Jail over fine

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING -

IRON­I­CALLY, In­dia’s op­po­si­tion and the Gree­nies had called on the Delhi and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to can­cel the festival as it would dam­age the bio­di­ver­sity of the banks of the Ya­muna and the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal ( NGT) fined AOL US$ 750,000 ( RM3mil).

On the eve of WCF, The Hin­dus­tan Times re­ported : “WCF venue not fire safe yet, say of­fi­cials”, “AOL festival an eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter”, and “Can­cel event, Op­po­si­tion tells govt.”

When asked to pay the fine, Ravi Shankar said he would “rather go to jail than pay the fine.” He ar­gued that he had not vi­o­lated any rules, so, was not li­able to pay any penalty. He said AOL foun­da­tion would chal­lenge the tri­bunal’s or­der in the top court.

Delhi Chief Min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal, who ad­dressed the peo­ple on the sec­ond day, sought AOL’s founder Ravi Shankar’s as­sis­tance in clean­ing the Ya­muna river.

“We are sit­ting along the banks of Ya­muna river. We have taken sev­eral ini­tia­tives for clean­ing it. If Sri Sri and our au­thor­i­ties work to­gether, they can keep Ya­muna clean,” he said. He added that WCF is a “his­toric and amaz­ing event spread­ing the mes­sage of spir­i­tu­al­ity, love and peace.”

A high­light of the WCF was when for­mer pres­i­dent of Nige­ria, Matthew Of­ford, and mem­ber of Bri­tish con­ser­va­tive party, read out a mes­sage from Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron con­grat­u­lat­ing Ravi Shankar.

“I wish I was at WCF today. I in­vite Sri Sri to the House of Com­mons and the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment. I as­sure you a great wel­come. Peo­ple say that no one can change the world but Sri Sri has al­ready started,” the mes­sage read, as re­ported in the The Hin­dus­tan Times.

Dr Lawrence Carter, from the Par­lia­ment of World Re­li­gions, called upon peo­ple to nom­i­nate Sri Sri for the No­bel Peace Prize com­mit­tee for or­gan­is­ing such a great event and spread­ing the mes­sage of peace, love and har­mony.

AOL also or­gan­ised a Global Lead­er­ship Fo­rum at­tended by more than 100 for­mer prime min­is­ters, pres­i­dents, min­is­ters and lead­ers from var­i­ous na­tions, which was at­tended by more than 10,000 in­ter­na­tional lead­ers.

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