1. The SAARC Village, which will accommodate the Heads of State and Government of SAARC Member States during the Summit was consecrated today with a Ramney ceremony performed by His Holiness Gyelsey Trilku Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, and attended by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, and senior officials of government involved in the Summit preparations. The SAARC Village in Motithang comprises 14 country houses, two villas for each Member State. Bhutan House, which features meeting and banquet facilities, is the center piece of the Village. The Village will also be equipped with basic amenities including banking, postal and mobile phone service centers.
2. The Ramney of the SAARC Village signals the completion by the Royal Government of key preparatory arrangements for the Summit. The Ministry is confident that all infrastructure and organizational groundwork meet the requirements for smooth and successful proceedings for the Summit, from the moment of arrival to the departure of delegations.
3. Hon’ble Lyonchen described the Summit as an event of national importance. Hosted for the first time by Bhutan, the XVIth SAARC Summit holds special significance for the Kingdom, demonstrating our strengthened national capacity, enabling the fulfillment of one of the responsibilities and privileges of membership in the Association. Bhutan will also assume the Chairmanship of SAARC until the convening of the XVIIth Summit.
4. Hon’ble Lyonchen expressed appreciation for the many offers of assistance, and expressions of support received from Corporations, private groups, and individuals, in addition to the volunteers who have inscribed through RCSC. Lyonchen noted these as touching gestures of Bhutanese solidarity, a demonstration of goodwill and support from all segments of Bhutanese society for the RGOB’s efforts to ensure the success of the Summit.
5. Between 22nd-30th April, Bhutan will receive over 400 delegates from 7 SAARC Member States, and over 40 delegates from 9 Observer States. 109 journalists from regional and international media agencies have been independently accredited for the Summit.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
THIMPHU, 19th APRIL 2010