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Alexander Great


He was a king, a commander, and a conqueror. Alexander the Great was so powerful some people called him a god. He was one of the greatest generals in history, and he built a vast empire that extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India.

ALEXANDER’S EARLY LIFE

Alexander was born in Macedonia in 356 bc. His father, King Philip II of Macedonia, hired the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle to tutor young Alexander. In the summer of 336 bc, Philip was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Alexander then became king.

Many people in Macedonia plotted against the young king, but Alexander was shrewd. He quickly ordered the execution of all the conspirators. At the same time, some Greek cities ruled by Macedonia rebelled and others threatened to seek independence. Alexander crushed the rebellions and restored Macedonian rule.

INVASION OF ASIA

Next, in 334 bc, Alexander turned his attention toward the Persian Empire (now Iran) in southwest Asia. Alexander led Macedonian and Greek soldiers to attack Darius III, Persia’s king. Their armies met at Issus in Syria in 333 bc, and fought a fierce battle. Alexander won, and Darius fled.

CONTROL OF EGYPT

Alexander then led his soldiers south, into Egypt. Alexander seized power from the pharaoh, who ruled Egypt on behalf of the Persians. The grateful Egyptians saw Alexander as a person who freed them, and they crowned him pharaoh. At the mouth of the Nile River in northern Egypt, Alexander founded a new city. He named the city Alexandria, and it became a famous center of learning.

CONQUEROR OF PERSIA

In 331 bc, Alexander led his troops back north into Persia. King Darius was eager for revenge. Alexander and Darius fought another great battle, this time at Gaugamela. Once again, Alexander won. The battle at Gaugamela ended centuries of Persian rule in Asia.

Alexander then turned south and conquered other important Persian cities. At Persepolis, he burned down Darius’s palace to show he had conquered the Persian Empire. In 330 bc, Alexander went north to find Darius again. This time, Darius was killed by his own men as he fled.

WORLD EMPIRE

Alexander was a military genius and a great explorer. But he also had a grand ambition. He wanted to rule a world empire where people could live in peace with one another. From 330 to 327 bc, Alexander led his soldiers east, through Afghanistan and into Central Asia. As he travelled, he built more cities. He recruited soldiers, merchants, and scholars from many lands to settle there.

In 326 bc, Alexander turned south, into India. But by then his men were tired and weak. They were far from home in an unknown land. The soldiers rebelled and refused to go farther. Reluctantly, Alexander turned back. By 323 bc, he reached Babylon in Iraq. While there he caught a fever and died at the age of 33. His empire was divided among his generals.

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May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Comments Off on Alexander Great

Adolf Hitler


Adolf Hitler was a struggling young artist who became a feared dictator. He led his country into a bloody war that killed millions of people.

Hitler rose to power in Germany in the 1930s. He eventually started World War II (1939-1945), a conflict that left Europe in ruins.

HITLER’S CHILDHOOD

Adolf Hitler was born in 1889. He came from a well-to-do family in Austria-Hungary. His father was an important government worker. After his father died, Hitler quit school in the ninth grade. He decided to become an artist but had trouble finding work.

WORLD WAR I

Hitler volunteered for the German army during World War I (1914-1918) and served the whole war. Germany lost the war, and the country suffered terribly. Many Germans became jobless and poor. The people wanted someone to lead them back to glory again. Hitler wanted to be that person.

RISE TO POWER

After the war, Hitler joined the National German Socialists Workers’ Party. Many people called it the Nazi Party, for short. Hitler was an excellent public speaker. He appealed to German pride by constantly speaking about their racial superiority. This was the idea that one type of people are naturally better than others. He blamed other people, especially Jews, for Germany’s problems. His speeches attracted thousands of people who thought Hitler could be a great leader. The Nazi Party grew rapidly.

Hitler ran for political office in Germany and was elected in 1930. Three years later, in January 1933, Hitler became Germany’s chancellor, which was similar to a president. He immediately passed laws giving himself total power. Soon, Hitler had become a dictator. He controlled Germany’s government completely.

Hitler passed laws to get rid of people he did not like. They included his political enemies and Germans who were disabled or Jewish. Many of these people were sent to large camps, where they were held prisoner. Huge numbers of people were killed.

WORLD WAR II

Hitler also began rebuilding Germany’s military. He wanted a powerful army so he could conquer other countries, and eventually take over the world. He started by declaring Germany’s union with the neighboring country of Austria. Then he ordered German troops to occupy all of Czechoslovakia. When Hitler’s army invaded Poland in 1939, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.

Germany’s mighty army soon captured France and began bombing England. In 1941, Hitler’s armies also invaded the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), often called Russia. This turned out to be a big mistake because the German army had trouble fighting in several countries at once.

THE HOLOCAUST

Hitler’s soldiers forced tens of thousands of Jews in Poland into small sections of the cities, known as ghettos. The Jews were not given adequate food, and many of them starved to death. Hitler’s army also sent millions of Jews from Germany and other countries to concentration camps. There, many were killed. The deaths of millions of Jews under Hitler is known as the Holocaust. About one-third of the world’s 18 million Jews died in the Holocaust, one of history’s greatest tragedies.

HITLER’S SUICIDE

The United States entered World War II in December 1941. Slowly, Germany began to lose the war. America and its allies launched the D-Day invasion of western Europe on June 6, 1944. They fought their way through France and into Germany in 1945. Facing defeat, Hitler killed himself. His reign of terror was finally over.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment

Saddam Hussein


May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Comments Off on Saddam Hussein

Socrates


What is love?
What is truth?
What is justice?

Socrates, a philosopher in ancient Greece, asked big questions like these and tried to make people think.

Socrates was born in Athens, Greece, in 469 bc. He devoted his life to philosophy. He taught students, made speeches, and debated with anyone who would listen to him.

KNOWING WHAT TO DO

Socrates wanted to find out the best way to live. He wondered why some people behaved well and others behaved badly. He thought that bad behavior resulted from ignorance. He believed that once people knew what was right, they would choose to behave well. Behaving well, Socrates claimed, was the best way to live.

ASKING QUESTIONS

Socrates’ beliefs made him urge fellow citizens to think hard about what they were doing. Was it right? Was it honest? Was it permitted by law? Through questions like these, he hoped to help people recognize their mistakes. This knowledge would bring them closer to the truth and help them lead better lives.

SOCRATES ON TRIAL

Socrates believed it was his duty to ask questions constantly. He thought his method of discussing and debating would help the people of Athens gain knowledge about themselves and their society.

But the government of Athens did not agree. They accused Socrates of corrupting (damaging) young peoples’ minds by inviting them to question and disagree. They said he ignored the Greek gods. In 399 bc, they put Socrates on trial.

Socrates defended his actions. But the jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

DOING THE RIGHT THING

Socrates’ friends wanted to help him escape. But Socrates felt that obeying the court’s decision was the right thing to do. Socrates spent his last day with his friends. Then, he calmly drank poison made from a hemlock plant and died.

Socrates wrote no books. But his student Plato admired Socrates so much that he described Socrates’ life and ideas in his own writings.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment

Vasco Da Gama


Vasco da Gama is best remembered as the first European to sail from Europe to India. The sea route he found helped Portugal build a rich empire overseas.

EARLY LIFE

Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, Portugal, around 1469. As a young man, da Gama studied navigation and astronomy. He went on to serve as an officer in the Portuguese navy.

In 1497, the king of Portugal asked da Gama to find a sea route to India by sailing around Africa. This would allow Portugal to control the rich Indian spice trade.

Could da Gama do it? Earlier Portuguese expeditions had rounded the southern tip of Africa. But these trips were long, difficult, and dangerous. Was it possible to travel from Europe to India in a single voyage?

VOYAGE TO INDIA

In July 1497, da Gama set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, with four ships. By January 1498, the expedition reached Mozambique on Africa’s southeastern coast. But Arab traders in Mozambique disliked the Portuguese. They drove da Gama away.

Farther north, on the coast of Kenya, da Gama recruited an Arab sailor to guide his ships across the Indian Ocean. In May 1498, they reached Calicut on India’s coast.

In Calicut, da Gama found pearls, jewels, and wonderful spices for sale. But the king and local merchants refused to trade with the Portuguese. Furious, da Gama sailed away. He arrived in Portugal in 1499 and was honored as a hero.

DA GAMA RETURNS TO INDIA

In 1502, da Gama made a second voyage to India. He returned to Calicut with warships and soldiers. Da Gama sank merchant vessels and killed many civilians. The king of Calicut surrendered.

Da Gama sailed home to Portugal carrying a rich cargo of spice. Portugal soon built a valuable trading empire in India.

In 1524, da Gama made his last voyage to India. The Portuguese king had named da Gama the governor of Portugal’s possessions there. Da Gama died three months after reaching India.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment

Mummy


Mummy

Mummy

Mummies have fascinated people for centuries. In folklore, mummies are portrayed as mysterious, magical, and even dangerous. People have removed mummies from their tombs and displayed them in museums. Mummies have even starred as villains in horror films!

PRESERVED BODIES

A mummy is a human body that has been preserved for a long period of time. Mummies are found in many places, from Alaska to China. But the world’s best-known mummies come from ancient Egypt. The Egyptians began making mummies more than 5,000 years ago. Over the next 3,500 years, they made millions of them!

