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* Sri Lanka says Non-Aligned Movement has a critical role
Sat, May 28, 2011, 08:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka says the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has a critical role to play in challenging common global issues such as elimination of terrorism that is affecting many countries.

Addressing the XVI Ministerial Conference and Commemorative Meeting marking the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) yesterday in Bali, Indonesia, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said the towards this end, the Movement should build synergies with other organizations, which share similar values such as the G-15, BIMSTEC and SAARC.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the current chair of the G-15 is ready to facilitate such an endeavor, the Minister told the attendees at the meeting held under the theme 'Shared vision on the contribution of NAM for the next 50 years'.

Professor Peiris pointed out that the NAM is uniquely poised to address issues that need to be tackled on their own merits without adherence to any particular ideology or philosophy.

The Minister highlighted that Sri Lanka, following President Rajapaksa's Mahinda Chinthana vision, has taken its own measures for post-conflict development and reconciliation after eliminating the terrorism from the country two years ago.

"The clearest indicator of the success of its efforts was that the Sri Lankan economy was now growing at more than 8 %," the Minister pointed out.

At the Ministerial Conference and the Commemorative Meeting Minister Peiris has been appointed as a Vice-Chair of the Coordinating Bureau representing the Asian Group of countries.

Prof. Peiris was among the foreign ministers from 118 member states participating in the conference. His participation in the NAM conference followed his visits to India and China.

On the sidelines of the conference held from May 25- 27, the Minister has called on his Indonesian counterpart Marty M.Natalegawa and met with several other foreign ministers from a number of Asian, African, Latin American member countries of the NAM as well as of the observer states of Europe represented at the Conference.

The Sri Lanka delegation consisted of Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare Dilan Perera, Deputy Minister of Finance Geethanjana Gunawardena, and Monitoring MP for External Affairs Sajin de Vass Gunawardena.

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