Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is America a Friend?

Please have a look at following incidents and tell me if America is Friend or Not?
This Friend of Dear Prime Minister, for this he put his government on test and ditched long time trusted friend.
America can be best friend of Mr. Prime Minister and his team( I call them Team ManMohan), prominent among them is Montek Singh.
Government unhappy with US response to troubles of Indian diplomats.
NEW DELHI: Reacting to the forced labour suit brought against Indian consul general in New York Prabhu Dayal , the government here protested against what it called the targeting of the country's diplomats in the US, subtly cautioning that it could sour public opinion and have repercussions for ties. Trashing as "motivated and baseless" the charge that Dayal forced his Indian domestic help to work like a slave, the foreign ministry said, "We are disappointed and deeply concerned that Indian diplomats and their family members should be targeted in such a manner in a friendly country like the US." It added, "Such actions impede the ability of the individuals in question to discharge their official responsibilities as well as cause untold mental harassment and anguish. These incidents cannot be dismissed lightly."

India to issue another warning to US on hike of professional visa fees

NEW DELHI: India will issue yet another warning to the United States on the non-compatibility of the recent hike in professional visa fees and imposition of additional import taxes on government purchases with World Trade Organisation, or WTO, rules. Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma will take up the issue with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk later this week. "We are seriously pursuing the issue with the US government as we feel that both the measures violate global trade rules. The minister will discuss the issue at length with the USTR," a commerce department official told ET. Sharma is scheduled to meet Kirk in Washington DC on Wednesday.

India had issued a non-paper or an informal communication to the US earlier this year stating that both the measures, that were part of the country's attempt to fund its enhanced border security plan and health programme for 9/11 victims, flouted multilateral trade norms of the WTO. The US, however, is yet to respond to the communication. "The minister will try to drive home the point that we are not willing to let go of the issue as the measures have a significant negative impact on Indian business," the official said, adding that the commerce ministry is in consultation with WTO lawyers and is preparing the ground for filing a case if required. The US increased professional visa fees (H-1B and L-1 visa) by a minimum $ 2,000 for all US-based companies that have more than half of their employees on such visas till 2015. It would mostly affect Indian IT firms, like Infosys and Wipro , and is expected to cost them $200 million annually.

Sari Situation: Indian Ambassador Pat Down

The Indian government is fuming this week after its ambassador to Washington was subjected a TSA pat-down at a Mississippi airport.
"This is unacceptable to India," said External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, according to the BBC. "We are going to take it up with the U.S. government, and I hope things could be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not recur."
According to the Indian embassy in Washington, Ambassador Meera Shankar was selected for secondary screening Dec. 4 at the Jackson-Evers International Airport, where she was catching a flight to Baltimore after attending a conference at Mississippi State University.
A university official quoted the ambassador as vowing never to return to Mississippi as a result of the incident, according to the Associated Press.
"The U.S. State Department has reached out to the ambassador and has regretted what had happened," Virander Paul, a spokesman for the Indian embassy, told ABC News.
Some reports have suggested that Ambassador Shankar was selected for the hands-on pat-down because she was wearing a sari, a traditional Indian wrap-around dress. Today, the Transportation Security Administration defended the actions of its officers.

TSA : Indian woman ambassador to US patted down and ill-treated in Mississippi airport

The security check procedure i.e. TSA being followed in US Airports is being criticized by the air passengers in US. Now, the Indian Ambassador to the US Meera ShankarShankar, the top most diplomat of India in US, was subjected to this rigorous security check of being patted down, despite her diplomatic status. This incident has created a public outcry in India. She was pulled from an airport security line and patted down by an American security agent at the Jackson- Evers International Airport Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status on December 4. The sari-clad Indian woman diplomat felt humiliated as she was subjected to the hands-on search.
This incident happened even when Shankar presented her diplomatic papers to officers and was escorted by a Mississippi Development Authority representative and an airport security officer. She was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University's programme.
The Clarion-Ledger security agents told Meera Shankar she was singled out because she was wearing a sari, which the paper notes is as "a traditional Indian robe that is draped across the body." As the airport does not yet have full-body scanner, she was subjected to the thorough pat-down.

Another Indian diplomat 'patted down' at airport

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) India has taken up the issue of another of its senior diplomats being 'patted down' at an American airport, this time involving India's permanent representative to United Nations Hardeep Puri.
"I have taken it up with the US authorities. And the matter is at that stage," External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters after the second such incident surfaced Monday. Hardeep Puri was asked to remove his turban during a security check at Houston, and was also kept in a 'holding room' for over half an hour, despite showing his diplomatic credentials."Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has also given an indication to the fact that they are going to revisit some of these procedures, particularly with reference to diplomatic corps of other countries," added Krishna.The latest incident comes just two days after the US deputy chief of mission Donald Lu was summoned by New Delhi to protest against a similar 'pat down' of the Indian envoy Meera Shankar this month.Lu was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs Saturday and conveyed India's "strong concerns" over the "pat down" search that Meera Shankar was subjected to at the Jackson-Evers International Airport Dec 4 after her visit as a guest of the Mississippi State University.According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Shankar was singled out from a group of 30 passengers and pulled aside. Witnesses told the paper that she was chosen as she was wearing a sari, and was patted down despite her diplomatic passport.Krishna had described Shankar's experience as "unacceptable". "We are going to take it up with the government of US that such unpleasant incidents do not recur," the minister had told reporters outside parliament Thursday.He had said there were "certain well-established conventions, well-established practices as to how members of diplomatic corps are treated in a given country". US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns had even made a personal call to Shankar to apologise for the incident.Former Indian diplomats have reacted to the latest incident by pointing out that there should be reciprocal treatment of foreign envoys in India."The issue is not just of diplomats, but also of our Sikh brethren, whose issue we had taken up several times," former Indian ambassador to US, Ronen Sen told Times Now television channel.

Barack Obama targets outsourcing again

WASHINGTON: Stepping up his campaign against outsourcing, US President Barack Obama on Friday asserted his administration would offer tax benefits only to those firms which will create jobs in the country, a move that may hit Indian IT firms in a big way.
"We believe on tax breaks for those firms that create jobs in the US. So we are beginning to do that," Obama said at a press conference here.
His remarks came close on the heels of the Ohio state governor passing an executive order to ban outsourcing, a development that has raised concerns in India which is often described as the world's back office.

Obama calls outsourcing to India unfair practice

Washington: Accusing US companies outsourcing business to India of following unfair business practices, President Barack Obama says his proposal to tax firms shipping jobs overseas was only intended to provide a level playing field.
"If you are a business here, entirely located in the United States, and investing in the United States, and hiring workers in the United States, you are paying a 35 percent rate," he said in an Oval office interview with Bloomberg/Businessweek.
"If you are a multinational and you are investing in India, and your workforce is in India, and your plants and equipment are in India, but your headquarters are here, you are taking deductions on all the expenses in India, but you are keeping your profits outside the United States, that just doesn't seem entirely fair," Obama said.
"The same is true where you have companies that have 90 percent of their sales in the United States, but are posting 90 percent of their profits overseas."
"You get a sense there that the accountants have been busy," he said, suggesting that these companies were taking unfair advantage of current tax laws.
Obama said taking note of "some legitimate concerns" about a similar proposal last year, "we made modifications around some of these proposals."

China, India are grabbing future jobs: Obama

US risks losing out to India, China: Obama

I do not see anything friendly in these events. If Team ManMoham sees friendly ties, then nation has ( India) has right to see differently. These are definitely no friendly incidents.

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