Opening Address by Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Seminar on “Emerging Issues in the Indian Ocean”: 28 June 2017

Hon. Governors and Ministers, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me great pleasure, as the new Chairman of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, to address this eminent gathering of policymakers, diplomats, scholars, corporate leaders, lawyers, civil society, and students, at this landmark event on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.

It has been a little over a month since I became Foreign Minister. I am conscious that I have assumed an office and responsibilities previously held by some of our most illustrious leaders, not least by the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar after whom this Institute is fittingly named, but also by Mr. A.C.S. Hameed, Mrs. Bandaranaike, and several others, each of whom left invaluable legacies for our international relations.

While it is early days of my tenure, I can say that one of my priorities is to build a foreign policy – and a foreign service – that predicts and innovates, rather than one that reacts and stagnates. So I look forward to hearing the forecasts and analysis of the experts invited to speak today, as part of developing a foreign policy that foresees and grasps the opportunities of a changing world. For my part, I will begin the discussion by, first, briefly observing three major shifts that are apparent in the current international order.  More details

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