Chennai First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Chennai, Tamilians and all the People of TamilNadu – here at Home and Overseas
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    January 31st, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    There’s something about physically desirable men that makes women go weak in the knees at their very mention.

    Then there are those who are desirable on a cerebral level. This year, the Times 50 Most Desirable Men 2011 has a mix of several such names. You voted in numbers and rated the men on their DQ (Desirability Quotient). Based on these results, we have come up with a shortlist of drool-worthy hunks. Voting ended on January 15 and 3.74 lakh votes were polled on who made the cut rank high on the Times 50 Most Desirable Men 2011, a list of the year’s sexiest and most successful men in the country. Should last year’s winner Hrithik Roshan be worried? Look out for the final 1-50 ratings to be announced shortly.

     Hrithik Roshan

    THE TIMES 50 MOST DESIRABLE MEN 2011 Aamir Khan Abhay Deol Abhishek Bachchan Ajay Devgn Ajith Akshay Kumar Ali Zafar Arjun Rampal Arunoday Singh Atif Aslam Dhanush Dino Morea Emraan Hashmi Farhan Akhtar Hrithik Roshan Imran KhanJackky Bhagnani John Abraham Karan Johar Karan Singh Grover Kunal Kapoor Mahesh Babu MS Dhoni Muzammil Ibrahim Neil Nitin Mukesh Prateik Babbar Rahul Gandhi Rahul Sharma Rajat Barmecha Rajeev Khandelwal Rana Daggubati Ranbir Kapoor Ranveer Singh Rannvijay Singh Riteish Deshmukh Salman Khan Saif Ali Khan Shahid Kapur Shah Rukh Khan Siddharth Siddharth Mallya Sonu Nigam Sonu Sood Suriya Vijender Singh Vidyut Jamwal Vikram Kennedy Virat Kohli Yuvraj Singh Zaheer Khan

    New entrants in 2011 Arunoday Singh After playing a foul-mouthed, kiss-frenzied slacker in Yeh Saali Zindagi and a cool dude in Aisha, Arunoday’s stocks are on the rise.

    Dhanush   With a National Award-winning performance in 2011’s Aadukalam and a ‘leaked’ video of the recording of Why This Kolaveri Di becoming an international sensation, it was Dhanush’s year.

    Jackky Bhagnani With F.a.l.t.u., Jackky redeemed himself with a spirited performance and was rewarded with box office success.

    Rana Daggubati One-film old Rana set female hearts aflutter in Dum Maaro Dum and won a certain Bongshell’s heart too, albeit briefly.

    Rajat Barmecha A refreshing young actor, Rajat took flight with Udaan and showed the mettle he was made of.

    Sonu Niigaam The singer-actor kept busy, most notably recording a song with one of the world’s youngest DJs, Avicii.

    Sonu Sood Physically in great shape, Sonu showed that even a hunk can play down his physicality, play up his buffoonery and still come away smelling like a rose.

    Virat Kohli A darling of ad filmmakers and brands alike, this young cricketer has bowled several maidens over. Is Bollywood on the horizon?

    Vidyut Jamwal Touted as the next John Abraham, the newcomer got heads turning and many gals swooning.

    2010 qualifiers who did not make it in 2011 Aditya Roy Kapoor, Akshay Oberoi, Ashmit Patel, Ayaan Ali Khan, Bobby Deol, Faruk Kabir, Freddy Daruwala, Gaurav Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Karan Kundra, Karun Chandok, Meiyang Chang, Nandish Sandhu, Purab Kohli, Randeep Hooda, Rahul Khanna, Sahil Shroff, Sanjay DuttShabbir Ahluwalia, Shiv Pandit, Vir Das

    source: / Bollywood> News & Interviews / TNN / January 30th, 2012

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    TWENTY-FIVE new jobs will be created when Britain’s fastest growing chain of Indian restaurants opens in Stretford Mall.

    The two floor, 125 cover restaurant, at the front of the mall on Chester Road will bring South Indian cuisine to the busy shopping centre.

    Known as ChennaiDosa, the company opened its first restaurant in London in 2003 and this will be its 11th.

    General Manager Suresh Baskar and Stretford Mall Operations Manager Mike Russell 

    General Manager and chef, Suresh Baskar, said: “We looked at venues all over Manchester, including the city centre, but we felt the Stretford Mall had the right location for us because it has a good car park for our customers and it gives us the opportunity to bring something very new to Stretford with no other restaurants like us nearby. We liked the idea of being in with a community rather than in the very crowded environment of the city centre.

    “We are already a very well established brand and people know and love our food so trust me when I say that people will visit from all over to come to our restaurant so it will be a great addition for Stretford.”

    Colin McCrory, Stretford Mall manager, said the opening of ChennaiDosa was a very exciting new development and would offer a terrific new restaurant for the whole community.

    He said: “ChennaiDosa is going to offer another very good reason to come to the Stretford Mall and offer the community a chance to sample some wonderful cultural cookery.

    “It will create a substantial amount of new jobs for the area to add to more than 750 jobs which the mall and its retailers already provide.

    “I think it will be a tremendous draw for new and existing customers and reflects the positive developments which are happening at Stretford Mall all as we move into 2012.”

    The restaurant chain has a menu heavily influenced by the staple food and flavours of South India, where Suresh is from and learnt his skills as a chef.

    One of the main dishes on the menu is dosa, a thin, spicy pancake made from fermented rice and lentils which can be served plain with chutneys or with different types of curry. Customers will also find idly which are small, round steamed rice cakes also particular to the Southern region of India.

    Suresh has spent 25 years in the hotel and restaurant industry and trained as a chef while working for the Sheraton hotel group.

    Originally from Chennai, the capital city of the Southern Indian state of Tamilnadu, Suresh has worked tirelessly over the last eight years to help build up the business and bring the culinary delights of his homeland to his customers.

    He said: “People rely on us for our quality, the wonderful taste of our food and our service and that is why we have been successful and what we are seeking to bring to Stretford.

    “For those who already know the type of food we cook, they say it is a chance to taste the flavours of home which makes them very happy.

    “But it is also a chance for others to try a different type of Indian food and the feedback we get is amazing.”

    source: / News / Monday, January 30th, 2012

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    January 31st, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    THIS is in response to Ariff Shah’s letter on Ponggal festival (“Ponggal is not Tamil New Year” — NST, Jan 17).

    Ponggal is harvest festival celebrated by Tamilians

    He had refuted my contention that Ponggal is the Tamil New Year.

    Chitirai, which has a religious tag, cannot be a New Year for all Tamils, as there are Tamil Muslims, Tamil Christians, Tamil Buddhists and Tamil atheists who would not celebrate a festival with Hindu connections.

    To overcome this problem, K. Sarangapani, a leader of Tamils in Malaysia and Singapore, a few decades ago advocated that the first of Thai  be  observed as the  Tamil New Year.

    Ariff  questioned the credibility of the event at which 500 Tamil scholars in India discussed and decided that Ponggal should be the Tamil New Year.

    There is ample evidence about that meeting and almost all prominent Tamil scholars attended it under the leadership of Maraimalai Adigal on Jan 18, 1935 at Pachaiappan College, Chennai.

    At that meeting, Maraimalai Adigal proved through his research that Tiruvalluvar was born 30 years before Christ. Some of the illustrious Tamil scholars who were present at the conference were Professor Namachivayam, K.S. Pillai, Sachithanandam, N.M. Vengadesasamy, V. Kalyanasundaram, Somasundara Bharathiyar, U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, K.V.P. Visvanatham and poet Bharathithasan.

    It should be noted that not all who participated had an affiliation to Periyar’s Dravidian Movement. In fact there were many staunch Hindu leaders and Brahmins among those who attended.

    It was decided at that conference that the Tamil New Year should be based on the birth of Tiruvalluvar and that first of Thai  should be celebrated as Ponggal and the Tamil New Year.

    Dr. M. Varatharajan, a well known Tamil research scholar, has said that in the early period the Tamils celebrated Thai as their New Year and not Chitirai and that is the reason why Ponggal is being celebrated not only in the villages but also in towns and cities.

    There is also evidence that Chitirai was introduced only after the 14th century in Tamil Nadu.

    The ancient Tamil astrologers studied the revolution of the earth around the sun and noted the movement of sunlight to the north and south of the equator for six months each. The movement of sunlight towards the north was named Uthraayanam and  that towards the south as Thatchana ayanam. This is pure scientific evidence and nothing to do with religious beliefs.

    Hence it is beyond any doubt that the Ponggal festival is the Tamil New Year.

    Dr G. Johnson, Masai, Johor

    source: / New Straits Times / Letters to the Editor / January 27th, 2012

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    Ektaa Malik attended the concert where the maestro sat and heard his own compositions played by The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg

    The silence was almost eerie. The tension thick, like the Delhi fog. Pervading concentration levels of the 1500 people in attendance could alone have performed a telekinesis miracle.

    Every creak of a chair, every cough and a sneeze was discretely suppressed.  There was a marked dearth of errant cell phones ringing and the resultant glares that would be directed at the one offender. The usual cranky audience of Delhi sat in spellbound silence, very akin to a group of well disciplined school children.

    The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg could not have asked for a better atmosphere as they performed the compositions of AR Rahman, conducted and arranged by renowned orchestra conductor and music composer, Matt Dunkley. Delhi, in the august company of the Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman, sat and listened to AR Rahman.

    Named Classic Incantations its a unique project that has the German Orchestra playing select compositions of Rahman. Ranging from his early compositions from Roja, to the dated 127 Hours, they have the best of Rahman’s music on their repertoire. This venture is part of the ongoing programme series Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities, which celebrate the completion of 60 years of diplomatic relations of Germany with India.

    The stage was bathed in the milky blue light. The musical instruments onstage sparkled, as they waited in defiant splendour. The musicians took their places dressed in resplendent black and we had a concert on our hands.

    The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg with its 100 plus musicians was the perfect symphony orchestra to be playing the musical genius of Rahman. Established in the year 1993, the Orchestra is an institution in itself, having collaborated with the German metal band Rammstein, they also featured with the progressive rock band Karat. The Orchestra often performs and teams up with various artists on cross over projects in popular music and jazz.

    The first piece played was the Warriors of Heaven and Earth Suite. The 2003 Chinese film had its music done by Rahman when Sony Pictures asked him to compose in the western classical tradition. The Suite was perfect beginning to an evening that had the choicest offerings from the expanse of music by Rahman.

    The folk melody of the Theme from Lagaan was heralded by the sound of the horn. The rousing theme cast a spell, as it also had the solo rendition of Deepiga S, who gave the vocals for theTheme. Deepiga is the proud member of the KM Music Conservatory Chamber Choir which provided the background vocals for the musical compositions. The KM Musical conservatory had been started by Rahman in 2008, to train students in the techniques of western musical performance and composition, along side tutoring them in advance classical Indian music.

    The concert in addition to just featuring Rahman also had The German Orchestra give a musical tribute to all the great composers of India. They played the choicest renditions and commemorated and acknowledged their contributions to the Indian music industry.

    Featured prominently for this segment was soloist Navin Iyer, a flautist who on previous occasion had worked with Rahman on the score for Slumdog Millionaire. The Orchestra brought together the musical scores of Swades, Meenaxi, Passage, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Subhash Bose, Robot, The Rising, in conjunction with the hallmark of Rahman — Theme from Bombay and Cry of the Rose from Roja.

    The conductor of the Orchestra, Matt Dunkley was a sight to behold, as he swayed and conducted the 100 plus musicians with panache. His energy was contagious, as the musicians responded to the charged up atmosphere, and played to the gallery.

    The finale of the concert had the maestro himself take the stage with the Orchestra and together they geared up for the epic finale.  Rahman took his seat behind the piano and he was accompanied by Asad Ali Khan on the Sitar and the two played the Slumdog Millionaire Suite.

    The German Orchestra too joined in and for few minutes the auditorium resounded with the musical harmony. The reverberations were all around. The resultant applause was thunderous to say the least. When the Rahman and the Orchestra came together to take the final bow, the resounding cheer could easily have brought the roof down.

    As wave after wave of cheers and clapping greeted the performers as they were felicitated, the cry for an encore got louder.

    The German Film Orchestra and the Km Music Conservatory gave a beautiful rendition of the song Aayo Re Sakhi from the movie Water. A fittin end to a flawless evening.

    The German Film Orcshetra brought to the fore the vast variety that orchestral music can offer. Every instrument, be it percussion, or woodwinds, together they transport one to a different place. Rahman agreed, as he said when he came on stage to be felicitated, “I always go some place else when they play, leave alone the fact that they are playing my music, its just that they play it so beautifully.”

    At the beginning of the concert some one said, “This will be an emotional night, to say the least,” and yes, it was.

    source: / Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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    January 24th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technologies


    The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has asked Anna University to conduct a pilot study of unmetered connections in farms and slums in an effort to reduce transmission and distribution losses.

    TNEB officials said there are approximately 13 lakh hut connections and 19.8 lakh agricultural connections, which get free power supply. The study will help TNEB understand the consumption pattern of agriculture and hut consumers and keep tabs on distribution losses.

    The university has started the study and is expected to complete it within a year. Four members of the electrical engineering department are involved in the study.

    The agriculture sector consumes 14,000 million units of the 70,000 million units distributed by the board. “This is just a rough calculation. We supply free power to hut dwellers and farmers, but we cannot meter the use due to political compulsions,” said a senior TNEB official.

    As metering of connections is essential to understand supply and consumption, TNEB commissioned the study. “It will be a scientific study. TNEB has provided us all the details. Now we are analyzing them to find out of consumption pattern. If necessary we will make field visits,” said a faculty at the university’s electrical department.

    The study was undertaken as TNEB got reports about agricultural connections being misused. “Some farmers allow water dealers to use their connections to run pumps and draw water from wells. This is common in the western region of Tamil Nadu, including Coimbatore. Every year we detect 300 cases. During 2009-10, 329 such cases were detected and in the year before, 317,” said an official.

    “Politicians do not want to meter the agriculture connections fearing the vote bank. But it is essential to curb power theft in the sector and such a study is the only way we can understand the consumption pattern,” said the official.

    A recent study by Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group said the biggest problem facing the debt-ridden TNEB is the lack of metering of over 20 lakh farm power connections. It said TNEB routinely puts transmission losses at 18%, but that figure is not scientific, and the total annual losses are 30% to 32%, which includes farm power.

    source: City> Chennai /TNN/ by  Vivek Narayan / January 23rd, 2012

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    January 24th, 2012adminNri's / Pio's

    Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, 48, entrepreneur and CEO of AirAsia

    BORN in Kuala Lumpur in April 1964, Fernandes founded Tune Air Sdn Bhd which introduced the first budget no-frills airline, AirAsia, to Malaysians and subsequently the world, with the tagline, “Now Everyone Can Fly”.

    He rose to prominence by turning AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline and a public listed company.

    In 2007, he started a no-frills concept hotel chain under Tune Hotels. He is the team principal of the Caterham F1 Formula One team, which began racing in 2010 as Lotus Racing, and raced in 2011 as Team Lotus.

    In August 2011, he was unveiled as the majority shareholder of Queens Park Rangers and was named chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd.

    Tan Sri Vincent Tan, 60, entrepreneur and founder of Berjaya Corporation group

    Born in Johor in February 1952, Tan is the founder and chairman of Berjaya Corporation group of companies which control a wide array of businesses ranging from golfing to property, resorts and gambling.

    Tan started out as a clerk and insurance agent before going into business in the 1980s.

    He is ranked 828th on the Forbes 2010 World Billionaire list with a net worth of US$1.1bil (RM3.44bil).

    In February 2011, Tan announced that he joined “The Giving Pledge” that was initiated by Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and Warren Buffet, and to kickstart his plans, he will donate RM20mil to various charities.

    Mavin Khoo, 36, dancer

    Born in Kuala Lumpur in April 1976, Khoo is the youngest son of historian Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim. Khoo was trained in the Indian classical dance form, bharatanatyam, under Vatsala Sivadas and Vasuki Sivanesan at the Temple of Fine Arts in Kuala Lumpur. He also studied Odissi and bharatanatyam under the legendary Ramli Ibrahim and classical ballet with Lee Yu Pin.

    His main dance education was under the renowned dance maestro Padma Shri Adyar K. Lakshman in Chennai, India.

    Khoo also trained at the Cunningham Studios in New York and furthered his ballet training with Michael Beare, Marian St Claire, Nancy Kilgour and Ayumi Hikasa in London.

    Khoo is acclaimed as one of the world’s leading bharatanatyam performers.

    Reshmonu (Hiresh Haridas), 36, singer/songwriter

    Born in Malacca in March 1976, Reshmonu is known for his songs such as Walk Away, Cintaku Pergi, Hey Waley and Superfine, as well as his signature dreadlocks. His debut album in 2003,Monumental under Dhanish Records, earned him seven AIM nominations in 2004, for which he won Best Male Vocals, Best English language Artiste and Best Engineering for an album. In early 2009, he launched his first Malay album, Harapan,and in 2010, he released his first Tamil language singles, Theendathey.

    Teresa Kok, 48, politician

    Born in Kuala Lumpur in March 1964, Kok is a Member of Parliament from the Democratic Action Party (DAP). She became the first female to hold the position as political secretary to parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang from 1990 to 1995.

    In the 1999 General Election, Kok won the parliamentary seat of Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur with a majority of 5,200 and was re-elected in 2004 with a majority of 12,895, the largest winning margin among the 13 elected DAP MPs.

    In the 2008 General Election, Kok retained her parliamentary seat of Seputeh with a majority of 36,492, the largest majority in any constituency. She is currently the DAP national organising secretary, DAP Selangor chairman, and national secretary for DAP Women.

    Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 60, politician

    Born in Kedah in December 1952, Wan Azizah is wife of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. She was the Opposition leader in the Dewan Rakyat from March 2008 to July 2008. On July 31, 2008, she resigned her parliamentary seat to make way for her husband, who won the subsequent by-election on Aug 26, 2008.

    She was educated at Tunku Kurshiah College and went on to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She served as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding on volunteer work when her husband was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1993.

    Karpal Singh, 72, lawyer/politician

    Born in Penang in June 1940, Karpal has been Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor in Penang since 2004.

    Currently, he is the national chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a position he assumed in 2004. His reputation as a lawyer and opposition politician has earned him the nickname of “the tiger of Jelutong”.

    Karpal’s political career began in 1970 when he joined the DAP. In 1974, he won a seat in the Kedah state legislative assembly. He was first elected to Parliament in 1978 as the representative for Jelutong, Penang, and held the seat for more than 20 years before losing it in 1999.

    In the next general elections, Karpal returned to Parliament and led the DAP to its strongest ever performance in the 2008 general elections.

    Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, 48, politician

    Born in November 1964, Mukhriz is the third son and fifth child of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    He is a Member of Parliament for Jerlun, Kedah, and is also an appointed Malaysian member to the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

    Currently he is Deputy Minister of the International Trade and Industry Ministry. – Compiled by Sandra Low

    source: / The Star Online / Home> LifeStyle> Focus / Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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    January 22nd, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Winning notes: Jithendra Vummidi, managing director, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers, Mahendra Shetty, senior area manager, Hero Motor Corporation and Gopalakrishnan, general manager, Green Trends, with ‘Black Letters,’ winners of The Hindu NXg Rockstar–2012 held at IIT- Madras on Saturday. Photo: S.S. Kumar

    The ultimate college and high school music competition was back with a bang. The second edition of The Hindu NXg Rockstar in association with IIT-Madras’ Saarang 2012 saw eight teams rock the stage on Saturday with ‘Black Letters’ being adjudged the Rockstars of 2012. The ‘Terrorists’ was judged first runner up while ‘83 MPH’ came third.

    The three-day event kicked off with the ‘Acoustyx’ and ‘Acapella’ competitions on January 19. The second day saw teams rock it out in the preliminary round of Power Chords to make it to the finals the next day. The student activity centre witnessed some high octane music as teams continued to enthral the audience and judges alike. The teams that made it to the finals were 83 MPH, Black Letters (Kochi), Ghost Note, Totem, The Terrorists, Monkey Skulls (Manipal), Eclipse Alchemy (Thiruvananthapuram) and Iterate.

    With suffuse of talent, the judges Noble Luke, vocalist, Blind Image; Madhav Ravindranath, bassist, Grey Shack and Wayne, Manager, Media and Content Advancement at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, were trusted with the unenviable job of choosing the best. In keeping with the tag line of Rockstar “If you think you are already one, here is the platform to showcase the musician in you” the teams did just that!


    The winners of the Acapella round were the 10-member Western Music Club from Women’s Christian College.

    The winners in the Best Band category for Acoustyx were The Twelfth from Madras Christian College. The winners in the Best Band category for The Best Acapella Vocal Group were The Western Music Club. The prize for Best Own Composition was given to the band Under The Influence comprising members from SRM University and St. Michael’s Academy.

    Prizes for best male and female vocals in the Acoustics category was given to Siddharth Kotwal of Paperkraft, BITS Pilani, Goa campus and Shreya Sarah of Synchronize, Womens’ Christian College, Chennai.

    Anuj Shah of October Rush from the Vellore Institute of Technology was adjudged as the Best Guitarist, while prizes for the Best Keyboardist and the Best Percussionist and Best Bass Percussionist went to John Kirubai and David Joseph and John Jonathan from the band The Terrorists.

