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December 1st, 2008

We’ll take strong measures to ensure there
is no repetition of terrorist acts: PM

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on November 27 said that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai killing over 150 people were "based outside the country" and warned that India would no more allow terrorists to stage attacks with impunity. The Prime Minister said the government would take "the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts. Following is his Address to the Nation: "The dastardly terror attacks that took place in Mumbai leading to the loss of many precious lives and injuries to many others have deeply shocked the nation. I strongly condemn these acts of senseless violence against innocent people, including guests from foreign countries.

I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to those injured. The Government will take all necessary measures to look after the wellbeing of the affected families, including medical treatment of the injured.

The wellplanned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners. I salute the courage and patriotism of the police officers, including the chief of the Anti- Terror Squad, Hemant Karkare and men who have laid down their lives in fighting these terrorists. I assure the country that we will attend in an urgent manner to police reform so that the law and order authorities can work unitedly, effectively and in a determined manner to tackle such threats to national integrity. We are not prepared to countenance a situation in which the safety and security of our citizens can be violated with impunity by terrorists. It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country. We will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts.

We are determined to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. Instruments like the National Security Act will be employed to deal with situations of this kind. Existing laws will be tightened to ensure that there are no loopholes available to terrorists to escape the clutches of the law. Most importantly, it is essential to immediately set up a Federal Investigation Agency to go into terrorist crimes of this kind and ensure that the guilty are brought to book. We will take a number of measures to strengthen the hands of our police and intelligence authorities. I appeal to the people to maintain peace and harmony so that the enemies of our country do not succeed in their nefarious designs. All concerned authorities are on alert and will deal sternly with any attempts to disturb public order. Jai Hind !

‘India is the cradle of the human race’

High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee at the London Press Club

India's economic success has been matched by its political success at home and abroad," India's High Commissioner to Britain, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, said in a function at the London Press Club on November 18. More than 100 people including British media, bankers and members of the London Press Club attended the event. Excerpts from his speech: "Mark Twain, the master of hyperbole and who never used one word when a 100 would be available, described india in the following words: 'India is the cradle of the human race, the birth place of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition, our most valuable and instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only the one land opment.

That all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined'. Despite the pessimism of many who believed that a modern democratic system was at odds with India's highly stratified and segmented social landscape, the fact is that democracy has flourished in India and provided a powerful mechanism for the weaker sections of society to have their voice heard and indeed wield political power.

As William Safire put it in an article some years ago, "when India goes to the polls, it is always the largest show of democracy on earth". It is difficult for people to comprehend an electorate that is 600 million strong. India has always been a great knowledge society. It today boasts among the largest reserves of skilled English speaking manpower in the world. It has 50 million graduates and produces nearly half a million engineers every year. India also has an ambitious indigenous space programme which has achieved several important milestones. Chandrayaan-1 launched on October 22 is India's first lunar mission, making India one of six nations with this capability." opment.


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Children’s Day celebrations

N.D. Tiwari, Governor of Andhra Pradesh at The Nehru Centre.

Children's Day was celebrated in London on November 15 as a tribute to the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A workshop, entirely focused on children, while encouraging them to learn about Indian culture and festivals in a fun and engaging manner, was organised by Dr. Vinita Pandey and a team of volunteers, at The Nehru Centre. The workshop consisted of painting and creative writing on the themes of Holi, Diwali, Eid, Dusshera and Children's Day. Lady Desai, who encouraged and congratulated the children, parents and volunteers, attended the function. N.D. Tiwari, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, who was in London, attended the functions and spent time with the children.

Gordon Brown expresses shock We’ll stand together,
says Cameron

Gordan Brown and David Camron

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the world had responded with "shock and outrage" to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. He said: "This is a horrific incident which has shocked and outraged people around the world; this is the loss of innocent lives, people just going about their daily business. We've got to do everything we can now to help the Indian authorities. I have already sent my sympathy and support to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and said we will do everything we can to help the Indian government. Our. responsibility is obviously to root out terrorism and help the Indian government with their action. In time we will assess which group has been responsible - we don't have all the details - and what the implications are for the rest of the world." David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said: "These are absolutely horrific attacks and the pictures on our television screens are dreadful and our sympathy must be with the victims, of course, but also our support for the Indian government at this time. And we must stand together absolutely steadfast, saying these terrorists will never win. They want to separate countries like Britain and India and we should be saying our trade, our tourism, everything we do together, our relationship together, will get stronger and we will stand together and defeat these terrorists." The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, said: "Our immediate thoughts are with those families who are worried about their loved ones. When violent terrorism raises its ugly head, it is crucial that the international community stands together. India and Britain have close historical ties which should rightly prompt a signal of strong support from Britain to the Indian government."

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On the other pages

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India Pakistan Sri Lanka Bangladesh UK

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