28th August 2018 13:12:48 Hours
Establishing intellectual connectivity and closer cooperation among defence partners across the globe, the stage is now set to hold the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018,’ the 8th in sequence, themed on ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’ during 30 - 31 August at Colombo BMICH.
A galaxy of world-wide defence partners, strategists, policy-makers, security experts and analysts, capable of collectively evaluating fast changing global concerns and exploring ways and means of challenging such issues have already confirmed their presence at the invitation of the Army.
‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018’ expects to draw a packed audience of 800 foreign and local participants, including 13 foreign and 14 local speakers. Adding a new dimension to the sessions, many intellectuals, political heavyweights, opinion makers and retired veterans of the field would share their views with similar counterparts in separate panel forums on the second day of the parley before their recommendations are read out.
This year’s seminar sessions would mainly shed light on ‘Demographic Transformation & Implications on Security’, ‘Technological Disruptions’, ‘Human-Induced Climate Change’ and ‘Political Extremism’ themes with close focus on ‘Human Factors & Homeland Security’, ‘Global Challenge of Internal Displacement’, ‘Urban Security in the 21st Century’, ‘Cyber Conflicts & Future Power’, ‘Social Media & Authenticity: Global Security Challenges’, ‘Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Weapons’, ‘Role of the Military in Response & Mitigating Strategies (Regional Perspective)’, ‘Role of the Military in Response & Mitigating Strategies (Global Perspective)’, ‘Climate Geo - Engineering: Challenges & Opportunities’, ‘Role Played by Violent Non - State Actors’, ‘Ideological Polarization’, ‘Destabilizing the International System’, ‘Diaspora Communities Amidst & Conflict’, ‘Technological Creativity: Challenges to Armed Forces’, ‘Climate Change: Future of Warfare’ and ‘Leadership in Mitigating Violent Extremism’.
The whole of the arrangement, streamlined under the close supervision of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake with the full cooperation of the Directorate of Army Training and all the other Directorates, is set to open the floor during both days for discourses of intellectual, regional and global significance.
Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe has been invited to deliver the keynote address after the opening remarks of Mr Kapila Waidyaratne, Secretary Defence during the inaugural ceremony. Among the host of distinguished invitees and contributors to the Seminar include High Commissioners, Chiefs of Defence Staff, Commanders, Security Advisers, Foreign Secretary, Senior Lecturers, Directors, Senior Researchers, Senior Tri-service Officers, Political Advisers, Under Secretaries, Administrators, Telecom Experts, Analysts on Terrorism and Scholars representing more than 40 countries.
This year’s topic, ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’ underlines the importance of contemporaneous security issues that appear to be increasingly interconnected and unpredictable in the wake of a multitude of threats looming large against respective statecraft and national security concerns.
The Army which laid the foundation for this interactive and intellectual forum in 2011 has so far accommodated intellectual connectivity, essential for formulation of dynamic policy decisions to kick start required mechanisms during the segmented panel discussions on the final day. This dialogue is also held this year with the avowed aim of formulating a collective and assertive approach while harnessing diverse opinions, intellect, skills and technical know-how of global defence partners and also sharing wide battlefield experiences of the Sri Lanka Army.
This flagship project of the Army which would inevitably stimulate stakeholders, dedicated to promote positive alertness to the process of learning strategies and muster serious attention on root causes that wreak havoc in nations is also designed to highlight the significance of addressing those sprouts for peaceful sustenance and conduct of healthy statecraft worldwide.
‘Colombo Defence Seminar’, which has by now carved a niche for itself in the international arena is unarguably a fountain of academic parley, supplemented with an ocean of intellect, meant to promote global partnership through discussions with focus on expansion of disruptive forces, such as political and violent extremism, human displacement, human-induced climate changes, misuse of technology, which in turn have jeopardized safety and security of citizens. Emerging security threats and challenges against political and socio-economic spheres, most of which are of non-traditional in form therefore warrant collective efforts beyond national boundaries of any single state.
The ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018’ would therefore provide an ideal platform for intellectual brainstorming amid a wide spectrum of equal interests in order to seek collective mechanisms to counter such disruptions for sustaining the peace building processes
In 2017, over 800 delegates including 77 foreign experts from 35 countries participated in the discussions that stimulated critical thinking on ‘Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’.
By third week of August 2018, representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, Chile, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Maldives, Mozambique, Netherland, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, UK, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation.