Saturday, June 16, 2012

Suu Kyi delivers eloquent plea for peace

Aung San Suu Kyi delivered what Nobel Prize officials are calling one of the most historic addresses in the prestigious history of the awards in Oslo on Saturday.
Her personal Nobel Peace Prize speech – delayed for 21 years because she was under house arrest when it was awarded – included touching moments from her early life in England, historic moments of glory and tragedy in Burma and an eloquent discourse on the nature of peace

Recalling hearing the first news of the award on the radio, she said, “It did not seem quite real because in a sense I did not feel myself to be quite real at that time.” She said the prize took her out of a feeling of imprisonment and served “to draw me once again into the world of other human beings.”

In awarding the prize, the Nobel committee “was recognizing that the oppressed and the isolated in Burma were also a part of the world, they were recognizing the oneness of humanity…The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.”

She said “fires and strife” are raging around the world, threatening humanity. She quoted from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, “the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspirations of the common people.”

Democracy in Burma is showing signs of “bearing fruit,” she said.

“If I advocate cautious optimism it is not because I do not have faith in the future but because I do not want to encourage blind faith,” she said. “Without faith in the future, without the conviction that democratic values and fundamental human rights are not only necessary but possible for our society, our movement could not have been sustained throughout the destroying years.

“Some of our warriors fell at their post, some deserted us, but a dedicated core remained strong and committed. At times when I think of the years that have passed, I am amazed that so many remained staunch under the most trying circumstances.” She made a plea for the world to remember the men and women in Burma’s prisons who are there because of their “conscience” and their efforts to work for democracy.

“Please remember the often repeated truth that one prisoner of conscience is one too many,” she said. Taking advantage of being on a world stage during a moment that has captured the media’s attention, she made a plea for further political progress on Burma’s road to national reconciliation.

“The reform measures that were put into motion by President U Thein Sein’s government can be sustained only with the intelligent cooperation of all internal forces: the military, our ethnic nationalities, political parties, the media, civil society organizations, the business community and, most important of all, the general public,” said Suu Kyi. “We can say that reform is effective only if the lives of the people are improved and in this regard, the international community has a vital role to play.”

Touching on the Buddhist concept of peace and kindness, or compassion, she said “perfect peace is not of this earth, [but] common endeavours to gain peace will unite individuals and nations in trust and friendship and help to make our human community safer and kinder.”

“Ultimately our aim should be to create a world free from the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless, a world of which each and every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace,” she said. “Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace.”

Recalling her long personal struggle in Burma and that of her colleagues and fellow citizens, she said, “History had given us the opportunity to give of our best for a cause in which we believed.”

Following the speech, Suu Kyi will attend an open-air gathering of people who want to share in the historic moment of her receiving the award.

Suu Kyi received the actual peace prize in 1991 and used its cash reward to create scholarship programs for Burmese youth, said The Associated Press. At the time, she was under house arrest in Burma, and her two teenage sons accepted the prize in a ceremony in Oslo.

She arrived in the Norwegian capital on Friday, after falling ill in Geneva during a press conference on Thursday. She has a history of dizziness and airsickness, and her personal physician in Rangoon said he was worried about her health because she was frail and the trip to five European cities would be demanding.

At a Friday press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Suu Kyi showed her mettle in pointed comments about the dangers posed by Burma’s military-dominated quasi-elected Parliament.

She said she would encourage only “democratic-friendly, human-rights friendly” and “transparent” investments given to the private sector, not to the government, which is dominated by the army.

“Burma has been a command economy for too long, and we did not prosper,” she said. “We are not at the end of the road, by no means, we are just starting out.”

“I fight against what is dangerous for the democratic process, and the military having the kind of powers that they shouldn’t have certainly endangers the democratic process,” she said.

Reporters asked Suu Kyi, now a Member of Parliament in Burma, if she felt muzzled in her new role as a legislator.

“I’ve never felt muzzled. I never hesitated to say what I thought I should say, at any time, even when I was under house arrest. I’m doing the same thing now. I only say what I can take responsibility for.”

She said that she was coming back to Europe after so long “with different eyes” on “a journey of discovery and rediscovery.”

She said she has been preparing her Nobel lecture for about one week, and, “What I am now is reflected in that lecture.”

