World Aids Day – One minute of silence

Not too long ago, I overheard a conversation. Two people were chatting about Aids, and about the attention the disease receives from the media.”It seems they can’t talk about nothing else then HIV and Aids. I am getting sick and tired of it.”

The remarks made me sad, as South Africa is one of the countries most affected by the Aids pandemic. My opinion on the matter is quite simple: as long as people are still dying en masse, as long as  the infection rate is sky high, as long as the illness robs children from their parents, and as long as grandparents have to take care of their grandchildren because their own children have died and unless there is not yet a cure HIV/AIDSshould get all the attention it can possibly get.

Because the statistics do not leave anything to the imagination: According to a report by the United Nations, an estimated 33.2 million people were living with HIV in 2007. Half of them were women, 2,5 million were children. That same year was good for 2,5 million new infections and 2,1 million Aids related deaths.In other words, each day 6800 get infected and 5700 die of the disease.

Although Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of the pandemic, the west is not spared by HIV/AIDS. In North America, for instance, 1,3 million people are living with the condition. Furthermore, 2007 was good for 46 000 new infections in this part of the world and 21 000 deaths.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that AIDS is  global and not a regional problem, and that everyone can get infected. Old news? Definitely, but that does not make the message less important. On the contrary.

So pay your respect tomorrow during World Aids Day, and have a minute of silence to those affected: to the people who died, are infected, or lost their loved ones as a result of HIV/AIDS. Because you know what? You could have been or could be a statistic too, whether it is a new infection, a new death or someone losing a loved one …

Plastic bags and the Holiday’s, a no, no for the Eco system.

Plastic bags and the Holiday's, a no, no for the Eco system.Plastic bags and the Holiday's, a no, no for the Eco system.
  • Plastic bags and the Holiday's, a no, no for the Eco system.
  • Plastic bags and the Holiday's, a no, no for the Eco system.

It is that time of the Year once again, where many of us go shopping for the Holiday’s festivities, may we be Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Hindu or even Muslim, we all have great celebrations coming up in the next four to twelve weeks.

From Hanukkah to the Chinese New Year it is the season of great celebrations for all around the Globe. Parties are being held, as well as family gatherings and community events.

Now, one thing all this has in common is the shopping in supermarkets, Farmer Markets and stores to buy the Gifts, the food and the decorations for the festivities to come.

This of course does require packaging, and transportation as well as means to get it all from the Stores back home and there comes in a handy little idem called the chopping Bag.

Now, until 1957, we used to go shopping with our baskets and cloth bags or even little carts we dragged behind us. However, since 1957 we have discovered the plastic bag that made its début in the US and by 1960 had spread around the Globe like a wild bush fire. To the point that by the 1970th it could be fund almost any where on this planet and has been causing major problem ever since.

Since we discard those trow away bags so easily, they can be fund not only on land fields but also along roads, in Rivers, in the Forest and even on mountain pics and in the Ocean. There thy cause great harm and kill million of birds, animals and fish that are trapped in them and most of them suffocate. This is no easy way to die or be killed what so ever.

We discard about 1.5 Million Tons of Plastic bags each Year and most of this around the Holidays shopping time. Keep in mind that it takes 220 Million litres of Oil to produce those bags and not counting the additional energy cost for transportation and recycling or land fields. There are 4 to 5 Trillion Plastic bags used every Year, enough to engulf the entire City of New York so you would not even be able to see the tallest buildings any longer. And this with just one Years plastic bags waste.

North America accounts for 60% of all this plastic bags waste and Europe for 20% the rest is more or less divided around the World evenly with Africa having the lowest share of plastic bags being used of all continents.

Now even though we have recycling facilities and program in some Nations, Fact is unfortunately that only 0.6% is being recycle, the remaining 99.4% end up in lad fields as well as in the Oceans ad Nature at large.

We could do with out and go back to Shopping baskets, Cloth bags and little carts we can easily pull and taken just about any where, some of those are so compact and easy to fold that they fit in a bag. It may be time to Refuse plastic bags given out to us and to ask to use our own cloth bag in stead. Leading by example for a better future for all living creatures on Earth.

These Holidays do think twice about using a plastic bag and with the New Year around the corner, it may be a great time for an Eco resolution, not to ever use plastic bags again. There are some great cloth bags and carts, that even look sharp and would get you some positive attention as well.

Happy Eco Friendly Holliday’s.


ISI Cheif

ISI Cheif

Mumbai, Nov 28: Major action shifted from the Oberoi-Trident, where most hostages have been rescued, to the Nariman House where 3-4 holed up terrorists are putting up stiff resistance. Two huge explosions were heard amidst incessant gun battle, as the terrorist moved to another part of the building.
Under pressure from the sustained attack by the NSG commandos, the terrorists were forced to move into some rooms leaving behind some ammunition including an AK47 and hand grenades. 

With just hours remaining to dusk, the task is cut for the NSG daredevils, who would be looking to wrapping up the operations in daylight. Four people are still believed to be trapped in the building, and their security would be on the mind of the rescue team. 

The Police also refused to give a time period in which they felt that all the operations would be able to conclude. 

Fierce Assault at Nariman House 

NSG commandos, who were airdropped onto the roof of the building, are inside the building and are engaged in a fierce gun battle with the holed up terrorists. There are reports that LMGs, HMGs and rocket propellers have just been sent in to add to the fire power. 20 more NSG commandos have been sent in as reinforcement. 

The Army on its part is tight lipped about fatalities or injures(if any). However, the NSG is treading very cautiously. One of the officers said that it might take some more hours before the Nariman House operation gets over. 

Earlier, at around 7.30 am, commandos aboard a helicopter first carried out aerial firing on the top floors of Nariman House and then slid down on ropes onto the roof of the building. Close to 20 commandos were a part of the daredevil operation. 

The direct attack on the terrorists comes after three fresh explosions were heard from the building in the wee hours of the morning. 

Three Israelis were freed early this morning from the building. Incidentally, the Nariman House is a Jewish community centre and is frequented by Israelis. 

Explosions at Taj, standoff continues 

Meanwhile, a series of explosions, every few minutes, can be heard from the Taj hotel indicating the lone injured terrorist is holding out well equipped with arsenal. 

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports claimed that a foreign women journalist has been injured in the cross firing. 

But the security personnel were able to evacuate some more stranded guests from the backdoor. 

Fierce gun battle is on at the Taj at the moment, with the NSG commandos trying to isolate and gun down the lone surviving terrorist, who is believed to be injured. Eleven explosions were heard in a gap of just 15 minutes from inside the building. 

While confirming the sequence of events at the Taj, Southern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt Gen N Thamburaj had said the NSG’s operation is nearing end and it is just a matter of few hours before they “wrap up things”. 

Regarding the operation at the Taj, he said only one terrorist is holed inside and he has been cornered. As per the Lt General, the terrorist is moving within the two floors of the hotel, one of which houses the dance floors, and soon we will be able to nab or eliminate him. 

Two terrorists were also killed on Thursday evening gunfire taking the total number to seven. The General said we are deliberately carrying out the operation so that the hostages inside the hotel remain safe from the gunfire. 

Our commandos are carrying out search operation in every single room and taking the people out to safety. 

When asked about the details of NSG commandos operation and casualties he refused to comment saying that this type of information would give details to the terrorists. 

He praised his Commandos for the brave effort they have put in. The Air Force and the Navy has also been a great help in carrying out such an operation in a difficult situation, he added. 

Trident sanitised, hostages rescued at Oberoi

After nearly 40 hours of intense gun battle, security forces finally met some success as the DG-NSG announced that the Trident was fully cleared and sanitised and that most of the hostages numbering 148 have been rescued from the Oberoi. 

The success came soon after the commandos gunned down two terrorists holed up at the five star hotel. 

The death toll has mounted to 132, while 327 people have been injured. 

How it began 

Wednesday, 9.30 pm: First attack at Café Leopold: 

It all started just before the 9.30 pm on Wednesday at the Café Leopold in Colaba district of Mumbai. Three men pulled out machine guns from heavysacks and started firing indiscriminately, whoever present there. 

10 pm: After Leopold, the attackers took a lane which leads to the prestigious Taj Hotel which is just few meters away. The assailants entered the ground floor area and started firing indiscriminately. 

10 pm: At around same time when the Taj was under attack, four men with automatic rifles entered the the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) around 10 pm. Two of them started firing towards the crowd, while two others spotted rushing towards the Metro Cinema multiplex via the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation offices and the nearby Azad Maidan. 

10.15 pm: Terrorists came outside the Cama hospital fired erratically. 

10.30 pm: Just ten minutes after Trident, a loud bang was heard in Vile Parle, which was occurred in a taxi. 

Colaba: At Colaba, men carrying assault rifles opened fire inside the Leopold restaurant and also threw grenade at the innocent civilians. Firing also reported from Hotel Marriott in Colaba. 

Nariman House: Exchange of fire at Nariman House, a residential complex with a Jewish prayer hall, was also reported. This was the second place that was attacked in Mumbai, where two men came on a scooter and hurled a grenade at nearby petrol pump. 

Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist is being interrogated, who was held this morning. He is said to be associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a militant group based in Pakistan. 

Cache of arms 

A huge cache of arms has been recovered outside the Taj, including AK-47s, grenades, bullets and other assorted armaments. Lots of dry fruits were also recovered from the same place. 

In a related development, the City mall and the Gallenia mall in Navi Mumbai have been evacuated over fears that terrorists who escaped yesterday might target them. 

LeT, LTTE deny involvement 

Meanwhile, both the LeT and the LTTE have denied responsibility for the attacks. 

Abdullah Ghaznavi spokesperson for the LeT has said that the LeT strongly condemns the strike on Mumbai. He said that though the LeT is often blamed for the such incidents, they have no hand in the strike. He said that an Indian group may be behind the attack. 

The Indian government has already indicated that it suspects a foreign hand behind the attacks.


New Delhi, Nov 28: The chief of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan Lt General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha will be coming to India in connection with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. 

The development came after Prime Minister Dr Mannmohan Singh on Friday asked his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raja Gillani to send the intelligence chief for information sharing. 

According to reports, Pakistan Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will also accompany Pasha to India. 

The government of Pakistan has reportedly accepted Prime Minister Mammohan Singh’s request and will shortly send General Pasha to India. 

Pak Prime Minister’s spokesman Zahid Bashir said Singh had made a request to Gilani, asking him to send the ISI chief to India to “cooperate in the investigation of the Mumbai attacks and for sharing certain information”. 

Bashir told reporters that “The Pakistani Prime Minister has accepted this offer. The two sides will work out modalities for the visit of the Inter Services Intelligence chief which is expected to take place soon.” 

The request from the Indian side was made shortly after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that preliminary information suggested that “some elements” in Pakistan were responsible for the terror strikes in Mumbai. 

“According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible for Mumbai terror attacks,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters. 

“Proof cannot be disclosed at this time,” he said, noting that Pakistan had assured India that it will not allow use of its territory for launching attacks against this country. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari also called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and assured him of Islamabad’s cooperation in the war against terrorism. 

Earlier, in a televised address to the nation yesterday, the Prime Minister had blamed elements outside the country for the terror strikes in Mumbai and warned that India will not tolerate the use of territory of its neighbours for attacks in the country. 

Singh had said the “well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners.”

Mumbai War on Terror “101 killed in Mumbai violence, curfew imposed”

MUMBAI: Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group’s headquarters in India’s financial capital, killing at least 101people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of