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Friday, September 19, 2014 - 7.09 GMT
At ICAPP General Assembly

President Rajapaksa cautions of dangerous trends to Asian Community

 

The emerging trends in the world, including in parts of Asia give signals that are dangerous to the Asian Community, President Mahinda Rajapaksa cautioned the Asian political parties.

“We see how external forces under the guise of democracy and other enticing slogans seek to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. They show little concern about destabilizing nations. They encourage domestic disharmony and we now see how the media including social media being used by the forces that are continuing the cause of division, separation and terror,” he said addressing the 8th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

The President said this is the most timely occasion to remind the world of what we have earlier said that all terrorists are the same, they are all brutal, they all carry out acts of savagery, and they all are ready to massacre innocent people.

“As we seek to harvest the fruits of economic growth in this Asian Century we have also to look at unity in facing up to other issues of importance that are important to build peace and stability in Asia,” he said

Referring to Sri Lanka’s success in elimination of terrorism, the President said, “Sri Lanka can stand out in this great gathering for our experience in battling and defeating terrorism against the efforts of many external forces outside Asia that sought to bring about an accommodation of terrorism in our land. We are always ready to share that experience with the world. Your presence here and what you will see in this country today are the fruits of that great success in protecting our State and our Nation, from the forces of terror.”


Full text of the speech:


The Chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties

Secretary General of ICAPP

Your Excellencies

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is indeed my honour and privilege to welcome you today to this 8th General Assembly of ICAPP. I join you as a colleague among all of us representing political parties of Asia.

I am particularly pleased that Sri Lanka’s opportunity to host this important event is now a reality. This process was initiated when I participated in the Special Conference of Asian Political Parties to promote Green Development and Build a Beautiful Asia Together at Xian, China, in May last year.

This is indeed a unique forum where diversities in political ideology and different thinking on governance that extends throughout Asia have come together to discuss the common aspirations for our nations and peoples.

With the strong links of history, culture, religion and tradition that bind the countries of Asia the new dimensions of politics and economics in Asia, is at a new resurgence. The Asian Region today has some of the world’s developed and rapidly developing economies. We are in fact moving to the Age of Asia that is the focus of international attention and the envy of powers that are being left behind.

In view of all this, it is of special relevance that the theme of this General Assembly is Building an Asian Community. This theme takes note of the eastward shift in the global economy and the rising political influence of Asia, with the promise of making this the Asian Century.

Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen

In the midst of all the success that lies with us and all the promise that we have for the future there are also important issues we have to face. We must note that our population is rapidly growing and is expected to be around 9.6 billion by 2050. Together with the stories of success we also have nations that are poor, we have vulnerable economies, and there are difficulties in facing the harsh nature of market economies.

While the Asian Region has vast natural resources and an abundance of youth and talent we also see poverty, malnutrition, and the lack of basic needs for our people. These are challenges we have to face together, despite the differences we have among us. In Building an Asian Community, we need to focus on revising and re-investing in old friendships and building new networks of solidarity. We must share our resources, promote intra-trade within Asia and build regional cooperation to overcome the disparities that must be relegated to the past.

When ICAPP began fourteen (14) years ago in Manila not many thought it would be possible for the competing parties of government, opposition and independents from this vast continent, extending from West and Central Asia to the Pacific to come together for a common purpose, the cause of Asia. Your presence here today shows that we have overcome such doubts. We have brought together, Asia’s political leaders, across political divides in fraternal assemblies as we see here today in gatherings that are cordial, constructive with an abundance of foresight.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

As we seek to harvest the fruits of economic growth in this Asian Century we have also to look at unity in facing up to other issues of importance that are important to build peace and stability in Asia. The emerging trends in the world, including in parts of Asia give signals that are dangerous to the Asian Community. We see how external forces under the guise of democracy and other enticing slogans seek to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. They show little concern about destabilizing nations. They encourage domestic disharmony and we now see how the media including social media being used by the forces that are continuing the cause of division, separation and terror.

Building an Asian Community requires the unity of Asia to address these dangerous trends. There must be cooperation to protect the sovereignty of the nations of Asia. We must come together to combat the threats posed by organized international crime, drug trafficking, human smuggling, money laundering, and terrorism and its funding.

I think this is a most timely occasion to remind the world of what we have earlier said that all terrorists are the same, they are all brutal, they all carry out acts of savagery, and they all are ready to massacre innocent people.
Sri Lanka can stand out in this great gathering for our experience in battling and defeating terrorism against the efforts of many external forces outside Asia that sought to bring about an accommodation of terrorism in our land. We are always ready to share that experience with the world. Your presence here and what you will see in this country today are the fruits of that great success in protecting our State and our Nation, from the forces of terror.

The important lesson here is that when the nation, when the sovereignty of a state and its people are threatened by the forces of terror and other forces of division that may come with pretended hands of friendship the differences of political parties should be set aside in the wider defence of the nation and its people. Parties must have the freedom from terror and manipulative forces of division to best represent the people in the diverse political systems we represent.

The peace and stability that come from such an understanding of a common threat to sovereignty and territorial integrity are vital for economic growth and the continued rise of Asia.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

All members of ICAPP with its vast representation of Asia have national programmes to address issues of economic growth to deepen economic integration and provide for prosperity to our people. We are aware that economic prosperity and social progress should go hand in hand. This requires giving the necessary importance to the involvement of women and youth in the tasks of progress.

I am glad to note that this General Assembly of ICAPP has given thought to these current matters of importance, with the organizing of workshops on two areas of relevance. They are the Role of Women and Young Politicians in Building an Asian Community. I trust these workshops will have good exchanges of thinking and experience to produce good and effective proposals to bring these two vital sectors of society to the task of building the Asian Community. There is already the valuable experience of the World Conference on Youth, held in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

It would also be of interest to study the progress so far achieved by Sri Lanka in a post-conflict situation in the concept of being a regional hub in Asia in the key sectors of Aviation, Marine, Commerce, Power & Energy and Knowledge. One example of such focus is the recent recognition of Sri Lanka as having the world’s best growth in Information Technology in the Rural Sector. I think this a major plus for Asia, too. Similar choices of emphasis could help other Asian nations that are seeking faster progress to achieve their goals and help in our aim of Building an Asian Community.

Speaking to you in Sri Lanka, I think it would be relevant to mention the teaching of the Buddha having the widest reach in the Asian continent that lays emphasis on Mettha – Loving Kindness and Karuna – Compassion that embrace the spirit of tolerance so necessary to transcend the differences that divide people and societies and build a community of unity and understanding.

In conclusion, I wish to say that I see ICAPP as a unique platform that transcends the divisions of politics and ideology to bring together leaders and decision makers to work together in the larger context of Asian Progress. We are gathered in unity across the various political divisions we all have for the betterment of the Asian Community to best achieve the goals of this Asian Century.

I wish to extend my thanks on behalf of Sri Lanka to ICAPP, for the decision to hold this 8th General Assembly here in Colombo.

I also thank the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party, the main parties of government and opposition in Sri Lanka for being the joint hosts for this event in the spirit of democratic participation for Asian solidarity.

I wish all distinguished delegates a most fruitful assembly and trust you will take back the best memories of Sri Lanka, our culture and hospitality to all parts of Asia.

May you all be blessed by the Noble Triple Gem.



 

 
 
   
   
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