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Monday, December 08, 2014 - 5.12 GMT
SAARC’s strength is in its diversity & harmonious coexistence - President

 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said SAARC’s strength is in its diversity and harmonious coexistence.

Our region is characterized by diverse cultures, ethnic groups, religions and languages nurturing over centuries the finest works of philosophy, arts & culture, music, dance, attire and cuisine. Common civilizational links bind us through values of unity and tolerance. SAARC’s strength is in its diversity and harmonious coexistence, he said.

The President in a message on the occasion of the Commemoration of SAARC Charter Day which falls today (Dec. 8) said; there is a reservoir of political will amongst us Member States. I therefore reiterate my call that we break through the shackles of bureaucracy and pursue a co-operative, action-oriented path, thus leading SAARC towards a framework for more robust cooperation which would result in tangible benefit to the people of South Asia, he said.

Following is the full text of the message by President Rajapaksa;

The Government and people of Sri Lanka join me in extending warm felicitations to the people of South Asia, as we commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the SAARC Charter Day on 8th December.

Our region is characterized by diverse cultures, ethnic groups, religions and languages nurturing over centuries the finest works of philosophy, arts & culture, music, dance, attire and cuisine. Common civilizational links bind us through values of unity and tolerance. SAARC’s strength is in its diversity and harmonious coexistence.

Sri Lanka, as a founding member, attributes high importance to the purposes and principles of the SAARC Charter. Since its establishment in 1985, the SAARC process has grown from strength to strength based on our shared values, beliefs and objectives. The regional will to cooperate in many important areas under the framework of SAARC has manifested itself in a number of landmark developments. This has served to provide greater stimulus and vitality to the SAARC process. The recent Eighteenth SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu, Nepal was yet another significant milestone in the progress of the SAARC process for the overall growth of the region through partnership with peoples.

As we observe the SAARC Charter Day this year, it is important to take cognizance of the fact that our achievements over the last three decades within SAARC have been below the region’s full potential. There is a reservoir of political will amongst us Member States. I therefore reiterate my call that we break through the shackles of bureaucracy and pursue a co-operative, action-oriented path, thus leading SAARC towards a framework for more robust cooperation which would result in tangible benefit to the people of South Asia.
In pursuance of our common endeavour, I reiterate Sri Lanka’s firm support to the work of SAARC in taking forward the objectives of the Organization in a spirit of collective responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka Prof. G. L. Peiris said Sri Lanka remains fully committed to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter and will continue to play a constructive role as in the past. I reiterate our fullest support to SAARC in its efforts of promoting and fostering regional cooperation in South Asia.

In his message on the occasion of SAARC Commemoration Day the Minister stated; Three decades ago, our countries established SAARC with the conviction that regional co-operation among countries of South Asia is mutually beneficial, desirable and necessary for promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of the people of our region. Since then, SAARC has witnessed steady progress in a wide range of areas identified for co-operation and we can take some pride on our achievements since 1985. Nevertheless, our regular assessment of SAARC has prompted us to appreciate the need for making the organization more result oriented and people centric. The declaration “Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity”, of the 18th SAARC Summit, in fact reflects this collective desire and provides a road map for our forward movement.

As we commemorate this important milestone of the SAARC Charter Day, let us resolve to redouble our efforts to make the organization, a more dynamic entity, the Minister said.



 

 
 
   
   
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Last modified: December 08, 2014.

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