Sri Lanka calls on IORA to combat illicit drug smuggling

President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit in Jakarta today, called on the body to work out a stable legal order to confront the issue of illicit drugs, in conformity with the principles of the freedom of navigation.

“I suggest IORA to work out a stable legal order to confront these concerns in the conformity It is universally recognized that all littoral states possess a maritime area bordering their coasts within which they exercise complete authority. However, beyond this limit comprise high seas and are not subject to the jurisdiction of any state. Most of the illicit drugs are smuggled into the country from the sea beyond the territorial waters”, he said.

Sri Lanka being an island nation has always had a firm interest in the Indian Ocean region. In this context, IORA has undoubtedly been a key initiative in strengthening Sri Lanka’s cooperation within this region, and in further reaping the true benefits from the Indian Ocean, the President further said.

He said the National Unity Government of Sri Lanka has undertaken measures to restore our position in the Indian Ocean Region, with a clear manifestation to enter the global value chain, by becoming the regional hub for trade, tourism, transport and logistics.

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