Daily Archives: May 11, 2015

Jayalalithaa acquitted in DA case in Karnataka High Court


The Karnataka High Court has acquitted former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.

As ruling AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) workers in Tamil Nadu, which remained on edge, organised ‘poojas’ in temples and took out processions praying for a favourable judgement, the Bangalore police clamped prohibitory orders in one km radius of the High Court from 6 AM to 6 PM (IST) on Monday besides beefing up security, PTI reported.

The Bangalore police is anticipating arrival of thousands of AIADMK supporters from Tamil Nadu on Monday.

It will be a high-stake test as the judicial outcome could swing the political fortunes either way for the ruling AIADMK supremo and alter the political course in Tamil Nadu which will go to Assembly polls in about a year.

According to legal circles, 67-year old Jayalalithaa need not be present in the court when the single judge bench of Justice C R Kumaraswamy delivers the judgement, just a day ahead of the three-month deadline set by the Supreme Court to complete the hearing on appeals by her and three others.

The court will decide on the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others against the Special Court Judge Michael D’Cunha’s September 27 last verdict sentencing them to four years in jail and imposing a hefty fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore each on three others.

An acquittal would enable a big political comeback for Jayalalithaa, who has waged many legal battles and seen several ups and downs in her political career.

An adverse outcome, on the other hand, would accentuate uncertainty and cause more worries about the future of the AIADMK leader and her personality-based monolithic party.

She will remain disqualified under the Representation of the People Act from contesting elections for a period of 10 years–four years from the date of conviction and six years thereafter, unless a superior court sets aside the conviction.

During the hearing of the appeal, Jayalalithaa has contended that the then DMK government-led investigation had deliberately over-valued her assets and she had acquired the property, including jewellery, through legal means.

Women party workers in several parts of Tamil Nadu took out traditional “milk pot spiritual procession” in many places, lamps were lit in temples and coconuts offered as part of prayers “for the return of Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister”.

AIADMK mouthpiece “Dr Namadhu MGR” said “the time for our Puratchi Thai (Revolutionary Mother) to sit on the chariot of governance is coming here tomorrow,” adding, “Till then, little foxes may howl,” in comments apparently targeting DMK.

Police in Salem said strict vigil is being maintained on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, especially in the Hosur area.


Lanka’s First-Ever Unity Monument With Bricks From Across The Island


COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s first-ever “Unity Monument” is to be built with bricks from every part of the island nation to symbolize the need for reconciliation among its ethnic and religious groups after 30 years of bloodletting in pursuit of narrow goals.

The Lankan equivalent of the Indian “Kar Sewa” is the brainchild of the Capital Maharaja Organization (CMO), which runs popular TV stations catering to all the three linguistic groups in the island.

“But the project is broad-based, with the government National Youth Services Council providing the logistics, and several private entities, including the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City Project, sponsoring it. All are welcome,” explained Chevaan Daniel, Group Director of CMO.

Designated as the “Ranbhoomi” (Precious Land) National Unity Rally, the movement is a caravan going from place to place holding rallies. It is currently in the Tamil-speaking Northern Province.

“We plan to stop at about 150 villages and collect one brick from each, with each brick having the name of the village embossed on it. These bricks will be part of the monument to be built in Colombo,” Daniel told Express.

The length and breadth of the island is expected to be covered in the next 35 to 40 days, after which a competition for the design of the monument will be organized.

“We hope to finalize the design and build the monument before year end,” Daniel said.

Challenges to Unity

The need to strengthen national unity through symbolism has acquired great urgency, especially with a section of the Lankan political spectrum trying to whip up anti-minority feelings out of frustration. Recently, one group brazenly waved “Lankan national flags” from which the orange and green stripes representing the Tamil and Muslim communities respectively, were missing.

Furthermore, Lanka has monuments commemorating the armed forces’ exploits, but none symbolizing ethnic reconciliation and unity of the nation. Seeing the lacuna, President Maithripala Sirisena has asked Lankans to commemorate all the war dead, and not just those of one ethnic group, because the dead were all Lankans.


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