Category Archives: Events

Day 10: Abduction of Alex Paul Menon, District Collector of Sukma, Chhattisgarh.


Alex Paul Menon, Collector of Sukma District, Chhattisgarh.

The Maoist rebels who abducted Alex Paul Menon, the District Collector of Sukma, Chhattisgarh on April 21, did not allow the two mediators selected by them – B.D. Sharma, former IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer and Professor G. Hargopal of Hyderabad – to meet him.

The two mediators met the rebels on Saturday (yesterday) in the Tadmetla forest. They stayed overnight and briefed the Maoists on their talks with the government elected mediators, Mr. S.K. Mishra, former chief secretary of Chhattisgarh and Ms. Nirmala Buch, former Madhya Pradesh chief secretary.

They returned yesterday (Sunday) morning from the forest area with a reply from the Maoists, but refused to divulge what transpired during their meeting. The two mediators said: “Collector Menon is safe, we will share our discussion with Maoists only with the government-mediators in Raipur.”

“As someone who has served in the Tamil Nadu cadre of the Indian Administrative Service, I feel worse than miserable reading and hearing of Collector Alex Paul Menon’s ordeal. But unlike Alex, who has put his life on the line, I have never had to face personal or physical danger in the course of official duty,” said Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

To read the full text of the statment of Gopalkrishna Gandhi click this link –> “Alex’s bravery is an example to cherish and follow

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Christ is risen from the dead – المسيح قام من بين الأموات


Christ is risen from the dead – المسيح قام من بين الأموات

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it

Jesus is risen from the dead
Defeating death by death
And giving life to those in the grave

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The Shiloh Shepherds


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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The Shiloh Shepherd is the most awesome rare breed of dog on earth, first developed in the 1970s by Tina M. Barber, who has been involved with German Shepherd dogs all of her life. She breeds American Kennel Club German Shepherd Dogs (AKC), trains and titles dogs for NASA Schutzhund and personal protection, lectures across the country, writes many articles for major publications such as the GSQ, publishes Shiloh Shepherd newsletter.

She started her own training kennel and breeding program in 1962. Thus began her quest to develop the ultimate companion.

The Shiloh Shepherds are meant to resemble the German Shepherds but their coats can be a variety of colors and color mixes. Shiloh Shepherds are larger and have a straighter back than most modern Alsatians and German Shepherds.

They are bred for their intelligence, size, and stable temperaments. Very gentle with little children, they compete in obedience and agility. They can baby-sit children, lead a blind person safely across the streets and do a lot of other chores. They work as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, livestock guardians and service assistance. They are often reared as family protectors.

In 1962 Tina had a dream. She was obsessed with producing the “perfect” dog. With no degree in genetics, she developed efficient genetic research methods. She went beyond research and theory. Here are her own words:

I knew in my heart what I wanted to produce….. SUPER INTELLIGENCE…HUGE SIZE… GREAT HIPS!!! Those where my 3 ‘biggies’ but I also wanted a specific ‘TYPE’– a ‘look’ that would stop traffic!!! I worked very hard during those first 12 years, but I just couldn’t get the ‘package’ I dreamt of! I would get HUGE size, but the hips would fall apart! I would get super intelligence, with good hips, but they would be small ‘bitchy headed’ ugly (foxy looking) dogs! I would get looks, with no brains! A few nice ones would raise my hopes, but then they would produce absolute nightmares!! I was actually about to give up the whole ‘dream’ as a totally unattainable fantasy! The money, time, and energy I expended didn’t reap any kind of reward, only heartbreak! There was no such thing as a ‘perfect’ Shepherd type!!! After 12 YEARS of disappointments, I realized that without a ‘miracle’ my dream was about to die!

… Nevertheless, I finally gave up my pride & invited Jesus as my personal saviour on 2/26/74. Being a rebellious child, the first thing I did was to start ‘fleecing’ my Saviour! Then one day while I was reading the story of Hannah, how she desperately wanted a child (she was barren) and how she went to SHILOH, to the house of the Lord to petition him for a son…promising that if he granted her desire, she would dedicate her son back to the Lord, etc… I realized that this was what I had to do too! So I went out to my kennel, and sat among my dogs, and grabbed a hold of the throne room, petitioning the Lord to grant MY DREAM!! Promising him that I would ALWAYS acknowledge him as my partner in life, as well as in the creation of these magnificent animals and that FOREVER they would carry his name, and the symbol of his provision (the Fish) as a testimony to him! It was on that day that I changed my Kennel name to Shiloh Shepherds™.

The word ‘Shiloh’ appears in the Bible 33 times. Thirty-three is the number of PROMISE!!

Plush Coat Shiloh Shepherd Dog
Plush Coat Shiloh Shepherd Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1990s, Tina’s dogs entered the rare breed world as Shiloh Shepherds, named for the kennel of origin. She wrote the Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard. You can view it by clicking on this link

Illustrated Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard

The Shiloh Shepherd is still under development but stands as a model of what pure breeding is all about.

On March 31, 2012 my wife Assuntha and I with our son Subas, daughter-in-law Ligia and grandson Rohan were lucky to be at the Blossom Kite Festival on National Mall in Washington, DC. There, we saw a group of Shiloh Shepherds with their owners. They were huge and burly but looked benignly gentle, calm, and not a bark.

We were very much fascinated by these gentle dogs because this was the first time we have seen such fine specimens. In fact, we have not seen such a handsome breed in India.

One dog named Ender owned by a young man Kevin was the only one active among the 6 shepherds that were there; others were lying serenely beside their owners who caressed them ever so lovingly.

My grandson Rohan was exuberant when he saw those gracious, amiable and gentle super intelligent Shiloh Shepherds and got all agitated and we understood that he wanted to pet them.

The owners of the Shiloh Shepherds were glad when I asked them permission to photograph them with their pets. Kevin the owner of Ender was happy and eager to allow my grandson Rohan to pet his Ender.

Here is a video of my grandson and the group of gentle Shiloh shepherds.

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2012 Indian Premier League – Schedule


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional league for Twenty20 cricket competition in India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with headquarters in Mumbai, initiated this event in 2008.

The 2012 Indian Premier League season, abbreviated as IPL 5 or the IPL 2012, will be the fifth season of the Indian Premier League. The tournament will begin on 4 April and end on 27 May 2012. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, the home venue of the reigning champions Chennai Super Kings.

Last season 10 teams participated in this popular event; but this season the number of teams participating has been reduced from ten to nine with the termination of Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Each team has lassoed in prestigious cricket players from around the world.

Seasons

First season – 2008

The inaugural season of the tournament started on 18 April 2008. The season lasted for 46 days. Out of the 59 matches scheduled, 58 took place and 1 was a wash out due to rain. The final was played in DY Patil Stadium, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. Every team played each other both at home and away in a round robin system. The top four ranking sides progressed to the knockout stage of semi-finals followed by a final.

Rajasthan Royals, captained and coached by Shane Warne, defeated Chennai Super Kings in a last ball thriller and emerged as the inaugural IPL champions.

Second SEASON – 2009

The 2009 season and the General Elections in India coincided. The venue for the IPL matches was shifted to South Africa since there was a fear for the safety the players. The format of the tournament remained same as the inaugural one.

Hyderabad Deccan Chargers, who finished last in the first season, were big underdogs, but came out as eventual winners defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final by setting a target of 144 runs with the help of Gibbs(53) and defended it.

third SEASON – 2010

In the third season which opened in January 2010 with the auction for players. 66 players were on offer but only 11 players were sold.

In this season, due to the ongoing political crisis in the Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh, India, Hyderabad Deccan Chargers did not play at their preferred home location of Hyderabad, India.

This season, the new bases for the champions of the second season were Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Cuttack.

The first semi-final was won by Mumbai Indians who defeated Bangalore Royal Challengers by 35 runs. Chennai Super Kings defeated Hyderabad Deccan Chargers in the second semi-final.

The final was played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Chennai Super Kings won by a margin of 22 runs.

fourth SEASON- 2011

On 21 March 2010, it was announced in Chennai that two new teams from Pune and Kochi will be added to the IPL for the fourth season. However, the bid around the Kochi franchisee turned controversial resulting in the resignation of minister, Shashi Tharoor from the Central Government and investigations by various departments of the Government of India into the financial dealings of IPL and the other existing franchisees.

Later, Lalit Modi was also removed from IPL chairmanship by BCCI. On December 5, 2010, it was confirmed that Kochi Tuskers will take part in the fourth season of IPL.

The addition of the two teams Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers increased the number of franchises from 8 to 10.

Chennai Super Kings won their second consecutive IPL title after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 58 runs in the fourth season of IPL.  This was the first time a franchise has won two IPL titles, had four consecutive semi-final visits, come to the finals three times, and successfully defended their title.

The top four teams namely CSK, RCB, KKR and MI also qualified for the Champions League. Mumbai Indians are the current Champions League Twenty20 champions.

In 2010, in association with Indiatimes live broadcast on YouTube of the IPL matches became possible. It was the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live on YouTube.

During the fourth season, the IPL brand value was estimated to be around $3.67 billion According to the Annual Review of Global Sports Salaries by sportingintelligence.com, IPL is the second highest-paid league, based on first-team salaries on a pro rata basis, second only to the NBA. It is estimated that the average salary of an IPL player over a year would be $3.84 million.

FIfth SEASON – 2012

The fifth season with 9 teams is set to start on 4 April 2012 in Chennai, for which the players auction was held on February 4, 2012 in Bangalore. The season saw IPL authority increasing the number of players in each squad to 33 from the previous limit of 30 and also increased the salary cap by $2 million.

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IPL 2012 Schedule

Here is the Complete IPL 2012 Schedule – Matches, Dates, Teams, and Venues for this mega cricketing event.

Match: # 1
Date & IST: April 04, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians
Venue: M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 2
Date & IST: April 05, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 3
Date & IST: April 06, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Pune Warriors
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 4
Date & IST: April 06, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 5
Date & IST: April 07, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 6
Date & IST: April 07, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Y.S.R Cricket stadium, Visakhapatnam

Match: # 7
Date & IST: April 08, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium Jaipur

Match: # 8
Date & IST: April 08, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 9
Date & IST: April 09, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Y.S.R Cricket stadium, Visakhapatnam

Match: # 10
Date & IST: April 10, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 11
Date & IST: April 10, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 12
Date & IST: April 11, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 13
Date & IST: April 12, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 14
Date & IST: April 12, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Pune Warriors
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 15
Date & IST: April 13, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 16
Date & IST: April 14, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 17
Date & IST: April 15, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 18
Date & IST: April 15, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 19
Date & IST: April 16, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 20
Date & IST: April 17, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Deccan Chargers
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 21
Date & IST: April 17, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 22
Date & IST: April 18, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 23
Date & IST: April 19, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 24
Date & IST: April 19, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Pune Warriors
Venue: M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 25
Date & IST: April 20, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 26
Date & IST: April 21, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 27
Date & IST: April 21, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Pune Warriors
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 28
Date & IST: April 22, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 29
Date & IST: April 22, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

Match: # 30
Date & IST: April 23, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 31
Date & IST: April 24, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 32
Date & IST: April 24, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Deccan Chargers
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 33
Date & IST: April 25, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 34
Date & IST: April 25, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 35
Date & IST: April 26, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Deccan Chargers
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 36
Date & IST: April 27/12 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 37
Date & IST: April 28, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 38
Date & IST: April 28, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 39
Date & IST: April 29, 2012 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 40
Date & IST: April 29, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 41
Date & IST: April 30, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 42
Date & IST: May 01, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Pune Warriors
Venue: Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

Match: # 43
Date & IST: May 01, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 44
Date & IST: May 02, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 45
Date & IST: May 03, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 46
Date & IST: May 04 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 47
Date & IST: May 05 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Pune Warriors
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 48
Date & IST: May 05 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 49
Date & IST: May 06, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 50
Date & IST: May 06, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Deccan Chargers
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 51
Date & IST: May 07, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 52
Date & IST: May 08, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 53
Date & IST: May 08, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

Match: # 54
Date & IST: May 09, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 55
Date & IST: May 10, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad

Match: # 56
Date & IST: May 10, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 57
Date & IST: May 11, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 58
Date & IST: May 12, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 59
Date & IST: May 12, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 60
Date & IST: May 13, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Pune Warriors
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 61
Date & IST: May 13, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Deccan Chargers
Venue: Punjab Cricket Stadium,Chandigarh

Match: # 62
Date & IST: May 14, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 63
Date & IST: May 14, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match: # 64
Date & IST: May 15, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 65
Date & IST: May 16, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match: # 66
Date & IST: May 17, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings
Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium, Dharamsala

Match: # 67
Date & IST: May 17, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match: # 68
Date & IST: May 18, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Rajasthan Royals
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad

Match: # 69
Date & IST: May 19, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils
Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium, Dharamsala

Match: # 70
Date & IST: May 19, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Pune Warriors v Kolkata Knight Riders
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 71
Date & IST: May 20, 2012 – 4:00:00 PM
Teams: Deccan Chargers v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad

Match: # 72
Date & IST: May 20, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians
Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Match: # 73
Date & IST: May 22, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Qualifier 1* – TBC v TBC (1st v 2nd)
Venue: Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune

Match: # 74
Date & IST: May 23, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Eliminator* – TBC v TBC (3rd v 4th)
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match: # 75
Date & IST: May 25, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Qualifier 2 – TBC v TBC (Winner Eliminator v Loser Qualifier 1)
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match: # 76
Date & IST: May 27, 2012 – 8:00:00 PM
Teams: Final – TBC v TBC
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

* If Royal Challengers Bangalore finish as First Placed Team or Second Placed team then they will play in Qualifier 1 in Bengaluru on 23-May. The Eliminator will then move to 22-May in Pune.

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PRESS RELEASE By Prasanth Bhushan : Thiruvananthapuram April 1st 2012


Human rights activist and Team Anna core member Prashanth Bhushan is a Senior Supreme Court lawyer practicing in Delhi and a social activist. He is the son of lawyer and former Law Minister of India Shanti Bhushan.

PRESS RELEASE By Prasanth Bhushan : Thiruvananthapuram April 1st 2012

I visited Koodankulam yesterday to meet the people fighting against the nuclear power plant to see for myself what is happening there. It was very impressive and inspiring to see the discipline and determination of the thousands of people, particularly women and children who were sitting at the dharna site at Idinthakarai.

It is unfortunate and condemnable that the govt. and the local police administrators have arrested hundreds of these protestors and instituted hundreds of cases against them, making absurd charges of sedition, naxalism etc against these peaceful protestors.

Nuclear power is the most expensive way of generating electricity apart from being extremely hazardous, as has been pointed out by a number of independent experts such as Dr.E.A.S.Sharma (former power secretary), Dr. A.Gopalakrishnan (former Chairman, AERB) among others. Apart from the risk of a catastrophic accident as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima which renders tens of thousands of square kilometers land uninhabitable and uncultivable, there are very serious problems of storage of spent fuel and safety of the nuclear fuel.

That is why most countries of the world, especially developed countries have abandoned nuclear energy and are phasing out their existing plants. Japan has shut down all except one of their nuclear reactors after Fukushima which were generating 34% of their electricity.

Yet, strangely India is embarked on a massive expansion of nuclear power, going to the extent of seeking to import plants like Jaitapur which are untested and will cost 2 lakh Crores (for a 10000 MW plant) which makes it more expensive than even solar or wind energy. It is being done for the benefit of foreign nuclear power plant manufacturing corporations at the behest of their governments? In the absence of any transparency in these deals will the people not be justified in suspecting that kickbacks are motivating these decisions?

In the case of Koodankulam, there are several additional problems which make the site unsuitable for setting up a nuclear plant. An independent expert committee has pointed out that there is considerable scientific evidence of volcanic activity in this area and it is also an earthquake prone zone which can have a Tsunami as well. There are several populous villages in the immediate vicinity as well as a colony recently established by the government for rehabilitating the Tsunami victims. Also, most ominously, the NPCIL has not complied with the AERB’s condition that the plant should have a secure source of fresh water and storage for 60 days requirement of fresh water for cooling the fuel rods.

The project was given environmental approval many years ago without any public hearing and without considering these serious issues. All this becomes even more serious in the absence of setting up of an independent regulatory body for nuclear energy. The AERB continues to function as a department of the Atomic Energy Commission. Even the 3 prior safety audits of existing plants conducted by the AERB in ’79, ’86 and ’95 which pointed out serious problems of safety with the existing plants have not been put out in the public domain despite the Prime Minister’s promises.

The Koodankulam protestors are therefore fully justified in agitating against the plant. It is imperative that the government respects their sentiments and fears and immediately suspends work at the plant. It must constitute a credible independent expert committee to examine all the safety issues which have been raised, in a transparent manner with public hearings and not resume work on the plant till all safety issues have been credibly addressed. All the arrested agitators must be released and the cases against them withdrawn. All plans of setting up new nuclear plants must be suspended till an independent safety regulator is set up and safety audits of all existing plants and proposed plants is conducted in a transparent manner.

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Blossom Kite Festival 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, DC


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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The Blossom Kite Festival, previously named the “Smithsonian Kite Festival”, is a traditional annual event, that takes place on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Blossom Kite Festival 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, DC. (Photo: V.A. Subas Raj)

This year’s event has an international focus and the theme is “100 years of friendship,” encompassing 100 years of  blossoms, Japan-US friendship and springtime in Washington, DC.

My wife Assuntha and I were lucky to be at the The Blossom Kite Festival on National Mall in Washington, DC on March 31, 2012. There we watched colourful kites flown by little ones to old ones and enjoyed the joy, laughter and smiles all around us

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2012 Centennial of Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj
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The year 2012 is a once in a lifetime centennial celebration year to commemorate the gift of 3,020 cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.

A century ago, a world-famous chemist and first president of Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ltd, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, played a pivotal role in arranging the gift of trees from the City of Tokyo to Washington, DC.

On March 27, 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City donated the trees to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and to celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.

First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. Workmen planted the rest of the trees around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. Even after a century the trees have spread their roots and survived the elements, and have withstood the test of time.

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This year the centennial celebration of the gift of trees will be celebrated from  March 20 – April 27, 2012, in Washington, DC.

On March 23, 2012, my wife and I were in Washington, DC. We felt blessed to be in US during this centennial of the gift of trees. I took countless photographs that day.

Here I have embedded a video that I created using my photos. It was an unforgettable evening that we spent surrounded by cherry blossom. The music playing in the background is one that I enjoy listening without tiring – Carlos Santana’s ever green “Flor D’Luna (Moonflower)“.

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