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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kurdistan Region agrees with British company to develop Sheekhan oil field

Or per my query perhaps both with BIRs secured? I still feel there could be a difference between FDP approval and contracts signed.. In UK with the government approval there's board letters from each oil company committing to pay their equity share. Perfect time for BIRs to be included and signing the development contracts.... Another question is could there be a difference between field development approval and GKP signing a contract to develop Shaikan based on the approved FDP ie; it includes actual equities and therefore takes into account any BIRs? 29/06/2013 20:56:00 Erbil (NINA) – Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Natural Resources announced that it has concluded an agreement with Exxon Gulf Oil Company to develop Sheekhan oil field. A statement issued on Saturday, June 29, said that the Region's Government ratified Agreement by which the British Gulf Exxon carry out a plan to develop Sheekhan oil field. It added that during the coming weeks, production will be 40 thousand barrels to increase up to 150 thousands during the coming 3 years. The statement went on saying that the plan is by 2018 production reaches 250 thousand barrels a day. According to the statement, the Region is planning to increase its oil production to reach 1 million barrels a day by the year of 2015 and to reach 2 million barrels a day by the end of this decade. / End. http://www.iraqinews.com/business-iraqi-dinar/krg-concludes-contract-with-uk-firm/ Added by Ibrahim Khalil on June 29, 2013. Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Ministry of Natural Resources in Kurdistan Regional Government announced concluding a contract with the British Company (Gulf Keystone) to invest in Sheikhan Oilfield in Kurdistan Region.The Kurdistan Regional Government reported in statement received by IraqiNews.com on Saturday ”The Regional Government of Kurdistan ratified contracting with the British Company (Gulf Keystone) to implement a strategy aims to develop Shiekhan Oilfield.””The Oilfield will produce (40,000) Oil barrels during the upcoming weeks to increase it to be (150,000) Oil barrels during the next three years,” the statement added. \END\ Or per my query perhaps both with BIRs secured? I still feel there could be a difference between FDP approval and contracts signed.. In UK with the government approval there's board letters from each oil company committing to pay their equity share. Perfect time for BIRs to be included and signing the development contracts.... ===================== Monday, 01 July 2013, 05:32 GMT Iraq: Chevron & Total expand Kurdish drilling Globe Photo Safin Hamid By -UPI Iraq's Kurds have consolidated their growing energy sector with Chevron Corp securing a third exploration block in the semi-autonomous northern region and France's Total buying a majority stake in another. Iraq's Kurds have consolidated their growing energy sector with Chevron Corp securing a third exploration block in the semi-autonomous northern region and France's Total buying a majority stake in another. These moves intensify the Kurds' challenge to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's problem-plagued coalition in Baghdad, heightening tension between government forces and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters ? those who face death ? on Kurdistan's southern borders. The rift between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, the Kurdish capital, keeps widening, and the latest deals with Chevron and Total make the prospect of a settlement even more distant. The Iraqi Kurds, part of a stateless people numbering some 25 million across the region, have long dreamed of an independent homeland and Baghdad fears that the KRG's oil wealth will result in a unilateral breakaway that could trigger the break-up of the federal state. The deepening dispute over who will control the world's fifth largest oil reserves, which could eventually rival Saudi Arabia's, is part of a long-running blood feud between the Kurds and Baghdad that may yet erupt into open war. Such concerns have been heightened by the turmoil sweeping the entire Middle East and have dismayed the United States. Chevron said it has completed acquisition of the Qara Dagh block, which covers an area of 330 square miles southeast of Erbil. Total announced that it has bought an 80 percent stake in the Baranan block, with the remaining 20 percent held by the KRG. Total already holds a 35 percent stake in the Harir and Safen exploration zones. The move by major oil companies into Kurdistan reflects a general disenchantment with Iraq's oil sector by Western oil majors who were looking ahead a few years ago to a postwar bonanza. The move was led by Exxon Mobil in October 2011 when it acquired six exploration blocks in Kurdistan, turning its back on a major stake in the $50 billion West Qurna 1 megafield in southern Iraq. Russia's Gazprom Neft has also acquired blocks in Kurdistan in recent months. Baghdad considers these deals involving the KRG to be illegal and refuses to pay the oil companies operating in Kurdistan their share of export revenues. The Kurds say they are owed more than $3.5 billion by Baghdad, and stopped exporting through the state pipelines in December. Exxon, and later Total, broke with Baghdad because of frustration at Baghdad's bureaucratic snarls and endless delays in vital infrastructure projects, a sentiment shared by most of the international oil companies which have dealings with Baghdad. Another reason was the federal government's niggardly production-sharing terms. The KRG offered far more lucrative terms and less restrictive operating conditions. Other companies have found Iraq tough going: Norway's Statoil pulled out altogether in 2012. Unlike Exxon and Total, which stand to lose their stakes in major southern fields controlled by Baghdad, Chevron does not have any commitments in southern or central Iraq. The KRG sits on an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil, about one-third of Iraq's proven reserves, which are currently pegged at 150 billion barrels. As these oil majors have moved into Kurdistan, Turkey has stepped in with plans for a pipeline from the Kurdish zone northwards to export terminals on the Mediterranean, bypassing Baghdad's network. Turkey, which has no energy resources, is seeking to establish itself as a pivotal East-West energy hub as part of its drive to become the major power in the region. The Iraqi Kurds are currently producing around 200,000 barrels per day and exporting around 65,000 bpd by truck to world markets through Turkey. That's slotted to hit 250,000 bpd by year-end and 2 million bpd by 2019. Baghdad last week unveiled new production targets that were significantly reduced from the blueprint it unveiled several years ago, which were deemed wildly ambitious by the global energy industry at the time. But equally significantly, the new projections do not include production from Kurdistan, suggesting Baghdad may no low believe a resolution of the oil dispute with the KRG to be impossible. The increased output foreseen by the Oil Ministry ? 4.5 million bpd by the end of 2014, 9 million bpd by 2020 ? will come largely from new oil produced by the southern Iraqi megafields. Many in the industry say even that may be a stretch. =================== Picking up on Jack Diamonds' highlighting of Hess, a $22 billion U.S company also coincidentally operating in Kurdistan, which recently went through separation of the Chairman and CEO roles, the following 2 articles make fascinating reading. From 10 May 2013 Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/10/us-hesscorp-shareholders-board-idUSBRE9490IQ20130510 Extract: " Elliott Management, which owns a 4.5 percent stake in Hess, has been clamoring for change at the company since January, when it launched its campaign to seat the new directors and pitched a plan to break up the company. The hedge fund has railed against the current board, alleging that directors are too closely tied to Hess Chief Executive John Hess and that poor oversight has led to underperformance. " And from 29 January 2013 in the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324329204578272062977108292.html Extract: < But Elliott Management said the changes Hess has proposed don't go far enough. "Divesting these downstream distractions clearly is a step that should have been taken long ago," John Pike, senior portfolio manager with Elliott, said in an interview. "This is one step and frankly a small step. The problems at Hess go much deeper." Elliott Management said it believes the current Hess board doesn't have the relevant experience and isn't independent enough to run the company. A spokesman for Hess declined to comment. > The parallels are quite striking, aren't they! And perhaps most interesting of all, from the WSJ article, I noted that "The hedge fund has put forth a slate of FIVE board nominees".... and who appears at the top of that list but a certain Rodney F Chase..... you know that guy who is currently the 'Independent Chairman' at GENEL. http://www.genelenergy.com/about-us/board-management/board-of-directors.aspx Now, is it just me or doesn't everyone seem to be strangely hand in glove with everyone else. And I thought the idea was that Independent directors ought to be COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT. I'd certainly appreciate some clarification from M&G as to precisely what they are up to ..... because I don't want a 'carbon' copy of the Hess situation being re-created here. GLA, scaramouche =============== Interesting, on 29th May GKP announces Chairman and CEO roles are to be split and a search process has commenced for an Independent Chairman. The search process presumably begins with selecting someone to do the search for you. Two weeks later on 11th June GKP announces it has engaged Odgers Berndtson to find a Non – Exec Chairman. 3 weeks and 1 day later they have done their search, interviewed candidates, done due diligence, GKP has approved the recommendation, terms have been agreed, passed it by the main IIs and the candidate has accepted. It shows what can be done by a search firm when the way has been cleared for you. The question remains is he GKPs man, M&Gs man or truly a mutually acceptable candidate. The answer to that will dictate how events unfold. Whoever is behind the appointment they appear to have selected a tough individual with the courage of his convictions. Perhaps one of our internet sleuths who was unlucky not to get a ticket for tomorrow can track down his record on Executive pay and other corporate governance matters whilst we quiz GKP on operations and other issues? Regards, Gramacho =============== M&G=Meet & Greet My first thoughts on our new chairman were, I’m afraid, slightly negative but having spent the last hour researching Mr Murray I have had time to reflect on what I now regard as a far too hasty a conclusion. I hope that I am big enough to fez up, when I have made a mistake. I think in this case I was wrong! The more I have researched Mr Murray, which is easy as there is so much about this man on the net, the more I have grown to like and respect him. He is one tough cookie! Murray is a fascinating individual. He is an adventurer. Wiki says that he joined the French Foreign Legion. It sounds romantic but I’m sure its not. He served for five years in the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment and has also trekked all the way to the south pole unaided. He is no spring chicken pushing 74 I’m very pleased to say he is English. Wiki and other sources show that he has a wealth of Far East experience. He has worked for Jardine Matheson. . From Wiki “Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. often referred to as Jardines, is a British conglomerate. One of the original Hong Kong trading houses or Hongs that date back to Imperial China and the 'Opium Wars' of 1840 , as of December 2010, 41% of the company's profits were still earned in China.[1] ‘ His tenure as the MD of its engineering business lasted for 14 years followed by him starting up a firm called Davenham, a project advisory company. And here we come to the first of two links to Genel This company which was his brain child was 50% purchased by NM Rothschild and eventually sold to Li Ka-Shing . Mr Murray became an executive. From Wiki Sir Ka-shing Li, GBM, KBE,[3] JP (born 13 June 1928 in Chaozhou, China)[4][5] is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is considered to be the richest person in Asia. As of March 2013, according to Forbes, he is the eighth richest person in the world with an estimated wealth of US $31 billion.[6] He is the Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings as of 2008; through them, he is the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer.[7] Mr Murray has considerable corporate experience. While CEO of Hutchinson he founded Orange which was sold for US$33bn. Yes that’s right 33 BILLION DOLLARS US In addition he worked for Deutsche Bank as an Executive Chairman in Asia.. If the Chinese want us, he will have his own connections. Simon also founded his own business called GEMS, an investment group. Simon Murray was or is a director or advisor to multiple large businesses (Vodafone, Vivendi, General Electric, Cheung Kong and Macquarie Bank) and former Chairman of Glencore. (Wiki) Now who do we know who is going to be acting Chairman of Glencore? I take it he knows Tony Hayward. He has oil experience as an adviser or director to CNOOC (another Chinese link) and as a purchaser of Husky Oil. It appears that Simon is currently a non executive director of Essar Energy an Indian energy group with both upstream and downstream assets and oil exploration projects in Africa and Asia. (Wiki) He has a reputation as a straight talking forceful speaker and has strong views on a number if issues, including the behaviour of banks. It implies that Simon is not afraid of speaking out, good stuff!. I wonder if he has any Yorkshire genes :0) I loved this snippet sent by a friend tonight : In 2013 he backed the initiative to provide a private navy to hound Somali pirates and his wife is no shrinking violet as she was the first woman to fly a helicopter round the world. He has received awards from both the British and French governments which is an achievement in itself ! It appears our new chairman has ample corporate know how. This combined with his Far East experience and his involvement in oil based industries makes him an attractive proposition in my book. Good choice – I wonder what will be next! Regards Dalesman ====== anti shareholder scaremongering Ilovescotch 17 There seems to have been a concerted effort by fandango, JD and others to discredit one of the largest shareholders in gkp, the M&G recovery fund, to PIs on this board. This extends from this latest promotion of the reuters article which has nothing to do with the situation in gkp, to the repeated assertion that shareholders asserting influence over the company that they own is bad news. Please do some research into what the M&G recovery fund is, what it is designed for, its governance and oversight and the record of the fund manager. This is freely available information, which is regulated heavily. Insinuating that there is something dodgy afoot here is blatant scaremongering. Research the NED recommendations by M&G yourselves and who/what this M&G fund is rather than listen to their opinions. Opinions that are in my view ill informed at best and anti shareholder interests at worst (I appreciate the irony of an opinion in this post). Listening to opinion dressed up as facts on here is bad for your wealth. Don't listen to mine, but don't listen to theirs either - do your own research and don't let people scare you into making bad decisions. ILS ============== The candidates nominated by M&G is to see that GKP is on the right track to governance. What does Lord Guthrie and Mark Hanson know about the oil industry before they were selected to be NED? What we need is NED's that will look after PI's and institutional investors interest and the last thing we want is another loan that could happen,in my humble opinion. Minority interests needs to be addressed.Institutional investors will sell down GKP if governance is seen lacking and that's the reason in my view Ballie Gifford sold down. For institutional investors to take the effort to nominate NED's shows that they care very much about their investments in GKP. If they do not make this move,do you expect PI's to make this move?You will probably need at least a hundred PI's to come together and agreeing to select a few NED's! That will be virtually quite impossible.Balance is what we need and why are they so fearful of M&G's proposal? Best wishes to all Investor 48 ============= GKP's board had the golden opportunity to put the board at the highest level of governance after the Gokana late reporting of it's disposal of GKP. Please take a closer look at GKP's 2012 accounts and look at the expenses!! We were big supporters of the management until TK transferred the 10million shares of GKP that started the SP to fall and in my view the exit of BG. Any responsible CEO,IMHO would not have done that.You can make your case,but it is unacceptable period. I rest my case. Best wishes ========== Thank you, Dalesman, for researching Simon Murray. I have just read through all the 4+ posts today having managed to stay away for a few days and I now feel depressed! I remain positive, increasingly so, about GKP as an investment and am looking forward to a stream of positive RNS announcements in the months to come but I simply cannot understand all the carping and moaning from so many PIs who have no individual or collective influence on decisions made by TK and the Board. Yes I know we have 'rights' as shareholders but we have no influence and any investment decisions we make are for our own selfish reasons. I am pleased the KRG respect Todd, I am delighted there will soon be two pipelines to carry our oil to international markets, I am very pleased we have a heavyweight new Chairman (which is what various posters were demanding but now seem totally unimpressed at the appointment) and I am perfectly happy to leave major decisions to those who understand oil and who understand Kurdistan. If I change my mind about GKP as an investment I shall sell what to me is a considerable holding and accept my profit or loss (definitely loss at the moment!) as an occupational Risk. Would Todd miss me? Of course not, why should he? He didn't tell me to buy my shares, that was my own decision and I remain confident it was a good one. I have recently added another 5000 shares and they are up almost 3%!! Wow, who is a clever boy? Seriously, I am simply as selfish as Todd in that we both want the best return on our investment - I just happen to think we will both be rewarded although I do accept he is doing much better than me at the moment. Still, I didn't stake my life and my fortune chasing the golden rainbow in Kurdistan, I was enjoying a much more straightforward life in the UK and am grateful he was not doing the same. Am I a fan of Todd? No, I have no opinion but I would like him to continue with GKP for simple strategic reasons but to be supported and kept in check by strong non - execs. That is what happens in all companies with pretensions to be a major force and I am sure that would be best for GKP now. I wish I could be in London tomorrow and am grateful in advance to anyone who is able to give up time and spend their own money attending the investor presentation.I hope it proves to be a constructive and interesting event and I look forward to reading about it. ============ Some quick snippets for Gramacho - Hours before Simon Murray was appointed to Glencore, the BBC had reported that Lord Browne (ex BP) was in line for the role, but had walked away due to corporate governance concerns. Glencore naturally denied any governance concerns and Simon Murray spoke out when appointed, saying their were ‘no questions on corporate governance’. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/mining/8456256/Glencore-chairman-Simon-Murray-hits-back-at-Lord-Browne-over-corporate-governance-claims.html However, he didn’t help the company’s cause when this was reported: Glencore chairman Simon Murray criticised for sexism. Glencore’s new chairman has been widely condemned for making “unacceptable” and “deplorable” sexist remarks, raising further corporate governance concerns ahead of the commodity trader’s planned $60bn (£37bn) stock market debut. The mining and trading giant has already been criticised over its approach to corporate governance after Mr Murray’s botched appointment. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/mining/8471301/Glencore-chairman-Simon-Murray-criticised-for-sexism.html Question marks were raised over his tenure at Sino Forest, with Murray and Co. accused of over-stating assets while selling down the stock. ‘Murray watched the company’s share price plunge 67 percent between June 2 and Aug 26, when the Ontario Securities Commission suspended the stock from trading, saying the company may have misstated revenue.’ Murray claimed that his interests were aligned with shareholders, but the episode was enough to deter billionaire James Bevan at CCLA Investment Management from investing in Glencore. “There’s no alignment between the interests of the controlling owners and the public shareholders,” Bevan said. “We continue not to hold Glencore shares and certainly won’t consider purchases until this is now fully resolved, and Simon Murray’s position is clear and confirmed to be fine,” Bevan said in an email yesterday. “If it isn’t, his position as Chairman is untenable.” A bigger loss, should the allegations be proved, would be to his credibility as an independent director. “When you’re a company director, your reputation is always on the line,” says David Webb, a shareholder activist and former director of the Hong Kong stock exchange whose Webb-site.com exposes corporate shenanigans. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-31/murray-transforms-glencore-from-marc-rich-legacy-with-foreign-legion-vigor.html In his defence - and maybe a hint at how he intends to work with GKP – ‘Murray says he plans to use his energy to work with Glasenberg to improve Glencore’s image. Murray says he and Glasenberg both know their roles. “Ivan’s is to run the business, and mine is to run the board-- and the board functions in great part to look after the interest of shareholders,” Murray says. “That’s all about good governance. Ivan’s the sort of guy who will listen. He has not run a public company and is very conscious of the fact.” Let’s hope that Todd is the sort of guy who will listen to Murray. He has not run a multi-billion oil producing company and is hopefully reminded by Murray of that fact. ==========================

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sony says Dubai dealers sold Iran $12.8 million in equipment (Reuters) - Sony Corp said some dealers in Dubai resold about $12.8 million worth of its video equipment and medical instruments to Iranian ministries, in a move that could possibly attract U.S. penalties. The dealers resold some equipment to Iran's broadcasting unit and health ministry, and some also planned to sell equipment to the information technology department of the country's police, the firm said in a filing with the U.S. regulator.
"If the relevant authorities were to impose penalties or sanctions against Sony (Xetra: 853687 - news) , the impact of such sanctions could be material," the company said in Thursday's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sony said it followed policies and procedures designed to keep transactions with Iran in line with applicable economic sanctions laws, but there could be no assurance such measures would be effective. It listed four Iran-related transactions, in three of which it made net profit of less than $500,000, while taking a loss in the fourth, but did not say how much. Washington has been cracking down on companies accused of evading Iran sanctions. The United States and Europe have imposed sanctions against specific Iranian individuals, state institutions or companies in so far unavailing efforts to persuade Tehran to rein in enrichment of uranium and open up to U.N. inspectors in exchange for phased relief from tightening financial isolation. Western nations believe the Islamic Republic is attempting to develop the means to build atomic bombs. Iran says the nuclear programme is solely for electricity generation and medical uses. Sony said it may conduct additional future sales in Iran through third-party owned dealers or distributors, which may require disclosure under U.S. laws. "Sony intends to conduct any such sales in accordance with applicable law," it added. (The story corrects net profit in paragraph 5 to less than $500,000, not $500 million.) (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Syrian army hits rebels, Riyadh accuses Assad of genocide

Syrian army hits rebels, Riyadh accuses Assad of genocide Tue, Jun 25 11:33 AM EDT 1 of 4 By Oliver Holmes BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's military pounded rebel bastions in Damascus on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia demanded an arms embargo on what it called President Bashar al-Assad's genocidal and illegitimate regime. Attacking Iran, Russia and Lebanon's Hezbollah for supporting Assad, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom could not be silent and called for arms to be supplied to Syrian rebels, now militarily on the back foot. "Syria is facing a double-edged attack, it is facing genocide by the government and an invasion from outside the government, and ... a massive flow of weapons to aid and abet that invasion and that genocide. This must end," he told a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah. "The kingdom calls for issuing an unequivocal international resolution to halt the provision of arms to the Syrian regime and states the illegitimacy of the regime," Prince Saud said. In Damascus, Assad's gunners fired mortars and artillery at Zamalka and Irbin, just east of the government-held city centre, in an assault backed by air strikes, opposition activists said. Mostly Sunni Muslim rebels who grabbed footholds in Damascus nearly a year ago now say they face a grinding advance by the Syrian military, buoyed by support from Assad's regional Shi'ite allies, notably Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters on the ground. If the insurgents are driven from the capital's eastern suburbs, they would lose arms supply routes and suffer a severe blow in their drive to end four decades of Assad family rule. The Saudi minister's strongly worded remarks reinforced signs that the Syrian war is entangling much of the Middle East. Security in neighboring Iraq and Lebanon, where the conflict has aggravated Sunni-Shi'ite tensions, has crumbled. Suicide bombers killed eight people north of Baghdad on Tuesday, a day after 39 people died when 10 car bombs exploded in the capital. Violence has spiraled in Iraq since April. "GETTING OUT OF HAND" In Lebanon, clashes between the Lebanese army and gunmen led by a fiercely anti-Hezbollah Sunni cleric engulfed the southern port of Sidon on Sunday. At least 40 people were killed, including 18 soldiers, security sources said. Sectarian hatred has even flared in Sunni-majority Egypt, where a crowd attacked and killed five Shi'ites on Sunday. Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League mediator, urged the United States and Russia to help "contain this situation that is getting out of hand, not only in Syria but also in the region". Speaking in Geneva before preparatory talks with U.S. and Russian officials, he said he doubted that a Syria peace conference proposed by Moscow and Washington could take place next month, citing disarray among Assad's political opponents. More than 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since peaceful protests erupted in March 2011. Assad's violent response helped generate what is now a civil war that has driven nearly 1.7 million refugees into neighboring countries. Outgunned rebels are looking to Western and Arab nations to help them to reverse Assad's battlefield gains of the last few weeks. But although the United States announced unspecified military aid this month, it is unclear whether this can shift the balance against the Syrian leader and his allies. Kerry wants to ensure that aid to the rebels is properly coordinated, in part out of concern that weapons could end up in the hands of Islamist militants who are prominent in their ranks. "Our goal is very clear, we cannot let this be a wider war, we cannot let this contribute to more bloodshed and prolongation of the agony of the people of Syria," he said. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni state which views Shi'ite Iran as its arch-rival, has increased aid to Syrian rebels in recent months, supplying anti-aircraft missiles among other weapons. Prince Saud denounced foreign involvement in Syria "by Hezbollah and other militias supported by the forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard", and also took a swipe at Moscow. "There is no logic that allows Russia to publicly arm the Syrian regime and the foreign forces that support it." (Additional reporting by Mahmoud Habboush in Dubai and Lesley Wroughton in Jeddah; Writing by Alistair Lyon, editing by Peter Millership)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Afghan forces put down attack on presidential palace: police

Top News Afghan forces put down attack on presidential palace: police Tue, Jun 25 02:14 AM EDT 1 of 6 By Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan forces put down an early morning attack by Taliban insurgents on the presidential palace and nearby buildings in central Kabul on Tuesday, with police saying all the assailants had been killed after a 90-minute gunfight. A Reuters reporter at the palace said the attack began soon after 6:30 a.m. (0200 GMT) when at least one man opened fire with an automatic rifle at a gate to the palace in the central Shash Darak district. Karzai's whereabouts were not immediately known, though he had been due to attend a press event at the palace after 9 a.m. Reporters had been gathering at the palace and took cover when the firing broke out. Kabul police chief, General Ayoub Salangi, told Reuters all the attackers had been killed. An Afghan official said five assailants had been killed along with two Afghan guards. The defense ministry and the Ariana Hotel, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Afghan station, were also targeted. Afghan forces and U.S. servicemen returned fire and explosions resounded in the area. Schoolchildren walking to classes nearby were also caught in the exchanges. It was not immediately clear if any were hurt. A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from Ariana Hotel at the height of the exchanges. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks. The assault was launched a day after the U.S. envoy appointed to help the Afghan government and the Taliban pursue peace, James Dobbins, arrived in Kabul and met Karzai. He had been due to hold a press roundtable with Afghan reporters. He told reporters on Monday that Washington was still trying to determine if the Taliban were ready for talks. The talks to end 12 years of war between the Taliban insurgency and international and Afghan forces ran into difficulties over the opening of a Taliban office in the Gulf emirate of Qatar. (Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Dylan Welch; Editing by Ron Popeski)

The chairman has a setback...

(hitler video) http://youtu.be/-PtnF3kmSUo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PtnF3kmSUo&feature=youtu.be MBO=Management Buy-Out Having been through 2 MBO's with the same company I have some experience. IMO if TK can raise the funds for a low ball offer he would be massively leveraged which would be fine for the initial take over but in doing so he would have 'sold his soul to the devil' and would find it difficult to obtain further funding in the short/medium term for further drilling/pipeline construction etc. Any venture capitalist consortium will 'dictate' to him what he can or cannot do including stringent monitoring of directors' remuneration (TK's 'baby' will undergo an 'adoption' very quickly by the VCs=venture capitalist ). They will definitely ensure they have 1 or maybe 2 directors on the board. If Shaikan was sold after the MBO he would be even more over leveraged on his initital borrowing since the asset would have been taken into account on the first call. To use the sale funds for FDP would be a case of double counting. Er indoors If TK thinks he is being given a hard time now wait till he has to ask if he can go to the toilet!! Er Indoors monyash
Miny: on greenhill, perhaps i could give a reason other than my initial thoughts "this lot are amateurs" who will continue to provide jam tomorrow rather than getting stuck in and providing it now. Once exports begin, the 30 year count down of our PSC contract is ignited. We cannot then turn the clock back. It is mosr likely that local markets are all sown up with those who have seen their exports halted. This leaves very little room for GKP to sell their oil locally apart from the possibly current 5,000bopd. GKP might be able to increase that figure somewhat, but i doubt they could. Sell 20.000bopd to an already saturated local market. Would it not make sense if we are to sell Shaikan to keep our asset in pristine condition with the full 30 yrs intact. Drilling SH7 and preparing for the "big sale" makes sense to me. In the meantime if the export taps are switched back on then GKP should be ready to export 20.000 to 25.000bopd from PF1 and not too far from completion of PF2. Ideally it might be better for shareholders if the exports were delayed further due to getting the O&GL approved and both exports and the O&GL are all underway by the year end. By that time IF this management are half as good as Todds wage package we will be sittiing waiting to export 40.000 to 50.000bopd from day one of our PSC. Perhaps i am being too optimistic on both fronts but from now on the WHOLE BOD must be aware that they all share some responsibility on wage structures and performance as well as how the company is viewed by the City. To date Todd Has now officially in my eyes caused a major loss of confidence in GKP. There must be casualties in this fiasco and strong decisive moves to block his wage package is essential. There is much to be excited about but there are concerns we should be concerned with too. Until Todd is reigned in we remain in danger of been fleeced by an excessive greedy CEO. There are i am sure skills that Todd posseses that are unique and could prove to be lucrative to shareholders, but it is his shady, greedy side that is currently shining like a lighthouse beacon. All IMHO. Miny ================ "Sonangal Sinopec International Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of CNPC, will acquire Houston-based Marathon's 10 percent stake on the Angolan field called Block 31, it said in a statement late on Friday." and then "The Angolan Block 31 field, operated by BP, has estimated proved and probable reserves of 533 million barrels, CNPC said, adding that it would hold a stake of 15 percent in the block when the transaction was completed." It actually means that CNPC already had 5% before this transaction and now aquiruing additional 10% for $1.52Bn. Not bad, considering 53.3mbls will cost around $5.3Bn if bought on the spot market, so saving of over 70%. Of course it will be a tax component to Angola as well, but we don't really have those figures on hand to evaluate their PSC.
Iraq's oil exports to Turkey stopped since three days due to leakage Monday, 24 June 2013 12:44 Shafaq News / A Navigation source said on Monday that oil pumping through Kirkuk - Ceyhan pipeline from Iraq to the Turkish coast on the Mediterranean Sea is stopped since Friday evening. Reuters quoted a navigation source in a statement briefed by “Shafaq News” as saying that “supplies are stopped due to a leakage”. The Iraqi oil exports have declined to 2.484 million barrels per day in May from 2.62 million barrels per day in April due to a slowdown in shipments of Kirkuk after the repeated attacks on the pipeline and maintenance work in the south. Oil flow from Iraq to Turkey has stopped through Kirkuk - Ceyhan pipeline in May and April because of the repeated attacks by armed groups. Kirkuk pipeline transfers oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. Iraq seeks to double its oil production over the next three years and aims in the long term to pump 12 million barrels per day.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Square roots? Scientists say plants are good at math

Sun, Jun 23 00:09 AM EDT LONDON (Reuters) - Plants do complex arithmetic calculations to make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, new research published in journal eLife shows. Scientists at Britain's John Innes Centre said plants adjust their rate of starch consumption to prevent starvation during the night when they are unable to feed themselves with energy from the sun. They can even compensate for an unexpected early night. "This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation," mathematical modeler Martin Howard of John Innes Centre (JIC) said. During the night, mechanisms inside the leaf measure the size of the starch store and estimate the length of time until dawn. Information about time comes from an internal clock, similar to the human body clock. "The capacity to perform arithmetic calculation is vital for plant growth and productivity," JIC metabolic biologist Alison Smith said. "Understanding how plants continue to grow in the dark could help unlock new ways to boost crop yield." (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by Keiron Henderson)

‘Super Moon’ occurring on June 23 /2013: سب ہی مار خینگے جب امام أنگے .

‘Super Moon’ occurring on June 23 Saturday, 22 June 2013 14:50 Posted by Parvez Jabri 1942 ISLAMABAD: Full moon or call it supermoon falls on June 23, 2013 at 11:32 UTC (6:32 a.m. CDT in the US) across the world. Thus, for many, the moon appears about as full in the June 22 evening sky as it does on the evening of June 23. This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon's closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013.The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014, private news channel reported. Be sure to lookout for the Moon these next few months as it approaches Perigee, because the full moon during these times will appear exceptionally large. The Moon will be at its Perigee, or closest approach, in June 23 and it will reach full moon only a few minutes after it passes this point in its orbit. What that means is that the Moon will be closer to the Earth on June 23, 2013 than at any other time during the year in fact, the upcoming Super Moon will be the closest encounter between the Earth and the Moon until August 2014. This year the Supermoon will be up to 14 pecent larger and 30 percent brighter than a typical Full Moon is. This is a result of the Moon reaching its perigree - the closest that it gets to the Earth during the course of its orbit. During perigree on June 23 the Moon will be "only" about 221,824 miles away, as compared to the 252,581 miles away that it is at its furthest distance from the Earth (apogee). The Moon will actually be at apogee only two weeks after the Supermoon, on July 7. These `super moons' not only appear larger because they are physically closer but, combined with a full moon, the mind can play tricks on you to think they are much larger. A new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with moon in its nearest approach to Earth.

