INSSSL and COSATT collaborate to improve regional security
Sri Lanka’s national security think tank, the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) has collaborated with the Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks (COSATT) to improve regional security by advising the governments in the region, according to Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and INSSSL Chairman Eng.Karunasena Hettiarachchi.
The Defence Secretary chairing the inaugural discussion on “Regional Security Perspectives” organised by the INSSSL with the collaboration of COSATT at the Ministry premises on 26 August, said it is vital to recognise the importance of collaborative integration of think tanks in the region in handling complex cross-border issues.
Speaking on regional security perspectives Hettiarachchi said the INSSSL would serve as an important arm in framing issues in a novel perspective, articulating alternative frameworks, identifying and taking the first national steps to bring about change and ultimately helping to shape the security debate in the region.
“From our President Sirisena’s friendly relationship with the region and India’s Modi doctrine which has spelled out clearly the importance of regional integration, individual governments struggle to find the time to deal with complex cross-border issues from climate change to digital security, and they cannot be left to deal with these problems alone,” he said.
The Defence Secretary emphasised that collaborative think tanks can ensure that governments remain engaged in a multi-stakeholder process; and are essential in ideational processes that governments can apply and other stakeholders can implement.
“Ranging from the 2016 Dhaka hostage situation to the border conflicts of regional powers that continue to unfold, it is vital to recognise the importance of collaborative integration of the think tanks in the region.”
According to the Ministry of Defence fifteen distinguished scholars from the region participated in the discussion yesterday.
At the session, President of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) in Dhaka, Major General (Retd.) A N M Muniruzzaman highlighted the importance of Sri Lanka as a major maritime nation in developing a maritime security architecture for the security of the South Asian Region.
Dr. Nischel Pandey, the Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies in Kathmandu said the collaboration with the INSSL and COSATT is a great achievement and the opportunity should be used to strengthen joint research for common challenges.
Wishing success for the collaboration, Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy, Head of Political Dialogue Asia and Pacific, of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Singapore said it is very important for think tanks to work in collaborative research.
INSSSL Director General Asanga Abeyagoonasekera noted that think tanks getting together and collaborating is a great achievement, especially to improve the regional security perspective.”By scholarly thematic papers and discussions we could advice governments to make the right decisions and to create a secure and peaceful world,” Abeyagoonasekera said.
The Ministry of Defence established the premier national think tank, the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka (INSSSL), earlier this month, to understand the security environment and to work with the government to craft evidence based policy options and strategies for debate and discussions to ensure national security. It will conduct a broad array of national security research for the Ministry.
The Ministry of Defence said the event was a great success, with many ideas and thoughts on traditional as well as non-traditional security issues in South Asia brought forward by many scholars.