Prakash Adhikari August 31, 2018

Kathmandu,30 August. Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Republic of Srilanka has said that determination and mutual trust are key driving force for BIMSTEC.

Addressing the opening ceremony of 4th Summit of BIMSTEC in Kathmandu President Sirisena explored the potential area of cooperation for the prosperity of People of the region .

Read the full text of his statement :

I am very happy that the BIMSTEC summit is very successfully held in
Kathmandu, Nepal, which is one of our friendly countries. I take this
opportunity to thank the organizers and the Prime Minister of Nepal for
inviting me to this august forum, that renders important service to the
member nations.

In 2016, a BIMSTEC session was held in Goa in India. Today, we are meeting
again today as the member states, with pleasure. Many issues our nations
face today, as countries, regions and the world have many similar aspects.
As friendly nations around the Bay of Bengal region, we have experienced
many cultural, historical, economic afnities.

Most economic, political, and social challenges that our nations face today
are common. Climate change is one of them that challenge many of our
economic and development plans. Climate change makes poverty reduction
even more difficult, and in fact, it aggravates poverty.

The menace of drugs is one a threat to the whole society. It is the menace of
drugs and narcotics, heroine, hashish, marijuana and other drugs that are
smuggled into the country mainly by sea. This has largely afected our youth
and the school children. They hinder the development of our youth by
undermining their education and knowledge. Illicit drugs have become the
most serious challenge and they try to dominate world politics by toppling
governments, patronizing politicians and governments favourable to them.

I urge the BIMSTEC members, Initiative, the world community, and all the
states to commit themselves to fght illegal drugs trafcking collectively and
individually through a robust international programme that is more
organized and stronger than now.

As the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned about the noble
intentions of BIMSTEC, to ambitiously promote a Blue economy, it is
important for us to free our societies from corruption, fraud, and
misappropriation of state assets. We talk about a Green economy as well as
a Blue economy. In all these, we must ensure that democracy, human rights,
and freedom of media are upheld in whatever the political model we adopt.
That is the wish of the people.

I am happy that during the last three and a half years since I became the
President, democracy, human rights, rule of law and media freedom has
been strengthened and independence of judiciary has been established.
Institutions have been established to fght corruption. Actions were taken to
punish those who are guilty of corruption, bribery and malpractices
irrespective of their status of political afliations. In order to achieve the
noble goals of the BIMSTEC, I stress on the need to be strongly committed to
strengthen these sectors.

It is also important to make development inclusive and progress in free
education and health, agriculture, tourism, and all other major contributors
to the economy. It is important, therefore, as members of BIMSTEC, that all
nations fnd consensus on the what suits our region best in carrying out the
unique economic, political and social development agendas of our nations.
The BIMSTEC regional bloc is one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Sri Lanka, as an Island Nation wishes to make maximum use of the ocean
with new light on ocean research, tourism, fsheries and marine resources.
BIMSTEC is a multi-functional organization that synergizes our eforts to
achieve many goals. I do not think that BIMSTEC should not be limited only
for cooperation in certain areas. We can identify and agree on a common
agenda for our region taking into consideration, the many challenges that
our nations face today, at national, regional and international levels.

BIMSTEC has vast experience and strength acquired over the past 20 years,
and that could be fully utilized for meeting the challenges faced by the Bay
of Bengal community. This organization prospers as it is based on the
determination and mutual trust among us. The political and diplomatic
leaders gathered here today have the knowledge, experience and the
maturity it takes to for our collective success in this world, that reshaped by
myriad technological advancements. I take this opportunity to call on my
respected fellow leaders to give fullest support and continued cooperation to
achieve the set targets and goals of BIMSTEC for the beneft of all our
peoples.

Each of us have unique cultural heritage, civilization, and a rich history that
inform and enrich our future development agendas. The BIMSTEC provides a
strong support to these ambitious paths.

In conclusion, I express my pleasure and thank you, on behalf of the people
and the government of Sri Lanka, as we stand together at BIMSTEC to
achieve our the noble goals.

Thank You!
May the Noble Triple Gems Bless You.

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