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Hardline beef with assisting flood victims

New Delhi (UCAN): Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, leader of the All India Hindu Assembly, a hardline Hindu organisation, said it would be a “major sin to give any relief and support to those flood sufferers in Kerala who are beef eaters.” He appealed to the Indian government and Hindus in general not to provide relief to flood-hit victims in Kerala who eat beef, as the cow is a revered animal in Hinduism.
 

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Floods of biblical proportions inundate Kerala

The monsoon rains… they write prose and poetry through the vast agricultural land of Kerala.  For over 15 per cent of the over 34 million population living outside their homeland, the monsoon evokes the most nostalgic ruminations. 
 
A little more than Taiwan in geographical area, the land is garlanded with 44 rivers and the uplands beaded with 42 dams. This wealth of resources were the very ones that threatened to wipe the whole province away from the map of India in mid-August.

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Gearing up for the Asian Games in Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): Priest and laypeople in the archdioceses of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, are gearing up to help athletes and officials during the upcoming Asian Games, the second time the country has hosted the sporting event. The last time was in 1962.
 
More than 11,000 athletes from at least 45 countries will participate in the event to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, from August 18 to September 2.
 

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Bangladesh urged to end clampdown on protesters

DHAKA (UCAN): Rights groups and Church officials in Bangladesh have joined growing calls to end a government crackdown on peaceful dissent and for the release people arrested under the repressive.
 
In recent weeks, police arrested dozens of students, activists and journalists for their alleged part in recent student demonstrations calling for road safety and reform of the government’s job quota system.
 

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Condemnation of India lynchings too late say critics

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): “I want to make it clear that mob lynching is a crime, no matter the motive. No person can, under any circumstances, take the law into his or her own hands and commit violence,” said India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, In an August 11 interview with Times of India, just four days ahead of the country’s Independence Day.
 

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Sleepless in flooded Manila

Light rain in the early morning is a welcome treat for Carmelite Father Gilbert Billena every time he goes home to the southern Philippines. However, perfect mornings in his parish in Manila are rare, especially during the rainy season in this tropical country.
 
Monsoon rains are terrifying during the rainy season, said the priest, especially with the seemingly endless downpours causing widespread flooding in the country’s capital.
 

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Floods and landslides inundate Kerala

KOCHI (UCAN): Monsoon rain, pouring down since August 7, triggered flash floods and landslides in India’s Kerala state claiming at least 23 lives, and washing away homes, as government agencies and voluntary groups rushed aid to the area.
 
Army, navy and air force personnel were called in to help police and residents manage the disaster in the worst-affected six districts in the central and northern hilly areas of the southern Indian state.
 

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Displaced tribal people of Mindanao trek home

MANILA (UCAN): “We had a confirmation that the army has pulled its troops out of our village. Now, we can finally return,” said Sarry Campos, spokesperson of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), an inter-municipal organisation of Lumad tribal people in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao.
 

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Manhunt alarms Philippine Church leaders

MANILA (UCAN): “The continued use of trumped-up charges to silence and impede the work of activists merely attests to the repressive and tyrannical character of the Duterte government,” Cristina Palabay of the human rights group, Karapatan, said in reaction to the Philippine National Police instigating a manhunt for four Filipino activists, all former leftist members of the Lower House of Congress. 
 








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New group set to counter extremism in Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): More than 200 people, including religious leaders including Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, as well as politicians, attended the August 1 launch of the Said Aqil Siroj Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia.
 

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