Bangladesh National Defence College delegation visits LKIIRSS

Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) hosted a Bangladesh defence delegation on Wednesday, 10 September, from 10:30-12 p.m. Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa and Hasalaka Arampola addressed the delegation. Speaking under the topic of ‘Anti-terrorism and Human Rights Protection, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa started off his speech discussing Sri Lanka’s success in defeating the terrorist group LTTE after a 30-year war. He spoke about the reconciliation process, referring to both the rehabilitation centre for the victims and the Northern Provincial Council election. The election had a voting turnout of 88% which efficaciously suggests the progress of political reconciliation. On that note, he regrettably recalled the change made in the national language – making Sinhala the prime language – and commended the Bangladeshi delegates for having their names printed in two languages on their badges rather than one. Speaking on the topic of ‘What I have learned after teaching international relations for 10 years,’ Hasalaka Arampola, Principal of Royal Institute Colombo made a deeply meaningful and thought provoking presentation on the life lessons one can learn by studying international relations. He began by providing a definition for international relations by showing the audience that there are three aspects to it, politics, economics, and environment. He then began outlining ten of the most important lessons he learned through his experience as a lecturer on this subject. He stated that is that everyone is only worried by the issues that they face, with little or no regard to the problems that others face, that there is no examination of issue outside our own spectrum of affairs. Another such point he emphasised was that what goes around comes around, citing the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Arampola explained to the delegation that the Taliban was supported by the US during the cold war in an attempt to drive out the Russians; however once they achieved that goal the Taliban turned around and produced the Al-Qaeda which subsequently brought about unforeseen acts of terror in the US. He also stated that while acquiring hard power is the goal of any nation, it is soft power that will pioneer growth and development in every sphere. He stated that the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the people should be enhanced in order to create a productive and peaceful society.