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Barana Waidyatilake, Research Fellow in the Global Governance Programme at LKI, made an invited presentation at the first joint conference held by the Pathfinder Foundation, Sri Lanka and the National Maritime Foundation of India, on 8 February 2018. The theme of the dialogue was “India-Sri Lanka Maritime Security Cooperation in the Indian Ocean: Exploring Convergences.”
Barana’s presentation on “A Smaller State’s Quest for Indian Ocean Security: The Case of Sri Lanka,” highlighted that Sri Lanka’s security in the Indian Ocean region is best served by advocating for regional rules-based order. He emphasised that Sri Lanka’s options for pursuing such order includes using regional platforms, such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, and strengthening existing normative statements such as the Jakarta Concord.
Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman of the Pathfinder Foundation, made the welcome remarks, and Adm. R. K. Dhowan, Chairman of the National Maritime Foundation delivered the opening remarks. Former Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga concluded the event with the closing remarks.
The event was attended by a number of leading figures, including Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene, State Minister of Defence; Adm. Dr. Jayanath Colombage, former Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and Director of the Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives; Capt. Dr. Gurpreet Khurana, Executive Director of the National Maritime Foundation; and several experts in the fields of maritime security, maritime strategy, and regional cooperation.