PM Modi’s Eid message for Maldives president amid strained ties

News Network
June 17, 2024

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the President of Maldives Mohamed Muizzu on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, even as relations between the two nations have soured since the pro-China president assumed office in November last year. 

In a press release, the Indian High Commission in Maldives shared the prime minister's Eid wishes for the president and the people of Maldives. 

"On the auspicious occasion of Eid Al-Adha, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India @NarendraModi extended warm greetings to His Excellency President of Maldives Dr. @MMuizzu, the Government & the people of the Republic of Maldives," it said in a post on X.

In his message, PM Modi "emphasised the values of sacrifice, compassion and brotherhood, embodied by this festival, which are essential in building a peaceful and inclusive world."

"Prime Minister also highlighted the celebration of the festival, as part of India's multi-cultural heritage, across the length and breadth of India with fervour and gaiety," the message read.

Soon after being elected, Muizzu demanded a complete withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the archipelago. Amid increasing tensions, Indian tourists had announced a boycott of the island nation after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments about Prime Minister Modi following his visit to Lakshadweep.

But India extended an olive branch by inviting him to the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi. Union Minister S Jaishankar also held a bilateral meeting with the Maldivian President while he was in New Delhi. "Delighted to call on President Dr Mohamed Muizzu of Maldives today in New Delhi. Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely," he had said on 'X'.

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 11,2024

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Lokayukta on Thursday, July 11, morning raided 56 locations across nine districts in connection with 11 disproportionate asset cases.

The raids are underway at two locations in Chitradurga and Davanagere, and one each in Kalaburagi, Mandya, Dharwad, Belagavi, Kolar, Mysuru, and Hassan. The officials have raided the properties of 11 government officials, including two retired government employees.

Properties related to Basavaraj Magi, Revenue Officer, BBMP (Kengeri Zone); Shivaraju S, retired executive officer from Mandya; M Ravindra, retired chief engineer at Minor Irrigation Department; Shekar Gowda, Project Director; DH Umesh, Executive Engineer; and MS Prabhakar, Assistant Executive Engineer.

Simultaneously, the Lokayukta officials are conducting raids at the properties of Vijianna, Tahsildar; Mahesh K, superintendent engineer; NM Jagadish, grade 1 secretary; and KG Jagadish, superintendent engineer.

A well-placed officer at the Lokayukta said that they had taken up DA cases even before the raids. They had done the background work to list all the properties linked to officials on whom raids are underway.

The raids are a joint operation of the Karnataka Lokayukta wing and the police wing of the anti-corruption watchdog. The Superintendents of Police (SP) with the Karnataka Lokayukta in the respective districts are supervising the ongoing raids, and over 100 officers are aiding them.

This is the third such massive raid Lokayukta has taken up this year.

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News Network
July 12,2024

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United Nations, July 12: India’s population is projected to peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion and then decline by 12 per cent, but the country will remain the world's most populous throughout the century, the United Nations has said.

The World Population Prospects 2024 report, released here on Thursday, said that the world's population is expected to continue growing over the coming 50-60 years, reaching a peak of around 10.3 billion people in the mid-2080s, up from 8.2 billion in 2024. After peaking, the global population is projected to start declining gradually, falling to 10.2 billion people by the end of the century.

India, which surpassed China as the world's most populous nation last year, will continue to hold that position through 2100.

"The population of India, which is expected to remain the world's largest throughout the century, will likely decline by 12 per cent after reaching its peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion," the UN report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Population Division said.

According to the report, India's population in 2024 is projected at 1.45 billion and this will peak to 1.69 billion in 2054. After this, India's population is projected to decline to 1.5 billion by the end of the century in 2100, but the country will still remain the most populous nation on earth.

Responding to a question by PTI on population projections for India, Senior Population Affairs Officer, Population Division, UN DESA Clare Menozzi said at a press conference that "India is currently the largest country in the world in terms of population, and it is projected to stay so throughout the century. The population is currently estimated at 1.45 billion, and it's supposed to increase further" to 1.69 billion.

"It's supposed to peak around the 2060s in size and then it starts to slightly decline. So by the end of the century, India is projected to be around 1.5 billion, but still the largest country in the world by a large margin.” The report said that China's population, currently 1.41 billion in 2024, will fall to 1.21 billion in 2054 and further decline to 633 million by 2100.

"It is anticipated that China, the country currently with the world's second-largest population, will likely experience the largest absolute population loss between 2024 and 2054 (204 million)," followed by Japan (21 million) and Russia (10 million). "Longer-range population projections are more uncertain" for China, it said.

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News Network
July 16,2024

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A shooting near a mosque in Oman killed at least four people and wounded several others in a rare act of violence in the Gulf nation.

The attack early on Tuesday took place in Wadi al-Kabir, a district east of the capital city, Muscat, during a major religious event for Shia Muslims.

Video from the scene shows people fleeing near the Imam Ali Mosque, its minaret visible, as gunfire rings out followed by a voice saying, “Oh God!”

Omani police said they’re taking “all necessary security measures and procedures … to handle the situation”. They gave an initial casualty toll of four killed and “several” injured.

“The authorities are continuing to gather evidence and conduct investigations to uncover the circumstances surrounding the incident,” police said on social media platform X.

No motive or potential suspects were identified in the attack. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

‘Remain vigilant’

It appears some of the victims were Pakistani expats as Pakistan’s ambassador “visited three hospitals and met with the wounded”, an embassy statement said, adding, “all Pakistanis residing in Oman are requested to cooperate with the authorities”.

The US Embassy in Muscat issued a security alert following the shooting and cancelled all visa appointments on Tuesday.

“US citizens should remain vigilant, monitor local news, and heed directions of local authorities,” the embassy wrote on X.

Such an attack is rare in Oman, a frequent regional mediator with a low crime rate. It comes during the Muslim day of Ashura when Shia Muslims commemorate the seventh-century battlefield martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Many Shia mark Ashura by performing a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala. Sunni Muslims commemorate the day through fasting. 

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