Bangalore art gallery removes three nude paintings after complaints

Bangalore art gallery removes three nude paintings after complaints

Bangalore, Feb 6 (TruthDive): Three nude paintings of a New Delhi-based young artist Anirudh Sainath Krishnamani have been removed from the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (CKP), the premier art gallery in Bangalore after threats of violence.

The exhibition had been inaugurated on Sunday by Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj. On Monday, Durga Vahini members were busy opposing the modern nude art exhibition in New Delhi. Fearing similar actions in Bangalore too, the paintings were removed.

The Bangalore art academy claims it had received some threat calls over the three paintings that portrayed Hindu gods Kali, Shiva and Parvati in the nude. The painter says he was inspired by Khajuraho sculptures.

Bangalore police have told the organisers to continue the exhibition without the three paintings.

Anirudh, the emerging artist, was shocked when the management of CKP told him that he had to take away three of the 30 paintings on display because of “intelligence report” from the police that the exhibition could trigger protests, as it happened in Delhi.

The 22-year-old artist said that he read the scriptures and then he painted goddesses and gods – but still those persons found them objectionable. He said that they have found the paintings indecent. The police had asked to remove the pictures or else they would close the exhibition. It was a huge pressure on him and so the artist removed the pictures.

However, the artist has plans of approaching the police to seek clarity. The police said that they were acting on the basis of “intelligence reports” that the painting exhibition could lead to law and order situation or stimulate trouble.

A jurisdictional police officer said that they could not reveal exactly the source, but they are intended to take action. The parents of the artist protested against the police, but the government did not take any action against the policemen concerned.

FeTNA commemorates Silver Jubilee Convention 2012: Day 1 Highlights

FeTNA commemorates Silver Jubilee Convention 2012: Day 1 Highlights

Baltimore-USA , July 7 (TruthDive): The much-awaited 25th Annual Convention of FeTNA (Federations of Tamil Sangams of North America),the umbrella organization for nearly 40 local Tamil associations opened in grand style on Friday, 6th July at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland.

Mangala Isai and American National Anthem were played to open the ceremony, which was followed by Thamizh Thai Vaazhthu and lighting of lamp by special guests of honour.

The star-studded Silver Jubilee fete included well-known and distinguished Tamil poets, speakers, writers, Kollywood stars and dancers. The impressive Silver Jubilee Convention was formally inaugurated with a welcome address given by Mr. Balagan Arumugasamy, Silver Jubilee Coordinator and by Dr. Dhandapani Kuppuswamy, President-FeTNA.

Silver Jubilee Convention Special Guest Dr. Ramasamy, Deputy Chief Minister, Malaysia shared his thoughts and ideas on Thamizhs’ Rights with the audience.

The cultural extravaganza of the gala celebrations opened with the dazzling inaugural ceremony dance presented by the Washington Tamil Sangam.

FeTNA’s  Silver Jubilee Convention coincided with Tamil Scholar Dr. Mu.Va. Centenary Celebration for which Prof Maraimalai Ilakkuvanar delivered Dr.Mu.Va special address.

People, Language and Land – Dance   was rendered by Houston Tamil Sangam. Panainilam Tamil Sangam kept the audience in splits with their comedy drama –‘Vidhathey Pidi!’.

A special appreciation dinner was hosted for the Corporate Sponsors, Perum Kodai Vallalkal, Kodai Vallalkal, and Vallalkal on Thursday,5th July at Marriott Grand Ballroom, which they were treated along with  the invited guests and artists.

The spectacular celebration included other entertainers like special performance by Thiru Madurai Muthu, Silambam performance – Then Paandi Silambam by Charlotte Tamil Sangam, Veenai Isai by Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam, the Tamil Art of Multitasking-Kavanagam expert, Dr. Kalaichezhiyan, Sillappadhikaram Drama by New England Tamil Sangam ,Humanity – Dance by Canadian Tamil Congress  and Poetry –‘Let the hearts unite’ coordinated by Mrs. Thamizachi Thangapandian.

Tamil Folklore researcher Dr. Brenda Beck,  Mr Guruparan of International Educational Foundation, Special Address by Dr. Ponnavaikko, Vice Chancellor, SRM University and Sri Sri Ravishankar were the eloquent speakers who articulated their thoughts in their respective areas of expertise.

