All set for productive Summit in Colombo
SAARC parley to showcase Lanka’s resilience against
terror, Eastern resurgence:
COLOMBO: The forthcoming 15th SAARC summit will showcase to the
entire world Sri Lanka’s resilience against terrorism and the country’s
vibrant democracy, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said yesterday.
Outlining the programme and the preparations ahead of the Summit to
journalists at the BMICH, Minister Bogollagama opined that based on the
SAARC theme Partnership for Our People, the agenda is all set for Sri
Lanka to hold an extremely constructive summit in Colombo, with the
blessings and the participation of the eight member nations as well as
Japan, South Korea, China, Iran, United States, the European Union and
Mauritius who have offered their willingness to participate as
In keeping with the Sri Lankan proposal, all SAARC Member States had
responded favourably and endorsed the proposal of holding the 15th SAARC
Summit in Colombo.
“The SAARC summit will provide an opportunity to showcase and reflect
to the international community, the transition and the setting-up of a
democratic machinery in the East which had been devastated by terrorism
for over two decades,” he said.
Several Agreements pertaining to ‘Connectivity’ in inter and intra
free movement of trade between and among the member states of the SAARC
region, would be inked.
The better implementation of the SAPTA agreement and the ‘Exchange of
Goods’ under a pre-established common standard shall be discussed.
Air traffic for the enhancement of tourism and ‘Pilgrimage Travel’
would be arranged. Based on the premise of pooling and augmenting our
resources together, the SAARC Development Fund amounting to US$ 300
million, would be established. This would help in the alleviation of
poverty and in the development of infrastructure facilities within SAARC
Agreements for ‘Multi-Legal Assistance’ in Criminal matters inclusive
of combatting terrorism and trans-boundary crimes, would be signed.
An agreement for Food Security and protection during a given period,
the establishment of ‘Buffer Stocks’ within the SAARC region, would also
be taken up.
The burning issue of global fuel price hikes would also come up for
The establishment of a SAARC University in Southern Delhi, the SAARC
Tele-Medicine project, the ‘Common Currency Mechanism’ within the SAARC
region, are some of the other topics high on the agenda.
Responding to a query pertaining to the progress to-date on the
implementation of the decisions and agreements of the last SAARC summit,
Minister Bogollagama was of the view that milestone progress has been
made to-date within a short period, in the spheres of the environment,
including climatic changes and global warming.
Much had been achieved in combatting terrorism, Tele-Medicine, the
University concept, SAARC Development Fund, Transport and Agricultural
Ministry sessions among others.
The whole world would be focused on Sri Lanka, within this short
period of the SAARC summit, and would pave the way for a window of
opportunity for Sri Lanka, Minister Bogollagama added.