The US Coast Guard handed over a high endurance cutter to the Sri Lankan Navy in a ceremony presided over by Navy Commander Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe and Rear Admiral Michael Haycock of the US Coast Guard in Honolulu. The US Embassy on Wednesday said the cutter which is formerly known as the USCGC Sherman, will be the largest ship in the Sri Lankan fleet and strengthens defense cooperation between the US and Sri Lanka.
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 processesIn 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.
The Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe officially took over the Ex-USCG “Sherman” into Sri Lanka Navy in a ceremony held at Honolulu, Hawaii, United States yesterday (27th August).The USCGC “Sherman” is the second US Coast Guard Ship provided to SLN by the US government after a lapse of time where the initial vessel provided is presently serving as SLNS Samudura in the SL Naval fleet.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says Indian Ocean Region is set to define the destiny of the world in 21st Century and the geopolitical turn of events in the Indian Ocean has made it the 'Ocean of the Future'. Speaking at the Indian Ocean Conference 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka said the Indian Ocean zone is nurtured by civilization, culture, values and international standards and all stakeholders should unite to ensure peace and free naval movement and security of the Indian Ocean.
Sri Lankan authorities are reviewing a proposal to reintroduce the ‘visa free entry policy’ for SAARC countries and a few other selected countries in a bid to promote tourism, Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunge said yesterday.
Sri Lanka and Vietnam yesterday agreed to further strengthen long-standing bilateral relations across multiple domains. This agreement was reached during talks between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Vietnamese Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Bình Minh, at the latter’s office in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana will undertake a Working Visit to Malaysia on Monday, 27 August 2018, Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.This would be Minister Marapana's inaugural visit to Malaysia since assuming his post in August 2017. The Minister will be accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.
The Election Commission of Sri Lanka and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) will convene the Fourth Asian Electoral Stakeholders Forum (AESF-IV) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on August 27 and 28, 2018. The AESF will have as theme “Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together.” The Colombo AESF is the first to be held in South Asia.
AESF-IV is an opportunity for Asian election commissions, election observers, non-government organizations, and interstate bodies to gather and discuss the state of elections and democracy in the region. The AESF is the largest gathering of its kind, and is sustained through a strong cooperation between the civil society and election commissions.The Forum will cover a wide array of crucial election issues like the current state of democracy in Asia, the common electoral challenges in the region, and various good practices employed to make elections better.
The event should culminate with the endorsement of a landmark document, urging election stakeholders from within Asia and beyond to promote and defend democracy in the region. ANFREL and the Election Commission of Sri Lanka hope that through this document, cooperation and collaboration among election stakeholders will be revitalized in order to address the declining quality of democracy in Asia.
President Maithripala Sirisena will be the guest of honor in the Opening Ceremonies on August 27. Chairperson of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Deshapriya and ANFREL Spokesperson Damaso Magbual will be welcoming the election commission representatives and democracy advocates who have traveled to participate in the discussions.
The Colombo AESF will be attended by more than 250 guests from 45 countries. Fifteen Asian election commissions, more than a hundred election monitoring organizations from all over the world, diplomatic missions based in Sri Lanka, international non-governmental organizations, and intergovernmental institutions including the United Nations will be represented at this prestigious event.
The previous AESF gatherings were instrumental in setting benchmarks and guidelines on conducting truly democratic elections which respect internationally recognized human rights and election principles and norms. The first AESF, held in Thailand on 2012, endorsed the Bangkok Declaration on Free and Fair Elections. The second AESF gathered election stakeholders in Dili, Timor Leste on 2015 to create the Dili Indicators of Democratic Elections. Lastly, the Bali AESF, held in 2016, gathered hundreds of democracy advocates and government bodies to craft the Bali Commitment: Eight Keys to Electoral Integrity.