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8th "Colombo Defence Seminar" begins

8th "Colombo Defence Seminar" begins

[August 30 2018]

Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe graces inaugural session

The 08th "Colombo Defence Seminar- 2018" commenced at the BMICH, today (30 August). Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the inaugural session and made the keynote address to a packed local and foreign distinguished audience, this morning.

State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene and Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC were also present at the occasion.

The chief guest was received by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senananyake and led to the conference hall in a traditional procession where the special guests joined to light the traditional oil lamp in keeping with the country's time held customs.

Making the Opening Remarks Secretary Waidyaratne said that the conference will provide a platform for active discourse, stimulate critical thinking on emerging security threats and set focus to make a collective effort to deal with such threats for a secure world. Our political and security environment is witnessing unprecedented rapid changes, complexities and unpredictability which pose many challenges that are beyond the capacity of sovereign nations and sometimes even regional order, he added.

Increased connectivity has facilitated for human development but non-state actors steal such opportunities for their own motives of disruption and destruction of the humanity, suggesting a selective approach in adoption of globalization in the future, he further said. The context for civil society is changing; economic and geo political power is shifting and technology is disrupting the social models. All these shifts pose challenges, create opportunities and require rapid adaption on wider spectrum of engagement to create effective options, he added.

The Secretary further said that the object of security is no longer just state sovereignty or territorial integrity but also the people, their survival, wellbeing and dignity at both individual and societal level. Intellectuality is envisaged as the weaponry to carefully handle and counter operations among the people. Present and future security concerns require more vigorous and deeper understanding on surrounding factors to take effective and realistic decisions, he added.

The two-day "Colombo Defence Seminar- 2018" is Sri Lanka Army's flagship annual defence conference. This year deliberations are held under the theme" Security in an era of global disruptions".

The inaugural session was attended by Hon. Minister of Defence of Rwanda, General James Kabarebe, Governors, Presidential Secretary, Secretary to the Foreign Ministry, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Air Force, IGP, members of the diplomatic corps, former tri forces commanders, senior tri forces officers and a large number of distinguished invitees.


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