66th Republic Day: Delhi Fortified, Parade Area Turned Into Bastion

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Source: Press Trust of India
Source: Press Trust of India

The security arrangements made on the 66th Republic day of India were of the highest order as the leader of the world’s oldest democracy – Mr. Barrack Obama – arrived in the country on the invitation of the leader of the world’s largest democracy – Mr. Narendra Modi.
Secret Service, CIA, Navy Seals of US and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau, paramilitary forces and Army have been working together for the safety of the two leaders, who face a high degree of threat from global terrorist groups. According to intelligence source, Obama receives over 20 threats per day on an average while Modi receives at least 10 threats on a daily basis.
Intelligence agencies have been monitoring every satellite phone call made from Pakistan and Dubai around the event.
Unlike the previous events, where around 25,000 police, paramilitary and other officers worked alone in Delhi to make the Republic Day safe, this time the numbers touched 40,000 to 45,000 with Secret Service and SPG closely monitoring every security detail. Several contingency routes and exits were made for any case of emergency.
About 500 cameras were installed to secure perimeter around Rajpath, of these 165 monitored Rajpath’s 3km stretch, which marching contingents and tableau took.
There were 65 cameras monitoring Dalhousie Road and Rajpath to cover all entry and exit enclosures & saluting dais.
Around 100 cameras covered central district areas like Jama Masjid, Daryaganj, IP Estate, Delhi Gate, and ITO. 54 fixed and pan-tilt-zoom cameras monitored areas like Chandni Chowk and Sunehri Masjid.
Each district with a separate control room linked to the nearest police station or post with cyber highway nodes. Overall connectivity was with the control room at police headquarters through optic fibers.
Metro services at all metro stations within a radius of six to seven kilometers were closed. Double security check and verification for the participants in the parade tableau was possible as they passed close to the dais where the leaders sat.

Buildings around Rajpath: North Block, South Block, Rail Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Shastri Bhavan, Vayu Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Jawahar Bhavan, Vigayan Bhavan and National Museum were secured 48hours prior to Republic Day celebrations. No one was allowed inside except for the security personnel. Snipers were deployed at more than 70 high-rise buildings around central Delhi.

No fly zone was extended to 400km from the earlier 300km radius, now covering the cities of Jaipur, Agra and up to Pakistan border. Indian Air Force (IAF) provided air cover to the parade area and the VVIP’s.

Obama to grace this year’s Republic Day

Image Courtesy: media2.intoday.in
Image Courtesy: media2.intoday.in

 

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi has invited US president Barack Obama for the Republic Day celebrations and he has heartily accepted the invitation.

The PM tweeted this evening:
“This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over…invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest.”

National Security Council of President Obama confirmed the invitation very soon and tweeted:
“@ invite of @narendramodi President Obama will travel to #India in Jan 2015 to participate in Indian Republic Day celebration as Chief Guest”

It will be one of the first US Presidents to be the chief guest at the Republic Day in India, White House was quoted saying.

Syed Akbaruddin , the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, also confirmed of having received confirmation of President Obama accepting PM Modi’s invite.

Earlier this month, Mr Modi and President Obama met at the ASEAN summit where they struck a deal on the WTO trade deal where India’s concerns over food subsidies were resolved. The President had also praised Mr Modi calling him a “man of action”.

 

Source: NDTV

The Horror Lives On

Japan: Hiroshima marks the 69th anniversary of the horrifying nuclear bomb attacks on Wednesday.  Several peace ceremonies are to be conducted throughout the day in order to pray for the souls of the victims who lost their lives in an attack that still shakes up the citizen of Japan.

Mayor Kazumi Matsui invited US President Barack Obama along with other world leaders to visit the cities that were affected during the bombings that took place in 1945. In his speech, he exclaimed his belief that once the leaders of the world would visit the A-bombed cities, they would join hands with him to eradicate the menace of the nuclear weapons.

Exactly 69 years back, during the end of the Second World War, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing an estimated 1, 40,000 people as an aftermath. After three days, Nagasaki too was bombed in a similar way, killing almost 70,000 people. It was the first and last time that a nuclear weapon was used during a war.

Though it has been a long time ever since, the horror in the minds of the survivors, their families and the citizen in general lives on, so much so that nuclear weapons are considered to be a form of evil till date.

To read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-marks-69th-anniversary-hiroshima-bombing-24858379

 

 

Impact on Afghanistan after the United States withdraws from it.

 

When U.S.A and its allies would withdraw their forces from Afghanistan, it will leave Afghanistan on the midway as well as in such a nature that will surely affect the internal and external affairs of Afghanistan. Rapid disengagement of Western powers from Afghanistan will definitely pose a threat to the nearby region, mostly due to the fear of instability. Afghanistan being the home of many groups (ethnic, political, religious and cultural) may perhaps rise again on the geo political arena where countries like India and Pakistan will quickly jump to get the spoils of war and increase their influence in Afghanistan so as to continue their proxy war against each other on their territory and exploit its vast resources

One of the most immediate concerns over the withdrawal of United States from Afghanistan is how it will affect Afghan security. The Taliban and other Afghan militants still launch regular attacks against Western forces, and the Afghan military and police forces that NATO has been training are not yet prepared to take on responsibility for their own security. This suggests that

1)      Taliban would try to stage a comeback and fulfill their vow of returning to power, most notably claimed by their commander Mullah Omar after the invasion by U.S.A

2)      This would demoralize and catch the Afghan police forces off guard due to their lack of training or being as battle hardened like the Taliban.

Since Afghanistan supplies more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, and draws roughly a third of its GDP from the drug trade. Some worry that the withdrawal of Western troops will lead to a boom in the heroin market where the Taliban finds much of its funding.

 

 

As 90 percent of the Afghan government’s budget comes from foreign sources, and about 97 percent of the country’s GDP has come to depend on foreign aid and international military spending, it becomes imperative for Afghanistan to find new sources of income to fund itself otherwise it might lead to a collapse of their economy which is to invite bids for foreign companies to invest in the country and mine out their vast resources which could ease their dependence on foreign aid.

 

A US withdrawal from Afghanistan also raises concerns about what might happen to the fragile social reforms that have been initiated since the Taliban fell, particularly those that have been aimed at women like getting women into education and freedom to do jobs. The fear of Taliban re-emerging could destroy the whole process where women were suppressed and denied basic human rights and kept under burqas by the chauvinist men.

Finally, what the Americans are really hoping for is that the Afghans should consider them as liberators rather than occupiers which otherwise would really be a setback for them in terms of psychological warfare against the Taliban and could only help in Taliban legitimizing their comeback. The goal is to achieve a moderate path.

Netanyahu apologises to Turkish PM for Israeli role in Gaza flotilla raid

Gaza flotilla raid 2010, Turkey Israel

 

Barack Obama has persuaded Israel to apologise to Turkey for the loss of nine lives on board the Mavi Marmara – the lead ship in an aid flotilla trying to breach the blockade of Gaza – in a deal that paves the way for diplomatic relations to be restored between the two countries. However,  it seems as a token gesture, perhaps too little to late due to Israel’s increasingly bellicose nature which has isolated them more than ever in the International arena.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/22/israel-apologises-turkey-gaza-flotilla-deaths

Obama’s second stint at the White House

“My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.”

These words of encouragement  were spoken by the 44th US president Barack Obama after renewing his presidential oath of office before a crowd of about half a million who shouted “Obama, Obama” as he began his speech . He  pledged that he would work to remove against poverty and prejudice, deliver equality and respect  for gay people, tackle climate change and help young  immigrants to obtain citizenship.

After the Traditional ride down Pennsylvania Avenue back to the White house, He and first lady Michelle Obama exited the limo and waved to the crowd as they walked down the final stretch.

Obama’s 20-minute inaugural address, delivered to a packed crowd on the National Mall right after he took the oath of office, effectively set the tone for the next four years. After a wavering four years marked by bitter battles between the White House and Republicans in Congress, Obama made clear he would continue to press those lawmakers to move toward him on some of the toughest policy questions ahead.

In his address, the president who was the first in history to endorse gay marriage also included a reference to the cause of gay rights. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” he said. By doing so he redeemed himself . He was severely criticized by the Gay organizations during his first term for not doing enough.

As a second-term president, Obama faces arguably a greater challenge in the next four years. The issues that Obama faces are big: immigration reform, stricter gun control laws, an end to the war in Afghanistan and whether or not to approve the controversial TransCanada Keystone XL project. He will have to decide whether or not to take action against Iran who many believe is increasing their nuclear weapons. Israel on the other hand is pressuring him to take military action to stop Iran sooner than later. The president will also have to deal with, Israel-Palestinian tensions and the civil war in Syria.

With a lot of expectations resting on his shoulder and with many major decisions pending, the next four years in the White house will be the most important for world politics. Continue reading Obama’s second stint at the White House

America asks: “How safe are we?”

President Obama moved to tears
President Obama moved to tears

Among the midst of grief surrounding New Town, Connecticut, President Barack Obama addressed a gathering of family and friends of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In Friday’s shooting, where a lone gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, began a shooting spree in his childhood school, resulted in the death of 20 children and 6 adults. The children, all between the age of 5 and 10, were gunned down by Lanza in a merciless period of half an hour after which he was found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound.

President Obama was given his first real challenge after his recent re-election and the former Harvard Law Graduate did a successful job. A teary Obama spoke about how the rampage had shook up the entire country and that it taught law enforcers that more effort was required to prevent such incidents.

People gather in condolence at a victim's home
People gather in condolence at a victim’s home

In his 15-minute address, the President consoled the residents of Sandy Hook, a community prized for promoting residential safety. “We can’t tolerate this anymore,” he said. “These tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.”

The complex causes of gun crime “can’t be an excuse for inaction”, he said.

The incident was a fresh reminder on how the United States was still suffering from insufficient gun control measures. It threw chilling reminiscence of the Virginia Tech killings from 2007 where 32 people lost their lives or even from this year’s Century Plaza shootings in Aurora, Colorado.

The gunman was supposedly suffering from severe mental trauma. Lanza’s mother Nancy reported earlier that her son had acute Asperger’s syndrome, and that it was “getting worse by the day”.

The guns Adam used were all legally bought and registered by his 52-year-old mother, who had divorced his father several years ago.

President Obama called for serious reforms in gun control in the States, a concern raised by other delegates in the House of Congress earlier today. Ironically, the then President had flexed the gun laws. A nationwide ban on certain semi-automatic rifles in the US expired in 2004 and the Bush administration chose not to renew it.

Since then violence has escalated in manifolds as the country struggles to curb shootings like Sandy Hook and Aurora or even the Wisconsin Sikh Temple attack.