Tag Archives: Seychelles

General Dalbir Singh Suhag appointed High Commissioner of India to Seychelles

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New Delhi: Former Army Chief General (Retd.) Dalbir Singh Suhag has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles.

He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

India, Seychelles agree to go ahead with the Assumption Island Naval base

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New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that India and Seychelles have agreed to work together on the Assmption Island Naval base project keeping in mind each other’s interest in this regard.

The Prime Minister made this announcement while making a press statement during the State visit of President of Seychelles Danny Faure to India.

Coinciding with Faure’s visit to India, there have been reports pointing that Opposition members in the Seychelles Parliament said that theu would not allow India to build a naval base on the island of Assumption taking the plea that it would compromise the country’s sovereignty.

As close partners, Modi today said, it is our shared responsibility that we ensure collective maritime security of our EEZ and coastal areas. We have threats from international crimes like piracy, drugs, human trafficking, and illegal exploitation of maritime resources. We need to increase our cooperation and alertness against these. India is committed to strengthen Seychelles’ defence capabilities and maritime infrastructure and increase the capacity of its defence personnel. This will enable Seychelles to effectively deal with both traditional and non-conventional maritime challenges and to protect its maritime resources. In this context, I am happy to announce a credit line of US $ 100 million for Seychelles. From this credit line Seychelles will be able to purchase defence equipment from India to build its maritime capacity. The second Dornier aircraft which I had promised during my visit to Seychelles in March 2015 is ready to be handed over tomorrow. You all have seen its model just now. It will arrive there on time to participate in the National Day festival of Seychelles on June 29.

The Indian prime Minister further said We are widely collaborating to undertake hydrography surveys to improve the availability of navigation charts. As part of this effort, we have signed an MOU today for the exchange of White Shipping Data. During our discussions today, I have reiterated India’s commitment towards effective contributions to projects of national importance in Seychelles. These projects will not only help Seychelles’ economy but they will also help to further intensify our mutual relations.

Under the Special grant, India is ready to finance three civilian infrastructure projects in Seychelles. These include Government House, new Police Headquarters and Attorney General’s Office.

Today, Modi announced, an MoU also has been signed, under which India will provide financial assistance to Seychelles to start some high quality, high visibility and people-centric Small Development Projects. President Faure has been assured that India will always remain committed to increase the capacity development of Seychelles by providing training to their defence personnel including the common citizens of Seychelles under ITEC and other such programs. Indian experts will be sent to Seychelles on deputation in the areas as required by Seychelles. Contribution of the Indian community in the economy of Seychelles is a matter of pride for us. Shared culture between the two countries is a matter of pride and it provides many possibilities to further intensify our relations, Modi added.

The Indian Prime Minister tyhanked President Faure for gifting two big Aldabra turtles. We have received such long living turtles from Seychelles earlier also, he said adding they are witness to three centuries. Creatures like this and other animals and flora and fauna are looked upon with great reverence and love in India. These long-living turtles will also be a symbol of our eternal friendship and its auspicious effects.

Modi further said: “Since the independence of Seychelles in June 1976, there have been special relations between both our democratic countries. Today, India and Seychelles are key strategic partners. We both support the core values of democracy and equally share geo-strategic vision of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean.

India and Seychelles are linked together with the Indian Ocean. Sustainable development of ocean economy in a secured maritime environment is very crucial for prosperity of our citizens. We can only take advantage of opportunities provided by the ocean by successfully confronting conventional and non-conventional threats. In our talks today, we have reiterated our commitment towards working jointly to take full advantage of ocean based Blue Economy. There is a deep strategic convergence on cooperation between us to deal with maritime challenges.”

No Chinese Naval Base in Seychelles: Indian Defence Minister

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 The Union Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar visiting the Headquarters of Western Naval Command in Mumbai earlier in April, 2015. The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema are also seen. [Representative photo]

The Union Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar visiting the Headquarters of Western Naval Command in Mumbai earlier in April, 2015. The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema are also seen. [Representative photo]
New Delhi: India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told Rajya Sabha today said that no naval base has been established by China in Seychelles.

The Minister went on to inform the House that the Government is aware of Chinese participation in development projects in the Indian Ocean Region and keeps a constant watch on all developments concerning the country’s security.

Replying to a query by Ambika Soni, the Defence Minister said that modernization of Indian Navy to create capability for future threats and challenges is an ongoing process.

Increasing Strength of the Armed Forces

Parrikar said that the strength of the armed forces is decided keeping in focus the threats in the region and the Indian Navy continuously monitors areas of national interest and undertakes regular evaluation of the maritime security environment in the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

This was stated by the Defence Minister in a written reply to another question by V Maitreyanin in Rajya Sabha.

Parrikar explained that taking into account the security environment and technology, periodic reviews are carried out and the modernization of the armed forces is executed in consonance with the road-map laid down in the Long Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) which specified the capabilities that the armed forces need to acquire over a 15 year period.

Export of Sonar by DRDO

The Defence Minister further told Rajya Sabha that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed sonars for Indian Navy and transferred technology to Indian Industries for manufacture and supply to Indian Navy. M/s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has exported three Hull Mounted Sonars to Myanmar based on the technology developed by DRDO.

In reply to a question by Aayanur Manjunatha, the minister said that a number of countries have shown their initial interest to acquire DRDO developed sonar systems. Some of the other DRDO developed products / systems, like radars, electronic warfare systems, AEW&C systems, bridging systems, missiles, torpedoes, decoys and fire control systems can be considered for export to our friendly countries.

Prime Minister Modi arrives in Sri Lanka

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo Photo courtesy: M. Asokan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo
Photo courtesy: M. Asokan

New Delhi: On his first visit abroad in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now on the final leg of his tour to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka that started on March 10.

On March 11, in Seychelles, the Prime Minister had bilateral discussions with President James Alexis Michel to strengthen maritime ties and enhance development cooperation.

On March 11 and 12, Modi had extensive meetings with Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth to further enhance bilaterasl relations. He was also the Chief Guest at the National Day celebrations.

On arrival today in Sri Lanka on a 2-day visit,Modi met President Maithripala Sirisena. He will also be meeting and other senior leaders​ ​across the political spectrum​.

Modi said that during deliberations in Colombo, he had raised the issue of fishermen, which is both humanitarian and also concerns the livelihood of so many people.

An official statement here said, Modi’s “visit to friendly maritime neighbours is reflective of India’s desire to further strengthen India’s ties in the Indian Ocean region. The visit will provide opportunities to build on the close contacts at the highest political level and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest.”

Prior to Modi’s arrival in Sri Lanka, the United States welcomed the March 10th release of eight Sri Lankan detainees, including human rights activist Balendran Jeyakumari, who had been arrested under the previous administration and held without charge.

US, Sri Lanka & Human Rights

US department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said at her press briefing Thursday: “We understand Ms. Jeyakumari has been released on bail pending trial, and we encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to afford the individuals and all detainees due process of law. We applaud this positive step and encourage the government to continue its efforts to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Sri Lankans.”

Pak court orders release of 26/11 accused

At a time when Modi was cementing mutual ties with maritime neighbours, a court in Pakistan on Friday ordered the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused of plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India has protested and sent a strong message asking Pakistan to take all steps to ensure he doesn’t come out of jail.