Exclusive Interview with Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
India is a major power bloc and their strategic consideration is not limited to the immediate neighborhood. They are a global power house. Historically there were misunderstandings between India and Sri Lanka from time to time. We suffered for 30 years because we upset India, or India perceived that we upset them,” Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage to the Lanka Courier in an exclusive interview with Nilantha Ilangamuwa.
As the secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he assumed duties in August, 2020. Admiral Colombage was previously Additional Secretary to the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for Foreign Relations since December 2019. In addition, he is presently serving as the Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies, Sri Lanka. Admiral Colombage has served the Sri Lanka Navy for a period of 36 years and retired as the Commander of the Navy on 1st July 2014. He was the 18th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and was and commended for exceptional service to the Navy.
Upon retirement from the Navy, Admiral Colombage served as the Director for Indo-Sri Lanka Initiatives and Law of the Sea Centers at the Pathfinder Foundation, which is a premier think-tank and research centre, based in Colombo. He has represented the Pathfinder Foundation and Sri Lanka in many bi-lateral, regional and international fora, presenting papers, participating in panel discussions and chairing sessions on international politics, strategic and maritime security related fields.
Admiral Colombage has been a guest lecturer in universities and training institutes in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan and Pakistan. He was also an editor and reviewer of a number of internationally renowned academic journals. Foreign Secretary Admiral Colombage holds a PhD from General Sir John Kotalawela University, Master of Science in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University and Master of Arts in International Studies from Kings College, London. His PhD thesis “Asymmetric Warfare at Sea; the case of Sri Lanka” has been published by Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany. He is also a fellow of Nautical Institute of London.
Excerpts of the Interview;