Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Monday, 14 December 2009

From Today's Papers - 14 Dec 09

LTTE leaders killed in cold blood, admits Ex-army chief
Press Trust of India, Sunday December 13, 2009, Colombo

AP Image
Sri Lankan forces eliminated surrendering Tiger leaders on the orders of the defence secretary who had instructed that "all LTTE leaders must be killed", ex-army chief General Sarath Fonseka has claimed, prompting the government to describe it as a "great betrayal".

In an explosive interview to The Sunday Leader, General Fonseka, opposition Presidential candidate, said no information was communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders -- Nadesan, Pulidevan and Ramesh -- had opted to surrender.

Fonseka said that communications were instead confined between the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties, Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and the powerful senior adviser to the President and such information was never conveyed to him as he supervised the final stages of the war.

"Later, I learnt that Basil had conveyed this information to Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa  who in turn spoke with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army's 58th Division, giving orders not to accommodate any LTTE leaders attempting surrender and that 'they must all be killed'," he said.

Fonseka's remark drew sharp reaction from the government which described it as a "great betrayal" Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who addressed an urgently called media briefing, said Fonseka owes an explanation on his charges as it would tantamount to speaking against the army which had a clean record.

President chopper accident: Clean chit to pilot
NDTV Correspondent, Sunday December 13, 2009, Bhubaneswar

Days after a chopper accident involving President Pratibha Patil, a preliminary enquiry report into the accident has blamed the ground staff; the pilot has been given a clean chit.

However, according to sources, the Air Headquarters might take different view when the report is submitted to them. The pilots may still be answerable for the mishap.

The President had a close shave after three blades of the helicopter ferrying the President, her husband Devisingh Shekhawat and Orissa Governor M C Bhandari back from Puri, hit asbestos shed at Bhubaneswar airport.

The blades of the 16-seater helicopter struck the shed, uprooting its asbestos roof; all the blades bent under the impact.

Navy test-fires Dhanush missile
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, December 13
India today successfully tested nuclear-capable missile ‘Dhanush’, the naval version of ‘Prithvi’, by launching it from warship INS Subhadra off the Orissa coast at around 11:30 this morning.

A DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) official here said the missile hit the target at 350 km range with pinpoint accuracy. Two naval ships located near the target tracked the missile and witnessed the splash, he said. Radar systems located along the coast monitored the missile’s trajectory and confirmed all the parameters of the test meeting the requirements, the official said.
‘Dhanush’, the official said, worked on a liquid propelled single stage system and was having a diameter of one metre and length of 10 metres. Weighing six tonne, the missile had already been inducted into the Indian Navy. Today’s launch was part of the training exercise and was handled wholly by the Navy. DRDO scientists, including its chief VK Saraswat, were present to oversee the operations, the official said.
Major General PC Karbanda, Deputy National Security Adviser, and Rear Admiral CS Patham, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Strategic Forces Command, also witnessed the launch from INS Subhadra. Dr Saraswat congratulated the Navy and DRDO teams for the successful launch.
‘Dhanush’ has a payload capacity of 500 kg and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. It can hit both sea and shore-based targets.

Pokhran N-tests were a success
Dr Kakodkar replies to doubting scientists
Dr Anil Kakodkar
Dr Anil Kakodkar

