M A I N   N E W S

Indians abroad celebrate I-Day

Washington, August 15
Indians living abroad, right from America to China, today celebrated the 59th Independence Day by participating in flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes. The national tricolour was unfurled and President A.P.J. Abdul Kalamís message read out at diplomatic missions in several countries.

Cultural programmes by children of NRIís marked the occasion. At Indian missions in the USA where a 20 lakh-strong Indian-American community resides, traditional flag hoisting ceremonies were held and children sang patriotic songs.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, High Commissioner R.L. Narain hoisted the tricolour and read out the Presidentís speech. At least 130 persons took part in the celebrations.

A group of Indian tourists, vacationing in Malaysia, also came to the India House to salute the flag. In neighbouring Bangkok, Ambassador Vivek Katdju read out the speech and a choir group sang patriotic songs.

Indian missions in Hanoi, Manila, Singapore, Yangon, Vientianne, Phnom Penh and Jakarta also celebrated Independence Day.

In Beijing, the Chinese capital, Indians gathered at the Indian Embassy where Ambassador Nalin Surie hoisted the national flag. This was followed by the singing of national anthem.

Surie read out the Presidentís address to the nation in which he stressed the importance of energy independence for the worldís second most populous nation.

The Independence Day was also marked in Shanghai, Chinaís commercial hub in a grand way. Consul General of India in Shanghai, Sujan Chinoy held a big reception for 275 persons at which senior government officials, including the Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Zhou Taitong attended. The Independence Day was also marked in Hong Kong by the Consulate General of India where a large number of Indians gathered and witnessed the unfurling of the national flag.

In Islamabad, Indian High Commissioner Shivshankar Menon hoisted the national tricolour and read out the Presidentís address to the nation.

Deputy High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan, senior diplomats, staff and their families attended the function held in the premises of the high commission.

In Kathmandu, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shanker Mukherjee hoisted the tricolour and read out the Presidentís address to over 2,000 persons, including diplomats, teachers, journalists and Indian nationals who attended the function at the embassy ground in Lainchaur.

Mukherjee also handed over four buses to schools in the Himalayan kingdom, while Consul General of India in Birgunj gifted two buses to two schools in the border areas.

The Ambassador also gifted books to 20 schools, libraries and various other organisations. In Israel, Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh unfurled the national flag at a function in the embassy in Tel Aviv which witnessed an unprecedented response from the Indian community.

ďI am proud of my Indian heritage where there is no anti-semitism,Ē said Noah Massil the President of Central Organisation of Indian Jews in Israel. Over 40 lakh Indians living in the Gulf marked the 59th Independence day with enthusiasm.

In Abu Dhabi, the national tricolor was unfurled by Amabassador C.M. Bhandari. In Dubai, the tricolor was unfurled by Yash Sinha, the Consul-General in Dubai in the presence of more than 3,000 Indian nationals.

After the flag unfurling, the Consul-General read out the Presidentís address to the nation to the assembled gathering. This was followed by an hour-long cultural programme in which children and artistes from various Indian schools and socio-cultural organisations sang patriotic songs and performed dances.

Flag hosting was also held at the five Northern Emirates. While in Oman, the Indian Ambassador Ashok Kumar Attri hoisted the national flag and read the Presidentís address at a public ceremony at the Indian School, Muscat. ó PTI

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