Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Online, whistleblower gets feted as 'war hero'- Dec 1, 2010,

Online, whistleblower gets feted as 'war hero'

Shreya Roy Chowdhury, TNN, Dec 1, 2010, 02.20am IST

For one set, no punishment is severe enough for Bradley Manning; for another, he's a real "war hero." Accused of leaking the infamous "Collateral Murder" video of Americal soldiers gunning down civilians in Baghdad in 2007 as well as a giant cache of secret papers to WikiLeaks, the 23-year-old private was arrested in May 2010.

WikiLeaks, of course, hasn't confirmed that Manning's the whistleblower. Editor-in-chief Julian Assange has maintained in interviews that WikiLeaks rarely ever knows the identity of its own sources. But the private from Oklahoma who was an intelligence analyst is being hailed as a hero by many.

Manning's got a website dedicated to him that is trying to rally in support from various organizations and individuals and collect funds to pay for defense. It lists among a host of peace and anti-war organizations, Noam Chomsky, as supporter.

Chomsky has also provided a comment. He writes, "It is a privilege to join the campaign to support Bradley Manning for his courage and integrity in serving his country by helping make the government accountable to its citizens, and to inform the world of what its people should know."

Maharashtra sliding into BIMARU lot?- TNN, Dec 1, 2010,

Maharashtra sliding into BIMARU lot?

Hemali Chhapia, TNN, Dec 1, 2010, 01.37am IST

MUMBAI: Maybe, it's time to stop cracking all those bhaiyya jokes. A new study by a University of Mumbai economics professor shows that Maharashtra, once seen as an epitome of growth, development and progress, fares quite poorly when compared to the country's four BIMARU states — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

In the all-important factor of economic growth rate — a category in which the state reigned in the late 1990s in the country's top five — Maharashtra fell to 11th for growth from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Both Bihar (rank 4) and Rajasthan (10) ranked higher. ''Ten states outperformed us. We have some catching up to do,'' said Mala Lalvani, the professor who did the research.

While backward states like Bihar and MP appear to have woken up from their slumber and taken giant strides towards progress, Maharashtra is facing a reversal of fortunes. Despite having a large base of its own tax collection, the state has got mired in inefficiency, poor governance and an apathetic attitude towards its own people, say experts. Government spending in various areas that indicate a state's overall health has been poor.

Lalvani raises a very disturbing question with the title of her research: 'Maharashtra at 50: A new entrant to the BIMARU group?' Though the question might seem extreme, data put out by Malvani shows the need for concern. For example, the rich-poor divide in Maharashtra's rural areas is worse than in any BIMARU state. Meanwhile, only one state, MP, has a worse rich-poor divide in urban areas than Maharashtra.

Lalvani said, ''Maharashtra's developmental expenditure (on social and economic services) as opposed to its total expenditure is now only marginally above that of Bihar. In fact, its expenditure on health in proportion to its total expenditure falls short of all BIMARU states. Maharashtra's expenditure on education in proportion to its total expenditure is lower than that of Bihar.''

Lalvani sees a pattern in the decay: during the high growth-rate period of the golden years — 1970s and '80s — the government did not invest in strengthening public services or improving the quality of life. Beyond the bright lights and sparkle of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, power cuts, dry taps, a crumbling public health system and an apology for a public schooling system were the norm in the rest of the state.

Lalvani's conclusion is echoed by many senior economists. ''Maharashtra is really two states. Mumbai and its environs make up one and then there is the rest of Maharashtra, which is in extremely bad shape. There has been a certain neglect there. One needs to critically look at Maharashtra from the district and the sub-district level and see that there is a stark reality of terrible deprivation,'' said Indira Rajaraman, member of the 13th Finance Commission of India.

Senior economists, like Abhay Pethe, blame the complete breakdown of governance. ''Whatever indicators one looks at, if you take the Mumbai Metropolitan Region out of Maharashtra, the situation is pretty bad. The number of electoral representatives from the backward districts is falling because of delimitation and the fast urbanization of the state is causing an imbalance in growth,'' added Pethe.

Another economist, Tapas Sen, of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, while validating Lalvani's findings, said the state's average social priority ratio — money spent by government in the social sector — has been below the rule of thumb in recent times. Planners pointed out that the government is imposing spending cuts in development and economic services because it is dealing with a large debt.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lalu to work hard to get RJD back on track-"Abhi main budha (old) nahi hua hoon,""Abhi to main jawan hoon"Nov 29, 2010,

Lalu to work hard to get RJD back on track

Gyan Prakash, TNN, Nov 29, 2010, 05.11am IST

PATNA: RJD chief Lalu Prasad is not in a mood to accept his defeat in Bihar assembly polls. "There was no hurricane which swept us," remarked Lalu after the party's legislature party meeting which elected state RJD chief Abdul Bari Siddiqui as its leader in Bihar legislative assembly on Sunday.

Lalu said that he accepts people's mandate and would soon convene a meeting of district chiefs, and both victor and vanquished MLAs to review the reason behind the loss. "Abhi main budha (old) nahi hua hoon," Lalu said and then went on to remind Malika Pukhraj ( Pakistan)'s famous flick -- "Abhi to main jawan hoon" (I am still young). He said that he had seen many upheavals in his life, but was never upset. This, too, will pass away."

With parliamentary elections three years from now, Lalu said, he would work hard to bring the RJD on right track. Lalu, however, was categorical in saying that no development model of the NDA helped the latter to win with such a huge majority. "Which state in India has gone to the polls without development plank?" Lalu asked and mentioned chief minister Nitish Kumar has, in fact, tried to demolish the social justice concept by wrongly indulging in social engineering.

Moreover, the NDA should not be in an upbeat mode as it has got only 40 percent of votes while the entire opposition bagged 60 percent votes.

"I am very much hopeful that Nitish Kumar would live up to his assurances and fulfill people's expectation. On my part, I will play the role of a constructive opposition and support government's people-friendly policies," the RJD chief said.

Earlier, during the RJD legislature party meeting the name of Abdul Bari Siddiqui for the RJDLP leader was proposed by Raghvendra Pratap Singh and seconded by Samrat Chowdhary and Surendra Yadav. Siddiqui was unanimously elected to the post.

Siddiqui said that he would live up to the expectations of Lalu and Rabri Devi, besides the party's MLAs who have reposed faith in him. It is a great task, but I would perform the role of leader of opposition with great responsibility, he said.

Rabri said, "We accept the defeat and would go to the people to strengthen the party."

After data release, hackers crash WikiLeaks site Monday, November 29, 2010, 9:21[IST]

November 29, 2010

After data release, hackers crash WikiLeaks site

Monday, November 29, 2010, 9:21[IST]

Berlin, Nov 29: Just hours after releasing 250,000 United States diplomatic cables, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks was crashed by an unknown hacker.

Experts revealed that the WikiLeaks website was crashed by method known as distributed denial of service (DDoS). The server was jammed due to the repeatedly demand web pages from the server.

Read: US asks to spy on UN: WikiLeaks release exposes

However, the Der Spiegel of Germany, The New York Times, the London newspaper The Guardian and El Pais of Madrid continued to give the edited versions of the leaked documents.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that the secret data released by them exposes the "diplomatic history" of global affairs.

During an interview with al-Jazeera television, Julian Assange said, "No single individual has even come to harm as a result of anything that we have ever published."

Mean while, The White House condemned the release of secret documents as "reckless" and "dangerous".

"These revelations are harmful to the US and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world," US State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley said.

Radia and media-Debate on ethics of journalism-29/11/10

Radia and media

by AJ Philip

Debate on ethics of journalism

IMPARTIALITY is to journalists what saltiness is to salt. Both are useless if they lose their principal attribute. A debate on this seemingly settled issue has been occasioned by the publication in two leading news magazines of India — Open and Outlook — transcripts of a few telephonic conversations Niira Radia, a woman endowed with formidable networking and public relations skills, had with some top journalists, politicians and corporate chiefs.

Radia, who heads a communication company and has such rich and powerful clients as captains of Indian industry Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, is believed to have played a major behind-the-scene role in the allotment of 2G Spectrum licences in 2008 on a first-come-first-served basis that cost the exchequer a loss estimated at a staggering $38 billion.

It was the statutory auditor of all monetary transactions of the government — the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) — that estimated this loss which many consider is grossly exaggerated. It is also pointed out that while the state might have suffered a loss, the Indian consumer has gained as he now pays one of the world’s lowest call rates. Incidentally, when cell phones were introduced in the country in the early nineties, it cost upwards of $1 for a three-minute local call.

Be that as it may, India’s premier investigating agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is now investigating the case with periodic monitoring by the Supreme Court of India. Some obiter dicta by the Bench hearing the case against A Raja, who was the communications minister when the Spectrum licences were sold in 2008 at 2001 prices, forced the minister to quit early this month.

Unknown to Niira Radia, her telephones were placed under surveillance by the Income Tax Department, based on a tip-off by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, in 2008 and 2009. (In India, telephone-tapping is permitted in certain cases.)

Transcripts of the phone conversations that have a bearing on the Spectrum scam, considered the mother of all scams, are now part of the case being heard by the Supreme Court. What the two newsmagazines have done is to publish the transcripts and provide links on their websites to the audio recordings for those who want to hear the conversations.

The question is whether it was proper for the newsmagazines to publish them, which in some cases amounted to “character assassination”. Since Radia was a PR person, it was her job to cultivate journalists, officials and political leaders. Whether, in the process, she violated any laws of the land is a matter being investigated now by the CBI. What has raised hackles is the manner in which she used journalists like veteran editor Vir Sanghvi and India’s leading television anchor Barkha Dutt for lobbying.

Journalists cannot take the line that they will not deal with the corrupt and the shady, for the profession at times demands them to gather information from them and also about them to serve the public interest. In the case of Vir Sanghvi, it was his readiness to buy Radia’s line on the dispute between brothers Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani for a weekly column he writes for the leading English daily Hindustan Times that caused surprise.

The column that appeared immediately after the conversation turned out to be on the lines suggested by Radia. Worse, both Dutt and Sanghvi had no hesitation in carrying messages to Congress leaders about inclusion of a leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazham (DMK), a constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, in the union cabinet. “In a way, these were the people who eventually ensured Raja was given the telecom portfolio”, argued Open.

It is immaterial whether the journalists concerned actually acted as a go-between. The very fact that they knew how corporate lobbyists were working behind the scenes to promote the interests of a particular politician but did not report it raises questions about their bona fides.

Often, journalists are not able to distinguish between professional and personal friends. Politicians and corporates need the services of newspersons as the latter need the former in their day-to-day work. Sometimes they may not even know when they cross the borders of the professional and the personal. In the instant case, Radia was so close to them that she could not only call them at odd hours but even ask them to act as her conduit.

