Thursday, October 23, 2014

News Bar

Feature : Peace changes people's lives in North

Home News & Events MOD News

Last modified on: 12/30/2010 11:46:16 PM Reliance on own people and capabilities: The path ahead for Asia - President tells ACD

Reliance on own people and capabilities: The path ahead for Asia - President tells ACD

●  Defeat of terrorism mainly through Sri Lanka's own effort * Asia can rebuild through greater reliance on own

    people

●  Asian economies facing hardships caused by others who should share the burdens of recovery.

●  Speedy resettlement of IDPs highest priority of government

In the defeat of terrorism, while Sri Lanka had the political support of many friendly nations, success came mainly through our own effort. The conclusion to be drawn is perhaps, that the problems of a country can only be resolved by those who know best its ground realities, namely, by its own people, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the Keynote Address at the inauguration of the 8th Asian Cooperation Dialogue Ministerial Meeting, in Colombo today ( 15).

"Asia should strive to regain its independence that is challenged on many fronts and across many borders. The countries of Asia can succeed in rebuilding our continent by greater reliance of our own bonds of unity, strengths of history, and capabilities of our own people," the President said.

Commenting on the role of financial institutions in dealing with Asia, President Rajapaksa said they "should be more concerned about the burdens they impose through conditions for assistance. The elimination of poverty should not be held ransom to such conditions. These institutions should recognize the many disadvantages caused by subsidies implemented by the advanced economies, while preaching to the developing countries to move away from subsidies. Similarly, the importance of subsidies in helping the lesser developed countries to face up to the challenges of growth, also deserve serious and positive consideration."

The President added that "the speedy resettlement of internally displaced persons once affected by terrorism is engaging our utmost attention. It is a significantly more difficult task than most would imagine. For a democratic government, the key objective is for the internally displaced to be enabled to depart from the temporary facilities where they are at present accommodated, to their homes, at the earliest possible opportunity. But resettlement has to be approached with care. Large areas where people lived or used for economic activity, such as agriculture, have been extensively mined by the terrorists. Those mines have to be removed, but de-mining takes time as it has to be done with great care and attention, leaving no margin for error.

Here is the text of the President's Keynote Address to the 8th Asia Cooperation Dialogue, Ministerial Meeting held at BMICH today (15):

Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegation,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Sri Lanka..... We are honoured to have friends from all over the Asian continent gathering here in Colombo on this important occasion.

Asia to which all of us belong has a rich, multi-faceted heritage of which we must be proud. The four major religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, have their origins in Asia. Many civilizations have flourished on its soil at various times in history leaving in their wake, the influences that continue to inspire the destinies of this great continent and its peoples.

In centuries past connectivity was wide-spread throughout Asia, with the legendary Silk Route linking us with one another and with Europe. It is through this route that the flavour of Sri Lanka's spices, for instance, reached Europe, and merchants from the Orient came in search of business to our island. All this headway that Asia had made was later lost due to invasions and conquest by the colonial powers. Therefore, the concept of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue is indeed an important mechanism for restoring the cooperation that once existed among the nations of Asia.

Moreover, the theme for the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, "Spirit of Asia: Global Economic Recovery and Development Prospects", is timely for more reasons than one. Asia accounts for more than sixty percent of the world's population. With a growing middle class, it is increasingly proving to be one of the most lucrative markets in the world. Asia is the largest recipient of global FDI. Its contribution to the global GDP is close to thirty percent. It has an abundance of natural resources and the potential to be the biggest producer of renewable energy in the world. Indeed, the continent holds out great economic promise. It is the promise of new strengths and great achievements.

Yet, despite all this promise, let us also not forget that we are faced with many pressing issues, including the situation of the global economy being in a very serious crisis that has not been seen in the last few decades. Its impact on economies that are dependent on exports for their growth has been particularly strong.

This is a crisis largely imposed on us by those outside the Asian region. Our economies are today facing hardship due to the problems caused by others who should share the burdens of recovery. The countries of Asia, and many others, too, are today carrying the burdens caused by poor regulation and the encouraging of greed in the dominant economies of the West. It is a challenge that seeks new solutions.

We need to turn this challenge into an opportunity by expanding intra-regional trade and the influence of our financial markets. Such measures will not only strengthen our competitiveness but will also help us to build valuable partnerships with other regions, for the purpose of contributing to global economic well-being. This should be an area that should engage the attention of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.

Another pressing issue confronting our continent is that relating to poverty. A significant portion of our peoples are under-privileged, both economically and socially. As one of the critical objectives of the ACD is to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life, it is our responsibility to tackle this issue, having carefully studied those models that have demonstrated their success at the grass-roots level. We would do well to learn from our own experiences within our Continent. Let us, keep in mind that for instance, the Samurdhi Programme of Sri Lanka is one such example from which we can learn much.

I also want to emphasize in this regard that the understanding and cooperation of the international financial inst

| |   PRINT

Reproduction of  news items are permitted when used without any alterations to contents and the source.

| About Us | Publications | News & Events | Resources | Useful Links | Services | Defence Units |

2009 Ministry of Defence and Urban Development - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor