SL could use technocrats to improve intelligence sharing

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Sri Lanka could make use of senior technocrats similar to that of the group in the United States to improve interagency communication and cooperation between the CIA, FBI and other agencies, says Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake Jr.

He stated this addressing a seminar held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) yesterday (07). The seminar was organized by the Pathfinder Foundation in partnership with the Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka (JAAFSL).

To improve interagency communication and cooperation, the Bush White House established a working group of senior technocrats from all the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, he said speaking on the poor communication and intelligence sharing between the CIA, FBI and other agencies.

Delivering his presentation titled ‘US Foreign Policy towards China and South Asia and what it means for Sri Lanka’, the former US Ambassador said, “Sri Lanka can learn from mistakes America made after 9/11.” Most civil liberties experts believe the US over-reacted by expanding government surveillance without appropriate constitutional checks, he added.

Speaking on the steps that could be taken by Sri Lanka to manage the challenges posed by the Easter Sunday terror attacks and to sustain the progress of the past ten years, he said investigations into identifying the persons responsible for the attacks and the nexus they had with the outside terrorist groups and how the bombers managed to execute a sophisticated and well-coordinated series of attacks in multiple locations and escaped the detection of the intelligence and security services.

“Easter attacks were not just personal tragedies for the families of those killed and wounded. They opened old wounds still fresh from Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil conflict, and they raised new questions in the minds of potential business partners about the wisdom of doing business in Sri Lanka”.

He stated that Sri Lanka should be heedful not to allow ISIS or other extreme Islamic groups to take root, although the precise role of ISIS in the attacks remains to be investigated.