31 July :The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will be on a two day official visit to Sri Lanka from tomorrow. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s statement on the eve of his departure for Sri Lanka
“I will be visiting Sri Lanka tomorrow to attend the 15th SAARC Summit being hosted by Sri Lanka.
In the 23 years since SAARC was established, the South Asian region has traversed a long distance. Today, there is a realization amongst SAARC countries that it is only by cooperating within SAARC that we will be able to strengthen ourselves individually and as a region and address the many common challenges that face us.
At the 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi, we had agreed to move SAARC from a phase of declaration to a phase of implementation and action. As part of this approach, several initiatives have been taken, notably the establishment of the SAARC Development Fund, the SAARC Food Bank, the proposal to establish a South Asian University, SAFTA and greater people-to-people contacts. I am confident that the forthcoming Summit will consolidate these gains and provide an impetus to the implementation of the many decisions that are in place.
During my visit, I also look forward to holding discussions with His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse on our relations with Sri Lanka as well as holding bilateral meetings with the other leaders of the SAARC countries.”