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Archive for March, 2012

Maoists kill at least 12 CRPF jawans in Maharashtra

Posted by :) on March 27, 2012

Source : TOI

NAGPUR: Naxalites triggered a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Pustola, 38 kms from Gadchiroli in eastern Vidarbha killing 12 and injuring around 28 personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Tuesday morning, official sources said.

The landmine blast blew up a mini-bus ferrying the jawans in Pustola, near Yedampayali, between Karwafa and Phulbodi Gatta, considered as one of the most sensitive Maoist locations in the district.

The attack against the CRPF comes following the Naxal threats that the rebel group would repeat the massacre of Laheri where 17 police personnel were killed in October 2009. The Left wing guerrillas had vowed to avenge the killings of their ‘comrades’ at the hands of the security forces.

The bus, part of a security convoy, was heading to Gatta when the incident took place. The Naxals also opened fired on the blast-hit convoy. The explosion was heard in the neighbouring villages.

The security parties, initially taken aback by the strong blast, launched a counter attack to keep the Naxals at bay who were closing up with random firing.

The blast intriguingly took place within a day of the visit of the minister of the rural development Jairam Ramesh in the district. The minister’s name figures in the Naxal hit list, according to intelligence reports.

Rescue and reinforcement team was rushed to the spot after the information was shared with the Gadchiroli headquarters. The security forces had immediately conducted a cordoned search in the adjoining jungles and kick-started an operation in the area.

The injured jawans were flown to Gadchiroli district hospital from where they were sent to Nagpur.

Senior officials have cautioned the forces of hidden land mines which Naxals may have already planted in the region, anticipating a search following the blast.

Maoists kill 16 CRPF jawans in Maharashtra

Maoists kill 16 CRPF jawans in Maharashtra

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Beyond Security, Towards Peace

Posted by :) on March 26, 2012

 Source : TOI

Starting today, the nuclear security summit in Seoul will strive to make the world a safer place

Kim Joong-Keun

The threat of nuclear terrorism is not just a mirage or groundless fear but a stark reality that we all face today. The possibility of nuclear terrorism has become convincing all the more after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Rough estimates show that around 1,600 tons of highly enriched uranium and 500 tons of plutonium are stored at different locations scattered around the world.
Further, radiological materials that are widely used by countries for industrial and medical purposes can be used to make ‘dirty bombs’. The radiological materials are more vulnerable to theft than nuclear material.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there have been more than 2,000 cases of illegal trafficking, theft or loss of nuclear and radiological materials around the world from 1993 to 2011, of which around 60% have not been recovered. Terrorist organisations have long been seeking to obtain nuclear weapons and materials. All these highlight the escalating threat posed by nuclear terrorism.
If terrorists detonate a single nuclear device at the centre of a city, it will not only take millions of lives, but also paralyse the densely interconnected global economic and financial networks instantaneously, which will in turn translate into a catastrophe on a global scale. Furthermore, the political, social, environmental and psychological after-affects are inestimable.
Against this backdrop, President Barack Obama of the United States delivered a speech in April 2009 in Prague, urging the world to come together to prevent nuclear terrorism and announced “a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world within four years”. Accordingly, the first nuclear security summit was held in Washington, DC in April 2010, where 47 world leaders deliberated on the issue.
Seoul hosts the second summit, which starts today, to advance that commitment. Now, 58 leaders are participating in the Seoul summit to review the
progress made since the Washington summit and propose specific recommendations – laying out a practical vision and implementation measures on nuclear security – which will be outlined in the Seoul communique. The communique will include core issues such as management of nuclear and radioactive materials, protection of nuclear facilities, prevention of illicit trafficking and issues concerning the regulatory, policy-related, institutional, cultural and technical aspects of nuclear security.
The leaders will also strive to strengthen international standards and promote international collaboration for nuclear security. In brief, the summit seeks to translate the political pledges of the world leaders into concrete action plans.
Being a victim of the destructive trepidations of terrorism as also a nuclear power, India understands the importance of the nuclear security summit. As such, it has taken an active role in the preparation of the summit. Former Indian president A P J Abdul Kalam is a member of 15-member Eminent Persons Group, established to advise the president of Korea on the Seoul nuclear security summit. Kalam, drawing upon his extensive expertise and first-hand experiences, offered his insights on containing nuclear terrorism.
In January, New Delhi also hosted the Sherpas meeting for the nuclear security summit which considered, among other things, the draft communique to be adopted by leaders. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is participating in the summit meeting. Given his deep insight into the issues of international peace and security and his commitment to the potential benefits of civil nuclear energy, it is believed that his participation will enrich the deliberation at the summit and greatly contribute to its success.
Taking this opportunity to attend the security summit, Manmohan Singh has also made an official visit to Korea, reciprocating the state visit to India by President Lee Myung-bak in January 2010, when both leaders upgraded our relations to thecurrent strategic partnership. Since then, there have been tremendous developments in bilateral relations. Our bilateral trade has since increased by almost 70% in two years to reach over $20.6 billion in 2011.
Even though we have made remarkable achievements on the economic front, more significant developments have been made on the strategic and security front. Reflecting the changing relationship, cooperation in the defence industry and civil nuclear energy were major agenda items of our bilateral summit meeting on March 25. Furthermore, the geostrategic realities of Asia are undergoing profound changes and also engaged the attention of the two leaders.
Global peace and security are critical to achieve global economic prosperity; in the absence of a secured environment, economic well-being would be unattainable, and vice versa. Seoul has extended its unstinted support and cooperation in augmenting global efforts in addressing these two core concerns.
While the Seoul G20 summit in November 2010 achieved tangible progress in scripting a global economic recovery, the Seoul nuclear security summit will deliberate on how to make the world safe from nuclear and radiological terrorism. It is our hope that the summit will contribute towards realising humanity’s dream of a peaceful world by steering the global focus beyond security towards peace.
The writer is the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India.

Uniting against a threat no nation can face alone

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