Priyanka calls for more help for Rohingya children

1 / 2
Priyanka Chopra visited the Hariakhali camp for Rohingya refugees. Below, at the weekend’s British royal wedding. Photos/social media
2 / 2
Priyanka Chopra highlights plight of Rohingya refugee children in UNICEF visit to Bangladesh. Photo courtesy: Priyanka Chopra Instagram
Updated 23 May 2018
0

Priyanka calls for more help for Rohingya children

  • Violence drove 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh — 60% are children!”
  • Priyanka met children at Unchiprang camp, which is currently home to around 30,000 Rohingyas

DHAKA: Bollywood superstar and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra has been using the power of her fame to focus world leaders’ — and her fans’ — attention on the plight of Rohingya refugee children.
In a post on her official Instagram account, she wrote: “In the second half of 2017, the world saw horrific images of ethnic cleansing from the Rakhine State of Myanmar. This violence drove nearly 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh — 60% are children!”
Priyanka, UNICEF global Goodwill Ambassador, has embarked on a four-day visit to Rohingya children in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  On Monday she reached Dhaka in her bid to witness the plight of Rohingya children with her own eyes and monitor conditions on the ground.
Priyanka’s field trip with UNICEF started early in the morning when she visited the Hariakhali camp of Teknaf subdistrict, in Cox’s Bazar – one of the main entry points for Rohingya refugees.  She spoke to Rohingya children, asking them about living conditions, what schooling they are receiving at the camps and whether they had had proper vaccinations.
“The world needs to care. We need to care. These kids are our future. Please lend your support at www.supportunicef.org,” Priyanka added in her Instagram post.
“She is here to raise global awareness of the issue of Rohingya refugee children,” said Benjamin Steinlechner, UNICEF spokesperson in Cox’s Bazar.  The UNICEF ambassador will return to Dhaka on Thursday after concluding her visit to the refugee camps, Steinlechner told Arab News.
On Tuesday, Priyanka met children at Unchiprang camp, which is currently home to around 30,000 Rohingyas.


Indian cancellation of defense equipment orders hurts investor sentiment: Experts

A tender was withdrawn for short-range surface-to-air missiles, with Israel’s SPYDER system having been the front-runner. Supplied
Updated 21 min 42 sec ago
0

Indian cancellation of defense equipment orders hurts investor sentiment: Experts

  • New Delhi scrapped a $500 million deal for Israel’s Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Israel had agreed to transfer the technology to India, and had set up a factory in a venture with an Indian company
  • Modi wants the country to decrease its reliance on foreign firms, reduce its import bill and manufacture equipment in-house

NEW DELHI: The Indian government’s penchant for canceling or withdrawing tenders for defense equipment at the last minute is likely to hurt investor confidence in the country, experts said on Sunday.
New Delhi called off a $9 billion deal to co-develop with Russia a next-generation fighter aircraft, after the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said it would do the job in-house, Indian media reported this week.
Under the deal, a significant amount of the research would have been carried out in India. Russia had agreed to tailor the aircraft to Indian needs, and was to hand over all the technology, the Economic Times reported.
India is the world’s largest importer of defense equipment, and imports at least 90 percent of its equipment, including parts for assembly.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the country to decrease its reliance on foreign firms, reduce its import bill and manufacture equipment in-house.
But India lacks much of the high-end technology needed for such equipment, which is why deals where foreign partners agree to share technology are useful for its long-term plans, experts say.
When such deals are canceled, “it greatly reduces confidence in India,” said Saurabh Joshi, editor of StratPost Media Pvt Ltd., a defense news website.
“We can’t willy-nilly… accept arguments that a particular equipment can be developed and produced indigenously before such tenders are withdrawn,” he added.
“There should be an adequate test to develop and produce indigenously. Otherwise, we’re simply postponing an acquisition process by 10 to 15 years, and it’s the armed forces that have to go without critical equipment until then.”
Experts say one reason for the government canceling orders could be a lack of funds. The Russian deal is not the only one to be jettisoned recently.
New Delhi scrapped a $500 million deal for Israel’s Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Israel had agreed to transfer the technology to India, and had set up a factory in a venture with an Indian company. The reason given for the cancellation was the same: To develop the missiles indigenously.
A tender was also withdrawn for short-range surface-to-air missiles, with Israel’s SPYDER system having been the front-runner, experts said.
On average, it takes a tender at least six years to go through the various steps before the final purchase order can be placed.
Any company that loses a bid has to account for that time and investment to its head office and its board, Joshi said.