Ayodhya, India’s flashpoint holy site

first_imgWhere does it stand legally? In November India’s highest court finally settled a decades-long, arcane legal fight that even saw the infant Ram represented by a lawyer. The ruling awarded the site to Hindus, in a major victory for Modi and the BJP. The Muslim side were given a nearby location to construct a “prominent” new mosque. Hindus believe a Muslim conqueror razed the Ram temple in the 1500s to make way for the mosque. The British erected a fence in the 19th century to separate places of worship so that Muslims could worship in the inner court and Hindus the outer. But in 1949, idols of Lord Ram appeared inside the mosque, allegedly placed by Hindus. Why is it disputed? Hindus and Muslims have for decades been bitterly divided over the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Hindus believe the mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to their god Ram, who is also believed to have been born on or near the site. Tensions boiled over in 1992 when a Hindu mob tore the mosque to the ground, sparking religious violence that left about 2,000 dead across India. Topics : When did tensions escalate? On December 6, 1992 a huge Hindu crowd converged on the mosque site to symbolically and provocatively lay the first stone of the new temple. The 200,000-strong mob broke through police cordons, first smashing three domes to rubble before reducing the rest of the historic mosque to ruins. The destruction triggered some of the worst religious riots since India’s bloody partition in 1947. Ten years later a trainload of Hindu activists were burned alive as they returned from Ayodhya, sparking retaliatory riots in Gujarat state that left upwards of 1,000 people dead, again most of them Muslims. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help lay the foundations on Wednesday for a “grand” new Hindu temple at a flashpoint holy site that has been the spark for some of India’s worst sectarian violence.AFP looks at the history of the three-acre patch of land in the holy northern town of Ayodhya and why it has long been an explosive source of contention between India’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims. Who was behind its destruction? In 1984, a group of Hindus formed a committee to “liberate” the birthplace of Ram and build a temple at the disputed site. The movement was headed by L K Advani, a senior figure in the ruling BJP, now headed by Modi. Its supporters began travelling to the site to demand a temple be built. How long has it been a flashpoint?  What will the temple look like? To shouts of “Hail Lord Ram”, Modi said in parliament in February that the new temple would be “grand”. His  right-hand man, Home Minister Amit Shah, said it would “touch the sky”. Wednesday’s ceremony, held at a time recommended by astrologers and involving 135 “revered saints”, will use soil from almost 2,000 holy sites around India and water of about 100 holy rivers. Silver bricks will be used in the foundations.last_img read more

UW gains ground in Big Ten after 2-0 weekend

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team wanted to make a statement Sunday against Michigan State. They did just that, shutting down the second-place team in the Big Ten and the nation’s leading scorer en route to a 2-0 victory.“We’re building our team from the start of the season to now,” freshman forward Laurie Nosbusch said. “This was a really big win for us. It was a really exciting game to play in. We knew that they were going to be really tough, so to get this win, it means a lot to this team and what we’ve accomplished over the past couple weeks.”UW controlled the game early, outshooting MSU 8-1 in the first half and adding a goal from freshman Erin Jacobsen in the 17th minute to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.The Badgers’ defense shut down the Spartans, limiting their opportunities and keeping them from putting a shot-on-goal in the first half of play.“It was just a commitment that the backs — the four of us — made, that we’re going to be this brick wall here,” sophomore defender Birdie Leibham said. “It feels great, especially when the hype of the whole team is these two forwards. Shutting them down made a statement to the other teams in the Big Ten, I think.”Wisconsin (9-6-1, 3-4-0 in the Big Ten) didn’t let up in the second half, as Nosbusch added a goal just over five minutes in on an assist from Jacobsen.Michigan State (13-4-0, 5-3-0 in the Big Ten) was able to get some momentum in the second half, outshooting Wisconsin 7-4 and putting three shots-on-goal. The Badgers’ defense held strong, however, keeping the Spartans off the scoreboard for the fourth time this season.“I thought the biggest thing was every time those two (freshman Laura Heyboer and junior Lauren Hill) touched the ball, we had somebody who was pressing them, and we were careful to make sure that they were covering each other,” head coach Paula Wilkins said.Wilkins also noted that the collective play of the defense made the difference.“It was a total group effort with the group of four back there keeping track of people and being competitive to win the first balls,” Wilkins said. “It’s a huge credit to them because obviously with Heyboer and Hill being the two leading scorers in the Big Ten, to be able to shut them down is a wonderful thing.”Senior goalkeeper Jamie Klages made three saves in the game to earn her fifth shutout of the season and her second in Big Ten play. Earlier in the week, Klages outlined her team’s approach to facing Heyboer and Hill.“We try and worry more about what we can bring to the table and what we’re going to do as a defense rather than changing ourselves for [them],” Klages said.Wisconsin also defeated Michigan (4-6-4, 1-6-2) in Friday’s matchup, scoring three goals in a 10-minute span to come away with a 3-1 victory.Senior Taylor Walsh got things started for Wisconsin in the 12th minute with a goal from 35 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal. Junior Krista Liskevych followed with a goal just under five minutes later, less than a minute after entering the game.The Badgers extended their lead to 3-0 in the 21st minute as Nosbusch found the back of the net with an assist from Liskevych.“I can’t even remember a time when we’ve had that,” Liskevych said of the goals. “It was a huge confidence boost.”Wisconsin maintained its three-goal lead for nearly 70 minutes before giving up a goal to senior Katie Miller on an assist from Danielle Underwood. The Wolverines’ goal was the only shot they managed to put on goal in the second half.“It was amazing,” Klages said of the game. “When we get a goal early, we always respond really well to that, and Taylor’s goal was great. Just to be able to come out and not taper off at all — I think we played really well that first half — was great.”Klages also noted that she believes the team’s success on the weekend stemmed from its ability to carry the momentum built from defeating Indiana 1-0 a week ago.Following two Wisconsin wins, an Illinois loss and two Iowa losses on the weekend, the Badgers moved up two spots in the Big Ten standings into a tie with Illinois for sixth place.“Other teams in the Big Ten better watch out for us because we’re staying focused and working really hard,” Leibham said. “We’re making a statement for our program.”last_img read more

Anonymous donation funds future USC dorm

first_imgAn anonymous donor has given $15 million to endow a residential college at the upcoming USC Village, according to USC News.The donation will fund the creation of one of nine residential colleges on the future Village site, which is expected to house up to 2,700 students.The anonymous gift comes on the heels of USC trustee Ray Irani’s $20 million donation earlier this month, which similarly endowed a Village residential college with $15 million of the total.This is now the third gift for student housing at USC Village, with the Ray Irani Residential College and the McCarthy Honors College being the first two. The name of the new college has not been disclosed.The $650 million project is expected to be completed by spring 2017, and in addition to student housing will include new retail space and restaurants.last_img read more

Theo Bettie’s Remains Arrive

first_imgThe casket bearing the mortal remains of the late Theophilus Totee Bettie, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), arrived in the country from Lagos, Nigeria, late last night on a special, chattered flight.Mr. Bettie died at the Saint Nicholas Hospital, in Lagos, Nigeria  on Friday, November 8, after he had reportedly collapsed in his hotel room.The former CBL Deputy Governor was in that sisterly nation attending the  Bi-annual Conference of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM).Family members and government officials, including CBL Governor, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, turned out at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) much earlier to await the arrival of the Bettie’s remains.Unfortunately, the flight was delayed from 12noon to 9pm, according to sources.The CBL, in an announcement posted in this paper stated: “The CBL extended deepest sympathy to the bereaved family for this “irreparable” loss that the nation has sustained.Theophilus Totee Bettie joined the Bank family in 2008, and was soon elevated to the position of advisor for Research and Policy; he later rose further up the ranks to serve as Deputy Governor for Economic Policy until his untimely death in Nigeria.”The late Bettie earned himself a full bright scholar award from Yale University, in the United States of America, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree.According to information received by the Daily Observer, his remains will be deposited at the Samuel A. Striker Funeral Home upon arrival. Information concerning funeral arrangements is yet to be announced.          Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Do Not Be Afraid to Explore Further Education”

first_imgThe orator: Hon Elias Shoniyin -NCCC Graduates Urged, The graduates of the Nimba County Community College have been urged not to be afraid to explore further education, as they exit the walls of the college with their “AA” degrees.Delivering the keynote address at the commencement convocation  on January 12, 2019, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. B. Elias Shoniyin, told the graduates, “for some of you, this is the end of your official scholastic journey, while for others, the journey goes on to another level, a full Bachelor of Arts degree or beyond.”“But, I urged you to not be afraid to explore further education, for therein lie the adventure that will guarantee the expansion of your intellects and success,” he said.Hon. Shoniyin, who spoke on the theme, “How the DCD Government is Rebuilding the Liberian Educational System” stimulated the consciousness of the graduates for pursuing a realistic, but optimist future.He said, “the event we celebrate today, marks a milestone and a turning point in the lives of you, young men and women, who are honored here today.”“It is milestone, because you have taken a major step in reaching your life goal, the essence of your aspirations as you ascend in the journey of life,” he said.“Today marks a turning point for many of you, not because degrees are being conferred on you, but that you are headed out there into the real world. It is a turning point because you must now step forward to begin a new journey that offers much promise from which there must be no return to your past life, the sky can no longer be your limit,” he added.Hon. Shoniyin explained that the Administration of President George Manneh Weah recognizes that education is a catalyst for driving sustainable socio-economic development which would lead Liberia into a prosperous future.He added that to maintain the peace, education remains a paramount commitment of government that is why the pillar #1 of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) promises power to the people, which marks the new dawn for Liberia’s development.“Noting the urgency of investing in the people, particularly the youth, as promised in the PAPD, President Weah demonstrated his government’s unrelenting dedication when he declared tuition free for all public universities and colleges in Liberia,” he said.Explaining the government’s recognition of empowerment of our people, where 60% of the population is under the age of 35, many of whom were war affected youth, he told the graduates, “The government and the people of this county have given you an undeniable platform, where you have engrossed ourselves in the doctrine of academia for the last two years.”The Nimba County Community College graduated about 126 students in this 4th Commencement Convocation with associate of arts degrees.Among the 126 graduates, the Department of Science and Agriculture put out 103 students. This department offered several courses, including geology, forestry, general agriculture, mining engineering, information technology, laboratory technology, natural resource management and nursing.However, the President of the college Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor has expressed many thanks and appreciation to President George M. Weah the opportunity given them to help move the country forward in a process aimed at enhancing peace, reconciliation and development.He said the NCCC is a developing institution, with the aim and objective to provide knowledge, skills and to encourage individuals to develop self-esteem.However, Dr. Wonkeryor has expressed some financial difficulties, since he took over as president of the college last year. “Currently, the college is faced with a multiplicity of challenges critical among which is the issue of finance,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more