    In Power Chords, the Metal and Rock category, the Best Vocalist went to Black Letters, Best lead guitarist went to The Terrorists. 83 MPH won the awards for the Best Drummer and Best Bass Guitarist. The Best Keyboard award went to Totem.

    The event was followed by performances by 10-year-old drummer Aditya Sunder and Hong Kong-based band T-Bone.

    The title sponsor for the event was Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers. The associate partner was Hero Motors, style partner was Green Trends-Hair and Salon, television partner SS Music, radio partner 92.7 BIG FM, multiplex partner AGS Cinemas, event partner iads and events. The prize sponsors were Landmark, Universal Kingdom, Globus, Donut House, Witco and Fitness One.

    source: / News> Cities> Chennai / by Archana Subramanian / Chennai, January 22nd, 2012

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    For the first time since a memorial for the Indian Peace Keeping Force was established on the outskirts of Colombo, a former Commander-in-Chief of the Indian armed forces visited it on Sunday.

    “Oh defenders of my nation, you cross seas to defend nations. You are great sons of my land. We pray for you, brave hearts,” the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, wrote in the visitors’ book at the memorial.

    Mr. Kalam arrived at the memorial at 9.20 a.m. with Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha. He paid floral tributes and spent some time going around the memorial, reading the names of the 1,200 soldiers who laid down their lives fighting a war to enforce the India-Sri Lanka accord of 1987. The forces were inducted in July 1987 and the last troops left Sri Lanka in March 1990.

    Mr. Kalamth President in office between 2002 and 2007, is on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka. He witnessed the unveiling of the Tri-lingual year on Saturday and delivered a lecture on ‘Ignited Minds of the Youth is the Greatest Resource for the Nation.’

    Mr. Kalam later addressed students and scientists at the University of Moratuwa on the topic, ‘Unique You.’ Across all his meetings on Saturday and Sunday, Mr. Kalam drew huge audiences.

    Mr. Kalam and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Justice Minister in the Sri Lankan Cabinet Rauf Hakeem had a meeting.

    TNA leader R. Sampanthan and Mr. Kalam are scheduled to meet here on Monday. Ahead of this, the former President will meet students in Jaffna, talk to the Northern Province governor, and other officials that day.

    Mr. Kalam will meet Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on Tuesday before his departure

    source: / News> International / by R.K. RadhaKrishnan / Colombo, January 22nd, 2012

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     The nonprofit association Bay Area Tamil Manram will host a large Pongal-themed celebration at Jain Temple in Milpitas Saturday. The event is open to the public.

     Jain Temple in Milpitas will host a Pongal celebration on Sat., Jan. 21. Credit Prabhu Venkatesh Subramanian

    South Indians from all over the Bay Area will come together in Milpitas this Saturday for a large celebration known as  “Pongal Thiruvizha”.

    The event will take place at the Jain Temple Auditorium,  722 S. Main St., beginning at 2 p.m. and is organized by the nonprofit association Bay Area Tamil Manram (BATM).

    BATM was formed more than 30 years ago to promote the culture of Tamil Nadu, one of the 28 states of India, which lies in the southernmost part of the Indian peninsula. The region has been home to the Tamil people for thousands of years, dating back as far as 500 B.C.E., and is the birthplace of the Tamil language. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a large population of Tamilians.

    The festival this Saturday, Jan. 21, coincides with the traditional South Indian harvest festival known as “Pongal,” which marks the Winter Solstice.

    Prabhu Venkatesh Subramanian, the current president of BATM, says this weekend’s festival will be a lively one, with friendly competitions and cultural events that will stretch into the evening.

    The event is open to the public, and all are welcome.

    For more information, visit

    source: / News> Arts> The Neighbourhood files> Local Connections / by Jennifer van der Kleut

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    January 18th, 2012adminLeaders

    N. Ram announced recently that he will be stepping down as editor-in-chief of The Hindu and its associate publications.


    The veteran editor, who has been the daily’s editor-in-chief since 2003, will be vacating office on 19 January. “…In keeping with the relevant resolutions adopted by the board of directors and the shareholders on editorial succession…” Ram is reported to have said it in a mail to his employees.

    Beginning his career as an associate editor in The Hindu in 1977, Ram went on to head other publications of the group such asFrontlineThe Hindu Business Line and Sportstar and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the India government. He won accolades for his Bofors Scandal exposé during the reign of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

    source: / Media Minutes / Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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