Some mummies are accidental. They occur when bodies are accidentally preserved. That usually happens in areas where decay happens slowly. Most accidental mummies are found in very hot or very cold places with dry climates. But they are also found in muddy peat bogs and even frozen in ice. Accidental mummies can last for thousands of years.

WHY DID EGYPTIANS MAKE MUMMIES?

The ancient Egyptians made mummies for religious reasons. They believed in life after death. They thought that people were reborn after they died and needed a body in order to live in the afterlife. The Egyptians took special care to preserve the bodies of wealthy, important people.

HOW WERE EGYPTIAN MUMMIES MADE?

Making a mummy was complex and took about 70 days. First, mummy makers removed the body’s internal organs and placed them in special containers. They also took out the brain. But they usually left the heart in place. They believed a dead person’s soul remained in the heart. The heart spoke for a dead person in the afterlife, during judgment before the gods.

Next, mummy makers applied chemicals to the body to dry it and remove moisture. Then they perfumed the body and wrapped it in bandages made from linen cloth. They placed lucky charms between the wrappings, for spiritual protection.

Once prepared, they laid the mummy in a wood or stone coffin. After about 2000 bc, mummies were often put in human-shaped coffins. The coffins might be painted with a portrait of the dead person along with pictures of the gods. Sometimes the coffins were made in sets that nested one within another.

AT HOME IN THE TOMB

Finally, the mummy was carried to its tomb. There, priests performed a ceremony called the Opening of the Mouth Ritual. They believed this ceremony brought the dead person’s senses back to life so they could live in the next world. Family members put useful items and food in the tomb to keep the mummy’s spirit alive.

MUMMIES IN OTHER CULTURES

Other people of the world also made mummies. Like the ancient Egyptians, they practiced mummification for religious reasons.

The people of the Inca Empire in Peru are famous for making mummies. During the 1600s and 1700s, Inca mummy makers preserved bodies with smoke in the cold, dry climate of the Andes Mountains. A prepared mummy was placed in a large clay jar with jewelry, clothing, food, and other items.

MUMMY FOLKLORE

Frightening tales about the magical powers of mummies have been told for centuries. By the 1700s, storywriters warned of the terrible curses that would befall anyone who disturbed a mummy. Modern horror films have kept this theme alive by portraying disturbed mummies as violent and dangerous.

The ancient Egyptians looked at mummies very differently. For them, mummies were a soothing reminder that their loved ones had passed on to a carefree existence with the gods.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | History, Who is Who, World Heritage | Leave a comment

Who Was Velupillai Prabhakaran ?


Velupillai Prabhakaran (Tamil: November 26, 1954 – May 18, 2009) was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. LTTE and many other secessesionist movements were born in the 1970’s as a result of discriminatory policies passed by successive Sri Lankan governments against ethnic Tamils. LTTE waged a violent secessionist campaign in Sri Lanka that led to it being designated a terrorist organization by 32 countries.

PrabhakaranPrabhakaran was wanted by Interpol for terrorism, murder, organized crime and terrorism conspiracy. He also had arrest warrants against him in Sri Lanka and India. On May 18, 2009, the Sri Lankan Government announced that Velupillai Prabhakaran had been killed while trying to escape advancing troops in an ambulance. However, UK-based Tamil Tiger spokesperson Selvarasa Pathmanathan claims that Prabhakaran is “still alive.” On May 19, Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry revealed a body by the shore of Nandikadal lagoon and had been identified to be that of Prabhakaran. Sri Lanka media also showed video of the body.

Early life

Velupillai Prabhakaran was born in the northern coastal town of Velvettithurai on November 26, 1954, to Thiruvenkadam Velupillai and Vallipuram Parvathy. Angered by what he saw as discrimination against Tamil people by successive Sri Lankan governments, he joined the student group TIP during the standardization debates. In 1972 Prabhakaran founded the Tamil New Tigers (TNT) which was a successor to many earlier organizations that protested against the post-colonial political direction of the country, in which the minority Sri Lankan Tamils were pitted against the majority Sinhalese people.

In 1975, after becoming heavily involved in the Tamil movement, he carried out the first major political murder by a Tamil militant group, assassinating the mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, by shooting him at point-blank range when he was about to enter the Hindu temple at Ponnaalai. The assassination was in response to the 1974 Tamil conference incident, for which the Tamil radicals had blamed Duraiappah, because he backed the then ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He was also seen by Tamil militants as betraying the Tamil nationalist sentiments in the Jaffna Peninsula, by allying with the Sinhalese majority government.

Founding of the LTTE

On May 5, 1976, the TNT was renamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers.

