Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WHO raises alarm over tobacco industry’s tactics

30 May 2012, New Delhi: On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, WHO is urging governments to beware of the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control programme. As countries move to meet their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the tobacco industry is becoming more aggressive in its attempts to undermine the treaty by acting against the policies contained in it.
 The industry is targeting the youth through increased advertising budgets in several countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region. One in ten school students are offered free samples of tobacco products. The tobacco industry has sued central and local governments over the pictorial warnings on cigarette packets claiming that they infringe on the industry’s rights to use their legally-registered brands and freedom of speech. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey shows that health warnings are effective and a large number of tobacco users noticed the warnings and thought of quitting. Similarly, lawsuits have been filed against smoke-free laws against the Ministries of Health. The apex courts later rejected these contentions and upheld the regulations.
 “Governments must protect people’s health from tobacco use and be vigilant about the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control measures” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. ”WHO will enhance its support to government initiatives to fight the tobacco industry” he added.
India and Indonesia are among the top ten tobacco leaf producers in the world. In addition the Region is one of the largest producers of smokeless tobacco products. Ninety percent of global smokeless tobacco users live in the Region. Sale of smokeless tobacco products in India  increased by over 25% between 2005 and 2010.
 Ten out of 11 Member States in WHO’s South-East Asia Region are party to WHO FCTC and nine counties have adopted comprehensive tobacco control legislations. Many countries have established smoke-free public places and banned cigarette advertisements. Sale of tobacco to minors is prohibited in most Member States. Global Tobacco Surveillance has been implemented in ten Member States and nationwide Global Adult Tobacco Surveys have been conducted in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
Nepal recently prohibited smoking and chewing tobacco in public places, mandated graphic health warnings and provisions for health funds from tobacco taxation.  Thailand has declared all public places 100% smoke-free and banned display of cigarette packs at sale counters. Eight cities were declared smoke-free in Indonesia in spite of the strong influence of the tobacco industry.
Though tobacco and tobacco products are in the sensitive list in South-Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) aims to eliminate tariff barriers within the Region including tobacco. Tobacco companies in the Region are taking advantage of these liberal cross-border trade areas to the best of their advantage.
 WHO is urging governments to protect public health from the tobacco industry’s interference. Nongovernmental groups and academia must monitor and denounce this interference and the community must remain vigilant.

Suu Kyi ask Myanmar workers in Thailand to be back home

Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi  met  migrant laborers in Thailand asked them to return home and help build the country as it moves towards democratization.Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday on her first trip outside Myanmar in twenty four years. She will join leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, due to open on Thursday.
On Wednesday, she visited an area in the outskirts of Bangkok where many migrant workers from Myanmar are working at seafood factories and other facilities.More than 2 million people from Myanmar are said to be working in Thailand.Aung San Suu Kyi said she wanted to see the actual conditions of migrant workers outside Myanmar.She told enthusiastic supporters that she hopes to help the migrants to return home as soon as possible.Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum meeting on Friday.

Mitt Romney has clinched the US Republican presidential nomination. He will face President Barack Obama in the November election.ABC Television on Tuesday declared the former Massachusetts governor the projected winner in the Texas primary. With this win puts him over the top, having secured more than the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination.
Romney had been the presumptive nominee for weeks, since his closest rival, Rick Santorum, withdrew from the race.Romney will be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in August.

