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Syrian envoy Riad Abbas praises Modi on his stand on terrorism

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Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.rina.in

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was praised on Saturday by Syrian envoy Riad Abbas regarding his stand that terrorism is just terrorism and cannot be classified into good or bad.

Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.facenfacts.com
Syrian envoy Riad Abbas. Photo Credit: www.facenfacts.com

The Islamic State terror group’s growing footprint in Syria has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

“We highly appreciate Mr. Modi when he talks about terrorism and says that there is no good terrorism and bad terrorism, it is only terrorism,” Abbas said in a talk at the Indian Women’s Press Corps here.

Abbas also voiced appreciation of India’s position of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country, and said his government would like friendly countries like India to help his country with medicine and food.

“We want friendly countries to help with medicine, food. We will be appreciative of any kind of humanitarian help,” said the envoy.

He said India to him was like a second home and Syrians loved India.

Abbas said Russia was helping his country with arms and military equipment to fight the IS but not providing soldiers.

The envoy blamed Turkey for the four-year-old unrest in his country and said Syria’s problems would be solved “once the terrorism stops”.

He said Turkey should close the 950 km of open border to stop terrorists from entering his country.

“We want a political solution and don’t want any terrorism. Stop the destruction and let us decide (our political future),” he said.

The envoy also blamed the Wahabbism form of orthodox Islam practiced in some Gulf countries for the extremist violence in his country.

He slammed the US for the troubles in the Middle East, and said the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — could contribute effectively towards peace in the region and in his country.

Abbas also claimed that the thousands of refugees streaming into Europe were not from his country.

He said 40 percent of the refugees comprised Islamic State mercenaries who were entering the European nations in order to create havoc.

“Stop terrorism and the problem (of refugees) will stop,” he said, and slammed the UN for being a “silent follower” of the US policy.

Voicing sadness over the destruction in Syria, Abbas said: “We are not ready to surrender our country to the new colonialism (by the US). We will not surrender our country to any foreigner,” he said.

“I feel very sad to talk about my country. The cross-border terrorism has destroyed our civilization, led to the spilling of Syrian blood on the streets. It is very sad to see those militants shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and destroy our historical places in Palmyra and other places. We need friendly countries to wake up and see what is happening in Syria and take a stand against terrorism,” said Abbas.

(With inputs from IANS)

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A Clean Ganga Not Possible Without Continuous Flow: Green

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made

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The Holy River Ganga in Haridwar, Source: Pixabay

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

The Centre’s efforts to rejuvenate the Hindu holy river have failed to impress environmentalists, who feel a clean Ganga will remain a distant dream due to the Modi government’s failure to ensure the continuous flow of the river.

“Nothing has been done for ensuring a continuous flow of the river and also for its rejuvenation by the Narendra Modi government. Continuity is of supreme importance as the holy river has been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit for many years. But the Centre is trying to treat its teeth,” said Magsaysay awardee and a member of the erstwhile National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), Rajendra Singh.

Spending crores of rupees for beautification of ghats has been “wastage of the public exchequer” because “without ensuring a continuous flow, clean Ganga will continue to remain a distant dream”, said Rajendra Singh, who goes by the sobriquet “Waterman of India”.

 

Ganga, travel
River Ganga is one of the holiest rivers in India. Pixabay

Soon after assuming office, the Modi government rolled out its flagship “Namami Gange” mission at an estimated budget Rs 20,000 crore to clean and protect the Ganga.

 

Under Namami Gange, 254 projects worth Rs 24,672 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as construction of sewage infrastructure, ghats, development of crematoria, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation and public participation.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, 131 projects out of 254 were sanctioned for creating 3,076 MLD (million litre per day) new sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitating 887 MLD of existing STPs and laying 4,942 km of sewer lines for battling pollution in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

 

River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
River Ganga is also the most polluted river.

Till November-end of the 2018-19 fiscal, the National Mission for Clean Ganga released Rs 1,532.59 crore to the states and the Central Public Sector Undertakings for implementing the programme and meeting establishment expenditure.

Rajendra Singh said: “Ganga wants freedom today. There is no need for any barrage or dam. We want building of dams and any constructions on the river be stopped.”

 

Echoing Singh, another member of the now dissolved NGRBA, K.J. Nath, said the flow of the river had been obstructed at many locations and its own space (flood plains) encroached upon at multiple places in the name of riverfront development.

However, Jayanta Bandyopadhayay, a former Professor of IIM-Calcutta and presently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said the success or otherwise of initiatives and projects of any government in cleaning the Ganga cannot be judged in a five-year time frame.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Bogibeel Bridge Over Brahmaputra River

Managing a river like the Ganga, the lifeline of a very large number of people, is socio-technically a very complex issue and should be addressed with deep interdisciplinary knowledge, he added.

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made from the one dimensional perspective of rivers by engineers, political leaders, policymakers and others to a multidimensional and interdisciplinary one. (IANS)