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Colombo Air Symposium begins tomorrow

The Colombo Air Symposium, the prominent international event that brings together global expertise on airpower to a common platform will be held for the third consecutive year from tomorrow (12) at the Eagles’ Lakeside Banquet and Convention Hall, Ratmalana.

“The Colombo Air Symposium which is held under the auspicies of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will focus on national, regional and global issues and also discuss common security threats, both man-made and natural,”Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy said.

The symposium, held under the theme “Airpower in Addressing Asymmetric Threats” will be graced by State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene. The symposium will also focus on six areas,such as, application of airpower, cyber warfare, how to utilize and safe use of dons and their regulations, airpower and counter terrorism and so on.

“The Sri Lanka Air Force organises the Colombo Air Symposium annually with a view of developing a wider perspective of the world of airpower and to increase cooperation, understanding and goodwill among the various participating nations,” the Air Force Commander said.

“The SLAF as the weighty hand of Sri Lankan airpower contributed immensely to the ending of the country’s 30-year LTTE terrorist war which claimed thousands of lives while causing billions of rupees to property,” he said. “As Sri Lanka ventures in the direction of national development and national cohesion, those veterans of air power who overcame all odds in finally achieving victory in bringing about peace and stability, are now steering the organization in reaching the national objectives of security and development.

The experience, resources and the tested organizational structures are becoming crucial components in creating a better tomorrow for our nation,” Air Marshal Jayampathy said. He added that the precision and the effectiveness of the SLAF were the key ingredients that contributed to the success of airpower against the particularly virulent form of terrorism that had started expanding to the realm of the air space over Sri Lanka as well.

“Whilst the global community strives to maintain peace and the stability, global terrorism is growing and expanding with its ancillary enterprises made up of forgers, paid assassins, computer hackers, illegal transporters, human traffickers, and money launderers,” the Air Force Commander said.

“The conventional face to face combat of the past has been replaced with high-tech and asymmetric threats which are difficult to trace or counter. Terrorism is a global threat that keeps changing faces and phases in highly dynamic manner.

“Today the world is also faced with many major challenges in the realms of climate change and natural disasters. Nature knows no man made boundaries and claims no interest in geopolitical interests of the nations. Thus there is a high likelihood of regional level natural hazards developing into global concerns and crises. A mass scale natural disaster with complex outcomes requires multiple approaches in dealing with them,” Air Marshal Jayampathy said.

“The proper integration of airpower in dealing with global challenges is the major test that confronts governments around the world, because while Airpower’s inherent strengths makes it an essential component of all relief and support measures, its inherent limitations make it critical that it be used and deployed with careful consideration,” he added.