Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 29, 2011

Newsline: India shuts down Embassy in strife-torn Libya

India has shut down its Embassy in strife-torn Libya. The Indian Ambassador to Libya, M Manimekalai, will operate from Djerba in Tunisia. Libya has been witnessing violent clashes for the past few weeks between Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and rebels, who want the over 40-year rule of Gaddafi to end. A United Nations Security Council vote has authorised the use of force in Libya and NATO forces led by the United States of America have enforced a no-fly zone over the country. They have also been bombing the strongholds of Gaddafi’s forces. However, the rebels were stopped in their tracks as they tried to continue a rapid advance toward the capital Tripoli.



Newsline: Pakistanis furious as UAE consulate fails to meet demand for passports

Pakistanis living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed annoyance over the indifferent attitude of their government to requests to ease passport renewal services. Applicants gathered outside the Consulate General in Dubai and the Embassy in Abu Dhabi at midnight to collect tokens for their turn to submit their applications. All tokens are distributed at 7 a.m. while people, especially families, who go to the missions during normal working hours have found themselves failing to submit their applications. Tariq Iqbal Soomoro, the Consul-General, said he felt sorry for hundreds of Pakistanis waiting in queues. He said he was doing the best he could with the available space and staff.



Newsline: Filipino workers’ group calls Embassy Officials in Japan ‘Inutile’

An overseas Filipino workers’ group in Japan warned President Benigno S. Aquino III that they would hold him responsible should something bad would happen to a Filipino, working and residing in the country in the wake of the earthquake that hit the country, resulting to a probable nuclear meltdown. “We have similar demands from both Philippine and Japanese governments to help our fellow Filipinos. But much is expected from the Philippine government who is benefiting so much from OFW remittances,” Butch Pongos of Migrante Japan said. Fukushima, Pongos said, is one of the places in Japan where Filipino population is highly concentrated. There are 2,366 Filipinos in Fukushima, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported. Migrante Japan said the government and Philippine embassy officials “remain wishy-washy” in laying down its immediate evacuation plan for its citizens living within the 20 kilometer radius from the Fukushima nuclear reactor. The OFW group said it seemed that the government is “leaving the fate of its citizens in the hands of Japanese authorities” as the latter promised to help all individuals including foreign residents. “The purpose of the embassy is to protect its nationals until they are naturalized. We would not stop holding the government accountable for the welfare of Filipinos in Japan,” Pongos said. The DFA said there are 305,972 Filipinos in Japan, where about 224,558 are living in its central and northern region. Migrante Japan, for its part, estimates about 10,000 to 20,000 Filipinos in Northern Japan, mostly marriage migrants, entertainers, trainees and factory workers.