A month after imposing a censorship on Twitter, the ultra conservative gulf kingdom Saudi Arabia has threatened to ban instant messaging applications like Skype and WhatsApp citing failure to control them as the reason.”The Communications and Information Technology Commission has requested companies operating the applications to meet the regulatory requirements to avoid their suspension in the kingdom,” sources told Saudi news website Sabq.”The commission is now coordinating with the application operators on the issue.”According to Russia Today, the Saudi Arabian government had given just a week’s time to the companies to deal with the situation and decide on technical measures.The sources said the decision of banning instant messaging applications was “in accordance with regulatory procedures.”Saudi-owned television news channel Al Arabiya reported that instant messaging applications like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber face the risk of being banned.Recently, Saudi Arabia Minister for Media and Culture Abdel Aziz Khoga had asked citizens to abide by the government’s decision of banning Twitter.”People have to take care of what they are writing on Twitter,” the minister said.”It’s getting harder to observe around three million people subscribing to the social network in the kingdom.”Earlier, the government had banned the usage of Blackberry Phones stating that the sending and receiving of message was encrypting communications and was causing difficulty in monitoring them which in turn affected the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and crime.Here are some countries that have completely banned social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube:
Kolkata: The man found hanging from an electricity tower in Purulia had committed suicide as per the post-mortem examination, police said on Sunday as life was hit in the area due to the 12-hour strike called by the BJP to protest against the alleged murder of its party workers. Soon after taking charge on Sunday morning, the new Superintendent of Police of Purulia district, Akash Magharia, said: “There was a death of a person at Dava village in Balarampur on Saturday. He was found mysteriously hanging from a tower of high tension wire. We had initiated an unnatural death case and the body was sent for an autopsy that was carried out by a board of five doctors. We have received the report. The board of doctors has clearly stated in the report that the death was due to asphyxia due to hanging and suicidal in nature.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsWith the police getting the opinion of the board of doctors, they have become sure that Dulal had committed suicide and there was no foul play behind it as claimed by BJP.Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of the Trinamool Congress, said: “The autopsy report showed that it was a suicide. It shows that such controversy over it was created just to malign the state government.”It may be mentioned that Dulal had left home on Friday evening and went missing since then. His motorbike was found on Friday night itself. But his body was found hanging on Saturday morning. Locals had agitated and the police had to chase them away by raising their lathis to ensure that the law and order situation remained in order. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe BJP had called a strike in Balarampur on Sunday. But people went out for their work as usual without caring much. There were allegations of threats to the local residents asking them not to come out of their houses and to keep shops shut. Starting from women to middle-aged men, all went out of their houses without paying any heed to the warnings. There were sufficient state-run buses and it helped to ensure a normal day in Balarampur. However, there was police patrolling in sensitive places to avoid any untoward incident that might occur once again leading to deterioration of the law and order situation.The police are also maintaining a strict vigil in the district so that no attempts to disturb peace can be achieved.
Darjeeling: With peace and tranquility returning, tourists are again making a beeline for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills. This time there is an added attraction for the tourists visiting the Hills, as the 2nd edition of the Kalimpong Darjeeling Folk Festival is all set to be flagged off on October 26 in Kalimpong.The 3 day festival is part of the Rural Craft & Cultural Hub initiative of the department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises & Textiles (MSME&T), in collaboration with UNESCO. Video documentation of the cultural heritage of 16 Hill communities will also be released at the festival. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe MSME&T department has developed 10 Rural Craft Hubs in association with UNESCO, which benefit 3,000 handicraft artisans. It is also in the process of developing Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs (RCCH) across 15 districts, which would benefit an additional 12,000 rural artisans. The endeavours are aimed at strengthening grassroot level creative enterprises in the state. “The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industry Board (WBKVIB) has supported many such Hill communities in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. They will be supporting them with Folk Centres. MOUs have been inked with the communities and the process of land identification for the Folk Centres is underway. Already, 5 communities have identified or donated land,” stated Nirmalya Roy, manager of Banglanatak dot com. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Video documentation of the cultural heritage of all the 16 Hill communities has also been prepared. The DVDs will be released at the festival” added Roy. “The DVDs are very special as they contain the cultural brief of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong region, covering lifestyle, food habits, costumes, scripts and other cultural elements of these communities,” said Roy. The communities include Mangar, Dhimal, Tamang, Lepcha, Rai, Khas, Bhutia, Tibetan, Limbu, Sarki, Bhujel, Newar, Gurung, Kami, Damai and Sherpa. Albaluna, an international band from Portugal, will be the star attraction of the festival. Different Hill communities will also present their unique cultures, songs and dances. “The cultural aspect of any destination is a major attraction. Such initiatives go a long way in promoting a place and people. It is a welcome move,” stated Samrat Sanyal, a tour operator.
Kolkata: The state Tourism department is coming up with a District Tourism Committee (DTC) in all 23 districts across the state, to ensure a hassle-free travel experience for domestic as well as international tourists. “The DTC will have five members with the District Magistrate (DM) as the chairman, the District Information and Cultural Officer (DICO) as member secretary, another senior government official and two eminent persons from the district. The committee will ensure that tourists in their respective districts face no hassle during their visit and stay,” said state Tourism minister Goutam Deb, while delivering his Budget speech for 2019-20 at the state Assembly on Tuesday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe total budget in the Tourism sector for the ongoing fiscal is Rs 413.8 crore. The minister announced that the state government has taken up development of Nabadwip and Cooch Behar, which has been declared as a heritage site. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has assigned IIT Kharagpur the task to prepare a project report on the development of these sites, with special emphasis on its heritage,” said Deb. The minister also announced his department’s plan of projecting Gajoldoba in the Hills as one of the biggest tourism hubs in the country. “We have 208 acres of land at Gajoldoba, which will be developed into an integrated tourism hub,” he added. Among other tourism initiatives, Deb said that the government is planning to introduce cruise services till Mayapur connecting Belur Math, where the evening puja (popularly known as Sandhya Arati) is a huge draw for the people of the state.