07th December 2017 21:54:08 Hours
Student Officers reading for the Passed Staff College (psc) degree at the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at Sapugaskanda this morning (7) as has been the customary practice at the DSCSC were privileged to listen to the formal address of Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army at the DSCSC auditorium.
The lecture, themed on ‘Unity of Effort Building Civil-Military Partnership to Counter Violent Extremism’ dwelt on a wide range of issues that were associated with the birth of violent extremism, its gradual expansion and measures needed to be adopted to avoid recurrence of violence, etc.
The programme was largely meant to motivate tri-service student Officers at the DSCSC, now affiliated to the University of Kelaniya as a degree awarding institute.
In his address, the Commander specifically covered notions of radicalization, violent extremism, de-radicalization, civil-military partnerships to respond to radicalization and the Sri Lankan perspective in addressing such concerns.
He maintained that the need of the hour was to assist the government’s ongoing reconciliation process, through which the Army too could contribute by building civil-military partnerships, which is essential and important to counter violent extremism and sustain hard-earned peace. This could be more practical if the Army too would follow the engagement and assistance policy for this civil-military partnerships in today’s context, he underlined.
“Radicalization always has tendency to give birth to violent extremism and later into terrorism. The reasons that would lead to radicalization are diverse and forms of violent extremism would definitely develop into terrorism unless we arrest its behaviour and levels of intensity”.
“Engaging the society through dialogue and understanding whilst providing assistance are the key factors to reduce the appeal of extremism and to provide possible alternatives and this has been amply exhibited right throughout after the Sri Lankan conflict was over. Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reintegration, Resettlement and Reconciliation, more popularly known as the 5R concept”, the Commander said, would help build up the bridge to strengthen civil-military partnership.
After the one-hour long address to the students, the Commander kept the floor open for questions of the attendees and answered a considerable numbers of queries, put forward to him in an amicable manner.
Major General Ruwan Kulathunga, Commandant, DSCSC welcomed the Commander on arrival and invited him to deliver the lecture after giving an introductory speech.
Similarly, the Commander during his stay in the premises mingled with student Officers and shared a couple of thoughts with them. Before his departure, Lieutenant General Senanayake was invited to leave his memories in the Visitors’ Book.
Lieutenant General Senanayake also presented a memento to the DSCSC Commandant as a token of appreciation of the DSCSC services. The gesture was reciprocated.
Students of the DSCSC course No 11, together with foreign students, permanent staff and the academic staff also listened to the Commander’s formal annual address at the DSCSC.