Defence Review-2030: SL Prez unveils security plan for Indian Ocean region

Defence Review-2030: SL Prez unveils security plan for Indian Ocean region

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed a ‘Defence Review-2030’ amid the evolving security landscape in the Indian Ocean region and for setting up the island nation’s defence policy for the future.

“The comprehensive document outlined protecting the sovereignty of the island nation, avoiding military alliances, refraining from conflicts in the Indian Ocean, countering non-state actors adverse to Sri Lanka and contributing to global peace had been handed over to the Cabinet,” the President Media Division (PMD) said issuing a statement on Friday.

The PMD said, however, the security dynamics have witnessed a significant shift.

“Previously, Sri Lanka’s primary focus was on combating internal terrorism, notably the LTTE. Today, the strategic environment has grown more complex, marked by great power rivalries between the US and China, the emergence of strategic alliances such as the Quad and AUKUS, the Ukraine war and the omnipresent threat of climate change,” it stated.

The ‘Defence Review-2030’ is to serve as a crucial step to adapt Sri Lanka’s defence policy and it has outlined a roadmap for the future, encompassing both the immediate future and steps beyond 2030, the PMD said.

The key components of the Defence Review include strategic vision and challenges for Sri Lanka in 2030, security interests of Sri Lanka, Defence Policy Objectives for 2030, power posture and power structure to address strategic challenges and prioritization of urgent needs within the constraints of the existing financial situation.

President Wickremesinghe has appointed a group including retired senior military officials, officials from the Foreign Service and economists and they are to receive support from active-duty military personnel, Foreign Service officers, Treasury officials and experts in relevant fields.

“This defence review marks the initial step toward formulating a comprehensive national defence policy, reflecting Sri Lanka’s commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and contributing to global peace in an ever-changing world,” the PMD added.

Stressing on Sri Lanka and India’s close security ties, in July this year, President Wickremesinghe reiterated that Sri Lanka would not be allowed to be used as a base for any threats against India.

Speaking to the media, the Sri Lankan President had said that the island nation would remain “neutral” and there had been no military agreements with China.

“We are a neutral country, but we also emphasise the fact that we cannot allow Sri Lanka to be used as a base for any threats against India,” Wickremesinghe had said in an interview with France24.