Sri Lanka backs readmission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth

These issues adversely affect economic and social development and impact their ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Group should act as a collective voice to call for greater international assistance and support for vulnerable and marginalized states, particularly for financing and capacity building.Additionally, in a statement at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where Sri Lanka is a co-prime mover of the pillar on “Science, Technology and Innovation”, Foreign Secretary Aryasinha noted the great potential in the ACD Region in the field of tourism which could play a crucial role in sustainable social, cultural and economic growth.The ACD taking centre stage in enhancing economic competitiveness in the region enables Asian countries to compete in the global market on an equal footing. Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, speaking at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting, said that as a close neighbor and a fellow South Asian nation, Sri Lanka enjoys strong bilateral ties with the Maldives, and it is gratifying that one of the primary initiatives embarked upon by the new Maldivian administration last year was to convey its intention to re-join the Commonwealth. Sri Lanka has welcomed a  proposal for the readmission of the Maldives to the Commonwealth family reiterating that Sri Lanka fully supports the fast track procedure previously applied in the readmission of Gambia, to allow the Maldives to participate fully at CHOGM 2020 in Rwanda.Sri Lanka made the observation at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The Foreign Secretary noted that particularly given that the Commonwealth Secretariat had carried out a comprehensive assessment mission in the Maldives in January 2019 resulting in a positive outcome; any perceived obstacles to its re-entry should be seen as mere imperfections that afflict all countries from time to time. He urged that additional hurdles not be placed in their way, which would serve as a disincentive.Foreign Secretary also attended the Group 77 (G77) Foreign Ministers Meeting held on Friday, 27th September 2019 in New York. It was noted that the G77 is uniquely positioned to call for global action to address the diverse needs of countries in special situations such as Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. read more

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Spaces still available for BaseCamp outdoor orientation trips

Until she experienced it, Lauren Flowers had no idea how much time in the wilderness could teach her about life in university.By the end of her five-day adventure in August 2016, the Physical Education student from Markham felt her eyes had been opened to the Brock journey at her feet.Flowers took part in the BaseCamp summer orientation program, which for 10 years has allowed Brock students to embark on various hiking and canoeing trips in the Ontario wilderness while also learning more about the University.Brock’s summer orientation programs, which also include Smart Start and Leap, aim to streamline the transition to post-secondary life while also providing academic and recreational resources to students before they start their studies in September.For Flowers, a lifelong camper, the rural northern setting of a canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park was familiar; however, the chance to get first-hand tips about life at Brock and living in the Niagara community was all new.Ana Ferreira participated in a BaseCamp backpacking trip in August 2017.“We learned to work together with everyone as we paddled and set up camp, and that was transferrable to class projects, assignments and clubs,” she said. “It also helped me to meet some of my best friends.”Unlike Flowers, Ana Ferreira had very little camping experience before signing up for a five-day backpacking trip in August 2017.“It was the first time I ever put up a tent by myself,” said the Kinesiology student from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. “But the leaders were patient and they also taught us valuable lessons about first-year classes and residence life.”Having seen the value in their own BaseCamp experiences, Flowers and Ferreira will return to the program this year to lead trips, including hiking and canoeing expeditions in Algonquin and an outdoor experience at Camp Wetaskiwin in Short Hills Provincial Park.“I’m excited to work with people like myself who have not spent a lot of time in the wilderness and teach them lessons like how to start a fire and properly put on a heavy backpack,” said Ferreira. “I remember being nervous about those things before I started, but the lessons I learned made the whole experience worth it.”Flowers said she’s also excited to pass on practical lessons that relate to beginning university.“I want to tell incoming Badgers to take it one day at a time and to do things that make them happy,” she said. “They may still be a little nervous, but the trip will provide lots of familiar faces on campus and potentially long-term friendships as well.”For those still hesitant about participating, Ferreira had a final piece of advice.“It doesn’t matter what your outdoors experience is up to this point,” she said. “The guides will teach you everything you need to know and you will feel safe the whole time.”Spaces are still available in the following BaseCamp trips:July 28 to 30 — Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Short Hills AdventureAug. 12 to 16 — Backpacking tripAug. 19 to 23 — Canoe tripAug. 27 to Sept. 1 — Canoe trip and residence move inAug. 30 to Sept. 1 — Short Hills adventure and move inTo learn more about available trips, visit the BaseCamp website. read more

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Football Ohio State head coach Ryan Day in no rush to name

Ohio State freshman quarterback Justin Fields speaks to the media for the first time on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Credit: Colin Gay | Sports EditorK.J. Hill did not think he would be back for his fifth and final season.He left the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 thinking his career as an Ohio State wide receiver was over. But he made the decision to follow in the footsteps of those before him — Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon — to come back for one more year as the veteran guy in the receiver room. It was not until Hill returned to campus for the spring that he met sophomore quarterback Justin Fields, the heralded five-star recruit who spent his freshman season at Georgia. On Wednesday, Ohio State’s first spring practice, both were on the field, Fields taking snaps and Hill running routes, trying to duplicate the same chemistry quarterback Dwayne Haskins had with his three fifth-year receivers. “You know, first day, kind of nervous,” Hill said. “But all of us just have to get our timing right with each other.” Fields’ nerves were visible early in the practice period, overshooting receivers on short, 10-yard curl routes, leading receivers too far on out routes. But to head coach Ryan Day, those mistakes are going to happen. The former quarterbacks coach said his players are allowed to fail because failing leads to growth. The head coach said the quarterback who learns from his mistakes best usually wins the starting job. And yes, Day said there will be a competition for the starting quarterback job, though Fields remains the heavy favorite to win the starting spot. “It’s going to be a battle Day One,” Day said. “The guys were out there, we were splitting up the reps. During the spring, Mike [Yurcich]’s going to roll those guys in and out. Everyone is competing.” The head coach said he does not have a timetable to determine whether Fields or redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin will be the starting quarterback, but both will get equal reps with the first-team offense, something he said is healthy at every position. Day said Baldwin has been in the offense for a year, but he has not had the opportunity to run it with the first team cut. He said the redshirt freshman looked good doing that in the first practice of the spring. As for Fields, the head coach described him as a quick learner, doing a nice job in the meetings learning the offense with passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, who is in his first season with Ohio State. At this point of the season, Day said it was good to go out onto the field to get a feel for what the quarterback room — specifically Baldwin and Fields — can handle. “Who are they? What is their identity going to be?” Day said. “It’s Day One, so it’s hard to tell.” The expectations remain to find a leader behind center who has the ability to move the ball downfield consistently and have a way to self-diagnose strengths and weaknesses to better suit the offense the quarterback is running. But Day is realistic. He said he expected for the spacing and timing of balls  thrown from his quarterbacks to be off. “Shoot, that’s even normal in the NFL,” Day said. As practice went on, the head coach said the timing from all the quarterbacks improved and the ball came out well. Despite acknowledging there is a long way to go with a long list of things to improve, Day said that he was encouraged by what he saw in the first practice of the spring. And that is why he wants time. No matter the expectations behind Fields, the head coach said he wants to be prepared for whatever happens prior to the season opener against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31. “You don’t really know how it’s going to play out,” Day said. “It’s one thing I learned a long time ago — to do all that early on doesn’t help at all, it doesn’t do anybody any good.” Day is not focused on naming a starting quarterback. Instead, he’s helping lead quarterbacks to learn the offense to prepare for the starting job. read more

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