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ACTIVITIES

Unity of the Community: In its attempt to unite the community, this unity centre could bring to its fold 10 organisations into the confederation namely, Latheen Katholikka Aikya Vedi, Kerala Latheen Katholikka Aikya Vedi, Akhila Kerala Swathanthra Malsya Thozhilali Federation, Roopatha Malsya Thozhilali Union, Theeradesha Samrakshna Samithy, Katholikka Kammalar Samudaya Sangham, Latheen Katholikka Rashtreya Karya Samithy, Bharatheeya Christian Association and International Latin Catholic Unity Centre, during a very short span of time. After a political organ named Indian Labour Congress (ILC) was formed by the Community under KLCA in 1982, KLCA practically became defunct in almost all the Latin Dioceses. Even otherwise KLCA could not go the roots of the community for various reasons and it could have even a working fund inspite of the apparent patronage of all the Latin dioceses. The ardent laity leaders of the community including Adv.A.James Fernadez who were working for KLCA from its formation in 1972, with its founder president late Chev.K.J.Burliegh, continued their activities under Latheen Katholikka Aikya Vedu, a unity centre for the Latin Catholics, Chev.K.J.Burliegh, late Mr.Xavier Archal Ex. M.P., Sri.E.P. Antony(founder Gen. Sec.of KLCA and former P.S.C.Member) used to participate in the campaign meeting of LKAV at Ernakulam. The activities have now spread all over Kerala and being organised on national as well as international leves,. LKAV works with other backward, SC/ST and minority communities also. The Anti economic Reservation Front formed at Trivandrum in 1987 under the leadership of Adv.A.James Fernadez as its President later spread all over Kerala under presidentship of late K.K.Viswanathan, former Governor, and the Vice-presidentship of Adv.A.James Fernandez, later became Samvarana Samudaya Vimochana Munnani under the Presidentship of late M.K.Raghavan, former Minister of Kerala and vice-presidentship of Adv.A.James Fernandez, now renamed as "Samwarana Samrakshana Munnani" (Reservation Protection Front) in which LKVA continues to play a key role with LKAV president as its state Vice-Chairman and Trivandrum District Chairman Muslim League is one its important constituent organisations which formed Reservation Protection Action Council also. Thus the Latin Catholics under LKAV are in unity with other like minded communities and other organisations also as a result of the hard efforts of LKAV.

Reservation Protection: The job reservation of the Latin Catholics in Travancore Cochin State was 8%, By formation of Kerala State it was reduced to 6%. In 1972 the Nettoor P.Damodharan Commission reduced it to 3%. As a result of strong agitation it was raised to 4%. But the Government added the Anglo-Indian Community which has 1% reservation in to the Latin Catholic Quota of 4%. However, the Community has not attained this reservation till date. Our constant demand is to raise the quota to 6%. As per Justice Narendran Commission Report, there is a back-log of 4,370 posts to this community, on an analysis of the date of merely 11 years. Hence we are on agitation for special recruitment to fill this back log and prevent such back logs in future, and to allow concessions in the maximum age limit and minimum educational qualifications for the L.C. Fisherman candidates, include them in OEC or in the most-backward classes to ensure their adequate representations in public service and in general several agitations were launched by LKAV independently as well as with other communities with this church. Now it has become one of the important political issues in Kerala and the Government assure to fill the back logs and consider the other demand of LKAV. As per Kumara Pillai Commissions report, the educational reservation of LCI in postgraduate and professional courses is only 2% excluding the Anglo-Indians. LKV has been demanding to raise it to at least 4% equivalent to the job reservation of the community. But the Government when introduced the educational reservation to admissions in the Higher Secondary courses, in 2003 reduced the reservation of the LCs pressure and agitation, the Govt. reserved 2% reservation to the community in March, 2005.

Creamy Layer: Justice Joseph Commission appointed by the Hon.Supreme Court of India collected evidence in the state in 1962 LKAV argued for excemption of the Latin Catholics and its fishermen sector from the Creamy layer with facts and figures. The Commission recommended to executed the Latin Catholic Mukkuvas and Anjuttikars from the Creamy Layer elimination in appointments. Now the Govt. has excempted these sections from producing Non-Creamy layer Certificate to apply for job, as demanded by us. We continue our demand to exclude the whole Latin Catholic Community from the Creamy Layer as thesepersons are not ever finger countable in the community.

Mandal Commission: LKAV was the only organisation first approached the Hon Supreme Court of India for a direction to the Government of India to implement the Mandal Commission report the Magna Carta of the backward communities. It also represented in the S.C. to exclude the LCs from the Creamy layer, and these issue is still under consideration. The well-known book written by the LKAV president Adv. A. James Fernandez, entitled "Mandal Samvadam" was widely read among the oppressed classes. His book "Justice Narendran Commission Report and its Impacts" was also a very useful work.

Coastal Martyres: The present president of LKAV, while he was the state Gen. Sec. Fo ILC created a coastal Martyres monument at Sangumugham Jn. in the capital city of Trivandrum in 1984, to communerate all the martyrs shot dead in the different parts the coastal regions of the State from time to time, on different issues and agitations or otherwise killed on the issued of the community and the fishermen from in freedom struggle till date. From 1987 onwards it is being protected and maintained by LKAV. On 15 th June every LKAV continues to observe the Coastal Martyrs'n pay homage all over the State along with the Anniversary of LKAV.

Promotion of Education: LKAV gives prime choice of activity to the promotion of education without which the community will not develop. Every year LKAV give away gold medals of ½ soverigns each to atleast 20 meritorious students from the community in SSLC, Plus Two, Vocational HSS etc. with some concession to the students from the fishermen section, cash awards from Rs.210 to Rs.5001 are given to at least 100 students. Merit Certificates are given to 500 students on State level. District units do the same locally also. these awards are given in the state convention in connection with the annual Celebrations of LKAV on 15 th June every year. The Education minister, one or two other ministers, high other dignitaries like Arch Bishop, bishop, other religion heads, MPs, MLAs,Socio cultural and political leaders attend these functions and people from all over the state attended the meeting which is a very good encouragement for our educational advancement. Awards are also given to the meritorious athletes, artists and other talents from the community. We conducted free courses on information languages study in 2003-04. We have proposed scheme to help the poor students in all possible ways.

Samudaya Acharya, Visista Seva Retna Awards: These are the highest awards founded by LKAV. Samudaya Acharya Award is given to the top most activist in the community every year. The first dignitory to be honoured with this highest title was lake Chev.K.J. Burleigh, for president of KLCA, Chairman of ILC and the first patron of LKAV. In the well known special convention held at Kollam in 2004 and very Rev.Msg. Albert Prasavila was last time given the title and award of the Samudaya Acharya Award. He virtually burst into tears on the stage when the award was crowned to him with a special memento and shawling, as no such honour was ever given to him with a special memento and community to recognize his sacrifices for the fishermen and the church. Rev.Fr.Paul Cruz was honoured with Samudaya Ratna Award and 24 other selected leaders were honoured with Visishta Seva Eetna awards. Those include the former minister and veteran political leaders from the community Mr.Baby John. As he is bed-ridden, the award was presented to him at his residence at Kollam, by our president. All the media attached much importance to the award presented to him at his bed side. This was the first recognition for him from the community. Dr.Henry Austin (former central Minister & Ambassador), Sri.B.Wellington (former Minister) Dr.S.Kevin (former Pro-vice chancellor), Sri.Sylvester Ignatius (Kerala Footbal team Captain) and Rev.Fr.Dominic Gomez S.J. received the awards on 15.6.2005 in the August gathering at VJT Hall, Trivandrum in the 17 th State Annual convention of LKAV. Sri.Thomson Lawrence who donates his blood of rare group continuously for the last 20 years and a social worker was awarded this distinction at the special convention held at Trivandrum 2.11.2005.

Annie Mascrene Award: Late Annie Mascrene, known as "Kerala Jhansi Rani" a pristige of the community of the state and of the nation has been forgotten by all, LKAV for the first time in 2003 founded "Annie Mascrene Award" and "Annie Mascrene Educational Excellence Award". The first Annie Mascrene Award was presented to Sri.O.V.Raphel (OVR) the renowned music composer and director especially of X'n devotional songs well known all over Kerala. The same was presented to him by the then speaker of Kerala Sri.Vakkom Purushothaman, in the special convention held at YWCA Auditorium on 14.4.2004. A special souvenir, was published on the same day. It was released by Rt.Rev.Dr.Joshua Mar Ignatius Auxilliary Bishop of Trivandrum Mayor , Arch Diocese Dignitories from all walkes of life including very rev.Dr.C.Joseph, Chancellor, Trivandrum Latin Arch Diocese talked on the occasion. The Annie Mascren Educational Excellence Award was presented to St.Xavier's College, Thumba, Trivandrum in the 17 th State Annual Convention held at V.J.T Hall on 15.06.2005. Its manager was awarded Vishista Seva Ratna Award for his efforts to bring up the children of fishermen educationally and culturally. It is decided to give these Awards every year.

