Monthly Archives

April 2019

International

NSCN (IM) Vows to Defeat ISIS in Case They Choose to ‘Attack’ Nagaland

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), a north east based rebel group, has said that it is ready to protect its people if Islamic State (IS) attacks in Nagaland. After the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, the group has sounded an alert on its’ arms wing ‘Naga Army’ and their intelligence.

Speaking to mediapersons, V Horam, the executive member of the Steering Committee of NSCN(IM), said, ‘‘Our Naga Army is ready to defeat the ISIS. A strict order has been issued and our intelligence wing is active.’’

‘‘If outside forces want to disturb peace, we won’t sit quietly. We will defeat such forces. That’s why we have alerted our Naga Army,’’ Horam added.

The attackers in Sri Lanka targeted churches on Easter Sunday.

Nagaland’s population is 1.978 million, out of which 88 per cent are Christians. The census of 2011 recorded the state’s Christian population at 1,739,651, making it one of the three Christian-majority states in India along with Meghalaya and Mizoram. Huge churches can be found in Wokha, Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung districts in the state.

On April 22, Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy directed the Director General of Police to review the preparedness in case a similar incident happens in the hill state. In a letter to DGP, Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) and Joint Director, SIB, the chief secretary wrote, “The bomb blasts that took place in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, needs to be examined in the right perspective as the possibility of such incidents occurring even in Nagaland can’t be ruled out. Director General of 
Police, Nagaland may, therefore, have a thorough review of the States preparedness on preventing similar incidents in Nagaland”.

Meanwhile, the Christ Council of Nagalim (CNC) will show their solidarity to the Sri Lankan victims on April 21. CNC has announced that all its churches shall have a special prayer in the first hour of Sunday Worship Service on April 28. (Source: News 18)

International

CJI Ranjan Gogoi tears into Assam govt move on detenues

The governmen’s proposed measure reflects its failure to deport declared foreigners, he says.

The Supreme Court on Thursday lashed out at the Assam government’s proposal to conditionally release and monitor declared foreigners languishing in its detention centres for over five years, saying the court would not be a party to such a move, which is both illegal and violative of the Constitution.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said the proposed measure reflected the government’s failure to deport declared foreigners.

“You have no right to continue in office after authoring such an affidavit… This court will not be party to such an unheard of arrangement… You have 900 detainees when lakhs of illegal foreigners have already intermingled with the local population. Most of these foreigners are in the voters’ list and are taking part in the political system of this country…,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.

“All you have is 900 people kept in sub-human conditions in your detention centres,” he rebuked Assam Chief Secretary Alok Kumar, who was present in the court.

The affidavit proposed these foreigners’ release subject to their furnishing a security of ₹5 lakh, verification of address and collection of their biometrics.

“Is this how your government functions? Bonds, biometrics and verification of addresses… Your government has no intention, your government has only hubris,” the CJI told Mr. Kumar.

CJI calls for deportation of foreigners at earliest

When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is appearing for the State, tried to intervene, the CJI said the court wanted a response from Mr. Kumar as he had authored the affidavit.

“The stand of the Government of India and the State of Assam should be that foreigners detenues should be deported as soon as possible. But we do not see that stand, Mr. Chief Secretary,” the CJI said.

Mr. Kumar repeatedly apologised to the Bench for the affidavit. He said he would come back with other measures.

“What other measures? That you will provide these detainees five-star facilities or you will beg and plead with their countries to take them back?” the CJI asked Mr. Kumar.

Court’s amicus curiae and senior advocate Gaurav Banerjee said the assistance of the native nations of these foreigners was required for deportation, and moreover, the detenues also have to cooperate.

To this, the CJI asked when the Union and the State had had a meeting with the countries concerned.

Mr. Banerjee submitted the minutes of a meeting held on March 25. He said some of the foreigners may also not cooperate with the authorities, which further retarded the move to deport them.

”Do you expect him to cooperate after 40 years of living in this country?” the CJI asked.

Mr. Prashant Bhushan, who appears for activist-petitioner Harsh Mander, sought time to file a response to the State’s affidavit.

International

Meghalaya to sign MoU with Japan for Shiitake mushroom cultivation

Mushroom cultivation in Meghalaya is about to get a massive boost as the state is all set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Japanese company for cultivating of ‘Shiitake mushrooms’ in Meghalaya.

The Meghalaya government is likely to sign the said MoU with the Yats Corporation Co. Ltd, a Japanese company, on Tuesday.


“We will soon start cultivation of Shittake mushroom, which is locally known as ‘tit-tung’, in the state,” Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh informed here on Monday.


Under the agreement, farmers from the state will be going to Japan for a three-month training on Shittake mushroom cultivation.


The minister also mentioned that the climate condition in East Khasi Hills and parts of West Khasi Hills have been found to be suitable for the cultivation of the Shittake mushroom.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)The Japanese wood mushroom Lentinula edodes,commnly called as shiitake is most popular and important cultivated mushroom in Japan. It is the 2nd largest mushroom cultivated in the world after Agaricus bisporus. In 1994, its annual production was about 8,26,200 tonnes out of which 63,200 MT is produced in China alone. It is liked by the consumers because of its unique taste and flavour and presence of a chemical which reduces plasma cholesterol level. It is mainly cultivated in Japan, People’s republic of China, Taiwan, S. Korea and United State of America. It grows in nature on the wood of broad leaf trees mainly oak and chestnut. 
 
 CULTIVATION TECHNIQUE ON WOOD LOGSLentinula edodes grows in nature on the dead wood of a number of hard wood trees.LOG PREPARATIONThe Lentinula edodes mycelium is saprophytic and wood rotting. It mainly grows on dried wooden logs absorbing nutrients from the cambiun. The outer back layer protects the growing mycelium from the various mould competitors. Although it grows on any size and age of logs, but the log with 9-18 cm diameter and from 15 to 20 years old tree are most suitable. The time of failing or cutting the trees is also equally important. The most suitable period is from autumn 
(December-January) to early spring when the logs contain highest amount of carbohydrates and other organic substrates. The felled logs are left as such for 25-45 days which results in the lowering the moisture contents to 40-45%. Sometimes the logs are immediately inoculated, if the moisture content is optimum and further drying will result in excessive moisture loss.SPAWNING THE LOGSThe shiitake mycelium grows between 5 to 30C but the most optimum temperature is 20-26C. Low temperatures (14-20C) are favored during spawning logs, so that there is minimum growth of mould competitors. For spawn inoculation, small holes of 1x1cm and 1.5 to 2cm deep are made on the logs with the help of drilling machine. The holes are made at a distance of 20-30cm (long axis) and 6cm between each row. The holes between two rows, are alternate in position. Saw dust spawn is filled in the holes or wood plug spawn is inserted by cutting out similar size pieces. The saw dust spawn should be kept soft and not tightly pressed. The holes are sealed with paraffin wax. The spawning should be mostly done in aseptic condition.
 
 CROP MANAGEMENTInoculated logs are kept in open at a place where the physical conditions are most favorable for the mycelial growth. The inoculated logs are kept in a flat pile so that there is minimum light exposure. The pile should be covered with either straw, or gunny bags to prevent excessive water loss of the logs. The vegetative growth in the logs will be completed within 8-12 months depending upon the culture strain and the type of wood used.For fruit body induction it requires, temperature shock of temperature drop, high humidity and enough light. The logs for fruiting are either sprayed with cold water or immersed in a tank of cold water. If the logs are immersed in cold water, then during summer they should be kept for 24 hours in cold water (15-18C) while during winter they should be kept for 2-3 days at 10-15C.The logs are then leaned against the supports. The cropping area is kept moist to maintain high relative humidity. The temperature should be 15-20C and humidity around 80-90%. Fruit bodies are harvested by first pressing and then twisting. Mushrooms are harvested up to 3 times and after a rest for 30-40 days they again watered to get more mushrooms. It can be repeated up to 3-4 times per year and these logs will produce crop up to 4-6 years. 
International

Eight Blasts In Sri Lanka, Over 215 Killed, 500 Injured; Govt Declares Curfew Across Country

Sri Lanka Church Bomb Blast Today LIVE News Updates: At least 215 people, including 35 foreigners, were killed and over 400 injured after simultaneous blasts rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Seven suspects have been arrested as police launches investigation into the serial explosions.

At least eight explosions were reported including at least three in churches and three in hotels frequented by tourists, reported Reuters. Condemning the attack Pope Francis said, “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held an emergency meeting and 200 troops have been deployed to carry out relief operations. The motive for the attacks remains unclear. However, as per AFP reports, Sri Lankan police chief had issued alerts of possible attacks in “prominent churches” 10 days ahead of the blasts. The first explosion was reported from St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade in Colombo, the second from St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo and third from a church in Batticaloa. Three five-star hotels from where the blasts were reported are the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 am (local time) when Easter Sunday masses were in progress. It is pertinent to mention here that out of Sri Lanka’s total population of about 22 million, around 7.6 per cent people are Christian.

Kerala to send 15-member medical team to assist treatment of Sri Lanka blast victims

Kerala government will send a 15-member member expert medical team to help with the treatment of terror attack victims in Sri Lanka, Health Minister KK Shylajaunder announced. The team will be headed by Dr SS Santosh Kumar, deputy superintendent of Trivandrum Medical College

This world needs love and peace: Viv RichardsView image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

The U.S. condemns in the strongest terms the Easter morning terror attacks in Sri Lanka. These attacks demonstrate the brutal nature of terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace & security. We offer our deepest condolences and stand with the government & people of #SriLanka.

The U.S. condemns in the strongest terms the Easter morning terror attacks in Sri Lanka. These attacks demonstrate the brutal nature of terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace & security. We offer our deepest condolences and stand with the government & people of #SriLanka.

The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.

The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.

Police yet to confirm if all explosions were by suicide bombers

Police spokesperson, Ruwan Gunasekera said the police was not able to confirm at the moment if they were all suicide attacks. He, however, said that one of the blasts at the Katuwapitiya (Negombo) church has signs of being what looked like a suicide attack. An unnamed official said a suicide bomber blew himself up at the restaurant of the Cinnamon Grand hotel. Gunasekara said that 66 bodies were kept at the National Hospital while 260 injured were receiving treatment there and 104 bodies were placed at the Negombo Hospital and 100 injured were receiving treatment at the Hospital.

25 unidentified bodies believed to be of foreigners

The Sri Lankan ministry of foreign affairs listed the known nationalities of foreigners killed as three from India, one from Portugal, two from Turkey, three from the UK and two holding US and UK nationality. It said that there are a further 25 unidentified bodies believed to be foreigners

Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh, according to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

MEA: “PM renewed the offer of all possible help and assistance to Sri Lanka for ensuring its security against the challenges such as those posed by terrorism. He also wished the injured speedy recovery and offered any required assistance for their treatment.”@IndianExpress

Just In: Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh, according to External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. @IndianExpress

Victims of the serial explosions come from across countries including Britain, Turkey, India. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s minister of finance says that the country’s different communities have been pulling together in the wake of the attacks. 

In the midst of this tragedy, it’s reassuring to see the outpouring of solidarity as people donate blood. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim & others are donating because we are humans with the same blood & same spirit of compassion.Nobody can deny our common humanity. #lka

Air India has waived all charges for rescheduling and cancellation of tickets to and from Colombo till April 24 in the wake of terror attacks in Sri Lanka that has killed more than 200 people. Besides, the airline has requested passengers to report well in advance to clear security at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. 

“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating,” she said in a written statement. “New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence.”

Seven people have been arrested during a raid on a house in Colombo on Sunday, according to local media in Sri Lanka. Three officers reportedly died in the raid. We’ll bring you more details when we get them. (Guardian)

The police have said that 207 people have been killed and 450 injured in the serial explosions. The police are conducting raids at various places to nab the culprits.

Netizens troll Donald Trump for tweeting Sri Lanka attack toll as ‘138 million’

US President Donald Trump became the butt of jokes on Sunday when he erroneously tweeted the death toll in serial blasts in Sri Lanka as ‘138 million’ instead of 138. Trump later deleted his tweet. Expressing his condolences to the island nation, Trump tweeted, “Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help.”

Minister @RWijewardene addressing the press just now says action will be taken to stop activity of all extremist groups in the country. Social media temporary banned. 12 hour curfew from 6pm. The Dehiwela n Dematagoda blasts seem to be by those in the ring running from the law.

@RWijewardene says 7 people under arrest for morning attacks that killed at least 160 people including perhaps close to 30 foreigners (Source: Sec/Foreign Affairs) at meeting now w heads of media. Asks for responsible reporting. pic.twitter.com/kKrwdr0uJt

Rahul Gandhi condemns attack in Sri Lanka

The Congress on Sunday condemned the serial blasts at multiple locations in Sri Lanka, with party president Rahul Gandhi terming it a “diabolical act of terrorism”. More than 160 people were killed and over 450 injured in a string of near-simultaneous blasts at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. “I’m saddened and disturbed by reports of multiple bomb blasts in Colombo in which over 100 people have died and more than 300 injured, Gandhi tweeted. “I strongly condemn this diabolical act of terrorism. My condolences to the families of the victims. I pray the injured make a speedy recovery,” he said.

I’m saddened & disturbed by reports of multiple bomb blasts in #Colombo in which over 100 people have died & more than 300 injured.

I strongly condemn this diabolical act of terrorism.

My condolences to the families of the victims. I pray the injured make a speedy recovery.

US President Donald Trump condemns attack

138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!

138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help! (Source : Outlook)

International

Was Offered Bribe To Frame CJI Ranjan Gogoi In Sexual Harassment Case: Lawyer For Rape Victim Against Asaram

Utsav Bains, the lawyer who represented a victim in the rape case against convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, has claimed that “just a few days back” he was offered a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.

While opinions remain sharply divided in the legal fraternity on Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by his former staffer, the embarrassing episode involving the country’s highest judicial authority has now got a new twist. 

Utsav Bains, the lawyer who represented a victim in the rape case against convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, has claimed that “just a few days back” he was offered a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore to frame the Chief Justice in sexual harassment case. Though Bains has refused to reveal the identity of the person who approached him, he claims that he had turned the offer down as he suspected a “larger conspiracy to make the CJI resign”.

The dramatic claim by Bains comes in wake of Saturday’s unprecedented crisis that has engulfed the Supreme Court with the Chief Justice of India himself being accused of sexual harassment and criticised for convening an urgent hearing to essentially dismiss the allegations, attribute motives to his accuser and unambiguously point at a plot to “deactivate the office of the CJI”. 

While Bains has, so far, refused to speak to the media on his claims, he wrote a long post on Saturday evening on his Facebook page to describe how he was reportedly approached to “frame CJI in the sexual harassment case”. 

Withholding the identity of the person who made the offer to him, Bains claims he was asked to appear as the lawyer of the former staffer who has leveled the allegations against the Chief Justice of India and to help in organising a press conference on the issue at Delhi’s Press Club. Bains adds that when he refused to oblige, the person claimed that he was a relative of the woman who had accused Asaram Bapu in a rape case – Bains had appeared pro bono for the rape survivor against Asaram and the controversial godman was found guilty in the case last year – but failed to explain his relationship with the former Supreme Court staffer who has now leveled allegations against Chief Justice Gogoi.

“He couldn’t satisfactorily reply as to what was his relationship with the ex-SC staffer and then suddenly offered me 50 lacs (sic) as my legal fees if I agreed and again asked me specifically to organise a press conference at the PCI,” Bains wrote. He added further that when he refused to accept the bribe or file the case against the Chief Justice of India, the bribe offer was enhanced to Rs 1.50 crore.

Having refused the offer, Bains says he asked the person to leave his office and then made his own enquiries with “reliable sources in Delhi” following which he was convinced that there was a “larger conspiracy to make the CJI resign” and that the ‘kingpins’ of this plot are “many Delhi based Supreme Court fixers or those who engage in cash for judgments”.

Bains says that he had gone to the residence of Chief Justice Gogoi at around 7 pm on Friday to personally inform him about the goings on but was informed that the CJI was not at home. Bains says the CDR tower location of his phone can be checked to verify his claim of visiting the Chief Justice’s residence at 10, Tees January Marg.

It may be recalled that reports of a sexual harassment case had begun circulating in the media on Friday and by evening a number of web portals had sent enquiries to the Chief Justice of India to seek his version on the allegations by his former staffer. 

Bains said further that he had also asked a journalist who covers the Supreme Court to help arrange a meeting with the CJI about “an important subject” and was also planning to meet advocates Kamini Jaiswal and Prashant Bhushan, on Saturday, in this regard. 

However, by Saturday morning, news of the sexual harassment allegations against the Chief Justice had already made headlines and the CJI, on a reference by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, had convened an urgent hearing on the matter. At the hearing by a hurriedly constituted special bench headed by CJI Gogoi himself and comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, the judges along with Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Mehta collectively portrayed the allegations as a big conspiracy and an “attack on the independence of the judiciary” while stating that an appropriate bench of the court will be constituted to adjudicate on the matter soon.

Bains says he is preparing to “file a detailed affidavit” before the Supreme Court narrating his side of the alleged conspiracy “along with evidences of the conspiracy against the CJI by a lobby of disgruntled judges, SC fixers, corporate scamsters and a few corrupt politicians” who have “meticulously planned” to force the CJI to resign.

The claims made by Bains do not take away from the moral and ethical questions that arise out of Saturday’s unprecedented events at the top court – should the Chief Justice have convened a hearing of a matter that involves allegations against himself, by attributing motives to his accuser from the platform of the Supreme Court did the CJI scuttle due process of law, shouldn’t the special bench have comprised at least one woman judge of the top court or judges more senior than Justices Mishra and Khanna, etc. However, they do make the ongoing scandal all the more piquant.

Expectedly, all eyes will now be on how the Supreme Court deals with this matter in the coming days but what is certain, for now, is that Saturday’s events were only the beginning of yet another dark chapter in the recent history of the top court which, a little over a year ago, had been plunged into a crisis when its four seniormost judges – including Justice Gogoi – had raised a very public banner of revolt against the then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

Environment

SC Bans Mining Along Kaziranga National Park; No Construction In Nine Animal Corridors

BY: AKANKSHA JAIN

In a major boost to conservation of wildlife in this UNESCO world heritage site, the Supreme Court has banned mining and related activities along the Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve (KNP) and in the catchment area of the rivers/streams and rivulets which originate in the Karbi Anglong Hill ranges and flow into the park. A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta ordered that “that all kind of mining and related activities along the Kaziranga National Park area and in the entire catchment area of rivers/streams and rivulets originating in Karbi Anglong Hill ranges and flowing into Kaziranga National Park, including Tiger Reserve are restrained. Also Read – Open Letter To The Bar Council Of India “No new construction shall be permitted on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors”. The bench has directed the Director General of Police, Assam, and the Superintendent of Police concerned to ensure that no illegal mining takes place in the area and no transportation of illegally-mined material take place from Karbi Anglong Hills. Also Read – Some Questions In The Wake Of A Matter Of Great Public Importance The order of the court came in an application moved by environment activist Rohit Choudhury who has been making effort towards conserving wildlife in KNP, which is home to the largest population of one-horned rhinoceros, and the regions around it. As part of his application, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) published a report on March 1 recommending a ban on all mining activities and ban on all constructions in nine animal corridors. The report was taken cognizance of by the apex court. It is to be noted that recently the court had refused to stay the demolition of a wall that had come up in an elephant corridor as part of a township project of miniratna PSU Numaligarh Refinery. The same was also ordered to be demolished after Choudhury moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and shared the plight of pachyderms banging head against the wall to reach their source of water and food. The legal battle against mining in the region saw Choudhury facing death threats and social boycott. However, the CEC report and the apex court order put the onus on the government machinery to act. Meanwhile, the Assam government has sought three weeks to respond to the CEC report. (Source: Livelaw)

Environment

Climate change threatens one in three Bangladeshi children

Rohingya refugee man with child returns to his shelter in Kutupalong camp during heavy rain in Cox’s Bazar, 

REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Worsening storms, sea level rise and other threats could drive worsening poverty, hunger, early marriage and child labour

Nearly one in three children in Bangladesh are at risk from cyclones, flooding and other climate change-linked disasters, the United Nations warned on Friday, urging more help for one of the world’s worst hit countries.

More than 19 million children live in the most disaster-prone districts of low-lying Bangladesh, according to a new report from the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF.

In addition, longer-term changes such as rising sea levels are pushing families deeper into poverty and forcing some from their homes, disrupting children’s education and access to health services, UNICEF said.

“Children who miss out on good nutrition or on education, who are uprooted from their homes, or who are forced into exploitative labour, will fail to fulfil their potential as citizens,” said the author of the report, Simon Ingram.

The call comes weeks after schoolchildren around the world walked out of classes to protest against global government inaction on climate change.

Global temperatures are on course to rise by 3 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, far overshooting a global target of limiting the increase to 2C or less, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization says.

That is bringing growing risks from extreme weather – including worsening droughts, floods, fires and storms – as well as threats of worsening hunger, poverty and water shortages, scientists say.

Bangladesh ranked ninth in the Global Climate Risk Index 2019, which said it was the seventh worst hit by climate change between 1998 and 2017, with 37 million people affected.

UNICEF said Bangladesh had already done much to reduce the exposure of poorer communities to cyclones and other threats, notably through the construction of shelters.

But it called for more focus on the specific needs of children threatened by the effects of climate change, including food shortages and increased migration to cities as flooding and drought make some rural areas uninhabitable.

That should include making schools and health facilities in flood-prone areas more resilient and introducing stronger measures to protect children affected by climate-induced disasters against exploitation and abuse, said Ingram.

Nurul Qadir, a senior official at Bangladesh’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation the government was already addressing the issues raised in the report.

“Right now, we are going to schools across the country to make children aware about climate change and how it can be tackled,” he said.

The UNICEF study found 12 million children in Bangladesh live near rivers that regularly burst their banks. Another 4.5 million live in coastal areas vulnerable to cyclones and 3 million are at risk from drought, it said.

These risk factors are forcing people from rural areas into cities, where children are at greater risk of being pushed into forced labour or early marriage.

“They face danger and deprivation in the cities, as well as pressure to go out to work despite the risk of exploitation and abuse,” said UNICEF Bangladesh representative Edouard Beigbeder.

Climate change threatens one in three Bangladeshi children

(Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation)

International

Nagaland: Expect heavy rain & thunderstorm from April 19-21

The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Home Department, in coordination with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Regional Office Guwahati, has stated that heavy rain along with thunderstorm and gusty winds (speed 40-70 kmph)/lightning is expected at isolated places such as Kohima, Peren, Mokokchung, Longleng, Kiphire from April 19 to April 21.


Further, in districts such as Mon and Tuensang, thunderstorm with gusty wind (speed 40-50 kmph) is expected at isolated places on April 21. The Maximum temperature will see a dip during this time, settling even below 20 degrees Celsius over the hilly areas, stated a press release from Johnny Ruangmei, OSD to the Government of Nagaland.


All the DDMAs and other line departments who are responsible to attend to any emergencies caused by natural calamities have been requested to be on alert to “save lives and properties” during this period.


The NSDMA also urged the public to “be vigilant” during this pre-monsoon period from lightning, gusty winds and thunderstorms and “not to take shelter under large trees and near the river banks to prevent unnecessary risk to life from lightning and flash floods.” (Source: Morung Express)

International

Cyclonic storms displace over 10,500 families in Meghalaya

Several school buildings, community halls damaged alongside Indo-Bangladesh border; 3 sustain minor injuries in West Garo Hills district

Over 10,500 families in 700-odd villages of Meghalaya were affected after a massive cyclonic storm ravaged the state in the past three days. Many of the victims have been left without food and shelter.

Meanwhile, three persons sustained minor injuries during a massive storm that struck the West Garo Hills district of the state on Wednesday.

About 100 school buildings and a few community halls in the hill districts alongside the Indo-Bangladesh border were also damaged by the disastrous storm that hit Meghalaya in the past few days.

“Many houses and property have been damaged due to cyclone and hailstorm in different districts throughout the state. The state disaster management department and the respective district administrations are following up and taking necessary action to ensure relief is given to the people affected,” Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma tweeted after the incident.

Meanwhile, in a high-level meeting in Shillong on Thursday, revenue minister Kyrmen Shylla reviewed the situation in the storm-hit districts. The meeting was also attended by chief secretary PS Thangkhiew.

Shylla further directed the deputy commissioners of all the affected districts to reach out to the families and provide relief materials, especially to those in far-flung areas. The state chief secretary also asked the concerned DCs to submit a detailed assessment report of the damages at the earliest.

In the meantime, power supply to parts of West Garo Hills, South West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts that were disrupted following the storm are in the process of being restored. (Source: ASTMOJO)