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India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discussion

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 08 Mar 2011 20:20

More arrests possible in Air India case, senior RCMP officer says

ROBERT MATAS, VANCOUVER— From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 07, 2011 10:16PM EST
Last updated Monday, Mar. 07, 2011 11:18PM EST

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le1933279/

New efforts to find two men who checked in bags with explosives at the Vancouver airport on June 22, 1985, could lead to more arrests in the 26-year-old Air India case, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass says.

Deputy Commissioner Bass, who retires next week after almost 40 years in the RCMP, was optimistic that the team of more than 20 officers who continue to work full-time on the notorious case will find answers to the deadliest unsolved crime in Canadian history.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail about the suspects and the investigation, he said he anticipates, as time goes by, some people who know about the plot will no longer be afraid to speak out.

...

Deputy Commissioner Bass, who had written manuals and taught courses on wiretaps, felt that an intelligence agency should be allowed to investigate based on a lower standard than police. “I’d like to see some kind of mechanism between intelligence agencies and police that, when police lay a charge, allows CSIS to protect their information,” he said. He pointed to Britain, which has such a process in place.

...

Regardless of the outcome in court, the police are certainly a lot further ahead in understanding exactly what happened as a result of the 1995 investigation, he said, adding that he attributed the progress to developments in investigative techniques.

Police reconstructed the aircraft to prove the location of the explosives in a cargo hold with luggage boarded in Vancouver, overturning contradictory evidence that was accepted in the 1980s by an inquiry in India. Also, the 1995 investigation led to the conviction of Inderjit Singh Reyat for his role in collecting bomb parts that killed 329 people. Previously, Mr. Reyat had been convicted only of arranging for the bomb parts involved in the Narita blast.

...

“When you have an investigation that has those kinds of things still out there, there is always avenues to investigate,” Deputy Commissioner Bass said.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le1933279/

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 09 Mar 2011 20:58

RCMP kept in the dark about Air India: deputy commissioner

ROBERT MATAS, VANCOUVER— From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 08, 2011 10:25PM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 09, 2011 8:50AM EST

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... clecontent

Key RCMP investigators in the Air India case were not told for at least four months after the explosions that CSIS had been wiretapping the phone conversations of Sikh fundamentalist leader Talwinder Singh Parmar, says RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass.

In an interview days before his retirement from the RCMP, Deputy Commissioner Bass said some top RCMP investigators on the Air India task force were not aware of information that CSIS had on Mr. Parmar in the days after the bomb explosions.

CSIS agents had wiretapped Mr. Parmar’s phone conversations and had him under surveillance for weeks before the blast. Also, they had followed Mr. Parmar into the woods and watched him test a homemade bomb three weeks before the blast.

But CSIS did not share their information or their analysis with the RCMP at that time, said Deputy Commissioner Bass, a former team commander of the task force. As a result, Mr. Parmar was not among the targets in the RCMP’s initial submissions for wiretap authorizations. “We had people on the [investigative] team who did not know [Mr.] Parmar was a target until October or November of 1985,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Bass’s comments shed new light on the tempestuous time after the twin bomb explosions on opposite sides of the world on June 23, 1985 that killed 331 people. For years after the bombings, CSIS has been in the spotlight for erasing wiretap tapes that could have incriminated suspects, and brought the terrorists to justice but it was not known how much in the dark the RCMP really were.

The federal inquiry into the investigation of the Air India bombing, in its report last year, concluded that the RCMP was ill-prepared and poorly trained. Its terrorist/extremist unit had limited knowledge of the players and no meaningful access to sources in the community. The RCMP ignored information about the suspects in their own files and did not involve Vancouver police, who were familiar with Sikh extremists in the city, the inquiry says.

...

Mr. Parmar, a Sikh fundamentalist leader fighting for an independent country in India called Khalistan, was arrested on Nov. 6, 1985 but was released without charges being laid. He told the media that police accused him of being the mastermind behind the Air India bombings.

He was arrested for a second time in Ontario in June, 1986, and charged with playing a role in a plot to blow up buildings in India. He was found not guilty the following year after Crown prosecutors refused to disclose information used in a wiretap application. He went into hiding in 1988 and was killed in India four years later.

The RCMP were in the dark about how Mr. Parmar died for several years after his death. Initially, police accepted the conclusion of an inquiry in India that Mr. Parmar had been killed in a shootout, Deputy Commissioner Bass said. They found out some time later that he had been captured and tortured, he said. RCMP did not discover until 1997 that Mr. Parmar allegedly made a confession before his death.

Deputy Commissioner Bass said the confession, which was obtained after torture, was unreliable. Also, the RCMP saw that India did not attach much significance to Mr. Parmar’s statements. “India had put Air India behind them, that essentially was what we were told,” he said.

Mr. Parmar identified a refugee in Canada, Lakhbir Singh Brar, as a central figure in the Air India plot....

A person called Manjit Singh, also known as Lal Singh, was involved in preparing the plan to blast two planes and booking ticket reservations for one of the flights...

...

The Globe and Mail reported in 1985 that one of the tickets had been issued for Lal Singh. He was arrested in India in 1992 and, according to police in India, admitted complicity in the bombing. The RCMP interviewed Mr. Singh twice before Mr. Parmar’s alleged confession was known and concluded that he was not one of the conspirators. They reached the same conclusion after a third interview following the release of Mr. Parmar’s alleged confession.

Hardial Singh Johal, who died in 2002, had been arrested in 2000 but was released without charges being laid. A school janitor, he allegedly stored the bombs in a school basement before they were taken to the airport. He was seen at the airport on the day the luggage with bombs were checked in.

...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... clecontent

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Shankas » 09 Mar 2011 22:08

self Deleted -
Thanks


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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Mar 2011 02:16

FYI Rakshaks, In Canada Today: The minority government lead by Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada was faced with a parliamentary motion declaring them “in contempt of parliament”, and a subsequent motion of “no confidence” in which all 156 present members of the three opposition parties voted against the Conservatives; thus triggering a snap election, likely for May 2 or May 9.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/pol ... le1956416/

One of the central reasons for the finding of “contempt of parliament” and “no confidence” has been the Conservative’s refusal to adequately account for the costs of Canada’s planned purchase of 65 JSF-35 stealth warplanes, which the Conservatives have said will cost $9 Billion, while an official committee has said will cost $23 Billion. (I won’t call the JSF-35 a “fighter” because it’s not a fighter – it’s an attack craft, and IMHO is poorly suited to Canada’s needs, which include a lot of arctic patrol and interdiction; the JSF-35 being slow and lacking sufficient range, even though it has only one engine, which is another major weakness, especially given their astronomical unit price.)

The main opposition Liberal Party of Canada has made a lot of noise about opening the fighter procurement process to other bidders, because the Conservatives did not entertain competitive bids when they selected the JSF-35. Of course, it should be noted that a similar situation arose some years ago concerning military helicopters, and in the end the new Liberal government made the same purchase decision that they had chastised the Conservatives for – so Canadians are not making too much out of this Liberal noise.

