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  1. வினை விதைத்தால் என்ன அறுவடை என்று உங்களுக்கு சொல்லி தெரிய தேவை இல்லை.
  2. இவரை கேட்டு இந்தி எதிர்ப்பு செய்யாதீர்கள். இவரால் எமக்கு ஒரு அரசியல் அனுகூலமும் கிடைத்தது இல்லை. இந்தியா வாக்களிக்காமல் தள்ளி இருந்ததே பெரிய விடயம். வைகோ(ல்) பட்டடை பழமொழியை சிந்தியுங்கள். இவரால் ஒன்றும் நடக்கப்போவதில்லை.
  3. சகோ, இப்போது பத்து ஏக்கர் வேலணை தோட்டத்தில் மண்ணை வளப்படுத்த இந்த 20 தானிய முறையை செய்முறை படுத்தி சோதிக்க உத்தேசம். வாகரை பகுதியிலும் சில நிலங்களை இப்போது கண்டறிந்துள்ளோம். அங்கேயும் பயிர் செய்கை தொடங்குமுன் இந்த தானிய முறையை சோதிப்போம். நம்மாழ்வார் ஐயா தான் எனது குரு. அவரிடம் நிறைய தமிழ் பண்டைய உணவு விவசாய விடயங்களை படித்துள்ளேன். பதிவிற்கு மிக்க நன்றி.
  4. The Corn of the Future Is Hundreds of Years Old and Makes Its Own Mucus This rare variety of corn has evolved a way to make its own nitrogen, which could revolutionize farming. Smithsonian Magazine Jason Daley Read when you’ve got time to spare. The corn variety Sierra Mixe grows aerial roots that produce a sweet mucus that feeds bacteria. The bacteria, in turn, pull nitrogen out of the air and fertilize the corn. If scientists can breed this trait into conventional corn, it could lead to a revolution in agriculture. Photo from Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0. In the 1980s, Howard-Yana Shapiro, now chief agricultural officer at Mars, Incorporated, was looking for new kinds of corn. He was in the Mixes District of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, the area where the precursors to maize (aka corn) first evolved, when he located some of the strangest corn ever seen. Not only was it 16 to 20 feet tall, dwarfing the 12-foot stuff in American fields, it took six to eight months to mature, far longer than the 3 months needed for conventional corn. Yet it grew to those impressive heights in what can charitably be called poor soil, without the use of fertilizer.. But the strangest part of the corn was its aerial roots--green and rose-colored, finger-like protrusions sticking out of the corn’s stalk, dripping with a clear, syrupy gel. Shapiro suspected that those mucousy fingers might be the Holy Grail of agriculture. He believed that the roots allowed this unique variety of corn, dubbed Sierra Mixe and locally bred over hundreds or even thousands of years, to produce its own nitrogen, an essential nutrient for crops that is usually applied as fertilizer in epic amounts. The idea seemed promising, but without DNA tools to look into the specifics of how the corn was making nitrogen, the discovery was shelved. Nearly two decades later, in 2005, Alan B. Bennett of the University of California, Davis—along with Shapiro and other researchers—began using cutting-edge technology to look into the nitrogen-fixing properties of the phlegmy corn, finding that indeed, bacteria living in the mucus were pulling nitrogen from the air, transmuting it into a form the corn could absorb. Now, in 2018, after over a decade of field research and genetic analysis, the team has published their work in the journal PLOS Biology. If the nitrogen-fixing trait could be bred into conventional corn, allowing it to produce even a portion of its own nitrogen, it could reduce the cost of farming, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt one of the major pollutants in lakes, rivers and the ocean. In other words, it could lead to a second nitrogen revolution. The synthetic production of nitrogen may be the greatest achievement of the 20th century. The discovery of the Haber-Bosch process and its refinements, in which nitrogen is stripped out of the air under high heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst, has led to three separate Nobel prizes. And they are well deserved. It’s estimated that crop yields more than doubled between 1908 and 2008, with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer responsible for up to half that growth. Some researchers have tied the massive growth in human population in the last seventy years to the increased use of nitrogen fertilizer. Without it, we’d have to farm almost four times as much land or have billions of fewer people in the world. But producing all that nitrogen has consequences. It’s estimated that making fertilizer via the Haber-Bosch process uses between 1 and 2 percent of the world’s energy, emitting lots of greenhouse gases. And synthetic nitrogen routinely washes off fields into waterways, leading to massive algae blooms that suck up all the oxygen, killing fish and other organisms. So much nitrogen goes into rivers and streams that large dead zones have developed at the mouths of the world’s rivers, including one in the Gulf of Mexico that last year was the size of New Jersey. Mark Sutton of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology calls nitrogen “the Godfather of pollution”—its effects are everywhere, but you never really see the culprit. But we can’t just quit nitrogen without seeing major reductions in agriculture. While better management and farming practices can help keep it out of waterways, those strategies aren’t enough to fix nitrogen’s ecological problems. That’s why researchers have for decades wondered if there was a way to help cereal crops like corn and wheat produce their own nitrogen. The idea is not as farfetched as it sounds. Lots of plants, in particular legumes like soybeans, peanuts and clover, have a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium bacteria, which produce nitrogen for them. The plants grow root nodules where the bacteria take up residence and sip on plant sugars while converting nitrogen in the air into a form the plants can use. If a similar symbiotic relationship could be found that works in cereal crops like corn and wheat, researchers believe we could reduce our use of the pollutant. That’s why the mucus corn is so important, and why Bennett and his team spent eight years studying and re-studying the bacteria and gel to convince themselves that the corn was indeed able to produce its own nitrogen. Using DNA sequencing, they were able to show the microbes in the slime carried genes for fixing nitrogen and demonstrated the gel the corn excretes, which is high sugar and low oxygen, is perfectly designed to encourage nitrogen fixation. Using five different tests they showed that the nitrogen produced by the microbes then made its way into the corn, providing 30 to 80 percent of the plant’s needs. They then produced a synthetic version of the slime and seeded it with the microbes, finding that they produced nitrogen in that environment as well. They even grew Sierra Mixe in Davis, California, and Madison, Wisconsin, showing that it could perform its special trick outside its home turf in Mexico. “This mechanism is totally different from what legumes use,” Bennett says, adding it may exist in other crops as well. “It’s certainly conceivable that similar types of systems exist in many cereals. Sorghum, for example, has aerial roots and mucilage. Maybe others have more subtle mechanisms that occur underground that could exist more widely. Now that we’re aware, we can look for them.” Co-author Jean Michel-Ane from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, agrees that this discovery opens up all types of new possibilities. “Engineering corn to fix nitrogen and form root nodules like legumes has been a dream and struggle of scientists for decades. It turns out that this corn developed a totally different way to solve this nitrogen fixation problem. The scientific community probably underestimated nitrogen fixation in other crops because of its obsession with root nodules,” he says in a statement. “This corn showed us that nature can find solutions to some problems far beyond what scientists could ever imagine.” It turns out that nature has even more nitrogen-producing tricks up her sleeve that researchers are just getting a handle on. There are several other ongoing projects aimed at getting cereal and vegetable crops to do the Haber-Bosching for us. One of the most promising is the use of endophytes, or microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that live in the intercellular spaces of plants. University of Washington researcher Sharon Doty got interested in the organisms a couple decades ago. She was studying willow and poplar trees, which are among the first trees to grow on disturbed land after events like a volcanic eruption, floods or rockfall. These trees were growing out of river gravel, with hardly any access to nitrogen in the soil. Inside their stems, however, Doty found endophytes that fixed the nitrogen for the trees, no root nodules necessary. Since then, she’s teased out dozens of various endophyte strains, many of which help plants in surprising ways. Some produce nitrogen or phosphorus, another important nutrient, while others improve root growth and some allow plants to survive in drought or high-salt conditions. “There [are] a whole slew of different microbes that can fix nitrogen and a broad range of plant species impacted by them,” she says. Her tests have shown that the microbes can double the productivity of pepper and tomato plants, improve growth in rice, and impart drought tolerance to trees like Douglas firs. Some even allow trees and plants to suck up and break down industrial contaminants and are now being used to clean up Superfund sites. “The advantage of using endophytes is that it’s a really large group. We’ve found strains that work with rice, maize, tomatoes, peppers and other agriculturally important crop plants.” In fact, endophytes might make it into farmers’ hands sooner rather than later. The Los Altos, California-based IntrinsyxBio is commercializing some of Doty’s endophytes. Chief Science Officer John L. Freeman says in an interview the company is on track to have a product ready for market in 2019. The goal is to deliver several strains of endophytes into plants, most likely by coating the seeds. After those bacteria take up residence inside the plant, they should pump out about 25 percent of the nitrogen it needs. Another biotech company, called Pivot Bio, recently announced it is beta testing a similar solution, using nitrogen-fixing microbes that grow in the root systems of corn. The newly emerging field of synthetic biology is also taking a crack at the nitrogen problem. Boston-based Joyn Bio, formed last September, is a co-project between Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company with experience creating custom yeasts and bacteria for the food and flavoring industry, among other “designer microbe” projects. Joyn is currently combing through Bayer’s library of over 100,000 microbes to find a host that can successfully colonize plants, similar to Doty’s endophytes. Then they hope to tweak that “host chassis” with genes that will allow it to fix nitrogen. “Rather than rely on nature and find a magic microbe, which we don’t think exists, we want to find our host microbe and fine tune it to do what we need it to do for corn or wheat,” says Joyn CEO Michael Miille. The Gates Foundation is also in on the game, supporting projects attempting to impart the nitrogen-fixing abilities of legumes into cereals. Still other teams are hoping that the advent of supercharged quantum computing will open up new realms of chemistry and identify new catalysts that will make the Haber-Bosch process much more efficient. While it’s unlikely that one solution alone will be able to replace 100 percent of the synthetic fertilizer humans use, perhaps together these projects could make a serious dent in nitrogen pollution. Bennett hopes that Sierra Mixe and what his team has learned from it will be part of the nitrogen revolution, though he admits it’s a very long leap before his slimy corn fingers start producing nitrogen in conventional crops. He now wants to identify the genes that produce the aerial roots and pin down which of the thousands of microbes discovered in the mucilage are actually fixing the nitrogen. “I think what we’re doing could be complementary to those [endoyphte and synthetic biology] approaches,” he says. “I think we’ll see many divergent strategies, and in 5 to 10 years something will emerge that impacts how corn gets nitrogen." Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-corn-of-the-future-is-hundreds-of-years-old-and-makes-its-own-mucus?utm_source=pocket-newtab
