China defends pandemic travel curbs after Indian envoy hits out at ‘unscientific approach’
China defends pandemic travel curbs after Indian envoy hits out at ‘unscientific approach’
Beijing has defended its

travel curbs as scientific and proportional after India’s ambassador to China called for a more “balanced and sensitive approach” on issuing visas to Indians.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Monday also said the rules were to protect people and applied not just to Indians but to all, including Chinese citizens.
“China has no other way but to adopt a series of management measures that have been evolving according to the development of the pandemic to ensure the safe and orderly flow of both Chinese and foreigners,” she said. “China has adopted a scientific, professional and proportional pandemic control approach.”
Hua was responding to Thursday’s remarks by Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri, who said some .


went beyond politics, pointing to the thousands of Indian nationals who are stranded and unable to return to China because of its tough visa rules.

He called for a separation of politics and trade, amid strained relations over an

and geopolitical tensions.

“Far less complex issues, which have a purely humanitarian context and are not connected to bilateral diplomatic stances, such as facilitating the movement of students, businesspersons and stranded family members from India to China for over a year and a half now, await a more balanced and sensitive approach,” Misri said during a virtual dialogue on bilateral relations organised by Sichuan University.
“I might add here that India has also attempted to keep our trade and commercial relationship insulated from current differences, for instance by continuing to issue visas to Chinese businesspersons to visit India,” he said.
“However, we are disappointed to see an unscientific approach with regard to several problems currently being faced by Indian students, businessmen, marine crew and exporters, to name a few.”
New Delhi is not alone in pressing Beijing to ease its stringent border restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with other countries also urging China to reciprocate on visa policy as the rest of the world slowly reopens.
Sun Weidong, China’s ambassador to India, urged New Delhi to maintain its “strategic autonomy”. Photo: Twitter

Sun Weidong, China’s ambassador to India, urged New Delhi to maintain its “strategic autonomy”. Photo: Twitter

On the Himalayan border dispute, Misri said talks had seen “significant progress on the ground” in terms of disengagement, and expressed hope that further disengagement would enable the two sides “to reach a point where we can pick up the threads of bilateral cooperation”.
Relations have been tense since Chinese and Indian troops engaged in deadly hand-to-hand fighting on their border in the western Himalayas in June last year. At least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers died in the clashes – the deadliest in decades. It developed into a military stand-off and while soldiers have retreated from some sections of the frontier, the negotiations continue.
India later banned more than 200 Chinese apps for security reasons and there were calls for a consumer boycott of Chinese goods.
Also speaking on Thursday, China’s ambassador to India Sun Weidong agreed that bilateral relations should develop regardless of the border tensions, but urged India to maintain its “strategic autonomy”.
“Some countries have formed small, isolated groups to contain others out of ideological biases and a Cold War mentality … in fact, forming these groups won’t make one safer, and once one is on board someone else’s ship, control of the helm will be lost,” Sun said.
He added that he hoped India would not join “alliances” and that it be cautious on issues like Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea, all sensitive issues for Beijing.
China is concerned by India’s involvement in the Quad security grouping with the US, Japan and Australia, which Beijing sees as an attempt by Washington to counter its influence in the region.
Despite the tensions, two-way trade between India and China expanded by more than 5 per cent in 2020-21, according to the latest Indian commerce ministry data. China has also replaced the US as India’s largest trade partner. Trade between the two Asian economies hit US$86.4 billion in 2020-21, up from US$81.9 billion the year before, compared to US$80.5 billion between India and the US. This was largely driven by India importing medical goods from China, according to analysts.
sourced – scmp
Ven. Bhikku Sanghasena Honored with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award
Ven. Bhikku Sanghasena Honored with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award
By Shyamal Sinha

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena. From religionworld.inThe famend religious chief and socially engaged Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena has acquired the Seventh Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021 in recognition of his lifelong efforts to advertise peace and to foster the values of integrity, compassionate care, and social duty. The honour was conferred throughout the eleventh Worldwide Peace Convention in Ladakh on Tuesday, held in observance of the United Nations Worldwide Day of Peace.
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena is the spiritual director of the non-profit Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC) in Ladakh, northern India, the founder of the Mahakaruna Foundation, the Save the Himalayas Foundation, and spiritual advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).*

In a statement for the occasion shared with Buddhistdoor Global, Dr. Anthony Raju, chairman of the awarding organization, noted: “After perusing your credentials, most objectively and impartially, it remains our considered opinion that you have worked tirelessly and selflessly to put the Buddha’s teachings on loving-kindness and compassion into action through multifarious charitable humanitarian services and ancient Buddhist traditions. You have believed in peacefulness, humility, and innocence as the natural way of life, and your worthy example does inspire others especially the young generation toward certain remarkable achievements.

“Therefore, the National Governing Council, Board of Patrons & Board of Ambassadors has decided to honor you with our most coveted institutional and prestigious ‘Seventh Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021’ for your outstanding contributions to peace, harmony, protecting and promoting human rights, and services to humanity.”

Dr. Anthony Raju, advocate for the Supreme Court of Indi, chairman of the All-Indian Council of Human Rights, liberties and Social Justice, and member of the International Human Rights Advisory Council, with Dr. June Ann-Passanah, human rights and peace activist and social worker, visit the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre to discuss the 11th International Peace Conference and conferring the 7th Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021. Image courtesy of MIMCDr. Anthony Raju, advocate for the Supreme Court of Indi, chairman of the All-Indian Council of Human Rights, liberties and Social Justice, and member of the International Human Rights Advisory Council, with Dr. June Ann-Passanah, human rights and peace activist and social worker, visit the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre to discuss the 11th International Peace Conference and conferring the 7th Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award 2021. Image courtesy of MIMC
Named after Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (1931–2015), an aerospace scientist and 11th president of India from 2002–07, the award is presented by the All-India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS).

Previous recipients of the Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam World Peace Award are: His Holiness Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni Ji Maharaj (2020); Dr. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2019); Most Rev. Dadi JankiJi, Chief of Brahmakumaris (2018); His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias (2017); His Holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj (2016, posthumous); and His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2015).

The 11th International Peace Conference was held at Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, the joint capital and largest city of the union territory of Ladakh, on 21 September. The conference was jointly organized by the AICHLS and the MIMC, in collaboration with the Ladakh Buddhist Association, the All Ladakh Gompa Association, Anjuman Imamia, Anjuman Moin-ul-Islam, Christian Community, Hindu Mahasabha and Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Dignitaries and guest speakers at the conference expressed agreement with the urgent need to work toward peace and harmony at the global level, and stressed the importance of overcoming narrow and rigid ideologies that lead to communal discord. They urged the development of a new vision for the world as a single interconnected family in which all religions and communities are respected equally.

Perched high on the Tibetan Plateau, Ladakh, which translates as the Land of High Passes, became the largest union territory in India in 2019 after the government reconstituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. Spread across some 59,146 mountainous square kilometers, much of which is desiccated and inhospitable, the culture and history of Ladakh is closely interwoven with that of Tibet—so much so that Ladakh is sometimes known as “Little Tibet.”

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC) in Leh in 1986. He has since become an exemplar of socially engaged Buddhism, launching numerous projects, events, and initiatives, among them providing educational opportunities and refuge for underprivileged children, empowerment and literacy programs for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, healthcare for the sick and needy, and a care home for the aged and destitute. The MIMC has evolved into an expanding campus that has become a hub for a multitude of socio-cultural and community programs.

Ladakh Scraps Permit System for Tourists Visiting ‘Protected’ Areas, Some Villages to Stay Out of Bounds
Ladakh Scraps Permit System for Tourists Visiting ‘Protected’ Areas, Some Villages to Stay Out of Bounds

Trekking at a monastery can be real fun. Phuktal Monastery, located at the mouth of a grand cave, has its origin dating back to the 16th The Monastery hosts several prayer rooms alongside a main temple, teaching facilities, a library, apartments and kitchen room. Sacred spring and the cave is the most prominent feature of this place.

The Ladakh administration has scrapped the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in another move to underline India’s sovereignty over the territory. The move will benefit Indian tourists visiting the ‘protected’ areas in the region as there will be less paperwork required to deal with.

However, tourists visiting these areas will still have to pay the environmental fee of Rs 300 and Red Cross Fund fee of Rs 100. The payment can be easily made using the online portal, officials said, according to a Times of India report.

The report added that all visitors are required to carry identity proof during travel and foreigners are still required the Protected Area Permit.

Earlier, Indian tourists were only allowed to visit areas beyond Panamik till Warshi including Yarma Gompa/Yarma Gonbo Monastery in Leh’s Nubra Valley.

The scrapping of Inner Line Permit will not result in unfettered access. The Ladakh administration will notify areas, mostly villages near the border, where tourists will not be allowed. The Union Home Ministry has asked for the list, which will be prepared after the consultation with the Police and the Army.

Some villages near the Pakistani border, including Dungti, Koyul, Demchok and Chumar in the Nyoma subdivision in eastern Ladakh will remain out of bounds. In Kargil, tourists can visit places including Batalik easily.

The report added that Ladakh was opened up for tourists in October 1974. Although tourists were allowed to travel to a limited number of places. Access to tourist spots like Pangong Tso was restricted as it was accessible only between 6am and 5 pm. Turtuk in Ladakh was opened up in 2010.

Though a lot of areas in the region have opened up since then, a lot of areas remain out of bounds, mostly on Army’s insistence. But progressively more areas are brought in to reap the economic benefits of tourism like Leh and Nubra valley.

In a separate development, “residents of the protected area” of Ladakh can visit other protected areas “without any permit”.

“In the aforesaid identification documents to be issued to the residents of the Protected Areas, the concerned Superintendents/ Deputy Superintendents shall also specify the Protected areas lying in other Tehsils/ Districts which the holders of the said documents may visit for bona fide purpose without any permit,” an order by the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh states, according to Times Now.

sourced – News18

India, China Disengage In Gogra After 12th Round Of Talks
India, China Disengage In Gogra After 12th Round Of Talks

Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged from the Gogra area in eastern Ladakh after the 12th round of talks.

Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged from the friction point in the Gogra area of eastern Ladakh, where the two sides were locked in a tense military standoff since May 2020, the Indian Army has said.

In a statement, the Army revealed that India and China completed the disengagement in Gogra on 4 and 5 August.

India and China had reached an understanding on disengagement in the Gogra area during the 12th round of corps commander-level talks held earlier this week at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point.

“As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases,” the statement reads.

The development comes after the People’s Liberation Army refused to pull back its troops and equipment from the Gogra and Hot Springs areas during the 11th round of talks with India held in April.

In May last year, the Chinese had deployed a large number of troops and equipment, including tanks and artillery guns, in this area. India had responded with its own deployments of troops and heavy equipment.

Since then, the two sides had built shelters and other temporary structures in the area to house soldiers and equipment.

“All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled…and the landform in the area has been restored…to pre-standoff period,” the Army’s statement says.

India and China will continue to hold discussions for disengagement at other friction points along the Line of Actual Control in the western sector, such as the Depsang Plains in northeastern Ladakh and Chumar in the southeastern part of the union territory, the statement adds.

Earlier this year, India and China had pulled back troops from the north bank of the Pangong Lake and the Kailash Range.

Pangong Tso

Although China has vacated the area it had occupied on the north bank of Pangong Tso, its troops and equipment remain deployed in depth areas.

Satellite imagery from 11 May shows that Chinese troops are present in Rutog County, located on the Xingiang-Tibet (G219) Highway close to the eastern end of the Pangong Lake. Rutog, which is linked to both Pangong and Spanggur Lakes (south of Pangong Tso, east of Kailash Range) by road, serves as a major base for the People’s Liberation Army along the Line of Actual Control in this sector.

The People’s Liberation Army can move these troops rapidly to forward positions or deploy them against India using its road network.

The satellite image, posted on Twitter by open-source intelligence handle @detrasfa_, shows multiple rows of prefabricated living structures, indicative of the presence of a significant number of Chinese troops at the base.

Chinese presence in Rutog County. (@detrasfa_/Twitter)

A large motor pool, consisting of different types of vehicles, including those used by support and offensive units, can be seen in the imagery.

Among other things, the satellite image also shows a large number of camouflaged positions, which could be hosting suppliers of weaponry.

Earlier, reports had revealed that China had built structures between Kangxiwar, located on the G219 highway just north of Aksai Chin, and Rutog.

At Kangxiwar and Rutog, the PLA has brought in 10,000 additional temporary troops to support the 10,000 permanent Chinese troops deployed at these locations, a report in India Today says, citing an intelligence estimate.

China has started rotating troops along the LAC, reports say. It has rotated two large field formations by inducting two fresh divisions in April.

The Indian Army continues to maintain its posture on the friction sites in eastern Ladakh and a large number of troops, which had been moved back as part of the disengagement in the Pangong Lake area, remain in depth areas on the Indian side to deter Chinese misadventures.

Work on new roads and bridges in Ladakh also continues despite China’s aggressive maneuvers in the area over the last one year. The Border Roads Organisation, responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads in India’s border areas, appears to have improved its performance amid tensions along the Line of Actual Control.

In Eastern Ladakh, India and China have two mutually agreed disputed areas, Trig Heights and Demchok, and 10 areas of differing perception. Officials said that since the stand-off last year, additional five friction points have emerged. These are Km 120 in Galwan area, Patrolling Point (PP) 15 and PP17 and Rechin La and Rezang La on the south bank of the Pangong Tso, the second official said.

