General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) organized two-day International Symposium - 2012 on the theme ‘Ensuring National Security through Reconciliation and Sustainable Development’ was inaugurated this morning (22) by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The annual symposium, comprised of simultaneous parallel sessions on thematic Defence, Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Social Sciences, Humanities and Education during both days (Aug 22-23), is to be addressed by a host of eminent and erudite scholars, intellectuals and professionals, drawn from Sri Lanka and foreign capitals.
The keynote address of the inaugural sessions on Wednesday (22) was delivered by the Chief Guest Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa on ‘Ensuring National Security through Reconciliation and Sustainable Development’, in which he elaborated on the string of contributory roles, being extended by the Army and other services for reconstruction and redevelopment of the provinces, affected by the war.
Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-service Commanders and a distinguished gathering of invitees attended the inaugural sessions.
The wide range of topics, expected to be taken up for discussion during the plenary sessions, includes comparative, regional, global perspectives, related to reconciliation and sustainable development concepts, etc.
Prof. James C. Clad, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, USA, Mr Steve Maharey, Vice Chancellor, Massey University, New Zealand, Colonel Xu Qiyu, National Defence University, China, Major General (rtd) Dhrouv C. Katoch of India, Lieutenant General Naseer Junjua, President, National Defence University, Pakistan and Mr S.B Divaratne, Secretary, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security were among those, slated to contribute to the inaugural sessions.
Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, Head, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Major General M.P Peiris, Vice Chancellor, KDU and Mr W.M Amaradasa, Symposium Chair made welcome and opening remarks before the sessions proper got underway.
In the parallel plenary sessions covering the fields of Medicine, Law, Engineering, Management, Social Sciences, Humanities and Education, several university academics, sociologists, engineers, managerial experts, scientists, legal luminaries from the country have been invited to conduct the deliberations.
Fully well comprehending the needs of contemporary Sri Lanka, the KDU as the only university that offers graduate courses in defence studies in the South Asian region, is spearheaded under the able guidance of its Vice Chancellor, Major General Milinda Peiris.
In the last year’s symposium, ‘Challenges of Post Conflict Sri Lanka’ were taken up for discussion with the objective of harnessing and exchanging the myriad of experiences of professionals and policy-makers.