  5. உண்மை என்னவென்றால் இந்த கிழமை நடந்த போராட்டங்கள் தான் காரணி. கோவிட் போலி ஊரடங்குகள் சின்ன வியாபாரங்களை நசுக்கும் சட்டங்கள். மக்களுக்கு சலிப்பு ஏற்பட்டு தெருவிற்கு வந்துவிட்டார்கள். காவல்துறையுடன் மோதல் வேறு. அது தான் அக்கா தோசையை திருப்பி போடுறா! Coronavirus: Germany's Merkel reverses plans for Easter lockdown 2 hours ago EPA Chancellor Angela Merkel said she took "ultimate responsibility" for the U-turn German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cancelled plans for a strict lockdown over Easter, just a day after the measures were announced. Calling the plan a "mistake", Mrs Merkel said she took "ultimate responsibility" for the U-turn. The proposed lockdown was agreed with regional leaders in talks overnight on Monday, with restrictions set to be tightened between 1-5 April. But the plan was reversed following a crisis meeting on Wednesday. It had been widely criticised by business leaders and scientists. The lockdown would have been Germany's strictest yet, with most shops closed and gatherings limited. For five days over Easter from 1 April, Germans would have been asked to stay at home and reduce social contact. In-person religious services would have been cancelled, large family gatherings banned and almost all shops would have been closed. The head of Mrs Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Armin Laschet, told a regional parliament meeting on Wednesday that the lockdown was "not enforceable in this form". "This mistake is mine alone," Mrs Merkel told reporters in Berlin. "The whole process has caused additional uncertainty, for which I ask all citizens to forgive me." "There were good reasons for it but it could not be implemented well enough in this short time," she added. How are European countries tackling the pandemic? Covid - the countries that nailed it An increasingly chaotic response This was an extraordinary statement. Chancellor Merkel said she alone bore responsibility for the plan to extend what is usually a three-day Easter holiday to a five-day shutdown. The German leader will be conscious that - as case numbers soar exponentially - public trust in her government's pandemic response is wavering. She was seen as a safe pair of hands who brought the country through the first wave of infections. But - as regional leaders bicker over lockdown measures - Germany's response is becoming increasingly chaotic. Mrs Merkel appears to be struggling to keep the country together. What's the situation in Germany? "Essentially, we have a new virus," Chancellor Merkel said when announcing the now-cancelled Easter lockdown. The highly contagious UK (Kent) variant of coronavirus had become dominant, she explained, plunging the country into "a new pandemic". "It is much deadlier, much more infectious and infectious for much longer," she claimed, adding Germany was in a race against time to vaccinate against Covid-19. The infection rate has risen above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany. That number is critical in determining emergency decisions such as tightening lockdowns. Under the current rules, areas exceeding that infection rate over a seven-day period will not be subject to further reopenings. Why is the EU having vaccine problems? But despite the numbers, the announcement of the five-day lockdown, and the subsequent ban on Easter church services, triggered dismay from religious leaders. They argued that their existing social-distancing measures made church attendance safe. The Catholic German Bishops' Conference made clear that, following Wednesday's U-turn, its services would go ahead as planned with hygiene measures in place and video streams available to those who did not want to attend in person. Retail leaders also welcomed the reversal. "With today's decision, a bit of reason is returning to coronavirus policy," the HDE association of retailers said in a statement. The country's partial lockdown, meanwhile, has been extended until at least 18 April. WATCH: Pfizer v Oxford v Moderna – three Covid-19 vaccines compared Coronavirus infections have been surging in some parts of Europe in recent weeks as countries scramble to vaccinate their populations despite delays in rolling out jabs. The European Commission has proposed tougher controls on Covid vaccine exports. It has accused the UK-Swedish firm AstraZeneca of failing to honour its contract to supply EU countries. The tougher export controls are most likely to affect countries that have higher vaccination rates than the EU, such as the UK and US. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56513366
  6. China in $1.5 Billion Swap Deal as Sri Lanka Seeks to Shun IMF Anusha OndaatjieMarch 22, 2021, 7:02 AM PDT China signed a currency swap agreement with Sri Lanka as the South Asian nation looks to reduce reliance on the International Monetary Fund before $3.7 billion of foreign debt matures this year. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is entitled to a 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) swap facility from the People’s Bank of China, Sri Lanka’s monetary authority said in a statement Monday. The agreement is valid for three years. Faced with low foreign-exchange reserves and looming debt repayments, Sri Lanka is getting closer to China, it’s biggest import partner. More than 22% of the island nation’s foreign purchases were from China last year. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-22/china-in-1-5-billion-swap-deal-as-sri-lanka-seeks-to-shun-imf
  7. What does UN human rights resolution mean for Sri Lanka? Alasdair Pal Published: 30 minutes ago By Alasdair Pal (Reuters) - U.N. human rights boss Michelle Bachelet received a mandate on Tuesday to collect evidence of crimes during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009 with the defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers and an upsurge of civilian deaths. [L8N2LL3PG] Rights groups said the decision was a critical step in gaining justice for victims of war crimes, and could have significant implications for the current Sri Lankan government. Here are answers to some common questions: WHAT DOES THE RESOLUTION ALLOW? The resolution allows the United Nations "to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence, and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, to advocate for victims and survivors, and to support relevant judicial and other proceedings." It also provided a budget of $2.8 million to hire investigators to work on the collection of evidence. WHAT COULD IT MEAN FOR SRI LANKA? The resolution is a "huge blow" to the Sri Lankan government, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who served as the country's wartime defence chief, said Yasmin Sooka, a rights lawyer involved in prosecutions against several Sri Lankan wartime figures including Rajapaksa. Bachelet's office is likely to take several months to set up a team, and evidence-gathering will be a long process, Sooka said. "I don't expect the Sri Lankan government to cooperate," said Rajiv Bhatia, a distinguished fellow at Indian foreign policy think-tank Gateway House. The length of time that has elapsed since the end of the war will also complicate evidence-gathering, he added. WHAT DOES SRI LANKA SAY? Sri Lanka has strongly rejected the resolution. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunewardena said the resolution lacked authority as the nations that had voted in favour were outnumbered by those that had voted against it or had abstained. "The resolution was brought by countries supported by Western powers that want to dominate the Global South," he said. Sri Lanka’s U.N. envoy, C.A. Chandraprema, called the text "unhelpful and divisive", as it was not passed unopposed and strongly objected to by its allies, including China and Russia. WHO VOTED FOR IT? The 47-member Human Rights Council passed the resolution, with 22 countries voting in favour, 11 against and 14 abstaining. In favour: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Italy, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay. Against: Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. India, Indonesia, Japan and Nepal were among the abstainees. The abstentions, including from neighbours India and Nepal and some friendly Islamic countries, were a blow to Colombo and could upset relations. "They are putting a brave face... (but) there was a very big effort from Colombo to get India to support them," Bhatia said, adding it could test already an already fraught relationship between the countries. (Reporting by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) https://www.thetelegram.com/news/world/what-does-un-human-rights-resolution-mean-for-sri-lanka-567562/
  8. China's biggest car brand launches rival to Tesla 12 minutes ago Getty Images The Lotus Evija is a limited production electric sports car. China's biggest carmaker Geely is launching a premium electric car brand it hopes will take on Tesla. The Chinese company, which owns Volvo and Lotus, announced its Zeekr brand on Tuesday to tap into China's demand for electric vehicles (EVs). It comes as Elon Musk goes on the charm offensive in China praising its plans to tackle carbon emissions. The Tesla founder has seeking to allay Chinese concerns about his cars' onboard cameras. Musk denies Teslas are used for spying in China The Chinese £3,200 budget electric car chasing Tesla Chinese regulators throw spanner in Tesla's works Geely said it would develop and manufacture high-end EVs under the Zeekr brand and expected to begin deliveries in the third quarter of 2021. It already has exposure to premium electric cars through the brands it owns. Polestar, owned by Volvo Cars, develops electric performance cars. It is headquartered in Sweden with vehicle production taking place in China. Lotus, which is majority-owned by Geely, is working on an electric-powered supercar called Evija. Zeekr, its own home-grown EV brand, will face fierce competition from Tesla whose Model 3 was the top-selling electric vehicle model in China last year. It will also compete with Chinese groups Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto which are seeing healthy sales. Last week, Dongfeng Motor, the Chinese partner of Japan's Nissan and PSA Peugeot Citroen of France, said its new EV brand Voyah could start delivering cars to Chinese customers in July. Beijing wants more than a fifth of vehicles sold in China to be electric by 2025. Getty Images Polestar is an electric car brand owned by Volvo Cars and its parent company Geely. Geely has ambitions to become China's first global automaker with a reach similar to Volkswagen. Along with its Volvo and Lotus brands, it owns a minority stake in Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler. The initial strategy for Zeekr will be focused on the Chinese market but it will also explore overseas opportunities given rising global demand for premium electric vehicles. On Tuesday Geely reported its annual results which saw it sell 1.32 million cars in 2020, compared with 1.36 million in the previous year. Tesla charm offensive In a short interview with Chinese state television broadcast on Tuesday, Tesla's boss Elon Musk said he was impressed by the carbon emission goals set out in the country's latest five-year economic plan. Beijing has restricted the use of Teslas among military staff and key government employees over worries about how the carmaker handles data in China. Mr Musk told Chinese politicians and businessmen over the weekend via video link that Tesla would never provide the US government with data collected by its vehicles in China or other countries. The military had raised security concerns about the data collected by cameras installed in the cars. China accounted for about a fifth of Tesla's global revenue of $31.5bn (£23bn) in 2020, according to public filings. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56493572
  9. Sri Lanka invites Myanmar’s ‘incumbent FM’, denies endorsing coup Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry says Myanmar’s ‘incumbent foreign minister’, a military officer, invited for BIMSTEC meeting later this month. A group of rights activists protest against the military coup in Myanmar, in front of the Myanmar embassy in Colombo [Chamila Karunarathne/EPA] Sri Lanka has invited a representative of Myanmar’s military to a meeting of Asian foreign ministers but denies its gesture endorses last month’s coup, condemned globally over the army’s violent suppression of protests. “ProtestSriLanka” began trending among coup opponents on Twitter in Myanmar on Wednesday after it emerged – through a letter leaked online – that Colombo had invited military foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) meeting scheduled at the end of March. Myanmar’s army seized power in a coup on February 1, detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and most of her cabinet. Nationwide mass protests have been met with deadly force, with at least 60 people killed, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group. Jayanath Colombage, Sri Lanka’s foreign secretary, told Reuters news agency by phone Myanmar’s “incumbent foreign minister” had been invited because the country was a member nation of BIMSTEC and had not been removed or suspended. “That doesn’t mean we have accepted the Myanmar military government,” he said. “We have not taken a position on that.” A spokesman for Myanmar’s military did not answer phone calls from Reuters seeking comment. The military has brushed off condemnation of its actions, as it has in past periods of army rule when outbreaks of protest were forcibly repressed. BIMSTEC is a grouping of nations – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand – that are dependent on the Bay of Bengal. Myanmar protesters have called on nations across the world to reject the military leadership and deal with a civilian committee set up by overthrown politicians – the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). “Every nation in the world needs to clearly understand that the coup in Myanmar is not complete, it’s still an attempted coup,” Myanmar-based activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told Reuters. “So I ask Sri Lankan activists to give pressure to the Sri Lankan government not to invite the military junta because they are not the legitimate government of Myanmar,” she said. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/11/sri-lanka-invites-myanmars-incumbent-fm-denies-endorsing-coup
  10. எமக்கு ஆதராவாக வாக்களிக்காத நாடுகளுக்கு எமது அரசியல் அமைப்புகள் லொபி செய்யவேண்டும். அவர்களை எதிரியாக பாக்காமல் வெளிநாடுகளில் உள்ள அவர்களது தூதரங்களுக்கு அறிவூட்டும் நிகழ்வுகள் வைத்து வெல்லவேண்டும். Top UN rights body approves greater scrutiny of Sri Lanka by The Associated Press Posted Mar 23, 2021 1:08 pm ADT GENEVA — The Human Rights Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the office of the U.N. rights chief to step up its monitoring of the situation in Sri Lanka. In a 22-11 vote with 14 abstentions, the vote at the U.N.’s top human rights body also called on the government in Colombo to ensure “prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and, if warranted, prosecution” of alleged crimes linked to rights violations or “serious” violations of international law. Western countries led the way in sponsoring and voting in favour of the measure, while other countries such as China, Russia, Eritrea and the Philippines opposed it. India was among those that abstained. The move aims to strengthen the ability of the office of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, to “collect, consolidate, analyze and preserve evidence” on rights violations in Sri Lanka that could be made available for future prosecutions. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Dinesh Gunawardena, accused Western countries of “wanting to dominate the global south” — and noted that the vote fell short of a majority in the 47-member Geneva body. “Twenty-five votes were not on their side of the resolution,” he told reporters. “This is the important message that the countries in Geneva have given amidst great pressure by the European countries.” Alluding to the rights council’s rules, Gunawardena said measures in the resolution cannot be implemented without the consent of Sri Lankan authorities. But Human Rights Watch hailed a “landmark resolution” that it said would boost scrutiny of rights violations, improve international justice and advance accountability for victims and their families. “The world has sent a message to Sri Lanka’s rulers, that they cannot escape accountability for international crimes, and they should step back now from escalating ongoing abuses,” said John Fisher, the advocacy group’s Geneva director. The voting came on the next-to-last day of a four-week council session, the first of three held every year. The Associated Press https://www.news957.com/2021/03/23/top-un-rights-body-approves-greater-scrutiny-of-sri-lanka/
  11. UNHRC adopts resolution against Sri Lanka's human rights record; India abstains from voting TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Mar 23, 2021, 17:47 IST NEW DELHI: India has abstained from voting in the United Nations Human Rights Council on a resolution on alleged human rights violations by Sri Lanka during the final days of the Tamil Eelam war. Japan ans 12 other countries also did not vote. The resolution titled ‘Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka' was adopted by the UNHRC after 22 members out of 47 voted in favour of it. Eleven members, including China, voted against the resolution. The resolution had accused Lanka of war crimes with threats to take those responsible to the International Courts and impose targeted sanctions against officials allegedly responsible for human rights violations. A UN report had called for drastic measures against those allegedly responsible for rights violations during last phase of the armed conflict with the LTTE (2009). Sri Lanka described the draft resolution as "unwarranted, unjustified and in violations of the relevant articles of the United Nations' Charter." Shortly before the vote, the Indian mission in Geneva released a carefully worded statement, expressing support for Lankan Tamils, while stressing on unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. "India supports the call by the international community for the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments on the devolution of political authority, including through the early holding of elections for Provincial Councils and to ensure that all Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution," the statement read. At the same time, it said, India believes that the work of Office of the Human Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should be in conformity with mandate given by the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly. The government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa had officially withdrawn from co-sponsoring the previous resolution undertaken by the previous government. It had called for an international investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both the government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the final phase of the near-three-decade-long civil war that ended in May 2009. Rajapaksa had called PM Modi just days before the voting, seeking India's support on the matter. https://m.timesofindia.com/india/un-india-abstains-from-voting-on-resolution-alleging-human-rights-violations-by-sri-lanka-during-tamil-eelam-war/articleshow/81651583.cms
  12. நம்புறோம் சாமி! Coronavirus: Russia's Putin gets vaccine but without cameras 40 minutes ago By Sarah Rainsford BBC News, Moscow EPA Mr Putin, in Siberia at the weekend, is no stranger to photo-opportunities but wanted to avoid the cameras for his jab Vladimir Putin has been vaccinated against Covid-19, partly to encourage other Russians who remain deeply reluctant to get the jab. Although he has previously been filmed on horseback, ice skating and flying with Siberian cranes, he chose to be vaccinated behind closed doors. The Kremlin has not specified which vaccine Mr Putin received. The aim was to underline "all three Russian vaccines are absolutely reliable, very good and effective," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Speaking to the BBC, he brushed off the suggestion that showing President Putin getting a shot in the arm would help persuade the sceptical majority of Russians to follow suit. As for believing the president actually had the jab, he said people would just have to "take our word for it". There's likely to be a limited increase in the slow pace of vaccination as a result. Grand plans, low interest The president's own daughter took part in the Sputnik V safety trials, but he's seemed oddly cautious given how highly he recommends the jab for others. Mr Putin, who is 68 years old, initially claimed he was waiting until it had been deemed safe for the over-65s. Later he said he'd wait for autumn when his doctors could fit the Covid shot in his "vaccine schedule". Mr Putin also told a gathering of Russian news editors that he wouldn't be a "performing monkey" and get vaccinated before the TV cameras, surprising many with his sudden camera-shyness. Mr Putin revealed on Monday that 6.3 million Russians had so far received one dose of a Covid vaccine since he became the world's first leader to announce a "large-scale" vaccination back in December. That's only around 5% of the adult population. Reuters Mr Putin, 68, was back at the Kremlin ahead of his jab on Tuesday His target is to protect 60% of adults by July - sufficient for "collective immunity" to stop the virus spreading. But that would require boosting the current vaccination-rate from just a few thousand to more than 700,000 every day - and that's just a single dose of the vaccine. Despite Russia touting its most widely available jab, Sputnik V, as the world's first and best, interest at home is low and falling. Why many in Russia are reluctant to have Sputnik vaccine A Levada-Center poll suggests the number of Russian opposed to getting it rose to 62% in February, with most citing concerns over possible side effects despite the fact Sputnik proved safe and almost 92% effective in trials. Many also see no urgent need for protection. There's been no lockdown here since spring 2020, the number of new infections is currently falling and the death toll from Covid is barely mentioned. The daily count has reached 95,818, though the number of excess deaths recorded so far is some four times higher. Read more from Sarah here: How Russia glosses over its Covid death toll Global ambition Meanwhile, enthusiasm for Russia's main vaccine has been increasing abroad. On Tuesday, Vietnam became the 56th country to register Sputnik and Russia says it has done deals to supply 700 million doses of the vaccine overseas. But it's unclear when that demand can be met. Russia plans to transfer the technology for production abroad but Sputnik's backer, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, will not answer questions about any current supply from overseas facilities or its targets. In a call with scientists and producers on Monday, President Putin was full of praise for their achievements with three Russian vaccines now registered for emergency use, including EpiVacCorona and CoviVac. A batch of a new version of Sputnik V that doesn't need freezing has just been distributed and trials on the one-jab Sputnik Light have concluded. But scaling up production has proved complicated. Total vaccine output will increase to 12.5 million "units" of two doses in March, according to the industry ministry, with an extra five million units added in April. These pensioners in Perm signed up for a Covid vaccination, but supplies have been limited Still, there have been reports of shortages in some Russian regions. One clinic the BBC visited this month in Perm admitted it had run out of the first dose of Sputnik and didn't expect more for several days. Putin back to business Now he's been vaccinated, it's possible Russians could be seeing more of Mr Putin in the flesh. He has spent much of the pandemic working from his official residence outside Moscow. Those meeting him in person have had to quarantine first. The Kremlin says he is getting vaccinated now in order to have the "necessary level of immunity" to get back to travelling and working, ahead of parliament elections in autumn. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56498847
  13. இவர் இந்திக்கு சிந்தி வழியுறார்! சோவனிசமாம்! அழகிரி பாராளுமன்றில் தமிழில் பேசியபோது கிந்தியவாதிகள் குழப்பியது தெரியாதாக்கும். அண்ணா இந்திக்கு எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்து ஆங்கிலத்தை கொண்டுவந்தபடியால் தான் இப்போது தமிழ்நாடு வாகன உற்பத்தி, தொழில்நுட்ப துறையில் இந்தி பேசும் மாநிலங்களை தாண்டி நிற்கிறது. இவர்கள் இந்து ராம் கூட்டம் எம்மை 60களில் இந்தி எதிர்ப்பு செய்ததை பாமர கூட்டம் என்று ஏளனம் செய்தவர்கள். இவர்களின் எண்ணம் தமிழை அழிப்பது! Craving for Kamaraj Governance in Tamil Nadu (India) – A Mirage Sri Lanka Guardian by N.S.Venkataraman Those living in Tamil Nadu in the age group of 65 plus , who have seen the type of quality governance that Kamaraj provided as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, now constantly regret that Tamil Nadu governance has steeply fallen in the last six decades from the lofty level to which Kamaraj raised it. During the last sixty years or so, Tamil Nadu has been under the governance of DMK and AIADMK alternately, with gradual and steady decline in the conduct and commitment of the ruling party and Chief Miniser in particular. There have been many negative and disturbing developments with increase in corruption amongst the politicians and government machinery at all levels , the rapid spread of liquor habit amongst the people, particularly the youth threatening the safety of women and children and upsetting the economy of the poor families and caste ridden factions emerging all over the state .Tamil chauvinism was taken to near absurd level with anti Hindi phobia and deliberate and systematic spread of atheism becoming the central theme for a few political parties. Former Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran and Jayalalitha tried to stem the spread of atheism to some extent but other negative aspects continued to “flourish”. The most shocking act is not permitting the Navodaya Schools to operate in Tamil Nadu because these schools teach Hindi language to the students. With the large section of people feeling extremely dissatisfied about the behavior of politicians , with many criminals and corrupt people entering politics and becoming leader of one political party or the other, the credibility of the politicians in the view of the people is now extremely low. Political parties have realized that they cannot get