Visit of Sri Lankan Defence Services Command and Staff College Course

Visit of Sri Lankan Defence Services Command and Staff College Course

Report on the Visit of Sri Lankan Defence Services Command and Staff
College Course to USI on 03 Aug 16


A 19 member delegation led by Captain MDK Wijewardana (Sri Lankan Navy) from the Sri Lankan Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) accompanied by  Sri Lanka’s Defence Advisor Captain WHUP Hewage (Sri Lankan Navy)  visited the USI from 1215-1315 hrs  on 03 Aug 16 as part of their study tour to India.  Major General PJS Sandhu (Retd), Deputy Director & Editor welcomed the delegation and briefed them about the USI. This was followed by a presentation on “A Perspective on Indian Ocean Region” by Commander MH Rajesh, a brief interactive session and exchange of mementos.

Introductory Remarks by the Deputy Director & Editor USI

Major General PJS Sandhu (Retd) extended a warm welcome to the members of the delegation and stated that he was delighted that the visits by the Sri Lankan DSCSC  to the USI were taking place quite regularly  since 1999 and this was the eighth such visit.  The delegation was briefed about the history, organisation and the main activities of the USI. The delegation was also informed about the bilateral interactions with other institutions at the global level.  The Deputy Director & Editor highlighted that the USI had recently signed an MOU with the Pathfinder Foundation of Sri Lanka.

Presentation by Commander MH Rajesh

Commander MH Rajesh in his presentation on “A Perspective on Indian Ocean Region”   covered the geographic peculiarities of the  Indian Ocean. It was brought out that the phenomenon of monsoon, not only shapes the local economy but had also powered the ships during the era of sail. Thus, it enabled the western explorers to arrive in India and Sri Lanka, changing the political landscape of the region. The relevance of contemporary shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean including the pattern of flow of trade and significance to India and Sri Lanka in relation to that pattern was highlighted. The continuing role of climate, albeit, in the drastic changes being witnessed, demands greater cooperation and consensus among the states in the region. The brief history of Indian Ocean was presented with particular reference to maritime exchanges and power transitions in the region. The presentation provided an overview of the contemporary issues such as the USA’s pivot to Asia, China’s One Belt One Road and the South China Sea situation. The rationale of Indo-Pacific gaining traction was highlighted. A prognosis about affects of climate change, sources of tensions and methods of mitigation was also carried out. Cooperative structures were offered as a key solution to deal with the future. In this backdrop, the presentation highlighted relevance of India – Sri Lanka cooperation  

Interactive Session

The perspective on the Indian Ocean Region given by Commander MH Rajesh was well received and evoked great interest amongst the members of the delegation. The members of the delegation were keen to know about India’s views on “One Belt One Road”, options for ASEAN countries post the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on 12 July 2016, disappearance of MH 370, Diego Garcia and about the Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean Region.

Reciprocatory Remarks by the Sri Lankan Delegation

The student representative from the delegation thanked the USI for the welcome extended to the delegation. He stated that India and Sri Lanka were “brothers” in the region and highlighted the need for greater cooperation, especially between the armed forces of the two countries.

Exchange of Mementos

The mementos of the two institutions were exchanged between Captain MDK Wijewardana and Major General PJS Sandhu (Retd) and the proceedings were closed thereafter.



Report compiled by Lieutenant General Chander Prakash, SM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow at USI


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