Content about Hospitality

November 5, 2013

Genocide is state sponsored mass murder. It takes two forms, the most known is the annihilation of an entire race or ethnic group. Then there is the more subtle form that takes effect over generations - “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part”, as defined by Barbara Harff and Ted Robert Gurr, “Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases Since 1945.” Center on Law and Globalization.In 1928, a government official predicted Canada would end its “Indian problem” within two generations. Indigenous children of Canada were deliberately starved in the 1940s and ’50s by government researchers in the name of science.

Rochelle Johnston wrote on Rabble, an online news source covering Canada:

“While there may not have been a master plan to execute every Aboriginal person in Canada, throughout much of our history there has been a deeply and widely held belief that First Nations, Metis and Inuit, as groups, should cease to exist. Reducing the number of Aboriginal people and eliminating those who weren’t willing to assimilate into Euro-Canadian society was helpful to this cause. Evidence of genocidal desires can be found in any number of government documents and public statements, and when the conditions were right, Canadians, whether bureaucrats, researchers, doctors, missionaries, social workers or entrepreneurs, felt justified in carrying out a range of genocidal acts.”

The Research

Milk rations were halved for years at residential schools across the country. Essential vitamins were kept from people who needed them. Dental services were withheld because gum health was a measuring tool for scientists and dental care would distort research.

For over a decade, indigenous children and adults were unknowingly subjected to nutritional experiments by Canadian government bureaucrats.

This disturbing look into government policy toward indigenous peoples after World War II comes to light in recently published historical research.

When Canadian researchers went to a number of northern Manitoba reserves in 1942, they found rampant malnourishment. But instead of recommending increased federal support to improve the health of hundreds of the people suffering from a collapsing fur trade and already limited government aid, they decided against it. Nutritionally deprived people would be the perfect test subjects, researchers thought.

The details come from Ian Mosby, a post-doctorate at the University of Guelph, whose research focused on one of the most horrific aspects of government policy toward indigenous peoples during a time when rules for research on humans were just being adopted by the scientific community.

Researching the development of health policy for a different research project, Mosby uncovered “vague references to studies conducted on ‘Indians’ ” and began to investigate. Government documents eventually revealed a long-standing, government-run experiment that came to span the entire country and involved at least 1,300 indigenous, most of them children.

Any time the body is depleted of vital liquids and nutrients, there are several physical side effects that take place. These effects essentially happen because the body is trying to conserve energy for survival. According to the LiveStrong Foundation, even if a child survived long periods of starvation, they might experience abnormal growth and other forms of permanent damage. For example, nearly all bone development happens before adulthood, so children who fail to get sufficient calcium in their diets are likely to experience osteoporosis or other bone composition problems later as adults.

Academics and social activists have said Canada’s historical treatment of indigenous people meets the UN definition of genocide, which is the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group through any of a number of means. They include killing the group’s members, causing them serious mental or physical harm, subjecting them to unsustainable living conditions, preventing births and forcibly transferring their children to another group.

This atrocity is one of many church-run, government-funded assimilation efforts of residential schools for native children, to rid them of their heritage. The aims were devastating for those who were subjected to various physical and emotional abuse; many were forced removed from their families and tribes.

Johnston writes, “If it wasn’t for Canada, and a contingent of colonizing nations who in 1948 gutted a whole section of the UN Genocide Convention, the other “kinder” and “gentler” techniques of genocide we were and are still using against Aboriginal peoples would also be crimes.”

In 2008, the Canadian government made a formal public apology to the surviving children of the residential schools, their families and their nation.

October 4, 2013

The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.

Inocente Orlando Montano was quietly working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts in May 2011, when he and 19 others were indicted by a Spanish court for their alleged role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Five of the priests - outspoken critics of El Salvador's military regime - were Spanish. Spain asked for Montano to be extradited - and soon afterwards he was indicted by the US for having lied about his entry date and military past to obtain papers giving him the right to work in the US.

He pleaded guilty in September last year to six counts of immigration fraud and perjury and will soon be sentenced.

As vice-minister of public security, Colonel Montano had been one of El Salvador's top three military leaders. He was also commander of the feared Belloso Battalion.

In an expert report prepared for Montano's prosecution, political science professor Terry Karl argues that at least 1,169 human rights abuses - including 65 extra-judicial killings of named individuals, 51 reported disappearances and 520 torture victims - were carried out by units under Montano's command.

"The Jesuit massacre was not an aberration," she writes.

"Throughout Col Montano's 30-year military career, he ordered, abetted and assisted, and/or commanded troops that participated in a strategy of disappearance and arbitrary detention, rural massacres of civilian non-combatants, the forced disappearance of children, and the toleration of military-led death squads operating inside units under his command."

The US federal judge has indicated that Montano's sentence will reflect the gravity of his alleged human rights record - detailed in Karl's report and in testimonies from priests and civilian survivors of torture.

The San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which helped trigger the indictment by filing a criminal complaint in Spain four years ago, expects the extradition process to begin while Montano is in US custody.

Up to now, no top-ranking Salvadoran commander has faced criminal prosecution for any civil war offence.

Two others who "retired" to Florida - Generals Jose Guillermo Garcia and Carlos Vides Casanova - have been fighting deportation proceedings brought under a post-9/11 law intended to stop human rights violators residing in the country.

Both have also been sued in the civil courts. In 2002, a West Palm Beach jury found them guilty of torturing three civilians and awarded $55m, $300,000 of which has so far been paid.

But the immigration proceedings against Montano have already arguably done more to raise hopes among civilian victims that justice may one day be done, by legally dissecting several atrocities for the first time.

One is the El Calabozo massacre, in which 200 to 300 campesinos, or peasant farmers, were killed on 22 August 1982 by the Belloso Battalion under Montano's command, and the equally feared Atlactl Battalion.

El Calabozo was a scorched-earth operation carried out by the US-trained mobile death squads against alleged guerrilla supporters. The soldiers killed unarmed civilians, kidnapped children for illegal adoptions, bombed homes and destroyed crops.

The Salvadoran government has never officially recognized that the massacre took place.

Chunguita Realegeno, 58, who lost her whole family except one son in the massacre, says: "I hid with my baby for three days without food or water because we couldn't keep walking; I never saw my family again, I only found their bones. I suffer every day and night knowing those who killed my people are still free."

Prof Karl testified in court on August 22nd - the 31st anniversary of the massacre - as did General Mauricio Vargas, who Montano has called as an expert to challenge the allegations.

"A case like Montano's immigration prosecution provides a glimmer of hope that some truth and accountability will emerge from decades of lies, denial and impunity.," says Esther Major, Amnesty International's El Salvador researcher. "Evidence is being reviewed, massacres recognized as having happened, victims and survivors' words matter."

At one point, it seemed that El Salvador itself might repeal the amnesty law for former combatants, passed in 1993 in defiance of the terms of the peace agreement signed the previous year.

In 2000, the former rebels FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) won a legislative majority against the military-allied Arena party - the sort of political change which preceded the collapse of amnesties in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras.

The successful prosecutions around this time of Gen Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Col Byron Disrael Lima Estada in Guatemala - both of which had once seemed impossible - caused reverberations in El Salvador.

Montano entered the US in 2001, just when it seemed the Jesuits massacre would be reinvestigated. But it was only in 2009 that an FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, became president, and he has not made repealing the amnesty law a legislative priority.

Not surprisingly, Montano has volunteered to return to El Salvador after serving his sentence in the US. The country's Supreme Court has already rejected Spain's request for the extradition of 17 of Montano's co-accused in the Jesuit massacre case, including former president Alfredo Cristiani.

Of the remaining two accused, one is dead and the whereabouts of Lt Hector Cuenta Ocampo, who occupied a prominent position in the National Intelligence Service, is unknown. His last known address was in San Francisco.

October 4, 2013

The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.

Inocente Orlando Montano was quietly working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts in May 2011, when he and 19 others were indicted by a Spanish court for their alleged role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Five of the priests - outspoken critics of El Salvador's military regime - were Spanish. Spain asked for Montano to be extradited - and soon afterwards he was indicted by the US for having lied about his entry date and military past to obtain papers giving him the right to work in the US.

He pleaded guilty in September last year to six counts of immigration fraud and perjury and will soon be sentenced.

As vice-minister of public security, Colonel Montano had been one of El Salvador's top three military leaders. He was also commander of the feared Belloso Battalion.

In an expert report prepared for Montano's prosecution, political science professor Terry Karl argues that at least 1,169 human rights abuses - including 65 extra-judicial killings of named individuals, 51 reported disappearances and 520 torture victims - were carried out by units under Montano's command.

"The Jesuit massacre was not an aberration," she writes.

"Throughout Col Montano's 30-year military career, he ordered, abetted and assisted, and/or commanded troops that participated in a strategy of disappearance and arbitrary detention, rural massacres of civilian non-combatants, the forced disappearance of children, and the toleration of military-led death squads operating inside units under his command."

The US federal judge has indicated that Montano's sentence will reflect the gravity of his alleged human rights record - detailed in Karl's report and in testimonies from priests and civilian survivors of torture.

The San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which helped trigger the indictment by filing a criminal complaint in Spain four years ago, expects the extradition process to begin while Montano is in US custody.

Up to now, no top-ranking Salvadoran commander has faced criminal prosecution for any civil war offence.

Two others who "retired" to Florida - Generals Jose Guillermo Garcia and Carlos Vides Casanova - have been fighting deportation proceedings brought under a post-9/11 law intended to stop human rights violators residing in the country.

Both have also been sued in the civil courts. In 2002, a West Palm Beach jury found them guilty of torturing three civilians and awarded $55m, $300,000 of which has so far been paid.

But the immigration proceedings against Montano have already arguably done more to raise hopes among civilian victims that justice may one day be done, by legally dissecting several atrocities for the first time.

One is the El Calabozo massacre, in which 200 to 300 campesinos, or peasant farmers, were killed on 22 August 1982 by the Belloso Battalion under Montano's command, and the equally feared Atlactl Battalion.

El Calabozo was a scorched-earth operation carried out by the US-trained mobile death squads against alleged guerrilla supporters. The soldiers killed unarmed civilians, kidnapped children for illegal adoptions, bombed homes and destroyed crops.

The Salvadoran government has never officially recognized that the massacre took place.

Chunguita Realegeno, 58, who lost her whole family except one son in the massacre, says: "I hid with my baby for three days without food or water because we couldn't keep walking; I never saw my family again, I only found their bones. I suffer every day and night knowing those who killed my people are still free."

Prof Karl testified in court on August 22nd - the 31st anniversary of the massacre - as did General Mauricio Vargas, who Montano has called as an expert to challenge the allegations.

"A case like Montano's immigration prosecution provides a glimmer of hope that some truth and accountability will emerge from decades of lies, denial and impunity.," says Esther Major, Amnesty International's El Salvador researcher. "Evidence is being reviewed, massacres recognized as having happened, victims and survivors' words matter."

At one point, it seemed that El Salvador itself might repeal the amnesty law for former combatants, passed in 1993 in defiance of the terms of the peace agreement signed the previous year.

In 2000, the former rebels FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) won a legislative majority against the military-allied Arena party - the sort of political change which preceded the collapse of amnesties in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras.

The successful prosecutions around this time of Gen Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Col Byron Disrael Lima Estada in Guatemala - both of which had once seemed impossible - caused reverberations in El Salvador.

Montano entered the US in 2001, just when it seemed the Jesuits massacre would be reinvestigated. But it was only in 2009 that an FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, became president, and he has not made repealing the amnesty law a legislative priority.

Not surprisingly, Montano has volunteered to return to El Salvador after serving his sentence in the US. The country's Supreme Court has already rejected Spain's request for the extradition of 17 of Montano's co-accused in the Jesuit massacre case, including former president Alfredo Cristiani.

Of the remaining two accused, one is dead and the whereabouts of Lt Hector Cuenta Ocampo, who occupied a prominent position in the National Intelligence Service, is unknown. His last known address was in San Francisco.

September 9, 2013

The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.

Inocente Orlando Montano was quietly working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts in May 2011, when he and 19 others were indicted by a Spanish court for their alleged role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Five of the priests - outspoken critics of El Salvador's military regime - were Spanish. Spain asked for Montano to be extradited - and soon afterwards he was indicted by the US for having lied about his entry date and military past to obtain papers giving him the right to work in the US.

He pleaded guilty in September last year to six counts of immigration fraud and perjury and will soon be sentenced.

As vice-minister of public security, Colonel Montano had been one of El Salvador's top three military leaders. He was also commander of the feared Belloso Battalion.

In an expert report prepared for Montano's prosecution, political science professor Terry Karl argues that at least 1,169 human rights abuses - including 65 extra-judicial killings of named individuals, 51 reported disappearances and 520 torture victims - were carried out by units under Montano's command.

"The Jesuit massacre was not an aberration," she writes.

"Throughout Col Montano's 30-year military career, he ordered, abetted and assisted, and/or commanded troops that participated in a strategy of disappearance and arbitrary detention, rural massacres of civilian non-combatants, the forced disappearance of children, and the toleration of military-led death squads operating inside units under his command."

The US federal judge has indicated that Montano's sentence will reflect the gravity of his alleged human rights record - detailed in Karl's report and in testimonies from priests and civilian survivors of torture.

The San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which helped trigger the indictment by filing a criminal complaint in Spain four years ago, expects the extradition process to begin while Montano is in US custody.

Up to now, no top-ranking Salvadoran commander has faced criminal prosecution for any civil war offence.

Two others who "retired" to Florida - Generals Jose Guillermo Garcia and Carlos Vides Casanova - have been fighting deportation proceedings brought under a post-9/11 law intended to stop human rights violators residing in the country.

Both have also been sued in the civil courts. In 2002, a West Palm Beach jury found them guilty of torturing three civilians and awarded $55m, $300,000 of which has so far been paid.

But the immigration proceedings against Montano have already arguably done more to raise hopes among civilian victims that justice may one day be done, by legally dissecting several atrocities for the first time.

One is the El Calabozo massacre, in which 200 to 300 campesinos, or peasant farmers, were killed on 22 August 1982 by the Belloso Battalion under Montano's command, and the equally feared Atlactl Battalion.

El Calabozo was a scorched-earth operation carried out by the US-trained mobile death squads against alleged guerrilla supporters. The soldiers killed unarmed civilians, kidnapped children for illegal adoptions, bombed homes and destroyed crops.

The Salvadoran government has never officially recognized that the massacre took place.

Chunguita Realegeno, 58, who lost her whole family except one son in the massacre, says: "I hid with my baby for three days without food or water because we couldn't keep walking; I never saw my family again, I only found their bones. I suffer every day and night knowing those who killed my people are still free."

Prof Karl testified in court on August 22nd - the 31st anniversary of the massacre - as did General Mauricio Vargas, who Montano has called as an expert to challenge the allegations.

"A case like Montano's immigration prosecution provides a glimmer of hope that some truth and accountability will emerge from decades of lies, denial and impunity.," says Esther Major, Amnesty International's El Salvador researcher. "Evidence is being reviewed, massacres recognized as having happened, victims and survivors' words matter."

At one point, it seemed that El Salvador itself might repeal the amnesty law for former combatants, passed in 1993 in defiance of the terms of the peace agreement signed the previous year.

In 2000, the former rebels FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) won a legislative majority against the military-allied Arena party - the sort of political change which preceded the collapse of amnesties in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras.

The successful prosecutions around this time of Gen Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Col Byron Disrael Lima Estada in Guatemala - both of which had once seemed impossible - caused reverberations in El Salvador.

Montano entered the US in 2001, just when it seemed the Jesuits massacre would be reinvestigated. But it was only in 2009 that an FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, became president, and he has not made repealing the amnesty law a legislative priority.

Not surprisingly, Montano has volunteered to return to El Salvador after serving his sentence in the US. The country's Supreme Court has already rejected Spain's request for the extradition of 17 of Montano's co-accused in the Jesuit massacre case, including former president Alfredo Cristiani.

Of the remaining two accused, one is dead and the whereabouts of Lt Hector Cuenta Ocampo, who occupied a prominent position in the National Intelligence Service, is unknown. His last known address was in San Francisco.

September 9, 2013

The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.

Inocente Orlando Montano was quietly working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts in May 2011, when he and 19 others were indicted by a Spanish court for their alleged role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Five of the priests - outspoken critics of El Salvador's military regime - were Spanish. Spain asked for Montano to be extradited - and soon afterwards he was indicted by the US for having lied about his entry date and military past to obtain papers giving him the right to work in the US.

