Heads up for women at NPC polls


An independent group comprising mostly women candidates who were affected by the war will be contesting the forthcoming Northern Provincial polls.

The group comprising 19 candidates is led by Thambipillai Iruthaya Rani. Sixteen of the 19 contestants are women. The group filed their nominations at the District Secretariat, Jaffna, on Thursday (1).

Commenting on their participation, the independent group said, the plight of the widows in the North was pathetic. “We are therefore striving to highlight the difficulties of the war-affected widows in the North,” one of the candidates, said.

Meanwhile, the political observers in the North said the plethora of issues that women and children, affected by war have been facing and the difficulties they are being subjected to, should be brought to the fore.

As such, the participation of the independent group of women affected by war is a crucial aspect in the polls for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), political observers said.

Meanwhile, election campaigns in Jaffna are expected to begin this week. As the Nallur Kanthaswamy Temple festival, which begins on 12 August and will go on for nearly a month, is believed to be a crowd puller, election rallies in the city of Jaffna and the suburbs are expected to be held without much fanfare, sources said.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has started its campaign with pocket meetings in various parts of Jaffna.

UNDP recognizes woman activist for achievement in diverse fields


Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam from Kilinochchi has been honoured with the UNDP managed N-Peace Award -2013, in recognition of her unceasing efforts to improve the lives of the rural communities.

The UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre (APRC), in its report on selecting Vijayaratnam for the award, said, she played many roles through her social service activities in the Kilinochchi region.

“This can be seen in the many hats she wears: From serving as Secretary of the Community-level Women’s Rural Development Society, President of a women’s group, Treasurer of the Women’s Development Federation and the Secretary of the Divisional Network Committee of the Karaichchi Division in Kilinochchi.

“Vijayaratnam’s activism spans the spectrum. She has helped orphans and disadvantaged children to access education, assisted families with malnourished children to obtain support, and helped communities to obtain essential legal documents such as birth certificates, death certificates and land rights documents.

“She has also worked extensively for the advancement of women’s rights and livelihoods by supporting women-headed households to access revolving loan funds and skills development trainings. By integrating vulnerable and marginalized groups into society, Vijayaratnam paves the way for a peace that benefits all,” the UNDP said in a release.

Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam will be awarded the N-Peace award-2013 along with other women recipients  from Afghanistan, Nepal, Philippines, East Timor and Indonesia, at an event to be held in Bangkok in October.