Friday, March 30, 2012

Sri Lankan Tamil Repatriates in Andamans: Will justice be done?


Port Blair, March 29: Much has been talked about the Sri Lankan Tamil 
Repatriates over the years, who were brought by the Govt. of India 
decades ago as ‘rubber plantation workers’. 

These repatriates were settled in a tribal land at Katchal, Central Nicobars 
where they worked hard to create a plantation and struggled to survive 
with whatever the 
received out of it. Unfortunately unlike other settler communities in 
the islands, the Sri Lankan Repatriates were always an eye sore to the 
A&N Administration and Govt. of India. They were neither given a setter 
status nor allotted any land. Moreover being settled in a tribal land, 
these repatriates could not even claim for the plantations they were 
looking after for decades.

Their situation had gone to such an extent that the Deputy Commissioner, 
Nicobar had even denied them ‘Tribal Pass’ to go to their plantation, if 
at all they came out of the tribal land for any reason.

As the population of the repatriates grew in number, with 
inter-marriages among the Indian Tamils and Repatriates and also other 
settlers, the politicians eyed them as a vote bank. There were 
sympathies from the Tamil community of A&N Islands, which also attracted 
more politicians.

Over the years there were various plans chalked out to re-settle this 
community. Land was identified, projects were designed but unfortunately 
till date nothing has been implemented on the ground.

“In order to relocate Sri Lankan Tamil repatriates from the Tribal area 
of Katchal and re-settlement at Shaithan Khari Rubber Plantation, a 
survey of persons of Sri Lankan Tamil origin was carried out. In 2009, 
the Rubber Board conveyed their “No objection” for transferring the land 
at Shaitan Khari back to A&N Administration along with existing 77 work 
men already employed in the plantation and subject to concurrence of 
Ministry of Commerce & Industry”, said the Minister of State, Ministry 
of Home Affairs Shri Mullappally Ramachandran while answering to a 
question raised by the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Rau.

The MOS further said, “The proposal also envisaged development of the 
plantation in a phased manner by re-planning on a cost sharing basis 
between the A&N Administration (50%) Rubber Board (43%) and the 
beneficiaries (7%) by way of labour. One more proposal to resettle them 
in South Andaman and North & Middle Andaman by locating an area of 98 
hectare deemed forest land was also pursued”.

“The options were taken up with the authorities concerned. In the 
meantime, the settlers filed a writ petition in the Hon’ble High Court 
of Calcutta siting in circuit at Port Blair claiming for land and other 
issues. The matter is subjudice”, the MOS added

In 2003 in a meeting held in Raj Niwas, it was decided that the Deputy 
Commissioner, Nicobar and Director, Agriculture may formulate a definite 
package for shifting the families to Shaitan Khari. They may also plan 
an income generating scheme with suitable provisions for intercropping 
at least in the initial stage of plantation. With no outcome of such 
meetings and assurances, what else could have been a better solution 
than filing a Writ Petition in the court of law
. Unfortunately the step 
taken by the repatriates too seems to be prolonging and the Andaman 
Administration getting a perfect reply to any and all questions raised 
in this regard. ‘The matter is subjudice’.

CHENNAI PORT: Trail of trucks as port’s Zero Gate crippled

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 30, 2012:
CHENNAI: Lack of manpower at Zero Gate of the Chennai Port, coupled with occasional flash strikes by trailer drivers, has hampered the smooth movement of containers in and out of the port for about a week now. 
The situation has worsened in the past few days due to a flash strike by drivers of trailer lorries following an altercation with a security official posted at the gate. Besides, fewer Customs officials posted to Zero Gate have also led to slowed down movement of containers from the port’s two container terminals.
According to Chennai Port Trust sources, movement of containers has recorded a sharp decline. However, prominent trailer owners’ associations have clarified to Express that they did not call for any trailers’ strike and it was the act of some drivers, possibly affected by the latest security measures at the gate. 
While 3,188 containers (20-foot equivalents), a mixture of export and import boxes, were moved on Tuesday till Wednesday morning, the figure came down sharply to just 1,769 containers the next day. 
Though the flash strike was withdrawn by Thursday afternoon, normalcy is yet to return as container trailers were seen stranded up to Manali on one stretch and also at Madhavaram.
Though the Zero Gate has six leaves—four for export and two for import containers, and ought to have six Customs officials to check movement, only two officials are posted at the gate by the Customs now.
“Due to less number of Customs officials at the gate, we are forced to halt our trailers in a queue and wait to get clearance. Had the Customs posted more officials here, it would certainly speed up the process,” rued a driver. Despite repeated attempts, the Custom’s commissioner was not available for comment.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

