period of seven months, she and her husband negotiated four separate sales of more than 300,000 tablets of counterfeit drugs, including the erectile dysfunction drugs, as well as generic versions

of Abilify, a drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; the anti-depressant Lexapro; and Plavix, an anti-coagulant.All of the drugs were shipped from a business in India, where a third defendant, Moloy Ghosh, 31, lived and worked before he was arrested with the Patels in the United States in April 2010. Ghosh pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced to eight months in prison. Had the drugs sold to the undercover officer been authentic, they would have had a wholesale acquisition cost of more than $2.5 million.

US Affair

Jindal plays with birthers Baton Rouge, LA: Rouge on June 10, Louisiana Gov. Bobby 1971 to Indian Jindal has released his immigrants. The long-form birth certifibirther bill has cate after local newspabeen moved last per the Advocate ran an month by David editorial saying, Vitter, a GOP sena"Piyush Amrit Jindal is tor from Louisiana, the last man in America to limit birthright who should give his citizenship. Under blessing to a birther the measure, kids bill.” His step is said to born in the US be in a fit of pique and qualify for citizenLouisiana Gov. silliness over the newsship only if at least Bobby Jindal paper getting his middle one parent is name wrong. But there is more to already a legal resident. Jindal still it.Jindal threw his support behind a qualifies: The green cards his parbirther bill currently making its way ents held gave them that status. through the state legislature that Meanwhile, Jindal, now a veteran would require those who want to of managing crises after the BP oil run for national office to show proof spill hit his state, is getting praise of US birth in order to be on the for handling the Mississippi river Louisiana ballot. This is part of flooding in Louisiana. And this ongoing saga of Republicans’ time, Jindal, one of the leading critattempt to keep throwing doubt at ics of the Obama administration’s President Obama’s US citizenship response to last year’s Gulf oil spill, even after he released his long form says things are going much better as birth certificate issued from Hawaii. his state deals with flooding. Jindal’s birth certificate shows that A rising star in the GOP, Jindal he—given the first name Piyush (he had been briefly discussed as a poschanged it to Bobby and also con- sible 2012 presidential candidate. verted to Christianity from He is now seen as a potential VP Hinduism)—was born in Baton contender.


May 21-27, 2011

Republican presidential hopefuls: who’s left Washington: With Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump opting out of the race, the field is getting smaller for Republican party’s nomination of a presidential candidate for 2012, worrying the party. Here is a list of the prominent candidates who have logged in and those still doubtful. Michele Bachmann: Sounding more and more like a presidential candidate, she said Tuesday that Huckabee's withdrawal may push her to decide sooner on whether to run for the GOP nomination. "I think what this has changed is the grassroots and what they're looking for," the Minnesota congresswoman said. She is said to be in a position to scoop up a fair chunk of Huckabee's support among evangelical Christians in Iowa. Bachmann, whose high profile and tea party appeal have been compared to Sarah Palin's, is also widely seen as a prime beneficiary if the former Alaska governor opts against a run. Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor had a fundraising call-a-thon in Las Vegas that netted his presidential bid $10.25 million Monday. “It really gives us the boost that we need at

Two of the frontrunners : Michele Bachmann (left), Mitt Romney this early stage in my effort,” Romney said. Mitch Daniels: The Indiana governor says he's "not going to take much longer" to make a decision on whether he'll run for president in 2012. The former White House budget director is being widely recruited by Republicans who hope his fiscal conservatism would appeal to voters alarmed by the national debt and big government. Sarah Palin: Stoking more speculation about whether she intends to run for the White House, Sarah Palin, GOP’s Vice Presidential candidate in 2008, is sending out 400,000 direct mail fundraising

solicitations for 2012, including to voters in earlier primary states. “Taking back control of the House last year was only the first step,” Palin says in the mailer sent out nationwide. “Now you and I must fix our eyes on 2012. Our goal is to take back the White House and the Senate.” Newt Gingrich: Soon after his announcement of joining the race, reports came that in 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker carried as much as $500,000 in debt to Tiffany jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.


Osama Kill--the Aftermath

May 21-27, 2011

Experts offer road map for Pak stability New York: Pakistan should rein in the military's political and economic dominance, take steps to end the rivalry with India and curb militancy within its own borders in order to foster peace and prosperity in South Asia, according to a latest report. The report said Pakistan is not a failed or even a failing state, but, it has stumbled from one crisis to another in recent years and faces serious challenges including terrorism, religious extremism, underdevelopment and chronic political instability. Written by Columbia University Professor Hassan Abbas, who served in the administrations of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto and President Pervez Musharraf _ with input from 30 other experts from the U.S. and Pakistan _ the report warns that internal security problems, weaknesses in government, and "Pakistan's perennial identity crisis also have risen to

The report, entitled "Pakistan 2020," lays out a road map to tackle the country's challenges in the next decade with the goal of establishing stability, a sustainable democracy, and a better life for the country's 180 million people dangerous levels." The report, entitled "Pakistan 2020," lays out a road map to tackle the country's challenges in the next decade with the goal of establishing stability, a sustainable democracy, and a better life for

the country's 180 million people whose poverty and illiteracy rates are among the highest in the region. "Without the urgent adoption of both remedial and revolutionary measures, Pakistan's future chal-

Somebody in Pak knew about Osama: US Washington: While the United States has no proof that Pakistan's top leaders knew Osama bin Laden was hiding near the capital city of Islamabad, "somebody had to know," US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said. "It's my supposition, and I think it's a supposition shared by a number in this government, that somebody had to know, but we have no proof and no evidence," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. Because of a lack of evidence,

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

US seeks answers from Pak Washington: The United States has sought answers from Pakistan conveying the administration and lawmakers concerns about long-term national security following Islamabad's failure to locate slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. "We understand concerns raised in Congress in the wake of the bin Ladin raid, and we share some of those concerns," State department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. "We've been quite clear in conveying those concerns to the Government of Pakistan," he said when asked about a letter by five senators to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking an assessment of Pakistan's commitment to and efforts towards the fight against terrorism. Noting that the visit of chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, to Pakistan was being followed by US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mark Grossman, Toner said: "we're going to continue this dialogue." "We've also been consistent in saying that we believe this kind of counterterrorism cooperation is indeed in the interest of both our countries, our long-term national security interests, and we're going to seek to move forward," he said. "But it's also important to stress that we do have these concerns, we share them, and we want answers," Toner said. Asked about terror groups operating out of Pakistan, he said "a productive counterterrorism relationship with Pakistan" was "in our mutual interest." "We clearly have some concerns that we want to address, but we're going to keep this moving forward," he said.

"it's hard to hold them accountable for it," he said. But Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, cautioned against holding back aid until Pakistan moves against militants within its borders, saying Islamabad is already paying for its inaction. The ability of the United States to enter Pakistan, kill Osama bin Laden and leave without detection was a humiliation to Pakistanis, Gates said.

lenges will only become more serious over time," the report warns. The experts said one of the most important challenges facing Pakistan "is the military's dominance of the country's fiscal priorities" and consumption of the lion's share of state resources, and its dominance of the country's strategic outlook which continues to focus on its fear of India's regional domination. Internally, the report said Pakistan faces a significant rise in terrorist activity as well as threats from criminal networks, groups devoted to sectarian violence and extremist political groups. The report called for police reforms, law enforcement "deradicalization programs," as well as military force, to reduce religious militancy and confront the multiple insurgent and terrorist groups operation in the country. It warned that Pakistan is

unlikely to meet the optimistic scenario of 5 percent annual economic growth in the next 10 years "without a sustainable peace deal with India that includes an amicable resolution of the Kashmir dispute." To improve relations with India, the report called for increasing annual bilateral trade to more than $5 billion by 2020, reforming the visa process, and enhancing energy cooperation. India and Pakistan should also put a moratorium on expanding their nuclear weapons programs and agree on a set number of weapons and on spending limits, it said. The report said Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other external powers must also cooperate in fighting terrorism, which is not confined to a single country. It calls for civilian law enforcement agencies from South Asia to develop ways to ensure such cooperation.

Pak's 4th N-reactor has India worried

Jury chosen in Rana case

Khushab nuclear site in Pakistan.

A sketch of Tahawwur HussainRana during a court hearing. Chicago: A Chicago court has selected 12 jurors and six alternates for the trial of Pakistani-born Tahawwur Hussain Rana charged with aiding Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the November 2008 Mumbai attack. The panel of eight women and four men, plus four male and two female alternates, was sworn in before US District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber, capping a three-day selection process. The court ordered that identities not be disclosed publicly for their safety. A Canadian citizen, Rana, 50, who runs an immigration services business with offices in Chicago, New York and Toronto, has been charged with providing a cover to his PakistaniAmerican high school friend David Coleman Headley for scouting targets for the Mumbai terrorist attack.

New Delhi: Pakistan is focusing on building low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons which it can use in case of skirmishes at the border with India. After disclosures that Pakistan is building its fourth reactor at the Khushab military facility, fresh estimates made by security and intelligence officials here suggest that Pakistan now has the capability to add 8-10 such weapons in its kitty every year. The figure is likely to go up considerably once the new reactor becomes operational in less than two years. Latest satellite images revealed recently that Pakistan has expedited work on the fourth reactor, a plutonium producing facility. The news is a surprise, if not shock, to the government here. Its

belief, based on assessment by top scientists, was that Pakistan was unlikely to undertake this sort of expansion as it did not have enough uranium. Pakistan is internationally acknowledged to have a nuclear arsenal of 100 weapons but the recent focus on low-yield, also known as tactical, weapons has become a source of worry for India. Officials and experts believe Pakistan will use it only in the case of any incursion made by Indian forces into Pakistani territory or what is known as India's cold start doctrine. In the event of another Mumbai-like terrorist attack, there is going to be real pressure on India to mount such an incursion and strike some of the terror camps.

Osama Kill--the Aftermath

May 21-27, 2011

US to work with Pak on future raids

US Senator John Kerry with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad. Islamabad: The US and Pakistan have agreed to work together in any future actions against "high

value targets" in Pakistan even as US Sen John Kerry warned Pakistan on Monday that future

relations would be determined by its actions, not words, after controversy over the killing of Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil. Senator John Kerry told a news conference he had not come to Islamabad to apologize for the May 2 secret US raid that killed Osama bin Laden and infuriated the Pakistani military. But the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Democrat close to President Barack Obama, said US-Pakistani ties were too important to be unraveled by the incident. In a veiled warning to the Pakistani security establishment, made up of the powerful military and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, he said: "The road ahead will not be defined by words. It will be defined by actions."

Address 26/11 questions: US to Pak Washington: As the trail of Pakistani- Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana began in a Chicago court, the United States asked Pakistan to respond to its questions with regard to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, a State Department official said. "We have asked the Pakistani Government to address those allegations in the past," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters when asked about the alleged involvement of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. The spokesman, however, refrained from giving any further details citing it as a legal matter and the court proceedings were ongoing. "There's a legal process underway,

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner. and anything I say from here can obviously... I think we have been clear, again, that this is an ongoing legal process, trial, and so I can't say a lot about it," he said.

'Pak may shoot down US drones' Islamabad: If necessary orders are given, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) may shoot down US drones that enter the country's airspace to bombard the northwestern region bordering Afghanistan, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, who heads the air force, has said. Suleman said this in reply to a question during an in-camera briefing by the country's military officials to a joint sitting of parliament, Geo News reported. The joint sitting was held against the backdrop of the US Special Forces mission in Abbottabad on May 2 that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, chief of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), admitted there was "intelligence failure" during the US raid. The US made its position clear when Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said that intelligence on the operation to take out bin Laden was not shared with Pakistan out of fear that it would "jeopardize the mission", according to Al Jazeera. The ISI director general Friday accepted full responsibility for the Abbottabad incident during an in-camera joint sitting of parliament.


"But speaking globally about the Mumbai attacks, we have asked that all parties answer questions that have been raised by the Mumbai attacks," Toner said.

Saudi diplomat shot dead Islamabad: A Saudi Arabian diplomat was shot and killed by unidentified attackers in Karachi on Monday, just five days after explosives devices were lobbed at the Saudi consulate in the southern Pakistani port city. The Saudi diplomat, identified in media reports as Hasan M M AlKahtani, was attacked by four gunmen riding two motorcycles while he was driving to work. The attack occurred a short distance from the Bahrain consulate. The Saudi Embassy in Islamabad confirmed that the victim was a diplomat. Police officials said the gunmen intercepted the car and fired over a dozen bullets at the victim. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. On May 11, two men riding a motorcycle lobbed two low intensity explosive devices at the Saudi consulate in Karachi though no one was injured in the attack.

Stop treating India as enemy: Sharif

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Islamabad: As Pakistan's powerful military held out threats to India, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for reappraisal of ties with its neighbor to move forward and progress, saying Islamabad must stop treating New Delhi as its "biggest enemy". Sharif, who was earlier involved in talks with India when the Kargil crisis erupted, also sought a probe into the 1999 conflict with India. He called on the government to also conduct an inquiry into the 2006 killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation and the carnage in Karachi on May 12, 2007 that killed over 40 people who tried to rally in support of then-deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. Sharif, whose government was deposed in a military coup led by former President Pervez Musharraf

in 1999, reiterated his demand for the budgets of the military and the ISI to be placed before Parliament for scrutiny in line with the practice in other democracies. He said one of his biggest regrets was not taming the powerful military when he was Prime Minister in the 1990s. The Parliamentary resolution calling for an independent commission to investigate the killing of alQaida leader Osama bin Laden in a US raid on May 2 was the first step towards making Parliament a sovereign body, Sharif said. "We need structural changes and this inquiry has provided an opportunity to move forward and put the country on the right track, correct its direction by putting our house in order, establish the rule of law and bring all institutions under civilian control," Sharif said.

ISI stops intelligence sharing with CIA London: Pakistan's spy agency has stopped sharing intelligence with the CIA following the unilateral US operation to kill Osama bin Laden, it was reported here. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, who had earlier been credited with helping spot targets for drone strikes and give data to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), have now started to withhold crucial operational details about militants, The Sunday Telegraph reported. US commandos killed Osama May 2 at his Abbottabad mansion. The US said it had not shared information about the daring raid with Pakistan. The media report said the ISI has now broken off relations with the CIA. "They are furious. They handed over telephone intercepts in 2009 that were crucial in leading to bin Laden's courier the key breakthrough in the hunt," a source was quoted as saying. "Then four months ago they were told there was nothing in it, it was what the Americans called a 'cold lead'. Since then they have been left out completely out of the loop."

US commandos killed Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad mansion. Senior US officials said they stopped sharing information as they were concerned that sympathizers within Pakistani security forces would tip-off Osama. Lieutenant General Talat Masood, a military analyst, said: "There are implications for both the US and international forces in Afghanistan, so the Americans will be very interested in getting the relationship back on track."


India Newswire

May 21-27, 2011

It's CM vs Governor in Karnataka Bengaluru: Virtually serving an ultimatum to H.R. Bhardwaj, chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday threatened to plunge into agitation against the governor's action recommending President's rule in Karnataka if he failed to give his approval by this evening for convening the assembly from June 2. "By this evening, news should reach me (from Raj Bhavan) that approval has been given for the (legislature) session," Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bangalore, a day after a brief bonhomie between the two amidst a raging political war. Otherwise, the chief minister said he would embark on a state-wide tour on an open-jeep addressing road-side rallies to build public opinion from Friday. A ministerial delegation, led by Yeddyurappa, met the governor on Wednesday and requested him to convene the session to pass the full budget. Bhardwaj told him that he was await-

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa BJP President Nitin Gadkari, senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj with MLAs at the President House after a meeting in New Delhi.

Chidambaram admits error in terror list

Mulund railway station blast accused Wazhul Kamar Khan (face covered) at anti-terrorist squad office in Mumbai. New Delhi: Admitting a "mistake" in the inclusion of terror suspect Wazhul Qamar Khan in the "Most Wanted" fugitive list despite his actually living near Mumbai, Home Minister P. Chidambaram reminded his bitter critic, the BJP, of the Kandahar hijack episode when one minister accompanied freed terrorists to the Afghan city and another was unaware of this. A day after it became known that that the government had goofed-up on the terror list that was handed over to Pakistan for tracking 50 criminals allegedly hiding in that country, Chidambaram admitted: "Obviously, there was a mistake (and) how this mistake has happened has been explained." "We are not trying to blame anyone. We take responsibility for it," Chidambaram said. He said the the Mumbai police "did not formally inform the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about Khan's arrest (in May last year)". But the Mumbai police had informed the state's Intelligence

Bureau about it, he said. "That dot was not connected. The information was available but the dots were not connected." "This information," he said, "unfortunately was not reflected in the list of fugitives maintained by the authorities and was overlooked while a list was prepared in March 2011". He said it the failure to formally communicate the fact of the arrest of Khan on May 21, 2010 to the CBI resulted in the name being retained by the probe agency. "It is possible that the said failure was the result of a genuine oversight by the Mumbai police. At the same time there was also a lapse on the part of IB in not reflecting the information received by it while preparing the list in March 2011," he said. He lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for terming the error monumental. The BJP's Arun Jaitley had said the "home ministry has risen to the highest level of incompetence and this error has embarrassed the country".

ing decision of the Centre on his recommendation to impose President's rule and asked the chief minister to wait for a "day or two" on the issue of his approval for the session. Yeddyurappa came down heavily on JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda and KPCC President G Parameshwara for "trying to exert pressure" on the governor to dismiss the Government. He flayed the Congress for its campaign seeking the ouster of the BJP government, saying the main opposition party is not honoring the people's mandate, seeking to topple a duly elected government. The Congress neither has the capacity nor strength to face the people, he said, noting that the BJP had won all the three assembly by-elections recently. "I have dealt with them respectfully so far. Henceforth, I will expose their immoralities and scandals," Yeddyurappa said. "I will not leave that easily".

CBI botches up Davy's extradition New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came in for strong criticism over its team landing in Copenhagen to seek extradition of the main accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, Kim Davy, with an expired warrant. Terming the goof-up as an “oversight”, a CBI official said that the agency has now sought revalidation of the warrant, which will be extended till Aug 20. The warrant expired in January. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury, criticizing the CBI, said they have a “lackadaisical approach” in seeking the extradition of Davy, accused of dropping a cache of arms in West Bengal's Purulia district from an An-26 aircraft Dec 17, 1995. “CBI must immediately change its lackadaisical approach. They must correct it in the interest of the country. It is a very serious matter considering internal

Kim Devy, the main accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case. security,” Yechury said. “CBI must ensure Davy's extradition in the interest of the country,” he added.

Congress defends Rahul on 'mass murder' New Delhi: The political battle over Rahul Gandhi's statement on "mass murder and rape" in Bhatta-Parsaul - the epicenter of a farmers' agitation in Greater Noida - intensified Wednesday with the Congress MP calling for the ouster of the Mayawati government over the issue, while the BJP said he was "exaggerating the situation and playing a fixed match" with the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. "The flame we lit in BhattaParsaul will be carried to every village of the state. We will show the Uttar Pradesh government what the Congress is capable of doing for the good of the poor and the downtrodden," Gandhi told a Congress convention in Varanasi. Gandhi had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a delegation of farmers from Bhatta-Parsaul and handed over pictures of ashes with bones, injured people and ransacked houses. He had quoted villagers speaking of "mass murders,

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. repression and rapes" by the police in the village. As media reports and political opponents accused Gandhi of "exaggerating the situation" in his statement after he met Manmohan Singh, the Congress party tried to defend the Nehru family scion. Party spokesman Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters in New Delhi that Gandhi has been misquoted and he had never said that "74 farmers were killed in BhattaParsaul".

"Rahul Gandhi had merely stated what the villagers had told him at the meeting with prime minister," Dwivedi said here, even as the party stuck to the youth leader's demand that the Uttar Pradesh government order a judicial probe into the allegations of men being burnt and women raped in the village. "Whatever has come in the media in unfortunate. Nowhere did he (Rahul Gandhi) mention the number of 74 or 74 bodies. Rahul Gandhi had only said that at one place an ash heap of 70 foot area was there in which bones were found," Dwivedi told reporters. The BJP dubbed Gandhi's claims on Bhatta-Parsaul an exaggeration and accused the Congress of kicking up a "phobia". "Congress in the last decade has this policy, to kick up a phobia, even if they have to tell lies and make people believe it is a serious crisis," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

India Newswire

May 21-27, 2011

India to begin caste, creed, poverty census For the first time ever, the BPL survey, which takes place every five years, will include urban households. New Delhi: The Indian government has approved the carrying out of a survey to identify the number of people living below poverty line, as well as the head counts for various caste and religious groups. "The union cabinet approved the conduct of BPL (below poverty line) census in rural and urban areas," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here. She added that the census on caste and religion will also take place "simultaneously". The financial approval for conducting the survey is still in process. For the first time ever, the BPL survey, which takes place every


five years, will include urban households. The exercise will be carried out jointly by the ministries of rural development and housing and urban poverty alleviation, and the registrar general and census commissioner of India. The previous BPL surveys were conducted in 1992, 1997 and 2002. The last one was supposed to have been conducted in 2007, but it could not be done due to a court case which vacated a stay only in 2006. The survey is expected to begin June and will be wrapped up by December, officials said. Around 14 lakh enumerators and data collectors will be involved in the mammoth process.

Rajini fine, don't gossip: wife Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth is "fine" and "doing well", his wife and doctor announced outside a Chennai hospital on Thursday as legions of ardent fans prayed for his recovery. The actor is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Sri Ramachandra hospital but there is no reason to worry, said wife Latha Rajinikanth. "He is fine. It was an infection that has created an imbalance. He has been moved to ICU only to give more protection and give proper treatment because it's a sterile area," she said. "He is fine now."

Superstar Rajinikanth.

Latha urged the 61-year-old actor's fans and journalists to give her family privacy and not speculate about his health. "Rajinikanth is a human and he has a normal body. Please do not create news that may cause tension to his countless fans. I cannot respond to all the news items and gossip that are in circulation, but please do understand that he is a normal human being and like normal human beings he has a normal body that is prone to infection. Please allow us some privacy and peace," she said.

ED charges Kalmadi with money laundering New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate has ment in several other deals. slapped money laundering charges on sacked Last month, ED had asked Kalmadi to proCommonwealth Games organizing committee vide all his travel details and bank transactions for the entire period of his stay with the OC. chief Suresh Kalmadi and has begun identifying his properties and those belonging to his relaThe agency had also carried out enquiries from tives and aides to attach them to recover losses banks and financial institutions in the country from Games contracts. Charges under and abroad to trail Games-related transactions. Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) The OC had favoured appointment of certain vendors for the Games. It was later found by were slapped on Kalmadi for alleged corruption the Comptroller and Auditor General that the in awarding of key Games contracts. A notice Former will be issued to him to appear for question- Commonwealth Games difference in rates charged by these vendors ing in the next few days. The charges are organizing committee for items with the same specification varied based on the FIR filed by CBI which also chief Suresh Kalmadi. between 5% and 99%. Had the vendors formed the basis for his arrest. According to adopted the minimum rate across clusters, the CBI, Kalmadi was part of the conspiracy in favoring Swiss OC could have saved at least Rs 220 crore, CAG had Timing Omega for a Games contract, besides his involve- observed in its preliminary findings.


India Newswire

May 21-27, 2011

India salutes women's power New Delhi: More women than ever are holding powerful political roles in India after two female regional leaders scored massive victories in state assembly elections. Their wins doubled the number of female state chief ministers and meant that women now rule a third of the 1.2 billion population in India, where girls are often still seen as a liability and female foeticide has skewed gender ratios. The country, which already had a sprinkling of women in key positions including leader of the ruling party, is seeing an unprecedented "burst of feminine power", said veteran commentator M.J. Akbar. Firebrand Mamata Banerjee last week demolished 34 years of communist rule in West Bengal, India's fourth most populous state -prompting the Indian Express newspaper to shout in a headline: "Bengal makes her story". Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, exmovie actress J. Jayalalitha staged a huge comeback to oust a rival regional party enmeshed in corruption allegations. The pair join populist maverick leader Mayawati -- who governs vast, poverty-stricken Uttar Pradesh state -- and Sheila Dikshit, regarded as a sober grandmotherly type who administers the Delhi national capital region.

Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi meets Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi on May 16. While national ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, 64, is viewed as India's most influential politician, women also hold the jobs of president, leader of the opposition and parliamentary speaker. Last year, the upper house of parliament passed long-standing legislation that would reserve a third of seats in the national legislature for female MPs, but it is yet to go to a vote in the lower house. Observers are divided on what the surge in female power means -and what it could bring in a nation plagued by accusations of high-

Jaya charges Rangasamy with betrayal Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said her AIADMK had been betrayed by poll ally and newly-elected Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy, who heads the All India NR Congress (AINRC). "Prior to the poll, Rangasamy said the Congress had betrayed him. And he has done the same thing to AIADMK," Jayalalithaa said in a statement, adding that her party would now act as a constructive opposition in Puducherry. She added that Rangasamy had not had the courtesy to even wish her on her poll victory though she had wished him on his. The AIADMK is upset with Rangasamy's statement that his

party would form the government on its own and not with its poll ally. The two-month-old AINRC fought elections for the 30-member house in alliance with the AIADMK. It contested 17 seats and shared the rest with alliance partners - AIADMK (10) and one each to the DMDK, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Communist Party of India (CPI). AINRC won 15 seats with Rangasamy winning the two constituencies he contested from. The AIADMK won five seats taking the alliance tally to 20. The rival camp Congress and the DMK won seven and two seats, respectively, while one seat was won by an independent.

level corruption. However, among the chief ministers, only the diminutive Banerjee, 56, who favors plain cotton saris and lives with her elderly mother in a modest one-storey home, is free from any whiff of scandal. Jayalalitha, 63, who has a strong following among the rural poor, has battled court charges of enriching herself at public expense and had a reputation as a vindictive politician during previous stints in power. The pugnacious Mayawati, 55, has in the past received garlands of bank notes at public events and stirred controversy by building

AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalitha at her house in Chennai. vast "statue parks" of low-caste icons -- using public money that critics say would be better spent on hospitals and schools. The reputation of Dikshit, 73, Delhi's chief minister, was damaged by accusations of mismanagement and corruption by her administration over last October's shambolic, costly Commonwealth Games. So to suggest women politicians might be more responsible than men is "contrary to all prevalent evidence", said Akbar. Observers also say the move to political centre-stage does not

automatically signal better times for women in the wider population, who are commonly victims of domestic violence and battle second-class status with lower health and literacy rates. Mayawati was first elected 16 years ago and "there's no evidence her rule has improved the situation of women", said Zoya Hassan, politics professor at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University. Analysts do agree that the election results could create new headaches for the Congress government, already reeling from corruption scandals.

Mamata to address Trinamool meet Kolkata: Trinamool Congress head and chief minister-designate Mamata Banerjee will address the first meeting of the newly elected Trinamool Congress legislature party in the state assembly on May 23 and give directions towards the making of "a new Bengal", party leader Partha Chatterjee said. Chatterjee, deputy leader of the Trinamool Legislature party, said: "On coming Monday (May 23) our leader Mamata Banerjee will

address the newly elected Trinamool Congress legislature party in the state assembly. In her speech she will give the roadmap in our effort to create a new Bengal and discuss party's policy." Earlier this week, Mamata Banerjee was unanimously elected leader of the Trinamool Congress legislature party. Chatterjee also mentioned that his party under the leadership of Banerjee will "bring back the past

glory of Bengal". "We want to bring back the past glory of Bengal by following the direction of our leader Mamata Banerjee. We want that during the swearing in ceremony of Banerjee all the past governors and former chief ministers of the state to be present during the ceremony." "We will be happy if Buddhadeb-babu (former chief minister) also comes during the ceremony. It's time for creation of new Bengal," said Chatterjee.

Tata back in Bengal with hotel projects Kolkata: After Bengal voted Trinamool Congress to power, the Tata Group is slowly but surely returning to the state. It had pulled out of Singur in October 2008. It has two hotel projects lined up in Kolkata over the next two years. The first, a five-star business class Gateway Hotel, is already under construction on EM Bypass, said sources. It will be the first Gateway in the eastern region and the second Taj Group hotel in the city. The other could be a Ginger Hotel near the Tata Medical Centre in Rajarhat New Town. The project is still in the concept stage, said sources. Ratan Tata was in Kolkata on Monday to inaugurate a medical facility. It was his first visit to Kolkata after the overwhelming victory of the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance. Indian Hotels has joined hands with the city-based

Jalan International Hotels (JIH) for the Gateway project. Aditya Jalan, managing director of JIH, said work on the Gateway Hotel is underway. JIH will invest in the property while Taj Group will manage the hotel. The branding of the hotel will be Gateway by Taj. "We are investing Rs 110 crore in the project," he said. It will have 200 rooms, a swimming pool and a health club. "We are planning a soft launch in September. It will be fully operational by November this year. This hotel is targeted at middle-management executives," he said. Indian Hotels, which runs the Taj Group, hopes to have at least 50 of the upscale, full service Gateway brand hotels in the country by 2015. It has 21 hotels under the Gateway brand with around 2,000 rooms in all.



May 21-27, 2011 was represented by Dr Ananda G u r u g e , Professor Sudharshan Seneviratna, and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. The day's formal events culminated with an exhibition of photographs and artifacts from Buddhist countries at the Dr Kohona giving alms to a monk. Buddhist Heritage Exhibition which tradition, food was provided to was declared open by the Hon. the participants by the organizers Wimal Weerawansa at the at the UN lobby and hundreds entrance to the General Assembly queued to be fed, evoking memohall. Later, in accordance with ries of dansalas in Sri Lanka.

A colorful and serene procession of 198 monks, clad in saffron walking along First Avenue in Manhattan.

New York: "It is appropriate that the enlightenment of Gautama the Buddha 2,600 years ago, a teacher who preached non-violence, tolerance, understanding and self-realization, should be celebrated by the UN. This organization was created on the smoldering embers of global war and the resulting death, destruction and massive displacement, to maintain international peace and security…. Against this background, the Buddha's message remains ever relevant", said Dr Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN. Led by the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the UN, and supported by other Permanent Missions from the South Asian, South East Asian and East Asian regions, the UN and the Buddhist community of the Tri State area celebrated 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s Sambuddhatva Jayanthi (enlightenment) in exceptional style on May 16, 2011. The anniversary fell on the full moon day of May 2011.The commemoration started with Pindapatha Charikave (alms round) in front of the UN complex, where despite a thin drizzle, 198 monks, mainly in saffron robes, from different countries and races, some female, and many from the Mahayana tradition, holding begging bowls,

serenely walked along 1st Avenue into the Dag Hammarskjold Park and were served packets of food by the national committees such as Sri Lankan, Thai, Myanmarese, Cambodian, Laotian, Bangladeshi. They then walked in single file, like in ancient times, to the Sky Lounge of the Dag Hammarskjold building (the residence of the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative) to quietly eat the food. New York had never seen such a spectacle, a veritable photo op paradise. "Hatred ceaseth not hatred. It is loving kindness that conquers hatred." After the meal, the monks walked to the General Assembly chamber to participate in the UN Special Event to commemorate the Sambuddhatva Jayanthiya. The opening statement by Dr Kohona, session chair, was followed by chanting of seth pirith by the monks - a first at the UN. Followed statements by Amb. Hasan Kleib of Indonesia, representing the UNGA President, the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and 10 permanent representatives including of India. The SecretaryGeneral said that "the teachings of the Buddha may be 26 centuries old but they are as relevant as ever today." All the speakers praised the key role played by the small Sri Lankan Mission in putting together this unique event with help from the Queens Temple, in particular Venerable Piyatissa and the Venerable Saddajeeva. The Sri Lankan Minister for Housing, Wimal Weerawansa, spoke representing the island nation’s President. The underlying theme of all the speakers was the message of peace, tolerance and understanding central to Buddhism. Over 1,000 attendees from the diplomatic community, different nationalities, and the Secretariat packed the auditorium.

A commemorative volume titled "Buddhism - 2600 Years and Beyond" was presented to the Secretary-General by the Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa and a publication "Sri Lankan Identity - 2600 Years" authored by Amb. Shavendra Silva was also gifted by him. "In a world troubled by endless violence, terrorism, inequality, natural and man made calamities, mistrust and conflict, poverty and deprivation, the Buddha's message of tolerance, understanding and equanimity provides an abiding guiding light. It is not being paralyzed by the past but by calmly reaching to the future that one will achieve peace", according to Dr Kohona. In the afternoon, an interfaith dialogue, held in the General Assembly hall, was chaired by Dr Kohona, who made the introductory comments. Speakers repeatedly referred to the gentle impact of Buddhism in the societies that it touched, in particular the history, art, and culture of the vast Asian continent. Speakers included Rabbi Arthur Schneier from New York, a Hindu priest from India, Swami Viditatmananda, a Christian academic from Columbia University, Professor John Knitter. Sri Lanka

Amb. Dr. Kohona (behind the Secretary General), Amb. Shavendra Silva and the Chief Incumbent of the New York Buddhist Vihara presenting Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with publications commemorating the event.

Sri Lankan Minister Wimal Weerwansa opening the Buddhist Heritage Exhibition.

A capacity crowd fills the hallowed General Assembly Hall.


Ultimate Bollywood

May 21-27, 2011

Bollywood makes Cannes sing and dance hough the Cannes Film Festival has found little to choose from Indian cinema in its official programming in recent years, in 2011, the 64th edition has made a special effort to recognize the worth of India’s cinematic traditions by screening the documentary ‘Bollywood The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.’ A tribute to Bollywood song and dance, this was made especially for the festival, screening in the prestigious ‘out of competition’ section. Pulsing with excitement, the buzz around the huge Festival Palais started close to midnight hour on Saturday. Critics and Hindi movie lovers from abroad mingled with the large Indian faithfuls present in Cannes this year. UTV’s (The producers of the film) triumvirate, Ronnie Screwvala, wife Zarine and daughter Trishya Screwvala, ascended the imposing red stairway along with Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra (the co-director) and Shekhar Kapoor. Shekhar Kapoor had described this 81minute film produced by UTV and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Jeffrey Zimbalist as a homage to the joy and emotional heights of Bollywood. “Anywhere in the world, when one is happy, what does one do?” he asked. “We sing and we dance.” He added that this is why now Bollywood is universally enjoyed and appreciated. The titles are not identified nor the stars. So what this could mean to those not familiar with Indian cinema is debatable. Halfway into the film, Shammi Kapoor delivers his comments, saying that in his


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the 64th Cannes film festival.

Sonam Kapoor in a Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2009 Couture gown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Mallika Sherawat decided to garner attention as she wore a see-through black outfit that revealed black panty.

day the formula was boy meets girl, after which there are eight songs, and then the happy ending. At intermittent stages, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appear conveying their views. The docu-feature, somewhere fails to encapsulate the Indian Film Industry in its totality. The songs and dances in Hindi films generally relate to the story and take it forward. Sonam Kapoor turns out to be India’s only original fashion diva. She made her Cannes

red carpet debut in a Jean Paul Gaultier gown looking stunning as only a global celebrity can. Chopard earrings, an Amrapali ring and Ferragamo shoes completed the look that made the paparazzi turn its gaze towards her. “I had an absolute blast,” she tweeted soon after. Sonam attended the festival as one of the brand ambassadors of cosmetic major L’oreal Paris. In sharp contrast, Mallika Sherawat turned up for the premiere of 'Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides', trying, as

many said, to do a Lady Gaga in a couture gown by Eric Tibusch, hair and make-up by Dior. The gown had a sense of humour. Sherawat had promised drama and like always, delivered, black underwear seen through her lacy gown included. Bollywood Diva, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walked the red carpet before the opening ceremony and the screening of 'Midnight in Paris' on May 11. Minissha Lamba, Rani Mukherjee, Saif Ali Khan and filmmaker Karan Johar also attended the festival this year.

Madhuri-Dutt to create a stir? t has been heard that Madhuri Dixit is considering being a part of the 'Satte Pe Satta' remake to be produced by Sanjay Dutt. Back in the US now, the dhakdhak girl enjoyed her television stint while she was at it and is seriously considering doing some good work in India from time to time. It can be remembered that Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt were a couple in Bollywood and a romantic liaison between the two was largely speculated. However, when Sanjay found himself on the wrong side of the law, Madhuri decided to nip whatever might have been in the bud itself.


Same room for Anushka-Ranveer? and Baaja Baraat cos t a r s Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma, who have denied any 'special' relationship between them, are apparently staying at the same suite in a resort in Goa. The actors are shooting for Ladies Vs Ricky Behl, a Yash Raj Film being directed by Maneesh Sharma. "They checked in at around four in the evening and are here for shoots of their film. They are expected to stay for a week," a source told Mumbai Mirror. So are the lovebirds staying in the same room? "Yes, but we can't give you anymore details on it," added the source. However, their


Madhuri Dixit. The two, after great hits like Saajan and Khalnayak, weren't seen on the big screen together. However, if Madhuri agrees to share screen space with Sanjay Dutt after all these years, it's going to be a casting coup of sorts.

An insider from the industry tells us, "It's highly doubtful that Madhuri will do this movie. She is extremely family oriented, and wouldn't want any kind of controversy to emerge." On the other hand, another source is of the opinion, "C'mon,

both Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri have moved on. They are well settled in their personal lives. I doubt there'll be a problem if they get together. They are mature individuals, and it'll be great to see them on the big screen after such a long time."

Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. spokesperson denied the reports. "This is an absolutely baseless story, Ranveer and Anushka are mere friends, and are doing a film together and therefore together most of the time. It's untrue that they are staying in the same room,"

informed their spokesperson. Anushka had earlier admitted to a 'karmic connection' with Ranveer and claimed him to be her only friend in the film industry. The duo was even spotted locking lips at Shahid Kapoor's birthday bash.

Ultimate Bollywood

May 21-27, 2011 es, it's true that a film based on Bollywood's evergreen diva Rekha will be made soon. While that's no surprise, the interesting bit is the actresses in the reckoning to play the legendary lady. The actresses being considered for the role include Rani Mukherji, Bipasha Basu and well, Sridevi! The film has been named Sitaare and will be directed by Kapil Sharma, who wrote the script for Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyon about homosexuals. “It will be a film on Rekha where the mysteries surrounding her will be revealed. Kapil wants to make a film based on the industry. He is considering some top actresses for the role of Rekha and other vital characters that have come in Rekha’s life from Big B to Kiran Kumar to Vinod Mehra and


The film will deal with vital characters in Rekha’s life, including Amitabh Bachcha.

Big B sings Tagore's 'Ekla Cholo' hile Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year, Amitabh Bachchan has sung the poet laureate's most popular song 'Ekla Cholo Re' for director Sujoy Ghosh's upcoming film. The 68-year-old actor has crooned a version of the song modified by composer duo Vishal and Shekhar for the film 'Kahani', starring Vidya Balan. "Singing Rabindra Sangeet for the first time was the greatest revelation. The beauty of the language, the lyricism of the tune and its 'dhun' are outstanding. This particular, world famous number 'Ekla Cholo', expounding to all that if no one came to you on your calling, walk alone!! And what a fabulous song has been incorporated by Vishal and Shekhar. Truly awesome and worthy of all award (sic)," Bachchan wrote in his blog.


even Jaya Bachchan,” a source told Mumbai Mirror. Director Kapil Sharma, however, doesn't want to reveal too much. “Yes, I am making a film on a controversial actress who has been an ex number one in the industry. However, I am not comfortable talking about it now. All I can say is that the film is called Sitaare and has the backdrop of Bollywood. The film has an ensemble cast and will have 7-8 major characters. I am still to finalise the lead actors,” the director said. “It is a story that I wanted to tell. I have been an industry kid and I want to unveil the mystery behind the actress. It is the journey of the actress, which is so interesting and colourful. It is her iconic career, her relationships and the ups and downs in her life,” he added.

A heady cocktail of sex and horror


Amitabh Bachchan. "Singing for the track today you discover how inadequate you are to handle something created by Gurudev Tagore. Not just in words but also in its tune. It is by far one of the most unique compositions in the world of music. And being associated with it in some capacity

has been nothing short of an honor," he added. The senior Bachchan also posted on his Twitter page, "So this is going to bring some cheer for my Bengali fans... did something a 'jamai babu' should... sang 'Ekla Cholo' for Sujoy's film."

Hrithik’s three avatars in ‘Krrish 3’ he latest buzz in tinsel town is that ‘Krrish 3’ will watch Hrithik Roshan donning three roles, that of the son, father and the grandfather! It was earlier said that Rakesh Roshan will be playing the bad guy of the movie, but then Rakesh was keen on Vivek Oberoi doing the role of the antagonist. Speaking to the press, Rakesh expressed that he always had Vivek in his mind for the role as he feels Vivek has the perfect physique that the character requires. Although the project was supposed to have started soon, due to various reasons such as Hrithik’s shooting for ‘Agneepath’ and his promotions for ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,’ the project got delayed. However, it will go on floors by November this year and Rakesh Roshan is in the location hunting process currently.


Hrithik Roshan in ‘Krrish.’

A still from ‘Ragini MMS’. Ragini MMS’ is about a girl Ragini (Kainaz Motivala) and her boyfriend, Uday (Raj Kumar Yadav), who plan a weekend getaway in a desolate bungalow in the midst of a forest. Of course, the BF has some devious plans too: he wants to make a sex tape and sell it off. But that turns out to be the least of their problems as a whole lot of paranormal activity turns their sexcapade into a nightmare. The film has obviously been inspired by Paranormal Activity, the cult horror film that created waves with its grainy hand-held video footage. But rest assured, there is such a strong desi flavour to the film, you rarely end up thinking of the Hollywood indie film. Ragini and Uday make an interesting couple. She's the fragile uptown girl, unabashed about expressing her sexual demands. While he's the desi boy who sprinkles his conversation with gaalis and cuss words and is no-nakhra about his hor-

monal rage. Also, he has no qualms about exploiting the pretty young thing who trusts him completely. Why should he? He's been promised a film career if he delivers: dream fulfilled for wannabe stars.... Most of the action transpires within the closed doors of the spooky house, where the lights come and go, the stairs unnecessarily creep and shadows flit across, when no one's looking. The chills factory gets in overdrive when the ghost decides to make her presence felt and begins to yank hair, fling bodies, and wound flesh in the middle of the foreplay. The horror does work in places, although the persistent dim light and the grainy video effect tend to get a bit irksome. But the realistic performances by the lead pair more than make up for the lapses. Watch it for its novelty and for the fact that Ragini MMS makes a heady cocktail of sex and horror that's so very different from run-of-the-mill Bollywood.



May 21-27, 2011 Pearl in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles’ North Island, a private island.

Seychelles: Where Royal couple Honeymooned t’s out. For their honeymoon, Newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton went to North Island in the Seychelles chain of island in the Indian Ocean. They landed on the private island’s secluded luxury lodge May 10 for 10-day stay amid unspoilt paradise. The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge picked North Island after their most watched wedding on April 29 in London because it is one of the top romantic getaways among honeymooners. The island, about 2600 miles from India, was developed into a private resort in 2003. One of its main attractions, as its website boasts, is that the 600-acre island provides the “very best in privacy, location, accommodation, services, facilities and experience.” Eleven luxury villas, each measuring 450 sq m, were built each with an incredible view of the Indian Ocean


and its turquoise waters. A butler is assigned to each villa, which also has a private plunge pool, to make the guests' stay at the villa more enjoyable. Nature lovers are also in for a big treat on the North Island for it is known for its conservation initiatives. For one, guests can feast their eyes on giant tortoises, some as old as 150, in their natural habitat. "We bought North Island in recognition of its potential as a Noah's Ark; a sanctuary where natural habitats could be rehabilitated and where critically endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be re-introduced and given a place to regenerate," its website read. Celebrities such as James Bond actor Roger Moore have been attracted to the island. Villa North Island (Villa 11), the most expensive, costs Had Prince William and Kate Middleton married in Indian style--a visualization by Mahendra Shah, SATimes’ cartoonist. $4,700 per person per night. ,

O’ Holiday Lists! By Seema Goswami s there anything more stress-inducing -dispiriting, even -- than leafing through a glossy magazine in the run-up to the holiday season? I ask after an afternoon spent reading through the reams of advice thrown out by the arbiters of all that is fun and fashionable. But I might tell you what I have learnt about what goes into the making of a dream vacation. Well, first up is the destination. It's not just a simple choice between beaches and mountains, Europe and Asia, spa break and walking tour, family holiday and romantic getaway. No, you also have to consider which are the trendy destinations of the day. So Goa is passé, unless you're partying with Vijay Mallya. Pattaya and Phuket have been done to death. The Southern hemisphere rates better than the Northern; the East scores over the West. Maldives is the new Mauritius. Or maybe Croatia is the new Maldives - I'm sorry, but it's impossible to keep up with this stuff! All you really need to know is that it is imperative to holiday in a place that hasn't already been destroyed by tourist hordes


(i.e. you and me); a paradise unspoilt enough for you to feel as if you are the first to discover it. Next, you need some trendy luggage to go with it. Pick a lightweight bag with wheels so that you can zip around at airports across the world; a roomy carry-on so that you can pack a neck pillow and cashmere throw (both of which are apparently essentials on a long-haul flight) along with a nice trashy novel you can read if you don't like the in-flight entertainment. If you're going trekking, you will need a backpack; if you're headed to the beach,

you will need a straw tote; if you're staying at a fancy hotel, you will need a smart clutch for the evening. What to pack is a favorite topic. As is how to pack. Apparently, a white shirt and blue jeans are essential no matter where in the world you are going. We are all supposed to roll our socks and stuff them inside our shoes so that they don't get crushed beneath the weight of our skin-care products (and these have to be packed in sealed, see-through, zip-lock containers on pain of death). The instructions don't stop even after you've safely boarded. Remember not to drink too much alcohol on the flight. Sure, the champagne and wine may be free, but you will certainly pay for the hangover once you land. Tea and coffee are both dehydrating. Just stick to water - and make sure to drink lots of it. And don't just lie there, slumped in your seat - walk around the plane once in a while to guard against deep-vein thrombosis. If you think this is exhausting enough, well, you ain't seen nothing yet. If you go by the Glossy Manual of Vacation Planning, you will probably need a holiday to prepare for your beach holiday.

First up is the fitness routine. You can't seriously be thinking of venturing anywhere near a beach with that wobbly stomach? You have to have what is called a beach-perfect body even if it means giving up carbs, alcohol, hell, even the will to live. Every waking hour must be spent on the treadmill, pounding away till the pounds melt away, on the floor working those abs till they are washboard firm, lifting weights to give definition to your pecs and biceps. Once you got bikini body, there is advice on what teeny-weeny thing to wear or how to disguise it if it (the body, not the bikini) doesn't pass muster. You can choose from among sarongs, caftans, and see-through kurtis if you're looking to cover up. Then, there's the beauty routine. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Don't forget to pack a sunscreen with a SPF factor of at least 30. And re-apply every few hours to get maximum protection through the day. Get a manicure. Get a pedicure. Get new flip-flops to show off your pedicure. Frankly, after an afternoon of this, all I want to say is: Get a grip. It's a holiday, for God's sake, not a Kill Osama campaign that has to be planned to perfection.

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May 21-27, 2011

TiE turning immigrants into millionaires in Canada Toronto: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in Canada is making its mark by turning struggling Indian immigrants into successful entrepreneurs. Under its mentorship program, TiE Toronto has turned million-dollar dreams of many budding entrepreneurs into reality. "Many of the entrepreneurs we have mentored for the past 10 have created multimillion-dollar companies in a matter of years,'' TiE Toronto president Suresh Madan told media . Giving the latest example of successful entrepreneurs mentored by Indian techies, Madan said: "Just last November, IndoCanadian Haroon Mirza sold his start-up Cognovision to Intel for $25 million. An

Cognovision co-founder Haroon Mirza and TiE Toronto President, Suresh Madan engineering graduate, Mirza had a vision, but he didn't know how to go about it. "So he came to TiE in 2006 and our people guided him to set up his company. By

Ban on 142 Sikh NRIs entering India lifted Chandigarh: Acting on the repeated pleas of the Punjab government, the central government has removed 142 names out of 169 on the 'black-list' of Sikh NRIs banned from entering India, an official said Thursday. "Only 27 names now remain on the black-list. The Punjab government wants no discrepancy on names removed through mutual consultations between the state and the central officials," a state government spokesman

said. The black-list issue had been hanging fire for a number of years with the Punjab government and the ruling Akali Dal urging the central government to remove names from the list of Sikh NRIs linked to or sympathetic to terrorists and other separatists seeking a separate Sikh homeland, Khalistan (land of the pure). Reacting to the central government's acceptance of the demand, deputy chief minister Sukhbir

Singh Badal Thursday demanded that all the details, including the names of the remaining people, should be put on the official website of central home ministry to eliminate any further exploitation of Sikhs in the matter. "There should be an automatic mechanism for periodic review of these lists. While those facing criminal charges should be brought before the law, there should be no harassment of the innocents," Badal said.

2010, he became a multi-millionaire when Intel bought his company.'' Cognovision, which created a unique software to measure customer attention span on a particular product while browsing in a superstore, was also chosen 'Canada's 2009 Innovation Leader.' "Cognovision's software helps advertisers and product companies to know which product is getting how much attention from customers,'' Madan said. According to him, another entrepreneur mentored by TiE has just sold his company - Ecologic Engineering - for eight million dollars. "Considering that two of the entrepreneurs mentored by us have sold their companies for millions in the last six

Deepak Obhrai may be named to Canadian cabinet Toronto: With Indo-Canadians voting for the ruling Conservative Party in large numbers in this month's parliament elections, speculation has begun whether any Indianorigin MP will make it to the Canadian cabinet this time. A record six Indo-Canadians have been elected to the 308-member parliament on the ruling party ticket, while all five Indian MPs of the opposition Liberal Party have lost this time. As parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, Deepak Obhrai was the high-ranking Indo-Canadian in the last ministry. With his election for the sixth time, many in the million-strong Indo-Canadian com-

Afghan-Sikhs meet Manmohan, share problems Kabul: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on a two-day visit to Afghanistan, met members of the Afghan-Sikh community in Kabul Thursday and heard them out as they shared their problems, including their difficulties in getting Indian citizenship. The prime minister met members of the community in the presidential palace complex and asked them about the problems that they faced.

The members said that the community’s population has decreased, with almost 90 percent of them migrating to other countries, including India. The community also spoke problems in cremating the dead because of the lack of a proper cremation ground in Kabul. There are 531 AfghanSikh families in Afghanistan, of which 153 families are in Kabul. The community presented an orange-coloured

months shows that TiE mentoring has been very successful in Canada.'' "At TiE, we - a group of successful entrepreneurs - have come together to give back to the community. Rather than donating at temples or charities, we have decided to do something practical to help budding entrepreneurs,'' he said. Currently, 75 TiE members are mentoring 400 budding entrepreneurs - more than 75 percent of whom are Indo-Canadians. "At 40, when you land here as an immigrant, you either update your skills and join some job at the bottom or become an entrepreneur. That's what TiE is teaching so that new immigrants become their own masters,'' the TiE chief said.

‘siropa’ (robe of honor) to the prime minister. The prime minister was also introduced to members of the Indian embassy, the Indian medical mission, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel and Indian government officials deputed to different ministries in Afghanistan. Manmohan Singh said: ‘You are doing a very critical job. You are creating goodwill for India. I salute your courage.’

Deepak Obhrai munity want him to be elevated to the rank of a minister.

Ravi meets diaspora youth visiting India New Delhi: Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi Monday met a group of 24 diaspora youth participating in 17th Know India Program (KIP), intended to promote awareness on the different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields. Interacting with the participants, Ravi said that the program provides a unique forum for students and young professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views and bond closely with today's India. 'I am happy to welcome all of you who have come from different parts of the world. This is a program to introduce India to you. I want you to tell your parents about the economic growth of India when you back to your respective coun-

tries,' he said. Earlier in the day, the participants met President Pratibha Patil. 'Given a chance I would like to work in India because it is a beautiful place. This is the first time that I have to India on my own. I really liked the Delhi Metro trains which are not there in Peru,' said Aarti Daryanany, 19, who came from the South American country. The other participants hailed from countries including Fiji, France, Peru, South Africa, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago and the US. During their threeweek stay in India, they visited places like the Golden Temple, the Attari Border post as well as Delhi and Agra. The program was conducted by the Overseas Indian affairs ministry in partnership with the Punjab government.

Op Ed


May 21-27, 2011

In a class apart

By Sitaram Yechury he ‘celebrations’ over the defeat of the Left in the recent assembly elections was rudely jolted by the substantial hike in the price of petrol. This, ironically, underscores the need for a strong Left in India, not only as the moral conscience-keeper of the nation but also as the crusader to protect the aam aadmi from such growing imposition of economic burdens. In a democracy, elections always throw up a winner and a loser. Hence, the great hype over the defeat of the Left in West Bengal only highlights the significance of the unprecedented 34 years of continuously heading the state government, having won a record seven consecutive elections. In Kerala, where incumbents have been replaced successively in every election during the last four decades, the victory of the


Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has been by the slenderest of margins in recent history. This can, at best, be described as pyrrhic because of the inherent instability that a coalition of ten parties can cause to a majority of two. With no anti-incumbency, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala has garnered more than 45% of the popular vote, just under less than 1% of what the UDF got. In absolute terms the difference between the two fronts across the state was just 1.55 lakh votes. In Bengal, given the oddities of the ‘first past the post’ system, the Left Front with a vote-share of nearly 41% has recorded its lowest tally of seats. In fact, in these elections, more than 11 lakh additional people actually came out to vote for the Left than in 2009. Compared to 1 crore 98 lakh votes the Left received in the 2006 assembly elections where it won 235 of the 294 seats, this time it polled nearly 1 crore 96 lakh votes and yet ended up with 61 seats. One of the reasons for this anomaly is the fact that in 2006, the opposition was divided. This permitted such gains for the Left. In 2011, the index of opposition unity was very strong, where despite an equal amount of votes, the number of seats got

drastically reduced. Further, according to Election Commission estimates, between 2009 and 2011 nearly 48 lakh additional voters were enrolled in the state with 37 lakh new young voters. Of these increased number of voters, all of whom were born after the Left Front government came into existence in Bengal, over ten lakh voted for the Left Front, while over 34 lakh voted for the combined Opposition. This explains these results. Leaving aside the congenital detractors of the Left, there is a genuine concern among very well-meaning people about the Left’s future. Such concern is understandable. In electoral terms, it is a fact that compared to the first elections that the CPI(M) faced after its formation in 1967, its current position is worrisome. In 1967, the CPI(M) had 19 members in the Lok Sabha as against 16 today. In the state assemblies in Kerala and West Bengal, it had 52 and 43 MLAs respectively — as against 45 and 40 respectively today. But the Left’s influence on the evolution of modern India has neither been confined nor can it be measured by its electoral presence alone. Three visions contended in the nationalist discourse during the freedom struggle: the Congress vision of a secular democratic India; the Left vision that extended beyond this

It is a long and arduous journey ahead for the creation of a better India that would help all of us realize our true worth as a civilization and a people. This is a journey that cannot be completed without the Left.

to convert political independence of the country into its economic independence, ie socialism; these together combated the twin expression of the third vision of Hindu and Muslim fundamentalisms that feed on each other. The Left played a very important role in the evolution of the modern India we know today, through the moulding of people’s consciousness, beyond its electoral presence. Second, the various militant peasant struggles launched across the country against feudal oppression by the communists brought onto the central agenda the question of abolition of zamindari and other forms of landlordism. This, as a consequence, drew the vast mass of rural India

into India’s democratic mainstream. Third, the struggle for the linguistic reorganization of states in independent India, pioneered and led by the communists, for Vishala Andhra, Samyukta Maharashtra and Aikya Kerala drew up the contours of the political map of modern India. It is a long and arduous journey ahead for the creation of a better India that would help all of us realize our true worth as a civilization and a people. This is a journey that cannot be completed without the Left. (Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP. The views expressed by the author are personal.)

Osama is no jihadi hero dead but was not willing to do the killing itself. Instead it willingly compromised its sovereignty by allowing a foreign government to do the dirty job on its soil. It is because of the aid Pakistan gets from the United States. It can ill-afford to upset its chief patron. What bothers me most is how Muslims around the world over will take Osama's killing in an Islamic state. He had acquired the status of a Jihadi hero and now dead that of a martyr who laid down his life for the cause of Islam. I fear that Muslim religious institutions like Dar-ul Vloom and Al Azhar will accord him the status of a martyr; following that so will the Muslim masses. That will be a sad day.

By Khushwant Singh he killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad Cantonment did not bring a single tear in my eyes. In the last nine years, his al Qaeda wreaked havoc in many countries including America, England, Spain, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Indonesia. Their pretext was they were serving Islam; instead they brought Islam into ill-repute and did it grave disservice. The way his American killers went about their job in tracking him down in a palatial house in Abbottabad Cantonment, killing him


What bothers most is how Muslims around the world over will take Osama's killing in an Islamic state. and dumping his body in the sea so that his grave would not become a place of pilgrimage for the admirers, speaks well for his killers. I refuse to believe that the Pakistan military chief did not know his living in the Cantonment. Pakistan also wanted Osama

Mourning Sai's departure hri Satya Sai Baba's death has been widely mourned. He had a larger following than any other godman or godwoman. He was a good man who built schools, colleges, hospitals, canals and much


else. But he was a human being with human frailties. To gain acceptance he resorted to magician's tricks like producing ash (vibhooti) by rubbing his fingers, materializing items like watches, as if out of the air. He was not bhagwan (god). Like other human beings, he aged, fell ill and died. He was not immortal as god is believed to be. I'm bewildered by the hysteria created by his admirers on his demise. Politicians of different parties - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, LK Advani - all showed up at Puttaparthi. Many newspapers had full page pictures of his describing him as bhagwan (god). Nobody knows what god looks like. Many even question his very existence. No Semitic religion like Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in a human god. Sikhism recognized Sants and saintly men but denounced anyone who claimed to be god or the re-incarnation of any of their 10 Gurus. Hinduism is unique in believing in the existence of god in human form. What happens when the human god dies is not known to anybody.

The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.



May 21-27, 2011

No anti-India activity allowed: Sri Lanka New Delhi: Conscious of India's concerns over China's forays into the Indian Ocean region, Sri Lanka has assured New Delhi that it would not allow any country to use its soil to launch hostile action against any other country. Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, who concluded his three-day visit to India, told reporters here that there was no scope for any confrontation between its close friends on its soil and said both China and India were helping the island nation in its development. "We would certainly not allow one country to use Sri Lanka as a launching pad for hostile action against any other country. That is

Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

the universal principle and we accept that. There is no way that we will allow any country to use Sri Lankan soil or waters to take hostile action against any other country," Peiris said. He noted that both China and India were carrying out port, airport and road construction for Sri Lanka, apart from being involved in the power and energy sector. "So there is no hostility or competition. Both are our friends. There is no reason for fears or suspicions. These are commercial relations," he said, adding that there was "no question of China encircling" India by developing the Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka.

Peiris said during his "brief but productive" visit to India, he had met with the top Indian leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to discuss issues relating to the region and the international community. "We have always had the support of India, consistently. The relation remains as strong as ever. It is a special, unique relationship. The discussions reflected the empathy of India for Sri Lanka's challenges and there is reservoir of goodwill between the two countries," he said.

Grameen stakeholders Probe rights violations: India to Lanka Delhi: India has asked its neighbor Sri Lanka to affected areas and redress of humanitarian concerns of should protest:Yunus New "expeditiously" act for "genuine reconciliation" by tak- affected families." Dhaka: Predicting difficult times ahead, Bangladesh rural credit pioneer Muhammad Yunus has asked shareholders of the Grameen Bank to protest against any attempt to "take away" the bank. Yunus, who resigned after he lost three court battles against his removal from the post of the bank's managing director, told shareholders - recipients of the credit - to be vigilant and asked them "not to remain silent". The letter, addressed to shareholders and released Tuesday, came amid "widespread speculation that his removal was part of a coordinated government ploy to take the full control of the bank", The Daily Star said. "Grameen Bank is a priceless wealth for you. Do not give away this to anyone. You are the owners of this bank. Do not let go of this

ing number of measures, which include probe into allegations of human rights violations during in the fight with the Tamil Tigers. This was stated in the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the three-day visit by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L Peiris. He had held delegation-level talks with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. The statement said that India "urged the expeditious implementation of measures by the government of Sri Lanka, to ensure resettlement and genuine reconciliation, including.... investigations into allegations of human rights violations, restoration of normalcy in

As per the statement, the Sri Lankan minister "affirmed his government's commitment to ensuring expeditious and concrete progress in the ongoing dialogue between the government of Sri Lanka and representatives of Tamil parties". The issue of Indian fishermen was also raised in talks, during which India said that the incidents of "continued violence" were a matter of "serious concern". The joint statement noted that "both sides agreed that the use of force could not be justified under any circumstances and that all fishermen should be treated in a humane manner".

Nepal civil servants create history Muhammad Yunus. ownership," Yunus said. "If anyone speaks about taking away the ownership of Grameen Bank, if anyone speaks against your bank, then you must protest against it‌. If you remain silent, the bank will be taken away from your possession," he said.

Kathmandu: Nepal's civil servants have created history by summiting Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world. Nine civil servants, accompanied by 15 Sherpa guides, stood on the 8,848m peak, keeping the pledge of the Nepal Civil Servants' first Everest Expedition to conquer the summit and prove to the world that

the republic's state employees were no mere pen pushers. Nepal's tourism and civil aviation ministry said the nine summiters were Gyanendra Kumar Shrestha, Sant Kumar Maharjan, Hari Guragain, Subir Shrestha, Tulsi Ram Bhandari, Surath Pokhrel, Padam Bhandari and Khimlal Gautam.

Gautam, working with the National Landless Project in Kathmandu, is the youngest member of the team at 27, while the oldest is 54-year-old Laxman Bhattarai, spokesperson at the tourism ministry. More members of the 16-member team were said to be waiting to summit in the next couple of days.

Lanka gift brings Buddha alive in Nepal Kathmandu: A quiet monastery in Kathmandu became the centre of worship and much veneration, celebrated worldwide as the 2,555th birth anniversary of the Buddha. Devotees in large numbers thronged it for a rare glimpse of relics of the apostle of peace, gifted to Nepal by Sri Lanka. The Ananda Kuti Vihar began as a humble hut founded by Sri Lankan monks in 1943 to carry on the school of Theravada Buddhism, one of the oldest forms of the Buddha's teachings that now predominates the Buddhist island of Sri Lanka. Though located just a km north of Swayambhunath, the famous Buddhist shrine in Kathmandu said to have been visited by Emperor Ashok, the monastery remains relatively

Nepalese offer prayers at Swayambhunath during Buddha Purnima, which marks the Buddha's birthday, in Kathmandu on May 17. unknown to visiting tourists and pilgrims. However, on Buddha Jayanti -

the day when the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and also breathed his last - the

quiet monastery bustles with devotees and monks as three teeth of the Buddha, gifted to the monastery by the Sri Lankan government in 1946, are taken out of the reliquary where they are kept during the rest of the year for the faithful to see and offer their prayers. "I came to know about the teeth when I visited Swayambhunath to light lamps," said Dhanmaya Tamang, a 45year-old housewife who made the pilgrimage from Kavre district in central Nepal with her teenaged son and daughter. "We are going to pray for peace in Nepal and the safety of my husband Dil Bahadur, who is working in Saudi Arabia as a brick layer," Dhanmaya said. In 2009, when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa

visited Nepal, it was one of the shrines he went to, besides Lumbini in southern Nepal, the sacred garden where the Buddha was born. About five years ago, more Buddha relics were brought from Sri Lanka and kept temporarily in a monastery in the Kathmandu Valley's Bhaktapur city before travelling to India and Thailand. Though the Buddha was born in a royal family in Nepal with his father King Shudhdhodan's kingdom identified as lying in southwestern Nepal, Nepal originally possessed no relics of its greatest son, except for some robes reported to have been worn by the prince who renounced his heritage to become a monk seeking salvation.


Libyan Oil Minister Ghanem defects Tunis: Libyan Oil Minister and former Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem has reportedly defected from his country along with his family, a move that could prove to be another severe blow to the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The Telegraph quoted Tunisian government officials as saying that Ghanem crossed the border into Tunisia over the weekend, and defected. This claim has been backed by the oil and finance minister for the Libyan rebels, Ali Tarhouni, who insisted that Ghanem had left his post. Ghanem and his family were reportedly seen at a hotel in the Tunisian town of Djerba, and left for an unknown destination. Meanwhile, Libyan regime spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, has said the regime tried to contact Ghanem, but he could not be reached. "If he did defect, this is

Libyan Oil Minister and former Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem. his business. It's not a big deal for us." the paper quoted Ibrahim, as saying. British diplomats said they had no clear intelligence about Ghanem's whereabouts, but raised the possibility that he might travel to Britain as he has many relatives in London. Former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who was implicated in the Lockerbie bombing, had earlier defected to the UK.

May 21-27, 2011

Mubarak to apologize to Egyptian people Cairo: Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said he will apologize to his country for violently suppressing an anti-government uprising at the beginning of the year, the al-Shorouk daily said. The paper said Mubarak was "drafting a letter which will be shown on Egyptian and Arabic channels, apologizing on behalf of himself and his family for any offense caused to the people". The ousted leader will also beg for pardon "for any behavior that may have stemmed from false information passed to him by his advisers". The paper quoted Arab and Egyptian official sources as saying that Mubarak is also going to transfer his foreign assets into the country. Mubarak, 83, resigned on February 11 following an 18day uprising that resulted in the

'Carla Bruni pregnant'

Carla Bruni. Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy's father was quoted by a German newspaper as saying that first lady Carla Bruni is expecting a child, apparently confirming the subject of weeks of speculation. Talk has swirled in France that the former supermodel is pregnant ever since she clutched a shawl to her stomach during a newspaper interview in early May and fended off inquiries with the words "my

lips are sealed to protect something...". Bruni, 43, wore a loose shirt and jacket during an appearance on French TF1 television on Monday, and when the presenter cryptically told her he would not ask about her personal life but would like to congratulate her, she giggled and congratulated him back. "The two do not want to know the gender in advance, but I'm sure it will be a girl and as beautiful as Carla," the mass-selling Bild newspaper quoted Pal Sarkozy as saying. Sarkozy's office said it did not comment on his private life. With the normally very slender Bruni looking heavier around the middle, some French media have speculated that she could even be expecting twins. Guests at a recent dinner with Bruni's mother Marisa Bruni Tedeschi in Italy said that she had


hinted that a new baby was on the way, according to La Stampa newspaper on Monday. Sarkozy, the most unpopular French leader in decades and facing a tough battle for reelection a year from now, could enjoy a lift to his ratings from a presidential birth. A series of recent opinion polls have suggested he could be knocked out in the first round of the April 2012 election by coming in third behind a Socialist Party candidate and National Front leader Marine Le Pen. His chances of re-election looked brighter this week after the man seen with the best chance of winning the presidency, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested in New York and charged with attempting to rape a hotel maid.

Medvedev, Obama to discuss missile issue importance of launching practical Moscow: Russian President cooperation without any preconDmitry Medvedev and his ditions," he said. American counterpart Barack Russia "cannot start cooperaObama will address a crucial missile issue at the G8 summit to tion on specific projects without legal guarantees that a future sysbe held in France in late May, tem will not be directed against Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said. our security interests," he said. Russia and NATO agreed to Rogozin said Russia needed "credible guarantees" that a US cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during missile defence system in Europe would not be directed against it. the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. Rogozin, however, said there Russia is opposed to the was "no rush". "We are ready to wait." planned deployment of US missile defense systems near its borDeputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with ders, claiming they would be a Russia was concerned at the US's his American counterpart Barack Obama. security threat. NATO and the US refusal to provide legally binding guarantees that its insist that the shield would defend NATO members European missile defence system would not be directed against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would against Russia. "The Americans are insisting on the not be directed at Russia.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. deaths of more than 800 people. The military council that took power following Mubarak's resignation has pledged to bring to justice all former regime officials found guilty of abusing power. The former president and his wife are currently under arrest in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after both of

them suffered heart attacks during interrogation as part of a graft probe Meanwhile, the wife of Egypt's ousted president was released from detention after giving up assets but is still being investigated, said an official leading a probe into whether she amassed wealth illegally. Suzanne Mubarak, who denies charges that she abused her husband's influence for unlawful personal gain, was admitted to hospital after suffering symptoms of a heart attack. She has been detained in the same hospital as her husband. "Suzanne Mubarak was released pending investigations after she gave up her assets of 24 million Egyptian pounds ($4 million) to the state," Assem elGohari, the head of the illicit gains authority, told state radio.

Post-scare, Queen begins Ireland visit

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II inspects an Irish Guard of Honor after arriving in Dublin. Dublin: Queen Elizabeth's historic four-day visit to the Republic began on a peace note as commuters were warned of further disruptions across the capital due to security measures. A bomb was found near Dublin, ahead of Queen Elizabeth's historic four-day visit. The Irish army rendered safe a viable improvised explosive device found on a bus in County Kildare late Monday night, The Guardian reported. The bomb was discovered in the luggage compartment of the vehicle at a bus stop on the outskirts of Maynooth. Queen Elizabeth attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance on the first day of her State visit. In a hugely symbolic gesture reflecting a new era in relations between the countries, the British monarch bowed her head as she

laid a wreath at the memorial for those who died fighting for Irish freedom, before observing a minute’s silence. She later visited Trinity College, established by her ancestor Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, to view the Book of Kells. The Queen’s four-day visit has prompted the biggest security operation ever mounted by the State, with some 10,000 gardaí and Defence Forces personnel deployed on security-related details. Twenty people were arrested in Dublin as rioters and gardaí clashed for almost three hours. A number of dissident bomb scares also disrupted security operations. Tomorrow the Queen will visit the National Stud and the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud. Later she will attend a celebration at the national convention center in Dublin hosted by the British embassy.



May 21-27, 2011

India to buy more US aircraft

New Delhi: The government is moving swiftly to mollify the American establishment that is deeply upset over rejection of both their fighter aircraft from the $10 billion MMRCA (medium multirole combat aircraft) contract for the Indian Air Force. Among the steps being taken is a decision to significantly increase the order for C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft from Boeing from the present projection of 10. Besides, the Army is moving quickly to conclude a $1 billion purchase of ultra light howitzer guns in a couple of months. An Army quality assurance team is in the US for final leg of assessments. Sources said the American side has been told about India's interest to continue with FMS (foreign military sales) government-to-government deals as well as the

A C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft. decision to look at "significantly larger" order for C-17 aircraft. "Ultimately, the total C-17 purchase could be very close to the MMRCA deal," a source said. He said the Americans were "told" at various levels about India's desire to look at purchasing five to seven more C17 aircraft. If India were to

buy seven more C-17s, then the total deal value would be well over $7 billion. Already, the IAF has a purchase order for 10 of these aircraft. The MMRCA contract for 126 fighters in which both Boeing's F-18 and Lockheed Martin's F-16 were rejected a few days ago is worth approximately $10 billion.

IMF chief resigns Washington: France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but maintained he was innocent of the sexual assault charges against him. "It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF," he said in a statement. "I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me," the statement added. Strauss-Kahn, a leading French politician, is jailed in New York awaiting a grand jury decision on whether to indict him on charges of the alleged sexual assault and attempted rape of a 32-year-old Manhattan hotel chambermaid. Earlier, US Treasury

The International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (centre). Secretary Timothy Geithner said the disgraced head was "not in a position to run" the international financial institution. "He (Strauss-Kahn) is obviously not in a position to run the IMF and it is important that the board of the IMF formally put in place for an interim period someone to act as managing director," Geithner said addressing the Harvard Club in New

York. However, Geithner refused to comment on the case or the details of the charges against Strauss-Kahn. White House press secretary also declined comment on the case, but maintained "We retain full confidence in the IMF and its continued capacity to fulfill its obligations, to fulfill its role in the global economy during this difficult period."

Banks face probe Sachs, Stanley cut SBI target price for financial crisis New York: The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom , indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses. Eric T Schneiderman's office has requested meetings with representatives from Bank of America , Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley , according to

people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly . The inquiry appears to be quite broad , with AG's requests for information covering many aspects of banks' loan pooling operations . They bundled thousands of home loans into securities that were then sold to investors such as pension funds , MFs and insurance firms . It is unclear which parts of the byzantine securitization process Schneiderman is focusing on.

Mumbai: Morgan Stanley, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs cut their target price on State Bank of India after the country's largest lender posted an unexpected slump in quarterly profit. Morgan Stanley cuts its price target to Rs 2,000 from Rs 2,450 and said the stock was unlikely to perform when net interest margins were falling. It kept its "underweight" rating on the shares. BofA-Merrill lowered its price target on SBI to Rs 2,950 from Rs 3,400 and maintained its "buy" rating on the stock. Goldman Sachs cut the 12-month price target to Rs 2,650 from Rs 2,700 to factor in a

SBI announced a 99% drop in net profit to 20.8 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

fall in earnings estimates but upgraded State Bank of India to "neutral" from "sell" "In our view, SBI's recent valuation correction and measures taken by management, which we believe will help margins, warrants a neutral rating on the stock," Goldman Sachs said in a note. SBI announced a 99% drop in net profit to 20.8 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, a number that is one of the lowest among listed banks. Tax expenses in the quarter also nearly doubled to Rs 1900 crores. The bank's net non-performing assets rose to Rs 12350 crores at March-end from Rs 10870 crores a year ago.

New hurdles for Posco Bhubaneswar: Orissa's plans to resume land acquisition for the Posco project in the state faced new trouble with project's supporters refusing to cooperate unless their demands were met. The state government earlier this month announced it would resume land acquisition for the steel and port project in Jagatsinghpur district on May 18 despite local opposition. Now United Action Committee, which has been supporting the project, said they will extend their cooperation to the local authorities only after fulfillment of their 29 demands. These include more compensation for those who will lose their betel vines and lands and assurance of one job in the company for each of the proposed displaced families. "We support the project. That does not mean people will accept whatever the government and the company decides," UAC

president Anadi Rout said. Senior district officials held a meeting with the pro-Posco group members but it ended without any fruitful result. "If the government starts the land acquisition process without settling the impending issues, we will not cooperate," Rout said. Posco had signed a memorandum of understanding June 22, 2005, for a 12 million tonne steel plant near the port town of Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, some 100 km from Bhubaneswar. The project has been touted as the largest foreign investment in India. There has been however no progress on ground yet because of local opposition. The environment ministry earlier this month gave a final green clearance to the $12 billion project after the state government reiterated that no traditional forest dwellers were dependent on or cultivating land in the proposed project area.



May 21-27, 2011

Dhoni boys enter IPL play-offs Chennai: M.S. Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings paraded the depth in their talent and all-round strength as they beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala by 11 runs to enter the play-offs stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL). It was the Super Kings' ninth win in 13 matches and their seventh out of as many at home as they moved to the top of the table with 18 points while the Tuskers bowed out of the competition with 12 points. Batting first on winning the toss, the Super Kings yet again finished well, taking 51 runs off the last five overs to post 152 for five with Wriddhiman Saha (46 off 33) being the top-scorer after an unconvincing 32 by Michael Hussey. In reply, the Tuskers, despite a fighting half-century by Brad Hodge (51 not out) could manage on 141 for five in their quota of 20 overs as they paid the price for some sloppy fielding that let the Super Kings off the hook. In fact, for reasons as yet

unknown, the Super Kings did not use their frontline bowler Albie Morkel who usually opens the bowling, but on Wednesday, he was very much on the field but was not given the ball. Yet, the hosts had enough firepower to check the Tuskers. The Super Kings could not have asked for bigger slices of luck as Parthiv Patel dropped a catch and muffed two easy stumpings to allow the hosts to get away. To top it all, Hussey was palpably out, caught behind by Patel off Ravindra Jadeja when he lead-

Chennai Super Kings fielder Dwayne Bravo and captain M.S. Dhoni celebrate the victory.

Warne bows out on a low New Delhi: Shane Warne bows out of professional cricket after a frustrating final Indian Premier League season replete with rows, fines and other off-field distractions. The Australian legend announced earlier this month that he would retire as a player after the tournament, making the clash between his Rajasthan Royals and the Mumbai Indians the last performance of an extraordinary 15-year career. "I've had a great time - but it's time to say goodbye to IPL," the Aussie superstar wrote on Twitter on May 6, announcing the end of his association with the tournament that offered the last chance to watch him in action. The 41-year-old, widely regarded as one of the best bowlers of all time, retired from international cricket in 2007 after resurrecting the art of leg-spin and becoming the first player to take 700 Test wickets. After scripting a title triumph with a rag-tag team in the first edition of the Twenty20 IPL competition in 2008, Warne's final season in charge of Rajasthan did not offer the fairy-tale end he would have wished for. He started well on the pitch, initially managing to fox batsmen with his turn and flight, but gradually lost his rhythm as even inexperienced youngsters began hitting him for sixes with ease and regularity. His returns from the tournament have been unimpressive - 12 wickets from as many games while giving away 267 runs for an average of

Team Chennai Bangalore Mumbai Kolkata Mohali Kochi Jaipur Hyderabad Pune Delhi

Mat 13 13 12 12 13 14 13 13 12 13

Won 9 8 8 7 7 6 5 5 4 4

Lost 4 4 4 5 6 8 7 8 8 9

Tie 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Pts 18 17 16 14 14 12 11 10 8 8

NRR +0.54 +0.28 +0.25 +0.40 +0.27 -0.21 -0.97 -0.08 -0.03 -0.45

Boxer Vijender marries Archana New Delhi: India's Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Archana in a private ceremony that was attended by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Vijender was dressed in a Manav Gangwani sherwani while Archana was dazzling in a Tarun Tahiliani outfit. The ceremony took place at the Flying Club and was attended mostly by friends and relatives while Gandhi was the star attraction. The newly wed couple also

posed for the shutterbugs after their wedding. The reception took place in Bhiwani and was attended by several celebrities and also politicians. "It is a great moment in my life. I've known Archana since 2007 when we were introduced through a common friend. The friendship grew stronger and finally last year I proposed and she accepted," said Vijender. India's Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh with his wife Archana.

Ashis Roy completes 110th marathon The BCCI has slapped Warne with a $50,000 fine for publicly criticizing Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA). 22.25. Off-field troubles have also spoiled his valedictory season. He had an ugly spat with a local cricket administrator, a tiff with Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar, and has appeared dejected in recent matches after criticizing the pitch used at home games. The Indian cricket board slapped Warne with a $50,000 fine for publicly criticizing Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) secretary Sanjay Dixit after an IPL match. The flamboyant bleach-blond player, forced to deny rumors he had a facelift ahead of the IPL, was frequently pictured canoodling with British model and actress Elizabeth Hurley who was on hand to watch a number of Rajasthan games.

edged a sweep, but umpire Rudi Koertzen, quite shockingly, ruled the batsman not out. Hussey chose not to walk. Strangely for the Super Kings, each time they threatened to cut loose, they lost wickets. First up, it was Murali Vijay who slammed RP Singh for three boundaries, but was out in the same over, bowled by a yorker. Later, Suresh Raina (19), dropped by Patel when still to score, smashed two sixes and a boundary off Sreesanth only to be out off a full-toss later in the same over.

Washington: India's grand old marathon man Ashis Roy reached yet another milestone of his passion as he completed his 110th marathon in Delaware marathon on a cool and cloudy Sunday. "The weather was perfect for running," Roy, at 78, the second oldest participant in a field of 272, said after clipping four minutes from his last run in the Potomac River Run Marathon with a timing of 6 hours 47 minutes and 16 seconds. As he ran along the picturesque Wilmington Riverfront through beautiful Brandywine Park, along Kentmere and Bancroft Parkways, and Little Italy sections of Wilmington many a youth cheered Roy saying, "You are our inspiration." Roy, a resident of New Delhi, who began running marathons at the age of 52 when he retired as a cardiologist with the

India's grand old marathon man Ashis Roy. Indian Air Force, has set another goal for himself - to become the first Indian to run in a marathon after he turns 80 in June next year.

12 Indians sign up for Lankan Premier League Colombo: Twelve Indian players have signed up for the inaugural Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL), beginning July 19, according to a report in the media. Munaf Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar, who are in the national squad for the ODIs and Twenty20 in West Indies, are among those who have signed up for the SLPL. The other players are Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Manish Pandey, Manoj Tiwary, Paul Valthaty, Ravindra Jadeja, Saurabh Tiwary, Umesh Yadav, a report in said. India's tour to England will begin from July 15.



May 21-27, 2011

How to detect cheating partners o you remember the love stories your mother told you? They were so pure and endless? Do you remember your dreams about the Prince Charming, riding a white horse, don’t you? And now, what about your love affair? You finally met somebody to love and to cherish. You dream about the wedding dress, making you a fairytale princess, exciting wonder and admiration of the bridegroom and all the guests, demonstrating your enviable chiseled figure. Have you already thought your future life over? You are absolutely crushed by the situation. What is to be done, if your Prince Charming is just cheating on you? Is it better to be in blissful ignorance or to face the problem and tackle it? It’s up to you, but your aching heart is silent. Emotions and nothing but emotions. But what made you sure, that you are cheated on (except the


case, when you catch your cheating boyfriend/cheating girlfriend on the scene of crime). They say, the most tormenting thing in cheating is suspicion. If you’re looking to understand how to catch a cheating partner,

these are the four steps you may want to consider: Step 1 – Confrontation The most direct method of finding out if your partner is cheating is to come right out and ask them. This won’t be easy emotionally,

A spa treatment at home home spa day is something you can enjoy alone or with friends. To recreate the spa experience, a home spa day should include exercise, healthy food, a pampering spa treatment, rest, and time to get inspired. Here are some ideas to help you create a home spa day that helps you restore your spirit. * Make a Plan For Your Home Spa Day: Think about what you want from your home spa day -just like you were going to a real spa. Do you need time by yourself to rest, relax and renew? Think about waking up naturally and focusing on quieter forms of exercise and soothing spa treatments. If you want to get energized during your home spa day, create a more rigorous schedule. Maybe it's time to take on that five-mile hike. You can invite a friend and do it together. * Plan Healthy Meals. Create your home spa menus around healthy food that will help you eat for energy -- an egg-white omelet with vegetables for breakfast, stirfried chicken breast and vegetables for lunch, lentil soup and salad for dinner. You can cook ahead or


make that part of the fun or your home spa day, especially if you're with a friend. * Get Some Exercise During Your Home Spa Day. You can take a walk around your neighborhood, bike ride, go to the local gym, take a yoga class, watch an exercise DVD -- whatever works for you and where you live. You can get up early, eat a piece of fruit and some almonds before you go for a walk, then do something else later in the day. How much and what kind of exercise you want to do depends on your current fitness level. * Give Yourself A Spa Treatment During Your Home Spa Day. One

of the easiest home spa treatments is a body scrub and hot bath. This would be a good thing to do in the afternoon. Take time to rest afterwards. You can also give yourself a home facial, or do your nails. * Give Yourself Some Quiet Time. You don't have to get on a cushion and "try" to meditate. Just sit quietly for a few minutes and notice what is going on inside you and around you. * Feel The Love. Your home spa day is about extending love and kindness to yourself -- and others. If someone is joining you at the end of the day, make sure they feel the love.

but it will save a lot of time. If you can endure a few minutes of discomfort, you could save weeks or months of anxiety. In all honesty, the anticipation of something horrible is almost always worse than the actual experience. This is the old “pull the band-aid off fast approach.” You know it’s gonna hurt, but it will hurt more if you drag it out. Step 2- Looking for Evidence How to catch cheating partners? Look for signs. You see, if you’ve been living a comfortable, predicable routine, your brain is used to seeing certain things in your life. An extra sock turning up in the laundry or a spouse working late all the time might not seem like a big deal. Your brain may just block it out as insignificant information. However, if you start actively looking for evidence of marital infidelity, these little clues become much different. Your brain will start to pick up on the little things,

and shifting your mind’s focus to look for evidence of cheating is one key Step 3 – Surveillance This takes things up a notch. We’re talking James Bond stuff here: recorders, phone records, maybe even a Private Detective. Now, there are some ethical barriers you’re going to have to confront here, but if you’re serious about stopping the lies this is the route to take. Our take: if you feel your partner is cheating on, you have a right to know. Use your judgment (and budget) to determine how far you want to take your surveillance efforts. There are all kinds of tools out there for you to use. Step 4 – Get Smart Educate yourself here. There are some very complete guides out there that are chock-full of advice on how to catch a cheating spouse. If you’re serious about detecting cheating partners, one recommendation is’’ you get smart.”

Million Dollar Memo rrespective o f whether you work for an MNC or a small startup; whether you're employed in a tiny rural village or a city that never s l e e p s ; whether you're a CEO or a factory worker, here's a chance for you and your colleagues to win an all expenses paid trip to the tune of a million Australian dollars to Queensland, Australia. Your only qualification to enter the competition is that you hold down a job and have at least three workmates. To enter, create a 60-second video featuring a minimum of three people from your company as they describe why your organization is a great place to work, and then talk about what makes Queensland the ultimate holiday destination. The winning organization creates their own itinerary - opt for scuba diving in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, sky diving from an


altitude of 14,000 feet, white water rafting across the Barron River or the less adventurous could sip champagne on a luxury cruise liner. Whatever you fancy one million dollars ought to buy it! But what's in it for the makers of the competition? Well, the competition with this huge budget is a clever ploy and a much-needed one in the face of monster cyclone Yasi and the recent floods in Queensland. The minister for tourism, Jan Jarrett says, "We want to let the world know that Queensland is open for business." To find out more about the competition, log on to

Food & Fashion


May 21-27, 2011

B’wood’s sari soiree hen some of the hottest babes in Bollywood decided to take the sari route for their public appearances earlier this week, we couldn’t help but take note of their signature sari styles. From breezy chiffon in summer friendly hues to ornate net and embroidery that looked a little iffy in this hot weather, the Bollywood brigade both impressed and distressed us in their ethnic look. Designer and stylist Manjaree Jindal says, “It’s refreshing to see so many young celebs endorsing saris and what is striking is that each one of them has her own style in which to drape the sari.” To decode who got the sari look right we got a few experts to comment on their styles and tell us what worked and what simply didn’t for them. The ratings are based on an average of the scores given by a panel of four experts comprising designers Meera Gupta, Anjalee Kapoor, Nandita Raipurani and stylist Manjaree Jindal.


Boring and drab Rani Mukerji was seen in a white sari with a gold blouse at the Dada Saheb Phalke awards. What worked: Designer Meera Gupta says, “The choice of fabric is great as it is a classic.” What didn’t: Gupta says, “The look is repetitive. A bolder bindi or a clashing blouse could have lifted up the look.” Contrast effect Vidya Malvade wore a embroidered net sari at a film premier. What worked: Stylist Manjaree Jindal says, “The red blouse contrasting with green sari gives a kitsch appeal.” What didn’t: “The embroidery on the sari makes it look befitting for a wedding function instead of an award night,” feels Jindal.

Go traditional Anushka Sharma was seen in a red sari that she accessorised with a gold neckpiece at a recent awards function. What worked: Gupta says, “The shortsleeved blouse especially looks nice.” What didn’t: Designer Anjalee Kapoor says, “The gold neckpiece is very iffy. It’s taking away the elegance from her look.” Young and fresh Mugdha Godse wore a powder blue chiffon sari at a Marathi film premier. What worked: Jindal says, “The choice of colour is apt for summer. The happy colours of the borders look fab.” What didn’t: “The draping could have been more young to accentuate her figure,” says Jindal.

Coral charm Priyanka Chopra wore a coral-hued sari at the Dada Saheb Phalke awards. What worked: Gupta says, “She has a good waist line and her drape enhances her strong points.” What didn’t: Designer Nandita Raipurani says, “Her hair falls flat and an accessory like a clutch would have added to her look.

Wines for your spicy platter ondering what wine would jazz up your barra kebabs? It’s not the food stone age anymore, and there’s no reason to think that it’s only the aromatic Gewurztraminer that goes with every Indian dish. “It was a pairing invented in an era when the west had a limited knowledge of Indian spices”, says chef Francis Luziner of The Lalit. And there is nothing as passé as teaming up white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat. Also, there can be no cookie cutter approach to pairing up Indian food with wines due to the intimidating range of flavors, spices and cooking processes involved in Indian cuisine. So, how does one work out new and interesting pairings? David Milliere, head sommelier, The Leela Palace, New Delhi, who loves digging his fork into chicken tikka and pairs the dish with Sancerre, a white wine from the Loire Valley France, says, “It may be a less expected matchmaking between wine, developed in countries like France and Italy where spices are rather soft, and spice laden Indian cuisine. But you can turn it into a happy marriage with a bit of understanding. All you need is to be a bit adventurous. Don’t shy away from trying out new combinations.” Here’s what our experts ask you to keep in mind when you


select wines to liven up a spicy platter. 1. You can’t pair up all dishes There are some Indian dishes that would not pair up with any wine and are therefore better enjoyed with a lassi or a coke. Spices work wonders with wine, provided we are not talking about Lahsuni Chicken or Laal Maas where the main flavor of the dish (garlic and red chillies) over power the dish and everything else associated with it including the diner.

2. Accompaniments and sauces Accompaniments, gravy and accompanying sauces also contribute to the flavor of the dish. For example: Chicken has little flavor of its own but Chicken Makkhanwala has the dominant flavor from its gravy, based on tomatoes and butter. It goes well with a crisp Italian white such as Frascati and our red wine lovers enjoy it with Jean Claude Boisset NuitsSaint-Georges from France. 3. Play with temperature Different aromas can be enjoyed at different temperatures. If your choice of wine seems too feeble with your choice of food, let it warm up a little by cupping the glass in your palms. “You will be surprised how the same wine starts to taste better. Similarly, if the wine seems too heavy with food, simply chill it up a little to make it more palatable. 4. Order what you like Never be afraid of ordering red wine with your fish. If that’s what you like then it is the right pairing for you, says Luziner. Go ahead and enjoy. Some delicious pairings that you can try Meen Moili: A fish delicacy, finished in coconut milk based gravy will handle an oaky Chardonnay such as the Jean Claude

Boisset Puligny Montrachet from France. Paneer methi masala: Made with tomato and onion gravy, and peppered with Kasuri methi powder, the dish teams up nicely with Malambo Chenin Chardonnay from Argentina. The wine has a crisp flavor which pairs well with the taste of tomatoes and methi. Aloo bhindi bhaja: The dominant flavor in the dish comes from the tempered cumin seeds. A refreshing Masi Masiano Pinot Grigio from Italy with high acidity fits the bill. Gatta curry: The yogurt curry with besan dumplings has asafoetida as its dominant flavor. Team it with Freixenet Cordon Negro, a sparkling wine from Spain. Handi gosht: Boneless cubes of lamb cooked with brown onion, yogurt and saffron, goes well with an off dry white wine, such as a Riesling Spatlese from the Mosel region in Germany. To enhance the spiciness, try a ‘spicy’ Shiraz from Barossa Valley in Australia. Murgh malai kebab: Cardamom flavored chicken, marinated with cream, pairs well with a white wine made of Viognier (white wine grape), like a Condrieu from the Rhone Valley in Southern France, which is full-bodied and somewhat creamy.



May 21-27, 2011

Humor with Melvin Durai

Taking action against high gas prices

ow that President Obama has taken care of Osama bin Laden, it’s time for him to do something about rising gas prices. All the conventional methods have failed, so Obama needs to do something drastic: send a team to “negotiate” with oil company executives. I suggest Navy SEAL Team Six. I hope to turn on my TV one of these days and see Obama making an important announcement again: “Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed the wanton greed of Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum and Chevron, as well as oil companies in the Middle East. Together, these companies are responsible for millions of sad faces at fuel pumps around the world. It was nearly 130 years ago that the first gasoline-powered automobiles were produced in Germany, with Henry Ford and other Americans introducing their own versions not long after. Little did they know that when they gave up on horse-drawn carriages in the name of progress, their descendants were doomed to stare at gas-pump prices with faces as long as horses’. Over the last 10 years, we have seen gas prices gradually inch


upwards, and we have scratched our heads to try to understand many of these increases. It was reasonable, the experts told us, that gas prices would increase when we went to war in Iraq. But my fellow Americans, was it reasonable that gas prices would increase when Oprah went on a diet? Was it reasonable that gas prices would increase when David Beckham got a new tattoo? Was it reasonable that gas prices would increases when Angelina Jolie got a new baby? Of course not! But these were some of the many excuses for oil company executives to increase prices and boost their profits, while laughing at us for not only paying high prices at the gas pumps but also doing all the pumping ourselves. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing of oil company greed the top priority of

Google starts local news on smartphones SAN FRANCISCO: Google began letting US smartphone users stay abreast of local news where-ever they happen to be. "News near you" lets iPhones or Android-powered smartphones display stories relevant to people's locations at any given moment, according to product manager Navneet Singh. Google News first made location-based service available about three years ago. The new featue enables peo-

ple to tap into location-sensing capabilities of smartphones to customize what headlines are displayed on homepages of devices. "Google News for mobile lets you keep up with the latest news, wherever you are," Singh said. He said the new feature "surfaces news relevant to the city you're in and surrounding areas" once smartphone users have given permission for the software to access location information on devices.

our war against high gas prices, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat their evil network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible solution to high gas prices. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we could corner oil company executives within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to surround oil company executives in Pakistan and scare the living daylights out of them. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed oil company greed and gave it a quick burial at sea. Yet its death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that oil companies will continue to

pursue attacks against us and our wallets. We must — and we will — remain vigilant at gas pumps at home and abroad. The cause of protecting our country from high gas prices is not complete. But tonight we are once again reminded that America can do what-

ever we set our mind to, even bring gas prices down to 10 cents a gallon. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice and low gas prices for all.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

by Mahendra Shah Mahendra Shah is an architect by education, entrepreneur by profession, artist and humorist, cartoonist and writer by hobby. He has been recording the plight of the immigrant Indians for the past many years in his cartoons. Hailing from Gujarat, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tech Life

White House unveils cybersecurity plan

WASHINGTON: Companies that run critical US industries such as power plants would get government incentives to make sure their systems are secure from computer-based attacks, the White House said, detailing its broad proposal to beef up the country's cybersecurity. The approach is similar to congressional legislation already in the works, but some criticised it as being too weak, while the business community said it preferred a voluntary program rather than government mandates. Under its proposed legislation, the White House would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to work with industry to come up with ways to secure their computer systems and protect against cyber threats. If a company fails to do so, or comes up with an inadequate plan, DHS would be able develop its own security framework for that firm. The proposals reflects the broad understanding that any more stringent regulatory system -- such as the one that controls safety at nuclear power plants -- would get little support, and business groups have been lobbying strongly for as much of a vol-

untary program as possible. Under the administration's proposal, an independent group would evaluate the security plans. And the DHS could use that evaluation as it makes purchasing decisions, thus potentially rewarding companies who take strong measures to secure their networks from intrusions. The threat is diverse, ranging from computer hackers going after banking and financial accounts to terrorists or other nations breaching government networks to steal sensitive data or sabotage critical systems like the electrical grid, nuclear plants or Wall Street. Federal computer networks are being scanned and attacked millions of times a day, and US officials warn that hackers have begun targeting power plants and other critical operations to either bring them down or take them over. The White House proposal also requires companies to tell their customers when their personal information has been compromised. The disclosure requirement is part of a push for greater openness by companies who are often reluctant to reveal they have been hacked.


