Archive | March, 2015

When Yami got a pleasant surprise

Posted on 25 March 2015 by admin

Yami Gautam who is currently shooting in Patiala opposite Pulkit Samrat was missing home as the actress comes from Chandigarh and home was merely two hours away from the sets. Yami was missing family and the delicious home cooked Punjabi food.

Co-incidentally, call it telepathy, the actress’ wish was heard right away. Yami’s mother surprised her by dropping on sets and also spent time with her. Not only this, she had also made some yummy Punjabi home cooked food which made

Yami’s day.

This was completely unexpected and purely amazed Yami who also got a chance to spend some quality time with her mother. The two got to catch up on various things after pack up.

Yami Gautam shares, “I had not met my family for some time. So, when I went to Patiala for my shoot schedule, my mom surprised me on sets with my favourite food which I miss so much living alone in Bombay.”

She further adds, “Having her around was the best feeling.

We caught up on so many things after pack up.” Yami has been juggling with her schedule with shooting for movies back to back.

Her latest film Badlapur was loved by the audience and performed a brilliantly at Box office. The actress will soon be seen in T- series’s Sanam Re which is set to release on 12th February 2016.

 

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Does Sunny need to revamp her sex symbol image?

Posted on 25 March 2015 by admin

The sultry beauty seems to be getting typecast by the filmmakers as well as the audience, its high time the audience gets to see the different facet of her talent and personality!

Apparently the ex-porn star grabbed all the eyeballs when she entered India’s biggest reality show, Bigg Boss Season 5. The actress did capture many hearts and had her own mass following.

Though she did not win the show but she somehow managed to enter Tinsel Town.

Keeping her previous career in mind the filmmakers always expected Sunny Leone to add her hot vibe to their film. She has been considered as a sex symbol and the audience also expect a pinch of salacious flavour to the film she is in.

Sunny Leone made her debut with Jism 2, where the film was filled with her sultry bikini and erotic moves, considering her other films,

Shootout at Wadala, Raagini MMS 2 and Jackpot we could see the filmmakers trying to mint money on Sunny’s bold avataars and present her as a sex symbol.

But, in her recent film, Leela Ek Paheli, in the trailer, to our surprise, we can see the actress has done a bit of an acting and we hope this film does proves out to be an image changer for the damsel.

As it’s high time, we would definitely want to see her acting talent and would not want her to be used as a mere doll to draw the crowd to the theaters.

 

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Oops! Parineeti undergoing a hard phase?

Posted on 25 March 2015 by admin

Bubbly and vivacious Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra says she is not so “happy” as she is not feeling well.

“Sick and lying in bed. Not not not happyy,” Parineeti tweeted on Saturday.

However, the actress,who made her acting debut with a supporting role in the 2011 romantic comedy “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”, refrained from sharing more information about her illness on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, 2014 turned out to be a low key year for the cousin of actress

Priyanka Chopra. Of Parineeti’s three releases — “Hasee Toh Phasee”, “Daawat-e-Ishq” and “Kill Dil”, two bombed at the box office.

“Hasee Toh Phasee”, which also starred Sidharth Malhotra, had a fair box office performance.

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Nepalese Community Celebrates 105th Inter National Women’s Day

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

Uttam Makaju

Toronto

Premier of Ontario Ms.  Kathleen  Wynne  has disclosed  that Ontario government  is implementing  new action  plan on sexual harassment. Speaking  as a chief guest in a program organized  jointly by Nepalese Canadian Women’s Association and  Nepalese Canadian Community Services on the occasion of 105th International Women’s Day in Downtown Toronto, Premier Wynne  said that culture should not be a hindrance to stop domestic violence and sexual harassment . Out of three women,  one is being sexually victimized, which is a heinous act,  she added.  She further said  that  creating  society with zero women violence is her priority.  Attendees of the program applauded excitedly  when Premier Wynne danced with other dancers in a Nepali folk song in perfect Nepali style.