The 12th round of military talks took place over two weeks after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar firmly conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the prolongation of the existing situation in eastern Ladakh was visibly impacting the bilateral ties in a “negative manner”.

sourced  – swarajya

Ladakh witnessing rapid development after getting UT status
Ladakh witnessing rapid development after getting UT status

Representative Image

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

Ladakh has been witnessing increased development over the past two years as the government has implemented several development projects that aim to build a green and prosperous future for its residents.

New Delhi is focusing on developing Ladakh frontier region that has been neglected for years with new tunnels and roads being carved out in the toughest terrains of the Himalayan region, reported Saudi Gazette.

The people of Ladakh had sought UT status way back in 1949 in order to address the development needs of the area. The region got the status on August 5, 2019 with the government abrogating Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

Work on infrastructure projects like roads and tunnels has gained pace. Even the remotest border villages are now being connected to the telephone network and the Internet through fiber-optic cables powered by solar electricity generation units, reported Saudi Gazette.

The UT administration has chalked out an ambitious plan for ensuring the all-around development of the region and its people.

Several development projects have been kick-started by the government including the Alusteng-Drass-Kargil-Leh transmission system, which was completed in February last year. The move helped Ladakh to be linked to the national grid ensuring an uninterrupted reliable, quality power supply to the region, the report said.

In February 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Dah hydroelectric project and had dedicated the 220 KV transmission for overall electrification for providing sufficient electricity for each household.

Approximately, Rs 60 billion has been allocated for the development of Ladakh for the fiscal year 2020-21. Nine projects with an outlay of Rs.214.4 billion were transferred to the UT of Ladakh.

The Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge has been constructed by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) in a record time of one month, which provides all-weather connectivity in the region.

In addition, 82-meter Span Motorable Bridge over River Shayok at Rongdo in Nubra has been opened for the public. The Ladakh administration has formulated new rules under which jobs would be reserved exclusively for locals, reported Saudi Gazette.

India’s Renewable Energy Ministry has also drawn up a plan to scale a 23,000 MW grid connecting the mega solar project in Ladakh with a 7,500 MW package forming the first part of a larger project.

PM Modi had also inaugurated a plan for the first central university in Ladakh with a Centre on Buddhist Studies helping over 10,000 Ladakhi students.

He had also vowed to make Ladakh a carbon-free region in the coming years with the start of the Ladakh Greenhouse project targeted to increase the availability of vegetables throughout the year.

“Cultural tourism” which is one of the key development planks for the area has been given a boost with homestay at monasteries along with eco-tourism and ecological activities like bird watching, wildlife safaris.

Overall tourist arrival in Ladakh in 2019 stood at 279,937. Until June 2020, total tourist arrivals in Ladakh were 6,079, of which 5,019 were domestic and 1,060 were foreign tourists, the report said.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has assured making functional the Siachen Glacier for tourists, opening some more border villages for tourism, construction of strategic roads, development of border villages, and movement of Nomads for grazing in the areas located close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the report said

The Indian federal government approved on September 23, 2019, the establishment of a new medical college in Leh district of the newly created Ladakh Union Territory, following receipt of requests from the locals about improving healthcare facilities in the Himalayan region, the report added.

The Cabinet also approved the creation of one post of managing director for the corporation in the pay scale of ₹144,200- ₹218,200 level,” the government said in a press release. “The authorized share capital of the corporation will be ₹25 crore and recurring expenditure will be around ₹2.42 crore per year. It is a new establishment. Presently, there is no similar organization within the newly formed UT of Ladakh.”

The government added that the approval has the potential to generate employment as the corporation will be undertaking various developmental activities. “The corporation will work for industry, tourism, transport and marketing of local products and handicraft. Corporation will also work as the main construction agency for infrastructure development in Ladakh,” the government said.

The government said it will result in inclusive and integrated development of :Ladakh.

“It [will] increase domestic production of goods and services and will facilitate their smooth supply. Thus, the approval will help in realizing the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” the statement read.

The government has also approved a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for specialty steel in an initiative aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and exports and cutting down the import burden for the sector, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said. The scheme will be applicable for five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

“With a budgetary outlay of ₹6,322 crores, the scheme is expected to bring in investment of approximately ₹40,000 crores and capacity addition of 25 metric tonne (MT) for speciality steel. The scheme will give employment to about 525,000 people, of which, 68,000 will be direct employment. Speciality steel has been chosen as the target segment because out of the 102 million tonnes steel produced in India in 2020-21, only 18 million tonnes of value added steel or speciality steel was produced in the country,” said the government statement.

Sourced  – (ANI)

India-China wrap up 12th round of military talks on optimistic note
India-China wrap up 12th round of military talks on optimistic note

The 12th round of military talks between India and China wrapped up on a positive note amid growing hopes of reaching an understanding on the disengagement of troops from Hot Springs and Gogra on the Line of Actual Control, sources told News18.

Modalities will be worked out on how to take the process forward and a joint statement is expected on Monday, reported News18.

The meeting between corps commander-ranked officers of the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh on Saturday began at 10.30 am and ended at 7.30 pm, officials familiar with the development said.

At nine hours, this was possibly the shortest round of talks between the two armies, reported Hindustan Times.

Defence establishment sources were hopeful of reaching an understanding for disengagement from Hot Springs and Gogra Post, Patrolling Point (PP) 15 and PP17A, respectively, friction points.

It is learnt that both sides discussed “specific details to cool tempers in the remaining friction points including moving ahead with the disengagement process and agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground”.

Hotline set up between army HQs

A hotline was established between Indian Army in Kongra La, North Sikkim and PLA at Khamba Dzong in Tibetan Autonomous Region to further the spirit of trust and cordial relations along the borders. The event coincided with the PLA Day on 1 August, said the Indian Army.

These hotlines in various sectors go a long way in enhancing the same and maintaining peace and tranquility at the borders, the army said.

The inauguration was attended by ground commanders of the respective armies and a message of friendship and harmony was exchanged through the hotline.

The Indian side forcefully pressed for early resolution of the standoff and particularly insisted on expeditious disengagement in Hot Springs and Gogra, a source said.

Ahead of the talks, sources said India was hopeful of a positive outcome on the disengagement process.

India has been insisting that the resolution of the outstanding issues, including at Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra, is essential for the overall ties between the two countries.

The latest round of talks took place after a gap of more than three and a half months. The 11th round of military dialogue had taken place on 9 April at the Chushul border point on the Indian side of the LAC and it lasted for around 13 hours.

The 12th round of military talks took place over two weeks after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar firmly conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the prolongation of the existing situation in eastern Ladakh was visibly impacting the bilateral ties in a “negative manner”.

The two foreign ministers had held a one-hour bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajik capital city Dushanbe on 14 July. In the meeting, Jaishankar had told Wang that any unilateral change in the status quo along the LAC was “not acceptable” to India and that the overall ties can only develop after full restoration of peace and tranquillity in eastern Ladakh.

In the last round of military talks, both sides discussed ways to take forward the disengagement process in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang with a larger aim to bring down tensions in the region. However, there was no forward movement in the disengagement process.

