KOCHI l FRIDAY l AUGUST 21, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION INDIA, CHINA AGREE TO WORK TOWARDS FULL DISENGAGEMENT Diplomatic talks on India-China border disputes were 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 Tharoor backs Centre, ruffles Cong feathers Meet decides to pass assembly resolution against Central government’s decision 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 support should the government introduce a resolution against 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. ● More on P4 INFLATION: RBI DECIDES 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 uncon- ventional 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. 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS Jacobite faction decides to end all ties with Orthodox Church A N U J A S U S A N V A R G H E S E @ Kochi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram 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 it without the state’s help 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 priva, tisation 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 dif● More on P4 ferent path to his party . Dist admn takes over Ktm church Kottayam district administration took over the St Marthasmooni Jacobite Syrian Church at Thiruvarppu, following a High Court order to this effect. P5 IN the wake of the district administration taking over its churches, the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church on Thursday decided to end all hitherto accepted sacramental and worship relations 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 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 won’t work,” said Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Catholicos Baselios Paulose II. ● More on P5 SC gives Bhushan Alappuzha best small city in innovations 3 days to apologise 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 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 P u r i i n a v i r t u a l p re s s conference. The survey, which covered 4,242 cities and saw the partici- NATIONAL RANKINGS District 2020 2019 Alappuzha 152 256 T’Puram 304 363 Palakkad 335 334 Kollam 352 377 Kottayam 355 410 Kozhikode 361 299 Kochi 372 409 pation 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 152nd nationally . K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday gave 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. Bhushan told the court he won’t change his statement. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said he will not seek mercy to escape punishment 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.” I am pained not because I can be punished but because I’ve been misunderstood Prashant Bhushant, lawyer-activist
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