Tag: Victoria

Hindus for Human Rights urges for exemption of Hindu swastika while banning Nazi imagery

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 11 October 2021: The Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), Australia & New Zealand has urged the Victorian government to exempt the ‘Hindu Swastika’ when it bans the public display of Nazi symbols illegal in Victoria. It “advises caution about inadvertently targeting Hindus.” Basically, the point being that the Nazi symbol and the Hindu Swastika are different. And, the Hindu Swastika has no connection to the Nazi symbol, a symbol of fascism and hate.

In a media statement Emailed to SAT, the HfHR informs the state government, “We are writing to you on behalf of Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), an advocacy organisation that provides a platform for progressive Hindus to speak out in support of democratic freedoms and pluralism.”

The rest of the release says:

“Hindus for Human Rights applauds the Victorian Government’s decision to make the public display of Nazi symbols illegal. Recent anti-Semitic incidents have used Nazi imagery to target Jewish Australians, and a ban on hateful imagery would help diverse Victorians feel safe in their communities. However, HfHR is concerned that without specific language exempting the Hindu Swastika from scrutiny, Hindus could inadvertently become a target of these new laws.

The word “swastika” means “conducive to well-being” in Sanskrit. While the Swastika was used by the Nazis as a symbol of hate, it was originally used by Hindus as a symbol of prosperity and good luck, and Hindus continue to use the symbol to represent the faith today. Buddhists also consider the symbol to be sacred, representing the footprints of Buddha. Swastikas are often present on the doorsteps of homes, and people often wear the swastika on jewelry for good luck. The Hindu swastika and Nazi Hakenkreuz also look completely different.

Most Hindu Australians are aware of the history of the Holocaust and the implications of the Swastika in Western society and do not generally display the symbol in public. However, for Hindus, the outright banning of this symbol is hurtful, saying a beautiful symbol of faith, stolen in the name of genocide, is inherently evil. Under these new laws, Hindus may also risk facing significant fines and jail time. For people who have recently immigrated and are unfamiliar with the Nazi swastika, this law could cause particularly dangerous consequences.

HfHR recommends that any statutes, policies, or other legal documents created to ban Nazi imagery create an exemption for the Hindu Swastika. Guidance to enforcement agencies must also explain the difference between the Nazi and Hindu swastikas to avoid inadvertent targeting of the Hindu community.

Hindus for Human Rights – Australia and New Zealand (HfHR-ANZ) is the Australian and Aotearoa branch of Hindus for Human Rights USA, which was founded in 2019. We advocate for pluralism and human rights in South Asia and beyond, rooted in the values of our Hindu faith: shanti (peace), nyaya (justice) and satya (truth). We provide a Hindu voice of resistance to caste, Hindutva (Hindu majoritarianism), and all forms of bigotry and oppression. We work with a broad coalition of partners to educate elected officials and the public in Australasia about human rights issues in South Asia. Our advocacy takes many forms, including government briefings, peaceful protests, op-eds, webinars, conferences, and social media mobilisation.”

300 artisans carving 5,500 Marble pieces in India for first Jain temple in Victoria

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Photo- Supplied.

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 9 August 2021: The first Jain Shwetamber temple will soon grace the skyline here, with the foundation stone laying ceremony (Shilanayas) taking place on 4 August 2021. The temple and community center will be built on more than 2800 square meters in Moorabbin based on ‘Jain Shilpa Shastra’(Jain sacred scripture on sculpture).

The ceremony took place under the spiritual guidance of ‘Pujya Acharya Bhagawant Jagvallabh Sri Maharaja’ amidst the chanting of religious hymns and the presence of leaders and people from all walks of life.

Interestingly, each day since 2016, one Jain in Melbourne fasts for the completion of the temple. And, till now about 1,815 ‘upwas’ (fasts) have been done. So much is the zeal for the new temple. Each fast lasts 36 hours as per Jain tradition.

Twenty-one Marble Shilas (Marble stone slabs) were placed at the proposed temple site for the auspicious occasion. About 5,500 pieces of carved white Makrana (Rajasthan) marble will be imported from India for the temple. The carving of these stones is being done in India by about 300 artisans and can take up to two and half years.

The white Makrana marble pieces are being carved for use in the temple in Pindwara (Rajasthan) by artisans under the guidance of an architect Mr. Harshad Chavda. This temple is designed by an architect Mr. Rajesh Bhai Sompura (Ahmedabad), Mr. Sompura belongs to a small community that has been for centuries doing Jain temple designing work.

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Some of the marble carvings to be used in the temple. Photo- Supplied.

Talking to SAT Mr. Nitin Doshi, President Melbourne Shwetamber Jain Sangh (MSJS) disclosed, ” Six to eight artisans will come to Melbourne from India and install the carved marbles in the temple.”

” The total weight of the 5,500 pieces to be imported here will be around 1,500 tonnes,” Mr. Doshi said.

The temple will also have a community hall, to be funded by Jain community members and is expected to complete in 2023.

Mr. Jason Wood, Federal Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety, and Multicultural Affairs was present among others and pledged to support the project further to complete it. Others present included Mr. Raj Kumar, India’s Consul General in Melbourne, and Mayor of Kingston City Mr. Steve Staikos.

” For many years Jains were dreaming to have a temple of their own. For 500 families this is a huge commitment – physical, financial, and emotional.

Now we are sure our next generation here can follow the Jain faith,” says Mr.Doshi.

Melbourne lockout ends from 11.59 pm Thursday 10 June; many restrictions eased

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Photo- SAT/NN

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 9 June 2021: Lockout here ends from 11.59 pm Thursday 10 June, the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply in metro Melbourne and the existing 10-kilometre limit will be increased to 25 kilometers. Schools will open with face-to-face learning from Friday (11 June).

In his live media update today, Acting Premier James Merlino said “We’re also still not in a position to be able to have visitors to our home, but outdoor gatherings will be increased to a maximum of ten people. And mask rules will be eased slightly – required inside, and outdoors when 1.5 meters isn’t possible.

In good news for families, schools will be able to resume face-to-face learning for all students from Friday. Cafes, restaurants, and pubs will open – with strict safety measures like density limits, seated service, and QR codes in place. The remaining retail will also open. Hairdressing, beauty, and personal care can resume, but only for services where masks can be kept on. Visitors still not permitted to aged care facilities.

Weddings will be limited to 10 people, and funerals no more than 50. Fifty will also be the limit on religious gatherings. Swimming pools, entertainment venues, and community facilities will also open subject to density limits. And community sport can happen, but only for training.”

In regional Victoria, restrictions will also ease. Visitors to the home are allowed – limited to two people and their dependants – once per day. Public outdoor gatherings will be limited to 20 people. Gyms will remain closed.

There’ll also be increases to the capacity limits at places like restaurants, entertainment venues, community facilities, and religious gatherings. Indoor sport, including gyms, will also be able to reopen with careful limits on the number of people permitted at any point in time.

PM ScoMo announces lockdown support payments amidst vaccine undersupply in Victoria

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PM ScoMo addressing media conference, Parliament House, Canberra. Photo- Grab from live.

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 3 June: Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced support payments for those in lockouts for more than seven days. These will be in addition to the already announced support payments for businesses by the Victorian government. The Federal payments will be week by week and fall in categories of $ 500 a week (20 hours + working) and $ 375 a week (less than 20 hours working). These payments will apply to declared ‘Commonwealth Hot Spot” areas, for which Greater Melbourne now qualifies.

The announcements were made live on TV and Facebook by the PM countrywide along with Treasurer David Frydenberg and Minister for Emergency Response David Littleproud from Parliament House’s Blue Room in the afternoon today. The announcements made are similar to payments being made in New Zealand.

The payments will be made to people over 17 with liquid assets less than $ 10,000. The National Cabinet, the PM said, will decide how the payments will be divided between the state and the Federal Government.

Earlier, the undersupply of vaccines in Victoria was highlighted as Acting Premier James Merlino said “vaccination was the only way out of the pandemic but the state was waiting on a greater supply of vaccines from the federal government” (ABC report). Meanwhile, Labor MP Julian Hill attacked the PM today saying, ” He failed the hotel quarantine. He is failing on vaccines. And he is now failing Victoria.”

WorkSafe Victoria launches ‘Workplace safety is our common language’ campaign

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 28 April 2021: WorkSafe is ensuring safety is a common language for all Victorians following the launch of
it’s latest campaign to assist workers from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The $1 million ‘Workplace Safety is our Common Language’ campaign speaks directly to workers in 19 different languages to help everyone understand their health and safety rights, and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to raise questions or concerns.

This includes translated advice for workers, resources for employers, and videos featuring
real workers who share their experiences in Victorian workplaces.

Talking about workplace safety and raising concerns can be hard when working with close friends or family and it can be even harder when co-workers speak a different language.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said employers had to ensure workers from culturally diverse backgrounds understood their health and safety rights.

“We know people who speak multiple languages and are learning English face unique risks compared to their co-workers, but that is no excuse for failing to ensure their health and safety,” Ms Nielsen said.

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“WorkSafe is providing resources in additional languages to help all workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities and to ensure every worker returns home safe at the end of the day.”

WorkSafe now has health and safety information available in nine new languages including Bahasa Indonesia, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Malay, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Urdu. This is in addition to the information already available in Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari, Dinka, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

The campaign launched on Sunday, 21 March across multicultural print, radio, and digital media outlets. WorkSafe also hosted an online panel event for community leaders, business owners, and workers from multicultural communities on 24 March as part of the campaign.

The panel featured prominent community and business representatives, including AfroAustralian Student Organisation founder Monica Forson and former Victoria Street Business Association President Meca Ho, who discussed health and safety in multicultural workplaces and a path towards normalizing conversations about safety.

More than 280 Victorians contacted WorkSafe’s interpreter service for health and safety advice so far this financial year.

Workers wanting to know more about their health and safety rights can call TIS National on 131 450 to reach WorkSafe with an interpreter, between 7.30 am and 6.30 pm Monday to Friday.

For more information on health and safety in any of the 19 languages, visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/languages.