INSS Hosts Expert Panel on Sri Lanka’s Economic Security for 2024

INSS Hosts Expert Panel on Sri Lanka's Economic Security for 2024

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.”

The event took place on Thursday, June 6th, 2024, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Nandimithra Auditorium, Ministry of Defence, in Sri Lanka.

Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne graced the event as the Chief Guest. Colonel Nalin Herath, Overlooking Director General and Acting Director (Research) of the INSS, warmly received the Chief Guest.

The INSS, the premier think tank on national security established and functioning under the Ministry of Defence, organized the RTD, bringing together esteemed voices to deliberate on pressing thematic 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 included Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Chandranath Amarasekara, Vice Chancellor and Chair Professor of Business Economics at 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 presentations 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 discussed 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 included 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 staff, and representatives from the Tri-Forces and Police.

INSS Hosts Expert Panel on Sri Lanka's Economic Security for 2024