Host of speakers  including Ms. Sashi Bhatia of Indo Canadian Cultural Association Durham,  Ms. Uma Suresh ,  Women Director, Durham Tamil Association, Ms. Smriti Gnawali, Ms.  Asha Rajak, Dr. Sony Thapa shed light on plight of women because of domestic violence and  emphasized on the need to create awareness.    Guests were entertained by cultural  performances  by  various artists reflecting Nepalese culture. At the end of the program, Nepalese Canadian Women’s Association  president  Ms. Sushila Bhandari thanked all the guests for their gracious presence.

 

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Women’s Rights are Human Rights, So Let’s Make a Change

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

March 8, was International Women’s Day. Since being designated by the United Nations in 1975, the day has provided an opportunity not only to celebrate achievements, but to come up with new strategies to address the most difficult challenges concerning women’s rights.

Each March 8 has a theme. Following “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty” in 2012, “A Promise Is A Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women” in 2013 and “Equality for Women is Progress for All” in 2014, this year’s theme is ”Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!”

Twenty years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, two documents aimed at empowering women adopted by 189 countries, and over 10 years since the adoption of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality, certain countries remain regrettably reluctant to put new initiatives in place, as my colleague, the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member for Vancouver Centre, recently stated in an address to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

 As for the Canadian situation, there remains cause for concern here too. While we have consistently hovered around eighth place on the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index since it was created in 2010, other indicators paint a less rosy picture. The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report has put Canada at around 20th place for several years now.

 Here in Canada, women are underrepresented in Parliament: in 2015, they make up 25 per cent of MPs and 35 per cent of senators.

Here in Canada, Aboriginal women are three to four times more likely than other Canadian women to be victims of violence, and they are overrepresented in the number of missing and murdered women across the country.

Here in Canada, about 50 per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once after the age of 16.

Here in Canada, as in all other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, women continue to earn significantly less than men.

The facts speak for themselves. We now need to move beyond condemnation and take action, including:

  • Demonstrating that Status of Women Canada is not a second-tier ministry by substantially increasing its budget;
  • Promoting gender-based analysis in government policy and public policy formation, particularly as relates to the development of budgets;
  • Appointing more women to public office and working to remove barriers keeping women from entering politics;
  • Making pay equity a reality by creating a gender equality commissioner, and re-establishing the Court Challenges Program so that all women will have the means to ensure that their Charter rights are respected;
  • Doing more and doing better for Aboriginal women. Holding a national roundtable on the issue is a step in the right direction, but a national commission of inquiry is necessary;
  • Establishing a national action plan to combat violence against women, taking into account the specific needs of various groups – seniors, single mothers, Aboriginal women, immigrants, homeless women — and developing concrete ways of evaluating progress; and

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PM HARPER AND BILL GATES RENEW CALL TO ADVANCE GLOBAL MATERNAL, NEWBORN AND CHILD HEALTH PRIORITY

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Bill Gates in Ottawa to discuss how to further leverage the strong leadership that Canada has demonstrated in promoting  maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in order to ensure that it remains a global development priority and a prominent feature of the global post-2015 development agenda. They were joined by Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, as well as global health leaders representing Canadian and international organizations that are committed to advancing significant progress and achieving results on MNCH.

While tremendous progress has been made to save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable citizens – women and children – much work remains to be done. To this end, the Prime Minister and Mr. Gates together renewed the call for focused global political leadership and sustained financial commitments to ensure that MNCH remains a central development priority as the world moves beyond 2015.

The Prime Minister also reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to support immunization as a key pillar of Canada’s MNCH strategy by announcing new investments toward improving access to vaccines for mothers and children. These investments are aimed at eradicating polio and eliminating tetanus, as well as providing support to 20 implementation research teams, made up of African and Canadian researchers, who will contribute to improving maternal and child health in Africa.

