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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

28th August 2017 19:24:12 Hours

Final Session Panelists in Colombo Defence Seminar Talk on Legal Implications & Role of Armed Forces

Final Session of the Day 1 in the Colombo Defence Seminar focused on the ‘The Role of Armed Forces in Countering Violent Extremism’ presided by Mr. Palitha Fernando, Former Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Boris Michel, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific - ICRC, Switzerland in his presentation on ‘Legal Implications’ in times of conflict situations told the gathering that the right of people should be protected and it should not harm the community even within the conflict situation.

“Role of the armed forces and legal implications due to all forms of collective violence conflicts. The insensitivity of conflicts harms the people. The security and the legal issues is at stake due to the conflict. All should be responsible for security of people, he said.

The states have to take necessary measures and actions to ensure the security, including those against the conflicts. It must continue to protect and safeguard the human life and the dignity, particularly in line with the humanitarian laws. The state should make legislations and laws to protect the people in the international law, he commented.

International humanitarian law is to provide safeguard to the human-beings. Legal status of international law should be well comprised to ensure the security to the lives of human beings, Mr. Boris Michel concluded giving a presentation.

The second Panelist, Dr. Athina Karatzogianni, Associate Professor, Media and Communication, Greece on the topic ‘Intelligence, Cyber Challenges and Strategies’ contributed saying that internal department assessment of efforts to combat the Islamic State’s messaging machine (State Department Memo on The Islamic State Group) composed by Richard Stengel, under secretary for public diplomacy, on June 9, 2015, has been leaked to the NYT by an Obama administration official, in which ‘the Islamic State violent narrative has effectively “trumped” the efforts of some of the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nations’, she said quoting a document.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council ‘Human rights and preventing and countering violent extremism’ (2 October 2015 A/HRC/RES/30/15) speaks of the role of regional organizations and comprehensive, multi- stakeholder approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism, she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Mr Niruthan Nilanthan, the Visiting Research Fellow at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies making his observations on the ‘Specific Role of the Armed Forces in the Development and Use of Narratives and Counter-narratives in Countering Violent Extremism’ said that there are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the mind.”

He also elaborated extensively on the narratives, definitions, strategic importance, Commonly Used Tactics, limitations to narratives, etc and analyzed how Social Mobilization, Formation of identities, Motivation for actions, Dictate the public response to crises could be launched and understood in correct perspective.