Sri Lanka holds fast to NAM principlesBY PAUL GABRIEL
KUALA LUMPUR: Sri Lanka, a founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), is out to prove that the movement can be a “force” in the present world scenario.
Its High Commissioner to Malaysia, Daya Liyanage, said his country held firm to the fundamental principles of the movement founded in 1955.
“Sri Lanka has sought to adapt the NAM thrust to current realities, especially in the economic context, and we continue to be an active member of NAM.
“For example, we have been supporting closer collaboration between NAM and the G-77 to facilitate an effective negotiating platform based on our common interests.
“NAM countries have vast economic potential to be tapped. It’s not a question of NAM’s validity ... it’s more valid today than it was before,” he added in an interview.
Sri Lanka, which hosted the Fifth NAM Summit in 1976, was one of the convenor nations of the 1955 Asia-Africa Bandung Conference where the seeds of NAM were sowed.
Liyanage believed that Sri Lanka could contribute more to NAM as it had wide experience in dealing with issues such as terrorism.
He said the issue of combating terrorism was discussed even during the 11th NAM Summit held in Cartagena, Colombia in 1995, with Sri Lanka chairing the political committee, adding that it had helped with a consensus on ways to address the problem.
On the coming summit, Liyanage said Sri Lanka was looking forward to share its “expertise” in helping the movement go forward.