20 March, 2009

Where is this Rs. 51259.85 crore gone ????

What is the Govt. doing with all our money ?

According to the Comptroller & Auditor Generals report on their website http://www.cag.gov.in/, Chapter 2 Comments on Accounts, the following glaring findings are documented

Section 2.2 Unascertainable unspent balances in the accounts of Implementing agencies

For the year 2007-08 , the Union Govt. made a provision for transfer of central plan assistance of Rs. 51259.85 crore directly to state/district level autonomous bodies, authorities societies etc for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes. These have not been spent fully by the implementing agencies and lie unspent in their accounts.

The report clearly say "the aggregate amount of unspent balances in the accounts of the implementing agencies kept outside Govt. accounts is not readily ascertainable. The Govt. expenditure as reflected in the accounts to that extent is therefore overstated"

Where is this Rs. 51259.85 crore gone ????

Section 2.3. Opaqueness in Govt. accounts

Scrutiny of Union Govt. Finance accounts 2007-08 disclosed the Rs. 20273.52 crore under 28 major heads of accounts was classified under minor head '800-other expenditure' in the accounts constituting more than 50 % of the total expenditure under respective major heads.

This indicates a high degree of opaqueness in the accounts, the report says. It also says that the existing structure of the Govt. accounts does not truly reflect the current activities of the Govt. in these Ministries /Depts.

What all is the Govt. hiding from its people ???
What is it really doing with the tax payers money ???

Section 2.4 Understatement of Balances under Universal Service Obligation Fund

The USO fund was set up in April 2002 for achieving universal service objectives of increasing tele density in rural and remote areas. The resources for this are raised through universal access levy which is payable by all telecom operators under various licences

A total Universal service levy of Rs. 20404.44 crore was collected during 2002-03 to 2007-08 by the DoT but a disbursement of only Rs. 6371.44 crore was made from the USO fund. Thus the closing balance of the fund on 31st March 2008 should be Rs. 14099 crore as against the NIL balance shown under that head !!!! The report says that "closing balance of the USO fund as on 31st March 2008 was therefore understated by Rs. 14033 crore "

The report also says that this matter was presented to the parliament but no action has been taken

Where has this Rs. 14033 crore gone ???

Section 2.5 Overstatement of capital expenditure

The Govt. transferred Rs. 6500 crore in 2006-07 and Rs. 6000 crore in 2007-08 to the Social and Infrastructure Development fund (SIDF) for initiatives like upgradation of industrial training institutes, training of farmers etc. Thus entire amount was booked as capital expenditure in the accounts of these 2 years

The report says that examination of the expenditure of Rs. 3447.75 crore incurred during 2007-08 disclosed that Rs. 1586.75 crore was of revenue nature. It says that capital expenditure in the Consolidated Fund of India 2006-07 was thus overstated to the extent of at least Rs. 1586.75 crore. For 2007-08 capital expenditure of Rs. 6000 crore is overstated

This means that the Govt. is fooling us by telling us that they are spending our money on development where as they are really spending it on something else. Where has this money gone ?

19 March, 2009


A) Is this Government really protecting us??!!

7/11 2006: Mumbai Train Blasts. 209 Killed.
25/8 2007: Hyderbad Blasts: 42 Killed
Oct 11 2007: Ajmer Blasts : 2 Killed
May 13 2008: Jaipur Blasts : 68 Killed
July 16th 2008: Ahmedabad Blasts : 57 Killed
July 25th 2008: Banglaore Blasts: 1 killed
Sept 13th 2008: Delhi Blasts: 26 Killed
Sept 27th 2008: Delhi Blasts: 2 Killed
Sept 29th 2008 : Gujrat Blasts : 1 killed
Oct 21st 2008: Imphal Blasts : 17 Killed
Oct 30th 2008: Assam Blasts : 40 Killed
Nov 26th 2008: Mumbai Attack: 180 killed

Every major city in India has been attacked consistently over the last two years.
Since 2004, 3850 Indians have died in Terror attacks in over 3000 incidents.
Is the common Indian on the streets really safe ?

Did you know that on the day of the Mumbai train blasts, the Government gave Rs 150 crores for earthquake relief in Pakistan ? Last year our Govt. has given Rs 3000 crores (600 Million Dollars) to Afghanistan? This, when victims of terror in India have not yet got aid? What’s going on?

B) Is this Government really secular ?

1) When Madrasas are being shut down in Pakistan, the Indian Government is giving them CBSE status !! It is depriving Muslim children in getting secular education. A Madrasa educated person can get a job in any government office without going through the secular education system. Can India afford to have fundamentalists in government departments? Why cannot the government shut down Madrassas and let Muslim children study with the rest?

2) Our Government has given 25 lakh scholarships ONLY to minority students. What sin have the majority done not to deserve these? Why cannot poor students of all communities be given scholarships instead of only Muslim children?

3) Thanks to the Congress led Government, out of 36000 temples in Andhra Pradesh, 28000 have closed down in the last five years. Do you want the same trend to continue in other parts of the country? Do you want a Nagaland type of situation in the whole of India? While government controls most of the Hindu temples, the minority community has had full freedom to organize their religious bodies. The minority communities now have the first right over resources. Is this not a blatant violation of fundamental rights of the majority community?

4) Why have the minorities in Nagaland, Mizoram & Kashmir not got the similar privileges like the minorities in other states? Why is the Govt following different rules for different religions?

C) Is this government really making friends or enemies for India ?

Thanks to a weak and visionless foreign policy, India has created enemies all around. By the Home Minister’s own admission : "India is surrounded by a circle of fire". Rajiv Gandhi's vision of a powerful "SAARC" is now defunct.

1) Today, India commands little respect from all its neighbours, despite being the largest democracy in the world.
2) Terrorism has engulfed the country from inside and outside. Of course Pakistan,the motherland of international terrorism continues to be a big threat.
3) China has territorial ambitions on India.
4) Nepal, is now being headed by a Maoist government and is ideologically more aligned to China. While India helped to dismantle the dynastic rule in Nepal our own Government surreptitiously supports dynastic rule within its own party.
5) Myanmar is increasingly aligning with Chinese forces with huge Chinese investments in that region.
6) Indian Policies in Srilanka have made Tamil Nadu burn. Will Tamils ever forgive India for encouraging military assault rather than facilitating peaceful dialogue on their north and north east regions.
7) Bangladesh continues to repeatedly aid and abet terrorism.

D) Is this Government really pro-poor?

The number of people living below the poverty line has increased by a horrifying 20 per cent. India had some 270 million people below the poverty line in 2004-2005, when the present Government took office. That number has gone up by 55 million, or 20 per cent!

E) Does this Government really care about the nation?

The Pakistani flag is now being hoisted in five districts of states like Assam where the Muslim population has gone up significantly. 92000 Hindu and 6000 Christians are now languishing in refugee camps. The government has turned a blind eye to this.

In the name of security, innocent people have been put in jails, whereas people like Yaasin Malik who has 23 murder charges on him, are moving Scot free and gathering their own strength. Is it acceptable to any patriotic Indian?

Can the Congress led UPA promise a non-muslim CM in J&K ? Reservation for a Hindu student in Nagaland ? If so, we wholeheartedly support them. Otherwise they should sit at home the next few years and rethink their policies.

Can our politicians stop stooping down to any lengths just for money and power ? Like Mr.Sharad Pawar, who first ditched the Congress and then ditched the people and aligned back with the Congress, just to be in power.

Don’t be deceived. What appears to be communal is not communal, and what appears to be secular is not secular. It is time we change our thinking.

Having said all this even BJP has not proved to be any better.
But for now we need a change. Let us choose the lesser of the two evils.
The same party brought to power again and again means encouraging unabated corruption.

Stand up for this most tolerant and ancient civilization and prevent this great nation from becoming a communal battleground. As citizens of India we must vote for change.


Krishna, the first Communist

Above: Karl Marx

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Long before Karl Marx, Lenin and Mao, a historical figure in India fought against oppression, championed the cause of the poor, denounced religious dogma and empty ritualism, and sought to inspire a righteous and selfless attitude in society.

The basic tenets of communism say that all are equal, and exploiters and oppressors should be severely punished. It rebels against societal dogmas and advocates caring and sharing. The goal is to create a society free from selfishness, autocracy, aristocracy and oppression of people of any sort. The life and message of Krishna reveals that he imbibed, taught and fought for these principles 5230 years ago. In fact, an objective analysis of the Bhagvad Gita too would reveal that Krishna was a better communist than Karl Marx. One could go so far as to describe him as the real founder of communism!

Krishna grew up among cowherds - whom today could be referred to as OBCs. A cowherd himself, he worked for the empowerment of his people.

Later he killed his own uncle, Kamsa, a king who was an oppressor, thereby liberating the entire society of Mathura and Brindavan from his tyranny. Throughout his life, Krishna cared for the poor and the weak. In the Mahabharata war, he could have sided with the powerful Kauravas but he took the side of the Pandavas, who had nothing on their side except goodwill and pure hearts. He worked for them and went as an ambassador for peace for them. So definitely his mission was with the poor and the oppressed, the victims of royal aristocrat families and therefore he is called Deenabandhu, Deenavatsala (friend of the poor).

The story of Sudama, the poor Brahmin, is a well-known episode from Krishna’s life. Often people think brahmins were oppressors, when in fact brahmins have always been very poor. One never hears instances or stories of rich Brahmins in history or in the puranas. But Krishna’s love and compassion was such that he honoured him, cutting across the class barriers.

Krishna also rebelled against dogmatic religious practices of those days. Even today it is well known that the entire society stopped the sacrificial puja they were doing to Indra, shifting over, on Krishna’s advice, to caring for the cows (Govardhan Pooja) and honoring the knowledge of the self. (Govardhan also means honoring knowledge.) He also promoted Annakoot, where there is food for everybody.

Krishna rebels against the people who are always arguing in the name of the Vedas.
“Yamimam pushpitam vacham… Veda vada ratah Partha…” (Gita, Ch 2)

Krishna has said that people who are driven by little desires, who are propitiating this deity or that, caught up in small rituals and greed, are fools (moodha).

He also says, “Those who worship many devas and perform many rituals are of lesser intelligence.”

Finally, after a detailed exposition of all aspects of life, knowledge and duty, he says, “Sarva dharman parityajya mamekam sharanam vraja.”

Drop all the dharma and take refuge in me, i.e. in the higher self. This is really a revolutionary thing. Karl Marx also has said drop the religion, “Religion is the opium of the masses.”

But beyond religion is the quest for truth. Where does a man go further? There Krishna leads Arjuna, leads the people into that spiritual realm of experience, which is seriously lacking in communism today. To transcend religion, one needs to understand religion. By just hating religion, you are not going to become irreligious; rather, you’ll be stuck with it in some other manner and this is what is happening in the world today. Karl Marx was not aware of Indian spirituality. All that he saw was the blind faith and the authoritarian rule of the religious institutions that existed at that time in Russia, whereas Krishna takes us beyond religion. He also says drop religion, but it brings you to a place of spiritual awakening, of knowledge, of truth, of beauty. The confidence that builds up in a person who knows the depth and the secrets of creation is something amazing, so beautiful - without which life is dry. So make the transition from religion to spirituality. It is what was missing in the Karl Marx principle and which Krishna has very clearly demonstrated and given to the world in the form of Gita.

Communism cannot reject Krishna at any cost because he stands for all its principles in a much more meaningful manner. If we don’t see the reality, the truth with an open mind then we have merely replaced an old religion with a new religion called communism. So we have to be aware and wake up to adapt to changing times.

I wonder why the communists have not yet owned Krishna. Many times in the Gita, Krishna says, “Yo mam pasyati sarvatra ,“

One who sees me in everybody, one who sees oneself in everybody, is the one who sees the truth. This is the basic principle of communism - See everyone as yourself.