One thing seems clear to me, that most Canadians are not keen on the JSF-35, and see nothing wrong with more/new/updated copies of the F-18 variant we currently fly (designated CF-18, some of which are currently flying CAP and SEAD missions over Libya). Those who know what’s what can find all kinds of shortcomings with the JSF-35 in the Canadian context. Those who don’t look at the price tag and get cold feet just from that.

WISHING ON A SHOOTING STAR: I wish the Governments of Canada, Brazil and India would join heads and get their acts together to increase the order size for the MMRCA and bargain extra hard for the best aircraft in the competition, or maybe a mix-and-match scenario involving more than one a/c, where the right (mix of) planes can be had for the lowest price! I think that would be AWESOME! (But, sadly, I don’t think it’ll happen – too many vested interests. :( )

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby pran » 26 Mar 2011 02:30

WISHING ON A SHOOTING STAR: I wish the Governments of Canada, Brazil and India would join heads and get their acts together to increase the order size for the MMRCA and bargain extra hard for the best aircraft in the competition, or maybe a mix-and-match scenario involving more than one a/c, where the right (mix of) planes can be had for the lowest price! I think that would be AWESOME! (But, sadly, I don’t think it’ll happen – too many vested interests. :( )


Why should India align with Canada and give a market to US instead of investing in India ? Using a shared model means critical tech facilities stay out of reach and won't be available when the need arises.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Mar 2011 02:41

^^^pran,

In case you haven't followed my postings in the older MRCA thread (pre-March); I should tell you that I'm partial to the Rafale or Mig-35 for the MMRCA. However, of late, some BRF members following the MRCA thread have suggested awarding the contract to more than one plane, perhaps including a mix of F-18 and Rafale. There is some strong logic behind this idea.

The main reason why I think an Indian/Canadian/Brazilian joint-MMRCA procurement process would be a good idea has nothing at all to do with alliances -- it's all about unit price and speed of delivery (which is particularly dubious for the JSF-35).

Whatever ToT deal India was going to get in the process, I personally think should still go to India; again, because of cost reasons.

Think of it this way:
    >> Would it be a bad thing for India to get the plane (or planes) she wants for a lower price?
    >> Would India have a problem producing components that eventually went into planes flown by Canada or Brazil?

All three countries; India, Brazil and Canada, are democracies with good and growing relations. All three have aerospace sectors with growing employment numbers (with premier firms HAL, Embraer and Bombardier, respectively, plus each with its own coterie of dozens of subcontracting companies amounting to tens of thousands of jobs).

Keep in mind: It's going to cost a lot just to absorb ToT in machine tools alone, never mind skilled operators; and the lead times in acquiring both; all of which certainly impact on IAF squadron strength. There is probably a strong case to be made for efficiencies; enlarging the order and spreading production across more machine shops, without all that CapEx borne exclusively by India, and higher machine utilization for all three countries (refering to production equipment, not the aircraft to be produced).

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 11 Apr 2011 10:22

(OT - This article has nothing to do with India, directly, anyway. But, it is interesting WRT Brazil's manoeuvring for a permanent seat on the UNSC, FWIW.)

WikiLeaks: Great power rivalry at the UN
The UN Security Council is in desperate need for reform, and Brazil is leading the charge.
Nikolas Kozloff Last Modified: 09 Apr 2011 13:01

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/op ... 42480.html

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Rony » 17 Apr 2011 18:03

Lots of interesting details

Hindus of South America-How differently Hinduism developed in the adjacent nations of Suriname and Guyana


The Indian subcontinent has not been the only source of major Hindu migrations in the last 50 yeah. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus have emigrated from the former British colonies of Trinidad and Guyana to America and England and from the former Dutch colony of Suriname to Holland. These communities, whose forefathers left India 150 years ago, have unique elements today, some the result of colonial policies, others customs preserved intact from the mid-19th century India of their ancestors. Hinduism Today Trinidad correspondent Anil Mahabir visited the region, meeting with religious leaders and lay Hindus. Here is his engaging report on the countries similarities and differences.

The day I arrived in Guyana, I traveled 45 miles by speedboat from one bank of the Essequibo River to the next. For the first time in my fife, I was standing on one side of a river unable to see the other side.

My whole country of Trinidad, in fact, would fit inside this river, only slightly overlapping the banks. We don’t have rivers back home, just streams, canals and ditches. Rivers aside, there was much that was similar to Trinidad-every Hindu home flies the jhandi flags in front, the Ramayana is the main text, the Deities and festivals are the same, the food is the same. The similarities are, in part, because of common origins in India, but also seemed to have been shaped by a shared Caribbean experience.

I was most struck by the temple culture of both countries. Wherever I went, I found simply-built temples that exhibited a most compelling beauty. I had not felt this way about the temples in my own homeland. Obviously the Guyanese and Surinamese take great pride in’ their temple buildings.

Despite the fact that Guyana and Suriname sit side-by-side, their histories are vastly different. Guyana was colonized by the British, Suriname by the Dutch. The obvious result of this was that Guyanese learned to speak English, while Surinamese learned Dutch. The colonial policy of each country was also very different with regard to religion. The Dutch pursued a “hands off’ attitude as far as the culture of the Hindus was concerned. In Guyana, explained Swami Aksharananda of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Guyana, “The British sought to interfere, control and convert the Hindus and Muslims. Many missionaries were brought to Guyana to evangelize the Indian population and to destroy their language and culture. That is why Hindi has persisted in Suriname and not in Guyana.” This is the same tactic the British used in India. “During the colonial period,” Pundit Reepu Daman Persaud, head of the Dharmic Sabha and Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture (ministeragric@sdnp.org.gy), told me, “the Hindus were forced to convert to get jobs in the public service, even if they did not want to. Many who converted continued to be Hindus within the private confines of their homes.”

Devanand Jokhoe (jofanick@sr.net), an economist in Suriname, explained, “Conversion was not an official policy of the Dutch as it was of the British in Guyana. Hindus were not forced to convert as a prerequisite to get jobs. That is why less than five percent of all Indians living in Suriname are Christians. Some non-Indians can also speak Hindi, for example, the Javanese and Blacks who live in Indian villages.”

Suriname, who’s 121,500 Hindus comprise 27% of the population, is the only country in the Western Hemisphere where all the Indians speak Hindi. That this is so after so many years away from India-is amazing. In neighboring Guyana, where 238,000 Hindus form 34% of the population, it is the opposite. Almost no one speaks Hindi. Everyone speaks English. This is a perfect example of the differences in colonial rule between the British and the Dutch. The British sought to destroy everything Indian and Hindu, while the Dutch allowed it to flourish. So, from the youngest toddler to the oldest nani, the Suriname Hindus all speak Hindi.

