KERALA

Briefly

Holidays on July 26, 27

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM JULY 24. The Government has declared July 26 and 27 as holidays for all educational institutions in the State. The Government order is applicable to the professional colleges also. Meanwhile, the University of Kerala has announced that all its examinations that were scheduled to be held on July 26 and 27 have been postponed. Fresh dates will be announced later.

Sugar for Onam

The Government has decided to supply one kg of sugar to all card-holders in connection with Onam. The Food and Civil Supplies Minister, G. Karthikeyan, said here today that this sugar would be issued next month at ration prices. He added that adequate quantities of raw and parboiled rice would be stocked to meet the increase in demand during the festival season.

Birth centenary celebrations

The birth centenary celebrations of Koothu and Koodiyattam exponent, Painkulam Rama Chakyar, would be held at Painkulam, near Thrissur, on August 1. At a press conference here today, the secretary of the Painkulam Rama Chakyar Samaraka Kalapeedam, R. K. Varma said various programmes would be held for year as part of the centenary celebrations. He said that the Painkulam Rama Chakyar memorial award would be presented to the Kathakali singer, Palanad Divakaran, while the birth centenary award would be given to Kindangur Rama Chakyar. The `Viddoshaka Saarvabhouma' award would be given to Damodara Chakyar. The centenary celebrations would be inaugurated by the Finance Minister, K. Sankaranarayanan, at Painkulam on August 1.

Bank strike on August 24

KOCHI JULY 24. The Indian Bank Employees' Union has called for a nationwide bank strike on August 24 to protest against the failure in the discussions to reach a wage settlement. A press release from the Union issued here today demanded that the Union Government refrain from selling shares of public sector banks and called for a solution to the problems facing the Indian Bank.

Federal Bank issue

The Federal Bank Limited has raised Rs. 45 crores through private placement of unsecured redeemable non-convertible subordinated bonds. The issue opened on July 16 and closed on July 22 and was fully subscribed before the issue closed, said a press release from the Bank here today.

New head for royal family

Rama Varma Kochanian Thampuram of Lakshmi Thoppu Palace, Thripunithara, is the new head of the royal family of erstwhile Kochi. He became the Valiya Thampuran on the demise of Kerala Varma Kochunni Thampuran on July 20 in Thrissur. The new Valiyathampuran was born in 1912. He had his schooling in Thripunithura and took a degree in Commerce. A former Government servant, he stays at his residence on Kalathiparambil Road. He is a sports enthusiast and was a cricketer of repute in his younger days.

Honour for Kerala artist

Thrissur July 24. Paintings by the Thrissur-based artist, Murali Nagapuzha, have been selected for an exhibition, `Visions of India, to be held at the ICON Gallery in New York later this month. Of the exhibition, Bill Temple, the gallery director, says, "We have art that represents the diverse work done by traditional Indian painters. We have drawings, paintings and photographs by `outsiders looking in'."

Labourer commits suicide

KOZHIKODE JULY 24. Ramesan (26), a labourer, committed suicide near his house at Mananthavadi in Wayanad, according to reports received here today. His death is believed to be another case of suicide caused by the financial distress that has gripped farmers in Wayanad. Reports said that Ramesan's father, Soman, had taken agricultural loans from banks for his son but had failed to repay it because of crop failure. Ramesan was reportedly under pressure to raise funds to repay the loan to avoid legal action against his father. He had been reported missing from his house since Friday. His relatives found him dead at around midnight, said the reports.

Clarification on Express Highway

The Public Works Minister, M.K. Muneer, today said that Government was ready for an open debate on the concerns raised by the people on the proposed Express Highway.

The Minister was inaugurating the work on the Pulloorampara-Punnakkal-Kudaranji Road that is estimated to cost Rs. 1.93 crores.

Vedic school opened

PATHANAMTHITTA July 24. The noted Vedic scholar, Naduvom Narayanan Namboodiri, inaugurated the Vedic school of the Aranmula-based Sudarsanam Charitable Trust at a simple function held at the Sopana Mandapam of the famous Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula this forenoon.

Highway project

The Public Works Minister, M.K. Muneer, has said that the Government will seek public opinion before launching the proposed Express Highway project in the wake of the criticism against it from different quarters. The Minister said the highway project would be launched only after studying its pros and cons. Dr. Muneer was inaugurating the development work on the Kadambanad-Enathu-Mannadi-Ezhamkulam Road at Kadambanadu, near Adoor on Friday.

Office-bearers

KOLLAM July 24. M.C. Philipose and K.G. Jacob have been elected president and secretary general of the Quilon Management Association (QMA). The other office bearers are V. Muralidharan Nair, vice-president, V.S. Radhakrishnan and K. Venugopal, secretaries, and K. Rajan, treasurer.

`Rigveda laksharchana'

Thrissur July 24 . A `Rigveda laksharchana' will be performed by the Thiruvambady Devaswom here from September 12 to 19. The `laksharchana' would be performed at a 'yajnasala' to be constructed in front of the temple from 5-30 a.m. to 5-30 p.m. There would be week-long mass chanting. The `laksharchana' would cost Rs. 2 lakhs, according to a press release from the devaswom.

Karshaka Union

plans agitation

KOTTAYAM JULY 24. The Kerala Karshaka Union (M) will launch an agitation against what it termed the ``indifferent and negative attitude'' of commercial banks against farmers' interests, the union president, Baby Uzhuthuval said. The agitation will commence with a dharna in front of the Reserve Bank of India on July 28. The union reiterated its plea to write off farm credit up to Rs. 50,000 and to restructure it to long-term credit without interest. The union also wanted the banks to make available agriculture loans at the rate of four per cent interest.

Supports stir

The Kottayam District Bus Operators' Association has extended its support to the State-wide indefinite strike called by the Kerala State Private Bus Operators' Federation from July 26. The decision was taken at the general body meeting of the association here on Saturday.

Highway project

PATHANAMTHITTA JULY 24. The Public Works Minister, M.K. Muneer, has said that the Government will seek public opinion before launching the proposed Express Highway project in the wake of the criticism against it from different quarters. The Minister said the highway project would be launched only after studying its pros and cons.

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