Saturday, July 28, 2012

டி.என்.எஸ்., பட்டயப் படிப்பு ரத்தாகுமா?


கப்பலில் பயிற்சி பெறுவதில் சிக்கல்:நடவடிக்கை எடுப்பாரா புது துணைவேந்தர்?
சென்னை:கடல்சார் கல்வியான "நாட்டிகல் சயின்ஸ்' பிரிவில், டி.என்.எஸ்., எனப்படும் பட்டயப்படிப்பு படிக்கும் மாணவர்கள், கப்பலில் 18 மாதங்கள் பயிற்சி பெற வழியில்லாத நிலை ஏற்பட்டுள்ளதால், அவர்களின் எதிர்காலம் கேள்விக்குறியாகி உள்ளது. நாடு முழுவதும், ஆண்டுக்கு, 2,500 மாணவர்கள் இப்படிப்பில் சேரும் நிலையில், வெறும், 300 பேருக்கு மட்டுமே பயிற்சி பெறும் வாய்ப்பு கிட்டுகிறது.

இதனால், மீதமிருக்கும் மாணவர்கள், பட்டம் பெற முடியாமலும், வேலை வாய்ப்பு பெற முடியாமலும் திண்டாடி வருகின்றனர். இந்த படிப்பை ரத்து செய்வது ஒன்று தான், இப்பிரச்னைக்கு தீர்வாக அமையும் என, இத்துறை சார்ந்த வல்லுனர்கள் கருத்து தெரிவிக்கின்றனர். இந்த பிரச்னைக்கு, கடல்சார் பல்கலைக்கழக புது துணைவேந்தர் ரகுராம் நடவடிக்கை எடுப்பாரா என்ற எதிர்பார்ப்பு எழுந்துள்ளது.

பிரபலம்:நாடு முழுவதும், 85க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கல்வி நிறுவனங்கள், கடல்சார் படிப்புகளை வழங்கி வருகின்றன. இதில், அதிகபட்சமாக தமிழகத்தில் 20க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கல்வி நிறுவனங்களும், மகாராஷ்டிராவில், 30க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கல்வி நிறுவனங்களும் இயங்கி வருகின்றன. இதர மாநிலங்களில், மற்ற கல்வி நிறுவனங்கள் இயங்கி வருகின்றன.
கடல்சார் படிப்புகளில், பல பாடப்பிரிவுகள் இருந்தாலும், அதில் "டி.எஸ்சி., நாட்டிகல் சயின்ஸ்' பாடப் பிரிவு மிகவும் பிரபலம்.
மூன்றாண்டு பட்டயப் படிப்பான இதில், ஆறு செமஸ்டர்கள் உள்ளன. முதல் 12 மாதம், கல்வி நிறுவனத்தில் படிக்க வேண்டும். இதில், இரு செமஸ்டர்கள் வருகின்றன. அடுத்து, 18 மாதங்கள், கப்பலில் பயிற்சி பெற வேண்டும். இதில், மூன்று செமஸ்டர்கள் வருகின்றன.

கப்பல் பயிற்சிக்குப் பின், மீண்டும் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட கல்வி நிறுவனத்திற்கு வந்து, ஆறு மாதங்கள் படிக்க வேண்டும். அப்போது, ஒரு செமஸ்டர் உண்டு. இவற்றில், கப்பல் பயிற்சி முடிக்கும் மாணவருக்கு, சிறப்பு பட்டயமும் வழங்கப்படுகிறது.
வாய்ப்பு:நாடு முழுவதும், ஆண்டுக்கு, 2,500 பேர் இதில் சேர்கின்றனர். ஆனால், முதல் ஒரு ஆண்டு படிப்பு முடிந்ததும், 18 மாதங்கள் கப்பல் பயிற்சிக்கு செல்லும்போது, மாணவர்களுக்கு சிக்கல் ஏற்படுகிறது. தேசிய அளவில், வெறும், 300 மாணவர்களுக்கு மட்டுமே, கப்பலில் பயிற்சி பெறும் வாய்ப்பு கிடைக்கிறது. மற்ற மாணவர்களுக்கு, இந்த வாய்ப்பு கிடைப்பதில்லை. போதிய கப்பல்கள் இல்லாததும், இருக்கும் கப்பல்களில், மாணவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் பயிற்சி அளிப்பதற்கு ஏதுவாக நேரம் ஒதுக்க முடியாததும், முக்கியப் பிரச்னைகளாக உள்ளன.

இதனால், கப்பல் பயிற்சி பெறுபவர்கள் மட்டுமே, மீதமுள்ள படிப்பை நிறைவு செய்து, பட்டயம் பெற முடிகிறது. மற்றவர்கள், படிப்பை முடிக்க முடியாமல் அல்லாடி வருகின்றனர்.
துறை சார்ந்தவர்கள் கருத்து:கடல்சார் படிப்புகள் சார்ந்த துறை வல்லுனர்கள் கூறியதாவது:
கடந்த 2007ல் இருந்து, இந்தப் பிரச்னை நடந்து வருகிறது. இதுவரை, 15 ஆயிரத்திற்கும் மேற்பட்ட மாணவர்கள், கப்பல் பயிற்சி பெறாமல் உள்ளனர். இவர்களின் எதிர்காலம் கேள்விக்குறியாகி விட்டது. தேசிய அளவில், கடல் சார் பல்கலைக்கழகம், சென்னை அருகே இயங்கி வருகிறது. எனினும், இந்த படிப்புகளுக்கான குடுமி, மும்பையில் உள்ள கப்பல் துறை இயக்குனர் ஜெனரலிடம் உள்ளது.

படிப்பை, பல்கலைக்கழகம் வழங்கினாலும், கப்பலில் பயிற்சி பெற, இயக்குனர் ஜெனரலின் அனுமதி தேவை. கப்பலில் பயிற்சி பெறுவதற்கான வாய்ப்பு இல்லாததைக் காரணம் காட்டி, பி.எஸ்சி., நாட்டிகல் சயின்ஸ் பாடப் பிரிவை நிறுத்திவிடலாம் என, ஏற்கனவே கப்பல் துறை இயக்குனர் ஜெனரல் தெரிவித்தார். ஆனால், இதை பல்கலைக்கழகம் ஏற்காமல், தொடர்ந்து மாணவர் சேர்க்கையை அனுமதித்து வருகிறது. இதனால், பிரச்னையும் தொடர்கிறது. இந்த படிப்பை ரத்து செய்வதன் மூலம் மட்டுமே, இந்தப் பிரச்னைகளுக்கு முற்றுப்புள்ளி வைக்க முடியும்.இவ்வாறு, துறை சார்ந்த வல்லுனர்கள் தெரிவித்தனர்.

மும்பையைத் தலைமையிடமாகக் கொண்டு, கப்பல் துறை இயக்குனர் அலுவலகம்( டைரக்டர் ஜெனரல் ஆப் ஷிப்பிங்) இயங்கி வருகிறது. சென்னையைத் தலைமையிடமாகக் கொண்டு, கடல்சார் பல்கலைக்கழகம் இயங்கி வருகிறது. இந்த இரண்டும் பல வழக்குகளில் முட்டி மோதி வருகின்றன. மேலும், கடல் சார் பல்கலைக்கழகம், பல ஊழல் வழக்குகளில் திளைத்து வருகிறது.இந்த பல்கலைக்கழக முன்னாள் துணைவேந்தர் மீது ஊழல் வழக்குகளும் நடந்து வருகின்றன. இந்த நிலையில் இந்த பல்கலைக்கழகத்திற்கு ரகுராம் என்பவர், புது துணைவேந்தராக பொறுப்பேற்றுள்ளார். நாட்டிக்கல் சயின்ஸ் படிப்பில் ஏற்பட்டுள்ள குளறுபடியை தீர்க்க, அவர் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும் என்ற எதிர்பார்ப்பு ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned


Monks who played a vital role in Burma's recent struggle for democracy have been accused of fuelling ethnic tensions in the country by calling on people to shun a Muslim community that has suffered decades of abuse.
In a move that has shocked many observers, some monks' organisations have issued pamphlets telling people not to associate with the Rohingya community, and have blocked humanitarian assistance from reaching them. One leaflet described the Rohingya as "cruel by nature" and claimed it had "plans to exterminate" other ethnic groups.
The outburst against the Rohingya, often described as one of the world's most oppressed groups, comes after weeks of ethnic violence in the Rakhine state in the west of Burma that has left more than 80 dead and up to 100,000 people living in a situation described as "desperate" by humanitarian organisations. As state-sanctioned abuses against the Muslim community continue, Burma's president Thein Sein – credited by the international community for ushering in a series of democratic reforms in the country and releasing political prisoners such as Aung San Suu Kyi – has urged neighbouring Bangladesh to take in the Rohingya.
"In recent days, monks have emerged in a leading role to enforce denial of humanitarian assistance to Muslims, in support of policy statements by politicians," said Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan project, a regional NGO. "A member of a humanitarian agency in Sittwe told me that some monks were posted near Muslim displacement camps, checking on and turning away people they suspected would visit for assistance."
The Young Monks' Association of Sittwe and Mrauk Oo Monks' Association have both released statements in recent days urging locals not to associate with the group. Displaced Rohingya have been housed in over-crowded camps away from the Rakhine population – where a health and malnutrition crisis is said to be escalating – as political leaders move to segregate and expel the 800,000-strong minority from Burma. Earlier this month, Thein Sein attempted to hand over the group to the UN refugee agency.
Aid workers report ongoing threats and interference by local nationalist and religious groups. Some monasteries in Maungdaw and Sittwe sheltering displaced Rakhine people have openly refused to accept international aid, alleging that it is "biased" in favour of the Rohingya. Monks have traditionally played a critical role in helping vulnerable citizens, stepping in to care for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in 2008 after the military junta rejected international assistance.
Many have been shocked by the response of the monks and members of the democracy movement to the recent violence, which erupted after the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman, allegedly by three Muslims, unleashed long-standing ethnic tensions.
Monks' leader Ashin Htawara recently encouraged the government to send the group "back to their native land" at an event in London hosted by the anti-Rohingya Burma Democratic Concern. Ko Ko Gyi, a democracy activist with the 88 Generation Students group and a former political prisoner, said: "The Rohingya are not a Burmese ethnic group. The root cause of the violence… comes from across the border." Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, said: "We were shocked to have [Ashin Htawara] propose to us that there should be what amounts to concentration camps for the Rohingya."
Ms Suu Kyi has also been criticised for failing to speak out. Amal de Chickera of the London-based Equal Rights Trust, said: "You have these moral figures, whose voices do matter. It's extremely disappointing and in the end it can be very damaging."
The Rohingya have lived in Burma for centuries, but in 1982, the then military ruler Ne Win stripped them of their citizenship. Thousands fled to Bangladesh where they live in pitiful camps. Foreign media are still denied access to the conflict region, where a state of emergency was declared last month, and ten aid workers were arrested without explanation.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flatgate in Kerala: ‘Whistle Blowers’ Caught Naked


Flatgate in Kerala:
‘Whistle Blowers’ Caught Naked
N S Sajith

MOST of the journalists who are hand in glove with the Congress and other UDF bosses in the current anti-CPI(M) conspiracy boast that they are waging a war against the vices in the communist movement in Kerala. For the last three months they have launched an all out attack on CPI(M) in the name of Chandrashekharan murder investigation. The unholy nexus between media and police was explicitly exposed by Deshabhimani by publishing mobile phone call details between some journalists and police officers in the Special Investigation Team formed to investigate the murder. It was revealed that the DySP had made over 3000 phone calls, most of which were to journalists.

Now, another new revelation, on the basis of a document received by Deshabhimani and Indian Express through Right to Information Act, has once again proved the unholy and unethical nexus between the government and the right wing media. According to the news published by these two newspapers, 54 senior journalists have together defaulted on a payment of Rs 19.37 crore for residential flats they secured from Kerala State Housing Board (KSHB) 12 years back under a special scheme for journalists. They were also lobbying with the government to waive this huge amount.

In 2000, KSHB had launched a scheme for providing residential flats to journalists. Under this scheme, 54 two bedroom and three bed room flats were constructed in NCC Nagar in Peroorkada in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation area. A price of Rs 7.62 lakh was fixed for a two bedroom flat and Rs 10.28 lakh for a three bedroom flat. The price of the flats was fixed by the KSHB after deducting an existing government subsidy of Rs 50,000 for journalists against their housing loans. But no journalist has paid the installments, disregarding the frequent notices from the KSHB. The defaulters include 11 journalists from Malayala Manorama, Kerala’s largest-selling daily, and five from Mathrubhumi, the second largest daily in the state.

They also include the Kerala resident editor of Deccan Chronicle-Asian Age, John Mary, Kerala Kaumudi deputy editor P P James, Malayala Manorama bureau chief John Mundakkayam and Congress mouthpiece Veekshanam resident editor J Ajith Kumar. Most of the defaulters actually have one or more other houses and therefore had given these KSHB flats to others on rent. According to the scheme, only journalists who are not possessing homes are eligible for the allotment of the flats.

The allottees occupied the flats after paying Rs 1.25 lakh each. The equated monthly installment (EMI) for the flats was within the range of Rs 2500-4000. While five of the 54 journalists paid the first few instalments, the rest have not paid even a single instalment after taking possession of the property. Further, 23 of the 54 journalists gave the houses on rent in violation of norms and without the approval of the KSHB. With interest on the unpaid loans mounting, each loan has now grown to between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 29 lakh.

In 2004, the Congress-led government was said to be in favour of writing the loans off but did not go through with the plan. The Left Democratic Front government which followed did not give in to the pressure from the journalists and asked them to clear their dues through a one-time settlement plan. But the journalists bought time through their collective pressure, the sources said. They said successive housing ministers would seek the opinion of the finance and housing departments over writing these dues off and the departments would always oppose the proposal.

It remains to be seen what these ‘whistle-blower’ right wing journalists have to say about this Flatgate scandal. Given their brazenness, they are likely to brush this off as a CPI(M)-inspired attack against them. But the people can now clearly see the nexus between this media and the UDF bosses. On the other hand, this nexus is nothing new also. The never-ending tirade of the right wing media against the Left actually started right from the inception of Communist Party in Kerala. In every historic juncture, this media showed its real colours.

CASES FILED AGAINST
BSNL AND DESHABHIMANI

Battered by an expose by Deshabhimani daily on the nexus between media and police officers in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in charge of T P Chandrashekharan murder case, the Kerala police has registered cases against Deshabhimani and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). On July 10, Deshabhimani had published a news story based on the details of mobile phone calls made by DySP Josy Cherian of SIT to the media persons in order to publish news against CPI(M) leaders’ alleged involvement in Chandrashekharan’s murder.  

