( October 9, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The International Maritime Conference, ‘Galle Dialogue 2017’, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence, commenced in the commercial capital of Colombo today, 09th October 2017. Local and foreign scholars and experts in naval and maritime affairs representing 51 countries including India, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States along with 12 international organisations are taking part in this year’s conference.
Nineteen (19) academic papers are scheduled to be presented at the two-day dialogue held under the theme, ‘Greater Maritime Visibility for Enhanced Maritime Security’. The State Minister of Defence, Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address at the inaugural session. The opening remarks were made by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah.
Former President, Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Sri Lanka, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake and the Commander of the Ari Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, several senior government and military officials were also among the VIPs that attended the inaugural session.
The purpose of the Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference inaugurated by the Sri Lanka Navy in 2010 is to provide a common platform for stakeholders of national and international repute to discuss and deliberate maritime related issues.
The Indian Ocean has witnessed an unparalleled maritime insecurity during the last decade such as proliferation of arms, piracy, human trafficking, maritime terrorism and narcotics trafficking which in turn threaten the stability in the region and pose a great threat to Sea Lines of Communication. In this regard, Sri Lanka Navy played an enormous role for nearly two decades to defeat maritime terrorism and further strengthened the maritime security and safety of SLOCs in Indian Ocean Region.
In this backdrop, Sri Lanka Navy is privileged to organize this annual event that aims at strengthening the regional maritime cooperation and formulating a global strategy to face common challenges in the maritime domain.