Sri Lanka says transnational threats in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is becoming a major security issue.
Minister of Media and State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene said that the IOR maritime domain and its affairs have become one of the crucial factors that decide and influence present, as well as future maritime affairs.
Wijewardene said the oceans will continue to be the meeting ground for nations and they will also constitute the hope of mankind in search of new sources of sustenance.
He was speaking at the opening of the ‘Galle Dialogue- 2019’, the 10th Annual International Maritime Conference of the Sri Lanka Navy which commenced in Colombo, today.
“Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean plays a vital role in the maritime route of the East and West and the strategic importance of Sri Lanka in the maritime history is much bigger compared to its small size,” Wijewardene said.
He said that fortified with the advantage of the unique position in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is looking at the future with great expectations to regain its maritime glory in the Indian Ocean by promoting trade and tourism so that Sri Lanka can be an important maritime node in the vital sea stretch.
Wijewardene said that cooperation and partnership among nations have become a realistic approach in addressing global issues in the present day, and various interested communities are looking for opportunities to establish partnerships with their counterparts in terms of mutual agreement, in trade, in defence etc.
In this backdrop, he said maritime stakeholders must strive to enhance maritime security through cooperation with friendly nations.
The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva received the chief guest upon his arrival at the venue.
The conference is being held under the theme “Refining Mindset to Address Transnational Maritime Threats; A Review of the Decade”. (Colombo Gazette)