How credible is India’s thermo-nuclear deterrent? That is the key issue Karan Thapar discussed in the CNN-IBN’s "Devil’s Advocate" programme, broadcast on Sunday, with the former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Anil Kakodkar. He speaks comprehensively, authoritatively and powerfully to clear all the doubts raised by Dr Santhanam and three other leading scientists about the credibility and success of India’s thermo-nuclear tests of 1998. Here are excerpts from the interview:
Question: Dr Kakodkar, four leading scientists —- Dr Santhanam, Dr Iyengar, Dr Sethna and Dr Prasad —- have raised serious doubts about India’s thermo-nuclear tests of 1998. Dr Santhanam says, "we have hard evidence on a purely factual basis that not only was the yield of the thermo-nuclear device far below the design prediction, but that it actually failed". Do you have a problem on your hands?
Answer: No, I think this is a totally erroneous conclusion. The yield of thermo-nuclear tests was verified, not by one method but several redundant methods based on different principles, done by different groups. These have been reviewed in detail and, in fact, I had described the tests in 1998 as perfect and I stand by that.
Q: I am glad that you began by talking about the yield because both Dr Santhanam and Dr Iyenger have questioned the yield of the thermo-nuclear tests. Dr Santhanam says that the DRDO seismic instruments measured the yield as something between 20-25 kilotonnes which is hugely different from the claim put out by the Atomic Energy Commission that it was 45 kilotonnes. How confident are you of the 45 kilotonne yield?
A: Well, let me first of all say that that the DAE and the DRDO both work together as a team. The DRDO did deploy some instruments for measurements but the fact is that the seismic instruments did not work. I myself had reviewed all the results immediately after the tests and we concluded that the instruments did not work.
Q: Dr Santhanam says that the Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre accepted the DRDO’s instruments and their estimation for the yield of their fission bomb but not for the fusion or the thermo-nuclear. He says how can it be that the instruments worked in one case and not the other.
A: Well that’s not true because the instrument measure the ground motion at the place where the instrument is located. We had to separate out the information which was coming out from the thermo-nuclear and which was coming from the fission test. So the point that I am making is that the seismic instruments did not work. So there is no question of the yield of the fission test being right and the thermo-nuclear test being wrong because no conclusion can be drawn from those instruments either way.
Q: But do you have proof that the yield of the thermo-nuclear test was 45 kilotonnes?
A: Yes. In fact, we have. Within limits of what can be said and I must make it clear here that no country has given so much scientific details on their tests as we have given and this we have published with the maximum clarity which could be done.
Q: The problem is that even in 1998, foreign monitors questioned the yield of the thermo-nuclear tests. At that time, Indian doubts were only expressed in private. Now, Indian doubts have burst out into the open and they are being heard in public. Does it not worry you that these doubts continue —- now both abroad and at home —- and that they have continued for 11 years?
A: Well, it’s unfortunate but it doesn’t worry me because facts are facts and there is no question of getting worried about this. The point is that the measurements which have been done, they have been done — as I mentioned earlier — by different groups. People who carry out the measurements on seismic instruments are a different group. People who carry out the measurements on radiochemical instruments are a different group. There are other methods that you can use — for example, the simulation of ground motion. That’s another group. And all these groups have come to their own conclusions, which match with each other.
Q: And all these five or six different ways of measuring the yield have come to the conclusion that the yield was 45 kilotonnes for the thermo-nuclear device?
A: That’s right.
Q: So in your mind there is no doubt about it whatsoever?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Now, Dr Santhanam, in addition to disputing the yield has other reasons to believe that the thermo-nuclear device failed. He says that given that the fission device, which produced a yield of around 25 kilotonnes, created a crater of 25 meters in diameter, then if the fusion bomb had been successful and produced a yield of 45 kilotonnes it should have created a crater of around 70 meters in diameter. He says that that didn’t happen and there was, in fact, no crater at all.
A: That’s a layman way of looking at it. The fact of the matter is the fission device yield was 15 kilotonnes, not 25 kilotonnes.
Q: So he’s wrong in saying that it was 25 kilotonnes?
A: That’s right and secondly although the two devices were about 1.5 kilometers apart, the geology within that distance changed quite a bit, partly because of the layers that exist and their slopes but more importantly because their depths have been different. So the placement of the device of the fission kind is in one kind of medium and the placement of the device of the thermo-nuclear kind is in another medium.
Q: So, in fact, what you are saying is that Dr Santhanam is making two mistakes and possibly making them deliberately. First of all, he’s exaggerating the yield of the fission device and secondly he is completely ignoring the fact that the geology of the placement of the fusion was very different.
A: That’s right.
Q: And both of those have led him to an erroneous conclusion?
A: Yes. And, in fact, we have gone through detailed simulation. For example, in simulation you can locate the thermo-nuclear device where the fission device was placed and you can locate the fission device where the thermo-nuclear device was placed. And you get a much bigger crater now because the yield is higher.
