UIA President, EC censured over religious event

The IST News Network

Sydney, July 4, 2018

The United Indian Associations (UIA) is in turmoil again, thanks to its new President, Sreeni Pillamarri and the Executive Committee (EC) over going ahead with a religious event despite being forbidden by the Governing Council (GC) senior members. An emergency GC meeting was convened on 17 June, 2018 where senior GC members lambasted the President for going against the suggestions of Governing Council members and breaching UIA constitution.

The Indian Sub-continent Times  is in possession of the minutes of this meeting. Almost all of the GC members censured the President for not complying with the UIA Constitution that forbids UIA to hold any religious or political events.

In this stormy meeting of Governing Council (GC) members, there was palpable anger against Mr Sreeni Pillamarri.  Such was the anger that Past President, John Kennedy, objected Mr Pillamarri from chairing the meeting and wanted the honorary Solicitor to chair the meeting. Finally, Dr Hem Chander Rao was asked to chair the meeting, which he agreed.

This emergency GC meeting took place because GC members had conveyed their serious concerns to the secretary, Satish Bhadranna about the constitutional crisis in UIA, and asked for an emergency meeting. Jaydatt Nayak from Gujarati Samaj stated that it was unconstitutional for UIA EC to do a religious event. He felt that expenses for the event must not come from UIA accounts. He and Mr Kiran Desai demanded an investigation as to how their concerns were leaked out to people outside, thus damaging their names and their association’s name. They stated that they will take action against UIA, if UIA does not investigate this matter and act accordingly. It is interesting that Jaydatt Nayak-led team did not follow rules and regulations in his own association, while raising similar concerns in regards to UIA. http://www.theistimes.com/gujarati-samaj-in-a-financial-mess-in-breach-of-the-associations-incorporation-act/

John Kennedy from Tamil Manram, and the past president of UIA, was upset about his email to the President Sreeni Pillamarri getting leaked. He wanted this to be scrutinised and report presented in the next GC meeting. Mr Kennedy also mentioned that he advised UIA EC to not use Lord Ganesha’s statue in the Mother’s Day function, as UIA events should be non-religious. His advise to Mr Pillamarri and EC to not hold Iftar dinner on 11 June, 2018 was ignored. He wanted strict measures to be put in to force EC to act within UIA constitution. Mr Dave Passi from Indian Seniors Group felt that current president did not bother to listen to the concerns of GC members and was arrogant. Sue Advani said that EC is elected by GC and can not take decisions unilaterally. Iftar dinner is a religious event and shouldn’t have been done Without GC approval. She wanted the EC to be put on a written notice by the GC. Mr Vijay Halagali, who previously held UIA Public Officer position for 6 years stated that UIA had never organised any religious or political activity before.  Sreeni Pillamarri was asked to respond. He apologised for not heeding to the advice from GC members. When asked to respond why GC WhatsApp Group was deleted without the consent of GC members, he explained that he deleted the GC WhatsApp Group because there was apparently some Cyber Crime happening there.

It was also mentioned by the Public Officer that the amendments of the constitution were yet to be lodged with Department of Fair Trading. He stated that 5 recently elected EC members were not validly elected as their nominations were signed before the new clause of SGM was approved by the GC and therefore the election of 5 EC members were not valid.

A resolution was passed. “A notice to EC shall be issued to follow UIA constitution all the time and no religious and political activities or events will be organised under UIA banner.” It was also passed that two senior GC members would be in EC meetings all the time. Sue Advani is one of such members.

What is happening inside UIA is not right. President Sreeni Pillamarri seems to not understand rules of governance and doesn’t seem to know UIA constitution. It appears that the EC members may not be holding their position as per UIA constitution.

“It is worth noting that this is the UIA leadership under Sreeni Pillamarri, which put the pictures of Indian PM, Narendra Modi and Australian PM, Mr Malcolm Turnbull in their event Flyer, thus giving a false impression about their attendance in that UIA event. It is the UIA leadership, which collected several thousands of funds on the name of deceased Ramachandran, without following any rule and without establishing that the family did indeed need the monetary assistance. Later on, the family declined to take the money, as they did not need the money, and now, most of this money is with UIA. This is grossly wrong.” http://www.theistimes.com/funds-collection-goes-awry-thanks-to-uia/ http://www.theistimes.com/there-is-no-ethical-line-which-uia-will-hesitate-to-cross/


This is extra-ordinary and concerning.  The community should have serious concerns about the activities of UIA.



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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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