10 Political Characters: For the People

first_imgDev Kant BarooahThe original Indian brand guru, this Assamese poet booked his permanent seat in Indian politics with his legendary “Indira is India, India is Indira”. When the Allahabad High Court dismissed Mrs Gandhi’s election and growing unrest on the streets demanded her resignation, Barooah stood up to smile and,Dev Kant BarooahThe original Indian brand guru, this Assamese poet booked his permanent seat in Indian politics with his legendary “Indira is India, India is Indira”. When the Allahabad High Court dismissed Mrs Gandhi’s election and growing unrest on the streets demanded her resignation, Barooah stood up to smile and say: “Indira tere subah ki jai, teri shaam ki jai, tere kaam ki jai, tere naam ki jai.” This roly-poly Congress president soon caught the party’s imagination with his literary fervour and elevated himself to a master spokesman, defending the Emergency in a passionate, if somewhat convoluted fashion: “The Emergency has not only cut to size the forces of right reaction and left adventurism, but it has galvanised the masses for establishment of popular democracy…”With “Indira is India…”, the man not only provided a vulnerable prime minister with an everlasting branding solution but in the process, also spelt out the unofficial mantra of survival in Indian politics, better called sycophancy. After Mrs Gandhi lost the 1977 elections, however, the man kept his distance from her.Raj NarainIn today’s 24×7 times, none could have been a more footage-grabbing politician than this unpredictable, anti-Right, anti-Left, bandana-sporting socialist. In those days of almost unipolar politics, this poster boy of the Opposition challenged prime minister Indira Gandhi’s election. The iron lady trembled and imposed the infamous Emergency. The man turned to legend by defeating her in her home turf in the 1977 elections.From a berth in the Opposition to a Cabinet berth in the Janata Party, he was soon the Opposition within the party. Once a wrestler and then an opportunist with Charan Singh, they staked their claim to power by pleading to his arch rival for outside support. That naive coalition, too, failed when Mrs Gandhi withdrew support and in less than a year the party was over. Such were the early experiments of coalition politics. The Nana Patekar of Indian politics ended his career playing the lead role of Manu in a devotional Hindi film. Troublemaker, party-breaker, known for his ever-ready quip, yet a voice to reckon with in Indian politics. If only television had arrived earlier.advertisementSanjay GandhiAfter his mother had abolished privy purses and the princes, the men of silk were reduced to men of cotton. Our man emerged as the New Indian Prince clad in cotton. “The Indian youth are lily-livered. They have no guts?” Charged with a vision and padded with heritage, he was modern India’s original Angry Young Man. With a Vivekananda-ish sense of mission to electrify Indian youth and a Stalin’s muscle, he was the face of Indian entrepreneurship with his Maruti dream, which came at a time when his mother was fast pushing the socialist envelope. His five-point programme that included controlling the nation’s birth rate through sterilisation camps or transforming Delhi into Paris gripped the urban middle class with shock and awe. An eternal weakness of an Indian mother, he was a parallel one-man government with only followers of his own kind. A permanent prince in public memory, he is still remembered in street conversations during any national crisis. What-if-he-was-alive?V.C. ShuklaIn the 70’s, he was a supreme commando of the Sanjay brigade. The minister of Information and Broadcasting during the Emergency, he was Mr Scissorhands Shukla. The loyal Congressman ensured effective press censorship for the larger cause of nation-building. “Censorship was done under a provision normally used during difficult times… But everything settled down when people knew what they were supposed to do.” That the press surely did. As the press bent, crawled or shut its trap, the minister smiled. Instrumental in destroying the film negatives of a political satire Kissa Kursi Ka and instituting a ban on Kishore Kumar songs for ‘lack of cooperation’, he promoted himself to a desi Goebbels. When the Opposition organised one of the biggest rallies after the Emergency was lifted, the man once again used the state-run Doordarshan with his genius. He telecast a recent blockbuster Bobby. The teen sensations of Rishi Kapoor and sweet Dimple Kapadia were used to keep Delhi commoners away from the Opposition’s microphone. Pure media innovation, before the age of TRPs. In modern times, during the brief, non-dynastic days of the Congress, the man transformed into the shrewd survivor of Raipur. Always in the winning team, he was elastic enough to be in power across political colours, including his once enemy BJP. Like every good Congressman, he recently returned home.N.T. Rama RaoNandamuri Taraka Rama Rao was Telugu cinema’s wild card entry into Indian politics. After playing God or a mythological hero in 292 films, the showman travelled across the state on his ‘Chaitanya Ratham’, invoking Telugu pride and staking his claim to power. In his first term as chief minister, he often attended office in a Vivekananda costume, officially introducing fancy-dress into Indian politics. In the national elections of 1984, when the Congress swept the nation with a sympathy wave, it found little comfort in the superstar’s territory. Diminishing the difference between a fanbase and a votebase, Telugu Desam had then elevated itself to the main Opposition party in Parliament. With his promise of delivering rice at Rs 2 a kilo to the poor (till date, a salient feature of election manifestoes across party lines), ensuring equal property rights for women and reigniting the strength of regional politics, N.T. Rama Rao was the last larger-than-life living cut-out, permanent on the Andhra mindscape.advertisementJyoti BasuStretching his political careers well into the ’90s along with EMS Namboodripad and Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Jyoti Basu completed the trio of immortal Indian Marxists. The barrister from Oxford began his politics organising industrial trade unions and fighting for landless peasants. In a long political career of seven decades, this eternal chief minister forever convinced his people that Karl Marx was a Bengali with a European accent.With official support of the Politburo and the unofficial support of the state’s Marwari traders, this Test-playing Marxist charted the career of the desi Left that included removal of English from primary schools, resistance to bourgeois poets like Tagore being taught in schools, tacitly supporting trade union offices, opposing the use of computers and ensuring a disciplined cadre-based party across the state. His successive terms followed a demarcated diktat of dual governance; for the rural electorate it was D for Development and in the industrial or the urban space it was D for Decay. As his successor once admitted, words like ‘bandh’ and ‘gherao’ were their contributions to the English dictionary. Basu was B for Bhadralok, A for Astute, S for Secular and U for Unused in Central politics. He was one of the best prime ministers India never had.Amar SinghHe was a middle class Calcuttan before he became a thakur from Uttar Pradesh. He was a Congressman before he became a Samajwadi. A politician before he became a kingmaker. And a media darling before he disappeared. This Rolex-sporting rookie burst on the political canvas with style, interestingly when the texture was changing from single party to coalition. The timing couldn’t have been better.Coalition, television, PR-the essentials of modern politics were at his command. Always on the television screen, always in every political crisis, always on the phone, he was always at work; role playing either as victim or a victor. In contemporary politics, he was the original Page-3 politician. Irrespective of 1G, 2G or 3G, he was always the man with the strongest network.Uma BhartiFrom the plains of central India emerged this raw talent, a fierce voice of the Saffron Gharana. A fearless orator igniting a self-righteous pride in her masses through her pravachans, she was Team Hindutva’s live media. It is this skill that opened for her the doors of BJP headquarters. Her speeches alone brought thousands of kar sevaks to Ayodhya’s disputed site. When the thousands got on to the Babri dome, she is reported to have said, “Ek dhakka aur do?” something she vehemently denied post-demolition.advertisementDuring the NDA regime, with the BJP in two minds over a hardline Hindu stand or a party with a liberal face, her politics was comfortable for the party to play footsie with. After their defeat in the 2004 elections, this lady of steel rebelled against the BJP’s neo-liberal, polished politics and walked out of the party meeting live on television, leaving the party leaders frozen and embarrassed. In days much before Big Boss arrived, she was the Dolly Bindra of the BJP House. When expelled, she claimed “I am the real BJP.”Pranab MukherjeeFrom the debonair, pipe-smoking man of numbers and a trusted man of the Indira Gandhi Cabinet, it has been one rocky journey for this Bengali veteran. The dark years that followed came as a surprise for a career only destined to peak. But he stuck to his wicket and secured his loyal ties with the sincerity of his intentions, reappearing as the quintessential Krishna of the UPA.Now a seasoned politician and a shrewd strategist, this wry negotiator officially looks after the unofficial portfolio of UPA Crisis Management. It is observed that this disciplined democrat’s day is usually spent managing alliances, stalemates, personal and party egos and other disciplines of coalition politics. In the few moments with the self, he looks after the financial health of the nation. Though he missed the bus to 7 Race Course Road, Rashtrapati Bhavan could be round the corner.Mera BetaAcross party lines, it is dynastic ambition (however big or small) that drives this nation’s politics. A fresh face, a new sun, emerging India and the usual rhetoric and more of the political pulp. Travelling across the countryside in choppers or SUVs or even Ambassadors, they are usually attired in a khadi stereotype; they smile, they wave, they walk stereotype and once given the microphone they even talk stereotype. For the people, however, they are a life-changing experience. Generation after generation, they are the nation’s four letter word-hope.- Vishwajyoti Ghosh is the author of graphic novel, Delhi Calmlast_img read more

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UAAP men’s volleyball: UST ends campaign on high note, La Salle trumps UP

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss UAAP volleyball: UST still alive for twice-to-beat after thumping NU In the first game, De La Salle finished at no. 6 after turning back University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 15-11.The Green Archers have the same record as UST’s at 5-9 but finished with just 13 points.Cris Dumago ended his collegiate career with 23 points while Billie Anima had 22 for the Green Archers.The Fighting Maroons ended the season as the lowest-ranked team with a 1-12 record.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas finished off its campaign with a four-set beating of University of the East, 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 25-23, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated The Tiger Spikers missed the Final Four and wrapped up their season at no. 5 with a 5-9 card with 18 points as they bid goodbye to graduating players Timothy Tajanlangit, Jayvee Sumagaysay, Jireh Buro, and Tyrone Carodan.Skipper Manuel Medina led UST with 14 points as five other Tiger Spikers scored in double figures.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJaron Requinton finished with 13 points while Sumagaysay and Hernel Corda added 12 points apiece with Joshua Umandal pitching in 10.The Red Warriors finished the season at 2-12 for the seventh seed. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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Groningen’s Veldwijk in trouble after exposing genitals

first_imgEredivisie Groningen’s Veldwijk in trouble after exposing genitals on camera 21:57 3/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Lars Veldwijk Getty Eredivisie Groningen The South Africa international is in further hot water with the club after his name hit the headlines for the wrong reasons Groningen’s Lars Veldwijk is in trouble with his club after footage emerged online of the striker exposing his genitals.Veldwijk’s girlfriend Monica Geuze, an avid vlogger with a following of over 400,000 subscribers, had been filming for her YouTube channel when the 26-year-old ‘pranked’ his partner, with the footage having been accidentally released before being deleted.In terms of punishment, Veldwijk had already been relegated to the club’s youth team due to refusing to be substituted back in February, meaning a fine looks like the most likely course of action. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Groningen director Hans Nijland spoke to Dagblad van het Noorden about the incident: “I can be very clear about this, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how Lars ended up in the newspapers this week.“It’s so annoying and unnecessary that this happens.”In November, Veldwijk and Geuze had already made headlines after escaping an armed robbery at a casino in Amsterdam.“Especially around that guy, you just want everything to be quiet,” Nijland added.“Professional players should be an example for other people, so this really doesn’t help. Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but I don’t understand anything about vlogging.“It’s very unwise of him to show himself like that in those vlogs.“We already spoke to him about it and we told him how irritating this is to us. And, even though we understand that he did this in his private time, we still want our players to be professionals off the pitch.”last_img read more

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Andy Roddick Brooklyn Decker Attend Think It Up Live Pitch Competition For

first_imgThink It Up, the new initiative from the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), joined Brooklyn Decker, Andy Roddick, Austin officials including Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz, and hundreds of local students and teachers on March 10th during SXSWedu for the second in a national series of Think It Up Live pitch competitions.Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker at EIF’s Think It Up Live EventCredit/Copyright: Rick Kern, 2016 Getty ImagesAlongside a panel and booth activation on-site at SXSWedu, the live pitch event was designed to empower students, celebrate teachers and build optimism about what’s possible in America’s classrooms. The event drew students and teachers from 24 traditional district and public charter schools in Austin.Think It Up Live Brings Spirit of SXSW to Local Austin Students and Teachers
At Think It Up Live, student-teacher teams across Austin came together to pitch VIP judges and Austin-based husband/wife couple Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker on their innovative learning ideas. Roddick, the founder of the Andy Roddick Foundation and retired tennis star, and well-known “Grace and Frankie” actress Decker, listened as students put their best ideas forward at this science fair-meets “shark tank”-type event designed to promote empowered, engaged learning.The winning team was selected from a group of 50 teams and came from Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, and received $1,000 to fund their project, which created a produce spoilage tracker to reduce food waste. All participating teams received $100 in funding credits to kick-start their projects.All funding credits are applied once teachers will post projects at ThinkItUp.org – a first-of-its-kind platform available to all public school students and educators (grades 7-12) in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, the popular teacher crowd-funding charity. To help bring to life more student-powered, teacher-led projects, Think It Up covers half each of each proposals total cost by EIF’s supporters, including Ashoka’s Start Empathy initiative, ExxonMobil and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the rest raised through crowd-funding.The event follows the success of EIF’s inaugural Think It Up telecast that aired in September, and first Think It Up Live event in Denver held in December.Think it Up Debuts at SXSWedu
To spread awareness among education innovators, Think It Up participated in its first panel and expo at Austin’s SXSWedu conference. The “Think Rethink: Crowdsourcing Innovation Panel” on March 8th featured Creative Artists Agency Chief Innovation Officer Michelle Kydd Lee as moderator of a discussion featuring Jennifer Golub from MAL/FOR GOOD and Hillary Moglen from XQ: The Super School and Mike Marriner for Road Trip Nation. The panel discussed the power of crowdsourcing to generate ideas, including how each organization defines the crowd and why is it important to bring broader, mainstream cultural attention to education in the United States.At the SXSWedu convention center, the Think It Up booth brought the pitch competition to the expo, bringing to life the initiative’s excitement for learning by inviting visitors to submit an idea to bring their learning in the classroom to life.last_img read more

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Last Cabinet Meeting Drones too expensive says Independent Candidate

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 6, 2016 – Tomorrow December 7 is the final meeting of Cabinet until after the 2016 General Elections and in the previous sitting; much was discussed including testing for drone surveillance.‘The War Room’ host and independent candidate running at large, Jasmin Walkin said the cost of introducing drones is underestimated by the Premier.“These are numbers that I’ve found on several websites regarding surveillance and border control drones. Those drones can cause from twenty-five hundred to thirty-five hundred per flight, what do I mean by that, that’s not the cost of the purchasing of the drones, that is the operational cost per hour. An average of a few thousand dollars per flight hour, and we’re asking for 24 hours surveillance. The daily operational cost of one drone, could be seventy-two thousand dollars, by twelve hours per day, we’re looking at thirty-six thousand dollars. The total cost of one operational surveillance drone, will be twenty-six million, two hundred and eighty thousand dollars.”Tonight, most of the independent candidates appear on Digicel Network Ch2 in a national debate moderated by Kenrick Walters and Sabrina Parker. #MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

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5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday January 12 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Saturday, January 12, 2019:#1) Women’s Roller Derby At ShrinersBoston Roller Derby, a Boston-based, female-only roller derby league, returns to the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road). This night will see rematches of the Fez Cup from 2018.5PM: Nutcrackers vs. Harbor Horrors7PM: Wicked Pissahs vs. CosmonaughtiesDoors open at 4pm.  Lice music begins at 4:30pm. The action begins at 5pm.  An After Party starts at 9pm in the Fez Room. Tickets include admission to the game, plus entry into the after party. Tickets and more info are available HERE. Learn more about the league HERE.#2) Fortnite Tournament At LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is holding a Fortnite Tournament at 1:30pm. Got a couple Victory Royales under your belt and fancy yourself good at Fortnite? Show off your skills at this tournament run by One Up Games! Friendlies begin at 1pm. Grades 4-8. Register HERE. If registration is full, sign up for the wait list.#3) Book Store Next Door OpenThe Friends of the Wilmington Memorial Library’s Book Store Next Door (183 Middlesex Avenue) is open from 10am to 4pm. All books are $2 or less!  Every penny of every sale benefits the Wilmington Memorial Library. Learn more HERE.#4) Wilmington Food Pantry OpenThe Wilmington Food Pantry (142 Chestnut Street) is open from 10am to noon for food donation drop-offs. Learn which food items the Pantry is most in need of HERE.#5) WHS Boys & Girls Hockey, Wrestling In ActionThe WHS Boys Varsity Hockey Team travels to Stoneham at 4pm, with the WHS Girls Varsity Hockey Team following at 6pm. The WHS Boys Wrestling Team is hosting a multi-school meet at 10am at Wilmington High.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday, August 3, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday, June 15, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday, May 18, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

