A Factual Error
This has reference to Sumanta Banerjee's article 'Indo-Pak Confrontation : A Suicidal Militaristic Adventure' (Autumn Number, 2017). While agreeing with the general content of the article, I would like to point out a serious factual error. Banerjee writes, "The army had been a powerful decisive institution in Pakistan almost since its birth. In 1971, it dictated terms to the Pakistan President Bhutto who allowed it to unleash a genocide against the Bengali speaking population of East Pakistan...". (Vide, p 48) The truth is that at the time of the genocide, not Z A Bhutto, but Yahya Yahya Knan was the president of Pakistan. After the defeat of Pakistani Army, Yahya Yahya Khan had to resign and Bhutto became the President. He released Mujibur Rahaman from jail, and through protracted negotiation, was able to secure the release of all Pakistani prisoners of war. This was indeed a major diplomatic achievement.
Anriban Biswas, Kolkata

BiJli Bill
BSES Yamuna Power's bill 101023174897 dated 16-01-2018 went into my spam folder. If this happens again there will be trouble. The Ambani companies make a mess of things and then harass consumers.
Mukul Dube, Delhi

Shelter for Urban Homeless
For urban homeless of Kolkata, the Controller of Vagrancy, Government of West Bengal arranges safe and secure shelters separately for males and females. About 30 such shelters are run by NGOs at Kolkata with the assistance of concerned department. These shelters have arranged all requisite facilities like electricity & water, bedding, recreation facilities (installation of Television) and so forth at free of cost. Regular health check up facility also provides to the inmates of these shelters. But there is no arrangement of foods and special health care facility for the inmates mentally ill. All of them stay together at these shelters. It has been observed that there are many homeless families for which there is no initiative taken. These homeless families are not availing these shelters because of separation in male and female. They do not agree to stay away from their family members. Secondly, they are afraid of torture which they frequently face in their daily affairs in absence of their own home. Thirdly, there is need of arrangement of food in these shelters, specially for older people who have no earning and they have no one to help them.
Harashankar Adhikari, Kolkata

The President of the United States of America Donald Trump on the 6th of December 2017 announced that his government recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It simply means that Tel Aviv is no more the capital of Israel.

This statement infuriated the Arab world, upset Western allies and others who have been concerned about the independence of Palestine and the peace process. More importantly, the status of Jerusalem has been one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians for generations. Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future independent state of their own. Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed, to be occupied territory, including the Old City, Home to sites considered holy by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.

Declaring unilaterally Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by President Trump has violated and thus stalemated the agreements and peace processes of the comity of nations. The announcement of President has triggered rage all over the world and certainly will have repercussion in diverse forms and formats. Having recognized the magnitude and seriousness of Trump's announcement, the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) met on the 8th of December 2017 to analyze the decision taken by Washington. At the end of the meeting the European Union acknowledged that has a clear and united position. "We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both the state of Israel and the State of Palestine". Reiterating their position clearly that "EU will not recognize any sovereignty over Jerusalem".

Even India also refrained from the statement of President Trump indicating that it was up to the state of Israel and the state of Palestine to sort out their differences and not by a third party. Except the American President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Nethanhyu and their governments, people at large have been totally dismayed by the President's statement. So, against this backdrop we who have been concerned about the independence of Palestine, the Palestinians and their future, should come out candidly and in unison express our solidarity as Christian Ecumenical Clergies by signing in the memorandum.
Rev Dr P Mohan Larbeer, CSI, Madurai-Ramnad, Rev Dr Vincent Rajkumar, CSI KCD Bangalore, Rev Dr Prabhakar Dhayam, AELC Hyderabad Rev Dr Aseervatham, MBCBC, Hyderabad, Rev Fr Dr Selvaraj, Jesuit, Bangalore and others.
[Reported by the Ecumenical Clergy Fellowship for Human Rights]

Vol. 50, No.31, Feb 4 - 10, 2017