23 October, 2019

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Growing Global Consensus On Terrorism, Hybrid Threats & National Security

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka – 

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

On Easter Sunday this year, Sri Lankan people came face to face with international terrorism for the first time. At several international security conferences held in the Russian Federation over the last three months, the theme of international terrorism forming a part of ‘hybrid threats’ was discussed at length, with solutions yet to be found. Many countries attending were seriously concerned about several new forms of security threats which in combination were defined as Hybrid Threats; threats that use military and non-military methods, including radicalization through social media, cyber attacks, fake news, so-called Color revolutions, external efforts at regime change and terrorism. The consensus among more than a hundred countries that participated in these conferences was that only with joint action and information sharing could they mitigate the risks. 

At the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) held in April 2019 organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and attended by more than 1000 delegates from 111 states, with 55 states headed by Defense ministers, heads of military and chiefs of general staff, the problem of ‘International Terrorism and Hybrid Threats’ was one of the topics of discussion. Sri Lanka participated at the level of Defense officials, while the Sri Lankan Ambassador was invited to be a speaker at the Special Session at the MCIS on ‘Color Revolutions & Hybrid Warfare’. The large numbers in attendance was a testament to the sense of urgency felt by the global community to find solutions collectively to threats, including non-traditional threats, which could no longer be combated individually. 

Delegates to the Moscow Conference on International Security proposed that non-traditional threats require reconfiguration of the conventional responses. There was agreement that regional and multilateral approaches were needed to find solutions. Some delegations warned that great power rivalry on the brink of transition from open competition to open contestation if not conflict could see risks spill over into other countries. At a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the MCIS with General Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China, General Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation said that “Relations between Russia and China reach a new, unprecedented high level to become a key factor in ensuring peace and international security thanks to leaders of both countries”. He added that “It is a key factor in ensuring peace and international security”. Many delegations mentioned the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka. 

Early in June this year, Sri Lanka’s President Sirisena attended the CICA summit in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, at which he met with President Putin on the sidelines. CICA, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, brought over 20 heads of states of the Eurasian region, including President Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China, President Rouhani of Iran, President Erdogan of Turkey, President Hun Sen of Cambodia, and prominent others from Vietnam, India, and Pakistan. Global Security was a common concern, and was reflected in the joint declaration of this year’s summit. The CICA declaration, setting out the consensus on a comprehensive set of foreign policy positions of the member states, stated:

“…We express our deep concern on the security threat posed by extremism and terrorism in all forms and manifestations and unreservedly condemn of terrorist attacks worldwide, including recent attacks in the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka and other CICA countries. We express our condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims. We stress that all acts of terror are unjustifiable whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. We reiterate our strong commitment to combat terrorism and extremism and call upon states to devise a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism, including through eliminating conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, preventing provision of funds, blocking recruitment and cross border movement of terrorists, countering extremism and radicalization, and the spread of terrorist ideology, countering misuse of the Internet for terrorist purposes and dismantling terrorist shelters, good governance, economic development and peaceful resolution of prolonged unresolved conflicts. We recognize the leading role of States and their competent agencies in preventing and countering terrorism and extremism on both national and international levels. We call on all States to unite their efforts against terrorist threats on the basis of international law and the Charter of the United Nations…We condemn any forms of propaganda of the ideology of terrorism and extremism, separatism and religious intolerance, as well as discrimination based on religion and belief…” (Declaration of the 5th Summit Conference of CICA, 2019)

The CICA Declaration 2019 also affirmed that it would “develop dialogue on a regional security architecture that is open, inclusive …” and confirmed that “… no state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state, including with the aim of changing legitimate governments and that every state has the right to determine its political system.”

The most recent in a series of high profile security related conferences in the Russian Federation was the 10th International meeting of High Ranking officials Responsible for Security Matters organized by the Security Council of Russia. It was held in Ufa, in Bashkiristan, an autonomous ethnic republic of the Russian Federation, the oldest such, dating back a century to the October 1917 Revolution. The Sri Lankan delegation included the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defense. Most countries were represented by Ministers of Defense and National Security and heads of intelligence services. From 17 to 20th June, representatives of 119 countries discussed the problems of ensuring national security in the face of growing hybrid threats.

The conference was hosted and its opening and closing sessions were chaired by Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation which is chaired by President Putin. The conference discussed the dangers of new threats including the use technology to disseminate extremist ideologies, radicalization, borderless terrorism, returning foreign fighters and cyber threats. 

The Head of the External Intelligence Services of the Russian Federation, Sergei Naryshkin, said that “meddling in the sovereignty of states on the pretext of fighting terrorism was counter-productive”, adding that “it is not possible to ‘manage’ terrorist groups”. He warned that hybrid threats were eroding the system of relationships between states established after the Second World War. “Only a multipolar architecture can ensure prosperity and development” Naryshkin said, adding portentously that “if the Western community was not mature enough to accept this, then other countries should project the global system without the West”. Naryshkin concluded his speech with the significant assertion that “Russia is ready to lead this”.

The representative of China, Guo Shengkun, a member of the Politbureau of the Communist Party of China, said that a global front against Terrorism needed to be forged, highlighting the vulnerability to Internet radicalization due to an on-line population of 829 million. 

The UN Under-Secretary General for countering Terrorism said there was a question about what they should do about returning foreign fighters, 20,000 of them who were in Iraq and Syria. The UN, he assured, retains the focus on counter-terrorism. 

A recurring concern was that there was yet no universally accepted definition of Terrorism. Making that point, Rajinder Khanna, Deputy National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Modi and Secretary of the National Security Council Secretariat, added that this lacuna was used by some states to encourage terrorists. “There is no distinction between good and bad terrorists” he said. 

The representative of Iraq said that he would like to promote the idea proposed at the Conference by the Sri Lankan ambassador, of a global United Front of states against Terrorism. He said they could come up with a conference on Terrorism to find solutions. The Sri Lankan Ambassador said that terrorism proliferates when the state is weakened, and a strengthened state is a bulwark against terrorism. 

Serbia’s representative said that today, real threats come not from concentration of power but the disintegration of power. Terrorism and extremism, he said, threaten the integrity of states by breaking them up into protectorates of other countries. Uganda offered a definition of hybrid threats as “threats that undermine the state through coercive and subversive methods”.  Some lamented that “criminals are better coordinated while states are divided”. 

South Korea noted that Technology had an impact on national security and states should enhance their capability to respond promptly to such threats. Malaysia spoke of a regional initiative of a “Digital Counter messaging centre” as a response to on-line extremism and radicalization, while highlighting the importance of improving border security. Moldova spoke of their Centre for Cyber Security with a Response Group to minimize effects of social media radicalization and a National Council to counter hybrid threats at all levels, recommending joint training and practice sessions. 

A common complaint was the funding of terrorist groups by some countries and the moving around of foreign terrorists. Argentina said they were working on a conceptual document on a comprehensive approach to National Security. Several regional initiatives were highlighted such as The African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism and the European Center for Countering Hybrid Threats. 

At the Roundtable on Terrorism held on the last day of the conference, the Chair, Yuri Kokov, the Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said that the role of the State in counter-terrorism should be fully recognized and that close international cooperation was essential to neutralize the threat of terrorists, including “lone wolf terrorists”. 

“Returning terrorist fighters” was identified as one of the biggest threats by some countries as terrorists — including many women — infiltrated Central Asian countries from Afghanistan. They appealed for cooperation to close transit channels. Afghanistan appealed to the world to stop distinguishing between terrorists. 

Tajikistan joined India and many other countries including Sri Lanka in urging a universal definition of Terrorism. The Sri Lankan Ambassador offered a possible universal definition for discussion, also insisting that there were certain global events that kept cropping up in terrorist propaganda aiming at radicalizing youth from different parts of the world, and unless addressed, those will continue to motivate young people into joining extremist groups and later resort to terrorism. 

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Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    If you are talking about the USA which goes taking over small countries, what they use is, in some places I read, called HYBRID WAR That is they use economy, culture, Finance, Monetary policy, Education, communication, Judiciary, Law and enforcement, Universities, – simply everything possible on earth. I read that has happened even in Latin america.
    They have a policy, I think since 1975, that is the time that the Vietnam war was over, they will not go to wars, I think again should be corrected as major wars, not ones like Saddam Hussein or Gadhaffi was killed. In the case of Sri lanka, every prominent politician in Sri lanka, PM was almost every time RANIL, so the president,becomes a cute and obedient doggie of the west.
    Some how it looks, in the case of Sri lanka, they are putting finishing touches on their cake. So, Sri lanka can not be compared to Bangladesh or Africa. because both regions are developing fast. I think the best example is Venezuela or very much a THAHITI.
    It is the west that created many Islamic terrorist organizations. with what is happening today, Terrorism can go to very backward civilizations which attacked the next villages or innocent villages because they wanted many things there. Other than that, I was told the modern terrorism was begun by the Israel
    In the case of Sri lanka, Zaharan was supervised by somebody from behind.or very much a hidden hand. Other than, he was pushed for it, may be he was threatened some way. A very good terrorist leader was Pabakaran. Zaharan was not like that. HE blew up even his wife and children, just a Stupid fellow.
    Fidel Castro was a very brave leader and I heard he faced 625 assassination attempts. We, do not have such brave Leaders. They may get either blown up or submit after some tough talk.

    • 5
      1

      Uh, …… So you guys are enjoying your all paid up sojourn in the land of the mad monk (the only bona fide hero in that country; unlike you guys, he was a honest deceiver)?

      It’s the people who pay for your holiday that don’t enjoy/appreciate your antics!

      There’s more to life than just deception.

      So when are you guys going to start living a honest life?

      Better late than never. :))

  • 13
    2

    Mahanayakes and Bhikkus are the recruiters of terrorists in Sri Lanka.

    If you attack the root cause of terrorism in Sri Lanka – Buddhist hierarchy,
    there will be peace and no terrorism.

    Sinhalese rioters periodically terrorizing the minorities must be stopped for peace in Sri Lanka.

    How can it happen when the Sri Lankan state, its agents and Sinhalese politicians are part of the problem?

    • 11
      3

      Being interested in electric vehicles, I thought this piece was about that kind of hybrid. But wow!!! Sanja has produced a long-winded and turgid piece that would have put to shame the Soviet newspaper “Pravda” .
      “The most recent in a series of high profile security related conferences in the Russian Federation was the 10th International meeting of High Ranking officials Responsible for Security Matters organized by the Security Council of Russia. It was held in Ufa, in Bashkiristan, ” Wow again!!
      Did you actually write this crap Sanja? Maybe it is significant that there is a mention of our man in Moscow, who is known to praise his own tail.

      • 6
        1

        Old Codger – This crap was written by a bogus Dr, warmonger and public racist#1. He is never in his office but you can spot him in the restricted areas of Moscow!

      • 4
        2

        Old codger

        “Maybe it is significant that there is a mention of our man in Moscow, who is known to praise his own tail.”

        He is still too busy negotiating the purchase of some 50 years old corroded unseaworthy floating metals.

  • 9
    2

    sounds like her masters voice

  • 7
    2

    Moscow conference on terrorism ??? when Putin and Moscow have been aiding terrorism in other parts of the world. Remember the civilian airlines they shot down, Crimean invasion, hacking into elections of other countries and poisoning their own citizens. Does it ring a bell Sanja. ??? Main participants are Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Cambodia and China (guess they forgot to invite North Korea). That says it all. Lankans too had their annual conferences for those naive foreigners on terrorism management , until this Easter when the whole world found out, we had the intelligence but decided to ignore and go on vacations. I guess you found a way to visit Moscow at the expense of tax payers and hence this article. People who gripe about western hegemony conveniently ignore the above facts.Can Russians teach us a thing or two on our domestic / religious extremism????. I am sure Putin will be amused by the stories on sterilization pills/procedures.

  • 0
    0

    Indeed, there is a new threat from terrorist. Drone attacks, chemical/biological attacks, lone wolf attacks, etc. The ability of social media to quickly recruit 1000’s of members is also something new. Given Sri Lanka’s proximity to state sponsors of terrorism, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, combined with Sri Lanka’s large Muslim population, a new methodology is needed to counter this looming threat.

    • 4
      3

      Lester the terror expert,
      “Given Sri Lanka’s proximity to state sponsors of terrorism, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, “
      Would you tell us who sponsored state terrorism against civilians in 1971, 1983 and 1989. Did Muslims have any part in it?

      • 2
        3

        Raman the fiction writer,

        Is that because Sri Lanka was the only country to have race riots?

        • 0
          0

          Lester the ostrich,
          Who told you that 1971 and 1989 were race riots?
          Take your head out of the sand.

  • 8
    0

    All your preparations and all you your intelligence will come to nothing if the Head Honcho ignores the warnings and goes on holiday instead.

    • 5
      0

      My strong guess is Head Honchos knew via double agents that there would be something like That. But, they did not think it would be this disastrous. I guess even Al Bagdadi knows it.

  • 6
    2

    A learned friend tells me that many of the privileged attendees were highly suitable in giving advise on ‘terrorism’ as they had their own state-sponsored terrorism. How queer!

    • 1
      0

      So, Good security-conscious People,

      Last week I invited a few old pals to join me at a bar in a prominent Colombo Hotel not a million miles from ‘bomb alley’ to sip a few cool beers and enjoy the cricket.

      I went through the security arch at the front entrance, got searched, then took my place at the bar, Half an hour later my mates turned up, and I enquired ‘how was the security check?’

      “No machang, we came from the car park side through the back door near the kitchen, short-cut, no one checked us”

      Be afraid! Be very afraid!

  • 6
    1

    Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

    On Easter Sunday this year, Sri Lankan people came face to face with international terrorism for the first time. At several international security conferences held in the Russian Federation over the last three months, the theme of international terrorism forming a part of ‘hybrid threats’ was discussed at length, with solutions yet to be found. Many countries attending were seriously concerned about several new forms of security threats which in combination were defined as Hybrid Threats; threats that use military and non-military methods, including radicalization through social media, cyber attacks, fake news, so-called Color revolutions, external efforts at regime change and terrorism. The consensus among more than a hundred countries that participated in these conferences was that only with joint action and information sharing could they mitigate the risks.

    *** This may be a new experince to you but we have lived through the ” Close encounters of the State Terrirism ( unleashed by MR & Gotha ) and marauding Sinhala masses during race riots for the last 70 years. There is more to come from both sides. Us Tamils are the Pigs in theMiddle. Ganasara on one side and Lethal ISIS on the other side. The palce is a bit cramped.

  • 0
    0

    I do not say International Terrorism. IT was just using muslims because they wanted money and the Handler wanted to reach specific objectives. Now, ISIS is an international group. OR, they are used from time to time, in different countries to achieve different objectives. Some of the attacks may be just to find more capables for recruiting to the ISLAMIC-Extremists willing to attack, and destabilising countries is one more goal. The name may be different. ISIS may be popular. IT is not difficult to wipe out ISIS as LTTE was as ISIS is multi-state.

  • 1
    0

    Welcome back Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka. Last seen gatecrashing a GR meeting soaking wet with Dayan holding an umbrella.
    Your forte used to be making mountains out of molehills. This article shows you are still good at this.
    .
    The Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) held in April 2019 was a Mouse that Roared. Sri Lankan Ambassador Dr Dayan Jayatillake was invited to be a speaker at the Special Session at the MCIS on ‘Color Revolutions & Hybrid Warfare’. During drinks-break, Dayan suggested to the sleepwalking delegates that GR is suited to lead SL.
    .
    We agree with you Sanja. Easter Sunday this year, Lankans faced acts of ‘Terrorism’ by a few radicalised Muslims. IS put the hands up afterwards. Courageous moderate Lankan Muslims have accepted the blame.
    That BBS-Buddhist Gnanasara Thero with his anti-Muslim vitriol, deeds/misdeeds exacerbated the situation is written all over, if one cares to read.
    Care to look into this Sanja?

  • 1
    0

    asgiriya is building a terrorist Buddhist kids with false values and ideas about the muslims and tamils. but their mothers are working in middle-east to feed them.
    recently a lady who has been working for my family for the last 30 years said, the temple is teaching the Buddhist, that when muslims sell or give food, they spit on it. And the monk has said not to have any dealings with muslims to the children . 7-10 years old.
    She being close to us, had to take the child from the temple, as she had told the monk, not to propergate false Buddhism. Buddhism needs a revision, and monks need a checking, as they are raping children in the temples and falsifying the religion.

  • 1
    0

    children raped and molested by monks 600 plus in 2018. Government statistics.
    most cases are brushed under the carpet, as politics plays a big role.

  • 0
    0

    Narrow minded Cuban PhD Thero De Silva struggling to defined terrorism to exclude his JVP & EPRLF of which he was very important mastermind, but only to include LTTE. The fool have no Idea that when one define terrorism, they have to differentiate it from Freedom fighting too, and to include States they get involved in terrorism like white van murders or White flag murders in addition to hiring external terrorists like ISIS to attack their own minority Tamil Christians. The Moda is creating new Phrase as Good Terrorists & Bad Terrorists, because all countries refused to compare Appe Aanduwa hired Local ISIS (NTJ) with LTTE. That was a disappointment Cuban Communist, Thero. So the Castro’s disciple is trying to tell that when he designates LTTE as terrorists, but IC refusing to accept that, is making it as two terrorists, those are Good & Bad. Comedy Thero & His Comedy Theories!

    Lankawe has violated the UN resolution 1373 and defined Tamil Diaspora Organization as Terrorist organizations. But IC rejected Lankawe’s that classification. Dirty Aanduwa implemented part of the ICCPR to declare the Rowdy Buddhism as the special religion in Lankawe. Now Comedy Thero trying to redefine the international definition of terrorism. So after it had hired the ISIS to bomb Tamil Churches, they used PTA and ICCPR to arrest innocents Tamils. The riots were between Sinhalese and Muslims and it was Muslim Terrorist bombed Tamil Churches, but Tamils arrested more than both others comminutes for apparent reason is Tamils are considered in Lankawe as “Vaipaddy Pillai” (Child of mistress, illegal child). There no check point in Kattankudy or Sainthamaruthu, but surprise 14 Rapist army check points appeared from Vavuniya to Jaffna, after Aanduwa has hired the terrorists.

  • 0
    0

    Thero repeatedly forgets that Russia has to get of Crimea plus, stop using terrorism in Eastern Ukraine to force Ukraine to surrender to Russia. Russia has no business to liberate Georgian sub state while. It is a comedy when even the woman who cut and pasted Thero’s diatribes failed to eliminate form the Essay that “Russia wants multipolar world while it wants to leave West outside of and it wants to lead that multipolar world”. Where can one knock the one’s heads after reading Thero Moda’s this type of comedies. It is only absolute Modayas who talk or write like that. The diarrhea Sanjay and Thero suffering now is the feeling of America is leading on unipolar world. So they want it to go to Putin. The two idiots are forgetting China is much far ahead of Russia in the dream of controlling a unipolar world on its own. There many artificial Islands it had created in the international waters. Further, in Colombo Pong Cing, it has the sovereignty and it will use it when it has to fight a war in Indian Ocean. It has subjugated half of the Africa already by loans, leave alone Modaya country Appe sri sri sri Lanka. Once BRI is fully implemented many countries in many part of the world will be slave states to China. That is the reason UN recently released it report insisting China has to modify its fundamental principles of BRI, if even one country can share any benefits beyond the loan inundation they are driven into.
    Moda Thero should stop selling from Moscow the Lankawe to Russia Polar Bear. Countries rather have get out of polar bears and should be free enough to operate under the umbrella of UN. It was curse this tyrant too was an UN ambassador.

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