The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, the junior ally of the ruling BJP, will hold demonstrations across the State in August to spearhead its demand for a separate State, a party leader said on Thursday.“We will organise sit-in demonstrations all over Tripura on August 23 in support of our demand for a separate State and withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016,” IPFT vice-president Ananta Debbarma said.“We would continue our agitation in the State to highlight the two important demands,” he added.Old demandThe IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for a separate State to be carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the State’s 10,491 sq. km area, home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.Most political parties, including the BJP, CPI(M), Congress and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, have rejected the IPFT demand, saying it is not practical to divide the small State.The IPFT forged an alliance with the BJP, based on a common minimum programme, before the February 18 Assembly polls and secured eight seats in the 60-member House. During the poll campaign, the IPFT toned down its Statehood demand while the BJP maintained that it did not support the separate State issue. IPFT president Narendra Chandra Debbarma and general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia are Ministers in the nine-member Council of Ministry headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Mr. Ananta Debbarma said it would jeopardise tradition and customs besides demographic positions of the indigenous people not only in Tripura but also in the entire north-eastern region. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid documents or those whose documents expired to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalisation.Many parties in the northeastern region are opposing the Bill, which is now under scrutiny of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has established the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), to serve as a one-stop-shop for overseas Indians. The center maintains a database of investment opportunities and advisory services for non-resident Indians on consular issues, financial services and living in India. The Center’s website (www.oifc.in) is developing a database on overseas Indians and claims that it will respond to queries from overseas Indians in 24 hours. Related Items
The sights and sounds associated with an Olympic Games are very different from any other sporting event in the world.The Olympics are the mother of all sporting events and nothing else even comes close to matching the scale — on or off the field of play.Even when an athlete finishes his or her competition, they can stay at the Games Village till the end of the Games and take in the sights and sounds on display, not to mention watching other athletes strut their stuff against the world’s best.While a lot of Indian athletes, such as bronze medal-winning shuttler Saina Nehwal as well as bronze and silver medal winning shooters, Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar, have gone back home after the completion of their events, some have stayed back.Indian discus thrower Krishna Poonia is one such athlete who has stayed back — not only watch others compete, but cheer for her contingent.Poonia, who finished seventh in the discus final, enjoyed watching the men’s 100 meters final last week. A couple of days later, she came to the Excel Arena with her husband-cum-coach to cheer for Indian boxing star Vijender Singh.
E-love: According to The Wall Street Journal, venture capitalists still love the Net, if only a little less. Investment in Internet companies by venture capital firms fell in the second quarter of 2000 to $14.75 billion, down from $15.39 billion in the first quarter. But that is still more than,E-love: According to The Wall Street Journal, venture capitalists still love the Net, if only a little less. Investment in Internet companies by venture capital firms fell in the second quarter of 2000 to $14.75 billion, down from $15.39 billion in the first quarter. But that is still more than the amount invested in the first half of 1999.Olympic Surprise: Thought the Net was supreme? Well, you have to wait a while: TV still rules, OK? Olympic officials have banned Internet video and audio transmissions from Sydney to avoid usurping TV’s broadcast rights. But you can still track the games through Olympics.com and a host of other sports sites. The exclusive Olympics site at indiatoday. comgoes up soon so watch that space as well.India View: It’s getting better. The Gartner Group’s SHARP (Surfing Habits Advertising Research and Purchase) latest outlook for India (3,000 respondents in seven metros) says it has the highest Net user growth rate in Asia-Pacific. But e-business is still low, with only a little over 2 per cent of users having paid online. Part of the reason is problems with setting up confidentiality of card transactions on the Net. The good news: a fifth of those who haven’t bought anything on the Net say they want to. There was more good news last week from a study on e-commerce by Taylor Nelson Sofres Interactive. Its 27-country survey across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America ranked India 17 among on-line shoppers, on par with Malaysia and Singapore and ahead of Taiwan.
From Jaishree Balasubramanian Bangkok, Sep 14 (PTI) A Thai court today upheld the death sentence handed down to a railway employee on charges of murder and aggravated rape of a minor girl on a train last year, a case that created furore in the country. The Appeals Courts decision on an earlier conviction was read out in the presence of the 23-year-old convicted killer Wanchai Saengkhao who confessed to raping a 13-year-old girl on July 5. The Hua Hin Provincial Court last year found Wanchai guilty on several counts. Wanchai, a sleeper-car employee of the Railway of Thailand, was convicted of raping a middle school student who was asleep in her berth on the train, and then throwing her out of the carriage while she was still alive. The court had sentenced him to death for murder, to nine years in prison for raping a girl under 15, five years for stealing her tablet computer and a mobile phone, one year for hiding her body, and six months for using methamphetamine. PTI JB AMS ASK AMS
Does admiring your latte art serve as a welcome distraction from the trilemma of deciding whether to tidy, wash, or ignore the floordrobe cluttering up your bedroom? Well, if this sentence leaves you baffled, don’t worry. You can look them up in the online Oxford Dictionary as the latest update gives you the chance to do fancy additions to your vocabulary.Oxford Dictionaries recently announced the latest update to its free online dictionary of English at OxfordDictionaries.com. Words like Quiddich, a fantasy sport played in J K Rowling’s magical Harry Potter frachise, along with words like ‘cli-fi’ and ‘showmance’ are among over 40 new additions in the latest update of the Oxford Dictionary. Another new addition is Latte art meaning illustrations made by carefully pouring steamed milk onto the drink’s surface. We bring to you 15 new words that have been recently added in the dictionary to brush up your vocabulary: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Time to flaunt, folks! Read: Most often mispelled, Oops, “Misspelled” words in English #SlateActRead: 20 spelling mistakes we often makeFor more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sushmita Sen is the new-age mom who is helping her daughters to become the best version of themselves.The former Miss Universe is known for her enviable body, strict lifestyle and her workout routine.She is often seen hitting the gym and also inspires millions of her fans to lead a healthy lifestyle. And it’s not just her fans she is inspiring nowadays, it’s her daughters who are joining the bandwagon too.Sushmita recently took to Instagram to post a workout video with her new gym buddy – her daughter Alisah, and it is the cutest thing you will watch today.Watch the video here:She posted the video on Instagram with the caption, “Passing on the legacy. #sharing #legacyoflove #teamwork #motherdaughter #godsfavouritechildren Alisah age 9yrs helping her maa return to training after a bout of viral fever! I love you my precious munchkin! #serenity #divinegrace I love you guys! muuaaah!”In the video, the mother-daughter duo can be seen doing a bunch of dumbbell chest press core-strengthening exercises.For the workout, Sushmita donned a black sports bra with black gym tights. She teamed it with a clean bun and glowing workout face.ALSO SEE | Sushmita Sen perfectly nails her workout as boyfriend Rohman cheers her onadvertisementALSO WATCH | Up, close and personal with Sushmita Sen
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barca coach Valverde confirms Messi close to full fitnessby Carlos Volcano8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona travel to Eibar with Lionel Messi moving towards full fitness.Barca coach Ernesto Valverde confirmed Messi was close to a return to being 100 per cent after an injury-ravaged start to the campaign.He said, “He is in the process of being 100 percent fit.”The other day he played 90 minutes and scored, that always reassures the strikers,” he told the press.”He has to go slowly to find reach top form. He only has one full game under his belt.”We hope he can give us much more in the coming matches.”
DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 14: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns blows a bubble during warmups before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Cotton Bowl on October 14, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images)Texas’ fan base is a passionate one. The Longhorns are not happy today and they’re showing it.Tom Herman’s team, ranked just inside the preseason top 25, is taking on Maryland at FedEx Field, home to the Washington Redskins.The Longhorns lost in an upset to Maryland early last season. A repeat of the 2017 disaster was not expected.However, through nearly two quarters, we’re getting just that. Texas’ offense is struggling and the Terps have already scored 17 points.It’s Maryland 17, Texas 7 through a quarter and a half.Unsurprisingly, some “fire Tom Herman” takes have surfaced.This is premature, of course. No matter what happens today, Texas isn’t firing Tom Herman. He’s an elite, promising head coach and the Longhorns are committed to him long-term.But…losing to Maryland in back-to-back seasons would be a really bad look. The Longhorns would have a huge uphill battle the rest of the season if they lose today.There’s still plenty of time remaining in this game, though. Texas can surely turn it around.The game is on FOX Sports 1.
See you in Death Valley, @CollegeGameDay 😎 pic.twitter.com/EO4RMSuksl— ACC Network (@accnetwork) August 8, 2019Clemson, a year ago, became the first college football team to finish the season with a 15-0 record after it stomped Alabama in the national title game. The Tigers are again the favorite to win it all this year.College GameDay, meanwhile is returning its normal cast of Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Maria Taylor and Jen Lada. It’s one of the most successful shows on ESPN.College football season gets started on August 24 when Miami takes on Florida. NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)A few months back, ESPN announced that College GameDay will be headed to Arlington, Texas ahead of Auburn vs. Oregon for the first college football Saturday of the season. Thursday, they announced that there will actually be another location they visit first.College GameDay will head to Clemson, South Carolina to cover the Tigers’ first matchup of the season. Clemson takes on ACC foe Georgia Tech on Thursday, August 29.So College GameDay will be in Clemson on Thursday and Arlington on Saturday. There’s no word on whether there will be a third stop that weekend.The Clemson vs. Georgia Tech game is supposed to air on the ACC Network.
The Ministry of Education, is strategically repositioning the Jamaican Foundation for Life-Long Learning as the central agency for adult education in the country.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites gave this indication during a reception at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, September 11, to formally introduce the new Executive Director of the foundation, Merris Murray.“Its role is going to be far more comprehensive than has been conceived in the past and it needs to occupy a place of prominence in the minds of all of our people who must turn to the foundation for expanding their education at any time of their lives,” he stated.Rev. Thwaites said that of particular focus is that some 140,000 youth are unemployed partially because they are not sufficiently educated; and are not certified to occupy jobs that are available or will become available.He noted that equipping people with levels of literacy and numeracy to enable them to seize opportunities for further education or to become productive citizens is paramount to the national development agenda.“Advancing education at whatever level and stage of life, is in fact the most important investment that one can make in one’s individual future and national success,” Mr. Thwaites said.He noted that the JFLL’s flagship programme – the High School Diploma Equivalent, will give many people who did not complete their secondary education the opportunity to do so.“This is a platform from which beneficiaries can re-launch their career goals. Jamaica has to offer its citizens second chances, in order for all of us to succeed,” he said.Rev. Thwaites said the JFLL will need to collaborate with various agencies, in and outside of the education sector to effectively carry out its mandate. “It is anticipated that the delivery of the High School Diploma Equivalent Programme will be done in collaboration with agencies such as the HEART Trust NTA and the Jamaica Library Service whose island wide network computer facilities are most appropriate,” he said.Congratulating the new Executive Director on her appointment, Rev. Thwaites said “her wide experience in the education sector as well as her involvement in small business facilitation makes her most suitable for this appointment.”The JFLL began as JAMAL Foundation in 1973.It operates 29 Adult Education Centres (AEC) with 100 volunteer AECs across Jamaica, and partners with other agencies and programmes to change lives by offering educational opportunities for all persons of all ages. Story Highlights Of particular focus are the 140,000 unemployed youth Its role is going to be far more comprehensive than has been conceived in the past Equipping people with levels of literacy and numeracy to enable them to seize opportunities for further education
Premiers John Hamm and Danny Williams have reaffirmed theircommitment to stand united on the Atlantic Accord and say theyare looking forward to an upcoming meeting with Prime MinisterPaul Martin to resolve differences between the federal governmentand the two provinces over offshore revenues. “Now is the time for the prime minister to step up and give firmdirection on this important file,” Premier Hamm said today, Nov.8, after a meeting in St. John’s with Premier Williams. “I am,therefore, delighted that this morning the prime minister hasagreed to sit down with myself and Premier Williams.” “This morning, Premier Hamm and I placed a call to Prime MinisterMartin and requested a meeting so that we can resolve thedifferences that are blocking the implementation of theagreements that he made with each of us in June,” said PremierWilliams. “It is absolutely imperative that Prime Minister Martin resolvethis serious domestic issue before he turns his attention to hisinternational mission in mid-November. While his internationalduties and obligations are very important, he has aresponsibility to fix what is broken at home, and I call on himto do that as soon as possible so that our provinces can finallystart to benefit from our offshore resources in a meaningfulway.” In June, the prime minister made a commitment to both provincesthat they would be able to retain 100 per cent of net directprovincial revenues from their offshore resources through theirrespective offshore accords. Moreover, the June 2004 commitmentdid not contain a cap or a time limit. This agreement is outsidethe equalization program and does not impact the total amount ofmoney available to other equalization-receiving provinces.Neither province would “double-dip” into the equalizationprogram. Once each province’s own-source revenues surpass thefive-province equalization benchmark, that province will cease toreceive equalization payments. The federal government has not lived up to that agreement. Underrecent proposals by the federal government, the provinces ofNewfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia would stand to losebillions of dollars. Both premiers confirmed that this is clearlynot acceptable. “This is not just a question of two provinces dealing with theirrespective offshore resources. This is an opportunity for theprime minister to show leadership, to demonstrate vision, toengage in nation building,” added Premier Hamm. “This is PaulMartin’s chance to make the right decisions today that willunleash more have provinces upon the Canada of tomorrow. I amlooking forward to this meeting so that together with the primeminister and the federal government, we can build a brighter,more prosperous future for our respective provinces.” “This is a matter of pride,” added Premier Williams. “We insiston being treated as equal partners in Confederation with thefreedom to use our non-renewable natural resources so that we canachieve long-term stability within our respective jurisdictionsfor the benefit of our people and, ultimately, for the benefit ofCanada. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Premier Hammfor the unprecedented co-operation between our governments onthis file. We stand together united on principle, that anagreement is an agreement and 100 per cent is 100 per cent.”
In order to ensure that the best possible outcomes for patients is based on sound clinical judgment and the patient’s unique needs, physicians must continue to determine the right team configuration, the right type of transport such as helicopter, fixed wing, ground or a combination, and the right amount of time required for response Returning to the program’s original organizational structure so a management company provides overall program management and is the employer of the medical team that provides care to adults Improving fixed wing aircraft services by contracting for a dedicated aircraft available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Some of the 29 recommendations identified in the report are already underway or confirm things that we should continue doing,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “Others are more complicated, so the next step is for the department to review each recommendation and develop action plans that will guide further improvements to the system, to ensure that we are providing the best service possible for Nova Scotians.” The contract for Fitch and Associates cost $98,000. A copy of the full audit report is available on the Department of Health website at www.gov.ns.ca/health/reports.htm . Nova Scotia’s air ambulance system has sophisticated clinical systems, a strong safety culture, and a focus on patient outcomes, according to a report on the Emergency Health Services (EHS) LifeFlight program presented today, Oct. 20, to Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. In February 2006, the Department of Health awarded a contract to review the EHS LifeFlight program to Fitch and Associates, an internationally recognized consulting firm with specific expertise in air ambulance services. The review included an analysis of clinical systems, safety, organizational structure and relationships, financial performance, service delivery and general program operational parameters. “This report again confirms that Nova Scotians have one of the best air ambulance programs in North America,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “I’m pleased that the report focuses heavily on safety and patient care, confirming our position that safety and clinical skills, rather than speed, needs to remain the primary criteria for decision-making as it relates to the EHS LifeFlight Program. “At the same time, the report indicates where we can make improvements to make the program even better for patients, for the hospitals and health-care providers we work with, and for EHS LifeFlight staff. We are doing well, but there are still some things we can do better.” While the report notes that EHS LifeFlight meets or exceeds industry standards in every facet of its operation, it also details 29 recommendations for practices to continue or to improve. The most significant recommendations include:
A unique emergency training program for persons with disabilities will take place in Halifax Tuesday, Sept. 28 and Wednesday, Sept. 29. The Emergency Management Office and the Emergency Preparedness Committee for Persons with Disabilities have teamed up to offer the training to specifically address the needs of persons with disabilities. It is the first of its kind in the province. The initial program will train about 35 new trainers who will take it throughout the province. “The program is very timely. Hurricanes Earl and Igor were reminders of how vulnerable we all are,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Emergency Management. “Our objective is to make life better for Nova Scotians in every region. This often means responding to different and unique needs.” Preparations for emergencies such as Juan, White Juan and Hurricane Earl pose challenges for everyone, but for Nova Scotians with disabilities the obstacles can be profoundly greater. Barriers could include reduced access to emergency messages for persons with hearing or sight disabilities, or reduced mobility and independence for others due to injuries or illnesses. Craig MacKinnon, a researcher with the Disabled Persons Commission, said storms and other disasters can have a dramatic impact on the health, security and safety of persons with disabilities. “This program is designed to give persons with disabilities and seniors very specific and practical information that could save their lives.” While the course is led and supported by the Emergency Management Office, more than a dozen volunteer, community and government agencies have worked co-operatively on the project. A booklet called Are You Ready was created to provide disability specific tips to be as prepared and self-sufficient as possible during the first 72 hours during an emergency. The training will take place at the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority Centre, 5940 South St., Halifax. Ms. Jennex described the initiative as part of a larger project to insure that all Nova Scotians are well prepared for any and all emergencies.
BATTLEFORD, Sask. – A Saskatchewan farmer on trial for the shooting of an Indigenous man says he was filled with terror in the moments before his gun “just went off.”Gerald Stanley told the jury in his second-degree murder trial Monday that he and his son heard an SUV with a flat tire drive into his farmyard near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016. He said they heard one of their all-terrain vehicles start and thought it was being stolen.Stanley testified they ran toward the SUV. He kicked the tail light and his son Sheldon hit the windshield with a hammer.Stanley said he grabbed a handgun, normally used to scare off wildlife, when the SUV didn’t leave the yard, and fired two or three shots into the air.“I thought I’m going to make some noise and hopefully they’re going to run out of the yard,” he told court. “I just raised the gun in the air and fired straight up.”Stanley said he popped out the cartridge “to make sure it was disarmed.”“As far as I was concerned, it was empty and I had fired my last shot.”He testified he went up to the SUV because he worried it had run over his wife and he tried to reach for the keys in the ignition.“I was reaching in and across the steering wheel to turn the key off and — boom — this thing just went off,” Stanley testified.“Was your finger on the trigger?” his lawyer, Scott Spencer, asked.“No,” Stanley answered.“Did you intend to hurt anyone?” Spencer asked.“No. I just wanted them to leave,” Stanley said. “I couldn’t believe what just happened and everything seemed to just go silent. I just backed away.”Colten Boushie, who was 22, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the grey Ford Escape when he was shot in the back of the head.Court has heard an SUV carrying Boushie, and five other people from the Red Pheasant First Nation, had a flat tire and drove onto the Stanley farm. The driver testified the group had been drinking during the day and tried to break into a truck on a neighbouring farm, but went to the Stanley property in search of help with the tire.Spencer told the jury in his opening statement earlier Monday that Boushie was the victim of “a freak accident that occurred in the course of an unimaginably scary situation.” He told jurors Boushie’s death wasn’t justified, but they must put themselves in Stanley’s shoes.“Is it unreasonable to fire warning shots when the intruders have tried to steal, taken a run at you with their vehicle, crashed into your vehicle — from Gerry’s perspective intentionally — almost run over your wife?” Spencer asked.“Is it reasonable to fire warning shots to get them to just leave? That’s what it comes down to in many ways.”Stanley was faced with intruders and didn’t have the luxury to wait for police, Spencer said.“This was not a justified death. This death is not justified legally or morally. It is never, never right to take somebody’s life with a gun. But that’s not what this case is about,” he argued.“This is really not a murder case at all. This is a case about what can go terribly wrong when you create a situation which is really of the nature of a home invasion. For farm people, your yard is your castle and that’s part of the story here.”Under cross-examination Crown prosecutor Bill Burge asked what was going on inside the car just before the shooting.“Was he looking at you? Were you trying to scare him?” he asked.“No. I was trying to scare them all out of the yard,” Stanley replied.“Did you intentionally shoot this person?” asked Burge.“No I didn’t. I didn’t pull the trigger,” said Stanley.Stanley was the last witness for the defence. Chief Justice Martel Popescul excused the jury until Thursday at which time they’ll hear closing arguments and receive his instructions.“At that point I turn it over to you, and at that point you would be sequestered until your deliberations are concluded,” Popescul said.Several people holding “Justice for Colten” signs waited outside of court.Boushie’s cousin was distraught.“That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen and to have to sit there and endure,” said Jade Tootoosis.“All we want is justice for Colten.”Follow @BillGraveland on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version referred to the victim as an Indigenous teen.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 33-year-old Patrick Decque.According to the RCMP, Decque was last seen in Grande Prairie on May 22, 2019.Decque is described as: CaucasianBlack hairBrown eyes6’0” / 230 lbsLast seen wearing a grey suitThere is a concern for Decque’s well-being.If you have any information regarding Decque’s whereabouts, you are being asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Darjeeling: The coalition of regional parties in Darjeeling Hills and the exercise to field a consensus candidate fizzled out with the constituents deciding to go their own ways. Even Congress and Left Front have fielded their own candidates.The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) has decided to form an alliance with the Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The coalition will be supporting the BJP candidate from the Darjeeling constituency. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaInterestingly, the bigwigs of the Bimal Gurung faction of the GJM, namely Gurung and Roshan Giri, are absconding. In a joint press conference in Delhi on Monday, the GNLF-GJM (Bimal faction) pledged their support to the BJP. “This has been done in the greater interest of the Gorkhas and to defeat anti-Gorkha forces,” stated Niraj Zimba, spokesperson, GNLF. The coalition feels that the BJP alone can fulfill the aspiration of the Gorkhas. When questioned on the public demand for local candidates for the Darjeeling constituency, Binu Sundas of the GJM (Bimal faction) said: “We had thought of this but had to compromise.” The BJP has not yet announced the names of candidates. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayWhen questioned on the GNLF-GJM (Bimal faction) coalition, Binay Tamang, president of the GJM said: “The GNLF does not have any base in the Hills. The leaders of the other party are absconding. How will the coalition matter?” Meanwhile Shanker Malakar, the sitting MLA of Matigara-Naxalbari, has been fielded by the Congress for the Darjeeling constituency. The name of Saman Pathak was declared by the Left Front on Tuesday as their candidate for Darjeeling.
“But this was cancelled because of the political turmoil. Now a letter and a report have been submitted to the Centre to aid structured resettlement of refugees who want to return,” said a senior official. Nearly three decades of unrest forced more than two lakh ethnic Tamils to flee across the Palk Strait into Tamil Nadu. Eight years after the war ended and a new government in 2015 broke the culture of surveillance and censorship, refugees here are keen to get back. As of June, 62,629 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were in 107 camps in 24 districts and 36,794 Sri Lankan Tamils stayed outside.The British began the first ferry service between Dhanushkodi, southeastern tip of Pamban island, and Talaimannar in 1914. Suresh Amirapu, whose father Amirapu Ramarao was Marine Superintendent there in the 1950s, said the route was patronised by both Indian and Lankan traders and tourists. “A train called ‘Boat Mail’ used to bring passengers till Dhanushkodi from where they were ferried to Talaimannar four times a week,” said Suresh, who now runs a shipping company in Mumbai. After a cyclone wrecked Dhanushkodi port in 1964, the service shifted to Rameswaram.The ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar continued till 1983, after which it was suspended in the wake of the war between the LTTE and Lankan government. However, illegal ferries continued to operate for refugees fleeing the war. LTTE cadres also used the ferries to smuggle essential commodities from Tamil Nadu. Six years after ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo was suspended, Tamil Nadu is making fresh efforts to re-establish sea links with Sri Lanka, the Times of India reported.The state government recently wrote to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees and to take steps to resume the ferry service between both countries, say sources. He, however, said the state would have to discuss with the Centre before plotting the route – the circuitous commercial course connecting Tuticorin to Colombo or the shorter line linking Rameswaram to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka’s north, where most refugees hail from.Officials say although the number of refugees who returned to Sri Lanka had doubled in 2016, many remained in camps here, reluctant to leave behind belongings. “A large number want to take the ferry along with their belongings as they are unsure what awaits them back home,” said P Umanath, Commissioner of Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non Resident Tamils. Government sources say the ferry won’t be a one-off service and expenses for refugees will be borne by the government, UNHCR and International Organisation for Migration. “We are hoping it will set a trend. Once the first batch leaves, more are likely to follow. The frequency will be lesser to save cost,” said an official, adding that the timing wasn’t right in 2011. “It was too close to the end of the war. People were still suspicious.”The Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR) has submitted a list of 3,815 refugees waiting for the ferry service to start to head home. “At least 90% hail from the northern province and want to head back there,” said OfERR founder S C Chandrahasan. (Colombo Gazette) A meeting was initially scheduled to be held between officials in MEA, directorate general of shipping and bureaucrats from Tamil Nadu in February. In 2011, India allowed a private luxury vessel, with a capacity to carry 1,044 passengers and 300 tonnes of cargo, to operate between Tuticorin and Colombo – a journey of 10 to 12 hours. However, it was stopped as it could not attract passengers despite the fare being at least Rs 4,000 cheaper than air fare. “Around 12,000 people were ferried in five months but it wasn’t economically viable. The vessel was big but patronage was less,” said an officer who was part of the initiative. “If the government plans to start a ferry service, it should invest in the project or it will be just a repeat of 2011,” he said. “And, above all, they need to see if the ferry service is still relevant when airfares are much cheaper now.”
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,492.17, down 38.87 points).Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Up 33 cents, or 6.09 per cent, to $5.75 on 8.5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 12 cents, or 6.28 per cent, to $2.03 on 6.2 million shares.Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG). Energy. Up 19 cents, or 4.65 per cent, to $4.28 on 5 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up one cent, or 0.12 per cent, to $8.21 on 4.8 million shares.First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM). Materials. Down 11 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $12.13 on 4.5 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Materials. Down 25 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $22.38 on 4.4 million shares.Companies in the news:Nutrien Ltd. (TSX:NTR). Up $4.71 or 7.1 per cent to $71.26. Shares in Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd. jumped Tuesday after it posted strong second-quarter results despite what it called the “worst U.S. planting season in history.” The company cut its estimate for 2019 adjusted earnings by about five per cent to account for the impact of severe wet weather that prevented planting of corn fields in some of its key U.S. markets. Second-quarter net income from continuing operations were US$858 million on US$8.66 billion of sales, versus US$741 million on US$8.1 billion in sales a year earlier.Air Canada (TSX:AC). Up $1.60 or 3.55 per cent to $46.69. Air Canada is facing a tougher third quarter due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, with the airline announcing it will scrub the plane from its schedules until Jan. 8 and see capacity drop in one of its busiest travel periods. Despite the forecasted two per cent year-over-year decline in capacity, down from its original forecast for a three-per-cent rise, the company expects to boost adjusted core earnings by five per cent next quarter. Air Canada reported adjusted earnings that soared above analyst estimates as it contained costs and boosted revenue nearly 10 per cent to a second-quarter record of $4.76 billion.CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST). Down two cents to $2.84. The interim chief executive of CannTrust Holdings Inc. said the board was kept in the dark about unlicensed growing at its Ontario greenhouse and only learned of the allegations after Health Canada notified the pot company of its discovery. Robert Marcovitch would not address questions about who gave the direction to start cultivating pot in five rooms before receiving government approval as its internal investigation is ongoing. The former U.S. sports executive stepped into the top job at the Vaughan, Ont.-based cannabis company last week after it terminated its chief executive and demanded its board chair resign as Health Canada investigates allegations of illegal pot growing at a CannTrust greenhouse.The Canadian Press