Presidents rule in JK extended for 6 more months beginning July 3

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six more months beginning July 3, Union minister Prakash Javedkar said.A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided that central rule, which has been continuing in Jammu and Kashmir since June 20, 2018, will remain for six months. “Yes, it has been decided,” Javadekar told reporters when asked whether the Cabinet gave its nod to extend President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCAn official statement said based on the prevailing situation in the state as stated in the report of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from July 3, 2019, under article 356(4) of the Constitution of India. This is likely to be the last extension of the central rule in the state as the Election Commission had issued a statement recently stating that elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be announced after the annual Amarnath Yatra beginning on July 1. The present term of President’s rule is expiring on July 2 and the Governor has recommended that the President rule in the state may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from July 3, the statement said. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsA resolution seeking approval of the Parliament for the extension of the central rule in Jammu and Kashmir will be moved in both houses of parliament during the forthcoming session. The Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir was imposed initially on June 20, 2018 and the State Assembly was kept in suspended animation after the state plunged into a political crisis when the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to minority following withdrawal of support by the 25-member BJP in the state. Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of Governor’s rule after six months. Hence, on the recommendation of Governor and having regard to the prevailing situation in the state, the President’s rule was imposed on December 20, 2018. Subsequently, a resolution approving the President’s rule was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2018 and in the Rajya Sabha on January 3, 2019.last_img read more

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Half Iraqs Garden of Eden marshes begin to recover thanks to UNbacked

Fifteen years after nearly being annihilated by Saddam Hussein, almost half of Iraq’s fabled marshlands of Mesopotamia, considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden, have regained their 1970s extent, thanks to a multi-million dollar programme managed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Satellite images and analysis released by UNEP today showed that almost 50 per cent of the total area, one of the world’s largest wetland ecosystems, had been re-flooded with seasonal fluctuations, in sharp contrast to agency images in 2001 that revealed that 90 per cent of the Marshlands had already been lost.They were ravaged by a vast drainage operation carried out by Mr. Hussein after the 1991 Persian Gulf War in one of Iraq’s major environmental and humanitarian disasters, with the desertification of millennia-old wetlands, displacement of much of the indigenous population and destruction of a unique cultural heritage.Once totalling almost 9,000 square kilometres, the Marshlands dwindled to just 760 square kilometres in 2002 and experts feared they could disappear entirely by 2008.As the regime fell in 2003, people began to open floodgates and break down the embankments that had been built to drain the Marshlands. Re-flooding has since occurred in some, but not all, areas. The rehabilitation project – Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands – which includes a series of local community-led campaigns, is funded by Japan and managed by UNEP.Up to 22,000 people living in the area are now getting access to safe drinking water and 300 Iraqis have been trained in marshland management techniques and policies, UNEP said today. The programme aims eventually to provide clean water for up to 100,000.The results of the project’s first phase will be presented to a meeting of high-level Iraqi officials, local community leaders and international donors in Kyoto, Japan, tomorrow.By the middle of 2006, 23 kilometres of water distribution pipes and 86 common distribution taps had been installed. A sanitation system pilot project is being implemented in the community of Al-Chibayish where inhabitants are facing health hazards from discharges of untreated wastewater to a nearby canal.“The key to the success of this project has been the solid cooperation with Ministries of Environment and Municipalities and Public Works, southern Governorates, local communities, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and dedication of many Iraqis,” Per Bakken, Director of the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre said. read more

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FEATURE In Western Afghanistan an ancient love of poetry thrives again

Fatema Rahimi, (left), reads her poetry aloud to a group of 30 poets in Herat, Afghanistan. Above her is a portrait of Afghanistan’s most famous poet, Maulana Mohammed Balkhi, also known as “Rumi.” Photo: UNAMA/Fraidoon Poya Yet most of the poetry is subtle if not profound, hinting at notions of spiritualism, and an Afghan sense of the transcendental. “I grew up with poetry,” said Ghulam Haidar Ghudsi, 35, who looks forward to his weekly indulgence at the literary association. “We are tired of war. There are poems for peace, but after all, things happen all around us, even suicide bombers. In my district, up along the Turkmen border, the Taliban are active and it is hard to even move. “I like the Sufist poetry – that of Maulana [Rumi] Jalaladdin Mohammed Balkhi,” he added. “I like his outlook. His poetry – particularly his imagery — speaks to me about peace. I’ve learned that there is a big difference between my moon [romantic aspirations] and where the moon rises, and his imagery makes this clear to me. I can tell you this, though, the school of Maulana promotes peace, not a culture of violence.” In the United States and Europe, Rumi is a highly-appreciated poet and sales of his poetry have skyrocketed in recent years even as many in North America and Europe do not recognize him as an “Afghan poet,” since he rose to fame in Persia and Turkey, after his family left Afghanistan. The Sufi school of thinking that he founded and led still prides itself in creativity, tolerance, and an emphasis on unique spiritual journeys. It is not clear what the growing popularity of poetry will mean for Afghanistan. In many cases, poetry serves as a welcome outlet for frustrated men and women, who often feel cornered by war and tied down by tradition. Still, the interest is growing, and though the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) helps support events at the Herat Literary Association, the price to participate is always minimal, particularly when you compose lines on your phone as many literary club members do. “I’m not a poet myself,” said UNAMA Public Information Officer Fraidoon Poya. “But I like to come and listen. There is a special magic in the room every week. I like to hear the new voices, the young men and women who come looking to be heard for the first time.” The literary association’s Secretary-General, M. Daoud Monir, said he has seen a newfound appreciation of poetry across Western Afghanistan, one that is growing quickly and is often in line with aspirations for peace. “These gathering give the youth a chance to express their views – even, as you see, when they contradict each other. On any given week, you can be sure that the main subject will be war and peace, but there is a lot going on here, including that these sessions give our women a chance to critique the patriarchy.” The UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) has a mandate to support the Government of Afghanistan and its citizens in a shared goal of becoming a stable, open and peaceful nation. This feature story highlights one of the many ways the UN and Afghanistan are working together to overcome the many challenges to achieving this goal. Afghanistan has for centuries been a cradle of poetic expression. One of the world’s best-known poets, Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi, or “Rumi,” was born here over 800 years ago. His lines of poetry, in ancient Dari, speak to the thoughts of many Afghans, as do the lines of other great Persian, Pashtun and Arab writers. Much of Afghanistan’s newfound love of poetic expression – which has taken hold in Kabul and Kandahar as well – is coming from young Afghans seeking new ways to interact and express themselves. What is extraordinary about the graceful expressions this afternoon at the Herat Literary Association, however, is the newfound enthusiasm combined with the clicks of cell phone technology – which together suggest a cultural revival amid the uncertainty of war. Much of Afghanistan’s newfound love of poetic expression – which has taken hold in Kabul and Kandahar as well – is coming from young Afghans seeking new ways to interact and express themselves. “Our words are – in their way – a defense against war,” said Fatema Rahimi, 23. “Poetry is important to me because it can describe aspects of the conflict.” Weekly in Herat, poets meet to share their latest works. Some bring freshly printed booklets marked by ornate calligraphy but others read directly from lines composed on their phones. Invariably, as new poems are read out around the table mixed with men and women, a round of applause will go up as the poem ends. This is, however, the moment that the sometimes-dreaded critique begins, often initiated by rows of sharp-dressed young ladies, who are quick to remark on what they think is imprecise imagery or inappropriate language. The poetry is as often about love as it is about conflict, and an observer quickly notices that there is a curious interplay between the young men and women in the room. When an excited young man reads a poem about a tiger, representing a man, chasing a lovely gazelle draped in a veil, several women chirp up to insist that the veil seems out of place. When another man talks about an unattractive bride, who runs from her groom, stumbles and falls, only to be laughed at by a wedding party, the women are incensed. “You shouldn’t joke about the plight of women!” one pregnant mother snaps. “I’m not critiquing your language, only your subject matter.” When another first-time participant reads from a pamphlet of poems printed inside a glossy yellow cover, the women nod in appreciation and give him kind advice. One says, “It was beautiful but I didn’t find enough meaning in it,” adding, “You need to play more with the language, don’t be so direct, and a study of the classics will help you.” read more

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