Sri Lanka seeks stronger cooperation from SAARC

Updated: 2014-11-26 14:19


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Alternative energy resources were also highlighted by him to reduce dependency on traditional forms and improve regional engagement in the sector.

Rajapaksa also pledged to complete a SAARC cultural center in the Sri Lankan town of Matara in the near future. Buddhism can form a common platform for countries in the region to build trust and foster tourism.

He also appealed SAARC to declare a day to celebrate youth skills. Allowing air links to smaller cities in the region was also proposed to improve tourism.

Human rights should not be recognized as a political agenda, he charged, called on SAARC members to "resist external manipulations" and to work together in this sphere. He also asked leaders to come together on a common voice at international fora.

Eight SAARC members will hold discussions for collective development at the two-day 18th summit themed "Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity", which opned in Nepal's capital city Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Established in 1985 in Bangladesh, the SAARC is a regional association of eight South Asian countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan joined SAARC as its eighth member in 2007.

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