The Sri Lankan authorities plan to return 42 seized boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen within a week, BJP State unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan said, according to The Hindu newspaper.She said she was given a list of the seized boats by members of a legal team of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs during her four-day visit to the country. She added that she had informed the appropriate authorities in her party and the government ahead of the meeting. According to her, Karunanayake had instructed his team to hand over the list. “We recently formed an Overseas Tamils Cell within our State unit. This trip is intended to be the first in a series of visits to countries where Tamils live,” she said. The legal team compiled the list of seized boats after Ms. Soundararajan met Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake. “Meeting him was not on my schedule. I intended to attend cultural and social events in the country,” said Ms. Soundararajan.
FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, recently announced that it would adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry. This is the first time TSM has been adopted by a mining association outside of Canada. The agreement was signed at the Fennoscandian Exploration and Mining Conference (FEM).MAC said that FinnMin and many of its member companies chose TSM as it is the most advanced initiative in the mining industry. “TSM will contribute to the transparency and accountability of the mining industry and will, therefore, enhance social acceptance among the different stakeholders in Finnish civil society.”“TSM has proven its effectiveness in Canada, and we at FinnMin believe it will be a useful tool for Finnish mining companies when the companies develop their sustainability reporting in the future,” commented Markus Ekberg, Chairman of FinnMin. FinnMin’s adoption of TSM is part of a larger commitment of MAC’s to freely share TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industry, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability.“We are very pleased that FinnMin has, after a three-year multi-stakeholder process of its own that explored options for improving its mining sector’s performance, has chosen TSM,” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC. “This is a significant milestone for TSM, and could be the start of it becoming a global standard.”“The adoption of the TSM framework in Finland presents a great opportunity to share the many lessons learned from over a decade of building standards in Canada, and no doubt we will also be able to learn from their implementation experiences,” said Alan Young, member of MAC’s Community of Interest Advisory Panel.Finland has already taken a key step in the implementation of TSM with the creation of the Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining.“The agreement between FinnMin and MAC is very good news for the Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining. It represents the first step in the implementation of a new sustainability standard in the Finnish mining sector. I trust that most mining companies will join the standard within the next few years,” says Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, Secretary General of the network.