Daily Archives: October 10, 2006

India has moral duty to act in Sri Lanka’s crisis – A’sangaree

A delegation of Tamil political parties, led by TULF leader V. Anandasangaree, have on the recent visit to New Delhi, told the Indian authorities that the provocative acts by the LTTE such as the closure of Mavil Aru thereby depriving the people of drinking and irrigation water and a number of killings of civilians in the Eastern Province, had caused the Armed Forces to carry out limited operations against the Tigers. The resultant violence had caused immense suffering to the people of Muttur, Sampur, Eachalampattu and Trincomalee, they said.

The TULF Leader was accompanied by members of other political groups D. Sithathan (PLOTE) and T.Sritharan (EPRLF – Pathmanabha Group. They also met the Tamil Nadu leader M. Karunanithy, a press release issued by Anandasangaree yesterday said.

The full text of the release:

"The deteriorating situation in the North and East due to escalation of violence, mass scale displacements and sufferings of the people, urged us to pay a visit to New-Delhi and brief the top Political of the ground situation prevailing here.

The delegation comprised D. Eithardhan, T. Sritharan and myself representing the PLOTE, EPRLF (Pathmanaba Group) and the TULF. We are convinced that India has a role to play and peace cannot be achieved without Indian advice and guidance. Being the world’s largest democracy and in very close proximity to Sri Lanka, India has a moral duty to do so. Hence the visit to New Delhi became necessary.

"We discussed matters ranging from devolution of power to escalation of violence. We love our people and our country and therefore duty bound to give an unbiased account of all what is happening here and also how India can help us. We explained in detail the sufferings the people of Muthur, Sampur, Eachilampattai and other neighbouring villages, are subjected to due to the current armed confrontation.

The operation, as the Government refers to as limited operation was precipitated by a foolish action of the LTTE who kept the Sluice Gate of Marvilaru closed, depriving the people of their drinking water and water for the large extent of paddy crops close to the time of harvest.

The closure of the sluice gate cannot be justified under any circumstances. All the three communities, the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims were badly affected due to this action. We told them that the armed confrontation between the forces and the LTTE resulted in large scale displacement, heavy civilian casualties with loss of life and limb and extensive damage to property. We also brought to their notice that it took a long time for the refugees to return to their devastated homes and that a lot of them are still in refugee camps without proper food, shelter and sanitary facilities.

"Unbiased report was given to them of the events that led to the mass exodus of Tamil refugees from Trincomalee to Tamil Nadu. The New Year eve bomb explosion at the Trincomalee Market that caused the death of a few Sinhalese and Tamils, the gunning done of a Bank Officer Mr. Vigneswaran, five Tamil students preparing for higher education and six Sinhalese peasants of Kumarankaduwella while engaged in sand mining, the massacre of 12 Sinhalese construction workers hacked to death with their hands tied behind and a mini-communal riots that followed the New year eve bomb blast in which a few innocent Sinhalese and tamils were killed and sixty shops belonging to the Tamils and one belonging to a Muslim were burnt down, compelled the Tamils of Trincomalee to flee to Tamil Naad to save their lives, their children from conscription by the LTTE and to have their children educated. To our great relief Mr. S. C. Chandrahasan, a son of our Leader the late Hon. S. J. V. Chelvanayagam, who takes a lot of interest in the welfare of the Sri Lankan tamil Refugees all over Tamil Naad, told us that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. M. Karunanithy had requested all schools to admit refugee children overlooking all formalities and that no refugee child should be refused admission and thrown on the street.

"With regard to the North, due to the closure of A-9 Road, we told them that there is an acute shortage of essential food items and prices of available items had shot up. We assured them that we are continuing to pressurize the Government to send more ships with essential items to meet the shortage. We also requested the Indian authorities to seriously explore the possibilities of sending ships to Kankesanthurai and also promised to take it up with the Sri Lankan Government.

"The main topic for discussion at all levels was the ethnic issue. Disputing the claim of some others, who had mis-represented facts, we pointed out that in the fifty year history of the ethnic problem, for the first time two major political parties that take turns to rule the country, had committed to a Federal Solution. The UNP’s Presidential Candidate had offered to solve the problem based on a Federal Constitution and the President’s party the SLFP also had resolved unanimously at its convention last year to offer a Federal Solution. WE explained to them that since some are opposed to the terms "Federal" and "Unitary", we are supporting an Indian Model which is welcomed by many people. We also emphasized the fact that the Tamils will not accept any other solution.

