Saturday, Dec 14, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee, paying homage to the victims of last year's attack on the Parliament House complex, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Anu Pushkarna
And, as an articulation of America's continuing condemnation of the terrorist attack on the "fount of Indian democracy", the U.S. Ambassador, Robert Blackwill, visited the Parliament House this morning to offer floral tributes at the December 13, 2001, memorial.
He also met the Speaker, Manohar Joshi, and witnessed the reference made in the Lok Sabha to the terrorist strike.
Mr. Blackwill's visit was described by the U.S. Embassy as an effort to reiterate "with full voice and strong heart that India and the U.S. are together in the war against terrorism".
Further, according to the press statement, "that war will not be won until all terrorism against India and America is ended, permanently". The reference to the terrorist attack in both Houses as soon as they met for the day was one of the four December 13 attack-related events organised within the precincts of Parliament House today.
The day began in the annexe building where the Parliamentarian Forum for Human Development mounted an exhibition titled `Sphote: A Creative Protest Against Terror' in collaboration with Habiart Foundation.
Thrown open by the Vice-President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, in the presence of some Ministers, MPs and several artists, the exhibits were described by the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, as an articulation of the resolve of the artistic community to fight terrorism. Within minutes of the inauguration, the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, arrived at the Rajya Sabha Chairman's Gate to offer floral tributes at the December 13 memorial where photographs of the eight men and the lone woman killed in the terrorist strike were mounted on the wall.
Besides Mr. Shekhawat, Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Advani, those who offered floral tributes included the Speaker, Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, some Ministers and MPs.
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