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Sri Lankan President emphasizes Asia-Africa cooperation against threat of colonialism

2013 Jul 03

Seychelles: Small nations like Sri Lanka and Seychelles which fought of colonialism years ago are under threat from emerging power blocks and the cooperation between Asia and Africa to prevent attempts by interested parties intervening in the internal affairs of developing nations is needed more than ever, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

`Modern international relations are marred by the self-interest of states and their struggle for power. We feel that the very colonialism that we had fought and freed ourselves from a few decades ago is making a comeback in a different from in today`s global scenario,` the President said addressing the Seychelles` National Assembly at an Extraordinary Sitting on June 30th.

President Rajapaksa, who is on a two day state visit to Seychelles, noted that the threats to small nations from the intervention of powerful states are harmful for the development and those countries need to get together to fight the challenges.

`I emphasize the need for cooperation between Asia and Africa to prevent attempts by interested parties to intervene the internal affairs of developing nations,` the President said.

Speaking of Sri Lanka`s development after the end of the war, the President said Sri Lanka has embarked upon massive infrastructure development projects that would give the people of Sri Lanka the dividends of peace amid obstacles from outside forces.

`While we are trying to bring about national reconciliation and economic development, we are not without post-conflict challenges. Interested parties endeavor to undermine our victory over terrorism and humiliate us in the international scene,` he noted.

Sri Lanka counts on the valuable and continued support and understanding of friendly nations like the Seychelles, the Sri Lankan President said.

He said the best assistance that the international community could afford Sri Lanka at this point of time in its reconciliation process is to provide the required time, space and encouragement to the government.

Reiterating Sri Lankan government`s strong commitment to greater cooperation between the two countries, the President said Seychelles and Sri Lanka, both island nations in the Indian Ocean, could work together to promote regional economic integration and connectivity and to evolve an open, balanced and rule-based architecture.

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