The Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives of the Pathfinder Foundation, in partnership with Carnegie India, convened two-day track 1.5 conferences called ‘Trincomalee Consultations’ recently.
The final report including the study, discussion and exploration of enhancing regional cooperation for improving political and economic relations, maritime security, blue economic concepts and increasing connectivity among the countries in the Bay of Bengal was handed over to Kenichi Suganuma, the Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, Director, Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives, Pathfinder Foundation presenting a copy of the document to Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma stated that their focuses was on the unfolding geo-strategic significance of and the assessment of regional security cooperation demands in the Bay of Bengal region. ‘’Examining the current state of cooperation among the countries in the Bay of Bengal region in maritime transport, aviation and other sectors of economic activity for developing Trincomalee as a regional hub for shipping, aviation and other sectors of economic activity to serve the Bay of Bengal region and develop a way forward for further enhancement of cooperation were also aimed at,’’ he added.
This report has been developed as a follow up to analytical studies commissioned by the experts including ‘Growing Strategic Significance of the Bay of Bengal’ by Dr. C. Raja Mohan, Director Carnegie India, ‘One Belt Many Roads’ by Abu Saeed Khan, Consultant on regional connectivity, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, “Dilemma of Coastal Countries and the Role of Japan-India Strategic Cooperation” by Dr. Satoru Nagao, Research Fellow, Tokyo Foundation, ‘Strategic importance of Trincomalee harbour in the Bay of Bengal’ by Admiral Dr. Jayanath Colombage, Director, Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives, Pathfinder Foundation, ‘Pre-conditions for the success of a logistic hub serving the Bay of Bengal’ by Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Founding Chair, LIRNEasia, ‘Development of Trincomalee harbour as a hub for Bay of Bengal’ by Rohan Masakorala CEO, Shippers’ Academy Colombo and ‘Functional Regional Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal’ by Ambassador Sumith Nakandala, Secretary General of BIMSTEC.
The Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives mainly focuses on key proposals for follow-up action on the establishment of a Centre for Maritime Domain Awareness and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief in the Trincomalee harbour, a maritime research centre, coastal shipping: service connecting minor and major ports in the Bay of Bengal region, ship repair and ship lay off and green ship breaking, energy hub of the region and power generation/transmission, the report highlighted in detail.