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November 15, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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The government of Colombia and FARC sign a modified peace deal. Image Credit - jkraft5/ depositphotos

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Dutch business delegation to visit Sri Lanka

A high-level delegation representing the dairy and poultry sectors of the Netherlands, will visit Sri Lanka at the end of November. The Netherlands Export Combination, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Sri Lanka, and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will conduct a seminar under the theme, ‘Innovative Technological Solutions in Agriculture from the Netherlands’.

The Dutch delegates are interested in setting up joint ventures, partnering in trade opportunities, and sharing knowledge and technology to enhance the dairy and poultry sectors of Sri Lanka.

UN Torture Committee urged to investigate human rights violations

Former member of the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka, and Head of the International Truth and Justice Project, Yasmin Sooka, has encouraged the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), to visit the country and carry out an independent investigation on alleged abductions, torture, and sexual violence committed by security forces.

Ms. Sooka emphasised the need for ‘a comprehensive security sector reform programme’ to end the claims of systematic human rights violations. The call comes ahead of UNCAT’s meeting in Geneva to examine torture in Sri Lanka.

Jaffna International Trade Fair to be held in January

The 8th Jaffna International Trade Fair, the largest international exhibition in northern Sri Lanka, will be held on 27-29 January 2017. The fair aims to showcase many industries, including construction, agriculture, hospitality, food, automobile and ICT.

Over 60,000 people are expected to attend the exhibition, which will also host 75 special delegates from India’s Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry.


Putin and Trump discuss US-Russia relations

President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect, Donald Trump, have conducted their first telephone conversation and agreed to review and improve bilateral relations. Both parties discussed combatting terrorism, peacemaking in Syria, and ways of improving trade and economic ties.

President-elect Trump stated that he looks forward to having a strong relationship with Russia and its people. The two leaders also discussed arranging a meeting in person.

Colombian government signs new peace deal with FARC

The Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have signed a revised peace deal, on 12 November, following the rejection of a previous deal in a referendum. The agreement amends certain provisions of the previous deal, which were criticised for being too lenient on FARC rebels.

Amendments to the agreement address justice, the punishment of combatants accused of war crimes, and reparations for victims of the conflict.

EU to increase defence and security measures

The foreign and defence ministers of the EU have announced that they will strengthen the European Union’s military cooperation. This is to be done by creating a new planning organisation to oversee training missions and making greater use of the EU’s military crisis response units.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, stated that the EU would not be competing with NATO, but rather, would be strengthening the alliance. The plan to boost military cooperation has been under discussion since the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015.

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