Monthly Archives

August 2018

Flood

Unprecedented spate in China’s Tsangpo, Warnning in Arunachal, Assam: 12 killed in Nagaland

China has alerted India about the rising water in river Tsangpo, called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and Brahmaputra in Assam, leading to possibility of floods in downstream areas, Arunachal Pradesh MP Ninong Ering said today.

“The local authorities told me that the Chinese government has conveyed to Indian government that there is a possibility of floods in parts of Arunachal Pradesh. We have taken the alert seriously and cautioned people,” he told PTI.

Ering said the communication from China came following heavy rains in that country which has swollen Tsangpo. 

“The local authorities told me that the Chinese government has conveyed to Indian government that there is a possibility of floods in parts of Arun .. 

After massive floods ravaged Kerala, the situation seems grim in North East India as over 12 have died so far in Nagaland due to landslides and flash floods. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh remain on high alert due to heavy rainfall in upper riparian China.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has, however, said that the situation should not create panic as an increase in China’s Tsangpo river should not inflict very severe damages on the Indian side, even as it asked the states to remain vigilant.

Incessant rain in Nagaland since July have caused floods and landslides in several areas claiming at least 12 lives and rendering thousands homeless. The Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, tweeted seeking help — with a video showing the damage that is caused in Nagaland due to this rain.

#Nagaland needs your #help. Incessant rain has caused floods & landslides in several parts of the state & have affected many. #Relief #helpinghand #NorthEast @PMOIndia @narendramodi@HMOIndia @rajnathsingh @KirenRijiju @MDoNER_India@DrJitendraSingh pic.twitter.com/OC3fmLYCcB

— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) August 29, 2018

Major roads, including NH-29 was severely damaged, while landslides isolated several villages from the mainland. At least 4,000 families have been evacuated so far by the state disaster response authorities, with the state government seeking more help from Centre to carry out relief operations. The worst-affected areas included state capital Kohima, Tuensang, Wokha, and Dimapur.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

According to official records of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, at least 50 people have died in flood and landslide in Assam this year. According to All India Radio, at least  15,000 people have been affected by flash floods in Assam’s Golaghat and Dhemaji districts.

More than 600 hectares of crop area was severely damaged and over 1,488 people continue to stay in relief camps as low-lying areas remain inundated. Three rivers in the state — the Dhansiri, Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali — are flowing above the danger mark. If Brahmaputra swells any further following the rainfall in China, it could be especially devastating for the state.

Assam is highly flood-prone even in normal monsoon conditions. The state’s river waters collect a tremendous amount of silt and other debris and raise the level of the river beds. Therefore, it becomes impossible for the main channel to cope with the vast volume of water received during the rains. Reports from Dibrugarh said the district’s deputy commissioner Loya Maduri has directed the stakeholders to remain alert about the possible rising of water level of the Brahmaputra. Similar measures have also been taken in Dhemaji district, official sources said.

In Arunachal Pradesh, people living in low-lying areas like Jarku, Paglek, SS Mission, Jarkong, Banskota, Berung, Sigar, Borghuli, Kongkul, Namsing and Mer, along the Siang river have been asked to remain alert as China reported that Tsangpo river, called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, was in spate. The unusually high waves in the Siang river have created fear among the people of the two Arunachal Pradesh districts and the administration has cautioned the people to refrain from venturing into it for fishing, swimming and other activities, an official said.  Large-scale erosion was seen on the left bank of the river towards Lower Mebo of Mebo sub-division in East Siang district in the past few days and 15 houses were washed away in Seram-Ramku village, the official said.

Mebo MLA Lombo Tayeng, who is also an advisor to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, said that river water at present is “totally muddy which indicates that there might be some activities in the Chinese side”. The MLA also urged upon the Centre to take up the matter with Beijing and sought flood control measures. A red alert has been hoisted for residents of Borguli, Seram, Namsing, Mer and Sigar villages on the left bank of Siang as water volume in the river is rising, he said adding it was due to large-scale siltation on the river bed.

The Chinese authorities alerted India about the unprecedented situation where Tsangpo broke a 150-year record with swollen waters and informed the Centre about a possible flood-like situation in downstream states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. According to a Chinese government report, 9020 cumecs of water was discharged into Tsangpo as observed at various stations until Wednesday.  The Tsangpo river originates from China’s Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh, where it is called Siang, and then Assam, where it becomes the Brahmaputra, and later drains into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh.

This was the first time this year that China shared the river data with India, the official said. China began sharing data from 15 May, while it started sharing data for the Sutlej river from 1 June. The sharing of data came after the two sides held talks over the issue in March this year. The data is shared twice daily until October this year.

China provides data from three hydrological stations — Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia, lying on the mainstream of the Brahmaputra, also known as Yarlung Zangbu by Beijing — and from the hydrological station at Tsada for the Sutlej river, known as Langqen Zangbo.

With inputs from PTI

Development

 The Belt and Road Initiative Is  a Shared Future for Mankind

On August 23, 2018, when jointly meeting the press with Minister of Foreign Affairs Damdin Tsogtbaatar of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the Belt and Road Initiative is an international public product that China provides for the world. It is neither a “Marshall Plan”, nor a geostrategic concept. Ever since the very beginning of proposing the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese side has been adhering to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, sticking to the concept of transparency, openness and inclusiveness, complying with international rules and laws of various countries, pursuing green, environmental protection and sustainability, striving to build projects featuring high quality and high standard, and also laying emphasis on financial sustainability. These important proposals and ideas are consistent with the opening-up strategy featuring mutual benefit and win-win results that China has upheld for a long time, and also serve as China’s vivid practice of building a community with a shared future for mankind together with countries around the globe.

Wang Yi pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative aims to exploit new cooperation space and tap into new cooperation potential through integrating the development strategies of various countries, thus achieving common development and shared prosperity. In this process, the Chinese side is willing to share its development opportunities with various countries and welcome everyone to catch a ride on the express train of China’s development. The Belt and Road Initiative is in conformity with the trend of the times and is full of vitality, thereby receiving immediate global support and response.

In response to questions about how China and Mongolia should promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang Yi said that China and Mongolia are connected by mountains and rivers, which makes Mongolia a natural partner for the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. The participation of the Mongolian side in the Belt and Road Initiative will give new wings to and provide new impetus for its own development and revitalization. China and Mongolia have signed a cooperation agreement to integrate the Belt and Road Initiative and Prairie Road Development initiative. The Chinese side is willing to attach great importance to Mongolia’s national development goals and the needs of the Mongolian people, and also speed up the integration process to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang Yi said that first of all, we are willing to fully support Mongolia in accelerating its infrastructure construction, so as to help Mongolia to break the bottleneck of its development and create development conditions.

Second, we will focus more on improving the people’s livelihood in Mongolia, so that all Mongolian people can obtain tangible benefits from the participation in the building of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Third, we will pay more attention to environmental and ecological conservation, and work hand in hand with the Mongolian side to build a green Silk Road, so as to conserve and develop the green mountains and clear waters in Mongolia.

Fourth, we would like to help Mongolia turn its resource advantages into development advantages, and boost its processing and manufacturing industries, thus helping Mongolia to achieve diversified development and improve its capabilities of independent and sustainable development.

In short, the cooperation between China and Mongolia can be compared to mutual assistance between friends and mutual support between neighbors. As President Xi Jinping said, China’s cooperation with Mongolia is not about one wins and the other loses or one wins more and the other gets less, but commits to realizing mutual benefit.

Sc. & Tech.

Upper Cretaceous trench deposits of the Neo-Tethyan subduction zone

Jiachala Formation from Yarlung Zangbo suture zone in Tibet, China

IMAGE: PALEOGEOGRAPHIC SCENARIO FOR THE JIACHALA FORMATION. A) JIACHALA FORMATION, B)&C) OTHER TRENCH DEPOSITS TO THE WEST

The Jiachala Formation was fed largely from the Gangdese arc have long been considered as syn-collisional foreland-basin deposits based on the reported occurrence of Paleocene-early Eocene dinoflagellate cysts and pollen assemblages. Because magmatic activity in the Gangdese arc continued through the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene, this scenario is incompatible with U-Pb ages of detrital zircons invariably older than the latest Cretaceous.

In order to solve this incongruence and constrain the depositional age and tectonic setting of the Jiachala Formation, a new research was carried out with stratigraphic, sedimentological, provenance analysis including sandstone petrography, detrital zircon U-Pb age and Hf isotopic data; and paleontological analysis by Prof. Xiumian Hu’s group at Nanjing University.

