Jun 242014

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[NDTV, Tuesday, 24 June 2014 07:23 No Comment]

Sri_Lanka_Buddhist_Muslim_Violence_AP_360 Sri Lanka on Sunday announced a ban on public meetings and rallies which promote hatred among religions.

The ban will also apply to any public meeting which attempts to create a rift among any race in the country, Xinhua quoted police spokesman Ajith Rohana as saying on Sunday.

The ban follows a statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday where he instructed the police to take action against any individual or organisation attempting to spread hatred among religions or any race.

Rohana said that while freedom of speech will be respected under the constitution, any meetings which promote hatred among religions or a particular race will not be permitted.

The ban follows violent clashes between a Buddhist group and residents of a Muslim-majority town along the country’s south-western coast last week in which four people were killed and 80 injured.

Local media Sunday blamed the police for failing to prevent the violence which was ignited by comments made by a Buddhist extremist group known as the Bodu Bala Sena.

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May 162014
Election Results 2014: Armed with Massive Victory, Narendra Modi Meets His Mother

modi-sarkar-collage_635358372766112140 The India map wears saffron this morning as Narendra Modi, a former RSS pracharak, leads the BJP to the strongest showing by a political party since 1984. (India Decides 2014: Track Live Results Here)

That year, the Congress had swept the general elections in a strong sympathy wave after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The BJP, then a four-year-old party, had won two Lok Sabha seats.

Today, the party looks set to win 278 seats on its own, six more than the majority mark – which means that it could have formed government even without its pre-poll alliances. (Across Varanasi, Posters Congratulate Narendra Modi)

Together with its 11 allies in the National Democratic Alliance, it is set to win more than 330 seats, which will ensure that it needs no post-poll allies to help form a stable government.

At a little after noon, Mr Modi, 63, stepped out of his residence in Gujarat to seek his mother’s blessings after tweeting, “India has won! This is India’s victory. Good days will soon be here.” (Armed With Massive Victory, Narendra Modi Meets His mother)

Narendra Modi meets his mother in Gandhinagar

India has won! भारत की विजय। अच्छे दिन आने वाले हैं।

– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2014

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani was one of the first to congratulate Narendra Modi for their party’s stupendous performance. Mr Advani had staged public sulks last year when Mr Modi was elevated first as the head of the BJP’s campaign and then as prime ministerial candidate. More recently he moved a no-confidence motion against Mr Modi by seeking to contest from Bhopal and not Gandhinagar in Gujarat, the latter’s turf.

One of the first key decisions Mr Modi has to take is what role Mr Advani will play in the new dispensation. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the party’s ideological mentor, has said it wants the senior leader to have a mentor-like role. Mr Advani has reportedly professed interest in being Speaker. (Advani Could be Speaker, Sushma Wants a Top-4 Ministry: BJP Sources)

With the kind of dominance he has won in Parliament today, Mr Modi is unlikely to have misgivings about giving Mr Advani the Speaker’s post.

He also has to decide on a role for Sushama Swaraj, another senior BJP leader who has had differences with him. Ms Swaraj has reportedly said that only one of the top four ministries – home, defence, finance and external affairs – is commensurate with her seniority. (BJP Initiates Moves to Decide Roles for Sushma Swaraj, LK Advani)

The BJP’s performance today is powered by a huge win in Uttar Pradesh, where it is set to win 62 of the state’s 80 seats. In 12 states the party looks good to win all the seats in a clean sweep – including Delhi where in 2009 it had not won any. (Election Results 2014: Early Trends Show BJP Ahead in 69 Seats in Uttar Pradesh)

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Jan 232014
Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu government release fishermens’ boats
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[NDTV, Thursday, 23 January 2014 09:37 No Comment]

As part of mutual agreement between India and Sri Lanka ahead of next week meeting of fishermen’s associations from both countries, Colombo has released 30 mechanised boats of Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Government said today.

This includes a local court in Colombo today ordering the release of 15 such boats held by Lankan authorities, an official release in Chennai said.

“Similarly, Tamil Nadu government has ordered release of 11 boats of Sri Lankan fishermen today,” it said.

As of today, days after India and Sri Lanka initiated steps for mutual release of fishermen arrested by both countries for allegedly crossing the international maritime boundary, Sri Lankan courts have ordered release of 30 boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen while the state government has freed 18 fishing boats belonging to Lankans, it added.

A total of 233 Indian and 130 Lankan fishermen have been released by Sri Lankan and Tamil Nadu governments, respectively, it said.

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