Stepping down as the Director General INSSSL
Posted on January 31st, 2020

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

First, let me thank all of you for the tremendous support you have given me during the last few years to establish the National Security Think Tank of Sri Lanka, (INSSSL) under the Ministry of Defence. From the first email I sent to all of you from INSSSL in August 2016, it was a challenging uphill task. We had four Chairman’s starting from 2016 and it was a challenging environment faced with numerous significant national security threats. 

Although establishing a national security think tank was considered as a futile effort by some, each year the importance of a security think tank was felt essential when 250 lives were taken by the extremist terrorists in the Easter Sunday attack. This heinous crime I witnessed from my own eyes at the Shangri-la hotel. I am proud to say it was the National Security think tank INSSSL that forecasted the threat of growing violent extremism in the country from 2018 and warned multiple times that extremists could even target five-star hotels at a threat lens discussion at Ministry of Defence and the last documentation of the extremist terrorist threat was written by INSSSL monthly threat forecast in 2019 January. Unfortunately, all this went unheard and I hope in future that research and analysis conducted by think tanks will be taken much more seriously by our policymakers and government administrative staff. Most reports and observations we compiled were not shared with the higher authorities and was not given enough attention. 

From the time we launched the first research journal Defence Review” in 2017 to all the 74 successful events conducted and recognized regionally and ranked at the global think tank index, it was all of you who were a part of the success. We have built a resource pool of 100 experts from around the world to support INSSSL. I thank all of you for your kind support to be part of the national security think tank. I would like to acknowledge everyone including the distinguished military officers, senior diplomats, researchers, academics to all the resource persons who contributed their time for this endeavour.

From 1st February I will step down as the Director General of INSSSL and handover to Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Jayanath Colombage. While I wish my successor all success, I would like you to kindly support him to build this important institute to a much greater height during his tenure. 

My email and mobile remain the same. Let us keep in touch.

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

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