‘Galle Dialogue’ international maritime conference kicks off

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 00:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Galle Dialogue 2014 international maritime conference kicked off yesterday at the Lighthouse Hotel in Galle with local and foreign participation from the maritime fraternity. Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera welcomed the attendees to the two-day conference organised by the Sri Lanka Navy on the directive of Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The National Security Adviser of India Dr. Ajit Kumar Doval delivered the keynote address at the inaugural session. Chief Guest at the event, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris spoke on the topic ‘Towards a Blue Economy’. The conference, held under the theme ‘Cooperation and Collaboration for Maritime Prosperity’, brings together local and foreign scholars and experts in maritime and naval affairs representing 60 countries to share their views on a broad spectrum of maritime issues. This year’s Galle Dialogue will focus primarily on cooperation and collaboration beyond maritime security in reaping maritime benefits for prosperity and explore the ways and means to synergise efforts. The ‘Galle Dialogue’ initiative, inaugurated in 2010, creates a forum to discuss and exchange views on regional maritime security concerns.
 Indian Ocean has to remain a zone of peace: Ajit Doval If the Indian Ocean has to contribute to the prosperity of different nations it is necessary that it remains a zone of peace, Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said yesterday. He was delivering the keynote address at the ‘Galle Dialogue’, held in Sri Lanka’s southern coastal town of Galle. Evoking a 1971 UNGA resolution, on the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, Doval said it was important to revisit the resolution mooted by Sri Lanka then “calling upon great powers not to allow escalation and expansion of military presence in the Indian Ocean.” His remarks come at a time when India has been voicing serious concern over China’s growing military presence in the island. In October, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was in New Delhi for a meeting with Doval and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley where New Delhi raised the issue of a Chinese submarine calling at the port in Colombo. In his address on Monday, Doval said India has been a status quoist power in the region for 5,000 years, but it had no aggressive design or strategic reason for dominance that is detrimental to any other country. He called for cooperation between countries to tackle challenges such as piracy, drug smuggling and human trafficking. India would enhance trilateral cooperation with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, he said, stressing the need for maritime security for prosperity. Over 100 representatives from 36 countries participated in the event with the theme ‘Cooperation and Collaboration for Maritime Prosperity’, organised by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. (The Hindu)