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Dec 26, 2007- Jan 1, 2008

world sikh news
Lack of political will to put up pictorial warnings on the puff
Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dear Dr. Ramadoss awareness against passive smoking have been flouted with impunity. Like all Indian laws, implementation is wanting. I find it hard to believe that you find it dif like the Q There i that pi reduced t

A plea to India’s Health Minister to blow out smoking guns P13

OTHER for Punjab from MERCHANTS Louisiana and OF DEATH
Gurgaon P2

Lessons aplenty

Tearing Apart Tytler: Another witness spills beans on camera P14-15

Vol 3 Issue 1, Phone (408) 272-2034, Fax (408) 519-6610

Kalam Nishan Singh


very year ending is a precursor to hopes for a new dawn, occasion for new resolutions and a realistic stock taking of the year gone by As . the world soaks in the Yuletide spirit and clock ticks towards the moment when we would be singing Auld Lang Syne, the Punjabi Diaspora, and indeed the entire South Asian community is crestfallen at the developments in India. Everyone wants to preserve a photoframe for keeps, but where will one keep the framed memory of 2007 from India? On your mantlepiece, it will look very shameful. Come, have a look. We are ending 2007 with right wing hoodlums of VHP killing Christians in Orissa because they wanted to celebrate Christmas. Good sense of timing for a communal riot. In Gujarat, one termed as Maut Ke Saudagar by leader of the country’s ruling party was elected Chief Minister. Narendra Modi, the poster boy of Hindutva and the author of Gujarat’s communal carnage, the man whose masks became a symbol of loathing and fear, defeated the Congress which had blinkers on its eyes. This was the man whom the United States of America did not allow to enter and refused visa because of his track record of being a gross human rights violator and mass killer, and who was described by a majority of secular opinionators and liberal civil society in India as a dictator, merchant of death, and promoter of Hindu terrorism. Shame also died by the time 2007 ended. Within hours of his win with a 117-59, vast sections of Indian mainstream media were attributing the victory not to the communal rhetoric but to the so-called development in Gujarat. Someone had changed the prism overnight and media was now getting a different image. The allusions to a Modi swinging down to Delhi and swallowing up even the national leadership of the Bhartiya Janta Party showed what kind of a wolf was on prey . What could you deduce from a photoframe of a year which brought to you the excruciatingly painful

A memory frame yours for keeps

details from Tehelka sting operation of Modi’s men tearing apart a pregnant woman’s stomach and plunging a sword through the foetus? What could you deduce from the fact that the Congress campaign in Gujarat did not even refer to the Tehelka sting operation? Thankfully, photoframes make deductions simple. India’s ruling party could not decide whether it wants to be totally secular or partially communal, and it sunk. It could have done little else. Communalism is a beast that often haunts if you hunt with it. And Congress had hunted with it. When mobs led by Congress leaders were hunting down Sikhs in Delhi — voter lists in hand, burning tyres in abundant supply police that looked , the other way and a leader that proclaimed on national TV his distilled wisdom about earth shaking and trees falling — it had thought the haunting ghosts of politics were merely a myth. Now these ghosts are turning up on camera, on newspaper pages and in books. Even before a probe commission could clear him, Jagdish Tytler was made India’s minister, and when he had to resign amidst shame, the CBI worked overtime to hand him a clean chit. Till of course enterprising journalists tracked a key witness Jasbir Singh in California. One poor truck driver living as a refugee refuses to be cowed down by the entire might of the Indian sleuthing agency’s stratagems. And then another witness is caught on a hidden camera narrating how Tytler led mobs who killed people and burnt them half-dead and half-alive after carting them to a spot in front of a gurdwara in handpulled garbage carts (See Special Report P 14-15). Kill 2,000 Muslims and become Chief Minister. Kill 3,000 Sikhs and become Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs. You may be haunted, you may escape. Good luck. That’s Indian politics for you, circa 2007. How do you like it? Plain communal ‘burn the Sikhs’ medium rare with tyres or spiced with Gujarati xenophobia sprinkled with saffron chutney? The Hindutva end game can have only two results: Either the ultra rightist agenda will rule or Continued on page 18

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Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

Pastor, who once banned Sikh driver who was assaulted still Langar, quits Mission
WSN Network SHASTA COUNTY, Sacramento: Jim Dahl, who had once told the Sikhs that they cannot be allowed to serve langar at the Good News Rescue Mission, but had to later reverse that decision, has resigned from the post of Mission's executive director after five years. Dahl, 59, submitted his resignation on Dec 11 and said he wanted more time to spend with his family and to pursue other career paths. The Rev. Dave Honey, the mission's director of ministries, will take over executive director duties on an interim basis but will also apply for Dahl's position. The mission is Shasta County's largest homeless shelter, providing meals and a place to sleep for as many as 200 people a night. In 2007, it will have provided more than 190,000 hot meals and 17,000 sacks of groceries, according to mission officials. The often-outspoken Dahl courted controversy in 2003 when soon after his appointment, he sent a letter to local Sikh representatives telling them they wouldn't be allowed to serve meals at the mission as they had been since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He claimed that their presence at the mission compromised the organization's Christian-based image. The letter soon became public, and after an emergency meeting of fellow directors, Dahl was instructed to meet with Sikh leaders to find an amicable resolution. Dahl had to later reverse his decision, and termed it a misunderstanding.

to return to job
WSN Network

Punjab’s honey traders flock to Rajasthan’s sarson fields
WSN Network LUDHIANA/KOTA: Rajasthan and Punjab are hearing a new drone noise these days, joining them in a honey laced pact. With the cold weather killing mustard flowers fast, bee-keepers from Punjab and many other places are converging on Rajasthan to lap up honey. As sharp winter kills the mustard flower, bee-keepers from Punjab whose mustard-based honey is a major export item, can now be seen in Ganganagar, Alwar, Bharatpur, Kota, Jaipur and Bikaner, areas where farmers grow mustard. Among these were Jagjit Singh Kapoor, chairman of Kashmir Apiaries Private Limited, in Doraha, Ludhiana, whose company claims an 80 percent market share of the 15,000 tonnes of honey exported annually to various destinations, including the US and Europe. Amit Dhanuka, CEO of Delhibased Kejriwal Bee Care India Private Limited, another big player in the industry, says that besides producing honey, mustard flowers also help in breeding bees. Kota district has bee-keepers from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Even small bee-keepers are trying to cash in on the yellow wave. Ranjit Singh of Thakkar Sandhu village in Gurdaspur, Punjab, has come to Phoosewala village with his 45 hives. “Of the 100 hives I had in Muktsar, I lost 55 due to insecticide spray on flowers. I’m here to make up for that loss,” he says. Adds Muzaffar Ahmad from Kashmir: “These days there is no scope of extracting honey in Kashmir due to the intense cold, so I’m here to make honey.” Not to mention money for the mustard farmers in Rajasthan. Incidentally, a majority of bees in India are the Italian honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

Five British Sikhs jailed for murder
WSN Network LONDON: Five British Sikhs have been jailed for a total of 66 years for murdering a Muslim tenant. A London court jury found landlord Balbir Singh Dhillon and his four accomplices Amarjit Dhillon, Mohan Singh, Charan Singh and Surinder Singh guilty of murdering 21-year-old Rizwan Yousaf in his rented one-room flat in East London in March this year. All were given life sentences with minimum terms totalling 66 years. The tenant had moved into his rented accommodation two weeks before his murder. The jury also heard that Yousaf was far from ideal tenant as he played loud music and kept a noisy dog. On the day of the attack, he had locked himself out of his home and visited Dhillon for a key, upsetting the landlord’s wife with his aggressive demands. The court also heard that Yousaf made an emergency call and spoke of his life in danger after being threatened of eviction by the landlord. Police visited his home but chose not to record the threat.

SEATTLE: Till a few days back, 49year-old Sukhvir Singh was just one of the thousands of cab drivers till a construction worker football fan with a skewed world perspective assaulted him, called him an "Iraqi terrorist" and threatened to killed him. The incident spurred a great deal of sympathy for Sukhvir Singh and Sikhs rallied around this cab driver who did not take one wrong step, stayed on the right side of the law and displayed how one man could rise to become an ambassador for the entire community . While the Sikh Coalition found him an attorney within days, many offered help in cash and kind. A SeaTac-based Indian radio station shared his story live on the air. Hundreds turned up for a candlelight vigil a day after the attack. About 2,000 people attended a Sunday service at the gurudwara

where Sukhvir Singh's story was narrated. He, of course, remains humble and deeply appreciates the community support. Doctors have advised Sukhvir Singh rest for the month of December but lack of work means lack of money too. He wants to return to his job as soon as possible. Being a husband and a father of two, Sukhvir Singh needs all the good wishes of the community .

Sikhs donate blood at Lankershim gurdwara
Angad Singh LOS ANGELES: Seventy-five people donated blood at the annual American Red Cross holiday blood drive on December 9 at the Sikh Temple of Los Angeles in Lankershim. The blood will be donated to the area hospitals in Southern California. "Even though I was scared of giving blood for the first time, I felt that I couldn't miss this perfect opportunity to help the people in need," said donor Jaspreet Sethi. The event was organized by local high school students Sartaaj and Harnoor Walia along with Red Cross representative Geri Hernandez ."I really wanted to help my community because there are so many people who need blood right now…I'm really impressed with the amount of support shown by everyone," said Harnoor Walia. The drive consisted of two 'blood mobiles' situated in the temple compound along with Red Cross employees. "I donated blood because it would be useful to my community and I feel good about myself. This is the least I can do," said donor Gunjiv Singh. Donors varied in age from 17 to 69 years and all were rewarded with a coupon for Cold Stone Creamery and also got the opportunity to win a $500 American Express gift card in a raffle. "It would be stupid not to donate blood because it is the easiest way to save a life…I just have to sit for ten minutes and at the end of the process I helped someone out," said donor Jagmeet Singh. The event was promoted weeks in advance and the drive had a total of 44 appointments and 31 walk-ins. "I'm really glad with our success and I hope this will blood drive will continue in the future," said Harnoor Walia.

Lessons from Louisiana and Gurgaon for Punjab
WSN Bureau


he murder of Chandrasekhar Reddy and Kiran Kumar, the two Indian Louisiana State University students near Governor Bobby Jindal's city Baton Rouge has left both Americans and Indians shocked. The FBI has joined the investigation, but there is no indication yet regarding the motive for the murders. This gory incident may well rattle all those in India who have children in American campuses as also the Diaspora. After Virginia Tech shopotings, apprehensions about security arrangements in and around US universities are legitimate. One must take reasonable precautions that a prudent person would observe, especially in a country where you must presume that everyone whom you confront on the street is armed.

Campus police in the US are reasonably well-organised, and university authorities are generally willing to go an extra length to protect students and faculty members. Unlike in India, transparency in reporting incidents to students is highly respected. Any wilful suppression of news could be extremely damaging to a university administration. But it will also be prudent to note that there have been certain disturbing trends in the US that cannot be ignored. After a few years of a perceptible drop in violent crime, the graph is now rising. Of course New York City and Los Angeles are exceptions, perhaps due to initiatives of two dynamic Police Commissioners, Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton, homicides and other forms of violence are definitely going up elsewhere. Philadelphia has a grave situation. Washington DC has registered

Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine sent a strong message, but did it reach us? more than 170 homicides this year alone, of which 77 per cent have been from the use of guns. It is not

for nothing that the DC area is often referred to as the 'murder capital' of the US. The Punjabi Diaspora must have a lot of lessons to write home about the fact that the spurt in crime in many parts of America is widely attributed to the nexus between drugs and guns. The dilemma with regard to enforcement of the drug law notwithstanding, there is a wellknown laxity in a majority of US states that do not favour excessive restriction on guns. This is evident in the might of the gun lobby represented by the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has strong Republican connections. Former New York Mayor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate nominee Rudi Giuliani was a wellknown votary of gun restrictions while he held office. Now, he isn't that warm to gun control, for the fear of alienating a sizeable chunk of the party's leadership devoted to a

liberal gun policy . But the fact remains that the infusion of politics into gun licensing and ownership leads to a worsening crime scene. The crime scene in the US will continue to worry the Punjabi Diaspora since their own kids and many of those of their relatives in Punjab come to US for studies. Besides, the Punjabi Diaspora must make an effort to convince authorities back homw in Punjab to take the issue of arms control seriously Gun licensing in India is . strict, but of late there has been a laxity and we don't even have to , utter the word "Jessica Lal" to convince you. The rich and famous can easily acquire guns at will. Recently , the WSN had published a story about how prohibited guns seized from unlawful elements were auctioned to many politicians and their kin in Punjab. After the Gurgaon school shootings, there is every case for tighter control over the process.

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


India’s Orissa reels under Four Babbar Khalsa anti-Christian riots, activists convicted on many churches burnt basis of police claims
WSN Network WSN Network ORISSA: Nightmare replaced celebrations for Christians in India as right wing Hindu hoodlums of Vishwa Hindu Parishad went around attacking Christians in this coastal state, and particularly on target were poor and famished tribals. Churches were burnt and at least one person was killed but there was little reaction in the Indian print or electronic media which focussed on film personalities celebrating Christmas. Till this edition was going to the press, riots were continuing in Kandhamal district Wednesday despite curfew orders and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists were not letting police from entering villages where they attacked Christians. There was no talk of calling the army And CM Naveen Patnaik . declared situation was under control. Curfew was imposed in four towns after a youth was killed and six churches and a minister’s houses were targeted on Tuesday in largescale communal violence and arson in Orissa’s Kandhamal district following an attack on a VHP leader who led an anti-conversion movement. Central Reserve Police Force was being rushed, said one report. A youth was killed in mob violence at Barakhamba, a senior police officer said, adding he was yet to be identified. At least six churches, mostly built in thatched houses, were either ransacked or the vacant premises set on fire since on Monday night as tension built up in the area. Curfew was imposed in district headquarters town of Phulbani, Baliguda, Daringibadi and Brahmanigaon.Twelve churches were targetted by vandals since Monday night and additional forces deployed in sensitive pockets of the district where of the total 6.50 lakh population, more than one lakh belonged to Christian community . Three churches were set on fire at Baliguda on Monday night, and three others were burnt on Tueaday. Churches at Chakapada, Giringia and Phiringia were also ransacked before being set afire. Plans over celebrations of Christmas were opposed by the local Hindus and this led to clashes between the Hindu and Christian groups. Phulbani area is one of the most communally sensitive regions and clashes between Hindus and Christians are a known fact. Policemen who went to Daringbadi, Phiringia and Chakapada blocks were not allowed access by the mob which took to streets after 80-year-old VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was allegedly attacked on Monday . The VHP-sponsored bandh coincided with a two-day shut-down called by “Kui samaj sammanwaya samiti”, a tribal outfit demanding Scheduled Tribe status to Dalit Christians. CHANDIGARH: A Chandigarh court has convicted four Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) members claiming they were trying to revive terrorism in Punjab after a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from them near PGI here on March 21, 2006. It is almost routine for Punjab Police to slap such cases and for the courts to fully rely on police theories. The court has awarded a five-year jail term along with a fine of Rs 5,000 to Sukhwinder Singh alias Sukhi alias Bullet for possessing a prohibited weapon (AK47). Dilbag Singh was sentenced to fiveyear jail under the Arms Act for possessing RDX. Ranjit Singh and Balbir Singh alias Nepali were awarded a threeyear jail term each along with a fine of Rs 3,000 under the Arms Act. The police had claimed to have recovered an AK-47 rifle and 15 cartridges from Sukhi, a .38 bore Colt revolver and five cartridges from Balbir Singh, 1-kg RDX from Dilbag Singh and a .12 bore gun and two cartridges from Ranjit Singh. Sukhi, Dilbag Singh and Ranjit Singh were residents of Ropar, while Balbir Singh was from Solan in Himachal Pradesh. All of them were, as per the police story, associates of BKI activist Paramjit Singh Bheora. The police had alleged that the four were

working for Jagtar Singh Tara, a prime suspect in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. The police had rested their case on the CD of the wedding ceremony of Sukhi, a journalist with a Hindi newspaper, at Kurali, which Tara had attended. Dilbag Singh was also present. The police had alleged that Dilbag Singh was the senior vice-president of SAD (A) in Ropar district. A motorcycle was also recovered from Sukhi that was allegedly provided to him by Tara. The police had said the accused had told them that they were part of a Babbar Khalsa module and were in constant touch with other activists to revive terrorism.

Police arrest ‘terrorists’, but media tears apart claims
WSN Network PHAGWARA: Punjab Police claimed it has arrested three youths with RDX last Wednesday after a failed attempt to target Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthaan in Nurmahal but media has blown huge holes into the police story. The vernacular media had reported the fact that police has picked up Gurinder Singh even before police could claim that it arrested him two days later. The reports also mentioned seizure of RDX haul and revelations made by him during police interrogation. Incidentally, Gurinder, along with his family, was booked around two months back for waging war against the country and for sedition. The police slapped the charges after Gurinder’s name had cropped up in investigations of RDX seizure from Ghuman in Ludhiana. When contacted for his comment, SSP Rakesh Aggarwal said that nothing objectionable had been recovered from the members of Gurinder’s family. Now, question being raised in intelligence and media circles is what made the police claim that Gurinder had failed to trigger the blast on Wednesday and that he was arrested on his way back from Nurmahal. According to their claims, he made twothree attempts to trigger the blast. Interestingly, police also claim to have recovered two maps from the possession of the accused. While one is a road map of Phagwara-Nurmahal stretch, the other is of the Ambala court complex where the Dera Sacha Sauda chief is appearing for court hearings. The police see no problem with the fact that a man determined to carry out a terror act with so much planning will not need a map for Phagwara to Murmahal stretch, particularly if Gurinder had already tried to trigger the blast two-three times at Nurmahal then why was he still moving around maps? Phagwara to Nurmahal stretch will be known to every village bumpkin, but perhaps for the convenience of Punjab Police cops, the terrorists carry maps in their back pockets.

Punjab cops say they caught another three near Nepal border
WSN Network LUDHIANA: Notwithstanding the continuous holes being punched into police stories about arrests of alleged accused in RDX case or Ludhiana bomb blasts, police is regularly making more such arrests and issuing equally skeletal incredible press releases. Now it has claimed that three more suspected Babbar Khalsa militants were arrested on Tuesday morning on the Indo-Nepal border for their alleged role in the October blast in Ludhiana that claimed six lives. Two of the three were identified as Gurpreet Singh and Sandeep and were arrested while they were attempting to flee to Nepal, official sources said. They are allegedly involved in the blast in a multiplex at Ludhiana on October 15 in which at least six people were killed and 25 others injured. They are also allegedly involved in transporting deadly RDX into the state, a consignment which was caught by the local police few days ahead of the explosion. Ludhiana SSP RK Jaiswal insisted that no arrests had been made but sources confirmed it.


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

CBI to court: Police registering false cases against witnesses
KHALRA CASE: Key witness acquitted of rape charges
WSN Network PATIALA: Shame came in a liberal dose for the Punjab Police with an investigating CBI senior officer of the rank of DIG officially informing an Indian court that false cases were being registered against witnesses in the Khalra kidnap and rape case. Kirpal Singh Randhawa, the key witness in the Sardar Jaswant Singh Khalra kidnap and murder case, was acquitted of trumped up charges of rape by a district and sessions judge. Punjab Police, which has a history of browbeating witnesses or torturing them, had used the strategem of embroiling Kirpal Singh in false cases. It had registered a case under Section 376 of the IPC against Randhawa in July 2003 when he was in the process of recording his statement in a local court in the case. Six police officials, including a DSP, were convicted in 2005 for the abduction and murder of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra in Amritsar in September 1995. Randhawa was a neighbour of Khalra and was also a human rights activist. He was a witness to the kidnapping. Defence counsel Brijinder Singh Sodhi provided evidence that the rape case was a frame-up to threaten Randhawa against deposing in the murder case. CBI DIG M. Narayanan, who supervised the case, told the court that fake cases were being registered against key witnesses in the Khalra case. This, Sodhi said, proved to be important in the rape case trial. Copies of a letter from Narayanan to the then Punjab DGP highlighting the fake cases were presented in the court. Randhawa is the vice-chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Organisation headed by Justice Ajit Singh Bains. Khalra had found that nearly 2,500 youth were killed in fake encounters in Punjab during terrorism and filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which asked the CBI to investigate the matter.

Sikh Federation top brass meet warns Mann acolytes
WSN Network LONDON: Last Sunday, on December 23, the quarterly meeting of Sikh Federation (UK) branches from across the country took place under the leadership of the organisation - Bhai Amrik Singh, Bhai Kuldip Singh Chaheru and Bhai Narinderjit Singh. The gathering warned those associated with Simranjit Singh Mann to refrain from verbal attacks on the Khalsa Action Committee and the new Panj Pardhani system of SAD (Amritsar) besides announcing that it will be holding a program in Germany, Frankfurt in the new year to reveal the structure for those with whom it will be working with across Europe in organizing the World Sikh Lobby & Summit at the United Nations in Geneva from 14-16 March, the Sikh Freedom Lobby in the European Parliament in Brussels on 7 May and the annual remembrance event in Ypres, Belgium on 11 November. The meeting also decided that it will be sending up to five representatives to the next World Sikh Summit in New York from 2-4 February and would be urging contacts from different countries in mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia to join Sikhs from the USA and Canada who are expected to take part in large numbers. It also welcomed the recent motion in the UK Parliament by MPs urging the UK Government to call for the immediate release of British citizen, Paramjit Singh Dhaddi who has been falsely imprisoned and tortured in Punjab for 1 year since 23 December 2006. The Sikh Federation (UK) also released its 2008 Calendar. The Calendar pays special tribute to those that have sacrificed their lives for freedom and justice in the last 30 years, beginning with the 13 Shaheeds in Amritsar on 13 April 1978.

