European Union and Sri Lanka held an informal counter-terrorism dialogue

European Union and Sri Lanka held an informal counter-terrorism dialogue

Written by Staff Writer

15 Jul, 2019 | 9:17 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The European Union and Sri Lanka held an informal counter-terrorism dialogue underlining the EU’s solidarity with Sri Lanka following the April 21st terrorist attacks.

The meeting was chaired by EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, accompanied by EEAS Head of Division for Counterterrorism John Gatt-Rutter, and on the Sri Lankan side by acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed A. Jawad. Common challenges relating to violent extremism and terrorism were discussed and experience regarding responses was shared.

In a media release, the EU says it underlined the importance of efficient coordination of counterterrorism efforts, the essence of focusing on the prevention of violent extremism and the importance of counterterrorism responses to be fully in line with human rights obligations.

The EU presented a support package for Sri Lanka under the instrument contributing to Stability and Peace to be implemented with the UNODC and UNDP. The package worth EUR 8.5 million will notably focus on law enforcement, rehabilitation and disengagement, counter-narratives, and online radicalization.

The European Union proposes to assist us in counter-terrorism. Sri Lanka has 33+ years of expertise in handling terrorism and it would be fair to say that Sri Lanka’s forces both military and intelligence, have an enviable record in this respect.

The recent detection of several container loads laden with garbage, originating from the EU, including possibly highly toxic clinical waste, in clear contravention of the rules operating in this country, is a matter of grave concern to the people. The EU authorities who wish to share their intelligence expertise in Sri Lanka may well be better advised to deploy their knowledge and stop the export of illegal cargo to Sri Lanka.

As for the various financial offerings made during the period in which Sri Lanka will have a potential three elections is also highly suspect. If the EU wishes to be generous to the people of this country, there are scores of poverty alleviation projects in rural areas that beg to be funded.

Our Prime Minister’s statement that 98% of terrorism has been eradicated is a significant departure from a time in this country where the country enjoyed a 100% terror free status. Haphazard handling of intelligence data and a blasé attitude towards security has sadly impacted on the country and its economy. The people of Sri Lanka view with grave concern the arrival of Trojan Horses at a crucial crossroad of this country’s political landscape.

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