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United Nations Security Council President rules out action on Kashmir



Security Council President Jerry Matthews Matjila

United Nations, Oct 2 : Security Council President Jerry Matthews Matjila rules out any action on Kashmir from the divided body, even issuing a joint statement.

Matjila said on Tuesday, “In the Council, I don’t see that in the near future there will be joint statement on Jammu and Kashmir” recalling that the divided Security Council could not even agree on a one-paragraph statement at its August meeting on Kashmir.

He was replying to a reporter, who said at his news conference that there was global inaction on Kashmir and asked what Matjila would do about it.

The permanent representative of South Africa took over the rotating presidency for this month on Tuesday.

Giving an insight into the Security Council meeting held on August 16 at the insistence of China, he said, “The Council was so divided that we could not even issue a paragraph statement, we could not even issue a paragraph to say we are appealing for both parties to resolve the issue amicably as per Shimla accord … (signed) when they met in Shimla. They agreed that this was the formula they were going to use.”

“We reminded them of their own undertaking of how to resolve this situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Matjila recalled his days in India as the first High Commissioner of South Africa to India after apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela became President and served from 1994 to 1999.

He said that the Kashmir situation came up as he was coordinating Nelson Mandela’s visit to India.

He said, “I am alive to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and I used to coordinate in 1996 President Mandela’s visit to India and discussed this matter to say, ‘Is it not possible for the leaders of these two great countries and intellect, capacity, to sit and discuss the issue, Jammu and Kashmir’?”

Mandela visited India in 1995 and 1997.

As the envoy to India, Matjila said, “I used to go to Jammu and Kashmir, I used to go to Jammu all the time.”

“Now as a President I could do what I can do, but in the end the Security Council have to decide,” he said.

He said that he was aware of the speech made by Pakistan Prime Minister at the just-ended high-level General Assembly meeting and India’s response.

“You can only hope that the situation will be resolved amicably for both the sides,” he said.

Matjila acknowledged that the Shimla agreement signed by India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was then Pakistan’s President.

That agreement says that disputes between India and Pakistan were bilateral matters to be resolved between leaving no room for third party involvement.

At the closed-door meeting in August, France strongly opposed the Council getting involved in the bilateral matter by even issuing a statement and a majority that included Russia and the US took the same stand, according to diplomatic sources.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected])


Farmers Call Bharat Bandh On December 8

Thousands of farmers continue protests at the national capital’s border points on Friday amid heavy police deployment.



Farmers on Protest

Hardening their position ahead of the fifth round of talks with the government, agitating farmers on Friday announced a ”Bharat Bandh” on December 8 and said they would occupy toll plazas on that day.

Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chadoni said if the Centre does not accept their demands during Saturday’s talks, they will intensify their agitation against the new farm laws.

“In our meeting today, we have decided to give a ‘Bharat Bandh’ call on December 8 during which we will also occupy all toll plazas,” said Harvinder Singh Lakhwal, another farmer leader.

“We have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi in the coming days if new farm laws are not scrapped,” he also said.

Delhi’s border points remained choked as thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and other states held demonstrations for the ninth consecutive day, after talks with the government failed to yield any resolution on Thursday.

The farmer community has expressed apprehension that the new laws are “anti-farmer”, and would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

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Kangana Ranaut reacts to legal notices against her

She had retweeted the post with pictures of two elderly women, including Bilkis Bano, and wrote that the “same Dadi” who featured in Time Magazine was “available in 100 rupees”.



Kangana Ranaut

Mumbai: Actress Kangana Ranaut on Friday reacted to legal notices piling up against her.

“Film mafia filed many cases on me, last night Javed Akhtar filed one more, Maharashtra government filing one case every hour now congress in Punjab is also joined the gang…. Lagta hai mujhe mahan banake he dum lenge (I think they will take a break only after making me great.) Thank you,” Kangana Ranaut tweeted from her verified account on Friday reacting to a news piece talking about the legal notice.

Earlier on Friday, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee sent a legal notice to Kangana, seeking an “unconditional apology” for her “derogatory” tweets against farmers and activists involved in the farmers protest against the Centre’s three Farm Laws, the committee’s president.

“We have sent a legal notice to Kangana Ranaut for her derogatory tweet calling the aged mother of a farmer as a woman available for Rs 100. Her tweets portray farmers protest as anti-national. We demand an unconditional apology from her for her insensitive remarks on farmers protest,” Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of DSGMC tweeted.

The notice comes in the wake of a tweet from the actress alleging that the ‘Shaheen Bagh dadi’ also joined the farmers’ agitation over the new agri laws at various border points of the National Capital Region.

She had retweeted the post with pictures of two elderly women, including Bilkis Bano, and wrote that the “same Dadi” who featured in Time Magazine was “available in 100 rupees”.

On Thursday a petition had been filed in Bombay High Court against Kangana. The petitioner seeks the suspension of the verified Twitter account of the actress for allegedly spreading hatred and disharmony.

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Dalai Lama congratulates Maha teacher who won global prize




Dalai Lama

Dharamsala, Dec 4 : Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Friday congratulated Ranjitsinh Disale, a primary school teacher in Maharashtra, on winning this year’s Global Teacher Prize, saying educating the young children, especially the poor, is perhaps the best way to help them as individuals.

“I would like to congratulate you,” His Holiness wrote, “on being named the world’s most exceptional teacher and to express my admiration for your generosity in sharing half the prize money with runners-up in the competition”.

“Educating young children, especially from poor and needy backgrounds is perhaps the best way to help them as individuals, and actively contributes to creating a better world.

“Your work to ensure that disadvantaged girls go to school, as well as your efforts to prepare study materials for them in their own language, the online science lessons you offer pupils in 83 countries and your project building connections between young people in conflict zones are all vivid examples of compassion in action.

“When you say, ‘Together we can make a difference — we can make this world a better place’, you are absolutely right. I am sure your exemplary service will encourage other brothers and sisters to follow in your footsteps.”

The spiritual leader ended his letter with an offering of prayers and good wishes.

The 31-year-old Ranjitsingh Disale declared that he will split half of the prize money of $1 million with his top 10 fellow finalists.

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