Annie Mascrene Memorial: A small piece of land at Xanadu Jn. Near Women's College, Vazhuthacaud, trivandrum was set apart by Government years age for a monument of Annie Mascrene and the same was named by the Trivandrum City Corporation and the by road leading to her family house at Vazhuthacaud was named "Mascrene Lane" and a sign board was fixed by the Corporation there. About 3 years ago the said sign board disappeared all over night, and another sign board appeared there. Due to strong protest the new board fixed in the name another person was removed. But the sign board of "Mascrene Lane" has not been replaced till date. This being so in October 2005 as news appeared that the statue of the renowned Poet Vayalar Rama Varma is being erected at the Xanadu site on 24 th Nov. 2005. LKAV along came forward with protests and made it a political issue on the wake of the by election to the Trivandrum parliament constituency. A strong agitation was declared and organised to prevent installation of any other monument at Xanadu, the Annie Mascrene Square where the high platform to erect the statue of Vayalar Rama Varma was constructed. We were pleased not to bring the famous Rama Varma to a controversy and to erect his statue at another proper place. The Hon.Chief Minister and Dr.M.K.Munir the Hon. Minister for Public works assured not to erect any other monument of Annie Mascrene Square. We fixed a board "site for the statue of Annie Mascrene" at the square on 19.11.06 on 21.11.05, the statue of Vayalar Rama Varma was erected 24.11.2005. This controversy ended peacefully by the timely interruption of LKAV. As per decision taken in the connection held on 4.12.02 steps. We are at a foot to form Annie Mascrene Trust to make a suitable monument for Annie Mascre.e A Popular Committee has been constituted under the Hon. Chairmanship of the Chief Minister to erect a full bronze statue of Annie Mascrene at the avenue square.

Struggle for Educational Rights: In 1987 the State Government withdraw the recognition of our prestigious school, the Holy Angels HS, Trivandrum for political reasons concerning an employee of the school. Immediately LKAV came forward with protest and declared strong agitation. Only LKAV took up this issue. Hence all the staff, students and their parents came forward to support the agitation of LKAV. We got assured the support of the staff and students of the nearby St.Joseph's HS and other schools. The agitation was scheduled to be commenced on with a mass protests rally to the Government Secretariat. The Education Minister who was faraway from the capital district, rushed to Trivandrum and issued urgent orders withdrawing the Government order passed against the school. At about 8 pm we could reach copy of the order to the Holy Angels Convent where the school authorities, staff and PTAS office-bearers were waiting anxiously. The agitation was called off by LKAV on the same day. This was the major victory immediately after the formation of LKAV, even before the State Committee was formed in 1988. In the same year the Government withdraw the recognition of Carmel Girls HSS, Trivandrum. LKAV was part of the agitation movement till the Government order against this school was also withdrawn very soon.

Latin Catholic Management of Educational Institutions: LKAV organised agitation in front of St.Joseph's HSS Trivandrum, to get back its Management to the Latin Diocese from the Jusuit Management. The same demand was raised with regard to Thumba St.Xaviers College and All Saints College. It was to protect the interests of the community and for educational advancement and employment opportunities to the community. These efforts became successful except in the case of Thumba St. Xavier's College, which is still under the Jesuit Management. However, we succeeded in compelling the Government to upgrade Thumba St.Xaviers college to a post Graduate Institution with M.Sc-Physics and the science graduate course in Maths for the first time with the strenuous efforts of LKAV. These courses were launched by Sri.E.T.Muhammed Basheer, the Education Minister of Kerala. We honoured the college by presenting the prestigious Annie Mascrene Memorial Educational Excellence Award to the college in the State Annual Convention at VJT Hall, Trivandrum on 15.06.2005 and the Vishista Seva Retna Award to its Manager Rev. Fr.Dominic Gomez S.J.

Education Reservation: In 2003 the Government reduced the reservation of the Latin Catholics in admissions to Plus One from 2% to 1% and included the Anglo-Indians and the SIUCs also in the mere 1% quota. But no other leadership in the community came forward to challenge it. LKAV succeeded in taking up this issue to restore the 2% reservation in education excluding the other communities in this quota and we press our demand to enhance this reservation atleast to 4% equal to the job reservation as this community lag behind in education. We also succeeded in increasing the number of seats in the Plus One in most of our schools in March 2005. 10% increase was allowed for Leo XIII HSS, Pulluvila, Trivandrum by the Government through the efforts of LKAV.

Latin Teaching: In 2003, the State Government passed orders directing the Higher Secondary Schools to dismiss the Latin Teachers who have no Masters' Degree in Latin, while in fact there is no Master's Degree Course offered in any University in India and such a condition is not made applicable in the case of other foreign languages like German, Arabic, Spanish, Syriac etc. only LKAV again rose to the Occasion and forced the Government to withdraw the order. The existing teachers are even protected from the new provision to pass SET. All the Latin teachers need pass only degree with Latin as second language, Master's Degree in any subject and pass SET. Thus this issue has been resolved successfully. LKAV still continue the effort to have course in Latin language and Literature also including St.Xaviers College, Thumba.

Educational Financial Aid: To promote education of girls from the weaker sections, the Government has been giving financial assistance to the Muslim and Nadar Community. In 2005 this was extended to 17 other communities but not the Latin Catholics. LKAV alone took up the matter with the Government and settled the same with the Chief Minister for Education.

All Religious Harmony: While striving for the community, LKAV also stands for the religious harmony in India. We conduct all religion Family Meets during the X'mas - new Year every year and organize All Religious Harmony Meet in connection with the Annual State Convention of LKAV every year. We arrange dinner and cultural programmes in the All Religion Family Meets. Different religious and Community leaders participate in these meets.

Religious & Communal Atrocities: While striving for religious and communal harmony, LKAV always fought against the atrocities being committed against the religious minorities in India especially against the Christian Missionaries, Priests, nuns and the X'n institution in different parts of India. Protests meeting and demonstrations were conducted on every such occasion. LKAV tried to draw the attention of the international community including the UNO in this issue when similar incidents repeated and spread all over India. As to the allegations against the Christian Churches in India on the alleged foreign money availed by the Church, we demanded an enquiry into the foreign money availed by majority communities and their institutions in India and abroad and pleaded for protection of religious and minority rights guaranteed in the Constitution of India. We have represented our statement on the minority (religious and linguistic) right before the National Commission of India on the minority rights on 1.12.2005 which is very comprehensive, supported with facts and figures.

Converted Christians: LKAV always stood for the rights of the scheduled castes converted to Christianity, and to restore their rights as scheduled castes. We co-operated with the joint movement for this purpose and organised agitations, and support the case now pending before the Hon'ble Supre Court. On 20.08.1995 Justice Sunday, LKAV lead a demonstration of 300 young men carrying heavy crosses along Kozhikode Town and a hunger-prayer sathyagraha on the highway in front of the Bishop House of Kozhikode Latin Diocese to draw the attention of the Government and the church to resolve the problems of the scheduled cast Christians. 'We want to fight against social injustice both in the Church and in the society' (from the resolution adapted by the CBCI Bangalore Convention, 1979). A picketing was staged in front of the Kannur Collectorate on 23 rd May 1994. Hunger strikes and dharnas were done in front of the Government Secretariat many times. We are hopefully looking forward to the verdict of the Hon. Supreme Court on this issue.

Backward Committees Movement: In 1987 Anti Economic reservation Front was formed at Trivandrum under the presidentship of Adv. A.James Fernandez founder President of LKAV, in a convention of the representatives of other backward communities and SCs/ STs of Trivandrum District. Later State convention of these communities was Governor Late K.K.Viswanathan was elected president, former Minister Late M.K. Raghvan was the General Secretary Adv. A.James Fernandez as the president of LKAV was its vice-president. This unity centre of the backward classes including the SCs/STs is now re-named as Samvarana Samrakshna Samithy, President of LKAV as its State Vice-Chairman and the Trivandrum District Chairman. The Hon. President of LKAV was always an ardent fighter to protect the fundamental rights of the Backward Classes. The Public Interest Litigation filed before the Hon. Supreme Court of India was the first one of the issue of implementing the Mandal Commission Report. The said petition No.643/SC/PILC/88 filed on 22.12.1987 wad disposed on 26.2.1988 by the Bench Consisting the Hon. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court advised involvement of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the desired relief. V.P. Singh Government passed orders on 13.08.1990 to implement 27% reservation in employments for the socially and educationally backward classes. But the Hon. Supreme Court restricted its scope by introducing the Creamy Layer elimination reservation. The struggle is going on to implement all the recommendations of the commission followed by many other Central and State Commissions for the backward classes, and the Minorities of India. We took up the agitation from around the parliament down to the government secretariat, PSc office etc. In the annual conventions, a session of the backward communities also held every year in the two day functions in connection with the Anniversary. 'Mandal Samvadam', Savarana Medhavithwam, Justice Narendran Commission report - Oru Padanam' etc are the note books published by LKAV and written by its president Adv.A. James Fernandez.

Grabbing of the Communities Reservation: While we support the causes of the scheduled caste Christians to restore their reservation enjoyed before conversion, we oppose/ attempts of other converts grabbing the reservation of the Latin Catholics by obtaining false community certificate on the pretext of going to the Latin Catholic Churches. We are challenging such claims before the Kerala backward Commission. Our stand is that religious conversion should not be by offering the community's reservation. Religious faith should be treated different from the limited grants given by the Government to the SEBCs, different from religious groups.

