To mark the 33rd anniversary of the establishment of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a thousand butter lamps would be lit at the Guru Lhakhang in Tashichhoedzong today, a press release from the foreign ministry states.

Heads of the seven SAARC countries signed the Charter on December 8, 1985.

The press release states that the butter lamps serve as a symbol and sincere gesture of prayers towards achieving the goals enshrined in the SAARC Charter.

It states that SAARC commenced its journey with limited areas of cooperation but today encompasses diverse areas of trade, finance, energy, agriculture, education, connectivity and transnational crimes, among others. “SAARC continues to play an important role in addressing the common issues and challenges faced by our people, and in fulfilling our shared aspiration of a peaceful and prosperous region.”

A message from Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, states that in more than three decades, SAARC has provided a meaningful forum for regular interaction and exchange in many prioritised areas of cooperation. “The continuing engagements under the various socio-economic sectors promote understanding, friendship and cooperation among relevant officials and stakeholders of the member states.”

On this auspicious Charter day, the prime minister reaffirmed Bhutan’s commitment to the ideals and principles of the SAARC Charter, and to continue working closely with associated member states to realise the common noble goals and the full potential of the region.

Staff reporter