India High Commission on Saturday marks the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev ji Gurupurab, the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism.
The High Commissioner of India, Shri Thakur said that the celebration, which was held every Nov.8 was a most sacred festival for Indians all over the world.
” I extend a very warm welcome to all our guests, on this very special occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji Gurupurab, and the first celebration in the premises of the High Commission of India.
“Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism, was born in 1469 on the Puranmashi, or full moon day, of the Indian lunar month of Kartik, in Nankana Sahib, which now falls in Pakistan.
“It is the most sacred festival for Sikhs, seeing the significance and relevance of Guru Nanak’s teachings in the contemporary world, Government of India has attached high importance and has decided to organise the festival in a befitting manner both in India and abroad.
“I am glad that despite small numbers of Sikhs in Nigeria, and Abuja in particular, the interest and enthusiasm not only among our Sikh brothers and sisters, but also among all other members of Indian community, from other faiths and religions, is high.
“This shows the true nature and image of our rich and diverse culture, based on peaceful co-existence, harmony and tolerance,” he said.
According to him, the Akhand Path, a forty-eight-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, and the Langar, a special community service meal by volunteers, are highly symbolic.
Thakur said that Sikh temples are famous for the social service they provide to needy communities in India and beyond.
“On this occasion, I must acknowledge the immense contribution made by our Sikh brothers and sisters in the development, prosperity and security of India.
“Though, Sikhs are barely 1.7per cent of India’s population, their contribution to India as farmers, soldiers, industrialists and sportsmen has been immense and on a lighter note, one can say that north Indian Punjabi food, the Chicken Tikka Masala, is synonymous with Indian food the world over.
” We have taken a proactive approach towards opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, which will be opened today to mark the 550th birth celebrations of Guru Nanak.
“This will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the shrine in Pakistan where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life, the corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur.
“So on this holy occasion today, let us all reaffirm our determination to do everything we can, individually and collectively, to follow ourselves and spread the message of peace, harmony and tolerance.
“These are values that also bind India, the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria, the largest democracy in Africa.”
Thakur said that both India and Nigeria are multi-ethnic diverse countries, which are faced with similar internal conflicts and challenges,
The envoy noted that the citizen should seek the blessings of Guru Nanak Dev ji to move forward on the path of development and progress.
Edited by Felix Ajide
Spain confirm return of Luis Enrique as coach to Qatar World Cup
The president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, on Tuesday said that Luis Enrique would return to his job as Spain coach including the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
In a news conference Rubiales said “Luis Enrique wants to, and I am grateful that he does, take charge of Spain until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“We sat here in June to say that (Robert) Moreno was taking over (from Luis Enrique) but we have always been very transparent that the door was open for Luis Enrique if he wanted to come back.’’
Moreno was an assistant coach with Spain but he took charge in June when Luis Enrique resigned to care for his nine-year-old daughter before she died of bone cancer in August.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Donald Ugwu
Church of England consecrates first black female bishop
The Church of England consecrated its first black female bishop on Tuesday in a ceremony at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
Jamaican born Rose Hudson Wilkin, 58, the new Bishop of Dover, recently left her post as chaplain to the speaker of the British Parliament’s elected main house, the Commons, after nine years.
“Rose has not just done the job, she has excelled beyond anything that we could reasonably have imagined or contemplated, former Commons speaker John Bercow said of Hudson Wilkin, on his final day as speaker on Oct 31.
“It is that authenticity about her that impresses everybody who hears or meets her,’’ Bercow said.
A formal ceremony to install Hudson-Wilkin as the Bishop of Dover, in the diocese of Canterbury, is scheduled to be held at Canterbury Cathedral on Nov 30.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Church of England’s most senior cleric, said she had been one of the most influential and effective ministers in the public square in her parliamentary role.
“She has challenged the Church of England over its engagement with UK minority ethnic groups, and has spoken forcefully and effectively at many evangelistic meetings,’’ Welby said.
Hudson-Wilkin and her husband, a prison chaplain, have three adult children, according to an official biography.
Educated in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she attended Birmingham University in England and trained with the Church Army.
She served as a priest in East London’s Hackney area for 16 years and was made a royal chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II in 2007.
Edited by Halima Sheji/Ifeyinwa Omowole
German animal rights activists bring case for castrated piglets
German activists affiliated with PETA, the international animal rights organisation, on Tuesday initiated legal action before the Constitutional Court on behalf of piglets objecting to castration without anaesthetic.
“The piglets themselves do not want to be castrated without anaesthetic any longer,’’ PETA lawyer, Christian Arleth said.
German law allows every man to raise a constitutional objection, the court understanding the term to include natural and legal persons, such as listed companies, for example.
PETA is aiming for animals to be granted this right as well, noting that protecting animals is safeguarded in the constitution.
A court spokesman confirmed the objection had been submitted but made no comment on whether it would succeed.
If there is no justification for a case, the judges do not consider it.
Millions of piglets are castrated without anaesthetic in Germany every year, a few days after birth with the intention of preventing the meat of the boars from developing a strong smell and taste.
A decision has been taken to end the practice but only at the end of 2020.
Farmers are to undergo training to use the gas isoflurane to anaesthetise the piglets, PETA is opposed to this as well.
Edited by Halima Sheji/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Over 100 protesters barricaded inside Hong Kong University
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said over 100 protesters are still barricaded inside Hong Kong university.
She made the statement during a press conference in Hong Kong saying that the barricade has been ongoing for the third day in a row amid ongoing unrest.
Lam said around 600 others who were inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom area have surrendered to police.
She said the Hong Kong government was trying to find a peaceful solution to the stand-off between protesters and police.
Lam added that among those who had given themselves up to the authorities were 200 minors.
She said they were allowed to go home after undergoing identity checks, but added that their identification numbers had been noted and that future prosecution remained a possibility.
Lam however said “I asked for a very humanitarian treatment of these minors.’’
RTHK broadcaster reported that parents called on the authorities to drop the accusation of sedition against the approximately 100 remaining students.
According to RTHK the parents who had gathered near the college lamented that it is not fair to simply classify everyone as a rebel.
“Many of the demonstrators were not involved in violent activities but they now did not dare to leave the campus.’’
Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the students barricaded in the university.
A conviction for rioting can lead to a prison sentence of up to 10 years in Hong Kong.
Lam said the security forces wanted a humane solution and called on those still inside the university to surrender peacefully, but she also made it clear that they would then be arrested by the police.
The violent clashes between police and protesters lasted well into the night.
According to information from the Hong Kong daily the South China Morning Post, around 1,000 people were arrested on the campus in the city’s Hung Hom district and in surrounding streets on Monday alone.
More than 8,000 incendiary devices have been found on the campus of the Chinese University (CUHK) after radical forces withdrew from the college after four days of confrontation with the police.
Lam clearly stated that the police would prosecute the “rebels” who were moving from one university to another, building incendiary devices and other life-threatening weapons.
Many schools and childcare centres remained closed on Tuesday due to the violence.
Primary and middle schools were expected to reopen on Wednesday.
Demonstrations in Hong Kong began in June against a now-defunct bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
The movement has since evolved into calls for greater democratic reforms and investigations into police violence.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997 as a semi-autonomous territory. It has special privileges under the “one country, two systems agreement.”
Beijing has reacted angrily to a ruling by a Hong Kong court that a controversial ban on face masks worn during protests was unconstitutional.
Only the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress can decide whether a decree complies with Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the Justice Committee of the congress said.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Russia: 2 killed as city street collapses into hot water system
Moscow’s top investigative agency on Tuesday said two men in a car on a city street in central Russia were killed when the asphalt collapsed beneath them into a hot water system.
The Investigative Committee said the vehicle, parked outside a store in the city of Penza, about 600 kilometres South-East of Moscow, plunged into the instantly formed sinkhole filled with hot water.
Media reports said the water was at boiling point.
Investigators released a photo of the car retrieved upside-down from the hole, covered in a billow of steam.
Authorities have opened a criminal case.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Donald Ugwu
Bolivia: Ministry pledges to let 24 members of Morales’ party leave for Mexico
Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric has said that her ministry will help 24 politicians from the party of former President Evo Morales to safely leave for Mexico, where they were granted asylum.
“The Mexican ambassador to Bolivia has sent us a note so that the diplomats who were granted asylum could leave the country for Mexico.
“We will deal with it in the coming days,” Longaric said on Monday, as quoted by Bolivia’s Deber newspaper.
According to Longaric, 26 persons were initially set to receive asylum, but “apparently some of them rejected” the diplomatic protection.
She also declined to name the people in question, noting that they were “high-ranking figures” of Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) party.
Last week, the media reported that the new Bolivian authorities had announced the creation of a special unit within the prosecutor’s office that would be responsible for detaining lawmakers and other people linked to the MAS party.
Morales stepped down on November 10 and fled to Mexico after his re-election to a fourth term prompted protests.
He asked for political asylum, claiming there were plots to kill him.
In the wake of a spree of high-ranking resignations, Jeanine Anez, the opposition speaker of the Bolivian parliament’s upper chamber, declared herself the country’s interim president.
The Constitutional Court recognised her claim as legitimate. (Sputnik/NAN)
(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)
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