The Asian Age – Doklam face-off resolved through diplomatic maturity, says Sushma Swaraj

China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory to which India had objected saying the territory does not belong to China.

New Delhi – India, 02 August 2018. The Centre on Wednesday informed Parliament that the India-China face-off over Doklam was resolved through “diplomatic maturity without losing any ground” and status quo has been maintained.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that the main objective of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping at Wuhan was to ensure mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust between the two leaders and all the three objectives have been achieved.

“We have resolved the Doklam issue with diplomatic maturity without losing any ground. There is no change in the status quo (on the ground). There is not an iota of change. The face-off at sight has been resolved on August 28, 2017,” she said during Question Hour.

The external affairs minister said the Wuhan informal summit was held without any agenda and without having any objections to discuss any specific issue.

Before the summit, the foreign ministers of the two countries decided that the leaders should not be restricted to any specific issue, she said.

“The decision to host Wuhan was taken not to resolve any issue but to create a conducive environment. Three main objectives were to ensure mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust. In all the three objectives, we have achieved success,” she said.

Ms Swaraj said as a follow up to the Wuhan summit, the Chinese defence minister is coming to enhance military cooperation while the foreign minister will arrive later this year as part of efforts to enhance the people-to-people contact. The first informal summit between Modi and Jinping was held at the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27-28.

India and China were locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for over 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area. China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory to which India had objected saying the territory does not belong to China.

To another query, Ms Swaraj also made it clear that the boundary dispute between Bhutan and China was continuing and it was a matter between those two countries.

Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose said that since the external affairs minister was not present in Wuhan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House, he should make an intervention and disclose what had happened in his informal summit with the Chinese leader.

Ms Swaraj dismissed the suggestion, saying she was capable of answering all questions relating to the Wuhan summit.

“I am capable of answering all questions, irrespective of whether I was present there or not. I am fully aware of what was happening there,” she said.

Replying to a question regarding the South China Sea dispute, Ms Swaraj said India believed that the international sea route should be free for navigation.

The Tribune – Soon, Golden Temple kitchen to run on biogas

Rs 2-crore plant to be set up near Sri Guru Ram Dass Langar Hall

G S Paul, Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 01 August 2018. The SGPC will set up a biogas plant at the Golden Temple kitchen, which offers langar (community food) to at least 60,000 devotees daily.

This move will serve dual purpose. It will not only be a source of continuous economical fuel to ignite the round-the-clock kitchen of the shrine, but will also make optimum use of tonnes of leftover vegetable wastage.

The SGPC has roped in the Amritsar Municipal Corporation to set up the plant. Costing around Rs 2 crore, the biogas plant is being set up in collaboration with HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd) under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) head.

The SGPC has already earmarked the plot located near Sri Guru Ram Dass Langar Hall, which is undergoing expansion. At present, the langar is being prepared on LPG-run hobs and partially by firewood. Once the biogas plant is installed, the officials viewed that there would be negligible necessity of firewood, which caused pollution.

The use of LPG cylinders, which are charged on commercial rates, too, would be minimised. On an average, 90 LPG cylinders are used daily to prepare langar. The figure increases to 125 cylinders on special occasions like Diwali, Gurpurbs, Sangrandh, etc.

Looking at the high cost of LPG cylinders on commercial rate, the SGPC’s repeated pleas for subsidy on them was never heard.

The gurdwaras used to get subsidised LPG cylinders at the rate of Rs 422 each and after the withdrawal of the subsidy, the cylinder cost escalated to Rs 1,086 each.

About this smart kitchen concept, the SGPC’s additional secretary Diljit Singh Bedi said nearly four tonne of wastage that was generated on an average daily, would be enough to ignite the Golden Temple kitchen.

“It was decided in the last executive body meeting to set up a biogas plant in the Golden Temple kitchen. We have asked the MC to submit the project report,” he said.

MC Commissioner Sonali Giri said an MoU was signed with the HPCL Bio Fuels and once the official formalities with the SGPC were furnished, it would take just four months to set up infrastructure for the biogas plant.

“We need to make provision for underground refuse storage bins and bio compactors. This will be followed by the process through which the waste has to be fed to the biogas plant to ignite fire,” she said.

Gent-Sint-Pieters – Brussel Zuid – Brussel Schuman – Ledeberg – Singh is King

28 June 2018

Track 11 IC train to Brussel and Brussel Airport

Brussel Zuid & Schuman
28 June 2018

Brussel Zuid IC train to Den Haag (NL)

Brussel Zuid IC train to Den Haag (NL)

Brussel Schuman Train to Brussel Zuid via Noord and Centraal

29 June 2018


Gent Diversity Poster
01 July 2018

Top left: Sikh in kesri pag !

