|Preventing the Next 9/11|
|AS we approach the 10th anniversary
of the murder of thousands
of citizens from more than 90
countries, I keep asking myself
whether we are finally safe from
the global terror threat.
Since those shocking attacks of 9/11,
the death of Osama bin Laden, the elimination
of terrorist training camps in
Afghanistan and the concentrated international
pressure on Al Qaeda have
reshaped the nature of the threat confronting
We´ve seen terror attempts foiled by a
combination of heightened security and
awareness, improved intelligence gathering,
robust enforcement by police and
prosecutors, quick actions by an observant
public and sheer luck: the...
|HERE´S what the United
Nations report on Israel´s
raid last year on the
Marmara had to say about
the killing of a 19-year-old US citizen
"At least one of those killed,
Furkan Dogan, was shot at
extremely close range. Mr Dogan
sustained wounds to the face, back
of the skull, back and left leg. That
suggests he may already have been
lying wounded when the fatal shot
was delivered, as suggested by witness
accounts to that effect."
The four-member panel, led by
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, a former
prime minister of New Zealand,
appears with these words to raise
the possibility of an execution or
Dogan, born in upstate New
York, was an aspiring doctor. Little
interested in politics, he´d won a
lottery to travel...
Land acquisition bill introduced in parliament
NEW DELHI RURAL Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said the draft land acquisition bill is a “political bill which strikes a balance between social benefit and economic growth” and gave the “entire credit” for it to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Referring to the recent agitations over land acquisition in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Ramesh said Rahul Gandhi made “key contributions” in the draft Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011.
He also thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for their cooperation.
“This bill is as much about politics as it is about land acquisition,” said Ramesh after the draft bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Stating that there were “concerns within the government over economic cost of land acquisition”, the minister said the clause “giving four times compensation than the market value in rural areas” was reduced from six times in the earlier draft.
“The draft bill would add to the economic cost of land acquisition but its social benefits will outweigh the concern,” said Ramesh.
Addressing the concerns of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, the draft bill added a condition that while not more than 5 percent multi-cropped land can be acquired in a district, an equivalent wasteland would have to be developed for agriculture purposes.
But this clause shall not apply to linear projects like railways, highways, power lines and irrigation canals, said Ramesh.
Ramesh said the draft bill tightened definition of “public purpose” and made provision of “eminent domain”, meaning land acquisition would require prior consent of 80 percent “project affected” persons where the government acquires land for purpose of transferring it to private companies for stated public purpose.
But only Rehabilitation and Resettlement clauses would apply if private companies buy land for a project, more than 100 acres in rural areas and over 50 acres in urban areas.
Stating the central law would override existing state laws on land acquisition, the minister said the states would be allowed to provide better compensation but will have to follow the Rehabilitation and Resettlement clauses of the bill.
The draft bill provides compensation not only for land owners but persons who lose their livelihood because of land acquisition.
The draft bill, which has a clause with “retrospective effect”, to deal with cases where award has not been made or possession of land has not been taken, would also protect the interests of SC and ST, said the minister.
Another new clause bans change of purpose in the land use plan submitted and facilitates transfer of land acquired back to the state government’s land bank if not used for 10 years.
While there would be social impact assessment to ensure transparency, the draft bill also has fixed three month’s time for payment of compensation.
An amendment will be introduced later to allow the state land bank authority to give it back to the land owner, said Ramesh.
The minister said the draft bill will be sent to the parliamentary standing committee concerned and would also be discussed with the chief ministers in the National Development Council meeting October 15.