US First Lady Jill Biden (second left) and Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at a school in Ukraine | AP chennai l monday l may 9, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION 60 feared killed as russia strikes school in Ukraine The school in east Ukraine’s Lugansk region was sheltering about 90 civilians when it was hit by an air strike on Saturday Building fully destroyed: local leader 11 missing after attack on house The attack completely destroyed the school in the village of Bilohorivka, Lugansk regional governor Sergii Gaidai wrote on Telegram. Thirty people have been rescued by emergency personnel. However, some 60 people still trapped beneath the debris “are probably dead”, Gaidai wrote. Meanwhile, Russian shelling killed two boys in a nearby town | P9 ■ Rescue workers were also looking for survivors beneath the rubble of a house in Shepilivka, a village not far from the school. The house was sheltering about 11 civilians when it was hit by a missile ■ Russian attacks have intensified ahead of the May 9 Victory Day — the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 1st Lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Retiring judge may get to chair Central water body S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi People loot a truck transporting cooking gas cylinders in Colombo on Sunday, after waiting in queue overnight for fresh refills | AFP Top oppn party turns down offer to lead SL govt Mahinda booed during his first public outing since protests began; people loot LPG truck E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Sri Lanka continued to remain in flux on Sunday with the most powerful Opposition party rejecting embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s offer to head an interim government. In other words, the president was prepared to sacrifice elder brother Mahinda, the current premier, to save his chair. “Our leader Sajith Premadasa refused to accept the president’s offer,” Tissa Attanayake, the national organiser for Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) revealed. The offer came amid a fresh round of Emergency G o t a b aya c l a m p e d since Friday midnight as peaceful protests by students kept snowballing and a strike by trade unions brought the entire nation to a virtual standstill. The SJB, however, said it was willing to support a proposal suggested by the nation’s bar association to form an interim government for 18 months that would set in motion the process of abolishing the presidential system of governance. Apparently Gotabaya had called up Premadasa over the phone to tap him on leading the interim government but with- out yielding on his presidential powers. Both the powerful Buddhist clergy and the breakaway group from the ruling coalition have demanded the formation of an interim government. Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa got a sense of the intensity of anger on the streets against his ruling family on Sunday during his first public outing since nationwide protests erupted, as he was booed and jeered, AFP reported. Mahinda was visiting one of the holiest of Buddhist temples in Anuradhapura, 200 km north of Colombo. Dozens of people carried hand-written placards and chanted slogans demanding that ‘thieves’ be banned from the sacred city “We will wor. ship you if you stand down (as prime minister) and leave,” one man shouted. The police had to move in to clear the road for Rajapaksa’s convoy of six vehicles. In Colombo, a truck transporting cooking gas was looted by people waiting in an overnight queue for refills. The outnumbered police watched helplessly as men clambered onto the truck and got away with 84 cylinders of liquid petroleum gas, officials said. The Union government is likely to appoint Supreme Court judge Vineet Saran, who is retiring on May 10, as the next chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC). He is already chairman of the Ravi Beas water tribunal that is dealing with the knotty SutlejYamuna link canal project. The term of the present CWC chairman, Dr R K Gupta, is coming to an end soon and Jus- tice Saran will take over from him, according to highly placed sources. The CWC is primarily responsible for the control, conservation and utilisation of water throughout the country and , works for the resolution of disputes over sharing of water between states. Resolving inter-state water disputes is one of the critical functions of the CWC. All major river basins are of interstate nature. When one state builds a dam on an inter-state Ha r p r e e t Ba j wa @ Chandigarh Mischief was clearly afoot in Himachal Pradesh as Khalistan flags were found tied to the main gate and the boundary wall of the state’s Legislative Assembly complex in Dharamshala on Sunday. The state will go to polls later this year. The harried police removed the flags and registered a case. There were no security guards or CCTV cameras near the gate, which ought to have encouraged miscreants to put up the flags, sources said. The police had earlier written to the Assembly Secretariat requesting that CCTV cameras be installed in the outer periphery of the complex, but no action was taken, sources said. A shocked Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur condemned the incident, cowardly “Since the winter . session of the Assembly alone is held there, tight security cover is required during that time alone,” he tweeted. Last year, the police found pro-Khalistan graffiti on boulders and parapets on the roads connecting Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi. In July last year, the Sikhs For Justice (SJF), a US-based secessionist outfit, had threatened the Himachal chief minister saying he will not be allowed to hoist the Tricolour on Independence Day It turned out to be an . empty threat. Last month, the SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu had called for hoisting the Khalistani flag in Shimla. Khalistan flags on the main gate of the Himachal Assembly | PTI NATIONWIDE may 7 may 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,805 3,168 22 3,451 3,079 40 tamil nadu may 7 may 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 89 64 0 47 68 0 Pak terror leader among 2 killed in J&K encounter Inside TN on path to fiscal consolidation | P4 Minister palanivel Thiaga rajan on reforms | P4 Asani intensifies into severe cyclonic storm; Odisha, West Bengal on alert Srinagar: Two terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, including a Pakistani commander, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam district of J&K on Sunday. They were responsible for atrocities against civilians and recent killings of police personnel, the police said | P8 Kolkata: Cyclone Asani on Sunday evening intensified into a severe cyclonic storm as it moved northwestwards in towards north Andhra PradeshOdisha coasts, the Meteorological Department said. The cyclone is not expected to make landfall either in Odisha or Andhra Pradesh. Instead, it will move parallel to the east coast and cause rainfall from Tuesday evening, IMD Director-General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said Chennai eviction: Man critical after suicide bid S u bas h i n i V i jaya k u m a r @ Chennai A 58-year-old man set himself ablaze on Sunday morning in protest against the ongoing eviction drive at Govindasamy Nagar near Buckingham Canal. VG Kannaiyan, a PMK cadre, sustained 96% burns and is being treated at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. While a doctor treating Kannaiyan said his condition is ‘critical’, his family alleged he is being kept on a ventilator to delay the inevitable as authorities fear a law and order problem in the event of his death. “Save those without a voice,” Kannaiyan had said, minutes before he law in the Allahabad High Court from 1980 till 2002 on the constitutional, civil and criminal sides, before being appointed as a permanent judge in the Allahabad High Court on February 14, 2002, where he served for 13 years. He was then transferred to the Karnataka High Court on February 16, 2015 from where he was promoted as the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on February 26, 2016. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2018. Khalistan flags at Ban on pattina pravesam revoked, seer of Himachal Assembly Dharmapuram Aadheenam praises Stalin perimeter wall, gate express read TNIE takes a close look at the major milestones in finance dept as Stalin govt completes one year river, it affects interests of the olution is only one of over a other basin states. This leads to dozen other important responinter-state differences with re- sibilities of the CWC. gard to use, distribuThe Union governtion and control of ment hopes to be able river water. India has to build rules and proseen as many as nine tocols with the help of major Inter-State RivJustice Saran’s legal er Water Disputes Triexpertise to avoid fubunals so far. Water is ture disputes. a contentious subject Justice Saran would Vineet Saran and CWC plays a critibring to the CWC 40 cal role in resolving disputes years of experience in dealing arising over it. with disputes and upholding However, water disputes res- the rule of law. He practised was rushed to the hospital. on the seventh floor without His act of desperation came any facilities, residents said. as the Water Resources DepartKannaiyan had been disment, aided by the Tamil Nadu traught since the drive began, Urban Habitat Development pleading with authorities to Board, Chennai Corpostop demolishing the ration and police, conhouses, his f amily, tinued to bulldo z e which includes his wife, houses in the slum with son, daughter and heavy police protection grandchildren, said. from 7am Sunday, de“Our father has lived spite resistance from here from birth. He was residents. Residents crying to us to stop the have sought more time eviction process, unaKannaiyyan to vacate their houses ble to see the locality and asked for new houses in the being razed. He ran near the city rather than in Perum- house being demolished, and bakkam. Moving there would set himself ablaze before we not only affect their livelihood, could do anything,” said his but they had been allotted flats daughter K Kalaiarasi (35). P5 ‘Grandkid taking Class 10 exams’ A relative said Kannaiyan’s granddaughter is taking her Class 10 board exams and asked how such students were expected to study while being evicted. (If in distress, call 104 helpline or 04424640050 for Sneha suicide helpline.) ‘Will deploy A n to n y F e r n a n d o @ Mayiladuthurai security on May 22’ AFTER a week-long political “We have accepted the Aadheenam’s appeal and revoked the ban,” RDO J Balaji said. On law and order concerns cited as grounds for the ban, he said adequate security would be deployed storm, the Mayiladuthurai Revenue Divisional Officer on Sunday revoked the ban placed on Dharmapuram Aadheenam Seer’s pattina pravesam, clearing the decks for the religious leader to embark on his tour on May 22 as scheduled. The Dhar mapuram Aadheenam Seer 27th Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Shri Masilamani Desiga Gnanasambandha Paramachariya Swamigal said the government had given ‘verbal consent’ for his lowed continuity of custom pattina pravesam, in which the and proved the current governSeer is seated in a palanquin ment is an ‘Aanmiga Arasu’ lifted by people. The ( s p i r i t u a l g ove r n Seer made the anment),” the Seer said. nouncement after “The gover nment leading the consecraproved its standpoints tion of the Shri do not change when it U t h av e d e e s w a r a r comes to such tradiTemple in Kuthalam. tions. We are as firm “Pattina pravesam on our ideology as othDharmapuram had happened when ers are on theirs,” he Aadheenam Seer M Karunanidhi was added, congratulating the CM. We were concerned it Stalin for completing one year would be a low point if there is in government. Hours later, a change in tradition when his Mayiladuthurai RDO J Balaji son is the CM. The CM has al- made it official. P5
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