According to this research, the Jiachala Formation was originally deposited on a submarine fan in the trench environment at the active southern margin of the Asian plate. Sandstone petrography, detrital-zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotope ratios indicate provenance from the Gangdese arc and the central Lhasa terrane. Because magmatic activity in the Gangdese arc was virtually continuous, the youngest population of detrital zircons contained in the Jiachala Formation constrain its depositional age as Late Cretaceous (~88-84 Ma). What’s more, based on the U-Pb age spectra of detrital zircons and sandstone petrography, there are no Paleocene-Eocene units similar to the Jiachala Formation which compares well with Upper Cretaceous exposed within and close to the Yalung Zangbo suture zone (Figure 1).

Integrated geological information indicates that the Jiachala Formation accumulated in the Neo-Tethyan trench during subduction of oceanic lithosphere (Figure 1).In summary, this research gives a new interpretation about the Jiachala Formation and enriches the case study of the arc trench system of the active Asian continental margin.

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41525007, 41602115).

See the article: Fu H, Hu X, Crouch E M, An W, Wang J, Garzanti E. 2018. Upper Cretaceous trench deposits of the Neo-Tethyan subduction zone: Jiachala Formation from Yarlung Zangbo suture zone in Tibet, China. Science China Earth Sciences, 61: 1204-1220, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-017-9223-5 
http://engine.scichina.com/doi/10.1007/s11430-017-9223-5

Souce: EurekAlert

Law & Order

Another IPS ‘rebel’ gets ‘retire’ order

According to the official notification, Verma will be paid three months’ salary and allowances. Authoritative sources in the home department said Verma would be entitled to post-retirement benefits such as pension.

The Centre decided to give Verma premature retirement after assessment of his performance. The order was duly approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

The Centre’s decision comes after consultation with the state government in July this year. Sources said the performance of an officer is reviewed after he or she completes 15 years of qualifying service or attains 25 years of service or attains 50 years of age. In the absence of such a review after 15 or 25 years of service or upon attainment of 50 years of age, the Centre may ask the state government to conduct such a review of an officer at any time it deems fit.

Verma is the second senior IPS officer to have been given pre-mature retirement from service from Bihar. On Monday, 1994 batch officer Amitabh Kumar Das was given premature retirement. Das was posted as SP-cum-assistant commissioner of civil defence though his rank was that of an IG.

According to the existing rules, when the Centre, in consultation with the state government, decides to compulsorily retire an officer of the all India service, he or she is given at least three months’ notice in writing.

When contacted, Das said he would challenge the order in the high court. “I am in consultation with my legal advisor. I will file a case in the high court challenging the order of the government very soon,” Das told media on Friday. He claimed he was being victimised for exposing wrongdoings in the government, both in the state and at the Centre.

Sources said the two senior cops earned the wrath of the state government for showing their displeasure with the dispensation from time to time. Das, who was then posted as SP (rail), Patna, had written to the railway board in April 2003 alerting about substandard railway track maintenance by criminal gangs who frequently clashed over lucrative contracts, from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh to Danapur in Bihar and Dhanbad in Jharkhand.

Das, a native of Darbhanga district, had blamed the poor quality of railway work for derailment of trains and other accidents. He had also mentioned the names of the dons-turned-contractors and their areas of operation. The dons were allegedly obliged by a former railway minister by way of award of contracts such as laying of tracks, construction of bridges, road over bridges in different railway divisions in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, Das’s letter, a copy of which is with media, had claimed.

Das, who was promoted to IG rank after the intervention of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) earlier this year, had also accused a few senior BJP leaders, including a Union minister, of having close connections with the erstwhile Ranvir Sena, a private army of land owners of south and central Bihar.

Verma, the sources said, also became a victim of alleged “bias”. He reportedly invited the ire of the dispensation for writing against it. It was because of his frustration due to departmental harassment that Verma, considered an upright officer, had written to then IG (headquarters) Neelmani in September 2004, to declare him “insane”.

As SP of vigilance, Verma had made it to the headlines after he unearthed a scam in the appointment of lecturers.

Verma had raised objections over the appointment of the wards of many politicians, some of who later became state ministers, in his report.

“I became a scapegoat and is being penalised for exposing the illegal appointment of an influential leader’s wife as lecturer,” Verma had earlier told this correspondent.

The officer had once thrown a challenge of sorts to the state government, claiming that he would make Patna a crime-free city on the lines of a metropolis if posted as the commissioner of police.

Verma was recently punished by the state government. He was not only denied promotion but his grade pay was reduced for “indecent behaviour”.

“He is in the habit of writing letters to the police headquarters on the sorry state of affairs,” an IPS officer said under cover of anonymity.

Authoritative sources in the Union home ministry said that around 130 senior IAS and IPS officers have been given premature retirement from service for non-performance across the country in the past two years. ( The Telegraph)

Human Rights

Human shield case: Jammu and Kashmir rights body seeks fresh report on army officer Major Leetul Gogoi’s actions

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Tuesday directed the Senior Superintendent of Police of (SSP) of Budgam to submit the final report in the case against Major Leetul Gogoi, who is facing criminal charges of illegally confining a Kashmiri youth in April last year. The case is related to the “human shield” incident, wherein the army officer had tied a shawl maker, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to a vehicle — allegedly as a shield against stone pelters — and paraded him on different streets during the Srinagar parliamentary bypolls.

The order came even as the police said the video featuring Dar being paraded around in Budgam could have been even morphed. Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Magam, Showkat Ahmad, said the police were waiting for the forensic report to check the authenticity of the clip.

A Kashmiri man was used as a human shield by Major Leetul Gogoi. Firstpost/Suhail Bhat

Farooq Ahmad Dar was used as a human shield by Major Leetul Gogoi. Firstpost/Suhail Bhat

“We are waiting for the report from the Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh. We have reminded them to submit the report on priority and have to see whether the video is morphed,” he said.

The SHRC order came a day after an army Court of Inquiry held Major Gogoi guilty of violating the Army Act for “fraternising with local people and staying away from his place of posting at Beerwah in Budgam without authorisation”.

The commission issued the order on a plea Dar filed in the case through the International Forum for Justice and Human Rights. The bench of the human rights panel, comprising Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice Jang Bahadur, issued the direction, ordering the SSP of Budgam to file the final status report. It also directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to submit its report on action taken in the case within four weeks.

While the police have been asked to file a report on the criminal charges filed against Gogoi, the state government has been directed to apprise the rights body in detail about its reasons for denying the “human shield” victim compensation of Rs 10 lakh for wrongful confinement. The government had earlier told the SHRC that there is no policy to provide such a compensation.

On 10 July last year, two months after Gogoi used Dar as a “human shield” against stone pelters, the rights commission had called his actions illegal and directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to compensate him. It had given the state six weeks to comply with its order.

On 29 April this year, the Jammu and Kashmir SHRC had reserved its verdict in the case. But as the police submitted before the panel that the investigation was still on, the commission asked the investigators to file the final report in the case within four weeks.

The chairman of the International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, said: “The army has not been cooperating in the case. Instead, it gave the Chief of Army Staff’s (COAS) Commendation Card to Major Gogoi. Major Gogoi tied a voter to the front of a vehicle and endangered his life. The COAS commendation should be withdrawn.”

Untoo said it was unbecoming of the army to hail Gogoi’s actions and award him the commendation, when both the human rights commission and the local police had described his methods as illegal.

He also said that the Court of Inquiry report, which held the army officer guilty after he was caught with a local Kashmiri woman at a hotel in Srinagar, should be made public.

On 23 May, Gogoi was detained with a local woman at a hotel near Dal Lake in Srinagar, after which the forum filed a case against him before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. It alleged that the police had exhibited laxity and let the officer off without filing an FIR against him. The magistrate has also reserved the verdict in the case, which was deferred on Tuesday. In the application Untoo filed before the magistrate, he had also noted that Major Gogoi had “intention to carry out an immoral act” with the woman.

Politics

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ashes immersed in Naga river amid oppotion

GUWAHATI: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ashes were immersed in the Dhansiri river at a low-key function organized by the Nagaland BJP on Monday amid opposition by church leaders and pressure groups against the move in the Christian-dominated state. The urn containing the ashes was brought to the state on Thursday.
State party president Temjen Imna Along told TOI the ashes were immersed around 8am without incident. He said a Hindu priest performed the rituals in the presence of BJP members, most of whom were Christians. “We paid our homage in the Christian tradition. There should not be any controversy over this. It is unfortunate that some people are blowing the issue out of proportion,” he added. 

He said sensing trouble, the venue of the immersion ritual and the time were changed. Party insiders said some people had gathered to oppose the function. “We made the ceremony a quiet affair so as not to attract attention,” a BJP insider said.

The BJP is part of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-led People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government in Nagaland. Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) general secretary, Reverend Zelhou Keyho, said the party should have shown sensitivity towards the religious sentiments of people. (TOI)

Society

Meghalaya’s Proposed Law Against Interracial Marriages Divides Shillong

SHILLONG: 

Inter-caste and inter-faith marriages have cost lives in India. Now, Meghalaya is on the boil over indigenous Khasi women marrying non-Khasis. A move is on to amend a key law so that Khasi women who wed outside their race will lose their privileges due to them, in one of the world’s last matrilineal societies.

The move has fractured the 2 million-strong Khasi community so badly that some want what next door Assam is undergoing – the National Register of Citizens.

The big debate in Shillong: if Khasi women marry non-Khasi men, the entire Khasi tribe is going to be wiped out versus opposition to mixed marriages is divisive and anti-women.

The collision has been sparked by the chief executive member of the Khasi Hill Autonomous District Council (KHADC). HS Shylla, a member of the ruling National Peoples’ Party, is trying to push through an amendment bill to the Khasi Lineage Act so that Khasi women lose their right to land, property and the clan name if they marry outsiders.

“Being matrilineal, if they marry our women, they can exploit. In Meghalaya, we have a land transfer act where a non-Khasi cannot buy land. Why? To safeguard us. But through the marriage with a Khasi woman, you can buy land, you can trade, do business, you don’t have to pay income tax. Your children can contest election. We are being exploited. We have to stop this at any cost,” says Mr Shylla.

Many women support the move. In fact, there is a newly-formed group called STIEH that has held demonstrations in support of the amendment. But many others – men and women – don’t back the bill and the fight has turned ugly. Activists opposed to the bill have been threatened with rape and murder on social media, mixed marriage children mocked.Advertisement

Agnes Kharshiing, an activist, is outraged. “This is a democracy but the way they are trying to push it through with pressure groups and slang degrading women. We cannot tolerate such things. We had to file the FIR to show these things will not be tolerated by a civilized society,” she said.

Also angry is Angela Rangad, an activist who says the bill is hurting Meghalaya. “The society is divided. Many believe this is the answer to ensuring we as a tribe survive. But others feel it is not only an attack on women and our very being khasi… because we take our clan surname from women… we are matrilineal… so taking that away means you are taking identity away.”

The bill is currently with the government, returned by the governor without comment. Fueling the crisis is the national register of citizens exercise next door.

Editor of the newspaper, Shillong Times, and strongly opposed to the amendment, Patricia Mukhim, says, “The bill has just triggered more fear and xenophobia now and the groups demanding the bill are demanding we should have NRC here and also the inner line permit.”

Mr Shylla confirms her apprehensions. “Look at Tripura, once a tribal state. Where are the tribals now. The Assamese people are perished. We have to protect ourselves. You rest of India don’t understand about us… the Mizo, the Naga, the Garo, the Khasi have to protect themselves otherwise they will perish,” he said.

Written by Monideepa Banerjie, NDTV

UN

Satya Tripathi is New UN Asst. Secretary General

A development economist and lawyer with over 35 years of experience, Satya Tripathi has worked for the United Nations since 1998 in Europe, Asia and Africa on strategic assignments in sustainable development, human rights, democratic governance and legal affairs.

United Nations: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed veteran Indian development economist and UN official Satya S Tripathi as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Tripathi, who will succeed Elliott Harris of Trinidad and Tobago, has since 2017 served as Senior Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at UNEP.

A development economist and lawyer with over 35 years of experience, Tripathi has worked for the United Nations since 1998 in Europe, Asia and Africa on strategic assignments in sustainable development, human rights, democratic governance and legal affairs, spokesman for the Secretary-General Stphane Dujarric told reporters here on Monday.

Tripathi was previously the Director and Executive Head of the United Nations Office for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries Coordination in Indonesia, as well as for the United Nations Recovery Coordinator for the USD 7 billion post-tsunami and post-conflict recovery efforts in Aceh and Nias.

He participated as Chair of the Committees on Laws and Treaties for the United Nations-mediated Cyprus unification talks in 2004.

Earlier in his career he acted as a Senior Distinguished Fellow on Natural Resources Governance with the World Agroforestry Centre and on the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Forests. Tripathi holds honours, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commerce; and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law from Berhampur University, India.

UN Environment is the leading agency at the world body focussed on environment. It works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organisations across the world.

Diplomacy

Two Indian military choppers set to stay back in Maldives

With better talks between the two countries, the two Indian military helicopter which had been gifted to the Maldives is all set to stay back with its 48 crew members for the next few months.

New Delhi: The two Indian military helicopters, gifted to the Maldives, is likely to stay back along with a 48-member crew and support staff for at least next few months as talks between the two countries on their continued deployment in the island nation were “positive”, diplomatic and military sources told PTI on Monday.

The lease agreement of the two helicopters, given to Maldives in 2013, has expired and the island nation had conveyed to New Delhi that it would not like to retain them.

After several rounds of talks, there has been indication from Maldives about its willingness to keep the two helicopters along with the crew and support staff, the sources said.

They said the preliminary outcome of the talks between the two countries on the issue has been positive and there was a possibility of the choppers being kept there for a longer duration.

“The helicopters and the support staff are not being brought back,” a highly-placed source said.  The lease agreement of one helicopter operated by the Coast Guard had expired earlier this year, while the pact for the second chopper operated by the Indian Navy expired on June 30.

One chopper is deployed in the Indian Ocean nation’s southern-most island of Addu and the other in the strategically-located Lammu.  As relations between the two countries nosedived after India opposed the imposition of Emergency in that country, the Maldivian government indicated that it would not renew the lease agreement for keeping the two choppers along with the support staff.

The sources said the Maldives is extending visas of the Indian team comprising personnel from the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and support staff from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the manufacturer of the choppers.

The development comes less than a month before the presidential election in the Maldives and it is seen as an indication of a slight easing of ties between the two countries.

Maldives

The strategically-located Indian Ocean island nation is an important neighbour for India and both countries were enhancing defence and security cooperation, particularly in the maritime sphere, in the last several years.

However, the ties came under strain after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared Emergency in the country on February 5, following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials. The Emergency was lifted 45 days later. 

India had criticised the Yameen government for the imposition of the Emergency and urged it to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners.  The presidential election is due in that country on September 23.

Last month, India expressed concern over the announcement of the elections without allowing democratic institutions, including Parliament and the judiciary, to work in a free and transparent manner.

India had said it wanted “credible restoration” of the political process and the rule of law in the island nation before the elections were conducted.

However, despite strain in ties, both sides were in touch with each other on the issue of Indian choppers stationed there. There has been considerable disquiet in New Delhi over China’s growing influence over Male. The Maldives had inked a free trade agreement with China in December last year, triggering concerns in New Delhi

PTI

Climate Change

Snowfall On Tyrol’s Mountain Drops

by LISA FISCHER

The roller coaster of temperatures: From more than 30 degrees, the values ​​tumbled in recent days by more than 15 degrees down. It rained in the Tyrolean valleys – and on the mountains fell the first snowflakes. During the night on Sunday, the snowfall fell to around 1,500 meters.

Measuring stations at the Sonnblick and at the Rudolfshütte in the Hohe Tauern, there were about 40 centimeters of fresh snow, reported the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geo-dynamics. At the Stubai Glacier 20 centimeters of fresh snow lay in the morning, at the Hintertuxer Glacier it was 30 centimeters.

Below the valleys there was a hint of autumn: dark clouds and early temperatures of less than 10 degrees caused the Tyrolians to shiver. Low temperatures of 1.4 degrees were measured in Sillian, 2.7 degrees in Virgen and 3.2 degrees in Hochfilzen. This makes the Tyrolean resorts one of the coldest in Austria.

tyrols-mountain

The snow on Austria’s mountains led to traffic obstructions in alpine locations on Sunday morning. Some higher mountain roads from Tyrol to Styria were not passable after snowfall – at least temporarily. The Hahntennjoch was open again in the morning. The snow on the Turracher Straße (B95) in the Turracher Höhe area were cleared relatively quickly. The Sölkpass road (L704) had to be closed between Stein an der Enns (Liezen district) and Baierdorf in the Murau district. The same was true for the Kärntner Nockalm road.

But do not worry, the summer comes back in the new week with all your strength. While in the lowlands partly strong showers descend, from the Oberland the clouds break up more and more in the course of the Sunday. The daily maximums are between 11 and 19 degrees.

On Monday, the sun is shining again from the sky, after a cool autumn start the temperatures rise rapidly to 19 to 24 degrees. It will be a few degrees warmer on Tuesday. According to weather forecasts, up to 28 degrees in the Tyrol are possible again. Only now and then do a few harmless clouds move across the sky.

On Wednesday it will be summerly hot from Vorarlberg to Salzburg with peaks of around 31 degrees. From Thursday, the shower and thunderstorm to increase again, the temperatures to remain same on a late summer level.

Sources: tt news

Ahrntal, the pearl of Tyrol in the extreme north of Italy

Across the Ahrntal, from Campo Tures to the border with Austria, in one of the most pristine