Philippines and India: Politics and ancient history

It’s not so much and archaeological story as it is a political one. The Philippine president attempts to revive ancient “ties” with India by citing Indian cultural influence by way of Srivijaya and Majapahit. I find it quite funny that the basis for reviving ties is not so much because of any historic ties with India per se (whatever “India” was in the past), but by the fact that Indian “culture” was transmitted to the Philippines. Which doesn’t really say anything, does it?


06 October 2007 (The Inquirer) – It’s not so much and archaeological story as it is a political one. The Philippine president attempts to revive ancient “ties” with India by citing Indian cultural influence by way of Srivijaya and Majapahit. I find it quite funny that the basis for reviving ties is not so much because of any historic ties with India per se (whatever “India” was in the past), but by the fact that Indian “culture” was transmitted to the Philippines. Which doesn’t really say anything, does it?

Arroyo cites ancient Philippines-India ties
By Michael Lim Ubac

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday sought to revive the Philippines’ ancient ties with India even as she called on the two countries’ leaders to “move the integration of our economies forward.”

The President was accorded full military honors when she arrived here on the second day of a three-day state visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations.


Indian President Pratibha Patil, India’s first woman chief of state, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were on hand to receive Ms Arroyo in elaborate ceremonies at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Sanskrit for presidential palace), a magnificent colonial structure with massive columns, verandas and balconies incorporating traditional Indian motifs.

Ms Arroyo’s visit here is the second in 10 years by a Philippine president. President Fidel Ramos visited India in 1997.

“India has played a very important influence on the culture of the Philippines way back before the Spanish colonized us, and we want to revive our cultural ties,” Ms Arroyo said in brief remarks to reporters following her arrival.

Cultural influence

Indian cultural influence reached the Philippines indirectly via two great Indo-Malayan empires which traded with the Philippines. The Sriwijaya Empire (7th to 13th centuries) based in Palembang, Sumatra, was a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism. The Majapahit Empire (1293 to 1527) was Hindu, and centered in Java in what is now Indonesia. Indian hegemony over Southeast Asia ended with the decline of the Majapahit in the 14th century and the rise of Islam.

Scholars believe that Indian cultural influence on Filipino culture has been underestimated. It extended through the indigenous religions, epic folk literature, myths, social customs, arts, crafts, traditional dress and Sanskrit roots of pre-Hispanic script and numerous contemporary words.

The President said that India was the fourth largest economy in the world (in terms of purchasing power parity), “and with that comes great responsibilities of India to her neighbors in the economic, political and security fields.”

“And as one of the neighbors of India in the East Asian region, we are happy to be here to move the integration of our economies forward,” she said.

In a measure using purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations, India has the world’s fourth largest gross domestic product at $4.156 trillion. PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, rather than using just the exchange rates, which may distort real differences in income.

India has a population of 1.1 billion, second only to China’s 1.3 billion people.

After the ceremonies at the presidential palace, the President went to lay a wreath at the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s great nationalist leader.

She returned to the Oberoi Hotel to receive a succession of Indian leaders and businessmen before addressing the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Associated Chamber of Commerce of India.

Trade ties lopsided

Saying trade relations between the two countries were “lopsided” in favor of India, Ms Arroyo invited the Indian business groups to invest in the Philippines in the areas of information technology, business outsourcing, mining, filmmaking, tourism, biofuels, asset privatization and consumer products.

Philippine exports to India, led by electronics, registered at $119.5 million in 2006, while imports of Indian goods such as meat, wheat and iron finished products amounted to $400.9 million.

9 accords signed

Ms Arroyo announced the signing of nine bilateral agreements with India:

• Framework of Philippines-India Bilateral Relations

• Agreement to Establish the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation

• $50-million credit line from the Export and Import Bank of India

• Philippines-India Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism, to include exchange of military personnel and students and joint military exercises in non-combat activities

• Memorandum of Agreement in the Field of Health and Medicine

• Agreement between the government-owned Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) and Indian State Trading Corp. on the purchase of $35 million worth of quality but affordable medicines from India

“Our massive spending on health care includes importing pharmaceuticals from India as part of our program to cut in half the price of medicines commonly bought by the poor,” Ms Arroyo said.

• Memorandum of Agreement on Enhanced Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy

• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes of the Philippines and India

• Memorandum of Agreement on the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports.

Other meetings

President Arroyo also met with Indian opposition leader Lok Sabha, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Sonia Gandhi, chair of the Indian National Congress party.

In the evening, she Arroyo again met Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan before going on to a state banquet hosted by the Indian President.

To cap the day, Ms Arroyo met with the Filipino community here at the Oberoi Hotel. This Saturday she goes to Agra for a tour of the Taj Mahal, the magnificent white marble mausoleum which the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan built for his wife in the 17th century.

President Arroyo arrived in India on Thursday straight from a two-day visit to China. Her visit to the Indian capital was preceded by a visit to Mumbai, India’s industrial center. She leaves for home later today.

At her meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industries in Mumbai, the President invited Indian pharmaceutical companies to make the Philippines their main base of operations in Southeast Asia.

She also invited India’s hotel and resort owners to invest in the Philippines to promote tourism, particularly in the central Philippines tourism corridor and touted the country’s pristine waters and white sand beaches.

She also invited Indian businessmen to participate in the government’s asset privatization program and invest in government-owned or -controlled corporations.

Call center in Camarines Sur

Sutherland Global Services of India has announced its plan to expand its call center operations in the Philippines.

Sutherland president K.S. Kumar, who called on the President in Mumbai, said Sutherland would set up a new call center in Camarines Sur province, southeast of Manila, in the next 45 days, which he said was expected to create 500 jobs.

He said that within the next three months, they will be establishing a 100-seat call center in Davao, and add another 500 seats to their existing 2,000-man operation in Clark.

Kumar said Sutherland Global Services was among the first locators in the new IT Park in the northern province of Tarlac, with its 100-seat call center expected to be online by January 2008.

The company is finalizing the evaluation of a proposed 200-employee call center operation in Iloilo and the planned training facilities in seven provinces to accommodate 500 graduates every month.

WNS Global Services also presented to the President its plan for a call center project in the Philippines that was registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority last Sept. 26.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

12 thoughts on “Philippines and India: Politics and ancient history”

  1. Any human and international relationships should be durable.
    To achieve durability, human relationships have to be strengthened.
    Strengthening of human relationships should begin at professional level.
    By professional level, I mean among Engineers, among call center employees etc.
    If professional relationships become strong and potentially translate into strong and durable human relationships, the short cited, naive and speculative activities of a few business persons or financial brokers can be overcome.
    The true meaning of relationships will be understood in long-term.

    Relationships established by colonial powers to meet their own economic ends have not translated into human relationships.
    Malays and Indians are as separate in Malaysia as they would be if the Malays are in Malaysia and Indians are in India respectively.
    The asymmetry is further strengthened by the demand by Malays on Hindus to become Muslims if they marry Malays.

    This does not promote cross cultural understanding and cross fertilization of cultures for positive purposes.
    I am afraid, even if I visit a Mosque once in my life time in Malaysia, that would be considered as my conversion to Islam.
    My family would be deeply hurt by the authorities unilaterally deciding to bury my body in Islamic style instead of allowing my family to cremate my body.
    This is under the assumption that I am a resident of Malaysia.
    But, I am not.
    I am studying Master in Public Policy in National University of Singapore in Singapore.
    Otherwise, I belong to India.

    In human history, even 200 years should be considered short.
    In fact, colonialism has only strengthened racial and religious polarization.

    Since the relationship between India and Philippines is being conceptualized by two sovereign independent nations with certain strategic issues in mind, hopefully this translates into durable human relationship.
    By durable, I mean many many thousands of years in culture, inter marriage and understanding.
    I believe that humans or on earth since millions of years based on Hindu Cosmology unlike the six thousand years as championed by the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam and Judaism.)

    99.999 percent of human beings are bound to be re-born because they have not become as pure as God to merge with the heaven of undisturbed state of bliss.

    Since we will be re-born again and again potentially n – 1 number of times, we better be nice to each other.

  2. It’s a good practice that we also be friendly to other countries as they can also help to improve our economic if they want to build some businesses here in Philippines.

  3. Hi everyone,

    Good to know that even in the earlier years India and the Philippines have been joining hands to improve both economies and global economic solutions around the world. Outsourcing through good relationships between these two competitive nations would be greatly affecting the economic rise and hopefully, they’ll be improving businesses in the long run.

  4. If India and Philippines have more tie-ups between them than it would be beneficial for both nations. Both country have like minded hard working people and have lot common things in between…..

  5. It is no wonder about the ancient ties of India and Philipines. Becuase of both countries have their own relations in the name of PALLAN who are now also residing in Philipines and Tamil nadu. The Pallan’s clan are the King’s race in India.

  6. We have formed one organization called “The Mallar ILLAKKIYA Kalagam – Mallar Nadu” which has doing research on Mallar/Devendrakula Velalar’s real cultural history in Tamil Nadu and strives for the upliftment of farming community.

    The Mallar/Devendrakula Velalar’s forefathers were the great rulers of Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava kings in Tamil nadu. There are some historical lies and unhistorical incidents happened at some places in India especially in Tamil Nadu. The real history of India has been concealed and distorted intentionally in India.

    Actually our Indian people have relied on UNESCO’s news and its information on various country’s history. The NHK TV-Japan has telecasted one UNESCO’s program on regarding the history of Ankovart Temple in Combodia. The UNESCO’s information on Ankovart Temple in Combodi is entirely wrong information.

    The real information has concealed. Namely the Ankovart Temple was built by the Tamil King Mahendraverma Pallava Malla who once ruled our southern parts of India and their lineage is still living in the name of Mallars/Devendrakula Velalars in Tamil Nadu in India. The Pallava King’s dynasty followed the Saivam, Vaisnavam and Budha.

    The Pallava King conquered most of the East Asian countries and married the Combodian’s princess. Hence the King built the renowned Angovart Temple which is the world largest Siva Temple after the Tanjore’s Big Temple at Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, which was built by the great Tamil King Raja Raja Cholan who also the relative of Pallava kings.

    The statue of Astabandhu (Eight handed) Vishnu’s replica as in our Tamil people who still living in remote villages in Tamil Nadu in India. Their community name is Devendrakula Velalars/Mallars whose forefathers were kings once upon time and defeated by Naicker’s Clan from north part of Southern India.

    The above information has not telecasted in NHK-Japan’s T.V’s program. We request you please to furnish the real/authenticated information regarding Ankovart Temple’s history.

    For further clarification and details of Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava’s information can be ascertained from the following websites.

    1. http://www.pallar.org
    2. http://www.mallar.org
    3. http://www.devendrakulam.org

    Thanking you

    Yours faithfully,

    MALLAR ILLAKKIYA KALAGAM: MALLAR ILLAKKIYA KALAGAM – MALLAR NADU

  7. SUB :: Siva Temple near the borders of Cambodia & Thailand’s border built by the ancient Khmer’s Prince INDRAYUDHA son of King Jayavarman II.

    REF :: Outlook Magazine’s issued dated 19.09.2011 at page no.56.

    This has reference to the above.

    I have read one article in your “Outlook” magazine under the topic of “Hinduism saves frontiers” at page no.56 in the issue of 19.09.2011, which was opined by our Honourable Mr.Tarun Vijay, M.P. of Rajya Sabha. The God Siva Mallar’s shrine wherein Sivalingha existed, was built by the Prince INDRAYUDHA son of King Jayavarman II of Khmer Empire. The shrine is located near Cambodia & Thailand’s border.

    I have given below furnished my opinion / actual history of the subject shrine and its inextricable link with the present day people of Tamilnadu especially the people of Mallar / Pallar / Devendrakula velalars / Kudumbars who are the descendants of the great Tamil Vendhars (Kings) Chera, Chola, Pandiya and Pallavas. Once upon a time the Tamil Kings Chera, Chola, Pandiya & Pallava were ruled the present day most of the East Asia’s countries and built their Tamil religion’s temple (Not Hindu) of the God Siva, Inthiran & Perumal as in the present day state of Tamil Nadu.

    The historical evidences, epigraph and the Tamil Sangam’s literatures of the great Tamil Vendhars (Kings) are inextricably linked with the present day’s people of Mallars / Pallars / Devendrakula velalars / Kudumbars and undisputed one. The name of the Prince of INDRAYUDHA was reveals that the Prince belongs to the Tamil Kings or descendants of our Tamil Kings Chera,Chola, Pandya & Pallava. Namely, the reason of the Indiran’s name in Tamil was denoted the God Inthiran after a Mallar Emperor’s death, the Emperor attain the highest status of God. Likewise, the Siva Mallar & Perumal Mallar become their highest status of God after their death in India. The Mallar Kings were once upon a time ruled most of the countries in the world. The ancient Roman & Greece kings were belongs to the race of Mallars whose names were called the ” PALLAS” & ” PANDYAS” and their regime’s emblem “FISH” was also the same emblem of our Tamil Kings PANDIAN.

    After a long, long ago, the man came to know how to live with food & shelter from uncivilized stages to the civilized manner.

    The people were lived in 4 kind of lands like Kurinji, Mullai, Marutham & Neithal. The 5th land was originated from Neithal land wherein the land was famine. Hence these kind of people do their profession as theft one. The people living in Kurinji land called people of Kurinji land and their traditional profession was hunting animals, taking honey. They are called Kuravarkal.The people living in Mullai land called people of Mullai land and their traditional profession is rearing cows,goats and other animals. They called Idaiyar/Konaar/Yadhavas.

    The people living in MARUTHAM LAND called people of MARUTHAM LAND and their traditional profession is Agriculture/farming. They are called Mallars/Devendrakula vellalars/Kudumbars / Pallars. The so called Tamil Emperors of Chera, Chola & Pandyas were originated in Marutham land only and their forefathers caused the world famous civilization of Indus valley which spread upto Arab countries. In the forth land, the people living in Neithal land called Neithal people. Their traditional profession was Fishing and called them as Meenavarkal or Fisherman.

    After a particulars period there were occurred famine in Mullai & Neithal lands. Hence the people living in such areas called Paalai land and its people called Kallars/Maravars/Servais/Ahamudaiyars and their traditional profession was Theft. Among the 4 lands, the Marutham land only having health & wealth in all levels due to the profession of Agriculture. Because of other lands people come and have the cereals for their existence. The Marutham land people were originated as Kudumbars in Tamil means family. The Marutham land caused the world famous civilization of Indus valley civilization and the renowned Tamil Emperors of Chera, Chola & Pandyas. The marutham land’s people’s mother tongue is Tamil from which the other Indian languages were originated. Their God is Inthiran who is the god of the rain. In Marutham land, If any Emperor of Mallars died, there was one Lingam built on the death place of Emperors of mallars. It is called Siva Mallar. Perumal Mallar is his relatives and intends the God of saviour.

    After the infiltration of Aryans into India, the people of 4 lands moved towards southward. The Aryan hijacked the Mallar’s religion of Saivam (Siva) & Vainavam (Perumal) and made the new religion as Hindus. Hence actually Hindu is not a religion. Buddha’s clan was belongs to the Mallar’s race. Hence the so called some Tamil Emperors were fostered the Buddha religion. They never against Buddhism. The Emperor Asoka has close relative of the south Mallar’s Emperors of Chera, Chola and Pandyas. These emperor’s has the flag of Tiger, Bow & Arrow and Fish respectively which are occurred in the Emperor’s Asoka pillar and other monuments. After the fall of these Tamil Emperors, the Nayaka Kings has destroyed the evidences of Mallar’s Emperors and degraded the Mallar’s people in the name of Pallars. Their lands were taken by force and given away to other Tamil people like Vanniyars, Maravars & Telugu Nayaka’s people who betrayed for the fall of the Tamil Emperors Chera,Chola & Pandyas.

    In all ancient Temples, the name of Hindu religion word not occurred in any place. Likewise the name of Vishnu also is not found in the ancient temple. Throughout India, the God Siva & Perumal have the temples and not temple exist in the name of Brahman. Why? Because of the God of Brahman is not belongs to Tamil people and it was originated by Aryans/Brahmins.

    Some of our people think that Buddha temple was destroyed and built the Hindu temple. It is not true. How you say the name as Hindu temple, which is not exist in India? Before the period of Buddha, the Malla’s religion only existed which was also the religion/customs of Buddha’s clan. Hence the Buddha and Mallar’s religions (Tamil religion viz., Siva Mallar & Perumal Mallar) are inextricably linked with each other. Hence it was common that the Tamil Emperors and its land were occurred the Buddha’s temple. The God Inthiran is the base for all the Mallar’s religion. Hence one of the Combodia’s King’s name is INTHIRA verman wherein the God of Inthiran found. It is the evidence of that once the Combodia was under the rule of the great Mallar’s King of Pallavas and substantiated it is belong to the clan of Mallar/Devendrakula Velalars of Tamil Nadu.

    Likewise, the Siva God shrine near the border areas of Cambodia & Thailand were belongs to the close relative of Tamil Kings of Chera, Chola, Pandiya & Pallavas. The name of Prince of INDRAYUDHA son of King Jayavarman II of Khmer Empire is exposed the God INDRAN’s name also. The name of the King Dharan Inthiravarman I (1107-42) is also reveals that the name bears the God Inthiran. The meaning of the Dharan Inthiravarman in Tamil is as below.

    In Tamil, Dharan implied Dharani means the “the World” (Oulagam in Tamil) and Inthira is denotes the God Inthiran & varman is the common name of the great Tamil Kinsgs Pallavas & Pandyas like the King Mahendravarma Pallava Malla (King of Pallavas) and the King Sadayavarman Pandiyan & Maaravarma sundara Pandiyan (King of Pandiyas). This article also proved that the Buddha’s religion & Tamil religions of Siva & Perumal are the same religion. Buddha attained his superiority in Pallankadu and his father celebrated the world known festival “Inthira Vizha” which was also celebrated by Tamil Kings Chera, Chola, Pandya & Pallavas. Even today also this festival is celebrated only by the community people of Mallar / Pallar / Devendrakula Velalars / Kudumbars at Coimbatore & Rajapalayam in Tamil nadu, India as their traditional festival.

    After the Aryan’s king infiltered into India, the Buddha’s Recluse were killed by the Hindu Kings in India due to the Buddha has opposed / forbid the principles of the Aryans. The Aryans hijacked the Tamil religion Sivam & Perumal and created the new religion as Hindu. Hence, the Kings and their followers (in the name of Hindus) were killed the Buddha’s recluse and his principles.

    But in Thailand & Cambodia, the Buddhas and the Tamil religions Sivam & Perumal were co-exist in happiness. How it was possible that the Buddha Recluse were killed & the Buddha’s principles opposed by the Hindu Kings (Aryans) in India and at the same time the Buddha’s religion & Hindu people were coo-exist happily in Cambodia, Thailand and other countries? Because of, the Aryan’s Kings (creator of the Hindu religion) were opposed the Buddha’s principles. Hence there is no wonder to express in the articles wherein you are expressed that “The region where the Buddha & Shiva co-exist in happiness.

    Actually the so-called Chola’s Emperor’s present name of Raja Raja Cholan’s real/original name is DEVENDRAN CHOLAN and all other names are his Titles only.

    The famous Archaeologist Mr.Iyyraavatham Mahadevan has proved that the oldest Rig vedaha’s (But we don’t know its original / actual name) period was Pre-Aryan period., viz the Rig Vedha has existed before the Aryan’s came to India. The Rig Vedha consists the customs and life of the God Inthiran, its followers of Mallar’s life & saints life history. Hence before the Aryan’s came to India, the God Inthiran & the name of Devendran were exist in India. Hence, how the God Inthiran belongs to Aryan people? Recently one Tamil temple is discovered in Java Islands when digging for building near a Mosque. The temple was built by the great Tamil Emperor Rajendra Cholan Son of Devendra Cholan @ Raja Raja cholan who ruled once most of the Asian countries.

    Hence it is apparently proved that the Buddhism and Mallar’s religions of Saivasim & Vainasiam are inextricably linked one other. For further clarification you can visit the following websites. Actually the Tamil is the base for all the history & languages in the world.

    The Archaeological findings, inscription, epigraphic discovery, Copper plates & the traditional customs of Mallars/Devendrakula velalars/Pallars have substantiated/proved that the Pallavas emperor are the forefathers of present clan of Mallars/Devendrakula velalars/Pallars/Kudumbars. It is undisputed one & nobody can claim his or her inheritance/legacy in Tamil nadu. I have here under furnished some information/evidences/records for the substantiation of Chera, Chola, Pandya & Pallava emperors were the forefathers/descendants of the present day society of Mallars/Devendrakula velalars/Kudumbars/Pallars in Tamil Nadu.

    6. The Pallava emperors were fostered their forefather’s religion Buddha, Siva & Perumal after the Aryan’s infiltration into India. Their language is Tamil (Old Tamil viz., Vatta eluthu which is still occurred in the ancient temple of Maamallapuram (the name also certified the proof of Mallar’s history) & in Ankovart Aalayam (Aalayam is the pure/original Tamil Name for Temple) in Combodia. North Indian people have accepted the principles of Aryans & followed their culture, customs, habits & language. But South Indian people are not accepted the Aryan’s principles and so on. Hence most of the culture, customs, habits and the way of life of South Indian people are entirely different from North Indian people.
    7. One of the important Pallava’s Emperors name was INTHIRA varma pallava Malla who have borne his clan/descendant’s name in his name.
    8. Actually, the Ankovart Aalayam is not Hindu Temple in Cambodia. It is the Mallar/Devendrakulam/Kudumbar’s forefather’s religion of Budha, Siva & Perumal religion which has hijacked by the Aryan’s after their infiltration into India and made the new religion as Hindu.
    9. After captured the Malla’s land by the Aryans up to Arab countries, the Aryan’s destroyed all the historical evidences/records and followed Mallar’s traditional customs and habits, culture & language for destroy their identity. One of the Malla’s Emperor Buddha’s father was stubbornly opposed the Aryan’s influence in India. Then his son Gowthama Buddha has created the Buddha religion due to his forefather’s religion of Inthiran, Siva & Perumal have been hijacked by the Aryans and made the new religion as Hindu which has paved the way for the casteism by birth.
    10. The pure Tamil word for Raja is “Vendhan” which means King. Hence the Vendhan became Devendran=Devar+Vendhan due to the Vendhan was the head of all Devas. Hence the word Devendran coined from Tamil language as the above. After the Aryan’s infiltration into India, the Aryan created another one as Inthiran for tarnish the Mallar’s culture, habits & customs. They made / created a lot of fake stories to defame the esteem of Mallar’s (Tamil) culture, history, habits and language even their Gods willfully. The Aryan means “Uncivilized society” in Tamil vide Late Mr.Devaasiravatham’s Books.

    Most of our ancient / historical Titles, names and so on are wrongly used / claimed by most of the society and its people which caused the above unnecessary disputes and contradiction among various societies in Tamil Nadu. Because of, some society has wrongly claimed the Devar’s title name as their Caste name which is actually belongs to the Mallar / Pallar / Devendrakula Velalars. Namely, as per our Tamil language, the name of Devendran means DEVAR + VENDHAN = DEVENDRAN whose forefathers were the great Tamil Vendhars Chera, Chola, Pandiyas & Pallavas and their Gods are Siva Mallar, Perumal Mallar & Devendran based on our Tamil Shangam’s Literatures, Archeological / Historical evidences, epigraphic in the ancient Temples and their customs & habits in their society. I also furnished one or two examples of our ancient Tamil name’s interpretation for your kind perusal for the legitimate / legal / rightful claim of the society of Mallars / Pallars / Devendrakula Velalars / Kudumbars.

  8. Mr.Thiru,
       You are great, put some more effort & Show who are devandrakula vellalar to the world.

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