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No Fireworks for Fiji Deepavali

Posted on 2002/10/9 8:41:02 ( 987 reads )

Source: Fiji Daily Post

SUVA, FIJI, October 1, 2002: It will be another quiet Deepavali this year, with government deciding not to lift a ban on fireworks. Although the minister for commerce, Tomasi Vuetilovoni, said firecrackers could be used for special events once permission was granted, there will still be no firecrackers this Deepavali. Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, will be celebrated on November 4. Mr Vuetilovoni said the legal notice that was recently gazetted "is to allow people to be made aware of what type of crackers could be imported into the country and this did not mean the ban was lifted." However, police sources yesterday said after the May, 2000, coup a fireworks ban had been put in place because it would be hard to distinguish the difference in sound of firecrackers and weapons being fired. "The security forces do not want anyone to undermine security on the pretext of it being firecrackers and, of course, safety is another reason for human beings because there has been a couple of fatal tragedies," the police source said.

Archbishop of Sarajevo Cautions about Islam

Posted on 2002/10/8 8:49:02 ( 1038 reads )


SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, October 7, 2002: Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo, has been discussing with representatives of European episcopates the difficulty of coexistence with Islam. The cardinal has been the host of the plenary assembly of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE). Excerpts from this very informative interview: Q: How are relations between Catholics and Muslims in Bosnia? Cardinal Puljic: Ten years ago, before the war, they were very good. However, from that moment, the situation has changed. The first sign was the arrival of humanitarian aid from Arab countries: It was distributed only to Muslims; it was prohibited to give it to Christians. Our Caritas (a Catholic aid agency), instead, made no ethnic or religious distinctions; everyone could benefit. However for them, the aid was a means to promote the Islamization of society. Q: Does this process continue today? Cardinal Puljic: Of course. They have not limited themselves to repair mosques damaged by the war. They have built very many new ones, more than 10 in Sarajevo alone, and, in addition, many Muslim schools, and an Islamic theology school. A massive propaganda financed by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia has also been launched -- propaganda that at times does not spare harsh attacks on the Christian religion. I must say that the chief ulema of the Muslim community of Bosnia has condemned these periodic attacks. Nevertheless, they cause concern."

World Hindu Federation Meets in Nepal

Posted on 2002/10/8 8:48:02 ( 1301 reads )

Source: Dr. Hari Bansh Jha, Hinduism Today Correspondent

KATHMANDU, NEPAL, October 8, 2002: At Hotel Everest Sheraton in Kathmandu, the capital city of world's only Hindu Kingdom Nepal, the three-day 15th Executive Committee Meeting of World Hindu Federation (WHF) commenced on September 9 with the objective of giving new life to the world body. Attended by delegates of OMKAR family from Nepal, apart from delegates of India, Malaysia, USA, Bangladesh and Indonesia, the function had participants from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religions. Chief Guest of WHF opening ceremony, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal said that the Hindu religion is based on Basudhaib Kutumbakam i.e. universal brotherhood. He added that the age-long religion and culture would be preserved for the country's sovereignty, national unity and existence. Krishna Gopal Tondon, Chairman of the WHF remarked, "Secularism has fragmented the Hindu society. We are not propagating any worship, puja or offering. We only want all the Hindus of the world to remember their root and what they have learned from their forefathers." Representing Nepal, Atmanand Giri expressed anxiety over the deteriorating human values at the level of the families and the nation. In order to give boost to the human values, he suggested that Bal Mandir and Shishu Mandir should be established in which the children should be given moral education. In its final resolutions, the WHF decided to amend its constitution. It will be presented to the General Assembly to be held in India in the next year. The venue of the Assembly is not yet decided but it would be organized in one of these places - Ayodhya, Banaras or Gorakhpur. It was also decided that His Majesty the King of Nepal should be felicitated and he should be asked to become Chief Patron of WHF in the International Conference on Hindu Religion to be held in Nepal.

Ageless Work, an Ageless Dancer of Bali

Posted on 2002/10/8 8:47:02 ( 960 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 6, 2002: Since most Balinese dances are centuries old, people attend performances not so much for the stories as for the chance to see different interpretations of familiar roles. They judge the artists mainly on the eloquence of hand gestures and facial expressions. After so many years, Ms. Cenik has developed an attitude toward her art that is both secular and spiritual. "I think of it as my sport," she said. "I teach or perform every day because it makes me happy. But I dance first for the Hindu deities." At 82, Ni Ketut Cenik is the most venerated dancer in Bali. When she takes part in the "Master Dancers of Bali" program presented by the World Music Institute on Friday at Symphony Space in Manhattan, she will be performing outside her homeland for the first time. Ms. Cenik will perform a favorite work, the Joged Pingitan, a sacred dance inspired by the female deity Ratu Magelung. She will be joined in the program by I Made Djimat, 52, renowned for his interpretation of the fierce warrior dance Baris Tungal, and Ida Bagus Suteja Manuaba, 57, who will demonstrate his theatrical gifts in the meditative Kebyar Duduk. "I hope people will appreciate the beauty of our dances," Ms. Cenik said.

Sri Lankan Buddhist Leaders Pressure Government Over Christians

Posted on 2002/10/8 8:46:02 ( 849 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, October 4, 2002: In the wake of Buddhist leaders in Sri Lanka exerting pressure on the prime minister and the government to rescind the visas of Christian missionaries and ban conversions to Christianity, Gospel for Asia has asked their followers to pray to keep Christian missionaries active in Sri Lanka (see their website at "source"). Buddhist leaders are also lobbying to keep foreign funds earmarked for Christian Missionary work from entering the country and for allowing village monks be empowered to enforce the proposed laws and punish offenders. Gospel for Asia claims to have started over 100 churches and to operate two Bible schools in Sri Lanka.

Akshardham Temple Opens for Devotees

Posted on 2002/10/7 8:49:02 ( 1149 reads )

Source: NDTV.com

GANDHINAGAR, INDIA, October 7, 2001: Thirteen days after the gates of the Akshardham Swaminarayan Temple were closed since the September 24 terrorists' attack, devotees were allowed inside on the first day of Navaratri today. "The gates were thrown open at 9:34 am after the traditional arati and shanti paath in presence of senior saint, Sant Ishwarcharan Swami," a spokesman of the temple said. Armed CRPF personnel stood guarding at strategic locations to ensure safety and security for the devotees. Prior to September 24, arms were not allowed inside the 25 acre temple premises, considered a premier pilgrimage center in the region. In the wake of the attack, the Gujarat government has made unprecedented security arrangements for the nine-day Navaratri festival beginning today. A major attraction during the Navaratri celebrations is the folk dance of garba. But garba organizers say their biggest problem is not security, but the 10 pm deadline set by the police for using loud speakers in their functions. Many of the garba organizers in the state have pulled out due to the heavy security arrangements required and the deadline. The state government has deployed more than 50,000 police as well as State Reserve Police and para-military forces to make sure that the festival celebrations go off peacefully.

Indian Mime Artistes to America

Posted on 2002/10/7 8:48:02 ( 907 reads )

Source: http://www.mimeindia.com

KOLKATA, INDIA, October 1, 2002: Internationally known mime artist Shri Niranjan Goswami has been invited by the Banga Mela committee to perform Mukabhinaya at their cultural program in Nashville, Tennessee in July, 2003. Shri Goswami will donate proceeds from the performance to the National Mime Institute's Building Fund and to the Hridaya Akash, an Indian Mime Theater (IMT) project for the literacy, culture and value development in slum children of Tangra area, Kolkata. Since its inception in 1976, IMT has been working tirelessly for the development and promotion of Mukabhinaya (silent acting, the Indian version of Pantomime). Mukabhinaya, which contains elements of classical Indian dances, has achieved the status of a separate indigenous art form from the Government of India. To organize a performance in your area or to find out more about IMT you can visit their website at "source" above.

Selling Organs a Bad Idea, Research Says

Posted on 2002/10/7 8:47:02 ( 927 reads )


STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA, October 1, 2002: A recent study found that people in southern India who hoped to escape poverty by selling a kidney were often worse off financially and less healthy after surgery. Dr. Madhav Goyal, a State college-based internist with the Geisinger Health system, found that a majority of donors were women and that at least some were forced by their husbands to sell their kidneys. "We were expecting that they would break even. We didn't expect that they would be worse off," says Goyal, whose study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Interviews with 305 kidney donors in the city of Chennai found: Ninety-six percent sold their kidneys to pay off debt. Donors were promised an average of $1,410 for a kidney but received an average of $1,070. Some were paid as little as $450. The average family income of donors dropped from $660 at the time of the operation to $420 at the time of the survey, mainly because of the health consequences. Of the 292 who sold to pay off debts, 216 still had debts at the time of the survey.

US Panel Accuses India of Religious Freedom Violation

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:49:02 ( 819 reads )

Source: AFP

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2002: A US government advisory panel has recommended that the State Department designate 12 nations "countries of particular concern" because of their alleged violations of religious freedom, a move that could trigger sanctions against them. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom said the nations should include Myanmar, North Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. The International Religious Freedom Act adopted in 1998 requires that countries found in particularly severe violations of religious freedom be considered by the US President for diplomatic or economic sanctions. "We hope to see actions commensurate with the severity of these abuses," said commission chairman Felice Gaer after sending the recommendations to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Last year the commission complained at length in its report that its recommendations were being ignored by the State Department. The commission is mostly concerned with freedom for Christians, and only somewhat with religious freedom for other religions.

108 Vinas Recital at Meenakshi Temple

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:48:02 ( 992 reads )


MADURAI, SOUTH INDIA, October 4, 2002: The popular Meenakshi Amman temple here is organizing a "108 veenai isai vazhipadu" (offering worship by playing 108 veenas), to invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi for the educational advancement of the students of Tamil Nadu. Executive officer of the temple P. Bhaskaran told reporters here that the worship would be held on October 15 to coincide with the auspicious Vijayadasami Day, when all the children will start "Aksharabyasam" (starting to learn alphabet).

Historians Analyze NCERT changes

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:47:02 ( 936 reads )

Source: Hindustan Times

DELHI, INDIA, October 3, 2002: Historians congregated in the Capital on Wednesday to analyze India's Supreme Court's verdict on the ongoing debate over the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education [NCFSE]. It was felt that although the NCERT had been given the go-ahead to publish the new text books,there was need to analyze the content of these new text books to ascertain the actual changes that the NCFSE has brought about in education. The text changes are being challenged by many historians, who claim they amount to the communalization of education. Proponents, however, state the changes are needed to eliminate the anti-religious bias in the text inserted by the many Marxist historians of India.

Vandals Desecrate Hindu Temple in Pakistan

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:46:02 ( 822 reads )


QUETTA, PAKISTAN, October 1, 2002: A Hindu temple in southwest Pakistan was broken into and a religious icon was damaged over the weekend, a local Hindu leader said Monday. The desecration occurred in a temple in a village of Mustung district, 55 kilometers southwest of the Baluchistan provincial capital Quetta. "Some people broke into Shunkar temple in Khasam village on the night falling between Friday and Saturday, removed some tin sheets of the roof of the veranda and partially damaged the main icon," Rattan Chand, the head of Hindu Panchayat district, told AFP by phone. He said local officials had pledged to pursue those responsible. Five deadly strikes on churches, a school and last week on the office of a Christian charity organization have left 38 people dead, mainly Pakistanis.

Jagran Editor Narendra Mohan Passes Away

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:45:02 ( 1076 reads )

Source: HPI

DELHI, INDIA, October 4, 2002: Sri Narendra Mohan, the editor-in-chief of the Jagran group of newspapers passed away on September 20, 2002, at the age of 68. He died at New Delhi's Apollo Hospital following multiorgan failure. Known as the pillar of Hindi journalism, Mohan had been a member of the Rajya Sabha on the ticket of Bhartiya Janta Party and was a member of several parliamentary committees. He championed the cause of Hindu values and Hinduism inside the parliament and also through his very popular editorial columns of the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran. He was very vocal about the problems faced by the Hindu community worldwide and used to express his concern through the electronic media also, time to time. He was quite close to many Hindu saints including Sri Chidananda Saraswati [Muni Ji] of Parmarth Niketan. Sri Mohan was an eminent scholar and had authored a large number of poems and stories besides penning thousands of articles for his editorial columns. He authored several books including - Bhartiya Sanskriti and Hindutva. He was born in Jalaun District on October 10th, 1934. He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1996. Dainik Jagran is now the top newspaper in the country both in terms of circulation and its reach. It is published from over one dozen centers including New Delhi. As there are very few editors in India of the stature of Sri Mohan espousing the cause of Hindus and Hinduism, his death is a very big loss to the cause of Hinduism in India.

Bangladesh RK Mission to Celebrate Durga Puja

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:44:02 ( 1026 reads )


DINAJPUR, BANGLADESH, October 4, 2002: The president of the RK Mission Dinajpur writes, "We are glad to invite you with all your kith & kin to kindly participate in Durga puja as per program given herewith, to be held from 11 October to 15 October, 2002, according to Bisuddha Sidhanta Almanac. Dasami puja will be held on the 15th at at 9.57 am and the immersion procession will start at 3:00 pm."

2nd World Hindu Conference 2003 to be Held in Sri Lanka

Posted on 2002/10/3 9:49:02 ( 1045 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, October 2, 2002: The Honorable Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, M.P and Minister of Hindu Religious Affairs, and President of the Steering Committee, announces the 2nd World Hindu Conference to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2-5, 2003. The main theme of the conference will be Hinduism and Society and papers to be presented at the conference sessions should relate to one of the following areas: (1) History of Hinduism, (2) Hindu Philosophical Thought, (3) Temples and Fine Arts, (4) Art and Archaeological Monuments, (5) Hinduism and it's Interaction with other Religions, (6) Religious Organizations and Social Service, (7) Hindu Culture in countries where Hindu Immigrants have recently settled, (8) Hindu Culture in South East Asia, (9) The Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy. Papers submitted for presentation should contain at least 4,000 words, not exceeding 7,000 words. There should be two copies in computer print form, and on diskette. In the transliteration of words in oriental languages, the system adopted in the Madras Tamil lexicon should be followed. All articles should be sent to reach the Secretariat on or before February 28, 2003. Mr. K. Parameswaran, Secretary of the Ministry and Dr. S. Pathmanathan, Senior Professor of History at the University of Peradeniya, have been appointed respectively as the Chairman and Secretary General of the Conference. It will be inaugurated ceremonially on the morning of May 2 with Saiva Priests, Heads of Saiva Aadheenams and leaders and representatives of countries where Hindus form a substantial proportion of the population who will participate as specially invited guests. The conference will be conducted in English and Tamil during the academic sessions and the plenary session, scheduled for the last day. Those who wish to register as a delegate or an observer should contact the address below and obtain a Registration Form. A registration fee of 20 rupees, either in the form of check or bank draft, must be attached to the registration form and should reach the Secretariat on or before December 14, 2002. For additional information please contact Prof. S. Pathmanathan. Prof. S. Pathmanathan, Secretary General, Secretariat, 2nd World Hindu Conference, Ministry of Hindu Religious Affairs, 248-2/1, Galle Road, Tel: 01-552641 or 01-554978. E-mail "source" above for more information.

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