Remarks of the Ambassador in The ASEAN Flag Hoisting Ceremony Colombo, 2 January 2012




Honorable Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris, Minister of External Affairs;

Dear Excellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions of ASEAN Member States;

Dear fellow ASEAN community in Colombo;

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen;


A very good morning to you!


On behalf of the ASEAN Diplomatic Missions and the ASEAN community in Colombo, allow me to convey our greatest appreciation for your attendance, Honorable Professor Peiris, and all ASEAN and Sri Lankan fellows in this auspicious occasion of hoisting the ASEAN Flag.


And allow me also to forward our warmest wishes for a very blissful year of 2012. May we all in the Region be blessed with peace, health, and prosperity.


Honorable, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen;


Since its inception in 1967, ASEAN has been transforming itself into an organization that can overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities in a rapidly changing world. It ventures for the best contributions to the maintenance of peace and security as well as prosperity in the region. It deems important to promote cooperation in the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region.


Thus in 1994 ASEAN established the ASEAN Regional Forum, or ARF, as means of multilateral dialogue convened by ASEAN. Ever since, the awareness of promoting cooperation in maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region is spreading.


And ARF has become the primary forum for security dialogue in the Asia Pacific, after being complemented by East Asia and Pacific countries, and involving Defense Ministers, in addition to Foreign Ministers.


We commend Sri Lanka for its active participation in ARF since 2007, when Sri Lanka signed the accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. ASEAN and Sri Lanka can thus further cooperate in promoting and maintaining peace, security and stability for the greater benefit of the Asia Pacific region and the world at large.


Indeed, ARF cooperation has assumed a greater role in countering against current security issues in the Region, including terrorism, maritime piracy, trafficking in person and other transnational crimes.


Honorable, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen;  


Today, with this ceremony, the ASEAN Flags are flown in ASEAN Diplomatic Missions in Sri Lanka, next to our respective national flags. It is hoisted in the manner according to the Guidelines adopted in 6 May 2011.


But, hoisting the ASEAN Flag means much more than observing a resolution per se. The Flag represents our hopes for peace and stability, dynamism, integrity, and prosperity within the bond of friendship and solidarity in the region.


It is our fervent hope that we, ARF Member States, can enhance our cooperation in addressing current security issues in the Region in the near future. We, Asian countries, are capable of and ready to act within the framework of preventive diplomacy.


Finally we would express our greatest appreciation to our ASEAN colleagues who have worked hard for the organization of this ceremony. And our special thanks also to the Government of Sri Lanka for the strong support in promoting cordial relation with ASEAN, as well as the Sri Lankan Army Music Corps for their awesome performance today. Thank you.