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China’s persecuted Uyghurs expect India to give up its silence and step in to prevent the “genocide” of the community, unlike other major powers, including Islamic nations, which are silent on the issue, a leading Uyghur leader has said.

Talking to IANS, World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa, who is living in exile in Germany, said that India has a strong influence internationally and should intervene to stop the Uyghur genocide.

Detailing the repression the Uyghurs are facing in their East Turkestan homeland, especially in the “education centres” set up by the Chinese government, he cited India’s approach to the Tibetan refugees to seek his support for his people. Excerpts:

Q: You are living a life in exile for several years. Do you expect to go back one day?

A: I left East Turkistan more than twenty years ago, and it is very painful to see that the situation there has worsened with every year that passed. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that one day, everyone can live free and with dignity in East Turkestan.

Q: There are media reports that the Uyghur Muslim population are not allowed to even practice their religious beliefs by Communist China, can you elaborate on that?

A: The Chinese government passed several legislations that has led to near total state control over all aspects of religious practice, including the selection of imams, forcing people to break their fasts during Ramadan and preventing them from undertaking the Hajj, preventing all Uyghur children from any religious activity with parents prevented from any religious teaching, and the deconstruction of thousands of mosques, graveyards and other cultural sites has been consistent in the region.

Q: Many thousands of Uyghar Muslims are reportedly being physically tormented in China. Your take on this?

A: The situation in the internment camps is alarming. Detainees are held in very poor and overcrowded conditions, where they don’t have access to adequate medical care. Camp survivors like Mihrigul Tursun and Sayragul Sauytbay witnessed physical and psychological torture. Furthermore, women were forced to get injections or pills, which caused the loss of consciousness and reduction of cognition. Furthermore, the drugs caused the loss of menstruation and bleeding in some women.

Q: Do you feel that even after the atrocities and physical torment of the Chinese government is continuing against the Uyghur minority Muslims, the Islamic world is maintaining a studied silence?

A: The persecution of Uyghurs is one of the most serious instances of religious persecution of Muslims in the world. A majority of Muslim states have been not only silent on the ongoing Uyghur genocide, but some of them have even supported China openly. It is shameful to see how the Muslim world turns a blind eye to the persecution of millions of their brothers and sisters.

Q: It is learnt that there are several re-education centres in China for providing vocational training for Uyghur Muslims.

A: The living conditions in the camps are draconian. Torture, rape, forced sterilisation and death are the constant companions of the detainees. The aim of the Chinese government is clear: to break the people in order to make them serve to the CCP will and to eradicate the Uyghur identity. Therefore, the detainees have to forget anything that is linked to their Uyghur identity. Inside the camps, detainees are forced to attend indoctrination classes, where they have to learn Mandarin, sing propaganda songs and praise the CCP. These are no ‘education centres’… these are sophisticated instruments of the Uyghur genocide. According to the leaked Karatax prison list, the CCP mainly targets individuals at birthable age and intellectuals. A report by researcher Adrian Zenz provided further evidence by official Chinese documents that the CCP seeks to achieve a zero growth rate in East Turkestan.

Q: Even after the brutal crackdown and mowing down of agitating students at Tianmen Square, China continues to hold positions in international bodies including the UN. Please tell us why this is so.

A: During the Tiananmen protest, so many students fighting for freedom and democracy were killed by the Chinese government. Nevertheless, China could even increase its international influence since then. Countries turn a blind eye to the Chinese atrocities because of economic interests, some even set up a coalition. Furthermore, China is the second largest donor to the UN.

Q: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is championing the cause of Muslims globally, Why is the Turkish government silent on your case even after you share the same cultural roots?

A: Uyghurs and the Turkish people have strong ties, since they speak the same language, have the same culture and history. The Turkish government has been silent so far, but some days ago, a government spokesperson finally addressed the Uyghur human rights crisis.

Q: What is your appeal to people of India on the Uyghur cause?

A: There has been a strong traditional link between the Indian people and the Uyghurs. We have lived since so many centuries peacefully next to each other. India has also been very welcoming towards Tibetan refugees. The Uyghur get a lot of support from the Indian people. They are well aware of the atrocities Uyghurs have to face in East Turkestan. Unfortunately, the Indian government has been silent on the Uyghur genocide so far. India has a lot of influence on the international level due to their size and economic power. We expect India to use its influence to stop the Uyghur genocide.

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Times Square celebrates International Yoga Day with over 3,000 people



The seventh International Yoga Day was celebrated at the iconic Times Square in New York on Sunday. The day-long yoga festival with the theme of ‘Solstice in Times Square 2021’ was attended by more than 3,000 people where yogis, with their yoga mats and flexible bodies, filled Times Square to mark the start of summer.

Consulate General of India, New York partnered with the Times Square Alliance to host the Yoga celebrations under the theme ‘Solstice for Times Square 2021’.

“As we celebrate yoga at the iconic Times Square – at the crossroads of the world, let us remind ourselves of the truly global embrace of yoga. Yoga was born in India but is part of global heritage today. Yoga is about health, well-being and about living in harmony with nature. Yoga is a way of life and we must try to practice it in its entirety, for a peaceful society and for a greener planet,” Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General told ANI.

“It was an incredible experience leading yoga, pranayama and meditation at Times Square NYC. Seeing thousands of yogis experience stillness amidst the chaos of the city that never stops,” said Ruchika Lal who participated in the event.

In keeping with this year’s global theme – Yoga for Wellness – as coined by the United Nations (UN), the event showcased holistic health, Ayurvedic and nature-based wellness products from Tribes India (TRIFED) and other Indian companies. The stalls attracted a large number of visitors, eager to learn about the uniqueness of Indian Tribal, Ayurvedic and natural products. The registration for the event is full, according to the Times Square website.

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Pakistan’s conspiracy of supporting terrorism has been revealed as links between the various terrorism incidents across the world and the Islamic state have been established in a documentary released by DW News.

Various terrorist attacks across the world had directly or indirectly connected to Pakistan’s intelligent service ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), according to Richard Kemp, Former Secret Service Coordinator, COBR. “There is no question that the ISI is interested in energising and maintaining the terrorist comforters against the West and somehow you will find links for most terrorist attacks around the world that go back directly or indirectly to the ISI. So they are the major facilitators and supporters and the director of the terrorist actions against the west,” Richard said in a DW documentary.

The deadly terrorist attack of the World Trade Center in the United States in 2001 which claimed around 3,000 lives, was carried by the involvement of David Headley, a Pakistani origin terrorist, the documentary states.

The Mumbai attacks in 2008 were also done by Pakistan-based organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, along with other attacks, the documentary pointed out.

However, Pakistan has always refuted to take criticism on Lashkar-e-Taiba and calling it a terrorist organisation. Under the presidency of Parvez Musharraf, the intelligence agency of the country has intensified cooperation with terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“How do you call them terrorists I call them ‘Mujahidin’. It is this organisation of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is amongst the best NGOs in the world,” Musharraf who is living in exile in the UAE told the documentary makers.

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Swedish PM ousted in no-confidence vote



Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was ousted after he lost a no-confidence vote in the parliament on Monday, with a majority of parliament members backing his departure.

The no-confidence motion against Lofven was approved by the parliament with 181 affirmative votes, more than the required 175 votes of the 349-seat parliament, CNN reported. A total of 109 voted no, and 51 abstained. The Swedish Parliament ‘Riksdag’ thus dismissed the government with a historic decision.

Barely a year before a general election, Lofven became the first prime minister in Swedish history to be ousted by a no-confidence motion put forward by the opposition.

As things stand, Lofven has one week to decide his next step which could be either another government that can stand majority in the house or midterm elections.

According to CNN, the nationalist Sweden Democrats had claimed the chance to call the vote after the formerly communist Left Party withdrew support for the centre-left government over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments.

Presently, the maximum chargeable property rent is decided by a government body. The new proposal plans to repeal that. The left party was not in support of the new proposal.

They asked the government to drop this proposal. Since it’s a weak government surviving on the support of many partners they were unable to do so. So the left leader triggered the Vote of No Confidence motion.

The vote was tabled by 35 MPs (minimum needed to table a vote of no confidence) of Sweden Democrats’. Following the vote, Lofven said he would hold discussions with other parties and decide whether to resign or call snap elections within a week.

The Left party blamed the prime minister for the crisis, saying the Social Democrat-led government had “given up on the Left party and the Swedish people”, rather than the other way round.

“It is not the Left Party that has given up on the Social Democrat government, it is the Social Democrat government that has given up on the Left Party and the Swedish people,” said Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar.

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Imran Khan’s remarks on sexual violence against women receive severe criticism



Barely two months after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments on sexual violence drew severe backlash, he again invited trouble by suggesting that avoiding “temptation in society” is the way to prevent sexual violence against women.

In April, during a question and answer session with the public, Khan had said that the rise in sexual violence in Pakistan, particularly against children, was caused due to “fahashi” (vulgarity). Defending his earlier remarks, Khan in an interview with Axios’ on HBO said, “…I said the concept of ‘purdah’. Avoid temptation in society. We don’t have discos here, we don’t have nightclubs. It is a completely different society way of life here. So if you raise temptation in society to a point — all these young guys have nowhere to go — it has a consequence in the society.”

Answering a question if the woman’s clothes can provoke sexual violence, Khan said, “If a woman is wearing very few clothes it will have an impact on the men unless they are robots. It’s common sense.”

When further prodded, he added, “It depends which society you live in. If in a society people have not seen that sort of thing, it will have an impact on them.”

Calling Imran Khan a “sick, misogynistic, degenerate”, Pakistan Muslim League (PML) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb came down heavily on the Pakistan Prime Minister.

“The world got an insight into a mindset of a sick, misogynistic, degenerate & derelict IK. It is not women’s choices that lead to sexual assault rather the choices of men who choose to engage in this dispicable and vile crime,” Aurangzeb tweeted.

“Maybe the misogynist, degenerate can defend Paedophiles and murderers, as he advocates for rapist, after all, men cannot be expected to control temptation. Just FYI Mr degenerate, self-control is a little thing upon which Allah places a great premium,” she added.

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Two China Coast Guard ships entered Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Sunday morning according to Japan Coast Guard, locall media reported.

It was the first intrusion into the waters around the island chain by Chinese government ships since Wednesday and the 20th this year. The Okinawa Prefecture islands are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu, reported the Japan Times. China also intruded into Japan’s territorial sea four days in April and five days in May. From January to May, China entered the waters on a total of 20 days.

This has led to a number of incidents where Chinese ships have approached Japanese fishing vessels.

According to Japan Coast Guard’s 11th regional headquarters in Naha, the ships entered Japanese waters southwest of Uotsurijima around 4:40 am.

The Japan Coast Guard warned the Chinese ships to leave the waters as the vessels tried to approach a Japanese fishing boat.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said these actions by Chinese ships “are unacceptable” at a news briefing earlier. “We will take all possible measures for vigilant monitoring and intelligence gathering,” he said.

Chinese navy warships have also been spotted around the Nansei Islands, a chain stretching southwest from Japan toward Taiwan.

Japan controls the Senkaku Islands, however, China and Taiwan continue to claim them.

Tokyo maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory as per history and international law.

China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing’s concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.

Recently, tensions between China and Japan have escalated amid increased activity by Beijing in the disputed East China Sea.

This comes after Beijing implemented a new law that allows the country’s quasi-military force to use weapons against foreign ships that China sees as illegally entering its waters.

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‘Chinese loans to other countries are predatory, opaque in nature’



Chinese loans have surpassed lending by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund combined together. It has become the largest global overseas creditor accounting for close to 65 per cent of the world’s official bilateral debt with outstanding foreign debt estimated to be around USD 5.6 trillion in 2020.

In a White Paper released in January 2021, China dubbed its lending as “international development cooperation within the framework of south-south cooperation” which it is undertaking as a “responsible member of the global community”. But the empirical evidence could be further from the truth. Fabien Baussart, in a blog post of The Times of Israel said that contrary to China’s claims of its lending being a “global public good” laying the foundation of a robust “development cooperation” framework, it has been seen that Chinese loans are predatory and opaque in nature, with terms that are heavily skewed against the borrowing country.

The highly unsustainable levels of debt created by China in the developing world allow it to create economic dependencies and political leverages in these countries, with serious implications for the degree of their sovereignty vis-a-vis Beijing.

Moreover, contrary to common perception, the bulk of Chinese loans (nearly 60 per cent) are offered at commercial rather than concessional rates, which is unusual for overseas “development assistance”, says Baussart.

China has always maintained that its overseas lending follows a “no-strings-attached” approach and respects other countries’ right to select “their own development path” with a focus on “developing countries’ control”.

The stark differences between the rhetoric and reality of Chinese overseas lending are further revealed in a recent (April 2021) report titled “How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments”, reported The Times of Israel.

The study by Germany’s Kiel Institute and the Washington-based Centre for Global Development, Aid Data, and Peterson Institute for International Economics, analyses a hundred Chinese loan contracts with 24 developing countries, between 2000 and 2020, and compares it with 142 non-Chinese foreign debt contracts across 28 commercial, bilateral and multilateral creditors.

As per the study, a comparison of Chinese and non-Chinese loan contracts reveals that the former is characterised by extremely stringent terms of lending.

These include strict confidentiality clauses barring borrowers from revealing loan terms and often even the very existence of a loan.

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