Obligation to Concreted Mother Teresa: LKAV believe that Mother Theresa, mother of the poor descerted, oppressed and depressed people is a model of all times, particularly in the present troubled society. Indeed she is the saint of the poor. Hence LKAV even during her life time considered the living saint as the patron saint of LKAV. When her demise was officially declared by the doctors headed by Dr.Altred Woodward of the Assembly of World Church hospitals in Culcutta at 9.30pm on 5.9.1997, the High power committee of LKAV on session rose to feet and bowed heads paying tribute to the saint of LKAV and declared mourning for a week in all units of LKAV and its constituent organisations. Following the declaration of Mother Teresa "The Blessed" by pope John Paul II, LKAV organsied a "CITIZEN'S PRAYER ASSEMBLY" for the first time in India of that kind on 2.10.2003 at the cosmopolitian centre of the Freedom Martyre's Square, Palayam, in the capital city of Kerala attended by the religious leaders of all major communities, different congregations, preists, nuns, politicians, famous writers, poets, and other people of all walks irrespective of religion, caste or creed, even ignoring the heavy rain which started from the previous evening, lasted till 10.30 when the prayer song in reverence of Mother Teresa started by the famous OVR and choir group. Lunch packets were given to 1,000 destitutes, beggars and orphans in the name of the Saint of the poor. Even a german family who passed by, got attracted in this unique function and volunteered to take the biriyani lunch in the sacred venue of the mother of the poor. We prayfully awaited the cheerful declaration from Vatican raising mother Theresa as the saint who requires no other miracle than her life itself and attained the statue of the saint of the poor in the hearts and minds of the people all over the world, and the patron saint of LKAV.

Rights of the Laity Apostolate: LKAV always maintained the view that the Church should leads the laity in spiritual and ecclesiastical matters and the laity should follow its leadership whereas in temporal, socio-political matters of the "Community", the laity should take up the leadership and church will support the nuses take up by the laity leadership and organisations in the material advancement of the community, attune with the decrees of the second Vatican council on the Apostolate of the Laity. "The Laity can engage in their apostolic activity either as individuals or together as members of various groups or associations", the Decree declares.

Following a presentation addressed to pope John Paul II in 19, with regard to the need to form pastoral councils, parish councils, and for laity participation in the Government of the Church and the parishes, especially in temporal matters our President Adv.A.James Fernandez, was informed from Vatican on that the issues in the representation will be considered. The issues have been given due consideration and implemented by the Churches in India. There are vital issues where the Church and Hierarchy cannot come to the fore-front.

LKAV always stand with the Church and Hierarchy, with due reverence and obedience to spiritual leadership, co-operating with all its attempts to bring changes in the society. The leaders of LKAV always seek co-operation and blessings of the church and the hierarchy in its activities since its inception for the last more than 18 years. It is to be need that LKAV served to raise the voice of the community to foster the causes of the community or to give back support of the hierarchy. LKAV still series an effective weapon to fight for the genuine causes of the community, the working classes and their socio political and economic advancement where no other organisation till now testimonial to this aspect and hence LKAV is considered as the hopeful forum for the community and the working classes.

Political Movement of the Latin Catholics: All the major political parties always neglected the Latin Catholics on party level and the Governence of the country and the State. Hence RLCA and the Community with the concurrence of the hierarchy formed Indian Labour Congress, a new political party in 1982. Late Chev. K.J.Burileigh, was the Chairman. Adv.A.james Fernandez was the general secretary. But these who took initiative in the beginning washed away the movement when it was strengthened and spread all over Kerala. KLCA was taken over by politicians excluding the earlier KLCA leadership who formed ILC. Hence the community leaders in ILC formed LKAV in 1987. ILC was got registered in the Election Commission of India. James Fernandez was later its chairman. But it lost its strength gathered by hard efforts and contesting many elections, due to discouraging attitude of the sources of strength of the community. The political men of the community in other political parties got better leadership and positions. Hierarchy got more influence in the central and State government. But ILC and its leaders were isolated, with that, the political strength of the community also withered away However, LKAV has replaced its role to highlights the political bargaining power of the community to a great extent. In the matters of candiadteship in elections to the political men of the community in major political parties, ministership in the cabinet, office bearership in the political parties. Mayorship, Municipal Charimanship, Gram Panchayat Presidentship etc. LKAV continue to play a great role.

Coastal Constituencies and Delimitation: This is one of major issue that LKAV highlighted from the beginning. An important recommendation of the Mandal Commission is to crave out the regions of fishermen concentration and constitute separate constituencies for their better representation in the Governance of the nation. Representation have been moved before the National Delimitation commission, the Government of India and the State Government to press this demand. The efforts still continue. During the visit of the Delimitation Commission of India in December 2003, we gave oral statement and pressed the demand on the basis of our study report. submitted to the commission in 2000 and adduced evidence in support of our arguments. We also could enlighten the community on this issue since 1987 onwards and several agitations were done. Even before that we have been raising this voice under KLCA and ILC. We staged a mass Dharna in front of the Government Guest House, Trivandrum during the visit of the National Delimitation bifurcation of the existing constituencies consisting of the coastal regions and of the coastal wards. We continue our political bargain on this issue of formation of the coastal constituencies. We also urge the government to have the panchayat and village offices and fisheries offices in the coastal villages, we also urge the control and the state governments to implement other recommendations of the Mandal Commission also, such as setting up of Residential Schools in the coastal regions and providing of financial assistance in the existing schools in the sea-coast to provide residential facility to the students.

As Preventive Force Against Atrocities: Since the Vimochana Samaram of 1957-58, the attitude of the police, under all the Govts, UDF or LDF, is to interfere in the coast only with arms for firing whatever may be the issue, however trivial it may be. On such occasions only LKAV stood in the force front to protest such incidents to give relief to the community and to prevent such unnecessary atrocities in future. Even before LKAV formed in 1987, its founder president took such leadership and initiative down from the police firing incident at Poonthura in 1978 in which paniyamma and Hridayadima were shot dead. When all other leaders of the community kept away from the agitation against the incident after declaring the same only stood firm and lead the agitation and protest march seven facing a large armed forces and prohibition order, and more than 3000 men and women courted arrests, and thus achieved all the demands the and were saved from false cases foisted against them, and got assurance against such atrocities in future, without making the church to spend any money from parish fund or from the diocese. In the police firing at Valiyathura in 1983 in which an innocent young fisherman named Jacob was shot dead though he did not even participate in the Dharna staged in front of Valiyathura Police out post by some youngemen of the place to protest the atrocities of the police against the coastal men. Several other youngmen were seriously wounded in the police action without any provocation from the agitations. There was firing the statues of St.Antony and St.Mary venerated in front of the Church and the statues got damaged. The parish priest late rev. Clarance Fernandez who tried to dissuade the police, was brutally man handled by the force. LKAV president who was then the general secretary of KLCA, Trivandrum and of ILC, rushed to the spot and rescued the injured eying uncared of one public road, survived by battalions of armed forces, ignoring their objection, reached them to hospitals, thus saved many lives, arranged protection to the priest and the people unanimously chose him the convenor of the Action Council formed the next day. As a result of the agitation the relief measures could be achieved, unnecessary further harassment and atrocities could averted, false cases and arrests could be avoided and the under new Circle (Poonthura Circle) could be established at sangumugham, now working in the vicinity of the International Airport , Trivandrum, named as Valiathura Police Station.

In all similar cases in Vizhinjam ,Pallithura, Thumba and also in the Districts. The last of these series was at Thumba Trivandrum

Thumba Police Firing: On 28.12.2001 the local police accompanied by the mediamen rushed to the coast village of Fathimapuram (Rajiv Gandhi Nagar) near John the Bapitist Church, Thumba, Trivandrum to arrest the accused in a Crl. Case of trivial nature.i.e. teasing some girls at Puthenthope while playing on the shore on X'mas day. When they unnecessarily began to search all the houses, threatening and insulting even the girls, some boys reportedly pelted stones at the police and bursted the fire crackers kept of the New Year day Celebrations after the X'mas celebration. The police opened fire at the people and house aimlessly and filed away in their jeeps. But after about one house, the City Police Commissioner, who has no jurisdiction over this rural area, rushed to this place with a batalian of SAP force armed with AK 47 rifles and opened fire at the houses without any warning and without any law and order situation. A poor innocent fisherman named Varghese S/o. Thomas who came outr from his hut was shot dead and several others get wounded, houses, were looted, fishing implements were blazed. LKAV men rushed to the spot, urged the Govt. for judicial inquiry staged hunger strike before the Government Secretariat to suspend the police officers responsible for the incident, to give adequate compensation and register murder case against the police officers. Govt. conducted Judicial Inquiry. But the Police registered 2 cases against 700 persons of Thumba Parish and did not take any case against the police. Hence LKAV filed a Criminal case against the police commissioner and 44 other police personnel in the Court for offences including murder. The court took it to filed and directed the police to register an FIR and investigate the matter. The same in still pending the court. the police harassed and continue to harass LKAV president who is the complainant against them in Court by all means with support of certain local politicians of our own community and hoisted false cases against him through them and other hired persons. They even tried to destroy or highjack this organisation. But we faced all these tests bravely and continue the activities more enthusiastically involving all vital issues to uplift this down- trodden community and the fisher folk.

Titanium Issue: Travancore Titanium Products Ltd., a public sector undertaking has been heavily polluting the sea since 1950. inspite of many agitations moot of which were under the leadership of the president of LKAV, as the secretary of the Coastal Uplift Association, the management and the Government continue to play a dilly-dallying attitude in implementing the recovery project for neutralisation of the poisonous effluents discharged into the sea affected fishermen families of the affected area. LKAV took part in the agitations and filed case against TTP in the Lok Ayuktha for the relief. Thereafter the Hon/ High Court interfered in the issue and gave ultimatum to the Company to implement the recovery project or close down the company. Now the matter is pending consideration before the Hon. Supreme Court of India.

Tsunami reached Kerala At 1.30 pm on 26 th December 2004 without any prior warning from the scientific organists of the central or State Government who made the panic stricken citizen to flee for life with warning of "Subsequent Tsunamis" on 27-12-2004 and 30-12-2004 without any authenticy, which did not take place. During all these occasions, LKAV volunteers sincerely dedicated themselves in rescue and relief operations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Kollam and other coastal regions affected by Tsunami. New dress, dress materials, utensils, antisceptics bleaching powder etc. were availed to the deserving hands.

On 27 th Jan 2005, LKAV president and general secretary filed a writ petition (W.P.CC) 3373/05 in the Hon'ble High Court of Kerala against the union Government of India, the State Govt. of Kerala, concerned to show that the Govt. had, information of the ocean earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia in the early morning and also in Andoman Nicobar Islands where the Air Force flights from the Southern command and based at Trivandrum reached 9.30 am and save thousand of lives and done relief works, but no warning could be given in Kerala where in occused only at 1.30 pm on the same day, praying for an enquiry into the laches of the Govt. and authorities, to constitute a pemanent body for Disaster Management, to evolve a Tsunami warning system, to account for the Tsunami Funds collected by the Govts, various agencies and organisations including the Media, present diversion of the funds, to give adequate compensation to the victims, re-habilitate them on war footing or at the earliest by time bound scheme, prohibit fish import from Thailand etc. The Hon'ble High Court issued direction to the respondents to account for the Tsunami Funds and file counted to the O.P. Accounts Statement and counter has been filed by the State Govt. alone till now.

This was the one case that came up first on this issue in the world, we continue our efforts with the Govt, formulating public option leading agitation, submitting representations to the concerned authorities to redress the grievances of the Tsunami victims.

Protection of Fish-Vending Women: From the past till now the scenes in the fish markets and the picture of the fish vending women formulate the stigma of aversion and notion of dignity over the Latin Catholic Community and its fishermen sector especially in Kerala, unlike other Fishers Nations in the world or in other cities of India comparatively. LKAV and its leaders under the uncompromising president on such issues, always fought such instances wherever seen in the markets on frequent visit to protect the humiliated fish vending women in the markets, to save from the attacks of the goondas, drunkards, from illegal collection in the name of market leveses, abusing them as aboninals, in filthy language and also to reform and accomplish the women engaged in fish vending who reach home in the midnight every day after leaving their families in very early morning or even the previous night to collect fish from the landing centres from far away places.

LKAV launched a strong agitation and hunger strike in front of the Uchakkada Market at Balaramapuram on 7 th May 2005 to protest the attach by the leavy collector and his men on the fish vending women and other attrocities centunued since past. The police tried to disturb the agitation by force. But due to the strong attitude of the president of LKAV and other leaders, and participation of all the women workers, the agitation ended successfully and police was forced to register case against the culprits.

Efforts are also continued for safety measures, comforts, cleaning etc. in the markets. We try to evolve schemes to reach the fishes in the markets by independent agencies without making the women to travel with fish vessels or baskets or to sit in the markets but reach them their due benefits through the co-operative societies of women in every coastal village with co-operation of the Govt. and the public we also urge the Govt. to provide for the whole sale fish store and outlet facilities in the World Market set up at Trivandrum.

Kammalas, Konkinies and Other Sections: Katholikka Kammala Samudaya Sanghom is a constituent organisation of LKAV. The Government has turned down their request to include them in the PSC list for reservation of the Latin Catholics but eligible for the benefits as OBC. LKAV interferred in the dispute regarding their status as Latin Catholics and to protect their religious rights at properties of Bhajana Madam at Thathampally, Alappuzha and contest a civil suit O.S No....pending before the Alappuzha Munciff's Court. In the case of Catholic knofinited LKAV contest their cases before the State Backward Commission as case No.49/C'04.

TEN QUESTIONS,

Chapter for Demands and Charge Sheet:
During the elections to the Parliaments, Assembly and Local Bodies, LKAV Publish ten questions of important issues for reply from the candidates, political parties, fronts and to enlighten the voters with wide propaganda along the Latin Catholic and coastal regions through out the State. The major political parties and candidates used to give due consideration to the questions of LKAV and give reply officially. The character of the Demands submitted to the central and state govt. are seriously considered and official declaration are made to amelierate at least some of the important grievances.

LKAV periodically submitted charter of demands updating the vital and current issues, to the central and state governments. Who held frequent discussion with the Ministers and Chief Officials to resolve the issue. Several government orders and replies have been received credentials are available on our files kept in our office. Some of the important papers can be read on the last pages herein.

During the parliament election in May 2004 LKAV published the 10 questions. NDA the then central ruling party and state LDF officially gave their reply in support of our demands. The UDF had already given reply in the last Assembly elections in May 2001. in the by election to the Trivandrum Parliament election on 18.11.2005, the LDF candidate gave written assurance to get the demands of LKAV implemented in all possible means. The UDF candidate gave oral assurance. A candidate meet was held by LKAV in the state special convention at Trivandrum on 1.11.2005. The workshipful Mayor of Trivandrum inaugurated the Convention. The Latin catholic and coastal representations. In the Municipal Corporation, Municipalities, Districts and Grama Panchayats were honoured in this convention. Mr. Thalekkunnil Basheer M.P. inaugurated the parliament candidates session. Sri.Thomas Lawrence (Klm) was awarded the Vishishta Seva Retna Award in the convention in recognition of his continuous blood donation of his A-group for the last more than 20 years and his other social services. He is also the state governor of the LKAV youth wing. The famous freedom fighter Shri.K.E.Maman presented the award to him.

Mineral Sand (Karimanal) issue: The Government allowed private agencies to remove the precious mineral sand from the sea-coast without studying its impact on the fishery sector, 'Tsunami' causes, including ocean earth quake, the impact on the fish life and marine ecology etc. Hence LKAV strongly protested such a movement only to benefit certain private multinational monopolies and wanted scientific studies on the issue and enlighten the coastal people to remove their anxieties we organised seminars, agitations and conventions, held in different districts, supported by the congress leader Shri.V.M.Sudheeran Ex. M.P and the opposition leaders in the state during the 2004-2005. in the discussions with the government we were assured that no hasty steps will be taken by the government to implement this project. A voluntary core group has been constituted by LKAV to prevent any illegal move in this respect and the same was declared in the special convention held at Kollam which was inaugurated by Sri.Kutty Ahammed Kutty the Hon. Minister for Llocal Administration who declared in the convention that the Muslim League will quite the cabinet and Legislature if the Government does not implement special recruitment for SEBCs immediately by UDF.

Controlling of Trawllers: To protect the interests of the Indian Fishery and the traditional fisherman in India, LKAV has been from the very beginning objecting the exploitation of deep sea resources in the Indian sea using high-tech modern devices, trawlling away all the fishes including the newsprings at the coast of the traditional sector protested indiscriminate issue of liveness from beginning. But the control cabinet headed by former Prime Minister Sri.Narasimha Rao issued licence to all trawllers to operate in the Indian seas, causing heavy depletion of the varieties of fishes most of the species which have now disappeared from the Indian sea waters. We appealed to the Central and State Governments several times to stop the licence and raised it as a political issue. During the parliament elections in 2004 and the by election at Trivandrum in 2005, the major political fronts gave assurance in writing that new licences will not be issued to the hightech trawllers and the license already issued will not be renewed. But this assurance is not yet fulfilled and hence we continue our fight to achieve this demand also. The State Government also has given assurance to take up this issue with the central Government as a genuine case of interests of the fisheries sector and to protect the fisheries sector in India, especially in Kerala, a major fishery State.

Attack on Bishop's House, Churches etc: Immediately after the attack on the Neyyattinkara Latin Bishop's House and the priest ,LKAV strongly protested and demanded immediate arrest of the real culprits. The office-bearers visited the spot, registered our support to the agitation, convened a State convention to chart the future programmes of agitation. This was a major political issue raised by LKAV in the Trivandrum parliament by election of 18 th November 2005. We extended our co-operation with the effects of the Church also in this regard irrespective of party politics. LKAV always cared to keep equal distance with all political fronts and raised demands on issues basis. We discussed the issue with the Chief Minister who assured to arrest the real culprits without any political favouratism. Three of the seven accused were arrested and remanded to custody after about one month of the incident. We informed the government that the delay was to save the real culprits and urged arrest of the remaining accused. The attitude of the Government resulted in a heavy defeat of UDF in the by election as was in the elections to the local bodies. The attack on the Bishop's House was followed by an on for the 8 th time on the St. John the Bapists Church at Thumba Trivandrum. No accused involved in all these 8 attacks has been arrested till date inspite of our repeated demands. We continue our mission apostolate in these matters also.
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