The cases have been registered on the basis of complaints filed by DySP Josy Cherian of SIT against both Deshabhimani and BSNL. According to the complaints, BSNL has leaked the phone call details and Deshabhimani has published a story to defame him. Vadakara Rural DySP Rajmohan told newspersons that the investigation has started as the police served a notice to the nodal officer of BSNL.

Director General of Police, Jacob Punnose, said that no phone calls have been leaked but only the call details of investigating officers. He pointed out that the mobile phone companies have been directed to provide phone details only officers of the rank of SP. The police will investigate how the call details were leaked to other persons. He added that the state police has no power to control the mobile phone service providers.

                                       
C H ASHOKAN
GETS BAIL

C H Ashokan, CPI(M) Onchiyam area secretary, who was imprisoned in connection with T P Chandrashekharan murder case, secured bail from High Court. Ashokan, former general secretary of Kerala Non Gazetted Officers Union, was taken into police custody on the pretext of seeking answers for some queries of Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Chandrashekharan murder. He was later arrested and remanded by Vadakara court.

On July 13, the High Court single bench judge N K Balakrishnan granted the bail with stringent conditions. The court has directed him not go out of Kerala without its permission. Advocate K Gopalakrishana Kurup, who appeared for Ashokan, said that the case was registered on the instruction of leaders of the ruling party. Ashokan was freed from Kozhikode district jail on July 16.

LAKHS OF PEOPLE
COURT ARREST

At the call of the CPI(M) central leadership, lakhs of people in Kerala courted arrest on July 12 in a massive struggle against the central government’s neo-liberal policies that are resulting in the sky rocketing price rise. Picketings were organised in front of the state government offices in area centres that were attended by thousands of people. Workers, kisans, agricultural labourers, women, youth are among the sections of people that participated in the struggle.
In Thiruvananthapuram, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M A Baby inaugurated the picketing in front of the state secretariat. Thousands of people gathered at the Martyrs column near Palayam and marched towards secretariat. Addressing the protestors, M A Baby said that both the central and state governments were pushing the people towards mass suicides. The food coupon scheme will intensify the sufferings of the people, he said.

In Kannur, central committee member P K Srimathi inaugurated the picketing. In Kochi, CC member M C Josephine participated in the picketing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

When the Media sold its Conscience for TRP!

Source:http://inahas.blogspot.in/2012/07/when-media-sold-its-conscience-for-trp.html


Guwahati is everywhere today: News Channels, Social Media. I hope that Assam is still the same place which I thought to be, and that a few weeds have grown because of ignorance of the caretakers. Praise showered on the region by mentions on the show of Satyamev Jayate looks hollow after this sorry incident. There are two angles to it: People and the Media. As I write about the role of media here, in no way do I support all those involved in this entire incident.
The incident around which this post is written occurs when a girl and her friend leave a pub in the city after having a party. A man outside the pub makes some obscene remark and when the girls protest, they are attacked by the men. The victim is manhandled, molested, stripped while her friend manages to escape. What shocks me more than anything is that the two reporters from the news channel recording the entire episode do nothing. After watching the actual program shown on the regional channel News Live, I have translated what the narrator speaks in Assamese [with my comments in Red]:
'A girl screaming on the streets of G S Road' [Didn't the two reporters hear those screams]
'Rape attempt on a girl studying in eleventh standard' [Would the reporters have stepped forward if the girl was someone they knew?]
'Hooliganism by youngsters on the streets of the capital lasting for an hour' [And the two reporters watched it for one whole hour!]
'Clothes of the helpless girl torn apart' [Isn't that what they wanted for the TRPs?]
'Screams of a girl on the streets of the capital at 10:00 PM' [The reporters were ready even at that hour with their cameras]
'Where is the police force of the city?' [So the reporters waited for the police?]
'People stood there like mute spectators' [Aren't the reporters people?]
'No one came forward to lend a helping hand' [I assume the reporters are handicapped in-order to themselves lend a helping hand.]
'The reality of the residents of the city finally out' [How about the reality of the Media?]
'Even though we don't want, we will show you the video' [This sentence was repeated. IF YOU REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW, YOU WOULDN'T. Why act so moral?]
'When you see the video, you will be filled with hatred' [And the reporters weren't filled with hatred when they saw it LIVE?]
'The girl is helplessly screaming, but the men are not satisfied' [Weren't they satisfied after getting enough footage of even ten minutes that they went on to shoot for an hour?]
'Now, the girls under garments are being removed' [Come on, what is this? Commentary of India - Pakistan match?]
'Our reporter is always trying to interrupt them, but he is helpless' [All the interruption one can see is the movement of the camera to get a better view of the incident and the girl. At some point they even zoom in from a close distance and try to move the hair from the girls face to get a better view!]
'Listen to what the girl has to say' [Didn't they have ears to listen?]
The victim says 'You also have sisters...' [During the editing of the video, this scene is made to repeat thrice in the nahi-nahi-nahi style of Saas-Bahu serials.]


The entire footage has been captured with nothing to obstruct the view of the girl. Culprits are seen behaving as if they are doing it for the camera! After some time when the girl tries to flee and asks for help from the passing vehicles, no one stops. The narrative goes on, "None of the people passing by in their luxurious cars stop to help her." [What has luxury to do when the reporters didn't have the conscience to help?]
Finally, when a few people could actually stop the atrocity, one of the reporters with a mic in his hand, asks questions: What is your name? Where do you stay? Which class and school do you study? [If the people running the channel had the least of their conscience left, why was this part shown? At the least, why weren't her answers beeped?] After the victim has divulged all her whereabouts herself on the camera, the channel reports, 'Our investigation reveals that...'


Wait, it is not all over. Let's come to the next program of the channel on the same incident. This time they deal on: Did the girl deserve this? All throughout the video, the girl is referred to as being drunkA footage is shown where the channel conducts an interview of a waiter at the pub where the girls supposedly were having a party. Questions asked to the waiter (in chronological order): How much  did the girls drink? How many pegs? What drinks did they take? The channel tries to prove that the victim lied that there was a party. Another footage (allegedly from a mobile phone) shows the friend of the victim arguing and even beating a guy. The question asked by the narrator is, "Where did these two girls get the courage to go out and drink at this hour of the night." Where in hell is it written that you will do this because someone drinks? Even if the girls lied about any party at the pub, how does it qualify the girls to be treated like that? As per that standard, the entire Media should be burned down for lying to so many people whenever it has happened in the past and happens in future.


This is still not enough for you? We have more. Let's now see what the editor-in-chief of the channel has to say through is Twitter account (his twitter handle: @atanubhuyan). Few of his tweets:
TRP : ramdhenu : 25.35, prime news : 26.69, newstime assam : 25.82, dy 365 : 154.69, rang : 169.79 and newslive 270.76 [Apparently the channel in question has the highest TRP. Mission accomplished.]
My justification is all very simple. In case of a bomb blast, my reporters would have shot the visuals rather than donate blood. [Even as per his standards of comparison, where is humanity? His reporters would rather shoot a video of someone dying than save a life? And no matter how much he justifies the reason of the reporter not helping the victim, he CANNOT justify the incident being shown on TV the way it has been shown and described here.]
Mainstream news channels are flooding me with phone calls asking for the footage of the molestation incident [Isn't this what he wanted? Read a part on mainstream media below.]
But I'm backing my team since the mob would have attacked them, prevented them from shooting, that would have only destroyed all evidence [Talking of evidence, he should have reached the police with it. He could have prevented the identity of the girl from being published all over. Wouldn't still pictures serve the purpose of evidence? He even went on to upload the video footage on YouTube as it is, as if his team has just shot an Oscar winning film!]

Mainstream Media: Yesterday night when I posted on Twitter about the role of media in all of this, someone replied back asking me why I was condoning the media when the identity of the girl has not been revealed. Her profile showed that she herself was from the news industry and so probably couldn't easily digest my comment. However, today morning when I saw the footage on CNN-IBN and NDTV, I could see the difference. The videos were sufficently blurred when compared to the one shown on the regional channel and on YouTube. The anchor on CNN-IBN starts the story by saying, "To caution you, the visuals you are going to see are disturbing..." Why do you show then?
Today, I have served myself with news for 45 minutes (CNN-IBN and NDTV) in the morning at home and 35 minutes (CNN-IBN) in the afternoon during my lunch at the office cafeteria. The total coverage of this incident, with one particular scene being continuously played in a loop no matter what the topic of discussion is, far outweighs the total coverage of the ensuing floods in the state in the last one month. The flood (worst in the last decade) has devastated the state killing hundreds of people, thousands of animals at a National Park, rendered thousands homeless, and affected over twenty lakh people!

Should I still say that some conscience of the media is left for sale?

Friday, July 13, 2012

இனியும் ஏமாற மாட்டோம்.... -ஈழத்தமிழன்-



தமிழனாய் பிறந்த மகிழ்வோடு என் தமிழ் இனத்துக்கு முதல் வணக்கம்.
அண்மைக்காலமாக எம்முடைய தேசத்தில் நடக்கின்ற அநியாய செயல்பாடுகளினால் ஆத்திரமடைந்து அவசர அவசரமாக என்னுடைய கன்னிக்கட்டுரையினை எழுதுகின்றேன்.
தமிழ் இனம் காலதிகாலமாக பல்வேறு வழிகளில் போரிட்டு எம் உரிமைகளை மீட்டெடுக்க முயட்சித்தது அதில் பல இடங்களில் வெற்றியையும் பெற்றது. முப்பது வருடமாக் நடைபெற்ற ஆயுத போராட்டம் மவுனமாகி போயுள்ள நிலையில் இங்கு அரங்கேறும் அரசியல் நியாயங்களை தான் இங்கு குறிப்பிட வந்துள்ளேன். 2009 மே 18 பின்னர் நடைபெற்ற ஜனாதிபதி தேர்தலில் கொலையாளி மஹிந்தவே ஆட்சிக்கு வந்தார். இதட்கு கூட எம்முடைய தமிழ் தரப்பு தலைவர்கள் மிகுந்த ஒத்தாசையாக இருந்தனர் இது பற்றி இப்போது தேவையில்லை.
இருப்பினும் பின்னர் இடம்பெற்ற பாராளுமன்ற தேர்தலில் எம்முடைய தமிழ் தரப்புகள் (பல கட்சிகளை உள்ளடக்கி தலைவரினால் உருவாக்கப் பட்ட கூட்டமைப்பு) சிதறடிக்கப் பட்டது ஆனால் அதற்கான உண்மைக் காரணத்தினை நாம் அன்று அறிந்திருக்கவில்லை ஆனால் இன்று அதனை மக்கள் நன்றாக உணர்கின்றனர். அடிப்படை கொள்கைகளாக கருதப்படுகின்ற தாயகம். தேசியம். சுயநிர்ணய உரிமை. இறைமை என்பவற்றினை மே 18க்கு பின்னர் கூட்டமைப்பு தலைமைகள் தூக்கி எறிந்து விட்டது என்பது புலனாகின்றது அதோடு மட்டுமல்லாமல் கொள்கை பற்றுறுதியுடன் இருந்தவர்களும் தூக்கி வீசப்பட்டனர் என்பது தான் உண்மை.
அன்று பாராளுமன்ற தேர்தல் காலங்களில் கூட்டமைப்பில் இருந்து பிரிந்தவர்களில் கஜேந்திரகுமார் தலைமையிலான தமிழ் தேசிய மக்கள் முன்னணியை உருவாக்கி போட்டியிட்ட போது அவர்கள் கூறிய நியாயங்களை நாம் கேட்கவில்லை காரணம் அவர்கள் தொடர்பாக பத்திரிகைகளில் வெளியான பல்வேறுபட்ட கருத்துக்கள் ஆதரவில்லாமல் செய்து விட்டது. நானும் அன்று அவர்களை ஆதரிக்கவில்லை. மாறாக அவர்கள் மீது கோபத்தினை உண்டு பண்ணியது. ஆனால் இன்று மக்கள் உணர்கின்றனர் பத்திரிகைகள் அவர்களை பளி வாங்கி விட்டதாகவே. அவர்கள் ஒரு நாடு இரு தேசம் என்ற கொள்கையினை முன்வைத்து போட்டியிட்டபோது அதனை பத்திரிகைகள் மக்கள் மத்தியில் தெளிவாக கொண்டு சென்றிக்கவில்லை மாறாக அவதூறுகலையே எழுதிவந்தது இதனால் அவர்கள் தோற்கடிக்க பட்டனர்.
வெற்றி பெற்ற கூட்டமைப்பு பாராளுமன்ற முதல் அமர்வின் போது கூட்டமைப்பின் தலைவராகவும் தமிழ் தேசத்தின் துரோகியாகவும் கருதப்படுகின்ற சம்பந்தன் சபையில் பயங்கரவாத்தை ஒளித்தமைக்காக அரசுக்கு பாராட்டு தெரிவித்தார். இதனுடாக அரசுக்கும் அண்டை நாட்டுக்கும் தன்னுடைய விசுவாசத்தை வெளிப்படுத்தினார். அதுபோலவே தேசியப்பட்டியலில் தெரிவான சுமந்திரனும் தமிழ் மக்கள் ஒருபோதும் தமிழீழம் கேட்கவில்லை மக்கள் விடுதலைபுலிகளை ஏக பிரதிநிதிகளாக ஏட்கவில்லை வேலையில்லாதவர்கள் தான் ஆயுத போராட்டங்களில் ஈடுபட்டனர் என்று எம் போராட்ட வரலாற்றையே கொச்சை படுத்தினர். பின்னர் மீண்டும் மே தினக் கூட்டத்தில் சிங்கக் கொடியை பிடித்து தன்னுடைய துரோகத்தனத்தை நிருபித்து விட்டார். இவ்வாறான தலைமை கொண்ட கூட்டமைப்பு எவ்வாறு கொள்கை வழியில் பயணிக்கும்??? சற்று சிந்தியுங்கள். மக்கள் சிலர் சிந்தித்தனர் மாற்று வழிதான் என்ன??
மறுபுறத்தில் கஜேந்திரகுமார் தலைமையிலான த.தே.ம.மு. மக்களால் தெரிவு செய்யப்படாதவிடத்திலும் தொடர்ந்தும் மக்களுக்காகவே குரல் கொடுக்கின்றார்கள் என்பதை தெளிவாக கன முடிந்தது. எந்தவிதத்திலும் தமிழர் உரிமைகள் வென்றெடுக்க படவேண்டும் என்பதில் அவர்கள் உறுதியாக செயல்படுகின்றனர் என்பதையும் அவதானிக்க முடிந்தது. அவர்களுடைய செயல்பாடுகளுக்கு அதரவளிப்பதே நோக்காக இருந்தது. இதில் முக்கியமானது அவர்களால் முன்நெடுக்கப்பட்ட நில ஆக்கிரமிப்புக்கு எதிரான போராட்டம் இன்றைய வரலாற்றில் முக்கியமானதொன்றாகும். இன்று மக்களின் தனியார் காணிகளும் அரச காணிகளும் மக்களின் விருப்பத்துக்கு மாறாக பறிபோய் கொண்டிருக்கின்றது. இதனை பதவியில் உள்ளவர்கள் தட்டி கேக்க தவறியமைக்கு காரணம் என்ன? 2009 பின்னர் மூன்றுவருட கால இடைவெளியில் கூட்டமைப்பு இது தொடர்பாக எந்த ஒரு முன்னெடுப்பையும் மேட்கொல்லாமல் இருந்துவிட்டு த.தே.ம.மு போராட்டத்தை அறிவித்ததும் சற்றும் தாமதியாமல் மறு நாளே தங்களுடைய போராட்டத்தை அறிவித்தது.
ஏன் இவ்வாறான ஏமாற்று வேலைகள்?? மக்கள் பவமையா.. நம்பி நம்பி ஏமாறுவதே எம்முடைய பிழைப்பாக போயுள்ளது.. நான் நினைக்கின்றேன் மாகாணசபை தேர்தல்வரை பொறுத்திருந்தால் இதனை வைத்தே தாங்கள் வெல்ல முடியும் என என்னி இப்போராட்டங்களை கிடப்பில் போட்டார்களோ என சந்தேகமும் எழுகின்றது.
ஆனால் த.தே.ம.முன்னணியினருக்கு அப்படியான ஒரு தேவை இல்லை என்பது புலனாகின்றது காரணம் இவர்கள் மாகாணசபையில் போட்டியிடப் போவதில்லை என்ற கருத்தை அவர்கள் முன்னே கூறியிருந்தனர். இதில் வேடிக்கை என்னவென்றால் த.தே.ம.மு முன்னெடுக்கப் பட்ட போராட்டம் நீதி மன்ற உத்தரவால் தடுத்து நிறுத்தப் பட்டது. ஆனால் கூட்டமைப்பால் முன்னெடுக்க பட்ட போராட்டம் தடுக்கப் படவில்லை காரணம் என்ன என்பது மக்களுக்கே புலனாகும். யார் கொள்கைவழியில் பயணிக்கின்றார்களோ அவர்களுக்கே தடைகளும் தடங்களும் வரும் என்பதனை எல்லோரும் எளிதில் புரிந்திருப்பார்கள். எம்முடைய தேசத்தின் இருப்புக்கள் பாதுகாக்க படவேண்டுமானால் கொள்கைவளியில் உள்ளவர்களுடன் உறுதியாக பயணிக்கவேண்டும் என்று கேட்டுக் கொள்கின்றேன்.
 -ஈழத்தமிழன்-

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

$60 Million Worth of Sudan Crude Marooned Off Singapore


(Bloomberg) — More than 15 miles offshore Singapore a black-and-red hulled tanker has been stranded for about 150 days holding South Sudanese crude worth almost $60 million, a hostage of a two-decade war.
South Sudan says its northern neighbor stole the shipment on the ETC Isis and about 2 million barrels more. Sudan says it had the right to sell the oil. The feud over the cargoes, worth more than seven days of the South’s annual economic output, has entangled lawyers in London, shipowners in Cairo, buyers in Japan, dealers in the British Virgin Islands and Trafigura Beheer BV, the world’s third-biggest oil trader.
The dispute underscores the difference between the physical commodities market, where prices and identities of buyers and sellers are typically kept private, and the regulated exchanges of Wall Street and London, where investors deal in futures and options representing billions of barrels of crude every day. It’s in the buying and selling of the world’s 84 million barrels of daily oil output, far from the financial markets at least 14 times bigger, that trading and war collide.
“You have this dispute between two parties over the oil and the tanker is now stuck in no-man’s land,” said Mark Tan, a partner at law firm Watson, Farley & Williams in Singapore who has more than 14 years’ experience in dispute resolution and heads the shipping litigation practice. “It’s always better to be cautious about what you’re carrying. Sometimes a cargo can be trouble.”
So far no legal claims regarding the ETC Isis have been filed in London or Singapore, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Sudan Splits
The disagreement originated in the civil war that engulfed Sudan. After 22 years of fighting that ended in 2005, the East African nation split in July, with the South taking over 75 percent of the country’s 470,000 barrels a day of crude output and the North controlling the pipelines and facilities needed to send it abroad. The two sides have since been at loggerheads over how much the South should pay to use that infrastructure.
Sudan said it would seize the oil until there’s an agreement with its southern neighbor over the payment of pipeline fees, al-Obeid Murawih, a foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters on Jan. 18. In retaliation, the South shut down production.
South Sudan earned 80 percent of its gross domestic product from oil in 2010, more than any other country, according to the World Bank. More than half the population lives below the poverty line, its data shows.
Disputed Cargo
South Sudan’s Dar Blend crude is produced in the Melut Basin and piped 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) north across Sudan to the Red Sea for export, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It was there that the ETC Isis cargo was loaded for the 4,100 nautical-mile journey to Singapore, according to Osama Sefary, the general manager of Egyptian Tanker Co., which owns the vessel.
“There is a dispute over the cargo, and until this dispute is sorted out the ship will remain there in Singapore,” Sefary said in a telephone interview from Cairo on April 23. The tanker was chartered by Trafigura, he said. The trader hired the ETC Isis in January for a journey from Sudan to Asia, according to three shipping reports from companies including Poten & Partners Inc. and Galbraith’s Ltd.
A Trafigura spokesman in Amsterdam declined to comment in a July 4 e-mail.
‘Stolen’ Oil
The cargo off Singapore, Asia’s oil-trading hub, is one of four the South claims have been stolen, three of Dar Blend and one of Nile Blend. That’s about 2.6 million barrels and worth almost 2 percent of the country’s $13.2 billion gross domestic product, according to World Bank figures.
The ETC Isis has been anchored since it arrived in February, according to Sefary. Sudan Petroleum Corp., the northern country’s state-oil company known as SPC, ordered about 600,000 barrels of the crude onto the tanker on Jan. 30, according to documents provided by Pagan Amum, the South’s chief negotiator with Sudan.
Petrodar Operating Co., one of two pipeline operators in Sudan, initially refused orders from the North to load the ETC Isis, according to a letter from the company to SPC, saying the oil belonged to South Sudan.
“This action is certainly not acceptable as the crude belongs to Republic of South Sudan government and prior approval from RSS is therefore needed,” Liu Yingcai, the then president of Petrodar, said in a Jan. 30 letter to oil-ministry officials in both countries.
Four Ships
The crude still made it on to the tanker, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, a spokesman for the South Sudanese government, said in a March 27 interview in Juba, the capital. Petrodar didn’t respond to e-mails requesting comment and was unreachable at its phone number in Juba.
Two other ships, the Sea Sky and Al-Nouf, were loaded with a total of more than 1.3 million barrels of the “stolen” Dar Blend in January, according to a Jan. 20 letter from South Sudan’s Ministry of Justice. The tankers, chartered by SPC, were also anchored fully-laden offshore Port Sudan, said a port agent and a shipping-company official who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.
The dispute over a fourth cargo, delivered by Trafigura to JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Japan’s largest refiner, ended up in a London court.
Proceeds Frozen
The oil, loaded on the tanker Ratna Shradha, discharged at Kiire in Japan at the end of February, according to an April 5 court filing in the case at the London High Court of Justice that was part of a suit brought by the ship’s owner, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd. The 630,000 barrel cargo of Nile Blend was sold by Trafigura’s Singapore unit to JX Nippon, according to the court filing.
The proceeds from that sale were frozen in escrow by the court pending a ruling on the rightful owner of the cargo, according to the court documents. JX Nippon deposited its payment of almost 58 million euros ($72 million) with the court in March, the documents show.
SPC originally sold the crude to Delaney Petroleum, a British Virgin Islands-based oil trader, which then resold the shipment to Trafigura on the same day, according to the documents. Trafigura Maritime Ventures Ltd., an Athens-based unit of the company, chartered the Ratna Shradha to carry the cargo from Sudan to Kiire. The low-sulfur grade is prized in Japan as clean-burning power-generation fuel.
Discounted Cargo
Sudan sold the disputed oil below market prices because it knew it was stolen, according to Benjamin, the spokesman for the South Sudanese government.
“There was already a legal notice that oil had been stolen, so they had to dispose of it as quickly as possible,” he said.
Delaney bought the crude loaded on the Ratna Shradha at $5 a barrel below the price of Indonesia’s benchmark Minas crude, according to the sales contract obtained by Bloomberg. The deal was confirmed by Ali Ahmed Mohamed, the acting marketing manager at SPC, in an April 2 phone interview from Khartoum. By comparison, a cargo for January had earlier traded at $2.50 to $3 a barrel above Minas, according to two people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.
A person who answered a call by Bloomberg to Delaney’s offices in Dubai on March 30 said the company didn’t want to comment. Officials at Delaney also didn’t respond to two e- mails, a fax and telephone messages sent through July 4.
Paper Market
An average of about 1.2 billion barrels a day of oil has traded this year in so-called paper transactions on the New York Mercantile Exchange and ICE Futures Europe in London. That compares with the world’s actual production of about 83.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
“The paper markets are staggeringly huge,” said Eugene Lindell, a senior oil-market analyst at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna. “This number dwarfs global physical-crude production.”
Brent crude prices have dropped 8.8 percent this year as the European debt crisis and slowing growth in China and the U.S. threaten to curb fuel demand even as international sanctions targeting Iran’s oil revenue tighten supplies. Futures for August settlement closed at $97.97 a barrel yesterday.
As it waits to dock, the ETC Isis is probably racking up tens of thousands of dollars a day in fees and fuel costs.
Cargo Costs
The cost could be estimated by adding the daily rate for renting a similar-sized ship to the price of about five tons of fuel per day to keep the crude heated, said Dag Rommen, a master mariner and former ship manager who practiced maritime law from 1992 to 2005 and is now chief of executive officer of Rommen Pte Ltd. in Singapore.
The average rate for a Suezmax ship such as the ETC Isis has been about $19,300 a day so far this year, according to Baltic Exchange Time Charter Equivalent data. The price of bunker, or 380-centistoke fuel oil, has averaged $685 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
For the ETC Isis, that’s more than $3.3 million to go nowhere for 147 days.
By Ramsey Al-Rikabi and Jared Ferrie © 2012 Bloomberg