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

I B Times – Akali Dal demands citizenship for displaced Afghan Sikhs – Hindus

The Home Minister has promised to form a committee comprising Sikh representatives to examine the entire matter and make recommendations for resolving it

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 02 August 2018. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to grant citizenship to all Afghan Sikh and Hindu families who have taken refuge in India after fleeing persecution in Afghanistan.

While demanding that the country must come to the aid of all these displaced persons, a SAD delegation met the Minister in New Delhi on Thursday.

The delegation, which included union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Naresh Gujral and other senior SAD leaders, said there are around 35,000 Afghan Sikh and Hindu families in India.

The delegation apprised the Home Minister that these people had fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control in 1989. They pointed out that these families faced harassment and persecution in the war-torn country due to forced conversions and danger to their womenfolk.

Harsimrat Badal urged Rajnath Singh to grant passports to all these displaced persons besides rehabilitating them by offering a comprehensive package to them as was done in the case of Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamils.

The Home Minister has promised to form a committee comprising Sikh representatives to examine the entire matter and make recommendations for resolving it.

The Hindu – Our first aim is to oust BJP from power: CM Mamata Banerjee

Opposition will fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election under a collective leadership, she says.

Sobhana K Nair

New Delhi – India, 02 August 2018. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the Opposition would fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election under a collective leadership, and the first aim was to oust the BJP government from power.

Ms Banerjee’s statement to journalists in New Delhi on Wednesday came after she held daylong parleys with leaders of 10 Opposition parties.

The Trinamool Congress chief met all leaders expected to play a key role in the Lok Sabha election: Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Deve Gowda and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

To a question at a media interaction after she met the Gandhis, whether she considered herself to be the face of the Opposition coalition in 2019, she said: “There is a song by Rabindranath Tagore that in a democracy ‘Amra saboi raja’ [All of us are kings].

All of us are together, we are all for all.” The question was posed to her repeatedly through the day.

Answering it earlier in the day, she said, “Please don’t discuss all these things. The Prime Minister does not matter to us. I want my country to progress. I want farmers and labourers to have a good life. I want communal harmony… ‘Pehle BJP ko haraane dijiye, phir baith kar dekhenge’ (Let’s first defeat the BJP, then we will sit and discuss)”.

She spent the first half of the day in Parliament meeting floor leaders of various parties. Her first meeting of the day was with BJP elder L K Advani. After the meeting, she said, “I know Advaniji for a very long time. I went to enquire about his health. It was a courtesy call”.

Back in the Trinamool Congress office, packed with MPs and reporters, senior leaders walked in one after the other. The first ones to arrive were Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel.

“Trinamool and Congress will chalk out floor strategies against the government, especially on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue. Mamata expressed pleasure at the Congress-Trinamool working in tandem. Congress-Trinamool will carry out joint issue-based protests,” a senior Congress leader said.

Then walked in Mr Ramgopal Yadav. He was followed by Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Misa Bharati and Jai Prakash Yadav.

YSR Congress leader Vijay Sai Reddy walked in with a single pink rose in hand. But before he could reach Ms Banerjee, a contingent of the Telugu Desam Party, comprising former minister Y S Chowdary and MP Kesineni Srinivas, walked in.

Ms Banerjee told them to convey her regards to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. After the TDP delegation left, Mr Reddy got a few minutes with her.

The other leaders who came to meet her included DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Congress leader Ashwini Kumar, Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan and BJP rebel Kirti Azad. Later in the evening, Mr Kejriwal met her.

Targeting the BJP government over the NRC update exercise in Assam, Ms Banerjee said, “The NRC is a global issue because 40 lakh people have been deleted from a list of 2.2 crore people. Only BJP voters will have space in this country and non-BJP voters will be isolated,” she said at the Trinamool Congress’s Parliamentary Party office.

Counters Shah

Questioning BJP president Amit Shah who, on Tuesday, said ‘Bangladeshi ghuspethi’ (Bangladeshi illegal migrants) will be thrown out one by one and will not be allowed to vote, Ms. Banerjee said, “Bangladesh is not a terrorist country! When you say ‘ghuspethi’, you are insulting Bangladesh and India too because we speak the same language”.

She accused the BJP of doublespeak, with one section saying there would be no harassment, while another issued threats.

“Rajnath Singh says that no one will be harassed but his party says that we will push them out. Who is infiltrator? Who can be a bigger infiltrator than the people who dictate what to eat, what to wear…the ones who control media and one who interfere in judiciary too,” she said.

Ms Banerjee quipped that she herself would fail if such an exercise were to be repeated in West Bengal. “Luckily I am not from Bangladesh. Otherwise they would have labelled me too ghuspethi,” she said.