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Posts Tagged ‘UK

Theresa May’s Urgency for an ‘Emergency Brexit’

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Hasty and feisty :

This article looks at the Brexit and how Article 50 will be triggered now it has been made possible by the Supreme Court ruling which indicated the correct process, and looking at the timeframe of the deadlines and how they’ve been kept on track to meet these through haste on the UK governments part.

Theresa Brexit and Trump:

The process for Brexit seems to have been an emergency Brexit with the Government going about the process with so much urgency that it’s as if the panic button had been pressed, so much for remaining calm whilst under pressure.

Or is this rather an Emergence Brexit – an emergence of Brexit and Trump on their new found relationship. Or has Theresa May chose to ignore the large amount of people who voted to remain, do they no longer mean anything? Given that they almost nicked it to the finish line too. Why the early deadlines then? Similar to Trump and his crazy ban on Muslims he has not shown any concern and shown a lack of liberty for many; social inclusion is important and for a leader of an international country and being an international man how can he make such a devastating call. He too seems to have ignored the vast swathes of the public. Protests, Protests, and more Protests is what he got in return.

Damage:

Brexit has caused much chaos financially with the estimated EU bill between €40bn and €60bn; big companies leaving the UK, but also the economy is suffering and the evidence is in the weakened Pound. Triggering Article 50 after putting a bill together within days even before the Brexit Plan had been announced is unexpected and shocking.

The Brexit bill was voted for in a landslide majority, but there were a lot of resignations and the debate prior to the vote, was heated with many MP’s scrutinising the bill for being put together poorly in order to meet Prime-Minister May’s deadline for triggering Article 50.

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Deadlines:

The date set out by the PM is March 31, 2017 and by then she will have requested that Article 50 should be triggered; by notifying the European Council of Britain’s intention to leave the EU. She is on-course to meet the deadline given and this just goes to show the intent for setting things in motion and with haste, a Brash and Bold Brexit no time for Brexit Banter.

So what has all this urgency been about by the Conservative Government and the Prime-Minister Theresa May on pressing for an early BREXIT.

We are sure to find out soon when trade negotiations will take place and President Trump is sure to play a role with the UK the USA’s closest ally.

History:

The UK joined the EU in 1973 and are now set to leave it via the Emergency exit via an ill thought out bill. Is the UK trying to keep pace with President Trump and follow his quick succession of executive orders and enforcement of a new beginning by being bullish about the Brexit and do things fast like Trump.

It certainly seems like Theresa May was out to fight when she presented her speech on her terms for Brexit which was in direct contrast to her message of a new partnership with the EU, she said she would walk away with no deal if the EU tried to impose a poor deal and not co-operate further with the EU.

Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag this week that he wanted the UK to remain “a recognisably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems and European-style regulation systems”, trading freely with the EU on something close to current terms.

Public opinion:

The public are key and more far right views are taking to the stage – with the UK its been a close call on public opinion on remaining or leaving the EU and in the US its been close too on whether to vote for Hillary or Trump.

Now we have ongoing protests against Trump and ongoing protests again Theresa May, and also Trump’s divisive policy on Muslims entering the US. What will be Theresa May’s move after Brexit?

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Conclusion:

The Government were stalled in triggering Article 50 although it was short-lived. The difficulty initially began when the Supreme Court ruled on Article 50, on 24 January 2017.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on whether Theresa May has the power to trigger Article 50 using a royal prerogative would not get the go ahead.

This was a major ruling and has set a precedent for future rulings in similar situations.

Instead the Supreme Court ruling ensured that Parliament had a vote as to when Britain will begin the formal process of exit negotiation and trigger Article 50.

The Government’s efforts in trying to secure an exit without needing a vote from Parliament proved to be a temporary problem. The Government went about producing a bill which was passed through in Parliament by a majority vote.

This bill could have proved much more problematic if it had been contested and lots of amendments requested; however Theresa May managed to get the bill through although it has been called a mockery and simplistic and there may be a few more legal requirements for the Governments involved in the Brexit from the UK to take into consideration.

Many now want the Government to work with Parliament more closely and obtain votes on key negotiations.

The UK was divided on leaving or remaining in the EU and in London the majority voted to remain. Also because it was a close call there should have been more  sense about the Government’s attempts to try and execute the exit as soon as possible.

The vote in parliament over triggering article 50 happened very quickly and was a slick move by Theresa May to further keep the breeze in the Brexit going.

Scotland’s stance in this process will be interesting to keep an eye on, as they had shown on many occasions a want to remain in the EU.

Northern Ireland and Wales along with Scotland had been firm on their position that they wanted more of a role in the Brexit negotiations which could have lasted up to two years, yet it was resolved within a short amount of time.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has put forward his time framework to have terms finalised for the exit from the EU by the end of September 2018.

It seems as if time is of the essence and Prime-minister May will be looking to meet her other deadlines including- March 31, 2019 the Date by which Theresa May wants to wrap up negotiations over Brexit and by May 2019 Britain to formally exit the EU, following ratification of Brexit by all other member states of the EU.

Perhaps there is no hidden agenda and the urgency is because the PM wants to get this crisis of Brexit out of the way as soon as possible. More is bound to be revealed during the next couple of weeks as there is still outstanding controversy over why this bill has been bulldozed through in such a short amount of time and seemingly a lack of preparation of the bill and lack of time for all sides.

 

Syria Air Strikes – Are Bombs the Way…

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I would like to begin with mention and introduction to the most important factors surrounding the complicated topic of Air Bombing Campaigns. It seems that too often the way is always The Bombing way – Bombs away, bombs away, bombs away!

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Air Strikes

The Governments across the World have been doing this for too long; when will this mad and crazy envisaged and implemented notion stop where so many innocent civilians die and often lives are destroyed for many years if not completely. I can write about this with confidence as I have spoken to people who wish to remain anonymous who have lived in fear of bombs and have had to rebuild homes as well as see family members and friends die from the carnage caused by air strikes.

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Terrorism

Air Strikes have not stopped Terrorism instead fueled it, and it was argued by many that it is an effective approach in combating Terrorism, an argument which now holds less strength, in a World where we’ve seen more Terrorism since 9/11.

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Nuclear weapons / Chemical Attacks

Instead Governments should say away with bombs, away with Nuclear weapons, however I would like to focus for now on how The World should say no to these horrific air bombing campaigns.

The war in Syria is the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. Especially with Assad’s use of chemical gas/weapons and most recently with a chemical chlorine attack.

