December 12, 2018

Trump refugee ban causes chaos, panic, anger worldwide

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s sweeping ban on people seeking refuge in the United States and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries caused confusion and panic among travelers on Saturday, with some turned back from U.S.-bound flights.

Arrivals from Muslim countries being detained at US airports: Reports

Delhi/India/Politics/World by

The move makes good on one of Trump’s most controversial campaign promises, when he vowed to stem immigration from various Muslim countries which he insists pose a terror threat to the United States.(File |AP)

WASHINGTON: US authorities wasted no time implementing Donald Trump’s order halting Muslim arrivals, detaining travelers arriving at American airports within hours of the US president signing the tough new measures, media reports said Saturday.

The New York Times reported that airport officials as early as Friday night began detaining travellers, some of whom already had been aboard their flights when Trump announced his executive order closing America’s borders to refugees.

Trump’s order suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days and indefinitely halts the admission of refugees from Syria.

It also bans entry into the United States from travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — for 90 days.

The order paved the way for what Trump has pledged will be “extreme vetting” of visa applicants’ backgrounds — with some exceptions made for members of “religious minorities,” a caveat many see as a way to apply favorable treatment to Christians from majority Muslim states. 

The move makes good on one of Trump’s most controversial campaign promises when he vowed to stem immigration from various Muslim countries which he insists pose a terror threat to the United States, and to subject future arrivals to “extreme vetting.”

The Times said the detentions have been met with early legal challenges, as lawyers representing two Iraqi refugees being held at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport filed a court appeal for their release, alleging that the two travellers were being unlawfully detained.

Protests against quota for women: Shutdown in Nagaland

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The State Cabinet had on Friday decided not to defer the polls as demanded by the tribal organisations and Opposition Congress.

GUWAHATI: Tribal organisations shut down Nagaland on Saturday protesting against the State government’s decision to go ahead with the February 1 civic elections.

The Joint Co-ordination Committee, which is a conglomerate of some influential tribal bodies, is boycotting the polls as the government reserved 33% seats for women in civic bodies and called an indefinite Nagaland bandh.

According to reports received here, there were sporadic incidents of violence in commercial hub Dimapur. The protestors pelted stones at vehicles and did not allow the movement of even ambulances.

The district magistrate had convened a meeting with election officials at Dimapur Government College but the protestors laid siege to the educational institute and did not allow the officials to enter it. Except for some places in eastern Nagaland, the bandh was total.

The State Cabinet had on Friday decided not to defer the polls as demanded by the tribal organisations and Opposition Congress.

“…Adequate arrangements may be taken by the administration and police for smooth conduct of the elections. However, the State government is ready for dialogues with the tribal organisations to explain its position,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The Nagas are governed by customary laws, which are protected under Article 371(A) of the Constitution. The tribal bodies argue that quota will infringe upon the Article since the customary laws do not endorse quota. They insist that Article 371(A) provides full authority to the Nagas to decide their fate.

“The Municipal Act infringes upon Article 371(A). If we protect the power of 371(A), no law of India can come and disturb us,” said Vilhousa Seleyi, president of Angami Public Organisation.

“We won’t mind if women contest the election and get elected but we won’t accept quota for them,” said Toniho Yepthomi, president of Sumi Hoho.

Nagaland has 16 recognised tribes and each has its own apex organisation. Any decision taken by these male-dominated bodies are final and binding on people. In the village level, the Village Councils wield such powers. Now that the polls will be held, there is a perception that people will not turn up to cast votes. If they do so, they will surely face the wrath of the organisations.

Some apex bodies of the tribes had asked the candidates to withdraw from polls or face excommunication. Subsequently, 140 candidates of different political parties and tribes pulled out. There are 395 candidates in the fray for election to 26 town and municipal councils. Six others recorded nil nomination. Of the 395 candidates, 17, all belonging to Ao tribe, have been “stripped of their social and customary rights/status and ex-communicated from Ao citizenship for 30 years” by their apex organisation Ao Senden. Action against the remaining candidates is likely if they do not fall in line by January 31.

Rashtriya Janata Dal plans to stir Bihar’s special status pot

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (File | PTI)

PATNA: After the political heat generated by demonetisation led to cracks in Bihar’s ruling alliance becoming more prominent, a renewed cry about the state’s victimhood in economic and industrial matters may help stitch the rift. 

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the party with the largest number of MLAs in the grand alliance government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, plans to organise a campaign to pressure the Centre to grant Bihar special category state status, indicated party leaders. They believe it will put a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar on the mat and throw a hot potato at the Modi-led Centre while widening RJD’s acceptance levels among Bihar’s masses.

“Lalu Yadav wants a vigorous public campaign for special state status for Bihar. State finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui has set the stage for it,” said an RJD leader, referring to the demands raised by Siddiqui at the pre-budget meeting of state finance ministers in Delhi earlier this month.

The call for special category state status was made by JD(U) when it ruled the state in alliance with the BJP. They put tremendous pressure on the UPA-II Central government then. Dozens of rallies on the issue addressed by Nitish Kumar and a statewide signature campaign helped JD(U) consolidate its position among the masses in Bihar.

RJD, which was then an ally of the Congress-led Centre and the main Opposition party in Bihar, had not been keen on the issue. But now, with it being the biggest party in Bihar’s grand alliance and the Centre having a BJP government, Lalu is serious about leading the call for special status.

“We have demanded funding by the Centre for Bihar’s rapid growth. PM Narendra Modi had announced an economic package of `1.25 lakh crore ahead of the Assembly elections in October-November 2015. But Central funds aid remains inadequate,” said Siddiqui.

RJD leaders know that JD(U), whose support for demonetisation created differences in the ruling alliance, will support the special category state.

Some RJD leaders describe the party’s plans to lead a public campaign as “stealing JD(U)’s thunder”. The two parties still do not see eye to eye on many issues and engage in subtle one-upmanships.

“Special category state status is a very legitimate demand of Bihar and the Centre cannot escape any longer,” said RJD legislator Bhai Birendra.

Children can’t be used for election campaign: Child rights panel issues stern warning

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NEW DELHI: While the people in 5 states will be inundated with various modes of election campaigning over the next few weeks, Child rights panel will be closely monitoring those distributing party’s T-shirts, posters, stickers to ensure no children are used by political parties. 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Stuti Kacker recently wrote a letter to all Presidents of major political parties raising concerns over the use of Children in election campaign. She said, “ It has been reported that Children are often used in multifarious activities by various political parties during the election campaigns, which is in violation of rights of Children.”

“As the commission is committed to the survival, development and protection of the rights of the children, the commission views this matter very seriously,” NCPCR Chairperson Stuti Kacker wrote.

Earlier the Election Commission in 2009 had slammed Chief Electoral Officers of all states when it had noticed that Children were employed for carrying electronic voting machines at Bhagalpur, Bihar. According to Election Commission guidelines, District Election Officers will be personally held responsible for employing Children to carry electronic voting machines and will be liable to face severe disciplinary action apart from facing the consequences of the law. 

The NCPCR has been constituted under the provisions of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights act, 2005 for the protection of child rights and other matters. The UN convention on the rights of the Child, which has been ratified by India, provides under Article 36 that “Children should be protected from any activities that could harm their development.

The NCPCR has also issued two-points guideline to the political parties for strict compliance. It said, “ Children should not be used in the election campaign in any form whatsoever, either for distribution of posters/pamphlets or to participate in slogan shouting, campaign rallies, election meetings etc.”

In its second guideline, the panel has asked the political parties to include a chapter in their manifesto on Children rights.

“As Children constitutes the most precious asset of the country we would request you to include a chapter in your party’s election manifesto on promoting and protecting the rights of the Child as enshrined in the UNCRC and ratified by the government.”

 The Law and Violation

Child Labour Act bans the employment of children below 14 years of age in specified occupations such as transport of goods etc. which are considered unsafe and harmful to child workers and regulates the conditions of work of children in employment. It also lays down penalties for employment of children in violation of the provisions of this Act, other Acts which forbid the employment of children. The Act extends to the whole of India.

According to Ministry of Labour & Employment, the number of main workers in the age group of 5-14 years in the country is 43.53 lakh as per census 2011. The Census figure said UP had maximum 8,96,301 Child Labourers followed by 4,96,916 in Maharashtra and 4,51,590 in Bihar. 

However, Ministry had said that the number of working children in the age group of 5-14 years is declining. The Ministry said a Central Monitoring Committee was put in place with the representatives of State Governments and other concerned Ministries and Departments for overall supervision of the child labour projects, to discuss, analyse, invite suggestions on eradication of child labour.

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