Citizenship for Lankan Tamils

Claiming that Tamils in Sri Lanka are being treated like “second class citizens”, DMK chief M Karunanidhi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that New Delhi should move a resolution in the UN General Assembly and the UNHRC for “bestowing rights” to Lankan Tamils to “decide a political solution by themselves”.He has also asked the government to employ “all possible diplomatic strategies” to drum up support for the resolution. He has said the UN protocol on refugees should be followed in India. He has also asked the Centre to send a team to Sri Lanka to monitor use of Rs 500-crore rehabilitation aid, avoid training Sri Lankan defence personnel and ensure steps to “protect” Indian fisherman from attacks by Sri Lankan Navy.Karunanidhi has said India should “play its primary role” in implementing the solutions, including release of imprisoned Tamils, free and safe homecoming for the overseas Sri Lankan Tamils, and restoring Tamil tradition and culture. In his letter, Karunanidhi has demanded that all Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India should be granted Indian citizenship or permanent resident status. The DMK chief’s letter, handed over to the Prime Minister by a delegation of DMK MPs led by its parliamentary party leader T R Baalu today, contained demands which were part of the resolutions adopted at the controversial conference his party organised in Chennai earlier this month to highlight the plight of Tamils in Lanka. “The camps and even the localities where Tamils live today are more like military controlled areas with the presence of Army personnel all over the Tamil traditional homeland. Lacking in civic facilities, Sri Lankan Tamils have no democratic space to air their grievances, speak out and protest peacefully. The situation is such that they live in constant fear of apprehension and anguish,” he wrote. (Indian Express) read more

Almost 11500 people in court for not paying TV licence

first_imgTHE NUMBER OF people taken to court for not paying the €160 television licence fee has doubled since 2008.Almost 11,500 cases were heard in Irish courtrooms last year, according to figures given to an Oireachtas committee recently. Five years ago, the corresponding figure was just 5,786 but it has risen significantly each year since.Secretary General of the Department of Communications, Aidan Dunning, told the Public Accounts Committee that the decline in the number of licences issued could be attributed to the economic downturn and “rapidly-evolving technologies whereby members of the public are no longer reliant on the traditional television set”.During 2012, just over one million licences were sold directly by An Post, the collection agency for the fee. A further 405,000 were issued by the Department of Social Protection.Dunning said every effort is made to bring evaders into the licensed pool, adding that a “considerable amount” of An Post’s time and resources is spent dealing with the issue.Prosecutions are brought on foot of a visit by a TV licence inspector to an unlicensed property. An inspector is sent to premises if a licence is more than six weeks out of date, if a new record is added to the database which doesn’t have a current licence, and where there are unlicensed addresses.When a case is brought to court, the fine imposed is at the discretion of the judge. The maximum for a first time offence is €1,000 but second-time offenders can expect penalties of up to €2,000.Last year, 18,048 summons were sent to households but the issue was resolved before the courts were involved in 6,562 cases.“Bringing people to court is a last resort and only carried out where all other means have failed,” Dunning told the Oireachtas committee.“Every effort is taken to identify unlicensed holders, from people whose licence has lapsed to people who have moved premises to people who will do all in their power to avoid paying for the licence.”During 2012, 272 people were jailed for not paying the charge, a jump of almost 50 per cent on previous years.Download the full correspondence here>Junk food TV ad ban to begin in September, but cheese is excludedNew broadcasting charge won’t be used to save ailing newspaperslast_img read more