NEW DELHI: In a first, leaders of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are the chief guests of the Republic Day parade and ceremony at Rajpath near India Gate as India marks its 69th Republic Day. ASEAN is a regional grouping of 10 Southeast Asian countries. In the guest list are Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Philippines’ President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The chief guest at India’s first Republic Day on January 26, 1950 was the President of Indonesia, and since then, five other Southeast Asian leaders have chief guests at the Republic Day parades.
Nearly 60,000 security personnel drawn from the Delhi Police and central security forces have been deployed in Central Delhi.The police is also using counter-drone technology to thwart any attack or identify any suspicious flying object, a senior police officer said.Security personnel have identified vulnerable spots such as crowded markets, railway stations, bus stands and other high-value establishments, and efforts have been made to secure them.The traffic police has also deployed over 1,500 personnel to manage route diversions and ensure safe and secure passage for the visiting dignitaries.
At Rajpath, India showcased its military might as well as its rich cultural heritage and traditions coupled with the latest initiatives and achievements. Several states, organisations and government departments also showcased their achievements through tableaux.