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Meat Banned at Gujarat Government Rest Houses
Posted on 2001/4/19 23:46:02 ( 959 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times





GANDHI NAGAR, INDIA, April 19, 2001: In a debatable decision, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has banned for a year serving of non-vegetarian food in the government premises like circuit houses and rest houses. The controversial decision is actually of no consequence as the circuit houses in Gujarat in any case do not cook any nonvegetarian stuff in view of the state's sizeable Jain population and also a large number of Swaminarayan sect followers who also preach vegetarianism. The chief minister has personally issued this order in view of the 2,600th birth anniversary celebrations of Lord Mahavira. The order is being viewed as his way of wooing the politically and financially influential Jain community.




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Priest Reconverts to Hinduism Amid Vedic Chants
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:49:02 ( 805 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, April 17, 2001: Amid Vedic chants and sprinkling of holy Ganges water, Father Anthony Fernandes was reconverted to Hinduism after twelve years as a priest with the Catholic church in Gujarat and given the name Shankar Dev. The ceremony was carried out by Hindu Sanskar Kendra at the Radhakrishna temple in Varanasi. Eleven Vedic scholars performed the ceremony. Fernandes bathed in the holy Ganges and was escorted to the temple. He clarified that he was "returning to the ancestral roots of his free will and without any coercion from any person or organization." Father Fernandes' reconversion followed serious allegations of irregularities against the Church, which was quick to disown him. Fernandes had publicly criticized missionary activities, dubbing the diocese as "Papal Mafia," he has demanded that Bishops appointed by Rome should be derecognised and urged an investigation into the property under the Diocese and Bishops which, he said, was being misused. He has also alleged rampant discrimination within the Church.




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VHP Targets Conversions in Sikkim
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:48:02 ( 805 reads )


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GANGTOK, SIKKIM, April 16, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, claimed that about 33,000 people had been converted to Christianity in Sikkim in the last 25 years. "Sikkim had only a few Christians 25 years ago, but now their number has crossed 33,000. The churches are targeting Hindus and Buddhists for conversion," Togadia said in Gangtok. He said the figure of 33,000 was based on computations made by 47 VHP preachers touring villages in the state to caution people against conversions. Togadia said the release of the government census figures would confirm the VHP count.




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Slaughterhouse Abuse Brought into the Limelight
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:47:02 ( 827 reads )


Source: Washington Post





PASCO, WASHINGTON, April 10, 2001: In this heart-wrenching article researched by the Washington Post, slaughterhouse abuse against animals across the U.S.A. has been brought into the limelight. It should give pause for thought to meateaters who believe the animals "went painlessly." Twenty-three years ago a federal law called the Humane Slaughter Act was put into place. Basically this law states that, "Slaughtered cattle and hogs first must be stunned, rendered insensible to pain with a blow to the head or an electric shock." The implementation of this law was given to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to oversee. However, very little was done by this agency to enforce the law and major violations by the slaughterhouses were simply overlooked. Even today, many animals are butchered while still conscious. Since 1998, government agencies were no longer required to even track the number of humane slaughter violations at a slaughterhouse, and by appearances the government seemed to remove itself even further from the atrocities. The only thing which has prompted change is a boycott of McDonalds by animal rights groups, which resulted in the company's requiring suppliers to use proper animal stunning techniques before slaughter.




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Use of English Increasing in Europe
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:46:02 ( 774 reads )


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THALWIL, SWITZERLAND, April 16, 2001: The whole world is debating English. From India to Mauritius to Europe, the steady growth of English is a concern for those advocating preserving local languages. But here in multi-lingual Switzerland, English is just part of the daily routine for schoolchildren. Most parents are delighted, believing that it is something that is needed today. European universities are giving courses in science, philosophy and business in English. There are European companies that use English as their internal language. Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark already conduct most business, science and even intellectual discussions in English.




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Child Abuse Documentary Showing
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:45:02 ( 1018 reads )


Source: Daya Press Release





HOUSTON, TEXAS, April 17, 2001: DAYA, INC., an organization serving South Asian families in crisis, is screening an award winning documentary, "The Children We Sacrifice," at the Rice Media Center, Rice University, on April 28, 2001. Shot in India, Sri Lanka, Canada and the U.S., the 61-minute video looks at the cultural and social resistance to dealing with the incestuous sexual abuse of South Asian girls and the traumatic effect on it's victims. Malaysian activist, writer and producer/director of the documentary, Grace Poore, will be present to speak as a survivor, whose personal experience is the driving force behind her work as an activist to end violence against women and girls. For further information, call DAYA voicemail at 713-914-1333.




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Delhi Conference on "Bottom Up" Economic Reform
Posted on 2001/4/18 23:44:02 ( 821 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 17, 2001: The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Manushi, a women's activist magazine, will hold a series of discussions on the theme of "Laws, Liberty and Livelihood Towards a Bottom up Agenda of Economic Reforms" at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Conference Hall, starting 27th and 28th of April, 2001. The first series will highlight the interface between agriculture, industries dependent on agro-products and policy makers, while the second day focuses on the urban self from the informal sector such as street vendors, rickshaw pullers and garbage recyclers who shall tell of the actual workings of municipal laws, regulations and police powers, and how they impact the lives of the self-employed.




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Gujarati Community Opens New Temple in South Africa
Posted on 2001/4/17 23:49:02 ( 440 reads )


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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, April 11, 2001: After nine years of tireless work, the Gujarati community officially opened a new Hindu Temple and community center to serve the local population of Hindus and international visitors. Renowned swamis from India and local members of the Theosophical Society and the All-Africa Hindu Council were present at the event. The resultant Lotus Flower Shaped Temple has combined both Western Architecture and Eastern traditional designs found at ancient temples in India. Starting on Friday, April 13, the celebration of the opening of the temple lasted for four days and the festivities featured beautifully decorated floats, a brigade, drum majorettes, bedecked horses, as well as ethnic folk dancers and singers.




