Answers to Stay-ahead-in-English -1- Sentence joining

September 30, 2013 at 2:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers for

Join the following sentences to form a single sentence.

 

Question a. The motor cycle had become old. It gave trouble too often. It burned too much fuel. The wife suggested to her husband to sell it off. She wanted to buy a new one.

Answer a. .. As the old motor cycle gave trouble too often and consumed a lot of petrol, the wife suggested to her husband to sell it off and buy a new one.

OR

Having become old, the motor cycle gave trouble too often and burned a lot of petrol for which the wife suggested to her husband to sell it off and buy a new one.

 

Question b. It was a Friday. The orthodox Muslim went to the mosque. His sick son lay at home. He prayed for the early recovery of the son. Tears rolled down from his eyes.

Answer b. .. When the orthodox Muslim went to the mosque on a Friday to pray for the recovery of his ailing son lying at home, tears rolled down from his eyes.

OR

Tears rolled down from the eyes of the orthodox Muslim, when he went to the mosque on a Friday to pray for the recovery of his ailing son lying at home.

 

Question c. I had planted the best seeds. I had manured the land. I had sprinkled water generously. The seeds did not sprout. One month went. That made me frustrated.

Answer c. ..  I was frustrated to see no sprouting even after a month although I had planted the best seeds, manured the field and watered it generously.

OR

As the best seeds planted by me did not sprout even after a month despite my manuring the field and watering it generously, I felt frustrated.

 

Question d. The gardener loved jasmine flowers. The king loved rose. The gardener could not decide. He went to the queen to seek her advice. She burst in anger. She wanted nothing other than marigold.

Answer d The undecided farmer went to the queen to ask whether he should plant jasmine which he loved, or rose the king liked, but she angrily ordered nothing other than marigold to be planted.

OR

The farmer, unable to decide if he would plant jasmine which he loved or rose that the king liked, asked the queen only to be told very angrily that only marigold had to be planted.

 

Question e. My mother had made me drink one big glass of milk every morning. She found it hard to procure milk. That made my bones stronger. Today I am free from arthritis.

Answer e .. I am free from arthritis today, because my bones have become strong due to my mother making me drink a big glass of milk every morning despite the difficulties she faced procuring it.

OR

Despite the difficulties of procuring milk, my mother made me drink one big glass of milk daily, and that made my bones strong and keeps me free from arthritis today.

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Stay-ahead-in school-in-English exercises — Sentence joining

September 29, 2013 at 10:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Join the following sentences to form a single sentence.

Question a. The motor cycle had become old. It gave trouble too often. It burned too much fuel. The wife suggested to her husband to sell it off. She wanted to buy a new one.

Question b. It was a Friday. The orthodox Muslim went to the mosque. His sick son lay at home. He prayed for the early recovery of the son. Tears rolled down from his eyes.

Question c. I had planted the best seeds. I had manured the land. I had sprinkled water generously. The seeds did not sprout. One month went. That made me frustrated.

Question d. The gardener loved jasmine flowers. The king loved rose. The gardener could not decide. He went to the queen to seek her advice. She burst in anger. She wanted nothing other than marigold.

Question e. My mother had made me drink one big glass of milk every morning. She found it hard to procure milk. That made my bones stronger. Today I am free from arthritis.

——————————————Answers will be posted tomorrow. ————————————————-

Civil Service Essay –Land Acquisition Bill of India Part 2

September 29, 2013 at 3:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Land Acquisition Bill Part 2

What is the correct name of the bill … The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011

When was it first brought …Currently, the Rehabilitation and resettle & Resettlement of land owners who lose their land due to the same being taken over by government is guided by a certain process. This process is governed by the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007.
There was a lacuna in this bill. It had no provisions to guide the acquisition process. To address this gap in legislation, two Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha (the Parliament’s Lower House) in the year 2007. One was meant to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and the other to provide statutory status to the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) policy of 2007. These Bills lapsed could not come into force with the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha in 2009.

In the meanwhile, the country was witnessing agitations wherever land was being acquired for a public cause. The frequency and ferocity of these protests became a major worry for the project authorities and the government.

In May 2011, the National Advisory Council recommended combining the provisions of land acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement into a single Bill. In July 2011, the Draft Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill was published by the Ministry of Rural Development for public comments.

In September 2011, the government introduced the Land Acquisition an Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill in the Lok Sabha. This Bill will replace the 1894 Act which had no provisions for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced people.

Highlights of the Bill ….

a. The Bill provides for land acquisition as well as rehabilitation and resettlement. It replaces the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
b. The process for land acquisition involves a Social Impact Assessment survey, preliminary notification stating the intent for acquisition, a declaration of acquisition, and compensation to be given by a certain time.
All acquisitions require rehabilitation and resettlement to be provided to the people affected by the acquisition.
c. Compensation for the owners of the acquired land shall be four times the market value in case of rural areas and twice in case of urban areas.
d. In case of acquisition of land for use by private companies or public private partnerships, consent of 80 per cent of the displaced people will be required. Purchase of large pieces of land by private companies will require provision of rehabilitation and resettlement.
e. The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to acquisitions under 16 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.

Key Issues and Analysis …..

a. It is not clear whether Parliament has jurisdiction to impose rehabilitation and resettlement requirements on private purchase of agricultural land.
b. The requirement of a Social Impact Assessment for every acquisition
without a minimum threshold may delay the implementation of certain government programmes.
c. Projects involving land acquisition and undertaken by private companies or public private partnerships require the consent of 80 per cent of the people affected. However, no such consent is required in case of PSUs.
d. The market value is based on recent reported transactions. This value is doubled in rural areas to arrive at the compensation amount. This method may not lead to an accurate adjustment for the possible underreporting of prices in land transactions.
e. The government can temporarily acquire land for a maximum period of three years. There is no provision for rehabilitation and resettlement in such cases.

Detailed analysis …

Part A .. Highlights of the Bill

Context

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1894 Act) governs all acquisitions by government. Additionally, there are 16 Acts with provisions for acquisition of land in specific sectors such as railways, special economic zones, national highways, etc.

Key Features

The new Bill specifies provisions for land acquisition as well as Rehabilitation & Resettlement. It has brought a certain degree of clarity in the following areas by making some major changes to the current practices. These are

a. the process of land acquisition;
b. rights of the people displaced by the acquisition;
c. method of calculating compensation; and
d. requirement of R&R for all acquisitions.

Defining Public purpose

a. Land may be acquired only for public purpose. The Bill defines public purpose to include: defence and national security; roads, railways, highways, and ports built by government and public sector enterprises; land for the project affected people*; planned development; and improvement of village or urban sites and residential purposes for the poor and landless, government administered schemes or institutions, etc. This is broadly similar to the provisions of the 1894 Act.
b. In certain cases consent of 80 per cent of the project affected people is required to be obtained. These include acquisition of land for

i. use by the government for purposes other than those mentioned above, and
ii. use by public-private partnerships, and
iii. use by private companies.

Process of land acquisition

The government shall conduct a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study, in consultation with the Gram Sabha in rural areas (and with equivalent bodies in case of urban areas). After this, the SIA report shall be evaluated by an expert group. The expert group shall comprise two non-official social scientists, two experts on rehabilitation, and a technical expert on the subject relating to the project. The SIA report will be examined further by a committee to ensure that the proposal for land acquisition meets certain specified conditions.

a. A preliminary notification indicating the intent to acquire land must be issued within 12 months from the date of evaluation of the SIA Report. Subsequently, the government shall conduct a survey to determine the extent of land to be acquired. Any objections to this process shall be heard by the Collector. Following this, if the government is satisfied that a particular piece of land must be acquired for public purpose, a declaration to acquire the land is made. Once this declaration is published, the government shall acquire the land. No transactions shall be permitted for the specified land from the date of the preliminary notification until the process of acquisition is completed.

b. In case of urgency, the above provisions are not mandatory. The urgency clause may be used only for defence, national security, and in the event of a natural calamity. Before taking possession of land in such cases, 80 per cent of the compensation must be paid.

Process of Rehabilitation and Resettlement

a. The Bill requires R&R to be undertaken in case of every acquisition. Once the preliminary notification for acquisition is published, an Administrator shall be appointed. The Administrator shall conduct a survey and prepare the R&R scheme. This scheme shall then be discussed in the Gram Sabha in rural areas (equivalent bodies in case of urban areas). Any objections to the R&R scheme shall be heard by the Administrator. Subsequently, the Administrator shall prepare a report and submit it to the Collector. The Collector shall review the scheme and submit it to the Commissioner appointed for R&R. Once the Commissioner approves the R&R scheme, the government shall issue a declaration identifying the areas required for the purpose of R&R. The Administrator shall then be responsible for the execution of the scheme. The Commissioner shall supervise the implementation of the scheme.
b. In case of acquisition of more than 100 acres, an R&R Committee shall be established to monitor the implementation of the scheme at the project level. In addition, a National Monitoring Committee is appointed at the central level to oversee the implementation of the R&R scheme for all projects.
c. In case the land is being privately purchased (100 acres in rural areas and 50 acres in urban areas), an application must be filed with the Collector who shall forward this to the Commissioner for approval. After the application has been approved, the Collector shall issue awards as per the R&R scheme.

Rehabilitation and Resettlement entitlements

a. Every resettled area is to be provided with certain infrastructural facilities. These facilities include roads, drainage, provision for drinking water, grazing land, banks, post offices, public distribution outlets, etc.
b. The Bill also provides the displaced families with certain R&R entitlements. These include, among other things,
i. land for a house as per the Indira Awas Yojana in rural areas or a constructed house of at least 50 square metres
plinth area in urban areas;
ii. a one-time allowance of Rs 50,000 for affected families; and
iii. the option of choosing either mandatory employment in projects where jobs are being created or a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh or an inflation adjusted annuity of Rs 2,000 per month per family for 20 years.

Other provisions

a. A Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority shall be established for settling any disputes
relating to the process of acquisition, compensation, and R&R.
b. There shall be no change of ownership of acquired land without prior permission from the government. Land may
not be used for any purpose other than for which it is acquired.
c. Acquired land which has been unused for 10 years from the date of possession shall be returned to the Land Bank of
the government. If any unused acquired land is transferred to another individual, 20 per cent of the appreciated land
value shall have to be shared amongst the original land owners.
d. The government may temporarily occupy and use any piece of waste or arable land for a public purpose. This
occupation may be for a period of not more than three years. The compensation of such land may be decided
mutually by the owner of the land and the Collector. Any disagreement on matters relating to compensation or the
condition of the land on being returned shall be referred to the Land Acquisition and R&R Authority.
e. In any district, land acquisition will be restricted to a maximum of five per cent of irrigated multi-crop land.
f. The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to land acquisition under 16 existing laws. These include: the SEZ Act, 2005, Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the National Highways Act, 1956.
—————————————————-END OF Part 2——————————————
————————————–Analyses of Part B in the next post—————————-

Civil Sevice essay — Land Acquisition Bill of India Part 1– Why and how it was born

September 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Land acquisition Bill .. Part 1 — What we need to know about it

Land acquisition either by government or private companies has always been a contentious issue worldwide. From Mexico to India to Brazil to China, the governments have found, to their great chagrin, that people stubbornly refuse to move away from their ancestral land despite all the inducements. The paramount national cause for which they have been asked to relinquish their right over their lands rarely convinces them to give up their lands. At times, these disputes flare up to cause major headaches for the authorities.

