With lavish feast & floral decks, colourful Onam for Keralites post-floods

first_img Press Trust of India ThiruvananthapuramSeptember 11, 2019UPDATED: September 11, 2019 15:07 IST Women celebrating Onam (Photo: PTI)Keralites on Wednesday celebrated their biggest and most-awaited harvest festival, Onam with traditional fervour and gaiety, shrugging off the frightening memories of horrendous floods that had washed awaytheir festival dreams last year.Tight security in the wake of a terror attack warning and incessant rains in some places did not dampen the overall festive mood and ecstatic spirit of the people.Special security arrangement was put in place at all major festival venues across the state based on a recent information received by the Army thatthere may be a terror attack in southern parts of the country.Though Onam has a Hindu myth behind it, it has assumed a secular dimension over the centuries and people, cutting across caste, class and religion, are taking part in the celebrations in unison.Wearing “onakkodi’ (new cloths), people decorated their homes with ‘pookkalam’ (floral decks) to welcome mythical king Mahabali, the righteousdemon king who is believed to visit his subjects on the auspicious ‘thiruvonam’ day of the Chingam month in the Malayalam calendar.Legend has it that the Devas (Gods), who were envious of Mahabali’s popularity, managed to get him pushed down to the netherworld with the support of Lord Vishnu.But he was allowed to return to Kerala on Thiruvonam day every year and Keralites celebrate Onam as the homecoming of the mythical king reviving the memories of his bygone reign known forpeace, prosperityand equality.Sumptuous feast, popularly known as ‘sadya’, was prepared in homes with a large number of traditional dishes and sweet delicacies serving on plantain leaves.advertisementSpecial ‘thiruvona sadya’ was offered at major temples including Sree Padmanabhas Swamy Temple here for devotees to mark the occasion.A host of traditional sports like ‘onapanthu’ and ‘thalapanthu’ (ball games), ‘vadamvali’ (tug of war), ‘uriyadi (breaking the swinging earthen pot) and ‘oonjalattam’ (playing on swings) followed the feast in many places especially in villages.Local clubs and residence associations have organised several such games and cultural programmes to entertain people and to make the festival a memorable occasion.As a rampaging monsoon had claimed over 400 lives and destroyed houses and livelihood of people with many housed in relief camps, festivities were the last thing to come up in the minds of Keralites last year.Though over hundred people had lost their lives and a large number of houses were destroyed or damaged, the state government has decided to go ahead with its Onam celebrations this year as it would help people overcome the traumatic experience and focus on putting their lives back on track.PresidentRam Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the top leaders who wished people a happy and prosperous Onam through social media.Interestingly, all of them chose the language, Malayalam, the mother tongue of the Keralites, to wish people during the occasion.In a tweet, Kovind said “greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens, particularly to our brothers and sisters from Kerala in India and abroad, on Onam.May this harvest festival bring immense joy and prosperity to each one of us.”Modi tweeted that the Onam may further the spirit of happiness, well-being and prosperity in the society.The day also witnessed a hunger strike in front of the office of the state Public Service Commission (PSC) here by a group of Malayalam language lovers demanding the agency to conduct all recruitment examinations in Malayalam.The week-long Onam celebrations, organised by the stage government got off to a colourful start last evening with the musical performance of national award-winning playback singer,S Chitra.Also Read | Mamata Banerjee hopes Malayalees will overcome pain caused by floodAlso Watch | Sombre Onam in flood-hit KeralaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byManisha Pandey With lavish feast & floral decks, colourful Onam for Keralites post-floodsSpecial security arrangement was put in place at all major festival venues across the state based on a recent information received by the Army that there may be a terror attack in southern parts of the country.advertisementlast_img read more

Burlassic Park moves location for Games 3 and 4

The city of Burlington has announced it will be moving the location of the popular ‘Burlassic Park’ viewing party due to construction at city hall.The city has been hosting the free event for fans to watch the Toronto Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.City officials say the location is being moved from Civic Square outside of Burlington City Hall to the Central Park Bandshell for Games 3 and 4. Viewing parties for Games 5, 6 and 7 will be back at Civic Square in downtown Burlington.Thousands of fans filled ‘Burlassic Park’ for the Games 1 and 2 of the championship series.The viewing party for Wednesday’s game is set to begin at 8:30 p.m.🏀🚨Burlington’s hugely popular #BurlassicPark is moving to the Central Park Bandshell for Games 3 and 4 due to construction work at City Hall. Games 5, 6 and 7 will be at Civic Square in downtown #BurlON. //t.co/EMnmpslFlP #WeTheNorth #Raptors @raptors 🚨🏀 pic.twitter.com/gecepmsUMZ— City of Burlington (@cityburlington) June 5, 2019 read more

UN mission to remain in Afghanistan another year Security Council decides

Renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by another 12 months, the Security Council today stressed the importance of extending central authority across the whole country and disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating all armed factions.By unanimous agreement, the Council adopted a resolution continuing the work of UNAMA, which has been in place since March 2002, until at least this time next year.The Council acted in response to a recommendation by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose latest report on Afghanistan calls for the extension in order to consolidate gains achieved so far.By today’s resolution, the Council also resolved to encourage Afghan authorities to make sure the national presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year are as inclusive and representative of the country’s demographics as possible.Next week in Berlin, representatives of the international community will meet over two days to discuss how to help Afghanistan in its reconstruction following years of war, instability and the defeat of the Taliban regime in late 2001. read more

Faulty electronic tags could have seen offenders wrongly sent back to jail

first_imgEquipment used to monitor dozens of offenders or suspects in the community is faulty, it has emerged.Straps used to secure electronic monitoring tags could incorrectly trigger an alert suggesting they have been tampered with.Tests indicate that more than 100 of the straps are faulty, while a small number of individuals may have been wrongly placed behind bars.The Liberal Democrats claimed it was a “colossal blunder”, while the Government insisted there was no risk to the public. Faulty electronic tags could have resulted in offenders being wrongly returned to prison https://t.co/UXWCu9CsRk (by @haydsmith) pic.twitter.com/cquc4d8aeZ— Press Association (@PA) March 28, 2017 Ministry of Justice MoJ staff notified Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS), which provides the electronic monitoring service, of an increase in the number of alerts raised when equipment worn by an offender or suspect is tampered with.This was investigated by EMS and G4S, which supplies straps and electronic tags used to monitor offenders and suspects who have a curfew as part of their sentence or bail. Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said there was a “small chance” that some “enforcement action” might have been taken against an offender or suspect in response to a false report of tampering.”It does not mean an individual will have been automatically sent to custody,” he said.”A single tamper alert without any additional evidence of an escalation of risk is likely to result in an alternative outcome, such as a warning letter.”So it is unlikely that a first tamper on its own will result in an offender being recalled.”Officials said that if any individuals had been returned or sent to custody, the number was likely to be small. At the end of last month, G4S informed the ministry of an issue with faulty straps.Mr Gyimah said: “We understand that the number of affected straps is small. Only straps that have entered the system since October 2016 are affected.”This is the point at which the batch of potentially faulty straps entered circulation. G4S has been testing straps. That testing indicates that around 1% (115) of the 11,500 straps in use today are faulty.”If no tampering with the tag has been registered, they have operated as normal. Where a strap is faulty, however, there is a risk that it could incorrectly register that somebody has tampered with it.”He stressed that the monitoring functions of the tags themselves are not affected and the security features within them have been working correctly.”Therefore, there has been no risk to the public,” the minister added.”G4S has introduced further quality checks with the strap manufacturer to ensure that no more faulty straps enter the supply chain. The taxpayer will bear no cost for the faults.”Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for an urgent review, saying: “People may have been wrongly sent back to prison because of this Government’s sheer ineptitude.”David Byrne, managing director for G4S Monitoring Technologies, said it identified a “manufacturing defect” in approximately one per cent of two specific batches of tag strap clips.He said: “This fault posed no risk to the public and has now been rectified with our supplier and the new clip production process has been tested and independently certified by the Ministry of Justice’s approved test laboratory.” The MoJ noticed an increase in the number of alerts raised when equipment is tampered withCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley  Work to replace all potentially faulty strips is under way, while courts have been informed of the problem. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more