Tag Archives: Burma

CIA views Kashmir as the site of the world’s largest and most militarised Territorial dispute

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Indian Army and flood relief in Kashmir
Indian Army and flood relief in Kashmir

Washington DC: The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) views Kashmir as the “site of the world’s largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas)”.

Notwithstanding the numerous incidents of unprovoked firing and violation of ceasefire from the Pakistan side, CIA’s “World Factbook” talks of disputes over water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries and states that India and Pakistan have maintained the 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir, and continue to have

More with regard to Indo-Pakistan disputes, CIA factbook points out that Pakistani maps continue to show its Junagadh claim in the Gujarat State of India. To defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea.

Indian ArmyThe CIA factbook also states “since China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidated discussions related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, Indian claims that China transferred missiles to Pakistan, and other matters continue.”

The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 06, 2011
Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 06, 2011

Focusing on the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s September 2011 visit to Bangladesh and the signing of a Protocol to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh that had called for the settlement of longstanding boundary disputes over undemarcated areas and the exchange of territorial enclaves, CIA points out that this had never been implemented.

CIA factbook draws attention to the referring of the maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea by Bangladesh and India’s Joint Border Committee with Nepal that continues to examine “contested boundary sections, including the 400 sq km dispute over the source of the Kalapani River.”

The factbook also places on record that India maintains a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal


The Central Intelligence Agency of the US was created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman. The act also created a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to serve as head of the United States intelligence community; act as the principal adviser to the President for intelligence matters related to the national security; and serve as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

CAI recognises the “changing global realities” that have led to the reordering of the national security agenda, According to CIA, these challenges have been met by:

  • Creating special, multidisciplinary centers to address high-priority issues such as nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, international organized crime and narcotics trafficking, environment, and arms control intelligence, and
  • Forging stronger partnerships between the several intelligence collection disciplines and all-source analysis.

 

Friends of the Lower Mekong and the sustainabilty initiative

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Xe DonWashington DC, Feb. 3: Friends of the Lower Mekong, a donor coordination group, have come together with the countries of the Lower Mekong to discuss the connection between water resources, energy needs, and food security.

Carrying forward this objective, US Counselor Tom Shannon and Senior Advisor to the Secretary Ambassador David Thorne led a U.S. delegation to the Extraordinary Meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong in Pakse, Laos on Monday. Accompanying Mr. Shannon and Ambassador Thorne were representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.

The health of the Mekong River is essential to the economic growth and sustainable development of the region. In Cambodia, the Mekong supports the rich biodiversity of a watershed that provides more than 60 percent of the protein intake for the entire country. The river irrigates the “rice bowl” in Vietnam, where more than half of the nation’s rice production is concentrated in the provinces that make up the Mekong delta. In Laos, Thailand, and Burma, the Mekong is an important artery for transportation, a water source for aquaculture and agriculture, and a generator of electricity.

Meeting participants discussed the challenges of ensuring a future in which economic growth does not come at the expense of clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems. The meeting brought together senior officials from Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam alongside representatives from the United States, the Mekong River Commission, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, and the governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

At the meeting, the U.S. delegation announced several new initiatives, including the launch of USAID’s Sustainable Mekong Energy Initiative (SMEI). Through the SMEI, the United States will promote the use of alternative energy and low-emission technologies. The delegation also announced that the Department of State will organize and send a Sustainable Energy Business Delegation to the region later this year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will provide technical assistance on hydropower management and the Mississippi River Commission signed a five year extension to its agreement with the Mekong River Commission to exchange knowledge, information, and best practices. In conjunction, Counselor Shannon and Ambassador Thorne announced that the State Department will contribute $500,000 in support of a Mekong River Commission study on the impacts of hydropower on the community and environment.

In a joint statement, the United States agreed to collaborate with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and others to support development of a national energy grid inLaos. When completed, this national energy grid will help provide stable, reliable electricity to millions of people throughout the country. Counselor Shannon announced that the State Department is working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of Laos to develop a “smart hydro” project that will increase the efficiency and environmental sustainability of its existing small hydropower assets and help build technical capacity in hydropower management.

The Friends of the Lower Mekong will also work together to strengthen the capacity of Lower Mekong countries to more effectively implement social and environmental safeguards such as environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental analyses. The U.S. Government, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Government of Australia plan to jointly develop a Regional Impact Assessment Training Center at the Asian Institute of Technology Center in Vietnam.

Under the auspices of the Lower Mekong Initiative, the United States is continuing successful projects like Smart Infrastructure for the Mekong (SIM) to provide technical assistance to the region on land and water use management, renewable energy, and infrastructure development. This year, $1.5 million will be spent on SIM projects in the Mekong region.

US secretary of State John Kerry even shared his personal vision for promoting sustainabilty of the Mekong in an op-ed on Foreign Policy

 


Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and the People’s Republic of China to the Northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand to the West.

Pakxe is the capital and most populous city in the southern province of Champasak, making it the third most populous city in Laos. Located at the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers (wikipedia)