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Remarks by MOS Dr Shashi Tharoor during the Handing Over/Commissioning function of the “Dhruv" Advanced Light Helicopter

Your Excellency Dr. the Hon. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Home Affairs of the Republic of Mauritius;
Your Excellency Dr. the Hon. Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional 
Integration & International Trade of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius
Hon'ble Ministers, 
Commissioner of Police, 
Commanding Officer of the Special Mobile Force, 
Commanding Officer of the Police Helicopter Squadron, 
Friends from the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am extremely happy to be here today to participate in the function relating to the handing over and commissioning of the "Dhruv" Advanced Light Helicopter into the Police Helicopter Squadron of the Mauritius Police Force. "Dhruv' in Sanskrit means the Pole Star. "Dhruv" in the contemporary context of the Advanced Light Helicopter symbolises the beacon light which will further guide the vast expanse of India-Mauritius relations. 

Excellency, the commissioning of the "Dhruv" Advanced Light Helicopter today culminates in the fulfilment of the high level agreement in October 2005 during your State Visit to India. It characterises the very essence and content of our cooperation which is extensive in nature and comprehensive in scope. The induction of the "Dhruv" into the Police Helicopter Squadron will not only allow passive patrolling and active search and rescue operations but also will provide an eye in the sky for Mauritius. It would result in an extensive enhancement of the present search and rescue capability and provide strategic depth to policing your extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

The conception and manufacture of "Dhruv" was aimed at providing India with a multi-role, multi-mission, new generation helicopter which would meet International Aviation Regulations and at the same time respond to civil and military operational requirements. The "Dhruv" helicopter is designed both for utility and armed roles with a capability to land on ships in high sea conditions and also on small and restricted helipads. The helicopter is also ideally suited for VIP transport. It could also be associated with disaster relief, emergency medical missions. In the Mauritian context, I am told that the "Dhruv" would be able to fly to some of the islands of Mauritius territory including St. Brandon. 

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, the links between India and Mauritius stretch back in time. India takes genuine pride in the many achievements and advances made by Mauritius. India is happy to associate itself in a comprehensive engagement with Mauritius which provides for constant and continuous commitment as we move ahead in our multi dimensional cooperation. We had the pleasure of signing the agreement for providing the Coastal Surveillance Radar System today morning. Indian Naval and Coast Guard Ships have been actively associated in the surveillance of Mauritian waters and shores. Hydrographic surveys have been carried out by Indian Naval Ships. The Offshore Patrol Vessel should join the ranks of the Mauritius Coast Guard in the not too distant future. Today the "Dhruv" joins the ranks of the Dornier and the Chetaks in your Air Squadrons. 

India is committed in reaching out to the friendly developing countries in Africa in which Mauritius holds a prominent position. We will work with Mauritius in providing for the security of her land, water and skies so as to ensure that our children and grandchildren are able to live a life which is safe, secure and stable and prosperous. And the "Dhruv" will be able to provide that additional strength in fulfilling this objective.

Vive l'amitié Indo-Mauricienne

Jai Hind! Jai Mauritius! 

Thank you for your attention

Port Louis
November 03, 2009


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