Monday, April 19, 2010



There are threats to the current and forthcoming international sports events in India from the following:

Indigenous terrorists acting on their own.
Indigenous terrorists acting at the instance of Pakistan.
Pakistani terrorists.

2.International sports events make attractive soft targets because of the large crowds, the participation of famous foreign sports personalities and foreign media coverage of the events. In the calculation of the terrorists, a successful attack at an international sports event will not only bring large publicity to their cause, but would also damage the credibility of the Indian Government and its security agencies.

3.The undetected planting of explosive devices outside the Bangalore cricket stadium before an India Premier League cricket match on April 17,2010, shows continuing deficiencies in our intelligence and physical security set-up despite the revamping of our counter-terrorism machinery post/26/11. Even if there has been an improvement in the counter-terrorism machinery of the Government of India, a similar improvement has not been there at the State level. In the US, the Department of Homeland Security has the total responsibility for security against terrorists anywhere in US territory. In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India has to share the responsibility with the States.This often weakens security particularly if different parties are in power in New Delhi and the States.

4.More than the IPL tournament,which ends on April 25, the Commonwealth Games due later this year should be a matter of great concern. Next to the Beijing Olympics of August 2008, it is going to involve the largest gathering of sportsmen and other sports personalities in Asia. If the terrorists want to attack it, they would have started their preparations by now by setting up sleeper cells and by finding out ways of infiltrating the stadia and games villages.

5.Pakistan and the Pakistani terrorist organisations would have a strong motive for attempting to disrupt the Commonwealth Games in order to create a poor image of the Indian organising capability as compared to the manner in which Beijing successfully handled the security of the Olympics. A full-fledged security set-up dedicated to the security of the Games should have been in position by now. One does not get the impression that this is so.

6.The decision to change the venue of the semi-finals of the IPL from Bangalore to Mumbai was inevitable, but was it done by the IPL managing committee after consulting the authorities of the Governments of India and Maharashtra? Do they have the required manpower and technical resources to handle two semi-finals and one final? The security drill should not be left purely in the hands of the State. The Government of India should play the leadership role in coordination and follow-up action.

7.The Govt. of India has been playing the leadership role in respect of the security arrangements for the Commonwealth Games, but one has the impression that this is not so in respect of the IPL matches. The security consultants to the IPL and the State Police seem to be handling the security with the role of the Govt. of India reduced to the minimum necessary. The Government of India should play a more active role after what happened at Bangalore.

8.In a statement made in the Lok Sabha after 26/11, Shri P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister of the Government of India, said that one of the reasons for the terrorists' success in Mumbai was because the responsibility for follow-up action was diffused. From what happened at Bangalore, one gets the impression that it continues to be diffused. We have not learnt the lessons of 26/11. ( 21-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )



Tibetan monks and others, who have survived the April 14,2010, earthquake in the Qinghai Province , the birthplace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, have appealed to President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabo to allow His Holiness to visit the quake-hit areas to supervise the rescue and relief efforts and to "offer salvation for our dead and prayers for the victims."

2. Their petition, which has been carried in the Chinese language by, a web site run by a group of Chinese political dissidents and exiles, states as follows: "Dear President Hu and Premier Wen. When we suffered the enormous natural disaster of the earthquake, your Party and government immediately dispatched officials and soldiers and forces from all areas of society to rescue us, the victims, and we in the disaster area are extremely thankful for the government's help. But we are masses with a religious faith and for generations upon generations we Buddhists have believed in Gwalya Rinpoche the Dalai Lama. At such a time as this when we have suffered such a terrible blow we are in urgent need of the Dalai Lama to come to our disaster area and provide salvation for our dead and comfort for our wounded souls. President Hu and Premier Wen, we request that in your gracious benevolence you may satisfy the wishes of the people in the disaster area. We Tibetan victims in our tens of thousands plead with the Party and central government to set aside your grudges against the Dalai Lama for the sake of the people in the disaster area. We only wish the Dalai Lama to come to the disaster area to offer salvation for our dead and prayers for the victims. There is no other purpose to this than that of religious faith. It is only by means of the Dalai Lama visiting here to pray for our comfort that the wounds in our souls may be healed, and aside from this there is no better means. " ( )

3. Over 11,000 Tibetans have been injured by the quake. The deaths of many of them have pushed the total number of fatalities to 2000. It could go up further as more injured die. Despite the deaths of a large number of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns, the surviving monks and nuns have mounted a massive rescue and relief effort on their own without depending on the rescue and relief campaign of the Government. They were among the first to reach the quake-hit areas before Government officials could reach there. They have been complaining that while the rescue and relief efforts of the Government and the Chinese Red Cross have been highlighted by the Chinese and international media, the stupendous efforts of the monasteries and monks have not received the attention they deserved.

4. Apart from the massive human tragedy, Tibetan Buddhism and culture have also suffered damages due to the destruction by the quake of a number of monasteries and Tibetan cultural heritage sites in the area and the deaths of a large number of monks and nuns. No estimate of the monks and nuns killed are available, but their number is believed to be high.

5. Among the historic monasteries which have suffered damages are the 1300-year old Thrangu monastery, one of the most historically important monasteries of the world, a center for retreat for several previous incarnations of the Karmapa Lama - the head of the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism--- and the Mahakala shrine. The quake-hit areas have historic and spiritual links with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism headed by the Karmapa Lama.

6. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his officials have appealed to the Chinese to allow His Holiness to visit the quake-hit areas, but it is certain the Chinese will not allow him. Nor will the international community exercise pressure on Beijing to allow His Holiness to visit the areas. It is important for international broadcasting stations broadcasting programmes in the Tibetan language, including the external services of All India Radio, to broadcast the prayers of His Holiness to the people of the area. ( 20-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )



A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in northwest China's Qinghai Province, on April 14,2010,
killing 1,339 persons----the majority of them Tibetans.Another 332 persons have been reported missing.

2. The epicenter was about 50 km west of the Jiegu Township, the government seat of the Yushu Prefecture, and about 800 km from Xining, the provincial capital. The prefecture has a total area of 267,000 square kilometers and, according to the Chinese media, a population of about 252,700 people, 97 per cent of whom are ethnic Tibetans.

3.Yushu is located at about 4,000 meters above the sea level. The high altitude, thin air, freezing temperatures and electricity shortages have hampered the rescue operations. Braving these difficulties, the Chinese authorities led from the front by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabo have mobilised massive rescue and relief work. On hearng about the quake, Prime Minister Wen rushed to the affected areas to supervise the rescue and relief operations mounted by the local authorities, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese Red Cross. President Hu cut short his travel in Latin America and rushed to Yushu to join Wen in supervising the rescue and relief operations.

4. The fact that the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line, which is about 360 kms away from the epi centre, has remained undamaged by the quake has helped the Chinese authorities in rushing relief material and personnel to the affected areas.

5. The rapidity and efficiency with which the Chinese authorities have mobilised the relief operations have been highlighted by the Western media, which look upon it as an indicator of the competence and efficiency of China's disaster relief machinery. They have also seen in the impressive relief operations a Chinese keenness to express their solidarity with the Tibetans at their hour of tragedy and wean them away from their feelings of alienation towards the Hans. In their reports from the quake-hit areas, Chinese media have been projecting those who are engaged in the rescue and relief operations as the Tibetans' " Han uncles" and as the "Han uncles" of the PLA.

6. Large sections of the Han population in the rest of China and China's netizen community (about 380 million) have also rallied to the support of the Tibetans affected by the quake by making donations and appealing for donations from others." Tonight we are all Tibetans," said a message appealing for donations.

7. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed his appreciation of the way the rescue and relief operations have been organised in this area in which His Holiness himself and the previous Panchen Lama were born. His Holiness has also noted with appreciation the role played by Prime Minister Wen in supervising the operations. His Holiness has said in his message: "I also applaud the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas, especially Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has not only personally offered comfort to the affected communities, but has also overseen the relief work. I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to report on the tragedy and its aftermath."

8. The Chinese authorities have welcomed assistance from the international community to supplement their efforts. Messages of sympathy and solidarity with the affected people have been pouring into China. The Government-owned Xinhua news agency has been publishing details of these messages and of the foreign help received. A careful monitoring of these details surprisingly show that India and our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh do not figure in this list. Even the names of Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives and their leaders figure.

9. One is certain India too must have expressed its solidarity and contributed its assistance. If so, why this is being treated in such a low-profile manner? Why are India and our Prime Minister not in the forefront of those in the international community rushing to the assistance of the affected Tibetans? What is preventing or discouraging us from doing so? (19-4-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )