Colombo (AsiaNews) - The three-day annual
International Defence Seminar opened yesterday at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Army organised the event, with a focus on the five Rs, namely
Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation.
The title, 'Towards Lasting Peace and stability,' refers to the years of war against
Tamil rebels in the north of the island nation, and is meant as a sign of hope in
More than 250 high-profile figures
and experts, including diplomats, ministers, decision-makers, defence chiefs, and
academics from 40 countries are attending seminars and lectures on peace and stability,
the two main topics at the centre of the 2012 seminar.
his address at the opening of the event, Sri Lankan Secretary of Defence and
Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa (pictured)
stressed that Sri Lanka today "is one of the most peaceful and stable countries
in the world," in the middle of a general recovery. He also noted its progress,
especially in demining and building reconstruction.
seminar is the second to be organised by Sri Lanka since the end of the war
against Tamil rebels in the northern part of the country. Thousands died during
the war and many more became homeless. Some are still living in government-run
heard about the Rs, which include actions and plans that go beyond traditional
approaches to create an environment of prosperity, peace and stability.
first seminar was held last year and it was dedicated to 'Defeating Terrorism -
The Sri Lankan Experience.' As the title indicated, for the government rebels
were terrorists. The Tamil Tiger movement, which was defeated after a 30-year
war, remains an outlawed entity.