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Monday, November 9, 2009

India covets Dalai Lama's visit

India may make use of the Dalai Lama to solve the decade-long territorial conflict by encouraging his visit to southern Tibet, a Chinese analyst said Sunday.

"The Dalai Lama went to southern Tibet at this critical moment probably because of pressure from India," Hu Shisheng, a researcher of Southern Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times Sunday. "By doing so, he can please the country that has hosted him for years."

The appearance and activities of the Dalai Lama in southern Tibet may foment anti-China sentiment among people living in the region, Hu said.
"When the conflict gets sharper and sharper, the Chinese government will have to face it and solve it in a way India has designed," Hu added.

During his visit to a remote, high-altitude Tibetan monastery in the southern Tibet region Sunday, the Dalai Lama spoke out against China.

"It is quite usual for China to step up campaigning against me wherever I go," he told reporters after opening a museum at the monastery. "It is totally baseless on the part of the Chinese government to say that I am encouraging a separatist movement. … My visit is non-political and aimed at promoting universal brotherhood and nothing else."

Sandwiched between Myanmar, Bhutan and China, the lush, forested southern Tibet is claimed by both China and India, with the latter the de facto controller of the area.

The visit took place amid reports of major military build-ups on both sides of the border, while little progress is being made to solve the years-long territorial conflict.

Source:Global Times

To China, the presence of the separatist in the disputed region, which India calls Arunachal Pradesh, is seen as a double insult.

"India may have forgotten the lesson of 1962, when its repeated provocation resulted in military clashes," a scholar told the Global Times anonymously, warning, "India is on this wrong track again."

According to AFP, preparations for the week-long tour have been underway for two months, with the monastery receiving a face-lift and regular prayers being held across southern Tibet for "the Dalai Lama's safe journey."

CNN reported that the Indian government had only allowed Indian reporters to followed the exile's trip, as the entry applications by 19 foreign journalists were under endless review.

The India Daily even revealed Saturday that the Indian army had deployed BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, co-developed with Russia, near the region, which "the Chinese military fears as these missiles are targeted to take out the Chinese military targets before they can attack the Dalai Lama."

Agencies/Zhong Yuhua contributed to this story

No let-up in swine flu cases, 10 schools shut


With no let-up in rising number of swine flu cases in the Pink City, the district administration has directed 10 schools to remain closed for seven days, starting Monday.

The city has reported 32 fresh cases of swine flu, of which 29 are schoolchildren.

Following a late night meeting between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Jaipur Collector Kuldeep Ranka, 10 city schools have been directed to remain closed for a week.

Ranka said these schools had confirmed cases of swine flu. These included SMS School (Tonk road), Maharani Gayatri Devi School, Rukhmani Devi Birla School, Turtle (Mansarovar), Parasrampuria School, St Xavier’s School, Kendriya Vidyalaya 1, SDI, Mansarovar, Step by Step and Vidhyashram.

He said the administration had formed five medical teams that would go door-to-door to treat the affected students. Concerned over a fresh wave of swine flu cases, many schools in the city voluntarily decided to remain shut for a few days as a precautionary measure. SMS School, which was the first to shut down, has now closed down indefinitely after more of its students were found H1N1 positive.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to swine flu has touched 15 in the state with 22-year-old Monica from Jaipur and Gauri Shankar from Jodhpur succumbing to the virus in the last 24 hours. The total number of H1N1 positive cases in the state has shot up to 140 now.

A German student, who is a part of a 21-member group on a cultural exchange programme to Maharani Gayatri Devi School, has also tested positive for H1N1. She has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

The state government has, meanwhile, switched over to emergency mode. Health Minister AA Khan has ordered that students affected with the deadly virus should be immediately segregated and their “contact history” traced. “We will also establish a “swine flu zone” in the SMS Hospital so as to make it a one-stop treatment centre for patients suspected of H1N1 infection,” the minister said.

Education Minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal has directed all schools in the state not to hold any function and morning assemblies in view of increase in number of swine flu cases.

Self-reliance in defence production a must

Self-sufficiency in defence production is a must, but at the same time one should not forget the realities of life. This was the message that came from Vice-Chief of the Air Staff P K Barbora on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bangalore-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), an outfit that works under the aegis of the DRDO.

The GTRE was given the responsibility of developing a jet engine (Kaveri) to power the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas. After two decades and an estimated expenditure of Rs 2000 crore, the GTRE is still struggling to complete the project.

GTRE director T M Mohan on Thursday said they would soon be heading for Russia with the engine for altitude tests and flying trials. While the GTRE has been facing a lot of flak over its inability to successfully develop the Kaveri engine, Air Marshal Barbora’s words came as music to the ears of all present at the function. The Vice-Chief, who was the chief guest at the function, said India was
caught in a situation wherein it was being forced to jump straight to the space age from a technologically primitive era.

“We have missed out on the mid-level technologies that came about in the fifties,” the Air Marshal said. “Forget about the jet engine, we have not been able to develop a proper automobile engine as yet.” He said rather than being a failure, the Kaveri engine was a success story. “Very soon we shall see IAF pilots flying jets powered by the engine,” the Air Marshal said, attracting a huge applause from the audience.

The Kaveri programme has attracted much criticism due to its ambitious objective, protracted development time, and the DRDO’s lack of clarity and openness in acknowledging problems.

Mumbai to get Force One

Nearly a year after 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the city gets its first batch of Force One commandos, an elite force formed on the lines of National Security Guards (NSG), for the state security.

"The city would have its own elite force, as the first batch of the Force One has been trained and soon they will become operational," said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar. Over 1,600 young policemen from the state had expressed their willingness to join the force and were given rigorous training by Israeli and German trainers, Iyengar said.

The state government has alloted land at Goregaon in western suburbs to the force for training and easy access in emergency situation, she said.

The Home Department has also focused on upgradation of police force, coastal security, strengthening Intelligence and participation of people in security. — PTI

Helicopter crash: body recovered from Chenab

JAMMU: A body, purported to be that of a missing Indian Air Force officer, was recovered from the Chenab river, eight days after an MI-17 helicopter carrying four personnel crashed into it in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Officials said here on Sunday that the decomposed body, whose identity is yet to be ascertained, was recovered by a joint search party of the Army, the police, the Air Force and the Navy in the Trungal-Assar area on Saturday.
The body was airlifted here for identification and completion of other formalities, the officials said. The helicopter that crashed into the river on October 30 was carrying four personnel — Wing Commander Rajiv Garg, Flight Lieutenant Y.S. Tomar, Warrant Officer K. Singh, and Sergeant Deepak. Commander Garg’s body was recovered on the same day.
Authorities had launched a search operation to locate the chopper and recover the remaining three bodies, and brought 17 Navy divers from Delhi to assist in the operation. — PTI

BAE Systems Completes Indian Hawk Aircraft Deliveries

Warton – UK. After completing a flight development contract for the Indian Air Force (IAF), BAE Systems has delivered the 24th and final UK built Indian Hawk.
Following a 3,000 mile journey across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the aircraft, flown by BAE Systems test pilots, arrived safely at Air Force Station Bidar to join the rest of the Hawk fleet in delivering fast jet training to the IAF.
The aircraft, HT001, which was actually the first IAF Hawk to be built, has, for nearly three years served as a flight test platform and proving ground for the integration of new systems and capabilities onto the IAF Hawk fleet .
As well as development and acceptance flights, HT001 was also a key component in the programme which saw Indian Air Force flying instructors training to teach student pilots on the Hawk. This programme took place prior to the delivery of Hawks to India allowing the Indian training programme to start at the earliest opportunity.
Michael Christie, Senior Vice President, India for BAE Systems Military Air Solutions, said: “Hawk has brought a step change in pilot training capabilities for the IAF and this aircraft, which was the first India Hawk to be built, has been a key part of developing further capabilities for the Indian Air Force.
“During its time here at BAE Systems, HT001 has proven to be extremely reliable, delivering excellent service from its time as a training platform for Indian Air Force instructors, through to the on-time and to budget completion of the recent flight development programme.
“The first Hawk was delivered to the IAF in November 2007 and other than this final development aircraft, deliveries were completed in 2008. Whilst this marks the completion of aircraft deliveries by BAE Systems to the Indian Air Force, we continue to provide support services to the IAF, and work closely with our industrial partners, HAL, in meeting the fast jet training needs of the Indian Air Force.”
In arriving at Air Force Station Bidar, the home of the Indian Hawk fleet, HT001 becomes the 860th Hawk delivered across the globe.

Indian Navy plans to set up 'Forward Operating Base' in Orissa's Paradip

Paradip: Indian Navy plans to set up 'Forward Operating Base' in Paradip to secure the Orissa coastline. It was said by Rear Admiral P Murgusean, fleet commander of Eastern Naval Command on Sunday to media. He said this during the demonstration and exercise by the seven warships off Paradip coast. Murgusean said besides, small and medium range warships would also be deployed in the state for better sea surveillance. 

He said that a wide gap exists in east coast in the absence of any naval facility between Vishakhapatnam and Haldia. He also informed that plans were afoot to have a forward operating base at Paradip which would go a long way in smoothening movement of naval vessels and providing logistic support.

Earlier people give a glimpse to seven warships - INS Jalaswa, INS Rajpur, INS Kora, INS Kulish, INS Kanjar and INS Kuthar and Kirpan on the occasion of Navy Week at Paradip Port. Apart from carrying out rescue operation, a number of security exercises were performed by the warships, boats and trawlers took part in the exercise.

Dalai Lama defies Chinese communist militia threats, Indian Army ready to teach China lesson of a life time

Any Chinese adventure in Tawang or any parts of Arunachal Pradesh or NEFA will be pushed back far beyond Tibet. Indian missiles will surgically destroy Chinese militia's strategic assets. Indian Army and Air Force is ready to show the Chinese militia a warfare run with software algoritmic superiority.

Thousands of Buddhist monks and supporters welcomed Tibet's exiled spiritual leader on Sunday to a remote Indian region also claimed by China, a trip that has renewed tensions between the Asian giants.

The Dalai Lama arrived by helicopter in this remote Buddhist enclave nestled in the icy folds of the eastern Himalayas, where he had passed through after fleeing Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The Chinese cannot remove him from our hearts, says the local young Monpa youths ready to defeat Chinese militia if the later dares ever to attack their homeland of living-god Dalai Lama.

The people of Arunachal Pradesh are ready to teach China the lesson of their life time. They want China to unconditionally vacate illegally occupied Tibet.

Northern Army commander visits Ladakh, Siachen

Jammu: Indian Army's Northern Command's chief Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal Sunday visited the XIV 'Fire & Fury' Corps in Ladakh to meet the soldiers and assess the ground situation. He also visited the Siachen glacier.
Defence spokesman Col. D.K. Kachari said this was Jaswal's maiden visit to this region after assuming command. Accompanied by the corps commander Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh, he visited forward posts on the Siachen Glacier and posts in Ladakh sector.

Interacting with troops, Jaswal conveyed his appreciation for their dedication and commitment in guarding the country in most inhospitable terrain under extreme climatic conditions and stressed the need for alertness at all levels.

Jaswal was briefed by Singh about the state of operational preparedness, training activities and recent infrastructural developments.

JCO killed, 2 jawans injured in LoC firing

A junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) was killed and two Army jawans suffered injuries when a rocket allegedly fired from across the Line of Control (LoC) exploded near a forward post in Saojian area in bordering Poonch district, over 250 km northwest of Jammu city.
The Ministry of Defence spokesperson in Jammu, Lt Colonel Biplabh Nath, confirmed this and said the Army was ascertaining what actually happened. “Both the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the spot and shifted to Military Hospital here,” he added.
The police have identified the JCO as Subedar Arun Palekar and the injured as Havildar Satish More and Sepoy Mahendra Singh. All belonged to the 8 Mahar Regiment.
Poonch SSP Manmohan Singh said the incident occurred on Sunday morning when a patrolling party led by the JCO was targeted near Mukhyari post in Saojian area of Poonch district. “However, it is not confirmed whether it was the fire of a rocket or mortar shells but it was fired from across the LoC,” he added.

BSF jawan with Hizb past gunned down

Srinagar, Nov. 8: Militants killed a Hizb-ul Mujahideen operative-turned-BSF jawan and his wife and injured their nine-year-old son at their home today, over a decade after he surrendered and joined the force.
“Mohammad Arif and his wife Malika Khatoon were killed and their nine-year-old son Abrar suffered injuries in his leg,” said Shabir Chowdhary, the police chief of Jammu’s Rajouri district, where the attack occurred.
Arif’s other two sons escaped by hiding under a bed when the two militants broke into their house in the Khandigali-Budhal region, around 215km from Jammu town, and opened fire.
Arif, a police source said, was posted in Assam. “He was home on leave and was to go back in a few days. He had earlier actively participated in operations against militants here (in Jammu and Kashmir).”
In a separate incident, an army junior commissioned officer was killed and two soldiers were injured after an explosive device went off near a forward post on the LoC in Poonch district around seven this morning.
An army officer said the cause of the explosion was being probed. “We are looking at all the angles, whether it was enemy fire or our landmine which caused the explosion.”
The officer added that the troops were returning from patrol when the explosion took place. The injured jawans were flown by helicopter to the army hospital in Udhampur, sources said.
In another incident, a jawan of 7 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles was critically injured in a mine explosion at Tarkundi in Rajouri’s Balakote area. He has been admitted to the Rajouri district hospital.

Maoists gun down four jawans Attack comes as CM vows to oust rebels

blood-soaked soil

Police officers inspect the spot where the jawans were gunned down on Sunday evening. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
Maoist attacks on police/ paramilitary forces in West Midnapore

Midnapore, Nov. 8: Maoists today shot dead four paramilitary personnel in West Midnapore’s Gidhni on the Jharkhand border, hours after the chief minister vowed to run the rebels out of the state at a rally 110km from the spot.
“The Maoists struck when six EFR (Eastern Frontier Rifles) jawans were patrolling Gidhni bazaar. They surrounded the jawans and started firing, killing four on the spot,” a senior police officer said.
Surajit Kar Purakayastha, the inspector-general of police, law and order, said: “An encounter took place and the two other security personnel present opened fire. The exchange continued for about 10 minutes before the Maoists retreated into the jungle. While retreating, they took the weapons of the slain jawans.”
Maoist leader Kishanji claimed responsibility. “Our purpose today was to loot the arms and we were successful. This is part of our class struggle and it will continue. The chief minister is repeatedly calling us murderers and killers. Today’s killings are a reply to that,” he said.
The killings came on the final day of the chief minister’s two-day visit to West Midnapore, following the murders of three members of an anti-Maoist outfit on Saturday.
For the chief minister, the third biggest killing of security personnel in Bengal would be more telling as he said at a public meeting at Debra earlier in the day: “We will drive the Maoists out of Bengal.”
The four killed were identified as Naresh Thapa, 45, Than Kumar Viswakarma, 50, Vinod Tamang, 45, and Bhakta Bahadur Limba, 35.

Police said that around 5.50pm, six EFR jawans walked up to Gidhni bazaar from their camp office, 100 metres away. “Three youths in their thirties dressed like ordinary villagers struck up a conversation with Tamang and Limba when they were standing near a cycle shop. Suddenly, they took out their guns and opened fire, killing them on the spot,” said an officer.
By that time another group of Maoists had accosted Thapa and Viswakarma who were standing beside an automobile shop. “The youths fired at the duo,” the officer added.
The two other jawans who were at a distance in a lane opened fire on the Maoists. Reinforcements were despatched from the camp and the gun battle between the jawans and the Maoists lasted about 10 minutes before the rebels backed off.
A betel shop owner was struck in the crossfire and was admitted to the Jhargram sub-divisional hospital with bullet wounds in a leg.
Loman Hossain, the officer in charge of Jamboni, the police station under which Gidhni falls, said the Maoists took away two AK-47 automatic rifles, one SLR gun, one Insas rifle and some cartridges from the slain jawans.
Police officers who visited the spot said the safety catches of the automatic weapons of the jawans were not open, which was why they could not retaliate instantly.