- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

No need to panic

India is worried that foreign investors might get nervous about rebel violence in the south-central part of the country, after U.S. Ambassador David C. Mulford visited the region and asked about a conflict that is nearly 40 years old.

The new ambassador, who arrived in India last week, inquired about a Marxist rebellion by a group known as Naxalites in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, home to much of India’s high-tech industry. The conflict, which began in 1967, has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

“I asked about the political violence … the Naxalite activity, which is a concern for people outside,” he told reporters, referring to foreign investors.

Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee tried to calm nerves over the weekend, calling the rebel violence “manageable.”

“It is for the investors to decide. I’m saying there’s no need for panicking,” he said.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa and Defense Minister Amama Moabazi, who meet State Department officials and business leaders on their weeklong visit.

• Richard Granger, director-general for information technology of Britain’s National Health Service. He addresses the second annual World Health Care Congress.

• Chilean Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza, a candidate for secretary-general of the Organization of American States. He addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

• Gioacchino Polimeni, prosecutor for the Italian Ministry of Justice and director of the U.N. Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute; Francesco Capph, deputy director of the Human Rights Center of Italy’s Pisa University; Domenico Paterna, security adviser for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy; and Marc Otten, managing director of the Netherlands-based Institute for Safety, Security and Crisis Management. They will discuss counterterrorism at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Tomorrow

• Maria Pilan Hernandez, Venezuela’s vice minister of foreign affairs. She addresses the Inter-American Dialogue on tensions in U.S.-Venezuelan affairs.

• Ziad Abu Amr, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council; Ghaith Al-Omari, political adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas; Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former Israeli deputy defense minister; and Eival Gilady, former head of strategic planning of the Israel Defense Forces. They participate in a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution.

Wednesday

• Ludmila Alekseeva, founder and chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, who discusses the erosion of human rights in Russia in a forum at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

• Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov, who addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on Bulgaria’s role in NATO.

• Pekka Haavisto, chairman of the U.N. Environment Program Post-Conflict Assessment Unit, who discusses the environmental impact of war in a forum at Georgetown University.

• Mei Zhaorong, former president of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, who addresses Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Thursday

• Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Nijyar Shemdin of the Kurdish Regional Government. They join a panel discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace to discuss the Iraqi elections.

• Azarius Ruberwa, vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who joins a panel discussion on relations between his country and Rwanda at a forum sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison @washingtontimes.com.

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