I was struck by the divisions among Hindus in Guyana. There were people whom I met who did not want me to speak to others, and even went out of their way to prevent me from doing so. Perhaps this is related to the overall pessimism of the Guyanese. Even the very wealthy talk of migrating. Even so, paradoxically, most seem quite happy and go about their daily routines with smiles on their faces. They were also very hospitable to me. The country’s president himself, Bharrat Jagdeo, loaned me a car and driver to tour the capital. Where else would that happen?

In Suriname, my lack of any fluency in Hindi hindered a smooth rapport with several in the country, especially among those who spoke little English. Unfortunately, this included most of the pundits, and I found myself relying upon intellectuals, businessmen and others for information.

The first Hindus: It is generally agreed in both countries that it was India’s poorest who emigrated to the West. They were inclined to leave the India of the mid-19th century because of famine, drought and poverty. The first Indians arrived in Guyana on May 5, 1838. Pundit Reepu Persaud pointed out that these were the first to bring Hinduism to the Americas, not Swami Vivekananda. The first shipload of Indians to Suriname arrived June 5, 1873. Trinidad’s first group came in 1845. Slavery was abolished in Suriname in 1863 and in Guyana in 1834. Freed slaves refused to continue working the sugar plantations. Several nationalities were brought as indentured servants to replace them, but only the Indians adapted well to the harsh tropical climate.

The Indians came from Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Western Bihar, an area known as Bhojpuri’s Belt-Bhojpuri being a regional dialect of Hindi. Most were farmers, though a few Brahmins also came, even though this was against the policy of the British, who considered the more educated Brahmins as potential trouble makers. Perhaps ten percent returned to India from Guyana after their contracts were fulfilled, but later almost none did so. Pundit Persaud said his parents went back to India in 1930 and then returned to Trinidad. He said, “The West Indies was generally recognized as a place better to live than India.”

Between 1873 and 1916, 34,000 Indians came to Suriname. Nearly 23,000 stayed. As in Guyana, after an initial group which returned to India, hardly anyone left. If they did it was to go to Holland, as is the case today, according to historians Hassan Khan and Sandew Hira.

It is believed the ratio of migrants was 100 men to 20 women, creating enormous social problems. According to Swami Aksharananda, “Indian men forged unions with black women, not marriages.” I could not find out what became of the descendants of those unions, whether they were in the Black or the Indian communities of today.

The early years: The plantation system had a dramatic effect on Hinduism. People were not allowed to move from one plantation to another. They were sequestered and had to get passes to leave in any event, plantation work left very little time for anything else. According to Swami Aksharananda, “Only Sunday was left to the Hindus to practice Hinduism. Indeed, Hinduism became a kind of Sunday thing in the early days in Guyana.” The legacy of this is the popularity of Sunday morning temple worship in this part of the world.

During indentureship, there were tremendous efforts by the Hindus to assert themselves as Hindus. This was so even though the colonial policy of the British in Guyana was to crush Hinduism at all costs and Christianize “the heathens.”

“The policy of the Dutch in Suriname was more relaxed.” says Anoop Ramadhin. “Hindus were more at liberty there to practice there religion. There were no forced conversions,” he continued. “The Dutch separated the various groups from one another and allowed them to live in their own villages. That is why today you have Black, Indian and Javanese villages. Even the Bush Negroes are set apart.”

HVP Bronkhurst, a Euro-Asian missionary and writer says, “Hindu pundits in Guyana would go from home to home getting people to gather and sing the Ramayana.” The Gita became a major text. People would gather at nights. This was how they were able to maintain their religion. The only thing which kept them going was the memory of Rama and Hanuman. Similarly, in Suriname the Ramayana reigned supreme.

Later, Guyanese-born Hindus took up the cause of Hinduism. One of those early pioneers was Dr. J.B. Singh, who is credited with heightening Hindu consciousness, setting up Hindu organizations and fighting for the cremation rights of Hindus. In fact, he was the first Hindu to be cremated in Guyana, in 1956. Prior to that, Hindus had to be buried, even though this was very contrary to the Hindu faith.

Swami Purnananda came directly from Bengal in India in the mid-20th century. He established Bharat Sevashram Sangha, which is today called the Guyana Sevashram Sangha and run by Guyanese-born Swami Vidyanand. Swami Purnananda popularized the “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna” mantra. He printed a small book called Aum Hindutvam, which was the first catechism or question-and-answer booklet for Hindus in Guyana. He developed mantras for different occasions and popularized havan service (the fire ceremony). The present-day Guyana Sevashram Sangha is unique among organizations here. It is the only institution in the Caribbean which has produced its own swami. It is the only institution which trains young men to become bramacharis. It offers free medical services to all groups in society

The Surinamese I met did not seem to have quite the same keen sense of history as the Guyanese. In general they said it was the elders and the pundits who kept Hinduism alive in the early days. More recently, the name of Nanan Panday, leader of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Suriname, is mentioned as the key personality. “He has been at the helm of Hindu leadership for 40 years,” says Anoop Ramadhin. The names of Pundit Haldhar Mathuraprasad and T Soerdjbaille, leader of the Gayatri Mandir, have also been mentioned as playing key roles in the Hindu community of Suriname.

Conversion: Swami aksharananda is firm on this question: “Conversion is very high. In fact, conversion in Guyana is defined as ‘conversion from Hinduism to Christianity,’ nothing else. The Muslims hardly ever convert. The Christians do not convert. It is only the Hindus who are coaxed into dispensing with their religion.” At the beginning of the 2oth century, he says, “about one percent of the Indian population was Christians, now it is about 15%-a 15-fold increase in one century. The Pentecostals are doing the most conversions.”

Pundit Reepu Daman Persaud agreed, “The Pentecostals are studying the demography of the country. They attack rural areas where they believe the Hindus are more vulnerable, illiterate or weak. Since we have found out the strategy, the Dharmic Sabha is going into the same areas and combating their anti-Hindu propaganda.”

I met Parmanand Samlal, who visits the homes of converted Hindus and gets them to reconvert to Hinduism. I had never heard of such a program before. He said he has achieved four re-converts for the year 2000 so far. He is a member of the Dharmic Sabha and a “worshiper,” as he put it, of Pundit Reepu. Pundit Reepu is highly respected in Guyana as one who has always stood for the Indians and Hindus, even in difficult political times, whenever abandoned Guyana for better circumstances, though easily available to him in another country.

Dirgopal Mangal, says conversion is on the decrease. He told me of Blacks in Guyana who attend Hindu temples, giving the example of “Minister Collymore, who attends the temple every Sunday morning in Parika.”

Suriname is different. Radjen Koemar-singh of Suriname (radjenk@hotmail.com) told me there is some conversion from Hinduism but not much, due to the binding factor of Hindi. Accountant Anoop Ramadhin agreed, “Conversion from Hinduism in Suriname is less than one percent. Some Javanese are also Hindus.”

