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President of Sri Lanka details country's vision built on sustainability and reconciliation

President of Sri Lanka details country's vision built on sustainability and reconciliation

India Blooms News Service | | 01 Oct 2015, 09:25 am
New York, Oct 1 (IBNS): After years of conflict, "a new era of democracy" dawned in Sri Lanka this year, ushering in justice, freedom and equality, the country's President told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, reporting that his Government supports a "fresh universal approach" that deals honestly with the past while pursuing sustainable development.

“Our new vision for the country involves achieving the twin objectives of sustainable development and reconciliation. A fundamental requirement in this context is dealing with the past honesty and building a modern Sri Lankan nation,” Maithripala Sirisena told the Assembly.

He explained that, in the wake of years of conflict, his Government is now moving forward with a process of “truth seeking, justice, reparation and non-recurrence.”

Rising to 21st century challenges will require Sri Lanka to adopt a new social, economic and political approach, and, in that regard, he said that reconciliation must receive “priority attention.”

Indeed, the new consensus Government he is leading has already taken several steps to introduce and operationalize the constitutional and institutional reforms required to accelerate the achievement of these goals.

Sirisena said Sri Lanka has suffered from conflict and while such turmoil could bring destruction to a society, there are also many lessons that could be learned during and after a conflict.

“All forms of war and terrorism are a disgrace to humanity,” he continued, saying that the challenge of the modern era is to find ways and means to “defeat such brutality against humanity.”

“Sri Lanka succeeded in eliminating terrorism, which continues to throttle other developing countries in many regions – from Asia and Africa to Latin America,” he said.

He declared, “We defeated one of the world's most ruthless terror outfits. Equally, our post conflict experiences also have been significant. We believe that all these experiences can be shared fruitfully with other developing countries affected by terrorism.”

Turning to the issue of sustainable development, he said to ensure broader advancement for all, it is necessary to pursue dialogue within the global South as well as between the North and South.

“Development should result in the empowerment of women and youth and assure security for children. Frustration in youth usually leads to conflict,” Serisena continued, but noted that youth is the driving force for sustainable development.

“Therefore, we should transform the youth to a totally skilled workforce to succeed in the 21st century knowledge-based society. It should be a lead component of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda,” underscored the President, adding that the overall aim must be to have an inclusive model of development that is capable of uplifting development standards globally.

Stressing the need for a “fresh universal approach,” he said that extremism, over-consumption, arbitrary exploitation of the environment, violation of human rights, and massive income disparities can often cause insecurity, conflict, violation of fights, and exploitation.

As such, he said that the edifice of sustainable development should be built upon the foundation of self-discipline and equity. “If this could be practiced at personal, community, national and global levels, it would mark a giant leap forward for human kind.”

UN Photo/Cia Pak

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm