【Male】Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (September 4) told the Indian Ocean Conference meeting in The Maldives that the Indian Ocean was becoming "a theatre of contemporary global geopolitics with India and China on one hand, and the and USA and China on the other, competing for space".
"The increasing economic uncertainty has been accompanied by rising global tension, the shifting dynamics of the global economy and emergence of new power are creating an asymetrical bipolar world with USA and China leading tensions from middle east to East Asia and beyond. All these political and economic developments have led to the most pressing challenges which is the tripolar competition in the Indian Ocean. Countries in the Indian Ocean have to promote Indian ocean regionalism step by step. Sri Lanka has opposed military rivalry in the region and will continue championing peace and stability in the region. It is for this reason that Sri Lanka took a crucial role in the UN Law of the Sea Conference. Sri Lanka supports for free rules-based navigation in the Indian Ocean. The negotiations for an expanded trade agreement is under way with India. We have agreed to negotiate further agreements with Thailand and the other ASEAN states. Negotiations are also underway for a new trade agreement with China and an expanded trade agreement with Inda."
The Prime Minister was addressing the fourth edition of Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) 2019, on Tuesday (September 3) night , at the Paradise Island Resort in The Maldives. The Premier told the gathering that the harrowing events in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday "are pressing reminder of continuing threat from violent non state actors". Wickremesinghe argued that the Easter bomb explosions confirm a change in ISIS strategy. "The 2016 bombing in Bangladesh, 2017 in Egypt and, 2018 in Indonesia are such indicators that this is a franchise form of terrorism – a new challenge where religious affiliates claiming allegiance to the ISIS to carry out attacks," he said. "Sri Lanka believes that a robust domestic counter terrorism legal framework complying with international law and respect democratic rights is essential for the state to counter the world terrorism" he said.
The conference was organized by India Foundation in association with the Foreign Service Institute of Maldives and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
○SL-Maldives ties would ensure a world free of terrorism
【Male】Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed on the importance of working together bilaterally and regionally in the multilateral arena in combatting the growing menace of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation at home and abroad, the Maldives and Sri Lanka in a joint statement said on September 4.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe returned after concluding his Official Visit to the Maldives yesterday (September 4). It said that both leaders also agreed to address and counter threats posed by organised crime, piracy, narcotics and human trafficking.
"The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation and people-to-people contacts between the two countries. The two leaders reviewed the existing programme of co-operation between the two countries and agreed to continue the bilateral engagements within the context of the Joint Commission between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Fourth Meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in Sri Lanka, later this year," it added.
Sri Lanka opposes military rivalry in Indian Ocean region - PM
‘SL-Maldives ties would ensure a world free of terrorism’
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