32 Indians held hostage by Somali pirates

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 29, 2012:
CHENNAI: The latest ‘Situation Report’ on pirate activities released by the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) on Wednesday has revealed that Somali pirates around the Horn of Africa are holding eight vessels and 236 crews hostage.
In an e-mail reply to Express, the Public Information Office of EU NAVFOR has revealed that of the 236 sailors now held hostage by the pirates in the region, 32 are Indians, which includes seven members from the ship ‘Asphalt Venture’ that had been released but the hostages are still being held.
Asphalt Venture was hijacked on September 28, 2010 in the Somali Basin and after intervention from anti-piracy forces, she was released from the pirates’ captivity on April 15, 2011. However, pirates took hostage of about 15 of the vessel’s crew seeking more ransom.
According to the report, of the eight vessels that were held by pirates, Panama-flagged MV Iceberg-1 with 22 crew members onboard would be completing two years in the pirates’ captivity on Thursday.
The report further revealed that besides Iceberg, MV Albedo (Malaysia-flag), MV Orna (Panama-flag), M V Liquid Velvet (Marshall Islands-flag), MV Enrico Ievoli (Italy-flag), MV Free Goddess (Liberia-flag), MV Leila (Panama-flag), MV Royal Grace (Panama-flag) and MV Eglantine (Bolivia-flag) were the other vessels held by the pirates.
While MV Iceberg-1 was hijacked on March 29, 2010, the latest one joining the infamous club was MV Eglantine, which was hijacked on Monday with 23 crewmembers onboard.
It may be noted that the Council of the European Union on Friday last extended the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) counter-piracy mission, Operation Atlanta off the Somali coast until December 2014.
The latest report further revealed that about 51 sailors (besides those 185 sailors onboard the hijacked eight vessels) were being held as hostages by the pirates even after releasing their vessels. The list includes, six crew from MV Leopord, Asphalt Venture (7), Yatch Choizil (2), FV Prantalay-12 (4), FV Shiuh Fu-1 (26), MV Gemini (4) and two crew from FV Aride.
With two vessels hijacked by the pirates in March alone, the EU Naval Force has increased its surveillance along the Horn of Africa to ward off the pirates.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

சசிகலா திடீர் பரபரப்பு அறிக்கை : முழுவிவரம்


சென்னை: திருமதி வி.கே. சசிகலா வெளியிட்டுள்ள திடீர் அறிக்கை பெரும்பரபரப்பை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளது. மேலும், அவர் வெளியிட்ட அறிக்கையில் தனது உறவினர்கள் தமது பெயரை பயன்படுத்தி விரும்பத்தகாத செயல்களில் ஈடுப்பட்டதாகவும், ஜெயலலிதா வீட்டில் இருந்து வெளியே வந்த பிறகு தான் இதுகுறித்த பல விவரங்கள் தனக்கு தெரிய வந்ததாவும் விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளார். சசிகலாவின் அறிக்கை விவரங்கள் பின்வருமாறு,

திருமதி வி.கே. சசிகலா வெளியிட்ட அறிக்கையின் முழுவிவரம் : 

கடந்த மூன்று மாத காலமாக பல தரப்பட்ட பத்திரிக்கைகளில் என்னை பற்றி பலவிதமான செய்திகள் தொடர்ந்து வந்து கொண்டிருப்பதால் இந்த அறிக்கையை வெளியிட வேண்டிய கட்டாயம் எனக்கு ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது. 

1984 ஆம் ஆண்டு முதன் முதலாக அக்காவை (முதலமைச்சர் ஜெயலலிதா) நான் சந்தித்தேன். அதன் பின்னர் எங்களுக்குள் நட்பு வளர்ந்தது. அவரும் என்னை தங்கையாக ஏற்றுக்கொண்டார். 1988 ஆம் ஆண்டிலிருந்து அக்காவின் போயஸ் கார்டன் இல்லத்திலேயே அவருடன் வசித்து வந்தேன்.

அனைத்திந்திய அண்ணா திராவிட முன்னேற்றக் கழகத்தின் பொதுச் செயலாளராகவும், தமிழ்நாட்டின் முதலமைச்சராகவும் இரவு பகல் என பாராமல் கடுமையாக உழைத்து வந்த அக்காவின்  பணிச் சுமையை ஓரளவிற்காவது குறைக்கும் வகையில் அவருக்கு உதவியாக இருந்து என்னால் இயன்ற பணிகளைச் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று தான் விரும்பினேனே தவிர வேறு எந்த விதமான எண்ணங்களும் எனக்கில்லை.

போயஸ் கார்டன் இல்லத்தில் அக்காவுடன் இருந்தவரை, வெளியில் என்ன நடக்கிறது என்பது குறித்து ஓரளவிற்கு தான் எனக்கு தெரிந்ததே தவிர, முழு விவரமும் தெரியவில்லை. 

24 ஆண்டுகள் அக்காவுடன் ஒரே வீட்டில் வாழ்ந்து வந்த நான், கடந்த டிசம்பர்  மாதம் அக்காவை பிரிந்து, அவரது வீட்டை விட்டு வெளியே வந்து வேறு இடத்தில் வசிக்க வேண்டிய சூழ்நிலை உருவான பின்னர் தான், நடந்த உண்மைகள் முழுமையாக எனக்கு தெரியவந்தன.

கடந்த டிசம்பர் மாதம் அக்கா மேற்கொண்ட சில ஒழுங்கு நடவடிக்கைகளுக்கு பிறகு தான், அதற்கு என்ன காரணம், அதன் பின்னணி என்ன என்பதெல்லாம் எனக்கு தெரிய வந்தது.

என்னுடைய உறவினர்கள் மற்றும் நண்பர்கள் சிலர், நான் அக்காவுடன் ஒரே வீட்டில் வாழ்ந்து வந்ததை அடிப்படையாக வைத்து எனது பெயரை தவறாகப் பயன்படுத்தி, சில விரும்பத்தகாத செயல்களில் ஈடுப்பட்டனர் என்பதையும், அதனால் கட்சிக்கு பாதிப்புகள் ஏற்படுத்தப்பட்டன என்பதையும், அவர்களின் தவறான நடவடிக்கைகளால் பல குழப்பங்கள் உண்டாக்கப்பட்டன என்பதையும், கழகத்தின் நற்பெயருக்கு களங்கம் விளைவிக்கப்பட்டது என்பதையும், அக்காவுக்கே எதிரான சில சதித் திட்டங்களும் தீட்டப்பட்டன என்பதையும் அறிந்த போது நான் பெரிதும் அதிர்ச்சியுற்றேன். மிகுந்த வேதனை அடைந்தேன்.

இவையெல்லாம் எனக்கே தெரியாமல் நடந்தவை என்பது தான் உண்மை. சந்தித்த நாள் முதல் இன்று வரை, அக்கா நன்றாக இருக்க வேண்டும் என்று தான் ஒவ்வொரு வினாடியும் நான் நினைத்திருக்கிறேனே தவிர, கனவிலும் நான் அக்காவிற்கு துரோகம் நினைத்ததில்லை.

என்னுடைய உறவினர்கள், நண்பர்கள் என்று சொல்லிக் கொண்டு, அக்காவிற்கு எதிரான நடவடிக்கைகளில் ஈடுபட்டவர்கள் செய்தது மன்னிக்க முடியாத துரோகம். அக்காவிற்கு துரோகம் புரிந்தவர்கள் யாராக இருந்தாலும், அவர்கள் எனக்கும் வேண்டாவதவர்கள் தான்.

இவ்வாறு அக்காவிற்கு எதிரான நடவடிக்கைகளில் ஈடுபட்டு அவருக்குத் துரோகம் புரிந்தவர்களுடனான தொடர்புகளை நான் துண்டித்துவிட்டேன். அக்காவிற்கு துரோகம் செய்தவர்கள் யாராக இருந்தாலும், இனிமேல் அவர்களுடன் எவ்வித ஒட்டுமில்லை, உறவுமில்லை. 

என்னை பொறுத்தவரை, அரசியலில் ஈடுபட வேண்டாம் என்றோ, கட்சியில் பெரிய பொறுப்பு வகிக்க வேண்டும் என்றோ, சட்டமன்ற - நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் ஆக வேண்டும் என்றோ, அமைச்சர் பதவியை அடைய வேண்டும் என்றோ, ஆட்சியில் பங்கேற்க வேண்டும் என்றோ, எனக்குத் துளியும் ஆசையில்லை. பொது வாழ்வில் பங்கு பெற வேண்டும் என்ற விருப்பமே எனக்கில்லை. அக்காவிற்கு உண்மையான தங்கையாக இருக்கவே நான் விரும்புகிறேன். என் வாழ்க்கையை ஏற்கனவே அக்காவிற்கு அர்ப்பணித்துவிட்டேன். இனியும், எனக்கென வாழாமல் அக்காவுக்காக என்னால் இயன்ற அளவிற்குப் பணி செய்து அக்காவுக்கு உதவியாக இருக்கவே நான் விரும்புகிறேன். இவ்வாறு சசிகலா வெளியிட்ட திடீர் அறிக்கையில் கூறப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CHENNAI: Bid to get info on police booths hits roadblock

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 27, 2012:
CHENNAI: An attempt by a city-based RTI activist to obtain the number of police booths located on platforms (meant for pedestrians) using RTI failed to yield any result as both the Police department as well as the State Information Commission washed their hands off providing any details.
R Natarajan had filed a RTI plea with the Director General of Police  (DGP) office last July seeking details about the number of police booths located on platforms in Chennai city. As the information sought by Natarajan pertained to Chennai, the public information officer of the DGP’s office transferred his application to the Commissionerate of Police, Chennai city and asked them to provide it to the applicant.
However, the PIO of the Commissionerate of Police replied to Natarajan that the office does not maintain details about the number of police booths.He asked Natarajan to get the details from PIOs of 164 police stations, who would maintain the list such police booths in their limits.
With the police department still dilly-dallying on the issue citing difficulties in collecting and corroborating the information from different PIOs, Natarajan approached the State Information Commission and sought a direction to the police department to provide the details. 
Then came the anticlimax to the story. Though the police department inclined to part with the details if the applicant filed separate applications with each of the 164 police stations, the SIC bluntly replied to Natarajan saying, “The issue of police booths are beyond the purview of the Commission.”
Speaking to Express, Natarajan said: “The information sought under RTI was neither classified information nor confidential. I cannot understand why the police department is hesitating to part with it.”
It may be noted that the Mumbai Police (four years ago) had accepted the presence of such police booths on platforms in the city in response to an RTI plea and eventually dismantled all of them, as it was illegal to encroach on the platform, meant only for pedestrians.
With the SIC also dilly-dallying, Natarajan has planned to appeal to the Governor of the state to order the SIC to provide the details.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chennai Corporation budget: Thrust likely on education

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 12, 2012:
CHENNAI: The Corporation’s annual budget, to be unveiled on Monday at Ripon Building, will be an acid test for the AIADMK, as the party which romped home in the historic council with a brute majority, has to roll out its vision for the development of the civic body.
According to sources, the 2012-13 budget, which is the first after Corporation’s expansion in October last, is likely to give more thrust to education and infrastructure. Though the civic body is likely to unveil several schemes for the education sector in the budget, there are strong rumours that the new AIADMK administration is mulling to hike property tax for commercial buildings to meet its increasing expenditure.
On Monday, chairman of the Chennai Corporation’s standing committee on taxation and finance K Santhanam will present the budget and Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy will commence the session with inaugural remarks. As per tradition, the Mayor would unveil the schemes proposed for the financial year and he has the privilege to add more schemes (if necessary) at the end of the discussion.
Besides, the budget will focus on additional funds for infrastructure development in expanded areas of the Corporation and strengthening the educational institutions and primary health centres maintained by it.
The civic body is likely to announce its plan to construct new flyovers in the city limits, as several recently added areas lack mechanism to reduce road congestion.
Speaking to Express about the budget, a senior member of the council said the residents of Thiruvotriyur, Manali, Nolambur, Madhavaram and Maduravoyal are looking forward to infrastructure development projects in their neighborhood, which was recently annexed to the city Corporation limit. 
“The basic problem faced by the civic body is acute shortage of conservancy staff. Any decision or announcement on adding workforce and deployment of more men and machine in the recently annexed areas will improve the importance of  the budget for the residents from suburban areas,” he opined.

CHENNAI: Lankan Refugee on fast to draw CM’s attention

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 11, 2012:
CHENNAI: Seeking  J Jayalalithaa’s attention for his release from Poonamallee Special Detention Camp, Jayamohan, a 29-year-old Lankan refugee, has been fasting for the past 10 days.
According to information trickling out of the camp, Jayamohan began his fast seeking the Chief Minister’s attention on March 1 and continuing with it despite his deteriorating health. With his pulse rate going down rapidly due to no intake of food for the past 10 days including water, a doctor who visited the camp in the evening advised the local authorities to admit him to hospital ‘without any delay.’
Acting on this advice, police personnel posted at the camp rushed Jayamohan (who was unconscious) to the Government General Hospital, Chennai, in an ambulance on Saturday evening.
According to a three-page letter sent out through the tahsildar, Jayamohan who is a resident of Mullaithivu was arrested in India in March 2009 for allegedly being involved in smuggling of medicines to Sri Lanka. He has been lodged in the Poonamallee Camp for the past two years since 2010. He was also lodged in Chengalpet Special Detention Camp for about a year in 2009. Jayamohan has sought his release (or relocation to a normal refugee camp) on the grounds that 12 out of 14 accused in that particular smuggling case were permitted by the state authorities to live in normal camps, while the same privilege has been denied him.
It may be noted that Jayamohan went on a similar fast last month as well and ended it after the authorities promised to release him within seven days. However, this did not happen and it has forced Jayamohan to re-launch the fasting agitation since March 1.
Meanwhile, about 25 Lankan inmates at the Chengalpet Special Detention Camp on Saturday sat on a one-day fast expressing their solidarity with Jayamohan.

CHENNAI: ‘EMRIP Port connectivity project on track’

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 12, 2012:
CHENNAI: Stating that the TN government also wishes the speedy implementation of the much-delayed Rs 600-crore EMRIP project connecting Chennai with Ennore Port, Speaker D Jayakumar on Saturday said that the project is on the right track due to regular reviews.
Addressing the delegates after inaugurating the golden jubilee celebration of Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI is the apex body of all Custom House Agents Associations in India), Jayakumar said, “I have a special interest in the project as Chennai Port falls in my constituency and congestion due to trailers would be eased once the project is implemented.”
Disclosing the mantra for keeping the road project on the right track, Jayakumar said, “Since the project is paramount to link Chennai and Ennore ports, we have frequent review meetings of all stakeholders including the Chennai Port Trust, TNSCB, TANGEDCO, Metrowater, NHAI and district administrations. The last one was held on Wednesday.” He also announced that the next review meeting of EMRIP project would be held on March 14, as there are some hurdles still to be sorted out.
Jayakumar also said that the 1.6 km roadwork, starting from the port’s Zero Gate up to the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, has been progressing well.
Of the total length, about 600 metres work has been completed till now and authorities are in a position to complete the remaining work very soon, added Jayakumar.
Besides others, Shantanu Bhadkamkar, chairman of FFFAI and A V Vijayakumar, president of Chennai Custom House Agents’ Association (CCHAA) spoke.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

போராளிகளை உங்களுக்கான விளம்பரப் பொருட்களாக்கிவிடாதீர்கள்...தமிழ் இணையத் தளங்களை நடாத்துபவர்கள் தயவு செய்து புரிந்து கொள்ளுங்கள்

"எங்கள் போராளிகளை உங்களுக்கான விளம்பரப் பொருட்களாக்கிவிடாதீர்கள். மரணித்த எங்கள் பெண் போராளிகளை நிமிடத்திற்கு நிமிடம் நிர்வாணப்படுத்தாதீர்கள்"

சமீபகாலமாக பல இணையத்தளங்கள் போர்குற்ற ஆதாரங்களை வெளியிட்டு வருகின்றன. அதிர்வும் சில போர் குற்ற ஆதாரங்களை வெளியிட்டுள்ளது. ஆனால் அவற்றை வெளியிடுவது கொடூரமானது என ஒரு தமிழர் வாசகர் கருதுகிறார். ஒரு தனிப்பட்ட நபரின் விமர்சனம் இது. அவரது உணர்ச்சிகளுக்கு மதிப்புக்கொடுத்து நாம் இதனைப் பிரசுரிக்கிறோம். நன்றி:

சிங்களவன் செய்த கொடூரத்திலும் பார்க்க, இவர்கள் நடாத்தும் வியாபாரம் மிக... மிக... அதிகமாக உள்ளது... என்று கலங்குகின்றார்கள் தமிழ் உணர்வாளர்கள். 

புதிய போர்க் குற்றப் படங்கள் காட்டுகின்றோம்... எங்கள் இணைய தளத்திற்கு வாருங்கள்... என்று வலிந்திழுக்கும் வர்த்தக நோக்கத்துடன் தமிழ் இணையங்கள் சில வெளியிடும் சிங்களப் படைகளால் கோரமாகக் கொல்லப்பட்ட போராளிகளது படங்களும், அவலக் காட்சிகளும் தமிழ் நெஞ்சங்களைக் கோபமூட்டி வருகின்றன. அதுவும், பெண் போராளிகளது நிர்வாணப்படுத்தப்பட்ட காட்சிப் பதிவுகளை 'ப்ளாஷ்' தொழில் நுட்ப உதவியுடன் தொடர் மின்னல் காட்சிகளாகப் பார்வைக்கு வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது மிகக் கொடூரமான ஈனச் செயலாகவே நோக்கப்படுகின்றது. 

போர்க் குற்றப் படங்கள் தமிழ் மக்களுக்கான காட்சிப்படுத்தல்களுக்குரியவை அல்ல என்பதை பொறுப்பற்ற சில இணையத் தளங்கள் புரிந்து கொள்வதில்லை. கோரமான, கொடூரமான படங்களை இணைத் தளங்களில் பார்வைக்குப் பதிவு செய்வதை அங்கீகரிக்காத நாடுகளில் வாழும் சிலரால் நடாத்தப்படும் இணையத் தளங்கள் தமிழ்ப் போராளிகளது கோரமாகக் கொலை செய்யப்பட்ட படங்களையும், பெண் போராளிகளது சீரழிக்கப்பட்டு, சின்னாபின்னப்படுத்தப்பட்டு, கொடூரமாகக் கொல்லப்பட்ட ஆடைகள் அற்ற உடல்களையும் காட்சிப் பொருட்களாக்கியுள்ளன. 

இந்த இணையத் தளங்களால் மின்னும் காட்சிகளாக்கப்பட்ட அந்தப் பெண் போராளி ஒருவேளை அதன் பொறுப்பாளர்களது தங்கையாக இருந்திருந்தால், தாயாக இருந்திருந்தால் இப்படித்தான் காண்பித்து நிறைவடைந்திருப்பார்களா? என சமூக அக்கறையுள்ள மனிதர்கள் கொதித்துப் போயுள்ளார்கள். 

போர்க் குற்றத்திற்காக அடையாளப்படுத்த வேண்டிய காட்சிகளாக இருந்தால், குறைந்தபட்சம் அவர்களது முகங்களையாவது மறைத்திருக்க வேண்டும். நாகரீகமடைந்த ஊடகவியலாளாகள் கோரமான காட்சிகளை வண்ணமிழக்கப்பண்ணி, கறுப்பு வெள்ளையாகக் காட்சிப்படுத்துவதும் உண்டு. ஆனால், சில தமிழ் இணையங்கள் மனங்களில் எந்தவித சலனமும் இன்றி எங்கள் தேசத்தின் ஆன்மாக்களை நிர்வாணமாகவே காட்சிக்கு விடுவதில் போட்டி போடுவதைத்தான் அவதானிக்க முடிகின்றது. 

தமிழ் இணையத் தளங்களை நடாத்துபவர்கள் தயவு செய்து மனம் கோணாமல் எங்கள் மக்களது மன வருத்தங்களைப் புரிந்து கொள்ளுங்கள். உங்களிடம் கிடைக்கக்கூடிய போர்க் குற்ற ஆதாரங்களை அதற்குரிய இடங்களில் சமர்ப்பியுங்கள். உங்கள் இணையத் தளங்களில் அந்தப் படங்களைப் பதிவு செய்யும்போது, அவற்றை, உங்கள் உடன் பிறந்தவாகளது படங்களாக எண்ணி, அதற்குரிய மரியாதையை வழங்குங்கள். கண்ணியத்துடன் செய்திகளை மக்களுக்குத் தெரியப்படுத்துங்கள். 
நீங்கள் தெரிந்தோ, தெரியாமலோ எங்கள் மனங்களை ரணப்படுத்துகின்றீர்கள் என்று புரிந்து கொள்ளுங்கள். எங்களில் பலர் அந்தப் படங்களில் உள்ளவர்களது இரத்த உறவுகள், தோழர்கள், பெற்றவர்கள், வளர்த்தவர்கள் என அத்தனை நெருக்கமானவர்கள் என்பதை உணர்ந்து கொள்ளுங்கள்.
எங்கள் போராளிகளை உங்களுக்கான விளம்பரப் பொருட்களாக்கிவிடாதீர்கள். மரணித்த எங்கள் பெண் போராளிகளை நிமிடத்திற்கு நிமிடம் நிர்வாணப்படுத்தாதீர்கள் 

Concern over worsening piracy situation in Aden

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 10, 2012:
CHENNAI: The sixth governing council (GC) meeting of the Singapore-based anti-piracy forum has expressed serious concern over the worsening piracy situation in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.
In a meeting organised by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) in Singapore for three days (March 6-8), the GC expressed its highest concern about the fate of ships and their crew members, who are still under captivity of the Somali pirates.
According to a statement released at the end of the meeting, the GC commended the concrete efforts of the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre, under its cooperative agreement with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) through sharing of its experiences and expertise as part of the wider efforts of the international community to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia. It was finalised on November 11, 2004, and entered into force on September 4, 2006. To date, 17 countries have become contracting parties (members) to ReCAAP to combat piracy jointly.
Besides India, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Denmark, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam are the members of the international forum.
With the UK expressing its desire to join the international anti-piracy forum, that country would become the 18th member of the ReCAAP from May this year.
Besides, two invited countries (Malaysia and Australia), representatives of European Commission (EC), International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Information Fusion Centre (IFC), Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF), Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Association (FASA)/Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) attended the all important annual meeting.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How Absolute Power Corrupts...IGP's Rendezvous with Jarawas, and Army Personnel

