India bans shark ‘finning’

India bans shark ‘finning’
Aug 26, 2013 New Delhi

Photograph: A female mako shark being finned at a shark fishing camp, Santa Rosalia, Mexico. By Brian Skerry/National Geographic/Getty Images.

Shark ‘finning’ involves slicing off a shark’s fins and throwing it back to die slowly on the ocean floor from starvation or inability to move.

India has banned hunting sharks for only their fins in a move to protect endangered species from indiscriminate hunting for parts wanted abroad.

The practice of shark ‘finning’, or slicing off a shark’s fins and throwing it back to die slowly on the ocean floor from starvation or inability to move, has exploded worldwide due to demand from China, where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy.

India lists several of the dozens of shark species in its waters as endangered, including hammerheads, broadfins and whale sharks.

Under the Environment Ministry’s new policy, announced Monday, fishermen now found with hauls including detached fins risk up to seven years in prison for hunting an endangered species since identifying species by fins alone is difficult.

Worldwide, sharks are in sharp decline, with some species’ numbers now 10 per cent of what they were three decades ago. Their demise threatens the health of ocean ecosystems, experts say, as the top predators are key to keeping fish and turtle populations in check. Tens of millions are caught every year.

The growth of shark finning to feed the Chinese market has posed a major threat to the world’s oldest vertebrates.

Ministry’s move applauded

India is the world’s second-largest shark-catching nation behind Indonesia – India caught 74,000 tonnes (81,600 tons) in 2011, compared with Indonesia’s 109,000 tonnes – with the two countries accounting for 20 per cent of yearly shark catches, according to a report by the international wildlife trade monitoring agency TRAFFIC.

Most Indian fishermen catch sharks primarily for food, though they also export the bones and fins abroad. Those fins will now have to be removed once the sharks are on shore.

Last year, Indian fishermen exported $4.8m in shark fins to China, less than half the $11.3m in 2010 exports despite steady demand, according to data from India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority.

“Fishermen are saying the numbers of sharks they’ve been able to catch has definitely come down,” said C. Samyukta of Humane Society International.

Conservationists applauded the ministry’s move as key to ending a cruel practice threatening to push some shark populations to the brink.

“Given the perilous status of many shark species, we urge the state governments to act quickly and work to enforce the policy,” said Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Leading conservation groups CPR Environmental Education Centre, Wildlife Protection Society of India, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations, World Society for Protection of Animals India and Researchers for Wildlife Conservation India supported HSI’s initiative and also appealed to the Ministry to adopt a fins naturally attached policy.

The following groups issued statements applauding the Ministry’s action and urging coastal state governments to adhere to the policy: C. Samyukta, wildlife campaign manager for HSI/India said: “We are overjoyed at India’s decision to adopt a fins naturally attached policy, which experts worldwide agree is necessary to protect sharks from the cruelty of finning. Humane Society International has been campaigning hard to see this policy enacted, and we are delighted authorities have taken this crucial step.”

Belinda Wright of WPSI said: “This is a commendable step towards ending the barbaric practice of finning and for enforcing our laws concerning protected shark species. Given the perilous status of many shark species, we urge the state governments to act quickly and work to enforce the policy.”

Nandita Krishna, Honorary Director, CPREEC said: “We congratulate the Ministry on this landmark decision. Shark conservation, which is now a growing global concern, requires implementable solutions such as the fins attached policy to end the loss of large numbers of shark populations.

We hope the policy provides a strong deterrent to the cruel and wasteful practice of finning that leaves numerous sharks to die a slow and painful death when they are discarded back into the ocean after their fins are harvested. We hope the state governments shall be prudent and act expeditiously in enforcement of the policy.”

Also Visit Blog Listigs:

Shark populations are in trouble globally
Shark conservation Sharks are commonly misunderstood and widely feared. These remarkable animals, however, are incredibly important for overall ocean health and, in particular, for coral reefs. …Shark populations are in trouble globally: http://lakshadweepforum.com/blog/shark-populations-are-in-trouble-globally/

Posted in India bans shark 'finning', Indian Ocean | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The document submitted by the Sports, UT Of Lakshadweep, was contrary to facts

The document submitted by the Sports, UT Of Lakshadweep, was contrary to facts
August 26, 2013
Documentwas submitted by the respondents is incomplete and does not contain the information sought by the appellant.  Section 2 (j) of The RTI Act 2005 provides that ‘right to information’ means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority.

BEFORE THE HONOURABLE CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION, NEW DELHI

(Block No.4 Old JNU Campus, New Delhi, 110 067) 

  Complaint No.               of  2013

D.B Binu, Advocate :
(General Secretary,
Human Rights Defence Forum),                                     Appellant
Providence Road,
Kochi – 682018, Kerala.

v.


Respondents

1) The Central Public Information Officer,
O/o.the Managing Director (SPORTS),
Lakshadweep Tourism, KAVARATTI- 682555,
Lakshadweep,INDIA.                                                        Respondents.

 

2) The Appellate Authority,
(Managing Director (SPORTS),
Lakshadweep Tourism,
KAVARATTI-  682555,
Lakshadweep, INDIA.

COMPLAINT (THIRD APPEAL) FILED UNDER SECTIONS 18 (1),  19 (3), 19 (8) (b) 20 (1) OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

The appellant respectfully submits as follows:

1.   In an appeal filed earlier before this commission as No.    /    .  In the above appeal there was an order passed on           .      In the above order this commission was directed  to the respondents to provide the information to the appellant .

The application filed for providing certain information and documents regarding the authorized Travel Agents and their respective contribution to SPORTS with regard to the business volume of Lakshadweep Tourism for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 etc., and other related documents. (A true copy of the application is attached herewith and marked as Annexure-1)

2.   The respondent defaulted in furnishing the information within 30 days of mandatory period. Thereafter the appellant filed the first appeal before the first appellate authority on 04-07-2012. (A true copy of the first appeal is attached herewith and marked as Annexure-2)

3.   Subsequent to the filing of the first appeal, the first respondent provided a part of the information which was incomplete and hiding the facts.

4. Due to non-availability of crucial information, the appellant filed the second appeal on 21-11-2012 before the Central Information Commission,  (A true copy of the second appeal is attached herewith and marked as Annexure-3)

5.   The appellant was invited to participate a video conferencing held by the Central Information Commission, New Delhi on 06-02-2013 wherein the grievances in the matter was put forward. On 22-02-2013 a request was placed to Shri D. Karthikeyan, Managing Director (Sports) to inspect the records. (A true copy of the letter is attached herewith and marked as Annexure-4)

6.   The Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission, New Delhi thereafter directed Respondent 1, the CPIO of SPORTS, vide his Order No.CIC/LS/A/2013/000166 dated 06-02-2013 to provide the certified copies of the required documents related thereto, within 02 weeks time.  (A copy of the said order is produced herewith marked Annexure 5 for identification).

7.      After the lengthy correspondence and telephonic conversations the undersigned had with the AGM of SPORTS, went to inspect the documents. The office of SPORTS had agreed to arrange the documents pertaining to Point No.4 in the  application, within two weeks from the date of inspection. The Appellant had duly complied with the requirement of remitting necessary fees for receiving the documents. (A true copy of the request letter for inspection dated 22-03-2013  is attached herewith and marked as Annexure-6)

8.    The AGM of SPORTS directed the Appellant to remit a sum of Rs.925.00 towards supply of the specified documents.  This was duly complied with.  A Cheque, No.038728 dated 17-5-2013, drawn on Union Bank of India for Rs.925.00 was sent to them, under cover of a letter dated 17-5-2013. (A copy of the said letter is produced herewith marked Annexure7 ).

9.     Subsequently, a set of documents were received from the AGM of SPORTS.  On scrutiny of the documents it was found that there were only 6 copies of payment receipts against 771 copies of reservation (Register) entries from Travel Agents and individuals. None of the document was certified by the CPIO as agreed. (A copy of the potentially contentious cover letter by the AGM of SPORTS, dated 15-06-2013 is produced herewith and marked as Annexure-8)

10.     The respondents had collected specified amount as per details given above.  The documents supplied in turn were of no use at all to the appellant.  It is a matter of great regret that the applicant was not provided the information requested for despite the lapse of more than 15 months has lapsed from.

11.     On 28-07-2013 a request was sent to the Respondent No.1 and the AGM of SPORTS to furnish the remaining copies of payment receipts at their own cost for both the advance and the final payments pertaining to the ‘registry listings’ submitted with us. The appellant has not yet received any further information from the respondents till the date. (A copy of the said letter is produced herewith marked Annexure 9).

12.     The inaction and refusal on the part of respondents 1and 2in not furnishing the information sought by the appellant is highly arbitrary and illegal and hence liable to be interfered with by this Hon’ble Commission.

13.  In the circumstances, the appellant is aggrieved and prefer this Complaint. Since statutory period for furnishing the information is over. The information sought by the appellant is of public interest in nature and it is held and controlled by the respondent. The respondent 1&2 has very well access to all the information sought by the appellant. The respondent 1&2 has deliberately denied the information. The reply furnished is fact hiding, against the spirit of the RTI Act and not in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

16.  In view of the above circumstances this Complaint preferred before this Commission praying that to allow the prayers sought by the appellant considering the following;

                                                 GROUNDS

          a).  Denial of information without sufficient reason is a contravention of Sections 8   and 9 of the RTI Act 2005.

 

b).   Documentwas submitted by the respondents is incomplete and does not contain the information sought by the appellant.  Section 2 (j) of The RTI Act 2005 provides that ‘right to information’ means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority.

c) The document submitted by the respondent was contrary to facts and circumstances of the case.

            d) The Appellate Authority ought to have considered the fact that the information sought by the appellant is information available with the 1st &  2nd respondents, which was denied to the appellant.

                  e)       Section 8 i (j) of The Right to Information Act 2005 provide that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. The information/application submitted by the appellant is one, which cannot be denied to the parliament or the State Legislate if the same question is raised before either house.

                  f)        Section 8 (2) of The Right to Information Act 2005 provides that notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub – 2 (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.  The application submitted by the appellant does not harm the protected interest of the Bank and no such reasons were given by the respondent No. 2 while rejecting the application submitted by the Appellant.

In the light of above contentions it ishumblysubmitted that the appellant has sought all the other legal remedies and now the only way is to approach this Hon’ble Commission for justice. Hence it is humbly prayed that this appeal may be considered and the reliefs sought for may be allowed.

RELIEFS

It is, therefore, prayed that this Hon’ble Commission may be pleased to:-

          i.           Direct the 1st and 2nd respondents to furnish complete information sought by the appellant in Annexure A1 application.

          ii.          Impose penalty provided U/s 20 (1) of the R.T.I. Act for noncompliance of the provisions of the Act.

iii.       Order to furnish all the remaining documents at free of cost.

          iv.          Recommending disciplinary action against the respondents under the Act.

          v.        Requiring the respondent to compensate the appellant herein under section 19 (8) (vi) (b) for the loss and the detriment suffered by him.

vi.       Order refund of the sum of Rs.925.00 collected from the appellant, as the relevant information was not made available to the appellant.

vii.        Grant such other reliefs and the when prayed for which are deemed fit and proper by this Hon’ble Commission in the interest of Justice.

                                                   VERIFICATION

D.B Binu, Advocate S/o D.A.Baskaran , aged 44. Years, (General Secretary, Human Rights Defence Forum), Providence Road, Kochi – 682018, Kerala do hereby declare that all whatever stated above are true and correct.

 

Dated this the 24 day of August 2013

APPELLANT

The appellant hereby submit that he has not filed any Complaint/Appeal before any Authority or Court or any such proceeding is pending in respect of the subject matter raised in this Second Appeal.

 List of Enclosures:

I N D E X

 

Sl. No.

Description of the document

Pages
1. Third Appeal (Present complaint)

7

2. Annexure.A1: Copy of the application dtd. 31-05- 2012 submitted by the appellant.

1

3. Annexure.A2: True copy of the First Appeal dtd. 04-07-2012.

2

4. Annexure.A3: Copy of Second Appeal dated 21 November 2013

2

5. Annexure A4: Copy of letter dated 22nd February, 2013, sent by the appellant to Shri D. Karthikeyan, Managing Director (SPORTS), about the proposed date for inspection of records and the type of records required for inspection.

2

6. Annexure A5: True copy of Order No.CIC/LS/A/2013/000166 in regards with video conference dated 06-02-2013 of Information Commissioner, Shri M. L. Sharma, Central Information Commission, New Delhi.

1

7. Annexure 6: Copy of reminder for inspection of records dated March 22, 2013, sent by the appellant to the AGM(SPORTS), W.Island, Cochin-682003.

1

8. Annexure 7: Copy of letter dated 17-5-2013 sent by the Appellant to the AGM, SPORTS, forwarding Cheque No.038728 dated 17-5-2013, drawn on Union Bank of India for Rs.925.00 towards fee for supply of the documents.

1

9. Annexure 8: Copy of the potentially contentious covering letter to the documents containing inadequate and irrelevant information, received from the AGM of SPORTS, dated 15-06-2013

1

10. Annexure 9: Copy of the final reminder notice dated 28-06-2013 to the Respondent No.1 & the AGM of SPORTS, requesting to furnish the remaining copies of official receipts pertaining to the ‘registry listings’ submitted to the appellant.

1

Dated this the   26 day of August, 2013.

COMPLAINANT.
D.B.BINU ,ADVOCATE
COCHIN CHAMBER OF LAWYERS,
PROVIDENCE ROAD KOCHI-18
MOB:9895135081

Principal Resources:

Corrupt business practices in the U.T. of Lakshadweep
It is well known to the majority that some of the SPORTS officials, mainly the G.M. and above, have made huge financial gains by manipulations.  The Administrators, the official custodians of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, who is shamelessly protecting  these corrupt practices, remain silent. Corrupt business practices in the U.T. of Lakshadweep

D B Binu vs UT Of Lakshadweep – Central Information Commission Respondents (SPORTS) are public entity, functioning under the directive of the Lakshadweep Administration, with the executive duty of conducting the Lakshadweep Tour Programmes as envisaged by the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, Government of India.  SPORTS is duty-bound, under the rules prevailing in the country, to maintain proper accounts for the income and expenditure pertaining to the Lakshadweep Tour Programmes conducted by it during every season and subject the same for auditing. These documents, it is respectfully submitted, come under the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Updates D B Binu vs Ut Of Lakshadweep – Central Information Commission 6 February, 2013: D B Binu vs Ut Of Lakshadweep – Central Information Commission

The Emergence of Land-Mafia in Lakshadweep

The small pieces land belonging to the illiterate Scheduled Tribes, one of the most impoverished and marginalized Scheduled Tribes in India, the people of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep are now being widely grabbed by the land mafia at a fast pace, with the help and connivance of corrupt officials of the Administration and SPORTS. The Emergence of Land-Mafia in Lakshadweep

Reliable information that proves cheating!

The information about the cheating by SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism & SPORTS) – a Society responsible for conducting Lakshadweep Tourism

The information about the cheating by SPORTS is startling. There have been consistent complaints about the corruption and incompetence of the SPORTS, the society functioning under the Lakshadweep Administrator for promoting Lakshadweep Tourism. But the ‘SPORTS’ purposefully ignore complaints and fail to answer any queries for redressal of grievances. http://lakshadweepforum.com/blogresources/reliable-information-that-proves-cheating/

Application for Information under Right to Information – Respondents (SPORTS) May 29, 2012
Certified copies of the information and documents in public interest with file notes and correspondence file U/S 6 (1), 6 (3) of the RTI Act on queries regarding the authorized Travel Agents and their respective contribution to SPORTS with regard to the business volume of Lakshadweep Tourism for the years 2009; 2010; & 2011 etc and other related documents. Full Text ‘D B Binu vs Ut Of Lakshadweep’: Application for Information under Right to Information – Respondents (SPORTS) May 29, 2012

Posted in Central Information Commission, Lakshadweep, Lakshadweep Corruption, Lakshadweep Cruise lines, Lakshadweep information, Lakshadweep news, Lakshadweep Tourism, Lakshadweep Vessels, M.V.Kavaratti, Minicoy, Right To Information | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Accommodation Charges at Kadmat, Minicoy, Kavaratti, Thinnakara and Bangaram Islands

Accommodation Charges at Kadmat, Minicoy, Kavaratti, Thinnakara and Bangaram Islands
25 August, 2013 Kochi

Sub: SPORTS-Lakshadweep-Revision of accommodation charges for staying packages operated by SPORTS – as per Order F.No.115/01/2013-SPORTS dated 17th August 2013 issued by Shri D. Karthikeyan, Managing Director (SPORTS)

Hon’ble Administrator & Chairman (SPORTS) approved the enhancement accommodation charges for staying packages with immediate effect vide Dairy No.1558, dated 31.07.2013.  The new rates are as follows.

ACCOMMODATION   TARIFF 2013 -2014
  Kadmat, Minicoy, Kavaratti, Thinnakara and   Bangaram

Name of   package(ISLAND) Category   of Rooms No. of   Room Double Single Extra   bed
Marine   Wealth Awareness Programme (KADMAT) Super   Deluxe (A/C)  5 10000 8000 4000
Deluxe   (A/C) 10 8000 6000 3500
Standard   (A/C)   6 6000 5000 3000
Standard   (Non-A/C) 13 4000 3000 2000
Swaying   Palm –Programme (MINICOY) Deluxe   (A/C) 12 8000 6000 3500
Standard   (A/C) 10 6000 5000 3000
Taratashi   Programme (KAVARATTI) Deluxe   (A/C) 6 8000 6000 3500
Tent   (THINNAKKARA) 10 8000 6000 3000
Tent   (BANGARAM) 10 10000 8000 4000

Rates in Indian Rupees

Peak Season:
The rates for the month of December will be 10% higher than the normal rate and for the month of February and March will be 10% lower than the normal rate.

