June 15, Dushanbe: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena called on Asian countries to unite in the battle against terrorism while protecting and preserving the integrity and the independence of the democratic and sovereign nations.
Delivering a speech at the 5th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Saturday (15 June), the President requested the Asian nations to not allow outside powers to suppress the power of Asia.
"I trust the Asian region as the forerunner of the next century, should be strong and powerful in every aspect especially in peace and economic strength," the President said.
He said the need of the hour is to build peace through modern technology and the CICA members should commit themselves to protect and preserve the integrity and the independence of the democratic and sovereign nations.
President Sirisena warning against undue interference in internal affairs of countries in the guise of human rights emphasized that freedom and democracy are indispensable features of every country.
"At this gathering I especially request not to damage and interfere in the sovereignty of the countries because of allegations of human rights violations. Freedom and democracy are indispensable features of every country. Any effort to influence and intimidate free nations is not acceptable in any way."
He said the economic and trade policies of CICA member countries should always be simple and the member nations should take measures to strengthen the policies of CICA in order to achieve sustainable goals.
Emphasizing the importance of marching forward powered by unity and strength, President Sirisena said CICA should clearly identify future challenges before it.
He said the peace is the prime requisite in achieving all the objectives and expressed hope that CICA objectives will be instrumental in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
"Peace plays a vital role in alleviating poverty too. As much as peace is essential to win the battle against poverty, defeating terrorism is imperative in order to ensure equal economic prosperity for every citizen. In this endeavor, strengthening economic objectives is also essential."
"We should wholeheartedly commit ourselves to ensure that the Asian region is free from poverty in the future. I call upon every one of you to make your valuable contribution towards this end," the President concluded.