Chandigarh: Punjab may be denied many funds and relief packages but for this one measure the Centre will be magnanimous. New Delhi has agreed to the Punjab government’s proposal to set up a contingent of the Special Security Guards (SSGs) on the pattern of the National Security Guards (NSGs). The Centre will provide full financial assistance for the purpose, federal home minister Shivraj Patil told CM Parkash Singh Badal in New Delhi on December 21.

Chamkaur Sahib to have Nagar Panchyat
Chandigarh: The Punjab Government will set up the Nagar Panchayat in Chamkaur Sahib within three months, CM Parkash Singh Badal told the Vidhan Sabha in response to a question. In a first of sorts and a step which will open a new way for the police to harrass Punjabis, Agriculture minister Sucha Singh Langah told the Punjab Assembly that the government will now ask police stations to register cases against those encroaching on berms of rural roads.

Punjab to have force on lines of NSG

Bhutto makes weird claim about Sikh insurgency
WSN Network NEW DELHI: Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto has claimed that it was because of her initiatives that militancy could end in Punjab in an assertion that Indian media translated as a "firstever confession by a Pakistani leader of Islamabad’s support to the Khalistani secessionists." Retaliating against India's national security advisor M K Narayanan’s charge that Bhutto, as premier of Pakistan, had failed to make good the promises she made, the PPP leader claimed that she had kept her word. Benazir said that she had fulfilled her assurance to Rajiv Gandhi to cut off Islamabad’s support to Khalistanis. The former Prime Minister, who was replying to questions by a news weekly, said the fact was that it was Rajiv Gandhi who failed to deliver on his promise to pull out troops from Siachen in exchange for Islamabad’s choking off the support to Khalistani secessionists. NSA Narayanan had recently said that Bhutto could never be trusted as she had not kept her promises given to Rajiv Gandhi. Bhutto said Narayanan could not have known what transpired in 1988 because it was a one-to-one meeting. “If anyone kept the word, it was I, not Rajiv. He (Rajiv) went back to India and then called me on his way to the Commonwealth to say that he could not keep his promise to withdraw from Siachen,” Bhutto alleged. She said: “There was not a fly on the wall. How can anyone say I have not kept my promises when the biggest result of that meeting was the end of the Sikh insurgency.”

Amritsar: Former Congress MLA from Beas Jasbir Singh Gill, alias Dimpa, was released from the central jail here on December 24 after he was granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 19. A large number of Congress supporters celebrated his release. Dimpa had been granted bail in the culpable homicide amounting to murder case against him.

Dimpa walks out of jail

Dal Khalsa wants a Minar-e-Khalsa
AMRITSAR: The Dal Khalsa has demanded that the SGPC construct a Minar-e-Khalsa" to pay tributes to Sikh "martyrs" like Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, late Maj Gen Shahbeg Singh and Bhai Amrik Singh on the premises of Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Amritsar: BJP's motormouth MP who doubles up as a TV anchor presenting comic programs full of politically incorrect jokes, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has named a job generating initiative for the unemployed youth as "Parkash Scheme" after CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Sidhu names scheme after Badal

Vedanti: Bring in Anand Karaj Act
AMRITSAR: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti has urged the Punjab government to work for suitable amendments in Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act to pave the way for an Anand Karaj Act. He contended that both the communities had separate cultural identities. Pakistan has already readied the draft of such a legislation.

Dolphins in Harike!

Gurdaspur: Experts from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have confirmed the presence of river-water dolphins in the Wildlife Sanctuary at Harike in Ferozepur. There are possibly five or six dolphins in the Harike lake. Chief conservator of forest and wildlife Jatinder Sharma said the WWF team spotted the dolphins, five in number, in the sanctuary late this evening. The development has generated a great deal of interest among wildlife enthusiasts, particularly the speculation as to from where the dolphins might have strayed. Initially, a pair of dolphins was spotted near the confluence of the Beas and the Sutlej two weeks ago.

Raghunath Sahai Puri dead
CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab minister and Congress leader Raghunath Sahai Puri died at the PGI hospital last week after a prolonged illness. He was 68. He hailed from Sujanpur and had undergone kidney transplant in 1999 and was on immunosuppresants. He was affected with multiple myleoma and was suffering from various infections, a PGI spokesperson said.

Eve-teasing: Villagers say no to schools
CHANDIGARH: Following the police inaction in a case of harassment of schoolgirls in Jind district of Haryana, 300 students have been forbidden in five villages of Safidon from going to school as per a decision taken by panchayats of Ramnagar, Seek, Pathri, Kurad and Haat villages. Girls feel so insecure that they have stopped stepping out of their homes. Poliec has been apprised but Safidon SHO Balwant Singh downplayed the incidents and denied any sexual harassment. Villagers said authorities will have to make a commitment about the safety of women in the area.

Jalandhar: Police raided the office of a travel agency in Jalandhar on December 20 and seized 616 passports and nearly Rs 28 in lakh cash from its premises. Shivam Travel agency office in Dilkusha market was raided after a tip-off, SP (detective) Paramvir Singh Parmar, said. No case has been registered against agency owner Rajiv Soni after he provided the police a photo copy of his licence.

616 passports seized after raid on travel agent

Contempt plea by Dera Sacha Sauda chief
AMBALA: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Saturday appeared before the court of special CBI judge SK Saini and moved two applications, including an application seeking permission to place some documents for consideration at the time of hearing of arguments in the court. Through another application he requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the CBI as it has got photocopies of challans which are the property of court and CBI had no right to keep —WSN the documents within its possession.

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threatened to contest independen CHANDIGA denied a ticket. RH: As Akali campaign His revolt would tly if machinery not only affected got into top have gear, Prakash Singh the party’s prospects in Faridkot Badal went around and but also in jab cajoling, a couple of neighbourin mollifying, sooting, Pung seats. Finally ing, goading the coax, he was allotted the ticket enraged, the angry but not before the left-out ticket and unconditional seeking aspirants, Congressapology for his men looked askance ty utterances. anti-partowards the high In Bathinda, command, as Lal Garg, who Chiranji always, for the had raised the elusive list of candidates. of revolt agreed banner By most candidates' Thursday evening, to inee Sarup Singla support SAD nomnames will be known. uncondition But one thing Sangrur, Ranjit ally In is clear: PM Manmo. Singh Baliyan han Singh has won over by convincing has been shrunk away from picking the bait him that it was only opposition for Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, where from Sukhdev The spirit of Dhindsa that state FiSingh Yuletide met has come in nance the great tradition the way of Minister of langar at fielding him. Surinder Singla the Salvation However, is Army. Report in Muktsar the front runner. now on page 17 the party Even has failed to the Akali candidates win over Harnirpal with tickets in Singh Kukku who had pockets eagerly their lost to looked forward Sukhdarshan Congress list to the Marar in 2002, to know Singh who Though embroiled their rivals. pendent candidate was then an indein court hearings (see separate Amritsar Times ed in the Akali and had finally landstory on page is World Sikh fold after a stint Badal was busy 6), News now! Defering the Congress. tackling the tide with Since Kuku volt that threatened to strong of remined to contest, is deterand consistent to rock Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) advice from WSN Bureau ning over his the party is busy winboat after allotment the ever-widen supporters so of tickets though left the Delhi ing readership n gives up even that he NEW the battle to SGPC , before filing it has been decided ment of candidates early announceDELHI: Just Avtar of nominachief tion papers. ensured that to switch Punjab Assembly a month before extent, Singh Makkar and party leaders to World Sikh the to some had enough time In Payal, Jagjeevanpa Sukhdev Singh elections, Delhi News, a name Akali polity the rebels. n to woo Dhindsa. l, a protege of has delivered The biggest which underlines Captain Kanwaljit the gainer, campaign could other hand, a long our Singh, has recon- Prakash Singh Badal-led a jolt to the SAD (Panthak) however, was ciled and would continui commitme Akali Dal with Paramjit ing cause of dearth not be sustained belend support led by Manjit Singh GK. His Singh nominee Mahesh to party nt to of resources. party in its the community Inder Singh Grewal. Akali Dal winning Sarna's Delhi Badal made contest won maiden The revolt in and promises of 27 of the 46 six seats denting seats, leaving Nakodar and lucrative posts in the relationship with its support Nawanshahr Badal with has also tapered new the rest of two only 12, several base of the SAD (Badal).the ever was willinggovernment to whoout. the world which ble spots are Dhuri, Remaining trou- up less than the figure it In places, the to listen. Besides, notched is in the last elections. Sukhbir Badal Lehra, Pucca seat by a meager party lost the Valtoha and Kalan, and other family undergoing a Tarn The bers also undertook margin, paradigm shift. memsending the would ultimately Taran, where SAD Manjit breakaway Akali the damage message that clearly The change of Dal of trol exercise, face Singh (Greater he has to be watched out name reflects albeit with partial conReports suggest rebel candidates. six Kailash) won in the our commitme seats while one cess. However, that political Badal can derive coming days. mation of the where the rebels sucnt to watch the seat late Beant Singh's deci- by an Independen was bagged not budged from some consolahave interests of the tion from the ly could be on fami- Singh t Harbhajan fact that former community, the cards as attempts to wean their stand, there are Matharoo. Takht jathedar Gurkanwfollow the path Akal al Kaur may away Ranjit likely to be quoted The results are ly miss porters and weaken their main supshown fought alongside Singh virtualhar cantonment the bus from Jaland- as by the Congress great gurus, project by the well as seat, him against The main threatthem. Sarnas, but brother Tej Prakash leaving only her anti-Badal the rival Akalis a strong the the sad news to SAD was value system as an that Faridkot where with the last for him in verdict and underline for a ticket. Gurkeerat Gurcharan hope the Singh, brother is The Akali Dal by the Sikhs. islator Kushaldeep sitting party legthe belief that Singh, the grandBhai Ranjit son of the assassinate h the 'Sarbat of (Badal) tried Singh Dhillon downplay the to the losers Singh, lost. Also among Da had Bhala' motto verdict in Delhi even being considered d CM was not only was will take where 40 per cent for the ticket. Chandok former Prahlad Singh of the electorate the community turned out president DGMC on and Badal supported for voting. Akalis uncharted but had candidate Continued on glorious paths. page 16

Akalis in top gear as Cong high comma nd sits on brakes
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A love story with the Partition in background 23


Sarna walks awa y with DSGMC aga in

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Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


Badal has his way, Police Bill passed
WSN Network CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seemed to have taken the middle road on the issue of new police bill, avoided fulfilling all conditions set by the Supreme Court and pushed for the new bill which was passed by the Assembly . Many of course still fear that the new bill will give more powers to the police in a state that has already seen the cops virtually working as a parallel state. Justifying the changes made in the Punjab Police Bill 2007 draft, Badal told the Assembly that it was the job of the lawmakers “to make the law while the courts were meant to interpret it. If one were to go exactly by what the courts say then it would become difficult to even run the government.” Speaking in response to the objections raised against the Bill by opposition MLAs and one BJP MLA, Badal said the changes were made keeping in mind the fact that the police had to be made accountable. Those objecting to the Bill had cited the absence of state police commission, which has a provision for making leader of opposition one of the five members, however, the state is going for a state police board which does not have any seat for the opposition leader. The board would have the CM as the chairman and the home minister as the vice chairman while the chief secretary, advocate general and home secretary would be the other three members. “We have spared Bibiji (Rajinder Kaur Bhattal) here so that she has time to stage dharnas,” Badal quipped, hardly a remark that will add to his image as a democratically working CM. Interestingly, BJP MLA Jagdish Sahni asked the government to take back the bill and have a detailed discussion on making the police accountable since going by the force’s history it had a tendency to be used by the ruling parties. Congress MLAs Randeep Nabha, Sunil Jakhar and Ajit Inder Singh Mohfar also pointed out the absence of any opposition member or those from the public in the bodies set up under the new Act.

Pak Punjab Guv cuts X’mas cake with Christians and Sikhs
WSN Network LAHORE: Pakistan Punjab Governor Lt. Gen. Khalid Maqbool hosted a reception for minorities at Governor House here on Monday where leaders from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh community cut the Christmas cake at the reception, while 1,000 deserving Christian individuals were given away Christmas gifts worth Rs 5,000 each from Pakistan Baitul Maal. Addressing the gathering, the Governor said every religion advocates dignity and honour for humanity and love with each other. The Governor stressed the great message of pardoning enemies to the human being, adding that “It’s a good omen that Muslims and the minority groups in the country have identical social and cultural values and they share their sorrows and joys with each other.” He said government has ensured equal chances of development to all the citizens irrespective of their cast, creed and colour. Pakistan is the only country that provided dual rights of vote to the minority groups, he said and added that President Pervez Musharraf reserved minority seats at all levels, besides implementing joint electorate system to include them in the mainstream of the country. The Governor also announced a rehabilitation package for the poor Christians under which Pakistan Baitul Maal would provide Rs 20,000 financial assistance each to 25,000 individuals. Punjab Education Minister Dr. Mira Phailbus and Bishop of Lahore Dr. Alexander John Malik also addressed the reception.

Sikh Coalition filed 32 complaints on TSA issue
WSN Network NEW YORK, NY: Over the past four months, the Sikh Coalition has filed 32 separate complaints of discrimination with the TSA, as per a release by the Coalition itself. It said a pro bono team of 9 attorneys coordinated by the Sikh Coalition's lead staff attorney are responsible for this major initiative to protect Sikh rights. As part of an overall media, advocacy, and legal strategy to bring attention to Sikh concerns, in August 2007 the Coalition decided to file individual discrimination complaints with the TSA's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Members of the United States Congress also asked the Coalition to file complaints. The complaints were filed compel the TSA investigate individual allegations of discriminatory searches; and document for the historical record the disproportionate impact that the flawed headwear search policy had on Sikhs.

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United Sikhs becomes first Sikh NGO to be associated with UN
WSN Network United Nations: United Sikhs has become the first Sikh advocacy, humanitarian relief and human development Non Governmental Organization (NGO) to be associated with the United Nations, through its Department of Public Information (DPI). In a letter addressed to United Sikhs, dated 12th December, the head of the NGO section of DPI, Juan Carlos Brandt, said, “The committee on NGOs met in December…and I am pleased to inform you that the committee approved United Sikhs for association with the department, effective immediately.” “This is a significant achievement on behalf of 25 million Sikhs who will now be able to fully participate in global initiatives according to the Sikh principle of Sarbat Da Bhela, selfless service,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, United Sikhs director. United Sikhs filed an application to be associated with the UN through the DPI earlier this year. “Our application was supported by UN agencies such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), with whom we worked during our Tsunami relief operations in Sri Lanka. We also had the support of other UN associated advocacy and multifaith NGOs with whom we have done projects,” said Mejindarpal Kaur. About 1,500 NGOs are associated with DPI, which gives the UN links to people around the world. The NGO Section of DPI is part of DPI’s Outreach Division, and acts as its liaison to the UN. It provides a range of information services to civil society and other partners, including the academic community, educational institutions, and the public at large.

Interview me through video conference, says Jasbir Singh
CALIFORNIA: In an interview to a leading Indian English daily, Jasbir Singh, the US-based key witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case to India, has suggested that his statement be recorded by the probe agency CBI through video-conferencing or in the Indian consulate in the US. He said he has given a notarized affidavit stating that Jagdish Tytler was rebuking his men for not killing enough Sikhs in his constituency. He said he has been "threatened by Tytler ‘goondas' and they even approached me while in US a few months back, threatening me to withdraw my affidavit against Tytler or face consequences." Meanwhile, human rights activist and lawyer Navkiran Singh has reached USA to contest Jasbir Singh's case.

Kiran Bedi’s retirement application accepted
NEW DELHI: After dithering for a month and a half, the government has finally accepted the voluntary retirement plea of India's first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who at times got into controversies during her tenure. The government decided to relieve Bedi, who was holding the post of the Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development, from her duties on Monday . "I have received the letter relieving me" from the government, Bedi said. She has since given up her charge at the Bureau. Sulking after being ignored for Delhi Police Commissioner's post earlier this year, the Magsaysay awardee submitted her application on November 15, saying she wanted to quit to pursue "strong academic and social interests". The government had last week indicated that it would continue to avail of the services of Bedi for its project of National Police Mission, but she rejected the offer saying she was not willing to work "for the government" anymore.


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

Sikhs fund Canada hospital, now pushed to fight it
Peel Region’s Sikh community played a key role in establishing Brampton's gleaming new hospital. It has played an equally major role in the troubled institution's first major crisis
BRAMPTON: The opening of Brampton Civic Hospital was supposed to be an occasion for celebration, especially among the city's burgeoning Sikh community . They had been actively courted by the hospital foundation, and responded with tremendous enthusiasm, raising $2.8-million with a Punjabi radiothon and an incredible $200,000 during a 48-hour Sikh prayer ceremony in July . The new $790-million facility, built in a field in northeast Brampton, was meant to take pressure off the aging Peel Memorial Hospital downtown, with its water leaks and occasional blackouts, and offer the community an improved level of health care. Instead, the new hospital, which opened two months ago, has become a public relations nightmare for staff and administrators, with unproven allegations of mismanagement and substandard health care sparking street protests among the very community that worked to help raise funds for the project. The deaths of two hospital patients, both Sikhs – one of them a man whose family donated $25,000 to the foundation – have been held up as examples of how the hospital is failing the community. Hamstrung by privacy legislation that prevents them from talking about individual cases, hospital administrators have been forced to limit their response to press releases outlining hospital procedures. Responding to community pressure, the province appointed a supervisor to oversee the hospital in a bid to restore public confidence in the new facility How it went wrong . is a puzzle. In five pieces. Rajinder Saini was listening to a local Punjabi radio program about Brampton Civic Hospital when local MPP Vic Dhillon called into the show to say one of his close family friends had recently died there. As the publisher of the Parvasi Weekly newspaper, Saini had been receiving complaints for years from readers about the quality of health care in Brampton. Things were supposed to be different at the new Brampton Civic Hospital, a state-ofthe-art facility that had opened on Oct. 28. Dhillon, Saini remembers, described how his friend had waited eight or 10 hours in the emergency room at the new hospital, and that during the man's subsequent 10-day stay at the hospital for pancreatitis, his family complained that he was not properly cared for. Saini called Dhillon, who put him in touch with the family The next . day Nov. 20, the family's story was , front-page news in Parvasi Weekly , which has a circulation of 20,000 in the GTA, Vancouver and India. Local Punjabi radio shows picked it up, and Saini talked about it on his own radio show, which runs on CJMR 1320 AM. The Times of India picked up the story says Saini. He , was invited to talk about it on television. "It was big news," says Saini. "Everybody talked about this story . There was big outrage in our community ." "It's a very small kind of community newspaper, but still I am trying to run it very professionally says ," Saini, who operates out of a small office opposite a strip mall in Mississauga. "We have nothing against the hospital staff or management. We are trying to raise the voice. The voice of the people." By the time stories of what was happening in the emergency department of Brampton Civic Hospital reached the ears of the man who runs the place, the facts had been distorted beyond recognition. "`I know somebody delivered a baby on the sidewalk outside the emergency department...while this man was dying on the floor of your waiting room,'" Dr. Naveed Mohammad was told at a dinner party . "There was a lot of misinformation out there," says Mohammad. "That was one of the most painful parts for me. It really painted our hospital and the emergency department in a negative manner and that wasn't the truth." Neither of the two cases that became lightning rods for controversy involved medical error in the emergency room, says Mohammad. "Nobody waits 10 hours in emergency to see a doctor. Everyone is assessed in a timely fashion" The problem was one of expectations, says Mohammad. The community was expecting that the hospital would open at full capacity , with 608 beds. It has 479. The remainder will open over the next four years. Physicians, nurses and staff didn't anticipate the challenges that would come with moving to a spanking new hospital, from mastering the computer system to finding the stairs. They didn't anticipate that demand would soar as it did – the new facility drew 20 per cent more emergency-room traffic than predicted, and the number of very sick patients to emergency doubled. Mohammad is Punjabi. He says he understands the culture. He understands why members of the community are upset. He even understands

Sikhs in Brampton
According to 2001 Statistics Canada information, the Sikh religion is the third largest in Brampton behind Catholic and Protestant. Under the public private partnership (P3) funding formula being used to build the new hospital, the community had to raise 30 per cent of the building's total cost of $536 million. William Osler Health Centre (WOHC) paid a tribute to the Canadian Sikh community by naming the new hospital's emergency department as Guru Nanak Emergency Services Department.

hospital would have fewer beds than originally thought and that the old Peel Memorial Hospital would be closed once the new hospital opened. "Until then, I don't believe that anybody in the community knew that if we are getting this new hospital, they are snatching away Peel Memorial hospital, too," says Saini. "That's how it started simmering around, you know. People started complaining that, `Why are they closing down Peel Memorial?'" Brampton is home to a large and politically important South Asian population. South Asians make up 83,245 of the 206,185 immigrants in the city , which now has a total population of 400,000. The overall population of the suburb northwest of Toronto has grown by 60 per cent in 10 years, to 400,000, resulting in gridlock, crowded schools and, critics say, social and community services that have failed to keep up. The accusation that there aren't enough services, including libraries and community centres, to serve the growing population is a frequent topic of heated debate on local Punjabi radio. Health care has long been an issue in the city – until the new hospital was built, one-third of patients seeking emergency care travelled outside of Brampton to get it – to hospitals in Etobicoke and Mississauga. The hospital foundation has actively sought the support of the Sikh community, says Anne Randell, president and CEO of the William Osler Health Centre Foundation, which includes Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital. A radiothon in the community two years ago raised $2.8-million. This summer, 15,000 people attended a weekend Akhand Paath ceremony at the hospital – a continuous reading of the Sikh scripture from beginning to end. In all, $200,000 was raised. The new emergency department was named for Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism. Two Sikhs sit on the foundation board and three on the hospital board. "This was a collective effort by a portion of our community to do a lot for the hospital, so it's not that person who donated $10-million that expects you do to something for them, it's the whole community ," says Dr. Naveed Mohammad, corporate chief of emergency services. (Courtesy thestar .com)

The community

The doctor

why the same people who told him they understand his position took to the streets in protest. "A lot of community leaders had to decide whether to support the hospital or the community says ," Mohammad. "The community is large, it's what's around you all the time. If you're someone who has to depend on the community for's difficult."

The patients

The press

The first patient death to draw media attention was Harnek Sidhu, 52. His family told Parvasi Weekly that he was not properly attended to in the emergency department at Brampton Civic Hospital, despite the fact that Sidhu was vomiting and in acute pain. His son Sandeep later told the Star that it took 12 hours for his father to be assigned a bed. His father died 10 days later of pancreatitis. Sandeep blamed it on the fact that the hospital was built and is operated as a public-private partnership, with the private sector operating non-clinical services, such as housekeeping. He said the hospital is understaffed and the focus is not health care, but on moving patients through the system as quickly as possible. The family had donated $25,000 to the hospital. Amarjit Narwal was home when he suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right arm and leg. He was treated at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, the regional centre for acute stroke care. Early Saturday morning, Narwal was transferred to Brampton Civic Hospital. Friends and family visited with him all day and were reassured by the fact that he was talking and asking for juice. Sunday morning, his cousin, Inderjit Nijjar, returned to find him in a coma. "I started acting up. I started calling the nurse, asking her to call the doctor and look at him," says Nijjar. The nurse paged a doctor at home. The doctor called back, but

did not come to the hospital, not even after Narwal began having seizures, according to Nijjar. Finally the nurses brought a doctor down from the intensive care unit. He read the file and told the family that nothing could be done. Narwal, 42, with a 2-year-old son in India, died that night. Nijjar said he tried to get help for his cousin – he called someone he knew on the hospital board, he called someone he knew involved in fundraising for the hospital committee. "`Do me a favour, there's no point in screaming. Write up a written complaint, give it to me Monday I . will follow up,'" Nijjar was told. Some of the groundwork for community discontent was laid down by the Ontario Health Coalition, which began calling members of the Punjabi press in September to organize a series of town hall meetings on the topic of health care in Brampton. The Ontario Health Coalition is opposed to hospitals built on the Brampton Civic Hospital model – so-called P3s – which involve partnerships between the private and public sectors. The coalition represents, among other community groups, the Council of Canadians and several powerful unions, including healthcare unions. Executive director Natalie Mehra says that under P3 models, hospital profits are siphoned off to the private sector, at the expense of health care. The town-hall meetings, which took place a month before the hospital opened, were designed to bring attention to the issue in time for the provincial election in October, Mehra said. "We wanted to push the province to make some promises leading into the election and coming out of the election," she said. It was through the Ontario Health Coalition that journalists like Parvasi Weekly publisher Rajinder Saini learned that the newly opened

The opposition

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


The Naxals, the PM and the Indian media
WSN Media Watch NEW DELHI: Nation states often find it hard to see a 300 pound guerilla in the room if they decide not to take note. For years, India's approach to the valiant battles being fought by its many ethnic nationalities has been to ignore the guerilla, and the Naxalism battle was not any different. It was almost a surprise that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made p some reference to economic disparity having some link khi with internal security matters. "Thank you very much!" was the reaction in the WSN editorial room. "Oh really, that's news!" must be the reaction in the editorial rooms of some Indian newspapers which found it big news that vast number of people pushed to the edge, displaced from their homes, edged out of forest lands and deprived of any welfare measures of the state may fight back. So the PM's words were front paged. "The Prime Minister today linked economic inequality to internal security when he said "uneven development" was giving rise to many of the security problems within," shouted leading Indian daily The Indian Express in its December 21 edition. "Development and internal security are two sides of the same coin. Each is critically dependent
itpal Bobby Toor Tens of thousands of ked the streets of Surrey ay for the eighth annual arade honouring the reliest day The police esti. celebration brought out ,000. The parade closed off Newton for hours as a carats and marchers weaved gs of people who lined the nding out Indian delicaeats to all who passed. Dasmesh Darbar Sikh hosted the festivities, e grown steadily over the as the Indo-Canadian popSurrey Mayor Dianne . omed the crowd and said ciated the multicultural the event, which also ny non-Sikhs who enjoy urful parade. Premier mpbell, dressed in a tradian tunic, praised the comits contributions. de started at 10 a.m. at the Dashmesh Darbar temple nue near 128th Street and eded south along 128th, t along 76th Avenue, travalong 124th Street, and ned east via 82nd Avenue. as closed to vehicle traffic m. to 5 p.m. More than 100

Manmohan’s daughter asks White House, FBI to produce videotape destruction records
WASHINGTON: The American Civil Liberties Union ( AC LU ), of which the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter Amrit Singh is a key staff attorney filed , papers on Tuesday asking a federal , judge to order the White House, the FBI, and other government agencies to produce all records in their possession relating to the destruction of two videotapes by CIA operatives in 2005. The ACLU also asked for transcripts and summaries of the tapes. Its filing comes in the wake of revelations that administration officials took part in discussions with the CIA about whether to destroy the tapes, which show the harsh interrogations of two prisoners in US custody Abu Zubaida , and Abd al-Rahim alNashiri. Today’s filing is an addendum to a motion to hold the CIA in contempt of court filed by the ACLU last week. Amrit Singh has kept a low-profile in the case so far, although she handles ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project. But on Tuesday she was , very much the ACLU's public voice. “Serious questions remain about the extent to which the White House and other government agencies were complicit in the CIAs destruction of the tapes,’’ she said in an ACLU statement. “The public is entitled to know who authorized such a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and why nothing was done to stop it.’’ The Indian officialdom has kept a discreet silence on the matter in which the PM’s daughter is giving such a torrid time to an administration with which New Delhi has had such warm ties. The Bush administration too has not made an issue of it. But privately both sides express a , degree of pride in the situation, saying such a thing could happen only in two liberal democracies with strong institutions and solid system of justice. One official who did not want to be named said it was ‘‘extraordinary courageous’’ of the Prime Minister’s daughter to take up cudgels so publicly against the administration given her situation, and that both sides were treating the matter with the circumspection. Amrit Singh, who has a law degree from Yale University, has been front and center of the torture case for several months even as it becomes more complicated. It was in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the ACLU and other organizations in October 2003 and May 2004, that the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the CIA to produce or identify all records pertaining to the treatment of detainees in its custody Despite the courts rul. ing, the CIA never produced the tapes or even acknowledged their existence. Earlier this month, ahead of a rumors of a media scoop, CIA director Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged that the agency had made the tapes in 2002 but destroyed them in 2005.

taking the stage. This has grown from a day of celebration to almost a week or 10 days of celebration and I think that is great for all of us.” Politicians from all major parties at all three levels of government clamoured for a few minutes at the microphone as the crowds gathered. The effort put in by families and businesses was huge, with many staying up all night to prepare the food they were handing out for free. This weekend’s gathering had a more political tone than in recent years, with several floats, signs and flags demanding a state of Khalistan. The float for a group called the Sikh Vision Foundation had pictures of martyrs who died in the armed struggle in Punjab, including leaders of Khalistani organizations such as Talwinder Singh Parmar, the Babbar Khalsa founder. Marching behind the Sikh Vision float was Ajaib Singh Bagri, a former Babbar Khalsa leader. Another float proclaimed, “Khalistan is the only solution.” Event organizers from the Dasmesh Darbar gurdwara donned newly made vests with the temple name embroidered on the back and “Khalistan” on the chest emblem. Temple executive member Satinderpal Singh Gill, who for years was based in Pakistan as part of the Khalistan panthic committee, accepted a plaque from the B.C. government presented by former MLA Dr. Gulzar Singh Cheema. Next weekend, Vancouver will host a Vaisakhi parade. On Saturday April 14, about 50,000 people are expected on and around Main Street


on the other. Often, the lack of development and the lack of any prospects for improving one's lot provide a fertile ground for extremist ideologies to flourish," the PM was quoted as telling the chief ministers of India called to discuss internal security. Good the PM mentioned this to the CMs. Why not share new found knowledge? In a country of wide "developmental divides" - the inter-regional divide, the rural-urban divide and the inter-secHail LA diversity: toral divide - how ready Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi in the is the media to toe the city of glamour government policy of seeing all peoples' battles as law and order problem? Even as the Prime Minister said the "divides and disparities lead to disaffection, large-scale migration and discord," he did not forget to term it as the "single biggest security challenge" to India and asked states to establish specialized and dedicated forces to eliminate this virus. "Left-wing extremism continues to affect many districts of our country. Not a day passes without an incident of Left-wing extremism taking place somewhere or the other. It continues to be single biggest security challenge to the Indian state and we cannot rest in peace until we have eliminated this virus," the PM said. Next day, The Tribune, the
mayor of London. The event will also feature traditiona Sikh music, dance and cuisine. The festival has been organised by the mayor of London and sup ported by the Metropolitan Police WSN Network LOS ANGELES: More than 10,000 people celebrated the Sikh religious holiday of Vaisakh Sunday and denounced a serie of hate crimes against the sec following the 9-11 terroris attacks. With gold- and orange fringed parade floats and the sound of harmoniums playing traditional hymns, more than 10,000 members of the Sikh com munity paraded through down town Los Angeles. Sikhs shared food, music and art in the Los Angele Convention Center and late paraded through the streets o downtown, singing prayers a they marched behind a dozen colorful floats. “We are trying to draw all the religious com munities together to communi cate better,” said Nirinjan

Chandigarh-based newspaper that has seen the rise of militancy in Punjab, knows very well the factors behind it, and clearly realizes the gross human rights abuses that happened in Punjab and the wages of seeing the problem only as a law and order issue, thought it prudent to write in an editorial titled "The naxal menace __ The nation must fight it out " that "Successive governments ... gave a long rope to the killers hoping against hope that they would hang themselves. They did not and it is the governments which are now tied in the knots." The Tribune advocated an entire editorial to stress how urgently must the law and order forces must fight Maoists, made no reference to the key point of economic disparities and then, to save face, added the below as the last para: "At the same time, it is also necessary to tackle socio-economic factors like poverty and widespread unemployment which help in the spread of Left extremism. It all boils down to good and responsive governance. Pity that instead of giving that to the public, most governments are unable to tackle naxalism even as a law and order problem. The menace will spread if it remains unchecked." Inference: If you can't alleviate poverty and provide employment, at least run some good governance and kill the Naxals in larger numbers. There will always be mainstream Indian media which will label them as a Menace.

Guru Granth Sahib Haneef seeks damages from Australia Satikar Bill passed
WSN Network CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Vidhan Sabha on December 24 passed the bill prohibiting printing, publication, storage, distribution and sale of birs of Guru Granth Sahib by anyone other than the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) or persons authorised by it after changing the word "vikri" with "bheta", and saying the SGPC will charge only a fraction of the cost. Some Congress MLAs including Avtar Singh Brar said the SGPC should make arrangements for distributing the scriptures free of cost. "If the SGPC can give red beacons and security guards to its members, why can't it fund the cost of the scriptures?" Brar said. MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, once an associate of Simranjit Singh Mann but now with the Congress, asked what precautions will Punjab government take if someone got the scriptures printed from outside and then brought these to Punjab. "And how will you store the seized scriptures if indeed the police caught someone doing that?" he asked, with the government having no answer. The DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna has already vowed not to follow the new law. MELBOURNE: Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef, who was exonerated of terror charges in connection with the failed UK car bombings, has expressed hope that the Australian government would compensate him for the damages caused to him as he was “wrongly” implicated in the case. “I would be very grateful if they look into this aspect, some of the damages that the authorities have done to me previously I’m very hopeful . of this,” he said replying to a question on whether he would seek compensation from the Australian government. In a legal victory for Haneef, the federal court on Friday upheld a decision to reinstate the work

visa of the Indian doctor. New labour immigration minister, Chris Evans, has said Haneef was entitled to return to work after the court verdict. On Monday, Haneef said he needed reassurance from authorities that he and his family would be safe in Australia before he can consider returning to the country . He said he wanted to return to Australia to continue his medical training.

Malaysia to protect Hindu temples
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has launched a major plan to protect the Hindu temples in the country, in a move to assuage the feelings of the ethnic Indians protesting alleged marginalisation and demolition of their places of worship in the Muslim-majority nation. Prime minister Abdullah Badawi has asked works minister Samy Vellu, the president of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), to continuously monitor all Hindu shrines and submit a report on the status of the temples to the cabinet periodically. He was specifically asked to forward to the premier and the cabinet the list of temples that may have to be demolished for various reasons, Vellu said.

40-hour Kashmir mosque standoff ends
SRINAGAR: A 40-hour-long standoff between Indian security forces and three holed-up militants in a south Kashmir mosque ended late on Monday. The security forces gunned down the three Hizbul Mujahideen militants and also rescued the hostages at Paloo in Kulgam district. Three militants of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen outfit had taken shelter in the mosque after the troops launched a search operation in the area on Sunday The . stalemate had continued on Monday as the militants refused to come out of the mosque, the police said. The slain militants were identified as Shiraz Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Ahmad Mir and Ishfaq Ahmad Wagay The police said no . damage was caused to the mosque during the operation. The three militants had taken five civilians hostage on Monday when they came to offer prayers and demanded a safe passage for themselves.

Court asks Indian govt why some ‘84 victims were denied relief
WSN Network NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the Indian Government as well as the government of the national capital Delhi to explain why compensation was not granted to some victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms who filed their claims late. Justice S. Ravinder Bhatt issued notice after 10 riot-hit families filed a petition following the rejection of their claims. The claimants, from different parts of Delhi, have challenged the government's notification of January 2006, which said no new claims of compensation would be entertained. The petitioners sought direction from the court to the government to treat them equally with the old claimants and set aside parts of the notification which were discriminatory . The petitioners said the part of the notification by which the government has discriminated amongst the victims of '84 pogroms was unconstitutional. The government has notified a relief of Rs 3.5 lakh to the victim's family in case of death and Rs 1.25 lakh in case of injuries. Next hearing will be on April 24. It is routine in India for courts to grant months of time to government in cases as grave as this one.

8 Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

JALANDHAR: The government of Italy has sanctioned funds for the retrieval of the remains of 300 victims of the Malta Boat tragedy, Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission chairman Balwant Singh Khera claimed on Tuesday . Observing the 11th anniversary of the tragedy at the Company Bagh, he said the Italian government had sanctioned the requisite funds and had agreed to build a memorial to commemorate the death of 300 young men who had lost their lives in Malta-Sicily Channel near international waters on December 25, 1996. Italian senator Tana Dijuleta was instrumental in getting the support of four Nobel prize winners and 100 members of Parliament, who had recommended to the prime minister of Italy to help the mission in this cause. Accusing the state political leadership of sheltering the fake travel agents, Khaira said “though 170 out of 300 youth belonged to Punjab, till now no state govern-

Italy plans memorial to mark Malta tragedy

Mann wants separate courts for minorities, blasts Badal men
WSN Network CHANDIGARH: Akali Dal (Mann) president Simranjit Singh Mann has advocated setting up separate courts for the minorities in India. He also appealed to Sikhs raise thier voice against injustice being meted to them, for which he took the community’s leadership to task, but did not offer any explanations as to why his own party fighting for exactly these causes could not produce any worthwhile results after years. Mann, addressing a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday, also vented his anger at the recent judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which set aside a previous notification of the Punjab Government to decree that Sikhs were not a minority in Punjab. Mann said that certain ground realities seemed to have been ignored and the minority status was based on national population and could not be computed state wise. He held Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and Punjab’s Advocate General H.S. Mattewal guilty for their failure to defend the interests of the community on such a vital legal matter.

ment has taken any initiative to provide justice to the victim’s family”. He demanded that monetary relief of Rs 50,000 is inadequate and it should be raised to Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of victims. The mission has also decided to approach

the Delhi HC for speeding up the hearing of the criminal cases against the 25 fake travel agents. He demanded that the government should publish the inquiry report of the human trafficking scandal in 2001.

SGPC to start eight new schools
WSN Network PATIALA: The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) will open quality education schools in all the districts of the state. This was disclosed by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar at Fatehgarh Sahib on Sunday Makkar was here to . personally supervise arrangements for the Shaheedi Jor Mela, being held in the memory of the younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, who attained martyrdom here. These schools would be affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and at least eight schools would be started in the first year, Makkar said. Buildings of these English-medium public schools, where Punjabi would be a compulsory subject, have been completed at village Malooka (Bhatinda), Guru Ki Dhab (Gangsar Jaitu), Their (Giddarbaha) and Wazidppur (Ferozepur). Buildings for the other four schools would be constructed soon and SGPC had spent Rs 2.6 crore on each building, Makkar said. Panchayats of many villages had offered them chunks of land for these schools, he added. The SGPC chief said that SGPC had set up a directorate of education at Kalgidhar Niwas, Sector 27 at Chandigarh and all educational institutes would be hooked online with the directorate. Director, education, of the SGPC, Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, had been asked to prepare a detailed report on the educational institutes to be run by SGPC before the coming academic year so that shortcomings could be removed, he said. Cases of unqualified staff would be reconsidered and only well qualified staff would be kept in the educational institutes, he added. NCERT books would be prescribed as per CBSC syllabus in these schools, where stress would be given on computer education, he said, adding that special attention would be paid to sports. Besides personality development programmes, short term courses under the career and guidance bureaus would be started keeping in view the employment market demands of the area, he said. The SGPC president said he was well aware of the demands of staff of SGPC-run schools and assured that the new directorate would solve them on priority basis.

Corrupt PDS blamed for Bengal food riots
NEW DELHI: The shocking food riots in the Indian state of West Bengal recently were the result of a corrupt and privatized public distribution system running with political patronage, a survey conducted by Supreme Court-appointed special commissioners on food security has stated. The scathing report has debunked the West Bengal government’s stand that the riots were a reaction to decreased allocation of wheat and rice for the above-poverty-line quota. The commissioners have concluded that this could not have been the provocation for people running riot in rural West Bengal against a lack of foodgrains. The reduced allocation still matched the highest level of PDS grain consumed by APL customers in the last three years. The commissioners have instead laid the blame at the doors of the West Bengal government. Calling it the “double burden of privatisation” of PDS in West Bengal, the report said that not only were fair price shops (FPS) run by private parties but the entire distribution of foodgrain was controlled by politically supported private contractors leading to high levels of corruption.

Amarinder, 34 others summoned in City Centre scam case
WSN Network LUDHIANA: Summons have been issued to 35 accused in the alleged multi-crore Ludhiana City Centre (LCC) scam, including former chief minister Amarinder Singh, for January 10 by district sessions judge GK Rai. One of the accused, the then Improvement Trust chairman Paramjit Singh Sibia, has already been declared a proclaimed offender. The Vigilance Bureau, which is probing the case, has formed 72 teams to serve summons on the high and mighty, according to sources. Prominent among those issued summons were Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh and another relative Raminder Singh and former local bodies minister Jagjit Singh. The VB had filed a 106-page chargesheet on December 12 taking everyone by surprise as only a week before that the former chief minister’s son and others were questioned by the Ludhiana office of the VB and were called again. Charges were made against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act and various sections of the IPC relating to criminal breach of trust (409), cheating (420), forgery (465), forgery of valuable security (467), forgery for the purpose of cheating (468), using as genuine a forged document (471), and criminal conspiracy (120-B). Soon after the Akali Dal-BJP alliance had formed government this February, a case was registered against Amarinder and others for receiving kickbacks worth millions of rupees in allotting the project to the particular company . It was alleged the allotment was made at much lower rates, causing a loss to the state exchequer to the tune of over Rs 300 crore. The genesis of the LCC scam can be traced to the day when Ashok Singh Garcha was removed as LIT chairman in January 2005. The alleged irregularities began after Paramjit Singh Sibia took over. The date of submission for bids was extended, and a fresh ad was issued after allegedly diluting the criteria. VB has made out a case that after the bids were tampered with, Today Homes was awarded the project. In all this, written orders from local bodies department were ignored and the agreement was signed despite the then department secretary’s order to the contrary Even after the secre. tary annulled the agreement, local bodies minister Chaudhry Jagjit Singh allegedly revoked the annulment order on Amarinder Singh’s directions.

How it began

Another witness turns hostile in Sukhbir case
WSN Network FARIDKOT: In a relief to Akali Dal (Badal) working president Sukhbir Singh Badal in a criminal case filed against him at Faridkot, one of the main complainants turned hostile on Wednesday . The complainant, Ajay Verma, a newspaper photographer, said in court that he was assaulted by some unknown persons and his camera was also snatched by an unknown person. Badal only objected to his taking photographs, claimed Verma. However, earlier in a complaint to the police, Verma had alleged that he was assaulted by Sukhbir Badal on September 5, 1999 and his camera was snatched while he was taking pictures of a scuffle between some Akali and Congress workers during the Parliamentary elections.

Taslima welcome in Kolkata, says Basu
KOLKATA: Unlike some of his party colleagues, including West Bengal assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim, CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu is not averse to controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's return to the city. Taslima is welcome to live anywhere in West Bengal, including Kolkata, Basu said on Tuesday . "I learned from newspapers that Taslima is upset for not being able to make it to Kolkata. She is welcome. But the Centre has to provide her security," Basu said, recalling the writer had come to his Salt Lake home to present a copy of her autobiographical novel 'Dwikhandito' (split in two). Basu's comments came a day after CPI's state secretary Manju Majumdar criticized the way the writer was shoved out of the state. Last month, violence erupted in Kolkata over demands by Muslim activists for Taslima's expulsion. Strong words from CPM state secretary Biman Bose and a nudge from the Kolkata police forced her to flee to Jaipur. She is now sheltered in a safe house near Delhi. On Tuesday, Basu spoke against vandalism on Kolkata streets against Taslima's stay in the city . "A person ceases to be a human being if he feels that he will come closer to Allah by killing Taslima. That is why the Centre should provide her security," he said, referring to the Muslims who had led the violence. Basu, however, agreed that Taslima had hurt Muslim sentiments in her novel. "No Muslim will stand the way she criticizes the Quran and the Prophet," he said before going on to praise external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee for saying in Parliament that security will be given to the Bangladeshi writer. "I heard about Pranab's statement. What he did was good," Basu said. Taslima told the media she felt reassured by Basu's comments. "I am grateful to Basu, especially because he has welcomed me to Kolkata. I hope it will help me return."

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


LARKANA: Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has said that some religious schools are turning children into killers. Speaking to about 25,000 supporters near her ances tral home in the southern town of Larkana, she also renewed accusations the government had done nothing to stop militant violence. “They always try to stop democratic forces but don’t make any effort to check extremists, terrorists and fanatics,” she told a rally at a cricket stadium, two days after a suicide bomber killed nearly 50 worshippers in a mosque. Bhutto said President Pervez Musharraf had spoken of the need to reform religious schools, or madarasas, but had done nothing. She said she respected genuine religious schools. “Then there are the political madarasas, the political madarasas that teach their pupils how to make bombs, how to use rifles and how to kill women, children and the elderly .” “Who they are who tell children to carry out bombing on Eid alAdha,” she said, referring to the attack on Friday in the northwestern town of Charsadda.

Madarasas grooming 54 killed in suicide attack at prayer terrorists, says Bhutto
Police said they suspected Islamist militants based in semiautonomous tribal lands on the Afghan border were behind the attack, the latest in a wave of suicide blasts in Pakistan. At Bhutto’s rally, private security guards used metal detectors to check people entering the stadium. Bhutto survived a suicide attack in October when a bomber killed nearly 150 people at a procession in Karachi to welcome her home from eight years of self-imposed exile. “Extremism is getting strong in our tribal areas and lawlessness is spreading throughout the country,” Bhutto said. Pakistan’s allies hope the election will bring stability to the nuclear-armed country after months of turmoil. Musharraf imposed a state of Emergency in November before stepping down as army chief. He lifted Emergency rule on December 15. Bhutto was dogged by accusations of corruption when she served two terms as prime minister in the late 1980s and 1990s but the daughter of Pakistan’s first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, commands a devoted following. “I was a young student when Bhutto was alive. He was a great leader and I’ve been a follower since,” said bank worker Farzand Ali. “Who says there was corruption? Prove it. Whatever you say, we’re followers.” The vote for provincial parliaments and a national assembly from which a prime minister and a government will be drawn is a three-way race between Bhutto, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and the party that ruled under Musharraf. Analysts expect a hung parliament which would likely mean two of the three main parties having to forge an alliance. ISLAMABAD: At least 54 people were killed and over 100 injured on Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a packed mosque in northwestern Pakistan, where former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao was also offering Eid prayers. Sherpao however escaped unhurt. About 1,200 people were present in the Jama Masjid at Sherpao village, 40 km northwest of Peshawar, in Charsadda district when the attacker detonated the bomb, police said, adding that the toll could rise. Three security personnel were among the dead. Sherpao, who was interior minister in President Pervez Musharraf ’s recently dissolved government and who is running in January 8 parliamentary elections, was the likely target of the attack at the mosque in his home village, the government said. Body parts and shoes were scattered around the mosque floor covered in pools of blood. Police found parts of a jacket, believed to belong to the attacker, and ball bearings aimed at causing maximum damage. The suspected bomber, sitting among the worshippers, detonated his bomb as prayers ended and people gathered around the politi-

cian to greet him, said a police officer who asked not to be named. Witnesses said Sherpao and his kin were in the first row of the worshippers while the suicide bomber was in the second row. Police said the bomber managed to enter the mosque with five to six kilos of explosives even though a metal detector had been installed at the entrance. Sherpao heads a small proMusharraf party, PPP-S, and was interior minister when the army raided the Lal Masjid here in July to flush out militants holed up inside. Nearly 100 people were killed in that operation. “I was attending the Eid-ul-Zuha prayers with my sons and nephews when the blast took place,” said Sherpao, who in April also survived a suicide attack in the same area in NWFP. Sherpao and his son Sikander escaped but Mustafa, another son of the former minister, a nephew were among those wounded. President Pervez Musharraf strongly condemned the attack and said: “No Muslim could even think of committing such a heinous crime that takes the lives of a large number of innocent faithful who had gathered for Eid prayers.”

Deposed CJ not allowed to leave home
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was prevented by the police from going out of his residence here for offering Eid prayers. Chaudhry, under house arrest since he was sacked by President Pervez Musharraf on November 3, had obtained permission to join the special Eid-ul-Azha prayers but was barred from stepping out of his official residence in the Judges Colony after a large group of his supporters and civil society activists tried to meet him on Friday morning. The deposed judge’s family and even his servants were also not allowed to leave the house, eyewitnesses said. A large police contingent did not allow Chaudhry’s supporters, civil society activists and lawyers to cross barb wire barricades at the Judges Colony. The group had planned to join Chaudhry for the Eid prayers. After offering prayers on a road near the Judges Colony, the group shouted slogans against the government and demanded the reinstatement of judges who were sacked for not endorsing the Emergency imposed by Musharraf last month. Musharraf, who lifted the Emergency on December 15, has said that Chaudhry was involved in a “conspiracy” to remove him and asserted that the judges will not be reinstated. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan, who was released from detention on Thursday for three days for the Eid holidays, was rearrested in Rawalpindi late last night while driving from Lahore to Islamabad.

Deny Mush role in case of hung house: Sharif
KARACHI: Having called for an end to the military’s role in Pakistan’s politics, former premier Nawaz Sharif on Sunday said President Pervez Musharraf should not be allowed to intervene if the forthcoming general election resulted in a hung parliament. Kicking off PML-N campaign in Sindh province after paying tribute at the mausoleum here of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sharif said that there would be “no harm” if the polls produced a hung parliament as the political parties could hold discussions and resolve the matter by themselves. However, he said Musharraf should not be allowed to intervene if there was a hung parliament as he is an “illegal and unconstitutional” President. “If there is a hung parliament, there is no harm provided it is not under the shadow of a military dictator or a president who is illegal and unconstitutional. “Why should a hung parliament by controlled by a President who has his own vested interests?” he told reporters. “We don’t recognise him (Musharraf) as President of the country .” Sharif vowed to work for supremacy of the Constitution, independence of the judiciary and ensuring rule of law. The PML-N, he said, is struggling for restoration of real democracy so that the people would have the “full opportunity to decide their future”. Sharif said: “We want to end military intervention in politics for ever. The January 2008 election will be the people’s referendum in this regard.”

Sharif launches poll campaign in Sindh
KARACHI: Kicking off his PML-N’s election campaign in Sindh province, former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Sunday said talks for seat adjustments were continuing with his political rival Benazir Bhutto’s party but nothing had been finalised as yet. The PML-N and Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) last week set up a committee to discuss seat adjustments for the January 8 general election though leaders from Sharif’s party said it would be difficult to reach any understanding as very little time was left for the polls. Shortly after flying into Karachi airport from Lahore on Sunday morning, Sharif told reporters that the PML-N was continuing talks on the seat adjustments with the PPP, but nothing was finalised so far. He also said he expected the government to indulge in “massive rigging” in the polls. The PML-N will take steps to thwart such moves, he added. Observers said the PPP and the PML-N might agree on adjustments in a handful of seats that are considered strongholds of leaders of the ruling PML-Q, which backs President Pervez Musharraf.

Maoists set to rejoin Nepal government
KATHMANDU: The Maoists in Nepal will rejoin the Girija Prasad Koirala government under a new deal signed on Sunday, ending a three-month deadlock that had threatened to derail the peace process. Under the 22-point agreement, the two sides agreed that the country will be declared a federal democratic republic through the interim parliament, subject to ratification by the Constituent Assembly after the elections, likely to be held by mid April. Maoists, who quit the government in September to press their demand for declaring Nepal a republic before the Constituent Assembly elections and a fully proportional electoral system, agreed to return all land and other properties captured by their cadres. The government has also pledged to form a commission to trace the persons, mostly Maoists, who went missing during the violence, Nepali Congress General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi said.

1.2 m minority voters can’t vote in Karachi
ISLAMABAD: As many as 1.2 million minority voters in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi have not been registered for the upcoming general election and will not be able to exercise their franchise. The matter of registering these voters was taken up by Amar Lal, the advisor to the Prime Minister on minority affairs, with Sindh province’s Election Commissioner Qamar-uz-Zaman on Monday. Lal asked Zaman to register the minority voters of Karachi and other areas. Zaman, however, said the time to register voters has passed. Zaman gave an assurance that the minority voters would be registered for the next election, Lal was quoted as saying by state-run APP news agency. Lal said there are 1.2 million minority voters who have not been registered in Karachi city alone. He also alleged that certain political parties were awarding tickets to members of minority communities for contesting polls from reserved seats after “taking money in the name of (collecting) party funds”. He said such a practice would discourage middle class candidates from participating in the elections.

Live reporting of rallies banned in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s broadcast regulator has barred “live and extensive” reporting of election rallies and meetings by TV news channels, saying such coverage could vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the January 8 parliamentary polls. “During such meeting, things may be said by candidates against each other. We have thus not given permission for live and extensive coverage of political rallies and meetings,” said Iftikhar Rashid, chief of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). He indicated that live coverage of such rallies and meetings could affect the atmosphere ahead of the elections to the national and provincial assemblies. Other live broadcasts by TV channels were not banned but they would have to install time delay equipment to ensure proper editing control over their programming, said Rashid.

10 Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

world sikh news
Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one. —Thomas Carlyle

Home Truths From Prime Minister
s 2007 ends, candidness seems to have jolted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into saying some home truths. Even at this stage, truth does not hurt. Unless one is on the wrong side of it. Addressing the Chief Ministers of Indian states, Manmohan Singh said the lack of development and the lack of any prospects for improving one’s lot provide a fertile ground for extremist ideologies to flourish. “A large proportion of the recruits to extremist groups come from deprived or marginalized backgrounds or from regions which somehow seem disaffected by the vibrant growth in many other parts ... I notice that in many cases, internal security problems arise out of the uneven development.” The Prime Minister could as well have added the word deliberate discrimination by the Centre and the ruling classes. But the problem with even such candidness is that it is often negated by reiteration of the status quo. “Development cannot take place in the absence of a secure and stable environment,” the PM added. This clearly and for long has been the argument of those who have trying to suppress people’s movements using the gun and defining every struggle as a law and order problem. All that the India’s poor West Bengal government wants is stability in right Nandigram so that it can push The WSN report on out the residents challenge to India's writ and get the industrialists in. The government’s argument that it needs peace to run transport, railways, electricity lines, telecom lines, irrigation systems and drinking water facilities just misses one point that these are meant for people. It is no use trying to run all of this by killing people. Vast regions of India are trapped in a vicious cycle of a poor law and order situation coupled with slow economic development. The PM realizes this, makes the right noises but still sends a wrong message when the only outcome is the setting up of a task force. This pure policing approach will never allow India to face the internal security challenges. Credible response would have to include a deep and hard and honest look at the root cause. Only recently, the WSN had brought out in a Special Report the state of the writ of the Indian State in Chattisgarh and many other regions. Naxalites have developed the capability in some areas to launch frontal attacks on police forces and establishments. But what sustains their fight? The deprivation and neglect to which the Indian State left the poor. Any talk of coordinated response to this ends up with a law and order component. “We need to cripple the hold of Naxalite forces with all the means at our command. This requires improved intelligence gathering capabilities, improved policing capabilities, better coordination between the Centre and the States and better coordination between States and most important, better leadership and firmer resolve,” the PM said. All of this points only to a skewed attempt at resolving the issue. Inadequate, ill equipped, ill trained, poorlymotivated personnel cannot take on the Naxalites. Development and sympathetic understanding of the issue will. The problem with home truths is that it is not enough to just say the words. Truth demands adherence to it also. India must learn this. Or its task forces will always have unfinished tasks at hand.

Mak Suppira Makenthiran

Ethnic Cleansing of Tamils in Sri Lanka


Fight left

amils are the original inhabitants of Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. This is the story of the Tamil people in the second half of the last century. In 1948, the very year that the British handed over the Ceylon Government to the Sinhalese majority on a platter without any safeguards for minorities, the Sinhalesedominated government passed a law rendering half the Ceylon Tamil population stateless in the land of their birth. Under the Ceylon Citizenship Act, of the nearly two million Tamils in Ceylon, over one million Upcountry Tamils, who had lived in Ceylon for generations, were deprived of their citizenship. To make matters worse, the Sinhalese government disenfranchised these Tamils by depriving them of their voting rights by passing the Ceylon Elections Amendment Act. The Upcountry Tamil leaders launched a peaceful satyagraha to protest against this racist policy, but it was ignored by the government. The first Prime Minister of Ceylon, D. S. Senanayake -a scheming racist, set the dangerous precedent for others to follow. Subsequently, there was massive land grabbing forcing a planned colonization of the traditional homeland of the Tamils in the Northeast by settling Sinhalese from the South. Indigenous Tamils were uprooted and Sinhalese criminals made to reside in Tamil-dominated villages. All protests by Tamils and their leaders were scrupulously ignored. In 1956, the Sinhalese government passed the Sinhala Only Act, making Sinhala the only official language, divesting official status of the Tamil language. The Tamil language spoken by Tamils and Muslims was the mother tongue of one-third of the people of Ceylon, but it was suppressed. This cultural attack was carried out by Prime Minister Mrs. Bandaranayake. Furthermore in 1956, Sinhalese mobs attacked and drove out Tamils from their villages in the Gal Oya Valley in the Batticaloa district. This was commencement of Sinhala mob terrorism against unarmed Tamils. The police was ineffective and remained mute spectators. The next step in the genocidal programme was to stop employment to Tamils. Those already in the government service were deprived of their increments unless they passed the Sinhala proficiency tests. In 1957 Tamil leaders signed the BandaranayakeChelvanayagam Pact with the


Mak Suppira Makenthiran Sinhalese government, to devolve power to regional councils, but it was soon unilaterally and dishonestly abrogated. Again in 1965, Tamil leaders signed the ChelvanayagamSenanayake Pact to devolve power to district councils was also abrogated. In 1958 Sinhalese mobs and criminals unleashed terror against the Tamils all over the Sinhalese provinces. Tamils were massacred, their houses burnt, people burnt live, women raped and tortured. Rendered defenselss, over a 100,000 Tamils fled to their traditional homelands in the Northeast. In 1970, by a scheme of standardization, Tamil students were discriminated and barred from higher education. Tamil students were required to score higher marks than the Sinhalese for admission to higher studies. In the early sixties of the last century, Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranayake indulged in mass deportation of the stateless and disenfranchised Upcountry Tamils to India. The Indian government colluded with the Ceylon government in this move by signing the Srimavo-Sashtri Pact in 1964. Half a million Tamils were forced out of Ceylon to India. In 1974 the Sinhala state unleashed police violence against the Tamils who had gathered to hold the Tamil Research Conference in Jaffna, killing nine and wounding many. In 1976 the Sinhalese police opened fire at a mosque killing many Tamilspeaking Muslims. In 1977 the UNP government of Prime Minister J.R. Jayawardena unleashed mob violence against the Tamils particularly in the plantations, killing hundreds of innocent people. Nearly 40,000 Tamils were made refugees and destitute and many fled to India. Nearly 100 Hindu temples were destroyed with the active involvement of Sinhalese politicians. In 1978 the Sri Lankan Parliament enacted the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act and armed forces were given a free hand to kill Tamil youth.

This factual account of the Tamils in Sri Lanka was received by WSN in response to the Open Letter to M. Karunanidhi by Jagmohan Singh carried in the WSN edition of Nov 7-13, 2007. We publish this in the belief that accounts and reasoned self descriptions of struggling nations in India’s neighborhood will interest the readers of WSN. The author explains why Tamils are struggling for Tamil Eelam
Chemmani. It is disgusting to note that some of the gross violators of human rights have been rewarded with ambassadorships. The Sinhala government imposed economic embargo on Tamil provinces preventing supply of food, clothing, and medicines, building materials, fuel and other basic necessities. People were dying, but international bodies were denied access. According to an estimate, some 800,000 Tamils have fled from Sri Lanka to India, U.K., Europe, North America, Australia and Africa. One million Tamils have been displaced internally and most of them have become homeless. A large number of children have been orphaned and many more have been maimed. Even after years of ceasefire, Sinhalese armed forces are occupying Tamil homes, hospitals, schools, places of worship and public places in many provinces. The Sinhalese police and army are also guilty of sadistic torture of Tamil girls and women. There has been forced sterilization of Plantation Tamils. Due to abject poverty, a large number of Tamil children are employed in Sinhalese homes as domestic servants and are subjected to abuse. The culprits escape punishment due to state patronage and biased judiciary. The devastation to the Sri Lankan Tamil people caused by the Sinhalese pogrom has reduced the Tamil population to 30 percent of what it was in 1948. It is time that the Sinhalese accused are tried for genocide and crimes against humanity. (S. Makenthiran is a graduate of the University of Ceylon, Colombo and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants of UK. He has served in Sri Lanka and different countries in Africa including Zambia, Malawi and Botswana. He was a World Bank Project Finance Officer before immi, grating to Canada. In Canada he works as an accountancy, financial and tax consultant. He may be contacted at

Torture camps were set up and Tamils disappeared involuntarily in large numbers. The government unleashed the Sinhalese and Muslim home-guards to oppress Tamils. In 1981, the Sinhalese armed forces rampaged in Jaffna, killing and setting fire to buildings including the historic Jaffna Public Library containing 94,000 invaluable books. This act of cultural genocide was carried out by two Sinhala ministers, Athulathmudali and Cyril Mathew, who were present in Jaffna at the time of attack. The Sinhalese government chased out Tamils from their villages in large numbers in the Northeast and replaced them with the Sinhalese from the South. Plantation Tamils, who had taken refuge in Northeast due to Sinhala terror, were forcibly put into buses and dumped in the Central Province. Tamil students in the University of Peradeniya were also attacked. Tamils were arrested in large numbers and held without trial for long periods. Many were tortured and many disappeared, obviously involuntarily. In the Welikade jail, many Tamil prisoners were killed in July 1983. This reign of terror continued during the tenure of J.R. Jayawardena, Premadasa, and Chandrika Kumaratunga. The Sinhala armed forces continued a reign of state terror. Mass arrests, killings, disappearances, torture, rape, burning of houses, destruction of schools, hospitals, businesses, shops, temples and churches rendered Tamils destitute. Tamil villages were bulldozed and the army followed a scorched-earth policy in the Tamil homeland. In the village of Manalaru, where the Tamils were uprooted, it was renamed Welioya, and Sinhalese convicts were settled. Jaffna, Palali, Nedunthivu, Manalaru, Valvettiturai, Kilali, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kokkadicholai, Mannar, Bidunuwewa, Kanchirankuda have suffered the most. Tamils were massacred and buried in mass graves in

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


Death penalty: Going strong as ever
Dear Editor, this is with reference to the news coverage of the abolition of death penalty in New Jersey in the World Sikh News. While I am a staunch opponent of the death penalty myself, I still can not agree with your editorial line that this has led to hopes of a similar measure in Punjab as well. I don’t think such a move is even being considered in India where handing out capital punishment to people is a routine excercise. The stark reality is that most of the Indian people do not seem to be too bothered whenever someone gets capital punishment at the hands of the state, even though the record of the Indian judiciary and the overall justice dispensing system in ensuring fairness is far from flawless. One of the recent examples in this regard that comes to mind immediately and which would find instant recall among most people who follow the news coverage of Indian politics is that of the now very infamous election speech made by the chief minister of the west Indian state of Gujarat. Addressing thousands of his supporters along with the common people, the chief minister referred to the extra judicial killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in the most insensitive manner possible. Shouting to the crowd at his rabid best, he asked, “When you come to know that a man like Sohrabuddin has kept illegal weapons at home, what do you do? Just tell me what do you do to a man like that?” The fired up crowd shouted with greater force, “Kill him, kill him... yes, kill him... What else, just kill him.” The place rang with great applause and an infectious, poisonous communal zeal. After all, the question was about “a man like Sohrabuddin”. What did it matter to the blood thirsty mob that Sohrabuddin and his wife had been done to death already by the police of their state in a most brutal manner. Dear Editor, I have observed over the years that while writing about rabid communalism most editors tend to blame the political leaders who arouse such passions but hesitate in putting the blame on the common people. When I hear about people like those in Gujarat and at so many other places in the rest of India, I honestly don’t see any hope of seeing capital punishment being banned. Words like mercy for, giveness, reform, reconciliation, etc don’t really strike a chord with members of a society ever ready to feed its collective thirst for blood. — Harnek Singh, via email

t was interesting to read Jagmohan Singh's letter to the governor of New Jersey as also the other articles in the World Sikh News' edition of December 19-25, 2007. Jagmohan Singh as well as other writers failed to bring on record an important aspect of the debate on whether capital sentence should remain on the statute book or not. Homicide is a favourite subject among criminal justice scholars across the globe, especially those in the United States, and scholars remain divided over the wisdom of persevering with death as punishment but recently there have been new entrants -- economists! Now, this was one class not normally associated with a problem that is generally looked upon as the concern solely of families of victims, policemen, prosecutors, judges, criminologists, sociologists and human rights activists. But the economists have brought some new arguments to the fore. Also entering the debate are the legal scholars, so far a detached group limiting itself to mere semantics of the law. As per a New York Times report (November 18), some economists believe that by persisting with the execution of murderers a substantial number of homicides are prevented. The ratio of 1:3-18 is quoted. It is interesting that a formula could be worked out at all. The group of economists that is convinced that the death penalty deters prospective murderers is led by Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1992. Admitting the limitations of empirical evidence, the group has concluded that death penalty should be retained so that ones commiting the most heinous of offences will be deterred. Gary Becker is backed by


Taking Note of New Entrants to Noose Debate — The Economists
Following up on the debate in WSN pages, Dilwala Singh writes back to bring to attention a rather rare aspect of the Death Penalty debate. That economists will have a view on that is rather interesting
Professors Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School and Adrian Vermeule of the Harvard Law School. Writing in Stanford Law Review (2005) they said: "... the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive", and added: "Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life." An exactly opposite point of view comes from John J. Donohue III, a Law Professor at Yale with a doctorate in Economics, and Justin Wolfers, an Economist at the University of Pennsylvania. They write in the Stanford Law Review, again in 2005, that the present evidence of deterrence of capital punishment is "fragile". They were slightly derisive of the "econometric sophistication" of those in the opposite camp. In their view, it is "intuitive plausibility" that should take precedence in research design and analysis of a problem that is part of public policy Addressing the eco. nomic question behind the whole debate, Prof. Wolfers was positive that capital sentence is too expensive to persist with. This stand is supported by the fact that an execution for murder is preceded by incredibly prolonged litigation that involves huge costs for both the prosecution and defence. The Donohue-Wolfers analysis ends with a reference to how murder rates in Canada and the U.S. run parallel, although the last time Canada ever executed a prisoner was in 1962. The New York Times report comes against the backdrop of two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions which have imposed a near countrywide moratorium on executions. The first of these was on September 25 when the court allowed a constitutional challenge to the protocol for administering lethal injections to a convict. This was a reference from Kentucky involving two convicts, Ralph Baze (49) and Thomas Bowling (52), on the death row for more than a decade, both for separate double murders. While Ralph Baze killed a Sheriff and his deputy while they were serving warrants on him in 1992, Thomas Bowling murdered a husband and wife out-

side their dry-cleaning store in 1990. The two appealed against the death sentence awarded to them on the grounds that the lethal injection by which they were to be executed was a "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Constitution. The appeals were turned down successively by a State Judge in 2005 and the Kentucky Supreme Court the following year after obtaining medical opinion. The latter went to the extent of saying that the Constitution did not envisage a "complete absence of pain" to the prisoner during execution. The Baze-Bowling ruling of September this year was followed by a similar one on October 30 when the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of a Mississippi prisoner, Earl W Berry who is on death row . , for killing a woman 20 years ago. This was a dramatic intervention indeed, just 19 minutes before the execution that had been set for 6 p.m. on that day It is significant that . Berry got a fortuitous reprieve from the same court that had earlier turned down two of his appeals. In all probability, it was the Supreme Court's ruling in the Kentucky cases that came to Berry's rescue. In the appeal filed on October 29, Berry's lawyers were for the first time disputing the constitutional correctness of the procedure adopted in administering the injection. The Kentucky prisoners and Berry were taking advantage of a finding that the injection was after all not painless. It will not be until next spring when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the current procedures relating to lethal injection. In the meantime, no State may be expected to go ahead with an execution.

The U.N. vote on the death penalty
Louise Arbour ast week, when it called for a world-wide moratorium on the application of the death penalty, the United Nations General Assembly took a significant step towards the definitive abolition of that sanction, thereby enhancing the protection of human rights and the inviolability of the person. The General Assembly also cast serious doubts over the death penalty’s supposed deterrent effect on criminality . Moreover, it highlighted the danger of errors in the application o f capital punishment and the Louise Arbour obviously irreparable consequences of such mistakes which, as modern forensic methods have repeatedly exposed, do occur even in countries with sophisticated investigative and legal systems. This sentiment finds echoes in every region of the world. According to Amnesty International, no fewer than 133 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. And the trend continues to grow. Last July Rwanda, a country , that has suffered the ultimate crime of genocide and whose people’s thirst for justice is still far from quenched, has decided to forego the ultimate sanction of capital punishment. In so doing, Rwanda has given a powerful endorsement of the importance of pursuing justice while repudiating violence to attain it. Despite these developments and despite the fact that a small group of countries reportedly accounted for 91 per cent of the executions in 2006 — namely China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United States — the death penalty is still prac-


Keep us posted about news and events in your area as also your feedback to stuff in the WSN, and these shall surely find due mention in our pages. Letters may be edited for reasons of space or style. All letters should be mailed to

tised in too many places. Regrettably some states , that had effectively applied a moratorium on executions, such as Afghanistan in the past three years, have recently resumed them. The death penalty must always be regarded as an extreme exception to the fundamental right to life — which is protected under international law — and must as such be interpreted in the most restrictive manner. Accordingly the International , Covenant on Civil and Political Rights lists specific restrictions to its imposition. In particular, it states that capital punishment may be meted out only in the face of the most serious crimes and only after a trial and appeal proceedings that scrupulously respected all the principles of due process. In addition, the death penalty should always be administered in accordance with laws in force at the time of the commission of the crime. Minors and pregnant women must be spared. Human rights mechanisms have also clarified that capital punishment can neither be mandatory nor can it be carried out , in secret. Moreover, the methods of execution must meet standards of least possible physical and mental suffering. All too often, however, the death penalty is applied in ways that violate international norms, such as the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as anti-discrimination standards. This is the case, for example, in Iran with regard to the reported executions of people who were minors when the alleged crime was committed, or the stoning of offenders. Japan has recently executed an individual as old as 75 and, most worryingly practises executions in secret and without , forewarning to the persons to be executed and their families. Studies show that the death penalty is applied disproportionately to poor people in any given society Vulnerable groups, such as migrant .

workers, as well as racial, ethnic or other unpopular minorities, are also often at risk. It is therefore encouraging that higher courts, as well as legislatures, in some retentionist states are reviewing the methods and scope of capital punishment. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has barred execution of minors and is re-examining the use of lethal injection. At the State level this month, New Jersey abolished the death penalty thereby becoming the first American State to do so in more than 40 years. In China, a review by the Supreme People’s Court has reportedly led to some reduction in the high rate of executions. In Iran, the judiciary has ordered a moratorium on stoning, although this needs to be consistently enforced. For its part, the U.N. has long advocated abolition of the death penalty or, at a minimum and in the interim, restrictions on its use, including moratoria. Such principled position is reflected in U.N. practice as well. Thus, the statutes of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, both established by the Security Council, do not provide for capital punishment. The International Criminal Court and U.N.-supported mixed tribunals have adopted a similar stance. If the General Assembly’s call for a global moratorium is an additional and crucial stepping stone in the natural progression towards abolishing the death penalty altogether, the heart of the matter now and in the future remains in the actual implementation of this literally vital pledge. Ultimately it is through example that retention, ist states may be persuaded to join the consensus and abandon the abhorrent practice of capital punishment. — Courtesy: U.N. Information Centre, New Delhi (Louise Arbour is U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.)

26 December to 01 January 2008




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world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1,2007 December 12-18, 2008


Lack of political will to put up pictorial warnings on the puff pack and not penalizing public smoking is putting the health of nonsmokers too at risk. The Indian health minister must act before it is too late. This is an Open Letter to the minister

Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Minister . for Health and Family Welfare Dear Dr. Ramadoss I have a high regard for your political party --Pattali Makkal Kacthi, founded by your illustrious father and I am glad that coalition politics has given you the privilege to influence the health conditions in India. I write to you to expedite efforts to liberate the populace from ill-effects of tobacco. I am sure that you are aware that Sikhs are fortunate that some three hundred years ago, their Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh made it mandatory for his followers to shun tobacco. Tobacco has been termed Jagat-jhoot-the filth of the world. Legend has it that during one of his sojourns, even the horse of Guru Gobind Singh had the good sense to avoid running into a tobacco field. Leave alone using tobacco, even touching it is sin. I must share with you what happened in the early seventies of the last century in Panjab. When some Sikh leaders and organisations attempted to build a movement against consumption of tobacco in all its forms, even though tobacco consumption was then quiet low in Panjab, rabidly fundamentalist organizations and their Arya Samaji leaders converted the whole issue from a health concern to a communal issue. To taunt the Sikhs, they exhorted people to smoke! Today things have somewhat changed. Irrespective of what anybody thinks in private, there is universal realization that tobacco kills. For the people of Panjab, passive smoking is a serious threat. Second-hand smoke exposure is causing increasing health problems. A section of the poor people is turning to chewing tobacco too. The Indian figures, as you know, are staggering. Of the 1.1 billion people who smoke worldwide, 182 million (16.6%) live in India. 20 percent of these smoke and the balance chew tobacco. Four major provisions of the Anti-Tobacco Act (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003), namely prohibition of sale of tobacco products near educational institutions, mandatory depiction of statutory warning including pictorial warning on tobacco products, mandatory depiction of tar and nicotine content and increasing awareness against passive smoking have been flouted with impunity Like all Indian laws, implemen. tation is wanting. I find it hard to believe that you continue to blame the powerful tobacco lobby for the health ministry's inability to put laws to effective use even though there are court directions to be followed. You are the Minister. You are accountable and responsible. Catch the bull by its horns and do not care about the rich tobacco industry The tobacco companies . and their owners are also merchants of death. They may not have a political face but their influence and machinations are lethal. For whatever reason, you wanted a change of guard at All India Institute of Medical Sciences and you had your way. You now have an administrator of your choice at the premier hospital of the country in New Delhi. The stealthy coercion of 4 chief ministers and 150 members of parliament notwithstanding, you should promulgate the law and force all cigarette and bidi companies to follow the provisions of the Act. Setting up of Tobacco Control Cells as suggested by the WHO and Tobacco cessation clinics, successfully working in Tamil Nadu, will surely create awareness and eliminate this scourge. A complete and thorough ban on surrogate advertising is also an urgent need. You should take the initiative to set up online and phone-based round-theclock counseling services for people who want to quit smoking but

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss international conventions does not come easily to India. As per the country-level commitment under the treaty, countries are mandated to impose restrictions on tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, establish new packaging and labeling of tobacco products with strong health warnings, establish clean indoor air controls by imposing restrictions on smoking in public places and strengthening legislation to clamp down on illicit trade in tobacco products. I must complement you that despite protests from a section of the film industry, your campaign for Tobacco-free films have borne fruit. The glorification of smoking on the silver screen is on the decline. Aamir Khan has quit smoking as a New Year resolution. The sensitization of the film industry has begun. In May 2007, the chairperson of the Motion Pictures Association of America, Dan Glickman said, "Clearly, smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behaviour in our society There is broad awareness . of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine's highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit." He said this while announcing the decision those Hollywood movies with smoking could go from PG rating to R Rating. Clearly, the Indian Ministry of Health, the Information Broadcasting Ministry and the Censor Board of India need to follow suit. If the "Tobacco kills 2,500 Indians everyday warning is not ." put up on cigarette packs, then state patronage for exchequer reasons should be blamed for these daylight murders. In 2006, India won the "Luther Terry Award" at the World Conference on tobacco. If it were a rotating trophy, you would loose it for failure to implement legal, executive and international commitments. Health ministry figures say that some eight hundred thousand people die of tobacco intake every year in India. You will certainly earn the blessings of those who will survive. So let not the proposal end up in smoke. I wish you good luck, more energy and courage to take action. With prayers for a tobacco-free New Year and good health for you and your family, Yours truly Jagmohan Singh The writer is a health, religious, social and political activist based in Ludhiana, Panjab. He may be contacted at


find it difficult to do so, something like the Quitline in the US. There is overwhelming evidence that pictorial warning have reduced the incidence of smoking. In European countries, these warnings have reduced smoking by as much as ten percent. NGOs like Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Mumbai and the Burning Brain Society, Chandigarh doubt your motive. The only way to undo this is to initiate immediate action. Your coalition government has very little time. Elections are a few paces away History is testimony to . the fact that men who make bold decisions leave a benchmark for others to follow. If you take action, the future incumbents of your ministry will go further in this direction and address other health concerns too. It is after a long time that a doctor has become incumbent of the health ministry If at . the end of the day you still cannot do it, you should expose all those who are holding you back. The political pawns of the tobacco industry must be put up in a dingy tobacco-smoke infected room and interrogated about their complicity . I was pleasantly surprised to learn that India ratified the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on 5 February 2004, aimed at curbing tobacco-related deaths and disease, after its unanimous adoption by 192 countries a the World Health Assembly (WHA) on 21st May 2003. Ratification of


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news
rounded him at Azad market, I’m talking about November 1. He ran into the house of one Amarjeet Singh, and hid there. For an hour the mob could not find him. He came out an hour later. They spotted him. He ran to the terrace of the house. He brought out his kripan to defend himself. Someone grabbed it and stabbed him in the stomach with the kripan. We saw it all from our roof. After the stabbing, Badal didn’t die immediately . Surinder Singh: They threw his body down from the second floor. Then they loaded it onto a garbage barrow. We were watching from the top. There they started dancing as if it was a wedding. They then brought him in front of the Gurudwara. There they put a tire around his neck, they had tires with them. Badal Singh was screaming and crying in pain but they put the tire around him, sprinkled kerosene and lit the fire. The man was burnt alive. Surinder Singh: In the morning, before the attack, at 8 am, Inspector Thakur Singh was with me. He was in our Gurudwara committee since her had retired from the police. He had come to the Gurudwara on the 31st. That night the mobs were already burning cars. In the morning when the attacks started, he (Thakur Singh) said Gyaniji don’t go out. I’ve been in the police, stay behind me. He tried talking to the mob, told them there was a school nearby with




A fortnight after media tracked down the witness that India’s CBI said it could not, another witness was caught in a sting operation by a respected TV channel. Jagdish Tytler was exposed thoroughly as Surinder Singh described how he witnessed men being burnt alive

ndia’s CNN-IBN TV news channel which claims credit for tracking down Jasbir Singh, one of the key witnesses in the case against former Indian minister Jagdish Tytler, has now caught another witness in a hidden camera operation who had seen Tytler leading blood thirsty mobs, saw murders before his eyes, gave his testimony to Nanawati Commission, but had later retracted it. The CNN-IBN Special Investigation revealed on December 21 evening the testimony of Surinder Singh, then granthi of Pulbangash Gurdwara in north Delhi, was shown saying that he saw Tytler leading the mob on November 1, 1984, and inciting them by saying “they have killed our mother”. Unaware of the hidden camera, Surinder Singh said he saw the three men being burnt to death in the presence of Tytler. Following assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, nearly 3,000 Sikh men, women and children were killed across the country and as , per official statistics, 2,733 Sikhs were killed on Delhi’s roads alone, mostly burnt by using used cycle tyres. Twenty-three years, 10 investigative commissions, 13 convictions and an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh haven’t done much to heal the wounds. Witnesses turning hostile was one of the biggest problems the prosecution faced in the case and the investigative agencies had to shut cases registered against various accused like senior Congress leader and former minister Jagdish Tytler. Now the head granthi of Majnu-kaTilla gurudwara, he had made all these allegations in an affidavit filed before the Nanavati Commission probing the 1984 riots but had later retracted his statement. Surinder Singh has now brought the truth to the fore, of course thanks to being caught on hidden camera, and explained how he changed his statement under pressure and said he had told Justice Nanawati that he will retract his statement of the government changed and the Congress came to power. Narrating what he saw on November 1, 1984, Surinder Singh explained how the frenzied mob accompanying Tytler killed Badal Singh, a gurudwara sewadar, retired inspector Thakur Singh, who tried to stop the mob, and another unidentified person. He said he was also caught by the mob but escaped after he started swinging his kirpan around. The mob dispersed when police on the spot began firing from behind a tree and asked him to run back into the gurdwara. Unaware of being on camera, he admitted that he was pressurised by Tytler to retract his statement to the Nanavati Commission. After Jasbir Singh coming on record in a similar case, this is the second eye witness to emerge against Tytler. Jasbir Singh had also alleged that he saw Tytler leading a mob which had resulted in a Delhi court questioning the clean chit given by the CBI to Tytler in the anti Sikh pogroms related case. Given below is an English translation of Surinder Singh’s testimony . (Readers may visit WSN website to access the complete testimony verbatim in Punjabi as well as its translation). CNN-IBN: Te Tytler ne laayi aag onu? (Was Tytler the instigator?) Surinder Singh: He was leading the charge. I have said it, I have given written statements. He was standing near the Masjid and egging on the mob, “Kill them! They have killed our mother. CNN-IBN: Tussi apni akkaan naal vekhya si? (Did you see this with your own eyes ?) Surinder Singh: With my own eyes I saw three murders. Badal Singh left after keertan at 8 am. The mob sur-

Nanavati naal meri gal baat hoyi te Nanavati ne mainu bulaya. Main saareyan saamne keha ki ye ye bande si par main onaanu keha main twaanu vi keh raha hun ki aaj sarkar dooji hai te main bayaan de ditta, kal nu sarkaar badal gayi main fer mukar jaana kyunki main marna nahi hai, seedhi jayi gal hai. Ye maine kaha Nanavati ko, sarakar ab fir badal gayi fir unka raaj hai
Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in it. But nobody was ready to listen to him. Surinder Singh: The policemen said the SHO was not with them. They said they had locked him up at the thana. Because the local SHO was a Sikh named Amarjeet Singh. He (Tytler) was there with the police. Surinder Singh also described the killing of another man that morning, a man who worked at a local television store, a revelation being made for the first time. Surinder Singh: After Badal Singh hid in the TV shopowner Amarjeet’s house. The mob found Amarjeet’s servant. They killed him as well. The burnt him in front of the Gurudwara as well. So there were three killings, Badal Singh, Police Inspector Thakur Singh and Amarjeet’s servant. Just days after the riots, Surinder Singh claimed Tytler came to meet him at the Gurudwara. Surinder Singh: On November 10, Jagdish Tytler came to the Gurudwara and asked me to sign on two sheets of paper, which I refused to sign. Surinder Singh claimed that in his first deposition before the Nanavati Commission he had openly declared that if he faced pressure and death threats from Congress, he would turn hostile. Surinder Singh: Judge Nanavati questioned me why didn’t you speak up before, why have you spoken out after so many years. I told him that earlier it was the rule of the Congress Party how could’ve I said anything against them?

world sikh news


December 19-25, 2007


ushed into a corny Jasbir's is a different . ner, Jagdish case. Tytler repeatedly asked Tytler displayed Rajdeep Sardesai: Are why Surinder Singh his skills at you suggesting, Mr Tytler, could not bring any telling lies, that it's all a conspiracy? other witness. This remarkably crammed into Jagdish Tytler: It's all a former minister does a few minutes on camera, conspiracy . not know that under no and not a hidden one. The Rajdeep Sardesai: By a law can a witness be top most lie was that section of Congress leadIndia's Doordarshan TV ership? asked to get another has CDs that were shot Jagdish Tytler: I would one. Why was Tytler not with fixed cameras which not say that. asked why he could not show his presence continRajdeep Sardesai: By get another uously from 7 am till 3 pm your political rivals? Congressman to vouch on November 1, 1984 by Jagdish Tytler: Anyone. that he was present by the side of Indira Rajdeep Sardesai: Is it Indira's dead body Gandhi's body at Teen people who wouldn't want throughout? After all, Murti bhawan in New you to come back to Delhi. So he could not be power? both Manmohan Singh where Surinder Singh Jagdish Tytler: That's and Sonia Gandhi were says he was. In a chat with for police to find out. CBI there. All he needs to CNN-IBN's Editor-in-Chief must find out. do is to get Sonia to say Rajdeep Sardesai, Tytler CBI clearly suits Tytler on national TV, "Dear had no answer why he did very well. After all, this is Sikhs, Mr. Tytler was by not produce the CDs the agency that was going my mother-in-law's before Nanawati over board while giving Commission and made a Tytler a clean chit. Till body." End of matter. mess for himself at some Jasbir Singh spoke up. Wanna try, Mr. Tytler? sharp questioning by Tytler even said that CNN-IBN anchor Surinder Singh "should Suhasini Haidar. also prove his case by bringing in more At one stage he promised to give CNNpeople." What he did not say was that he IBN the seven CDs, then said he has only will ask senior Congress leaders to one copy, then said he will give these to vouch for him. Clearly Suhasini Haidar , the CBI, then said he will give these to spoke for many when she said, "Surinder the CBI if the court asked him to, and Singh and Jasbir Singh are not the only then said the Doordarshan must have people what o accuse you. The CDs you these in its records. Not one Congress speak of were not produced before CBI leader has so far vouched for his presand they may not be there at all now." ence all through the time period, but Tytler did not counter this, but merely Tytler kept questioning if Surinder added: "After 21 years, this fellow comes Singh can produce another witness. and says all this. I don't understand this. It was then that Suhasini Haidar cut There's someone behind this."Activist him short with a terse comment: "It's lawyer H.S. Phoolka countered by asking interesting you should say that. why Tytler did not ask Nanawati to sumSurinder's testimony comes in the same mon the CDs. Tytler had no answer to week as Jasbir Singh's." this. Just one more thing: The CD had Jagdish Tytler: That's not his testimonot been invented in 1984.


Tytler brings fig leaf as defence

Damning Words
Mian apni akkhaan naal vekhyea teeno katal mere saamne hi hoye si. Badal Singh swere keertan karke 8 waje chala gaya. Te Azad market ch onu lokaan ne gher leya. Eh 1 tareek di gall hai, pehli Nov di, Azad market ch public odey magar pai gai. O bhajj ke amarsingh singh texla TV wale ne, road te hi onaa di dukaan si, onaa de ghar chhup gaya. Te o onu lab lub ke chale gaye te o mileya na, Ghantek baad ona nun fer pata lag gaya te fer o gharch hi wadd gaye. Te chat si odda ghar doosri manjil te. Oney apni kirpan kaddi hoyegi kise nu maaran layi par onu o kirpan kaddan hi nahi ditti, te duje bande ne pichheyon fadd leya te odi kirpan naal hi odaa dhidd ( stomach) faad ditta. Utton assi dekh rahe haan sab kuchh. Assi te chauthi chat te haan te o te dooji chat te hai, te jadon taan odaa dhidh faadta, dhidh faadan naal banda marda nahi hai ik dam, marr da jaadon saans katti jaaye. Te onnu thhalle suteya fer onane. Te thhalle sutt ke o redi hundi hai na koode wali,ode te onnu ladd ke leyaye hai, Gurudware de saamne,assi utton dekh rahe haan sab kuch, te naal hi nachde tapde log aa rahe hai, poore bhangre paunde,jiddaan vyaah shaadiyan da mahaul Honda hai na is tarah hi.

Suhasini Haidar: Does anything that Surinder Singh says surprise you?
Ved Marwah who headed the first enquiry into the riots joined in the debate. Ved Marwah: It's very unfortunate that the proceedings have gone on for 23 years and if the witnesses are now changing their testimony it's because the whole , thing has dragged on for so many years. When I was called to Delhi Police – after the riots were over – I was given three months. But before I could complete it, I was asked to stop. Naturally I couldn't , proceed with it despite doing a lot of work. Commenting on Surinder Singh's or Tytler's statement is something that the investigative agencies must do. Suhasini Haidar: But investigative agencies have failed and witnesses have retracted. Even Surinder Singh says he saw six policemen with the mob. How is the ordinary person expected to face up to such power? Ved Marwah: That's true. If people can be burnt alive on Delhi roads, it doesn't speak too well of Delhi Police. That's what I was going to do if I was allowed to proceed with my inquiry I had collected . all records that did not put the police in very good light. Ved Marwah: I think it is very tragic that no conclusion has been made about who is guilty and who's not in 23 years. But the sad fact is that I was the inquiry officer and I was given three months to complete and that didn't happen. And for the last 23 years some Delhi police officers have been filing one civil suit after another against me for doing that inquiry So you see our criminal justice . system is in a very bad shape and if things go on as they are people will lose confidence.



Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

LONDON: Roman Catholics have overtaken Anglicans as the UK’s dominant religious group. More people now attend Mass every Sunday than worship with the Church of England, according to latest published figures. Despite England’s official break with the pope in Rome during Henry VIII’s reign more than 400 years ago, making Anglicanism and the Church of England dominant, Catholicism is now the most practiced faith in the land. A survey by the group Christian Research showed that around 862,000 worshippers attended Catholic Mass each week in 2006, exceeding the 852,000 who went to Church of England services. Attendance at Anglican services has almost halved over the past 40 years as the country has grown steadily more secular, the research showed. While attendance figures for both Catholic and Anglican services are declining, Catholic numbers are slipping by a lesser degree as new migrants arrive from east Europe and parts of Africa,

Catholics emerging as UK’s dominant religious group

boosting Catholic congregations. “When an ex-PM becomes a Catholic, that must be a sign that Catholicism really has come in from the cold in this country,” Catherine Pepinster, editor of Catholic weekly The Tablet, said. “I would hope that my fellow Catholics will welcome Tony Blair into the Church as they welcome other converts.”Blair is not the first high-profile Briton to convert to Catholicism. Others include the author Evelyn Waugh, the son of an Anglican churchman, converted in the 1930s, and novelist Graham Greene was a noted convert, although his books often explored doubts over faith. Blair’s conversion was long expected — his wife and four children are practicing Catholics — but it has not come without a degree of criticism. While in office, he frequently championed stem-cell research, supported civil partnerships for gay couples and has voted in favor of abortion, all issues on which the Catholic faithful hold strong positions.

Authorities investigate after strong winds flipped a small plane minutes after it had landed at the Kenosha regional airport. According to authorities, the plane landed safely, but after the pilot and passenger disembarked, wind gusts caught the plane and flipped it. No injuries were reported.

Poland to end Iraq op by Oct
WARSAW: The president of Poland has given his approval to a government plan that would end the country’s military mission in Iraq by October 2008, his Web site said, a final hurdle in settling on a date for withdrawal. Poland still has 900 troops in Iraq, and deciding how much longer to keep them there had turned into a source of friction between President Lech Kaczynski and new Prime Minister Donald Tusk in past weeks. The mission’s current mandate expires on December 31, and Tusk had been calling for the mission to be extended, but until October at the latest. The president, who is the commander in chief of the military and a staunch US ally, had hoped to keep the troops there longer. At one point, he indicated that he might refuse to go along with the government plan to withdraw the troops next year. That refusal, however, would have backfired on him because it would have forced the country to bring the troops home by the end of this month given that the current mandate ends on December 31. Kaczynski’s Web site said that he has signed the government’s resolution calling for mission to be continued until October 31.

LTTE should stop terror attacks, says Prachanda
COLOMBO: In an interesting turn of events, the once-feared Nepalese guerrilla leader Prachanda has reportedly said Tamil Tiger supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran should stop terrorist attacks on civilians and politicians. “LTTE leader Prabhakaran must stop his suicide bomb attacks on politicians and civil society,” said Prachanda, whose Maoist party returned to political mainstream in Nepal after signing a landmark peace deal last year. The Maoist chairman’s comments came during a meeting on Sunday with Sri Lankan Healthcare Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in Nepal, the Island newspaper reported on Tuesday. “All South Asian and Asian countries must help out Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE terrorism,” it quoted Prachanda as saying. The decade-long Maoist insurgency left at least 13,000 people dead in Nepal. During his Nepal trip, De Silva also held discussions with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and other senior leaders and officials. Talks were held on exchanging Buddhist pilgrims between the two countries, sharing the experience of terrorist problem and introducing the health policy model of Sri Lanka in Nepal. The Sri Lankan Minister said every rebel leader had a time period and it applied to the LTTE chief as well.

Snowstorm leaves nine dead in US midwest
MILWAUKEE: Highways were hazardous for Christmas holiday travelers on Sunday and thousands of homes and businesses had no electricity in the US midwest as a storm blustered through the region with heavy snow and howling wind. At least nine deaths had been blamed on the storm. Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on Sunday as the core of the storm headed north across the Great Lakes. Parts of Wisconsin already had a foot of snow, and up to a foot was forecast on Sunday in northeastern Minnesota, the National Weather Service said. Radar showed snow falling across much of Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota on Sunday and moving into parts of Michigan and Indiana. “Everything is just an ice rink out there,” Rock County Sheriff ’s Sergeant Steve Selby said on Sunday morning. The weather system also spread locally heavy rain on Sunday from the Southeast to the lower Great Lakes. The storm rolled through Colorado and Wyoming on Friday, then spread snow and ice on Saturday from the Texas Panhandle to Minnesota. Multi-car pileups closed parts of several major highways on Saturday in the Plains states.

Kissinger countered Turkish planes bomb Soviet arms supply rebel positions in Iraq to India in ‘70s
WASHINGTON: Pakistan could not be left at a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis India militarily and it was in US interests to counter Soviet defence supplies to New Delhi, a top Richard Nixon administration official had argued. “The main threat to Pakistan at this point seems to be in terms of its own internal cohesiveness,” Henry Kissinger, the Assistant to the President for National Security, had told Nixon in a White House Memo dated March 7, 1973. “Nevertheless, Pakistan must have a military force that can preserve internal integrity and permit (President Z A) Bhutto to negotiate with India from a basis that is as advantageous as the basic balance between the two countries permits,” Kissinger felt. “We must deal with the fact that resumption of fullscale military assistance to Pakistan would risk an almost certain Congressionally imposed embargo. Thus it would seem to me that a return to our 1967-71 policy of limited supply is about as far as we can go. This would be a disappointment to President Bhutto, but it would be helpful,” he wrote.

Canada simplifies citizenship process
OTTAWA: A law making it easier for children adopted abroad to become Canadian citizens came into effect on Sunday, Canada’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration announced. Parents formerly had to apply to sponsor the child to come to Canada, then seek permanent resident status for him or her, before finally applying for citizenship, a process that could take up to 18 months. Now, thanks to the new law, parents can skip the first two steps involved.

ISTANBUL: Turkish fighter jets bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, a spokesman for Iraqi Kurdistan’s Peshmerga security forces has said. Jabar Yawar said the jets on Sunday bombed an area about 85 kilometres north of Irbil near the border with Turkey for about an hour and a half. He said there were no civilian casualties because the area was deserted due to fear of Turkish attacks. Yawar said he did not know whether any Kurdish rebels had been killed. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred questions to the General Staff, but military authorities were not immediately available to discuss any military operations on Sunday . “We are using our nation’s natural right under international law,” while keeping within limits of reason, Erdogan said when journalists asked about reports of a fresh cross-border operation, state-run media reported. The US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said before Sunday’s attack that the US acknowledges Turkey’s right to defend itself but asked the US ally and NATO member not to endanger Iraq’s stability . “At the same time we’ve also said that we all have a pretty substantial interest in the stability of Iraq and none of us want to see operations pursued in a manner that can threaten basic stability inside Iraq,” Crocker said.

Interim Belgian govt in place after record wait
BRUSSELS: Belgium’s parliament gave its backing to a new interim government on Sunday, ending for now a six-month crisis that prompted speculation the country might split into Dutch and French-speaking regions. Parliament backed by 97 votes to 46 a team led by Guy Verhofstadt. A political deadlock after June’s general election meant Belgium was without a government for a record 196 days.

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


Let’s stop provoking Al-Qaeda, says Republican lawmaker
WASHINGTON: A maverick Republican contender for the 2008 presidential polls has argued that the US must stop provoking AlQaida if the Americans are not to be attacked and killed and that Washington’s close ties with Israel and Pakistan are annoying the terrorist outfit. “Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had a base in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy, as far as they were concerned,” Texas Congressman Ron Paul said. He also said the US was bombing Iraq for 10 years. “We’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA has been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We’re, right now, in the process of overthrowing that nation,” Paul said. “We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and they get annoyed with this.” Paul, who has surprised many in the Republican Party and outside for his ability to collect campaign contributions, was asked on a press meet whether the Al-Qaida would leave America alone if the US did not have troops in the Middle East. “Not immediately, because they’d have to believe us. But what would happen is the incentive for Osama bin Laden to recruit suicide terrorists would disappear. Once we left Lebanon in the early 1980s, the French and the Americans and Israelis left Lebanon, suicide terrorism virtually stopped. “So we have to understand that. We have to understand how we would react if some country did to us exactly what we do to them. And then we might have a better understanding of their motivation, why somebody would join the AlQaida,” he said. “...Why produce the incentive for these violent, vicious thugs (of Al-Qaida) to want to come here and kill us?”

Rauf case gets murkier with suspected ISI role
LONDON: Terror suspect Rashid Rauf did not escape from custody last week but was kidnapped by Pakistans intelligence agency as part of an “organised disappearance” plot, a report said, quoting people close to the man arrested in connection with the plan to bomb US-bound trans-Atlantic airliners last year. The official description of Rauf ’s getaway has been met with disbelief, many wondering how an alleged Al-Qaida operative held in Pakistan’s highest-security detention unit could manage to walk away from custody . The authorities in Pakistan have blamed junior policemen escorting Rauf back to jail after a court hearing in Islamabad where he was fighting moves to extradite him to Britain in connection with a murder case. Rauf ’s lawyer and a close family friend have said that they believed he had been taken into custody by Pakistan’s secret security-service and they feared for his life. They believed the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) did not want him to be extradited to Britain and had abducted him to pre-empt any court decision to deport him. Hashmat Habib, Rauf ’s lawyer, said his client was being victimised because the Pakistani authorities have been forced to drop all charges against Rauf over the transatlantic terror plot. “In my estimate it’s an organised disappearance. They don’t want to hand him over. He was fixed up and the government is now afraid that he would become an embarrassment if sent to the UK because they hyped up his involvement,” said Habib. Khalid Khawaja, a former Pakistan intelligence agent who counts Osama Bin Laden as a friend, believed that Rauf might have been “taken away by the ISI” and feared that his friend might be shot dead while “on the run”.

Olmert rejects truce with Hamas
JERUSALEM: The Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has pledged war against Gaza militants, rejecting feelers from the Islamic Hamas for a truce, while an Israeli Cabinet minister angered moderate Palestinians with another plan for new Jewish housing in a disputed part of Jerusalem, complicating renewed peace talks. “There is no other way to describe what is happening in the Gaza Strip except as a true war between the Israeli army and terrorist elements,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his Cabinet, ruling out truce talks. Reports of truce feelers from the embattled Islamic Hamas regime in Gaza have been surfacing almost daily and Israeli defense offi, cials have said they are examining the proposals. The unconfirmed reports have Hamas convincing fellow militants in Gaza to stop their daily rocket fire at southern Israel, while Israel halts its air and ground operations in Gaza. Speaking to his Cabinet at Sunday’s weekly meeting, Olmert rejected negotiations with Hamas because it has rejected international demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and endorse past peace accords. “We have declared (this war) and we will continue,” Olmert said at the beginning of the meeting, which reporters are allowed to attend. “This is true regarding Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all other elements.” Despite their overt rejections of a formal cease-fire, Israeli officials have been saying a formal truce is unnecessary They say if . Gaza militants stop the rocket fire, Israel would have no reason to attack. Israeli airstrikes over a twoday period last week killed 12, including two top Islamic Jihad commanders. The truce feelers started surfacing a day later, first in a call from Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh to an Israeli TV reporter and later, according to officials, by way of Egypt, which has mediated several other past truces. Islamic Jihad, which is behind most of the rocket salvos, on Sunday again rejected a truce with Israel. By nightfall three rockets fired from Gaza exploded in Israel, causing no damage or casualties, the military said. Israeli officials said Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel this week to Egypt for talks with President Hosni Mubarak. It was unclear whether a cease-fire would be on the agenda. At last month’s peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush, Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace talks for the first time in seven years.

Israeli, Palestinian talks to resume
JERUSALEM: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators plan to meet for a second round of USbacked peace talks hitherto hampered by disputes over the Jewish settlement building near Jerusalem. The Palestinians said substantive negotiations over borders, and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees would not begin until Israel committed to halting all settlement activity, as called for under the long-stalled “road map” peace plan. The road map also calls on the Palestinians to rein in militants, an obligation that Israel says must be fulfilled in the occupied West Bank and Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip before a Palestinian state can be established. The first round of negotiations that followed a US - sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, opened in discord on December 12 with the Palestinians demanding Israel drop plans to build some 300 new homes in an area near Jerusalem known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Abu Ghneim.

Uzbeks re-elect hardline president
TASHKENT: Uzbekistan voted on Sunday in an election in which hardline President Islam Karimov faced only token opposition to his bid for a new seven-year term at the head of the isolated Central Asian state. In the run-up to the election Karimov, 69, told foreign diplomats that he wanted “a free society and prosperous life” for the ex-Soviet republic of 28 million people. However, victory for Karimov — who voted in the capital Tashkent mid-morning, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency — was seen as a foregone conclusion. He barely campaigned and his three nominal challengers are virtual unknowns. “I voted for Karimov. We are all used to him,” said pensioner Hakim Abdurakhmanov at a polling station in the centre of Tashkent. A sprawling country of deserts, mountains and oases, Uzbekistan contains Samarkand, one of the world’s oldest cities and resting place of legendary medieval conqueror Tamerlane. But despite gas and cotton riches, Uzbekistan has failed to prosper since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 — something that critics blame on Karimov’s uncompromising presidency He is . famous for refusing to allow even flickers of opposition. In 2005 he launched a bloody crackdown on mainly unarmed protesters in the eastern city of Andijan in which hundreds were killed, according to human rights activists. Uzbek authorities blamed the violence entirely on Islamic rebels and said 187 people had been killed.

Seven Taliban hostages Pope calls for peace as Christians killed, say police celebrate the spirit of Yuletide
GHAZNI: The Taliban have shot dead seven men, two of them truck drivers for a Western security firm, who had been kidnapped in the past week, the police and a rebel spokesman said on Sunday. The seven — three policemen, two soldiers and the drivers — were killed in the central province of Ghazni on Saturday night, they said. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said the men were shot dead after attempting to escape “from our jail.” Provincial police chief Khan Mohammad Mujahed said that bodies had been recovered and police were looking for more. “We’ve learnt that they have been killed,” he said. The seven were kidnapped on December 17 and 18 along the main road between Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar, he said. In their biggest hostage-taking, the Taliban captured 23 South Korean nationals in July along the same road in the same province. They killed two of the group of Christian aid workers before releasing the rest, most of them after secret talks with the South Korean government. The extremist Taliban were removed from power in a US-led invasion in late 2001 and are now waging an insurgency that has gained pace this year with a spike in suicide bombings, kidnappings and other rebel attacks. BETHLEHEM: People around the world celebrated Christmas on Tuesday as the Catholic leader in the Holy Land pleaded for peace in the Middle East and Pope Benedict XVI spoke against selfishness. Iraqi Christians meanwhile celebrated a fearful Christmas in the shadow of suicide bombings and sectarian violence, while Christians from the Gaza Strip crossed a heavily-armed checkpoint into Israel. Hundreds crossed the checkpoint clutching special permits enabling them to spend Christmas outside the Hamas-run territory . In Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah said in a sermon for Christmas midnight mass, “This land of God cannot be for some a land of life and for others a land of death, exclusion, occupation, or political imprisonment. “All those whom God, the lord of history, has gathered here must be able to find in this land life, dignity and security,” he said. Sabbah, who last week said peace in the Middle East depended on Israel, reiterated that message in a less direct way on Tuesday . “It is not up to the weakest to submit themselves and continue to live a life of deprivation; it is up to the strongest, to those who have everything in hand, to detach themselves and to give to the weakest what is due to them.” Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas attended the mass fresh from last month’s meet in the US city of Annapolis, where he formally relaunched the peace process with Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Palestinians hope the number of tourists and the income they bring will make it the best Christmas since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000 and the building of Israel’s massive barrier through the West Bank. Pope Benedict spoke out against selfishness as he celebrated midnight mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica packed with thousands of worshippers. “Man is so preoccupied with himself, he has such urgent need of all the space and all the time for his own things, that nothing remains for others — for his neighbour, for the poor, for God,” he said in Italian.


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

Calling Citizens A memory frame yours... Foreigners. Is it fair?
From the front page
WSN Bureau he Diaspora communities are often at the receiving end in the host country but the most vulnerable are the immigrant labourers, but imagine what would be the reaction even among the better educated citizens of the host country if one morning they are suddenly told that 80 per cent of the jobs created in the last one decade have been cornered by the foreigners? p Clearly it will make life diffi, khi cult for the immigrants and most locals will look at them as usurpers of resources. Except that there is a catch: the agency that made the calculations in Britain also counted among the "foreigners" the 300,000 Britons who had been born abroad but are very much British and also British citizens. Britain’s Statistics Commission virtually triggered a strong negative reaction against the immigrants when it recently said that 80 per cent of British jobs over the past decade have gone to “foreigners”. News papers in Britain, the US as well as in India, from where many immigrants come, splashed the headlines. The lazy media forgot to check out the correctness of the news report, something it hardly does these days. The headlines had appeared on December 11, and considering the sensational aspect of the story found great place on , front pages. Since the Statistics Commission works closely with the British Government, one had little reaitpal Bobby Toor Tens of thousands of ked the streets of Surrey ay for the eighth annual arade honouring the reliest day The police esti. celebration brought out ,000. The parade closed off Newton for hours as a carats and marchers weaved gs of people who lined the nding out Indian delicaeats to all who passed. Dasmesh Darbar Sikh hosted the festivities, e grown steadily over the as the Indo-Canadian popSurrey Mayor Dianne . omed the crowd and said ciated the multicultural the event, which also ny non-Sikhs who enjoy urful parade. Premier mpbell, dressed in a tradian tunic, praised the comits contributions. de started at 10 a.m. at the Dashmesh Darbar temple nue near 128th Street and eded south along 128th, t along 76th Avenue, travalong 124th Street, and ned east via 82nd Avenue. as closed to vehicle traffic m. to 5 p.m. More than 100


taking the stage. This has grown from a day of celebration to almost a week or 10 days of celebration and I think that is great for all of us.” Politicians from all major parties at all three levels of government clamoured for a few minutes at the microphone as the crowds gathered. The effort put in by families and businesses was huge, with many staying up all night to prepare the food they were handing out for free. This weekend’s gathering had a more political tone than in recent years, with several floats, signs and flags demanding a state of Khalistan. The float for a group called the Sikh Vision Foundation had pictures of martyrs who died in the armed struggle in Punjab, including leaders of Khalistani organizations such as Talwinder Singh Parmar, the Babbar Khalsa founder. Marching behind the Sikh Vision float was Ajaib Singh Bagri, a former Babbar Khalsa leader. Another float proclaimed, “Khalistan is the only solution.” Event organizers from the Dasmesh Darbar gurdwara donned newly made vests with the temple name embroidered on the back and “Khalistan” on the chest emblem. Temple executive member Satinderpal Singh Gill, who for years was based in Pakistan as part of the Khalistan panthic committee, accepted a plaque from the B.C. government presented by former MLA Dr. Gulzar Singh Cheema. Next weekend, Vancouver will host a Vaisakhi parade. On Saturday April 14, about 50,000 people are expected on and around Main Street


son to doubt. But is it not the job of the media to always doubt, and be very sure? Anti-immigration groups seized on the stories and claimed vindication for their allegation that outsiders were “stealing” British jobs. London's figures so far had said the percentage was around 50. Now many were alleging that the Government had concealed the real magnitude of jobs secured by the immigrants. Now, a close look at the report the Commission has Hail LA diversity: of Sikhs celebrate revealed that the Commission Vaisakhi in the city of glamour had ended up including a whopping 300,000 British nationals in the category of “foreigners” because they were born abroad and came to Britain as immigrants. Its excuse? It said it relied on the definition of foreign workers as given by the Office for National Statistics, a government department. But the fact remains that the Commission ended up creating a wholly misleading impression and fuelling anti-immigrant prejudice. Can any country classify foreign-born citizens as “foreigners”? Citizenship is not granted lightly and the most important privilege it confers on a new citizen is not to be called a bloody foreigner ever again. The Punjabi NRP Diaspora must add its voice to those protesting against such classification of citizens even for statistical purposes. We must always be seen as supporters of exhortations to immigrants to integrate with the host society .
mayor of London. The event will also feature traditiona Sikh music, dance and cuisine. The festival has been organised by the mayor of London and sup ported by the Metropolitan Police WSN Network LOS ANGELES: More than 10,000 people celebrated the Sikh religious holiday of Vaisakh Sunday and denounced a serie of hate crimes against the sec following the 9-11 terroris attacks. With gold- and orange fringed parade floats and the sound of harmoniums playing traditional hymns, more than 10,000 members of the Sikh com munity paraded through down town Los Angeles. Sikhs shared food, music and art in the Los Angele Convention Center and late paraded through the streets o downtown, singing prayers a they marched behind a dozen colorful floats. “We are trying to draw all the religious com munities together to communi cate better,” said Nirinjan

fighting nations like Kashmir, Punjab, Nagaland, Assam that are not Hindu and can mobilize on non-Hindu icons and culture will look for another alternative. The year 2007 brought a secular party called Akali Dal to power – secular because it no more wants to be panthic – but only as secular as one can be in a tie up with RSS-BJP. That Parkash Singh Badal often describes the Akali-BJP alliance as one between brothers will help you calibrate the secular component. Did you say we were making the 2007 photoframe more depressing? Well, we haven’t even started talking about Sukhbir Singh Badal’s rise, not to mention his plans to rule for 25 years! This was the year when even the country’s Prime Minister, the I-won’t-show-emotions-onmy-face-come-what-may Manmohan Singh, also conceded that economic disparity may have something to do with the fact that the writ of the Indian government was challenged in vast swathes of the country, but his only prescription was to set up joint force to end the menace.

Quick translation: Kill the Naxalites. Forget disparity argument. That was a speech writer’s adulteration. (See report page 7) But amidst all of this, people’s movements continue in full swing. The representatives of the Sikhs, Kashmiris, Nagas, Manipuris etc who met in Chandigarh recently under the aegis of a seminar on human rights resolved to keep up the fight. Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu showed sagacity by extricating his party from the one-man leadership system and making an experiment with collective leadership. There is hope, after all. Photo frames aren’t complete without hope. One H.S. Phoolka refuses to give up the fight, one sole witness with a threat to his life refuses to back down, some are simply not giving up the fight in the Khalra kidnap and murder case, one Khalsa Action Committee leads the charge against Dera Sacha Sauda’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim, there was always one police officer near Sis Ganj who could dare to shoot and kill the killer mob, there is one New Jersey which dared to hang the noose. If you ever feel disheartened, remember – there will always be WSN. Steadfast, uncompromising, and dedicated to Sarbat Da Bhala. Happy 2008.

Punjab govt to licence saw mills: The Punjab
government has decided to issue licences to saw mills and other wood-based industries in the state. Forest minister Tikshan Sood said that all saw mills without licenses and other wood-based industries set up after December 30, 2002 were closed in compliance with the orders of the apex court.

Badal finally expresses love for Congress, closes complaint chapter

Sukhbir can go abroad: A
special court in Ropar on Saturday allowed Sukhbir Singh Badal to go abroad from January 6 to 12, 2008 on a surety of Rs 5 lakh. Sukhbir is facing trial in a corruption and disproportionate assets case.

Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s writings
In one of his revolutionary book on Indian philosophy Riddles In Hinduism, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar presents his surprisingly unconventional views about the contradictions of India’s Brahminical culture. For the readers of World Sikh News, this book is being serialized
incorporates only 5 Mantras of the Purusha Sukta from the RigVeda and what is important is that in adopting these five Mantras omit those which speak of the four Varnas springing from the four parts of the body of the Purusha. It is of course a very late composition and has been interpolated after all the four Vedas had taken their present shape. But apart from that it has all the marks showing its authors were not very sure of their explanation carrying conviction. It is probably an allegory, figurative narration which the Brahmins attempted to convert into a literal statement of hard fact. It does not solve the riddle. On the contrary it creates a riddle –which is, why were the Brahmins interested in supporting the theory of Chaturvarna. The rational explanation has behind it the authority of the Bhagwat Geeta. Krishna, the God of the Hindu, explains that he created the system of Chaturvarna and propounds the theory that it is a system of difference of Guna: innate virtue. This theory of difference of Guna is derived from the Sankhya Philosophy of Kapila. Krishna offers this explanation of Chaturvarna in a commanding spirit as though it was incontrovertible. The Sankhya Philosophy no doubt asserts as a fundamental proposition that matter has got three Gunas-Raj, Tama and Satva. Matter is not inert. It is instable equilibrium when all the three Gunas are coequal in their power. Matter becomes dynamic when the equilibrium is disturbed when one Guna becomes masterful over others. Krishna was of course very clever in seeking to give sciso hard to justify the Chaturvarna ? II The Ashram Dharma divides the life of an individual into four stages (1) Brahmcharya, (2) Grahasthashram, (3) Vanaprastha and (4) Sannyas. The state of Brahmacharya has both a de jure and de facto connotation. Its de facto connotation is that it means an unmarried state of life. Its de iure connotation means the stage of study under a teacher. Grahasthashram is the stage of a householder- a stage of married family life. The stage of Sannyas is a stage of renunciation of civic rights and responsibilities. It is a stage of civic death. The stage of Vanaprastha is in between Grahasthashram and Sannyas. It is a stage in which one belongs to society but is bound to live away from society As the name implies . it prescribes dwelling in forest. The Hindus believe that this institution of Ashram Dharma is as old as that of the Varna Dharma. They call the two by a joint name of Varnashram Dharma as though they were one and integral, and the two together form the steelframe of the Hindu Society . To be continued WSN Bureau FATEHGARH SAHIB: It was in the land of the martyrs that Parkash Singh Badal chose to finally speak the truth: “We are content over the cordial relations between Punjab Government and Central Government...Centre is fully cooperating on issues of development.” This was by way of his speech to the sangat at the historic Jor Mela in memory of the sons of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. For the first time in contemporary history of Punjab was a president of the Akali Dal saying the Congress led Government at the Centre and the Akali Dal led government in Punjab were in full consonance. He did not mince words. Capitulation is nothing if not complete. “There was no point raising any issues when both the state and the union government were having convivial relations,” Badal said. This at a time when farmers suicides continue and the much awaited relief from the Centre is no where in sight. This at a time when Centre’s concession to hill states has ensured that Punjab’s industry migrate to Baddi-Barotawala region of Himachal Pradesh. This at a time when the 1984 pogrom victims are still filing petitions in Delhi because the Delhi government has refused compensation to many. This at a time when witness after witness was emerging from the shadows to say that Congress leaders did lead the blood thirsty mobs in 1984 and those leaders remain respected senior brass of the Congress. This at a time when Congress is taking umbrage even at putting up of a portrait of Sant Bhindranwale at a museum of the Sikhs. But Badal has closed the chapter of any differences. “No complaints” was the theme at Jor Mela and it was followed up with thanks for the union home minister Shiv Raj Patil for extending the Guru Gobind Singh marg. Speaking on the occasion, acting president of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal said no other community in the world had made sacrifices as great as the ones made by the Sikhs and the Sikh Gurus. He reiterated the promises of surplus power, revamp of the irrigation system in the state and setting up of three Punjab institutes of sports. He took the opportunity to warn the bureaucrats to desist from ignoring Akali workers. Earlier, the Chief Minister and his son paid obeisance at the gurdwara along with president of the SGPC Avtar Singh and other senior party leaders. Badal was presented a siropa by the SGPC.

entific explanation of the Varna system by applying the Sankhya Theory of Guna dharma. But in doing so Krishna has really made a fool of himself. He did not realize that there are four Varnas and three Gunas and whatever ingenuity he might claim to have he could not account for the tour Varnas with a theory which did not require more than three Gunas. Here again what appears to be a rational explanation is an absurd explanation. It does not solve the riddle. It creates one. Why were the Brahmins fighting

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


If you love to eat, you need to be extra careful during the monsoon. Here are some simple precautions
fully aware of the pathogens present.

with a clean platter and take away the dirty one. Also wash your hands with soap and water and wash cooking surfaces before and after handling raw meat, poultry and fish. Use pasteurised eggs when in doubt Who doesn’t have happy memories of licking the beater when Mom baked cakes? Unfortunately cases of salmo, nellosis are also rampant. So that delicious frothy frosting made with raw egg whites is a bad idea for the birthday cake. When you can’t thoroughly cook a recipe before tasters dig in, use liquid pasteurised eggs, found in the dairy case. Take risks with open eyes There are times when you might want to send caution to the wind. And although raw fish is on the list of foods we should avoid, you might feel like indulging yourself. But consider this: raw food is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. The humidity levels and temperature levels make eating raw food a risk that’s easily avoidable. And if you’re still having second thoughts, you should keep in mind that the Japanese have the highest incidence of foodborne illness in the world. Now that’s certainly food for thought.


e’ve all had those awkward moments when we aren’t sure whether to offend the cook or risk spending several days sick in bed. Say you’re at an outing and someone asks you to try something from his or her lunchbox. But the sandwiches are looking awfully soggy and the other stuff ’s not something you’d usually like. E. coli bacteria wreaks havoc on hundreds of lives and can cause death. Although you don’t need to carry a thermometer with you to check the temperature of the food you eat, you need to be


Beware of raw dairy, fish and meat You might remember a time when you were tempted to take a refreshing drink of raw cold milk. But no matter how tempting the thought, avoid. Always go for pasteurised milk. When it comes to raw milk, learn to say ‘no thank you.’ There is currently a proliferation of new virulent, antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. And that’s another reason to

The advice you received as a child — to wash your hands when you come indoors and before eating — holds truer than ever during the rains avoid anything that’s not cooked to kill the germs. Likewise, you might love the taste of chilled raw oysters dipped in spicy cocktail sauce, but hold that thought — there’s a new strain of the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus that makes chowing down on this dish decidedly risky . Some studies show that hot sauce has antibacterial properties, but it's not enough to count on. Clean with hot soapy water Temper your food-safety zeal with a little diplomacy when a dinner guest offers to do the grilling. To prevent cross-contamination, send the raw meat out on one platter, then return

The truth behind that dazzling smile
ou may seek to dazzle with your grin but whitening your teeth could be putting you at risk. Experts have discovered that 18 out of 20 whitening kits tested contain illegal levels of bleach. One product they looked at contained 230 times the legal level of hydrogen peroxide, the common active ingredient. The chemical, which can be used to dye hair blonde, could cause serious burning to the mouth. The findings were revealed by the Trading Standards Institute recently in the UK. Manufacturers and suppliers of those kits which did not meet the legal limit of 0.1 per cent for hydrogen peroxide, are being advised to withdraw them for sale and could face prosecution. However, the unsafe brands have not been named. Chief executive Ron Gainsford said: “Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical well known in


Some tooth brightening kits can contain dangerously high levels of peroxide, a bleaching agent the hairdressing industry, but it is also used in teeth whitening products to bleach teeth. Many people these days aspire to having the perfect Hollywood smile and some stars have paid a lot of money to achieve this through cosmetic dental treatment. But this could end up

burning more than a hole in your pocket. We strongly recommend that anyone considering having their teeth whitened cosmetically should consult a qualified dentist.” In the last five years, the desire for cosmetic dentistry has increased. But as well as causing chemical burns to the mouth, high levels of the bleach can aggravate gum disease and cause sensitive teeth. Those using whitening kits are generally advised to squirt a line of cream into a mould. Then they are told to bite down on the mould, which fits over the teeth, for a set period — usually several minutes. Quite often, repeated treatments are recommended over days and weeks to get the desired smile. The institute advised those who have bought kits to go back to the retailer and ask how much hydrogen peroxide they contain.

The breakthrough could mean an end to milk allergies

Is the end of food allergies near?
ritish scientists believe they have made a vital breakthrough in the battle against deadly food allergies. A team at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) has identified a molecule that could protect against allergies to foods such as nuts, fish and milk which are becoming an increasing threat. The findings offer a target for the treatment of food allergies because the molecule could be used to bring allergies under control. Dr Claudio Nicoletti, who is leading the team at the IFR in Norwich, said: “A food protein can be harmless to one person and lethal to another. We have identified the missing molecule that normally keeps immune responses under control.” The experts have found that Interleukin-12 is absent in mice which are bred to be allergic to peanuts, and the results, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggest the molecule normally stops allergies to food developing. In severe cases, people can suffer life-threatening reactions, including anaphylactic shock. The only way now for sufferers to manage the problem is to avoid certain foods and make sure they have injectable adrenaline at hand in case of emergency If you have a . food allergy it means the immune system responds to a food protein as if it was harmful.


How does one benefit from rowing?
Even low intensity rowing workouts can do a world of good to the body


hether you already row or are considering rowing to keep in shape, to lose weight, to cross-train for another sport, to compete on the water or rehabilitate from injury or surgery , rowing is the complete exercise for you. Arms, legs, chest, back, abs — even your mind. Your whole body gets a complete workout from the efficient, rhythmic motion of rowing. Rowing is such a great exercise in so many different ways. ● Low-impact (easy on the knees and ankles).

● High calorie burner (because it uses so many muscle groups). ● Great for joint health (joints move through a wide range of motion). ● Upper body (completes the stroke). ● Lower body (the legs initiate the drive). ● Works the back and abs too! ● Superb aerobic fitness (great for cardiovascular fitness). ● Relieves Stress (for overall health and well-being). This is different from the rowing you may have done as a kid in a rowboat. The difference lies in the sliding seat.

Your legs compress and extend with every stroke – in addition to the more obvious work being done by the back and arms. Legs: Rowing promotes both strength and flexibility through this wide range of leg motion. Arms: As with the legs, this range of motion promotes both strength and flexibility . Core: Chest, back, abs: At the start of the stroke, the power of the legs is connected to the handle by means of the arms and the core muscles of the body .

The immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, which normally help the body fight parasites. In previous research, Dr Nicoletti found that white blood cells called dendritic cells help the immune system decide on how to respond to foreign molecules. In the latest research, Dr Nicoletti compared dendritic cells in the gut and in the spleen of allergic and allergy-resistant mice. He found that in the gut of susceptible mice, dendritic cells had stopped producing IL-12. Dr Nicoletti added: “We have identified a molecule that is very important for the regulation of immune response and for the first time clearly represents a potential target for the therapy of allergy .” David Reading, director of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said: “Food allergy can place a heavy burden on the families affected. We welcome this research and look forward to further developments.” Symptoms of allergies include swelling and itching, eczema, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, wheezing or a runny nose or sore, red and itchy eyes. Some people develop a whole-body allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This is a rare but potentially fatal reaction causing swelling, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure and breathing problems.


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news

DETROIT: It turned out to be an ugly game, perhaps fittingly for two teams that combined for a 13-game losing streak. The Detroit Lions, though, are not in a position to get picky T.J. Duckett ran for a season. high 102 yards and a touchdown, helping Detroit hold on for a 25-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and snap a six-game losing streak. Detroit had a 19-point lead in the first half, but the victory wasn’t sealed until Chiefs receiver Samie Parker went down on his own at the Lions 30 after getting a lateral with no time left. “A win like this, you’ve got to take it,” Lions center Dominic Raiola said. “But it wasn’t pretty.” The Lions (7-8) surpassed the most victories they’ve had in seven seasons under team president Matt Millen. Detroit also guaranteed it won’t be the first NFL team to finish 6-10 after winning six of its first eight games. “We missed out on a lot of opportunities,” defensive tackle Cory Redding said. “But the one thing we said we were going to do is fight. Seven wins is four more than we had last year, but it’s not good enough.” Kansas City (4-11) has dropped eight straight, the franchise’s worst skid since losing nine in a row in 1987. The Chiefs also loss for the 11th time this season, the first 11-loss year for the club since 1988. The latest loss followed a 2617 setback at home to Tennessee after giving up the final 13 points. “We’ve had some opportunities,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. “We’ve had them every week, but we just can’t get it done.” The Chiefs made Sunday’s game relatively interesting after it looked as though they were going to be routed. Detroit led 19-0 early in the second quarter before Kansas City suddenly showed a pulse when quarterback Brodie Croyle was injured and replaced by Damon Huard. Playing for the first time since Week 11, Huard efficiently led 80- and 77-yard drives toward the end of the first half to pull the Chiefs within five points.

Lions end losing streak NASCAR champ
to host charity golf event
CHARLOTTE: The last time Jimmie Johnson climbed on top of a golf cart was disastrous — he fell off, broke his wrist and was embarrassed by the controversy the stunt caused. But for charity, the NASCAR champion might be persuaded to climb on top of one again. Johnson and good friend Nick Lachey said they had partnered to form the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic, which will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., in conjunction with the Super Bowl. Johnson, who was horsing around on top of a cart when he fell last December during Mike Hampton’s celebrity tournament, didn’t rule it out. “I might be talked into such a thing, if I can get some bindings to hold me on and make sure I won’t fall off,” he joked. “It is for charity, after all.” “We’re going to play chicken on top of the golf carts,” Lachey quickly chimed in. Johnson, the two-time defending Sprint Cup champion, had been trying for some time to organize an event with pop singer Lachey. The two have been friends for years, and Lachey is a frequent guest at NASCAR races. They usually attend the Super Bowl together, and decided it was a perfect venue for their first charitable event. The event will start with an exclusive party at Scottsdale nightclub Axis Radius, and the tournament will follow on Feb. 2. Lachey and Johnson each have pledged $125,000 to the purse, which has already reached $400,000 through outside sponsorship. The two hope to fatten the purse through an eBay auction that allows fans to bid on a chance to play the event with either Johnson or Lachey. Each hole will be worth $20,000, and the

A good performance from Brandon Jacobs helped the Giants secure a playoff berth. Jacobs ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns as New York beat the Bills, 38-21. Huard’s 34-yard pass — on a rope — to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone converted a fourth down and made it 22-20 early in the fourth. It snapped a six-game scoreless streak in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion failed. Then, the Lions struggled to put Kansas City away. After Jason Hanson kicked his third field goal with 43 seconds left, the Chiefs got the ball back one more time with a chance to score a go-ahead TD. Kansas City’s final drive started at its 17 with 39 seconds left, and Parker ended any chance for a remarkable game-ending play by going to the turf with no time on the clock. “It’s tough when you battle back like we did and to get as close as we did, and then to come up short there in the fourth quarter,” Huard said. “It’s very frustrating.” The Chiefs’ misery started back at home, where a winter storm delayed their flight by several hours. Once in Detroit, Kansas City shook up its halftime routine hoping to reverse its poor play in second halves. “The players said, ‘Hey , Coach, we want to stay out,’” Edwards recalled. “I said, ‘Just like high school, we’ll go and use the bathroom and then as soon as we’re done, we’ll go back out.’ That’s what we did. We gave up three points and got back into the game and made it competitive.” The Chiefs had 25 first downs, more than doubling Detroit’s total, and outgained the Lions 407-236. But the difference proved to be a safety Detroit scored off Casey Fitzsimmons’ blocked punt and linebacker Paris Lenon’s 61-yard TD off Croyle’s interception on a play that knocked him out of the game with an injured right hand. “MRI came back negative; it’s not broken,” Edwards said. “We’ll see where he’s at going into next week. Brodie probably couldn’t have went back.” Duckett filled in well for Kevin Jones after he was sidelined with a right knee injury late in the first half, adding to the injury woes that have plagued his career. “It’s pretty serious,” Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. Detroit’s Jon Kitna threw just 16 passes for 115 yards and an interception. Huard was 24-of-36 for 305 yards and two TDs, including one to defensive end Jared Allen, who lined up as a tight end and scored for the second time this season. Tony Gonzalez had 10 receptions for 137 yards, giving him 23 100yard games in his career to trail only Kellen Winslow’s total of 24 among tight ends in NFL history .

winning team will designate the earnings to the charity of their choice. “If we can actually win a skin, we can donate the money to our personal foundations, but I am not counting on that happening,” Lachey said. “We really wanted to give people a chance to raise some money for their charities and mostly to have some fun. We’ve been to a bunch of Super Bowls and go to so many events, we said ‘Why don’t we just do something ourselves?’ “We’ve been very happy with the response, and we think people are going to have a good time and want to come back again.” The two have a three-year commitment for the tournament from Prime Cuts Production, and plan to hold it in conjunction with the next three Super Bowls. They said they have participation commitments from celebrities from their respective arenas, but declined to reveal the players. The event will cap a busy winter for both stars. Lachey finishes up NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” this week, and Johnson just returned from the Race of Champions in London.

Woods seals Sherwood victory
CALIFORNIA: Tiger Woods shrugged off three bogeys and an early challenge by Jim Furyk to win the Target World Challenge by seven shots on Sunday. Six ahead of the pack overnight, the world number one fired a four-under-par 68 at Sherwood Country Club to claim his eighth victory of the year in the elite 16-man tournament he hosts. Woods, who stretched his lead to seven strokes after two holes before it was trimmed to two by playing partner Furyk over a cutand-thrust outward nine, posted a 22-under total of 266. World number three Furyk, who piled the pressure on Woods with five birdies in the first eight holes, double-bogeyed the parthree 15th on his way to a 71 and third place at 13 under, two behind Masters champion Zach Johnson (68).

Ronaldo’s brace rescues United
MANCHESTER: A Cristiano Ronaldo double ensured Manchester United overcame a spirited Everton to move back to within one point of leaders Arsenal at the head of Premier League table. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side appeared destined for a frustrating afternoon at Old Trafford after Tim Cahill had cancelled out Ronaldo’s 22nd-minute opening goal. But a clumsy challenge from Everton’s South African midfielder Steven Pienaar sent United captain Ryan Giggs crashing to the ground inside the visitors area with just three minutes remaining and Ronaldo kept his nerve to clinch the points from the penalty spot. The goal brought relief to Ferguson’s side who had failed to make steady second-half pressure tell against an Everton side who had not been beaten in their 13 previous outings. But Ronaldo’s goals — his 15th and 16th of the season — once again proved the difference and ensured Ferguson’s side remain close on the heels of Arsene about the flurry of yellow cards that dotted a scrappy first-half. With both teams abrasively testing each other out for weakness and Everton quickly exposing the inexperienced United right-back Danny Simpson - the game was notable more for a series of niggly personal battles before Ronaldo injected the first bit of quality . The United winger darted around England defender Joleon Lescott before sending a low cross towards the near post that was dabbed delicately goal wards by Wayne Rooney and parried by Everton keeper Tim Howard before Carlos Tevez sent the rebound wide. Tevez, who has been outstanding in recent weeks, had earlier volleyed the first real opportunity of the afternoon high over Howard’s bar and would spurn at least two more clear opportunities to score. But with the Argentina star unable to take advantage of a routine chance, it was Ronaldo who broke the deadlock with a superb curling shot created out of nothing in the 22nd minute. There seemed nowhere for the Portugese to go when he was confronted by two Everton defenders after collecting Anderson’s pass but a neat sidestep created a space and the winger’s left-foot shot found the top corner for his tenth league goal of the season. Everton’s outstanding recent run meant they were never likely to lose heart at falling behind to the champions. And their response was as quick as it was impressive with Pienaar delivering a dipping cross from United’s problem right hand flank towards Cahill, who out-jumped Patrice Evra to head the equaliser just five minutes later. Rooney was denied against his former club by Lescott’s goal-line clearance but United did little else during the first half to suggest they would recover to reduce Arsenal’s lead. A half-time re-organisation breathed fresh life into United’s attacking play but they were unable to break down Everton’s resilient defence until Pienaar wafted a lazy leg into the path of the onrushing Giggs and United were handed a welcome lifeline.

Wenger’s Arsenal ahead of the next round of holiday fixtures. Ferguson had spoken out last week against the rash of bad challenges that have marred recent Premiership games and the manager can have had no complaint

world sikh news


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


Schumacher leads Germany Parry wins his first Australian Open title to Nations Cup victory
LONDON: During the stop-and-go, 10-mile trek from his hotel to Wembley Stadium on Sunday morning, Jimmie Johnson voiced concern that he wasn’t acclimated to the four-wheel drive rally car he would pilot later that day in a highly anticipated duel with seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher. Those reservations would prove warranted, as Schumacher singlehandedly eliminated Team USA from the Race of Champions Nations Cup, then joined teammate Sebastian Vettel in defeating England then Finland to win the overall team Nations Cup championship. It is Germany’s first such victory . Schumacher opened the competition by outrunning Johnson to win by a landslide. Afterward, Johnson was visibly steamed. “Hell yeah I’m (upset), I want to win,” said Johnson, the two-time defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion. “I went out and did all that I could. I just do not understand the four-wheel drive, hand brake, rally car driving. “I don’t have a lot of experience at it, and to show the level that he showed in the car, I think he’s had some days in it. He certainly navigated.” Other than ROC, Johnson has never driven a four-wheel drive car in competition. Then again, the same goes for Schumacher, who would later stall the same car — the Fiat Abarth rally car — in which he beat Johnson at the starting line in a loss to Finnish F1 star Heikki Kovalainen. “Even guys in the drivers’ room were like, ‘That’s pretty good for an asphalt guy driving like a Pro Rally guy,’” Johnson said. “But he did an awesome job. I wasn’t even close.” Mistakes cost Johnson dearly. More than once, he mistakenly grabbed the hand brake rather SYDNEY: Australia’s Craig Parry won his first Australian Open title at the age of 41 holding off a pack of challengers in steady rain at The Australian course on Sunday . Parry called on all his experience in the miserable conditions to reel off a closing round of three-under par 69 to finish the tournament on 11-under 277 and a winner’s cheque of $315,000 (277,000 USD). He set up the tournament with a course record-equalling 64 in Friday’s second round, and effectively sealed victory when he made a pressure four-metre putt for par at the 17th after his drive found a fairway bunker. Parry played norisk golf at the last to shut the door on his challengers for his first tournament win in two years. Parry shot rounds of 74-64-70-69 to beat Australians Nick O’Hern (70), Korean-born Lee Won-Joon (66) and US PGA Tour rookie of the year Brandt Snedeker (69). Snedeker called a penalty on himself with five holes to play when he tried to remove a leaf and his ball moved. The resultant bogey cost him the chance of

than the gear shift. Again, that goes back to lack of experience in these types of cars. After the race, Schumacher insisted he’d never run the cars before this week, nor before his last previous ROC appearance, in 2004. In fact, in racing Johnson, Schumacher felt he had some trouble with the Fiat. “I didn’t get so well along with the rally car,” Schumacher said. “I need some open wheels. They spin more easily for me.” Asked about the outcome, Schumacher was matter of fact. “I won it, so it was straightforward,” he said. Despite Johnson’s loss, it wasn’t over for Team USA just yet. Johnson’s teammate, Travis Pastrana, kept the U.S. team alive by beating Vettel in a race of Aston Martins. That set up a Schumacher/Pastrana matchup in rear-wheel drive buggies to decide which team advanced to the quarterfinals of the team competition. Different cars. Same outcome. “I drove too fast for my abilities, started hitting walls and then started going very slow,” said Pastrana,

who paid homage to Schumacher’s prowess at the starting line with a prayer pose and a peer toward the sky “After the first wall, I just kind . of kept hitting them. “I was really hoping Jimmie was going to beat that there Michael Schumacher. I was happy though. I , just drove too hard. I think he would have won anyway but I real, ly wanted to put in a good drive and I kept overshooting the corners and overshooting my braking marks.” Schumacher, widely considered the greatest race driver in the world, didn’t disappoint. “He’s definitely not overrated,” Pastrana said. “The more pressure, the better I usually do. But I definitely overdrove the car. If it was someone I thought I could definitely beat by just driving consistently, I would have had a much better run. “But honestly, I didn’t think my driving consistently would have won that match, so I had to try to drive a little harder. He might get a lot of byes by people trying to overdrive the car. He’s earned that reputation. He definitely lives up to the hype.”

reaching a playoff with Parry . Lee, 22, who emigrated to Australia with his family when he was four, almost stole the tournament with a stunning final round, which included five birdies on the inward nine. Australian James Nitties, joint overnight leader with Robert Allenby, had a chance of forcing a playoff but missed his chip for an eagle at the par-five last in torrential rain.

India promoted to 2nd round in Asian Cup qualifiers
NEW DELHI: Originally slated to play the first round of qualifiers for the 2011 Asian Cup football championship, India got a pleasant surprise when they were automatically promoted to the second round of the competition. India were seeded 22nd for the qualifiers to be held next year and were scheduled to play one of the teams seeded between 20th and 27th. But the Asian Football Confederation has now put India into the second round qualifier, which puts them just one tie away from making it to the main event in Qatar. “AFC has slotted India directly in the second round of qualifiers and we won’t have to play the preliminary round fixtures,” All India Football Federation chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said after the Annual General meeting on Sunday India will also have more than one shot at qualifying . for the 2011 Asian Cup. “Hyderabad and Delhi have been provisionally put forward as possible venues and an AFC inspection team will visit both centres next month to decide on one of them,” Federation Secretary General Alberto Colaco said. The 2008 edition of the tournament has been pushed back from March to August.

Inter get the better of champions AC Milan
MILAN: In a battle between the world’s best and Italy’s best it was the domestic champions Inter who beat AC Milan 2-1 at the San Siro in Sunday’s first Milan derby of the season. It was a match that had been eagerly anticipated since a week ago when Milan added the Club World Cup title to the Champions League crown they claimed back in May when beating Liverpool 2-1 in the final. Ironically, though, while the world champions began with seven Italian internationals, Inter — living up to their full name Internazionale — fielded a starting 11 including nine South Americans and not a single Italian. Whatever the make-up of their side, Inter have been unbeatable this season and go into the threeweek festive break with a sevenpoint lead over the chasing pack Milan, who have three games in hand, are 25 points off the pace down in 12th. Hosts Inter had the first chance of the match after barely five minutes when Brazilian right-back Maicon crossed to the back post where Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic volleyed over the bar.

Cech’s injury mars Chelsea victory
BLACKBURN: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech added to the club’s growing injury crisis by limping out of the 1-0 win at Blackburn on Sunday with a suspected hip injury. A firsthalf strike from England midfielder Joe Cole completed a fortuitous victory for Avram Grant’s team, who were outplayed for long periods by the home side. But the loss of Cech early in the secondhalf following a collision with Blackburn’s Paraguayuan striker Roque Santa Cruz took the shine off Chelsea’s victory, who now look certain to be without the Czech Republic keeper, as well as the already-injured John Terry and Didier Drogba, for the busy Christmas fixture programme. Having won just once in seven league games ahead of this game, Blackburn were in desperate need of a morale-boosting victory ahead of the Festive period. Chelsea were in the same predicament, however, after losing at Arsenal seven days earlier and anything but a win at Ewood Park would have left them with a sizeable gap to bridge between themselves and the top two. Mark Hughes’s men started the brighter, though, and the impressive David Bentley was at the heart of everything as Blackburn poured forward inside the opening 20 minutes. Santa Cruz, who had scored five goals in his previous two games and ended up on the losing side on both occasions, saw a powerful shot blocked by Ricardo Carvalho on four minutes before England midfielder Bentley aimed a 20-yard strike narrowly over the crossbar three minutes later. Former Arsenal youngster Bentley had been deployed in an advanced role just behind Santa Cruz and Chelsea afforded him far too much space. And after hitting the crossbar with a curling free-kick, Bentley sent Santa Cruz and a breakaway with a precise pass after dummying John-Obi Mikel. Santa Cruz escaped defender Alex, in for the injured Terry, but his half-volley flew wide of Cech’s right-hand post as Chelsea survived another scare. Cole was found brilliantly by Salomon Kalou’s through-ball and, without breaking stride, the former West Ham midfielder beat keeper Brad Friedel with an unstoppable right-foot strike into the top corner from just inside the penalty area. Blackburn fought back well, though, and Steven Reid was only denied an equaliser on 33 minutes when Cech tipped his close range strike onto the post. But Frank Lampard, chasing his 100th goal for Chelsea, hit the woodwork himself moments later when Friedel also pushed his 20-yard effort against the woodwork.

Indian football body seeks LN Mittal’s aid
NEW DELHI: If the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has its way, it would approach global steel magnate L N Mittal to put some of his wealth and influence for the benefit of Indian football. Mittal recently made a splash in world football by becoming the co-owner of English club Queen’s Park Rangers along with Formula One bigwigs Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. “Several corporates are coming forward to assist us in the development of Indian football. I hope Mittal does something similar,” AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said after the Federation’s General Body Meeting on Sunday . He noted that English giants Arsenal and Chelsea had come with an intention to improve the standard of football in India. “Chelsea wants to be part of the ‘Vision Asia’ programme and assist through the partnership between the Asian Football Confederation and its European counterpart UEFA,” Dasmunsi said. Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon was in India recently and held discussions with AIFF officials. The Federation chief said corporate sponsorship had a big role to play in the Indian U-16 team qualifying for the Asian championship recently . “Reliance had funded an overseas exposure trip before the qualifiers which helped our boys immensely,” Dasmunsi said. He said there was a dire need for clubs to own grounds as the big three Kolkata clubs - East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting - practice on ground owned by the Army was a major problem.


Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


world sikh news
$1mn painting in trash
A painting stolen 20 years ago was found lying in trash along a street, and now it could fetch up to $1 million at auction. Elizabeth Gibson didn’t know anything about the brightly colored abstract work she spotted on her morning walk

Throughout history, humans have admired eagles for their fierce beauty and strength that symbolises power. Eagles have powerful talons for tearing flesh and their beaks are nearly as long as their heads. Eagles typically hunt by dropping from the sky in surprise attacks.

Peregrines are the fastest animals. They mostly hunt other birds and kill their prey by plummeting from above and striking them with a single, often deadly, blow. The falcons then circle back to retrieve their prey as they fall dead or unconscious through the air.

The masters of the nighttime hunt have large eyes that let them make the best of dim light and soft feathers muffle nearly all noise during flight, allowing them to fly silent and unseen. Radiating feathers around each eye helps to funnel sound toward their ears, allowing them to pinpoint sounds.

They have sharply hooked beaks and powerful feet with curved talons. Their vision is legendary and they hunt using sudden dashes from hidden perches. Raking is another common hunting technique used by hawks and involves swiftly chasing an animal and riding it to the ground if it is a bird.

Ranking today’s dinosaurs
4.1 4.0 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.5

four years ago on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Sotheby’s auction house will be selling the work next month for the now-widowed original owner. It turned out that it was a 1970 painting titled ‘Tres Personajes’ (Three People) by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, whose work has soared in value in recent years.

1. Eagle 2. Peregrine 3. Owl 4. Hawk 5. Gyrfalcon 6. Falcon 7. Goshawk 8. Osprey 9. Harrier 10. Kestral

They are the killers who leave no escape for the preys. Here is a list of today’s top hunters...

Lottrey from own store
Many store owners dream of making a lot of money with their business. Blair Knutson did it the unconventional way – he bought a Lotto 649 ticket from the grocery

store he owns in Gimli, Man. The purchase made the owner of G & C Grocery $16 million richer. In case that raised any eyebrows, officials with the Western Canada Lottery Corp. quickly announced they have conducted a mandatory investigation and have determined Knutson is the rightful winner.

Photos after 27 yrs!
Karen and Mark Cline were teenagers when they got married and didn’t have $150 to pay a for their wedding photos. But now they've got the pictures, just in time for their 27th an-

Gyrfalcons can reach 2 feet in length. Their color can vary from pure white with black speckles to dark gray with barring. Gyrfalcons like to fly close to the ground as they hunt hares, rodents and other birds. They prefer to chase their prey rather than dive-bombing them out of the blue.

In the sport of falconry females are preferred. Falcons rarely soar or glide but their thin, pointed wings are made for plummeting in highspeed dives. They eat mainly other birds and small mammals, but will sometimes eat carrion or steal prey from other birds. Falcons often kill their victims by snapping backs.

Their short, broad wings and long tail are especially adapted for fast flights through the woodland trees where they make their homes. Goshawks usually hunt small and medium-sized birds and mammals, but are also capable of hunting animals as large as hares and foxes.

Ospreys have closable nostrils that keep the water out. Ospreys skim the surface of the water as they hunt and then plunge feet first into the water to grab a fish. As they come out of their dive with a fish firmly clutched, they turn the it's head forward to reduce drag. They then carry their prey to a perch to feed.
niversary on Thursday Their . photographer located Karen Cline last week at the diner where she works and surprised her with a photo album. “ About a month ago, I was just cleaning out some of my old things and I found it,” said photographer Jim Wagner, who’s now 80.

world sikh news

A still from Chet'ta Rejo

Dec 26, 2007-Jan 1, 2008


Away from Modi, real Gujarat stories
akesh Sharma needs no unsavoury truths about farmers suiintroduction to those who cides as well as lower-caste rioters have been following the now in prison. human rights movement He said the films are his response in the media. He is one of the most to Narendra Modi and his propaganoutspoken and independent filmda. makers on human rights Since 1985, Sharma has and for this he fights the worked extensively in film powers that be including and television. His docuIndia's censor board. After mentaries have always been his revolutionary films based on painstaking intenFinal Solution and sive field research, wherein Aftershocks - A Rough the filming often takes lessGuide to Democracy now , er time than the research. come two new explosive His numerous internationdocumentaries Khedu al awards have strengthMora Re and Chet'ta Rejo. ened his determination to Both films are in Gujarati, Rakesh Sharma go ahead and make this with no English subtitles. statement through the mediHe even used RTI to collect um he knows best - cinema. government data -expose He currently earns his living as a


consultant to broadcast channels for programming, on-air presentation and live television. Khedu Mora Re (Oh My Farmer), over 62 minutes, explores the myth of a 'vibrant' Gujarat by graphically documenting the tragic series of farmer suicides in the state. Sharma examines the true story behind the hype of development. Knowing that the film could invite attack and that its credibility would be challenged, he chose the RTI (Right to Information) Act route to use the

A still from Khedu Mora Re

government's own touted figures in order to bring out the true story . Amazingly on 10 Oct itself, the , day the Gujarat government gave Sharma RTI data confirming 498 suicides, an official advertisement was released on ETV categorically stating that there were no suicides in Gujarat and people should not believe false propaganda. Chet'ta Rejo (Beware) shows another face of inhumanity in Gujarat. Over its 72 minutes of running time, the film explores and exposes the saffronisation of the Dalit-OBC population and its consequent plight. Its focus is on the patterns of arrests and litigations since the 2002 riots. It shows how most of those charged with rioting, arson, murder and similar crimes are either tribal or Dalits and OBCs. The analysis of those arrested from 32 police stations in Ahmedabad suggests that of the 1577 detainees, only 30-odd belonged to upper castes. "Are these foot soldiers victims too? Cynically recruited, then discarded, left to rot in jails, what do the perpetrators of the violence feel today about the VHP and the BJP?" The overall message that emerges through a range of voices - violence and politics of hate destroys the Dalit-OBC-Muslim communities; it is best to stay away from parties that preach hate.


Elvis Presley Cruz to star in In A Turban Almodovar’s next I A
ctress Penelope Cruz will appear in acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s next film Los Abrazos Rotos. They had previously worked together in Volver and Cruz’s performance in the film earned her an Oscar nomination for the best actress category .The title of the Spanish film means, ‘broken embraces’ and it will also star Blanca Portillo and Lluis Homar, a website reports. Pedro said writing the screenplay of the film was quite easy “Like my . other film – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – this film came easily, in one go,” he said.



Depp most easily autographing celeb
ollywood actor Johnny Depp has been declared the most gracious celebrity for the third year in a row on Autograph magazine’s annual list of the 10 best and 10 worst Hollywood signers. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has won this title because he always agrees to scribble his autograph if a fan asks him for it, reports. “ He likes to talk to fans and get to know them while signing, and he’ll sign more than one item when he has time,” said New York autograph dealer Anthony Risi in the December issue of the publication. Matt Damon is second on the new list, followed by George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Rosario Dawson, John Travolta, Katherine Heigl, Jay Leno, Dakota Fanning and Russell Crowe, who was among the worst signers on last year’s countdown.


t's going to be a rocking good Christmas if Swansea's very own Singing Sikh has anything to do with it. Peter Singh is already well-known to fans as the world's only Sikh Elvis Presley impersonator. His talents also extend to lyric-writing, with selfpenned Bhindi Bhaji Boogie and Turbans Over Memphis some of his crowd-pleasing favourites. But his latest production is a seasonal rocker which he hopes will provide some good cheer to the yuletide festivities. It's called Come on it's Christmas. Peter Singh has written it himself. So if you have had enough of turkey this Christmas, now try something with a curry flavour. The spice boy first became a fan of Elvis after moving to Britain from India in the 1950s. For a while he ran a takeaway in Waun Wen called Graceland, named after Elvis's home and burial place where you'd have found on the menu a Love Me Tender burger, a Burning Love Special curry and the set meal for one, Are You Lonesome Tonight? But it was slipping into a white sequinned jumpsuit that really made his name. After the death of the King, much to the surprise of his extended family, he began donning the rhinestonestudded white jump suit, diamante-studded turban and a belt with a buckle the size of nan bread. His new

"I'm a Sikh. I don't cut my hair and keep it tied in a turban and I keep my beard. "That doesn't mean I can't pay my respects to a great hero of mine. "I sing by nature and Singh by name and I want to show that my community appreciates western music. "Elvis was from the West, I'm from the East, so what? That's the whole point of it." Songs he has come up with include Turbans over Memphis. One lyric said: "I don't smoke dope, I don't drink bourbon, all I want to do is shake my turban." In the highly competitive world of Elvis impersonators, he stands out. Once his photograph ended up on the front page of USA Today under the headline "Elvis dons a turban".

career as an Elvis impersonator was born. Backed by his group The Poppadoms, he performed widely, and appeared on television, belting out Elvisinspired hits such as Who's Sari Now? and My Poppadom Told Me. Peter also answers to the name of Turbanator, calls Elvis "The King" and explains himself pithily: "I am East meets West." For Swansea, he is someone who is taking Swansea all over the world with a song and a turban. He had earlier paid a tribute to Elvis Presley to mark the 25th anniversary of The King's death at the club in Swansea's High Street.

Sholay’s GP Sippy dead


egendary Bollywood producer-cum-director G P Sippy, best known for his 1975 blockbuster Sholay , died here on Tuesday night after prolonged illness, his family said. Sippy, 93, who had been suffering from age-related ailments for the past few months, breathed his last around 10 pm. Scion of a rich Sindhi family, Sippy’s career got a flying start with the film ‘Marine Drive’ (1955). The same year he produced Adle-Jahangir with the star-cast of Pradeep Kumar, Meena Kumari and Durga Khote. The fifties and sixties was a time of hectic filmmaking for Sippy, when his banner produced memorable flicks like Shrimati 420 , Chandrakant , Light House , Bhai Behan and Andaaz. It stands to his credit that G P Sippy, besides producing, also directed all of these films.

Jazz great Oscar Peterson no more
Oscar Peterson, who sat atop the world of jazz piano for decades with his driving two-handed swing, has died. He was 82.

26 December to 01 January 2008





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