Resource: MintValley Tourism Division

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Colombo Dockyard launches 400 passenger vessel ‘MV Corals’

Colombo Dockyard launches 400 passenger vessel ‘MV Corals’
23 August 2013

The Colombo Dockyard launched a 400 Passenger cum 250 Ton Cargo Vessel ‘MV Corals’ Thursday, built for the Union Territory of Lakshadweep Administration, Government of India. Shri J. Ashok Kumar Secretary PSA — UTLA took part in the launch. This is the first of two vessels being built.

The launching ceremony was attended to by Shri P. Migdad, Director PSA-UTLA, Capt. Venunath PMS LDCL, Shri B.P. Rai Vice President SB-SCI, Shri. B. Chakravarty General Manager TS&SB-Sd, Ms. V. Lalitha Devi DM- Sd, Shri Manish Counselor – Economic & Commercial of the Indian High Commission.

The vessel is designed by world renowned ship design company, Global Maritime Brevik AS of Norway (formerly known as GL Noble Denton/ Brevik Engineering) and the detailed design engineering is performed by Neilsoft Ltd of India. This cooperation enabled the convergence of specialists in their respective fields to achieve the best design solutions and Colombo Dockyard performed the arduous task of product realization.

The Passengers will have different categories of accommodation. There will be 10 first class, 40 second class and 350 normal class passenger transportation facilities. All passenger compartments shall be fully air conditioned using an air conditioning system consisting of central air handling unit and refrigerating plant, designed on the basis of environment friendly refrigerant chilled water system.

Length overall 97.00 m Breadth mid – 17.00 m Depth 9.20 m Design Draft – 4.20 m First Class 10 persons Fuel Oil – 400 T Second Class 40 persons Fresh Water -450 T Bunk Class 350 persons Dry Cargo – 200 T Crew 69 persons Endurance – 10 days @15 knots Speed 15 knots Deadweight 1200 dwt Main Engines 2 x YANMAR each engine developing 1920 kW Propulsion 2 x BERG Controllable Pitch Propellers

The vessel is dually classed meeting class rules of Lloyds Register of Shipping and Indian Register of Shipping and statutory rules applicable for a vessel of this type. MV Corals is equipped with all facilities and has been built according to international standards. The Vessel is to be manned by a crew of 69 who will also be provided with comfortable and elegant living quarters matching the world standards available on a vessel of this class.

Principal particulars of the Vessel, please see the previous report: Colombo Dockyard lays keel for new passenger ship for Govt of India http://lakshadweepforum.com/news/colombo-dockyard-lays-keel-for-new-passenger-ship-for-govt-of-india/

Video: Colombo dockyard launches 400 passenger vessel ‘MV. Corals’ http://www.dailymirror.lk/caption-story/34216-colombo-dockyard-launches-400-passenger-vessel-mv-corals.html

Cruises India News

CruiseLines India explores the market for CruiseLines travel in India. It would have a detailed list of the CruiseLine Operators, their Ships, Facilities, Travel Packages, Schedules, Destinations, Port Details and much more to interest the travelers and operators around the world. The geographical position, beautiful coastline and the exotic beaches of India makes her a popular destination for Cruisers. It is no surprise that the early voyages by Vasco da Gama, the famous Portuguese sea-farer and explorer set sail from Lisbon and finally landed at Calicut, malabar coast 500 years back. Capture the spirit of adventure, fun and mysticism by visiting India on a Cruise Line. http://www.cruiselinesindia.com/cruise_news.htm

Posted in Cruise Tourism, Cruises India News, Lakshadweep Cruise lines, Lakshadweep information, Lakshadweep news, Lakshadweep Vessels, MV Corals | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Emergence of Land-Mafia in Lakshadweep

The Emergence of Land-Mafia in Lakshadweep
07 Aug, 2013 Kochi

The never-ending exploitation and harassment of Scheduled Tribe people of the Lakshadweep Islands by land mafia. The small pieces land belonging to the illiterate Scheduled Tribes, one of the most impoverished and marginalized Scheduled Tribes in India, the people of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep are now being widely grabbed by the land mafia at a fast pace, with the help and connivance of corrupt officials of the Administration and SPORTS.

These land owners are made to believe that their lands are being taken over on leave for being utilized for profitable activities and that higher returns will be paid to them in the coming years.  Factually, once the lease agreements are signed by the illiterate land owners, they stand to lose the lands.

