84 KILLED IN
SRI LANKAN ENVOY
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
MCI (P) 079/10/2022
SINGAPORE BAND TO
ON ASEAN TOUR
REPORT ON PAGE 4
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Man on a mission
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August 18, 2023
With only about 50 days left for the
cricket World Cup to start in India,
the prestigious trophy was dis-
played against the majestic back-
drop of the Taj Mahal in Agra on
Wednesday, whipping up more
The gleaming silverware radiated
under the sun, symbolising a har-
monious blend of India’s rich cultu-
ral heritage and the pinnacle of
It offered an exquisite spectacle
for fans as the tournament’s excite-
ment continues to build.
The World Cup begins at the
Narendra Modi Stadium in Ah-
medabad on Oct 5 with 2019 final-
ists England and New Zealand fac-
ing off. The final will be played at
the same venue on Nov 19.
There will be 10 teams, including
India, vying for the top prize. In all
48 matches will be played over 46
World Cup comes home
An SPH Media Limited publication
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
Wong Wei Kong
V.K. Santosh Kumar
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Modi says peace returning to
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Tuesday said peace was returning to
the strife-torn north-eastern state of
Manipur, where at least 180 people
have been killed and tens of thousands
forced out of their homes in sectarian
clashes since May.
The Central government has
deployed security forces to the hilly
state bordering Myanmar governed by
Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to
quell the violence, which comes as he is
looking to secure a third term in a
general election due by May 2024.
“For some days now, we are getting
reports of extended peace. The country
is with the people of Manipur. The
country wants the people of Manipur
to hold on to the peace of the last few
days and take it forward,” Mr Modi
said in an Independence Day speech at
New Delhi’s Red Fort.
Men who raped and hanged two
sisters get life sentence
Nearly a year after the gruesome rape
and murder of two sisters who were
found hanging from a tree in a village
in Uttar Pradesh, two men were on
Monday sentenced to life
imprisonment, local media reported.
The men were convicted last Friday
by a Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences court. The bodies of
the girls, aged 17 and 15, had been
found on Sept 14, 2022.
Police investigations concluded that
six suspects had abducted the sisters
from their home hours before raping
and strangling them, then hanging their
bodies from a tree to make it look like
they had killed themselves.
Assets of late mining tycoon seized
after probe prompted by leaks
Indian authorities have seized the
entire shareholding of the late mining
tycoon Anil Vassudeva Salgaocar’s
estate, after opening an investigation
on the basis of information disclosed in
the Panama and Pandora papers.
The move comes months after his
widow Lakshmi, who is the estate’s
administrator, won a protracted case in
Singapore’s High Court that involved
assets implicated in the Indian
Mr Salgaocar, who died in Singapore
in 2016, is suspected of violating
foreign exchange laws and not
declaring millions of dollars in profits.
The assets seized, according to an
Enforcement Directorate statement on
Aug 9, include shares in 33 companies,
which own 441 properties in Goa and
Karnataka, as well as in Mumbai.
$9.5 billion plan for electric buses
in 169 cities approved
The Central government on
Wednesday approved plans to deploy
10,000 electric buses in 169 cities,
along with charging and associated
infrastructure facilities, at an estimated
cost of nearly Rs580 billion ($9.53
billion) for a decade.
The federal government will fund
Rs200 billion of the cost of the scheme,
based on a public-private partnership
model, but it was not immediately clear
if the rest would come from state
governments or private companies.
Shares of companies expected to
benefit from the plan rose, including
those of electric bus makers Olectra
Greentech and JBM Auto.
Burger King tomatoes on ‘vacation’
as India battles food inflation
Burger King has scrapped tomatoes
from its wraps and burgers in many
Indian outlets after prices more than
quadrupled, the latest sign of surging
food inflation in the world’s most
“Even tomatoes need a vacation...
we are unable to add tomatoes to our
food,” read notices at two Burger King
India outlets. The chain cited quality
issues in explaining the shortfall.
The burger chain, one of India’s
biggest with nearly 400 outlets, joins
McDonald’s and Subway restaurants
that have removed tomatoes from
menus as India’s food inflation this
week hit its highest since January 2020.
Three killed as car plunges six
metres into canal in Tamil Nadu
Three people were killed on
Wednesday when the car they were
travelling in fell six metres into a canal.
They were heading towards Chennai
The vehicle toppled into the canal
near Madhuranthagam on the
A preliminary investigation revealed
that the driver had lost control. Police
and a fire and rescue team removed the
bodies and sent them for autopsy.
Alleged victim of medical neglect
takes her fight to Kerala capital
Ms Harshina Malayil Kulangara, who
has been demonstrating against the
alleged negligence of doctors at
Kozhikode Medical College Hospital,
took her protest to the Kerala
secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on
She wants the government to take
action against the doctors who
allegedly left a pair of scissors in her
stomach during a C-section in 2017.
Ms Harshina, who earlier held
protests in front of the Kozhikode
Medical College for 87 days, said the
government was ignoring her demand.
India,China agree to maintain
peace on border
India and China have agreed to
maintain peace and tranquillity on the
ground in border areas, China’s
Defence Ministry said in a joint
statement on the 19th round of the
China-India Corps Commander Level
Meeting on Tuesday.
The two sides had a positive,
constructive and in-depth discussion on
the resolution of the remaining issues
along the line of actual control, or
LAC, in the western sector, the ministry
They also agreed to resolve the
remaining issues in an “expeditious
manner” and maintain the momentum
of dialogue and negotiations through
military and diplomatic channels.
SpiceJet chief faces contempt case
over unpaid dues
The Supreme Court has asked Indian
airline SpiceJet’s managing director
Ajay Singh to respond to a contempt
case by Credit Suisse within four
weeks, reported Reuters.
Credit Suisse in March approached
the top court seeking to initiate
contempt proceedings against Singh
and SpiceJet over “a wilful and
intentional disobedience” of court
orders and failure to pay dues of
US$3.9 million as per a settlement
between the two sides, a court filing
Credit Suisse and SpiceJet have
been engaged in a legal dispute since
2015 over Credit Suisse’s claim of
unpaid dues of around US$24 million,
which led to the Madras High Court’s
order that the airline be wound up in
SpiceJet in a statement said the debt
is an “old one and predates the current
promoter taking over the company,”
and that it intends to pay the amount.
Wrestler Phogat out of Asian
Games with injury
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who helped
lead protests demanding the sport’s
national chief step down over sexual
harassment allegations, has pulled out
of next month’s Asian Games with a
Phogat, who won gold in the
women’s 50kg freestyle in the last
edition of the Asian Games, injured
herself during training and underwent
surgery on Thursday.
“It was my dream to retain my
Asian Games gold medal for India
which I won in 2018 in Jakarta,”
Phogat, 28, wrote in a post on social
media. “But unfortunately, this injury
has ruled out my participation now.”
August 18, 2023
Hundreds of people have been evacuat-
ed and rescuers continue searching for
people feared missing in floods and
landslides that have killed at least 71 in
Himachal Pradesh, including 11 who
died in the collapse of a temple.
Another 13 have died in neighbour-
ing Uttarakhand state.
“More than 800 people were evac-
uated from the low-lying areas of Kan-
gra near the Pong Dam as their villages
became inaccessible due to the elevated
water level in the dam reservoir,” Hima-
chal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvin-
der Singh Sukhu said on Wednesday.
“Evacuation operation is still on as
more people are being evacuated.”
Days of torrential downpours have
washed away vehicles, demolished
buildings and destroyed bridges in the
northern Himalayan state.
“At least 71 people have died in the
past three days and 13 are still missing.
A total of 57 bodies have been reco-
vered since Sunday night,” Principal
Secretary (Revenue) Onkar Chand
Sharma told news agency PTI.
Flooding and landslides are common
and cause widespread devastation dur-
ing India’s monsoon season, and ex-
perts say climate change is increasing
their frequency and severity.
Thousands of people have been
stranded after disruptions in road traf-
fic, power transmission and communi-
“The suffering of those affected can-
not be relieved with money, but the go-
vernment will provide all possible help
to them in this hour of distress,” Mr
At least 11 people died when a land-
slide triggered the collapse of a popular
Shiva temple in the state’s capital,
Railway lines were seen dangling af-
ter the ground beneath them was
According to the state emergency
operation centre, a total of 214 people
have died in rain-related incidents in the
state since the onset of monsoon on
June 24, and another 38 are missing.
Himachal Pradesh received 742mm
of rainfall in 54 days of monsoon this
year, against the season’s average of
730mm between June1and Sept 30 last
year, a weather official said.
The rainfall recorded in the state this
July broke all records for the month in
the last 50 years,Shimla Meteorological
Centre Director Surinder Paul told PTI.
Mr Sukhu said the disaster was the
worst to hit Himachal in 50 years.
Tuesday’s annual celebrations of In-
dependence Day were scaled down to
concentrate on rescue efforts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, deli-
vering his Independence Day address
from the Red Fort in New Delhi, said
that recent natural disasters had caused
“unimaginable troubles” for families
across the country.
“I express my sympathies towards all
of them and I assure them that state and
central governments will work togeth-
er,” he told the crowd.
At least 13 people have been killed
since Friday in Uttarakhand, officials
said on Tuesday. Rescue teams there
raced to remove debris after people
were feared buried when heavy rainfall
Five people were buried when a
landslide hit a resort near the popular
yoga retreat of Rishikesh on the banks
of the river Ganges.
Nearly 350 roads around Uttarak-
hand had been closed to traffic, accord-
ing to state disaster bulletins.
Several riverside towns and villages
in both states were at risk of flash floods
from the heavy rain.
The monsoon brings South Asia
about 80 per cent of its annual rainfall
and is vital for both agriculture and the
livelihoods of millions.But it also brings
destruction every year in the form of
landslides and floods.
Days of relentless monsoon rain
killed at least 90 people last month,
while the capital New Delhi saw the Ya-
muna river,which snakes past the mega-
city, record its highest levels since 1978.
Forecasters expect heavy rains to
continue across northern India until
Indo-Asian News Service
84 dead in monsoon mayhem
Nearly 50 metres of the Unesco World Heritage Shimla-Kalka railway track was damaged by landslides near Summer Hill on the outskirts of
Shimla on Aug16.
The suffering of those affected cannot be
relieved with money, but the
government will provide all possible help
to them in this hour of distress.
– Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu
Distributors of a contaminated Indian
cough syrup that killed 65 children in
Uzbekistan paid local officials a bribe
of US$33,000 ($45,000) to skip manda-
tory testing,Uzbek state prosecutors al-
leged during a trial on Wednesday.
The Central Asian nation put on trial
21people,all of them Uzbeks except for
one Indian, over the deaths last week,
making public a much higher death toll
than previously reported.
Three of the defendants are execu-
tives of Quramax Medical, a company
that sold medicines produced by India’s
Marion Biotech in Uzbekistan.
According to state prosecutor Said-
karim Akilov, Quramax CEO Raghven-
dra Pratar Singh,allegedly paid officials
at the state centre for expertise and
standardisation of medicinal products
US$33,000 to skip a mandatory inspec-
tion of its products.
It was unclear from the prosecutor’s
statement whether the inspection was
supposed to involve tests in Uzbekistan
or a request for tests to be carried out by
the producer in India.
Mr Singh denied the charges but ad-
mitted to handing over the sum to offi-
cials through an intermediary as a “to-
ken of appreciation”. He said he had no
idea how and by whom that money was
Seven of the 21 defendants pleaded
guilty to at least some of the charges
against them, which included tax eva-
sion, sale of substandard or counterfeit
medicines, abuse of office, negligence,
forgery and bribery.
Officials have not said why 45 of the
deaths had remained unreported since
State prosecutors also said on
Wednesday that Quramax had import-
ed Marion Biotech medicines at an in-
flated price via two Singapore-based in-
Alleged bribe behind sale of
contaminated cough syrup
on Aug 16.
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