05 June, 2006

Kill a tiger, wear a claw

The Deccan Chronicle seemed to have forgotten that 'When the buying stops, the killing will too'. See this.

They have since issued a corrigendum (image taken from the e-paper)

30 April, 2006

Almoayyed Group's Official Statement on Engineer's Murder in Afghanistan

With profound grief we confirm receipt of official intimation about the murder of Mr. K. Suryanarayan, a cherished ,dedicated and loyal employee of Almoayed Group. At this moment of grief, we are dumbstruck at the inhumanity and cruelty faced by our colleague and declare him a martyr who has given up his life in his belief of the right to a better life for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. We strongly condemn this heinous act as inhuman and call upon all religions and countries to join us and pray to the Almighty to punish those responsible for this act in this world and beyond.

As we grieve, our resolve to continue working towards the betterment of the people and children in Afghanistan remains solid and steadfast and is further strengthened. We shall not let the sacrifice of Mr. Suryanarayan go in vain. We call upon the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh and the President of Afghanistan Mr. Karzai to lead the two nations in furthering brotherhood, respect and love for each other.

We are honoured and indebted to Mr. Suryanarayan for his contribution and commitment to the Company and the country he was working in, and his enthusiasm and dedication towards successfully achieving his goals and targets set for him while undertaking his assignment .He has indeed been a role model that will serve as an example for all. To the departed soul, we can only say that he has not left his family behind. We shall ensure the best of education for his children in order to ensure that one day they become what their father was: A man of immense dedication, zeal and commitment towards his belief...

As a mark of respect the Head Office in Bahrain and all our international offices will remain closed on Tuesday 2nd May. The Indian office will be closed for 3 days from today. All offices will observe a mourning period of one week. The Company further announces an immediate compensation of Rs 20 lakhs to the family of Mr.Suryanarayan and undertakes to take care of the complete education of his three children.

'May the Almighty provide peace to the departed soul, and love to all those on mother Earth.'

'In grief, we stand together.'

(All at Almoayed Group)

Those Dumb Questions (and stories)

Sevanti Ninan's The Hoot takes apart the Indian TV News Media's tiresome coverage of the Pramod Mahajan crisis in Those Dumb Questions.

My favourite is:

One reporter demanded to know why a mentally unstable man was given a licence for a revolver. "he is mentally unstable now. When he was given the licence he must have been ok. The police gives the licence after due enquiries. It doesn't go to a mental hospital and give out gun licences."


CNN-IBN did a story on a polling booth in Kerala where only one voter is registered, and how the election commission has to send 6 people every elections, in case he decides to vote. We're told that the 'This one voter has brought the entire Election Commission to his knees.' Yeah, right.

Then they tell us about the difficulties that CNN-IBN had to go through to get us the story - walk through leech infested jungles. They show us images of the reporters pulling out leeches and tell us patronisingly that this is what the reporters had to go through to get us that story, and CNN-IBN is a channel that'll do 'Whatever it takes'. Quite a sacrifice, innit?

Crossposted here.

27 April, 2006

N Ram pays back for the Lanka Ratna

For those few who are unaware of this N Ram the editor of The Hindu was awarded Sri Lanka Ratna, the highest civilian award that can be conferred on a foreigner in Srilanka in Nov 2005. This was for "exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to Sri Lanka in particular and\or humanity in general".

N Ram has been a consistent supporter of the Srilankan government in its war against Tamil Tigers. This is unlike most of Tamilnadu which harbours a supportive attitude towards the Tamil Eelam struggle. Nothing wrong with that, each one is entitled to his view.

But what distinguishes N Ram is his use of editorial space to blatantly twist facts in favor of the Srilankan Government. Sample his editorial today

and behind its(LTTE) attempt to foment anti-Tamil ethnic violence in Trincomalee earlier this month

The fact is Tamils were killed in various attacks in Trincomalee. But N Ram feels that Tigers orchestrated the attack on their own men so that there will be violence.

President Mahinda Rajapakse cannot be blamed if his patience is now wearing a little thin. Following the latest provocation, he ordered air and naval strikes in North-East Sri Lanka. President Rajapakse evidently wanted to send a message that he will not remain a silent onlooker as a terrorist group tries to take out the country's army chief. Still, restraint is the Government's best weapon against the LTTE

Reading this you can imagine President Mahinda Rajapakse as a benevolent man, trying hard not to fight, but being forced by the LTTE to fight. But the fact is he was elected on the basis of his hardline stance against LTTE

In a war that has been going on for 30 years both sides would have committed serious mistakes. That is what is war is about, you go to fight against something which you perceive is wrong and end up doing the samething. But according to Mr. Ram there is only one side that is responsible for the mess. And that is LTTE.

Disclaimer: I don't support LTTE or anyother organisation. I am aware of the situation in Srilanka only from newsreports. Even this second hand information clearly shows that Mr. Ram is completely biased towards the Srilankan Government.

03 April, 2006

Update # 14 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

The Prime Minister of Bahrain Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa today ordered stringent safety measures following the Thursday night ferry disaster. He called all ministries and relevant bodies to reinforce tough safety procedures and standards to protect lives and property.

But most important of all, he also pledged that legal action would be taken against all those proved to be responsible for the boat tragedy.

The Interior Minister Shaikh Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, also, reiterated the same point and vowed that all those responsible for the tragedy will be punished - even if they are government organisations.

But he was hesitant to point fingers at anyone at this early stage of the investigation but promised that the results will be announced as soon as possible, in the most transparent manner.

Shaikh Rashid, who chairs the government investigation committee into the tragedy, said that it has been divided into four sub-committees to look into the incident. The committee will look at the incident from technical, administrative, financial and legal angles.

Source: Gulf Daily News

Update # 13 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

The Awali Interdenominational Church is holding a memorial service for victims of the Dhow tragedy, tonight, 8pm @ the Rugby Club in Saar.

Contact the Church Office for more details.
Tel: 17400426

02 April, 2006

Update # 12 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

This morning's Gulf Daily News had this big headline that screamed "Death Dhow Illegal". Once again, it raises questions as to how such a dhow could have been allowed to set sail in the first place.

You can read the original news item written by Mohammed Al A'Ali here.

01 April, 2006

Update # 11 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

The following press release was posted by WS Atkins on their website. It confirms the tragic loss of 9 of its people following the boat disaster in Bahrain on Thursday night.

The nine comprise six members of staff and three relatives/friends, with a further relative/friend missing, presumed dead. A further three Atkins people survived the incident. At this stage, Atkins is able to confirm the details of eight of those who died:
Andrew Debrunner
Resident Engineer
Basanth Kumar
Senior Site Electrical Engineer
Carl Ottewell
Construction Supervisor
Jason James Brett
Assistant Project Manager
Lucinda Lamb
Wife of Jason Brett
Sameer Thorat
Resident Architect
Sandy Belch (Nee Seeger)
Wife of Scott Belch
Scott Belch
Assistant Resident Engineer

Keith Clarke, Atkins' CEO, is among senior members of staff who are in Bahrain to support the families and loved ones of those who died. He says: "The past 48 hours have been incredibly difficult for everybody within Atkins and we are still trying to come to terms with what has happened.

"The nature of our business means the victims of this tragedy have worked closely with and are known by many across the world. As a result, the number of messages of support and condolence received has been truly staggering and a real comfort to those most affected. We are doing all we can to ensure the bereaved receive as much support as possible and this will continue indefinitely."

A book of condolence will be placed at the site office in Bahrain, with further copies to be placed at Atkins' offices around the world. Atkins kindly asks members of the media to respect privacy of those affected by the disaster while they grieve.

Update # 10 Tourist Ships Sinks in Bahrain

The following are the list of people who didn't survive the ferry disaster. These are the official names of the deceased, and there is every likelihood that the 'names' may not tally with the name you are familiar with. I noticed that my friend Samir was given another name. I made necessary corrections while updating this list but felt I had to inform you about this matter just in case you wonder why your loved ones name was not on the list.

It was compiled by Gulf Daily News and the original news item can be accessed here.

South African: Jimmy Allen, Allan Jeppe, Cathy Judd, Michael Parker Partize,

Pakistan: Ammanulah Ahmaddin, wife Farzina and daughter Hina, Furqan Ali Mehaban Ali,

British: David Evans, Christopher Langham, Carl Andrew Ottewel, William Patrick Nolan, Andrew Debrunner, Stephen Grady

Ireland: Derek James Cunningham,

British/ South African: Christopher Braysher, Lawrence Sulman, Lucinda Brayet, Philip Moody, Jason James Brett,

Singapore: Foong Szechen, LimSing Wee

Germany: Scott Belch

Philippines: Norman Belardo, Edwin Felipe Batacan and Quennie Aboboto Dunca

Thailand: Orathai Cunningham, Narumon Palawat,

A separate list compiled by New Kerala, an online newspaper, posted this statewise breakdown of Indians who perished in this disaster. The original news item can be accessed if you click here.

Kerala: Sikhil Babu, Abdul Latif Abdul Wahab, Santosh Chakra Puthenpurackal, Kuthyil Mohammad. Majeed, Arby Mathews, Basant Kumar and Siru Arby

Tamil Nadu: Saravanan Kumar Murugesan, Chellappan Thirugnam and Muthukumar Murugan

Andhra Pradesh: Nag Bhushan Pilla and Mrs. Nag Bhushan Pilla

Delhi: Alok Kumar Verma and Mrs. Kirit Verma

Bihar: Mohammad Hassnein

Goa: Clarence William and Maryan Vyland

Karnataka: Sayeed Farooq Syed Ahmed and Mrs. Rabiah Farooq

Maharashtra: Samir Suhas Thorat.

And finally, here is a list of all nationalities, and includes the number of those who survived as well as perished in the disaster. The list was compiled by the Gulf Daily News and the original news item can be accessed here.

