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Discrimination of Non-Catholics Alleged in Mannar
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:49:02 ( 810 reads )


Source: Sunday Leader





SRI LANKA, August 5, 2001: In response to humanitarian disasters both natural and man-made, victims are usually resettled in their place of origin, or at least compensated for their loss. One project has created a furor, bringing to light divisions among religious communities in Mannar, Sri Lanka. The 300-320 families to be resettled under this project are inmates of the Pesalai open relief camp. The program involves the government providing the infrastructure and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, which builds houses for settlers. The Catholic Church got involved as the bishop of Mannar had offered church land in Thotaveli where 300 families could be resettled. Settlers were distributed a document that basically excluded everyone who is not a Catholic from settling on this land. The agreement expects all settlers to acknowledge that they have been settled in the land belonging to the church and those who avail themselves of this benefit have to abide within the Catholic faith. The victims wrote in protest to the government telling of this demand that violates their right to religious beliefs and the standards enshrined in the UN guiding principles on resettling internally displaced persons.




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Beef Book Sparks Hindu Protest
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:48:02 ( 715 reads )


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DELHI, INDIA, Aug. 9, 2001: A spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) have strongly protested against the publication of a book which says that ancient Indians ate beef. the VHP claimed that the motive behind the book was to insult Hindus, who revere cows as part of their religion. But experts say the book only adds to existing evidence that beef was widely eaten in India hundreds of years ago. The author, Professor DN Jha, of "Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions," said he was seeking legal advice to ensure publication soon and knows of the court case in Hyderabad which seeks to prevent the book from being published. Two religious groups, the All Jain Sewak Sangh and the All Gowd Sangh, are said to have sought the ban because they argue that the book damages their faith.




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Hindu Leaders Forum to Meet in Los Angeles
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:47:02 ( 766 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 10, 2001: Dr. B.K. Modi announced today that a group of Hindu leaders traveling to 40 counties and 50 cities will be in Los Angeles on August 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. According to the press release, "The Forum is a global network of prominent women and men of Hindu background representing a wide variety of professions and from all regions of the world which convenes globally to address issues affecting the Hindu community as well as to present the Hindu perspective on and Hindu response to key issues of global concern." For more information, contact "source" above by e-mail.




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Italian Scientist to Try Human Cloning
Posted on 2001/8/8 23:49:02 ( 698 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, August 1, 2001: A controversial Italian embryologist Professor Severino Antinori is preparing to impregnate up to 200 women with cloned embryos in November. The move will reignite a debate about the ethics and safety of cloning as an infertility treatment. Antinori, whose clinic in Rome enabled a 62-year-old woman to have a baby in 1994, said that up to 200 couples from several countries, including eight from Britain, were being selected for the cloning project and would be treated free of charge. The Sunday Times reported that he intended to use a technique which involved taking a nucleus from a cell belonging to the man which is inserted into a woman's egg cell from which the nucleus has been removed. The embryo is then implanted in her womb. Antinori acknowledged that international hostility to cloning meant that he could be forced to work in a remote country, or even on a ship in international waters.




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Preparations for Janamashtami in Full Swing
Posted on 2001/8/8 23:48:02 ( 722 reads )


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JAIPUR, INDIA, August 7, 2001: Though there are five days for Janamashtami to arrive, in this city of Jaipur widespread preparations for the festival have started. The main festival is celebrated in Govind Dev Ji. Here the material of display is being prepared and programs of religious music/bhajans are being held. To celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna, people are busy in preparations in their own unique manner with special food dishes and decorations for the temples. (translated from Hindi)




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2001 Ramayana Conference and Fair in Illinois
Posted on 2001/8/8 23:47:02 ( 819 reads )


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DEKALB, ILLINOIS, USA, July 28, 2001: The Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and the International Ramayana Institute of North America will present an Artistic, Cultural and Literary Conference on Ramayana Worldwide, September 21-22, 2001. The International Ramayana Fair, which will include Ramayana performances and workshops for the entire family, will be held on September 23, 2001. The countries currently represented include Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma) and India. International Ramayana Institute of North America brings together communities of different religion, different language, and different region by sharing Ramayana related culture through conferences and performances. For more information see "source" above.




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American Hindus Against Defamation Profiled
Posted on 2001/8/7 23:49:02 ( 846 reads )


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SAN DIEGO, USA, Aug 4, 2001: Ajay Shah's family had been associated with the RSS for many decades. Nearly 35 years later, Shah, a scientist with an American firm in San Diego, proudly declares his continuing association with the RSS, and is known for his passionate role in the formation of the watchdog group, American Hindus Against Defamation. Some of AHAD's campaigns have caught the attention of mainstream media, and articles about the organization have appeared in several American publications. Its campaign against fictionalizing Hindu Gods in an episode of the TV series Xena got a lot of coverage. And then there was the orgy sequence in Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut that used a Sanskrit shloka, and AHAD prevailed in the protest. "We were able to do all this without having an office, expensive attorneys or funding, says an exultant Shah. "What we do is purely a labor of love and for the cause of dharma." Some people have challenged him to think about the First Amendment. "I firmly believe in the First Amendment," he says. But he also believes in the right to oppose.




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Dancing to Aid Community
Posted on 2001/8/7 23:48:02 ( 706 reads )


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CALIFORNIA, USA, Aug. 4, 2001: Last weekend,14-year-old Sharanya Mukhopadhyay performed an Odissi dance at the Federation of Hindus Association's temple in Diamond Bar, California, to raise funds for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake. Last year, she helped raise funds for the Orissa cyclone and has performed three other times for different causes. "Basically, I want to help people through my dance." More than $3,000 was raised last Saturday and donations will also be matched by Intel Corporation. One of the crowning moments of Sharanya's budding dance career came last year when she won the prestigious Princess Grace Award, which recognizes and assists young talent in theater, dance and film. Sharanya went to New York to receive a $5,000 prize. Her latest charity performance had an added significance for Sharanya since she danced under the tutelage of her guru Nandita Behera.




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Parapsychology Foundation Honored
Posted on 2001/8/7 23:47:02 ( 725 reads )


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NEW YORK, USA, Aug 4, 2001: Nearly 200 members of the Parapsychological Association, a group of active researchers, honored the foundation's 50th anniversary this week at an annual convention. Parapsychology is the study of unexplained or paranormal phenomenon. It mostly focuses on dream research, but also includes the study of hauntings, clairvoyance and the occult. Founded in 1951 by Eileen Garrett and Frances Payne Bolton, a wealthy congresswoman from Ohio, the Parapsychology Foundation was created to help further the study of a field, which, at the time, had not been heavily researched. The field of parapsychology has changed throughout the years and has evolved in a highly refined scientific pursuit.




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"Phone Home" Gets Easier in Rural India
Posted on 2001/8/7 23:46:02 ( 740 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, Aug. 3, 2001: In the seas southwest of here off the coast of southern India, fishermen are already in touch with the dozen-odd seafood markets around here, checking prices at different ports by mobile phone. One fisherman, Ratish Karthikeyan, says that since he acquired his BPL mobile service over a year ago, his profit on each eight-day fishing run in his trawler has doubled. The 5,000 fishermen off the coast of Kerala to garment exporters in Tiruppur to farmers in Punjab in the north, rural India has discovered the convenience of doing business on mobile phones. It is an example of "leap frog" technology whereby the villages can go directly to the latest in mobile phone service, and not slowly evolve to it as the cities have done.




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Taleban Puts a Stop to Christian Relief Program
Posted on 2001/8/7 23:45:02 ( 727 reads )


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AFGHANISTAN, August 5, 2001: Cracking down on any agency or person that might disagree with their Islamic beliefs, Taleban hard-liners have now closed down a Western aid agency called Shelter Now International. After accusing the agency of promoting Christianity to its emergency relief victims, twenty-four members of staff were arrested. Eight have allegedly admitted to the crime. Afghanistan introduced the death penalty in the year 2000 for any Muslim converting to another religion or to any person responsible for causing a Muslim to convert.




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Mumbai Prayer On-Line
Posted on 2001/8/6 23:49:02 ( 739 reads )


Source: Cybernoon





MUMBAI, INDIA, August 6, 2001: For the overseas devotees of the elephant-headed Lord of the Siddhi Vinayak Temple here, the decision to make the auspicious arati and puja ceremonies in the temple going on-line, is a reason to rejoice. The temple trustees have joined hands with www.forindia.com to uplink the live Angaraki Puja to be held tomorrow (Tuesday, August 7), on their official website. The chosen day to go on-line is doubly auspicious as the Sankashta Chaturthi, the fasting day for devout Ganesh bhaktas, coincides with Tuesday, the traditionally auspicious day for Lord Ganesh. Sanjay Bhagwat, trustee and executive officer, says, "We get a lot of donations in dollars from non-resident Indian devotees. So we thought if they can see us performing the Ganesh arati live, that we can serve them better." Ashok Nadkarni, the web developer for the site concurs that the site is most suited for the ones living in far-off lands. "We have e-mails thanking us because students can now see the Lord before going for their exams," says Nadkarni.




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Canadian Christians Flee to U.S. Because of Child Beating Dispute
Posted on 2001/8/6 23:48:02 ( 738 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





AYLMER, ONTARIO, August 4, 2001: A Christian fundamentalist group in Canada has moved their children to Indiana and Ohio in the USA to take advantage of looser laws on corporal punishment. The Canadian authorities forbade them from beating their children with sticks, something the group says is allowed by their Bible. The group may even claim religious persecution by the Canadians (possibly a first for that country), according to the Washington Post, and seek asylum in the US. The 28 mothers and their 80 children, all under 16, emigrated to the US about three weeks ago. They are members of the nondenominational Church of God. Seven children had been removed from one of their homes in Canada until the parents promised not to beat them with sticks any more. The Canadians will remain in the United States "until we get the OK that we're not going to be checked up on," group member Christine Rabel said. Rabel, a mother of four, said she "occasionally" punishes some of her children with a switch. "I was raised that way and that's the way that I want to raise my children," she said.




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US$34,000 for New Sanskrit Department
Posted on 2001/8/6 23:47:02 ( 703 reads )


Source: Tribune News Service





SHIMLA, INDIA, August 3, 2001: The University Grants Commission has sanctioned US$34,000 to Himachal Pradesh University for setting up a department of astrology and a Sanskrit speaking center. This was stated by Dr S.K. Gupta, vice-Chancellor, while inaugurating a two-day National Symposium on Sanskrit today. He said our literary heritage Sanskrit was not only but also a tool to unearth the treasures of scientific achievements and researches that were carried out by the Indians in the ancient part. It was emerging as an instrument to meet the needs of many other disciplines which could be enriched with the knowledge of Sanskrit.




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Yoga Flourishes in the San Gabriel Valley
Posted on 2001/8/6 23:46:02 ( 791 reads )


Source: The Los Angeles Times





PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, July 27, 2001: The engraved concrete steps leading up to Yoga Kingdom Sanctuary explain what yoga is all about before you even enter. "Increase strength," "Reduce stress," "Improve flexibility," Increase energy," and "Improve concentration," all lead to the top step of "Inner peace." The ancient Hindu discipline of Yoga, which means "union" in Sanskrit, involves meditation, controlled breathing and prescribed physical postures. Nadeer Shagagi, the director of Yoga Kingdom and a yoga practitioner for 18 years, said asanas, or postures, are designed to reinvigorate the body. There are local yoga classes for those with multiple sclerosis, senior citizens, pregnant and postnatal women, toddlers, kids and teens. Virginia Lumb, 54, has been teaching yoga in the San Gabriel valley for five years. She holds classes at 12 places, including Foothill Gym and the YMCA in Monrovia, and Pasadena Jewish Temple. She's noticed a definite increase in the popularity of yoga. Lumb has taught graduate students and professors at Caltech, cancer survivors at the Wellness Center in Pasadena and even car dealership employees.




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