Canada's oil capital to be shut for days after flooding

Canada's oil capital to be shut for days after flooding Sat, Jun 22 13:38 PM EDT By Nia Williams CALGARY, Alberta, June 22 (Reuters) - Southern Alberta braced for more disruption on Saturday from floods that have killed at least two people, forced about 100,000 people from their homes and blacked out the center of Canada's oil capital, Calgary. Communities to the south and east of Calgary were put on high alert as the flood waters moved across the region. But with rainfall easing up, authorities were hopeful that the worst might now be over. "It's morning in Calgary! Sunny, water levels are down, and our spirit remains strong," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Twitter. "We're not out of this, but maybe have turned (the) corner." The floods followed some 36 hours of unusually heavy rainfall - some communities received six months of their normal rainfall in less than two days. Evacuations started on Thursday, both in Calgary and in smaller cities across the south of the province. Utility Enmax switched off power to central Calgary late on Friday afternoon lest water damage its downtown facilities. Calgary was unable to say how much it would cost to repair flooded homes and rebuild roads and bridges washed away by the murky brown floodwater. But the floods are already shaping up to be significantly worse than those of 2005, which caused C$400 million in damage after three big storms struck in a single week. The bulk of the evacuations were in Calgary, a city of 1.1 million that is home to Canada's biggest energy companies, with up to 100,000 people ordered to leave their homes. The city urged drivers to stay off the roads, and warned people not to get too close to the raging rivers. Canada's oil producing region, way to the north of the city, was not affected, although some agricultural regions were flooded, with likely damage to crops that include wheat and canola. "A lot of Albertans have faced disasters the likes of which the majority of us could never imagine," Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths told a news conference. The bodies of two men were found near High River, Alberta, a town of 13,000 located about 60 km (37 miles) south of Calgary. Police said two other people were missing. In Calgary authorities said the Bow and Elbow Rivers had crested and water levels were expected to drop over the next few days. But the Bow was still flowing at around five times its normal rate on Saturday. Mandatory evacuation orders remained in place in more than 20 parts of Calgary including the downtown core. Nenshi said downtown, where many of Canada's oil companies have their headquarters, could be off limits until Wednesday. MOVING HOME A spokesman for Imperial Oil, Canada's second-largest producer and refiner, said the company was working on plans to maintain essential operations, including allowing employees to work from other locations. Shorcan Energy Brokers, which provides live prices for many Canadian crude grades, operated out of Toronto on Friday rather than at its usual Calgary base, although no trades in either Western Canada Select heavy blend or light synthetic crude from the oil sands took place. Net Energy Inc, the other main Calgary crude broker, was closed on Friday and no trading took place. Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said there was still a chance of another surge in the Bow and Elbow rivers, but city authorities hoped people could move back to their communities as water levels fell. Many roads and bridges remained closed, and residents were urged to conserve drinking water because treatment plants are taking more time to process the sludgy water. The parts of Calgary under water included the grounds of the annual Calgary Stampede, which is due to start on July 5. Burrell said the city would be working hard to restore Stampede Park in time for the rodeo, but it was not a priority. ======== Flooding to close core of Canada's oil capital for days Sat, Jun 22 20:04 PM EDT 1 of 15 By Nia Williams CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Some residents began returning to damaged homes on Saturday after record-breaking floods in southern Alberta that killed at least three people, displaced more than 100,000 and will leave the core of Canada's oil capital, Calgary, without power for days. Communities to the south and east of Calgary were on high alert as flood waters washed across the region. And even as Calgary lifted some evacuation orders, officials warned people not to become complacent. "We have a situation across southern and particularly south-west Alberta of intense saturation, which means 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) of rain that would typically be absorbed could cause massive flooding and run-off," Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths told a news conference. "Please do not assume because the clouds have cleared and the streets are not flooded with water it is perfectly safe to move back into your community." The floods followed 36 hours of unusually heavy rainfall which pushed the volume of water in local rivers to record levels. Some communities received six months of their normal rainfall in under two days. Evacuations started on Thursday, and utility Enmax switched off power to central Calgary on Friday afternoon to avoid water damage to its downtown facilities. The area was still without power and closed to vehicles on Saturday. A few tourists and residents strolled in the carless streets of the city's core, but the area was eerily quiet. Officials said it was too early to say how much it would cost to repair flooded homes and rebuild roads and bridges washed away by the murky brown floodwater. But the floods already look significantly worse than those of 2005, which caused C$400 million ($383 million) in damage in the western Canadian province. "We are not through the crisis yet," Alberta Premier Alison Redford told a news conference in Medicine Hat in south-east Alberta, where the South Saskatchewan River is expected to crest at 6,000 cubic meters (1.59 million U.S. gallons) per second on Monday morning. The bulk of the evacuations were in Calgary, a city of 1.1 million that is home to Canada's biggest energy companies, although evacuations in other communities brought the total of displaced people to well above 100,000. Calgary urged drivers to stay off the roads, and warned people not to get too close to still-raging rivers. "If you want to help your city, the best thing you can do is stay home," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, visibly tired after two days of crisis management, told a news conference. Canada's main oil-producing region in the north of the province, was not affected, although some farmland was flooded, which will likely weaken crops that include wheat and canola. THREE DEATHS Police said three bodies had been found near High River, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Calgary. In Calgary, authorities said water levels were expected to drop in the coming days. But the Bow River was still flowing at around five times its normal rate. Nenshi said downtown could be off limits until the middle of next week "at the earliest." A spokesman for Imperial Oil, Canada's second-largest producer and refiner, said the company was working on plans to maintain essential operations, including allowing employees to work from other locations. Shell Canada said its downtown Calgary offices would be closed until Wednesday and employees would work from home. It was not clear when trading in Canadian crude oil would resume after little if any trade took place on Friday. Shorcan Energy Brokers, which provides live prices for many Canadian crude grades, operated out of Toronto on Friday rather than from Calgary, although there were no trades in Western Canada Select heavy blend or light synthetic crude. Net Energy Inc, the other main Calgary crude broker, was closed on Friday and no trading took place. Many roads and bridges remained closed, and the city banned the use of tap water for car-washing or other outside activities because treatment plants take more time to process the sludgy water. But Nenshi said Calgary water was still safe to drink. RETURNING HOME And as flood waters receded, a few residents were allowed back home to flooded basements and thick layers of silt on streets and sidewalks. "We had four feet of water," said Gordon Weir, 53, standing outside his home in the city's Elbow Park community as a pump spewed water from his basement onto the street. "It was all from ground water, so coming up from the sewers and through the concrete. This is one of the higher houses on the block. Our neighbors had seven or eight feet." Canada's ruling Conservative Party scrapped plans to hold its annual party convention in Calgary next weekend. "Postponing the convention is the right thing to do for the people of Calgary," said Michelle Rempel, Chair of the convention's Host Committee. Flood water covered the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, an annual extravaganza of cows, cowboys and horses scheduled to start on July 5. But Nenshi insisted the rodeo would go ahead. "We're Calgarians. We'll make it work," he said. "It may look different, but the show will go on." (Writing by Janet Guttsman; Editing by Eric Walsh) ================= Environment The Nation / By Naomi Klein COMMENT NOW! Turning Tar into Oil: An Economic and Environmental Disaster Looms The Iraq War has set off one of the largest oil booms in history -- and the race to mine the tar sands of Alberta will result in environmental disaster. May 31, 2007 | The invasion of Iraq has set off what could be the largest oil boom in history. All the signs are there: multinationals free to gobble up national firms at will, ship unlimited profits home, enjoy leisurely "tax holidays" and pay a laughable 1 percent in royalties to the government. This isn't the boom in Iraq sparked by the proposed new oil law -- that will come later. This boom is already in full swing, and it is happening about as far away from the carnage in Baghdad as you can get, in the wilds of northern Alberta. For four years now, Alberta and Iraq have been connected to each other through a kind of invisible seesaw: As Baghdad burns, destabilizing the entire region and sending oil prices soaring, Calgary booms. Here is how chaos in Iraq unleashed what the Financial Times recently called "north America's biggest resources boom since the Klondike gold rush." Albertans have always known that in the northern part of their province, there are vast deposits of bitumen -- black, tarlike goo that is mixed up with sand, clay, water and oil. There are approximately 2.5 trillion barrels of the stuff, the largest hydrocarbon deposits in the world. It is possible to turn Alberta's crud into crude, but it's awfully hard. One method is to mine it in vast open pits: First forests are clear-cut, then topsoil scraped away. Next, huge machines dig out the black goop and load it into the largest dump trucks in the world (two stories high, a single wheel costs $100,000). The tar is diluted with water and solvents in giant vats, which spin it around until the oil rises to the top, while the massive tailings are dumped in ponds larger than the region's natural lakes. Another method is to separate the oil where it is: Large drill-pipes push steam deep underground, which melts the tar, while another pipe sucks it out and transports it through several more stages of refining, much of it powered by natural gas. Both techniques are costly: between $18 and $23 per barrel, just in expenses. Until quite recently, that made no economic sense. In the mid-1980s, oil sold for $20 a barrel; in 1998-99, it was down to $12 a barrel. The major international players had no intention of paying more to get the oil than they could sell it for, which is why, when global oil reserves were calculated, the tar sands weren't even factored in. Everyone but a few heavily subsidized Canadian companies knew that the tar was staying put. Then came the US invasion of Iraq. In March 2003, the price of oil reached $35 a barrel, raising the prospect of making a profit from the tar sands (the industry calls them "oil sands"). That year, the United States Energy Information Administration "discovered" oil in the tar sands. It announced that Alberta -- previously thought to have only 5 billion barrels of oil -- was actually sitting on at least 174 billion "economically recoverable" barrels. The next year, Canada overtook Saudi Arabia as the leading provider of foreign oil to the United States. All this has meant that Iraq's oil boom has not been delayed; it has been relocated. All the majors, save BP, have rushed to northern Alberta: ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total, which alone plans to spend $9-$14 billion. In April, Shell paid $8 billion to take full control of its Canadian subsidiary. The town of Fort McMurray, ground zero of the boom, has nowhere to house the tens of thousands of new workers, and one company has built its own airstrip so it can fly in the people it needs. Seventy-five percent of the oil from the tar sands flows directly to the United States, prompting Brian Hall, an energy consultant with Colorado-based IHS, to call the tar sands "America's energy security blanket." There is a certain irony there: The United States invaded Iraq at least in part to secure access to its oil. Now, thanks partly to economic blowback from that disastrous decision, it has found the "security" it was looking for right next door. It has become fashionable to predict that high oil prices will spark a free-market response to climate change, setting off an "explosion of innovation in alternatives," as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote recently. Alberta puts the lie to that claim. High prices have indeed led to an R&D extravaganza, but it is squarely focused on figuring out how to get the dirtiest possible oil out of the hardest-to-reach places. Shell, for instance, is working on a "novel thermal recovery process" -- embedding large electric heaters in the deposits and literally cooking the earth. And that's the Alberta tar sands for you: The industry already contributing to climate change more than any other is frantically turning up the heat. The process of refining bitumen emits three to four times the greenhouse gases produced by extracting oil from traditional wells, making the tar sands the largest single contributor to Canada's growth in greenhouse gas emissions. The $100-billion in projected investments from the tar sands have also turned Canada into a global climate renegade. That money is the primary reason why, at next week's G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, my country's oil-friendly Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, will join George W. Bush in opposing all serious attempts to cap or reduce greenhouse gasses. Back at home, his government fully supports the oil industry's plans to more than triple tar sands production by 2020, with no end in sight. If prices stay high, it will soon become profitable to extract an additional 141 billion barrels from the tar sand, which would place the largest oil reserves in the world in Alberta. Developing the sands is devouring trees and wildlife -- the Pembina Institute, the leading authority on the tar sands' environmental impact, warns that boreal forests covering "an area as large as the State of Florida" risk being leveled. Now it turns out that the main river feeding the industry the massive quantities of water it needs is in jeopardy. Climate scientists say that dropping water levels are the result -- fittingly enough -- of climate warming. Contemplating the collective madness in Alberta -- a scene even the Financial Times has labeled "some dystopian fantasy" -- it strikes me that Canada has ended up with more than Iraq's displaced oil boom. We have its elusive weapons of mass destruction too. They are out near Fort McMurray, in the jet-black goo beneath the earth's crust. And with the help of trucks, pipes, steam and gas, these weapons are being detonated. This column was first published in The Nation . Naomi Klein is the author of "No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies" and "Fences and Windows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate." ===========================

India’s Energy Ties With Iran Unsettle Washington

India’s relentless search for hydrocarbons to fuel its booming economy has managed the rather neat diplomatic trick of annoying Washington, delighting Tehran and intriguing Baghdad, all the while leaving the Indian Treasury fretting about how to pay for its oil imports, given tightening sanctions on fiscal dealings with Iran. On 7 June the US State Department reluctantly announced that it was renewing India’s six-month waivers for implementing sanctions against Iran, along with seven other countries eligible for waivers from the sanctions owing to good faith efforts to substantially reduce their Iranian oil imports. In New Delhi’s case, it is the U.S. and EU-led sanctions rather than any willingness on India’s part that has seen a fall in its Iranian oil imports. India is the second largest buyer of Iranian oil, a nation with whom it has traditionally had close ties. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that India, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan had all qualified for an exception to sanctions under America's Iran Sanctions Act, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. Kerry told reporters, "Today's determination is another example of the international community's strong and steady commitment to convince Iran to meet its international obligations. This determination takes place against the backdrop of other recent actions the administration has taken to increase pressure on Iran, including the issuance of a new executive order on June 3. The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, or face increasing isolation and pressure." Related article: Japan-India Nuclear Deal, Last Piece in Corporate Nuclear Game But even with Washington’s beneficence, New Delhi is struggling to find ways to pay for its Iranian oil imports. The U.S. and European sanctions have deeply affected Iran’s international oil trade, reducing its exports by more than 50 percent and costing Iran billions of dollars in revenue since the beginning on last year. Tightening the screws, the Obama administration is now attempting to reduce Iran’s oil exports even further, to less than 500,000 barrels per day through tighter sanctions. Nevertheless, despite plummeting sales overseas, Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil exporter, remains one of the world's largest oil producers, with sales bringing in tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually. And Iran is anxious to keep India as a favored customer. Last month Iran offered India lucrative terms for developing its oilfields, routing a proposed natural gas pipeline through the sea to avoid Pakistan as well as insurance to Indian refiners provided New Delhi raised oil imports. Making its case, Iran sent a high-level delegation led by Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi to India to urge New Delhi to raise its oil purchases, which slid to 13.3 million tons in 2012-13 from 18 million tons in 2011-12. Heightening Iran’s concerns, later this year Indian imports are slated to fall further to around 11 million tons. After meeting Ghasemi Indian Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily issued a statement noting, “The Iranian side encouraged the Indian side to increase its crude purchase. “The Indian side explained that it would encourage companies to maintain their engagement in terms of crude oil purchase, taking into account their requirements, based on commercial and international considerations.” While Iranian-Indian trade ties continue to deepen, with Indian-based Consul General of Iran Hassan Nourian predicting that bilateral trade between India and Iran will be worth $25 billion by 2017, India is hedging its bets about energy imports, and where to make up the shortfall from the increased sanctions regime. …and what better place to look than the Middle East’s rising petro-state, Iraq? India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is heading for Baghdad for a two-day visit beginning 19 June. Related article: Oil Demand in China and India Falling – Proof Prices are Too High! Top of the agenda? Oil - Iraq is now India’s second largest supplier of oil after Saudi Arabia, having replaced Iran and become a “critical partner” of India. It is a potential marriage made in heaven. Iraq needs an assured market for its increasing crude production, having set itself a production target of 7 million bpd from its current 3 million bpd, while India is in search of a long-term partnership with a major oil producer. While such deepening ties will thrill Washington as much as they distress Iran, there is still a wild card in the Iraqi mix – China, now Iraq’s biggest customer, already purchasing nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, almost 1.5 million barrels a day. Worse still for Indian aspirations, China is now trying for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake currently owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields, West Qurna. New Delhi’s choices are stark – make Washington happy, alienate long-time partner Iran, and keep fingers crossed that Beijing doesn’t stitch up any further Iraqi concessions. Tough call. http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/oil-price/indias-energy-ties-with-iran-unsettle-washington =========================== Exclusive: China Mobile, Etisalat weighing bids for Pakistan telco - sources Tue, Jun 25 07:08 AM EDT By Dinesh Nair and Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Pakistan mobile operator Warid Telecom has been put up for sale by its Abu Dhabi owners and is likely to draw interest from China Mobile and Etisalat, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The Abu Dhabi Group, a conglomerate led by a ruling family member in the oil-rich emirate, is seeking to sell all 100-percent of shares in Warid Telecom, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The third source, however, said the company would also be prepared to sell a smaller controlling stake. Pakistan's mobile telecommunications sector has five operators and is ripe for consolidation after a period when a troubled economy, increasingly high levels of market penetration and stiff competition has forced companies' margins lower. The sellers have mandated U.S. investment bank Lazard and British lender Standard Chartered as advisers for the process, the sources said. One estimated a sale could fetch about $1 billion. Walid Irshaid, the chief executive of Pakistan Telecommunications (PTCL), a unit of United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat, said the company is weighing a potential bid. "We are interested to see if it makes sense for us, but it's not only us. Warid is an existing operator that has been here for many years and so we're saying 'let's look at the prospects,'" he told Reuters. "There are too many players in Pakistan. Margins have eroded for everybody and the market must consolidate - we're all operating under low margins and low ARPU (average revenue per user) and that isn't long-term sustainable." Warid Telecom declined to comment. China Mobile, which has increased its subscriber base by nearly three-quarters since 2010-11 and operates under the Zong brand, was not immediately for comment. SHRINKAGE Warid launched its cellular services in Pakistan in May 2005 and had 12.54 million subscribers at the end of March of this year, down from 17.39 million in 2010-11, making the company the country's smallest operator. Pakistan's total subscriber base rose 12.2 percent to 122.1 million over the same period, meaning Warid's market share fell to 10.3 percent from 16 percent. The other operators in Pakistan are Oslo-based Telenor and Orascom Telecom, which operates under the name Mobilink and is the sector leader. Neither was immediately available for comment. PTCL's mobile business is under the Ufone brand, while it has a 95 percent share of the country's fixed line subscribers. "The board (Warid Telecom) has been looking for a business partner to add value to Warid," a second source familiar with the matter said, adding China Mobile and Etisalat had both expressed interest in acquiring the company. In 2007, Singapore Telcommunications bought a 30-percent stake in Warid for about $758 million. That stake purchase gave Warid Telecom an enterprise value of about $2.5 billion. SingTel sold back that stake in January for $150 million and a right to receive 7.5 percent of the net proceeds from any future sale, public offering or merger of Warid. The Abu Dhabi conglomerate also agreed to sell Warid Telecom's Uganda business to Bharti Airtel in April without revealing the financial details of the transaction. Bharti recently agreed to buy the remaining 30 percent in Warid Telecom Bangladesh after taking a 70 pct stake in that business in 2010. The Abu Dhabi Group, led by ruling family member Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak al-Nahayan, invests in emerging markets and also has large investments in Pakistan including Bank Alfalah Ltd, Al Razi Healthcare and Wateen Telecom. (Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in New Delhi and Lee Chyen Yee in Hong Kong; Editing by Patrick Graham) ======================

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Iraq attacks kill more than 30

Iraq attacks kill more than 30 Sat, Jun 22 16:49 PM EDT BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shi'ite mosque in northern Baghdad killing at least 12 people during evening prayers, police and medics said, in the deadliest of a series of attacks that claimed more than 30 lives across Iraq on Saturday. Sectarian tensions in Iraq and the wider region have been inflamed by the civil war in Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite sect derives from Shi'ite Islam. Insurgents including al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate have been regaining ground and recruits from the country's Sunni minority, which feels sidelined since the U.S.-led invasion toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein and empowered majority Shi'ites. "A suicide bomber blew himself up among the worshippers in the middle of evening prayer. There were bodies drenched in blood and others shouting for help while smoke filled the mosque," said a policeman at the scene. A further 25 people were wounded in the attack, which took place in the Sab al-Bor district near Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad. Scattered attacks across the country throughout the day killed at least 22 others, around half of them in or near the northern city of Mosul, where a suicide bomber killed four people at a police checkpoint. In the western province of Anbar, which shares a border with Syria, militants detonated two car bombs near a checkpoint and attacked it with rocket-propelled grenades, killing five policemen. Two people were killed when gunmen hurled a hand grenade at a gathering of laborers in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, and a roadside bomb near some restaurants in the center of the capital killed two more. More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in May alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-07. (Reporting by Kareem Raheem, Kamal Naama and Ziad al-Sanjary; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Southwest cancels 57 flights after computer glitch

Caption: This image from June 20, 2013, at 11:15 p.m. EDT shows the bright light of a solar flare on the left side of the sun and an eruption of solar material shooting through the sun’s atmosphere, called a prominence eruption. Shortly thereafter, this same region of the sun sent a coronal mass ejection out into space. On June 20, 2013, at 11:24 p.m., the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory and ESA/NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 1350 miles per second, which is a fast speed for CMEs. Earth-directed CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they funnel energy into Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. The CME’s magnetic fields peel back the outermost layers of Earth's fields changing their very shape. Magnetic storms can degrade communication signals and cause unexpected electrical surges in power grids. They also can cause aurora. Storms are rare during solar minimum, but as the sun’s activity ramps up every 11 years toward solar maximum – currently expected in late 2013 -- large storms occur several times per year. In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs of this strength and direction have usually been mild ============== Jun. 22, 2013 6:56 AM ET Southwest cancels 57 flights after computer glitch By JEFF McMURRAY, Associated Press AIM Share In this Feb. 9, 2012 file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 waits to take off at Chicago's Midway Airport as another lands. A spokesman for Southwest Airlines says all departing flights have been grounded due to a system-wide computer problem, Saturday, June 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) More News Video Southwest cancels at least 64 flights due to glitch; computer system back at 'full capacity' Jun. 22, 20135:19 AM ET Southwest resumes takeoffs, expects cancellations after computer glitch grounded 250 flights Jun. 22, 20132:11 AM ET All departing Southwest flights grounded due to computer glitch; planes in air unaffected Jun. 22, 20131:29 AM ET Malaysia budget airport launch pushed to May 2014 Jun. 19, 20136:25 AM ET Airlines' on-time performance falls, US says Jun. 13, 20132:41 PM ET Advertisement Advertisement Buy AP Photo Reprints CHICAGO (AP) — A system-wide computer failure forced Southwest Airlines to ground its entire fleet of airplanes preparing for departures late Friday, and at least 57 flights had to be canceled even after service was fully restored hours later, a company spokeswoman said. Michelle Agnew told The Associated Press that 43 of the cancellations were flights scheduled for late Friday night departures in the western half of the country. The other 14 were Saturday morning flights scattered across the U.S. because crews were not able to get to airports in time to make the scheduled takeoffs. An estimated 250 flights — most of them on the West Coast — were grounded at least temporarily Friday night. The glitch impaired the airline's ability to do such things as conduct check-ins, print boarding passes and monitor the weight of each aircraft. Some flights were on the taxiway and diverted back to the terminal after the problem was detected around 8 p.m. PDT Friday, Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said. Flights already in the air were unaffected. Shortly after 11 p.m. PDT, Southwest posted on its Twitter page that "systems are operating and we will begin work to get customers where they need to be. Thanks for your patience tonight." Agnew said the computer system was "running at full capacity" by early Saturday. Before that, though, officials used a backup system that was much more sluggish. "Backup systems are in place, not the main system, so it's slower," Hawkins said after service resumed. "But we are able to start launching these flights." He said cancellations were inevitable because the airline doesn't do redeye flights and by the time the problem was fixed, it was near "the end of our operational day." The late hour of the disruption meant the computer problem affected far more flights on the West Coast, but Hawkins said at least a few on the East Coast were grounded as well. Southwest, based in Dallas, conducts, on average, 3,400 flights a day. A spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport said of about 25 inbound and outbound flights remaining Friday, only five departing flights were experiencing delays, of 30 to 80 minutes. At LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), a total of three flights — all departures — were affected. Four Southwest flights were temporarily held in Seattle, said Christina Faine, a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport spokeswoman. One flight to Oakland, Calif., had been due to leave at 9:20 p.m. and departed before 11 p.m. Faine said late Friday night that an airport duty manager, Anthony Barnes, told her the others were expected to depart shortly. Steve Johnson, a spokesman for Portland, Ore., International Airport, said he was not aware of any planes held up there. ___ Associated Press writers Kathy McCarthy in Seattle, Robert Seavey in Phoenix and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Associated Press Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Legacy of Bhagat Singh & Submerged Shiva

