PF-NMF hosts first di­a­logue on In­di­asri Lanka Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

The first bi-lat­eral con­fer­ence be­tween the Na­tional Mar­itime Foun­da­tion (NMF) and Pathfinder Foun­da­tion (PF) fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing a plat­form for an­a­lyt­i­cal and in­no­va­tive dis­cus­sion, specif­i­cally on Mar­itime Se­cu­rity and Mar­itime Do­main Aware­ness cov­er­ing the In­dian Ocean, which would favourably im­pact coun­tries in the In­dian Ocean Re­gion.

The di­a­logue was held on Fe­bru­ary 8th at the Cin­na­mon Grand Ho­tel, Colombo.

Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan with Di­rec­tors of NMF, Ad­mi­ral Jayanath Colom­bage, Di­rec­tor, Cen­tre for Indo-lanka Ini­tia­tives at PF with Chair­man Bernard Goonetilleke and Di­rec­tors will be key re­source per­son­al­i­ties of the con­fer­ence.

The In­dian Ocean Re­gion which is home to nearly onethird of world’s pop­u­la­tion is of high eco­nomic and strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance due to its lo­ca­tion and traf­fic that passes through it. It is es­ti­mated that nearly half of world’s con­tain­ers, one third of bulk cargo traf­fic and two thirds of oil ship­ments pass through the In­dian Ocean. Also, there is a shift in global eco­nomic weight and in­flu­ence from At­lantic and Pa­cific oceans to the Indo-asi­apa­cific. The rise of China to num­ber two po­si­tion and In­dia to num­ber seven po­si­tion in the world eco­nomic or­der is a clear ex­am­ple of this eco­nomic shift. With a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion in

In­dia and al­ready a large pop­u­la­tion in China, there will be a re­quire­ment for an in­crease in pro­duc­tion and trade. There­fore, in the 21st cen­tury, the In­dian Ocean has be­come the key ocean for en­ergy, trade and food se­cu­rity.

Sri Lanka, al­though a small Is­land state in the South­ern tip of In­dia, is seen as the epi­cen­tre of the In­dian Ocean. Due to the geo­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity of the two coun­tries and the vi­tal lo­ca­tion in the In­dian Ocean, it is quite log­i­cal that In­dia and Sri Lanka jointly take the lead­er­ship in en­sur­ing mar­itime se­cu­rity. There is a strong need to mon­i­tor the mar­itime do­main with a view to de­tect and de­ter prospec­tive threats, which can em­anate from states or non­state ac­tors. There may be a re­quire­ment to in­clude other states such as Bangladesh, Mau­ri­tius and Sey­chelles in en­hanc­ing the MDA con­cept to cover the wider In­dia Ocean.

There is ra­tio­nale to en­gage in aca­demic dis­course on mar­itime se­cu­rity and MDA in the In­dian Ocean, with a view to de­velop a pol­icy frame­work for the at­ten­tion of pol­icy mak­ers in both the coun­tries. Pathfinder Foun­da­tion to­gether with the Na­tional Mar­itime Foun­da­tion, In­dia, em­barked on an ini­tia­tive to con­duct a first bi­lat­eral di­a­logue on In­dia-sri Lanka Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion in the In­dian Ocean: Ex­plor­ing Con­ver­gences.

Pathfinder Foun­da­tion Chair­man Bernard Goonetilleke

Ad­mi­ral Dr. Jayanath Colom­bage

Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan

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