Kolkata: Calling for her sacking, former Lok Sabha speaker, Somnath Chatterjee on Tuesday said, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi to procure travel documents was an “embarrassment” for the country.
“It’s an embarrassment for the country that a minister has helped a person who has escaped out of India to avoid legal consequences. While she needs to introspect, I think it’s time the prime minister takes a call on the issue and decide her (Sushma Swaraj) fate,” Chatterjee told IANS.
“We all know Lalit Modi has been accused of financial impropriety including money laundering. Helping a person like Modi, will only encourage all sorts of people indulging in such activities.”
“So I think, a strong action must be taken in this regard,” he added.
Asked if Swaraj should be sacked, Chatterjee said: “Yes, the prime minister should take strong action.”
The opposition has been gunning for Swaraj’s removal after she admitted helping out the former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner in securing documents to travel to Portugal in July last year for the treatment of his cancer-stricken wife. (IANS)
Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there
India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over South Asia’s nuclear program
Sushma Swaraj’s statement is significant since it comes after the BRICS Summit where many countries unequivocally named Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there
Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism
New York, Sep 22, 2017: In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over North Korea’s nuclear and weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Sushma Swaraj said while speaking at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly Session here.
“They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she added.
Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there.
“There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement,” she said, calling for terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support to “be systematically cut off”.
Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN Security Council.
On North Korea’s recent offensive military posturing, she said: “The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.”
She also touched on climate change and referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s suggestion of an alliance between the India-initiated International Solar Alliance and the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS nations.
“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she said.
The International Solar Alliance, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.
It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (IANS)
Thiruvananthapuram | New Delhi, Sep 13, 2017: Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.
“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.
The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.
According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.
The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.
He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.
Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.
A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.
In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.
After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.
Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat. (IANS)
Mumbai, Sep 12, 2017: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) on Monday raised strong objections to a new Australian advertising campaign featuring revered Hindu and Christians gods and other mythical figures to ‘sell’ its red meat and meat products.
CSF Founder-General Secretary Joseph Dias said the latest advertising campaign by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is “bad in taste and offensive to all” and sought boycott of MLA and a ban of their products.
The advertisements feature the elephant-headed God, Lord Ganesha, revered in India, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast.
The ads have reportedly made an oblique reference to Prophet Mohammed, who is not pictured but is heard excusing himself from the party through a mobile phone call since he has to pick-up a child from daycare.
What has hurt Christians is that the caricature of Jesus Christ who performs what is termed as a ‘reverse miracle’ by turning wine into water so a Grecian goddess, who is a ‘designated driver’ can drive home safely, Dias said.
“We have written to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to take note of these ‘insensitive advertisements’ and raise the issue with the top authorities in Australia immediately. We also demand that MLA Chairman Michele Allan and MD Richard Norton withdraw the ads and tender an apology,” Dias told IANS.
Besides writing to Sushma Swaraj, the CSF has shot off emails to Australian Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai Martin Huber, Indian High Commissioner to Australia Harinder Sidhu and other top officials raising serious objections to the MLA campaign.
“The CSF has always protested against commercial exploitation of religious figures for profit, irrespective of which religion the figures belong to. The MLA ads have hurt not only followers of different faiths, but atheists and agnostics all over,” Dias pointed out.
He termed the campaign as ‘culturally insensitive’ to vegans and communities like Hindus, Jains or Buddhists and said Lord Ganesha is a vegetarian and meat is never offered to him, as depicted in the MLA ads.
Dias warned that unless MLA yanks off the offensive ad campaign and apologises, the global Catholic community would be compelled to boycott its products as “there are many alternatives available worldwide”. (IANS)