Scan to Download UC News APP Australian election: never mind the pyjamas, one-on-one conversations can change minds

Australian election: never mind the pyjamas, one-on-one conversations can change minds

GetUp activists are among many groups campaigning for votes in the 2019 Australian election. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

About one out of every 20 householders opens their front door in their pyjamas, Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Maggie McKeown has learned after door-knocking in key federal seats in Queensland every weekend for the past six weeks.

The foundation is just one organisation trying to get voters’ attention before the election on 18 May.

These election interest groups are favouring a mix of old-school campaign tactics such as door-knocking, billboards, community forums and traditional advertising, as well as highly produced social media campaigns, videos and hashtags.

McKeown has been up in Mackay in Coalition backbencher George Christensen’s seat of Dawson chatting to voters about the controversial Adani mine project and climate change.

Peter Dutton condemned for ‘disability excuse’ slur against Ali France

She says one-on-one conversations can be effective in changing hearts and minds.

“We went to this one household and there were three jet skis, two big cars and when they opened the door the man said he was a coalminer and we were wasting our time,” McKeown told the Guardian. “We started a conversation … by the end of the conversation he was like ‘sign me up for a yard sign’ so he put a placard in his yard with the ‘Stop Adani’ symbol.”

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has also got supporters out pounding the pavement and this weekend will target homes in Petrie, Ford, Flynn, Herbert, Capricornia and Leichhardt in Queensland. Door knockers will also be out in Boothby in South Australia, Dunkley and Corranagamite in Victoria as well as Reid, Banks and Gilmore in NSW.

While the door knocking efforts are just beginning for some groups now the official election campaign has started, the union movement has been door-knocking in preparation for years.

GetUp campaigners are equally as chatty. Some volunteers have been hosting lounge room parties with cheese platters and cold calling voters in marginal seats.

The campaign group also has a stunt costume cupboard including squids, a Nemo suit and puppet heads which get deployed across the country to ruin the street walks of leaders in marginal seats.

Lisa Martin (@LMARTI)Mr Sun has come out to greet @TurnbullMalcolm ahead of speech to Menzies Research Centre. #Election2016#ausvotespic.twitter.com/ix7gd3yPWLJune 10, 2016

And it’s also plastering billboards around key contest areas.

GetUp on Monday will be putting up climate change billboards outside treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s office in his Kooyong electorate, a traditional blue ribbon Liberal seat which could be at risk.

Scott Morrison, Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbott in one of GetUp’s climate billboards. Photograph: GetUp

Advance Australia, a conservative movement set up to counter GetUp, has fought back with its own dress up box – a satirical superhero.

The orange suited superhero is set to tour the country telling voters that GetUp “manipulates” political parties and “increase[s] political correctness”.

On Tuesday, a person in a Captain GetUp suit handed out flyers in the electorate of Warringah, where the former prime minister Tony Abbott is facing a challenge from the independent Zali Steggall.

Slick videos are also part of its campaign toolbox.

Meanwhile the Australian Business Council is talking to voters at panel lunches with chief executives in regional Australia.

The council’s chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, and Greencross Limited CEO Simon Hickey are heading to Bathurst, NSW, early next month. The council released its election campaign business wishlist earlier this week.

Aid organisations lobbying to reverse six years of budget cuts are also active in key seats. Since September 2013, the Coalition government has slashed more than $11bn from the foreign aid budget.

World Vision chief advocate Tim Costello moderated a candidates’ community forum in Warringah.

Campaign for Australian Aid has signed on celebrity ambassadors as part of its social media efforts. Comedians Judith Lucy and Tom Ballard are among those trying to make the case for a more generous aid budget which is set to drop to a record low 19 cents for every $100 of national income in 2021-2022.

“This nation has really stumbled when it comes to compassion and helping people in other countries who are desperately in need,” Lucy said.

TV and radio host Tom Ballard in a campaign ad for Australian Aid. Photograph: Australian Aid

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Dog named Cactus finishes desert marathon after epic run across Sahara

Dog named Cactus finishes desert marathon after epic run across Sahara

Cactus the dog, also known as Diggedy, poses with his medal during the Marathon des Sables ( Marathon des Sables )

A dog nicknamed “Cactus” ran for more than 100 miles to become the unlikely hero of one of the world’s toughest foot races.

The four-legged competitor joined the notorious Marathon des Sables during the second stage of the 140.7 mile trek across the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

He quickly emerged as the clear fan favourite, finishing the third stage in just four hours and 30 minutes to claim 52nd place out of around 800.

Cactus also defied predictions he would return home early by completing the fourth and longest stage – some of it in a sandstorm – in 11 hours and 15 minutes.

By the fifth and final stage the dogged runner had been given an official number “000” and a tracking device so that the public could follow his progress. He even had his own Twitter hashtag.

Cactus finally strolled across the finishing line on Friday to be awarded with cheers, applause and an official medal from the organisers.

Fellow competitor Susie Chan, who filmed the canine’s arrival, said: “It’s the dog! Unbelievable.”

Cactus, speaking through Twitter, celebrated the end of the race by saying: “So happy to be doing walkies with so many lovely people. Good luck to everyone still doing their walkies and remember anything is paw-sible.”

Many of the dog’s tweets were also littered with puns, including references to the “pup-arazzi”, his “paw-fect” day and the “fur-ocious heat”.

Although given the name Cactus by the other runners, his real name – according to his Twitter profile – is Mauricio Odio Truque Diggedy.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un gives U.S. to year-end to become more flexible

North Korea's Kim Jong Un gives U.S. to year-end to become more flexible

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the breakdown in talks with the United States has raised the risks of reviving tensions, but he is only interested in meeting President Donald Trump again if the United States comes with the right attitude, state media KCNA said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un takes part in the 4th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang in this April 10, 2019 photo released on April 11, 2019 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

Kim said that he will wait “until the end of this year” for the United States to decide to be more flexible, according to KCNA.

“What is needed is for the U.S. to stop its current way of calculation, and come to us with a new calculation,” Kim said in a speech to the Supreme People’s Assembly on Friday, KCNA said.

Trump and Kim have met twice, in Hanoi in February and Singapore in June, building good will but failing to agree on a deal to lift sanctions in exchange for North Korea abandoning its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump said on Thursday he is open to meeting Kim again, but in his speech on Friday, the North Korean leader said the outcome in Hanoi led him to question the strategy he embraced last year of international engagement and economic development.

The Hanoi summit “raised strong questions about whether the steps we took under our strategic decision were right, and gave us a sense of caution about whether the U.S. is even really trying to improve the DPRK-U.S. relationship,” Kim said, using the initials of North Korea’s full name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In Hanoi, the United States came with “completely unrealizable plans” and was “not really ready to sit with us face-to-face and solve the problem,” Kim said.

“By that sort of thinking, the U.S. will not be able to move us one iota even if they sat with us a hundred, thousand times, and will not be able to get what it wants at all,” he said.

“I will be patient and wait until the end of this year for America’s courageous decision, but it will be hard to get as good a chance as last time,” Kim said.

THIRD SUMMIT IN DOUBT

Kim said his personal relationship with Trump is still good, but that he had no interest in a third summit if it is a repeat of Hanoi.

At a meeting with South Korean President Moon in Washington on Thursday, Trump expressed a willingness to hold a third summit with Kim but said that Washington would leave sanctions in place on Pyongyang.

Kim said U.S. leaders “mistakenly believe that if they pressure us to the maximum, they can subdue us.” The current U.S. policy of sanctions and pressure is “like trying to put out a fire with oil,” he added.

Still, Kim said he would not hesitate to sign an agreement if it takes into account both countries’ considerations.

The United States had continued to provoke North Korea by testing an anti-ballistic missile system and conducting military drills with South Korea despite Trump’s announcement that large-scale exercises would end, he said.

Last month, a senior North Korean official warned that Kim might rethink a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests in place since 2017 unless Washington makes concessions such as easing sanctions.

Kim complained that Washington is coercing South Korea into abiding by sanctions and not pushing forward with inter-Korea projects.

North Korea has a choice “to continue to improve inter-Korean relations to relieve pressure on the Korean peninsula or to go back to the past when things collapsed amid increasing risks of war,” he said.

Still, North Korea is committed to better North-South relations and peaceful unification, Kim said.

“I would like to make it clear that it is my unwavering determination to make a new history of peace and prosperity,” he said.

Additional reporting by Heekyong YangEditing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman

27 Taliban terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province

27 Taliban terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province

At least 27 Taliban fighters were killed in an encounter with Afghan security forces in Shirzad district in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Friday evening, reports Tolo news.

Hours after announcing its annual spring offensive, the Taliban attempted an attack near the district governor’s office. But they were “pushed back and defeated” by security forces, said the government in a statement.

The statement elaborated that the Taliban planted two car bombs followed by a gunfight with the security forces.

However, two Afghan security personnel were also killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Taliban, in a statement on Friday, said: “Operation Fath, which means victory in Arabic, will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of eradicating occupation and cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption.”

The announcement comes despite the US efforts to end two decades of war in Afghanistan. Several rounds of negotiations were conducted by the US in Doha, Qatar’s capital city.

Zalmay Khalilzad , the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, said the announcement is “reckless” and reflects the Taliban’s “indifference” to the demands of Afghans for peace.

Khalilzad has held five rounds of talks with the Taliban so far in a bid to end the conflict.

“The Taliban’s spring offensive announcement is reckless. It is irresponsible to suggest that an increase in violence is warranted because the government announced a security plan. The Afghan people have clearly voiced their desire for peace,” tweeted Khalilzad.

“Through this announcement, Taliban leaders demonstrate their indifference to the demands of Afghans across the country. The call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts. If executed, it will only yield more suffering and thousands more causalities,” he added.

The Afghan government, however, has called the Taliban’s spring offensive as a “mere propaganda”.

“The Taliban will not reach their vicious goals and their operations will be defeated like previous years,” said Qais Mangal, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

Zareen Khan has a hot figure, see pics

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Zareen Khan has a hot figure, see pics

Third party image reference

Third party image reference

The name of this actress is Zareen Khan. She is a professional actress. Her date of birth is 14 May 1987. She is graduated. Her birthplace is Mumbai. Her favorite actor is Salman Khan. Her first film was “Veer”. She has cast opposite of Salman Khan. People appreciate her acting in this film.

Third party image reference

She really likes acting, dancing, cooking, etc. She is still unmarried. She has a huge number of followers on her Instagram account. People appreciate her beauty and hotness. She is famous on Instagram. Her height is 5′ 7”. Her figure measurement is 38-26-34.

Third party image reference

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Ex-Ecuadorian President Correa Banned From Facebook After Posts About Corruption

Ex-Ecuadorian President Correa Banned From Facebook After Posts About Corruption

According to a Facebook spokesperson, the social media company prohibits the sharing of private information, including financial data, as it could “compromise the identity of people using our platform”.

Facebook blocked the page of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Thursday. The ban comes after Correa has been posing information online about an offshore bank account allegedly used by the brother of Ecuador’s current president Lenin Moreno, where millions of dollars are stashed.

The politician commented on the blocking, calling it a part of “brutal persecution”.

Bloquearon mi página facebook, 1,5 millones de seguidores

Un paso más de la brutal persecución, y otra muestra de desesperación por caso INA papers, del cual el corrupto Moreno no podrá escapar.

Solo por esta vía anunciaré nueva página. No crean en “fakes” https://t.co/9kxjqUJfpm— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) 12 апреля 2019 г.

“They blocked my Facebook page, 1.5 million followers, This is one more part of the brutal persecution, and another show of despair for the INA papers case, which corrupt Moreno will not be able to escape. Only in this way [on Twitter] will I inform about my new page. Do not believe fakes”, the tweet says.

The corruption scandal, which might be the reason for the ban, erupted in February after WikiLeaks published a set of documents that allegedly uncovered the operations of an offshore tax haven created by the brother of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, INA Investment Corp. The project linked the account to numerous criminal and corrupt operations, resulting in a congressional investigation into President Moreno for corruption.

How Sanders left political wilderness to become leader of Democratic pack

How Sanders left political wilderness to become leader of Democratic pack

Bernie Sanders at a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on 10 March. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

There is an saying in US politics, perhaps truer now than ever: every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president looking back. Before Bernie Sanders ran for the White House, his rumpled appearance and shock of unruly white hair suggested that this US senator gave his reflection no more than a fleeting glance each morning.

And yet, nearly two months into his second presidential run Sanders sits atop an unsettled Democratic field. It is a remarkable transformation for a democratic socialist from Vermont, deep into his 70s, who spent most of his decades-long career in the political wilderness.

Sanders has amassed the largest first-quarter fundraising haul, building a $28m war chest. His campaign already has about 100 staffers and continues to draw the kind of large, energized crowds that were the lifeblood of his insurgent 2016 campaign.

Polls of Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats placed him on top of those candidates who have formally declared, trailing only former vice-president Joe Biden, who is widely expected to enter the race soon. And this week, he reintroduced his signature Medicare for All healthcare bill with four Democratic 2020 rivals as co-sponsors.

He’s one of the leading candidates … because his platform is now where the center of energy is in the Democratic partyWalid Shahid

“Bernie being the frontrunner should come as a surprise to no one,” said Rebecca Katz, a progressive consultant from New York. “He has spent the last four years energizing his base.”

Sanders has effectively not stopped campaigning since he began in 2015. After Donald Trump’s election, he traveled to dozens of cities rallying opposition to Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. During the midterms, he crisscrossed the country for progressive candidates.

Yet the political landscape has shifted considerably. There are 18 Democrats running for president, pitting him against younger and more diverse contenders.

“There is an embarrassment of riches in our field,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org who worked on Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. “This time around he’s not the only person in the race talking about progressive issues.”

Being the frontrunner at such an early stage can be a blessing and a curse.

“Four years ago at this stage we were talking about Jeb Bush,” Jean-Pierre said, of the 2016 Republican primary. “And when Trump announced, he was polling at 1%. History tells us it’s way too early to tell.”

‘Like finding out Hamburglar is a vegan’

Sanders’ elevated status has attracted increased scrutiny of his policies and his past. He is under pressure to release his tax returns, which several of his competitors have done, at the same time as House Democrats are pursuing Trump’s taxes. Sanders has promised to release 10 years of returns by Monday, which is Tax Day.

The senator acknowledged earlier this week that the returns would show that he is a millionaire, owing to a “bestselling book”. Late-night talkshow host Jimmy Fallon said the revelation that the candidates who has railed against concentrated wealth for years is a millionaire was “like finding out the Hamburglar is a vegan”.

Bernie Sanders introduces a new version of his Medicare for All plan on Capitol Hill in Washington DC with Kirsten Gillibrand and Ed Markey on 10 April. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Another new dynamic: Sanders’ competitors sound a lot more like him than was the case four years ago. A number of contenders embrace his economic policies and echo his populist rhetoric. But Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats, a group that helps elect progressives, doubted Sanders would have trouble distinguishing himself.

“He’s one of the leading candidates in part because his platform is now where the center of energy is in the Democratic party,” Shahid said. “His popularity is perhaps less about Bernie himself and more about the long track record and authenticity he brings to his policy platform alongside a populist approach that names clear enemies in America’s oligarchy.”

Donald Trump wins if voters think Democrats have gone too far leftJim Kessler

Some worry Sanders’ populism will put the party at a disadvantage against Trump.

“Donald Trump wins if voters think Democrats have gone too far left,” said Jim Kessler, a co-founder of the center-left thinktank Third Way. Pointing to research conducted by the group, Kessler said candidates who are “ambitious but also pragmatic” are best positioned to assemble a big-tent coalition needed to extinguish Trump’s right-wing populist pitch.

This weekend Sanders is traveling through midwestern states that voted Trump in 2016. He will argue that the path to the White House runs through the rust belt and say he is positioned to wrest these states back in 2020.

At a rally in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday night, Sanders accused Trump of being a “pathological liar” who has repeatedly failed to keep his promises.

“The biggest lie of all was when he said that he would stand with the working class of our country that he was on their side and that he would take on powerful special interests to protect working families,” he said. “What a monstrous lie that was.”

