THRISSUR l FRIDAY l AUGUST 21, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION INDIA, CHINA AGREE TO WORK TOWARDS FULL DISENGAGEMENT A diplomatic talk on India-China border disputes was held on Thursday as military-level engagements have hit a wall FILE PHOTO TO MAINTAIN CLOSE COMMUNICATION BOTH SIDES KEEN ON PEACE In the 18th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC), India and China agreed to continue to work towards a complete disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control. The two sides agreed to maintain close communication through diplomatic and military channels to ensure that the goal is met ■ Acknowledging that peace at border is key for improving ties, it was agreed to resolve disputes in an “expeditious manner” ■ The Indian delegation was led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary, (East Asia) Ministry of External Affairs. Senior Chinese foreign ministry official Hong Liang represented Beijing WMCC IS A CONSULTATION MECHANISM FOR MANAGEMENT OF INDIA-CHINA BORDER CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Give T’Puram airport back, all-party meet tells Centre Meet decides to pass assembly resolution against Centre’s decision, Union Min V Muraleedharan says move a ploy to divert attention E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram WITH the local body poll around the corner, the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday demanded the Central government to withdraw its decision to award the operations of the Trivandrum International Airport to Adani Group. It also decided to pass a resolution in the Assembly against the Centre’s decision. As expected, leaders of all political parties except BJP opposed the privatisation of the airport. The meeting decided to continue the legal battle against the move and put up a united fight against the Centre’s decision. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala extended the opposition’s support if the government introduces a resolution a g ainst the move in the Assembly . However, the unity could be shortlived as Congress MP Shashi Tharoor reiterated his stand rooting for the airport’s privatisation and Union Minister V Muraleedharan threw a spanner saying the government’s opposition now is only to divert the attention from the gold smuggling scandal. As the meeting started, the chief minister briefed the leaders about the steps taken so far by the state to retain the airport in the public sector. The state had written twice to the prime minister and three times to the Union civil aviation minister with regard to Thiruvananthapuram airport. ● More on P4 EXPRESS READ Raids find Onam kits low on quality, quantity T’Puram: The Vigilance on Thursday conducted a statewide raid and detected lapses on part of officials in ensuring quality and quantity of the essential items included in the ‘Onam kits’ worth D500. But the Vigilance said kits in most of the packing centres were found to have items ranging from D400 to D490. P5 CBI moves HC to end probe in Kaviyoor case Kochi: The CBI on Thursday approached High Court seeking to quash the Thiruvananthapuram CBI Special Court’s order rejecting the further investigation report on the suspicious death of a five-member family in Kaviyoor, for a fourth time. State protocol dept on Customs, NIA radar Kochi: Customs and the NIA, probing the gold smuggling via diplomatic channel, are tracing whether accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S received any favours from officials of the State Protocol Department. The NIA has found that the officials knew Swapna well. P4 KERALA PUTS ITS FOOT DOWN Leaders of all political parties except BJP oppose the airport’s privatisation CM says state can’t afford to lose the airport to private sector Says whoever takes control of the airport cannot run the airport without the state’s help Tharoor backs Centre, ruffles Cong feathers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram IN A major embarrassment to the KPCC leadership, Shashi Tharoor, MP, has defended the Centre’s move to lease out Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Group for 50 years. Tharoor, who represents the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, said privatisation of the airport was in the best interests of his constituency. “My position on the airport has been consistent since before the elections. I am not a politician who says one thing to the voters and something else afterwards for political convenience. Had my colleagues consulted me before taking a negative stand, I would have explained my views to them,” he tweeted as it became apparent that he was treading a different path to his party . “I am speaking in the best interests of my constituency. As its MP that is my job. The people of Thiruvananthapuram want a first-class airport worthy of the city’s history status and potential. In , this context, a decision, however controversial, is preferable to the long delay we have suffered. The reality is that a private entity running the operations competitively is the only way this airport could flourish. Whoever it is, the ownership of the land and airport as well as the responsibilities of the ATC, security, customs and immigration still remain with the government agencies,” he tweeted.● More on P4 INFLATION WORRIES: RBI DECIDE AGAINST RATE CUTS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Reserve Bank of India’s six-member Monetary Policy Committee, which met for the last time in its four-year tenure earlier this month, found the spike in consumer inflation so alarming that it chose to delay taking more steps to address the “deepest contraction in history .” Minutes of the MPC meet released on Thursday showed the elevated inflation reading pushed the committee members to vote for a status quo. RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 4% after an unconventional 115 bps cut since March to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. “The generalised inflationary pressures across food and CPI excluding food and fuel, in a situation where growth is expected to contract sharply, is a matter of serious concern,” said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, adding that the slack in the economy indicates there is little risk to inflation from the demand side. The supply-side disruptions and bottlenecks in the post-Covid 19 environment could engender the inflationary impulses, he added. MPC members, however, felt there was room for monetary policy support and would support such a move when there is a need. SC gives Bhushan 3 days to apologise for tweets K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi Don’t punish him: AG Attorney General K K Venugopal urged SC not to punish Bhushan in the contempt case saying he has already been convicted THE Supreme Court on Thursday g ave lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan three days to reconsider his stand that he won’t apologise for his defamatory tweets against the judiciary A bench headed by Justice . Arun Mishra observed the tone, tenor and content of Bhushan’s ‘defiant statement’ makes the matter even worse. It asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to go through Bhushan’s affidavit in justification of his tweets, and see if his reply is a defence or an aggravation of contempt. However, Bhushan told the court he won’t change his statement. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said he will not seek mercy to escape punish- ment for doing what believed was right. Bhushan told the court, “I am pained not because I can be punished but because I’ve been misunderstood. I believe open criticism is necessary to safeguard the constitutional order. My tweets were a small attempt to discharge what I consider my highest duty .” Dushyant Dave, appearing for Bhushan, urged the court to defer the hearing on sentence as he sought to file a review petition on it. The bench, also comprising Justices B R 1,968 fresh Covid cases reported in Kerala on Thursday A N U J A S U S A N V A R G H E S E @ Kochi 1,737 IN the wake of the district administration taking over its churches, the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church on Thursday decided to end all hither to-accepted relations — sacramental and worship/prayerwise — with the Orthodox faction. The direct implication of the decision, taken at the urgent Synod meeting at the Patriarchal Centre in Puthencruz, will be on weddings and baptism. The Synod also decided to strengthen the relations with the Marthoma Church. “We’ve tried all kinds of negotiations, but the Orthodox faction has been adamant in keeping the doors to peace shut. So we won’t recognise the Myron (holy oil used in rituals like Confirmation), used by the Orthodox faction, anymore. For instance, if someone from the Orthodox faction has to marry a Jacobite, then that contract the virus through local transmission 18,123 under recover treatment 1 CPM, IUML workers clash in fish market Kozhikode: Workers of CPM and IUML clashed at the fish market in Perambra. It forced the collector to clamp Section 144, shutdown the market and send around 200 people into quarantine. P4 2 NATIONAL RANKINGS Cherthala firm wins L1-crore national award District 2020 2019 Alappuzha 152 256 Kochi: Techgentsia Software Technologies Pvt Ltd, an IT firm based in Cherthala, was on Thursday selected the winner in Central government’s competition for developing the best videoconference solution. The firm will get a financial support of D1 crore. P5 T’Puram 304 363 Palakkad 335 334 Kollam 352 377 Kottayam 355 410 Kozhikode 361 299 Kochi 372 409 - Prashant Bhushan Priests and faithful protest at the Marthasmooni church | EXPRESS Kottayam dist admn takes over church The Kottayam district administration took over the St Marthasmooni Jacobite Syrian Church at Thiruvarppu on Thursday, following a High Court order to this effect. P5 person will have to get Confirmation again. If a child is baptised at a church of the other faction, then he/she has to be given Confirmation using the Myron blessed by the patriarch again,” said Jacobite Church spokesperson Kuriakose Mar Theophilose. Orthodox Church reacted to the decision by saying there is no point in holding discussions with those who do not obey court orders. “Efforts by the Jacobite faction to overturn the judicial process by criticising courts and judges will not work,” said Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Catholicos