LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (16/02/2021)

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India-China Agreement On Disengagement

The  India-China  agreement  on  disengagement  at  Pangong Tso  in  Ladakh  is  certainly   a  promising  start    towards  peace.  However, stabilising  the  borders  could  take a  long  time.  The  Indian  and  Chinese  troops  are  expected  to   stop  their  forward  positions  on  either  side  of  Pangong  in  a  phased  manner.  The  troops  will  have  to  return  to  the  pre-April  2020  position.  However,  the  surprisingly  hasty  decision   of   China  to   withdraw    its    troops  raises  doubts  about  its    intentions.  What   could have  prompted  China  to  take such   a  hasty  decision ?  It  is  reasonable  to  assume  that  Beijing’s  strategic  move  is  linked  to  the  US  factor  of  interfering  in  the  Ladakh  standoff.  In  spite  of  the  attempts  by  both  countries  to  end  the  row  peacefully   through  dialogue,  talks  between  the  two  sides  remained  in  a  state  of  complete  deadlock.  The  takeaways  are  clear  here: China  has  been  moving  cautiously  since  the  Biden  administration  took  a  decision  on  the  China-centric  Quad   and  Indo-Pacific  strategy.  In  the recent    telephonic  conversation  between  US  President  Joe  Biden  and  Prime  Minister  Narendra Modi,  both  of  them  had  reiterated  their  commitment  to  a  strong  India-US   relationship. China’s  disengagement  could  be  linked  to  deterring  India  from  joining  the  US-led  alliance.  China  wants  to  lessen  the  prospect  of  India  partnering  with    the  new  administration  to  form  an  anti-China  coalition.

VENU  G S, Kollam

On Multipurpose  Cyclone Shelter

A massive multipurpose cyclone shelter, estimated to cost around Rs 4.38 crore, is set to come up at Zuarinagar in Sancoale in the Mormugao talkua. It is learnt that the project will be funded by the World Bank and is expected to be completed by March 2022. This will serve as a major rehabilitation shelter at the time of a natural calamity as Goa is a coastal state and a natural calamity is within the realm of possibility. It is understood that the cyclone shelter would be used during a calamity as also for organising various activities and local functions. It would be desirable to reserve the cyclone shelter only for crisis situations as one can never be sure when a natural calamity will strike. Other activities and social functions can be organised at venues meant for such functions. As and when the Kala Bhavan at Sancoale becomes operational, it can be used for social functions. It is pertinent to note that if (God forbid) a natural calamity like a cyclone does strike the state, there will be very little time available to shift people affected in North Goa to the facility being made available at Sancoale in South Goa.

ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco

Democracy Being Diluted

To prevent India becoming a police state used by the government against the people like the British did and worse, the Supreme Court issued directives in 2006, one of which was on promotions and recruitment. The law must give justice and be applied equally, be you so high or low. No State implemented the directives in letter and spirit. Our politicians fought tooth and nail against it! Fourteen years back Goa did establish a PEB (Police Establishment Board) which had DGP as chairman and specified senior police officers and an SP as member secretary to decide all transfers, promotions, postings, and other service related matters. It is reported that our government created a DPC (Departmental Promotions Committee) to replace PEB with bureaucrats with chairman as Chief Secretary or his nominee, administrative secretary/head of department member etc! This government control is dangerous as can be seen on police brutality unleashed on people trying to exercise their democratic freedom guaranteed to them by their Constitution. The government are erroneously termed ruling party when elected and enforce ruling due control of police by recruitment and promotions based on servitude of police who have vast powers, now used to enforce their writ on hapless citizens. This will be the death of freedom and Democracy! There are draconian laws like UAPA made for terrorists where the courts and citizens are helpless if misused. Even if courts eventually free a citizen wrongly arrested and incarcerated, there is no compensation on earth that can restore personal dignity violated and lost life and freedom behind bars! Today for filling vacancies Goa government has reportedly amended rules to bypass The Goa staff selection Committee. Recruiting and promoting the wrong people in the wrong way sponsored by politicians and vested interests is dangerously counter productive for in more ways than one! There should not be any injustice towards innocent people.

John Eric Gomes, Porvorim