Press Release - Global Center on Cooperative Security

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, 10 June 2010 – Police and prosecutors from all countries of South Asia
met in Colombo this week to discuss efforts to strengthen counter-terrorism in the region. The
three-day workshop provided an unconventional forum for senior-level police officers and
prosecutors to consider specific issues that arise in counter-terrorism cases. Participants in the
workshop also considered steps to strengthen international cooperation in investigations and
prosecution, including the possibility of developing a joint regional training mechanism.
The workshop was hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka, in association with the United Nations
Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). It was organized by the Regional
Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), based in Colombo, and the Center on Global
Counterterrorism Cooperation, a U.S.-based think tank. It was organized with the support of the
Governments of Australia and Canada.
Participants at the workshop included police and prosecutors from all eight member States of the
South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Their discussions were facilitated with input from
the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the US Federal
Bureau of Investigations and the US Marshals Service. The SAARC Secretariat also participated as
an observer.
The workshop commenced on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 with an Opening Session chaired by the
Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Assembled
participants and dignitaries heard addresses from Mr. Mike Smith, Executive Director of the
United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate; H.E. Ms. Kathy Klugman,
High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka; H.E. Mr. Fred Jacques, Acting High Commissioner
of Canada to Sri Lanka; and the Hon. Gitanjana Gunawardena, Acting Minister of External Affairs.
The Colombo workshop builds on an earlier workshop, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 8 to 10
November 2009. These meetings are part of a series of workshops, which aim to develop
discussion among police, prosecutors and the judiciary on how to counter terrorism effectively in
South Asia. The workshops aim to raise awareness of the latest available investigative technologies
and techniques and to enable participants to share experiences and best practices in their respective
areas of expertise.
“It is our hope that such gatherings will serve not only to enhance the technical expertise of law
enforcement officials in the South Asia region, but also to foster a cooperative association that will
enable them to prevent and more effectively respond to terrorism and its related legal challenges”,
Mike Smith said.
At the Colombo workshop, the police participating in the discussion focused primarily on methods
of terrorist financing, including connections to organized crime, while prosecutors focused on
measures to strengthen witness protection. Both groups also discussed the central role of fair
treatment, due process and human rights in effectively countering terrorism.
Broader goals of the process are to help build trust and promote the cross-border working
relationships necessary to counter terrorism effectively and to lay the foundations for improved
regional counterterrorism cooperation.
Amal Jayawardane
Executive Director
Regional Centre for Strategic Studies
410/27, Bauddhaloka Mawatha
Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
Tel. No.: 94-11-2690764 (office)
Tel. No.: 94-11-272-7958 (home)
Mobile No.:0777667485 (mobile)
Christian Mahr
Legal Officer
Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
United Nations, New York
Tel. No.: +1 212 457 1706
Fax No.: +1 212 457 4041
Email: [email protected]