FM's call for combating terrorism in BIMSTEC countries
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasised the need for
enhanced cooperation among Member States of the Bay of Bengal Initiative
for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to
The Minister was addressing the tenth Session of the BIMSTEC
Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi on Friday.
The Foreign Minister said, "Terrorism is an abominable phenomenon
that affects all of us, big and small, directly or indirectly, today.
Terrorist groups network with one another globally. Their operations, in
our own experience include fund raising through the narcotic trade,
human smuggling, procurement of arms and ammunition, and money
laundering, all of which pose a grave threat to our societies in more
ways than one.
Sri Lanka views the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating
Terrorism, Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking as an important
landmark of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Sector, which
would intensify our cooperative efforts in combating terrorism.
The Group on intelligence sharing relating to Counter Terrorism and
Transnational Crime has had two meetings in Colombo. These meetings have
been useful in exploring ways and means to share information to combat
terrorism and transnational crime. Enhancement of cooperation in all
sectors relating to combating terrorism is crucial. I therefore
emphasize the urgent and dire need to further enhance cooperation within
BIMSTEC in this important area", Bogollagama said. BIMSTEC had its
origin in BIST-EC, when Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand joined
to form this new sub-regional grouping in June 1997 in Bangkok. In
December 1997, Myanmar was admitted as a full member and subsequently
Bhutan and Nepal were admitted to its ranks in 2003.
At the first Summit in July 2004, the leaders of the group agreed on
the new nomenclature.
Minister Bogollagama held bilateral meetings with his counterparts
from India, Pranab Mukherjee, Thailand, Tej Bunnag, Myanmar, U Nyan Win
and Nepal, Upendra Yadav, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting.
He is also scheduled to call on the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan
Singh prior to his return to Colombo.