the votes in the elections, unless they would offer freebies and bribe the people in the lower income group. Now, with the ongoing election campaign, the offer of freebies by various political parties have reached absurd and alarming level, with one party offering washing machines , writing off education loan, some parties offering lumpsum amount of Rs. 1000 and more per month for housewives etc. All this is happening even as the financial conditions of Tamil Nadu government are now at precarious level and has now exceeded the critical stage, with the present debt of the government being more than Rs. 8 lakh crore, and Tamil Nadu having to pay several crore of rupees every year as interest and with no possibility of repaying the loan. Many discerning observers wonder where the Tamil Nadu governance would go from here and whether the chaotic governance would even become more worse in the coming days. It is generally said that election gives an opportunity to the citizens to change the poorly performing party to what they perceive to be the better one. Unfortunately, the people are left with no choice , as it appears to be a case of jumping from frying pan to fire. Unfortunately, in Tamil Nadu, the national parties, who are supposed to have all India outlook, have lost their relevance and vote share . Many local parties based on caste and region have emerged , with no particular policy programmes but with the sole objective of getting the “gang leader” to become political leader and win elections. In the process, totally unprincipled alignments are taking place between the political parties with each one bargaining for more seats in a particular front and jumping from one front to another, to increase their seat share in the election. In the process, the political parties are not concerned at all as to what the people think about their unprincipled strategies. People are really confused, as the accusation between political parties is now similar to the pot calling the kettle black. Acharya Kripalani, a patriot par excellence, was reported to have said , a few years after India became independent and after seeing the process of democracy shaping in India, that there is unlikely to be a political party of lofty standards to the desirable level in future. In such conditions, when people still have to exercise their franchise in the elections, the only option for the people would be to vote for the least corrupt and least chauvinistic party. This is how the people of Tamil Nadu are now looking at the forthcoming state election. In the last sixty years or so, Tamil Nadu has been under the leadership of politicians who hailed from cinema world, with little formal education . The only exception is now the present AIADMK government under the Chief MInistership of Edappadi Palaswami who has no cinema background. While the Jayalalitha government, in which Edappadi Palaniswamy served as minister for several years, was steeped in corruption and was vitually under the control of friend Sasikala who was jailed on corruption charge and her group, the fact is that now Edappadi Palaniswamy has successfully got his party AIADMK from association with Sasikala and her group. To this extent, AIADMK has been cleansed to a little extent ! However, though there have been some improvement towards the focus for development activities, several negative aspects such as widespread corruption and hate politics continue unabated. In the forthcoming state election, people have unenviable choice to make. In all probability, whichever party that would win the election would do so by getting large share of negative votes rather than positive votes. The lofty standards to which Kamaraj raised the governance in Tamil Nadu has now gone for a toss. It appears that Tamil Nadu would not see the governance standards of Kamaraj in the foreseeable future. http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2021/03/craving-for-kamaraj-governance-in-tamil.html?m=1
  14. இவரது தலைவரை பற்றிய புத்தகம் அருமை. அதை தமிழ்நெட் சிறி அண்ணாவின் மகனுக்கு பரிசாக கொடுத்தேன். இப்படியான புத்தகங்களை எமது மக்களுக்கு சென்றடையும் வகையாக செய்யவேண்டும். புத்தகசாலைகள் மட்டுமின்றி கடக்கிகளில் முன்னுக்கு கல்லா பக்கத்தில் வைத்து விற்கவேண்டும். Sri Lanka: Book Review on Tamil Refugees Sri Lanka Guardian by Kandaswami Subramanian Book Review -Akatiyin Tuyaram, V. Suryanarayan, Translated into Tamil by Bernard Chandra, Kalachuvadu Publications Pvt Ltd., Nagercoil 629001, pp.133, Rs.160. This slender book on the troubled situation in our neighbouring country Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of scholarly information on the history, politics, and social dynamics of the country. Prof. Suryanarayan is one of the scholars of standing who has devoted a lifetime of research on Sri Lanka. In some ways, this book may be taken as the high point of his work on Sri Lanka. Though separated from India by the Palk Straits by a few kilometres, the differences between the socio-political changes of the two countries pose a challenge to researchers. In Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy remarked, “All happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In keeping with this profound observation, we may add that there is no single matrix that can capture fully the refugee situation in all countries. It is clear from Suryanarayan’s study that Sri Lanka’s case in several respects is Sui generis. There was a time, before the Second World War when the refugee phenomenon appeared to be a passing regional phase that could be tided over through government assistance or help from private charitable agencies. No longer. Refugees are all over the world. It is assessed that in the recent past decade, the global refugee population has more than doubled. UNHCR reported that, as of the end of 2019, there were 79.5 million “forcibly displaced” persons. Of this, 26 million persons are refugees who come from just five countries, viz. Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar. It is indeed disturbing to know that half of the refugees are children. Even more distressing is the fact that 85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries. The burden of refugees is more on developing countries even though the rich, developed countries are making more noise about immigration and enforce draconian laws to prevent it. These data and the accelerating socio-economic tensions, both within and across the countries, have triggered academic interest and resulted in a vast body of writings by scholars. In recent times, the refugee problem of Sri Lanka is the oldest and dates back to the early eighties. It continues to lacerate the Sri Lankan society and spills across the Palk Straits to India! Naturally, India should have paid attention to the outbreak of ethnic and religious conflicts in the country with which it has had close religious and cultural ties for centuries. For social researchers, Sri Lanka has posed a puzzle. Here was a country that had attained high scores in the Human Development Index ((HDI) and high levels of education, welfare, etc. It was acclaimed as a model by Nobel Laureates like Amartya Sen. How was it that in such a prosperous society the ethnic/religious tore apart and could not resolve their differences? Why do they continue to depart? Many researchers and social analysts have studied at length the problems faced by Sri Lanka. For those in Tamil Nadu, there was a debate on the Indian military involvement fraught with a high level of emotion. Add to this the other surcharged issue of the rise and fall of the LTTE. In the early years, the Tigers were romanticized by some sections in Tamil Nadu as “freedom fighters” for a separate state of EELAM. It was in later years, especially after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi that the true nature of the LTTE came to be realized. Indeed, the Tamil regional politics queered the pitch in Sri Lanka. Prof. Suryanarayan is one of the many scholars who have done deep and sustained work on Indo-Sri Lankan relations. Throughout his life, he has maintained a steadfast, scholarly approach of detached and objective analysis. He was not swayed by passing emotions or fall prey to the media hype. He was unique in having friendly, personal relations with the leaders on both sides of the Straits. He had undertaken fieldwork in the Tamil-dominated parts of northern Sri Lanka. He has visited camps in Tamil Nadu where refugees are accommodated and ascertained their tribulations and hopes. The results of his fieldwork are evident in the relevant chapters, especially 4 and 5. He could even inspire trust and win over the confidence of LTTE cadres who shared information with him. Prof. Suryanarayan’s writings on the refugee problem date back to 1996. Page 133 lists them out chronologically. Also, he has written articles from time to time in news media on specific issues that cropped up. If one can venture to summarize Professor’s contribution to the unravelling of the Sri Lankan malaise, one may put forward the following hypothesis: In the early stages when the conflict erupted, he was hopeful of reconciliation and further that they could be resolved within Sri Lanka’s Constitutional framework and, if necessary with amendments like the 13th. Unfortunately, this hope was belied. It was due to the growing Sinhala adamancy marked by an uncompromising wave of majoritarianism. More troublesome was the rise of the LTTE and its ability to spread itself across the Straits and into other countries like the U.K., Canada, Germany, etc. The backlash of the LTTE was the growing militarism of the Sinhala which ultimately resulted in the Sinhala army rule and the decimation of the LTTE. The strident majoritarianism of the Sinhala persists even seven years after the subjugation of the LTTE. It raises doubts about the return to democracy and normalcy. During this phase, Prof. Suryanarayan has been championing the cause of protecting the safety and rights of “stateless” refugees in Sri Lanka and also of those who had returned to India under the Shastri-Srimao Pact. He fights for the grant of human rights and citizenship to all of them. Prof. Suryanarayana is deeply concerned about the trauma, displacement, and “forced migration” faced by them. He buttresses his arguments with the personal accounts of refugees he had met or drawn on literary sources such as stories, poems, etc. written by refugees. A good part of the book draws on them and tapestries them into a human drama. For instance, his account drawn from Jayapalan (p.60) is beyond comparison. As Jayapalan asks or cries, “Are our families cotton pillows to be torn and scattered by monkey fate?” Professor has drawn heavily on the reports of UNHCR on the “trafficking” of refugees and how the tightening of immigration laws in developed countries has spawned a market for false documents. The net result is that a refugee lives in constant fear of being caught by the police and being extradited with “nowhere to go.” Suryanarayan fears that “there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Difficult days are ahead both for Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora.” In the chapter on “Island in distress,” there is a quintessential summary of the fractious politics at play. Even after nine years since the war with the LTTE ended, the Sri Lankan leaders are engaged in competitive one-upmanship. Ethnic reconciliation remains a distant dream. There are strong grounds for despondency. Sri Lankan refugees have scattered across the world, as vividly described by Jayapalan, and they will have to live in fear with no hope of a return to their home country. As we began this review, this slender book is a treasure trove of scholarly material on Sri Lanka and the refugee situation there. It deals with the historical circumstances that led to the refugee problems. It captures graphically the status and trauma or dilemma refugees face. After reading, this reviewer kept aside the book with a heavy heart. T.S. Eliot said, “Human mind cannot bear very much reality” This can well be said of the refugees from Sri Lanka. The reviewer has a duty to coment on the Tamizh translation of the book by Prof. Bernard Chandra.It is a commendable effort as he has taken meticulous care to stick to the original. English text.. There is Kanyakumari flavour to the Tamizh used! One last, if sticking, point: The title of the original is “Refugee Dilemma.” This is translated as “Akatiyin Tuyaram.” It would have been more appropriate if it is translated as “Akatiyin Aadhangal.” Tuyaram in Tamizh connotes only ‘suffering” or “sadness” while ‘aadhangam” encompasses, suffering, anguish, hopes and expectations. Every refugee, despite years of suffering and trauma, hopes to return to the home country some day. (The writer is a Retired Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affaoirs, GOI and can be reached at subrabhama@gmail.com) http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2021/03/sri-lanka-book-review-on-tamil-refugees.html?m=1
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