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Modi meets Bhutan PM, Sri Lanka president

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photo credit: www.thehansindia.com

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued his round of neighborhood diplomacy by meeting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on Friday to discuss economic cooperation.

On Thursday he met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. There were no plans to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has canceled his visit to New York because of violent protests at home against a new constitution.

Modi complimented Sirisena on the successful and peaceful completion of parliamentary elections and said it showed a deep-rooted commitment to democracy, a trait shared with India.

About a recent UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) report calling for special courts with international participation to try those charged with war crimes during the civil war, Modi said that he supported the quest for justice, but also respected Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. He added that a way could be found for a consensus between Colombo and the UNHRC.

Sri Lanka opposed UNHRC proposals for so-called ‘hybrid courts’ that had both Sri Lankan and international judges and investigators, and said it would only accept advice from outside. The United States is drafting a resolution on the subject, and according to media reports, it would call for ‘hybrid courts’ and Sri Lanka is trying hard to block it.

Modi and Sirisena also discussed the bilateral development projects that include the building of 57,000 houses in areas ravaged by civil war, railway infrastructure and power generation.

Development projects figured prominently in discussions between Tobgay and Modi, according to Swarup. The hydroelectric projects India was building for Bhutan would export power to India in a large enough quantity to save 11 million metric tons of carbon by not using fossil fuels to generate that amount of electricity. That would be a contribution to sustainability.

Tobgay suggested extending the Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal connectivity project beyond the motorway to other types of links.

Both Sri Lanka and Bhutan backed Security Council reforms. Tobgay said that it was an anomaly that India was not a permanent member of the Council.

(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged with celebrities across different fields effectively on social media in the run-up to the 2014 general elections to raise his visibility and further his electoral ambitions, as per a US study.

Joyojeet Pal, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, examined more than 9,000 tweets from @narendramodi between February 2009 and October 2015 to research Modi’s engagement with Indian public figures before and after elections.

As per the study, ‘Brand Modi: Decoding social media engagement with celebrities’, there were three distinct phases of engagement that happened in the six years for which he studied Modi’s tweets.

It was noticed in the first phase, Modi reached out to Amitabh Bachchan, businessman Narayana Murthy, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “By engaging with them, he presented the idea that people outside his core support group and with broad followings were willing to engage with him,” Pal said.

Around 2013, his approach moved to getting support for his campaign by referring to various celebrities in his tweets, posing with them, and in some cases, getting their outright endorsement for the campaign. During this phase, celebrity engagement was mainly through pictures showing affiliation.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

The efforts rounded off post-election when Modi called on celebrities primarily as champions for his initiatives.

According to Pal, this was the phase when Modi presented his initiatives as campaigns with national appeal rather than something imposed on the country.

This, Pal said, was particularly seen with Swachh Bharat, a national movement to clean up India’s roads and infrastructure, and, subsequently, with demonetisation. Celebrity engagement at these points presents the views of a collaborative, thoughtful leader.

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Number of Modi’s Twitter followers stands at 46.6 million, and he continues to engage with celebrities.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote. (IANS)