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December 2, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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François Hollande decides not to seek re-election. Image Credit - palinchak / depositphoto

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India to supply trains and locomotives to Sri Lanka

India’s state-owned railway company, Indian Railways, is expected to supply ten locomotives and six diesel multiple-unit trains to Sri Lanka. The export order has been valued at more than LKR 15 billion.

Indian Railways has previously supplied locomotives and trains to Sri Lanka, as well as to Bangladesh. India’s Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has stated that India aims to become a major rail technology supplier.

Sri Lanka – US Business Council established

The Sri Lanka-US Business Council has been established under the auspices of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, noted at the launch that the council complements the US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

Sri Lanka has already established 21 business councils under the CCC, in addition to the newly established US-Sri Lanka Business Council. The main purpose of the business councils is to promote exports and facilitate tourism and investment.

Cuba presents new Ambassador to Sri Lanka

Cuba’s new Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez, has presented her credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena, on 1 December.

President Sirisena emphasised the longstanding nature of Sri Lanka-Cuba relations, and expressed gratitude to Cuba for consistently supporting Sri Lanka in international fora.


Canada lifts visa requirement for Mexicans

The Canadian government will no longer require a visa for Mexican citizens. The visa requirement was enforced by the previous Conservative administration in 2009.

A spokesperson for Canada’s immigration ministry stated that the country expects a rise in Mexican tourists and business persons.

French President decides against seeking re-election

François Hollande has announced that he will not run for a second term in France’s forthcoming presidential election. President Hollande will be the first president not to run for second term since the establishment of the current constitutional arrangement, the French Fifth Republic, in 1958.

Opinion polls suggest that Prime Minister Manuel Valls is expected to represent President Hollande’s Socialist Party in the election, against Republican representative François Fillon, and National Front representative, Marine Le Pen.

UN apologises for role in cholera outbreak

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has apologised for the role of UN peacekeepers in the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, which killed an estimated 10,000 people.

Secretary-General Ban issued an apology on behalf of the United Nations, claiming its handling of the event ‘leaves a blemish on the reputation of UN peacekeeping and the organisation worldwide’. The apology follows a sixteen-page report confirming that UN peacekeepers deployed in Haiti introduced the cholera strain.

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