Romney said on Tuesday that he is humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican nominee.
He said he is confident that Americans will unite as a country on November 6th. He said they will then begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise of restoring the country to greatness.
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SportzPower Daily
May 30 Vol 01, Issue 939
BCCI, PCB look to short cricket series in Dec-Jan
Possibility reportedly opens of BCCI, PCB squeezing in either three One Day Internationals, or two ODIs and a Twenty20 match between 23 December and 10 January.
Good Time For Srinivasan And BCCI To End 'Conflict Of Interest' In IPL
SPORTZPOWER VIEW - The biggest problem with the IPL remains the conflict of interest part where N Srinivasan, BCCI president, is also the owner of a franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.
Refurbushed Ntl Motorcycle Racing C'ship kickstarts 1 June
This year’s national championship sees introduction of 165CC Group C class for Open category riders & also start of manufacturer's championship for all classes.
ManU world’s most popular club: Survey
The largest global football follower survey ever conducted has named Manchester United the world’s most popular club, with 659 million followers worldwide.
Barclays not to renew title sponsorship of Singapore Open golf
Barclays' support since 2006 pivotal in turning the $6 million Singapore Open into a global event that attracted some of golf's biggest names.
AFC, Makita sign new 4-year deal
AFC announces that Japanese power tool company Makita has extended its commercial engagement with Asian football for a further four years.
Feature – Illicit Chanting and Strict Liability
Chanting by fans, often referred to as the ‘12th man’, has been recognised as an integral part of sport and is often seen as entrenched in sports culture. Clubs and teams encourage fans to create an atmosphere that encourages the team they support, but also intimidates the opposition and affects player performances


'WSH 2 will be bigger, better and grander'
- YANNICK Colaco, COO Nimbus Sport and frontman for World Series Hockey,


Monaco Grand Prix: Webber Becomes 6th Driver To Win In 2012

PIT STOP PUNDIT - India’s budding racers Aditya Patel and Sailesh Bolisetti have done India proud by scoring victories in their racing categories in Europe.
Zuckerberg Drops Off Billionaires Index as Facebook Falls (Bloomberg)
Moily says Reebok not cooperating in probe, case referred to SFIO(Business Standard)
A short India-Pakistan cricket series likely in December-January(DNA)
Another multimillion betting racket busted after bookie held in Chennai(SportzPower)
IPL ends in style, but loses sheen(Hindustan Times)
IPL: The Dirty Picture(India Today)
IPL auction is bad economics(Hindu Businesss Line)
Brand, baaja, baaraat: IPL-V is a superhitTimes of India)
Racism and Euro 2012: Football’s Ongoing Struggle(TIME)
Indian arrow-dynamics: Top archers left high and dry ahead of qualifiers(Hindustan Times)
Tokyo sees best chance for Olympics in 2020(AFP)
Parth for Formula Pilota(The Hindu)
F1 looks for a pattern in the unpredictable(Reuters)
McLaren F1 Developer Designs New Auto Driving 100 MPH on 96 MPG(Bloomberg)
F1 looks for a pattern in the unpredictable(Reuters)
Pak fed fines 8 players for playing in World Series Hockey(SportzPower)
Mirza welcomes boom in Asian women's tennis(AFP)
World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas(KFVS)

GolfStream Ladies Open at Kiev Golf Club, Ukraine.

Nalini Singh Siwach finishes T22nd at the Golf Stream Ladies Open in the LET Access Series
30 May 2012, New Delhi: India’s Nalini Singh Siwach managed an impressive T-22nd finish at the recently concluded € 20,000 GolfStream Ladies Open at the Kiev Golf Club, Ukraine. The tournament which is affiliated to the LET Access Series was played from the May 22nd-24th 2012 at the par-72 Kiev Golf Club, Ukraine.
Nalini who is currently ranked third in the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2011-12 was participating in the tournament for the very first time. Nalinicarded a total of 20 over 236 to be tied alongside to finish T-22nd along with Galina Rotmistrova from Russia, Belgian golfer Laurence Herman, Marianne Anderssonfrom Sweden and Katy Mcnicoll from Scotland.Nalini showed consistency in her game over the three rounds carding her best (78) in the final round, on a high scoring day. 
“It’s been a satisfactory outing for me, however there are areas that I need to work upon and I confident of putting up a better show in the upcoming tournaments”, said the Delhi based Nalini Singh Siwach.
“The course was tough and we really had to work hard; there was very little margin for error”, she further added.

Delhi’s Homeless Still wait Adequate Living Conditions

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied:
Delhi’s Homeless Still wait Adequate Living Conditions
29 May  2012, New Delhi:
In a press conference organised  by
Shahri Adhikar Manch: Begharon Ke
Saath  (SAM:BKS) in  the  capital  today,  human  rights  activists  and  homeless  citizens  raised  several issues of concern related to homelessness in Delhi.

Indu  Prakash  Singh,  SAM:BKS  member  and  technical  advisor  at  Indo-Global  Social  Service  Society, provided an overview of the situation of homelessness, including recent positive developments such as the President of India’s announcement of a

National  Programme  for Urban  Homelessness,
the  National
Advisory Council’s recommendations for the homeless, and progressive orders from the Hon’ble High
Court  of  Delhi and  the  Supreme  Court  of India.  In  spite  of  these  developments,  the  Delhi  government
has  failed  to respond to the needs of the city’s over 150,000 homeless people He said, “Despite
announcing  plans  to  improve  living  conditions  in  shelters,  Delhi  Urban  Shelter  Improvement  Board
(DUSIB) has not taken appropriate action to date. This delayed response amounts to a gross violation of
a bundle of human rights of  the  homeless whom we call CityMakers,  as the city  is built on their sweat,
labour  and  subsidised  services ” He mentioned the,  “preposterous  plan  of  the  Delhi  Development
Authority (DDA) to amend Master Plan Delhi-2021 to reduce the number of homeless shelters from one
per  one  lakh  population  to  one  per  five  lakh  population.  This  would  reduce  the  requirement  of  160
permanent shelters in Delhi to 32 shelters and is in direct violation of court orders.”
Ashok Pandey
from Beghar  Mazdoor  Sangharsh Samiti, also a SAM:BKS member, described  the  grossly
inadequate  living  conditions  in  the temporary  shelters.  Constructed  for  the winter, these  tin  shelters,
which  were  like  cold  storage  boxes  have  become  virtual  ovens  in  the  summer  and  are  largely
uninhabitable.  “There is still no drinking water,  toilets  or  fans  in  any  of  the  tent  and  tin  shelters.
Without electricity, how can any fans or lights be installed? The heat is unbearable, people cannot sleep
at  night.  Our  shelter  in  Kudusiya  Ghat  is  infested  with an army of mosquitoes You can’t stand for a
minute  without  being  bitten.  This  is  an  acute  health  hazard  for  the  homeless,  especially  for  children
who are most vulnerable,” he said
Ishwar Chand
, another SAM BKS member, added, “The absence of
water  and  sanitation  facilities  poses acute  problems  for  homeless  women  and  children  and  threatens
their security. Mobile health vans, despite High Court orders, do not visit most of the shelters ”
Abdul  Shakeel
,  member  of  SAM:BKS  and  Haq,  drew  attention  to  the  struggle  of  homeless  citizens  in
Delhi  for  ration  cards  and  adequate  grain  entitlements  under  the  Public  Distribution  System  (PDS),
which  they  are  consistently  denied.  Establishing  their  identity  is  a  critical  issue  for  the  homeless.  He
stated that, “The failure of the state to provide the homeless with voter identity cards violates their
right to political participation ” He  highlighted the economic burden faced due to DUSIB’s consistent
late  payment to  caretakers  of shelters,  many  of  whom  are  homeless  citizens. He  also  spoke  of  recent
forced evictions carried out by the Delhi government at Chilla Khadar and Baljeet Nagar, “which  are
resulting in more and more people becoming homeless in Delhi ”
,  a  woman  who  was  rendered  homeless  after  being  evicted  from  Viklang  Basti  before  the
Commonwealth Games, spoke about the acute problems that her family has had to face “The
government  demolished  our  homes  without  any  notice  and  did  not  provide  us  with  any  alternative
housing  or  compensation.  We are now forced  to live  on  the  streets without any shelter,  basic services,

privacy or security. We have no one  to approach or no means to seek  justice in  this city. The city does
not seem to care about the poor.”
SAM:BKS member and associate director of Housing and Land Rights Network,
Shivani Chaudhry
, stated
that, “Both the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India have, in several  interim  orders,
called  for  the  construction  of sufficient  and  adequate  permanent  shelters  for  the  homeless.  The  High
Court had asked the government for a long-term plan and called for permanent shelters to be set up by
December  2010.  A  year  and  a  half  later,  the  government  is  still  focusing  on  makeshift,  dysfunctional
temporary shelters, that too at a cost of Rs. 3,00,000 per shelter. We are extremely concerned about the
attempts of  the Delhi  government to  further  marginalise the  homeless by  proposing  plans  to relocate
them to the outskirts of the city in areas such as Kanjhawla and Narela. This would violate not just their
right  to  housing  but  also their right to work/livelihood The government’s repeated abrogation of its
legal obligations to implement court orders and uphold the Constitution of India and international law,
is disturbing ”  She further added that, “Providing shelters is just the first step in a continuum of housing
rights;  the  ultimate  goal  of  the  government  must  be  to  provide  low  cost,  adequate  housing  for  the
homeless ”
Amita  Joseph
,  SAM:BKS  member  and  director  of  Business  and  Community  Foundation,  regretted  that
despite  the existence of  a  Joint Apex  Advisory Committee  (JAAC), a  Mother NGO (MNGO) and  positive
orders from the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India, the condition of Delhi’s homeless
has not improved significantly.   Shahri Adhikar Manch had submitted  to the government  a  short-term
plan  (in  February  2010)  and  a  long-term  plan  (in  September  2011),  with  human  rights-based
recommendations, but these do not seem to have been considered.
On behalf of SAM:BKS, Ms Joseph presented the following demands from the Government of Delhi:
Immediately improve temporary shelters to make them habitable, including providing electricity,
fans, drinking water, toilets, healthcare, and mosquito repellants;
Establish an independent committee to monitor the functioning of all homeless shelters;
Conduct  an  audit  into  the  expenditure  of  the  government  on  temporary  shelters,  and  provide
information on the process of design selection and contractors, and details on exact spending;
Implement the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and High Court of Delhi, especially
related to creating
year-round, twenty-four hour
shelters (160 shelters as per the
requirement  of  one  shelter  per  one  lakh  population)  and  preparing  a
long-term  plan
addressing homelessness in Delhi;
Make available vacant government buildings and unused premises for homeless shelters;
Withdraw the proposal of the DDA to amend the Master Plan Delhi-2021 to reduce the number of
homeless shelters from one per one lakh population to one per five lakh population;
Conduct regular meetings of the Joint Apex Advisory Committee and implement its decisions; and,
Prevent forced evictions that violate the right to adequate housing and result in homelessness.
Speakers stressed their commitment to working constructively with all agencies in order to ensure that
the human right to adequate housing of Delhi’s homeless is protected. Delhi has the opportunity to be a
model  for  other cities  across  India  with regard  to  providing  services  for  the  homeless  and  upholding
their  rights.  It  is, therefore,  crucial  for  the government  to  adopt  a  positive  rather  than  an  adversarial
approach and fulfill its national and international legal obligations.
For more information, please contact:
Indu Prakash Singh (9911362925); Ashok Pandey (9716436605);
Bipin Rai (9999046469); Shivani Chaudhry (9818 205234)
Shahri  Adhikar  Manch:  Begharon  Ke  Saath  (SAM:BKS)  is  a  Delhi-based  collective  of  over  30
organizations and social movements, including homeless citizens. SAM:BKS works to promote and
protect  the  rights  of  the  homeless,  as  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution  of  India  and  international
human rights instruments, and to ultimately secure adequate housing for all homeless people. For
more information, write to:

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