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EU ministers relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece

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Brussels: European Union (EU) ministers decided to relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece at an emergency meeting.

Photo Credit: www.un.org
Photo Credit: www.un.org

The Justice and Home Affairs Council on migration on Monday said EU ministers adopted a decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece, reported Xinhua news agency.

It will apply to 40,000 persons in need of international protection who have arrived or are arriving on the territory of those member states as from 15 August 2015 until 16 September 2017.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President of the Council said: “I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this decision.”

The member states participating in the mechanism will receive a subsidy of 6,000 euros ($6784) for each relocated person.

Denmark and the UK are not participating in this decision.

The European Committee made the proposal of redistribution in May in dealing with the rising refugee crisis. At the last meeting in July, EU home affairs ministers failed to reach the target of 40,000 pledging to redistribute only 32,256 asylum-seekers around Europe.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week called for relocating more 120,000 migrants under a compulsory scheme, bringing the total proposed number up to 160,000.

Juncker, together with leaders of Germany and France, have been pressing all member states to support commission proposals.

(IANS)

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Don’t Lecture India; Look at Your Own Record

Many countries worldwide have a horrifying record regarding human rights

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Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Pixabay

By Maria Wirth

Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Germany is well known for an unprecedented, systematic holocaust of Jews and gypsies right in the middle of Europe only 80 years ago. Yet Britain, France, Portugal and others were as brutal with equal or even higher number of humans killed in their colonies. Their victims count many millions and many of them were Indians.

The Arabs, Turks and Mongols, too, have a horrifying record regarding human rights. The number of victims killed also goes into many millions, and many of them were Indians.

The Muslims invaded India already over thousand years ago and were as brutal as ISIS in our times. Unspeakable torture and beheadings were done on massive scale. Even the supposedly benign “Akbar the Great” slaughtered Hindus in huge numbers. The collective sacred threads of the Brahmins massacred by him is said to have weighed 200 kilogram. Can one even imagine such incredible injustice and brutality to civilians and priests? Thousands of temples were destroyed. Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Hindus even had to open their mouth and receive gratefully the spittle by Muslims sitting on horses, and slaughtering cows was seen as “noblest deed” because it was so painful for Hindus, is recounted in “Legacy of Jihad” by Andrew Bostom.

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Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Pixabay

The brutality experienced by Hindus was so horrendous that, even in independent India, they hardly dare to complain when they are subjected to cruel discrimination. It is painful to read comments whenever Hindus are killed or raped by Muslims: “This won’t make news, as the victim is only a Hindu”. It is so sad, but understandable after what they have gone through for over thousand years. They had no way to get justice; had to bear their suffering silently.

Guru Nanak cried out to the Supreme, and it is part of the Grant Sahib, “Having lifted Islam to its head, You have engulfed Hindustan in dread… Such cruelties they have inflicted and yet Your mercy remains unmoved….Oh Lord, these dogs have destroyed the diamond-like Hindustan.”

The British colonial masters were not less brutal. Their disdain for the natives was incredible. Winston Churchill is on record saying that he “hated Indians” and considered them a “beastly people with a beastly religion”. Celebrities like Charles Dickens wanted the Indian race ‘exterminated’ and considered them vile savages and Max Mueller wanted them all converted to Christianity.

Britain looted and reduced the formerly wealthiest country of the world to painful poverty, where during their rule over 25 million people starved to death, 3 million as late as in 1943 in Bengal.

The crimes of the British colonialists are, like those of the Muslim invaders, too numerous to list. They tied Indians to the mouth of canons and blew them up, hanged scores of them on trees, and even just after over one million Indian soldiers had helped Britain to be victorious in the First World War with many thousands sacrificing their lives, General Dyer gave orders to shoot at a peaceful gathering in Amritsar in 1919 where thousands died. An old coffee planter in Kodagu told me that even in the early 1950s there was a board in front of the club house in Madikeri. It read: “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.

Can anyone imagine the pain those Indian generations went through, having arrogant, often uncouth ruffians looting their land and despising them as dogs?

How could Europeans and Arabs be so cruel to other human beings? The reason is that they saw themselves as superior and others not quite as human.

Religion played a big role in making them feel superior. Both Christianity and Islam teach their members that only their religion is true and that the Creator will reward them with eternal heaven, but will severely punish all those who do not follow their ‘true’ religion. If God himself will torture them eternally in hellfire, why should his followers be good to them? Wouldn’t it mean siding with God’s enemies and betraying Him?

But on what basis do they consider only their religion as true and themselves as superior? The reason is that the respective founder of their religion allegedly said so. No other reason exists and no proof. On this flimsy basis, Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly, believing they are destined for hell while they themselves are God’s favorites and will go to heaven. This brainwashing in the name of religion happens even in our times and its effect is still not questioned and analysed.

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Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly. Pixabay

Yet today, neither white Christians, nor Arab or Turkish Muslims are constantly reminded of those terrible crimes of their forefathers. “The present generation must not be held accountable for the sins of their fathers”, is however not applied to Hindus and especially not to Brahmins. Media keeps hitting out at them as if they had been the worst violators of human rights in the past. Hinduism is portrayed as the villain due to the “horrific and oppressive” caste system.

Anyone, who knows a little about history, knows that this is false and malicious. The structure of Hindu society into four varnas or categories is mentioned in the Vedas and depends on one’s aptitude and profession – Brahmins, who memorise and teach the Vedas, Kshatriyas, who administer and defend society, Vaishyas who supply the society with goods and Shudras, who are the service sector. The varnas are not fixed by birth in texts like Bhagavad Gita or Manusmriti. But the British themselves cemented ‘castes’ (a Portuguese word) in their census and then turned around and accused Hindus of their birth-based, fixed caste system.

There was however one more category which the whole world has been told about and which is used to the hilt to despise Hinduism. They were the untouchables who do unclean work, like handling dead animals, cleaning sewers, etc. The fact that other varnas avoided touching them is still made a huge issue of in the West. In fact it is portrayed, as if this practice made Hindus the greatest violators of human rights and makes the millions tortured and killed by Christians and Muslims pale in comparison.

Yet there is no proof that even one of those untouchables has been killed for doing unclean work. Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. It has nothing to do with Hinduism. Most people are aware that such work also needs to be done.

There is in all likelihood another angle regarding “untouchability”, which the British did not realize: Ayurveda knew already 3000 years ago that invisible germs can cause serious illness and those dealing with cadavers and dirt are more likely to carry and spread those. However, the British didn’t know about this fact till only some 150 years ago, when Louis Pasteur claimed that germs cause sickness. (By the way, Google describes this discovery as “crowning achievement of the French scientist”, and avoids mentioning India’s ancient Ayurveda).

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Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. Pixabay

Now in today’s time of “social distancing” due to the Corona Virus, we know that not touching others is a precaution to prevent potential infection and has nothing to do with discrimination. The British could have given Hindus the benefit of doubt that they avoided physical contact with certain people due to caution. But since the British didn’t have the advanced knowledge about harmful germs they could not see the possible reason behind it.

Since Independence, the caste system is officially abolished and discrimination against lower castes is a non-bailable offense. Yet the West still makes a huge issue of the caste system and untouchables. Why? Was this the greatest crime the British could find against the “natives” and therefore exaggerated it tremendously?

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This is not to say that people of higher castes didn’t or don’t look down on lower castes, but the demonization of Brahmins is most unwarranted, as Brahmins are least likely to harbour hatred for others due to their strict rules for sadhana which requires them to keep a very high standard of mental and physical purity.  Yet evangelicals, NGOs, international media, Muslim organisations, they all are after them and Hindus in general. They attack them for “atrocities” which never even happened, while the unspeakable atrocities, which were perpetrated upon them, are ignored. It’s a classic case of noticing the speck in the brother’s eye, but not the beam of wood in one’s own eye.

They got away with it for too long, because Hindus didn’t react. The meekness of Hindus was legendary. They were even called cowards. Yet in recent time, Hindus are becoming more assertive. They realize that the constant attacks on them are malicious, and that they are being fooled in the name of secularism because neither Christians nor Muslims can be secular. They are by nature communal because they need to make their community spread all over the world.

It is time to call out this blatant insincerity. When a head of state, like Imran Khan, accuses the Modi government in a tweet of “moving towards Hindu Rashtra with its Hindutva Supremacist, fascist ideology”, he better looks at his own country and his own ideology. A Hindu Rashtra with its inclusiveness and freedom are any time better than the exclusive, supremacist ideologies of Islam and Christianity, which force human beings into a strait-jacket of blind belief and several Muslim states threaten even today those who want to get out with death sentence.

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World Should Give Recognition To Taiwan and Tibet

China opposes any nation which considers Taiwan and Tibet a sovereign country and chooses to stand with them

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China holds vice like grip over Tibet and does not permit any foreigners to visit Tibet to see the conditions for themselves. Pixabay

By N.S.Venkataraman

Chinese government considers any country as it’s number one enemy, which recognizes Taiwan as sovereign nation. Similarly, if anyone country would demand that Tibet should be recognized as a sovereign country, China would  protest very strongly. As a matter of fact, China holds vice like grip over Tibet and does not permit any foreigners to visit Tibet to see the conditions for themselves.

The ambition of China to annex Taiwan and firmly hold on to it’s occupation of Tibet is  definite proof of China’s expansionist plans .

There seem to be lot of similarity between the behavior of the present Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany before World War II.  The present Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany have something in common, in  their  ambitious goal of dominating rest of the world at any cost , with least concern for ethical or moral principles and fairness in dealing with other countries.

Just as many countries in the world are now trying to appease China, then British Prime Minister Chamberlain too visited Germany to appease Hitler before World War II. Churchill called the bluff of Hitler, which is a matter of history.

So far, China could not annex Taiwan, since Taiwan is heavily protected by U S government and China knows that any move to annex Taiwan would lead to a war with USA.

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China violently suppressed the Tibetan protestors after it successfully occupied it. Tibet was clearly not supported or protected by any country in the world in a meaningful way. Pixabay

On the other hand, China was emboldened to attack Tibet and aggressively occupy the region and  China violently suppressed the Tibetan protestors, since  the interest of Tibet was not supported or protected by any country in the world in a meaningful way. China continues to occupy Tibet and the world conscience remain suppressed  as  various governments  want to appease China and keep it in good humour to protect  their trade and business interests with China.

China now claims Arunachal Pradesh in India as part of China and continues to occupy thousands of kilometer of Indian territory , which it annexed during the 1962 Indo China war.  China now claims ownership of islands in South China Sea and Senkaku  island and adopting aggressive postures, inspite of protests from  Japan, Phillipines, Vietnam and other countries.

So far,  China has not been effectively challenged  by any country in the world for it’s aggressive occupation of Tibet and claims on Indian territory and islands in South China Sea as well as it’s claim on Taiwan.

Because of the non caring attitude of most countries in the world, China is emboldened to carry on with it’s adventures to expand it’s territory and areas of influence.

While voice of Tibetans is not being heard loudly around the world, there are countries which speak in support of Taiwan occasionally.

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China is emboldened to carry on with it’s adventures to expand it’s territory and areas of influence. Pixabay

Taiwan has revealed to the world about the Chinese virus sufficiently earlier but  WHO has  ignored Taiwan’s warning,  as Taiwan is not a member of  WHO. Now, the clamour  for including Taiwan as member of WHO is being increasingly heard.

Neither Taiwan nor Tibet is a member of UNO, obviously implying that UNO does not recognize these regions as sovereign countries.

The claim of China on Taiwan and Tibet  and other regions indicate the mindset of Chinese government and certainly represents a threat for stability in the world in the long run. With  free run that China already has, it is likely that China may  further make claims on other countries too in the coming days .The world has to prevent this.

Taiwan and Tibet are two test cases of China’s unjustified territorial claims with little resistance from rest of the world.

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There are countries which speak in support of Taiwan occasionally, but the case is not the same with Tibet. Pixabay

It is necessary that Taiwan and Tibet should be recognized as sovereign countries, which is a necessary step to curtail and defeat China’s expansionist ambitions.

United Nations Organisation in it’s present structure and functioning style, is not in a position to do justice for Taiwan and Tibet.

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Today, there is increasing suspicion in the world  about China’s methodologies and practices. The fact that China concealed the information about the Wuhan virus and did not forewarn the world  at the right time indicates  that China could exhibit irresponsible behavior. Today, the havoc that is happening in the world due to COVID 19 crisis is directly attributed to the China’s indifferent attitude towards the welfare of the world community.

Certainly, nobody should think or say that China should be destabilized. But, certainly the growing thought is that China should be prevented from destabilizing the world and it’s aggressive  methods  of occupying other countries should be resisted.

The starting point to initiate such world wide resistance  to China’s territorial  expansion plans  is to recognize Taiwan and Tibet as independent and sovereign countries. This will show China it’s place.

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Afghan Refugees in Pakistan Terribly Neglected In COVID lockdown

COVID Lockdown leaves Afghan Refugees in Pakistan neglected and in despair

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Afghan Refugees in Pakistan Suffer under Coronavirus Lockdown as kids are seem playing outside a refugee camp. VOA
By Ayesha Tanzeem

Nearly 2.5 million Afghans live in Pakistan as either registered or undocumented refugees. Their lives have been upended by the coronavirus lockdown, but they seem to be getting little attention. Even though this might not hold much relevance in international news amid the COVID crisis, the lives of the refugees are in a terrible state.

This Afghan refugee settlement in Islamabad doesn’t have electricity or other basic facilities.

Most people here depend on day work for their living.  As the novel coronavirus spread and the country went into a partial lockdown, their livelihoods were nearly destroyed.

“These people hardly made $3-4 per day. Some of them picked up paper from the streets or trash for recycling, some worked as motorcycle mechanics. All of them are now sitting at home,” said Abdul Hameed, Afghan Refugee Representative.

An estimated 800 families, or around 5,000 individuals, live in this settlement. Many of them work at the nearby vegetable market.

“Ever since the coronavirus has spread, the authorities don’t allow us to gather inside the market. We wait along the roadside all day long, but no one gives us work,” said Abdul Khaliq, a day worker.

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Afghan refugees’s lives have been upended by the coronavirus lockdown. Pixabay

On Tuesday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees announced a cash assistance program for some of them. A two-month delay in making the aid available was blamed on a lack of resources.

“We realized that we would need money that we did not have. We had to go very quickly to donors to explain the level of intervention that we wanted to do. We needed to get confident that the donors were going to support that,” said Iain Hall, Deputy Representative of UNHCR Pakistan.

The U.N. agency acknowledges that the money, while helpful, is not enough to help everyone in need. In addition, half of the nearly three million Afghans living in Pakistan don’t have official refugee status and do not fall under the agency’s mandate.

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Meanwhile, in this Islamabad settlement, people have no option but to wait. (VOA)