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Belarusian authorities impose alarming Internet controls

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Belarus “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says BelarusEurope – Central Asia Update 15/05/2015 to go further Help by sharing this information BelarusEurope – Central Asia High-tech equipment sought to suppress online freedomsBeltelecom, the national telecommunications agency, has revealed on its website that it wants to acquire high-tech equipment that it will allow it to suppress freedom of information on the InternetYesterday, Beltelecom posted an invitation to bid for the supply of the equipment that will enable it to implement legislation restricting online freedoms that was secretly adopted last December and took effect on 1 January.The Beltelecom website makes no bones about the fact that the agency wants to acquire the technical means to “collect and store Internet user data and to be able to block websites.”In a separate move, the Information ministry last month ordered all media content distributors to register in order to continue operating. Registration will be obligatory from 1 July onwards.The Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), a Reporters Without Borders partner organization, has condemned the order, saying it will in effect allow the ministry to ban newspaper distributors and retailers from working if they dare to distribute opposition newspapers.Belarus is ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. in the Belarusian ruble. At the same time, the government adopted a series of measures to address the devaluation, including a “temporary” 30 percent tax on foreign currency purchases and a ban on price hikes.“This mass website blocking without any government explanation or court order is both illegal and unjustified,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“Censoring public debate will not improve the economic situation or dispel any possibility of panic. Quite the contrary. We call on the authorities to take responsibility for their actions. The public’s need of the blocked websites is greater than ever during a crisis. Access must be restored at once.”Access to the independent sites Charter97.org, Belaruspartisan.org and Gazetaby.com was blocked on 19 December by Beltelekom, the state-owned telecom company that controls broadband Internet. Beltelekom nonetheless denied any responsibility and blamed the blocking on a DDoS attack.UDF.by, Zautra.by, 21.by and the BelaPAN news agency’s three websites – belapan.by, belapan.com and naviny.by – were blocked the next day because of articles criticizing the government’s economic policies.Their privately-owned hosting company, Hoster.by, changed their IP addresses on 21 December to circumvent the blocking but the new addresses were also blocked by mid-afternoon. BelaPan editor Ales Lipay condemned the blocking as an act of censorship and sent several letters to the authorities, who have not as yet replied. The sites could only have been blocked on the government’s orders, he said. Although BelaPan’s three official IP addresses are still blocked, Belapan.com and Naviny.by managed to circumvent the blocking again on 22 December.Thirteen online retail sites have also been blocked since 20 December for posting their prices in another currency as well as the Belarusian ruble.Cyber-censorship legislationIt was against this backdrop that a number of media law amendments allowing increased government control over information, including information circulating online, were signed into law by President Lukashenko on 20 December. They will take effect at the start of January.Discreetly passed by the lower chamber on first and second reading on 17 December and then approved by the upper house the following day, they dashed the hopes of journalists who had been calling for legal status for freelancers and simpler procedures for registering media and getting accreditation.“These amendments provide the authorities with the tools they need to systematically block any news sites and blogs that give them problems,” Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said.“This is a declaration of war on the Internet and the freedom it gives to 5 million Belarusian Internet users, a declaration of war that was made without Belarusian society being given any chance to debate it.”Published only after adoption by parliament on 19 December, the text of the amendments does not explain how they would be implemented. Andrey Bastunets, the deputy president of the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), a Reporters Without Borders partner, said the amendments were rushed through in order to avoid a public debate.Under the amended media, law, news websites, blogs and other sites providing information will henceforth be treated in the same way as traditional media, without having to register as such, and will be subject to oversight by the information ministry. The information ministry will therefore be empowered to send official warnings to all websites accessible in Belarus if they publish informational content that is deemed to be illegal. Sites receiving warnings will have to withdraw the offending content and post any requested correction within 24 hours.The ministry will be able to restrict access to sites that get two or more warnings in the space of a year. The list of banned categories of content has also been extended. As well as information supporting “war and extremism” and content of a “pornographic, violent or cruel” nature, it now also includes content that could “harm the interests of the Belarusian nation.”The amendments also provide for the creation of two registers for “distributors” of print and audio-visual information, including the owners of websites that publish or relay information, who will have to apply to the information minister for inclusion on the registers.“Distributors” will not be able to exist legally if they are not registered. At the same time, those that manage to register will be removed from the list and will lose their information “distributor” rights if they get two warnings within the space of a year. Those who distribute audio-visual content, including online audio-visual content, will also be required to notify the ministry of any programming changes two days in advance.With the stated aim of protecting Belarus and its citizens from “destructive foreign influences” and content which, according to the information ministry, could be “contrary to their interests,” the amended law also reduces the maximum permissible foreign shareholding in any media from 30 to 20 percent.Shortly before Charter97’s website was blocked on 19 December, its editor, Natalia Radzina, told Reporters Without Borders: “The media-Internet law is directly aimed at Charter97, Belarus’s most popular independent website.”On 4 December, interior minister Ygor Chunevich cited the need to combat drug trafficking as grounds for wanting to fully block all websites with restricted access. This would include Charter97, which has been inaccessible in all public places since 2011.Belarus is ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.(Photo : belaruspartizan.org) News Receive email alerts Organisation News Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown RSF_en News RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” May 28, 2021 Find out more News May 19, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Belarusian authorities impose alarming Internet controls May 27, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Girls Athlete of the Week: Helen Schaefer of Flintridge Preparatory School

first_img Business News Name: Helen SchaeferSchool: Flintridge Preparatory SchoolGrade: JuniorSport: SoccerPosition: ForwardAccomplishment(s): The Rebels’ junior lead Prep to a 4-0 road victory over San Marcos of Santa Barbara on Thursday. Schaefer was in on all four scores. She found the back of the net 3 times and then assisted on Julia Gonzalez’ score. The day before, she scored 3 goals and assisted on 3 more in the 10-0 blowout over San Gabriel Mission. Prep is 9-4-2 and open Prep League play on Tuesday at Chadwick. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy top box 9 Girls Athlete of the Week: Helen Schaefer of Flintridge Preparatory School Published on Saturday, January 6, 2018 | 9:01 pm First Heatwave Expected Next Week faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes More Cool Stuff Top of the News Make a comment Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.center_img Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News 3 recommendedShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Herbeauty10 Most Influential Women In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHere Is What Scientists Say Will Happen When You Eat AvocadosHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Questions To Start Conversation Way Better Than ‘How U Doing?’HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyRub This All Over Your Body And He’s Guaranteed To Swoon Over YouHerbeautyHerbeauty Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

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Arkansas co-op announces plan to cut rates because of savings from solar power projects

first_imgArkansas co-op announces plan to cut rates because of savings from solar power projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Arkansas Business:The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association examined utility trends, heard from industry leaders and bestowed awards for energy efficiency and renewable innovations Tuesday in Little Rock. But the annual conference’s “mic-drop moment” came when an award winner announced that he’ll be seeking the state’s first utility-wide electricity rate decrease tied to savings from solar power.Mark Cayce, CEO of Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp. of Camden, drew a standing ovation from the energy efficiency and solar crowd at Heifer International headquarters when he made the rate announcement after receiving the association’s initial Advanced Energy Pioneer Award.“I made some pretty bold statements in support of solar power when the Legislature was considering solar policy, predicting that solar could actually bring rates down,” Cayce told the gathered renewable energy entrepreneurs, contractors and utility representatives. “Today I can announce that after our most recent rate study, on Oct. 17 we’re going to be seeking a 4 and 1/2-percent rate decrease at Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp.”OECC, which serves about 7,000 members in south Arkansas and north Louisiana, was an early solar adopter as a partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. in a 12-megawatt array to power defense plant operations in East Camden in 2016. At the time, the array was the state’s largest solar project. OECC later built its own community solar station outside its Camden headquarters, and partnered with Today’s Power Inc. on an array for Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden.Cayce has said that solar power saves the cooperative’s members by significantly reducing the amount of power the utility has to buy at premium prices during peak summer usage.“That was the mic-drop moment,” said Josh Davenport, CEO of Seal Solar Solutions of North Little Rock, describing Cayce’s rate-cut announcement. “We hear about cost-shifting from solar, but this is savings-shifting,” he said, referring to the common utility argument that solar adoption shifts infrastructure costs to utility customers who don’t have solar power. “This is the opposite,” Davenport said.More: At advanced energy event, solar power fuels a surprise rate-cut planlast_img read more

