`We will not allow forces of terrorism to destabilise us', says Manmohan Singh
Chennai, Jan.8 (ANI): The threat posed by extremism and terrorism to India's pluralistic and liberal traditions will not be allowed to destabilize the country, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, said here this morning after inaugurating the Seventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
He was speaking in the presence of Chief Guest Ramdien Sardjoe, Vice President of Suriname.
The inaugural was also attended by Angidi Veeriah Chettiar, Vice President of Mauritius, Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karnunanidhi.
Dr. Singh said that several measures have been taken to strengthen national security and that India is working with the international community to ensure that there are no 'safe havens' for terrorists.
Apprising overseas Indians of India's achievements, he reassured them that the fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong and that a growth rate of seven percent is expected for the year.
Stating that India is actively involved in the meetings of the G-20 on a new global financial architecture, he expressed the view that a new structure must be suited to new challenges and reflect changes in the global economic structure.
Dr Singh expressed appreciation of the role played by Indian Americans in the civilian nuclear agreement. Talking about the rising tensions in the Middle East, he reiterated India's support for the Palestinian cause and called for restoration of peace in the region.
Lauding the achievements of people of Indian origin, he said that pluralism and tolerance are deeply embedded traits of Indian culture.
He urged overseas Indians to participate in the 'great adventure' of human development in a free and open society. The Prime Minister announced that holders of Overseas Citizen of India card with professional qualifications - doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, architects and chartered accountants - would now have the benefit of practicing their professions in India.
Dr Singh also launched the Global Indian Knowledge Network to serve as a virtual think tank and for sharing development ideas and knowledge of the diaspora.
Three books were unveiled during the inaugural, including a photographic book on the Indian diaspora, and manuals on FDI and taxation for overseas Indians. For overseas Indian workers, the Prime Minister announced a comprehensive e-governance project on emigration, which will issue smart cards to all workers and transform the emigration process.
Sardjoe said that Suriname had recently commemorated the 135th anniversary of the arrival of indentured Indian labour to the country.
He stressed that Indians had participated in Suriname's political life, which is based on the Indian philosophy of brotherhood, peace, and harmony. Suriname has strong relations with India and cooperation exists across sectors such as education, health, energy, tourism, etc.
The global crisis can be countered by partnerships, and Suriname is strategically placed to access the entire South American continent. The Vice President reiterated his country's support to India for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, and on all global forums to counter terrorism in all its forms, he added.
Ravi stressed that the overseas Indian community of 25 million in 110 countries constitutes a significant economic, social and cultural force.
He said that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was established in 2004 as a nodal point and institutional framework for all matters pertaining to overseas Indians, and has implemented all announced initiatives.
The Minister said that a new strategic engagement must now be evolved to address the role of special groups in the diaspora and increased connectivity of overseas Indian youth with India. A conference of parliamentarians of Indian origin is proposed to be organized shortly, announced the Minister.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi, welcomed delegates to the state, and said that India's diversity had helped Indians to assimilate into other societies.
He stressed that India and China are the key to revival of the global economy. He also said that Tamil Nadu, a state with abundant technical manpower and well-developed industrial base, could provide the lead for India in this endeavor.
He said MoUs signed with MNCs involve an investment of Rs 32100 crores with an employment potential of 195000 persons. He urged delegates to share the potential of the state and India as an investment destination.
"Each one of you will be our Ambassador," he concluded. (ANI)
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