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Hindu Press International
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Contrite Karmapa Lama Returns Barefoot
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:49:02 ( 926 reads )


Source: Telegraph of India





BODHGAYA, INDIA, March 12, 2001: The 17th Karmapa, the Buddhist leader who had visited the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya with shoes on, was compelled to make a second trip to the same place barefoot to appease the sensibilities of some monks here. This time before entering shrine, he stopped near the checkpost of the Temple Management Committee where he took off his shoes to walk silently towards the temple. "The Karmapa has come here with a gesture of penance. He meditated in front of the seat of Buddha's enlightenment," said one of his associates. On his arrival on March 6 in Bodhgaya, where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Karmapa paid his first visit to Vajrasan in Mahabodhi temple, the inner shrine of Buddhists, but with his shoes on. After the Karmapa's gesture today, the temple's orthodox monks appeared mellow.




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Foot-And-Mouth Disease Detected In Punjab, Haryana
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:48:02 ( 843 reads )


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CHANDIGARH, INDIA, 12 Mar 2001: The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), one of the most contagious animal diseases now ravaging Britain has affected animals in some parts of Haryana and Punjab, though the situation is not alarming, officials from the two states asserted. The disease, which has claimed 11 animals in Haryana and 23 in Punjab, has been checked from spreading. Director, animal husbandry of Punjab, G S Chahal reported that only one village, Ghaloti in Ludhiana district, had reported some cases of FMD and the department teams immediately administered "ring vaccination" to animals to check the spread of the disease. He said 20,000-25,000 animals have been vaccinated in the state. This minimal response stands in stark contrast to that of the UK, where every animal within three kilometers of infected farms -- hundreds of thousands of sheep and cows -- are being slaughtered to contain the disease.




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Kerala Up In Arms Over Elephant Directive
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:47:02 ( 747 reads )


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SANU GEORGE, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 11, 2001: The decision by Union Minister for Social Justice and Environment, Maneka Gandhi, directing the state government to take over ownership of all domestic elephants, has elephant lovers in Kerala up in arms. K. C. Panicker, an elephant specialist and secretary of the Thrissur based Elephants Welfare Association, said the decision is totally impractical. "The Kerala government, which owned around 100 elephants not long ago, has just under 20 elephants today. Isn't this enough indication that it is just not possible for the government to maintain these elephants?" asked Panicker. In the past, mahouts were well trained and had a deep commitment towards these animals, today most of the mahouts on duty are amateurs. The Institute of Social Welfare in Ernakulam has filed a public interest litigation seeking to end cruelty to pachyderms. They have urged the state government to take steps to enact a law or amend existing rules for mahouts. The present Elephant Protection Act was enacted in 1879.




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Sikh Leader Readmitted to Community After Atonement
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:46:02 ( 928 reads )


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SURREY, B.C., CANADA, March 11, 2001: Excommunicated from the Sikh community in June of 1998, Giana Rattan Singh Girn, a Sikh leader, was recently readmitted to the fold after atoning for his sin. Apparently Girn used tables and chairs to seat people while feeding them in a community kitchen. This act was a violation of Sikh doctrine as dictated by Akal Takht, the primary seat of Sikh religious authority in the Punjab. Sikh community members are required to sit on the floor when participating in a langar, free feeding. For his atonement, Girn listened to Sikh devotionals for one hour each day, dusted devotees' shoes at the Temple in Surrey, cleaned utensils at the community kitchen and donated money to the Golden Temple. This issue of sitting on the floor has led to violent clashes among temple factions not only in Vancouver, but in several other American and Canadian cities.




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Forty-Seven Killed in Holi-Related Violence
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:45:02 ( 732 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 12, 2001: At least 47 persons were killed and 23 injured in Holi-related violence in different parts of Bihar. In the most serious incident, eight people died and six others were injured in Simthu village in Nalanda district on Saturday when two groups clashed and opened fire following a tiff over Holi songs, the state police headquarters said. In Patna district, three persons died after consuming illicit liquor. A person was shot dead at Fatuha.




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RSS Denies Connection with Tehelka Scam Victim
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:44:02 ( 866 reads )


Source: RSS Press Release





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 14, 2001: RSS leader Shri Mohan Bhagwat, denied today that R.K. Gupta, one of the persons caught taking bribes in a clever scam by the web site Tehelka, was not associated with the RSS. He said, "The reports say that Shri Gupta described himself as "National Trustee" of the RSS. I have to clarify that RSS is not a trust and hence neither Shri Gupta nor anybody else can be a Trustee of the RSS. Shri Gupta, though known to some of our workers in Delhi, has no position in the RSS. He is neither a member of any central or provincial organizational unit nor is he any office bearer in the RSS. In the report it is also alleged that Shri R. K. Gupta floated a society named 'Friends of India Society International' and that he was its sole trustee. Our inquiry from our contacts in England inform us that the 'Friends of India Society International' is not a trust nor is Mr. Gupta its trustee."




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Australian Labor Union Denies Temple Desecration Charges
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:49:02 ( 827 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 14, 2001: The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) which had taken away eight temple construction workers with them on February 26 on the charge that they were being underpaid and exploited, has strongly denied allegations of desecrating the Sri Venkateswara Temple here and has instead leveled a counter-allegation that the management of the temple was trying to exploit the religious sentiments of the expatriate Hindu community. Phil Davey CFMEU media liaison officer denies that the sanctity of the temple was compromised at any stage on February 26. "There was no disrespect at any point by the union members towards the Hindu faith in general and that temple in particular," Davey told IANS. He said that they did go to the accommodations with shoes on, but removed them after it was pointed out as inappropriate. Davey produced documents, which say that the temple has been issued by Workcover (an Australian government organization) with an infringement notice and a fine of Australian US$275 for not ensuring health and safety welfare of its employees."




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Correlation Between Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:48:02 ( 810 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 11, 2001: Studies have recently indicated that there is a definite correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. Police departments now teach their officers to be on the look-out for animal cruelty as battered women and children may also be part of that household's scenario. Victims are often prevented from leaving an abusive relationship when threats are directed at their pets. Three shocking incidences are cited in this heart-wrenching article: a wife at a battered women's shelter received an audiotape from her husband with howls from her tortured dog, an ex-husband microwaved his wife's kitten, and a father fried his children's goldfish. Politically both animal welfare advocates and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have pulled together in their fight against violence and identifying potential abusers.




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Website Reports On Bangladesh Hindus
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:47:02 ( 755 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, March 13, 2001: This website by Subhas Chakraborty is an authoritative source of information on attacks and harassment of Hindus in Bangladesh. Says the editor, "The staunch bias against minorities (including Buddhists, Hindus and Christians) is evident in all walks of life in Bangladesh. Certain sections in Bangladeshi society want to insure that this bias remains intact and expands to all sections of Muslim society in that country. It is no wonder that oppression and repression of the Hindus and other minorities in that country continue without any break. We have since received details of some recent incidents of attacks on minorities in Bangladesh from our local representatives there. Twenty-two such cases are documented in our reports."




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VHP of America Condemns Taleban's Destruction of Buddhas
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:46:02 ( 742 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 10, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America issued a press release today strongly condemning the destruction of statues in Afghanistan by the Talibans. The release says, "It is an act of savagery finding parallels only in the vandalism forced by tyrants and barbarians of the past, fortunately not so prevalent in modern times since the times of Nazis. But such intolerant bigoted acts of Talibans have made our expectation of peaceful coexistence of different religions by respecting the pluralism somewhat short-lived. It has awakened all of us to the new ground realities of ever-lurking threat to humanity at large and the precarious gap between savagery and civility if left unchecked. Destruction of the statues of Lord Buddha in Bamiyan is an attack on the diversity inherent in nature. Today statues are being destroyed by Talibans; who knows what is going to be their next target?"




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Report Of Cloning Sparks Outrage
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:45:02 ( 867 reads )


Source: The Daily Pioneer





SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 11, 2001: Secret human cloning experiments that were conducted in Australia in 1999 implanting a cell containing human DNA into an empty pig's egg, have drawn protests from a prominent church group. Cloning a human being is illegal in Australia and carries a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. The resulting cloned embryo survived for 32 days before it was terminated. The report comes just days after a group of American and Italian scientists said that they plan to produce the world's first cloned baby by the end of the year, possibly in Israel. The Telegraph quoted bioethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini as saying the baby-cloning project was one step further than the Australian experiment. "It has never been publicly admitted that we have already done human cloning in Australia," Tonti-Filippini said.




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India's Special Olympians Request Home-Cooked Curry
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:44:02 ( 772 reads )


Source: Anchorage Daily News





ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, March 7, 2001: India's Special Olympians, a team of handicapped individuals competing in special sports, landed in Alaska recently. Appealing to a crowd honoring a reception for the crew, a representative for the Cultural Association of India solicited volunteers to cook for the hungry athletes. Apparently the flight from India offered no familiar food in the form of rice and curry for the team. Collaborating with the Hilton hotel, the Asian community pulled together to provide the Olympians with plenty of spicy home-cooked delicacies with lots of rice. The Special Olympics serve to provide a sense of self-esteem to physically- and mentally-challenged individuals.




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Mauritius Set for Cyber Leap
Posted on 2001/3/12 22:49:02 ( 846 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS, March 12, 2001: The independence day of Mauritius falls on March 12, and this year the President of India is the island nation's guest of honor for the celebration. Manon Mardemootoo reports, "Considerable energy is now being focused by our government on making Mauritius a 'cyber Island.' India has pledged a US$21 million line of credit and is helping us set up our cyber cities. The excellent ties between the two countries, the strong cultural and privileged links maintained over the centuries, the double tax treaty, closeness, direct flights to Indian Cities, and now to Chennai, besides the strong will of the two governments, are all helping towards boosting the IT sector. Positioned between East & West, our bilingual and special position among the French-speaking, African organizations and the Commonwealth of Nations should facilitate business through Mauritius in the IT sector."




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Battery Dance Company's Special India Send-Off Performance
Posted on 2001/3/12 22:48:02 ( 887 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 13, 2001: Battery Dance Company will be the first American performing arts ensemble to tour India after the tragic earthquake of January 26th. A special send-off performance is scheduled for Sunday, March 25th, 3:00 p.m. at City Center, Studio 4, 130 West 56th Street, New York. The Company will give performances in Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and the City of Ahmedabad, which was devastated by the earthquake. Battery and its partner, the Indo-American Arts Council, will meet with members of the arts communities in each city in a series of town meetings to discuss the strengthening of artistic collaboration and exchange between India and the U.S. The Indo-American Arts will also deliver over US$100,000 in relief funds collected at an art auction fundraiser in New York to help build new homes for the people of Gujarat.




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Indian Bill Introduced To Ban Smoking In Public Places
Posted on 2001/3/12 22:47:02 ( 706 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 8, 2001: Today the Rajya Sabha introduced legislation to ban smoking in public places. The bill, introduced by Health and Family Welfare Minister C.P. Thakur, seeks to put a total ban on advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products and to prohibit sponsorship of sports and cultural events by the manufacturers, as well as sale of tobacco products to minors. It also proposes to regulate the contents and language of specified warnings and require nicotine and tar contents to be displayed. It is estimated that the treatment of tobacco related diseases and the resulting loss of productivity cost the country US$2.9 billion annually, far surpassing any benefits accrued from revenue and employment generated by the tobacco industry.




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