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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

28th August 2017 11:15:40 Hours

‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ Establishes Intellectual Connectivity on Security Concerns - Defence Secretary

“Countering violent extremism is a realm of policy, programmes and interventions, devised to prevent individuals from engaging in violence associated with radical political, social, cultural and religious ideologies. Significantly, it is an important element of a broader perspective on counter terrorism,” so quipped Mr Kapila Waidyaratne, Secretary Defence making a few opening remarks to the inaugural sessions of the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar 2017’, now in progress at the BMICH, Colombo.

The two-day (Aug 28-29) seminar on the theme ‘Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’ is the 7th in sequence after the Army initiated the Defence Seminar in 2011 with the objective of establishing intellectual connectivity on preserving strategic national, regional and global security.

Here are the excerpts of his brief speech to the occasion;

“First and foremost let me extend my warm welcome to all of you on behalf of His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

I am privileged and honoured to stand before a learned audience this morning to deliver the opening remarks on the Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 and its theme: 'Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends'.

The ‘Defence Seminar’ itinerary was initiated in 2011 for intellectual brainstorming on matters relating to national, regional and international security, and its designation was changed to 'Colombo Defence Seminar' in 2016, in view to add detail to its significance and recognition.

With tremendous acceptance of the endeavour and positive encouragement flowing in from all directions of the world, the event now stands as an annual feature in the calendar of events of the Sri Lanka Army.

The Colombo Defence Seminar is organised not only to share the valued experiences gained by the military, but also to establish intellectual connectivity on preserving strategic national, regional and global security. The Sri Lanka Army has constantly been highly concerned in selecting most current and perceptive themes for the seminars, and based on the present vicious spreading of savagery world over and requisite countering of the circumstances, has chosen yet another effective theme for the 'Colombo Defence Seminar 2017' to go as 'Countering Violent Extremism: Global trends'.

Today violence has become a common feature in all parts of the world, be it in a developed country or not. Majorities of people suffer from fear of violence that could happen in any part of the world, at any moment. In this context, the Sri Lanka Army in organizing this platform, has invited eminent speakers and also members of other armies from 83 countries covering all regions of the globe to stimulate critical thinking on 'Countering Violent Terrorism', at this seminar.

Presently, in the international sphere, a diverse range of violence is experienced to cause upheaval and distress among nations. This situation is seen increasingly interconnected and unpredictable in posing threats to national security. Electronic technology and connectivity further aggravates the situation. 'Countering Violent Extremism' is a realm of policy, programmes and interventions devised to prevent individuals from engaging in violence associated with radical political, social, cultural and religious ideologies. Significantly, it is an important element of a broader perspective on counter terrorism.

We realize the fact that no country in solitude could counter the situation. Collective defence strategies among nations are vital to reach a pragmatic and appropriate response to a highly dynamic global security environment and anticipated future operational requirements.

This calls for all nations to work together and formulate consolidated national security strategies in order to face modern adversaries whose actions are brutal, unpredictable and highly technological.

This Seminar will no doubt enhance our knowledge on the entire range of issues related to countering violent extremism. Furthermore, I am sure that the ideas shared by prominent national and international scholars, think tanks and diplomats who have keenly come on our invitation from across the globe will optimize the discourse and enrich the decisions around the theme of the seminar.

I take this opportunity to commend the Commander of the Army for all the dedication and hard work gone into this valuable effort and also wish the Army continued strength to meet all future endeavours.

Finally, with a word for thought that 'elimination of violence is essential to development, health and prosperity in nations and communities around the globe', I wish you all a very educative and inspiring experience in effective participation at the 'Colombo Defence Seminar 2017', and impressive memories to take back home.”