Connect with us


Upset #Hindus seek right to cremation in #Malta as 'burial hinders soul’s journey'



Worldwide Hindus are upset over Malta not having mechanism for the cremation of deceased Hindus, forcing the community to bury their loved ones in contradiction of their long-held beliefs.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed (pictured), in a statement in Nevada, US, said that Malta should show some maturity and be more responsive to the hurt feelings of its hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community; which had been in the country since 1800s and had made lot of contributions to the nation and society, and continued to do so.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that cremation had been a pre-BCE tradition prescribed in ancient Hindu texts. Cremationsignified spiritual release, helped severe ties to earthly life and gave momentum to the soul for its continuing spiritual journey. World’s oldest extant scripture,Rig-Veda, pointed out: Agni, set him free again to go to the fathers.

It was simply heartbreaking for the community to perform something in clear violation of their faith. If Malta was unable to provide proper crematoriums, Hindus should be allowed to cremate their deceased on traditional open pyres for which Malta should build a cremation ground near a body of water; Rajan Zed indicated.

Zed further said that Hindus were planning to approach various bodies/officials like European Union, Council of Europe, European Parliament; European Commissioner for Human Rights; European and Malta Ombudsman; Malta President, Prime Minister and other government offices; National Commission for the Promotion of Equality; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Malta; etc.; on this issue; as being able to follow one’s faith traditions was a fundamental human right.

Funeral rites/ceremonies were one of the main samskaras (sacraments) of Hindu life. In majority cases, Hindus were cremated, except infants and ascetics. After some ancient rituals at the cremation, remains (bones/ashes) were ceremoniously immersed into holy river Ganga or other bodies of water, helping in the liberation of the deceased. In Hinduism, death did not mark the end of existence; Rajan Zed pointed out.

Moreover, tenets of Hinduism and other world religions should be taught in all Malta State schools at par with religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith. Opening-up the Malta children to major world religions and non-believers’ viewpoint would make them well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow; Zed stated.

Rajan Zed was of the view that Malta should also provide some land and help in raising a Hindu temple, as Maltese Hindus did not have proper traditional worship space.

Malta should follow its own constitution, which stated: “All persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship”. Moreover, Malta, a member country of European Union, reportedly was a signatory to the Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights; Zed noted.

Rajan Zed further said that as a dominating majority in Malta, Catholics also had a moral responsibility to take care of minority brothers/sisters from different faith backgrounds, and should thus also seek equality treatment for all. Equality was the fundamental tenet of Judeo-Christian faith, of which Catholicism was a significant part.

Electricity interconnectivity

Commission approves prolongation of two Greek measures to support transition towards new electricity market design



The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, the prolongation for a limited period of two Greek measures, a flexibility mechanism and an interruptability scheme, to support the transition to the new electricity market design. Under the flexibility mechanism, which was initially approved by the Commission on 30 July 2018 (SA 50152), flexible power capacity providers such as gas-fired power plants, flexible hydro plants and demand response operators can obtain a payment for being available to generate electricity or, in the case of demand response operators, for being ready to reduce their electricity consumption.

This flexibility in power capacity will allow the Greek transmission system operator (TSO) to cope with the variability in electricity production and consumption. Under the interruptibility scheme, which was initially approved by the Commission on 07 February 2018 (SA. 48780), Greece compensates large energy consumers for agreeing to be voluntarily disconnected from the network when security of electricity supply is at risk, as happened for example during the gas crisis in the cold winter of December 2016/January 2017.

Greece notified to the Commission its intention to prolong the flexibility mechanism until March 2021, and the interruptibility scheme until September 2021. The Commission assessed the two measures under the Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020.

The Commission found that the prolongation of the two measures is necessary for a limited period of time, in view of the on-going reforms in the Greek electricity market. It also found that the aid is proportionate because the remuneration of beneficiaries is fixed through a competitive auction, and thus avoids overcompensation. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU state aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.56102 and SA.56103.

Continue Reading


Commission approves €26 million German scheme to compensate youth hostels, school country homes, youth education centres and family holiday centres in Bavaria for damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak



The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a German scheme to compensate youth hostels, school country homes, youth education centres and family holiday centres in Bavaria for the loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of direct grants and will compensate the damage suffered up to a maximum of 60% of the loss of revenues incurred by eligible beneficiaries in the period from 18 March 2020 to 31 July 2020.

During this period, the beneficiaries had to close their accommodation facilities due to the restrictive measure that the German authorities implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus. When calculating the loss of revenue, reductions in costs resulting from income generated during the lockdown (e.g. cancellation fees), as well as possible financial aid granted or actually paid out by public authorities to cope with the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak (including aid granted under the measure with case number SA.56974, approved by the Commission in April 2020) will be deducted.

This will ensure that no more than the damage suffered can be compensated. The measure will be funded via the Corona Programme Social Affairs fund of the Free State of Bavaria, which has a total budget of €26 million. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which enables the Commission to approve state aid measures granted by member states to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages directly caused by restrictive measures taken due to exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak.

The Commission found that the German scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the envisaged compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damages. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with EU state aid rules. More information on actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.  The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58464 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website.

Continue Reading


Sustainable transport: EU funds clean buses, electric charging infrastructure and more in France, Germany, Italy and Spain



Following the EU's investment of €2.2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the green recovery, as announced in July, the EU is contributing additional €54 million to five projects that aim at delivering safer and greener transport services. Among the selection are projects deploying cleaner busses with charging infrastructure in Paris and Barcelona. The projects also involve constructing 255 new electric charging stations on Italian roads, and installing ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System on 238 rail vehicles in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

The projects will be supported through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU's financial mechanism supporting transport infrastructure, and further contribute to decarbonizing transport as set out in the European Green Deal. These projects were selected through the CEF Blending Facility, which allows the leveraging of additional private financing for the projects, in addition to the EU's support. In total, CEF has now supported 932 projects, with €23.1bn in total. You can find more details on today's five new selected projects here.

Continue Reading