During the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China, the authorities had to grapple with many number of intransigent small farmers who simply stayed put in their tiny houses and land holdings. In another instance, when Beijing was being remodeled for staging the Olympics, vast areas of the city had to be completely re-done. It was China’s dream project where the country invested its best manpower and material resources. Despite being aware of such a pressing cause, occupants in parts of the city did everything to keep the lumbering earth moving machines at bay. It was a classic struggle between a communist government’s might and its tiny citizens.

In India, in recent years, we have witnessed very rancorous debates, agitations and litigations in the matter of acquisition of land for national projects, SEZs and privately owned large scale projects.

The mega steel plant project POSCO owned by a South Korean company is supposed to be the largest FDI inflow to India. POSCO’s investment will be a whopping 12 billion dollars, and it will increase the country’s steel making capacity by 12 million tons annually. Yet, a handful of villagers, who earn their livelihood from the land under acquisition, have stubbornly refused to move out despite all the compensation offers and persuasive efforts of the Odisha government.

Such stories of struggle between the land owners and land acquirers are rife in today’s India. The problem has been rendered more complex because political parties jump into the fray to instigate the land owners not to budge. Myopic politics has mired many plants, factories and manufacturing complexes.

Foreign investors are too scared to step into such a murky investment climate. One of the reasons why FDI inflow into India has plummeted so much in recent years is this opacity of land acquisition processes.

To address this concern of the stake holders that include the investors, the land owners, the government in the state and at the centre, the present Land Acquisition Bill was mooted. It had a real rough ride through the parliament. Finally, it has been passed.

The old 1894 Act of the colonial times .. The British government enacted this act in 1894 to arm itself with the powers to acquire privately-owned land for setting up of public service facilities like railways, roads, schools, colleges, army cantonments, hospitals and ports. It was a very one-sided legislation that had very little for the dispossessed land owner.

The present Act, its provisions, salient features and analysis.

————————————————-End of Part 1————————————————-
——————————Second and concluding part in the next post————————-

Letter writing for school students 1

September 28, 2013 at 11:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Model letter writing exercise for CBSE and ICSE …

Cycles are being stolen regularly from your school bus stand. Write a letter to your Principal to depute a watchman for duty in the cycle stand and bring the matter to the attention of the police.

To
The Principal                                                                               September 28, 2013
———-. —School,
Bangalore

                                                                                                       

                                                                                          

Sub — Theft of cycles from our school and request for security

Sir,

We are distressed to bring to your notice the fact that the theft of cycles from the school bus stand continues un-abated. In fact, it has become more frequent. Yesterday, as many as two cycles have been stolen. The students, who lost their cycles, are from poor families, and now have to come to school by foot. Because of this menace, we can not concentrate on our studies in the class and constantly worry about our cycles left in the school cycle stand. The sight of the two students coming to school by foot is very disconcerting.

Unless this is stopped somehow, the thieves will be emboldened to steal more cycles. We, therefore, request you to

a. lodge an FIR in the police station
b. depute one of the security guards exclusively in the cycle stand during school hours

We hope you will understand our plight, and take immediate action in the matter.

Thanking you,

Yours obediently

(Students)

Names of students who lost their cycles yesterday

1.
2.

India’s Infant mortality –Unicef’s depressing figures

September 27, 2013 at 10:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A scourge that strangles and shames us endlessly

The Unicef report brings depressing news

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India is down in the dumps again. With the highest number of children dying in the vulnerable age group, India can only lament the derision such a failure would attract internationally. No doubt, India has been able to reduce the total number of deaths from 2.5 million in 2001 to 1.4 million in 2012, but it is only a small consolation.

Unicef’s report says that out of the total deaths of 2.1 million children in South Asia, India’s share is 1.4 million. Infant mortality rate is the number of child deaths per one thousand births. It is a simple indicator of a country’s ability to offer modern medical services with regard to care of the mother before and after delivery, and care of the baby after it is born. Front nutrition to prenatal care to provision of modern medical facilities for giving delivery and the later upbringing of the baby, healthcare for women of reproductive age covers a wide gamut of issues. India consistently underperforms on this parameter.

In India rodaySmaller and more impoverished countries like Nepal and Bangladesh have left India way behind in reducing the mortality rate. In 1990, the death rates in Bangladesh and Nepal stood at 144 and 122 respectively. The figures have consistently gone down to reach 41 for Bangladesh and 42 for Nepal. In India, the death Rate was 196 in 1990. In India, the death rate was 196 in India. It, no doubt, has come down, but it stood at 56 in 2012. This is quite disturbing.

The Millennium Development Goal has set a target for death rate which needs to be met by 2015. As per this the number of babies and children who die before completing five years of age should not be more than 38 per each one thousand of live child births. Going by the trend, many underdeveloped countries including Nepal and Bangladesh would achieve this goal leaving India way behind. India will be able to reach this target (less than 38 deaths per 1000 births) only by the middle of the 2020s.
If we retrospect, we see that India did not invest in women’s healthcare as heavily as these two nations did in the last 20 years. Now, the investment is bearing fruit.
It is not that the whole of India is uniformly under-performing. Tamil Nadu presents a sharp contrast to laggard states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in maternity healthcare. Tamil Nadu has well-equipped public health centres that are manned on 24x7basis by qualified medical staff. B emulating Tamil Nadu, other states can improve their statistics in respect of under five deaths, and escape the blame of being a drag on the country’s statistics.

With regard to neonatal deaths, 67% of the total deaths worldwide occurs in just 10 countries that include India. Sadly, India alone contributes 25% of such deaths.
It is the first day of a baby’s life on earth that decides whether it and the mother will survive or perish. This is a very critical period in the lives of both. Statistics from all over the world show that almost half of the total number of deaths of the baby or its mother happen before the duo see the second day after delivery. In India, such deaths number nearly 3 lakh.

Doctors uniformly agree that due to non-availability of expert assistance during the delivery process, labour prolongs jeopardizing the woman’s heath. The baby suffers asphyxia or loss of oxygen and dies. In Tamil Nadu, 16 to 18% of deaths happen due to this reason alone.

The other debilitating factor is the severe anemic conditions of the just-born babies. Such anemic conditions, if allowed to persist, cause major health hazards for the baby. It may suffer recurring respiratory infections and diarrhea, besides a stunted brain and body.

While addressing these issues, healthcare planners and administrators must also look at other malaise like open defecation and non-access to clean drinking water.
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Tata – Singapore Airlines joint venture — A great deal for Indian aviation

September 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A new chapter in India’s civil aviation history
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The Tatas dream project poised to take off
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After Kingfisher Airlines ignominiously shut down its operation inviting widespread skepticism about the health of Indian aviation sector, the tripartite joint venture between Air Asia, Telstra Tradespace, and the Tatas brought some cheers back. This venture will run a budget airline.

Analysts now feel that there is no inherent flaw in the Indian aviation sector which a competent management can not overcome. Airlines can be run profitably, as Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways have shown. Vijay Mallaya has to blame none other than his inept management for Kingfisher’s demise.

Now, the Tatas have brought more cheerful news. They will join hands with the redoubtable Singapore Airlines (SIA) in a 51:49 joint venture to start a full service airline.

Aviation enthusiasts would recall that a similar proposal was mooted by the Tatas in the late 1990s, but it could not take off as the civil aviation minister at that time did everything to thwart the initiative. Distraught and frustrated, the two partners gave the proposal a quiet burial.

The civil aviation sector has been experiencing intense competition among the airlines in recent years. Those with weaker management have perished. Only the best and most efficient have survived.

Tatas brought civil aviation to India when JRD Tata set up Tata Airlines, the first Indian commercial carrier to transport mail and passengers within India. JRD himself piloted a single-engine De Havilland Puss Moth in the first leg of the inaugural Karachi-Madras journey. Later it became the government-owned Air India under the stewardship of JRD. After reaching dizzy heights as a popular airline with global reputation under JRD’s watchful eyes, Air India began to slip back when he left the organization. Now, Air India remains a pale shadow of its earlier glory. It survives through government doles from time to time.

The fascination of the House of Tatas for the skies remained un-diminished. This is why Ratan Tata (now retired) had shown so much keenness to start the joint venture with SIA. The Tatas are known for their cost-cutting management skills and the Singapore Airlines has proven track record in modern-day aviation. So, a coming together of these two giants should give the proposed airline a head start.

Indian aviation got a boost when the Jet Airways-Etihad deal was signed recently. The partnership will focus entirely on West Asia and Europe. The Tata-Singapore Airlines venture will, perhaps, concentrate its attention towards Southeast and East Asia. It might as well look at America’s west coast. Airlines, in their business radar, clearly see how important India is presently, and how much potential it, along with other countries of Asia, has for the future. Businessmen, tourists, and students from India are flying in greater numbers to far off places for education, leisure and business.

For the Tata group, starting the two ventures almost simultaneously is a win-win proposition. Air-Asia joint venture will connect the tier two and tier three cities and towns to the metros. On the other hand, the SIA joint venture will connect India’s metros to international destinations.

Singapore Airlines is a respected name in the global airlines business. Its growth, profitability, passenger service and management practices are enviable. The SIA brand will add value to the new airlines. It would also make sense for Singapore Airlines investors to take up two of the six major Indian airports that are going to be privatized in the near future. Chennai, which is a gateway to the East, should be first choice for take-over.
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Civil Service essai -International Relations –Foucs –Sri Lanka elections.

September 24, 2013 at 8:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Sri Lanka Impasse – Some light at the end of the tunnel

The declaration of results to the Northern provincial council must bring some relief and optimism to those who want the curtain to be drawn on the long-running ethnic crisis. The last election was held in 1988, but the Northern Provincial Council lasted for too less duration to be of any consequence.

The LTTE was vanquished by the Sri Lankan forces more than four years ago. This election held on September 21 should have soon after the LTTE disappeared from the scene. That did not happen due to various reasons.

Better late than never. Now, it is certain that the elected representatives will form part of the government that will govern the northern provinces area where Tamils are in majority. Power-sharing with the central government will infuse hope, trust and optimism to the population beaten down by the war for too long a time. It is a giant stride towards restoration of normalcy in the area.

The results of the election have been very clear and convincing. The Tamil National Alliance has won 30 out of the 38 seats. So, there can be no more confusion as to who the central government must share power with.

Sri Lanka’s ruling United Progressive Front Alliance had fielded candidates of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party. They fought the election with a lot of money power. Besides this, they flaunted the mega infrastructure projects being built in the area as the proof of the central government’s good intentions. But the voters could not be swayed. The Ealam People’s Democratic Party managed to win just seven seats out of the 38. Obviously, they were unable to bring the disgruntled Tamils on board –a  consequence of the prevailing huge trust deficit between the Tamil citizens and the central authority. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress won a single seat.

There has been another take away from this election. It is the voters’ confidence in the electoral process. They came to the booth in overwhelming numbers. Clearly, they feel that the new dispensation can bring about the desired changes. Such optimism augurs well for the future.

Those who had feared that the ubiquitous army units will rig the elections have been proved wrong. The army did nothing of that type. Additionally, the TNA victory has been lauded by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet in true democratic spirit. This is a very good sign.

Now, the stage is set for the difficult task of governing the territory. The 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution provides for power sharing with the TNA. This has to be implemented in letter and spirit. Any foot-dragging by the central government on this matter will kill the optimism generated by the election. Devolution on the subjects of police and land must happen smoothly.
The government must eschew any temptation to scrap or dilute the constitutional provision for devolution of authority. On the other side, TNA must shun any urge to assert its rights more than what the Constitution mandates. To be carried away by the euphoria of the election victory may invite backlash from the centre.

So far, the TNA has managed to keep the extreme Tamil diaspora groups at arm’s length, thus sticking to the path of moderation. The masses also are for moderation and responsible behaviour. The overwhelming victory of the chief ministerial candidate C.V. Wigneswaran, who is a votary of moderation, reinforces this thinking.

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Birth of Bangladesh — Second and Final part

September 24, 2013 at 3:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Birth of Bangladesh —  A shameful Saga of American Diplomacy —

–Second and final part —

America, as the most forceful champion of democracy and human rights in the world, has historically opposed oppression on the basis of religion, colour and creed. It very strongly opposes ethnic cleansing where people belonging to a minority group are uprooted from their ancestral homes and made to flee at gunpoint with a view to ensuring that only the people of the majority group live in the area. This is exactly what happened during the East Pakistan conflict. Hindu citizens of East Pakistan were hounded off so that the country remains a ‘pure’ Muslim country, aligned to West Pakistan.

The fact that the majority Muslim population of East Pakistan were too disenchanted to live with their Western counterparts was conveniently ignored by Kissinger and Nixon.

Kissinger was trying hard to cultivate friendship with Mao Zedong’s China so that America could pull out of Vietnam smoothly. For doing this, Kissinger made some clandestine trips to China via Pakistan. General Yahya made arrangements so the visits remained with wraps.

Nixon was so enamored of General Yahya that he likened him to George Washington, one of America’s greatest sons. General Yahya was a despot who spent his evenings with wine and women. To retain his grip over power, he began Islamization of Pakistan’s army and society – a dangerous retrograde step that bleeds Pakistan even today. With his military background he developed no love for democracy or statecraft. The drifting away of the Bengalis from the mainstream Pakistan was a direct consequence of General Yahya’s smugness.

Both Kissinger and Nixon conveniently forgot America’s commitment to democracy and human rights and sided with the despot General Yahya Khan. Kissinger repeatedly goaded hiss president to treat the Bengali uprising as a ‘internal matter’ of Pakistan. The duo even poured scorn over Indira Gandhi calling her (in private) a ‘bitch’ and a ‘witch’. The White House records show this.

At the peak of the East Pakistan crisis, when India sent its army to East Pakistan in support of the freedom fighters, Nixon secretly requested China to send its army to India’s northern borders to intimidate China. Happily for India, Mao did not heed America’s sinister advice. Towards the end of the Indo-Pak war in the eastern theatre, Nixon sent America’s Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal to undermine India. So wicked were the machination of the Nixon-Kissinger duo!

But, what disturbs the conscience of most Americans today is the way Nixon turned deaf to the frantic messages of its own diplomat in the area. When the slaughter of the Bengali freedom fighters at the hands of Pakistani soldiers started, the American Consul General in Decca, Mr. Blood sent repeated messages to the White House describing the carnage and the bloodbath that was going on. Nixon stubbornly ignored these cables. But the Consul General kept on sending his dispatches urging Nixon to do ‘something’ to stop the unfolding genocide. Nixon remained un-moved. Unable to do anything, Mr. Blood did the most un-diplomatic, un-conventional thing. He sent a telegram to his president with the signature of 20 of his peers beseeching him to immediate intervene to stop Pakistani army’s mayhem in East Pakistan. This telegram, known later as ‘Blood telegram’, could not stir the Nixon-Kissinger to action. In later years, Mr. Blood lost his job, and Kissinger went on to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace!

Just weeks later, the Pakistani army in East Pakistan capitulated to the India army. Nearly 1,76,000 Pakistani soldiers led by General Niazi surrendered and were taken as Prisoner of War. It was the most humiliating defeat of Pakistani army at the hands of the Indian army, its arch enemy. Sheikh Muzibur Rahman made a triumphant return to his country and named it Bangladesh. A new nation was born.

The inaction and expediency of the Nixon-Kissinger duo remains as a blot in American diplomatic history. America for its lofty principles and sided with a General for petty gains.
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Birth of Bangladesh — a shameful saga of American diplomacy

September 23, 2013 at 8:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Birth of Bangladesh — When America was so grievously wrong

In 1971, Bangladesh was born as a new nation severing its link with the western part of Pakistan. East Pakistan passed to history books. Christening of the new nation as Bangladesh was so apt – it was a victory that gave the majority Bengali population a country they could claim as their own.

The parting of ways between the two wings of Pakistan had been long time coming. At the time of the bloody partitioning of India, the two territories with Muslim populations were carved out of undivided India on religious considerations. Apart from this, there was hardly anything that could hold the two wings together. They were separated by 16oo kilometers, had totally different languages and cultural habits. The people in the eastern part spoke Bengali, ate rice and the women wore sarees. The Pasthuns, the Balooch and the Punjabis in the west spoke Urdu, ate Roti and their womenfolk wore Churidars. In size, a west Pakistani was at least 50% taller and heavier than his eastern counterpart.

With so much asymmetry between the two parts of Pakistan, the bonding was tenuous. The dominant Punjabis occupied top government and military posts, and cornered a large part of the country’s revenue for the western wing. This unfair cornering of resources by the western wing riled the Bengalis. The domineering attitude of the Punjabi bureaucrats made the Bengalis feel that they were being treated as second-class citizens in their own country. The discontent had been simmering for 24 years after freedom till things came to a head in 1970.

Pakistan’s first national elections were held in 1970. The results came as a rude awakening for the people of West Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a sweeping victory, and was poised to lead the country. Sensing an opportunity, Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League began to assert itself. It demanded greater rights for Bengalis. However, working under the leadership of Seikh Mujibur Rahman, the constitutionally elected prime minister designate was not acceptable to the army top brass and politicians in Islamabad. They were very averse to his taking office. Seikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested. When his supporters protested, the army unleashed its brutal force to smother the protests taking part in East Pakistan.

The Bengalis had made up their mind firmly. They wanted nothing short of total independence so that they could have their own country. Irrespective of their age, sex or social status, they jumped into the freedom struggle with gusto. West Pakistani soldiers realized that they had a big problem in hand. These Pakistani garrisons had been posted in the east earlier to the upheaval in course of their regular deployment. In their operations to quell the freedom movement, they were aided by some local Bengalis too, for whom the bond of religion was stronger than the call of nationalism. With unprecedented savagery, they turned on the students, writers, politicians, intellectuals; especially the Hindu minority. Pakistani soldiers went on a rampage. They massacred civilians, burned down villages and raped the womenfolk. The Pak military targeted the Hindu minority in East Pakistan with particular grudge assuming that the Hindus were fuelling the upsurge.

Unable to tolerate the brutalities of the army any more, Hindu refugees along with some Muslims headed towards India looking for safe havens. It was migration of a gigantic scale. Towards the end of the conflict the number of refugees had peaked to 10 million. They were mostly Hindus. The death toll reached 300,000. Some analysts believe the death toll was over 1m.

Richard Nixon was the president of America then, and Henry Kissinger was the National Security Advisor. The duo, due to some inexplicable reason, remained unmoved by reports of such human tragedy. They studiously thought that it was after all, a regional problem – an internal Pakistani problem. All the pleadings and remonstrations of India’s prime minister, Indira Gandhi, fell in deaf ears. She highlighted how the waves and waves of refugees were straining India’s resources besides threatening regional stability. She demanded international action. She wanted America to prevail upon the leaders of Pakistan to stop the wanton killings. Nixon, goaded by his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, looked askance at Indira Gandhi’s pleas.
For many chroniclers and historians, the oppression of the minorities by the Pakistani army was nothing but genocide. These hapless Hindu citizens of EST Pakistan faced annihilation and forced deportation from their homes.

But, Nixon remained a mute spectator. Not only that, he continued to actively support the military junta of Pakistan headed by General Yahya Khan.

———————End of Part 1. Second and concluding part in the next post—————–
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