2019, June, Newsletter

India Newsletter June 13, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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PM NARENDRA MODI NOT TO FLY OVER PAKISTAN WHILE TRAVELLING TO BISHKEK: MEA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not fly over Pakistani airspace on way to
Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, to attend a summit of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on
Wednesday.

“The government had explored two options for the route to be taken by the
VVIP aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP
aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to
Bishkek,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Critics have said the reports of the government seeking special permission
from Islamabad to fly over Pakistan pointed to inconsistencies in its
foreign policy of isolating the country. Pakistan has closed the airspace
from India after it apprehended further attacks from the Indian Air Force,
some of which has been in forward deployment after the Balakot attacks.

As a result, all flights that used to fly over Pakistan are forced to make a
detour that adds several hours to the flight time. Pakistan first made an
exception for then Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj who was
allowed to fly over Pakistan to Bishkek to attend a preparatory meeting to
the summit, which will be attended by PM Modi.

A report from Islamabad stating that Pakistan has also given “in-principle”
permission to the VVIP flight led to criticism on the social media. The MEA,
which had declined comment till Monday, said the government had explored the
option of two air corridors and the PM would now fly over Oman, Iran and
several Central Asian countries to reach Bishkek.

Modi has a packed schedule in Bishkek and officials were hoping he would be
able to accommodate more bilateral meetings if he had more time available on
the margins of the SCO summit. He is already slated to meet Russian
President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Besides, he will
also be in discussion with the Kyrgyz side. There are reports of other world
leaders having requested for bilaterals with Modi.

POMPEO TO DISCUSS ‘AMBITIOUS AGENDA’ WITH MODI, JAISHANKAR

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss the Trump administration’s
“ambitious agenda” for the US-India strategic partnership when he meets
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar this
month in New Delhi, the state department said.

Pompeo will travel to four countries–India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South
Korea–in the Indo-Pacific region from June 24 to 30.

The four-nation Indo-Pacific swing by Pompeo is to broaden and deepen
America’s partnerships with key countries to advance their shared goal of a
free and open Indo-Pacific region, state department spokesperson Morgan
Ortagus said on Tuesday.

“Prime Minister Modi’s recent election victory provides an excellent
opportunity for him to implement his vision for a strong and prosperous
India that plays a leading role on the global stage,” Ortagus said. In his
meeting with Modi and Jaishankar, Pompeo would “discuss our ambitious agenda
for the US-India strategic partnership”, she said, without elaborating.

DELIMITATION A RUMOUR, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ART 370: J&K GUV

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik today asked militants to give up
arms and invited them to talks, while allaying apprehensions about the
delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state, describing these as
rumours and a constitutional matter which cannot be done in a day.

At a press conference on the initiatives taken by the government during the
last one year since the state came under Governor’s rule on June 20 last
year, he said, “Delimitation cannot be done in a day. It is a constitutional
matter. These are all rumours.”

On reports that the Centre could work towards abrogation of Articles 370 and
35A, the Governor said these were in the election manifestos of many
political parties. “No need to worry,” he added.

The Governor also reiterated that any decision on the conduct of Assembly
elections would be taken by the Election Commission of India, saying the
government was ready for the conduct of these elections, reminding that ULB
and panchayat elections were held peacefully last year. Any decision would
be taken after the Amarnath yatra concluding on August 15, the ECI had
conveyed, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said.

Malik, while asking the militants to come to the negotiating table, asserted
that violence would not break India. He said the people of the state,
particularly the unemployed youth, were being misled by leaders in the name
of “azadi” or “autonomy”.

“I respect Hurriyat leaders, but they have raised their voice on wrong
issues. they did not tell the truth to the people,” Malik said. The
militants may not realise it now, but 10 years down the line they will
repent choosing the wrong path, he added. “You cannot make India bow through
violence.”

Take everything from us, we will give our life, but through love and
dialogue. For that (PM) Modi is ready, we are ready. Come to the dialogue
table and take it forward… You have your own Constitution, separate flag.
Whatever more you want, you will get it through the democratic process and
within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to a parliamentary
resolution extending President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six
months. The resolution will be moved in the forthcoming session of
Parliament and will come into effect from July 3. Central rule, enforced on
June 20, 2018, was supposed to end on July 2.

PM MODI’S SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS MINISTERS

Reach office on time and avoid working from home to set an example for
others-these were some of the instructions Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave
to the council of ministers on Wednesday.

In the first meeting of the council of ministers after the Modi-led
dispensation assumed charge last month, the prime minister also asked senior
ministers to hand-hold the new incumbents.

Seeking to give more role to ministers of state, he said important files
should be shared with them by the cabinet ministers. This, he said, would
enhance productivity.

Emphasising on punctuality, Modi said all the ministers should reach office
on time and spend a few minutes discussing latest developments in the
ministry with the officials.

At the same time they should keep meeting party MPs and general public on a
regular basis and can start by meeting parliamentarians from their
respective states, while suggesting that there is not much difference
between a minister and an MP.

Modi also talked about the five-year agenda which every ministry has to
formulate and an impactful decision needs to be taken in the first 100 days
of the government.

CABINET CLEARS FRESH TRIPLE TALAQ BILL

The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a fresh bill to ban the practice of instant
triple talaq, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

The bill will be introduced in the Budget session of Parliament which begins
on Monday to replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led
NDA government.

With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the previous bill had
lapsed as it was pending in Rajya Sabha.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which made the
practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced
objections from the opposition parties which claimed that jail term for a
man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.

Javadekar said the proposed legislation is based on gender equality and is
part of the government’s philosophy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka
Vishwas’ .

The new bill will be a copy of the ordinance in force and the minister hoped
that it will be passed “unanimously” by Rajya Sabha, where the government
lacks numbers.

Seeking to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the
government has included certain safeguards in it such as adding a provision
for bail for the accused during trial.

These amendments were cleared by the Cabinet on August 29, 2018. While the
ordinance makes it a “non-bailable” offence, an accused can approach a
magistrate even before trial to seek bail.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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BREXIT: MPS REJECT LABOUR PLAN FOR NO-DEAL VOTE

British MPs have rejected a Labour-led effort to take control of
Parliament’s timetable, blocking the latest attempt to stop a no-deal
Brexit.

The Commons opposed the move by 309 votes to 298.

If passed, it would have given opponents of a no-deal Brexit the chance to
table legislation to thwart the UK leaving without any agreement on the 31
October deadline.

The result of the vote was greeted with cheers from the Tory benches.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded by shouting “you won’t be cheering
in September”.

Ten Tory MPs, mostly pro-Europeans, rebelled against the government by
backing Labour’s motion. Conversely, eight Labour MPs – mostly Eurosceptics
or MPs in constituencies which voted Leave at the referendum – defied party
instructions and voted against it.

A key factor for the government was the support of Northern Ireland’s
Democratic Unionists, who have voted against Theresa May during previous
Brexit votes.

HONG KONG EXTRADITION PROTESTS LEAVES CITY IN SHOCK

Authorities have shut some government offices in Hong Kong’s financial
district after the worst violence the city has seen in decades.

By Thursday morning the crowds had largely dispersed around government
headquarters – where police and protesters had pitched battles on Wednesday.

The protesters are angry about plans to allow extradition to mainland China.

Despite the widespread opposition, the government has not backed down.

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray at crowds which
numbered in the tens of thousands along key roads near the Legislative
Council Complex on Wednesday.

Seventy-two people aged between 15 and 66 were injured in the violence,
including two men who were in critical condition.

‘EASTER SUSPECTS WERE FUNDED BY RAJAPAKSA-ERA INTELLIGENCE UNIT’, SAYS AZATH
SALLEY

A former Governor and prominent Muslim politician has accused the Rajapaksa
government of being complacent while its military intelligence unit “worked
closely” with the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the radical Islamist
organisation behind the Easter bombings.

Azath Salley was one of the two Muslim Governors who stepped down from
office earlier this month, following a fasting Buddhist monk’s demand that
they resign over alleged links with Easter suspects. They have denied the
accusation.

Testifying before a Parliament Select Committee (PSC) probing the terror
attacks, Mr. Salley said on Tuesday that he had informed top authorities in
government about the activities of extremist elements several times.

Further, he claimed that the Defence Ministry of the previous Rajapaksa
administration had been funding the NTJ for some years now.

THE REST

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IAF LEADS MASSIVE OPERATION IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH TO REACH AN-32 CRASH SITE

The Indian Air Force, Army and the civil administration of Arunachal Pradesh
started a massive operation on Wednesday to reach the site where the AN-32
aircraft of the Indian Air Force had crashed on June 3, a defence official
said.

“The rescue mission of inducting teams to the crash site, by helicopters has
begun. Mi17s and ALH from army are being utilised,” said defence PRO Wing
Commander Ratnakar Singh said on Wednesday morning.

Indian Air Force has successfully airdropped 8-10 personnel at the crash
site in two helicopter sorties. The teams are now searching the area for
more wreckage and possible survivors.

Although the IAF has spotted the wreckage, nothing is yet clear about the
fate of the 13 on board the aircraft when it had taken off on June 3 from
the Jorhat airbase for Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh.

FIVE CRPF MEN, MILITANT KILLED IN ANANTNAG ATTACK

Five CRPF personnel were killed and four other security personnel suffered
injuries on Wednesday when militant carried out an attack on a busy road in
Anantnag district of south Kashmir, officials said here.

A militant was killed by security forces personnel and an AK series assault
rifle was recovered from him, they said. The attack occurred at K P Chowk,
Cheegali, near general bus stand in Anantnag.

According to a statement issued by CRPF, troops of B/116 deployed for LO
duties were fired upon by suspected vehicle-borne terrorists.

The officials said at least two motorcycle-borne militants attacked a patrol
party of the CRPF on the busy K P Road in Anantnag with automatic rifles.
They also hurled grenades at the patrol team.

CYCLONE VAYU TURNS ‘VERY SEVERE’, ADVANCES TOWARDS GUJARAT

Mumbai and some neighbouring coastal areas of Maharashtra witnessed a windy
Wednesday morning as cyclone ‘Vayu’ turned into a “very severe cyclonic
storm”, the weather department said.

As the cyclone continued to progress towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of
neighbouring Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department upgraded its
severity condition.

“Cyclone Vayu has turned into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would cause
gusty winds to blow at a speed of 145 kmph to 170 kmph by Thursday morning,”
the IMD said.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force started landing in Gujarat
with the help of the Indian Air Force to undertake preventive evacuation of
people living on the west coast, an IAF official said.

Vayu, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat today.

ROYAL PARDON TO 17 INDIANS SERVING SENTENCES IN OMAN

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has granted “royal pardon” on the occasion of Eid to 17
Indians serving sentences in that country.

“We appreciate this merciful gesture on the auspicious occasion of
Eid-ul-Fitr by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman,” External Affairs Minister
S Jaishankar tweeted.

Indian Embassy in Oman said “royal pardon” has been given to 17 Indian
nationals serving sentences in Oman by Sultan Qaboos on the auspicious
occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. “Government of India appreciates this
compassionate gesture from a friendly country,” the Embassy said in a tweet.

Eid was celebrated across the world last week after Muslims’ month of
fasting.

CHANDRAYAAN-2, INDIA’S SECOND MOON MISSION, TO BE LAUNCHED ON JULY 15: ISRO

India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, would be launched on July
15, ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced on Wednesday.

The landing on the moon near the South Pole, an uncharted territory so far,
would be on September 6 or 7, Sivan told reporters here, as the Indian space
agency is all set to embark on its most complex mission.

The launch would take place at 2.51 am on board the GSLV MK-III vehicle from
the spaceport of Sriharikota. The ISRO had earlier kept the launch window
for the mission from July 9 to July 16.

The spacecraft, with a mass of 3.8 tonne, has three modules-Orbiter, Lander
(Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). Sivan said Orbiter would have eight payloads,
Lander three and Rover two.

The mission cost of Chandrayaan-2 with regard to the satellite was Rs 603
crore, he noted. The cost of GSLV MK III is Rs 375 crore.

According to the ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around
the moon. Lander would soft land on the moon at a predetermined site and
deploy Rover. The scientific payloads on board Orbiter, Lander and Rover are
expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar
surface.

The Orbiter and Lander modules would be interfaced mechanically and stacked
together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III
launch vehicle. Rover is housed inside Lander.

After the launch into an earth-bound orbit, the integrated module would
reach the moon orbit using the orbiter propulsion module and subsequently,
Lander would separate from Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site,
close to lunar South Pole, the ISRO said.

Rover would roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar
surface.

Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission,
which was launched about 10 years ago.

UK COURT REJECTS DIAMOND MERCHANT NIRAV MODI’S BAIL PLEA

The UK High Court on Wednesday denied bail to diamond merchant Nirav Modi,
who is fighting his extradition from Britain to India in the nearly USD 2
billion Punjab National Bank fraud and money laundering case.

Judge Ingrid Simler at the Royal Courts of Justice said that there are
substantial grounds to believe that Modi will fail to surrender.

Moreover, the judge felt that there could be interference with the witnesses
and obstruction of justice.

WORLD CCP: AUS BEAT PAKSITN BY 41 RUNS

Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs in their fourth match at the World Cup.
David Warner’s first century since returning from his ban helped Australia
to 307 all out in 49 overs although they had looked on course for a much
larger total. In reply, a clinical bowling performance led by Pat Cummins
(3/33) helped the Kangaroos defend their total with ease.

Sent into bat, Australia were off to a steady start with Warner and skipper
Aaron Finch helping the team to 50 in 10 overs. Australia seemed headed for
a mammoth total as they were 223/2 in the 34th over but Amir’s sensational
spell (5/30) changed the complexion of the game.

In response, Pakistan got off to a dreadful start as they lost Fakhar Zaman
early. Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam tried to reconstruct the Pakistani chase
but wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals. However, a late partnership
between Wahab Riaz and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed gave the Asian side a glimmer
of hope, but their side was bowled out for 266.

For Pakistan, it was their 2nd loss in 4 matches, while one match ended in
no result. For Australia, it was their 3rd win in 4 matcehs.

INDICATORS

Sensex 39,757 (-193), Nifty 11,906 (-60), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores)
26,006

Nasdaq 7,793 (-30) Dow 26,005 (-44), S&P 2,880 (-6)

US$-Rs. 69.30 GBP-Rs. 88.12, Euro-Rs. 78.42, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.86, Can$-Rs.
52.09, Aus$- Rs. 48.12

GBP 0.78 /US$, Euro 0.88 /US$, Jap.Yen 108.43 /US$, Aus$ 1.44 /US$, Sing
1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 82.85 /US$, Can$ 1.33 /US$, Mal Ring 4.15 /US$,

Pak Re 151.49 /US$, Phil Peso 51.94 /US$, Russian Rouble 64.67 /US$, NZ$
1.52 /US$, Thai Baht 31.21 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.10 /US$, Norway NOK 8.64
/US$

Bitcoin – USD 8,033.61

Dollar Index 96.90 Brent Crude 59.94 BDI 1105.00

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,337 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3275 / 3097,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 39,800

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to
see. – Winston Churchill

OFF TRACK

The preacher said, “There’s no such thing as a perfect woman. Anybody
present who has ever known a perfect woman, stand up.”

Nobody stood up. “Those who have ever known a perfect man, stand up.”

One elderly gentleman stood up.

“Did you ever know an absolutely perfect man?” he asked, somewhat amazed.

“I didn’t know him personally,” replied the little old man, “but I have
heard a great deal about him. He was my wife’s first husband.”

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