Army in for the long haul in Doklam

first_imgThe Army is ready for the long haul in holding onto its position in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction, notwithstanding China ratcheting up rhetoric against India, demanding pulling back of its troops.The soldiers deployed in the disputed area have pitched tents, in an indication that they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from Chinese personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section.A steady line of supplies is being maintained for the soldiers at the site, official sources said, signalling that the Army is not going to wilt under any pressure from China. At the same time, they sounded confident of finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute, citing resolution of border skirmishes in the past through diplomacy.Though China has been aggressively asserting that it was not ready for any “compromise” and that the “ball is in India’s court”, the view in the security establishment here is that there cannot be any unilateral approach in defusing the tension.Security implicationsBoth the countries had agreed to a mechanism in 2012 to resolve border flare-ups through consultations at various levels.The mechanism has not worked so far in the current case as the standoff near the Bhutan trijunction, triggered by China’s attempt to build a road in the strategically important area, has dragged on for over three weeks.New Delhi has already conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with “serious” security implications for India. The road link could give China a major military advantage over India.Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. China and Bhutan are engaged in talks. India argues that since it is a tri-junction involving the three countries, it also has a say in the issue.last_img read more

AFSPA will continue in Nagaland: Rijiju

first_imgMinister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said AFSPA, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, will continue in Nagaland as it is a “special case” and the “peace agreement” hasn’t been finalised there yet.Nagaland is the only State in the northeast, apart from eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh, where ASFPA continues to be imposed by the Union Home Ministry.Nagaland, Manipur and Assam are the only three States in the northeast that continue to be under AFSPA.Last year, the Home Ministry gave up its power and asked the Assam government to take a decision on continuing AFSPA in the State. The Act gives powers to the Army and the Central forces deployed in “disturbed areas” to kill anyone acting in contravention of law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and provide cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits without the Centre’s sanction.State to renew pleaNagaland’s Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton said the State government would reiterate its request to the Centre to revoke AFSPA.“The discussion on the Naga political situation is on and we are expecting the Government of India to solve the problem at the earliest. We have requested to lift AFSPA but we have been asked to wait for some time. When the solution (Naga deal) comes, automatically AFSPA will go,” Mr. Patton said.NSCN-IM signed a framework agreement with the Government of India on August 3, 2015 to find a solution to the Naga issue.The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas.Mr. Rijiju told The Hindu, “Revocation of AFSPA in Meghalaya is definitely related to improvement of the security scenario in the northeast. AFSPA is imposed both by the State and the Centre. It was withdrawn by Tripura (in 2015).‘No politics’“It is a joint effort by the State government and the Centre. Security is a subject where both the Centre and the State should come together without any politics. In Assam also the situation has improved, that is why the Home Ministry withdrew it but it is imposed by the State government.”He said he was not sure if AFSPA would be lifted from Nagaland in future.‘Many factions involved’“Nagaland is a special case…the peace agreement has not come about yet. There are many underground factions as well. There are issues like rivalry among different factions…I cannot say about the future policy,” Mr. Rijiju said. On April 1, the Home Ministry revoked AFSPA in Meghalaya and restricted it to eight police stations instead of 16 in Arunachal Pradesh.Nagaland, Manipur and Assam are the only three States in the northeast that continue to be under AFSPA. Except Tripura and Manipur, the Centre was issuing such notifications for Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.Last year, the Home Ministry gave up its power and asked the Assam government to take a decision on continuing AFSPA in the State. In the case of Assam (excluding areas covered by the Guwahati municipality) and Manipur (except seven Assembly constituencies in Imphal) the respective State governments exercise the right.As per the Home Ministry’s data, in the northeast, there has been a reduction of 96 % in casualties among the security forces from 289 in 1997 to 12 in 2017. Civilian casualties also dropped by 96% from 907 in 2000 to 37 last year. The year 2017 recorded the lowest insurgency incidents.last_img read more

Richard Branson Gives Up Eating Beef

first_imgSir Richard Branson has blogged about giving up eating beef to help the environment and to make food production more sustainable.“Last month, the Guardian asked readers whether they would consider eating lab-grown meat to save the environment,” wrote Branson. “Almost a third of all respondents said yes.“These results should be taken with a grain of salt, but I think the trend they reveal is good news for the planet: more and more people recognise that conventional meat production can have truly devastating environmental impacts.“It’s one of the reasons I gave up eating beef earlier this year, and it looks like I am not the only one. Surprisingly, for myself, I haven’t missed it at all. If we could get many other people to do the same, we would be healthier, and we would help sustain the beautiful biodiversity we are losing in the rainforests.“As more people come out of poverty in emerging markets, the worst thing that could happen is that demand for cattle continuing to rise. If that happened we would soon have little rainforest left in the world, little biodiversity and climate change would accelerate.“Beef substitutes make the transition to more conscious consumption a little easier. One such company is Beyond Meat, which is developing plant-based foods that taste just like meat but eliminate the need for cattle and other animals to be eaten.“This will result in us being able to utilize 35 times less lamb alone, 15 times less water and could be as much as 20 times less costly. And on World Food Day, we should applaud any effort that helps make food production more sustainable.”Source:virgin.comlast_img read more

Canadian Opera Company Announces 201718 Free Concert Series Lineup

first_imgArtists of the COC Orchestra in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2012. Photo: Chris Hutcheson Advertisement The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre takes place in one of Toronto’s most breathtaking and intimate spaces. The diverse city that inspires and unites us is the ever-changing backdrop seen from the beautiful Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, where artists from around the world share their talent and passion in six series: vocal, piano, jazz, dance, chamber and world music.From late September to June, you can discover exciting artists, both established and emerging, and experience the joy of live performance in an incredible variety of genres – and it’s all free!Concerts take place most Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and some Wednesdays at noon or 5:30 p.m. Advertisement CONCERT TIPSSound carries very well in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Please turn off all cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices that may make noise. Any sound, including whispering, is distracting for both the audience and performers. Patrons who disrupt the performance by talking, making noise or talking on cell phones may be asked to leave.Although the programming is not geared toward young children, people of all ages are welcome to attend the concerts as long as they are able to sit quietly throughout the performance.Please unwrap and enjoy your candies in advance. If at all possible, eat your lunch before the performance begins. If you need to eat during the performance, please do so quietly.You are encouraged to stay in your seats until the end of the performance. There is no re-entry once the performance has begun.In consideration of patrons with allergies, please avoid wearing strongly perfumed beauty products and fragrances.Arrive early! Doors open half an hour prior to the performance start time and admittance will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, of up to 230 patrons. Latecomers may not be admitted.The Free Concert Series is made possible in part by the J.P. Bickell Foundation. The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is supported by the Free Concert Series Endowment Fund established in honour of Richard Bradshaw by an anonymous donor.  LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited. Please join the line-up early to avoid disappointment. Latecomers will not be admitted.Click here to request a school or community bookingClick here for the Free Concert Series Facebook pageClick here to download the Free Concert Series brochure Facebook Twitterlast_img read more