ASEAN ‘central’ in security architecture of Asia-Pacific region: VK Singh

Manila [Philippines], August 6 (ANI): Addressing Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh said that ASEAN occupies a central place in the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region and the ability to harmonize larger interests of the world beyond it.


Singh made the opening remarks at the 15th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Manila where Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their counterparts from other Asian and Pacific nations will discuss security issues of the Asia Pacific region.


“From the Indian perspective, ASEAN occupies a central place in the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region. It is our view that precisely because ASEAN represents the cultural, commercial and physical cross-roads of the region, it has a unique ability to reflect and harmonize larger interests of the world beyond it,” Singh said.


“During these 50 years, ASEAN had put behind it many of the post-decolonization debates of this region. It navigated the Cold War very adeptly to usher in an era of high economic growth that served as a model to others. Weathering the impact of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, it then went on to expand its footprint through the East Asia Summit process,” Singh further said.


“It is my privilege to be participating in this Special ASEAN India Foreign Ministers Meeting. I compliment Philippines for the excellent arrangements and hospitality extended to me and my delegation. I look forward to attending the Grand ceremony on 8th August to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Bangkok Declaration which gave rise to ASEAN,” he added.


Elaborating about the India-Philippines bilateral ties, Singh said, “On our 25th anniversary, the flower of our relationship, which spans thirty dialogue mechanisms including an annual summit and seven ministerial dialogues, is in full blossom, with the strategic, political, economic and cultural petals aglow.”


Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their counterparts from other Asian and Pacific nations will meet in the Philippines from Sunday to Tuesday to tackle regional issues. (ANI)

Vijender Singh dedicates his ‘Battleground Asia’ victory towards India-China peace

New Delhi [India], August 6 (ANI): Boxer Vijender Singh, who on Saturday defeated China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali in the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight title, has dedicated the victory towards peace and harmony between India and China, more particularly in the backdrop of the Doklam stand-off.


“Want to dedicate this victory towards peace and harmony between India and China! Jai hind,” Vijender Singh took to Twitter on late Saturday night.


Singh earlier in the day maintained his unbeaten streak by defeating Maimaitiali.


Singh won his second title and ninth consecutive pro bout as he beat his Chinese opponent on points by a unanimous decision.


He, however, returned the title saying, “I don’t want this title, because I don’t want tension at the border (between India and China).”


Speaking about the much-awaited encounter, Vijender had earlier trolled his opponent and said that he would try to finish the bout as soon as possible as “Chinese products don’t last long”.


Vijender, who has remained unbeaten since his debut in professional boxing, has also fought eight bouts, last one being against former world number one boxer Francis Cheka from Tanzania where he defended his title.


Vijender clinched his first title in July 2016 against Kerry Hope of Australia, becoming the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion. He has 30 rounds under his belt, which gives him a slight edge over his opponent, who has fought 24 rounds till now. (ANI)

Jadeja’s fifer spins India to innings-win in Colombo Test

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 6 (ANI): A five-wicket haul from Ravindra Jadeja helped India beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 53-runs in the Colombo Test on Sunday, thus taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.


Following on Day Four at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), Sri Lanka came out with a spirited performance and showed some signs of promise in their second innings. However, they suffered another batting collapse and were ultimately bundled out for 386, thus handing India yet another comprehensive win.


The hosts, who displayed a shambolic batting performance in the first innings and got for 183, showed great fightback in the second, courtesy inspiring batting performances from Kusal Mendis (110) and Dimuth Karunaratne (141).


Both the batters scored terrific centuries and made the Indian bowlers toil hard on the SSC wicket which went on getting slower with the passage of time.


However, once the duo got, followed by the wicket of Angelo Mathews (36) and Niroshan Dickwella (31), it was rather easy for the Indian bowlers to get past the tail.


Jadeja, the no. 1 ranked bowler and all-rounder in the world, was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked up yet another five-wicket ball. He was well supported by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-132), Hardik Pandya (2-31). Umesh Yadav also chipped in with a wicket.


Jadeja was adjudged the Man of the Match for his match figures of 7-236 in 61 overs apart from unbeaten 70 with the bat in the first innings.


In the first innings, he had completed 150 wickets in Test cricket with two wickets in 32 Tests. He is the fastest left-arm bowler to the mark.


Earlier in the game, India continued their dominance over the host on day one of the second Test after registering a historic win at Galle.


The visitors posted a gigantic first-innings score of 622/9 declared, courtesy centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132). Apart from the two, Ashwin (54), Wriddhiman Saha (67), Lokesh Rahul (57) and Jadeja (70*) contributed to the score.


This was India’s eighth consecutive Test series win.


Virat Kohli’s men will now the play the final Test beginning August 12 before starting off with the five-match ODI series and a lone T20. (ANI)

Colombo Test: Mendis, Karunaratne lead Lanka’s fight back against India

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Aug.5 (ANI): Indian bowlers were seen struggling against Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne, as Sri Lanka staged a strong fight back to reach 209-2 at stumps after being asked to follow-on the third day of the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Saturday.


After being bundled out for 183 in the first innings, Sri Lanka displayed great character and fight to get back on track, thanks to brilliant knocks from Mendis (110) and Dimuth Karunaratne (92 not out).


The duo also stitched a huge 191-run knock for the second wicket to to defy the Indians.


At stumps, Lanka reduced their trail to 230 in the follow-on, with Malinda Pushpakumara (unbeaten at two) also batting at the crease alongside Karunaratne.


For India, Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav managed to clinch only a wicket each.


Earlier, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped a five-wicket haul as India bowled out Sri Lanka for 183 in their first innings on Day Three.


Resuming at yesterday’s score of 50-2, Sri Lanka continued their poor show on the third day as well as they struggled hard against India ‘s bowling attack.


Niroshan Dickwella was the only one to wage the lone battle as he struck a 51-run knock, his quickest Test fifty off 44 balls, before being dismissed off Mohammed Shami’s delivery.


Ashwin, who bagged two wickets on Day Two, picked up his 26th five-wicket haul while Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami took two each. Umesh also chipped in with a wicket. (ANI)

Guidance notes on GST will be released soon: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi [ India], August 5 (ANI): Guidance notes on GST will be released in public domain soon. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured this on Friday in Lok Sabha.


Jaitely said, “The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has received reports from sixteen out of the eighteen sectoral groups as approved by the council in its 14th meeting held in May this year; based on the inputs received, the GST Law Committee comprising of officers of the Central and State Governments have drafted guidance notes which will be released in public domain.”


In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said that each sectoral group has obtained feedback from the trade and industry and also held meetings with the various stakeholders and various Joint Secretary level nodal officers from various ministries.


Based on the evaluation received, the sectoral groups have prepared their reports on the basis of which, the Law Committee has finalized Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on eight sectors; these FAQs have been released in public domain.


The eighteen sectoral groups are banking, financial and insurance sector, telecommunication, exports including EOUs and SEZs, IT/ITES, transport and logistics, textiles and footwear, MSMEs, including job work, oil and gas, gems and jewellery, services received and provided by the Government, food processing sector, E-commerce, big infrastructure, travel and tourism, handicrafts (exports), media and entertainment, drugs, pharmaceuticals and Mining.


The GST is believed to be the biggest economic reform since independence and it has been implemented with the aim of introducing the economy to ‘one nation, one tax’ structure. (ANI)