Schoolteacher Algoe Harrynarain said, “The Christian churches in Suriname pay poor Hindus to convert. They have funding from abroad. They are well organized. The Hindus do not have such funding.” He said the Jehovah Witnesses pay a salary to Hindus to convert to Christianity.

While conversion exists in both countries, it is not on a large scale, and meets active resistance from Hindus, even with their limited resources. In my entire visit, I did not meet a single Christian Indian, and I think this says a lot about the situation.

Intermarriage: As in Trinidad and Tobago, intermarriage between Hindu and Muslim Indians is very common in Guyana, constituting perhaps eight percent of all weddings. Black/Indian marriages are rare. Hindu activist Bharat Kissoon estimates that in six out of every ten Guyanese Hindu/Muslim marriages, the wedding follows the Islamic line. The result of the unions are combined names such as Kishore Mohammed (a Hindu), Salisha Singh (a Muslim) and Anil Khan- Such names are also common in Trinidad. Suriname is much different, and while I could not find any official statistics, intermarriage was obviously rare.

Hindu activists in Guyana say that intermarriage has been on the increase over the past ten years. Normally both parties are allowed to keep and practice their faiths, though some Hindu girls convert to Islam. It is very rare to see a Muslim in such a union convert to Hinduism. Hindu and Muslim leaders are silent on these unions for fear of possibly rocking the boat or destroying whatever Indian unity exists. Politicians dare not speak of it either.

Country politics: The prevailing view is that, culturally, Guyana is at it lowest ebb since Independence was granted in 1966. The “oppressive” reign of the Peoples’ National Congress PNC, the party of the Blacks, and what one person called its ethnic “insensitivity to Indian culture” is seen by most Hindus as one of the principal reasons why the Indian culture is undeveloped.

Another reason is the constant stream of emigration from Guyana to other parts of the world. “Migration took our best people,” says Pundit Persaud. “Our best artists, dancers, singers, musicians left for greener pastures because they simply could not make a living producing Indian culture in a country where the political directorate was hostile to Indian culture,” says one activist who declined to give his name.

Swami Aksharananda said, “The national culture in Guyana is often portrayed as a Black and Creole culture which neglects or deliberately shuns the Indian output. The present majority Indian government is often accused of being an ‘Indian government.’ [That is, partial to Indians.] They are afraid to develop Indian culture, afraid of being called racist. This is not my perception, but that of most Guyanese. Indian culture gets little funding. The National Dance School is a Black dance school, for example.” I was told that Guyana does not have a single all Indian radio or TV station.

There is more optimism and enthusiasm for things Hindu in Suriname. Indian musician Radjen Koemarsingh noted, “There is an Indian cultural center, seven radio stations with an all-Indian format and four television stations exclusively devoted to Indian programming.” Hindi is taught in some schools as an official language.

Schoolteacher Algoe Harrynarain commented, “Yes, emigration has hurt us, but there is a cultural revival right now. In any case because we all speak Hindi here, the situation is different to that of Guyana. It is difficult for the culture to be lost.”

Emigration is even more a factor here. Some 250,000 Surinamese now live in Holland, compared to just 450,000 in Suriname itself-making this country one of the most sparsely populated in the world. A dismal economic situation continues to motivate people to leave. I even met teachers and businessmen with stable jobs who were still anxious to migrate if they got the chance.

Hindu home life: Most Hindu homes in both countries have a small shrine or prayer house located at the front of the home. Like the houses, these will vary in nature and appearance, depending on the wealth of the owner. There is also a jhandi or flag hoisted on bamboo next to the shrine or by itself, as with one I saw in a rice field.

The main daily observance in both countries is the pouring of water early in the morning. Water from a brass pot is used to bathe a Siva Lingam located at the base of the jhandi. Some Hindus also chant bhajans and meditate afterwards. Those who are free from employment may go to the temple on a daily basis. One day a week is set aside for haven, or fire worship ceremony, and fasting from salt and meat. At least once a year, most Hindus will try to have a grand puja or Ramayana Yagna, an event where the entire community is invited to participate. The biggest festivals of the year are Diwali and Phagwa (Holi) in both countries. Lesser festivals include Ram Navami, Sivaratri and Karthik Nahan.

The main Deity in both countries is Hanuman, because of the conquering role he played in the Ramayana and His popularity in the Bhojpuri Belt, whence came most of the original Hindu immigrants. Other Deities include Siva, Durga, Kali and Ganesha.

There would seem to be more vegetarians in Suriname than in Guyana. Estimates are that about 10% of Hindus in Suriname are vegetarians. Less than five percent of Hindus in Guyana are vegetarians. They are mainly the pundits and the swamis and the spiritual leaders. However, Dr Satish Prakash of the Araya Samaj says that vegetarians among his group in Guyana are as much as 35%. Bi4t overall it is not popular. One activist told me, “When Lord Rama was in exile in the jungle with Sita, according to the Ramayana, were they not eating meat to survive 14 years? And if Lord Rama could eat meat, why can’t I?” I conducted a brief poll out of curiosity and I found that most Hindus I talked to in both countries do not know what ahimsa is, or that it is an integral part of Hinduism. Nonviolence remains an esoteric, opaque, Gandhian concept, not taught by the leaders or drummed in by the pundits. Little or no reference is made by anyone to the Vedas as the source of Hinduism, or the Upanishads or even the Mahabharata, except for the Bhagavad Gita. The Ramayana, as in Trinidad, is the main text.

As is unfortunately the case among too many Hindus, priest-bashing is common in both Suriname and Guyana. Many I met said the priests were “not up with the times,” “too concerned with ritual” and other complaints similar to what is heard in Trinidad. There are some legitimate concerns because of the emigration of some of the best pundits to other countries. This has broken up the traditional father-to-son training system, and now some become pundits without being properly trained.

Suicide in Guyana: Many people I talked to in Guyana expressed concern about the high rate of suicide among the Hindu community and the fact that virtually no one is doing anything to address the problem from a Hindu angle. Suicide is not a major problem, among Surinamese Hindus. Dr. Vivekanand Brijmohan, a forensic pathologist in the Berbice district, said the suicide rate among Hindus in Guyana is “alarming.” In one three-year period in Berbice, there were 197 suicides, 160 of them Indian males, mainly Hindus. Brijmohan said, “It is a cultural thing. Hindus are more strict in the household than the blacks. Certain Indians have a longing for freedom, to go out at night, etc. Some of them do not get that freedom due to their strict Hindu upbringing. If makes them dissatisfied with life, depressed. Alcoholism and marijuana addiction is another cause of suicide.”

Swami Aksharananda runs AYUPSA: a National Centre for Suicide Prevention. He sponsors a national health program which attempts to eradicate the prevalence of suicide among the Hindu community. He does this by holding seminars, making press releases and going into the villages for direct contact with the Hindu people, particularly the youths.

