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'Ambassador's Forum 2021- KDU Commemorates international Women's Day' which was addressed by H.E. Saroja Sirisena, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK

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Commemorating International Women’s Day 2021, the Faculty of Defence & Strategic Studies (FDSS) of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University organized the Ambassador’s Forum, featuring three of Sri Lanka’s top foreign services officers namely, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Singapore – HE Shashikala Premawardhane, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom – HE Saroja Sirisena and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Philippines – HE Shobini Gunasekera. The panel discussion titled “Challenges and Prospects for Sri Lanka’s Global Relations” was held on Monday, March 8th.

Speaking on Sri Lanka’s relations in Asia Pacific Region amidst competing power rivalries,’ Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera emphasised that small states are able to benefit from the power play in the region. Examples such as vaccine diplomacy is a pertinent example of how Sri Lanka is benefitting in this regard.

High Commissioner Sashikala Premawardhane indicated that small states face themselves in a vulnerable situation, as they are constantly feeling the pressures from the international system. She also emphasized on five practices that have enabled Singapore to be a power hub in the Southeast Asian region. She was deliberating on ‘Small State diplomacy in contemporary global relations’ during her speech at the Forum.

Deliberating on Sri Lanka’s relations with the West: Challenges and Prospects’, High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena highlighted the efforts implemented by Sri Lanka in engaging on issues faced in the international system.

The Ambassador’s Forum, which was the Department of Strategic Studies’ (DSS) first panel discussion for the year 2021, was organised as part of the DSS Strategic Road Map outreach programmes. A lively discussion ensued the presentations by the three ambassadors, and the undergraduates engaged at length with the distinguished speakers. The panel discussion was chaired by Head, Department of Strategic Studies – Dr Harinda Vidanage and the event was co-organised by Ms Niruka Sanjeewani and Ms Sinduja Jayaratne, lectures of the Department of Strategic Studies. The event was attended by Vice Chancellor – Major General Milinda Peries, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Defence & Administration) – Brigadier Wipula Chandrasiri, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Jayantha Ariyaratne, Deans of the Faculties, Heads of Departments, Senior Professors, Academic and Military Staff, undergraduates of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.

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