Madras court issues order on new church in Katchatheevu

Even as per the agreement, the Indian fishermen had every right to attend the function, he claimed.The consecration ceremony was scheduled to be held yesterday, but was postponed to a later date on account of the demise of J Jayalalithaa.The petitioner blamed the Centre for not taking any step to send the fishermen there, though a representation had been made. He contended that the 111-year-old church was originally built by people from Ramanathapuram district as part of a vow after St Anthony saved the fishermen from getting stranded. The petitioner submitted that Katchatheevu was ceded to the island nation by India through a 1974 agreement. The Madras High Court bench has directed the Union Governments counsel to get instructions on permitting Tamil Nadu fishermen to attend the consecration ceremony of St Anthonys church at Katchatheevu islet in Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported.A division bench comprising Justices A Selvam and P Kalaiarasan gave the directions on a PIL by one K Thirumurugan from Ramanathapuram district, seeking a direction to the Centre and the state Government to permit fishermen and pilgrims from Tamil Nadu to participate in the consecration ceremony of newly built St Anthonys church in Katchatheevu. He prayed that the court direct the Centre to permit the fishermen to attend the function.Sri Lanka had reportedly told fishermen of that country on December 2 that no one, except the Jaffna bishop, army and navy officials and the person who built the church would be allowed to attend the ceremony.Fishermen from this coastal town, who have for long been pressing to attend the festival, had blamed the Centre for not taking any steps to send them there and said about 150 of them were determined to proceed to the islet. read more

Global Gathering Focus on Europe

International Services invites you to participate in the Global Gathering: Focus on Europe event on Wednesday, Nov. 5 in Cairns 207 and the Scotiabank Atrium. This year’s Global Gathering will be focused on Europe.The presentations begin at 11 a.m. and run until 12:15 p.m. Presentations include:• In search of the Manx sea-kings, by Dr. Andrew McDonald, Professor, Department of History• Approaching War: Childhood, Culture and the First World War project by Dr. Lissa Paul, Professor, Department of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies in Education• Student Mobility Trends in Europe, by Christina Bosilo, manager, International Learning Programs, International Services & Programs Abroad• Conservatism accounting and information environment following IFRS Adoption, by Dr. Samir Trabelsi, Associate Professor, Goodman School of Business• Music in France, by Dr. Scott Henderson, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film• To Russia with Love: Brock’s Partnership with Moscow State University, by Dr. David Schimmelpenninck, Professor, Department of HistoryPosters will be displayed in the Cairns Complex Scotiabank Atrium from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A networking luncheon will be held in the Scotiabank Atrium from 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m.On Thursday, Nov. 6, John Paul Kleiner from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Centre in Toronto will deliver the Research Opportunities in Germany faculty information session from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. in Plaza 600F. Earlier in the day, from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., history Professor Michael Driedger and his DAAD colleagues will be giving a student information session on study opportunities in Germany.All are welcome to attend all events. read more

Nepal Ban sends his condolences after earthquake hits Kathmandu Valley

The United Nations Secretary-General has sent his deepest condolences to the Government of Nepal and to everyone affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on Saturday.“The reports of the devastation are still coming in and the numbers of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continue to rise,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement released by his Spokesperson.The latest situation report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs today, said that Nepal’s Government currently reports over 700 deaths with that number expected to rise, and no figures currently available on the total number of people affected.“It is clear that very many lives have been lost,” said the statement. “There has also been significant damage to Nepal’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.”Nepal’s Government also reports that 30 of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected, mainly in western and central regions, including the country’s two largest cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara. Hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley are overcrowded, running out of room for storing dead bodies and also running short of emergency supplies.The most affected districts were reported to be Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Ramechhap. UN field offices reported that the eastern region was not badly affected and that the Terrai had been minimally affected.“On behalf of the United Nations, I thank the first responders in all the affected countries who are working around the clock to save lives,” said the statement. “The United Nations is supporting the Government of Nepal in coordinating international search and rescue operations and is preparing to mount a major relief effort.”The Government has requested international assistance in the response to the disaster, with particular importance placed on the need search and rescue capacity, medical teams, supplies and tenting for hospitals, heavy equipment for rubble removal and helicopters for transport and access to blocked areas.The President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, also expressed his deep concern and profound sorrow about the devastating earthquake. He sent his prayers and expresses the sympathy of the family of nations to Government and people of Nepal and all those affected by this disaster.Mr. Kutesa thanked all countries and entities that have responded to the emergency and he called on Member States and the international community to deploy all possible efforts to urgently assist and support the people and the Government of Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake.The Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, also expressed his deepest sympathy to those affected by the earthquake, saying he was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths and disappearance of hundreds of people, as well as the widespread destruction and displacement caused by the disaster.He added that the UNFPA stood ready to join in international efforts to give assistance to the Government and people of Nepal, expressing particular concern about the fate of pregnant women who have been affected by this tragedy, including those who might face potentially life-threatening complications. All efforts will be exerted to support their safety and the safety of their babies. read more