Australia and Sri Lanka discuss reconciliation and human rights

The Senior Officials further discussed possible areas for future collaboration focussing on defence and combatting transnational crimes, science & technology, agriculture, trade & investment, development issues, and regional cooperation.First Assistant Secretary, South and West Asia Division, Kathy Klugman led the Australian delegation, which also included officials from the South and West Asia Division and Sri Lanka Desk of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Immigration and Border Protection Attorney General’s Department, International Security Division of DFAT, Royal Australian Navy, DFAT’s People Smuggling Task Force and Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo. The discussions broadly focussed on the development partnership, trade and economic cooperation, people to people contacts, reconciliation and human rights, transnational crime and human smuggling, defence cooperation and maritime issues as well as the cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries. The Second Round of Senior Officials’ Talks between the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade concluded in Canberra.The Senior Officials’ Talks is a structured platform to review the bilateral relations between the two countries and to discuss regional and international issues of common interest and concern. Given the number of high level visits that took place between the two countries in 2017, which also marks the 70th anniversary since the establishment of formal diplomatic ties, the Second Round of Talks provided an opportunity to discuss the progress made in the understandings reached during those visits. The Sri Lankan delegation was headed by Additional Secretary Sumith Nakanadala and included Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia S. Skandakumar, Director General of External Resources Department Priyantha Ratnayaka, Director General, East Asia and Pacific Division of the Foreign Ministry Kapila Jayaweera, Deputy High Commissioner and Minister of the Sri Lanka High Commission. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Memorial set up for Hamilton murder victim Jesse Clarke

A Hamilton neighbourhood is in shock after a 14 year-old boy was killed on the street. Jesse Clarke was found with stab wounds just before ten o’clock Monday night.Tuesday, friends and neighbours gathered for an emotional memorial as the accused, another teen appeared in court.18-year old Brodie Nicholls has been charged with second degree murder. Police say the two knew each other.The stabbing took place in the area of Gordon and Lincoln streets, in the Barton and Gage area, just blocks away from the new Pan Am Stadium.His father and stepmother were told that doctors operated on Jesse Clarke for 45 minutes, but couldn’t revive him.They say he was a good kid who loved his guitars and the Ottawa Senators.Earlier Tuesday dozens of his friends gathered at a McDonald’s on Barton street to mourn and create a memorial.Police say two groups of young men, about 10-15 of them in total, were involved in the fight. They stopped short of calling them a gang.Nicholls was also taken to hospital with superficial wounds, but he was soon after released into police custody and charged with second degree murder.Friends say the two only knew each other through Facebook.Clarke’s family is just beginning to make funeral arrangements. They’ve had lots of company at their house, including Clarke’s principal and teachers from prince of wales elementary who have even offered to help pay funeral expenses. read more