He pleaded guilty in September last year to six counts of immigration fraud and perjury and will soon be sentenced.

As vice-minister of public security, Colonel Montano had been one of El Salvador's top three military leaders. He was also commander of the feared Belloso Battalion.

In an expert report prepared for Montano's prosecution, political science professor Terry Karl argues that at least 1,169 human rights abuses - including 65 extra-judicial killings of named individuals, 51 reported disappearances and 520 torture victims - were carried out by units under Montano's command.

"The Jesuit massacre was not an aberration," she writes.

"Throughout Col Montano's 30-year military career, he ordered, abetted and assisted, and/or commanded troops that participated in a strategy of disappearance and arbitrary detention, rural massacres of civilian non-combatants, the forced disappearance of children, and the toleration of military-led death squads operating inside units under his command."

The US federal judge has indicated that Montano's sentence will reflect the gravity of his alleged human rights record - detailed in Karl's report and in testimonies from priests and civilian survivors of torture.

The San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), which helped trigger the indictment by filing a criminal complaint in Spain four years ago, expects the extradition process to begin while Montano is in US custody.

Up to now, no top-ranking Salvadoran commander has faced criminal prosecution for any civil war offence.

Two others who "retired" to Florida - Generals Jose Guillermo Garcia and Carlos Vides Casanova - have been fighting deportation proceedings brought under a post-9/11 law intended to stop human rights violators residing in the country.

Both have also been sued in the civil courts. In 2002, a West Palm Beach jury found them guilty of torturing three civilians and awarded $55m, $300,000 of which has so far been paid.

But the immigration proceedings against Montano have already arguably done more to raise hopes among civilian victims that justice may one day be done, by legally dissecting several atrocities for the first time.

One is the El Calabozo massacre, in which 200 to 300 campesinos, or peasant farmers, were killed on 22 August 1982 by the Belloso Battalion under Montano's command, and the equally feared Atlactl Battalion.

El Calabozo was a scorched-earth operation carried out by the US-trained mobile death squads against alleged guerrilla supporters. The soldiers killed unarmed civilians, kidnapped children for illegal adoptions, bombed homes and destroyed crops.

The Salvadoran government has never officially recognized that the massacre took place.

Chunguita Realegeno, 58, who lost her whole family except one son in the massacre, says: "I hid with my baby for three days without food or water because we couldn't keep walking; I never saw my family again, I only found their bones. I suffer every day and night knowing those who killed my people are still free."

Prof Karl testified in court on August 22nd - the 31st anniversary of the massacre - as did General Mauricio Vargas, who Montano has called as an expert to challenge the allegations.

"A case like Montano's immigration prosecution provides a glimmer of hope that some truth and accountability will emerge from decades of lies, denial and impunity.," says Esther Major, Amnesty International's El Salvador researcher. "Evidence is being reviewed, massacres recognized as having happened, victims and survivors' words matter."

At one point, it seemed that El Salvador itself might repeal the amnesty law for former combatants, passed in 1993 in defiance of the terms of the peace agreement signed the previous year.

In 2000, the former rebels FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) won a legislative majority against the military-allied Arena party - the sort of political change which preceded the collapse of amnesties in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras.

The successful prosecutions around this time of Gen Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Col Byron Disrael Lima Estada in Guatemala - both of which had once seemed impossible - caused reverberations in El Salvador.

Montano entered the US in 2001, just when it seemed the Jesuits massacre would be reinvestigated. But it was only in 2009 that an FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, became president, and he has not made repealing the amnesty law a legislative priority.

Not surprisingly, Montano has volunteered to return to El Salvador after serving his sentence in the US. The country's Supreme Court has already rejected Spain's request for the extradition of 17 of Montano's co-accused in the Jesuit massacre case, including former president Alfredo Cristiani.

Of the remaining two accused, one is dead and the whereabouts of Lt Hector Cuenta Ocampo, who occupied a prominent position in the National Intelligence Service, is unknown. His last known address was in San Francisco.

July 31, 2013

NEW DELHI - A member of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had accused incumbent governments of ‘orchestrating’ the terror attack on Indian Parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, reported Times of India on Sunday.

A former Indian home ministry officer submitted his declaration in the Supreme Court of India which said that he was told by a former member of the CBI-SIT team that both the terror attacks (Parliament and Mumbai) were staged “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic).”

The affidavit also made reference to the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 which was followed by the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota), and the 2008 Mumbai attacks which lead to amendments in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The revelations came during a hearing in the Indian Supreme Court regarding the killing of a 19-year-old Indian Muslim girl in India’s Gujarat state in June 2004.

Indian police had claimed that Ishrat Jahan and three Muslim men, two of them alleged to be Pakistanis, were killed in an ‘encounter’ as they set off with a stash of arms and explosives to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The murder plot was refuted by the victim’s mother, who had called for an investigation to take place on a federal level.

RVS Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in the court in the alleged encounter case, has said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the CBI-SIT probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic)”.

The official has alleged Verma levelled the damaging charge while debunking IB’s inputs labelling the three killed with Ishrat in the encounter as Lashkar terrorists.

Contacted by Times of India, Verma refused to comment. “I don’t know what the complaint is, made when and to whom. Nor am I interested in knowing. I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI,” said the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who, after being relieved from the SIT, is working as principal of the Junagadh Police Training College.

Mani has written to his seniors that he retorted to Verma’s comments, telling the IPS officer that he was articulating the views of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

In his letter to the joint secretary in the urban development ministry, Mani has accused Verma of ‘coercing’ him into signing a statement that is at odds with facts as he knew them. He said Verma wanted him to sign a statement saying that the home ministry’s first affidavit in the Ishrat case was drafted by two IB officers. “Knowing fully well that this would be tantamount to falsely indicting  my seniors at the extant time, I declined to sign any statement.”

Giving the context in which Verma allegedly levelled the serious charge against the government, Mani said the IPS officer, while questioning him, had raised doubts about the genuineness of IB’s counter-terror intelligence. He disputed the veracity of the input on the antecedents of the three killed in June 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with Ishrat in the alleged encounter which has since become a polarising issue, while fuelling Congress’s fight with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Police have justified the encounter, citing the IB report that Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Zohar, Amzad Ali Rana and Javed Sheikh were part of a Lashkar module which had reached Gujarat to target Modi and carry out terrorist attacks.

In its first affidavit, filed in August 2009, the home ministry had cited IB inputs that those killed with Ishrat in the alleged encounter were part of a Lashkar sleeper cell, and had objected to a CBI probe into the ‘encounter’.

In its second affidavit, filed in September 2009, the home ministry, irked by the Gujarat government treating the first affidavit as justification of the encounter, said the IB input did not constitute conclusive proof of the terrorist antecedents of those killed. It supported the demand for a CBI probe.

Mani said Verma doubted the input saying MHA’s first affidavit was actually drafted by IB officer Rajinder Kumar, who looked after IB’s operations in Gujarat at the time of the Ishrat ‘encounter’ and now runs the serious risk of being chargesheeted by the CBI for hatching the conspiracy behind the alleged extra-judicial killings.

July 31, 2013

NEW DELHI - A member of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had accused incumbent governments of ‘orchestrating’ the terror attack on Indian Parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, reported Times of India on Sunday.

A former Indian home ministry officer submitted his declaration in the Supreme Court of India which said that he was told by a former member of the CBI-SIT team that both the terror attacks (Parliament and Mumbai) were staged “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic).”

The affidavit also made reference to the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 which was followed by the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota), and the 2008 Mumbai attacks which lead to amendments in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The revelations came during a hearing in the Indian Supreme Court regarding the killing of a 19-year-old Indian Muslim girl in India’s Gujarat state in June 2004.

Indian police had claimed that Ishrat Jahan and three Muslim men, two of them alleged to be Pakistanis, were killed in an ‘encounter’ as they set off with a stash of arms and explosives to kill Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The murder plot was refuted by the victim’s mother, who had called for an investigation to take place on a federal level.

RVS Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in the court in the alleged encounter case, has said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the CBI-SIT probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic)”.

The official has alleged Verma levelled the damaging charge while debunking IB’s inputs labelling the three killed with Ishrat in the encounter as Lashkar terrorists.

Contacted by Times of India, Verma refused to comment. “I don’t know what the complaint is, made when and to whom. Nor am I interested in knowing. I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI,” said the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who, after being relieved from the SIT, is working as principal of the Junagadh Police Training College.

Mani has written to his seniors that he retorted to Verma’s comments, telling the IPS officer that he was articulating the views of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

In his letter to the joint secretary in the urban development ministry, Mani has accused Verma of ‘coercing’ him into signing a statement that is at odds with facts as he knew them. He said Verma wanted him to sign a statement saying that the home ministry’s first affidavit in the Ishrat case was drafted by two IB officers. “Knowing fully well that this would be tantamount to falsely indicting  my seniors at the extant time, I declined to sign any statement.”

Giving the context in which Verma allegedly levelled the serious charge against the government, Mani said the IPS officer, while questioning him, had raised doubts about the genuineness of IB’s counter-terror intelligence. He disputed the veracity of the input on the antecedents of the three killed in June 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with Ishrat in the alleged encounter which has since become a polarising issue, while fuelling Congress’s fight with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Police have justified the encounter, citing the IB report that Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Zohar, Amzad Ali Rana and Javed Sheikh were part of a Lashkar module which had reached Gujarat to target Modi and carry out terrorist attacks.

In its first affidavit, filed in August 2009, the home ministry had cited IB inputs that those killed with Ishrat in the alleged encounter were part of a Lashkar sleeper cell, and had objected to a CBI probe into the ‘encounter’.

In its second affidavit, filed in September 2009, the home ministry, irked by the Gujarat government treating the first affidavit as justification of the encounter, said the IB input did not constitute conclusive proof of the terrorist antecedents of those killed. It supported the demand for a CBI probe.

Mani said Verma doubted the input saying MHA’s first affidavit was actually drafted by IB officer Rajinder Kumar, who looked after IB’s operations in Gujarat at the time of the Ishrat ‘encounter’ and now runs the serious risk of being chargesheeted by the CBI for hatching the conspiracy behind the alleged extra-judicial killings.

June 15, 2013

  Honey is the oldest sweetener known to humans. Historically, honey was seen as a symbol of contentment and prosperity, and earned the name “liquid gold”.  Ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians and Greeks, prized honey and used it in many remedies and applied it to wounds.  

Although honey is a sweetener, it is different from simple sugars in that it provides good nutritional value. This complex food made up of mostly glucose and fructose, and small amounts of sucrose; it also contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes and vitamins B and C. Honey also contains antioxidants, which are the parts of cells that get rid of detrimental particles of metabolic functions, such as free redicals, which can cause cancer. These antioxidants –one of which, Pinocembrin, is found only in honey- can contribute greatly to the prevention of cancers and heart diseases.

Most amazing about honey is that it does not accommodate the growth of bacteria, and will not spoil if left for a long period of time. When used to sweeten cakes and breads, it improves the shelf life and allows the baked goods to stay moister longer due to honey’s water attracting properties.

It takes the nectar of 1 ½ million flowers to make just a pint of honey, which was the cause of its expensive price and limited availability in the past. But presently, honey is readily available in most countries around the world. But while people may take advantage of its dietary use, much of its curative power is not used to the fullest extent.

Allah, Most Exalted, says in Holy Quran of the bee:  “Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees, and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).  There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying color, wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.” (Surah Nahl or The Bee: 68-69)

In this statement, “a drink of varying color wherein is healing for men”, Allah tells us directly that there are curative properties in honey, many of which have been proven in medical tests. Honey has also been used in the prophetic medicine. The Holy Rasul, peace and blessings be upon him, said “If anyone licks honey three mornings every month, he will not be afflicted with any serious trouble.”

The benefits of honey can be seen in that it is used in cold remedies, to sooth sore throats, coughs, flu, to prevent bedwetting, and as part of treatment for alcohol poisoning. The anti-inflammatory action of honey when applied topically reduces the swelling around a wound and reduces pain.

In a well known hadith, a  man  came to the Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, and said, “My brother has got loose motions. The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said “let him drink honey.” The man again came and said, “I made him drink (honey) but that made him worse.” The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said, “Allah has said the truth, and the abdomen of your brother has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.

From this we can clearly see that honey is a miracle mentioned in Al-Quran and a superior dietary aid.

June 15, 2013

  Honey is the oldest sweetener known to humans. Historically, honey was seen as a symbol of contentment and prosperity, and earned the name “liquid gold”.  Ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians and Greeks, prized honey and used it in many remedies and applied it to wounds.  

Although honey is a sweetener, it is different from simple sugars in that it provides good nutritional value. This complex food made up of mostly glucose and fructose, and small amounts of sucrose; it also contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes and vitamins B and C. Honey also contains antioxidants, which are the parts of cells that get rid of detrimental particles of metabolic functions, such as free redicals, which can cause cancer. These antioxidants –one of which, Pinocembrin, is found only in honey- can contribute greatly to the prevention of cancers and heart diseases.

Most amazing about honey is that it does not accommodate the growth of bacteria, and will not spoil if left for a long period of time. When used to sweeten cakes and breads, it improves the shelf life and allows the baked goods to stay moister longer due to honey’s water attracting properties.

It takes the nectar of 1 ½ million flowers to make just a pint of honey, which was the cause of its expensive price and limited availability in the past. But presently, honey is readily available in most countries around the world. But while people may take advantage of its dietary use, much of its curative power is not used to the fullest extent.

Allah, Most Exalted, says in Holy Quran of the bee:  “Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees, and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).  There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying color, wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.” (Surah Nahl or The Bee: 68-69)

In this statement, “a drink of varying color wherein is healing for men”, Allah tells us directly that there are curative properties in honey, many of which have been proven in medical tests. Honey has also been used in the prophetic medicine. The Holy Rasul, peace and blessings be upon him, said “If anyone licks honey three mornings every month, he will not be afflicted with any serious trouble.”

The benefits of honey can be seen in that it is used in cold remedies, to sooth sore throats, coughs, flu, to prevent bedwetting, and as part of treatment for alcohol poisoning. The anti-inflammatory action of honey when applied topically reduces the swelling around a wound and reduces pain.

In a well known hadith, a  man  came to the Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, and said, “My brother has got loose motions. The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said “let him drink honey.” The man again came and said, “I made him drink (honey) but that made him worse.” The Holy Messenger, peace be upon him, said, “Allah has said the truth, and the abdomen of your brother has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.

From this we can clearly see that honey is a miracle mentioned in Al-Quran and a superior dietary aid.

May 21, 2013

 

Canadian mining operations have faced fierce opposition from numerous Latin American countries and communities over the past decade continuing most recently in Guatemala and Costa Rica. In 2008 a Latin American independent report, Investing in Conflict- Public Money, Private Gain: Goldcorp in the Americas condemns the business practices of Canadian mining companies, focusing on the largest, Goldcorp Inc., and discusses the Canadian mining industry’s socially and environmentally destructive practices in the Americas. 

Even before this report, a Canadian mining operation met strong resistance in Costa Rica. In 2003 Canadian mining corporation Glencairn, started open pit mining in Miamar, Costa Rica, ignoring concerns by locals and scientists of the riskiness of the area for large-scale open-pit mining, and an impending ban on open-pit mining in the country. [Reported on http://www. earthworksaction.org] 

The company set up a mine using “cyanide heap leaching” at Bellavista, close to Miamar, which is a process where intensely toxic cyanide trickles through massive mounds of ore and removes the gold from the ore. 

In July 2007, earth movements caused by geological instability and rainfall cracked the mine’s leach pad liner, allegedly leaking cyanide and contaminating the groundwater near the community of Miramar. The Canadian company suspended its operations after the accident and press coverage caused Glencairn stocks to plummet 18%. Shortly thereafter, a major landslide destroyed the remaining infrastructure at the mine. 

On May 2nd 2013 , the Guatemalan government declared a state of emergency in the south eastern part of the country following protests over a Canadian run silver mine owned by Tahoe Resources Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia; protesters are complaining that the operation will drain their water supplies. 

The owners of the Escobal mines, said security guards responded with tear gas and rubber bullets when protesters with machetes “turned hostile.” A governmental action suspended constitutional rights of the residents of these communities for 30 days, declared by the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina. 

Last month Costa Rica was threatened by a $1 billion lawsuit from Canadian mining company Infinito Gold. This started back in October 2008 when the Costa Rican Supreme Court ordered the Canadian mining company to halt construction of an open-pit gold mine when environmental organizations complained that the plan to cut down 208 hectares (514 acres) to move the project forward, would have a serious environmental impact in the region of which most is untouched forest. The current Costa Rican Laws prevent changing the use of forest land for commercial purposes but then President Oscar Arias declared the Crucitas a project of national interest. 

In April 2013, Infinto Gold issued a warning to Costa Rica that if the company is not permitted to resume work on the Crucitas mine within six months, they plan to sue the country for more than $1 billion USD for breaching its free trade agreement with Canada. 

Environmental issues are not the only factors in these mining operations as studies also show a strong negative social impact to Latin American communities that surround these mining operations. Increased violence, alcoholism and prostitution are often associated with these operations and contrary to industry messaging, employment and economic benefits seem to fall short of projections.

May 21, 2013

 

Canadian mining operations have faced fierce opposition from numerous Latin American countries and communities over the past decade continuing most recently in Guatemala and Costa Rica. In 2008 a Latin American independent report, Investing in Conflict- Public Money, Private Gain: Goldcorp in the Americas condemns the business practices of Canadian mining companies, focusing on the largest, Goldcorp Inc., and discusses the Canadian mining industry’s socially and environmentally destructive practices in the Americas. 

Even before this report, a Canadian mining operation met strong resistance in Costa Rica. In 2003 Canadian mining corporation Glencairn, started open pit mining in Miamar, Costa Rica, ignoring concerns by locals and scientists of the riskiness of the area for large-scale open-pit mining, and an impending ban on open-pit mining in the country. [Reported on http://www. earthworksaction.org] 

The company set up a mine using “cyanide heap leaching” at Bellavista, close to Miamar, which is a process where intensely toxic cyanide trickles through massive mounds of ore and removes the gold from the ore. 

In July 2007, earth movements caused by geological instability and rainfall cracked the mine’s leach pad liner, allegedly leaking cyanide and contaminating the groundwater near the community of Miramar. The Canadian company suspended its operations after the accident and press coverage caused Glencairn stocks to plummet 18%. Shortly thereafter, a major landslide destroyed the remaining infrastructure at the mine. 

On May 2nd 2013 , the Guatemalan government declared a state of emergency in the south eastern part of the country following protests over a Canadian run silver mine owned by Tahoe Resources Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia; protesters are complaining that the operation will drain their water supplies. 

The owners of the Escobal mines, said security guards responded with tear gas and rubber bullets when protesters with machetes “turned hostile.” A governmental action suspended constitutional rights of the residents of these communities for 30 days, declared by the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina. 

Last month Costa Rica was threatened by a $1 billion lawsuit from Canadian mining company Infinito Gold. This started back in October 2008 when the Costa Rican Supreme Court ordered the Canadian mining company to halt construction of an open-pit gold mine when environmental organizations complained that the plan to cut down 208 hectares (514 acres) to move the project forward, would have a serious environmental impact in the region of which most is untouched forest. The current Costa Rican Laws prevent changing the use of forest land for commercial purposes but then President Oscar Arias declared the Crucitas a project of national interest. 

In April 2013, Infinto Gold issued a warning to Costa Rica that if the company is not permitted to resume work on the Crucitas mine within six months, they plan to sue the country for more than $1 billion USD for breaching its free trade agreement with Canada. 

Environmental issues are not the only factors in these mining operations as studies also show a strong negative social impact to Latin American communities that surround these mining operations. Increased violence, alcoholism and prostitution are often associated with these operations and contrary to industry messaging, employment and economic benefits seem to fall short of projections.

November 10, 2012

 

A federal US judge has rejected a new legal attempt to force YouTube to withdraw an anti-Islamic film which made a failed attempt to falsify the character and noble history of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him).

 

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sought a restraining order against the online video giant, claiming that she was duped into appearing in the controversial production,Innocence of Muslims.But, on October 19, US District judge Michael W. Fitzgerald rejected the request, and set another hearing for November 19.

Garcia says she thought she signed up for a film called Desert Warrior about life 2,000 years ago, and only realized her lines had been dubbed over when the row erupted last month with anti-US demonstrations.

She is one of at least three actresses in the film to come forward claiming they were tricked into taking part in the film, which falsely depicts the Holy Last Messenger Muhammed (peace be upon him) and attributes wicked deeds only the miscreant producers themselves would perform.

In an initial lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court last month, Garcia alleged she has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the “destruction of her career and reputation,” as a result of the shady practices of the filmmakers.

Judge Louis Lavin refused her request for a restraining order to prevent YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, from continuing to show the 14-minute package of clips from the film.

Her lawyer therefore took the legal case to the federal court in Santa Clarita, California.

The English version of the trailer, which has been withdrawn from YouTube in a number of countries, includes blatantly dubbed over parts of dialogue, and the blessed name of Our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him) was added post production.

The 55-year-old behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef — previously known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and Sam Bacile, among other pseudonyms — was arrested last month.

He appeared for a second time in court last week to deny violating the terms of probation for a 2010 banking fraud conviction.

-Sapa/AFP

November 10, 2012

 

A federal US judge has rejected a new legal attempt to force YouTube to withdraw an anti-Islamic film which made a failed attempt to falsify the character and noble history of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him).

 

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sought a restraining order against the online video giant, claiming that she was duped into appearing in the controversial production,Innocence of Muslims.But, on October 19, US District judge Michael W. Fitzgerald rejected the request, and set another hearing for November 19.

