The Men of the Deeps will perform in Port Morien, Cape Breton Regional Municipality on Wednesday, June 11 as Nova Scotia communities pay tribute to miners who lost their lives on the job. “We mark Miners’ Memorial Day every June 11 to remind ourselves of Nova Scotia’s rich mining history, and to recognize the tremendous sacrifices made by miners who worked in the coal mines in this province,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Mark Parent. “In addition, this day also serves as a reminder of the importance of workplace health and safety.” Formerly known as Davis Day, Miners’ Memorial Day began in memory of miner Bill Davis, who was killed in New Waterford during the mining strike of 1925. During the Port Morien ceremony, members of the Davis family will lay a wreath in memory of their grandfather Bill Davis. “My grandfather sacrificed his life for coal mining in Nova Scotia, and every year we gather to thank him and all others who lost their lives in the pit for their sacrifices,” said Norma MacDonald, Mr. Davis’s granddaughter. Every year, the United Mineworkers of America organizes Miners’ Memorial Day events throughout the province. “Coal mining is ingrained in Nova Scotians as part of our heritage,” said Bobbi Burchell of the United Mineworkers of America. “When the mining industry ceased to exist in Cape Breton, we stood a chance of losing that history. These ceremonies are a way of making sure that doesn’t happen.”
The Defence Secretary said that some countries had even placed restrictions on the sale of weapons to Sri Lanka and these issues had to be overcome through the skillful building up of diplomatic relationships with key regional allies as well as countries such as China and Russia. During the war the LTTE was able to influence the political leadership of many western states to be critical of the Government’s success on the war front Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.Speaking at an event in Galle today, Rajapaksa said that the government had to face the challenge of resisting international pressure to stop the war. “In this regard, ensuring that the problems that led to the conflict in the first place do not arise again is critically important. Keeping some degree of security measures in place is essential. At the same time, the Government was very keen to remove whatever restrictions had to be in place during the war so that the people could feel the benefit of peace as fast as possible,” he said. (Colombo Gazette) “Without doubt, the most important country that had to be managed was India. Because of the political pressures in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan situation has always been a very sensitive one in that country. In 1987, when the LTTE was on the brink of defeat during the Vadamarachchi Operation, India intervened and effectively forced the Government to stop its military campaign. In order to maintain the relationship with India and to prevent any such problem occurring this time around, the President went out of his way to keep New Delhi briefed on developments at all times. In addition, a special bilateral committee was set up at the highest level, including then Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President LalithWeeratunga and myself as Defence Secretary from the Sri Lankan side, and former National Security Advisor M. K. Narayan, then Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and then Defence Secretary Vijay Singh on the Indian side. This troika had continuous discussions and ensured that any sensitive issues were dealt with as soon as they arose,” he said.He also said that in the long term, the primary challenge and responsibility of the Government is to restore stability to Sri Lanka. “I would like to remind the audience of the last minute visits of the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom and France, as well as the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to pressurize the Government to stop the Humanitarian Operation. As a result of its vast international network, its extremely effective propaganda machine, and the large number of expatriate Tamils in many powerful foreign capitals, the LTTE was able to influence the political leadership of many western states to be critical of the Government’s success on the warfront,” he said.
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