Baselios Paulose II. Jacobite Church Catholicos will soon release a set of guidelines regarding the new decisions. The faction has so far recognised the sacraments of Orthodox faction making it possible for members of one faction to marry from the other. The Synod also decided to urge the government to take necessary action to ensure the members of the Jacobite faction the right to worship in the ● More on P5 churches. Kochi: The state government stated before the High Court that the Opposition leader ’s allegation of third parties getting unauthorised access to call detail records of patients is baseless. P4 3 High-protein diet for jail inmates T’Puram: The prison department has revised the diet for Covid positive inmates of the Central Prison in Poojappura. The infected prisoners are being provided with protein-rich food apart from the usual prison diet. P4 RISKY MOVE A young boy walks along with his parents on a busy street at East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. This is when the Covid protocol demands parents not to take children below 10 years to public places | B P DEEPU Alappuzha named best small city in innovations ALAPPUZHA municipality has been recognised as the best small city in ‘Innovations and Best Practices’ for decentralised wastewater treatment in Swachh Survekshan 2020, the Central government’s annual survey on cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The announcement, made in New Delhi on Thursday was the , only takeaway for Kerala in the national ranking of best cities on cleanliness. The results were announced by Union Housing Minister Hardeep Puri in a virtual press conference. The sur- I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal for magnanimity. I am here to cheerfully submit to any punishment that court may impose Call detail records secure, govt tells HC WIN FOR VENICE OF THE EAST E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kochi My tweets were out of a bona fide attempt to discharge my duty as a citizen. I would have been failing in my duty if I did not speak up at this juncture of history. I submit to any penalty which the court may inflict. It would be contemptuous on my part to offer apology Jacobite faction decides to end all relations with the Orthodox LOCAL SPREAD REMAINS WORRY 1,217 Gavai and Krishna Murari, said if any punishment is given for contempt, it will be inflicted only after the review petition is decided. When senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, also appearing for Bhushan, said his client has filed several cases in public interest, the bench retorted, “You may do a hundred good things but that doesn’t give you the licence to do ten crimes.” The court added, “It is after all about if a person wants to purge the contempt. There is no person on earth who can’t commit a mistake.” Justice Mishra remarked, “There is a Lakshman rekha for everything. Why should you cross the rekha? I haven’t convicted anyone of contempt in 24 years as a judge.” vey, which covered 4,242 cities and saw the participation of 1.87 crore citizens, was completed in 28 days. Alappuzha won the top rank in the category of cities with 1-3 lakh population. “Known as Venice of East in the state of Kerala and having a legacy of successfully practising decentralised solid waste management for the last four years, Alappuzha has taken a step in the direction of liquid waste management by working towards mitigating pollution of canals,” said the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Alappuzha’s Decentralised Waste Water Treatment System (DEWATS) system includes individual toilet facility for each house and a centralised water treatment system.But Kerala is placed lowest at 15 in the overall ranking of states with 100 urban local bodies. Alappuzha is ranked at the 152nd place nationally. Other cities in Kerala too fared poorly compared to other cities in the country Thiruvananthapuram . is ranked at 304, followed by Palakkad (335th rank) and Kollam (352nd rank). Other cities to feature in the list low are Kottayam (355), Kozhikode (361), Thrissur (366) and Kochi (372). Bodies of 2 teens, pregnant woman found in Pettimudi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @Idukki RESCUERS at Pettimudi in Idukki district are still searching for the bodies buried under the debris brought down by a massive landslide on August 6. On Thursday, bodies of 15-year-old Kawsika and Sivaranjini, and 26-year-old pregnant woman Muthulakshmi were recovered from a river side in Poothakkuzhy, 14km away from the accident site. With this, the total number of persons died in the mishap climbed to 65. As majority of the bodies trapped under the debris in the settlement area and its nearby locations have been recovered, rescuers on Thursday extended their search to distant locations including dense forest and river side. “Led by forest officials, we extended our search to a dense forest area, 10km away from Poothakkuzhy But the . search had to be suspended for the day after a tiger was spotted in the area,” an official said. Meanwhile, efforts are on to find the remaining five persons and the district administration has not yet called off the search.
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