Round Table Discussion on “Sri Lanka’s economic security in 2024 – evaluating the outlook and risks”
Posted on June 13th, 2024

Ministry of Defence  – Media Centre

The Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) organized a closed-door Round Table Discussion (RTD) on Sri Lanka’s Economic Security in 2024 – Evaluating the Outlook and Risks” on Thursday, the 06th June 2024, from 1600 to 1800 at the Nandimithra Auditorium, Ministry of Defence. Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne graced the event as the Chief Guest.

Overlooking Director General and Acting Director (Research) of the INSS, Colonel Nalin Herath warmly received the Chief Guest to the discussion.

INSS, the premier think tank on national security established and functioning under the Ministry of Defence organized the RTD which brought together esteemed voices to deliberate on pressing thematical issues.

Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Professorial Fellow in Economics and Trade at Gateway House (Indian Council Relations) and Visiting Senior Fellow at ODI, United Kingdom, moderated the session. Distinguished guest speakers for the event were Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Chandranath Amarasekara, Vice Chancellor and Chair Professor of Business Economics of the University of Colombo Senior Professor H.D. Karunaratne and Executive Director of the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) Dr. Herath Gunatilake.

Following an insightful introduction by the moderator, Dr. Chandranath Amarasekara initiated the presentation by examining the macroeconomic outlook and key points in the IMF program. He reflected on past social, political and economic challenges that impacted real GDP growth rates, macroeconomic stability, exchange rates and inflation. Senior Professor H.D. Karunaratne delved into medium-term challenges in educational reforms, the aging population and skill outmigration, highlighting issues in education quality, resource disparities and professional organization regulation.

Dr. Herath Gunathilaka focused on poverty resulting from crises, including insights on the ‘Aswasuma’ initiative as an alternative to the ‘Samurdhi’ program and the potential use of electricity consumption as a poverty indicator. During the Q&A segment, the audience posed pertinent questions, demonstrating their keen engagement. The speakers responded thoughtfully, addressing current and future concerns with factual analysis and pragmatic considerations.

The audience consisted of Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa, Additional Secretary (Administration) Gaminie Mahagamage, Additional Secretary (Defence) Harsha Vithanaarachchi, Chief of National Intelligence Maj. Gen. Ruwan Kulatunga (Retd), Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence Maj. Gen. Dhammika Welagedara, former diplomats, economists, academics, researchers, policymakers, INSS Staffers and representatives from the Tri Forces and Police.

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