P Vaidyanathan Iyer
Australia’s new prime minister Tony Abbott is not really new to India. In his 30-minute meeting with PM Singh,Abbott recalled his earlier visit to India. Sources said Abbott vividly remembered details of his three-month stay in Bokaro and Hazaribagh in the 80s. He is learnt to have shared many positive memories of his stay then. He emphasised on closer interaction with India in the coming days and committed himself to stepping up the strategic engagement between the two countries.
His Majestys clothes
It is not often that one gets to see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in colourful attire. The gala dinner hosted by the Sultan of Brunei Wednesday saw leaders in finely-stitched traditional clothes. The Brunei Special Outfit,as a press statement issued by Brunei Darussalam noted,was meticulously designed by the office of His Majesty. Singhs measurements were sent across to the office well in advance to ensure a perfect fit. The outfit was cut from a specially made,hand-woven fabric. Each item was made from a unique pattern enhanced by the Bunga Kambang Setaman traditional motif woven into the cloth,with motifs even woven in the sleeve cuffs.
There were expectations of a pull-aside between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and PM Singh. Though that did not materialise,the two sat next to each other during the East Asia Summit. Officials said they did not have any conversation to talk home about. They could not have managed one given that there were presentations and speeches by leaders from ASEAN as well as dialogue partner countries,but handshakes are always possible at arms distance.
The visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to India for four days beginning November 30 has generated a lot of excitement in the two countries. It is learnt that Emperor Akihito,79,first visited India as a crown prince over 50 years ago in 1960. He is learnt to be keen to revisit some of the people he met during his last trip. So old black and white pictures are being retrieved for the visit.