Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

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Colombo Defence Seminar


The global trajectory of security has taken a prominent place in achieving a country's cultural, social and economic Objectives. Presently, in the international sphere, a diverse range of issues which are increasingly interconnected and unpredictable are recognized as posing threats to national security. Consequently, these global trends are causing upheaval and distress among nations. This challenging security environment presents an increasingly complex set of trials and opportunities which all nations are working together to solve. Collective engagement and a comprehensive range of policy instruments are necessary to respond to them effectively. This broadened concept of security has in turn influenced how countries now view national safety. In recent years, many countries have developed consolidated national security strategies in order to face modern adversaries whose action are brutal, unpredictable and highly technological. In addition, many countries in the contemporary world are in search of ways of effectively countering the violence staged by such adversaries. In this context, the Sri Lanka Army, with its wealth of experience in successfully facing and eradicating the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world, has come forward with an appropriate and timely attempt to address the issues faced by today's global community.

Collective defence strategies among nations are vital to reach a pragmatic and appropriate response to a highly dynamic global security environment and anticipated future operational requirements. Wary of nations working in isolation, the Sri Lanka Army aspires to bring together a global network of defence partners for crucial discussions towards formulating a collective and assertive approach to repel security threats on nations. Armed with the experience of conducting internationally accepted Defence Seminars as an annual event since 2011, the Sri Lanka Army is on its path to conduct the 'Colombo Defence Seminar' this year as well. Guided by the theme 'Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends', 'Colombo Defence Seminar 2017' will be held as a two day forum at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo on 28 and 29 August 2017.

Countering Violent Extremism is a realm of policy, programmes and interventions devised to prevent individuals from engaging in violence associated with radical political, social, cultural and religious ideologies. Significantly, it is an important element of a broader perspective on counter terrorism. Hence, the Seminar is expected to enhance knowledge on the entire range of issues surrounding Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends.

The Sri Lanka Army is proud to have initiated timely discourse by means of Defence Seminars for intellectual brainstorming and see these discourses reach global platforms on matters relating to national, regional and international security. A gathering of over 900 dignitaries including 52 delegates from over 31 countries were hosted at the last Seminar in 2016, and Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 with wider participation will establish sturdier intellectual connectivity committed to the security of nations

Communication is accepted as the key to finding solutions as collectives. The Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 will set the stage for active discussions to stimulate critical thinking on 'Countering Violent Extremism' in carefully sequenced sessions comprising presentations, panel discussions, and participant-oriented group discussions throughout the two day programme. Further, prominent national and international scholars, think tanks, and diplomats from across the globe will contribute their ideas at the forum to optimize the discourse and enrich the discussions around the theme of the Seminar.

With conscientious concern regarding the preservation of an intellectual environment conducive to the Seminar, accommodation facilities for all foreign participants have been arranged at the Galadari Hotel located in Colombo.


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

1. To create a forum for local and international scholars to discuss 'Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends', focusing on the emergence of extremism, remedial action and application of the concept in creating a wider discourse in international affairs.

2. 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.

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

4. To develop awareness of learning strategies on how to improve the mechanisms to counter violent extremism by means of statecraft.

5. To offer challenging academic content that promotes, engaged learning and critical thinking on means of developing and sustaining the peace-building processes the world over through UN peacekeeping and peace-building missions.

6. To initiate analytical dialogue on the vital need for stretching the influence of a country to counter violent extremism through its initiatives as applicable to root causes of respective nations especially in the age of the return of geopolitics and, create distinct mode of legitimacy and acceptance that many not be possible otherwise.