He called on Sri Lankans living abroad to contribute towards moderating the negative narratives propagated against Sri Lanka by clarifying genuine concerns and debunking the falsehoods, a statement by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva said. The Sri Lankan government says attempts are being made by some Sri Lankans abroad to distort the image of the country.Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said that there was a need to evolve a consensus among Sri Lankans living abroad to desist from seeking to exploit domestic issues as foreign policy issues. The Ambassador made these observations when he addressed the 35th Independence Day celebrations attended by Sri Lankans living in Geneva and surrounding cities at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva. “These continue to be challenging times for Sri Lanka, as some, particularly living abroad, either mis-guided or with vested interests, continue to seek to distort the image of Sri Lanka,” the Ambassador said.While recognizing that there may be differences of opinion amongst Sri Lankans on some issues, the Ambassador said that it is important to identify and bracket issues Sri Lankans disagree on and work harder to reconcile the disagreements internally and not allow them to adversely affect the image of the country abroad. “Such bracketing is something we constantly do in our daily lives – within our homes, offices and communities, where we close ranks on issues, for a higher purpose. Great nations that have succeeded in forging ahead against many odds, are those that have been able to leave domestic issues at the water’s edge,” the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva quoted the Ambassador as saying. (Colombo Gazette) read more

B.C. signs LNG benefits deals with First Nations on proposed Petronas project by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 15, 2017 3:32 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 16, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Lax Kw’alaams Band Mayor John Helin speaks as Premier Christy Clark looks on during a press conference about the province of B.C. and the Lax Kw’alaams Band First Nations announcement of the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas export industry in Prince Rupert during a press conference in the Legislative Library on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito VICTORIA – The manager of a proposed liquefied natural gas export plant on British Columbia’s northern coast joined Premier Christy Clark Wednesday in touting two agreements reached with First Nations as important milestones for the project’s future.Clark and Wan Badrul Hisham, Pacific NorthWest LNG’s chief project manager, said the land, cash and environmental agreements are important steps forward.However, neither was prepared to make an official announcement about the project’s future.Malaysian-backed Petronas has yet to make a final investment decision on Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project near Prince Rupert and Clark’s government returned to the legislature Tuesday warning that LNG projects face “unforeseen head winds.”Clark promised billions in liquefied natural gas investments and 100,000 jobs leading up to the 2013 provincial election, but that hasn’t materialized. In November, Woodfibre LNG was the first to announce it was proceeding with a $1.6 billion development near Squamish.The federal government announced in September that after a rigorous environmental review it had approved Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project. It would include an $11 billion plant and pipeline for a total capital investment of $36 billion. The approval came with 190 legally binding conditions that would lessen the environmental impacts of the project.Despite government concerns about downturns in energy markets, Clark said the benefits deals with the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation mark the co-operative spirit required to pave the way for the project.“All great relationships are founded on trust and respect,” she said. “This is another major step forward for LNG in B.C.”The agreements with the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation are tied to the project proceeding and include the transfer of about 3,000 hectares of land and almost $145 million.If it goes ahead, the project would create up to 4,500 construction and 350 permanent jobs.Hisham, who attended a signing ceremony at the B.C. legislature, said the benefit deals build long-lasting relationships between the First Nations, the province and his company.“The agreements between Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Metlakatla First Nation and the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, together with the agreements between the government of B.C. and the First Nations communities will serve as a foundation for a long-term beneficial partnership,” he said.Mayor John Helin of Lax Kw’alaams said their agreement marks the first time his people have been included in developments in their traditional territories.Last month, the two First Nations and the federal and B.C. governments signed an environmental monitoring deal that outlines how the levels of government will oversee environmental issues over the lifetime of the proposed LNG project. read more