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‘Visa wale’ Hanumanji has solutions for Trump’s visa bill

The trend is that the visitors have to write an application (arzi) in English to the deity with red ink, along with the token money.

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Hanuman Ji

March 10, 2017: Donald’s Trump visa reform bill has prompted Indians to pay regular visits to Hanumanji. The famous Hanuman mandir is situated at Connaught Place, which has been brimming with devotees from past few days. These devotees are none other than candidates who have applied for US visa and awaiting an affirmative response.

The temple’s priest indicated that the temple has beheld 95% increase in the number of people who turned up to visit Hanumanji with their janampatri to know about their videsh yatra yog. Not only this temple, but another temple branded as ‘Chanmatkari Visa wale Hanumanji ka mandir’ is popular among folks. The avid reasons as for why people are succumbing to Lord Hanumanji is due to the reason he being called ‘Pawan Putra’ – who needs no baggage to fly across the world. To remind a simple fact, he flew all the way to Rawan’s Lanka without any trepidations or any equipment.

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“Hamare paas log janampatri laate hain, aur poochte hain ki videsh jana hoga ya nahin. Agar yog hota hai toh hum disha batate hain, aur kaafi log batate hain ki unhe America jaana hai. Kuch log upaay bhi poochte hain. Kuch log joh videsh mein hai, woh phone karke poochte hain ki wahan reh payenge ya nahin, visa renewal hoga ya nahin.” tells VN Tiwari one of the priests at the CP temple to TOI.

The visa reform bill if passed will make it tough for American IT companies to hire Indian worker and might smash American Native dream for many Indians. In such an adverse situation, inducing deity seems to the most appropriate decision. The problem is not only rooted for those waiting for their US clearance but also those who are residing in the US and anticipating for their visa renewal.

The trend is that the visitors have to write an application (arzi) in English to the deity with red ink, along with the token money. The visitors are then advised to recite the prayers till their wishes come true. It has been noted that the temple receives 20 applications and almost every second application is by someone waiting for their US visa.

Once the wish is granted, they have to return with offerings of laddoos and banana along with a ‘Thank you’ note. The visitors are not just IT sectors employees but also the students and their parents waiting to unlock their fortune

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Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94

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‘It Has Been A Very Long Process, But Ultimately A Very Successful Process’: South Korea Agrees to Pay More for U.S. Troops

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in have lunch with troops at U.S. military installation Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Nov. 7, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in have lunch with troops at U.S. military installation Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Nov. 7, 2017. VOA

Officials signed a short-term agreement Sunday to boost South Korea’s contribution toward the upkeep of U.S. troops on the peninsula, after a previous deal lapsed amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for the South to pay more.

The new deal must still be approved by South Korea’s parliament, but it would boost its contribution to 1.03 trillion won ($890 million) from 960 billion won in 2018.

Unlike past agreements, which lasted for five years, this one is scheduled to expire in a year, potentially forcing both sides back to the bargaining table within months.

“It has been a very long process, but ultimately a very successful process,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters before another official from the foreign ministry initialed the agreement.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Timothy Betts, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the U.S. Department of State, shake hands before their meeting at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, S
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Timothy Betts, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements in the U.S. Department of State, shake hands before their meeting at Foreign Ministry. VOA

Domestic criticism

While acknowledging lingering domestic criticism of the new deal and the need for parliamentary approval, Kang said the response had “been positive so far.”

U.S. State Department senior adviser for security negotiations and agreements, Timothy Betts, met Kang before signing the agreement on behalf of the United States, and told reporters the money represented a small but important part of South Korea’s support for the alliance.

“The United States government realizes that South Korea does a lot for our alliance and for peace and stability in this region,” he said.

US soldiers salute during a grand opening ceremony, June 29, 2018, of the new headquarters building for the United Nations Command and US Forces Korea at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek.
US soldiers salute during a grand opening ceremony, June 29, 2018, of the new headquarters building for the United Nations Command and US Forces Korea at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek. VOA

28,500 US troops

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, where the United States has maintained a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The allies had struggled to reach a breakthrough despite 10 rounds of talks since March, amid Trump’s repeated calls for a sharp increase in South Korea’s contribution.

South Korean officials have said they had sought to limit its burden to $1 trillion won and make the accord valid for at least three years.

A senior South Korean ruling party legislator said last month that negotiations were deadlocked after the United States made a “sudden, unacceptable” demand that Seoul pay more than 1.4 trillion won per year.

But both sides worked to reach a deal to minimize the impact of the lapse on South Korean workers on U.S. military bases, and focus on nuclear talks ahead of a second U.S.-North Korea summit, Seoul officials said.

The disagreement had raised the prospect that Trump could decide to withdraw at least some troops from South Korea, as he has in other countries like Syria. But on Sunday, South Korean officials told Yonhap news agency that the United States had affirmed it would not be changing its troop presence.

Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to Congress he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam, following their unprecedented meeting in June in Singapore.

Military exercises suspended

After the June summit, Trump announced a halt to joint military exercises with South Korea, saying they were expensive and paid for mostly by the United States.

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Major joint exercises have been suspended, but some small-scale drills have continued, earning rebukes from North Korea’s state media in recent months.

About 70 percent of South Korea’s contribution covers the salaries of some 8,700 South Korean employees who provide administrative, technical and other services for the U.S. military.

Late last year, the U.S. military warned Korean workers on its bases they might be put on leave from mid-April if no deal was agreed. (VOA)