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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Union Jack flying half-mast; distraught fans and the wild reaction of UK over football loss

Flying a flag at half-staff means that the flag is flying halfway on the flagpole –Flags fly in instances of national distress, remembrance and recognition of various holidays, or following the death of certain governmental officials. In UK, according to protocol, Union Flag must be flown the correct way up. This is with the wider diagonal white stripe above the red diagonal stripe in the half nearest to the flag pole. The wider diagonal white stripe should be above the red diagonal stripe at the top left hand side of the Flag nearest the flag pole.  Half-mast means the flag is flown two-thirds of the way up the flagpole with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flag pole. If more than one flag is flown, they should all be raised at half-mast or not flown at all. Flags of foreign nations should not be flown unless their country is also observing mourning.

It was a battle-cry delivered with a grin, in keeping with Iceland’s approach to Euro 2016, but it was a battle-cry nonetheless as joint-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson invoked the spirit of the Cod Wars ahead of his team’s second round clash against England. “This was the only time Iceland went to war,” Hallgrimsson, a practising dentist, said. One needs to read all UK newspapers to understand the anguish and deep-rooted pain with which they decry their loss to Iceland.  As if the scenario needed any other parallels with last week's vote in which Britain chose to leave the European Union, England's coach, Roy Hodgson, announced his resignation after the upset loss, similar to David Cameron announcing he would abandon the prime minister's office. 

Agreeing to the national passion for the game, the Union flag flown at half-mast on Nice beach after England's Euro 2016 humiliation looks carrying things too faaar.  MailOnline reports that the  Union flag was flying at half-mast on a beach in Nice this morning - a day after England's dismal exit from the Euros. As the flag at the Promenade Des Anglais beach was lowered, fans told of their sadness over the national teams failure to stay in the championship. England were dumped out of the tournament last night after a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Iceland in the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice.

Every England fan could see that we needed to make changes to the team but their coach  Roy Hodgson did nothing until it was too late.  Many of the fans who had followed the team’s fortune to France were distraught.  One said,  'I had bought tickets for Paris thinking England would be playing there – but I sold them when we were drawn to Nice. 'I should have kept those tickets and watched Wales. At least they won.' Another quipped 'I travelled from Toronto to watch England and they lost. I've spent a fortune on getting here and on tickets to the matches. 'I just can't see where we go from here. We have no team, no manager, no spirit.'

More misery was in store for the fans after the defeat  as they struggle to get home - thanks to strikes and demonstrations in France.  Hundreds of flights and trains cancelled or delayed during industrial action; taxi  drivers in Nice increased their rates as England fans tried to leave city.  Even buses and trams were refusing to operate in cities such as Nice, where England lost to Iceland on Monday night, ensuring the end of their European championships adventure. After the defeat, there was more misery for the fans. While Rooney and his teammates boarded the private coach, fans were forced to pay hiked up taxi prices as drivers in the city took advantage of the misery.  An angry fan stated - ‘The England players will be all right – they’ll get home on a private plane, after letting us all down. It’s us who’ll be left to suffer.’ Two thousand riot police were meanwhile flooding central Paris as the French authorities braced themselves for another day of street violence. Up to 60 people were arrested, as the police used water cannon, tear gas, pepper spray and baton charges to maintain the peace.

Even in the melee, some devastated England fans were  making a profit out of their own misery by selling their tickets to this weekend's Euros for TWICE their value.  Supporters who picked up tickets to the matches in Lille and Paris are desperately trying to flog them to Welsh and Icelandic fans instead after England's shock defeat in Nice last night. While some were happy to just get the face value back, there are some with an eye on a bit of extra cash to soothe them during their time of sorrow.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th June 2016

China exiles Lady Gaga from web for meeting Dalai Lama

In the Himalayas, a young monk, about to be crowned the Rinpoche of the monastery, is kidnapped by  a gang of black magicians who wish  to make a human sacrifice of the Rinpoche to attain invincibility. The  young Rinpoche manages to escape from the clutches of the magicians and runs away to Kathmandu. At the other end of the subcontinent, in a small village in Kerala, Ashokan (Mohanlal) is an unemployed youth of no great virtues ends up guarding …..  that was ‘Yodha’ – Malayalam movie of 1992 scripted by Sasidharan Arattuvazhi and directed by Sangeeth Sivan, starring Mohanlal in the lead. 

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta [famously Lady Gaga] is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her debut album The Fame (2008) was a critical and commercial success that produced global chart-topping singles such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". With global album and single sales of 27 million and 146 million respectively, as of January 2016, she is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Her achievements include twelve Guinness World Records, three Brit Awards, and six Grammy Awards. She is also the first artist to win the Songwriters Hall of Fame's Contemporary Icon Award.

She is in news because of her meeting ! – news reports suggest that Communist party’s propaganda department reportedly has  issued ‘important instruction’ blocking singer’s entire repertoire from mainland.   Lady Gaga has reportedly been added to a list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga. The American pop singer, who has sold more than 27m albums, met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader on Sunday before a conference in Indianapolis. A video of the 19-minute encounter – in which the pair pondered issues such as meditation, mental health and how to detoxify humanity – was posted on the singer’s Facebook account.

The meeting sparked an angry reaction from Beijing, which has attacked the spiritual leader as a “wolf in monk’s robes”. The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in March 1959, insists he is merely seeking greater autonomy from Chinese rule for Tibetans. But China’s rulers consider him a separatist who they claim is conspiring to split the Himalayan region from China in order to establish theocratic rule there.

Following Lady Gaga’s meeting, the Communist party’s mysterious propaganda department issued “an important instruction” banning her entire repertoire from mainland China, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily reported on Monday. Chinese websites and media organisations were ordered to stop uploading or distributing her songs in a sign of Beijing’s irritation, the newspaper said. The propaganda department also issued orders for party-controlled news outlets such as state broadcaster CCTV and newspapers the People’s Daily and the Global Times to condemn the meeting.

Asked by a foreign reporter whether the tête-à-tête would create a “bad romance” between Beijing and Lady Gaga, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry initially hinted that he was not familiar with the pop star’s Grammy-winning back catalogue. “Who?” Hong Lei said when asked for Beijing’s view on the singer’s meeting. China has previously banned artists and groups such as Maroon 5, Bjork and Oasis from performing in the country after they met with the Dalai Lama or spoke out in favour of him or Tibetan independence.

Experts suggested the American singer would have gone into her meeting with the spiritual leader with her eyes wide open as to the consequences. Lady Gaga, whose career has survived previous bans in China, is  yet to respond to China’s reported ban of her work. During her meeting with the Dalai Lama she said: “We have to cool the system down. It’s about less heat, more cooling, more relaxation but also [being] thoughtful and strategic.”

China’s media regulators often issue similar directives when sensitive issues surface, telling news outlets to stop covering stories, use only official reports, and sometimes remove articles from their websites. So in China, she may not be on web ! – back in Feb 2014,  US President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House despite objections from China, which warned that the meeting would inflict grave damage on Sino-American relations. The two Nobel laureates spent an hour in the White House's Map Room, a step down in prestige from the Oval Office, where the president traditionally meets foreign heads of state. The meeting was closed to reporters. China responded with equal vitriol to Obama's meetings with him, in 2010 and 2011, though it did not follow up with concrete measures that would damage ties. In contrast, Beijing cut off high-level diplomatic ties with the UK for about a year after David Cameron met the Dalai Lama in 2012. 

"We can only push the west to change its way of thinking if we let them understand that China's power cannot be avoided … and that the west's interests lie in development and maintaining ties with China, not the opposite," a media person in China wrote.

Anyway, such actions will not ignite debates of intolerance !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th June 2016.

Iceland celebrates win; England drowned - Coach Roy Hodgson resigns - Cod war !!!!

The Allianz Riviera,  is a multi-use stadium in Nice, France, used for football matches of host OGC Nice and also for occasional home matches of rugby union club Toulon. The stadium has a capacity of 35,624 people.   Nice is the fifth most populous city in France and the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département.Located in the Côte d'Azur area on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast.  The city is called Nice la Belle which means Nice the Beautiful, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912.
~ .. ..  and you thought : only games are played on such nice sporting arenas !

The Cod Wars were a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland regarding fishing rights in the North Atlantic. Each of the disputes ended with Iceland's victory.  The final Cod War concluded with a highly favorable agreement for Iceland, as the United Kingdom conceded to a 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometre) Icelandic exclusive fishery zone following threats that Iceland would withdraw from NATO, which would have forfeited NATO's access to most of the GIUK gap, a critical anti-submarine warfare chokepoint during the Cold War.  The term "cod war" was coined by a British journalist in early September 1958. None of the Cod Wars meets any of the common thresholds for a conventional war, though, and they may more accurately be described as militarized interstate disputes. There is only one confirmed death during the Cod Wars: an Icelandic engineer killed in the Second Cod War. The invasion of Iceland, codenamed Operation Fork, was a British military operation conducted by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines during World War II. The invasion began in 10 May 1940 with British troops disembarking in Reykjavík, capital of neutral Iceland.   Iceland issued a protest, charging that the neutrality of Iceland had been "flagrantly violated" and "its independence infringed" and noting that compensation would be expected for all damage done.

