Chief of Staff to the President and National Security Advisor, Sagala Ratnayaka, led a delegation from Sri Lanka to the 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, a prominent security summit held in Singapore from 2nd to 4th June 2023.
The delegation included Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore, Sashikala Premawardhane.
During the summit, various discussions took place on important geopolitical matters such as establishing stability in the Asia Pacific, resolving regional tensions, maritime security in Asia, US leadership in the Indo-Pacific, and China’s security initiatives.
In a special session focused on “Defence Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region,” the National Security Advisor delivered a statement emphasizing the need to keep big power rivalry and external conflicts out of the Indian Ocean. He highlighted Sri Lanka’s efforts in declaring the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and its contributions to preserving freedom of navigation. He emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue among stakeholders in the region.
During his visit, the National Security Advisor also met with Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss elevating the partnership between both countries, with a focus on economic cooperation. They explored areas such as food security, renewable energy, and port and logistics sectors.
On the sidelines of the summit, Sagala Ratnayaka had meetings with officials from Australia, the United States, India, Pakistan, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He highlighted Sri Lanka’s economic recovery efforts, progress in reconciliation, and discussed defense and security cooperation.
The Chief of Staff also participated in Ministerial Roundtables hosted by Singapore’s Minister of Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, which included ministers and representatives from over 29 countries attending the Shangri-La Dialogue.
The official visit of the National Security Advisor to the Shangri-La Dialogue was coordinated by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore.