Written by Bella Dalima
27 Nov, 2014 | 5:48 pm
Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the most important tool that countries have at their disposal to combat drug and human trafficking is intelligence.
The Defence Secretary made this statement on Thursday at the South and Southeast Asian Nations or SASEAN Defence Chiefs Dialogue 2014
The dialogue which provides a multinational forum to promote peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in the spheres of defence and security, saw the Ambassadors and Chiefs of Defence Staffs of the region in attendance.
Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov participated in the dialogue.
At the event Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed the following views:
[quote]Some of the policies, which are intended to improve the quality of life of our citizens and encourage economic development through tourism and trade can also be used by terrorists and criminals for their activities. Drug trafficking, which is increasingly becoming a serious issue for many the countries in our region. On occasion we have seen instances where drug dealers have escaped law enforcement agencies by moving into other countries and staying in these countries illegally, using them as safe havens. Human trafficking is another problem that is becoming increasingly significant in today’s context. This has become a very lucrative business for people smugglers, some of whom who also have links to international terrorism and drug traffickers. Combating these issues is critical to our nation’s economic development and future prosperity. The most important tool that countries have at their disposal in this regard is intelligence.[/quote]
Chief of Defence Staff, General Jagath Jayasooriya expressed these views:
[quote]A call for an international investigation into the situation in Sri Lanka by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, emanated barely a week after the defeat of terrorism which reunited the country five years ago. The ill-conceived resolution adopted in March 2014 resulting from politicised action, diaspora compulsions and reports not mandated by the inter-governmental process, lacks legitimacy and credibility. This is completely unwarranted, and for that reason rejected by the Government of Sri Lanka. Despite a genuine desire to defeat terrorism, foster reconciliation and through it restore peace and harmony, Sri Lanka is being negatively influenced by extra regional forces via international agencies. Such action has caused mistrust about international processes among the people of Sri Lanka and also and negatively impacted our reconciliation efforts. Sri Lanka and the region will continue to be exposed to challenges by non-state actors and influenced by extra regional forces in the future too.[/quote]
The SASEAN Dialogue which commenced today, November 27, will conclude on November 29.
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