Galle Di­a­logue 2017 to fo­cus on chal­lenges in coun­ter­ing mar­itime se­cu­rity threats

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

‘Galle Di­a­logue 2017,’ the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) jointly with the Min­istry of De­fence, will be held for the 8th con­sec­u­tive year, on Oct.9 and 10 at the Galle Face Ho­tel, Colombo.

This year’s theme is, “Greater Mar­itime Vis­i­bil­ity for En­hanced Mar­itime Se­cu­rity.”

"The grow­ing re­liance on the oceans for trade and en­ergy, makes ‘Mar­itime Se­cu­rity’ one of the pre­dom­i­nant fac­tors that di­rectly im­pacts on global se­cu­rity," the con­cept pa­per for this year’s con­fer­ence notes. "With ap­prox­i­mately 362 mil­lion sq.km of ocean, the global com­mu­nity would have to face a wide range of chal­lenges in coun­ter­ing Mar­itime Se­cu­rity threats that would take place within the mar­itime do­main, if col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort is not struc­tured. Con­sid­ered as the last fron­tier of mankind, the oceans, there­fore, have to be pro­tected from present as well as fu­ture se­cu­rity threats which are an­tic­i­pated."

"The Navies, Coast Guards, other mar­itime law en­force­ment agen­cies and a num­ber of other en­ti­ties re­spon­si­ble for sur­veil­lance of vast oceans, find it chal­leng­ing to re­main vig­i­lant on each and ev­ery square me­tre of the ocean. De­spite ad­vances made in the fields of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, mar­itime sur­veil­lance, in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, etc., mar­itime space is still be­ing heav­ily ex­ploited by il­le­gal ac­tors. They have been suc­cess­ful in nav­i­gat­ing through the barely mon­i­tored mar­itime sec­tors, as well as some of the loosely im­posed rules/reg­u­la­tions. To­day, even the most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced agen­cies run into dif­fi­cul­ties in ac­quir­ing the com­plete mar­itime pic­ture, which is con­sid­ered a bind­ing fac­tor as far as the im­ple­men­ta­tion of counter strate­gies are con­cerned."

"It is in this con­text that this year’s Galle Di­a­logue theme ‘Greater Mar­itime Vis­i­bil­ity for En­hanced Mar­itime Se­cu­rity’ has been ar­tic­u­lated, with the no­tion that the par­tic­i­pants will con­fer ways and means to aug­ment ‘mar­itime vis­i­bil­ity’ through con­struc­tive de­lib­er­a­tions and means of shar­ing al­ready avail­able ca­pa­bil­i­ties that stem from a tac­ti­cal level all the way up, to a broader strate­gic and pol­icy level. It is an­tic­i­pated that such an ap­proach will pave the way to en­hance ‘Mar­itime Vis­i­bil­ity’ and ad­dress Mar­itime Se­cu­rity threats and chal­lenges, through a proac­tive strat­a­gem."

In­au­gu­rated in 2010, the pur­pose of this con­fer­ence is to pro­vide a com­mon plat­form for stake­hold­ers of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional re­pute to dis­cuss and de­lib­er­ate mar­itime re­lated is­sues. More­over, it aims to specif­i­cally en­hance the co­op­er­a­tion of Mar­itime Se­cu­rity and shar­ing of knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion amongst them, ac­cord­ing to the SLN.

This year’s Galle Di­a­logue too, will see the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 200 for­eign par­tic­i­pants along with many in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions. Al­ready 49 coun­tries and 12 in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions have con­firmed their at­ten­dance.

Get­ting into and off a train can some­times prove to be a life and death strug­gle

Level cross­ings are a bane to mo­torists as gates are closed for long pe­ri­ods prior to the ar­rival of trains.

Navy Com­man­der Travis Sin­niah last week ad­dress­ing a news con­fer­ence re­gard­ing the event

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