The heart-warming Tamil Classical Music Concert was rendered by TKS Kalaivanan accompanied by a team of talented artists- Mr. Vikram Raghukumar (Violin), Mr. Vijay Ganesh (Miruthangam), Mr. Partha Aji (Mohrsing,) and Dr. Baskar (Flute).

The enchanting Dance-Drama ‘Velu Naachiyar’ by Sri Ram Sharma Troupe, Tamil Nadu was staged with all pomp and grandeur which took the audience through the world of Tamilian  heroism and tradition.

Tamil entrepreneurs and special guests were felicitated at the Convention; the Silver Jubilee Souvenir was released as a great memoir to mark the 25 long years of FeTNA’s existence in North America.

American Tamil Academy, International Sustainable Livelihood Foundation  and Global Tamil Awareness Forum were also part of the programme on Day 1.

Now,with the food for eyes and ears fully treated , it was time for food. The sumptuous lunch and dinner  spread were  delicious feasts that included a variety of Chinese, North and South Indian dishes.

Booths were set up by several retailers like Chennai Silks, The Peacock Boutique, VIBA, Edward Jones and educational institutions like VIT, SRM and India Glitz, Yupp TV, 5th Pillar, Manimegalai Press, Akshaya Trust, Canadian Tamil Congress etc. There were exciting offers for guests at booths of Indiaglitz, YuupTV and FeTNA.

Day 1 of FeTNA’s Silver Jubilee Convention 2012 came to a close with a heady mix of Tamil tradition,language,music,dance and fun, for the guests to head home and come back afresh to savour the treats for the second day.

FeTNA celebrates grand Silver Jubilee Convention 2012

FeTNA celebrates grand Silver Jubilee Convention 2012

 July 5, 2012

FeTNA’s Annual Tamil Convention

Grand Silver Jubilee Celebrations 2012

Tamil Scholar Dr. Mu.Va. Centenary Celebration

July 6-8, 2012, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland

The much awaited FeTNA’s 25th Annual Tamil Convention will kick-start in another two days. The Tamils of North America are gearing up for a grand and festive Silver Jubilee Convention 2012 and the Tamil Scholar Dr. Mu.Va. Centenary celebration that come packed with activities of glamour, grandeur and colour, with Tamil tradition running a common thread in all the activities and events. It is scheduled to be conducted at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland from July 6-8, 2012. 2000 members from all over the world are expected to be present at the remarkable occasion.

Federation of Tamil Sangams (Associations) of North America (FeTNA), an umbrella organization for nearly 40 local organizations, presents a grand event each year in a different state and city. Happening for the last 24 years, the annual Tamil Convention is a splendidly momentous occasion where Tamils of North America get together and celebrate their culture, show case their talents, delight over meeting South Indian movie celebrities, eminent speakers and soap stars from India. FeTNA Velli Vizha will feature some of the prominent personalities who have significantly contributed to growth of Tamil language, tradition and music.

The prominent Indian political leader and well-known writer Thozhar Nallakannu and the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang, Malaysia, Prof. Dr.Ramasamy Palanisamy, have kindly consented to grace the occasion.

The guest-list includes award-winning Tamil writer S RamakrishnanTamil Kavignar Thamizhachi Thangapandian, Kavanar Dr. KalaiChezhian, Tamil scholar Maraimalai Ilakkuvanar, Kalaimamani TKS Kalaivanan, Udukkaiyadi Padal and Tamil folk song researcher Dr. Brenda Beck and Salemnews.com editor Tim King.

FeTNA in its attempt to highlight Tamilian folk arts, stages dance ballet featuring brave mother Veerathai Velu Naachiyaar by writer-director Sriram Sharma with his wife Manimekalai as the lead. This is the debut Art production by the prominent Tamil leader and politician in Tamil Nadu, Mr Vaiko. He  states that this dance-drama, presented by a dedicated team of artists depicts Tamil culture,valour, music and dance in an exemplary manner. He had expressed his heart-felt thanks to FeTNA for having fulfilled his desire to take this to the Tamils of the world. The eloquent orator wished FeTNA’s Silver Jubilee Convention a grand success.

Kollywood leading actors “Chinna Thalapathy” Bharath and Amala Paul‘Chinna Kuyil’ Padmashree K S Chitra, singer Anitha Krishnan, Vidya-Vandana sisters and TV artist Priyadarshini are other star attractions of the event.

This is not all. Sample other event highlights: Top 10 Tamil Entrepreneur Forum, Ainkaran orchestra, Tamil competitions/literary quiz, interview with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, programme by singer Mukesh Mohamed and humour shows by actor Siva Karthikeyan and Madurai Muthu.

The Silver Jubilee Convention is organized under the competent leadership of Mr. Balagan Arumugasamy and the Federation’s President, Dr. Dhandapani Kuppuswamy.

Please visit www.fetna.org for further details and for registration. You may get in touch with Dr. Dhandapani Kuppuswamy, President-FeTNA (Ph: 843-814-7581, email: president@fetna.org) and Mr. Balagan Arumugasamy, Convention Coordinator, FETNA 2012 (Ph: 240-351-6197/301-237-1747, email:balagancpa@msn.com) for more information.

FeTNA unveils grand Silver Jubilee Convention in July 2012

FeTNA unveils grand Silver Jubilee Convention in July 2012

Baltimore, Jan 19 (TruthDive): Touted as one of the biggest Tamil conventions ever hosted by Tamils of North America in Maryland history, FeTNA is all set to unveil the grand Silver Jubilee Convention from July 6-8, 2012 at Baltimore Convention Centre, Baltimore, Maryland.

Founded in 1987, FeTNA, the Federation of Tamil Sangams (Associations) of North America is an umbrella organization for nearly 40 local organizations that functions with the sole aim of preservation and growth of Tamil Language, Culture, and Community.

 FeTNA is a non-profit, educational, literary and cultural organization that presents the mega event every year in a different state and city where Tamils of North America convene to celebrate a medley of music, dance, literature and theater performances, rejoice meeting Kollywood artists, film and music directors, eminent speakers/poets etc. The locals also get to exhibit their talents in this 3-day-event. 5000 Tamils from all over North America are expected to grace the grand occasion this year.

The star-studded event will have special celebrity guests from India like Kollywood actors Suriya and Trisha, stand-up comedian Madurai Muthu, Tamil Poet Thamizhachi Thangapandian, Mr. Sagayam, IAS, Madurai District Collector and Tamil spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar.

Maryland political dignitaries like Mr Martin O’Malley-Governor of Maryland, Mr Anthony G Brown -Lieutenant Governor of MD and Ms Stephanie Rawlings-Blake- Mayor of Baltimore will honour the function with their graceful presence. United States Congressmen, Senators and dignitaries are as well expected to grace the grand cultural fare.

The main function opens on July 6th morning with welcome speech accompanied by music and children’s procession followed by variety fare. The line-up of events include a special Tamil folk event on Friday, July 6th evening, by trained  artists from Trichy and a Tamil film music programme on Saturday, July 7, in the presence of famous music director, GV Prakash alongside singers from India.

This is not all. There are other entertainment items presented by US-based Tamil Chapters. There are parallel programs like Continuing Medical Education (CME), Entrepreneur Forum, Singles’ Forum, Young Tamils Forum etc.

The entire convention is ably planned, guided and executed under the proficient leadership of Mr. Balagan Arumugaswamy of Maryland, Coordinator of the Convention and Dr. Pazhani Sundaram of Connecticut,the President of FeTNA.

Tamils of North America have a grand gala jamboree to look forward to!

FeTNA concludes 24th Tamil Convention

FeTNA concludes 24th Tamil Convention

Charleston – USA, July 07 (TruthDive): The 24th Tamil Convention organized by FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) – the umbrella organization of North America’s Tamil Community concluded this week on July 4th. The three-day event was attended by prominent members of Tamil community from India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and other countries. Movie artists, Politicians and other prominent personalities attended the event at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium at Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

FeTNA conducts the Convention at different locations in North America every year and is generally attended by large number of Tamil Americans of Indian and Sri Lankan origin. The event includes cultural events, competitions, socializing events and networking opportunities for the Tamil and South Asian communities living in North America at large.

The convention started with a reception dinner on the evening of Friday, July 1st at which the donors and sponsors of the event dined with celebrities and distinguished guests. Senior Tamil actor Nassar and Lyricist Na Muthukumar were at the dinner and interacted with the sponsors and supporters of the event. On Saturday July 2nd morning, the auditorium was decorated with displays of artworks and pictures reflecting Tamil culture while the convention was inaugurated.

Dr. Dhandapani Kuppuswamy – Convention Coordinator & Vice President of FeTNA welcomed the attendees. Dr. Pazhani Sundaram – President of FeTNA spoke and officially started the cultural events. Dr Pazhani emphasized the goals and objective of FeTNA and its role in preserving the community heritage and culture among those living in North America. He also emphasized his style of running the organization without meddling with sensitive politics.

Popular lyricist Na Muthukumar presided the Kaviyarangam event that followed where several young and upcoming poets recited their poems and pitched their ideas and imaginations. Na Muthukumar – a native of Kancheepuram, India has penned the lyrics for more than 500 feature film songs and has worked with several popular music composers of the Tamil movie industry. The depth of knowledge and eloquence in Tamil poetry displayed by the participants were remarkable.

Durai Ezhil Vizhian from Madurai, Tamil Nadu gave a speech on the topic of “Unique Tamil is Gorgeous” which was the theme slogan of the Convention this year. Uniqueness denotes the ancient and undiluted form of the language. This form of Tamil requires a level of knowledge and is cherished by Tamil scholars as to be a rich medium of expression that elevates the communication potential of the speaker. The stress here is on the wealth of vocabulary, and syllable pronunciation. Like several other speakers at the event, Durai Ezhil touched upon the massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka and said “even jungle animals have been assigned with huge tracts of land and are preserved properly, while the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been made to live under inhuman conditions with constant fear and at the mercy of Army personnel”.

Rathika Sitsabaiesen – the 29-year-old Canadian MP of Tamil Eelam origin was a star attraction of the event. Rathika in her speech, shared her experience as a student leader, community organizer and Member of Parliament. She stressed the importance of participation at all levels of the respective governments where the Tamil people currently live. She articulated the importance of “Unity” and how the entire Tamil community rallied with her during her recent election campaign in Canada. She added that she will fight tirelessly for women’s rights, social justice and education to all.

Tamil actor Nassar praised Rathika during his speech and said he was “just lost” listening to Rathika’s speech and looking at her accomplishments. He further said “Rathika is the real hero, I am not, even Rajinikanth and Vijay (popular movie stars) are not”.

While the event included a wide variety of events and speeches on different topics around Tamil culture, several speakers highlighted the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka where the massacre of over 40,000 civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces has caused an outcry from the community for attention and action by world nations and leaders. The speakers at this event focused on the need to find a permanent solution and proposed ways and means to establish an independent state for the Tamils in the island.

On Sunday, July 3rd, Noted radio jockey Abdul Jabbar, presided the Debate Forum (Pattimandram) talk show event. Several enthusiastic participants including Prof Punithavathi Eakambaram and John Bendic delighted the audience with their eloquent speech. Dr. S. Palaniappan – President of South Asia Research and Information Institute, spoke about “Present condition of Tamil language”. Popular movie comedian Charlie engaged the audience with his witty speech and mimicry.

Noted International  Human Rights activist Karan Parker spoke about the incredible hospitality given by FeTNA organization to her. She said final days of the Sri Lankan war saw more than 50,000 people killed and 300,000 people kept behind barbed wires. While referring to the UN Secretary General’s panel of experts report on accountability in Sri Lanka, she emphasized the term “carnage” used in the document, which she said is a rare usage in a typical UN document. Karen appreciated the resolve of Tamil people in their efforts to highlight the crisis and also called for more participation to bring justice to those killed by the Sri Lankan government.

The Prime Minister of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), Visvanathan Rudrakumaran spoke on the topic “Protecting Tamil ethnicity” – another theme slogan for the Convention. Rudrakumaran highlighted that all nations are functioning based on “Interest” rather than “Right and Justice”. He said TGTE has to innovate an “interest” for the creation of Tamil Eelam among the powerful nations of the world to counter the fast growth and influence of China in the Indian Ocean. Rudrakumaran pointed the Geneva Convention agreement on Genocide and its rules to define Genocide. He compared the events recorded in the UN Secretary General’s report on Sri Lanka with the Geneva Convention agreement on Genocide. He quoted several references in the UN report on “Systematic attack on civilians”. He stressed the need to prove that “Genocide did indeed” take place in Sri Lanka.

The highlight of the second day was “Thappattam” – a splashing performance by the Sakthi Cultural Group from Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. The event included a concert by a group of young girls who wore traditional ethnic clothing and used traditional music instruments and dance methods. On the last day of the event – Monday, July 4th a literary forum was held with participation from several Tamil pundits.

Other notable events included Tamil Ilakia Vinadi Vinaa (Poetry Quiz) conducted by Naanchil Peter, Seminar by American Tamil Academy (Kalvi Kazhakam) on creating common text books and syllabus across North America, Seminar by United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC ) and World Tamil Organization (WTO ) about their various activities, Orchestra by Innisai Enthal Thirubuvanam Athmanathan, Matrimonial assistance event,  Sornam Sankar and Palamai Paysi’s workshop on writing Tamil articles in Weblog and TamilManam.net (a blog aggregation service), Performance by Pudhukai Poobaalam group, Musical events by Sahana Dreams and Devan Ekambaram, Knowledge sharing event by North American Tamil Youth Organization (NTYO) in which members from youth groups shared their experiences and the challenges they face growing in North America and the value of learning Tamil Language and culture.

FeTNA Conventions are popular among most Tamil Americans and several of them travel long distance to participate in the event. The organizers perform meticulous planning and coordination to make the event go smooth. An event this magnitude takes early planning and coordination. The success of the 2011 Convention at Charleston is another feather to FeTNA’s long tradition of being a cheerleader in preserving community spirit.

FeTNA Annual Tamil Convention set to open on July 2 in USA

FeTNA Annual Tamil Convention set to open on July 2 in USA

New York, July 1 (TruthDive): FeTNA – the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America is organizing 24th Annual Tamil Convention, July 2-4, 2011 at Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, SC, USA. FeTNA is an umbrella organization of Tamil Sangams that function within the North American Continent.

FeTNA is a registered, non-profit, organization. It was founded in 1987 by five Tamil Sangams: Tamil Association of Delaware Valley, Tamil Sangam of Washington & Baltimore, New York Tamil Sangam, Ilankai Tamil Sangam and Harrisburg Tamil Sangam. An assembly of over 400 Tamils near Philadelphia celebrated the inauguration in the spring of 1988. FeTNA provides for developing connectivity among the Tamil Communities in North America. Its primary objective is the preservation and growth of Tamil Language, Culture, and Community.

FeTNA has been principally responsible for bringing together Forty Tamil Sangams to celebrate annually a festival in which the individuals and groups from member Sangams have presented artistic programs or interacted in one of many activities organized during the convention weekend.

FeTNA have so far sponsored twenty four Tamil Scholars in the past fifteen years to visit the US and the various members Tamil Sangams. FeTNA is committed to sponsor at least two Tamil Scholar each year. The other accomplishments of FeTNA include the project for a Tamil chair and hence the support FeTNA has provided to the University of California, Berkeley Tamil Chair Project.

Rathika Sitsabaiesen – 29-year-old Canadian MP of Eelam origin, Nassar – Tamil actor, Na. Muthukumar – Tamil poet and lyricist are participating in the events of this year.

Cultural performance from Kodai Mazhai Vidya – a well known exponent of Indian classical dance, Puduhai Boopalam Kalaik kuzhu, Innisai Enthal Thirubuvanam Athmanathan, Thindukkal Sakthi thappaattam kuzhu are arranged. Actor Charlie, Singer Prasanna and Singer Devan are also invited.

Literary programs include Tamil literary quiz, Special debate, Poetry reading etc. Tamil Professor Dr. M. Ilango will also participate.

Other events include a computer workshop and Continuing Medical Education ( CME) Programme.

Dr. Pazhani Sundaram the President and Dr. Dhandapani Kuppuswamy Vice President FeTNA have made elaborate arrangements with many strategic partners including TruthDive.com
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Gandhian motto inspires World's sexiest woman

Gandhian motto inspires World's sexiest woman

Johannesburg,June 17(TruthDive): It is not Anna Hazare and team but also the Worlds sexiest woman who lives by the Gandhian motto – “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This motto  made South African model of Indian-origin, Sashi Naidoo, to be voted the world’s sexiest woman of 2011 by 1.5 million readers of a leading men’s magazine.

She said that in school she was an ugly duckling with braces and the last to be invited for a dance by the boys. She inched way slowly to be a top class model and improved her ratings till she won the title in the poll conducted by FHM magazine. She is an ambassador for Audi A1, has had some appearances on local TV and is running her own modeling agency, Alushi Model Management.

Shashi Naidoo is also a South African actress and television presenter best known for co-hosting the e.tv magazine show 20Something.

She made her way into the public eye in 2004, when she played Linda McGinty – Ziggy’s girlfriend – in the e.tv soapie Backstage.

Soon after she had a brief role in the SABC1 soapie Generations. She also appeared in a minor role in the 2007 mini-series Society.

She began co-presenting the youth magazine show EMS Volume 1 on SABC1 on 2 October, 2007.

Naidoo was born and raised in Port Elizabeth, matriculating from Alexander Road High School in 1997. She moved to Johannesburg to study chiropractic medicine and qualified as a doctor in 2007.

Painter MF Hussain is no more

Painter MF Hussain is no more

London,June 9 (TruthDive): Renowned artist MF Husain, whose paintings made waves and also stirred controversies, passed away in Royal Brompton Hospital on Thursday. He was 95.

Popularly known as MF, Maqbool Fida Husain was born on September 17, 1915 and was a winner of Padma Shree award, which is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India.

Crowned as the ‘Picasso of India’ by the Forbes magazine, Husain was a controversial artist. In 1996, few of his paintings garnered criticism as they were interpreted as anti-Hindu. Legal cases and death threats over the issue led him to a self-imposed exile from 2006 and he accepted Qatar citizenship in 2010.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1991. In 1971, Husain was a special invitee at the Sao Paulo Biennial.

Husain was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986.

Husain became well-known as an artist in the late 1940s. His first solo exhibition was held at Zürich in 1952.

He made his first film – ‘Through The Eyes Of A Painter – in 1967 which won him a Golden Bear after it was presented at the Berlin Film Festival. Husain, who was the highest paid painter in India, fetched up to $2 million at a recent Christie’s auction through his single canvases.

He was a producer and director of few movies. He produced and directed Gaja Gamini with his muse Madhuri Dixit. Madhuri was the subject of a series of his paintings.

He made “Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities” featuring Tabu. His autobiography was made into a movie – The Making of the Painter. Shreyas Talpade played the young MF Husain in the film.

Husain also made it to the list of 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World. The list was issued by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan.

In 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Husain’s house was attacked by Hindu groups in 1998 and his art works were vandalised.

Ai detained for economic offences-China

Ai detained for economic offences-China

Beijing, Apr 9 (TruthDive): China rubbishes that Ai was detained for dissent against the regime. “Mr. Ai Weiwei is under investigation on suspicion of economic crimes,” said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei, answering a reporter’s question at a regular press briefing. “It has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression,” he said.

He added, “China is a country under the rule of law … other countries have no right to interfere. Ai Weiwei, 53, is one of China’s most prominent avant-garde artists and human rights activists. Ai was detained at the Beijing airport on April 3, on his way to Hong Kong. He has not been heard from, since. Ironically though the Western nations and human rights organisations are upset over the detention of Ai, Chinese do not know him except for those involved in arts.

China’s Foreign Ministry has removed all references to a detained artist, from its official transcript of a news conference, given by its spokesman.

Ten of the 18 questions asked at the news conference Thursday concerned Ai Weiwei, a prominent artist and activist who was detained Sunday at Beijing’s international airport. All were omitted from the transcript posted Friday on the Foreign Ministry’s website. Hong has not bothered to explain why this was done.

Mr. Ai said that his studio was razed, because  his advocacy in two causes might have prompted Shanghai officials to order it. The first was that of Yang Jia, a Beijing resident, who killed six policemen in a Shanghai police station, after being arrested and beaten for riding an unlicensed bicycle. Mr. Yang became a hero among many Chinese, and was later executed. The second was the Kafkaesque case of Feng Zhenghu, a lawyer and activist who spent more than three months in Tokyo’s Narita Airport after Shanghai officials denied him entry. Mr. Ai made a documentary about Mr. Feng’s predicament.

Mr. Ai has also demanded democracy for China, criticized government corruption for playing a role in the deaths of school children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and stridently supported Liu Xiaobo, a political prisoner who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.