Mar 04, Nay Pyi Taw: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that terrorism, wherever in the world, in whatever form or manifestation, is a threat to the collective security of all nations and therefore eternal vigilance is vital, particularly as terrorist organizations have extensive international networks.
Delivering a speech at the 3rd BIMSTEC Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and President Rajapaksa said it is encouraging to note that BIMSTEC has broadened its scope to many other areas of collaboration.
He noted that when the entire world is compelled to deal with terrorism and trans-national crimes, cooperation on the issue within BIMSTEC nations has been continuing since 2004.
"As a country that had suffered from terrorism, for nearly three decades, we in Sri Lanka are acutely aware of its human and economic costs. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka's economy could not run at its true potential during those years. With the defeat of terrorism, the Sri Lankan economy has been consistently recording, a growth rate of seven percent," the President said.
Although the terrorism is defeated in Sri Lanka, constant vigilance is necessary to assure that terrorism never re-surface again.
"Undoubtedly, the cooperative spirit which exists within our Grouping on addressing this issue will continue," the President said.
Speaking of establishing a Permanent Secretariat for the organization, President Rajapaksa said the resolve to establish the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka is a significant milestone in the BIMSTEC process.
With a permanent Secretariat, it would now be possible to pursue the targeted goals with more vigor and to take stock of the progress of the activities carried out under BIMSTEC, President Rajapaksa pointed out.
Assuring the Secretariat Sri Lanka's fullest support and cooperation, the President said Sri Lanka will support the Secretariat's efforts to further strengthen the activities under the priority areas of cooperation to be better result oriented.