- defence seminar 2014

Report
BY :
Lieutenant General M F AKBAR,ndc,psc
Commandant, National Defence College, Bangladesh
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 Sri Lanka’s location
beside the sea lanes of
the Indian Ocean make
the island state
strategically very
important
 Sea lanes constitute
the trade artery of Asia
that is vital to all the
countries including China,
Japan and India
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 US policy has been to
ensure the freedom of
navigation through the
sea lanes
 Half of container cargo
and
80
percent
of
seaborne fuel is carried
through here. It also
contains 40 percent of
the off shore fuel output.
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 “More than half the world’s
armed conflicts are presently
located in the Indian Ocean
region ………………....potential
nuclear confrontation between
India and Pakistan, US
interventions in Iraq and
Afghanistan, Islamist
terrorism, growing incidence
of piracy in and around the
Horn of Africa, and
management of diminishing
fishery resources.”
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 “In the long-term the
Indian Ocean is going to
be massively more
significant in global
politics than it has ever
been before……………that
is the function largely of
the fact that the AsiaPacific region is
massively more
significant.”
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 The importance of
Indian Ocean confers
strategic significance to
Sri Lanka
 The island was always
considered vital to control
the gateway to India and
all east-west lanes that
connect South East Asia
to the West
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 India appended to the
India-Sri Lanka accord of
July 1987
 Trincomalee or any
other port of Sri Lanka
will not be made available
for military use by any
country
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 Trincomalee oil tank
farm will be undertaken
as a joint venture
between India and Sri
Lanka
 Sri Lanka's
agreement with foreign
broadcasting
organisations will be
reviewed
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 Demographics,
geography, history and
politics converged in
rise of nationalism and
then intolerance and
chauvinism that
brought a long
insurgency home to
Sri Lanka
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 Each ethnic group
today has a distinct
identity with strongly held
myths of origin
 Sinhala believe that
they are Aryans from
Bengal, the Tamils claim
pure Dravidian origin, and
the Muslims aspire to
decent from Arabs
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 Medieval Sri Lanka’s
major accomplishment is
the establishment of the
Sinhala kingdom
 The development of
Sinhala nation as the last
defenders of Buddhism in
India was a very powerful
element in their nation
building
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 Terrorism is a noxious
conflict and its economic
costs are enormous
 South Asia has a violent
history of terrorist incidents
and here political and security
discourse takes precedence
over development
 Global terrorism center of
gravity had shifted to South
Asia making it a region of
concern
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 Sri Lanka under
President Mahinda
Rajapaksa’s leadership and
with valiant efforts of the Sri
Lankan armed forces
defeated the LTTE
 All in region and beyond
are grateful for the removal
of such a despicable foe of
humanity and are more
secure because of this
outcome
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 The continuation of
conflict could cause
disruptions in shipping with
wider ramifications for trade
in this region
 Remained a threat to
economic security of the
region
 India’s pursuit of Chinese
policy of maintaining
regional peace would have
been jeopardized
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 The Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina and her government
supported Sri Lankan cause on
two counts
 Bangladesh has always
supported Sri Lanka’s war
against terrorism and also has
pragmatic understanding of the
fallout from post conflict
transition
 Region has more stability by
mitigating regional threats to
security like arms’ trafficking,
smuggling and various forms of
human rights violations
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 Sri Lanka's first king,
mentioned in the ancient
Pali chronicles, was known
to have ancestors from the
Vanga Kingdom located in
modern Bangladesh
 In Sri Lanka, several
strands of Buddha’s hair
gifted by the Buddhists of
Bangladesh,are venerated
on Poya Day, a Buddhist
public holiday in Sri Lanka
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 Diplomatic relations between
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were
formally established in 1972
 Sri Lanka Heads of States
and Governments since 1979
have made official visits to
Bangladesh and they have been
reciprocated
 Close political relationship is
demonstrated by BD support to
Srilanka at International Forum
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 About 15,000 Srilankans
are currently employed in
Bangladesh
 Growing technical cooperation in the production
of garments between the
two countries
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 Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka participate in the joint
peace keeping exercises
under the UN department of
peacekeeping operations
 There are goodwill visits
at the level of chiefs of
armed forces between the
two countries
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 Bangladesh has greatly
benefited from the
elimination of LTTE and end
of ethnic conflict
 Bangladesh army, in the
initial stages of the
insurgency in Chittagong
Hill Tracts, decided not to
use heavy guns
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 The rapprochement
between the two communities
will take lot of work and time
which is more of an intellectual
and transformative political
process
 Every country have
respective historical, cultural
and political evolution creates
conditions that do not allow
uniform responses to identical
problem
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 No substantive allegation
has been raised against the
government of Sri Lanka
concerning reconstruction and
economic rejuvenation of the
region
 If the economic growth can
be maintained in the region
then major reservations
concerning reconciliation will
disappear within a short time
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 The ethnic war has ended;
the conflict has been
submerged. However its
currency needs to be
neutralized
 Avenues and opportunities
have to be created to allow
the communities to live as
neighbors, friends and
colleagues
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 Developing a common
national identity among a
heterogeneous
population is a very
difficult and challenging
task and no nation can
claim perfection
 Difficulties may not
deter the perennial quest
of nation building
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 There has to be total
renunciation of violence
excluding the exercise of
legitimate coercive authority of
the state
 The precise shape and nature
of these elements may vary from
country to country because of
differences among communities
regarding their location,
histories, cultures, regional
trends, political relationships
and other relevant factors
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 Sri Lanka has worked with
great commitment to carry out
reconstruction. There is a
genuine national will to revive
the affected economies. The
trauma of long term conflict can
only be effectively managed…..
 Sri Lanka is on the right path
and we, in Bangladesh, hope for
and support successful
resolution of this problem
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I Wish The People, Government And The Armed
Forces Of Sri Lanka A Peaceful, Prosperous And
Happy Future
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