Friday, April 28, 2006

China Isn't the only place that filters its networks

It's funny how there is this brouhaha over Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc. kowtowing (literally) to the Chinese government to make sure their people think only "happy thoughts" when Middle-Eastern countries strive to make sure its residents think only of "Allah."


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: abc@xyz.com
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 07:28 -0700
Subject: FYI...
To: "Krishna Kirti Prabhu @ Abq"

The Dubai government runs a "proxy server" that blocks Hindu,
Christian, pornographic sites, etc.

How to keep Dubai people informed? Only via e-mail? They
can't do much on the publicity front, in any event! :)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Letter PAMHO:11492617 (20 lines)
From: Internet: "A B Cdefghi"
Subject: Re: Update on www.siddhanta.com - please see
------------------------------------------------------------
this page is blocked, we can not open it in Dubai ...
Best Regards,
A B Cdefghi


I'll bet it's been going on for a while. I don't recall any protests over this.

Pictures of Kazakhstan Police Raiding Hare Krishna Commune

For background, see these posts. Here are pictures:


Guarded by police, a bulldozer prepares to tear down dachas.



An elderly man resists.



And is in turn being arrested.

After the bulldozing, families out on the street.
More pictures here, and there is a movie here.

Update on Kazahkstani Oppression

[From Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami]

Dear Friends,

We have already informed you of the difficult situation with the farm community of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan. The government is endeavouring to evict the devotees from the land lawfully purchased in 1999, as well as their houses and ashramas which accomodate more than 60 devotees.

This persecution started in October 2004 but now the situation reached its critical point.

Yesterday, April 24, 2006 at 10 p.m. the legal executive (court officer) delivered a notification to the members of the community that today, on April 25, at 11 a.m. their ashramas and cottages will be demolished according to the decision of the court.

We ask you to help us in this difficult situation to stop the > execution of the unlawful decision of the court regarding the demolition > of the ashramas and eviction of the devotees from their homes.

All the devotees are law obiding citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and now the government wants to make them homeless outcasts.

You can help us by making telephone calls to the Administration of the > President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to the Presidential Committee on Religious Affairs and the local administrative bodies, and requesting them
to stop the execution of the unlawful decision.

Telephones:

Presidential Office:
+7 (3172) 152634, 152920, 152107
+7 (3172) 324558
Presidential PR department:
+7 (3172) 744051

Administration of the President:
+7 (3172) 151203,
fax +7 (3172) 324480

Prosecutor's office of RK
+7 (3172) 712868, 214025, 712500

Senate
+7 (3172) 153195, 153239, 327710

Senate PR department:
+7 (3172) 153295, 153505
fax +7 (3172) 334639

Committee on Religious Affairs
Mr. Yeraly Lukpanovich Tugzhanov
+7 (3172) 152497, 152217, 152690
fax +7 (3172) 328356

Prime Minister
Mr. Danial Akhmetov
+7 (3172) 152035, 152027

Almaty Regional Land Department
Mr. Nauryzbai Asanbayevich Taubayev
+7 (3272) 270125

Almaty Regional Hakim
Mr. Serik Abikenovich Umbetov
+7 (3282) 271753

Karasai District Hakim
Bolat-bi Satynbayevich Kutpanov
+7 (32771) 21142, 21709

Karasai District Court:
+7 (32771) 20899

Court executive
Ms. R. Baimukhanbetova
+7 (32771) 22030
You can present the following arguments:

  1. Law obiding citizens are deprived of their homes and thrown to the street. All of them have lawfully acquired the right of ownership for their plots of land they have paid all the taxes and membership charges.

  2. The Hakim (Governor) of the district accuses the owners that they never had their property privatized. However the members of the community repeatedly applied to the Hakim for his permission to make the acts of ownership for their cottages and plots but he repeatedly refused. Without his sanction for privatization one cannot make needed documentation for the cottages.

  3. The devotees' houses are located on the territory of a Consumers Cooperative. There are 120 members of this Cooperative. However the claims are brought only against the members of the religious society. In each and every claim the connection of the defendants to the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness has been illustrated. This is a direct and flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

  4. Confiscation of property without compensation is possible only in a criminal case. Ours is a civil case. It is not a criminal case.

  5. According to the law, the citizens whose property is confiscated are given at least 5 days to prepare for the execution of the court decision. In our case we have another transgression of the law as we were given less than one day.
Please act quickly and contact as many friends, supporters, and well-wishers as possible who may not be able to received this message in time.

If you have contacts with the powerful political leaders, businessmen, big media agencies (CNN, BBC, Reuter), please deliver to them this information and give them our telephones:

Maxim Varfolomeev +7 300 7407943,
Rati Manjari devi dasi (Ekaterina Levitskaya) +7 300 7164967.
Your servants from

Sri Vrindavan Dham,
Kazakhstan

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Demolition in Kazakhstan Already Begun

It looks like time is running out:

On 25 April, in the wake of a regional court ruling last year, court executors - backed by OMON special police - bulldozed five Hare Krishna-owned dachas at their commune on the outskirts of Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty. Rati Mandzhari (Yekaterina Levitskaya) of the Hare Krishna community complained to Forum 18 News Service that officials gave less than the required five days notice of the demolition. But an official defended the demolitions, claiming that it was all "perfectly legal". The Hare Krishna community believes the authorities have been trying to destroy the commune since the community bought a farm in 1999 and then bought nearby dachas. Last month a court ordered the farm to be confiscated with no compensation and a district court has ruled that five more Hare Krishna-owned dachas are to be confiscated. Only Hare Krishna-owned dachas have been targeted for confiscation and destruction.

(Quoted from Forum 18 at the Sampradaya Sun.)
If we don't act now, then the worst will happen.

All Kazakhstan Updates Here

For all news regarding the attempts by the Kazakhstan government to confiscate the Hare Krishna's land there, Palace of the Soul has pictures and updates.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Protest Kazakhstan's Tyrany

All freedom loving people along with other Hindu groups in the Washington D.C. area should stage a protest in front of the Kazakhstan Embassy--ASAP. If the situation with Kazakhstan confiscating ISKCON's land is as dire as Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami paints it, then there is no time to lose.

Here is the address of the embassy in D.C.:

1401 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone numbers:

Tel: 202 232 5488
Fax: 202 232 5845
And their email address:

Embassy: kazakh.embusa@verizon.net
Consular Section: kazakh.consul@verizon.net
And here is their website:

http://www.homestead.com/prosites-kazakhembus/
I ask every reader of this message to please do this one and only one thing:

Contact the leader of every concerned group you belong to and insist that they organize a protest--locally wherever possible but especially in the captial of every country that will allow it, most especially in Washington D.C.
If you live in a national capital, consider it your dharma to either organize a protest or get someone to organize a protest wherever there is an embassy of Kazakhstan.

And that is it. Please do at least that much. Hare Krishna.

p.s. Write to me at krishnakirti(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to participate in or can organize a protest.

Friday, April 21, 2006

No Religious Freedom in Islamic Countries

Nowadays there is virtually no religious freedom in Islamic countries. Even if such a thing were possible (and there was religious tolerance under Akhbar in India and the Ottoman Empire of Turkey), when it does manifest it doesn't seem to last all that long, does it? It's, like, "water finds its own level." A recent issue that is close to my heart involves the Hare Krishna's farm in Khazakstan being confiscated by the government there. Here's the latest:
Apr 21, USA (SUN) — In 1999 the devotees in Kazkhstan purchased a beautiful farm outside of the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Since that time substantial strides have been made in creating an agricultural community, a home for many vaisnavas, and the venue for a wonderful summer yearly festival attended by devotees from Central Asia and Russia.

Since October 2004 there have been many attempts from the government of Kazakhstan to push us from this property. This has been done by smear campaigns in the media and ongoing litigation in the courts.

On March 29, 2006 a case was conducted in the Almaty Oblast Court. Prior to issuing the ruling the judge declared that the legal arguments of the government land agency had no substance and that the arguments presented by the advocates representing our society were correct and in accordance to the Kazakhstan legal code.

But after private discussion in their chambers the judges emerged and issued a ruling against our society in which it is stated that the land be confiscated and returned to the government. This ruling was illegal and not based on legislation of the government of Kazakhstan.

We purchased the land at the market value in 1999. In 2004 we privatised the land according to the laws of Kazakhstan in. Since this time the value of this land has increased dramatically. The situation we have is that the powerful government land barons want to eliminate us by any illegal process that they may possess the land, again sell, and make astronomical profit.

We have neither time nor options left. Our last option is the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, but need-less-to-say, the legal system does not work in this country. It is either a matter of paying for the decision or having a powerful person order the decision.

Thus we are requesting devotees throughout the world to assist us in different ways:

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Some Culture With That Technology Transfer?

Now it is Indian culture that is starting to flow into America. With Americans now applying for tech jobs in Bangalore, sharp, young American college grads are first-handing getting acclimatized to Indian culture.

American software engineer Anna Libkhen, 31, took a big pay cut — she now earns about one-fourth her salary in New York City — when she transferred to Bangalore for Thomas Financial in October 2004. But the chance to immerse herself in Indian culture is priceless.

“India as a country has a lot to offer: yoga, ayurveda (herbal medicine), meditation, food, dance, music,” Libkhen said. “These are all the cultural aspects of life I was looking for.”

. . .

N.R. Narayana Murthy, Infosys’ chairman and co-founder, said the company started its internship program six years ago to show foreign students there’s more to India than “cows, poverty and pollution.”

“They get exposed to another side of India,” Murthy said in an interview on the Infosys campus in Bangalore. “These people will become leaders in all walks of life. If we can create a positive impression on their minds at an early stage, it’s good for India and for Infosys.”

Associated Press. "Americans Seeking Jobs in Booming
Bangalore." 2 Apr. 2006 MSNBC 2 Apr. 2006 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12098123/page/2/>


Young Americans who are expected to become leaders are getting trained up in India.

I'm all for it!