Rameswaram fishermen strike against Lankan navy

Every time the Lankan navy confiscated a boat, families of the boat owner, five fishermen who worked in the boat and those engaged in offloading and transportation lost their livelihood. The Lankan authorities have confiscated 55 fishing boats so far this year, he said.Last year, the Lankan navy had confiscated more than 80 boats and after they were released the State government helped to bring back the boats, spending about Rs One lakh per boat but 18 boats could not be salvaged, he pointed out. The fishermen are feared drowned as the search teams, including INS Parundu, the Indian naval air station and the Mandapam station of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) could not trace them so far, P Sesu Raja, leader of a fishermen association said and urged the government to pay compensation to the families. Fishermen in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite strike yesterday demanding that the authorities trace four fishermen, who went missing after their boat sank on November 29 and also protested against repeated arrests by the Sri Lankan navy.As decided at the meeting of 11 fishermen associations on Tuesday, about 4,000 fishermen struck work after anchoring the 750-odd mechanised boats at the fishing jetty, The Hindu newspaper reported. The four fishermen, Sudalaimani, Anthonysamy, Ramasamy and Muniasamy were fishing south off the Katchatheevu islet at the early hours of November 29 when their boat sank after water seeped into the vessel.Feared drowned The fishermen were reluctant to venture into sea as they faced the threat of abduction at the hands of Lankan navy, he said.The strike was also in protest against repeated attempts by Lankan navy to prevent the fishermen from exercising their traditional rights in the waters in the Palk Bay by arresting them, he said. read more

Women in postrevolutionary Egypt must be free from fear of sexual violence

“Egypt’s story in the post-revolutionary period cannot be that of a country whose women marched in support of democracy, only to find their own freedoms denied, their lives directly threatened, and their vibrant political activism stamped out in a climate of fear and insecurity,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura.“The Government and religious leaders of Egypt must send a clear and categorical signal that such vicious crimes of rape and other forms of sexual assault will not be tolerated,” Ms. Bangura added in a statement, noting that security forces must take immediate measures to investigate these “despicable acts,” and bring the perpetrators to justice.At least 25 women were reportedly sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo in late January, some violently, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The demonstrations coincided with the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution when mass protests toppled then President Hosni Mubarak and led to a transition period in the country, which was part of a larger group of movements in the region known as the Arab Spring.In addition to the attacks in January, there had been a number of well publicized incidents of sexual assault in Tahrir Square over the past 18 months, according to the former head of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet. She and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay were among senior UN officials who condemned the attacks and urged authorities to strengthen security measures, as well as to investigate the reported attacks.In today’s statement, Ms. Bangura noted that rape and sexual assault remain “vastly underreported” particularly in environments where there is conflict or political strife.“As more information is coming to light on the numbers of women who have been raped and sexually assaulted, we are concerned that this is only the tip of the iceberg, since this phenomenon generally remains largely invisible,” she said. read more

Sean Mercer Profile of Liverpool gang member who shot and killed Rhys

first_imgOn the day of the murder Mercer, then 16, was subject to an Asbo (anti-social behaviour order), imposed because he and some of his friends – including one referred to only as Boy K previously but who can now be named as Dean Kelly, 17 – had been terrorising staff at a local sports centre.At one stage they threatened to set fire to a security guard’s jacket and to “get a knife”.The previous year Mercer had been convicted of possessing a CS gas canister police had found in his home. Eight months after killing Rhys he was caught with cannabis and given a three-month conditional discharge.The scrawny killer, nicknamed Beaver, had joined the gang in his early teens, but was beginning to rise rapidly through the ranks. Local sources suggest the killer had played a prominent role in the attacks on Brady. However, police were never able to prove this was so.They learned only after his arrest that two months before Rhys’s murder he had ridden through Norris Green on a motorbike, waving a gun as he chased a group of Nogga Dogs.Mercer stuck to the gangsters’ code of silence when detectives arrested him, and in court, too, he refused to speak beyond entering his plea of not guilty.But beyond the bravado, he will never shake off the fear that gripped him the day a crucial witness refused point-blank to support his alibi. Police knew enough about him to realise he had the potential to become a major player, but until the murder he was just another young thug to keep an eye on. Show more Brady, 20, had been shot at twice before by his gangland rivals, but despite this had strayed onto their “turf” the day Rhys died. Teenage gunman Mercer was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones, 11 Teenage gunman Mercer was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones, 11Credit:PA Officers used anti-social behaviour powers to stop him in the street no less than 80 times between the ages of 14 and 16. On 15 of these occasions he was with two Croccy Head leaders who were later jailed for the murder of a Nogga Dog.His main ally within the gang appears to have been Boy K, the pair of them generally referred to in MSN chatrooms as The Boys.Detectives are still unclear about Mercer’s motive for opening fire that day – not least because the killer has always refused to speak to them.However, the shooting is most likely to have been “a rite of passage”, in which Mercer seized the opportunity to “prove” himself to his fellow gangsters and the younger wannabes who hung around them.There was, though, a secondary motive: the long-standing personal grudge Mercer harboured against Wayne Brady, a prominent member of the rival Nogga Dogs gang.This went back to the days they shared at De La Salle Secondary School, but was compounded by the fact that Brady had been dating Vicki Smart, a model and one-time Miss England contestant, who lived near Mercer’s home in Croxteth.In Mercer’s mind Miss Smart, now 19, should have been out of bounds to a Nogga Dog, and it was well known among his gang that one day he was “gonna get” his rival. 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. The murderer of Rhys Jones, Sean Mercer, was a convict stopped more than 80 times on the street by police, and on an Asbo on the day he killed the 11-year-old.He had intended to shoot a rival gang member and, if he had succeeded, Mercer might have been propelled into the transient folklore of Liverpool’s notorious gang culture.Instead, one of three bullets he fired at two rival gangsters killed Rhys Jones and condemned Mercer himself to the level of notoriety that not even he could have imagined.He would say later that he saw “a kid go down”, but he didn’t care. All he cared about was saving his own skin. He and his gang tried to destroy the evidence against him, and they struck fear into the minds of those they involved in the cover-up. The shooting is most likely to have been ‘a rite of passage’, in which Mercer seized the opportunity to prove himself to his fellow gangsterslast_img read more