Dialogue on air diplomacy at Colombo Air Symposium

Given Sri Lanka’s geo-strategic importance in the region and current political context, this year’s Colombo Air Symposium which is to be held on October 18 and 19 had received nearly 25 foreign representations on air diplomacy and national security.

The Colombo Air Symposium which is on its fourth installment this year has gained popularity for being a regional forum which gives voice to international scholars to talk of the importance of air space and effective utilisation for the sake of national and regional security.

“This year’s symposium objectives will be to explore the conditions and necessities on maritime security in the Indian Ocean with respect to the geopolitical perspective of Sri Lanka and the role of a collaborative airpower in the Asian region,” said Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy.

This year’s symposium will be inaugurated by President and Commander of the Tri-Forces Maithripala Sirisena. It will also be graced by State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and Defence Ministry Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne. Sri Jayawardenapura University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Sampath Amaratunga will deliver the keynote address.

Air Force Commander Air Marshal Jayampathy said the symposium will look at establishing a dialogue on possibilities of unilateral air-strategic partnerships which would be required by the geo-political developments in the south Asian region.

“No country can advance alone, so this is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to enhance their knowledge transfer and foster better understanding related to air power capabilities so to work together in a coordinated manner,” he said.

“The recent natural disasters have demonstrated the importance of teamwork, and an event of this nature allows all to plan and position ourselves accordingly and put in place standard operating procedures as a way forward.”

This year’s event will see over 40 delegates from over 20 countries, the highest in the events history. It will also have the highest number of foreign participation as seven foreign representations will present their papers. Nearly 31 diverse professional representing the tri-forces, academic institutions will also submit papers at the symposium.

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