The Island of the Gods has a strong connection with India
Bali through Indian eyes
REPORT ON PAGES 10 & 11
Enchanting... A scene from Hindu mythology (left) and
a Balinese woman performing a traditional dance.
T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
TAMIL MEDLEY PAYS
TRIBUTE TO S’PORE’S
HEADY AS WELL
AS HEAD CLEARING
TESTS A TEST
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
THE 250-year-old Tara Devi temple has been rebuilt at its
original location – atop a hill – in Shimla.
The ancient temple has regained its glory after a painstak-
ing rebuilding process which took more than three years.
An idol of the Tara deity was installed in the temple on
July 20 with rituals conducted by 90 priests specially invited
for the occasion.
Now, the temple also enshrines the idols of Saraswati and
The old temple, built by the erstwhile ruler of the Keon-
thal state, was demolished entirely as the wood used in its
construction had weathered.
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Shimla’s 250-year-old hilltop temple regains past glory
Delhi police start bicycle patrols
in parks and narrow lanes
WITH serious crimes being reported
from parks and narrow lanes in the
national capital, the Delhi police have
come up with bicycle patrols for quick
and effective surveillance of these and
other congested areas.
According to the police, the
initiative was taken after a number of
serious crimes, such as rape,
molestation and murder, occurred in
various parks and markets. Officials felt
that bicycles could be the best mode of
transport for spots where police vans
and motorbikes cannot enter easily.
GST rates reduced for more than
50 consumer items
THE Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Council has reduced the tax rates on
more than 50 items, including
refrigerators, washing machines and
small television sets. These items will
now be taxed at 18 per cent, down from
the current 28 per cent.
The council has also exempted from
GST sanitary napkins, fortified milk
and idols of deities made of stone,
marble and wood.
The tax rate on handicraft items
such as handbags, pouches, purses,
jewellery boxes, wooden frames of
paintings and photographs, among
others, have been brought down to 12
per cent from the previous 18 per cent.
Cruise terminal to come up at
Cochin Port by February 2020
A NEW cruise terminal, having facili-
ties to handle 5,000 tourists, will come
up at the Ernakulam wharf at Cochin
Port by February 2020.
The port trust has issued the work or-
der for commencing the construction.
The cruise terminal will be constructed
at a cost of Rs25.72 crores ($5.1 mil-
lion). The facilities in the terminal will in-
clude lounges for passengers and crew,
immigration counters, a tourist informa-
tion counter, duty-free shopping, mini-
conference hall and parking area.
UP government suggests steps to
protect Taj Mahal
THE Uttar Pradesh government, in its
first draft report on the protection and
preservation of the Taj Mahal
submitted on Tuesday before the
Supreme Court, suggested that the
entire Taj Mahal precinct should be
declared a no-plastic zone and all
polluting industries in the region
should be closed.
The report further suggested that a
comprehensive traffic management
plan is needed to promote pedestrian
movement in the Taj heritage precinct
and roads along the Yamuna riverfront
should be planned so that traffic is
limited and pedestrian movement
Two Kerala policemen sentenced
to death for custodial death
THE Central Bureau of Investigation
Special Court in Thiruvananthapuram,
Kerala, has sentenced two policemen to
death and three others to three years’
rigorous imprisonment in a case of
custodial torture and death 13 years
The two given capital punishment
are constables K. Jithukumar and S.V.
Sreekumar, who had detained one
Udayakumar who later died in custody.
Those found guilty of conspiracy
and destroying evidence are then
sub-inspector Ajith Kumar, circle
inspector E.K. Sabu and assistant
commissioner of police K. Haridas.
The court on Tuesday had convicted
the five for the custodial death of the
26-year-old man at the Fort police
station in September 2005.
The police had detained two friends,
Udayakumar and Suresh Kumar, on a
charge of theft. When Udayakumar
was let off later, the policemen were
irked when he asked for the Rs4,000
taken from him while he was in
custody. He was brutally tortured with
an iron rod, following which he died.
India sees drop in HIV,
THE number of HIV cases in India has
dropped by 26.6 per cent and
Aids-related cases by 56.8 per cent
between 2010 and last year.
This is thanks to sustained and
focused efforts, according to a report by
the United Nations Agency on Aids.
In India, new HIV infections
dropped from 1.2 lakh in 2010 to
88,000 last year, Aids related deaths
from 1.6 lakh to 69,000 and people
living with HIV from 23 lakh to 21 lakh
in the same period.
Cow urine fetching farmers more
money than milk in Rajasthan
DAIRY farmers in Rajasthan are now
earning more from selling cow urine
Urine of high-breed cows such as
the Gir and Tharparkar is being sold at
Rs15 to Rs30 a litre, while a litre of
milk fetches only between Rs22 and
Mr Kailash Gujjar, a farmer from
Jaipur, told the Times of India that his
earnings have grown by 30 per cent.
Cow urine is in high demand from
people engaged in organic farming. It is
also used for rituals and medicinal
Odisha to allow women to become
ODISHA may soon allow women to
become firefighters, eliminating an
82-year-rule that only men can join the
Director-general of police (fire
service, home guards and civil defence)
B.K. Sharma has proposed to the state
home department that women be
allowed to enter the fire brigade. He
has also recommended that 15 per cent
of the positions be reserved for women.
A Times of India report said the
state government had never considered
women during recruitment in the fire
service as the job is physically
challenging and involves high risk.
More than 7,000 Indians jailed
MORE than 7,000 Indians are
languishing in various jails in foreign
countries, the Indian Parliament was
told on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question,
Minister of State for External Affairs
V.K. Singh said Indian missions and
posts abroad will provide airfare to
facilitate the return of Indian prisoners
who have completed their sentence.
An amount of Rs2.72 crore
($530,000) was spent as assistance
from March 2015 to March this year.
Among the 7,737 in overseas jails,
541 were in Nepal and 471 in Pakistan,
according to official data.
July 27, 2018
Pakistan election results delayed
as Khan leads, opponents cry foul
said on Thursday full re-
sults of a general election
would be delayed as
cian Imran Khan led in a
partial count that oppo-
nents said was rigged.
The party of Mr Khan’s
jailed chief rival, ousted
prime minister Nawaz
Sharif, called the count an
assault on democracy in
the nuclear-armed, Mus-
lim country which has a
history of military rule. Any potential de-
lays in forming a government would be
worrisome, as Pakistan faces a mounting
economic crisis that is likely to require a
bailout by the International Monetary
Fund and worsening relations with on-
off ally the United States.
Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) secretary Babar Yaqoob said early
on Thursday that counting had been de-
layed by technical failures in an elec-
tronic reporting system and the tallying
is now being conducted manually.
The results had been due by 2am (Pak-
istan time) on Thursday.
“There’s no conspiracy, nor any pres-
sure in delay of the results. The delay is
being caused because the result transmis-
sion system has collapsed,” Mr Yaqoob
He said he could not set an exact dead-
line when the full results would be re-
leased but it would be as soon as possible.
Chief Election Commissioner Sardar
Mohammad Raza later de-
fended the process after
Sharif’s party and at least
four others contesting the
elections alleged the count-
ing was manipulated.
“These elections were 100
per cent transparent and
fair,” Raza said. “There is no
stain. Why don’t you think
the five political parties
might be wrong?”
With 30 per cent of the to-
tal vote counted, Mr Khan’s
(PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice,
was listed by the ECP as leading in 113 of
272 contested National Assembly con-
Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-
Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 66 con-
stituencies and the Pakistan People’s
Party (PPP), led by the son of assassi-
nated two-time prime minister Benazir
Bhutto, led in 39 constituencies.
Mr Khan’s camp was increasingly con-
fident, although it still appeared likely to
fall short of the 137 seats needed for a ma-
jority in the National Assembly, raising
the prospect it would need to find coali-
tion partners among smaller parties and
Khan’s party spokesman Fawad
Chaudhry tweeted: “Congratulations to
the nation on a new Pakistan! Prime Min-
ister Imran Khan”, although his party
has officially held off on declaring vic-
NDIAN Prime Minister Naren-
dra Modi’s tour of Africa –
which includes visits to
Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa –
has come at a time when China’s
President Xi Jinping is also on the
Both leaders visited Rwanda
within hours of each other and are in
South Africa for the Brics summit,
which ends today.
There is no denying that both
countries are competing to extend
their interests in Africa.
The continent, with its abundant
natural resources and improving gov-
ernance structures, is being viewed
as the next global growth hub.
However, the two countries’ ap-
proaches are different given their dif-
China is going into Africa with
big ambition and big projects.
From building infrastructure –
ports, roads and railways – to cooper-
ation in internal security and de-
fence, it is splurging big money to ob-
tain a big strategic footprint on the
India’s approach is comparatively
low-key since it doesn’t have China’s
Nonetheless, it is using its dias-
pora and centuries-old cultural and
trade links to increase its influence in
While it has wooed Africa, a grow-
ing market for Indian goods and in-
vestments, for some time, India has
not been able to match China’s rapid
growth on the continent.
Still, for the South Asian giant,
whose economy is poised to grow at
over 7 per cent, Africa presents a
strategic and economic opportunity.
“The visit of the Prime Minister to
these three countries is a reflection of
the intensity of our engagement with
Africa and the priority we attach to
our relations with African coun-
tries,” said Mr T. S. Tirumurti, secre-
tary in charge of economic relations
at India’s Ministry of External Af-
“As regards China, I don’t think
we see ourselves in a competition in
Africa at all.”
He said India’s relations with
African countries go back many
years, and now stand on a very “solid
foundation of development coopera-
tion and security and other coopera-
tion which is enlarging”.
Bilateral trade between Africa
and India stood at US$52 billion
($70.7 billion) for March 2016-17,
with India mainly exporting raw ma-
terials while also selling items such as
Meanwhile, trade between China
and Africa stood at around US$220
billion in 2014.
China has also been boosting its
defence cooperation with Africa, in
what is seen widely as an attempt to
secure its strategic interests and also
push its One Belt One Road initiative.
Last year, China opened its first
overseas military base in Djibouti, on
the edge of the Indian Ocean, and this
year it opened a military training cen-
tre in Tanzania.
Analysts said security and de-
fence cooperation was also emerging
as an important area for India.
New Delhi’s Indo-Pacific strategy,
which seeks to increase its influence,
extends from the Indian Ocean to the
Pacific Ocean, with eastern Africa
forming an important component em-
bodying, among other things, free-
dom of navigation.
“Africa is important for various
reasons, in terms of market re-
sources, the (Indian) diaspora and
maritime. Defence cooperation has
not been intense, but we are trying to
focus on that area,” said research fel-
low Nivedita Ray at the New Delhi-
based Indian Council of World Af-
“The eastern part of Africa is im-
portant for India’s Indo-Pacific vi-
sion. It is part of an extremely impor-
tant maritime neighbourhood and is
critical to India’s security.
“Africa remains of the highest pri-
ority in India’s foreign policy.”
Reuters, The Straits Times,
Indo-Asian News Service
Vying for Africa
Building bridges... India’s Prime Minister Narendra
Modi with Rwandan President Paul Kagame as they
greet locals at the Rweru Model Village.
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