24th February 2018 10:35:03 Hours
A symposium on ‘Unity of Effort: Building Military-Civil Partnership to Counter Violent Extremism’ organized jointly by the Association of Retired Flag Rank Officers (ARFRO) and the Organization of Professional Association of Sri Lanka (OPA) got underway at the OPA, Colombo 7 Friday (23) evening amid a large gathering of both serving and retired tri-service officers and reputed professionals.
At the invitation of co-organizers, the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake attended the event as the distinguished orator to deliver the keynote oration on the theme, ‘Unity of Effort: Building Military-Civil Partnership to Counter Violent Extremism’.
The Commander in his analytical speech to the occasion touched on ‘radicalization’, ‘violent extremism’, ‘forms of violent extremism’, ‘social-political frustration’, ‘oppression’, ‘economic disparity’ and ‘5 R concept’, etc. “This is your Army, it is not a Sinhala Army but it is the Sri Lankan Army. As professionals, it is your responsibility also to sustain the hard-earned peace”, he quipped.
After the oration, the Commander of the Army was presented with a special memento by Rear Admiral (Rtd), H.S. Rathnakeerthi, ARFRO President, in appreciation of his acceptance of the invitation. In reciprocation, the Commander of the Army also presented a symbolic plaque to Mr A.P Lalith Wijethunga, President, OPA.
The OPA is the apex body of Professional Associations in Sri Lanka consisting of 47 associations with a total individual membership of over 60,000 Professionals in Sri Lanka representing over 30 professions such as Medicine, Engineering, Accountancy, Architecture, Law, Management, Banking, Town Planning Computer Science, Human Resource Management, etc. which was founded in 1975 under the aegis of the Commonwealth Foundation.