During a moderated discussion, the Prime Minister and Mr. Gates discussed the unprecedented global progress that has taken place since the establishment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals in 2000. Fifteen years later, the world stands on the verge of ending the preventable deaths of mothers and children under five within a generation, in large part due to the leadership and commitment of international partners such as the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Concrete Measures to End Sexual Violence and Harassment

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

Premier Kathleen Wynne Unveils New Action Plan

The Ontario government has released It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The ground-breaking plan outlines concrete steps to help change attitudes, provide more supports for survivors, and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. The government has committed $41 million over three years to support the plan’s implementation.

In December 2014, Premier Kathleen Wynne called for stronger action against sexual violence and harassment and directed a group of ministers to put forward measures to address the issue. The Premier launched the action plan today at the YWCA in Toronto.

“As a woman, ending sexual violence and harassment is a cause I feel strongly about — and as a leader, it is also one I know is right for Ontario. Our action plan is an affirmation that everyone in this province deserves dignity, equality and respect, and is a clarion call to all Ontarians to help end misogyny so that everyone can live free from sexual violence and harassment,” stated Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

Highlights from the plan include:

         A multi-media public education campaign to help change behaviours and call on bystanders to intervene;

         A new health and physical education curriculum that will help children, from Grades 1 to 12, develop a deeper learning about healthy relationships and consent;

         Stronger workplace safety legislation that will require employers to investigate and address workplace harassment, including sexual harassment;

         An enhanced prosecution model tailored to the needs of sexual assault cases that will help ensure that all such charges are prosecuted as fairly, effectively and respectfully as possible;

         Legislation that would eliminate the two-year limitation period for civil sexual assault claims and claims of sexual assault before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and;

         Increased and stabilized funding for supports for survivors provided by community partners.

A permanent stakeholder Roundtable on Violence Against Women will be convened to provide advice to the government on ongoing and emerging gender-based violence issues.

It’s Never Okay is part of the government’s plan to provide more security, protection and equal opportunity for all Ontarians. It will help ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety and is free from the threat, fear or experience of sexual violence and harassment.

 

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Jason Kenney Blasts Trudeau For Accusing Tories Of Stoking Anti-Muslim Prejudice

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

A senior Conservative cabinet minister is firing back at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for accusing the Harper government of stoking prejudice against Muslims.

And Defence Minister Jason Kenney says it was “obscene” for Trudeau to “conflate” Canada’s treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust with the government’s opposition to the wearing of the niqab during citizenship ceremonies.

In a hard-hitting speech at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada in Toronto Monday night, Trudeau accused the Tories of using the same kind of rhetoric against Muslims that sparked other ”dark episodes” in Canada’s history.

The Liberal leader made reference to the “second-class citizenship” of aboriginal people, the Chinese head tax, the internment of Japanese, Ukrainian and Italian Canadians during the two world wars, and the “turning away” of boatloads of Jewish and Punjabi refugees.

The Liberal leader said some young Canadians can scarcely believe such events occurred in Canada.

“So we should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a ‘none is too many’ immigration policy toward Jews in the ’30s and ’40s, being used to raise fears against Muslims today,” he said, referencing how Canada turned away Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

Trudeau again spoke out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s vow to appeal a Federal Court ruling overturning a ban on the wearing of the niqab during citizenship ceremonies and the Tories’ fundraising emails on the issue.

“It is nothing less than an attempt to play on people’s fears and foster prejudice, directly toward the Muslim faith,” Trudeau said.

“This is not the spirit of Canadian liberty, my friends. It is the spirit of the Komagata Maru. Of the St. Louis. Of ‘none is too many.’

“Canada is where a million Muslims live and thrive in a free and open, secular democracy. The world needs more of that, not less of it.”

The Komagata Maru was a ship carrying Muslim, Hindu and Sikh passengers, who were denied entry into Canada in 1914. The St. Louis was a German ocean liner whose Jewish passengers were denied entry in 1939.

The Liberal leader also spoke of the need to “strike the right balance” between security and personal freedom in light of ongoing terrorism threats. Trudeau announced weeks ago that Liberals will vote for the government’s new anti-terror legislation, but amend Bill C-51 if they win the next election.

On Tuesday, Trudeau’s remarks were blasted by Kenney, who has been credited with helping his party make inroads with the Muslim community during his time as immigration minister.

Kenney took to Twitter to remind “Justin” that the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenize King admitted just 5,000 Jews between 1939 and 1945, while the current Tory government has brought in 300,000 Muslims since 2006.

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THE SENATE ELECTIONS IN PAKISTAN

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

    The Senate elections were held on March 5.   A number of political leaders and the media complained about the sale and purchase of the voters and that millions of rupees exchanged hands during the election period. However, no concrete evidence was provided by any one to prove this corrupt practice.

      Two developments distinguish the 2015 Senate elections from the earlier elections. First, the election in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was disrupted and delayed for some hours. This was an unusual event because the voters were the members of the provincial assembly who created a noisy and difficult situation that is sometimes witnessed in the general elections where ordinary people vote.  There were complaints that some members had put white slips in the ballot-box and took their vote-sheets outside for giving it to their party bosses that were later put into the ballot-box by some fully trusted voters along with their own votes. At the time of counting a few blanks slips were discovered from the ballot box, giving credibility to the complaint.

   Second, a presidential ordinance was issued on the advice of the prime minister late on the voting-night that changed the voting procedure for the FATA members of the National Assembly. This was a violation of the electoral laws that disallow changes in the election procedures after the election-schedule is announced. Taking cover of a constitutional provision for the elections from the FATA, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Group engaged in what in practical terms can be described as an election malpractice.   It seems that when the PMLN leadership realized that it does not have the support of most FATA MNAs, it changed the procedures to limit the gains of the opposition.   What appears more striking is that the Election Commission did not take a strong exception to the change of the rules at the last moment and sought its clarification from the government. The Senate election from FATA was postponed. The Election Commission, having the final authority to hold the elections, should have ordered the voting by the FATA MNAs on the basis of pre-ordinance rules. The new ordinance has also been challenged in the High Court.

    The Senate was established in Pakistan under the 1973 Constitution, replacing the practice of a single house parliament in the 1956 and the 1962 constitutions. The two Constituent Assemblies (1947-56) and the interim 1956-58 National Assembly also had a single house.

   The Senate provides equal representation to the provinces and some seats are allocated to the capital city of Islamabad and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The first Senate in 1973 had 45 members (10 from each province, 3 from FATA and 2 from Islamabad. No reservation for women, technocrats or religious minorities). Its strength was raised to 63 in 1977 and 87 in 1985. In 2002 it was raised to 100. Amendment (2010) added four reserved seats for non-Muslims that became operational in the 2012 Senate elections.  Today the Senate comprises 104 members.   The principal reason for the establishment of the Senate was to provide equal representation to all provinces and enable the politicians and societal leaders with long years of legislative and public service experience and people of excellence to enter the legislative process through indirect elections. A number of such senior people avoid contesting general elections.

     It is expected that these “experienced” people will add sobriety and maturity to the legislative and governmental processes. However, Pakistan’s experience suggests that the Senate has not been able to perform such a job. A large number of its members do not represent excellence in their professions or public service. Some have a limited experience of legislative work in provincial or national assemblies. The political parties use this house to accommodate their favorites in a manner of distribution of patronage. Invariably the political parties accommodate some key party leaders who are not accommodated in the National Assembly or who may be reluctant to seek direct elections

   The notion of equal representation of provinces gets compromised by the practice of getting the people of one province from another province where a particular party has a comfortable majority in the provincial assembly. The PMLN adopted this strategy in this elections and got outsiders elected from Islamabad and the Punjab because it had a majority in the Punjab Assembly and the National Assembly.

    There were no surprises in the Punjab and Sindh where the dominant parties got all seats, i.e., the PMLN in the Punjab and the MQM and the PPP in Sindh. However, in the Punjab the PPP candidate got more votes than his open supporters, showing that some alienated PMLN members voted for him.

        In Balochistan, it was free for all elections. The province-based political parties supported each other at the expense of the PMLN that had the largest number of members in the provincial assembly and it was a partner in the provincial coalition government. Six political parties and an independent member won the seats; the PMLN got only 3 seats.   It was also a mixed bag in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa because no political party had an absolute majority in the provincial assembly. Six political parties shared the seats with the PTI (ruling party) capturing 6 seats.

      The PPP and the PMLN with 27 and 26 seats respectively will be competing bitterly for the position of Chairman and Deputy Chairman on the Senate. The smaller parties like the MQM, ANP, JUI-F, and independents will hold the balance.  The PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is known for his skills for coalition-building. He stands a good chance of clinching the Chairmanship.  However, Nawaz Sharif has an advantage because he presides over the federal government, enabling him to use state-patronage for securing support. It is going to be an interesting competition between the PPP and the PMLN.

     However, as these two parties have been helping each for the last over one year, they may decide to divide the post of Chairman and Deputy Chairman among them. In any case, there will be interesting political firework in Islamabad in the next couple of weeks.

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How India’s ban on rape film backfired

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

Why did the Indian government ban the BBC rape documentary?

That’s a question India’s leaders must be asking themselves a week on from the ban.

If the idea was to stop people talking about the film, it has backfired in a big way.

India’s Daughter has been front page news here in India every day since the ban was imposed late on Tuesday last week.

It has been trending on social media and has been the subject of characteristically vigorous debate on India’s array of current affairs chat shows, with pundits jabbing angry fingers at each other into the night.

So why did the government do it?

There is certainly a political component to the ban. Permission for the interview was granted under the previous Congress-led government. The ruling BJP will have wanted to distance itself from that decision.

Misguided

It also wanted to be seen to be acting swiftly as controversy around the film blew up.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said last Wednesday that the entire nation was “ashamed” by Mukesh Singh’s words.

And the decision to ban the film was widely supported initially.

In the first couple of days after the ban even some leading Indian feminists supported it, arguing that the rapist should not be given a platform to express his repellent views.

Since then support has weakened and the consensus now, certainly in India’s newspapers, seems to be that the ban is misguided.

That’s because many of the arguments put forward to justify the ban have been called into question.

Leslee Udwin says there was no deception or breach of agreement on her part

The initial grounds for the ban were that broadcast of the film – or more precisely the interview with one of the men convicted of the savage rape and murder of a young Indian woman on a Delhi bus – could threaten public order.

The comments the rapist makes are certainly incendiary. Mukesh Singh appears to show no remorse for his crime and seems to be suggesting that, by fighting back, his victim was responsible for her own murder.

Some commentators have suggested that there is a link between elevated tensions around the issue of rape and the lynching of a rape suspect in the state of Nagaland in the north east of India.

It is a controversial claim. Vigilante justice is not uncommon in India, particularly over emotive crimes like rape.

And Nagaland notwithstanding, there hasn’t been any significant disorder, despite the huge controversy around the film. Certainly nothing like the huge protest movement that grew up in the days after the original attack back in December 2012.

‘Perverted views’

Another big area of debate has been whether the filmmakers got proper permission to film in Tihar, the prison where Singh is being held.

The director, Leslee Udwin, released her correspondence with the prison authorities to the media over the weekend. She says it supports her claim that there was no deception or breach of agreement on her part.

Then there was the claim that broadcasting the interview could prejudice future legal action, in particular the rapist’s appeal against his death sentence in the Supreme Court.

That’s been roundly rejected by the Editors Guild of India. It said that it was “an insult” to the highest court in India to suggest that airing the convict’s “perverted views” would interfere with the course of justice.

Some activists say the rapists should have fast-track executions

So the Indian government is now in the uncomfortable position of having to defend an increasingly unpopular ban.

A senior government minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, described the documentary as “a conspiracy to defame India”.

On that basis the ban was designed to protect the good name of India in the world.

But as party chiefs survey the headlines around the globe they would be hard pressed not to conclude that banning India’s Daughter has been far more damaging to India’s reputation abroad than an open discussion of the issues raised by the film would ever have been.

 

 

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