Fear of terrorism causing more harm than actual acts of terror —Expert


Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala addressing the gathering while Professor Tilman Brück and the Executive Director of Regional Center for Strategic Studies Dr. Mallika Joseph look on.

Professor Tilman Brück, Director of the Stockholm International Peace and Security Institute (SIPRI) on Monday raised focus in Colombo on the multidimensional nature of conflict and the need for a multi-disciplinary approach in order to study all levels of conflict thoroughly, including coping mechanisms and the spread of effects even after the cessation of violence in conflict situations.

As the guest speaker, at a lecture series hosted by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) in partnership with the Regional Programme SAARC of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, at the Colombo Taj, Professor Brück spoke on the topic ‘The Economics of Conflict, Insecurity and Development’, where he concentrated on providing an economic perspective through which to understand conflict. His special areas of research include the inter-relationship between peace, security and development, and the economics of post-war reconstruction, with country experiences in Angola, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Mongolia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ukraine. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Households in Conflict Network and a founding member of the Global Young Academy.

Dr. Juergen Morhad, the ambassador to Sri Lanka, former diplomatic and military dignitaries of Sri Lanka, along with members of the academic and NGO community, were guests at the event. RCSS Executive Director Dr. Mallika Joseph delivered the welcome address after which Former Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala introduced the speaker to the guests.

In this first RCSS-Adenauer Discussion Forum for the year, Professor Brück emphasized the importance of quantification and said that though there might be rare measurable indicators for issues such as the level of national insecurity, it was important to do so; as such attempts to measure insecurity might lead to an understanding of how to enable security. He emphasised especially about how they had found through research that often the fear of terrorism had larger costs for a society to bear then actual acts of terror.

He also encouraged the need to identify actual economic gains and losses made by individual countries and persons because of wars in order to understand net benefits and costs of war, as this would enable us to work towards understanding why it is difficult to prevent conflict. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion where guests were able to raise questions and share their own views on the topics discussed.

The RCSS-Adenauer discussion forum on strategic issues aims to bring together different partners of the strategic community in Sri Lanka, including former and present diplomats and military personnel as well as scholars and NGOs, to one venue to discuss a common subject that is both relevant to Sri Lanka and the region. The Executive Director of RCSS Dr. Mallika Joseph concluded the discussion session with the hope that such a platform would facilitate not only an exchange of ideas on the subject but also encourage further involvement on issues on a regional level rather than on a national level alone.  She emphasised that discussions would, while trying to lend a Sri Lankan perspective to global concerns also try to bring in a broad spectrum of ideas from the region and beyond through guest speakers from other countries. RCSS hopes to host five similar discussion forums throughout this year.


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