Lot can be learnt from Sri Lanka’s experience with non-state actors: Defence Secretary

Friday, 18 April 2014 03:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Putrajaya: As a country that suffered three decades of ruthless terrorism, there is a great deal that can be learnt from the Sri Lankan experience with non-state actors, Sri Lanka’s Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. Addressing the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference currently underway in Malaysia, the Defence Secretary said that the ability of a non-state actor to mobilise, maintain and successfully utilise a global network to strengthen and sustain terrorist activities in a sovereign nation is a matter of very serious concern. “That this could take place virtually unhindered is a serious threat to global security,” Rajapaksa noted. Referring to the defeated LTTE, the Defence Secretary said even today, although there is no more terrorism in Sri Lanka, the terrorists’ global network continues to function largely unhindered. He said the LTTE continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations that have now put on a democratic face. “Some nations seem to have chosen to turn a blind eye to these front organisations and their activities because they claim to support political activism or humanitarian relief. At the same time, the network’s operatives, most of whom are trained terrorists, remain involved in various illegal activities, and are constantly seeking ways to revive terrorist activities in Sri Lanka,” he explained.

 Interpol red notice on 96 Lankans

The Police has issued red notices for the arrest of 96 Sri Lankans through the International Police, also known as Interpol, Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Police Spokesman said that of the 96 red notices issued, 40 are for LTTE suspects and 56 for Sri Lankans wanted over various other crimes. Among those issued red notices for their arrest is Nediyavan, an LTTE member operating overseas and said to be involved in regrouping the LTTE. “Several LTTE members are now operating from overseas and we have issued red notices for their arrest,” the Police Spokesman said. The red notices are issued to over 190 countries once Interpol confirms the information on the wanted suspects. Meanwhile the Police Spokesman said that over 100 suspects are in custody following their arrest by the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) since the end of the war. “When we did not have evidence against someone, we released them. The others remain in custody as investigations continue. We are doing all this to prevent another war from taking place in Sri Lanka,” SSP Ajith Rohana said. Since 5 March this year the TID had arrested 67 people, of which some were subsequently released. (Colombo Gazette)
Apart from terrorism and arms trafficking, the most serious activities by non-state actors in today’s context include people smuggling, narcotics trafficking and sea piracy, he pointed out. According to the Defence Secretary, upholding national, regional and global security is a tremendous responsibility, and adequate safeguards are required to curb the threats posed by various non-state actors. One of the most critical strategies that nations can employ in this regard is to increase cooperation with each other on this issue through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, he emphasised.