Colombo, June 3: The Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Maj.Gen.(rtd) Kamal Gunaratne has identified pro-LTTE activism abroad and the recent anti-government agitation in Sri Lanka as potential threats to the country’s security, according to a report in www.adaderana.lk
Speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on ‘Sri Lanka’s Defense Policy; Past, Present and Future’ at the Gen.Sir John Kotelawala Defense University on Thursday, Gen.Gunaratne said that “separatism as a demand of the LTTE along with the availability of pro-LTTE elements abroad and its covert supportive local elements, pose a considerable threat”.
“In the wake of their actions against the Government of Sri Lanka, they tend to receive significant assistance from external governments and non-state actors constantly, as it had been well clear with the recent developments of Human Rights allegations.”
The Defense Secretary further said: “Recent developments that took place in the country against the regime and the incidents that took place in relation to those, display a greater threat to the rule of law.”
For a country to define its National Security goals, a robust Defense Policy addressing both effectiveness and accountability is essential for the acceptability of the security apparatus in the country and the protection of its people and interests, the Gen. Gunaratne said.
“Since the national security environment is vulnerable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous in nature, a constant and continuous assessment and analysis of the geopolitical environment and the key factors which characterize the security environment are essential in order to evaluate potential threats that could emanate, in varying forms and magnitudes,” he pointed out.
Organized crimes such as underworld activities, drug related crimes and money laundering “If unchecked have the potential of rupturing social cohesion and destabilizing the social and economic fabric.”
Reecalling changes in threat perception of the last two decades in Sri Lanka, the Defense Secretary voiced concern about internal security issues, terrorism, COVID-19 pandemic and the latest uprising against the regime.
“Such unprecedented challenges have compelled us to pursue the establishment of a strong foundation for a ‘National Defense Policy’, while emphasizing the responsibility of initiating counteractions against detrimental consequences well in advance in order to prevent catastrophes emanating against the country’s National Security apparatus.”
“In order to establish a robust Defense Policy framework by building interoperability in the defense and security sector, certain principles should be observed in its development process,” he said, and added: “A holistic approach to security concerns, actors, and means is the best way to cover the largest array of security and defense issues.”