2019, June, Newsletter

India Newsletter June 10, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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PM MODI MEETS TOP LANKAN LEADERSHIP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Sri Lankan President Maithripala
Sirisena on Sunday for the second time within 10 days and the two leaders
agreed that terrorism is a “joint threat” that needs collective and focused
action.

Modi is the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter
terror attacks in April. His visit is considered as a sign of India’s
affirmation of solidarity with Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the attacks.

“Met President @MaithripalaS, our second meeting in 10 days. President
Sirisena and I agreed that terrorism is a joint threat that needs collective
and focussed action. Reiterated India’s commitment to partner with Sri Lanka
for a shared, secure and prosperous future,” Modi tweeted after his talks
with President Sirisena.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the two
leaders discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi’s entourage made a detour to St Anthony’s
church-one of the sites of the horrific Easter Sunday attacks-on their way
to the Presidential Secretariat. Modi paid tributes to the victims of the
deadly terror strikes at the church and said the “cowardly acts of terror
cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka”.

“Assured India’s full support to further strengthen bilateral development
partnership including through people oriented projects in Sri Lanka,” Modi
said after his meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Had an extensive meeting with the Leader of Opposition, Mr. Mahinda
Rajapaksa. We discussed the need for close collaboration between India and
Sri Lanka in the fields of counter terrorism, security and economic
development,” Modi tweeted.

Modi arrived in Colombo from Maldives where he held wide-ranging talks with
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday.

CENTRE ADVISES WB GOVERNMENT TO CURB POST-POLL VIOLENCE

Expressing “deep concern” over continuing post-poll violence in West Bengal,
the Centre on Sunday issued an advisory to the state government asking it to
ensure that law and order is maintained.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reminded the West Bengal government about the
violent incidents that took place in the state. The advisory reportedly sad:
“Latest reports indicated that four persons were killed on June 8 in
post-poll clashes at Bhangipara and Hatgacha in North 24 Parganas district.
Earlier also there have been reports of incidents of violence in which
people lost lives in various parts of West Bengal”.

Tension prevailed on Sunday in strife-affected Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s
North 24 Parganas, with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool
Congress accusing each other of orchestrating Saturday’s violence that
allegedly claimed at least four lives.

Claiming that it has “viewed the current situation in West Bengal with deep
concern”, the MHA in the advisory said: “The unabated violence over the past
weeks appear to be a failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of
the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people”.

The MHA in the advisory has asked the state government to take “all
necessary measures to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquility”
and also requested to take “strict action against officials found delinquent
in discharge of their duty”.

‘PM BIASED AGAINST NON-BJP-RULED STATES’

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kerala was as dear to him as
Kashi (Varanasi), Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused Modi of
being biased against non-BJP-ruled states and added that he didn’t expect
the PM to be fair to Kerala.

Addressing a public meeting as part of a roadshow at Engapuzha during the
last leg of his three-day tour of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, Rahul said
while he admired the ability of Kerala to work together despite political
and ideological differences, he didn’t expect any such cooperation from the
PM or BJP.

“Yesterday, a CPM MLA had come to meet me in Wayanad and I was happy to meet
him. I am looking forward to having conversations with other MLAs of the LDF
as well. We might have our ideological differences but there are many things
that we will agree on for the future of Wayanad. But the sad part is that I
do not expect the Prime Minister to respond in the interest of Kerala and I
do not expect that he will be either fair to Kerala or Wayanad,” the
Congress chief said.

INDIA SEEKS GLOBAL ACTION ON ECONOMIC FUGITIVES

The government highlighted its concern over many countries offering safe
havens to economic offenders “through investment-based schemes” and called
the G20 membership to put in place a system for international cooperation.

The issue was flagged by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at G20 summit
in Japan, which was also attended by British chancellor of the exchequer
Phillip Hammod. The UK has emerged as the favourite haunt for fugitives such
as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi.

“(The) finance minister drew attention to the practice permitted by many
jurisdictions, which allow economic offenders to use investment-based
schemes to obtain residence to escape from legal consequences and underlined
need to deal with this . FM urged that closer collaboration and coordinated
action were required to bring such economic offenders to face law,” the
finance ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Over the last year, India has taken up the issue of economic fugitives at
the G20 level, where a similar offensive had resulted in a global drive
against tax evaders who stashed money in tax havens. It had resulted in an
international agreement for better data flow and tighter regime on tax
avoidance.

Nearly 90 tax jurisdictions have now moved to automatic exchange of
financial account information (AEOI) on a global basis, which is expected to
ensure tax evaders ca’t hide their offshore financial accounts.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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TUSSLE BREAKS OUT IN LANKAN HOUSE AS PREZ TRIES TO DERAIL BLASTS PROBE

Sri Lanka’s parliament warned President Maithripala Sirisena not to scuttle
a controversial investigation into security lapses before the Easter suicide
bombings, the speaker’s office said on Sunday.

The warning came after Sirisena said he would not cooperate with the
parliamentary probe and would not allow defence or police officials to
testify before the select committee.

The president called an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose
the legislature’s investigation into the April 21 attacks that killed 258
people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded nearly 500.

“Any public servant summoned by the PSC is obliged to give evidence,”
speaker Karu Jayasuriya said in a hard-hitting two-page response to
Sirisena. “Officials are fully aware of the serious consequences if they
fail to respond.”

Officials at the speaker’s office said Jayasuriya made it clear to Sirisena
that he will not call off the PSC and it will continue its public hearings.

Evidence before the parliamentary select committee, which began its publicly
televised sittings since late last month, has placed the president in a poor
light, suggesting that he failed to act on advance warning of the attacks.

HUGE HONG KONG PROTEST AGAINST CHINA EXTRADITION LAW

Hong Kong witnessed the largest protest since its 1997 handover to China on
Sunday as huge crowds massed against plans to allow extraditions to the
mainland, a proposal that has plunged the city’s pro-Beijing leaders into a
crisis.

Organisers said more than a million people marched in blazing summer heat
through the cramped streets of the financial hub’s main island in a noisy,
colourful demonstration calling on the government to scrap its planned
extradition law.

The demonstration was by far the biggest the international finance hub has
experienced since it was returned to China by Britain-beaten only by a 1.5
million-strong demonstration during colonial rule in 1989 supporting the
Tiananmen protesters.

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leaders are pushing a Bill through the legislature
that would allow extraditions to any jurisdiction with which it does not
already have a treaty-including mainland China.

But the proposals have sparked an outcry and birthed an opposition that
unites a wide cross-section of the city. “If mainland China can arbitrarily
extradite some people to the mainland, it would destroy not only our way of
living here in Hong Kong, it would also destroy our economy, because many
people would leave this place,” protester Tommy Lo told AFP.

For more than six hours on Sunday dense crowds snaked their way through the
city chanting “Scrap the evil law!” and “Oppose China extradition!”, the
lines of white-dressed demonstrators stretching for miles.

THE REST

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AERIAL SEARCH FOR MISSING AN-32 STALLED FOR SECOND DAY ON SUNDAY

Aerial search operation to trace a missing transport aircraft of the Indian
Air Force could not be undertaken for the second consecutive day on Sunday
due to bad weather in remote Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh.

However, ground troops continued their search for the missing aircraft in
the mountainous area for the seventh consecutive day.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft with 13 people on board lost contact on
Monday afternoon after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka advanced
landing ground near the border with China.

INTEGRATION OF BRAHMOS MISSILES INTO SUKHOI JETS FAST-TRACKED

In a strategically significant move, the government has decided to
fast-track integration of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles into over 40
Sukhoi fighter jets under a closely-guarded project.

Official sources said the decision to speed up implementation of the
“strategic” project was taken nearly six weeks after the Balakot air strikes
and subsequent Pakistani retaliation.

State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the BrahMos
Aerospace Pvt Ltd (BAPL), an Indo-Russia joint venture, are implementing the
project.

The Brahmos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, coupled with the
superlative performance of the Sukhoi aircraft will give the IAF a strategic
reach and will allow it to dominate the ocean and the battle fields in the
region, according to an assessment by the IAF.

The government had carried out a review of IAF’s February 26 air strikes
deep inside Pakistan’s Balakot and reportedly, the consensus was that the
adversary would not have dared to retaliate the next day if India possessed
superior air defence system as well as strike capability.

The government apparently decided to take a series of steps to bolster the
IAF’s overall combat capability which included fast-tracking integration of
Brahmos missiles into Sukhoi jets.

JAGAN ACCOMPANIES PM TO TIRUMALA

In signs of growing bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Andhra
Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the latter on Sunday accompanied
the PM during his thanksgiving visit to Tirumala after winning a massive
mandate in the Lok Sabha elections. Modi reciprocated by promising Jagan all
support from the Centre.

“I congratulate him (Jagan) on his electoral victory and assure the people
of Andhra Pradesh that the government at the Centre will commit itself and
do all that is possible for the comprehensive development of the state,”
Modi said. Describing Andhra as a “great land undergoing rapid progress on
all fronts”, the PM said: “In Delhi, too, there is a formidable government
now. We believe that to build a strong nation we need to take forward the
development of all states in line with our mantra, Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas.”

Jagan and a group of ministers accorded Modi a warm welcome on his arrival
at the Tirupati airport.

Modi had a brief chat with Jagan during a closed-door meeting at a guest
house in Tirumala after Lord Balaji’s darshan. Later, they left together for
Tirupati airport.

MAHARASHTRA ‘SATYAGRAHA’ IN SUPPORT OF HARYANA FARMERS

Shetkari Sanghatana, a farmers’ organisation from Maharashtra, has announced
that it would be holding a satyagraha on Monday by planting banned varieties
of genetically-modified (GM) cotton and brinjal.

Calling it a farmers’ satyagraha, Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari
Sanghatana, said in a statement here that 5,000 farmers will break the law
banning GM crops by planting these varieties at a plot at Akoli Jahangir
village in Maharashtra’s Akola district.

He condemned the action by the Haryana government on farmers for cultivating
genetically-modified brinjal. “The farmers who are members of Shetkari
Sanghatana will plant herbicide tolerant Bt Cotton and Bt Brinjal seeds in a
1-acre plot at the Akoli Jahangir village,” Ghanwat said.

Under the law, anyone possessing or sowing banned seeds of
genetically-modified crops can be fined Rs 1 lakh and sent to jail for five
years.

AN ALIGARH CHILD’S BRUTAL KILLING SPARKS AN OUTRAGE

Responding as one to the killing of a three-year-old child in Aligarh,
Bollywood celebrities say justice must be served and the guilty punished
with some calling for capital punishment.

Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Javed Akhtar and Sunny Leone are among
those who expressed their anguish at the killing of the child earlier this
week.

The mutilated body of the girl, missing since May 31, was found in a garbage
dump on June 2, police said, suspecting that the brutal killing was a
fallout of a monetary dispute.

Hashtags with the child’s name were trending on Twitter with an estimated
56,000 tweets on the horrific case that shook the nation.

Two persons have been arrested in connection with the crime and the police
said they will charge the duo under the National Security Act.

Contingents of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action
Force (RAF) were deployed in Aligarh in view of escalating tension over the
brutal murder. Forces conducted a flag march after messages of a
‘mahapanchayat’ being called to demand speedy justice for the murdered child
went viral.

SP (rural) Manilal Patidar said prohibitory orders were imposed while three
companies of PAC and one of RAF have been stationed in Tappal.

The police claimed that the mahapanchayat was called off. “We have talked to
prominent people of society and they have expressed their satisfaction over
the police action so far. The mahapanchayat has been called off,” Patidar
said.

NITIN GADKARI AGAINST HASTE IN ROLLING OUT E-VEHICLES

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari is seeking a recalibration of the electric
vehicle rollout plan with his ministry even considering a longer
implementation schedule rather than setting any cut-off date.

A Niti Aayog-led panel recommended making electric two and three-wheelers
mandatory from 2025 and new four-wheelers for commercial use (within city
limits) should be on electric from April 2026. It recommended that the road
transport ministry should issue advisory to states for phase-wise
introduction of commercial four-wheelers by fleet owners including taxi
aggregators – from 2.5% in 2020-21 to 40% in 2025-26. It also said 30% of
new intra-city buses should be on electric by April 2026 and new city buses
sold from that date onwards should be electric.

600 HELD FROM RAVE PARTY IN DELHI; COCAINE, OTHER DRUGS SEIZED

More than 600 men and women were detained and 15 arrested at a ‘rave party’
around midnight at a farmhouse in the Chattarpur, police said. The raid was
carried out by The Delhi Excise department coordination with police
following a tip-off, and besides several bottles of alcohol, a number of
narcotic substances, including cocaine, were also found at the spot.

The venue, a big hall, in Chattarpur, belonged to a fashion designing
company and was being used for the rave party, the official said.

Minors were also served alcohol at the party.

INDIA BEAT AUSTRALIA BY 36 RUNS

After Shikhar Dhawan’s century and skipper Virat Kohli’s 82 helped India
post a mammoth 352-5, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled well to
restrict Australia to 316 all out to win the ICC World Cup match by 36 runs
at the Oval yesterday.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck twice in the 40th over to remove Steve Smith and
Marcus Stoinis.

Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets to finish with figures of 61-3 in 10 overs
while

Bhuvneshwar Kumar also took three wickets and gave away 50 runs in 10 overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets for 62 runs in 10 overs.

The legend of Shikhar Dhawan in ICC tournaments continued to grow as his
stylish hundred formed the cornerstone of a fantastic batting display that
powered India to a commanding 352 for five. The left-handed opener’s 17th
ODI hundred (117 off 109 balls) was well complemented by fellow opener Rohit
Sharma’s 57 off 70 balls with the openers raising a stand of 127.

Skipper Virat Kohli (82 off 77 balls) played an effective knock and shared a
92-run stand with Dhawan. Kohli’s sixes off Mitchell Starc-over long-on and
extra cover – stood out.

The last 10 overs yielded India 116 runs, primarily due to Hardik Pandya’s
whirlwind knock of 48 from 27 balls and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 14-ball,
27-run cameo. KL Rahul came in at no. 6 and he too joined the party with 11
off 3 balls.

NADAL BEATS THIEM TO CLAIM RECORD-STRETCHING 12TH FRENCH OPEN TITLE

Rafael Nadal claimed a record-stretching 12th French Open title by beating
Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 in a repeat of last
year’s final on Sunday.

The Spaniard, who now has 18 majors to his name, also becomes the first
player to win the same Grand Slam title 12 times, going past Margaret
Court’s 11 Australian Open titles.

He took command by winning a high-octane first set, but Thiem, who was on
court for the fourth consecutive day after weather delays, stayed in the
contest and fought back to go level.

Nadal’s response was brutal as he won 16 of the first 17 points of the third
set against a tiring Thiem, bagged it in less than half an hour.

The 33-year-old, whose Roland Garros haul started on his debut year in 2005,
cruised through the fourth set and wrapped it up when Thiem sent a forehand
long.

DHONI WEARS GLOVES WITHOUT LOGO

India’s veteran wicketkeeper MS Dhoni on Sunday decided to obey the ICC
diktat as he removed the dagger insignia from his green keeping gloves
during the World Cup game against Australia.

Dhoni wore the gloves with military dagger insignia against South Africa,
which evoked mixed reactions, and the ICC requested the BCCI to ask the
former skipper to get it removed as it amounts violation of sporting
equipment regulations.

The rule states that no personal messages are allowed on apparel or sporting
gears and even Chris Gayle wasn’t allowed to use ‘Universe Boss’ logo on his
bat for same reason.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other
reason but because they are not already common. – John Locke

OFF TRACK

A teacher to a girl student: “Why’ve you come so late to school today?”

“Because a boy was following me.”

“But how did that make you late?”

“The boy was very slow.”

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