Indian ocean – Gurugama http://gurugama.org/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 22:25:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://gurugama.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/favicon-16.png Indian ocean – Gurugama http://gurugama.org/ 32 32 Indian foreign policy jazz is parting ways http://gurugama.org/indian-foreign-policy-jazz-is-parting-ways/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 22:25:29 +0000 http://gurugama.org/indian-foreign-policy-jazz-is-parting-ways/ On two consecutive Fridays this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met both the “dog” and the “hare” of international politics. Last Friday, Modi hosted a virtual summit with the eight members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) led by China and Russia. Last Friday, he joined the leaders of the Quad in Washington – […]]]>

On two consecutive Fridays this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met both the “dog” and the “hare” of international politics.

Last Friday, Modi hosted a virtual summit with the eight members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) led by China and Russia. Last Friday, he joined the leaders of the Quad in Washington – the coalition made up of India, Japan, Australia and the United States.

The two groups are obviously rivals. Whatever India may say, the very purpose of the Quad is to contain and hinder China. And the SCO is the response of China and Russia to American hegemony.

The two groups also defend very different things: unlike the Quad, many SCO countries are partners of the Taliban, including China, Pakistan and Iran (which is an observer to the SCO). In addition, the Quad talks about promoting the values ​​of democracy, international law and freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Russia and China are allergic to democracy and, for all intents and purposes, promote a “power is good” approach to international politics.

So what exactly is India doing, having lunch with one group and dinner with the other?

Being part of competing and contradictory multilateral coalitions is not necessarily a bad thing in itself. The problem arises when you sit down with all of them without a coherent political goal – or, at the very least, a clear idea of ​​why you’re even there in the first place.

If India believes its values ​​and interests are better aligned with those of China and Russia, for example, it can use its Quad membership to promote those values ​​- and negotiate for those interests – among its rivals. there (or vice versa).

But whether India has such clarity is highly questionable. For the most part, as I argued in my last book, India appears to be ‘flying blind’. He called for action against Pakistan on terrorism while conducting military counterterrorism exercises at the SCO (of which Pakistan is a member). He has publicly worried about the “threat from China” while being shy about any military alliance that could help correct his huge power differential with China.

The greatest risk of being part of rival groups without a clearly articulated policy is that India risks losing confidence and influence on both sides. Influence is acquired by a rising power when it credibly represents – and fulfills – the fundamental interests of various nations, communities or peoples. Without such credibility, a rising power will fail to establish strategic influence in other countries or secure their cooperation on matters of national concern.

With that in mind, think about what happens if a country participates in military exercises with both sides involved in a dispute: neither side can trust that country anymore. At best, this country is no more influential than a spectator in a street fight; at worst, he is seen by both parties as an unreliable partner – a risk of sabotage.

With the Asia-Pacific region warming year by year, India must prepare for a longer-term strategy, which secures India’s interests in a possible military conflict between the major world powers.

Time will tell if New Delhi already has a great secret plan for world peace, of which its strategy of “non-alignment” (or “multi-alignment”, according to the new lexicon) is a crucial element. But if you step foot in two different boats – each trying to move in the opposite direction at the same time – you risk being thrown overboard by both boats at some point. Pack a life jacket, just in case.


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Incredible images of the Earth’s horizon captured by the ISS at night go viral; See the pictures http://gurugama.org/incredible-images-of-the-earths-horizon-captured-by-the-iss-at-night-go-viral-see-the-pictures/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 07:53:00 +0000 http://gurugama.org/incredible-images-of-the-earths-horizon-captured-by-the-iss-at-night-go-viral-see-the-pictures/ The International Space Station (ISS) often uses social media to mesmerize users with their incredible and insightful posts. Continuing the trend, they posted some photos of the Earth’s horizon taken at night. The Twitter post shows four different images as well as a link where one can find more such images. “The Earth’s horizon at […]]]>

The International Space Station (ISS) often uses social media to mesmerize users with their incredible and insightful posts. Continuing the trend, they posted some photos of the Earth’s horizon taken at night. The Twitter post shows four different images as well as a link where one can find more such images. “The Earth’s horizon at night is surrounded by an air glow surrounded by stars in these photos of the station [sic]read the caption of the article. The International Space Station is a modular low-orbiting space station that serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory for a number of subjects including astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, etc., it is also ideal for testing spacecraft systems and equipment for potential long-term trips to the Moon and Mars.

The latest post from the ISS has been around social media since it was shared on Thursday, September 23. To date, it has garnered over 9,000 likes and over 1,500 retweets. Besides, he also accumulated several comments from people. Reacting to the post, one of the users wrote: “Beautiful views of our world from above. Too much light pollution though ….. that mankind did for 10 millennia before the advent of artificial light at night? survive? [sic].” “Thank you for the photos. They are impressive to see. But if I were there, on board, the view would be so indescribably beautiful that I’m sure time would stand still for a few moments! You have these moments all the time. WOW !! What a job to have! [sic]another wrote.

Check out the post here:

Here are some user reactions:

ISS shares fascinating photos of Australian aurora

It’s worth mentioning here that last month the ISS took to Instagram to share some astonishing photographs of the southern lights that left netizens in awe. “The aurora australis is spectacular in these views from the station over the Indian Ocean between Asia and Antarctica,” read the caption of the article with several hashtags. The Aurora, also known as the Northern Lights, are commonly seen around the North or South Poles. These are pretty lights that can be seen frequently in the sky. They have various names depending on the hemisphere to which they belong.

Image: Twitter / @ International Space Station



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Sri Lanka: Everything You Need to Know to Plan the Perfect Trip http://gurugama.org/sri-lanka-everything-you-need-to-know-to-plan-the-perfect-trip/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:47:57 +0000 http://gurugama.org/sri-lanka-everything-you-need-to-know-to-plan-the-perfect-trip/ Just off the southeast coast of India lies the island nation of Sri Lanka. It is a tropical paradise of white sand beaches, wildlife and delicious food. Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, it is the perfect destination for a vacation steeped in ancient history and a taste of South Asian culture, followed […]]]>

Just off the southeast coast of India lies the island nation of Sri Lanka. It is a tropical paradise of white sand beaches, wildlife and delicious food.

Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, it is the perfect destination for a vacation steeped in ancient history and a taste of South Asian culture, followed by mountain hikes and plenty of water sports.

In a matter of hours, you can travel through different ecosystems of Sri Lanka. Where else in the world can you visit a 300 BC city in the morning and go on an afternoon wildlife safari?

Sri Lanka is blessed with magnificent landscapes, historic capitals and temples so unique that they are considered to be of global significance. The country is even home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip.

Sri Lanka Travel Rules

Sri Lanka is open to visitors from the majority of countries, but all foreign travelers will need a visa, health insurance and a COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours before their arrival.

Fully vaccinated travelers from unrestricted countries also no longer have to be tested for COVID-19 on the seventh day.

For visitors from the UK, the island has recently been removed from the red list.

There is also a way for unvaccinated visitors to visit. They will have to test negative and then they will be part of a “biological bubble”. This concept allows tourists to travel the country in semi-isolated groups and allows them to do sightseeing without mingling with the local population.

While in a ‘bio bubble’ you should stay in an approved hotel, visit approved sites at specific times, travel by independent transport, undergo frequent COVID-19 testing, and refrain from mingling with locals. .

“Despite the unprecedented challenges we have faced since 2019, we are stronger than ever. The year 2021 to 2030 has been declared Sri Lanka’s ‘Decade of Growth’, ”Sri Lanka Tourism President Kimarli Fernando told Euronews Travel.

“Our country’s heritage, culture, wildlife, nature, beaches and more have always proven to be popular. Sri Lanka is a post COVID-19 traveler’s paradise and we are delighted to welcome tourists and grow the tourism industry. “

What are the best things to do in nature?

1. Enjoy the greatest number of leopards you will see anywhere in the world

It surprised us to learn that Sri Lanka has the highest density of leopards in the world. A safari in Yala National Park – Sri Lanka’s second largest park – is the best way to spy on the elusive leopard.

Going to Yala at sunrise is an epic experience and gives the best chance of spotting the leopard and an array of wildlife that inhabit this arid area.

2. See the largest land and sea mammals

Sri Lanka is the only country where you can see both the elephant and the blue whale – the largest land and sea mammals on the planet and all within hours of each other.

The country has its own “big five”: blue whales, sperm whales, leopards, Asian elephants and sloth bears, as well as one of the highest species densities in the world.

You can see elephants in Udawalawe National Park, Yala National Park, Lunugamvehera National Park, Wilpattu National Park, and Minneriya National Park. They also live outside of protected areas – which can be a wonderful or terrifying experience.

The south coast around Galle and Mirissa is the best place for responsible blue whale watching.

3. Attend the largest gathering of elephants in Asia

The largest known gathering of Asian elephants takes place every year in Minneriya National Park. Lonely Planet ranked it among the top ten wildlife events in the world.

Watching these magnificent animals converge is a sight to behold. Different herds travel together with one goal in mind: water.

But make no mistake about it. This is not a migration but an annual gathering of wild animals that come to sip the waters of the Minneriya Tank at the end of the dry season.

4. Take part in one of the most beautiful train rides in the world

Selfies taken on trains driving through tea plantations are one of Sri Lanka’s most recognizable images. But there is a reason for this.

The train routes in Sri Lanka are some of the most beautiful in the world. A train through the hills gives you sweeping views, winding through thick verdant jungles and the aforementioned tea plantations.

Aim for the road from Kandy to Ella. It’s a 7 hour drive that may seem like a long time, but it will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Crossing the colossal Nine-Arch Bridge is another experience not to be missed. Also called “Bridge in the Sky”, it is a viaduct bridge and one of the best examples of colonial era railway construction in the country.

5. Sailing on the south coast

For those who want to see the southern coast of Sri Lanka in all its glory, while avoiding the tourist crowds, this seven day sailing trip with G Adventures is perfect.

Boarding a 53-foot catamaran, you’ll embark on a journey along the coast, stopping at historic port towns, tiny fishing villages, and coves along the way. With a chef and a skipper on board, you will be treated to delicious seafood meals.

With abundant marine life, you will also visit the Underwater Trench, frequented by dolphins and whales who use it for food.

What are the best regions?

If you want to surf, staying in beautiful Arugam Bay is a good option. It is a very relaxed area, with similar vibes to Goa in India.

The dry season and the best time to surf are from May to September. The best waves arrive in July, August and September.

While if you want a bit of nightlife, Galle is where it is. Some of the most famous bars are ‘The Lady Hill’, perched atop the highest hill in the area, ‘Taphouse’ and ‘The Tamarind Hill Bar’.

If you are looking for sunbathing, Pasikuda Beach comes highly recommended and also offers day trips, such as an elephant back safari. Pasikuda, which means ‘green algae bay’, is located about 35 kilometers from the town of Batticaloa and is famous for its turquoise blue waters.

Kandy, Anuradhapura and Jaffna are the best places to soak up Sri Lanka’s rich history. Kandy in particular is famous for its sacred Buddhist sites, most notably the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine.


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‘Here to stay’: Indo-Pacific Quad leaders to meet at White House | Asia-Pacific News http://gurugama.org/here-to-stay-indo-pacific-quad-leaders-to-meet-at-white-house-asia-pacific-news/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 22:29:16 +0000 http://gurugama.org/here-to-stay-indo-pacific-quad-leaders-to-meet-at-white-house-asia-pacific-news/ The leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia will meet on Friday for their first in-person summit of the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue, or so-called “Quad” group. The informal arrangement, with countries first working together in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, has increasingly solidified since 2017. It has been fueled […]]]>

The leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia will meet on Friday for their first in-person summit of the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue, or so-called “Quad” group.

