While laying emphasis on the freedom of navigation in the maritime domain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said security cooperation in this domain was the major focus of discussions with ASEAN leaders.
PM Modi is hosting heads of states of 10 ASEAN countries – the second time after former PM Manmohan Singh did it in 2012 and the first time when they would be chief guests at the Republic Day celebrations on Friday – for a summit on ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’ to commemorate 25 years of dialogue partnership.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei.
Addressing the India ASEAN Commemorative Summit in New Delhi, PM Modi said, “India shares the ASEAN vision for rule-based societies and values of peace. We are committed to working with ASEAN nations to enhance collaboration in the maritime domain.”
Talking about how the India-ASEAN partnership has grown since 1990s, he said, “Our partnership has evolved, we have made success in implementing the objective of ASEAN-India partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity through five-year plan of action. Your collective presence in India has touched hearts of my 1.25 billion fellow Indians.”
PM Modi also emphasised the importance of ASEAN, which he said was at the centre of India’s Act East Policy. “Our friendship has been nurtured by our shared culture & civilisation linkages. The Ramayana, the ancient India epic continues to be a valuable shared legacy in ASEAN & Indian subcontinent. Buddhism also binds us closely. Islam in many parts of South East Asia has distinctive Indian connection going back several centuries.”
The PM highlighted that trade between India and ASEAN nations has “grown 25 times in 25 years”, adding, “Investments are robust and growing. We will further enhance trade ties and work towards greater interaction among our business communities.”
The two-day India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in New Delhi is expected to give boost to the cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity amidst increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with his counterpart from Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on strengthening cooperation in strategic areas of trade, defence and security. He also held meetings with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the current chair of the ASEAN grouping, and Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah.
On Wednesday, too, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral meetings with ASEAN leaders, including Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. After the meeting, External affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “The two leaders had a productive discussion on intensifying bilateral cooperation, including follow up on key decisions taken during PM’s visit to Myanmar in September 2017.”
Wednesday’s meeting came nearly a month after India and Myanmar inked an agreement on restoration of normalcy and development of the Rakhine state, from where thousands of Rohingya Muslims recently fled following incidents of violence against the community. Signed during Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Myanmar, the pact was the first government-to-government agreement by Myanmar with a cooperation partner focused on socio-economic development and livelihood initiatives in the Rakhine state.
These meetings on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit come in the backdrop of increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region. Despite having a free trade agreement in services and investments, ASEAN-India trade for the year 2016-17 was only $71 billion, in comparison to the $470 billion trade with China.
China has reacted cautiously to India hosting top ASEAN leaders on the country’s 69th Republic Day and hoped that all countries can work jointly to maintain peace, stability and the development of the region. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told PTI: “We hope all countries can work together for peace, stability and development of the region.”
Watch: Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok performs puja for his new car, video goes viral
In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26
South Korean Embassy in India held a special puja ceremony to mark the arrival of a new vehicle for Ambassador Chang Jae-bok. The official took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a video of the pooja ceremony. He wrote he was delighted to have new Hyundai Genesis GV80 as the ambassador’s official vehicle. He also held a puja ceremony for good luck.
In the video a priest can be seen holding the puja ceremony. Ambassador Chang Jae-bok and other officials are also standing in attendance during the puja ceremony. The post was shared by the Korean Embassy on X on September 26. The video has been viewed close to 80,000 times. The post has more than 1700 likes.
Variety of comments started coming on Twitter. Many social media users were happy on seeing the video and wished Ambassador for the new car. One social media user said Good Luck and safe driving Ambassador Chang. One X user wrote that is the way to appreciate someone’s culture and wished the Ambassador best of Luck.
One social media user thanked the ambassador for embracing the culture. He said good luck for the new vehicle. Another X user said nice looking car. One user wrote performing puja is a very heartwarming. He assured the Ambassador that positive forces will bring much more glory to South Korea and India’s relations. One social media user said great to see this and respect for him. Another X user said India’s culture was the pride of India.
Another social media user said this is a great gesture by the Korean ambassador.
One X user said happy driving and safe journeys.
Another user found the video beautiful.
Another social media user said this will be a good beginning for the car of the ambassador.
Watch: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar reaches Karnal airport on bike, video went viral
On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday took a bike rike to Karnal airport in an attempt to support the car free day initiative in the state. Earlier, the chief minister announced that every Tuesday would be a car-free day in Karnal, where all government officials would travel by bicycle only.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, CM Manohar Lal Khattar wrote that be it Car Free Day or the resolve to make Drug-free Haryana, it cannot be accomplished without public cooperation. He expressed that he also made a small cooperation to reduce car traffic today by travelling to Karnal Airport by bike on Car Free Day. He added that he hopes the aware people of the state will take this message forward and inspire people to give up their cars just for a day.
On September 1, in an effort to check pollution, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that Tuesdays from now will be designated as car-free days in Karnal. Under the aegis of this initiative, all government officials will be required to travel by bicycle on Tuesdays.
Meanwhile on Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off a cyclothon in Haryana’s Yamunanagar to promote the initiative of drug-free Haryana. The campaign titled Cyclothon for a Drug-Free Haryana witnessed the first cyclothon on September 1 and Monday, September 25.
Speaking about drug-free Haryana, the Chief Minister noted that their goal will not be achieved by mere march against drug addiction. He added that in order to eradicate it from its roots they will have to create public awareness continuously. He underlined that to eliminate drug addiction, they have to break the drug supply chain for which the government is taking action against the drug smugglers with great responsibility.
The Chief Minister further remarked that during Cyclothon Yatra Closing Ceremony in Karnal, all the people present there took many resolutions to eradicate drug addiction from the society.
Cauvery water dispute: Bengaluru bandh evokes partial response as public services function normally
Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services.
The Bengaluru bandh summoned by farmers and Kannada organisations on Tuesday and supported by the BJP and JD(S) in protest against the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu evoked partial response as most of the public services were functioning normally. However, very few people ventured out in the streets.
Though cab services, autos and hotels, restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators asserted not many people were coming out to utilise the services. In Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and Metro rail services, the usual rush was not seen. In addition, Ola-Uber Drivers Association and Hotel Owners Association have said that their services will be normal today.
On the other hand, Bengaluru Urban district Deputy Commissioner Dayananda K A has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the city on Tuesday, in wake of the bandh. Several private companies and firms, including those in the IT sector have asked their employees to work from home. Some shopping malls in the city have decided to remain shut. Many shops and establishments were also seen not functioning as usual in the morning hours.
Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti, which is an umbrella outfit of farmers’ associations and other organisations headed by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, has given the call for today’s dawn-to-dusk (6 am to 6 pm) Bengaluru shutdown. Shanthakumar and other leaders of the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti were arrested by the police at the Mysuru Bank circle, as they were trying to hold a protest march towards Town Hall.
In addition, multiple activists of Kannada organisations were also whisked away by the police at Town Hall, as they gathered there to demonstrate a protest. Farmers’ leaders and Kannada activists slammed the government for allegedly using police force to curtail the protests and bandh. Farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are further expected to stage a protest at the Freedom Park, which is a designated place for such demonstrations.
According to reports, city police have taken adequate security measures to respond to any violence that may happen during the protests. Nearly 100 platoons have been deployed. Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda stated that prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place across the city from midnight on Monday to midnight on Tuesday in the view of the bandh.
According to existing restrictions and court orders, there is no permission for any bandh or procession in the city, he added. On the other hand, a Karnataka bandh, a state-wide shutdown, was called on September 29 by Kannada Okkuta, an umbrella organisation for Kannada organisations, led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj. They are not supporting today’s bandh.