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Indian Ambassador calls CJI Ramana’s first-ever visit to UAE history in making

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir on Thursday expressed his happiness over the first-ever visit of Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana to the Arab country, calling it “history in making”.

Sudhir said, “It is indeed a very memorable day for us that we have the CJI of India, who is on an official visit to this country. In fact, he is the first Chief Justice of India who is making an official visit to the UAE. In that sense, you are actually witnessing history being made.

“Just about an hour back, we had a meeting with the Justice Minister and we had very substantive talk and lot of discussion about the welfare measures for the Indian community. I’m so grateful to the CJI that he took up those matters and gave us some kind of a head-start to start pursuing these issues, which we’ve been taking up on behalf of the Indian community here, to take up with the UAE Government with rigour.

“I must also say that ISC is not only a home away from home, but I think this is a building, which has been built brick-by-brick by the contribution of the Indians here. I also appreciate the enormous work carried out by the Centre during the Covid-19 pandemic. That was a situation that we at the Embassy could not have managed by ourselves, unless we had the support of the Indian community here, the Indian Associations here and the ISC.

“One thing which also needs to be mentioned is that today, we have a very comprehensive relationship. In 2017, during the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we signed a strategic partnership agreement and following that you would have all witnessed very closely how the relationship has been growing.

“Just a few weeks back, we had a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in which we signed the economic partnership agreement, a big milestone, a paradigm shift in our economic engagement.

“The two leaders also released a vision document, which is in public domain. This is such a significant document. It is kind of a road-map of how our leaders envision our relationship to grow in the decades to come and is also clear instructions for the bureaucracy and government on both sides on areas to focus on.

“We also had Speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla visiting here, again the first of its kind visit. You are seeing how comprehensively the countries are working together. We also know that the basic edifice of our relationship is our Indian community here, the largest Indian nationals anywhere in the world.”

Speaking on the occasion, Justice Hima Kohli, “It is a surprise. I wasn’t expecting to speak. They do say that when the head of the institution is here whatever he says, goes for all of us. And that’s how we work in the judiciary.

Thank you for inviting us here. It’s a pleasure to see such a vibrant Indian community in Abu Dhabi and visiting this center has taken me back a decade. A decade ago I had visited Auckland for a conference and the Indian embassy is in Wellington.

They don’t have a presence in Auckland but a very vibrant Indian community like the one here, that had in India house and it was fortuitous that I went there on the eve of 15th of August and we were requested to hoist the flag and participate in the preparations of that day. And just like this, it was a festive occasion.

All the lights, and the balloons and families coming in big numbers and the meals being brought by families to the center, takes me back to those days. And how we enjoyed the Indian food in that foreign environment was entirely different. So, I’m glad that you have hosted us today.

It is our privilege to come here and be with you. We heard very good things about the Indian community from his excellency, the Minister and the ambassador has endorsed it in so many words that all of you have made such a special place for your selves in this country and you are appreciated for the kind of work you have been doing.

That goes to say much about the Indian community. That there is a vibrant relationship of the Persons on power with Indian community for which the Indian embassy acts as a bridge, goes to show that you are actually showcasing the culture of India far away from the shores of the country preserving it and taking it further.

I must acknowledge that it is very good to see good number of ladies amongst the audience. And obviously they are also contributing their might to making their families and themselves evolve in this culture, preserve it and also accept the culture of the country where they are working and coordinate with each other to build the relationship.

So, really in every way, each one of you is an ambassador of the country, when you step out of the country. Good to see you in large numbers. Thank you for inviting us on the eve of Holi. Happy holi to all of you. Thank you.”

CJI Ramana said, “Namaskar, adab, good afternoon. I am very glad to participate in this meeting. In fact yesterday evening only, we confirmed this programme. In a short span, you are organising this meeting. I really appreciate your commitment to the Indian community. Fellow Indian coming from India and visiting this place you want to interact with them is a great thing. More than anything, today I am very happy because just now, we are coming after meeting the Minister for Law of this nation and the Supreme Court Chief Justice and other dignitaries.

During the briefing in the car, the Ambassador has brought 4 to 5 important issues concerning Indians staying in this place. The ISC which was established in the year 1967, such a huge infrastructure, is a wonderful thing. It shows civil commitment, interest in protecting your identity and taking care of the Indians who came here and working here.

You did an amazing work during the Covid-19 time, apart from other times of crisis and issues, by providing help, taking care of the fellow Indians and providing them some entertainment and cultural activities and other things. I appreciate and thank the organising committee for taking interest on this issue.

You all know that both India and UAE share very hood bondage, strong friendship and relationship. Presently, the two nations have signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement taking into consideration the future growth and development of these countries.

Today we have discusses with the Law Minister some if the issues which are bothering the government, particularly the Ambassador. Around 175 people whose extradition orders are pending and when the Ambassador had brought this to notice, we represented and mentioned to the Law Ministry.

He agreed immediately to look into these issues and try to expedite these extradition orders. Apart from that, there are 105 transfer of sentence prisoners also. This issue also they said they’ll try to solve immediately. One more request we made about the Consulate Counsellors access to visit Indians in prisons. These are the 3 important humanitarian issues which we have to take care of. In addition, the implementation of the awards passed by the Courts particularly when the workforce was removed from service/employment.

Even though judgments are there, they are not implementing and the benefit is not getting to the people. That also they said that if the numbers are given, every 6 months they will review and will try to implement as early as possible. In Family Courts, we have seen certain legislations were made by the UAE Government which is related to protections of traditional rights and laws of Indians who came from different parts of non-Muslims, to follow their laws. They have agreed for that and it seems they have created some courts.

They said that already the legislation is made, they are going to implement it and are working. But some particular difficulties are taking place, that is there are not sufficient number of interpretators in the courts. They promised they will take care of that issue. The people who cannot understand Arabic or other languages like English, etc., can take help of the interpretators. Second thing is that a third language-Hindi was introduced in courts. It takes care of some of the problems these people are facing. So, these are the issues which we’ve discussed.

One of the major reasons for the strong ties between the two nations is that the Indians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in the UAE. Nearly, 3.5 million Indians are living here, comprising about 30% of the total population. Indians have significantly contributed to the development of the UAE over the years. Many Indians travel to to this place since 1970 for search of economic opportunities. The nature of work and workers migrating to UAE has changed since the growth of the service sector in the UAE. Now the Indian population has been completely integrated into the fabric of this society. However, one of the most significant thing about the Indian diaspora in the UAE is the contributions back to India. All of you have significantly contributed to Indian development as well. Whenever there has been a calamity or requirement for Indians in the UAE to step up and contribute towards the Indian cause, they always deliver.
I remember a few years back when the State of Kerala faced devastating floods, it was our Gulf brothers and sisters who were the first to send immediate relief to help those in need. This shows the deep love and fraternity held by all of you for India. It reminds me of the famous lines in an old Bollywood song in the movie ‘Shree 420’- “Mera joota hai Japani, yeh patloon Englishtani, Sar pe lal topi Rusi, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani”.
Whenever your Indian values of care, respect, fraternity and tolerance were signed through, it is not the soil where you reside but the values you carry within you. India resides in all of you and I hope wherever you live for work, you will always think about India and keep her flag shining high. Wherever I go, always my advice and request to all the experts is not to forget your motherland. Don’t detach from your roots. Sustain and promote your culture. Celebrate festivals. Organise and join cultural events. It is through these concerted efforts only you can maintain brotherhood between the communities and sustain much-needed solidarity.
Each one of you represent what India is known for and what India stands for.

As the CJI, I cannot make any promise to you, but can suggest to organisations such as the ISC to think at creating a legal assistance centre to help those in need of legal assistance on India. Both the national and state legal service authorities are able to take care of legal service needs of 70% of the population totally free of cost. I can assure that Indian Legal Service Authority will extend all possible help in dealing with legal problems of the needy in India.
Having observed the growing strong relationship between the countries, I am confident that this relationship will only grow in time to come. The strong bond of friendship between the two nations are bound to flourish and achieve new heights.

General Secretary of ISCE, Jojo J Ambooken said, “We express our sincere gratitude to Justice NV Ramana, Chief Justice of India for accepting our invitation and finding time during his busy schedule to visit ISCE and attend the function and address the gathering.

We also thank Ms Shivamala, wife of the Justice, for her visit to ISCE to spend time with us. It is our great pleasure to thank Miss Hima Kolhi, Judge of Supreme Court of India to attend this function in UAE, during her busy schedule.”

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