He says the banana peel has a meaning as long as there is a banana inside. But when you eat the banana, then the peel has no value. Similarly religion can’t take people to the final truth, final goal - it can only go that far. But it is the spirit of self-enquiry, the scientific temper in a person, that takes one deeper. Religion stays behind and one moves into a realm of pure humanism or pure divinity - this is the hallmark of Krishna’s teaching.

Unlike in the west, where scientists were tortured and questioning of the religious scriptures was prohibited, India has always encouraged questioning and contemplation. In fact, most of the scriptures in India are in the format of questions and answers. After putting forth his opinion, Krishna tells Arjuna to independently think and question, and tells him that he has the freedom to accept or reject his opinion. He never imposes his idea. Though communism advocates rational thinking, we hear many communists do not give the freedom to people to express a different ideology.

At the same time, Krishna also inspired Arjuna to fight and not accept oppression, which again is what communists say. He advises Arjuna to fight not with anger or hatred, but with intelligence, with equanimity, with wisdom.

Another principle of communism is sharing. As a small child, Krishna would share the butter with all the boys, all the youngsters. Later he shared wealth. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, it said that in his last days Krishna used to go and give gifts to people every morning.

A salient feature of communism is work for the community and it comes down strongly on consumerism or greed. This is explained by Krishna in the Karma Yoga.
“Karmanye vadhikaraste ……”

Krishna goes on to say that one who is really wise regards all men as equal, and does not discriminate between a brahmin and an untouchable, or a learned one and someone who is not so learned. “Vidyavinaya sampanna.…”

Communists often object to the caste system, but whether you like it or not, this system has been in practice all over the world, in the form of professional clubs which exist even today. You can’t get into an army club if you are not an army person, or into the Indian Medical Association if you are not a doctor!

The caste system, which was in existence much before Krishna, was more or less like professional clubs, and was never by birth.

Basically, it was on one’s nature and work.
“Guna karma svabhaavaja…”

There are ample examples of people born in one caste, but belonging to another caste by virtue of their profession. For instance, Veda Vyasa, himself born to a fisherwoman, was considered the authority on Vedas. The most astonishing fact is that among a thousand rishis, only a handful were born in the so-called upper caste.

One objection to the statement that “the Shudra is the feet of the Purusha,” is that it is derogatory. It should be noted that all the honours and worship are done only to the feet (Pada puja, pada namaskara.)

If the purpose is not to find harmony but to spread hatred and anger, you could find something objectionable in anything and anyone!

Many people talk about communism but they lead a capitalistic life. However Krishna never did that. He never became a king though he is called Dwarkadheesh. He remained a servant of Dwarka, of the king of Dwarka. He was an uncrowned king. He stood for the cause of the poor. He saw that oneness in everybody and so he was remembered for centuries. But nowadays it is suddenly fashionable to regard even the Ramayana and Mahabharata as epics and not as something that really happened. This is ridiculous, because just a legend cannot have such an impact over the whole continent, and even beyond. The Ramayana and Mahabharata have made such an impact on civilization without any modern technology or modes of communication. The Sanskrit word itihasa means - “it happened like that/ it happened thus.”

To see everyone as equal is a matter of the heart, and the heart can be made to blossom only through spirituality. Or anything that makes your heart blossom, I would call as spirituality. It is not just an intellectual concept that leads to action. It is an emotion which propels us towards action and emotion is the very nature of our spirit. And uplifting spirit is what is spirituality. So you cannot be a true communist if you don’t have that spark of love and compassion in your heart. And spirituality is what brings that fountain, that flood of love. Spirituality is that which brings that tidal wave of love in your life. And that’s what Krishna’s whole life is about - the bhakti yoga, the love and devotion that makes you see everyone as part of you, equal to you. It’s only that divine love that can make you see everyone as part of yourself, sincerely and honestly.
Modern communism negates religion but leaves you in a vacuum.

Devoid of spirituality, frustration overtakes life, leading one to violence and aggression or depression and suicidal tendencies.

You cannot serve someone if you don’t see them as yourself or part of yourself. Only spirituality can bring authenticity to caring and sharing, and that is communism. What was missing in communism is the very soul, that is spirituality, of which Krishna is an expert teacher.