Human Rights

England and many other Western and non-Western countries talk of human rights and being countries integral to Religion with Peace and Harmony at its centrality. Surely causing destruction in other countries caused by these campaigns are far from Peaceful and with ones’ Human Rights on point.

There needs to be some perspective in these situations and the public have shown there concern on many occasions with protests too. Many people signed the petitions to stop the action of bombing in Syria. Which has also been a catalyst to more refugees fleeing the country.

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Public Awareness/Division

The UK public seemed divided on Bombing on Syria as were the MP’s who voted whether to launch air strikes in Syria; significantly this division was seen in the BR-EXIT where those wanting to remain in the EU were closely matched to the numbers to exit, whose main rhetoric was about the influx of immigrants many of whom would obviously be refugees to the UK fleeing Syria. Anti-war demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street and other locations across the UK to make their voice heard, after so many setbacks from the previous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq surely many felt that this war in Syria would have the same outcome.

The UK government’s case is built on the argument that bombing would disrupt the ability of Isis to organize attacks in Europe, while containing the extremist group by denying it territory and access to finance, primarily through oil exports.

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Russian Controversy

Russia has been poor in setting an example, by going all out and bombing everywhere across Syria. The UK and US did not waste much time in bombing Syria either and they were quick to push ahead with their campaigns. President Assad is still in charge in Syria and his cruel regime is still using chemical weapons on the innocent civilians. With President Assad still in power the US and the UK will have seen this as a failure although they may say it is still too soon to title this war as such.

Russia’s President Putin has been backing Assad to stay as President and this has become a confusing combination in the war in Syria with air strikes happening from every direction, targeting US and Turkish fighters as well as anyone seen to oppose the regime currently in place with Bashr Al Assad at the top; the civilians on the ground would obviously find it difficult to differentiate between US, UK, French and Russian planes, and as a result are living with death all around them whilst trying to survive being bombed on a regular basis.

Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas, striking homes, mosques and a busy markets, as well as medical facilities, in a pattern of attacks that show evidence of violations of international humanitarian law, says ‘Amnesty International’.

“The number of civilian casualties from Russian bombardment is far higher than the number caused by American and French airstrikes,” said Wael Aleji, spokesman for the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

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Destruction

There needs to be a leading nation for promoting Peace and instead of engaging in War there has to be further interest in investing against Terrorism. The UK has been bombed in the bygone past when Germany used aerial bombing strikes.

It seems as if those memories need to be related to now, even more so now. How can the insensitivity of bombs which nowadays with all the modern technology available are even more dangerous not be banned all together.

Power in the missiles launched cause mass damage and have huge radius, despite claims that they are precision based strikes there are many innocent civilian casualties in every strike. The destruction happening is reminiscent of the past whether it be Pearl Harbour, Germany bombing the UK, or Iraq and Afghanistan and other middle east countries like Iran and Lebanon.

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Financial Interests

Behind this facade of helping the innocent civilians through bombing campaigns there is the sinister situation where the rich nations are profiting from the sales in modern weaponry and aerial bombs, the arms industry is worth billions and the Governments around the World benefit from this lucrative business trading and buying and selling; once the destructive damage has been done by dropping bombs, the Governments award contracts to rebuild, the UK and US did this in Iraq making money from contracts given to corporations within the UK and US who are often donors to Governments in Power.

The economies of the countries conducting the rebuilding on such a mass scale has a rewarding effect on their economy.

New airports are re-built, buildings, military bases, etc all bring in business; not to mention oil from these countries exported at extortionate prices. These war torn countries economies suffer as a result of this exploitation and this effects its citizens directly.

The Guardian News titled one of their articles in 2013 : “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern.” The article went on to say that “Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines.” It also mentioned the reliance on Middle East oil :

“The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized… For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources… The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

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Syria’s People – Refugee Crisis

Moving away from financial aspects, I would like to focus on the people aspect however; a recent statistic from Syria provided by Mercy Corps is :

“Syria’s civil war is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.”

And the UN says millions of Syrians need our help, According to the U.N., it will take £5 billion to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2016. The U.N. estimates that 6.6 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, well over half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.

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Conflict and Children

Mercy Corps also says of the conflict and bombing that:

“More than five years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed over 250,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. In October 2015, Russia began launching airstrikes at ISIS targets in Syria. The bombings have continued, so far killing at least 2,000 civilians and forcing even more Syrians to flee for safety.”

Syrians are now the largest refugee population in the world. Almost 5 million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is leading the regional emergency response. According to the UN, more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for months, if not years.

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Twitter Controversy

Anti-Isis activist group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’ warned on Twitter that airstrikes which kill civilians undermine the fight against Isis and they said of the bombings – “Congratulations to the Coalition u have a new 160 #ISIS new fighters who will join the fight against u after u kill 160 civilian ##Manbij”

Population decline

Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution (2011), there have been more than 115 thousand civilian casualties and 5 percent of all deaths in Syria are caused by terrorist attacks. Due to the high number of casualties, millions of people have fled Syria and in 2014, Syria had one of the the highest population decline rates in the world.

Al-Tukhar & Manbij strikes

Most recently was the bombing of Al-Tukhar and Manbij which has resulted in the largest loss of civilian life by coalition operations in Syria.

“There must be a prompt, independent and transparent investigation to determine what happened, who was responsible, and how to avoid further needless loss of civilian life,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, interim deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

Terrorist Trouble

Bombing hinders the innocent Syrian civilians and at publishing the bombing still continues; Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said of the bombings that “In Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Mosul, Isis is living almost totally among civilians, so you can’t hit them.”

He pointed out that thousands of foreign jihadi had managed to travel to and from Syria for the past few years through Turkey and questioned the wisdom of now trying to stop militants with bombs when they could have been stopped with tighter border controls. The Paris conspirators, including the presumed ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, were able to travel between Belgium, France and Syria while the US-led airstrikes targeting Isis command and control were in full swing.

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Legality & War Crimes

The legality of the War in Syria has also been questioned after the world has witnessed foreign intervention, as to who wanted President Assad removed and whether the international bombings in Syria have contributed to human rights violations.