Q: This is a very important point that you are making.
A: Yes. And the fission device, which is now placed in the thermo-nuclear position, produces much less ground displacement.
Q: So if in simulation you place the thermo-nuclear device where the fission device was placed, you would get a much bigger crater —- much closer to the 70 metres in diameter that Dr Santhanam would like to see?
A: Well, I don’t remember how much it was but this is actually true. This has been verified by calculations.
Q: Dr Santhanam has yet one more reason for believing that the thermo-nuclear device failed. He says if it had succeeded, both the shaft and the a-frame would have been totally destroyed. Instead, writing in The Hindu, he says, the shaft "remained totally undamaged" and as for the a-frame, he says, it "remained completely intact".
A: Well, I think you must understand the phenomena of ground motion when a nuclear test takes place. Depending on the depth of burial and of course the medium in which it is buried, you could get several manifestations on the surface. You could get a crater and there are different kinds of craters that one could see. You can just get a mound —- the ground rises and remains there. And on the other extreme it can vent out. So in case of the thermo-nuclear device, the placement was in hard rock —- granite —- and with the depth and the yield for 45 kilotonnes, one expects only a mound to rise, which is what happened.
Q: And not a crater?
A: And not a crater.
Q: Clearly you are dismissive of Dr Santhanam’s doubts. Now let me quote to you what one of your predecessors —- former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr P K Iyenger —- said in a statement he issued on September 24, 2009. He says: "The recent revelations by Dr Santhanam are the clincher. He was one of the four leaders associated with Pokhran II, the team leader from the DRDO side, and he must certainly have known many of the details, particularly with regard to the seismic measurements. If he says that the yield was much lower than projected, that there was virtually no crater formed, then there is considerable justification for reasonable doubt regarding the credibility of the thermo-nuclear test." Does it worry you that your predecessors seem to disagree with you but agree with Dr Santhanam?
A: Well, first of all I respect everybody. I respect Dr Iyenger, I respect Dr Santhanam, but the fact is that Dr Iyenger was nowhere involved in the 1998 tests. He was, of course, a key figure in the 1974 tests. Also, the fact is that before the 1998 tests, all work was done under cover —- we were not in the open —- and we required a lot of logistical support and that all was being provided by the DRDO. But things were still being done on a need-to-know basis. So, to assume that Dr Santhanam knew everything is not true.
Q: You are making two important points. One you are saying that the DRDO and Dr Santhanam did not know everything —- the fact that he was the DRDO team leader does not mean that he knew everything that was happening.
A: He knew everything within his realm of responsibility.
Q: You are also saying that Dr Iyenger isn’t fully in the picture and, therefore, his opinion is not necessarily valid.
A: He is not in the picture as far as the 1998 tests are concerned.
Q: So, he doesn’t really know about the 1998 tests.
A: Well, he knows only as much as has been published and nothing more.
Q: Let’s pursue the credibility and the doubts surrounding India’s thermo-nuclear deterrent in a somewhat different way. Dr Santhanam says that these doubts were formally raised by the DRDO with the tovernment as far back as 1998 itself. And in a meeting arranged by the then National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, they were brushed aside in a manner which Dr Santhanam compares to a sort of frivolous voice vote.
A: Immediately after the tests, we carried out a review with both teams present —- BARC team as well as the DRDO team. We looked at the measurements done by the BARC team and we looked at the measurements done by the DRDO team and I told you the conclusions and on the basis of that review it was clear what instruments we could go by and what conclusions we could draw. Now, the question is that if the instruments didn’t work, where is the question of going by any assertions, which are based on (that). What is the basis of any assertions?
Q: In an article that Dr Santhanam has written recently (on November 15, 2009) for The Tribune, he says: The Department of Atomic Energy —- the department to which you were ex-officio secretary —- has, in fact, been hiding facts from successive Indian governments, from Parliament and from Indian people. How do you respond to that accusation?
A: Well, as I said earlier, we are perhaps unique in giving out the maximum information and that too very promptly —- immediately after the tests.
Q: There is no hiding?
A: There is no hiding.
Q: Let me put to you two or three critical issues. Given the fact that although you have concluded several reviews —- including one recently after the doubts were raised —- the doubts continue. And given that these are doubts about India’s one and only thermo-nuclear test, do we need more tests?
A: Well, I would say no because the important point to note is that the thermo-nuclear test, the fission test and the sub-kilotonne test all worked as designed.
Q: You are saying that India doesn’t need more thermo-nuclear tests but the truth is that all the established thermo-nuclear powers needed more than one test. Can India be the exception?
A: Well, if you go by "Dil Maange More", that’s another story.
Q: I want to pick up on that last point that you have just made. Given that doubts continue and given that there are going to be no further tests and you are not saying that there is any need for further tests, can you say India has a credible thermo-nuclear bomb?
A: Of course.
Q: We have a credible thermo-nuclear bomb?
A: Why are you using singular? Make that plural.

CoAS Gurung attends Indian Military Academy’s passing out ceremony             
Sunday, 13 December 2009 08:47

Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Singh Gurung has observed the passing out parade of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and addressed the newly passed out cadets on Saturday.

CoAS Gurung, who left for India on Friday at the invitation of Indian army chief Deepak Kapoor, was attending the function as the chief guest.

He also presented insignia to the newly passed out cadets. Two of the passed out cadets were Nepalis.

Gurung will receive a title of honorary General of the Indian Army later this week.

Proud moment for farmer’s son at IMA’s Passing Out Parade
Published on December 13, 2009 by admin

News4u-News Desk-A batch of 536 cadets, including 18 foreign cadets and 14 Assam rifles GCs, passed out of the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun on Saturday.

General Chatraman Singh Gurung, the chief of Nepal army staff, was present at the ceremony, along with the proud parents of the cadets.

It was a proud moment for Ravi Shukla, a farmer’s son, who not only received a gold medal but also the coveted Sword of Honour for being the best all-rounder during the Passing Out Parade (POP) at Indian Military Academy (IMA).

Hailing from a backward region of Lakhimpur district of Uttar Pradesh, 22-year-old Shukla, was awarded gold medal for standing first in the order of merit in regular course and the Sword of Honour for being adjudged as best all round gentleman

cadet at IMA.

Shukla, along with 535 other cadets became proud army officers after they crossed the “final step” at the hallowed portals of the historic Chetwode building.

Like Shukla, who is being commissioned in 6 Kumaon regiment, other cadets are no less happy. Harsha Vardhan Pathak and Rahul Pandita, who won silver and bronze medals for standing second and third respectively in the order of merit were also seen celebrating with their family members.

As the celebrations continued, Nepal’s army chief General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, who was the reviewing officer of the parade, took time to congratulate parents and other family members of the cadets passed out of IMA. Gen Gurung has also been an alumini of the academy in 1973.

About 504 cadets became officers of Indian army while 14 others joined paramilitary force Assam Rifles following a ceremonious POP, reviewed by Gen Gurung.

Around 87 cadets were from Uttar Pradesh followed by 48 cadets from hill state of Uttarakhand.

Besides, 518 cadets, 18 other cadets from seven countries of Bhutan, Tajikistan, Mauritius, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Maldives and Srilanka also passed out of the IMA this year.

Gen Gurung also inspected a guard of honour given by the cadets as army helicopters showered petals from the sky.

All the cadets regrouped at a nearby ground where pipping ceremony was held. They were later administered oath to the constitution by the Adjutant of the IMA.

From its first course of 40 cadets, the IMA has so far trained nearly 48,000 officers for the Indian army.

Tight security arrangements were made for the event and the movement of the people were being watched through close circuit cameras.

504 Cadets Pass Out of Indian Military Academy in Dehradun

Posted by sinlung on Dec 13th, 2009 and filed under Campus Notes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

IMA 2009 passing outDehradun, Dec 13 : A batch of 504 gentlemen cadets passed out of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at a glittering ceremony in Dehradun on Saturday.

This year’s batch includes 18 foreign cadets and 14 Assam Rifles GCs.

General Chatraman Singh Gurung, Nepal’s Army Chief was present at the ceremony.

‘It’s been a great honour for me. I must thank Indian Army and the Government of India. It’s a reflection of our friendship, between the army, between the government and between the people,’ said General Gurung.

During the ceremony, Under Officer Lieutenant Ravi Shukla was honoured with the Sword of Honour as well as the Gold Medal.

Senior Under- Officer Harshwardhan Pathak, Gentleman cadet Iqbaljit Singh and Rakesh Singh were honoured with silver, whereas Battalion cadet Adjutant Rohit Pandita was honoured with a bronze medal.

The cadets celebrated in the customary way by tossing their caps in the air to the sound of drums.

‘I am feeling very happy and content after one and half years of vigorous training and passing out after that. When I was in standard eighth, my family and I myself dreamt of joining IMA. My grandfather was also from IMA. My father also tried, but he later joined police. So, I fulfilled his dream,’ said Lieutenant Alok Singh Bhandari.

The historic Chetwode Drill Square of the IMA reverberated with booming commands and the thumping of young, determined heels as enthusiastic parents, friends and relatives of the cadets watched the young men, soon to become commissioned officers of the Indian Army.

The Academy has a proud record of a large number of officers decorated for gallantries, who have passed out from within its portals, and has the distinction of training Gentlemen Cadets from many friendly foreign countries.

Located between the Shivalik and Himalayan foothills in the scenic and forested Doon valley, the campus of the IMA was established on October 1, 1932, with Brigadier I.P. Collins as commandant.

India tests ship-based short-range ballistic missile
Updated: 2009-12-13 17:56
Comments(1) PrintMail

NEW DELHI: India tested a short-range ballistic missile from a ship in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, said the Defense Ministry sources.

The Dhanush missile was launched at 11:31 am from the warship INS Subhadra anchored on the Bay of Bengal, more than 30 nautical miles off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa , said an official from the Defense Ministry.

A combined team of the naval officials and the scientists from the Defense Research and Development Organization conducted the test, the official of the Defense Ministry said.

The last test of Dhanush missile was conducted on March 30, 2007.

The Dhanush missile is a naval version of army's Prithvi short-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying a conventional or nuclear warhead, having the range of more than 300 km.

‘AFSPA, not a solution to conflict in State’
Newmai News Network
Imphal, Dec 13: Armed Forces Special Powers Act-1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian law though short in size but can kill humanity, it will not give any solution to the problem of Manipur, according to Justice Moloy Sen Gupta, ex-acting Chief Justice, Sikkim High Court and also the jury member of Independent People’s Tribunal on Torture, Extra Judicial Execution and Forced Disappearance, a seminar which concluded on Sunday at Mantripukhri, Imphal.
While revealing that the people of Manipur are unaware of the legal proceedings, the retired Judge stated that the people remain silent and mourn over the loss of the people rather than taking up actions against the guilty persons by lodging FIRs.
Revealing the observation of the testimonies from the victims’ families during the programme, he stated that the victims killed in the encounters did not seem to be undergrounds or militants. However, despite bearing all these injustices by victims’ families they failed to lodge FIRs regarding the incidents, added Moloy Sen Gupta.
Ironically, some of the victims’ family members apparently lodged FIRs and also seek the legal procedure however the procedures are either a lengthy procedure or no action been taken by the police, stated Moloy Sen Gupta.
Speaking in the occasion, DK Basu, former Judge, Calcutta High Court and the jury member of the seminar expressed concern over the value of life of the State where it is seemingly sold in a mere Rs1 lakh and apparently fixed by AFSPA,1958.
Recalling the incident of 1984 where two people were killed by police commandos by 9 Assam Regiment, he stated that the Supreme Court had set up a case in the public interest and the victim’s kins had been paid Rs1 lakh by the then Chief Minister or the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA). Such exchange of mere money with lives of the people of the State is very unfortunate, lamented the former Judge, Calcutta High Court.
Stating that such act is operating only in the State of Manipur, he revealed that it is does not exist elsewhere where women are even not spared.
While stating the July 23 incident of Imphal killing Ch Sanjit and Rabina, DK Basu revealed that the Government had sent emissary to negotiate the case with Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 1 crore to the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed against the July 23 incident. Such instances are not new in the State of Manipur, stated DK Basu.
Informing that unlike Manipur, DK Basu stated that when people are arrested in a place like Guwahati they had to be taken to a police station regardless either they are militants or civilians and then proceed according to the law.
He further revealed that as per the observation record on the three-day hearing and keeping in view of the situation of Manipur the panellists of the seminar pledged to make aware of the situation in the Parliament so that the AFSPA-1958 would be repealed.
The three-day seminar christened as Hearing on the Independent People’s Tribunal on Torture, Extra Judicial Execution and Forced Disappearance that started on December 11 was organized jointly by Human Rights Law Network and Extra Judicial Execution Victims Family Association in Manipur with Kanglei Young Women Socio Cultural Organization, Human Rights Initiative, Human Rights Alert and Eastern Rural Development Centre.
The hearing was conducted before the former Judge of Kerala High Court KK Usha, DK Basu, former Judge of Calcutta High Court and Moloy Sengupta, former acting Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.

When it comes to Army ranks, city draws a blank
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
India’s most modern city may be full of serving and retired armed forces officers, but when it comes to the rank and file, it draws a blank. Not a single individual has been recruited into the ranks since 2006.

A handful of persons, though, have enrolled into the Air Force and the Navy. Data on recruitment of personnel below officer rank in the three services released by the Ministry of Defence a few days ago revealed that the 15 persons who joined the Air Force last year was Chandigarh’s only contribution to the armed forces in the year.
Only six persons from Chandigarh have joined the Navy in the last four years, while the total number of those who opted for the IAF ranks since 2006 was just 67. None chose to join the Army in the ranks.
Defence sources said Chandigarh was a highly urban city with a relatively small and well-educated population. The rank and file of the services, specially the Army is largely rural-based and draws its strength from the hinterland and areas where the unemployment rate is high.
Though the rank and file of the services seems to be alien to Chandigarh, the city has had, since its inception in the 1950s, a very strong bondage with the armed forces. Not only is the city and its periphery housing some highly sensitive and vital defence establishments, it is also home to a large number of distinguished generals, officers and gallantry award winners.
Even areas like Andaman and Nicobar, Goa and Puducherry have a better score than Chandigarh, which is ahead only of Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
In the last four years, Lakshadweep has sent 10 persons to the Army and seven to the Air Force.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar are among states that have the highest contribution to the services’ manpower. The reasons for this are rooted in the demographic, socio-economic, ethnic and historical factors governing these areas.
The MoD’s data also indicates an upward trend in the number of officers joining the Army and the Navy this year, though there is a sharp decline in the number for the Air Force. During 2006-2008, there was a decline in the officers’ intake in the Army.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal