President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his address at the 16th SAARC Summit at Thimphu, Bhutan this evening urged the South Asian grouping to be more bold and strive to avoid externally induced rigid solutions from the West
President Rajapaksa said that despite many examples of the achievements gained within the SAARC region, South Asia sometimes underestimate it’s collective strength and tends to discount the resources and skills it has, that can meet South Asia’s development challenges as well as it’s social and security needs.
"In fact, we often tend to provide priority to our engagements with extra regional actors, without devoting sufficient attention to further developing and strengthening the links within our own regional organization," President Rajapaksa said.
"Therefore, let us within our own grouping be bold enough to introspect. We must take measures to improve the existing mechanisms through review, rationalisation and reinvigoration. If there is a need, we should not hesitate to build new structures and mechanisms, to enable SAARC to reach its full potential," he said.