Nationality/ Survivors /Dead

Indian 30 21
British 9 13
South Africa 8 5
Singapore 2 4
Philippines 5 5
Egypt 3
Bahraini 3
Poland 1
Bangladesh 1
Pakistan 1 4
Nepal 1
US 1
Sri Lanka 1
Thailand 1 2
Germany 1
Ireland 1
South Korea 1
Total 67 57

Update# 9: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

A few minutes ago, Brian Bruce, the CEO of Murray & Roberts released the following statement on their company website while 3 more employees have been confirmed as dead:

Last night Murray & Roberts released the names of seven of its ten employees who lost their lives in Bahrain. The families of the deceased have, understandably, expressed their wishes not to be contacted directly and to be shown due respect in this time of grief.

The following Murray & Roberts employees who have been confirmed as
dead, were all residents in Bahrain:

Furqan Ali - Works Superintendent - Pakistan
Mohammed Hasnian - Project Engineer - India
Mohammed Majeed - Project Accountant -India

Read More....

If you require further details or have any information to provide, please get in touch with Brian on +27 (0)11 456 6281 or fax +27 (0)86 637 0113 or email

Update# 8: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Message from Robin Lamb, the British Ambassador to Bahrain:

The British Embassy extends
its deepest condolences to the families of those missing in the Dhow accident
off Muharraq Island on Thursday night. The Embassy is doing all that it can to
assist those affected by this tragedy.

Anyone wishing to provide details of those missing should
call the Embassy on +973 17574100, the Duty Officer
(during silent hours) on +973 39600274, or for emotional support +973 39069995 - helpline.

In addition to the support line being run for anyone wishing to talk about
their experiences, the followingorganisations may be useful in providing further
information and support around bereavement and loss:

Disaster Action –
Cruse – Bereavement Care –
7th July Assistance Centre – 7julyassistance

31 March, 2006

Update # 7 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

This is a list of survivors that I have received today. Will update more - as and when - I get hold of more information.

Filipinos who have survived:
Lilia Hermoso
Bayani Hermoso
Lanette Salgado
Segunda Siena
Hyacinth Dacay Perez
Abigail Silva
Pamela Belardo

Bahraini Survivors:
Khalil Mirza

Indian Survivors:
Jaikumar George

Source:ABC News

Singaporean Survivors:
Ng Khee Seong
Cindy Liau

Source:Channel News Asia

Update# 6: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

I was blogging previously here, but I've decided to pool efforts at CSF II along with Ashish Gorde who's also in Bahrain and lost a friend in Thursday night's boat tragedy.

Following information on the body count was posted by Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive Brian Bruce, he's the CEO of the company that is the lead contractor for Bahrain's WTC and whose employees had organized the boat party which has unfortunately been ruined by the tragic aftermath:

David Evans - Project Chairman (United Kingdom)
Will Nolan - Project Director (United Kingdom)
Stephen Grady - Finishes Manager (United Kingdom)
Chris Braysher - Commercial Manager (South Africa and United Kingdom)
Jimmy Allen - Design Coordinator (South Africa)
Lawrence Sulman - Project Engineer (South Africa)
Alan Jeppe - Engineering Surveyor (South Africa)
Cathy Judd - Partner (South Africa)

In a statement on the website Bruce has mentioned that the process of engagement with the families of the one Pakistani and two Indian employees is continuing. Murray & Roberts executives have today engaged with the families of the deceased employees from South Africa and United Kingdom and will work with them through this period of tragic loss. The survivors of the tragedy will also be supported as they come to terms with their own experiences and the loss of friends and colleagues.

Based on information to hand, 57 people are confirmed as dead. In all, more than 50 senior employees from various companies working on the World Trade Centre Project have been lost. Commenting on the tragedy, Brian said that they have initiated a process that will investigate the decision leading to the choice of event to celebrate the project milestone of structural completion.

For further information, you may reach Brian on +27 (0)11 456 6281 / fax +27 (0)86 637 0113 or email

Update# 5: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

More hotline numbers are coming in for those who wish to find out more information on missing relatives and friends of the boat tragedy that happened last night here in Bahrain:

The Indian embassy has set up two telephone lines - 00973-39280216 (Counsellor H.R Mohi) and 00973-39745640 (Second secretary R. Ragunathan)

Those passengers who have been rescued are being taken to the Salamaniya Medical Complex - 00973-17-255555 - and the Bahrain Coast Guard can be reached on 00973-39413413 and 00973-17-718888.

Update# 4: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

The following hotline information for tracing relatives and missing persons just came in:
British nationals – contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (London) on 020 7008 1500 and ask for the Crisis Unit. All other nationals should contact their respective Embassies in the UK.

Enquirers who cannot contact their Embassy directly due to political or personal reasons, can contact the Red Cross international tracing and message service on 0845 053 2004.

Some more pics from last night's rescue operations:

[[my appologies to all the folks who are pulling my rss and xml feed, the previous post had images of 1.4mb eachwhich explains why the feed or page loads very slow]]

Update# 3: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Here are some pics from today morning's relief and rescue operations conducted by the Bahriani Royal Navy and Airforce as well as the Coastguard and US Naval ER Crews, the pics have been captured off witness/amateur video footage and that's the reason they're not quite clear -- my appologies for that. Thanks to Colin at for providing the bandwidth and space to host these images: