Institute of National Security Studies (INSS), the premier think tank on national security established and functioning under the Ministry of Defence organized a Security Salon on “Changing Regional Dynamics in the Middle East: Implications from Israel-Hamas Conflict at the Red Sea for Sri Lanka” on Wednesday, the 07th February 2024, from 1000hrs to 1200hrs at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Public Security.
The INSS Security Salons are conducted under the guidance of Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne. Colonel Nalin Herath, RSP, Overlooking Director General and Acting Director (Research) of the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) moderated the session. The esteemed Guest Speaker for the event was Dr Anant Mishra, Associate Fellow, Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), India and Visiting Fellow, International Centre for Policing & Security, University of South Wales, United Kingdom. The audience comprised of highly distinguished and professional personnel including former diplomats, selected ministry officials, academia, researchers, policymakers, selected retired military officers, university students and representatives from the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Sri Lanka Police.
Subsequent to the introduction given by the moderator, the guest speaker Dr Anant Mishra commenced his presentation by outlining the current status of the clash in the Red Sea that has escalated from the conflict between Israel and Hamas. With visual comparisons of the diverse shipping routes and the negative impact posed on them, the speaker emphasized the impact on the dynamics of trade and economy and possible recommendations. In addition, he further brought into account the impact on the prices of food and energy, along with the economic impact of imports and exports caused and on anticipated disruptions to the global context. Thereafter, he emphasized his opinion on the way forward in the current situation.
Following up, several timely related questions under the discussed topic of concern were posed by the audience in the Q and A segment, which were directed to the guest speaker, which showed much enthusiasm. The speaker responded constructively along with adequate facts as well as realistic concerns of the current context. Even though Dr. Anant Mishra said that “The most logical thing to do is nothing” in times of conflict, he brought light on the opportunities and threats that are posed on Sri Lanka with the country engaging in the situation while commending the decision, and also emphasized on securing “your own backyard”. He further added that Sri Lanka could benefit with additional experience and understanding in engaging with international seas, with also could further connections for bilateral exercises in between allying countries. He primarily discussed and brought the attention of the gathering on the importance of ceasefire and multilateral engagement on a global context.
Notable invitees including former diplomats Hon. Bernard Gunathilake and Hon. HMGS Palihakkara, Director General of Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute Mrs. Pamela J Deen, Senior Defence Ministry officials and the members of the Diplomatic Corps were also present at the event.