Religion is not a major factor in his philosophy or ideology, but the LTTE can be characterized as anti-Buddhist. The LTTE is also an organization that does not cite any material from religion or religious texts in any of its ideological documents and propaganda but are driven only by the idea of Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism and considers it as the only single-minded approach and inspiration towards the attainment of an independent Tamil Eelam.

Philosophy and ideology

Prabhakaran has not expressed an all encompassing systematic philosophy or ideology as such, but has declared his ideology to be driven by ‘Revolutionary socialism and the creation of an egalitarian society’. He joined the Tamil nationalist movement in his youth and quickly established himself as a strong willed militant leader by founding the LTTE. His rare interviews, his annual Tamil Eelam Heroes Day speeches, and the policies and actions of the LTTE can be taken as indicators of Prabhakaran’s philosophy and ideology. The following are important areas when considering philosophy and ideology of Prabhakaran.

Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism

Prabhakaran’s source of inspiration and direction is Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism.Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism[›] His stated and ultimate ideal is to get Tamil Eelam recognised as a nation as per the U.N. Charter that guarantees the right of a people to political independence which has been given in their official web page. The LTTE also proposed the formation of an Interim Self Governing Authority during Peace Negotiations in 2003. Former Tamil guerrilla and later turned politician Dharmalingam Sithadthan, has remarked that “his dedication to the cause of the Tamil Eelam was unquestionable, he was the only man in Sri Lanka who could decide if there should be war or peace.”

Militarism of the LTTE

Prabhakaran has explicitly stated that an armed struggle is the only way to resist asymmetric warfare, in which one side, that of the Sri Lankan government, is armed and the other comparatively unarmed. He argues that he chose military means only after observing that non–violent means have been ineffectual and obsolete, especially after the Thileepan incident. Thileepan, a colonel rank officer adopted Gandhian means to protest against the IPKF killings by staging a fast unto death from September 15, 1987, and by abstaining from food or water till 26 September, he died in front of thousands of Tamils who had come there to fast along with him. This further strengthened Prabhakaran’s resolve that peaceful protests would either be ignored or crushed but never heard.

Tactically, Prabhakaran perfected the recruitment and use of suicide bomber units, while his fighters usually took no prisoners, and were notorious for assaults that often left every single enemy soldier dead. Personally, Interpol described him as someone who was “very alert, known to use disguise, and capable of handling sophisticated weaponry and explosives.”

Death

It was alleged that Prabakaran was dead or was injured several times duting the course of the conflict. When the Sri Lankan Military advanced into the LTTE territory, Prabakaran with his top leadership receded into Mullaithivu which became the rebels’ last stronghold. Prabakaran was killed by Sri Lankan military rocket attack while trying to flee the conflict zone in an armoured van. Although initially there were some conflicting reports regarding the rebel leaders end, with the Sri Lankan government claiming that his remains were badly burnt in the attack and the pro LTTE tamilnet.com claiming that the leader is still alive. His body was found in the adjoining Nandikathal lagoon north of Vellamullivaikkal near Mullaithivu. Parabakaran’s body was shown in National TV and was later confirmed as being him by Karuna Amman (a very close sub leader of LTTE), Gorge Master and by DNA testing against his son’s genetic material. Circumstantial evidence suggested that his death was caused by massive head injury.

Criminal indictments

Velupillai Prabhakaran has been wanted by Interpol and many other organizations since 1991 for terrorism, murder, organized crime and terrorism conspiracy. He has been issued a death warrant by the Madras High Court in India for plotting the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May, 1991 and in 2002 Judge Ambepitiya issued an open warrant to arrest him in connection with the 1996 Central Bank Bombing. The judge found him guilty on 51 counts and sentenced him to 200 years in prison.

Personal life

Prabhakaran familyPhotograph showing, from right, Velupillai Prabhakaran, his wife Mathivathani, daughter Duvaraga, son Charles Anthony and two unidentified relatives of Madivadini.

Little is known of Prabhakaran’s personal life, either from his interviews or from cited media sources, although it is widely known that he is married to Mathivathani Erambu. Their marriage was held in Tirupporur, near Madras (now Chennai) on October 1, 1984. They have a daughter (Duwaraka) and two sons, Charles Anthony and Balachandran. Their whereabouts are not known, but it is widely believed that they are not in Sri Lanka. However, Sri Lanka military sources have stated that they have recovered the corpse of Charles Anthony. A senior Sri Lankan minister later informed that the Sri Lanka Army found the bodies of Prabhakaran’s wife, Mathivathani, his older daughter, Duvaraka, and his 13-year old son, Balachandran.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Who is Who | Leave a comment