This brings up the question — what is the ideal relationship between those in power and newsmen? It should be guided solely by the public interest. Politicians and PR persons would try to manipulate newspersons to promote their personal interest. In the current case, Radia wanted Raja to head the key Telecommunications Ministry, and not anyone else from the DMK. It is for the journalists concerned to see through their game.

As N. Ram, editor of The Hindu, said during a TV discussion on the issue, the BBC would have sacked them if they were on its rolls. He was not wide of the mark, for readers and viewers expect that those who write columns or anchor television programmes to be unbiased.

In other words, the central issue is the credibility of the Press. A few months ago when it was reported that some newspapers in Maharashtra encouraged the concept of “paid news” – publishing favourable news at a price — during the last Assembly elections, it shocked the nation.

Unlike in the past when the Indian media was led by leaders like Raja Rammohan Roy and Mahatma Gandhi, who saw the media as an instrument for social and political reform, today it is a multi-billion dollar industry, controlled by businessmen and politicians.

To expect the modern-day practitioners of the profession to adhere to the exacting standards set by them may be too much. But if the Press is to remain eligible to be called the Fourth Estate and a watchdog of democracy, journalists should not become handmaidens of corporate carpetbaggers like Niira Radia.

Film screening on “Social Justice & Human Rights for All”-Tata Institute of Social Sciences-25 November, 2010

Film screening on “Social Justice & Human Rights for All”

25 November, 2010 AT News Bureau

In connection with the 20th anniversary of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, a colaborative film screening event under the theme- Social Justice & Human Rights for All by Cotton College, North East Network and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati has been organised to commemorate the Campaign, on November 25 at 2:30-6:00 pm at KBR Auditorium, Cotton College, Guwahati.

Both Indian and international movies have been selected for this occasion. The aim is to raise awareness about social injustice and gender-based violence among individuals and groups.

List of films:

a. Jor Se Bol ( Hindi) - a documentary by Akshara on sexual harassment…. Campaign to stop violence against women. (27 mins)

b. Vande Mataram ( Hindi) - Produced by Amudhan R.P., this documentary focuses on manual scavenging by the dalits (6ins)

c. Reconciliation Soccer (English) - Highlighting conflict in Nagaland, this documentary is about peace building through soccer (27 mins)

d. Sirf Jhaag (Hindi) - Based in Gujrat, this documentary is about social constructs that lead to communal violence(10mins)

e. The story of the Golden River (English) - This documentary is a capture of life around the Subansiri River and the implication of the big dams on the lives and livelihood of people ( 40 mins)l

f. Award Winning Films on Disability (English) - “9 GOLD Medals” by Puneet Sharma; “Respect my Existence” by A. Bhatnagar & “They Can” by Priya V (1 min each)

PM does not deserve to face humiliation: Ratan Tata

PM does not deserve to face humiliation: Ratan Tata

In the face of uproar against the government over the alleged spectrum allocation scam, Tata group chief Ratan Tata has said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not deserve to face "humiliation".

"I want to say that it has hurt me to see what he (PM) has gone through in the past weeks... in Parliament... the pressure... the innuendos and the pressure he has been going through to resign and so on," Tata said in an interview.

Complimenting Congress President Sonia Gandhi for supporting Singh publicly because he did not deserve this kind of pressure in Parliament, Tata said: "And here again I think this is the responsibility of the Parliamentarians to transact, to govern the country and not to adjourn the Parliament everyday.."

The comments assume significance in the backdrop of 2G controversy and the litigation in the Supreme Court during which the Prime Minister was questioned over the delay in taking a decision on a plea to sanction prosecution of then Telecom Minister A Raja, who resigned subsequently.

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Tata said that Singh was one person who was truly above any allegation thrown at him. He is a person "whom we are lucky to have because it's his phase that has been the phase of transforming India and it is this person who has commanded the respect of leaders in major countries."

Talking about the 2G controversy and the leakage of telephonic conversations PR professional and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia had with some politicians, journalists and industrialists, Tata said that what had happened in the last few weeks was an indication of what could happen anytime.

"Then we are really going down the root into a Banana Republic. I would have no hesitation in telling the Prime Minister this, because I don't believe that the Prime Minister is contributing to this. I think he should be concerned about the nation going in that direction and he is a tremendously good man."

Tata cautioned against projection of India as a scandal-riddled country and said that the nation should not fall into the trap of becoming a nation that is destroying itself by making everything into a scam.

‘The most noise usually comes from the people who have the most to hide’-Sun Nov 28 2010,

‘The most noise usually comes from the people who have the most to hide’

Shekhar Gupta Tags : walk the talk, Shekhar Gupta, indian express columist, indian express oped, walk the talk with Ratan Tata Posted: Sun Nov 28 2010, 22:46 hrs

Ratan Tata: Thank you for honouring that wish. Thank you very much for having this session today, it’s always an honour, it’s always a pleasure to be with you.

Shekhar Gupta: I also said unusual times, you know why. Because there is a certain murkiness in the air right now, particularly when it comes to government-business interface...

Ratan Tata: Yes, it is a murky time, you are right. It’s a confusing time for me because just a couple of weeks ago, we were sitting sort of... on top of a summit or a mountaintop with President Obama showering praise on what we had done, talking about maturity, talking of our having emerged, and not being an emerging force... and then we have somewhat slipped into a morass of a series of allegations... unauthorised tapes flooding... the media going crazy on alleging, convicting, executing... literally character assassination. In fact the whole thing in so doing — there has been a smokescreen behind what is really the so-called scam — which really is out-of-turn allocation of spectrum, hoarding of spectrum by important players for free... and things of this nature. So I think these are bad times. I wish the government would take a stand, bring an auditor... have an investigation and book people who are guilty of something, but stop this sort of banana republic kind of attack on whoever one chooses to attack on a basis unsubstantiated even before the person has what I consider every Indian’s right — namely to be considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law, not on the street, not in this way...

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Shekhar Gupta: So what is it about this murkiness that particularly worries you — you know, we’ve had a minister go in the past three weeks since Obama left, we’ve had a chief minister go, we’ve had a very senior Member of Parliament from the ruling party give up his position in the party, Suresh Kalmadi, we’ve had these tapes come out, and now we have this new scandal that CBI is raiding bankers and housing finance companies. I mean, the country just looks like a mess, the economy looks like a mess...

Ratan Tata: You know it’s a funny thing, you get into a stage where many of these things I believe have been sourced by vested interests who... have the connections to make these things happen... what such people forget is that there is a bigger issue of the nation and very often this kind of rumour-based or whisper-based... out of court, kangaroo-court kind of issue is the outcome of persons wanting to settle scores, wanting to protect their own vested interests... we have a venerable judiciary system, we should I think as every Indian want to protect it and ensure that it.. itself stands above any kind of act of corruption or interference, because this is a very valuable asset that our country and our democracy has — and it should not be bypassed, sidestepped, preempted.

Shekhar Gupta: Do you see some of that happening?

Ratan Tata: I think what’s happened over the last few days, is all outside the judiciary basically, and I think the government and the judiciary should come down hard and say that the proper place for consideration of wrongdoing is the court, or an enforcement agency — whatever it is that has the right to investigate and prosecute. I am afraid the media does not, and it cannot... in an uncontrolled way. The media can break a story, that’s what it is there for, it can be the conscience keeper, but it also has a responsibility. Millions of people in India and elsewhere believe what they read in the newspaper or see on television is the truth — and I think that’s a responsibility every mediaperson has, and he or she needs to remember that it is a very important responsibility, because they are the opinionmakers of any nation.

Shekhar Gupta: But Ratan, at the same time, the government has the power to tap somebody’s phone, and that power has to be exercised with a great deal of caution — the Supreme Court has set down the law very strictly. Shouldn’t there also be responsibility to protect people’s privacy, even if they are involved in criminality? They can only use that information specifically in case of prosecution.

Ratan Tata: I totally agree, government also has a responsibility; the agencies also have a responsibility. They have been given a special right to be able to invade people’s privacy for national security or for enforcement of law, whatever it may be. So they can do so. That additional power is a very special power which has to be exercised with a sense of responsibility. The content needs to be held for prosecution purposes and not to be misused, and certainly not to go out to have a field day with. There doesn’t seem to be prosecution on one end and there doesn’t seem to be confidentiality on the other. Perhaps as things will emerge, not even knowledge of how it was disseminated, nor admission of even having conducted such telephone tapping. So we are going to be in a dead man’s zone on this, which I think is unfortunate. Here I just want to put what you have said quite rightly in juxtaposition to feeling I have as an Indian, perhaps a law-abiding Indian, I wouldn’t even try to work my way out of a speeding ticket. We have all to be proud of what we have done in India , we have got to be proud of our prime minister, we have got to be proud of the success we have. It’s terrible if we as a nation destroy ourselves and whoever is doing this kind of thing needs to consider themselves not a hero of the nation but in fact as one of the villains who would bring down this nation after the good that is being done.

Shekhar Gupta: But that’s very serious, do you see the danger of that? Do you see where the murkiness can lead to...

Ratan Tata: I think if it’s not controlled, I think yes. I used the word ‘banana republic’, I didn’t use it lightly.

Shekhar Gupta: I was coming to that, because that is a very serious expression.

Ratan Tata: Banana republics are run on cronyism. People of great power wield great power, people of lesser power or people who have fallen out of power go to jail without adequate evidence or their bodies are found in the trunks of cars. The danger is that you could degenerate into that kind of atmosphere unless the necessary parts of government play their role in upholding the law and fine, let no one be above the law.

Shekhar Gupta: Do you see a lot of crony capitalism, since you used that expression?

Ratan Tata: Yes, I see the evidence of it. I am not in a position to say a lot of it, but the evidence of it...

Shekhar Gupta: Would you say some of it?

Ratan Tata: Yes.

Shekhar Gupta: Will you describe some of the evidence that you have seen?

Ratan Tata: You know, you see large contracts being awarded, you see conditions of contract become a little vague, implemented funnily, you see eligibility of capability being abused... You know, very often I wondered, there are some countries for example where favouritism doesn’t apply, but you actually pay in to the government if you get a contract. But the nice thing about those countries is that you get the best contractor, or you get the best... It becomes like a tax — like an open tax— so you pay in not to individuals, but you pay in to an agency... I am not condoning that, but I am saying that is one form... Here, you often... who pays the cost of giving something to a person with less capability? The customer pays, the consumer pays. We get something that takes five years more to finish than it should, costs five times more to complete than it should. So this is not the time that we should do this, this is the time that we should build our nation on the basis of meritocracy.

Shekhar Gupta: How do you manage, does the group of Tatas manage in this environment?

Ratan Tata: Well, we have endeavoured to uphold a value system that has been part of our tradition, and we’ve been disadvantaged repeatedly in that we have lost projects, projects have been delayed... We have ingratiated ourselves in certain cases with some politicians, but we have stayed that course...

Shekhar Gupta: You have ingratiated or you have annoyed them?

Ratan Tata: Annoyed them, sorry.

Shekhar Gupta: Editing correction, sorry.

Ratan Tata: I am glad you did that, sorry... And in that sense, we would like to keep the Group ferociously protecting this one asset.

Shekhar Gupta: Do you sometimes pay if you have to pay?

Ratan Tata: We have never done so. Never.

Shekhar Gupta: Be it on the tariff cards... as you say in countries where they charge it almost like a surcharge.

Ratan Tata: We have actually never operated in those countries... I myself have introspected on what happens here. It’s a little fuzzy — what happens here leads you to believe that there’s an undercurrent that’s subjective — against what you see in some countries where it is out in the open, and while I don’t as I said earlier, condone that, at least I see that the country gets the best that there is for that particular...

Shekhar Gupta: That’s less worse than this. I understand some of our chief ministers have started doing that now. They have opened bidding but whoever wins knows that a certain part of it has to be contributed some place.

Ratan Tata: Well, that’s again, that’s off the table... whereas what I was talking about is that it’s in the invoice, it’s out in the open.

Shekhar Gupta: Oh, it’s that transparent. But to come back to the banana republic, would you say this to the prime minister, who as you said, you respect?... Would you say to the prime minister that our country is in danger of becoming a banana republic or...

Ratan Tata: I think that if what has happened in the last few weeks is an indication of what can happen at any time, then we are going down the route that would lead us into a banana republic. I would have no hesitation in telling the prime minister that because I don’t believe the prime minister is contributing to this, I think he should be concerned about the nation going in this direction.

Shekhar Gupta: And he is a good man.

Ratan Tata: And he is a tremendously good man, we’re very lucky to have a prime minister like him. I want to say that I think it has hurt me to see what he has gone through in the past weeks — the pressure and the innuendos, the pressures that he has been going through to resign and so on, he is one person who is truly above the allegations that have been thrown at him, a person who we are very lucky to have because it is his face that has been the face of a transforming India. And it is this person who has commanded the respect of leaders in major countries. He doesn’t deserve to have this kind of...

Shekhar Gupta: And the Gandhi family has invested a lot of capital building his image and sustaining it.

Ratan Tata: Yeah, yes. And I was very pleased to see Mrs Sonia Gandhi supporting him the other day publicly, because he doesn’t deserve this kind of pressure in Parliament. Here again I think there’s a responsibility of parliamentarians to transact, to govern their country, not to adjourn Parliament every day to meet some...

Shekhar Gupta: Ratan, everyone knows you in the world of business, in the world of finance, do you feel some of the investors, some foreigners, are beginning to get worried, to get wary of India right now?

Ratan Tata: I think this has just happened, so, truthfully, I have no knowledge. But I have a feeling it’ll be on everybody’s lips I imagine, the next time I go overseas, which is going to be in a couple of days... People are going to ask me what is all this about, there is this scam, there is that scam, people who are now on the Internet are well-informed about India, will think of India as a scandal-riddled country, which it is not, and you can easily make it that way, you can make everybody’s mindset operate from one scandal to the other. You can make that... unfortunately, the fodder the media needs to sell publications or to attract viewing on television. And my experience has been, not in the media but elsewhere, that the most noise usually comes from the people who have the most to hide... So we should not fall into the trap of becoming a nation that is destroying itself by making everything into a scam.

Shekhar Gupta: Are you saying that this is a kind of self-flagellation?

Ratan Tata: Well, it leads to... smokescreens.. We should in fact be..

Shekhar Gupta: The thieves get away behind the screen, and everyone else looks like a thief.

Ratan Tata: That’s right, that’s right.

Shekhar Gupta: Have you seen any increasing unpredictability in government policy or governance in India... again from the point of view of the investor?

Ratan Tata: Yes, I think so. Again, I have always felt and said this openly, that what’s behind it is not government policy, what’s behind it is usually a vested interest spurring government policy. I think the FDI limits in a whole series of areas, some of them promised by the government, have not been done — insurance is one main example, retail is another area, probably the banks are a third, these are things that the free world has come to accept as (SG: as a given)... India is a nation that everyone is looking at today, people want to invest, and it is not unusual for a foreign investor to now say, ‘When do you think the FDI limits on this will change?’ and you can’t give them an answer. Because there is nothing standing today in the way of the government doing that. So there are those areas that...

Shekhar Gupta: Worry you, that you find a lack of predictability...

Ratan Tata: Yeah. Telecom is another example. Through the years, through 10 years, if one went and looked if the stated government policy has been implemented in the manner and spirit that it was intended, the answer is no, it has been modified several times... to suit and protect individuals... public sector incumbents, or there is one segment or another.

Shekhar Gupta: So you are saying it has been changed at whim.

Ratan Tata: Usually, behind any change, behind any deviation, is a vested interest.

Shekhar Gupta: I remember two things you said at our last conversation referring to corridors. I’m taking the second one first — you said that we have come a long way but things still happen in dark corridors in Delhi and you said that we don’t know that much about them. The other thing you said that corridors of power don’t matter as much as they do... as they used to... but they still matter too much. How have the things changed in six years, have they gotten better or worse?

Ratan Tata: In some ways it has got better, but I think in many ways it is worse.

Shekhar Gupta: Tell us those, some of those.

Ratan Tata: Well you know there used to be greater adherence to policy. Today the interpretation of policy has become very vague, so eventually you find that you are arguing on something that the other side interprets in a manner that is so woolly and vague that you come away from that meeting thinking that I’m never going to be able to do this.

Shekhar Gupta: Do you have any specific example?

Ratan Tata: No, but let me give you an example that has been bandied and used in the press because they all give me a chance to clarify. It may be known to many, or some, that when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister, an accord was signed in Singapore to form a joint venture airline. J.R.D. Tata was called by Mr A.N. Verma (who was the Principal Secretary to the PM) to put up a proposal for such an airline. And we went to Singapore Airlines... we made great progress... we put a proposal before the government. There was no policy for FDI at that time and a fifty-fifty joint venture was... I wouldn’t say approved, but informally accepted. Then vested interests brought about a change and fifty-fifty became forty-sixty as a new policy. No reason, no grounds given. Singapore Airlines accepted that to become a minority player. So sixty-forty — a new proposal was made. In this period of time, many governments also changed. I can’t specifically say which happened when but it started in Narasimha Rao’s time, then Mr Gowda, then Mr Gujral.

Shekhar Gupta: In between that 13 days of Mr Vajpayee.

Ratan Tata: Yes. Then finally we met every requirement that the government had... and then the last change was no, no foreign airline can participate. If you were a diaper manufacturer or P-cap manufacturer, you could invest... but as an airline, you couldn’t. And this is the kind of change... and you see that is an example, you see cases where you just don’t get any traction, nothing happens... the minister may tell you that I will do this, we will deal with this but it doesn’t take place.

Shekhar Gupta: I know you have struggled with defence for some time.

Ratan Tata: Yes, then again it’s an issue of not knowing where you stand...

Shekhar Gupta: Do you regret being in telecom? Do you sometimes say that I’m doing 20 things, why telecom?

Ratan Tata: Yes, because of the inconsistency of policy... because of the bias that exists... yes, sometimes I do. But it’s a great area. It’s a wonderful thing that the government opened it up to everyone and it’s a travesty that policy got subverted in a manner that it helps a few, disadvantages others.

Shekhar Gupta: And when you can subvert policy and now sort of extra policing and editorialising, when you have the freedom to subvert the policy then that opens the market for rent-seeking?

Ratan Tata: Maybe yes, theoretically yes.

Shekhar Gupta: Has anybody asked for money in telecom?

Ratan Tata: In telecom... no.

Shekhar Gupta: In aviation, you made a remark that somebody sitting next to you said something...

Ratan Tata: Yes, I said that somebody sitting next to me... what I said was not what the media reported. What I said was a fellow industrialist, on a flight sitting on the seat next to me, said you know, why don’t you pay the minister? You know that he wants — Rs 15 crore. No one had ever asked us for any amount of money.

Shekhar Gupta: Those were very good times. Rs 15 crore would be small change now.

Ratan Tata: Yes, I realise that. And the person said you know, you people want the airline, don’t you? You want the airline, so pay Rs 15 crore. How does that matter to you? And I said — what I was trying to say in answer to the question that — how do you avoid corruption? I said that ought to be self-regulating. I told this person that you will never understand, we just don’t do that. He said you are stupid. I said no, I want to go to bed at night feeling that I have not succumbed.

Shekhar Gupta: And you have never done it... Even for a mining lease anywhere? Because now it is considered to be the normal thing for mining leases.

Ratan Tata: No, it is not... on our part, no.

Shekhar Gupta: Tatas have never done it, and have you suffered because of that?

Ratan Tata: Yes. We have several mining leases that are still not extended — old mining leases that have not been extended, questions asked... We are an expanding steel company. We need iron ore in terms of assured supply. If we are allowed to expand in iron and steel, one would think if one looks back the 100-odd years that Tata Steel has been in existence, have we once exploited or usurped in any way the mining interest that we have? Have we profited? Have we destroyed the environment? Have we done any of those things? We have not. But we are the ones that are picked out and it’s unfortunate. I think our effort has been to be good corporate citizens.

Shekhar Gupta: There is another story floating... is that the group of Tatas paid a sizeable amount of money to Madhu Koda...

Ratan Tata: It’s absolutely untrue. As the chairman of Tata Steel, I can say, we have not done any such thing, directly or indirectly.

Shekhar Gupta: Did you get many leases in his time?

Ratan Tata: Actually we have got no leases in his time, which should in itself be an indication of the veracity, or the lack of veracity, of the stories being circulated.

Shekhar Gupta: But you have heard this charge?

Ratan Tata: Yes, we heard about the charge. I believe Tata Steel has even been called and asked those questions by the enforcement agencies and we have given them a response, which is the same as I have told you.

Shekhar Gupta: But this is the first public response. Back to Delhi ... At which point did you realise that you needed someone in Delhi to work for you and then you hired Niira Radia. How did that happen?

Ratan Tata: There was a time, I forget how many years ago, maybe 10-15 years ago, we found ourselves, like just now, under attack — all kinds of statements being made. In fact I’d go back home wondering where did these stories come from? We haven’t done this, we haven’t done that — it would go on and on in this way. One example is, I think you are aware of, the story about us having hobnobbed with the extremists in Assam ...

Shekhar Gupta: That story, if I may say so, was broken by the Express. In ‘96, I think, if I remember correctly...

Ratan Tata: No no, the story was not broken. It was a prosecution by the Assamese government at that time. And like I wondered, where is this coming from? So those kinds of issues led us to say that we need to protect ourselves and get our point of view across to the media. Every time we had tried to do something, it was a defensive move, rebutting or denying or usually we got relegated to a back page in newspapers. So we decided we go out and seek a firm to represent us and that is how we in fact came together with Niira Radia who formed this company.

Shekhar Gupta: But you know, if you look at these tapes, such as they are, I think what’s caught public imagination is this idea that somebody... you can call her a lobbyist, you can call her a PR person, a representative... is talking to people to influence a Cabinet appointment.

Ratan Tata: I listened to some of the tapes, and you know, I am not a Delhi resident— but to a great extent, I wonder whether if other people’s phones were tapped, whether we’d get similar kinds of conversations, whether she has the power to influence Cabinet appointments or anything of this nature.

Shekhar Gupta: I mean, certainly, if she thought, or if anybody thought that this could be done by journalists, I find it very touching that journalists can call up someone and say make so and so a minister, don’t make so and so a minister... I have been in this business for much longer than most people now, and I don’t think I could have... (laughs)

Ratan Tata: But you know, I really believe that Delhi is full of people whose lives revolve around politics, and what has happened today and what is going to happen, and who does what in political circles. So I really don’t know.

Shekhar Gupta: Dark corridors at 11 pm...

Ratan Tata: Now I think corridors are replaced by telephone lines... (laughs)

Shekhar Gupta: Did these revelations, these tapes come as a shock to you? And the emergence of the Tata name somewhere there?

Ratan Tata: Some of it came as a shock to me, but the tapes have been around for a long, long time in one form or another, or parts of it and I knew that there were some tapes... the fact that some included a conversation with me I also knew was there. I realised that her phone had been tapped, I realised that I could... that there had been many conversations, as with many other people... and what bothers me is that we are living in a state in this country...that that kind of thing happens on an official basis, and then it gets leaked... that’s a new phenomenon.

Shekhar Gupta: India is a funny country. We don’t declassify something that happened 60 years back. Nehru’s letters to Kennedy (for example) we have to get them from Kennedy’s family’s archive, we just got it two weeks back because Kennedy’s family’s archive had it. We still have that classified in India . Here we leak some information that were recorded few months back.

Ratan Tata: I think the porosity in Delhi also is something of great concern. Telephone tapes are leaked, official documents get leaked, files disappear. I think there is a great deal that the government has to look internally into.

Shekhar Gupta: All that happens in a corporate situations. Can you imagine what happens to the Pakistani, the Chinese, the CIA, if they get involved. Have you raised it with prime minister or finance minister yet?

Ratan Tata: Not to this extent.

Shekhar Gupta: Do you intend to?

Ratan Tata: Yes.

Shekhar Gupta: How would you do it?

Ratan Tata: I think at the present moment, I would like to register my concern as an Indian that this is happening. I don’t have enough knowledge to profess to the government what they should do, but I think as an Indian and as a caring Indian who is proud of my country, I feel I should register my...

Shekhar Gupta: Formally would you write to them?

Ratan Tata: I have been toying with whether to write or try to speak. Probably the better thing to do is to put on paper my concern and register my concern with them. I’m not seeking anything myself from this. I’m not asking for anything to be done for me. I’m asking the government to consider that there is an Indian who has a concern for his country that feels that this kind of thing should not happen, and that our country is such that we should honour the responsibility the agencies have and take the necessary prosecuting actions that needs to be taken... But this free-for-all and this sort of media blitz with seemingly evident agenda, and what looks more and more like a smokescreen, one should put an end to that, and get down to taking the culprits to justice and getting over with this.

Shekhar Gupta: And it is flooding the environment with things that are very seditious. It may be interesting to others but of no real consequence. In the little conversation between you and Niira — you are showing wearing a black tie/dress and she is wearing a black gown — it’s funny but it’s funny like a sequence in a movie.

Ratan Tata: But was that subverting policy? Was that in fact influencing the induction or removal of a minister? Was that toppling governments? You know, how is that of relevance and how do you correlate that with putting my picture on the cover saying “2G scam”?

Shekhar Gupta: Did it matter to you who became telecom minister?

Ratan Tata: From the standpoint of wanting to see, you know, a policy and a level playing field, yes, it would matter. If you say did I want to see Mr Raja in or Mr X...no, whoever we thought was going to be

Shekhar Gupta: But you have history with Maran...

Ratan Tata: Yes, unfortunately because I think he is a very intelligent person and we just had, if I might be honest with you, what seems to be a chemistry problem more than anything else. He is extremely intelligent, extremely sophisticated.

Shekhar Gupta: And very smart and articulate ...

Ratan Tata: Yes.

Shekhar Gupta: Will you give me your description of what you think the scam is?

Ratan Tata: I really don’t know. When it started out, I thought it was Mr Raja’s alleged deeds, then it seemed the scam related to Niira Radia’s conversations with various people, which were more innuendos than anything else, and Mr Raja’s scam was the loss to the exchequer... I don’t want to comment on the rights or wrongs, but loss to the exchequer was computed on the basis of the 3G auction. The 2G spectrum was allocated before the auctions, so it looks somewhat like a hindsight issue but the media has said that he robbed the nation of X...

Shekhar Gupta: 40 billion dollars.

Ratan Tata: OK, so if that is so, somebody will need to show that there has been a sort of visionary view before the event took place that cost him to cause that much loss to the exchequer. These are things that I think the media has blown up. What is unclear to me is what really is the scam? Was it the manner in which he implemented the policy? If so...

Shekhar Gupta: The one is spectrum and the other is licenses issued in arbitrary manner...

Ratan Tata: Right, others feel that... So that should raise a question that all the accusations to Niira, they culminated in her client going to court. So you know, it’s not clear what the scam is.

Shekhar Gupta: Client going to court as a victim?

Ratan Tata: Yes, as a victim and not as a beneficiary.

Shekhar Gupta: Give your solution to the government. The three things the government should do now to calm down situation and also to take it to right conclusion.

Ratan Tata: I think the government has a new minister in place, who I admire for his ability to think through the situation. There should be first the calming down. The government should take over the control over the tapes and there should be strictures on the media to not use the tapes the way they have been using them... I think the government should institute a public inquiry on whatever they wish to do relating to the licenses, the manner in which they were implemented, the allotment of spectrum and far beyond the eligibility of certain players — that should not be ignored. In 2005, I was the person who advocated that spectrum should not be free. It upset Mr Maran and some of the operators made statements that if I have so much of money, I should donate to the PM relief fund.

Shekhar Gupta: Sunil Mittal?

Ratan Tata: Ya. At that time, I was the one who said that spectrum is a scarce resource and should be paid for, and I’m the only one who did not get any spectrum (laughter)... So the point is I think there be an inquiry to go into what has really happened and it should go back to 1999 or 2003 when policy were embedded in certain areas, and whoever the minister or the government was at that time. It should be a holistic view because the industry deserves a consistent policy, not a chop-chop policy — not a kind of review of what Raja did and what Maran did.

Shekhar Gupta: If investigation happens, you will fully cooperate with them...

Ratan Tata: Of course, if asked to.

to be continued

When Radia killed the media star- Saturday, November 20, 2010

When Radia killed the media star

Saturday, November 20, 2010 14:51 IST

The complete blackout of the Niira Radia tapes by the entire broadcast media and most of the major English newspapers paints a truer picture of corruption in the country than the talk shows in the various news channels and the breast-beating in all the newspapers about the 2G, CWG, Adarsh, and other scams.

The website, NewspostIndia.com has this to say about this phenomenon, "The self anointed flag bearers of the third pillar were caught red handed as the Nira Radia tapes were leaked online by Open and Outlook Magazine. These tapes show the corruption nexus between top journalists such as Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Prabhu Chawla and Vir Sanghvi and political parties and corporate lobbyists. Some print media outlets, such as Mail Today, and foreign media giants carried these revelations. However our very own prime time television news channels NDTV, CNN-IBN, TimesNow, Headlines Today etc. launched a cover up of the news from the public in order to protect their own."

It is quite possible that Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi never lobbied for Raja or for anyone else. But it is quite clear from the tapes that they were by no means practising journalism in their conversations with Radia. What they were doing, is acting as liaison officers for political parties and business houses. In fact, if all those conversations were merely in the course of 'journalistic duty', why this strange black-out?

But what is really scary is that, despite living in a 'democracy' that boasts of a 'free press', if you were dependant only on TV and the big newspapers for the biggest news developments of the day, you would never have known about the Niira Radia tapes, and the murky role of mediapersons as political power brokers. Indeed, the main source of information on this scandal has been online media, such as newspostindia.com, various bloggers, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and of course, the websites of Outlook and Open magazines.

The question that the Barkha Dutts and the Rajdeep Sardesais of the world have to answer is: How can you purport to be a news channel and ignore completely the biggest news break of the day for two days running (Nov 18 and 19)? Sure, say that those tapes are rubbish. Defend your journalists all you want. Do whatever, but how can you pretend to your audience — many of whom anyway have been listening to the tapes from the Open and Outlook and YouTube websites — that they never happened? I mean, how daft is that?

And even if those tapes, reportedly recorded by the IT department, were not authentic, the very fact that the entire broadcast media (bitter rivals for TRPs and ad revenues on normal days) ganged up to black it out shows that they have something to hide. Just as politicians bail each other out in scam-time, it appears journalists do the same.

Outlook prefaces its tape transcripts with the comments, "Radia's conversations show how even cabinet berths can be decided by this select oligarchy. Her interface with discredited (now former) telecom minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and Ranjan Bhattacharya, the foster son-in-law of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, shows how she successfully lobbied for several cabinet berths. The transcripts suggest that journalists Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt also lobbied for Raja with the Congress party. However, both journalists, in separate statements, decried the use of the label 'lobbyist' and termed their conversation with Radia as part of their normal journalistic duties."

At the same time, it is worth noting that neither Barkha nor any of the other journalists whose names have come up have denied that those conversations took place. So why not let the reader or TV viewer read or listen to the transcripts and decide whether Dutt and Sanghvi's conversations with Radia are a part of "normal journalistic duties" or amount to pimping for politicians and business houses? Or perhaps they were doing social service for the Congress? Play the tapes on your show, na, Ms Dutt, instead of tweeting about them? Why not let 'We, The People' decide, instead of you deciding for us all?

Newspostindia.com observes, "The media in the free world prides itself on impartiality. In India, they're in bed with the ruling elites. If these individuals or the companies they represent had any ethics or standards, we would have seen resignations by now."

Earlier this week, I had contacted the former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) N Vittal for a story I was working on. He spoke at length about the vicious cycle of the neta-babu-lala-jhola-dada who have "scientifically perfected" corruption. But Vittal left out one vital link in the chain — the media professional.

Strike a balance between environment and development:"Middle path never pleases either of the sides, but it is the only solution Ramesh- Nov 28, 2010,

Strike a balance between environment and development: Jairam Ramesh

Published: Sunday, Nov 28, 2010, 21:42 IST

Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh today said that opposing projects like the Jaitapur nuclear power project was the "height of foolish romance".

Ramesh said that there was a need to strike a balance between environment concerns and development.

"Environmentalists are against hydel energy because there is no sufficient water. They oppose nuclear power because it is hazardous and are against coal-based power since it is dirty. We are a nation of 1.2-billion. To think that we can meet the need from biogas, solar and wind power, then it is a height of foolish romance," Ramesh said.

He felt that there were certain realities, which need to be understood.

"Yes we will give environment the highest priority... but we have to be realistic about what we need. We must have commercial energy (for development)," he said.

By 2020, the government has set a target of 20,000mw of solar energy, Ramesh said, adding that there are 8000mw of wind power projects and similarly solar power projects.

"But what we need to understand is that without more nuclear power, without more hydel power and without more coal-based power, we will not able to grow. We will not be able to grow employment. We need a balance (between environment and development," he said.

He said that while clearing Jaitapur and Navi Mumbai airport project, the Government has found the middle path.

"Middle path never pleases either of the sides, but it is the only path we can follow," he added.

Delhi draped in rainbow colours as gays walked for pride most heartening thing is that families of many members of LGBT community came to support them

Delhi draped in rainbow colours as gays walked for pride

Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, November 28, 2010

First Published: 19:51 IST(28/11/2010)
Last Updated: 19:53 IST(28/11/2010)

Wearing their sexuality on their sleeves, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) brandished rainbow-coloured flags, held banners and swayed to drum beats with pride at the third edition of the Delhi gay parade on Sunday. Over 1,000 members of the LGBT community and their supporters
marched from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar off the posh commercial district of Connaught Place.

Some had their faces covered with multi-hued masks and wings, while most others walked smiling at the cameras - unabashed and fearlessly.

Popularly referred to as queer pride march, it was led by two men on a pink scooty holding balloons of different colours.

They were holding placards reading 'Delhi pride festival', 'All we need is love', 'Come out and play' and 'Straight but not narrow'.

A large posse of police personnel, however, were never far from the marchers, keeping an eye on the goings-on.28/11/10

Just like the previous parades, this year too the funds were raised by the LGBT community and masks, rainbow-coloured scarves, whistles and candies were distributed.

According to the organisers, the crowd at this time's parade was much larger than the previous two as it was the first one after the Delhi High Court's historic judgment decriminalising consensual homosexual relationships.

"Not only lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders participated, many other people also came out. The most heartening thing is that families of many members of LGBT community also came to support them. Slowly things are changing," said Mohnish Malhotra, one of the organisers.

However, he said the march was not just about celebration but a protest against discrimination faced by the LGBT community.

"We are protesting against discrimination faced by the LGBT community. The community is often subjugated to violence by police and thugs. They are blackmailed and forced into marriage by families, which leads to suicides," he said.

"It is a big celebration after the Delhi High Court judgement last year. It is the biggest turnout. By looking at it we know that things are changing. It's a great feeling to be yourself and not pretend to be someone else," said Mahashweta Das, one of the participants.

A large number of foreigners also took part in the parade.

Shourie says he was lobbied out of Budget debate-"This is the conspiracy theory by which this kind of liaison is being justified-November 28, 2010

New Delhi

Shourie says he was lobbied out of Budget debate

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, November 28, 2010

First Published: 15:00 IST(28/11/2010)
Last Updated: 18:55 IST(28/11/2010)

Expressing concern over the influence of corporate lobbyists over national parties like the BJP, former Union Minister Arun Shourie said that he was replaced as a lead speaker in a Budget debate over fears that he would oppose a proposal that may have benefited industrialist Mukesh
related stories

Referring to recent publications of the taped conversations that corporate lobbyist Niira Radia had with politicians and journalists, Shourie said there was no doubt that in one of the tapes, it was clear that someone arranged for replacing him with former BJP President Venkaiah Naidu as a lead speaker from the party during the Budget debate in 2009.

In an interview with Karan Thapar on the programme, "Devil's Advocate", on CNN-IBN, he said the objective of replacing him was clear from the tapes, as they may have apprehended that he would attack a Budget proposal that was going to help Mukesh Ambani.

"This was because I had spoken about that particular proposal in an adverse way in a party meeting. I mean how they got to know of this... Anyhow, they got to know of this and this was their apprehension certainly. I may or may not have spoken about it on the floor of the House," he said.

To a question whether senior leaders of the BJP were susceptible to and influenced by lobbyists, he said, "Well, I would actually think that all parties are of the same nature in the sense that you see if you are becoming a national party, for instance, you would need resources, you will have to get it from these persons.

"Second is that if you are businessmen, you would have to be prudent enough to see different parties are in power in different states, so you must have relation with all parties."

Asked about the conversations on the tapes that he would take hard line on the budgetary proposal because he was allegedly allied with Mukesh's estranged younger brother, Anil Ambani, he shot back saying, "This is the conspiracy theory by which this kind of liaison is being justified."

Shourie, a veteran journalist, said the tapes were an eye-opener on how the media functioned. "I think the main thing is the sunlight is the best disinfectant. So as we talk about others freely and openly, a well documented exposes so must be talked about (by) the media. That is the central remedy and I think the media is short-sighted by not talking, for instance, about the tape and what implications these have.

"You see these formal rules of ethics are not going to work," he said.

Nitish Kumar lists priorities to improve law and order-drive against Maoists,maintenance of communal harmony, tackling crimes on wheels, land disput

Nitish Kumar lists priorities to improve law and order-'Roads' led Nitish's way back to power in Bihar-Over half-a-dozen PU alumni in Nitish's cabinet!!!


Listing priorities for further improving law and order in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said he would not tolerate crime under any circumstances.

Further improvement on the law and order front, drive against Maoists, maintenance of communal harmony, tackling crimes on wheels and land disputes would be the priorities of his government, Mr. Kumar said while reviewing the overall law and order situation in Bihar during a three-hour long meeting with top police officials late last night.

Immediate steps be taken for filling up around 8,800 vacant posts of SAP personnel besides appointment of 10,000 constables besides continuing speedy trials, he told the meeting attended also by Principal Secretary to State Home Department Amir Subhani, Director General of Police Neelmani, ADG (Headquarters) B.K.Thakur, ADG Law and Order B.N.Rai and ADG (special Branch) S.Nimbram.

The Chief Minister said necessary equipment and resources would be made available for tackling extremism, setting up of bomb and landmines disposal squads, and procuring GPS system, bullet proof jackets, HF Manpacks and anti-landmine vehicles.

He also laid thrust on monitoring all cases of land disputes and settling them on priority basis.

Mr. Kumar directed the officials to take steps to control railway crime like loot, dacoity and molestation of women in running trains.

NDA-II focus on energy, agri & food security sectors-Nov 26, 2010,

NDA-II focus on energy, agri & food security sectors

Law Kumar Mishra, TNN, Nov 26, 2010, 01.35am IST

PATNA: Soon after getting a massive mandate, CM-elect Nitish Kumar had declared he would work harder and longer in his second innings. Nitish had also admitted there would be more challenges and prayed to the Al-mighty to give him strength to face these challenges. At the same time, Nitish told the people,

The NDA-II in Bihar will work on energy, agriculture and food security sectors which Nitish had been telling in his election rallies for the last two months. Nitish had told the electorate that energy scenario would change and if the Centre failed to supply power, the state would invite private in-vestors to launch power projects. The state government would increase the generation capacity of Kanti and Barauni thermal power plants and set up new power plants.

Nitish, this time, has an expert on energy in Rajeeb Ranjan, former chairman of Jharkhand State Electricity Board and Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board, who also worked as advisor to Chhattisgarh government in New Delhi. Rajeeb, a colleague of Nitish in Bihar College of Engineering, was elected to the state assembly from Islampur constituency in Nalanda dis-trict on November 24.

Nitish's agenda in NDA-II would be to provide food to the people below line. He had accused the state was not getting enough food materials under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) and repeatedly said the state gov-ernment would give food to the BPL families on its own, even if the Cen-tre did not give us food for the BPL families.

Nitish as expected will give priority to the agriculture sector and augment irrigation facilities. The existing canals will be desilted and he will launch schemes for inter-linking of rivers in the state. Nitish had told the elector-ate uninterrupted power would be supplied for irrigation of farmland.

According to Nitish, the government will open Krishak paltforms in the blocks to ensure remunerative price for the farm produce.

According to Nitish, Rs 320 crore development project for Ganga, Kosi and Gandak basins would be launched and all rivers would be desilted.

If Nitish concentrated on development in NDA-I, the next phase will be devoted to augment development through agriculture and irrigation and relief to the families under BPL.

His drive against corruption would be intensified further. In the NDA-I, the vigilance had caught the then DG of police, a minor irrigation secre-tary and a district magistrate on charges of corruption. Against eight vigi-lance trap cases in 2004 and seven in 2005, the figure went up to 60 in 2006, 108 in 2007, 88 in 2008, 80 in 2009 and 54 in the current year. Dis-proportionate assets worth Rs 8 crore were identified by the state vigilance investigation bureau.

The CM-elect will implement his announcements to confiscate the ill got-ten property of corrupt officials and promised to open schools for the poor students in these buildings. The Bihar Special Courts Bill (2009) passed by the state legislature has already got the Presidential assent and in NDA- II regime, the newly promulgated Act would be enforced.

Campaign against criminals and crimes would be further intensified in NDA-II. In NDA-I, Nitish had claimed 52,000 accused in various cases were sent behind the bars through speedy trial by special courts. They in-cluded several politicians even of his own party. His police had busted 23 mini gun factories in the last three months. According to DGP Neelmani, the criminals had gone either underground or behind the bars during the elections. The rule of law will prevail, the DGP said.

Display of arms by the politcians, builders and contractors have become a thing of the past. Private armies have been abolished, he said and added the police would liquidate all criminals gangs now.

AP: New Cabinet, a weapon against Jagan, Telengana-Sunday, November 28, 2010,

November 28, 2010

AP: New Cabinet, a weapon against Jagan, Telengana

Sunday, November 28, 2010, 10:51[IST]

New Delhi, Nov 28: Congress national leadership may take severe actions against the son of former Chief Minister YS Rajshekhar Reddy and rebel leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Sources close to Andhra Congress leaders said that national leadership is planning to weaken Jagan's camp by offering key positions in the new Cabinet headed by Kiran Reddy, who was in Delhi to express his thanks to leaders.

The new Cabinet may have YSR loyalists with holding key portfolios. Sources also added that YSR's brother Vivekananda Reddy may also get a ministership in the new Cabinet.

It is also expected that the deputy Chief Minister may be come from Telangana region, which demands a separate state. Congress calculates that the deputy CM post would soften the Telegana rebellion from its own leaders.

Meanwhile, YS Jagan's aides attacked Union Minister Jaipal Reddy for his comments against Jagan. They retorted for Jaipal's comments describing Jagan's actions as undesirable by saying him as the traitor of Congress.

OneIndia News

अंडमान निकोबार में आतंकी अड्डे बन सकते हैं .-Sunday, November 28, 2010

अंडमान निकोबार में आतंकी अड्डे बन सकते हैं .

Posted by Kusum Thakur Sunday, November 28, 2010

देश के दक्षिण पूर्वी इलाके से भारत को निशाना बनाने के उद्देश्य से आतंकी संगठनों द्वारा अंडमान निकोबार के निर्जन द्वीपों को अपना अड्डा बनाने की आशंका है। सुरक्षा विशेषज्ञों ने 26/11 हमले में आतंकवादियों के समुद्र मार्ग का इस्तेमाल किए जाने के मद्देनजर समुद्री सुरक्षा व्यवस्था एवं खुफिया तंत्र को कारगर बनाने की वकालत की है।

इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ डिफेंस रिसर्च एंड एनालिसिस (आईडीएसए) की हाल में एक रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि सामरिक रूप से काफी महत्वपूर्ण माने जाने वाले पूर्वी हिन्द महासागर में स्थित अंडमान निकोबार द्वीप समूह को तत्काल चीन, इंडोनेशिया, श्रीलंका जैसे पड़ोसी देशों से खतरा नहीं है, लेकिन इसके बड़ी संख्या में निर्जन द्वीपों को आतंकी संगठनों, तस्करों आदि से बड़ा खतरा है।

इंडियन डिफेंस रिव्यू के विशेषज्ञ रामतनु मैत्रेयी ने कहा कि साल 2005 के प्रारंभ में भारतीय नौसेना ने अंडमान स्थित लैण्डफाल द्वीप में म्यांमार के अराकान अलगावादियों को पकड़ा था जो अत्याधुनिक हथियारों से लैस थे। इन द्वीपों से श्रीलंकाई आतंकवादी लिट्टे के उपयोग करने की खबर भी सामने आई थी।
सीबीआई के पूर्व निदेशक जोगिंदर सिंह ने कहा कि पाकिस्तान से लगने वाली देश की पश्चिमी सीमा पर जहां भारतीय नौसेना का काफी जोर है, वहीं अंडमान सागर और पूर्वी हिन्द महासागर पर पर्याप्त ध्यान नहीं दिया जा रहा है। ऐसी खबरें भी आ रही है कि कई द्वीपों पर म्यांमार, बांग्लादेश आदि देशों के नागरिक अवैध रूप से निवास कर रहे हैं और पाकिस्तान स्थित आतंकी संगठन लश्कर-ए-तैयबा की भी इस पर नजर है।
सिंह ने कहा कि यह क्षेत्र सामरिक दृष्टि से भारत के लिए काफी महत्वपूर्ण है, क्योंकि इस क्षेत्र से होकर प्रतिदिन करीब 300 टैंकर और पोत गुजरते हैं जबकि दक्षिण पूर्व एशियाई देशों के बीच यह महत्वपूर्ण केंद्र पर स्थित है जिसकी दूरी भारत के मुख्यभूमि से 1,200 किलोमीटर है।

अंडमान निकोबार के सांसद विष्णुपद राय ने कहा कि अंडमान निकोबार द्वीपसमूह में करीब 572 द्वीप हैं, जिनमें से 300 से अधिक द्वीपों पर कोई आबादी नहीं है। इसमें भी डिलीपुर द्वीप से महज 32 किलोमीटर दूर म्यांमार का कोको द्वीप है जहां चीन ने अपना अड्डा बना रखा है।

उन्होंने कहा कि कई द्वीपों पर आबादी न होने के कारण आतंकवादियों और तस्करों की ओर से इन्हें अड्डा बनाने का खतरा लगातार बना हुआ है। इस क्षेत्र में सड़क एवं अन्य आधारभूत संरचना का विकास एक महत्वपूर्ण चुनौती है।
राय ने कहा कि जोरवा जनजाति के संरक्षण के लिए बनाए गए अंडमान निकोबार द्वीप आदिम जनजाति संरक्षण (संशोधन) नियमन 2010 लागू होने के बाद एक बड़े क्षेत्र में आधारभूत संरचना के विकास का काम रूक गया है और पोर्ट ब्लेयर से डिलीपुर तक 333 किलोमीटर सड़क निर्माण रूकने से सुरक्षा व्यवस्था एवं निगरानी कार्यों में बाधा आ रही है।

मैत्रेयी ने कहा कि पोर्ट बलेयर, हेवलॉक द्वीप, डिलीपुर, मिडल निकोबार, कैम्पबेल बे, निल द्वीप आदि में बड़ी संख्या में थाईलैण्ड, इंडोनेशिया, मलेशिया के नागरिकों के देखा जा सकता है । साल 2003 के आधिकारिक आंकड़ों के अनुसार अंडमान निकोबार में करीब 50 हजार विदेशी नागरिक अवैध रूप से रह रहे थे। इन आंकड़ों और तथ्यों के आधार पर सुरक्षा विशेषज्ञों ने समुद्री सुरक्षा व्यवस्था एवं खुफिया तंत्र को कारगर बनाने पर जोर दिया है।

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For this game, Obama stayed in stands-Obama needed 12 stitches after being elbowed in the face. EVAN VUCCI - AP-Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010

For this game, Obama stayed in stands
By Roger Runningen
Bloomberg News
Posted: Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010


Obama needed 12 stitches after being elbowed in the face. EVAN VUCCI - AP

WASHINGTON A day after receiving 12 stitches in his lower lip after being injured during a basketball game, President Barack Obama returned to the court Saturday - this time as a spectator.

The president and the first family attended a college game between Oregon State and Howard in Washington. First lady Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is the coach of Oregon State's team.

The stitches didn't prevent the president from greeting other fans at Howard's Burr Gymnasium or eating popcorn. He left with several minutes left to play in the game.

Obama played basketball for about 90 minutes at a gym at Fort McNair in Washington on Friday. The injury to the president's upper lip occurred when Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, turned to take a shot and elbowed Obama in the mouth.

Obama was treated by the White House medical unit, administration spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Obama's aide, Reggie Lovea former basketball player at Duke University, was also playing. In treating the president's upper lip, doctors used a smaller filament, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar, according to an e-mailed White House statement.

Obama, 49, received a local anesthetic for the stitches, the statement said.

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Obama's support kicks of hectic efforts for India's UNSC bid-28/11/10

Obama's support kicks of hectic efforts for India's UNSC bid

US President Barack Obama's expression of support has lent an impetus to India's efforts to secure a permanent seat in UN Security Council, with hectic discussions having been initiated with a number of countries like France, Japan, Russia and Germany.

A push to India's bid for permanent seat is also being given at the United Nations Headquarters by the country's Permanent Mission.

Close on the heels of Obama's announcement, France's Head of UN Division in the Foreign Ministry Sylvie Berman visited Delhi recently and met Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and some other senior officials of the External Affairs Ministry to discuss the issue of reforms, sources said.

This was followed by a visit by Japanese Deputy Vice Foreign Minister. The Head of Russian Foreign Ministry's UN Division and German officials are expected here soon.

"An impetus to the efforts to secure permanent seat has been lent by Obama's announcement. It has given a boost," a source noted in the context of hectic parleys.

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The focus of the discussions is overall reform of the UN, including that of the Security Council, in permanent and non-permanent categories, the sources said.

India is set to assume the non-permanent membership of the Security Council in January for two years and this aspect also came up for discussion in terms of the issues that the powerful world body is going to be faced with.

The immediate global issues, on which India will have to take position as non-permanent member of the UNSC, relate to referendum in Sudan expected in January, the UN report on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and Nepal where the political system is deadlocked.

Notwithstanding Obama's announcement of support, India is keen to strive for the permanent seat under the format of G-4 which also includes Brazil, Germany and Japan.

Significantly, three members of the G-4 -- India, Brazil and Germany -- will together be in the UNSC from next January as non-permanent members, providing them an opportunity to push their agenda further.

For the UN reforms, five rounds of inter-governmental negotiations have taken place since 2009 and made some progress.

The negotiations are taking place on five key aspects – categories of membership, question of veto, regional representation, size of enlarged Security Council, and working methods of the council and its relationship with 192-member assembly.

The G-4 has been pushing for inclusion of six new permanent members -- two each from Asia and Africa and one each from Europe and Latin America -- and four non-permanent members to raise the strength of the Security Council from 15 members to 25.

Wearing jeans not good-Children should construct national quality, not mutilate it. -Subhash Ghai,Sat, 11/27/2010(???)

Wearing jeans not good

Submitted by Surbhi Garg on Sat, 11/27/2010 - 09:43

Film-producer Subhash Ghai, who did his most important ladies donning scanty `western' outfits in films such as Aitraaz and Khalnayak, has had a radical modification of opinions.

On Thursday, Ghai stunned the spectators at the continuing global Film Festival of India in Goa, when he inquired Youngsters to not to clad in jeans.

He expressed that he might not feel that the younger cohort should don jeans to any further extent. Children should construct national quality, not mutilate it. When his combined with indignation, he withdraw by expressing that he made use of the term `jeans' for the western facade people don.

He further augmented that be what you are, even he sport jeans and as well his kids, so he made one more statement that, one should not take it factually. However the harm was already made. At the same time as the practical globe turning abuzz with feedback on his declarations, right-wing campaigner round it up.

“India will help revive livelihood of war-affected Tamils”-Armed conflict has affected innocent men, women and children

“India will help revive livelihood of war-affected Tamils”

R.K. Radhakrishnan & B. Muralidhar Reddy

Krishna inaugurates Indian consulate in Jaffna

Armed conflict has affected innocent men, women and children

JAFFNA: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Saturday reaffirmed that India would stay engaged with Sri Lanka to revive the livelihoods of those in the war-ravaged Northern Province and help people rebuild their lives.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the Indian consulate in Jaffna town, seen as the cultural and commercial bastion of Sri Lankan Tamils.

“This is one consulate that I have pursued since the war ended. All officials, including the Joint Secretary [Thiru Moorthy] worked very hard to realise this. I am very happy,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who accompanied the Minister, told The Hindu.

In a way, Mr. Krishna made history as he is the first Cabinet Minister from India to visit Jaffna after the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by the Sri Lankan security forces in May last year. The Minister was also the first to land in Jaffna in about three decades: the last Foreign Minister who went round Sri Lanka for a spot survey was P.V. Narasimha Rao, on July 30, 1983.

Special relationship

Stating that India's relations with Sri Lanka would be incomplete without highlighting the special relationship between the people of the Northern Province in general, the Jaffna Peninsula in particular, and those of southern India, the Minister recalled the nature of bonds that existed before the province plunged into conflict.

Mr. Krishna said there must be several persons in this audience who would have seen the days when there was a direct flight from Palaly to Tiruchi and a ferry service from Talaimannar to Rameswaram. It was possible that some at the gathering would even have gone to Chennai — Madras as it was called — only to catch a movie.

A proposal for revival of the ferry service was in an advanced stage.

On the travails of the civilians caught in the war, Mr. Krishna said: “While the armed conflict that ended last year impacted on all sections of this country, it did so disproportionately on the civilian population of the Northern Province, as innocent men, women and children were caught in the crossfire not of their own making.”

India tried to contribute whatever it could to alleviate the miseries of the people in the Northern Province with relief supplies in the initial stages and assistance to the Sri Lankan government in resettlement and rehabilitation of the nearly three lakh war displaced.

Mr. Krishna symbolically handed over the giant ignition key of a tractor to Basil Rajapaksa, Minister for Economic Development, at a ceremony in front of the Jaffna Library. This marked the Indian government handing over 500 Mahindra 575 D-1 tractors. The tractors would be placed at the Agricultural Services Centres in the north and hired out to farmers.

Mr. Krishna travelled to Ariyali, a settlement 12 km from Jaffna, to unveil a model home for the Internally Displaced Persons. As many as 50,000 such houses would be built in the north and the east.

The 547-sqft house was designed after consultations with the locals. “We realised that the people in this area do not like toilets attached to the house. So we made that alteration. Also, in the front portion, thinnai [pyol] is something that they wanted,” said Mr. Thiru Moorthy, when asked about the design of the houses.

Vanakkam, romba santhoshama irukku, said Mr. Krishna, breaking into Tamil, seeing an audience that was completely Tamil at the foundation stone laying ceremony. “This is the beginning of the housing project. You all should live happily and send your children to school,” he continued in Tamil.

Later in the day, the Minister inaugurated one phase of the work on rehabilitation of the Northern Railway at Madawachchi, over 50 km from Anuradhapura.

Local labour

On reconstruction by India of transport infrastructure, Mr. Krishna said it would restore normal life, generate and support livelihood activities and also assist in restoring connectivity not only within the province but also with the rest of the country, thus promoting integration and reconciliation.

Reconstruction of the Omanthai–Pallai and Medawachchiya–Talaimannar lines was being undertaken by IRCON. The organisation would also upgrade the Colombo-Matara coastal rail line. “The decision to use local labour came from the Minister himself. What is the point of a project that does not use any locals,” asked an MEA official.

In his speech at the Indian consulate in Jaffna, the Minister reiterated that the end of armed conflict provided Sri Lanka an unparalleled opportunity to address all outstanding issues in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation and to work towards genuine national reconciliation.

“We are convinced that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would create the necessary conditions for a lasting political settlement. We hope that this process of dialogue and discussion would start soon with the participation of all communities. The ultimate goal is to live in dignity and peace,” Mr. Krishna said.

Adarsh scam: Key papers go missing; police register case-Mumbai, November 27, 2010

Adarsh scam: Key papers go missing; police register case

Press Trust Of India

Mumbai, November 27, 2010

First Published: 13:43 IST(27/11/2010)
Last Updated: 14:41 IST(27/11/2010)

Key papers pertaining to the scam-ridden Adarsh housing society are missing from the Urban Development Department in Mumbai, police said on Saturday. Police have registered a case of theft after a secretary of the department, Gurudas Bajpe, gave

* Activists say building rules bent for Adarsh
* Adarsh report sent to Centre
* Adarsh scam: Antony rejects criticism that CBI probe may demoralise forces

night about the missing documents.

"We have registered a case against unknown persons. According to the UD department officials, several papers from the 10 files on Adarsh society were missing," DCP Cherring Dorje said.

The disappearance of the papers was brought to the notice of CBI, which is investigating the multi-crore scam. "The department had submitted to us 10 files pertaining to Adarsh society. During perusal we realised that four noting papers were missing from the files. We brought this to the attention of the department," a senior CBI official said.

The papers include the remarks of the state government officials and chief minister, the official said. "Investigations are on. We are questioning authorities of the Urban Development department," Dorje said.

The Adarsh society, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and war widows, was converted into a 31-storey building, violating a number of laws. The flats were allotted to bureaucrats, politicians' relatives and defence officers.

more from this section

Pakistan has failed on its promiseto bring to justice all people — masterminds, controllers and handlers involved in attack- Chidambaram- Nov 27, 2010

Pakistan has failed on its promise: Chidambaram

TNN, Nov 27, 2010, 06.10am IST

Tags:Union home minister P Chidambaram|Pakistan promise|26/11 terror attacks
MUMBAI: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday that Pakistan had failed on its promise to bring to justice all people — masterminds, controllers and handlers — involved in the 26/11 terror attacks, even after two years.

"We had given a list of seven people who were to be handed over to us and asked Pakistan to provide their voice samples, but they have not. I am cautioning the people of India about this neighbor who has failed on its promise ," Chidambaram said.

Pakistan came in for heavy criticism as the Union home minister spoke at a function to felicitate family members of 26/11 hero and Ashok Chakra awardee Tukaram Ombale at Magathane on Friday morning. Earlier, Chidambaram handed over the keys of a Mahanagar Gas CNG-filling station to the slain officer's family.
Ombale, an assistant sub-inspector of police, had showed exemplary courage and had helped nab Kasab despite being shot repeatedly by the Pakistani terrorist on November 26, 2008.

Paying rich tributes to Ombale, the minister said that immediately after the attacks, police officers reconstructed the events that led to Ombale's death. "There were two gun-totting terrorists in the car. One was at the wheel and the other was Ajmal Kasab. When the car was blocked, an unarmed Ombale led a police team towards the car. He held the barrel of Kasab's gun and took the bullets into his chest. But he did not let go of the machine gun. That is how the others could get hold of Kasab . It was because of Ombale that we could catch Kasab alive. If Kasab had died, there would not have been a conclusive link that the terror attacks were mounted from Pakistani soil," he said.

India, he said, wanted peace in South Asia and wanted neighboring countries to grow at an equal rate and become prosperous.

"But the government of Pakistan should fulfill its promises. We have learnt a lesson, that while we must trust our neighbor, we must always be on guard," he said.

Chidambaram admitted that a lot had to be done to boost the morale of the country's police force. "The police need decent housing, good pay and clothing. If we neglect these basic needs, how can we expect them to be an efficient force?" he asked.

He said there were three lakh vacancies in the constabulary across the country. "Maharashtra should the lead the way. I know the state has initiated reforms, but a lot more has to be done," he said.

Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan paid glowing tributes to Ombale, who hailed from his district, Satara.

"I am proud of the 18 officers who lost their lives fighting the terror attacks . They all deserve the highest honor ," the chief minister said.

Yeddyurappa camp sought compromise deal, says Kumaraswamy-27/11/10

Yeddyurappa camp sought compromise deal, says Kumaraswamy


Former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s side has attempted in vain to buy peace with him. File photo
The Hindu Former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s side has attempted in vain to buy peace with him. File
I will expose Opposition misdeeds through ads: Yeddyurappa Chief Minister to keep away relatives All my problems solved: Yeddyurappa CPI(M) hits out at BJP top brass Karnataka govt. ‘inaction’ on illegal mining irks Lokayukta

India Karnataka
crime, law and justice corruption & bribery
politics state politics
politics (general) political development

Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had made a vain bid to patch up with him.

“Two days ago, a right hand man of Yeddyurappa had a telephonic talk (with me) to say the Chief Minister wanted to strike a compromise with me,” Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bangalore.

His claim came on a day when Mr. Yeddyurappa launched his advertisement campaign in a section of local media on alleged land scams during the regimes of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who has been releasing documents to back his allegations of nepotism and corruption against Mr. Yeddyurappa, refused to identify the man who tried to approach him for a patch up when he was in Delhi.

“That man wanted to fly to Delhi by a special flight to meet me, but I declined,” the former Chief Minister said. “I have evidence to prove this. I will make this public soon.”

Lambasting Mr. Yeddyurappa for his statement in Hassan that he would continue to expose Mr. Gowda and his family’s misdeeds till they beg me to stop, Mr. Kumaraswamy declared, “We will never beg him. Let him continue. We will bring up more evidence against Yeddyurappa.”

He also claimed that Mr. Yeddyurappa had called on him at his office in 2005 and sought Rs. 5 crore to repay a loan he had taken from BJP general secretary H.N. Anantkumar and had wanted to quit his party and join JD(S).

“Yeddyurappa begged me for a Ministerial post then,” Mr. Kumaraswamy claimed.

The advertisements published on Saturday refer to the allotment of an industrial site to Mr. Kumaraswamy in Mysore and some other sites by the Mysore Urban Development Authority to persons believed to be close to the Gowda family.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said he got the allotment of the industrial site in 1984, when he had not even entered politics. “I was not the Chief Minister then. If Yeddyurappa does not have correct information, let him ask me, I myself will provide. Let him not make baseless allegations.”

Keywords: Land allocation scam, Yeddyurappa-Kumaraswamy spat

U.S. warns Britain over new WikiLeaks revelations that will 'expose corruption between allies' 27th November 2010

U.S. warns Britain over new WikiLeaks revelations that will 'expose corruption between allies'


By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:14 AM on 27th November 2010

* 3 million documents set to go online
* Bombshell leak thought to include U.S. assessments of Gordon Brown
* Secret talks on return of Lockerbie bomber to Libya may also be leaked
* Allegations 'include U.S. backing of Kurdish terrorists'
* U.S. diplomats face being kicked out of countries in backlash
* Corrupt politicians expected to be named and shamed

Blowing the whistle: Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is said to be preparing to release more sensitive documents

Blowing the whistle: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks (pictured earlier this month), is said to be preparing to release more sensitive documents

David Cameron was warned last night by America that damaging secrets of the ‘special relationship’ are about to be laid bare.

The U.S. ambassador to London made an unprecedented personal visit to Downing Street to warn that whistleblower website WikiLeaks is about to publish secret assessments of what Washington really thinks of Britain.

The website is on the verge of revealing almost 3million documents, including thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables sent to Washington from the American embassy in London.

The bombshell leak is thought to include U.S. assessments of Gordon Brown’s personality and his prospects of winning the General Election, and secret discussions on the return of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya.

Assessments of David Cameron’s election chances and his private assurances to U.S. officials may also be included, Government sources believe.

They fear they will emerge on Sunday in co-ordinated releases in newspapers in Britain, Germany and America.

The British government is so worried that last night it issued a D-Notice, warning that publishing the secrets could compromise national security.

The website has previously released secret details of allied military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Revelations of American brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan created shockwaves, made WikiLeaks notorious and led to its founder Julian Assange - an Australian-born computer hacker - being vilified by governments around the world. He is now wanted for alleged rape in Sweden.

In total, around 2.7million confidential messages between the U.S. government and its embassies around the world are to be released.
Expose: Wikileaks reported on its Twitter page that U.S. allies are being warned

Expose: WikiLeaks' posts on its Twitter page showing how the U.S. government, in anticipation of an imminent expose, is briefing its allies on what to expect

The U.S. State Department warned that the leaks would damage relationships around the world.

Spokesman P J Crowley said: ‘These revelations are harmful to the U.S. and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.’

The U.S. ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman, was seen going into Downing Street and the Foreign Office yesterday to brief officials for what was described as ‘contingency planning’.

‘He came in to explain what they thought we could expect,’ said one Whitehall source.

Defence sources said British national security could be ‘put at risk’ by the release, as they are expected to contain details of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and pull-outs and revelations about secret service practices and intelligence sources.

‘These revelations are harmful to the U.S. and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world’

Downing Street is braced for potentially hugely embarrassing disclosures about private U.S. assessments of Britain and its leaders.

There are fears of even the most apparently trivial secrets being hugely damaging.

One British official said they feared that mutual American and British contempt for the French would emerge.

‘Moaning about the French was practically a sport,’ he said.

Mr Cameron’s spokesman declined to discuss the nature of any confidential communications that could be released.

He said: ‘Obviously, the Government has been briefed by U.S. officials, by the ambassador. I don’t want to speculate about precisely what is going to be leaked before it is leaked.’

As well as Britain, the U.S. has warned the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Israel in advance of the release.
Gordon Brown
David Cameron
Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was found guilty of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing

Concern: Bombshell leaks are thought to include a U.S. assessment of Gordon Brown and David Cameron's election chances - and secret talks on the return of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi (right) to Libya

It has been claimed that a backlash by countries upset over the leaks may lead to U.S. diplomats being expelled.

The next release is expected to include thousands of diplomatic cables reporting allegations of corruption against politicians in Russia, Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations.

But there were no specific details as to the nature of the corruption allegations or which governments are involved.

However, according to the UK-based Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat, the WikiLeaks release includes documents that show Turkey has helped Al Qaeda in Iraq - an extraordinary revelation which could kill off the country’s hopes of joining the EU.

Until now WikiLeaks had published two batches of classified files.

The first was about the war in Afghanistan and gave a grim picture of the day-to-day struggle against the Taliban and the frustrations of trying to train the Afghan police.

The second covered the period in the occupation of Iraq between 2004 and 2009 and contained revelations that America failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, rape, torture and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.
Video expose on Wikileaks

The information also revealed that more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents - U.S. and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

In addition, the logs claim that in one incident a British rifleman shot dead an eight-year-old Iraqi girl as she played in the streets.

Before the June exposes, the whistleblowing service shocked the world with the publication of a video in April showing American soldiers laughing as a helicopter strike kills around a dozen civilians in Baghdad.

In the 17-minute black-and-white footage, pictured above, from an Apache helicopter gunsight, the crew can be heard discussing the carnage as if they were playing a video war game.

One soldier can even be heard shouting: 'Ha, ha, I hit 'em.' Another says: 'Look at those dead b******s.'

WikiLeaks was set up in 2007 by journalist and computer programmer Julian Assange.

The Australian, whose parents met at a protest against the Vietnam War, says he wanted to allow whistleblowers to publish sensitive materials without fear of being identified.

Mr Assange, pictured below at a press conference in July following his first major expose, says his website's complex set-up is designed to ensure that information sent to it becomes anonymous before it is passed on to the web servers.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks

Its servers are spread all over the world and do not keep logs, so governments cannot trace where the information is being sent and received from.

Even so, WikiLeaks encourages donors to post the material to them on CDs to its base in Iceland, over encrypted internet connections or from net cafes.

The service, which also runs a network of lawyers to defend its publications and sources, claims that none of its informants have been traced so far.

Adding to this intrigue, Mr Assange's legal team have recently been busy arguing over an international arrest warrant which has been issued for the WikiLeaks boss by Swedish prosecutors over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

The allegations, which the 39-year-old has repeatedly denied, relate to two women he met while on a visit to Sweden in August.

Mr Assange’s London lawyer Mark Stephens, has said the claims were 'false and without basis’.

The Washington Post reported that the files will contain allegations that the U.S. has supported the PKK, a Kurdish rebel organization that has been waging a separatist war against Turkey since 1984.

The U.S. says it has known for some time that WikiLeaks held the cables.

No one has been charged with passing them to the website, but suspicion focuses on Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak.

A Downing Street spokesman today declined to discuss the nature of any confidential communications which may have been obtained by WikiLeaks.

But he said: 'Obviously, the Government has been briefed by U.S. officials, by the U.S. ambassador, as to the likely content of these leaks.

'I don't want to speculate about precisely what is going to be leaked before it is leaked.'

The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv warned the country's foreign ministry that some of the cables could concern U.S.-Israel relations, the daily newspaper Haaretz claimed.

WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed earlier this week that its new release would be seven times larger than the nearly 400,000 Pentagon documents related to the Iraq war which it made public in October.

The U.S. State Department confirmed it has begun notifying foreign governments and it fears serious diplomatic fallout over the expose.

'These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,' said a spokesman.

'They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.'

Senior military staff on both sides of the Atlantic are still furious over that release of 400,000 classified documents, the biggest military leak of all time.

They detailed what WikiLeaks founder Assange called 'compelling evidence of war crimes' by the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraq government and sparked calls for a full inquiry.

Should WikiLeaks go ahead with its promise, it will be the third time it has published such information in the face of opposition from military top brass around the world.

WikiLeaks is urging the public to download a mysterious ‘insurance’ file said to contain information to be released if Julian Assange is killed.

In a Twitter post today (pictured below) the whistleblowing service published a link to the Pirate Bay file sharing site with the comment: 'Now is a good time to download some ‘history insurance’.
Expose: Wikileaks reported on its Twitter page that U.S. allies are being warned

The giant file, nearly 2GB in size, is said to contain thousands of secret U.S. documents aimed at embarrassing the nation’s government, and potentially causing harm to the United States’ relations with allies.

The file has been around since this summer and is heavily encrypted.

In the event of Mr Assange’s death (or some other unspecified reason), the secret key would be released — exposing the documents to all who have downloaded and obtained the key.

It is uncertain why WikiLeaks is now urging users to download the file, but it just may be that they’re planning to release the key soon.

The first batch was about the war in Afghanistan and gave a grim picture of the day-to-day struggle against the Taliban and the frustrations of trying to train the Afghan police.

The second covered the period in the occupation of Iraq between 2004 and 2009 and contained revelations that America failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, rape, torture and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.

The information also revealed that more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents - U.S. and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

In addition, the logs claim that in one incident a British rifleman shot dead an eight-year-old Iraqi girl as she played in the streets.

The information will almost certainly have come from the Bradley Manning, the dissident U.S. army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked the first tranche, some 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in Afghanistan.

Adding to the controversy is the international arrest warrant which has been issued for Mr Assange by Swedish prosecutors over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

The allegations, which the 39-year-old Australian has repeatedly denied, relate to two women he met while on a visit to Sweden in August.

Assange’s London lawyer Mark Stephens, has said the claims were 'false and without basis’.
Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The US assessment of Gordon Brown being a plonker, tell us something we didnt already know. In this day and age this really doesnt count for much with me, in third world countries during political debates they just cut short of physically attacking each other so this is laughable.

- Peter, London, England, 27/11/2010 07:31

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Why don't people like Assange have the courage to investigate what really goes on in China and the Arab and African states,he is obviously biased against the west and I don't think he quite understands where he's leading us.We all know that any war is dirty sp we don't need him to remind us of that but i don't think anyone wants to see the relationships between the western governments ruined,he's just playing with fire and i wonder who is really behind all this

- linda tricker, rimini italy, 27/11/2010 07:24
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Through the Blair years people have had their heads buried firmly in the sand. This ostrich is about to see the new world order for what it really is. Politicians must be quaking in their boots as their lies, deceipt and trechery is about to be laid bare upon the people they supposedly serve. To bury this bad news is going to cost. Take care.

- Vin 'D' ictive, Birmingham UK, 27/11/2010 07:24
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if this stuff was NOT sanctioned by the us secret sevices, Assange would be dead.

The 1st leak put down 9/11 truthers, the 2nd leaked blamed Iran for loads of stuff and neither 'leak' told us anything we didn't already know through the blogosphere.

Look up 'wikileaks limited hangout'. Do you people honestly think that this stuff would make the papers if it wasn't supposed to?

- john, lancs, 27/11/2010 07:10
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You lot who keep making this out to be a scam with what happened on 9/11 are a disgrace and an insult to those who lost their lives on this terrible day. I suppose it is easy to forget that this was the second attempt to destroy the towers.

Good bring it on-When Wikileaks blow the whistle on the enormous SCAM of 9/11 then I really will think they are the real deal......
Truth doesn't fear investigation.
- Alex Fraser, Cardiff, 27/11/2010 02:32

- Mr Jones, UK, 27/11/2010 07:08

I would love to read this stuff but actually I think the world is dangerous enough place at the moment without this and it is probably obvious what sort of thing diplomats say about each other behind their backs and about politicians like Gordon Brown - it is probably the same as what we say! As for the more serious stuff, if it is likely to cause conflict or war then this man should refrain, unfortunately something's should not be out in the open.

- sarah, London, 27/11/2010 06:53