Garcia says she thought she signed up for a film called Desert Warrior about life 2,000 years ago, and only realized her lines had been dubbed over when the row erupted last month with anti-US demonstrations.

She is one of at least three actresses in the film to come forward claiming they were tricked into taking part in the film, which falsely depicts the Holy Last Messenger Muhammed (peace be upon him) and attributes wicked deeds only the miscreant producers themselves would perform.

In an initial lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court last month, Garcia alleged she has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the “destruction of her career and reputation,” as a result of the shady practices of the filmmakers.

Judge Louis Lavin refused her request for a restraining order to prevent YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, from continuing to show the 14-minute package of clips from the film.

Her lawyer therefore took the legal case to the federal court in Santa Clarita, California.

The English version of the trailer, which has been withdrawn from YouTube in a number of countries, includes blatantly dubbed over parts of dialogue, and the blessed name of Our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him) was added post production.

The 55-year-old behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef — previously known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and Sam Bacile, among other pseudonyms — was arrested last month.

He appeared for a second time in court last week to deny violating the terms of probation for a 2010 banking fraud conviction.

-Sapa/AFP

June 10, 2010

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva was officially recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Program (WFP), both commissions of the United Nations, as a ‘Champion’ for his aggressive leadership role in the effort to end hunger and improve nutrition in Brazil, and the developing world, and for re-emphasizing hunger as a critical global concern and U.N. priority. 

June 10, 2010

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva was officially recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Program (WFP), both commissions of the United Nations, as a ‘Champion’ for his aggressive leadership role in the effort to end hunger and improve nutrition in Brazil, and the developing world, and for re-emphasizing hunger as a critical global concern and U.N. priority. 

February 21, 2010

The five-page letter that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued in February defending the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber suspect as a criminal suspect, rather than as a wartime captive, offered new insight into the Obama Administration’s view of the limits of preventive detention. The letter suggests that the administration sees virtually no legal foundation for holding terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil in preventive detention and has very little interest in trying to create any.

The five-page letter that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued in February defending the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber suspect as a criminal suspect, rather than as a wartime captive, offered new insight into the Obama Administration’s view of the limits of preventive detention. The letter suggests that the administration sees virtually no legal foundation for holding terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil in preventive detention and has very little interest in trying to create any.

February 21, 2010

The five-page letter that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued in February defending the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber suspect as a criminal suspect, rather than as a wartime captive, offered new insight into the Obama Administration’s view of the limits of preventive detention. The letter suggests that the administration sees virtually no legal foundation for holding terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil in preventive detention and has very little interest in trying to create any.

The five-page letter that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued in February defending the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber suspect as a criminal suspect, rather than as a wartime captive, offered new insight into the Obama Administration’s view of the limits of preventive detention. The letter suggests that the administration sees virtually no legal foundation for holding terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil in preventive detention and has very little interest in trying to create any.

February 21, 2010

The infamous and lengthy Omar Khadr saga continues as Canadian Supreme Court officials recently denied his defense team’s request for his repatriation--even after lower courts determined that his rights were grossly in violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The infamous and lengthy Omar Khadr saga continues as Canadian Supreme Court officials recently denied his defense team’s request for his repatriation--even after lower courts determined that his rights were grossly in violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The high court which consists of nine judges unanimously agreed that although there is specific evidence that Mr.

February 21, 2010

The infamous and lengthy Omar Khadr saga continues as Canadian Supreme Court officials recently denied his defense team’s request for his repatriation--even after lower courts determined that his rights were grossly in violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The infamous and lengthy Omar Khadr saga continues as Canadian Supreme Court officials recently denied his defense team’s request for his repatriation--even after lower courts determined that his rights were grossly in violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The high court which consists of nine judges unanimously agreed that although there is specific evidence that Mr.

February 12, 2010

In this week’s address, President Barack Obama vowed to continue fighting for the American people to ensure their voices are heard over the special interests and lobbyists in Washington, despite this week’s Supreme Court decision to further empower corporations to use their financial clout to directly influence elections.

In this week’s address, President Barack Obama vowed to continue fighting for the American people to ensure their voices are heard over the special interests and lobbyists in Washington, despite this week’s Supreme Court decision to further empower corporations to use their financial clout to directly influence elections.

February 12, 2010

In this week’s address, President Barack Obama vowed to continue fighting for the American people to ensure their voices are heard over the special interests and lobbyists in Washington, despite this week’s Supreme Court decision to further empower corporations to use their financial clout to directly influence elections.

In this week’s address, President Barack Obama vowed to continue fighting for the American people to ensure their voices are heard over the special interests and lobbyists in Washington, despite this week’s Supreme Court decision to further empower corporations to use their financial clout to directly influence elections.

February 11, 2010

This is an urgent appeal for the sake of the American people and the future of this great nation to take a very careful look at the dangerous situation brewing in the Asian Region due to the constant barrage of destruction and devastation by CIA manipulated drones, most often launched in the hunt for ‘suspected’, or ‘believed to be’ Taliban; when in actuality, these barrages are killing innocent men, women and children, causing wholesale demolition of schools, communities, townships, and villages, and producing no concrete results of thwarting Taliban activities or their suicide bombings.

This is an urgent appeal for the sake of the American people and the future of this great nation to take a very careful look at the dangerous situation brewing in the Asian Region due to the constant barrage of destruction and devastation by CIA manipulated drones, most often launched in the hunt for ‘suspected’, or ‘believed to be’ Taliban; when in actuality, these barrages are killing innocent men, women and children, causing wholesale demolition of schools, communities, townships, and villages, and producing no concrete results of thwarting Taliban activit