Saturday, April 11, 2015

Obama & Castro finally shake hands during historic meet 


U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro shake hands as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) looks on, before the inauguration of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City April 10, 2015. (Reuters / Panama Presidency)
Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit in Panama on Friday. This now sets the stage for a historic Saturday meeting between the pair, as the two countries seek to re-establish diplomatic relations.
Obama and Castro encountered each other in the midst of other foreign leaders at the Summit of the Americas, which is currently being held in Panama City. Photographs and videos from the event showed the two shaking hands as they greeted one another as well as nodding as they spoke.
Leaders of the United States and Cuba have rarely spoken over the past 50 or so years because of an American embargo implemented against Havana, which was put in place shortly after Fidel Castro led a socialist revolution in the 1950s. However, last year, the two sides announced that they would look to mend their strained relationship.

Buying Rafale, than better buy Dassault company

Dr Swamy with his cannon ready on the Modi government which is really so keen buying Rafale, than it should buy Dassault company which makes Rafale warplanes. Dr Swamy alleges that the Rafale deal had been privately negotiated between two sisters of Sonia Gandhi and Carla Bruni, the wife of the former French President. Rafale is a less fuel efficient aircraft and lacking in essential performance characteristics because of which no country in the world has agreed to buy these aircrafts.
Dr Subramanian Swamy has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to sign any deal with French company Dasault for buying Rafale warplanes. “Dassault will go bankrupt if no country buys the Rafale and therefore if we want to oblige the French it is better to buy Dassault company itself rather than their planes, as it will be more beneficial and cost effective,” Dr Swamy said in a statement.
Further Warned that he may have to file a public interest litigation (PIL), if, “the Prime Minister for some other compulsion anyway decides to go ahead with the deal”, Dr Swamy also levels some serious allegations about how the deal had been negotiated with the previous government. Here is the statement issued by DR. SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY
April 10, 2015.





I urge the Prime Minister not to finalize the Rafale Aircraft Deal with France.  The deal originally was negotiated by the previous UPA Government.  
There are two major issues with the Rafale Aircraft Deal which if clinched would embarrass the BJP Government at the Centre.  The first is that Rafale is a less fuel efficient aircraft and lacking in essential performance characteristics because of which no country in the world has agreed to buy these aircrafts.  Some countries have cancelled contracts after signing an MoU with Dasault, the manufacturers, after carrying out a trial of the plane, for example, Switzerland.
The Rafale performance of Libya and Egypt turned out to be worst of all the aircrafts which were deployed by the allies liberating the countries from tyranny.
  The second issue is that the present Rafale Deal negotiated was de-facto a privately negotiated deal between the wife of the former French President Ms Carla Bruni, who is an Italian with two Italian sisters of Ms Sonia Gandhi, namely Ms Anushka and Ms Nadia, and is a corrupt deal to the core.
Dasault will go bankrupt if no country buys the Rafale and therefore if we want to oblige the French it is better to buy Dasault company itself rather than their planes, as it will be more beneficial and cost effective.
If the Prime Minister for some other compulsion anyway decides to go ahead with the deal, then I will have no option but to approach the Court in a PIL to get it set aside.
Media agencies
Dharmendra Pradhan discusses all issues related to existing investments and further expansion in areas of oil and gas in Mozambique
Minister of State (I/C) Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan visited Mozambique on April 9-10, 2015. Besides meeting his counterpart the Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy, Mr. Pedro Couto, he also met Foreign Minister Mr Baloi and called on Prime Minister Mr Agostino Rosario.

Three Indian PSUs (ONGC Videsh, Oil India Ltd & Bharat Petroleum) have already invested in a gas block, Rovuma Area 1 in offshore Mozambique. This is one of the largest investment of India in any single hydrocarbon asset abroad.

During the meetings, the two sides discussed all issues related to the existing investment as well as ways to expand the relationship in other areas of oil and gas. It was agreed that there is scope for expanding cooperation in several areas of mutual interest.

CMDs/senior representatives of ONGC Videsh, Oil India Ltd, Bharat Petroleum, GAIL, SAIL and senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas accompanied the Minister. A CII delegation of Indian businessmen with expertise in the oil and gas sector also accompanied the Minister.

While laying down a road map for energy security of India on March 27 during his address at the Urja Sangam, Hon’ble Prime Minister had spoken about deepening our energy partnerships in Africa. Mozambique is an important partner in this context. 
NAPM condemns killings in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

Ensure that those entrusted with responsibility of maintaining the law and order do not misuse it !

10th April 2015, New Delhi: NAPM is outraged at the level of bloodshed perpetuated by the police machinery involving the killings of 5 under-trials in Nalagonda (Telangana) and encounter of over 20 woodcutters in the Seshachalam forests in AP. Media reports, evidences and even common sense not only contradict police versions of both incidents but also suggest that these are planned custodial killings and cold-blooded massacres at the behest of state police.

The first incident took place when 5 under-trials, the alleged ‘SIMI’ activists, were being transported from Warangle Jail to a Hyderabad court by the police for a hearing wherein the judgment was to be pronounced soon. This cannot just be a coincident but a patterned act of state violence against people of a particular religion in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’, which must be strongly condemned.  Hashimpura, Batla house, Ishrat Jahan case, and many other incidents are painful reminders of similar targeted violence facilitated by the culture of impunity enjoyed by the police and state institutions.

The second incident involving killing of 20 woodcutter from Tamil Nadu, the alleged ‘smugglers’,  by the newly formed Red-Sanders Anti Smuggling taskforce of AP in a highly suspicious situation too raises many questions. Media reports suggest that out of 20, at least 7 were picked up by the police just a day before. Further, bullet injuries on face, head and the chest contradict police’s version that they “randomly fired upon the smugglers”. Taking cognizance, the NHRC too has called it a serious violation of human rights.

A protest outside the Andhra and Telangana Bhawan was held today in Delhi along with protests all across the country to demand immediate and impartial CBI investigation as well as judicial probes in time-bound and transparent manner into both cases. We also demand that cases of unnatural death must be filed immediately. Security of witnesses must be ensured. Reparation efforts for the families of victims must be taken. We strongly feel that the issue of impunity in extra-judicial and rampant custodial killings in India is serious violations of rights and threat to ideals of secularism and equality of our democracy. We need stronger and more accountable mechanisms to ensure that those who are entrusted with responsibility of maintaining the law and order do not misuse it.

Medha Patkar - Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara - Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad –Samajwadi Janparishad, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava - Kisan Sangharsh Samiti &Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe - NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriele Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelkandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah &Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru & Richa Singh –Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, NAPM, UP; Sister Celia - Domestic Workers Union &Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai - Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant - Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini &Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi

 Dear All

 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) show an increase of 5.3% in March 2015

According to the Ministry of Tourism Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) have shown an increase of 5.3% in March 2015 over March 2014. FTAs during the month of March 2015 were 7.30 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.93 lakh during the month of March 2014 and 6.40 lakh in March 2013. FTAs during the period January- March 2015 were 22.81 lakh with a growth of 3.2%, as compared to the FTAs of 22.10 lakh with a growth of 7.9% in January- March 2014 over January- March 2013.

The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during March 2015 among the top 15 source countries was highest from UK (12.52%) followed by USA (12.35%), Bangladesh (12.28%), Sri Lanka (4.40%), Germany (4.28%), Canada (3.39%), Malaysia (3.26%), France (3.24%), Japan (2.71%), Australia (2.67%), Thailand (2.67%), China (2.55%), Russian Fed. (2.31%), Singapore (1.70%) and Afghanistan (1.58%). These op 15 countries accounts for 71.91% of total FTAs during March 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the month of March 2015 were Rs.10,451 crore as compared to Rs.10,152 crore in March 2014 and Rs. 9,545 crore in March 2013.The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during March 2015 over March 2014 was 2.9%. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms in January- March 2015 were Rs. 33,036 crore with a growth of 1.7% as compared to the FEE of Rs. 32,473 during January- March 2014.

 The Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of Nationality wise, Port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data available from Reserve Bank of India.

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