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PM Modi urges people to check facts before sharing on social media

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday emphasized the need to create awareness against fake news. He said that social media cannot be underestimated and that a small piece of fake news generated by it can create chaos. He also appealed to people to check facts before sharing messages on social media.

Addressing a ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Haryana of home ministers of states via video conferencing, PM Modi said, “For the safety and rights of law-abiding citizens, stringent action against negative forces is our responsibility. A small piece of fake news can kick up a storm across the nation…We will have to educate people to think before forwarding anything, verify before believing it…” He said people must be made aware of the various mechanisms that are now available on all social media platforms to verify messages before forwarding them.

“Fact check of fake news is a must. Technology plays a big role in this. People must be made aware of mechanisms to verify messages before forwarding them,” the prime minister said.

Prime Minister also said that one should not limit social media to being the source of information as a piece of single fake news has the capability to snowball into a matter of national concern.The Prime Minister said during the reservation issue, the country had to face losses due to fake news. He said people should think 10 times before forwarding any messages on social media.

He stressed on the need to educate people about analyzing and verifying information before forwarding it on social media platforms.Emphasizing the internal security of the country, Prime Minister said India needs to defeat the threats that are arising from Naxalism be it “gun-toting or pen-wielding”.

“In past few years, all governments have acted responsibly to demolish ground network of terror…We need to handle it by combining our forces. We will have to defeat all forms of Naxalism – be it gun-totting or pen-wielding, we will have to find a solution for all of them,” PM said.

Highlighting the importance of having a smart law and order system as par with advanced technologies, PM Modi said the agencies have to be 10 steps ahead of the crime world.

He said, “Today the nature of crimes is changing. We need to understand the new age technologies. We entered the 5G era. Hence we need to be more vigilant,” Prime Minister said.With 5G technology, PM said there will be manifold improvement in facial recognition technology, automatic number plate recognition technology, drone and CCTV technology.

“With the advancement in 5G technology, awareness is equally important. It is to be ensured that India’s law and order system becomes smart. Technology not only helps in the prevention of crimes but also in crime investigation. We will have to be 10 steps ahead of the crime world,” he said.

PM said there is a need to have a positive perspective. He called for improved synergy among the police stations with cooperation, rapport and a streamlined mechanism.

In order to improve the efficiency of the police and strengthen law and order, Prime Minister said the interconnectedness between the police of different states is an important aspect.

He said, “Law and order is not restricted to one state now. Crime is turning interstate and international. With technology, criminals now have increased their power to commit crimes. Criminals beyond the border are misusing technology. Be it cybercrime or the usage of drone technology for the smuggling of weapons or drugs, we will have to keep working on new technology for them.”

The coordination between agencies of all states and between central and state agencies is essential, PM said.This Chintan Shivir of home ministers in Surajkund Prime Minister said is an excellent example of cooperative federalism. He said States can learn from each other, take inspiration from each other and work together for the betterment of the country.

He said the next 25 years will be for the creation of an ‘amrit peedhi’. This ‘amrit peedhi’ will be created by imbibing the resolutions of ‘Panch Pran’ – creation of a developed India, freedom from all colonial mindset, pride in heritage, unity, and most importantly, citizen duty.The two-day Chintan Shivir is being held at Surajkund, Haryana. Home Secretaries and Director Generals of Police (DGPs) of the States and Director Generals of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Central Police Organisations (CPOs) attended the Chintan Shivir.

According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement, the Chintan Shivir of Home Ministers is an endeavour to provide a national perspective to policy formulation on internal security-related matters. The Shivir, in the spirit of cooperative federalism, will bring more synergy in planning and coordination between various stakeholders at the centre and state levels.The Shivir will deliberate on issues like modernization of police forces, cybercrime management, increased use of IT in the criminal justice system, land border management, coastal security, women safety, drug trafficking, among others, added the statement. – Statesman/ANN



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Pakistan’s ex-president, Pervez Musharraf dies aged 79

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(picture BBC)

BBC reported that Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, has died aged 79.

The former leader – who was president between 2001 and 2008 – died after a long illness, a statement from the country’s army said.

He had survived numerous assassination attempts, and found himself on the front line of the struggle between militant Islamists and the West.

He supported the US “war on terror” after 9/11 despite domestic opposition.

In 2008 he suffered defeat in the polls and left the country six months later.

When he returned in 2013 to try to contest the election, he was arrested and barred from standing. He was charged with high treason and was sentenced to death in absentia only for the decision to be overturned less than a month later.

He left Pakistan for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and had been living in exile in the country ever since.

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The 75th Anniversary of National Independence celebrated under the patronage of President, PM

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(picture Presidents Media)

The 75th National Independence Day celebration was held under the theme “Namo Namo Mata – A Step towards the Century”, under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Saturday morning (04) at Galle Face Green.

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Lanka sovereign bond holders write to the IMF

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ECONOMYNEXT –Sri Lanka’s bondholders have written to the International Monetary Fund expressing their willingness to engage in debt re-structuring talks but also raising matters related to the domestic debt re-structuring and economic assumptions and forecasts.

The group, styling itself as the “Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka Bondholders (the Bondholder Group) has written last week to the IMF Managing Director from New York said inter alia that the Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.

The letter concluded with the paragraph: Recognizing the important commitments made by India in the India Letter, the Sri Lankan authorities will apply the principle of comparable treatment in respect of the debt relief requested and obtained from all their remaining official bilateral creditors.

Following is the text of the letter:

NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2023

Dear Managing Director Georgieva,The Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka Bondholders (the “Bondholder Group”) acknowledges the Sri Lankan authorities’ engagement with their official creditors towards a resolution of the current crisis and restoration of debt sustainability.

The Bondholder Group further acknowledges that such engagement has recently resulted in the Government of India (in its letter to the IMF, dated January 16, 2023 (the “India Letter”)) delivering letters of financing assurances, committing to support Sri Lanka and contribute to its efforts to restore debt sustainability by providing debt relief and financing consistent with the IMF Extended Fund Facility Arrangement (the “IMF Programme”) and the IMF Programme targets indicated in the India Letter.

Similarly, the Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.

Based on the limited information available to us at this time, including information contained in the India Letter, we understand that the IMF Programme’s debt sustainability targets are identified as

(i) reducing the ratio of public debt to GDP to 95% by 2032,

(ii) limiting the central government’s annual gross financing needs to GDP ratio to 13% in the period between 2027 and 2032, and central government annual foreign currency debt service at 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032 and

(iii) closing of the external financing gap.

The Bondholder Group hereby confirms it is prepared to engage, through its Steering Committee, with the Sri Lankan authorities in restructuring negotiations consistent with the parameters of an IMF Programme and the targets specified therein (the “IMF Programme Targets”), which the Bondholder Group understands to be the targets identified in the India Letter; it being recognized that these negotiations will necessarily be further informed by the receipt of the forthcoming DSA.

We would note that the finalization of an agreement will also be subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

The central government’s domestic debt – defined as debt governed by local law – is reorganized in a manner that both ensures debt sustainability and safeguards financial stability.

Assuming that annual gross financing needs should not exceed 13% of GDP in the period between 2027 and 2032, whilst allowing for central government annual foreign currency debt service to reach 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032, domestic gross financing should therefore be limited at 8.5% of GDP for the period 2027-2032.

While we recognize that the determination of the economic assumptions underpinning the IMF Programme Targets is ultimately the responsibility of the IMF and that the overall design of the IMF Programme is one that is negotiated between the IMF and Sri Lanka, it is nevertheless important that the Bondholder Group has the opportunity to express its views on both the economic assumptions underpinning these IMF Programme Targets and the adequacy and feasibility of the adjustment efforts contemplated under the IMF Programme.

When considering any restructuring proposal that is made to the Bondholder Group, it is the Bondholder Group’s intention to take into consideration the extent to which the economic assumptions and the adjustment efforts are consistent with these views.

Recognizing the important commitments made by India in the India Letter, the Sri Lankan authorities will apply the principle of comparable treatment in respect of the debt relief requested and obtained from all their remaining official bilateral creditors.

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