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South African Hindus Shocked by Theft of Temple Deities
Posted on 2001/4/17 23:48:02 ( 734 reads )


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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA, April 13, 2001: The South African Indian community is shocked by the theft of brass murthis, or temple deities, that were stolen from the Mariamman Temple. The Pretoria Tamil League has offered a reward of US$300 for the safe return of the idols, which were imported from India. Police suspect that the five idols and three brass lamps were stolen from the temple by thieves who sell metals such as copper and brass to scrap metal dealers. The temple is never kept locked to enable 24-hour worship access to Tamils who were forced to move from the area by apartheid segregation laws. In 1984, the temple was declared a South African national monument, and two years ago it had undergone a major renovation.




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UK Report Calls for Police Checks on Catholic Clergy to Stem Sexual Abuse of Children in Parishes
Posted on 2001/4/17 23:47:02 ( 749 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, April 17, 2001: A report commissioned last year by the Roman Catholic Church and headed by Lord Nolan, a former appeals judge, said clergy, staff and volunteers at Catholic institutions should be subject to police checks to stamp out sexual abuse of children, and that the church must also not hush up allegations of abuse. "We believe that the Catholic Church in England and Wales should become an example of best practice in the prevention of child abuse and in responding to it," Nolan said. The report said the Church should set up a national child protection unit and that every parish should have a designated child protection representative. Anyone who refuses to consent to a records check should not be appointed. Any allegation of abuse should be investigated and the police, social services agencies and the child protection officer appointed by the diocese or religious order should be informed. Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offenses against children, and two archbishops have been embroiled in controversies about their handling of pedophile priests. "Our hope is that this report will help to bring about a culture of vigilance where every single adult member of the Catholic church takes responsibility for creating a safe environment for children and young people," the report said.




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Call For Articles
Posted on 2001/4/17 23:46:02 ( 884 reads )


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TRINIDAD, April 13, 2001: Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad marks the arrival of indentured immigrants from India to Trinidad. The May 30, 2001, celebration will be commemorated with a special magazine by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council. The theme of the magazine is "Navigating Space in the Ports of Power." For Hindus and Indians in Trinidad, this theme is taken to mean the attempt to establish a permanent, equal and safe space in the various power houses (parliament, media, military, etc.) in a multi-ethnic society that is dominated and controlled by Afro-Christians. Authors are invited to submit original articles not exceeding 1,200 words. Contact "source" above for further information.




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Clarification on Ramakrishna Mission Presence in Australiasia
Posted on 2001/4/17 23:45:02 ( 845 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, April 18, 2001: An HPI reader in response to our April 5 piece on the opening of a new center in Sydney write, "This news item gives a misleading impression that the mentioned Centre is the only Centre spreading the message of Sri Ramakrishna in Australia. Your readers may be pleased to note that there is a Ramakrishna Sarada Vedanta Society of NSW, not very far from the mentioned Centre, operating in Sydney since 1977 under the able guidance of Pravrajika Ajayaprana Mataji, who has been spreading the message of Sri Ramakrishna not only in Sydney but all over Australia."




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Australian Telegraph Mistakenly Insults Sikh Community
Posted on 2001/4/16 23:49:02 ( 849 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, April 6,2001: Shocking the sizable Sikh community of New South Wales, the Daily Telegraph newspaper mistakenly published a fish curry recipe and pasted it over the dome-shaped structure of a local gurdwara, known as God's place. Giani Balbir Singh, the priest of the gurdwara in Turramurra, was disconcerted when the caption accompanying the picture featuring himself and his wife implied that they would be cooking the fish curry inside the gurdwara. Singh assured the Sikh community that, as an ordained priest, he does not cook or eat meat in the gurdwara or anywhere else. Publishing a retraction the next day, the newspaper apologized for their error and the subsequent embarrassment to Giani Singh and the Sikh community.




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World Hindi Convention in Fiji Promotes Peace
Posted on 2001/4/16 23:48:02 ( 797 reads )


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SUVA, FIJI, April 6, 2001: Hosting the World Millennium Hindi Convention for three days in June of 2001 on the island nation of Fiji, the Fiji Hindi Sahitya Samiti, which is organizing the grand event, hopes to bring harmony between indigenous Fijians and ethnic Indians. In the past, racial and political tensions between the two groups has led to three coups in the last fifteen years. Expecting at least 100 scholars from overseas, the convention will also showcase the many indigenous Fijians students who excel in Hindi as well as local ethnic Indian scholars. Across the island nation, thousands of indigenous Fijians attend Indian schools and take Hindi classes.




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Mahavir Jayanti Celebrated in Moscow
Posted on 2001/4/16 23:47:02 ( 845 reads )


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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, Apr 14, 2001: A solemn gathering of Jains in the D.P. Dhar Hall here, on the 2,600 birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, celebrated the life and teachings of the great Indian saint. Mahavir's principle of "ahimsa," non-violence, has retained its relevance in the contemporary world. Prayers were offered and schoolchildren described the teachings of Mahavir in relation to their own lives. Mariaetta Stepaniants, head of the Mahatma Gandhi Chair at Moscow's Institute of Philosophy, said, "The new age might have given us a whole lot of comforts, but we seem to have lost something more precious -- peace of mind. Mahavir has shown how we can attain freedom from the cycle of life and achieve the state of mental bliss."




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