Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for India

Newsline: Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments

The audits in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya were ordered after a probe found Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7M over 12 years. Audits of five Canadian embassies operating in “higher fraud-risk environments” have found cases of questionable procurement practices, undocumented payments for work, and sky-high levels of overtime for drivers. The audits were ordered after a 2016 investigation discovered that Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7 million over 12 years through inflated supply contracts and diverted materials. The government fired 17 locally recruited employees over the case. Management audits were conducted on Canadian embassies in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya, as well as on Canada’s embassy in South Korea as a low-risk environment for comparison purposes. The audit on the Nigeria embassy was the most damning, concluding that protocols around “finance, procurement, contracting, revenues, and asset management were not consistently followed and some key controls were not in place or were circumvented.” Several dubious payments were found, including one case where the contract was signed after the work had already commenced, another where the overtime was paid at a higher rate than in the contract, and another where the value of the contract was “significantly exceeded without a contract amendment.”

Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments, ballooning overtime costs

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Newsline: Costa Rica Ambassador Moves To Bengaluru To Save Herself From ‘Toxic’ Delhi Air

While the pollution level in the national capital continues to remain ‘extremely unhealthy’ forcing many to leave the city, the Costa Rican ambassador to India, Mariela Cruz Alvarez, has moved to Bengaluru after developing respiratory illness. She recently took to Facebook to call her stay in Delhi the ‘worst experience’ of her life. “My experience of filthy air in Delhi is the worst experience I have ever had in my life. My lungs hurt, can’t breathe well. Feverish and fatigued. This is no fun and 20 millions of people are breathing that poison now up north, including some dear friends. The basic right to clean air is a Human Right. The Indian government needs to make radical decisions here in India NOW. Leadership is about taking care of the people.That is #1 priority,” Alvarez wrote.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/costa-rica-ambassador-moves-to-bengaluru-to-save-herself-from-toxic-delhi-air-sa/304421

Newsline: Indian embassy in US told to report beating of Sikh

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the Indian Embassy in the US for a report on the alleged beating of a Sikh boy in the Washington State. According to news reports, the 14-year-old Sikh boy was punched and knocked down by his classmate in the Washington State with his father claiming that his son was targeted because he is of Indian descent. “I have seen news reports about the beating of a Sikh boy in US. I have asked the Indian Embassy in the US to send me a report on the incident,” Swaraj said in a tweet.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/swaraj-asks-indian-embassy-in-us-for-report-on-beating-of-sikh/articleshow/61503923.cms

Newsline: Indian Consulate warns students after assaul in Italy

Indian students have been assaulted in a string of incidents in northern Italy, the Indian Consulate in Milan has said. The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Milan on Monday issued an advisory to Indian students and asked them not to panic. “The Consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan,” according to the advisory posted on Twitter. The advisory did not mention if the attacks on Indian students appeared to be racially motivated. The CGI advised Indian students to be in touch with each other, especially when they go out.

Indian students assaulted in Italy: Consulate

Newsline: Myanmar consul general killed in road accident in India

The consul general of Myanmar was killed and three others critically injured in a road accident in Giridih district of Jharkhand. Senior police officials said Pyi Soe, the Myanmar consulate general based in Kolkata, was returning from Gaya in Bihar with his wife and one official after a personal tour when their SUV was hit by a truck near Miniyaghat in Giridih around 11am. The mishap occurred at National Highway 2. Policemen in Ranchi and Giridih said Soe and others were travelling in a Toyota Innova. It was near Galijori More near Nimiyaghat in Dumri block when a motorcycle ahead of the car took an abrupt left turn. The car sharply turned left to avoid hitting the bike and skidded into the opposite lane of NH-2.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/myanmar-consulate-general-killed-in-road-accident-in-jharkhand/articleshow/61271094.cms

Newsline: India says its embassy in Pyongyang will remain open

India today informed the US that it has “minimal” trade with North Korea, and that there was a small Indian embassy in Pyongyang which should stay there so that some channels of communication remain open. The issue figured during talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “The fact is that we do have an embassy there even though it is very small,” said Swaraj, responding to a query on whether India would downgrade ties with Pyongyang in light of US attempts to rein in Kim Jong Un diplomatically. “Our trade with North Korea can at best be described as minimal. I told Secretary Tillerson that some countries which are friendly to US should continue to maintain their embassies as it will allow channels of communication to remain open,” added Swaraj.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/include-patels-in-obc-quota-gain-support-hardik-patel-to-congress/articleshow/61236188.cms

Newsline: India urged to open Luxembourg embassy

Luxembourg needs firmer trade relations with India and the world’s second-most populous nation should open an embassy in the Grand-Duchy, the head of the Indian Business Chamber Luxembourg (IBCL) said. “The message from Luxembourg to India is we would like to welcome official representation,” IBCL President Pedro Castilho told a gathering of around 500 people in Mondorf in south-eastern Luxembourg on Saturday night. “That means opening an embassy.” India currently runs an embassy for Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union from Brussels. It was established in 1948 and is led by Ambassador Gairti Issar Kumar.

https://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/diwali-event-india-should-open-luxembourg-embassy-trade-group-says-59ec948456202b51b13c5a57