26th August 2019 20:32:08 Hours
All arrangements have been finalized to hold the 9th consecutive ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2019’ with a galaxy of reputed defence partners, security experts, global strategists, intellectuals, opinion-makers, veterans and other heavyweights shedding light on many a challenging security issue at the BMICH during 29 - 30 August 2019 under the theme, ‘Evolving Military Excellence in the Contemporary Security Landscape’, so said the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva during a packed Media Conference, held at Colombo Kingsbury Hotel this evening (26).
The Media briefing which focused on the forthcoming both ‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ and the ‘Exercise Cormorant Strike - X’ was chaired by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army and Major General Kumudu Perera, Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Commander Security Forces - Kilinochchi (SF-KLN), Major General Laksiri Waduge, Commander Security Forces - Central (SF-Cen), Major General A.M.R Dharmasiri, Director General General Staff (DGGS), Major General Suraj Bangsajayah, Director General Training and Brigadier Sumith Atapattu, Director Media, Brigadier K.A Samarasiri, Commando Brigade Commander, Colonel J.P.C Peiris, Special Forces Brigade Commander, Group Captain Dinesh Jayaweera and a senior Navy Officer led the head table.
This year’s two-day long flagship ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2019’, expected to be graced by a packed audience of 800 foreign and local participants, including 13 foreign and 14 local speakers during nine sessions follows a trajectory of intellectual interactions and cover the sub themes; ‘Contemporary Security Landscape: Conflict or Cooperation’, ‘Confronting Terrorism’, ‘Military Modernization’ and ‘Military Readiness in the Contemporary Security Landscape’ and includes presentations of the participating experts and comments of the expert panel towards the culmination of the sessions. President Maithripala Sirisena will grace the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest, the Commander told the gathering.So far representatives from 42 countries have confirmed their participation, the gathering was told.
Major General Vijitha Ravipriya and Major General Suraj Bangsajayah gave more details regarding the conduct of the sessions and invitees. A Media dispatch released at the occasion read as follows;
Meticulously programmed ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2019’ sessions under the close supervision of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva is to be inaugurated with opening remarks of the Secretary Defence, General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda, Keynote address of Mr.Nitin A. Gokhale, an alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, is a media entrepreneur, strategic affairs analyst and author of books on military history, insurgencies and warsafter the welcome speech is delivered by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
Prof Amal Jayawardane - Senior Professor, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), Mr H.M.G.S Palihakkara - Former Governor of the Northern Province and Foreign Secretary, Dr Harinda Vidanage - Director, Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) Sri Lanka, Dr Sarala Fernando - Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury - Former Foreign Minister of the Caretaker Government in Bangladesh,Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage (Retd) RSP, VSV, USP, rcds, psc, PhD, MSc, MA - The Director of the Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives of the Pathfinder Foundation, A Member of the Advisory Council of ‘Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka’, A Guest Professor at Sichuan University and Leshan Normal University in China and an Adjunct Professor at National Institute of South China Sea Studies, Haikou, China, Major General A.N.M Muniruzzaman (Retd) - President, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) and Chairman Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC), Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan - Distinguished Fellow & Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, Mr Asad Ullah Khan - Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Mr Daniel Gabriel Dinu - Founder and Managing Partner of THE Q AGENCY - a Romanian Private Company with focus on R&D Domain, Colonel Pavel V. Chernishov - Chief of the Group of the Division of the Chief of Electronic Warfare of the Russian Armed Forces, Dr Ahmed Salah Hashim - Associate Professor of Strategic Studies in the Military Studies Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Dr Chulanee Attanayake - Visiting Research Fellow at Institute of South Asian Studies, National University Singapore (ISAS-NUS), Dr Jean-Marc Rickli - Head, Global Risk and Resilience, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Dr Albrecht Schnabel - Head of the Asia-Pacific Unit at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Dr Andreea Stoian Karadeli - Independent Researcher, Dr Shannon A. Brown, Ph.D. - Senior Lecturer, Center for Homeland Defence and Security Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, California, Major General Aruna Jayasekera - Commander, SF-E, Major General Prabath Dematanpitiya - Commandant, DSCSC, Rear Admiral Ruwan Perera - Commander North Western, Naval Area, Air vice Marshal Prasanna Payoe - Director Training, SLAF, Ms Sharika Cooray - Programme and Policy Analyst - Women's Rights & Gender United Nations Population Fund, Sri Lanka, Mr Indika Perera - Independent Lawyer (Attorney at Law, Visiting Lecturer, University of Kelaniya and Faculty Member Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS), Colombo, Mr Nilanthan Nirunthan - Visiting Research Fellow at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) and Mr Sanath Chandana de Silva - Lecturer, Department of Strategic Studies at the KDU are among guest speakers and contributors to all the nine sessions.
Special invitees, Major General (Retd) Ashok K Mehta of India and Professor Hilde Rapp, MAOxon, FRSA MBPs are also expected to grace the sessions, in addition to India-based 24 Defence Attaches of22 countries. Accordingly, as of Monday (19), a total of 82 foreign delegates from 40 countries have so for confirmed their attendance in the Colombo Defence Seminar - 2019. Top level military officers from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Canada, Maldives (Chief of Defence Force), Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Tanzania, UK, Vietnam and Zimbabwe are among the foreign military delegates who have confirmed their participation.
The Session One, chaired by Prof Amal Jayawardane, will focus on topics, such as ‘Facets of Global Security Landscape’ (Dr Shannon A. Brown - USA), ‘Asia Pacific Security Landscape’ (Dr Andreea Stoian Karadeli - Turkey) and ‘South Asia Security Landscape’ (Mr.Niruthan Nilanthan - Sri Lanka).
Chaired by Mr H.M.G.S Palihakkara, the Session Two will focus on ‘Sri Lanka: Decade after 2009’ - (Dr. Chulanee Attanayake - Sri Lanka), ‘Lessons Learnt from Sri Lankan Experiences’ - (Mr Asad Ullah Khan - Pakistan) and ‘New Faces of Global Terrorism’ - (Prof Ahmed Salah Hashim - Singapore).
Dr. Harinda Vidanage, presiding the Session Three on the first day will dwell on the topics; ‘Impact of Autonomous Weapon Systems’ - (Dr. Jean-Marc Rickli - Switzerland), ‘Military Dynamics of Electromagnetic Spectrum’ - (Colonel Pavel V. Chernishov - Russia) and ‘Complexities Arising from Militarization of Space’ - (Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan - India).
The Session One on the Day Two (30 Aug), chaired by Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, would cover the topics; ‘Disaster Mitigation and Management’ - (Major General (Retd) A.N.M Muniruzzaman - Bangladesh), ‘Military Readiness and Sustainable Development’ - (Mr Daniel Gabriel Dinu - Romania), ‘Managing Refugee Flows and Crisis’ - (Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury - Bangladesh) and ‘Military Readiness Challenges in the Contemporary Security Landscape’ - (Dr Albrecht Schnabel - Switzerland).
As the Sessions draw to a close, the conference participants in different Four Groups, aspiring to formulate a collective and assertive approach to repel security threats would map out defensive or responsive measures to efficiently respond to unforeseen threats as responsible defence agencies to build the foundations for regional cooperation, based on mutual trust and confidence in order to carve out a more effective defensive apparatus in the region in general and the world at large.
Those carefully-sequenced sessions (A, B, C, D) for participants on ‘Civil Military Cooperation in the Emerging Security Landscape’ - (Group A), ‘Importance of Integrated Planning in the Contemporary Security Landscape’ (Group B), ‘Evolving Influence of Technological Adaptations on Security’ - (Group C) and ‘Essential Core Competencies for Military in the Contemporary Security Landscape’ - (Group D) are chaired by Dr (Ms) Sarala Fernando, Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.
Ms Sharika Cooray of UNFPA, Major General Prabath Dematanpitiya - Commandant, DSCSC, Mr Indika Perera: Independent Lawyer, Air Vice Marshal Prasanna Payoe - Director Training, SLAF, Mr Nilanthan Nirunthan: BCIS, Rear Admiral Ruwan Perera - Commander North Western, Naval Area, Mr Sanath Chandana de Silva - KDU and Major General Aruna Jayasekera - Commander, SF-E are scheduled to lead those Four Groups before Mr Ravinatha Ariyasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivers the valedictory statement as closing remarks after the expert panel presents their findings and observations.
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 overcome widely changing security landscape in the 21st century where conventional international security concerns are largely supplemented by technological challenges, climate change, water scarcity, environmental disasters, terrorism, transnational crimes, etc. This forum of intellectual connectivity expects to further broaden the understanding on cross-border co-operation and multi-dimensional responses, vital to sustain both regional and global security, based on mutual trust and confidence.
The ‘Colombo Defence Seminar-2019’, which has by now carved a niche for itself in the international arena as a parley of academic discourse with maximum support, extended by the Directorate of Army Training and all other Directorates in the Army, would also alert and stimulate all stakeholders to the process of learning defence strategies, the need to crack down political and violent extremism while inevitably mustering serious focus on root causes that wreak havoc in nations. In the year 2018, the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ sessions touched upon the contemporaneous security issues under the theme ‘ Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’ and in 2017, the Sessions stimulated critical thinking on the topic, ‘ Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’.