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December 2005 - January 2006


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Dispatches & Reports

On behalf of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Commodore Prakash Singh Lamba was bestowed the honour of the Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Dutch Ambassador to India, His Excellency, Mr. Eric Franciscus Charles. The occasion marked the 25th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation when Commodore Lamba’s services to promote Indo-Dutch trade relations were recognised.

Lamba had a distinguished career in the Indian Navy where he served until his retirement as Director of Electrical Engineering in 1980. He then joined Phillip’s Defence arm, Signaal, which later became Thales Nederland, where he served as its Director for India, retiring in 2004. Since retirement, he has been active in the Rotary Club in Central Delhi.

Lamba is no stranger to fame. Over 50 years ago, as a young Naval Officer, he won the Derby lottery, a staggering fifty thousand pounds. This was a princely sum in those days, when the average semi- detached in London was less than five hundred pounds! When everyone expected him to leave the Navy, he confounded them by staying on as a service officer. He was twice posted to the UK, first in 1959-60 and again in 1966-70. He served in all types of naval ships at sea – Mine Sweepers, Frigates, Destroyers, Survey vessels and Cruisers. In recognition of his distinguished service to India, he was awarded the Ati Vashist Seva Medal (AVSM) by the President of India, Mr Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in January, 1980.

Modest as ever, his reaction to the knighthood was that it was a tribute to the close relationship between India and the Netherlands and he was humbled to be the recipient of this honour. The Dutch Ambassador paid tribute to him saying he was a true internationalist who has worked tirelessly to promote his country’s interests in India.

Commodore Lamba lives in South Delhi with his wife, Neena. He has two daughters, one in London and the other in Delhi.


Zaiwalla & Co. to open an office in Beijing
The Solicitors based in the Chancery Lane London have signed a strategic co-operation with the Tang Law Group, which is the leading Chinese Law firm specializing in Finance, Securities, International Investments and Mergers and Acquisition.

Tang Law Group has offices in seven major cities of China and employs over 120 lawyers and staff. Zaiwalla & Co are specialists in international Arbitration and maritime law practice based in Chancery Lane London. Zaiwalla & Co. have represented some of the leading Chinese companies like China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Zhejiang Metals & Minerals Corporation. Mr Zaiwalla of this firm accompanied the Lord Mayor of London on his official visit to China in 2003 and 2004.

The aim of the co-operation between the Chinese and the English firm is to provide top quality legal services to meet the needs of the ever-­­expanding Chinese economy both in the Financial and International Arbitration sectors.

Tang Law Group under this arrangement will have an office in London and will be in a position to assist British Companies for their investments into China as well as enforcement of Arbitration Awards and Judgments against Chinese companies in China. Correspondingly, Zaiwalla & Co will have an office in Beijing.


Third anniversary of the Memorial Gates Committee commemorating
First and Second World War Armed Forces

Wreath-laying ceremony honours volunteers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa and Caribbean

London UK - The Memorial Gates Committee held a moving third annual wreath-laying ceremony on 11th November 2005 at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill. The ceremony was attended by over 200 people and paid special tribute to the five million men and women from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa and the Caribbean who volunteered to serve with the Armed Forces of Britain during the First and Second World Wars.

The Prince of Wales sent a magnificent wreath, which was laid by Field Marshal Sir John Chapple GCB CBE DL. Rt Hon. Adam Ingram MP, Minister of Services for Armed Forces, also laid a wreath on behalf of the Government, as well as Rt. Hon Don McKinnon, The Commonwealth Secretariat and Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The Bishop of London delivered a powerful speech about remembering all those who served over the last century. He urged guests to remember their stories and honour their memory.

Baroness Flather JP DL, Patron of the Memorial Gates Committee said: "We started on this Memorial in 1997 and didn't know whether we'd be able to succeed. We didn't know whether it would have a meaning, but now we can all recognise that it has a very powerful significance for people from the Subcontinent, from Africa and from the Caribbean and today for all of you here.        

I have to say that I feel very full in my heart and I thank you all for coming and honouring the people who you are connected with. All of you are connected with those people. It's the people we're honouring and not the war."

Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founder and Chief Executive of Cobra Beer and Chairman of the Memorial Gates Committee also said, “In the name of our freedom - they made the ultimate and most selfless sacrifice.

For that we join today in remembrance and gratitude. The contribution of each and every one of these individuals is priceless, precious and beyond measure.

These men and women gave their today for our tomorrow - for our freedom and for our security. In a world today that is tragically fraught with conflict and once-unimaginable dangers, we must never lose sight of their example: of their courage, their nobility, their imperishable virtue."

Also present were the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma; Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Kshenuka Senewirantne; the Royal Nepalese Ambassador, His Excellency Prabal SJP Rana accompanied by Defence Attaché - Colonel Himalaya Thapa; Jamaican High Commissioner Her Excellency, Gail Mathurin; the Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner, Abdul Basit accompanied by Commodore Khan, representing the Royal Navy.

The Memorial Gates were officially inaugurated by HM The Queen in November 2002 and erected to serve as a lasting symbol of gratitude to all those who volunteered, as well as a remembrance of their bravery and dedication. It also commemorates the heritage of their descendants, who now form an integral part of modern British society. Each of the four stone columns of The Gates is carved with the names of the countries that participated in the First and Second World Wars, and the dome of the Pavilion is adorned with the names of those who were awarded the Victoria Cross and the George Cross. Two stone benches on either side of this Pavilion have the names of the campaigns in which the volunteers participated. There is also an important message on the Memorial taken from a poem written by Ben Okri especially for the opening ceremony, reminding us that our future is greater than our past.


Nominations for Awards by the India International foundation

The India International Foundation will again honour those of Indian origins who have attained distinctions in the following fields:

Administration, Parliamentary, Judiciary, Science
Medicine, Social Services, Sports, Art & Culture,
Industry, Business, Education.

The Foundation will also give award ‘Pride of India’ to the Indian of the year, whose total contributions/services have brought pride to India in the world.

To decide the award’s recipients, the India International Foundation has formed an independent Panel of Judges - 2005, consisting of the following, whose decisions will be final:

  • His Honour Mota Singh QC
  • Mr R Baghchi, Minister (Coord), Indian High Commission in London
  • Mr Karan Billimoria, CEO, Cobra Beers
  • Capt Ashvini Sharma, Regional Director, Air India
  • Mr Hardyal S Luther (ex-officio)

The Foundation invites any one to nominate as many people, anywhere in the world, for these different awards, by completing and returning the Nomination Form. There is no charge for nominating.

There are so many deserving people in the world who should receive these awards. You will be doing excellent work if you nominate them, for which the Foundation we shall be greatly obliged.
Please send your Nominations not later than 30TH NOVEMBER 2005. Any nominations received after this date will be considered for next year’s awards.

These awards will be given at a prestigious ceremony in London during the month of February/March 2006. The Pride of India Award for 2004 was given to Lord Dholakia and Awards of Distinctions to Mrs Charanjit Ajit Singh (Administration), Mr Saaed Jaffrey (Art & Culture), Sir Gulam Noon (Business/Industry), His Honour Mota Singh QC (Judiciary), Prof Jaspal S Kooner (Medicine), Baroness Flather (Parliamentary), Dr Kartar Lalvani (Science), Mr Tarsem Lal ­­­(Social Services) and Mr Sutinder S Khehar (Sports)

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