Colombo (AsiaNews) - "One of the primary aspirations of countries in the South Asian and South East Asian region is to maintain peace and stability for their continued economic development," said Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the start yesterday of the South and South East Asian Nations (SA-SEAN) summit, which ends tomorrow.
"Maintaining regional stability as well as upholding national security is key to achieve this," said the Sri Lankan minister, who as chair of South and South East Asian Defence Chiefs, opened the meeting. "As such, improving the cooperation and collaboration among nations are essential."
"If we consider the Sri Lankan experience over the last thirty years," he added, "we will see the transnational nature of the threats that we face".
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) "was a sophisticated terrorist organization with a large international network. Its operatives were based in a number of countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia".
At the same time, "It is also important to bear in mind that some of the policies that we have [. . .] are intended to improve the quality of life of our citizens and encourage economic development through tourism and trade".