29th August 2019 10:57:06 Hours
The Sri Lanka Army’s most prominent mega symposium that would establish intellectual connectivity and closer cooperation among defence partners across the globe, the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2019,’ the 9th in sequence got to a start at the BMICH this morning (29), amid ceremonials and traditions, themed on ‘Evolving Military Excellence in the Contemporary Security Landscape’.
HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as the Chief Guest graced the inaugural ceremony at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva amid reverberating applause and hearty welcome. President Sirisena on arrival was received in a red carpet welcome by General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda, Secretary Defence and Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army before he was ushered to the main auditorium.
A galaxy of 800 national and world-wide defence partners, strategists, policy-makers, security experts and analysts, capable of collectively evaluating fast changing global security concerns and exploring ways and means of challenging such issues who have arrived here during the two-day (29 - 30 Aug) long deliberations are scheduled to take up several thematic concerns for discussion in depth under nine sessions.
Foreign participants, representing 42 countries who are attending the sessions would listen to 13 foreign and 14 local speakers where a trajectory of intellectual interactions would cover sub themes; ‘Contemporary Security Landscape Conflict or Cooperation’, ‘Confronting Terrorism’, ‘Military Modernization’ and ‘Military Readiness in the Contemporary Security Landscape’, complemented by presentations of participating experts and comments of expert panels at the end of each session.
An eye-catching aesthetic feat that showcased the tapestry of rich diversity and rhythmic beauty in the Sri Lankan culture and her people motivated the attendees as the setting got to a start with formal opening ceremonials after the arrival of the day’s Chief Guest.
Lighting of the traditional oil lamp by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, together with the Secretary Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders and Director General Training of the Army, opened the floor for the welcome address of the Commander of the Army and the opening remarks of General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda, Secretary Defence. (See Highlight 1)
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army extended a hearty welcome to the Chief Guest and all other participants and highlighted the importance of broadening horizons of knowledge on defence, security and challenges that prevail in the contemporary security scenario. “It is not only an effort to share victorious gains but also to learn about debacles and it is an exercise to receive and process information among like-minded nations. Future threats and challenges need to be resolved in line with most modern triple bottom line concept, etc where new challenges are identified”.
“This broadened discourse focused on scope of security and its challenges would certainly generate a forum that would stimulate critical thinking on geo-strategic security matters. These carefully articulated themes would analyze emerging threats and disruptions, for which the armed forces are the first to respond in any land. It also provides a platform which could shed light on promotion of military excellence,” the Commander of the Army underlined after extending a very warm welcome to all the delegates.
The host of participants and foreign delegates attending the Seminar includes High Commissioners, Diplomats, Military Chiefs, Foreign Envoys, Governors, retired Army Chiefs, Defence Attachés, Secretaries, Senior Officers, retired Senior Officers and an assembly of scholars and defence partners.
Mr Nitin A. Gokhale, an Indian veteran on Security Studies and an alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Media Entrepreneur, Strategic Affairs Analyst and Author of Books on Military History, Insurgencies and Wars delivered the keynote speech during the inaugural session and underlined the need to continue intellectual interaction of this nature to resolve and identify global issues of defence relevance. (See Highlights below)
A group photo with HE the President, special invitees and foreign delegates added memories to the occasion and brought the opening session to an end.