The process of taking over their lands on lease is going on very fast in the Lakshadweep Islands.  This is not a fabricated tale, but a verifiable fact.  It is, therefore, most important and essential for the higher authorities to intervene in this serious matter to safe-guard the interests of the poor islanders.  Otherwise, they will be thrown to a situation where they will “between the Devil and Deep Sea”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pay more or return Lakshadweep: Arakkal family

Pay more or return Lakshadweep: Arakkal family
P Sudhakaran, TNN | Jul 25, 2013

KANNUR: The Arakkal family has raised an apparently bizarre demand after the row over the disputed KeyiRubath property in Saudi Arabia. The only Muslim family to have ruled a kingdom in the state has asked the Union government to either return the Lakshadweep Islands to it or revise the malikhana (compensation) being given to it.

 Five islands of Lakshadweep, which were under Arakkal rule, were given to the British on December 15, 1908, after a prolonged battle. In return, it was decided that Rs 23,000 would be given annually in 12 monthly instalments to the ruler of the family. Besides, a one-time compensation of Rs 70,000 was also given.

 ”The demand might sound weird but we have justification for the same,” said Muhammed Rafi Adiraja, son of Arakkal beevi Sainaba Ayishabi and a trustee of the Arakkal royal trust that raised the demand.

 ”At that time it was a huge amount, but even after over 100 years, we are being given the same amount. We feel humiliated to take the beevi every month to the treasury to collect the monthly instalment of Rs 1,916.12,” Rafi said. “The beevi is now bedridden. While all the royal families are given various benefits, including pension, we are denied the respect we deserve.”

 He said the palace of the family, Arakkal kettu, was declared a protected monument by the archaeological department but it was facing neglect. “If we calculate the present value of the amount settled with the company for the islands, it would run into crores. We are not demanding a huge amount but a reasonably good sum required for a respectable living for the royal family that gave its assets to the state.”

 Rafi said they would submit a memorandum to the central ministers and the state government. “We will be compelled to think of a legal battle to regain our rights if the government does not meet our demand.”

 Mohammed Koyamma Adiraja, another trust member, said the issue was brought to the attention of the state and the central governments on many occasions in the past. She said a memorandum to revise the mallikhana was submitted to Union minister P Chidambaram in March 2010.

 The family had recently entered into a dispute over the Rs 5,000-crore compensation from the Saudi government for demolishing Keyi Rubath, a bungalow built in Mecca for Haj pilgrims from Kerala, with the Keyi family.

Source: Pay more or return Lakshadweep: Arakkal family http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/Pay-more-or-return-Lakshadweep-Arakkal-family/articleshow/21318217.cms

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Legal row hits tourist spots in Lakshadweep

Legal row hits tourist spots in Lakshadweep
10th June 2013 By Anil S | ENS – Kochi

Tourism, which was a huge source of revenue for Lakshadweep islands once, has been facing a major crisis. Caught in legal battles between the administration and tourism operators, the tourist resorts at Bengaram and Agatti islands – two widely sought-after destinations in Lakshadweep – have been closed for the past couple of years.

Other than causing huge revenue loss, it has severely affected employment opportunities in the islands also.

“The island resorts at Bengaram and Agatti used to be popular among tourists. The resort at Bengaram was closed in 2010 while operations of Agatti resort was shut down in 2011. Both the issues are currently before different courts. Closing down of the resorts has affected the economy of the islands. It’s high time the administration and the officials took steps to solve the issues,” pointed out T Muthukoya, who was operating Agatti Island Beach Resort.

Similar is the issue of Bangaram Island Resort, which was operated by the Casino Group for over 20 years.

They took the property on lease from SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports), which used to renew the agreement every five years.  In 2009-10, SPORTS floated global tenders to operate the resort. The Casino Group approached the court against this pointing out that as per the agreement, they have the right to run the resort for 25 years. Later the issue became complex with a bunch of petitions from the landowners of Bangaram.

The landowners had pointed out that according to the Lacadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (Protection of Scheduled Tribe) Regulation, 1964, and Lacadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (Land Revenue and Tenancy) Regulation, 1965, the land in the islands cannot be transferred to people from outside. The issue is currently before the Supreme Court. “Developmental activities in Lakshadweep islands have been badly hit by the closedown of resorts,” said Jose Dominic, MD of CGH Earth Group.

“It’s a sad story after the resorts closed down. The resorts and related activities were major sources of livelihood for locals. After that no developmental activity is taking place there.

Local establishments were also hit. It seems there’s a policy paralysis regarding Lakshadweep in Delhi,” he said.

“Operations of these resorts was a source of revenue for the administration while provided jobs to locals. About 80 per cent of the employees were locals. These resorts used to give about 30 per cent of their revenue as lease amount which comes to above `1 crore,” said P K Kassali, former tourism officer at the Lakshadweep islands.