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West Genesee’s Bove ties for 10th at state golf championships

first_imgIn cold, windswept conditions more similar to autumn than summer,, Bove shot another 76, with three birdies on holes 5, 7 and 13 somewhat negated by six bogeys and a double bogey on 15.Still, the total of 152 would put Bove in a tie for 10th place, best among Section III golfers, three strokes ahead of Gruninger’s 155.Somers’ Nathan Han won the individual state title going away, his rounds of 71 and 70 putting him at 141, one under par, seven strokes clear of Evan Sitts (Oneonta), Alex Kyriacou (Suffern) and Shane Devincenzo (Port Jefferson), so Bove was only four strokes out of the runner-up spot.Colella was only one shot worse in his final round, with a 79, and he moved up a bit, to a tie for 22nd. Jones improved five strokes to a 79 and moved up to a tie for 38th with MPH’s Grant Lewis as Maglisco struggled to an 87.Combined, Section III was able to claim second place alone in the team standings, at 1,104, with Section I (1,058) pulling away for top honors.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story That left Bove tied for 11th place with Fayetteville-Manlius’ Adam Butch, five shots off the lead shared by Nathan Hahn (Section I, Somers) and Nolan Crowley (Section II, Saratoga Springs)  and two behind Manlius-Pebble Hill’s Johnny Gruninger, who had a 74.Meanwhile, Marcellus golfer Shawn Colella put together a 78, including a birdie on hole 14, that left him tied for 25th place, with Westhill getting an 83 from Anthony Maglisco and Skaneateles seeing Tynan Jones shoot an 84.All of them helped Section III to second place in the team standings at 550, just 16 strokes back of Section I as the final round got underway Monday morning. This time around, it wasn’t enough just to compete in the boys golf New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships for a talented quartet of area stars.Working together, they aimed to push Section III to the top of the team standings while still in pursuit of individual goals on Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones course in Ithaca.West Genesee’s Nick Bove moved to the fringes of individual state title contention in Sunday’s opening round. With a birdie on the 10th hole, Bove put together a five-over-par 76,center_img Tags: Boys golfMarcellusskaneatelesWest GeneseeWesthilllast_img read more

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Cranes arrive, eye Tunisia friendly after delayed flight

first_imgUganda Cranes is scheduled to play friendly matches against Tunisia on January 4, followed by games against Slovakia and Ivory Coast before flying to Gabon for the Total AFCON Finals 2017.Uganda is in group D with Ghana, Egypt and Mali.****[email protected] on: WhatsApp Ramada Hotel where Uganda Cranes is accommodated in Tunisia.What was supposed to be a trip lasting a few hours to Tunisia from Entebbe, turned into a two day trip that had Cranes start the new year at Dubai Airport.Cranes finally arrived their destination, Tunis Sunday afternoon and so eager were they to get back to football that they could even afford some light training at Menza Stadium. The team flew out of Entebbe on Friday.According to www.fufa.co.ug, during the training session, the team players focused mostly on muscle fixation, ball work and creating scoring opportunities. “Positively, the players response was a top notch as all of them enjoyed the session which they completed with success,” www.fufa.co.ug reported.“I want to thank you all for the commitment and dedication you have exhibited in training for the last two weeks at home but remember that is work half done. Today our journey to Africa Cup of Nations final has started,” coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovich said.“Training hard and being fit are some of those aspects we need if we are to perform well in AFCON but mental strength as well as team work will be paramount in our cause and approach,” Micho said. Uganda Cranes started the new year in Dubai, where they were stuck after a delay caused by bad weather in the Middle East.They were supposed to have flown out to Tunisia on Saturday December 31, 2016, but delayed arrival in Dubai from Uganda on Friday December 30, 2016 meant they could only connect to their destinaiton on Sunday January 1, 2017.center_img The Cranes contingent left on Friday night aboard Ethiopian Airlines with the initial flight schedule that would take them via Dubai before connecting to Tunisia. Bad weather in Dubai saw the flight crew fly to Doha as a safety measure where the team spent the night.last_img read more

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Mallard’s Team of the Week — Nelson U17 Selects

first_imgThe Nelson U17 Selects look to be gearing up for the Kootenay Playdowns after posting a silver-medal result at the recent Slurpee Cup in Kamloops. The Selects, missing a few key players to injury, managed a silver medal against some top-calibre opposition. Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports would like to salute the squad with Team of the Week honours. The team includes, back row, L-R, Cam Kuch, Taylor Stewart, Alex Hawes, Morag Paterson, Paige Mansveld, Sam Einarson, Bekka Schrader, Tasha Hewat, Brittany Wheeler, coach Justine Thielker and coach Cam Paterson. Front, Katarina Garbula, Melinda Halstead, Chloe Kuch, Rosie Porter, Brynn Forsey and Andrea Stinson.last_img

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When Should You Use Hadoop?

first_imgTags:#cloud#cloud computing RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady tackles the question “What Factors Justify the Use of Apache Hadoop?” O’Grady cites two of the most common criticisms of Hadoop: 1) Most users don’t actually need to analyze big data 2) MapReduce is more complex than SQL. O’Grady confirms these criticisms, but finds Hadoop useful anyway.O’Grady acknowledges that volume isn’t the only factor in the complexity of a dataset. “Larger dataset sizes present unique computational challenges,” writes Grady. “But the structure, workload, accessibility and even location of the data may prove equally challenging.”RedMonk uses Hadoop to analyze both structured and unstructured datasets. There are a number of other tools the firm could use to analyze the data, so why Hadoop? O’Grady responds that datasets companies use aren’t big data yet, but they are growing rapidly.O’Grady says that RedMonk uses Big Sheets and Hive to work with Hadoop and avoid using Java to write queries.Cloudera recently published an announcement about how the company Tynt is using Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. Tynt is a web analytics company that processes over 20 billion viewer events per month – over 20,000 events per second. Prior to adopting Hadoop, Tynt was adding multiple MySQL databases per week to deal with the data.Another example of a company that’s using Hadoop is Twitter. We covered Twitter’s use of Hadoop here. Twitter needs to use clusters for its data. The amount of data it stores every day is too great to be reliably written to a traditional hard drive. Twitter’s also found that SQL isn’t efficient enough to do analytics at the scale the company needs.Like RedMonk, Twitter avoids writing Java queries. However, it uses Pig instead of Hive.Twitter is working with 12 terrabytes of new data per day, significantly more than RedMonk uses. None the less, both companies are making good use of the technology.How have you used Hadoop? Have you ever found that it was too big for a project that you tackled? If so, what did you end up using instead?See also: Getting Started with Hadoop and Map Reduce Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img klint finley Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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ConnectFX Nodes in Smoke: Blend & Comp and Blur

first_imgOur series on breaking down the effects nodes in Autodesk Smoke continues with Blend & Comp and Blur in ConnectFX.There are over 50 nodes in the Smoke ConnectFX arsenal. As we begin the B’s, our first 2 nodes are very useful in setting up some quick composites of a few sources, and in creating some very organic stylizing of your clips.Smoke’s Blend & Comp NodeSmoke’s Blend & Comp is a simple yet very versatile node.  You can use Blend & Comp to combine up to 2 sources with their mattes over a background. Now, that doesn’t  sound like much, but there is more to this node once you start to breakdown the controls.  By default Input 1 is composited over input 2, and the result of those 2 is composited over the Background input.  This is very useful when you have elements, like graphics, that are already in position and all you need to do is just key them over a back clip.  This node would be well suited if you have CG elements rendered out with alpha channels. Blend & Comp is a much lighter node than Action, and faster to use if all you need to do is comp.[Click for larger view]Blend and Comp has both the Photoshop blend modes and the classic Autodesk Flame blend modes. There are even GIMP blend modes, although I have never had the pleasure of using GIMP.  Several of these blend modes are similar or identical, like Add, Screen, and Multiply.   There are a also few blend modes that are exclusive to the selections.  Flame modes have Spotlight and Simple Add, where Photoshop has Hard, Soft, and Vivid Light.  Needless to say, you have lots of options to blend Input 1 over Input 2.  You can also Swap Sources with a toggle button so you don’t have to rewire the inputs in the ConnectFX schematic.[Click for larger view]You can Activate or Deactivate either of the inputs, as well as, turn the matte on or off.  There is also an option to set the clip as premultiplied or divided from it’s alpha(matte).  Transparency can also be modified.  One of the great features that Autodesk puts into many of their nodes is the ability to make color and level adjustments on the input source.  You have the ability to make simple color tweaks with a color trackball, and individual gain controls for the RGB channels.  These color adjustments only affect the Front of the input and not it’s matte input.  All of these controls are also available on the 2nd Input for the node.When it comes to the Matte or Alpha channels for the clips you have multiple choices in how those mattes interact with each other.  This can be used to create some very interesting matte intersections which can be used for many effects further down in your ConnectFX schematic like making custom transitions.[Click for larger view]You can blend the mattes as 1 over 2, 2 intersect 1, 1 inside 2, 2 inside 1, Excluded, 1 minus 2, and 2 minus 1[Click for larger view]You would set the mattes correlation setting to Correlated if you had separate mattes but we all part of the same object. This will keep the intersection clean.Now that you have these 2 inputs blended together, that result gets blended over the background.  You can choose to blend the composite over the background, input 2, or a color.  Again, you have the blend mode option of Photoshop or Flame, and all of the same blend modes as before.This flexibility, can create some very interesting looks and effects to the final result. If you are familiar with how blend modes work with layer in Photoshop or After Effects all of those same looks can be achieved inside Blend & Comp.  You then have additional color and level controls that affect the final composite, not just the background clip. The result of the 2 inputs and background can seen on the output of the node as well as the result of the matte blend if needed.Smoke’s Blur NodeThe Blur node is pretty self-explanatory, but as with most of the tools inside Smoke it has lots of options and customizations. The Blur node accepts both a Front and Matte input and will output the same.  However, you have the option of having different blur values for the front and matte on output.  If you are working in 16bit float, you have a clamping option for the input color and luminance levels.[Click for larger view]The Blur options of the node are Box, Gaussian, Directional, Radial, Defocus, and Radial Stamp.  Depending on which blur look you choose, specific sub-options will become available. For the Radial option you have Twist and Spin adjustments.  With the Defocus setting you have additional controls for the Bokeh look. Choosing Directional will allow you to set the bias, and Radial Stamp will give you  samples setting.  The Radial Stamp blur creates a very fast rendering blur depending on the amount of samples. With Radial Blur, you also have the option to set the center point of the blur as well as the ability to track the center to a point in your clip with the stabilizer.[Click for larger view]Once the type of blur is chosen, it’s time to set the amount of blur.  By adjusting the front settings, you can have the matte locked to these settings or have its own values.  Again depending on the type of blur chosen the front settings will give more options. Ex: Length & Angle values for Directional, and Amount & Rotation Values for Radial & Radial Stamp.You would use Defocus as your blur type if you want to simulate a realistic camera lens defocus with added bokeh.  Blooming settings can be seen in the front controls to adjust the amount of blooming that will occur on the highlights of the image as well as setting for the minimum and maximum threshold for the blooming effect.A Kernel setting also appears when you can set the look of the bokeh effect. You can set the sides, rotation, curvature and roundness of the bokeh shape, and adjust a custom curve for the look that can shape the softness and blending of the shape.When it comes to the matte settings, as I stated they can be locked to the values of the front image or you can have them independent.  You can also invert the matte if needed.  The reason for that is that you can use the matte to blend the blur over the original image. You can use this to create a vey stylized look to your image with the blur.  The same blend modes that exist in Blend & Comp are also in the Blur node.  You can add more transparency to the blur effect as well.[Click for larger view]To further stylize the blur, you can offset the RGB or YUV channels of the blur. You can adjust the X and Y positon of the offset for each channel as well as alter the weight, which will give more emphasis to one channel over another.  This is great for adding a little chromatic aberration to the blur.  By animating these values you can create a very unique blurred distortion effect.[Click for larger view]As you can see the tools in Smoke are very deep and there are a lot of options and setting to create and customize the look you want. What sounds like a basic node, like Smoke’s Blur and Blend & Comp, is a very complex tool, but once you get comfortable with the nodes you can easily and quickly get the results you want.With Autodesk Smoke, you have both depth and simplicity in how the tools are designed and how the interface is laid out.  Take the time to experiment and remember that once you get look you like you can save that setup for use later on.  Just hit the Node Prefs button and you will then have Save and Load options for that node available.Check back as we continue our ongoing coverage of Autodesk Smoke.  In the next post we will finish up the B’s in the ConnectFX Node Bin.last_img read more

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Assam: AIUDF, KMSS criticise Centre over Amendment to Article 370

first_imgThere was a mixed response in Assam to the Amendment to Article 370 by the Centre on Monday with the BJP applauding it and the All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) accusing the government of violating democratic norms enshrined in the Constitution.RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi condemned the Centre’s decision and claimed it would weaken democracy.Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that a “historic blunder and injustice done to the very soul of India has been corrected with the Amendment to Article 370”.In a tweet, Mr. Sonowal expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for breaking the “shackles that enemies of India designed to keep India’s rise in check”.Senior BJP leader and State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the “extraordinary decision” of PM Modi on Article 370 demonstrates the party’s commitment to its ideologies and principles.The Amendment to Article 370 is a giant leap forward in the NDA government’s efforts towards ensuring a united India, Mr. Sarma said in a tweet.“I applaud Union Home Minister Amit Shah for writing a historic script for a new India and the extraordinary decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Article 370 demonstrates the sturdiness of BJP’s commitment to its ideology and principles we pursue,” he said.“The integration of India that Sardar Patel so avowedly started is finally being completed by two of his fellow men from Gujarat – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah…I congratulate both for steering this bold move on way to correcting a monumental historical wrong,” he added.All India United Democratic Front spokesman Aminul Islam said the BJP government has violated the democratic norms as enshrined in the Constitution and the sudden way in which it had gone about amending Article 370 clearly indicates that the ruling BJP is following the “Hindutva agenda”.The process could have been carried out through discussions and taking into confidence all political parties, Mr. Islam told PTI.“Above all, the ruling party (BJP) should have taken into consideration what the people of Jammu and Kashmir want…The way the entire process has been carried out by creating a fear psychosis among the common people of that State is a clear violation of democratic rights,” he said.“The decision should not have been imposed in the manner it has been done, but gradually by bringing in amendments to reduce the privileges under Articles 370 and 35(A),” Mr. Islam said.He also wondered what would be the fate of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution under which the autonomous council areas in Assam enjoy similar provisions in matters such as disallowing sale of land to outsiders and other constitutional safeguards.Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) president Akhil Gogoi said that the day is “one of the darkest days of Indian democracy”.“We strongly condemn the government decision on J&K and the move to terrorise the people of the State by mobilising a huge number of security forces there. By this move the constitutional safeguards that the State was enjoying till now have been withdrawn,” he told PTI.The freedom fighters wanted to make India a federal country and that is why the old princely States which joined India were offered some special safeguards. That was why the States were given more power, he said.“Today’s development will weaken the Indian democracy, its federal structure and will threaten sovereignty. We express our solidarity with the peace loving people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been standing with India all these years. At this crucial juncture, we are with them,” he said.At a time when the Centre is talking about the constitutional safeguards for Assam, it has been withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Gogoi added.last_img read more

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