The Indian delegation at Saturday’s talks was led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.

The border stand-off between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted in May last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February in line with an agreement on disengagement.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.

With inputs from PTI

India, China to Hold 12th Round of Talks Tomorrow
India, China to Hold 12th Round of Talks Tomorrow

By   —  Shyamal Sinha

The 12th round of Corps Commander level talks between India and China will be held in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) around 10:30 am on Saturday. India and China expected to discuss disengagement from the Hot Springs and Gogra Heights areas.

India and China held a virtual meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs last month as part of the dialogue process to resolve the standoff.

In the meeting, the two sides agreed to hold the next round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh. “You would recall that the 22nd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on the border was held on June 25. The two sides also agreed to hold the 12th round of senior commanders meeting at an early date. We will certainly share any update once we have that,” Bagchi said. The 11th round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two sides on the border row was held on April 9. India and China were locked in a military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

The two countries have been engaged in a military standoff for almost a year. However, the two sides disengaged from the most contentious Pangong Lake area last month after extensive talks at the military and political levels.

The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points. There was no visible forward movement in disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points as the Chinese side did not show flexibility in their approach on it at the 11th round of military talks.

Last month, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said that there can be no de-escalation without complete disengagement at all friction points in eastern Ladakh and that the Indian Army is prepared for all contingencies in the region. Gen Naravane also said that India is dealing with China in a “firm” and “non-escalatory” manner to ensure the sanctity of its claims in eastern Ladakh and that it was even open to initiating confidence-building measures.

China has been enhancing military infrastructure across the LAC for some time now. Looking at it, India has changed its posture towards China, and unlike its previous defensive approach that placed a premium on fending on Chinese aggression, India is now catering military options to strike back and has reoriented its forces accordingly.

India has reoriented around 50,000 troops whose main focus is on the disputed borders with China.

The reorientation comes at a time when China is refurbishing its existing air-fields in the Tibetan Plateau that will allow twin-engine fighter aircraft to be stationed, sources said.

In addition, China has also also brought troops from the Tibet military region to the Xinjiang region.

Blinken’s meeting with Dalai Lama representatives riles China
Blinken’s meeting with Dalai Lama representatives riles China

Antony John Blinken is an American government official and diplomat serving as the 71st United States secretary of state since January 26, 2021. He previously served as deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under President Barack Obama.

China on Thursday reacted angrily to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with a senior representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in New Delhi, saying it is a violation of Washington’s commitment acknowledging Tibet as part of China and not to support Tibetan independence.

Blinken on Wednesday met Ngodup Dongchung, an official in the Tibetan government-in-exile and representative of the Dalai Lama, in a clear signal to China about the Biden administration’s continued support to the Tibetan cause.

In the meeting, Dongchung thanked Blinken for the continued support by the US to the Tibetan movement.

When asked, a spokesperson of the US State Department told PTI, ‘Secretary Blinken had an opportunity to meet briefly this morning in New Delhi with a representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Central Tibetan Administration Representative Ngodup Dongchung.’ Separately, another Tibetan representative, Geshe Dorjee Damdul, attended a roundtable Blinken held with around seven civil society members.

Asked for his reaction by the official media here at a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, ‘Tibetan affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference”.

‘The 14th Dalai Lama is by no means just a religious person but rather a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities attempting to split Tibet from China,’ he said.

China firmly opposes all forms of contacts between foreign officials and the Dalai Lama, he said.

‘Any formal contact between the US and the Dalai clique is a violation of the US commitment to acknowledge Tibet as part of China”, not to support Tibetan independence and attempts to separate it from China, he said.

‘We urge the US to honour its commitment to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Tibetan affairs, and offer no support to Tibet independence forces to engage in anti-China separatist activities. China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests,” he said.

China comes up with such routine reactions whenever foreign dignitaries and officials meet the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

The 14th Dalai Lama has made India his home since fleeing his Tibetan homeland in 1959.

The Chinese government officials and the Dalai Lama or his representatives have not met in formal negotiations since 2010.

Beijing has in the past accused the 86-year-old Dalai Lama of indulging in ‘separatist’ activities and trying to split Tibet and considers him as a divisive figure.

Another US official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said: “The Dalai Lama obviously is a globally revered spiritual leader and so the gesture was gratefully received and appreciated.”

The people cited above said the meeting was being seen as a strong signal of support for the Dalai Lama and was also significant as it was held in India at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are locked in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

However, the Tibetan spiritual leader has insisted that he is not seeking independence but ‘genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet’ under the ‘Middle-Way approach’.

Blinken arrived in India on Tuesday on a maiden two-day visit with an extensive agenda featuring the rapidly evolving security situation in Afghanistan, boosting Indo-Pacific engagement and ways to enhance COVID-19 response efforts among others.

According to the US State Department, Antony Blinken’s trip to New Delhi is meant to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening bilateral ties with India.

Indian Embassy marks the first sermon of Lord Buddha
Indian Embassy marks the first sermon of Lord Buddha

Thinley Namgay

To celebrate the first sermon of Lord Buddha, the Indian Embassy in Thimphu organised a dialogue on the “relevance of the teachings of Lord Buddha in the age of technology” on July 24.

Her Royal Highness Princess Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck graced the event.

President of Centre for Bhutan Studies and Gross National Happiness Research, Dasho Karma Ura and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bhutan, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye shared their views on the subject. The discussion was moderated by the Executive Director of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, Dr Tashi Zangmo.

Dasho Karma Ura said that the whole essence of the Buddha’s teachings were consciousness, ethics, and bodhicitta, which were still applicable in the age of technology. He said that a calm and contented state of mind was critical.

The four noble truths of the Buddha during the first sermon are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye said that some of the essential teachings of Buddha were four noble truths, the law of Dharma and Dharma chakra (wheel of the dharma of truth), which are relevant in all walks of life.

Lyonpo also said that he used to refer kanjur (collection of sacred texts) while enacting laws.  Quoting Albert Einstein, Lyonpo said that if any religion could survive in the age of science and technology, it is Buddhism.

With support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the International Buddhist Confederation organised the Asadha Poornima – Dharma Chakra global celebrations on July 24 to commemorate the Dharma Chakra Parvattana, the first sermon of Lord Buddha.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering also took part in the event, virtually. Lyonchhen said that the life and teachings of Lord Buddha have always given a great source of inspiration. “Celebrating the first ceremony of Buddha amid the pandemic gives us the spiritual reinforcement and to remember those who lost their beloved ones to the pandemic.”

The Prime Minister said: “Material wealth as we know has taken a central stage in most of the globalisation efforts. Is it in line with Lord Buddha’s timeless teaching on contentment and loving-kindness?”

Lyonchhen said that Bhutan was fortunate to have a Dharma King who considers well-being as his secret duty and regards problems and sufferings as his.

