Sunday, June 29, 2008

Helmets compulsory in Puducherry by July 1, 2008

Helmets compulsory in Puducherry

Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: The territorial police have made wearing of helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders from July 1, according to Superintendent of Police (Traffic) S. Kuppusamy.

“Director General of Police A.S. Khan has directed the traffic police department to make helmet wearing compulsory. He has given the order as per powers vested under section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988,” Mr. Kuppusamy told reporters here. Asked about the probable difficulty in procuring helmets at short notice, he said the department had, on several occasions, appealed to the public to buy helmets after they had mooted the proposal with the government to make helmet wearing mandatory a year ago. “Also, as per the MV Act every two-wheeler rider has to wear helmet,” he added

The proposal was still pending with the government, he said adding that they had decided to go ahead with the implementation as the Law Department had given its approval. Cases would be booked against those defying the order, he said.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


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Friday, June 27, 2008

Coverage of Jaya in Dinakaran irritates DMK

Now, DMK-Maran fued over Jayalalithaa

June 26, 2008

The rift between the DMK supremo M Karunanidhi and his cousins — the Marans — has once again come to the forefront after arch rival – Jayalaithaa – was given extensive coverage in ‘Dinakaran’ — a newspaper run by the Maran family.

The move by the Marans has not gone very well with DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, who has issued a diktat to all the party cadres through the DMK mouthpiece – the ‘Murasoli’ — not to associate with the ‘Dinakaran’, the newspaper run by Marans.

The said development is likely to rule out any patch up between Karunanidhi and his estranged nephews — the Marans.

The buzz in Chennai political circles over the growing proximity of the Marans and Jayalalithaa has been gaining credence after Jaya’s articles were published regularly in ’Dinakaran’. DMK’s diktat has also pointed out the coverage given to Jayalalitha on ‘Sun TV’, a television channel run by Marans.

Reacting to the coverage given to Jayalalithaa by Marans in their newspaper and the TV channel, Cho Ramaswamy, political commentator and Editor, ’Tuglaq’ said:”Earlier, the Marans’ newspaper and TV channel were the mouthpiece of the DMK, however, now they have become independent. Marans covering Jayalaithaa in their newspaper and channel is a welcome change.”

Dayanidhi Maran seems to be getting close to Jayalalithaa as the TV channel ‘SUN TV’ and the daily ‘Dinakaran’ have been giving generous coverage to Jayalalitha.

On Jayalalitha’s birthday in February, over 20 advertisements featuring her were published in ‘Dinakaran’. Her prescence on ‘SUN TV’ has also increased with her smiling face being flashed often.

Marans react

Meanwhile, the Marans have reacted to the diktat by Karunanidhi.

Sources within the Dinakaran told TIMES NOW that the newspaper clearly has the maximum circulation in Tamil Nadu and has always covered all parties and personalities equally.

“Our editorial policy has never changed,” they claimed.


Also read the related stories in THE HINDU as follows:

Cable 'war' dashes rapproachement chances between Marans, TN CM

Chennai (PTI): The ongoing cable TV 'war' between Maran brothers and M K Azhagiri, Madurai-based son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, has further intensified the feud between the two families, dashing chances of rapproachement.

SCV, run by Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, grandnephews of Karunanidhi, has not given its feed to the Royal Cable TV (RCTV), launched recently by Azhagri's son in Madurai.

As a result, viewers, whose cable operators had switched over to the RCTV in and around the city, are unable to watch popular channels like the Sun TV and KTV beamed by the Marans' SUN TV network.

Piqued by the 'non-cooperation' of SCV, of which former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran is the Managing Director, the RCTV moved the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seeking a direction to SCV to supply the feed. But the application was withdrawn as TRAI felt it lacked material.

AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who never misses an opportunity to take on her arch political rival Karunanidhi, issued a statement, condemning Azhagiri for 'intimidiating other cable TV operators not to beam SUN TV programmes and alleged that the people of Madurai were living in fear.

Her statement was given a prominent display in the Tamil daily Dinakaran, owned by the Maran brothers, which reportedly angered Karunanidhi.

Consequently, the DMK high command issued a statement on June 26, ordering partymen not to have any truck with the daily and not to give news or advertisements to it.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

TN Govt. to open school in every 5 kms

TN Govt. to open school in every 5 kms

May 30, 2008

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government will open atleast one high school in every five kilometers radius.

A part of the state government's Rs.5000 crore project, the decision is primarily meant to upgrade the quality of education and enhance access to education to all children especially at the secondary level.

Unlike the existing practice of using blackboards and crowded classrooms, officials are planning to employ virtual classrooms with Mathematics, Science, English and audio-visual labs.

Tamil Nadu is also the only state in the country to submit a comprehensive proposal for the central project named 'SUCCESS' (Scheme for Universal Access and Quality Education at the Secondary Stage). The report is proposed to be implemented under the 11th five year plan.

"The state government has already made an initial allocation of Rs.200 crores in the budget as its share. The funding would be in the ratio of 65:35 with the centre contributing the larger share", informed state school education minister Mr. Thangam Thennarasu.

At present, the state of Tamil Nadu has approximately 3,000 high schools, with one being located in every 7 km radius. In places like Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri, the figure stands at one high school in a 10 km radius.

"Tamil Nadu, after successfully implementing the Sarva Siksha Abhigyan (SSA), now aims at achieving universal secondary education as there is an urgent need for improvement", the minister further added

Further, as part of the ambitious project, training and guidance would also be given to faculties and headmasters on effective ways of managing schools.

The modules have already been prepared with inputs from UNICEF.

The minister added that a unique concept called 'appreciative inquiry' would be initiated to strengthen the relationship between headmasters and students.


Pro-women laws being misused

'Pro-women laws being misused'

26 Jun 2008, 0355 hrs IST, Himanshi Dhawan,TNN

NEW DELHI: Are we being fair on the not-so-fair sex? It would appear not. Laws for protecting women like the anti-dowry legislation and the domestic violence Act were vociferously opposed by men's groups on Wednesday at a consultation initiated by the ministry for women and child development and UNIFEM.

The burden of their argument was that these laws don't follow the fundamental legal premise that a person is innocent until he is proven guilty. "In 30% of the cases that come to us, there is a rift between the woman and her in-laws where the woman forces the man to choose between the two under the threat of slapping Section 498A of the Dowry Prohibition Act on the husband and his family," said Ashish from Save Indian Family (SIF).

He added that there should be a deterrent to prevent misuse of the law. Another representative Hemant from SIF said that 1.2 lakh women (women relatives of husbands) were arrested under the anti-dowry Act but the ministry of women and child development minister was not doing anything about it. "Are you a wife development or a woman development minister?" he asked.

Dr Anumapa Singh, who counsels couples, pointed to the anomaly in the domestic violence law in that the aggrieved party could only be a woman while the respondent could only be a male. "We have witnessed violence at home where the perpetrator is a woman. So why does the law hold a man as the accused?" she wanted to know.

TOI had reacted to an observation of the Orissa chairperson of the state commission for women on September 19, 2007, when she had said that these laws were being abused. We had felt there should be checks on such abuse and said, "In cases where a complaint is proved false beyond doubt, the accuser must face a jail term." This would act as a deterrent to the abuse of Sec 498A, we felt.

At the meeting on Wednesday, however, the men's group wanted the laws to be scrapped altogether — which is not such a good idea as it is undeniable that many women do get harassed by greedy husbands and in-laws and need legal protection.

Sanjay Bhartia of the Gender Human Rights Society said, "We have been opposing the domestic violence Act and have even submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister last year on the issue," he said. Bhartia added that there was need to review the laws that were radically tilted in favour of women and open to misuse.

Men's organisations invited for the interaction landed up in huge numbers with posters and banners, disrupting the consultation with their sloganeering.

Faced with vehement opposition, WCD minister Renuka Chowdhury admitted that she was open to change the law. "Law-making is a dynamic process. We are ready to change the law but as of now there will be no amendments to it," she said.

Reacting to the constant allegations of misuse, Chowdhury said that there were enough deterrents in the penal code to punish those found guilty of misuse. She, however, did not spell out the deterrents.

Wednesday's protest came at a time when the Delhi police commissioner has issued instructions that only the husband and not the extended family can be arrested in anti-dowry cases.

Reacting sharply to this, National Commission for Women chairperson Girija Vyas said, "If the anti-dowry law is taken lightly, women will suffer a huge loss. Only 6% of the cases are false under the Act."


Also read the related stories at:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Private Schools not following Norms for Opening

Dinamalar ePaper

Pondicherry: Electoral Rolls to be revised by June 30

Final poll rolls to be released on August 29

Special Correspondent

Draft electoral rolls will be released on June 30

It will be available for public inspection at the polling stations till July 10

Applications for deletion, addition will be considered from July 11 to August 11

PUDUCHERRY: The Election Department on Monday announced that the draft electoral rolls would be released on June 30 and they would be available for public inspection at polling stations till July 10.

According to a release issued by the department, the public could file their claims and objections at the polling stations between 8.45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. till July 10, including Saturdays and Sundays.

The applications for deletion and addition would be considered from July 11 to August 11.

The works related to deletion, addition and correction of entries would be completed on August 18, it said.The final rolls would be released on August 29.

The schedule had been finalised as per the direction of the Election Commission to carry out summary revision of electoral rolls having January 1, 2008 as the eligibility date, the release added.

It had been laid down that important qualifications for inclusion of any person’s name in the electoral rolls were that the applicant should be a citizen of India, should have completed not less than 18 years of age as on January 1 and be ordinarily resident in the areas included in the polling station concerned.

Applications could be sent online at, the release said. The draft rolls would be read out to the public in the presence of panchayat presidents, village heads in rural areas and at the residents’ welfare associations, besides presenting the applications in the morning and evening. Public meetings would be organised by the officer of the department through the residents’ welfare associations.

The applicants who had submitted forms for inclusion of names would be asked to appear on a particular date. If recommended for inclusion, the applicant would be photographed and issued a token.

After the publication final of rolls, if the applicant’s name figured in the list, he/she could receive the photo ID card after producing the token, it added.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


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Life keeps oozing out of Kanakkan lake in Pondy

Life keeps oozing out of Kanakkan lake

Rajesh B. Nair
— Photo: T. Singaravelou

AN APOLOGY FOR LAKE: This waterbody at Thattanchavady, which was once a main water source for irrigation, is now a shadow of itself

PUDUCHERRY: The Kanakkan lake at Thattanchavady, once a main source of water for irrigation, is now almost on the verge of extinction. The sprawling lake is now full of weeds and has turned a breeding ground for mosquitoes, neglected as it is.

Residents of Thattanchavady said they were compelled to stay put in their houses during evenings, thanks to mosquito menace. Several children had fallen ill owing to mosquito bite, said Nagalingam, a resident of Thilaspet-Kanakkaneri.

“It is so scary to live in this area during heavy rain. One side of the lake is without a bund and water overflows with all the slush. Even poisonous snakes enter our houses when the water overflows,” he said.

Though efforts were made in the past to desilt the lake, it did not materialise, he said, adding that the lake, behind the upcoming Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Government Medical College and Research Institute, had not been cleaned for the last decade.

A few years ago, the government came forward with a plan to convert the lake into a tourism spot by providing boating facility. Though a jetty was constructed to operate boats, the plan was abandoned owing to the setting up of the medical college.

The society formed to run the college had proposed to the government to hand over the lake to develop it as a “serene recreational area.” They also proposed to go in for efficient ways to harvest rainwater in the lake. However, the proposal did not find favour from “certain quarters in the government” and it was put on hold, a senior official said.

Officials, on condition of anonymity, said that as per the Environment Act 1986, no industry (big hospitals are also considered industry) should be allowed to come up near the area of water body. “The setting up of the hospital near the lake itself was a violation. Handing over the lake to the hospital authorities would go against rules issued by the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment on preservation of water bodies,” they added.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


RTI Act: a potent tool for the helpless people

RTI Act a potent tool in the hands of helpless individuals

Sruthi Krishnan

CHENNAI: Nannu, a daily-wage labourer from East Delhi, lost his ration card and applied for a duplicate. Despite repeated visits to the Food and Civil Supplies office for four months, the duplicate card was not issued.

Here is where the familiar story of the uncaring system and the helpless individual takes a turn.

Nannu filed a Right To Information (RTI) application. Within four days, the Food Inspector came to his house and told him that his card was ready.

The Food and Supplies Officer invited Nannu to his office and offered him a cup of tea and handed over his duplicate.

He also had a request to make to Nannu — withdraw the RTI application.

This is the power the RTI Act vests in the hands of the individual, said Arvind Kejriwal, from Parivartan, a Delhi-based citizens’ movement that works towards empowering people, speaking at a talk organised by Ellements, a women’s collective, here on Monday.

The reason the RTI Act is a potent tool is simple — if the information requested is not provided by the officials, they need to pay Rs.250 for every day of delay from their salary. There is no other act that directly links performance of government officials to their salary, said Mr. Kejriwal.

Talking about future steps, he said that the process of filing applications should be made simpler and that the information commissions need to be strengthened.

A call centre has been started in Bihar where people can call in. The caller’s voice is recorded and that becomes their petition. He said that this service would soon be available all over the country.

The RTI Act has been effectively used to find status of ration card and passport applications. But, it can also be used to inspect any government work and ask for samples of any material used in government work, he said.

For example, if there is a road being laid near your house, you can ask for all files related to the construction. You can also ask to inspect the road, wherein the government will send engineers who will explain the work.

It is the possibility of inspection that does the trick many a time, said Mr. Kejriwal. When officials realise that someone could inspect their files, they clean up their act.

Even if you are confused about which government official to send your RTI petition to, don’t worry. Send it to any official and include this sentence – ‘If you are not the concerned authority, please forward it to the official concerned under Section 6 (3) of the RTI act.’

This section makes it mandatory for the official to forward it to the right authority.

Private enterprises also can come under the RTI act’s scrutiny if they have ‘substantial funding’ from the government. As the term ‘substantial funding’ is not defined, it is open to interpretation.

A private school where teachers were paid by the government was asked to disclose records under the RTI act because the salary was considered to be ‘substantial funding’.

It is up to the people to define the boundaries of the act. The more they push it, more can be accomplished, he said.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


Also read the related stories in THE HINDU

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two held for making fake identity cards, licenses

Two held for making fake identity cards, licenses

22 Jun 2008, 0334 hrs IST,TNN

CHENNAI: The arrest of two men involved in a forgery racket and their demonstration before police as to how a fake driving license can be produced within a matter of few minutes has once again brought to fore how ill-equipped authorities are in their fight against forgery.

R Ramesh (36), a computer science diploma holder and his friend S Babu (28), on Saturday, stunned the Nungambakkam police by issuing a fake driving license to a policeman. "He collected my photograph, scanned it and created a driving license within a few minutes," a policeman attached to the Nungambakkam police station told the Times of India.

The two men were arrested on Friday for forging driving licences, PAN cards and voters' identity cards and issuing them to people applying for passports and bank loans. Sri Lankan Tamils, who could not use their original passports to go to the UK, Europe and Canada, used the services of the duo to obtain Indian passports.

Ramesh and Babu have been involved in this illegal business for more than six months and were operating out of Nesapakkam in K.K.Nagar.

"They had the driving license format, the signatures and seals of the authorities stored in their computer.

Their customers had to just provide their photographs. The duo then would scan the photograph, fix it on the slot and take a colour printout. They also had the formats of election ID cards, driving licenses and PAN cards with them," K N Murali, assistant commissioner of police, Nungambakkam, said.

With forgery of documents like passports and other identification cards being done with ease by criminals using precision technology, it is high time the authorities resorted to harnessing biometric technology in surveillance systems.

Incidentally, biometrics is an access-control technology that analyses fingerprints, facial features or other physical characteristics of human beings. Computers which work on this technology reduces an image to a template of "minutia points'' notable features such as a loop in a fingerprint.

Though six branches of biometrics fingerprints, hand geometry, iris and retina scanners, voice recognition systems, and facial recognition systems are already in application in some of the states, Tamil Nadu is nowhere near introducing the system.

"Though we are considering its feasibility, there are no serious plans to introduce it in the near future. Technology or resources is not the problem. It's just that we have to take the decision," said CP Singh, transport commissioner.

With no biometric computers to aid police surveillance, it's been a field day for criminals such as Ramesh and Babu. "They had a network with brokers at Shastri Bhavan, where the passport office is located. The duo used to collect Rs 5,000 for an ID card, if the applicant wanted to apply for a passport, but charged loan applicants only Rs 1,000," an official said.

The police got a tip-off about the racket from Nanthakumaran, a native of Vavuniya in Sri Lanka, who was arrested while attempting to apply for a passport in Chennai recently. Nanthakumaran had come to India using a Sri Lankan passport and tried to get an Indian passport. He collected a fake election ID from the duo. However, police had no clue about the gang when Nanthakumaran was arrested. When the Sri Lankan had come to the Nungambakkam police station to sign as per the bail condition, he was questioned again, when he revealed about Ramesh and Babu.

History of the biometric system

The use of biometric technology, which utitilises body characteristics to identify a person, goes back to the ancient civilisations of Egypt and China. However, modern-day biometrics has evolved thanks to the contribution of several minds.

Joao De Barros, a European explorer is credited with recording the first known system of fingerprinting in the 14th century AD. Alphonse Bertillon, a policeman from Paris, studied body mechanics in an effort to identify criminals. In recent years, John Daugman, a physicist, has done pioneering work in developing the bio metric iris recognition system. Owing to its accuracy, biometric systems are being used to help nab terrorists.

Pakistan recently installed biometric systems at its border to keep a check on cross-border militancy from Afghanistan.

When K Vijaykumar was Chennai city police commissioner five years ago, the city police had worked on a project to link their database of criminals with each and every patrol unit in the city. This project was then headed by joint commissioner MK Jha.

With the aid of biometric computers, patrol units, upon spotting a suspect on the road, could scan and take in the person's details and send it to the commissioner's office. Within minutes, the suspect's data could be cross-checked with the database. The project has, however, been shelved owing to the prohibitive cost involved.

However, a senior official said if government takes a policy decision, it could be introduced pretty fast. "Much of the ground work has already been completed," he said.


Better ways to tackle plastic: Article

Better ways to tackle plastic

Mondy June 23 2008 08:32 IST

The municipal corporation in Coimbatore, whose anti-plastics campaign has been derailed by a high court stay order, could learn something from an ongoing initiative across the country, at Guwahati. The two are based on different premises, if aimed at the same end, but this is an issue where any useful thinking is welcome.

The Coimbatore initiative, as we have reported, was to ban any use or sale of plastic bags (upto a certain thickness), tumblers, plates and other throw-away items; in a welcome change, the campaign began and got going with strong all-party political backing. It was months in the making and launched in April; the stay (petitioned for by the association of makers and sellers of plastic goods) followed in a few weeks and all enforcement has been frozen.

The Guwahati experiment, also profiled in our columns, is a private initiative. A non-government organisation has got together with other women’s groups and is involving rag pickers in going house to house. They provide ginger and garlic in exchange for scrap plastic; every kg of the latter gets you Rs 10 worth of the former.

It began very recently and has got off to a good start. For now, they accept only recyclable plastic. Homes get a litter bin made of bamboo to store the stuff. The NGO pays the rag-pickers Rs 8 for every kg collected; earlier, the scrap value the latter got from recycling factories was only Rs 2. The NGO says it is able to sell the plastics to these factories for Rs 18-20 a kg. They’re also negotiating with a Nagpur professor who has patented a technique for converting plastic waste to fuel oil; once that is settled they will collect non-recyclable plastic, too, and hope to gradually cover the entire state.

It does seem to us that the Coimbatore municipality (and all others) could usefully take this thinking forward; it would also help if they work with the market in this fashion, instead of starting with bans and fines which immediately impact jobs and trade. Use of waste as fuel has exciting potential: note that the cement giant, ACC, uses waste (not just plastic yet) as a hydrocarbon fuel at five of its 11 units, and plans to convert the rest. If civic bodies and business join hands all could benefit.


Proposal for Multi-storeyed parking in Pondicherry

Multi-storeyed parking lot mooted at J.N. Street to decongest town

Staff Reporter

It may come up at the place where Central Prison is located, says Inspector-General of Police

— Photo: T. Singaravelou

HEARING VIEWS: Puducherry IGP S. Vasudeva Rao ( right), with president of Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association S.V. Iyer on Sunday

PUDUCHERRY: Inspector-General of Police S. Vasudeva Rao on Sunday said the Police Department had mooted a multi-storeyed parking lot on Jawaharlal Nehru Street.

Interacting with senior citizens here, he said the department had sent the proposal to the government to construct a parking facility at the site where the Central Prison functioned. “We plan to shift the jail very shortly to Kalapet. The department hopes the government would consider the demand as it is the only solution to decongest the town.”

Answering queries on issues related to traffic problems, he said manpower shortage in the traffic wing had come in the way of effective functioning. At present, the traffic wing functioned with a total manpower of 150 personnel, including 50 men drawn from the Home Guards. With such a minimal strength, it was impossible to enforce traffic rules, he said. The department also planned to induct 50 more personnel for traffic duty shortly, he added. The department was keen on increasing manpower in all police stations, Mr. Rao said, adding that they had sent a proposal to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to sanction 450 additional posts to fill vacancies.

On the lack of availability of space for pedestrians, he said the department held several rounds of consultation with municipal authorities to find a solution to encroachment on pavements. Mr. Rao said the municipal authorities had to come forward in identifying encroachments and the police would assist them in solving the problem.

The department would consider the senior citizens’ plea to install traffic signboards wherever necessary.

On the police plan to bring a registry of senior citizens, especially on those living alone, he said the process of identifying them would be intensified in the coming months.

Appealing to senior citizens to play a proactive role in society, Mr. Rao said they should come forward to give concrete suggestions to improve policing. “You can also assist us in community policing and take up the role of traffic wardens,” he said.

Others who spoke at the function include president of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association S.V. Iyer and vice-president of the association N. Udayabhaskaran.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Scam in the Telecom Sector

The New Indian Express ePaper

DMK snaps ties with PMK

The New Indian Express ePaper

DMK snaps ties with PMK


But Karunanidhi won’t insist that the PMK be expelled from UPA government

— Photo: M. Vedhan

Breaking up: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi addresses journalists after a High Level Policy Implementation Committee meeting in Chennai on Tuesday

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam announced on Tuesday that it was snapping its ties with the Pattali Makkal Katchi since the DMK “could not accept that … relations had to be continued with a party that denigrated” it.

A nine-page resolution, adopted at the end of over hour-long deliberations of the party’s High Level Policy Implementation Committee here, said that after a PMK leader spoke in a cheap and derogatory manner that sought to take away the DMK’s self-respect — he was not even apologetic, nor did the PMK leadership take action against him — and since it could not be accepted that the alliance had to be continued with such persons, “the committee regrets to announce that a situation had emerged where the [Democratic Progressive] alliance could not go forward along with such people [the PMK].”

The speech in question was made by J. Guru, former MLA, who spoke at a PMK meeting in a derogatory manner about the DMK leadership. He said that if any PMK functionary was arrested, Union Minister A. Raja and MLA Sivasankar would not be alive. The PMK contends that the speech was an “old issue” that “has been sorted out.” Asked about this, Mr. Karunanidhi shot back: “Will you condone a murder just because it was committed some time ago?”

Mr. Karunanidhi said he had read about the speech in the media but had not taken it seriously.

It was on June 13 that party treasurer and Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami played a CD containing the speech for him. In any case, it was not merely one speech that upset the DMK. The PMK had been making false allegations at every opportunity, the DMK said. The resolution noted that “whatever [scheme] the DMK implemented, the PMK was making fun of it and speaking in a derisive manner, and was issuing statements and interviews against the DMK government to conjure up an unreal scenario as if the DMK government had failed in every sphere.” By trying to create an impression that the DMK government was against the people, PMK founder S. Ramadoss had made it a political routine to gain cheap publicity, the resolution said.

While criticism was common, the PMK continued with its uncharitable and derisive comments even after the issues it raised were addressed.

Asked if the DMK would convene a meeting of alliance partners on this issue, Mr. Karunanidhi said this was an insult heaped on the DMK. “We are now erasing that insult,” he said. It had nothing to do with the other allies.

DMK men were particularly miffed at Dr. Ramadoss’ evaluation of the DMK government’s performance — that Mr. Karunanidhi did not pass the test. Asked how he assessed the performance of the PMK leader, Mr. Karunanidhi retorted: “I have not even seen the answer paper.”

On the letter that he sent to the PMK leader, which Dr. Ramadoss released to the press, Mr. Karunanidhi said that if one read the letter, one would realise how civil he was in his choice of words. Dr. Ramadoss had wanted some officials and police personnel shifted and he obliged.

Asked if any other party would be invited to join the DPA, Mr. Karunanidhi said there was no compulsion that another party should come in.

Asked if he would talk to Dr. Ramadoss in the event of the PMK leader coming forward to talk to him, Mr. Karunanidhi said he would not be able to answer hypothetical questions. On the possibility of revival of the alliance in the future in the interest of secularism, he said this message should be conveyed to Dr. Ramadoss.

To another question, Mr. Karunanidhi said he had no intention of insisting that the PMK be expelled from the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre. He had not spoken to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on this issue, nor had she asked him about it.

On the PMK’s Ministers at the Centre, he said he was fond of Dr. Ramadoss’ son, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss (“Anbumani meedhu enakku anbu undu”) and that Minister of State for Railways R. Velu was doing a good job. The DMK had no problems with Dr. Anbumani. Mr. Karunanidhi said he had not spoken to anyone in the Congress on the problems with the PMK.

Reacting to the DMK decision, Dr. Ramadoss said his party was neither “sad nor surprised.” The PMK would continue to raise people’s issues more vigorously, he said.

The PMK has six MPs in the Lok Sabha.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

5 Year Old Baby dies, Wrong Treatment alleged

The New Indian Express ePaper

Cable Wars - III

Cable Wars - III

The Royal cable vision owned by Azhagiri, the eldest son of the Tamilnadu CM has vested control from their rival SCV owned by Marans atleast in Madurai. Sun TV stopped beaming in Madurai as they refused rights to RCV. The cable war-III has started. Arasu cable the government cable vehicle is yet to find a body but when Kalaignar visits Tanjore in the coming months he is expected to open the curtains. But it is unlikely to touch Madurai which will be written for Azhagiri. Sun direct may get some numbers in Madurai but again the general public there is wary of Azhgiri's muscle.

The recent DMK women conference was conspicuous of Stalin's absence and Azhagir's surprise over presence clearly showing emergence of two lobbies in the DMK. Stalin-Maran and Azhagiri-Kanimozhi. And the father seems to be on the latter's side as of now. It suits him as that means he need not relinquish any power in any near future. Tamil politicians love to rule till life and for them even sons are second in preference. The old minister group also will like status quo for that will mean continuity for them too. And so is Stalin getting weaker by the day. Though his close confides may not feel so, the truth seems to be close to this.When asked whether he will like Rahul to be the next PM which winking our CM said yes along side Arjun just before high command rebuked it as sycophancy. When it is for other party he wishes it to become young in head, but here he feels the old head brings more wisdom.

The latest news is Kalanidhi is flying to London to meet Stalin who it is reported to be staying there as he is unwell.[aching back]. He left on June 4Th along with his wife, son and personal assistant.

Azhagiri, Karunanidhi's Madurai-based son, set up his Royal Cable Vision, a multi-service cable TV operating service (MSO), in April hoping to provide cable TV service in the southern districts of Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and a few other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Cable service in these districts have so far been provided by Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), the MSO wing of the Sun Network, a television channels and services group owned by Kalanadhi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran, Karunanidhi's grand nephews.

