UK: Prince Harry in the Front Line with troops


prine-harry.jpg      Which Indian Neta will send his son to the front?

     They want their brood to be protected by NSG round the clock

Prince Harry to leave Afghanistan after leaks

By Luke BakerLONDON (Reuters) – Prince Harry is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan after Internet leaks that he had been secretly serving on the front lines there for 2-1/2 months, Defence Ministry sources said.

      Military commanders have drawn up plans for his removal from the country but it is not known exactly when it will happen.“It will be relatively quick, and it will be an ordered and dignified retreat, but there’s no need to rush it,” a source at the ministry said.

       Harry was made aware of the news leak shortly after it was broadcast around the world on a U.S. Web site on Thursday.

      The leaks raised concern that Harry, who is on the front lines in Helmand, a dangerous province of southern Afghanistan, could become a “high-value target” for al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist militants.

       Harry, 23, was deployed to fight against the Taliban in December, seven months after plans to send him to Iraq were scrapped following threats from Iraqi militants to kidnap or kill him.The military posted him only after the British media and selected members of the international press agreed not to report his presence until he had returned from a scheduled 4-month deployment.

      The embargo was broken on Thursday after German, Australian and U.S. Web sites reported he was in Afghanistan.The breaking of the embargo, a rare agreement in Britain’s usually free-for-all media environment, infuriated the military.

      “Now that the story is in the public domain, the chief of staff and I will take advice from the operational commanders about whether his deployment can continue,” the head of the army, General Richard Dannatt, said in a statement.“I am very disappointed that foreign Web sites have decided to run this story without consulting us,” he said.During his deployment, Harry has been responsible for calling in air strikes against Taliban positions, has conducted foot patrols through villages and has fired on suspected militants, pooled media photographs and film footage have shown.

      “His conduct on operations in Afghanistan has been exemplary. He has been fully involved in operations and has run the same risks as everyone else,” said Dannatt.In interviews given to reporters sent out to cover his deployment as part of a so-called “pool” arrangement, Harry said he was aware that if his presence in Afghanistan was reported it could make him a target for al Qaeda or other militant groups.

        “Once this film comes out … every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me,” he said.“Now that you come to think about it, it’s quite worrying. But as I say, now that this film has been made and now … people will know I’m out here, no doubt I’ll be a top target.”Talking about his experiences on the front lines, Harry said: “I haven’t really had a shower for four days, I haven’t washed my clothes for a week. It’s very nice to be sort of a normal person for once.

       “It was the Queen who told him he would be allowed to go to Afghanistan.Harry was at one time dubbed a royal “Wild Child” by the tabloids for his underage drink and drugs antics.Before he was deployed, Harry told reporters he sometimes wished he was not a member of the royal family as it made it difficult to do things that he enjoyed, including being a soldier in the army.

       “I wish that quite a lot actually,” he said, adding his older brother Prince William shared the view.(Editing by Steve Addison)Browne hails Prince’s bravery

Defence Secretary Des Browne has hailed Prince Harry as an example of a generation of young people willing to put themselves in danger for Britain’s security.Speaking during a visit to HMS Gannet, Rescue Centre, Ayrshire, Mr Browne paid tribute to the 23-year-old Household Cavalry officer.He said:

       “I am delighted Prince Harry was able to deploy to Afghanistan and to work with those who he trained with and do what he was trained to do as a soldier. “I think he is an example of a generation of young people who are prepared to take on these very serious and dangerous tasks for our security.

        “He was only able to do that because of the co-operation of the media who exercised a degree of discipline and I think they have to be commended for allowing him the space and time so we could manage the risks associated with that.”Mr Browne made no comment on Harry’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. But he said it was “disappointing” that the story had broken in the foreign media.Meanwhile, speaking during a visit to a telecommunications factory in Birmingham, Prime Minister Gordon Brown commended Harry and said the country owed him a “debt of gratitude” for his courage and bravery in Afghanistan.

        He said Harry had “served with a great distinction”. He said: “Security considerations come first. That has been the deciding factor which was made by our defence staff and I think that everybody will respect that is the right decision.”

       He thanked Prince Harry for his “professionalism and dedication he has shown”. 

NRI: Couple to organise mass marriages in home town


NRI: Couple to organise mass marriages in home town

A big, fat harmony wedding in Gujarat

    

       Now here is a Hotelier from Maryland in USA, who is not planning to throw a lavish party to mark his 50th marriage anniversary on March 3.

Instead, the NRI couple, Narendra and Nirmala Patel, who own a motel there, will be visiting their native town of Bavla to celebrate their marriage anniversary in a special way.

The couple is going to splurge money on a ‘samuh lagan’ (mass marriage) on March 3 and residents are preparing for it as if there’s no tomorrow. The function will also be a toast to harmony — couples, irrespective of caste, community or religion, will be tying the knot on the occasion.

“In the US, anniversaries are celebrated by throwing parties. We thought, instead of wasting money that way, why not put it to good use by helping those in our homeland? The idea was welcomed by our family members,” says a beaming 68-year-old Patel.

The couple wants to perform ‘kanyadaan’ for at least 50 brides to mark their own golden jubilee.

They are thrilled that the number of couples has crossed 50, and includes eight Muslims.

Prosperous communities do organize mass marriages, but only for their own community members. The Patels are going a step further by including all castes, communities and religions, he says.

“Thakors, Rajputs, Kolis, Patels, Dalits and Muslims are all welcome to participate in the joyous occasion. We have even taken care to ensure that the customs of each community are respected. For instance, for a Muslim bride and groom, we have arranged for a Maulvi to perform the nikkah,” says Patel.

All the expenses of the mass function will be borne by the Patel family. “Some of the couples are so poor that they will have to go to money lenders to foot the bill for their marriages and this will lead them into the debt spiral,” adds the motel owner.

His family members living in the US will be in Bavla to participate in the celebrations. And, it seems that Patel has another reason to smile.

Residents of Bavla have assured him that they will keep up the good work, and continue to organize similar mass marriages in the coming years.

Vijaysinh Parmar , TNN BAVLA (AHMEDABAD DISTRICT): var RN = new String (Math.random()); var RNS = RN.substring (2,11); var b2 = ‘ ‘; if (doweshowbellyad==1) bellyad.innerHTML = b2;