Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), in collaboration with Bangladesh Institution of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organized a Lecture on “Equity, Opportunity and Empowerment: A South Asian Perspective” on Monday 6th August 2012 at the BIISS Auditorium. H.E. Professor G.L. Peiris, Honorable Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, delivered the Lecture on the topic. Professor Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Adviser for International Affairs to the Prime Minister, presided over the Lecture Session while BIISS Director General Major General Muhammad Imrul Quayes and BEI President Mr. Farooq Sobhan also addressed the session.
Professor G.L. Peiris stressed practicing ‘genuinely representative democracy’ to ensure equity, opportunity and empowerment of people in South Asia. He said that his country is now peaceful and stable after the end of a nearly three-decade old civil war between government forces and the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) and spoke at length on the massive development project in the conflict zones for ensuring equitable progress and opportunity for all the ethnic communities in his country. “Besides taking economic measures to empower people, it’s equally important to ensure emanation of the ideas from the grassroots to upwards and people’s involvement in a genuinely representative democracy,” Peiris said. Stressing the importance of mainstreaming the ethnic minorities through economic, political and cultural interventions, he said economic causes, such as deprivation, are not solely responsible for creating terrorism. “Rather, it’s the lack of identification of the minorities that we need to address to resolve the problems.” But he also stressed that there is no one size fits all, each country has its peculiarities which should be taken into consideration.
Access to education and job, women empowerment and eradication of poverty are still big challenges for countries in South Asia. Joint efforts and mutual cooperation among South Asian countries could help the region to extricate themselves from such burdens, observed speakers at the lecture discussion. Professor Rizvi said that a level playing field must be created in society for ensuring equity among its inhabitants.
Posted Date : 7 August, 2012