Analyses current regional challenges, outlines future roadmap
Sri Lanka’s commitment to safeguarding its freedom and sovereignty has been reaffirmed with the release of the ‘Defence Review – 2030’ by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The comprehensive document outlines the evolving security landscape in the Indian Ocean region and sets the course for Sri Lanka’s defence policy in the coming years.
The President proposed the Defence Review – 2030 at the recent Cabinet meeting. The key principles of Sri Lanka’s defence policy after gaining independence have always revolved around protecting its sovereignty, avoiding military alliances, refraining from conflicts in the Indian Ocean, countering non-state actors adverse to Sri Lanka and contributing to global peace. 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 United States and China, the emergence of strategic alliances such as the Quad and AUKUS, the Ukraine war and the omnipresent threat of climate change.
Given this evolving landscape, the ‘Defence Review – 2030’serves as a crucial step to adapt Sri Lanka’s defence policy. The review not only analyses the current regional challenges but
also outlines a roadmap for the future, encompassing both the immediate future and steps beyond 2030.
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.
To spearhead this endeavour, President Wickremesinghe has appointed a distinguished review team comprising Major General Channa Gunathilake (Retd) as Chairman, Rear Admiral J. J. Ranasinghe (Retd), Major General P.R. Wanigasooriya (Retd.), Air Vice Marshal Andrew Wijesuriya (Retd.), Sasikala Premawardena from the Sri Lanka Foreign Service and Daniel Alphonsus as Adviser for Finance and Economic Stabilization. The group will 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.
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