The informal arrangement, with countries first working together in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, has increasingly solidified since 2017. It has been fueled by subsequent policies of the US administration towards China, and aided in large part by individual tensions between Tokyo. , Canberra, New Delhi with Beijing.

Quad meetings over the past few years have gradually moved up the chain of command, with the grouping holding its first – albeit virtual – summit in March.

As the first face-to-face meeting of leaders nears, the survival of the current iteration of the US administration grouping together and the changes of governments in Japan and Australia “speaks to [the Quad’s] sustainability and how you might say the quad is here to stay, ”Sameer Lalwani, principal researcher for Asia strategy at the Stimson Center told Al Jazeera.

“It will be a real institution … I think it will be a group that will keep everyone’s minds in planning the defense of Washington and the diplomatic community for years to come,” he said.

While the concerns of the four countries over an increasingly assertive China in the Indo-Pacific region have created common ground, Lalwani added, the group’s emerging goals include a “Swiss Army knife of delivering public goods to the world. ‘Indo-Pacific’.

Following the March summit, the quartet issued a joint statement promoting “a free and open rules-based order”, pledging to combine “medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery” capabilities to COVID-19 vaccines and to fight climate change.

He also announced the creation of working groups on “critical and emerging” technologies, investments in 5G infrastructure and semiconductor supply chain issues to be addressed in the future.

Although China was prominent, the March joint statement did not specifically refer to the superpower.

Grouping solidifying

Observers say the Quad group is still finding its place. Its varied – and sometimes opaque – goals reflect the precarious balances for Australia, India and Japan, which see benefits in cooperating amid a crushing regional and global issue, but fear threatening their complex ties and distinct with Beijing.

Nonetheless, while all three countries have shown distrust of the ideologically focused emphasis on China under the administration of former President Donald Trump, all three have tended, to varying degrees, to speak more directly to China, although they continue to stress that they do not view the arrangement as merely a bulwark against China’s military might.

Yet in August, the Australian, Indian, Japanese and US navies staged sprawling naval exercises in the Pacific for the second year in a row, this time off the coast of Guam. The countries maintained that the Malabar exercises, which previously only included the United States and India, do not fall under the auspices of the Quad.

India, United States, Japan and Australia participate in Naval Exercise Malabar in 2020 [File: The Associated Press]

Meanwhile, Japan and Australia have shown a greater willingness to take an explicit position against China in the region, even with Beijing representing Tokyo’s second largest trading partner and Canberra’s largest.

Following a summit in April, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued a joint statement with US President Joe Biden criticizing China’s “claims and illegal maritime activities in the South China Sea”, actions surrounding the islands Japanese-administered Senkaku (known as Diaoyu in China), while stressing “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

The declaration was unique in not only referring to China by name – something Tokyo had traditionally not been used to doing as part of a broader policy of ambiguity towards the neighboring superpower – but also to do reference to China’s military actions towards Taiwan. The last time the two countries named the island in a joint declaration was in 1969.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Suga warned that China’s rise to military power “could pose a risk to the peace and prosperity of our country” and called for stronger defense ties with the United States. . He added that it remains important for Japan and China to maintain dialogue.

Meanwhile, just days before Friday’s Quad summit, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced a new Indo-Pacific security pact, AUKUS, which included a deal to provide Canberra with cash. -nuclear-powered navies. White House press secretary Jen Psaki ruled out the possibility of Japan or India being invited to the security partnership on Wednesday.

Unsurprisingly, Beijing was quick to condemn AUKUS, calling it “extremely irresponsible” and accusing countries of “stepping up the arms race” in the region.

An editorial by the Chinese state-owned tabloid Global Times, which previously derided the “Asian NATO” Quad, hung on Tuesday to criticism that Biden’s actions were leading to a “new cold war”.

He added that the United States had done “its utmost to inject into the Quad the narrative of military cooperation targeting China.”

India’s role

India’s decision to continue engaging with the Quad, meanwhile, is particularly significant, said Ethan Paul, senior researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, noting that New Delhi is less concerned about the China Sea. southern than other nations, and more concerned about its disputed border with China and maritime safety in the Indian Ocean.

India, the only Quad country that shares a land border with China, has a “particularly tricky balancing game to play,” he added. The two countries continue to face a long-simmering border dispute. In June 2020, clashes in the Galwan Valley turned deadly.

“Seeing how India plays this game in the future, while maintaining its relationship with the Quad and its commitment to its vision for Asia has, in my opinion, immense consequences for the Quad itself but also for the future of the region, ”Paul told Al. Jazeera.

Particularly revealing, he added, will be how India reacts to the tensions surrounding Taiwan, which has become an increasingly central regional hotbed for the United States, Japan and Australia.

“It will be a serious question India will ask itself: What does the future of the Taiwan Strait look like and how will it get there?” he said. “However, answering this question will have big implications for the Quad.”

For its part, India has sought to downplay the Quad’s security elements as the summit approaches, with Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla drawing a separate line between the group and alliances like AUKUS.

“Let me clarify that Quad and AUKUS are not groupings of a similar nature,” said Shringla, calling the Quad an “evolutionary process”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet with Biden one-on-one on Friday ahead of the four leaders’ meeting.


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India has cause for concern, but Pakistan is also in trouble, says Tharoor http://gurugama.org/india-has-cause-for-concern-but-pakistan-is-also-in-trouble-says-tharoor/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 08:02:24 +0000 http://gurugama.org/india-has-cause-for-concern-but-pakistan-is-also-in-trouble-says-tharoor/ Since Kabul is now under the influence of Islamabad, India will face the threat of a China-Pakistan-Afghanistan axis, Tharoor said in an exclusive interview with The Federal newspaper. Congressional government would not have unnecessarily given India a bad reputation among Muslim countries, Tharoor said The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan is a major cause […]]]>

Since Kabul is now under the influence of Islamabad, India will face the threat of a China-Pakistan-Afghanistan axis, Tharoor said in an exclusive interview with The Federal newspaper.

Congressional government would not have unnecessarily given India a bad reputation among Muslim countries, Tharoor said

The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan is a major cause for concern for the Indian establishment. Former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor also echoes this point in an exclusive interview with The Federal, saying: “India has a lot to worry about.”

Further, Tharoor says that with the Taliban under the influence of Islamabad’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Indian policymakers are likely to expect a Pakistan-Afghanistan-China axis, and New Delhi’s anxiety is quite justified. However, Tharoor advises India not to abandon its partnership with Russia and to engage diplomatically to ensure that the issue with China never escalates into armed conflict.

Dr Tharoor, who was also a former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, also points out that the UN has not played a direct role in Afghanistan, other than asking the Taliban regime to allow them to provide humanitarian aid, to monitor human rights violations and aid in evacuations in Afghanistan.

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Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Q. What are the issues that directly affect India after the return of the Taliban?

Tharoor: India has cause for concern. I think that Kabul is now in the grip of Islamabad, we will have to deal with a China-Pakistan-Afghanistan axis. It is potentially a significant threat to India. In 1996-2001, the Russians shared our point of view on the Taliban and were of tremendous help. This is no longer the case.

The Russians are pro-Chinese and appear neutral on Afghanistan’s problems with India.
The Iranian government will not oppose the Taliban government, provided it does not mistreat the Shiite minority. If the Taliban behave with these minorities as they did under their previous regime, Iran will not support them. But if the Taliban make amends and allow these minorities to live in peace, the Iranians will also become neutral.

India will be friendless on our northwest border at a time when we see the Chinese pushing our real line of control in the north. It will therefore not be a favorable situation and we must muster all our diplomatic resources to meet this challenge.

Q. Do you think that the Taliban can intervene in places where Muslims are present and that this can pose a threat to India?

Tharoor: The Taliban speak with discordant voices. One group, mainly those in Doha, said they wanted good relations with India. Taliban spokesman Sultan Shaheen said that wherever Muslims are prevalent, they have an obligation to speak up. But they didn’t say they would act or support actions against us. Don’t be encouraged by positive words or discouraged by negative words. Instead, watch their actions. Our greatest concern, which we also saw last time, was when a large number of fighters came from Afghanistan to Kashmir with encouragement, training and financial support from Pakistan. This turned out to be the cause of the major problems in Kashmir.

Read also: Qatar urges world leaders not to boycott the Taliban

Q: Are you worried about the precedent set by the Taliban and the influence of the Pakistani establishment on them?

Tharoor: Indian anxiety is understandable and justified. But Pakistanis also face challenges. When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1996, many ISI members were deployed with the military and government in Kabul. I would describe it as a 100% subsidiary of the Pakistani ISI.

Today’s Taliban are a complicated creature. First of all, they have internal problems with Pakistan. Mullah Baradar, Pakistan’s official number two, has been jailed in Pakistan for eight years. So not everyone in the Afghan establishment is pro-Pakistani.

Second, in the last 25 years since the creation of the Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has also emerged, which is a different Taliban, whose mission is to establish an Islamic emirate in Pakistan. So obviously the Pakistani security establishment doesn’t want that.

In the past, Pakistan had huge American support because the United States relied on them for logistics supplies in Afghanistan. Now America doesn’t need Pakistan because it doesn’t have its troops in Afghanistan that it needs to support and supply.

Another important factor is the rise of the militant Islamic group called “Islamic State-Khorassan”, which allegedly wanted to establish a new Iranian caliphate in Bangladesh. Although many believe this group should not be taken seriously, there is cause for concern in Islamabad. Although Pakistan created the Taliban Jaish E Mohammed and a half-dozen or more other terrorist groups, some of these groups are ready to attack Pakistan because they feel that the government of Islamabad is not sufficiently Islamic.

Therefore, navigation will not be smooth for Pakistan in the long term, although at present, in the short term, it is a victory for Pakistan.

Q. What do you think about the future of India’s massive investments in Afghanistan?

Tharoor: India has invested US $ 3 billion in Afghanistan for the country’s development aid. We have invested in long-term assets, including the Salma dam, the Zaranj-Delaram highway through southwestern Afghanistan to Iran, the 24/7 electricity supply from Pul- e-Charkhi in Kabul, the new Afghan parliament, as well as a large number of hospitals and schools, especially for women and girls.

We were the second largest donor in Afghanistan and that was India’s largest foreign aid contribution. India has spent so much nowhere, not even in Sri Lanka. So for us to see these assets fall into the hands of the Taliban is a disappointing experience.

Also check: the Afghan president is leaving; Taliban capture Kabul

Q: How do you assess the Narendra Modi government’s foreign policy and its ability to meet the challenges ahead? Will the right-wing nationalism of the BJP government prevent our diplomatic challenges from being met?

Tharoor: I am not a big fan of the Modi government and the Hindu nationalism business. But on Afghanistan in particular, and on the foreign policy crisis and the immediate effect on national security, I tend to speak with the same voice. Ultimately, I believe domestic politics should end at the water’s edge, and we should all think of our national interest first.

When you think of Afghanistan, there wouldn’t be much difference between what a Congressional government or a BJP can do, except that the Congressional government would not have unnecessarily given India a bad name. among Muslim countries, especially through national declarations, which come out of the Modi government and its supporters.

Our internal developments and statements have necessarily created the feeling that we are a country which does not respect Muslims enough and which I think is most regrettable. Regarding the current foreign policy of the Indian government towards the Taliban and Afghanistan, I support the government which wants to ensure that Indian interests are protected.

Q. Traditionally, India has maintained an unaligned position in its foreign policy which has always respected us. However, the recent leaning towards the United States has caused an imbalance. In the long run, will this mean the loss of its strategic partners for India?

Tharoor: I often wonder if China’s relentless hostility might not push us to explore options that might allow us to become an ally of the West.

The Chinese are putting us in a difficult position and we are exploring options to strengthen ourselves against them. The Quad puts us in partnership with the United States, Australia and Japan, but it’s essentially a maritime agreement in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. The challenge we have is on earth, in protecting our borders and our territorial integrity.

It would be unwise to keep us locked into a formal alliance, but we need to open up and engage with many countries. We must not abandon our Russian partnership. We must also engage diplomatically to ensure that the problem with China never escalates into armed conflict.

Abhish K. Bose is a Kerala-based journalist who contributes to various publications in English. He was previously a correspondent for the Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India. He can be contacted at abhishdc@gmail.com


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Why Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States is key to India’s China-Afghanistan strategy http://gurugama.org/why-prime-minister-modis-visit-to-the-united-states-is-key-to-indias-china-afghanistan-strategy/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:22:43 +0000 http://gurugama.org/why-prime-minister-modis-visit-to-the-united-states-is-key-to-indias-china-afghanistan-strategy/ Prime Minister Narendra Modi is traveling to Washington on Wednesday for an official visit to the United States. It will be Modi’s first big trip abroad since the pandemic cut off all international travel. As such, this will be Modi’s first in-person meeting with Biden since taking office. Modi will be accompanied by a high-level […]]]>

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is traveling to Washington on Wednesday for an official visit to the United States. It will be Modi’s first big trip abroad since the pandemic cut off all international travel. As such, this will be Modi’s first in-person meeting with Biden since taking office. Modi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and senior officials. Foreign Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar is already in the United States and will join the Prime Minister’s team in Washington.

The Prime Minister’s visit will have three major elements: a bilateral with Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris will take place at the White House on Friday. The first quadrilateral security dialogue summit, commonly referred to as the quad, is hosted by the US president on the same day. Here, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will also be present. The quad summit has already angered China, which sees the rapprochement of the four nations as an attempt to contain its growing political, military and economic power in Asia.

Modi will attend a COVID-19 global summit convened by President Biden shortly after arriving in the United States. The third segment of the visit will take place in New York, where Modi will address the United Nations General Assembly. There will also be meetings with US business leaders as India continues to seek investment from abroad. He returns home on September 26.

“At their bilateral meeting on September 24, Prime Minister Modi and US President Biden will review Indo-US relations. They are expected to discuss how to strengthen trade and investment ties, enhance collaboration on matters defense and security and to stimulate the partnership for clean energy, among others, ”he added. Secretary Harsh Shringla told reporters in a briefing ahead of the visit.

Developments in Afghanistan will certainly be a major topic of bilateral discussion. The Indian side will share their views and concerns about turning Afghanistan into a hub of terrorism. Given India’s past experience with the Taliban, the jihadist warriors crossing Kashmir from Pakistan to bolster militancy in the valley are of great concern to New Delhi. Pakistan will certainly feature in the conversation as well.

India’s ties with the United States have transformed since the signing of the 2006 civil nuclear deal. Since then, high-level visits between leaders and officials have been frequent. The warmth of Indo-American relations had a lot to do with the rise of China and its attempts to dominate Asia. Washington wanted to help India grow primarily to offset China’s rising power. The quad was born out of this strategic constraint to contain China’s aggressive and often intimidating tactics in Asia. The idea was to thwart the movement with a loose alliance of democratic countries forming an arc across the Asia-Pacific region. The term Indo-Pacific was introduced by the United States to address New Delhi’s concerns about the growing presence of Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean. In 2014, when Chinese submarines docked in Colombo port not once but twice, alarm bells rang out in New Delhi. The threat that a rising China posed to the world and its challenge to American domination ultimately led to the formation of the quad. Significantly, the first major foreign policy event hosted by Joe Biden after taking office was a virtual quad summit.

However, the sudden announcement earlier this month by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) of a tripartite defense agreement came like a thunderclap. India has been kept informed. The United States will now help Australia build eight nuclear-powered submarines. Ironically, Washington had not accepted the idea of ​​supplying India with similar technology, although New Delhi had wanted it for a long time. This has dampened some of the enthusiasm for quad biking among many sections in India. Will the AUKUS, which will join the American and British navies to patrol the Indo-Pacific in the future, exceed the importance of the quad? Asked about this during the press conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “Let me clarify that Quad and AUKUS are not groupings of a similar nature. Quad is a plurilateral grouping, a group of countries with a common vision of their attributes and values. We have a shared vision of the Indo-Pacific region as being an open, transparent and inclusive region. ”To be fair, India had always spoken of a collective Indo-Pacific architecture that had ASEAN at the center.

“The Quad has adopted a positive proactive agenda which, as I said, involves a wide range of initiatives globally to address some of the issues of the day. This includes tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, including provision of vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region. This includes work on new and emerging technologies, this includes work on issues such as climate change, infrastructure, maritime safety, education, humanitarian aid in disaster event. There is a wide range of initiatives that the Quad has undertaken that are designed to meet the requirements of the Indo-Pacific, “Shringla explained. The quad is still under development and will grow over time. But the central question remains, will it ultimately be more of a symbolic gathering of like-minded nations or something more substantial.


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Biden addresses UN General Assembly as some US alliances face tensions http://gurugama.org/biden-addresses-un-general-assembly-as-some-us-alliances-face-tensions/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 15:21:00 +0000 http://gurugama.org/biden-addresses-un-general-assembly-as-some-us-alliances-face-tensions/ President Biden presented a vision for US foreign policy rooted in global alliances during his first address to the United Nations as Commander-in-Chief, stressing the importance of diplomacy at a time when relations with some US allies are tense. Mr Biden called for an end to armed conflict after two decades of war in Afghanistan […]]]>

President Biden presented a vision for US foreign policy rooted in global alliances during his first address to the United Nations as Commander-in-Chief, stressing the importance of diplomacy at a time when relations with some US allies are tense.

Mr Biden called for an end to armed conflict after two decades of war in Afghanistan and the Middle East. “As we close this period of relentless warfare, we usher in a new era of relentless diplomacy,” he said, standing in the UN boardroom in front of the iconic serpentinite stone backdrop.

The US president has argued that the biggest problems facing the world – from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change – can only be solved with cooperation between countries with different national interests. The world, he said, is facing a major inflection point in its history.

“Our shared grief is a poignant reminder that our collective future will depend on our ability to recognize our common humanity and act together,” Biden said, referring to the millions of lives lost during the pandemic. He predicted that the next decade “will literally determine our future.”

He encouraged competition between rising powers, but stressed that he “is not looking for a new cold war or a world divided into rigid blocs”.

“All the great powers of the world have a duty, in my opinion, to carefully manage their relations so that they do not switch from responsible competition to conflict,” said the president.

Mr. Biden, now eight months in his presidency, campaigned to restore US alliances and drew heavily on his foreign policy experience as a former vice president and globe-trotting senator. On his first overseas trip last spring, he asserted that “America is back” on the world stage.

In recent weeks, Biden has come under fire both at home and abroad for the way the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan as well as a drone strike that mistakenly killed civilians Afghans.

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The United States’ relations with France, meanwhile, hit a low point after Australia announced last week that it would cancel a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with France to pursue a deal. similar with the United States and the United Kingdom. France has recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Australia, and the French foreign minister called the deal a “stab in the back”.

In his speech, Biden highlighted a UN Security Council resolution passed this summer that urges the Taliban to provide safe passage for those who wish to leave the country. He called for respect for human rights, including the “right of women and girls to fully use their talents”.

Mr Biden said the United States will continue to defend its interests and fight terrorism, but argued that any military mission should have clear objectives, the consent of the American people, and buy-in from American allies.

“US military might must be our tool of last resort, not our first,” he said.

The Biden administration has worked to shift international attention to Asia and counter China’s global influence. Mr Biden will convene a summit on Friday with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan – an alliance called Quad – and hold one-to-one meetings with the leaders of the countries.

The political focus on the Pacific and Indian Ocean, following previous efforts in this direction by the Trump and Obama administrations, puts the United States at odds with China, a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN which seeks to carve out a major role in United Nations organizations.

Mr Biden did not mention China by name, but the country was the theme of his remarks. The president called for transparent and sustainable investments in global infrastructure, criticizing projects “of poor quality or that fuel corruption” in an unspoken rebuke of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Earlier this year, the Group of Seven Rich Nations unveiled a competing global infrastructure program called Build Back Better World.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in an interview this week with The Associated Press, called on Washington to improve what he called its dysfunctional relationship with Beijing, warning of a cold war between the countries.

“We must avoid at all costs a cold war that would be different from the previous one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” said Mr Guterres.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ ambassador to the UN, told reporters on Friday that relations between the United States and China were “complex, and it goes without saying that there are tensions, but there are areas where we are able to cooperate “. She added that “this does not mean that we ignore areas where we have disputes, such as human rights issues”.

Seeking to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Biden reiterated his interest in returning to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if Iran is prepared to do the same. And he expressed his support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

The president also focused on human rights around the world, promising the United States would spend $ 10 billion to end hunger and invest in food systems around the world.

Mr Biden will hold a virtual summit with heads of state and global health officials on the coronavirus on Wednesday. During the event, he is expected to call on world leaders to pledge to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population against Covid-19 within a year, according to a person familiar with the draft goals outlined by the administration. .

The way the United States pulled out of Afghanistan damaged America’s image in the world, but as the WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains, upcoming diplomatic events could allow President Biden to put the indent into context. Photographic illustration: Laura Kammermann

The president is also expected to meet one-on-one with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in the coming days following the public dispute between the two countries.

The annual UN gathering was largely virtual last year, and attendance this year has also been limited, with many heads of state and other senior officials delivering messages via video. US diplomats this year called on countries to limit the size of their delegations.

Heads of state and their staff are supposed to be vaccinated to enter the meeting room. But UN officials won’t enforce the rule, relying instead on the honor system. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who tested positive for Covid-19 in 2020 and said he was not vaccinated, spoke to Mr Biden. The White House said the lectern was cleaned and the microphone head replaced between the speakers.

In his remarks, Biden urged countries to adopt more ambitious national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to pressure rich countries to commit more money to helping the world by development to move away from fossil fuels.

Mr Biden said the United States would ask Congress to double public and international funding to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change. This is his second such engagement this year. At a White House climate summit in April, Biden said he would double an existing US commitment of around $ 2.8 billion a year. The president’s announcement on Tuesday would bring total annual spending to around $ 11 billion by 2024.

The president said earlier this year that the United States would seek to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The year 2005 is a common benchmark for many. such climate goals.

Mr Guterres warned on Monday that the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow was at “high risk of failure” unless world leaders take tougher measures to contain emissions. “I therefore call on leaders today to do what is necessary for COP26 to be a success and to mark a real turning point,” said Mr Guterres.

Corrections and amplifications
Australia has canceled a diesel submarine deal with France. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the deal was about nuclear submarines. (Corrected September 21)

Write to Andrew Restuccia at andrew.restuccia@wsj.com and Ken Thomas at ken.thomas@wsj.com

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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The next summit will focus on the pandemic, but the rest is uncertain http://gurugama.org/the-next-summit-will-focus-on-the-pandemic-but-the-rest-is-uncertain/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 03:26:28 +0000 http://gurugama.org/the-next-summit-will-focus-on-the-pandemic-but-the-rest-is-uncertain/ What will happen between India, Japan, Australia and the United States at an upcoming summit remains unresolved. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a diplomatic arrangement between the four countries implemented in 2007, was announced last week and would take place in the United States, hosted by President Joe Biden. The summit, which is due to take […]]]>

What will happen between India, Japan, Australia and the United States at an upcoming summit remains unresolved.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a diplomatic arrangement between the four countries implemented in 2007, was announced last week and would take place in the United States, hosted by President Joe Biden.

The summit, which is due to take place in person on Friday, will focus on Covid-19, climate change, technology and cyberspace partnerships, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, according to a House statement. White.

While it is certain that Covid-19 will be at the center of discussions, it was natural that this would attract speculation on other issues, namely members’ relations with China, according to Srini Sitaraman, professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Center. for Asia-Pacific. Studies. But “there is nothing sinister about it,” Sitaraman said.

President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House in April 2021. Office of the President of the United States

The security dialogue was initiated in 2007 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It was followed by major military exercises among its members and was seen as a response to the emergence of Chinese power in the region.

But many believe its forerunner was the unified response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. Since its inception, the Quad has stagnated on several occasions, in part due to Australia’s temporary withdrawal due to intensifying economic relations with China, and restarted in 2017.

The four nations have tenuous relations with China. In addition to growing tensions over Indo-Pacific influence between the United States and China, India has a long and difficult relationship with China due to border disputes in the Himalayan region and concerns over China in the ‘Indian Ocean. Australia is also concerned about China’s apparent historic political interference, while Japan and China continue to have historically risky political relations.

“If you think of the Quad, it’s interesting. They call it the ‘democratic diamond’ or ‘Asian NATO’, ”said Sitaraman, who added that there was definitely only one thing on the agenda. “It’s just a group of four countries getting together and talking about vaccines.”

That said, the summit announcement made China bristle, which inferred that it felt targeted.

“China believes that any regional cooperation framework should follow the trend of the times and be conducive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Linjian said at a press briefing. “It must not target any third party or harm their interests.”

Other points for discussion would be infrastructure, but the exact function of the dialogue remains somewhat uncertain as there is nothing to prevent countries from having a formal or informal dialogue.

“I don’t know what the end point is for Quad or where they are going with it,” Sitaraman added. “I don’t really know if the countries involved really know that.”

Just a day after the announcement of the four countries meeting in Washington DC, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom created waves when they announced that they would share nuclear submarine technology. to help strengthen their naval presence in the Pacific. This not only meant that Australia was breaking an earlier deal with France, which led it to withdraw its ambassadors from Australia and the United States, but it also left several analysts and commentators in India wondering why it was. was not involved, given her naval prowess.

The United States had assured India that AUKUS would have no effect on Quad, according to The Times of India.

“This initiative aims to ensure that each of us has the most modern capabilities we need to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats,” Biden said last week, without naming China.


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Information on the earthquake: moderate mag. 4.6 earthquake http://gurugama.org/information-on-the-earthquake-moderate-mag-4-6-earthquake/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:48:00 +0000 http://gurugama.org/information-on-the-earthquake-moderate-mag-4-6-earthquake/ Moderate magnitude earthquake 4.6 to 11 km deep 20 Sep 12:31 UTC: First to report: EMSC after 5 minutes.20 Sep 12:35: Now using data updates from BMKG Updated Mon Sep 20 2021, 12:36 PM Moderate magnitude 4.6 earthquake strikes 95 km southwest of Pariaman, Indonesia in early evening 4.6 earthquake in South Sumatra, Indonesia, Sep […]]]>

Moderate magnitude earthquake 4.6 to 11 km deep

20 Sep 12:31 UTC: First to report: EMSC after 5 minutes.
20 Sep 12:35: Now using data updates from BMKG

Updated Mon Sep 20 2021, 12:36 PM

Moderate magnitude 4.6 earthquake strikes 95 km southwest of Pariaman, Indonesia in early evening

4.6 earthquake in South Sumatra, Indonesia, Sep 20, 2021 19:26 (GMT +7)

4.6 earthquake in South Sumatra, Indonesia, Sep 20, 2021 19:26 (GMT +7)

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake occurred in the early evening on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 7:26 p.m. local time near Pariaman, Sumatra Barat, Indonesia, as reported by the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency .
According to preliminary data, the earthquake was located at a shallow depth of 11 km. Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deep ones because they are closer to the surface. The exact magnitude, epicenter and depth of the quake could be revised in the coming hours or minutes, as seismologists review the data and refine their calculations, or when other agencies release their report.
A second report was then released by the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), which also listed it as a 4.6 magnitude earthquake.
Cities near the epicenter where the quake could have been felt as very weak tremors include Pariaman (population 92,200) located 95 km from the epicenter.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update the magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant earthquake news becomes available. If you are in the region, please share your experience with us through our reporting mechanism, online or through our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone in the world who is interested in learning more about this earthquake.

If you were or still are in this area during the earthquake help others with your comments and report it here.

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Earthquake data

I felt this tremor

I didn’t feel it

Date and hour : 20 Sep 2021 12:26:28 UTC –
Local time at epicenter: Monday 20 Sep 2021 19:26 (GMT +7)
Magnitude: 4.6
Depth: 11.0 km

Latitude / longitude of epicenter: 0.81 ° S / 99.29 ° E↗ (Indian Ocean, Indonesia)
Antipode: 0.81 ° N / 80.71 ° W↗
Nearest volcano: Tandikat (120 km)

Nearby towns and villages:
95 km (59 mi) WW of Pariaman (pop: 92,200) -> See nearby earthquakes!
119 km (74 mi) west of Padang (pop: 840 400) -> See earthquakes nearby!
132 km (82 mi) WW of Bukittinggi (pop: 98,700) -> See nearby earthquakes!
152 km (94 mi) west of Solok (pop: 48,400) -> Observe the earthquakes nearby!
163 km (102 mi) WW of Payakumbuh (pop: 121,600) -> See nearby earthquakes!
188 km (117 mi) west of Sijunjung (pop: 27,800) -> Observe the earthquakes nearby!
244 km (151 mi) south of Padangsidempuan (pop: 100,600) -> See nearby earthquakes!
272 km (169 mi) to WNW of Sungai Penuh (pop: 95,900) -> Observe the earthquakes nearby!
281 km (175 mi) OSO of Pekanbaru (pop: 704,000) -> See nearby earthquakes!
289 km (180 mi) SSE of Sibolga (pop: 79,700) -> See nearby earthquakes!
284 km (177 mi) southeast of Nias Island (pop: 756,300) -> See nearby earthquakes!