“Some Russian air strikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians. Such attacks may amount to war crimes,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

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Syria’s Economy after Foreign Intervention

“The medium-term macroeconomic prospects hinge on containing the war and finding a political resolution to the conflict, and rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and social capital. Violence continues to disrupt the production and distribution of goods and services, and impedes economic activity. Barring a cessation of the conflict, the country’s human and physical capital stock is expected to continue to shrink.” (worldbank.org)

The conflict has significantly damaged the country’s public and private assets including health, education, energy, water and sanitation, agriculture, transportation, housing and other infrastructure. The Syria Center for Policy Research estimated that, for the whole country, the destruction of physical infrastructure amounted to $75 billion. The UN estimated that it would need an investment of $180 billion to bring Syrian GDP back to pre-conflict levels.

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Conclusion

After having spoken to a Syrian gentlemen who lived 19 years in Syria and then moved to the UK; he told me he was upset and saddened to see what was happening in Syria he said that the political complexities are so vast that everyone seems confused about the situation, and the foreign intervention has not helped anything; “I am angered by the amount of civilians dying in Foreign Air Strikes, this war is about more than Assad, if the West wanted him out it would have happened by now. Instead he still lives in the comfort of Syria and is still using chemical weapons.”

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I would like to conclude with a part of the conversation which really summed up my concern for Syrians being bombed in these horrific air strikes;

“You don’t think about these air strikes till it happens to you or your family or friends, before you accept these bombings from all sides you should really think about the devastation, what if this happened to you, that’s when you really feel it, before it happens to you give some thought to those being bombed and try and make a difference, stand up for the Syrians.”

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Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes…

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This article ‘Fracking a ‘Catalyst to Earthquakes’ looks at the link between fracking and earthquakes:

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!’ (in the link below):

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes

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Fracking is a catalyst to Earthquakes and this is evident in a rise in seismic activity in places like USA’s – Oklahoma where earthquakes have been occurring on a much larger scale; than before Fracking had begun for oil and gas, so much so that Oklahoma now sees more Earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. The most recent happening on the 30 December 2015 with a magnitude of 4.3, followed the next five days by aftershock/tremors with a further threat of more to follow. As a result 4,400 residents were left with no electricity and caused damage to the properties.

The United States Geological Survey says that more Earthquakes are to be expected as a major fault may have been re-activated by the Earthquake and that as a result this may result in further 4.0 and more magnitude earthquakes.

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Oklahoma went from two earthquakes a year before 2009 to two a day. This year, roughly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher has shook the state, compared to 20 in 2009.

In August 2015, Oklahoma Governor – Mary Fallin admitted there was a “direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we’ve seen in Oklahoma [and] disposal wells.”

The latest 2015 figures for Oklahoma, show that fracking has become common, state authorities issued a report saying that the state has experienced 585  (magnitude 3+) earthquakes in 2014 compared to 109 events recorded in 2013. Oklahoma has more earthquakes in 2015 than all of continental U.S. combined. Earthquakes are hitting in swarms, and it has been reported in America that in Oklahoma no one apart from concerned residents is taking this seriously.

The disposal wells are a particular problem as the waste fluids pumped underground seems to be causing the ground to form faults and displace the stable earth to an unstable state leading to these Earthquakes.

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Honn Kao, a research scientist with Geological Survey of Canada said of this pumping of fluid, “In theory, a bigger injection of fracking fluid can certainly trigger a bigger quake.”

At the moment there is not much concern about the Earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or under it is only when it reaches 3.5 magnitude that regulators have suggested shutting down the fracking operations and re-locating to a new location. There should be some serious concern for these smaller magnitude quakes too.

A lady from Oklahoma said of the multiple Earthquakes – “I live in Medford and my husband is a handy-man and we can tell you that these little quakes do cause damage. Doorways are askew, cracks are appearing and growing, and parts of houses are sinking!” she also said “The Oklahoma Corporate Commission refuses to fine these wells that are injecting too much waste fluid too deep.”  Frustrated by the media she says that “they are not even reporting all of the quakes we’ve felt.”

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In the UK test drilling for Shale gas, twice caused magnitude 2.0 earthquakes, and this in the testing stage in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area a subsequent study found it was “highly probable” that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors.

The UK government-appointed panel said there could be more tremors as a result of fracking, but they will be too small to do structural damage above ground. This is what was said in Oklahoma and they are reporting currently Earthquakes at 4.3 magnitude.

Does the UK not need to take all this into consideration rather than speeding up the process as they are currently doing. In most recent Earthquake News Ohio has been linked to Fracking where a new study links nearly 80 earthquakes ranging between 1.0 magnitude to 3.0 magnitude that occurred in Ohio’s Mahoning County in March 2014 to nearby fracking operations.

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The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission released a report in August 2015 stating that a  4.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked northeast British Columbia in August was caused by fracking and may be the largest earthquake on record to be attributed to the controversial energy extraction process.

These human related earthquakes are human made with the number of earthquakes rising in many areas, with this in mind should Fracking continue in the US, UK, or anywhere in the World?

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The National Parks are under threat to with David Cameron confirming that the UK is to go “all out” for shale gas. The Parks could be in danger from Earthquakes too, yet the plans to do this fracking under national parks has already been approved.

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Many residents from all around the country have opposed fracking by protesting in places like Chester, Balcombe, Greater Manchester and Blackpool and Fylde Coast. Yet the government seem to be pushing for fracking.

In an insight from former Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith, The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while trying to hasten the beginning of the fracking process. The emphasis should be on working on developing green energy and not putting the UK/US/EU/World land at risk of earthquakes. Asia will be watching with keen eyes as to what kind of approach the richer nations take on this risky road of Fracking before making a stake for their own Fracking Revolution or Fracking Revolt, as for the Indian strategy they seem to be moving cautiously a smart approach and small scale explorations/operations are occurring.

 

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In conclusion:

We are learning more every day about this linking of Fracking to Earthquakes and it is becoming more evident by the day.  

Renewable energy is the future that needs to be worked further towards and invested in much more, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 the world agreed to officially work towards a greener future and work to keep global warming down, fracking for shale gas is injurious to the planets Earth if it triggers quakes especially a large one. 

And these quakes are a first of their kind they are Human made; is Human kind really sizing up Seismic activity and are they ready to take on the consequences and why are countries not exploring green energy alternatives to the dangers of Fracking as outlined in this article and its link to earthquakes.

 

On an interesting note:
Did you know many animals may be able to sense Earthquakes days before they happen, there is ongoing scientific studies, mainly in Asia with animals like dogs, snakes, bees, as Scientists try to understand how prior to an earthquake animals can go into hiding like when this happened in Peru in 2011 when  magnitude 7.0 struck.

 

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!(in the link below):
Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

India’s submergence in Water, Poverty, Smog and the list goes on …

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India’s Submergence and future emergence is the topic of this post, however I would first like to draw to attention the monsoon rains which are economically important to India when they fall in fair amounts is good for Agriculture with 17% of the population relying on the rains as a means for profit and survival within the agriculture industry.

Unfortunately I mentioned the monsoon early on with the natural flooding disaster which is a sad state to see happening right now in Chennai; where floods have taken hundreds of lives and where two-thousand residents have been evacuated. Many poor people living in wood built homes have been left homeless and many have lost everything including their lives. The Indian Government have come in for criticism for building to close to the rivers which are seen as a reason for the substantial levels of water, with bad drainage and architectural planning taking criticism.

Prime-minister Narendra Modi fresh from his visits to Britain and France (which I will mention more about later) has gone to see for himself the devastation that has been caused in Chennai.

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India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed India’s fourth largest city (Chennai) that the government had released 9.4 billion rupees ($141 million) for flood relief and restoration. Mr. Modi went on to announce an additional 10 billion rupees for relief operations, he said:

“The Government of India stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Tamil Nadu in this hour of need.” Chennai formerly known as Madras is said to have been impacted by the effects of climate change, Mr Modi claims, however this could be an attempt to shy away from ongoing criticism of his Governments handling of the situation and the lack of taking onboard that much of the flooded land is low in level and that this should have been flagged as a danger to Chennai early on to prevent the crisis coming to people wading through the depths of muddy water amongst snakes and debris.

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As Modi was leaving Britain onto his next stop in France for the Climate Conference, rain was beginning to fall continuously across Scotland, David Cameron spoke a week later about the mass floods’ in Scotland (which are still ongoing) and attributed the floods to Climate Change too, although he too came under criticism for the same reasons as Prime-Minister Modi in India.

In France there have been many events occurring such as the awful terrorist incidents, immediately followed by the UN Climate Change Conference held in France near Paris.

The conclusions after these events were a declared war by France on the terrorist organisation responsible (Daesh).

Also a new 1.5 to a Max of 2.0 warming limit has been drafted by the countries involved in the UN Climate Change Conference, the Coalition of about 100 developed and developing countries could have some influence over nations less willing to sign up to a truly ambitious deal due to be finalised soon.

The US have set out an aim for the 1.5 warming limit for the climate, however countries like Africa and India have said that it is not fair that they take the burden of the developed countries who have for the most part developed at the cost of polluting the skies, whilst expecting the undeveloped countries to put their poor people aside and take the burden to clear the airs.

Although the developing countries want to work with greener energy they are still set on the route of fossil fuels like coal to continue burning and stressing that the onus is on the developed countries to cut their emissions and assist in greener development in the undeveloped world.

The UN Climate Change conference has seen most countries asked to answer to the call for a legally binding, fair, durable agreement in Paris that must set a long-term goal, be reviewed every five years and include a system for tracking progress.

India receive aid from the UK and on the back of this Conference taking place many of the British Tabloid and broadsheet papers had eye catching headlines highlighting that the UK gives hundreds of millions in Pounds of Aid to India. Britain gave India nearly £300million in financial aid last year despite pledges by ministers to end the handouts.

India became the second highest recipient of Britain’s aid spending after its funding rose by £10million to nearly £279million, more than Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Syria. Conservative MPs said the amount of taxpayer’s money being given to one of the World’s fastest growing economies is “ridiculous”. India has its own space programme and recently unveiled plans to spend more than £10billion on a fleet of new warships and submarines. “A country with its own space programme does not need aid from us” said Sir Gerald Howarth, Conservative Party Member of Parliament.

Japan gives more in Aid to India than the UK and Germany and the US are said to be giving more in the future which will outdwarf that of the UK.

It sounds unfair that although the developed world have brought about their ease of development through fossil fuels that they can then turn around and expect the opposite from the undeveloped nations. Although India is being helped in aid it is to promote greener cleaner use and implementation of green energy.

It was reported recently that Uruguay now have a solely green energy for the country with 100% renewable energy being used to provide electricity.

The leaders of 30 of the world’s poorest countries said they wanted the world to be 100 per cent renewable by 2050 at the UN Climate Conference.

Renewable energy and climate targets will be a key theme of these talks in the future. There is a major push by poorer nations for their – and the world’s – energy needs to be supplied by renewable energy, as part of their insistence that the climate target be tightened to prevent average warming of more than 1.5C.

India is focusing on strong solar power generated energy, yet it is being said that India may cause an upset in Paris at the UN Climate Conference, with a possibility that they may not play ball in the talks or come to agreement with other countries.

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When will India eradicate poverty and be a key developed country and emerge to be a real Superpower who talks the talk and walks the walk. Prime-Minister Modi before being elected campaigned on the reforms he would bring in and ensure that India will continue to develop at a leading economic rate which they are continuing to do, despite China’s slight slow-down. Modi has made it clear that he will continue as China and Africa will be doing to continue relying on fossil fuels whilst slowly working towards greener and renewable energy.

With PM – Modi it seems his nationalism is what is driving him and he is intent on driving the country to the best possible rise in economy, not a graceful rise but a rise by any means for Modi; India has recently seen pollution that is worse than China’s smog in places like Delhi. Is it right that India are saying that fossil fuels are essential in bringing the poor out of poverty or is it a case that to fund the green projects is less profitable even though green renewable is the right thing for the long-term as it is sustainable and clean.

Government official was quoted as saying “We’ve taken more care for nature than the earlier regime.” The introduction of an air pollution monitoring system, a revision of emission norms and a bill to plant trees in degraded forest areas.

India is not doing enough and have made the talks in Paris seemingly look like it is all about money, and in this world it is always about money to every Country around the globe. The British empire were selfish when they raided India and left it in a worse position economically before they arrived. It will be interesting to see how India reduce its carbon footprint and poverty by 2020, it is a choice that they will decide whether to act on the aforementioned or not.

David Cameron went all out for PM Modi’s arrival to the UK and this was because he wants to promote more investment and trade between the two nations, can the former colonial empire/power work well with India, already TATA’s success in the UK with Jaguar and Land Rover is a symbol of success between the two. India may choose to invest more in the UK and also vice-versa although the Indian market is still seen as difficult to break into for UK companies wanting to expand into the lucrative Indian market.

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train2Before I conclude on some positives about India, I would like to note that there are many upsetting things in relation with India – (the list as mentioned in the title) :

  • Natural Disasters
  • Smog/Pollution/Emissions
  • Poverty still not eliminated although being considered as a superpower
  • Corruption in all areas of governance and black money
  • Banning of NGO’s like Greenpeace India amongst 5,000 other banned NGO’s
  • Forest cutting bad for the environment bad for the Tigers and projects like WWF Tiger
  • Human Rights Abuse not just in India but also in Nepal
  • Internet over-regulated and censored
So does India allow itself to get submerged with all the negatives or does it try and make many improvements along the road of continual support and progress for the betterment of the country and its people, through good governance rather than the nationalistic approach Modi has taken to and feels restricted and promised to, after all he wants to keep his promises.
Contrastingly the positives are that India is one of the biggest contributors to the UN and one of the main contributors to the UN Peacekeeping forces of the UN.
The Times of India’s recent headline is that: At 7.3% in 2016, India to remain fastest growing economy: UN – Times of India
Also India has just contracted Japan to build a Bullet train system from Mumbai to Ahmedabad which will reduce travelling time from 8 hours to 2 hours, India was also considering China for the contract however Japan nipped it to the finish line in this race; it is hoped it will continue to push the Indian and Japan economies and create more jobs.

I hope to have given you all an insight into India as it is leading into 2016 on some of the most important aspects, what Incentives will India choose to act upon and how they go about it will be a point of focus by many nations as India is clearly a key player in the future, it is a leader in its region already, whether it remains in the future depends on Modi for now and his successors; Technology company IBM has said India needs better governance too if it is to be a real leader in the 21st Century.

Will India make it to a Developed nation and be a real superpower, will India set a stable platform on which to lead on, before rushing into a super pose, as Modi seems to be doing a lot of. When will India re-emerge and emerge as a real force for the future, only time will tell, although going by India’s economic performance it can be done and substance will be key, alongside key alliances for economic trade and progress.

India will be a focus and how it emerges in 2016 will be interesting to see.

india

Written by Raj

December 11, 2015 at 3:51 am

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

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Lord MacGregor was saying recently that Fracking in Britain holds many benefits. Recently a report published by The Lords Economic Affairs Committee, whom one or more of the members on the committee is said to have  links to Pro-Fracking corporations, have given their views on drilling for Shale Gas, they have outlined in the report that they back the Government’s decision to go “all out for shale”, however they make a request to do far more to engage the public on the benefits of Fracking in the UK and say it will provide more jobs, and bring about energy security.

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The report published went on to say that “Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.”

Although the report may have taken a liking to Fracking in terms of short-term money and making a quick buck, there are many dangers to Fracking and instead of taking a cautious approach, the committee have asked to speed up the implementation for the plans to Frack. If so many people are opposed surely they should be heard and their concerns addressed. Realistically many would now say that Fracking should not happen, as there are too many dangers involved with the focus on the wrong type of energy (fossil) instead of on green and clean renewable energy.

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The Green Party Leader of Croydon Shasha Khan said upon being questioned by Raj News that “The Government should seize the opportunity to embrace energy reduction with renewables not Fracking.

Fracking is an extreme energy source” Shasha went on to speak of Cuadrilla an oil and gas exploration company in the UK who are pursuing Shale Gas in the UK by hydraulic fracturing in the ground, he said “Cuadrilla have already said that energy prices will not come down due to Fracking, so why risk polluting our water.”

The report mentioned the EU’s reliance on Russia for Gas and how Fracking would stop this reliance. They do not however mention the EU’s fine to the UK for not meeting its Air Quality/Pollution requirements, there is a pending case against the UK by the EU, which could see the UK picking up bills worth millions for not doing enough to reduce the pollution and cleaning up the air.

The UK could see these fines dropped if the Government acts now and can show there is an improvement, in air quality. With car traffic jams in areas and things like incinerators, unnecessarily burning waste when it could be recycled, where is the encouragement to the public on these issues.

The Green party have been doing their bit in Croydon, opposing an Incinerator in Beddington Lane by putting in a judicial review, against Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to have an incinerator in Beddington Lane which would serve Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston, although there is danger of toxic fumes carrying downwind, unfairly building up, to pollute areas, which do not want to be harmed, by these dangerous fumes.

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With all these prominent dangers at the forefront, the Government still want to dangerously fracture the earth in an effort to unlock Shale gas, the dangers of this are creating toxic drinking water as Shasha Khan mentions and instead of trying to promote renewable energy, the Government wants to continue focusing on fossil fuels at the cost of damaging the UK – Fracking has been linked to Earthquakes.

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When it comes to regulation of Fracking the Lord’s have said that regulation should be streamlined, such as in cases where a company may want to drill under people’s houses they can do so without needing a license.

The Lords’ report seems to promote fracking and Lord MacGregor said on a radio interview with the BBC that Fracking will provide the public with lower fuel bills, he also mentions the US taking up Fracking. The radio host points out that “in the USA there are vasts amounts of unpopulated land, whereas in the UK you’re looking to do Fracking in relatively populated areas.” Lord MacGregor says that they’ve looked at this problem and any effects to the environment, yet this is a cherry picked report  which gives us a selected amount of information that is Pro-Fracking.

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Chief scientist Dr Doug Parr of Green Peace UK says of the report: “On one page the Lords are saying public concerns should be taken seriously, on the other they urge the government to strip people of their right to say no to Fracking firms planning to drill under their homes – a move opposed by three-quarters of British people.” They also backed moves by the Government to change trespass laws so that shale companies could drill under people’s property without their permission to ensure development could go ahead “without undue delay or cost”.

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Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also featured in the interview, she made it clear that Fracking is not a solution to anything and pointed out surely the UK are not going to go ahead with this. She mentioned that there are far more jobs in renewable energy compared to that of Fossil fuels. She spoke of having a cap on fossil fuel emissions, and how drilling for shale gas can cause levels in methane to increase which is dangerous, especially as the numbers on methane gas is highly underestimated.

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I would stress that this is a swipe by the Government to make some quick money, rather than educate the public on this issue and listen to the people who are, now, in a poll, overall against Fracking, in the UK.

Dr Parr criticised the report, warning Fracking was a “non-solution” that would not deliver for many years, if at all. Caroline Lucas points out that Fracking would lock us into the fossil fuel industry rather than working towards a positive renewable clean energy industry.

Dr Parr’s analysis of the report was a realistic one and he said, “The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas. This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country’s legitimate concerns about Fracking.”

The Dr and Caroline Lucas and Shasha Khan echoed each other when they spoke of the real urgent national priority, which is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures.

Although the BBC did not mention in an article about Fracking that the Green Party (whom of late have not even had much media coverage by the BBC in the elections) whose Leader Natalie Bennet is a keen campaigner against Fracking alongside Caroline Lucas who was arrested for protesting against Fracking, after having real concerns about the UK issue of Fracking and alongside Green Peace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth’s concerns – who also did not get much coverage either.

The BBC did highlight the dangers of chemicals in Fracking they said:

“Hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract gas involves pumping water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure to allow the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

There is a worry that chemicals used in Fracking may escape and contaminate groundwater around the Fracking site.

Another environmental concern is that Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the Fracking site, at significant environmental cost.”

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The campaigning group, Friends of the Earth, commented: “The report recognises that the regulations aren’t working – but calling for the Government to ‘simplify’ regulations and speed up the process will not reassure local communities and a public unconvinced by this risky technology.”

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The WWF- UK said:

Nick Molho, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF-UK said: “The Lords seemed to have overlooked the many serious analysts who have said that shale gas in the UK is unlikely to have much impact on either gas prices or the UK’s rising exposure to gas imports.

“If we are genuinely going to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to future fossil fuel price shocks, the main priority must be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in the first place.

“Moving rapidly towards an energy system that’s more efficient, low-carbon and better integrated with those of our European partners should therefore remain the UK’s highest national priority when it comes to energy policy.”

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In conclusion:

There is a danger in going after shale gas, which is still unknown about in terms of quantity, quality and is most likely under the ground in different layers, making it difficult to access; whereas in the USA there is land which is flat and plenty in unpopulated areas, making the gas easier to extract, the same cannot be said for the UK with its populated areas and complex land structure and layers of the earth.

Fracking has added to the climate change debate, and Fracking will only damage the climate, which Fracking can have serious implications on, nevertheless it has become a part of the debate on climate change as it can cause a huge set back to the climate through air quality, natural disasters, water contamination and earthquakes; there should be a focus on renewable energy rather than using less dirtier fossil fuel (Shale gas compared to Coal), which looks set to harm the UK, residents, and environment just as much, if money was spent on Green renewable energy, this would pay off in the longterm.

There are so many alternatives yet Fracking is what the Government want to pursue. There are many out there protesting against Fracking to put a stop on it before it starts, make sure your concerns are heard write to the politicians and tell them to stop their plans as not many of the members of the public agree with Fracking and it is dangerous and also we cannot afford to miss the opportunity to work now on the future with renewable energy, which is clean, green, job making, and recyclable, renewable, and the future.

PM David Cameron & President Francois Hollande: The UK & FRANCE Summit

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The summit is being held at RAF, Brize Norton, UK. Prime-Minister David Cameron has been hosting French President Francois Hollande and their aim is to discuss primarily the relationship between the UK and France on issues such as security, reform of the EU, nuclear energy, defence & space collaboration and how to make the EU more competitive.

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The air base of RAF Brize Norton provided many photo opportunities with defence planes as a backdrop.

The PM’s were accompanied by Secretaries and Ministers, such as the Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Energy Secretary and Minister for Science, both the UK and French counterparts made their announcements, of which included many UK-French collaborations, which the No10 have referred to as a further strengthening of co-operation between the two countries.

The outcome of the Summit saw announcements on the UK and France signing a declaration on nuclear energy and agree cooperation on ambitious climate change action, and the two countries agreeing to closer defence co-operation and a £15 million investment which will see a space collaboration between the UK and France.

The EU reforms discussion was the most difficult for the two to work together on, with PM Hollande saying the amendments to the EU reform are “not urgent”.  David Cameron faced the issue of trying to negotiate on the UK’s membership with the EU before a referendum in 2017, President Hollande did not seem to be wanting to rush anything and saying that a treaty change was “not necessary”, although President Hollande did say in the future there could be a reform if it helped with the EU to be “better co-ordinated”.

Prime-minister David Cameron will be able to go ahead with a UK vote on the issue of an in-out EU referendum, if he is re-elected in the 2015 general election, which would see the UK vote take place on the EU referendum in 2017.

The French and the UK also looked at the important issue of the Central African Republic, Libya and Syria, and the issue of radicalisation of French and British citizens, fighting abroad. It was of course President Hollande who intervened with french troops in the Central African republic and the UK have said they will assist in these operations to counter these militants.

Although the two men managed to make some movement on the discussions and agreements, there will be much more to do in making these agreements work and especially on the UK – EU relationship.

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Rock N Rolls with Ministry of Defence Nuclear Submarine deal worth $1.3 billion

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Computer generated image of the new Astute Class Submarine, due to enter service in 2007.

Rolls Royce Limited have agreed to a submarine nuclear contract with the Ministry of Defence (UK) worth $1.3 billion.

The nuclear submarine contract is a ten year one and will help greatly with the Ministry of Defence department, as it will be sustaining up to 2000 jobs in the UK and the department will be saving up to 200 million pounds as this agreement is a consolidated cost long term agreement with Rolls-Royce of which 800 million has been awarded to Rolls-Royce and it focuses on efficiency and sustainability through all of Rolls-Royce’s business operations.

And with a thorough restructuring of the UK nuclear submarine industry the MoD are looking to save 900 million pounds. The choice of Rolls-Royce will also assist the UK economy as they are a UK originated company and “Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.”Source: Rolls-Royce website.

The MoD website states their target to save under Submarine enterprise performance programme (SEPP) they say: “This contract goes a long way towards meeting the government’s commitment to SEPP, as announced in the 2010 Strategic defence and security review, to make at least £900 million of savings by restructuring the UK’s nuclear submarine industry.”

On the MoD website it has been stated that: “The MoD has awarded an £800 million contract to Rolls-Royce to deliver and maintain the UK’s nuclear propulsion capability for submarines.”

Submarine

Jason Smith, Rolls-Royce President Submarines and Chief Operating Officer – Nuclear said: “I am pleased that we have agreed this enabling contract with the MOD which delivers significant savings to them over the next ten years and provides us with the stability to deliver these activities efficiently. It further reinforces the commitment to the submarine programme.”

Rolls-Royce are producers of the finest luxury cars, yet they also specialise in being a world leader in the departments of power systems in the use of air, land, sea, and nuclear technology. Focusing on the Marine aspect they have been leading in vessel design, the use of complex systems and power and propulsion equipment.
There website states: “Our marine business serves more than 4,000 customers and has equipment installed on over 30,000 vessels, including those of 70 navies.”

The maintenance spoken of will be of the Royal Navy’s Astute Class submarines and the contract extends further to the future successor submarines which will be acting as deterrent submarines.

Mr Dunne Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said of the agreement: “Rolls-Royce’s work in the production of submarine propulsion systems is an important national strategic capability. It is necessary in order to meet the present and future defence and security needs of the UK and this contract ensures the MOD can continue to benefit from this unique capability on the best possible business terms.”

The MoD have constantly backed their nuclear deterrent policy for their submarines attack and deterrent subs, operation trident has been a matter of controversy as many have said it costs too much and also that it is out-dated in today’s world.  Operation trident is the UK’s nuclear weapons development, procurement and operation of current generation weapons and the ability to use them in extreme cases.

A quote from Trident is “the minimum effective nuclear deterrent as the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threat”.

The legality of having nuclear weapons has also been questioned internationally by many Non-governmental organisations and the questioning has arisen in relation to Human Rights Law and International Customary Law.

On 25 January 2007, Des Browne, UK Defence Minister, defended the use of Trident:

“I do not believe it makes sense to say that nuclear weapons are inherently evil. In certain circumstances, they can play a positive role – as they have in the past. But clearly they have a power to do great harm,” he said. “Are we prepared to tolerate a world in which countries which care about morality lay down their nuclear weapons, leaving others to threaten the rest of the world or hold it to ransom?”

Despite opposition to Trident, the MoD will go ahead with this contract with Rolls-Royce and it is certain that over the next 10 years UK submarines will be at the forefront of deterring a nuclear threat.

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HAPPY DIWALI!

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Happy Diwali and Namashkar (Greetings to you)!

Today is Diwali!

The Festival of Light! Inspired by Hindu God’s Sita and Rama!

The saga – The Ramayana –  also features Hanuman (the Monkey God) and Bhagwan (God) Laxman – who is Lord Ram’s younger brother.

On this special day lamps are lit all over the World and Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains. The significance to the reason of why lamps and fireworks are lit is explained towards the end of this tribute/article.

I begin by introducing the wonderful and wonderous Gods in the Ramayana and a demon called Ravana

(The epic of Sita and Rama is called the Ramayana):

Shree Ram (he is the central figure of the Ramayana)  (above in Blue – often depicted with his Bow and Arrow):

Rama (who is an Avatar in human form) is The 7th Incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu – (below):

He is born to King Dasharath and Shree Ram has three brothers Laxman, Bharat and Shatrugna, who are all younger to him. Shree Ram after finishing his studies with Vishwamitra his Guru (Teacher), sets out to eliminate demons from the World with his brother Laxman. After anhillating many demons, he meets his wife to be Sita; Shree Ram is set the task of stringing Lord Shiva’s bow and not only succeeds in doing so he also manages to snap the bow in half, the completion of this task sees Shree Ram and Sita’s marriage take place in extraordinary extravagance (Shree Ram being a Prince at the time and Sita a Princess). The Newly weds return to Shree Ram’s Father’s kingdom of Ayodhya to a great welcoming and an array of Hailing Shree Ram and Shree Sita ki Jai! The first hailings of many to come! Shree Ram’s love and life story is further narrated/conveyed when drastic events occur:

  • Shree Ram is halted from being crowned and is exiled to the forest for 14years by his Step-Brother’s Mother and the King Dasharath is distraught by the exilation however allows it to happen, Shree Sita and Shree Laxman go with Shree Ram to the forest.
  • Later Sita is abducted from the Forest by Demon Ravana.
  • Shree Ram is grieving and Hanuman Bhagwan comes to his aid and they go to rescue Sita from India to Sri Lanka where she is being held.

*Sita* is the wife of Shree Rama, they later have two twin boys called Love and Kush.

*(above far right of animated photo)

Sita is the Incarnation of Bhagwan Lakshmi goddess of wealth:  (who is the consort of Bhagwan Vishnu).

Sita is the daughter of the earth goddess, she goes to the forest after being sent with Ram to spend 14years in the forest called Dandaka where they have been exiled. She is Ram’s beloved sweetheart and awaits Ram to rescue her from Ravana’s tyranny.

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Demon King of Sri Lanka Ravana (above) is a powerful demon who has ten heads and a boon that he cannot be killed by God’s, he abducts Sita from the Forest and is soon at war with Rama, Laxman and Hanuman and the monkey army after this act.

Laxman (above) is Ram’s younger brother who is by Ram’s side through everything in the Ramayana, he assists Ram in his efforts to rescue Sita and is a secondary Avatar of Ram too; Laxman is also known as Shesha who is Vishnu Bhagwan’s hooded snake who provides Bhagwan Vishnu with protection also known as Balrama who is Krishna Bhagwans older brother (both of whom are central figures within the Mahabharata another Hindu epic which takes place in India.)

Hanuman (above) is the strength of Ram and vice-versa they see each other through everything and Hanuman helps immensely in Ram’s efforts to rescue Sita, first he delivers Shree Ram’s ring to Sita and re-assures her, he saves Laxman’s life who is injured in one of many battles in the war to save Sita. Hanumanji is known for saying “Jai Shree Ram”.

Diwali is an annual festival and it is celebrated in homes and temples by the lighting of lamps (diwas’) and my favourite fireworks!  Indian sweets (Mitai) are exchanged at Diwali to everyone and this has long been a tradition, families get together and celebrate the successful rescue of Sita by Ram (Rama kills Ravan) and their return to the Kingdom of Ayodhya after 14years of exile. Features of Diwali are singing, chanting, mehndi, colourful creations of patterns called Rangoli too! Many people visit temples as part of this annual festival. Festivities of all sorts take place such as Dances and Plays (Nataks)! Gifts are exchanged too! Blessings are given, food is abundant whether it be sweets or savouries!

“The exact day of the festival is decided by the position of the moon. According to the Hindu calendar, Amavasya or ‘no moon day’ is considered as the perfect day to celebrate Diwali.” – chakranews.com

Fireworks, lighting lamps and candles symbolise many things such as bringing light into our lives and the return of Sita and Ram (who were welcomed home and led back home from the forest by diwas and lights of all sorts)  it also symbolises the power of light over evil or darkness.

It is a joyous time in rememberance of Sita and Ram and everyone wishes each other well by saying Shubh Deepawali (Happy Diwali) and Saal Mubarak (New Year) the New Year is shortly after Diwali and even David Cameron the UK Prime-Minister said this year: “let me wish all a very happy and prosperous Diwali and Saal Mubarak.”

The Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has expressed the hope that the festival of lights this year will mark the beginning of a new phase of optimism for each one of his countrymen. He also wished peace and prosperity for the people.

That concludes my Diwali tribute/article!

Interesting information/ links /photos

  • Deepavali or Diwali means “a row of lights”
  • Another take on Diwali as well as being a celebration of the return of Sita and Ram and the slaying of Ravan is: “All the simple rituals (explained throughout article) of Diwali have a significance and a story to tell. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire-crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state.” (hinduism.about.com)
  • Diwali is also celebrated outside of India mainly in Guyana, Fiji, Malaysia, Nepal, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Britain, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Africa, Australia and the US among the Hindus across the world. (hinduism.about.com)
  • WATCH RAMAYANA THE EPIC:

HAPPY DIWALI!

&

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

new-year diwali

Raj Mehta

Written by Raj

November 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm

August riots: UK update on Police

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You may recall the student protests of November 2010 there was also much damage caused to London, before the riots of August 2011. Both of the latter prolific events that have hit England have seen clashes with the Police.

Here are some key images from the student protest that turned violent:

The police have had to face this same problem of violence against them and the August riots have become another similar scene:

Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers has spoken of historical riots and of people who clash with the police:

“with many of these events, it is a case of people who feel disenfranchised in the far broader sense exhibiting their displeasure with the current government through attacking the cops—not far different from what you saw [at the student protests].”

The question that should be looked at now – is whether this is a real solution to anything – many would argue that we live in a democracy where one can make their voices heard in a ‘realistic’ way such as mass peaceful protest, which in the student protests many abided to.

The same cannot be said about the August riots – what started off as a peaceful protest on Friday 5th August, (Thursday 4th August was the shooting of Mark Duggan which occured at 6:15pm) turned into a full blown riot on Saturday night (6th August), copy cat riots happened all across the UK. Although in the student riots the majority were peaceful; The August riots it is reported – (by many including BBC’s Panorama) – that a group of between 200 and 300 turned violent outside a police station in Tottenham (there is also speculation that this was due to a female being hit by a police officer). The police have labelled these riots in the aftermath as having to deal with a “unique” situation/case (where the majority were no longer abidng to a peaceful protest) – protests are mainly and usually peaceful in the UK which is mostly the case and these actions of protest are welcomed and applauded by the Government, the rioting and looting are not, and the government and courts are ensuring that those involved become conscious of this, through regular speeches and sentencing.

Hugh Orde – said of the student riots in November 2010 : “My sense of it was that the vast majority of people were exercising their democratic right to protest. But embedded in that crowd were people absolutely determined to cause as much disorder and mayhem as they could.” he also says they don’t know what their doing and that “they get caught up in the event.”

President Orde also said in the interview which was in February this year – of the student protests – “My sense is that the majority of people don’t want to cause extreme violence, and I still believe that it is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say  oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with.”

Mr Orde goes on to say “There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different. And the public [will] have a much better understanding of why police tactics have to be slightly more extreme, if the public understands that the only reason these tactics are necessary is that protestors will not engage with us pre-event. If the protestors will not talk to us, well, we can’t just not police the event.”

Many from the Government – as things stand – may question why the police did not take a more pro-arrest approach and use robust methods if necessary; if this action would further protect people and their property and community. The police overall managed to stop the rioting a week after the shooting of Mr Duggan. And there have been a few hero stories from the police – side – where a small group of officers took on hundreds of rioters by charging them and securing their perimeters together. The riots have caused worldwide condemnation and shock – they have also left much damage and altered communities dramatically in their appearance.

 As for the police they have been described as using what has been described as “soft” tactics; and David Cameron said: “The tactics the police were using weren’t working”. The police will be receiving further training and a review of the police is to take place. Also the government are looking to go ahead with police-cuts.

Mr Cameron also announced :

“The security fightback will start with a stronger police presence – walking the beat, deterring crime and ready to crack down at the first sign of trouble. Paperwork will be reduced to get more police officers out on the streets, while accountability to the public will be improved through elected police and crime commissioners. Police powers will also be increased. The police already have the power to issue dispersal orders, while over the coming months:

  • gang injunctions will be extended to under-18s
  • police will be allowed to remove face coverings from rioters
  • the power to confiscate offenders’ property will be looked at”

The government and the police have since the rioting looked at police powers:  The police have already been authorised to use baton rounds. While water cannons aren’t currently needed, plans have been put in place for them to be available at 24 hours’ notice. The police will also be given the discretion to remove face coverings under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity.

In other news: Sir Hugh Orde has applied to be the next Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police – after Sir Paul Stephenson resigned over the News of the World hacking scandal. More than 3,300 people have now been arrested across the country.

Courts in London, Manchester and the West Midlands are working hard to clear the backlog of cases.

The IPCC are still working on their report of the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Blackberry and social media used by Police to stop riots

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The police managed to stop the Olympic stadium (and other key hotspots, for potential riots) from being damaged through online and phone monitoring. They used the information found on phones and online to organise police presence at these potentially targeted places. The police are now looking into the possibility of shutting down these mediums in any similar events.

This comes amidst talks by the Government and in particular Theresa May, who have all suggested that social media and Blackberry’s may be banned in their use during times of crisis.

Mr Cameron has said whilst at the emergency Parliament meeting last Thursday:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner – Ms Lynne Owens spoke of officers sifting through an “overwhelming” amount of “chitter chatter” on social networks during last week’s riots in London, she went on to say: “Through Twitter and BBM there was intelligence that the Olympic site, that both Westfields [shopping centres] and Oxford Street were indeed going to be targeted,” she told the home affairs select committee. Ms Owens also said: “We were able to secure all those places and indeed there was no damage at any of them.”

RiM – Research in Motion the company that produces Blackberry’s have said they will co-operate with the police and by law the police are able to serve Rim with an order to reveal information. Under the same law, Rim are barred from disclosing whether they’ve done so or not.

This is underThe Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) provides that the interception of communications is unlawful in most cases. However, the Act states that law enforcement agencies, including the police and MI5, can force telecoms companies to hand over customers’ details in order to tap phone, internet or email communications to protect the UK’s national security interests, prevent and detect terrorism and serious crime or to safeguard the UK’s economic well-being.

The communications industry is still striving to further the world of communications – as Apple are set to launch a messenger service on their i-phones and facebook are to make available a messenger with Android phones. The government will be taking this into consideration too.

The Association of British Insurers has estimated the cost from the riots and looting at 200 million pounds ($326 million) this total is expected to rise.

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