May 21, Shanghai: Sri Lanka today criticized the external interference in the sovereign affairs of nations to create domestic disharmony and destabilize the state.
Addressing the world leaders gathered at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is imperative that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Asian nations are secure for building peace and stability in a region.
"Sadly, we have watched this fundamental right of States, being violated elsewhere in the world. With self-interests at the core, some external entities, using the guise of democracy, have sought to interfere in the domestic affairs of countries, resulting in de-stabilizing these nations and thereby even those regions," the President observed.
He said creating domestic disharmony is start point and these external entities have used the social media including the internet, to create domestic unrest and cybercrime.
The Sri Lankan President noted that youth are targeted and they become pawns of the misplaced agendas.
"These are dangerous trends that need to be arrested, and addressed, effectively through this forum," he said.
He also spoke of the threats posed by transnational organized crime, terrorism and its financing, drug trafficking, human smuggling and money laundering, which also transcend national boundaries, impinging on the sovereignty of nation states.
"He urged the CICA members to work together to guard against threats to the territorial integrity of each other's borders, from external sources, through strong cooperation.
Pointing out that economic disparity and poverty can destabilize nations, President Rajapaksa asked the member states to explore possible avenues for trade and economic cooperation and widening of collaboration among financial sectors.
"Peace, security and stability are vital for progress and economic development in a nation or a region, as has been demonstrated by Sri Lanka, since eliminating terrorism. It is absolutely essential therefore, that we work collectively to create a peaceful and stable new Asia," the President said.