‘Can he grow his support?’

Sanders has moved to address the criticism that hurt his first run for president. Having concluded that his 2016 team was “too white and too male”, he has built a campaign that is majority female and 40% people of color, according to campaign officials. He has also implemented strict new sexual harassment policies in response to what former female staffers described as a toxic and misogynistic workplace.

Seeking to bolster his foreign policy credentials, Sanders led a bipartisan effort to end US military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. He has also expanded his platform to explicitly address issues of racial inequality, after being accused of prioritizing economic issues.

He must contend with a weak showing with black voters in 2016. South Carolina, where black voters make up a majority of the primary electorate and where Sanders suffered a crushing 47-point loss, will be a pivotal test.

His campaign and allies argue that his deficit with black voters was more a function of low profile at the time, and that he has since built relationships with African American leaders. But he continues to draw largely white crowds.

“Sanders has to prove he can gain supporters,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who was communications director for Clinton. “He has the most support now of the announced candidates – the question for him is: can he grow his support?”

‘A really radical and crazy idea’

Sanders is no longer the scrappy underdog. Yet the message and the messenger have changed little. He is still the same finger-jabbing, policy-rattling democratic socialist from Vermont who launched a long-shot bid for president from a patch of grass outside the Senate, known as the swamp, before hurrying back inside to vote. That is part of his pitch.

Imagine the United States joining the rest of the industrialized world and guaranteeing healthcare to all peopleBernie Sanders

“I have some good news,” Sanders told activists recently at the We the People summit in Washington. “We have come a long way over the last four years.” He then galloped through list of ideas he ran on in 2016 that he said were deemed “too radical” then and are now within the Democratic mainstream.

“You want to hear a really radical and crazy idea? This is so radical, I hesitate to even bring it forward,” Sanders said, his words thick with sarcasm. “Imagine the United States joining the rest of the industrialized world and guaranteeing healthcare to all people as a right not a privilege.”

For those who met Sanders when he was a politically-lonely socialist mayor in Ronald Reagan’s America, his rise has been remarkable to watch.

Bernie Sanders waves at a campaign rally in Greenville, South Carolina, on 21 February 2016. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

“I remember in the 80s, Bernie and I would drive around to visit these small towns in Vermont,” said Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser who first worked for Sanders in 1986, when he ran unsuccessfully for governor as an independent. “We typically spoke to a room of about eight people – 25 people was a big turnout.”

Certainly not then nor at any point during the nearly two decades in which he worked for Sanders on Capitol Hill did Weaver envision what has come to pass.

The Vermont senator is “far ahead” of where the campaign was in 2016, Weaver said. He added that his early fundraising figures will allow Sanders to expand operations in the early voting states including California, and to compete in all of the Super Tuesday states, a luxury he did not have in 2016 and a “key advantage”.

“This race is a marathon, not a sprint,” Weaver said. “The candidate who will prevail is the one who can go the distance. Bernie was a long-distance runner in high school.”

Neolithic dog reveals tales behind Orkney’s monuments

Neolithic dog reveals tales behind Orkney's monuments

The dog had been domesticated 4,500 years ago. Photograph: Santiago Arribas/Historic Environment Scotland

The head of a dog that lived on Orkney 4,500 years ago has been recreated in what experts believe is the world’s first canine forensic reconstruction.

The dog had been domesticated in the Neolithic era on the Scottish island archipelago, but still carried wolf-like characteristics, standing about the size of a large collie, according to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) which jointly commissioned the reconstruction with the National Museum of Scotland.

It was reconstructed by a forensic artist – using techniques similar to those by crime scene investigators – from one of 24 dog skulls that were excavated by archaeologists in Cuween Hill, a delicate passage tomb on Orkney’s Mainland, and which have been radiocarbon-dated to 2,500BC.

‘I’m an Orkney librarian driving to a school when a wave engulfs my van’

The tomb had been built, using a similar intricate corbelling technique to that used at the better-known monument Maeshowe, about 600 years earlier and used for human burial. The reason for the later deposit of canine remains is a mystery. “People have speculated as to whether the fact you get so many dogs in one tomb, which is very, very unusual, suggests there was some kind of totemic thing,” said Alison Sheridan of the National Museum of Scotland.

Two other tombs in Orkney have been found to have similar strange animal associations – in one, on the island of South Ronaldsay, a local farmer found a large number of bones and talons belonging to sea eagles, while the evocatively named Knowe of Yarso on Rowsay was found to contain the bones of 36 red deer.

“Perhaps the people who lived in the [Cuween Hill] area at the time saw themselves as ‘the dog people’,” said Sheridan, who is principal archaeological research curator in the department of Scottish history and archaeology. She said the groups living around the other tombs may have identified with the other species. “For some reason, many generations after these tombs were built, people had a special association with different kinds of animals.”

Steve Farrar, HES’s interpretation manager, said the dog had been reconstructed as part of an attempt to bring alive the stories behind Orkney’s large number of Neolithic monuments and those who built them, “to bring us closer to who they were and perhaps give a little hint of what they believed”. The spate of monument-building in Orkney during the Neolithic period is believed to have been hugely influential to communities across Britain and Ireland and beyond.

“When you look at a Neolithic dog, it somehow communicates human relationships, and I can relate to that. I can empathise with the people whose ingenuity made Orkney such an enormously important place. When this dog was around, north-west Europe looked to Orkney.”

Sheridan and Lisa Brown of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland will discuss the reconstruction at the Edinburgh Science Festival on Saturday, while the dog’s head will go on display in Orkney later this year.

Florida Peacock Struts Safely Using Crosswalk

Florida Peacock Struts Safely Using Crosswalk

No jaywalking ticket for this bird!

While it’s not uncommon to see a pedestrian dart across the road at any hour of the day, Floridian Daniel Roy LeFever recently encountered one peacock that does not like to take any chances when it comes to crossing the street.

The April 9 dashcam footage shows LeFever cruising around Cape Canaveral until he suddenly spots a lone peacock trying to make it to the other side.

Rather than speed past the bird like the car in front of him, LeFever comes to a complete stop and allows the law-abiding avian to go about its day without incident.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre a ‘shameful scar’: British envoy expresses regret but non-committal on apology

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre a ‘shameful scar’: British envoy expresses regret but non-committal on apology

British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith (C) at the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs memorial in Amritsar on April 13, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

As the nation commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians by British forces at the Jallianwala Bagh, British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith on Saturday expressed deep regret and sorrow but remained non-committal on any apology coming from the British government on the brutal killings.

“We deeply regret what happened,” the British High Commissioner said in his remarks in the Visitor’s Book at the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial here.

Asquith paid floral tributes at the memorial.

On the issue of an apology by his government, Asquith evaded a direct response to the media: “I know this is a really important question. I would just ask you to respect what I came here to do which was to commemorate those who died here a 100 years ago — to express the sorrow of the British government and the British people.”

“What happened 100 years ago was a tragedy. Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Parliament this week referred to it as a ‘shameful scar’ in our history,” he said

“Her predecessor, Prime Minister David Cameroon, when he visited India, referred to it as a deeply shameful scar. My own great grand father, who was Prime Minister for almost a decade, in 1960 referred to this as one of the worst outrages in our whole history,” he said, adding that both governments (Britain and India) are committed to the flourishing relationship (between both countries),” he further said.

“Today we remember with deep sorrow those who were killed on April 13, 1919 and regret the suffering caused,” Asquith also tweeted.

Today marks the centenary of the massacre, the bloodiest day in Indian history when British forces led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer opened fire on hundreds of unarmed, innocent Indians, including women and children, who were protesting peacefully against the oppressive Rowlatt Act of the British government.

At least 400 people were killed after some 50 British soldiers opened fire within the walled enclosure in Jallianwala Bagh. However, Indian figures put the toll at closer to 1,000.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra and several other leaders paid tributes to the martyrs of the massacre.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi who arrived in Amristar on Friday, paid his tribute and laid wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial. He was accompanied by Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh and state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

The British government, even after 100 years, has only regretted the massacre but stopped short of apologising for the killing of so many innocent people.