Honorable Salinda Dissayanake, Minister of Indigenous
[Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament;]
Excellency Ambassadors and High
Distinguished guests; Ladies and gentlemen;
On the auspicious occasion Indonesian Independence
Day, it gives me a great pleasure to convey the greetings and the best wishes
of the Government and the people of Indonesia to the Government and the people
of Sri Lanka.
Sixty seven years ago, on 17
August, the founding fathers proclaimed the independence of a new state named
“the Republic of Indonesia”. Every year, we cheer the date when Indonesian
people attain freedom. But it means more. As we should deal with global
challenges, Independence Day has become a momentum to renew the driving spirit
of perseverance and unity.
We will all refer to our national
identity, the very source of power to unite, enshrined in the national motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “unity in diversity”.
With this concept, we have been working hard to rise from the economic and
social crises. We strive to uphold peace, stability and welfare as our agenda in regional
and global fora.
Honorable, ladies and gentlemen;
We are all aware of how important peace and stability
is to development sustainability. And Sri Lanka is one fine model of this truism.
We can see that Sri Lanka has harvested the dividend of peace and stability
maintained during these recent three years. Economic and social development is
in rapid progress. Such development can only be achieved with excellent
leadership of the President, strong commitment of the Government, and the
support of hard works and dedication of people of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka have an established relation. I am honored to reiterate that the
diplomatic relation of Indonesia and Sri Lanka has reached the 60th
anniversary on 6 August 2012.
We are not only
as two friendly countries but also as two states lending genuine supports in
multilateral fora. Our cooperation includes a range of important milestones in the
history, from the initiation of the Asian-African Conference in 1955 to our current
active participation as members of the Non Aligned Movement Forum.
And we have also worked on recent issues such as those related to
democracy promotion in the Bali Democracy Forum, global health promotion
initiative in the Foreign Policy and Global Health Forum, and anti-terrorism
measures in the ASEAN Regional Forum. Indeed, our tasks ahead are more
those in responding to global contemporary challenges than musing the sweet past.
have to deal with contemporary issues that may trigger socio-economic unrest at
home and lead to defamation of certain groups at global level. It is actually
comforting that there are universal values of promoting respect, dialog and peace in Islam, Christianity,
Buddhism, and all religions and beliefs in the world.
We can even find
the same wisdom in the culture of any ethnic group. And we live by certain
standards according to this wisdom as our background, be it religion or belief.
social harmony by referring to these values of respect,
dialog and peace is as important as living our lives. They are fundamental part
of our identity and spiritual live. And I believe that in this regard we share
the mission to strive for material development at the same time with spiritual
ladies and gentlemen;
countries’ relation has indeed well gone beyond the diplomatic relation and
political agenda. We have forged the basis for further cooperation in promoting
development and understanding through the Joint Commission for Bilateral
Cooperation tasked to formulate the best cooperation frameworks. The first
meeting of the Joint Commission on January 2012 agreed on an initial plan for
further collaboration schemes in the future.
assurance of national and regional security and stability, I am certain that we
can keep up with the plan. We have all the modalities. On trade, for example, we
have an encouraging fact that our two countries’ trade value continues to
increase over the years.
The bilateral trade
value in 2011 is USD 497.35 million, or a 32.28% increase from value in the
same period in 2010. This numbers will surely increase in the future. We are
optimistic to reach the bilateral trade value of one billion USD by 2015, as
targeted in the First Bilateral Joint Commission Meeting, because our countries
have not tapped yet all potentials. In a wider context, we can engage in the
region as net contributors to the promotion of welfare.
better understanding among our peoples can be promoted through direct contacts.
We are pleased to learn that there are far more Sri Lankans visiting Indonesia
for business, tourism, conference and training purposes. To illustrate, there
are 2,740 Sri Lankans visiting Indonesia on January – June 2012, increasing by
52% from the number of Sri Lankans visiting Indonesia on the first half of
are also more Indonesians visiting Sri Lanka for various purposes like
business, tourism, conference and work, now that Sri Lanka is emerging as a new
hub and economy in the region. There are about 21,900 Indonesians visiting Sri
Lanka during 2011. Out of this total number, 9,960 Indonesians made transit
visits, while the other 11,950 Indonesians were making short trips and residing
temporarily for longer time in Sri Lanka.
four recent years, the Indonesian Government has been promoting direct contacts
through short training programs in Indonesia such as “Darmasiswa” Program, as
well as other programs related to agriculture, livestock, fisheries,
microfinance and industrial technology, as well as handicraft, to be held next
With this pace
and amount of direct contacts among visiting people, I am confident that the prospect of bilateral relation between Sri
Lanka and Indonesia will be flourishing well in the near future.
To conclude all,
may I ask you all to join me in a toast with Honorable Salinda
Dissayanake for the health and well being of the President of Sri Lanka, His
Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, and a prosperous future of the people of Sri Lanka.