Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

Colombo Defence Seminar



Security landscape of the 21st century is extensive and more complex than at any time in the global history. It ranges from air, land, sea and cyber, with states seeking to meet operational security objectives while defending themselves from security challenges posed by external actors and internal threats. Further, conventional international security issues are supplemented by challenges such as climate change, water stress, environmental disasters, terrorism, transnational crimes, which are creating a security landscape that is both complex and demanding.

Emerging technologies will have a profound influence on the ways that military operations are conducted. On the other hand, advances in new technologies are being increasingly exploited by terrorist groups and violent non-state actors to destabilize the society. In this new technological environment, the military should develop excellence in its core competencies in order to face these challenges effectively.

Vital strategic, economic and political developments are fundamentally transforming the global security environment. This inevitable process of change has far-reaching repercussions on the world order. Therefore, it is critically important to recognize the driving forces of this dire process at regional and global levels as well as to understand the cross-border cooperation and multi-dimensional responses required to ensure national, regional and global security.

Security efforts in the 21st century are also generally characterised by their defensive or responsive measures to efficiently respond to unforeseen threats in real time. In this context, the military is required to be prepared to take on the added responsibility as a defence diplomat to build the foundations for regional cooperation which is based on mutual trust and confidence for a much broader range of competence on ground.

The Sri Lanka Army aspires to bring together a global network of defence partners for critical discussions towards formulating a collective and assertive approach to repel security threats on nations. With the experience of conducting internationally accepted Defence Seminars as an annual event since 2011, the Sri Lanka Army is planning to conduct the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ this year as well. The 'Colombo Defence Seminar 2019' will be held as a two-day forum at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, on 29 and 30 August 2019 on the theme: 'Evolving Military Excellence in the Contemporary Security Landscape.'

The Colombo Defence Seminar 2019 will set the stage for active discussions to stimulate critical thinking on the theme ‘Evolving Military Excellence in the Contemporary Security Landscape’ in carefully sequenced sessions comprising presentations, panel discussions, and participant-oriented group discussions throughout the two-day program. Further, prominent national and international scholars, heads of think tanks, and diplomats from across the globe will contribute their ideas to optimize the discourse and enrich the discussions. This prestigious forum is a grand annual event, which hosted over 800 dignitaries including 102 delegates from over 54 countries last year. The organizers of the Colombo Defence Seminar 2019 aim at a wider international participation and expect to promote an intellectually rigorous discourse on international security.


The successful outcome of the Colombo Defence Seminar hinges on the achievement of the following objectives:

   To create a brainstorming forum for local and international scholars on the theme ‘Evolving Military Excellence in the Contemporary Security Landscape’, focusing on the importance of security landscape in the present era.

   To promote intellectual connectivity amongst those who seek strategic, sub-regional, regional, and global partnerships through discussions by and with prominent and renowned national and international scholars, think tanks, and diplomats.

   To provide an opportunity for exchange of views, experiences and knowledge acquired by experienced nations on various aspects of the theme.

   To develop awareness of learning strategies on how to improve the mechanisms of evolving military excellence in the contemporary security landscape by means of statecraft.

   To initiate analytical dialogue on the vital need for stretching the influence of a country to be concerned over evolving military excellence in the contemporary security landscape through its initiatives as applicable to root causes of respective nations especially in the unprecedented global transformation age of the return of geopolitics and create a distinct mode of legitimacy and acceptance that may not be possible otherwise.