The year’s flagship project of the Army, ‘Defence Seminar - 2014,’ that articulates diverse challenges, faced by the country in her forward march to prosperity, inaugurates its sessions today (18) morning at Colombo Galadari Hotel, together with a host of foreign and local delegates.
This forum of eminent scholars, intellectuals, policy-makers, security chiefs, think-tanks of different spheres, took its roots, exactly four years ago on a conceptual notion, mooted by Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.
This year’s meticulously organized three-day ‘Defence Seminar - 2014’ on the directions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, is to be addressed by more than 20 guest speakers of international reputation and recognition. More than 350 delegates representing over 55 countries, including ambassadors and diplomats are expected to participate in the sessions.
Themed on ‘Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation’, scholars attending deliberations, such as Dr. D. Suba Chandran, Director at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (India), Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Member of Parliament and President of the Janatha Party of India, Ms. Mariam Safi, Founding Director, Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (Afghanistan), Ambassador (Retd) Arif Ayub, President of the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad (Pakistan), Mr. Patryk Kugiel, Analyst at the International Economic Relations and Global Issues Programme at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (Poland), Prof. Rwekaza S Mukandala, President of the African Association of Political Science (Tanzania), Dr. Tang Siew Mun, Director, Foreign Policy and Security Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia), Dr. Wang Weihua, Assistant Director, Institute for Foreign Policy Studies (China) and Dr. Yeo Lay Hwee, Director of the European Union Centre in Singapore (Singapore), are scheduled to submit their presentations during the sessions.
Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L Peiris as the Chief Guest in his presentation on the Day 1 will define the Nation’s success with a critical perspective, in relation to ascension of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the conflict.
Dr. P.B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary to Ministry of Finance and Planning in his keynote address to the inaugural sessions will elaborate on the string of economic successes that have been achieved to-date.
The inaugural sessions follow presentations of Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank and Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning in succession on the Day 1 of the Seminar. Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake makes the welcome address at the inauguration.
‘Defence Seminar 2014’, aims at inspiring discourse on the rise of Nations after a conflict with the express objective of showcasing Sri Lanka’s progress in development, reconciliation and promoting regional cooperation, in the context of a country which has shifted momentum towards development as prosperity.