By Zubair Ahmed
The second-in-command in Andaman Police, IGP Sanjay Baniwal has been relieved from his duties after he was charged with facilitating a rendezvous with Jarawas for his guests at Tirur sector. However, the prompt action by police has not gone well as no other charges have been framed against the senior officer.
In the first Jarawa video case, the police has already identified that army personnel were involved and it has been already communicated to the Command, but there is no action from their part.
"In both instances, it's the case of fence eating the grass," commented a senior police official.  IGP Sanjay Baniwal, who had been entrusted the job of protection of Jarawas by keeping a tab on the vehicular movement onAndaman Trunk Road after the huge national and international uproar about exploitation of Jarawas came to light, took the liberty to take his personal guests to Tirur to show Jarawa tribe and take photographs on 28 Feb 2012.
The Jarawa Protection Police Outpost in Tirur had been informed by the officer to make the Jarawas available for his guests. Jarawas, who were staying at the Chadda opposite to the JPP were proceeding towards TempleMyo for fishing. The Jarawas were made to wait for about an hour even after the AAJVS objected to the JPP staff's move.
It is also learnt from sources that the group which visited the Jarawas were lodged in a Type V police quarter at Link Road for last three months. The quarter, declared a guest house, was rented to the guests for a pittance of Rs 4/-. The IGP had facilitated their stay and their meeting with the Jarawas.
IGP Sanjay Baniwal was immediately relieved from his duties after the daily newspaper Andaman Chronicle published the news. But, there is still resentment as the law has not taken the due course in this case. Police had taken prompt action and suspended two of its ground staff for videographing Jarawas. "When a constable is placed under suspension for a crime not heinous as the IGP did, why he was not suspended or dismissed?" asks a police constable. There is huge bitterness that the same law for the same crime is applied differently.
In another issue, although police department acted swiftly and suspended the constables responsible for shooting the second dance video, there has been a implied silence on the side of Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC). Speaking to LOA, a senior police officer said that Police had sent three letters to the Command to identify the culprits. "There is no cooperation from the Command," he said. When contacted, PRO, Command informed that he is unaware of any such communication. Police had identified the vehicles and had also communicated the date of the incident, 25 September 2008. Highly placed sources in the Police Dept told LOA that the Jarawas too have identified the trucks as well as the people behind the video.
The police force, which was appreciated for its stern action in many high profile cases failed to act strongly in this instance, where an IPS officer was involved.
The C-in-C had also said in a press meet on the sidelines of Milan 2012 that the defence forces are a disciplined force and will respect the local laws.
However, the imbalanced application of law in both cases has drawn flak from various quarters.

Suspected killer ship sails into Chennai waters

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 6, 2012:
CHENNAI: Acting on the order of the Directorate General of Shipping (DG), M V Prabhu Daya, the ship  suspected to be involved in a fatal collision near Kerala coast a few days ago, reached the outer anchorage of Chennai Port on Monday evening. According to Chennai Port Trust sources, the vessel that has been allowed to berth at Bharathi Dock,   reached the outer perimeter of the Chennai Port late in the evening and was expected to berth in the early  hours of Tuesday.
Once the suspected ship is docked, it will be subjected to a detailed probe by different agencies, including the five-member team of Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) to ascertain the truth behind the fatal mid-sea mishap.
“Our officials (including one from Kerala) would board the ship on Tuesday morning to conduct the necessary enquiry as mandated by the Directorate General of Shipping,” a senior MMD official told Express. According to sources, the other teams that would be boarding the vessel along with the MMD’s surveyors are likely to conduct a series of inquiries with the crew members of the ship.
Besides, the probe team would also collect information about the movement of vessel and its journey-history through its voyage data recorder (VDR) during the time of the mishap, near the Kerala coast.
Though the ship was expected at Chennai Port by Sunday evening, its arrival was delayed as one of its crew members went missing in Sri Lankan waters and was eventually rescued by the local fishermen on Sunday.
After inspecting the vessel, the probe teams are likely to submit a comprehensive report with the DG Shipping, who will take a final call on whether the ship was indeed involved in the fatal collision off the Kerala coast.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Avoid long mobile conversations, serials: Mayor advises to college students

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai, on March 5, 2012:
CHENNAI: Pitching for a change in the mindset of youth for the country’s progress, Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy on Saturday advised students of the Madras Veterinary College (MVC) to desist from watching tele-serials, which, according to him, feeds only bad thoughts into budding minds.
Addressing the students during their Hostel Day celebrations here, Duraisamy said, “Don’t watch tele-serials as they bring in a lot of criminal thoughts and are responsible for leading young minds astray.” Besides, the Mayor also advised the students, especially girls, to use their mobile phones judiciously.
“Conversing on mobile phones for long hours would not only waste your precious time, but is also very harmful to health,” Duraisamy advised the students, who reacted with a thunderous applause.
Moving away from the tradition of addressing only from podium, the Mayor, using a cordless mike, stepped down from the stage amid the students and started interacting with them just as their professors would.
He advised the students to read newspapers regularly in order to improve their general knowledge, which, in turn, would help them face any kind of competitive examination.
Going a step ahead, the Mayor asked Dr R Prabakaran, the Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Veterinary Sciences and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), to make it compulsory for all veterinary students to read newspapers apart from  their subject textbooks.
Asking the veterinary  students to think beyond their subject, Duraisamy said, “You should not restrict yourselves to the veterinary profession after completing courses from TANUVAS, as competitive examinations would open new vistas in your careers.” He also rewarded students who came up with correct answers to general knowledge questions posed by him, with a cash prize. 

'Killer ship' asked to report at Chennai Port

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 4, 2012:
CHENNAI: MV Prabhu Daya, one of the cargo vessels suspected to be involved in the hit-and-run incident with a fishing boat off the Alappuzha coast on Thursday, has been ‘asked’ to report to the Chennai Port for a detailed probe. It is expected to reach here on Sunday evening. Two fishermen were killed in the collision while three others on the boat are still missing.
According to Coast Guard sources, MV Prabhu Daya, which had sailed from Panaji for Singapore, has been instructed to reach South Indian port (Chennai) “as soon as possible”.
The vessel was spotted off Trincomalee (Northern Sri Lanka) on Saturday forenoon with over 25 crew onboard.
“Out of eight vessels that were near the scene of crime, seven responded immediately; only MV Prabhu Daya did not respond to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), hence we are treating it as a suspect,” a senior Coast Guard official told Express.
Besides the Coast Guard’s Eastern region’s team, three different teams from the Director General of Shipping (DGS), Indian Navy and Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) will reach Chennai by Sunday for detailed questioning of mv Prabhu Daya’s crew.
Since the vessel’s next scheduled port of call (POC) is in Singapore, it is still unclear whether it will be allowed to berth at Chennai Port or the probe teams will meet the crew at the outer anchorage.

UPDATE AT 1500 hrs on Monday: The ship yet to reach Chennai Port and the Coast Guard officials have said that the vessel would reach the harbour positively by 21.30 hrs on Monday.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rivalry between NUSI, FSUI continue to dog seafarers’ wage negotiations

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express on March 3, 2012:

The issue of wages for seafarers, which was hanging on fire for the past two years, though looked finally solved last week, it took a dramatic turn at the end of the negotiations after one of the prominent unions refused to sign the agreement initiated by National Maritime Board (NMB) citing raw deal.
After several rounds of negotiations and legal wrangling in Bombay High Court over the last two years, NMB brought in a comprehensive industry-wide wage agreement for the Petty Officers & Ratings working on Indian flagships on Foreign Going (FG), Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) and Home Trade ships (HT) during a ‘final negotiation’ held at Mumbai about a week ago.
Though NMB expected the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI), the two prominent unions representing 20,000-odd seafarers in the country, would sign it, only NUSI signed the agreement while FSUI refused to sign it citing a raw deal.
With the FSUI walking out of the negotiations, the union’s members resorted to a flash strike (on the night of February 24) and it has forced the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to knock the door of Bombay High Court for remedy.
After hearing the SCI’s petition, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Union Government to set up a tribunal to look into the applicability of the seafarers wage agreement concluded on February 24 within eight weeks. 
Speaking to Express, Naresh Birwadkar, Secretary of FSUI, said, “We refused to sign the agreement as it has several anti-seamen conditions including the improper wage structure and unacceptable moratorium for wage increase for 2010-11.”
FSUI also accused that NUSI once again showed that it is against the interest of the seafarers onboard the ship.
However, NUSI refuted the FSUI’s accusations of going against the interest of seafarers.
We signed the agreement as NUSI felt that the long pending NMB agreement should be concluded at the earliest in the larger interest of the shipping fraternity,” Abdulgani Y Serang, it’s general secretary-cum-treasurer, told Express.
With the NMB’s wage agreement once again into the legal quagmire, more than 20,000 seafarers are forced to wait for few more months for any improvement in their wages.