President Mahinda Rajapaksa made an important proposal this year when he called for a South Asian Parliament at the Heads of State Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Bhutan.

Addressing the 16th Summit of the eight-nation South Asian body in Thimphu, the President proposed a regular Conclave of SAARC parliamentarians. It was an important and timely proposal as such a Conclave will further engage the support and involvement of the people’s representatives in the South Asian region.

Such a move would not only make SAARC popular within the region but also among the international community. As President Rajapaksa has pointed out, the goal of the SAARC movement should be to become a truly people centric body. SAARC should not hesitate to build new structures and mechanisms to enable the regional body to reach its full potential. The SAARC nations, within their own grouping, should be bold enough to introspect and take measures to improve the existing mechanisms, through review, rationalisation and reinvigoration.As President Rajapaksa has pointed out, there should be a common South Asian voice on issues of climate change, with those who historically contributed to climate change now sharing the burden of mitigating it.

Though Sri Lanka successfully eradicated terrorism under the far-sighted political leadership of President Rajapaksa, terrorism has posed a great threat with increased terror acts in the region. In these circumstances, the continued cooperation among South Asian nations is of utmost importance in the global battle against terrorism.

Sri Lanka could be the role model in the global attempt to crush terrorism. Being the first country to eliminate terrorism, Sri Lanka could provide its expertise and leadership to eradicate terrorism from South Asia too. The defeat of separatism and terrorism has given Sri Lanka an opportunity to engage in open discussions and reach consensus, sans the fear of guns.

There is a massive population in South Asia that has created a huge market. If there is greater understanding among SAARC countries, we will be able to take economic progress beyond statistics to reach the village level.

Most South Asians live and carry out policies that strengthen the rural sector and prevent the unwelcome movement from village to city. Greater emphasis should be made to overcome all such obstacles and strengthen the rural sector in SAARC countries.

Instead of taking what is thrown by the West as the gospel truth, we must confront our problems with South Asia’s own home grown solutions. That is the best way to counter the current and future problems in South Asia.

By displaying the unity and strength of the SAARC region, we must uphold our sovereign right to decide on what is best for us, to suit the best interests of the people living in this part of the world. Though it may seem difficult at times, we must always strive hard to avoid and reject externally induced rigid solutions. Instead of what is forced upon us by certain countries in the West and some international organisations, we must exploit home grown and intra-regionally evolved measures.

Economies in South Asia, led by the dynamic growth of India, have weathered global recession successfully, reducing the adverse impact of world trends in South Asia. Sri Lanka too has successfully faced adverse trends experienced in the world economies. When the economy in the so-called developed countries in the West were trembling as never before and the topmost banks in the world were collapsing, Sri Lanka stood tall.

This was purely due to the right economic policies implemented by the Government under the direction of President Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Finance. Despite the adverse economic global environment, Sri Lanka has achieved an average economic growth of about six percent per annum during the past five years. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s per capita income has doubled during the past five years - increasing from USD 1,060 in 2005 to USD 2,050 at present. The booming economies of India and China have given an added advantage to Asia and the countries in the SAARC region too could benefit in various aspects.

The SAARC Movement must find the best and the most appropriate means to implement the provisions of existing SAARC Conventions, especially those against terrorism and economic development.

While rejecting unrealistic solutions foisted on us by the West, we must also bear in mind that the SAARC Movement, as a regional organisation, cannot progress in isolation. Hence, we must strengthen the means for practical engagement with the SAARC Observer States and with selected international organisations, the UN in particular, for our development efforts.

The recent Heads of State Summit of SAARC enabled member countries to have bilateral talks. It provided the ideal platform for Heads of State to discuss problems of mutual interest during bilateral talks held on the sidelines of the Summit. Such talks would undoubtedly help to have a greater understanding among the countries in South Asia.

The launch of the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is a landmark achievement in the 25-year-old history of the South Asian regional body. The idea for such an important venture was mooted at the previous SAARC Summit in Sri Lanka. Though it’s premature to talk about the progress of the SDF, such a body could make an active contribution to develop the South Asian economy.

The SDF, to function under a Chief Executive Officer at a permanent Secretariat in the Bhutanese capital, could well serve as a regional funding mechanism. Undoubtedly, the launch of the SDF is one of the major achievements in the history of SAARC.

Countries in the SAARC region must speak with one voice on issues of common concern for South Asia at international fora, such as the United Nations. If we could achieve those goals, SAARC could well be one of the most powerful regional bodies in the world.



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Protect Our Environment For Future Generations - Saranath

පරිසරයයි ඔබයි මමයි

පරිසරය අයත්වන්නේඅපටද?


අප සියල්ල අයත් වන්නේ පරිසරයටද?

යම් දිනෙක ඔබටත් මටත්

පරිසරයෙන් සමුගැනීමට සිදුවුවත්

පරිසරය සදාකල්ව නොවෙනස්ව පවතිනු ඇත.

අප සියල්ල තාවකාලික නවාතැන්කරුවෝ මිස

පරිසරයේ අයිතිකරුවෝ නොවෙම්හ!

පරිසරයෙන් ඉවත්වයන දිනෙක

අප කිසිවෙකුහටත් එක්ලැස්කල කිසිවක් හෝ

රැගෙන යා නොහැකියි.

හේතුව නම්

මේ කිසිවක් අපට අයත් නොවන බැවිනි

අවම වශයෙන්

අපේ මේ ශරීරයවත් ගෙනයා නොහැකිය.

එයත් පරිසරයට ලබාදී නික්ම යායුතුම වන්නේය.

අපි ආවේ කොහේසිටදවත්?

යන්නේ කොහේදවත්?

අපට හෝ පරිසරයට අදාල නැත.

වඩාත්ම වැදගත් කරුණ වන්නේ

අපට අයත් නොවන පරිසරය විනාශකිරීමට

 සදාචාරාත්මක අයිතියක් නොමැතිබව

අප සියලුදෙනාම වටහාගත යුතුබවයි.

අප ජීවත්කරවීමට පරිසරය දායක වන අතර

පරිසරයේ දායකත්වයක් නොමැතිව

අප කිසිවෙකුහටත් මේ මිහිතලය මත

පැවැත්මක් නැත.

ඔබ අප සියල්ලටම අනගි පරිසරයක

රැකවරනය සහ ආශීර්වාදය ලබාගතහැකිවූයේ

අපේ මුතුන්මිත්තන් විසින්

පරිසරය විනාශනොකොට

දේවත්වයේලා රැක දුන් බැවිනි.

අපේ අනාගත පරපුර වෙනුවෙන්

පරිසරය සුරක්I‘තකොට රැකබලාගැනීම

අපේ වගකීමත් යුතුකමත් නොවන්නේද?

අනාගත පරපුරට

අනර්ග පරිසරයක් ලබාදීමට

අපොහොසත් උවහොත්

අපේ දරුමුනුපුරන් යම්දිනෙක

ඔබ අපේ මිනිවලටත් සාපකරනු නොඅනුමානය.

සාරානාත් කුරේ

Our Ancient Kings and our Great Grand Parents protected SriLanka environment for us to enjoy. Our responsibility is to protect this beautiful Srilanka for future generations.


Rumassala Kanda-Galle Mount Rumassala Historic Rock - in Ramayanaya

 Nawala Flowers By Saranath

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