Newsletter June 2015

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*Notice of Annual General Assembly*

1. This is not an election year and the agenda will be formal reports
and an update on the work carried out in the 2014-15 year.*HFE will be
holding its General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden on 29 June 2015,* at the
behest of the Hindu Forum of Sweden which will also be officially launched
that day. The venue is ISKCON Stockholm, Fridhemsgatan 22, 112 40 Stockholm.
Those interested in attending should write to info@hinduforum.eu, for
details. We are grateful to the newly formed Hindu Forum of Sweden for
hosting the event.

*Representation*

*The State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the World: Tuesday 3 june
2015*

On Tuesday 3th of June the presentation of the the Annual report 2014 from
FoRB&RT, European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion and Belief
Religious Tolerance, took place in the European parliament in Brussels.
Mahaprabhu Das, secretary of Hindu Forum of Europe and intern Markus
Fobelets atteded the event.

The speakers on the event where the chairs of the EP intergroup on FoRB&RT
and USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, as well as EEAS director Mr.
Silvio Gonzato.

In May 2015 HFE also attended by invitation a meeting with Denis De Jong
co-chair of the FoRB&RT. Markus represented the HFE at the meeting which
will have fed into the report. We are a little disappointed on how little
gets into the report, but are also aware that without us pushing, perhaps
nothing would make it is. *Our sincere thanks to those who submitted
information to us to pass on.* We urge those groups who did not reply this
year to do so for the next report, for we have only ourselves to blame if
we do not make the cut because of lack of information. The report is used
in many ways, for example when EU trade delegations visit a country, they
will quote the report and ask the named country how they are going to
improve the situation, making the report an influencer on trade decisions.
You can read the full report here
http://www.religiousfreedom.eu/file/2015/06/2014-Intergroup-Report-FINAL.pdf

*Consultations*

Quite a few new European consultations became public in May, you can find
them here.

http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/consultations/index_en.htm

*Nepal Earthquakes*

Photos by Deepika Pandya-Tailor

The two major earthquakes in Nepal have wrecked the country’s
infrastructure and the loss of life has devastated families and
communities. Aftershocks are still being felt a month on from the second
earthquake http://www.theglobal.co.uk/aftershock-felt-in-quake-hit-nepal/ .
Our thought and prayers are with the people of Nepal as they pick
themselves up and start again after each setback. Here in Europe,
Executive Director Bharti Tailor spoke at the Vigil for Support outside the
UK Nepalese Embassy
http://hinduforum.eu/vigil-in-support-of-nepal-uk-1-may-2015-outside-nepalese-embassy

According to the UN some 3 Million Nepalese are in need of aid. We can help
in this endeavour by giving to charities that we know are doing sterling
work on the ground. For this we recommend the following Charities, which we
have had recommended by people who are from Nepal and working on the
ground, or ones which the Nepalese diaspora themselves donate to. We also
asked the Nepalese members of European bodies such Shushma Shree Thapa of
the Hindu Forum of Belgium and Shashi Poudel journalist and member of the
Hamburg Hindu Group, before compiling the list below.

*The Gurkha Welfare Trust*

https://www.gwt.org.uk/donate/earthquake

*Saraswati Vidhyalay* http://79.170.40.236/saraswatividyalaya.org.uk/

*Anath Balbatika Sangh (The Orphans Home) *

http://theorphanshomes.org/contact-us/

*Help Nepal Network*

http://www.helpnepal.net/donate

*Events*

*Religions for Peace European Council of Religious Leaders*

The ECRL met in Frankfurt this year. Both the Hindu representatives, Sivram
Swami and Bharti Tailor attended. Ms Tailor took the opportunity to visit
Hindu Groups of Frankfurt and Hessen and urge them to form a Hindu
umbrella. You can read about her visits on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/HinduForumOfEurope, alongside postings about the

Templeton prize and her speech at the ‘Women Bishops’ event which can be
heard here http://faithdebates.org.uk/debates/women-bishops/. Ms Tailor was
also at the launch of the *UK Women of Faith Network. *You can read about
that here https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanWomenofFaithNetwork

*International Imam Hussain Council; Syeda Fatima Interfaith
Conference 8 June 2015: Recognizing women as key players in our
society today*

Dr Lakshmi Vyas our Vice President represented HFE at this event.

Lakshmiji spoke about Medha Patkar; you can read her extract here
https://www.facebook.com/HinduForumOfEurope?fref=ts

*Nat Puri Awarded Honour *

Heartiest Congratulations to Nat Puri, Patron of HFE who has been awarded a
CBE in the Birthday Honours bestowed by Queen Elizabeth the II of UK, for
Services to Business and Charities in the UK and abroad. This is truly a
deserved honour as Natji supports so much work in these two sectors.

Avenue D’Auderghem 197, 1040 Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium
info@hinduforum.eu, www.hinduforum.eu,

*T/F:* +447736704383, English, Gujarati, Hindi. +32498545838, English,
French, Spanish.

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