The Sri Lankan Army is concerned about the re-emergence of violence in the country, Army chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake said today as he expressed readiness to share with others the experiences learned from the three-decade long war with the LTTE. “The Sri Lankan Army is a proud military to have done its duty in liberating the motherland from the clutches of dreadful terrorism,” he said while speaking at the seventh ‘Colombo Defense Seminar – 2017’ here, inaugurated by President Maithripala Sirisena.
Retired General Ashok Mehta, a Commanding Officer in the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) stationed in Sri Lanka’s north and east provinces between 1987-1990 was the special guest at the seminar themed ‘Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’. Over 90 foreign military and civil scholars are attending the two-day seminar with 800 participants, including 15 foreign and 12 local guest speakers.
The seminar was initiated by the Sri Lankan Army with the intention of sharing experience and knowledge earned from a three-decade long terrorist problem that ended in 2009 after wipe-out of one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations that prevailed one time in the world, the Army chief said. “The Sri Lankan Army is concerned on restraining destructive re-emergence of violence in the country, and the security of the region and Asia in general,” Senanayake said.
The Sri Lankan Army earnestly aspires to engage in sharing its related security expertise in playing a vigorous role in influencing the security architecture of Asia and the region, and to strengthen regional integration in security ties, he said. He also said, violence is perhaps one of the most challenging problems now.
“It doesn’t matter anymore of which part of the world you live in. The unfortunate reality is that violence spurred by terrorism has gone global and every human being is equally susceptible and vulnerable to its ferocity.” he added. The LTTE, which led the separatist war for a separate Tamil homeland, was finally crushed by the Lankan military in 2009 with the death its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Admiral William J Fallon (Retd), of the US who gave the keynote address said, “It was the responsibility of respective governments and state actors to pull together and contain violence for the best interests of today and tomorrow.”
“There is no better example in the world than what really happened in this country by way of violence. Violence always needs lots of collective action since expectations on the part of civilians are very high as far as their security is concerned,” he said.