Weather at the epicenter at the time of the earthquake:
Clouds covered 28.3 ° C (83 F), humidity: 72%, wind: 3 m / s (6 kts) from WSW

Main data source: BMKG (Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia)

Estimated energy released: 5×1011 joules (139 megawatt hours, equivalent to 120 tonnes of TNT) More info

If you felt this tremor (or if you were near the epicenter), share your experience and submit a short “I felt it” report! Other users would love to hear about it!
If you did NOT feel the earthquake although you are in the area, please report it! Your contribution is valuable to earthquake science, seismic risk analysis and mitigation efforts. You can use your device’s location or the map to show where you were during the earthquake. Thank you!

Data for the same earthquake reported by different agencies

Info: The more agencies report the same earthquake and publish similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It normally takes up to a few hours for the seismic parameters to be calculated with near optimum accuracy.

Mag. Depth Site Source
4.6 11 km South Sumatra, Indonesia BMKG
4.6 10 km SOUTH OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA EMSC

Previous earthquakes in the same region

Click here to search our database for previous earthquakes in the same area since 1900!


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Sydney and Queensland’s hot summer will be wiped out by rain, floods and thunderstorms http://gurugama.org/sydney-and-queenslands-hot-summer-will-be-wiped-out-by-rain-floods-and-thunderstorms/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 02:15:42 +0000 http://gurugama.org/sydney-and-queenslands-hot-summer-will-be-wiped-out-by-rain-floods-and-thunderstorms/ Sydney’s hot and vaxxed summer will be shattered by ‘heavy rains’, floods and thunderstorms and Queensland by cyclones – but Melbourne poised for a dry summer There is a high probability that a weather system in La Nina will develop in the summer Spring will be hot and dry but tropical climate systems will slowly […]]]>

Sydney’s hot and vaxxed summer will be shattered by ‘heavy rains’, floods and thunderstorms and Queensland by cyclones – but Melbourne poised for a dry summer

  • There is a high probability that a weather system in La Nina will develop in the summer
  • Spring will be hot and dry but tropical climate systems will slowly intensify
  • Torrential rains, winds and storms likely for NSW and Queensland in late summer
  • On the west coast, the Indian Ocean dipole will increase temperatures in WA










As Australians look forward to a summer without a lockdown of picnics and barbecues, meteorologists warn the season could be a sinkhole.

A La Nina season is likely to develop and bring thunderstorms, rain and flooding to New South Wales and cyclones to Queensland.

Meteorologist Joel Pippard told Daily Mail Australia that weather conditions could cause Australia to experience more extreme events from October to April.

Torrential rains and strong winds will be likely in late summer for NSW (pictured: wild surf off Wollongong in August)

Vaccinated Sydneysiders keen to get rid of blockages could experience a wet and humid summer (pictured: Sydney in September)

Vaccinated Sydneysiders keen to get rid of blockages could experience a wet and humid summer (pictured: Sydney in September)

“There is a risk of heavy rains, especially in February and March when the ocean waters are the warmest,” he said.

“Even when it’s not raining there will be more humidity in NSW and Queensland. And there is also a high probability of an increase in cyclones in northern Australia. ‘

There is some relief, however, with Mr. Pippard predicting that the months of November and December, as spring turns to summer, will be perfect for outdoor activities, before the pouring rain begins after the New Year.

“At first, the summer seems to be similar to last year’s La Nina and will start out warm and balmy, but the humidity should then build up in January and February,” he said.

“There is about twice the normal probability that this La Nina will develop.”

And tired Melburnians who have endured the longest confinement in the world will be rewarded with a dry summer perfect for outdoor fun.

The milder conditions at the start could last through the summer and offer vaccinated residents the opportunity to get out and enjoy the city’s parks and cafes again.

“For Victoria, there will be a bit of both – certainly significant thunderstorms but mixed with longer periods of warmer and drier weather than further north,” Pippard said.

On the west coast, it is predicted that there will be another weather pattern known as the Indian Ocean Dipole that would affect WA’s summer conditions.

The north of the country is expected to be hit by an increased number of tropical cyclones this summer thanks to weather conditions in La Nina and the Indian Ocean Dipole (Photo: Tropical Cyclone Debbie)

The north of the country is expected to be hit by an increased number of tropical cyclones this summer thanks to weather conditions in La Nina and the Indian Ocean Dipole (Photo: Tropical Cyclone Debbie)

AREAS OF NSW MOST LIKELY TO SEE HEAVY SUMMER STORMS

Albion Park

castle hill

Dubbo

Glenmore Park

Parkes

Port Macquarie

Tamworth

Maryland

Nambucca heads

Wauchope

“This greatly increases the risk of tropical cyclones and the system is moving south, but it mixes with unusually hot and dry weather to form two extremes,” Pippard said.

“Overall in Australia we have seen a warming trend as spring approaches, but that will change as these tropical systems intensify over the summer and bring wet weather.”

Mr Pippard said the La Nina system would result in near-average temperatures on the east coast.

And after three years of severe drought from 2017 to 2019, another year of heavy rains will likely be a welcome relief for farmers.

Growers across the country have had bumper crops this year thanks to increased rains – with New South Wales dropping from 100% of the state in drought in 2019 to just 5% by 2021.

But along with the storms, there is also the potential for flooding – which was seen in early 2021 as large parts of the interior of New South Wales were devastated by torrential summer rains.

New South Wales will experience a 70-80% chance of above-average precipitation and the thunderstorm season will be particularly active – bringing destructive winds, hail and lightning.

For those keen to get outside for some long-awaited catch-ups, spring and early summer seem to offer the best conditions, although the Victorians can have a drier and prolonged summer (pictured: Sydney in September)

For those keen to get outside for some long-awaited catch-ups, spring and early summer seem to offer the best conditions, although the Victorians can have a drier and prolonged summer (pictured: Sydney in September)

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