The Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai caries a board with three script….. (see attcahed file)
English and Pali or the Brami script of Sakya Nirutya….This unique
board has no Devanagari. Generally Central (Indian) government boards
Good the government is going back to the original script of this land…..
script was used for Sakya Nirutya (Pali) by Sakyans in the ancient
India, which was destroyed by both Aryans and Dravidians. The
Dravidians (Tamilians) developed vatteluthu and then slowly developed
their own Tamil/ Telugu/ Kannada/ Malayalam script and Aryans developed
Devanagari in later stage.
reasons the Aryan and Dravidian ruler ignore the ancient script was to
make the ordinary people not learn Dhamma written on the pillers/ walls
Tamils claim that the Brami is Tamil Brami and developed by their
ancestor. This may or may not be TRUE. But our question is why they
left their ancient script and developed new script….
Any way now
this is the time to bring back our ancient script. As the State
Government and Cetral governments spends money to Tamil, Sanskrit and
Hindi, they should spend for Sakya Niritiya (Pali). We need a
institution to study and do research on Pali literature too.
FREE ONLINE TRAINING ON BUDDHISM FOR CHILDREN-3
What are the symbols of Buddhism?
The wheel of life which symbolises the cycle of life,
death and rebirth.
The eight spokes remind people that the Buddha taught about eight ways of
The lotus flower symbolises purity and divine birth.
The lotus flower grows in mud at the bottom of a pool, but rises above the
surface to become a beautiful flower. Buddhist say this is how people should
rise above everything which is dukkha. A flower may be very beautiful and
have a wonderful scent, but it soon withers and dies. This shows that nothing
in life is perfect.
Images of Buddha
Statues of Buddha include lots of symbols. There are 32 symbols in Buddhism
which show that the Buddha was a special person. Any of these symbols can be
used on statues.
For example, the Buddha is often shown with a bump on on the
top of his head. This is a symbol that he had special talents. He is often
seen with a round mark on his forehead, which is his third eye. This is a
symbol to show that he could see things ordinary people cannot see. He may be
shown with curled hair, which is a symbol that he was a very holy man.
Sometimes he has long ears, which is a symbol that he came from an important
family, and also that he could hear things that other people could not.
BANGALORE: As part of the process for conducting elections to the
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike council, the State Government has
issued guidelines on reservation of wards for Scheduled Castes,
Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and women.
Of the 198 wards of the BBMP, the Government has reserved 91 wards,
leaving 107 wards for the general category. One-third representation
has been given to women. The guidelines have been issued based on the
2001 Census figures.
15 wards for SCs
Following this, 12.62 per cent of wards have been reserved for
SC/ST/women, 33.33 per cent have been reserved for backward classes
a/b/ woman and the remaining 54 per cent have been left for
According to the guidelines, 15 wards would be reserved for Schedule
Castes and wards that had the high concentration of Scheduled Castes
would be identified. Eight wards would be reserved for Scheduled Caste
One ward each would be reserved for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Tribes women.
One-third of the 198 wards would be reserved for backward classes of
which 80 per cent of the wards would be reserved for BC –A category and
20 per cent would be reserved for BC-B category. In case, there were
not sufficient numbers of candidates to contest under BC-A category,
then the candidate from BC-B category could contest from those seats.
Similarly, a BC-A category candidate could contest in wards reserved
for BC-B category only when there were no BC-B candidates to contest.
Everyone had to be working in tandem: pliant governments, both here and abroad, and hungry cartels
A Few Good Questions
Why did Sierra Leone send a letter demanding that rice be sent through specific Indian companies?
What was the criteria for choosing the 21 countries, since some of them are rice-exporting countries themselves?
Why didn’t the government route the procurement of rice through FCI and transport it through Shipping Corporation of India?
If the rice was allowed to be exported on humanitarian grounds, why was it sold at market rates by private companies?
“Prices were much lower than officially quoted ones due to the ban. Most rice was PDS rice sold by AP for Rs 2 a kg.”
—Naresh Goyal, South India Rice Exporters Asscn
“(Naming private companies) is interference in Indian commerce, creating monopoly purchases.”
—Vijay Setia, All India Rice Exporters Asscn
“If this was for humanitarian aid, why didn’t the government use FCI or the Shipping Corporation?”
—Vishnu Kumar, Exporter
“(Sending rice to South Africa) is ironic as they have a constitutional guarantee on right to food.”
—Biraj Patnaik, P’al Advisor, SC food commssr
As is usual in such cases,
the Rs 2,500-crore rice export scam of 2008-09 had a rather
innocuous-looking beginning. The Centre had, vide a government
notification in October 2007, banned the export of non-basmati and 25
per cent broken rice, ostensibly to strengthen the nation’s food
security in a time of high inflation and to ensure there was enough
stock in the public distribution system to provide subsidised grain to
those below the poverty line. Experts who feared an impending food
crisis applauded the move.
Few, however, detected the insidious subplot. Since India is a
major exporter, the ban immediately triggered off a steep increase
(from $350 to a peak of $1,000 a metric tonne) in the price of rice in
international markets. Then followed a chain of events in which
guidelines were flouted and rules bypassed by state-owned trading
companies to allow select private rice-exporting companies to export 10
lakh MT of rice despite the ban. They monopolised the market created
for them by friends in the government and walked away with business
worth Rs 2,500 crore while robbing the PDS of valuable rice in a
country where 48 per cent of children below three years are
malnourished. In a detailed investigation, Outlook has unearthed several startling facts about the great rice swindle.
Modus Operandi: Beginning January 2008, some
three months after the government notified the rice export ban, a plan
was in place to help a few exporters bypass the ban and capitalise on
the rising international market prices. How was this done? It was felt
in the government that since the export ban had made rice dearer in
foreign markets, should requests for grain come from poor nations, it
would be released on humanitarian grounds. Twenty-one African nations
approached the ministry of external affairs after this policy was made
public. Their requests were forwarded to the food and public
distribution ministry headed by Sharad Pawar and to the commerce and
industry ministry then headed by Kamal Nath (now minister for road
transport and highways).
The Union commerce ministry would prove critical in the whole
process since it is the nodal agency for all exports and oversees
public sector trading companies such as the State Trading Corporation,
MMTC and PEC. These corporations would later play a major role in
facilitating private companies to take over the “humanitarian exports”
and rake in huge profits. This is how it worked:
The government of a country, say Sierra Leone or Ghana, writes to
the MEA, with a copy to the commerce minister, seeking rice at
“concessional” or “preferential” rates.
Instead of leaving it to the government to select the
supplier, the letter mentions the name of the private Indian company
through which the proposed export must be routed.
The commerce ministry gives its clearance and the
director-general of foreign trade (DGFT) issues a notification
formalising the quantity of rice to be exported by the pre-selected
private rice exporter. This is in contravention of DGFT guidelines that
grain must be exported by a government trading agency. Grain, as per
DGFT guidelines, must be procured and exported through STC, MMTC or
PEC. The procurement must also have been done from more than one state.
The DGFT guidelines thus flouted, the responsibility of
procuring and shipping the rice is handed over to the private company
named in the letters from foreign governments.
The STC, MMTC and PEC relinquish all control over procurement and even the price at which the rice is exported.
What is supposed to be a humanitarian, Third World transaction
is now a straightforward deal between a private Indian party and a
foreign government. The rice is finally sold—this is the clincher—at
prevailing international prices to the needy country. The profit per MT
is between $200 and $250.
In many cases, the letters of credit come from a third
party—a trading company in Switzerland. A fact that naturally throws up
the question: where is the rice going? To its declared destination or
getting diverted to global markets?
Scandal Abroad: The scam would well have gone
unnoticed but for a major scandal in Ghana in West Africa (see box on
Page 36). Earlier this year, the new government under President John
Evans Atta Mills launched an inquiry into the role played by the
previous foreign minister, Akwasi Osei-Adjei, in one such deal. Ghana
had in early 2008 written to the Indian government seeking several
thousand metric tonnes of rice but wanted it only through a Delhi-based
company, Amira Foods (India) Ltd. STC simply cleared the deal in favour
of the company without inviting any tender. A source in the commerce
ministry told Outlook, “The government of Ghana nominated its
ministry of foreign affairs as the buying agency and Amira Foods as the
procurement agency. The price and other commercial terms of the
contract were finalised between the government and their nominated
procurement agency in India.”
In short, not only did Ghana get to choose its own procurement
agency (or vice versa), it also ensured that all its negotiations with
the private rice exporter were kept out of the purview of the Indian
government and its trading companies. Once a convenient price was
arrived at, the rice was simply shipped off. Whether it reached Ghana
or diverted to some other buyer en route is not known since the
government of India had, perhaps deliberately, stepped back from all
negotiations in what was supposed to be a ‘government-to- government’
When Outlook sent a detailed questionnaire to Amira
Foods, its vice-president, Protik Guha, called up the magazine and
questioned the wisdom of printing a story dealing with a scandal in
Ghana. Guha also wanted to know the source of the story but refused to
comment on specific queries, stating that “our press department would
look into them”. No one has got back to us.
If this deal was shocking, the deal with Sierra Leone was even
more curious. The country sought nearly 40,000 MT of rice on a
preferential payment basis from India in early 2008. But instead of a
letter of credit coming from its government, it came from an
international soft commodities trading company, Novel Commodities, with
their offices in 1227 Carouge, Switzerland. As in the Ghana case,
Sierra Leone also demanded that the rice be shipped through a
Delhi-based rice exporting company, M/s Shivnath Rai Harnarain India
Ltd. Sierra Leone sought another consignment in May ’09 through Amira.
In response to queries from Outlook, PEC Ltd’s chief
finance manager, R.K. Jain, said: “The government of Sierra Leone had
nominated M/s Novel Commodities for financing arrangement and M/s
Shivnath Rai Harnarain for shipment of rice. The price was mutually
fixed between the buyer (Switzerland- based Novel Commodities on behalf
of the government of Sierra Leone) and the seller (M/s Shivnath Rai
Harnarain Ltd).” The rate, Jain states in his written communique, was
$430 per MT for 17,952 MT rice and $470 for another batch of 22,047 MT.
The grain for both Ghana and Sierra Leone was sourced from mills in
Andhra Pradesh which had buffer stocks.
Making a Killing: The prevailing rate for
domestic procurement of non-basmati rice in March 2008, as per the
retail price index of rice ascertained from the director of economic
and statistics of the government of Andhra Pradesh, averaged around
$280 per metric tonne. So if it was sold at $470, it meant a profit of
$190 per metric tonne in this particular instance. If one factors in
fluctuating international market rates, the profit may have been much
higher for other consignments. “In fact, the prices (at which the local
exporter procured rice) were much lower than the officially quoted one
since there was a ban on exports,” says Naresh Goyal, vice president,
South India Rice Exporters Association. “In most cases,” alleges Goyal,
“the rice was PDS rice which the state government sells for Rs 2 a kg.
We believe this was diverted towards exports and never reached its
India’s ban on export of
non-basmati rice triggered a steep rise in international rice prices,
from $350/MT to a peak of $1,000/MT.
The domestic rate per tonne
for procuring non-basmati rice in March 2008 was $280. It was sold at
$470. The profit per tonne: $190.
The scam would have gone
unnoticed had it not been for a new regime in Ghana inquiring into the
role of a previous foreign minister.
While Ghana says the STC recommended Amira Foods, Indian officials in the commerce ministry say it was the other way round.
The food ministry even
sought the EC’s permission to procure rice to export to Nigeria.
Curiously, Nigeria said it didn’t want the rice.
The food ministry even sought the EC’s permission to procure
rice to export to Nigeria. Curiously, Nigeria said it didn’t want the
rice.With the commerce ministry facilitating an export arrangement for
a few chosen private companies, the rice exporters’ lobby began to send
desperate petitions to the government and specifically to minister
Kamal Nath. Vijay Setia, president, All India Rice Exporters
Association, also dashed off a letter to the commerce secretary
pointing out inconsistencies.
According to Setia, many of the 21 countries identified by the MEA
for rice exports had a better per capita income than that of India.
Many also have a long record of institutionalised corruption.
Strangely, even a rice-exporting country like Egypt had been included
in the list! Worse, the letters from these foreign governments seeking
rice quotas came “to our commerce minister (Kamal Nath) mentioning the
names of private companies who must be the suppliers”. This, he says,
“is interference in Indian commerce, creating monopoly purchases and
making three to four companies the beneficiaries, and exploiting rice
millers, farmers and consumers. ”
Chennai-based exporter Vishnu Kumar wants to ask the government
this: “If this was all for humanitarian aid, why didn’t the government
use its own machinery to export rice? It could have used the Food
Corporation of India to procure the rice at reasonable rates and
shipped it off to the African nations through the Shipping Corporation
of India. It could have provided the needy nations supplies at a much
cheaper price. Instead, it allowed a chosen private cartel of companies
to make a killing.”
Meanwhile, in May this year, the government faced a major
embarrassment when the Nigerian government turned down an offer of
1,17,000 MT rice that the DGFT and commerce ministry had allocated. In
fact, the food and public distribution ministry had sought clearance
from the Election Commission just before the general elections to
procure non-basmati rice for export to Nigeria and other nations. So if
there was no request from the African country, why was the offer made?
No one seems to have an answer. Was the so-called requirement on the
basis of which grain was released a fake document? If Nigeria didn’t
want the rice, where was it headed for? Even Mongolia rejected a
similar allocation, say commerce ministry sources.
The Indian government maintains that Nigeria rejected the Indian
allocation because it had just had a bumper crop. If this was the case,
why had Nigeria ‘sought’ 1,17,000 MT rice barely a month before? “Like
all nations, they also make long-term projections. So, Nigeria would
have known that they were headed for a decent crop. Therefore this
issue of seeking Indian rice could be fictitious,” a senior government
official involved in the allocation told Outlook. Since
Nigeria refused, the government has now allotted 26,000 MT to South
Africa. “It is deeply ironic because South Africa has a much better per
capita income than India’s and also has a constitutional guarantee on
the right to food,” says Biraj Patnaik, principal advisor to the
Supreme Court food commissioner.
So why was DGFT not looking into blatant violations of its
guidelines? Veena Bhalla, the joint director-general of foreign trade
who oversaw the notifications, refused to comment; a questionnaire to
R.S. Gujral, the director-general of foreign trade, elicited no
response. The MEA too failed to react.
A few years ago, the Indian government was rocked by allegations
that prominent politicians and business houses had made millions by
selling off oil for food coupons issued to Iraq by the UN. Today,
allegations have surfaced in a foreign country of influential cartels
making huge profits in the name of providing grain on humanitarian
grounds to needy nations. Shouldn’t India show concern rather than turn
a blind eye? And shouldn’t such exports be banned or handled closely by