"We complained of the false propagandas carried out in Tamil Nadu, pointing out that the fifty five persons who were killed in the orphanage were not orphans and that fifty one of them were almost of the same age group and attending school in the upper forms and taken for compulsory training by the LTTE. The balance four belonged to the staff. We stressed that those living in LTTE areas are living like slaves and need to be liberated.

Before leaving India we thanked the Indian Government for the assistance given to the tsunami victims and also thanked the Government of Tamil Nadu for the assistance given to our refugees." -The Island


JWT’s “smallislandbigtrip.com” wins bronze at Asian Travel and Tourism Creative Awards

One of Sri Lanka’s premier brand communications agency, JWT brought honour to Sri Lanka by winning a bronze at the recently concluded Asian Travel and Tourism award in Singapore.

Organised by AdAsia, this year’s competition drew over 300 entries from countries such as Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, and the Philippines etc.

Mr. Allien Moore representing AdAsia said that Golds were rare to come by at this years award show endorsing the toughness of the judging process. In fact in the category that JWT won, only silver and bronze was awarded.

Thayalan Bartlett CEO of JWT Sri Lanka thanked Carol Becker (MD), Jeff Allen and Dick Edwards of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which made a strategic decision after the Tsunami and conferring with tourism leaders to fund a promotional campaign to boost a recovery in tourism. Without their assistance this campaign would never have been possible.

He said, winning awards has been something usual for JWT but emphasised that this one was very special as it was an award for a country campaign. We have worked on a multitude of campaigns but working on this one was of particular interest as it was for Sri Lanka. Thayalan had immense praise for the creative team comprising Senthil Kumar, Rushan De Silva, Debu Purkayastha and Nalaka Weerasekera for putting together an outstanding piece of work. “ We firmly believe that our clients are an integral part of award successes says Thayalan because they understand the insight to judge good creative and have the foresight for its performance as a campaign. We were fortunate to work with John Varley, Sue Wood and Dinushka Chandrasena of Nathan Associates Inc. USAID’S prime contractor for the competitiveness program in Sri Lanka and partner to the Sri Lanka Tourism Industry and the Sri Lanka tourism cluster consisting of Amal Goonetilake, Abbas Esafully, Hiran and Shiromal Cooray, Prema Cooray, Gehan Perera The Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry – esp. Dr. Ramanujan, Suren De Silva from Video Image all of whom committed their professional time to make this campaign a tremendous success for Sri Lanka. He also thanked Ms Neelanie Goonethileke the former head of JWT for her assistance during the campaign.

JWT is not only about awards but places a lot of emphasis on its strategic approach to ensure that award-winning creatives need to be effective and deliver on sales. The smallislandbigtrip.com campaign was specially designed to attract the lucrative Indin market and was scheduled across India’s top publications and TV stations over 4 months. Ever since the campaign broke on the 18th of March tourist traffic from India grew month on month at an average of 20% when compared with last year in spite of the country experiencing a temporary set-back due to the threat of war.

Commenting on the campaign Thayalan believes The smallislandbigtrip.com campaign had the hallmark of a good advertising campaign. “We don’t live in a perfect world any longer and today brands need to be positive in investing in communications even during troubled times because there are benefits to reap like in this case. The ones that don’t are passive and tend to just hang-in waiting for a better day. You simply need to find a way, how to leverage a good creative strategy for the times we live in and the benefits will come.

A high calibre international jury comprising of Matt Eastwood, National Creative Director / Vice Chairman, DDB Worldwide, Australia, Tan Kien Eng, President / Executive Creative Director, Arc Worldwide, Malaysia, RP Abraham, Founder / Creative Director, Blueduck Design, Singapore, Patrick Low, Executive Creative Director, Y & R, Singapore, Farrokh Madon, Executive Creative Director, BBDO, Singapore, Frederic Meyer, Director Southeast Asia and India, Maison de la France French Tourist Office, Singapore, David ‘Nobby’ Nobay, Executive Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, Australia reviewed the 300 entries and made the final selection. -Financial Times

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