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Cherry blossoms spread tranquility in Mizoram



Pic source- Kahorpam Horam

Mizoram has become the third state in India’s northeast to get a Cherry Blossom Avenue, with Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla planting a sapling of the flowering tree at the New Secretariat Complex in Aizawl.

“The cherry blossom is a symbol of peace, prosperity and tranquility and has brought peace in countries where it has been planted,” Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director of the Imphal-based Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), he said.

The IBSD, a national institute under the central government’s Department of Biotechnology, launched Cherry Blossom Avenues in Manipur and Meghalaya last May.


COURTESY- Kahor Pam Horam

The purpose behind Cherry Blossom Avenue

The beautiful cherry blossom tree unlike the cherry fruit, blooms in full glory,it is so majestic to look at and blooms only for short period.

“Just as people go all the way to Holland to watch tulips flowering, cherry blossoms can also be a huge tourist attraction,” said Sahoo, who is now in mission-mode to launch Cherry Blossom Avenues across the northeast.

The tradition of planting cherry blossoms (called sakura in Japanese) started in Japan. The Sakura Festival started during third century and continues to be a huge tourist attraction.

To convey the message of peace, the Japanese have been planting cherry blossoms across different countries of the world. Sahoo explained, is that the cherry blossom actually originated in the Himalayas but did not get popularised in the Himalayan nations like India, Nepal and Bhutan.

“When I was invited to IIM-Shillong in 2014 while I was a professor in Delhi University, I noticed a cherry blossom tree from my hotel room,” he said.

“It was the first cherry blossom I saw in India. I thought if cherry blossom can bring prosperity to Japan and many other countries, why can it not for India, especially in the northeast”, he added.

According to Sahoo, cherry blossom plantation can give a big boost to the economy, especially in the tourism sector, in the northeast by generating large-scale employment.He also pointed out that one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the UN adopted in September last year is “peace, justice and strong institutions”.

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Narendra Modi should resign as PM : Kharge



Launching a blistering attack on Modi, senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge said that   Narendra Modi is not suitable for the Prime Minister’s post and therefore he should immediately resign and  appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister.

Launching a blistering attack on Modi, Mallikarjun Kharge, said “It’s my personal demand that he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is not suitable for the post and therefore he should immediately resign & appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister. He is morally not suitable for the post now.”

The claim by the former French president has given fresh ammunition to the Congress party, which has been mounting an attack on the government, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Modi.

The controversy over the ongoing Rafale deal took a new direction when former French president Francois Hollande said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In an interview to a French media house, Hollande on a question about who selected Reliance as a partner and why, said it was the Indian government that proposed Reliance’s name and Dassault had no choice but to take the company given to it.

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No point raising controversies, says Rajnath Singh on Rafale deal



Rajnath Singh

New Delhi (India), Sept 22 : Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Saturday, tried to dispel the controversy surrounding the India-France Rafale jet deal, saying there is no point in raising controversies.

The Union minister said ” Centre was verifying Francois Hollande’s claims that France did not have a say in choosing Reliance Defence for the pact”.

Former French president, François Hollande in an interview to a media house on Friday, contradicted Indian government’s claim that the agreement between Dassault and Reliance was a commercial pact between two private parties and the government had nothing to do with it.

Home Minister Singh told , “It makes no sense to create a controversy over the Rafale issue. On the said utterance of former President of France, the Defence Ministry has already issued a statement and has stated that they are verifying it. It is my understanding that all accusations are completely baseless, were always so and will remain baseless”.

The controversy over the ongoing Rafale deal took a new direction when former French president Francois Hollande said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

On Friday, in an article published by French journal, Mediapart, Hollande, said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Defence Ministry spokesperson tweeted, “The report referring to former French President Mr Hollande’s statement that GoI insisted upon a particular firm as offset partner for the Dassault Aviation in Rafale is being verified. It is reiterated that neither GoI nor French Govt had any say in the commercial decision.”

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Golden Globe Race: INS Satpura, Australian Forces rush to rescue injured Navy commander



Mumbai, Sep 22 : India, Australia and other international agencies have launched a massive effort to rescue a seriously injured Indian Navy commander participating in the Golden Global Race (GGR) 2018, an official said here on Saturday.

Commander Abhulash Tomy is sailing aboard an indigenously built sailing vessel, SV Thuraya, which overturned and dismasted during stormy weather.

The sailor said he has suffered severe back injury, immobilizing him aboard the vessel on the 84th day in the GGR competition, around 5,020 kms from Kanyakumari in the Indian Ocean.

Late Friday, Commander Tomy managed to relay a message on his SatPhone indicating his condition and seeking help, though he was safe.

The messages were picked up by Indian authorities and Australian Rescue Coordination Centre, Canberra, which is now coordinating a rescue mission jointly with several agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy, a defence spokesperson said here.

“Commander Tomy’s boat was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea condition, with wind speed of 130 kmph and 10 metre high waves. He was in the 3rd position out of 11 international participants in the GGR competition having sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in 84 days since the race started on July 1,” said the spokesperson.

All out efforts are now underway to rescue the sailor with the involvement of a civilian business jet for a visual search of the stranded S.V. Thuraya, Australian military aircraft, besides civilian aircraft which have been requested to attempt communication with Tomy.

A French fishing vessel, Osiris and a Royal Australian Naval ship, HMAS Ballarat, are preparing to set sail from Freemantle Port, Western Australia, on September 24. Tomy is approximately 1,900 nautical miles from Perth on the country’s west coast.

From India, the Indian Navy’s stealth frigate INS Satpura, a Chetak helicopter and a tanker INS Jyoti Mission are engaged in the rescue mission.

In a latest update, the organisers, GGR said that “there is no indication at this stage if the mast and rigging have been cut away from the hull to prevent damage or are still laying beside the hull”.

Now in its Golden Jubilee year, the 30,000-miles long GGR, kicked off from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, with all participants sailing solo around the world in around 260 days, to return to the starting point.

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