It was a battle-cry delivered with a grin, in keeping with Iceland’s approach to Euro 2016, but it was a battle-cry nonetheless as joint-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson invoked the spirit of the Cod Wars ahead of his team’s second round clash against England. “This was the only time Iceland went to war,” Hallgrimsson, a practising dentist, said. “We are too small to have an army and lack manpower, so would be easily beaten rather quickly.   One needs to read all UK newspapers to understand the anguish and deep-rooted pain with which they decry their loss to Iceland.

As if the scenario needed any other parallels with last week's vote in which Britain chose to leave the European Union, England's coach, Roy Hodgson, announced his resignation after the upset loss, similar to David Cameron announcing he would abandon the prime minister's office.  Football is the most popular sport in Iceland, and viewing figures for the national team's EURO matches have been phenomenal. While around 9.3 million British viewers tuned in for England's game against Wales – some 14% or so of the population of Great Britain – over half of all Icelanders are estimated to have watched Iceland v Austria, representing 99.8% of the nation's television audience.

Trailing to Wayne Rooney's early penalty, Iceland tipped this round of 16 tie on its head with goals from centre-back Ragnar Sigurdsson – only his second in 60 internationals – and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson. The next chapter in the debutants' fairy-tale run is a date with the hosts. Ragnar Sigurdsson said Iceland didn't feel under any pressure against England in their 2-1 Euro 2016 round of 16 victory in Nice. The spot kick, awarded for keeper Hannes Halldórsson's foul on the recalled Raheem Sterling, was exactly the start Roy Hodgson's men craved. It was a fourth-minute goal to coax Iceland out of their shell. What followed next, though, was as remarkable as it was unexpected from Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson's team. First, Aron Gunnarsson hurled the ball in, Kári Árnason outjumped Rooney and the unmarked Ragnar Sigurdsson planted the ball past Joe Hart. What must have been relief for Iceland soon turned to ecstasy.

Another day, another surprising result for the English to digest: Iceland pulled off a historic upset in the Euro 2016 tournament Monday, sending England home with a 2-1 shocker. Iceland now becomes the smallest nation to reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Championship; next, it will face the host France in Paris. As the clock expired in regular time, Iceland's blue-clad players streaked across the turf to stand before their ecstatic fans. The newspapers write about the elimination..  For the second time in a week, England suffer an ignominious exit from Europe. They’ve been awful tonight and thoroughly deserved to lose. They look dazed, embarrassed, ashamed, angry and full of disbelief and self-loathing as they wander the field, not quite knowing what to do or where to go. This is a total humiliation and their fans are letting them know in no uncertain terms that they’re not best pleased with this result. Not since a distant World Cup, 66 years ago, have England suffered a humiliation as great as this. Beaten by Iceland – a nation with a population the size of Leicester, playing in their first international tournament. For Hodgson, this was the bitter end. His players were booed, individually and collectively, and there was none of the residue of goodwill felt at the end of the 2014 World Cup.

Still the tournament goes on and this is how the quarter-finals will line up:Poland v Portugal; Wales v Belgium; Germany v Italy; France v Iceland.

There have been around 10,000 Icelanders at each of the team's last two UEFA EURO 2016 games – not a huge number but massive for a nation of just 330,000. Those 10,000 fans represent around 3% of the population; if a similar proportion of the population of round of 16 opponents England came to France, there would be 1.59 million people backing Roy Hodgson's side, who resigned immediately after the loss !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th June 2016.

@7.15 am – I could not watch the match, only got up to read about the match from various websites including UEFA official site.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Iceland gets motivated by the pic of a small dog chasing a rhino - Euro 2016

Its all happening ~ So Hungary head home – after a mutual show of appreciation with their fans – while Belgium motor on to a quarter-final meeting with Wales on Friday. They took just one point against Gareth Bale and co in their qualifying group but on tonight’s evidence must be considered favourites to reach the semi-final. .. .. more happening at Euro 2016 – with a picture going viral on internet.

