For the next 14 days daily a part of the book "Ramar Island" will be published


I read through the manuscript of Ramar Island in one stretch with the curiosity of reading through a romantic novel and became convinced of the author’s mettle / gift to write serious novels, besides his several other gifts. But I know, writing a novel is not his primary objective; he has used this novel only as a sugar coating to present a bitter medicament for the disputed Sethu Samudram Canal Project.

It is now more than a year since the project work has been started and abruptly stopped because of certain objections coming from different quarters.

No one disputes the wisdom of having such a canal facilitating ships to pass through the shortest route instead of going around Sri Lanka. This would indeed contribute to the development of the economy in India in general and the people of drought stricken Ramanathapuram area in particular. But the dispute is over the question where to have the canal. Strong religious sentiments and ecological concerns have been raised against the present route approved by the Government of India, where work has been started. It is in this context, with a deep concern for the welfare of India, the author, Dr. Kaniappan Padmanaban has given us this proposal of Ramar Island with an alternative route plan for the canal.

The proposal of Dr. Kaniappan Padmanaban is worth studying by experts. I, being a person, who has had no personal knowledge of the disputed site and who do not have the expertise to comment on the feasibility of this project, can only point out to the advantages, if it can be carried out. First, it is a compromise proposal taking into consideration of all the concerns expressed. Religious sentiments of people are not hurt; ecological damages are avoided. The flora and fauna in the Gulf of Mannar is preserved. Secondly, the dream of Ramar Island becoming an economic zone of prosperity like Singapore boosting the economy of the people living around being realized is something worth considering seriously.

Dr. Kaniappan Padmanaban and his wife Janaki have been our family friends for nearly forty years. While living in Germany, we had close contacts. I have always admired Dr. Kaniappan Padmanaban’s high intellectual calibre and his wide range of knowledge. As a medical scientist he has contributed a lot in his own field while serving in Hamburg. Now after his retirement it is great that he thought of sharing the rich experiences and knowledge he gained over the decades for the benefit of the public through his publications. I congratulate him heartily on all his achievements. The book Ramar Island adds one more pearl to his crown. I am sure, the book will become very popular as an interesting novel, even attracting some film makers, and his alternative for the Sethu Project will draw the attention of experts in government and political circles. I wish him and his publishing programme all success.

June24, 2009
Dr. Gnana Robinson

Founder President
Peace Trust-Kanyakumari
Former Principal of United Theological College-
Former Principal of
Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary- Madurai