SHIPPING CONFIDENCE SURVEY: Shipping Limping Back to Normalcy


Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly
The overall confidence levels in the shipping industry increased in the three months ended May 2012, to reach their highest level since February 2011, the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from shipping accountant Moore Stephens has revealed.
This is the fourth successive quarter in which there has been an improvement in confidence, leading to an increased expectation of new investment on the part of respondents, despite an anticipated increase in the cost of finance over the next twelve months, the survey further revealed.
Confidence levels:
In May 2012, the average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.7 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared to the figure of 5.5 recorded in the previous survey in February 2012, and to the 5.6 recorded one year previously, in May 2011. The survey was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8 among different stakeholders in the shipping sector including ship owners and brokers across the globe.
The overall number of respondents expecting to make a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months rose, on a scale of 1 to 10, from 4.9 to 5.3, the highest figure since the 5.6 recorded in May 2011.
Demand trends, competition and finance costs have consistently featured as the top three factors cited by respondents overall as those likely to influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months. That was the situation again this time, although the numbers in each category were down, in the case of demand trends from 22 percent to 21 percent, competition (down from 20 percent to 18 percent) and finance costs (down one percentage point to 16 percent).
There was a two percentage point increase (from 49 percent to 51 percent) in the number of respondents overall who expected finance costs to increase over the next 12 months.
Freight markets:
The survey revealed an increased level of expectation of higher rates in the tanker sector than was the case three months previously. Overall, 40 percent of respondents thought that rates would increase, as opposed to 35 percent last time.
It was a similar story in the container ship market, where 34 percent of respondents overall expected rates to go up, compared to 31 percent in the previous survey.
It was a different story in the dry bulk sector, however, where most of the indicators were down, in contrast to the previous survey, which saw a surge of optimism on the part of all respondents that rates would increase. Overall, 35 percent of respondents this time expected dry bulk rates to go up over the coming year, as against 38 percent in February 2012.
Average Confidence Levels:
In May 2012, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5.7, compared to the figure of 5.5 recorded in the previous survey in February 2012, and to the 5.6 recorded one year previously, in May 2011.
The biggest increase in confidence was recorded by ship managers, up from 5.2 to 6.0 this time, the highest figure for this category of respondent since February 2011. Confidence among owners and charterers remained unchanged this time, at 5.6 and 5.0 respectively. Brokers (down from 5.6 to 5.2) were alone among all respondents in being less confident about the market than they were in February
2012.
Confidence was up in Europe for the fourth successive quarter, from 5.3 to 5.6, stable in Asia at 5.7, and down in North America from 5.6 to 5.5.
A number of respondents were upbeat about prospects for the market, despite admitting that any recovery would have to start from a comparatively low base.
According to one respondent, “Ninety per cent of world trade is transported by sea, so shipowners can find employment for their vessels, one way or another. Although we are at the bottom of the cycle, and freight rates are not encouraging, good operators have every chance of surviving. We expect to see a correction in the imbalance between supply and demand by the end of 2013.”
Investment and development:
The overall number of respondents expecting to make a major investment or significant development rose from 4.9 to 5.3, the highest figure since the 5.6 recorded in May 2011.
All categories of respondent were more confident in this regard than in the previous survey, most notably charterers, whose expectation rating in respect of major investments was up from 4.9 to 5.8. The rating for owners was up from 5.2 to 5.6, and for managers from 5.2 to 5.5.
 45 percent of charterers, and 40 percent of both owners and managers, assessed the likelihood of their making an investment at 7.0 out of 10.0 or higher.
Geographical expectation:
Geographically, expectation levels of major investments were up in all areas covered by the survey, with the exception of North America (down from 5.0 to 4.5).
The biggest increase was in Europe (up from 4.8 to 5.3), while in Asia the figure went from 5.0 to 5.2. Latin America also saw an increase, from 5.2 to 5.7.
Demand trends, competition and finance costs have consistently featured as the top three factors cited by respondents overall as those likely to influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months.
DEMAND TRENDS
Demand trends remained the number one performance-affecting factor for owners, unchanged at 21 percent. Finance costs (unchanged at 18 percent) were in second place, followed by competition, down one percentage point to 16%. For managers, meanwhile, competition and demand trends (both down one percentage point this time to 18 percent) occupied the top two places, with finance costs up one percentage point to 17 percent in third place.
Geographically, demand trends remained the most significant factor for respondents in Asia (up from 22 percent to 24 percent) and in Europe (down from 22 percent to 21 percent). In Asia, fuel costs (16 percent) supplanted finance costs in third place, behind competition (down from 21 percent to 18 percent) in second position. Fuel costs were also a significant factor in North America, where they were cited by 18 percent of respondents. In Europe, finance costs featured in second place, ahead of competition, unchanged at 18 percent.
Tanker rates:
There was generally good news about the prospects for higher tanker and container ship rates over the coming year, even though one respondent – without specifying any particular sector – complained, “Brokers are not fighting for the best rates. They need to fix so many vessels per day that they no longer care about the levels at which they fix, and owners are suffering.”
The survey revealed an increased level of expectation of higher rates in the tanker sector than was the case three months previously. Overall, 40 percent of respondents thought that rates would increase, as opposed to 35 percent last time.
There was a two percentage point increase (from 49% to 51%) in the number of respondents overall who expected finance costs to increase over the next twelve months. The number of respondents who thought that finance costs would decrease over the coming year remained unchanged, meanwhile, at 8%.
Conclusion:
Terming the shipping industry as most resilient, the survey revealed that despite the financial woes in Europe, notwithstanding the slump in the freight markets, and irrespective of tonnage overcapacity, it recorded an increase in confidence in the shipping sector for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Indeed, 40 percent of owners rate their prospects of making a new investment over the next 12 months at 7 out of 10, or higher – this despite the fact that the cost of finance is expected to go up over the same period.

Chennai Port Trust aid for dependents of deceased staff


Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly on July 11, 2012
Source:http://www.sagarsandesh.com/epaper/
Showing its human face to the dependents of those deceased employees, the Chennai Port Trust on June 29 announced that financial assistance would be provided them to lead a decent life.
Addressing the media during the equity share (in a form of cheque)handing over ceremony to the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for Chennai Port Connectivity Project at the Chennai Port Trust premises, Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan announced that his Ministry has recently gave its accent to the proposal by the port to distribute financial assistance to the dependents of deceased port employees.
Mr Vasan said “Though there is no rule in the Shipping Ministry that stipulates compulsory financial assistance to the dependents, the Chennai Port Trust, by taking the extra effort, is clearly demonstrating that it understands the agony of those families, who had lost their breadwinners while serving the port.
Flanked by Shipping Secretary Mr P K Sinha and Chennai Port Trust chairman Mr Atulya Misra, The Minister also stated that the compassionate appointment to the dependents of the employees who died while in service was taking a very long waiting period. Hence, Chennai Port Trust would provide an amount of Rs.1.25 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs as financial assistance depending on the number of years they are waiting for.
This novel scheme was announced first in Vizag Port Trust. On the same line, this scheme has been approved for Chennai Port. So far, 663 out of 868 dependants have submitted their required particulars and after scrutiny, they will be provided financial assistance during July, Minister Vasan said.
Though the Port has lost its steady revenue source due to ban on coal and iron ore handling, it would spend nearly Rs 35 crore for the scheme, which was aimed at giving a helping hand to the dependent families of the deceased port employees.
MINISTER HANDS OVER RS 51 CRORE EQUITY SHARE:
During the ceremony, the Minister Vasan handed over a Cheque for Rs. 50.50 crores (Rs. 43 Crores of Chennai Port Trust and Rs. 7.5 Crores of Ennore Port) towards Equity Share Contribution for Chennai Port Connectivity Project.
During the function, the Minister dwelt at length on the various development projects and initiatives taken up by Port Trust.
Both Chennai and Ennore Ports are contributing a total amount of Rs.284.43 crores which is almost 50 percent of the project cost. So far, including the latest share contribution of Rs. 50.50 crores, a total amount of Rs.135 crores has already been paid by both the Ports and the remaining amount would be paid very shortly.
This road connectivity project is being implemented at a cost of Rs.600 crores and is expected to be completed by June 2013. Till now, around 32% of the work has been completed.
He also informed that land acquisition has been completed and for the rehabilitation of affected fishermen, necessary fishing stalls are being provided for their livelihood.
The Minister also stated that the Vessel Traffic Management Services (VTMS) Project of Chennai Port has already been awarded to Kongsberg Norcontrol, Norway at a cost of Rs.9.81 crores. This includes Operation and Maintenance for 5 years after 1 year warranty period. The work of installation of VTMS has already been completed.

Monday, July 9, 2012

SL Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa goes berserk, use 'F' word with Lankan Media

Source:http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/07/08/gota-goes-berserk/
Image source: http://kalaiyadi.org
Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa went berserk when contacted by The Sunday Leader to clarify and find out if he was aware that the management at SriLankan Airlines had taken a decision to change a wide bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330. The change was to be made so that a SriLankan Airline pilot, who is dating a niece of President Mahinda Rajapaksa could personally fly the aircraft that would carry a ‘puppy dog’ for Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Zurich.

The Sunday Leader was told by senior airline pilots that 56 passengers would have had to be off-loaded if the aircraft was changed.
The pilot concerned is Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe who currently is dating Flight Officer Madini Chandradasa, the niece of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
When asked, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while denying that he had any knowledge that CEO Kapila Chandrasena had ordered the change of aircraft from an A340 to an A330 as Capt. Wijesinghe was not qualified to fly the bigger aircraft, admitted that Capt. Wijesinghe would indeed be ‘passengering’ on one sector so he could bring down the dog for his wife. “Yes they are bringing a puppy – it is for my wife. There is nothing wrong with that. I have every right to bring not just a dog but an elephant on SriLankan if I so wish – I am paying for the cargo. I have every right to bring anything I want. This is not the first time – before this also they brought a dog for me…what is wrong – I am paying for the cargo I have every right,” Rajapaksa said.
When it was pointed out that bringing the dog was not the issue – but a loss of revenue for the airline as an entire aircraft was to be replaced with a smaller bodied plane – resulting in the loss of 56 passengers, Rajapaksa turned abusive.
Using foul language he screamed, “If you write one bloody word I will sue the writer and your newspaper – which I have already done – I am not afraid of the bloody courts – I will sue you and shut down your f……. newspaper.” (see box for full conversation)
The Sunday Leader was told that the decision to change the aircraft scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, from an A330 back to an A340 was made only after members of the Pilots’ Guild vehemently protested to the Head of Flight Operations Capt. Navin de Silva.
However, both Capt. Ruwan Withanage, President of the Airline Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) and Capt. Navin de Silva subsequently denied that senior pilots had pressured the management into reverting on their original decision to fly an A330 instead of an A340 to Zurich to suit Capt. Wijesinghe so he could bring down the puppy.
Kapila Chandrasena, Chief Executive Officer for SriLankan Airlines when first contacted refused to answer any questions on this issue over the telephone but asked for an email to be sent. After this was done, he replied saying he would request the Manager of Crew Resources to respond to our email.
Instead, Ranjith de Silva, Senior Manager Corporate Communications, sent us a response which said, “aircraft allocation to routes are based on the flying range. A330/A340 aircrafts are generally used for long range travel.” He added that generally an A330 or A340 is deployed on the European routes, while the change in the aircrafts is based on the commercial requirements.
He refused to comment on whether or not a dog for Rajapaksa was to be transported on this flight.
Kapila Chandrasena however subsequently did speak with us reiterating that he knew nothing of this matter. Asked if he did not know about the puppy dog to be brought down from Zurich for the Defence Secretary he said, “No. I know nothing – I don’t know what this controversy is all about”.
Asked if at any stage a decision was taken to change an A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to an A330 in order to accommodate Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe to fly to Zurich, Chandrasena replied, “we do make those decisions based on passenger load – and that we do all the time though usually it is an A340 that flies the second leg from the Middle East to Zurich”.
It was to ascertain the veracity of this story that we contacted not only SriLankan Airlines officials but the Defence Secretary as well to find out if he was aware of this situation.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa confirmed that indeed Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe was to travel on July 13 to Zurich to bring down a puppy dog for his wife. “He is a friend of mine and he offered to do so,” Rajapaksa said.
However, Capt. Wijesinghe contradicted Gotabaya Rajapaksa by saying, “No, I do not even know if we would be bringing a dog from Zurich to Colombo. That sort of information is not known until the day of the flight.”
Wijesinghe after making this pronouncement telephoned us again to warn us saying, “If nothing but the truth is reported about my girl friend or myself, I will be forced to take legal action.”
The fact is, Capt, Wijesinghe is rostered to fly the first leg of this journey – Colombo – Kuwait or Doha (the middle eastern destination is decided depending on the passenger load) on an A330 and from thereon passenger on an A340 to Zurich.
Wijesinghe admitted to The Sunday Leader that he was indeed recently rostered to fly an A330 on the first sector from Colombo to Kuwait or Doha on Friday July 13. He said he would fly the initial sector up to the Middle East and thereafter travel the rest of the journey as a passenger. “I will only be flying the A330 leg, while the A340 will be flown by someone else.” He further said that he is not qualified to fly an A340 and if he did he would be facing a possible jail term.
With additional reporting by Dinouk Colombage
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa
When contacted to find out if he was aware, if indeed an aircraft scheduled to fly to Zurich was to be changed to accommodate a personal friend and pilot who had offered to ensure the safe passage of a puppy dog for him, Gotabaya Rajapaksa turned abusive and screamed at this journalist in two subsequent telephone conversations in raw filth.
On Thursday July 5, excerpts of the first telephone conversation:
FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I do not know if you are aware but we have been told that a SriLankan Airlines flight is to fly to Zurich next Friday to bring down a puppy dog for you?
GR: So what is wrong with that? It is a regular flight – Yes they are bringing a puppy – it is for my wife.  There is nothing wrong with that. I have every right to bring not just a dog but an elephant if I so wish – I am paying for the cargo.  I have every right to bring anything I want.  This is not the first time – before this also they brought a dog for me…what is wrong – I am paying for the cargo I have every right.
FJ: Absolutely. But that is not the issue. We were told that Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe has personally offered to fly to Zurich to bring this dog for you?
GR: Yes. So what? He is my friend – I have friends at SriLankan former Air Force officers who will do me favours – What is wrong with that?
FJ: But this pilot is not qualified to fly the A340 – and so initially SriLankan was pressured to change the aircraft to an A330 in order to accommodate him…
GR: No aircraft was changed…
FJ: That decision was reverted only after the President of the Pilots Guild objected …
GR: Nobody objected! If you write any bloody thing about this I will sue you! I am not afraid of the bloody courts! I have already sued you I will sue you again! That is my right!
FJ: Yes. But it is also my right as a journalist to ask you for your side of the story or clarify this story with you since it involves you.
GR: You go ask SriLankan Airlines!!
FJ: We already have. However the issue is this. Any pilot can bring down a dog – it is all about controlling and ensuring the correct air pressure in the cabin. Why should Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe be chosen despite him not being able to fly the aircraft on one sector and having to passenger as a result…
GR: So what? Yes he is passengering so what is wrong with that? I am telling you again if you write any bloody word about this I will sue your f…..g newspaper – this is the way you all wrote about the MIG deal – without checking you bloody… wrote your f……g version all because somebody told you something…
FJ: Which is why I have called you.  I am not going by what ‘somebody’ told me. I called you to get your side of the story and to clarify this issue.
GR: You write one bloody word and I will sue you!!! I will sue the writer and your f…..g paper again!!
FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa are you threatening me?
GR: Yes! I am threatening you! Write every single word I have told you if you want – you write a bloody f…..g word and we will see…
FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I called you as a journalist to inform you of what was happening and get your version but all you have done is abuse me in raw filth…
He hung up.
On Thursday July 5, I again telephoned Mr. Rajapaksa after being informed that a VIP had informed him about the matter and Rajapaksa had said he did not know an aircraft was to be changed in order to accommodate Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe to facilitate the bringing down of the dog in question.  Rajapaksa had told the VIP that if this was the case he would fly the dog down on another airline.
I then decided that given the fact that he would take action on the matter and ensure there was no loss in revenue to SriLankan Airlines, I would not carry the story. I however telephoned Mr. Rajapaksa again to tell him that my decision was based purely on him promising to take action and not because he blatantly threatened me the previous day and used foul language.
Excerpts of the telephone conversation on July 6, 2012
FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I am calling you again because I have now been told that Mr. …….. spoke with you this morning and you had said you were not aware that the management at SriLankan were changing a plane resulting in a loss of 56 passengers in order to accommodate Capt. Praveen Wijesinghe to bring down a puppy dog for you…
GR: I warned you yesterday not to speak with me. If these pilots are idiots to change a plane for this… that is not my fault. I was doing this the right way – but these pilots are fighting among themselves. And you shit journalists listen to them. They are f……g idiots… This is not my fault.
FJ: True.  But the fact is a decision like this was taken and later changed when pressure was brought on the management by senior pilots…
GR: That is not correct! I have since checked and there was no such decision.
FJ: There definitely was. However since you have promised to take action I have decided to hold the story but I want you to know that I am not doing so because you threatened me yesterday…
GR: Yes I threatened you. Your type of journalists are pigs who eat shit! Pigs who eat shit! Shit, Shit Shit journalists!!! Ninety percent of the people in this country hate you! They hate you!!! You come for a function where I am and I will tell people this is the Editor of The Sunday Leader and ninety percent there will show that they hate you.
FJ: I don’t think so.
GR:  You don’t? That is your ego!! You are a shit, shit journalist. A f…..g shit. A pig who eats shit! I will go to courts!!! I will not withdraw the case on the MIG deal – this is how you wrote…
FJ: I had nothing to do with that story so I cannot comment.
GR: But I will put you in jail! You shit journalist trying to split this country – trying to show otherwise from true Sinhala Buddhists!! You are helped by the US Ambassador, NGOs and Paikiasothy – they pay you!!!
FJ: I wish.
GR: You pig that eats shit!!! You shit shit dirty f…..g journalist!!!
FJ: I hope you can hear yourself Mr. Rajapaksa.
GR: People will kill you!!!  People hate you!!! They will kill you!!!
FJ: On your directive?
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa
GR: What?? No. Not mine. But they will kill you – you dirty f…..g shit journalist.
By Frederica Jansz