The borough is to be twinned with Jaffna – a district in the northern province of Sri Lanka – in a celebratory signing ceremony on 18 October 2016.
The ceremony will take place in the Council Chamber at Kingston Guildhall. Sri Lanka’s Hon. Justice C.V. Wigneswaran will deliver a keynote speech.
The twinning will include a Memorandum of Understanding which commits to building greater understanding and sharing knowledge in the areas of governance, healthcare, education and enterprise. It will also encourage greater links with Jaffna, where the Tamil community is the largest in Sri Lanka.
During his visit to Kingston Hon. Justice C.V. Vigneswaran and a small Jaffna delegation will also spend time visiting Kingston Hospital, Kingston University and a number of local small and mid sized enterprises (SMEs).
Kingston has approximately 12,000 Tamils living in the borough and is one of the largest and fastest growing local communities. Tamil is now Kingston’s second language.
Kingston is also twinned with Oldenburg in Germany and Gwanak-Gu in Seoul, South Korea.
The public are invited to attend the twinning ceremony and watch a live broadcast of the event in the Queen Anne Suite. After the official ceremony, Hon. Justice C.V. Wigneswaran will greet attendees seated in that room.
Though it is a ticketed event, tickets are free and will require advance registration to attend. Space is limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. To apply for tickets, please register at: www.kingston.gov.uk/jaffna.
The deadline to register is Tuesday 11 October 2016.
Councillor Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said:
“The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has a rich history of community cohesion. Our twinning with Jaffna celebrates our large local Tamil community and recognises the importance it plays in the borough.
“Kingston has a great track record of twinning to share ideas with other towns on the best approach to tackling our shared challenges.
“We’re delighted to welcome Hon. Justice C.V. Vigneswaran to Kingston and are excited to hear him speak at this historic event.”
The Jaffna delegation will be guests of our borough, and we hope that all costs incurred by this visit will be covered by donations raised from community. Donations will be accepted on the night due to the uniqueness of the event and to help further some of the goals set out in the Memorandum of Understanding. ( Source: http://www.thisisourtownkingston.co.uk/)