China developing new fighter aircraft base near Ladakh
China developing new fighter aircraft base near Ladakh

Rafale fighter jet operating in Ladakh area (File Photo)

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

China is building an airport for fighter aircraft operations near the Eastern Ladakh area in Shakche, Xinjiang province. This aims to dissolve obstacles in its fighter aircraft operations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India.

Seeking to overcome limitations in its fighter aircraft operations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India, China is developing an airbase for fighter aircraft operations close to the Eastern Ladakh area in Shakche town in the Xinjiang province.

“The base is coming up between the existing airbases of Kashgar and Hogan which have been carrying out fighter operations along the Indian borders for a long time. This new base for fighter operations will fill up the gap for the Chinese Air Force in this region,” government sources told ANI.

Shakche town already has an airbase and that is being upgraded for fighter aircraft operations, they said.

The sources added that the base would be ready for fighter aircraft operations in near future and the work has been expedited on it.

The gap between the existing air bases in China close to the LAC for fighter aircraft operations was around 400 kms but this would be bridged with the operationalisation of the Shakche airfield.

The Indian agencies are also keeping a close watch on an airfield near the Uttarakhand border in Barahoti with China where the Chinese have brought in a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles which are continuously flying in that region.

Recently, the Chinese Air Force held an exercise in the new inning of the summer near the Indian territories and the sorties were undertaken by them mainly from the Hogan, Kashgar and Gar Gunsa airfields.

The drills were watched closely by the Indian side and the Indian side was at a high state of readiness during that period.

The Chinese Air Force has traditionally been weak in this part of the LAC with India which has a number of airfields in the relatively short distance airfields along the LAC and has an adage over the Chinese Air Force in terms of strike capability.

The Chinese side has strengthened its air defence further in the area with the deployment of their S-400 air defence systems imported from Russia even as India has deployed a large number of systems to take care of the Chinese fighter aircraft fleet, in case it is required ever.

The Indian side has also deployed a number of fighter aircraft at the Leh and other forward airbases which can take on both China and Pakistan simultaneously from its bases in Ladakh.

The deployment of the Rafale fighter aircraft at the Ambala and Hashimara airbases and their operationalisation has also given a boost to India’s readiness against the Chinese.

Senior government sources told ANI that one such camp is coming up few kilometres inside the Chinese territory opposite the Naku La area in north Sikkim area, which is barely a few minutes distance from the area where Indian and Chinese troops had clashed last year when the confrontation started and also in January this year.

New US Under Secretary of State appointed, expected to be next Tibet coordinator
New US Under Secretary of State appointed, expected to be next Tibet coordinator

By –Shyamal Sinha

Uzra Zeya worked as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service for 27 years. During the Obama administration, Zeya served as the acting assistant Secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. She also worked in the Embassy of the United States, Paris from 2014 to 2017.

The US senate on Tuesday confirmed Uzra Zeya for the State Department’s Under Secretary of State Bureau of Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights . The American diplomat is expected to also be appointed as the next US Special coordinator for Tibet, as the post has traditionally been assumed by the Under Secretary of the state. Republican Robert Destro served as the Tibet coordinator previously.

The Kashmiri-origin diplomat spoke of Chinese repression during her nomination in April, “The [Chinese government is] repressing Tibetans, Christians, and other ethnic minorities.” She also noted her work experience with Chinese dissidents and criticised the current genocide against the Uyghur community. Zeya also wished to use congressional tools such as the Global Magnitsky Act and the Uyghur Human Rights Act during her tenure as Under Secretary.

“Based on her credentials, Ms. Zeya could be a formidable Special Coordinator, and we look forward to the possibility of working with her soon,” Representative Ngodup Tsering said of her potential as the new Special Coordinator under the Biden Administration.

Uzra Zeya has previously served as the acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under the Obama administration. She would become the first Asian American to serve as the Under Secretary of State, with 73 votes in favour and 24 against, who was sworn into office by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman on Wednesday.

The appointment of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues is mandated by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and is also an indication of the US government’s commitment to a negotiated resolution on Tibet and for the preservation of religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of the Tibetan people. The first Tibet coordinator Gregory Craig, Director of Policy Planning, was appointed on Oct 13, 1997.

Ms. Zeya is a Life Member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and co-authored a 2020 CFR report on Revitalizing the State Department and American Diplomacy. Her insights on U.S. diplomacy, human rights, and national security policies have been highlighted in Politico, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and international media.

Ms. Zeya speaks Arabic, French and Spanish. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University and is the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor and Senior Performance awards, the Presidential Rank Award, and the French Legion d’Honneur.

Wheel Turning Day July 14
Wheel Turning Day July 14

By – Staff Reporter

Rejoicing in the Buddha’s first teaching, when he set the wheel of Dharma in motion.

All merit created on this day is multiplied 100,000 times.

“The essence of the Buddha’s teachings is expressed in the Four Noble Truths. By understanding them, we’ll enter the path to liberation and enlightenment.” Ven. Thubten Chodron, Taming the Mind

With these words, Abbey founder and abbess Venerable Thubten Chodron sums up the significance of the Buddha’s fundamental first teaching when he explained the Four Truths of the Aryas, beings who have broken through innate ignorance to see reality as it is.

Thes four are also well known as the Four Noble Truths.

If we understand even a little why this teaching is so precious, we’ll understand why we celebrate Wheel-Turning Day.

Four Truths

In Buddha’s first teaching he described the unsatisfactory nature of our lives and the causes of our suffering.

He also explained the possibility of freedom from these sufferings and the paths to bring it about.

These Four Truths of the Aryas give us encouragement, hope, and inspiration.

In her book, Open Heart, Clear Mind, Venerable Chodron quotes Juan Mascano, Spanish academic and educator, lecturer at Cambridge University, who writes:

“The message of the Buddha is a message of joy. He found a treasure and he wants us to follow the path that leads us to the treasure. He tells man that he is in deep darkness, but he also tells him that there is a path that leads to light. He wants us to arise from a life of dreams into a higher life where man loves and does not hate, where man helps and does not hurt.

“His appeal is universal, because he appeals to reason and to the universal in us all: ‘It is you who must make the effort. The Great of the past only show the way.’ He achieved a superior harmony of vision and wisdom by placing spiritual truth to the crucial test of experience; and only experience can satisfy the mind of modern man. He wants us to watch and be awake, and he wants us to seek and to find.”

Thus we can see why Wheel Turning Day is a very auspicious occasion to engage in virtuous action!”

Chinese Soldiers Enter Ladakh’s Demchok, Object to Dalai Lama’s Birthday Celebrations
Chinese Soldiers Enter Ladakh’s Demchok, Object to Dalai Lama’s Birthday Celebrations

China has striked  India yet again. This time over His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday celebrations in Ladakh. Officials have confirmed to CNN-News18 that on July 6, Chinese army entered the Indian territory in Demchok with banners and objected to locals celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday. “The incident happened on July 6 at Doley Tango near Koyul which is around 30 kilometers southeast of Demchok,” a source told news18.

In Ladakh, there is a place called – Shiwaye-Tsel (a palace in Leh). There the celebrations used to go on for three days to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday. People from border areas would come and participate in a horse race; dance performances are held by artists from Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, and Leh. Similar celebrations are also held in Arunachal Pradesh as well.

In videos which have now surfaced, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can be seen standing across river Indus with banners. A second video shows villagers holding the Dalai Lama’s portrait atop a vehicle as a small cavalcade rallies around the village. Officials said while the festivities were on, Chinese kept a vigil from distance and conveyed their objection. “They didn’t enter the village but did transgress a bit into Indian territory,” an official told News18.

According to officials, Chinese troops stayed on the Indian territory for about 30 minutes. At least five vehicles can be seen in the video. Locals said Chinese troops were accompanied by civilians.

The banner that Chinese carried said, “Tibetans living on the other side of the LAC bordering India are fully supported by the Chinese,” a source said. Another officer told News18 that the Chinese were reiterating their oft-repeated message that Tibet and China are one.

India and China have been locked in a dispute over eastern Ladakh since the Galwan incident of June 2020. While India at commander level talks has sought restoration of status quo as it existed pre-April 2020, the Chinese side have refused to discuss Demchok and Depsang flashpoints, according to officials. Two sides have had 11 rounds of military talks to resolve the eastern Ladakh flashpoints but friction points remain over Gogra, Hot springs, Demchok and Depsang.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had greeted the Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday last week. Since becoming Prime Minister in 2014, this is the first time Narendra Modi has openly confirmed communicating with the Dalai Lama.

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, PM Modi said, “Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life.”

“Most importantly, all Tibetans are urged to recite the Chenrezig mantra, Om Mani Padme Hung, over 1000 times, or at least 10 rounds of the rosary. The six-syllable mantra is associated with the Bodhisattva of compassion and the patron saint of Tibet, Chenrezig. For Tibetans, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the human manifestation of Chenrezig. Every year, Trungkar is celebrated with grandeur, glory, and festive spirit.

sourced – News 18

Team Modi’s Women Ministers Gave a Push to India’s Handloom
Team Modi’s Women Ministers Gave a Push to India’s Handloom

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc. Indira Gandhi, who served as Prime Minister of India for an aggregate period of fifteen years, is the world’s longest serving female Prime Minister

Displaying India’s women power, nine leaders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s council of ministers were seen donning handloom sarees in different styles. While some were spotted in ‘ulta pallu’ saree, some others draped the ‘palla’ over both shoulders.

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared photos of Smriti Irani, Darshana Jardosh, Pratima Bhoumik, Shobha Karandlaje, Bharati Pravin Pawar, Meenakshi Lekhi, Anupriya Patel and Annapurna Devi on Twitter. She also thanked BJP chief JP Nadda and said, “Grateful to National President @JPNadda for graciously joining us.”

In the photo, Darshana Jardosh, Lok Sabha MP from Surat, Gujarat, could be seen donning an ‘ulta pallu’ blue and teal coloured sari paired with a brown and golden watch. Next to her was Pratima Bhoumik, who chose a simple look by wearing a yellow saree with a red border.

Next was Shobha Karandlaje donning a silk saree, which was grey in colour with a pink border. Smriti Irani, who was shifted from Textile Ministry on Wednesday, was seen in a stunning embroidered Chanderi handloom saree with floral patterns and a bronze border.

Last year, on National Handloom Day, Irani had urged people to be ‘vocal for local’ and request them to choose clothes made by local brands. Bharati Pravin Pawar wore a plain cream coloured saree paired with a pendant.

Meenakshi Lekhi looked gracious in a pink Gadhwal saree that had a striking blue border with embroidery on it. Lekhi is the second-term MP of Bharatiya Janata Party from Delhi.

Anupriya Patel also wore a yellow saree, standing beside Annpurna Devi, who looked elegant in a polka dot print Madhubani saree.

Sitharaman caught everyone’s attention with her simple cotton saree. Her sartorial choices have made headlines on many occasions – from donning beautiful handloom sarees to sporting silk sarees.

For the unversed, she likes wearing subtle yet classy handloom and silk sarees to work and it is safe to say that it is her wardrobe arithmetic that gives her appearance a distinct stamp. Seven women MPs took oath as union ministers on Wednesday in the expansion of the council of ministers.

The women MPs who took the oath of office on Wednesday are Anupriya Patel, Shobha Karandlaje, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Annpurna Devi, Pratima Bhoumik and Bharati Pravin Pawar. The swearing-in ceremony, which took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan amid COVID-19 protocols, came days ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. It was the first expansion of the union council of ministers by PM Modi in his second term.

(with inputs from ANI)

PM Modi Greets HHDalai Lama on Birthday
PM Modi Greets HHDalai Lama on Birthday

By   —  Shyamal Sinha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi let the world know on his birthday  that he had rung Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to wish him a happy 86th birthday, disregarding any potential disapproval from China.

Beijing regards the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in northern India for more than six decades, as a dangerous “splittist”, or separatist, and frowns on any engagement with him.

Indian leaders have generally been circumspect about public contact to avoid upsetting Beijing, but with India’s own relations with China at a low ebb, Modi said in a tweet he had passed on his best wishes personally.

“Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life,” Modi said.

Several state leaders subsequently greeted the Dalai Lama saying his values, teachings and way of life is an inspiration to humanity.

Chinese troops seized Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing calls a “peaceful liberation”, and the Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959, following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

New Delhi recognises Tibet as an autonomous region of China, but has several territorial disputes with Beijing elsewhere on their 3,500 km (2,173 mile) Himalayan border.

Relations deteriorated in June last year following the most serious clash in decades, when Chinese troops attacked an Indian border patrol with rocks and clubs, killing 20. China later said it lost four soldiers during that clash.

Tens of thousands of troops remain in close proximity at several points in the western Himalayas, on the border running through India’s Ladakh, a region sometimes called “Little Tibet”, because of its Tibetan culture and predominantly Buddhist religion.

Back in 2019, when Modi was still pursuing a detente with Chinese President Xi Jinping, his government had asked Tibetans in India not to hold a rally to mark the 60th anniversary of the uprising.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen also wished the Dalai Lama a happy birthday, tweeting: “Thank you for teaching us the importance of coming together to help one another through this pandemic.”

In a video message, the Dalai Lama hailed India and said “Since I became a refugee and now settled in India, I have taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony.”

He added that he had great respect for India’s secular values such as “honesty, karuna (compassion), and ahimsa (non-violence).”

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet.

At the age of two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognised as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.

In 1950, after China’s invasion of Tibet, he was called upon to assume full political power. In 1959, he was forced to escape into exile. Since then, he has been living in Dharamsala.

