Sovereignty of independent states should not be undermined

The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Opening Plenary of this year’s Boao Forum for Asia on Tuesday, that the sovereignty of independent states should in no way be undermined in international relations.

He further said that international relations have to have an “equitable and respectful foundation.”

Praising China was establishing and leading the Boao Forum and extolling the nature of Sino-Lankan relations, President Gotabaya said: “ Through centuries of rich history, Sri Lanka and China share a strong strategic collaborative partnership based on mutual respect, trust, and cooperation. I appreciate the support rendered by His Excellency Xi Jinping and the Government of China to Sri Lanka, in vital areas of Sri Lanka’s well-being.”

“I am therefore appreciative of the theme of this year’s conference, which recognizes the importance of strengthening global governance and international cooperation. It is essential that we strive towards a more equitable and respectful foundation for international relations.”

Need to be inclusive

Decrying the absence of opportunities for developing countries to participate in international economic decision-making, the Lankan President said: “ We know that developing countries, irrespective of their contribution to the world economy, have to abide by a myriad rules, regulations, and governance structures, and yet cannot access the global rules formulation process. This is a regrettable situation.”

But independent nations could not be asked to sacrifice their sovereign status, he said. “Maintaining a fair balance between national policies and international shared policies, norms and rules is essential. The sovereignty of independent states should in no way be undermined in the maintaining of this balance.”

Calls for Investments

Saying that Sri Lankan needs foreign investments and not loans, Gotabaya said: “We seek the contributions of our international partners to aid this process. We do not seek to borrow, but to encourage investments. We have developed attractive policies for Foreign Direct Investments, including a favorable tax structure and other incentives.”

“We seek the support of the Governments of member countries of the Boao Forum to encourage more businesses from their countries to consider Sri Lanka as a destination for their investments. We particularly seek to attract investments in export-oriented industries that will have a beneficial impact on our economy.” (

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