Jailhouse preacher: Bharat Kissoon is a Hindu activist and retired economist who ministers to the Hindu inmates in the Georgetown prison every Sunday. He told me, “I was drawn to this work because of the particular case of a Hindu prisoner in Trinidad, Dole Chadee, who was hanged last year. The day before he was hanged he longed for a pundit to do his final rites. He could not find any Hindu who was willing to go. to the prison and, therefore, he had no choice but to resort to a Christian pastor.”

There is a famous story here, that of Salim Yaseen, a condemned prisoner who was about to he hanged on the 12th of September 1999. He allegedly told Bharat that before leaving he wanted to hear the Hanuman Chalesa, a traditional scripture in praise of Lord Hanuman. He got his wish, and he was not hanged due to a legal loophole. Now, according to Bharat, “all prisoners want to hear the Hanuman Chalesa.”

Connections with India: The Surinamese I spoke with said they don’t think that Hindus ‘in India even know there are Hindus living in Suriname. They could not recall any visit by a major Hindu leader, nor recount any significant assistance received from India in any way.

A few swamis have come to Guyana. Early ones, such as Swami Chinmayananda and Rishi Ram, came in the 1960s and helped develop Hinduism. But those coming today, said Pundit Persaud, “do not stay and assist us in developing Hinduism. They come to talk about yoga and meditation only.” In Trinidad, travel agencies often advertise “journey back to your roots” programs to India. In Guyana and Suriname there are greater economic restraints, and those who, have the money to travel use it to emigrate.

The future: Both countries have suffered from the chronic brain drain and seem to be perpetually entangled in the politics of racial and religious division. Both countries are relatively poor, but the people do not want to be labeled as such. They feel ashamed when people from the outside boldly come to, visit, analyze and recommend solutions for their assumedly insufficient social and economic existence. They are content with living very simple lives, not caring whether or not they have a cell phone or a computer. Dharma dictates daily how they should act. The jhandis flying proudly before every Hindu home, rich or poor, are their own statement of identity. From cower roaming the roads freely in Guyana, to pundits walking miles to puja service, I believe Hinduism, though simple, will never die in this part of South America.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Shankas » 18 Apr 2011 01:43

^^ Very interesting. I am going to explore Surinam further. Anybody have any business connections in Surinam?

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby harbans » 18 Apr 2011 02:35

Travelled last year to Paranamaribo, Suriname. Lots of Hindi channels and music on FM stations. It's quite well off in many ways. I met a few who do come to India and some who want to. The forestry in that area is unlike anything i have seen..very dense, hot and humid. Economy though is more into exports of raw material and less into manufacturing. Most Indians here are tri lingual..Dutch, Hindi, English. Youngsters look for higher education to Holland. I did feel that the Hindu's in Suriname are much more closer to their roots than in many other places like Fiji and W Indies. I quite enjoyed my stay there and possibly will go for some time later this year. Holland also you'll find a lot of Indians from Surinam. Across the countryside in Surinam saw a lot of Minarets too coming up. At many stretches i counted more Mosques than temples. So they do have or are beginning to have a sizeable Muslim community too.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Shankas » 18 Apr 2011 08:29

harbans wrote:Travelled last year to Paranamaribo, Suriname. Lots of Hindi channels and music on FM stations. It's quite well off in many ways. I met a few who do come to India and some who want to. The forestry in that area is unlike anything i have seen..very dense, hot and humid. Economy though is more into exports of raw material and less into manufacturing. Most Indians here are tri lingual..Dutch, Hindi, English. Youngsters look for higher education to Holland. I did feel that the Hindu's in Suriname are much more closer to their roots than in many other places like Fiji and W Indies. I quite enjoyed my stay there and possibly will go for some time later this year. Holland also you'll find a lot of Indians from Surinam. Across the countryside in Surinam saw a lot of Minarets too coming up. At many stretches i counted more Mosques than temples. So they do have or are beginning to have a sizeable Muslim community too.


Please contact me at sdevarajan at yahoo dot com

{I will delete this post shortly}

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby JE Menon » 18 Apr 2011 18:08

>>Holland also you'll find a lot of Indians from Surinam.

Absolutely. I was there a year or so ago, and was quite surprised by the number of SDRE youngsters working in malls, cafes, etc... probably on part time pocket-money jobs. Seemed well educated, and well spoken, polite, etc.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby anishns » 15 May 2011 23:13

As hakim sahab would say:

"Jo Lahore main Gaa** woh Canuckistan main bhi Gaa**"

Kidnapped boy, 3, reunited with mom in Montreal


http://www.globalmontreal.com/Kidnapped+reunited+with+Montreal/4647540/story.html

To execute the abduction, police say it appears the father created false documents claiming the mother gave him permission to leave the country with their child.

"Mr. Jhahanzeb Niazi faces a number of criminal accusations if he ever returns to Canada. Unfortunately by law we can't have him extradited here," said Montreal police sergeant Marco Carrier.

After reviewing the evidence, a Pakistani judge granted full custody to Desai last week.

Pina Arcamone, the director of the Missing Children’s Network, said the return of Azan marks the 734th happy ending in the group's 26 year history.

"It makes all our hard work and sleepless nights worth it," she said.

'Felt something was wrong'

Arcamone added she hopes Azan’s case serves as a wake up call to other parents.

"If you are in a difficult relationship and your gut tells you something extreme like this may happen, contact us or the police right away," she said.

Back in 2009, there were signs of trouble, Desai said.

Azan travelled with his father to Saudi Arabia for a three week trip. He only returned six months later.

"I was too nice. I felt something was wrong and I should have contacted police right then and there, but I didn't,” Desai said. “Big mistake.”


Well the "Big Mistake" was to marry a Paki. The kid should thank his stars that he didn't end up in one of those famous madrassas...

BTW any Indo-Canadian's aware of http://www.canadianasiannews.com/about_us.php

This is a paki newspaper with an agenda under the garb of "South Asian" news.....best avoided :evil:

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby svinayak » 15 May 2011 23:31

With remarkable growth in the last few years, Brazil is poised to become one of the world’s largest economies.
From 2000 to 2010 the country climbed from 16th to 8th largest economy. Foreign direct investments last year registered a record high of $ 48.5 billion and analysts predict that Brazil’s economy will pick up more steam as consumer confidence continues to grow and the country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
Most of Fortune 500 companies already operate in Brazil and an increasing number of small and mid-sized companies are looking into invest or operate in the country.

From a trade org

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby svinayak » 29 May 2011 06:20

Culture clash complicates China's Brazil push
China making huge push for economic, business gains in Brazil, but culture clash complicates
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Culture-c ... 0.html?x=0


Asian descendants work in a Chinese store in Liberdade neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday May 23, 2011. Chinese companies' direct investment in Brazil jumped to $17 billion last year, nearly 60 times the investment the previous year, according to SOBEET, a Brazilian economic think tank. At the same time, more Chinese companies are hiring local workers rather than following their old practices of bringing in Chinese laborers. That new reality has meant frequent contact between two cultures that hold vastly different expectations about the role of workers, government regulations and unions. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Stocking shelves in a Chinese grocery store, Thiago warned that he didn't want to be caught chatting during working hours. Within seconds, however, the Brazilian unleashed a pent-up flood of complaints about the owners, who lingered just beyond hearing distance.

"My bosses have never heard of a day off," said the 20-year-old, who would only allow his first name to be used, for fear of losing his job. "Vacations? Forget it. They pay well and they pay for extra hours, but they don't understand that some things are more important to Brazilians than money.

"I've seen many workers walk in, see the Chinese way of doing things, and quit the very same day."

Such cross-cultural tensions have become a stumbling block in an otherwise meteoric rise in business ties between China and Brazil, two of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Chinese companies' direct investment in Brazil jumped to $17 billion last year, nearly 60 times the investment the previous year, according to SOBEET, a Brazilian economic think tank. At the same time, more Chinese companies are hiring local workers rather than following their old practices of bringing in Chinese laborers.

That new reality has meant frequent contact between two cultures that hold vastly different expectations about the role of workers, government regulations and unions.

Brazilians enjoy some of the most labor-friendly protections in the world, with guarantees such as one-month annual bonuses and stipends for meals and transportation.

China, on the other hand, has quickly become the world's second-biggest economy on the strength of a low-paid work force and, in practice, virtually nonexistent labor protections, according to the U.S.-based nonprofit Global Institute for Labor & Human Rights. Brazil's strong independent labor movement also clashes with a centralized Chinese system of company unions without collective bargaining power.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby ManojM » 06 Jun 2011 09:54

Indian visitors to be fingerprinted - along with pukes and yemenis:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1001970--visa-from-india-show-us-your-fingerprint?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4de984e70d81c85e,0

As part of an update of Canada’s immigration safeguards, the federal government is planning to begin demanding that Indian citizens applying to travel to Canada provide their fingerprints, a requirement that visitors from other countries, such as Mexico and China, are not going to face immediately.

...

Security hotspots like Pakistan and Yemen are at the top of the list, but there was room for one large-volume nation as well, according to sources, and India is the recommended choice over China.



Given that we are the target of puki, American and Canadian terrorists, its about time we reciprocate the gesture.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 23 Jun 2011 04:10

Did any Canada based BRF'ers see last night's programme on TVO( roughly equivalent to PBS in the US) devoted to the China-India comparison. Very nice and watchable. The Indian professor spoke really well. What really stood out was how even the Sino-philes, including 2 ethnic Chinese, were very respectful and well wishing of India, while being certain that China would continue to possess the lead economically, thanks in large measure to its authoritarian government. Of the 5 guests on the programme, the one who predicted India to have the advantage over China was one of the ethnic Chinese, while the Indian said that India would be more or less even to China, the other 3 including 2 Caucasian Canadians projected China to be ahead. Good show, and definitely something for Canada residents to see!

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby pgbhat » 23 Jun 2011 06:23


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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby RajeshA » 23 Jun 2011 13:17

Varoon Shekhar wrote:the other 3 including 2 Caucasian Canadians projected China to be ahead.


The Canadians still have the British hangover, and can't comprehend that all those SDREs they used to have under their boots, can all of a sudden start looking them in the rear mirror. Hence the need to support the TFTA Chinese to keep own H&D in tact.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Sushupti » 25 Jun 2011 01:57

Cyberattack hits T&T Supermarket

The website of Loblaw subsidiary T & T Supermarket Inc. was hit by a cyberattack that may have exposed the personal data of 58,000 people.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story ... ml?ref=rss

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Haresh » 05 Jul 2011 23:59

Canada: Hindus protest Muslim prayers at public school

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/canad ... chool.html

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby pgbhat » 06 Jul 2011 08:18

India Consortium Eyes Buying Colombia Mines
NEW DELHI—A consortium of state-run Indian companies is holding talks with the government of Colombia to acquire coking coal mines, the chairman of the body said Tuesday.

"We were recently in Colombia and held talks with the government for allocation of coking coal mines on a government-to-government basis," said C.S. Verma, chairman of International Coal Ventures Pvt. Ltd., or ICVL.

ICVL—which consists of Steel Authority of India Ltd., NTPC Ltd., NMDC Ltd., Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. and Coal India Ltd.—is seeking to acquire overseas thermal and coking coal mines to meet the growing fuel requirements of India's power and steel sectors.

Insha'Allah.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 07 Jul 2011 18:58

Also on Canada's channel, TVO, have been a series of films by Sanjeev Bhaskar from the UK, on his travels in India. Not sure if any US channel has picked them up. He goes to Mumbai, Pune, Cochin, New Delhi, Punjab, Kolkatta and Darjeeling.

They are very watchable. He is a humourist, so there are a lot of light hearted and funny remarks from him. But there's also the odd sprinkling of more deep thought type comments.

It occurred to me that there have no similar series by ethnic Chinese, Korean, Filipino or Vietnamese( and of course nothing by a Saudi or Iranian) going back to their country of origin, and speaking with that same mix of humour and wit. Something very Indian about the films, far as I can see!

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 23 Jul 2011 22:50

Brazil's new nuclear subs to defend oil wells
Work on the country's first nuclear submarines has begun in an effort to defend oil reserves and project global power.
Fabiana Frayssinet Last Modified: 23 Jul 2011 11:52

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/fe ... 79528.html

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 07 Oct 2011 00:14

Montreal firm launches world's cheapest tablet: $48
Gurinder Osan/AP
A DataWind representative displays the supercheap 'Aakash' Tablet computers during its launch in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011.
By John Terauds | Thu Oct 06 2011

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/106508 ... et-48?bn=1


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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Vipul » 07 Nov 2011 22:37

Indian man becomes 'farming king' in Argentina.

An Indian-origin man in Argentina, who started a peanut farm a few years back, has now grown by leaps and bounds and become an "uncrowned king" of rice, soya and corn plantations in South America.

Simmarpal Singh's company Olam, based in Singapore and run by people of Indian origin, is one of the major rice traders of the world, says R. Viswanathan, India's ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Singh now has an area of 20,000 hectares of peanut farms. He grows soya and corn in 10,000 hectares, and has leased 1,700 hectares of land in Concordia in Entre Rios province for rice cultivation.

Argentines do not follow the Indian practice of ploughing the land nor the method of developing a nursery first and then transplanting the rice plants. The farmers here use the "no-till" method, also called "direct seeding".

The seeds are directly planted in the land with seeding machines. Fertiliser containing nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous is also added in the same hole where rice is put. Before planting, glyphosate herbicide is sprayed to kill the weeds. Spraying is done from an aircraft.

The rice fields are then watered with a water pump that works almost non-stop for 90 days till the rice seeds ripen. There is a water pump for every 70 hectares and there is a man to take care of the watering for every 140 hectares.

Argentina's rice yield per hectare is seven tonnes, which is almost double that of India. Argentina produces about 1.5 million tonnes of rice of which one million is exported.

Viswanathan says Singh has impressed everyone with his "Indian-style" hard work and also with the pleasant Latino way in which he manages his Argentine employees.
"He has cultivated commendable rapport with the Argentines in the same efficient way with which he cultivates the land. The Argentines admire this young Indian's dynamism and adore his turban, thinking that he is a Maharaja," he says.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Jarita » 11 Nov 2011 00:17

About the drug wars in Mexico - watch at your own risk

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-14/worl ... s=PM:WORLD

Bodies hanging from bridge in Mexico are warning to social media users

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hom ... u%C3%A1rez

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/no ... sfeed=true

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Rahul M » 22 Nov 2011 19:02

found this in the blog 2 Indians in pakistan. a muslim couple of whom the husband is PTI correspondent in pukestan. their religion gives rise to some interesting situations.

Image

can this be posted in the cartoon thread ? couldn't find it.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 10 Dec 2011 00:26

Good article RE: recent history, ongoing political/development in Southern Americas... (must-see photo, super impressive, something rarely seen).

Latin America's message to the Arab world
Latin Americans should share their experiences with democratisation with other countries in the global South.
Pepe Escobar Last Modified: 09 Dec 2011 10:10

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 40182.html

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Klaus » 12 Dec 2011 06:07

Former Panama strongman Manuel Noreiga is extradited to Panama where he faces prison.

Panama's military ruler from 1983 to 1989 will be flown by helicopter from the airport to El Renacer prison northwest of the capital in a lush area near the Panama Canal.

After serving more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering, Noriega will face three separate sentences of 20 years in Panama for crimes committed under his dictatorship, including the murder of critics.


It remains uncertain exactly how long he may spend behind bars, as Panamanian law allows inmates aged 70 and over to petition for house arrest. Relatives of victims of Noriega's regime have virulently opposed applying the rule to the former dictator.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby krithivas » 21 Dec 2011 20:58

Argentina and Britain reignite tensions over Falkland Islands
South American trade group Mercosur sided with Argentina this week in its ongoing dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2011/1221/Argentina-and-Britain-reignite-tensions-over-Falkland-Islands

The sun has really set on the British Empire.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Vipul » 26 Dec 2011 20:22

Brazil overtakes UK to become the world's sixth largest economy.

Britain has lost its spot as the world's sixth-largest economy to resource-rich Brazil, according the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).The banking crisis of 2008 and the global recession has contributed to the UK being relegated to seventh place in 2011, behind South America's largest economy, which has capitalised on its vast reserves of natural resources and exports to China and the far east.

Brazil's GDP is slated to hit £1,612 billion this year, while the UK's GDP for the year is £1,588 billion.

CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams said, "Brazil has beaten the European countries at soccer for a long time, but beating them at economics is a new phenomenon. Our world economic league table shows how the economic map is changing, with Asian countries and commodity-producing economies climbing up the league while we in Europe fall back."

Brazil's huge variety of natural resources that include gold, iron ore, and other minerals as well as its massive off-shore oil, and stable political climate has attracted investors.Britain on the other hand, is in the midst of a national debt crisis, lack of bank credit and the euro zone debt crisis, has led it to being relegated to the sixth spot.

However, Britain can take some consolation 10 years from now, when it is projected to overtake France to become the world's eighth largest economy, one ahead of France but two behind Brazil.Currently France is the fifth-largest economy behind the US at number one, followed by China, Japan and Germany.

CEBR predicts that by 2020, India will become the world's fourth largest economy followed by Russia, with Germany being in the seventh spot.

India and Russia will benefit from a surge in growth over the next 10 years said the CEBR, although like most economies, India is trying to cope with high inflation and slowing growth, but it will benefit from growth areas like IT and services to engineering, while Russia will continue to depend on selling oil and gas to Europe and parts of Asia.

According to CEBR's latest forecasts, the world's growth is falling to 2.5 per cent in 2012, with Europe's GDP falling by 0.6 per cent. But if the euro zone debt crisis worsens, CEBR predicts that its growth could fall by up to 2 per cent.The US will grow at 1.8 per cent, China will slow down to 7.6 per cent, India to 6 per cent, Russia to 2.8 per cent and Brazil 2.5 per cent.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 22 Feb 2012 21:01

India to invite new bidders for ultra-cheap Aakash tablet

Canadian firm could lose contract for India's $35 Tablet

Frank Jack Daniel, New Delhi— Reuters

Published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 8:31AM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 8:59AM EST

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tec ... le2346002/

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby pgbhat » 22 Feb 2012 21:17

Ravi-ji thanks for posting. Comments are the interesting. :lol:

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Arav » 14 Mar 2012 06:54

PS: Couldn't find a seperate thread on BRICS, so posting here

For a new highway, from Rio to Delhi


Brazil and India can benefit from each other's experience for an inclusive development agenda.

Expectations are high for the fourth summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, to be held in New Delhi on March 29. With an economic crisis in the eurozone and signs of another global recession, anticipation is mounting for how the BRICS leaders will address the world economic slowdown and how far they will push to reform the institutions of global governance.

Yet with the spotlight on the economy, a promising and tangible development agenda could be overlooked. At every summit, members have renewed their pledge to strengthen cooperation on social protection, public health, food security and agriculture. But little has been achieved so far. For India — home to a third of the world's poor — these efforts should be a priority.

The potential benefits of cooperation are especially clear in the case of Brazil. India and Brazil have declared inclusive development an imperative and have engineered creative solutions to meet their developmental challenges. But both also face many obstacles to equitable development — some of which can be overcome through mutual learning and targeted bilateral investment.

‘Zero Hunger'

Brazil's “Zero Hunger” strategy, for instance, has been successful in reducing poverty, inequality and hunger by developing profitable small farms and delivering cash to poor families through innovative payment systems. As the debate rages in India about how best to reduce poverty, curb growing inequality and boost agricultural production, Brazil's experience can help.

Brazil's social schemes are among the world's best targeted and are transparent. They have demonstrated how to streamline the delivery of services across all levels of government. By collaborating with Brazil, India can improve the reach and efficiency of its own, notoriously leaky schemes, including the Public Distribution System, whose losses are estimated to be around 44 per cent a year. There are of course vast differences between the two countries. India's poor are twice Brazil's entire population, for example. But that shouldn't stop India from borrowing some good ideas. It's not necessary for India to indiscriminately adopt cash transfers or other Brazilian schemes to benefit from knowledge sharing. India can leverage its private sector skills to scale up programmes.

In turn, Brazil can benefit from India's innovators, who are finding novel ways to provide the country's low-income population greater access to products, services and employment that enhance living standards.

India has produced the world's cheapest car, electronic tablets that cost $50, large, successful retailers who link thousands of rural workers to modern urban markets, and family-sized apartments in cities that sell for $4,200. In the affordable housing sector the long-term opportunities for partnerships with Indian entrepreneurs are particularly significant. Brazilian officials predict a deficit of 23 million homes for low-income families in the next 20 years.

Fighting AIDS

In health care, the benefits of an India-Brazil collaboration are already evident. Faced with common diseases and limited resources, India and Brazil have used each other, challenging the international intellectual property regime to combat HIV/AIDS. In 2007, for example, Brazil broke a patent on an antiretroviral drug produced by Merck Pharmaceutical in the wake of rising drug costs. Indian firms were the only producers of the generic version of the drug, and Hyderabad-based Aurobindo ultimately provided Brazil with the active ingredient to produce it. It was estimated that this would save Brazil $237 million through 2012.

Brazil has taken advantage of their joint campaign for greater access to life-saving medicine and seen an extraordinary decline in HIV/AIDS. Recognising such synergies, India and Brazil have invested $1 million each in joint research on common diseases through the Indo-Brazil Science Council. This alliance can and should be strengthened.

Health care, poverty alleviation and market-driven social innovation are just a few areas where cooperation between these powers can produce broad social benefits. A formal partnership is needed between Brazil's Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger and India's Central Planning Commission to institutionalise knowledge sharing and technical cooperation on social protection programmes. Chambers of commerce, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the India-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, can drive private sector collaboration, connecting Indian and Brazilian entrepreneurs.

At a time when both countries are beginning to use foreign aid as a diplomatic tool, it is tempting to regard them as competitors. But they should instead recognise each other as strategic partners and pioneers of a new development agenda — one that pragmatically addresses the needs of developing nations. India and Brazil's strategies for inclusive development are complementary and together hold great value.

Foreign aid provided by BRICS countries has more than doubled since 2005, and the surge is intimately tied to their efforts at reforming global governance. Since the end of World War II, global governance has been a western-led enterprise. The rules that govern aid and influence the development of other nations have been made by the victors of the war and have evolved to rest within a small group of powerful countries — which now face a self-made crisis. With the rise of these new powers, partnerships that once seemed weak are gaining traction. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take advantage of his position as host of the upcoming summit to drive a new development agenda.

(Estefanía Marchán is a Latin America specialist at Gateway House: Indian Council on Foreign Relations based in Mumbai. This article is a précis of her larger paper, “India and Brazil: New Models for Cooperation,” to be published this month.)

Rony
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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Rony » 19 Jul 2012 09:51

Editorial : Embrace China, but let’s not forget old friend India

NOT without reason, the financial news across the world is dominated by what China has done, what it is doing and what it might do.
Here in Jamaica we hear of the major projects financed and built by China whose economic transformation over the last 20 years has been unprecedented in history. Some are already calling this century the “Chinese Century” and acknowledging China as one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilisations. It is a matter of pride for us that citizens of Chinese descent have contributed to Jamaica’s development in every walk of life.

Yet, China’s new-found notoriety has caused us to all but forget India, one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilisations. People of Indian origin have blended into Jamaican society so as to be indistinguishable from those of African and European origin. India is the world’s largest democracy, the second most populous country and a nuclear power.

We as a nation do not adequately appreciate, even now in our 50th year, the contribution of India to Jamaica and the untapped possibilities for trade, investment and technology transfer to be gained from modern-day India.

Indians started arriving in the Caribbean in 1845, shortly after the abolition of slavery. They were recruited as indentured labourers to work on the sugar plantations until as late as World War I. Without this infusion of labour, the sugar industry would not have survived. About one third returned to India at the end of their contracts but the rest settled permanently. Today they are fully and harmoniously integrated into the nation, having relinquished many traditions. Many aspects of Jamaican life owe their origins to India such as curried goat and hemp.
Indian multinational corporations are major global players, for example, Mittal is the largest steel producer in the world and the Reliance Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of textiles. More recently, Indian companies have started to acquire global brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Tetley Tea, while Indian brands have gone global, for example, the TATA Group. India dominates certain industries and now accounts for 65 per cent of the global market in offshore information technology and 45 per cent of the world market in information technologyenabled services.

Jamaica has not given enough attention to relations with India. This is evidenced by the fact that Jamaica does not have a resident ambassador and embassy in New Delhi, while we retain such in Mexico and Germany. India is destined to be a global power in the coming 20 years. Its economy produces every good and service comparable in quality and less expensive than some of our current suppliers.
Trade between Jamaica and India has remained limited and there is even less investment. Perhaps, if the governments of Jamaica were less preoccupied with borrowing, we have no doubt that we could develop important exchanges with India to garner direct foreign investment and transfers of appropriate technology.

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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 30 Aug 2012 14:26

Pressure mounts on [Canadian PM] Harper to ease nuclear logjam with India

SHAWN McCARTHY and STEPHANIE NOLEN
OTTAWA and NEW DELHI — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012, 10:34 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Aug. 30 2012, 3:09 AM EDT

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/wor ... le4509067/

Prime Minister Stephen Harper faces an acid test in his courtship of India as the two countries struggle to rescue a nuclear cooperation agreement that remains stuck at a diplomatic impasse.

With Mr. Harper expected to travel to India in November with a delegation of business leaders, there is growing pressure to break the negotiating logjam and ease Ottawa’s traditional non-proliferation safeguards to allow Canadian companies to cash in on India’s growing energy appetite.
...

<SNIP>

“I understand from the Canadian side that they are not going to have any intrusive safeguards … They just want a piece of paper from India every year saying, ‘Look, this is the material we got of Canadian origin and this is its location,’” Mr. Ganguly said.

“It has now become an ego clash – who is going to break the ice and give up his ego – and in the process we in the business community are suffering,” he added.

nvishal
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Re: India-Canada, Mexico and South America: News and Discuss

Postby nvishal » 02 Sep 2012 21:12

^from the above article
After the country(india) surreptitiously used Canadian and U.S. nuclear material to build its first bomb nearly 40 years ago

This one's another googly. If any assistance came during smiling buddha, it probably came from the russians.

I'm not surprised though. I've been getting to see them talk like this a little too many times. The UK has been going on about "aid" money and how that minuscule figure is bankrolling indias space industry and the military. Last year or so, the canadians had virtually black listed the indian military as some kind of a grand oppressing army. The australians too have been looking at india with suspension. For india who doesn't keep the australians, the canadians and the britians in its geopolitical considerations, it gives india at opportunity to know how these three nations think.

Great britian used to occupy india
Canada is a colony
Australia is a colony too

I guess all these three nations have a bharat badla lega kya? syndrome haunting them.


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