President Wickremesinghe highlights Global Shifts in Military Landscape at the DSCSC Award ceremony
In a compelling speech delivered at the Defence Services Command and staff College (DSCSC) Course 17 Award Ceremony yesterday (14), President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the need for a broader international perspective in military education and highlighted the evolving global landscape. The ceremony, held at Nelum Pokuna, with a diverse group of students, including participants from countries beyond Sri Lanka.
President Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to providing more opportunities for officers from various countries in Sri Lankan courses and expressed pleasure in noting the diverse international representation among the students, extending beyond Sri Lanka’s borders. Acknowledging this, the President emphasized the need to provide opportunities to officers and cadets from various countries, reinforcing the importance of global collaboration among the three defence academies.
The president stressed the significance of idea exchange and international interactions, citing the profound changes occurring in the present decade. He outlined major geopolitical shifts, predicting new methods, strategies, technologies and global situations that armed forces worldwide would encounter by the decade’s end.
Addressing the rise of Asian armed forces, President Wickremesinghe noted their substantial capabilities compared to some Western counterparts. He discussed the implications of technological advancements, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, and the transition from fossil fuels. The President underscored the importance of studying social, economic, and political issues alongside military strategies.
President Wickremesinghe then delved into the complex and changing nature of conflicts, citing on-going wars and insurgencies. He drew attention to the conflict in Gaza, emphasizing its aspects, such as the global sympathy shift from Israel to Palestine. The president highlighted the political nature of the conflict and its impact on public opinion globally.
President Wickremesinghe also discussed the unique nature of the war in Gaza, where political strategies and global media play a decisive role. He highlighted the changing face of warfare, with battles extending beyond traditional battlefields into homes through media coverage.
The evolving nature of warfare, with battles extending into the media and public discourse, was a focal point. President Wickremesinghe compared it to historical events like the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. He noted the political manipulation of war, as seen in Hamas’s tactics, which transcend traditional military considerations.
Concluding his speech, President Wickremesinghe urged the audience to recognize the changing nature of war, where politics and military actions intertwine. He acknowledged the uncertainty of how these shifts would unfold in the future, leaving it to the next generation to navigate the evolving geopolitical and military landscape.
President Wickremesinghe expressed uncertainty about how these changes would unfold but emphasized the importance of understanding their implications on both military and civilian life.
A total of 148 officers off 72 officers from Sri Lanka Army, 26 officers from Sri Lanka Navy, 24 officers from Sri Lanka Air Force 01 officer from Sri Lanka Police, 02 officers from Bangladesh, 03 officers from India, 02 officers from Nepal, 02 officers from Pakistan, 10 officers from Saudi Arabia and an officer each from Indonesia, Maldives, Rwanda, Senegal, United States of America and Zambia consist of 25 foreign student officers have completed the course.
The first copy of the ‘Defence and Security Journal’ published by DSCSC and a special memento was presented to the President by Commandant, DSCSC, Major General B.K.G.M.L Rodrigo. The President presented special awards, the ‘Golden Owl’ to recognised the most outstanding Sri Lankan and Foreign student officers of each wing, the ‘Golden Pen’ to the student officer who produces the best commandant’s research paper out of the three wings.
In attendance at this significant occasion were several key figures in the defence and security apparatus, including Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary of Defence Ministry General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired), Chief of Staff of the Tri-forces, General Shavendra Silva, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera and Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa.