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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

From Today's Papers - 02 Mar 2011

I’m happy with defence outlay in Budget: Antony Tribune News Service  New Delhi, March 1 Faced with a reality of seeing the budget for defence slide down in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), Defence Minister AK Antony today put up a brave face saying he was happy with the budgetary allocation for armed forces.  Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an Army function, Antony said the government had assured to provide his ministry additional funds to meet acquisition requirements.  “By and large we are very happy about the Budget because apart from the allocation, the Finance Minister has declared on the floor of the House that if the defence needs more money, there will be no problem,” Antony said.  The Defence Minister was reacting to queries about reports suggesting that allocation of Rs 1,64,415 crore was not adequate to meet the requirements of the armed forces. With an increase of Rs 17,071 crore, the government has hiked the defence budget by 11.59 per cent for 2011-12 and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that there will be no problems if more funds are required by the armed forces.  However, in this increase India’s defence spending out of its GDP has gone down, which is an important benchmark as it shows the military inclination of a nation. It now stands at 1.84 per cent of the GDP, down from 2.2 per cent in the 2010-11 fiscal.
Decorated officer fights for his honour Says was falsely implicated in a theft case, wants authorities to punish complainant Yoginder Gupta Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, March 1 Lt Col Prithvi Singh Chauhan (retd) is on the wheelchair, disabled by Parkinson’s disease for the past 15 years. But his spirit to fight for his honour has been indomitable.  Helped by his wife, Gyan, Col Chauhan has written several letters to various authorities to upohold his honour, but in vain.  A decorated officer, he was accused of theft by a relative, with whom he has a property dispute, on January 12, 2005. An FIR was lodged against him, accusing him of taking away 9,000 bricks, 22 bags of cement and other construction material.  The matter was investigated by the then Naraingarh DSP, who found the case to be false. Thereafter, the then SP, Ambala, asked the SHO of the Barara police station to conduct further investigation. Strange, a junior officer was asked to reinvestigate the case after a senior officer had found the complaint to be false.  However, even the SHO found the allegations to be false. He went on to say that the incident had not occurred at all.  The police moved the court of Judicial Magistrate, Ambala cantonment, for the cancellation of the FIR but the complainant opposed the police closure report. The court upheld the complainant’s plea and issued summons to Col Chauhan under Sections 148, 149, 447, 427, 382 and 506, IPC.  Col Chauhan moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking quashing of the summoning orders. Quashing the summoning orders, Justice Daya Chaudhary said: “It is clear that the impugned summoning order has been passed without application of mind and without taking into consideration various factors and long litigation between the parties.” The matter went before the Supreme Court, which refused to interfere with the orders of the High Court.  Gyan Chauhan says the Army sent a gift to her husband on his 75th birthday early this year and then he received another birthday gift from the judiciary.  Col Chauhan now wants that the authorities should initiate legal action against the person who made a false complaint against him, making him suffer for years. He has given representations in this regard to several senior officers, including the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director-General of Police. So far, nothing has been done.  Advocate Hemant Kumar says action can be taken under Sections 182 and 211 of the IPC against a person making a false complaint. But for this, a report by the police and an officer of the court is a must.
Inability to protect human rights defenders damned in UN report UN's Special RapporteurMargaret Sakaggya has expressed her concern about the branding and stigmatization of human rights defenders, who are labeled as `naxalites' (Maoists), `terrorist', 1militants' 1insurgents' or `anti-nationalists'. CJ: Narendra Ch       Tue, Mar 01, 2011 15:58:04 IST Views:              6    Comments: 0 Rate:  1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 5.0 / 1 votes          THE UNITED Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sakaggya has expressed concern over threats that have been faced by human rights defenders in India.   She expressed her concern for a contraction of the space for civil society in India, despite the country’s “comprehensive and progressive legal framework as a guarantor of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the existence of the National Human Rights Commission as well as a number of state and statutory commissions mandated to promote and protect human rights.   She recently released her interim report at the completion of her fact-finding mission to assess the situation of human rights defenders in India.   While compiling her report she traveled to New Delhi, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Jammu and Sri Nagar. She met Foreign Secretary, Union Home Secretary, some other higher officials, DGPs, Chairperson of the NHRC, members of the Statutory commissions, state Human Rights Commissions, judges from the High Court in Delhi also.   She appreciated the Government of India for opening its doors to her mandate, may be first time in the recent past for a UN fact finding mission. Previous requests to visit India made by her predecessor in 2002, 2003 and 2004 were declined.   However, she particularly expressed her concern over the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalized people, i.e. dalits, adivasis, religious minorities and sexual minorities, who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities.   She underscored the testimonies she received about human rights defenders and their families, who have been killed, tortured, ill-treated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, falsely charged and were under surveillance because of their legitimate work in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.   She suggested that the existing national and state human rights commissions should do much more to ensure a safe and conductive environment for human rights defenders throughout the country. To that end, she urged the Government to review the functioning of the National Human Rights Commission with a view to strengthening it.   The independent expert also noted “the arbitrary application of security laws at the national and state levels, most notably the Public Safety Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, as these laws adversely affect the work of human rights defenders”.   She urged the Government to appeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act as well as the Public Safety Act and review the application of other security laws which negatively impact on the situation of human rights defenders.   Sakaggya has deeply expressed her concern about the branding and stigmatization of human rights defenders, labeled as `naxalites’ (Maoists), `terrorist’, 1militants’ 1insurgents’ or `anti-nationalists’. She lamented that defenders, including journalists, who report on violations by State and non-State actors in areas affected by insurgency are being targeted by both sides.   She urged the authorities to clearly instruct security forces to respect the work of human rights defenders, conduct prompt and impartial investigations on violations committed against human rights defenders and prosecute perpetrators. She further recommended that the Government should enact a law on the protection of human rights defenders in full and meaningful consultation with civil society. She said she will present her report to the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting at its next session in 2012.   The Human Rights groups in India demanded that the State and Central Governments to respect this report and take immediate steps to ensure protection for human rights defenders. We also ask the government to strengthen the Human Rights Commissions by ensuring transparency in the appointment of their members and also to provide necessary resources.
'China lends us; we give to Pak; Pak makes nukes' March 02, 2011 01:32 IST Tags: Hillary Clinton, Pakistan, Raymond Davis, Al Qaeda, Afghanistan Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  US lawmakers have questioned the Barack Obama [ Images ] administration's move to give billions in dollars in aid to Pakistan and said Islamabad [ Images ] continues to build on its nuclear stockpile and support the Taliban [ Images ].  "We borrow from China; give to Pakistan; Pakistan creates nuclear weapons," Congressman Dan Rohrabacher bluntly asked as he posed questions to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [ Images ] on US aid to Pakistan.  Instead, one of its diplomats is under arrest in violation of the Vienna [ Images ] Convention, the lawmakers bluntly told Clinton at a Congressional hearing.  "Pakistan must do more to meet the pressing United States concerns, including the release of Raymond Davis, our detained American diplomat, and shifting its approach to Afghanistan away from armed proxies and toward constructive and legitimate political partners," Congresswoman, Ilena Ros-Lehtinen, the Chairwoman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee, said.  "Pakistan has received billions of dollars worth of aid; yet they have a US citizen, Raymond Davis, who is now being held and is under very questionable circumstances.   Are we going to demand -- are we going to still give our money away to people who support the Taliban and put our intelligence assets at risk," he asked.  Clinton, on her part, strongly defended the administration's decision to provide aid to Pakistan and argued that Pakistan is one of the most important investment for the United States.  Clinton said the Obama administration is working very hard in order to achieve the release of Davis.  "It's one of our highest priorities across our government. We do believe that the combination of military and civilian aid that we have pursued with Pakistan is in America's interests," she said.  Earlier in her prepared testimony, Clinton said in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Al Qaeda [ Images ] is under pressure as never before.  "Alongside our military offensive, we are engaged in a major civilian effort that is helping to build up the governments, economies and civil societies of both countries and undercut the insurgency," she said.  "Now these two surges, the military and civilian surge, set the stage for a third, a diplomatic push in support of an Afghan process to split the Taliban from Al Qaeda, bring the conflict to an end and help stabilize the region," Clinton said.  "Our military commanders are emphatic. They cannot succeed without a strong civilian partner. Retreating from our civilian surge in Afghanistan with our troops still in the field would be a grave mistake," she said.  "Equally important is our assistance to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation with strong ties and interests in Afghanistan. We are working to deepen our partnership and keep it focused on addressing Pakistan's political and economic challenges, as well as our shared threats," Clinton said. © Copyright 2010 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
Indian Army’s skiing expedition flagged in March 1, 2011 By Indo-Asian News Service  The Indian Army’s skiing expedition that hoisted the national flag at the South Pole on Army Day Jan 15 was Tuesday flagged in by Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony.  Receiving the expedition flag from expedition leader Colonel Anand Swaroop, Antony said the ‘coast to pole’ effort, undertaken by army soldiers, had further strengthened the credentials of the Indian Army in adventure activities. Antony also congratulated the members of the expedition and the army’s adventure wing for the successful expedition, saying it had done the nation and the armed forces proud.  Army director general of military training Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, in his opening remarks, presented a brief outline of the historic expedition. The team comprising three officers and nine other ranks was formally flagged off by army chief Gen Vijay Kumar Singh Nov 1 last year from the national capital.  The team, which established its base camp at the Indian Glacier on the Antarctica coast Nov 24 last year commenced their journey on skis Nov 26 from Hercules inlet. In the initial week, the team skied for four to six hours every day averaging 25 km per day. They reached the South Pole Jan 15 this year to coincide with Army Day.  Col Anand Swaroop, in his presentation on the expedition, explained that it was one of the toughest journey undertaken by man on earth.  In line with successful mountaineering expeditions in the recent past, where the Indian Army successfully hoisted the national and army flags atop six peaks, the South Pole expedition was taken up, as the army started looking for new challenges.  The expedition involved traversing the continent from coast to pole covering a distance of 1,170 km facing blizzards, skiing in temperatures between minus 30 degrees and minus 40 degrees Celsius and hauling sledges with loads of 90-100 kg. The Indian Army prepared for this adventure from March 2010 with selection trials at High Altitude Warfare School in Sonamarg of Jammu and Kashmir.  To prepare realistically for the polar conditions, the team undertook an expedition in Greenland in September 2010.  Only two Indians have been to the South Pole before — Col J.K. Bajaj, as a part of an international team in 1989 and Reena Kaushal in 2010 as part of the Commonwealth women’s expedition.
Indian Army training Lao troops in de-mining Tue, Mar 1 2011 17:24 IST | 35 Views | Add your comment FONT SIZE: AAA SHARE:      * laos     * will there     * republics     * indian halloween costumes     * india     * reached     * operation  New Delhi, March 1  An Indian Army team is training Laotian troops in de-mining and bomb disposal operations, it was announced here Tuesday.  “An Indian Army combat engineers team led by Captain Dheeraj has reached Lao PDR (People's Democratic Republic) for training their cadres for three weeks in de-mining and bomb disposal operations,” an army release said. The training began on Feb 21.  This is the first instance of any such activity in Laos, where there are a large number of unexploded bombs and mines from the Vietnam war era, assisted by another country, the release said.  Laos deputy chief of general staff Brigadier Souvone inaugurated the training in the presence of Indian ambassador to Laos J.N. Misra, it added.  India and Laos are this year celebrating the 55th anniverssary of their relationship.

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