The Pyre of Bhagat Singh on the bank of river Ravi, Lahore in 1931. Very few people know that though bodies of Bhagat Singh,Rajguru and Sukhdevd were taken to Ganda Singh wala near District Kasur from the back gate of Lahore central jail after execution and half burnt in the name of cremation. However it were large number of people led by Lala Lajpat Rai's daughter Parvati Devi and Bibi Amark kaur sister of Bhagat Singh, that took way the half burnt body pieces of martyrs back to Lahore and all three were properly cremated at bank of river Ravi at Lahore with 40 thousand strong procession of people. — with Sant Singh Paras Dhadi, Bhagat Singh, Surender Pruthi and 28 others in Lahore, Punjab. ================================= Bhagat Singh From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Not to be confused with Bhagat Singh Thind. Bhagat Singh Born 28 September 1907 Jaranwala Tehsil, Punjab, British India Died 23 March 1931 (aged 23) Lahore, Punjab, British India Organization Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Kirti Kisan Party, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association Influenced by Anarchism, Communism, Socialism Political movement Indian Independence movement Religion Atheist Bhagat Singh (IPA: [pə̀ɡət̪ sɪ́ŋɡ] ( listen); 28 September 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian socialist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the word "Shaheed" meaning "martyr" in a number of Indian languages. Born into a Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, as a teenager Bhagat Singh studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He became involved in numerous revolutionary organisations, and quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) to become one of its main leaders, eventually changing its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928. Seeking revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the police, Bhagat Singh was involved in the murder of British police officer John Saunders. He eluded efforts by the police to capture him. Together with Batukeshwar Dutt, he undertook a successful effort to throw two bombs and leaflets inside the Central Legislative Assembly while shouting slogans of Inquilab Zindabad. Subsequently they volunteered to surrender and be arrested. Held on this charge, he gained widespread national support when he underwent a 116 day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for British and Indian political prisoners. During this time, sufficient evidence was brought against him for a conviction in the Saunders case, after trial by a Special Tribunal and appeal at the Privy Council in England. He was convicted and subsequently hanged for his participation in the murder, aged 23. His legacy prompted youth in India to begin fighting for Indian independence and he continues to be a youth idol in modern India, as well as the inspiration for several films. He is commemorated with a large bronze statue in the Parliament of India, as well as a range of other memorials. Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Later revolutionary activities 2.1 Lala Lajpat Rai's death and murder of Saunders 2.2 Escape 2.3 1929 Assembly bomb throwing incident 2.4 Assembly bomb case trial 2.5 Further trial and execution 3 Popularity among people 4 Ideals and opinions 4.1 Influences 4.2 Anarchism 4.3 Marxism 4.4 Atheism 4.5 Martyrdom 5 Controversy 5.1 Last wish 5.2 Conspiracy theories 6 Legacy 6.1 Indian independence movement 6.2 Memorials and museums 6.3 Modern day 7 Criticism 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links Early life This picture is of the ancestral home at Khatkar Kalan which preserved as museum due to its historical importance of establishing the principle on which the four generations contributed to freedom struggle. (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Punjab). Bhagat Singh, a Sandhu Jat,[1] was born on 28 September 1907 (Saturday 20 SHa`baan 1325 A.H.) to Kishan Singh and Vidyavati at Chak No. 105, GB, Banga village, Jaranwala Tehsil in the Lyallpur district of the Punjab Province of British India. His birth coincided with the release from jail of his father and two uncles, Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh.[2] His family were Sikhs, some of whom had been active in Indian independence movements, and others having served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's army. His ancestral village was Khatkar Kalan, near the town of Banga in Nawanshahr district (now renamed Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) of Punjab.[1] His grandfather, Arjun Singh, was a follower of Swami Dayananda Saraswati's Hindu reformist movement, Arya Samaj,[3] which had a considerable influence on the young Bhagat.[1] His father and uncles were members of the Ghadar Party, led by Kartar Singh Sarabha and Har Dayal. Ajit Singh was forced to flee to Persia due to pending court cases against him, while Swaran Singh died at home in 1910 following his release from Borstal Jail in Lahore.[4] Unlike many Sikhs of his age, Bhagat Singh did not attend the Khalsa High School in Lahore. His grandfather did not approve of the school officials' loyalism to the British authorities.[5] Instead, he was enrolled in the Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School, an Arya Samaji institution.[citation needed] In 1919, at the age of 12, Bhagat Singh visited the site of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where unarmed people gathered at a public meeting had been fired upon without warning a few days earlier, killing thousands.[2] Bhagat Singh participated ardently in Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 and openly defied the British by following Gandhi's wishes of burning his government school books and any imported British clothing he could find.[citation needed] At the age of 14, he welcomed in his village, protestors against the Gurudwara Nankana Sahib firing of 20 February 1921 which killed a large number of unarmed protesters.[6] Disillusioned with Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence, after Gandhi called off the non-cooperation movement, following the violent murders of policemen by villagers, which were a reaction to the police's killing of three villagers by firing at Chauri Chaura in the United Provinces in 1922, he joined the Young Revolutionary Movement. Henceforth, he began advocating the violent overthrow of the British in India.[7] A rare historical photograph of students and staff of National College, Lahore, which was started by Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Singh can be seen standing fourth from the right. In 1923, Bhagat Singh joined the National College in Lahore,[a] where he not only excelled academically but was also involved in extra-curricular activities such as the dramatics society. By this time, he was fluent in five languages.[9] In 1923, Bhagat Singh won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. In his essay on Punjab's Language and Script, he quoted Punjabi literature and showed a deep understanding of the problems of afflicting Punjab.[9] He founded the Indian nationalist youth organisation Naujawan Bharat Sabha (Hindi: "Youth Society of India") in March 1926.[10] He also joined the Hindustan Republican Association,[6] which had prominent leaders, such as Ram Prasad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ashfaqulla Khan. The name of the organisation was changed to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association at Bhagat Singh's insistence.[11] A year later, to avoid getting married by his family, Bhagat Singh ran away from his house to Cawnpore.[9] In a letter he left behind, he stated: My life has been dedicated to the noblest cause, that of the freedom of the country. Therefore, there is no rest or worldly desire that can lure me now ...[9] It is also believed that he went to Cawnpore to attempt to free the Kakori train robbery convicts from jail, but returned to Lahore for unknown reasons.[12] On the day of Dussehra in October 1926, a bomb exploded in Lahore.[9] Bhagat Singh was arrested for his alleged involvement in this Dussehra bomb case on 29 May 1927,[13] but was released for exhibiting good behaviour against a steep fine of Rs. 60,000,[9] about five weeks after his arrest.[14] He wrote for and edited Urdu and Punjabi newspapers, published from Amritsar,[15] as well as briefly for the Veer Arjun newspaper published in Delhi. He also contributed to Kirti, the journal of the Kirti Kisan Party ("Workers and Peasants Party"),[10] and in September 1928, that party organised an all-India meeting of revolutionaries in Delhi with Bhagat Singh as its secretary. He later rose to become this association's leader.[9] Later revolutionary activities Lala Lajpat Rai's death and murder of Saunders In 1928, the British government set up the Commission, headed by Sir John Simon, to report on the political situation in India. The Indian political parties boycotted the Commission, because it did not include a single Indian in its membership, and it met with country-wide protests. When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai led a non-violent protest against the Commission in a silent march, but the police responded with violence. The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai, who was grievously injured, later on Rai could not recover from the injury and died on 17 November 1928. It was obviously known that Scott's blows had hastened his demise.[16] However, when the matter was raised in the British Parliament, the British Government denied any role in Rai's death.[17] Although Bhagat Singh did not witness the event,[14] he vowed to take revenge,[17] and joined other revolutionaries, Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar and Chandrashekhar Azad, in a plot to kill Scott.[10] However, in a case of mistaken identity, Bhagat Singh received a signal to shoot on the appearance of John P. Saunders, an Assistant Superintendent of Police. He was shot by Rajguru and Bhagat Singh while leaving the District Police Headquarters in Lahore at about 4:15 pm on 17 December 1928.[18] Pamphlet by HSRA after Saunder's murder, signed by Balraj, the pseudo name for Chandrashekhar Azad Although the murder of Saunders was condemned as a retrograde action by Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress leader, others were more understanding of the motivation. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote that Bhaghat Singh did not become popular because of his act of terrorism but because he seemed to vindicate, for the moment, the honour of Lala Lajpat Rai, and through him of the nation. He became a symbol, the act was forgotten, the symbol remained, and within a few months each town and village of the Punjab, and to a lesser extent in the rest of northern India, resounded with his name. Innumerable songs grew about him and the popularity that the man achieved was something amazing.[19] Escape After killing Saunders, the group escaped through the D.A.V. College entrance, across the road. Chanan Singh, a Head Constable who was chasing them, was fatally injured by Chandrashekhar Azad's covering fire.[20] They then fled on bicycles to pre-arranged places of safety. The police launched a massive search operation to catch the culprits and blocked all exits and entrances from the city; the CID kept a watch on all young men leaving Lahore. They hid for the next two days. On 19 December 1928, Sukhdev called on Durgawati Devi popularly known as Durga Bhabhi, wife of another HSRA member Bhagwati Charan Vohra, for help, which she agreed to do. They decided to catch the train departing from Lahore to Bathinda en route for Howrah (Calcutta) early the next morning.[21] To avoid recognition, Singh shaved off his beard and cut his hair short so that he no longer appeared as a Sikh while the police were looking for a Sikh.[citation needed] Durga Bhabhi was Bengali (married to a Punjabi) and spoke Bengali fluently and therefore would pose as a woman from Calcutta. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru left the house early the next morning, with both men carrying loaded revolvers.[21] Dressed in western attire and carrying Durga Bhabhi's sleeping child, Bhagat Singh and Durga Bhabhi passed off as a young couple, while Rajguru carried their luggage as their servant. At the station, Bhagat Singh managed to conceal his identity while buying tickets and the three boarded the train heading to Kanpur (Cawnpore). At Kanpur, they boarded a train for Lucknow since the CID at Howrah railway station usually scrutinised passengers on the direct train from Lahore.[21] At Lucknow, Rajguru left separately for Benares while Bhagat Singh, Durga Bhabhi and the infant went to Howrah, with all except Bhagat Singh returning to Lahore a few days later.[22][23][24] 1929 Assembly bomb throwing incident To subdue the rise of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh in the country, the British government decided to implement the Defence of India Act 1915, which gave the police a free hand.[25] Influenced by a French anarchist who bombed the French Chamber of Deputies, Bhagat Singh proposed to the HSRA his plan to explode a bomb inside the Central Legislative Assembly, which was agreed to. Initially it was decided that Batukeshwar Dutt and Sukhdev would plant the bomb while Bhagat Singh would travel to the USSR. However later the plan was changed. He entrusted Dutt to plant the bomb.[26] On 8 April 1929, Bhagat Singh and Dutt threw two bombs inside the assembly rushing from Visitor's Gallery. The smoke from the bomb filled the Hall and they shouted slogans of "Inquilab Zindabad!" (in Hindustani which means "Long Live the Revolution!") and showered leaflets.[27][28] The leaflet claimed that the act was done to oppose the Trade Disputes and the Public Safety Bill being presented in the Central Assembly and the death of Lala Lajapath Rai.[29] Few sustained injuries in the explosion but there were no deaths. Bhagat Singh and Dutt claimed that the act was intentional and they were arrested.[30][31] Gandhi, once again, issued strong words of disapproval for their deed.[19] Assembly bomb case trial Bhagat Singh and Dutt were charged with attempt to murder, and the trial began on 7 May 1929.[30] Doubts have been raised about the accuracy of testimony offered at the trial. One key discrepancy related to the automatic pistol that Bhagat Singh had been carrying prior to his arrest. One witness, Sobha Singh, told the court that Bhagat Singh had been firing the pistol two or three times before it jammed, and some policemen stated that Singh was pointing the gun when they arrived. Later Sobha Singh was knighted as a reward for his testimony.[32] Sergeant Terry, who had confronted and arrested Bhagat Singh, testified that the gun was pointed downward when he took it from Bhagat Singh and that Bhagat Singh "was playing with it."[32] According to the India Law Journal, however, this was incorrect, as Bhagat Singh had turned over the pistol himself.[30] According to Kooner,[33] Bhagat Singh "committed one great blunder" by taking his pistol on that day "when it was clear not to harm anybody and offer for police arrest without any protest." Kooner further states that the police connected "the shell of the gun fire found from the (Saunders') murder site and the pistol." The two were sent to the Sessions Court of Judge Leonard Middleton,[34] who ruled that Bhagat Singh and Dutt's actions had undoubtedly been 'deliberate' as the bombs had shattered the one and a half-inch deep wooden floor in the Hall.[30] Dutt was defended by Asaf Ali, while Bhagat Singh defended himself.[35] Their appeal was turned down and they were sentenced to 14 years life imprisonment.[36] Further trial and execution On 15 April 1929, the 'Lahore bomb factory' was discovered by the police, leading to the arrest of other members of HSRA, out of which seven turned informants, helping the police to connect Bhagat Singh with the murder of Saunders.