May 21-27, 2011

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874; Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899;;

Stars Foretell: May 21-27, 2011 Aries:This week you will be benefited provided you take some bold decisions. New romance for some cannot be ruled out. You will find it extremely difficult to concentrate on your work, as your mind will be busy fantasizing about this special person who has just entered your life. You will learn valuable information if you keep your mind open to new cultures and religions. Money position will also improve as pending payments get cleared. During this period you should go out and build new relationship and contacts, but avoid strangers who behave extra friendly. Taurus:Despite some tensions that you might have experienced in the last few days, this week starts on a bright note. Excitement and gaiety marks your days ahead. Plenty of gains stored for you in whatever you do. New ventures and assignments will lift your spirits and confidence. Your interest in outdoor activities will see you go out on short trips, outings and other entertainment activities. Spouse will keep you happy and you should try to plan something special with children towards the weekend. Gemini: This week tempers will mount if you’re too pushy at work or at home. There will be vast improvement in your business as well as professional skills. Opportunities to travel will bring desired results. Certain legal matters will need immediate attention, therefore seek advice of a lawyer if necessary. Financial gains are certain throughout the week, but your tendency to overspend will make it difficult for you to save. Friends and near ones will be helpful to complete pending jobs. Cancer: This week you should set new goals for yourself and work towards them. Your confidence and ability to work on projects, which require high responsibility, will bring you benefits in the long run. This period is also good for building ties with influential people who will be helpful in implementing your projects. A short trip for pleasure later in week cannot be ruled out. Get involved in outdoor sports or activities that are challenging and will help you stay in perfect shape. Leo:Distant trips will bring beneficial results, however hectic schedule will trouble your health. Financial gains are expected from new contacts. Uncertainty with regard to career opportunities for your children, seem to bother your mind, seek advice from an academic counselor if necessary. Empty promises are also evident from people you trust and respect the most. Don’t expect anything from others and you won’t be disappointed. Do not spend lavishly on friends and rather spend more time and money on family members. Virgo: This week if you work quietly behind the scene, you will achieve what you plan. New jobs will dominate your days ahead. For those at service new opportunities or some sort of monetary benefits cannot be ruled out. Domestic happiness and romance will flourish. Despite such a prosperous time and financial gains, some tensions due to careless actions of your domestic servants, co-workers or working partners cannot be ruled out. Libra: Take legal advice before you take action regarding important issues. You are likely to be appreciated by your partners and coworkers. Religious feelings will arise, forcing some of you to seek blessing from a spiritual person. Journeys and travelling that you undertake during


this period will be highly rewarding and educating. Though gains from investment are foreseen, but few losses due to hasty speculation cannot be ruled out. Scorpio:You will be emotional about changes that are going on around you. Your confidence and determination will be at all time high and you will win plenty of favours from members of the opposite sex. However deception from a close associate or losses due to hasty investment cannot be ruled out. Encourage children to spend their extra time into creative activities and sports. Your harsh attitude and derogatory comments could create uneasy moments at home. Sagittarius: This week put in some extra hours and finish pending jobs before you venture out for some fun and entertainment. Work pressure might leave you irritated and exhausted, but you should remember that harsh words and erratic behaviour will only bring disregard and criticism. Financial gains seem likely as you recover delayed and pending payments. Children will need careful handling and proper attention. Adopt meditation for mental peace. Capricorn:Don’t allow your partners to take advantage of your generous nature. Though work progress will be slow and not very rewarding on the financial front, some good news will bring happiness and will boost your morale. Close relative might make an unexpected visit bringing gifts and presents. These pleasant and memorable moments bring happiness and harmony at home. Your interest in religious and spiritual activities will make you seek divine knowledge. Aquarius: Entertainment will be on your mind, but do not leave your office without completing your work, or you will be in serious problems. Anxiety and indecisiveness that has plagued you in the past seems to end, as optimism and confidence seems to take control. Financial gains seem likely, but you need to be extra careful before entering into any new partnerships. Housewives are likely to be more involved into embroidery, cooking or other creative activities. Children will cause bit disappointment, as they spend lavishly on friends and parties. Pisces: This week you can make money through real estate investment. Your high energy level will bring enormous gains and enhance your reputation. Financially you will become more comfortable and have plenty of time for recreational and other activities. Members of the opposite sex will be source of inspiration and will help you in need of the hour. Some tension might arise with friends or relatives. Pleasure trip will be important for healing your emotional state of mind.

Before you consult... i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, don’t feel shy. It’s his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week May: 21 You are governed by the number 3 and by the planet Jupiter. You are also influenced by the Moon. You are courageous by nature and are not afraid to overcome any obstacle which may come your way. The coming year, will see you achieve honor and fame, in your professional front. You will have to do a lot of traveling, both for work and for pleasure. Self respect and happiness, is what you can achieve from the year, ahead of you. Your kind hearted nature, and your generosity, will draw friends towards you. You will always have a circle of friends who will find solace and peace in your company. But you will not tolerate too much interference in your life. You like privacy and will go all out to maintain it at any cost. You tend to become suspicious at times. This may result in a rift with your friends and loved ones. June, September, December and March will be eventful. May: 22 You are governed by the number 4 and the planet Uranus. You are also influenced by the Moon. Those of you in your 40th year and above, should expect to reach the height of your professional career, in the year ahead of you. Most of you will be lucky in money as well as love matters. You will benefit by your friendship with the opposite sex. Some of you may get into a special relationship which may turn out to be everlasting. Your domestic front, will be peaceful and full of harmony. You like to avoid disputes and keep those around you happy. Your introvert nature will not allow you to express your sentiments and because of this, you will have limited friends around you. You do not like to mingle easily with all persons. The months of June, July, October and January to be highly eventful. May: 23 You re governed by the number 5 and the planet Mercury. You are also dominated by the Moon. You have a fascination for anything that moves fast. You like your projects and plans to move in double quick time. You will be able to achieve success and that too in a short time, in the year ahead of you. Honor, fame and recognition, will be yours in the coming year. Financially too, it will be a good year. Some of you can expect to inherit property from your ancestors. Those of you in the field of writing, or teaching, can expect it to be an exceptionally good year. Your extensive vocabulary and communication skills, will take you to greater heights of success. Because of your devotion and loyalty, you will be able to gather many admirers and friends around you. You will be the centre of attraction at social gatherings. The months of May, July, September and December will be important. May: 24 You are governed by the planet Venus and dominated by the Moon. You are also influenced by the number 6. You are full of confidence and do not underestimate you capabilities. In the coming year, you will try to impose your ideas on others. This may not be liked by your colleagues, who tend to drift away. You will achieve success in your pursuit of knowledge. Gaining an imparting knowledge to others, is what you enjoy doing. You will spend a lot of time in collecting donations for charitable institutions. Your warmth nature draws you to those who need help. This gives you ultimate

satisfaction. A word of advice for the coming year – keep away from speculation and gambling. Overindulgence in these may lead to losses. The months of June, August, January and February to be important and significant. May: 25 You are governed by the number 7 and dominated by the planet Neptune. Moon also has an influence on you. You are faithful and honest by nature. You will go all out to fulfill your duties towards your friends and family, in the year ahead of you. You will be able to pursue many subjects, rather than confine yourself to any one. Your honesty and loyalty, towards your work, will impress your seniors. Those of you, in the teaching line, will do well, professionally. Your sharp memory and intelligence, will be your assets. But, sometimes you tend to get fickle minded and inconsistent in your attitude. This could reflect on your work. The months of August, November, March and April will prove to be highly significant. May: 26 You are governed by the number 8 and by the planet Saturn. You are also influenced by the Moon. Full of energy and enthusiasm, you like to undertake big projects. In the coming year, you will have to give up your lethargic tendency, if you have to achieve success in the projects that you undertake. You will get many opportunities, and it is up to you, how much advantage you can take of these opportunities, which come your way. Family and loved ones, will play an important part in your life. You will go all out to give the best to your family members. You do not like to reveal your sentiments and emotions, even to your loved ones. Sometimes, this creates misunderstandings. Try to express your love and emotions, this will do wonders for you. You are easily attracted towards the opposite sex. The months of May, November, January and April will bring in prosperity. May: 27 You are governed by the number 9 and dominated by the planet Mars. You are also influenced by the Moon. You have a high imaginative power and you will use this to your fullest advantage, in the year ahead of you. Your imagination and new ideas will catch the attention of your seniors, who will be impressed with your creativity. But you will have to take care of your moody nature. You tend to be unpredictable in your thoughts and actions. You also try to dominate over others. By imposing your views on your colleagues, you tend to upset them. In love matters, you will have to be careful. Take a step forward, only when you are sure of a positive response from the other end. A little care for the sentiments of your love partner or your spouse, will do wonders to bring harmony and peace in your married life. The months of August, December and February will be highly eventful.

Free Consultation Learn about the fair value of diamonds & precious stones. To the readers of The South Asian Times by an expert gems dealer. For appointment, please call 516 390 7847 or email


Spiritual Awareness

May 21-27, 2011

No end to desires

This article has been selected and reprinted from Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s book, Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living (Radiance Publishers), an inspirational collection of stories from the world’s great wisdom traditions.

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj nce upon a time there was a carpenter who worked out of his home. Every day he took joy in building some furniture or tools to sell to others. He merrily sang and hummed as he worked, content with life. One day, his rich neighbor grew fed up with the noise the carpenter made as he hammered the wood. The neighbor had reached a point in which he could not take the noise anymore. The neighbor finally had a plan to quiet the carpenter. He took several hundred dollars from his money and left it in an envelope


in the carpenter’s workshop. The neighbor thought that if he gave the carpenter money he would not have to work and he would stop his incessant hammering. The carpenter entered his workshop and found the envelope lying there. Instead of using it to take a vacation or a break, the carpenter thought, “Someone left me several hundred dollars. What good fortune! I will take some of the money and invest in new tools so I can build bigger and better furniture and make more money.” Thus, the money flamed the carpenter ’s desire to earn more money. He began working even harder, hoping to increase the newly found hundreds into thousands. As he began to make more money, he was still not content. He decided he wanted to turn the thousands into tens of thousands and thus he worked still harder. The rich neighbor was annoyed that his plan had failed and instead of silencing the carpenter, it merely increased the noise because now the man worked longer hours. When the carpenter had earned tens of thousands he wanted to make a hundred thousand. He put pressure upon himself to work day

and night and even on weekends. Soon, he stopped his humming and singing. He no longer took joy in his work but felt strangled by the pressure he had put upon himself. On many nights, he was so stressed out he could not even sleep. The inner contentment and peace he had when he was just a poor carpenter were gone in the pursuit of trying to make more and more money. Consider our own lives. Do we find ourselves spending all of our time working to make money so we can retire? Do we work overtime to make more money? Do we work all weekend long to increase our profits?Do we find that we cannot even take a day or even several hours off work without thinking about work? If this is what is happening to us are we becoming like the carpenter? If we make all the money in the world but cannot enjoy personal peace and joy in our work, is it worth it? If we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth

using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need? Who knows what the future will bring? When we become old, will we have the health to do what we waited our whole life to do? If we leave our spiritual pursuits until we have reached our senior years, who knows how much time we will have left or whether we will be able to devote time to spirituality at that stage. If we ignore our family until they are already grown and have children of their own, we miss an important part of their lives that can never be recovered. Let us consider how we spend our time. If we have decided that certain goals are important then we should try to find time for them throughout our life and not put them all on the back burner in the pursuit of amassing more money than we need. We should weigh our time and make sure that we do not lose our peace and contentment over the stress of being engaged in a mad pursuit for money and possessions. Being conscious of how we spend our time and our life is important. If we listen to our soul, we will find that inner peace and contentment are more valuable than all the riches in the world.

If we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, an international spiritual leader and Master of meditation, affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions, emphasizing prayer and meditation as building blocks for achieving

Whatever you give me tastes sweet

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

n our daily life we face many difficulties, hardships and disappointments. Things do not always go our way. If we listen to the discussions of others and review our own words and thoughts, we find that many of them deal with complaints about how life is treating us. Life seems to be bitter at times and in turn makes us bitter. Have we ever thought about life from a different perspective? Think about how fortunate we really are. After all, we are human beings. How many species of life are there that walk the earth? There are mammals, reptiles, and insects. There are creatures of the air and creatures of the sea. Fortunately for us, we have been born as human beings. How many of us have ever thanked God for the life we have been given? We complain to God when things go wrong but what about the hundreds of things that God has given us? God has provided us enough food to keep us alive this long. We have had protection from the elements in the form of clothes and some sort of shelter. Most of us have families who love us. We have received some kind of education and have some kind of work. If we take all that comes to us as a gift from God then we can accept the good and


the tribulations equally under God’s will. In this respect, there is a story about King Mahmud of Ghazni. One day, while he was sitting with his most devoted servant, Ayaz, he shared half of his cucumber with him. When he had finished, the king then took a bite of his own half. “Yuk!” he cried, as he made a disgusted face and spit out the cucumber. “This is so bitter! How could you have eaten your piece if it tasted like bitter poison?” Ayaz replied, “My dear king, I have enjoyed so many favors and blessings from you all these years. Whatever you give me tastes sweet!”

Ayaz’s attitude demonstrates the frame of mind of a true lover of God. Such a lover is so much enamored of God and so grateful to God, that he or she takes everything, good or bitter, as a gift of the Beloved. Ayaz had received so many blessings from the king that he felt it was not his place to complain if one of these gifts were bitter. After all, if the king gave him so much good, he must love him. If therefore, once in a blue moon, he had handed him something bitter, Ayaz knew he had no evil intention. He accepted all the king gave him with love and gratitude. If we could accept the rainy days with the same gratitude as we do the sunny days, we would find our lives would be more full of love, peace, and happiness. If we could appreciate the weeds as well as the roses, we would enrich our daily lives. If we could appreciate our enemies as well as our friends, we would not have to waste precious breaths in complaints and bitterness. If we could accept days when we are ill and under the weather as well as those in which we are well and healthy, we would reduce our stress and worry and maybe even heal faster. Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy

Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily. that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily. Like Ayaz, let us take everything coming from God as tasting sweet. Then, we will sweeten our whole lives and the lives of those around us. For more visit


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