Terming a “courtesy call” his meeting with Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna, the former Minister said Wigneswaran was “quite forthcoming and candid” on pluses and drawbacks in the existing arrangement between the Central government and provincial councils. Asked about his stand on a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council early this month on reconciliation and accountability, Mr. Chidambaram replied that “international flavour” could be added to the inquiry by involving “credible individuals.”He recalled that an Indian judge [Radhabinod Pal] had taken part in post-World War II trials held [by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East] in Japan.Pointing out that political parties in Tamil Nadu were for an international inquiry, he said, “I don’t think there is any support [for such a position] in the UNHRC.” Chidambaram, who clarified that he did not discuss the UNHRC resolution with Mr Wigneswaran, said he sought meetings with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan.He will deliver the 20th Annual Tax Oration at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka on Thursday before leaving Colombo on Friday evening. (Colombo Gazette) Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Wigneswaran, the former Indian Minister praised the Northern Province Chief Minister. Congress member and former Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that India will always assist Sri Lanka.Chidambaram said this after meeting Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna yesterday. The former Indian Minister is on a two day visit to Sri Lanka and he was in Jaffna as part of the visit. Meanwhile Chidambaram said a “credible inquiry” [into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka] could be achieved in many ways.Chidambaram, who is the first prominent leader from Tamil Nadu to visit Sri Lanka in recent times, told The Hindu that “at least, there a few ways. You don’t have to have binary approach.”
Last month, Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive Sam Walsh visited the company’s birthplace in southern Spain, commemorating the employees who helped build the foundations of the company more than a century ago. He also pledged Rio Tinto’s support for restoration work on a part of the company’s heritage in the region.The roots of the organisation date back to 1873, when a group of British and European investors formed The Rio Tinto Co to reopen ancient copper mines in the town of Minas de Riotinto, in Spain’s Huelva province. Rio Tinto eventually divested its Spanish interests, but for many years, the Huelva operations were the heart of the company, and the world’s leading producer of copper.Among the reminders of Rio Tinto’s time in Spain are the British Protestant Cemetery built by the company in 1879, and a memorial that the company constructed to honour its employees who lost their lives in World War I.During his visit, Walsh told Minas de Riotinto’s Mayor Rosa Caballero that the company would contribute €20,000 over three years towards restoration work needed on the cemetery.He also thanked Mayor Caballero for laying the wreath that the company sent in November 2014, to mark the centenary of the start of World War I and pay its respects to the employees who died in the conflict.“Rio Tinto is an international mining business with operations in more than 40 countries and we have a long and proud history stretching back more than 140 years,” said Walsh. “I respect our company’s heritage and, while we are no longer there, our commencement at Minas de Riotinto back in 1873 represents an important part of our story.“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to see first-hand the birthplace of our company and to better understand the rich history behind our business.“I was delighted to announce Rio Tinto will be helping to support the restoration of the cemetery and look forward to seeing the project progress. The Mayor of Minas de Riotinto told me it is an important project for the local community and we are pleased to be able to make this contribution.”Sam also spent time exploring Rio Tinto’s extensive historical archives and the town’s mining museum – which he declared one of the best he had ever visited. He also inspected the Cora Atalya (old pit), travelled on the restored locomotives and carriages of the mining railway, and toured the town’s English quarter, where houses were modelled after those from Victorian Britain, and were home to expatriate company executives.