The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, or SAARC, is an association of seven countries of South Asia, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These countries comprise an area of 4,480,000 sq. kilometres and a fifth of the population of the world.
SAARC was set up on December 8, 1985, with the main objective to help people of South Asia to work together towards finding solutions to their problems in friendship, trust as well as understanding, and to create an order based on mutual respect, equity and shared benefits. It also encourages people in cooperation in agriculture, rural development, science and technology, culture, health, population control, narcotics control and anti-terrorism.
The idea of SAARC was first proposed in November 1980. The foreign secretaries of the seven countries met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981, after many consultations.
This was followed a few months later, by the meeting of the committee of the whole, which identified five broad areas for regional cooperation.
The foreign ministers at their first meeting in New Delhi, in August 1983, formally launched the Integrated Programme of Action (IPA) through the adoption of the declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation.(SARC).
A boat ride
9 –11 years
By Thyaga Weraniyagoda
Leeds International School, Galle
One bright morning, we set off to Hikkaduwa. At Hikkaduwa beach, we got into a boat with a glass
When the boat started, I was a little scared. I was clinging to my mother. It was going up and down over the waves. We touched the water. Little by little we were leaving the land.
Through the glass bottom we saw the land of corals.
I couldn't believe my eyes; green, blue, pink and yellow corals! Big and small, colourful shoals of fish were swimming through the corals. We saw some huge turtles swimming here and there. Though the sun was glittering over our heads there were cool winds.
When the boat turned back, we said good-bye to the heaven of the sea bed. I will never forget this exciting but interesting journey.
My favourite cousin
8 years and below
By Nirmani Karagampitiya
Maliyadeva Girls' College,
My favourite cousin is my uncle's younger daughter. She is Chamuditha. She is only four years old. We call her 'Chooti Nangi.’
She is cute and fair. She has an attractive smile too. She is very active and playful. Our Chooti Nangi is very kind and helpful to all her family
On our birthdays she sends us birthday cards made by herself. When we go there she welcomes us warmly.
Her favourite colour is green. She always selects green frocks, bottles, bags etc.
She is the shining star in her family. I wish her good luck.