Iceland is a Nordic island country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. It has a population of 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. According to Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in the year 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which supported diversification into economic and financial services.

In 2013, it was ranked as the 13th most-developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index.. .. they are making news in Euro 2016.  Icelandic football commentator Gudmundur Benediktsson has gone from the high of delivering one of the most memorable passages of commentary at Euro 2016 to the low of losing his day job within four days. Benediktsson’s commentary as Iceland secured a last minute winner against Austria went viral as he screamed then appeared to suffer an emotional breakdown when Arnor Ingvi Traustason scored a barely believable goal with the last touch of the game.

Iceland's unbeaten march to face England in Nice on Monday [Tuesday morning !] has been the story of Euro 2016 so far. No smaller country had ever qualified for a Euro or a World Cup. TV commentator "Gummi Ben" ascended into hysteria -- "Never, ever, have I felt as good!" -- as he narrated his team's last-minute goal against Austria that won the game 2-1. The tiny country's success seems like a miracle. Clearly the Icelanders are obsessed with soccer.

England arrived in Nice on Sunday to prepare for the Euro 2016 last-16 meeting with minnows Iceland - but it has not been a journey without incident. They find themselves in the tougher half of the draw with Spain, Italy, Germany and France after finishing second in Group B behind Wales, England's fate sealed by a goalless draw against Slovakia in Saint-Etienne. England manager Roy Hodgson faced fierce scrutiny after his policy of making six changes, including resting captain Wayne Rooney, did not produce the win required to put them ahead of Wales in the standings. There could still be salvation for Hodgson, however, as England are now firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals - but the stakes are huge for manager and players. If England cannot navigate a way past Iceland and into a last-eight meeting with hosts France or the Republic of Ireland in Paris, it is impossible to see how he will survive as manager. 

England's future at UEFA EURO 2016 hinges on their ability to break down surprise package Iceland, a team with plenty of English league experience in their ranks. Previous meetings.  England first met Iceland in a warm-up game for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, drawing 1-1 in Reykjavik. The tie will be the last round of 16 games to be played and will take place in Nice at the Allianz Riviera.

Now it is that picture  of a small dog chasing a rhino that reportedly is inspiring Iceland to push for Euro glory.  Media reports suggest that it  has helped the smallest country ever to reach the Euros believe they can beat England in their last 16 showdown in Nice.  Iceland are in the mood for another giant killing after revealing one of their dressing room secrets. They have got a picture of a small dog chasing a huge Rhino hanging on the wall of their training base in Annecy. Iceland have been using psychology with inspirational pictures and strong messages to try and inspire the players in team meetings !

Iceland midfielder Elmar Bjarnason is quoted as saying : “We have a picture of a Chihuahua chasing the Rhino. That also sticks out. Not that we are the Chihuahua! But it’s just a funny picture that sticks out. He  hopes Iceland can cause a major last 16 upset in Nice against England.  Bjarnason, meanwhile, grew up as a Manchester United fan and had a joke for Wayne Rooney after Cristiano Ronaldo refused to swap shirts with Iceland’s players as the Portugal star was left frustrated at failing to beat the smallest team at the tournament.  “They show almost every English game on TV. I think they show every game on TV in Iceland. “So, obviously, it’s going to be a big game in my career and a lot of the boys’ career. So, it’s unreal that it’s happening now.

Iceland is  hoping there will be 20,000 fans to cheer us at the stadium, that .. is 20% of their population – the  support sounds incredible.  Will they pull off !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th June 2016



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dutee Chand fights odds; qualifies for Rio Olympics

My favourite writer genius  Sujatha wrote a novel in Kumudam titled ’10 second mutham’ – a story of an Indian female athlete who is trained to break the barrier of 10 seconds and her emotional relationship with the coach formed the nucleus of that story. .. .. that came in Kumudam immediately after Asiad 1982 – vividly recall the names of Charles Borromeo winning 800m Gold and MD Valsamma winning Gold in 400m hurdles ~ that was the time when perhaps we first heard about PT Usha, who went on to become Payyoli Express. 
Last week there was the news of  Indian athlete Dutee Chand clocking 11.47 in the 100m event to finish with silver, falling well short of the Olympic qualification norm of 11.32 at an international meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  It was stated that the track was damaged in most parts which impeded her speed.  