There is a demand for promoting the concept of lagoon villas. “The Lakshadweep islands with vast lagoons can host hundreds of lagoon villas in Minicoy, Kalpeni, Agatti, Kadmat, Suheli and Bangaram. The authorities should be positive to accept these facts while framing the tourism policy for the island,” demanded A Misbah, president of the Lakshadweep ST Welfare Association.

Legal row hits tourist spots in Lakshadweep http://newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Legal-row-hits-tourist-spots-in-Lakshadweep/2013/06/10/article1628234.ece

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘It seemed our life would end in the middle of Arabian Sea’

‘It seemed our life would end in the middle of Arabian Sea’
May 20, 2013  Kochi The Hindu

Couple on trip to Lakshadweep islands recounts their horrifying experience; boat accident claimed 5 lives on Saturday

At Lakshadweep, the tropical blue sky and the serene wash of turquoise sea water on the finest powdery white sand promise a thoroughly relaxed mood to the tourists. But the journey to the tiny dot of heaven could be extremely stressful and perilous.

On Saturday morning, five people onboard a trawler drowned after the boat capsized while ferrying around 30 from Amini island to Kadamat, a distance of over a kilometre. Some of the tourists on their way to the islands too are often taken on a ride close to death. A couple who went recently on a honeymoon to the islands recounted a life-threatening trip.

To get to the islands, tourists usually depend on ferries run by government agencies. But the couple had to make use of a fishing boat as the ferry did not operate that day.

Sampat and Soumita, working in Kolkata, had planned to visit three islands — Agatti, Kadmat and Kavaratti. The couple reached Agatti after a one-and-a-half hour journey by flight from Kochi, and were supposed to take a ferry service to Kadmat island as arranged by the tour operator. As the ferry was cancelled, they were asked to opt for a ‘Pablo’ boat to reach Kadmat, for which they had to pay an extra Rs.18,000.

“We were told that tourists were not allowed to stay in Agatti as the existing resorts had been closed down due to some ongoing court cases. By then, all arrangements had been made and therefore, we unwillingly parted with the amount,” said Mr. Sampat.

The ‘Pablo’ boat was nothing more than a crude fishing boat. The couple pushed off around 3 p.m. to Kadmat. We were told the journey would take about four hours. “The boat had no seats and we settled on the edge of a raised platform from where a boatman controlled the engine and the rudder”. After two hours, the soft rolling waves became menacing and started crashing onto the sides of the boat. “The wind picked up pace and the boat was swaying dangerously. The sea became darker and the light was fading. We could see life jackets on the floor, about six feet away from us and felt reassured that, in the worst case, we could just grab those.”As the sea grew wilder, the waves started crashing fiercely onto the deck. “As the sea was choppy, we thought it would be a good idea to wear the lifejackets. But the six feet between us and the lifejackets seemed like an endless gorge. We had just started a new life and it seemed as if it would end in the middle of the Arabian Sea”. Certain lights were visible at a distance and it was from the island Amini. It would take another half an hour to reach Kadmat.

“We were sailing in pitch black darkness. The sea, which had calmed down a bit near Amini island, again picked up from where it had left off. We sailed in the darkness for another half hour, clinging to each other till light was seen from Kadmat island. It was 9 p.m. by the time the boat entered the lagoon and berthed at the boat jetty. The journey which should’ve taken over three hours, lasted six hours. “We were glad to touch the ground, and gladder to be alive.”

Source: Couple on trip to Lakshadweep islands recounts their horrifying experience http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/it-seemed-our-life-would-end-in-the-middle-of-arabian-sea/article4730435.ece?ref=relatedNews

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five drown in Lakshadweep boat capsize

Five drown in Lakshadweep boat capsize
May 19, 2013 Kochi  The Hindu

Five persons on board a crowded fishing trawler drowned after the vessel capsized near Kadamat island in Lakshadweep on Saturday morning. Two of them were children.

Twenty-four others either swam to safety or were rescued by local people and the coastal police. Police sources said the vessel, Al Ameen, capsized when the passengers thronged to one side of the vessel on learning that its engine had failed. The condition of a couple of passengers was stated to be critical.

The trawler was ferrying people from Amini island to Kadamat, a distance of just over a km. It was not known as to how many people were on board, but no one has been reported missing so far.

Victims

Following is the list of victims released by the Lakshadweep Administration: Moosa, 45; Mohammed Koya, 55, a driver with the Public Works Department; Saina, 50, his wife, all from Amini; and young Rubina and Alfiya from Kadamat. The parents of the two children managed to escape, sources said.

With no other mode of water transport available between the isles, Al Ameen and another trawler ferry people to and fro in the morning and evening every day except Fridays.

The neighbouring islands belong to the Amindivi sub-group of islands, located in the central part of Lakshadweep. Kadamat has an area of just over 3 sq km and a population of over 5,000. It is located about 75 km from Kavaratti, headquarters of Lakshadweep.

The administration has offered Rs.1.5 lakh to next of kin of the victims as relief.

Source: Five drown in Lakshadweep boat capsize http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/five-drown-in-lakshadweep-boat-capsize/article4727903.ece?ref=relatedNews

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Italian marines return to India to face trial

Italian marines return to India to face trial
March 22, 2013

Two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen have returned to Delhi for trial, Indian officials have said, as diplomatic tensions ease. The pair landed in an Italian military plane, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura. The Italian government said it had received assurances about the men’s treatment and their human rights.

The move overturns a decision on 11 March by the Italian foreign ministry that the marines would not go back because the decision to try them in India violated their rights. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone who had been on bail awaiting trial, were allowed to fly back to Italy for the February 2013 general election on condition that they returned to stand trial by 22 March.

Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini gave his personal assurance that they would return within four weeks. But Rome then decided that they would not fly back to Delhi, arguing that India was violating international law by putting them on trial, as the shooting had taken place in international waters. Rome proposed putting them on trial in Italy.

Full text:Italian marines return to India to face trial http://www.reparationlaw.com/news/italian-marines-return-to-india-to-face-trial/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982
20 March, 2013
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The year 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS” or “the Convention”), which, as at 24 October 2012, has 164 parties, including the European Union.

Ecuador and Swaziland deposited their instruments to become party on 24 September 2012. UNCLOS was opened for signature at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 10 December 1982 and entered into force on 16 November 1994. One of its implementing agreements, namely the 1994 Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS, was adopted on 28 July 1994 and entered into force on 28 July 1996.

The regime for oceans and seas established by ‘UNCLOS’ deals with a wide range of issues on ocean affairs and recognizes that the problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole.

Resource Centre

UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 – Full Text http://www.reparationlaw.com/resources/unclos-united-nations-convention-on-the-law-of-the-sea-of-10-december-1982/

CLIMATE CHANGE Temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, glaciers and snow are melting, and…Climate change is happening now http://www.reparationlaw.com/climatechange/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Air India resume operations between Cochin and Agatti Island

Air India resume operations between Cochin and Agatti Island
27 Feb 2013 Kochi

Kochi; Air India  will resume operations between Cochin and Agatti  from March 1.  The ATR aircraft will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The flight will depart Cochin at 10.20 am  and arrive into Agatti at 11.40 am. The   return departure from Agatti will be at 12 noon and the flight will land  at  Cochin at  1. 20 pm, an official  release said here.

Agatti Tour Programmes & Watersports The calm Lagoons of the island is an ideal location for Watersports. Explore the underwater world, enjoy the sublime seascapes. The lagoons here are huge and shallow, leaving a lot of space for a good swim. Snorkel trips are organized to nearby islands, Bangaram, Thinnakara reefs etc.

The waters off these islands are abound with sport fish like Tuna, Kingfish, Barracuda, Shark, Snappers, Stonefish to name a few. There is a unique method of fishing called the Poll and Line system available at Lakshadweep Only. Guests are offered options according to their interests: Hardcore fishing fans can take the boats for deep sea fishing, where as those looking for leisure fishing will enjoy Lagoon fishing. And the best part is you can barbeque what you catch.

Ports

The development of dependable transport system between the mainland and the island and the inter-island sectors is the key to the socio-economic development of the territory.

The Perspective Plan (2000- 2015) for 15 years on shipping requirement of the Union Territory is being implemented. The plan envisages acquisition of 22 new vessels of different categories including a dedicated tourist ship and a collector mother vessel for fisheries. Consequent upon the approval of GOI, one 250 passenger cum 100MT cargo ship, two 150 passenger inter island high speed vessel, one 150 MT oil barge, two landing barges and a bullard tug are at various stages of acquisition. Sea lanes being the connecting arteries between various islands, PMGSY funds are being utilized to acquire three 50 passenger and one 15 passenger inter island high speed vessels. Read more: http://www.emeraldislands.com/index.htm

Welcome to the Lakshadweep   The Lakshadweep archipelago 8o N – 12o 30’ N, 71o E – 74o E), an Union Territory of India is located about 380 – 400 km off Kochi in the Arabian sea. There are 36 islands including 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks covering an area of 32 km2 with a lagoon occupying an area of about 4200 km2. The Lakshadweep  http://www.thelakshadweep.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment