Amid pandemic Bosnians mark 25 years since Srebrenic genocide that shocked the world

News Network
July 12, 2020

Bosnia, Jul 12: Bosnians commemorated on Saturday the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, marking the 25th anniversary of killings that shocked the world and have stood out as Europe's only atrocity since World War Two constituting genocide.

Nine newly identified victims were buried at a flower-shaped cemetery near the town, where tall white tombstones mark the graves of 6,643 other victims.

"After 25 years we succeeded in finding his mortal remains, so they can be laid to their final rest," said Fikret Pezic, who buried his father Hasan.

The remains of some 1,000 victims of the massacre in the eastern town during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war are still missing.

Ifeta Hasanovic decided to bury incomplete remains of her husband, saying: "We were aware they cannot be complete after 25 years, at least there are some, I did not want to make any new delays."

World leaders addressed the ceremony by video link, unable to attend because of coronavirus epidemic. Instead of the tens of thousands visitors who typically attend the commemoration each year, only a few thousand came after organisers banned organised visits.

During the Bosnian war, Bosnian Serb forces pushed non-Serbs out of territories they sought for their Serb statelet. Fleeing Muslims took shelter in several eastern towns, including Srebrenica, that were designated as United Nations "safe zones".

On July 11, 1995, the Serb forces commanded by General Ratko Mladic overran Srebrenica, which was protected by lightly armed Dutch peacekeepers.

They sent women and children away and captured and executed the men and boys they found. The bodies were dumped into mass graves and later exhumed by U.N. investigators and used as evidence in war crimes trials of Bosnian Serb leaders.

"We grieve with the families that tirelessly seek justice for the 8,000 innocent lives lost, all these years later," said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Washington brokered Bosnia's peace deal months after the massacre.

Most people at the commemoration were Muslim Bosniaks, reflecting conflicting narratives about the bloodshed - which hinders reconciliation nearly 25 years after the end of war in which about 100,000 people were killed.

The U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted Mladic and his political chief Radovan Karadzic over Srebrenica genocide but they remained heroes for Serbs, many of whom deny that genocide happened.

On Saturday, the Serbs in the nearby town of Bratunac organised an event marking July 11 as the "Srebrenica Liberation Day".

Sefik Dzaferovic, the Bosniak chairman of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, called for legislation that would ban denial of genocide.

"There can be no trust as long as we witness attacks on the truth, denial of genocide and glorification and celebration of executors," Dzaferovic told the commemoration gathering.

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News Network
November 23,2020

Mangaluru, Nov 23: A woman bound for Dubai from Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district of Karnataka was denied boarding due to a mistake in the spelling of Shivamogga in the Covid-19 negative certificate.

Chand Begum was refused a boarding pass by SpiceJet staff due to the spelling mistake in the Covid-19 negative certificate. In the report, the place where she underwent Covid test was referred to as ‘Shivamogga Institute of Medical Sciences’. However, the seal by the district surveillance officer had the old spelling ‘Shimoga’.

Begum was scheduled to take the flight at 1.45 am on Saturday. Officials from Shivamogga district tried to explain the matter to the airline staff. They said the Institute in question was a government hospital approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). However, all efforts went in vain. The woman had undergone Covid test on November 18 and she received the report on November 19.

Zakir Hussain, brother of Chand Begum, said, “we tried our level best to convince the airlines staff to allow her to board the flight. When they did not heed our request, we had to return. Begum again underwent a Covid-19 test on November 21 in. Mangaluru.”

SpiceJet representatives said that the airline was just following the guidelines issued by the Indian government and the authorities in the UAE.

The rules stipulate that there should not be any error in the Covid negative certificate. “We have intimated the problem to officials in UAE and Chand Begum will be accommodated in the next flight,” the airlines said.

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News Network
November 27,2020

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Mangaluru, Nov 27: Former MLC and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) spokesperson Ivan D'Souza said that free Covid-19 vaccines should be provided in Karnataka. Notably, during the Bihar Assembly elections, BJP had announced distribution of free coronavirus vaccines in the state.

He said that vaccines should be administered to all without any discrimination after administering it to coronavirus warriors first, before adding that the BJP-led state government should provide Rs 5 lakh compensation from the Chief Minister’s relief fund to BPL families who succumbed to Covid-19 infection.

"Dakshina Kannada has reported 705 Covid-19 fatalities, of which a majority of them hail from BPL. Already, the government has raised funds in the name of relief. It is not difficult for the government to pay compensation," he said.

He accused that the government of not making any preparations to tackle second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. "The government should conduct free Covid-19 tests in all the nine labs in the district," he said.

Dakshina Kannada district Congress Covid-19 Helpline (Arogya Hasta) and entrepreneur Vivekraj Poojary donated 10 pushcarts to the needy. The beneficiaries are Mohammed Aman, Varija K, Padmavathi Kamathara, Kiran Valencia, Yakub Adyar, Bhavanishankar Yeyadi, K Chandrika Kodikal, Mohammed Farooq, Renuka Panjimogaru and Nazima Arkula.

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News Network
November 20,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 20: In a surprise submission, the Karnataka government on Thursday told the High Court that it has no intention to prosecute Bangalore South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and other political leaders for not wearing a mask while in public space.

In an affidavit, the government said it does not intend to pursue further action against violators of the mask and physical distancing rule under the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act as it is the uniform policy to not inflict 'harsh punishment'. A fine of Rs 250 for urban areas and Rs 100 for rural areas is deemed as sufficient punishment.

But the bench headed by Chief Justice AS Oka was not impressed. The bench observed that once a person furnishes the fine amount, they admit to committing the violation, and the state government’s failure to prosecute them has serious consequences. The state government has been urged to put its statement on record on the next date of hearing.

The government’s refusal against prosecuting violators was intended only to protect politicians, the bench said. Even opposition leaders like Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar were also found guilty of the same violations.

The bench is hearing a petition filed by advocate Ramesh Puthige raising allegations that directives for Covid-19 management laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were not followed or implemented in Karnataka.

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