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South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. SAARC comprises 3% of the world's area, 21% of the world's population and 3.8% of the global economy, as of 2015. SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985, its secretariat is based in Nepal. The organization promotes development of regional integration, it launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006. SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union; the idea of co-operation among South Asian Countries was discussed in three conferences: the Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi on April 1947. In the ending years of the 1970s, the seven inner South Asian nations that included Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka agreed upon the creation of a trade bloc and to provide a platform for the people of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship and understanding.

President Ziaur Rahman addressed official letters to the leaders of the countries of the South Asia, presenting his vision for the future of the region and the compelling arguments for region. During his visit to India in December 1977, Rahman discussed the issue of regional cooperation with the Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai. In the inaugural speech to the Colombo Plan Consultative Committee which met in Kathmandu in 1977, King Birendra of Nepal gave a call for close regional cooperation among South Asian countries in sharing river waters. After the USSR's intervention in Afghanistan, the efforts to establish the union was accelerated in 1979 and the resulting rapid deterioration of South Asian security situation. Responding to Rahman and Birendra's convention, the officials of the foreign ministries of the seven countries met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981; the Bangladeshi proposal was promptly endorsed by Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives but India and Pakistan were sceptical initially.

The Indian concern was the proposal's reference to the security matters in South Asia and feared that Rahman's proposal for a regional organisation might provide an opportunity for new smaller neighbours to re-internationalize all bilateral issues and to join with each other to form an opposition against India. Pakistan assumed that it might be an Indian strategy to organize the other South Asian countries against Pakistan and ensure a regional market for Indian products, thereby consolidating and further strengthening India's economic dominance in the region. However, after a series of diplomatic consultations headed by Bangladesh between South Asian U. N. representatives at the UN headquarters in New York, from September 1979 to 1980, it was agreed that Bangladesh would prepare the draft of a working paper for discussion among the foreign secretaries of South Asian countries. The foreign secretaries of the inner seven countries again delegated a Committee of the Whole in Colombo on September 1981, which identified five broad areas for regional cooperation.

New areas of co-operation were added in the following years. In 1983, the international conference held in Dhaka by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foreign ministers of the inner seven countries adopted the Declaration on South Asian Association Regional Cooperation and formally launched the Integrated Programme of Action in five agreed areas of cooperation namely, Agriculture; the union was established in Dhaka with Kathmandu being union's secretariat-general. The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka on 7–8 December 1985 and hosted by the President of Bangladesh Hussain Ershad; the declaration signed by King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuk, President of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq, Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, King of Nepal Birendra Shah, President of Sri Lanka JR Jayewardene, President of Maldives Maumoon Gayoom. Economic data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund, current as of December 2019, is given in US dollars; the member states are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

SAARC was founded by seven states in 1985. In 2005, Afghanistan began negotiating their accession to SAARC and formally applied for membership on the same year; the issue of Afghanistan joining SAARC generated a great deal of debate in each member state, including concerns about the definition of South Asian identity because Afghanistan is a Central Asian country. The SAARC member states imposed a stipulation for Afghanistan to hold a general election. Despite initial reluctance and internal debates, Afghanistan joined SAARC as its eighth member state in April 2007. States with observer status include Australia, the European Union, Japan, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States. On 2 August 2006, the foreign ministers of the SAARC countries agreed in principle to grant observer status to three applicants. On 4 March 2007, Iran requested observer status, followed shortly by Mauritius. Myanmar has expressed interest in upgrading its status from an observer to a full member of SAARC. Russia has applied for observer status membership of SAARC.

Turkey applied for observer status membership of SAARC in 2012. South Africa h

Catherine Wilkin

Catherine Wilkin is an English-born New Zealand actor who has worked in New Zealand and Australia. Wilkin has acted in many Australian television shows, with a mix of guest and multi-episode recurring roles, she played the recurring role lawyer Kate McGrath in Cop Shop in 1981. Her then-partner, Bill Stalker, was at that time a regular in the series. In 1983 she played Janice Young in Prisoner. Other roles include Paulyne Grey in Rafferty's Rules, Katherine Jensen in Embassy, Sally Downie in Blue Heelers and Liz Ryan in McLeod's Daughters. Wilkin starred in the Saddle Club as the well-loved Mrs. Reg, the mother of the owner of the stable, in 2001. Theatre performances include Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde in 2010 for Auckland Theatre Company. In 2012 she played Linda in the Peach Theatre Company production of Death of a Salesman, she was injured in the November 1981 motorcycle accident that killed her then-partner, actor Bill Stalker. Catherine Wilkin on IMDb

Svayam Bhagavan

This article is about a Hindu theological concept: the original or absolute manifestation of God. For other meanings, see Krishna and Bhagavan. Svayam Bhagavān is a Sanskrit theological term for the concept of absolute representation of God as Bhagavan - The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is termed Svayam Bhagavan; as stated in Bhagavata Maha Purana, Hindu Vedic Supreme God PARABRAHMAN Adi Narayana appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki in his divine original four armed form before taking birth as Krishna. Vasudeva and Devaki after praising Vishnu, requested him to hide his divine form, which Maha Vishnu agreed to do, transforming himself into a small baby Krishna. According to this account, Krishna never took birth from the womb of His mother like a common baby. Svayam Bhagavan It is most used in Gaudiya Vaishnava Krishna-centered theology referencing Krishna and that title is used there to designate Him, there being conflicting semantics or other usages in the Bhagavata Purana.

Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Vallabha consider Him to be the source of all Avatars, the source of Vishnu and Narayana. As such, He is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan. Though Krishna is recognized as Svayam Bhagavan by many, He is perceived and understood from an eclectic assortment of perspectives and viewpoints; when Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the Vallabha Sampradaya, the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other Avatars, the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn from the "famous statement" of the Bhagavatam. A different viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu, it should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the Avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, known as Narayana, Vasudeva Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed Supremacy in Vaishnavism.

The theological interpretation of svayam bhagavān differs with each tradition and the literal translation of the term has been understood in several distinct ways. Translated from the Sanskrit language, the term means "Bhagavan Himself" or "directly Bhagavan". Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition translates it within its perspective as primeval Lord or original Personality of Godhead, but considers the terms such as Supreme Personality of Godhead and Supreme God as an equivalent to the term Svayam Bhagavan, may choose to apply these terms to Vishnu and many of their associated avatars. Early commentators of Bhagavata Purana such as Madhvacharya translated the term Svayam Bhagavan as "he who has bhagavata". Others have translated it as "the Lord Himself". Followers of Vishnu-centered sampradayas of Vaishnavism address this term, but believe that it refers to their belief that Krishna is among the highest and fullest of all Avatars and is considered to be the "paripurna avatara", complete in all respects and the same as the original.

According to them Krishna is described in the Bhagavata Purana as the purnavatara of Bhagavan, while other incarnations are called partial. "Krishna being Bhagavan. There is a universal acceptance of the uniqueness of Krishna incarnation throughout Hinduism, as well as the principles involved in His life and personality for which He has been described as Svayam Bhagavan. There is an element of countenance in many Krishna centered traditions to the subordination of Krishna to Vishnu; the reasons for that are given that it was the easiest way to accommodate Krishna's human story within the composite Vaishnava theological perspective. These "core texts assert and defend the ultimacy of Krishna's identity"; however inclusion of Krishna in the list of avataras does not subordinate him to Vishnu as one of the latter's expansions. Early authors, such as 12th century Jayadeva considered dasavatara to be principal incarnations of Krishna, rather than Vishnu; the prime supporters of the Krishna-centered theology, Gaudiya Vaishnavas and followers of the Vallabha Sampradaya and Nimbarka Sampradaya, use the Gopala Tapani Upanishad, Vedanta Sutras and other Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavata Purana as in verse 1.3.28 and the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, among others, to support their view that Krishna is indeed the Svayam Bhagavan.

This belief was summarized by the 16th century author Jiva Goswami in some of his works, such as Krishna-sandarbha. While Krishna himself is mentioned in one of the earliest texts of Vedic literature - the Rig-Veda. In the sixth book of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Bhishma Parva, Krishna offers numerous quotations that reaffirm the belief that he himself is the Svayam Bhagavan. Verse 7.7 of the Bhagavad Gita, is used to support the opinion that Krishna himself is the Svayam Bhagavan, that no impersonal form of Brahman supersedes his existence, as it is a common view that Bhagavad Gita was propounding Krishna-theism before first major proponents of monism. Other pervading understandings of the position of Svayam Bhagavan asserted in the Gita are connected to, non-Krishna-centered, traditions. One tradition follows predominately the views of Sankaracharya commentary on Br