Govt. devising dynamic defence policy

Saturday, 9 September 2023 01:02 –      – 137

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 President and Defence Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Heads of the armed forces during the 75th Independence Day ceremony in on 4 February – File photo

 

  • President presents Defence Review 2030 to Cabinet
  • Move first step towards developing comprehensive National Defence Policy to maintain sovereignty, global peace in fast-evolving world
  • Review not only analyses current regional challenges but also outlines roadmap for the future
  • Appoints five-member review team and experts to assist in developing policy
  • Lists five main components to be included in policy

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented the ‘Defence Review 2030’ at this week’s Cabinet meeting to develop a comprehensive National Defence Policy.

The President’s Media Division said yesterday the Defence Review 2030 is the first step towards developing a comprehensive National Defence Policy to maintain sovereignty, whilst contributing to global peace in a rapidly evolving world.

To assist in developing policy President Wickremesinghe who is also Minister of Defence, has appointed a five-member review team Rear Admiral (Retd.) J. J. Ranasinghe, Major General (Retd.) P.R. Wanigasooriya, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Andrew Wijesuriya, Sri Lanka Foreign Service Sashikala Premawardena and Finance and Economic Stabilisation Advisor Daniel Alphonsus.

Military members who are currently on active service, Foreign Service officers, Treasury officials and experts in related sectors will also assist the group.

“The Defence Review 2030 not only analyses the current regional challenges but also outlines a roadmap for the future,” it noted, adding that the comprehensive policy outlines the evolving security landscape in the Indian Ocean region and sets the course for Sri Lanka’s defence policy in the coming years.

The five key components of the Defence Review 2030 include; strategic vision and challenges for Sri Lanka in 2030, security interests of Sri Lanka, Defence Policy objectives for 2030, power posture and structure to address strategic challenges and prioritisation of urgent needs within the constraints of the existing financial situation.

After independence, the core objectives of Sri Lanka’s defence policy have always focused on protecting its sovereignty, avoiding military alliances, avoiding conflicts in the Indian Ocean, combating non-state entities hostile to Sri Lanka, and contributing to global peace. However, the security dynamics have shifted significantly.

Previously, Sri Lanka’s primary focus was on combating domestic terrorism, notably the LTTE. Today, the strategic environment has grown more complex, marked by great power rivalries between the United States and China, the emergence of strategic alliances such as the Quad and AUKUS, the Ukraine war and the omnipresent threat of climate change.

It also stated that the issuance of the ‘Defence Review – 2030’ reinforced the country’s commitment to preserving its freedom and sovereignty.

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