Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Updates (November 3, 2010)

1) When the State slacks, terrorists move in Linky

Noting the alarming growth of illegal immigrants in Nagaland, the NSCN-K has decided to check and control influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and others from mainland India. A release issued by the NSCN-K said the outfit in coordination with regional authorities will identify and record every illegal immigrant family living in Nagaland while urging for fullest cooperation from Naga land owners as and when they are approached by NSCN-K officials for information and other necessary papers of the non-Naga tenants and farmers.

2) Tourists visiting NE states in 2007-09 Linky
State --- Domestic tourists --- Foreign tourists 2007, 2008 and 2009
Data from Linky

Arunachal Pradesh 91100 2212 149292 3020 195147 3945
Assam 3436833 12899 3617306 14426 3850521 14942
Manipur 101484 396 112151 354 124229 337
Meghalaya 457685 5267 549936 4919 591398 4522
Mizoram 43161 669 55924 902 56651 513
Nagaland 22085 936 21129 1209 20953 1423
Sikkim 329075 17498 460564 19154 547810 17730
Tripura 244795 3181 245438 3577 317541 4246

Clearly, Arunachal and Sikkim numbers have shown a dramatic rise, while Tripura domestic numbers has shown a huge jump from 2008 to 2009. The PIB release attributes it to:

The review of restrictions pertaining to Restricted Area Permit (RAP)/Protected Area Permit (PAP) for tourists is a continuous process and is undertaken by Ministry of Home Affairs on receipt of proposal from the concerned States and in consultation with security agencies. Ministry of Home Affairs has conveyed relaxation of Protected Area Regime in the following circuits of Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim:

Arunachal Pradesh:
(i) Along – Mechukha.
(ii) Existing Pasighat – Jenging – Yiungkiong to be extended upto Tuting.
(iii) Daporijo – Nacho Circuit via Taliha and Sayum.
(iv) Ziro – Palin – Nyapin – Sangram – Kaloriang.
(v) Doimukh – Sagalee – Pakke Kasang – Seppa.

Powers were delegated to the Government of Arunachal Pradesh for issue of Protected Area Permit (PAP) in respect of the following:
(i) To visiting foreign tourists in a group of two or more persons (as against the existing requirement of group strength of four or more persons) for a maximum period of 30 days.
(ii) To a group of two foreign tourists even if they are not married couples and to foreigners married to Indian nationals belonging to the State of Arunachal Pradesh for visiting the State on tourist visas.

Sikkim:
(i) To issue PAP/RAP to foreign tourists in a group of two or above with a recognized travel agent, who would act as an escort. However, existing restrictions on visit of foreigners to Rumtek Monastry and restrictions on movement of Tibetan Refugees need to be enforced.
(ii) To issue PAP/RAP to visiting foreign tourists (subject to (i) above) initially for a period of 30 days extendable to another spell of 30 days.

The powers to issue PAP/RAP to foreign tourists are also delegated to Tourism Information Officer posted at Tourist Information Centre (TIC) at Darjeeling (West Bengal) and Melli (Sikkim).

3) ULFA Linky

The deployment of the Assam Rifles also failed to seal the international border with Myanmar because of the tough terrain and the militants are still being able to move between India and Myanmar by taking advantage of the unguarded portions of the international border.

4) War crime trials in BD

A tribunal in Bangladesh preparing to try former Islamist militants on the charge of killing unarmed civilians during the 1971 freedom movement has amended rules to facilitate their detention. The International Crimes Tribunal Monday amended its rules of procedure to stipulate that anyone being investigated for ‘crimes against humanity’ will be considered an accused. Earlier, a person was considered an accused only if formal charges against him were submitted to the tribunal. The change facilitates the detention of seven Islamists belonging to various parties, the Daily Star said Tuesday.

Coming into the tribunal’s net will be Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a lawmaker of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) who is considered close to party chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia. Also in the net will be Abdul Alim, who was a minister under Zia, and BNP leader Abul Kalam Azad. Among others targeted by the tribunal are former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Golam Azam, Jamaat leader Mir Kashem Ali and former Jamaat lawmaker Abdus Sobhan, and Abdul Hannan of the Jatiya Party, a constituent of the ruling alliance. The Jamaat’s chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojahid, assistant secretaries general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla have already been put behind bars to face charges of ‘genocide and crimes against humanity’.

Meanwhile, BD-Pak talks Linky

Pakistan once again avoided making any commitment to resolve long outstanding issues with Bangladesh, including apology for the 1971 genocide, repatriation of stranded Pakistanis, and sharing of pre-separation period state assets. Since independence, Bangladesh has been asking Pakistan to resolve the issues which also include transfer of foreign aid that was meant for cyclone victims of 1970, and payment of war reparations -- but all successive Pakistani regimes, including the present government, have completely ignored the request, except some repatriation of stranded Pakistanis.
...
Diplomatic sources said Pakistan's assurances are merely rhetorical, which its officials have been chanting since Bangladesh's independence, without taking any initiative to resolve the issues. Full diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1976. However, on Bangladesh's request, Pakistan agreed at the meeting to provide access to information and database particularly on geological surveys and archaeological excavations conducted by Pakistani agencies before 1971 in Mainamati, Chittagong, etc.

In contrast, Linky

An estimated 15.64 million tonnes of freight traffic between different states in India could potentially be diverted through Bangladesh where rail corridors could be the most cost effective, according to an independent study on transit-transhipment. Bangladesh is expected to earn a total net profit of $23 billion from cargo handling in 30 years.

A team of experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan prepared the study report. Dr Rahmatullah, former director of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, led the team. The study by independent think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said, of the amount, about 12.02 million tonnes would be potentially diverted from Assam and 2.32 million tonnes from Nagaland. Additionally, 68,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of inter-state containers could potentially be diverted through Bangladesh.

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