AS THE country prepares to sever its ties with the European Union, Kingston has found itself a new Asian partner in the form of the Sri Lankan city Jaffna.

Kingston Council has announced it is twinning with the city in a bid to build “greater understanding and sharing knowledge” in areas of governance, healthcare and education.

The deal will be sealed at a ceremony at the Guildhall on Tuesday, October 18, with Sri Lankan judge Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Vigneswaran giving the keynote speech.

Council leader Kevin Davis said: “Kingston 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.”

With a population of just under 90,000, Jaffna is Sri Lanka’s 12th largest city. It was ravaged by an uprising during the 1980s, but reconstruction began after the civil war in 2009.

Kingston is also twinned with Oldenburg in Germany and Gwanak-Gu in Seoul, South Korea.