86th Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Celebrated in Belgium
86th Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Celebrated in Belgium

Dignitaries at the 86th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Antwerp, Belgium on 3 July.

Antwerp: Tibetan Community in Belgium celebrated the 86th Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Antwerp on Saturday, 3 July under Covid restriction of a maximum of 250 persons. Representative Tashi Phuntsok was the Chief Guest. The staff of the Office of Tibet, leaders from other Tibetan organisations, and the public formed the select audience.

Once the portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was enthroned and the Tibetan national anthem was sung, Mr Phurbu Dhondup, President of the Tibetan Community made a brief introductory remark. He then distributed ballot papers for the election of President and Vice President from the 11 members of the 9th Tibetan Community board elected earlier.

Representative Tashi Phuntsok gave a brief outline of the four commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He called on all to emulate them in their daily lives. He cajoled the audience to imagine the presence of His Holiness in his residence in India and reflect on the enormous grace and blessings that he has bestowed on us. That should be enough to propel us to do better, eschew selfishness, anger, pettiness, and narrow-mindedness. We should embrace and imbibe his practical messages of universal responsibility, harmony amongst various groups, work for Tibet, and indeed use the Nalanda traditions of mental science to bring about peace of mind through compassion, love, tolerance, etc, he added.

Talking briefly about the hard work of the outgoing board, he pointed out the major success was the most lawful and smooth conduct of the Tibetan elections. Despite being the hardest period of Covid, both the preliminary and the actual elections were carried with the proper permission of local authorities. The donations to Indian PM Cares for Covid were substantial 15000 Euros. Recently at the instance of President Penpa Tsering’s appeal for relief and alleviation and Covid wave for Tibetans in the Indian Subcontinent, by yesterday another 12000 Euros have been donated by Tibetans in Belgium for onward transmission to the Health Department in India.

He applauded all Tibetans in Belgium and especially the outgoing Committee. He welcomed the new 11 members and wished all the best at the same time.

Mr Lhakpa, Accountant presented the accounts of the Community. It was followed by the announcement of the results of the elections of President and Vice `President of the Tibetan Community – Mr Palden and Mr Dorjee respectively. They were administered the oath by Mr Phurbu Dhondup, the outgoing President. Led by Representative Phuntsok the new and former board members were presented scarves by other delegates of Tibetan organisations.

Mr. Lobsang Dhondup, Vice President said the words of thanks. Thus concluded the somewhat abbreviated celebrations under the second year of unrelenting Covid 19.

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Representative Tashi Phuntsok giving the keynote address.

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Era of China Being Bullied Gone Forever, Says Xi Jinping at centenary celebration of Communist Party
Era of China Being Bullied Gone Forever, Says Xi Jinping at centenary celebration of Communist Party

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

President Xi Jinping hailed China’s “irreversible” course from humiliated colony to great power at the centenary celebrations for the Chinese Communist Party on Thursday, in a speech reaching deep into history to remind patriots at home and rivals abroad of his nation’s — and his own — ascendancy.

Speaking above the giant portrait of Mao Zedong, which dominates Tiananmen Square, from the podium where the famous chairman proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Xi said the “era of China being bullied is gone forever” praising the party for uplifting incomes and restoring national pride.

Drawing a line from the subjugation of the Opium Wars to the struggle to establish a socialist revolution in China, Xi said the party has brought about “national rejuvenation” lifting tens of millions from poverty and “altered the landscape of world development.”

Xi, wearing a ‘Mao-style’ jacket, added the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical course” and vowed to continue to build a “world-class” military to defend national interests.

In the summer of 1921 Mao and a clutch of Marxist-Leninist thinkers in Shanghai founded the party which has since morphed into one of the world’s most powerful political organisations.

It now counts around 95 million members, garnered over a century of war, famine and turmoil, and more recently a surge to superpower status butting up against western rivals, led by the US.

In a ceremony of pomp and patriotism, thousands of singers, backed by a marching band, belted out stirring choruses including “We Are the Heirs of Communism” and “Without the Communist Party there would be no New China” as maskless invitees cheered and waved flags in a packed Tiananmen Square.

A fly-by of helicopters in formation spelling ‘100’ — a giant hammer and sickle flag trailing — and a 100-gun salute followed, while young communists in unison pledged allegiance to the party.

Power, popularity and purges

Xi, whose speech braided the economic miracle of China with the longevity of the party, has cemented his eight-year rule through a personality cult, ending term limits and declining to anoint a successor.

He has purged rivals and crushed dissent — from Uyghur Muslims and online critics to pro-democracy protests on Hong Kong’s streets.

The party has pivoted to new challenges; using tech to renew its appeal for younger generations — 12.55 million members are now aged 30 or younger — while giving a communist finish to a consumer economy decorated by billionaire entrepreneurs.

On Beijing’s streets, praise for the party was effusive from those willing to speak to foreign media.

“We should thank the party and the motherland,” said Li Luhao, 19, a student at Beihang University performing in the celebration.

A man surnamed Wang, 42, said: “When I was a child there was a blackout for one hour every night and electricity shortages.” “Now the streets are full of light. Food, clothes, education, traffic are all better.”

Xi has presented a defiant face to overseas rivals led by the US, revving up nationalist sentiment, batting back criticism of his government’s actions in Hong Kong, towards Taiwan and the treatment of the Uyghurs.

“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, oppress, or enslave us,” Xi said in his speech to great applause.

“Whoever wants to do so will face bloodshed in front of a Great Wall of steel built by more than 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

Party time?

In its 100th year, the party has delivered a selective version of history through films, ‘Red’ tourism campaigns and books, which dance over the mass violence of the Cultural Revolution, famines and the Tiananmen Square student crackdown.

Instead, it has driven attention to China’s rebound from Covid-19, which first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, but has been virtually extinguished inside the country.

But reminders linger of the risks to stability.

Thursday also marks the 24th anniversary of the handover of former British colony Hong Kong to China, a date once met with mass demonstrations against Beijing.

One year ago, China imposed a draconian national security law on the city in response to huge — often violent — protests.

The measure has seen more than 64 activists charged, anti-China slogans criminalised and even the closure of a critical newspaper as the law sinks the once freewheeling city into what Amnesty International calls a “human rights emergency”.

Police have denied requests for demonstrations in the city, although several pro-democracy groups have vowed to defy a 10,000-strong police presence on the streets.

“The CCP can go to hell,” a Hong Konger who gave his name only as Ken told AFP. “Anything that’s worthwhile, they destroy.”

sourced – News 18

Tibetan Youth Congress protest CCP centenary celebrations at Chinese Embassy in Delhi
Tibetan Youth Congress protest CCP centenary celebrations at Chinese Embassy in Delhi

Tibetan Youth Congress members protesting against 100 years of CCP at Chinese Embassy (ANI)

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) members on Thursday staged a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi against the centenary celebrations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Dozens of Tibetans gathered at the Chinese Embassy to protest the cruelty and brutality of the CCP and to send the message that they were putting up an united front against it.

One of the protestors said, “Remember 1950, we are protesting against the centenary celebration of CCP. We want freedom, hail Tibet, while the world is witnessing a river of blood flowing, China is celebrating the 100 years of CCP.”

“We condemn CCP. The very existence of the party is a threat to global peace and harmony. They are the murderers, they are the killers”, said another protestor.

As China marks the 100th founding anniversary of its Communist Party, Tibetan Youth Congress strongly condemned and criticised the very existence of CCP and its establishment at the cost of countless innocent lives and its notorious history of human rights violations said a statement of TYC.

“The painful memories of annexation and occupation of Tibet and killings of more than a million courageous countrymen continue to stay in us and we will strengthen our freedom movement to fulfill their aspirations,” added the statement.

The invasion of Tibet by the CCP in 1959 led 14th Dalai Lama along with 50,000 Tibetan to escape to India and later spread across the globe.

The CCP continues to impose severe restrictions and use brutal measures to suppress and imprison any form of dissent inside Tibet. Due to such aggressive policies, Tibetans inside Tibet have resorted to measures like self-immolation.

Since 2009, 157 Tibetans inside Tibet have set themselves on fire to protest against China’s illegal occupation. Most of the self-immolators called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and independence in Tibet, read the statement.

Tibetan Buddhism under Communist China went through a dark phase from demolishing more than 5,000 monasteries to the disrobing of 99.9 per cent monks and nuns.

Today in Tibet, the Chinese authorities are gearing up for increased control over Tibetan Buddhism, where monasteries are forbidden to give traditional monastic education which forms an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism, read the TYC statement.

Monks and nuns are, instead, subjected to regular “patriotic education” and other political campaigns that are fundamentally against the basic tenets of Tibetan Buddhism.

Political indoctrination has replaced Buddhist education in monastic institutions where monks are drawn to serve the interest of the Beijing government and are forced to follow CCP’s strict guidelines.

CCP’s authorities are empowered with direct supervision over managing and running the monasteries and nunneries, the statement added.

Apart from that, under China’s occupation, Tibet’s environment has been destroyed, the resources have been illegally mined and transported and the rivers have been polluted.

Their occupation has led the Tibetans devoid of their basic rights and the human rights situation inside Tibet continues to deteriorate and worsen each passing year under the Chinese Communist Party’s oppressive and repressive hardliner policies.

Owing to which Tibet has for the past six years only scored 1/100 and ranked as the least free place in the world for civil rights and political freedoms, TYC statement added.

Genocide and crimes against humanity are becoming a daily occurrence in Tibet, and CCP continues to aggressively pursue assimilation policies in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia.

Chinese authorities have tightened surveillance ahead of their centenary celebration and continue to detain Tibetans arbitrarily.

“The very existence of CCP is not only a threat to the survival of Tibetan culture and identity, but it poses a grave security threat to the rest of the world. Therefore, it’s high time to scale up the cooperation amongst the democratic countries and strengthen its position against the atrocities committed by the CCP,” said the statement.

Sourced  – (ANI)

HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation
HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation
#HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation

27 Jun 2021: #HealthBytes: Effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation

Inflammation is nothing but the body’s natural defense against infections and diseases. However, when it lasts for weeks, months, or years, it can damage your arteries, organs, and joints. This condition is called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart diseases, fatty liver, and cancer, among other diseases. But there are effective ways in which you can reduce its risk. Here’s how.

Anti-inflammatory foods: Mediterranean diet: Considered one of the healthiest diets globally

The Mediterranean diet includes several anti-inflammatory foods and is considered one of the healthiest. It primarily follows the dietary pattern of Mediterranean countries: Vegetables to have: Broccoli, kale, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower, spinach, etc.; Fruits to have: All fruits, especially grapes and cherries; Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.; Fatty fish, poultry, and dairy are other healthy foods to have.

Avoid: Avoid foods that aggravate inflammation, like sugary drinks, snacks

Limiting or cutting out certain foods from the diet can have a profound impact on the way you feel and your body functions: Sugary drinks can aggravate inflammation and should be avoided. Here’s a list of some other foods to limit: Snacks like crackers and chips; Processed meat like bologna, sausages; Refined carbs like white bread, white pasta; Desserts like cakes and ice cream.

Tips: Physical activities and sleep assume importance in this case

Being physically active is of utmost importance for your overall health, and especially when you are trying to reduce your inflammatory markers. Do cardio workouts for 30 minutes and resistance training for 15 minutes at least five times a week. Studies have linked poor sleep to increased chances of inflammation. Make sure to sleep for at least seven or eight hours every night.

Benefits: Changes to expect by making these dietary changes

An anti-inflammatory diet, along with daily physical activity, can be beneficial to you in the following ways: Reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer, etc. It can relieve arthritis pain, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders. Significantly reduces the inflammatory markers in the blood. An overall improvement in blood sugar and triglyceride levels. Improves levels of energy and mood.

India Commits Assistance Of Rs 4,500 Crore For Implementation Of Development Projects In Bhutan
India Commits Assistance Of Rs 4,500 Crore For Implementation Of Development Projects In Bhutan

By   —   Shyamal Sinha

The Third Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks for the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) was held virtually on Monday, 28th June 2021. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Kinga Singye, Foreign Secretary, and included senior officials from Ministries of Finance, Works & Human Settlement, Education, Labor, Health, Information and Communications, Home and Culture Affairs, Foreign Ministry, and Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat, and the Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by H.E. Shri Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, and included the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Joint Secretary (North), and other officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

During the talks, the two sides reviewed the progress of the projects supported by GoI under the 12th FYP and approved some new projects and reprioritization of some others whose implementations have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting also discussed the progress of important projects that are being implemented outside the 12th FYP.

The Bhutanese side expressed appreciation to the people and the Government of India for their unstinted support and cooperation extended to Bhutan during the difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deepening the bilateral relationship between India and Bhutan, New Delhi has committed assistance of Rs 4,500 crore for the implementation of development projects and Rs 400 crore for transitional trade support facility, reports Livemint.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India’s commitments have been made under Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan. This comes as the two nations on Monday (28 June) held the third India and Bhutan Development Cooperation talks. The talks were held virtually, and the officials from the two sides reviewed the progress of various developmental projects by India in Bhutan.

It should be noted that as many as 77 large and intermediate projects and 524 Small Development Projects (SDPs)/ High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) are at various stages of implementation under the 12th Five Year Plan of Bhutan.

Bhutanese Foreign Secretary commended the role played by India in the socio-economic transformation of Bhutan and also highlighted the impact of HICDPs at the grassroots level. He further appreciated the Indian gesture to frontload the release of funds for various projects, keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides agreed to hold the next Development Cooperation Talks in Thimphu at a mutually convenient date.

The Talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere in keeping with the excellent bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.