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Canada – Readout: Minister of Foreign Affairs holds first bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met virtually with Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, to advance work on the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership launched by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden following their virtual meeting on February 23, 2021.

The meeting reinforced that Canadians and Americans are stronger when they work together.

Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken discussed the challenges facing people in North America and the world due to COVID-19. They acknowledged the unprecedented action required in Canada and the United States to combat the pandemic, support citizens, stabilize economies and address climate change.

As Canada and the United States build back from the pandemic, Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the need to reject protectionism and preserve their countries’ shared prosperity by protecting the integrity of cross-border supply chains.

Agreement was found on the need to coordinate approaches to the current global challenges, notably those presented by China and the Middle East, including Iran. Minister Garneau underlined the importance of getting answers and justice for the families of the victims of flight PS752. 

As agreed upon by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau, both leaders are working on a future joint meeting of foreign and defence ministers and secretaries in which continental security cooperation will be discussed in greater depth.

Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken also agreed on a shared commitment to achieve collective action and promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law through regional and multilateral institutions. This includes working together toward a global democracy summit aimed at reversing negative trends affecting democracies and supporting multilateral organizations that promote democracy as part of their mandate.

As outlined in the roadmap, Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken looked for ways to more closely align both countries’ approaches to China, including to address the challenges it presents to our collective interest and to the international rules-based order, including its coercive and unfair economic practices, national security challenges, and human rights abuses, while cooperating with China on areas where it is in our interest, such as climate change. They agreed to work together to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor who are being arbitrarily detained in China.

Furthermore, Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken discussed the importance of Canada-United States cooperation in the Americas.

The two discussed the dire situation in Venezuela and agreed to work together alongside the international community supporting Venezuelans to address this crisis and the human suffering it is causing.

Both reaffirmed a commitment to address human rights and needed reforms in Cuba and to ensure the upcoming electoral process in Haiti is credible, inclusive and transparent. Minister Garneau and Secretary Blinken look forward to the next Summit of the Americas, which the United States will host, as an opportunity to work together and with others in the hemisphere to set a unifying agenda focused on recovering from the pandemic’s multi-dimensional impacts and reinforcing democratic governance. Minister Garneau offered Canada’s support in addressing the root causes of irregular migration in the hemisphere.


Canada, British Columbia and Tlowitsis Nation Advance to Final Stage of Treaty Negotiations

The governments of Canada, British Columbia and the Tlowitsis Nation have signed a new agreement that will further advance reconciliation and treaty negotiations.

Chief John Smith of the Tlowitsis Nation, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Murray Rankin, provincial Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, signed the Tlowitsis Nation Transition to Stage 5 Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum of Understanding advances treaty negotiations to the final stage and will guide the parties to conclude a treaty that supports the Tlowitsis Nation’s right to self-determination and defines a new relationship between Tlowitsis Nation, Canada and British Columbia.

Canada, British Columbia and the Tlowitsis Nation will begin the last stage of work together to finalize a treaty that supports a thriving future for Tlowitsis community members for all the generations to come. This work is creating the foundation for a renewed relationship based on recognition of rights, cooperation, respect and partnership.

The Memorandum of Understanding commits the parties to establish a new approach to their treaty negotiations which will be guided and informed by the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia that was collaboratively developed and released by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Summit in September 2019.

This new approach to negotiations ensures agreements align with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and B.C.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. This includes the recognition and continuation of rights without those rights being modified, surrendered, or extinguished when a treaty is signed and that treaties are flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances over time.

This new collaborative approach supports the shared goal of advancing reconciliation and supporting healthy and prosperous Indigenous communities in Canada, which will benefit Tlowitsis Nation citizens and all British Columbians and Canadians alike.

“We have reached another achievement in this long, arduous journey to ensure the survival of the Tlowitsis Peoples,” said Chief John Smith of the Tlowitsis Nation. “Though I am not pleased with the pace of negotiations, I appreciate the hard work that has been done. Thanks to the Ministers for moving on this occasion. We have had a continuing struggle for 60 years. Our old village – where I was born – was very tiny, and we hope to move more quickly to establish our new community, Nenagwas, on the new land that we’ve purchased.”

Chief John Smith
Tlowitsis Nation

“The signing of the Tlowitsis Nation Transition to Stage 5 Memorandum of Understanding is a key step on our path of reconciliation with the Tlowitsis Nation and their members. By working together as partners we create the foundation for a renewed relationship that supports the Tlowitsis Nation right to self-determination and supports them in building a better future for their community”  

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“This MOU is an important step forward in the relationship our government shares with Tlowitsis Nation. It is a tangible expression of our commitment to implementing flexible agreements that are better suited to addressing the needs of individual Nations. Almost 60 years after being forced from their homes and land, Tlowitsis members are establishing a community they can call home. This treaty work supports the Nation’s vision of self-determination, which will help Tlowitsis to build a thriving community for future generations.”


PM Modi inaugurates the India Toy Fair 2021

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the India Toy Fair 2021 today through video conference. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of Textiles Smt Smriti Irani also participated in the event. The Toy Fair will be held from 27th February to 2nd March 2021. More than 1,000 exhibitors are participating in the fair. 

The Prime Minister interacted with toy makers from Channapatna in Karnataka, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. Through this Toy fair, the Government and the Industry shall come together to discuss how India can be made the next global hub for manufacturing and sourcing of toys by way of attracting investments in the sector and promoting exports.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister called for bringing out the hidden potential of the toy industry in India and to create an identity for it as a big part of the campaign for AatmaNibhar Bharat. He added this first toy fair is not just a business or economic event. This program is a link to strengthen the country’s age-old culture of sports and cheer. He said this toy fair is one such platform where one can discuss toy design, innovation, technology, Marketing and packaging and also share their experiences. He said the world has done research on toys from the era of Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

The Prime Minister recalled that in ancient times, when travelers from the world came to India, they used to learn sports in India and used to take it along with them. He added that chess, which is so popular in the world today, was earlier played in India as ‘Chaturanga or Chaduranga’. Modern Ludo was then played as ‘Pachisi’. He said in our scriptures, it was described that Bal Ram had a lot of toys. In Gokul, Gopal Krishna used to play with his friends outside the house in a balloon. Games, toys and crafts have also been engraved in our ancient temples.

The Prime Minister said toys made here contributed to the all-round development of children. He said the way reuse and recycling have been a part of the Indian lifestyle, it is also seen in our toys. Most Indian toys are made from natural and eco-friendly items, the colors used in them are also natural and safe. He said these toys also connect the mind with our history and culture and are also helpful in social mental development and cultivation of Indian outlook. He appealed to the country’s toy manufacturers to make toys that are better for both ecology and psychology! He asked them to use less plastic in toys, to use such things that can be recycled.

The Prime Minister remarked that today across the world, in every sector, Indian outlook and Indian ideas are being talked about. He added it is a specialty of Indian sports and toys that they contain knowledge, science, entertainment and psychology. He added when children learn to play with lattu, they are taught the lesson of gravity and balance in playing lattu. In the same way, a child playing with a slingshot, inadvertently starts learning basics about the Potential and Kinetic Energies. He said puzzle toys develop strategic thinking and problem solving. Similarly, newborns also begin to feel the circular movement by twisting and rotating the arms. 

The Prime Minister said the creative toys develop the senses of the kids and give wings to their imaginations. There is no limit to their imaginations. All they need is a little toy that will satisfy their curiosity and awaken their creativity. He urged the parents to play with their children because toys play a vital role in the learning process of children. He said the parents should understand the science of toys and the role they play in the development of children and he urged the teachers to use it in schools. He said in this direction, the Government has taken effective steps and brought changes through the New National Education Policy.

About the new national education policy the Prime Minister said it incorporates play-based and activity-based education on a large scale. This is an education system in which special attention has been paid to the development of logical and creative thinking in the children. He said in the field of toys, India has tradition and technology, India has concepts and competence. We can take the world back towards eco-friendly toys, through our software engineers computer games can spread the stories of India to the world. But despite all this, today India’s share in the $ 100 billion global toy market is very small. 85 % of the toys in the country are sourced from abroad. He stressed the need to change this situation.

The Prime Minister said the country has now graded the toy industry in 24 major sectors. The National Toy Action Plan has also been prepared. It has included 15 ministries and departments to make these industries competitive, countries to become self-reliant in toys, and India’s toys also go into the world. Throughout this campaign, state governments have been made an equal partner in developing the toy clusters. He said along with this efforts are made to strengthen the possibilities of toy tourism. Toyathon-2021 was also organized to promote Indian sports based toys and more than 7000 ideas were brainstormed.

The Prime Minister said if there is a demand for Made in India today, then the demand for Handmade in India is also increasing equally. He added today people do not only buy toys as a product but also want to connect with the experience associated with that toy. So we have to promote Handmade in India as well.


Rediscover, Reconnect and Revisit India and its Culture at ARTH – A CULTURE FEST

Rediscover, Reconnect and Revisit India and its Culture at ARTH – A CULTURE FEST

Riding high on the back of two glorious and successful seasons, Zee Live’s one-of-a-kind cultural festival, Arth – A Culture Fest is back with a bang, in the form of a scintillating third season. Making for a digital delight, Arth,this year, will be a virtual extravaganza, organized in Kolkata and will be live-streamed from 27th – 28th February 2021through the Facebook and YouTube channels of Zee 24 Ghanta & Arth-A Culture Fest. Viewers can register online at


In the Kolkata edition, Arth – A Culture fest will bring to fore the very essence of East India. The audience can look forward to seeing eminent panellists from various walks of life, share their views, narrate interesting anecdotes, and share their perspective on much- loved topics such as the Bengal Elections, Women in Power, Reviving the Lost Culture of Bengal amongst others, along with paying a heartfelt tribute to Satyajit Ray & Soumitra Chatterjee, celebrating 125 years of Subhash Chandra Boseand the love for sports in the City of Joy amongst others.


Prominent speakers at the event includeHonourable Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Smriti Irani, Babul Supriyo, Nusrat Jahan, Swapan Dasgupta, Dilip Ghosh, Bratya Basu, Samik Bhattacharya, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, Agnimitra Paul, Anjan Bandyopadhyay, Anuj Dhar, Anupam Kher, Ashoke Viswanathan, Atanu Ghosh, Bhaichung Bhutia, Binod Gurung, Chaiti Ghoshal, Chandrachur Ghose, DibyenduBarua, Dola Banerjee, Gautam Bhattacharya, HarshavardhanNeotia, Hirak Bhattacharjee, Ila Arun, Imtiaz Ali, Ina Puri, Irshad Kamil, K.B Agarwala, Madhabi Mukherjee, Manas Bhattacharya, MD Salim,Meghdut Roy Chowdhury, MoupiaNandy, Nandini Bhattacharya Panda, Purabi Roy, Rajat Kanta Ray, Ranjan Chowdhury, Ranjit Mallick, Sandip Ray, Satrajit Sen, Satya Vyas, Satyajit Chatterjee, Sharmistha Goswami Chatterjee, Shinjini Kulkarni, Shuvaprasanna, Srijit Mukherji, Sudeshna Roy,Sudipta Chakraborty, Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, Sulagna Ray Bhattacharyee, Suman Ghosh, Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury.


The festival will see artistes Nachiketa Chakraborty, Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee entertain the audiences with their enthralling performances


Event details:



    • 27th – 28th February 2021


    • Live from ITC Sonar, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Kolkata.

Watch Link- Time:




For more details, please contact:

Shlipa Negi |91-97116-77211|








*Disclaimer- Names and Panels are subject to change


Schedule for 27th and 28th February-


27th Feb (Day 1)




Start Time





Opening Address: Honourable Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in conversation with Anjan Bandyopadhyay




Women in Power: Changing the Narrative Nusrat Jahan &Sudeshna Roy



                Rise of The Right in Bengal Samik Bhattacharya, MD Salim, M – Anjan Bandyopadhyay



বাঙালিঅস্মিতা-এবারভোটেরমন্ত্র! Cultural Nationalism Leading Up To The Elections Babul Supriyo, Swapan Dasgupta &  M- Anjan Bandyopadhyay



West Bengal’s Undying Love for Football Satyajit Chatterjee, Manas Bhattacharya, Ranjan Chowdhury & M – Gautam Bhattacharaya



Make In India Success Stories: K.B Agrawala& M – Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury



How the Search for Indian Food Changed World Culture
Nandini Bhattacharya Panda ,Hirak Bhattacharjee & M – Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta



চায়েরকাপেতুফান: Diving Deep into East India’s Chai Culture
Abhijit Iyer-Mitra ,Binod Gurung, M -Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee



                   In Search of our Roots Shuvaprasanna, HarshavardhanNeotia, Rajat Kanta Ray, Meghdut Roy Chowdhury & M – Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury



Your Best Day is Today – Book launch by Anupam Kher& Ina Puri



A Tribute to SoumitraChatterjee  Suman Ghosh, Atanu Ghosh, Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, Ashoke Viswanathan, Sudipta Chakraborty, Rituparna Sengupta & M -Satrajit Sen




Start Time





One Woman, Many Roles: A Conversation with Smriti Irani &Anjan Bandyopadhyay




Rediscovering India Through Her Drapes-
Sulagna Ray Bhattacharyee, Agnimitra Paul &Chaiti Ghoshal



Netaji, A Man Who Inspired The World
125 Years of Subhash Chandra Bose
Chandrachur Ghose, Anuj Dhar, Purabi Roy &Srijit Mukherji & M – MoupiaNandy



Satyajit Ray In Today’s India –Ashoke Viswanathan & Imtiaz Ali



আন্তর্জাতিকসিনেমায়ভারতীয়মুখসত্যজিৎ  Remembering The Man who took Indian Cinema to The World –Madhabi Mukherjee, Sandip Ray, Ranjit Mallick, Deepankar Dey & M – Sharmistha Goswami Chatterjee



অন্যমাটিরসুরে: ইলাঅরুণ Influence of folk music in creativity by Ila Arun, Shinjini Kulkarni



Performance by Nachiketa Chakraborty



Jo bhimaikehnachahunbarbadkarealfaz mere – In conversation with Irshad Kamil & M – Satya Vyas



West Bengal’s Love Affair With Sports And Sportspersons Dola Banerjee, DibyenduBarua, Bhaichung Bhutia & M –  Moupia



বাংলারসংস্কৃতিপুনরুদ্ধার, ফেরাতেহবে ‘সোনারবাংলা’ Reviving The Lost Culture of Bengal Dilip Ghosh &MoupiaNandy


7:00 PM

A Spoken Word and Music Performance by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee and Shibasish Banerjee





Hong Kong – Message by SJ at 46th session of UN Human Rights Council


Following is the full text of the video message by the Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council today (February 26):

Madam President,

     After the enactment of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong’s law and order is restored, and residents can resume their normal daily lives.

     In the second half of 2019, due to the civil unrest properties and facilities had been damaged, citizens arbitrarily attacked, the functioning of the legislature and government seriously disrupted, and many citizens and police officers were injured.

     To suppress these violent, subversive and terrorist activities which posed a serious threat to our national security, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the National Security Law in June 2020.

     Like the national security laws of many countries, it makes secession, subversion, terrorist activity, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security a crime. The civil unrest has since subsided and the residents can enjoy their lawful rights and freedoms.

     People are now free to travel without fearing for their personal safety; vigilantism are no longer prevalent and people are free to express different views openly; and people are more respectful of the rights of others whilst exercising their own.

     In short, Hong Kong has reverted to a safe, rational, inclusive and vibrant society.

     The National Security Law expressly provides that human rights such as freedom of speech and assembly, be protected, and legal principles such as presumption of innocence be respected and observed. The law enforcement agencies and courts of HKSAR have been entrusted by the Central Authorities to exercise jurisdiction over cases concerning national security offences. When adjudicating cases, the judges in Hong Kong remain independent and impartial in discharging their judicial duties, free from any interference.

     The National Security Law has been effective in restoring law and order and safeguarding national security. It has provided the necessary conditions for maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and enables Hong Kong residents to enjoy their rights and freedoms in a safe and peaceful environment.

     The measures are conducive to the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” policy. This is in the long-term interests of both the country and the two systems. Thank you.


Canada – Statement from the Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence 

As I have stated, I take all allegations of misconduct seriously and continue to take strong action on any allegation of misconduct that is brought forward. No matter the rank, no matter the position.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service can confirm an investigation into Admiral Art McDonald.

I was informed that Admiral Art McDonald has voluntarily stepped aside while the investigation is ongoing.

As of February 24th, I have appointed Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre as Acting Chief of the Defence Staff.

I will have no further comment at this time due to the ongoing investigation.