Sri Lanka's Rajapakse says Asia key to stability

Oct 27, 2011 - 09:30
  • Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivers his keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth on October 27, 2011 ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) this week. PHOTO/ AFP

PERTH, Australia, Oct 27, 2011 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's President Mahendra Rajapakse Thursday accused Western nations of doing "too little, too late" to address economic problems, adding that Asia was key to global stability.

Rajapakse, in Australia for a Commonwealth summit, warned that high unemployment in some advanced economies was leading to violent unrest that threatened to spill into other areas.

"The biggest concern among economic players today is that clear economic decision-making has been too little and too late," he told a business forum.

"It is therefore time for advanced economies to respond to the growing crisis and to do so quickly and collectively.

"Otherwise we will find that the situation will become much worse and perhaps even reach a point of no return."

As European leaders were Wednesday thrashing out a plan to solve the eurozone debt crisis, Rajapakse called for action to counter the high levels of unemployment in some Western nations.

"At present, many advanced nations suffer from high unemployment which has resulted in the first signs of political and social unrest being felt in those societies," he said.

"Such situations, if allowed to escalate unchecked, could give rise to more serious political problems which would further threaten global economic stability."

Rajapakse said Sri Lanka had been able to turn around its economy after ending close to three decades of civil war in 2009, and was part of an Asian bloc that was supporting global economic growth.

"In a world that is increasingly complex, where markets and economies seem to be in a constant state of uncertainty and turmoil, the only geographical area that appears to be somewhat stable is the Asia and Pacific region," he said.

"In fact, today it is the Asia and the Pacific economies that are universally accepted in playing the key role in global growth and stability."

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