[26] Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder of Saunders. Bhagat Singh decided to use the court as a tool to publicise his cause—the independence of India.[37] Hunger strike and Lahore conspiracy case Bhagat Singh was re-arrested for murdering Saunders and Chanan Singh based on substantial evidence against him, including the statements of his associates, Hans Raj Vohra and Jai Gopal.[30] His life sentence in the Assembly Bomb case was deferred till the Saunders' case was decided.[38] Bhagat Singh was sent to the Mianwali jail from the Delhi jail,[31] where he witnessed discrimination between European and Indian prisoners, and led other prisoners in a hunger strike to protest this illegal discrimination.[39] They demanded equality in standards of food, clothing, toiletries and other hygienic necessities, as well as availability of books and a daily newspaper for the political prisoners,[39] who they demanded should not be forced to do manual labour or any undignified work in the jail,[40] as detailed in their letter to the Home Member on 24 June 1929.[41] Muhammad Ali Jinnah spoke in the Assembly supporting Bhagat Singh,[42] and sympathised with the prisoners on hunger strike. He declared on the floor of the Assembly: The man who goes on hunger strike has a soul. He is moved by that soul, and he believes in the justice of his cause ... however much you deplore them and however much you say they are misguided, it is the system, this damnable system of governance, which is resented by the people.[43] Jawaharlal Nehru met Bhagat Singh and the other strikers in Mianwali jail. After the meeting, he stated: I was very much pained to see the distress of the heroes. They have staked their lives in this struggle. They want that political prisoners should be treated as political prisoners. I am quite hopeful that their sacrifice would be crowned with success.[44] The Government tried to break the strike by placing different food items in the prison cells to test the hungry prisoners' resolve. Water pitchers were filled with milk so that either the prisoners remained thirsty or broke their strike but nobody faltered and the impasse continued. The authorities then attempted forcing food using feeding tubes into the prisoners, but were resisted.[45][b] With the matter still unresolved, the Indian Viceroy, Lord Irwin, broke his vacation in Simla to discuss the situation with the jail authorities.[47] Since the activities of the hunger strikers had gained popularity and attention amongst the people nationwide, the government decided to advance the start of the Saunders murder trial, which was henceforth called the Lahore Conspiracy Case. Bhagat Singh was transported to Borstal Jail, Lahore,[48] and the trial of this case began there on 10 July 1929. In addition to charging them for the murder of Saunders, Bhagat Singh and 27 other prisoners were charged with plotting a conspiracy to murder Scott and waging a war against the King.[30] Bhagat Singh, still on hunger strike, had to be carried to the court handcuffed on a stretcher: he had lost 14 pounds (6.4 kg) weight from 133 pounds (60 kg) before the strike.[48] By now, the condition of another hunger striker, Jatindra Nath Das, lodged in the same jail had deteriorated considerably. The Jail committee recommended his unconditional release, but the government rejected the suggestion and offered to release him on bail. On 13 September 1929, Das died after a 63-day hunger strike.[48] Almost all the nationalist leaders in the country paid tribute to Das' death, and Mohammad Alam and Gopi Chand Bhargava resigned from the Punjab Legislative Council in protest. Motilal Nehru moved a successful adjournment motion in the Central Assembly as a censure against the "inhumane treatment" of the Lahore prisoners.[49] Bhagat Singh finally heeded a resolution of the Congress party and the request of his father, ending ended his 116-day hunger strike on 5 October 1929.[30] During this period, Bhagat Singh's popularity among common Indians extended beyond Punjab.[50][51] Bhagat Singh's attention now turned to his trial, where he was to face a British team representing the Crown and comprising C. H. Carden-Noad, Kalandar Ali Khan, Gopal Lal and the prosecuting inspector, Bakshi Dina Nath.[30] The defence was composed of eight lawyers. When Jai Gopal turned into a prosecution witness, Prem Dutt, the youngest amongst the 28 accused, threw his slipper at Gopal in court.[52] The magistrate ordered that all the accused should be handcuffed, despite all other revolutionaries having dissociated themselves from the act. Bhagat Singh and others refused to be handcuffed and were therefore subjected to brutal beating.[53] The revolutionaries refused to attend the court and Bhagat Singh wrote a letter to the magistrate citing various reasons why they had done so.[54] The trial was henceforth ordered to be carried out in the absence of the accused or members of the HSRA. This was a setback for Bhagat Singh as he could no longer use the trial as a forum to publicise his views.[55] Special Tribunal Bhagat Singh in prison. circa 1927. To speed up the slow trial,[30] the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, declared an emergency on 1 May 1930, and promulgated an ordinance setting up a special tribunal composed of three high court judges for this case. The ordinance cut short the normal process of justice as the only appeal after the tribunal was at the Privy Council located in England[30] The Tribunal was authorised to function without the presence of any of the accused in court, and to accept death of the persons giving evidence as a concession to the defence. Consequent to Lahore Conspiracy Case Ordinance No.3 of 1930, the trial was transferred from Rai Sahib Pandit Sri Kishan's court to the tribunal composed of Justice J. Coldstream (president), Justice G. C. Hilton and Justice Agha Hyder (members).[56] The case commenced on 5 May 1930 in Poonch House, Lahore against 18 accused.[57] On 20 June 1930, the constitution of the Special Tribunal was changed to Justice G.C. Hilton (president), Justice J.K. Tapp and Justice Sir Abdul Qadir.[57] On 2 July 1930, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the High Court challenging the ordinance and said that it was ultra vires and therefore illegal, stating that the Viceroy had no powers to shorten the customary process of determining justice.[30] The petition argued that the Act, allowed the Viceroy to introduce an ordinance and set up such a tribunal only under conditions of break down of law-and-order, whereas there had been no such breakdown. However, the petition was dismissed as 'premature'.[58] Carden-Noad presented the government's grievous charges of conducting dacoities, bank-robbery, and illegal acquisition of arms and ammunition amongst others.[30] The evidence of G.T.H. Hamilton Harding, the Lahore superintendent of police, shocked the court, when he stated that he had filed the First Information Report against the accused under specific orders from the chief secretary (D.J. Boyd[59]) to the governor of Punjab (Sir Geoffrey Montmorency[59]) and that he was unaware of the details of the case. The prosecution mainly depended upon the evidence of P.N. Ghosh, Hans Raj Vohra and Jai Gopal who had been Bhagat Singh's associates in the HRSA. On 10 July 1930, the tribunal decided to press charges against only 15 of the 18 accused, and allowed their petitions to be taken up for hearing the next day. The tribunal conducted the trial from 5 May 1930 to 10 September 1930.[30] The three accused against whom the case was withdrawn included Dutt, who had already been awarded a life sentence in the Assembly bomb case.[60] The ordinance (and the tribunal) would lapse on 31 October 1930 as it had not been passed in the Central Assembly or the British Parliament. On 7 October 1930, the tribunal delivered its 300-page judgement based on all the evidence and concluded that participation of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru was proved beyond reasonable doubt in Saunders' murder, and sentenced them to death by hanging.[30] The remaining 12 accused were all sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.[61] Appeal to the Privy Council In Punjab, a defence committee drew up a plan to appeal to the Privy Council. Bhagat Singh was initially against the appeal, but later agreed to it in the hope that the appeal would popularise the HSRA in Britain. The appellants claimed that the ordinance which created the tribunal was invalid, while the government countered that the Viceroy was completely empowered to create such a tribunal. The appeal was dismissed by Judge Viscount Dunedin.[62] Reactions to the judgment After the rejection of the appeal to the Privy Council, Congress party president Madan Mohan Malviya filed a mercy appeal before Lord Irwin on 14 February 1931.[63] An appeal was sent to Mahatma Gandhi by prisoners to intervene.[30] In his notes dated 19 March 1931, the Viceroy recorded: While returning Gandhiji asked me if he could talk about the case of Bhagat Singh, because newspapers had come out with the news of his slated hanging on March 24th. It would be a very unfortunate day because on that day the new president of the Congress had to reach Karachi and there would be a lot of hot discussion. I explained to him that I had given a very careful thought to it but I did not find any basis to convince myself to commute the sentence. It appeared he found my reasoning weighty.[64] The Communist Party of Great Britain expressed its reaction to the case: The history of this case, of which we do not come across any example in relation to the political cases, reflects the symptoms of callousness and cruelty which is the outcome of bloated desire of the imperialist government of Britain so that fear can be instilled in the hearts of the repressed people.[63] An abortive plan had been made to rescue Bhagat Singh and fellow inmates of HSRA from the jail. HSRA member Bhagwati Charan Vohra (husband of Durga Bhabhi) made bombs for the purpose, but died making them when they exploded accidentally.[12] Writings in prison Bhagat Singh also maintained the use of a diary, which eventually grew to include 404 pages. In this diary, he made numerous notes regarding the quotations and popular sayings of various people whose views he agreed with. Prominent in his diary were the views of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.[65] The comments in his diary led to an understanding of the philosophical thinking of Bhagat Singh.[66] In his prison cell, he also wrote a pamphlet entitled Why I am an Atheist, in response to him being accused of vanity by not accepting God in the face of death.[67] Execution Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case and ordered to be hanged on 24 March 1931.[68] That schedule was moved forward by 11 hours to 23 March, although Bhagat Singh was not informed of this until the day arrived.[59][69] Bhagat Singh was hanged on 23 March 1931=Monday 3 Thw al-Qi`dah 1349 A.H. , at 7:30 pm[70] in Lahore jail with his comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. It is reported that no magistrate of the time was willing to supervise his hanging as was required by law. The execution was supervised by an honorary judge, who also signed the three death warrants as their original warrants had expired.[71] The jail authorities then broke the rear wall of the jail and secretly cremated the three martyrs under cover of darkness outside Ganda Singh Wala village, and then threw the ashes into the Sutlej river, about 10 km from Ferozepore (and about 60 km from Lahore).[59][68][72] Criticism of the Special Tribunal and method of execution Bhagat Singh's trial has been described by the Supreme Court as "contrary to the fundamental doctrine of criminal jurisprudence" because there was no opportunity for the accused to defend themselves.[73] The Special Tribunal was a departure from the normal procedure adopted for a trial and its decision could only be appealed to the Privy Council located in Britain.[30] The accused were absent from the court and the judgement was passed ex-parte.[74] The ordinance, which was introduced by the Viceroy to form the Special Tribunal, was never approved by the Central Assembly or the British Parliament, and it eventually lapsed without any legal or constitutional sanctity.[75] Reactions to the executions Front page of The Tribune announcing Bhagat Singh's execution The execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were reported widely by the press, especially as they were on the eve of the annual convention of the Congress party at Karachi.[76] Gandhi faced black flag demonstrations by angry youths who shouted "Down with Gandhi".[11] The New York Times reported: A reign of terror in the city of Cawnpore in the United Provinces and an attack on Mahatma Gandhi by a youth outside Karachi were among the answers of the Indian extremists today to the hanging of Bhagat Singh and two fellow-assassins.[77] Hartals and strikes of mourning were called.[78] The Congress party, during the Karachi session, declared: While dissociating itself from and disapproving of political violence in any shape or form, this Congress places on record its admiration of the bravery and sacrifice of Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Raj Guru and mourns with their bereaved families the loss of these lives. The Congress is of the opinion that their triple execution was an act of wanton vengeance and a deliberate flouting of the unanimous demand of the nation for commutation. This Congress is further of the opinion that the [British] Government lost a golden opportunity for promoting good-will between the two nations, admittedly held to be crucial at this juncture, and for winning over to methods of peace a party which, driven to despair, resorts to political violence.[79] In the 29 March 1931 issue of Young India, Gandhi wrote: "Bhagat Singh and his two associates have been hanged. The Congress made many attempts to save their lives and the Government entertained many hopes of it, but all has been in a vain. Bhagat Singh did not wish to live. He refused to apologise, or even file an appeal. Bhagat Singh was not a devotee of non-violence, but he did not subscribe to the religion of violence. He took to violence due to helplessness and to defend his homeland. In his last letter, Bhagat Singh wrote, " I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of a cannon and blow me off." These heroes had conquered the fear of death. Let us bow to them a thousand times for their heroism. But we should not imitate their act. In our land of millions of destitute and crippled people, if we take to the practice of seeking justice through murder, there will be a terrifying situation. Our poor people will become victims of our atrocities. By making a dharma of violence, we shall be reaping the fruit of our own actions. Hence, though we praise the courage of these brave men, we should never countenance their activities. Our dharma is to swallow our anger, abide by the discipline of non-violence and carry out our duty."[80] Popularity among people In the words of Subhas Chandra Bose: "Bhagat Singh had become the symbol of the new awakening among the youths ...". Nehru acknowledged that the popularity of Bhagat Singh was leading to a new national awakening, saying "He was a clean fighter who faced his enemy in the open field ... he was like a spark that became a flame in a short time and spread from one end of the country to the other dispelling the prevailing darkness everywhere."[11] Four years after Bhagat Singh's hanging, the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Sir Horace Williamson, wrote: "His photograph was on sale in every city and township and for a time rivalled in popularity even that of Mr. Gandhi himself."[11] Ideals and opinions Influences Bhagat Singh was attracted to anarchism and communism.[81] He was an avid reader of the teachings of Bakunin and also read Marx, Lenin and Trotsky.[82] Bhagat Singh did not believe in the Gandhian ideology—which advocated Satyagraha and other forms of non-violent resistance, and felt that the politics of Gandhism would replace one set of exploiters with another.[83] Some of his writings like Blood Sprinkled on the Day of Holi Babbar Akalis on the Crucifix were influenced by the struggle of Dharam Singh Hayatpur.[citation needed] Anarchism From May to September 1928, Bhagat Singh published a series of articles on anarchism in a Punjabi periodical Kirti. He expressed concern over misunderstanding of the concept of anarchism among the public and tried to eradicate its misconception among people, writing "The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular."[81] As anarchism means absence of ruler and abolition of state, not absence of order, Bhagat Singh explained, "I think in India the idea of universal brotherhood, the Sanskrit sentence vasudhaiva kutumbakam etc., has the same meaning."[81] He wrote about the growth of anarchism: "The first man to explicitly propagate the theory of Anarchism was Proudhon and that is why he is called the founder of Anarchism. After him a Russian, Bakunin, worked hard to spread the doctrine. He was followed by Prince Kropotkin etc."[81] Bhagat Singh explained anarchism in the article: "The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, nor will anybody be crazy for money or other worldly desires. There will be no chains on the body or control by the state. This means that they want to eliminate: the Church, God and Religion; the state; Private property."[81] Marxism Bhagat Singh was profoundly influenced by Marxism, saying that the ideal for him and his comrades was "the social reconstruction on Marxist basis".[84] Indian historian K. N. Panikkar described Bhagat Singh as one of the early Marxists in India.[83] From 1926 onwards, he studied the history of the revolutionary movement in India and abroad. In his prison notebooks, he quoted Vladimir Lenin in reference to imperialism and capitalism and also the revolutionary thoughts of Trotsky.[81] When asked what his last wish was, Bhagat Singh replied that he was studying the life of Lenin and he wanted to finish it before his death.[85] In spite of his belief in Marxist ideals however, Bhagat Singh never joined the Communist Party of India.[82] Atheism Bhagat Singh began to question religious ideologies after witnessing the Hindu–Muslim riots that broke out after Gandhi disbanded the Non-Cooperation Movement. He did not understand how members of these two groups, initially united in fighting against the British, could be at each other's throats because of their religious differences.[86] At this point, Bhagat Singh dropped his religious beliefs, since he believed religion hindered the revolutionaries' struggle for independence, and began studying the works of Bakunin, Lenin, Trotsky—all atheist revolutionaries.[87] He also took an interest in Soham Swami's book Common Sense (Bhagat Singh incorrectly referred to Niralamba Swami as the author of the book, however Niralamba had only written the introduction), which advocated a form of "mystic atheism".[87][88] While in his prison cell in 1931, he wrote a pamphlet entitled Why I am an Atheist in which he discussed and advocated the philosophy of atheism. This pamphlet was a result of some criticism by fellow revolutionaries on his failure to acknowledge religion and God in jail; the accusation of vanity was also dealt with in this pamphlet. He supported his own beliefs and claimed that he used to be a firm believer in The Almighty, but could not bring himself to believe the myths and beliefs that others held close to their hearts. In this pamphlet, he acknowledged the fact that religion made death easier, but also said that unproved philosophy is a sign of human weakness.[67] In this context, he noted: As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realised his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colours of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society. He was the cry of the distressed soul for he was believed to stand as father and mother, sister and brother, brother and friend when in time of distress a man was left alone and helpless. He was Almighty and could do anything. The idea of God is helpful to a man in distress.[67] Martyrdom His mentor as a young boy was Kartar Singh Sarabha, whose photo he always carried in his pocket.[89] Bhagat Singh is himself considered a martyr for acting to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.[90] In the leaflet he threw in the Central Assembly on 9 April 1929, he stated: "It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled, while the ideas survived."[91] After studying the Russian Revolution, he wanted to die so that his death would inspire the youth of India which in turn will unite them to fight the British Empire.[90] While in prison, Bhagat Singh and two others had written a letter to Lord Irwin, wherein they asked to be treated as prisoners of war and consequently to be executed by firing squad and not by hanging.[92] Prannath Mehta, Bhagat Singh's friend, visited him in the jail on 20 March, four days before his execution, with a draft letter for clemency, but he declined to sign it.[93] Controversy Last wish Randhir Singh, a Ghadar Party revolutionary convicted of the first Lahore Conspiracy Case claimed to have met Bhagat Singh in Lahore Central Jail on 4 October 1930 during his release.[94][95] Bhagat Singh was condemned on 7 October 1930 contradicting his presence in condemned cells on 4 October.[30] According to Randhir Singh, Bhagat Singh mentioned to him, that he (Bhagat Singh) had shaven "his hair and beard under pressing circumstances" and that "it was for the service of the country".[96] He also said that Bhagat Singh told him that his companions had "compelled him to give up the Sikh appearance", and that he was ashamed.[96][97] He had expressed, as his last wish before being hanged, the desire to get amrit from Randhir Singh and to once again adorn the 5 Ks.[97][98] However, this was not granted by the jail authorities.[98] However Many scholars are sceptic about this meeting as, Randhir Singh being the only source of information about sudden change in Bhagat Singh's point of view towards religion casts doubts, as Bhagat Singh was a strong critic of religion.[88][99] Furthermore, Bhagat Singh wrote his essay Why I Am an Atheist before his execution;[11] towards the end of which he wrote: Let us see how steadfast I am. One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, "When your last days come, you will begin to believe." I said, "No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralisation. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray." Reader and friends, is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it.[67] Conspiracy theories Mahatma Gandhi One theory is that Mahatma Gandhi had an opportunity to stop Bhagat Singh's execution, but refrained from doing so.[100] A variation of this theory is that Gandhi actively conspired with the British to have Bhagat Singh executed.[100] Gandhi's supporters argue that Gandhi did not have enough influence with the British to stop the execution, much less arrange it,[100] but claim that he did his best to save Bhagat Singh's life.[101] They also assert that Bhagat Singh's role in the independence movement was of no threat to Gandhi's role as its leader, and so Gandhi would have no reason to want him dead.[93] Gandhi, during his lifetime, always maintained that he was a great admirer of Bhagat Singh's patriotism.[100] He also stated that he was opposed to Bhagat Singh's execution (and for that matter, capital punishment in general) and proclaimed that he had no power to stop it.[100] On Bhagat Singh's execution, Gandhi said, "The government certainly had the right to hang these men. However, there are some rights which do credit to those who possess them only if they are enjoyed in name only."[102] Gandhi also once remarked about capital punishment, "I cannot in all conscience agree to anyone being sent to the gallows. God alone can take life, because he alone gives it."[103] Gandhi had managed to have 90,000 political prisoners who were not members of his Satyagraha movement released under the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.[93] According to a report in the Indian magazine Frontline, he did plead several times for the commutation of the death sentence of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, including a personal visit on 19 March 1931. In a letter to the Viceroy on the day of their execution, he pleaded fervently for commutation, not knowing that the letter would be too late.[93] Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India later said: As I listened to Mr. Gandhi putting the case for commutation before me, I reflected first on what significance it surely was that the apostle of non-violence should so earnestly be pleading the cause of the devotees of a creed so fundamentally opposed to his own, but I should regard it as wholly wrong to allow my judgment to be influenced by purely political considerations. I could not imagine a case in which under the law, penalty had been more directly deserved.[93] While Gandhi did appreciate Bhagat Singh's patriotism and how he had overcome the fear of death, he did not support the violence involved.[citation needed] Legacy Indian independence movement Bhagat Singh's death had the effect that he desired and he inspired thousands of youths to assist the remainder of the Indian independence movement.[90] After his hanging, youths in regions around northern India rioted in protest against the British Raj and Gandhi.[104] Memorials and museums Statue in the Parliament of India On 15 August 2008, an 18-foot tall bronze statue of Bhagat Singh was installed in the Parliament of India, next to the statues of Indira Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose.[105] A portrait of Bhagat Singh and Dutt also adorns the walls of the Parliament House.[106] National Martyrs Memorial The National Martyrs Memorial, built at Hussainiwala in memory of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru The place where Bhagat Singh was cremated, at Hussainiwala on the banks of the Sutlej river, became Pakistani territory during the partition. On 17 January 1961, it was transferred to India in exchange for 12 villages near the Sulemanki Headworks.[72] Batukeshwar Dutt was cremated there on 19 July 1965 in accordance with his last wishes, as was Bhagat Singh's mother, Vidyawati.[68] The National Martyrs Memorial was built on the cremation spot in 1968[107] and has memorials of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. During the 1971 India–Pakistan war, the memorial was damaged and the statues of the martyrs were removed and taken away by the Pakistani army. They have not been returned since[72][108] but the memorial was rebuilt in 1973.[68] Annually, on 23 March, the Shaheedi Mela (Punjabi: Martyrdom Fair) is observed at the National Martyrs Memorial, when thousands of people pay homage.[109] The day is also observed across the Indian state of Punjab.[110] Bhagat Singh Museum & Bhagat Singh Memorial The Shaheed-e-azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum opened on his 50th death anniversary at his native village, Khatkar Kalan. There, memorable belongings of Singh, including his half-burnt ashes, the blood-soaked sand and blood-stained newspaper in which the ashes were wrapped, are exhibited.[111] A page of the first Lahore Conspiracy Case's judgement through which Kartar Singh Sarabha was sentenced to death and on which Singh put some notes is also exhibited in the museum.[111] A copy of the Bhagavad Gita with Bhagat Singh's signature, which was given to him in Lahore Jail, and other personal belongings, are also displayed there.[112][113] The Bhagat Singh Memorial was built in 2009 in Khatkar Kalan at a cost of 16.8 crore (US$2.9 million).[114] Other The Supreme Court of India established a museum to display landmarks in the history of India's judicial system, displaying records of some historic trials. The first exhibition that was organised was the Trial of Bhagat Singh, which opened on 28 September 2007, on the birth centenary celebrations of Bhagat Singh.[73][75] In September 2007, the Governor of Pakistani Punjab, Khalid Maqbool, announced that a memorial to Bhagat Singh would be displayed at Lahore Museum. According to the governor, Bhagat Singh was the first martyr of the subcontinent and his example was followed by many youths of the time.[115][116] However, the promise was not fulfilled.[117] Modern day Statues of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at the India–Pakistan Border, near Hussainiwala The youth of India still draw tremendous amount of inspiration from Bhagat Singh.[118][119][120] He was voted the "Greatest Indian" in a poll by the Indian magazine India Today in 2008, ahead of Subhas Chandra Bose and Gandhi.[121] During the centenary of his birth, a group of intellectuals set up an institution named Bhagat Singh Sansthan to commemorate him and his ideals.[122] The Parliament of India paid tributes and observed silence as a mark of respect in memory of Bhagat Singh on 23 March 2001[123] and 2005.[124] In Pakistan, after a long-standing demand by activists from the Bhagat Singh Foundation of Pakistan, the Shadman Chowk square in Lahore, where he was hanged, was to be renamed as Bhagat Singh Chowk. As of December 2012, this proposal is on hold due to a legal challenge.[125][126] Movies Several popular Bollywood films have been made capturing the life and times of Bhagat Singh.[127] The first is Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh (1954), followed by Shaheed Bhagat Singh (1963), starring Shammi Kapoor as Bhagat Singh.[128] Two years later, Manoj Kumar portrayed Bhagat Singh in an immensely popular and landmark film, Shaheed.[128] Three major films about Singh were released in 2002: Shaheed-E-Azam, 23 March 1931: Shaheed and The Legend of Bhagat Singh.[127] The 2006 film Rang De Basanti is a film drawing parallels between revolutionaries of Bhagat Singh's era and modern Indian youth.[90][129] It covers a lot of Bhagat Singh's role in the Indian freedom struggle.[130] The movie revolves around a group of college students and how they play the roles of Bhagat Singh's friends and family.[90] In 2008, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) and Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), a non-profit organisation, co-produced a 40-minute documentary on Bhagat Singh entitled Inqilab, directed by Gauhar Raza.[131][132] Theatre Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru have been the inspiration for a number of plays in India and Pakistan, that continue to attract crowds even today.[133][134][135] Songs The patriotic Hindustani songs, "Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna" ("The desire to sacrifice") and "Mera Rang De Basanti Chola" ("O Mother! Dye my robe the colour of spring"[136]);[c] while created by Ram Prasad Bismil, are largely associated with Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and have been used in a number of Bhagat Singh-related films.[127] Other In 1968, a postal stamp was issued in India commemorating the 61st birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh.[137] In September 2006, Indian Government decided to issue commemorative coins in his memory. However, the coins had still not been issued in June 2011.[138] Criticism Bhagat Singh was criticised both by his contemporaries and by people after his death, both for his violent and revolutionary stance towards the British as well as his strong opposition to the pacifist stance taken by Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.[139][140] The methods he used to convey his message, such as shooting Saunders and throwing non-lethal bombs, stood in stark contrast to Gandhi's non-violent methodology.[140]