She still appeared tired and jet-lagged during a Friday dinner with Norway's King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Speaking with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour from Oslo, Suu Kyi said she had been reflecting on the meaning of peace, in preparation for writing her acceptance speech.

“I am trying to find the answers to these questions myself. I am exploring them and I will be exploring the answers in my lecture," she said.

“My attitude to peace is rather based on the Burmese definition of peace -- it really means removing all the negative factors that destroy peace in this world. So peace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty."

“[Her visit] means a lot to the Norwegian people because we admire her so much and we have longed to see her coming here and give her Nobel speech,” the executive director of the Nobel center, Bente Erichsen, told AP.

Suu Kyi is scheduled to spend three days in Oslo and the Norwegian city of Bergen, then travel to the Irish capital, Dublin, on Monday to receive Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award to be presented by U2 lead singer Bono during a massive concern dubbed “Electric Burma.”  From there she returns to Oxford to receive an honorary degree and after that she will spend four days in France

Nik Wallenda began to walk slowly on the metal tightrope about 60 meters in the air from the US side of Canadian Falls on Friday.Canadian Falls, the largest of the 3 waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls, separate the United States and Canada.

Challenged by sprays of water, Wallenda walked more than 500 meters on the tightrope. He reached the Canadian side of the falls about 30 minutes after he started.Loud cheers rose from crowds of tourists who watched Wallenda's challenge on both sides of the falls.

US TV networks broadcast live the stunt, the first of its kind over Niagara Falls since 1896.
Wallenda's family was been with circuses since the 18th century. He started tightrope walking in his childhood

Iran urges its nuclear right be recognized during Moscow talks

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Tehran expects that its right to nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, be recognized during the upcoming talks with the world powers in the Russian capital Moscow. State media today quoted Jalali as saying Iran welcomes dialogue and has always been open to cooperation and talks with different countries on a wide range of issues, including cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. He said if the world powers are also committed to a similar strategy, a similar approach, then the prospects for the Moscow talks will be promising.
Jalali said Iran will look at this round of talks with optimism if the agreements reached in Istanbul and Baghdad are honored. The talks between Iran and the P5+1 – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – are slated for June 18-19 in Moscow. Iran and the six powers held the last round of nuclear talks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in May.

Gujarat as next big investment destination to China

CEOs of top Chinese enterprises excited about Gujarat.Indian Embassy at Beijing organized a road show on Vibrant Gujarat.Chinese companies keen to invest on infrastructure projects and in heavy engineering &; equipments, renewable energy and auto sector.Chinese companies look to partner with Gujarat-based companies.Beijing – Impressed with excellent infrastructure, and road, rail, air and port connectivity,24-hours quality power supply, plenty of skilled manpower, business environment and good governance in the state of Gujarat, CEOs of big Chinese companies started serious dialogue with State Government officials to make Gujarat as their next big investment destination and manufacturing base. The stage set by Hon’ble Chief Minister during his last visit to China in November, 2011 has started paying rich dividends. In the last six months, Gujarat has become a big brand name in China and now, Chinese companies especially auto majors; infrastructure giants; heavy engineering, equipments, power, renewable energy and textile companies are working out their strategy to invest in Gujarat. They are looking for partners in the State and this provides huge opportunities to local businesses and workforce. With huge increase in the production of cotton in Gujarat, textile industries of China are planning to set up their units in Gujarat to reduce the cost on transportation of raw material as well as finished products which they sell in various markets of Asia, Gulf countries and Europe. The skilled workforce available in Gujarat with proactive approach of the State Government and clear policies, are playing a big role in shaping their strategy. To move forward and discuss the details,China Council for Promotion of International trade (CCPIT), apex agency supported by the Chinese Government and responsible for promoting Chinese business and industry, invited the Gujarat delegation led by Mr. Bharat Lal,Principal Resident Commissioner to visit Beijing and address their business and industry captains. Also, the China Enterprise Forum invited the delegation to address the CEOs and Heads of top Chinese companies at their annual ‘China Global Outbound Investment Summit’ held at Beijing on 14–15 June, 2012. The summit was supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of People’s Republic of China. While addressing the CEOs and Heads of top Chinese companies flush with huge cash reserves and looking for big-ticket investment opportunities, Mr. Bharat Lal spoke about the current investment climate and infrastructure in Gujarat and State Government’s policy to sustain such big investments in the state. With the excellent support received by those Chinese companies who have gone to Gujarat from Indian Embassy and the state Government, their misgivings about India, have evaporated. During the summit, many of the participating CEOs came out with their preference for India over South Africa, Brazil or Russia. Their preferred destination is Gujarat and they made open pitch for enhancing the partnership as strength of China in hardware complements the superior software abilities of Gujarat, makes a win-win situation for all.At the dinner hosted on the conclusion of the summit and the subsequent award ceremony for honouring the best performing CEOs in China, Mr. Bharat Lal highlighted the conducive business environment for investors, the State’s proactive governance and various initiatives like single window clearance that facilitate inward investments in Gujarat, making a preferred investment destination of the country. The fifteen-member high-level delegation interacted with heads of various companies who are firming up their strategies for cutting costs, expansion and investment opportunities in India, Russia, Brazil and other African countries in the wake of dwindling recession in Europe. During the highly prestigious summit, the Gujarat delegation presented the State as a place which means business and is in the making of a Global Business Hub. Because of its all round in all sectors, the Gujarat is known as Growth Engine of India.The Indian Embassy in Beijing also organised a road show in partnership with China Council for Promotion of International trade (CCPIT),which is also a partner of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). During the road show, the delegates briefed the packed audience hall on Gujarat’s leadership, pioneering initiatives and large-scale opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing and new energy sectors among others. The Indian Ambassador to China Dr. S. Jaishankar is promoting India as the biggest investment destination in the coming years wherein Gujarat holds a pride place.While addressing the august gathering of leading industries and investors at the Indian embassy, Mr. K Nagraj Naidu, Counsellor highlighted the immense potential of China – India economic relationship and the several areas in which the two countries could collaborate and benefit. He also highlighted the initiatives of the Government of Gujarat which have made it a dream destination in India. Ms. Wang Li, the Dy. Director General, CCPIT also welcomed the delegation and expressed her delight at steadily growing business ties between China and Gujarat. The Chinese companies already present in Gujarat, spoke in glowing terms about the cooperation and assistance they are receiving from Government of Gujarat and local people.Gujarat’s business ties with China have been growing ever since Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi visited China in November 2011 on the invitation of CPC. After the visit of Chief Minister, TBEA, China’s largest power equipment maker has signed the agreement to set up a mega green energy park in the State by investing US$ 400 Million. As one of India’s most investor friendly state with huge thrust on Infrastructure, Gujarat talked of upcoming large projects and big-ticket investment opportunities including Dholera Special Investment Region (D-SIR) along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as well as its achievements in the power sector which include the establishment of Asia’s largest solar park at Charankha. Gujarat’s manufacturing abilities are well recognized in China and several requests were received from various Chinese companies for forging joint ventures in sectors like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles and auto sector. During the visit, Beijing University of Technology showed keen interest in collaborating with CEPT University, Ahmedabad on urban planning, high density habitat development, industrial and infrastructure planning for modern industry and heritage conservation. They also desired to have students and faculty exchange programme and joint research to learn from each other and facilitate the socio-economic and industrial development. Beijing University authorities proposed to sign MoUs on the same. University of Nottingham, China Campus proposed to sign MoUs with CEPT University forcollaboration on large scale infrastructure and logistics. They want collaborative studies on language and culture on India and China. CEPT University has firmed up to bring 30 students to China in January, 2013 to conduct joint study and prepare Master Plans on urban development particularly for the city of Ningbo, a large industrial port city. The delegation also held business interactions with Beijing-based large corporate groups with interest in infrastructure, heavy machinery, renewable energy, textiles, heavy engineering and auto sector. These companies are keen to set up their factories in Gujarat to reduce the cost due to its excellent infrastructure, quality power and connectivity to major markets both domestic and foreign, and easy access to resources and raw material as port are well developed. This visit comes in the wake of the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit, January 2013 which in its previous editions has witnessed large scale participation from countries across the world. The next summit is touted as one of the largest in entire South Asia and provides an excellent platform for business networking, knowledge sharing and boosting business ties. The Vibrant Gujarat – 2013 is planned as a mega event with over 100 knowledge events in various sectors, several of which are ongoing. The main exhibition will be spread over 1 lakh square metre of exhibition space and will provide a platform to all leading industries to showcase and explore expansion of their operations. China and India, two of the world’s important economies have a lot to complement each other and Gujarat is the prime place to realise this potential by forging partnerships for mutual benefit. On behalf of Government of Gujarat, Mr. Bharat Lal invited Beijing-based business leaders, investors, corporations, academicians and technologists to participate in the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit, January 11–13, 2013, to be held at Gandhinagar.From Beijing, the delegation will move to Chengdu and Guangzhou, two very well known manufacturing hubs of China. At Chengdu, the Department of Commerce, Sichuan province will host the delegation and have organized a Gujarat-Sichuan Trade Symposium to promote partnership between the two regions.

In the Indonesian Super Series Badminton Championship on Saturday, P Kashyap and Saina Nehwal will play in the Men’s and Women’s Semifinals in Jakarta.

Saina will meet world no. 10 Korean, Ji Hyun Sung, who she had beaten thrice before while P Kashyap will take on seventh seed Indonesian player.
Ace Indian Shutteler Saina Nehwal reached the semi-finals of the Indonesian Open Super Series.
In the quarter finals on Friday, Saina beat China’s Si Xian Wang 21-17, 21-23 and 21-19.
P Kashyap also reached the semi-finals in mens singles at the Indonesia Open.
The Indian ace beat unseeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in straight games to reach the last four.

The BJP core group will meet this evening to discuss the Presidential election and decide its future course of action in the wake of Congress declaring Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate.

The BJP is expected to finalise its stand in the core group meeting. This will be conveyed to the NDA which will meet on Sunday.
The scenario changed for the BJP when SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav extended support to Mukherjee. Earlier he had been pitching for APJ Abdul Kalam.
When Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party floated the name of Kalam, BJP saw an opportunity to lend its support to the former President.
According to reports, key NDA ally JD (U) may suggest a consensus on Mukherjee's candidature keeping his stature in mind and also as the opposition lacks the numbers.
The BJP-led NDA meeting on Friday had failed to come up with a candidate.
Immediately after the announcement of Mukherjee's candidature by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the UPA meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had reached out to other parties including the BJP to seek support for the senior leader.
He called up BJP leaders L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari and its leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively.

France beat Ukraine 2-0 in Euro 2012

France beat Ukraine 2-0 in Euro 2012 Group D match
France moved  in the Group D table here on Friday after beating Ukraine 2-0.Second-half goals by Jeremy Menez - who had been brought into the starting line-up by coach Laurent Blanc - and Yohan Cabaye were enough to secure the three points and move on to four points, a point above Ukraine after two games.
The only concern for Blanc may be leading striker Karim Benzema who looked to have suffered an injury during the second-half and was eventually replaced by Olivier Giroud.

England beat Sweden

Welbeck and Walcott rescue England 
KIEV: England remained on course for a place in the knockout rounds of Euro 2012 after coming from behind to send Sweden crashing out of the tournament with a 3-2 victory here Friday.
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored a well-taken winner for England in the 78th minute after the introduction of substitute Theo Walcott swung a see-saw Group D battle back in his side's favour.
England had got off to a dream start when recalled striker Andy Carroll headed them into a 23rd-minute lead.
But an own goal from Glen Johnson on 49 minutes followed by a header from Olof Mellberg in the 59th minute threatened to set up a disastrous night for Roy Hodgson's side.
Substitution of James Milner for Walcott changed the game. The Arsenal winger lashed in a 64th-minute equaliser to make it 2-2 and then provided the run and pass which set up Welbeck's winner.
England's first ever competitive victory over the Swedes means they will qualify for the quarter-finals with only a point in their final group game against co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk next Tuesday.
 England manager Hodgson will want to see a marked improvement from his side if they are to secure the draw they need after a performance littered with errors and shaky defending.
England had started positively, Scott Parker forcing a fine save out of Andreas Isaksson after only seven minutes with a fine swerving effort from 20 yards that the Swedish keeper parried to safety.
Sweden meanwhile had to wait until 20 minutes before threatening the England goal, captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic letting fly with a long range shot that was blocked comfortably by Joe Hart.

After successive crosses from Ashley Young and Milner failed to meet their targets, captain Steven Gerrard had clearly seen enough on 23 minutes.
Seizing possession in midfield the England skipper looked up to curl in a pinpoint long-range diagonal ball which the twisting Carroll met with a thunderous header that gave Isaksson no chance.
England ought to have done better again on 36 minutes when Ashley Cole played in Young with a first-time pass only for the Manchester United man to miscontrol and lash a low shot wide.
Sweden were forced to look for openings on the break and threatened to score when Ibrahimovic dispossessed the careless Johnson and played in Kim Kallstrom whose shot flew over.
England's positive first half display came unstuck, however, within five minutes of the restart as a rejuvenated Sweden dominated play.
The equaliser came after an Ibrahimovic free-kick bounced back off the wall and was played back to an unmarked Mellberg being played onside by Johnson.Bearded centre-half's shot beat Hart and Johnson was unable to scramble out of his own net. Mellberg claimed it, but the equaliser was ruled an own-goal by Johnson.England were rocking and it got worse for Hodgson's men on 59 minutes as Sweden went 2-1 up. Sebastian Larsson swung in a curling free-kick and shambolic defending in the England defence allowed Mellberg to nod home Sweden's second.
Milner, who had capped a poor evening by conceding the free-kick which led to Sweden's second, was then promptly hauled off for Walcott.
The Arsenal winger made an immediate impact and within minutes England were level, Walcott's shot from just outside the area catching Isaksson off-balance to make it 2-2.
Sweden continued to cause England problems on the break and Ibrahimovic forced Hart to dive at full-stretch to turn around a 76th-minute effort.
But two minutes later Walcott rescued England again, darting into the box with an electrifying burst to cross for Welbeck, who flicked in a deft finish with the back of his heel to make it 3-2.

Obama calls Singh ahead of G 20 meet

United States President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over phone and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the raging Eurozone crisis.The two leaders agreed to work to strengthen the global economy to cope with shocks from the Eurozone, the White House said in a statement on 14 June.
 "The leaders agreed on the importance of steps to strengthen the resilience of the global economy in response to persistent risks in the Eurozone and elsewhere and on focusing on measures to boost global growth," the statement said.
The President and the Prime Minster also agreed to work closely together towards a successful two-day G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, from June 18.
The summit is likely to be dominated by the crisis in Europe, which - combined with slowing growth in China and India - poses a threat to the world economy.
The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis has made it difficult or impossible for some countries like Greece and Spain in the euro area to re-finance their government debt without the assistance of third parties.
The call between the two leaders came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the third US-India Strategic Dialogue with visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.
On 11 June, the US exempted Indian and six other countries from tough new sanctions after they cut back on oil imports from Iran.

YSR Congress has decimated ruling Congress in Andhra

Riding on a strong sympathy wave, jailed MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy's nascent YSR Congress has decimated ruling Congress bagging 15 of the 18 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat in by-elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Congress won just two assembly seats, while main opposition Telugu Desam faced a complete rout drawing a blank in a keenly awaited outcome in which the 39-year-old Kadapa MP is fighting a bitter public battle with the Congress over his father and late chief minister Y S Rajsekhara Reddy's political legacy.
In the by-polls, touted as the "semi-finals" ahead of the 2014 Assembly elections, the TRS managed to scrape through with a slender margin of 1,562 votes in Parkal, the lone assembly seat in Telangana region, as it faced a close contest from the nominee of the 15-month-old YSRCP.
With today's results, the Congress saw its majority reduced to just seven seats having 155 MLAs in a House of 294. The YSRCP tally increased to 17.
In the final analysis, the Congress lost 14 seats as it held 16 seats, won in 2009. The other two were won by PRP in 2009 but now fell in the YSRC kitty. The TRS gained one more seat Parkal, thanks to the by-election.
YSRC's M Rajamohan Reddy won the Nellore Lok Sabha seat defeating high-profile T Subbirami Reddy of Congress by a margin of 2,91,745 votes.
It was also a loss of face for actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi as the YSRC wrested the Tirupati Assembly seat he vacated upon his election to Rajya Sabha in March.
The victory of YSRC was so resounding that the Congress lost deposits in four constituencies though it managed to win two seats, largely on the caste factor.
Lodged in the Chanchalguda prison as an undertrial in the disproportionate assets case against him, Jagan sent out a clear warning signal to the Congress that he will be its nemesis in the next elections as people are solidly behind him

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...