Now communists in Kerala need not feel guilty in going to Guruvayoor and those in Bengal can openly participate in Durga Pooja!


13 March, 2009

Proposal at U.N. rights council to criminalize 'defamation of Islam'

Geneva, March 11, 2009 — UN Watch, a human rights monitoring organization based in Geneva, denounced a new U.N. resolution circulated today by Islamic states that would define any questioning of Islamic dogma as a human rights violation, intimidate dissenting voices, and encourage the forced imposition of Sharia law. (See full U.N. text below.)
UN Watch obtained a copy of the Pakistani-authored proposal after it was distributed today among Geneva diplomats attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled "Combating defamation of religions," it mentions only Islam.

"While non-binding," said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, "the resolution constitutes a dangerous threat to free speech everywhere. It would ban any perceived offense to Islamic sensitivities as a 'serious affront to human dignity' and a violation of religious freedom, and would pressure U.N. member states -- at the 'local, national, regional and international levels' -- to erode the free speech guarantees in their 'legal and constitutional systems.''

"This is an Orwellian text that distorts the meaning of human rights, free speech, and religious freedom, and marks a giant step backwards for liberty and democracy worldwide," said Neuer.

"The first to suffer will be moderate Muslims in the countries that are behind this resolution, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, where state-sanctioned blasphemy laws stifle religious freedom and outlaw conversions from Islam to other faiths," said Neuer.

"Next to suffer from this U.N.-sanctioned McCarthyism will be writers and journalists in the democratic West, with the resolution targeting the media for the 'deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons.'"

"Ultimately, the very notion of individual human rights is at stake, because the sponsors of this resolution seek not to protect individuals from harm, but rather to shield a specific set of beliefs from any question, debate, or critical inquiry," said Neuer.

"The very term 'defamation of religion' is a distortion. The legal concept of defamation protects the reputations of individuals, not beliefs. It also requires an examination of the truth or falsity of the challenged remarks -- a determination that no one, especially not the UN, is capable of undertaking concerning any religion."

"Tragically, given that Islamic states completely dominate the Human Rights Council with the support of non-democratic members like Russia, China, and Cuba, adoption of the Orwellian resolution is a forgone conclusion, and all that U.S. and E.U. diplomats can do is try to win over a handful of Latin American states into the opposition camp."

Following is a copy of the draft U.N. Human Rights Council resolution obtained by UN Watch. Prepared by Pakistan on behalf of the Islamic group, the text was circulated today to Geneva diplomats in advance of a council vote scheduled for the end of March. Emphasis added.

Human Rights Council Resolution

A/HRC/10/L.. Combating Defamation of Religions

The Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming the pledge made by all States, under the Charter of the United Nations, to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Reaffirming also that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated,

Recalling the 2005 World Summit Outcome adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 60/1 of 24 October 2005, in which the Assembly emphasized the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and acknowledged the importance of respect and understanding for religious and cultural diversity throughout the world,

Recognizing the valuable contribution of all religions to modern civilization and the contribution that dialogue among civilizations can make towards improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind,

Welcoming the resolve expressed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration adopted by the General Assembly on 8 September 20006 to take measures to eliminate the increasing acts of racism and xenophobia in many societies and to promote greater harmony and tolerance in all societies, and looking forward to its effective implementation at all levels,

Underlining in this regard the importance of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, welcoming the progress achieved in implementing them, and emphasizing that they constitute a solid foundation for the elimination of all scourges and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

Welcoming all international and regional initiatives to promote cross-cultural and interfaith harmony, including the Alliance of Civilizations and the International Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation and their valuable efforts towards the promotion of a culture of peace and dialogue at all levels,

Welcoming further the reports of the Special Rapporteur submitted to the Council at its fourth, sixth and ninth sessions that highlight the serious nature of the defamation of all religions and the need to complement legal strategies;

Noting with deep concern the instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence against followers of certain faiths, occurring in many parts of the world, in addition to the negative projection of certain religions in the media and the introduction and enforcement of laws and administrative measures that specifically discriminate against and target persons with certain ethnic and religious backgrounds, particularly Muslim minorities following the events of 11 September 2001, and that threaten to impede their full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Stressing that defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity leading to restriction on the freedom of religion of their adherents and incitement to religious hatred and violence,

Noting with concern that defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights, and alarmed at the inaction of some States to combat this burgeoning trend and the resulting discriminatory practices against adherents of certain religions and in this context stressing the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred in general and against Islam and Muslims in particular,

Convinced that respect for cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, as well as dialogue among and within civilizations, is essential for global peace and understanding while manifestations of cultural and ethnic prejudice, religious intolerance and xenophobia generate hatred and violence among peoples and nations,

Underlining the important role of education in the promotion of tolerance, which involves acceptance by the public of and its respect for diversity,

Noting various regional and national initiatives to combat religious and racial intolerance against specific groups and communities and emphasizing, in this context, the need to adopt a comprehensive and non-discriminatory approach to ensure respect for all races and religions,

Recalling its resolution 7/19 of 27 March 2008 and UNGA resolution 63/154 of 18 December 2008,

1. Takes note of the report of the High Commissioner on the compilation of existing legislation and jurisprudence concerning defamation of and contempt of religions and the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance presented during the 9th session of the Human Rights Council;

2. Expresses deep concern at the negative stereotyping and defamation of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief, still evident in the world, which have led to intolerance against the followers of these religions;

3. Strongly deplores all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of holy sites, religious symbols and venerated personalities of all religions;

4. Expresses deep concern at the continued serious instances of deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons in the media, as well as programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups aimed at creating and perpetuating stereotypes about certain religions, in particular when condoned by Governments;

5. Notes with deep concern the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, including the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001; )
6. Recognizes that, in the context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general have, become aggravating factors that contribute to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of members of target groups, as well as to their economic and social exclusion;

7. Expresses deep concern in this respect that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism and in this regard regrets the laws or administrative measures specifically designed to control and monitor Muslim minorities, thereby stigmatizing them and legitimizing the discrimination they experience;

8. Deplores the use of the print, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet, and any other means to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination towards any religion, as well as targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons;

9. Emphasizes that, as stipulated in international human rights law including articles 19 and 29 of UDHR and 19 and 20 of ICCPR, everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference, and has the right to freedom of expression, the exercise of which carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to limitations as are provided for by law and are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals, and general welfare;

10. Reaffirms that General Comment 15 of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in which the Committee stipulated that the prohibition of the dissemination of all ideas based upon racial superiority or hatred is compatible with freedom of opinion and expression, is equally applicable to the question of incitement to religious hatred;

11. Strongly condemns all manifestations and acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and migrants and the stereotypes often applied to them, including on the basis of religion or belief, and urges all States to apply and, where required, reinforce existing laws when such xenophobic or intolerant acts, manifestations or expressions occur, in order to deny impunity for those who commit such acts;

12. Urges all States to provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, and to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs;

13. Underscores the need to combat defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, by strategizing and harmonizing actions at the local, national, regional and international levels through education and awareness building;

14. Calls upon all States to exert the utmost efforts, in accordance with their national legislation and in conformity with international human rights and humanitarian law, to ensure that religious places, sites, shrines and symbols are fully respected and protected, and to take additional measures in cases where they are vulnerable to desecration or destruction;

15. Calls for strengthening international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs, and urges States, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders as well as the print and electronic media to support and foster such a dialogue;

16. Appreciates the High Commissioner for Human Rights for holding a seminar on freedom of expression and advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence in October 2008, and requests her to continue to build on this initiative, with a view to concretely contributing to the prevention and elimination of all such forms of incitement and the consequences of negative stereotyping of religions or beliefs, and their adherents, on the human rights of those individuals and their communities;

17. Requests the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to report on all manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia, on the enjoyment of all rights by their followers, to the Council during its 12th Session;

18. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Council at its 12th Session on the implementation of the present resolution, including on the possible correlation between defamation of religions and the upsurge in incitement, intolerance and hatred in many parts of the world.