|President Rajapaksa urges SAARC nations for collective action to combat terrorism|
|Friday, 08 August 2008 00:00|
Page 1 of 3Addressing the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo today, President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Heads of State and Government of member states to redouble their efforts for collective action to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reminding them that it is the element of interdependence which is crucial for a durable peace and the protection of democratic values in the region. In this regard, he highlighted the need to strengthen regional legal mechanisms and intensify intelligence sharing, in order to secure the region’s collective prosperity, peace and stability.Sri Lanka has seen the benefits of such cooperation in combating the terrorism and the President expressed his hope that this menace would be eradicated sooner, than many had once anticipated.
He expressed his gratitude to Sri Lanka's regional partners and friendly nations from outside the region which have extended cooperation in this endeavour. He also said that it was necessary for South Asia as a region, to set right the many wrong impressions that exist, or are promoted elsewhere, about the actions that are imperative to protect people and societies from the brutalities of terrorism.
The full text of President Rajapaksa’s address:
I am honoured and privileged to welcome you to Colombo for this fifteenth SAARC Summit.
Your presence in our country adds to the historic importance of this year for us. This year, our nation celebrates the sixtieth Anniversary of our being freed from the yoke of colonial rule. Most of the nations of our region share with us the common heritage of colonial dominance and struggle for freedom to restore our national dignity and honour.
I consider it my duty on this occasion to express on behalf of all Member States of SAARC, our deep appreciation for the dynamic leadership that India has provided to this region and to SAARC since the fourteenth SAARC Summit in New Delhi.
I would also take this opportunity to welcome and extend best wishes to the new Secretary General of SAARC, Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, while also expressing our appreciation to his predecessor, Mr. Chenkyab Dorji and the SAARC Secretariat for their dedicated and invaluable work in preparation for this Summit.
This Colombo Summit takes place amidst a background of significant political events and major international issues, such as food and fuel insecurity and degradation of the environment. It is our responsibility as leaders and representatives of our peoples to give tangible expression to the SAARC Charter objective of promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of our peoples, which remains at the core of all our common endeavours.