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Rajkummar Rao signs 3 films deal with Karan Johar for Rs 24

first_imgRajkummar Rao, Karan JoharInstagramOnce underrated, now one of the most sought after actors in Bollywood, Rajkummar Rao has come a long way proving his mettle time and again on the silver screen. The actor has managed to put himself on the wishlist of several Bollywood filmmakers by delivering back-to-back hits at the box office and winning several accolades to his name. And now reports are doing the rounds of the industry that Rajkummar has signed a 3 films deal with Karan Johar for a whopping Rs 24 crore.If the industry grapevine is to be believed, Karan Johar is trying to experiment with his usual filmmaking process by picking up some heartland stories. And to do justice to the stories, KJo couldn’t think of anyone else than Rajkummar to portray these roles which would be hand-wired to the backdrop of a small town.With this exuberant deal, Rajkummmar who reportedly used to draw a fee of Rs 4-6 crore for his film, would now be getting upto Rs 8 crore (approximately) for each of the three films.And it looks like Rajkummar and Karan Johar are already having a good tuning with each other which would eventually make things easier for both to bring out the desire outcome on the big screen. When Rajkummar graced the Koffee couch, he said that he would want to work alongside Karan Johar in a film about same sex-love.However, an official confirmation about Rajkummar and Karan Johar’s collaboration is still awaited. On a related note, Rajkummar recently bagged the ‘Performer of the Year’ award at the Filmfare Middle East Awards 2019 ceremony held in Oman.”It’s a great honour to receive this award. I also feel gratified in a way to know that my films not only entertain audiences in India but globally,” Rajkummar said in a statement.”I’ve had very distinguished films in 2018 and this win certifies that the audiences are also open to experimentation and watching something new and interesting,” he added.He is now looking forward to this year’s anticipated films, including Mental Hai Kya, Turram Khan, Imli and Made In China.last_img read more

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Gang cons people out of money assuring jobs

first_imgGang cons people out of money assuring jobs The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) have nabbed five members of a gang involved in duping retired persons and making off with their hard-earned savings.At a press conference at the PBI Dhaka metro office in Agargaon on Saturday, it was said that the gang members were arrested on Friday from a house in Pallabi of the capital city.The arrested five are Mohammed Haroun Ar Rashid, Sanaj Saha, Shamsul Alam Majumdar, Aminul Islam and Mohammed Moksedur Rahman.PBI stated that so far this gang has conned 12 persons including a retired secretary, joint secretary, a senior bank official and other senior officers. The gang managed to swindle Tk 14.8 million from just one joint secretary alone.PBI additional DIG Mohammed Mainul Hasan said that the accused would first place a false job vacancy advertisement in the newspapers.The ad would state that priority would be given to retired bankers and retired civil and military officers. When the interested persons applied, the swindlers would target certain ones among them and bring them to their sham office.Mainul said the con men would then bring in another one of their associates, dressed in a suit, tie and hat, speaking in Hindi and acting as an Indian ‘marwari’ businessman. At one stage they would start up a card game, ‘winning’ hundreds of thousands of taka from the ‘Indian businessman’. They would cleverly win the job applicants’ confidence and propose that they become partners in their business. They would take money as investment from the targeted applicant and tell him to contact them later. But then they would pack up and leave the office with no trace.PBI Dhaka Metro’s special police super Mohammed Abul Kalam Azad said so far they had received complaints from 12 persons who were cheated.However, they felt, the number was probably higher. Cases have been filed against the arrested persons and a search is on for others of the gang.last_img read more

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Rohingya safety citizenship important before repatriation

first_imgRohingya refugees walk at Jamtoli camp in the morning in Cox`s Bazar on 22 January 2018. — ReutersThe UN refugee agency and other groups have urged a rethink of a plan to send Muslim Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar amid fears of forced repatriations without safeguards such as guaranteed citizenship after they fled to Bangladesh to escape bloodshed at home.The calls come as Bangladesh delayed the repatriation of the largely stateless Rohingya to Myanmar that was set to begin on Tuesday, as the process of compiling and verifying the list of people to be sent back was incomplete.“In order for the repatriation to be (done) right, to be sustainable, actually viable…you need to really address a number of issues that for the time being we have heard nothing about,” UNHCR head Filippo Grandi said in Geneva, noting that issues like citizenship had not been addressed.More than 655,500 Muslim Rohingya fled to Bangladesh last year after the Myanmar military cracked down in the northern part of Rakhine state, amid witness reports of killings, looting and rape, in response to militant attacks on security forces on 25 August last year.Many people in Buddhist-majority Myanmar regard the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The United Nations described Myanmar’s crackdown as ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, which Myanmar denies.Grandi said it was important to set up a monitoring mechanism in Myanmar’s Rakhine state for those returning and noted that UNHCR currently did not have the ability to move freely and perform this role there.Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed earlier this month to complete a voluntary repatriation of the refugees in two years. Myanmar says it has set up two reception centres and a temporary camp near the border in Rakhine state to receive the first arrivals.Human Rights Watch, a non-government organization, said on Tuesday that Bangladesh should suspend the plan entirely as it “threatens the refugees’ security and well-being.”The plan has sparked fears in refugee camps in Bangladesh that people may be forced to return despite a lack of guarantees around their security.One Rohingya man detained on Monday by the Bangladeshi military at the Palong Khali refugee camp following a protest against repatriations remained in police custody on Tuesday and was still being interrogated, officials said.“He was detained for instigating violence. He is in custody for interrogation,” local police chief Abul Khayer told Reuters by telephone.A UNHCR official said the agency plans to bring up the detention with Bangladesh during their next meeting, as the refugees were only staging a peaceful protest.Meanwhile, another Reuters report from Geneva says: More time is needed to prepare the return of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, the UN refugee chief said on Monday, after a Bangladeshi official said the plan to begin on Tuesday had been delayed.“In order for the repatriation to be right, sustainable, actually viable, you need to really to address a number of issues that for the time being we have heard nothing about, including the citizenship issue, the rights of the Rohingya in Rakhine state, meaning freedom of movement, access to services, to livelihoods,” Filippo Grandi told Reuters.last_img
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Trump visits Jerusalem seeking elusive peace

first_imgUS President Donald Trump attending a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh. Photo: AFPUS President Donald Trump visits Jerusalem Monday to seek ways to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, a goal that has eluded his predecessors but which he says could be easier than “people have thought”.Trump’s visit is part of his first trip abroad as president and follows an initial stop in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Islamic leaders to take a stand against violence committed in the name of religion.It also comes as he contends with a raft of problems back home, including a special counsel investigating whether his associates colluded with Russia.Trump is due in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon and, ahead of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will tour two iconic sites in Jerusalem, a city holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews.His first stop will be the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.Afterwards, he is expected to become the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray and located in east Jerusalem.The Western Wall visit drew controversy before Trump even left Washington, when US officials declined to say whether it belonged to Israel.“Jerusalem was and will always be the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu said late Sunday. “The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty.”Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 in moves never recognised by the international community.It later annexed east Jerusalem and claims the entire city as its capital. The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.Trump will meet Netanyahu at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT).Enormous challenge“I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the first and strongest alliance with the US,” Netanyahu said Sunday.“We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace.”The United States is Israel’s most important ally, providing it with more than $3 billion in defence aid annually.On Tuesday, Trump will meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem in the West Bank, visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and give a speech at the Israel Museum.Any leader would face an enormous challenge in seeking to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together for meaningful talks, and Trump’s inexperience and domestic political struggles will only add to it.He has spoken of his self-described deal-making prowess in declaring that the “ultimate deal” is possible, vowing “we will get it done”.“It is something that I think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years,” Trump said when meeting Abbas in Washington earlier this month.Trump has sent mixed signals about how he will approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.He cast uncertainty over years of international efforts to foster a two-state solution when he met Netanyahu at the White House in February.Criticism of IranAt that meeting, he said he would support a single state if it led to peace, delighting Israeli right-wingers who want to see most of the West Bank annexed.At the same time, he urged Israel to hold back on settlement building in the West Bank, a longstanding concern of Palestinians and much of the world.Trump advocated during his campaign breaking with decades of precedent and moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, deeply alarming Palestinians.He has since said the move was still being looked at.Trump’s seeming openness to at least some of Abbas’s concerns has given Palestinians more reason for hope than many may have expected, but still reason to remain wary, some analysts say.On the Israeli side, Netanyahu heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in the country’s history, and members of his coalition were elated with Trump’s election.Some even called for an end to the idea of a Palestinian state.Trump’s actions since have left them disappointed, with the embassy remaining in Tel Aviv—at least for now—and the White House seeking to restart peace efforts.In Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Trump told dozens of Muslim leaders the time had come for “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism”.He also lashed out at Iran, accusing Tehran of fuelling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” and calling for its international isolation.After Israel and the Palestinian territories, Trump will head to the Vatican along with Brussels and Italy for NATO and G7 meetings.last_img read more

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