"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expressions in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam" - Article 27 - Constitution of the Republic of Maldives … [THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN] … 'Kratos Demos' ...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lintel becomes the first Carbon Neutral company in the Maldives

Lintel Investments and Management Services Pvt Ltd has achieved the title of ‘First accredited CarbonNeutral® company in the Maldives’.

Lintel achieved this by completing a program laid out by the CarbonNeutral Protocol, the global standard for organisations to reduce their carbon emissions to net zero.

This reduction process involved an independent third party assessment that calculated the CO2 emission levels associated with the amount of energy used at Lintel’s premises, company owned vehicles, business travel, wastage and employee commuting. Lintel chose to reduce its CO2 emissions of 178 tonnes through purchasing carbon credits in the Sangli Wind Power project in India, a renewable energy project verified to the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).

Abdul Majid, Managing Director, Lintel Investments and Management Services Pvt said, “Lintel is fully aware of its corporate social responsibility and understands the threats and challenges we face due to climate change. Lintel is proud to inform its stakeholders that we have taken the first step towards a cleaner, safer and carbon free environment.”

Rani Virdee, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of The CarbonNeutral Company said “We would like to congratulate Lintel in adopting this leadership position as the first company in the Maldives to become an accredited CarbonNeutral® company”.

Lintel’s next environmental milestone will be further reducing its carbon emission by 50% over the next two years.

About Lintel
Lintel Investments and Management Services Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly Maldivian owned company registered and operated in the Maldive Islands as one of the country’s leading distributors of luxury perfumes, skincare, cosmetics and jewelry.

Established in 1989 and with its first store opened in November 1990 under the name of “Le Cute”; Lintel has expanded rapidly in the past 20 years while providing its customers with a “Quality Most Compare” products and services.

Lintel currently operates seven outlets nationwide, including the duty free perfumes and cosmetics concession at Male’ international airport.

TAKEN FROM:http://www.carbonneutral.com/about-us/news/lintel-becomes-first-carbonneutral-company-in-the-maldives/

Friday, March 5, 2010

ATM's Ruin my day!!!

All this happened on the 25th February 2010!! All events took place while I was trying to reach Bangalore International Airport to catch a flight to Singapore.

I arrived to Majestic bus station, Bangalore after a three and half hour trip from Mysore. As soon as I was out of the station I took an Auto (Rickshaw) to the nearest ATM. My card; which was an BML Visa card, did not work from this ATM, I knew at once this ATM doesn't read foreign cards so I asked the Auto driver to take me to another ATM. I did tell him that since I have a Maldivian card take me to a ATM of a major Bank of India! He takes me to a HDC Bank ATM. It worked!!! I withdrew money enough for me to pay to my agent who booked my Singapore ticket, which as agreed I had to pay for when I arrive to Bangalore. I met him and paid for the ticket.

As I was done paying my agent I asked the same Auto driver whom I had hired to take me to the Airport Bus. Somehow the Auto driver managed to convince me that I should take a cab to the Airport rather than a Bus which he says would consume a lot of time and since I was already a bit off my schedule so naturally I agreed with him and asked him to take me to a Cab instead of a Bus!! As he takes me to this cab, and asks me to pay him IRS 350 for the Auto. Which I assumed was somewhat reasonable for all the troubles he took for me.

The Cab driver tells me he has to be paid IRS 500 to take me to the Airport. Which again was reasonable since it was late night and the distance ... So I agreed to this guy. But since I had not planed this cab ride earlier I told him that I will be needing to stop to an ATM to withdraw enough money to pay for the ride! I did tell him that my card works only with certain major Banks in India so take me to one of those ATM's. He agrees and tells me "Not to worry there are plenty of those ATM's on the way to Airport!".

The story begins

The first ATM he took me was in a shopping complex on the way to Airport. As I inserted the card into it the ATM tells me "INVALID TRANSACTION". I come out of there and head to the next ATM which was across street. Here again the ATM tells me "INVALID TRANSACTION". At this point I was very sure that this is definitely a problem with Indian banking system and Indian ATM's.

I go back to the cab, tells him the situation and he tells me again "Not to worry more ATM's on the way"

The cab driver takes me to a SBI ATM, here again the ATM wouldn't let me withdraw any cash!! However was relived cause this ATM recognized my card, after all SBI is the State Bank of India!! I tried several times again but no luck. At this point of time I was really very p***** off!! feeling very disappointed. I go back to the cab, where the Cab driver was quite suspicious of me, for a moment or two I had the feeling that he had the picture of me trying to run off without paying!!

He tells me there are couple of ATM's in the Airport!! "So lets get going shall we?"

At the Airport I tried the ATM's there but no luck!!! I was very embarrassed and felt very ******, I had a cab driver besides me who looked angry and I had a flight to catch in an Hour!!
I didn't know what to do!!! then it came to me I had a $10 with me. I went to the money exchange at the airport exchanged the $10 and paid the cab guy his money!! ( he did take IRS 50 more for all the trouble!!

As soon as I paid the Cab guy I waked into Departure. There was one thing in my mind!!! I cursed Indian ATM's!! Suddenly my cell rings ...

"Man, so you in the flight?"
"Asif, yea!! I am in the Airport, I hate Indian Banking and ATM's"
"why what happened?"
"My card don't work at any ATM here!!"
" ... ummm ... did you withdraw somewhat USD 400 today"
".... let me think ... yea I paid for ticket + I had withdrawn back in Mysore as well today. why?"
" Ohh ... BML, Maldives they allow only USD 400 per day!!"
"Ohhh ... I see ..."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Merlion, Singapore


I was in Singapore for a Regional Scout meeting last week!! The Merlion was one thing I found remarkable in Singapore!!

The Merlion was first designed as an emblem for the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in 1964 – the lion head with a fish body resting on a crest of waves quickly became Singapore’s icon to the rest of the world.

Originally located at the Merlion Park by the Esplanade Bridge, the Merlion and the Cub became a popular tourist attraction for visitors. The installation ceremony took place on 15 September 1972, officiated by the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Today, the Merlion has found a new home just 120 metres away from its original location, adjacent to one Fullerton.

Measuring 8.6 metres high and weighing 70 tonnes, the Merlion statue was built from cement fondue by the late Singapore craftsman, Mr Lim Nang Seng. A second and smaller Merlion statue, measuring two metres high and weighing three tones, was also built by Mr Lim. The body was made of cement fondue, the skin from porcelain plates and eyes from small red teacups.

YAMG Report to the APRSC in February

APR Scout Committee Meeting

27-28 February 2010, Singapore

Chairman’s Report

Young Adult Members Group

I hereby present the report of the Young Adult Members Group, as a whole and our different tasks and involvement in our respective sub-committee.

Communication and networking among us

Our main communication network is through email and Facebook. We have been using different instant messenger softwares, such as the Yahoo Messenger and the MSN Messenger. We also use Skype for voice interacted communication.

Our first online meeting was held on 15 December 2009 via Skype. All members of the YAMG except Mr. Dicky Lam from Hong Kong were present during this meeting.

In the meeting we agreed that, we will meet online every three months. Jessy Ji Eun Seo was elected as our secretary to keep and maintain record of each meeting. We also establish a "protocol/Rules of Procedure" on how to go about our meeting using Skype. We are also working to establish a better online communication network.

We have also established two Facebook accounts. One account is the ‘YAMG closed group’ only YAMG members and APR Office can access this group, and the other one is an open group called ‘APR Young Adult Member Group’ this Facebook group is open for all the participants of the youth forum and other Scouts and Rovers in the region to interact, share and join us in the forum discussions. As of today we have 598 members in the open group account.

Involvement in respective Sub-Committees

· Mohd Hafiz Bin Ariffin attended the APR Management Sub-Committee meeting in Sri Lanka and also attended the APR Disaster Management Workshop. During the

APR Disaster Management Workshop, Hafiz had closely worked with the recommendation committee as a secretary.

The recommendations from Disaster Management Workshop will be used by the resource group to develop the framework of Disaster Management Guidelines. The resource group will be coordinated by Hafiz and led by Mr. Ramakrishnan of Malaysia.

During the meeting, Hafiz had been assign for the Review of the CSE Meet point. He was assigned to coordinate and work together with PPM, led by National Chief Secretary Mr. Zaki Nuruddin to work in “Networking among the Chief Scout Executives”.

· Kritttee "Benz" Tantivisitul attended the first meeting of the APR Programme Sub-Committee in conjunction with the 26th APR Scout Jamboree.

· Ari Wijanarko Adipratomo has closely worked with Financial Resources Sub-Committee chairman and members to develop a questionnaire that will be distributed to the NSO’s. The questionnaire will seek some crucial information regarding financial management at NSO level and the source of fund.

YAMG Members are planning to meet physically in conjunction with and in support for the International Youth Forum of the National Scout Organization of Thailand from 7 – 12 April 2010 in Chiangmai. However, as most members are College students and busy with studies, most members have not confirmed their attendance.


· Ari Wijanarko Adipratomo supported the 2nd ASEAN Scout Association for Regional Co-Operation (ASARC) meeting held in Indonesia on 25 November 2009. ASEAN Scout Association on Regional Co-Operation or ASARC is an Association that strengthens the partnership among NSOs in South East Asian Countries. Ari as YAMG together with Mr Alfian Amura and Rio Ashadi (Ex Officio YAMG) successfully put 3 points in the ASARC Mid Term Recommendation that becoming crucial and important for Young Adult Scouts in S.E. Asian Countries. The first one is (Point 7 of recommendation). Recommends holding COMDECA and Youth Forum during the Next ASARC Conference in Thailand. The Second one is (point 8) Recommends the Presence of the Youth Representatives for Youth Forum and Young Delegates as part of the official NSO delegate in all meetings and Conference of ASARC with at least 2 young representative (one male and one female). The third one is to include young delegates and youth member in the body of ASARC Term of Reference that will be submitted to ASEAN Secretariat.

· Together with Syd Castillo, I took part as facilitators and supported the deliberations of the Youth Forum of the 7th SAF-Scout Friendship Camp which was held from 20 – 26 November 2009 in India. The 7th SAF Scout Friendship Camp took place in the National Youth Complex, Gadpuri, India. Attended by 151 Youth members from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Theme of the forum was ‘Peace and Solidarity’. The participants expressed, shared and produced their views on this topic. The Forum came up with four Recommendations or resolutions:

1. They defined Peace and Solidarity themselves,

2. They agreed on ten points why peace and solidarity is important for the people of the South Asia,

3. They agreed and Promised to achieve peace and solidarity in South Asia by doing ten things that they approved in the forum, and

4. They considered SAF Friendship Camps as a basic platform for the development and prosperity of peace and solidarity among the youth of South Asia and therefore, they recommended continuing these camps and forums in future as well.

· Kritttee "Benz" Tantivisitul and Jessie Jie Eun Seo was involve as facilitators in the Youth Forum of the 26th APR Scout Jamboree. 83 Scouts from 23 countries met and discussed relevant issues on 2nd January 2010 in Laguna, Philippines for the 2009 Scout Youth Forum in conjunction with the 26th APR Scout Jamboree.

The Forum was headed by APR Programme Sub Committee Chairman Jose Eduardo Delgado who worked closely with Jamboree Organizing Committee member Alfian Amura and Young Adult Members Group (YAMG) Benz and Jessie who served as facilitators. The Forum provided an opportunity for young people to discuss and express their views on issues of interest to them. Through their inputs and recommendations the young people not only receive the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to strengthen their capacity but to be part in decision-making processes towards Scouting in the region.

Tasks Ahead

As all Sub-Committees are to hold their meetings in Bangalore, before the APR Leaders Summit latter this June, it has also been decided among the YAMG members meet in Bangalore.

Also, YAMG members look forward to work with the NSOs in helping coordinate and facilitate Youth Forums and other Youth events.

YAMG members also would like to request the APRSC to provide us more opportunities and exposure to more Youth Events in the region.

We also ask the APRSC to provide us full sponsorship to Regional Scout events such as the APR Jamborees so that YAMG is able to come forward and interact with the Youth of the region who elected us.

On behalf of all the YAMG members I would like to thank the APR office in Manila for the tremendous help they have been giving us and specially Regional Director Mr. Abdulla Rasheed, Syd Castillo and Arjay Francisco Cameros for their close guidance and support.

I personally thank all the YAMG members for their full support and corporation they have been giving me since being appointed as the Chairman of the Group. Thank you.

Maeed Mohamed Zahir


APR Young Adult Members Group 2009-12

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