The international conclave is being organized for the fourth time by the Sri Lanka Navy. The two day conference will see local and foreign scholars and experts in maritime and naval affairs share views under the theme “Emerging Maritime Trends in the Indian Ocean”.
Addressing the Galle Dialogue the Defence Secretary Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that some countries are selective in their fight against terrorism and called for a global coordinated effort to fight terrorism, over four years after the military defeated the LTTE.
“The fight against terrorism is a global one against an enemy defined by its deliberate targeting of civilians to achieve its goal. Terrorism should be crushed wherever it emerges and nations should support each other’s efforts to do so wholeheartedly,” he said.
Mr Rajapaksa said that there is a need for genuine corporation among nations at the highest level to defeat terrorism is a systematic and coordinated fashion.
He said that intelligence sharing, fostering maritime domain awareness through joint operations and combined patrols and enhancing inter-operatability amongst navies is one way to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts.
Mr Rajapaksa noted that the experience gained by Sri Lanka through the successful defeat of the LTTE, especially the sea tiger unit, can be used in countering piracy in international waters.
The LTTE was the only terrorist outfit known to have possessed a maritime unit which was used to carry out attacks on the Sri Lanka navy, including suicide attacks.
Sri Lanka is currently engaged in providing weapons to private firms on ships through floating armories to counter piracy. Mr Rajapaksa said that utmost precautions are taken to ensure accountability for the weapons and equipment provided.