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Dubai-based Indian bizman turns to Facebook to seek long lost Lankan kin



Dubai-based Indian bizman turns to Facebook to seek long lost Lankan kin

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]-By Zenifer Khaleel

KH Wahabuddin (67) hopes he can find closure to his late mother’s case of lifelong suffering following her alleged abduction at the age of seven

DUBAI: A Dubai resident has turned to the social media to find his long lost relatives from Sri Lanka so he can “find closure” to the case of his late mother who, he alleges, was “kidnapped” at the age of seven.

Indian businessman KH Wahabuddin, 67, claimed his mother Sauda Ummal was brought to Kerala in India by her grandfather from her Sri Lankan home, unknown to anyone else in the family, in 1914 when she was just seven years old. “She was subsequently married off, although she became estranged from my father later,” he said.

Wahabuddin said, “My mother led a life of seclusion and depression due to her circumstances and didn’t quite recover till her death in 1984. I have long been trying to trace some relatives in Sri Lanka so I could ascertain the facts. A recent story of a Sudanese brother and Indian sister reuniting through the social media rekindled my hopes. So I asked my daughter Harida to put up a Facebook post about my mother’s story. If we get any leads, it will help provide closure to a case of lifelong suffering.”

Wahabuddin said his great-grandfather Syed Mohammad, who hailed from a small village called Edava in Kerala, migrated to Galle in Sri Lanka around 150 years ago. He married a Sinhalese woman and they had seven sons and a daughter.

He said his mother Sauda was the only child of Mohammad’s daughter. But she became orphaned some years later, following which she lived under the guardianship of her uncles.

Precious to the family

Meanwhile Mohammad had returned to Edava where his family kept insisting he bring back his grand daughter Sauda. According to Wahabuddin, Edava followed Marumakkathaayam, a system of inheritance in which descent is traced by females. “Under these circumstances, my mother Sauda was precious to the family. So my great grandfather (Mohammad) travelled to Galle and kidnapped her when she was returning to one of her uncle’s houses from school. She was too young to react or know what was going on,” he alleged. “From what my mother has told me, her uncles in Galle believed she had gone missing but gave up searching for her with time. Little did they know she was in a new country.”

Wahabuddin said Sauda was later married off to a man of the family’s choice. “But she was not allowed to join her husband (my father) when he went to Singapore or stay with him even after he returned to Kerala . In the Marumakkathaayam system, a man who gets married lives in the girl’s house rather than the other way round, so the family tradition is carried forward by the girl. But my mother’s case was different. My father eventually remarried and moved on with his new family.”

Wahabuddin said, “My mother’s troubled childhood and subsequent developments took a huge toll on her health. She suffered from epilepsy and was a quiet, withdrawn woman who often seemed to be in a trance. She died in 1984.”

Wahabuddin’s son Dr Shaji said his father had been looking for his Sri Lankan relatives ever since he could remember. “My dad came to Dubai in 1978. Ever since, he has been asking every Sri Lankan he meets if they are from Galle. With the tsunami of 2004, his dreams of finding his relatives were shattered as almost half of Galle was destroyed.”

Now after many years, the family’s hopes have been revived thanks to the social media.

Wahabuddin’s daughter Harida posted her grandmom’s story on Facebook on her father’s request on September 3. She said the post has already received several shares and she is being asked to join Facebook community forums in Sri Lanka. “People have told me I resemble my grandma. Hopefully, some relative back in Sri Lanka will also see the resemblance and help us connect the dots.”

(This article has been taken from a syndicated feed by Gulf News)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

PM Modi condoles Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death says India stands with Iran

PM Narendra Modi extended condolences to Ebrahim Raisi’s family and the people of Iran.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condoled Iran president Ebrahim Raisi’s death and said he was deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise. The PM also said contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral ties will always be remembered.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic passing of Iran’s president, Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi. He also said, he will never forget his contribution to the bilateral ties between Iran and India. The PM said his heartfelt condolences are his family and the people of Iran, he added. PM Modi wrote, India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.

Ebrahim Raisi was found dead a day after his helicopter went missing. He reportedly died in a chopper crash in the mountainous region of the country.

The helicopter crash claimed the lives of officials, bodyguards, and Iran’s foreign minister in addition to Raisi.

State television announced on Monday that Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, the servant of the Iranian nation, has achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people, and Mehr news agency confirmed his death.

The missing helicopter was being looked for by Iranian authorities since Sunday afternoon.

Reportedly, the crash occurred in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran and claimed the lives of nine individuals, including Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

There was no proof that the passengers were still alive, according to reports from Iranian media.

Out of the three helicopters in his convoy, only two made it to their destination, including Ebrahim Raisi. He had traveled to the northwest province to join President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the inauguration of a dam project in Jolfa.

It was anticipated that Raisi, a devout conservative, would succeed the eighty-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Since 2021, Ebrahim Raisi has served as Iran’s president. He replaced Hassan Rouhani, the centrist president.

Under his leadership, the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman who had been detained for violating the Iranian dress code for women, sparked widespread public unrest throughout the nation.

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.



Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.



Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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