Azhagiri and his son M.K.A.D. Dayanidhi, who is the managing director of RCV, took their complaints this week to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). They argued that TRAI 'interconnectivity regulations stipulated for every broadcaster to provide on request, signals of its TV channels on a non-discriminatory basis'.

RCV complained that Channel Plus-TN, a unit of Sun TV network, had been refusing to provide decoder boxes for all the Tamil channels on its network.

SCV in turn pointed out that RCV had not given Sun Network the number of its subscribers and cable operators 'which is a pre-condition for giving signals'.

It alleged RCV had attempted to cut out Sun network's regional channels from its transmission bouquets, but public demand for the Sun channels had made it seek signals from the Maran's Sun Network group.

Telecommunications Minister, A Raja of the DMK, is now said to have instructed TDSAT to hear RCV's petition under the Free Airway Policy.

TDSAT judge and chairman Arunkumar Saturday directed Royal Cable Vision to file details about its subscribers.

RCV counsel K.K. Mani urged TDSAT to direct Sun Network to provide their signals immediately. Sun Network's counsel Sarabjit pointed out that RCV was too new an enterprise and 'the law stipulates that a minimum of three months is necessary to provide the signal'.

Arunkumar then posted the case for further hearing in July. All eyes are now on Azhagiri to see if RCV reveals its subscriber base to the rival SCV's Sun group.
More than 50 per cent of the TV viewers in and around Madurai were not able to watch popular serials broadcast by the SUN NETWork as it was off the air for the Seventh day on Monday.

Tamilnadu Cable TV owners and Consumers Welfare Association President T V Ramesh said that in view of the standoff between the RCV and the SCV, owned by Maran brothers, the cable operators were losing business. Already 1,500 Direct To Home (DTH) connections had been sold in the city. Hence they appealed to the government to soon launch its own cable TV operations to save their business.

Meanwhile in Chennai also the Cable TV dispute seems to have reached a new high with operators blacking out their rivals’ telecast by cutting the cable wires. Police have arrested three cable TV operators of SCV in this regard.

The cable service had been provided by SCV and Hathway in the city. In Peravallur, Madhavaram and Kolathur where Hathway holds fort, there have been reports that telecast had been stopped. The police are interrogating three persons, Royal, Palani and Mani of SCV in this regard.

The loksabha elections are not far away and if wrong coalitions are made it may even be a poll for the state too and if the SUN is not by their side DMK is bound to lose unless they have a formidable alliance to outwit this threat. May be RCV was started eyeing this. The fact of the matter is the sides are drifting apart at great speed and unless the great old man acts swiftly it might mean another blood bath- Madurai style. The willy old politician is not a novice and would have already sensed it. What is happening on his mind and behind doors we may not know but one thing is sure, something big is cooking and it is matter of time it will be revealed.

Above is the new politician from the family- Kayalvizhi daughter of Azhagiri spoke in the recent women's meet.


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Jayalalithaa holds talks with Swamy

The New Indian Express ePaper

Also read the related stories in Dinamani as follows:

Tuesday June 17 2008 00:00 IST

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Karunanidhi raking up an old issue, says Ramadoss

The New Indian Express ePaper

Karunanidhi raking up an old issue, says Ramadoss

Chennai (PTI): As the DMK leadership meets here on Tuesday to review the party's ties with key ally PMK, its founder S Ramadoss on Monday said he failed to understand why Chief Minister M Karunanidhi struck an extreme posture on an old issue which he said was considered settled among the two.

Joining issue with Karunanidhi over his decision to review the ties with PMK on the issue of threats by senior party leader J Guru, Ramadoss in a statement here said the Chief Minister had written a letter to him on March 16 that he was happy to note that he (Ramadoss) had acted strictly with Guru for indulging in personal attacks.

"I got solace that you acted strictly against Guru. We will make attempts for erasing unnecessary irritants among us," Karunanidhi had said in the letter, a copy of which was released by Ramadoss to the media on Monday.

"I do not know why he is raking up an old issue, which was settled in March itself, like a new issue," he said.

He also said the Chief Minister in response to a letter by him on March 10 about the "false cases" filed against Guru had transfered the DIG, Tiruchirapalli, in charge of law and order in Ariyalur and Perambalur districts, which only showed that he had "acted neutrally."

While the DMK has viewed seriously the threats issued by Guru to Union Minister A Raja and DMK MLA Sivasankar in a speech at a party forum in January, PMK had maintained that the remarks were made in the backdrop of tension in Perambalur district following the "foisting" of cases.

The relationship between DMK and PMK reached a flash point last week when Electricity Minister N Veerasamy displayed a CD, claiming that it contained inflamatory speech of Guru but Ramadoss said the speech was old one.


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Monday June 16 2008 17:44 IST

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Rain and Floods in different parts of India

Dinamalar ePaper

Coimbatore Railway problems yet to be solved

Dinamalar ePaper

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indian schoolboy languishes in Sri Lankan jail

Indian schoolboy languishes in Sri Lankan jail

June 15th, 2008 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS

Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), June 15 (IANS): The longing for a little adventure - a fishing trip with his elder brother - has led to a nightmarish experience for a 16-year-old schoolboy as he was caught by the Sri Lankan Navy and put in prison. Joseph is languishing for over two weeks in a prison in Anuradhapuram, Sri Lanka.

He is a Class 11 student in the Muthupet Higher Secondary School in Pamban area.

He has not been able to convince his captors that they were not involved in transporting "black powder" in their boat.

Joseph and his elder brother Ignatius, 22, come from a traditional fishing family in Pamban, on the Ramanathapuram coast.

"My sons have been fishing in these waters since childhood. We are innocent fishing families," Joseph’s distraught father, Arul Sahayam, told IANS.

As many as 23 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy May 26 allegedly while fishing between Katchchatheevu and Neduntheevu in the international waters between the two countries. They were on board four country boats.

The Indian fishermen were taken blindfolded to a temporary camp on a beach, and "flogged and tortured", according to the Organisation for Protection of Indians’ Rights Abroad (OPIRA).

They were questioned with guns pointed to their heads about association with the dissident Lankan Tamil outfit, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rights group claimed.

These fishermen were produced before a magistrate May 28, after which they were sent to the Anuradhapuram prison.

Eighteen of the 23 fishermen were freed by the court and returned to Pamban, in Rameswaram, June 4. On their return, they described their ordeal to rights organisations in Tamil Nadu.

Five of them, all below 25 years of age, were not released by Sri Lanka.

With both his sons still in Sri Lankan custody, Arul Sahayam approached OPIRA.

"Joseph is only 16. He has to be treated as a child according to international norms. He was questioned with a gun pointed at his head and is kept in prison with adults," OPIRA director Agni Subramanian told IANS.

Joseph and his brother told OPIRA activists that their jailers have accused them of bringing "a black powder" in their boat.

"We do not know what this black powder is. The police won’t tell us. They only say, we brought it in our boat, hidden on the underside of the boat. If that is so, water would have soaked the powder," Joseph told OPIRA activists who recorded the conversation in Anuradhapuram.

Joseph said he only wanted to go on a fishing trip with his elder brother during school holidays.

OPIRA has now approached Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala to facilitate the schoolboy’s release.


DMK is a family-run party

DMK is a family-run party

The Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam party is fast becoming a family-run corporate house. The party is flooded with the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's children and grandchildren. The whole family wants to serve the poor and the public via politics!.

THE NEXT two generations of M Karunanidhi the chief minister of Tamilnadu and the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch – are being launched by the DMK party so that the party is firmly in the family’s pocket.

First, his son MK Stalin was groomed to be his political heir and to lead the party once Karunanidhi hangs up his boots. In addition, Stalin’s son too is interested in joining the fray so that he can become the second in line for the dynasty. This grandson has started representing his father at public meetings and has also produced a film recently.

Next the chief minister took in his daughter Kanimozhi, a well known poet and social activist, and nominated her for a Rajya Sabha post even though she has done very little for the party. All this after the unceremonious exit of Dayanidhi Maran the former union minister for Communications and IT portfolio from the union cabinet.

At present, his granddaughter, the daughter of his other son Azhagiri a political heavyweight in south of Tamilnadu and an extra constitutional authority is being annointed to jump into politics. She will be addressing the ruling DMK’s women’s conference in Cuddalore, sometime this month.

This granddaughter first shot into prominence when her poems got published in the DMK’s mouthpiece Murasoli. Subsequently, she attended the party’s youth conference and brought out a souvenir for her father’s 57th birthday. This granddaughter’s brother is also keen on serving the public, that is, in other words, entering politics. He has the blessings of both his father and grandfather.

Furthermore, another grandson of Karunanidhi, the son of his eldest son, MK Muthu, will also be joining the party to realise his political ambitions.

Both the daughter and the granddaughter of Karunanidi have inherited his poetic tendencies and have established themselves as poets. They claim to have poetry and politics in their blood. Surprisingly,

the party cadres do not seem to mind this set up and there is no revolt in the party regarding this issue because what Karunanidhi does at the state level they do it at the district level.

The interest shown by Karunanidhi’s grandchildren in politics follows the exit of his great-nephew Dayanidhi Maran from the mainstream politics. Having just one member from a family in a party is entirely different from having the whole family in it. The party is more like a family-run corporate house. They claim that they would like to and want to serve the poor and the public and that’s why they are in politics....... well... whatever... if they say so!


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