Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia BLACKOUT; Crowds at Chennai and President of Kiribati


Did you make a search in ‘Wikipedia’ (English)  today ?  -  You will not get the desired result.

The Wikipedia community has blacked out the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours on January 18th to raise awareness about legislation being proposed by the U.S. Congress — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate -- and to encourage readers to speak out against it. This legislation, if passed, will harm the free and open Internet.   The users from US would be asked to give their opinion  to  let their congressional representative know what  they think of the proposed legislation by clicking  on the link provided.

The 24 hours blackout decision was made by Wikipedia’s global community of editors -- the people who built Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, also opposes SOPA and PIPA, and supports the editors' blackout.
SOPA and PIPA are real threats to the free and open Internet.

After my post on Marina and Kaanum Pongal crowds, one of my friends asked whether it is a true representation ?  Kiribati re-elected its President – the news did not hit the headlines !   - it was not only due to the distance factor but also because of its size !!

Chennai city was bursting at seams yesterday as one wondered whether there are so many people in the city.  The city saw people visiting popular places which includes the sands of Marina, the Trade fair at island grounds, Children park and Vandalur zoo.  To set the record sight, the Vandalur Zoo in the city drew a record 63000 visitors yesterday, earning over 11 lakh in revenue.  TOI reports quoting Police estimates stated  that as many as 1.5 lakh people thronged the Marina.   The zoo was fully geared to meet the challenge  and had made special arrangements, including an additional 150 bus services and an ambulance with doctors.   To accommodate the huge crowd and for creating additional space lion and elephant safari rides were cancelled and battery-run vehicles were also not operated. The paper reports that 5 month-old lion cub Veera, named by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in September last year, was the star attraction in his special enclosure. Most of the visitors, especially children remained in front of the lion cubs enclosure, enjoying the sight of Veera playing with bone-shaped toys. However, with the crowd refusing to move, officials found it difficult to take the cub out for rest and feeding. Wild species, especially cubs, need rest. The lion cub was exhausted, said a zoo official.

The Republic of Kiribati has a population of 100800 according to UN 2010 and has an area of  811 sq km (313 sq mi) spread over islands that extend about 3,900 km (about 2,400 mi) from east to west.  One benefit of having so many islands is that  Kiribati’s exclusive economic zone (area of the ocean in which it controls fishing and other rights) covers more than 3 million sq km (more than 1 million sq miles).

To understand its size, Tamilnadu has an area of 130,058 km2 (50,215.7 sq mi) and its capital Chennai city  has  1,189 square kilometres (459 sq mi).  150000 people thronged Marina beach while 63000 visited Vandalur zoo and these two alone more than doubles the entire population of the Nation. 

The island Nation of Kiribati is located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The Nation comprises  of 32 atolls and one raised coral island,) straddling the equator.  The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of "Gilberts", derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. The capital of South Tarawa consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999. 

Anote Tong (1952) is an I-Kiribati politician with Chinese heritage who is the President of Kiribati. He won the election in July 2003 with a slim plurality of votes cast (47.4%) against his brother, Dr. Harry Tong (43.5%) and the private lawyer Banuera Berina (9.1%). The elections were contested by the opposition, due to allegations of electoral fraud but the High Court of Tarawa had confirmed that there was no fraud. He was easily re-elected on 17 October 2007, for a second term (64%). In 2012, Tong was reelected for the third term, although with a significantly smaller percentage than in the previous two elections.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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