Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

28th August 2017 12:22:40 Hours

Keynote Speaker at Colombo Defence Seminar Interprets ‘Violent Extremism’ as ‘Our Problem’ & Not Mine or Yours Alone

Sri Lanka Army-organized ‘Colombo Defence Seminar 2017’ got off on Monday (28) at the BMICH in Colombo with a record participation of intellectuals, scholars, security experts and a large gathering of distinguished guests, drawn from 34 countries.

The keynote address during the inaugural ceremony was delivered by Admiral William J. Fallon (Retd), US Navy at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Army.

Admiral Fallon in his address opined that it is the responsibility of respective governments and state actors to pull together and contain violence for the best interests of today and tomorrow. “There is no better example in the world than what really happened in this country by way of violence. Violence always needs lots of collective action since expectations on the part of civilians are very high as far as their security is concerned. Audience here today may have experienced a cauldron of violence in different situations, although they are basically tragedies. I was in the Pentagon when 9 /11 strike took place.”

“We need to sort out a definition for the violence, it would be social, religious or for some ideologies. The recent instances show non-state actors increasingly furthering their extreme views as different institutes are also there to shape their scourges of violence. Those manifestations are needed to be identified since we acknowledge that it is ‘our problem’, not either yours of mine. Governments are therefore urged to realize its complex nature. We got to understand the phenomenon behind the moves as security professionals in order to find solutions.”

“Millions are on the move being unable to accept violence in their own countries. This situation is exacerbated with extremists’ videos, economic sanctions, cyber support, etc. It also could lead to fourth generation warfare, cyber threats and would pose constraints to military operations. The world should see a glimpse of new hope as a way ahead. We admit there is lot to be done at different levels, I mean, grass root level, local level, middle level, since it is the true collaboration, which would resolve ‘action’ policies. Violent extremism as a global menace, we need a corporate effort, disrupting and preventing violent extremism if we are to continue with a new peace technology.”

Governments and all organizations have to focus attention on ‘community dialogues’. We should train soft power to find solutions to this matter collectively bringing effective thinking and practice. National conflicts have erupted as global conflicts. Therefore, each organization has a duty to be stakeholders for eradication of those situations. Egos of societies have also erupted as conflicts, and such global conflicts bring unnecessary burdens to society and prompting security forces to stage forums of this nature, the keynote speaker, Admiral Fallon pointed out.