Fortunately that was not the end ~ Sprinter Dutee Chand on Saturday became the first-ever Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics in the 100m (after qualifying marks were introduced in 2000) as she made it to Rio with a timing of 11.30 seconds (qualifying mark is 11.32s) in the heats at the 26th  Kosonov memorial international athletic meet in Almaty (Kazakhstan). “The fact that I broke the National record in the process is even more special in this regard,” remarked Dutee.

Dutee Chand qualified for Rio Olympics in the women’s 100m event is great news as she clocked 11.30s in the 100m heats at the memorial tournament hence beating the Rio Olympics qualification mark of 11.32 secs. Dutee Chand has been through hell and back over the last two years. From a point where her career seemed over and even her identity was called into question, the sprinter’s redemption was complete and a remarkable achievement for somebody hailing from a humble family in Gopalpur, Odisha. 

As she was sprinting her way to becoming one of India’s best athletes, her flight was brutally cut short by a hyper-androgenism case, which deemed her unfit to compete as a female athlete.  She was prevented from competing in 2014 for failing a hormone test under the IAAF's rules on hyperandrogenism, a condition which produces higher than normal testosterone levels in women. Chand successfully appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who suspended the regulations for two years to allow the IAAF to gather evidence as to whether athletes with hyperandrogenism do gain any performance advantage. Chand's battle against the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) hyperandrogenism rules came five years after South African athleteCaster Semenya was subject to gender tests.

Since returning to the track after winning the case, Dutee has been in scintillating form. She has been utterly dominant on the domestic circuit, and was impressive in meets overseas as well.  The Rio berth that kept eluding the 20-year-old, until Saturday, has become a reality.  Maybe the relatively cooler weather in Almaty helped Dutee’s cause.  She is the 20th Indian track and field athlete to have qualified for the Rio Games, and takes the total strength of the Indian Olympic contingent to 99.

The legendary Usha managed 12.27secs in her heat at the Moscow Games and did not advance.  Even though Duttee’s  personal best may not be enough for a medal in Rio, Dutee has done the country proud in the manner she battled and overcame adversity.  The best timings in the women’s 100m this season are around the 10.80s mark.  If Dutee manages to clock her personal best at the Olympics, she is likely to get into the semi-finals.  She is a winner already !

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, from Kerala, first gained international attention at the 1982 Delhi Asian Games as she won the silver medal in both the 100 metres and 200 metres events. Four years later she dominated the field at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul.  At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she finished first in the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles, but narrowly missed a medal in the finals, reminiscent of Milkha Singh's 1960 defeat. There was a nail-biting photo finish for the third place.  Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second. In the 10th  Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, P. T. Usha won 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the track and field events.

Wishing Dutee Chand a wonderful performance and a medal for India in Rio Olympics.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th June 2016.

SYMA Triplicane seeks your support for Educational Aid & other activities 2016

Dear (s)

July is a very important month  for SYMA -  our Educational Aid function, is slated to be held on 9th July 2016 at Triplicane. The exact venue, Chief Guest and related details will be updated.



Srinivas Youngmen's Association popularly (SYMA)  has been rendering social service from 1977.  We are registered with  the Registrar of Societies. With care and concern for the society, we have been actively involved in  social service doing multifarious activities which include – coordination with civic authorities in keeping the environ clean,  conducting health campaigns – promoting health care and hygiene;  organizing  Eye Camps, Blood Camps and other camps. In our earnest effort to improve the competitive spirit and to instill confidence in school children, We have been conducting Child Fest every year in which more than 4000 students from around 100 city schools participate.    With a focus on sustainable service, we have two bigger continuing projects :

1)                   Medical Centre and Laboratory run for the poor wherein free consultation and medicines are provided – popularly known as ரெண்டு ரூபா ஆஸ்பிடல் [Rs. 2 hospital !]  This functions  between 5 – 7 pm on all days except Sundays and National holidays.  Consultation is free and medicines too – provided through regular medical shops with whom we have working arrangement.  Around 40 – 50 people utilize this daily.  We also have a Medical lab wherein blood and other tests are done at very nominal costs. The running of Medical Centre and Lab costs around Rs.25000/- per month. 

2)     SYMA Growth – a purposeful special tuition centre for coaching poor students of 10th  and 12th  standards, running since 2008 and producing good results year after year.  This year we have X Std English medium [2 sections]; X Tamil medium; + 2 Science Group and +2 Commerce Group.  We are mulling opening another Section in X Eng due to heavy demand.  Altogether, every year,   we educate around 130 students selected from weaker sections of the society.  Through this project we aim to provide  quality educational support to students who would otherwise will  have no opportunity to such quality education.  Education is imparted through qualified senior teaching professionals who are paid nominal fees by us. Classes are conducted  on all days of the week. 
                     We have created an excellent infrastructure and have dedicated staff  for this.  The classes are conducted at the premises of National Boys High School,  Triplicane for which we pay a nominal rent and some amount towards electricity and other expenses.  The project expenditure of our Tuition centre is around Rs. 5 lakhs per year, which for the Educational year 2016-17 is sponsored by ManpowerGroup, to whom, we express our deep gratitude. 

In the Educational Aid Function slated in July 2016, we will provide more than  1000 sets of unstitched  uniforms to poor students.   In the Educational Aid function,  We also provide financial assistance to select college students, and honour School toppers of various Schools in Triplicane.


Generally, we collect funds in the months of June & July ahead of our Educational Aid Programme, though donations are welcome throughout the year.   You have patronized us in a big way in the past, and we look forward to receiving your donations this year too.  Cheques are to be drawn in the name of ‘SRINIVAS YOUNGMENS ASSOCIATION’ – payable at Chennai.  In case any donor wishes to make a Bank transfer, we will provide details of our Bank A/c on request.   Contributions to SYMA are eligible for deduction under Sec 80G (5) (vi)of Income Tax Act, as applicable.  Here are the details of our Current Account with Punjab National Bank.

A/C Holder : Srinivas Young Mens Association
Bank : Punjab National Bank,
A/c No.  0346002100024570
Triplicane branch
Singarachari St. Triplicane, chennai 600005
RTGS/NEFT IFS Code  :  PUNB0034600
MICR Code   :   600024015

You have all along supported us in a big way and we look forward to your continued support.  Together we will ensure transformation towards a better Society.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.
Secretary – SYMA; Editor – BLISS
26th June 2016.
For complete details of SYMA – please log on to : www.syma.in or email us at :srinivasyoungmensassociation@yahoo.co.in.

PS :  To those of you, who have already  contributed to SYMA this year, this mail is not  to seek additional donation   but only  to say thanks again.


The photos are here are of earlier years…..

Presenting June 2016 issue of Bliss – voice of SYMA

Presenting June 2016  issue of Bliss – voice of SYMA

The newsletter of SYMA – Bliss is in your hands.  Click here : SYMA Bliss 062016    to download the issue : 

From the time pre-monsoon sets in, all eyes look heavenwards expecting the first smell of rain.  The summer rains did evoke some fear of those wet days of Dec 2015 in Chennai, when many parts of the city went underwater.

This issue again, comes after quite a long break – with lot happening in between. Our present issue contains :

*        SYMA providing quality  drinking water quenching thirst of people
*        SYMA Growth marching to its 9th year ~ this year project fully supported by M/s ManpowerGroup.
*        770 seconds of glory for the Nation.
*        performance of SYMA Growth students in the Public examinations
*        tale of the small bridge that could change the way people access Triplicane MRTS station
*        Election results  - not of the 4 States – but that of SYMA
*        Q of the issue : the first elections to the legislative assembly of the State after Independence of the Nation was held in 1952.  Do you know – the no. of constituencies and who was the first speaker of the house. ?

                Sooner, we will have our Educational Aid function[slated to be held on 9th July 2016] at NKT National Girls High School, Triplicane.  Separate mail communication would follow on that.

Thanks to all of you – do continue to provide your feedback on Bliss and any other activity of SYMA – through e-mail / phone

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Editor – Bliss;  26th June 2016.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Go bananas ~ how much curved bananas contributed to * Brexti *

People love to eat bananas ~ but some throw the skins on the streets quite carelessly – which can make people tumble down and hurt themselves.  Some decades ago, intentionally throwing them on street / public place and laughing when people tumble was a joke ! ….. there is thin line between such foolishness and comedy as some could hurt themselves badly stepping on a banana.   Go bananas : would mean ‘to go crazy mildly’ – and have bananas contributed to Brexit in any significant way ?


One hundred and forty thousand punnets of strawberries ripened to perfection, 256 players dreaming of singles glory, 19 courts trimmed with precision - all for two weeks and one tournament. In what would be 130th edition of the Championship, British number one Johanna Konta is seeded 16th  - the first British woman to get a protected place in the draw since 1984 - and will fancy her chances of getting to the second week. Then there is Marcus Willis coming through 6 qualifying matches to make it to … yes, Wimbledon.  It was just five months ago that Marcus Willis considered bringing his journeyman career to an end after a Futures tournament in Tunisia. Frustrated and disillusioned, 25-year-old Willis stopped travelling and turned to coaching and club league matches before a brutally honest pep talk from new girlfriend Jennifer convinced him he could still compete on the tour. It did the trick. World No 775 and British No 23 Willis completed a remarkable run through Wimbledon qualifying – his first tournament since January - to reach the main draw at the All England Club, coming back from a set down to beat Russian Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Nothing of that would cut the ice – the only news that is being flashed everywhere is the withdrawal of             British from the European Union, often shortened to Brexit (a portmanteau of "British" or "Britain" and "exit”).  United Kingdom (UK) joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973. Withdrawal from the European Union has been a right of EU member states since 2007 under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.  On 23rd  June 2016, in a referendum on the country's membership, 51.9% voted in support of an exit (17,410,742 votes) and 48.1% (16,141,241 votes) to remain with a turnout of 72.2% and 26,033 rejected ballots.

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are preparing a “dream team” bid to take control of the leadership of the Conservative Party in the wake of the most dramatic week in modern British political history. David Cameron is to step down. Furious European leaders today told Britain it must 'urgently' trigger the formal process of leaving the EU today, despite David Cameron insisting the Government will wait until October.  As they scrambled to save the EU project at an emergency meeting in Berlin, the foreign ministers from the six founding member states increased the pressure on the UK Government to enter talks over the complex process of separation immediately. They also discussed plans to combat the contagion of Britain's historic Brexit vote spreading across Europe over fears that Britain's departure threatens the future of the EU altogether. In a sign of the hostilities to come European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker warned Britain not to expect an 'amicable divorce,' adding: 'It was not exactly a tight love affair anyway.'

Founding EU members held a crisis meeting on the future of the bloc after Britain's seismic vote to leave the union and the resignation of David Cameron. French President Francois Hollande says the British vote to leave the European Union poses questions "for the whole planet."            The City of London is at risk of losing its prized "EU passport" that allows firms based in the capital to operate around the single market, a member of the European Central Bank Governing Council has said. Losing it would likely trigger an exodus of firms to the eurozone.

Earlier, launching the Vote Leave battlebus with an impromptu speech in Cornwall, Boris Johnson had listed several factors he said mean the Brexit camp had “right on its side” – and one was this claim -  “absolutely crazy that the EU is telling us how powerful our vacuum cleaners have got to be, what shape our bananas have got to be, and all that kind of thing”.  Now you know what is ‘Go bananas’ …. battle lines were drawn-up highlighting banana regulation. The  example often cited was 'legislative heavy-handedness' - EU ban on 'bendy bananas' and crooked cucumbers. It was oft repeated that a 1994 EU regulation specified that bananas must be 'free from abnormal curvature' and cucumbers needed to be straight.  EU rules also governed the shape of many other fruits and vegetables — cucumbers, for example, needed to be almost perfectly straight.

Many of these specifications were abolished in 2008, though the banana guidelines remained on the books. Later many press including MailOnline, Guardian, BBC clarified that EU rules do not ban any kind of banana, no matter how straight or curved it may be. What they do, however, is classify the pricing of bananas according to their shape: The best ones must be "free from malformation or abnormal curvature;" the next best can have "slight defects of shape;" and the cheapest or poorest quality can display "defects of shape." And though this grading scheme might discriminate against a perfectly good but defectively shaped banana, it hardly amounts to a ban.

The bendy banana saga is perhaps the most notorious of what has come to be known as the Euromyth. Over the last two decades, British tabloids have exploited the U.K.'s deeply ambivalent relationship with the European Union by publishing exaggerated, funny and often completely unfounded stories about how the "barmy bureaucrats in Brussels" are out to destroy old English traditions and the British way of life. Coming up with creative scaremongering is something of a national pastime for the press. Such myths pertained to every aspect of life:  often it was the standard trick  to take a general guideline and interpret it as a caricaturist would – as mischievously and outrageously as possible.

Before understanding the economic repercussions across the country and its impact across the globe, MailOnline reports of a  buccaneer raking in £220million.  It is all about Crispin Odey, a hedge fund tycoon who reportedly made more than £220 million for himself and his investors yesterday after betting on Brexit. He is one of a handful of hedge fund bosses to have hit the jackpot after taking big ‘short’ positions on company stocks and sterling, betting on their value falling in the aftermath of a vote to Leave. Hedge fund boss Crispin Odey, gambled sterling would collapse if British voters decided upon Brexit.  The 57-year-old, who manages more than £8 billion and has an estimated personal fortune of £900 million, revealed that in the run-up to the vote he had invested heavily in gold, a safe haven amid market turmoil, and bet on the pound falling against the dollar.       The tactic paid off handsomely yesterday as investors rushed to buy gold, pushing its price to a two-year high as both the pound and the FTSE 100 fell sharply. He had bet against housebuilder Berkeley Group, which fell in value by more than a fifth yesterday and stocks including Lloyds, which dropped 21 per cent and ITV, down more than 20 per cent. Mr Odey had commissioned a private poll ahead of the referendum to steal a march on the financial markets.

So what you feel would is impact on Indian economy !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

25th June 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Olympic torch relay ~ juma, the Amazon jaguar gets killed !

Humans desire ceremonies ~ in that insatiable wish, they make every others a pawn ! -  just to showcase and celebrate !

Manaus, is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers and is the most populous city of Amazonas.  The city was founded in 1693–94 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro,  elevated to a town in 1832 with the name of "Manaus", an altered spelling of the indigenous Manaós peoples.  Manaus is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and access to the city is primarily by boat or airplane. This isolation helped preserve both the nature as well as the culture of the city.

The 2016 Summer Olympics, simply Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. Record numbers of countries are participating in a record number of sports. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including first time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan, are scheduled to take part.   The host city of Rio de Janeiro was announced at the 121st  IOC Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in  2009. Rio will become the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics.

The Olympic torch relay is the ceremonial relaying of the Olympic Flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of an Olympic Games. It was first performed at the 1936 Berlin Games, and has taken place prior to every Games since.  This year too, this is happening, after being lit in Olympia, Greece,  travel to  Athens, travel in Brazilian journey visiting more than 300 Brazilian cities, including all 26 state capitals and the Federal District – and this relay is in news for tragic reasons !

The name of the Olympic mascot pays tribute to Brazilian musician Vinicius de Moraes. Vinicius is a mix of different Brazilian animals. His design takes inspiration from pop culture, as well as video game and animation characters. Alongside his Paralympic Games colleague, Vinicius represents the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature.

Now to the news ~  an  Amazon jaguar has been shot dead by the Brazilian army after participating as a 'mascot' for an Olympic torch ceremony in Manaus. During the event the female jaguar - called Juma - was just yards away from the lighting of the Olympic torch, where she was held by a chain around her neck. Following the event she was taken to her zoo cage on a truck but managed to escape. A team of vets tried to recapture Juma by firing tranquilizers but they failed to take immediate effect and she reportedly came close to attacking a soldier. The Amazon Military Command - whose symbol is a jaguar - said the animal was shot as a 'safety procedure' to 'protect the soldier'.

The incident happened yesterday after the Olympic torch passed through the jungle city, where England played Italy in the 2014 World Cup. Juma was a jaguar at CIGS zoo, which is part of the army's jungle warfare-training centre and where many of the animals have been captured by soldiers on patrol. A guest who attended the event said: 'The jaguar was in a secluded spot, but everyone took pictures with her. 'When the event was over, Juma was taken to her cage, which was in a truck. It was then she ran away.'

A statement issued by Brazil's Amazon Military Command said: 'Efforts were made to capture the animal by firing tranquilizers. But even though the animal was hit, it still advanced towards a soldier that was stationed nearby. 'As a safety procedure and aiming to protect the soldier and the handlers, a pistol was used to shoot the animal. She died at the scene.' An inquiry has now been launched by the Amazon Institute of Environmental who said it had not given permission for Juma to be used at the event.

It had given permission for another jaguar, Simba, to go show at the event. She was held elsewhere on the courtyard by members of the army.  A spokesman for the agency said the Brazilian army had been asked for an official explanation into the death of Juma and the reason she was 'exposed to the Olympic torch event without authorisation'. If the army is found to have breached environmental regulations it could be fined between £600 and £60,000. The shooting of the jaguar was immediately met by an outpouring of anger on social media, with people accusing the army of acting 'irresponsibly' and incompetently'.

The jaguar is already an endangered species in the Americas, with a 30 per cent reduction over the same number of years.  .. meanwhile, humans are engrossed in ceremonies !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd June 2016.